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.

 

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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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.