Monday, June 27, 2016

Inside out

I hope you had a great weekend and getting over it being Monday all over again!  I've been running on adrenalin the past few weeks and looking forward to having some quiet weekends at some stage although that may not be until Spring...when you have kids, you also spend an inordinate amount of time taking them to their appointments, activities and social events, on top of any that you might have for yourself.
Espresso 3094 image via Zomato
I actually spent most of the past weekend locally with a Saturday morning catch up with Jessica Velasquez for coffee at her local, Espresso 3094, in Were Street Montmorency.  I've mentioned before that if we hadn't bought here in Rosanna, I think we might have ended up in Montmorency - I do love its village feel and artistic community.  Espresso 3094 has been there for a while now and and is a big, modern airy space, which was buzzing with young families and other locals even on a freezing cold winter's morning.
Crate Specialty Coffee image via Google+
I've been reading about a number of other local cafes around the place including Three Daughters cafe in Ivanhoe - I'm one of three daughters so think it's a great name but it's actually the cafe owner who is lucky enough to have three daughters of his own.  Crate Specialty Coffee in Heidelberg Heights is set to open next week in Haig Street and given the amount of artistic people I know who also live in that suburb (who call it Heide Heights) - I think it's probably been long overdue.

There's also community cafe Our Place right next to Hatch Contemporary Arts Space at 16 Ivanhoe Parade in Ivanhoe.  I love that there's been a proliferation of social enterprises focusing on training unemployed and other disadvantaged people in hospitality skills and what better place to do this than in Melbourne?
Golden Dragon Palace image via Zomato
Mr Rosanna and I also had a family yum cha at Golden Dragon Palace in Templestowe on Saturday, which is always good and it was great to see my extended family, who I don't see often enough.  There's nothing like a few dumplings on a cold Winter's day and the food there is always consistently good.
La Trobe Wildlife Sanctuary entrance image via
On Sunday, I found myself at the La Trobe Wildlife Sanctuary at Ironbark Hut for a French-inspired bush birthday party outside in the elements.  While I've recently run around the sanctuary perimeter now working for La Trobe University, I'd never visited it.  Luckily, the birthday hosts had a sausage sizzle going on the BBQ, as well as a roaring big fire in the open cobblestone pit that's also available if you hire the space, as it was less than 10 degrees yesterday and by the time I left I couldn't feel my feet!  Still, it was a great experience and a lot of fun catching up with other parent friends from my children's school.
Flemington cafe image via STREAT
While we're speaking about social enterprises, STREAT is crowdfunding at the moment as it tries to raise money for its flagship site in Cromwell Street Collingwood, while The Social Swap - an initiative between The Social Studio and The Clothing Exchange is taking place this week at the RMIT Design Hub.  Finally, I met another member from the Textile Art Community on Sunday, who is doing a course at Create - which is housed at the Northern College of Arts and Technology in Preston (next to Northland).  Create has been set up for mature age students and is a two-day per week hands on visual arts course.  There's also a sister Folio preparation course for adults wanting to do further study in art or design.  For more about this not-for-profit, which specialises in the arts visit or contact

Friday, June 24, 2016

Of love, and light

Besides being the Winter Solstice on Tuesday, it was also the second International Yoga Day, which I celebrated by going to yoga - it's long been a passion and something I will continue to do into my twilight years.  For me, there's also been a transformational element to it - it's connected mind, body and spirit and set me on a more self-aware path in life - something that I wasn't necessarily expecting when I took it up in my early twenties.  The word yoga itself means 'union' but for me it's also been about balance - literally and figuratively speaking.  What you do on one side, you repeat on the other but it's carried through into greater significance for me as balance has played out in my adult life.  It's one of the reasons why I have stuck to my guns and been determined to find a meaningful part-time job given the demands of family life at this stage, but I am aware that I'm one of the lucky ones who has made this happen and been prepared to be both patient and persistent.
International Yoga Day in New Delhi 2015 image via Wikipedia
It's been a crazy few weeks for us as a family with Mr Rosanna leaving his job after many years, me started starting my new job at La Trobe University and organising childcare.  I've also had to juggle my freelance clients with handover, or other meetings, as well as attended my first Board of Management meeting at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre last Saturday.  It was great to meet my fellow board members who are a pretty diverse bunch including JD Mittman and Valentina Maxwell-Tansley who were fellow members with me on the Banyule Arts & Cultural Advisory Committee, but also people like Michael Brennan, Acting Artistic Director at LUMA, Vicky Guglielmo, Manager of Creative Culture at Darebin Council and Alice Park from Creative Victoria to name but a few.  One of the things that has really impressed me about Darebin Council is that creativity is actually one of its pillars as an organisation, given the artistic community that both reside or work in that municipality, along with evidence-based data that demonstrates its significant flow-on economic benefits.  It was a great first meeting and I'm looking forward to doing some really good things there over the next two years.

Speaking of Darebin, the Melbourne Magic Festival starts next Monday at the Northcote Town Hall and it's one I keep meaning to take my children to, particularly since son number one is very much into magic and spells at the moment.  Local fashionista Estelle Michaelides is holding her State of Georgia three day sale which starts today at The Estelle Store, 244 Upper Heidelberg Road in Ivanhoe while in nearby Eaglemont Village, they are also holding their Sizzling Saturday Market tomorrow.
Image via Light in Winter - Federation Square
While it's the opposite of sizzling today (apparently it's the coldest day in 18 years!),  the 10th annual Light in Winter event at Fed Square is currently on and I think it's a great way to celebrate the cold season while lighting up the dark.  We could all do with a bit of light in our lives at the moment!  Have a great weekend.

Monday, June 20, 2016

The land of Oz

I hope you are staying warm, well and connected so far this winter.  There's been research to show that all those things help when getting through the dark season - particularly still going outside to exercise and socialise, which I definitely did this past weekend.

Mr Rosanna and I actually took the kids to see Circus Oz in Twenty-Sixteen for the first time over the weekend and we had a ball!  We'd never seen Circus Oz before and I can highly recommend going to see them over the next three weeks while they're at Birrarung Marr or when they come to the Darebin Arts & Entertainment Centre in September.  However, there's nothing quite like seeing them under the Big Top (which is heated) and we absolutely loved it - from the live band, to the very funny trio of hosts including 'Infinity Love Beads' to the amazing acrobatics and bravery of the performers who were often balancing at, or moving from, great height.  I was marvelling at the athleticism and strength as there are similar performers who attend my weekly yoga class and you realise the amount of training they must do every day to perform such feats.

We parked at Fed Square undercover and walked from there to Birrarung Marr, not realising that the Melbourne Design Market was on in the carpark itself, as well as River Rink, which has also started.  Despite the freezing temperature, there were lots of people all around, which was great to see.

There are a lot of events on in the next week including locally - the Banyule Art Salon opening and the Projector Bike Tour of Banyule, as well as Sitelines by Natasha Johns-Messenger at Heide Museum of Modern Art.

My friend Louise Kyriakou also has her Life & Times exhibition opening at  Outre Gallery in the city this Friday night and I love some of her paintings for this show, of which I've already had a sneak peek.  Degas opens at the NGV for its Winter Masterpieces exhibition and its Friday Nights at the NGV Unplugged live music program also starts this Friday night including performers such as Clare Bowditch, Husky, Jen Cloher, Jess Rebeiro and Augie March.  Nice one Melbourne!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Local Profile - Kim Clipstone

I met Kim at Cinch Training in Macleod when we were partnered up a couple of weeks ago (she's strong!) and her clinic is located just around the corner in Aberdeen Rd.  I've had acupuncture a number of times in the past, when traditional western medicine hasn't solved my problems.  Given my ongoing immune system issues, particularly since the cold weather arrived, I will be making a beeline for Kim's clinic for a consultation in the next few weeks.  If you are interested in natural/complementary therapies, read on for more about the lovely Kim.
Name: Kim Clipstone
Occupation: Acupuncturist, Bowen, Pregnancy & Remedial Massage Therapist at Renew Acupuncture Clinic in Macleod.
Lives/works: Macleod
How long have you lived/worked here? Three years in Macleod and Watsonia
Describe yourself/what you do: 
Helping people feel good is my business! Each day I help facilitate the body's amazing ability to heal itself.  Whether it be becoming pain free from that 5 year shoulder pain that wouldn’t budge, sleeping longer and through the night, being rid of headaches or that cold and hayfever that plagues you year round.  Getting those hormones, digestion or anxiety under control, or just a treatment to relax and get the body back in balance.  I love what I do and continually am amazed at the power that acupuncture and massage has in being able to help so many people.
I also treat a lot of bubs and kids with a Japanese needle free acupuncture technique called Shonishin. As a mum I know what it is like to have an unwell child so I love using Shonishin, as it is gentle and gets results quickly.
My next project will hopefully be to open a community acupuncture session.  This is aimed at making acupuncture more accessible to everyone in the community. The great thing about this is that you can access acupuncture for a minimal fee – regularly, in a quiet space with others, remain fully clothed and improve your health.

Best thing(s) about living/working in Melbourne’s north-east:
The thing I love about working in Macleod is the friendly community atmosphere. As a local trader, shopper and mother I always feel welcome in all of the businesses at Macleod Village. There is always someone to tell you a joke or have a laugh with.

For more information: 
Please LIKE the Renew Acupuncture Clinic Facebook page to get updates and articles on conditions that respond well to Acupuncture and for Chinese Medicine health tips.

Check out to read a little bit more about what I do and to book online for a treatment.

Ph 0421249411 or email for any questions.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Food for the soul

I hope you had a great long weekend, even if you had a staycation here like us.  There are a number of upcoming indoor events, which might be of interest to you, given it's starting to get pretty cold outside!
Image via Penguin Books Australia
Tickets are actually on sale for the Changemakers Festival here in Banyule, which is taking the form of a sustainable food event on 22 June featuring Rohan Anderson from the blog and book Whole Larder Love.  Given I've started working part-time, Mr Rosanna and I have already started cooking double batches of food on the weekends and freezing these for the week - I can definitely see why people invest in slow cookers and chest freezers.
Image via Banyule City Council website
The Banyule Art Salon exhibition also opens on Wednesday week at Hatch Community Arts Space in Ivanhoe and a number of my friends have entered work this year.  I'll be speaking with Jessica Velasquez at the related Writing for Artists workshop being held on Tuesday 5 July as part of the Professional Development series of events for local artists.  The Solo Performance Night on Friday 8 July also sounds fabulous if you love performing arts.
Image via Maton website
Speaking of writing, the Emerging Writers' Festival is currently on in Melbourne and a friend of mine from Brisbane has made the trip down to attend it - the weather's probably been a shock to her system!  While if you're musical, the Preston Symphony Orchestra is holding its second concert Orchestral Journeys this coming Sunday at Preston City Hall featuring the work of Grieg, Debussy and Wagner while the Melbourne Guitar Lab Winter Masters series begins next Monday.  Speaking of guitars, I've been past the Maton Guitar factory in Box Hill and love that this family business begun 70 years ago still creates handmade guitars - the related book came out earlier this year and would be worth buying for the guitarist in your family.

I'll be glad once the Winter Solstice has been and gone, it already feels pretty bleak outside. Stay warm and healthy - enjoy the short week!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Giving a crap

Tickets close today for the Banyule Business Breakfast at The Centre Ivanhoe next Thursday featuring Daniel Flynn - the Managing Director and Co-Founder of the Thankyou Group, whose products I have used at home for a while now.  I love a social entrepreneur at the best of times and think it would be a great event to attend.  I've also started using Who Gives A Crap toilet paper at home, buying boxes in bulk, and I was also lucky enough to work on a business plan for Think Vertical - another NSW-based social enterprise - a few months ago, which is led by a very inspiring man Ian Moy, who has an organic farming background and is also a yoga teacher.
Daniel Flynn image via Banyule Business website
Also starting next week is Nine Lives | Alphington Artists at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre featuring the work by nine artists from the Alphington Open Studios, bringing together sculpture, painting, ceramics, works on paper, jewellery and textiles.  I'm looking forward to seeing it as it co-incides with major indigenous exhibition Re-visioning Histories, which is being opened on the same day by Max Delany - the Artistic Director and CEO of ACCA (Australian Centre for Contemporary Art), with Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony by a Wurundjeri Elder.
Image via Who Gives A Crap website
It's the Queen's birthday long weekend this weekend - the last for a while and if you're not going to the snow or away somewhere else, the annual Diamond Valley Miniature Railway Teddy Bears' Picnic is on Sunday and Monday as well as the Sisters' Market in Brunswick on Saturday.  Enjoy!
Anne Warren Friends in Space 2016 image via Bundoora Homestead
Disclosure: Miss Rosanna is a Bundoora Homestead Art Centre Board member

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Braving the cold

Jeepers - it sure is cold today but given the wild weather that's lashed the east coast of Australia, I think we've been relatively lucky here in Melbourne.  It is actually Winter Solstice Saturday week (18 June) and tickets are already on sale for the annual Winter Solstice Melbourne event at Montsalvat in Eltham, who are not having just one but two Festive Fires (the second on 25 June) this winter.
Hurstbridge Heritage Trail logo via The Artisan Hills website
I've been putting on my warmest clothes and there are a couple of textile-inspired events taking place at the moment.  It was great to see my friend, textile artist Teresa Bennett featured in the Heidelberg Leader this week as her recycled artwork is on display until 30 June in the TACTILE exhibition at the Darebin Arts and Entertainment Centre, along with other artist friends in the Textile Art Community.
Melba Estate image via Coombe Yarra Valley website
There's also a Twilight Textiles talk on 14 June about making local clothes from your own backyard at the Handweavers and Spinners Guild of Victoria in North Carlton while it's also World Wide Knit in Public Day on 18 June and locally, there are a number of events that have already started in Banyule.
Image via Banyule Homestead Matters blog
The Hurstbridge Heritage Trail launch in 'The Artisan Hills' is tomorrow and I was also reading about the Dame Nellie Melba Estate Tours at Coombe Yarra Valley, which will be taking place next month - I'd never heard about Coombe House until now - it looks absolutely beautiful!  While here in Banyule, there's also been publicity about the Banyule Homestead and it being turned into a wedding/event venue known as The Voeux ('the wish') in 2017, which would be pretty amazing if they can provide adequate onsite parking, given it's located in a residential street.
Olive Cotton 'Tea cup ballet' image via Wikipedia
I've also been taken back in time looking at the Max and Olive photographic exhibition that is currently on at the Ian Potter Museum featuring the work of Australian artists Max Dupain and Olive Cotton taken in the late 1930s - I've long loved some of their most famous black and white images above and below.
Max Dupain 'Sunbaker' image via Wikipedia
Finally I was at my hairdressers today in East Kew and there is another competitor for Ora Cafe a bit further up Willsmere Road called Willo - so new I don't think there's a Facebook page for it.  It looked fabulous and there is another new cafe for nearby Balwyn as well in White Mojo.
Willo Cafe - East Kew

Friday, June 3, 2016

A few announcements...

While change often comes to you, I've been seeking change this year and it seems to have happened all at once.  I have said yes to a contract role at La Trobe University organising their Bold Thinking public lectures taking place at the State Library in the second half of the year, so will be putting my consultancy/freelance work on hold for the next little while.  La Trobe has some fabulous in-house academics and I'm looking forward to working with Professor Chris Mackie and the Director of Media and Communications, Tim Mitchell (who some of you might recognise from Channel 10 news).  It's been a fantastic journey working with Managing Director Pat Mackle and her team at Avant Card the past three and a half years, who are going to be a hard act to follow, and who I will miss.
Bundoora Homestead Art Centre image via PGAV website
The other big news is that I was asked to apply for, and have been successful, in obtaining a Board of Management role at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre and have stepped down from volunteering in Visitor Services at Heide Museum of Modern Art.  I will still be back to visit Heide especially for their blockbuster exhibition in October called Making Modernism showcasing the works of female artists Georgia O'Keeffe, Margaret Preston and Grace Cossington-Smith.  I can't wait for that one!
Georgia O’Keeffe Ram’s Head, Blue Morning Glory 1938 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum,
Gift of The Burnett Foundation © Georgia O’Keeffe Museum image via Art Gallery of NSW
I will also be giving a talk along with Jessica Velasquez on writing skills for artists at Hatch Contemporary Arts Space in Ivanhoe on Tuesday 5 July as part of the Banyule Art Salon series of events, which I'm also looking forward to (just need to actually finish writing my presentation!).
Nillumbik Prize image via
Speaking of art, the Nillumbik Prize opened at Montsalvat yesterday, with which Jessica Velasquez has actually been involved.  The Melbourne International Jazz Festival opens today and there are some great acts performing at the Melbourne Recital Centre if you get a chance to go.

Finally I just wanted to mention the Wild about Melbourne market at the Thornbury Bowls Club on Sunday if you're out and about.  Have a great weekend!