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Mightily inspired by Ramona's beautiful wooden bunting (see left) I finally set out to do some nursery decorating for Finn. Yes I know he's nearly a month old (well 28 days today) but with all the last minute 'difficulties' and leaving work waaaaay to late the important nesting got left by the wayside and poor Finn (well really me) had to make do with a sleeping space that boasted nothing but the bare neccessities. So yesterday I pulled out my stash of paint chips and got to work on a project i'd been meaning to do for well around six months.

I love colour blocking and collage so sitting with loads of paint chips and a pair of scissors is pretty much my idea of heaven, of course I knew I wanted to whip up a couple of rows of miniture bunting but I couldnt help myself and soon started making colour wheels and pictures using the triangles - it may have delayed the process a little but it has left me with a whole raft of new ideas for stuff to make while Finn is still in the wonderful 'football' stage - ie. wrapped up tight and sleeping like a baby kebab.

First up I made a single row for above his bassinet in our room as I thought the Ikea cloud cover (while completely dreamy) could do with a little colour customising to spark it up a bit.

Then came the loooong double row for above his nursery 'big bed' and yes we've gone with the clouds again. I chose colours to match the super cool but completely crazy zigzag rainbow crochet blanket his 'old nanna' made for Master Maxwell which is now doing it's second run with Finian.  

Overall i'm pretty happy with how the bunting turned out, its bright and cheery and a ties all the random colours i've assimilated from op shop finds and hand me downs together nicely. And you have to love a craft project that costs nothing but a half hour of your time - something i'm quite sure the 'tummy time' quilt that's next on the list WON'T be. BECK



northern exposure

It's that time of year again when our own main strip turns on it's 24/7 street art exhibition High Views part of the annual Northern Exposure festval. Over the past few years we've seen some excellent window installations and discovered some great new arteests.

However this year the peeps have really outdone themselves and come up with some crackers. From the pinhole camera project at Palomino to hml fave I and the Others fennec foxes at souk to the soft sculpture and sock monkey balloon excursions by Jade Barrow, Tovah Stephenson & Kree Harrison at Westpac bank there are some really beautiful ( and lets be honest) some really quite crazy moments.
I have to say that aside from the fFxes and nutty fluoro stylings at Disco Beans I'm most particularly taken with Chicago-based Mark Booth and Melbourne-based Michael Graeve's The speed of the word sound. The sound of the word speed at light projects...think exhibition speace as artistic laboratory with an explosion of teak turntables and super styling multi coloured wall stripes -three of my all time favourite things!

It's not on for long so do yourself the proverbial favour have a wander up and down high street on your way to pick up your favourite brew and check out the best of the fest. BECK



you're so special

Could this year be moving any faster? We have time/space continuum whiplash at HML and we know we're not alone.With the solstice behind us the days are going to finally inch longer which is just as well - winter and small children is a bad combination. Rainy day activities are great for 10 minutes - but what about the other 11 hours and 50 minutes they are awake? I guess we could get on tram and see Tai Snaith's new show at Helen Gory Galerie. Looks kind of amazing actually.

Snaith asked a bunch of writers what their most treasured possession was and then illustrated the answers. Neat idea. Makes us think how we'd answer that question. At the moment it would be my giant bucket-of-coffee mug that I couldn't live without on these chilly mornings.Tai Snaith is right when she says 'The best things in life aren't things' but they aren't all bad either. RAMONA

the best things in life aren't things
June 29 - July 23
Helen Gory Galerie
25 St Edmonds Rd




I agree with Tina over at Swiss Miss "This mammoth crochet-knit sculpture of a life-sized lion’s head is a witty, whimsical commentary on the sport of hunting and taxidermy’s trophy exhibitionism." and I want one.
Here's hoping the artist also does a mean wilderbeast, i've got two fireplaces that need dressing. BECK



Ya gotta see the baby!

Cannot believe I have only seen Beck and Baby once since he arrived! Illness and exhibition interfered with the best laid plans but with clear skies ahead this week I'll be delivering this wooden bunting for the nursery.

Cool blues one side, spicy oranges the other depending on his mood. May the bunting craze last a little longer because it makes us happy.

I also decorated this ribbon storage box for Beck (I didn't finish the Dr Who scarf on time of course)

It seems like a weird present for a new mum but I enjoyed making it for her regardless. Best friends are very forgiving when it comes to dumb gifts. Maybe she can store baby wipes in there instead? RAMONA



little boxes

A trip to Canberra is incomplete without a visit to Craft ACT. With such a strong craft scene there, you are guaranteed to see something great. I'm always curious to check out what is in their shop and how they choose to display it. They have a relatively small space but have gone for a very bold black wall with floating shelves which is an interesting way to frame product.

I saw these gorgeous Bev Hogg beakers last time but I noticed on this visit they seem to be everywhere (including the National Gallery which is great) but because they come in such a variety of colorways they looked fresh every time I saw them.

Pears are a really strong motif in Canberra. There is a gorgeous collection of giant bronze pears out the front of the gallery and canberra has sort of adopted the pear as a craft logo - so Melbourne has its woodland creatures and Canberra has fruit!

I particularly loved the beautiful plaster box installation by Diedre Pearce in the front cabinets. There was something dreamy about the winter light dancing over the white cubes - a lot like the city itself. RAMONA



health and happiness

Well I have returned from a week in Canberra both refreshed and exhausted! I have lots of things to share with you but you're probably all a bit over me banging on about chairs so we might let it rest for a couple of days. I'm off into the city tomorrow to see this beautiful work by Joungmee Do in her new show 'Longevity' at EG Etal. She taps into her heritage by exploring the 10 motifs of long life and happiness in Korean Folklore. I'll see it tomorrow because today I am worknig my way through 15 loads of washing and talk to my craft compadre Beck for at least 5 minutes on the phone - babies are very high maintenance! RAMONA

eg etal
167 Flinders Lane
Melbourne City
show runs til July 2



oh baby!

What do you give a baby with looby lips like these... already he's mincing, pouting and humming Brown Sugar. Thankfully, despite the insanity of his features the handy ladies in our life have already shown how well they understand both the wee laddie and his mother by delivering a cavalcade of goodies for young Finn. Starting with this amazing hand spun, dyed and knitted alpaca combo peruvian hipster hat and button through mary jane booties for the young gent... powderpuff soft,  the lightest and most impossibly delicious things i've ever held in my hand. And yes Miss P, he's already sat on the porch with me in the winter sun enjoying said hattage on numerous occasions.

Oh Yes, take a look at that booty shaping up close (hand on that sounds a little wrong...) amazing work from an amazing lady... I think these might be available at the Cottage so if you have a little person in your life do yourselves the proverbial and head on down to pick some up.

As usual Miss P didn't dissapoint on the knitted critter front either, this monkey is still making me chortle out loud, despite stitches (nurse) every time I catch sight of him... the fact that he has a curly pip cleaner filled tail only makes him funnier, and that apricot bow!! tres chic monsier monkey!

And in honor of the circumstances of Finn's conception (dont ask dont tell policy here) we have the Mighty Magpies beanie lovingly crafted by a Valley Nanna and hand delivered by his Number One Aunti-ji who has really taken one for the team given she's a rabid St. Kilda supporter. Ouch that's gotta sting!

Although she may have been getting her own back on the 'matching' booties as they look suspiciously navy and white...

The schoolmaster uncle DJ managed these hilarious faux tabi toe sockettes which while not hand knitted did come with the best packaging... (yes look closely "oh no It's a mistake ?????)

Lucky boy. BECK



Ok so we have been kind of busy. This week (probably as you are reading this) I am driving to Canberra to install the Australian Chair Survey at the Gallery of Australian Design. Sounds pretty fancy pants and I guess it is kind the biggest deal professionally for me so far. I get to call myself a curator and I bought special outfits just for the occasion I have to give a speech at the opening ,and a talk at the National Gallery on Saturday - which given that's where I used to go when I couldn't be bothered with school is pretty funny. I've spent the entire weekend making text panels and designing the website - take a look and tell me what you think! I'll be blogging from the road. Hope it doesn't snow. RAMONA



stuff not nonsense

Hi All! Well it's not likely that either HML ladies are going to get out much this week. Beck is being Baby home this morning to begin that new adventure and I am giving birth myself next week. Not to a baby of course, but an exhibition - but more about that next week. If we could leave the hosue we'd go and see this show by Sharon Margaret Marshall based on the dreamy invitation alone. We also love all the shows at handheld gallery .

We'd also pop into Kings Ari to see Troy Emery's new sculpture, because his work blows our minds. But alas we are chained to home this week. Not that we are complaining - how exciting this year has turned out to be! RAMONA


Delivery of the Week


Beck outcrafted us all this week by producing this gorgeous boy. 9 months in the making, I think we can all agree that this is the ultimate handmade project ever! Now it's his turn to take over and get busy learning stuff - I plan to shove a glue stick and a glitter shaker in his hand when no one's looking! Congratulations to Beck, Michael and Max and Welcome Baby Boy! Love Auntie Ramona xxx



whizzz, bang, click...

We love wooden things, wooden toys especially, recently we found Japanese artist Kazu Harada's elegantly simple, beautifully crafted and deadpan hilarious wee automatons amongst other excellent wooden automata here . Click on the pics below to watch some of his work in action.

We've always been fans of the old school automata which dates right back to the Greeks (doesn't everything) but didn't really know that there was such a large contingent of contemporary makers creating brilliant stuff within yet another craft subculture!

Oh and of course Martha was onto it eons ago... check out this segment with Richard Garriot and Martha to find out a little more about the history via some amazing pieces from Richards collection. Genius!