Friday, November 28, 2008

7 things...

cb and jj

We have received the challenge to reveal 7 things about ourselves from the witty and stylish 
A-M. The challenge goes like this...

Share 7 things about yourself. Challenge 7 other blogs at the end of your post through naming their blog, and post a link to it. Let them know they have been challenged by leaving a comment in their blog.

We are bravely going to give it a shot. As there are three of us at mondo cherry, we are combining a few - you might still need a cuppa to read this post though!

1. To start at the beginning, a very good place to start... Susieq (mum) met Dad at a drive-in cinema in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. They both turned up on motorbikes, parked next to each other and the rest is history. Susieq was teaching over there and Dad was working in a Game Selous  (Game Reserve) as a civil engineer. He has complained that he has never made it in to our blog, so here is a photo of him (far left) in his hippy Uni days.

And here is a photo of susieq in her college days - she was quite a poser then!

2.  Weddings... Susieq flew back to the UK for her very cold January wedding, having left her Mum to do all the organising. She met half of Dad's family for the first time after the ceremony. She then proceeded to get the flu and Dad spent most of the honeymoon playing scrabble with a BBC crew staying in the same hotel.  JJ and I both had hair and make-up disasters on the morning of our weddings. An hour before my wedding we were scrubbing off the clownish make-up that had been applied by a fairly dodgy make up artist who had brought only one shade of foundation for 4 different skin types.  JJ hated the way the hairdresser had done her hair for her wedding so much that half an hour before the car was to leave to take her to the Church she was bending over the bath washing it. Thankfully the veil covered our dodgy styling job!

3. Creativity... All our creativity originates from susieq who was absolutely the ultimate mother. We didn't have any tv until we were teenagers and instead we regularly used to do tie-dying, sewing and paper crafts. She was the one who taught us that if you are going to do something you have to do it properly and that everything looks better with a border. 

4. Food.... JJ and I both have serious chocolate addictions and have been known to raid the cooking chocolate when we have run out of the real stuff.  Susieq does not function unless she has a cup of tea and half a digestive biscuit before getting out of bed. In fact, even a quarter of a biscuit will do.

5.  Collections... too many to list! Susieq, over the years, has collected everything from blue and white china, shells and pressed flowers to the little hotel body lotions and shampoos (she'll hate it that I wrote that!). JJ loves her hearts, bird ornaments and cushions. I have a huge collection of Ravensburger puzzles (up to 1000 pieces only - there has to be limits!) that I have picked up from garage sales and charity shops. Don't know what I am going to do now my cupboard is full.

6. Pregnancy... JJ had to eat up to 5 packets of fruit tingles a day washed down with ginger bear. It was all she felt like for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I put on over 30 kgs while pregnant with each of my five children, which thankfully I have been able to get rid of. That makes a grand total of about 163 kgs which would make me the biggest loser! Susieq had the pleasure of giving birth to JJ and I in Mauritus (I was the only baby born at the Naval Hospital there) and to our little brother in Papua New Guinea under fairly primitive conditions. We didn't keep him locked up like this all the time!

7. Sisters... There is only one thing that has ever made JJ and I come to blows and that is a dolly pushchair. When we were about 6 and 4, Father Christmas gave us each a pushchair for our dolls, one red and white striped and one blue and white striped.  We each think that we were the one that had the blue one. Mysteriously, no photos exist to confirm the true owner and it is still a bone of contention 28 years later!

So there we go. Hope we haven't scared you off, we really are quite normal actually.  

Now to pass this challenge on. Some of you might have done this before, but we would love to learn more about the lovely authors of

Thursday, November 27, 2008

a hanging display...

One of our favourite decorating ideas at the moment is to suspend ornaments in glass vases and jars. It is such a simple thing to do but is very effective, especially when grouped. The possibilites are endless, from displaying natural things (pine cones, shells, and feathers) to jewellery (pretty necklaces would look lovely on a dresser). We have been having a ball using Christmas decorations in a couple of colour schemes - we really could do with a few homes to decorate!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

do you doodle?...

Doodle: (verb) to draw lines, shapes etc. especially when you are bored or thinking about something else. Oxford Dictionary, 2005.

Are you a doodle-er? All three of us are and, funnily enough, some of our doodles are quite similar. We all draw lots of flowers and swirly lines, which apparently indicates that we are romantic with a desire to blossom and possibly slightly obsessive! These doodles are a small sample of susieq's prolific collection (obviously we talk to her on the phone for too long!) - she saves them for future inspiration. If we ever get round to designing our own fabric they will be a great starting point.

What do your doodles say about you? 

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

the art of disguise...

When JJ moved into her house she was not all that thrilled about the light fitting in her dining room. She was, and still is, undecided about whether to replace it with something modern and sculptural or a chandelier type light. So she spent half an hour a couple of weeks ago cutting ovals and then stitching them on the machine. Voila! One much more attractive light! It looks very festive in the day with her Christmas tree, and even more beautiful at night with the light changing on the ovals as they spin around in the breeze. Definitely a cheap and easy way to cover an ugly light fitting (especially if you are renting, when the lights are always hideous and usually very dirty!) Just make sure you can keep the paper a long way from the bulb!

Monday, November 24, 2008

tags galore...

We don't usually work on the weekends, but yesterday we spent the afternoon finishing off an order for Christmas tags after receiving some fabric we had been waiting on. Our wonderful husbands took all 7 children down to the park for a play while we beavered away. It was amazing how much we got done without constantly stopping to change nappies, clean up messes, feed hungry children and break up fights! 

We really enjoy creating these beaded fabric tags as, although they are a lot of work for something so small, it is nice to work on little things that are finished fairly quickly! We are making these to order, so please contact us by email if you are interested.

Friday, November 21, 2008

rainbow books...


My children have been a bit frightened of the unpredictable and very fierce storms that we have been having in Brisbane over the last week. So, to take their mind of the thunder during one of these storms, we decided to rearrange the bookcase in the room my three daughters share. I've seen the colour coordinated look on  Flickr and in blogs and always thought it was maybe a bit obsessive, but I love the way it has turned out! It has really brightened up the whole room. My 4 year old especially loves it and she can put the books away by herself much more easily than when I tried to group books by author or type. The children had an absolute ball doing this although they weren't very happy with those publishers that had printed more than one colour on the spine of these picture books. I feel inspired to tackle the other bookshelves in the house now - a much more satisfying job than the ironing!

Giveaway update: And the winner is.....Anne from the city sage who has a gorgeous blog full of beautiful interiors, enviable fashion and accessories, seriously beautiful wedding inspiration and all sorts of other interesting categories! She is very generously donating it to Catherine.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


It is our 100th post (hooray!) and we are celebrating by having a work-free day, eating cup cakes and giving away one of our button pictures (mondo cherry girls love a good freebie!)

We have had such fun writing this blog - who knew that blogging could bring so much satisfaction. Sometimes it can be challenging writing on behalf of all three of us, but being so similar we often come up with the same ideas. We are just so blessed that we enjoy each other's company so much. Thanks for all your comments, we love reading them and appreciate the feedback on our work. We feel completely chuffed to have recieved so much encouragement.

Before we started mondo cherry we had absolutely know idea that such an addictive blogging world existed. It is wonderful that, although we may have never met, we feel like we know so many of you through your daily musings. We love checking out your blogs and are constantly inspired by what we read.

We have choosen this black, beige and cream button art as our giveaway as we feel it will suit almost any home... and it is one of our favourites! To be in with a chance, just leave a comment below - open to all, bloggers or not, interstate or overseas (we will organise postage). We will select a winner on Friday at midday, Brisbane time, by some highly random technical means.

PS. Mum, we have saved you the yellow cup cake. Not too sure how long it will last so you had better hurry back!

Monday, November 17, 2008

white hot...

We all have a love affair with white (especially me, who has been known to put at the bottom of my Christmas wish list "and anything white"!). While we often dabble with adding different colour into our homes, we always alternate with white, especially in the hot summer months. White makes our homes feel less cluttered and more serene.

We have been creating with white today using thick, textured artists paper and stitching in this wreath design. We feel as though it is not quite complete, so we are going to leave it for a few days before we frame it to see if there is anything we need to add.

Friday, November 14, 2008

blackboard tags...

JJ received these gorgeous blackboard place markers for her birthday from susieq, who found them in her favourite store in Dubai. JJ is planning to use them on Saturday night for a dinner with friends - in typical fashion she has planned the place settings before the menu! We have been dreaming up lots of uses for these tags. Here are a few ideas, let us know if you can think of any more.
The trouble with this idea is that we need to be willing to part with one!
To do this properly we need lots more (hint, hint, susieq)
Unfortunataly, there are no weekends on this calendar!

PS. Help desk fixed problems :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

a glitch....

Well it seems as though the technology goblins have visited both JJ and I over the last few days, and we are completely unable to upload any photos. (I wonder if it is the same goblins that have been responsible for delaying the tooth fairy's visit?) Complaints to our help desk (my techo husband) have so far fallen on deaf (ie far too busy) ears. Consequently, I include with this post a random photo of some intricately painted shutters that susieq took on her travels around Dubai. They are very beautiful though! Hopefully, posts will resume as normal tomorrow...

Monday, November 10, 2008

mad for matryoshkas...

We are loving the recent revival for all things folk inspired, especially the matryoshka or babushka dolls, which has been reminding JJ and I of our childhoods (yep, both '70's children!) Mum (susieq) had a set of what we used to call Russian Dolls, and they were always a novelty to take apart. Following the trend, we decided to make some art featuring these gorgeous dolls, which we can't show you due to a camera cable that has decided to suddenly be difficult.

We also made these cute matryoshka tags in our vintage style, and these little decorations for some markets that we are taking part in leading up to Christmas.

For some absolutely gorgeous matryoshka soft dolls that would make  a little (or big) girl very happy, visit the lovely Ravenhill's Etsy shop and blog. We love her work.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

a tree for all seasons...

Continuing in the tree theme, here are some Christmas cards that we have just posted on Etsy. We love the funky shape of this tree which has been screen printed onto a white background (unfortunately we can't take the credit for the screen printing - the beautiful work of Australian designer Saffron Craig). We have stitched on our signature sequins and beads to add that all important Christmas sparkle. We think these make very stylish cards to give to someone special as they wouldn't look out of place when the the baubles and tinsel are packed away.

We were just finishing sewing these cards when susieq emailed through a photo of a beautiful Autumn tree that she saw while walking in The Lake District - some people have all the fun :) 

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I have been driving around Brisbane feeling rather tense for the last month or so and couldn't work out why. It finally dawned on me that it was because the spectacular Jacaranda trees have been in bloom. Now, it has been a long time since my University days (Science/Law - what was I thinking!), but when I was studying the general feeling around the campus was that if you hadn't started cramming by the time the Jacarandas bloomed you were in deep trouble (or words to that effect). Even though I have no essays to write, no tutorials to prepare for and no exams to study for, I still feel as though I should have my head in a text book! So glad those days are over. It is a shame that these beautiful trees have such a negative association in my mind as they are just the most amazing blue/mauve/purple colour and they look so lovely against a really blue sky.

Monday, November 3, 2008

an apple for a teacher...

Last Friday was World Teacher's Day here in Australia, and this is a somewhat belated post to celebrate fantastic teachers everywhere. With JJ and susieq both being early childhood teachers (one on a rather extended maternity leave and one retired), we know how hard teachers work and that it is not just a 9 to 5 job. 

Our kids today are learning in a world full of technology which is a far cry from the days of sitting at an old school desk like this one and writing with ink. I bought this desk for my boys at a great antique shop in Melbourne and many a missing toy has been found under the desk's flip top lid! 

We've posted previously about how much we enjoy having a break from our "work" every now and then to create something quick, easy and often useless. These three little apples come under this category, but we think they will look cute hanging from a Christmas tree. 

My four oldest children went off to school and kindy on Friday clutching handwritten notes for their teachers - they are all having a wonderful year with super enthusiastic teachers - the note pictured above was from my 4 year old, Chloe. She wrote it with her best 'concentrating' face!!!