HML Readathon
Today we got a large parcel in the post from sticky.We are very excited. But too busy today with another project (BALLS, that's the only hint were giving out) So. We just managed to contain ourselves and decided to open the parcel for a quick peak before getting back to business.

Gasp! a candy-striped interior bag...

and a big pile of crazy weekend reading material from the other 34 zinesters.

We'll be reviewing one a week on our new Craftbusters! blog. See you there.



Artistic licence

Look I really don’t want to seem like a bragging mother, especially here on hml where we tend to keep things cool and make like we're busy with things other than childrearing. But this time Max has outdone himself. After a few art and craft sessions he's decided that he’s quite the young arteeest, even demanding “Art, art, art! ” before breakfast of a morning. I am mightily impressed with this development,especially given that up until now it's all been destroy! destroy! destroy! 

Last week we had both a painting afternoon and a collage afternoon – hard to say which one he liked more, I think the output was pretty even...

Although he did spend the rest of the week waving his paintbrush over the furniture like a wand and sticking stickers on all the doors. God knows what he’ll do when we start with the balls of wool.



The Big Picture

Now filling the cabinets at Platform is The Undiscovered Press: a showcase of twelve of Australia's most dedicated zinesters from around the country. Set the challenge of expanding their traditional A5 format into large format artworks they've employed their usual arsenal of paper, pens, robots, envelopes, found objects, random cardboard, photos, duck tape and textas to create 'a bigger picture' in every sense.
As the Platform peeps have commented, often the gp think of zines as literary rather than visual works of art, and perhaps the combination of questionable poetry, black flag politics and poor quality photocopies stealthily printed at the office haven't always done the visuals any favours. In this show however the focus is firmly on the pictures, which is a nice change, because personally i've always loved the aesthetic of zines, bad photocopy or not.

As you can see, it's a world of happiness, even the depressed bits. And you know if you're heading into town to go to work, play or even secretly purchase a badly fitted top shop knock-off from Dotti there's no excuse not to make a five minute detour and see what other people get up to in their loungeroom of an evening. Features work by Androniki Douramakos, Cameron Baker, Mary-Helen Daly, Sarah Foster, Brendan Halyday, Marc Martin, Arlene Texta Queen, Pat Grant, Michelle Vandermeer, On Wednesday and Fergus.

On until it closes, Degraves St Subway Melbourne.



Sorry we have been so quiet this week dear readers. A combination of fatigue, zine craziness and day jobs left us stumped for hml content. You understand, it happens to the best and the rest of us some weeks. The outlook is less insane this week. Thought we'd show you this hilarious bit of fun - strangely addictive - a bit like Ikea itself.
PS Next time you are there try walking the wrong way round. It becomes more of an anthropological experience as you watch the sea of people doing the floor plan marathon. Don't follow the arrows is this weeks motto!



We know it's Shrove Tuesday (did you know?) but quite frankly we don't want to put a photo of our Pancake Parlour mix on HML (hey look, we love it, sue us!). I thought I'd share with you my beloved's banana bread. He's a pretty good cook but doesn't get to elbow into the kitchen very often. Confronted with a bunch of dying bananas he announced 'I'm going to make banana bread!' to which the rest of the household  chuckled and warned him to clean up after himself (god we are horrible sometimes). 45 minutes later I was eating the best banana bread with my mid morning cuppa in a spotless kitchen. so snaps to him really.




HML went retro this week and we made a zine for Sticky Institute's "festival of the photocopier" in the old skool way, armed with scissors, glue stick and photocopier (ok we cheated a little with the use of the scanner and a little illustrator just to make sure things fit on the page properly but hey we don't have an in-house bromide machine!) We even made sure we had a suitably indie playlist to help us feel the vibe and wore chucks throughout the process. It's full of insane letters asking advice on varied and random crafting problems with equally random answers from us, as our alter-ego's the Craftbusters and images culled from our vast collection of crazy craft books from the 20's to the 80's. Not to mention creepy dolls, hippy weaving, cross stitch patterns and aeronautical orgiami tips. It was heaps of fun. Hilarious in fact. So much so we're thinking of doing another one already. (That being said we should probably also apologise to poor Zach at Officeworks for our delirious and non too sharp efforts at photocopying 45 versions of our wee zine at 8o'clock Saturday morning in order to meet the midday deadline. Zach we promise if we do another one we won't photocopy it on your shift.) Anyhoo, in keeping with the low-fi vibe here are some pics of the process, all in black and white, just like our little zine. Oh and you can buy a copy from either the Sticky Institute or via our big cartel shop for a super cheap equally retro price of $5.



the sign says it all...

now what button did he say to press?

the finished product, tagged, bagged and ready to roll!



Darling Nikki.

We love knitting, we love fashion and we love knitting machines (although we're buggered if we can work out how to use the bloody things) so this exhibition, which features all three and which thus far seems to have slipped under the radar, is a dead cert for 'show of the week'.

According to the high falutin' exhibition description "The Endless Garment celebrates the virtuosity and future directions of the new craft of machine knitting which is changing the way fashion is designed and made." sho nuff. But it will also showcase the kinds of computerised industrial knitting machines covet and work by a range of international designers that will make us swoon and send us straight to the yarn store. The fact that it also features Nikki Gabriel who is not only a genius with yarn but also one of the nicest peeps you'll ever meet don't hurt neither.


It opens TONIGHT 6-8pm and Nikki will be there making "a special address" and a model (maybe even the one above) will be wearing her dresses. NIkki is also holding a workshop as part of the public programming, which will no doubt sell out in a matter of minutes, so book early. Oh and Miss Penpen has a stack of Nikki's ebony needles and hand knitting kits which include hand spun wool and are officially "to die for", so you can buy one and have a crack at some high fashion yourself, just in time for the opening.

The Endless Garment: The New Craft of Machine Knitting.
RMIT Gallery
344 Swanston Street Melbourne
12 February - 21 March 2010



our cups runeth over...

How much do we love these, customised silhouette mugs by brooklyn crafteeest Alyssa Zygmunt, perfect for HML HQ - and no more drinking Ramona's coffee by mistake - Genius. Get yours here.

But wait theres more, this fashion desinger by day, crafter by night also has these gorgeous customised wood slices, that really hit we log ladies where we live.

And of course because she is clearly a woman after our own heart she totally gets that we need an ceramic owl or two to complete our twin peaks tableax. Just beautiful. Her etsy shop is full of excellent things, and as she says "Please buy something. My little NY apartment is over flowing!" ... Alyssa I think we can help you with that.



cool world
If you're anything like us, reading uber hip interiors magazines can sometimes leave you a little, well, cranky. While we love the beautiful photography and droolworthy interiors sometimes the incredibly good looking, super neat peeps with smug expressions, clean surfaces and even cleaner co-ordinating designer threads inhabiting them invite you to give them a slap rather than round of applause. We think those at Unhappy Hipsters feel the same, although their slap comes in the form of  some very witty, sardonic sub-editing... which of course we love even more. For example:

We’re not ready to go out there yet, honey. And besides, didn’t I do a pretty good job bringing the outside in? (Photo: Christopher Sturman, Dwell, November 2009)

Well aware of her ability to unnerve house guests, she’d become scarily self-possessed. (Photo: Philippe Munda; Dwell, June 2004)




Yesterday with my fellas I drove down the Healesville to visit one of my stockists Morris Brown. Owners Louise and Jenny have a lovely shop full of craft and design goodness including my paper flowers which look pretty in their space. It was a good chance to unwind after what has been a hectic working week.
Beck had told me that we would love Healesville and its surrounds and she was right! It was only half way there I remembered the anniversary of the Black Saturday fires this weekend. It felt particularly poignant as the heavens opened up mid morning, cooling everything after a three day heat wave.
My family is planning a treechange one day. Maybe we'll move into the new exhibition building! (HML regional headquarters).
Take a drive to the country soon. Have lunch, buys some produce (or in our case aged porterhouse, tea towels, pickled garlic and a lovely breakfast of fresh eggs and toast soldiers!) inject a little cash into these beautiful little towns.
We saw the road signs to Kinglake and Marysville further on. It was a quiet drive home in the rain.


The ladies of HML are big fans of the Sticky Institute so we want to give a shout out to their Festival of the Photocopier. We also want to encourage you scribblers out there to stretch yourselves creatively and participate in Target 168.We thought we might have a crack at it. You start making your zine this Saturday after receiving your secret special ticket that needs to be incorporated as proof, and deliver your zine in all its glory to the Fair the following Saturday - 168 hours later (geddit?)! -everyone who makes one gets a copy of everyone elses - extending the zine love nationwide! Zines will also be available at the Fair for all to purchase (that's the 13th- more about that later) - look out for your HML 168 tome there (we hope). Wish us luck.
Register your interest by Thursday peeps by emailing stickyshop@gmail.com



It was the packaging. It was the fact that I was in a gourmet grocers and I'd just had my haircut and I thought I'd pretend to have disposable income. This is my only excuse for paying $14.95 for a packet mix. I'm no Nigella, but I'm no slouch in the kitchen either and I've become quite renowned for my cupcake skills.
But there was something so seductive about the brown and pale blue papers, the elegant box and even the pithy message from Donna ('shhh, don't tell them they're not yours' - uh Donna your name is on EVERYTHING I think they'll guess)
They looked ok. They were a weird pasty colour when they came out of the oven, and there wasn't quite the fluffiness to the icing the photo promised. I have to tell you folks they tasted absolutely disgusting. really. the most synthetic, rubbery, and just plain odd flavour I've ever tasted. I would have been better buying a jam roll from the supermarket. I took them to the HML bbq just so everyone could sample a truly horrible cupcake.Needless to say no one did and they went straight in the bin.
 Maggie B on the other hand is working her way through Michel Roux's Pastry book. This lemon meringue pie browned a little in our insane oven but the pastry was flaky, the lemon was curdy and the meringue was deliciously crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. Sigh, back to the kitchen for me.