Jan 25 2011

Australia Day and Onya Aid

Tomorrow, 26 January, we will celebrate Australia Day. I wonder how many of us have an understanding of what this day actually celebrates. How many of us are solely focused on the fact that it’s a public holiday?  A day off work . A day to spend relaxing or enjoying a barbie with family and friends. A day to enjoy a beer with mates.

Australia Day is the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet of 11 convict ships from Great Britain and the raising of the Union Jack at Sydney Cove by Captain Arthur Phillip in 1788.

Australia Day is the day we are reminded of what is so great about our beautiful country, our people and our diverse society. It’s the day we come together to celebrate what is great about Australia. It’s the day we celebrate being Australian. We have plenty to be so proud of. We have a bright future. Our children have a bright future and endless opportunities.  We are so very lucky to call Australia our home.

At the core of celebrating Australia Day is the celebration of our people, ordinary Australians who contribute so much to make this country so great.  Tomorrow I’ll be spending my Australia Day with some great Australians. Tomorrow I know I’m going to feel truly Australian. 

I’ll be attending Onya Aid,a fundraiser arranged by 2 outstanding Australians, Sandi Sieger, Director and Editor-In- Chief and Sarah Kempson, Fashion Editor at Onya Magazine.

Onya Magazine is hosting the Onya Aid fundraiser to raise cash for those affected by the devastating floods in Queensland and Victoria. Funds from Onya Aid will be donated to The Australian Red Cross. What a fine example this event is of our great Aussie spirit. Our great Aussie spirit to help our neighbours, our mates.

The event will be held at Honey Bar. Honey Bar owner Steve Vallas has generously donated his venue for the event. Entry is just $5 at the door. One hundred per cent of proceeds from admission, auctions, lucky dips, donations and Honey Bar profits will be donated to Onya Aid.

This event is the finest example of how we can make Australia an even better place for future generations. Tomorrow I’ll witness what is great about Australia and being an Australian. Tomorrow I will feel proud to be an Australian.

I can’t think of a better way to spend my Australia Day. There is a whole lot more to Australia Day than it being just another public holiday.


Oct 2 2010

melbourne french festival: paris to provence

Bonjour! Comment allez-vous? Je vais très bien!  I was in Paris in 1997. It doesn’t seem like my visit was 13 years ago! Paris is the city, which French people, often describe as being shaped like a snail shell. I remember my visit clearly. The images and my experiences live vividly in my memory. I recall the streets, the traffic, the shops, the fashion, the stunning women, the food, the baguettes, the museums, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, all as though I was there yesterday.

I learnt French at school for 6 years but sadly without constant practice I have lost my ability and confidence to speak this beautiful language. A Romance language. I love everything there is to love about Paris, the city, the food, the people, the language. I dream of one day having the opportunity to immerse myself and family life in Paris. I’m a big believer in having dreams and one day this just might become a reality for our family.

So while I dream of one day living in Paris, life for me is in cosmopolitan Melbourne. A city which offers so much. This week I stumbled across a gem of an event, the first inaugural Melbourne French Festival: Paris to Provence, a two day event held at the historical Como House and Garden in South Yarra.

Two mums Laura Rancie and Samantha Triaca, both of whom are currently pregnant, maintain such a great love and enthusiasm for all things French, that they founded the Melbourne French Festival where visitors experience a little slice of France at the beautiful Como House and Garden.

Friday afternoon Melbourne was blessed with the most gorgeous Spring weather. I was itching to visit the Melbourne French Festival. Being school holidays and with an almost full schedule I had to do some fancy work to get there but get there we did!

Wow! What an amazing experience. What an incredible atmosphere. Everything came together so perfectly. The weather, the venue, the food, the stalls, the people, it was such a fantastic day. We strolled. We ate crepes. I drank coffee. The little people enjoyed an ice cream. We listened to music. We listened to people speak French. I just love hearing the French speak. We soaked in Melbourne’s sun but imagined we were in Paris for a just a few hours.

A special day. Delightful memories.

 


Sep 26 2010

nathalie lete

Today was one of those special days. One of those extra special, extra ordinary days. The reason, I witnessed French artist Nathalie Lété  painting a beautiful window at the Blue Illusion boutique store at Westfield Doncaster, east of Melbourne.

Blue Illusion boutiques are filled with French inspired clothing, fashion accessories and homewares for women aged 35 years and over.

Nathalie is an amazing and captivating artist. Nathalie lives and works in Paris and today she was visiting my city.  

Nathalie creates her work in many different ways, she mixes different techniques and mediums, illustration, ceramics, textile and painting. Her work is colourful, vibrant and sometimes strange. She is inspired by her travels and also by the mixing of vintage toys and old engravings of flowers and animals. She produces childrens illustrated books, knitted and stuffed toys, glass pictures, patterned dishes, a range of postcards, ceramic sculptures, silkscreen prints, wool rugs and jewels in limited edition.

Whilst visiting Paris the Blue Illusion team discovered the talented Parisian artist. They fell in love with her work and her whimsical illustrations. They had the amazing opportunity to collaborate with her on some of the items which feature in this season’s collection including apparel, homewares and accessories.

Blue Illusion commissioned Nathalie to paint the windows of four of their boutiques,  in honor of her collaboration and inspiration. Today I witnessed in awe as Nathalie transformed the boutique windows with flowers, birds, insects and the Eiffel Tower.

The windows look so gorgeous painted in white. So beautiful and whimsical. I spoke briefly with Nathalie, she was just so gorgeous, so beautiful, so quietly spoken and her English very good. This was her first trip to Australia. Only a short visit as she had left her family at home in Paris. I wonder what inspiration she has sought from her travels to Australia.


Sep 26 2010

heide

It’s Friday morning, Grand Final Eve in Melbourne and sadly already the end of the first week of the school holidays. Melbourne is buzzing with footy atmosphere and anticipation. I start thinking about how to spend the day with my little people. I do like giving them ‘interesting’ experiences. A visit to  Heide  pops into my head.

I remember as a young child visiting Heide Museum of Modern Art with my grandparents.  Heide Museum of  Modern Art or more commonly known as Heide is a contemporary art museum located in Bulleen, east of Melbourne.

Heide was established in 1981 and offers an inspiring, educational and thought provoking experience of art, architecture and landscape. It comprises of several detached buildings and is surrounded by the most magnificent and extensive gardens and paddocks that extend down to the banks of the Yarra River.

The Heide sites comprises of 16 acres. We explore, we meander through the Sculpture Park we walk along paths and forget we are only 15 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD.

The museum occupies the site of the former dairy farm that was purchased by art collectors John and Sunday Reed in 1934. They transformed the original Victorian farmhouse into a French provincial-style cottage. The house and property were named Heide in reference to the nearby town of Heidelberg. Heide became the  home to some of Australia’s best known modernist painters including Sidney Nolan, Albert Tucker, Laurence Hope and Joy Hester. They and others were known as the Heide Circle. They lived and worked  in the former farm house which today is known as Heide I.  

We purchase the famous lunch box for just $15 from the absolutely divine Café Vue. My box includes what has to be the best lemon meringue pie I have ever, ever had. I’m not exaggerating it was the best! Café Vue is open for breakfast over the weekend. I think we might just have to visit one morning!

With full tummies we take a look around the Up Close exhibition. Up Close traces the significant legacy of Australian photographer Carol Jerrems. Her work is displayed alongside  that of other photo-based artists from the 1970s and 1980s Larry Clark and Nan Goldin from New York and William Yang from Sydney.

There’s an emotional intensity and intimacy surrounding Carol’s photographs. Carol Jerrems died in Melbourne in February 1980, three weeks before her 31st birthday.

Heide run school holiday activities. Hands-on activities for children to engage with art. I’ll look into these in the future as they were all booked out for these current holidays.

I can’t recommend a visit to Heide enough, it’s a unique space. Just beautiful and interesting. Plenty to explore and enjoy.


Sep 17 2010

indulgence

At 2.30pm today school bells will ring and children across the state of Victoria will commence 2 weeks of school holidays.

I like school holidays. I really enjoy the change to our daily routines. I like the fact that I don’t need to constantly monitor my watch like a stop watch. I like the fact that we can simply enjoy family life. We can take a breathe from the frantic life we live most weeks.

Straight from dropping my children at school this morning I headed almost in auto plot to my favourite local cafe. I sat and quietly enjoyed a mug of coffee and a super delicious banana and butterscotch muffin. I sat amongst a community recharging themselves for another day. I contemplated the many indulgences we have to look forward to during the next 2 weeks.

 

 

 

 

 


Aug 31 2010

spring has sprung

Spring is one of my favourite seasons.  

Blossoms are picturesque, days are slightly warmer,  I wake to the sound of birds chirping.

Springtime inspires me.

Springtime motivates me, I feel healthy and energetic.

I’ve waited ever so patiently for the season to change.

There is much to enjoy about Spring.

Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!”  Robin Williams


Aug 23 2010

simply picturesque

Yesterday the sun shone. The wind was light. Sunday in Melbourne town was gorgeous. After days, weeks, even months of bitter Wintery weather the sun came out to play. It was the almost  perfect day. What an unexpected surprise.

Then this morning I woke to sunshine streaming through the bedroom windows. It made me feel good. It put a spring in my step and energised me. Today was the perfect day to stroll along the banks of the meandering Yarra River. I enjoyed sunshine and warm rays, amongst the peace and silence of nature.

I eagerly await the new season that comes, her name is Spring.