Design for Life

Grant and Mary Featherston’s aptly titled exhibition will open on 30 June at Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen and it will be great to have some local inspiration in the depths of Winter to go and visit.  If you’re a fan of Australian modernist furniture design, this one will be good to see over the coldest months of the year – if you ever find a vintage piece yourself – they look fabulous in many of the 50s, 60s and 70s houses in Melbourne’s north-east as well as many of the Alistair Knox mudbrick homes commonly found in Eltham and its environs.

Image via Heide

It’s quite the cultural month in that artist-in-residence John Brooks’ exhibition has opened at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre this week (with entries also being open for the upcoming A1 Darebin Art Salon) as well as the 2018 Banyule Arts and Culture Program launch and Telling Stories exhibition opening (with works from the Banyule art collection) at Hatch Contemporary Arts Space in Ivanhoe.

Image via The Fitzroy Naturopath

As for me, I subsequently got sicker this week after dragging myself to work last week and have succumbed to a chest infection and now on antibiotics which has been no fun at all.  Needless to say, I will be taking myself back to regular classes at Cinch Training in Macleod next term in an effort to develop some strength and stamina, which has been missing from my life these past few months, and has culminated in me being the most ill I’ve been in the past five years.

Image via Bestow Beauty

On a brighter note, I have been indulging in different cups of specialty tea the past few months instead of having coffee in the afternoon.  Two lovely brands if you can find them around which have turmeric in them include The Fitzroy Naturopath and Bestow.  If you like chai which I find particularly nice with Bonsoy milk and honey, there’s a great local brand made in Templestowe called Chai Walli, that is available from Leo’s in Heidelberg.  Stay warm and stay well my friends…I think I need a holiday!

Image via Chai Walli

Down the rabbit hole

Ah well the rain has come and as much as I don’t like the dark and gloomy conditions outside – we do need the water.  I’ve moved on from salad poke bowls for lunch to casseroles and soups although yet to have my first pie for the cold season.  A work friend was telling me to check out a new cafe in Ivanhoe called Pinkie so I’ll be making my way there soon.Lene Kuhl Jakobsen 'Strata' vases (2)

It does make it a bit harder to get out but being outdoors in the winter is good for you and I wanted to mention that if the weather improves that both the Heide Makers Market and the Eltham Makers Market are on tomorrow.  My ceramic artist friend Lene Kuhl Jakobsen will be selling her beautiful wares (photos above and below) at Heide in Bulleen for this special Mother’s Day event before the market goes into hiatus until Spring.Lene Kuhl Jakobsen Oval bottle vases

Stay warm, stay active was my winter mantra a couple of years ago and there is a special Mother’s Day workshop for mothers and daughters (14+) on Sunday morning at Clifton Hill Yoga School, which also runs yoga classes for children and teenagers.  As a long-time and long-term yoga practitioner, it’s a great habit to start at a younger age and like mindfulness, something which will help develop peace of mind, calmness and mental strength and resilience – all great life skills.

It’s Happy Friday today and ACMI in the city is holding its Wonderland Late Nights with DJs, bands and live art from 6pm on Fridays if you’re a CBD worker, which sounds like fun.

A May Day

It’s suddenly got cold with the start of May and while I’ve loved the lengthy warm Autumn days, it’s nice to have had some rain.  There are a number of interesting local profiles I’m hoping to put up soon and it’s great that new businesses in the local area are enjoying very busy times.  It’s a sign that our local economy is in good shape and there is latent demand for products and services for local people, by local people.  Speaking of which, former local fashion maven Estelle Michaelides closed her bricks and mortar shop, Micky in the Van, in Ivanhoe a while ago but her bespoke and very ladylike womenswear is now online, with small runs made to order.  I’m currently in love with her Jack Jack Sweater in Kyoto Night.

Image via Micky in the Van

Another sign of a good community is the amount of volunteering that takes place and there are many opportunities to give back by way of children’s sports, kinder and school parents associations, local council committees and local not-for-profit organisations and op shops.  I’ve seen a call out for volunteers at the Diamond Valley Community Support Op-Shop in Diamond Creek and have family and friends who have worked for the CPS Op Shop Rosanna (which has a new manager) and St George’s Anglican Church Op Shop in Ivanhoe East.

Image via CPS Op Shop Rosanna

As for me, in the past 10 years I’ve volunteered for the Winston Hills Pre-School committee, Banyule Arts & Cultural Advisory Committee, in Visitor Services at Heide Museum of Modern Art and will step down later this month when my two-year Board membership ends at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre,  All in all, it’s been a really rewarding experience that has given me opportunities to develop myself personally and professionally, as well as put me in touch with lots of different people in the area and been a good thing to do both in between jobs and in conjunction with paid employment.

It’s perhaps a weekend to head indoors but the Nillumbik Artists Open Studios is on both Saturday and Sunday if you feel like a car trip.  Melbourne Farmers Markets on this weekend include Alphington, Carlton and Coburg.

Over the rainbow

Given we had a staycation this Christmas, it’s been good to do a bit more exploring locally.  There are a couple of cafes I’ve only recently discovered and am yet to visit but they include Silas Coffee in Watsonia and The Chairman Cafe & Foodstore in Heidelberg Heights.  We’ve also been looking more at local coffee roasters including DC Coffee (formerly Ducale Coffee) in Preston and Dimattina’s in Reservoir now that we’ve got a Rancilio coffee machine.

Image via DC Coffee

If you’re after some pretty summer fashion then you may be interested in ili (I love it) in Station Street Fairfield which stocks a number of different Australian labels including Elk Accessories, Viktoria and Woods, Skin and Threads and Cable Melbourne.  As for me, I’ve got my eye on a tan handbag by Status Anxiety and a leather jacket by Luxe Fashion Studio so may be saving my bickies for a while this year.

Didier biker jacket image via Luxe Fashion Studio

Bundoora Homestead Art Centre currently has a couple of jobs on offer if you have an arts marketing, hospitality, retail or curatorial background and are interested in working for Darebin Council.  And if it’s arts you love, Puesta del Sol is being held poolside at Montsalvat in Eltham tomorrow night with Art by Twilight at Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen on 27 January.

Image via Monty Village Facebook page

Summer Vibes on QWere Street in Montmorency is being held on Saturday 3 February and there’s a fantastic lineup of acts while if romance is on your mind, Date Night at Heide is being held on Sunday 4 February and a Valentine’s Day/Rainbow High Tea at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre overlooking the heritage gardens on Saturday 17 February.

The answer is…yes

It’s been a momentous few days and my Media & Communications team watched the Australian Bureau of Statistics live announcement on the postal vote and marriage equality gathered around a colleague’s computer yesterday – it was lovely to witness history and democracy in action and it’s one of the privileges of living in a more progressive country like ours at this particular point in time.  I do sometimes wonder what it would be like if more of us were exposed to diversity at a personal level through friends and family and how it would be played out in the larger community and society.  Love is love and it’s always been as simple as that for me however I know that people from different generations and religious/cultural backgrounds don’t see it the same way.IMG_6546

There is so much on this coming weekend around the place, we are spoilt for choice and I hope the sun comes out at some stage for those events being held outdoors like La Trobe’s soundvision live music and art event to farewell our 50th Anniversary year on Saturday.  I was treated to a visit by The Great Gizmo (above) in the kitchen at work today, who was very entertaining and there are a number of pretty funny selfies floating around the place from those of us who were accosted by him as we had tried to eat our lunch!

Image via Eventbrite

It’s a creative weekend in that the Nilllumbik Artists Open Studios is also on both days while on Saturday is the Arden Crescent Strawberry Fair in Rosanna, the Rosanna Primary School Fair and the Ivanhoe Primary Twilight Fair while in inner city Fitzroy, the annual Hispanic Fiesta in Johnston Street is on.

Image via Banyule City Council

On Sunday, the Malahang Community Festival is on in West Heidelberg while cult classic film Dogs in Space featuring the late Michael Hutchence will also be screening at Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen.  Speaking of dogs, Great Dane Furniture in collaboration with Oblica Fireplaces will also be holding a pop up sale with up to 75% off from 10am – 5 pm this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 200 Argyle Street Fitzroy.


It’s Prince’s ripping song that greeted me on arrival at the Heide Makers Market in Bulleen on Saturday, and I’m glad I finally made it to one.  Mr Rosanna and the boys rode their bikes from our house, which was the smarter move as the car parks were crazy with attendants directing me from not one, not two but three different spaces.  I eventually nabbed a park at the base of Banksia Park and walked up from there to the market.IMG_5755

There were some beautiful stalls with a focus on Mother’s Day presents and it was busy with all the people there with their kids and dogs in hand.  It was great to see some of my ex-Visitor Services friends from Heide at the official Heide Museum of Modern Art stand selling things from the Heide Store as well as my friend ceramic artist Lene Kuhl Jakobsen who was strategically placed right next to them.IMG_5760

Mr R and I were hungry when we got there so the coffee cart and stall selling ciabatta rolls filled with all sorts of yummy delicacies, wine and fresh juices was very welcome.  Be warned there was a big queue for coffee in particular and the three men at the cart were working pretty feverishly in an effort to keep up.  It was lovely to just sit in the sun and enjoy the buzz as well as the music curated by the resident DJ.IMG_5758

And while I ended up buying a pair of statement earrings from Ara + Lyra, Mr R was more interested in the Merkos custom guitars handmade by a Greek couple who’ve moved to Melbourne, and the boutique beers on offer from Barrow Boys Brewing Co. in Reservoir.IMG_5759

I hope you had a great Mother’s Day if you have a mum in your life.  I enjoyed breakfast out followed by a relaxing afternoon reading the papers by the fire and watching a bit of the Eurovision finals on SBS.  It’s been nice to have a breather.  Have a great week.


The island of Equanimity

I’m wishing I was there at the moment.  Mr Rosanna and I have had a lot of change over the past year with jobs, juggling work and family life and a new transition again in the past month with him starting a new job after many years in his old one.  He was lucky enough to have time at home with our children last year – an opportunity not all Dads get – as well as the chance to step back and work out where to from here.  I think it’s something women get to do if they have children and I’ve seen many of my peers see life very differently after having children and contemplate whether they return to their old job (if they can) or try something completely new and different.  Necessity is the mother of all invention.IMG_5597

When change is thrust upon you, it can come as a shock and I’m reeling from changes in my workplace this week.  I’ve known change was coming but the nature of it has still been a surprise and it’s taken a little while for my emotions to catch up.  We are all human and it’s hard not to take things personally as much as I know that it’s only my ego that’s hurting at the moment!  The ability to remain calm and composed is a real skill and considered one of the sublime states of Buddhism, which teaches you to take a step back, hold your emotions in your arms and rock them like a baby so that you can maintain equilibrium – easy to know in theory but much harder to practise in reality…It’s also the end of term and I’m grateful that Easter is coming up soon.IMG_5619

It’s got cold and wet, particularly further up north, and daylight savings comes to an end this weekend, which always makes me feel a bit mellow although I have ‘winter’ friends who love being able to dress up in layers once the weather turns.  The Heide Makers Market is on tomorrow (April Fool’s Day!) and if you haven’t been, this will be the last one for the season.  My friend, ceramic artist Lene Kuhl Jakobsen has had a stall there selling these gorgeous hand made plant pots – this one is now adorning my desk at work and it makes me happy to see it there every day when I come into the office.

Image via

Given my current feeling, the aptly named Turbulence exhibition has opened at Hatch Contemporary Arts Space in Ivanhoe and is a response to global climate change and environmental sustainability.  It features work by Banyule-based artists from the Textile Art Community, sound artist Alice Bennett and environmental artist Felicity Gordon.

Have a wonderful weekend – I’m hoping to find my inner calm over the next few days.