group hug

Making gifts for boys is actually a bit of a challenge but the ladies of HML have so many of them in their lives it's just something we are now fully committed to. Luckily for me Beck's Mr Max is a happy recipient of my handmade offerings. If you go to Becks you'll see my little bits and bobs all over the place! I had fun making this family portrait matroshka set for M's 4th birthday.

But I promise that his dad doesn't really look at all like Kevin Rudd, and yes the dog is gigantic. RAMONA




the workshop of Rona Green (print hero!)

This is one of those get in quick or you will mist it shows so we are telling you about it today with an extra reminder later in the week to make sure you don't miss it. Industrious showcases the work of the artists who work in the Mercator Building at Abbotsford Convent.

The studio of Nicola Cerini (old friend!)

An incredible mix of jewellers, painters, textile designers, artists and writers have made this an almost utopian hotspot for art, craft and design. As part of the soon to be over Craft Cubed Festival they ll getting together for a all too brief group show that is only open from this Fri to Sun - yeah we told you it was short!

Artist Pip Davey art work (amazeballs)

There are drinks with the artists on Sunday between 2 - 4:30, a nice  way to end the week we think!


Project of the Week

Christmas begins...

Regular readers will know that I go a little, well a lot, crazy when it comes to Christmas. I'd say 99% off my crafting revolves around gift giving. So of course Christmas is my craft Mecca. Beck and I are currently working on 'biggest project ever' and don't have much time for anything else. This year I'm winding down my expectations a little and just making gifts for the kids in my life ( of which there are 14 or so!) and everyone else will have to make do with a hug and a cup of eggnog.

I've started with this little set of blocks for Mister Rueben age 2.5. It's not as easy as I though to come up with a different pattern for six sides!

Did you know there are only 18 weeks til 25th Dec? Scary I know! Can I recommend a hot cuppa and a list this weekend to get organised? Hey I didn't say YOU should cancel Christmas! RAMONA




The photo above is of my Thom posing in a Pussy Riot support balaclava made by the lovely BC. We'll be seeing alot more of these of the coming weeks I suspect in the online craft kingdom and it got the ladies of HML thinking about the events of the past week. We think it is important to remember behind the balaclavas and crazy music are some pretty serious political dissidents who are artists, rockers, mothers and now prisoners.

Beck and I are very different people but both of us would call ourselves proud feminists. We are lucky to live somewhere that our freedom of expression, political opinion and general crankiness about pay inequality and access to safe healthcare doesn't land us in court (trust us, some of the things we'd say about Tony Abbott would have had us behind bars yonks ago!)

We can't tell you who did the matroshkas (they are ace aren't they?) but we love them. As well as the above awesome illustration by Louise Pomeroy

These cookies by blogger Glitter Pissing are pretty foxy too. As crafters, artists, thinkers and makers (all the same thing really!) try and make sense of what happened there will be a lot of cool homemade balaclava action, which we'll all enjoy but let's not forget what its all about.
solidarity fist pump...now.


responsibility of the week

welcome to the jungle

There are some things you just need be a part of. Those of you currently in Melbourne, or who've lived, visited, or have friends, family or lovers hailing from Melbourne will no doubt have intimate knowledge of the very special place RRR has in our hearts. We can't (and don't want to) imagine a world without RRR. Period. Not just a radio station, it's the voice and soundtrack of our community. . It's radiothon time again. And we think you should all pay attention and pay up people And we think you should all pay attention and pay up people. If you, like us, have ever been inspired, educated, illuminated, crafted along with or indeed had your mind blown by something you've heard on the radio now is the time to show your love via your open wallet and/or credit card. So today around 9.45 listen in to the grapevine as we (along with the rest of the regulars) try our darndest to get you to sign up.

In the meantime, we've had a little fun looking through the program guide and pairing up a few of our favourite shows with their craft equivalent. What do you think, have we nailed it or not?

Long Time favourite Johnny Topper's perennially wigged out New and Groovy lead us straight to Macrame, if you need to ask why, you clearly need to listen harder.

Aural Text - another obvious choice  - book carving, folding, and sculpting

Denise Hylands's Twang  - seriously how could we look past the gentle appalachian porch craft of whittling.

My Saturday favourite The Drift is the perfect aural interpretation of neo-tribal surrealist folk collage.

Rob Jan's Zero G, almost too easy, clearly geek craft. Although we're still tossing up as to whether the classic Tom Baker Dr. Who scarf or star wars amigarumi is the most appropriate project.

And Dirty Deeds  - look no further  'so hot right now' Terrariums, and The Architects led us straight to birdhouses, cubby houses and model making.

And finally our very favourite show (and not just cause we're on it or because the ladies in charge are so lovely) The Grapevine. Which we think is the radio equivalent of patchwork - useful, beautiful and made up of lots of interesting parts old and new that are made even more amazing by their proximity and connectedness. ahhhhh. RRR. HAPPY RADIOTHON EVERYBODY BECK & RAMONA


craft crush of the week

hello awesomeness

Yesterday I was lucky enough to hear (amongst a bevy of other great people) the lovely Ebony Bizys, (aka hello sandwich) speak at craft's annual seminar Craft and Design as a Career. Interestingly enough her work pretty much sits right in the aesthetic sweet spot between Ramona and I, which is kind of amazing because as you know when it comes to most things we have very different taste. While I'm a complete Japanophile who loves the stationery, colour palette and special top knot styling of tokyo, Ramona is a keen new school scrapper. But as it happens along with representing our mutual washi tape of choice mt, Ms Bizys also currently has Ramona's dream job - using and promoting the Martha Stewart collection of craft products... and she's so good at it even i'm considering getting on board.

It was really fantastic to hear someone so talented (and delightfully unassuming) speak in such a down to earth fashion about making the big step away from dream job (vogue art director) to following their dream (living and working in tokyo). Made me both inspired and envious!

Unfortunately we both ummed and ahhed about joining one of workshops at both Harvest and Craft for a millisecond too long and they sold out in minutes. I wonder if that makes Hello Sandwich the stationery equivalent of Prince?

Thankfully Ebony is extremely generous on the how to instructions and project ideas on Hello Sandwich, and also has her new book out now - and  being such an avid consumer of japanese craft books she's made sure the instructions are super easy to follow so we wont be defeated by the kanji.

So to all you lucky bunnies who already have or are about to start enjoying your time making stuff with the queen of kawaii - enjoy yourselves thoroughly. We're as jealous as hell!  BECK




the hungry workshop
As you are probably all aware there is a lot of craft related activity going on in melbourne right now. We're currently work-shopping and gallery-hopping our way around town trying to make the most of Craft's annual festivus for the restofus Craft Cubed. Aside from the long list of activites Ramona mentioned on Monday there is something particularly special happening this weekend. This weekend some of Melbourne (and regional victoria) premier artisans are throwing open the doors of their studios and offering punters a peek inside their creative spaces.

 neon succulence - Peaches and Keen
the lovely ladies of Sunday Morning Designs
There is nothing so enlightening or inspiring as seeing the spaces where some of your favourite makers make. For those of you in Melbourne town we suggest spending at least a couple of hours taking advantage of up close and personal access the jewellers, ceramicists, textile artists, designers and letterpressers taking part.

Natalia Milosz-Piekarska at work

We'll be winging our way from Karla Way and Natalia Milosz-Piekarska's Studio Seven Twelve in the Nicholas Building (also having an open day on the 16th and 17th just to confuse things), through Sunday Morning Designs brunswick studio, out to the home of our neon hama bead heroines Peaches and Keen at the Windsor Workshop and finally back to our local heroes The Hungry Workshop in Northcote. No doubt we'll also avail ourselves of many coffees and cakes along the way in some of our favourite cafe's as well.

ceramics by Minna Graham
If you've got a little more time to spare why not make a day of it and head out of town toward regional Victoria's creative hubs of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs and check out the work of longtime hml favourite Bridget Bodenham and new love Minna Graham. We guarantee you won't be disappointed. BECK
Saturday August 18 - all over the place
For the full list of participating peoples check out the list here:  OPEN STUDIOS



Is it that time already? Yup, the ladies of HML are on the radio this morning to talk up the Craft Cubed Festival with the lovely ladies of the Grapevine on RRR102.7 at around 10.15 am. We'll be chatting about what the festival highlight are for us and the can't miss shows of August.

Eddy Carroll
I love the soft sculptures by artist Eddy Carroll, her show at Handheld Gallery last year was one of my favourites. I'm excited to see her work in the tres chic fashion house Dagmar Rousset on Gertrude Street.

We were disappointed that we missed the opening of Needlework Needleplay last Friday. Film Festival and little kids kept us away I'm afraid but we are rushing off to the Brunswick Street Gallery this week to see this amazing group show of contemporary embroidery art.

We gave you a heads up last week about the amazing collaboration based show How The Light Gets In instigated by jeweller Emma Grace at Egetal - still on people and still great! But only until the 18th so chop chop.

And I'll only stop flapping on about David Neale's incredible jewellery when I'm sure my beloved has finally got the message with regard to my birthday next month. So yes we'll be talking about is show Love Letters at Pieces of Eight too. There is so much on at the moment it's a little crazy but how wonderful in the depths of a Melbourne winter to be surrounded by all this craft colour and movement! we approve! RAMONA

Craft Cubed runs until September 1st (spring! yay!)  and you can find out what's on and where HERE



Cultural Exchange Program

The first thing you should do is download the Craft Cubed Festival brochure from the Craft website. There is so much on even we are a little overwhelmed. Of course the ladies of HML love a collaboration so we are really thrilled to see the new show at  E.G Etal  called How the Light Gets In

Emma Grace and Clare James

The wonderful Melbourne jeweller Emma Grace has created a series of pieces and then bravely handed them over to different artists with an invitation to alter, adapt and re-imagine the work using their on aesthetic and skill sets.

Emma Grace & Chaco Kato
Emma left them one single clue: "There's a crack, a crack in everything, that's how the light gets it' by Leonard Cohen. What did the artists make of that I wonder? It made me consider negative space, optimism, growth. This is the kind of show that makes me want to get all the artists in one room so I can barrage them with questions. 

Emma Grace and Nicholas Jones
Our favourite thing about the project is that all the pieces started at the bench of one maker, congratulations to all involved especially the talented Emma Grace! RAMONA

How the Light Gets In is on at EG Etal as part of the Craft Cubed Festival and runs until August 18



breaking the mold

I finally got my hand on some Martha Stewart's Crafter Clay yesterday and let me tell you this stuff is weird.It's not really like clay at all, it's feather light and virtually idiot proof. My kit had clay in white and primary colours, a couple of tools, silicon molds and a cool color mixing chart.

This is a great clay for kids to play with. It's more like a rubber when it dries, very lightweight and easy to mix. It air dries overnight and is pliable and strong. They have some amazing demos on the website of what to do with the little creations 

I've always loved kits as you know, I also love molds! When I was eight I went through a crazy plaster mold phase. My mother still has a couple of stellar examples of my wonky work.I made some little matchbox gift boxes to tuck in Christmas stockings (21 weeks to go crafters!)

My wreath only measure 20cm across
I also made a little august door wreath which is very sweet. Nothing compared to the one Martha made on her show tho! The easiest way to order this stuff is from the usa, the EK SUCCESS site only charged me $5 for postage which proved to be far cheaper than the Aus equivalent.

Martha 1/Ramona 0
I ordered some more this morning. I think I need a bit more practice don't you? RAMONA