a new Dawn

Beck and I are very excited about this weekends very special Dawn Tan pop up hop at Harvest Textiles. Dawn has been an artist in residence there this past month, holding watercolour classes for small and big peeps and generally being a creative dynamo (is there nothing this amazing gal can't do?)

Rumour has it there will be gorgeous art prints, tea towels,recipe cards,aprons and totes for sale. With the proceeds of an especially delicious red print tea towel going to the Red Cross Japan fund.

It's open on Saturday and Sunday between 10-5. It will give everyone a chance to check out the workroom. Who knows, you may be inspired to sign up for one of their fab courses. Beck loved it last year. The Harvest gals promised that could even make a screen printer out of me given half the chance! RAMONA

Harvest Textiles is at 512 Lygon Street East Brunswick.



Small Pieces

On my gallery walk last weekend I made a big effort to finally get to Pan Gallery at the new Northcote Pottery location (no longer in Northcote unfortunately). I thought I'd share some images for those of you that haven't been there yet and are curious. Anywhere you can buy contemporary Australian ceramics should be on the must see list. I have never seen a cleaner more organised shop front in my life! You glide through the supplies on polished concrete to the gallery space at the back.

I'd gone to see the Forming Words exhibition and was very taken with this Beauty Pageant vessel by Wendy Hatfield Witt.

The retail space is at the front entrance and is full of little treasures - all of which are very affordable and would make perfect gifts (hint hint).

It's a little makeshift and random but there are some great objects, some of which I hadn't seen anywhere else.

I have no idea who makes these crazy little ducks but I am quite obsessed with them.

Very fond of these Ingrid Tufts tumblers. Ingrid is just the hottest maker in town at the moment and I know why. Her work is clever, well made, and totally usable.

The best way to get there is to go up Nicholson Street coming from the city and then to turn right  at Weston Street (as opposed to left which is what I did). Once you've found it you'll never let it go, a little treasure in Brunswick - not Northcote. RAMONA



Found and Kept

The Bon Scotts
Ok so everyone knows it was Finders Keepers on the weekend so I thought I'd join in with my own little recap. While Beck was sunning herself in QLD on a much needed pre bub #2 holiday I was playing shop with the fantastic Miss Pen Pen of Cottage Industry. I did get a chance to sneak away and have the best tacos ever and rock out to some piano accordian at the same time.

I had a a Portlandia moment when I bought a gorgeous bird illustration by Meredith Forrester

And it was great to see the fabulous Betty Jo Designs table full of Lino treasure goodness. So consistently good, well made, original (avoid rip offs people)

Market stalwart Matt was selling old skool style - "Matt of Matts Bags"

I spent a days pay on this lovely wooden tram for the Womble. Shh don't tell him, we are trying to save it for his birthday! Finders Keepers is an interesting market, straddling that world between the handmade and the mass produced. I wonder if they can keep up the nice vibe for future markets as they grow. All I know is, I'm following that taco truck wherever it goes! RAMONA



Rock and Roll

Madeline Kidd
The ladies of HML have been know to string some macaroni on occasion (our mothers and our children can attest to this) we've also been know to dabble and noodle with paintbrushes and pens. So you can imaigine our interest in the new show Rock Solid at Pieces of Eight.

Anna Ephraim
Curator Merdith Turnbull has asked 11 established visual artists to create work that could be worn on the body. Jewelry isn't quite the word we'd use in some instances but the exploration of adornment by this creative group is really interesting and very playful.

Dylan Martorell

HML fave Dylan Martorell has taken the whole 'rock' thing quite literally which we think is hilarious and cool.

Bianca Hester
 And how great is this modern interpretation/hybrid of the charm bracelet/swiss army knife by Bianca Hester?
Rock Solid runs until May 27 - ages away, we may remind you again before it closes! RAMONA



Well everyone it's here again! We gave you a big rave about Finders Keepers market last time and we can honestly say it's well worth the trip. You'll need to jump onto their spiffy website to get a map to find the place but it will be well worth it. If you come by on Saturday say hello to me - I'm playing shopgirl at the Cottage Industry stand for craft queen Pen Pen! I've even bought a polka dot cardigan to celebrate. The market is open 10-5 Saturday and Sunday and I hear there are tacos and live music and all manner of indie goodness. Be there or be square. RAMONA


All the pretty things

Anyone into craft and design knows that it's as important (if not more) to visit shops as well as galleries to keep up with what's happening on the professional handmade scene. The ladies of HML have long had a hankering to visit Mr Kitly in Sydney Rd as this little shop of treasure has already garnered quite the rep for ceramics, jewellery, wood and macramé (!) sourced locally and from Japan - it's main source of inspiration.

So while on my epic Saturday gallery jaunt I made sure I had time to climb the carpeted stairs to see what all the fuss is about. Let me tell you it's one of those places that photos don't do it justice. It's so gorgeous. I mediately thought "If Beck was a shop she'd be this one" it tapped into so many of our shared passions - macramé being one of them of course!

Beautifully curated selection of goods, including some drool worthy design books.

These wooden vessels are going on my wish list right now. Perfect for HML meetings!

And of course I went a little faint at the sight of the Fog Linen napkins. Oh goodness me...

It's exciting to find something really fresh and authentic. There was nothing contrived or cutesy. The sweetness was tempered with intelligent choices that just sang. Close to perfect! RAMONA
Mr Kitly
381 Sydney Rd
Open Thurs-Sat 11-6, Sun 11-4



Oh Japan
Most Crafters like musicians are excellent at coming together for a cause. Nearly every crafter we know has a special relationship with Japan for inspiration, materials or personal connections, so its no surpise that makers all over melbourne are also contributing to a growing list of crafters worldwide trying to raise funds to help the people of Japan recover from the devastating effects of the recent earthquakes. There is now a long list of places where you can either contribute works for sale or spend your hard earned cash as part of the fundraising efforts. So check out the links below and either whip up or pick up some amazing work.

NYC Japanese American native Ayumi Horie has put together an amazing aray of illustration painting, ceramic and textile works for an online auction taking place March 24 - 27. HML favourites Sarajo Freidan, Camilla Engman and Lisa Solomon are amongst the contributing list of serious craft superstars so get in early and make a bid.


Local jeweller Natalia Milosz-Piekarska is organising a contemporary jewellery acution to raise money for the Red Cross Disaster relief and rescue services. Regular readers will know that much of Natalia's work is based around the idea of protective amulets and luck bearing talismans, so naturially she's linkedthis idea with that of providing some much needed ongoing protection via this brilliant local fundraiser. The auction is tentatively scheduled somewhere between the 18th and 19th of April and will feature a star studded list of our best local talent, all donating one piece to the kitty. This people will be unmissable.

One of my favourite illustration blog/shop/websites will be giving 100% of the net profit from the sale of Tokyo-bsed artist Mogu Takahashi's Chotto Omoshiroi poster to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society. it's only $10 US plus shipping so it's a little spend to give a lot of love.


The lovely Ebony Bizys of Hello Sandwich is selling her most excellent Gift Wrapping Zine for $5.00 will all profits going to Japan. She also has a list of other links to other peeps with whom you can donate or volunteer. Of course there are loads of other people out there who are advertising where to find fundraising craft for Japan, and in fact if you google' craft fundraising Japan' you'll probably be busy all afternoon. But just to make things easier here's a little short list of links to get you started:


Happy making and happy shopping ! BECK



fly away birdie

You know how it is. Ton's of work to do - making, writing and homekeeping. Dreaded Lurgy nipping at my heels (or in this case throat) friends all ill or in crisis, family cranky and in need of attention. That's the perfect time to do some completely self indulgent crafting right?

Well actually that is right. If there is one thing that Beck and I have learnt - the fun don't stop. There will always be a million things to do so sometimes it helps if you can take an hour out of the day and just noodle about with Mod Podge and paper.

And if the result is something kitsch and silly the more the better, especially when your writing show and grant applications, board papers, artist profiles, building websites, making fabric flowers, cooking pies, changing summer beds to winter ones, toilet training a two year old, supporting a VCE related meltdown, talking on the radio, chairing a meeting, changing beds and doing 15 loads of washing. I didn't include Beck's list - its too long, even for me! RAMONA



Ok readers the ladies of HML will be on RRR this morning at 1030 am with Donna and Kulja on the Grapevine. We'll be talking up the fashion festival cultural program, the finders keepers market and lots of other craftiverse goodness. Listen in! Yeah!



listen up!

You will all be very proud of me. I did in fact go on my Saturday expedition today and saw some terrific things. One show I do want to mention is a two day only affair (like a great sale - perfect for the fashion festival) called Garments for Listening. It popped up on facebook and I trundled down to check it out. Installation artist and clever chook Lauren Brown has made a really interesting piece in the underground art space car park beneath the Collingwood housing commission flats. This pop up show examines ideas around listening and offers up garments to enhance/change your listening experience. I have to say it's kind of fun. It's only on this weekend so if you can make it down there do! 44 Harmsworth street, off Johnson - don't turn up before noon. RAMONA



turn to the left

Melbourne is a festival town. This always turns out to be a good thing for us because to secure their funding each of them have to invest in a 'cultural' program which often means new and interesting ideas in craft and design get a look in. Plus it's always good to work to a theme. The fashion festival is no different and this weekend I'm going to catch up with some of the inspired work on show this year (and I don't mean those sheath dresses by Alex Perry - yawn).

If we could get to Kyneton this weekend or the next we'd love to check out the Wearit upcyclying workshops co run by jeweller Emma Grace and textile designer Ellie Mucke - you can find out more about it here

I'll be heading to MARS to see the String theory installation by Greer Taylor

I'll also be heading to CCP to see Lyndal Walker's La Toilette D'une Femme images

I'm planning on seeing how curator Dianne Beevers has managed to get the work of 38 jewellers into 19 viewing windows at Mailbox 141

And I may get in trouble if I don't haul my way up Flinders Lane to Craft Victoria to see the new work by textile artist living legend Liz Williamson. Big Saturday. I hope it's sunny! RAMONA




The ladies of HML don't quite know what a Festival of Spatial Design would actually entail. Perhaps if we'd been in Antwerp last year we could have got our heads around it. There has been a great image of a giant cat couch bouncing around the design sites and we wanted to know more. Design Studio 'Unfold' took over an apartment and did a fabulous feline inspired installation in each room. The first had children's wallpaper with a small cat collection

The bathroom had a projection of a cat drinking water from a trickling bath

The living room had a giant cat couch visitors could sit on

the box on the table has a scale model of the room and a projection of a cat playing with wool

And finally the remnants of dinner, room of bird a fish skeleton models. We thought it might be good to see the project in its entirety. When we first saw the cat couch it was cute, like a giant softie and good internet craft fodder. With a little time we found out so much more. Always worth clicking onto the links.RAMONA


Pause of the Week

With loved ones, both friends and family, in Japan the ladies of HML are feeling a little bit shaky today. This year we seem to have been besieged by natural disasters, fire, flood, earthquake, tsunami. We've never been more grateful for facebook as it's been the most reliable way of staying in touch. If you'd like to donate go to the Australian Red Cross or you can purchase this beautiful print by artist James White here. We are sure over the coming weeks there will a number of fund raising events and offers and it disaster fatigue can quickly set in. We urge you to give what you can. We'll be back to our regular posts tomorrow. Ramona and Beck x