SHOW OF THE WEEK part deux

Just Amazing

It's always exciting for us when shows open at Craft Victoria. I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at the new ones last night and I kind of went a bit swoony over Kate Just's Unearthed installation.

Beck had warned me that these strange and sinister objects would knock me out and she was right. They are extraordinary. These tool-like objects, that have seemingly been dug up from an imagined archaeological site, reference all sorts of vaguely gynaecological and surgical implements that can make you feel more than a little disturbed if you look at them for too long.

Some smart curator from a cashed up institution need to get down to 31 Flinders Lane pronto and snap the whole lot up. In terms of object making and fine art - this work incorporates the two seamlessly.

There are two other great shows opening tonight. I'll talk more about them tomorrow. I think it's best that we just leave you with this one today. RAMONA




So what did you all do over your Easter holiday? As you know I was a little craft crazed last week with my easter baskets/cards/place names/wrapping etc so I thought a nice break would do me good. Maybe go to the movies, read the paper, reply to the 300 emails sitting folornly in the intray. I made a fatal mistake on Saturday - I went to the Kaisercraft outlet in Geelong. See the blue signs hanging over the bins? 50% off! say no more...

I had to get the mega Sunday lunch out of the way but then I basically took over the dining table with my glue stick and scissors and went into what my family calls 'the craft coma' for 48 hrs. I even made other people cook dinner for me so I could keep going.

I made a little photo book of all of Thom's train adventures I wont bore you all with the inside of the book - suffice to say there are lots of photos of a kid with trains.

I made finally made last years xmas book. A memento that is meaningless to all but my family but is so much nicer than just a memory stick.

Speaking of xmas, ahem, I admit these are for under this years tree for a certain young miss. Beck made the great suggestion of adding hooks and days of the week tags which I love (order in the chaos!)

I also decoupaged some place mats, these are just for us at home. Tip for you: I learnt many years ago that the very best sealer for place mats, trivets and trays is furniture wax. It smells for about a week but then it dries rock hard and with a matte sheen that is lovely and seemingly impervious to heat and water, much better than estapol. So I guess this is my idea of a holiday. With three days of meetings and phone calls and quotes and interviews I'm glad I took some time for some super dork home stuff. Can't wait for next weekend! RAMONA



mud pie

There is a lot happening in this little week so we'll be giving you a heads up every day so you can plan your busy craft calendars accordingly. We think it's pretty important that as many people go to Pan Gallery on Friday to view the tail end of a silent auction of incredible Mudka vessels that were created by visiting Indian potters Manori Lal and Dharmveer, then decorated by 20 Australian ceramicists. Money raised will go to building a new kiln for the potters village in Delhi.

You can jump on their blog here to watch the mudkas being made and for a full list of participants. RAMONA



Today we are having a holiday. We are going to catch up over a cuppa tea and let the boys run riot in the garden if the fog lifts. Easter Monday and Anzac day combined means a day of reflection is in order. Back tomorrow BECK & RAMONA



wrap it up

A little wrapping today, not much left except get lunch ready for the family on Sunday (more coming so I have to do more place cards). Good Friday is all about the Stations of the Cross, hot cross buns for breakfast, fish and chips for dinner and a bit of quiet before the storm.

Mum's egg looks pretty sweet with this gingham flower on it I used this idea on a card last week and I really love it.

I think this would be great for Christmas cards (glitter anyone?). I really am ruled by the calendar of events craft wise. Mothers Day next...RAMONA



Again with the crazy fringing! I've become a little obsessed with paper grass. I think it has finally passed now I've edged the Easter baskets.

As you can see Thom's basket is light on chocolate and heavy on stickers. As much as he loves it, chocolate can send him into a weird frenzy that is off putting to say the least. Weirdly enough I don't eat chocolate myself so mum always comes up with some ingenious gift for Sunday.

Today I'm baking the hot cross buns for tomorrow morning and catching up on the 'work work' I've sidelined for 'fun work' this week. I better pack up my bits and bobs and get on the computer. My aim in life is that it all ends up 'fun work' at some point. nearly there... RAMONA



I'm going to have to race up to the PO and send these express post. Serves me right for wanting to make paper grass fringe...these are going to extended family so please note the equal egg distribution in case they compare notes!The Easter baskets are halfway there and the papier mache bunny remains untouched. I've grown a little fond of his sinister nature.



branching out

Experience has taught me that nothing says fancy dinner more than place name cards. So to get my family who are 50% catholic and 50% atheist in the 'spirit' of the season I thought these eggy ones would look great on the table for Sunday lunch.

Thom was excited to be in charge of putting up the Easter branch decorations. He thought the fluffy chicks were hilarious.

 We're working on the baskets this evening. The papier mache bunny still looks demented, how to paint non-evil bunny eyes is a mystery to me. RAMONA



hop to it

It's going to be a busy week here at HML. Lots of Easter crafting. We're decorating eggs, making cookies and Easter baskets and I'm looking forward to my first bowl of icecream in 40 days. We are kicking the week off with a visit to the lovely grapevine ladies of RRR at 10.15 this morning (102.7)

We'll also be going to Handheld Gallery to see the gorgeous work of Paul Compton and Priscilla Ambrose in their new show lost and found. We know it's another found object show but with images like this and sentences like 'tiny books reside in miniature tins' resistance is useless! We also love collaboration for obvious reasons!

We'll post our Easter crafting as the week goes on. I'm hoping the above rabbit is more Lindt bunny than Donnie Darko by Sunday lunch. RAMONA



prickly pear

Saw this fantastic collection of knitted cacti in the window of craft Victoria that I thought I'd share with you. You may recall I bought on of  theses Odds and Ends creations last year for The Intern.

They look so amazing grouped together like this. It reminded my of the arid section at the Botanical Gardens, one of my favourite spots.

I've got my Saturday gallery crawl coming up tomorrow (of course they are forecasting rain dang nabbit) so I'll get a second look at  these lovelies. Where else am I going? Pieces of Eight,  E G Etal, Handheld gallery, BlindsideStephen McLaughlan, and my favourite city store L'uccelllo

I promise to take photos to show you all next week. RAMONA



Every First Sunday of the month we take Thom way across town to visit the Steam Locomotive Society of Victoria. Now don't get me wrong, this is great fun but I'd be lying if I said part of the appeal is that it's just around the corner from the Kaisercraft outlet store. I opted to take a card making class instead of lining up to ride Thomas the Tank Engine - lucky me!

It was nice to go somewhere crafty where no one knew who I was and I could just follow instructions and make six rather frou frou but fabulous cards. It was nice to be a student! It was nice to make things that weren't for sale or even that good.

Beck and I talked about it over pancakes on Friday and we both agreed that a return to these simple pleasures would help us get through the mountain of work on the professional and personal fronts. It's all about process. If you are feeling a little run down I highly recommend it. Don't worry about the uncool factor, it's just for you (and in my case my mother who loves everything I make unconditionally) RAMONA




Ok so we have all had weeks like this: You know the one- where there is so much hard work to do (in my case writing a total of 4000 words in 3 different places, being interviewed, interviewing, and replying to probably 300 emails - apologies to friends I haven't got back to yet). On top of that everyone here had colds and were grumpy and high maintenance as hell. sigh. Times like these I turn to simple craft. I've made a couple of Christmas presents (don't laugh) for the little ladies next door, two gingham totes that I'll fill with some craft supplies (of course).

We broke my beautiful porcelain beaker I used to put cutlery in for couch eating - so I grabbed some scrapbooking bits and a tin - a project that Thom loved too - he stuck the little wooden knife and fork on with great pride!

I also made a set of coasters for Miss B's birthday next week. I did all of these projects as a 'reward' per 1000 words and they all took less than an hour, but they kept me sane in a tough time. Don't ask me about the housework tho, good grief. RAMONA




We are so lucky in Melbourne to be spoilt for choice when it comes to contemporary jewellery. At HML we are always impressed with the level of craftsmanship and creativity that seems to have really energised this particular field in recent years. As other media struggle to find market place and audience, jewellery seems to be blossoming into the ideal craft - one that encompasses craft, community, creativity and commerce (sounds like a lecture title!)

The strong trend of using found objects and upcycling continues but as we become more accustomed to seeing bits and bobs in peoples work their has been a real shift in finish. Romy Mittelman,whose show opens this week at EG Etal is a fine example of this. 

The title Precious Debris says it all really - if you are going to use bottle caps, film canisters and beer rings you better pack them in something pretty special to create objects of desire.

The ladies of HML are really only in the market for pasta necklaces at the moment  but we are going to check out this new show this week and we think you should too. RAMONA



beachside booty

Unlike my friends (yes i'm talking about you Miss Pen) I am hopeless at sending postcards while holidaying. Even if I manage to actually buy the things I end up either posting them on the way to the airport or once i've actually got home. It's not that I intend to be so disorganised, it just seems to work out that way, so apologies up front to all my nearest and dearest for not managing to send you some dodgy tanned backside queensland postcard action during my sabbatical up north last week. It doesn't mean I don't love youse.
Similarly I don't seem to manage to post anything while away - that however can be explained by a combination of lack of access to both computer and decent wi-fi! I am glad that this time I did manage to get the knitwit market post out only a day after arriving home (and one week after having been to said market) and in the spirit of getting the rest of is photographic evidence of my trip full of sunny skies, sandy shores and a stack of op shop booty gathered in an afternoon raid across Hervey Bay's finest here's the best of the rest. Better late than never...

my first win, an excellent strawberry crochet tea cosy

genius folk tile cheeseboard complete with fully functional knife magnet
excellent Nederlander cotton scarf featuring windmills and 'dolfinarium' border print

fabulous orange 70's geo print pyrex platter

two little stoneware oven dishes perfect for baked eggs

fiji tourist tablecloth, unused, but no longer unloved

completely brilliant teak carved fish platter

Japanese side plate with pacific print from the same op-shop where I snaffled the fiji tablecloth and fish platter

and in the last five minutes of the day, literally running around the shop as the ladies ditched the lights I found this fabulous polka dot pyrex bowl. Crumblicious!
I only wish I hadn't had to fill the suitacase with Maxwell's bloody Thomas trains or I would have picked up even more. Still I can't complain this is a pretty good haul for a measly couple of hours work. BECK