Such fun was had a the birthday party that I thought I'd make Max this memento of his big day. It's quite a bromance between Thom and Max (note the hand holding!) and I was so glad I could record it for posterity (and their 21sts!) I'm making a mini album for Beck but I wanted Max to having something special too. it's a little corny, a little sentimental - so sue me! Of course Thom wants one now, the typical craft domino effect. RAMONA



Look Mum No Hands!

We celebrated mixmaster maxwell's third birthday on sunday. Thankfully the weather was perfect, unlike my baking which for some reason was disasterous... one of those everything I touch turns to compost kind of days.

Luckily Ramona had brought in savoury baked goods as back up, Mick had prepared his own special antipasto plates earlier and the kids didn't care that the texture of my cupcakes was a little on the 'bouncy' side, or that the pineapple upside down cake was a little 'toasty'.

And Thomas bless him clearly thought the fairy bread was ok!

This year for the first time I did a 'theme' (dinosaurs) which was much appreciated by the cretaceous crazed boys and my father (the Fishing Pied Piper Pop) had been practicing his balloon animals all week so we plenty of silly hats, oddly phallic poodles and balloon sword fights all day.

Michael had also managed to find a large inflatable punching T-Rex (genius) and there was a certain new bike making it's first appearance. Needless to say the kids were well entertained and didn't stop moving all morning.

Their hyper activity may however have been chemically assisted as I went all super mum and made gift bags.

Which included Thom's special "whistle" request and loads of snakes, teeth and milk bottles... much to the horror of all the parents and my evil delight. Of course they'd all opened, scarfed and destroyed the contents within two minutes of sitting down. And that was before they started on the chocolate crackles.

We all had such a great time, all the presents were incredibly thoughtful and very crafty - wooden tools, lots of drawing and painting stuff, handmade pencil box, a pin board puzzle, the obligatory Thomas trains and another plastic hat to add to Max's growing village people dress up collection.

Max also finally took charge of his little pink bunny from Auntie Rambo - HOORAY!

oh and as you can see the Thomas and Maxwell bromance continues... next stop Ramona's birthday breakfast!! BECK




There is so much on this week we thought we'd give you a bit of a day by day run down so you could pace yourselves! Today we'll take advantage of the glorious weather to see the first day of the collaborative project between Emma Greenwood and MaryannTalia Pau (shoemaker and weaver respectively).  'I'll show you My Craft if you Show me Yours' is a way for makers to share their process while creating some new work in Craft Vic's pocket sized gallery three. Emma and Maryann have titled theirs 'Regal Savage' and we are excited to see how they explore the theme of hybridisation. find out more here

The RMIT Gold and Silversmithing and Ceramics department are holding a day long seminar exploring the notion of hybrid practice. 8 different speakers (including the wonderful Meridth Turnbull and Damien Skinner) will give their take on how object bases practices can be a catalyst for enquiry and research - which can sometimes feel like trying t mix oil and water so I'll be interested to hear what everyone has to say. There is also a masterclass in the afternoon for those with some skills (find out more here)

The Pieces of Eight crew have temporarily reopened the old gallery space in St Georges Road for Seoid 11 - an amazing touring show of jewellery from Ireland. Curator Claire McAlister(apparently quite the pocket rocket on the Irish craft scene) will be there during the show for a chat about the work and what's happing all the way over there (find out more here)

You know how we love handheld gallery. Well the new show there is just wonderful - an ode to procrastination it s a collection of doodles, drawings, ideas and jottings that mark those moments of procrastination that we all experience. (find out more here)

Part two of the Craft and Design as A Career form focuses more on the mid career maker. This is a great opportunity to hear from industry experts on how to take your craft or design based business to that next level (you know, where you can pay the rent etc) find out more here

Phew! We'll tell you about Saturday and Sunday on Friday. Does that make sense? RAMONA



au revoir
Today really marks the end of an era. The fabulous jewellers Anna Davern, Nicky Hepburn and Cass Partington are moving out of their Carlow House studio after 16 years and are having a great big studio sale to celebrate. Not just jewellery, but equipment, supplies even soundtracks will be on sale and I hear on the grapevine their are some bargains to be had. It's going to be an all day party (10-5) and we are all invited so do pop in! It's on the 8th floor, end of the corridor. RAMONA



Denim on Denim

Ramona and I headed off to see the Denim show at Mr Kitly, yes can you believe I finally got out of the house! Denim features some of our local and international favourites all tinkering around in their own particular way with one of our favourite fabrics. Have to say we were impressed with much of the work on show, a sea of indigo refashioned via weaving, knitting, shredding and coiling, beaded, embroidered, and stuffed  from jewellery to miniture cowboy jeans.


And while we were a tad disappointed there wasnt a bedazzle in sight, as you can see it's well worth a look.

While I was there I was mesmerised by the gentle spinning of this work... so I couldnt help but get the iphone into movie mode and take some footage. And ok so it's not really a 'movie' per se, and much more amateur than auter but its still kind of spooky in a blair witch kind of way? oooh new sub-genre Craft Horror!

We were even lucky enough to catch curator Dell Stewart in the house when we arrived - showcasing these killer rockin rodesque tartan tights on the best legs in melbournes art scene partnered with a Durston original made from you guessed it... denim. BECK



bubbling up
Oh there are two super cool shows opening this week. First up is Anita Cummin's new show at BUS 'draw the line'. We love Anita's work. She has developed a keen eye for exploring the nature of artistic obsessive compulsive disorder! We are intrigued by the nature of repetitive mark making and can't wait to see the show.
The amazing bubbles of glass in the new show by Jasmine Targett at Dianne Tanzer project space gallery are so confounding and mysterious. They are beckoning us to get on the tram this week and head up to Gertrude Street to see them. the look beautiful and medicinal at the same time. tops! RAMONA



Solid Gold

earrings by Tessa Blazey
Its on again...the annual RMIT Gold and Silvesmithing auction and raffle - and as usual its a veritable who's who in contemporary jewellery with a line up featuring pretty much everybody as well as works donated by all of Melbournes major jewellery galleries - thats right people that means Pieces of Eight, Studio Ingot, e.g etal AND Funaki. We thought we'd give you just a little taster of what you could bid on with three of our favourites - Tessa Blazey, Sally Marsland and 'The Prof.'

brooch by Sally Marsland

We would have given you more notice but to be honest we were worried about the competition, after all we don't want to go hme empty handed! And if that wasn't reason enough to attend this year’s raffle also puts you in the running for a sterling silver and stainless steel sugar bowl by Wayne Guest. Booya!

ring by Robert Baines

Tickets can be bought on the night or from the Gold and Silversmithing department in Building 2 today.
Click HERE to check out all the works on offer - definately one not to be missed. BECK

RMIT Gold and Silversmithing auction and raffle
Bella Union Bar - Trades Hall
Corner of Lygon and Victoria Streets
Carlton, Melbourne
TONIGHT 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM



Timmy time!

As is so often the case the title of this post has bugger all to do with the actual content, and more to do with an uncontrollable urge to coin bad puns, and anyone without a child under five will be scratching their head and thinking "what the?" right about now while those of you with children will be singing along with the theme song in your heads. Apologies up front, I assure you the actual focus will more than make up for the pad wordplay.

German artist and illustrator Sabine Timm makes great things from found things, and has a wicked way with a brush. I dont' seem to be able to get get enough of her at the moment and a visit to her flickr stream has become a daily ritual - I find her work goes very nicely with crumpets and your morning coffee. Lovely stuff.

Those of you who are cashed up despite the looming GFC MK 2 can also buy a small selection of her paintings from  Sebastian Foster gallery in Texas... given the US ecconomy at the moment i'm sure they'd be happy to ship anywhere. BECK



town square

Ok so Craft Cubed, the annual craft Victoria festival really kicks into gear this week. We are looking forwardto peeking into peoples studios, participating in workshops, doing a Victoria tour to see a whole heap of satellite events and just generally celebrating all things capital C.

We'll be stopping by Pussycat Black to see the amazing window installation by Betty Jo Designs. Right behind the Queen Vic Market the fruit theme seems apt. Think Carmen Miranda!

We love an artist who claims to be the wielder of the HB pencil. In keeping with Craft Cubed's Hybrid theme the ornithological Frankenstein creations of Melissa Reidy at Mailbox 141 are pretty sure to knock our socks off.

I've already had a sneak peak at the wall buttons by textile designer Penny Malone. They are featured as apart of the main exhibition at Craft Victoria.

And how cute are these terrariums. Do you remember my over the top attempt at one of these? maybe I should invest in one of these by Greenscape at next weekends Craft Hatch Market at 1000pound bend. There is so much on we are going to go with the slow release over the next two weeks just so you can all get your head around everything! Comfy walking shoes are in order in August! RAMONA




Ramona swears by this one. And given that one of our favourite local ceramicists Sophie Milne has worded me up that she's joining the ranks of stall holders this Saturday, I'm in too. Sophie has been working on a new range of domesticware that includes the droolworthy batter bowls above. For mine the clean scandinavian lines Sophie manages to instill in her tableware are irrisitable - deceptively spare they manage to just make me shut up and go ahhhhhhh. Those following my daily breakfast posts will know how much my family loves its pancakes, and how much I like my 'pottery' so clearly i'll be getting at at least one in each size.

And now that Maxwell and Thomas are addicted to noodles of every persuasion I might have to pick up one or two of these noodle bowls as well. Well done again Sophie, consider your new work SOLD!

Saturday 6th August
Brunswick Town Hall

233 Sydney Rd Brunswick
Saturday 10am-4pm




for the win

Last week I was lucky enough to win two tickets to Heide's Pick and Eat Winter Harvest Lunch. This was terribly exciting as it's like the perfect present for me! I love Heide and I love eating out and I don't get to do either as often as I'd like. We were all give baskets and instructed to pick from Sunday's lovely garden up at Heide 1 - what a treat! Above is me getting some lemon thyme.

Here is my beloved looking for potatoes (he and head gardener Dougal got on like a house on fire!)

Here is Dougal (doesn't he look like a gardener?) getting ready to eat our harvest. Actually they cheated in the kitchen and picked everything the day before. We got all our veges in a gift bag instead.

One of the chefs popped out to tell us about the daube of beef method (10 hours in the oven at 80c) and we all felt rather special!

We were also given free entry into the Callum Morton show which was just amazing. Mind you I was so content after lunch everything seemed amazing for a few hours. I do like winning prizes. RAMONA



Purl Post

I am such a sucker for mail. I think I do my grocery shopping online just to have something delivered to the door. I get all my craft supplies, magazines, food, fabric - everything delivered. I even bought a book from the Brunswick St Bookstore last month and got them to mail it. It's literally 5 minutes away by car. But no, I prefer to pay postage so it will be delivered. this is a weird quirk I admit, it feels like getting a present!

Many years ago I was a card carrying member of the Rowan Yarns international club, which meant I got the magazine early as well as extra bits and bobs - it was ridiculously expensive I must admit and I let it drop after a year or two. It really was some of the nicest mail I've ever had. I struggle with knitting, I love it but I never seem to improve. Perhaps it is my terrible left handedness or my short attention span that does me in?

I was very excited when my Beloveds mum who lives in the beautiful English town of Bury St Edmund noticed her local knitting shop had some Rowan books and yarn on sale.  I was even more excited when it all arrived by post yesterday!Despite not being a knitter herself she managed to buy a beautiful book and enough cotton yarn to knit 3 or 4 items.

I have enough to make Thom a stripey jumper and a cow. He's very keen on the funny birds too, we'll see. I am a terribly slow slow knitter so he may see these sometime next spring - and when I say next spring I mean 2012!

In return for this treasure I will hand write a thank you note, because everyone loves mail - especially with international stamps on it! RAMONA