A blaze of glory

The lady in red, aka Shaynna Blaze didn’t disappoint at today’s sold out Banyule Women in Business Lunch at The Centre Ivanhoe.  I missed last year’s lunch with keynote speaker Mia Freedman due to La Trobe University celebrating its 50th Anniversary that same day but was glad to make it to today’s event.  It was different in style to previous events I’ve been to in that it was a more casual conversation on the couch with a host instead of a more formal solo address from a lectern.

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L-R: Jane Lindsay-Waschl, Renae Barrass, Shaynna Blaze and me

After some minor technical hitches which Shaynna handled with aplomb, the discussion was a good one giving us insights into her professional journey from having run successful businesses with her then husband in her twenties along with raising two children, becoming a single parent and working as a jazz singer (and band booking agent/PR) to supplement her interior design income to being tapped on the shoulder and asked to audition for Selling Houses Australia, before having Channel 9 approach her to be a judge on The Block.  Selling Houses Australia is Foxtel’s number one show and has run for 11 years, which is a huge amount of time in media land.  It’s nice to see someone so down to earth and likeable enjoy such success.

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L-R: Nikki Ellis, me and Dani Ahimastos

I’d assembled a table including my two blog sponsors, Dani Ahimastos from Hunter Lane Cafe and Nikki Ellis from Cinch Training and other friends including interior designer Renae Barrass, Jane Lindsay-Waschl from Admonter Floors and ceramic artist Lene Kuhl-Jakobsen.  Banyule Business run some great events if you are a small business owner and I was asked to do a filmed vox pop after the event which will appear sometime soon on their Facebook page.  It’s already been a long week for me so I hope I managed to cobble something half way decent to say!

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Shaynna on stage – The Centre Ivanhoe

I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the local area over the past week including grabbing takeaway coffee from SixtyFive Espresso (who sell Brunetti pastries and cakes) at Greensborough Plaza to a bowling party at Oz Tenpin in nearby Bundoora.  There’s also a bit happening locally with Andrew Potocnik’s #urbansalvage #zero waste exhibition opening at Bulleen Art & Garden’s Bolin Bolin gallery tonight and the Heide Makers Market in Bulleen on Saturday.

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Oz Tenpin Bowling – Bundoora

I also picked up a brochure for the Holi Festival of Colours which is taking place at Bundoora Park this Saturday if you are staying in Melbourne for the Labour Day weekend.  I don’t know about you but I’ve had my foot to the floor since returning to work in early January and am definitely looking forward to a break this weekend.  Enjoy.img_7012.jpg

Unfinished business

Ah yes…there’s a bit of that around the place in my household.  I am someone who gets a sense of closure from finishing what I’ve started, particularly at work, but when it comes to certain projects around the house…maybe not so much!  It’s also the name of the new summer exhibition at Hatch Contemporary Arts Space in Ivanhoe showcasing sustainable art practice by two community groups – Unfinished Business by Textile Art Community and Re-Create by Victorian Woodworkers Association.  I bumped into local woodworker Andrew Potocnik not that long ago at the Rosanna Parklands and he’s involved in this exhibition as well as another one (#urbansalvage#zerowaste) at Bulleen Art & Garden’s Bolin Bolin Gallery on 9 March.  Andrew’s an interesting person and I’ve been amused by the antics of his resident possums’ daily lives on his Facebook feed.

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Image via Banyule City Council

Speaking of unfinished business, if you are trying to KonMari your home, there are two free de-cluttering workshops with eco-organiser Tanya Lewis at the Watsonia Neighbourhood House and at Council Chambers Ivanhoe on 22 March and 19 April respectively – they are free but bookings are essential on 9490 4222 and Banyule residents are entitled to two free hard rubbish collections per year.

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Image via Bulleen Art and Garden

Currently, it’s not easy being a Banyule resident if you catch the Hurstbridge train line which will be closed from Clifton Hill onwards from Friday 16 March until the end of April (with buses replacing trains) when the new Rosanna Station level crossing (image below) will hopefully finally be completed.  We bought in Rosanna due to its proximity to the train line and I just hope it’s worth it as well as the proposed North East Link, which I also hope lessens the amount of trucks, noise and traffic congestion on Rosanna Road.

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Image via Level Crossing Removal Authority

Local Profile – Andrew Potocnik

Ahhh…the people you run into when you’re both running (literally) around local parklands.  I actually know Andrew through Mr Rosanna as they are both long-time middle distance runners, who know each other from many years ago.  Andrew is also a talented artist who stopped full-time teaching a little while ago – time which he can now devote to his artistic practice along with being invited to demonstrate his skills at international symposiums…DSC_8179

Name: Andrew Potocnik

Occupation: Teacher, wood artist

Lives: Macleod

How long: My whole life, so far…

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Describe myself: I’ve always found myself drawn to wood as a material that enabled me to fulfil my day to day (utilitarian) needs, but more importantly it has given potential to convert concepts conjured in my mind into three-dimensional creations. I find it difficult to walk past a piece of wood and not see potential in its colour, grain, texture or form that can be converted into an object that celebrates its origin, and hopefully enriches the lives of people whose lives the piece enters. Let’s be honest, how much closer can we get to our local environment than crafting trees that have passed their use-by date into something that will live forever in the right hands?

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Best things about living in this area: Macleod is a relatively unknown area that is tucked away in a leafy part of Banyule. There is plenty of parkland, it’s close to the Yarra and its running trails… not to forget places like… shhhhh, let’s keep them just between those of us who know…

Website: www.andrewpotocnik.com

Facebook: Andrew Potocnik

Instagram: Andrew Potocnik