Wednesday, March 31, 2010

the miracle of white paint...

After...
Before...

My husband did a bit of painting on the weekend, transforming a coat rack and 'home corner' dresser from drab to fab. While he had the paint spray gun out I passed him an old spice rack that I picked up at Vinnies (charity shop) a few weeks ago (far too fiddly to paint with brushes) and it scrubbed up beautifully. A few pretty pink weedy flowers from the side of the road displayed in the spice bottles completed the makeover and made me smile. It looked a little wedding-y but pretty all the same. I thought about filling the two layers with Easter eggs for the next week but didn't think my will power was up to the challenge of having them on display! How are the rest of you chocoholics coping with all the temptation out there?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Easter decorations...


I can't get my head around the fact that it is less than a week until Easter. It seems to have come round extra quickly this year and I am not all all prepared. JJ, Susieq (yes, she's back for a couple of weeks, hooray!) and I did make these vintage Easter decorations for a special order last week, but my Easter decorations are not yet out on display. Let's hope the Easter bunny is more organised or there will be six disappointed children at my place!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

my entrance room...


When we bought our house in April last year, a big attraction was the two entrance rooms. We have a downstairs mud room which opens off the garage and is home to school bags, baskets of shoes, junk mail and all the things that get carted in and out of the car everyday. It often looks like a dump, but only we get to see it! Our front door opens into a much calmer entrance room and is thankfully the room visitors see first. It is actually one of my favourite rooms in the house. It has a lovely green aspect and is one of the brightest rooms in the house with windows on two sides.

We have a big comfy armchair here and a bookcase overflowing with everything from Agatha Christie, Georgette Heyer, and French Women Don't Get Fat (mine) to J.R.R. Tolkien, Valerio Massimo Manfredi and Principle Centered Leadership (my husband's).

This room is also where my antique school desk has ended up in one corner as a quiet place to do homework and where my clip boards have made their home with their ever changing display. It looks very bare in the photo below, but usually has one or more children perched on the seat and paper and pens everywhere!


One of my favourite things about this area is that it showcases many reminders of some of the places we have been lucky enough to live and visit. You can see the orang-utan painting which we bought when we visited a centre for orphaned and abused orang-utans in Sabah, while we were living in Brunei - we had one come right up to us to say hello which the kids loved. There are also 'coffee table books' from Budapest, Sydney and Melbourne which bring back so many great memories when we flick through them. And did you spy the pile of Pottery Barn books? I've spent many pleasurable hours leafing through those!



Wednesday, March 17, 2010

a buzz from butterflies...


As we sit around a table creating our artworks, surrounded by vintage paper, beautiful fabric, scissors and mess, we often wonder what sort of house they will be going to and what rooms they will be hung in. We speculate about whether they will be bought to compliment an existing colour scheme (eg to match a sofa or bed cover), or if they are going to be the start of a whole new decorating theme.

Well, while blog surfing yesterday, we visited Anna Spiro's Absolutely Beautiful Things, and we were very excited to see one of our yellow butterfly artworks (similar to the one shown above) included in a wall of art in the home of one of Anna's clients. The cottage has been given a facelift with lots of white paint and the ecclectic mix of art adds loads of colour and interest. Anna has promised to post more photos of the finished house so soon, so make sure you find time to visit her here and have a look.

Monday, March 15, 2010

fabulous felt food...


Fresh strawberries, choc chip, jam drop and iced biscuits, a cherry tart, bow tie pasta and a fried egg on toast... They might look good enough to eat, but I don't recommend you try them! These are just a small selection of the gorgeous felt food that JJ has been sewing for her children to play 'home corner' with, and she assures me that they are very simple to make. Because felt doesn't fray, and the rough surface is very forgiving of less than perfect stitching, you don't have to be super neat. Most craft shops sell felt by the square as well as the metre so you can buy a small amount of a few different colours to get started. With a bit of stuffing (or clean tissues!) to pad out the gastronomic delights, and a few beads, you are only limited by your cravings! You might notice from the photos above that JJ definitely has a sweet tooth!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

new for the market...


We have been so busy working on our new range of coloured blooms (coming soon!) that we left it to the very last minute to create some new cards to take to the Boutique Markets tomorrow. We really love making our cards as each one is like a little artwork in itself and no two are ever the same. Pictured above are our beaded fabric cards, which we hand stitch with sequins and beads to add a bit of sparkle, and shown below are a selection of the our Easter bunny cards, created from original vintage illustrations.


Hope to see you at Portside tomorrow if you live in the Brisbane area!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

a corner of my living room, before and after...


When we first moved into our house 9 months ago, all of the rooms on the upper level were painted quite a dark blue. It wasn't an unpleasant colour, but there was just too much of it (it made the smallish rooms look very dark) and it was peeling and chipping badly so it had to go. Most of the rooms have received a liberal coating of white paint, but the living room needed something to accentuate the panelling so we also used Dulux White Duck which is a lovely linen shade, not too beige and not too grey.

The white Ikea sofas are surviving all that my tribe of six children throws at them. They get filthy but the covers wash very well (even though getting them on and off is better than a gym workout!) and the white provides a great base for the colourful Bungalow cushions. In between orders, we have been busy making ourselves each a set of our colourful vintage butterfly artworks (available in our shop)and my six are finally up on the wall. I love the way they bring out all the different colours in the cushions and that the most dominant colour changes depending on what other accessories or flowers are displayed.

I'll have to show you other angles of the room another day - when I took out the camera only this corner looked tidy and the rest was buried under piles of toys, books, homework and other bits and pieces. All part of the joy of having lots of kids!

..and for comparison, here is what the room looked like before!


Clare

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

mosquitoes...


It is one of those weeks at my house... rushed mornings looking for last minute things, mess everywhere, appliances that break when they are most needed... you know, I'm sure. To top it all off we have lots of mossies which seem to particularly love the kids and I, so this sign outside Sassafras, a popular cafe in Paddington, seemed very appropriate!

Friday, March 5, 2010

a heart-shaped leaf...


Sometimes you stumble across the most beautiful things when you aren't even looking. While JJ was out for a walk with her children yesterday (one of those walks were you have to stop and watch every single ant on the pavement!), she found this perfect heart-shaped leaf on a bush by the side of the road. Just perfect, and the only one on the shrub shaped like this as far as she could see. This simple leaf has inspired us to spend more time appreciating beauty in the little things this weekend.

the mondocherry girls

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

raindrops keep falling...


It has been very, very wet in Brisbane today. While JJ's youngest danced in the rain with her new rainbow umbrella, JJ and I had a productive morning working on our new bright range of artworks. Such a lot of colour certainly made up for the grey skies. The sound of pattering raindrops on my roof made a very relaxing background sound to work to, and although we would have preferred to be curled up on the sofa with a mug of hot chocolate and a good book, the feeling of having accomplished a lot was almost as good.

Too many raindrops though make me worried. Last year's flooding of the lower level of my house has made me very wary of this much rain. We are watching the radar closely and have sand bagged ourselves in...

Monday, March 1, 2010

a sneak peak...


This morning we have written a post over on the Boutique Markets' blog... we would love you to come and visit us there!