free market economy

Before we launch ourselves into this weeks festivities, we'd like to take a moment to reflect on what was an excellent morning of craft, design and christmas shopping. The MarkIt market yesterday at Fed Square was chock'o'block full of great goods and we're happy to say we managed to fit in coffee, scones, meeting and greeting some peeps we hadn't seen in ages, be surprised by new things AND tick some people off the christmas list all in a matter of two hours. Really we're quite chuffed with our work. Interestingly many stallholders were advertising other pop up shop and Christmas markets they're involved in during December so it looks like it's going to be a ridiculously busy month yet again, and clearly the appeal of meeting your maker and snaffling a bargain hasn't diminished one iota for the crafty consumers of Melbourne. For those of you who were otherwise occupied here are some snaps of what we liked.

Now we love stationary mavens Ask Alice, but we WANT that orange typewriter!

Ramona grabbed a set of these bear notebooks as a stocking stuffer for she who will remain nameless.

Cottage Industry was as industrious as ever...Jenny B had to guard the neon satchels while we occupied Miss PenPen with our crazed purchasing. We've already planned a visit to the Cottage to pick up more tree decorating goodies- red robins, sequinned Bob Mackie-esque birds, hand carved wooden elk, glass and glitter balls and spotted fawn - dear god that woman gives good bauble!

Really it was wall to wall people, and here we were thinking that if we arrived at 10am we'd beat the crowd

The lovely and talented Emily Green works the crowd with her prismatic presence and stall stuffed with  lovely lolly coloured present potentials.

As usual the Harvest Textiles stand looked snappy - and no wonder Jess was so smiley those new cloud ushions are GENIUS (Santa, you hear that!)

Brilliant stuff from both the known knowns and the not so known unknowns - Sunday Morning Designs DIY mask kits (top job Ladies!) and these Terrariums which we both swooned over, but failed to find the stallholders name. If anyone out there managed to keep their wits about them let us know!

So good and really clever craft - record cover calenders from Rebound Books and Ruth Allens repurposed beer glasses.

Ramona's favourite new illustrator Wendy June shows of her wares - we loved the colour me magnets!

And I think I know a certain little someone with blonde hair and dreamy blue eyes who might find one of these gorgeous blocks under his come Christmas morning.

As for me, i've decided that I can no longer live without at least two of these monolog tops... AND YES MICHAEL THAT IS A HINT! However the clear winner of the day - purely for making us both snort like old nannas - goes to this card...


Projects of the week

Christmas elf

With an optimistic commitment to have my hand made gifts finished by next weekend I am definitely in Christmas elf mode! This week I've made a flopsy bunny for my brand new baby friend nicholas, little drawers for my young friend Sunny, pencil boxes for Clancy and Toma and a very gothic wreath for my friend K who is so anti Christmas she almost cancels me out! How is everyone else going with Christmas plans? RAMONA



material girls

Ok you all know that Ramona's christmas gift making excell spreadsheet has been in play for a good four or five months now, but not all of us are as 'organised' when it comes to hand-made christmas gifts. So here are a couple of hot tips for those wishing to stock up on some seriously good base materials while they are on sale as well as a couple of options for 'assisted' DIY projects that can all be created and/or ordered from the comfort of your own living room, or kitchen, or laptop. Happy Shopping Peeps.

One of our favourite online fabric stores for Japanese prints, organic linen and hemp, Alexander Henry (and just about every local textile designer) is offering 15% off all orders until the end of November, this INCLUDES fabrics that are already on sale and patterns. BARGAIN!

Need we say more, swoon worthy textiles from all over the globe hand selected to empty your wallets. From unwashed Japanese denim to digitally printed German velvet its all jaw dropping goodness. Tessuti is offering FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $150, a half price sale on Vogue Patterns and a two for one deal on McCalls patterns. Be sure to also check out their collection of Japanese Sewing books and their always excellent 'remnant sale' .

Fancy yourself as a designer, why not consider creating your own fabric rather than making something up from the latest Encino or Amy Butler. With eight fabric choices on offer (including silk, linen and organic cotton) as well as an unlimited colour palette there's still time to whip up the perfect personalised gift for your crafting compadres.

The complete all rounder, Redbubble is not just an open community of artists showcasing and selling their work online, its also a great place to get your artwork turned into everything from t-shirts to framed posters. Amaze your friends and family with your artistic prowess, while starting up your own online streetwear empire - genius!


Soundbite of the Week

who listens to the radio?
This morning I am off to RRR to chat to the lovely Donna and Kulja on The Grapevine. I'll have to talk superfast because there is so much on (dare I say a little too much?). I'm on around 10.30 so listen in for all the craftiverse news. There are links to everything below, just press on the captions. Just compiling this blog entry has made my feet tired as I mentally walked from one end of town to the other! Stay hydrated people! RAMONA
Lucy brings the Design Files to life

Pieces of Eight new venture Edition X

Craft Victoria's highly anticipated Christmas Market

RMIT Gold and Silversmithing graduate show is always inspiring

Always crazy, in a good way. Take cash, make it easy for them.

4 weeks, different locations, great makers, innovative pop up

Monash art and design graduate show - best to go while there is still an  art and design department


graduates of the week

Fibre friends

It's that time of year when you'll find us dashing from one end of Melbourne to the other trying to see fleeting graduate shows. I did manage to see box hill textiles on my Saturday tour and loved the creatures by Jeanette Wilkinson. You can still see the show ( ends on Saturday) in a great big space behind Eckersleys art shop in town. You can learn more about these enterprising textile artists here at their website . RAMONA



Take notes

How are all your Christmas projects going? I've been a very busy bee and have started production line style sessions for some of bits smaller bits and bobs. I really enjoyed making these notebooks for various chaps. I find crafting for grown up male friends and family particularly challenging but have discovered as long as I keep it a glitter free zone they are quite chuffed to have a little handmade gift just for them. That's the theory anyway! RAMONA




The ladies of HML are reunited this week after Beck's sojourn in sunny Queensland. It will be a bit of a show and tell over our first coffee and I'm hoping for some crazy shell art! I'll be giving her a slide show of my craft adventures. I spent all of Saturday going hither and yon to see shows and shops (more of that tomorrow) Love the new group show at handheld gallery. 'Suspense' is Curated by gallery director Megan herring it's a delicate show with lots of lightness (paper birds, moments paused for posterity). The show is hanging around til the 26th so catch it while you can. RAMONA

handheld gallery
In the crazy weird paramount arcade
108 Bourke Street


Pop Up of the Week

And so it begins! The slew of amazing design markets and pop up shops around town trying to lure us in with their fabulous handmade wares for Christmas. We are so on board! Especially the more curated markets - they become a heavenly dept store for the ladies of HML. First cab off the rank is an interesting one. Melbournalia will actually pop up in four different locations leading up to the big day with the first launching tomorrow. We are pretty impressed with the list of participants (including HML faves Dani M designs, The Gently Unfurling Sneak and Emily Green) and the graphics are pretty intriguing too (all letterpress goodness). First stop is Rear 126 Franklin Street - hope it's well signed! RAMONA


Fun time of the week

Sunday sweetness at L'uccello

What did you do this past weekend? I felt quite spoilt I have to admit. A very dear friend of mine (who knows me only too well) gave me a perfect early Christmas present: A spot in theVictorian decorations workshop at the gorgeous L'uccello. Tucked on the 2nd floor of the Nicholas building this is some kind of vintage haberdashery heaven. you must must go ASAP!

Super stylish shop lady Kim helped us create sweetie cones, cards, crepe paper fans and rosettes using real glass glitter, foiled dresdens, and Victorian era imagery. This was all helped along by pots of French early grey tea and Pretty biscuits. Absolute heaven! I'm already plotting a lovely little tree for the dining table. An almost perfect way to spend a Sunday. Rumour has it Kim will be hosting a whole series of workshops next year so make sure you pop over to the blog regularly to stay in the loop. RAMONA



from little things big things grow

I'm very excited to be opening a fantastic new exhibition tonight at E.G Etal. Vicki Mason has created a new body of work based on four years of thorough research and development as part of her Masters degree. This highly accomplished jeweller has explored makers relationships with Australasian flora and the floral motif in their work. Her 'Botanical Fictions' incorporate the colours of the bush, the details discovered in chinoiserie chinaware and elements of her own surrounding environment on the eastern fringes of Melbourne. These beautiful, wearable pieces are tactile, elegant, playful, colourful, thoughtful, referential and generous. Opening is tonight from 6-8 and show runs until November 15. RAMONA



Caravan of Love

I have to admit I'm no camper. Beck tried to convince me it was a good idea once, which resulted in me abandoning my new tent in the wilderness two days before schedule - her lovely husband desperately trying to pack up my camping accoutrements before I made my mad dash back to civilization (we call in the doomed camp of 2005). If we could shrink ourselves down and travel in the style of these fabulous caravans spotted in the craft Victoria window then we may have stood a better chance! This gorgeous collaboration between artist Sue deGennaro and a group of Artplay kids have created these gorgeous collaged ply caravans that look like a dreamy music festival campground. Rumor has it they look amazing at night!

you can find out more here
And you see more of Sue's work here