She’s a Wildflower

WHO: Alice Shepherd

WHERE: Pop-up store at King of the Castle Café 24 Pakington Street, Geelong West




Daisy: What kind of a garden do you come from?

Alice: Oh, I don’t come from any garden.

Daisy: Do you suppose she’s a wildflower?

  • Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland


EVERYONE loves flowers! From pretty posies to mind-blowing floral and foliage installations, this girl has got you covered!  I first met Alice when we were looking for someone to take over our pop-up shop at King of the Castle café. She had recently headed out on her own to establish She’s a Wildflower. Like me, Alice hasn’t always lived in Geelong. She grew up on a farm in northern Victoria and moved to Melbourne to study Tourism and Business. Eventually, she moved to Geelong to study floristry and now calls the Surfcoast her home!




No, my career began in talent management, liaising between comedians, bands, celebrities and their agents. Some of my clients include the likes of Ita Buttrose, Sir Bob Geldof and Jackie Stewart! It was an incredibly demanding job, but I really loved working on the social functions, where I got to spend time organizing the décor for each event. Things changed on my 25th birthday when a friend presented me with a hand picked posy of fresh flowers, straight from the garden, and I thought it would be so nice to do that for a living! So after some quick thinking and encouragement from my partner, I enrolled at The Gordon.



Not being bound to a desk! I love talking to people and really getting to know my clients. It’s rewarding to know that they have total trust in me and I have full creative reign over a job. I also love going to market and being inspired by all of the different blooms and foliage!



Stinky water; kale and stock water are definitely the worst offenders!



That’s like asking who is your favourite child! It changes week-by-week and season-by-season. At the moment I love flowers like sea holly, anemones, poppy pods, beehives and stock.




I’ve been working with the Pot & Pan Stylists, creating some amazing floral displays at their events. We had one here at King of the Castle and the next one will be at Boom Gallery in September. I’ve also been working with Little Creatures and had so much fun creating a forest in the foyer for their White Rabbit beer launch last week. I’ve also been collaborating with some stylists and photographers on photo shoots for wedding publications.



Working with flowers is so much fun! Ultimately, I’d love to work from my studio on events, with stylists and photographers, rather than retail.


She’s a Wildflower is open from Monday – Friday from 7am ‘til 3pm (on Monday’s Alice uses an honesty box system; she’s got to have at least ONE rest day a week!) and Saturday – Sunday from 8am ‘til 2pm.

I’ll give you the hot tip though; Thursday is market day, so she is just bursting with spectacular blooms that will make your heart sing!

Nat x

Live Strong

WHERE: Mister Miller Coffee Co (formerly Michael’s Cafe Volare), 111 Pakington Street Geelong West

WHEN: Midday Saturday 17th May, 2014

WHY: To raise $5000 for cancer research**


A new era for this Geelong institution! Fresh, new signage pays homage to local philanthropist and benfactor, Mr Alexander Miller.

What was once Michael’s Cafe Volare, has been re-branded Mister Miller Coffee Co.  Fresh, new signage pays homage to local philanthropist and benfactor, Mr Alexander Miller (a brief biography can be found here).  Mister Miller Coffee Co will play host to the “Shave the Beard” cancer research fundraiser to take place at midday on Saturday May 17th.

No doubt, many Geelong-based readers will be aware that our local caffeine dispenser, Stephen Nardi, is raising money for cancer research.  What many of you may not know is the reason why.

On the 17th of May 2004 Stephen had one of life’s biggest curve balls thrown right at him; that insidious “C” word.  You know; the one that, more often than not, shatters dreams and steals lives?  The sad reality is, we all know someone that has been afflicted by this disease.  But being the remarkable young man that he is, he didn’t stop and feel sorry for himself.   With the love and support of his close-knit family and friends, he picked the ball up and threw it right back in cancer’s face!

When you’re 17 and about to embark on your final year at school, the last thing you expect is to be diagnosed with cancer.  What started out as an annoying back pain was quickly found to be something far more sinister.  This type of cancer is unusual in someone so young, so three days after being diagnosed, he had surgery. After taking some time to recover from that, in July, began 3 rounds of chemotherapy.

Chemo might have killed the cancer, but not his spirit! Undeterred, he was determined to get back to school and finish year 12. He spoke about the importance of getting back to normality and with the support of the faculty and his mates at St. Josephs, he also organised his first cancer research fundraiser, which was a huge success!  He was invited to make a speech at the final assembly, which he summarised for me: appreciate your education and time at school, as you may not realise what it means until it is taken away from you…..a bit like life really.

In an excerpt taken from his donation page, Stephen puts it all into perspective:

“Although at the time it seemed life ending, at 17 years old, facing my last year of high school, it would become a realisation that I was and still am one of the lucky ones. Some families are not so lucky when it comes to dealing with this selfish disease. Overcoming this illness gave me an understanding of change and how to deal with it when life throws you curve balls.

“This small accomplishment is something I feel I need to do. The last 10 years of my life have had its ups and downs but this morning I wake up appreciative of the gift of life and today I am thankful to share it with you!”



A daily reminder of the gift of life and to always Live Strong!

A daily reminder of the gift of life and to always Live Strong!


To mark 10 years since his diagnosis and 12 months since Stephen started growing his beard (much to his mother’s chagrin!) he would like to invite everyone to come along and watch him shave it off!  So I guess the next question is; who will shave it off? Let’s put the call out to some of  Geelong’s public figures. Mr Mayor? Billy Brownless? Cameron Ling? Any other suggestions?

WHERE/HOW CAN YOU DONATE?  Stephen has set up a page with the Victorian Cancer Council so you can donate directly with them (see link at the top of this post), or you can donate at the window when you are buying your coffee.  He will also be donating $1 from every coffee sold on the day of the great shave.

CAN I JOIN IN ON THE DAY?  Absolutely; the more, the merrier! Just head down to Mister Miller (formerly Michael’s Cafe Volare) on Pakington Street prior to the day and speak to Stephen about participating.

**NOTE: At the time this post was published, he had already surpassed his $5000 target, with donations coming from as far away as Sweden, Canada & Ireland!  What do you say Geelong; let’s help him double that!

Nat x

Artist Profile – Jedda Robaard

On this fine, sunny afternoon, we would like to share with you, the talents of local illustrator, Jedda Robaard!




We first met Jedda, many years ago as a fellow stallholder at some of the local Geelong makers markets; chances are, you’ve met her too and already know her work!  For those of you that haven’t seen it before, here’s a little teaser!   We have been fans for quite a while now and are so happy to see how much she has accomplished since we first met!



Jedda grew up in a small coastal town in Tasmania, but now lives on the Bellarine Peninsula. She shares her home with 3 children and many furry and feathered friends, who never fail to inspire her! She first studied graphic design and illustration in the early 90’s, at the Launceston school of art. There were no computers; just lots of drawing, printmaking, typography!


Jedda has already published 10 (eek!) books with The Five Miles Press, Black Dog Books (Walker Books) and Harper Collins; the list is quite extensive!  There are also 5 new titles in the pipeworks for 2014; she is one busy lady!  Jedda was also one half of a successful Art studio for children Ekko creatives for over 6 years, which Nat’s kids happily attended!




Tomorrow, Saturday 2nd November, Jedda is launching her latest book, Stanley the sock monster!  At the launch there are free Stanley activities for the kids and she has two signed copies of Stanley to give away!

Where: The bookshop at Queenscliff
30-32 Hesse Street
Queenscliff Vic 3225

When: 11am – 1pm

Stanley the Sock Monster_COV LRHave a great weekend!

Nat & Jen xx

Please note – all images were posted with the consent of the artist and may not be reproduced.

Armageddon Cake

Where: 7 McLarty Place Geelong

When: Thursday to Saturday 7pm to 11pm


What more can we say….CAKE….CAKE…and more CAKE. We just had to go and try this little gem of a place our selves as we had heard so much about it. And we didn’t try it just once, I went back the next week and did it again. Yes, that’s just how much we like CAKE. Nat is a huge sweet tooth, me, I love a bit of sweet and sour and I was not disappointed.

First time around we had the boys in tow, so we opted for the tasting plates, well we ordered two, as we just had to try everything on the menu. And not only that, it came with a plate of equally delicious sweet sauces and condiments to go with it. I could have eaten a whole bowl of the special lemon curd, but decided to restrain myself and have it on all of my cakes.

The menu at Armageddon is short and sweet, well it is CAKE. With 6 staples to select from plus a few weekly specials there is something to tempt everyone. With a cheesecake, decadent chocolate brownie and an apple pie, there are also cakes for the vegans and gluten free diners as well, along with the weekly pudding, there is something for everyone. The tasting plates offer you a half serve of each cake you select or you can go for a very generous full serve that is perfect to share as well. I think the cheesecake rocks, but the brownie is pretty decadent too, especially when you slather it in house made raspberry sauce and vanilla bean ice cream. Yum!

Armageddon Cake

To find Armageddon look for the electrified blue bike and head down the lane, a little world of sweet delights await you along with speciality tea and coffee. It’s a great place to head out to for a sweet bite to eat, to sit and relax and to catch up with friends for a chat. The inviting atmosphere and friendly staff make you feel very welcome. Quirky vintage decor and fun walls give you plenty to look at or pick up a book and have a laugh. If you can’t stay you can grab your cake to go. Takeaway can be arranged or you can phone through an order. But if you are after something special for an event, Armageddon can organise an amazing cake for you. Just ask.

We really love Armageddon and i’m sure you will too. Who doesn’t love to eat CAKE…