Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Festivals galore's officially the last day of Summer (and a leap day ladies!) and the festival season is just about upon us.  Sadly, tickets to Warrandyte World's Longest Lunch (as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival) this Friday have already sold out however I think there may still be tickets to the Hurstbridge Farmers' Market Picnic being held on Sunday at Ferguson's Paddock in Hurstbridge.  Tickets are $35 for a savoury platter and $25 for a dessert/sweets platter.
Image via
Mr Rosanna and I have taken the train out to Hurstbridge before with the boys.  If you do go, it's worth stopping in for a coffee at Bridges Restaurant (which was also commended by The Coffee Army).  There's also an interesting jewellery, textiles and art shop called Oku Den which I've popped into before and found very difficult not to buy anything!  Hurstbridge is a lovely place to visit and I can understand those wanting a rural life and more peaceful existence moving there.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Of love and luck

There are a couple of Asian movies which remind me of my own family.  One is Eat Drink Man Woman and the other is The Joy Luck Club, which is showing at 7 pm tonight (followed by supper) at the Heidelberg Theatre and presented by The Heidelberg Film Society.

Image via Wikipedia
The Joy Luck Club is written by Asian American author Amy Tan who has written a number of other books.  Another great book is Wild Swans by Chinese writer Jung Chang which was based on her own life and published in the early 1990s - it has become a bit of a classic in many people's homes.
Image via Wikipedia

Monday, February 27, 2012

Honourable mentions wet is it today?  I don't mind it after the scorcher we had over the weekend - it's nice to get some rain.

A few things I wanted to mention today.  After we had our cushions made up the other week, I actually bought inserts for them from Over Stocks and Over Runs on Burgundy Street in Heidelberg.  I have previously bought sheets there and they also stock some very stylish looking cushions and towels if you're in the area and wanting to stock up on manchester.
Image via Bev Matheson blog
Also wanted to mention a few other cafes (besides Miss Marie!) in the area which were rated highly by The Coffee Army - Aura in Lower Templestowe, Coco Maya in Heidelberg,  Snow Pony in Balwyn and the Warrandyte Cafe in...Warrandyte.

Image via Business Chic blog
Finally, another interesting fashion blog called BusinessChic run by Cheryl Lin who is running 'The Black Dress Project'.  Her aim is to wear the one black dress (by Australian label Bento) to work once a week for one year in 52 different ways.

Friday, February 24, 2012

All White

Well Miss Rosanna went to Mr Bianco in Kew last night for dinner and had a great time.  The food, and service, was excellent.  It's not cheap but the place has a lovely ambience and style about it and has replaced the former Italian restaurant Svago that was previously there.  Just watch out for the somewhat slippery walk out to the toilets.  Thumbs up - I would definitely go back there again for a meal.
Image via Cold Snap website
The festival season is just about upon us and there's lots happening this weekend.  The Eltham Jazz Food and Wine Festival is on this weekend in Eltham and enjoying its 10th year.  The Monty Farmers Market is on tomorrow from 9 am - 1 pm and includes over 20 stalls held at Montmorency Primary School, Rattray Rd and Sylvan St.  The first Take 2 Market in Northcote is also being held on Sunday from 10 am.  One famous stall holder will be Candice DeVille - vintage style queen and writer of the extremely popular blog Super Kawaii Mama.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

My addiction

Well the winner of Melbourne's best cafe as decided by The Coffee Army was announced yesterday - Auction Rooms in North Melbourne (near where my mum grew up!).  There were also four runners up including two other cafes on this side of town Proud Mary in Collingwood and Three Bags Full in Abbotsford.  Of them all, I've only been to Three Bags Full but I do have to say the coffee's pretty good.  And of course I'm still wanting to try coffee at Indulgent Cakes in Montmorency given they were also commended.
Auction Rooms cafe image via Mel:hotornot
Just wanted to mention a couple of other things that are on today - Gaia Night is being held at Bulleen Art and Garden from 6 - 8 pm tonight.  Will be a lovely night for some live music, drinks, nibbles, walks and talks.  There's also a sustainable transport workshop on tonight from 6.15 - 9 pm at Banyule Arts Space.  Register online at, call 8470 8373 or email

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A beautiful mind

So I finished my 6 week meditation course last night (and it does continue for another 6 weeks if I choose to go).  Has it been helpful?  Yes.  I will say though like with anything, you need to make it part of your lifestyle and make time for it so that it becomes a habit.  I also think if you're not used to stilling your mind (and stopping thinking) you will find it more challenging.  For me having done yoga for a long time, with its emphasis on breathing and focusing, I have found meditation relatively easy to get into.
I think it also helps if you know a little bit about Buddhism (or are open to finding out a bit more) and some of its concepts.  For me, it's simply about training your mind to achieve a state of inner peace - an equilibrium where you are constantly content and less likely to be affected by things that happen to you externally, a kind of re-setting if you like and changing how you interpret the world and its events (including how to deal with negative emotions like anger and others if you continue along the path).

We tend to spend so much of our leisure time focusing on physical exercise for the body but don't do this for our minds.  The other thing I didn't realise with meditation is that it is THE tool by which Buddhists use to reach a state of inner calm.  There are other rules which apply to the body and speech as well if you are a practising Buddhist but meditation is key.

Image via Melbourne City Meditation website
If you are interested, there is a learn to meditate one day course being held in the Edinburgh Gardens room in North Fitzroy this Saturday 25 March.  Online bookings are essential.  Tickets are $65 and include refreshments and vegetarian lunch.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


One of the best things about Melbourne is our live music scene.  I come from a family of musicians amongst other things so music has always been, and will always be, an ongoing part of my life.  A National Slam Day all ages gig is being held at Thornbury Theatre this Thursday night.  Slam stands for 'Save Live Australian Music' and came out of last year's rally which saw 20,000 people march through Melbourne protesting against a Victorian government policy which linked live music and violence.
Image via Slam Rally website
This year's national event celebrates our local musicians in small venues.  The Thornbury Theatre line up includes Rudely Interrupted, The Darjeelings, Diamonds of Neptune, Daydream Arcade, Rosie and George and The High Society.  Tickets are $10. Doors open at 6 pm with shows starting at 6.30 pm.  If you've got older kids, this would be a great event to go to.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Hitting the streets

We picked up our cushions from Finer Home Furnishings on the weekend and I'm really pleased with them.  It's hard to tell from the pics but they look great and have a raspberry coloured backing to mix things up a little.  We love our lounge room which seems to be the only room that stays toy-free these days.

Our speakers have also died on us so Mr Rosanna and I headed to Carlton Audio Visual yesterday to buy some new ones.  Couldn't work out why it was so crowded and then realised it was the Carlton Football Club's family day.  Still it was lovely taking refuge under some trees while the boys played and even better grabbing some Argentinean ice cream after Mr Rosanna made his purchase.
The best thing about the whole day for the boys was spotting a real Lamborghini on Lygon St and having pizza for dinner.  Boys and their toys....

Friday, February 17, 2012

Local profile - Rona Green

I love finding out about quirky local artists and even better one who takes classes at The Abbotsford Convent which I talked about in yesterday's post.  My boys remind me of dogs and cats in many ways but Rona Green's animal characters resemble something more like out of the movie Fight Club than furry little pets.  Read on for more about Rona Green and her art.
Rona Green
Baby Bailey Durden
2011, linocut, ink and watercolour, 76 x 56 cm, edition 23
Name: Rona Green
Occupation: Artist
Lives: Montmorency
Works: Abbotsford 
How long have you lived in Montmorency?: Around 9 years.
How long have you worked in Abbotsford?: Just over 2 years. 
Rona Green
2009, linocut, ink and watercolour, 45 x 38 cm, edition 13
Describe what you do:
As an artist my studio practice involves printmaking, painting, drawing and soft sculpture.  I exhibit my work at Australian Galleries in Melbourne and Sydney, as well as in New Zealand at Solander Works on Paper Gallery.

The pictures of peculiar characters I make are inspired by my interests such as Egyptian art, science fiction, tattooing traditions, secret societies, subcultures and the animal kingdom.
I also teach drawing and printmaking classes at my studio at The Abbotsford Convent.  This week an exhibition of my work opens at Australian Galleries in Sydney and during May-June of this year I will be participating in the inaugural Banyule Contemporary Art Fair to be held at the Banyule Arts Space.

Best thing about living in Melbourne's north-east: The bird life.

For more information about you:

Thursday, February 16, 2012


It's been a while since I've been to The Abbotsford Convent but my sister-in-law is a regular.  I also love how close it is to the Collingwood Children's Farm.
Image via The Abbotsford Convent website
There's a fair bit happening there as our lazy summer days and nights come to an end.  I have covered markets in my blog before but neglected to mention the Sunday Markets at Abbotsford Convent held the third Sunday of every month.  They include both a makers market as well as a shirt and skirt market for emerging designers.  Throughout summer, there's also been a supper market held at twilight on Friday nights from 6 - 10 pm which closes next Friday 24 February.  The supper market is as its name suggests, all about food plus some music and craft stalls thrown into the mix.

While the Moonlight Cinema and Rooftop Cinema seem to get all the press, The Abbotsford Convent also holds its own outdoor cinema The Shadow Electric which is running independent movies until the end of this month.  Must get down there before it all finishes!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Flying high

The annual Darebin Community and Kite Festival is on this Sunday at All Nations Park in Northcote.  This colourful, fun and family-friendly event will include music, free activities and of course, kite flying.  More than 5,000 people attended the event last year which was held at Edwardes Lake Park in Reservoir.
Kite image via Darebin City Council website
Also for those of you who like Elk Accessories - their current 20% off summer sale ends at midnight tonight.  To receive your discount you need to enter summer20 (no spaces) as the promotional code when you check out and hit 'apply code'.  The discount doesn't apply to freight, elk classics, display or packaging, sales stock or voucher purchases.  The discount is also available in store at the Melbourne Elk store located at 395 Plenty Road Preston but not at independent Elk stockists.  I've got a white Elk hat from a couple of seasons ago which I've worn to death this summer!

Monday, February 13, 2012


So Miss Rosanna won't be posting tomorrow given I'll be out on the road.  Whether you are partnered up or single, I wish you a happy Valentine's Day in advance!
Olivetti 'Valentine' tyepwriter image via Ian Wong blogspot
I did want to mention two exhibitions which both start tomorrow.  The writer in me loves old typewriters (I have an old Royal typewriter from the 1930s) and so it seems do many other people.  There's actually a Valentine's Day exhibition of nine 20th century classic Olivetti typewriters on display at the Design Institute of Australia, Level 1, 175 Collins Street from tomorrow until 28 February.  Vintage typewriters also feature on the cover of men's indie mag the Smith Journal (the brother magazine to Frankie).
Image via Smith Journal blog
Closer to home, award winning local artist Nerina Lascelles has been invited to exhibit at Brownkorte's restaurant at Evelyn Country Estate in Kangaroo Ground.  Her exhibition also opens tomorrow.

Friday, February 10, 2012


I'm feeling a tad weary today - it has been a week of firsts with the boys and I'm ready to relax and take it easy this weekend.  While I was madly running around yesterday, I did pop into Mount's Pharmacy in Ivanhoe.  If you are ever in a hurry or need to get medication after hours then Mount's is your place to go as it has everything.  I was a bit sceptical when I heard there was a cupcake cafe going into the pharmacy but it's been a great concept that actually works.  Will and I demolished a chocolate cupcake along with a babycino and coffee for me while we waited to pick up a script yesterday.  I also spied a mother's group on the other side of the cafe while we were there.
Will's Cookie Monster cupcake
I also wanted to mention a couple of other more inspiring things on a Friday.  Only Just is a fair trade shop that's been open in Were St Montmorency for over a year now selling coffee, tea, chocolate as well as artisan wares including children's toys made by women overseas.  They don't sell online but I think it would be well worth a trip to visit the shop.  Monty is one of my fave suburbs in the north east and Were St has a lovely village atmosphere that's hard to match.
Cushion image via Nancy Bird website
The other label I wanted to mention is Nancy Bird.  Aside from their gorgeous bags, they've recently gone into soft furnishings collaborating with a number of artists to produce these beautiful cushions.  Aah yes, the accessories junkie lives on...  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

What a magic day

It was about this time last year that I saw James Reyne at Zoo Twilights.  He's actually also this year's lead act at the annual Banyule Festival taking place the weekend of the 24/25 March.  More on the festival closer to the time.
Girls in parade image via Banyule City Council website
There's a great line of up Australian artists who will be playing at the zoo this year.  Megan Washington has already sold out but there's still tickets for all the other acts.  I know my little boys would love to see Lior - he of the Giggle and Hoot Lullaby song  on ABC Kids.

Stalls image via Banyule City Council website
Also a reminder that the Diamond Village craft market is on this weekend.  More tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I've been walking Thomas to school and back every day since he started and I think walking is very under-rated.  I think it's one of the best forms of gentle exercise (along with swimming) that you can do which is free, doesn't require a teacher/class or set time and brings you in touch with your community.  You just need a good pair of walking shoes, a positive attitude and a commitment to get out there rain, hail or shine.  Consistency is the most important thing when you start exercising - no matter how crabby or unmotivated you might feel!
Heidelberg Artists Trail image via Wikipedia
I actually started running on the back of doing a lot of walking when I was overseas.  Running was just a natural progression and I've now been doing this for over 10 years.  When it's been too hot or I've been too tired to run, I've gone for a walk instead.  I love how the Italians have made their traditional evening stroll into a ritual known as La Passeggiata.
Image via VicHealth website
We're lucky to have some amazing parkland and trails in the north east.  I have mentioned the Victoria Walks website before.  In it you'll find details of local walking groups as well as walking maps.  There's actually a couple of walking maps for the north east in the latest January newsletter including the Keelbundoora Scarred Trees and Heritage Trails walk and a Teen walkabout: From Preston to Fitzroy.  Happy trails!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Weddings, parties, anything

I got married a number of years ago but in many ways it was the Year of the Wedding as 7 of our friends and family also opted to get married that year.  Aah...nothing like fellow generation Xers who leave things to the last minute.
Mr and Miss (or should that be Mrs?) Rosanna at Pellegrini's
For a number of reasons we got married in late Autumn but if we'd had the chance, we would have chosen March for the more stable weather and the opportunity to have an outdoor garden ceremony.

Monsalvat in Eltham is actually holding its Wedding Open Day from 9.30am - 1 pm on Sunday 19 February where you're invited to visit its historic buildings on 12 acres and book in for a tour.  They'll also be offering specials along with their partner photographer, florist and entertainers.  Mr Rosanna and I actually did check it out as a potential wedding venue and loved the little chapel and outdoor pool area for a ceremony and pre-dinner drinks.  We weren't sure about the downstairs reception area which was a little too gothic for me but many friends and family have got married there.
Heide image via Manningham City Council website
If we had our time again I probably would have had an outdoor ceremony at Heide or the Fitzroy Gardens.  Other indoor venues to consider include the Northcote Town Hall and Centre Ivanhoe while the Yarra Valley (and its many wineries) is only an hour away if you live in the north east.  My friend Alex had one of the coolest outdoor wedding ceremonies last year at the Siglo rooftop bar (above The European) in the city.  Very Melbourne don't you think?

Monday, February 6, 2012

A bit of bling

So Valentine's Day is fast approaching and I think jewellery is always a perfect gift for the ladies.  While I don't buy a lot of clothes anymore I am an accessories junkie.  Girls, you also don't need to wait for a man to buy you a piece if you are single.  I've often bought jewellery for myself over the years as well as for my best friends.

While a blue box with a white ribbon is fairly ubiquitous, there are some other alternatives.  Mr Rosanna and I are friends with local jeweller Amy Renshaw and I've got a couple of pairs of her earrings which I have worn to death.  I've even bought Mr Rosanna some of her cufflinks and a ring (call me a modern woman!).
Amy Renshaw My Friend and I ring image via egetal
Besides selling directly to clients, Amy also sells her range at e.g.etal in Flinders Lane in the city.  It's a little more pricey but you'll find some of Melbourne's best gold and silvermiths selling their wares in this gorgeous gallery with a focus on contemporary jewellery.  Mr Rosanna actually bought me a pair of earrings by Cass Partington for Christmas which I love.
Cass Partington U disc earrings image via egetal
I also bought some earrings last year from A Skulk of Foxes as well as another jeweller called Jessica Van Den (who goes by the name of Epheriell) who sells her recycled silver jewellery on Blue Caravan which is good for you and great for the environment.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Mother Earth

No local profile today but there are some more classes and workshops happening around the place.  If you're interested in beautifying your garden, there are a number of workshops that all look pretty fab taking place at Bulleen Art and Garden.
Image via Bulleen Art & Garden
There's a limestone sculpture workshop on the weekend of 3/4 March as well as a melon basket (making) workshop on Sunday 25 March. In April, there's a mosaics workshop on the weekend of the 28/29 April and in May, there's a clay totem workshop on Sunday 20 May (the first workshop has already sold out).
Image via Bulleen Art & Garden
Bulleen Art and Garden are also holding Gaia Night on Thursday 23 February - a night of art, performance, discussion and river walks as part of the Sustainable Living Festival - more on that closer to the time.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Forever Young

I wish I was!  As well as being the title of Youth Group's song, it's also the name of Heide Museum's current exhibition which is finishing at the end of February.  They're currently offering discounted admission of $10 until 12 February if you live in the following postcodes Heidelberg (and I'm assuming Rosanna and Viewbank as well) 3084, Northcote 3070, Fitzroy North 3068 or Thornbury 3071.  If you live in the City of Manningham, you're also eligible for $10 admission between 14 and 28 February.  It's good to be a local!
Image via Harvest Textile Studio blog
I mentioned classes and workshops yesterday and another one that would be great to go to is the Harvest Textiles workshop in conjunction with Heide on Sunday 26 February 10.30 am - 4 pm at Harvest Textiles in East Brunswick.  You can learn the basics of print making and create three of your own tea towels using the concrete poetry works on display at Forever Young as inspiration.  To book a place call 03)  9850 1500.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Taking a class

I've talked about Banyule's Neighbourhood Houses & Learning Centres before.  These include the Contact Community Centre (Bundoora), Diamond Valley Learning Centre and Greenhills Neighbourhood Centre (both in Greensborough), Livingstone Community Centre (Ivanhoe), Olympic Adult Education (West Heidelberg), Rosanna Fire Station Community House (Rosanna) and Watsonia Neighbourhood House (Watsonia).  Greenhills Neighbourhood Centre and Rosanna Fire Station Community House also offer occasional child care.  The Semester 1 program of courses, classes and activities from Jan-June this year is now out if you're interested in taking a class.

Wendy's Music also offers adult music (singing and instruments) classes and group programs - studios are located in Rosanna, Diamond Creek, Fitzroy and Reservoir.

Image via Angie Rehe
While the exhibition gallery is currently being repaired after the Christmas Day storms, The Light Factory Gallery in Eltham is still running its art classes behind the main gallery space.  The tea house is also open for business and things should be back on track by next month.  For me, my pick of the classes would be Angie Rehe's Introduction to Fashion Illustration class on 18 March.  Some of you may know Angie better as her alter ego Patsyfox.

Nb. Miss Rosanna is a freelance PR consultant for The Light Factory Gallery and Wendy's Music.