Tuesday, September 27, 2011

two bunches of flowers...

The kids and I took a walk down to our local deli/fruit and veg shop this morning and I came away with these beautiful ranunculus which were a bargain at $7 for 2 bunches. I don't remember flowers being as cheap in Brisbane as they are down here in Melbourne - all that cold weather and extra rain is worth it for a house full of colour!

Monday, September 26, 2011

through the door - grey and yellow...

I love the versatility of my grey and white bedroom. I often keep the colours very neutral and just add deeper grey tones or white textured items for interest. Sometimes, though, I like to change the look by adding colour. Purples and lavenders look beautiful, pink always goes well and blue is a classic addition, but I have recently jazzed things up a bit by adding pops of yellow - perfect for spring. Grey and yellow work really well together and the white furniture and bedlinen keeps the room looking light.

Are you a serial-room-changer too? What new colours have you added to your bedroom lately?

Bed - Laura Ashley, Chest of drawers and curtains - IKEA, Grey throw - Country Road, Zinc letter - Ici et la, Bedlinen - Bed Bath N Table, Zinc heart - du Monde, Lamp base - Freedom, Lamp shades -K-Mart, Artwork - mondcherry

Thursday, September 22, 2011

spring blossoms...

Although it has been a little sad to return home from such a wonderful tropical holiday with family, it was very welcoming to be greeted by these beautiful spring blossoms which had bloomed while I was away. So pretty and delicate, they give me hope that warmer days are ahead! I couldn't help but pick a few sweet sprigs to brighten up inside my home as well.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

diy wall design with buttons...

We've had a couple of days all together in Brisbane and, as usually happens, we made loads of mess brainstorming and experimenting with new ideas - some for mondocherry and some just for our own homes.

Clare's well stocked jars of buttons inspired the creation if this wall design in the room of her biggest girls. Joy lightly sketched a pattern on the wall with pencil and then we simply used blu-tac on the back of the buttons, pressing hard to ensure they stuck well (you could also glue them on if you wanted a more permanent feature).

If you don't have a secret stash of buttons at home, most craft and haberdashery stores stock them- here in Australia Spotlight sells colour coded packs. And, if you are after a design inspiration, fabrics and wrapping papers often have simple, graphic shapes that would work well for this.

We would love to see your photos if you try this at home!

Monday, September 19, 2011

we're back...

We've just had the most wonderful week - we couldn't recommend Fiji highly enough. We stayed at Fiji Beach Resort and Spa (run by Hilton) which was completely family friendly and had a lovely relaxed vibe. The rooms were very stylish (think modern free-standing baths, coffee machines and spacious tropical rooms decorated in cool neutrals) and staff incredibly helpful and friendly. There were loads of activities such as fish feeding, tug of war, coconut demonstrations, and beach games which the kids could join in as they wished without having to be signed into a kids club (although this was also an option). The food was fantastic, the spa was delightful and the sunsets at "Happy Hour" were just magical.

Sketching on the balcony after lunch...

Cousins and best of friends...

Back to reality with a thud... certainly no chocolates appearing on our pillows here at home!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

colourful heart blossom...

Work is the last thing on our minds this week as we are all enjoying an extended family holiday in Fiji - warm waters, tropical food, balmy evenings and friendly people....bliss! The week before we left was exceptionally busy as we had a lot of orders to finish, including this extra large multi-coloured blossom heart which sold at an art show over the weekend. We thought it went really well with the granny square crochet blanket Sue just finished making for Joy - we just love white with pops of colour!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

what's in a name?...

We often get asked why we called our business mondocherry and what made us start in the first place, so I thought I would fill you all in on a bit of background. 5 and a bit years ago, Clare and her family (then 4 children, now 6) moved back to Brisbane after a number of years living interstate and overseas. Mum (Sue) had just retired from working as a teacher-aide and I was just taking maternity leave from my teaching job to have my first baby (I now have 2). We started spending a lot of time together - we had lots to catch up on!! - and we all get on really well and think alike.

I had been making and selling fabric bags embellished with beads and sequins, and Mum and Clare started helping out. We then experimented with some fabric covered canvases and when we started getting orders via word of mouth we thought maybe we should make it more than a hobby. Setting up our own business was a huge step as none of us have any sort of marketing/sales/business experience (Mum and I trained as early childhood teachers and Clare studied pure mathematics and law at uni - totally useless!) and it has been a steep learning curve ever since. While we were trying to think of a name for our new business, we were working with a fabric called 'mondo' and it came in a red or 'cherry' colour way. So we used to call each other up and say "What time are we meeting up to do the mondocherry?" and after a while the name just stuck!

We have had such fun working together over the last five years. All three of us need a creative outlet in order to stay sane, and being involved with markets and the blogging community has enabled us to meet lots of lovely people. We haven't always get things right first time and we have evolved a lot, but I guess most things do. We do know how lucky we are to be working with people we love, doing something that we enjoy, and still getting to spend lots of time with our families.

So there you have a potted summary of mondocherry and there are no cherries involved! I thought about posting a photo of the three of us but it is almost impossible to find one that we all like (isn't it funny how judgemental you are of yourself in a photo?). So instead I thought I'd post a photo of these pom pom cherries I made to make a gift look a little more special. I had forgotten how enjoyable it is to make pom poms so I might have to experiment some more...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

my only spot of spring colour...

It is the first day of spring here in Australia and in a season when a garden should be filled with colour and looking beautiful, mine has never looked worse! With plans almost finalised for our house extension, and some major landscaping in the works, we have been ignoring the garden for the last 6 months.

We had some very tall trees in our front and back gardens, and were advised by an arborist to remove them as they were in danger of falling on either our house - or our next door neighbour's - in the next big storm (apparently years of drought and then heavy rains are not good for trees). We felt terrible cutting down such established trees but it just wasn't worth the risk. So we have sawdust everywhere from the stump grinding of the trees, large palm branches taken from around the pool area are all over our patch of grass waiting to go in a skip, and weeds that have grown almost as high as the fence are taking over all the planting beds. Certainly not a pretty spring garden.

I was feeling a bit depressed this morning at not being able to improve things until we get the garden levels right so I popped into the garden centre to buy myself something pretty to put on our deck. These double impatiens (impatiens walleriana) look just right in this old wheelbarrow I bought from an op shop a couple of years ago. At least I now have a spot of spring colour to enjoy in my gorgeous chairs from Cape Cod Designs.