Friday, November 30, 2012

Markets a plenty

Tomorrow is the first day of summer and also traditionally the day when you can start putting your Christmas trees up.  The markets have already started.  The Eaglemont Village Twilight Market and the Made n' Thornbury Christmas Market are both on this evening from 4 - 8 pm while tomorrow the Merry Monty Christmas at Montmorency Shopping Village and Fair@ Square at Federation Square are both being held.  Sip and Shop at Heide is also being held tomorrow where there is free gift wrapping for all purchases, Yering Station wine tastings and live music plus PLANK building for the kids.  I've already bought a couple of small presents there as well.
Origen image via Glimpse of Style blog
The Summer at BAAG exhibition (Bulleen Art and Garden) in Bulleen also starts from tomorrow and I have to say BAAG is a great place to do some Christmas shopping if you're after things with more of a bohemian vibe about them - Indian glass lanterns, Moroccan lotus dishes, Frida Kahlo-inspired Mexican homewares and Asian ceramics.  One of my other favourite shops to visit if I'm ever in the city is Origen which also does beautiful homewares, fashion, jewellery and accessories of a similar nature, and which supports fair trade ventures overseas.
Image via
Locally, Fair Trade shop Only Just in Montmorency is now online in time for Christmas.  I've also bought some world music CDs for kids from Wendy's Music - the Putumayo range is all half price at the moment.  Enjoy your weekend!

Nb. Miss Rosanna is Wendy's Music freelance PR consultant

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Bright stars

Well, his is the most highly read post, and highly read profile by far, on my blog so I have written a longer article on the very talented Guy Franklin which is out this week in the RED issue of The Weekly Review.  He's directed Kimbra's latest music clip 'Come into my head' and she is performing at this week's Aria Awards.  Hopefully the story will also appear at some stage before Christmas in the Ivanhoe & Valley edition so all you locals get to see it in hard copy format!
Writer/Director Guy Franklin
A couple of things starting tomorrow - the Nillumbik Artists Open Studios 25th Anniversary exhibition at The Light Factory Gallery in Eltham which showcases the work of close to 40 different local artists who work across a variety of different disciplines.  A special twilight opening is being held this Thursday night to launch the exhibition which will be the last for the year.
Silence of Butterflies image by Ixia Black
Poetic Forms - an exhibition by six emerging artists including Renee Cosgrave, Meagan Wyke, Merryn Lloyd, Sally Wemyss, Stephanie Stott and Tom Reddington will also open tomorrow and show until Sunday 20 January 2013 at the Bundoora Homestead Art Centre.  Four years after graduation, these artists have come together again to explore the ongoing relationship between their artwork.
Image via Renee Cosgrave website 
Nb. Miss Rosanna and Guy Franklin are relatives by marriage.
Miss Rosanna is The Light Factory Gallery's freelance PR consultant.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Indoors and out

A few things on this Saturday including the annual Super Strawberry Fair at the Rosanna Uniting Church in Arden Crescent Rosanna from 9.30 am - 2.30 pm.  There's a book stall, white elephant treasures, tea room and BBQ not to mention a magic show at 10.45 am and 12.30 pm for $3 or $10 for a family.  I've been strawberry picking before many, many years ago in Kinglake and it was back breaking work so I figure buying them already pre-packed has got to be way better!

Speaking of fresh produce, the Monty Farmers Market is also on this Saturday from 9 am - 1 pm at 60A Rattray Road Montmorency - if the weather is anything like today, it will be a great morning to be out and about.
Image via Little Salon
For something different, Little Salon is having a studio sale from 10 am - 4 pm on Saturday at 12/167 Beavers Road Northcote (Ph: 9482 6518) where you can buy Nancybird bags, scarves and cushions (up to 70% off), Little Salon clothing, swimwear and bags (up to 80% off) and Lovehate Jewellery and Accessories (up to 80% off) - these are all seconds, samples and discontinued lines.  Their summer sale also starts tomorrow in-store at 71 Gertrude Street Fitzroy.
Image via Lovehate blog
Finally, on Sunday there is free twilight music by acoustic band Ricketty Bridge in the park (and low cost BBQ run by Rotary Heidelberg) at Cheverton Valley Reserve in Lower Plenty from 5 - 7pm.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Christmas cheer

With Christmas on it's way, it's good to know there are places to buy 'special occasion' food as I call it.  We had friends recently house-sit who are ex-pats now living in Papua New Guinea and I think they went on a food orgy at Leo's in Heidelberg most of the time they were here.

We usually get our ham there every Christmas and they stock an amazing array of food from other cultures as well as goods from smaller, boutique producers.  Our new neighbours have asked us about recommending a good butcher (I do miss the organic butcher who used to be in Greville Road Rosanna - apparently he's moved to one of the gourmet supermarkets on Station Street in Fairfield).  My foodie brother-in-law once cooked the best roast beef I've ever had, which came from Jonathon's in Collingwood.  Closer to home, the Eaglemont Meats butcher is more affordable and smokes his own meat.  He also sells fish on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays.  Mr Rosanna and I occasionally buy seafood from Fishi Business (near Coles) at Ivanhoe Plaza who are also pretty good but again, not cheap.
Leo's Fine Food & Wine Heidelberg image via
At the other end of the spectrum, I know some people who are madly trying to get into shape with summer on the horizon.  A few of the them have signed up for classes (which include a personal training session) at Snap Fitness 24 hour gym on Burgundy Street in Heidelberg.  I've also noticed a new personal training studio SuperHealth Fitness which has recently opened (along with a new hairdresser) at the Station Road shops in Rosanna.  A Slice of Europe continental delicatessen on Station Road is also a goodie - their cheeses in particular.

Speaking of cheeses - two gourmet cheeses which are both available from Leo's were mentioned in today's Epicure - a French cheese Brillat-Severin triple cream (sounds decadent) recommended by Will Studd as well as the Jindi Old Telegraph Road Fire Engine Red, which apparently goes down well with a Belgian strong, dark ale.  Here's to Christmas!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Locally made and sold

The Ivanhoe Makers Market is on tomorrow and there are some lovely things on offer if you want to start your Christmas shopping early.  The final market for the year will be on Saturday 15 December.  I also popped into the Heide store briefly yesterday and Lene Kuhl Jakobsen's ceramics are also sold there as well as at the market.  I love her teardop pieces in particular and Lene has also started making porcelain jewellery as well.

Images above courtesy of Lene Kuhl-Jakobsen
Heide was dangerous as always and I picked up a number of Christmas presents and discovered a new New Zealand brand called Newbies - I loved their wooden jewellery trees and butterflies - the P & S Robin bird clips on the Newbies tree below are also sold at Heide - cute huh?
Image via Heide Facebook page
Image via
Finally the first Nillumbik Artists Open Studios weekend starts tomorrow (and is also on next weekend) - I've had recent dealings with Montsalvat-based jeweller Jeannette Dyke who is one of the participating artists and also love her petal necklaces.  Lots of beautiful things!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Let the festivities begin...

Two festivals on this weekend - the Manningham Multicultural Festival on Saturday at Ruffey Lake Park in George Street Doncaster and the Malahang Community Festival on Sunday at Malahang Reserve in Southern Road Heidelberg West.  One thing I noticed when moving from Brunswick to this part of the world was how 'white bread' it was...
I do think this is slowly changing as people from different cultural backgrounds move into the area to mix things up a little and one of the things I love about Melbourne is how culturally diverse it is largely without the racism and violence that has been experienced in other parts of the world (Indian taxi drivers and students not withstanding).  Heidelberg West is one of the most diverse areas in Banyule with many people from African descent now living there.
If the weather is good this weekend, then both would be good events to visit with the family - I daresay there'll also be some pretty good food on offer as well as lots of activities for the kids.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I wish...

I've had a thing for all things Art Deco for over a decade now.  I did go on a tour of The Centre Ivanhoe on Derby Day where the highlights included finding out more about the history of the centre in its hey day as well as climbing up the clock tower and having a 360 degree view from the top on a magnificent, sunny morning in Melbourne - the views were spectacular.

At the risk of sounding terribly materialistic, I do have a dream Art Deco watch and I also think if you're going to invest in a classic timepiece that you should buy from a reputable dealer that sells real Swiss watches.  I bought my first (and only) watch many years ago in Melbourne paying less for cash and also duty-free when I first went overseas.  I still wear it over 10 years later.
Image via
If I was going to upgrade, this Jaeger Lecoultre watch is the one I would choose - it's the Grande Reverso Lady Ultra Thin (is that enough of a mouthful for you?) which is a new watch that came out last year as an update to their classic Reverso watch (which does in fact reverse as the watch was originally worn by polo players wanting to protect the watch face) and is specifically for women.  I love the sunburst pattern, Art Deco styling (the Reverso first came out in 1931) and Arabic numerals.  One very special time piece to add to the wish list...

Monday, November 12, 2012

Party time

I've got a number of big events before Christmas including a birthday party for Mr Rosanna.  If you're after yummy food, there is the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) Catering which is also used by Banyule Council.  You've got a choice of 4 different finger food menus including Asian, Middle Eastern and African amongst other things.  It is all vegetarian and headed up by an ex-Soul Mama chef.  I've sampled the food before and it's great.  Sadly they were booked the night I wanted them for Gotye's Melbourne concert!
Beatbox Kitchen image via Facebook
I also did ask about catering with Beatbox Kitchen and Taco Truck mobile food vans just for something different - they do catering for private functions but require a minimum of 80 people.  They were also booked out for the Meredith Music Festival...
Taco Truck image via Facebook
So locally, Caffe Strada in Ivanhoe (who we've booked and who also do gluten-free food) do catering as well as Luckman Catering who are based in Bundoora.  If you're after glassware and ice tubs, Dan Murphy's in Alphington also has a hire service.  I'll also be picking up some flowers from Jaclyn Roma who has moved from Eaglemont Village to Upper Heidelberg Road in Ivanhoe and ordering a cake from a local lady who is a pastry chef (let me know if you want her details).  There - I'm all set for the party!

Friday, November 9, 2012

A festive season

Once Melbourne Cup week is over, I reckon we all go into Christmas mode.  The Diamond Village Craft Market is on tomorrow from 9 am - 1pm while the Fine Design Market in Manningham is on this Sunday from 9 am - 2 pm if you want to start your Christmas shopping now - I found some lovely things at the Ivanhoe Makers Market last year for family, friends and the kids' teachers.
Image via Etsy website
Two of my favourite online retailers, which I've mentioned before, are Etsy and Blue Caravan - Etsy in particular is pretty dangerous...I try my hardest to buy locally where I can but have bought things before on Etsy that I couldn't get in Australia.  Be warned that you could spend many hours and many dollars on this site if you're into vintage and hand made things from designer makers and more.

The Eltham Town Festival is also on this weekend which will be a great day out if the weather is good in Melbourne.  Have a good weekend!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Starry, starry night

There is a Star Gazing Night on tomorrow night from 8.15 pm at Westerfolds Park presented by the Astronomical Society of Victoria.  You're invited to bring a torch covered with red cellophane and warm clothes plus you're advised to reverse into your car parking spot to reduce headlight shine on exit.  Sounds like an adventure!  Cost is free but bookings are limited to the first 150 participants on 9840 9124.  Another place I've always wanted to check out is the Melbourne Planetarium at Science Works in Spotswood but I will have to save that for another day when we head out west.
Starry, starry night by Vincent Van Gogh
Manningham Council are also holding their annual Artists Studios Tour from 11 am - 4 pm on Saturday 10 November departing from the Manningham Gallery.  The cost is $18 and bookings are essential on 9840 9382 as numbers are limited to 20 participants - please call as details differ on the website.  Nillumbik Artists Open Studios celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year and I will also feature this event closer to the time.
Del Kathryn Barton image via Heide website
Finally, Archibald Winner Del Kathryn Barton is holding an exhibition of her beautiful paintings at Heide Museum of Modern Art from this Saturday 10 November, inspired by Oscar Wilde's story: The Nightingale and the Rose, and originally created for an illustrated book commissioned by Art & Australia.   One for lovers of flora, fauna, music, books and art!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Giddy Up!

I hope you're enjoying your Melbourne Cup week even if, like me, you're not into horses, gambling or drinking!  I do like looking at the fashion and it was interesting to see the winners of Fashions on the Field.  Peplum skirts and dresses have been big this year so I wasn't surprised to see these featured and while I'm not a personal fan of the colour yellow - I do admire those who can wear it and it does go brilliantly with black (as well as grey, white, cobalt blue and red).
Image via Glamour Drops blog
Of all the race days I think the day is Derby Day if you manage to score a ticket to that and I just like the idea of everyone wearing black and white.

Image via Lil Boy Blue website
I had a pretty quiet one just catching up with the girls for a quick brunch on Saturday at a relatively new and edgy place for Kew - Lil Boy Blue right on High Street close to Dan Murphy - the food (I had the salmon gravalax), coffee and service were all great (but so they should have been given they weren't busy) and I'll be interested to see how something with such an inner-city vibe goes in the genteel streets of the eastern suburbs.  If it's anything like Miss Marie - they're gonna kill it!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Retail therapy

The Olympic Village Spring Makers Market will be held tomorrow, corner Southern and Alamein Roads in Heidelberg West from 10 am - 2 pm.  There are a heap of markets on leading up to Christmas and I will be toddling along to buy many of my Christmas presents with a difference for family and friends.
Image via Banyule Youth Services website
Also for those of you who love Tupperware, there is a local lady in Macleod - Jill Fisher - who has been selling Tupperware for over 23 years!  She also holds a regular 'party in a garage' at her place - 1 Joynt Street Macleod where you can pick up not only the latest tupperware product but specials such as discontinued lines at great prices.  It's definitely worth a look and she will be open on Sunday from 12pm until late and again on Cup Day from 9 am until late.  You can contact her on 0400 594 303 or 9459 8656 or via email: - happy shopping!
Mahalo bowl set via Tupperware website

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ladies and Gentleman!

Depending on how you feel about live animals as performers - there is a circus is in town.  Circus Olympia is a family owned traditional variety spectacle that works in conjunction with The Great Siberian Circus.  For the first time, you'll be able to see the circus in Bulleen at 1 Thompsons Road.  The show runs for two hours with a 15 minute interval and you're advised to get there 30 minutes before the show starts.  You can buy tickets here.
Image via Circus Olympia website
There are also Art Deco tours happening at The Centre Ivanhoe this Saturday led by Robin Grow, President of the Art Deco and Modernism Society.  Bookings are essential on 9490 4300.  These book out fast but are also regularly held throughout the year if you do miss out.
The Spirit of Progress image via the ADMS website