Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Flutter by

If you love butterflies, there's a book signing event being held at Edendale Farm in Eltham from 2.30 - 4.30 pm this Sunday.  'A Flutter of Butterflies' by Michael Braby and Penny Olsen is a showcase of illustrations of Australian butterflies and moths held by the National Library of Australia.
Image via Northern Territory Library
You're invited to enjoy some refreshments and meet Michael Braby.  Entry fee is $5 which includes refreshments and book signing.  Bookings at the Eltham Bookshop or please email: elthambookshop@bigpond.com

Remember if you're there with kids, you can also park at the Eltham North Adventure Playground and wear them out on the way to the farm...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Yummy Yum Cha

Mr Rosanna and I had yum cha at Golden Dragon Palace in Lower Templestowe over the weekend and I have to say, the food there is still pretty good.  It was absolutely packed.  We met our Greek nanny Maria and her family there and it was their first time eating yum cha.

Both sides of my family have been involved in the Chinese restaurant industry for many years.  In fact, two of my uncles still have restaurants in Chinatown and my paternal grandfather came to Australia as a chef for Melbourne's 1956 Olympics so eating good Chinese food is something deeply ingrained in my psyche!
Image via Mel:hotornot
Yum cha literally means 'drink tea' and this Asian brunch is traditionally held on Sundays usually with a late morning and early afternoon session.  Waiters wheel trollies full of of steamed and fried dumplings, pork buns, rice noodles and other savoury dishes as well as sweets at the end like the ubiquitous egg tart, mango jelly, coconut jelly and steamed sponge cake.  There was even an Asian version of a bomboloni (Italian custard donut) on Saturday.  Dishes are placed on a lazy susan in the middle of the table for people to spin around and help themselves - it's a great way for family and friends to catch up.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Local profile - Rina Chia

I've always loved fashion and as I've got older, my tastes have evolved to a love of eco and vintage fashion for all sorts of reasons - environmental and otherwise.  And I always find it inspiring to hear about female entrepreneurs.  Rina Chia is the founder of the travelling Take 2 Markets - read on for more.

Name: Rina Chia
Occupation: Managing Director - Take 2 Markets (T2M)
Lives/works: Live in Mont Albert, Take 2 Markets in Preston and Northcote

How long have you lived/worked here?
Have lived in Mont Albert for the past 12 years.  My work takes me here and there – Hawthorn, Geelong West and in the north-east to Preston and now Northcote.  Hopefully, interstate soon too!

Describe yourself/what you do:
I have always loved recycled fashion - from my days as an impoverished student when I had no money to buy at boutiques and retail stores, I found great clothes at op shops and garage sales and developed my own style which wasn't reliant on the latest trends.
Friends would ask where I shopped and couldn't believe that I found the things I had in op shops.  They're not surprised that I now make a living doing what I love.  I love that fashion can have more than one owner and hearing stories about where people wore this frock or those shoes.  Not only is recycled fashion good for the wallet, but also for the planet.

I love running T2M events as I get to meet so many wonderful people and shop!  I really encourage women to experiment with their shopping and secondhand shopping is a wonderful experience - the best part is that you never know what you might find.  I love the fact that T2M helps women make and save money. Since 2007 we've proved that you don't need to spend a fortune to look fantastic.  I am also a regular contributor to a money saving website and have made several public speaking appearances in the City of Boroondara.  I love fashion and going out, but I also love a quiet night at home out with my gorgeous boys (husband and two kids!).

Best thing(s) about living/working in Melbourne's north-east:

in the 1990s I lived in North Fitzroy and just loved it – the close proximity to the city, the cafes, bars and restaurants just a stroll away.  I loved the diversity of the area – students, immigrants, the old and new guard all living side by side. Then I fell in love with a wonderful man who lived down by the bay..... and the rest is history!  I am no stranger to the north-east as I regularly shop in the area and meet up with friends.

For more information: 
Mobile: 0413 246 559
Email: rina@take2markets.com.au
Website: www.take2markets.com.au
Twitter: @take2markets
Facebook: www.facebook.com/take2markets

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A very berry Christmas

The annual Strawberry Fair is on this Saturday 26 November from 9.30 am - 2.30 pm at the Rosanna Uniting Church in Arden Crescent, Rosanna.  On offer will be a white elephant stall, toys, cakes, crafts, books, plants and I gather...strawberries.  Ice creams, morning tea, lunches and a BBQ will also be available for sustenance and there's Tim Ellis the Mad Hatter magician and mini golf for the kids.  Magic shows are on at 10.45am and 12.30 pm and are $3 or $10 per family.
Image via Go for your life
Speaking of food, the inaugural Reservoir Farmers Market also starts this Sunday from 9 am - 1 pm at 60 Merrilands Road in Reservoir and will be held on the fourth Sunday of every month (excluding December 2011).

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wired for sound

I've previously featured the very talented Cara-Ann Simpson as a local profile.  She's got a new project called Geo Sound Helmets - a breath-controlled interactive sound installation which opens at the Kings ARI gallery in King Street this Friday from 6 - 9 pm.  If I didn't have the kids I'd be moseying along as I think she's one of the more edgy young artists around town doing new and different things.
Image via caraannsimpson.com
If you are interested in attending please email Cara at: cara@carannsimpson.com and mention this blog.  Please note that Kings ARI gallery is not wheelchair accessible.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


No it's not the movie I'm talking about.  It's the night markets that are about to start, or have already started, in the lead up to Christmas.  The Coburg Night Market started last Friday and is actually run by the Queen Victoria Market.  It's on every Friday from 5.30 - 10 pm at Bridges Reserve in Coburg until 23 December.
Image via Northcote Town Hall
The Kris Kringle Night Market at Northcote Town Hall starts this Thursday and will be held every Thursday evening also from 5.30 - 10pm until 15 December.  Entry to both markets is free and you can hopefully snaffle up some locally made pressies and enjoy a great shopping atmosphere.

Lastly, the Queen Victoria Night Market is currently being held on Wednesday nights from 5.30 - 10 pm right up until 29 February 2012 (excluding 28 December 2011).  Lots of yummy food and entertainment on offer as well but be warned, it does get very crowded as darkness descends.  Entry is also free.

Monday, November 21, 2011

From a jaded Chinese princess

Mr Rosanna and I went to Rochford Wines in the Yarra Valley on Saturday to see Cold Chisel (told you I was in touch with my inner bogan).  We've previously been there a couple of other times - one of the highlights was seeing Norah Jones play on a balmy Summer evening a few years ago.
Image via A day on the green
Given it rained most of Saturday, our experience this time around was slightly more moist - the grounds looked like something out of the Glastonbury Music Festival - a total mud bath with most punters in ponchos and gum boots.  A slightly different crowd too - let's just say it was a lot more...ahem...real.  Including the biffo that broke out in front of us that saw a couple dragged away by security.
Image via A day on the green
We still had a great time - always feel very patriotic listening to Cold Chisel and Jimmy Barnes' voice never ceases to amaze me.  The highlight was an acoustic version of When the War is Over dedicated to Cold Chisel's drummer Steve Prestwich who tragically passed away earlier this year.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tea and sympathy

Image via Bundoora Homestead
The Bundoora Homestead Art Centre is currently taking contributions for its annual Teacosy exhibition called 'Teacosy Tales' being held in May 2012.  Probably a bit warm today to be thinking of knitting (or stitching, felting and crocheting for that matter ) but it's nice to know funds raised go towards the Cancer Council Victoria.  Contributions are required by 20 April 2012.  For more information contact: pansypatches@yahoo.com.au

Image via NTA Tourism
The Nillumbik Artists Open Studios event is also being held this weekend (19/20 November) and next (26/27 November) and includes 40 artists from 26 studios from a variety of disciplines including painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics, jewellery, textiles and photography.  Open between 11 am - 5 pm - more information at www.artistsopenstudios.com.au

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Happy birthday

to Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen which turned 30 last weekend.  Heide is one of my fave places to go in the area - great exhibitions by leading contemporary artists, amazing food at Cafe Vue and the wonderful garden and grounds outside where my boys love running around.
Image via Heidelberg Theatre Company
Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas also opens at The Heidelberg Theatre Company today and runs until 3 December.   It's set in a tiny Welsh seaside village called Llareggub and is about the dreams of its colourful residents and the town's awakening.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In the know

I've been out on the road locally today.  If you're into all things crafty - there's a pretty slick looking needlework shop called Lazy Daisy which has opened across the road from Rosanna library in the side street (same block as Byzantine restaurant).
Image via Lazy Daisy Needlework
Secondly I wanted to mention a cafe in Camberwell that got a write up in yesterday's Age Epicure.  The Collective Espresso & Kitchen is at 1/3 Cookson St near Camberwell station and the owners are ex-staff from Las Chicas cafe in Balaclava.  Like Miss Marie in Rosanna, they use a Synesso machine and Five Senses coffee.  Will be making a beeline for it if I'm in the area any time soon.

Speaking of coffee, I also wanted to say that All Appliances on Burgundy St in Heidelberg is our 'go to' place for umm...all appliances.  I've been there to buy a new toaster, vacuum cleaner bags for our Miele cleaner, have our electronic bathroom scales looked at and more recently, buy a replacement part for our Breville coffee machine after I inadvertently threw the original part into the rubbish bin.  One day Mr Rosanna and I would like to buy a Rancilio 'Sylvia' machine from Mocopan but the Breville machine's been pretty good in the mean time.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The geese are getting fat

I mentioned Christmas was coming yesterday and if, like me, you're into books, I reckon a really inspiring cook book is always a winner for the foodie in your life.
Image via Angus Robertson
Speaking of which, the Eltham bookshop is holding an event this Thursday night to launch the Gingerboy: Creative Street Food book along with chefs Teague Ezard and Chris Donnellan at Vanilla Orchid Thai Restaurant in Warrandyte.  You're invited to wear flowers in your hair and join them for a Singapore Sling and two course dinner featuring recipes from the book plus receive a $20 gift voucher from Vanilla Orchid with every purchase of the book.  Cost is $25 for welcome dinner, drink and chef's talk - prepaid bookings are essential.  Contact the Eltham Bookshop or Vanilla Orchid Restaurant to book.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Still looking

Well I'm back from 10 glorious days in Queensland and feeling pretty relaxed as we count down to Christmas.  A tip if you do head up north at any stage during the year, Spring Racing Carnival time (in Melbourne) is a good time to go in terms of consistently good weather up there.  Just make sure you go before the bluebottles and schoolies descend on the beach!
First thing to mention is the Hilary Jackman 'Still looking' exhibition currently on at The Light Factory Gallery at 21 Brougham St in Eltham until 4 December.  She's a long established painter whose still life art work plays around with glass refraction and complementing her work is Ruth Allen's 'Point of least resistance' glass sculpture exhibition.
Secondly, Sophia Szilagyi is this year's winner for the 2011 Banyule Award for Works on Paper.  Her work in the Duality exhibition is on show at at the Banyule Arts Space at 14 Ivanhoe Parade Ivanhoe until 14 December.  Entry is free to all exhibitions.  Check websites for opening hours.

Nb. Miss Rosanna is The Light Factory Gallery's freelance PR consultant