Friday, December 16, 2011

Local profile - Grace Carey

I'm friends and colleagues with a number of very talented Gen Y people and Grace is one of them.  I find it ironic that I look Asian yet speak no Chinese (I'm second generation Australian born) meanwhile Grace has blonde hair and blue eyes and speaks Mandarin.  Go figure!  It's one of the things I love about multicultural Melbourne - we are fast becoming a truly global city.  I've had the pleasure of working alongside Grace since the middle of this year - read on for more...
Name: Grace Carey
Occupation: Business manager at The Light Factory Gallery
Lives/works: Eltham/Eltham

How long have you lived/worked here?
I have lived in Eltham, broken by stints living in China and other extended overseas trips, for about 10 years.  I began working at the gallery well before it opened its doors in August 2010. I was present for its conception.
Describe yourself/what you do:
I deal with the business side of The Light Factory Gallery, assist with curating, photography and any odd jobs that need doing.  The gallery has not been open long but it has received such a fantastic response from the public.  It is hugely enjoyable to plan, curate and then open an exhibition, a process that can take months, to then be able to watch and interact with our patrons.  Our exhibitions change roughly every four weeks, with a proper opening on the first weekend, which is always quite the social event.  I feel very fortunate to be able to work in such a wonderful environment and stunning Alastair Knox building.  Art and Alastair Knox- very Eltham.
I very recently graduated from Monash University, so without the gallery, would be another Gen Y vagabond.  I majored in Mandarin Chinese and have been accepted into several masters degrees, so am currently deciding which MBA program structure will suit my academic and professional needs best, as well as allow me the flexibility to continue to travel and also gain more work experience in China.  Next year I will hopefully be able to balance work and study between Melbourne and Beijing.

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

The greenery!  I love returning from overseas and driving through the gateway of trees coming into Eltham - I know that I am home.  We take for granted the space that we have out here and being only 24kms from the city, we have the best of both worlds. Not to mention the Yarra Valley just down the road…

For more information:
Join the gallery mailing list:

The next exhibition opens on Friday 10 February, 2012.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hello from me

Hello to all you lovely readers who've left comments for me on my blog this year (you know who you are).  For some (very technical) reason, I can't comment on my own blog.  At least not until I get someone who's more tech-savvy than me to work out what the problem is.

I just wanted to say thank you - I do read all comments and please email me ( if you're wanting an individual response (if your sign in name isn't linked backed to you).  I will aim to rectify this over the holiday break.

Please feel free to spread the word about my blog - it has been a project of passion these past 12 months - I've realised I've got a lot to say : ) and a lot to share with like-minded people (or not) who live or work in the north east.  Tomorrow's local profile is likely to be my last for the year so I wish you all a very joyful Christmas with those you love and I look forward to catching up with you in the New Year.

Hugs and kisses, Miss R xx

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Some Christmas culture

Miss Rosanna has been out and about the past few days.  Met up with the Banyule Arts and Culture team for Christmas drinks and nibbles at the Banyule Arts Space last night.  Duality - the 2011 Banyule Award for Works on Paper finishes today and the People's Choice Award will soon be unveiled.
Image via Livingstone Community Centre
For those of you thinking of popping into the Ivanhoe Makers Market like me this Saturday, please remember it's now moved to The Livingstone Community Centre around the corner at 1 Livingstone St.  Stay tuned too for news about another design market which may be coming to Banyule in the not too distant future.
Creative Hunger products image via Ivanhoe Makers Market
Took the boys to Wombat Bend in Templestowe for a play today and it was surprisingly quiet so to their delight, we had the flying fox and roundabout swing all to ourselves.  They loved it, the last time we were there it was busier than Bourke Street.  Uncle Matt came with us so we stopped in at Cafe Vue at Heide for a very quick lunch in the courtyard on the way back home.

I didn't go into the Heide store but I'm pleased to say all their beautiful wares will soon be available online.  They've divided their products into Heide library (books), Heide gifts, Heide living (homewares), Heide stationery, Heide garden (eco-friendly/outdoors) and Heide kids and it's also one of my favourite local places to pick up unique gifts with a difference.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wicked self promotion

Miss Rosanna has just joined Bloglovin' - if you do sign up as a follower look for miss-rosanna with a dash because there is another blog called missrosanna in the universe or simply click the the icon on the left hand side of my blog.
Image via Swedish Love Affair
Bit of shameless self promotion here.  If you're interested in a freelance copywriter or PR consultant, feel free to email me: - my rates are $80 - $100 per hour (or cost per project).  I do all kinds of writing - social media, websites, newsletters, brochures, media releases etc as well as marketing/PR strategies and plans (including implementation).  I'm particularly passionate about working with other creative professionals in the local area especially in the arts and culture (lifestyle) arena and I'm lucky to already have two wonderful ongoing clients in The Light Factory Gallery and Wendy's Music.

Secondly, I'd like to promote another new blog called banyuleblogboard - created by two talented locals - photographer Leanne Cole and textile artist Teresa Bennett.  This new blog is a free service created for the arts community living in and around Banyule and is an opportunity for all practising artists to promote their exhibitions, classes or workshops.  Other local organisations and groups can also notify the community regarding any related events or exhibitions that may also fit the bill - there are guidelines regarding how to submit events on the blog.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Wish list

It's been a busy time of year and the past month has been a bit of a blur of social engagements.  Mr R and I had a karaoke party at the Station St Cafe and Wine Bar in Nunawading on Saturday night where we sang George Michael's 'Careless Whisper' imagining we were Kate Miller-Heidke and Paul Dempsey on Rockwiz.  Fun and games.  Also had my annual Kris Kringle with the girls yesterday morning so feeling a bit weary today.
Image via Angus Robertson
If you're still on the hunt for Christmas presents, the Sisters' Market is on this Friday and Saturday in Brunswick.  Rochford Wines in the Yarra Valley also starts its Movies in the Vineyard sessions this Friday if you're wanting to buy your nearest and dearest an experience.  Elk Accessories has a shop at 395 Plenty Road in Preston which a number of the kinder and school mums go to as they often have heavily discounted goodies for sale.  One of my favourite shops - Metroscope in Collingwood - is also selling its beautiful Moroccan and Middle Eastern-inspired wares right up until Christmas Eve.  Other faves include Husk and Little Salon.
Image via Booktopia
My wish list this year is pretty much the same as last year.  I'm still wanting to finish furnishing my house and would love an Art Deco floor lamp, Art Deco bedside tables and an Asian antique cabinet for our living room.  I could be waiting another year given we're on a budget but it's nice to dream.  I've also realised I've got a thing for travel to exotic destinations which has manifested itself in the interiors books I've recently bought - 'Morroco: a sense of place' and Australian interior designer Sibella Court's latest book 'Nomad'.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Local profile - Elwyn and Neville Crawford

Aah...a creative couple who work together.  Gotta love that!  I mentioned that a beautifully framed photo or print always makes a fabulous gift so it's great to know that there is an established framing, manufacturing and restoring business run by professionals with an art background in the local area. By the way 'recherche' means 'elegant' or 'exquisite' - a fitting name for the couple and the business.
Name: Elwyn and Neville Crawford
Occupation: Designer picture framers, manufacturers and restorers.
In 2012, Elwyn will also be an art tutor at the Alphington Community Centre, introducing a course of Art Treats for those who've always wanted to seek out their creative side but maybe have not done so yet.

Lives/works: We live in Eltham where the house continues to be a work in progress, growing somewhat from the tiny weatherboard we purchased in 1969!

We established our business in Templestowe Village Shopping Centre in 1970.  The original business was an art and craft shop in which we stocked mostly with the work of art student friends. This was the time of purple velvet flares and embroidered cheesecloth tops.

It wasn't long however until we put in art and craft supplies and made our first picture frame.  For short periods of time we also enjoyed setting up shop in both Rosanna and Watsonia, but our most major move took place in 2008 to where we are now at 191b Heidelberg Road, Northcote.  This is just opposite the beautiful Yarra Bend Park near NMIT Fairfield.

As we are not in a shopping centre, it feels a bit different however we can, for the first time and to our very great delight, have a showroom as well as all of our machinery together on the one site.
Describe yourself/what you do: 
It's actually rather hard to describe all that we do because it is so varied.  First and foremost both of us are art trained and our work mostly comprises designing and making frames for all varieties of artwork, old documents or old photographs.

We copy and restore old photographs, we replicate or restore old picture frames and act as an advisory service for most things art related including large textiles and canvases. We are also currently producing new products for contemporary artworks and introducing our own styling of some really modern acrylic frames.

We used to have a bit of a saying 'no job too difficult' - well it pretty much still applies!

Best thing(s) about living in Melbourne's north-east:
The green spaces, the trees, the birds, and the neighbourhoods. In our street we started a local residents' association which has been functioning for many decades now.  Activities include street beautification, fire groups, an annual progressive dinner (always a highlight of each year) and at Christmas there is an informal gathering for carol singing timed early enough for the littlies in the street to participate.

Both Eltham Primary School and Eltham High school gave our boys some friends for life even though many of these characters are now scattered world-wide.

For more information:
Twitter:  @rechercheframer
Phone: 9486 1236 (after 10 a.m.) Tuesday - Saturday

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Light me up

Just a reminder that Banyule's Carols by Candlelight at Poulter Avenue Greensborough is being held this Saturday 10 December.  Pre-show entertainment begins at 6.30pm with the stage show on from 7.30 - 9.30 pm.
Image via Wikipedia
The Boulevard Lights on The Boulevard in Ivanhoe also begin this weekend and run until Christmas eve.  Lights are turned on around 8.30pm and stay on until 11 pm.  Keep in mind with daylight savings that it doesn't actually get dark until after 9 pm so if you can go later, the lights are more spectacular.  It's been a tradition in our family to go the past few years although I think the boys are more excited by the flashing light toys on offer than the decorated houses.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The coffee to end all coffees

I've mentioned I'm a member of the Coffee Army.  Survey results are finally in and the winner of the top coffee will be announced in February so stay tuned.
Image via coffeearmy
I was having a look at the list of finalists on the Coffee Army blog and was pleased to see in amongst all the inner city locations that there was a contender in the north east, Indulgent Cakes in Montmorency.  I haven't been there but given it's made the list - think I will be heading there very soon to check out their coffee (and cake!).

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

An eco Christmas

It's hard not to over consume at Christmas time - on everything.  I always think gift cards for experiences (movies, theatre, dinner, itunes music, spa treatments etc), magazine subscriptions, food, photos and memory books and donations to charities like World Vision and Oxfam are always good gifts.  Mr R and I buy World Vision gift vouchers every year for family and one day would like to sponsor a child.  My sister also buys a lot of gifts from the Oxfam shop.

I discovered a fantastic new shop called Eco Ivanhoe in the Ivanhoe Plaza (shop 7B), Livingstone St in Ivanhoe on the weekend.  It stocks all sorts of eco friendly gifts including soy candles, soaps, Christmas decorations and lots of other things that would make wonderful gifts.  I bought a wooden twig style Christmas wreath and will be heading back.  I think I may do a last minute shop there, at Darriwill Farm, Leo's Fine Food & Wine and the Ivanhoe Makers Market.
Earth Greetings Christmas cards
If you are wanting to send Christmas cards there's an eco-friendly company called Earth Greetings who sell online.  My other favourite online retailers include Biome and Blue Caravan.  There's also a home delivery service called Eco Christmas Trees where you can rent live potted Christmas trees for Christmas and avoid chopping down real trees every year or buying plastic ones from China.
Image via Mel:hotornot
Finally I wanted to mention that Nicola Cerini is having a Christmas sale with up to 70% off selected stock if you're able to get to her Abbotsford studio over the next two days.  Happy shopping!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Vue de Melbourne

After experiencing the amazing views from high rise restaurants in Hong Kong, I decided to book dinner some three or four months ago at Vue de monde for Mr Rosanna's birthday which we celebrated on the weekend.  We had a fantastic night out.
We arrived at the Lui Bar on the 55th floor half an hour before dinner and had drinks with all the pretty young things while watching day turn into night as all the lights of Melbourne started twinkling.  The views were superb - I did feel like I could have been in New York or Paris and I'm also sure that's been quite deliberate in terms of the design and feel.

Dinner in the restaurant itself was an exciting, entertaining and fun experience with all sorts of theatrics and a touch of Heston Blumenthal.  Mr R and I each went the four course dinner with a choice of different entrees, mains, a cheese selection and dessert.

From the kangaroo skin lined tables with what looks like a collection of polished rocks on top to the corrugated iron feature wall and ladies toilets with the word 'sheilas' written on the front - Vue de monde is a surprise.  Shannon Bennett has incorporated an Australian theme and while the menu is still French-influenced, a lot of the product is now sourced locally and more sustainable.  Mr R drank Australian beer and wine and 60% of the cheeses we ate were also from here.  As a non drinker I also appreciated the tea sommelier service.
There were all sorts of surprising treats before and during our meal and the service was great - friendly, approachable and unobtrusive rather than intimidating.  It's all very slick from the concierge service when you enter the Rialto building downstairs to being escorted from the bar to the restaurant or toilets.

While I decided to dress up (I wore a black silk cocktail dress by Fleur Wood), dress ranged from casual (some of the diners were in jeans) to glamorous and given it's not as stuffy as most fine dining establishments are (no white tablecloths) - this was fine.

As a Melburnian, I think dining at Vue de monde should be on everyone's wish list.  Was it expensive?  Hell yeah - expect to pay at least a couple of hundred dollars per head.  Was it worth it?  Absolutely.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Local profile - Tracy Margieson

I've got a lot of respect for professional event managers.  In one of my previous lives I used to manage the European and Australian designer collection parades for David Jones in Melbourne which included an A list launch every 6 months - sounds glamorous right?  Hardest job I reckon I've ever had.  Tracy Margieson is a former event manager turned communications professional at Banyule City Council - read on for more about Tracy.
Name: Tracy Margieson
Occupation: Publications & Media Officer, previously the Festivals & Events Officer at Banyule City Council
Works: I was working in Rosanna, and now I am based in Ivanhoe.
How long have you worked here? Worked at Banyule City Council for just over 2 years
Describe yourself/what you do:
I started working at Banyule City Council in 2009 as the Festivals and Events Officer, coordinating the Banyule Festival (Twilight Sounds and the Kids ArtyFarty Fest), Carols by Candlelight, Malahang Festival and the Boulevard Lights. It was such a great job, the department is fantastic and it's an excellent organisation to work for.

An opportunity came up in the Communications Department, and I have now moved to Ivanhoe where I have been working as the Publications & Media Officer. I'm learning so much, and I’m lucky to have another amazing team to work with.

While my position is being advertised, I am coordinating Carols by Candlelight (6:30pm, Saturday 10 December at Poulter Reserve, Greensborough). I'm secretly very happy that I still get to run it – it's one of my favourite events (there will be reindeer, stilt walking candy canes, face painting elves and The Kazoos – how can it not be one of my favourite events?!).

Best thing(s) about working in Melbourne's north-east:
I am not from Melbourne, so I wasn't very familiar with Banyule until I started working here. I love the parks and reserves, particularly Sills Bend - seeing that beautiful, quiet space transformed for the Banyule Festival is a great experience.

I was also lucky enough to work with a lot of local businesses who were sponsoring various festivals and events. They are passionate about Banyule, and their enthusiasm for their community is wonderful. 

Now that I'm based at the Ivanhoe office, I've been trying out the (many, many) cafes and doing a bit of window shopping during lunch breaks.  I'm looking forward to Christmas shopping here!

For more information:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Open House

Christmas is indeed coming and you can officially start hanging your decorations and putting your trees up from today.  I must admit, I've had dilemmas the past few years when it comes to buying things.  I think a lot more about my own consumption - I'm much more conscious of what I buy, where I buy it, where it's made, what it's made of, who made it, whether I really need it and how it impacts the planet.  I find it sits more easily on my conscience if it's eco-friendly, organic, vintage, antique, locally made, hand made or ethically made (fair trade).
Image via The Design Files
So with that in mind, I did want to let you know about two things - The Design Files Open House currently on in Fitzroy for the next four days as well as the Fair@Square fair trade and ethical festival on at Fed Square this weekend.  The Design Files is my all time favourite design blog and products being shown at Open House are all for sale - most have been sourced locally by the very clever Lucy Feagins.  Fair@Square is more a public event promoting sustainability but will also have market stalls as well as music, fashion and art.

Finally, Christmas in Macleod Park is being held tomorrow from 4.30 pm - 10.30 pm at Aberdeen Road in Macleod.  There's a free moving screening of The Search for Santa Paws, an appearance by Santa and lots of other family friendly entertainment put on by the Macleod traders at the village.  For more information call Heidi Crundwell on 0417 580 009.