Thursday, April 3, 2014

a bumper harvest...

Near the end of last year we moved into a house on Victoria's beautiful Mornington Peninsular.  After years of living in an apartment in Dubai, I have really been enjoying the garden (although  I had forgotten how much time it takes to look after one!) A previous owner was obviously a keen green thumb as I have inherited a number of fruit trees including a couple of lemons, a mandarin and an grapefruit. Their bountiful produce has meant that I have had to dust off my old cook books for jam, marmalade and curd recipes. Yum! The harvest I am less sure about dealing with is the vast number of olives that we have collected from the large olive tree in the back garden. Clare and my daughter-in-law, Briohny, are experimenting with a couple of olive pickling recipes but I would love to know if you have any to recommend, or any tips on how to get the best result.

Sue x

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

playing with paint...

We've been playing around with paint over the last few days and having a wonderful time. We haven't used much paint in our artwroks before so it has been fun to experiment with a few different ideas. There is something very therapeutic about painting, especially using watercolours. Seeing the colours  merge into each other and create new colours and patterns never gets boring and we even love watching the paint from the brush swirl through the jar of water.  

These linen-covered buttons, each hand-painted, are the start of an extra large (1m x 1m) artwork. Lots more still to go!

Getting there - we do lots of squinting and take lots of photos when we get to this stage in creating a new artwork. It is amazing how it helps in balancing colour and creating movement in a piece. We must look pretty funny while we do it though!

Close up  - each button is individually painted so no two are the same.

We are totally incapable of designing and creating without also making a huge mess! Tell us we aren't the only ones...

Joy and Clare xx

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

it has been how long?...

Hello again! Time has absolutely flown by since our last post (way back in October...agghhh!) but we are back blogging again. Thanks so much to all those who have let us know they missed us - it has felt like a little part of us has been missing since we let our blog slip by the wayside. We have been keeping ourselves busy though - in the months since we last posted we have, between the three of us, moved into new houses (Clare and Sue), had a baby (Joy), had a puppy join the family (Clare), got through the crazy last term of school (Clare and Joy), had one child start Prep (Joy), have three children move to new schools (Clare), started major house renovations (Joy), as well running our shop, homes and families, and dreaming up new art and fabric designs. No wonder we all feel a little crazy!

Don't forget that you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram and check out bloglovin' if you haven't already - we find it is a great way to keep track of what our favourite bloggers are up to in a really easy-to-read format (especially on phone and tablets).

the mondocherry girls xxx

Monday, October 21, 2013

add some zing for spring...

We love decorating with fresh citrus colours - lemon, mandarin, lime, and grapefruit - especially as the warmer weather approaches. Pop over to our post for the Life InStyle blog to read more!

Which of the citrus colours are you most drawn to?

the mondocherry girls xxx

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

pink vintage botanicals...

We've been meaning to make some new vintage botanical artworks for our shop and website for ages, as they are one of most requested items (thanks for all your lovely comments!) We created this new series in various shades of pinks. Each petal and leaf is handcut, from rescued vintage books, shaped, and folded to create completely unique pieces.  Pop into our shop at 3 Claremont Ave, Malvern or purchase online here.

the mondocherry girls xxx

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Saturday coffee...

We are very excited that the fabulous Cafe Claremont, which is right next door to our shop, will be opening on Saturdays from this week. With great service, scrummy breakfasts, delicious lunches and coffee just the way we like it, it is our constant temptation! Oh yes, we know how to pick the best spot to have a shop... :)

Pop over the Cafe Claremont's new facebook page to print out a voucher for a free coffee (valid for Sat 28th September) and come and visit our street on Saturday. Our mondocherry shop will be open from 9am until 2 pm, for this week only, so that we can get home in time to watch the football final with our footy-mad boys - go Hawks!

All the food is made on-site. These pies were fresh out of the oven. Yummo!
Love the way the sandwiches are presented with the filling on display so you can see exactly what you are getting.  This roast pumpkin, pesto, spinach, caramalized onion and goat's cheese is one of my favourites!
...and one for the carnivores!

Clare x

Monday, September 23, 2013

moving on...

Hello! Yes, we are still here. Apologies for the extended absence... life has been even busier than usual over the last few weeks and a miserable early-spring flu hasn't helped matters.

My family is on the move again, but only locally this time. Our landlord decided he wanted to move back into this house, so we are packing up and looking for a new place to live. Not an easy task to find somewhere for a family of 8, with two bunnies, a drum kit, a trampoline,and a studio full of vintage books! Before the rooms in this house become completely buried under packing boxes, I decided to take a few photos for posterity. It is always fun to go back through old photos and remember all the houses we have lived in.

Here are a few photos of the bedroom occupied by my two youngest daughters (age 6 and 3). It was a tricky room to decorate as it is very small, with a bricked in corner fireplace and no built-in wardrobe.

I bought this vintage cane chair for a mere $20 last year and am still undecided whether to paint it or not. It becomes a throne when the girls play princess dress ups!

I decided to cosy up the room, and bring down the very high ceilings, by hanging these coloured parasols left over from a party way back here. They spin very gently when there is a breeze and give the girls something pretty to look at while they go to sleep. 

With no room for a bookshelf in the room, I repurposed an old plant stand bought at a garage sale years ago. The top shelf holds their favourite Topsy and Tim books - an English series that Joy and I loved as little girls.
Have you taken photos of what your house looks like now to remember in years to come?

Clare x

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

colouring in...

I recently bought a new colouring book ("Secret Garden" by Johanna Basford) after I fell in love with the intricate drawings.  I sat down with my 4 girls after dinner a couple of nights ago, each with a different picture to colour, and 2 hours later we were all still sitting there happily colouring and chatting away. (Even my eldest son followed the sound of us laughing and ended up sitting at the table playing us his favourite songs) I think I was enjoying myself just as much as the kids were! 

We used sparkly pens instead of felt pens which took longer but meant that we could keep the gorgeous detail. The hardest part was choosing which picture to colour as they are all so delightful.

When was the last time you sat down and enjoyed a bit of colouring in? It is very therapeutic!

Clare x

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

kindergarton art for an auction night...

I was asked to help organise the artwork for the four groups at my daughter's kindy all to be auctioned off at an upcoming parent fundraising evening. I absolutely adore children's artworks and particularly the way they they represent themselves in the early childhood years. As an former teacher I had a few art ideas up my sleeve, but I sometimes think simple is best when working with larger numbers of kids on a collaborative project.

My gorgeous friend, Dominique (a fellow parent who dobbed me in for this project!) and I worked together with the children to create their mini self portraits on squares of card in a three step process. Firstly they drew their outline in a black Sharpie pen, they then coloured in their picture using wax crayons, and finally the whole square was washed over with an edicol dye mixture which allows the crayon to come through.

Stitched onto a black border and framed in a simple grid pattern, the bright colours and the children's beautiful individual portraits really shine. I know the kids will be really proud of their work and hopefully the parents will love them too!

Joy x

Thursday, August 15, 2013

from my garden...

There are lots of signs in my garden that spring is on the way. Hooray! I haven't been able to resist bringing a few stems inside to brighten up the house and they are making me smile every time I look at them. 

What is your favourite spring flower?

Clare x

Monday, August 12, 2013

tickle the imagination...

Have you read the online Australian magazine Tickle the Imagination? It is filled to the brim with inspiring and creative and showcases some amazing home grown talent.  The current edition includes a feature on one of our favourite suppliers, the gorgeous twins Sally and Jane. These talented ladies are the designers behind the stunning fabric purses we stock in store and online.

Way to go girls! You deserve plenty of recognition for your beautiful creations. And, after seeing how neatly folded your fabrics are, we feel the need to spruce up our own collections!

Thank you so much for the mention too :)

the mondocherry girls xxx

Sunday, July 28, 2013

dreaming of summer...

It may well be the middle of winter but I was dreaming of hot summer days as I sat designing some hand stitched felt treats for our mini mondo collection.  A range of yummy icy pole flavours - Choc dipped (with sprinkles!), strawberry, orange and fruity-tropical - transported me to a place warm and wonderful.  

Watch out for these felt treats (and more new mini mondo designs) popping up in our online shop and Malvern store soon.

Hope you all enjoyed your weekend.  

Joy x

Saturday, July 27, 2013

the art of distraction...

When you live in a rental house you have three options...
1. apply to redecorate to your taste
2. decorate around the existing decor
3. apply the art of distraction.

I have taken the third option for my very brown '70's kitchen. The landlord wasn't keen for us to paint (would have been very expensive anyway) and I didn't want to change my style for a temporary home, so distraction it had to be. Luckily these colourful Ñanduti are just the thing!  Ñanduti , or spider-web lace, is one of Paraguay's traditional crafts and I just love the incredible detail and intricate designs.

The design is first sketched onto paper and then transferred onto a linen cloth stretched over a wooden frame. Fine cotton thread is used for the weaving and once finished, the lace is carefully cut away form the line cloth and then starched.

My favourite corner of the kitchen - gorgeous Ñanduti lace and my Nespresso machine!

I purchased my Ñanduti  from The Trading Circle which is an initiative to help women in Asia, Africa and South America trade out of poverty - such a great cause.

Clare x

Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday making...

Our little shop is closed on a Monday which gives us the chance to catch up on orders and work on new projects and designs.   Today we were busy creating a new artwork in our vintage bouquet series.  These artworks are seriously time consuming and make an incredible amount of mess!   

We free cut all our petals and leaves from old illustrations from disgarded books as we find this creates a completely unique design that is impossible to recreate exactly.   We use mood boards and select colours as a starting point and then look through botanical books for some flower inspiration.  Other than that, we don't really plan the designs, we just start snipping!! We are so used to working together like this that we often work in silence, absorbed with our cutting, or chat about things completely unrelated to the design.

Happy yellow flowers today.  One of our favorite colors to create with.

Clare and Joy xx

Monday, July 15, 2013

coming soon...

A new range of necklaces coming soon...

Hope you have had a happy Monday!

the mondocherry girls xxx

Monday, July 8, 2013

a girly giveaway...

"Sugar and spice and all things nice, that's what little girls are made of". So goes the old rhyme and while we are not sure how accurate it is (although Joy did have cravings for fruit tingles while pregnant with her daughter!), we certainly know that little girls love pretty things. The Ultimate Girly Giveaway hosted by Tout Mon Amour, is chock-a-block full of prizes perfect for the little sweetheart in your life, including gorgeous tutus, a play house, fairy door, stylish clothes, room decor and lots, lots more. We've included this pink blossom artwork in the giveaway too.

6 lucky people will share all these prizes...

Visit Tout Mon Amour to see full details of the prizes on offer (open for Australian residents only this time) and follow the link to enter. Good luck!!

the mondocherry girls xxx

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Flower Recipe...

Recently I purchased a fabulous book called "The Flower Recipe Book" by Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo which I am super impressed with.

Full of stunning photos all beautifully styled, it is very inspirational and yet also do-able. A perfect combination. Love, love, love these anemones...

The recipe format is very clever...

And the photos make me want to find the nearest flower market asap!

How stylish is this pretty arrangement in a glass measuring cylinder?

Have you read this book and tried out any of the ideas? Let me know what you thought.

Joy x

Monday, July 1, 2013

displaying children's art...

In our latest post for Life InStyle blog we talk about some of our favourite ways to display children's art. Pop over here to read.

What do you do with all the paintings, box collage and handwriting samples that come home from school or kindy?

the mondocherry girls xxx

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

an embroidered cushion makeover...

A little while ago I was browsing in a local Op Shop when I happened to spy the most gorgeous embroidered cushion. The cushion itself was dirty and stained, but I couldn't take my eyes of the fabulous flowers on the embroidery and so I snapped it up for just a few dollars.  It has been sitting in my cupboard waiting for a makeover (hands up anyone else with a backlog of projects hiding away somewhere!) but I finally washed, ironed and unpicked it and stitched it on to one of our signature piped linen cushions. Now all fresh and new, it has found a home on this chair and I absolutely love it!

Joy x