Ir-Regular Blog Spot

08 NOV 17

Exciting news for us – at long last we’ve launched our new format Rustic Simplicity newsletter/blog – sign up to receive (ir)regular updates about new exhibitions, events, products & info by clicking the Newsletter Signup menu option 😊  Enter your name & email address, click ‘Subscribe to list’ & you’re sorted! Promise you won’t be inundated!

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For further information on Rustic Simplicity events below see Special Events page 🙂

Yes – very ir-regular I’m afraid :-/ Latest e-news follows… Hope to see you soon!?!

27 MAR 17

WAIT!! It’s been postponed …

Our current show by resident photographer Cindy Ferguson – titled ‘Roads a little less travelled’ – a collection of images of just that: images of pathways demonstrating the beauty (physically and metaphorically speaking) to be found in such journeys, despite the challenges they present, has been extended until:

Our next show opens on FRI 7 APR from 6pm with drinks & nibbles! PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF DATE!!!

‘Rural Legends & Rustic Relics’ is a solo exhibition of creative imagery by award-winning photographer Melanie Faith Dove (books: Best Mates; Working Dogs; High Country Cattleman), whose work captures the essence of Victorian High Country Life on the land ~ horses, cattle, dogs, trucks, rustic relics & rural legends!

See you at the opening on Friday 7 April from 6pm, or sometime very soon …

 

26 FEB 17

HELLO & Happy New Year!!

I so cannot believe it’s (nearly) March, or that my last e-news was more than four months ago!?! So once again – sorry to have been so quiet lately!!! I mentioned last time that I had been unwell for a spell; I’m afraid it got worse, but it will get better.

2017 marks the Eastern Astrological Year of the Rooster: in store for us all is a year of clearing, transformation and regeneration ~ new beginnings ~ here we go …

WHAT’S NEW (IN STORE):

Where do I start! The Rustic Simplicity landscape changes almost daily so it is difficult to say what has changed since you were in last but it will have changed! I hope to get better at sharing what is on the shelves as well as what is on the walls!!

Please ‘Like’ us on Facebook. You’ll get product, activity & really random updates! Short & sharp and much more regularly than this longer, more ir-regular e-news post.

Thanks in advance for supporting our social media efforts by liking our page!

WHAT’S NEWS (EVENTS):

FEB – MAY Healing Harp Meditation Series #3 with Christine Middleton ~ This will unfortunately NOT be going ahead during Autumn 2017 as Christine is heavily committed with her ongoing therapeutic harp practice with the Epworth Foundation at their Private Hospital in Richmond & at a Healing Centre on the Bellarine Peninsula. We’ll revisit the possibility with her later in the year to see if she’s free in Spring 2017.

10 FEB FRI ~ I meant to send this e-news out in time to invite you to join us for drinks & nibbles to welcome in our annual solo photographic show by Cindy Ferguson (umm…that would be me); but I had a bit going on – including being the creator as well as the curator, and the event co-ordinator, etc, etc!?! Anyway!!! The show, ‘Roads a little less travelled’, is for the most part a collection of images of just that, and it demonstrates the beauty (physically and metaphorically speaking) to be found in such journeys, despite the challenges they present. Show now current; until SUN 26 MAR.

NOW: IF YOU MISSED ‘The Magical ART of Fairies, Elves & other Magical Creatures’ ~ the solo exhibition of digitally enhanced artistic illustrations by children’s book illustrator Glenda Wise, you can still meet the colourful characters of the ‘Fairy Green’ realm at Yarck’s Bucks Bakehouse! Framed prints and 4-book Sets are available there, and at Rustic Simplicity there is the full suite of unframed prints, books, games & greeting cards… as well as Glenda’s Pearls of Wisedom – two books of illustrated positive philosophical quotes – please beware of the nude fairies!

04 MAR SAT ~ Alexandra’s Official Sesquicentenary (or 150th) Birthday Celebrations kick off with: ‘Sesqui’ Community Street Party from 1-8pm in Perkins Street. Pack your Picnic Basket! BYO family & friends and sit at the 100 metre long table or throw a rug alongside Princess Alexandra in the Jack Shiel Memorial Rose Garden.

While you graze, listen to live local music performances on multiple stages, and grab a cupcake as you sing along to the tune of Happy Birthday to mark this milestone … More info attached including the party theme, which is Red & Gold or a touch of Old!

04 MAR SAT – 13 MAR MON ~ More Official 150th Birthday Celebrations ~ See full program attached; and of course don’t forget to keep popping into Rustic Simplicity @ The Shear ‘N’ shedS to keep abreast of our own unofficial 18-month exhibition program loosely exploring the 150+ years themes until end of 2017.

We started with the Natural Environment; then the Dreamtime Stories of the First People; followed by the Faery Stories of the First Settlers; then GOLD; and next up Rural Legends; before exploring the different Roads the Region has taken – i.e. The Forest and The Farm, whilst looking to The Future, with a somewhat regal finale … See above and below for further information on current and future 150th exhibitions!

12 MAR SUN ~ Alexandra’s Official Sesquicentenary (150 Years) or 150th Birthday Celebrations essentially culminate with the Alexandra and District Traders and Tourism Association’s 150th Birthday Party from 10am-3pm at Rotary Park. Similar to Alexandra’s Autumn (Easter) and Spring Fairs, there will be market stalls; local food & wine; live music; children’s amusements. A historical display / historical photographic exhibition will feature as part of this event, both of which will also be available for viewing 13 MAR MON at Dove Cottage / Alexandra Town Hall, as well.

18 MAR SAT / 19 MAR SUN ~ In this biennial event, share in the passion of 7 of the Murrindindi Grow Food Network Inc’s members who, on this weekend, will open their vegie gardens to the public in order to gather like minds together: to form friendships; and to ‘normalise’ the importance of growing/eating our own produce.

Visit www.growfoodnetwork.net.au to view the 2017 open ‘Garden Profiles’ online before plotting your route between Alexandra, Thornton, Rubicon and Marysville. Also please refer to the attached 2017 Open Vegie Gardens Flyer for further info …

19 MAR SUN at midnight is your last chance to ‘Have your say’ on what you think the new Murrindindi Shire Council should focus on to help the Murrindindi Shire Community to grow and prosper. Your views will help plan and shape a better future for us all, whether you’re a full or part-time resident of the Murrindindi Shire.

For further information or to complete a short five (5) point electronic survey, go to:

www.murrindindi.vic.gov.au/haveyoursay or send your final completed copy of the attached electronic version of the survey to Murrindindi Shire Council, PO Box 138, Alexandra Victoria 3714. Copies are also available at Council Offices across the Shire.

MARCH is also the time for joining and/or renewing your Alexandra Friends of the Library membership – awesome value for $5 and an invaluable investment in the cultural capital of our community! Monies raised enable a whole host of extra programs and activities at our local library, including the ‘Away with Words’ Festival. So march on into the Alexandra Library in March & re/join to register your support!!

29 MAR WED marks the closing date for entries into the (48th annual – wow!?!) Rotary Alexandra Easter Art Show (Easter already?!?) ~ so an early heads up FOR THOSE BUDDING & ESTABLISHED ARTISTS AMONGST YOU, please find attached further info on how to enter your work for exhibition and sale in the show.

31 MAR FRI marks the start of ‘Rural Legends & Rustic Relics’ – a solo exhibition of creative imagery by award-winning photographer Melanie Faith Dove (books: Best Mates; Working Dogs; High Country Cattleman), whose work captures the essence of Victorian High Country Life on the land ~ horses, cattle, dogs, trucks, rustic relics & rural legends! Opens FRI 31 MAR from 6pm with drinks & nibbles!!

NEXT another heads up FOR THOSE BUDDING & ESTABLISHED ARTISTS AMONGST YOU, the next open group exhibition at Rustic Simplicity is ‘The Forest, The Farm, The Future …’  ~ next in our 18 month program of shows to mark Alexandra’s 150th Birthday Celebrations. We’re looking for works that represent what you love and what inspires you about the Alexandra & District – where the area has come from and what you’d like to see in the future ~ from natural to rural landscapes, and… Detailed information is available via an Expression of Interest for contributing to the above show. Simply send me a return email with the exhibition title as the heading & I’ll get you some details! Aim for an early JUN deadline, with works due the Wednesday of the week the show opens: 17 JUN.

And I just can’t hold it in (no pun intended ~ you’ll know what I mean as you read on)! This year our children’s book illustration exhibition is ‘The Princess Diaries’ an exhibition of Kao Lee Thao’s delicately drawn illustrations as they feature in the Adventures of the [Farting] Princess series of books by local children’s book author Sandra Roe. The books follow Sandra’s journey of recovery from brain cancer, and 50% of the author’s net profits will be given to cancer prevention, research and cure. Exhibition opens FRI 09 SEP and is current until SUN 05 NOV.

WHAT’S NEW (IN STORE):

As I said – where do I start! The Rustic Simplicity landscape changes almost daily so it’s difficult to say what’s changed since you were in last but it will have changed! I hope to get better at sharing what is on the shelves as well as what is on the walls!!

Please ‘Like’ us on Facebook. You’ll get product, activity & really random updates! Short & sharp and much more regularly than this longer, more ir-regular e-news post.

Thanks in advance for supporting our social media efforts by liking our page!

Look forward to seeing you soon! Ciao for now…

And of course feel free to check out http://www.rusticsimplicityblog.wordpress.com … If you’ve been forwarded this e-news, but would like to receive e-news emails directly, shoot me an email with ‘subscribe’ as the subject heading & I’ll add you onto the list!

Ciao!

SEP/OCT 2016

Hello!!! Sorry to have been so quiet lately, I managed to take a long overdue break, only to become unwell at the start and again at the end of my spell away – isn’t that always the way!?! And I’m afraid I went further downhill on my return and am only just really recovering after the burst of energy required to get our latest exhibition up last Friday. And I don’t know about you, but I’m sure over this wintery weather!

As most of you will know, I have Canadian heritage – yes Canadian – not Irish! And in Canada there is a Spring tradition called ‘Groundhog Day’. Yes – like the movie – whereby the onset of Spring is determined by the appearance of a small possum like creature – yes really! Well, if we had groundhogs here in Australia, it would certainly have burrowed back into hibernation for another 6 weeks instead of emerging for Spring! I can relate – hibernating from the cold sure sounds like a good idea to me!!

But if you’re like me, and must go out – here’s what’s happening around the traps. And apologies for the late notice on a few things – did I mention I was unwell…?!?

WHAT’S NEWS (EVENTS):

LOTS ON outside as well as inside of Rustic Simplicity this Spring – in and around Alexandra so if you’re out & about for the events – pop in & say hi!

OK – You may recall that in Autumn of this year we held ‘Once Upon a Time ~ Naturally’ – our first of many themed exhibitions in the lead up to Alexandra’s 150th Birthday Celebrations in 2017. The focus was the natural landscape, and its flora & fauna. More than 35 artists/ artisans were featured, and it was marvellous to see 80 odd works in the show.

Clearly our natural environment is a big part of our community identity.

UNTIL TUE 20 SEP – Have your say on Council’s Environment Strategy!

Murrindindi Shire Council is looking for community input into a new Environment Strategy which will help guide Council’s practices and set priorities to achieve environmentally responsible and sustainable outcomes for the Shire. In order for Council to gain a greater understanding of the community’s values and attitudes towards the environment, they are encouraging participation in a survey, which can be found here, (or http://www.murrindindi.vic.gov.au/Your-Property/Environmental-Management/Environment-Strategy-Survey) …

Before TUE 20 SEP!!! Hard copies can also be obtained at any of Council’s Service Centres located in Alexandra, Kinglake and Yea. Three workshops will also be held in November with further details to be advertised closer to the time. For further information please contact Council’s Coordinator Environmental Programs Zoe Blakeney on 5772 0375 or by email zblakeney@murrindindi.vic.gov.au.

NOW: IF YOU MISSED the second of our two exhibitions so far in 2016 themed to celebrate the pre-settlement era of our area in the lead up to Alexandra’s 150th Birthday Celebrations in 2017, you’re in luck! A selection of works from each of the exhibiting artists featured over winter in ‘Yuma-k merriba-ngat’ ~ Celebrating our Local Aboriginal Heritage through Contemporary Art is still on show across two venues: Rustic Simplicity @ The Shear ‘N’ shedS ~ in the Barber Shop section; and at the Ruffy Produce Store, both until NOV-ish, or until sold out; many have already sold! The works are all by contemporary Taungurung artists.

Bookings at the Ruffy Produce Store are recommended on 5790 4387 – do enjoy!!

01 OCT SAT You’re in for a treat with the All Aboard the ALEXANDRA EXPRESS – a Dinner Dance Fundraiser to mark the 30th Anniversary of the Alexandra Timber Tramway & Museum Inc. at Holmesglen at Eildon from 6.30pm. If you’re a footy fan – you can head out early to watch the AFL Grand Final in the Lounge and enjoy hot sausage rolls at half time, before dancing the night away after the game with the Dandenong Ranges 18 piece Big Band. Then you’ll kick off the evening with Canapés, followed by a Main Course & Dessert, with drinks at bar prices. A Shuttle Bus is available from Alexandra & Eildon, and Holmesglen are offering special long weekend accommodation packages. For tickets/enquiries call Jane on 0427 509 988.

WEEKEND of 08 OCT / 09 OCT marks three events in town!!! SAT 08 OCT will be the first Market of the year in the grounds of the Alexandra Timber Tramway – this month was a wash out with all our wet weather! SAT 08 OCT is also the start of the 20th Annual Wood Show in Alexandra – this year a week-long event in the main street of Alexandra at 105 Grant Street near FoodWorks. Check out Rustic Simplicity’s woodies window display for a taste of what’s to come… AND SUN 09 OCT is the 3rd Annual Swap Meet in Alexandra – Auto; Bric-a-Brac; Collectables.

17 OCT MON is the first session of Healing Harp Meditation Series #2 with Christine Middleton – casual participants most welcome! Suitable for all skill levels – no experience necessary. Learn simple relaxation techniques and be guided through creative healing meditations to the gentle, peaceful tones of the magical, mystical harp – held on a Monday evening three weeks apart for four sessions from 5.45 for a 6-7pm class, commencing on Monday 17 OCT, with the series concluding on 19 DEC. See attached flyer for further info – Bookings Essential!

OH and do I have any SAL KIMBER fans out there? Reply with SAL KIMBER as the subject heading – I’ve got something that may interest you: hurry though won’t you!

28 OCT – FRIDAY – Book Reading & Signing with exhibiting artist & author Glenda Wise for ELF Reading Day from 10am-12noon-ish out the front of Rustic Simplicity @ The Shear ‘N’ shedS. NOTE new date for ELF Reading Day!!!

UNTIL TUE 01 NOV (Melbourne Cup Day) ‘The Magical ART of Fairies, Elves & other Magical Creatures’ ~ In this solo exhibition of digitally enhanced artistic illustrations by children’s book illustrator Glenda Wise, meet the colourful characters of the ‘Fairy Green’ realm. Paintings, Prints, Books, Games & Cards…

AND running in conjunction with the annual children’s book illustration this year is a display of artworks by the Alexandra Primary School’s Year 5/6 emerging artists ~ a bright & bold array of student exploration of texture through collagraph printing – plates & associated prints; a mix of colour and black & white.

04 NOV FRI – 20 NOV SUN ‘Young at HeART’ – now in its 5th year, this annual exhibition of Alexandra Secondary College VCE Studio Artists opens FRI 04 NOV from 6pm with drinks & nibbles. Please join us in proudly supporting our next generation of local artists! AND 11 NOV – believe it or not – Rustic Simplicity is 5!!!

THEN: THREE (3) INVITATIONS FOR ARTISTS:

FIRST: And both with entry deadlines of 30 SEP and both within half an hour of Alexandra: Marysville Art Show (28 OCT – 01 NOV) Contact Robyn Dean on 0408 354 929; marysvilleartshow@yahoo.com.au; visit www.marysvilleartshow.com and Ruffy Artfest Exhibition (11 NOV – 13 NOV) Contact Robyn Sheehan on 5790 3275 or ruffy.artfest@gmail.com or visit www.ruffycommunity.com. Good luck!

NEXT a heads up again FOR THOSE BUDDING AND ESTABLISHED ARTISTS AMONGST YOU, the next open group exhibition at Rustic Simplicity is ‘Touch a HeART of GOLD’ with ART this Christmas – featuring many ARTists offering affordable ART, ARTifacts & ARTisan wares. There is no theme per se for this show, although you might like to include a subtle splash, or a few specks of gold in there somewhere! Detailed information is available via an Expression of Interest for contributing to the above 2016 Christmas show. Simply send me a return email with the exhibition title as the heading & I’ll get you some details! Aim for a mid-NOV deadline, with works due the SUN before the show opens on 25 NOV.

AND finally, as we head towards the last quarter of 2016 – can you believe it? I can’t! In fact I’ve decided busy is over-rated so I’m working on a New Year’s Resolution to slow things down in 2017 – quality not quantity – less is more… More about that later, but in the meantime as you may be aware, I have been doing a lot of touring of artworks in the last couple of years and so have accumulated a lot of artwork in varying stages of readiness for collection. Due to a number of life’s little challenges in the last five years, I’ve been very busy playing catch up a lot of the time and this aspect of my busy-ness has caught up with me. So here’s a call out to all ARTISTS whose works have been left with me – call me AFTER FRI 30 SEP please to make an appointment to collect your art from Rustic Simplicity!

WHAT’S NEW (IN STORE):

Again – where do I start! The Rustic Simplicity landscape changes almost daily so it is difficult to say what has changed since you were in last… Even I find new things!!

‘Like’ us on Facebook to get product, activity & really random updates! PLEASE!!!

And of course there is www.rusticsimplicityblog.wordpress.com … If you’ve been forwarded this, but would like to receive Rustic Simplicity emails directly, shoot me an email with the word ‘subscribe’ in the subject line & I’ll add you to the list! Hope to see you soon! Again – thanks for your patience – will get better very soon!?!

Ciao for now…

05 June 2016

Last Chance!

Until Mon 06 Jun ‘Repeating Patterns’ on tour – to Little Fishes Art Studio, Falls Road in Marysville (opposite the Patisserie, en route to Bruno’s Sculpture Garden and Steavenson’s Falls). A creative opportunity that presented itself for me – after launching ‘Repeating Patterns’ at Rustic Simplicity in Alexandra, it had a brief run up to Ruffy after Easter and is now showing in Marysville. The Opening Event was attended by 60+ people, and sales on the day & since have proved popular! It’s such a different look and feel seeing and having my works on such white walls!?!

Just to refresh your memory, the exhibition (featuring images of Italy, England, Canada and Australia; and accompanied by a catalogue that tells the symbolic nature of the images in relation to all our life’s journeys) showcases a different style of my works – photos taken over the last 5-6 years along a ‘patterns’ theme. The images are printed on a stone composite with specialist UV inks (fade/ water resistant), and are box framed in rescued recycled timber (flooring/ fencing). Little Fishes on Falls Rd in Marysville is OPEN THU to MON (5 days) 11am-4pm5 days to go!

Wow what a crazy busy year 2016 has been so far! It’s sure in keeping with the character traits of 2016’s Tibetan Year of the Fire Monkey – the literature suggests that at times it will be such a rollercoaster of creative opportunities that what we should concentrate on is holding on for the ride! Sounds about right eh?

So it’s June now, and therefore officially winter – with overnight temperatures & precipitation levels reflecting that already. 5 degrees and less overnight now!?! A great excuse to head indoors and take your time celebrating someone’s creativity!

WHAT’S NEWS (COMING EVENTS):

UNTIL 13JUN16 is the first Group Exhibition of two in 2016, which are both themed to celebrate the pre-settlement era of the area in the lead up to Alexandra’s 150th Birthday Celebrations in 2017. The focus of this one is the natural landscape, and its flora & fauna in Once Upon a Time ~ Naturally. More than 35 artists/ artisans are featured, with around 80 odd works on the walls and the bench tops combined – sculptural pieces (some smaller than others) also showcase in this one.

17JUN16 – 22AUG16 is the second of these two group exhibitions in 2016, themed to celebrate the pre-settlement era of the area in the lead up to Alexandra’s 150th Birthday Celebrations in 2017. Join us for drinks & nibbles from 6pm to celebrate the opening of Yuma-k merriba-ngat’ ~ Celebrating our Aboriginal Heritage through Contemporary Art. The Taungurung Dreamtime Stories will be integrated throughout this group exhibition of many media by a number of contemporary artists with Taungurung Heritage – Alexandra’s First People. If you are of Taungurung Heritage & keen to contribute – contact me for info ASAP!

Don’t miss ‘Cuts Like a Knife’ – a joint exhibition of linocuts by printmakers Libby Schreiber & Maria Barbaro. Libby’s humorous pastoral themes, together with Maria’s illustrative fashion designs highlight the diversity that can be found in the black & white imagery this medium provides – exhibition is current until Sunday 26JUN16 at Ruffy Produce Store, OPEN FRI from 11.30am lunch & 6pm dinner; and on SAT/SUN/Public Holidays from 8am-4pm. Bookings a must!!

Also at Ruffy Produce Store until Sun 26 June is Serena Everill ‘Works in Steel’ (repurposed industrial objects, hand-forged steel, with touches of colour & a love of nature). And on the weekend of 25/26 June, bespoke jewellery designer Gillian Hillman returns. “Not to be missed” says Helen at the Ruffy Store …

27JUN16 is the final monthly session of Healing Harp Meditation Series #1 with Christine Middleton – casual participants most welcome! Series #2 is on – again, suitable for all skill levels. Learn simple relaxation techniques and be guided through creative healing meditations to the gentle, peaceful tones of the magical, mystical harp – held on a Monday evening three weeks apart for four sessions from 5.45 for a 6-7pm class, commencing on Monday 17 OCT, with the series concluding on 19 DEC. See attached flyer for further info – Bookings Essential!

WHAT’S NEW (IN STORE):

Where do I start! The Rustic Simplicity landscape changes almost daily so it is difficult to say what has changed since you were in last… Let’s go with what has changed since I was in last!?! Yes, even I discover new things in store – LOL!!!

I had a delivery whilst I was out and the gorgeous Liv & I brainstormed some new displays, which Liv did for me. The new product, or should I say re-newed product?! ‘Who Gives a Crap’ loo rolls – this time with artist designed packaging inspired by Picasso. They’re bound to brighten up any wintery day, and they have a feel good message too. A big 50% of the ‘Who Gives a Crap’ profits are donated to WaterAid to build toilets for those in need – a sobering 40% of the world’s population doesn’t have access to a toilet, and that “is pretty crap”! Who gives a crap? We do – do you?

There’s always much more that’s NEWS/NEW, but that gives you a taster…

‘Like’ us on Facebook to get product, activity & really random updates! And of course there is www.rusticsimplicityblog.wordpress.com … If you’ve been forwarded this, but would like to receive Rustic Simplicity emails directly, shoot me an email with the word ‘subscribe’ in the subject line & I’ll add you to the list! Hope to see you soon! Again – thanks for your patience with me – still sorting things out!?! Will get there eventually – haha – just not entirely sure where there is, anyway … !!!

Ciao for now…

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16th March 2016

Mid-March already … how on Earth did that happen?!? Lovely (at times – LOL!) to have the extended warm Summer weather – here’s hoping we get a lovely long Autumn as well eh!?! Not long until the next long weekend – Easter up next!

WHAT’S NEWS (COMING EVENTS):

18MAR16 Join us THIS FRIDAY for drinks & nibbles from 6pm to celebrate the opening of ‘Cuts Like a Knife’ – a joint exhibition of linocuts by printmakers Libby Schreiber & Maria Barbaro. Libby’s humorous pastoral themes, together with Maria’s illustrative fashion designs highlight the diversity that can be found in the black & white imagery this medium provides – see below for SUN 17 APR information about Libby’s upcoming linocut workshop … Show runs until 25APR16 (Open from 10am – 4pm Good Friday & 12noon – 4pm ANZAC Day).

Also commencing on 18MAR16 is ‘Footprints’ ~ a mini joint exhibition of the fibre and photographic works of Carol and Russell Monson, inspired by their 2015 journey along Scotland’s West Highland Way. This show runs concurrently with ‘Cuts Like a Knife’ – Rustic Simplicity @ The Shear ‘N’ shedS in the Barber Shop.

21MAR16 is the first of a four-part monthly Healing Harp Meditation Series with Christine Middleton – suitable for all skill levels. Learn simple relaxation techniques and be guided through creative healing meditations to the gentle, peaceful tones of the magical, mystical harp – held on a Monday evening each month for four months from 5.45 for a 6-7pm class. See attached flyer for further information – Bookings Essential – deadline is extended – contact me ASAP!

Cindy Ferguson’s solo photographic exhibition ‘Repeating Patterns’ tours to the Ruffy Produce Store. The exhibition (featuring images of Italy, England, Canada and Australia; and accompanied by a catalogue that tells the symbolic nature of the images in relation to life’s journey) showcases a different style of her works – photos taken over the last 5-6 years along a ‘patterns’ theme. The images are printed on a stone composite with specialist UV inks that are scratch/ fade/ water resistant, and are box framed in rescued recycled timber.

The Ruffy Produce Store is OPEN Fridays from 11.30am & dinner from 6pm; Saturdays from 8am; Sundays/Public Holidays from 8am – 4pm. Bookings a must!

25MAR16 – 28MAR16 is the annual Rotary Alexandra Easter Art Show at the Alexandra Leisure Centre on the corner of the Maroondah Highway and Hall Street opposite the Alexandra Secondary College. The Gala Opening on Good Friday is at 7pm and opening hours for the rest of the weekend is as follows: SAT 26 MAR 10am – 7pm; SUN 27 MAR 10am – 5pm; and MON 28 MAR 9am – MIDDAY ONLY.

ALSO on EASTER SUNDAY is the ALEXANDRA EASTER FAIR at Rotary Park from 10am – 3pm and guess who will be there? YAY! I get a day out – taking Rustic Simplicity to the park for an outing with a selection of goods from the store + more!

AND UNTIL MID APRIL at Buck’s Country Bakehouse in Yarck, four artists (4 not 5 now as Marina Wills’ work has sold!), whose work was exhibited in the Touch a HeART show over Christmas & New Year – if you missed it – now’s your chance! Check out Campbell Wyers’ Photography; Gail Bransden’s Photography; Jan Dance’s Photography; Olivia Turner’s Pastels; Robyn Hickey’s Pen, Pencil, Pastel, Watercolour. Oh and one of Cindy Ferguson’s photos, amongst other artists’ independent works.

17APR16 – Sunday – ‘Cuts Like a Knife’ (one of two exhibiting artists) Libby Schreiber’s Linocut Printmaking Workshop is scheduled to run between 10am – 4pm. Take a hands-on journey with Libby (whose prints & greeting cards will be on display) exploring the method she uses to create her linocut images. Suitable for ALL skill levels. See attached flyer for further info – Bookings Essential!

29APR16 – 13JUN16 is the first Group Exhibition of two in 2016, which are both themed to celebrate the pre-settlement era of the area in the lead up to Alexandra’s 150th Birthday Celebrations in 2017. The focus is the natural landscape, and its flora & fauna. Artists – get those creative juices flowing!

Detailed information about requirements for the show is available by emailing an Expression of Interest for contributing to the above show. Simply send me an email with ‘Group Show’ as the heading and I’ll send you some details. Please aim for Easter for submitting your application so I can book you in, and then mid-April for sending me an artist statement explaining the rationale behind your work and finally, please be ready the week before the exhibition opening to deliver your art works. ‘Once Upon A Time ~ Naturally’ opens from 6pm FRI 29 April.

17JUN16 – 22AUG16 is the second of two group exhibitions in 2016, which are themed to celebrate the pre-settlement era of the area in the lead up to Alexandra’s 150th Birthday Celebrations in 2017. Join us for drinks & nibbles from 6pm to celebrate the opening of ‘Yuma-k merriba-ngat’ ~ Celebrating our Aboriginal Heritage through Contemporary Art. The Taungurung Dreamtime Stories will be integrated throughout this group exhibition of many media by a number of contemporary artists with Taungurung Heritage – Alexandra’s First People. If you are of Taungurung Heritage & keen to contribute – contact me for further info!

Alexandra Railway Precinct Master Plan – if you’ve been following my earlier posts, you’ll know that I was a founding member of the Steering Group who, between 2012 and 2015, sourced the funds for this (my pet project). Exciting!! I’m a passionate supporter of the development of this Master Plan and a member of its Project Management Group. The project is in its last throes – watch this space!

WHAT’S NEW (IN STORE):

NEW CDs by the gorgeous Sal Kimber and her band The Rollin’ Wheel& John Flanagan who toured together to Alexandra back in mid-February – a month ago! We’ve got all 3 off Sal’s albums on CDs as well as LPs of her latest ‘Southern Light’. John has produced 2 CDs & an EP – we have all 3, his latest recorded in Nashville!

Lots of other CDs in store too – all of which have a connection to Alexandra in some way shape or form and more on order. Please ask us to put one on for you in store!

Gorgeous NEW Be Inspired Art goodies by Becky Barkleydream catchers & hanging gum leaves & toadstools galore – so very whimsical. Well, apart from the bottled Tooth Faery Fangs and Common Forest Faery ‘Magicus Fae’ remains that comes complete with a “DANGER! DO NOT OPEN” warning, stating that “side effects may include: shrinking, turning into a frog or aging quickly..” What an imagination!!!

And our famous fat free Easter Eggs – of the wax and crocheted varieties! As well as Bilbies, Bunnies, and Baby Chicks – by Beryl Smyrk of Hoot ‘N’ Nanny – cute!!!

There’s always much more, but that at least gives you a taster… ‘Like’ us on Facebook to get product, activity & really random updates! And of course there is www.rusticsimplicityblog.wordpress.com … That aside – hope to see you soon!!!

A test again to see who reads to the end – thanks for your patience with me of late – I have had quite a bit going on in my little world that has had me out of my store a bit more than usual. Life (especially mine it would seem?!?) has a habit of getting in the way. Seeming to sort a few things out recently & looking forward to the year ahead!!!

Ciao for now…

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Oops! Keep forgetting to post my e-news here – LOL – will try harder this year!! Here’s the latest anyway 😉 For further information see Special Events Page…

Oops again!?! Forgot to mention previously that I’ve joined forces with a few of my regular exhibiting artists, amongst others, for a group show at the Highlands Community Hall this Australia Day Long Weekend. The exhibition, called the Highlands Artist Trail Hub, is part of the 2016 Yea Arts Carnival in and around Yea. The show at the Highlands Hall is open tomorrow Tue 26 JAN from 10am – 4pm.

AND

The gorgeous Sal Kimber and her band The Rollin’ Wheel is coming to Alexandra as part of her Southern Summer Halls Tour with John Flanagan! They will perform at the Alexandra Town Hall on Friday 12th FEB featuring music from her first two albums and her NEW album, which is available for presale at Rustic Simplicity, meaning you’re guaranteed to get it before the concert. Or you can try your luck at the store – new CDs will be available from the launch date – Wednesday 3rd FEB. Concert tickets on sale now at www.salkimber.com.au – see you there!!

UNTIL 14MAR16 at Rustic Simplicity is Repeating Patterns – a solo exhibition of photography by Cindy Ferguson exploring old patterns, and how the way we view the world can change the experiences we have in our lives. The exhibition, which features images of Italy, England, Canada and Australia showcases a different style of her works – photos taken over the last five-six years along a ‘patterns’ theme. The images are printed on a stone composite with specialist UV inks that are scratch and water resistant, and are box framed in rescued recycled timber.

Also on display is a retrospective showing of Cindy’s works on canvas: macro images of flora & fauna; urban vignettes; and rural landscapes, including those that appear in her ‘2016 Calendar’, which features local images and local event listings (a few calendars are still up for grabs!); and a handful of her traditionally and rustic recycled timber framed photographs!

ALSO UNTIL 14MAR16 at Ruffy Produce Store is a group showing of four complementary artists: Christine Cafarella- Pearce’s Oils; Jeannine Desailly’s Watercolours; Jennifer Wood’s Pastel and Marina Wills’ Acrylic. Ruffy Produce Store is OPEN FRI from 11.30am & dinner from 6pm; SAT from 8am & dinner from 6pm; and SUN/Public Holidays from 8am to 4pm. NOTE Ruffy Produce Store will be taking a short break, closing MON 1 FEB  and reopening FRI 19 FEB.

AND AGAIN UNTIL 14MAR16 at Buck’s Country Bakehouse in Yarck, five artists whose work was exhibited in the Touch a HeART show over Christmas & New Year – if you missed it – now’s your chance! Check out Campbell Wyers’ Photography; Gail Bransden’s Photography; Jan Dance’s Photography; Marina Wills’ Watercolour; Olivia Turner’s Pastels; and Robyn Hickey’s Pen, Pencil & Pastel and Watercolour, amongst other individuals exhibiting at the venue.

18MAR16 Join us for drinks & nibbles from 6pm to celebrate the opening of Cuts Like a Knife – a joint exhibition of linocuts by printmakers Libby Schreiber & Maria Barbaro. Libby’s humorous pastoral themes, together with Maria’s illustrative fashion designs highlight the diversity that can be found in the black & white imagery this medium provides – until 25APR16. Keep your eye out for information about upcoming workshops with Libby & Maria soon also!!

21MAR16 is the first of a four-part monthly Healing Harp Meditation Series with Christine Middleton – suitable for all skill levels. Learn simple relaxation techniques and be guided through creative healing meditations to the gentle, peaceful tones of the magical, mystical harp. Held on a Monday evening each month for four months from 5.45 for a 6-7pm class.

29APR16 – 13JUN16 the first Open Group Exhibition of two in 2016, this one of many media, is themed to celebrate the pre-settlement era of the area in the lead up to Alexandra’s 150th Birthday Celebrations in 2017, so the focus is flora & fauna. Artists – get those creative juices flowing! Detailed information about requirements for the show are available by emailing an Expression of Interest for contributing to the above show. Simply send me an email with ‘Group Show’ as the heading and I’ll send details. Aim for Easter for submitting your application so I can book you in, mid-April for sending me your artist statement explaining the rationale behind your work and the week before the exhibition opening to deliver works. Put it in your diary now 🙂

And the usual…Like us on Facebook to get product, activity and really random updates – LOL!! OK now must fly – more from me in the Tibetan (Chinese) New Year which is on MON 08FEB16!

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Here’s an excerpt from my 02JUN15 e-news – next edition coming up soon 🙂

WHAT’S NEWS (COMING EVENTS):

UNTIL 24AUG15 – ‘Slice of Heaven’ – a solo exhibition by Leone Gabrielle ~ exquisite compositions and varied palettes in oil, acrylic & mixed media ~ stories and adventures in the everyday. Keep your eye out for Leone’s Life Drawing workshop…  

FROM FRI 31JUL15 – the inaugural ‘Von Guérard Inspired Art – Acheron Valley & Surrounds’ group exhibition of many media by local & Victorian artists ~ their interpretation of our regional outdoor environment ~ art in the spirit of von Guérard continues at the Ruffy Produce Store. The Ruffy Produce Store is OPEN Friday 11am Lunch & 6pm Dinner; Saturday 8am – 4pm (for Breakfast & Lunch) and ; Sunday & Public Holidays 8am – 4pm for Breakfast & Lunch.

24JUN15 – WED – Anna (my new neighbour & proprietor of Write Eat Play) and myself (at the home of Write Eat Play, 66A Grant Street, on the corner of Downey Street), joined forces to hold a Kitchen Table Conversation. This was an opportunity for us to have a voice in our Federal Electorate of Indi, and for us to put forward in an apolitical fashion, our issues to be heard by our representative at the national level – Cathy McGowanWe talked about: what’s working well and what could be improved (including any issues/concerns & possible solutions), what our vision is for our community and what we think makes our community great!

17JUL15 (FRI) until 19JUL15 (SUN) – creative, clever, crafty beanies on display for the 3-day Murrindindi Beanie Festival 2015 with a Crazy Critters theme this year. St John’s Anglican Church Hall on Downey Street in Alexandra. Official Opening at 7.30pm on the Friday night with a Beanie Bazaar and auction on the Saturday.

UNTIL 02AUG15 – SUNDAY from 9am – 5pm daily – ‘At The Table’ – a solo exhibition of oils by Kylie Sirett on display in The Boulevard Café at Montsalvat, 7 Hillcrest Avenue, Eltham. This is Kylie’s first series of oil paintings, not pastels! I’ve had a sneak peek in her studio – they are amazing – and we have two at Rustic Simplicity in the von Guérard exhibition on display in Alexandra until Monday 8 June.

28AUG15 – FRIDAY – ‘Tiddely Pom ~ The ART of Children’s Song’ – join us for drinks & nibbles from 6pm to celebrate the opening of this solo exhibition by Jenny Wood ~ showcasing enchanting illustrations of traditional children’s folk songs and rhymes, as well as other creations by the artist. Jenny will also hold an illustration workshop on SUN 30AUG. Exhibition continues until TUE 03 November 2015. 

WHAT’S NEW (IN STORE):

If you haven’t been in for a while you’ll notice a difference! I’m enjoying my new renovation/reconfiguration – as they say a change is as good as a holiday! Well it’s not really but I’m not going to get the latter for a while so being optimistic!!!

And as promised in my last e-news, I have some new goodies to tell you about… That’s probably one of my most frequently asked questions in the store and it’s such a difficult one to answer because it all depends on when the enquirer was in last! My store changes so regularly – it would be at least weekly if not more often!! There is no schedule for it, nor any rhyme or reason; it just simply evolves at its own pace…

So let’s see…well – the obvious one is all the winter woollies! I have tams and berets and beanies (including lots of crazy critters – koalas, foxes, owls) and turtle neck warmers, cowls, collar scarves, keyhole scarves, long scarves, felted scarves & felted hats and wraps, ruanas & shawls. I have fingerless gloves & mittens and snug boots!

Oh! And I can’t forget the willy warmers…yes…I really do have willy warmers for sale…

For the railway enthusiasts amongst you: a new book by Nick Anchen titled The Right Way, The Wrong Way & The Railway. Technically not new but I’ve already sold out!!! So getting more in – back in stock now!!! – this complements his Life on the Victorian Railways and Vol II of Enginemen of the Victorian Railways. And we have a select few Alexandra Timber Tramway 2015 Full Steam Ahead Calendars still available – now reduced from $20 to $10 given that it is now July, but still great value as it will soon be a collector’s item!

Also in the publishing departmentThe Ultimate Encyclopedia of Steam & Rail, as well as back issues of the Australian Railway History and Light Railways Magazines; vintage Wood Working Magazines; and Acheron: a history of the district by Elaine Furniss & Andrea Turner featuring some delightful old photos and splendid stories.

And The Way We Were: Australia in the Last Century by Alan J. Whiticker – a nostalgic and pictorial history of our nation from Federation to the Bicentenary; Retro TV: Classic shows we used to love by Ian Collis – a 25 year celebration of the formative years of TV – the ‘new medium’ from the 1950s to the mid 1970s; and also by Ian Collis – Retro Cricket – From Bradman’s Invincibles to Clive Lloyd’s Calypso Kings

Some groovy cookbooks too – The Basic Cookbook by Lesley Pagett is a brand new one, and I’ve replenished supplies of Victoria’s High Country Produce to Platter and The Vegie Patch Cookbook through the year. And if gardening is more your thing but you can’t handle the cold, The 1-Minute Gardener sounds just perfect for you (& me!)

For the kids – we’ve got new books too! Emilia Mouse by Victorian Elisabeth Hardy about the value of music; Gallipoli by award-winning Melbourne-based author Kerry Greenwood a story about a remarkable friendship and the battleground that shaped a nation; and I couldn’t resist an oldie but a goody by Jackie French, Pete the Sheep!

Speaking of sheep! I have some really cute new fluffy ones, as well as a snail and a puppy dog with a tail (sold!), a fish (sold!) and a cow (sold), a duck, and baby foxes, possums, and some wombats in nests, baby bunnies, a bird that chirps and a mobile flutter-by… so sweet!

Anyways, there’s more, and more on order, but I’ve said enough, until the next time…

And as always – there is a range of old and interesting secondhand objects around!

Also don’t forget, I randomly add items to my Rustic Simplicity Facebook page so (you know the drill) if you want to keep posted via the social media medium ‘like’ my Rustic Simplicity Facebook page… And if you accidentally delete this email, exhibition openings & workshops, etc are listed on the Special Events page of my blog, which operates more like a website at the moment but I aim to get back into more regular blogging this year – it’s been a while! ’Follow’ me on there if you want updates…

Stay warm & sane – remember to breathe – catch up soon!

Cheers, Cindy

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OK I’m going to take a slight change of direction with the blogging as I’ve been told my fairly regular e-news reads like a blog so I thought what I might do is post that here somewhat more regularly than my longer posts, which keep being interrupted by major life events!?! In the meantime – here is my follow up article that was published in the local rag in May 2014. I had a local in my shop today (Sunday), who was lamenting the fact that not much was open in town – yet again!?! So here it is … ‘To open or not to open – that is still the question’.

To open or not to open – that is still the question

Again, please take the time to have a read – it is a topic about which I am still very passionate and if it moves you to do so – I’d love to see a letter to the editor in the Alexandra Standard. I rather feel as though the conversation needs to continue if positive change is to happen, and it can’t just be me having a conversation with myself…

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Take 2 – A-Z of Rustic Simplicity 2014 – feedback most welcome!

Rustic Simplicity Blog – A-Z of 2014

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Well, I’m back on the horse so to speak – I completed my first written piece for the year just before Christmas – on a topic that has been burning in me for some time – at least since I started my business in the main street of Alexandra some two years ago. My article, which appeared in Alexandra’s Standard newspaper on 11th December 2013, was titled ‘To open or not to open’.

The aim of the articled was to start a conversation about the merits of weekend trading. I’d like to continue the conversation into the New Year and so am posting the article here on my blog site. Please take the time to have a read – it is a topic about which I am very passionate and I’d love your feedback via email, and if you are so inclined, by way of a letter to the editor of the Alexandra Standard.

With many thanks and I do hope 2014 brings us all an abundance of peace, love, health, wealth & happiness!!!! Catch up with you soon!!!

To open or not to open – January 2014

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Well, it turns out ‘The Best Laid Plans’ (below) was an appropriate title in more ways than one. Two weeks and two days after my inaugural post of 2013 my Dad died. So my mindful journey through the alphabet is (understandably) taking longer than first anticipated… It’s been nearly five months now and I’m beginning to write again. I’ll keep you posted…

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The A-Z of Rustic Simplicity (featuring profiles of affiliated artists/ artisans and proprietor Cindy Ferguson’s mindfulness philosophy). Twenty-six letters in the alphabet times two equals fifty-two. A-Z and back again from Z-A over the course of the year. See the first blog of 2013 titled ‘The Best Laid Plans’ for further explanation! Happy Reading and Enjoy!!!

Rustic Simplicity Blog 1 2013

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