word up


This weeks craft find had to be wrestled out of my brother Matt's hands with a ridiculous amount of begging, pleading and freshly made pesto bribery.

You see he too had headed north to the magical op-shopping heaven that is Hervey Bay and snaffled a swag of excellent objects which he said he'd be donating to HML. Of course in the cold light of day (or was that the sweltering heat of a Melbourne weekend) he decided that he wanted to keep them for himself - although how they are going to fit in with the 70's teak bachelor pad meets futuristic vinyl record emporium look he has going we'll never know.

Thankfully he finally consented to a temporary loan, just long enough to let us photograph them as our 'Gothic Victoriana meets contemporary kitsch' themed craft find of the week.

Amazingly we realised that our mutual love for the CAMEO wasn't limited to the traditional framed ladies of the long neck as seen in the plastic incarnation above; we were also both massive fans of another Cameo - one with a special penchant for the leather codpiece and fade cut.

word up indeed.



SHOWS OF THE WEEKYes folks it's that time of year again. fashion Festival hits us with full force next week so one half of hml is dusting of the Manolos (or is that birkenstocks...) while the other is busy packing for a jaunt to Tokyo (lucky Beck!) .
Quite frankly the latest from Wayne Cooper and Allanah Hill doesn't interest us in the slightest (they don't like us so why should we like them?) but this year the cultural program really kicks some goals and there are some cheeky coattail riders like the show at

Bus (from their media release)

From the sublime to the ridiculous. 20 Melbourne Artists! Experienced tailors and needle nicks as well as some people who have never even paid more than 50 cents for a frock have answered the call of Patrick O'Brien (bus) to create something that means fashion, couture, costume.

Kind of coinciding with the Melbourne fashion festival, Bus is where you will see the real cutting edge of what all the kids will be wearing...... in about 10 years time..... maybe.

Bus 117 Lt Lonsdale St Melbourne 3000 http://www.bus117.com

(opening this Tuesday 6-8pm)

Part of the official program includes a hot ticket at SOMEDAY in Curtain House Swanston St -Hml fave Irene Grishin-Selzer's much anticipated installation of sculptural work in their newly configured space. You can catch a V.I.P viewing this thursday between 7-9pm - we'll be there drooling over those ceramic skulls. Her work is there from the 1st of 12th of March. Don't miss this rare opportunity to see what the genius behind Iggy & Lou Lou creates when the work goes 3 dimensional - stunning.


hoot hoot


Something has happened. We think we are on the verge of turning into ladies who collect owl figurines. Is that so bad? We don't think so. We have it on good authority that owls aren't as smart as they look (bit like us really) but we still think that they know something we dont (like which lodge Agent Dale Cooper really resides in).

see what we mean...

owly goes large

Our show of the week is completely self serving. Ramona (ie me!) has pulled out all stops and put her entire greeting card range and some original owly paintings in the window of Craft Victoria. It's only when you have the chance to line up an entire years worth of work that you begin to realise why your so tired! It looks a treat (even if I do say so myself!) and the hml ladies would love you to see it.


out of africa


You may know the name or beautiful textile work of melbourne based designer Nicky Gabriel... what you may not know is that she, her sister Val and friend Carmel are the great granddaughters of the famous Great White Zulu Chief John Dunn hml thinks this is quite a formidable family tie. Chief John Dunn was both a friend and ally of Zulu King Cetshwayo, and awarded John 49 Zulu wives and 1000 hectares of land in the Zulu Kingdom... that's a pretty big pat on the back! As the ladies are self described "failed Zulu Princesses" and non starters in the obligatory series of tests of booty shake and pot on head balance that would let them claim their tiara's they decided to put their existing talents in marketing, entrepenuring and textile design togehter and open a store to showcase contemporary african craft and design. It's truly a fantastic shop and is called ShweShwe. According to Nicky "We named our shop, "Shweshwe" after the fashionable wax coated fabric of Africa. We loved the nuance of it's meaning, "the sound the cloth makes when you walk". Really what could be better.
SHWESHWE is at 210 brunswick street fitzroy and well worth a visit, make sure to check out the the excellent food wrapping neckpieces, giant felt 'rocks' and plastic bottle top window treatments. Genius.


new romantics

You know we here at hml don't usually go in for big overly commercial holdiays with all the trimmings (ok so clearly that's a lie) and particularly not ones named after Roman matyrs that include crappy bunches of over-ripe roses and really bad poetry in hallmark cards as part of their celebration rituals... that said however, this year we thought what the hell, everyone else is getting on board so why don't we. One of us came to the party with a beautifully romantic range of cards for lovers only and the other managed a heart shaped arrangement of rose petals and book on Frank Lloyd Wrights 'Falling Water ' for her beau ... not a bad effort for two dyed in the wool valentine humbugs.

Typically however, in true hml fashion, we managed to flip the shopping schedule and concentrate our attention on crafty romantic treats perfect for us while on the hunt for presents for our significant others... not that we're dropping any hints.
Katrina Weber's heart shaped vintage clutches, Anne Weckart's black hearted brooches and IG Design valentine magnets (the perfect accompanyment to a fridge full of champagne and chocolate) would all do the job quite nicely. So now let's see what we actually end up with...
oh and a happy valentines day to you all.


cable gal

This weeks craft find comes straight out of Africa. these big bold basket/bowls were made by Sth african artist Hlengiwe Dube (that's her on the right with Lucy Irvine) during her residency in Australia as part of the Common Goods project last year. HML was lucky enough to snaffle a few of them up during the event. Who'd have thought the humble telephone wire could be used to such creative effect. Apparently the cable is such a hot commodity in sth africa that people have been known to tear down phone lines just to get their hands on the raw materials... watch out Telstra!


dress to impress

Well as the annual Melbourne L'Oreal Fashion Festival is fast approaching all our thoughts turn again to our wardrobes. Thankfully this year we have someone near and dear in the drivers seat of the cultural program (hi Kate!) and expect to be zhoozshing ourselves nightly at opening events, champagne glass in hand and kitten heels clicking. However while we wait for the fun to start in the city there is something else we fauz fashionistas at hml can't wait to see...

Walala Wasala: the fabric of African politics, features textiles from Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tunisia, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Zanzibar. According to the info available "Reflecting the vibrancy and diversity of the continent, this distinctively African method of communication provides an on going record of what is considered significant in the context of a particular time and place offering valuable insights into some of the changes occurring in modern Africa. Most of the designs represented are commemorative with subjects including African Heads of State, sporting heroes, international celebrities, religious figures and essential commodities like clean water, electricity and houses, which things still denied to most Africans." Sounds unmissable.

We love that this exhibition manages to bring our love of fashion and politics together without the merest mention of Amanda Vanstone's shirts (as bad as her politics), Natasha Stott-Despoja's 'youthquakin' Doc Martins or Julia Gillards mighty morphing power haircuts... Personally we here at hml think the 'i'm with stupid' t-shirt is the perfect garment de jour for the current australian political climate.

We'll be posting some real photos from the exhibition after our visit, until then take in the uber cool collegiate styling of Mr Nelson Mandela.

Walala Wasala: the fabric of African politics
February 16 – March 25
Bundoora Homestead 7-27 Snake Gully Drive, Bundoora 3083 (enter from Prospect Hill Drive) tel: (03) 9466 9628 fax: (03) 9466 9627


If I had a hammer...

Well it really has all been about the built enironment this week, and yesterday we showed you our imagined perfect environ made even better with the addition of Shula's lap pool...I cant believe left both that and the rooms full of marshal amps and turntables out... silly really. Today we decided to show you what has been happening in our real built environment. As you can see from this photo, Beck's really one for home improvement, even from a young age her love of carpentry knew no bounds, just look at how much she's enjoying herself.
Last weekend Mr M, the in-house architect had plans to tear a hole in a wall at hml HQ (yay says Beck, more sanding...) and while he was at it, decided to build a stairway to heaven ...well to be honest not quite heaven, actually just the kitchen. The photo below shows you where things are now... but give us a week or two and it will be finally finished and we'll all be able to breathe a non plaster-dust filled sigh of relief!


if you build it they will come

I Built It Myself

The HML staff can often be found staring longingly at abandoned factories wishing for our lotto balls to drop (ahem). With unlimited funds we'd not just have a virtual empire but a bricks and mortar one as well. We'd hire Mr M as our master architect, we'd have endless rows of industrial sewing machines, work benches, studio spaces, rooftop garden, childcare centre, a library, a gallery, a shop, and a very big tv and buckets of fabric and wool and paint and beads and and and...well yes and beer.

We'd invite you all of course!


master architects

WEBSITE OF THE WEEK Ok so we have to confess we are a big fan of the kooky three minute perfect pop tune almost as much as we love te 18 minute death metal epic (let's face it our musical taste is pretty diverse). Sometimes we like a band so much we are typical fans and check out their website. Australian indie pop meisters Architecture in Helsinki have a happy online home that is tres crafty and easy to get lost in. With beautful illustrations, music samples, a gallery and our fave bit - a video section. Feeling blue? Watch the magnificent video for 'Like a Call' it's bound to cheer you up.

Architecture in Helsinki




Small things amuse small minds it would seem. One half of HML is lucky enough to be gettin hitched to an architect (handy! resourceful! neat!) and one of the greatest benefits are the array of building related gadgets that make it into the hml staff room (ie Becks kitchen). Mr M may not be so happy when he discovers we've been using his Disto to measure the distances between the dog and the tv (4.3 metres) but hey is there anything cooler than that little red laser light?

Really we are more little wooden ruler gals (hence the going ga ga over the hi tech disto wonder). We think american jeweller Amy Pfaffman is too -check out her earrings - you may not be able to measure the distance between the cornice and the skirting board - but really perhaps that is best left to the experts...


Build em up


When is a building not a building? when is a room not a room? Perhaps when it is built within another building and another room? Intrigued? So are the ladies of hml who are heading to that bunker of delight - the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art - to see UK artist Mike Nelson confound and and challenge us in his maze -like installation 'Lonely Planet'. Those of you, like us, who fondly remember the Melbourne Biennale held in the old Telstra Building (yes that one - where it lost all the money and could never be staged again - still was amazing tho) will get right into this environment. It's art as full body experience, much like good (and bad) architecture.

It's a built environment week here at hml, better get out the levels and measuring tapes and watch Belly of an Architect again...

Lonely Planet runs til Feb 25


cardboard crazy

Well dear readers I have finally managed to finish the cardboardy floral range of cards - after much consternation and procrastination (it's amazing how riveting the one day cricket series can become when I have work to do). Y'all the first to see them and I think given that I was using ripped up boxes, cheap arse five dollar paint and absolutely no affinity with Mother Nature I did quite a bang up job. Now back to the cricket...