I was very proud of myself for braving the Melbourne cold to go visit crafty friends at Markit design market.
Can you guess who the above pair are? They are the dynamic duo behind Michi Girl! Yes Daniel and Chloe braved the cold and came out from behind the curtain for the day!

Hi Ramona!
Ceramicist and designer Gregory Bonasera is a seasoned market man - he knows a beanie is in order to brave the fed square wind tunnel. His stand was going crazy bananas when we visited.

The lovely Irene of Iggy and Lou Lou fame had her beloved  Mr P with her to keep her warm (awwww)

I'm thinking of buying my own beloved (who is a bit of a pirate seafaring man) this  Iggy and Lou Lou box for Christmas.

The gorgeous ladies of Harvest Textiles got my vote for the prettiest stall in the whole market - they really know how to show their wares to the best advantage. Totally divine. Helps that they are the nicest people in Melbourne too.

My favourite find was this beautiful stationery company called Write To Me. I had seen their work on madeit.com.au but it was so so much better in real life.

I came away with these gorgeous meal planner/shopping list duo - perfect for the insane list maker in me!RAMONA



the hand of fate

Have you been to see the Pieces of Fate show at Pieces of Eight Gallery yet? It seems to be getting tonnes of great press and the vibe out there is that this is a pretty outstanding collection of pendants. Apparently Professor Robert Baines of RMIT coined the phrase 'Pieces of Fate ' to describe how jewellery can be imbued with power by the maker and wearer alike.

37 of Pieces of Eight's represented artists have created modern day talismans that we are sure will speak very directly to the 'rightful' owner of each pieces. I'm very keen on this gorgeous Dougal Haslem piece and the Tim Fleming pendant above that is just too cool.

But I have to say it is impossible to resist this extraordinary piece by Pennie Jagiello. Pennie is actually a bit of a genius and we hope that she's back in the full swing of making stuff again - isn't her work just incredible? RAMONA

Pieces of Fate
Pieces of Eight Gallery
28 Russell Place
Melbourne City

show runs til July 2
we nicked these images from the Pieces of Eight blog



This Sunday we'll be heading into town for the latest installment of the MarkIT market at Fed Square. Last Markit Ramona and her crew bought up big on a range of most excellent pieces, some of which I'm happy to say ended up in my Christmas presents (thanks Maggie!). This time round there's a long list of super cool and super talented makers with equally awesome goodies - if you don't believe me just check out the list here.

beci orpin bear

I'll be hoping to pick up another Dawn Tan illustration (or two) for the kitchen nook, one of the new Beci Orpin bear mobiles for the maxmonsters room, another kinteic mobile from the lovely Anke Kindle of I Design Things for the soon to be released widget's nursery, a tea-towel or two from the lovely ladies of Harvest as a present for my mum who's in for some serious babysitting over the next month or so and definately some post delivery Boniko organic cotton tabi toe tights for me. And that's just what I KNOW i'm going there to get... God knows what other bits i'll be tempted to fill my bags with given the list of makers and the fact that it's probably going to be my last shopping spree for some time!

here's Dawn hard at work down at Obus
While in the city i'll also be scooting down to the Obus store in Flinders Lane to check out Dawn Tan's plant paintings (which launched last night) starring as the second installment of Obus' Wall Project series. Having avidly watched the progress on Dawn's Blog I really want to get down there and see it all in person.

Of course the lure of hitting to eat a mushroom and tallegio crepe or seven at my favourite creperie while i'm in the vicinity is pure co-incidence. BECK


Ha Ha of the Week

Put a Bird on it

The above poster is available on Etsy and has been selling like crazy. I have a friend, a native New Yorker (her family have been there for over 150 years) who emailed me the response below from illustrator and Manhattanite James Campbell Taylor.

I thought you'd all like it. Change the word Manhattan to Fitzroy and Brooklyn to Northcote and Melbournites will sympathise. Do you think this stuff goes on in every city? RAMONA



I don't think I have been busier workwise than I am right now. It's kind of insane the amount of stuff I have on the go. I won't bore you with the details suffice to say there is steam coming out of my ears! To cope with it all I have forced myself some crafting downtime, all little things that can be finished in under an hour (or 2 cups of tea and an episode of the West Wing)

I was so pleased with my Christmas tags last week I went in for another go - this time for Aunt Moira who makes a point of remembering everyone's birthday and anniversary -trust me, she can never have too many tags. I hope that crazy bird on the lid doesn't freak her out too much!

I have a friend in London turning 1 next month and his family are also moving house. He's getting his own room (not so exciting when your 1 I guess but his 3 year old brother is very pleased!) I thought a door plaque was in order.

And I finally got around to learning how to fold an origami box! This was wholly satisfying and remarkably successful. I love packaging and this mad skill is a good one to have. Beck gave me a whole lot of beautiful beads last week and they'll go perfectly in this box for my cousin. I have to make the necklace that's going in it which is just as well because I used an entire glue stick over the weekend and will be focusing on more textile and bead projects: hardcore crafting... RAMONA



Art is Affordable

We are doing things a bit topsy turvy this week - with our show of this week not being featured until Friday - so I thought I'd show you a bit of Art Melbourne that happened this past weekend. All in all it's a pretty mediocre show but between the lurid acrylic paintings of nubile young women there can often be found some absolute gems. I actually counted 8 paintings I would have bought had  I had the cash. Of course the very best affordable art is craft and the best craft at Art Melbourne was at the RMIT stand. Curator Stephen Gallagher has put together a great show and it was selling like hotcakes.

Highlight for me was the amazing ceramics by Robyn Phelan . Humorous and strange, very appealing

The gold and silversmithing grads work was also incredible. Dougal Haslam's little automata are brilliant - I think it deserves a little stop motion don't you? RAMONA


Youtube of the week

Well we warned you we were going start moving pictures at hml. head over to our youtube channel and subscribe! Claire McArdle's show, which we wrote about on Monday is really wonderful. This is just an 8 second stop motion clip - nothing too epic! Brave the rain and get to First Site Gallery RMIT sooner rather than later! RAMONA & BECK



Christmas in May

Yes I was at it again this weekend. I didn't have time to tackle any big projects so I thought just a nice hour on Saturday afternoon would do some some good.

The tag set is for overseas family, the square box for a mug perhaps? the little rectangle is definitely brooch size. I've whisked them into the cupboard - an entire shelf of the linen press is now dedicated to my Christmas projects.

Funny thing is sometimes I have peoples Xmas gift ready before their birthday which is a little out of whack I think. It's my beloved's birthday this week and apart from making him dinner I have nothing planned! eek. RAMONA



It's that time again. I'm heading into RRR this morning to talk up the Claire McArdle show at First Site Gallery, the fantastic Dell Stewart and Adam Cruickshank show Zero Work at Mr Kitly, the affordable art fair Art Melbourne that's on this weekend - and in Beck's absence some lovely things to make and do for friends who are having babies. Listen in to 102.7 at 10:30 am. RAMONA



May Madness

Ok people I do know your feelings on this but really the ladies of HML do tend to get on board the Polar Express pretty quickly. It's a hobby, and everyone needs a hobby right? This wooden wreath is for my lovely cousin J and his wife M - two fabulously stylish people.

I call it my TV craft -perched up at the dining room table watching Masterchef, constantly texting Beck about what we would do with the mystery box ingredients! This wreath did take me a week to do (in 60 minute sessions) but it looks splendid and I can now pack it away for December. RAMONA



Into the Woods
So I'm trying to make some headway into my Christmas list but do you think there is any way I will be able to stop myself from giving Max this little pencil caddy before December?
Decoupaged in October Afternoon paper and chipboard embellishments with totally rockin' woodgrain letter stickers. I think I better do one for Beck too! RAMONA



family tree

For all its commercialism I am quite fond of Mothers Day. It gives me a chance to make my mum something special and she always loves (of course) getting her little handmade gift. I've been doing a lot of paper stuff recently so I wanted to get away from that for a while and add to her wall of little embroidered paintings (you may remember 2009's effort)

Every time I do one of these I have grand plans to paint an entire garden or woodland studded with hundreds of French knot blossoms.

I'm a slow stitcher and perhaps I should start that now in the hope of finishing it for next Mothers day! RAMONA



you have our attention

The ladies of HML noticed a curious trend last week. We kept hearing about this new show by jeweller Claire McArdle. She kept popping up on our facebook pages, blogs, even emails. There was a buzz I tell you! Of course once you see the images you can see why.

Beck and I are suckers for bold jewellery and we are both total block colour junkie so of course the work just sings to us. We are told that tomorrow night the opening will really be the place to be seen as viewers are invited to try on the pieces and prance about a bit like a little theatre with the added bonus bad champagne we hope. Love it!

I'll be there testing out my new Stop Motion animation App. We thought it might be nice to add colour AND movement to HML! RAMONA

RMIT First Site Gallery
360 Swanston Street Melb City
Opening Tuesday between 530 -750
show runs May 10-21



Ground Zero

Tonight at our favourite shop MR. KITLY two of our favourite art/craft/design/fusion maestro type peeps Dell Stewart and Adam Cruickshank are opening their new show ZERO WORK. I have cheekily borrowed this from Dell's excellent dellonearth blog as it explains far better than I the premis for the show - which by the way will of course be all killer no filler.

"You call that work?
The notion of work is much contested. While work is encouraged on all levels and has been a part of human experience for thousands of years (excepting a select few), the recent pursuit of work's other – leisure, pleasure, fun – is constantly foregrounded as a space which is more emotionally and spiritually worthwhile. But is work always in opposition to leisure?  "Work can be zero even when there is a force. The centripetal force in a uniform circular motion, for example, does zero work since the kinetic energy of the moving object doesn't change." – Wikipedia entry on Work (physics). What happens to the notion of work in this instance? The moving object is both working and not working. It exists in a limbo similar to the production of art.
Adam and Dell have produced a range of works for this show at Mr Kitly. Dell's ceramic and fabric works are built partially from the perspective that working is thinking and the dextral, meditative processes involved are simultaneously the work and the leisure. Adam's drawings and Power Candles confront ritualised systems through which we can apparently buy into an easy slipstream of higher states of being, bypassing the need for work."
Nice no?

You can also check out Ramona's Michi - Girl Musings on the show here, and again she's hit the proverbial nail on the head in talking it up.

Me, well, like I said, these two make rockin' stuff, the venue is genius and you'd be a fool (or a heavily pregnant lady who is no longer able to go out after dark) to not to get right on over tonight.



paper rocks scissors

image James Eisen

CURTIN @ Seventh.
Curated by Johann Rashid and his lovely lady Andie Tham, two very well connected peeps on the local indie art scene. Apparently "when not studying film at RMIT, Joh makes film clips, and occasionally hosts tv shows too"... nice work if you can get it! This, his latest project is a free publication called “Curtin” loosely based around artists involved in melbourne's own Curtin House. This exhibition features work from all ten artists involved in the book, all of whom site sourced and found material as the starting point of itheir mage making and technical process. As usual perhaps there is the linking of themes and narratives through juxtaposed high and low brow imagery however this exhibition has promised fun, along with the insider analysis and "conscientious cropping collaging and re-approproptiation" of the found imagery of popular contemporary culture. And people, if the flyer and artists door list at Curtin House is anything to go by this  promises to be quite a treat.

28th April – 14th May at Seventh Gallery
55 Gertrude st, Fitzroy.