Monday, December 17, 2012

Exit the Dragon

Well there's only a week to go until Christmas and I am going to sign off here.  I hope you've had a good year.  For me, the Year of the Dragon has definitely lived up to its reputation - a year of change and transformation with a rapid pace I've found hard to keep up with.  The year is also not over for the Chinese until February when we usher in the Year of the Snake so I have another month and a bit of exciting times!
As for my resolutions?  Hmmm, I did manage to watch less TV over the course of the year although not during winter.  My yoga practice has been sporadic at best and my meditation has almost been non-existent.  Having said that, I think it's a great tool to use when you're in a wound up state.  While I also did not buy a lot of brand new things this year, I was an avid vintage/second-hand buyer and I will share some of this with you, as well as some of the experiences I've had that that I've not managed to chronicle, in the new year.

I'll have some more interesting local profiles to share in 2013 and I look forward to another 12 month journey with you.  Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Local profile - Kirsten Parry

I do admire a crafty person.  Patience is not one of my strong points and I think that many people who knit, sew and crochet (the list goes on) are incredibly patient as well as being creative, talented and resourceful.  I also think there is a meditative element to creating and making things by hand once you find your own rhythm.  Kirsten Parry is the owner, designer and creator of Little Cookie - selling hair accessories, pillows and personalised towels amongst other things.  Come and meet Kirsten!
Name: Kirsten Parry
Occupation: Sewer! 
Lives/works: Eltham
How long have you lived/worked here? I have lived in Eltham for 14 years

Describe yourself/what you do: 
I am married and have 2 gorgeous boys, aged 7 and 11.  I have always loved sewing.  My mum always sewed when I was young and I guess I got my love of sewing from her.  I love creating new things, although sometimes what I make doesn’t always look as good as it does in my head!  But I persevere until I get it right.  When you do what you love, it doesn’t feel like work!  
I love working from home.  It has always given me flexibility to work as well as care for my children.  Although this means that my work is always around me, I can pick it up and put it down at anytime.  I have created a nice little work area into the corner of my home and can see everything that is going on around me, rather than being tucked away in a room.  Things can get a bit messy though!  I have been selling my items at the Eltham Market for 11 years.  I started off selling Teddy Wheat Bags and then began making things for kids' bedrooms.  I still make these things but now sell handmade hair accessories.  Having 2 boys, I love making lots of girly things!

Best thing(s) about living/working in Melbourne’s north-east: 
Not too far from the city but far enough away to enjoy lots of wide open spaces.

For more information:
Mobile Number: 0402 298 350

Please note that there is an online children's clothing store also called Little Cookie - this is not Kirsten's business.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Jingle Bells

Some local Christmas events on for you this weekend.  I do love the village shopping in Banyule and Santa is coming to East Ivanhoe Village this Saturday.  Free photos with Santa, face painting and live entertainment from the 30 man Grand Bellini band will all be on offer.
Image via Wikipedia
The Boulevard Christmas Lights also open on The Boulevard in East Ivanhoe every night from 8.30 - 11 pm until Christmas Eve.  It's become an annual tradition in my family to go although it doesn't really get dark until around 9 pm.  Be warned there are lots of visitors, apparently something like 10,000 people attend this event but the kids love the flashing light toys, the snack vans and the live musicians as much as the actual lights themselves.
Image via Banyule City Council website
And for those of you who don't feel like trekking into town, Banyule holds its own free Carols by Candlelight at Poulter Reserve in Greensborough (opposite the train station) from 7.30 - 9.30pm on Saturday night - gates open from 6.30pm.  The Diamond Valley Brass Band and the Australian Children's Choir will be part of the stage show.

STOP PRESS! As of 4pm Fri 14 Dec, Carols by Candlelight at Poulter Reserve has been CANCELLED due to safety concerns about inclement weather.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Christmas rush...

I can't believe there's only a couple of weeks until Christmas.  Having not one but two members of my family born in December has meant the past couple of weeks have all been a bit of a blur and that's not including the Christmas parties that have also started!  I can't keep up at the moment.

Some more markets for you to do your shopping - the Northcote Kris Kringle night market is on again tomorrow as well as the Sisters Market at QV in the city, which also runs on Friday and Saturday and again on the same days next week.
Flyer image via Banyule Youth website
The Olympic Village makers market is on tomorrow night as a twilight event while the Ivanhoe Makers Market is on this Saturday followed by the Suitcase Rummage market in Thornbury on Sunday.  Phew!  I'll post about some local Christmas celebrations tomorrow.  Hope you are staying cool.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Local profile - Alison Sewell

There's nothing like a bit of glam in the every day and that's something I love about Alison Sewell's beautiful robes and their whole Asian aesthetic.  As a mother, I've spend an inordinate amount of time wearing a very average terry towelling dressing gown so I'm all for a more stylish existence and have already dropped hints to Mr Rosanna about Alison's kimono robes for Christmas.  Read on for more about Alison.
Name: Alison Sewell
Occupation: Founder and Director of Beautiful Robes and Mum 
Lives/works: Heidelberg VIC
How long have you lived/worked here? 
I have lived here for 4 years and have worked here since I started our business in December 2011.

Describe yourself/what you do: 
I founded Beautiful Robes, an importer of Japanese kimono robes in December 2011 after I identified a gap in the market internationally.  With a 20 year history in strategic customer management relating to call centres and websites, my skills allow me to offer customers a unique and enriching experience.

Now, with my thriving little online business, I do everything, from researching new product offerings, to marketing to sales to customer service, managing the website, business management and distribution.  It is a juggling act for sure, but we have a 'rhythm' now and the business for the most part takes care of itself.  

I also offer Search Engine Optimisation advice to other like-minded mums setting up websites for the first time.  I learned a terrific amount from some amazing people when setting up my business, and now I help others to do the same.  What goes around comes around I think!

Repeat purchasing and referral customers with Beautiful Robes is high.  We believe this means that customers genuinely love the product, the website and the service.

Needless to say, my gorgeous kids and husband come first and it is at times really difficult to manage that balance, particularly at busy times of the year.  The family are really proud of Beautiful Robes too (my 6 yo daughter is a shameless promoter of our website), so they are happy enough to support mum.  Doesn't stop them from needing help just at those 'critical' moments though, but the whole reason I set up the business is so I could drop everything and be there for them.  It definitely works.....

Best thing(s) about living/working in Melbourne’s north-east:
I love the close-knit community in which we live.  There are lots of great people in and around this area, who share similar aspirations and interests.  Of course there are lots of things to do for families like us, but it is also close enough to the city and other resources that we also like to take advantage of at times.

For more information: 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas goodies

Continuing on with the many markets now on - the Northcote Kris Kringle Night Market is on tonight while The Big Design Market starts tomorrow at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton and runs all weekend.  On Saturday, the Diamond Village Craft Market is on in Watsonia while The Fine Design Market is on Sunday in Doncaster.
Image via The Big Design Market website
The Christmas fairs have also started with the Macleod Village Christmas Fair on tomorrow night from 4 - 7 pm while the Bell Street Mall in Heidelberg West is also holding its Christmas Carnival on Saturday from 10 am - 4 pm.  If you feel like a drive or hopping on the train, the Christmas in Hurstbridge family fun day is also being held on Saturday from 9 am - 1 pm.  No excuses not to start your shopping and celebrations now - enjoy!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Lie of the land

Mr Rosanna and I had a fantastic holiday in Castlemaine a few years ago.  Lots to see and do there including visiting the Royal Theatre, the Goldfields steam train, historic homestead and garden at Buda and the Castlemaine Art Gallery housed in an Art Deco era building which is definitely worth a look.
Image via
You can see some of renowned Australian artist John Borrack's paintings from the Castlemaine Art Gallery collection at the Bundoora Homestead Art Centre from this Friday until 10 February 2013.  Borrack is known for his beautifully structured paintings of the Australian landscape and selected paintings in water colour, gouache and oil dating from 1970 to 2012 will be on show as part of this exhibition.
Image via
On another note, the Possum Hollow Playground at Warringal Parklands in Heidelberg is being officially launched this Friday from 5 - 7 pm.  There'll be a sausage sizzle on offer or you're welcome to bring along a picnic and listen to some free live music while the kids run themselves silly on the playground.  For more information call Catherine Borg at Banyule City Council on 9457 9933.