Thursday, December 24, 2015

Someday at Christmas

Getting sick the week of Christmas is not ideal but them's the breaks when you have children who not only share their love, but their germs as well...I am hoping to feel better tomorrow given it's Christmas Day and I hope you are feeling good this warm December, as my friend Stevie Wonder says.
I've moved away from making new year's resolutions the past few years and instead have just focused on one major goal for each year.  However, I do think the School of Life Melbourne classes on resolutions are definitely worth thinking about and indeed anything that further develops your level of emotional intelligence and social awareness.

I just wanted to mention a couple of fun things going on around the place for New Year's Eve and beyond.  The Melbourne Ska orchestra are playing at The Croxton in Thornbury and I think they would be awesome to see live.  If you feel like a boogie, then the PBS 106.7FM Soul-A-Go-Go New Year's Eve Bash at The Corner would also be a good one.

Speaking of live music, the Open Sessions at the Australian Open Tennis are being held from 18 - 31 January featuring some great Australian bands and singers like Dan Sultan and Katie Noonan, while Zoo Twilights at Melbourne Zoo opens on 29 January.  Tickets for both events are now on sale.

I wish you well this Christmas and hope that the coming 12 months in 2016 bring all that you want from them and more.  I thought you might like the sentiments of these Steve Wonder lyrics from his song 'Someday at Christmas', which is currently featured in the Apple Christmas TV ad but the original has been around for a lot longer and is one of my all time favourite Christmas songs.  Merry Christmas everyone - may you have hope in your heart this Christmas time.

Someday at Christmas man will not fail
Hate will be gone and love will prevail
Someday a new world that we can start
With hope in every heart

Monday, December 21, 2015

Shining a light

I hope you survived the awful heat over the weekend.  We ended up having our street party at our neighbours' place once the cool change arrived, and with it, the rain so a last minute change of venue!  It was still a really fun night catching up with all our neighbours in the street, which is one of the best things about living here in Rosanna - the sense of community and people reaching out, and looking out, for one another particularly at this time of the year when some people feel a sense of loneliness and isolation.

Santa apparently does a roaring trade in bicycles and puppies at Christmas time so Mr Rosanna and I found ourselves at Ivanhoe Cycles on the weekend, which despite the hot weather, was buzzing.  I hadn't been there since it moved to larger premises in Bell Street, but it's quite impressive with a huge showroom at the front and workshop down the back and people were whizzing all around me trying out bikes.
Image via Anchor Plank Skateboards
I spied these very cool Anchor Plank Skateboards for sale while we were there - they're hand made in Melbourne and based on longboard surfboards and I loved the whole retro look about them.  While we were there, I also grabbed one of these Clif energy bars to eat and had seen these before for sale at Ray's Outdoors in Preston - again I love the retro packaging and they are also pretty tasty!
Image via njHiking
Speaking of design, Mecca Cosmetica are selling these beautiful Fornasetti candle holders for Christmas - I've always coveted one of the Fornasetti wall plates - but the candle holders are just as gorgeous.  While the candle holders are beautiful, unfortunately like Diptyque, I think they use paraffin wax which aren't great for the environment or health-wise, as well as being imported.  My favourite candles are ecoya which are made here in Australia using soy wax.
Flora image via Mecca Cosmetica

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The world is not enough

I hope you are staying cool today (and the next few days) given the heat outside.  I had my Christmas party at Asian-inspired Lucy Liu on Tuesday night and the food was sensational!  One of the co-owners (and chef) is Michael Lambie (ex-Circa at The Prince) - it's also the sister restaurant to The Smith in Prahran, which is another great venue.  It's all very Melbourne from the inconspicuous doorway off Oliver Lane through a passageway to the restaurant itself, which was firing on all cylinders.  We had the window booth at the back, which was probably a good thing given how raucous we were.  I could show you the before and after photos when it all got pretty messy but I'll leave that for another time.  Let's just say the Avant Card crew work hard and play hard...We had a great time playing Bad Santa for Kris Kringle and changing chairs through the course of the night.  The mainly seafood share plates we had were served on two small Lazy Susans and it was one of the best meals I've recently had in Melbourne, which is saying a lot given I've been eating all over the place this past month!  If you're interested in booking a table, you can do so here at Open Table.
Image via Time Out
There's less than 10 days until Christmas and I hope you've got your Christmas shopping done or under control. We live in a consumer-obsessed society and the older I get, the more I lean towards buying people experiences and  gift cards, food, plants as well as handmade, homemade or second hand items.  Photo books also make great presents even in the digital age.  It's also hard coming up with good ideas for gifts!  I did buy Mr Rosanna one of these very cool solar powered MOVA spinning globes (which have no batteries but need light to spin - watch here) for his birthday this year as we are both obsessed with globes and all things to do with travel.  I was also reading about 'Want, Need, Wear, Read' as a motto for buying kids presents - get them one thing they want, one thing they need as well as clothing or books.  For stocking fillers, rather than lollies, I think socks, stationery and Christmas ornaments are also lovely ideas.  I actually bought my kids their own ceramic stars from Paper Boat Press this year and love the whole handmade, personalised keepsake aspect to them.
Image via Mova Globe Store
The Ivanhoe Makers Market is on this Saturday as well as the Eaglemont Christmas Market and Fitzroy Market.  There are also a whole heap of farmers markets on if you are buying Christmas food.
Christmas star ornaments image via Paper Boat Press
I think if you took the material things away, Christmas (for the non-religious) is about celebrating the end of the year and more about connectedness and belonging; having a sense of community whether that be family or friends or both and feeling cared for and cared about; that you matter (which you do!).  I have one friend who has not bought anything new this year at all (although I did tell her she should make exceptions when it comes to things like new undies or toiletries).  I also have friends and family who have not enjoyed good health this year or have people close to them whose health has deteriorated, as well as those who've lost family.  It's them that I am thinking of this Christmas time.

They say compare and despair; it's always easy to look at people who have more than you or think that other people lead better lives.  It's much better to try to change your thinking and focus on the good things that you already have in your life or take action to go after the things you want.  Life is short, make things count.  You count.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Meteoric

While I happened to still be up late last night, I didn't get a glimpse of the meteor shower that is currently able to be seen in the night sky here in Melbourne but think it's a lovely allegory for this time of the year and a fitting end to the Year of Light - to see a shooting star (or stars in this case).  I hope you've had a good year.  Next year is the Chinese Year of the Fire Monkey, which sounds interesting.  I love that we have until 8 February 2016 to still make new year's resolutions if we fall over during January.
Buddha Shakyamuni statue in Lerab Ling, Southern France via Rigpa news blog
If you are interested, world renowned Buddhist teacher from Tibet and author of the highly acclaimed book 'The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying' Sogyal Rinpoche is holding a public talk on 5 January 2016 at 7pm in the Collingwood Town Hall as part of his 2016 Australian tour.  I actually have a copy of his book, which a dear friend gave to me many years ago.  You can find out more at www.rigpa.org.au - Rigpa's main retreat is at Lerab Ling in Southern France.
Prosciutto Bros. Craft Bar in Eltham exterior
From Buddhism to beer - it is going to be a hot end to the school year this week.  I'm not a drinker but was in Eltham over the weekend where Mr Rosanna and I happened to drive past Prosciutto Bros Craft Bar, which is just off Susan Street around the corner from Skaterz.  Some lucky locals looked happily ensconced taking in a few quiet beverages on a warm afternoon.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Local Profile - Karen Glahn

I've talked about jewellery this week and I met Karen earlier this year at her pop up shop Dan3K in Clifton Hill.  I've met a number of Scandinavian people in the past few years and think they have one of the world's coolest cultures - sophisticated, urban and progressive.  Karen's led an interesting life including her current incarnation as a silversmith.  Read on for more..
Karen (in orange) and her family 
Name: Karen  Glahn
Occupation: Silver-smithing among lots of other activities
Lives/works: Clifton Hill
How long have you lived/worked here? 7 years
Image via www.karenglahndesign.bigcartel.com
Describe yourself:
I came to Australia more than  30 years ago and worked for the first 20 as a Correspondent and Journalist back to Danish Media.
Image via www.karenglahndesign.bigcartel.com
I have always created stuff with my hands but metal smithing is what I love. My aim is to make simple but beautiful and unique pieces. Often I think they reflect my Danish background.

Best thing(s) about living/working in Melbourne’s north-east:
We lived in Kew for many years but I love Melbourne’s northern suburbs.  They have an interesting mix of people.  There is a creative and friendly atmosphere and an acceptance and openness towards everybody.

For more information:
Instagram: karenglahndesign
Website: Karenglahndesign.bigcartel.com
Mobile: 0433 833 209

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Freedom Time

I hope you have started to wind down in the lead up to Christmas.  After a manic few weeks, I've had a chance to stop and smell the roses this week and just be still for a while, which has been great.  Mr Rosanna and I even managed to put up our Christmas tree last night and I'm pleased to say a number of our activities have become habits this year including meditating and screen-free Wednesdays.
Image via What's in the Box Market
The markets are well and truly on now and this weekend, the What's in the Box Market in Box Hill and Sisters' Market in Brunswick are both on this Saturday.  Closer to home, the Banyule Carols by Candlelight is being held this Saturday evening in Ivanhoe, not Greensborough, this year.  The Boulevard Lights in Ivanhoe also start this Saturday night, although you will have to wait until it gets dark to see much action.

If you're starting to stock up on food, both the Collingwood and Coburg Farmers Markets are also on this weekend.
Image via Plannify.com
And while my dance party days may be behind me, I did want to mention Freedom Time #2 which is being held at the Coburg Velodrome on Sunday as one of my favourite DJs Edd Fisher from Tomorrowland on 3PBS will be spinning tunes, along with female soul DJ Miss Goldie.  While I've visited the Collingwood velodrome before, I didn't know Coburg also had one - I think it would have pretty amazing acoustics - there aren't too many times you can say you went to a dance party held in a cycling arena!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Sunset

It's a hot old windy day and I'm trying to tie up loose ends before the school holidays start next week although the private schools have already started holidays as well as senior high school students.  I had the Heide Volunteer Christmas party in the Sidney Myer Education Centre at Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen last night and it was a lovely evening, if a bit humid.  While it threatened to rain, it held off and we were all able to enjoy the food, company and live music plus a bit of singing and dancing to boot.  There are over 200 volunteers at Heide and around 100 were there last night.  The Heide Volunteer Program actually won the Excellence Award for Volunteer Management at this year's Volunteer Victoria Awards and I've already made a couple of good friends there this year.
Image via Montsalvat
There is a heap on this coming weekend, which I'll mention later this week but I did want to add that the second Puesta del Sol event is being held this Thursday night at Montsalvat in Eltham, along with the Ivanhoe Christmas Shopping Night in Ivanhoe.  Nicola Cerini is also holding a clearance sale with the last of her bags at the Abbotsford Convent Antique Bookstore this Friday and Saturday.
Image via Bundoora Homestead Art Centre
The Darebin Art Prize opens at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre on Friday while in my household, my boys are very excited about the upcoming Andy Warhol/Ai Wei Wei exhibition which also opens this Friday at the National Gallery of Victoria.
Two tone rose gold and silver Thistle Link bangle image via Michael Wilson
While I've asked for something living from Santa as my Christmas present this year, jewellery is always a beautiful gift.  While it's more gothic in style, I have visited Michael Wilson Jewellery in Eltham while I've been living in this area and do love the look of their signature Thistle Link bangles.  If you're more interested in making jewellery, I'd also make a beeline for Jeanette Dyke's studio at Montsalvat where you can currently book classes for 2016.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

A designer Christmas

I went for a long run this morning before it got too hot and sadly have not managed to get much running in since I did the 10km Run Melbourne over the winter - I do admire the hard core runners who get up early to run for a couple of hours on a daily or weekly basis.  I was lucky enough to sit next to Chris Wardlaw, the Head Athletics Coach for the Sydney 2000 Olympics at the recent Heide dinner who runs every Sunday morning and is now in his sixties, which was very inspiring.  It's also interesting cross training, which for me is something that has evolved rather than been deliberate, there is a difference between being boot camp fit, running fit and yoga fit and I still struggle with each of those disciplines at different times.  The most disciplined people build fitness into their lifestyle and make time for it no matter what their work schedule.
Elyros image via Book a Restaurant
I've also needed to exercise given the amount of meals out I've had in the lead up to Christmas - I still have a couple to go!  So where did Mr Rosanna and I go for lunch yesterday?  I took him to Elyros in Camberwell and we had a great time.  It's Cretan (from the isle of Crete in Greece) food and it was delicious.  The restaurant itself is opposite Sofia's on Burke Road (same side of the road) and housed in a beautiful former bank building on the corner which has also been beautifully fitted out.  We almost had the entire place to ourselves given it was a week day.  The food was delicious, particularly the cheese pie which I've not had before and the lamb, which was so soft it was falling off the bone.  The Cretans are also foragers so there were some lovely greens to be eaten and Mr R liked the Greek beer called Fix.  It was a brief respite in the middle of the day in the middle of what's been a crazy busy week, which is not over yet for me.  Elyros is actually run by the same people who have Epocha in Carlton - another Mediterranean-inspired place I've not yet visited.  I had heard Elyros could be a bit pricey, and indeed the drinks are if you order by the glass in particular, but we found the 3-course $45 per head shared plate menu pretty reasonable.  There is also a 4-course option for $58 if you want seafood but I think you'd have to have a pretty big stomach to eat that much.  A lovely touch was the Happy Birthday message in Greek to Mr Rosanna on his dessert plate.
Speaking of food, Nikki Ellis from Cinch PT  is involved with the Macleod Village Christmas Fair tomorrow night given all the action will be outside her door including food trucks (plus petting zoo, stall holders and Santa) which sound yum!  If you can make it, I think it will be a great local event.  The Coburg Night Market started last Friday and is also being held tomorrow night if you feel like venturing further afield.
Image via The Big Design Market
If you're more into art, design and culture - the Big Design Market opens tomorrow at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton - I've not yet made it to one but many of my friends go and buy their Christmas presents there.  It's not in the north east but local ceramic artist Lene Kuhl-Jacobsen will be selling her wares at the Scandinavian Christmas Bazaar at the Swedish Church, Toorak House on Saturday and Sunday while for modernists, the Robin Boyd Open Day titled: Boyd at the Edges is being held on Sunday 6 December.  Failing that, if you feel like hitting the road, it's the second week of the Nillumbik Artists Open Studios weekend which a number of my artist friends are involved with - enjoy!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Hello Summer

Welcome to summer - it's been a beautiful day and I'm looking forward to eventually starting to wind down for the silly season.  At the very least, I'm glad that the pollens in the air will start to lessen given my hay fever this Spring.  It has indeed been a really busy week for my family and I'm sure for yours as well.
Image via Flinders Landing Apartments
I had dinner out with friends last week at Supernormal in Flinders Lane in the city and it was fantastic.  You can't book for small groups but have to wait for a table on a long bench in front of the bar area.  It's a really large space - one of the larger restaurants around - my girlfriends and I opted for the $65 banquet menu and we were not disappointed - the food was excellent - especially those lobster rolls, which Supernormal is apparently renowned for (or as my friend Amanda was calling it 'Super yummy').  I was also in the city on Saturday which was packed, particularly Fed Square where the Lego Christmas Tree can be found.
I also attended a private function at Montsalvat in Eltham (complete with jumping castle and face painter for the kids) on Sunday night which was also pretty dreamy.  The food was not quite at the same level as Supernormal but it was still a beautiful evening spent in the Great Hall with lots of space for the kids to run around.  Mine were quite obsessed with the peacocks that live there although I found the parade of geese I spied going for their evening stroll single file when we were leaving pretty funny.

I'm taking Mr Rosanna to a secret location for his birthday lunch tomorrow but will reveal all once we've been.  Speaking of food, I did want to mention The Turkish Teahouse in Balwyn which got a write up in today's Age Good Food, and one which I'll be making a bee line for given Turkey is probably my second obsession after Morocco, in terms of countries.  It's just a shame that things overseas feel so tenuous at the moment - both countries are still at the top of my bucket list to visit one day.
Image via Hello Fresh Australia
If you are time poor, my hairdresser and a couple of other people I know have started using the Hello Fresh food box service where the recipes and ingredients are sent to you to then cook.  I have friends who have returned to work full time with children and think if you can afford to outsource, it's one way of keeping your sanity.

Just a quick note that the Scholastic Book Warehouse Sale starts tomorrow in West Heidelberg and the Women Supporting Women Red Shoes networking event in Heidelberg is also being held tomorrow night.  I've not managed to make it to any sessions this year but think it's a good one if you are a local business woman.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Local Profile - Melanie Miles

One of the best things about my blog has been meeting fellow local creative professionals and kindred spirits - many of whom have become good friends of mine.  It was a similar feeling meeting Melanie Miles not that long ago and I'm surprised that our paths have not crossed sooner than now.  Her illustrations are simply sublime.  Read on for more about Melanie...
Image via Brence & Sharon at Image Workshop 
Name: Melanie Miles
Occupation: Designer/Illustrator
Lives/works: Preston
Image via Brence & Sharon at Image Workshop 
How long have you lived/worked here? I have lived in Preston for over 10 years and bought a house 8 years ago in the area. We have slowly been renovating and landscaping when we can spare the time. The backyard has become a really great space to relax.
Describe yourself/what you do:
Curious, creative and meticulous, always searching to learn and be inspired by what’s around me. Nutrition, health and well-being are hugely important to me and are a big part of my life and who I am as is being an illustrator/stylist.

In 2005 my partner and exceptional creative expert, Joe Puntoriero and I founded Hybrid Expression, a multi-disciplinary design studio. Through our combined skill set and knowledge Hybrid Expression allows clients to engage with top-end design, unique expression and an emphasis on finding the best way for a brand to communicate. How is it working and living with your partner 24/7 is a question we’re regularly asked. When you have the commonality of a passion and the vision and drive to succeed the journey is both exciting and challenging, which strengthens our relationship and our business. We don’t always see eye to eye, but I think that helps push ideas and concepts further.

Best thing(s) about living/working in Melbourne’s north-east:
I’m really drawn to beautiful, inspired things, particularly if they are handcrafted. Melbourne’s north/east has some stunning boutique shops, and pop up stores, stocking pieces by local designers that are creative, unique in form, or adorned with stunning patterns. A designer's dream!

For more information: 
Hybridexpression.com.au
Twitter: @hybridxpression
Facebook: Hybrid Expression
melaniemiles.com.au
Twitter/Instagram: @melanie_miles_
Facebook: Melanie-Miles

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Oh Deer

I've been chasing my tail this week in a mad effort to get things done before the holiday season although really, I think most people are already starting to wind down and get into the Christmas spirit.  I was out at Westfield Doncaster today while I waited for my car to be serviced and it was already pretty busy and there's still just under a month until Christmas.  Ticketless parking has also started at the centre so there were lots of guides out on the floor directing people.
Image via Northcote Town Hall
Speaking of which, the Kris Kringle Night Market in Northcote starts tonight and runs for 4 weeks while Lightly Design in Collingwood is holding its VIP shopping event over the next two days with 10-40% off.  The Etsy Melbourne market in Collingwood is being held on Saturday while Markit@FedSquare is being held on Sunday.  Elk Accessories started its Seconds & Samples garage sale today with up to 80% off at its Preston studio and it will continue over the next two days.
Image via Etsy Made Local Melbourne
The school Christmas fairs are also on with the OLMC Twilight Community Market in Heidelberg on tomorrow night while Ivanhoe Primary is holding its Twilight Fair on Saturday night.  Mont Albert Primary and Hawthorn West Primary are also holding their school fairs on Saturday while the Thornbury Community Festival is being held on Sunday.
Image via Lido Cinemas
I managed to get to the Lido Cinemas in Hawthorn briefly yesterday to see The Dressmaker and that was pretty fabulous - the cinemas themselves are more boutique with big comfy chairs.  It would also be a great place to see the upcoming Star Wars movie.  There's a bar/lounge area in the foyer upstairs where they spin vinyl records but unfortunately I didn't get to check out the rooftop cinema.  The Friday and Saturday night jazz club there also sounds pretty cool. Parking during the day is scarce but there are 2 hour parks alongside the Hawthorn football oval if you can nab a park.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Power of Three

It's a busy time of year and I'll be glad to get through the next couple of weeks.  I've done the bulk of my Christmas shopping so that's one thing that's relatively under control but the end of year Christmas parties are now starting and I still have a couple of birthdays to celebrate in my household before the year is out.
Me and Avant Card Managing Director Pat Mackle with the Melbourne Festival boys
It's not in the north-east but I did have a client function at Linden New Art in St Kilda last Thursday night, which was fun!  Linden New Art is quite similar to the Bundoora Homestead Art Centre in many ways being council-owned with a heritage overlay and run as a not-for-profit.  Avant Card Managing Director Pat Mackle was one of this year's judges for the annual Linden Postcard Show and as part of the deal - we got to hold our event at the gallery while the show was still exhibiting.  It was great to mingle with our mixed and varied clients who were there on the night including people from the Melbourne Festival, Melbourne Recital Centre, Circus Oz and the Melbourne Zoo just to name a few.  I also got to meet Melinda Martin, the Director of Linden New Art who actually hails from Eltham and whose partner is celebrated local artist Juan Ford.  The only downer was the 60 minute drive across town in peak hour traffic - I saw my life flashing by as I crawled down Punt Road - the great north south divide here in Melbourne...needless to say I think I will always be a north-side girl as much as the glamorous south beckons at times.
1-2 Riverside Road Ivanhoe image via Domain
The Spring property market is full of action at the moment and these three period homes have all caught my eye, and all include the number 3 in their addresses - 1-3 Riverside Road Ivanhoe has been styled to within an inch of its life but some of the Art Nouveau period features are just divine and it's not often you see houses from this point in time - after Federation but before Art Deco.  3 Hampton Court in the heart of the Beaumont Estate in Ivanhoe is also a beautiful building - very English looking and sounding and in a fantastic location closer to the Ivanhoe Centre end off Melcombe Road.  Finally, 23 Castle Street in Eaglemont is also a pretty amazing Arts and Crafts building.
3 Hampton Court Ivanhoe image via realestate.com.au
There is lots on this week with the start of many Christmas markets and fairs not to mention a couple of big sales and festivals coming up.  I'll also have a new local profile to put up later this week.
23 Castle Street Eaglemont image via realestate.com.au

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Words and pictures

I was volunteering at Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen yesterday and the new Alex Danks exhibition 'My Fellow Aus-tra-aliens' has just opened and I was quite enthralled by his body of work which is on display in the central galleries (all photos below).  My favourite space is the alcove to the right where some rather haunting and evocative Russian army music is playing and Danks' gouache on paper resembling Ukrainian cross stitch textile patterns (which in themselves have meaning) are on display.  My photos don't do the space justice but it was a beautiful way to begin my morning - I was indeed transported to another place and time.

It was a sunny day, which always brings out the visitors, and many of them found themselves laughing their heads off, like I did at the humorous word-play, double entendres and slogans Danks uses - I am a fan.  I never know who is going to turn up as a visitor at Heide - yesterday I found myself talking to an ex-CEO of a major bank here in Melbourne.  Concrete poet (and Melbourne University Architecture Lecturer) Alex Selenitsch has a text based exhibition currently showing in Heide II and there is also a Mitch Cairns show on in the Project Gallery.  The writer in me is loving all three exhibitions.  If you are visiting Heide, I would encourage you to wear closed toe shoes as snakes have already been spotted in the grounds given it's their natural habitat.

Speaking of Heide, there is a free garden talk being held this Saturday at 2 pm by Melbourne City Rooftop Honey at Heide called Plight of the Honeybees.  I've already seen some wild bees buzzing about my herbs which is a good thing and I'm hoping the blue tongue lizards come back to my garden - I've heard they like strawberries!  And while I'm not growing any strawberries this year, the annual Strawberry Fair at Rosanna Uniting Church in Arden Crescent is also on this Saturday from 9.30 am - 2 pm with white elephant stalls, crafts, books, toys, treasures, plants, cakes, morning tea, lunch and pancakes all on offer not to mention a magic show for the kids on at 10.45 am and 12.30 pm.  Enquiries on 9457 2596.

If the weather stays this warm and balmy, there is a Star Gazing Night presented by the Astronomical Society of Victoria being held on Friday night at Westerfolds Park as well as the Kew Christmas Night Market.  On Saturday, the Watsonia Motor Show Family Festival is being held along with the Clifton Hill Primary School Fair while on Sunday the Eltham Festival is on as well as The Colour Run at Flemington Racecourse.  I think it's only going to get busier from here on in....

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Paix sur la terre

It's been a changed world since I last posted on my blog last week - maybe it's too simplistic a view of things but we are all global citizens living together in the one world and there's a lot to be said for more kindness, compassion, love and understanding across this planet of ours between all people across all borders and religions.
L-R: Rachel Griffiths and Chris Deutscher,
Annual Love Heide Dinner 2015 at The Sofitel
The irony wasn't lost on me having spent Saturday night out at a French hotel (The Sofitel) with my friends celebrating art and culture at the Heide dinner.  It's an annual fundraising dinner held by Heide Museum of Modern Art, which is largely dependent on private funding to operate as much as it's government owned and receives some public funding.  I was indeed in esteemed company, the Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley spoke at the event while Chris Deutscher from Deutscher and Hackett ran the auction with pre-eminent Australian artist Fiona Hall and photographer John Gollings both in attendance.  We were entertained by MC Tim Ross and 'Chad Bradley' (Geoff Paine) and other actors were also there as guests including Rachel Griffiths and Shaun Micaleff.  Needless to say, it was a fabulous night and I was very lucky to have been invited by friends who normally take clients.
Mr Rosanna and me - Annual Love Heide Dinner 2015 at The Sofitel
A few random things to mention today.  The East Ivy cafe in East Ivanhoe has had a few write ups now in local papers and it's great to hear that a cafe with a more urban vibe has opened up there in the village.  My boot camp buddy Rachael was also telling me about boutique Italian winery Olivigna Warrandyte - it sounds a bit similar to Montalto's on the Mornington Peninsula or Lavendula near Daylesford but it's great that we have something a lot closer to us in the north east.
Image via Sothebys Realty
This beautiful house (above) called Kinloch at 93 Arthur Street in Eltham has caught my eye and it looks like something just out of Vogue Living or Belle magazine - perhaps something a fashion designer might live in, it looks that glamorous!  I've been getting into the whole spring decorating vibe and I just wanted to mention a few online retailers that may be of interest.  I've recently bought some outdoor cushions from Bungalow Living as well as seen beautiful homewares for sale from St Barts and My Global Merchant - all of which are in Queensland.  Home by Tribal opened last week in Hawthorn and I've been meaning to visit Weylandts in Abbotsford at some stage.  It is indeed a lucky country we live in for me to be contemplating such things...

Friday, November 13, 2015

Puesta del Sol

Image via Montsalvat
It means 'sunset' in Spanish and is also the name of the cool poolside event which took place yesterday at Montsalvat in Eltham, complete with live music, drinks at bar prices and Argentinean ice cream by Helajos Jauja.  I've had a busy week and meant to post about it beforehand but luckily there will be a second event held on 10 December if you're interested in going.
Image via Linen & Moore blog
I picked up my computer from Apple Doncaster yesterday which was an experience in itself - waiting with about 20 other people outside before the staff members had their team huddle inside and assembled into positions for when the doors opened - the cult of Apple.  Westfield Doncaster is about to introduce ticketless parking just in time for the Christmas season and all the stores are already in Christmas mode.  I'm not a mall person but did pop my head into Linen & Moore, who also have a store in Fitzroy, and they have some beautiful artisan textiles from all over the world.
Image via The Town Mouse
I've also been eating my way around the place.  I did have brunch not that long ago at Second Home Eltham and parking is a bit of a nightmare - best to go to Susan Street and turn left off Brougham Street.  The food was excellent and it was lovely to see Catherine, the new owner again.  The place was pretty full but you can book on week days (but not public holidays) and the cafe will be open in January if you check the website.  I also went to The Town Mouse in Carlton last night for a catch up dinner with old workmates - parking is also a bit of nightmare around Drummond Street as well although I ended up parking in Rathdowne Street and walking.  It's quite a dark, moody and intimate space (black tiled walls and a big bar in a small area) - we had shared plates perched on stools at the bar tables.  There are some small tables at the front as well.  Again, the food was excellent - we had 6 shared plates plus a couple of drinks and spent about $60 each.  I was also invited to another event with other ex-work friends at Lucy Liu in the city last night, which I missed, but given my work Christmas dinner is being held there, I will let you know what that's like once I go.
Image via Ticketmaster
It's a busy time of year - Mr Rosanna and I have also been invited by friends of mine to the annual Heide fundraising dinner at The Sofitel tomorrow night which I'm really looking forward to - the PR girl in me always loves a chance to frock up and The Sofitel is probably my favourite hotel in Melbourne although I also like the look of a lot of the boutique hotels like The Adelphi, Hotel Lindrum, The Lyle and Art Series Hotels.  The Mansion Hotel and Spa out in Werribee is also pretty amazing if you ever get a chance to visit and where the So Frenchy So Chic music event is held every year.

What's on this weekend?  The Sisters' Market is on in Brunswick tomorrow as well as the Rosanna Primary School Twilight Fair and Kew East Primary School Carnival.  There will also be the Arthur's Creek Annual Garden Walk out in Strathewen and the Malahang Community Festival in West Heidelberg on Sunday.

Monday, November 9, 2015

A blockbuster year

Despite the rise of Netflix and Pay TV in general, it's great to know that the cinema business is booming and I still love a night out at the flicks - it tends to be more kids movies these days than adult but hey - I'll take what I can get!

Spectre - the new James Bond film is out this week and I was looking longingly at The Lido Rooftop cinema program - I'm still yet to go there but looking forward to eventually making it one balmy summer evening.  Mr Rosanna and I think Daniel Craig has been the best Bond since Sean Connery and it will be hard to top Skyfall including the amazing soundtrack by Adele.
All the boys in my household including the big one can't wait for the new Star Wars - The Force Awakens movie to open before Christmas and if you are intending on going, you can actually book tickets now at IMAX Melbourne in Carlton to watch it in 3D.  The premium tickets have already sold out at many sessions before Christmas but normal tickets are still available.

I'm also looking forward to the final instalment of The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2 - again tipped to be huge at the cinemas this summer.

My computer is in with the Mac doctor aka Genius Bar at Apple Doncaster and I am hoping to get it back this week - words without pictures on my blog just isn't quite the same...

PS. Thought you might like this pic of the Star Wars BB-8 App-Enabled Droid by Sphero which Mr Rosanna and I spied for sale at the Apple Store when we went to pick up our computer...very cool!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Open Spaces

It's been a wet old day and I hope you had a great Melbourne Cup long weekend if you were lucky enough to have Monday off like we did.  It was fantastic to see a female jockey win the Cup in Michelle Payne and I loved the whole back story to her life including her special relationship with her brother Stevie.  I was also lucky enough to have got Prince of Penzance in the family sweep.

Despite not going away for the weekend, Mr Rosanna and I had a pretty fabulous weekend here in Melbourne celebrating Halloween in our street, which is always big, followed by a Halloween party at our neighbour's place.  My kids all thought their Christmases had come at once!  They went as a ghost and a wraith while Mr R had a Day of the Dead costume (which seemed to have been very popular this year) and I went as the Egyptian Goddess Seshat.  Top marks go to one of my work colleagues - Lara who is an American - she's previously been Pippi Longstocking and Blue Smurfette but topped her efforts this year with her Hamburger outfit right down to her fingernail art.

I just wanted to post today about some of the events that are on this coming weekend - I am having computer issues at the moment so will post some images once my computer is fixed (the wonders of modern technology!).  The Wurundjeri Stories Indigenous Trail Walk at Pound Bend in Warrandyte is on this Saturday along with the Eltham Copper Butterfly Festival and Melbourne Design Market at Fed Square.  On Sunday, the inaugural Open Spaces multi-arts event is being held at The Abbotsford Convent while closer to home there'll be the family friendly Music in the Park at E J Andrews Reserve in Briar Hill from 6 - 8pm.