Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Melbourne Mosey—the 2nd Annual Challenge of Travel Blog Hop

Welcome to Melbourne … as seen by me. Today’s blog is the reveal of the 2nd Annual Challenge of Travel blog hop, hosted by Erin Prais-Hintz. Erin had the delightful idea of writing about our hometowns in this year’s Challenge—a “stay-cation” if you will.

So let me tell you about my hometown. Melbourne is not my original hometown—I grew up in Perth, on the other side of Australia—but I have always have had family here, and when my husband and I moved back to Australia over ten years ago, we chose Melbourne as our place to settle down.

Yarra River and City Skyline
By Donaldytong (Own work) [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC-BY-SA-2.5 (, via Wikimedia Commons
Melbourne is the capital city of Victoria, one of the six Australian states. It’s Australia’s second largest city, with a population of more than 4 million. It was founded in 1835 and, after the discovery of gold in Victoria in the 1850s, became one of the richest cities in the world (sadly nowadays, it’s one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in, despite its title as the most liveable city).

Nowadays, Melbourne is a vibrant city, known more for its culture and addiction to sports of all kinds (tennis, cricket, motor sports, and especially Aussie Rules Football, locally known as the footy), than its looks. It has a moderate climate, warm to hot in the summer, and cool in the winter, and we frequently experience “four seasons in one day” thanks to the cold waters of the Southern Ocean below us and the heat of inland Australia above. It’s one of Australia’s leafiest cities, thanks to both the climate and the English influence, and there are beautiful parks in all corners of the metropolitan area.

But what I like best about Melbourne is its ambiance. Generations of migrants, starting with the British (convicts!), the gold diggers of the mid-1800s including plenty of Chinese, German and Irish fortune seekers, post WWII immigration by southern Europeans, particularly from Italy and Greece, and more recently SE Asian, Middle-Eastern and African immigrants have made Melbourne home, resulting in a melting pot of multicultural influence, and the ability to find just about any kind of food you might desire! Our damp cold winters lend themselves to art and theatre, while our summers can be delightful. And every neighbourhood has its own personality.

One of my favourite parts of Melbourne is St Kilda, where I lived for a few years. Down by the beach, it’s a magnet for tourists and backpackers, and a lively spot with lots of good cafes and restaurants, with vestiges of a seedy past that give it a bit of an edge. St Kilda Beach, on Port Phillip Bay, is no Bondi, but it has its charms, and is a fabulous spot for a walk.

St Kilda Beach
Stefano at wikivoyage shared [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons
It’s also the home of Luna Park, an historic amusement park, and the inspiration for my first piece. Luna Park was built in 1912, and has operated more or less continuously since then. Its Scenic Railway is the oldest continuously operating rollercoaster in the world. And its iconic “Mr Moon” facade is instantly recognisable.

Luna Park, Melbourne
By Adam.J.W.C. (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (, via Wikimedia Commons
I used a fair chunk of my stash of bright happy beads by Jennifer “Jangles” Heynen to reflect the primary colours in the facade, and natural waxed linen inspired by the rollercoaster framework to make a fun necklace and a pair of (mis)matching earrings.

Luna Park collage

My other piece was more inspired by the colours of Melbourne than a particular landmark. First of all, I’d like to note that this bracelet is heavily influenced by Lorelei Eurto, who regularly makes bracelets in this style. Thank you for the inspiration Lorelei (and my version is for personal use only). The Humblebeads birds nest house represents my home in Melbourne, and the other beads are inspired by the colours of Port Phillip Bay and its beaches, the Yarra River (notably a very muddy river), and the greens of Melbourne’s leafy vegetation. The big lampwork bead is by a local artist, Puddle Glass Art.

My Melbourne bracelet

I hope you have enjoyed my little introduction to Melbourne! I’d have loved to take you further afield, but there’s a blog hop to get to! Erin has linked up all the participants on her blog post so mosey on over there and take a peek at some wonderful places.

21 thoughts on “Melbourne Mosey—the 2nd Annual Challenge of Travel Blog Hop”

  1. So enjoyed your history of Melbourne and pictures of your city. The Luna-inspired pieces are such fun and I truly ADORE the colors and textures you chose for your Melbourne bracelet.

  2. What a wonderful post. Australia has always been a dream destination, you have made it even more so! Love your jewelry too! thank you!

  3. Wonderful post! Australia seems like such a lovely place with such divergent climates, not unlike the United States. Both of your creations are beautiful. Aren’t Jennifer’s beads so happy?! Love what you did with them!

  4. How wonderful to visit Melbourne! I love your two pieces, the bright happy colours of the necklace and the softer one of the bracelet. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Awesome post of Melbourne – one of many places I want to visit! Love the bright and fun necklace you created and the bracelet is so pretty!

  6. Thanks for sharing and taking us along for the ride. That colorful necklace is a perfect match for the Luna Park, and I absolutely adore that bracelet.

  7. Hello from a nearly neighbour up here in Broken Hill. I love Melbourne and both your pieces capture the city’s ambience so well. Really vibrant and with a great energy. Thank you for the story, the photos and the art! Wendy

  8. Your pieces are awesome! I love Mr. Moon and all his colors that are present in the necklace. It is just such a fun piece and I can’t imagine feeling anything but happy wearing it.

    Thank you for the virtual tour. All of these posts have be itching to travel. 🙂

  9. Melissa, this is such a great post, Australia looks so beautiful! Your necklace is a great representation of Luna Park…so fun! I am really in love with your bracelet though, it is fantastic!! The colors and the style are right up my alley (in case you ever want to gift one, lol). Thanks for sharing a bit of your hometown.

  10. Oh, I love your use of the Jangles beads for the roller coaster, so bright, happy, and festive! However, that bracelet steals the show for me. It’s so heavenly! Beautiful.

  11. Hello from another Aussie! I love Melbourne – my favourite is place to visit is the Royal Arcade. You have captured the essence of Melbourne with your designs – Luna Park is the coolest place to visit – reminds me of my childhood growing up in Sydney and the bracelets are just divine.

  12. Hey Lissy fantastic stories in both designs, but well you know my love for all things colourful….is your Luna Park story for sale? I want to buy it! Love it! Your stuff is great…I’m serious about purchasing if Im not too late!

  13. What a loving post about your home town, Melissa! Love that you were inspired about two different aspects of Melbourne and took the time to create beautiful tributes. While the necklace set is rollicking fun, I’m really drawn to the bracelet’s colors and design.

  14. It is wonderful to read about a place so far away. Your description and pictures made it so inviting sounding. Love the blast of colours to match Luna Park so well. However, I also feel the draw of the more natural colours that are in the bracelet to match the greens and waterway. Lovely.

  15. Very nice information about Melbourne. I’m putting it high on my list of places I plan to go. I love both pieces, especially the brightly colored necklace. It reminds me of summer.

  16. Fluff up the guest pillows! I want to come and visit! I have actually always longed to take a trip to Australia. Seeing the temperate climate, the green spaces, the BEACH, makes me long for a lot of money and time to go and travel! I love that it is a melting pot of cultures. Just exploring this aspect of Melbourne would be fun! I love your piece with the Jangles! That is pure fun as I am sure that Luna Park is! And your bracelet, what a beautiful color palette! I would definitely wear that. Thank you for joining me on the journey, and I apologize for taking so long to make my way around. With the big fundraiser I just did it took all my time the past two weeks. And I wanted to be able to take the time to really visit and enjoy! Glad to have you with me! Enjoy the day! Erin

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