C'mon Baby, Eat the Rich

Unless you've been living under the probverbial rock, you'll know that the wait is finally over and tonight is most definately the night... That's right people Celebrity Masterchef begins on Channel Ten at 7.30pm EST. We, and thousands of food loving dorks like us, will be found eyes glued to the telly, phones off the hook, watching both famous and infamous battle nerves, pressure tests and mystery box challenges all while trying to please the discerning palettes of three of our favourite gentlemen in Australia... No make that the World. In honour of the evenings proceedings we will all be donning the cravat at HML HQ (and yes that includes all interns, partners, siblings, mothers, and pets). We've even inlcuded this ever so polite (and dubiously soundtracked) instructional  How To Tie A Cravat video for you to follow, on the off chance that you may also want to make like Mr Preston and tie one on, so to speak.

Who knows, get it right and Gary might even reward you with a top score.



paper planes

yes, we love a free pattern to play with here at hml. And this week, now that i'm back at work in the office,  I found mmyself wandering through the ether looking at some of my favourite things to do with the recycling paper pile next to the photocopier. I love the paperfoldables site. Lots. Brian is a complete genius if you ask me, and i'm putting him up there as the zen master of indie-origami (a new genre I think I just invented). Just look at this cardboard typewriter he made for canal publishing...

I love even more that today he's given me the ammunition to amuse myself enormously by downloading this hilarious mustachioed hipster in skinny jeans and kanye shades, straight from his site to sit atop my own computer at work.

And who knows, what with Celebrity Masterchef starting this week (and yes we ladies are VERY EXCITED) I might even be inspired to whip up both the seriously stereotyped italian chef for me and senior baguette for Ramona. If only he made a Matt Preston foldable we'd be all set for tomorrow night.

Not that i'll be doing any of this during work hours of course... honest boss.



under the bridge downtown

It's the 13th annual DUMBO festival, and we wish we were in Brooklyn (again!) and not just because it would enable Ramona to sit awestruck in the audience of the Martha show in her downtime. I was lucky enough to see a very crazy John Zorn 'radical improvisation' night of sound performance featuring Mike Patton, 20 marshall amps and an assortment of crazy manipulated microphones at what I remember being early dumbo fest event which of course made me feel suitably hip and very underground at the time (but ok I was a lot younger and more impressionable, and perhaps a little influenced by hazy substances back then). These days thnkfully you dont need to be either or even need to travel all the way to NYC to enjoy what the festival has to offer... you can check it all out online here  and follow the links to see it all via flickr, podcast or our beloved youtube. We love Molly Dillworths idea of creating roof top paintings to be viewed via google earth, Kell Condon’s Boxes/Seconds which record one second of NYC’s total yearly curbside cardboard through pinhole cameras made from that very cardboard and Nelson Loskamp’s Chaircut which features free electro-sonic, haircuts via amplified scissors.

dream weaver

Dani Marti has another gem of a show on at Arc One Gallery entitled Time is the Fire in Which we Burn. In 2007 we loved the faux pearl work "Pleasure Chest" so we were excited to see what new work he'd come up with. We're very happy to report that alongside the usual explorations of woven rope and rubber this time we've got a brilliant piece that at first glance appears to be an oversized lichen and mould landscape up close however you see that it's constructed entirely from a comibinaton of steel and copper scrubbing pads. Genius.
Until October 17 @ Arc One Gallery Flinders Lane, Melbourne

on the big screen
dress to impress

As you all probably know by now the Valentino biopic The Last Emperor, chronicalling the man with the tan's last year at the helm of the house of Valentino, is on at just about every cinema in town. Those who haven't yet made it into the cinema should do so, immediately. We know that there's also District 9 to see (yeah we're total sci-fi nerds too) but before you get there get some of this and be reminded of what Fashion is really about: brilliantly eccentric overly tanned middle aged italian men and their pugs.



go saints!

One thing that unites the crazy ladies of HML - our love of the game. Yes its true we love nothing more than heading off to the G for a dead of winter match. We were hoping for a Collingwood (Beck) St Kilda (Ramona) final but alas it was not to be and quite frankly we aren't too hopeful for Ramona's beloved Saints today. All the same the house has been decorated, Thom has been dressed and the hamburgers are ready to grill!

Go Saints!!!!



salute to nan and pop
Weird day for the ladies of HML -sort of living in parallel universes. While Beck was judging Fringe Furniture I was judging the Veterans Affairs Craft Awards at the Austin Repat Hospital Red Cross Centre.

It's one of those once-a-year occasions I've really come to look forward to (this year is my 3rd!) It's the only volunteering job I do at the moment and I see it as a great honour.

Like all hobby craft it swings from the sublime to the,er, eccentric...

One of my favourite makers is May Brown who enters the most amazing creations every year. Her Party Penguins came complete with streamers and balloons! Sadly her work is never for sale, I'm considering a commission...

I was very taken with this Frenchy chic quilt...

And this simple embroidered tablecloth...

And of course there are always a couple of magnificent model boats.

To see past years highlights (including Mays work) you can go back in time here and here .



RRR listeners may have heard Ramona mention on Monday that HML are the new champions of International Sock Dog Day. We've deemed this day to take place on October 18

To celebrate this momentous event we are hosting a Make Your Own Sock Dog session at the CAE.

as a result we have to develop the mad sock dog making skills to make you all proud...

The first hound is a little deranged, a little long limbed and in need of a nose and tail. But really he has his charms. So much so we have christened him Fredrick - after our favourite prince (apart from Prince of course - but that requires purple socks).




It's really strange and quite lovely to have one of my dearest friends share an exact birthday with me. We've had some lovely joint parties, breakfasts and afternoon teas to celebrate in the past but this year the wheels fell off my normally cheerful birthday caravan and we only managed text messages.

So I put in a little effort this week to make Miss S a little notebook that she can use at work to jot things down. I inlisted the help of my trusty Martha circle cutter, some crazy machine stitching, my long arm stapler and some scrap book papers...

It took me a couple of goes to get it right (I now have some very dodgy notebooks myself, and let me tell you lining up that stapler is not for the faint hearted) but I was really happy with the end result.

And nothing can surpass my love of wrapping...Happy belated birthday Miss S - to both of us.



There's no place like home

The ladies of HML have been fans of Djurdjica Kesic's work since we first spotted it at a Box Hill metalsmith graduate show and then Fresh at Craft Victoria a couple of years back. We are really excited by the sneak peeks we've seen of her new show Nomad at Pieces of Eight.  using the home as motif  Kesic uses an armful of belongings  (reclaimed timber, silver and linen thread) to explore the notion of migration and place.

by the way listeners - Ramona will be talking up this show and other crafty things this morning at 10am on RRR. Hopefully  this necklace will have migrated to her home sometime this week...



High as a kite

Those at a lost end today can make their way to the 9th annual High Vibes festival in Northcote... it's always fun, full of food, music and of course young people attempting to outdo eachother in their "hey it's not like i'm trying" festival outfits strolling up and down the street in a slouchy, meandering parade... An excellent people watching and dining opportunity with a fairly decent soundtrack thrown in and all for a gold coin donation to keep the thing going next year. There's even a kids program for anyone looking to entertain bored toddlers...although we can't promise you parents won't be bored stupid after the first wacky hat hyper colour outfit performs their own version of "dancey dance time". It was Max's first festival last year, he was only a month old, but he loved it... at least he gurgled appropriately and gave us a smile or two as we passed the dancing hippies. Over the years this has turned from a very local event we could turn up to in our pj's to a super hip festival reminiscent of the old Brunswick Street festival (those as old as me will remember that festival's transformation into a lumbering trance infested behemouth full of tourists from franga) Anyways this will be our first year NOT living above the street, the downside will be less easy access to the loo, but the upside will be less constant bongo playing and and the probability of sleep before the 3am doof doof party finishes (good luck Shula i'll be thinking of you!) Ah just one more reason to love the new house.

This year the music promises to be especially good, with hml's default in house band and RRR darlings, Black Cab playing 9-9.30 at the Northcote Social Club... we assure you it will be well worth the price of admission, which of course is FREE, no really they are very good. So put on your high heel sneakers and have yourselves a very happy festivus people.



I'm nowhere near the Martha devotee that Ramona is, but I must admit her seasonal crafting prowess (or that of her team of crafters and stylists) gets me EVERY time. This year is going to be all about the gingerbread, so when I came upon these gingerbread bird ornaments I gave out a hoopla! and thought you beaut I'll get right onto them this week. I also think Martha deserves some props for being so generous with the free clip art she provides for each project. So you really can make em look just like they do in the mag, or if you're a little more creatively inclined you can use the ideas and technique to make your own version. I'm thinking a little glitter monster covered tree might excite Max more than the birds, but you never know, by Christmas he could be completely besotted by the Blue Footed Booby... 
Anyway as much as I had planned my free afternoon yesterday to be full of gingerbread ornaments lovingly baked and shaken all over with my new armoury of Martha glitter, all I got around to baking was this Banana Bread.
Oh well, we still have 97 days to go.




It would seem that this week young Maxwell decided he's a mini Testino. Yesterday he got behind the lens and gave me a run for my money in the arty portrait stakes with these shots of his Dad and his Dog. He also managed the very avant garde combination of both (below) which we like to call "Still Life with Grass, Blue Toy, Ball and Sneaker" - which of course was my favourite.
As you can see he's also already working his hip young arteest look.  Watch out La Chapelle and co... here comes the next big thing.



selling out

Well that's it people, its a sell out! We did tell you that these were a VERY limited edition and the above are final hurrah, the last two cabs off the rank, the very end of the custom covered versions of I MAKE STUFF, over, done and dusted. Thanks to all who forked over their hard earned pesos to make one their own... we really appreciate it and hope you're loving them. For those who missed out we're very sorry (although our stiff little fingers may not be) rest assured regular copies can still be found at Cottage Industry, Craft Victoria, Artisan Books and of course online from the hml shop.



Latch hook rugs, they're not for everyone apparently because I keep finding half finished ones in op-shops. Ramona still wont talk about her own childhood latch hook 'incident', so i'm figuring that many people seem to have issues with them. Me, I cant get enough, although I do wish I could find some made out of actual 'wool' instead of the weird seventies acrylic simulacra that all mine seem to be made from... it's itchy.



check your diaries...
Top chick and 'I Make Stuff 'alumni Megan Whitmarsh has a new show opening at Krets gallery in Malmo, Sweden which as per usual looks incredible... that's her embroidered invite above, note the soft sculpture cigarette butt and sharpie pen - genius. If any of you are in the area or fancying a quick trip north for bit of Abba with your contemprorary art drop in and say god dag, hallå for us.

Attack Decay, Sustain Release: Nathan Gray, as you know is one of our faves here at hml, he's also 'I Make Stuff' alumni, and his new show opens this Thursday night at Craft Victoria. This one will be a doozy - he's using all three galleries to create a "combination and manipulation of found sound to create musical landscapes". Sounds excellent (apologies for the bad pun), we'll be there with bells on (oh god there I go again.)
Craft Victoria. 8 September – 17 October

Vitrine: The September shows at Platform are upon us. Talked up as  group of shows by "artists who really blow apart the notion of material based practice, where all objects are slippery simulacra of other objects and nothing is real..." our eye has been caught by the work of ALYSHIA BODDENBERG &; REBECCA DELANGE, pictured above. Anytime someone pulls together a sculpture from a collection of safety pins, pine cones and party string we're there...and you know Ramona's Martha bone can't resist a painted pine cone craft happening. Check it out on the way to or home from work.
Platform, Degraves St. Subway all September.

Aqueaus Bloom: Is the title of this years annual resident artists exhibition and features two of our favourite ceramicists Kris Coad and Liz Low. Rumour has it that Liz (they're her pourers above) has just been comissioned by George Calombaris of Masterchef  fame to produce the milk jugs for his high falutin' Melbourne eatery Press Club. Coincidentally  Kris is also a maker with well established foodie connections being responsible for much of the tableware at Port Melboure institition Mizuzu's. Check our their water works along with the rest of the residents all month.
Gasworks Theatre until September 27
and in the loungeroom...

True Blood: We are both big big BIG fans of the vampire genre (ok we know that's like totally predictable for crafty geek girls but so what, we never said we weren't) So we are both mightily thrilled with the return of season two of to our teevs. Season one left us breathless like a southern belle in a too tight bodice on a hot afternoon, and we expect more swamp infested good times to come. Bring on the mint julep! Those who enjoy a spoiler can go here. , otherwise beg borrow or steal yourself a ringside seat for season two.
September 15, Foxtel Showcase.



104 Days to go!
So the present making has begun in earnest people! This week Ramona made a couple of applique additions to lovely lightweight scarves for dear friends in London. She's a bit nervous that it's all too matchy matchy but that's the kind of people they are. On the weekend she'll be making a softie with the remnants for their son Clancy. It only occurred to her after the fact that she should have done kangaroo silhouettes for the expat! And there is still the stitch to do around outside for extra snazz and grip. That's a job for the Friday night movie...

The ladies of HML urge you to START NOW! - this has been a public service announcement which you can ignore at your own peril.



The ladies of HML love lego, star wars and photography so it's no surprise that we are totally in love with the work of Mike Stimpson. It is so obvious- set yer storm troopers and lego men up to recreate famous photos. Maybe they just look like perfect Douglas Copeland novel covers but we still think they are genius.
As if lego wasn't fabulous enough...



The ladies of hml are well aware that Ramona's Martha fixation is a little disturbing. Mock her you may but there is no doubting that with the Martha range now at Spotlight she is very easy to buy presents for! And despite the inherent dodginess we did want to share with you this neato new system for, ahem, glittering...
you get a sheet of reusable sillicon stamps that stick onto this clear perspex brick (so you can line things up. You then use a glue pad (like an ink pad but with non crusting up miracle glue) to stamp on your design...
Of course the magic moment is when you shake the glitter away...
It's quite crazy we know. But isnt that technology amazing? When we think of the R & D that must have gone into those little stamps, that weird glue the mind boggles.
If only Martha could use that technology for good instead of eeeeeeevil.