Thursday, July 31, 2008

natural art...

When JJ moved into her new home, she discovered this deserted bird nest on the side of her house. It now looks beautiful on her bookshelf. It is gorgeous on its own, but doesn't it look cute with this little bird in it?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


All creative people will know how difficult it is to maintain the balance between being organised and letting the creative juices flow.  Some days the amount of mess we make here has to be seen to be believed. We are constantly looking for ways to contain all our buttons, beads, sequins, threads, fabric, unfinished projects and work in progress.  We found coffee jars to work well for separating button colours - and what a perfect excuse to have another cup while we work!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

makes me smile...

Two things I love -  glass cloches and full-blown roses. They are brightening up my day!

Monday, July 28, 2008

love is all around...

We mondo cherry girls are all collectors.  Susieq has always collected blue and white china and four leaf clovers (which she manages to find in the strangest places), cb has a major obsession with snowflakes which she has collected from all over the world (here for a photo), and JJ enjoys collecting hearts. Here are a selection of hearts from around her house.  Hope you are feeling the love!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

blues and greens...

Hope you are having a lovely weekend. Here is another one of our new framed pictures to brighten up your day - it definitely proves that the old adage "blue and green should never be seen" has exceptions.

A close up of some of the beading that really makes this piece sparkle.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

something we love...

We love having little girls! Don't get me wrong, we adore our boys, but there is something about baby girl's clothes that is just so special.  Recently, there have been some really gorgeous dresses in beautiful fabrics and classic styles in the shops. We wish they came in our size too!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

perfect patterns...

Susieq moved to Dubai a few months ago and we are really missing her.  For someone who loves nature as much as she does, Dubai has been a big adjustment. In the area in which she is living there is no greenery to be seen.  However, that has not stopped susieq from seeking beauty in other things.  She recently sent us these photos of these amazing patterns found on buildings in Dubai. Don't you think they would be fantastic inspiration for fabric design? They would make great wrapping paper too!

Monday, July 21, 2008

party time...

Here are some photos from my daughter's butterfly party.  A great time was had by all - even me!  Children's parties go so fast.  So much planning and preparation, and then a couple of hours and it is all over.  The necklace threading craft was a hit (organised by daughter number one, bottom centre), as was the fabulous puppet show performed by my hubby and two sons.  And I expect we will still be finding the butterflies we hid for the treasure hunt in December!  The only meltdown of the day was from the party girl (pictured top left), who was upset that she had stood on the wrong flower in a game of musical flowers. Understandable when you are just four. 

The fabulous butterflies in the photos were from Etsy site Clear Cut Crafts. We stuck them everywhere, all one hundred of them!  My children made the butterfly shaped 'freckles' (chocolate shapes with sprinkles), and the party bags were filled with various butterfly goodies.  

All the party guests arrived with butterfly wings, except for my littlest daughter (centre right) who had to make do with ladybird wings. It is no fun being the youngest!

Friday, July 18, 2008

a snapshot from our homes...

In case you haven't worked it out yet, mondo cherry consists of three women.  JJ and I are sisters, and susieq is our Mum.  I know that many people would struggle to work with their immediate family, especially in a creative business, but we actually find it quite easy as we have very similar tastes. This is an asset when we are purchasing fabric, working out the best way to bead, or designing  a new product.  However it can be somewhat disconcerting. Take this flower as an example.  There I was very pleased with my purchase, admiring the way it fitted in so well with my bedroom decor, when I turned up at JJ's house for a morning of work to find exactly the same flower on her dining table.  I shouldn't have been surprised.  It is not unknown for us to buy the same clothes and handbags and the three of us all own the same pair of shoes - sometimes embarrassing when we go out together!  

I hope you enjoy your weekend. Two days to the butterfly party and counting...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I'm dreaming of butterflies...

Time for another party at my place - this time it is my just-turned-four year old's butterfly party. I spent last night sewing party bags from felt with beaded butterflies on the front.  Next job is to make matching hairclips.  I know that I am creating work for myself, but I really enjoy the challenge of making decorations and take home goodies to match a theme. I sometimes think that the job of the celebrity party planner would be great fun - spending other peoples' money and really being able to run with your imagination. I'm not so sure that I would enjoy dealing with some of the clients and solving the inevitable problems though! In reality, five parties a year is enough for me.

Here are the butterfly invitations before I wrote the party details on them. 

Monday, July 14, 2008

on all things handmade...

Here is the finished product...another hand stitched and beaded fabric artwork.  Each piece we make is unique.  Even if we use the same fabric again, it will be cut and sewn differently.  That is one of the special things we love about hand crafted products - as well as the little imperfections that show that something has been made with a creative touch and not simply mass produced.  We mondo cherry girls love the little flaws that make things real.  Except, however, in our own work!  All three of us spend hours agonising over whether our work is perfectly straight and symmetrical.  It means that everything we do takes twice as long and we often pull things totally apart and start again just so we feel it is perfect.  We know it is hypocritical and it drives us nuts!

Friday, July 11, 2008

work in progress...

Here is a new piece we have been working on. It already has a lovely new home to go to.  I will post pictures of the finished product soon - I need to practice using my camera's new polarizer!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


This evening I feel like curling up in front a crackling fire with a hot chocolate and a great book. Or maybe with a glass of red wine and a laptop to explore all the archived posts on my favourite blogs.  Which would you choose?

These beautiful candles are the closest JJ could get to a roaring fire... 

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

all about blue...

We are currently working on some blue projects which has been a real pleasure as we all adore blue.  We had these bowls of sequins laid out on our coffee table while we worked, where they looked beautiful until we found my one year old eating them...  Oh, the conditions we work under!

For more blue inspiration have a look at the gorgeous blog All Things Blue

Monday, July 7, 2008

do you believe?...

I spoke too soon about wonderful winter weather!  We had pouring rain, strong winds and cool temperatures.  Not such good weather for a long weekend at the beach but we managed to have fun nevertheless.

The highlight of the holiday for the children was their fairy encounter.  Just outside the unit where we stay there is this tree, which we have suspected for some time, is the home of fairies.

The four big kids decided to write the fairies a letter and we crept down in the pouring rain with their notes wrapped up safely in a plastic bag, leaving them high up in the branches where they wouldn't get blown away.

The next morning, the children rushed down, still in pajamas and ugg boots, to find that their letters were gone and in their place, also wrapped safely in a bag to protect it from the rain, was a miniature letter from the fairies with very, very small writing.  The fairies very kindly answered all the questions the kids had asked (they are tree fairies for the curious) including the really tricky ones such as "is fairy time different?" (their time is similar to ours but did you know that fairy clocks have four hands?)

The children did not make contact with the fairies again during our brief stay, but are certainly looking forward to our next visit.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I do like to be beside the seaside...

We are off for a few days at the beach to make the most of the beautiful winter weather we have been having.  Back on Monday.  Enjoy your weekends!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

favourites from Etsy - tqb designs

I wanted to share with you the beautiful jewellery made by Lisa Gastelum from tqb designs.  Her gorgeous necklaces, bracelets and earrings all incorporate her handcrafted beaded beads which she makes in  range of gorgeous colours.  We have a lot of beads, using them as we do in our artwork, but Lisa's collection must be amazing. Lisa also creates many of the metal components of her jewellery, making each piece even more unique.

Lisa's Etsy shop is a pleasure to browse through and you can find this very simple and yet very stylish necklace there. 

My very favourite piece though, is this gorgeous necklace in lovely earthy tones (sold unfortunately, but Lisa takes orders).  I will be putting one of these on my birthday list!

Have a look at Lisa's blog for loads more gorgeous photos.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

vintage blocks...

JJ and I took a break from beading today and decided to experiment.  It is amazing how doing something completely different gets the creative juices flowing.  We made these vintage building blocks which look so cute stacked next to an old cabinet of mine that I use for storing keys, sunglasses and all those other things that otherwise end up scattered round the house. My children haven't stopped stacking the blocks all evening.  

I love having a mix of old and new things in my house.  I am not a collector of what I call 'real' antiques, but I love browsing through second hand stores and markets for furniture or accessories that have been pre-loved.  We lived for a while in Melbourne, and I really miss the fantastic Sunday market they have at Camberwell.  You could never predict what you might find there and part of the thrill was getting through the gates at 6am with the traders and dealers and trying to be the first to spot the bargains.  Of course, a hot chocolate and sugary donut was also part of the whole experience!