so this is how the blank goods arrived today...

Pretty good me thinks! R


Easter Project of the Week

Hop to it

I got my latest stash of craft supplies yesterday. New paint, brushes and stencils which was very exciting. I couldn't give a toss about shoes, holidays or chocolate but wave craft supplies under my nose and I become a little crazed. I was giving up buying them for lent - that lasted four days.

Around two years ago the lovely miss p bought me a whole basket full of unpainted paper mâché Easter eggs. They got stuffed in the craft cupboard never to be seen again as I was never quite sure how to tackle them. Last night I got stuck into my new and old supplies and started easterfying the house

The brown one is my favourite, it looks chocolaty! Thom was so impressed he's having a go this morning at painting his own egg. so of course now I've gone a little Easter crazy. More Seasonal crafts to come.



why didn't we think of that?

We don't often give a plug to craft suppliers, it just doesn't seem right. But the new Blank Goods website is just to good to not let you know about. We first saw them at Madeit Market at Fed Square and we were so impressed and jealous of this very simple yet genius business idea. Just sell really beautiful blank things to peeps and let them do the rest!

I've just put in my first order and will show you how it arrives and how long it takes to get here. The wooden unpainted Easter eggs were way too good to go past and the berry boxes are dreamy. I do have a soft spot for a penant (the new bunting we think) so am regretting not including them in the cart.

http://www.blankgoods.com.au/ - run do not walk!



News from abroad

One of the great things about the North City 4 venture is it will give us all the opportunity to hear and learn from great makers in a non academic setting. I'm really looking forward to heading own there on Thursday night to hear what Vicki Mason has to report from New Zealand Jewelry symposium. Yes it is a really specialised event but for those of you interested in the professional craft scene it'll be a hot ticket in terms of trend forecasting (a hobby of the ladies of HML - a weird one I know!). Will we see you there?



I should be so lucky

Oh My... while trawling the internet this week in a concerted bout of procrastination I happened upon someone so awesome I can't believe I didn't know about her already . Lucky Jackson is an illustrator/embroiderer like no other. I have never seen anyone nail facial expressions in thread with the mastery of Ms. Jackson. From Hugh Grant's infamous Mug Shot to Luke Wilson's Richie Tennebaum, Tim Gunn's knowing twinkle to Iggy Pop's ancient abs her 365 embroidered sketches are totally AMAZEBALLS (yes I just said amazeballs)

The more I looked, the more gobsmacked I became. Ramona is similarly hooked. Honestly this woman is a freaking genius. Do yourselves the proverbial and check her out. Then just try to stop yourself from saying amazeballs... I dare you. BECK


Jam Sessions

Like I give a fig.

Well I'd planned for figtastic February jam session but nature intervened - maybe it was the weird weather (or maybe I just got my months wrong) but it seems that my local fig patch doesn't fully ripen up until late March. So be it. I made plum, pluot and ginger jam in February instead, then forgot to post it.

A shame really as it turns out it's hands down the best Jam I've ever made and I should have snapped up the last of the seasons stone fruit and made a truck load more - unfortunately I only discovered how good it was after I'd given away all but the last jar. Bugger. 

So for the last month I've been foraging like a demon checking all the local trees and finding out whose fruit is finest. I've discovered two things. One - the bottom of the pram is a fantastic fruit basket and two, I'm not alone on the foraging front.

It has taken quite a bit of skill, time and investigation to find top trees that are in little known alleyways and therefore left alone long enough to get fully ripened. Discovering that many of my favourite were prematurely harvested has led me to shout "STOP PICKING UN RIPE FRUIT YOU BLOODY NOVICES! " in frustration more than once. 

Anyhoo. I have made two batches so far, the first was a little over-reduced and so while delicious is a trifle difficult to spread. So, for batch number two I adjusted the lemon and sugar ratios.  

Unfortunately I overdid it on the lemon and under did it on the sugar... and batch number two while again delicious is a little runny... so officially its now "fig conserve" with serving recommendations that include stirring it into porridge and pouring it over vanilla ice-cream. As it turns out these figs are tricky people. So who's the novice now. BECK


Gift Making of the Week

Light my fire
Oh it is a rainy old Wednesday here in Melbourne town. I'm bunkering down to do some writing this afternoon for a v v big project Beck and I are working on. I did spend a cheery hour this morning making this tea light holder for my friend H's impending birthday. I love the paper printed with the old wooden rulers. I was really pleased so I thought I'd share it with you. Funnily enough the card took me longer to make. Right, cuppa tea time now!



we are living in a material world

Beck and I were really excited to see Material Culture: Light and Volume and Counihan Gallery in Sydney Rd Brunswick this weekend. A group show of RMIT textile design alumni is guaranteed to be inspiring and in my case educational! Beck, with the aid of the Plush Design installation finally explained to me how a loom works (being quite the weaver herself)

We were both struck by the delicacy and vividness of Ilka White's new work

But what really blew us away was the weaving of John Brooks and would love to see more more more! We'd really like to know why textile designers don't have their own websites. Nearly every single jeweller has a great online presence, ceramicists are starting to get their work out there too but finding info about textile designers is nigh on impossible. The ladies would like to start a campaign to get all textile peeps online asap! This show only runs til the 25th so you'll have to run to catch it.


Talks of the Week

inspiration station

The intriguingly titled Hand Eye Collective are hosting a series of fashion centric panel discussions this week at the Order of Melbourne. Tonight three practioners from different areas will be discussing Inspiration and Ways of Working. Illustrator Angie Rehe will hopefully provide some insight into how she so beautifully captures the drape of a dress or the turn of a heel with a couple of deft strokes of the pen.
Nyssa Marrow (half of the Above label) can tell us how it feels to be a finalist in the National Designer of the Year Awards (pretty good I imagine)

And the Queen of Craft herself Ms Penelope Durston may provide some insight into how she goes about 'curating' and 'creating' her Cottage Industry.
you can find out more here

PS The ladies of HML will be gracing the airwaves this morning at around 10:15am with the Grapevine gals on RRR 102.7


Market of the Weekend

Don't forget Craft Hatch is on today at thousand pound bend. lots of lovely hand made goods in a pretty cool environment. I love these sweeties by cloth and thread, look at those outfits! Market runs from 11-4. 361 Little Lonsdale Street. Go forth and shop!


Inspiration of the Week

The grass is always greener

This week we were so inspired by this story that appeared on design boom. We've been seeing moss and grass everywhere lately, in art installations, terrariums and as a form of graffiti.

NYC based artist Edina Tokodi is doing amazing work both inside and out

Don't get us wrong, the ladies of HML love a bit o graph n paste up goodness but isn't this new urban green graffiti fantastic?

English artist Anna Garforth created this amazing cross as part of a garden project where artist and designers explored the idea of the healing properties of nature. I feel better just looking at it.

We found a great recipe for moss graffiti here we know of a few inner city walls that would be beautified by this latest craft design trend.


Confession of the Week

Oh dear. Once again we find ourselves in super busy mode. Forgive the sporadic posts dear readers. We do love you really! We are happy to report that our absence has been due to doing 'very creative things in the real world' and not our usual litany of excuses (illness, sleeplessness, laziness etc). Here are some more doily bowls for you. Promise to be back to full strength blogging tomorrow xxx


Wreath of the Month

Cool Change

And so summer ends for those of us in the antipodes. We seem to have slid into autumn with the greatest of ease, pulling on cardigans and harvesting the last of the summer crops. This is my favourite time of year I think. I was a bit late making my march door wreath. Around 10pm last night I got the crafting bug and shared the dining table with my studious and stressed year 12'r. She wrote a 300 word essay in French and I faffed about with my glue gun. Good times.


Exhibition of next week

Nanna Manna

You've still got time to create some masterpiece out of doilies to participate in the exhibition hosted by the fabulous Liz Jones of Gleaners Inc We've seen doilies incorporated into craft and design a lot the past few years - from Pene Durston's beautiful magnolia project to the Lightly Perspex Rosie Bowl. It'll be interesting to see what my fellow doily lovers come up with.

Here is a sneak peek of my entry. There are actually 12 bowls in the series. I cant say they are groundbreaking, but they are very very pretty. I loved the slow process of making them. Don't know if my family did, hours of moulding, blow drying, moulding, blow drying, moulding, blowdrying then painting painting painting all on the kitchen bench. What do you think? Ramona


We Came, we saw, we needed a brolly

Flashback splashback
We were so excited to go to the opening of North City 4 studios it was a lovely evening. Catching up with friends and colleagues is always fun for us and we were really thrilled for all involved. What an inclusive and lovely bunch of makers they are. All friends and family came out to help, lend support, buy a beer or a necklace or badge. It was a real celebration of the contemporary jewelry/object making culture here in Melbourne. How lucky we are!
The next day, in torrential rain, I did manage to spend a total of 15 minutes at the homemaker market. Why so short? It had take me over an hour to drive from Northcote to Richmond in bumper to bumper cranky traffic. By the time I got there I didn't give two hoots about design. What I wanted was a cuppa tea and a lie down. I did procure a test tube of Melbourne rooftop honey for Beck who very wisely stayed indoors! I'd heard about these enterprising beekeepers but I wasnt expecting such a well designed project. Buzzy!