Phew! Can you believe it's all over for another year? We are winding down from Christmas and spending some time with family and friends. Just wanted to share with you a follow-on from Beck's post about her lovely apricots (fabulous jam by the way). I was lucky enough to get a bowlful. Before everyone scarfed them all, I managed to convert some of these plump beauties into some excellent chutney. Some of which found its way back to Beck along with lemon curd and vanilla sugar. Needless to say the house smelled wonderful and the chutney goes brilliantly with ham on toast (or cheese for you vegetarians, avocado for you vegans) and a cup of tea of course...



jam session
from this...

to this...

to this!

This isnt the first time we've made jam here on hml (who could forget our sticky ode to Nathan Buckley a few years back) but it is the first time we've done it with fruit straight out of our very own backyard, and with the long distance guidance of melbourne's own Supreme High Priestess of Jam the lovely Penelope Durston. As you would have noted from yesterday's post, it's come up a treat, and lovely to think I actually managed to get something done with all those apricots before the bats finally finished them off. It was actually super easy and only took a couple of hours.
So, here's Last Minute Gift tip Number One - consider taking advantage of all that awesome stone fruit around at the moment and whip up a batch for your friends, family, work mates or significant scone eater etc...



who listens to the radio?

Well it's Ramona's last RRR appearance this year this morning. She'll be talking up making last minute Christmas gifts, buying handmade and New Year craft resolutions with the gals on the grapevine. She isn't going empty handed either - beautiful apricot jam from Beck's Northcote crop and some lemon curd fresh from the hml kitchen last night! 102.7 streaming here...



it's beginning to feel alot like Christmas...

Some of you know that Ive been laying low with the most terrible summer cold. There is something soothing about doing a repetitive crafty task when you have a fever and a hacking cough. It did give me the day to think about all the small peeps I'm lucky to have in my life this year.My two lovely neighbours, Audrey and Georgia always say hello at the gate. Kye and Alani my niece and nephew all the way over in WA. Toma my Japanese mini sumo pal. The beautiful Silas and Sunday who are as gorgeous as their parents.

Of course there is Clancy all the way over in London where it is minus 2. The excellent Maxwell already walking and talking his way through all the hml staff meetings. Last but not least there are my own lovelies Hope and Thom - the best things I ever made!

Next year two more will be added to the list as close friends embark on their own crazy adventure in 2010. I've decided that making these  is my favourite holiday tradition.Bloody Marys for breakfast on Christmas morning comes a close second.




I've set aside a few hours today to make my annual kids Christmas decorations.There are 11 kids this year so it is quite an endeavour. I got a little side tracked this morning. It took me quite a few goes with the circle cutter to get the right size sticker for the baubles. I couldn't throw out the rejects so I thought I'd whip up some tags

I had to add glitter of course, which seems to coat the house from top to bottom. Luckily I already have a few presents to wrap. 9 days to go, can you believe it?

I'll show you the baubles tomorrow. Better get back to work!



pop up shop

Well the Jumble is over for another year and what a wild rumpus it was! It's been a while since we had a joint project (the BOOK was momentous enough to keep us busy most of 09). So the invitation from Pene Durston of Cottage Industry fame to participate in her studio sale was too good to pass up.

It meant we had a whole day sans kids to just hang out with some great people (hi Dell, Irene, Leah!), eat some excellent Babka danishes and make grand plans for 2010. We also managed to pay off our Yeah Yeah Yeahs tix, buy some sushi and spend way too much in other corners of the studio. Beck basically got her work wardrobe sorted via the sales racks. I'm in big trouble for not stocking up on silk scarves for the cravat lovin intern (any left Pen?)

We were quite chuffed with how our table looked. Rather splendid thanks to Becks brilliant cardboard garlands and my posies of paper flowers. What a lovely way to finish what has been a crazy crazy year.
Thanks for the opportunity Miss Pen Pen, we hope you have us back for the next Rumble in the Jumble!



OK peeps. You have until 7pm to get your $40 ticket to the Seventh Gallery sale that's on tonight. We think this is possibly one of the funniest, funnest and coolest ways for a little artist run space to raise some much needed cashola and for punters to get that last minute totally unique gift for their beloveds.

So there are 100 artworks, 100 tickets. When the bell sounds punters will have to stampede, drinks in hand, to slap their sticker (ooo eerr) on their artwork of choice. Best $40 you'll spend this month!

I'm hoping that artist Adrian Conti will have something from this series tucked in the farthest corner of the gallery- I like a challenge!I suspect it's going to be like the running of the bulls...



rumble in the jumble...

For those of you that have been under a rock or have just beamed in from outerspace here's the news. Miss PenPen is hosting another super studio sale tomorrow, yes that's right people TOMORROW!!!

The hot goss however is that aside from the lovely dresses, coats, cushions, clocks, quilts and other assorted bibs and bobs you'd expect to see on sale, she's also got VERY busy with clutter clearing her craft cupbaords. So, if you've ever wanted the chance to get your hands into Miss P's awesome stash of haberdash. Saturday December 12 is the day (again people that is TOMORROW) From 10am til 4pm rummage away to your heart's content in a mountain of golden craft detritus. Really for that reason alone it's an opportunity too good to miss.
But wait, there's more...

If you too have left the christmas shopping until the last minute there will also be discounted goodies from the super talented and lovely ladies of Iggy and Loulou, Milly Sleeping and of course the good wood from Dell Stewart.

AND...as you are probably aware, Ramona and I have been overcome with Martha Christmas Madness and so have spent the last month making decorations, cards and gift tags... all of which will also be going cheeep (yes that is a reference to bird inspired works and not just bad spelling).

Last time we spent our profits on new outfits by Miss P and accessories by Irene of I&L fame, and now with the new Milly Sleeping and Dell departments the likelihood that we'll be able to save enough of our profits to pay for our Yeah Yeah Yeah's tix is decreasing by the minute. We're excited and we'd love to see you there!!!




Northcote does good apricots, maybe it's the soil, maybe it's the hill, maybe it's the angle of the sun... who knows. What I do know is that many moons ago in my first house in Helen street we had a magnificent old apricot tree that filled the neighbourhood coffers every summer. Then some complete knob developing the block next door hacked off the half that dared venture over the fence and the poor thing died. Bloody developers. So when the Architect and I first walked into the backyard of our what would become 'the new house' and I saw an old apricot tree I was well excited. That was until the real estate agent told us it had only produced a meagre crop of tiny fruit last summer. Ever the optimist, I spent the winter tending, trimming and feeding the tree, hoping that I could cajole it back to its best.


And Saints be Praised it would seem that the combination of TLC and a most excellent dowsing by record beating Spring Rains have rewarded us with heaving boughs laden with juicy golden orbs... (ewww that kind of went very wrong very quickly didn't it) Anyhoo... we've sampled a couple from the top of the tree and they taste as delicious as they look. Now we've just got to battle the birds and the bugs for the rest of the harvest. Wish us luck.



head in the clouds

As you may have realised, I have been hit hard by the embroidery bug this Christmas, and as a result nearly everyone on the gift list is now recieving something stitched. My lovely sister in Tokyo has two children, who are as crazy as they are hilarious, and while at the moment she is being ably assisted in their care by our brother the school teaching DJ, when he leaves in the middle of next week she'll no doubt be in need of a good lie down. Hopefully this lavender eye pillow will help. Merry Christmas Sis XXXXX



King of the blues

Just in case you had'nt noticed we're BIG fans of Vipoo Srivilasa's work. We consider him our very own ceramic high-camp hero. Who else could so seamlessly combine the worlds of commerce, pop culture and tradition in complex narratives of particularly modern maladies and not lose his sense of humour along the way?

In this latest exhibition Vipoo creates miniature kindgdoms where the Louis Vuitton logo happily nestles alongside traditional thai motifs to decorate dishes, and barcodes, the three eyed springfield fish and uber glam mermen and mermaidens sit together all whispering their stories into our very willing ears. Really people this is one definately worth making the trip over the Yarra for.

Vipoo Srivilasa Indigo Kingdom
Until December 23
Anna Pappas Gallery (formerly Uber Gallery)
2-4 Carlton Street Prahran
Tuesday to Friday 10-6
Saturday 12-6


Well people here's just another reminder that it's almost time to ho ho ho again. Kick Gallery in Northcote is once again showcasing the best of their wardrobe full of arteets in the annual t-shirt exhibition. My brother has literally recieved a t-shirt from this exhibition come pop-up shop every year for the past six years, and this year will be no different. Ooh and this year apparently there is also some special kind of secret squirrel selection out the back. Get in before there's only bright yellow tees in weird sizes left!

Note: This particular t-shirt below features a design by the all over town man Dylan Martorell that actually won't be in the show, however there will be others by him for sale - along with the rest of the usual Northcote hipster arteest set. Sorry peeps, we just liked the pic and the wood panelled backdrop.

T-shirt Sale @ Kick Gallery
Daily until Christmas.
239 High St, Northcote.
Kick Gallery Warehouse,
52 Eastment St Northcote (out the back)




My brother the school teaching DJ is currently in Tokyo living it up in the land of high fashion, higher buildings, exquisite cuisine and ridiculously good crafting supplies I am making do back here in Northcote with the ACMI Japanese Film Festival. While it might not be a compeltely satisfactory replacement, it will at least buy me some time to eat second rate sushi in a cool dark room away from the Christmas madness that has swallowed most of Melbourne whole... and at the moment i'll take those moments wherever I can get them!

On my must see list is Detroit Metal City (of course) which is a live action adaptation of a popular manga series that sees a shy and gentle musician pay the bills by becoming the front man for a death metal band called 'Detroit Metal City'. Sounds like heaven. It's on tonight at 7.45

And The Handsome Suit,  A talented yet unattractive and socially awkward man unlucky in love who discovers a magical suit that instantly transforms him into a hunk. Suddenly women are flocking to him and he scores a modelling job in Tokyo's coveted fashion scene. But leading a double life is hard, and ultimately Ohki must choose which persona will bring him true happiness - oh the complexity of this conundrum! What will our hero do? This little gem is screening at 8.40pm Tuesday night.

Both sound Unmissable.

13th Japanese Film Festival at ACMI
until the 8th of December so you've only got three days left!
check here for a complete list of fims and screening times




The last 6 months I have been experimenting with making paper and fabric flowers which is something I used to do as a kid but have only recently found myself recently drawn back to. crepe, butcher, tissue and copy paper have been flying - as has felt, linen, cotton and the most traditional silk. My latest offering is humble newsprint which works extremely well and has the added bonus of giving the flowers a bit of a graphic feel to them...

We have a lovely friend visiting this afternoon so last night I made her this posy of newsprint -hope she likes it. It's amazing how much colour is in the paper these days!

The house looks like a demented florist has escaped from the loony bin and taken up residence in the dining room. Don't worry I will resist the temptation to spray them with perfume for realism- because quite frankly that is just weird.



Day 1

When funds are tight at this time of year it's good to build in lots of little traditions and rituals. For some reason this always makes Christmas feel more opulent than it really is. The season officially starts today with the first window of the Advent Calendar opening (and the first day of summer!)

instead of one of those weird cardboard ones you buy at the supermarket (don't worry we have that one too!) I lined one shelf of the hutch with 24 jars each with their own glittered number (thanks Martha)and a lolly or two in each jar. It's the first decoration of Christmas in the house!

Mind you I have know idea what Maggie B is going to put her lemon curd in, or my famous spicy nut mix, or Alan B's pickle extravaganza...I've used every single jar in the house! And why I have so many teapots is a mystery to me...