Living Landscapes

I’m ready for you Friday night!  It’s been a long week back at work and my brain is still catching up…I’m hoping to feel less fuzzy next week now that I’m at least back up to speed with things.

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Wildlife Sanctuary image via 50years.latrobe

NGV Friday Nights is currently on until 10 March and as part of the David Hockney: Current exhibition, La Trobe University is uniting art with the environment as the NGV’s Learning Partner.  Inspired by Hockney’s landscapes, the Living Landscapes project invites you to create and contribute your own 3D plant to La Trobe University’s virtual landscape.  In return, La Trobe University will plant one in reality at their Wildlife Sanctuary.  The Sanctuary is so close to my office that I’ve now seen the kangaroos and emu that live there….I’m just hoping not to see the snakes!img_5271I actually returned from leave to find a beautiful gift (above) from the University’s other partner, State Library Victoria, in the form of a Haigh’s chocolate and nut mix packaged in a book box – such a clever idea and so fitting.  I’ll be holding four of my eight Bold Thinking Series lectures there this year.

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Image via Robin Cowcher, ink and watercolour

Speaking of books, the Words and Windows Exhibition Launch and Family Event is being held on Saturday 21 January at the Eltham Library and will be launched by best-selling author and Australian Children’s Laureate Leigh Hobbs.  I was lucky enough to work with Leigh Hobbs when I was the publicist at The Light Factory Gallery and his illustrations are just as delightful.

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, the Heide Makers Market is on this Saturday from 9 am – 2 pm.  January is still feeling relatively sleepy with people still being away on holiday.  I’m looking forward to starting again with Chinese New Year later this month and I will have a fitting local profile up very soon.

Funicular fun

Ah yes…I just wanted to use that word funicular…it’s actually the clever contraption that Mr Rosanna and I are in (below) that his builder Uncle Peter has made for his spectacular cliff house on the river near the city.  This is us on Christmas night for the annual seafood dinner extravaganza which they hosted last year.img_5263I have been eating my way around the place these past few weeks.  If you’re ever in the eastern suburbs, Town & Country on Whitehorse Road in Balwyn is well worth a visit.  The cafe does great food and the nursery and retail shop next door sell some really beautiful homewares if you are looking to re-decorate  or update your house this summer.img_5258As a family, we’ve also done a number of local cafes including Hunter Lane in Rosanna where we grabbed a booth table looking out onto the railway.  It’s a really great addition to the area.  Funky Brewster is still closed until next week but I am looking forward to paying it a visit once it re-opens.img_5257We also popped in for a quick lunch at East Ivy in East Ivanhoe – again grabbing a booth table near the kitchen.  Both places do good food which needs a little bit of tweaking but I’m not complaining – the menus are much better than your average suburban fare and the service was excellent.img_5259I spent this morning out at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre with my friend ceramic artist Lene Kuhl Jakobsen having a look at the Verdant Garden exhibition and Victorian Quilters Inc. show Regeneration – needless to say I’m always drawn to the works that feature flowers and plants (see above quilt images).  Unfortunately, upstairs was closed for maintenance due to storm damage but this should be fixed soon if you’re planning a visit.  Lene and I had coffees and devonshire tea in the stunning cafe setting (the scones are enormous so you can share one between two) currently featuring artwork by local artists Siri Hayes and Kate Hudson.  It was a beautiful way to spend the morning.img_5260For those of you lucky enough to still be away at the beach on holidays, I am jealous!  I’m going to try to make the most of my last weekend before going back to work next week.  Have a good one.img_5261

Nb. Miss Rosanna is a Bundoora Homestead Art Centre Board member

Yoga Girl in La La Land

How was your Christmas and New Year?  I must admit – I’m not quite ready to go back to work.  We’ve had a quiet and restful staycation here in Melbourne not doing terribly much at all.  It’s been great to catch up with some of our closest friends as well as spend time with our extended family, who we don’t see a lot of during the year.

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Our God-dog Pepper

I’ve had time to feed the neighbour’s chickens, dog-sit for one of our closest friends, make home-made waffles for breakfast, go for a family bike ride and start to de-clutter given the explosion of Christmas toys and the transformation of my home office back into a bedroom.  I have also managed to up the running over the summer break and I hope to continue this when I return to the office.

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Yoga Girl image via Rachel Brathen

One of the things I love about the holidays is not feeling guilty about taking it easy and living life in the moment.  I was given this book (above) by my friend Mandy for Christmas and read it from cover to cover on Boxing Day.  I’d never heard of Rachel Brathen although this isn’t surprising given I’m not on Instagram.  Some of her yoga poses are quite extraordinary but her life story is just as fascinating.  It’s inspiring to read about people who have experienced hardship early on but have managed to turn their life around and not only survive, but thrive and go on to great things.  Wisdom often comes from experience, including failure and making mistakes.

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La La Land movie image via Lido Cinemas

I also went to the movies at the Lido Cinemas in Hawthorn with my best friend Jules the night of the storms in Melbourne to see the magical film that is La La Land with Ryan Gosling playing a jazz pianist and Emma Stone as an aspiring actress.  Even if you’re not a fan of musical theatre, this new film done old school Hollywood-style is quite enchanting.  I won’t spoil the ending for you but it is a must-see for all you romantics out there.

This is now

I started this blog in 2011 when I was at home with two toddlers desperately seeking some inspiration.  In the absence of finding anything local, Miss Rosanna was born.

Since then, I’ve developed a loyal following of readers interested in arts, culture, local events and people.  I’ve found work, created an online community and become real-life friends with people I first met in the virtual world – things which I never expected when I created Miss Rosanna all those years ago.

In the intervening years, I started freelancing as a marketing consultant and copywriter for small businesses including Avant Card, The Light Factory Gallery (now Second Home Eltham) and Wendy’s Music.  I am still friends with my clients today (and still work for some of them!).

I’ve also had the opportunity to write for The Weekly Review and speak at local events as well as work in a voluntary capacity with arts and culture organisations including the Banyule Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee, Heide Museum of Modern Art and Bundoora Homestead Art Centre.

Life has been rewarding and last year I started contracting part-time at La Trobe University handling the Bold Thinking Series of public lectures in their inaugural year – something which will continue this year in 2017 as the University celebrates its 50th Anniversary.

To this end, I thought that I would re-launch the Miss Rosanna blog to celebrate the new year, and a new journey ahead for me and for you, as my readers.  I hope we can share lots of adventures together, which is one of the reasons I started this blog in the first place.  There’s not a lot of point knowing things if those around you don’t benefit as well.  I wish you love and light in 2017 – here’s to a new year and a new start for all of us.img_5103