Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Before I got married and had children, I spent a large part of my late teens and early twenties frequenting the shops, bars and cafes of Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.  In my heart of hearts I will always be a north of the Yarra girl - maybe because I was born on this side of town but maybe just because I find the north more meaningful to me.  I have to be careful here because I have a heap of friends who have lived anywhere from South Yarra/Prahran/St Kilda/Elwood out to Black Rock and Beaumaris, which is always a big trek across town!
Image via Wikipedia
I did want to mention that the book 'Brunswick Street - Art and Revolution' by Anne Rittman is being launched this Sunday 5 October at the Royal Derby Hotel at 446 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.  It's the story of Brunswick Street from the 1970s, which should hopefully mention one of our locals - ceramicist Lene Kuhl Jakobsen from her early years at Pigtale Pottery.  There will also be a special fundraising auction at this event of affordable art.  The book viewing and launch is at 11 am while the auction will take place from 3 - 5 pm.  I love the Facebook page cover image taken by Kerry Allen at the Last Laugh theatre!

I also wanted to mention that if you're after some Spring fashion, then Elk currently has its online garage sale on until tomorrow - choose carefully if you are buying as there are no exchanges or refunds given the heavy discounts.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Local Profile - Pamela Speldewinde

Imagine my delight when I found out the parent rep for son number one's class was none other than Pamela Speldewinde of Action School of Yoga, where I actually did a class many, many years ago as it was located right opposite my original yoga school, Dance of Life, in Smith Street, Fitzroy.  Even better that Pamela is now bringing Iyengar yoga to the local community in Ivanhoe with classes starting next term at the Ivanhoe Senior Citizens Centre behind Hatch Contemporary Arts Space.  Read on for more about Pamela and her passion for yoga.
Name: Pamela Speldewinde
Occupation: Iyengar Yoga Teacher
I live in Heidelberg Heights. I work in Fitzroy and more recently will start a class in Ivanhoe but have taught Yoga all over Melbourne for the last 18 years.
How long have you lived/worked here? 
I have lived in Heidelberg Heights for 13 years and worked mainly in Fitzroy as principal teacher and manager of The Action School of Yoga. The school was established in 1983 and was one of the first Iyengar Yoga Schools in Melbourne. Although my base for the last 18 years has been at the Action School in Fitzroy I have taught all over Melbourne in educational institutions, prisons and corporate companies, fitness clubs and sporting groups, adapting the practice of yoga to benefit each particular group's needs.
Describe yourself/what you do:
I first started yoga at the age of 18 as part of a training program for a physical theatre company that I was involved in. I found yoga a very stabilising force in my life at a time that was very challenging. Eventually I shifted away from performing and began training to be an Iyengar yoga teacher under senior Iyengar teacher Glenn Ceresoli. After working many years at the Action School of Yoga doing group classes I am now concentrating more on private one on one sessions where I can design programs that are personalized to each student in order to address specific needs and maximise the benefits people can have with their practice. I am also starting a new group class in Ivanhoe on Sunday October 12th. This class will run for 9 weeks in term 4.

What I have always been drawn to with this style of yoga is how grounded and accessible it is to everyone. It is a practical skill that allows you to cultivate many beneficial qualities, such as increased attention span, focus, sensitivity, coordination, balance, physical confidence and a general state of wellbeing. It can also help with physical injuries and health conditions. I’ve found that working with the body through the asanas (poses) and meditation shifts me from identifying just with my habitual thoughts that can be very narrow and limited to a much more open and receptive way of being. There are many reasons for starting a yoga practice.  Ultimately, Yoga practice is transformational. It refines our attention and cultivates conscious awareness.

Best thing(s) about living/working in Melbourne’s north-east:
I love the thought of providing classes for my own community. My family and I have found a great place to live where neighbours talk to each other and help each other when needed. During the summer months everyone in the neighbourhood gathers in the street once a week for a barbeque and cricket match. Being part of a community like this is priceless.

For more information:
phone: 0425 730 396

Nb. In addition to general group classes on Sunday, there will be beginners classes offered on Thursday nights from term 2 in 2015

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Well and good

It's been a busy few days and I've been sucked into the vortex of school holidays spending my days outside taking children to playdates.  I did manage to see the Australian Ballet's production of The Nutcracker at the Arts Centre on Tuesday night with my friend Kal courtesy of my client Avant Card and it was a real highlight - productions set to live music from an orchestra (Tchaikovsky in this particular instance) are always pretty magical.  I've not been to the ballet in years so the opportunity to go was very special - I felt quite cultured!  The Tram Bar was closed when we got out so we ended up at the Curve Bar for a quick drink after the ballet was over.
Image via www.avant.card.com.au
I just wanted to post on a couple of other cultural events - Katherine Hattam Waters' new series of works Backwaters opened last night at LUMA (La Trobe University Museum of Art) in Bundoora and runs until 7 November.  It examines the relationship between minor waterways and the sites in which they are situated including Merri Creek in Melbourne, the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn and the Suzhou Creek in Shanghai using woodblocks, prints and collages.  You can also catch the last days of The Light Factory Gallery's shows Tableaux Melbourne, Monkey Tail Collection 8 and The Lost Journals which finish this coming weekend on September 28.  The gallery will remain open from 2 - 12 October from 11 am - 2 pm with The Art of Portraiture - a a selection of portraits painted by local artists.  Watch this space for news on its new incarnation.
Image via shopinivanhoe.com.au
The Slow Food Melbourne Farmers' Market is on this Saturday at Abbotsford Convent while The Wellness Walk and Ivanhoe Street Party is on this coming Sunday 28 September commencing at 11am at The Centre Ivanhoe - registration starts at 8.30am and the street party will run from 9 am - 4 pm on Upper Heidelberg Road in Ivanhoe.  Funds raised go to the Olivia Newton John Cancer & Wellness Centre at the Austin Hospital in Heidelberg.  Speaking of wellness, the Heidelberg Fit Club runs every Sunday from 9 am at Heidelberg Park near the kids play area and basketball court.  It's a free community workout designed for anyone of any age and any fitness level with free wellness evaluations available by appointment.  Call Hannah on 0423 626 835 or Matt on 0401 307 320 for more information.

Finally, tomorrow I will have a new local profile also centred on wellness - stay tuned.

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

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Old fashioned glamour

I am loving the blue sunny skies and warmer weather this week.  Mr Rosanna and I have actually spent the past few weekends making trips to both The Greenery in Heidelberg and Bulleen Art & Garden nurseries as we try to resurrect our garden.  We've bought a number of native Australian plants to try and attract more native birds to our house and I have to say the landscape designer in me has been having fun trying to match colours and work out what goes with what.  We also need to spruce up our deck so will be visiting Ellis Outdoor Living in Balwyn when we get a chance to go.
Audrey Hepburn in Givenchy image via Wikipedia
There are a number of events on this weekend, not withstanding the AFL Grand Final, and I'll be back later this week to let you know about local happenings as well as another new local profile to be featured.

Meanwhile, I did catch some of the the Brownlow Medal Red Carpet special on TV last night and I have to say the standard of dress has really improved from past years.  I think it will always be more about glamour than style but I think I was probably still refining my look well into my early 30s so who am I to judge?  The highlights for me, probably not surprisingly given I'm a 'more can sometimes be more' girl when it comes to covering up, were Alex Davis in a beautiful blue gown by Julie Simonelli and Nicole Petrie in Helen Manuell.  I also thought Michele Trewartha in her gold dress and Lauren Tscharke in her white and pale pink dress both looked lovely and for something completely different, I actually didn't mind Jesinta Campbell's grey one-sleeved Steven Khalil dress.  You can view some of the dresses on the Mamamia blog.  Not surprisingly, many of the Brownlow Medal fashion designers specialise in wedding gowns.  For me, I wore a vintage-inspired Marianna Hardwick dress when I got married while my best friend Jules wore a beautiful Art Deco 1930s-style dress by Gwendolynne, perhaps something to keep in mind as the season of weddings and spring racing is about to begin.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Local Profile - Brooke Williams

Well it's nice to know there are fellow online people in the local area including none other than Banyule Mum herself - Brooke Williams!  Miss Rosanna and Banyule Mum got to meet for a coffee at Miss Marie Cafe the other week in the real world, and if you're a parent in the local area then you really should check out Banyule Mum especially given the school holidays are about to start.  I love that Brooke, like me, also works in the cloud :-)
Name: Brooke Williams
Occupation: Stay at home mum / Marketing / IT/ Online sales / Online collaborator
Lives/works: Viewbank/In the cloud
How long have you lived/worked here?
My now husband and I moved to Melbourne in 2005 from country North East Victoria. We have lived in 3 suburbs in Banyule city and are now in our forever house (well at least until the kids finish schooling).
Describe yourself/what you do:
I am currently a stay-at-home Mum with 2 pre-schoolers who keep me on my toes. In my small amount of down time, I import children’s bedroom items and sell online, mainly on eBay but I got my start on local buy, swap and sell pages. I also am a marketing consultant, helping business with projects, website, promotions, social media and other marketing activities. And finally my latest side project, Banyule Mum, where I research local happenings and share them with the Banyule community.
Best thing(s) about living/working in Melbourne’s north-east:
We really don’t need to leave our area very often; there is everything we need here. Green spaces, playgrounds, great kindergartens, school etc for the kids, cafes and restaurants, awesome local events like the farmers markets, Arty Farty festival and just so much to discover. The proximity to things further away is great too, 30 mins on the train to the city, 30 mins to the airport and the metro ring road to get us on our way to the parents in the north east country.

For more information:
www.banyulemum.com | www.facebook.com/BanyuleMum

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Spring Fling

Aaah...Spring - such a tease of a season with warm days convincing you that blue skies and sunshine are on their way and then the next day it feels like Winter re-visited.  While we may be waiting for Spring to be sprung, there is a number of events on this weekend if the weather gets better here in Melbourne as planned.  Besides the Royal Melbourne Show which opens on Saturday at the Melbourne Showgrounds, the Rosanna Village Spring Fair is on closer to home from 10 am - 3 pm on Saturday with rides, face painting, pony rides and a petting zoo.
Alcheringa image via Open Gardens Australia
While you're in Rosanna, you may also want to drop into Alcheringa at 46 Victoria Avenue in Rosanna which will be open from 10 am - 4.30 pm on both Saturday and Sunday as part of the final Open Gardens Australia scheme which sadly ends this year.  The cost is $8 to see the bush-style native garden with stonework by landscape designer Gordon Ford created in the late 1960s by the owners whose house was built by environmental architect Alistair Knox - famous for his mud brick homes built in the 1950s and 60s particularly in Eltham.
Image via www.mfm.com.au
Finally, the Fairfield Farmers Market is also on this Saturday from 8 am - 1 pm at Fairfield Primary School in Wingrove Street and the Ivanhoe Makers Market in Livingstone Street is also on from 10 am - 4 pm.

I'll be back tomorrow with a local profile just in time for the school holidays.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Five stars

An era has come to an end with Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton (or just 'Margaret and David') from ABC's At the Movies announcing they'll be filming their last show in December and retiring after 28 years critiquing films on both the ABC, and prior to that on The Movie Show at SBS.
Image via www2b.abc.net.au
If you are a fan like me, then it's definitely worth checking out the Youtube parody of them both by Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush on The Hoopla today.  I think I've enjoyed watching their performances as hosts every week as much as I've enjoyed finding out about the movies - watching movies may never be the same again!
Image via ABC Victoria blog
It's been fantastic to see older people in the media and considering that David Stratton actually started his TV presenting role in his late forties and is only just stepping down at 75, there may be hope for all of us late bloomers still yet to hit our peak.  It's never too late!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Greatest Show on Earth

I have a thing for circuses - I think they appeal to both the child and gypsy in me - I have a similar one for carnivals, probably for the same reasons.  While I'm on the topic, I did want to mention that Little Devils Circus in Box Hill is now taking both term 4 and school holiday program bookings.  We actually celebrated son number one's birthday party there a couple of years ago and the boys had a fantastic time!
There's also a community arts organisation called Westside Circus which supports youth at risk and who were involved with an innovative Banyule Council workshop program held earlier this year in West Heidelberg for girls aged 11 - 14 teaching them circus skills.
If you're ever after circus performers for a party or event then I also have to mention my friend Nik's brother Matthew Hills who runs Urban Cirque.  I've seen his performers in action and they're pretty amazing as you would expect from something spectacular!
And finally, while I'm talking about performance, interesting to see that Viewbank College is looking to build its own Music/Drama facility on-site at its Viewbank campus in the future, which would allow the possibility for Banyule Council the opportunity to purchase the Banyule Theatre Complex in Heidelberg if there was enough community support.  This would be a win for the arts community here who have been crying out for a multi-purpose performing arts facility given the Heidelberg Theatre Company have a continual lease on the Heidelberg Theatre in Rosanna.  If you are interested in showing your support you can email Craig Langdon, Steven Biffra, Tom Melican or Mark DiPasquale or alternatively you can post The Mayor, Banyule Council, PO Box 51 Ivanhoe 3079.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Catering to the masses

Last week ended up being a lot more busy than I was expecting with Granny Annie down from Queensland, my friend Mel having a baby, a wedding celebration for my other friend Mel and sick children to contend with - aah the joys of suburban life.  I did mean to post on Friday as there were a heap of markets on over the weekend including the Sisters Market in Brunswick and Collingwood Children's Farm Farmers Market and Coburg Farmers Market all on Saturday, the Take 2 Market vintage clothing pop up at Queen Victoria Market on Sunday and the Yarra Valley Open Studios weekend on both days - I hope you might have managed to find out about these events elsewhere.  It's also Sigmund Jorgensen's book launch at Montsalvat tonight if you are an art history lover of the local area.
Nem N' Nem Trailer image via Urban Spoon
For my friend Mel number 2's wedding celebration in Greensborough, she and her clever hubby decided to get a food truck in to cater for their guests and I have to say the assortment of Vietnamese dishes from Nem N' Nem (geddit?) was delicious!  They are a Vietnamese Hawker Kitchen who are based in Glen Iris but travel to different locations in the nemNnem trailer (which you can find on Facebook or Twitter).  They also cater for private events if you email: nemn.nemtrailer@gmail.com
Caffe Strada interior image via Caffe Strada
Speaking of catering, we did use Caffe Strada in Ivanhoe to cater for a party we had at home for Mr Rosanna one year and Paul and his team are great - they also specialise in gluten-free food and the cafe on Upper Heidelberg Road was renovated a while ago and is a nice place to hang out with the kids.  If you're got something more elaborate in mind, Luckman Catering in Bundoora has also been recommended to me by hospitality friends.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Works of Art

Textile Artist Teresa Bennett in her Greensborough studio/shop
I was out on the road yesterday and finally got a chance to visit textile artist Teresa Bennett at her studio and shop at 77 Grimshaw Street in Greensborough, as part of the Greensborough Comes Alive Project.  It was great to see her and her lovely wares not to mention the sculptural installations she's created as part of her arts practice.  Teresa's there until the end of this month so if you're wanting a handmade neck warmer, fingerless gloves, scarf or shrug, now is the time to see her.  She not only knits her wool by hand or machine, she is also involved in both the spinning and dyeing process for most of the materials she uses in her work - I loved the macrame hangers she's also made from which to hang and display her neck warmers!
Morning light coming into the studio 
Installation 1 
Installation 2
I also had a client meeting at The Light Factory Gallery in Eltham so took the chance to view the last shows featuring the work of Darren Gilbert, Lachlan Plain and Phil Sayers - Phil has a huge Melbourne landscape (below) on display as part of his Tableaux Melbourne exhibition which is a work of art!
Nb. Miss Rosanna is The Light Factory Gallery's freelance PR consultant

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Loving my local

When I first created this blog, it was a definite thing for me to focus on the local area.  When you suddenly find yourself at home with babies, toddlers and young children, your focus shifts to your immediate environment and things that are close by.  For me, this has also extended into my professional life where the majority of my clients have been, and still are, small to medium sized enterprises - the lifeblood of the Victorian economy.  It also takes a lot of guts and determination to open your own business, and to keep on going, so with this in mind I just wanted to mention the 'Why do you love your local' competition that is currently being run by Banyule City Council and Victorian Government in the lead up to Support Small Business Day on 4 October.
Image via www.banyule.vic.gov.au
You can win one of 6 x $250 shopping vouchers simply by uploading a photo or writing 100 words on your favourite local business and submitting it to Banyule's Why do you love your local? competition Facebook page.  You can enter as many times as you like and entries close on 12 October.  I love that they've chosen Paul from Miss Marie Cafe in Rosanna as their poster boy for the Facebook competition!

Speaking of small business, it's great to see my ex-client (and current piano teacher) Wendy Brentnall-Wood from Wendy's Music currently nominated for the 2014 Aus Mumpreneur Awards and while I'm on the topic of business women, I also wanted to remind you that tickets are currently on sale for the 2014 Banyule Women in Business Lunch being held on Thursday 16 October at The Centre Ivanhoe.  This year's guest speaker is Carolyn Cresswell from Carman's Fine Foods who I actually met many, many years ago at a marketing network event.  Aah..the power of the network!

Friday, September 5, 2014

A Father's Day

I have to say that Mr Rosanna is incredibly hard to buy for as he's very particular about what he wears (so clothes are out) and how things fit.  So come birthdays, Christmas and Father's Day, I usually have to be pretty inventive and given how I dislike consumerism for the sake of it, I tend to buy a lot of gift vouchers for experiences to be had or something vintage.
With that in mind, I did want to share what I actually bought Mr R for Christmas last year (above) - it was a vintage printers tray (to display his knick knacks in his music studio), a vintage pewter hip flask given he's a whiskey drinker, The Mr Porter Paperback - The Manual for a Stylish Life, as well as a voucher for a haircut at Captains of Industry Gentlemen's Outfitter in the city - a cafe, barber shop, bespoke tailor and shoe store all in one.

It's even more difficult buying for my dad and his - Mr R and I have bought music concert tickets in the past for both our fathers to see people like Norah Jones and Cat Stevens but often when you get to that stage in life, you've already got everything you could ever want or need.

Do you agree?  Are the men in your life hard to buy for?  Wishing you a Happy Father's Day for Sunday - I'll be back next week!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Birds and The Butterflies

How beautiful is today?  I am loving the blue skies and feeling the sunshine on my skin.  And I'm not the only one, I went for a run yesterday through the Rosanna parklands and in my street, at my children's school and in my own backyard, the birds are all going a bit crazy!  It's so lovely to see and hear native birds squawking and screeching (although I'm not enjoying being swooped on!).  I love the naughty sulphur crested cockatoos who are often in my street and at the park yesterday were green lorikeets and a pair of kookaburras in the trees just near the bridge over to the park.
Our backyard friend - the spotted pardalote in our birch tree
We have a pair of birds who've built a nest in our backyard - at first we thought they were finches of some kind but on closer inspection, it turns out they are spotted pardalotes.  Mr Rosanna's had his camera out taking photos of them for son number one who is a nature lover.
Eltham Copper Butterfly (Paralucia pyrodiscus lucida) perched on Sweet Bursaria, Bursaria spinosa
Image: Andrea Canzano via Museum Victoria blog
Source: Andrea Canzano
Speaking of nature, I also wanted to mention that there is a festival being held this Sunday for the Eltham Copper Butterfly - yes a whole festival dedicated to this threatened species which can be found in Eltham.  Like rainbows, I also find butterflies a bit magical, which is why The Very Hungry Caterpillar may always be one of my favourite children's books.  Speaking of rainbows, it's also worth checking out Emily Floyd's Far Rainbow public art installation 'Abtract Labour' outside the front of Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen.  While Bunjil the Eagle near the Docklands has been my favourite piece of public art for a while now, Emily's work is now a contender for the title!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Artists and Animals

The Light Factory Gallery in Eltham has sold and will be changing hands in November but before it does, its last lot of shows start this week and it's one for the boys - sculptor and artist Darren Gilbert, Eltham artist (and one half of Bulleen Art & Garden's creative owner duos) Lachlan Plain and Warrandyte-based artist Phil Sayers.  Their shows respectively titled Monkey Tail Collection 8, Pedro Piscator and other tales, and Tableaux Melbourne open this Thursday and run until Sunday 28 September.  Entry is free and official opening drinks with the artists will be held this Sunday from 2 - 4pm at the gallery.  I've been sworn to secrecy about what will happen come November suffice to say that the gallery will stay a venue of some kind - when I can reveal more - I will let you know except to say that exciting moves are afoot.
I am a cat I am by Pamela Irving
Also opening this week is Melbourne artist Pamela Irving's Doggerel Dreams at Montsalvat, also in Eltham.  Pamela's best known for her Larry the Dog sculpture in the city square and I've had the pleasure of visiting Pamela in her Bentleigh studio complete with real life dog!  She's also completed a number of works at Luna Park in St Kilda if you get a chance to venture to the other side of town.  Her official opening is this Saturday from 2 - 4 pm in the Barn and Long galleries with her exhibition of mosaics, assemblages and paintings fusing nonsense and humour showing until 2 November.
Man and bird by Pamela Irving
Finally, speaking of animal loving artists, Montmorency-based Rona Green is also showing her prints (along with a number of other Australian and NZ-based artists) at Near Neighbours which also opens this Saturday 6 September and runs until Sunday 28 September at St Heliers Street Gallery at the Abbotsford Convent.  Rona has also co-curated the exhibition with Paulette Robinson and the official opening drinks and nibbles will run from 2 - 4 pm on Saturday.

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