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 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.

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.

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!

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.

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

States of Being

It sounds very Zen but it’s the name of the upcoming show curated by Dr Anne Bennett at Hatch Contemporary Arts Centre in Ivanhoe, which opens this Wednesday.  The exhibition continues to explore this year’s theme of water, and its elemental importance, and will showcase 9 different artists’ work including Anne Bennett.  Anne and I have both been members of the Banyule Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee.StatesOfBeing_A5_InviteP1FB_lowres

The fifth Manningham Victorian Ceramic Art Award opens on 16 August and I’m really happy to see two friends I’ve previously featured on my blog are both finalists in this year’s show – Louise Kyriakou and Lene Kuhl-Jakobsen.  Local creative family, the Pittards have scored a hat trick with all of them – Chris and Mary-Lou and daughter Jessie also this year’s finalists.  I was lucky enough to work with them when I was the publicist for The Light Factory Gallery in Eltham.  And it’s lovely to see another local artist Irianna Kanellopoulou‘s work featured on the website.

Image via Louise Kyriakou blog


Speaking of ceramics, Angus and Celeste currently have The Slightly Imperfect Sale on until Sunday 13 August meanwhile the Northcote Pottery Supplies Open Day is Saturday 19 August from 10 am – 3 pm.  It’s a popular day as Artists on Were Street in Montmorency also opens on 19 August and runs until 3 September.  I’ve long said that if Mr Rosanna and I had moved further out, our next suburb of choice was Montmorency.  We’re spoilt for choice in the north-east…

Image via Northcote Pottery Supplies


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.

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