Wednesday, November 30, 2011

as close as I'll get this year...


These gorgeous snowflake decorations are as close as I'm going to get this year.... to seeing snow in this hot Southern Hemisphere December and to seeing my ever-growing collection of snowflakes displayed on my Christmas tree.

We are moving to Melbourne for a couple of years and are packing our bags and heading off mid-December. It is very exciting to be on the move again - we have been in Brisbane now for 5 years and that is the longest time we have stayed in one place. My husband has a place on a project down in Melbourne for a couple of years, and while I'd possibly prefer Switzerland, the south of France or Mauritius (unfortunately they weren't options!!), Melbourne is a great place to live. It will also be fantastic to be close to Joy and our other family members who live down there. So, as you can imagine, with all the boxes to pack, end of school concerts to attend and trying to keep the house tidy for rental inspections, putting up the Christmas tree is the last thing on my mind.

I thought I would include these photos of my Christmas tree from last year, so you can see what an obsession with snowflakes looks like! At last count, I had over 600 different snowflakes, collected from all around the world. I stick to white and silver snowflakes, but am not fussy on the material they are made from so have plastic, glass, pewter, paper, wood and beaded snowflakes. In case you are wondering what I do with all the precious decorations the children have made over the years, we also have two other, smaller trees (one for the boys and one for the girls), which the kids get to decorate (and redecorate!) themselves with all our colourful and handmade ornaments. This keeps all of us happy!


Before we head off to Melbourne, I will be setting up our mondocherry stall at the Boutique Markets on Friday 9th December (special Twilight Market 5pm - 9pm) and Sunday 11th December (Christmas Market, 8am - 3pm). It will probably be our last market in Brisbane for a while so make sure you come down if you want to see our designs in person.



Tuesday, November 29, 2011

muffin tray advent calendar...


I've decided to re-do an idea we had for an advent calendar a few years ago as my way of counting down the days until Christmas - who says the kids should have all the fun?! Created from a mini-muffin tray (which just happens to have 24 holes), number stickers and my favourite Lindt Ball chocolates, it is going to be a way to give myself a little treat every day in what is often referred to as the "silly season". You could, of course, replace the Lindt with other chocolates or little gifts.


My aim this year is to make the run up to Christmas as fuss-free and stress-free as possible so I have more time to enjoy making crafts with my children, eating all the yummy food and enjoying time spent with family and friends. Roll on December...!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

playing with purple...

We have been playing around with various shades of purple this week and have lots of new artworks on the go in both our vintage and fasbric button ranges. We also received a sample of our fabirc printed in a purple colourway and it is going to look fab!




Hope you are having a wonderful weekend.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

it must be genetic...


It is part of our family folklore that you can give Sue a patch of grass, anywhere in the world, and she will find a four leaf clover in a matter of minutes, if not seconds. She doesn't believe that they are lucky, but has always liked the challenge of finding something that is meant to be quite rare (apparently there are roughly 10,000 three leaf clovers for every 1 four leaf clover). Joy and I have both found a few four leaf clovers over the years, but we certainly haven't inherited Mum's talent for identifying them quite so quickly. However, my eldest daughter, Hannah, is the member of the family that seems to have received the FLC gene. She went into our garden the other day, and after barely two minutes came back clutching her find of no less than 12 four leaf clovers! She went out again yesterday and quickly found another 9 in a different spot, plus a couple of ones with five leaves. Not a bad little haul don't you think? Apparently, four leaf clovers are the result of a mutant gene in the clover plant and so once you find one you are likely to find another few in the same location. Why not go out and look and report back with your tally....!





Monday, November 21, 2011

...the Christmas version...


Not long after I posted my cupcake case garland this morning, the postman knocked on my door to deliver the candy-striped cases I had ordered. I ignored the rest of my ironing (any excuse!) in my eagerness to see how this Christmas version would turn out. Displayed with a red vintage chair, a new artwork, cute red boots and a smattering of green, I'm loving this little festive corner of my house.


our new small 3d paper heart blossom artwork...

cupcake case garland...


A few years ago I made myself a garland from cupcake cases (here) and this weekend I thought I would resurrect this simple and ever-so-quick idea to pretty up a corner of the playroom. This garland works best with the type of cupcake cases that have firm sides and fairly substantial bases. You simply cut down the sides of the case at roughly even intervals (the cases I used had a scalloped edge so spacing was easy) and flatten the cases. I added some little heart stickers, but spelling out a message also works well. I have just ordered myself some pretty red and white striped cupcake cases to make a more Christmas version too (I purchased mine from Lark). They are a bit addictive!

Friday, November 18, 2011

off to Mathilda's...

Tomorrow morning is the last Brisbane Mathilda's Market for the year and we have been busy packing lots of our artworks, cards, tags, decorations and cushions ready for display on our stall. This special Christmas market is held at the Brisbane Racecourse at Eagle Farm, Ascot from 9am to 1pm, and entry and parking is free. With over 100 stall holders, yummy food and entertainment for the kids, Mathilda's Markets is undoubtedly Brisbane's finest shopping destination for the littlies. For a sneak preview of what you will find head over to their website.

Here are a few photos of just some of the mondocherry products you will find there tomorrow. If you aren't a Brisbane local, we have a range of products on our website or you can email us to order a custom artwork. We are still taking orders for Christmas but better get in quickly!!

Beaded fabric alphabet card, green 3d blossom small artwork, vintage botanical gift tag, liberty button large artwork...

Beaded fabric gift tag and pink cushion...



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

a chalked hello...


Last week, my lovely husband bought me a beautiful bunch of cream roses and they have been brightening up my kitchen ever since. However, the hot weather we have been having here in Brisbane has taken its toll and most of them were not looking very happy and were starting to turn brown. There were five that were still perfect and so I decided to pop them in individual glass bottles. I must have been looking for an excuse to avoid doing the housework in the heat because then I decided to play around with the vases a little. I found some leftover chalkboard fabric (readily available on the internet and in fabric stores), cut circles out with my pinking shears and tied them on with ribbon. Much less messy than getting out the chalkboard paint and much quicker than sitting around waiting for it to dry. My "hello" message is not terribly original, but my five bottles limited my options of words to write!



Monday, November 14, 2011

ribbon hoops...


I was recently sorting through my craft supplies when I came across several bamboo hoops/handles that I had stashed away from the days that I used to sew handbags. My almost-four-year-old daughter's favourite thing to do is dress up and dance, so I thought I could use them to make some simple dancing streamers - safer than the ribbon sticks you often see in the shops and much easier to hold.

I let my little girl pick out some pretty coloured ribbons and then I stitched them onto the bamboo ring using one continuous running stitch. So easy! If sewing is not your thing you could even tie each ribbon on with a double knot which would be just as effective. The dancing ribbons have provided hours of amusement and encouraged her to make the most of the beautiful sunny morning we have here in Melbourne. Hope your day is just as colourful...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

frankie and swiss...


I enjoyed a very inspiring afternoon with the lovely girls from Frankie and Swiss boutique textiles. I popped into their gorgeous studio space, in between kindergarten drop off and pick up, to colour test one of our fabric designs in a red colourway (very festive!). I didn't want to leave as I was having so much fun admiring the fabric samples from other designers and gazing at the pretty little displays around the place - piles of scrummy books, vintage tea cups, and thread spools.

This pile of books would keep me happy for days...

Pantone colour sample charts...almost too many options...

fabric designed by Victor Fox...

a colourful dress made by Cindy from Bug and Pop, design based on lemon spaghetti by Dawn Tan...

our mondocherry fabric provides a colourful backdrop. We have several new fabric designs on the go which will all co-ordinate with each each other as well as with our artwork collections. Stay tuned!!!
You can see lots more Frankie and Swiss images on Michelle's blog Leni and Rose and keep up to date with all the latest news until their super-duper new website gets launched soon.

Monday, November 7, 2011

a flowering tree for Kindy...


Joy and I speak on the phone a lot! Most of the time we manage to simultaneously do other things - sewing up some vintage cards, ironing, watching tv or maybe cooking dinner. Last week, every time I spoke to Joy last week she was also frantically sewing stuffed fabric flowers. I couldn't quite imagine what she was making until she sent through these photos.

Apparently, the Kindy that her two children attend has a separate room in which the kids all take their nap after lunch. The room desperately needed a bit of decoration, so Joy and a couple of other Mums volunteered to create a display on one of the walls. They started off by getting the children to make leaves in all different ways - painted, dyed, collaged, crayon relief etc - and have been gradually adding them to hessian stuffed branches. Joy's padded flowers add just a dash of pretty colour and some extra dimension.


Don't you think they have done a great job?