Oink oink!

The Lunar New Year of the Pig is about to trot in next Tuesday and if you’ve had a false start to the year – here’s your chance to start all over again. My trainer Nikki Ellis from Cinch Training in Heidelberg Heights has signed up for FebFast and laid down the gauntlet for all her clients to do the same – and not just for alcohol but sugar, screens and anything else you may be better off reducing in your life.

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It is the Year of the Pig and I’ve bought a set of commemorative gold coins (above) from the Australian Mint as a keepsake gift – the Asian in me couldn’t help myself. Unlike western astrology, pigs are a symbol of wealth in Chinese culture and pig people are known for their beautiful personalities and good fortune in life – lucky you if you were born in the Year of the Pig or know someone who will be born this year.

My past week has been a whirlwind with the return to school and extra-curricular activities on top of a new job although I suspect we’ll be feeling it more next week once we complete a whole 7 days – it sure is busy and one part of me is always a bit incredulous that kids start school at the hottest time of the year. I guess there’s no getting around the weather in Melbourne no matter what you do.

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One of the highlights has been taking delivery of our art deco cabinet (above in our somewhat dark room) from Contemporary Vintage in Alphington and it now taking pride of place in our formal living room. However – the thing with getting ‘new’ pieces for home sometimes has a knock on effect and you realise other things around it need to be replaced or upgraded. In our case, the painting which hung about our old cabinet is now too small so we’re now on the hunt for a new painting which will be more in scale. Speaking of which, one of the work highlights for me is finding out my new building houses some of the La Trobe Art Institute collection including a Sidney Nolan painting that I walk past every day. I did manage to have a quick chat yesterday with the acting LAI Director Sandra Bruce and hope to catch up with her at some stage soon.

Speaking of Heide artists, Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen is holding a Showtime Night Market tonight, a Date Night x Midsumma on 10 February in the Heart Garden near Heide I as well as Art by Twilight on 16 February. It is very calming to spend time in galleries around art as well as in nature so enjoy if you make it there. Happy New Year!

 

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Fashion rules

Well there are no rules in fashion but fashion rules forever in my book! Speaking of which, it’s a little early but there are two local events happening as part of the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF) 2019 including the Gorman: Ten years of Collaborating garment exhibition (image below) at Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen starting 5 March. Even better tickets are on sale for the Gorman runway evening show at Heide on Saturday 2 March if you want to see fashions in the field (outdoor sculpture garden) instead of on the field.

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Gorman has collaborated with a number of different artists who’ve worked with Gorman over the past 10 years including Rachel Castle, Elke Kramer, Rhys Lee, Ellie Malin, Mirka Mora and Miranda Skoczek to name but a few. The garments will be shown alongside the artworks which inspired them so a fantastic show for the fashionistas out there.

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Local designer Estelle Michaelides is madly putting her Micky in the Van Autumn/Winter 2019 collection together (pictured above) to also show on Saturday 2 March at 2pm at the Rivoli Cinemas in Hawthorn as part of VAMFF. It’s great to see some creativity being used to show fashion in unexpected venues this year. Once upon a long time ago when I first worked in fashion PR, I boarded a mystery train trip out to a secret warehouse location in Maribyrnong to see supermodel Linda Evangelista in action as part of the first ever Melbourne Fashion Festival – they were exciting times.

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Speaking of Heide, the Heide Makers Market is on tomorrow and you’ll see my ceramic artist friend Lene Kuhl Jakobsen selling her wares there if you’re going. I have a number of Lene’s pieces on display (above) in my home – they look particularly great on a floating shelf if you have the space although probably better without computer paraphernalia!

Last drinks

Christmas celebrations are the order of the day and I had a rollicking dinner at Smith and Daughters on Tuesday night catching up with the fabulous Mo Wyse in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy where she treated us to a couple of special things including their vegan take on an arancini ball as well as a bombe Alaska dessert. It was great to see her again after the sell out Bold Thinking Series veganism lecture held in April.

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Mirka retail display – Heide Store

I’ve also had the pleasure of twice visiting Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen this week. Cafe Heide replaced Cafe Vue a while ago – the food there is still very good, and the service much better. There was one occasion I waited an hour for my lunch which was the last time I visited the cafe in its previous incarnation. Despite being fully booked inside, the meals for the dozen or so in my team came out quickly this week and I am thankful that I was able to get a booking so close to Christmas for that amount of people.

I was there again today and despite the rain, it was bustling with people in the cafe, people there to take in the Mirka Mora show and people like me buying gifts in the Heide Store (pictured above)  I hadn’t been there for a while but did not come out empty-handed! It was great to get some small things for family that have more of an artistic bent.

Heide is also holding carols there tomorrow night in the sculpture park outside with the Australian Girls Choir while the Banyule Carols by Candlelight (and Boulevard Lights) is on as well in Ivanhoe. Montsalvat in Eltham is holding its carols event on Sunday.  The Rose Street Christmas Night Market is on tonight, the Ivanhoe Makers Market is on tomorrow and the Kris Kringle Night Markets have also started at the Northcote Town Hall. Deck those halls…

You can call me Queen Bee

It’s already been a full on start to the new school term for us and it’s the home straight from now until Christmas – our calendar is jam packed and I’m sure yours is also fast filling up.  It’s been a beautiful few Spring days and  I’ve been loving spending time outside as much as my hay fever seems to be killing me…Spring racing has also started and while I have mixed feelings about horse racing, we had friends see mare Winx in action at last week’s Cox Plate and some people are already comparing her to Phar Lap.

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Melbourne Festival Fire Gardens

Speaking of outside, Fire Gardens for the Melbourne Festival launched on Wednesday night at the Royal Botanic Gardens and tickets have already sold out so lucky you if you’re going to see it as it looks spectacular.  Speaking of all things royal, classic motor show Motorclassica 2018 is on this weekend at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton and some of the cars on show are absolutely beautiful.  I saw Ladies in Black at the Lido Cinema last night which also takes you back to a different time in 1950s Australia and it’s a real feel good movie if you’re after something gorgeous from another era to look at.

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Image via Motorclassica 2018

It was fantastic to see Melbourne voted number three in Conde Nast Traveler’s best cities 2018, after Tokyo and Kyoto in Japan (on my hit list as my next overseas destination to visit) with special mention to Heide Museum in Bulleen.  It’s all happening at Heide at the moment with the Heide Makers Market on tomorrow as well as a special Hounds of Heide event on Sunday 21 October for anyone with a fur baby (with Rose St Artists market stallholders selling canine-themed art, design and handmade goods, an illustrator and free vet checks all on offer) and Mirka Mora’s Pas de Deux – Drawings and Dolls exhibition starting on 27 October.

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Mirka Mora Pas de Deux – Drawings and Dolls image via Heide

 

Farewell Winter

I’m glad to see the back of you.  It’s felt a bit never-ending this year and I know I shouldn’t complain given I had three weeks in the Grecian sunshine but I don’t think I could live anywhere colder than here.  That being said, one of the things that impressed me about Greece was that many of the places I stayed in had powder coated aluminium framed double glazed windows and shutters that made a big difference in terms of insulation and noise.  I’ve had yoga friends also comment on the joys of installing radiant heating and if I can ever afford to do it, I would like it in my ‘keeper’ house as I don’t love the dust with central heating.  I grew up in a house with no central heating and I realise this is first world problems we are talking about.

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Double glazed window with shutter  – Naxos, Greece

I was in the city having a check up today and I think Melbourne has become increasingly polarised in terms of the haves and the have-nots.  It’s pretty heartbreaking walking some of the major city streets including Collins and Elizabeth, going past homeless people in a week that’s been bitterly cold at night to cap off this season.  While you can give people money, it’s addressing the causal issues and actions we can collectively take which I think is much more important to stop people getting to this point in the first place.  Melbourne seems to have grown at such a rapid pace the past 10 years or so and our infrastructure isn’t keeping up but I was glad to hear about the proposed underground suburban rail loop around Melbourne that will connect all our trains lines, Universities and airport.  I just wonder if it will happen in my lifetime!

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It’s been a sad week in the arts world with 90-year-old Mirka Mora passing away although it’s amazing that she lived to such an advanced age and still remained so young at heart.  Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen has been raising funds since earlier this year asking for donations to commemorate her birthday in support of the upcoming Mirka Mora: Pas de Deux – Drawings and Dolls.  I was always happy to see her angel paintings on the windows of the original Heide I homestead building where John and Sunday Reed lived and where Mirka herself visited them as a friend.

Wishing you a happy welcome to Spring tomorrow and Father’s Day to those with Dads in your lives.

 

Modern life

If you’re a lover of Mid Century Modernism then you might be interested in a Heide Museum of Modern Art and Cinema Nova ticket offer to see a special afternoon screening of Eames: The Architect and The Painter film about husband and wife Charles and Ray Eames on Sunday 19 August.  Tickets of which include entry to see Design for Life: Grant and Mary Featherston – in many ways the Australian equivalent of the American furniture designer and his partner in life.

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Meanwhile I have local friends who have put their modernist home in Rosanna (above and below) on the market if your budget allows for 7 figures.  They’ve poured their heart and soul into renovating their home over the past 10 years and are now ready to pass the baton.  I’ve celebrated a number of parties and one New Year’s Eve with them where the views from their upstairs clerestory windows and balcony in particular are breathtaking as well as the privacy and seclusion of their shaded courtyard and decked pool at the back.  If you’re wanting to make a long-term move into the area, this one’s for you.

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Father’s Day is also nearly upon us and it’s worth getting your skates on if you’ve not already bought a present.  There are some great leather goods and other accessories available from OTAA, The Daily Edited, Status Anxiety, The Horse as well as All the Kings Men Fitzroy if you have a modern man in your life.  Have a great week!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Image via Chai Walli