Monthly Archives: October 2017

Fascinating Rhythm at Melba Fete!

Spent a great day yesterday with some muso friends who were performing at a local fete. Rhythm Syndicate is an auditioned Canberra based vocal group who sing four part harmony, with accompaniment by Canberra composer, songwriter and pianist Mike Dooley, and harmonicist and flautist, Paul Herbert.

RS 2 Melba

Rhythm Syndicate with conductor and musical director, Camilo Gonzalez

Revitalising their jazz roots, the program included many toe-tapping jazz standards such as Miss New Orleans, Java Jive, Fascinating Rhythm, and other classics from Cole Porter, and Gershwin – a great afternoon of cool musical entertainment.

Mike Melba Fete

Composer, songwriter, and pianist Mike Dooley

If you’re a jazz lover don’t miss their upcoming performances over the next couple of months.

5 December: Griffith Baptist Care Concert 11am

9 December: Queanbeyan Carols in the Park (55 Collett St) 7pm

10 December: Canberra High Court 1.30pm

10 December: National Portrait Gallery 3.30pm

17 December: Lerida Winery 12.30pm




You can also catch awesome pianist Mike Dooley, with singer Rachel Thorne, performing as In 2 Deep at Jazz in the House, University House, ANU on Friday 27 October at 8pm. Bookings essential through Uni House at or call them on 6125 5270.

Mike Dooley (keyboard) and singer Rachel Thorne – In 2 Deep

Renovating 101! Tips and tricks for renovating style.

Having spent the last three years moonlighting as—in the words of Billy Joel—‘a real-estate novelist’, plus the last two years renovating my own home, I learnt very quickly what sells and what doesn’t, and what many buyers look for when they’re buying their first, or second, home.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on major renovations, but if you are planning to sell—and most people, at some point, will sell their current home—you need to put in some time to spruce the place up a bit. If you’re not selling, but thinking about updating that tired 1980s kitchen or bathroom, you still need to know what’s on trend. However, trends come—and then, they go … I know builders who can walk into a kitchen and tell you when it was built or upgraded simply by the colour and use of materials. Colour, materials, and flooring will set the date of your renovation or makeover, so choose carefully!

Check out our 10 top tips for that big, or small, upgrade.

before and after

Updated reno – before and after

1: Take your time! Don’t try to do everything at once. Work out what you need, or want/can afford well before you start; be it a full renovation (complete pull-out and re-build) or makeover (paint, soft furnishings, upgrade appliances etc.). Work out where to start first, do your research, and stick to the plan!

2: Street appeal. If your house looks crap from the outside, drive-by potential buyers will assume it’s crap on the inside. You don’t have to go to great lengths or spend a fortune rendering, or replacing your gutters or roofing, but a coat of paint, a nice new mailbox, and a garden tidy up can make a huge difference to those doing the ‘drive past’.

glass hall table 1

Glass hall table with shelf space

3: First steps. As well as street appeal, don’t forget your entrance and hallway—even a small front porch will look welcoming with a bistro setting and a couple of cushions. A small hallway will really open up if it’s light and bright. Go for a hall table with a glass top, and mirror to reflect the light, and open containers if you have room.

4: Kitchen. Don’t mix too many materials. I’ve seen kitchens that have a combination of timber cupboards, stone and laminate tops, and feature splashbacks—overwhelming is an understatement. Decide on a feature—what you want to stand out; either splashback, benchtops, an island or whatever, choose the feature colour and material—stone, glass, timber, stainless steel, etc., and keep the rest plain and simple.

kitchen 1

Monochrome kitchen with glass fronted cabinet and feature subway tiles

5: Shelving versus cupboards. Open shelves, exposed beams, and cabinetry that stops below the ceiling (popular in the 70s) are dust gatherers—plain and simple, and unless you like dusting every day, and washing pots and pans even when they haven’t been used; then fine, go with open everything—otherwise forget it. And if you really want your gorgeous glassware on display go for a glass-fronted cupboard with fitted downlights. In the bathroom, if you must have shelves, go for glass—they have clean lines, and will open up a small area.

6: Appliances. Get them off the kitchen bench! An appliance cupboard doesn’t have to include power, nor does it have to be in the kitchen. For appliances you use every day, such as your toaster and kettle—fine, but for others create large cupboards that will take your blender, juicer, slow cooker, food processor etc., and keep them out of sight. A separate microwave space, over or under the oven or bench or in a split pantry, is also a great idea. If you have a large cupboard close to the kitchen—in the hallway or laundry, you can utilise that for plastic containers, bowls, hand mixers, casserole and baking dishes etc. If you have a monochrome kitchen, pop some colour with your appliances.

colour kitchen appliances 2

7: Colour. That lovely bright red wall in the lounge room may look terrific with your off-white leather lounge; but if the prospective purchaser has a red, pink (or even blue) lounge—colours may clash. If you’re renovating to sell keep to monochrome and neutral colours such as white, pale grey, or off-white. Even if you’re not selling—stick with neutral and pop the colour in your soft furnishings.

8: Floors. Think about the usage your floors get. Do you have lots of visitors, young children or pets? Some areas are very heavy traffic and need flooring that can sustain the use. Soft boards or light porcelain tiles should be kept to lightweight areas. Hard timbers and heavier weight tiles or stone are ideal in entrances, main living areas, and kitchen and family rooms, and many people still prefer carpet in bedrooms.

Pops of colour with soft furnishings

Bright yellow and greens pop some colour into this monochrome lounge

9: Lighting. Downlights have become popular of late, but beware, they cast no shadow and can make a room appear clinical and without texture. Simple pendants are still good for living areas and bedrooms and won’t break the bank, while moveable spots work well in kitchens as you can move them along the bar to light specific areas. Get TASTICs for the bathrooms. Trust me—you, and your prospective purchaser will love them.

10: The backyard. Often neglected, and often overdone, the backyard needs the following essentials. Good secure fencing on all sides. Tidy trees and shrubs, outdoor living/dining furniture (if you have the space) and an outdoor clothes line—yes, there are people who still like to hang out their washing. That’s it!

simple Aussie backyard 1

Small courtyard garden with all the essential elements

Spring 2017 ChinWag out Now!

Our spring issue of ChinWag is now available for download from our website at ACT Rescue and Foster

Our cover boy for this issue is Napoleon, a five year old Cavalier-Beagle cross who came into ARF care in June 2017 and is now living the life of luxury in his forever home.

chinwag spring

In this issue you can read all about Canberra’s one and only Pet Ambulance and what they do, and how to recognise when your dog is in pain. Also, learn about what it takes to be a Vet Nurse, dog walks in Yarralumla, and why you should rehome your dog if you’re thinking of taking that route. Plus our usual Where are they Now? and Recently Adopted sections, and some advice on spring flowers and fruits that can be dangerous to your dog if eaten.

ARF 2018 Calendar Cover

Our fabulous 2018 Calendar is also now on sale for only $10 each. You can purchase a calendar online from our website, or pick up a copy from any of our stalls and events during October, November and December. We also have gorgeous Christmas cards on sale; available from our stalls or from the Christmas Charity Cards Shops in Sangster Place Wanniassa, or Pilgrim House in Civic.

Kids’ First at FASHFEST!

For the first time kids featured in two shows at FASHFEST this year, and boy did they enjoy themselves! Both Tip You’re It! and NOMIKO made first appearances at FASHFEST, and considering the kids walked the full length of the runway to huge audiences, they exuded the style and confidence that any model would.

Tip your it

Tip You’re It! Photo by LFW

First up was Tip You’re It! a fashion store with a difference. Opening in 2015 Tip You’re It! sells a huge range of gorgeous kids’ fashion brands, gifts and accessories, furniture and décor—you can find everything you need from cool casual to party style, for babies and up to 6 years. Tip You’re It! is located at 5/18 Lonsdale Street, Braddon—open 7 days a week—or check out their website or Facebook page.


NOMIKO – photo courtesy FASHFEST

NOMIKO is the brainchild of Andrea and Clint Hutchinson, founders of FASHFEST, and was established, together with co-founder and partner Sophia Petersen, after the birth of Andrea and Clint’s two gorgeous children. NOMIKO is quality and fun fashion for kids from 4 to 10 years and includes boys, girls, and unisex designs. Running around, playing in the dirt, getting messy—that’s what kids are meant to do, and NOMIKO’s comfy leggings, hoodies, dresses, pants, and tops allows them to just get on with being kids. In fact, the clothing is so fabulous you will wish it came in your size! All garments are designed and made in Canberra. NOMIKO is available by order, and you can find them on Facebook.


NOMIKO – photo courtesy FASHFEST

Tip your it2

Tip You’re It! Photo by LFW

FASHFEST 2017 in Review

There’s been a lot of ‘firsts’ this year for FASHFEST, but from all the stunning gowns, gorgeous bridal wear, and everything in between we’ve chosen to review those that are a little bit different. The standard of wearable items this year was amazing, but we eventually went with labels we could, and would, wear ourselves, and perhaps more importantly, those with a community background to their fashion. By the LFW team.

Magpie Goose

Tiwi dress by Magpie Goose – photo by LFW

Our chosen designers include one label working with remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory, another that brings a range of artists from across Australia to work together in a visually exciting collection, and the third showcasing what you can do with someone else’s unloved clothing.

Magpie Goose collection

Magpie Goose Collection – photo by LFW

Magpie Goose is a new label founded in 2016 by Maggie McGowan and Laura Egan and named after a bird native to the Northern Territory. Based in Katherine, Magpie Goose works with four Aboriginal communities across the Top End including Palngun Wurnangat Aboriginal Corporation in Wadeye; Tiwi Design in Wurrumiyanga, Bathurst Island; Injalak Arts in Gunbalanya; and Bábbarra Women’s Centre, Maningrida. Through its clothing, the label aims to tell the story of people, place, and culture through fashion.. Magpie Goose is incubated by Enterprise Learning Projects, an organisation dedicated to fostering and supporting grassroots business development in partnership with remote Aboriginal communities. This was Magpie Goose’s first time at FASHFEST.


RAW Australia – photo by LFW

RAW Australia is part of an international community that brings together a range of artists including photographers, designers, visual and performing artists and musicians, film makers, and much more. For FASHFEST, RAW Australia brought together four fashion designers to show an exciting range of clothing including exotics from Bird Skin in Melbourne, gorgeous gowns from Bianca Pavlic The Label from Canberra, couture garments and jewellery from Ellavanna in Perth, and Adelaide’s Kiira showcasing a bohemian twist to their fashions. This was RAW Australia first showing at FASHFEST.


RAW Australia – image by LFW

SALVOS Stores. It’s fashion reinvention and serious eco chic. That’s what this unique FASHFEST 2017 show, presented by Salvos Stores, is all about. Salvaged is sustainable style at its best and this collection illustrates how fashionable high-end discarded and donated clothing can be. Curated by Salvos Stores stylist Fay De Lanty, this ingenious upcycling, dare we say even couture, transforms your perception of second-hand. It’s op-shop—but not as you know it! This is Salvos Stores first appearance at FASHFEST.


Upcycled fashion by Salvos Stores – photo courtesy Fashfest 2017


Salvos Stores Salvage Collection – photo courtesy Fashfest 2017