not by the hair of my finny fin fin
We love ceramics - maybe because neither of us can throw a pot, know much about glazes nor can apply decals neatly to paper let alone clay, or maybe it's just because ceramics, particularly domestic ware, has such obvious connections to food, and therefore eating... and you all know how partial we are to a good feed. We also love good coffee, especially when it comes with a sweetie on the side on matching china. We also both have a particular penchant for blue and white stuff so it's really not too surprising that with glee we snaffled this little place setting for two up in disbelief for a measly $4 at the local op-shop... yes people $4.
We were even happier when we turned them over and found they were Arabia, which of course is made in one of our favourite icy craft and design locales (and home of the moomins), Finland. Now if anyone out there speaks or reads Finnish (Brigette!) can you tell us what the hell "Arabia Lasitteen Suojamma Koriste Dekoren Skyddad av Glasyr Ali" (which is the complete text on the bottom of the plates) means? We're dying to find out.



just dreamy...
Two of Australia's best and busiest multi disciplinarian arteests have come up with yet another brilliantly crafted collaboration that continues their four year odyssey into the nexus of craft and art. Melbourne's Ghost Patrol provides the illustrations while Hobart based Cat Rabbit works her magic making three dimensional companion pieces - both artists finding inspiration in the secret night life of softies. The works range in scale from wall mural to miniature, all meticulously rendered whether in pencil or cloth - and you know how much we love our craft 'well done'. While we are continually bowled over by Ghost Patrols work (on pages and paste ups all over town) this time it was Cat Rabbit's sculptures that blew us away, brilliant extensions of Ghost Patrol's illustrated works that simultaneously managed to maintain her own signature style and show just enough sinister underbelly to stop on the right side of kawaii... What a welcome change in an increasingly saccharine softies scene!

Definitely one to stay up for - we can't wait for their next adventure.
While You Sleep until March 8
Gorker Gallery
395 Gore Street Fitzroy.



little red Finally after weeks of the hard green balls on the tomato plant mocking us in the garden as we watered and then again as we walked past with yet another punnet of store bought tomatoes, they all decided to ripen at once... leaving us with a weeks worth of menu items based around the mini love apple and a big old bowl of slightly 'overdone' leftovers.

So if anyone has a delicious and idiot proof recipe for tomato chutney, there's a free jar in it for them!! Oh and it's also a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Master Maxwell, six months old today and already showing some serious attitude!



star of stripes

The ladies of HML have their own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to craft, art and design - Beck takes a great photo -Ramona has trouble getting things in focus. Ramona is just finishing a knitted cardigan - Beck can't read a knitting pattern to save herself . We often turn to really great blogs for inspiration and help. One of our all time faves is

Kris's Color Stripes

Kris is a Italian artist and designer who takes beautiful images and then breaks them down into colourways. Ramona finds this particularly helpful as she struggles with palettes all the time. On occasion she will copy Kris completely. This laundry bag that was part of last years xmas gift frenzy wouldn't have turned out half as sweet without Kris's guidance! It's a great blog just to dive into to refresh your eyes, which we all need from time to time...



famous fiveSuper hip east brunswick store Five Boroughs is showcasing the ample talents of Kyle de Kuijer and Eduardo De Lucatwo for the entire month of February. Eduardo is a sculptor who has created a rotating 1m high ferris wheel for the space, mighty impressive we say. Kyle (who's work you might have last seen in the great And Collective publication A Place Tells a Story) has done his bit for both our eyes and the environment, mounting all his illustrations in recycled frames. Top job fellas.

Five Boroughs
345 Lygon Street, Brunswick East.
Tuesday to Saturday.


The inspiring Katrina at Belsize Square online fabric store has a fine idea. All crafters can create and donate a handmade item to the Victorian Fire Disaster Relief. A beautiful way to reach out to our neighbours who have lost everything. A small softie, a knitted scarf, even a quilt (the ladies of HML are planning simple cot quilts as we speak) can help people rebuild their family history. This is just such a lovely idea we though you all should know about it. Katrina has very generously also offered $20 gift voucher for all those items that reach her before the end of February.



get your rocks off...

A quick word before we get into the pretty stuff. Just letting you all know that the Richmond Vetrinary Clinic in Church Street Melbourne is the drop off point for anyone wanting to donate goods or money for the animals injured in the bushfires, they need just about everything from bandages to chook feed, so if you have some spare kitty litter, cans of dog food or a spare collar and lead get on down and donate.

Just in time for Valentines day Pablo Fanque presents Anna Davern's new project Rocks. In another great pop twist on contemporary aesthetics by one of hml (and Australia's) favourite jewellers, Anna has printed pictures to steel using a sublimation method and says of the works “I’ve used the technique to create oversized fake versions of traditional styles of jewellery. It’s kind of an homage to one of the initial tenets of Contemporary jewellery which was to react against the use of precious materials. These works are also an alternative to the real thing at a time when the real thing may no longer be affordable.” We love a big rock, especially when it's plastic, although we've also been known to sport ridiculously bad, oversized cubic zirconias as well, but printed steel, who'd have thunk it. Clever lady that one.

Who said diamonds are a girls best friend.

Rocks by Anna Davern
3 - 14 February 2009 @ Pablo Fanque 1 Oxford Street, Paddington Sydney.



chocolate chip off the old block Thom likes nothing more than being a quiet obeserver when the HML kitchen staff go into full swing. He can't be a taster yet but if he is anything like us he'd soon make short work of these chocolate chip cookies
This recipe - albeit basic and a little bit old fashioned - is absolutely idiot proof and perfect for the short attention span of both mother and child - grand total of 10 min prep and 15 min in the oven and then hey presto the perfect morning tea (to be honest - one cookie is quite enough, I couldnt manage a second let alone a third)

now if we could just have a nap...



plenty of junk in the trunk...

The blessed relief of the cool weather yesterday allowed the ladies of hml to venture outside with their little folk for the first time in what has seemed like an age. To be honest we probably all needed a distraction from our mounting dispair at the overwhelming destruction of the weekend. We have been heartened however to once again to see people Australia wide open their hearts and wallets to try and make things a little easier for everyone involved. Our thoughts and well wishes are with you all.

Now while we love a little retail therapy to be honest we didn't really have the stomach to spend up when others were doing it so hard, but we did happen upon the local op-shops and didn't feel too bad about buying from a charity.

Beck has been collecting cross stitch pieces for some time now (among many other textiley things, much to the architect's annoyance) with the idea of making a quilt by winter for their new bedroom. Of course this will eventually mean having to do more than just shopping for other peoples craft, but in the meantime she's well pleased with these fantastic finds.

She was especially happy to have picked up some large linen tablecloths with big centrepieces and multiple embroidered edges, because being a time poor and somewhat lazy crafter this will mean less patching and therefore less work later on... genius!

Although she's collected a reasonable little stack over the past few months, she is by no means an expert quilter and so is bound to lose some in translation... So, if any of you out there have unwanted cross stitch or embroidered piece-work laying around your house, studio or fabric pile - you know where to send them!

Oh and if you are in the market for more fetching finished pieces of embroidered goodness then look no further than Cottage Industry, miss penpen has (as usual) managed to come up with an array of excellent products from her own substantial collection of other peoples craft, including the tea-cosy and new maisy blouse, we think they're terrific.



rye times In our corner of the world the past 48 hours have been surreal. As we've watched from the comfort of our cool inner city homes whole towns have been razed by a fire so ferocious it has left us all in a state of shock.
it's at times like these we hold our children close to us and are both thankful and heartbroken. We thought we'd recommend a show this week where craft works in partnership with fire to create beauty.

master potter Owen Rye has woodfired work on show at Skepsi on Swanston. His work is always poetic and of the earth and this seems particularly poignant this week.
The Salvation Army are calling for clothing donations call 137258 for details
There is a shortage of blood so to find your your nearest Donor Centre Location http://www.donateblood.org.au/
The Red Cross have a donation hotline 1800 811 700



if it quacks like a duck...

This week has seen us super busy with our 'other' lives so sorry to all who have turned up expecting exciting adventures and seen nothin' but pickles for days. Some weeks you start out with the best of intentions only to find that you barely have time to get through last weeks list let alone start on this weeks, and this, it seems, is one of those weeks - hope you're all faring better!

So while Beck was really chuffed that her order from the fabulous online fabric emporium duckcloth had arrived, she was also filled with a slightly sickly feeling of dread as she put it all in the 'things to start next week' pile. Which is currently three feet high... and risin'.
That being said of course, she's already found another fabric (see below) she's going to have to purchase before someone else comes along and snaffles it!



in a pickle
When it's so damn hot, hotter than the sun, the ladies of HML really have to rethink dinner. The idea of turning the oven on is unthinkable, with a total fire ban bbqing is out of the question, and there is only so much Thai takeaway we can afford. So there's been a fair bit of scrambled eggs on toast and big big salads. But with a weeks worth of vegetables going sad in the fridge Ramona knew something had to be done...
This month's Delicious magazine has a great pickle recipe that used up a kg of zuchinni, 2 red onions and a capsicum. Tomorrow the tomatoes turn into chutney and the limes into curd.

Frugality rocks doesnt it?