Saucy Birds
How Posh. Last weekend's fete at Merri Creek Primary was OK: good food, great jam, excellent crowd; but unfortunately vintage craft finds were thin on the ground. It could have been the good weather, the fact we got there late in the day, or maybe because it had been advertised in the weekend papers due to the 'fame' of one of the teachers (he used to be in the Mavis'). We don't know. Still, we managed to pick up this rather refined twin set of tea cups and saucers and this terrific bird cross stitch piece with matching gold frame. Lord knows where we'll put them, but they were too noice to say no to.



totally totem vs. all hands on decks

Totally Totem is an exhibition of customised and re-constituted pepper grinders by illustrator, toy maker and all round excellent lady Beck Wheeler, a series of domestic gods for the domestic goddess if you will. We're big fans of Beck's work, and when we got the call out for grinder contributions we have to admit we were very, VERY curious and excited about what she was going to come up with. What we really love is that while creating completely crazy conversation starters she's also managed to keep them fully functional, no mere novelty centrepieces here, its all utilitarian craft till the last... and bound to impress even the most stubborn diner.
Totally Totem
Until April 12,
24/7 enCOUNTER @ Craft Victoria (that would be the window space).
See it now before it's off the menu.Our other show of the week is also all about customising the familiar. This is one for our northern neighbours in Sideney. Unfortunately Melbourne peeps had a chance to see it in our home town, and if you missed it we're here to tell you it was MIGHTY FINE INDEED. Put simply it's a brilliant breakdown of some of the best international graf artists and illustrators today, all working it out on a skateboard. The show even includes some of our personal faves like Beastman (above), Kano and Melbourne's own Ghost Patrol who's coloured pencil piece below is a stroke of genius. Easy peasy if you're already a local but a touch more difficult for us slow off the mark southern folk - we're left either making the trek up north, searching out the installation pics online or hoping that they bring us another one just like it sometime soon. Bugger and bring on next year's show.
No Comply Skateboard show
until April 10
Red Bull Gallery corner Bourke Road & Huntley Street Alexandria



our cup runneth over

There's something in the air at the moment, we ladies keep finding things in fives...
Thankfully we're cup half-full types, so we see this not as a set of six with one missing, but as a set of four with a spare in case of damage or loss. Not that there's much chance of damage with melamine, a very good thing considering the little interns have now decided to grab at every drinking vessel in sight (with dire consequences we might add as we sweep up the pieces of our favourite china). They've also filled what was a rather large black hole in our picnic hamper, which is great because it was getting rather embarrassing begging for disposables at the servo on the way to the picnic site.

We especially love the sharp geometric handles and weird 60's tan colour of the cups and as for the saucers, well... pine cones just make everyone happy don't they.



As we mentioned a couple of weeks back it's fete season, they're everywhere and really excellent places to pick up whackadoodle craft objects, old books and second hand kids toys, not too mention a barbie'd snag (in white bread with sauce of course), dodgy lamingtons and a plethora of preserve options. We have to admit however, we are a little weirded out by the new trend for glammy coffee carts. They just seem, well, rather un-fete like... we expect luke-warm polystyrene cups of weak tea. Anyways, last weekend we hit one of the locals (we're blessed with about seventy primary schools within 15 minutes!!) and were thrilled to find this little 'wool craft' number, especially since it clearly once resided in the Channel Nine children's library. Who'd have thought... a children's library at Channel Nine? what crazy times those 1970's were.

We loved that it included such time honored favourites as the wool star (above), some nail & metal thread art ideas and a wee bit of finger weaving , but it was this insane string 'witch doctor' mask and costume combo that really blew our minds...

just nutty, and of course any craft you need to put a bucket on your head to complete is OK by us.



the end of washing day blues or i'm ready for my close up Mr Lagerfeld

Amongst the extensive array of Chicks on Speed vs. Melbourne Fashion Festival shenanigans currently taking place at Craft Victoria (that's the ladies in some fetching stripes above) we spotted a dye workshop entitled "Indigo Girls" on tomorrow (Wednesday) that we thought might be worth a look or indeed a crack at - and you don't even need to be a lesbian to attend - despite the title.

It's described in the program as " a craft-action dye event that has been performed in Taxco, Mexico and Brooklyn, New York. Participants dye garments in a natural fermentation indigo dye vat. The results are gratifyingly positive, the craft work is non-age or skill level discriminate. Indigo Girls is about auto-fashion empowerment, creativity, identity, and references many ancient cross-cultural textile art techniques, which are often gendered in terms of labour and value." Bugger! If only we'd known that all those times we've whacked some dye and fabric into the sink we'd actually been doing important 'performance art'; we'd have applied for public funding years ago and had ourselves an overseas residency by now! Apparently the finished dyed garments will be hung to dry on a washing line in the Craft Victoria gallery space and will form part of the installation Viva La Craft! or Viva La Washing Line! as we've fondly re-named it. The workshop also involves the good people from Plant Craft Cottage at the Botanical Gardens which can only be a good thing. You've all already missed the "Lump of Clay" workshop with the lovely Irene Grishin Selzer of Iggy & Lou Lou fame (which we're told was a corker and you can follow the link to see what the kids got up to on the day) so you'll have to get in quick if you want to get a seat at the sink... and be sure you're lippied up in your best outfit because there's going to be a film crew recording every last wring.


Wednesday 18 March 2009, 1-4pm @ Craft Victoria, 31 Flinders Lane, Melbourne (phone 03 9650 7775) and you'll need to bring your own light coloured clothes natural fibre garments to dye, and your own protective gear as well. It will cost you $20 if you're a Craft Victoria or Plant Craft Cottage Members; and $35 for all those 'Non Members' out there. Bookings are imperative because as we warned, places are limited.



frock on
Ah yes it's that time of year again - Fashion Festival Fever has taken hold...well not really. To be honest with you this is one festival that can weirdly enough just slide by without really igniting much passion for us. The ladies of HML have discovered far more interesting things in the satelite shows than the runway (we have fashion TV so can see strange bug eyed stick insects wearing asymetrical skirts at any time of day). There are some top things on this year and we'll let you know through the week what we think the highlights are (and hopefully actually visit some of them ourselves!)

Will we be brave enough to take the two youngsters to 'Shaping Elegance' at Como House? We are all for celebrating the life and style of Robert Fritzlaff - 60's couturier and bon vivant - but we're not sure if we can manage it with nappy bags and spit cloths on our shoulders - not so chic!



bring a plate
Finally it's Autumn in Melbourne, it's quite possibly our favourite season and the ladies are rejoicing in the cool mornings, warm afternoons and long fiery sunsets... it's also the perfect weather for cardigans and time to get the knitting out which of course endears it to us even more. With thoughts of golden leaves and crunchy footpaths in mind Beck was thrilled to find this set of autumnal themed and hand painted dinner plates, made in japan no less. She was so excited she even got the mixing bowl and sifter out and whipped up a suitably seasonal batch of chocolate banana muffins - and Beck, unlike Ramona is really no baker.

unfortunately there were only five of these beauties, so here's a hot tip: if anyone is hanging onto one of these or sees one out in their local op-shop or school fete, and by the way get ready people it's the season for fetes, please snaffle it up - she's willing to pay to get a full set of six.

Oh and that Muffin recipe:
3 cups sifted plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 packed cup brown sugar
250 grams 70% cocoa dark chocolate (the best you can get)
2 mashed ripe bananas
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup regular or soy milk
125g melted unsalted butter

Mix dry ingredients together, mix wet ingredients together then make a well in the centre and pour wet into dry. Mix together gently with a spoon - but do NOT over mix it, the mixture should be a bit lumpy. Fill muffin tray and pop the lot into a pre-heated moderate oven for 20 minutes. Makes about 12 muffins.

AND if anyone can tell us the difference between a muffin and cupcake we'd love to know, because from where we stand they seem mightily like the same thing.



screw it
Ramona decided she needed a new visual diary.that's a lie - her university course demanded it- it also demanded (in typical art skool style) that she make it herself...sigh
quite hilarious conversation ensued in Art Riot ("an awl?? what's that then?") Bunnings (" Why do you want to drill through cardboard then??") and last but not least Lincraft ("What are interscrews? maybe you should try Bunnings??")

got there in the end. It's a tad wonky and wont be gracing the shelves of zetta florence any time soon but it has 50 pages of creamy white paper which is very very exciting as you all know! Nothing better than new stationery.




Keeping with this weeks craft of the day theme we thought these vintage 'lightning' zippers were perfect. To be honest they're not exactly a 'new' craft find, in fact they've been hanging around hml headquarters for months, let's just say we weren't prepared to risk putting them into a pair of trousers that we might actually wear outside, even if they do have a "most reliable locking slider". Now, however, thanks to the magic (or madness) of Martha we know just what to do with them: turn them into crazy old lady brooches to scare off the youngsters at terminally hip fashion festival events next week. Brilliant.

Oh and the title of today's post refers to one of our favourite fashion films of all times starring the best head of hair in fashion today (well ok apart from Karl's ponytail) Isaac Mizrahi . Really it's genius, and if you haven't seen it yet it's raining people and you cant play outside, so if you ever needed an excuse here it is GO RENT IT NOW!!!



martha martha martha Regular readers will know that we have an obsession with Martha Stewart (well Ramona does) so it should come as no surpise that we are subscribers to her Craft of the Day email newsletter. To be honest with you it's often a bit same old same old - with crafts that have appeared on her show ('Glitter Everything!!') or in her magazine ('Nothing you Make will ever look this good!') so we don't forward it onto hml's savvy readers. But in the lead up to Fashion week we thought we'd point you in the direction of these zipper roses. Wacky yes, insane probably, but quite fetching.



band of gold
The ladies of HML think that David Band is supercool and always look forward to his shows. great swathes of colour, simple shapes, clean lines and a sense of playfullness inspire us and make us wish that we had cheque books we could pull out at Australian Galleries and say "we'll take them all!"

We think they are particulary inspiring for textile designers -swathes of colour that sing and surprise but aren't overcooked design wise - like a good amish quilt crossed with a Morandi still life. Beautiful!

Australian Galleries

35 Derby St Collingwood

Show runs til March 22