Monday, July 30, 2012

Ode to Rosanna

Given I've been bold enough to call myself Miss Rosanna - I did put my hand up to write an article on Rosanna which is out in The Weekly Review this week.  Let me know what you think!  I hope to continue writing articles on interesting local people for them so keep your eye out for these.
I actually spent most of Saturday at our neighbours' place who are trying before they're buying - having moved from North Fitzroy to Rosanna to see how things go.  It helps that my neighbour and his best mate are both chefs and celebrations continued well into the night...the food was amazing - two sensational curries cooked from scratch with preparations starting the night before.
Image via Led by my stomach blog
I also had a friend's birthday dinner at Chin Chin's at Koto Moon (upstairs function room) in Rathdowne Street North Carlton on Saturday night which was formerly owned by my uncle Peter Chen - it does great food with a stylish old Shanghai feel to it and is now owned and run by former staff.  I love Rathdowne Village and Curtin Park where you can always find a car space to park - it's a lovely part of the world where I once briefly lived in a previous life.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Local profile - Kym Pointon

While I have a particular thing for all things Moroccan, I know that the beauty of Africa has captured many other people's hearts.  Kym Pointon is another career changer who has managed to merge her love of Africa with her fair trade business located in Gertrude St.  Read on for more about Kym...
Name: Kym Pointon
Occupation: Director - Sankofa Fair Trade
Works: Fitzroy
How long have you worked here:  I've been working in Fitzroy for 3 1/2 years.  In mid 2008 I began search for a retail location to open my fair trade store...and I was lucky to find the perfect spot.

Describe yourself/what you do:
I have had a life long interest (or maybe, obsession) with Africa, and particularly with traditional textiles but it wasn't until 2006 that I had my 'light bulb' moment.  At the time I was working in the public service so utilised my long service leave to take 12 months off to travel to West Africa and explore the ins and outs of sourcing products and importing them to start a business.

It was all very vague at the time - I knew I wanted to provide a market place for beautifully handcrafted products and that my business would operate within an ethical framework but the more I learned about the fair trade movement the more committed I became to operating within the international standards.
I specialise in handcrafted products from Africa and make annual trips to visit the artisans who make them.  So far I've visited more than 20 projects in Ghana, Burkina Faso, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Zambia - it's the best part of the business - meeting the artisans, watching them in action and seeing the difference that fair trade can make in their lives.  In 2011, I became the first business in Victoria to be endorsed by the Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand.

Best thing(s) about working in Melbourne's north-east:
Great coffee, great food.  Fitzroy is such a diverse and creative area that there's always something happening - there's never a dull moment!

For more information:
Sankofa, 231 Gertrude Street Fitzroy (open 7 days)
Phone: 9416 4564

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Come on in

On our way to Geelong the other weekend, I spied a building I'd never noticed before just past the docklands - the Mission to Seafarers Building that houses it's own Dome Gallery.  This wonderful building along with many others will be open this weekend as part of Open House Melbourne 2012 where you have the opportunity to peek inside 100 of the city's most significant buildings.
Image via website
The other building I've always wanted to see inside is the Manchester Unity Building and it's Art Deco boardroom - I've been into the building before but never seen the boardroom.  Sadly, it's so popular that entry this year is only by ballot.  I think The Johnston Collection - Fairhall House Museum in its secret location in East Melbourne would also be worth visiting as well as the newly renovated Hamer Hall at the Melbourne Arts Centre.
Image via website
It's not part of Open House but I also think the ballroom on top of Flinders Street Station would be a fantastic place to visit.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Access all areas

Nice to see a couple of places in West Heidelberg (or 'Somaliberg') get a mention in yesterday's Age Epicure.  Both Macmacaanka Hamar Weyne Cafe and Marka Cadeey were featured in Nina Rousseau's Unexplored Territory page.  I love anything a bit exotic and food is no exception - I will be making a beeline for these places with the boys at some stage to mix things up a little.
The Bundoora Homestead Art Centre is also taking Access Gallery applications for next year.  The gallery welcomes innovative ideas and critical approaches to contemporary arts practice, and particularly encourages applications from emerging local artists using all media including traditional, non-traditional, installation and new media.  Applications close at 4 pm on Friday 30 August and you can download an application form at:

Friday, July 20, 2012

Draw it

The Fourth Annual Booklovers Festival is currently on until the end of the month with a grand finale being held at the Heidelberg Theatre on Tuesday 31 July from 7 - 8 pm.  A number of workshops and events with local authors have been staged around participating Yarra Plenty regional libraries as part of the festival.
Old Tom on the lookout image by Leigh Hobbs
Both Leigh Hobbs and Anna Walker have illustration workshops on this weekend.  Leigh's workshop is on tomorrow from 2 - 3 pm at the Eltham Library - call 9439 9266 for more information.  Anna's workshop is from 10 am - 4 pm at The Light Factory Gallery in Eltham - cost is $110.  Call 9439 1206 for more information.  Leigh is a participating artist in the Booklovers Festival while Anna's workshop is a separate event.
A secret place for me image by Anna Walker
I missed out on doing Angie Rehe's fashion illustration workshop earlier this year so it's great to know she's running another one next month at The Light Factory Gallery on Sunday 26 August from 10 am - 4 pm.  The cost is $110 for all you budding fashionistas out there.
Paris Fashion Illustration image by Angie Rehe
PS. Miss Rosanna is The Light Factory Gallery's freelance PR consultant.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

To be a pirate

The Pirates of Penzance Jr is currently showing by Eltham Little Theatre Inc at the Eltham Performing Arts Centre and tickets are still available - the show finishes this Sunday and would be a great one to take your junior pirate kings and queens.  My boys, as you can see, are not averse to a pirate dress up at the best of times.
I also wanted to let you know that applications for stall holders are now being taken until next Tuesday for a new community fine design market to be held at the Manningham City Square opening on Sunday 16 September.
Image via The Market Roll website

Speaking of markets, the Suitcase Rummage market at the Thornbury Theatre is being held next Sunday 29 July to support emerging artists, crafters and second hand marketeers - locally produced, handmade, upcycled and recycled goods will all be sold out of stallholders' suitcases! What a great idea!
Image via Belinda Suzette Facebook page

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Light and shade

Bridge by David Boyle, Shades of Contrast exhibition
Two new exhibitions have opened at The Light Factory Gallery in Eltham.  'Shades of contrast' by David Boyle features his local and urban cityscapes while Darren Gilbert's 'Recent works' showcase his works on paper and sculpture inspired by nature.  Both exhibitions will run until Sunday 5 August.
Gum Leaf by Darren Gilbert, Recent works exhibition
I also wanted to mention a new local networking organisation for women called Rosanna Business Women's network group run by the very motivated Sarah Reeves (a local business woman, life coach and mother of five!).  The inaugural meeting is tomorrow night at the Rosanna Bowls Club from 7 - 9 pm.  The cost is $15 and there are three levels of membership available - all attendees will have the opportunity to hand out information and business cards to members.  Guest speakers, social events, monthly newsletters, a website and online directory are also in the pipeline.  Email Sarah at to RSVP or for further information.

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

Monday, July 16, 2012

East and West

The wonders of modern technology - looks like Mr Rosanna and I will need to upgrade our computer in the not too distant future...

I had a belated birthday celebration with my family yesterday afternoon at Shark Fin House (the one with the lift) in Chinatown which was lovely.  The boys loved looking at 'Nemo' and 'Dory' swimming in the fish tank (and luckily not destined for someone's stomach) on the ground floor and we all enjoyed the eating as the food is consistently good.  They could do with a change table in the toilets given the number of people there with young children.
Mr Rosanna and I also had a great day out last Saturday in Geelong.  While we've previously travelled through en route to Queenscliff or Point Lonsdale, this was the first time we'd been there as a destination and boy was it worth it.  The redeveloped waterfront with its stylish cafes and low rise buildings and magnificent period homes along the scenic route off the highway were something else - the city was bathed in sunshine and it was absolutely glorious to be there.

We took the boys for a ride on the restored vintage carousel and all went aboard the Thomas the tank tourist train to the circular boardwalk (where the children's playground and wading pool are) and back.  Afterwards we even managed to make it to The Mill Markets in Newcomb where we sifted through the bric-a-brac downstairs before I headed upstairs to the vintage clothing - where it was a lady's dream!  I left with an Aztec-style multicoloured beaded belt and a Chinese brocade jacket and could have happily spent more time there had I been on my own.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Sorry for the interruption

Miss Rosanna is having technical difficulties with Blogger and will be back shortly!

Friday, July 6, 2012

On a winter's day

I've made it through the first week of holidays and have posted previously about things to do here in these two traditionally coldest weeks of the year.  I did take the boys to The Light Factory Gallery yesterday to catch the last days of The Art of the Picture Book exhibition.  I think I spent most of my time chasing after them in both the tea house (which has a kids high tea holiday special of $15) and inside the gallery!  We try these things...Heide Museum of Modern Art's Heide Store also has a 30% off sale (off everything except eg.etal) over the holiday break so I think it would definitely be worth popping your head in there.
Also a couple of other more cultural events on this weekend.  The ARC theatre group is showing 'Jekyll and Hyde the musical' at the Heidelberg Theatre starting today with 7 performances on until the 14th July.  Local ceramist Lene Kuhl-Jakobsen's talented daughter Emily Altis is co-directing and has choreographed dance and movement for what she says is "quite a dark musical."  Check out the ARC website or call 0435 062 087 for tickets - shows are on at 8pm on July 6th, 7th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th (2pm and 8pm).  For more information visit

Finally, Miss Rosanna did celebrate her birthday this week and would love to catch some jazz at Bennett's Lane (where Prince had his secret gig!) one night when time permits.  Locally, jazz pianist Joe Chindamo is performing at Montsalvat this Sunday at 4 pm which would also be a great one to see on a winter's day.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Merci pour Mercer's

I'm yet to go to Mercer's Restaurant in Eltham but it has had a recent review in The Age Epicure and also has a one hat rating.  I've had some dealings with Stephen Mercer in recent times and will hopefully be working on a joint venture with him and his fine dining establishment in the new year.
Stephen Mercer image via Mercers Restaurant website
The Eltham Bookshop is actually holding an event there tonight (sadly booked out) to celebrate renowned chef Alex Mackay's book, 'Everybody, Everyday.'  Signed copies of the book are available from the bookshop.  Meera Govil from Eltham Bookshop has also recently won the Australian Booksellers Association - Text Publishing bookseller of the year.
Image via Eltham Bookshop Facebook page

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Up close and personal

Vivienne Binns' Art and Life exhibition opened last night at LUMA - La Trobe University Museum of Art.  Binns is an Australian artist who has worked across a range of media, processes and contexts for over 40 years.  For her, art and life are inextricably linked and her exhibition examines the ways in which personal relationships and experiences have influenced her work.  The exhibition runs until 26 August and there will be a curator's talk by Dr Penny Peckham at LUMA next Wednesday 11 July at 11 am
Vivienne Binns image via Art Almanac website
Meanwhile, the Menagerie Merveilleuse: curious beasts of Bundoora & beyond exhibition by Sharon West (Artist-in-Residence) at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre opens on Saturday 14 July at 2 pm.  The exhibition runs from 6 July - 26 August.  From Interiors to Exteriors by Phil Harris (winner of the 2006 Darebin Art Show) will also open on the same day and run from 11 - 29 July.  RSVP: or 9496 1060.  Entry to all exhibitions is free.  Check websites for opening hours.
Image via

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mr and Mrs

My best friend Jules tied the knot with her lovely man on the weekend and it was a very stylish affair that the creative couple had organised.
Mr Rosanna and me in our church outfits
Mr Rosanna and I took the boys with us to the church ceremony where it was a bit like wrangling animals during the service - luckily we'd brought some snacks and toys with us.
The reception was at Luminare in South Melbourne and it was amazing - stunning views of Melbourne and an ultra modern interior which felt like being on the set of a movie or magazine shoot.  Jules also looked absolutely beautiful in her Art Deco-inspired wedding gown by Gwendolynne (who also incidentally was proposed to by her partner in Paris no less!)
In the end, I wore a Halston Heritage-inspired blue dress by Australian designer Nicola Finetti matched with my vintage 70s silver glomesh evening bag, killer silver heels from Zara bought on ebay and a silver cuff which Mr Rosanna bought for me in Vietnam while we were on our honeymoon.  My speech was earlier in the night which meant I could relax before the mains were served and the dancing started!  The happy couple are now sunning themselves somewhere on a beach in Santorini....
Me and Mrs M!