Tuesday, February 28

thrilling friday's instant images... a mixed bunch

 indeedy, does it get any more thrilling than doing something supposedly for a friday, on a tuesday instead. i think not! and so a mixed bunch of 'false spring' around the shed instantly snapped by our Ivor. 
all kitschy, all fake & all cheering up the shed... and i note upon perusal of the instant snaps, they all have friends close by, how heartwarming on a chilly day. i like to think if i was a mixed bunch of plastic flowers i would have a little friend close by too.

on the mantlepiece

in the downstairs loo

on the kitchen table

in the entranceway

in the family room

however, Little Olive who is nearly 3 and therefore quite wise, (so she informs me), is not convinced by my 'trickery, faking spring ways' and has declared she will not be coming out of winter hibernation just yet...

Tif :)

Monday, February 27

a 'false sense of spring'...

two months into the new shiny year and i always come unstuck. it happens every year, i embrace the new year with all the wonder of starting a fresh, then by the time february bids farewell my 'freshness' is going stale and i realize despite the odd days of sun, spring is still a long way off. then just like every year, i rustle around my drawer marked 'good for rustling in during blearghy months' and pull out my thrift store kitschy plastic flowers. more often than not they are of the pink variety, happy bright pink and brilliantly peachy pink varieties are in there too.

i then proceed to go around our shed, plonking mixed bunches in likely looking containers to add a bit of cheer. yes springifying the shed is my only way to get through those pesky weeks before Mr Spring truly comes a~calling.

 yesterday my rustling ways unearthed a couple of kitschy strings of flowers which i recall finding at a craft shop a good year or so ago. i have always been rather fond of these strings and their ability to look most pretty. so i hung one up and then proceeded to take a few scraps of my precious Liberty pile of fabrics (kindly donated to me by the peachy Rachelle) and with a needle and thread, added a little bit of dottie to it. not a lot, just a little, but i am thinking one could really add a lot and have quite the time with 'dottie angeling' such a string of flowers.

i noted, little lucky bunny looked in need of a bit of cheer too

and once again, i am left marveling at how adding a few happy scraps of fabric to a little string of flowers does a wondrous job at adding to my 'false sense of spring' within the shed and my head. 

such is my marvelling ways, tomorrow i'm going to pottle around our shed, taking snaps of all my 'false sense of spring' signs i have rustled up with the contents of my drawer and show them right here on my shiny place. yes, that is what i will do, for right there and then, i have made tomorrow, now look most thrilling...
 goodness, who would believe a few stems of fake flowers plonked around a shed, had such power to take one from 'bleargh' to 'less bleargh, more happy'. 'tis a small mircale and those are the besty best kind of all...


Wednesday, February 22

GIRL CRUSH ~ seattle... having no doubts about it

for most of my life Mr Doubter has lived in the shadows. sometimes he casts his shadow in my direction and other times he leaves me be. the days he leaves me and my creativity alone, those are the days my creative soul gets to shine, the sky is the limit, it is just me, my imagination and my hands to make what we will. 
and the days he looks my way with his shadowy presence, well those are the days i tell myself, i am not alone, i tell myself all creative artistic souls have their own Mr Doubter and the shadow he brings. i have never asked if this is the case, for it is my comfort inside of my head, that on those doubting days, i am not alone and i do not wish to learn otherwise.

and so that is why today i am really rather happy to be introducing my friend Danielle to you. Danielle is the brilliantly creative brains behind The Jealous Curator, an extra ordinary presence in cyber land. just her tagline of  'damn, i wish i thought of that' really says it all. she curates and highlights creative souls from all over the world and she does it brilliantly as The Jealous Curator. however very few folks knew until recent times, Danielle is also an artist of mixed media collage work and like so many, it was not an easy thing to put her work out into the public eye. through talking with other artists and creatives, it became apparent she was not alone. with all the incredible works we see daily, it is indeed very easy for us to let our Mr Doubter slip from the shadows, take position upon our shoulders and question our creative worth.

Danielle's cogs turned and with it a wonderful idea was born. why not talk about this, but not in cyber land, but together in reality, in a creative environment, where we can discuss how we get past staring at a blank canvas, how we can believe what we create is worth something, where we can find confidence within a group of others and in time Mr Doubter can for once and for all slink back to his shadowy corner

GIRL CRUSH workshops & tea parties are in my books, the bees knees!

and i am more than a little chuffed to be collaborating with Danielle and the peachy Andie & Emily from Assemble Shop in Seattle to offer a day of talking, creating & eating fine food. at the end of which, we will have 'assembled' a collaborative, mixed media piece of artwork which will be displayed on the gallery wall for others to see!
you can see all the nitty gritty details here and also the list of fine and dandy artists Danielle has lined up throughout the USA. 

i know for me, this will be a defining moment, i have no doubt on this. it will be good to share with others the 'whys and wherefores' of my Mr Doubter and how i have come to terms with him in my life and how indeed perhaps his very shadowy existence is the very reason why i do what i do. for i love to create. apart from my family, friends and critters, it is the very thing that makes me want to get up out of bed everyday and live. there are no words i can find to describe how much it makes my world happy and therefore i cannot allow that shadow to take 'the fragile happiness' away from me. and so you see, in a way, his very presence makes me even more determined to continue listening to my creative soul, not be riddled by self doubt and to allow myself and my creative soul time to shine


Tuesday, February 21

'interesting... very interesting' with Selina Lake

oh yes indeedy! i am most delighted to be spending today in fine and dandy company, not only with your lovely selves dearest readers, but with the peachy Selina Lake. what a marvelous way to start off my new 'interesting... very interesting' series! which actually is exactly the same as my 'a question of crafting' series i did a few years back and i thought to myself the other day, "why Tif, it might be interesting to think about doing something like that again" and then i said "now Tif, that is interesting... a very interesting thought indeedy" and so there we have it. quite simple, a little lighthearted 'hello hello' with a 'peachy folk' who is happy to join me here on my shiny place. so hip hip hooray for Selina being happy to do so...

i do think you may have had to be living under a rock to not know Selina Lake, a top UK stylist and the wonder behind the books Bazaar Style and Romantic Style and now just launched Homespun Style. actually just a moment, because now i am thinking, someone might be hurt thinking i have said they live under a rock just because they might not know of Selina and her peachy books. so to make amends, if you are living under a rock, may i imagine for you, a rock with a lovely crocheted cover such as these lovely stones and rocks from the wonderfully talented Margaret Oomen . suddenly i have a feeling we would all rather like to live under rocks if they were as pretty as these... so hopefully now with your imagined homespun rock you are not quite so fretful about not knowing Selina and really, you are going to come away today smiling. for now you will be under your homespun crocheted rock and will have got to know Selina too. so how fabby is that and its only tuesday!

i have been like a child and the run up to a birthday or christmas, the anticipation of knowing any week now Mr Postie will arrive with a copy of Homespun Style has me almost to insanity breaking point. i first found Selina when a copy of Bazaar Style found me and knowing how i have love that book, i can only imagine how much my love will be for Homespun Style, for after all i am most partial to a bit of 'homespinning' myself.

so if we are all comfortable, perhaps favourite tipple in hand, let me welcome Selina to this here shiny place,

 Tif : hello and welcome Selina
(pause, whilst we all put down our tipples and clap wildly and beam a whole lot in Selina's direction)
righty ho, shall we begin!

Tif : beyond delighted you could be with us today Selina, i am quite sure you are in a whirl wind of activity with the release of your new book Homespun Style and it is most lovely of you to take time to stop by and answer a few of my 'interesting... very interesting' questions!

Selina : well thanks so much for asking me Tif

(shuffle shuffle of scribbled notes on papers, a little scrapping of a chair leg)

Tif  : what is your most fabby fav 'homespun' thing to make or come across in someone's home?

Selina : I really enjoyed making all the details for my Wedding last year, I made vintage floral napkins for all my guests, mini cake bunting, tissue paper pom poms decorations, candy stripe favors, knotted hankie bunting, guest book washing line, hand-painted name place tags and even all the Wedding flowers including my own Bouquet! 

Tif : who or what inspired you to start crafting/sewing yourself?
Selina : When I was little I loved making things and my parents encouraged me by giving me my own 'Making Table' at the bottom of their kitchen, I used to sit there for hours, sticking and painting. I loved watching TV shows like Art Attack and for birthdays and Christmas Presents I was lucky to receive lovely craft kits from friends and family. 

Tif : what creative skill do you wish you had that you don't?

Selina : I would love to be able to make my own clothes, I find so many beautiful fabrics at fairs and markets and often visualize them as pretty Summer dresses, my sewing skills stop at making cushions, tea cosies and hanger covers! Perhaps one day I'll do a dressmaking class. 

Tif : if you had chickens in your back yard, what would their names be?

Selina : I'm absolutely terrified of animals, especially chickens - so no-way would I be able to live with some in my garden! 

Tif : what did you wish to be when you were little?

Selina : I always wanted to do something creative, I dreamed of being a designer, of Fashion, Television studio sets and Greetings Cards. 

Tif : if the queen came to tea tomorrow, how would you lay the table and what would you give her to eat?

Selina : I'd style my table the best I know how with mis-matched vintage floral china, handsewn fabric napkins, plenty of David Austin Roses and my best vintage lace tablecloth. I would serve a classic Homemade Victoria Sponge cake with lots of tea poured from my favorite Gold teapot. 

Selina's own kitchen corner, i can only imagine how impressed the queen would be

 Tif : and just before we all have to go and get the dinner on, pick the children up from school or go back under our little crocheted rocks, are you up for a quick fire round of questions Selina?

Selina : oh yes, lets.

1: stripes or spots?
Mini Polka Dots

2: bagpuss or trumpton? (i have a feeling you are way too young for this one!)
Yes bit young!! I used to love the Flintstones & Inspector Gadget 

3: favourite paint colour?
Neon Pink

4: high street or thrift store?

5: cyber magazines or paper magazines?

6: staying in or going out?
Now I'm the grand old age of 30 it's defiantly - Staying in!!!

Tif : oh many thank you kindlies Selina for being a guest for 'interesting... very interesting' it has been just the bees knees to have you here today and i know my dearest readers will be most happy to have got to know you. i have no doubt your new book Homespun Style will be loved by many, congratulations indeedy!
(pause for lots of 'hurrah hoorays')


oh how wonderful, Selina is heading off to her lovely homespun nest but has kindly shared with us not only some very interesting answers but also some peachy pictures from Homespun Style which i have taken a good old ganders at (through slightly squinted eyes, so as not to see too much) and indeed i think it quite true to say, this book looks rather glorious to me! photographs are by the ever-so-lovely and hugely talented  Debi Treloar and text is by the well written and well worded Joanna Simmons

if indeed you would like to find more of Selina Lake and her world of styling, you can follow her adventures on her blog or Facebook and find her wares on etsy, in the meantime i must thank you all for welcoming Selina so brilliantly and also for joining me for my first thrilling 'interesting... very interesting' interview! let us hope there are others just like Selina, willing to share a few happy moments with us... only time will tell, dearest readers, only time will tell

Tif :)
footynote: please note the images in this post were kindly provided by Selina, please do not use without asking her permission, many thank yous for your understanding
edited: just a little matter of great importance i forgot. this peachy book Homespun Style comes from the fabby publishing folks Ryland Peters & Small

Wednesday, February 15

and the winner is... & a note, no, not a note, but a 'thing', yes a 'thing'

well i must say, the folks at MOO, myself and my lovely mother have been most impressed by so much 'brilliant business card imagining' going on over the past few days. reading every single comment made us marvel at how just a little piece of card has the ability to change someone's day, make it a little brighter. thank you also for all the kind wishes on my 5 years of celebration! you are all truly creative, very crafty and without doubt filled with kindness. of course we wished everyone could have their little card dreams come true, however after much pondering with many a cup of tea, we have ourselves 3 spiffy winners of MOO cards and a dottie angel book, ta ta ta da dah! 
in no particular order...

i spy... a MOO card on mossy shed's wall

winner 1 : itchin' stitchin'
I love business cards that stand out and can be used in more than one way. I would first get all my trinkets together and take a picture to use for the front and on the back included all the little thing you can spy in the picture - creating an eye spy game (and a sneaky way for people to look at my business card for a long time). It would be great to leave a corner open so I could punch a hole to use them as hanging tags or people could put it on their keys to keep little ones busy.

winner 2 : Dee
I would like my cards to be used as a family keepsake.
Their first mission would be to be as wedding invites ( my hubby and I are getting married this autumn.)
After they have played their happy role in our big day I would make a little cover for each one and use the new blank page to make invites for our children's christenings. (Were planning on having 4!)
These sweet little cards would then be wrapped safely in tissue paper with dried flowers (from both events) all kept in my treasure box.
They could then be brought out for anniversary's such as ruby weddings etc!
When we are on our way to some place other than this world our family will have a special keepsake of all our happy events and times.
Each new page could be stapled in so the card would read from most recent event to the oldest event.
(A bit like a flip-book. Hope you get what I mean!!!)

winner 3 : Emily 
D ear Tiff. I am 7 years old and I love sewing 

O n a Wednesday I go to my out of school club for 

T here we make origami animals, sew patchwork 
blankets and sometimes bake cakes.

T he last Wednesday we practiced making bunting 
to celebrate the olympic games that are in London
this year.

I liked all the pretty colours and cut out shapes 
from magazines to brighten up my flags.

E ven though this week is half term me, my mum 
and my brother will be doing tons of crafty 

A nyway if I was lucky enough to win your 
competition, I would spend from now until 
summer decorating the 100 cards.

N ot so far away is our class bring and buy sale. 
Each class in our school sponsers a charity and 
mine (yr 2) is the 'Help a Hedgehog trust.'

G etting together to help little people I think is very 

E very cupcake me, my mum and my brother make 
will have one of your cards stuck to it. This will 
make the cakes extra special because you make 
nice things and I decorate well.

L ots of pennies would be raised and me, my mum 
and my brother could carry on making stuff from 
your book, all summer long.

Love from Emily Gardiner age 7

P.s My mum typed this because Im still learning my spellings :)


hip hip hooray! i will be in touch shortly my fine and dandy winners! congratulations and thank you kindlies go out to all of you from me, my mother and Dan from MOO, for brightening our day with your brilliantly imaginative answers

and just a note (always a note somewhere to be noted). my lads have a couple of days of school and my man has been gripped by Mr Lurgy in the worst way (the scoundrel came back for second helpings), so i am going to take a few days off, to spend with my lads, avoid my man like the plague (although, truth be told i have been wearing my florence nightingale cap for several days now 'cos i'm a softie) and pack up sales from yesterday's shop update. many thank yous for those that stopped by, you are the bees knees....

but wait! there is a another note, a note so thrilling, i'm a little giddy just noting it. i'll be back on tuesday with a special guest. 'interesting, very interesting' is where i invite folks to visit with me on this here shiny place. my first spiffy visitor, oh lovely guest! will be none other than the peachy Selina Lake. do you see why i'm a little giddy now... actually this is so thrilling i feel it should be promoted from 'note' status to 'thing' status and so i shall

thing one:
i'm a little giddy for i will be back on tuesday with a special guest. 'interesting, very interesting' is where i invite folks to visit with me on this here shiny place. my first spiffy visitor, oh lovely guest! will be none other than the peachy Selina Lake. do you see why i'm a little giddy now... so worthy of promotion from 'note' to 'thing' i think you will agree

she will see you on tuesday and hopes your days are a little crafty between now and then... and peachy! yes why not, 'peachy and crafty' is always the besty best kind of days to have ~ Tif
footynote: Dee, if you are reading this, please contact me at tif@dottieangel.com as the email address you left keeps getting returned to me by my MR post master. many thanks!!

Tuesday, February 14

love is...

love is... snail mail from my girls

love is... an old patched heart

love is... just saying it like it is
~ Tif ~

Monday, February 13

'three things & one note' monday...

thing one: shop talk
oh happy day! tomorrow is shop update day! alas and alack, due to beavering interrupted by the scoundrel Mr Lurgy, my quality time with Miss Ethel was somewhat curtailed by his shadowy presence and thus not every bit of handcrafted goodness was completed.
does not matter in the least, for it means the other bits and bobs waiting patiently in my studio to be finished will lead to another shop update in a couple of weeks
fortunately for me, Mr Lurgy stayed away from my adopted auntie and her trusty sewing machine Mr Bill, so apron wraps are bountiful, hurrah hooray

my new 'hodge podge' range of sacks has me most happy with their spiffy ruffley roundie fronts

appliqued cushion covers and a lappity lap blanket will also be looking for their forever homes

thing two: giveaway talk
i am positively overwhelmed by your wonderful imagination cap wearing over the past few days! i have so enjoyed reading each and every comment, and so has my mother! only this morning she told me on the phone just how much she was enjoying what folks had come up with. we both marveled at the cleverness of the ideas and how creative you all are. thank you so kindly for rustling around your kitchen drawers to find your little imagination caps. if you have yet to find yours, 
(having had my mother sort through my 'kitchen drawer of crappity crap' this past visit, i too would have had trouble locating mine. now however it is tippity top sorted condition and pride of place is my imagination cap, right hand corner near the back)
do not fret, if you still need a little time to enter, then a little time you have. i will announce the peachy 3 winners on wednesday

thing three: correspondence
i think today is as good a day as any to say thank you to all those that have mailed me of late, i must tell you, you have brightened my inbox with your cheery words, interesting tales and kindness. i love hearing from you and i will respond, just may take me a little longer... and yes, 'a little longer' is rather stretching it i know :)

oakie dokes, just a final note, not quite a thing, so a note is more fitting i feel, 
one note: time of shop update
i'm popping things in my store window at 1pm pacific time (give or take a few moments) tuesday 14th feb. now if my little cogs have calculated this correctly, that means 9pm UK, 10pm Europe and 7am Australian time. do not rely on my little cogs though if this is something of importance to you, might be worth double checking with someone in the know. i am sure there is someone in the know about these things somewhere, i wonder where though

she notes its monday, its raining, but its not getting her down ~ Tif

Saturday, February 11

a MOO & dottie giveaway, hip hip hooray...

please note this GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

oh yes indeedy! i am positively beaming, for exactly 5 years ago today i turned the little sign on my etsy store to OPEN and in doing so a whole new world opened up to me. in the past 5 years there have been a few crappity crap moments but those have been far far outweighed by the peachy perfect ones. 

from selling my first 'dottie angel' slips, starting to ramble upon this here my shiny place, continuing to handcraft wares whilst designing an range for dottie angel ltd, to having a book published with UPPERCASE and now reaching over 1000 sales in my little store. all of which would not, could not, be possible without you my dearest readers and customers, who choose to spend your time with me and continue to encourage me along this handcrafted path i am treading.

dottie angel MOO cards doing a peachy job of spiffy-ing up a book parcel

so without a doubt i could not let this milestone pass without celebration and fortunately for me and for you, the printing lads at MOO.com think it worthy of celebrating too! i am quite sure many of you know MOO cards, i love everything about them, i love their ethics, their uniqueness in the printing world, i love their tippity top quality goods and the thing, yes the very thing that made me fall in love with them more than any other thing. the fact i can choose to have a different image on every single 'mini, business, postcard, greeting card or sticker book', to me meant love at first sight.

and so the good folks at MOO have 3 sets of 100 business cards up for grabs for 3 dearest readers and to add to this bounty, i will be giving away 3 copies of my book (with personal scribblings inside) to accompany the business cards to their new homes.

dottie angel books waiting to head to far flung exotic shores

now before you fretfully say "well that is all very well Tif, but i do not have a business, therefore what use would this be to me" and i say, quite right, one could be forgiven for thinking such a thing. however MOO business cards have the potential to be so much more than a business card, and we do love something with potential. i am thinking just how wonderful to have 100 little cards with spiffy rounded corners printed, with spiffy images on one side and something lovely written on the other. perhaps 'oh hello' would be enough, or 'happy birthday' and right there and then, you would have yourself 100 lovely gift tags.

more clearer image of my MOO business cards highlighting the spiffy round corners and bless our 'billy no mates', gone but not forgotten

indeed if you have ever bought our dottie angel tea towels you will note they come with a mini MOO card and on the back it simply says 'do have high hopes', so the potential in what 100 of these cards could become is down to only what your imagination can conjure up...

shall we talk NITTY GRITTY, for there is always nitty gritty which must be covered

1: this giveaway is open to every man, woman and his/her dog (or other critters) anywhere around this lovely globe
2: Dan (my lovely buddy from MOO) and i will choose 3 winners 
3: each winner will receive the opportunity to design and order 100 business cards, and also receive a copy of my book
4: please note Dan and the folks at MOO and indeed myself have a question that needs to be answered to qualify. and the question is
"tell us one way you would make your business card stand out from the crowd?"
we are looking for fun, creative and unique answers so do pop your imagination cap on
5: please leave a way for us to contact you
6: i do moderate my comments so do not panic if you do not see yours appear straight away, i will do my best to check regularly and publish them according to the rules we have laid down.
7: the 3 'dearest readers' winners will be announced on wednesday 15th February

gosh, that does all sound very proper, but one must be proper at times like this.

completely off topic, a little olive photo because i can't help myself

so that's it, quick recap
to win some peachy MOO business cards and a dottie angel book,
* must answer question above
* must leave a contact in the comments
* must find imagination cap in kitchen drawer to greatly aid chances of being fun, creative and unique with answer

there we have it, a wonderful way to celebrate my dottie angel milestone i hope you will agree. many thanks go to the wonderful folks at MOO and indeed to all of you for being peachy perfect in every way

please note this GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

oooh! on a sidenote, i must just say, i will be doing a shop update next week on tuesday, but i will be back on monday with a few pictures of what myself and my adopted auntie have been beavering away on. till then, a sneaky peek! oh how i love sneaky peeks :)

sneaky peek of things coming to my little store next week

Tif (in her 'hip hip hooray' cap)
footynote: please note the opinions about MOO cards in this post are those of mine personally. i have been using their products for a good few years and therefore was most happy to offer up their printed goodness alongside of my books for this 'hip hip hooray' giveaway :)