Friday, April 26, 2013

Local Profile - Mike & Jeanie Hill

I had the pleasure of meeting Mike (Michelle) from pony & pressed the other week, who is just gorgeous.  And in the lead up to Mother's Day, you ladies out there might be interested in their stylish wares.  The writer in me also loves the fact that they use typewriter font on their hand stamped silver jewellery.  There's also a story to tell in that Mike & Jeanie (Janine) are sisters-in-law and have been best friends since they were 5!  Wow!  They're also a little shy so no photos of them for today's profile but I can assure you that they are indeed real people.  Read on for more about Mike & Jeanie.
Name: pony&pressed (Mike & Jeanie Hill)

Occupation: Well, p&p isn’t our occupation - yet - but with every spare minute we have, we design, and hand stamp to order, gorgeous sterling silver jewellery and gifts.

Lives/works: Heidelberg (& Abbotsford)
How long have you lived/worked here? Mike moved with her husband [Jeanie’s brother!] and young son to Heidelberg in 2011 - a month before the birth of her second son.  Moving while 8 months pregnant (and coordinating the installation of carpet, TV antennas and Foxtel, as well as furniture and belongings on moving day) is not recommended to anyone!

Describe yourself/what you do:
pony&pressed hand-stamp your chosen message, date or name onto each gift or piece of jewellery, so you receive a beautiful, personal keepsake for yourself, or gift for a loved one, that is truly one of a kind.
All of our designs are hand-crafted by artisan silversmiths, using only the finest quality sterling silver.  pony&pressed is a celebration of the beauty of sterling silver; nothing is quite as special as a gorgeous gift or piece of jewellery made of a precious metal. Each number, letter and symbol on your bespoke pony&pressed piece will be hand stamped, with an individual message of love, lust or friendship, so each piece that comes out of the studio is truly one of a kind.
Our range includes a gorgeous selection of jewellery including bangles, pendants, cuff links and earrings, as well as beautiful baby rattles, combs and spoons; heirloom gifts that will be treasured forever.

Best thing(s) about living/working in Melbourne’s north-east:
The space! The trees! The delightful neighbours! While Jeanie is still the girl-about-town, living it up in Abbotsford, with all the bars, pubs and restaurants that entails, now that Mike and her family are more focused on In The Night Garden than beer gardens, having so much space to spread out and let the boys run wild outside, and having so much verdant greenery surrounding them - not to mention having space for a little backyard studio -  is what is best about living in the gorgeous North-East!  Also, discovering a real little community in our pocket of Heidelberg has been a wonderful surprise – having neighbourhood children playing on the street, neighbours sharing lemons from their trees, and popping in for cake and coffee. It’s just like an Enid Blyton book – with less funny, old-fashioned names.

For more information about you: We are everywhere on the interwebs! Find us at all of the following online locations;
Or send us an email to:

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Around the traps

While I've not posted a lot lately due to work commitments, I have been managing to get out and about a bit more and I'm loving the crisp, cool mornings of Autumn coupled with afternoon sunshine.  I've also been working on an exciting sustainable fashion exhibition called The Ethics of Style which starts on 20 June at The Light Factory Gallery in Eltham and is definitely one not to be missed if you're a lover of fashion and fashion illustration.  More on that closer to the time.
Just wanted to mention my local cafe Bien which is run by the lovely Gina with the help of her parents Nick and Helen (who also run a nut stall at the Kingsbury Drive Community Market at La Trobe Uni on Saturdays).  I've had a yummy Macedonian dinner at Bien over the summer and they are now offering takeaway Wednesday to Saturday nights until 9pm.  You can call 9459 7227 and they are also fully licensed.

What's Macedonian food like?  It's kind of like a cross between Greek and Middle Eastern and mighty delicious!  The takeaway menu includes dishes from the grill, slow cooked meals, soups plus their burek, bread and dips.  A nice one to add to the list for winter!

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

Thursday, April 18, 2013


I finally made it in to the newly-hatched Hatch Contemporary Arts Space at 14 Ivanhoe Parade, Ivanhoe which is looking great and saw the Home: Reframing Craft & Domesticity exhibition today - a good activity to do on a cold and rainy day.
The new fluoro exterior - hard to miss!
It was great!  Well worth seeing and it's a shame I missed the opening attended by 160 people given I was up north in Beechworth.  Lots of colour and diversity and a really interesting concept.  There are also child-friendly interactive exhibits and an education resource kit for school-aged kids.
Stacks of stacks by Liz Walker
I took a few quick and dirty shots while I was there this afternoon and also wanted to mention the Machine Knitting workshop where you can make your own pretty cool loop scarf on hand powered machines.  The workshop is on this Sunday 21 April at Hatch from 10 am - 2 pm just in time for the winter season ahead.  The cost is $30 and is all inclusive.  Bookings on 9490 4222. Sounds like a good one!
Love this Enzo side table by Rosanna Ceravolo Design!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Autumn may be upon us but it's still nice to think of Spring as well.  Two new exhibitions open at The Light Factory Gallery  in Eltham tomorrow.  Bloom by printmaker Kate Hudson and Under the light by former court artist Lisa Nolan.  Hudson's work incorporating native flora is reminiscent of Australian war-time artist Margaret Preston with a slight art deco element to it.  Her designs grace the interiors of many Australian homes as well as bag and wallet collections for Catherine Manuell Design.
Flowering Gums by Kate Hudson, Bloom exhibition
Nolan specialises in quick drawing techniques and spent many years as main court artist for News Ltd working on some of Australia's largest and most notorious court cases.  Under the light is a major departure for Nolan from her previous life and showcases her beautiful paintings.  She has been painting since she was seven years old.
Red turban by Lisa Nolan, Under the light exhibition
Finally, if you're into houses and architecture like me, there are currently tours happening for the Napier Waller house (c.1922)  as part of Australian Heritage Week and the Home: Reframing Craft & Domesticity Exhibition at Hatch Contemporary Arts Space in Ivanhoe.  For bookings click here.

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

Monday, April 8, 2013

Beechy Keen

Well Miss Rosanna is back from 5 glorious days spent in Beechworth.  Yes, after a similarly idyllic Easter break last year in Bright, Mr Rosanna and I decided to continue our northeastern adventure in this very beautiful part of Victoria.
Lake Sambell
The boys and I hired a cabin at Lake Sambell Caravan Park and I tell you - the serenity!  It was an extremely peaceful place to relax and unwind (after the madness of the Easter weekend which we missed) where we could watch the boys riding their bikes, playing in the playground or being towed around in a trailer on the back of the resident park quad bike every afternoon which was hilarious - a pied piper being followed by hordes of kids on their bikes or in the trailer.
Ford Street, Beechworth
If you're a foodie or a cyclist, then Beechworth is pure heaven.  I could only enviously contemplate lunch or dinner at some of the finer food establishments like the award-winning Provenance Restaurant, the Ox and Hound or the French-influenced Stanley Pub in nearby Stanley but even with kids, we managed to eat extremely well.  The pizzas at the Bridge Road Brewers were excellent and the boys loved the outdoor playground and Gundowring icecream.  I'm not even a drinker but the sampling beers which came out in their own special wooden tray looked mighty impressive.  Mr Rosanna quite liked their pale ale and we loved sitting outside soaking up the Autumn sunshine in front of the brewery.
Gorge Scenic Drive - View from the peak
We also had another excellent dinner out at Tanswell's Commercial Hotel (the duck special was exactly that) although the service was a little slow due to understaffing.  On our last night, we got designer fish and chips from the Aging Frog Fish Bar - a family box of battered blue grenadier, prawns, calamari, chips and tartare sauce which was definitely a cut above our usual Friday night takeaway fare - followed by a campfire outside looking at the stars and being visited by friendly possums looking for food.  While we didn't have time to venture out of town, both the Larder and Beechworth Provender also looked excellent for picking up local goodies for an outdoor picnic.  The kids loved the pies and pastries from the ubiquitous Beechworth Bakery (now located in many other regional hot spots) and the old style Beechworth Sweet Company.
Gravestones - Chinese miners
There were also some great retail shops on offer including Beechworth Honey, interesting homewares shops in Frances Pilley (also in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy and Daylesford) which sells French Syrian Tade soaps, Divine Linen and Ikoleji.  If your budget allows, Dalcheri and Ardent Alpaca sell beautiful, but expensive, knitwear which is a must if you live somewhere that gets as cold as Beechworth at night and during winter.  There was also a great little vintage shop near the Brewery on the corner of the lane way and a couple of antique shops off the main streets which were worth a fossick.
Chinese Burning Towers - Beechworth Public Cemetery
Beechworth is a former gold mining town and while time, and the age of my boys, didn't really allow for any tours of the historic cultural precinct full of beautiful buildings built from granite (which looked like sandstone) - we did manage a ride on horse and cart as well as a walk through both the Beechworth Public Cemetery (where 2000 Chinese are buried and where the majestic Chinese Burning Towers are also located) and the more recently built (along Feng Shui principles!) Chinese Gardens near the cycling trail.  We also took the car along the Gorge Scenic Drive which made for some pretty spectacular scenery from the peak.
Beechworth rail trail
The final highlight was attending the Beechworth Farmers Market located high on the hill at the Christ Church on Ford Street - armed with takeaway coffees from Blynzz cafe, we were entertained by the ukulele band and talked to the many friendly locals buying chickens, ducks, flowers, fruit and vegetables, gourmet food and hand-made toys.  We didn't want to leave!  And I have a feeling we'll be back for more at some future stage.  For the moment, it's back to life here in leafy Rosanna.