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Autumn Issue 6 * 2012

Locally grown and made food, produce, art & craft, fashion & accessories, plants and live entertainment. Market Dates 2012 Sat 17 March, Sat 19 May Sat 18 August, Sat 17 November. All markets are from 9am - 2pm.

FASHION EMPORIUM A unique range of artistic, funky, exotic accesories, ornaments & textiles

Upwey Village Green, behind the shops in Upwey

9 7 5 4

7 8 8 4

A Feast of Visual Arts at Burrinja The 60th Blake Prize

10th March – 29th April 2012 Burrinja is proud to be the exclusive Victorian venue for the 60th Blake Prize for Religious Art exhibition which explores religion and spirituality in art and poetry.

Dandenong Ranges Open Studios

Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th May 2012

The Open Studios Weekend offers you the unique opportunity to get an inside look into the eclectic and often hidden art world of the hills. Meet the artists, view their artwork in context, see them at work, and take home a hand-made treasure or two.

Open Studios Exhibition | 19th May - 1st July 2012 Burrinja Cnr Glenfern Rd & Matson Drive, Upwey ph: (03) 9754 8723 w:

building community through arts

Editor’s rave It’s a new season and a new year. Hope it’s started off in style. It was full speed ahead for me with barely time for a breather. But I did get some holiday time with my family, great food and some nanna naps.

at this year’s Selby Fest. Plus our regular cafe reviews, music, new stores and blog life. Make sure to like us on facebook if you want to stay up to date on all the interesting things coming up this season and email me your favourite Autumn haunts so I can check them out too. Hope you enjoy this issue.

This issue has more packed into it than before. It’s 4 pages longer and we have included a town profile, this time it’s of Emerald. Written by Rachel Hickingbotham they will become a regular feature. Also new in this issue is a fashion section with beautiful photography by Carli Wilson and styling by Lisa Zee who has come on board to add a regular fashion spot. There will be 4 issues this year to coincide with the seasons, which was always my intention and now that there’s a few helpers on board, it’s finally happening.


Adriana Alvarez


Rachel Hickingbotham


Meagan Lonsdale


Barbara O’Sullivan

Contributers Rachel Hickingbotham , Carolyn Oates, Sarah O’Connor, Rebecca Funk, Lisa Zee, Carli Wilson, Trudy Simmons, Ross Farnell, Jodi Cooke, Jude Craig, Sandi Sieger, and Adriana Alvarez

Autumn is my favourite time in the hills. The days are beautiful since the extreme heat of the summer has passed, it’s cool but still nice. There’s so much to do and see. Burrinja has the VCE Artists Showcase featuring the work of some very talented young students such as Meagan Lonsdale. Her painting “Pogona in Character” is our cover. There’s also the Open Artists studios coming up in May and ‘Journeys In, Journeys Out’ a collaborative exhibition of sculpture and textiles which are featured in this issue. Plus we’ll be adding some of their other great events to our facebook page.

facebook: The Hillscene For submission and advertising enquiries e: Printed by Ferntree Print on Envirocare 100gsm recycled paper. © Copyright 2012

There’s an article about decluttering by Trudy Simmons which I need to put into action. Rebecca Funk visits the Mt Burnett Observatory and Sandi Sieger writes about her less glamorous tumbles and what’s in store


rin g ich ne ed s de clu tte My me ssy de sk wh

the future is now The VCE Creative Showcase (currently showing @ Burrinja till March 11) was established to exhibit and celebrate outstanding work from top graduating visual art students across the Yarra Ranges Shire. Here are just two of those very talented emerging artists, ones to watch out for in the future.

y College Emerald Secondar – le da ns Lo n ga Mea rld – often u? The natural wo What inspires yo inspire me to e m I see around ls tai de t es all sm the ired by my Character’ was insp in na go ‘Po t. ar create alian fauna. ion of native Austr love and appreciat ral Bearded re of raising a Cent I’ve had the pleasu amazing three years; he’s an dragon for the past works were personality, these animal and full of . n of that personality about the expressio r nature all my e had a passion fo Why make art? I’v that moment t trying to capture life, for me it’s abou ess what I see e freedom to expr in time, and also th in my mind’s eye. The only plan I re artistic plans) What’s next? (futu ques, in order proving on techni have is to keep im

What inspires you? I get inspired by the fact that when I look through a camera lens I see a whole different world just waiting to be presente d in the most beautiful way possible. It can be as simple as sitting in the car and seeing the way the light falls upon the dashboard, that makes me want to capture it and display it for everyone else to see. Why make art? I make art for the joy of expressing myself in a way which I love and in a way that no one else can truly identify with. What’s next? (future artistic plans) As I’m only in Year 12 this year I plan to continue with my studies for the year. Looking into next year I’m hopi ng to study photography further with an Arts degree at RMIT University and getting as much phot ography work experience wherever I can.

ac ter ” “P og on a in ch ar

matter and tter. As for subject to do what I like be has in store? s what the future ow kn o wh , m iu ed m lls? We’re out living in the hi Favourite thing ab ver have to ts and animals, I ne an pl by d de un rro su mething special. look far to find so

Emma Watson – Monbulk College

“In His Eyes”

Favourite thing about living in the hills ? Easily my favourite aspect about living in the hills is all the natural beauty that surrounds us. Wak ing up to such an inviting environment with such picturesque scenery is partially what inspired me to take up photography in the first place. –4–

music CD Review Anim8 – self titled album Instrumental new prog (progressive) rock music is not usually a genre I would go for. It’s what I like to call “muso’s music”, that is; music performed by virtuosos, where the sheer number of notes played and time signature changes before the one minute mark in a track melts my face off. This is where the debut album by Anim8 opens the genre to a wider audience. Yes, there is some impressive playing on this album but not at continuous expense to the listener. This album is full of melodies, groove and hooks. Musically, the album tips its hat to 70’s English prog like Yes, The Police, and Rush, although they’re Canadian. The album is a collaboration between hills resident record producer David Carr on guitars, bass & synths (plus recording and mixing duties for this album); and his partner in prog rock joys, Alex Deegan, on drums & synths. Carr produces some crazy sounds from his guitars and synths and yet they all fit the music perfectly. Deegan creates an impressive rhythmic backdrop with his drumming. The opening track, Sputnik, is a rocking introduction to the band. This moves into a country bending track Jethro with some virtuoso speed playing by both members. The track Forty 4 years is in memory of the bands live bass player, Mark, who sadly lost a battle with cancer at 44. There is a chilled out melodic sound in


Dawn which shows disciplined restraint by both players to produce a tasteful slower track. The Freeway is an excellent mood reflecting piece about the crazy circle of why we build freeways. This album, when turned up loud, sounds mighty! Carr has done a superb job of capturing big sounds for all the instruments without losing anything in the mix, something I have sadly come not to expect of albums produced and mixed in Australia. This album truly has an international sound and quality about it. To find out more and purchase the CD go to: Carolyn Oates Carolyn is a singer/songwriter who loves her time at home in the Dandenongs. See her at Oscar’s Alehouse March 31. To listen to her current single and for more information go to:

Waxing Gibbous I’m not native to a love of astronomy. My passions run towards plumbing the psyche and all the unknown potentiality of that space. It strikes me, however, that both spheres – the dark night sky with its unreachable stars, and our dark unconscious self with its unaccountable motivations – remind us how small we are and how little we know. And I like a bit of mystery! Which is how I found myself at Mt Burnett Observatory. The Observatory has been in existence for almost forty years. Hoards (undoubtedly!) of Monash Uni astrophysics students have climbed its vertical stairs over the years, and found themselves contained within that small circular room, a slice of the roof open to the clear night sky. And in front of them, the large white telescope, capable of perceiving thousands of light years away. To give you a sense of scale: light travels at 300 000km per second; one light year is therefore more than 9 billion kilometres away! It’s almost inconceivable that we can see stars which are so very far away from us, the light from which has taken thousands (or millions!) of years to reach us!

The telescope

In January this year, the Observatory, which had come close to being decommissioned, reopened with a new intention: to bring astronomy to the community. Due to the hard work of the organising committee, it’s already attracting wide-spread interest. Scout packs and other community groups are signed up for tours, member nights are being held on Fridays, and the committee has plans for a range of speakers, a reunion for all former students who used the telescope, and some child-friendly events. Non-members are welcome to turn up on a Friday night to learn more about the Observatory and the committee. Astronomy is not such an esoteric topic these days, with the advent of iPad & Android applications such as Celestia, Star Walk, Planisphere, Pocket Universe, Sky Gazer, Distant Suns, The Night Sky (the list goes on!), which have made the celestial sphere accessible to the general public. In the midst of this exciting and confusing milieu, the committee behind Mt Burnett Observatory aims to make studying the stars even more visceral, available and exciting!

President Perry Vlahos speaking at MBO Grand Opening

Mt Burnett oBservatory

The Observatory

Image from the Grand Opening by Robert Letizi

We may be disturbed, fascinated, delighted, or all of the above, in facing our minor place in the grand scheme of things, whether confronted by the distant stars or our own hidden depths. But in our smallness, there’s a freedom to not know, to not understand. In engaging with mystery, we are enlivened – drawn more deeply into the present moment.

The Observatory is at 430 Paternoster Rd, Mt Burnett.

So I invite you to draw forth your inner astrophysicist and take a peep through the telescope, to be reminded of all the things we cannot know.

Rebecca Funk

For more information, or to become a member (which costs $50 for the year), go to or call Ray Schmidt on 0419 516 560. Facebook: Mount Burnett Observatory Inc.

Rebecca Funk is a writer, artist and mother of three children, whose life is punctuated by Puffing Billy’s whistle. She documents life in snapshots at

i a r f A n o i h fas Indi-Fashion Artist market

Showcasing select designers from the Yarra Ranges & Valley. Clothing, Jewellery and Accessories.

4th Saturday of the month, 10 - 3pm starting April

First 100 in get a free latte. Market in style!!

Kallista Mechanics Hall Tom Roberts Rd, Kallista.

All enquiries:

Indoor market+cafe+Live music.

cafe tarts Ripe - Sassafras I went for a visit to the much talked about café in Sassafras – Ripe. I had heard how wonderful it was from various people and I was keen to see what all the hype was about. My fellow tart for the morning was Karen, one of my long ago mother’s group mums. (My eldest is turning 13 next month.) We opted to sit outside on a fabulous balcony with big picnic style tables. It’s all enclosed with heaps of toys, perfect for parents getting together as the kids can’t escape and there’s lots of room to run around. There is also seating as you come in to Ripe, as well as dining inside. After much perusal of their breakfast menu I opted for the Mexican Eggs. This was creamy scrambled eggs, folded with roasted red peppers, tomatoes, jalapenos and coriander. It had a dollop of sour cream and grated cheese. Karen chose the Pumpkin Pomegranate. This was a fried free range egg, roast pumpkin on rye toast with pomegranate molasses and leaves. We both ordered coffees and although mine came as a latte instead of the cappuccino I ordered, I loved it so much that I ended up having another! I loved my breakfast. It almost tasted as though it had soft noodles throughout and was a lovely texture. I had ordered bacon on the side which they had forgotten but I probably didn’t need it as the main was a good size. I liked the addition of the sour cream and the flavour of the eggs was nice, though it could have had a bit more ‘bite’ to it.

Karen quite enjoyed her breakfast also. She said it was nice enough but not as special as it sounded. I was tempted to order what she had but I was a bit put off by the molasses reference. It was drizzled around the plate rather than on the meal though so was decorative as well as for extra taste. I guess I had visions of the molasses we used to give to our horses when we were kids, I couldn’t picture it being on a breakfast menu! When we left we noted how lovely the cakes looked. I’d love to go back one day and check out their lunch menu or just have coffee and cake. The staff are very friendly and the setting was quite serene, even in ‘kid heaven’ where we sat. I’d definitely recommend it. 376 Mt Dandenong Tourist Rd, Sassafras.

Sarah O’Connor I keep thinking “what do I want to be when I grow up?” and I always come up with the answer “a writer.” I’ve started two blogs about life with my special girl and www.skinnydreams. com. I now have the opportunity to write a food review column which combines both my love of writing and my love of food!

Emerald awaits

Emerald has the intricate characteristics of a giant tapestry that stretches from north to south. At one end it wraps around the much-loved sports oval and library; it then weaves its way up through the mix of old and new cafes and stores; through the sparkling waters of Emerald Lake; draping itself up and down the bustling shopping village and across the train tracks to the beloved Puffing Billy station. There are precious old stitches of history; patches that have been re-stitched to make new again and sparkling new additions to this creation of a town. But it’s when you stand back and look from a distance that you see what a uniquely woven and beautiful town this is. I find myself in Emerald every week. I am simply drawn there. Whichever road I take, the drive is soothing and magical. I like the feeling of shifting down a gear as I wander around the shopping areas. I love the serenity of the forest, the friendliness of the traders and the good mood of the town. It is the sort of place that beckons you to stop for a coffee and to chat awhile. The northern end of Emerald has seen a surge in energy and enthusiasm with a new supermarket and some fabulous new stores and cafes. This part of Emerald is home to the beautifully upgraded Library and community radio station 3MDR. – 10 –

The Great Train Race with Puffing Billy held each year in May is one of Australia’s longest and most unique “fun runs”; beginning in Belgrave and ending at Emerald Lake Park. To find out more, the folks at and will help you out. What makes Emerald even more special are the two great icons of Emerald Lake Park and Puffing Billy. The lake and the surrounding gardens are no less than majestic and can be enjoyed all year round. The fact that the old steam engine pulls into the station next door just tops it off. There is a reason why Puffing Billy is on most kid’s wish list; a ride on the great chugging train always creates a smile and plenty of good memories.

Photos by Pam Harvey Photography •

The busy and proactive Community Centre has initiated many excellent events in Emerald that have the locals buzzing and visitors coming from afar. Worth checking out are the PAVE Arts Festival that runs for four days in April and ends with the town’s Funfest. Also run by the Community House is the vibrant Emerald Market held on the third Sunday of each month all year round.

town profile More things to do in Emerald: Fun with Kids: Grab a treat from the enticing

On Emerald’s resume she can boast that she was once otherwise known as Wandin Valley from the TV series A Country Practice. She can also lay claim to Vanessa Amarossi, Red Symons and teenage sailor Jesse Martin who grew up in the town. But if Emerald could speak I think she would be content with the happiness she has brought to the six thousand people that have been drawn to or born into the skirts of her community. They love her for her freedom; her peace and quiet; her community spirit and for her trees aplenty. Emerald is understandably a great place to raise children. The new generations of this town are blessed with a glorious childhood amongst the trees and are the very children who will one day add their own stitches to the rich tapestry of Emerald.

range of goodies at the Emerald Bakery and enjoy a picnic at the playground at the top end of the main shopping district. Listen out for Puffing Billy’s whistle and watch the engine puff into the station. Better still, hop on and enjoy the breathtaking views on a round trip to Gembrook via a stop off at Emerald Lake Park. For true train enthusiasts, the Model Railway which houses the largest HO scale model display in the southern hemisphere should not be missed.

Fresh Air Adventures: Go for a wander around Emerald Lake and the national parks and try your luck at kangaroo, wombat and platypus spotting. Other good walks include The Packing Shed (a great place to picnic) to Emerald Lake where you can often see plenty of wallabies as well as the walk along Menzies Creek from Avard Road (off Emerald Monbulk Road).

Delicious Bites: The General Food Store, at the northern end of town opposite the football oval, is well loved by the locals and those further afield. The General’s owners chef, Paul “Dougie” Douglas and his wife Bel welcome customers with gusto and you can see and taste the love in their food. Dougie celebrates the seasons and re-designs his menu regularly to suit the harvests.

Emerald cont. And with quirky dish names like George and The Dragon, Simple Simon and Pants & Ella, the food is not only delicious but is sure to produce a smile. For dinner with a spectacular view, try Elevation on Belgrave Gembrook Rd not far from the main shopping village. For a different kind of view, try a wood fired pizza or tapas at Paradise Valley Hotel, just outside of Emerald. You can relax on the deck overlooking Paradise Valley and watch Puffing Billy steam past.

Browsing Pleasure: At the round-about at the northern end of town is the iconic Wynnie’s second hand store that has been open under various guises since 1905. The high-ceiling cottage sized shop is infused with history. A browse and chat with owner Jan is an

outing in itself. For more vintage and unique browsing Finders Keepers is just up the street a little (read more about them on pg 24). In Emerald Village, the main shopping strip, visit The Organic Farm Shop, a family owned store filled with an excellent range of organic and allergy friendly products. Down the street a little is Tinkars, a fantastic home and giftware store that is filled to the brim with unique and happy finds. Rachel Hickingbotham

Rachel is local mother of two rowdy boys and firefighter’s wife who loves to write. She is slowly growing her business as a freelance writer and newsletter creator for local businesses. Rachel is firmly imbedded in the hills and is addicted to her laptop, pots of tea, forest walks and puddle jumping. Her email address is

• Many of our vegies are freshly picked same day and grown locally • We have available a huge range of Organic and Gluten Free Dry Goods Cafe | Catering | funCtions

Shop 3/13 Kilvington Drive Emerald Ph: 03 5968 6564

Tuesday to Saturday 7.30am–4.30pm Sunday 8am–3pm 377 Belgrave-Gembrook Rd, Emerald

a clean start Words by Trudy Simmons It is well into the New Year…. Was one of your resolutions to organiser or declutter an area of your life? Are you overwhelmed by the THOUGHT of decluttering? Whether it is organising your whole house, a particular room, office, your computer, emails…. The list is endless!!! I have helped so many people over the years with the “fear” of clearing out an area of their lives. I have found that there are so many barriers and excuses that people will use to procrastinate! Imagine that feeling that you get when the house is tidy or you have had a relaxing day and you feel clear….. that is the feeling that decluttering can give you. If you are considering clearing up/out a room, and you are worried about how to approach it, give this a go: Deep breaths! Prepare yourself before 1. you approach it.

Open the door/turn on the computer 2.

etc and see what you are up against!!

Set aside a time to start – make an 3.

It is important if you are living with someone who NEEDS to declutter then: be patient, be sensitive – it may be a really big deal for them, so encourage and support them. If you need help, you can always get a professional. I am a Kallista local and have been decluttering and organising all areas of people’s lives for years. From the simplest to the most difficult job; I’ve decluttered a 90 year old lady’s house of precious “things” that she had collected over the years, and I have organised kitchens so that everything that is in the back of the cupboard (and out of date!), goes! I have helped hells angels organise their day job offices and the worlds finest artists organise exhibitions! You are not alone, make the process easier on yourself and use an Organiser to assist you.

Trudy Simmons I have a local business called Virtual Organiser – “I can organise virtually anything” – if you ever think to yourself “I wish that I had time to do that” – I can do it for you. I help individuals and businesses to achieve whatever they need to. Please call me on 0488 566565 or email:

appointment with yourself!

Set aside an amount of time to commit 4.

to it – say that you will start with 1 hour and see how you are doing. ©

If you want to do one hour and 5.

“reassess” then do. It might be that it is a 5 hour job, so you do 1 hour a day.

MAKE A PLAN…. If you make a plan for 6. the week, it will be easier.

STICK TO THE PLAN…. It will feel so 7. good to have it finished!

– 13 –

log life

Hey sunshine

Hen na tatto o on Jodi ’s hea d

Absent Minded Over a week since my last post. The thought of sitting at the computer makes me feel tired and ill. This last chemo has made me more scattered than ever. I am forgetting appointments and coffee dates and basically what day of the week it is unless I check my diary . . . . which I also forget to do. I find that I spend my days just floating around, getting the basic responsibilities done then I nap. I have always been a fan of the mid day Nana nap but felt guilty for doing so, so never really did it once my babies were 12 weeks old. But now I Nana nap every day because my body says so and I have learnt that life goes on around me just fine, so its ok for me to do so . . . . . until Tyler learns to use matches. This past week has seen Tyler attend Kinder and hate it, Ivy go to Somers Camp and love it and Warren turn another year older and hate it, 37. The same age Michael Hutchence was when he died. (Useless Fact)

This past week has seen me feeling tired, lose more sensation in my finger tips and to get my first mouth ulcer from the treatment. I can’t seem to have a day without a cold sore on my lips and I am disappointed that I still need to shave my legs while my eyebrows and lashes are hanging on for dear life. And the dreams. I think every single one of you have been in my dreams lately as if life is flashing before my eyes. I sometimes think I’m tired because I’m so busy in my sleep. One of the nurses at the Oncology Day Centre was freely writing up a script for sleeping pills. I hope I get her next time. This past week has seen me counting ladybugs on my zucchini plants, my family eating zucchini that was growing 10 minutes before hand, to see a bolt of lightning hit the neighbour’s tree and feel its power in my chest, to taste a new fruit (Achacha), to have a new baby smile at me even though she doesn’t know me, to see a toddler finally walking, receiving handmade cards in the mail for no reason but love, and to get lost for endless minutes watching the fish in our fish tank. Jodi Hello Sunshine’ was the message I received when I switched on my first ever phone, a gift from my sister Jess. I hate that there is a whole state between hers and mine and that she’s missing my daily life... This is now also a personal journal about my journey living with Cancer. Its a place where I can keep my family and friends up to date and where I can reflect and vent as a part of the healing journey.

– 14 –

collective update Words by Bianca Lentini

THE HILLS COLLECTIVE PROJECT UPDATE FOR 2012 Since finishing a completed book and website for the Hills Collective Project last year, I have had such an amazing response. The book and online gallery site is just a taster of the many talents the hills has to offer. I was most thrilled by the broad variety of art mediums received from the portfolio submissions. Now that I have completed my Honours degree, I have decided that I want to take the project further. I was able to release at the Monash Art and Design Graduation Show and Honours Exhibition the completed project. At this stage I am in the process of trying to apply for funding or a grant to publish several copies of the book for the Hills community, for the artists and designers included in the publication and several other people who have helped me along the way to receive a copy. My plan for this year, is to register the Hills Collective as an non-profit community Art and Design organisation, in which I’m trying to locate potential members to help me form a committee that will promote the creative arts in the Hills. I’m hoping with a small team of creative people, to try and obtain a gallery space for several exhibitions and to promote the community through designed digital and online publications. If interested please check out The Hills Collective online at and contact myself at

fashion passion


2 3




Cow boy Boots: Beggars Boutique, selling an ecclectic range of fashion and accessories, sizes 8-18. 52 Main St. Upwey.


Hair: By Melissa Kemp at Ginger’s Hairdresses, Ladies and Mens hair dressing – 373-357 Main st. Emerald. Ph: 5968 4386


Make up: Tahla Dale of Save our Skin, located at Ginger’s Hairdressing – 373-375 Main St. Emerald. Ph: 5968 4386


Dress and white balero jacket: Pink Shop Vintage, high quality vintage housed at Finders Keepers – 365 Main St. Emerald.


Singlet: Limerence, Australian handmade fashion, jewellery and gallery space – 2/1642 Burwood Hwy, Belgrave. Ph: 8288 1263


Skirt: Sandra V, specialising in 1950’s and vintage style fashion and giftware – 2/1543 Burwood Hwy. Tecoma. Ph: 97541956 Styling: Lisa Zee of Sudden Style – Ph: 0408 774 471


Photography: Carli Wilson from Barnaby&Wilson Photography –

83 M

onb ulk Rd 975 Kallista , 6 H 5 385 ewi 5 C sh R 972 roydond 5 63 13 stock weekly

Fall gal So, I fell last night. Bang on my left knee. In public. I was walking to meet a friend and I just went whooshhh, the biggest slip of my life (and there have been many). You could say I just glided along the pavement. A graceful glide that concluded with an unpleasant bump. You might even say the damp weather conditions had something to do with it. I say it’s the fact that I just seem to fall. A lot. Up stairs. Down stairs. Getting into my car. Getting out of my car. In high heels. In flat shoes. I bump into corners. I always whack my hands on things, accidentally of course. I send glasses flying at cafés with one intense hand gesture. I trip. I stumble. My elbows are weapons of mass destruction, especially in department stores. If there is a gust of wind, my skirt is always the first one to fly up. Always. I even, and this is the worst part, spill food on my clothes. Sometimes even drinks. I spill. I overturn. I splash. Down the front of my dress. On the crease of my skirt. On the sleeve of my shirt.

I am the woman who breaks the heel off her shoes, by getting stuck in a hole on the road, or a gap in between some decking. It has happened three times. How? Simply by walking. Simply by stepping. I am fine with it. I mean, despite the embarrassment from time to time. Despite the public horror. And the occasional physical pain. It’s funny, because these accidents always happen at times when I’m feeling really great. Really swish. Really important. Like when I’m walking down Collins Street, having just purchased something of the material and pretty kind, wearing a great outfit, thinking I am freakin’ cool and bang - the strap on my tan heel breaks and I end up a** over t**. My purchases and the bags that house them have acted as somewhat of a buffer between the concrete and me more times than I care to tally up. Or, when I am eating at a posh restaurant with posh colleagues and I’ve just made a great addition to conversation, and I’m thinking ‘hmm, I’m clever’ and splosh - flounder and pommes frittes dribbles down my lovely dress. Oh well, at least it matches the Jacquesson Grand Cru I accidentally sprinkled down there before. – 20 –

I fear that it/I won’t change. It doesn’t matter how hard I try, these things just happen. There’s no real drama in it, except of course having to always expect the unexpected. That’s why I find it so hard carrying small handbags; where do all the bandaids and pantyhose and wipes and tissues and pins and cotton and spare shoes go? I wish I were like you regular folk. Such small, pretty clutches you get to parade. I will always be in envy of women carrying small handbags. To me, they are the symbol of having everything sorted. Of having everything in order. Women who never trip up. Fall down. Splish, splash or splosh. So, if you ever need to find me in public it won’t be terribly hard; I will be the gal drying her skirt under the public bathroom hand dryer in Belgrave, hobbling on one heel, having just caught my hair in my handbag buckle, with a scratch on my knee and a swollen elbow. You won’t miss me. Sandi Sieger Sandi is a freelance writer, blogger, the Editor-In-Chief of Onya Magazine and founder of the Melbourne Writers’ Club. She lives in Selby.

selBy fest 2012 Words by Adriana Alvarez Selby Fest is back, after a succesful premier festival in 2011. I spoke with Leanne Hall and Karl Williams organisers of Selby Fest who say that this year the festival will be just as special as last year. “We saw what worked well and what didn’t last year, so this year we are going for a less is more approach” said Leanne. This year they’re going for higher quality with more impact, essentially doing less things but really well. The opening will be at the Art show on Friday 16th at 7pm at the All Saints Anglican Church in Selby (adults $10, concession $5). With acoustic music by the ‘Jam Tarts’ it will start the festival with a great vibe. There will be two stages. The cafe stage with an a cappella and acoustic feel

and the Ampi-theatre stage which will feature 5 great local acts and the popular fashion parade. The bands include local acts Fats Wah Wah, Jed Rowe Band and Lily & King. There will be market and food stalls including ‘Animals of Oz’ a hands on interactive presentation of native animals which will be free. The cafe will also be serving vegetarian food to raise money for Selby Community House. “There will also be a shuttle bus from Belgrave, stopping at the Art show and then continuing on to the festival at Minak Reserve” says Leanne.

A new feature of the day will be the ‘Wash against Waste’. It’s a shire initiative whereby they provide cutlery, crockery and wash tubs to the cafe. “It uses a simple system of progressive cleaning tubs to wash the crockery and cutlery instead of using disposable ones” says Karl. Volunteers and community groups will be doing the washing therefore reducing waste. With so many things planned it promises to be a great day. Selby Fest is on Saturday March 17th 11am till 7.30pm at the Selby Community House and Minak Reserve, Selby.

What will you discover in your own backyard? Words by Ross Farnell The Dandenong Ranges Open Studios Weekend enjoys its ninth year in 2012 when the May 26 and 27 Open Weekend again celebrates the rich and vibrant creativity of our region, and the heritage of arts and inspiration in the Hills. Open Studios provides an intimate look into our artists’ studios, revealing the very heart of the artists’ creative and working environments. The weekend sets an eclectic range of artists and mediums against the backdrop of our wonderful forests of ferns and mountain ash. This year the artists are placing an emphasis on the visitor’s experience as they travel to each studio. So not only will visitors see inspiring work by professional artists in their studios and get to talk to them about their work, but many studios will be having special demonstrations and events throughout the weekend.

Many artists have participated in the Open Studios for all nine years. They find it an excellent way to meet people from all walks of life, from local to metro to interstate, who are genuinely interested in their work and their creative and making process. The weekend provides an opportunity for fertile conversations between the artists and the many thousands of curious art-lovers who either live local or travel to the Hills for the weekend. It allows everyone in our community the chance to explore the secret hidden treasures of where we live – like that intriguing studio down the end of the forest track… In 2012 we’re also welcoming many new artists to Open Studios, and it will be the biggest participation of studios and artists that we have had to date. New artists include Kylie Watson, Jacqueline Lisbeth Christians and Paula Ewington who all work with – 22 –

Images courtesy of Burrinja

From potters and wood carvers to painters and digital artists, the program showcases the wealth of artistic output in the region.

Open Studios 2012 printmaking as well as other mediums, photographers Sylvi Kreinberg and Narelle Trezise-Hardy, and sculptural work by Brooke Winfield and Viktor Kalinowski. They join painters, ceramicists, arts societies and many more artists who are new to Open Studios this year. The Belgrave Lantern Parade’s lantern-making workshop will also be a part of this year’s program, creating ties between two great cultural events in the region. All the information will be on the newly updated web site which includes a blog for news of latest happenings, and in the Open Studios booklet that will be out in April, including the guide map to find your way around to your favourite studios.

To make your selection of which studios to visit from such a diverse and tempting selection a little easier, we have the annual Open Studios exhibition at Burrinja. Opening a week earlier it provides the opportunity to come and view works by all of the artists before you head off to start your art tour. Artists’ studios are open from 10am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday, 26 - 27 May. The Open Studios Exhibition opens Friday May 18. An easy-to-use Open Studios guidebook with touring map will be available free from Burrinja and other arts and tourist locations throughout the Hills from April 2012, or check out

Be Inspired

by Belgrave Lantern Parade artists at

Dandenong Ranges Open Studio May 26th and 27th 2012•10am - 5pm Belgrave Youth Building – 1616 Burwood Hwy, Belgrave. • An opportunity to see artists working on the big lanterns • View the display of amazing lanterns, some items also for sale • Make a small lantern while help is at hand The artists can offer information about the lantern making process and provide lantern making instruction handouts to take home. Community workshop schedule will also be available.

2012 Belgrave Lantern Parade Saturday June 23rd

Finders Keepers Words by Adriana Alvarez – Images by Carli Wilson

At the north, re-energised end of Emerald is Finders Keepers, the new kid in town. Owner Lisa Zee was the founder of ‘Walk in Wardrobe’ and ‘Old Hat’ in Belgrave and is therefore an old hand at running interesting retail stores in the hills and beyond. It’s a ‘Market Bazaar’ style shop full of hand-made and recycled fashion, contemporary arts and crafts, jewellery and more. The store is divided up into separate stalls. The front has Lisa’s ‘Pink Shop’ with high-quality vintage on one side and modern recycled fashion including labels such as Kookai, Country Road and Metallicus on the other side. Anyone who has shopped at her previous stores will see the same stylish and varied selection they are used to as Lisa has a great eye for fashion.

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The back has stalls of various sizes set up by different artists and stall holders. “The stall holders pay a small amount towards the rent, but don’t pay any commission, so they get 100% of sales” says Lisa. The focus of the shop is businesses who use small production, upcycled labels and hand-made products. Lisa’s interest in environmental issues within fashion is reflected in the stalls. Local and small production means less sweat shops and better use of resources while recycling and upcycling creates a reduction in waste. The stalls include ‘Rummage Style’ who make beautifully designed clothes from vintage fabrics; ‘Lille Bear_t’ the popular local creating hand made cards, accessories and jewellery;

‘Grass Hare Girl’ with her modern craft and soft toys hand-made with gorgeous fabrics; ‘Spinifex Creations’ creator of hand crafted jewellery made from Australian seeds, wood and stone; ‘jcdc homewares’ with her embroidered cushions and striking wall art pieces and ‘My Little Rambler’ makers of kids clothing and toys, amongst others. “In a way the community decides who will be in the shop by who they buy and support” says Lisa. If an artist is supported by the community they’ll stay if not they’ll move on and a new artist will take their place. “Stock rotates regularly so it’s always worth dropping in to have a look,” states Lisa. “If you’re interested in a stall drop in and leave your info at the shop.” Finders Keepers can be found at 365 Main St, Emerald. For more info check out their facebook page Finders Keepers Emerald.

What’s on in Belgrave The Belgrave Traders Association (BTA) kicked off the year with the inaugural Belgrave Buskers Festival. In partnership with 3MDR 97.1FM Mountain District Radio, the Buskers Festival is set to become a fantastic event for Belgrave on the last weekend of Summer every year. For more information about what’s happening in Belgrave Town Centre, please contact Marina on 9754 1027, visit or LIKE our page

Cultural Diversity Week from March 17th – 24th Belgrave Traders Association is looking forward to celebrating with local community groups in the heart of town and keen to hear from anyone wanting to get involved.

A History Walking Tour developed by Belgrave Region Action Group, has had a boost with a funding application made by BTA for Education Week. During May 21st to 27th, school groups are invited to go on the history walk, guided by members of Sherbrook Foothills Historical Society. Contact BTA for more information.

A collaborative exhibition inspired by Gulliver’s Travels In the Summer of 2007, two families shared a lazy break in the Victorian High Plains. Looking for an inspiring and exciting distraction, Martin Judd and Michael Hyett chatted and the seeds of Juet Sculpture were sown. They work intuitively, choosing materials and objects with no set plan, trusting their eye. The work emerges from the junk. Once the idea is found, they then become engineers and carpenters finding ways to put all the pieces together. No sculpture seems to use the same techniques and tools and they are constantly inventing new ways to shape and mould material into form. Constructing finished, they stand back and let the sculpture draw out feelings and thoughts that they carry. From these, poems are written, each composed solely for the sculpture. Sometimes this process

can take minutes, sometimes days or weeks. But they have learnt to be patient, confident that eventually the words will come. Then in the Summer of 2010 Juet Sculpture took their work to Upwey South Primary School to sell at the School Fete. The kitchen garden there seemed like a perfect venue for their sculptures but more than one artist was having this thought. Jude Craig from Naturally Dyed also had her eye on the spot. Jude works with recycled silk, colours them with natural dyes and uses rusted metals to make marks on the cloth. Once the cloth is dyed it then speaks to her and becomes a landscape, wall hanging, abstract canvas or butterfly. Additional marks are stitched and occasionally the work is embellished with found metals. Like Juet, it is the work that dictates the direction and the pace. They all knew each other and enjoyed chewing the creative fat that day‌.and as the sculptures stood strong and proud in the veggie patch and the fabrics fluttered in the gentle breeze, very soon the idea of a collaborative show was on the table. Now 14 months later Juet Sculpture and Naturally Dyed are presenting the fruits of their collaboration at Burrinja. The show runs from 15th March to 15th April in the Jarmbi Gallery. The grand opening is Saturday 17th March at 3.30pm and EVERYONE is welcome.

Our philosophy We believe in working creatively together. We will use discarded objects and recycled materials. We will express ourselves honestly and openly. We will share this with others.


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Hillscene 6  

Autumn 2012. A Maga'zine' about all the interesting people and things happening in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges, south east of Melbourne.

Hillscene 6  

Autumn 2012. A Maga'zine' about all the interesting people and things happening in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges, south east of Melbourne.