Saturday, March 31, 2012

A late addition

Miss Rosanna's had a somewhat frantic week this last week of school better late than never!
Snelleman 'Coil' House Ivanhoe East image via
Just a quick news flash regarding the Peter McIntyre Open Day tomorrow (Sunday 1 April) in Kew and Melbourne's inner eastern suburbs presented by the Robyn Boyd Foundation.  For all you 50s and 60s architecture lovers - on show will be the Castle 'Stargazer' House, Snelleman House, McIntyre 'River' House, Shaw House and Power House.

Don't forget to set your clocks back one hour tonight!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Drawing a blank

I'm no Pip Lincolne (craft queen and former owner of store Meet me at Mikes) and while I subscribe to both Frankie and Peppermint magazines, I must admit this brown owl is yet to pick up a knitting needle, sewing machine, glue or any other remotely crafty item.  That's not to say I don't have good intentions but I find I'm just keeping up with my day job, two boys aged under 7 and pretending I have some semblance of work/life balance (heh heh!).
Image via
Anyway, I do know a lot of crafty women out there (you know who you are) so I wanted to let you know about a new website called Blank run by Danie - a graphic designer friend of a friend and one smart cookie.  In her words, "Blank is your toolbox for personalised goodies, projects and creative play.  Our passion is to bring creativity, personality and fun into making, baking, giving and decorating".  Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Village delights

Is Easter here yet?  I am counting down the days...although not looking forward to darker nights and mornings.
Image via Eaglemont Village
I was out on the road this morning meeting with the very inspiring Rina Chia from Take 2 Markets at The Dish in the heritage listed Eaglemont Village.  I always feel a bit like Miss Marple in 1920s England with all the Art Deco buildings.  Eaglemont is a hidden gem in Banyule and the romantic in me loves its connection not only to art deco but also to the world of art.

Besides Jaclyn Roma Floral Design which looks and smells beautiful as you walk past and Eaglemont Cellars, there's also a new Endota Day Spa, a gorgeous shop called Castille de Fleur that sells French artisan soaps and other goods as well as vintage and retro radio repairs shop Nostalgic Wireless.
Image via Nostalgic Wireless
If you're also on the hunt for Easter eggs, it's well worth a trip to Chocolatier in Waterdale Road, Ivanhoe and I think Coco Maya in Heidelberg would also be worth a visit (and a coffee!).

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Styling up

A couple of things to mention today.  The lovely Deborah from Finer Home Furnishings is actually running a free 'What's your style?' workshop today at her shop located at 1/164 Burgundy Street in Heidelberg.  Bookings are essential as there are limited places.  Call 9458 3822 or email
Rona Green
The Surgeon
2010, linocut, ink and watercolour, 108 x 76 cm, edition 17
Also local artist Rona Green is running a giveaway this week of her fabulous work - a choice of one of three pretty fierce looking cats (similar to above).  To enter, visit her blog and follow the instructions.  Entries close next Monday 2 April.  Loving your work Rona!

Monday, March 26, 2012

So hot right now

Well I did make it to the Banyule Festival in the end and caught the last act of the day Asanti Dance Theatre on the main stage.  Nothing like a bit of African drumming and dancing to get you going.  There were some kids up the front but I think the quite complex looking dance moves were a bit hard to follow (hell they'd be hard for grown ups to follow!).  The sun also managed to come out from behind the clouds late afternoon so it was all very lovely and I hope you had a great time if you did manage to get there for Twilight Sounds or the Arty Farty Fest.

Image via
The other thing I want to mention is a new cafe in Ivanhoe that's been open a couple of months.  It's called Creatures of Habit and located a little further down Upper Heidelberg Road after Safeway.  Melbourne's currently undergoing a bit of a food obsession with all things Central and South American.  Apparently this new cafe has a Spanish barista so it's nice to see the 'burbs are grooving up.  Haven't been there yet but it's welcome addition to the area.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Beautiful People

Well the award winning Banyule Festival is on from tomorrow and I hope the weather is a bit warmer than today!
Image via
James Reyne is the headline act at Sills Bend in the Warringal Parklands tomorrow night for Twilight Sounds and we have previously taken the boys after 5 pm to catch some of the support acts before they have to go to bed.
The Kids Arty Farty Fest Grand Parade is on Sunday morning at 10 am down Burgundy Street in Heidelberg and I think one of the highlights will be the mass dance that's been planned as part of the parade.  Flash mob anyone?
We've got commitments in the morning but hoping to make it there on Sunday afternoon to catch the Asanti African Dance Group from 3 - 4 pm.  See you there!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Living in harmony

I really missed a lot of other cuisines when I moved from Brunswick to Rosanna.  I'm happy to say in the four years I've been here, I've seen Baan Thai, Idly Corner (Indian takeaway) and Byzantine (Greek) open at Rosanna Village and, of course, a great cafe in Miss Marie.  I'm also happy to say it's got a lot more diverse in this part of the world when I look around at kinder, school or at my local shops.
Image via
It's Cultural Diversity Week and Bell Street Mall in Heidelberg West will once again be hosting A Taste of Harmony free lunch from 11 am - 1 pm to celebrate the local ethnic community and its cuisine (it was Harmony Day yesterday).  There's a cafe called Sweet by Nature which I've heard great things about in Bamfield Road as well as the more exotic sounding Kelada Cafe & Takeaway, Macmacaanka Hamare Weyne (also a cafe), Marka Cadery and Waberi Exotic Food in the mall itself.  For more information, download the Eating in Banyule guide at
Image via

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Marc of the Century

I was out this morning in Greensborough checking out the Watermarc Banyule site.  Watermarc is the enormous aquatic and leisure centre which will link Main and Flintoff streets via a pedestrian friendly walkway alongside the centre.  A super duper green and blue water slide is also currently being put together which will become the largest in the southern hemisphere.  I can already see the adrenaline junkies lining up for that one.  It's scheduled to open mid year so I'll post more about it closer to then.
Image via
A new signature park on Beverley Road in the Warringal Parklands is opening on Sunday 1 April from 10.30 am - 1 pm with gypsy band Vardos providing entertainment.  This new regional play space will be great for this area which is rapidly growing with young families and I think, from the looks of things, will rival Wombat Bend in Templestowe.
Image via

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

There's a bear in there...

I took Will to see the Playschool show at The Centre Ivanhoe this morning where we both had a great time watching Jay and Abi sing all our favourite songs.  I've previously taken Thomas to see Justine Clarke at the same venue but I reckon in terms of value for money, the Playschool shows are great at $14.50 for a ticket.  If you subscribe online to Kids Promotions you get advance notice of when they're touring and can purchase your tickets online as well.
Image via
I've previously taken Thomas to see The Wiggles and while the big Christmas show is always on at the Rod Laver Arena, they also usually tour in the middle of the year at Dallas Brooks Centre in East Melbourne if you're wanting to go to a smaller and closer event.
Image via
Yo Gabba Gabba has toured a couple of times in recent years with members of Spiderbait, Sneaky Sound System and Powderfinger as well but given the act usually performs in St Kilda, we've missed seeing them.  I reckon the grown ups would enjoy these gigs as much as the kids.  DJ Lance Rock rocks!

Monday, March 19, 2012


A number of my best friends are celebrating milestone birthdays this year including two who had parties over the weekend.  My friend Julia has flown in from New York and Mr Rosanna and I attended her birthday dinner at Southgate on Saturday night.  It was all happening along St Kilda Road given it was also St Patrick's Day and Grand Prix weekend.  We were about to call it a night after dinner but as we'd parked near the Arts Centre, Mr Rosanna and I made an impromptu visit to the Spiegeltent instead.
Jenevieve Chang image via
So glad we did as we caught the very last night of the Shanghai Club hosted by Annette Shun Wah and featuring jazz band Blue Lotus and singer Jasmine Chen.  Wow - what a trip!  If you like a bit of naughty 1930s style cabaret and burlesque (full frontal nudity was involved : ) mixed with modern Chinese underground all housed under a Big Top circus tent, you might get the picture.
Image via
Mr R and I had a dance with the hipsters of Melbourne including one guy practising some pretty out there rap moves - all on his own.  I know some people think Hobart, Adelaide and Brisbane are all up and comers in the arts world but one part of me thinks that Melbourne will always be the cultural capital of Australia given what I saw on Saturday night.  It was ace!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Local profile - Renae Barrass

As I've got older, my love of fashion has evolved into a love of architecture, homewares and interiors as well.  If you're into aesthetics, I can't think of a more fulfilling career than creating and designing beautiful living environments for other people.  Meet local interior designer Renae Barrass.
Name: Renae Barrass
Occupation: Director – Renae Barrass Interior Design
Lives/works: Heidelberg Heights
How long have you lived/worked here?:  I have lived in Heide Heights for 4 years but have lived in the Banyule area since I came back from overseas 9 years ago.  I have been working for myself for the past 6 months - and I can tell you it beats driving to Brighton each day! 
Beaumaris kitchen image via Austin Design Associates (Renae's former employer)
Describe yourself/what you do: I specialise in residential design - so I work with clients who are building or renovating their homes. I design and draw up kitchens, bathrooms, laundries, entertainment units, robes – any joinery or furniture pieces that are required by the client.  Through a series of meetings we also select all the interior fixtures (appliances, bathroom fixtures, door handles etc) and finishes (paint colours, benchtops, cabinet materials, floorboards, carpets etc).  I also get involved with the way the building will look externally, often selecting roofing materials, bricks, window colours, paving etc. I can also assist with furniture layout and selections.
Middle Park ensuite image via Austin Design Associates
Building a house (or renovating) can be overwhelming as there are so many decisions to be made.  I like to come onto the project as early as possible so that we have time to make considered decisions and can make the bulk of the selections before the project has even commenced.  That way we can ensure the smooth running of the project without delays and create cohesive, interesting spaces.

Best thing(s) about living/working in Melbourne's north-east:
I am passionate about 1950s & 60s homes and Ivanhoe and Heidelberg have some fantastic examples of this including Robin Boyd's Featherston House and Peter McIntyre's Coil House.  I like that you can usually get around without too much traffic, it's well located and it's green! I've recently been enjoying exploring Banyule Flats parklands.  The best thing about my home in Heide Heights is my vegie garden and our  fantastic neighbours! 

For more information:
Phone: 0405 059 726
I also blog about my passion for Mid-Century buildings around Banyule in my other blog Banyule Modern -

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Brmm Brmm!

I've never thought of myself as a petrol head but having sons has changed me a little.  I suddenly know a lot about the different car brands and badges.  Thomas loves Ferraris and Lamborghinis and Will loves Maseratis and Aston Martins so I think they're going to have to marry rich women!  As for me, I do love a vintage car over a new sports car.
Image via
The Australian Grand Prix is on this weekend but there are other things to see and do besides head to Albert Park or watch the race on TV.  I think breakfast (and brunch) is an under-rated meal and when you become a parent, going out in the morning becomes way more attractive than going out at night.  I've discovered a new blog called Judging Your Breakfast run by two women called Anna and Robyn who review breakfasts at cafes all over Melbourne.  Hilarious.  Check it out for yourself!
The Ivanhoe Makers Market is also on this Saturday.  I did end up going to the last market before Christmas and picked up a number of gorgeous hand-made goodies - it really is worth a visit if you are a local or in the area.
Ceramics by Lene Kuhl-Jakobsen

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tea and typography

I've mentioned my love of tea before.  I also have a love of typography.  Hey and guess what?  I can indulge both these loves at the Bundoora Homestead Art Centre this weekend.
Tea cosy garden by  Marg Lanne & Maryanne Noonan  image
via Bundoora Homestead Art Centre

The Bundoora Tea Party is on from 2 - 5 pm this Sunday 18 March to celebrate the launch of the centre's annual Teacosy Festival which is held in May.  About Time: Australian Studio Tapestry is currently showing in the main gallery (I love the Sunbather tapestry by Marie Cook below which looks a little Art Deco-inspired) while Typotany: an alphabet of Australian Native Plants is showing in the Access gallery and finishes on Sunday.
Marie Cook Sunbather (1977) tapestry image
via Ararat Regional Art Gallery blog
Fiona Sinclair Typotany 'X' print on paper 2010 image
via Bundoora Homestead Art Centre
While we're on the subject of typography, I also love this book called Characters by Stephen Banham based on some of Melbourne's more famous typography - another one to add to the wish list!
Image via

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The flora and the fauna

In a previous life, this weekend of festivals would have been about two other words starting with 'f' - fashion and food.  Given I have kids, life is somewhat different.  While we braved the crowds last year at Moomba, this year we had other commitments.
We found ourselves at the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne on Sunday and I have to say it was utterly delightful - a bit of a revelation.  Think modern Australian/indigenous landscape and building design with more of a desert feel than pretty English garden.  I loved it and once we got there, it was surprisingly tranquil - the kids loved the man-made water feature which was a lot more exciting than the playground.  The Gardens Shop is also one of the most beautifully merchandised 'tourist' shops I've ever been to - I bought a Banksia seed pot made by Hansen Galleries in Queensand.  Service was a bit slow in the cafe but if you're wanting to show Melbourne off in a different light or heading to the Mornington Peninsula and want to stop off somewhere interesting (just remember to take the Thompsons Road exit off Eastlink) - this place is a winner. 
Visiting the Melbourne Zoo (kids were free yesterday!) was our other trip over the long weekend.  Highlights for me were the baby elephants trying to push each other over in the water, the lions at feeding time (such majestic creatures) and the new-ish penguin and seal enclosure.  Highlights for the boys were the snakes in the reptile house, the icypoles and a ride on an original Carousel (Merry go-round) but probably not in that order : )  Hope you had a great weekend!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Weekend goodness

I was out on the road yesterday in Bell Street Heidelberg and came across a number of shops which I haven't mentioned on my blog before.
Image via
One was Eaglemont Upholstery who specialise in furniture upholstery, antique restoration and custom made furniture (and I think used to be based in Eaglemont).  I often think there are a lot of beautiful chairs and sofa frames people have in their family which would look great in a contemporary home matched with modern upholstery - something to keep in mind.  Across the road is an enormous Salvos op shop store which I didn't have time to have a peek in.
Image via
Up the road towards Burgundy St Heidelberg is Arnolds Swiss Cakes which I think is a bit of a Heidelberg institution - yum!  Lastly, I saw this book Art Deco Postcards at Andrews Books in Ivanhoe and have put it on my wish list.  Have a great long weekend people!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

One for the ladies

It's International Women's Day and there are a number of events going on around Victoria and indeed the world today!  These two events have caught my eye.
Image via
A woman's place: 100 years at the Queen Victoria Women's Centre is a free exhibition which started yesterday showcasing women from each different pioneering era and is being held until 27 April at 210 Lonsdale St Melbourne.
Image via
The other event is the IWD Fair Trade Shopping Tour being held Saturday 17 March at 231 Gertrude St Fitzroy.  It's $70 per person including a 2 course lunch at Charcoal Lane (Mission Australia's social enterprise restaurant), transport, refreshments and gift bag.  Women from three continents - Asia, South America and Africa - will also speak at this event.  Email Kym Pointon for more details:
Image via Mission Australia blog

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Call out

After a delayed start to the year due to Christmas Day flooding, The Light Factory Gallery stock show exhibition will start tomorrow.  Some of the highlights are new works by Jessica Page, Darren Gilbert, James Haramis and Gail Willoughby.  I love, love, love Jessica Page's work and am scheming now about how I can buy one of her amazing artworks. 
Mouse tea by Jessica Page
Pug by Gail Willoughby
The Light Factory Gallery and Eltham Bookshop are also hosting the Eltham book launch of 'Memoirs of a Young Bastard' the diaries of film maker and writer Tim Burstall edited by Hilary McPhee.  She will be joined in conversation by Morag Fraser from 3.30 - 5 pm in the main gallery also on Sunday 18 November.  Bookings via Eltham Bookshop 9439 8700.  Tickets are $10 and include a glass of wine.
Image via Melbourne University Publishing
Finally, entries are now open for the Nillumbik Prize 2012.  Entries close Friday 4 May at 5 pm.  For more information or to obtain an entry form email or call 9439 7712.  Volunteers are also being sought for the Banyule Festival.  You'll receive free training/Induction, t-shirt, met ticket, great festival work experience with the event team working on a large scale event and a fun time!  If you are interested register here:

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

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ooh la la

To me, Paris - the City of Light - will always epitomise style and romance.  Italy may be the king of design but France is definitely the queen of fashion.  On that note, I wanted to mention that the French Film Festival starts tomorrow in Melbourne.  So many movies to see, such little time!
Image via
On Thursday night (8 March), the Westgarth Theatre is showing Marilyn Monroe's Mystery - 'Nobody else but you' (Poupoupidou) while Balwyn Cinema is showing a movie all about chocolate next Tuesday night (13 March) called 'Romantics Anonymous' (Les Emotifs Anonymes).
Image via Wikipedia
And being a lover of trains and train stations, my pick of the movies would be 'Point Blank' (A Bout Portant) and French classic 'The Last Metro' (Le Dernier Metro) starring Gerard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve.  J'etaime!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Soul food

The weekends seem to pass by in a flash at the moment - even the grey and drizzly ones...I hope you are enjoying the change of season and the falling leaves.
Image via
I stopped in at Heide Museum last week given I had to buy some presents as I have numerous celebrations of all different kinds coming up.  The lower carpark is being re-done at the moment so it was a tad busy.  I love Heide - I didn't leave empty handed!  I bought this book The Heart Garden a biography by Janine Burke on Sunday Reed and I am loving reading it.
Yong Green image via Mel:hotornot
I also went out with my best friend Jules last week to Brunswick St, Fitzroy - it's been a while since I was there and despite the grey skies, it was jumping.  We decided to go vegetarian for various reasons.  Jules has previously had a birthday dinner at Shakahari and we've both been to The Tofu Shop and Vegie Bar many times before.  This time we went to Yong Green which was recently mentioned in The Age Cheap Eats guide.  It was great even if a little squishy (we shared a table with another couple) - and a decidedly more communal atmosphere and bohemian crowd.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Local profile - Priscilla Chong

I've said before it takes a brave person to change their career, especially one that has spanned many years before moving into something completely different.  And yet, I do think there's a science (and an art) to both pharmacy and baking.  Meet Priscilla Chong - pharmacist turned cupcake maker...
Name: Priscilla Chong
Occupation: Cupcake maker/pharmacist
Works: Ivanhoe
How long have you worked here?: 20 years

Describe yourself/what you do:
I am a pharmacist by trade who loves desserts and have developed a passion for making (and eating) cupcakes over the years.  When the opportunity arose to set up a cafe in Mount's Pharmacy (where I have worked for 20 years), I jumped at it.  Yes, it has been hard (especially the early morning starts) but I have enjoyed letting out my creative juices and seeing the joy and delight on childrens' (and adults') faces when they come upon the cupcake display - it's very rewarding. I like that we bring a little happiness into people's lives!
Having 'grown up' in community pharmacy, we are big on supporting the local community and have donated to local schools, clubs and charities such as Councer Council of Australia and National Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  We are selling cupcakes at the N.I.C.K. Foundation's show 'A wizard in Aus' at Union Theatre in Melbourne University today and tomorrow where 50 cents will be donated back to N.I.C.K. for every cupcake sold.

Best thing(s) about working in Melbourne's north east:
Strong community spirit evident after fire destroyed Mount's Pharmacy in November 2000 where we received a lot of support and encouragement; nice mixture of shops and cafes where you can basically get everything - nice shopping experience - big enough for variety but small enough for intimacy.

For more information:
Phone: 9497 1236
Trading hours: Monday to Saturday 8.30 am - 5 pm
Custom made orders can be picked up on Sundays

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Curiouser and curiouser

I'm yet to see The Artist which won a swathe of Oscars earlier week but given it's set in the 1920s, it's on my radar.  I'm also loving Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries on ABC1 based on the fictional lady detective Phryne Fisher books by Kerry Greenwood - sometimes I think I should have been born in a different era!
Image via Wikipedia
Closer to home, this event has caught my eye - Sanctum Theatre's Cabinet of Antiquated Recording Devices being held this Saturday 3 March at Montsalvat Barn Gallery in Eltham.  You're invited to join them for a hodge-podge (their words!) of vague memories, hazy recollections, grainy photographs and crackly recordings.  The Cabinet contains silent films with live scores, slideshows, puppets, Helmsman Pete and La Bande di Sandro.

  Tickets are $15 ($10 concession).  
Bookings/enquiries: (03) 9439 7712.
Ferryman Stills image via Montsalvat