making up is hard to do

While Ramona has quietly taken over the scrapbookisphere I have been pushed to do any making besides the dinner and my nightly cup of chai. So much for the year of up-skilling! This week however, hot on the heels of my annual birthday pilgrimage to yarn nerd heaven Morris and Sons (they've got a mega sale on - its amazing - I could have bought out the store) I purchased some beautiful Japanese space dyed silk mix yarn and actually managed to cast on and knit a few rows. 

I originally had grand plans of working a moss stitch and creating a seamless loop scarf. However after three rows of buggering it up so badly with my sleep deprived brain unable to remember whether I was knitting or purling I pulled the pin - and have gone with a simple stitch I can manage while sitting in a lumpen stupor in front of the tv at night. I'll still end up looping it and adding some texture striping as we go further, and eventually crochet the ends together to make it a loop of sorts. And the space dyed patterning will start to make it look loads more interesting without me even trying - which is good, because right now I need all the help I can get in the creativity stakes.

Of course Morris and Sons is not just a yarn mecca it's also got a whole section devoted to needlework, and you know what a tapestry fetishist I am. I found this incredibly awesome black velvet painting inspired galloping horses piece which I am now dying to do. Maybe this really WILL be the year of up-skilling after all.  BECK



blow up

Melbourne jewellery designer/sculptor Hamish Munro seems to be popping up everywhere at the moment. Last night his homage to the rubber balloon inventor/performance artist Michael Faraday, (another slashie) opened at Pieces of Eight.

Hamish is yet another local artist transforming everyday items into extrodinary objects, pushing the physical boundaries of the original material far beyond their utilitarian origins. In Binding Faraday, his first solo, exhibition he has manipulated the rubber balloons we usually associate with slightly creepy balloon animal makers (and yes my father has just joined that list) into a collection of wearable jewellery works, as well as creating a super bright sculptural installation in the gallery window. Nice.

Binding Faraday
Pieces of Eight Gallery
Tuesday June 26 until Saturday July 28.
Read more about Hamish here BECK



slowly does it

Tonight I have the pleasure of a delivering a speech to celebrate the opening of master potter Jane Sawyer's new studio 'Slow Clay' . It's perfectly located in the very cool part of Collingwood in Keele St just next door to Lamington Drive/Compound Interest. Thom and I popped in to visit Jane and get a sneak peek at her beautiful space earlier this week and it was dreamy. She'll be offering classes for children,beginners and professional ceramicists with a focus on Japanese techniques.

Thom was thrilled to be able to take some clay home with him and may be the youngest slow clay attendee if he has his way. I don't know if he could pass for 8 years old yet tho (being only 3.5) but the dedication is there. If you'd like to brave the chill tonight for some mulled wine in a hand thrown cup (literally fresh from the kiln I think!) come down and celebrate the opening of this great new studio space. RAMONA



round like a record

I did warn you that there would be an auxiliary present for Beck following the tres dodgy stenciled napkin incident of last week! I went into my comfort zone (ie paper) and made a little memory book of the birthday celebrations.

Thom helped by adding the stationary spots on each page. He's a big fan of what he calls my 'fun work' and is officially in charge of the heart punch and washi tape (he's working his way up to ministry of glitter - he's a ways off yet). RAMONA




Tomorrow there is something very exciting happening over at North City 4. One of our favourite alternative media specialists Pennie Jagiello is holding a jewellery making workshop called Message in a bottle. Using man-made flotsam and jetsam Pennie has collected at various beaches over the years, this workshop will "unleash the creative potential of upcycling" and promises to be both enlightening AND fun.

Apparently, aside from ending up with a gorgeous neckpiece, there will also be little pass the parcel with your work, a perhaps controversial, but brilliant idea we think. We really, really, REALLY wish we could be there but unfortunately a plague is upon both our houses so the only plastic bottle action we'll be getting will be incessantly emptying orange juice into cups for our moaning house patients.

There are only two seats left at the table people at this equal opportunity workshop open to experienced peeps and non makers alike. There's even a discount for Craft Victoria members. So make it snappy and book yourself in. Who knows Sting might even turn up. BECK

Message in a Bottle
Saturday June 16 10-4pm
61 Weston Street. Brunswick
t: 9380 6647
$175 including materials, $157.50 for Craft Members
book here 



birthday best

With the smallest member of the HML office turning 1 last week and Beck turning #!? this week, we celebrated both birthdays on the weekend. These were my humble offerings for the proceedings. Mr F is getting big enough now to appreciate a little nutty paper pieced turtle wall art. This took me hours and was much harder than I thought it was going to be.

The last stencilling project of the previous week were these orange triangly napkins for Beck. Many moons ago she created some gorgeous potato printed ones for me (you can see them here ) and I'm afraid mine are a little dodgy in comparison. Officially her birthday is not until the weekend so I may be making an auxiliary gift to make up for these! RAMONA



who listens to the radio?

Instead of putting our feet up after a rather gruelling weekend we are flying our craft flag at around 1030 this morning on RRR 102.7 FM with the Grapevine ladies. We want to tell you all about the amaaaaazing work of ceramic artist Vipoo Srivilasa who has three new shows on around the world and we are lucky enough that one is here in Melbourne.

We'll also be talking up the feline like grace and prowess of artists and collaborators Tai Snaith and Lucy James who are gracing Craft Victoria this month.

We are also very excited to see the new work of New Zealand artist and old HML favourite Beck Wheeler at CV - what this lady can do with a meat mallet and a pepper grinder will get you rethinking your domestica.

Tune in! And happy Queenie day to you all. RAMONA AND BECK



Whole Lotta Love

The ladies of HML have a total craft crush on Lotta Jansdotter. The Swedish born, Brooklyn based textile designer just nails it for us with her fresh, clean design, simple projects and beautiful books (I will return 'simple sewing' Beck I promise). I was very excited when I found a set of 10 acetate stencil sheets for sale at a bookstore of all places, I snapped them up for $10 reduced from $40!

I think these projects would work better with a brayer and proper ink rather than just sponge brushes and acrylic paint mixed with textile medium but hey I'm not selling them on Etsy I'm just using it for Sunday night dinners. I loved Lotta's placemat with a pocket project and had some heavy denim and remnant fabric that I wanted to use up so voila. Pretty simple, simply pretty.

Double sided place mats with matching dodgy napkins. So much fun! RAMONA


Project of the Week


Well I am crazy for kits, I don't think there is any big secret there. Being a self taught crafter I like to have all my instructions, tools and materials delivered to me in one pretty package - preferably in the mail (am I the only one on first name basis with the aus post parcel guy? Shout out to Mr Chen!). Once I have the techniques down I can go off on my own, but I start out by treating kits as if they were a mini class.

I've been playing around with stencils this week from three different sources. The first being my Martha Stewart stencil kits. These are supercool in that they cling to the surface so the stuff up rate is pretty low. MSC have also developed a new paint that goes on anything and stays there. After 3 weeks any porcelain or glass that's been painted is dishwasher safe.

I picked up a couple of two dollar glass bowls and a square vase from Ikea and spent the afternoon spottifying (technical term there) and prettying in a mindless but mindfull manner. Sometimes it's good to craft and switch off at the same time. Beck's birthday week is coming up, I see spots in her future (in a good way not a pox way)

Tomorrow I'll share my adventures in textile stencilling....eek. Ramona



inside the armory

I know it's like we've fallen into a black hole where we have no internet access and no news to report. Where have we been? It's a bit hard to explain. lets just say HML is in a weird holding pattern at the moment waiting for a gigantic jumbo jet of a project to land. Until it does we have been hiding out drinking pots of tea and whispering conspiratorially to each other. We get like this sometimes, you'll have to trust us when we tell you our blogging mojo shall return! At the moment we are rarely venturing outdoors or online except to buy food and then look up recipes.

If we were to leave the house this week we would be running to see the new show by the absolute amazeballs work of Kate Just at Daine Singer Gallery.Her knitted work always inspires us and challenges our ideas about craft and art. She's very clever and has lots of ideas about history, culture and the role of women with a good dose of autobiographical reflectiveness thrown into the mix.

We haven't explored this gallery yet so it'll be good to head down the other end of Flinders Lane (325 basement) to check it out. I admit I'll leave that to Beck while I pull the doona up to my chin! You have until June 30th to check it out. Looks like a great show. RAMONA