Thursday, November 28, 2013

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs

Yikes-where is the time going?  I've been a busy little bee with both work and social engagements as the festive season has begun.
Image via Banyule Youth website
Speaking of festive, the Eaglemont Village Christmas Twilight Fair is on tomorrow night from 4 - 8 pm while the annual Strawberry Fair is being held at the Rosanna Arden Crescent Uniting Church on Saturday from 9.30 am - 2.30 pm.  And with fruit in mind, I also wanted to let you know that Yarra Organics cafe at Petty's Orchard in Templestowe is now open on Thursdays from 9 am - 5.30 pm in the lead up to Christmas (although vegetables only will be available Fri - Sun) with stone fruits now available - yum!
Image via Berry Blue Design
I've been out and about today at Miss Marie cafe meeting the lovely Michelle Wallace from Berry Blue Design - if you're after a great local graphic designer - then look no further!  I also picked up the most gorgeous baby shoes handmade in Australia from Archie Bee at Lilla & Me next door.  And I have both son number one and Mr Rosanna's birthday all in the next week.  Mr Rosanna's birthday dinner is at a surprise venue but continuing the food theme, we'll be taking Thomas out to see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 with a whole gang of boys.  I wish it was the Hunger Games 2 but them's the breaks as a parent.

Friday, November 22, 2013


I caught up with some ex-work colleagues as Geppetto's in Kew last night and am suffering from Friday-itis today.  We had a great meal sharing some starter plates including the crispy calamari, focaccia and zucchini flowers.  Their logo is a moustache and their handsome male staff members were also sporting moustaches but I couldn't work out whether it was because it's Movember or it was just part of their look!  In any case, it's a great place to go to with a group for good food and there is also another restaurant in Burwood.
Image via Function Venues website
There's a lot on this weekend.  Future Primitive opens at Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen showcasing the work of 19 artists from Australia and New Zealand exploring the western concept of primitivism.  The Artists Open Studios in Nillumbik is also on this weekend and next at various locations throughout Nillumbik and you can also catch the last days of their exhibition currently on at the Eltham Community Library.  I've heard the Rick Amor self portrait prize which is now showing at Montsalvat is also worth seeing.
Image via Artists Open Studios website
Finally, the Monty Farmers Market is on tomorrow from 9 am - 1 pm as well as the grand opening of the Viewbank College Farmers Market from 8 am - 1 pm - however please check details for the latter on Ph: 5664 0096 as there have been some differing dates published.  Have a great weekend and happy Friday to you!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Christmas is coming

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?  I've tried to be more organised this year and have been taking the opportunity to buy presents when I've been out and about or seen things I've liked for particular people in my life.
Image via The Dharma Door blog
If you're going online, there are some lovely things for home from The Dharma Door,  Blue Caravan and Biome, sustainable fashion at Indigo Bazaar and I have also fallen in love with the seedling range of gold and silver earrings currently available from Elk Accessories.

I will be buying my Christmas cards this year from Earth Greetings but also wanted to mention that local printmaker Rona Green is holding a Christmas card making workshop from 10.30 am - 3.30 pm at her studio at the Abbotsford Convent this coming weekend.  The cost including all materials is $195 and places are still available.  You can email Rona at if you would like to attend and the workshop caters to all levels of experience.
Studio image via Rona Green
Handmade presents and food also make for very personal and individual Christmas gifts - my friend Emma at Frog, Goose and Bear has some fantastic do-it-yourself ideas for any of you crafty cats out there.

We support World Vision Australia as a family but given the recent tragedy in Haiyan, you may like to consider a donation to Unicef Australia.  And Oxfam also does a great range of gifts for those of you with a social conscience and who are into more conscious consumerism.  Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dude food

Interesting to read about upmarket takeaway in today's Age Epicure.  Recommended in the north east are Greek at Hellenic Republic (Brunswick East) and a hop, skip and jump away from where I used to live, Paladarr Thai in Alphington and Huxtaburger in Collingwood for US style burgers.  I've booked a special dinner out for Mr Rosanna's upcoming birthday so will reveal more closer to the time.
Image via Lip Cafe website
Speaking of burgers, we had lunch a couple of weeks ago at Lip Cafe in Ivanhoe who offer takeaway burgers just on Friday nights so lucky locals who live near Waterdale Road.  As you can tell, there are no vegetarians in our household!
Image via Lip Cafe website
As for me, I've not been anywhere of particular note for a while but did have a belated birthday with my best friend Jules and our partners over the winter at Abla's - a place I've been meaning to go to for a while.  And while the food was good, I did go expecting it to be better than what it was.  I think maybe I've got spoilt  having eaten a lot of great middle eastern food over the years.  If you do go to Abla's (which is somewhat of a Melbourne institution), I actually recommend the vegetarian menu (set menus only on Saturday nights) over the meat menu and the dining area at the front downstairs is quite a lovely and intimate space if you're a couple or in a small group.
Jules & me at Abla's

Friday, November 15, 2013

Child's play

There are a few local events on this weekend which may interest you if you've got kids in your life.  The Ivanhoe Makers Market in Livingstone Street is on tomorrow from 10 am - 4 pm and there will be an animal farm from 10 am - 12 pm midday to keep the children amused while grown ups get a chance to shop - I think it's a great idea if you actually want to browse, and buy, in peace!

Rosanna Primary School is holding a Twilight Fair from 2 - 8 pm tomorrow in Grandview Grove, Rosanna.  There'll be live music, children's rides and activities, arts and craft stalls as well as food and drink on offer.  Phone 9457 2592 for more information or email:
Image via Banyule Youth website
The Malahang Community Festival is also being held on Sunday from 10 am - 4 pm at Malahang Reserve in Heidelberg West and if the weather promises to be a lot sunnier than today, it should be a great day out - it's a free, family-friendly event.  Call 9457 9936 or email: for more details.
Finally for some retail therapy if you're a fan of Gorman or Obus - they are both having selected sales.  Gorman currently have 25% off their shoes finishing this week and Obus have a 50% off jackets and skirts sale if you're thinking of updating your Christmas wardrobe.

And on a completely different note, it was great to see indie magazine Frankie actually win Magazine of the Year again beating both Marie Claire and Vogue!  I got Mr Rosanna a subscription to the Smith Journal (Frankie's brother publication) last year for Christmas as well as a very cool chrome bullet Fisher Space Pen which is actually a design icon exhibited at the New York Museum of Modern Art and used by astronauts in space.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


It's hard to believe summer is just over two weeks away when I feel like we're back in the depths of winter.  It has been so cold and wet here in Melbourne but when I think of what has happened to the people of Philippines - I think we are well and truly the lucky ones....
Eltham Lower Park by Max Dimmack
Revival is the name of Max Dimmack's exhibition at The Light Factory Gallery which opens tomorrow and runs until Sunday 10 December.  Dimmack is a 91 year old celebrated modern Australian landscape painter, ex-soldier, art teacher and lecturer  This is his 23rd solo show and the first show he's done in 13 years representing a new start and showcasing his distinctive figurative work and portraiture as well as the landscapes for which he is well known and developed over a life time of painting.
Brown River by Max Dimmack
Entry is free and this will be the last exhibition of the year at The Light Factory Gallery which will close over the Christmas break and re-open in the New Year.  Visit for opening hours.

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

Friday, November 8, 2013

Local profile - Helen Webster

It is a small world in Melbourne.  I ran into a couple of women I previously knew at the Banyule Women in Business lunch including Helen Webster who was one of my first ever clients when I was just a junior burger working at Ann Morrison Public Relations (AMPR) - my first ever job in PR.  Helen was then working for the International Wool Secretariat (now known as The Woolmark Company) and as you will read, has an extensive background in textiles - especially wool.  It was lovely to run into her again after so many years and to hear what she has been up to.
Image via
Name: Helen Webster
Occupation: Proprietor, Raffal
Lives/works: Eaglemont
How long have you lived here?  All my life

About Helen:
I have my own business importing and distributing scarves and wraps to boutiques and other accessory outlets around Australia.

I went to Ivanhoe Girls' Grammar School and then went on to complete a Bachelor of Science at Melbourne University.  I began work at the International Wool Secretariat and worked predominantly in Marketing.  The work involved assisting the local textile industry to know more about how wool can be used in apparel.  Also to promote both Australian made and imported textiles through co-operative advertising and product knowledge to both retailers, manufacturers and ultimately consumers.
Textile weaver
I was heavily involved with forecasting fashion direction to the manufacturers, specifically in the knitwear area.  This knowledge helped me tremendously when I set up my own business.  I am able to produce a palette of colours for the season which is used when I travel to India to put together both the forthcoming Winter and Summer ranges.  I specialise in pure wool and fine Australian wool.  In summer I incorporate silk, linen and cotton into the range.  Representing me are five agents selling in the different states.
Image from a recent trip
Gradually as the business evolved, I began to travel to China to see what was available. The range of shopping in Guangzhou (Southern China) amazed me.  Being widely travelled (most of Asia and Europe/US) I had never seen shopping like this.  It is unbelievable and you have got to go to know!  It is the world's wholesale market.  I set up another business 'Buy up Big' inviting ladies to come on a 7 day shopping bonanza to Guangzhou.  The trip can incorporate people's special interests, but also includes a river cruise at night, shopping for all types of consumer goods - shoes, handbags, wallets, spectacles, clothes, watches, and having clothes made.  We visit some of the best tourist sites in this city.  We go to huge plazas and complexes selling at wholesale prices and also visit the best retail store locations.  I do these trips once a year usually around October - December.  Cost includes airfares, accommodation and breakfast and all transport whilst in Guangzhou.
Happy shoppers!
About living in Melbourne's north-east:
The best things are the undulating landscapes, trees, plants, birds and flowers as well as the fresh air and friendly people.

For more information:
Facebook: Helen Webster
Contact: 9499 2041 / 0408 051 644

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Then and Now

I had a pretty quiet Cup weekend which was actually really nice for a change as opposed to our usual mad running around for the kids and their extra curricular activities.  We managed to get our tomatoes and herbs in on time and braved the crowds at Bunnings in Preston - I think most people who weren't at the races or down at the beach were in their back yards!
Image via Fatu's Soup
I also took my best friend Jules to see 'Edward Steichen & Art Deco Fashion' at the National Gallery of Victoria courtesy of my client Avant Card who'd given me a couple of free tickets.  Aaah!  I think I should have been born in a different era when the ladies were real ladies - and dressed in the most glamorous fashions of the day.  The exhibition is in two parts and a little dark given the age of the photographs and some of the Deco outfits which accompany the photographic show.  It was all very Miss Phryne Fisher with 1920s and 30s music playing in the background and the mid section showing black and white silent film of Steichen in action photographing his dancing models, movie stars, writers and directors.  I've included two images here which were my favourites - one showing an outfit by textile designer Sonia Delaunay and the other of the actress Gloria Swanson's face through a lace veil.  I loved it but then again I knew I would!  Jules and I grabbed a coffee at the gallery after we'd seen the exhibition and had a browse in the big gallery shop which now has a huge book section.
Image via
Speaking of Art Deco, I love this property below called Riverdale in Greensborough that's currently for sale through Fletchers Real Estate.  Like Bukit Raja in Ivanhoe East, this one is pretty much in original condition and ripe for a seasoned renovator or builder to bring her up to all of her glory.
Image via
Moving on from the past and my nostalgia, there is also an exciting exhibition coming up at the National Gallery of Victoria later this month called Melbourne Now celebrating the latest art, architecture, design, performance and cultural practice in Melbourne - one of the most creative and cultural cities of the world.  Entry is free and over 300 artists and projects are involved in this exciting event designed to bring modern art and design to the people of Melbourne.
Image via

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Hot to Trot

Aah well another Melbourne Cup over as Spring Racing week continues.  While I'm not a huge fan of gambling or drinking, I do love hearing about the fashion, the food and the horses themselves.  I did really love the 2013 Fashions on the Field winner Chloe Moo whose whole outfit was made by hand in the northern territory.  Very classy and just beautiful - it also helps when you're only 19 years old!  I thought she looked stunning.  I love that bright colours like red and fuchsia pink were also so popular this year.
Image via
And for an outfit with an edge, it was the Peter Pilotto dress and Nerida Winter hat worn by international model Coco Rocha.  Peter Pilotto is a half Austrian/half Italian womenswear designer who studied at Antwerp's Royal Academy of Fine Arts while Nerida Winter is a high profile and long established Australian milliner based in Sydney.  And while Rocha's outfit is not something I would ever wear I think she's definitely got the 'It girl' looks, the budget and also what the French call 'insouciance' to carry off such an outfit.  A little bit different and a whole lot of cool.   It was also refreshing to see something a bit more covered up (hello celebrities of Australia?) and a short hairstyle which resembled a more stylish 'up' do.
Image via