Tuesday, December 21

counting the days...

with just days to go until Christmas things are ticking along nicely...
Our #1 is back in the shed,
she arrived with an english accent and a bag full of Chocolate.
little olive has reached her peak of fitness
and i am actually really rather proud.
for some time ago she confessed to a fear of heights,
which as you can imagine is tres tricky if you wish to guide Santa's sleigh.
so for the past few days she has bravely practiced looking down...

this year her antlers are bigger than last years set,
indeed they are quite on the loose side of things.
however little olive has taken to wearing them day and night,
and i have high hopes come Christmas Eve,
she will have mastered them perfectly

and so my dearest readers, as hard as it is to believe,
yet another year has whizzed on by
and i am left again marveling at all the things that have past.
i know for some the holiday season can be a little lonely,
or indeed a little sad,
loved ones no longer with us and family far away.
for many this year, in old blighty and europe,
the snows have caused plans to be changed.
so where ever you are,
whatever you celebrate this time of year
and with whom (two or four legged friends a like).
i am thanking you for the kindness you continue to show me
and may your season be filled with
a little joy,
a little peace
a little crafting...

she is wishing you a 'peachiest of peachy' new year ~ Tif

Thursday, December 16

home for the holidays...

just a few hours to go and i will be leaving for the airport to pick up Our #1.
i spent my morning wisely pottling around and achieving very little for my pottling ways except a few stitches.

i also managed to write a sign saying "welcome home sweetie" which i promptly attached to a large Father Christmas balloon i bought at the grocery store, intent on taking to the airport with me.

i have no idea what came over me, i am not a grocery store balloon kind of person but the moment seized me as i bought the carrots, the oranges and the sunchips (all good stuff from the food group 'orange')... i noted mothers all around with little children in their carts, i was struck by the moment, that moment that hits you when you know life has moved on, that your days of stuffing kids into carts and bribing them around the grocery store are long gone. when your rose colored specs fall into place, those moments are always recalled with fondness.

as i bought the over sized Father Christmas balloon, i stood with glistening eyes, telling the lady who the balloon was for. can it really be 122 days have gone by and now the day has come when she will be back in our family nest for 11 whole peachy, festive, gleeful days and then she will be gone again. this time around it will be far longer than 122 days, more like 222.
but that is okay, for i will be busy preparing for Our #2 to fly the nest next summer, she too choosing to spread her wings to adventures far away. i am quite sure by the time Our #4 leaves i will be a dab hand at this apron string cutting lark

and so tomorrow i have quite the jam packed thrilling day planned for her, first we will go and look at bi-focal lenses for me and then we will head to the thrift store! she will go her way to the clothing, i will go mine to the knick knack department, we will meet half way and compare our finds and it will, dearest readers, i am quite positively sure, feel like old times, the very good sort of old times that keeps one going on the days when the distance seems unbearable.

she is thanking you so very kindly for the lovely words concerning her dottie angel fim and wishes you the peachiest of weekends ~ Tif

i do believe...

this morning upon pulling our bedroom curtains open, i noted a package of green and red placed quite neatly at the base of our fence next to our driveway...

i hoppity skipped down the stairs and out into the cold
and that is when dearest readers a warm glow filled my heart, the glow of glee. for upon my driveway was a bag of red bows, upon my fence three of them already happily doing their gleeful thing.

now if you may recall, our #4 had noted upon his father installing greenery along the fence, that indeed it looked as though the tree branches had fallen from above and we had yet to clear up the debris. however not any longer, no sirree! through another's kindness, a small gleeful miracle has happened at Mossy Shed.
our fence is now 'a glow' with it's branches, lights and red bows and once again i find myself marvelling at the kindness of others...

she does believe in small miracles and she is wishing you one of your own, this gleeful season ~ Tif

Wednesday, December 15

dottie angel... once upon a time

Mr Internet and i had a falling out over the past few days, 'twas not the best timing for us to part ways, indeed i could have wept at his departure... however i am delighted beyond all delights to report we are back together, i say forever, but he says he cannot commit to forever and says he wishes to take it one day at a time.

so without further a do, feeling like i am a little late to the party, (but always better late than never) i am tres delighted to show you a dottie angel film Janine and her brilliantly, brilliant filming skills created.
when Janine and her clan came to stay in October, she felt it a grand idea to do a little bit of filming so folks that do not know me, may have an introduction to dottie angel and life at Mossy Shed. i am also thinking perhaps folks that do know me and my blog may indeed still enjoy seeing a little bit of my world, after all usually i am pictured with no head and in my classic Flat Stanley pose.

i must confess i was a little nervy about it, having only ever featured in home videos of long ago, the days of when four small children were crammed into our bed, 4:00am Christmas morning and my man thinking it perfectly perfect to record the moment.
but a film about me featuring in no particular order, billy-no-mates, used dog, little olive, Mr Shark and Miss Ethel, well now that truly was a completely different kettle of fish... when i first saw the short film a few weeks back, i must tell you i was quite moved by how Janine had truly captured me and my day to day life, when my clan are out and it is just me, my critters and my crafting. a time for my imagination to shine...

Dottie Angel's Once Upon a Time from Etsy on Vimeo.

and so on Tuesday, a little bit of dottie angel aired on Etsy's peachy blog, along with a lovely write up from Janine.
i feel most fortunate indeed to have Janine, the Etsy team and you of course, my dearest readers, to believe in my imagination, making me feel it is okay to be me. that is truly the kindest gift one can ever give, i believe and so i am thanking you kindly for allowing me to share a little piece of me every time i ramble here and in these two films by the talented Janine Vangool

A thrifty moment with dottie angel from UPPERCASE gallery on Vimeo.

she is down to 22 hours and her first born will be home for the holidays ~ Tif

Monday, December 13

for the love of burke...

once again i found myself heading to the big city last week (with bangs to aid me) and once again i found myself lost. for the love of burke and his fabby chairs, i had no choice but to use my secondhand senses and deep breathing exercises to get back on route. after quite a few trips over bridges, in a large roundabout way i found myself where i wished to be with great relief.

i have only ever found one burke chair before, it was many, many moons ago, but all so clear like it were yesterday... how is it one can remember precisely the day and time one finds the most fabbiest of vintage finds and yet i cannot remember what i did yesterday or indeed need to be doing today or tomorrow. when i found the two burke chairs last week, they also came with a friend. i had not known about the friend until i turned up, but his little ugly duckling ways standing next to the two swans caught me unawares. my thrifty maternal instincts for all waifs and strays took a hold, especially when he swivelled so nicely upon introduction. i didn't stand a chance

back at the shed i unloaded my haul. i told myself this was madness, as i squeezed them into my studio and stared at their beauty, not knowing quite how i was going to disguise the fact i had bought yet more chairs into our nest. i decided to scatter them in different corners of the shed, thus giving the appearance they may have always been there, blending in amongst the other forsaken souls i have happened across in the past.

"ah ha" i exclaimed to myself, little olive (busy licking burke's legs) and used dog "a brilliantly brilliant plan if ever there was one!" i could tell they were most impressed with my cunning plan.

i also told them, i could not, would not, under any circumstances, never, ever touch the cushions until after Christmas, for my Mother Christmas duties were top priority over cushion slip covers, even i could see that. i noted both little olive and used dog were wearing smirks after i have finished my words.

after two hours i was twitching, after three i was rifling through my bark cloth stash and by the fourth hour, one burke chair was sporting a spiffy reversible jacket. i stood quietly back in amazement, for it fitted like a glove, a beautiful vintage bark cloth glove and i noted as i stood there, a small amount of glory shone around.

next day i told myself it would be madness (again) to leave the other chair without his little jacket, what if the good fortune sent by the handcrafted gods ran out, just thinking about it made me start to fret. if i did not get on with it hoppity quick then the gods may think i did not care for the 'fitting like a glove' gift they bestowed upon me and take it away! by the end of the day, two little 'gloves' were completed and shining away in the kitchen knook

alas, the ugly duckling awaits his transformation, the handcrafted gods have moved on to some other lucky crafting soul and i must await with patience for their return. whilst i am awaiting, i shall continue with my Mother Christmas duties and ponder what is best for the little ugly duckling so he too, may get his moment to shine...

she will be back tomorrow with something to share, something like she has never shared before ~ Tif

Friday, December 10

the three wise dolls...

of dottie angel

spreading wisdom where ever they may go

high hopes

do have them quite often, once a day would be brilliant but if that is a little tricky, once a week is perfectly peachy

most happy

not always easy but wisdom has it, if you think yourself into a happy place, then chances are you will be feeling most happy before you know it

little crafty

perhaps the wisest of them all and with very good reason... be a little crafty each day and i know from first hand experience, sanity may well be saved

she is wishing you the most craftiest, happiest weekend you can hope for ~ Tif

Thursday, December 9

'a sweating' with Miss Ethel...

well i have ground to a halt with 'a sweating' with Miss Ethel. she has given all she can give and quite honestly i think after her beavering of the past week she deserves a little rest.
i will be popping some handcrafted goodness in my little shop window tomorrow (friday) throughout the day and then again on monday. i have made it a two parter for the clouds will not part and the rain will not stop and Mossy Shed is a bat cave.

i think the time has come the walrus said, to investigate lighting options so i may give up my madness ways of chasing any little bit of daylight that peeks through a window at any given moment, by the time i am set up, ready to go, a big angry cloud comes along again.
so what you see today is just a sprinkling of things that will be listed. a few choice pictures if you will, taken over the past week as and when a ray of light appears...

i must confess of all the wares Miss Ethel and i have been beavering on, the 'little string of dottie angel' is one that makes me smile. so much so, that of the four i made, despite breaking my rule of never, ever keeping something i made for the shop (don't ask me why i have such a rule, i just do, i am somebody that makes up rules in their head for no apparent reason and then frets about breaking them), i have decided that one little string will remain in mossy shed. it has all the elements of dottie angel,
vintage wallpaper,
a print of forsaken souls,
without words heart patch,
an old book page,
my flat stanley body,
vintage linens,
bark cloth,
a hand embroidered word,
the dottie angel dos,
a high hopes print,
vintage lace,
a handmade button card
and last but not least,
a little pair of teeny tiny turquoise clogs...
all stitched happily with abandonment by Miss Ethel and her fabby peachy pink thread. as i am tippity typing this ramble, my forbidden little stringy garland is hanging above my computer looking most spiffy indeed and reminding me i should fret less about breaking rules.

on another note, the lovely Jade of Craft Hope, did a little write up recently of her trip to Seattle and my dottie angel camp. she has done the most fabby job of continuing to craft dottie angel style and everything she has shown me since our peachy weekend together has made me so proud of her crafty ways and so i am thinking this is probably a perfectly perfect time as any, to mention that i have high hopes next year there will be another dottie angel camp, not in Seattle but in a place very close to my heart! so when i know the nitty gritty, probably in the new year, i will be sure to let you know.

she is thinking once again she sounds like a traveling salesman, but this time one with bangs ~ Tif

Wednesday, December 8

calendar girls...

outside it is chucking it down and i fear daylight will not get a look in before night fall, however i will not let that dampen my spirits, no sirree, i will not spend my day fretting about not getting photos finished for my etsy shop, nor will i worry that if i go out in said 'chucking it down' rain my newly acquired bangs (fringe) will get a mind of their own and stop looking peachy smooth 'straight from the salon' loveliness.

for near on 18 years i have remained bangless, and i am quite sure that is not something one goes around saying in public, however if the word bangs is the word for fringe, then i see i have no alternative when living abroad and embracing a different language but to use the correct terminology. if i was in old blighty i would say "for near on 18 years i have remained fringeless" but i am not, so i must go with the wording 'bangless' and try to say it with a straight face.
my bangless state has come to an end (still with poker straight face) and yesterday after much fretting and pondering with several lovely folks (who know who they are) i went for the chop!

my clan cannot look me in the eye without smirking, my man exclaimed upon arriving home late last night, drenched from rain and soccer
"oh my god! i can actually see your face, wow!"
followed by laughter, i have no idea if that was a wonderful exclaiming on his behalf, i did not bothered to find out for at the time i was busy adjusting to feeling like i had a helmet on my head. however i am delighted to report this morning it feels less like a helmet and more like a light weight summer cap, so me thinks this is a good sign.

in the meantime as i adjust to my new bangy way of life, i have several thrilling 'this and thats' to have happened i really did wish to share, so for today, if i may be so bold, i wish to share the moment i became a calendar girl

a few moons ago, (not many moons, just enough though to allow me to pen the word 'moons' which i like) the lovely Kathreen of the peachy online place Whipup kindly invited me to be a calendar girl for her Whipup Calendar 2011. i have never been asked to be a calendar girl before so as you can imagine, i did have a few giddy moments of excitement about the whole idea.

Whipup is a lovely site that hosts a whole wealth of inspirational ideas from around the crafty community, i have no idea how Kathreen found me and my how-tos but she did, and often kindly pops them up on her lovely site so folks may find them.

the calendar features 12 crafty souls and is available in three printable formats all for the rather fabby price of $5, which i am told goes to supporting Whipup and keeping it doing what it does, which i think is truly spiffy, for Whipup is a wealth of crafty goodness 'how-tos' and inspiration. all the information about the calendar and nitty gritty stuff that Kathreen has covered can be found here

i can be found as Miss March, which i thought was quite lovely as usually March is a month i have little connection with, but now when March 2011 rolls around i will be able to feel a bond knowing i am Miss March. Kathreen asked each crafty calendar girl a set of three questions and over the past few weeks she has been posting the little mini interviews on Whipup. if you care to peruse her archives you will find them easily and if you happen to wish to find my little three answers you can find them here under Miss March. you will also find right at the bottom of my spiel a link to all 11 other peachy calendar girls and their crafty places.

so there we have it, it may be grotty and wet outside, dull as a cave inside but just looking at the lovely pictures and crafty goodness on the Whipup Calendar 2011 my day is already feeling brighter

she is off to the big city in the rain, with only her new bangs to help with driving directions ~ Tif

Friday, December 3

'tis the season...

my folks are safely back in their nest in snowy old blighty, after we had the most loveliest of fortnights spent doing exactly what i said we would do, knitting, crocheting, reading, eating and plenty of pottling around the area.

Mossy Shed is in full on gleeful mode, lights are hanging outside along with some fabby clusters of greenery upon the fence. my man kindly 'gathered and placed' them as per my instructions in cold temps on Thanksgiving afternoon.

Our #4 then commented the next day

"you know those branchy things dad put up apparently for decoration? you do know it just looks like a ton of branches have fallen off the tree and landed on the fence and we haven't bothered to clear it up"

i am thinking someone needs to find a pair of rose colored spectacles in his stocking this year.

this is the year i am totally embracing a more traditional look for our Christmas, i think it something to do with Our #1 coming home for the holidays. i dared to start counting after Thanksgiving and now i am down to 13 days to go before i will be standing at the airport gate waiting. by the time i see her it will have been 122 days since we last hugged, i am pretty chuffed at how well i have survived, allowing myself only one breakdown where i rushed from the kitchen to the computer and scrawled on her Face Book wall something along the lines of "just cutting up carrots for dinner and suddenly i can hardly breath from being overcome by how much i miss you". i think one public breakdown is allowable in four months.

the mantle piece is all decked out and for the first time ever, since first visiting Mossy Shed, i think i like it. i find our fire surround on the 'way over sized' side of things and therefore never quite know what to do with it, painting it all white and filling it with logs from the yard has helped.

this year i am looking for a little joy and a little peace (plus quiet) so when i found some knitted letters in Anthropologie whilst pottling with my folks it all came together. one long string of lace and with some bakers twine i spent a merry hour or so hanging gleeful bits and bobs along its length. the twigs in the large lacey jar (once home to pickled artichokes i found lurking in the fridge) was inspired by Country Living's (uk edition) December issue, my mother bought with her. i could practically smell the mulled wine coming off the pages as i flicked through page after page of gleeful goodness.

the J.O.Y letters i cut out from a red vintage thrift store dress and stitched them onto pages from an old book, (an angel in the corner by monica dickens, thinking it most suited to the season) i have no doubt, this would make for a lovely garland with all sorts of gleeful words strung together. a few forsaken little souls, including Joe from last year's nativity scene and Voila!

i think by now you can see i am on a total 'deck the halls' roll here in Mossy Shed. i fished out my lovely little wood & wool tree from last year made by the lovely peachy Ingrid. her little wooden green trees are truly delightful and if one doesn't have room for a tree then i do think they are the perfect solution. this year (after a terribly crappity crap effort last year) i am most delighted with my little tree's decoration, once my grandmother's pesky pom-pom squirrel hopped on top, the rest fell into place.

and lastly but by no means least, i ran up a little 'easy peasy' garland for the tree this year. all you will need is a woolly sweater in cream or any color you think will match your gleeful decor. boil your sweater, i did mine quite lightly, so basically shoved it in a hot cycle with other whites so it came out boiled but still quite thin. almost as though it had gone through the wash accidentally on the wrong cycle. i snipped it into pieces and laid it flat to dry. i am super impatient so i kept checking on it and the minute it was dryish, i pounced with my scissors and cut it into lots of little rectangles around 2" x 3" (5cm x 7.5cm) or a bit smaller. no precise measurements required, just snippity snip away.

i took a few of the rectangles and with the help of Miss Ethel zoomed back and forth to make star shapes in red stitching, the rest of the pieces i left blank. this would actually be quite nice if done by hand with embroidery thread in a color once again nicely suited to your gleeful decor.

after which i gathered my rectangles into piles of 15 and slowly attached them with Miss Ethel's help, once again you could easily do this with some hand running stitch and embroidery thread. afterwards i hung them up to admire, no passing strangers passed by to invite in so they too may admire, therefore i promptly put them away until our tree was up. (which it is now, but not then)

i must tell you since making my little 'easy peasy' recycled garland i have seen similar on ETSY, so if you do not have a little sweater that needs to be boiled, nor the time to make a garland such as this but wish to have one, then just take a look on ETSY under 'garlands' or 'holiday garlands' and you will be amazed at the beautiful strings of glee, wonderful crafty folks are making for the holidays.

so there we have it, i am way ahead of the game with decorating the shed, but way behind at filling up my shop shelves. i have been beavering away non stop over the past few days, going to bed hoping the elves will visit whilst i sleep, but alas it would appear they are not coming this year. i did write sometime ago to offer them accommodation for the season but all i received was a short reply via Twitter saying

"you must be joking, we are in Australia this year. warmer climes than your shed & no orange grub insight"

so it is just down to me and Miss Ethel, along with our high hopes, next week will see the shelves stocked with wall hangings, woolly jammy jars, bark cloth sling sacks, tea towels, mini turquoise wooden clog vignettes and other goodies... all a little late for some folks with the Christmas post what it is, but in my head i keep telling myself "better late than never Tif"

she is thanking you for the lovely notes here and in her inbox whilst she was gone and is hoping all is fine and dandy in your nests, 'cause fine and dandy is nice ~ Tif