Thursday, May 31, 2012

Feeling autumnal

My front lawn is covered in a blanket of leaves at the moment and it's been a beautiful day to watch the last of the leaves fall off the trees to celebrate the end of Autumn.
Image via Wikipedia
There are a few events on this weekend which I wanted to mention.  It's World Environment Day on Saturday and Rob Quantock is actually speaking at Edendale Farm in Eltham at 10 am and 11.30 am regarding reducing your carbon footprint, tips on how to avoid paying the carbon tax and driving down your energy bills.  Cost is free.

The Take 2 Market is on at Northcote Town Hall on Sunday as well as the Hurstbridge Farmers Market.

Also a special mention on Teacosy Tales at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre - the annual teacosy exhibition has raised a record breaking $8807 for Cancer Council Victoria's Biggest Morning Tea Fundraiser with 584 teacosies submitted!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Garden of Eden

Healesville Sanctuary is one of my favourite places to visit and they are holding a Wine and Wildlife Weekend, Queens Birthday long weekend 9, 10 and 11 June 2012 where you can enjoy a combination of wildlife experiences with the tastes of the Yarra Valley.

The Sanctuary has partnered with Sanctuary Harvest CafĂ© (run by the Healesville Hotel), De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate, Napoleone & Co Cider, Coldstream Brewery and Kennedy & Wilson Chocolate to create a gourmet experience with a difference.   You can indulge in some great local food as well as wine, beer, cider, chocolate and cheese tastings against the backdrop of the Sanctuary's rustic pavilions with roaring open fires.  You can also experience the Spirits of the Sky flight spectacular or visit the new Land of Parrots exhibit at the same time.
Photography by Jessie Bush - We The People 
via Harper and Harley/ Harpers Bazaar
Speaking of animals, this dress caught my eye while on the quest to find an outfit for my friend Jules' wedding.  It's the Serpent Lace Dress in teal by Australian label Lover and it's pretty amazing - I love both the colour and the design.  Wow!  Sadly it's not made of eco-friendly fabric and given it's way over my budget and already sold out, perhaps it's just as well!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Different flavours

I must admit to feeling less than inspired about winter - it's not my favourite season and sadly, there's no glamorous overseas holiday to look forward to this year!  Still, we live in the world's most liveable city and there's a lot to see and do right here in Melbourne.
Flavours of Melbourne book image via
I've had some dealings lately with Jonette George, author and publisher of Flavours of Melbourne which incidentally, has won an award for which she and her daughter Daniele are travelling to New York to receive this week!  It's a fantastic coffee table book which showcases some of Melbourne's best restaurants and bars.  They've already written similar books on the Mornington & Bellarine Peninsulas and there are plans afoot for Daylesford & Macedon Ranges, the Yarra Valley and Flavours of Urban Melbourne (places with an inner city vibe but located in suburbia). Wow - now that is exciting!
Image via
Speaking of the Yarra Valley, Rochford Wines is holding its 'Salsa Beats' Winter Music Festival this Saturday 2 June.  Tickets are $60 and include dinner and glass of wine along with entertainment consisting of a live Cuban band 'Santiago Son', dance performances and lessons in the vineyard restaurant and cellar door area.  The open fire, toasted marshmallows, fudge, chocolate and hot mulled wine are also sounding pretty good to me!  I'm already starting to feel a bit better about the season ahead...

Monday, May 28, 2012

Up in the air

My best friend Jules is getting married next month and while she's not having a bridal party as such, I have been given some official duties to perform.  I've also been trying to work out what to wear!  I've bought myself a new outfit (the dress anyway) and have a vintage cheongsam (which belonged to my mum) as a back up option given the freezing weather.  The reception venue is pretty modern so I'm leaning towards the former.  All will be revealed (and decided) next month.  The bride-to-be will be wearing a dress by Australian designer Gwendolynne which I can't wait to see!
The Cloud House image via
Speaking of the old and the new, this house renovation in North Fitzroy has caught my eye.  While my passion is for Art Deco houses, I also appreciate modern design and this one known as The Cloud House by McBride Charles Ryan has definitely captured my imagination.  I'm not sure about mixing it with the old (the facade is Victorian) but the back of this is awesome and I also love the red kitchen and bold carpet they've used inside the house as a complete escape from the every day.  Loving those curves!

Friday, May 25, 2012

A little birdie...

Well it's probably not quite the right day to be talking about markets but there are a couple on this weekend. Markit@FedSquare is on this Sunday from 10 am - 5 pm and will feature the work of some of my favourite designers.  This is a bi-annual curated design market focusing on illustrative and decorative design products where you have the opportunity to meet the designers as well as buy their products.
Postcard image via
The Monty Farmers Market is also on tomorrow from 9 am - 1 pm at Montmorency Primary School, 60A Rattray Road Montmorency.  Entry is by gold coin donation and there'll be live music from the Minor Detail.  They are looking for more support and stall holders so if you live nearby, please go and visit.
Image via
There is also talk of a new Banyule Farmers Market at Sills Bend or Heidelberg football oval which a little birdie (thanks Catherine!) told me about.  Click on the link if you are interested in organising or supporting this market.

Art Melbourne image via
Finally, I've talked about art a lot this week and Art Melbourne opened last night and runs all weekend.  There are also free 40 minute art workshops for the kids in The Childrens Studio if you have any budding artists in the family.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Double Happiness

Mr Rosanna and I celebrated our 8 year wedding anniversary yesterday.  Ever the romantic, he had booked lunch at the Tarrawarra Estate restaurant in Healesville where we sat near the fire taking in the magnificent views.  Our meals were superb (we went two courses each and spent about $150) and the sun even came out for us when we went outside to say hello to the three crazy girls we'd seen doing cartwheels on the lawn from inside.
I've got to say, it's one of the places I've been dying to visit in the Yarra Valley and it was well worth the trip as it is spectacular - on a hill surrounded by a sea of trees as you wind your way up the drive.  The accompanying TarraWarra Museum of Art was even more mind blowing - it was fantastic to see the work of some of Australia's best modern artists displayed in such an amazing gallery environment (it's big!).  The museum will once again be hosting the 2012 Archibald Prize - one of Australia's oldest and most prestigious art awards in June.
After lunch, we headed into Healesville proper where we parked at the Giant Steps/Innocent Bystander winery (where I've never seen so many good looking staff working in the same place!) before going for a walk down the main street and grabbing a drink at the very atmospheric Healesville Hotel (where we've celebrated a previous anniversary) before hitting the road back home.
Was a crazy day in that I also made it to the opening of the No. 1 Banyule Contemporary Art Fair last night where the highlight was meeting many of the artists - Lene Kuhl Jakobsen, Caz Guiney, Georgia Thorpe, Wayne Viney and the gorgeous Rona Green (thanks for the badges Rona!).

Monday, May 21, 2012

Interested and interesting...

...are the two words which best describe the sort of people that Mr Rosanna and I like.  Speaking of which, expressions of interest from artists are now open for the Winter in Banyule Arts Festival which is being held in August this year.  If you are interested (excuse the pun), you can contact Susan Doel, Arts and Cultural Development Officer, Banyule City Council via email: or on 9459 9930.  Applications close on 1 June - the first day of winter!
Winter in Banyule logo via Banyule City Council
Things are also heating up regarding the public art finalists for the Greensborough Walk at Watermarc - the new aquatic and leisure centre opening in Greensborough mid-year.  I've been lucky enough to be part of the selection process as a member of the Public Art sub-committee for Banyule Arts and Culture.  I'll keep you posted on which artist ends up being chosen for this big (in many different ways!) project.
Watermarc image via Watermarc Facebook page
No post tomorrow as I'll be out on the road but there are a couple of exciting events taking place this week in Melbourne which I'll talk about next time.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Trials and Trails

I've talked about the Heidelberg School Artists Trail before - it's the 40km walking trail through Banyule, Nillumbik and Manningham through to the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges which the Heidelberg School of Australian artists used on location ('plein-air') for their impressionist paintings.
Moonrise by David Davies image via Wikipedia
La Trobe university students have actually been organising fundraising for the trail to raise money for charity.  There is also a Heidelberg School Art Foundation created by The Rotary Club of Heidelberg who is working in partnership with Banyule City Council to create a gallery for this region called The Impressionist Lab.
Yarra Flats Park image via Wikipedia
The proposed location for the gallery is in the Yarra Flats Park to which some conservationists have been opposed.  If you're interested in providing your feedback for the gallery you can do so here.  Have a great weekend people!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I love vintage

The second ever Love Vintage Melbourne market starts tomorrow night and runs all weekend at the Royal Exhibition Building in the Carlton Gardens.  Tickets are available online or at the door - it's $14 for a single day ticket and discounts are available for multi-days or groups.  Some of Australia's best vintage dealers will be selling retro, vintage and antique clothing and accessories, antique and vintage jewellery, linen, lace and textiles and small collectables.  The show will also feature on stage vintage fashion presentations, guest speakers, workshops and vintage makeup and hairstyle technique demonstrations and other fabulous entertainment.
Love Vintage logo via Love Vintage website
On another note, I also just wanted to mention there's a Parent Information Session on Universal Access for 4 year old kinder being held next Tuesday 22 May from 7 pm - 8.45 pm at the Watsonia RSL (upstairs) with entry via gold coin donation.  You need to RSVP by tomorrow to - it will be a child free event.  Banyule City Council along with three other kinder cluster managers ECMS, KU Children's Services and UCSB have joined together to organise the presentation by early childhood professional Catharine Hydon on Universal Access and the value of kindergarten.

If you're interested in family daycare (usually one carer to four children in a home environment) versus a childcare centre, this is also changing from 1 July with Banyule City Council in this municipality handing over the reins to kinder cluster managers.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Right about now

The inaugural 2012 No. 1 Banyule Contemporary Art Fair opens next Tuesday night at Banyule Arts Space and the exhibition will run from 23 May - 20 June.  It showcases one group of leading Banyule artists expressing the diversity of contemporary art practice in one space and includes some of my favourite artists such as Rona Green, Lene Kuhl Jakobsen and Georgia Thorpe to name but a few.
No 1 web button image via Banyule City Council website
It would be an understatement to say I'm excited about this show!  The artists involved will also be holding a 'see and learn' workshop demonstrating their creative process on Sunday 17 June from 2 - 4 pm.
Rising purple home image via Georgia Thorpe website
Banyule Arts Space is at 14 Ivanhoe Parade, Ivanhoe and open Wednesday to Saturday 11 am - 5 pm.  Entry is free.  If you are interested in attending the opening RSVP on (03) 9490 4222.  See you there!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

In another world

Not one, but two exciting exhibitions start tomorrow at The Light Factory Gallery in Eltham - Robert Knight's 'Ethereal Landscape' and Ev Hales' 'Static Motion' - and run until 10 June.
Spiritual hanging rock (section) image by Robert Knight
Robert Knight is a full time artist who approaches the Australian landscape with a unique perspective that manages to combine both realist and dreamlike qualities into his beautiful imagery.  Knight is attracted by the spiritual element of the environment regardless of whether it is bush landscape or urban cityscape.
Coming down image by Ev Hales
Meanwhile, Ev Hales uses the escalator to explore 'Static Motion' as a concept in urban life.  She has long been fascinated by patterns that occur in nature and now turned her attention to the urban environment.  Ev has been painting for 40 years and is a dedicated artist and teacher.  She has been instrumental in the Nillumbik Artists Open Studios program and also takes painting tours.  Ev Hales has several books published and is also extremely active in the Nillumbik arts community.

Opening drinks with the artists are being held this Sunday 2 - 4 pm at The Light Factory Gallery.  Entry is free.  

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

Monday, May 14, 2012

Wonder Woman

I had a lovely Mother's Day yesterday with my boys who presented me with lots of hugs, kisses and home made presents.  Mr Rosanna gets extra kudos for the hand made present - a Lene Kuhl Jakobsen ceramic from Heide Museum of Modern Art - he is a man after my own heart!
We spent the afternoon having Devonshire Tea at The Light Factory Gallery Tea House with my in-laws which was brief, but delicious (the scones are fantastic) before coming home to Chez Rosanna where Mr R cooked a roast for dinner and we toasted marshmallows in front of the fire.
Will asked me last night "which superhero are you mummy?" and I said "Wonder Woman" - I reckon all mums deserve a medal (and that's just for going through labour and childbirth!) and all you mums out there are my superheroes.  Hope you had a great day full of love from your children.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Local profile - Gillian Ravlic

It seems fitting this Mother's Day weekend that today's local profile is a mother amongst other things.  One of my gripes is the difficulty that exists for many parents who want, or need, to return to work.  I think there could be more structural change at both public and private sector levels to create meaningful, flexible and easy part-time employment options for parents returning to the workforce.  I've often thought employers could take a more holistic and strategic approach to their business by creating 'banks' of their existing part-time parent workforce across their entire organisation - taking stock of skills, experience and qualifications already out there which, when combined, could create full-time equivalent job-sharing roles and more - retaining talent rather than having to bear the costs and hassle of training and hiring new staff. 

But I digress...Gillian Ravlic has already seen a gap in the market, matching small to medium sized business employers with talented parent professionals wanting flexible work options and from there created her niche online service - read on for more.
Name: Gillian Ravlic
Occupation: Director – Career Parents
Lives/works: Rosanna
How long have you lived/worked here? 8 years

Describe yourself/what you do:

Since leaving the professional workforce after the birth of my son, I have been a stay-at-home mum (and loving it)!  I have swapped staff and budget meetings for playgroup, toddler time, music class and more...I have to admit though that I was disillusioned when I tried to return to my management position and found that my employer was not as 'flexible' and 'accommodating' as I had expected.  I remember actually seeing my boss change before my eyes when I announced my pregnancy.

At playgroup I found a camaraderie with other mums and realised I was not the only one!  Much to my surprise mums in other industries that I thought were family friendly - journalism, law, science, nursing, public relations, accounting and more - also had the same issues.  The list was endless and no-one seemed immune.  We all had higher degrees and careers we had worked hard for and now felt a bit conned in terms of believing we could have it all when it just wasn't working in reality.

We decided that as mothers we needed to take matters into our own hands and try to make a difference – thus Career Parents was born.  This website is a free resource designed to help connect professional parents with small businesses that have genuine family friendly work.  If you are a local parent or small business then you need to have a look!

Best thing(s) about living/working in Melbourne's north-east: Fantastic vibe, friendly people, great services for children, lots of parks and the Mercy hospital just down the road.

For more information:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Out there

A couple of interesting things on next Sunday 20 May.  If you're into walking, there's a 6 km Wilson Reserve (The Boulevard, Ivanhoe) and Yarra River Trail Walk from 10.30 am - 12.30 pm in conjunction with the Catholic Walking Club of Victoria.  If the morning is anything like today, it will be a brilliant way to start your Sunday.  Water and snacks are provided and you're also asked to wear comfortable shoes and assemble at the Reserve (Melway Ref 31 F10) near the playground.
Matthew Fagan image via website
Montsalvat in Eltham is also staging a Flamenco and belly dance event featuring Matthew Fagan and other guests in The Barn Gallery at 4 pm.  It will feature Spanish and Flamenco guitar, ukulele and some exotic percussion from around the world as well as Middle Eastern and Flamenco dance performances.  Tickets are $35/ $25 concession and bookings can be made on: 9439 712

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Soul Time

Well Miss Rosanna's fave music is soul - anything from Marvin Gaye to Curtis Mayfield to Donny Hathaway.  My all time music hero is Stevie Wonder and I'm still getting over missing his concert in 2008 which coincided with the birth of Will...Mr Rosanna and I did manage to catch Sharon Jones in concert at the Palace Theatre (old Metro nightclub) in Bourke St a couple of years ago and she was mighty awesome.  Mr R shares my love of soul music and for one of his birthdays, he got Vince Peach from 3PBS to DJ at his party which was ace.
James Brown image via The Thornbury Theatre
You can see Vince Peach and other guests in action from 8 pm on Friday 18 May at The Thornbury Theatre's Soul Sessions #2.  Tickets are $15 plus booking fee or $20 at the door on the night (if still available).  Groove on down I say for a whole lot of fun(k)!
Regal Ballroom image via
You can also now catch live music at The Regal Ballroom (old Northcote Theatre) as well as The Thornbury Theatre.  Both make pretty spectacular venues for a gig.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Touch my heart

A number of my immediate and extended family have lived and worked in Japan so for me, there will always be a connection to all things Japanese especially its food, art and culture.  CIBI in Collingwood is holding a special event called 'Touch the heart: eat and learn at CIBI' from 6 - 8 pm on Thursday 17 May introducing 30 different ingredients and vegetables.  (Note: little known fact but the literal meaning of 'dim sum' also means to 'pierce the heart').  Call 9077 3941 or email: to book.
Cibi space image via Cibi website
There's also another exhibition on at Bulleen Art and Garden's Bolin Bolin Gallery called 'Inside Out' featuring paintings, sculpture, glass and textiles all by Jenny Steiner.  Until 17 June.  Entry is free.  More tomorrow!
Bolin Bolin Gallery image via BAAG Facebook page

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fiesta fun

I'll be back with a local profile next Friday just in time for Mother's Day but for this weekend I just wanted to mention that the Ivanhoe Fiesta street party is being held 10 am - 4 pm on Sunday with lots of music, entertainment and rides for the kids.  It's a pretty massive day for little kids so my advice would be to go in the morning if you can.
A couple of other events on if you're looking to re-vamp  your wardrobe.  The Wardrobe Weekender at Barkly Square in Brunswick starts today and runs all weekend offering workshops, exhibitions, pop up shop, The Clothing Exchange and Take 2 Markets (free entry) on Sunday from 10 am.  Some activities are ticketed so click on the link above for more.  Barkly Square is located at 90-107 Sydney Road Brunswick.
Nicola Cerini is also holding a  Mother's Day Sale at the Abbotsford Convent this week with up to 70% off gems from their archives, previous season's bags, selected mugs, placemats, coasters, aprons, ironing board covers, fabric and fashion on Friday  4th May 11am - 7pm, Saturday 5th May 11am - 5pm and Sunday 6th May 11am - 5pm.  Nicola Cerini Studio Store, Mercator Building, Abbotsford Convent.  Melways Ref: 44,G5. Parking available opposite Convent $6 per day.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Made with love

I met another blogger in the area earlier this year - craft queen Emma from Frog, Goose and Bear.  I reckon her kids would have the best parties ever with all her gorgeous hand made decorations!  Pleased to say you can actually buy some of her lovely stuff at the Made 'n' Thornbury Mother's Day market (which I've previously covered in my blog) this Saturday.  Very tempted to go...
Another couple of markets will also be held this Saturday - the Olympic Village Makers Market in Heidelberg West and the Sisters Market at the Northcote Town Hall.

If you're into antiques, the AAADA (Australian Antique and Art Dealers Association) Melbourne Show also starts today and runs until Sunday 6 May.  It would be my pick of the bunch of these types of shows.  Happy shopping!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Two for tea

Brrrrr!  Not liking the weather at the mo - so cold!  Makes me just want to bunker down indoors.  There's a few events on where you can do just that.
The annual teacosy exhibition 'Teacosy Tales' starts today in the Access Gallery at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre  and runs until 27 May.  Textile artists, community crafters and teacosy enthusiasts have all come together to celebrate a domestic icon with a vibrant display of handcrafted, beautifully embroidered teacosies with all proceeds donated to Cancer Council Victoria. 

The 'Tea & Secrets in the Heart Garden' feature event at Heide Museum of Modern Art is also being held on Saturday 13 May from 11 am - 1pm.  You're invited to write your own heart-secret to post in Sunday Reid's letter box while sipping chamomile tea in the Heart Garden (in association with Barking Spider Visual Theatre). 
Finally, The Light Factory Gallery offers High Tea at the Tea House - a range of savoury and sweet offerings, including macaroons and truffles, as well as a pot of tea.  High Tea is available from 1 - 3 pm Friday to Sunday.  The Tea House is located behind the gallery with the entrance via the side gate and through the sculpture garden.  Tea House hours: Wednesday - Sunday from 9 am.  Phone: 03) 9431 6823  or email: 

The Bundoora Homestead Art Centre and Heide Museum of Modern Art also have their own cafes if you're wanting to nourish your appetite as well as your soul at these venues.

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

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Open up your world

A couple of 'open' events on this weekend including the Nillumbik Artists Open Studios for the grown ups and Banyule Kindergarten Open Day for the kids.
Linda De Toma - Claydreamers studio
The Artists Open Studios will be held on both Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 May showcasing the work of 40 artists from 26 studios including painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics, jewellery, textiles and photography.  Some of Nillumbik's best known artists will be on show for this exciting event.  Thanks to participating artist Nerina Lascelles for supplying all images used.
Tess Edwards - The Baldessin Press
Banyule's Kindergarten Open Day is also being held this Saturday 5 May from 9 am - 12 pm and gives new parents to the area a chance to visit kinders in their local community.  Enrolments for three year old children are usually done via each individual kinder while four year old enrolments are centralised via Banyule City Council.  Kinders can be run by parents, not-for-profit community cluster managers or the council itself and it pays to do your homework and enrol your children as early as possible to get into the kinder of your choice.  Kinder is also changing next year with many 4 year old programs increasing to 15 hours per week which is potentially impacting 3 year old programs in terms of the number of 3 year old groups a kinder can run and the quantity of hours.