Friday, August 23, 2013

Crafting your weekend

The weather has got cold again and if you're a snow bunny, I reckon now is the time to hit the mountains before Spring arrives.  There are a number of markets on this weekend which I just wanted to mention.  The Coburg Farmers Market is on tomorrow from 8 am - 1 pm and is an accredited Farmers Market which is held on the second and fourth Saturday of each month.  If you're in Coburg you might also want to drop into the Sisters' Market at Coburg Town Hall which is on from 10 am - 4 pm.
Image via Sisters Market Coburg Facebook page
The Monty Farmers Market is on from 9 am - 1 pm and is held on the fourth Saturday of each month. And if you're heading out to Eltham, master jeweller Jeanette Dyke is holding an Open Studio from 10 am - 3 pm at Montsalvat this whole weekend as part of Craft Cubed 2013.
Jeanette Dyke in her Montsalvat studio

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Waiting for Spring

Can I tell you now that I am officially over Winter and cold weather?  Maybe it's also the recent blue (full) moon as well but I'm definitely starting to go a bit nuts - not helped by the fact that most of my household has been sick the past month.  I'll be taking a little break very shortly to re-charge.

The blossoms have started appearing on the trees and I know that Spring is also around the corner so I'll stop complaining right now.  Speaking of blossoms, I do love these botanic bottles made by Angus and Celeste - it's like bringing a bit of nature indoors and nature is what inspires me the most these days.
Image via Angus & Celeste website
There are two new exhibitions which start at The Light Factory Gallery in Eltham today and run until 15 September.  Filtered colour is by Warrandyte artist Phillip Sayers and I absolutely love his paintings of Lake Mulwala in particular - the water looks like it's shimmering and if I had the money and the space for it, this would be on one of my walls!   This is his second solo show at the gallery.  I have one of Phill's cityscapes of Melbourne at home which I bought Mr Rosanna as a birthday present and it's one of the most treasured things we own - especially as we both love Melbourne so much- our home city.
Morning Lake Mulwala by Phillip Sayers
Also showing at the gallery is Des Pastoral by award winning Panton Hill-based artist Kim Tarpey.  An artist with a message that she relates with humour, Kim works in ceramic sculpture, painting and printmaking.  In this exhibition she has used Australian colonial themes to create parallels with contemporary attitudes to the environment.  She is a full time artist and a current finalist in this year's Clunes Ceramic Award.
Moby Dick and the Japanese Whalers by Kim Tarpey
Nb. Miss Rosanna is The Light Factory Gallery's freelance PR consultant.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Going potty

Many of you know I am a bit of a ceramics junkie and I'm pleased to say it's actually the first Open Studios Ceramics Australia Showcase this coming weekend.  As part of this, local potter Lene Kuhl Jakobsen will be opening her studio at 28 Louise Street Heidelberg for visitors from 10 am - 4 pm on both days.  She'll have lots of her work on display and available for sale.  I am still in love with the teardop vase I bought from her last year and have started a feather collection in the other vase Mr Rosanna bought me last Mother's Day.
Speaking of ceramists, acclaimed Australian artist Stephen Benwell's 'Beauty, Anarchy, Desire: A Retrospective' opened on 8 August and runs until 10 November at Heide Museum of Modern Art.  The exhibition includes over 130 of his pieces over the course of his 40 year career.
Creative Director Brian Tunks image via Bison Home website
And in the Heide Store itself, you can also find Bison Home ceramics for sale which make lovely birthday presents and housewarming gifts.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I had a shiatsu massage with local therapist Aliki Zouliou today and it has made me feel like a new woman.  I was so relaxed at one stage that I forgot where I was but that's probably the beauty of specialised treatments like these - you get transported to another place and it's not the sort of thing you normally do because it feels like such a treat rather than a necessity.

Aliki Zouliou - Shiatsu & Oriental Therapies specialist
I am trying to practise what I preach in terms of taking a more holistic view of health and wellbeing and being more preventative rather than reactive which is easier said than done when you have kids or work (or both!).  I have some incredibly fit friends who are cyclists and one of the things they do is book themselves in for monthly massages - sounds like an indulgence but I don't think it is if you can afford it as it is an investment in your own health.  I think parents often put themselves last but if we don't take care of ourselves and then fall down, the whole family ends up suffering.
Cherry Blossom image via Wikipedia
Aliki started with a consultation and also passed on a series of stretches for me to practise at home at the end and I think this is such a lovely benefit of seeing someone like her.  I will be back!  With spring in the air, I know it's also time to try to get back to more regular exercise which has also suffered over the winter and with me getting sick.

And at the risk of sounding terribly vain which I probably am :-) I would love to find a beauty therapist out this way who specialises in natural and/or organic products and treatments - if you can recommend someone local, I would love to give them a go!  I've had the same hairdresser since I was in my early twenties so would love to form a similar relationship with a local person.  Let me know!

How about you?  Have you got any plans to start (or increase) exercising for Spring or rejuvenating yourself/your life in some other way?  I think it's a great time to get ready for a brand new season and beginning, which is what I love most about Spring - the chance to start afresh, look forward to some warmth in the air and seeing everything blossom, bloom and flourish again, including the chance to do this with ourselves and our own lives.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Little birdies

Mr Rosanna and I have both been sick the past week so not much fun with demanding children cooped up inside.  We did manage to visit the heritage listed Eltham Library over the weekend and it really is lovely - a real community hub with the Alistair Knox Park and train line out the front, a gallery space, a toy library and not one but two cafes to choose from.  I didn't get a chance to go into Shillinglaw Cottage Cafe & Food Store but it looks gorgeous.
Image via Shillinglaw Cottage website
On the way there, we went past the Eltham Miniature (Diamond Valley) Railway and there is also the newly opened Eltham Tea House on the opposite side of the road near the outdoor florist which I've heard good things about - somewhere that's suitable to take young kids and toddlers.  Think it's in a great location for when you're visiting the railway on Sundays (and Wednesdays during school holidays).  I've also heard great things about nearby Lilies on Brougham (particularly from friends who are into French Provincial) - a tearoom, gift shop, ladies clothing store and boutique nursery - which is around the corner in Brougham Street.
Image via Eltham Tea House website
Image via Lilies on Brougham website
Speaking of little people, my friend Kallista has just opened Tiny Dancer World - ballet and creative dance classes for children aged 2 - 6 in Rosanna East and South Morang.  Kallista has a dance background and was involved in professional roles in the performing arts and musicals (which are still her great passion!) prior to having children herself.  You can email: to register your interest or call 0478 011 772 for bookings.  
Image via Mr Wolf Kids Facebook page
Finally, there is a relatively new clothing and toy shop for kids in Lower Templestowe called Mr Wolf Kids - I've not yet been there myself but it's good to know it's around as I often find myself buying last minute presents at the Heide Store.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Book me in

Read any good books lately?  It's the third annual National Bookshop Day this Saturday and you might want to head to your favourite bookshop.  I must admit, with all the reading I do for work, I find it hard to pick up a book and concentrate these days.  I've been struggling to read 'All That I Am' by Anita Funder and think it will only be when I go on holiday that I may actually finish it!  I find newspapers, magazines and works of fact not fiction easier to read these days but hope, given I was such a bookworm growing up, that I one day return to regular reading.  One book which I have read this year is one my friend Nik (who is also a yoga teacher) passed onto me - Buddhism for Mothers by Sarah Napthali - and whether you are into Buddhism or not, it's a great, easy read chock full of practical self-care tips for mothers.
Image via Allen & Unwin website
One of my favourite past times is browsing in bookshops and even with the advent of kindles and digital downloads, I don't think anything can replace the joy you get from picking up a book and ruffling through pages.  We're lucky to have a number of bookshops out this way including Andrews Books in Ivanhoe, the Eltham Bookshop and Volumes in Eltham, Robinsons Bookshop in Greensborough and other major booksellers at local shopping centres - some of these shops will be celebrating National Booksellers Day if you're out and about.

And while Spring is beckoning, I think reading a book at home or visiting your local library is a great way to pass the time while the weather is still cold.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Local Profile - Peta Skinner

I think that dancing, like music, is good for the soul.   I've done a number of dance classes over the years (as well as spending a good part of my late teens and early twenties clubbing the night away!).  Dancing is a really fun way to exercise, connect with other people and release stress.  It's great to know there is a new local dance school and teacher in Peta Skinner.  You may even catch me at a class one Monday night shaking my booty!  Read on for more about the very talented Peta Skinner.
Peta Skinner
Name: Peta Skinner
Occupation: Dance Teacher & Performer
Lives/works: Bundoora
How long have you lived/worked here?
I have lived in Bundoora for 22 years.  I recently moved to Hawthorn East but regularly visit my parents who still live in Bundoora.  I am starting up dance classes in Viewbank as I wanted to remain in the area where I grew up and have old school friends, family and other acquaintances.
Viewbank Scout Hall
Describe yourself/what you do:
After completing Year 12 at Bundoora Secondary College in 2007, I went on to do a Certificate 4 and Diploma in Dance & Performance at Dance Factory in Richmond.  While I was still studying at Dance Factory, I began teaching for them and also doing some small gigs and performance work.  I now work permanently for 3 different dance schools and sometimes teach one off classes in primary and secondary schools all across Melbourne.  Some of my dance credits include: regular tap gigs at the Old Melbourne Gaol, a nightclub extra in the movie 'Any Questions for Ben', Dora the Explorer Live Stage Show: Australian Tour, which also travelled to Abu Dhabi and Kuwait.

I have decided that it is time to open up my own dance school, 'P.S. Let's Dance'.  At the moment, I am just starting with an adult funk/hip hop class on Mondays from 7 - 8 pm at the scout hall, Rutherford Rd, Viewbank Reserve.  I am hoping to expand into children's classes and also start offering some additional class styles to adults.  I am proficient in teaching Jazz, Tap, Funk/Hip Hop, Lyrical Jazz/Contemporary and Ballet.  I would love to hear some feedback on what classes people in the area are interested in.

Best thing(s) about living/working in Melbourne's north-east:
I think the best things about growing up in Melbourne's north-east are the proximity to everything you may need.  Good schools, transport and shopping centres and a friendly family environment.  At the same time we are close enough to the city for entertainment including live theatre, which is, of course, one of my great loves and interests.

For more information: 
Mobile: 0421 981 304