bag lady
Well the wait is finally over, yes Cottage Industry is OPEN FOR BUSINESS! and HML sends big congratulations and much love to the proprietress, really a top drawer achievement. You couldn't have kept us away on opening day and truth be told we figured that if we made it in around afternoon tea time there would probably be cake, and she's tops at an afternoon tea, quite unbeatable. So...were we surprised by it's charm, well laid out wares, delightful displays and general genius? No of course not, we expected nothing less from the Queen of Durstonia.

BUT we were surprised and beyond delighted by our carry bags. Especially Beck, who yelped, squealed and clapped her hands in delight when she realised she was holding a copy of her treasured HIT CITY weekend Hindustan Times IN HER HANDS! (Indiaphiles note that's none other than Ajay Devgan and Kajol, bottom left, starring in the controversial Sangini Diamond ad campaign... hena!)
And even though it was thoroughly unnecessary we cheekily pressed miss penpen for another special hand-made paper carrier because we loved the Hindi handles so much...

thankfully she graciously obliged our greed, and even fed us hot tea and fresh muffins!



suffragette cityPersuasive Dissent
After the enormous amount of self indulgence that took place over the Easter break we thought it was high time to lift the tone a little, and what better way to do it than by letting our feminist flags fly. With this in mind we've decided this week's show of the week is the Counihan Gallery's annual Women's Salon, celebrating the Centenary of Women's Suffrage in Victoria. This years show focuses on the various acts of persuasion, dissent and protest undertaken by those plucky lasses who pushed hard against the powers that be so we ladies today could enjoy the rights of citizenship, and vote tools like John Howard out of office. We have much to thank them for, now if we could only get some movement in Women's comparative pay rates and something done about childcare...
Official opening: 6-8pm this Thursday the 27th of March
Exhibition is open to the public from Friday 28th March until Saturday the 20th April.

Counihan Gallery in Brunswick
233 Sydney Road
Wed-Sat 11-5pm
Sunday 1-5pm
03 9389 8622

Birds of a feather

Look, to be honest we don't know much about this exhibition but the invite was excellent and featured two of our favourite things - birds and a wunderkammer. Anne Conron's A Tasmanian Wunderkammer is on at the Smith Street Gallery, which of course also means ridiculously good coffee at Enotecha for anyone making the effort to go and see it. Exhibition Opening 4-6pm Saturday 29th March.

69 Smith Street Gallery, Fitzroy
Wed-Sat 11-5pm, Sunday 12-5pm


Collection of the week

Martha Easter - the early years...

April 1995...

Many have laughed, many have cried, many have thrown their hands up in horror and disbelief. Yes Ramona has a bookshelf (floor to ceiling) dedicated to her Martha Stewart Collection. Beck has tried intervention, subterfuge and gift issues of Wallpaper, Readymade and Elle Decoration to no avail...

April 1998...

Each issue of the magazine is in month order so it is now possible to sit down with 13 years of Easter ideas. The eggs are just the beginning. Luncheons(!), table settings, cookies, flower arrangements -it's all there...

April 1999...

Ramona was lost to us many moons ago and can currently be found in her kitchen marbelling egg shells, tempering chocolate and tying velvet bows on stuffed rabbits...

April 2000...

We can't show you photos of her as it's just too painful. What we can do is give you an insight into the disease (homemade Faberge Egg anyone???) by giving you a brief look at the Easter freakshow that is a symptom of the Martha Madness....

April 2001...
More tomorrow (2001 -2007) including - an amazing Easter toy collection, a perfect chocolate easter basket and a project with those 2 dollar synthetic yellow chickens you see atop Darryl Lee eggs.... sigh. so very very sad people....



a real page turner...

Handmade Books
You've probably all heard about the hip new bookstore in brunswick with the super cool name and an interior and stock supply that will leave you either drooling with envy or with your wallet significantly lighter. We might have missed the tea-party launch for the new HAND MADE BOOKS exhibition yesterday, but really it just was WAY too hot for anything but Gluggs and Sunny Boys so we're waiting until the heatwave has past to get on over. The exhibition features a number of local and interstate artists and an interactive installaton by Japanese born artist extrodinaire Hiromi Tango. Tango has asked visitors to contribute thier own stories which she will then handstitch into her artist books. You can look forward to seeing more of Ms. Tango later this year as part of the PLATFORM program, so watch this space.
Brunswick Bound
361 Sydney Road, Brunswick
until April 5
Mon-Sun, 10am-6pm
03 9381 4019

blink or you'll miss em...
Melbourne: bond from the inside out by WALKA

WALKA: I am not a plastic bag 2008

Chilean jewellers Ricardo Pulger and Claudia Betancourt have trawled the backstreets of Melbourne's city and walked the streets of suburbia in search of the most emblematic of icons to explore in their jewellery. The results include moments of brilliance such as neckpieces crafted from the ubiquitous 'green bag' and a sliced up blundstone boot. Apparently the pair are keen bloggers who found out about the vibrant Melboure jewellery scene via both Anna Davern's DAVERNATOR blog and none other than yours truly HML - so snaps to both of us for getting the message out internationally. WALKA's exhibition is only on for one more week so get some while you can.
24/7 until Monday 24 March, enCOUNTER @ Craft Victoria, 31 Flinders Lane Melbourne.

New under the Sun: Australian Contemporary Design in Jewish Ceremony III

ZAC FRANKEL Cup and Saucer 2007 .
Craftspeople of all religions have designed original ritual objects reflecting both the history of jewish tradition and a contemporary Australian aesthetic. The exhibition features over 40 works using a broard variety of media from some of australia's best, including David Ray another HML favourite and fellow 'blood nut'.
Jewish Museum Of Australia
26 Alma Rd, St Kilda
13 November 2007 to 26 March 2008
Phone Bookings
(03) 9534 008
Zandra Rhodes: a life long love affair with textiles

People, we're only going to say this once...

RMIT Storey Hall Gallery, 344 Swanston Street Melbourne

Monday-friday 11-5pm, Saturday 2-5 until Saturday the 22nd March


cuteness of the week

Only in Japan could a craft book pose the question 'Dog or Zoo?' cryptic I know - other titles in the series include 'Beef or Chicken?' and 'Tea or Coffee?' This slim little tome divides itself into two halves - puppies on one side and zoo residents on the other...
There don't appear to be any instructions - just insane phots and cute little drawings...
Which is actually kinda refreshing. A bit of craft porn really...
I am particularly fond of this little sweater penguin - god knows I'll never make it - but I love the idea.
I might add that this is not my book. I borrowed it from a fellow crafter many moons ago - assuring her of its safe return. She broke the golden rule of letting a craft book outa the house...

Maybe I should make her a cashmere sock bear to apologise...



the font of all knowledge...

As Michael Perry states in the opener of 'HAND JOB, "in this digital age of computer generated graphics and typography it's refreshing to see a small subset of typographers who still believe in working by hand". Look to be honest, we love words, we love print, we love graf... and you're talking to two ladies who spent the better part of their primary school years huddled over their homework spending more time on the headings than the rest of the assignment. So this book is a no brainer, and clearly the title is genius.

The book is literally jam packed with hand written typefaces, sketchbook pages, studio scenes, commercial posters, record cover artwork and advertising campaign pieces from the fifty-five graphic designers and typographers who fill its pages. The artists within explore multiple mark making materials and techniques from paper stencils to body cutting in their search for the perfect font.

A revelation for doodlers and wordsmiths alike.



the kids are alright
We know that we left you all terribly uninformed about this years Fashion Festival - it's hard to engage with cutting edge design when your own outfitting consists of pyjamas and a box of tissues. All better now! So this week the ladies of hml will be trotting off to some excellent shows. First cab off the rank is Hiro Tsuri at Bus whos thousand can project looks absolutely amazing
Fantastic comic book artiste Mandy Ord is gracing the walls at Imp Gallery...

And we aren't 100% sure what's going on with the work of Alasdair McLuckie and Belle Bassin - but we love Utopian Slumps so we'll check that out too.



Big Wheel keeps on turning

Managed to crawl out of death bed (read influenza) to remind you all that Beck Wheeler's very fine exhibition opens today at UBER Gallery in St Kilda tonight. Long time readers will know that the ladies of hml are HUGE fans. We won't make it as we are in quarantine. It's on until the 30th so if Il Doctore give us the all clear we should make it. Excuse the use of the royal 'we' . Beck is fine. Ramona is not.

change of season people. its a demon.