Saturday, April 30

yesterday and today...

yesterday appeared to be as good a day as any to:

1. watch a royal wedding decked out in red, white and blue upon my couch, whilst my becoming a little teary eyed

2. surprise Our #2 with an 18th Birthday Party and watch the moment of surprise, once again a little teary eyed

3. hear from my boys and my man, who are in St Louis competing at the world FIRST robotic champs and once again feel a little emotional long distance down the phone at their achievements

4. rustle up a little homemade rosette for a pedigree forsaken little soul who lost her way but may now feel like that show cat of long ago. her and myself felt a little teary at the recalling of her proud moments

(yes obviously yesterday was a day for teary eyes)

today appears to be as good a day as any to:

1: go out back and hang some lovely 'high hope' flags made by dottie angel's adopted auntie, so they maybe captured in all their lovely retro vintage glory and then placed in my little shop hoping to find other back yards to hang about in this summer

2: to take a sneak peek at the first issue of Mollie Makes, out in the UK on 12th May and Stateside 9th June (in barnes & nobles and joanns). they kindly came to visit for tea and a chat with me in Mossy Shed (albeit virtually) and you will be able to see the results of that and other wonderful crafty souls who are featured within its fine and creative 'living and loving handmade' pages. (my lovely friend Lola has done several star turns for them and will be featured in quite a few issues over the coming months, that alone makes it a mag worth reading for me!)

if you too think today is as good a day as any to take a sneak peek, then click on the line which says 'yes please i want to see molliemakes' and if you are overcome with wishing to get your little mitts on a copy then they do have quite a spiffy offer going on here. 3 issues for a fiver sounds good to me

she is also thinking, it as good a day as any to start moving beds around in preparation for her folks arrival on monday ~ Tif

footynote: and today would be as good a day as any to weep at those blimen' pesky gremlins messing with my head and line spacing

Thursday, April 28

signs of spring...

despite signs of spring for the first time this year, i am not willing to discard my thermal under vest just yet and it would appear, little 'loppy eyed' bunny is not willing to discard his woolly ear warmers either

she is delighted to have found the perfect royal tea towel to turn into wall art ~ Tif

Wednesday, April 27

dear william and kate...

i am writing to you with an apology. it would appear Our Shed and myself have been completely and utterly pants at getting prepared for your big day on friday. i fear we have let you down with our two year old, covered in green mold, union jack bunting i retrieved two days ago from around the veggie patch. to be fair i did give it a spin in Miss W. Machine but alas my high hopes were dashed when i retrieved a large knotty mess from her inners and still bearing the signs of green in places, from several winters hanging around outside.

after a few moments of 'knotted bunting' rage i admitted defeat and gave the responsibility of unraveling the mess to my man. in a trice he had it all sorted and with the aid of Our #4 i headed out to the front of Our Shed to hang our faded bedraggled bunting along the 'also greeny' white fence, so passersby would know where our loyalties lie. in my defence for only having this little offering to show for friday's big day, i must say 'wedding souvenirs' are in short supply in this neck of the woods and despite thinking it would be marvelous to handcraft a ton of union jack goodness to deck out Our Shed, i have been complete crappity crap in mustering up the energy.

however i have comforted myself with the knowledge Mossy Shed is not 'en route' for the wedding procession and therefore you will not have to see first hand my pants attempt at being patriotic. to make up for our lack of regalia i will be staying up late tonight to watch an hour long 'behind the scenes' special on all your wedding prep. this is a huge sign of my dedication as i know out of the hour, only 28 minutes will actually be about you and your special day, the other 32 minutes being commercials but i am quite sure it will be worth it. talking of commercials i did catch one the other day offering me a replica of your lovely ring, Kate. not having seen your ring in person, i was not sure how accurate it was. however the folks trying to get me to buy one were very excited about it so i can only assume it was spot on. indeed they were so confident i would want to pick up my phone right then and there to own it for only $29, i was told to hurry as stocks were limited and due to popular demand only one ring per household.

and lastly, before i leave you to get on with all those last minute pesky things which need to be done for the show to go on this friday. i have been toying with the idea of setting my alarm for 3am so i may watch your lovely wedding live, but alas the old person in me just cannot do such a thing. therefore i wished you to know, despite my lack of royal 'swags and tails' around Our Shed, and indeed the fact i will be watching you say your vows on a recording several hours after you spoke them, (whilst sitting in pyjamas eating leftover easter eggs) and also not sending for an exact replica of your pretty ring to show my admiration. i am in fact very happy to know you are tying the knot and wish you the happiest of happy lives together.

yours ever so sincerely

Tif Fussell (a Brit living abroad in a Mossy Shed)

Tuesday, April 26

pottling with intent...

Marjan navigated and i drove. our mission? to 'pottle with intent'. do you like that? i do too, 'pottle with intent' sounds like you have something of importance to do. i am thinking i will use this phrase of words more often.

perhaps when out and about, a market researcher may indeed stop me in my tracks and instead of mumbling pathetically some feeble excuse for not wishing to spend 10 minutes filling in a survey, i can instead say with a voice of certainty "oh i am sorry, but i am terribly busy pottling with intent" to which the market researcher will nod a knowing nod, despite not really knowing and leave me to get on with my pottling.

i am also thinking this may come in handy when a clan member keeps rabbiting in my ear and i cannot hear myself think, i will be able to say "can you give me a minute, i am busy pottling with intent" there upon i will walk with purpose around the shed giving the illusion i have something very important to do, hence my manic pottling. oh yes this is a trick worthy of keeping up one's sleeve for many an occasion.

today's pottling with intent, was across the bridge in the big city to a destination called Assemble which is a gallery, studio and shop all in one creative little space. i heard about Assemble from Janine and after doing a little research online, knew it worthy of a pottle.

Andie Wurster the lovely owner was there with her equally lovely little furry friend, Grady. we had a nice chin wag, whilst admiring the lovely paper goods on display and noting the wonderful courses they offer. if you happen to be in the Seattle area and are looking for a lovely location to learn the art of crocheted granny squares then i cannot think of a nicer place to 'pottle with intent' to, so you may twiddle with yarn, hook and some likeminded crafty souls.

it is strangely quiet in the shed with one half of her clan gone for a few days ~ Tif

Monday, April 25

feeling crafty...

on friday when out and about doing easter bunny things, i happened to pass by our local thrift store. as i have not been for quite the while, i was overcome with desire to pottle amongst the shelves of despair. i am glad i succumbed to some thrift store pottling, for the little end aisle which does a grand job of holding lots of smallish picture frames came up trumps. i took my triumphant pair of brown frames home and pondered their fate.

after a bit of pondering i decided to go with turquoise, this is partly because my can of turquoise paint seems to be never ending and partly because i thought the colour perfectly fitting for the end result. as my paint dried i rustled around in my granny's dressing table drawer and unearthed two photos of my girls, taken nearly 12 years ago on the morning of my soul sister Debbie's wedding. they were sitting on the bed in their underwear looking lovely to me, watching all the goings on around them, their hair all freshly washed and their bridesmaid dresses waiting

i printed off a background paper from a photo of patched together lace and linens and then stitched my girls photos on, mirroring the stitching on the background paper. after a bit of a struggle with the frame and its backing, due to it being rather old and on its last legs, i had myself two lovely little frames which i promptly popped on the wall in my studio. perfectly suited for my melancholy moments.

i am especially feeling crafty this week, inspired by these two lovely 'how-tos' i came across. first my friend Lola has done wonders with some pretty butterflies and then my friend Jane has made the most brilliant display boxes for the wall. both these 'how-tos' have me wishing to break out my crafting cap and make little vignettes of crafty goodness all around the shed.

she is adding a few wares to her shop window this week whilst doing a sundance ~ Tif

Thursday, April 21

a little iffy...

last week i felt a little iffy,
that iffy feeling led to a bout of flu.
after several days of feeling way more than a little iffy,
i am delighted to be back to just feeling slightly iffy.

so with all that iffy-ness being said,
i am going to give my slightly iffy self
the rest of the week off.
i have high hopes of being back next week
with a hoppity skip in my step
and not a whiff of iffy-ness about me

she is hoping the easter bunny hops through your back yards this weekend ~ Tif

Friday, April 15

particular things...

things i do not particularly like:
* pesky gremlins who lurk in my blog and play pesky tricks on my line spacing. worse still, they cackle with laughter at my attempts to override their pesky deeds in Html

things i particularly like:
* little forsaken souls
*little forsaken souls on secondhand ceramics
*little forsaken souls on vintage linens

things i would particularly like to happen:
*my plaits to grow long enough so i may wrap them around my head

she is wishing you a particularly peachy weekend ~ Tif

Thursday, April 14

liberty and the selvedge fair...

on the saturday morning, the day before i left to cross back over the pond, Our #1 and myself took the train back into London. first stop was TopShop on Oxford Street, we pottled amongst the humongous display of bags. as i stood bedazzled by the array of goods on offer and the young and old pretty ladies rushing around picking up and putting down the goods on display it dawned on me. i was now standing in TopShop on Oxford Street just as i had stood many moons ago aged 19, only this time i had my 19 year old daughter with me and despite a little pang of 'where have the years gone' i felt really rather fortunate for this moment of watching her pick out bags, trying them on, searching to find the exact one to meet all the needs of an art student carrying around her supplies and turning to me, asking for my opinion and when i gave it, listening to it. yes, how fortunate for small moments such as these.

after our bag testing in TopShop we headed to Liberty. i was pretty giddy about this and so i picked up the pace and walked faster. i cannot believe i have never ever been to Liberty before. actually i have stood outside before but never stepped inside its peachy Tudor walls.

we perused every department and i poured over every little thing on display. i have noted i am a 'touchy feely' shopper, everything i am attracted to must be touched, so therefore i did do quite a bit of touching in Liberty, i hoped they did not mind and i did make sure i had clean hands and only did light touching just to get a feel of the material and not a full on big 'rub-e-de-dubby' which would not have been suited to such lovely items on display in Libertys. no sirree, i save my 'rub-e-de-dubby' touchy stuff for the thriftstore where it is most important to get a good feel of things. yes i do know how to behave in public i assure you :)

after a lovely look at the insides of Liberty it was time to grab a light lunch 'el fresco' just off Regent Street. i am not making it up, we did indeed share a panini outside in the beautiful early spring and it was wonderful watching the hustle and bustle of folks in the sunshine. whilst we ate, i do believe i fell in love with London on a spring day.

then we were off to catch a tube to head on over to the Selvedge Fair and meet up with Debbie. upon meeting Debbie at Highgate tube station i was put in charge of directions to the Fair. i marched us off up the high street, after some marching and noting there really did not look like anyone else going to a grand Spring Fair, i halted our marching and poured over the little 'iffy' map printed off the web. i then turned my little 'iffy' map 180 degrees and noted to my two companions who had been marching alongside of me, it would appear we needed to go down the high street and not up.

see right there and then is a classic example dearest readers why i should not be put in charge of such important duties, i am brilliantly brilliant at following and looking out the side windows, whether in a passenger seat of a car or a companion on foot. after a bit of 'sighing and tutting' we were on our way again, arriving at the lovely Selvedge Fair in time for a much enjoyed pottle around and a nice cup of tea before the stall holders packed up and went home.

we caught up with the 'ever so lovely' Emma Lamb and her girls, looking so peachy and perfectly granny-ish. obviously i am talking about Emma's girls looking perfectly granny-ish and not herself, however the 'peachy' bit was about Emma though.

my fabby friend Fran was there too! after so many years of knowing her and her clever arty ways it was a sight for sore eyes to finally get to spend a little moment of snatched 'real life' quality time together.

and then there was my lovely friend Gloria (left of the photo), who so kindly displayed our dottie angel ltd tea towels on her stall and then let me stand behind her stall which truly was most kind.

how grand to have a chance to chin wag about this and that... truly what a peachy way to spend the last few hours of being on a small island... at the Selvedge fair with my lovely cyber buddies Emma, Fran and Gloria. the fair was full of crafty and arty goodness and it was wonderful to see all the stalls and their creative owners.

and then just like before, in the blink of an eye we were riding the evening train back to suburbia to pack up my 'vintage fabric heaven' treasures in my little suitcase and bid England a fond farewell. as i lay in my bed that night going over the whirlwind of the past 10 days, visiting five different counties, the family, the folks and the places i had seen, i could only marvel again at what a peachy trip it had been and best of all, perhaps the besty thing of it all, i got to spend a whole week with Our #1.

she has made old blighty her home now, when i look at her i see an adult standing before me, one who does not read her maps upside down, can train hop like a pro and knows how to be a canny thrifty shopper with her pennies. and as much as i miss not having her living here in our shed i am so positively beaming as i tippity type this post, knowing she is living out in the big world and doing such a brilliantly peachy job of it, far far better than i ever did.

she is particularly liking something in particular ~ Tif

Tuesday, April 12

vintage fabric heaven and Caravan...

i must confess to being distracted over the past few days by my little office space.

no longer Our #1's bedroom,

no longer a catch-all for my crappity crap

no longer with mauve walls to do my head in.

things are coming along a peachy treat and as i tippity type this little post in the corner of my new office space (gosh that does sound terribly businessy busy like doesn't it!) i am looking at freshly painted walls, old frames spiffied up, a nicely made bed in one corner for when Our #1 visits and in t'other corner, a place to house all my collection of lovely things to do with dottie angel stuff.

i will be sure to show you more but first shall we carry on with the thrilling adventures of Tif, Debbie, Lou Dearie and Our #1 in the big smoke? after all it is a day which will be forever etched on my little brain...

after our pottle around Spitalfields Market, Lou Dearie took us to 'vintage fabric heaven'.

now perhaps i need to tell a little tale within this tale for you to truly appreciate this moment. when the lovely Lou turned up in Seattle last September, she bought with her a suitcase full of vintage and retro fabric goodness, the likes of which i have never set eyes upon before. when she opened the lid to her case i can only liken it to the moment a lid is lifted off hidden buried treasure and a glorious light shines from within and angels chorus all around. well that was Lou's suitcase and as she lifted out the most wonderful bark cloth curtain with perfectly peachy rose clusters upon it, 13 dearies and myself gasped 'thee gasp'. after which Lou told me of a place, a place so splendid in it's retro vintage glory fabric goodness that she just knew i would think it was the closest thing to fabric heaven this side of the pearly gates.

roll on several months and here i was in London with my lovely day trip companions and embarking on what was to become one of my top ten all time besty best days ever. first Spitalfields Market and now a trip to vintage fabric heaven.

i have no idea where vintage fabric heaven is, Debbie and I dutifully followed Lou Dearie as she weaved through the side streets of London, Our #1 choosing to catch up with us later as she wished to check out the vintage stores along the way.

what can i say dearest readers, Lou did not disappoint. vintage fabric heaven was in a little side street, in a little shop crammed to the ceiling with piles of secondhand fabrics. all clean and folded and treated as they should be. sorted into piles of 'likeness'...

drawers overspilling with doilies and lace, granny blankets in a rainbow of colors, retro curtains and bark cloth yardage, all of which brought tears to my eyes.

we left vintage heaven with my purse a lot lighter and our hands a lot fuller...

feeling a little faint from two peachy ports of call and knowing we still had one port left to go, we found a lovely cafe to recharge our batteries and for me to yabber on and on about what we had seen and done whilst everyone else ate their lunch.

after which Lou had to leave, so we said our 'fare thee wells' and the three of us continued on our journey. our final port of call being the world of Emily Chalmers, Caravan. stepping off the street into Emily's shop was like stepping into a little imaginary world, Emily's lovely world. if you ever get a chance to visit then do so, for it is beautiful and interesting and quirky, just like Emily herself.

Emily was waiting for us, looking perfectly peachy whilst we looked windswept and bedraggled from our day out in blustery London, but such details did not matter, no sirree, what mattered was the wonderful couple of hours spent sitting and nattering over a cup of tea in Emily's room above the shop, marvelling over my vintage fabric haul, 'ooohing and ahhhing' over Emily's lovely collections and spending quality time together.

before we left the wonderful world of Caravan, Emily and myself had our photo taken by Leonard and he did a pretty good job considering the awe of the moment he needed to record. you will be able to see the results of the photo in my 'dottie angel' book alongside of Emily's lovely foreword she so kindly wrote for me.

and then we were on our way, off to catch a late train home to the suburbs. as we sat amongst other train travellers eating our M&S sandwiches and munching our crisps, i could but only marvel at how fortunate i was to be able to share this incredible day in my life with my soul sister and my eldest daughter.

knowing when i am old and grey, with perhaps a few marbles missing, i will be sure to tell the tale of this day to any passing random strangers who happen to pass by my granny chair in my old folks home. recalling the day i got to visit SpitalFields Market, Vintage Fabric Heaven and Emily Chalmer's peachy Caravan World many many moons ago. and when those passerbys doubt my 'tale' i will merely nod in the direction of the granny chair next to me and say

"if you do not believe me, then ask my soul sister, for she was there too..."

and we will smile the knowing smile that only soul sisters can smile who share a lifetime of memories

she is happily playing with her little forsaken souls and hopes to have results of said playing in the shop soon ~ Tif

footynote: upon my return to the shed i have noted gremlins are playing around with my shiny place, hence the lovely wide spacing between the sentences and other such mischief :)

Monday, April 11

be still my beating heart...

one peachy fine morning, Debbie, Our #1 and moi took a train to London to meet up with Lou Dearie. you know Lou, for she was the lovely dearie whom flew across the pond so she may beaver away with like minded souls last september in seattle.

well lovely Lou kindly offered to show us a little bit of vintage London and i can tell you dearest readers, she did not disappoint. our first port of call was Old Spitalfields Market on a thursday because that is vintage day! we spent many a peachy moment in vintage granny goodness heaven. actually just recalling Spitalfield Market with Lou has me overcome with giddiness, not to mention all the forsaken souls which whispered in my ear as i pottled around the stalls. words really cannot do the vintage goodness on display justice and so i think i will let Leonard and his Lens do the talking for today and i will be back with our second and third port of call on our spiffy day out to London, tomorrow...

she is wielding her paint brush in her new office space upstairs and things are beginning to look mighty fine ~ Tif

Friday, April 8

home again, jiggy jig and a jig, 'cause how nice to do an extra jig...

gosh, how odd. i am a little nervous at being here, what is that all about then? have i been gone so long, is it nerves of excitement or fretting, i do not know. all i know is i have missed you dearest readers and despite my shakes, i am most delighted to be back in my shiny place :)

actually now i think about it, perhaps i forgot to have my orange juice this morning, yes that is it, nothing to do with being here but more to do with being forgetful.

my trip to old blighty was perhaps one of my top ever trips in the past 10 years of tripping over the pond. Leonard and his trusty lens did not let me down. he did a fine and dandy job of snapping shots here and there. i now see it is not him but me who is not allowing our relationship to move on, after spending days of carrying him around and whipping him out to record a moment or two, i still do not love him. however sometimes it takes time to fall in love doesn't it and so i will continue to nurture our little bit of friendship as he deserves so much more than i am giving him.

since arriving home stateside i have holed up in my little shed and pottled, shuffled and shifted until i can pottle, shuffle and shift no more. that is the peachy thing about going away, the fog clears and you can see a solution where once you only saw a problemo. so upon returning i set about working on my solution, and the solution to my problemo is shifting Colin the Computer upstairs into a little corner of Our #1's old bedroom. which actually is no longer her bedroom but a useful room full of things i have accumulated from years of thrift store frequenting and now of course Our Colin.

i am most delighted, for downstairs in the heart of the shed is still my little studio, with Miss Ethel waiting patiently for me and cupboards full of linens and a large sofa under the window. forsaken souls dotted around, smiling at me and it now feels like the creative space it once was when we first moved to Mossy Shed... a space to beaver away in without Colin distracting me and on some days 'playing heavy' on my mind, watching me, never letting me switch off.

and so it is with great delight on monday i will be dealing with my 'itching to be stitching' mood which has been inside of me forever and a day. do you like that? i do too, 'itching to be stitching', surely that would be perfect on a wall hanging above a little trusty sewing machine who waits patiently for the moments she gets to beaver with her owner.

next week in between my stitchery ways i would be happy to share a few of Leonard's snap shots and a few tales of what i got up to if you like. today you can see a little sprinkling of Leonard's capturing moments in blustery old London. i happened across some bunnies to love, i seem to be finding bunnies all over the place but these ones had me overcome with bunny lust. what i really wanted to do was take them home and place them on an acre of moss and crochet them all lovely little bunny ear warmers in happy bunny ear warming colors. when i whispered this thought in their lovely bunny ears they seemed quite keen and started talking amongst themselves as to what colors would suit their lovely ears best...

she has bunnies on the brain alongside her 'itching' mode, oh yes her crafting cogs are turning ~ Tif