Monthly Archives: July 2015

A Treasure House of fashion at Holli Grove

Holli Grove is a small Canberra boutique that is growing in reputation and size! LFW caught up with owner Emma Neame and checked out some of the gorgeous fashion and accessories available from Holli Grove. Though the shop is a little hidden in the suburban centre of Kippax (Belconnen), it’s definitely worth a look. By Aine Dowling

Vigorella at Holli Grove

Vigorella at Holli Grove

Holli Grove opened in May 2012. Emma’s Mum had owned a fashion business for over 20 years and Emma grew up surrounded by clothes and fashion, so the obvious next step was to open her own fashion outlet. “I always loved clothes and fashion and I originally worked alongside Mum, but I really wanted my own business,” says Emma. “The shop is named after my daughter Holli and we just thought Grove was a lovely match.

Smart casual at Holli Grove

Smart casual at Holli Grove

“The Holli Grove customer is usually 30 plus. We set out targetting the ‘mother and daughter’ look which has continued to work really well and we love being able to find something for everyone. The daughter look offers a little more cutting edge or stylish professional if you prefer, and the mother look is a more classic, functional style, but having said that we’ve often sold the same item to a 30 year old and a 70 year old.”

Vigorella tunic available in red and black

Vigorella tunic available in red and black

One of the more popular brands available at Holli Grove is Vigorella—beautiful soft, drapey woollens that flatter every figure, size, and age. “About three months after we opened the shop one of our lovely (now regular) customers came in wearing an amazing green woollen coat that we fell in love with, so we asked where she bought it, and discovered Vigorella. It suits any shape or size and our customers just love it!” Vigorella is made in Australia and uses pure Merino wool, bamboo, soy, and cotton blends, so it’s sustainable, ethical and local, as well as totally beautiful to look at and wear.

Smart casual LBD or tunic at Holli Grove

Smart casual LBD or tunic at Holli Grove with jewellery from Rare Rabbit

Other gorgeous Australian designer labels available at Holli Grove include Morgan Marks, Namastai, Sancerre, and a small collection of my all-time faves—the seamless, and very flattering Body Sock Cafe. Accessories include lovely leather bags from Willow & Zac, jewellery from Rare Rabbit, and aromatherapy goodies from Peppermint Grove, and Palm Beach Collection.

Aromatherapy from Holli Grove

Aromatherapy from Holli Grove

Holli Grove is growing. So much so that they’re actually on the move, and have big plans for the future. “We are moving to new premises quite soon,” says Emma. “Plus, we’re going to include a more personalised service where we can offer individual styling sessions to all our customers in a really exciting environment, and workshops where they can access all of their beauty (and fashion) needs in one space—so stay tuned, it’s going to really exciting!”

Until further notice you can still find Holli Grove at the Kippax Centre, and on Facebook, Instagram, and the bi-annual wool and fibre festival at the Old Bus Depot Markets. And, keep your eye out for the Holli Grove Pop-Ups at various shopping malls around Canberra—you never know where they’ll pop-up next!

Recent Holli Grove Pop-Up at Woden Shopping Centre

Recent Holli Grove Pop-Up at Woden Shopping Centre

Get your hands on Hanny-d

Hanny-d Creations is a tour de force in fashion, creating stunning garments from the most mundane of cast-offs, with op-shops and charity markets providing much of her inspiration. By Aine Dowling

Hanny Dewer, owner and designer at Hanny-d is passionate about sustainability in fashion and has been an avid recycler for most of her life. Hanny-d combines new and pre-loved in her unique one-off pieces and nothing goes to waste.

Gorgeous winter hoodie vest made from a recycled bedspread

Gorgeous winter hoodie vest made from a recycled bedspread

Hanny-d Creations started in 2009 and has shown collections at FASHFEST in 2014 and RAW Canberra in 2015. Her style is simple and classic and incorporates vintage and retro to produce one-off conversation pieces—such as these gorgeous jacket/vests made from an old bedspread!

360FM Hanny D coatYou can find Hanny-d Creations at Three Sixty Fashion Market, Hustle&Scout, and the Old Bus Depot Markets.

You can also find her on Facebook at

Images of Hanny-d collection from FASHFEST 2014

Hanny D from FF 2014Hanny D FF 2014 3


Hanny D FF 2014 5Hanny D 6Hanny D FF 2014

Mum’s cooking a Roast

There’s no denying that we Aussies love our lamb—roast, grilled, pulled, BBQ or burger, it’s got to be lamb. And we all have our favourite way of cooking it and our ‘best’ recipes, so there is no way we’re about to tell you how you should cook your lamb. Instead, we took a roast rack of lamb and sourced some fancy ideas of presenting it. Take a look at the pics below—it’s all in the presentation! We’ve also included some recipes for veggies and sides with a difference—all you need is your favourite way of roasting your rack of lamb. Enjoy. All recipes are for four people.

Lamb cutlets with caramelised onion

Image from Fork, Knife, Swoon.

Image from Fork, Knife, Swoon.

Strictly speaking, these onions are actually roasted, but hey, they come out tender, sweet, and moist and are super easy! We’ve used small whole onions, but you can also use large onions cut in half or quartered, depending on the size.

What you need: 8 – 12 small onions (3 – 4 per person); 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil; 1 tablespoon butter; 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme, and salt and black pepper to taste.

What you do: Pre-heat oven to 2000 celsius. In a large bowl toss the peeled onions in the oil, thyme and salt and pepper. Spray (or brush) a baking tray with oil and spread the onions in a single layer and dot with the butter. Roast for approximately 30 minutes, stir around the tray, and continue roasting for another 20 – 30 minutes until the onions are tender and golden.

Lamb with creamy peas and roast carrotslamb with peas and roast veg

What you need: 350gm frozen peas; 4 tablespoons light cream; 1 tablespoon butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Two – three Dutch carrots per person, baby spinach leaves, and two tablespoons truffle glaze.

What you do: Preheat oven to 2000 celsius. Wash and brush the Dutch carrots and place on lightly oiled baking tray. Drizzle with extra oil and bake for approximately 30 minutes until the carrots are tender. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to the boil, add the peas and cook for 3 – 4 minutes until tender. Drain and place in a blender or food processor. Add the cream, butter, salt and pepper and blend until thick and creamy. Adjust seasoning and serve immediately—this does not warm up well.

Warm 2 tablespoons truffle glaze over a very low heat and drizzle over the carrots. You can buy truffle glaze from speciality food shops or delis—we use Chef’s Choice Crema al Tartufo, which is a blend of balsamic vinegar and truffle.

Lamb with spinach and sweet potato mashlamb with spinach and sweet pot mash

What you need: 1 bunch spinach, 1 large sweet potato; 1 tablespoon butter, 1 clove garlic (crushed) and salt and black pepper to taste.

What you do: Finely chop the spinach and place in saucepan. Toss in crushed garlic and just cover with water. Bring to boil and cook until spinach is tender, drain and set aside. While the spinach is cooking, peel and chop the sweet potato and boil in lightly salted water for about 10 – 15 minutes until tender. You should aim to have the spinach and sweet potato ready at the same time. Drain the sweet potato and add the butter, salt and pepper, and mash with a potato masher until creamy. Place a small round of spinach on the plate and top with sweet potato mash. Serve immediately.

Lamb with Moroccan carrot saladlamb rack with Moroccan carrot salad

This is a lightly spiced and crunchy, raw carrot salad. You can make it spicier by adding chilli.

What you need: 4 medium carrots; 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, juice of 1 lime, 2 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon sweet paprika, pinch salt, and 1 heaped teaspoon finely chopped green chillies (optional).

What you do: Peel and grate, or julienne, the carrots. In a large bowl mix all the other ingredients, and stir in the carrots. Cover and place in the fridge for about two hours so the flavours fuse together. Serve at room temperature.

Lamb with roast tomatoes and pestoLamb with roast tomatoes and kaffir lime

This is a simple degustation combination of mushrooms, olives, and cherry tomatoes. We used pitted black olives, and large whole flat mushrooms.

What you need: 1 whole flat mushroom per person; 2 – 3 olives per person; 1 – 2 cherry tomatoes per person; 2 tablespoons extra virgin oil; a few kaffir lime leaves, and pesto sauce.

What you do: Pre-heat oven to 1800 celsius. Spray (or brush) a baking tray with oil, and place the mushrooms on the tray in a single layer and roast for approximately 15 minutes until slightly soft.  Make a small cut in the tomatoes so they don’t burst when cooking and add the olives and tomatoes to the tray, drizzle over the oil, and roast for a further 15 minutes.

To plate: Place the mushroom on the plate and top with the olives and tomato. Decorate with kaffir lime leaves and drizzle with the pesto sauce and juices from the roast lamb.

Share your favourite lamb recipe with LFW!


By Wendy Johnson

Who doesn’t love gorgeous ceramics? Bold and bright, cool and comfortable, smooth or rough textured; ceramics can be treasured functional home-wear or a stunning piece of object d’art, and you can find all this and more at the Market Place at the National Gallery of Australia on Sunday 12 July as part of the prestigious Stepping-Up Australian Ceramics Triennale 2015. Here is sneak peek of what’s on offer this Sunday.

Rich gold by Johanna DeMaine

Rich gold by Johanna DeMaine (image courtesy artist)

Market Place is dedicated entirely to ceramics and is presented in partnership with the National Gallery of Australia, hosted in Gandel Hall.  Selected local and national artists will present their work to ceramics enthusiasts and collectors during this exciting event. Visitors will be delighted with a wide range of unique functional products for the home as well as stunning exhibition and sculptural pieces to add to their collections.

'Flower Pots' by Stephanie Hammill

‘Flower Pots’ by Stephanie Hammill (image courtesy artist)

Beautiful Waratah bowl by Denise McDonald

Beautiful Waratah bowl by Denise McDonald (image courtesy artist)

Gandel Hall all is a majestic, multipurpose venue. It is spacious, light-filled and exquisitely detailed with gold-leaf doors and red, iron bark floors, and opens onto the new Australian Garden in which James Turrell’s monumental sky-space offers guests an extraordinary experience of Canberra’s picturesque skies.

National Gallery of Australia

National Gallery of Australia

In conjunction with Market Place, the Gallery will be offering two free guided tours of Australian Decorative Arts at 12pm and 2pm on Sunday.

Collection by Mollie Bosworth

Collection by Mollie Bosworth (image courtesy artist)



Ceramicist Margaret Brown Steps Up!

Stepping Up: Profile on ceramicist Margaret Brown. By Wendy Johnson

Black lines working their way mysteriously through southern ice clay. It’s Margaret Brown’s signature look and not an easy one to achieve.


Margaret is a top-notch ceramist who works from her studio in the quiet surrounds of the Bega Valley, New South Wales. These days life isn’t all peace and quiet, however. Margaret is getting ready to participate in two exhibitions being held as part of the prestigious Australian Ceramics Triennale, named Stepping Up in 2015, coming to Canberra this week (9 to 11 July). She’ll also be participating in the free one-day Market Day being held for the public at the National Gallery of Australia on 12 July (11am to 4pm). And she’s just placed some of her beautiful work in Agency, the new store that has opened by Craft ACT: Design and Craft Centre in the Ori Building, Braddon. Phew …

Porcelain is Margaret’s preferred medium. She’s drawn to it for its pureness and translucency.

Having created and wholesaled domestic pottery for 20 years, Margaret took a short break and then completed a Diploma in Visual Arts (Ceramics) at the Australian National University, focusing on porcelain. “My whole outlook changed when I went to university,” says the artist, who received a Technical Award upon completion of her course. Today Margaret creates domestic forms that are part of daily living, like mugs and beakers, but beautiful, unique pieces that combine function with quality craftsmanship and design.mbrown_01(1)

The black lines that make their way through her pieces—each one entirely individual—are about capturing movement within a space, says Margaret. “No two pieces are the same,” says this high-end ceramicist. “While I have control over the shape of the piece I don’t have complete control over where the black line travels. It’s about letting go a little bit to see what happens. It’s like watching bugs in the sky dash around. Where will they go?”MB throwing pots

But don’t be fooled. The technique Margaret uses has taken time to master and it requires a great deal of skill. “I put a slice of black clay into the white clay before throwing each piece. I have to throw very quickly on the wheel so I only get one or two lines,” says Margaret. “They don’t all work out. I’m not so keen on multiple lines … these pieces tend to go back in the bucket.” The process is based on an old Japanese method called Neriage which roughly translates into ‘to knead’ or ‘to mix’. The colour is diffused on the inside and outside of each piece and the lines capture the movement of clouds as they drift by.mbrown_06

Margaret also creates lamps out of translucent porcelain, which are slow but relaxing and rewarding to produce she says. The hand carving of one lamp can take up to 12 hours. “These lamps can’t be slip cast like commercial products can,” she says. “I sit and hand-carve them so each one is unique. I carve possums, frogs, kookaburras, horses, Australian nature—the things I see in my everyday life.”

Since 2002, Margaret has held several exhibitions in Canberra and NSW. As part of Stepping Up, she is participating in two of the 35 free public exhibitions that will be held across the city. Her work features in Belonging: embodied commentaries inspired by place, which is on now and will carry through to 11 July at the ANU School of Art Foyer Gallery. This is a must-see exhibition of the works of more than 150 members of the Australian Ceramics Association.

Margaret’s work will also be in Stomping Ground, which features the work of Craft ACT-accredited professional members. The title refers to frequented or favourite locations and references between the ground and each artist’s chosen medium of clay. Other ceramicists participating in this exhibition are Avi Amesbury, Sarit Cohen, Linda Davy, Cathy Franzi, Bev Hogg, Ian Jones, Anita McIntyre and Gail Nichols. It’s on now at the ACT Legislative Assembly and will close 15 July.


At the Market Place, Margaret will have on hand her black and white creations. This is a unique chance for Canberrans to talk to, and buy from, 30 ceramists, including several who have never shown in Canberra before.

For a complete list of free public exhibitions being held during Stepping Up—with some underway now and some extending into August—and a list of the ceramicists who will be at the one-day-only Market Place visit the Australian Ceramic Triennale website.

The Australian Ceramics Triennale starts this week.

Credits—Artist: Margaret Brown, Images: Andrew Trousdell

Margaret Brown

Get with the right AGENCY!

It seems there is no stopping bustling Braddon from bursting at the seams. The latest venture to launch at the Ori Building is AGENCY, a new high-end store by Craft ACT: Craft & Design Centre that opens to the public this Friday (3 July). Wendy Johnson checks out the diverse range of arts and crafts on display and for sale.

Classically simple salt and pepper by nadege-desgenetez

Classically simple salt and pepper by Nadege Desgenetez

Agency is no ordinary store. It has a new and innovative approach and it’s not just with the work of the designers and artists it is stocking. “We’re selling a service, experience and lifestyle all in one go,” says Halie Rubenis, Business Development and Retail Manager. But what does that mean? Continue reading