Thursday, October 29, 2015

The moon sees your soul

I'm not sure if you saw the full moon on Tuesday night - apparently it's what astronomers call a 'supermoon' because it appears bigger and brighter than normal moons.  I've always found the moonlight pretty inspiring and given it's my own star sign's 'ruler' - I do love the saying, 'The sun sees your body, but the moon sees yours soul...'- perhaps I have some psychic powers as well...that would be a pretty awesome super power according to my boys.
Image via Australian Geographic shop
I mentioned earlier that I've started buying Christmas presents - I'm not a huge fan of plastic toys so often find myself at Australian Geographic at Doncaster, Creative Minds in Ivanhoe or the Heide Store in Bulleen, rather than standard toy stores when I'm buying things for our children and other family and friends.  Books are always a great idea and while I've never made it to one of their sales, the Scholastic Books warehouse in West Heidelberg is having a sale from 2 - 4 December, which I think would be a worthwhile trip to stock up on Christmas and birthday presents.
Image via
I've been spending time outdoors ever since Spring started and have been enjoying my garden and plants.  I also have indoor plants and have been going through a copper phase in terms of homewares.  Copper, and metallics in general, have been in fashion for a while but I do love the luxe feel and warmth they bring to most environments.  With this in mind, this Haws indoor copper watering can is on my lust list - it's a beautiful design and I love the longevity that this piece would bring - something for the constant gardener.  You can pick them locally at Mr Kitly in Brunswick or buy online through Peters of Kensington or Gardenware.
Image via Lover the Label®
Also on my lust list is a lace dress from Lover the Label®.  While I don't have the budget, even if I did, I'm not sure I could ever spend four figures on a dress (the one and only time I ever have was for my wedding dress) but I do love the design of the Halo Hanky Midi Dress - I think it's beautiful.

If you're not going to the races or going away for a long weekend, the Artists Open Studios Exhibition opens today at the Eltham Library Community Gallery - one of my favourite spaces in the area and there is also a twilight Made'nThornbury market being held tomorrow from 4 pm.  Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Spooking out

While some fancy horse races are about to be staged in Melbourne, for my kids it's all about Halloween this coming weekend.  Although I feel a bit ambivalent about its commercialisation and American heritage (I never trick or treated as a child), my children absolutely love Halloween.  It's right up there with Christmas and Easter and this year, we're not only trick or treating in my street but have also been invited to a neighbour's Halloween party afterwards, which is huge!
Image via Savers
My past few weekends have been a bit of a blur with children's sport and birthday parties to go to but this weekend, Mr Rosanna and I also headed to the Greensborough Savers store Halloween shop  with the kids - Savers sells both new and used costumes and the check out chick dressed up as Marilyn Monroe complete with blond wig told me they're expecting to sell out before Halloween.  You can also find Halloween and other costumes locally at the Blokker Discount & Party Goods shop which has moved from Beetham Parade to Lower Plenty Road in the Rosanna Village shops.  I love a dress up at the best of times so Mr R and I are also fully kitted out for this coming weekend.
Image via Wikipedia
Speaking of costumes, The Dressmaker movie opens this Thursday and I think I would go and watch the film just for the sublime outfits designed by Marion Boyce (from Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries) and Margot Wilson, as well as sourced from vintage store Retropolitan in the US. I love that Kate Winslet's character Tilly carries a vintage Singer sewing machine as one of her accessories.

There's also a free Halloween-tinged music event from 1 - 4 pm in The Singing Gardener Returns at Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen with head gardener Dugald's band Lectric Catfish playing blues and roots music with a touch of pop and classic rock inspired by the supernatural for Halloween.  BYO picnic and drinks at Crescent House in the Sculpture Gardens and Park.
Image via Museum Victoria
And while it's already sold out this coming Sunday, the Mexican Day of the Dead Workshop at the Immigration Museum (part of North South Feast West at Museum Victoria) would have been pretty sensational if you like Mexican food and tequila.   I love that Mexicans celebrate and remember the lives of friends and family who have passed away with their Day of the Dead public holiday, which is where the original meaning of Halloween also came from with All Hallow's Eve.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Hello Sunday

I'm a little tired today, as are my children, and the end of the year is looming.  I always find that once Melbourne Cup week happens, that's it - everyone goes into Christmas mode and starts counting down to the end of the year.  I've started my Christmas and other shopping given the number of events I have on between now and then.

I hope you've had a good year so far.  Mine has improved after a rough start and while I haven't achieved everything I was hoping for this year, it's still been pretty good.  Life is not perfect and that's the challenge - to live in a state of constant change and imperfection.  It's a good time to start planning for next year and working out how you might do things differently depending on what your goals are, or at least taking some action to move towards the things you want to happen in your life.  Fear, (or laziness) unfortunately, tends to paralyse a lot of people but nothing changes unless we change ourselves and take action.
Brougham Street Bazaar image via Facebook
Good to see that Second Home Eltham has had another write up in this week's Age Good Food section (as well as write ups in Broadsheet, the Herald Sun and on my blog as well).  I hope to make it there for a meal at some stage soon and always enjoy checking out the Brougham Street Bazaar antique store next door when I'm in the area.
Image via Darebin Arts
The Darebin Music Feast starts tomorrow and the big thing this year is the all day free music event Hello Sunday being held this coming Sunday at the Northcote Town Hall.  Also starting tomorrow is the annual Motor Classica car event at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton - I love a classic car and always get a bit of a thrill whenever I spy one on the street.
Image via Ticketek
The annual Garage Sale Trail is on this Saturday 24 October and if you like op shops, there is an I Love to Op Shop website.  I haven't done a lot of op shopping this year but Mr Rosanna and I hit the road a couple of weeks ago to buy some Art Deco bedside tables from LoveDeco1 in Bacchus Marsh - ahhh the places you go to when you want a specific of our other friends who lives locally went  all the way to NSW to collect a vintage caravan he bought on eBay.
Image via Garage Sale Trail
Finally, the Global Village Multicultural Festival at Princes Park in Carlton is also on this weekend, with which local Nick from Bien Cafe in Rosanna has been involved.  It's good to see the love being shared in a week where I've been disappointed at the racism that's appeared following the appointment of indigenous footballer Adam Goodes as a David Jones brand ambassador.  I can't actually think of anything that's more un-Australian...
Image via Event Finda

Monday, October 19, 2015

Twittering away

It's National Bird Week this week which includes the annual Aussie Backyard Bird Count, although I'm not sure how you'd actually be able to calculate how many birds you get in your backyard like us, especially when we get hordes of naughty cockatoos that descend on our trees at any given time.  The galahs are giving them a run for their money at the moment and I'm just glad the native birds are keeping the Indian Mynas away.
Image via
I see birds all the time when I'm running around Rosanna park although I'm yet to see any tawny frogmouths, which are apparently, a common sighting.  Speaking of which, there is a free Breakfast with the Birds event being held in Banyule this coming Sunday from 7.30 - 11.30 am assembling at the Old Shire Offices in Heidelberg.  I have become a wildlife lover since moving to the 'burbs and I am hoping the proposed Wildlife Art Museum of Australia (WAMA) in the northern Grampians does become a reality in the not too distant future.
Image via Rosanna Bowling Club
A few random things to mention today - while I've never played a game, I think that lawn bowls is a more accessible and social activity than a lot of other recreational sport given men, women and children of all ages are able to give it a go.  Rosanna Bowling Club at 3 - 11 Strasbourg Road next to De Winton Park had its Open Night last month but if you are interested in learning the game you can contact coaches Graeme Bravo on 0431 815 014 or Angela Martini on 0419 370 799.
Image via Cumulus Inc
I had dinner at Cumulus Inc  in Flinders Lane over the recent school holidays while an overseas friend was visiting and it was pretty fabulous.  You can't book but we got there early and had a number of shared plates including the soft shelled crab and kingfish and it definitely still is the place to be seen although my friends and I were more interested in talking to each other - it is noisy so not the place to go to for an intimate, quiet dinner.  I've also got a dinner booked next month at The Town Mouse in North Carlton which I'm looking forward to (even though I am now more of a suburban possum - heh heh!) and it's great to see that Estelle Bistro in Northcote has had a number of recent write ups - that's also on my food radar in the lead up to the Christmas season.
Image via
Finally this house at 18 Fairy Street Ivanhoe has caught my eye (and I'm sure the eye of many other people with deep pockets!) - I love some of the period features including the stained glass windows, arched entries, fretwork and patterned ceilings.  It's a lucky person who buys this one especially given it's in the heart of blue chip suburb Ivanhoe and at lucky number 18.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Local Profile - Jay Chubb

I love a social entrepreneur at the best of times and discovered Jay's business not that long ago - I think it's right up my alley and if I ever move from my home office, I'd be making a bee-line for Nest Coworking in Thornbury, which is also housed in a beautiful Art Deco building, complete with resident dog.  Read on for more about Jay Chubb...
Name: Jay Chubb
Occupation: Entrepreneur
Lives/works: Thornbury
How long have you worked here? 2 years
Describe yourself:
I'm an entrepreneur who loves social change and the models of human experience, communication and creativity that accelerate it. I've worked across the theory and practice of social change for two decades, including managing community organisations, political lobbying for the non-profit sector, tertiary study and consulting internationally. A decade ago I developed a travel and business addiction and started serial businesses in the US, China and Australia, in everything from jewelry to electronics to branding and communications.

In 2014 I founded Nest Coworking in Thornbury from a passion for community that integrates social change, business and localism. Nest is a coworking community and organic social enterprise accelerator, and home to social enterprises like Scarf, Open Food Network and Birth for HumanKIND. Nest is about to launch Open Creative, a platform for freelancers and knowledge workers to deliver services collaboratively. Open Creative integrates business with social purpose, and dedicates a percentage of earnings to social outcomes.

Best thing(s) about living/working in Melbourne’s north-east:
People. Creativity, imagination and innovation is the norm. Relaxed, original and unconventional.

For more information:

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Express yourself

I've had a busy week again but not as manic as last week, which is good.  I went to the 2015 Banyule Award for Works on Paper on Tuesday night at Hatch Contemporary Art Space in Ivanhoe and it was fantastic.  It was so packed inside that people were spilling out into the street while the speeches were going on.  The winner was Simon Finn for his charcoal on paper work titled 'Steady State Invention' depicting an observation tower in the moments of devastation - a bit similar to Dorothy's house in Kansas in the Wizard of Oz if you like.  Many artists were inspired by the final frontier that is Space itself and my favourite was Bonnie Hanlon's work titled 'Star-scape #2' more for what it represents as well as the work itself - I've always been fascinated by the stars and Mr Rosanna and I have been lucky enough to see a shooting star together while sitting on the beach many years ago.

Images above via Lip Cafe
I've been out on the road today and met the interesting Melanie Miles from Hybrid Expression at Lip Cafe in Ivanhoe - it's always great to meet fellow local creative professionals and Melanie and her partner Joe Puntoriero do some beautiful work for local businesses.  I'm particularly interested in the digital space and lifestyle branding and have also been doing some work behind the scenes this year for two new online digital businesses, which have not yet launched - I'm always impressed by the ideas entrepreneurial people come up with.  I have also been inspired of late to start writing my own book, which Mr R has helped me flesh out in terms of ideas - I hope to turn that into a reality at some future point.
Image via Cassette Store Day
There's a lot on this weekend including International Cassette Tape Day this Saturday!  Like the humble vinyl record, cassette tapes are enjoying a bit of a retro-revival and I love the cassette tape music that features in the film Guardians of the Galaxy which is a great film if you get the chance to watch it - the soundtrack is pretty awesome.
Vikings image via Nordic Festival
While it's not exactly close, the Nordic Festival is being held in Warburton on Sunday and local artists Lene Kuhl Jakobsen and Karen Glahn are both selling their wares.  Speaking of Nordic, Joost Bakker and Magnus Nilsson are holding a special event at The School of Life on 24 November which celebrates Nilson's The Nordic Cookbook.  There's also a Spring Fling street festival being held in North & West Melbourne on Sunday as well as the Practically Green Festival at Edendale Farm in Eltham.  I'll be back tomorrow with a local profile.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

In space

I hope you are enjoying this beautiful Spring day.  Mr Rosanna and I have been doing a bit of Spring cleaning and decorating including visiting both The Greenery in Heidelberg and Bulleen Art and Garden to create our own Moroccan-themed deck and hanging herb garden.  I will post some photos once we're done and will also do the same for our studio which is almost complete - I'm still on the hunt for a mid-century Kalmar teak side table (and the studio could do with a paint but that may not happen!) - it's been a lot of fun and sometimes I wonder whether I should have pursued a career in design and styling.  It may perhaps be my third career when I become that Art Deco/Mid Century antique dealer I've always dreamed about...
Image via
The 2015 Banyule Award for Works on Paper themed 'in space' is being launched tonight and you'll see me at Hatch Contemporary Arts Space (which is also screening films this month) in Ivanhoe if you are going along.  I'm looking forward to it and have recently stepped down from the Banyule Arts and Culture Advisory Committee after almost five years - it's time to move on to other things and it's been a juggle with volunteering at Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen as well.  There's only so much time in the day!
It's also a great day to be outside riding your bike and it's actually National Ride2Work Day tomorrow.  And while it may not be in the north eastern suburbs, my little sister Cat from Architecture of Audio has actually been involved in providing the music and technical sound assistance for the Maribyrnong Ride2Work Day event which my fellow blogger Joyce Watts from the Mel: Hot or Not and Cycle Style blogs has coordinated.
Image via Moroccan Soup Bar
The Melbourne Salami Festa at Northcote Town Hall is also on this Friday and I love how we celebrate all things food here in Melbourne.  Speaking of food, Middle Eastern restaurant Rumi is celebrating its 9 year anniversary in Brunswick and chef Hana Assifiri from the Moroccan Soup Bar in North Fitzroy has recently taken over the former Miramar nut shop on Lygon Street in Brunswick East with her new deli-cafe called Moroccan Deli-Cacy.  She's also releasing a book called Moroccan Soup Bar: Recipes of a Spoken Menu on October 26 which is on my cookbook wish list, along with a lot of Yotam Ottolenghi's books.  I'll be back later this week with more.

This post is dedicated to the memory of blogger and Fairfax columnist Sam de Brito.

Friday, October 9, 2015


I promised myself I was going to try to refrain from crazy busy weeks with multiple appointments on different days but unfortunately, the first week of term has got away from me.  It's the unexpected extra things which end up toppling you over - in this case, it's been the three additional events (two which involved my children) I had on which have been my undoing.  Aaargh!  I'll try again next week.
Image via
One of the additional events was attending the briefing for the Modern Love double biography book at Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen where Heide curators and authors Lesley Harding and Kendrah Morgan both spoke.  The associated exhibition in Heide I has also started and is looking fantastic - there was a morning tea and lots of groups going through yesterday.  Like a lot of history buffs, I've found the whole story about John and Sunday Reed fascinating as do many people and there have been a lot of new revelations uncovered in the new book with Lesley and Kendrah having spoken to many people who were in the inner circle.  I'm looking forward to reading it and I'm surprised it's not yet been made into a movie.  Given Nicole Kidman's daughter was named 'Sunday' after Sunday Reed, I'm sure it won't be too long.

Speaking of Heide, there is The Heidelberg School and Heide Artists Trail free event tomorrow at 2pm led by Volunteer Guide Gay Cuthbert (assemble at Heide III and BYO sunscreen and water), which is part of a number of different architecture, history, gardens and sculpture park programs Heide holds throughout the year.  There is also a Sound Walk through Bunjil Reserve in Panton Hill being held tomorrow morning from 10am - midday where you can experience Nillumbik's beautiful bushland.  Again, bushwalking footwear, hat, sunscreen and drink should be brought.  The snakes are already out this season so beware!
Images above and below via
Garden Party 1890 - 1950 is the name of an exhibition which is currently showing at the Maroondah Art Gallery and there is the associated Vintage Garden Party event (clothing market, children's corner, music and picnic) also taking place tomorrow from noon to 4 pm at the Maroondah Federation Estate - Maroondah's community, cultural and arts facility.  It sounds divine if you get a chance to head out east.
Image via
Speaking of vintage (I love how my segue ways have all worked today!), the Round She Goes vintage clothing market in Coburg is also on this Sunday.  The Meyers Place Latin Fiesta is also on for the second time in the city on Sunday if you're wanting to go to a proper Latin Block party.  Have a wonderful weekend and I'll be back next week (lots of events on!) - I'll also have a new local profile to put up which didn't make it today.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fields of glory

I hope you managed to enjoy the long weekend that's been and gone - the weather has been hot, hot, hot!  It does make me wonder if it will be an El Nino year having had such a cold winter to now experiencing summer weather in spring...fingers crossed.  I meant to post last week about a whole heap of events that were on over the weekend but time got the better of me.  Many of our friends were away camping at Badger Creek, Point Lonsdale and Hall's Gap or had escaped to beach houses.  Mr Rosanna and I left our run a bit late despite trying for a few last minute places on air bnb so ended up having a staycation here in Melbourne, which wasn't so bad given we have started to do some spring cleaning and decorating.

We went to the Tesselaar Tulip Festival an hour's east in Silvan for the last day of Children's Week on Thursday and it was glorious.  The weather was only just starting to heat up so the rows and rows of tulips looked amazing and there were lots of market stalls, stage shows, reptile farm, animal nursery, children's activities, yummy food and drink as well as shops selling clogs, all things Dutch and the tulips themselves.  While there were lots of families, Mr R and I were also surprised to see how many international (mainly Chinese and Indian) tourists there were all out enjoying the sunshine, flowers and green space.  Highly recommended if you get a chance to go next year.

A couple of local exhibitions have started this week which I wanted to mention including Sound of Japanese Ink at the Eltham Library and the Australian Women's Photographers Exhibition at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre.  Speaking of which, it was nice to see some female footballers acknowledged at this year's Brownlow Medal instead of being portrayed as the usual male accessories.  The Melbourne Festival also starts this Thursday and  there's been a lot of publicity about cabaret act Limbo - keep an eye out for the Melbourne Art Trams in the city if you're a commuter.