Monday, April 30, 2012


Mother's Day is coming up and for the more funky mums out there, this one's for you.  I am loving the personal and home wares made by Stampel and Treehorn Design.  What I love about both is that their wares are made from reclaimed/waste timber and turned into something beautiful, functional and hand made.
Image via Stampel blog
I particularly like Stampel's jewellery hangers, necklaces and vases while I also have my eye on a Treehorn Design bangle. Mmmm....better start dropping hints to Mr Rosanna now : )
Image via Treehorn Design
Loads on this week around the place - more tomorrow!

Friday, April 27, 2012

In season

There are a number of markets on this weekend including the Monty and Preston Farmers Markets tomorrow from 9 am - 1 pm.  Both are held by In Season Farmers Markets.
New season fresh produce, free range eggs, felafels and other Turkish foods plus ready to eat treats from Fiesta Catering are all on offer at both markets.  There's a new stall selling coffee and crepes at Monty while Chuckles Pony Rides and Jazzie Fizzle Face Painting are there to entertain the kids at Preston.  Sounds like a great day out to me!
The Take 2 market at Northcote Town Hall is also being held on Sunday from 10 am - 3 pm.  Entry is $3 and there's nearly 50 stalls of recycled fashion, jewellery and accessories.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Yummy Yummy

One of my fave areas in Victoria is the Yarra Valley (and I'm not even a drinker!).  It's amazingly close if you live in the north east making it a great place for a day trip or something more.  Rolling hills, gorgeous scenery - if Mr R and I ever win tattslotto, we'd love to buy a plot of land in Healesville or somewhere similar.
Image via
Not surprisingly, it's a mecca for food and wine lovers, golfers as well as artists (which I will talk about in another post) and the inaugural Yarra Valley Food & Wine Festival 'Reap & Relish' signature event opens today.  The four day festival showcases the Yarra Valley's top wineries and restaurants.  For more information email:
Image via
Another event I've been meaning to mention is the Melrose Art Pottery exhibition at the Bundoora Homestead Art Centre which opened last week and is on until 1 July.  It tells the story of the Hoffman brick, tile and pottery company's survival during the 1930s Depression.  Established in 1862, and located in Brunswick, the company was the largest business of its type in the southern hemisphere.  The styling of the pottery was largely inspired by the worldwide modernist movement and the prevailing tastes reflected in Australian Arts and Crafts societies.  Some beautiful, iconic pieces with a touch of Australiana about them are on show.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Going places

OMG! How cold is it today...I really don't want to start thinking about winter although I've already pulled my boots on and sadly packed my sandals away.

I've caught up with both Guy Franklin and Grace Carey in the past week and just wanted to write up a PS. to my last posts on both of them.  Turns out in this small world that they both know each other as well (Aargh! Don't you love the less than six degrees of separation in Melbourne?).
Settle Down still courtesy of Guy Franklin
Anyway, after shooting not one, not two but three music video clips for Kimbra, Guy has also shot Deltra Goodrem's current clip 'Sitting on Top of the World', just shot a brand new clip for All the Colors (featuring ex-Miami Horror singer Josh Moriarty), is about to shoot a clip for Guy Sebastian and then likely to go to LA to shoot Kimbra's next can't keep up with him!  Have to say, my fave clip of his is still Kimbra's 'Settle Down' video.
Settle Down still courtesy of Guy Franklin
Grace meanwhile has put her MBA on hold while she goes to Beijing, China to work as host-in-residence for Black Sesame Kitchen translating for their Chinese chefs and ex-pat customers who sign up for private cooking classes, working on their cookbook with photography and recipe development, taking her own classes, hosting events, starting their blog and increasing their social media presence.  Truly exciting stuff for both of them - talk about young talent time...
Book by owner of Black Sesame Kitchen Jen Lin-Liu
Nb. Miss Rosanna and Guy Franklin are relatives by marriage.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Local profile - Donna Parker

A couple of years ago I was involved with an online eco-fashion business called Green Eyed Monster - something which aligned with my personal values regarding the environment and sustainable fashion.  Along the way, one more value - that of social justice - came to the fore when I discovered more about Fair Trade.  I take my hat off to people like Donna Parker who run social enterprises like Only Just
Donna with a stunning Bolga Basket from Ghana.  The baskets are made by a widows and orphans ministry group.
The small lacquered toy is made in India.
Name:  Donna Parker
Occupation: Owner of Only Just, Fair Trade shop
Lives/works:  Eltham/Montmorency
How long have you worked here? I have worked in Montmorency since Only Just opened in November 2009.

Describe yourself/what you do:
Only Just is a not-for-profit Fair Trade shop.  All of our products come from artisans and producers in the developing world who are trying to trade out of poverty.  I buy handmade products from over 18 different Third World countries.  Of course, there are maybe 3 or 4 groups working in one country so altogether, Only Just partners with about 40 different co-operatives.
A man who works for The Nepal Leprosy Trust in Kathmandu, Nepal.
"He led me through the workshop (where they make beautiful leather bags and gorgeous felt items) with enormous pride." 
These co-operatives range from women escaping trafficking in Northern Thailand, unmarried mothers in the Philippines, Ghana and Kenya, leprosy victims in Nepal to coffee growers in Ethiopia.  Fair Trade is literally a life line to these communities.  It means that they are paid a fair wage for meaningful employment.  It means that those who are the most disenfranchised (like leprosy victims and single mothers) are treated with respect and dignity.  And it helps to break the cycle of poverty by providing education and training for the artisans themselves and, usually, their children.  Many groups also provide many, many other social programs for their artisans as well, for example, free health care, investment in schools and vital infrastructure, etc.

Best thing(s) about living/working in Melbourne's north-east:
Running Only Just is incredibly satisfying because its impact on the groups that we partner with is very tangible and because we are able to donate a significant amount of money to TEAR Australia each year.  But it wouldn't be possible without the commitment from the volunteers who staff the shop and the overwhelming support that our local community gives us.  Once people understand what Fair Trade is and, that it is not charity, we find that people want to share our vision and philosophy and support it.

Another great thing about Only Just is that we're passionate about the educative/advocacy side of what we do.  I often speak to school groups, churches and community groups about Fair Trade and the impact that it has with the groups that we partner with.

For more information: 
Our website:
It will soon be updated to provide on-line shopping.
Mob:  0413 314 626

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Life is a circus

I do love a party theme.  If my birthday was in summer, I've always wanted to have a circus party and I have a number of imaginative friends who have already done this.  My friend Nik had a milestone birthday last weekend which was going to be at night but given she's got a bun in the oven, the decision was made to hold it during the day so all the kids could come as well.
Just so happens Nik's brother Matthew Hills is the Director and Choreographer of Urban Cirque with his own team of very talented performers and acts.  Sadly didn't get to see the fireworks and other acts due to the change from night to day but my boys were absolutely enthralled by the hula hoop girl.
You can also hire single or multiple acts for your own party.  Must dig out my lady ring master's outfit..."Ladies and Gentleman, Boys and Girls!"

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Jiggety jig

Oooh lordy's back and I'm already having trouble keeping up.  Firstly, a few markets to mention.  The Ivanhoe Makers Market is on this Saturday - as I've said before it's a great place to buy gifts in particular (as well as hand made one off pieces for yourself!) at very reasonable prices.  I am a convert.
Image via
Secondly the travelling Finders Keepers independent art and design market is on this Friday and Saturday and has moved to the Royal Exhibition Buildings in Carlton this time around in Melbourne.  I would be in serious trouble if I went to this market!  Entry to both markets is free.
Yes -  Miss Rosanna and Renae share a love of vintage printer's blocks
Miss Rosanna has also been out on the road today - I met with local interior designer (and the very gorgeous!) Renae Barrass this morning at Miss Marie cafe in Rosanna and was even more impressed when I found out she'd got there by bike.  She has not one but two fabulous blogs which you can visit here and here.

I also dropped into The Light Factory Gallery to see the Fourfold exhibition which opened today.  I loved Georgia Thorpe's 'Sol' (sun) series, Violeta Capovska's bold statement pieces, Kate Hudson's Asian tea pot and ginger jar prints and Clare Humphries' edgy hand burnished linocuts which have a photographic quality about them.

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

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Mr Rosanna and I are both bird lovers...seriously...maybe we should be called Mr and Miss Twitcher instead.  There's a relatively new exhibition currently on at Heide Museum of Modern Art by Louise Saxton called Sanctuary - a series of natural history (read 'bird'!) illustrations made from discarded needlework pinned to tulle.  Cleverly the exhibition also draws a parallel between the lost art of needlework and the vulnerability of threatened species.  Some of the birds are just gorgeous!

Carolina on my mind image by Louise Saxton: Sanctuary via
Speaking of sanctuary, I think I've also just found my new dream home.  It's called Clovelly at 26 Reid St in Balwyn and it's a fantastic example of Streamline Moderne (late Art Deco) which I have fallen in love with.  All I need to do is find that spare $2 million I've stashed away somewhere...

Clovelly image via

Monday, April 16, 2012

Bright and beautiful

So there's north east and then there's north favourite places all seem to start with B - Bendigo (where I'm wanting to catch the Grace Kelly: Style Icon exhibition before it closes), Beechworth (which I'm yet to go to) and Bright - where Mr Rosanna and I made a last minute decision to travel to last week with the boys.
Buckland Valley
View from our cabin
Wow - it must be one of the most beautiful places to visit in Victoria.  Rows and rows of established trees such as poplars, oaks and birches in a blaze of red, orange and yellow lining the roads all the way into and around Bright, Porepunkah, Wandiligong and the Buckland Valley. Hills and mountains in the background along with an old rail trail perfect for cycling.  Farms and vineyards all around.  The magnificent Ovens River where you can grab a beer at the Bright Brewery and look out over the children's playground (Mr Rosanna loved that one!). The only blight on the landscape was the logging which I still feel ambivalent about when you see the scarred hillsides bereft of trees.
Miss Rosanna chilling out by the river
Ovens River, Bright
The boys loved being outdoors riding their bikes, hanging out at the very cool Coral Lee cafe off the main drag (the home made tea cake was amazing) and being taken to the top of Mount Buffalo where the views were absolutely spectacular.  It ticks all the boxes if you are a foodie (take the Milawa exit before Wangaratta off the Hume Highway), nature lover, cyclist or extreme sportsperson (abseiling, paragliding and gliding are all on offer) and this is all before winter hits when the area then becomes a magnet for ski bunnies.  Just remember to pack some winter PJs and warmer clothes for the very cold nights.  We were glad to be glamping as opposed to camping given the near freezing temperatures at night.
Wangiligong Maze
Some friendly locals
The scenery and those magnificent views...I wasn't quite ready to come home with the Indian summer that still seems to be upon us...but home is now where I am.  More tomorrow!
Lady Bath and Eurobin Falls, Mount Buffalo
Views from Mount Buffalo

Thursday, April 5, 2012

In your Easter bonnet

'In your Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it.  You'll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade,' Irving Berlin, Easter Parade.
Easter Parade movie image via Wikipedia
Apparently wearing an Easter bonnet (or hat) represents the tail end of wearing new clothes at Easter in harmony with the renewal of the year and the promise of spiritual renewal and redemption.  And while I'm not particularly religious, I do love that sentiment and tradition.
Bright-Lit Skies headpiece image via Ginny & Judes Two Shoes blog
If you're wanting to splurge on some new clothes this Easter then I just wanted to mention two big sales that are on at the moment.  Ginny & Jude Designs have 50% off their summer stock until 18 April - I love the whole 1930s influenced (and very lady like!) sensibility of this beautiful handmade label.  Meanwhile one of my other fave Australian labels Gorman has also just gone on sale offering up to 60% off of selected clothing, accessories and footwear.

Whether you're camping, glamping or staying at home this Easter - have a good one!  Miss Rosanna's having a little break and will be back on Monday 16 April.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Lucky number 4

If you're Chinese, the luckiest number is 8 because it sounds similar to the word 'prosper' or 'fortune' which means a lot of people want to live at number 8 or have 8 in their phone numbers and licence plates.  If you place 8 on its side it also resembles the infinity sign.  Meanwhile number 4 is considered a negative number (apparently it sounds like the word 'death' in Chinese!) however for me it has always been a lucky number in many different ways.
Iris petalum (section) by Violeta Capovska
So with that in mind, I wanted to let you know about a new exhibition called 'Fourfold' featuring the work of four female print makers which starts on Wednesday 18 April at The Light Factory Gallery in Eltham.  I particularly like the more graphic style of Violeta Capovska and Kate Hudson - Hudson's work also reminds me a little of the work of Australian modernist artist Margaret Preston.
Scarlet banksia (section) by Kate Hudson
Please note that the gallery will be closed Good Friday - Easter Sunday.  Normal opening hours are: 11.00 am - 4.30 pm Wednesday - Sunday.  Entry is free.

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

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Regent to Ruthven

It's not just mentioned in the name of a song by local musician Marcel Borrack - Regent is actually the suburb between Preston and Reservoir in Melbourne's north.  There are some lovely homes located in the Oakhill Estate and a pretty funky cafe in Jackson Dodds plus it's still in Zone 1.
David Mcleod Quadrant 2011 image via Bundoora Homestead Art Centre
It also features in an exhibition by David Mcleod called Regency: art inspired by living in Regent which opens in the Access Gallery at the Bundoora Homestead Art Centre on 11 April and runs until 29 April.

The Comedy Festival is also on in Melbourne at the moment and there will be two events at the Bundoora Homestead Art Centre on Thursday 12 and Sunday 15 April at 2.30pm featuring comedian Jodie J Hill.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Time to Play

So Mr Rosanna and I took the boys to the new regional play space at Warringal Parklands not once but twice over the weekend and I have to say it's great for the area.

Lots and lots of little kids running around inside the fully fenced off space.  I was expecting something a lot greener (which may come at a later stage given the young trees that have been planted).  It will be lovely in the sunshine given we're now heading into winter but very hot in the summer unless more shade is provided.  It would also be nice for the park to be given a new name.  I still hold up Wombat Bend in Templestowe as one of the best children's parks in the north east.
The flying fox - Warringal Parklands regional play space
Another thing I did on this very busy weekend was to see the feel good movie (and visual feast!) 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' at Palace Cinemas Balwyn (another fantastic Art Deco cinema) at a very stylish fundraiser hosted by The Salt Foundation.  Mr Rosanna and I also took the boys to yum cha with my family at Crown Palace in Vermont South - he thought he might have been the only 'gweilo' (white face) there but there were a few other mixed race families.  Yum cha was OK - nothing outstanding but nothing terrible either.
Balwyn Cinema image via Palace Cinemas website