Tuesday, June 30, 2009

many hands...

The well known saying 'many hands make light work' does not apply in school holidays! While I love not having to pack lunch boxes and rush my 5 in and out the car (JJ's 2 kids are too small for school yet), there is no denying that trying to get some mondo work done becomes a huge task. At any one time it seems as though someone has either hurt themselves, is hungry or needs a nappy change! Lots of food helps enormously though.

And the kids aren't the only ones to feel better after eating something yummy. Having seen a photo and rave review of a Macadamia Prune and Port Cake on Millie's lovely blog, and following the link to fellow Queenslander Anna's blog for the old family recipe - thanks Anna!) JJ cooked it last week for some friends. It was such a hit I insisted she make it again for me to try. Describing it as delicious doesn't do it nearly enough justice - served warm with cream on the side it is divine and one of the best home made cakes I have ever had. The best bit is that because of the prunes and the port it is quite an adult cake, not one we needed to share with the kids. Hooray!
The combination of 7 children playing and 2 adults cutting and sewing, has made it look as though a hurricane has swept through JJ's spotless house (many hands make a huge mess) and she is having heart palpitations.... Better go and start tidying up!

Friday, June 26, 2009

pretty pebbles part 2...

A couple of months ago we blogged these white pebbles that we decorated with black pen. We have been meaning to do the same with black pebbles but it has taken us a while to find a white pen that would work on their slightly shiny surface. A trip to an art supply store solved the problem, and we have been procrastinating from our mountain of work by drawing lacy designs. We think the end result looks a bit doily-ish. These are so much fun to do - why don't you try them this weekend!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

scarlet, rouge, russet, ruby...

Whatever you like to call it, red has been adding a bit of warmth to our winter days. The odd cushion here and there, a red bedspread on my daughter's bed and a bright red necklace even managed to brighten up the very foggy morning we had today. We have been working with this beautiful red tree fabric over the last week and it makes us smile every time we look at it. Are you inspired by red this season?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

first photos...

OK, so I may be fairly biased, but are these not the most gorgeous little feet? I have now had my big scan and everything with bub (now 21 weeks) is just where it should be. Always a huge relief. Having seen my little poppet kicking and sucking his/her thumb (no, I didn't find out!) it all feels much more real and very, very exciting.

I had big hopes for the amazing 3D photos you can now get, but baby was being very difficult in snuggling up to the placenta, (hopefully not a indicator of personality!), and so the photos make it look remarkably like an alien and really rather peculiar. Unfortunately not something the other kids can take in for "Show and Tell".

Friday, June 19, 2009

waiting for the elves...

JJ and I gave our scissors a good workout this morning cutting out all the tiny pieces for these soon-to-be cards made from portions of vintage illustrations. The matryoshkas and trees are favourite designs, but the little soldiers are new today - we know from experience how hard it can be to find original cards for boys. We were feeling very proud of our accomplishment as we lined them all up until we reminded ourselves that the most labour-intensive part of the cards, the stitching detail, was yet to be done.

So we left them out like this hoping that those very talented elves from that lovely old story "The Elves and The Shoemaker" might pay a visit tonight and finish the cards off for us. We know they haven't been seen for a while but we think that these might make a nice change from shoes, with the card being easier to sew than leather, and we would be happy to make a couple of little outfits as a thank you for their work. What do you think our chances are?!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

not all the usual tourist photos...

While life has been fairly normal here at mondo cherry headquarters, Mum (susieq) has been over to Italy. While there she had the world's most expensive iced coffee (maybe the strongest too), searched for interesting fabric shops without any luck, and developed a fascination for Italian balconies.

Wonder what is through this gate?

Love the 'one for him, one for her' singlets!

A pretty balcony.

Wonderful summer fruit and veg from the markets.

So different from the way we live here in Brisbane - I would love to experience life in this town.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

grown up nature table...

On our walks and bike rides over the weekend we collected some beautiful seed pods, pine cones, bark and grasses from by the side of the road. Arranged in glass jars, vases and cloches they make a gorgeous natural display which reminds us of the nature tables in our primary school classrooms - just a bit more grown up!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

easy peasy envelopes...

Making envelopes is a very satisfying and surprisingly quick and easy project. With all the bills through our letter boxes, it would definitely brighten our day to receive a pretty/colourful home-made envelope instead. We have made the ones we photographed today in two different styles - plain card on the outside with a patterned paper insert or patterned on the outside with a plain insert. The latter could do with a plain sticker for the address to keep the post office happy.
The instructions are very basic. There are downloadable patterns on the internet, however we simply opened up an existing envelope and traced the pattern on to our card and paper. We cut the contrasting insert slightly smaller and glued the two together. Fold the sides in and tape three of them together with double sided tape (or glue). Easy!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

a few precious things...

JJ loves a clutter free home and I am often in awe of the way she manages to give away or chuck things that she no longer needs. However, she is a sentimental hoarder and finds it almost impossible to part with handmade gifts and special cards and letters. Most of these can be found hidden away in her garage where she has boxes filled with precious items like her first pair of ballet shoes, her high school homework diary and plaited friendship bracelets from her primary school days.

There are, however, a few sentimental items that JJ likes to have displayed around the house. Here are a few special things that bring back lots of memories and make her smile.

  • painting of roses by a local artist in Santa Margherita, Italy where she spent her honeymoon
  • her daughter Sienna's first pair of shoes
  • jewelled make up compact that belonged to our Grandma who passed away when we were small
  • glass hearts that were a gift from a special friend
  • her silver bracelet from when she was a baby - so tiny!
Do you hang on to sentimental items? If so, do you keep them hidden away (embarrassing high school diaries would definitely fall in to this category for me!) or are they displayed for all to see?

Friday, June 5, 2009

calling all cup cake lovers...

New, freshly baked, birthday cards hot out of the mondo cherry 'oven'. Made from our ever growing collection of vintage illustrations and detailed with stitching, these cards are seriously a labour of love. Will be added to our website over the weekend - a long one if you live in Australia, hooray!
Also, a huge, belated thank you to Steph from Bondville for featuring mondo cherry on her awesome blog of hip and stylish Australian products - we are so chuffed! Visit her here.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

if only...

Pregnancy does dreadful things to my tastebuds. My most craved for snack at the moment is something bought from a drive-through and I even find my car pulling in to one without any kids around! At least JJ is staying healthy by stocking her children's play kitchen with the felt version of fries. They are the latest addition to her felt food creations (see here for her donuts) and they are amazingly realistic. If only the real ones were as fat free as these!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

flashbacks from flowers...

I was thrilled to receive the gorgeous painted tumblers I bought from Brown Button Trading, the delightful Kimberlee's new-ish shop. I had put them on my list of ideas for a Mother's Day present, but although I had little notes scattered around the house I was given breakfast in bed instead. So, I did what anyone would do and went and bought them for myself!

The beautiful colours and folksy design remind me of the holidays we spent in Switzerland when JJ and I were young. We used to visit in the spring when the wild flowers were just incredible and if I close my eyes I can picture the spectacular scenery, cold mountain streams and perfectly stacked woodpiles and can even hear the cow bells and the 'daggy' songs we used to sing (sorry Dad!) as we hiked along. Suiseq bought us matching blouses with flower embroidery which we were very proud of, and it is extra special that they have lasted so well they are now being worn by my daughters.

Monday, June 1, 2009

priceless art...

JJ has just added a new piece of artwork to her shelves full of black and white photos, vases and art - an original and very cute drawing by her 3 year old son. She would like for me to assure you all that she does not have one eye very much larger than the other, nor is her hair looking nearly that lanky! Apart from that it is a very good likeness, although I am yet to see her ride a skateboard! Children's art always looks extra special when framed properly and displayed amongst other more 'serious' art and it certainly adds a lot of character to JJ's wall.