Seasons Greetings

Dear HML readers, did you have a good Christmas? We certainly did! It feels like it's been Christmas for months so it's a bit odd having just the remnants about - mince tarts, ham, holiday paperbacks, paper bunting etc. We are going to take the rest of the week off to rest up and spend as much time offline as possible. This strange week, between the two big days is perfect for list makers and lazy bones alike and right now we are a bit of both. We'll be back next Monday with the Show of the Week (and no it won't be Mission Impossible 5) and news of our 365 projects for 2012. Have a lovely week, get outdoors away from your computers and spend time with really lovely people (or on your own which can be a real luxury)
See you on the flip side

Ramona &  Beck x


Last projects of the week

Take note

Friday already! The intern has done her usual last minute flash of handmade inspiration and has made everyone personals notebooks. This is in between cooking gingerbread,eating pizza, watching the Ricky Gervais Show and just generally having a cheery day. I'll need a bit of a nap before writing my finely tuned market list for our 6am trip tomorrow (crab meat! Prawns! Duck!) and it's fish and chips for dinner so I can do the final marathon push to finish Beck's latch hook (not likely of course, always leave my hml co host and BFF until the last minute because I know shell forgive me! Ramona x


Hml gifts of the week

The kids are alright

Above is the train caddy I made for Max. No I didn't jigsaw all that wood, it came all precut. I did however work until the wee hours watching very bad tv with my glue brush and scissors in a decoupage frenzy! We're going to fill it with stationery supplies, hope he likes it.

The Intern is getting a ludicrous amount of gifts this year. She did an amazing job at school and has been a treasure at home so we've all wanted to spoil her. I did get one little handmade element in there - a summer scarf made from old dress remnants. Actually the blue was bought especially to bind baby Finns quilt on the right but I couldn't find the energy to make bias binding so he's getting a far simpler version. Tis festive to say the least! Ramona xx


It's the week!!

Some more handmade gifts

Ok so I've gone a little glitter crazy this year (sue me). The duck, a favourite handmade gift this year resulted in a crazy glitter cloud in the kitchen. The reindeer - very chic colour blocking yes? Now the little place names on easels are for my gorgeous neighbors who are both very artistic (she paints, he makes wooden toys for his grandchildren). More presents tomorrow! Sorry for the lack of posts, we hope you are doing more real life stuff like us. Beck has dubbed it 'Overcommitmas' and she's right! Ramona xx


chips off the old block

After an initial bout of argy bargy with the archigtect on exactly when you put up the tree to maximise christmas day freshness a compromise was wrought - decorations last weekend, tree this weekend. Regular readers know I impose a strict DIY deocration policy at ours which has seen some ridiculously labour intensive and back breaking efforts over the years. So give what a bugger of a year it's been I decided to give us all a break and go to Ikea. Unfortunately this seems to be the only year that they've not come up with the goods, so it was back to the drawing board (literally) and off to the paper chain station for us all because this years decorating theme is going to be PAPER.

Having an added deadline of getting my half of the christmas present done for the lovely ladies of the RRR's Grapevine I got to work on Sunday. Lucky, because Donna and Kulja presented us with biscotti SO delicious I managed to inhale them over coffee in about three minutes. But I digress.


Thankfully i've spent a little time collecting paint chips over the last few months so was able to put my oversize circle punches to work for an hour or so and squeeze out as many circles as I could in readiness for sewing.

There is definately an art to sewing paper without you're bobbin going bananas, so i've learnt (the hard way) it's best to keep the tension low and the stich size at medium and just keep feeding the paper through gently and evenly. Oh and don't do what I did and forget to fill the bobbin before you get started. And if you don't want your tree, mantle or christmas spread to look like it's sponsored by Dulux and Taubmans feed through two circles at at time with the colour facing out. Another hot tip discovered in hindsight.

The result couldnt be cheerier or cheaper. An just think if you too become possesed by the spirit of Tonia Todman you can even colour co-ordinate your garland to match your napery, accent cushions or special Christmas outfit. Way-Hay! Next stop, cut out snowflakes. BECK



radio cheerio
Well we are in the home stretch now! We must be because we've already started thinking about new years resolutions and revolutions and we haven't even got our trees decorated. This last two weeks we all go into survival mode as it all tends to get a little crazy. Both the ladies of HML will be on RRR this morning at 10:30am talking up last minute make-up gifts, not to be missed markets and Christmas Craft Calamities with the Grapevine ladies Donna and Kulja.

Right up to Christmas Eve we'll be featuring a number of local destinations for craft lovers, because lets face it NO-ONE deserves to be in Chadstone this time of year. We've just discovered Perimeter Books up on High Street Thornbury and reckon this small press bookstore is a treasure trove of Santa sack options (hint hint) .

Dare we mention another pop up shop has opened for Christmas, although this one boasts a particularly crafty crew curated by some of our very favourite melbourne makers (cheers Dani and Steve!) in their new Dead and Buried studio digs in the Nicholas Building. Just like it's name suggests the buzz is goodies at The Quick and The Dead are fast being snapped up. We have our eyes on a couple of doozies  (like these Turd Circus salt and pepper shakers) and are hoping to make it in before someone else makes off with them.

We are also pretty excited about Gleaners Inc first exhibition, especially because it's celebrating the iconic flying duck, much needed 'refreshments' will be on hand AND there's a 10% discount on offer in the shop opening night - we'll definately be joining in on the kitsch craziness.

New Thornbury neighbors and uber denim Mavens M.T.O even have a backyard "Gypsy fair" on offer this Sunday (18th) with clothes, records, preserves, sweeties, handmade goodies, hair wraps plants and a BBQ. For peeps wishing to do their Christmas shopping in the most laid back of atmospheres.

Of course the highlight of the week for us will be the Harvest Market on Sunday. This year clearly too many markets, pop up shops, sales, open houses are not enough! Listen in for more inspiration, conversation, and more merry madness. Stay hydrated people and pack another shopping bag! RAMONA & BECK


Apology of the Week


For one reason or another I have had a terrible week. Plagued with irritation, illness and professional disappointments the last thing I've wanted to do is blog. Beck too, is snowed under with a crazy work/family/illness combo that has seen the ladies of hml disappear for a couple of days. I have managed to make some glittery baubles for friends, tags using my Martha kit and some Christmas cards using old cards, vintage imagery, wrapping paper, stickers,craft stock and yes Glitter glitter glitter. Hope the season is treating you all well so far! Ramona.



Projects of the Week

Scrappy do

One of Thom's grandmas lives in England so we have to get her gift in the post today. All she wanted was photos of the family so ramped that idea up and made her a calendar and a little mini book. The calendar came as a blank for me to embellish and let me tell you it took far longer than expected - 3 movies worth (Shane, Let Me In, and the truly terrible Wall St 2)The rocket book was a kit I bought back in august and I think it's hilarious. Hope she likes them! RAMONA



Media appearance of the week

Spreading the word

I'm on 774 ABC radio this morning at 9am. Someone dobbed me in as a craft crazy Christmas elf. I'll be taking calls, like some glittered craft superhero flying into the airwaves to save the day! Good grief.... RAMONA


show of the week

Fresh Crop

I was really pleased I got to see the opening of Fresh at Craft Victoria last night. both the hml ladies have served terms on the committee and we can attest to the hard work and thought that goes into putting this show together. Running around seeing 35 grad shows sounds like fun but to be honest it's a logistical nightmare! The twelve chosen this year are all really interesting. We can debate art v craft I guess but I'm bored with all that.

Best in show for me was gossip between the beautiful enamelled copper vessels by
Wendy Korol or the amazing oversized brooches by Allonah Goren - both RMIT Gold and Silversmithing graduates.

On a festive note I thought I'd let you all know (as you are all endlessly fascinated with my Christmas obsession - not) I did finish the Advent calendar just in time to open the first drawer at 10:53 pm! Ridiculously complex project for me and I'm so pleased it's done! RAMONA


Project of the week

Unleash the beast

That's it people. It is now the 1st December so the Christmas gag is officially lifted! The Intern and spent some high quality craft time together last night and completed the 17 kids decorations for 2011. a marathon 4 hour effort! When I started my tradition of making these a few years ago for the smallest members of my circle there were only 5 to do! I went for a crazy multicolored individual look this year - I'm over my cookie cutter approach to it. They are very jaunty don't you think? RAMONA

I should be showing you my advent calendar but it's final coat of paint still needs doing! Hopefully by tonight it will be ready to roll. If youd like to see what I did last year for kids decorations you can go here