Thursday, April 30

thrifty thursdays...

this is going to be short and sweet...
i did thrift last night, but after ten minutes i gave up. the shelves wouldn't stay still and when i reached for something it appeared to not be where it pretended to be. worst still, i couldn't actually tell the crap from the gold.
i came away with a woven basket and even now i'm not sure whether it is any good.
i peer at it up close through my 'magnifying' bit and it looks nice.

i peer at it from a far, through my long distance bit and it looks just peachy

so i am trusting my instincts.
plans are a foot to 'dottie angel' it but not until my 'crafting' senses come back to me (gulp! what if they don't)...
you may note the wallpaper in the background, it went up this week on the dividing wall we had built over a year ago. on our trip to London, debbie and moi decided, in our 'orla kiely' loving state we should have matching wallpapered walls...
let me tell you it's not the type of wallpaper someone new to bi-focals should be looking at and even more so if they've had a 'tipple' or two...

she will be back tomorrow with thrilling 'part two' ~ Tif

Wednesday, April 29

bi-focal hell...

dearest readers, my thrilling 'potholdering' second parter is going to have to wait...for the past few hours i have been in blurry bi-focal hell.

i fear i will never wear wedges again.
i fear i will take even blurrier pictures (note the one above was taken before the bi-focal hell started) than before.
i fear for my neck and the weird angles i am having to hold it at.
i fear for my reversing whilst driving and innocent bystanders.
i fear for my thrifting abilities (gulp!)
i fear the wrinkles i now see have always been there, i was just oblivious in my pre-bi-focal bliss.
and most of all i fear for my tai chi buddies tomorrow morning.

she's feeling as old as the hills and a wee bit sea sick ~ Tif

Tuesday, April 28


1. a thick piece of material, as a quilted, woven or crocheted pad, used in handling hot pots and dishes.


2. to search out potholders, to go forth and collect a multitude of potholders, to leave no stone unturned in the hunt for the perfect potholder.


3. a person who collects potholders, who has an obsession that has got out of control, a person who perhaps needs to reevaluate the way they spend their hours.

she is off to spend some quality time with miss ethel and will return tomorrow with the thrilling part two of 'potholdering' ~ Tif

Monday, April 27

monday round up...

did i say "tomorrow" oops, what i should have said was "monday".
please forgive me dearest readers, my day off on friday extended into the evening...after spending a lovely few hours perusing the local antique mall and loading up on potholders, which i will show you tomorrow ("do you mean tomorrow, tomorrow Tif, or do you mean tomorrow, in a few days tomorrow?", good question and i do feel is quite justified, due to my fibbing ways of last week, rest assured i do mean tomorrow, tomorrow).
i then ventured back to the shed to potter around, moving a few piles to another location thus fooling my man i had been home all the time working on my spring cleaning drive. i then went out with my girls to have dinner and spend another happy hour browsing a second hand bookstore. that is one thing i love about the US, shops being open in the evening. i can't think of a better way to spend some quality time with my two eldest then looking at books. used bookstores make me feel just like thrift stores, you never know what you will find and there is always a treat to be discovered...
monday's round up goes a little like this...

1. the shop is super bulgy, the bulgiest it has ever been and i feel most happy about that, i plan to keep it bulgy from now on, but then things get in the way like the 'mouse that happened'...

2. 'mouse that happened' find me today 'studio' clearing as i have a mouse, now those that know me well, know we have two mice called noodle and doodle...i am most fond of these mice as they have been welcomed in a 'contained environment' with in the premises. on moving into the shed over a year back, we had many little critters living within the walls of our dwelling...samuel whiskers and anna marie were always partying up above. the little mice that came and went, (well actually often came and never went due to cats looking for lunch) never really bothered me. but that being said, a little mouse that thinks my linens are a perfect place to hold it's regular late night dinner dates is not welcome. and so this little mouse must go...

3. the chickies went out to play in the tortoise's run, which is sporting a new coat of charteuse green...our tortoise did not join them and i totally understand why

4. the hen house has a door and sides going on...

5. i survived my tai chi (did you think i would forget to tell) was a most interesting experience and i am quite sure the other three in the class are hoping i will soon drop out. but i have plans to keep going for the time being, so today i am off once again to tai chi and this time without my cell phone.
yes, that would be the cell phone that i carry around with me in event of an emergency.
yes, the cell phone that no one ever rings me on.
yes, the cell phone that i can hardly figure out how to use.
yes, that's right the cell phone that i forget i own and therefore forget to turn off and then what would you know, the first time ever someone actually feels the need to call me right slap bang in the middle of our tai chi master telling us some very important fact, that for the life of me i can't remember.
it wouldn't be so bad if the ringer wasn't on the 'hard of hearing' level, due to my children complaining that i never hear my phone, this is true to some degree but most of the time i don't realize it is my phone ringing cause it happens so infrequently...anyhow there was no mistaking who's phone it was on thursday.

so there we have it, not much of interest but always guaranteed a ramble of sorts...

she will see you 'tomorrow tomorrow' with great pot holder treasures to share (oooh, do you feel the excitement growing, yes we know how to have a good time) ~ Tif

Thursday, April 23

thrifty thursdays...

it's all about the T's today
tai chi (told you this early on to give you a chance to recover)

first up
and so on earth day, having dropped our #2 off at dance i 'went a thrifting'...i have not been inside a thrift store in a good few weeks due to lurgifying issues (note i blame a lot on the lurgy these days). the first thing i notice on my return from 'non thrifting' was the shelves and racks were heaving. after a few minutes i wondered if they were heaving because i hadn't been in to buy it all, thus large piles of 'goodies' were accumulating. there appeared to be quite a few keen thrifty shoppers picking over the spoils. this bothered me greatly, i know it's wrong to feel that way but i can't help it, i don't want them to find my treasure...

i think i struck gold, at least in my eyes
six cups and saucers "do we really need any more?" my man sighed
"they are not for using...they are for looking at" i replied aghast
one plate (for the wall, which wall i have no idea but a willing wall that has some space)
two pillowcases destined for summer apron wraps (all i want to do is make these and nothing else for the rest of my days, well okay so that is a slight exaggeration but then that is nothing new for me)

tai chi
(have you recovered?)
today is the first day in the whole of my born days that i will be doing tai chi, i am most excited about this turn of events. it all began when a 'city flyer' landed in my mail box detailing all the wonderful opportunities our city has to offer in the way of activities and such like. at the time i had a cup of tea and cream egg in hand, so i browsed through not really taking much notice and then i turned to the page that announced tai chi lessons in the park. i believe it was fate.

i told my friend annette who has known me for ever and a day, it was also her fate to meet me all those years ago so that she could share this tai chi experience with me today.
the lovely tai chi master told me upon enquiry, that yes it was a very good way to find a balance in life with the stresses and strains we can feel on a daily basis. annette and i are quite sure (well actually i am, she is yet to be convinced, but the fact she is actually coming with me can not be sniffed at) this is the answer to everything...
the aching shoulders
the headaches
the sagging skin
the gray hairs
the chin hairs
the lost bottom
the dreary laundry
i shall be sure to let you know if one hour of my life today, changes all the hours to come.

with a bit of luck, my 'newly centered being' will be off on a 'jolly' with a few thrifty pals...we are hitting the big antique mall in another town. yes, we wild things are taking our pennies and driving out to the country to see what treasures are lurking with our names on...
i have only one item i am in search of and it is crocheted potholders in weird and wonderful retro colors. i have come to the conclusion that they make lovely coasters to rest a cup of tea on, whilst devouring a cream egg...

she's off to tai chi and will see you tomorrow, serene and calm ~ Tif

Tuesday, April 21

a little bit Greek...

i am so happy that you are a 'summer apron wrap loving' lot...i knew i could rely upon you to make me feel it's okay to wrap one's self up in a pillowcase and go out into the big world...

it feels like summer here, yesterday it was hitting the high 70's, going from quite balmy to a heat wave (don't forget i am a Brit, therefore anything over 65 degrees my ankles start to swell and i get a headache). i took a few minutes to sit down in my 'little bit of Greece' that i have created in the back yard. now some of you that have travelled to such far off exotic climes may well tell me it doesn't look at all like Greece, especially the airstream trailer and chicken coop in the background. but as i have never set foot on such beautiful shores i believe my little chair and red geraniums are very 'Greek' looking. ( i watched 'sisterhood of the traveling pants' movie a few years back) i sent this pic to my besty bud Debbie yesterday along with a pic of the chicken coop which is half way done.
i know what you're thinking now, you're thinking, blimey, what exciting, ney thrilling emails Tif sends containing pictures of her back yard. i know, can you tell i live rather a 'non eventful' life at times :)
and so my besty buddie points out the chair is very blue for me. damn she knows me well, in fact she has known me for (gulp! ssshh...i'm whispering this bit) twenty nine years this September. and she is so very correct that this chair is very blue for me, in fact as i told her in yet another riveting email, it is 'scary bright blue' for me...
but you see dear readers this is okay, for i have embraced a 'new me' this summer, i am going all out for 'bright and beautiful' in the back yard, thus making me believe i could be living on a Greek island with a rather dark handsome stranger, perhaps Johnny in this case and for a few minutes a day i can close my eyes and dream, until of course i am rudely bought back to reality with a "mum, the cat's been sick again" or "is that the crock pot i smell" or a classic i hear over and over "i don't have any clean underpants, is the laundry done?"...

on another note, it has been bought to my attention by the lovely Radio 2 which the chickie peas listen and dance their cares away to...that tomorrow is earth day.
this is not good, i thought it was earth day next week, i fear i have lost a whole week somewhere (probably due to lurgifying issues) and so now i am left in a state of worry. what am i going to do? what small deed can i perform that will make an impact on the world we live in?
i asked my man if he had any plans, to which he replied "i didn't know about it" (i'm not sure if i should tell that bit to you, but i forgive him as life living in a cubicle can be hard at times). i asked our #4, "i could walk to school" he volunteered, admirable you are thinking, but i know that by the time he got there it would be time to turn around and come home, so i feel there is more to that suggestion than worrying about his 'carbon footprint' on our earth...
and then it came to me, "thrifting" dearest readers,
"of course" you cry, isn't it so perfectly simple, we could all go out and thrift, recycling and reusing what is already on the earth instead of buying new. i am so happy about this idea (please don't burst my bubble and say thrifting doesn't count, cause i do that anyway)...and so tomorrow, i shall go and rescue some thrift store pillowcases and any other treasures i can find in the name of earth day...

she's off to paint the tortoise's outside pen, a nice bright color. thus when he is out 'sunning' himself with eyes closed, believing for a short moment of time, he is living perhaps 'life in the algarve' ~ Tif

Monday, April 20

the cogs are turning once again...

the upside of having the lurgy is i had a lot of time to gaze into space, not the stars and moon kind of space but the few inches just in front of my face before it all gets blurry.

on one such occasion last week in between thinking about Colin and Johnny and wishing someone would make me a cup of tea, a crafting thunderbolt hit me...out of nowhere it occurred to me that my growing pile of thrift store pillowcases was beginning to bug me. found in pairs they are a treat to use, found in singles it causes me distress. from time to time, i have seen some lovely little dresses made from a pillowcase and if my girls were 'wee' again i would have them dressed in a pillowcase every day along with silver doctor marten boots (i can't believe i ever gave them away years ago, what was i thinking. not my girls, silly...the boots). but alas they are as tall, if not taller than me and so i needed to come up with an idea...

why oh why had i not seen it all along is beyond me, but until last week i had never made the connection between pillowcases and aprons. and then voila! just like that it is staring me in the face as plain as day...

summer apron wraps, designed to wear with jeans or layered over a summer skirt, perfect for the kitchen, the garden and the farmers market...i am so excited, that i wish every day could be a summer apron wrap day. of course i could be the only one in the world who wishes for such a day, but i shall pop them in my little store and see if others feel the love too.

the sixth and final resident of the shed has fallen prey to the lurgy, so she is off to fetch her florence nightingale hat out of the washer and will see you tomorrow ~ Tif

Thursday, April 16

spring cleaning...

i'm coming out of my lurgified state and am now scrubbing the shed to within an inch of it's life...

she will see you on monday, fresh as a daisy ~ Tif

Friday, April 10

is it really easter...

"this is it" i told my man yesterday afternoon as he sat in a little lurgified heap opposite me, watching the soccer..."i have seen our future, when we are at the point of 'knocking on heavens door'. you will be in that chair, old and wrinkly in your PJ bottoms and string vest watching the soccer results and i will be reclining on my day bed surrounded by my furry friends, dreaming of colin firth and johnny depp. they will happen to pass by our house, come in, be intoxicated by my aging beauty and have an old fashioned duel to win my favor. i think colin will win, we will be in a passionate embrace and i will 'come to' from my dreaming only to discover it isn't colin covering me in lovely kisses but a goat...and you will still be in your chair, in your string vest..."

the easter bunny has informed me she does not have the strength to hop around the yard at the crack of dawn this sunday...i have told the easter bunny "do not fear little easter bunny, i have a cunning plan, it involves the bathroom window and a catapult"

the easter decorating has come to an abrupt halt this week. i have managed one wooden egg in a melamine egg cup...i am telling myself a 'minimalist, understated easter look' is very in...

"why are you always sick around the holidays?" asked our #1 last night, who i must tell you kindly came home yesterday in the middle of the day to make her poor old mum a cup of tea, she didn't think i was safe around an electric kettle due to the medication i was taking. (can you tell from this post i shouldn't be allowed near my computer either)

she's thanking you for your well wishes, is off to her sick daybed to dream of colin and johnny, whilst hoping you all have a visit from the easter bunny ~ Tif

Wednesday, April 8


my big crafty plans for this week have ground to a halt...thwarted by the lurgy i have caught

the pesky squirrels are on the side lines patiently waiting, but the slips will have to wait until next week...

she is wondering if anyone at the shed is going to notice ~ Tif

Monday, April 6

reasons to be cheerful...

1. at last the sun is out and so are the daffs my dad planted last autumn when he visited
2. i am a mother hen
3. my new wellies that match the chicken coop have been christened
4. big bertha can do tricks
5. little orla and little eva have survived their rocky start and went out to play
6. after weeks of 'what are you thinking' in the clothing department, target come up trumps with a lovely retro top for summer
7. i have a man with a beard building my chicken coop and washing on the line
8. it's so hot i've had to break out the nail polish and razor...a balmy 70 odd degrees
9. pesky squirrels are waiting patiently for their moment to shine
10. a patchwork curtain, a bit wonky but will surfice...never craft late at night, whilst being florence nightingale

she's thinking herself most lucky in life ~ Tif

Thursday, April 2

thrifty thursdays...

hurrah! it's thrifty thursday, except this week i haven't had a chance to go thrifting due to spring break (gasp, shock, horror)...i know it's complete crappity crap, ("what, just like your cooking Tif?" i hear you shout, oh well done, you all go to the top of the class for getting that right).
but do not fear for me or my sanity dear readers, if there is a will there is a way. if i can't get out to seek a second hand treasure or two then the next best thing is on the web...("ah ha, genius!"...why thank you).
of course technically does ebay and craigslist count as thrifting? i'm not sure where i stand on this hotly debated topic but for the sake of my thrifty thursday slots, anything 'loved and used' in a former lifetime is okay with me (so i am guessing that could include rescued furry friends and all sorts, maybe a wee goatie named wonderful).

so using the buddy system, always important when going to meet strangers selling their wares on craigslist, i set off on tuesday with our #2 and her razor sharp wit, by my side. i always take her with me for several reasons, mainly because she is a 'top notch' navigator and has no qualms about shouting at her mother (quite gleefully i might add) "not there, i said there...when are you going to get your bi-focals" or perhaps, "let me carry that for you, is it your stroke arm again?" (due to a shoulder/arm injury i received whilst building the coop...all for the love of my chickens).
she is also very good at spotting potential mad men, i have never been one to have the news on or get a newspaper due to the disturbing things one can read, however she has still picked up on the world being full of 'nutters' just waiting to get her. this is most useful at times like these, although it can lead to mass hysteria which is very contagious and makes me convinced we will befall a terrible fate at the hands of someone 'not very nice' at a most inconvient time

but for the sake of a herman miller fiberglass chair (not original legs i might add) at a bargain basement price i was willing to take a risk, after all it was the perfect sewing height for Miss Ethel and also my complaining back and shoulder/arm issue. i'm not even going to go into the conversation that went on in the vehicle as we turned down dirt lane after dirt lane to find the little chair in an abandoned setting with a rather 'interesting' owner...even without our #2's suspicious mind, my little heart was racing.
since returning home, my little chair has settled in nicely and is most appreciative of the 'clean' it received (first one in fifty years i'm thinking)

the residents of the shed are dropping like flies, i am off to fish out my florence nightingale hat and make a nice pot of tea...

she will see you on monday ~ Tif
footynote: blimey, i've just noticed i've reached 250 posts...that is 250 individual waffling posts of what, one may ask...and to which one would reply "heaven only knows" :)

Wednesday, April 1

a mid week pop quiz...

1. what is the weather doing at mossy shed?
a) raining
b) snowing
c) sun shining

2. what magazine does Tif get through the mail?
a) historic buildings of england
b) living etc
c) engineering weekly

3. when cooking, would people say Tif is
a) a cordon bleu chef
b) crappity crap
c) a pastry chef extraordinaire

look closely at the picture below

4. does Tif like it because of

a) the silver bag on the floor

b) yellow and floral together in perfect harmony

c) the vase on the table

5. what does Tif like to collect? (did i hear someone shout "crap"?)
a) victorian furniture
b) mid century modern chairs
c) country furnishings

6. how many slips does Tif have ready for listing?
a) four
b) zero, zippo, nada
c) eight or more

7. how many children does Tif have?
a) two
b) four
c) eight

8. what is on Tif's thrift store shopping list?
a) shower cap, knitted underpants and flip flops
b) small sidetable, bed sheets and slips
c) basket ware, woven belts and a lazy boy chair

9. how many little creatures knowingly live at mossy shed with Tif ?
a) three
b) seventeen
c) ten

10. what is Tif angling for next?
a) a little piggie named nellie
b) a little goat named gertie
c) a little donkey named olive

if you answered
mainly b's : you are top of the class, have paid attention and may reward yourself with a choccy bar and your favorite tipple

mainly a's and c's : you are not top of the class, perhaps you have a habit of falling asleep during my posts (quite understandable really) but you are still deserving so please reward yourself for even bothering to do my mid week pop quiz, with a choccy bar and your favorite tipple

she's thinking we are all happy now, with a choccy and a nice sip of something strong to get through spring break and the cold miserable weather ~ Tif