Thursday, March 31, 2011

new chair and expensive hair...


Last weekend I decided to be very brave and allow my hair stylist to chop a decent amount off the length of my hair, instead of the trim I usually request. I was also feeling like a change in the colour department - most of my life I have been various shades of blonde - and so bravely decided to go darker. I love brunette hair on other people and the beautiful shine that you don't ever seem to quite get with blonde hair, but I was not at all prepared for the shock of seeing myself with dark brown hair. It is amazing how much the way your hair looks can affect your mood! When I still couldn't get used to the 'new me' after a few days I booked another appointment, and a small fortune later, I am back to the way I was. I am feeling a little guilty about making such an expensive mistake so there will be some very cheap meals (anyone fancy potatoes again?!) coming out of my kitchen this week.

So my hair might not be gorgeous, but my new chair is! It arrived today from the beautiful Mandalay Designs in Armadale, which is full of the most gorgeous homewares and fabrics. The original chair was paired with raspberry coloured cushions, but I feel I have been going a bit overboard with pink just lately, so I ordered this green instead. I love how fresh it looks paired with my Ada and Darcy lampshade and cushions.


I'm hopping on a plane tomorrow for a very quick trip back to Brisbane to catch up with family and friends. Can't wait!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

butterflies and flowers...


As well as creating our artworks from damaged vintage children's books and old maps, we have recently launched a new range after we discovered some gorgeous old botanical books that needed a new lease on life. These botanical butterfly artworks are available in pinks, blues and purples, whites, oranges and yellows, mauves, and reds in our large sized artworks, and in vibrant mixed colours in our extra-large size. They are backed on descriptive text from the same books and are all hand-cut, layered and stitched - the mondocherry signature! You can find some of these butterfly artworks on our website now and the rest will be added shortly. Please email us if you are interested in the colourways yet to be listed in our shop.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

that's us in the paper...


A huge thanks to Sarah Rossiter for featuring mondocherry in her Homemade column in the Sunday Mail. The photo shows me and my 3 year old, Jemima, posing in my workroom. I have been eagerly waiting to see how it turned out as the morning the photographer came was crazy. It was the horrible hot, 35 degree day we had last week and, having been told he would turn up at 12:30, I spent the morning in my oldest dress with my hair bundled in a bun trying to do some jobs and stay cool. When the photographer actually turned up at 10:55 I panicked, trying to throw on a bit of make-up, get dressed and do my hair all the space of 5 minutes! Then he needed a desk lamp turned on, so I was on my hands and knees under the table trying to plug it in and not get too dishevelled. While the camera was snapping away I was getting knocks on the door, the phone was ringing and I trying to stop my toddler from standing up in her high chair. No wonder my smile looks a bit forced... Bet the celebrity photo shots are easier than mine was!!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

everything looks better in glass...

When we look around our homes we realise that we use a lot of glass jars, vases and cloches to contain and display everything from mundane necessities to the purely decorative. Glass just seems to make whatever it holds look prettier and more appealing. Here are some examples from all three of our homes...

Yummy looking cereals at Joy's house...


Cotton buds in a cut-glass jam pot at Clare's...


Crafty supplies in Joy's playroom...


Vintage cotton reels and old books in Clare's dining room...


Bits of old lace, doilies, buttons and white tags create another vignette at Clare's...


More Moccona jars (the coffee we used to drink before we got our coffee machines!) keep hair ribbons and clips tidy for Joy's little girl...


Sue's gorgeous display of shells collected from the beach near her unit in Dubai and from the shores of Oman - there was a 'white-out' when she took the picture so her spectacular view is a little hard to see...


This sea glass, also collected by Sue, almost glows in the light from the window...



What do you keep in or under glass?

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

on a rainy day...


It has been a gloomy, wet day here in Melbourne, but it was nothing a few pretty flowers and cosy candles couldn't fix. Is it just me, or does the downpour intensify at school drop off and pick up time?!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

my studio space...


I've been having a good tidy up in my mondocherry workroom so I thought it was a good time to take some photos. I'm lucky enough to have a great space to spread out in the 'sleepout' (converted verandah) of my Queenslander home. It has a whole wall of windows, so it is always lovely and light, and as it is just off the dining room and main bedroom, I am still part of the action and can supervise homework, keep an eye on toddlers playing and hopefully not burn whatever is in the oven. I do have to share the room with our office area, which is very well used by my hubby and by our bigger kids, so the desks (old doors on trestles) are usually never this tidy!

Here is my current mood board - always a work in progress...


The room's lovely green aspect makes for an inspiring room...


Colour coding my buttons makes me happy...


More colour coding - I love the spines of these old Ladybird books...


Heart decorations on some branches in front of an old box filled with Chinese coin purses in pretty colours...


Here is the useful part of my desk. Because we hand-cut all our designs with scissors, I have quite a few different sizes for different jobs. Every now and then I buy myself some nice new pens and pencils and within a week they have all disappeared! Gotta love those kids...


Boxes of blooms, hearts and butterflies arranged by colour. It can take a long time to find the prefect combination of illustrations for an artwork and we try to have designs pre-cut to give us a starting point...


A new black, grey and white petal artwork waiting to be assembled...


I keep the main stash of our damaged vintage books at my place (it is too hard for Mum to take many back to Dubai and Joy doesn't have much space at her place). Some have lost their spines or are missing pages, others have stains and yellowing and many have ripped pages and are drawn all through. We love being able to rescue as many of their beautiful illustrations as we can...


This is an opening through to the stairs and living areas. These white trees fill in the space enough to detract from the mess..


Packaged cards ready to take to market - beaded fabric on the left and stitched vintage on the right. Each one is different...


Hope you enjoyed the tour! Since I have a few orders to complete, it won't be this tidy for long...


Thursday, March 17, 2011

ready for the tooth fairy...


My gorgeous niece, Chloe (Clare's second eldest daughter) is 6 years old and going through the stage of losing her baby teeth. She hasn't had much luck so far - one of her teeth fell out in the ocean while she was swimming and another rolled out from under her pillow as she was going to bed and disappeared into thin air! So I thought I would send her something special for the next visit from the tooth fairy which should be any day now...


This idea for a fairy terrarium started with a champagne cork which has a great mushroom shape. I used a gathering stitch to cover the top of the cork with felt, but you could just as easily paint it. Chloe will be able to put her next tooth under the magic toadstool and leave the jar beside her bed where it will be perfectly safe until the tooth fairy comes. Just don't let her go swimming, Clare!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

making it pretty...


I have been feeling pretty tired lately, and I think part of the problem is that I haven't been drinking enough water. Because I know that I am motivated by pretty things, I have set up a little table with a beautiful cross-stitched tablecloth I bought at a garage sale and filled a 50 cent op-shop glass jug with cold water and a couple of slices of lemon. The aim is to go through several jug-fulls a day... and hopefully be rewarded with a bit more energy and fresher looking skin.

Making things pretty works in other areas of my life too - I always get through more of my to-do list if I write it on beautiful paper rather than an odd scrap, pretty pegs encourage me to hang out the washing rather than cram it in the dryer, and having attractive cleaning products results in a better attitude to cleaning the bathroom! What do you 'pretty up' to help you get the job done?

Friday, March 11, 2011

granny squares...


I learnt to crochet when I was young but hadn't picked up a crochet hook for 20 years or so, until last week while Mum was here. She refreshed my memory on how to make a simple granny square.... and now I'm hooked! All you talented crochet-ers out there will be cringing at my very wonky stitches, but I hope they will improve with time. I love how portable a craft it is and how each granny square is like a quick little project in itself.

I've hung my first attempts around my daughter's lampshade. Being just 3 years old means that she is a very uncritical recipient!

What have you crocheted lately? Any tips for me?




Tuesday, March 8, 2011

hurray for the hydrangeas...


I'm having one of those weeks where the days whizz by with hardly any of my to-do list getting crossed off (actually, I'm a tick-er not a cross-er, but that is beside the point!) With my washing pile growing higher by the second, more dirty dishes than my dishwasher can cope with, and the floors rapidly disappearing under toys and drawings of my very prolific little artists, I feel as though I'm on the verge of totally losing control of the housework.

Luckily for my sanity, there are still one area of calm in the house. These beautiful hydrangeas are making me happy every time I walk past them - how gorgeous is that blue and green combination? Definitely proof that the old adage that those two colours should never be seen is false.

Hope your week is so far less chaotic than mine!


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

new decorating books...


It has been so lovely having Mum (Sue) around for a couple of weeks, over on holiday from Dubai. She has made lots of cups of tea, worked her way through my ironing pile, and has been a huge help with the morning rush of getting the kids off to kindergarten. Mostly though, I have just been enjoying having her around to chat to.

Although we have spent a lot of time doing mondocherry work, we have also been visiting some of Melbourne's fantastic shops and cafes. This morning we made a last minute decision to go to the one shop our men most detest....IKEA. It may not be listed in any tour guide as one of Melbourne's tops shops, but it is a useful one nevertheless. We were impressed to find these two new decorating books, "Love for Textiles" and "Beloved Homes", both full of beautiful images and inspiring interiors.


If you are anything like me, you will know how hard it is to walk through the IKEA 'market place' without adding a few bits and bobs to your trolley. This cute little green vase was just too sweet to walk past!


What ended up in your bag on your last visit to IKEA?