Friday, April 30

knick knacks...

i do like a nice display of knick knacks.
being a collector of forsaken little souls
i must admit my knick knack collection is getting a little out of control.

since orla departed from the downstairs of the shed
i have allowed my knick knack collection to shine a little.
i am trying hard to use some retraint
so i don't suddenly become overwhelmed by their 'knick knackiness'
and promptly hide them all back in the cupboard.

you have been so patient since the first thrilling installment of my wall re-do
but at last i can now show you the conclusion of the other wall.
of course i'm a little hesitant to bring the whole subject up again of Orla's paper,
after all i'm quite sure some of you are still getting over the shock
indeed perhaps never will...
i'm wondering if therapists are benefiting from this very incident

but i must tell you,
i am most happy indeed with the results
and dare i say it,
actually relieved it turned out as well as it did...
i found the lovely vintage wallpaper online
with 'oh so perfectly perfect' granny knicker pink sprigs

and i now have a lovely little shelf that sits above Miss Ethel,
doing a mighty fine job at holding
all the knick knacks i treasure...

originally i painted the shelf turquoise,
yes it would be true to say,
a turquoise shelf was all i had eyes for.
my man attached the shelf to the wall,
i looked at the shelf
and the shelf looked back at me
i said to the shelf,
"my apologizes, i miss judged you,
for surely your glorious curves should be glossy white"

she is doing pork chops Jamie's way tonight, oooh she's thinking that sounds exotic ~ Tif

footy note: it would appear we are not having exotic pork chops for on close inspection of recipe, i have none of the stuff required to make the exotic topping, therefore we are having 'non-exotic' pork chops, no doubt with side dishes with an orange hue to them... letting Jamie down once again

Thursday, April 29

a pie in the making...

dearest readers, my shop update will not be until monday now,
circumstances being what they are,
i have decided it better to take a few extra days
and do the job properly...

so with that being said,
i can only apologize to those that were waiting on friday.
let us just say 'a pie' was made but said pie took a little longer than i hoped.
add in the sudden realization that our #2 turns 17 in 4 days to which i am wholly unprepared...
do not think i do not remember the dates of my children's birthdays
for i do,
it's just i thought we were still somewhere near the middle of April and not entering the beginning of May

but i can assure you i will be in my little store around 10:00am pacific time Monday 3rd May,
popping a few new dottie angel lovelies upon the shelves...

i have several summer apron wraps,
a couple of 'just say it like it is' wall hangings,
a whatnot garland,
a pair of rambling kite tales,
some 'summer sunshine' cushions.

now some may say they look like ordinary dottie angel cushions,
the usual patched affair.
but dearest readers like so many ordinary looking things,
they are rather extraordinary on closer inspection.
for i have made these sweet 'summer sunshine' cushions double sided

"oh Tif, that is simply wonderful" i hear you exclaim
"why thank you" i reply

i have always tried to make my cushion covers as pretty on the back as the front,
however, this time i really made the effort to give them two personalities.
the first personality being
and the second personality being

and now with that out of the way,
let us talk pie.
for that is really what we are here for today.
did Tif make the pie?
and more to the point,
did Tif's family survive the pie?
very important questions
needing to be answered so we may all sleep tonight.

yes, i made a pie,

yes, it took me the best part of the day

i blame the many distractions that go on within the shed
and not my inabilities to have all the ingredients required,
so nothing to do with a mad dash for flour in the middle of the veggies cooking,
or pesky little olive giving a fatal wound to my oldest and dearest dottie angel cushion whilst i was distracted by my pie making...
no, nothing to do with that sort of thing.

by the time we sat down to eat the meat and onion pie it was well after 8pm

probably a good thing, for my clan were hungry,
my man noted a lack of veggies on the side,
and got up to cook some.

i told him
"sit down, be quiet and eat up.
Jamie says the pie is filling enough
and if Jamie says that,
then it's good enough for me"

on the whole i think it went quite well,
the vegetarian amongst us not fairing quite so well...
everyone lived to see another day,
but as i sat and ate my pie of many hours,
i couldn't help but think,
"lordy Tif, you've got to get up tomorrow and start this all over again"

she is clearing up the debris and getting Carlos the camera warmed up ~ Tif

Wednesday, April 28

Jamie and the little voice...

yesterday i left mossy shed with good intentions.
plans to drop our #4 at the soccer field
and head straight to the grocery store.
i had in my hand a shopping list containing all i required to make a pie just like the one in my Jamie Oliver book.
which i must tell you is now sporting a lovely jacket of vintage wallpaper
to match the inside of the book
and mossy shed

"Tif, are you quite barmy?" i hear you exclaim

well yes, some may say i am,
making a little jacket for my book,
is a true sign of the high hopes i have placed in Jamie and his ability to get me cooking.

i sat at the stop light,
i glanced at the list by my side
and then a voice popped into my head.
the little voice mentioned how much it admired my good intentions
but also had i forgotten that indeed my usual port of call when soccer practice is playing out, would be the thrift store.
i gulped
i felt a little whoozy,
the little voice was tempting me to forsake Jamie and his pie ingredients.
i weakened,
thinking of the shelves of despair full of forsaken little souls
wishing to find their way home to the shed.

upon entering the thrift store with guilt on my shoulders,
i went to the clothing department,
after a short while i noticed polyester vintage garments were talking to me
to stop them talking to me,
i told a fib

"polyester vintage garments, do not tempt me with your granny chic charms,
for i cannot help you,
polyester is not my thing"

but they know
what i know
and you know
to be true...
yes indeed a curtain of the finest dottie angel goodness can be made from polyester...
i sensed their despair as i turned away dismayed at my fibbing ways.

i moved swiftly on to the china department
thinking it was all part of Jamie's plan to drive me from the thrift store and into the grocery store...
more lost souls started talking to me once again.
in the nicest possibly way i had to let them down
for they were total 'crappity crap'
and despite rustling around in my bag for my rose colored specs
and saying outloud
"what would dottie do"
i was at a loss for how to save them.

then it happened,
once again a thrift store happening that you all know happens from time to time.
you can't quite believe that what you see is there,
that no other, good thrifting fellow, has spotted it before you.
a bowl with all the look of a Catherine Holm,
on close inspection no marking
therefore causing me to suspect its impostering ways.
but imposter or not
it would be a thrifting crime of the utmost kind,
not to make her mine

i claimed my find,
hugging her for a little while
guilt falling from my shoulders.

upon the way home i picked up chinese takeout
whilst silently promising Jamie that as soon as i got home,
washed up my lovely little bowl
fed and watered the clan with my fast food offering,
i would go late night grocery shopping to make up for my faltering ways...

she is armed today with pie ingredients, Jamie once again by her side and high hopes ~ Tif

Tuesday, April 27

it's a chicken thing...

it has been over a year since the chickie peas came to live at mossy shed,
over a year of being a mother hen...
they were indeed the very reason for moving to the shed and it's acre of moss.
in a year they have been my constant source of daily delights,
in short they are all i had hoped they would be
and so much more.

if you are sitting on the fence,
debating whether or not to bring a feathered friend or two into your life and your backyard,
i would advise you to think no longer and just do it,
and i am quite certain my advice is echoed all around
for many of you already know the joys i'm talking about...
the joy of having a few funny birds,
just doing their thing,
day after day,
never talking back to you,
always happy to see you,
wonderful at keeping secrets
never a complaint about your food offerings.

quite simply put,
i hope never to be without a few backyard chickens,
for the rest of my days

she is busy sweating it out with Miss Ethel and trying to keep billy no mates out of the shed ~ Tif

Monday, April 26

dress down monday...

i am dressed today in an outfit one step away from 'you might as well have stayed in your pyjamas Tif' outfit...
it is grunge with no frills,
hair with no style
face with no color.
i have no excuse for my lazy dress down day other than i wished it wasn't monday.
i fear this lack of aspiring attire will effect my efficiency today when it comes to getting 'nitty gritty' with my to-do list

in the meantime i have several things of note today...
i can not promise it to be tres thrilling,
or terribly enthralling
but as i am dressed in my 'dress down' attire
it is all i have to offer.

1. i will be having a small shop update this Friday,
it has become quite obvious to me that if i do not actually pin point a day for adding wares to my little store,
i start to drift,
i get distracted
and then it becomes almost impossible for me to regain focus.
so for now there will be no more 'adding as and when' i make something,
because obviously i'm not making something,
therefore unable to add it...
so we are back to the old shop update scenario.
you know the drill, so i shall not bore you with the details

2. red and granny knicker pink are taking over the shed,
little bits here and there keep sneaking in...

i spent way too much time on saturday rearranging my knitting needles to match my mood for such colors.
(see what i mean about drifting)

on sunday i tackled our bedroom,
which has never really been sorted since we moved into the shed over two years ago.
still waiting to be dragged out of 1980 and into dottie angel's world.
armed with some lovelies from downstairs i set about making it a little bit more peachier to be in.
the plan is to paint the graying white walls, bright white
and pull up the 30 year old green stained carpet to lay a white floor
all brown wood will go white.
basically what we usually do...
i'm hoping this will be sooner than later but for now things look a little less 'crappity crap' with the help of granny knicker pink

3. little olive spent her weekend in the veggie patch with my man,
she did a sterling job of digging over the patches.
she was not left to 'willy nilly' dig where she wished,
for she has a tendency to be most random with her 'pounce and dig' technique.
and so we placed her on a long leash and then moved her a long every 10 minutes.
this proved most effective,
my man then followed behind and planted the seeds.
they made a brilliant team.
at the end of both days little olive was worn out,
but most happy and contented

for being a 'digger extraordinaire'
there is nothing quite like a veggie patch to get one's digging fix.

4. i have in my hands
(not literally as then i couldn't tippty type, but it sounded grand, so i said it)
yes indeed, for those that know me well,
this could be a ground breaking moment,
more so then little olive in the veggie patch.
this could be the moment my children have waited patiently for more than 18 years.
and my man for many more...
a moment that may cause them to weep and hug their mother,
never wishing to leave my apron strings.
i have in my hands
a cook book!
not just any old cook book
gifted to me yesterday by my man.

i have followed the whole series on the box with our #3 and #4.
i rarely follow anything on the box
but this i needed to...
for i was proud of Our Jamie and all he is trying to achieve for our children.
i sat there
i knew,
i needed to make a change in my kitchen.
to perhaps make my reputation for orange meals and crockpot faux pas, a thing of the past.
and i know if anyone can help me,
Jamie can.

how did my man know this was the cook book for me?
he told me upon presenting his gift,
beaming with one who is gifting a gift, worth giving

"i looked inside the front cover Tif,
and i did not need to look any further"

she is thinking her man knows her well ~ Tif

Thursday, April 22

earth day...

i have hung up my little embroidery
at Mossy Shed
set about my day...

little olive is intent on digging up some minuscule crumb lodged in the wood floor,
used dog is pacing, which is making me nervous,
she knows that i know,
she has a dodgy stomach today.
and i am dallying with Miss Ethel.
not dallying with intent to stock up my shop
which is what i should be doing,
but dallying with intent to use a 1970's polyester thrift store dress i came upon in my travels.
it cried 'granny chic' to me,
but having never used polyester it was a gamble

i'm thinking kitchen window panels made with polyester is perhaps borderline 'have you gone completely off your trolley Tif',
but as it is reusing and recycling on this, our official Earth Day then i'm thinking that is just about acceptable.
plus i did team it with the top of an old bark cloth curtain and a lovely length or two of vintage lace, which i'm thinking helps bring it back from the borders of complete bonkers...

if you don't actually touch the polyester,
i must say,
it is perfect!

at the weekend we have plans to kick start this year's veggie patch,
little olive has nearly finished digging over all three patches.
we have yet again high hopes for an abundance of veg
and adding to those high hopes, will be flowers,
quite often our high hopes for a bumper crop are never actually met.
however, i am thinking if i start talking to the little seeds as we plant them,
encouraging them as seedlings
and then being most enthusiastic when they mature
even playing ABBA or Elvis to them,
it will make all the difference...

she is wishing you a peachy earth day and perfectly perfect weekend ~ Tif

Wednesday, April 21

pondering earth day...

Earth day is nearly upon us
and for some reason this year it really has been in the fore front of my mind.
i'm thinking it probably has a lot to do with being on a handcrafted secondhand year...
my mind is whirring with good intentions,
all filled with 'high hopes' of what i could do to make a change.

so far little olive is doing better than me.
she has become quite the 'digger' in the vegetable patch.
if you move her along every five minutes a whole patch can be turned over, weed free in about an hour, not bad for a doggie with very short little legs...

and i am quite sure there are many amongst us thinking the same thoughts.
(not thoughts about little doggies and their burrowing skills, but thoughts on what small change we can implement within our daily lives)
so without further a do,
i would like to introduce you to
she has a beautiful blog full of inspiring pictures
i have deduced that indeed she has read her camera's manual and actually knows which bits to twiddle with.
i have made a note to myself upon noting this information,
my note says
"Tif, twiddle with Carlos's bits".
as it is a mental note to myself,
for fear someone would come across the note if i penned it,
i am quite certain i will have forgotten it by tomorrow...
but it is not about me, my camera and my memory today.
now of course some of you are probably thinking,
"ummm, this is most peculiar, a rarity no less, for Tif hardly ever talks about anyone but herself"
and yes dearest readers, i think it is quite true to say that i can ramble on day after day about myself and the 'goings on' inside of Mossy Shed and my head.

but not today,
for today
i'm thinking it should be about Ishtar,
for Ishtar wrote to me a few days back
talking about Earth Day,
it is quite obvious that she has a passion for nature and the planet we live on,
just like many, many people trying to do some good for the Earth.
after a little bit of a chat
we both deduced that indeed what would be nicest of all is if perhaps we saw everyday as Earth Day.
and so Ishtar has made a little button which you can find upon her blog that you are welcome to add to your blogs
(i'm not sure it is up there just yet but will be hopefully soon...)

the purpose of her little button is to help remind us to think of the Earth
and all its glory
for more than one day a year,
so perhaps we can make small changes that in turn lead to bigger changes,
and with a bit of luck,
between us all
keep this beautiful Earth going for generations to come
and with that all being said,
if you are keen to share with me what you have in mind for celebrating Earth day,
i would love to hear...
so we may all be inspired to make a change

she is pondering about what her change will be ~ Tif

Tuesday, April 20

a challenge and a 'hangy-me-jig'...

i fear i have painted my DOUBTER in rather a poor light.
if indeed he stepped onto the stage right now,
i'm thinking a ripple amongst the crowd may result in some boo-ing...
so please allow me to correct the wrong i have made.
for my DOUBTER is perhaps worthy of way more than a gold sticky star,
he has stuck by my side near on 25 years
he does not doubt in any way that buying second hand is a good and proper thing to do,
no sirree!
his doubting ways come into play concerning my rather addictive ways to thrift store shopping,
my continual need to bring in forsaken little souls into our shed,
cluttering up our space,
always exclaiming how each and everyone of my finds will one day look peachy upon the shelves of a store...

today marks the 7 month milestone in my 'challenge of the utmost kind'.
it has been an interesting path for me.
i am without doubt
(and we know how we like 'no doubting')
that my challenge has helped further my creativity within my crafting
and indeed my shed.

i would be lying if i said it has been easy peasy every single day.
some things have been,
i don't actually think about it most days,
buying secondhand and handcrafted has become the norm.
but on occasion, i can tell you i would love nothing more than to walk into a clothing store such as anthropologie,
try on everything and anything,
and be able to purchase just one thing to cheer up my closet.

but then again because i haven't be able to do just that,
i pushed myself to make a 'high hopes' dress.
something i doubt (oooh, there it is creeping in again) i would have attempted without the challenge...

so with that being said i thought i would list to you all the things i have bought for myself new in the past 7 months,
and before you gasp! shocked that indeed i have purchased new,
the majority of what i bought became an ingredient used within handcrafted or rescuing a forsaken soul so it may shine in all its glory

1. three tins of eco paint

2. four sheets of pretty paper for birdie decals on the kitchen nook wall, purchased in China Town whilst visiting Vancouver over spring break

3. five spools of thread for Miss Ethel to do her thing, i bought these last week and they are my first since the challenge began, not bad considering just how much thread her and i go through in a week

4. three yards of new fabric, bought once again last week, so i may attempt a second dress.
being aged 41 i decided most of the fabrics i had with enough yardage in my stash were a little on the twee side for myself.

5. five little birdies

when i found an old lampshade frame i was inspired to make a 'little birdies hangy-me-jig'...
my inspiration came from the lovely Sandra of Yarning and her use of an old lampshade frame.
she truly is a wonderfully talented crafter.
i used my little sprightly spring scraps, along with some lovely vintage kimono fabric my soul sister sent me...
i knew i wished for little birdies upon my hangy-me-jig and so after some pondering, knowing fabric ones would not give me the look i was going for, i bought some.

6. a brass lamp harp for a thrift store lamp

7. a spare part for our broken kitchen tap so i could stop myself going insane

i am most admiring of all the challengers upon my sidebar especially those who have their family included,
it is something that takes a certain amount of willpower, definitely passion and a strong belief in what you are doing.
whatever the reasons they are doing it for
i am delighted they should take this challenge alongside of me...
and also for so many of you out there who choose to do this within your day to day life and have been doing so for many years.
you truly are an inspiration for me
and for that i am thanking you kindly...

she has three wraps made and several more to go ~ Tif

Monday, April 19

a thrifted tale...

i tell you this tale today dearest readers,
so those amongst us that live with DOUBTERS
may take heart
and continue to stay strong
whilst 'a thrifting'.

for indeed life with a 'doubter of the secondhand kind' can be most inconvenient at times...
so if you are sitting comfortably,
have rather a lot of time on your hands to spare,
i shall begin.

once upon a time in a Mossy Shed surrounded by an acre of moss, lived Tif.
once again we find Tif to be an eclectic bohemian crafter of a uncertain age,
pottering about her usual friday morning, doing 'pottering must dos'.

after a bit of pottering Tif had to go out,
Tif rarely left the safety of her shed but some days it was necessary.
this time she required something to complete a crafty project
(more of that tomorrow)
on the way back from said place Tif passed her local thrift store.
she never went there on a friday for getting a parking spot was always most stressful and put paid to any enthusiasm for thrifting.
but for some reason she thought perhaps she'd just try her luck,
"no harm" she thought to herself
as she was passing it would seem silly not to try.
she visualized the space and voila! one appeared...

after a few minutes of pottering around the shelves thinking it all was rather 'crappity crap' and begining to doubt the space in the parking lot was karma,
Tif rounded the corner to the furniture aisle.
at that moment dearest readers,
Tif experienced her most peachiest thrift store find of all time...
for she knew her thrift store did not do mid century furniture,
other than perhaps the odd side table.
in fact for a long time she was suspicious that those out back who did the sorting, knew their stuff and never allowed any mid century lovely pieces to go out onto the shop floor.

but Tif learnt several lessons that day,
one of which,
miracles do happen
and the thrifty gods do bless those that shop secondhand.
she noted a chair,
looked a little closer,
felt a little weak,
checked around and saw its brothers
and that is when it happened
Tif knew she had in her hands something so sweet and beautiful it made her want to weep.
but Tif also knew she lived with a DOUBTER
and this DOUBTER was sending her doubting thought waves.
so Tif faltered from what was right and goodly,
from what the thrifty gods had laid out before her
she took only one chair to the cash till.
but then she hesitated
the gods on one shoulder, telling her
"Tif this is your moment, your most glorious thrift store moment of all time",
the DOUBTER on the other, telling her
"Tif, put it back, how many chairs can one family and one shed need for crying out loud"
Tif returned to the furniture aisle and tried to please both the Gods and her DOUBTER.
she decided to buy two.
hoping to silence the converstation going on in her head.

on returning to the shed,
$15 a piece.
she noted the label

she placed a bit of fabric over the iffy seat covers

she gasped,
then the fog lifted,
it all became clear.
the thrifty Gods had moved in mysterious ways,
opening up a parking space,
guiding Tif to a set of mid century chairs in all their glory,
at an incredible price
and she had let them down
she had been swayed by a DOUBTER...

Tif quickly emailed her soul sister in old blighty
confessing the sin.
her soul sister emailed her back immediately
telling her she was not to listen to the DOUBTER in her shed or her head
and get her arse back in the car and rescue the other chairs before it was too late.

after 45 minutes of fretting, thinking someone else would find the last two chairs before she got to them,
she was rewarded for returning to the righteous path the thrifty Gods had shown her.
a little while later,
armed with furniture polish,
four peachy chairs
some 'spring fling fabrics' she got to work....

later that evening
she was ready for the DOUBTER to return from work,
indeed the following day, Tif once again had to leave the shed to run some errands,
she left a gentle reminder for her DOUBTER to find upon his return from soccer.

so there would be no doubt in his mind,
Tif would never again,
wavier upon discovering mid century furniture at the thrift store...
for to have come most close to walking away from the set,
splitting them apart forever
would have been a 'thrift store sin of the utmost kind'

Tif is grateful the Gods blessed her twice that day,
allowed her to be influnenced by the DOUBTER who lives in her shed,
knowing that it was all part of their greater plan.
for they knew she had to falter,
to lose her way,
so they could prove to her
once and for all,
the secondhand path she tries to stay on,
day after day
is a
without a DOUBT

the end

she has 'high hopes' for summer apron wraps this week ~ Tif

Friday, April 16

a little bit of press...

i am positively beaming this morning,
beaming with pride,
not just for my high hopes frock
but for the very fact that i do believe i have readers of the utmost kind.
you are always so wonderful to me
and for that,
i am thanking you kindly...

today i wish to share a few magazines i have been fortunate to be involved with.
i have been most neglectful in telling you that CLOTH is now out on the book stands.
well i received a copy of it in the mail just before Spring break and i think they did a marvelous job at figuring out my rambling tutorial.

i was most happy indeed with the results

if you are interested in purchasing a copy you can find details here
or you can do like my lovely mother did and tell them you wish to purchase the issue with dottie angel in it, because you are dottie angel's mother.
then again i'm thinking if we all ordered a copy saying we are dottie angel's mother, they may get a little suspicious and perhaps think some of us are lying.
so better perhaps say you are a dottie angel 'reader of the utmost kind' and i'm quite sure they will 'nod the nod' knowingly and send you a copy hoppity quick...

and as if that wasn't enough magazine excitement for one day,
a few days before New Year, i was contacted by the editor of Sublime magazine saying she had been given my name by the lovely Marga of chocolatecreative handmade textiles.
they were working on a craft feature for issue 19 and invited me to be involved...
the trickiest bit being, could i provide a photo of myself with my children.
now it is very rare for us all to be in front of the camera and even rarer for us to all look normal.
my man kindly volunteered to take a snapshot,
saying it really didn't matter too much as long as we were in one picture...
i gasped at the very thought of his photo,
imagining it in Sublime,
amongst all the other talented folks and feeling quite whoozy at the thought.
"no worries" i said "i'll think of something"

after a little pondering,
i decided to stitch a photo together...
all of us doing our best posing

i sent off my bit of blurb and photo,
still a little clueless as to what the article was about
and waited keeping my fingers crossed that i would fit in amongst their lovely pages.

several weeks later George contacted me
saying i had missed out one thing and that was my philosophy.
could i kindly send it pronto as they were going to print
"oh pants" i thought,
i had hoped they wouldn't notice as that bit had me stumped at the time.
for i don't ever think that deeply about what i do and what i am,
i'm just me doing my thing,
its just who i am...
i pondered George's request as i made our #4's sack lunch.
after 5 minutes at 7:15 am,
i had my philosophy.
it was quite simple,
and obvious now i think about it.
for indeed there is one thing i know to be true,
if i cannot craft and i cannot dream
then i cannot be my true self.
out of my apron pocket that morning i pulled my philosophy...

'if i go to sleep at night knowing i have visited my imagination, however fleeting it may have been, then i know i have used my day wisely'

she is wishing you a weekend of 'visiting your imagination' and will see you on monday ~ Tif
footynote: i am not even going there with the linky dink issues as obviously they are back to haunt me like before...
i don't know why it happens when i link to CLOTH,
but it does
and i'm not going to fret and spend hours trying to make it work for i know it will not.
so here is the website address of CLOTH magazine so you can find it