Love Your Work
There is nothing the ladies of HML like more than an all encompassing exhibition. There is something so inviting about a space that wants to swallow you up, or give you a bear hug. We'll be skating down do the opening of Caroline Loves new exhibition Dreamcase at C3 Gallery on Wednesday night because nothing sounds better than a whole room of pillowcases sewn into a tent like structures. Be warned, we may be napping - we'll take sleep where we can get it people.



119 days to go
I made a fatal mistake last year. I left the most important people til last on my list and as a result they got zip (a borders gift voucher does not a christmas present make). This year I have assigned the 4 people I live with (Maggie B, The Intern, The Truck Drivin Historian, and The Womble) a month each to make their gifts. First up is Maggie B who always seeems to miss out. Gorgeous fabric by Australian designer Saffron Craig and a laptop bag pattern by Amy Butler...
it may take me until next christmas to decipher the instructions. Surely it doesn't need to be this hard? Scary. Wish me luck people!



let them eat cake...

Those of you who know me will also know that I am to baking what Ramona is to sewing, so it's more than a little ironic that last week both of us very successfully had a crack at doing what the other does best. Mine was Max's first birthday party for my very large extended family... and our family does like a cake, or thirteen. While I didn't get the Women's Weekly Birthday Cake book out for a cowboy fort or cricket bat cake I did manage the following... Chocolate and Raspberry Cream cupcakes, Nigella's Lemon Syrup cake, Chocolate Banana cupcakes (for the birthday boy), and a Karen Martini last minute straight out of the weekend papers coconut butter cake with passion-fruit frosting for the big birthday cake. And they all worked !!! Just to be sure that the family didn't all go into diabetic coma's I also whipped up some spinach and cheese triangles and my crafting compadres tried and tested "cheese twists" (...which were a massive hit). I must confess I wasn't the only contributing baker on the day with my auntie Sue adding the traditional ginger fluff sponge to the mix (not a patch on yours miss penpen) and Ramona backing me up with a tray full of delicious carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting that were ultimately the hit of the day. Of course there was too much food even for my starving hordes, so everyone got a take away pack for morning tea at work on Monday.Oh and Max, well he loves and audience any time, so to be able to be the centre of attention for a whole afternoon, have 25 or so people sing for you, a garden full of balloons and as many cheese twists and banana cakes to eat as possible was pretty much heaven. Happy birthday little guy.



Don't look to closely at it. The corners aren't mitred too well and the seams are a bit, well, unseemly. I don't have Beck's mathematical mind or nimble fingers. AndI have the attention span of a gnat. Of course this is the beauty with gifts that are made with love not commerce in mind, they don't have to be perfect.
I passed on my basinette to dear friends expecting in February and made this little quilt to go with it. I had to redo the binding 3 times - it may have been because I was watching Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom at the same time.
They loved it of course and an afternoon tea of scones was my reward! But do you know something? I haven't made a single thing for my own baby. Except life. yeah that'll do him surely...



the insanity begins (again)
Can you believe I'm actually late in starting my Christmas presents? Normally it begins in July but I dedicated that month to coughing, trade fair, publishing and more coughing. But I've made my list (26 presents!) and I've compiled my books, materials and egg nog. There is defintely a textile theme coming through with lots embroidery (which I've become increasingly passionate about). The books above are just some of my reference points this year. I am particularly fond of the almost pornographic MADE IN FRANCE - cross stich and embroidery in red white and blue. Here are three projects that have post its and names on them...
These little babushkas will be perfect for Miss B who has a passion for them. I bought some lovely white linen for them from Patchwork on Central last Sunday...
This santa ornament is fancy enough to be special, and light enough to post to friends in the northern hemisphere. The notebook cover below is a good bloke present I think. For some reason I find the men in my life miss out a bit on this handmade stuff and I want to make more of an effort for them this time round.
But I hope you enjoy our Friday christmas posts (yes Beck is on the yule ride too).
I know you think we are crazy but there are only 126 days to go.

Ok so we are a little crazy.



to the max
Well I can't believe it has been a year. My little buddy Max turns one tomorrow! I am proud to say that I was there the day he was born and have loved watching him turn into one of the craziest and funniest guys I know.
Every boy needs their own book bag when they head to the library so I made him one respelendant with moniker.
with some classic literature to start him off. Happy birthday Max Power!
Love Aunty Ramona xx



Its beginning to feel a lot like spring. First blossoms on the old apricot tree have popped into bloom, and the crab apple is sprouting. I think we can add preserves to Ramona's Christmas present list this year.



Well when we said customised covers we really meant it. Little did we know that everyone would love our hand embroidered numbers and the mail orders have been backing up. Those of you awaiting your copy of the book can breathe a sigh of relief - they will be winging their way to you with much love and labour. Nothing better than a brown paper package tied up with string...



a crewel case of thimble fingers...

Wondering what we've been up to this week? We've been up to our elbows in stranded cotton, calico and crewels trying desperately to get all 50 customised covers finished. Honestly we never expected so many people to be interested in our little project so a BIG OL' THANK YOU to you all! Here's a little selection of the some we've whipped up so far... maybe you can try and guess which one is headed your way.



martha martha martha
Ramona's love of Martha Stewart probably makes her the tool of the week but no matter. She still squeeled like a crazy person when Miss Pen Pen informed her that Martha craft products had landed in humble Spotlight and she had snapped up the last of the circle cutters just for us! Circles people! of any size. totally wizz.
We are thinking Chrstmas garlands, tags, stickers and yes maybe those kooky pinwheels. Tool us up Martha! Next on the list is glitter......all that glitter....



good housekeeping

This weeks must see is Neural Housekeeping by Sydney and london based illustrator Kate Banazi. We love her use of the contrast colour overpull and mid century scientific photographs to create space race propaganda-esque artwork. And we love that they are actually hand printed, not that we have anything against a digital print, it's just nice to see someone still getting busy with a squeegee. We like even better that she's got her show on at Lamington Drive until the 15th august... which means it's local enough that we might still make it in person instead of stalking the catalogue online.

Other reasons we like Ms Banazie besides her excellent aesthetic: scottish husband, beautiful son, gorgeous website with a big cartel shop where you can buy limited edition prints, amusing blog with witty title, and probably most important she's a self confessed lover of yorkshire pud.
neural housekeeping
89 George Street Fitzroy
(although you should know the address off by heart by now given how much we bang on about it)
open tuesday thru saturday until august 15.



platform vs. the mitten fortress
Stuff for you to do tonight and tomorrow people. This is the offical weekend word up so get yourselves sorted and be there or be like a four sided shape of some description.

Tonight is the opening of Repeat Repeat at Platform, featuring Carly Fischer, Annika Koops, Rachael Hooper, Adam Cruickshank, Natasha Frisch and the lovely and recently published Dell Stewart. Yep that's right people she's in I make stuff. The blurb on the Platform website describes the exhibition thusly; "In a contemporary culture of increasing information overload, unlimited access and hyper-production 'Repeat Repeat' deals with some of these anxieties and humors in such a climate. All artists employ obsessive processes of production, or observation, perhaps to mimic the drive that surrounds them and also to provide an escape through the meditative qualities of work. Within each artists process is also the element of analogue copy-catting, an upside-down reversion to hand crafted production at the expense of faster, more efficient means. Floating in between regressive nostalgia and progressive eradication, these artists deal with the strange place that the culture of repeat finds them in." Fascinating. We just know it will feature Dell's knitted rainbow, so we'll be there with bells on.
Degraves st. Subway TONIGHT 6 til 8pm.

Saturday offers up the Ghost Patrol and Miso open studio between 11am and 3pm. WOO HOO!They'll be showing both seen and unseen works along with some new self published gp books and acorn and cat-rabbit creations. And yes you guessed it, Ghost Patrol is another I make stuff bookee, and we love his work. This is an excellent opportunity to score some top drawer booty and get inside the mitten fortress at last. We'll be begging babysitters and trying to be there.
Saturday August 8, 11-3pm
Studio 2, 3rd floor. 329 Little Collins st.
Melbourne (near the corner of Elizabeth Street)



don't get all cut up about it...

It seems everyone is using cutting edge tech. to make art these days, especially for cutting. Rock, Paper, Lasers the latest show at Kick Gallery features not one but four artists making the most of the latest digital laser cutting technology to create paper artworks & sculptures. Troy Innocent, Jeff Janet, Trinh Vu & Joel Zika – have used styles that both mimic industrial design objects and play with japanese pop iconography - expect plenty of cubic robots amongst the snappy selection of lighting...

Apparently all of the artists in Rock, Paper, Lasers lecture in Art & Design at Monash University and as a part of their own on-going practice set themselves the task to "deride the mass production of iconography - such as that which is so often seen in ‘homewares’ or ‘lifestyle’ shops - and make a series of more unique works" in this exhibition... funny thing is, we found ourselves wanting to buy loads of the stuff they'd made for our houses. Go figure.

Rock Paper Lasers is on at Kick Gallery until August 15.



What a Gorker!
It's a simple idea. Invite 24 acclaimed illustrators and artists from down the road and around the globe to laser cut their impressions onto old school vinyl. It's always fun to see what people do when give the same parameters. We arent sure we would have gone with the clockfaces (why bother) but we are excited to get out and see something at Gorker Gallery in Fitzroy.
It's been around since June 2008 so we are a little behind the eight ball on this one. It's open Wed to Sun from 3-7 weird but convenient hours for all!