Monday, December 21

dear Santa...

my name is little olive, you may have heard of me. i live at mossy shed with used dog and Tif.

Tif has told me all about you and the glee you bring on Christmas Eve. she also told me how you sometimes need a little extra help. so dear Santa i thought perhaps it might be nice for you to know i have been in training at mossy shed for some time now.
Tif told me there was no harm in sending you a note to let you know i have my antlers already by my bed just in case.

you will know it is me in my bed as i have a little garland just above with my name on, to guide you. the other thing i wished to mention, just quickly as i imagine you are super duper busy this week. i have a friend called used dog, who i mentioned earlier. she is my best friend despite her gray goatie beard, which i haven't actually pointed out as Tif told me this isn't a good thing to do. she said that aging females do not wish to be told of such tragic things and wish to live in the dark about hairy issues of the worst kind.

but Santa, i have digressed just like my owner, for what i was trying to say was, my friend used dog has been terribly good this year. she has been very nice to me, allowing me to play with her toys upon arrival at the shed. sometimes i get carried away with loving her toys a little too much, so dear Santa if it's not too much trouble could used dog have a new sock monkey, one with ears and arms.

please forgive my iffy typing, my little paws keep getting trapped between the keys.
so that's it i think...
i will see you in a few days, don't forget i will be the little pesky doggie sleeping with her antlers on

and you will be the one in a red suit and beard.

one last thing i just thought about, if again it's not too much trouble, could you possibly put some 'extra patience' in Tif's stocking this year. she is doing rather well but some days i am so pesky even she struggles. oh and a ball of yarn wouldn't go a miss either...

love little olive x

she is wishing you and your clans a fabby gleeful time, thanking you most kindly for being so generous with your comments this year and will be back on Jan 4th ~ Tif
footynote: if you wish to have some reading material with the run up to the christmas, then a visit to Stephanie's place might be in order. she has done a lovely advent blog with artists from all over the globe... start back on 1st of December and work your way through the days. lovely to see how we put 'glee' into our festivities in our own special ways... she kindly invited me to participate, and you can find me and my melancholy ways here

Thursday, December 17

tucked in...

the yarn balls are safely tucked in for the night,
my folks are safely tucked in for the night,
little olive and used dog are safely tucked in for the night,
and the chickens are safely tucked in for the night.
and me?
well i too, will be safely tucked in for the night,
but not before i look upon my yarn as it sleeps,

twinkling in the night thanks to my friend lola, who quite simply is the bestest of the best. for she sent mossy shed a little care package this week containing some fairy lights, along with other such lovelies as homemade jam.
for one wicked moment, i thought i might try to pass the jam off as my own when my folks arrived but two things stopped me...
first it really is very wrong to lie, especially where one's folks are concerned,
and secondly, they wouldn't have believed me anyway...

so tonight the shed is feeling most gleeful, for surely it's near on impossible to achieve a level of suitable gleeness without fairy lights and homemade jam.
obviously lola is quite wise...
i took some of lola's wisdom and wisely strung my new secondhand lights over kathleen's cupboard, safely away from little olive and her pesky 'moments'.
their little twinkling ways nicely illuminate my 'i love you more than life itself' yarn stash which so far has been untouched by moi and Mr Hook.
but dearest readers, we all know it's just a matter of time before i cave in, running for a yarn ball to save me... for when tomorrow comes so does the end of school for two whole weeks and a little bit.

she will see you on monday for a 'gleeful adieu' before the stockings are hung ~ Tif

Tuesday, December 15

yarn lust...

dearest readers, i am pleased to report that mossy shed now has yarn.
one cream yarn ball was found upon my doorstep courtesy of my lovely neighbor Trish and twenty seven yarn balls courtesy of my man

as i was lovingly putting them to bed last night, in our glass credenza so any passing strangers and my folks would be able to admire them, my man walked in
"what are you doing, you can't do that, the yarn is for christmas, i need to have that so i can wrap it" he announced, then continuing with
"how much yarn did you get Tif? seriously do you really need all of that, i had no idea you meant that much yarn, i think you've gone a little overboard."

i turned to face my benefactor and now it would appear my disputant.
(did you like those words, me too! i found them with the help of darren dictionary, he truly is quite the helpful little fellow at times such as these)
"listen carefully" i said, slowly and calmly, whilst stroking the mustard colored sweetie in my hand
"i have nine months to get through, nine WHOLE months, do you comprendre me? this is my one and only opportunity to go forth and buy acrylic yarn from the shelves of a new store. i think bearing that in mind, you may note, twenty seven balls is not, i repeat NOT very much to last a girl with a 'hook' addiction"

he started backing away from me and my ball of mustard delight...
"and as for putting away until Christmas" i carried on, with a 'protective mother' look in my eyes, "i refuse to give them up... i cannot possibly wait until the 25th to get my hands on these lovelies. so don't touch the yarn, do you hear me... DON'T touch it"
by this time he was somewhere else in the shed, knowing his deranged other half was slightly 'touched' with yarn lust and things could get ugly...

as i look upon my little yarn treasures this morning, admiring them, talking to them, trying to photograph them in all their glory, but failing miserably due to poor lighting and a limited amount of battery life found in a clock upstairs.
it occurred to me that i am none the better off.
for now i have a cabinet full of beautiful yarn in 'lusty' colors, so beautiful in fact that i don't want to use them, i want them to stay like this forever and ever.

she is thinking that perhaps she may be back to square one ~ Tif
footynote: due to my folks eminent arrival at the shed, i will see you on thursday... and did you notice little olive is still in training, quickity quick.
all she needs now is to practice with antlers on her head, i fear however the weight may slow her down

Monday, December 14

for the sake of his sanity...

i fear it is worse than i initially thought.

1. i cooked hard boiled eggs for tea yesterday, only to discover there were no eggs in the pan when i served them up.
2. i have no working batteries for my camera, none charged up and none in the shed lurking, thus i have dug into my flickr album... this does not appear to be the kind of thing an addicted blogger trying to appear quite professional, would allow to happen
3. i have produced grilled cheese sandwiches without any cheese (again)
4. instead of moving people out of bedrooms to accommodate my lovely folks, i have spent the morning painting the legs of a rocking chair. not just any rocking chair but an eames rocker.
(i've paused so you may recover dearest readers)
surely that right there is the sign of insanity,
that i am off my rocker (ha!)
who in their tiny right mind would take a paint brush to an eames rocking chair.
i am thinking that could quite honestly get me 'taken away'
i can see it now, in court, the gasps and the shock on the jury's face when they bring out the evidence.
"surely your honour. this is a case of, lock her up and throw away the key"
5. instead of washing all the bed linens for nice fresh beds to be laid in, i have commandeered Mrs W. Machine for dye-ing duties. why i need to suddenly dye a load of linens is beyond me at this moment in time

it would appear, i am a lost cause.

as my man left for work today having i might add, scrubbed our little en suite sink to within an inch of it's life... thus causing the large area of rust to finally cave in, giving our sink the appearance of a sieve. this i feel will be most 'novel' for my folks, i plan to advise them upon their arrival, not to worry, the bucket underneath will catch the worst of it...
but i digress,
after my man had finished up cleaning and scrubbing so that i may continue to go around the shed 'batty as a fruitcake', useless as can be... not achieving anything that is of great importance and only things that are irrelevant.

he left with parting words
"for the sake of my sanity and those around us, please, please get yourself some cream yarn"
and then he continued to tell me how with only a few days to go, chances were running high that he may end up in Costco the night before, lurking amongst the kitchen appliances thinking i may indeed like a whisk or something similar.

at the mention of the word Costco, my 'deranged trance like' self, saw a little glimmer of hope at the end of a tunnel...
quick as a 'quickity quick' thing.
perhaps a mouse or a moth, both of which can be pretty quick.
and of course there's little olive, flashing through the shed these days.
her speeds are getting pretty 'quickity quick'.
i replied with
"i'm not just needing cream, i think i need quite a few other colors to make what i have in mind"
for here was a man, a desperate man, with a countdown to Christmas weighing heavily upon his shoulders.
and here was i, knowing i still had nearly nine months left of yarn lusting weighing on mine...

"whatever Tif, just get what you want and it can be your Christmas gift" he replied
right there i knew i had chosen well all those years ago...

so dearest readers, it would seem only right at a time of glee towards all pesky gnomes and forsaken souls, that i extend my kindness and reach out to save my man's sanity,
and quite possibly in doing so, will unearth my own.

as i sit before you with yarn dollars by my side, the fog beginning to clear.
i see now that a rather lovely desperate man, my man... with a pleading look in his eyes, knew the aisles of Costco would only bring misery.
and my 'yarn lusting' gave him a way out and the hope of a bright and gleeful Christmas.

she is thinking perhaps she will be out tonight, weeping with joy and hugging balls of yarn ~ Tif

Sunday, December 13

the case of the 'missing sanity'...

i think i will be fine when i've located my sanity, it's somewhere around here...

it must of happened last tuesday as i did my 'shift around'.
things were looking rather peachy, i was most happy with the way the kitchen nook looked and of course, the lounging area in my studio.

and then things started to go 'iffy'...
Mary and Joe arrived and quite frankly after that i'm not sure what's going on around here.
in the 'shifting around', i shoved piles into cupboards and drawers, out of sight, out of mind.
perhaps my sanity went along with the piles...
i have achieved nothing but going around in circles, mumbling to myself "dear lordy, how many days to go" all the time knowing i need to get a grip, find a handle, do something or the miracle of Christmas isn't coming to the Shed this year.

in the space of four days the only acheivement i can note, is finding my secret santa gift. one lucky clan member will have something rather lovely to look forward to... ha! you should hear my lovely lot all exclaim the one person they hope not to be their secret santa is me.
knowing where i shop these days has caused them concerns of the worst kind this coming christmas...
but they don't know what i know,
("oh Tif, and what do you know, considering you are two shillings short of a pound this week?" i hear you enquire)
well i know, and actually a lot of you thrifty ones will know this too, just how far a dollar can be stretched when buying secondhand and handcrafted...

on Tuesday my folks arrive, my mum assured me on the phone this morning that she would help unearth my sanity if i haven't found it between now and their arrival.

i may take them to our local yarn shop on the first day. oh yes, i know how to show my folks a good time... i hoping they will be overcome by 'yarn lust' and insist on buying me a ball of cream yarn...
i will protest saying
"no, no you really shouldn't"
and then my mother will say
"i'm thinking we should, indeed i know we should, for a ball of cream yarn is perhaps where you may find your sanity this Christmas, my dearest child"

she is thinking... actually she knows, mothers are always right ~ Tif

Wednesday, December 9

and so it came to pass...

if you are sitting comfortably, perhaps with tipple in hand then i shall begin...

once upon a time in a cold, cold land lived Tif in her Mossy Shed with used dog and little olive.
trying to keep warm, Tif noted used dog and little olive had an advantage due to their warm coats of fur. Tif was a little bit at a disadvantage having lost her 'nostril hair of the worst kind' and thus feeling the extremities with her lack of fur.

whilst Tif kept herself warm by putting 'glee' all around the shed

the door bell rang,
"who can that be?" Tif asked her furry friends, her furry friends looked back at her with a quizzical look. for not many people ventured up to Mossy Shed's doorbell...
all three went to the door and as it was the season for pesky gnomes and other forsaken souls, it came as no surprise to find two such characters upon the doormat

"can i help you?" asked Tif gritting her teeth against the bitter cold.
"my name is Joe, this is my wife Mary" he pointed to a rather round colorful lady... "we were on our way to a special place but have lost our way. the cold is causing my wife untold trouble with her circulation. plus she is with child and told me not two minutes earlier, that she felt the time was close"
the two forsaken souls looked at Tif,
Tif looked at used dog,
used dog looked at little olive,
and little olive looked at the forsaken souls.
Joe continued with his tale of woe
"and so we are looking for a place to stay warm, out of the cold so my wife can rest a while and get her circulation going again"

Tif let them into the shed to thaw out...
a little while past and then Mary let out a scream
"oh Joe, the baby's coming!"
once again the two forsaken souls looked at Tif,
Tif found herself looking at used dog,
used dog found herself looking at little olive
and little olive found herself looking at the forsaken souls.

"okay" said Tif
"nobody panic, i've been through this a few times Mary and quite honestly i may not have a certificate to prove my capabilities but i do have a florence nightingale hat in the kitchen drawer. take some deep breaths and if there is one thing i learnt in my labouring moments. never ever call the unborn child, causing untold pain to the labouring mum, a cherub! for that mum in 'pain beyond all pain' does not see her unborn child as a cherub at that moment in time. by all means, afterwards call him or her a cherub but not when the mother-to-be is crying out, i'm going to die... for that is obviously not the time to refer to anything by the term 'cherub'... no Mary, i will not do that to you."

Tif quickly realized this was not the time for bitter recall and got busy finding her florence nightingale hat, which really was proving hard to locate under the debris in the drawer, all the time shouting out calming words of "breathe in, breathe out". when she turned back to face the little group, hat on head. she noted used dog, little olive, Joe and Mary were all breathing nicely, looking at her and waiting...

just then another knock at the door
"you go" Tif said to used dog, as she made Mary a little more comfortable
used dog found three pesky gnomes and their girlfriends on the doorstep along with a sheep and two chickens
"hey dog, is this the shed that beholds our chosen one" they asked, just as a baby cry came forth. "we are three pesky shepherds and have come to pay our respects"
used dog rolling her eyes heavenward, let them in

"it's a girl" Tif offered up, as the pesky shepherds and used dog entered the room.
no sooner had she done so then another knock at the door could be heard.
this time little olive went to answer...

"hello, i'm a wise owl, my brothers are at the pub down the road, thought i noticed a star shining brightly above your shed, unusual for daytime, made me think that something strange and glorious was going on... wondered if indeed 'the chosen one' had been born. i don't have a gift i'm afraid, 'cause i lost it playing poker, but i thought it might be nice to pop by and say hello anyway"

and so it came to pass that a trickle of visitors began to arrive at mossy shed that day, some remarking how 'the chosen one' resembled her mother and not her father. which Tif, used dog and little olive felt most unsuitable considering the enormity of the moment that had passed at mossy shed this christmas time

later that evening, before going to bed, Tif checked in on Mary and Joe, along with their little one. they seemed most happy with their new baby and dwellings.

"perhaps", Tif thought to herself, "this will be the year for peace on earth and goodwill toward all pesky forsaken souls around the globe"
and at that moment a chorus of sock monkey angels appeared and glory really did shine all around

the end

she is out and about tomorrow, unearthing thrifty treasures for her secret santa, oh the lucky soul ~ Tif

Tuesday, December 8


it's blimen' freezing these days at the shed and so i am in full on nesting mode. i don't do well in tres cold weather nor do i do well in tres hot weather. which really isn't that interesting for you to know but i thought i would tell you any way.
my folks arrive from old blighty a week today and therefore, 'shifting' has been done to accommodate the extra bodies.

basically this means making my studio into another 'lounging' area, because really when it's christmas there is quite abit of 'lounging' to be done, preferable with Mr Hook in hand, in between all the festivities and gleefulness

thus, the sofa in the kitchen has done a shifty to under my studio window and my studio sewing table has done a shifty to the kitchen giving us a little extra eating corner, causing Miss Ethel to be most put out. i told her it was only for a little while but she isn't talking to me now...

as i was doing my 'change around' it occurred to me that we have been living in mossy shed near on two years and this one piece of wall, wallpapered the day after we moved in, has seen many 'a look'.

i thought it might be rather interesting,
(more interesting then my warm and cold issues above, but perhaps not as interesting as say a nice chocolate bar. an inbetweeny kind of 'interestingness' that passes the time of day)
to see just how much i have shifted things around in front of one piece of wall, since setting foot in mossy shed. and highlighting, that yes indeed i quite possibly need to get outside into the real world a bit more often...

and now it looks like this,

all ready to spend lazy holiday mornings over breakfast with my folks,
ha ha! i do live in a dream world, i can't remember the last time i had a lazy breakfast... however if i have a little area like this i am thinking it greatly heightens the chances of such an occurrence this gleeful season.
and just before you roll your eyes to the heavens dearest readers and exclaim,
"darn that Tif and her spickity span shed"
let me tell you dearest readers,
not two hours later and my lovely little space had been hijacked

she is thinking perhaps the chickie peas are trying to tell her something ~ Tif

Monday, December 7

controversial maybe, handcrafted definitely...

our christmas tree is up in mossy shed

never has a christmas caused so much debate amongst my clan...
and the tree was no exception.

however, i am pleased to report,
despite the odd bemoaning about lack of greenery and lighting
(the latter due to little olive gnawing through the only string of lights i had),
it would appear that my 'lovely lot' have located their rose colored, handcrafted, thrifty specs...

so for this year
(and one year only, i am told by my nearest and dearest)
we have ourselves
a 'whatnot' gleeful tree to fit in with my handcrafted, secondhand year

she is hoping you can find your rose colored specs, if not pop next door and borrow your neighbors.... pleaseeeeee ~ Tif

Friday, December 4

a string of miracles...

several miracles happened over Thanksgiving...

miracle 1:
my sister-in-law and our #1 were sick but i did not get sick.
that i believe, is nothing short of a miracle... after last winter's bouts of flu, bronchitis and numerous colds i have become a 'lurgiphobe'. luckily my sweet doctor said "enough is enough Tif" when i went to discuss vertigo issues of the worst kind. after a lot of 'dosing' up on vitamins and other immune building 'goodness' i have stayed lurgy free for sometime, even when all around me in the shed are dropping like flies.
but being holed up for 6 days with two lurgified related people was testing my new defenses to their fullest. i obsessively hand washed and donned my man's world war II gas mask i found in the attic, greatly aiding my chances of good health

miracle 2:
(perhaps for this one you might wish to sit down, because it's quite a miracle and could cause some of you to feel a little wobbly)
i provided
three meals a day,
for six days
for eight mouths
and all eight people survived.
i'm now going to pause a while so you may recover...
for miracle 3 is coming up and i do so want you to be feeling back to normal, for it's rather exciting in the most exciting kind of way


miracle 3:
i had hoped to beaver away on shop stuff whilst our guests were in the shed, but as you all know, trying to be a host whilst sweating it out in one's studio is not really possible.
and so two days before family arrived and the kids had time off school, i started to feel that panicky feeling inside. knowing my hands could not stay idle for six full days and i remain all smiles and niceness.

but then a small miracle happened that led to a string of miracles and we all know how much a string of miracles is a good thing.
i stumbled across this piece of crocheted goodness
my stumbling led to lusting,
my lusting led to investigating,
my investigating led to Yvestown

and that dearest readers, is when i do believe the hint of a 'string of miracles' began.
for Yvonne had kindly shared her 'crocheted goodness' pattern for all to read,
and as you are fully aware pattern reading is not my strong point, but my desire to master her lovely granny circle/squares was so great that after several, okay multiple, ripping out moments i finally got it!

at that 'got it' moment,
a chorus of angels appeared above the shed
along with the 'inbetweeny' crocheting Gods
and yes,
a little bit of 'crocheting glory' shone down on me.

for the next few days, inbetween kitchen duties i crocheted like my life depended upon it, and trust me, i know my sanity did...
i set my sights on a chair cushion,

mainly due to lack of yarn and lack of time
and after many hours, low and behold, a crocheted cushion was born.
too big for the original chair i had wished to share my glory with and so our rocking chair became the chosen one instead.
i stood back to admire, asked my man to stand back and admire.
waited... then prompted, saying that perhaps this might be a moment he wished to remember for all eternity, the moment Tif followed a pattern and it came out right

after the 'hustle and bustle' of Thanksgiving died down, the kids went back to school and my sister-in-law headed back home with her little one.
i took a few hours to see if the string of miracles was still flowing.
with the help of Mr Hook i tried crocheting circles again. after nine rounds, the string of miracles had run out...
i took the little bit of 'roundness' and appliqued it upon a cushion i already owned. thus the original chair destined for my 'lordy i did it' cushion, did not feel left out...

and it doesn't... having spoken to it recently during it's photo shoot, it told me, it was most happy with it's little round cushion and then it mentioned the word 'nipple', after that i stopped listening.

did you see that? the 'flash of speed' above, of course you may very well have been so 'overcome' by my crocheting 'miracle' moment, not to mention the 'nipple' word, you missed it.
here's a closer look...
that would be our little olive.
since it turned December she has been doing laps around the inside of Mossy Shed, getting in training for christmas eve. i told her how Santa sometimes needs help and ever since she has insisted i play 'eye of the tiger' on full volume when she's working out. after which she does what she does best... sleeping

and just before i head out the door, into a lurgified world with gas mask upon my face, i must just say a few things.
("blimey Tif, it's a marathon of rambling today")

first, if you wish to add more to your crafty 'to-do' list, the lovely Jessica has some wonderful garland glee going on at the mo, one for big kids and one for little kids. definitely worth a look and i love that she has used recycled sweaters...

secondly, thank you for your lovely comments about my blog, when you gave thanks in my giveaway, i forgot my manners yesterday with all the excitement of Greta's death defying leap.

and thirdly, i must tell you... i missed you when i was gone, truly deeply missed you and i just needed to let you know

she is wishing you a 'string of small miracles' for yourselves and will be back on monday ~ Tif

Thursday, December 3

and the winner is...

yes, i know... i felt the same when i first met Greta.
if you are sitting comfortably, perhaps with your gleeful 'to do' list almost complete then i shall begin.

earlier today i was having a little chat with Speedy, he noted before that life was pretty busy with all his remodelling and once again, when i approached him of my 'needs' he came forth with mutterings of 'way too busy' and 'not on your life, will i jump into a basket for you'.

i felt this most unreasonable after all it was for a good cause.
my little gleeful dishy had to be replaced by a gleeful basket due to an enormous amount of 'thankfulness' that has appeared in my comments and inbox of late.

as i was tearing and folding up little bits of paper, it occurred to me why some people chose to use 'random generator picker' things. as i am totally clueless as to how such things work, i have been left once again at the mercy of the inhabitants of my shed to help me with picking a winner.

but i digress,
and so there i was, having a chat with Speedy when i heard a little knock at the door.
as i was tres busy in deep conversation, 'used dog' kindly answered for me.
now she is known to be a bit of a 'scaredy pants' at times and so when she ran to me shaking and whimpering, i didn't heed too much thought. i marched over to the door, 'huffing and puffing' as to what could possibly be that important to interrupt my very 'important and busy' giveaway work.

it was my turn to do a little whimpering and shaking.
dear gods, i thought to myself, where on earth did this little forsaken soul come from and more to the point why was her scary forsaken soul upon my doorstep. i quickly composed myself, remembering it is the time for goodwill towards all men, pesky gnomes and forsaken souls...

"yes" said i "can i help you?"
the little forsaken soul began to tell me in very broken english, her name was Greta, that she had met a pesky gnome by the name of Big Daddy online in a chat room. he had promised her a life of untold 'good times', given her the name of his dwelling, that being Mossy Shed and voila! here she is now, having travelled for months, looking for the love of her life and a good time with Big Daddy.

and so dearest readers it has begun, not three days into december and pesky gnomes are causing me trouble. i rolled my eyes to the heavens and then i glanced down at Greta. one lone tear sliding down her cheek... at least i think it was. due to failing eyesight i thought it a tear but it could just as easily have been the bad 'paint job' upon her face. but in the trying circumstances it seemed most rude to stare too closely...

you will be pleased to know, compassion overcame me, and with a few words of comfort i told her that Big Daddy had moved on to the great Las Vegas for pesky gnomes in the sky, due to a tragic accident involving a soccer ball in the back yard one snowy day last winter.

yes, he may be gone but he was not forgotten... and perhaps she would care to come in and be a 'little passing stranger' and help me with my give away. as she entered into Mossy Shed, i failed to mention i was looking for a passing stranger with no fear of heights or sticky parcel tape.

some time later i was offering up words of encouragement "just close your eyes, it's not that far"

"oh, and if you could attempt a dive, it might help the sticky tape to adhere the winner"

of course i was now feeling a little crappy, as after a nice cup of tea and chat, Greta had grown on me in all her bright orange kitschy niceness

but do you know dearest readers, that is what is so wonderful about forsaken little souls that find their way into one's life, they have so much to give...

bless her heart,

she did jump,

she did pick a winner,

and she did survive,


congratulations to Cricket, hurrah! send me your details Cricket and the magazine, along with a gleeful wreath will be winging their way to you pronto.

i did enjoy reading all your lovely thankfulness and i think we can all agree it is nice every now and then to count one's blessings.

and with that all said and done, Greta is now resting on the couch, with a headache and i must away to Miss Ethel for a small shop update beckons tomorrow... i will be putting apron wraps out, hanging a couple of 'whatnot' garlands and hoping to find a 'forever' home for these sweet things

it will be my last update before christmas, so i'm trying hard to not procrastinate and spend wasteful minutes with Greta, Mr Hook and a ball of yarn

she will be back tomorrow with a small miracle or two, after all, it is the season ~ Tif