Showing posts with label our homes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label our homes. Show all posts

Thursday, April 3, 2014

a bumper harvest...

Near the end of last year we moved into a house on Victoria's beautiful Mornington Peninsular.  After years of living in an apartment in Dubai, I have really been enjoying the garden (although  I had forgotten how much time it takes to look after one!) A previous owner was obviously a keen green thumb as I have inherited a number of fruit trees including a couple of lemons, a mandarin and an grapefruit. Their bountiful produce has meant that I have had to dust off my old cook books for jam, marmalade and curd recipes. Yum! The harvest I am less sure about dealing with is the vast number of olives that we have collected from the large olive tree in the back garden. Clare and my daughter-in-law, Briohny, are experimenting with a couple of olive pickling recipes but I would love to know if you have any to recommend, or any tips on how to get the best result.

Sue x

Monday, September 23, 2013

moving on...

Hello! Yes, we are still here. Apologies for the extended absence... life has been even busier than usual over the last few weeks and a miserable early-spring flu hasn't helped matters.

My family is on the move again, but only locally this time. Our landlord decided he wanted to move back into this house, so we are packing up and looking for a new place to live. Not an easy task to find somewhere for a family of 8, with two bunnies, a drum kit, a trampoline,and a studio full of vintage books! Before the rooms in this house become completely buried under packing boxes, I decided to take a few photos for posterity. It is always fun to go back through old photos and remember all the houses we have lived in.

Here are a few photos of the bedroom occupied by my two youngest daughters (age 6 and 3). It was a tricky room to decorate as it is very small, with a bricked in corner fireplace and no built-in wardrobe.

I bought this vintage cane chair for a mere $20 last year and am still undecided whether to paint it or not. It becomes a throne when the girls play princess dress ups!

I decided to cosy up the room, and bring down the very high ceilings, by hanging these coloured parasols left over from a party way back here. They spin very gently when there is a breeze and give the girls something pretty to look at while they go to sleep. 

With no room for a bookshelf in the room, I repurposed an old plant stand bought at a garage sale years ago. The top shelf holds their favourite Topsy and Tim books - an English series that Joy and I loved as little girls.
Have you taken photos of what your house looks like now to remember in years to come?

Clare x

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

colouring in...

I recently bought a new colouring book ("Secret Garden" by Johanna Basford) after I fell in love with the intricate drawings.  I sat down with my 4 girls after dinner a couple of nights ago, each with a different picture to colour, and 2 hours later we were all still sitting there happily colouring and chatting away. (Even my eldest son followed the sound of us laughing and ended up sitting at the table playing us his favourite songs) I think I was enjoying myself just as much as the kids were! 

We used sparkly pens instead of felt pens which took longer but meant that we could keep the gorgeous detail. The hardest part was choosing which picture to colour as they are all so delightful.

When was the last time you sat down and enjoyed a bit of colouring in? It is very therapeutic!

Clare x

Thursday, August 15, 2013

from my garden...

There are lots of signs in my garden that spring is on the way. Hooray! I haven't been able to resist bringing a few stems inside to brighten up the house and they are making me smile every time I look at them. 

What is your favourite spring flower?

Clare x

Saturday, July 27, 2013

the art of distraction...

When you live in a rental house you have three options...
1. apply to redecorate to your taste
2. decorate around the existing decor
3. apply the art of distraction.

I have taken the third option for my very brown '70's kitchen. The landlord wasn't keen for us to paint (would have been very expensive anyway) and I didn't want to change my style for a temporary home, so distraction it had to be. Luckily these colourful Ñanduti are just the thing!  Ñanduti , or spider-web lace, is one of Paraguay's traditional crafts and I just love the incredible detail and intricate designs.

The design is first sketched onto paper and then transferred onto a linen cloth stretched over a wooden frame. Fine cotton thread is used for the weaving and once finished, the lace is carefully cut away form the line cloth and then starched.

My favourite corner of the kitchen - gorgeous Ñanduti lace and my Nespresso machine!

I purchased my Ñanduti  from The Trading Circle which is an initiative to help women in Asia, Africa and South America trade out of poverty - such a great cause.

Clare x

Monday, July 1, 2013

displaying children's art...

In our latest post for Life InStyle blog we talk about some of our favourite ways to display children's art. Pop over here to read.

What do you do with all the paintings, box collage and handwriting samples that come home from school or kindy?

the mondocherry girls xxx

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

an embroidered cushion makeover...

A little while ago I was browsing in a local Op Shop when I happened to spy the most gorgeous embroidered cushion. The cushion itself was dirty and stained, but I couldn't take my eyes of the fabulous flowers on the embroidery and so I snapped it up for just a few dollars.  It has been sitting in my cupboard waiting for a makeover (hands up anyone else with a backlog of projects hiding away somewhere!) but I finally washed, ironed and unpicked it and stitched it on to one of our signature piped linen cushions. Now all fresh and new, it has found a home on this chair and I absolutely love it!

Joy x

Monday, June 17, 2013

a new collection...

I'll admit it...I'm a collector at heart! Groups of similar items displayed together make me happy. So, when I picked up a sweet little vintage silver clutch at a thrift shop, I think I secretly knew that it wouldn't be too long before it was joined by a friend. My vintage purse collection now numbers 5 after I pounced on another pretty one this morning.

I try to be very disciplined and always set myself a limit for the most I will spend and, while I could probably go online and buy a whole set, the thrill of the hunt is part of the process. I should really do some research into fabrics, clasps etc and how to date the purses, but charm and detail is really more important to me than actual worth.

I now need to find the best way to display my pretties - I pulled off my necklaces from my old rake to see how they would look but don't think that it is quite the right solution. Hmmmm. Ideas anyone?

Clare x

Sunday, May 26, 2013

I could have settled in...

I can't quite believe we've reached the end of the weekend already... I could do with at least another couple of days to rejuvenate and get through the rest of my to-do list!

While running errands this afternoon, I popped in to Joy's house and her pretty living room looked ever so inviting, despite the miserable grey day. I could have quite happily curled up on her sofa with a cup of tea (or a glass of wine) and a mag or two!

Hope you had the chance to relax this weekend.

Clare x

Sunday, May 12, 2013

classic blue and white...

Blue and white china and ceramics have always been one of Mum's favourite things to collect and so for a long time I steered away from them in an attempt to find my own decorating style. Over the last few years, however,  I have been increasingly adding this classic combination into my home.  My collection of blue and white vases have come mainly from op shops/thrift stores so they are not worth a lot but still manage to look great in a group. Teaming them with pink and fuchsia flowers is one of my favourite ways to display them. I have a feeling that I may be adding more and more blue and white to my home as the years go by...

Have you followed in your Mother's footsteps as far as decorating goes? Or are your homes completely different?

Clare xx

Thursday, May 2, 2013


I absolutely love the way that the afternoon sun, streaming through the window, lights up these beautiful tea glasses. Their jewel colours positively glow!

Love the pretty rainbow on the side of the plate.

Clare xx

Friday, April 19, 2013

in miniature...

This afternoon I went out into my garden to pick some of the gorgeous roses that grow there, only to find that the gardener (who is included with our rental) had obviously decided that today was a good day to prune the rose bushes.  Hardly a rose left! So, I hunted around and found a selection of miniature posies which might not have quite the impact of a big vase of roses, but are still very pretty in their own right. Sometimes, you just have to work with what you have!

Clare x

Friday, April 12, 2013

the result of a paint tester pot...

Over the last 14 years or so this cupboard has been valuable storage  in the various homes we have lived in during that time ( 11 different houses I think at last count!) It has done duty in a study storing paperwork, a playroom holding puzzles, a dining room displaying crockery, and even in a hallway as a sort of general dumping ground. It was a super cheap buy and I remember intending to paint it from the very beginning, but just never got round to it. However, last time I was down at my local local hardware store, I impulsively picked a paint sample from the stand and had one of the tiny sample pots mixed up in this sea green colour. An hour later, and the insides of the shelves were done! I love the depth this gives the the rather deep cubby holes and the way the colour highlights the various vases and collections that I have displayed.

Now, I just need to get round to the other items on my  procrastination list - rug, plant pot, upholstery, window cleaning....

Hmmmm. Mental note: twist bottom left handle around a bit. It is funny how the camera highlights things you never notice in real life :)

Clare x

Monday, March 25, 2013

using what I have for an Easter display...

It seems that I used to have a lot more time to make, bake and decorate for Easter. I'm not sure if you are feeling the same way, but this term seems to have been particularly busy and I can't believe how quickly Easter has crept up. This morning I was feeling just a little guilty I hadn't done anything special, so I 'shopped' from my home and found a few bits and pieces - an off cut of artificial grass (thanks Kelly!), a ceramic bunny, a bunch of pretty tulips, some old Scrabble letters and my collection of hand painted, wooden eggs - to put together a display for my hall table.

I love these eggs...I'm sticking to a soft palette of pinks, cream and golds for my collection.

My kids were thrilled with the little vignette and I was reminded that we don't always have to invest heaps of time or money into making a holiday or event feel special.

Joy xx

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

3 balls of wool - my diy headboard...

I love a big master bedroom! We are very lucky to have a spacious one in this rental house in Melbourne, but it has been surprising hard to decorate as the walls, high ceiling and built in cupboards are all painted a very yellow-y cream and the flooring is a hard grey vinyl. The fresh white and yellow I used in my last house looked rather sickly so I needed to add some interest to stop it all looking a little blah. I am still on the lookout for a big rug to break up the expanse of grey floor (any ideas welcome please!), but in the meantime decided to add a bit of colour and texture to the wall behind the bed as it is the first thing you see as you open the door.

Artwork would have been the obvious solution, but the curvy shape of my bedhead makes it a little tricky to balance out and not being able to hammer nails in the wall meant that I would be having nightmares every night about getting knocked out by falling frames! So I repurposed two old sheets of pegboard that we had stashed in the garage, sprayed it with silver piant and got to work with a couple of balls of wool. I tried a cross stitch type pattern at first but it didn't have quite the graphic impact I wanted. So I ended up doing a sort of long stitch in a diamond and chevron design. It was a bit fiddly trying to reach behind the large piece of pegboard so I found the quickest and easiest method was to stand the board upright and have my eldest daughter on the back side feeding the needle and wool back through the holes. These children of mine are very patient with my crazy ideas!

I am happy with the way it has turned out and it certainly breaks up all the cream! I can easily cut off the pink if I change my colur scheme and replace it with something else, or unpick it all and change the design.  

Clare x

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

the finishing touches...

Have you ever bought a new car, only to suddenly see the same make and model driving everywhere when you had never really noticed them before? Or, you find out you are pregnant and then notice that every second person at the shopping centre seems to have a baby bump?! Well, since I decided on the colours to redecorate my new main bedroom, I am seeing grey, pale pink and sea green everywhere! We have ripped off all the old wallpaper (what a job that was!) and I've been picking up a few bits and pieces to tie the whole scheme together - that's the part I find the most fun!

Pretty picture frames
Gorgeous bowls in the perfect colours to hold so of the bits and bobs on my dresser.

Joy x

Sunday, February 10, 2013

blush crush...

I'm introducing a new colour in our new main bedroom. The greys, aquas and whites I had in our old house still look very pretty but the room needs something more  - maybe because of the different light? I added a touch of metallic which helped but then fell in love with this blush coloured cushion and now think it might be just the colour I need. I've been seeing more and more of this soft, subtle shade of pink in the shops lately, in clothing and accessories as well as homewares. What are your thoughts on blush? Old fashioned or modern? Pretty or blah?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

moving house...

 Two days after Christmas we moved house!  Crazy I know!  Although we were very comfortable in the house we were living in, with a short walk to our shop and with the most wonderful neighbours, we were conscious of the fact that it was a rental ( with all the uncertainty that goes along with that ) and we were ready to sink our teeth into a small renovation project.  After some careful consideration we decided to sell our Brisbane home and buy here in Melbourne - a city we have really grown to love.  Our new house is still close to kindergarten, school and the mondocherry shop, and  most importantly close to Clare and many of the wonderful friends we have made in the last few years.  It is, however, considerably smaller and while we are planning to start  renovating in the next few months to expand a little, it has also been a good excuse to clear out and declutter.  Something I find quite liberating!

While we have mostly unpacked with just the last few boxes of miscellaneous items left ( I'm sure you can relate ), it is taking a while to find the right layout for the rooms.  However, it is amazing how some fresh flowers, my favourite books and a few cushions are helping to make it feel like home already.

Stay tuned for before and after photos...