Tuesday, August 30

hooray hurrah, it's a give away...

yes indeedy, what a perfectly perfect day for a give away.
however before we get on with it, just a little note to say i will not be around for a few days as i am a busy bee beavering away on...

1: make lots of goodies to take to The Creative Connection where Janine, myself and the book will have a stall in september.

2: spring clean my blog in late summer with the help of my friend Marjan. so things may look a bit odd over the coming few days and despite the worry of it all disappearing into cyber space, it is something i have been wishing to do for a while.

3: my lads need to get organized for school next week, this would mean unpacking their back packs from mid June, removing old mouldy sarnies and the likes. then the dreaded shopping for school supplies
4: putting sweeties on my shop shelves, this will take a few days but i am determined to get photos done and listings written.

5: doing Gladys (our airstream trailer) up. yes at last i will no longer fear a visit from the department of trailer abuse. this past sunday, me and my lads of three ('cause that is what my shed is now, me and my lads of three, don't you like that, has a nice sound about it doesn't it? "why yes it does" i hear you agree). so me and my lads of three, we've been patching old Gladys up with sheets of metal and rivets to stop the rain coming in and one coat of duck egg blue has been applied to her inners. we are now turning our attention to her floor. oh happy days

so, that being all said, shall we just get on with the give away?
"blimey Tif, we thought you would never get there"
yes, i can see your point

so this little give away is probably the most spiffily ever give away to me, for i will be giving away a copy of my book. when Janine sent me two last week i immediately thought "one for me and one for you"

along with the book (and signed if you would like a bit of my scribbling in it), i will also be giving away one of the original bits of embroidery i made for the book. so the winner will have a book and a bit of dottie angel stitchery to go with it.

if you wish to enter this little give away then you will have to answer this question...

what little critter or pet would you love to care for and what would you call them?

now this is where you get to pop on your imagination caps and dream big or small. forget your allergies, the fact your nest is rented or you work all day. forget about them being domesticated or not, rare old critters or common as can be. does not matter, for one small moment you can picture that elephant in your yard or the snake in your bath tub.
so for example if it was me entering, i would say

"oh i would love a goat, my goat would be called PIP, but i would not wish for PIP to be lonely so i would be sure to have another goat called PIP'S FRIEND. i would go out into my yard and spend quality time with PIP and PIP'S FRIEND so they knew they were loved. on rainy days i would invite PIP and PIP'S FRIEND in for a cup of tea and a bit of telly watching"

i will not go on anymore because actually i now realize i could write a short story on PIP and PIP'S FRIEND which is not the point of today, no sirree, the point of today is you and your story.

so let us just write down the nitty gritty in easy points


1: leave a comment or email me tif@dottieangel.com with the sort of lovely pet you would like to have as a friend and their name.

2: be sure to have a way that i can contact you, either leave an email address in your comment or be sure it links to a blog

3: me and my lads of three will choose the winner and announce them and their imaginary pet on tuesday 6th September when i return to my shiny place after my list of 'to dos' is done.

4: do not panic if you do not see your comment published, this could be a number of things, one: you may not have answered the question and therefore do not qualify. two: i will be checking comments once a day so i may not have got to yours and published it just yet. 3: when i am spring cleaning my blog later this week everything disappears into cyber space.
of course i hope number 3 does not happen, so i am keeping both my fingers and toes crossed until the spring cleaning is over

so there we have it dearest readers, i hope you will enjoy dusting off your imagination caps, i know i have and now i am off to dream about PIP and PIP'S FRIEND whilst i tackle the mountains of neglected laundry which comes of living with 'just me and my lads of three'

she is thanking you for your 'billy-no-mates' kindness and thinking how lovely, he (she) will be forever remembered on the front cover of her book ~ Tif

Monday, August 29

obituary of a chicken...

hatched: friday 13th March 2009
untimely death: saturday 27th August 2011
leaves behind 5 feathered friends and a broken hearted mother hen

"to some others perhaps you were just another chicken, but to us you were 'billy-no-mates'. just as your name suggested, you were no sheep, pecking with the pack. no sirree! you were a loner who strutted to the beat of your own tune. usually an ABBA or Elvis number in your head. for two years you did you own thing and you did it well.
as you ascend to the great free range Las Vegas in the sky, perhaps not looking in tip top condition due to your untimely death, we are quite sure you will be welcomed with open wings and indeed find the perfect little scratching patch of ground, somewhat similar to the acre of moss you so freely roamed for your short time on this earth. rest in peace little 'billy-no-mates' for despite what your name may suggest, you were indeed one of the best mates we ever had"

she is thinking Tuesday would be a grand day for a giveaway, yes hurrah hooray for Tuesday ~ Tif

Saturday, August 27

things i like...

about my book
(yes, 'tis feels quite odd to say "my book")

* i like the rounded corners.

* i like the feel of the front cover.

* i like the hand stitched postcard and little loved barcode.

* i like that my grandmother's pesky pom pom squirrel is tucked into my apron pocket on the front cover.

* i like that it sits perfectly perfect in my hands.

* i like the chunky spine a whole lot.

* i like that it is part of the Suitcase Series.

* i like the fact 'little lucky bunny' has a whole story all about him illustrated by my brilliant brother

* i like that such an inspiring book, can come from the collaboration of just two folks, one crafty blogger and one independent creative design publisher, yes i think that is quite a thing to like.

* i like very muchly, that Janine and i were fortunate to have so many willing helpers with the handmade details the book required. including Janine's own Mom and her trusty sewing machine

* i like that when i flick through the pages it is everything i hoped it would be and so much more.

* i like that when i think about having dottie angel published in a book, really truly think about this moment, it causes me to well up inside. i never thought anything else in my life would match the moments of my children being born, but this moment sits alongside there nicely.

* i like very muchly to think this book would not be what it is without you, my dearest readers for which i am thanking you kindly today.

and most of all

*i hope you will like it too

she will be back on monday with a little giveaway, till then, be safe my brilliantly brilliant 'i spy' dearies ~ Tif

Thursday, August 25

easy peasy with a bit of twitchy...

today i am super duper twitchy with a hint of fretting... Our #2 appears to be in the path of Hurricane Irene. i had thought she was not, but then my man confirmed this morning that indeed she is.

so to deal with my twitchy ways (which could go on all day and then i would not have achieved anything at all other than a whole load of twitching and fretting) i thought i would show you my easy peasy how-to for jars brought back from the brink of the recycling bin. then tonight when my man comes home and asks me "Tif, what madness have you been up to today?" i may respond with "a bit of twitching, quite a bit of fretting and then a 'how-do' on glass jammy jars"

so shall we?

indeed such is the easy peasyiness of it, i have not even bothered with 'how-to' pics. i will just list the ingredients, a few steps and some piccies of the little glass lovelies in their 'voila' glory

*different shaped glass jars and their lids ~ if you do not have any then i suggest you look in your fridge or store cupboard and decant the inners, soak off the labels and feed your clan with an exotic offering of jar inners later today

*spray paint which adheres to metal ~ take a looky along the aisles of your craft or DIY center and check what is written on the side of the can. choose happy colours

*vintage floral decals ~ i have used Meyercord ones. if you are lucky you may find them in a thrift store or estate sale, but i have never had such luck. therefore i go looking for them in the vintage aisles of Ebay and Etsy. there are some very spiffy ones, i was rather taken with a little lamb i came across once, but alas i could not think of a place to stick a little lambie in Our Shed. i shall wait until i am official Granny material and then buy a vintage lamb decal

*clear gloss spray ~ for the purpose of sealing your decal and making everything look spiffy and shiny.

hey ho, lets go...

the recipe:
1. take your clean lids and spray paint them with your spiffy coloured spray paint.
2. patiently wait for them to dry, then repeat, and wait again for them to dry.
3. check they are super duper dry, do not be impatient like me or you will be filled with regret.
4. cut out your decals, making sure each one fits its intended lid nicely.
5. follow decal instructions for adhering. basically soak in warm water and then carefully slip it off its backing paper onto the lid.
6. with a soft cloth, dab at your decal, removing any water and old glue from the edges, sometimes because of the age it can be a little too gluey.
7. be careful with your dabbing, the decals are delicate and will slide around.
8. allow to dry, twiddle your thumbs, do not touch your decal. if you must, then be very kind and considerate towards your drying decal.
9. when everything is dry, coat the whole lid in a nice shiny coat of clear gloss spray.
10. and wait again. the wait will be worth it. upon dryness, reunite your spiffy floral jar lids to their glassy bottoms and cluster them together.
11. perhaps fill your jars with pretties. perhaps do not let others use them, perhaps only allow them to be admired from a distance. yes perhaps that would be best.

Mr Postie has just arrived and she is thinking how surreal to think she is a published author ~ Tif

footynote: gold sticky star for "i spy with my little eye something beginning with L O" :)

Tuesday, August 23

noteworthy notes...

noteworthy note #1: i am of jumbly mind of late, i have high hopes my jumbly mind condition will soon be over. it appears to have hung around for quite a few weeks so i am expecting an improvement some time soon.

noteworthy note #2: Our Shed is missing Our #1 and Our #2, i now understand when they say "the silence is quite deafening", whoever 'they' are.

noteworthy note #3: today feels like all my christmas eves rolled into one, for tomorrow Mr Postie will be arriving with my book. not sure i will sleep tonight with the anticipation of seeing my life and my makings, in printed matter for the first time

noteworthy note #4: next week i have plans to pop some sweeties into my shop window, despite jumbly mind condition (please see noteworthy note #1 above) there will be handcrafted goodness waiting for their forever homes

noteworthy note #5: a granny couch the colour of jeweled teal found on craigslist bought tears to my eyes and to my man's. my tears were of pure and unconditional love, his tears were the sobbing kind. the sort of sobs one saves for sobs of despair.

noteworthy note #6: so many many reasons to love a little pesky hound who has pure and unconditional love for all things granny chic, here is just one of the many

noteworthy note #7: my inbox is overflowing with your kindness and questions of late, please be a little patient with me and my jumbly mind condition (please see noteworthy notes #1 and #4)... i am always so happy to hear from you and will do my besty best to respond over the coming week or so

she is busy beavering away on a little 'how-to'... an easy peasy one for a quick crafty fix ~ Tif

Friday, August 19

a 'bits and bobs' wall...

upon returning from my summer travels i made a 'bits and bobs' wall... i did not set out to make one, however that is what sometimes happens. i like 'bits' and i like 'bobs' so i am thinking this wall suits me perfectly.

one lovely little thing stuck on the wall is joined by another and before you know it a whole collection of inspiring 'bits and bobs' have come together to make one big 'bits and bobbies' bit of grandness.

i have seen some simply spiffy wallpapers which feature collections and i feel my 'bits and bobs' wall has a similar feel to it.

*i like that it can be changed around at whim,
*i like that certain bits and certain bobs mean certain things to me,
*i like that it fits so peachily in my sewing alcove above Miss Ethel,
and best of all
*i like that it inspires me to be creative

she is wishing you a creatively inspiring weekend and thanking you most kindly for the lovely comments of late and the wonderful emails in her inbox ~ Tif

Tuesday, August 16


there are signs all over the shed that Our #1 has been back living here for a few weeks. funny how you get use to someone not being around and then within moments of them being back you realize it is the silly things you have missed the most...

tomorrow Our #2 moves to the East Coast and next tuesday Our #1 heads back across the pond to old blighty. the weeks have rushed on by and now i find myself feeling just like i did this time last year. a little lost, a little piece of me missing (two pieces this time) and just like last year, i will count my blessings and i know it will be okay.

she is messing around with jars from her fridge again ~ Tif

Monday, August 15

random postcard #10...

dear reader,

today was spiffy, totally spiffily spiffy, for i got to pottle with my trolley of greatness in all the eclectic little stores which Amsterdam does so well.
Het Grote Avontuur is the most peachiest store i have ever been in, Anna is equally as peachy as her store and it was lovely to meet her. my clan came with me and then fizzled off so we could chin wag about a few things. before they fizzled off they counted how many dottie angel notebooks were on the shop shelf. upon their return to collect me they exclaimed there was one less than before.
it was quite something to see our notebooks amongst so many lovelies, Anna is also going to be stocking my book, this bit of news has me quite teary eyed.

after a lot of pottling including the lovely store Juffrouw Splinter and Kitsch Kitchen we were all pottled out. in the evening we headed out to eat in the more main touristy part of Amsterdam, giving me an opportunity to frequent the clog shop, for it would never do to come all this way and go home without a pair of souvenir clogs. i found a bright yellow pair with windmills on and then i was overcome by cloggy lusting and had to have a keychain with itty bitty red wooden clogs on for our Mossy Shed door key.

we are coming to the end of our month on the road, tomorrow we fly back to old blighty, say our goodbyes and board a plane home to Mossy Shed. i hope all my random postcards of retrospect find their way onto your doormats. the mail can be a little iffy at times...

wishing you peachy times on your travels too and i have missed you greatly
Tif x

Friday, August 12

random postcard #9...

dear reader,

yesterday i met Jane at the train station and together we traveled to Ingrid's home town where upon we spent 24 hours together. after so many years of knowing each other in cyber world it was lovely to meet in the real world. we stayed in the secret garden room at the Villa Augustus. i do not believe i have ever stayed in such a wonderful place... we chin wagged late into the night and the following morning until it was time to leave and catch a train back.

upon arrival in Amsterdam i was met by my clan, riding high from their cycling adventures, we boarded a sight seeing boat and 'did' Amsterdam by water. it rained. in the morning before i got back, my clan had ventured to the flea market which runs every sunday and monday morning. knowing i would not back in time to see it for myself, they searched amongst the forsaken souls and found a lovely Pyrex jug with retro orange flowers on it. this very gesture warmed me to my very wet tippity toes.

in the evening we went to see Harry Potter's final farewell film. i noted to my man i was not super over excited about this as i have only seen his first movie and seeing the final one, being the second part of a two parter was not probably top of my list. still it was raining and actually upon reflection it was a good call by my man.

tonight i go to sleep in my little squeaky twin bed next to my man in his little squeaky twin bed in the basement of a 16th century house... knowing tomorrow is 'shopping day' in Amsterdam, i am not sure i will be able to sleep with the anticipation of what lies within those lovely little store windows i have past by since arriving in Holland

Tif x

Thursday, August 11

random postcard #8...

dear reader,

we arrived late last night in Amsterdam for the final leg of our month on the road. in a few hours i will be off to meet my lovely friends Jane and Ingrid.

after my clan drop me at the train station they are off to hire bikes and see Amsterdam on wheels, the only way really. the forecast is rain, they are all togged out in rain gear, i will catch up with them the next day.

the houses in Amsterdam are beautiful, i cannot walk past them without having a good old ganders, i told my man i have high hopes one day when our children have left home we may rent one and live above the shop. he said it was a fine and mighty dream to have, the only reality being, the cost of renting one... i chose not to listen to the reality and just the dream

off to catch a train!
Tif x

Wednesday, August 10

random postcard #7...

dear reader,

we have arrived in Cambridge where my man and his folks were waiting for us. always interesting to return to where you grew up. 26 years have past since my man and i met in our teens in Cambridge.

alas and alack, my plans are not as i thought they would be. my dottie angel camp has been postponed to another time due to the location and dates not working for enough dearies. it has made me a little sad but i have high hopes i will be able to teach another some day in old blighty. in the meantime this gives me 7 extra days in Cambridge i had not bargained for.

1 of the days i will be holing myself up in a room to proof read my book. it arrived just before we left Devon and the layout was much larger than i had thought it would be, so no thrilling book proof reading on the train for me. actually the whole train and tube journey was an adventure in itself and i am thankful i had my clan with me to haul the luggage around

had news from Our #2 to say Used Dog is poorly again, this makes me fret for my critters, i know they are in safe hands with Our #2 but Used Dog is getting on and she is prone to bouts of sickness and needs extra care. moments like this makes me feel a long way from Mossy Shed

not sure of our plans for the rest of this week, but i know it will go by fast, proof reading, catching up with relatives, kicking a ball in the park and pottling around the streets of Cambridge. before long we will be on the road again

hope life is fine and dandy in your neck of the woods
Tif x

Tuesday, August 9

random postcard #6...

dear reader,

today we went to Lyme Regis, it was sunny and so we braved the beach with our sandwiches. after 10 minutes of fending off the pesky seagulls we decided despite the lovely picnicking weather we would give up.

we pottled along the seafront, past the lovely cotton candy coloured beach huts and ended up at the penny arcade. i noted next to the penny arcade was an antique mall. i suggested my clan may like to loiter in the arcade with some pennies whilst i did a bit of antique mall loitering. every one was in agreement.
Our #4 had never been in a penny arcade before and after spending many moments and the contents of my purse he came to the conclusion that he would like to be an arcade owner when he was older. for the rest of the day we had to discuss how much each arcade machine would cost to buy and how much money you would need from arcade loiterers before you paid off your arcade machine loans. it did occur to me that in fact they are probably rented machines... however after much discussion he decided it might not be as profitable as he thought it would be.

whilst we had our discussion, we wandered past a door, a door so lovely it caused me to gasp and wish with all my wishing might, it was my door belonging to my house in Lyme Regis... one day perhaps

we are packing up and heading east soon
Tif x

Monday, August 8

a few book notes...

i hope you do not mind, but the flow of postcards landing on your door mats must be interrupted with some book notes i feel worth noting...

note one:
last week on UPPERCASE was 'dottie angel week', which as i mentioned before is terribly thrilling after all i have never had such a thing happen to me. seeing all the photos Janine shared on the book's progress and some behind the scene things made me most smiley. if you missed book week over at Janine's lovely place, then you can catch up here, just keep on scrolling down the page to see all her posts and pictures

note two:
for anyone wondering where UPPERCASE magazine and books are stocked, you can find out details here and also i am rather delighted to be told the lovely store Ray Stitch will be opening soon and will stock my book. i can only imagine just how lovely their store is going to be.

note three:
worthy of brewing a cup of tea and having a few minutes sit down to enjoy, a little video showing the printer proofs by Janine,

dottie angel book proof from UPPERCASE gallery on Vimeo.

thank you kindly to all those who have pre-ordered our book, Janine and myself are beyond delighted by the response. also gold sticky stars (hurrah, hooray! i love a gold sticky star, especially on mondays, 'cause mondays can be a little dull) to those who helped out in making the extras which come with the book, look as peachy as they do.

she will be scribbling another postcard tomorrow ~ Tif

Friday, August 5

random postcard #5...

dearest reader,

oh happy day! i dropped 3 clan members and a boyfriend off at the amusement park and with a hop and skip drove over to my friend Hesta's abode. i love Hesta for many reasons, she is super quirky and her home is filled with handcrafted, thrifted goodness. i could stay all day just looking at her collections and piles of goodness. however today i could not, for today i had just a few hours spare and Hesta was taking me on 'a jolly'!

she invited me on 'a jolly' which she told me no other friend would quite get. the 'jolly' first took us to her allotment. upon arriving at Hesta's lovely bit of allotment she got busy getting out her scissors, ribbon and nails. i stood by, taking in this most wonderful moment in my life. i did not think it would ever get better than this. to be asked by a crafty friend to cut the ribbon of her shed is truly beyond anything i have ever been asked before. Hesta explained as the ribbon was cut and the doors opened to reveal the peachy inners, the dreams and hopes she had for her little shed. the extension and the porch she was planning to add on, alongside other little bits and bobs. as i hung up my little itty bitty 'high hope' flags to mark this momentous occasion in my life, i marveled at my friend's passion, her hard work and the dreams i have no doubt she will fulfill one day.

after which we got back in Hesta's car and bumbled along the windy roads of Devon, whilst putting the worlds to right. soon i found myself transported to recycling heaven. so many forsaken souls hoping for a last chance. having only a suitcase on my travels i was having to keep my blinkers on. i found a nice roll of retro wallpaper and a little cross stitched rose picture complete with spiffy old frame. 1 pound, 25 p later they were mine to keep.

we stopped for a lovely cup of tea on the way home, and as i said my goodbyes to Hesta for another year, i headed off to collect my clan with a smile on my face, a roll of wallpaper under my arm, a little framed cross stitch in my bag and a head filled with a memory i will remember forever and a day

hope this postcard finds you in tippity top condition and you are staying tufty squirrel safe this summer
Tif x

Thursday, August 4

random postcard #4...

dearest reader,

today i have overwhelming withdrawal symptoms from Miss Ethel, my trusty sewing machine. i was doing really quite well i thought, nearly two weeks on the road and not a thought about her. (actually, that is a lie, i have thought about her everyday, i have just done a peachy job of dismissing the thoughts).

however today i turned the corner, two thirds of the way down the high street to walk back to my folks home and there it was, a whole little side street of happy coloured bunting to greet me. i stopped in my tracks, whilst others past me by, just taking in all the goodness one feels of seeing bunting blowing in the wind. perhaps a little bedraggled from days of rain, sun and sea salted air, but none the less, perfectly perfect to me. that is when i felt my overwhelming pang of missing Miss Ethel.

i took out my handy dandy notebook and studied my list of 'nice things to make next'. it has grown on my travels, i noted there are at least 12 things scribbled in pen with little doodles next to the scribbling, less i forget the images in my head. i put the notebook back in my summery sack along with my withdrawal symptoms and headed back to my clan.

tomorrow i am going on an adventure, i'll be sure to send another postcard then...

Tif x

Wednesday, August 3

random postcard #3...

dearest reader,
there are many reasons why i love donkeys.
reason #1: they have an old soul.
reason #2: they have a lovely little cross design along their backs.
reason #3: they have splendid ears.
reason #4: when i pay them a compliment about their splendid ears,
they in return compliment me on my clog sandals.
hope Mr Sun is shining down on you and all is well
Tif x

random postcard #2...

dearest reader,
today we visited the Devon Donkey Sanctuary,
we like to do this every year.
reasons to like the DDS
reason #1: they give hope to sad and abused donkeys throughout the world.
reason #2: the surrounding countryside is beautiful beyond words.
reason #3: according to Our #3 their Bakewell Tart is pretty yummy.
reason #4: seeing lovely donkeys living out their twilight years in safety and comfort warms my heart.
Tif x

Tuesday, August 2

random postcard #1...

dearest reader,
arrived safely in old blighty, spent a few spiffy days in london.
my fabby fav spiffy day was sunday.
it was Our #1's half birthday, Sun 26th June
we pottled around Spitalfields Market which was extra peachy.
upon passing Brick Lane market my heart missed a beat.
my little beady eye spied a stall selling Kantha quilts and wares.
in all my born days (which are quite a few) i have yet to stumble across such a stall.
after much 'umming and ahhhing' i settled on a quilt in beautiful green,
with bright pink flowers.
i bought Our #1 a yellow casio watch to celebrate her day.
* * * * *
a few days later we travelled by train to Devon.
Mr Sunshine was being nice so a day on the beach beckoned.
me, two thirds of my clan, a Kantha quilt of loveliness
and my latest bit of dabbling with Mr Hook.
a perfect day.
the starburst flower squares pattern i found in issue two of Mollie Makes,
having stitched together nine squares i am now granny stitching around the border using a giant ball of duck egg blue yarn found locally.

hope things are dandy with you...
Tif x

Monday, August 1

home sweet shed...

oh yes indeedy, 'tis grand to be back in Our Shed. after a month or so on the road, nothing is quite as lovely as coming home to a shed full of critters and my favorite knick knacks. it will be a very thrilling month of August. i am trying to think if there has ever been a month of August to match up to this thrillingness. nope, i do not think so. therefore i will call this 'my most thrilling month of August to date'... ah yes, thrilling stuff indeed.

and why is August such a thrilling month you may wonder? (you also may not, and quite honestly that is perfectly okay with me) well the majority of the thrillingness is down to knowing Janine has made August 'pre launch book month' for my book, which as i tippity type this very ramble, is at the printers! i am positively giddy by this news and even more so that Janine will be posting over on her spiffy blog all week long about 'this and that' to do with the book. it is quite a thing to see how Janine took my pennings, my ramblings, my images and my thoughts and through her brilliant design skills the book i had inside of my head for so long has come to life. not to mention all the hours which have been put in by lovely mighty fine 'helper bees', cutting threads, vintage fabrics and doilies to accompany the book and inspire the reader to allow their creative soul to shine.

tomorrow i will be back with my 'postcards in retrospect', yes i am one of those pants kind of folks who go away, write their postcards whilst away and then come home and post them. anyhow the upside of my 'pants way' means i get to title it 'postcards in retrospect' which i really really like, and so this has made me happy.

so a little recap i think is in order, if not for you, certainly for me, for my little blogging cogs are tres dusty and i am slowly finding my feet again.
things to be happy about today,
happiness number one is here
happiness number two is here
happiness number three is 'postcards in retrospect'
happiness number four is a little furry friend

lordy how i missed my little critters and of course you dear readers, i hope life has been a little spiffy, a little dandy and indeed a little crafty for you, whilst i was on the road

she is licking her first stamp and will be posting 'postcard number one' tomorrow ~ Tif