Friday, January 29

food for thought...

little olive is now almost nine months old, she is in full teenage mode. part of her teenage 'testing ways' is to eat as much 'crappity crap' as possible.
i have spoken to her about the long time effects on her health and how if she wishes to live a long life she should consider what she is putting inside of her body at a young age.

little olive has not heeded my wise words, she mentions i have had a staple diet of chocolate spread on toast for near on four decades, that i am a fine one to talk and she will continue to supplement the very nice dried protein kibblely stuff i give her twice a day, with 'crappity crap'...

on any given day of the week, little olive's diet consists of the following 'crappity crap'

tennis balls (the whole thing, later to be vomited up)
sheep skin rugs
flokati rug (tell tale signs are often found in the form of a beard upon her little nose)
sofa inners
any button attached to any cushion
oven mitts
socks and undies
fir cones (several a day)
chicken poo (seen as little sweet treats left souly for her around the yard)
inner souls of boyfriend's shoes (not my boyfriend, for he does not leave tell tale signs around the shed, no, this would be boyfriend belonging to our #1)
pillow cases
labels (especially ones belonging to my mid century furniture claiming their authenticity, which sadly now no long appear authentic)
and last but not least
wicker dog baskets (causing her an old man's smoking cough in the mornings)

the latter has become such an addiction, regardless of 'nice friendly, please leave it alone' spray, or the 'bugger off and chew something else cause you are driving me nuts' spray.
for it does not matter to little olive, she has exotic taste buds that do not fear a little bitterness...
and so i pondered what could little olive live in now that her basket was rather lacking in sides.

a wooden drawer i thought,
after a little rustling around i found one and promptly made it all cozy
little olive promptly started to chew the corners
this was not acceptable behavior for i liked the drawer and it's nicely painted sides.

and then it dawned on me,
how perfectly lovely it would be to have a little dog that lives in a vintage suitcase.
for i could forgive all her 'wayward' moments of addiction if she would sleep in a suitcase...
the suitcase i unearthed from upstairs, came ready decoupaged due to a moment of madness i had several years back,
complete with crocheted handle.

my man on returning from his 'desk job', was terribly thrilled to fashion a rather nice wooden block around the back so there was no fear of little olive being closed in,
which would never do, even on days when i've reached the end of my tether and the temptation may overcome me...
and then because we are in 'spring fling' at mossy shed, her little crocheted garland has been retired only to be replaced by a rather 'springy' name tag

less she forgets she resides in a suitcase...
she has been busy moving in

and finding it quite to her liking

the metal sides have held up well to her obsessive licking and so i am thinking i can forgive her dietary addictions for she has warmed my heart through and through,
by happily living in a suitcase under the kitchen island

she is wishing you a 'hippity hoppity', ney 'spickity span', ney 'perfectly peachy' weekend ~ Tif

Wednesday, January 27

the question is...

how lovely i thought to myself when reading your delightful comments from yesterday.
here i am supposed to be doing 'admin mode' day and failing miserably (although it is only 8am so technically i haven't quite failed yet but i know it is not boding well if i'm loitering here instead)

and so i thought to myself how lovely of you all to be so kindly about my 'spring fling' and then i thought about how many questions you asked me not only here but in my inbox and then i got to thinking perhaps to pass the dreary 'admin mode day' we should have a round of Q&A's as i do feel it quite important, far more important than say 'admin mode' day
so without further a do,

what brand are the boots you wear in your 'challenge of the utmost kind' button picture?
they are by London Fly and are truly the boots of my dreams, i found them this past summer when out doing a bit of high street browsing in old blighty with my pal Debbie and our #2. we entered the store and like a diamond in the rough, they 'blinged' to me from the back of the store. i hugged them, they hugged me, i tried them on, they did the fine thing of actually fitting my ridiculously scrawny legs and it was a 'sealed deal'...
not to mention they were teal! for goodness sake, teal boots! i can only imagine they must have fallen down from heaven

what type of yarn do you use?
i like to use acrylic yarn, mainly due to allergies with wool fibres but also because i like the colors it comes in and the amount of yarn i get for my money. i also like the forgiving nature of an acrylic blanket when it has been through Miss W Machine and Mr T. dryer. i take great care and pride over my crocheted endeavors but sadly the rest of the shed does not, therefore it most important said crocheted items can be washed

where did you get the wallpaper in your photos?
the wallpaper i have on one wall in the corner of my studio, following around the corner to the kitchen KNOOK is by none other than our Orla Kiely. i found my wallpaper several years back at anthropologie, i couldn't believe they were selling it for such a good price. when i knew we were moving to Mossy Shed i bought up 4 rolls and the day after we moved in, the wall was papered.

does your dog wear a bib?
no used dog does not wear a bib... although she will be 11 years old next month and i am quite sure as her goatie beard is coming in nicely, drooling will surely follow.
used dog is in fact sporting a rather lovely natty vintage flowery neckerchief.
i have found in my experience that when she wears a flowery piece of fabric around her neck it has the most slimming affect on her, boosting her morale.
also it would appear random strangers who walk past do not fear her, but rather gravitate towards her. little olive can be found sporting a vintage hanky on good days, and let me tell you when walking out and about together in their flowery attire they cut quite the dash

would you mind telling what brand of paint you use?
i like to use Aura by Benjamin Moore on furniture, doors and other thrifted souls.
i have found it to be most nice due to it's great coverage, endurance to family life and best of all, it says on the label it is a 'good for you and the earth' paint. i am tres awful at picking out paint colors, always left 'ummming and ahhhhing' but in the end it seems to work okay. i have discovered that if you have white white walls and lots of white painted furniture then most colors will sit nicely with in. i don't have any walls painted colors in the house except one in our #3's room. he has a very minimal styled room, with one wall painted gray and not a lot else, just the way he likes it. i'm thinking the way he deals with the rest of his world being 'doilified', he deserves his gray wall.

why do you think Australia is exotic?
i am not a well travelled person, i prefer to stay in my nest much to my man's disappointment who loves to see the world. i very much see myself as a Brit who was misplaced abroad ten years ago. it may take me some time to find my way home but one day i will.
in the meantime i see most foreign destinations as 'exotic' for i like the word. i like to say to our #4 when he shows me the latest 'must have'... "why that's a bit exotic!" it's a nice way to describe something that is quite foreign to me. i visualize the loveliness in all the faraway places i've never been to, i never notice the 'crappy horrible' stuff within my daydreaming moments, only the niceness, which makes everything in a faraway land appear most exotic

could we Aussie's perhaps have a 'winter fling'?
i think that is a tremendously grand idea, and truly the bravest thing i've heard in a while. to take yarn on the hottest of hot days and manage to crochet or knit is quite the most risk taking thing i can think of. so yes be my guest, do have a 'winter fling' and thank you for making me smile

do you have a pattern for your granny circle squares?
i found the pattern for the crocheted goodness i've been working on over at Yvestown's
i had to tweak it a little but eventually got it to work. i can't tell you just how much fun they are... and when i made my first cushion, i have to say i 'swelled' with pride and had tears in my eyes, to know that little old me and Mr Hook had managed such grandness

do you have a cupboard of shame?
ha! i smiled such a smile when this question was so kindly raised, oh yes i do have a cupboard of shame, i have several in fact... perhaps it may suddenly become clear why i am such a fan of placing vintage linens behind glass, or infront of a bookcase. i also have a thrifty addiction that needs to be covered up and so there are many drawers and doors that hide my addictive ways.
i also have a fair amount of 'ugly piles' i chose not to look at in my day to day living, i blank them out... you don't often see evidence of such shameless ways upon my little happy space because i like to see only the lovelinees when i take a photo with Carlos. i pop it on my blog and all is shiny and bright...
it's just how i am and how my little blog is. i don't think i need to see pictures of my 'shameless' piles and messes staring back at me on my computer screen and i'm quite sure you lovely dearest readers have plenty of your own dirty laundry without having to look at mine :)

we haven't seen little olive in a while, what's she been up to, apart from digging up dearest reader's front yards?
good question, little olive is trouble with a capital T, but just like our #4, someone up above made her so sweet looking, she gets away with it all. i shall be bringing an update of little olive and her new abode at the end of the week, until then i hope some of the above has gone some way to answering your fabby questions.

she is away to put on her 'admin mode' hat, which is two sizes too small, making for a very uncomfortable day ahead ~ Tif

Tuesday, January 26

a 'spring fling'...

as twenty ten is my year for taking risks i've been having a 'spring fling' inside of Mossy Shed...

"oh Tif, how simply risque of you!" i hear you cry
why yes dearest readers, i don't think it gets more risky than a 'spring fling' in the midst of winter.
in fact if i carry on at this rate i may very well become known as 'Little Miss Risk Taker of 2010' and that would be quite something i feel.

my risk taking 'spring fling' all started late on thursday, when a retro tablecloth i purchased from Etsy arrived, a wonderful blue flower and fruity little number.
little pops of lovely turquoise amongst the navy and green.
as soon as i unwrapped the little sweetie,
it got
my heart 'a racing'
my fingers 'an itching'
to make something out of it's loveliness...

so with a snip and a snippity snip, i got to work.
several snippity snips later, along with another vintage tablecloth and some white linens, i had some very springy looking curtains for my studio window and might i add some very hungry occupants in the shed, but i couldn't let feeding the hordes get in the way of my creative juices flowing...
it is times like these that the microwave and mac 'n' cheese were invented for.

but that's not all... no sirree, for i continued my 'spring fling' with a little thrifty find who was looking for a new home when i found her lurking on the shelves of despair...

my lovely mirror is now sporting her 'spring coat' of sunshine yellow and has done quite the most peachy job of giving a little corner some false sense of 'Spring'.

so quite simply put dearest readers, i think we all need to have a 'spring fling' in our little nests, helping banish those winter blues and adding a little bit of sunshine in our days.

of course you lovely lot in Australia and other exotic foreign climes probably aren't looking to add a 'spring fling' to your dwellings but that's okay, i quite understand and am not in the least bit upset if you choose not to 'spring fling' with me...

she is thanking you once again for humoring her shameless ways ~ Tif

Monday, January 25

Tif and her shameless canvassing ways...

(a door opens once again somewhere around the globe)

"oh, it's you again" says the dearest reader

used dog clears her throat before launching into her canvassing patter
"ah yes madam, so sorry to disturb you once again but it is of the utmost interest i feel"

"well you better make it snappy, i've just sat down to my pea soup and a re-run of The Waltons" announces the dearest reader

"quite so, i can't imagine anything worse than cold pea soup. so as quick as a quickity quick thing, i must tell you i am back in the neighborhood canvassing votes for Tif"

"oh but i've already voted and i've been wearing my little badge and i showed Doreen next door the very nice 7 x 5 glossy photo of Tif. i'm quite sure if you went next door and gave her a badge and a glossy photo she too would vote for Tif" continues the reader

"well that is wonderful and heartwarming, i must thank you kindly for spreading the word. which leads me to tell you, it would appear that Tif has been nominated in more than one category. in fact it would appear she has been nominated in four!"

"oh i say! she must be overwhelmed with it all, i'm thinking she is probably beginning to feel a little like Angelina Jolie no less. fancy, four nominations in four different categories... that doesn't happen every day does it? talking of Tif, where is she then? if she's needing my votes i would expect her to come herself and not be sending her used dog and a pesky one, who by the way has wreaked havoc with my bulbs"

"good question dearest reader"
continues used dog, trying to stay focused on the task at hand and not notice that little olive was indeed rearranging the bulbs in the ground...
"Tif would love to be here today but unfortunately she is down at the local shopping precinct with her sign and kissing random babies that walk by. as i did such a good job last time she has sent me along again to rustle up more voting"

"fair enough... hang on a moment" the reader turns and hollers down the hallway
"Harold, be a love and put my pea soup back on the stove would you, i'm going to be a little while."
turning back to used dog she says
"go ahead then, tell me what the categories are?"

"well first up is
favorite handmade crafter" started used dog

"oh yes, i've done that one, what's next?"

"then there is

"interesting, hadn't thought much about Tif being an eco artist, but then she does do a lot with recycled textiles so i'm guessing that makes sense"

"next we have

"mmm, that's another thought provoking category isn't it? never thought about Tif making handmade textiles but i guess she does doesn't she?" ponders the reader

"quite so"
continues used dog thinking about how she could do with some pea soup and if she plays her cards right perhaps some may come her way.
"and last but by no means least, in fact i must tell you this is the category that got Tif blushing with pride and writing on walls,

"oh yes!"
exclaims the dearest reader quite excitedly, used dog notes
"i can just imagine she would be blushing, for indeed her little blog is quite the shiniest of places and having visited on the few occasions that i have, i can tell she takes pride in it"

"so that is it, dearest reader. i just popped by again to tell you how much Tif appreciated your voting last time and was hoping against all hopes that you may perhaps find time after eating your delicious pea soup to vote for her again... she also"
used dog adds in quickly
"wanted me to give you a gold sticky star for your commendable loyalty and hopes you will wear it with pride"

"is that one of those lovely gold sticky stars i wanted so badly in school when i was little but never seemed to get one, although i remember Alison next to me seemed to get them every day" remarks the dearest reader

"why yes it is, and Tif also said i was to put a 'V. Good' next to it so you knew just how good you have been to her"
by now used dog was feeling rather weary and her tummy was beginning to rumble

"well, that's it then, Tif aka dottie angel, has got my vote again... and i hope you don't mind me saying so, but you are looking a little peaky, perhaps you may care to come in and share some pea soup with Harold and me?"
the reader glances nervously over used dog's shoulder to where little olive has been making dirt sculptures in the yard
"is she toilet trained? i've just had my carpets cleaned you see and i don't want any messes"

"oh yes little olive is toilet trained and really has the best table manners, although to look at her now, you wouldn't know it" smiles used dog with her sweetest smile

"well what are you waiting for then, pea soup it is" the reader announces letting used dog and little olive into her cozy abode for an evening of merriment, leaving Tif out in the cold, on the street corner with her little sign, thinking how nice pea soup sounds...

she, used dog and little olive are once again thanking you most kindly for considering her ~ Tif

Friday, January 22

snippets of...

"oh hurrah, it's friday and friday can only mean one thing!!
it's our favorite day of the week, when Tif brings us snippets of..."
i hear you chorus around the globe

yes indeedy my dearest readers i have been tres excited for today's snippets,
which i might add, are not just any old 'snippets of...'

"oh Tif, how simply, thrillingly, exciting to hear" you chorus yet again
"isn't it just peachy!" i respond

let me tell you, they are snippets of lovelies i have found upon return to my 'thrifting ways'.

"brilliant Tif! thrifting ways is our kind of universal language" i hear yet more choruses
"i knew it! i knew it! joined across the seas and lands by a mutual lust for thrifty goodness, that's us dearest readers!"

now we must come down from our 'hysteria' induced frenzy of excitement and continue with 'snippets of...' before i get so worked up into thrifty lust i have to leave you right here, right now and go 'a thrifting'

so as i was saying before my heart started to quicken and my 'itching to go a thrifting' ways came across me...
i have now been on several occasions treasure hunting and thus i have started to build up my allergy resistance (hallelujah) and unleashed the thrifting addict that i had subdued over the gleeful season.

i have to tell you as well, i left many a forsaken soul upon the shelves of despair knowing i would never be able to sneak them past my man...
so without 'further a do' i bring you

'snippets of thrifty goodness'

a biscuit tin any granny would be proud to own, filling it with toffees.
i am quite certain this is the type of tin a granny would fight for

three paper lanterns now hung above our kitchen KNOOK
with crocheted ties and doily tails

a lovely 'how could you not have been picked already' jug,
looking perfectly perfect with kitschy plastic flowers my mother gave me last summer

a little yellow dansk saucepan and fabby orange table mats, still with 1969 stickers on the bottom and singing 'spring time' at the top of their little voices

a Mary and Jesus 1980's plastic 'thingy me jig'.
i painted them and then a crack appeared.
this told me "thou shalt not dorb Jesus in paint".
i apologized and it's all peachy now

a few balls of yarn,
destined to be crocheted into something glorious when i have an epiphany

and last but by no means least,
a set of retro saucepans,
one of which was a little shy even after i cleaned her up,
she would not agree to be photographed.
carlos and myself respected her integrity

she is hoping you all have a peachy perfect weekend ~ Tif
footynote: a tres grande 'thanking you kindly' to all that browsed my shelves within my little store yesterday, making my shop update and donation to the Haiti relief funds such a success :)

Thursday, January 21

a basket case of sorts...

before we start today's thrilling installment i must just point out that all pictures are unrelated to my heartwarming tale. they are just random bits of 'eye candy' to help you get through the ramble, and let me tell you, you're going to need it...

having got that out the way i shall proceed with a tale from my 'challenge of the utmost kind' life.
i am now four months into my challenge and a 'happening' that happened to me this past tuesday, has happened to renew my faith and stay strong a long the path of thrifty handcrafted righteousness
allow me to enlighten you dearest readers on this day that just past...

i have a dishwasher.
i have a love hate relationship with my dishwasher. i love him because he does the dishes leaving me to not have to, but i hate him because he doesn't do it to the best of his abilities.
it is not his fault, for within my dishwasher lurks a cutlery basket, my cutlery basket has five compartments

("why this truly is the most thrilling of reads Tif, i think you may have surpassed yourself this time" i hear you interrupt...
"why thank you kindly" i say in return)

now as i was saying, my cutlery basket has five compartments which most of you will think is nothing special or worth note. but what i haven't yet revealed is, for the past year only one of those compartments has a sealed bottom to it.
for near on a year i have cursed and sworn at my clan for tossing their cutlery into the bottomless compartments and avoiding the one with a bottom.
(that is when they can actually find the dishwasher, which isn't very often i might add)
forks, knives and spoons left to dangle through, causing a blockage of the worst kind.
resulting in my dishwasher not preforming his duties to the best of his abilities
and me using language inappropriate for a lady of any description.

on tuesday i exclaimed to my man i could stand it no longer, i was a broken kitchen worker driven to insanity by the ridiculous of the situation.
armed with my little sad plastic cutlery basket i left Mossy Shed, intent on locating a new one despite my challenge.
first port of call, our local appliance center.
the very nice man looked rather crescent fallen when he glanced up from his desk hoping to find a customer intent on buying a whole array of shiny new appliances and not just one plastic replacement basket.
my attire put paid to any doubts in his mind that i was for the persuading...

he informed me, they were not the place for me, but that the very place i was looking for happened to be in the industrial area ten minutes further down the road.
by now all i could see was precious thrifting time being spent locating this darn plastic basket. i proceeded to the industrial estate armed with the very nice man's directions and then proceeded to drive around umpteen laps until i discovered a tiny door with the correct number above.

once again with my 'seen better days' basket i entered a door into a tiny front area where a lady stood behind her tiny desk.
"can i help you?"
"i'm hoping against all hopes that you have a replacement for this" i said, placing my mangled little basket upon her tiny desk top
"ah well, we don't actually, but we could special order it in, if you have the serial number with you" she offered
"oh... i was so hoping you would have one and now i have to go home to get the number" i replied dejected and disheartened
"well i suppose i have this one but it's used" she offered up whilst turning to retrieve her pen holder from the side...

and that was it dearest readers, the moment i knew the 'thrifty handcrafted challenge' gods had shone down on me once again.
for in her hand she held a used, old but still with it's bottom, little plastic cutlery holder. it's handle long gone and it's color well faded...
"i'm wondering if you can pull the handle off yours and reattach it to my pen holder, then you can have my pen holder and i can have your broken basket in return" she suggested
"but won't your pens fall through?" i asked
"no worries, i'll just put a bit of foam in the bottom and that will do the trick" she smiled

i left the little appliance place with a warm and fuzzy feeling in my heart...
i told the lady, she had quite possibly made my whole year, for in my hand i had a cutlery basket to end my cursing days and best of all it was secondhand and didn't cost me a penny.

now if that little tale didn't warm you through and through then i'm hoping at least the pictures of randomness helped pass the time nicely for you.

she is thanking you most kindly for giving used dog and little olive canvasing time on your doorsteps ~ Tif

Wednesday, January 20

Tif and her canvasing ways...

(door opens somewhere around the globe)

"ummm, yes? can i help you?" enquires a dearest reader

"good afternoon to you, my name is used dog and this is little olive. we are here today on behalf of Tif..."


"Tif, you may perhaps know her as dottie angel?"

"ah yes, i've heard of her, not sure how or where though" replies the dearest reader

"perhaps i may enlighten you a little?" encourages used dog

"well, my peas are on the stove so i don't have long... could you make it quick" the dearest reader says whilst glancing back toward the kitchen.

"certainly" continues used dog "i believe you may have stumbled across Tif on her blog at some point. sadly she can not be with us today for she has tres important busy stuff to do like admin, (shudder) and so myself and little olive have volunteered on her behalf to go out and about, meeting dearest readers from her readership list and spreading the word"

"well that's very lovely and all, but what have i got to do with it" the dearest reader asks

"aaah, yes well...
i was just getting to the very point of my visit. it would appear that Tif has been nominated for a prestigious award.
she was rather flattered, and most blushing when she received notice of this turn of events"
(a pause whilst used dog gets a drink of water, clears her throat, reprimands little olive for eating too many pine cones in the dearest reader's yard and then continues)
"and so it would appear Tif has hidden behind her admin duties and is leaving it up to me and little olive to go to each and every doorstep of her dearest readers asking them most kindly, if it isn't too much trouble that is, if they perhaps would care to cast their vote in her direction"

"well, let me think a minute whilst i turn the peas down"
the dearest reader heads to the kitchen whilst used dog lingers on the doorstep adjusting her natty little badge saying 'vote for me pretty please'

on returning to her doorstep the dearest reader announces
"well i suppose i could, although i don't really remember much about Tif or what she looks like?"

"perhaps this lovely 7 x 5 color flyer of Tif and her natty little badge, will help you recall?" offers used dog

"oooh yes! i remember her, quite the most batty one isn't she? half the time i don't know what she's going on about, stands on stools a lot, ummm... oh, but that's a lovely picture, do i get to keep it?"

"why of course you do! and of course, it would be most delightful to know if you are perhaps considering casting your vote in Tif's direction" sighs used dog, thinking this was all going to take rather a long time if this was how each visit was going to go

"well yes! if i get to keep the picture and perhaps your nice little badge, you can definitely have my vote... plus i do recall, i like a few of her crafts and she does make me chuckle from time to time" the dearest reader remarks

"that is marvelous" used dog exclaims whilst unpinning her badge, "i shall mark you down as a 'yes' upon my very lovely 'dottie angeled' clip board, and bid you a lovely peachy day" to which used dog turns, calls over to little olive whom it would appear had spent most of the time relandscaping the dearest reader's front yard and heads off to the next unsuspecting dearest reader's dwelling.

they are thanking you most kindly for considering her ~ Tif, used dog and little olive

Tuesday, January 19

manic mode

i have noted that since Jan 1st i have been in 'manic mode'.
first in manic crocheting mode
now in manic stitching mode...

i wish i could apply my manic abilities to laundry and cooking but alas as much as i try, it confounds me every time.
and so it would appear my manic stitching ways have led to a sleuth of wall hangings declaring LOVE.
i'm not usually the 'love and hearts' kind, but in the past few weeks i have been gripped by the need to declare LOVE in everything i stitch.

i've worked on larger 'whatnot' wall hangings
and smaller 'without words' wall patches

i have also made a couple of bags along the lines of my apron wraps, they are recycled vintage 'pretties' that have summer written all over them, thus i have named them
'little sunshine' messenger sacks

the results of my 'stitching manic' ways will be in my little store on thursday morning pacific time, around 10ish.
i will also be donating 30% of any sales to the Haiti relief efforts.

and now i am officially declaring tomorrow to be 'manic admin' day.
for if i do not tackle the growing pile of administration that lurks within my inbox i fear i will not sleep at night...

she will be back on thursday with a 'challenge of the utmost kind' tale to warm the heart ~ Tif

Saturday, January 16

a question of crafting...

please excuse my lateness in this post, it would appear the real world got the better of me yesterday, but i'm here now.
in my shiny place, as lola would put it. i like that very much, the thought of here being my shiny place and then i think about how it is probably the only thing that i actually look forward to polishing...
and so for today's question of crafting i'm bringing you a truly shiny person, a lovely crafter that quite honestly takes my breath away with her talent...
so without further a do and before i get so completely giddy with excitement and lose my 'professional interviewing manner', i shall introduce you to Jane from ATLITW, which stands for Alltheluckintheworld. just saying the name makes one know it's pretty special...

i first came across Jane through the wonderful world of Flickr. to be honest i can't quite pin point the time but it was her Christmas Tree that stopped me dead in my Flickr tracks.

i took a closer look which led me to her other photos, beautiful images of vintage finds, recycled furniture and then her shop... once again i felt myself come over a little faint. this, i thought to myself, is surely how heaven should look...

over the past few months we have been getting to know each other and i do feel most fortunate that Jane has willingly participated in my 'question of crafting' feature. travelling all the way from the Netherlands to mossy shed, just so we may get a lovely healthy dose of her pretty wares and learn a little bit of the crafter behind the creations.
(oh and just so you know, i recorded this interview a few days back...)

so if you are sitting quietly and comfortably, i shall press the play button and begin

would you mind telling me and my dearest readers a little bit about yourself?
Jane: Hi, my name is Jane, I live in the Netherlands and I'm a graphic designer, artist, crafter and mother.
I was born in Australia but my parents moved our family to Holland in the 70's when I was 12 years old. That was a huge transition – everything was different. I don't know if you've ever heard people speaking Dutch but I can tell you, it's nothing like English and I couldn't understand a word at first. Although I picked up the language within about 6 months, I felt lost and terribly out of place. In those days of course we didn't have Internet so it was much harder to keep in touch with my old friends. I was a bit of a hermit spending a lot of time in my room reading and making things. Things started to change for me when I moved to Amsterdam and went to study at the art academy.
My daughters Robin and Nina are 21 and 19 and they both live away from home. Robin studies Communications at the University of Amsterdam and Nina is learning to be a goldsmith / jeweler. I’m very proud of both of them! I miss them a lot but luckily they often come home on the weekends.
Tif: do you know i really had no idea that your children were older, i imagined little ones running around for some reason

where did you come up with the name for your company Alltheluckintheworld?
Jane: As a single mum, I had to work long hours in my job as a graphic designer to support my family. When my daughters grew older and became less dependent on me I saw the possibility to start something for myself and do what I loved most. I felt (and still feel) so lucky! I wanted to share this with others by making things that bring luck and love and happiness to others because they are made with that intention. I’ve always been an avid visitor of flea markets and thrift shops so I decided to combine my passions. The combination of handmade, re-styled and vintage goods works quite well, I think.
I cut back my Graphic Design job to 3 days a week so I have enough time for Alltheluckintheworld . It was a good decision and although it sometimes is a struggle financially, I’m really happy I made it.

Tif: i am quite sure upon hearing this, there will be many that find your journey extremely inspiring, giving them the courage to follow their dreams.

when you started crafting, who or what inspired you to go down such a righteous and goodly path?
Jane: First of all, my mother. She made lots of clothes for us when I was a child. On my 9th birthday she gave me an old-fashioned treadle sewing machine and taught me how to use it. I was always sewing doll’s clothes. We had crafting/sewing lessons at school, which everyone hated, except me. That’s where I started embroidering. My dad is a draftsman and he used to draw with us a lot.

if a pesky gnome and his friends appeared on your doorstep, would you offer them a 'home for all seasons' and if so, could you describe the type of 'mini living quarters' you would craft for them to stay in? (i had to ask this one, as i can only imagine if i was a pesky gnome and landed on your doorstep, the type of living quarters you would create would make me think i had died and gone to gnome heaven)
Jane: There are 2 pesky gnomes living in my garden. They are trying to look innocent here but there is no way I’m letting them inside!

Tif: ah yes, i see them and yes they do look tres pesky to me, i'm quite sure they are happy as can be outside, next to all that loveliness :)

does your craft influence the way you dress? do you find if you dress creatively on any given day then perhaps that day ends up being far more productive work wise?
Jane: I’m not a very creative dresser. I like to wear dresses or jeans. Usually in dark colors. I have this one vintage summer dress that I loved to wear until it started to fall apart. I couldn’t part with it so I’ve “mended” it with applications and embroidery. It’s an ongoing project. Every now and then I add something to it.

Tif: that's a stunning dress... and how interesting, i know if i don't dress creatively then i can not get my creative juices flowing, it's like i need to dress 'the part' to be 'the part' if you see what i mean. the dress you are wearing today really is what i pictured you dressing in all the time.

you opened your lovely store recently, combining vintage finds along with your recycled and handcrafted wares. do you find the opportunity to create vignettes on a larger scale within the store has helped your creativity expand even further?
Jane: My sister Julie runs the real store, it’s at her house and quite a long way from where I live. I started with the web shop and she joined me a year later. Being so far apart is quite a problem, we’re still figuring out if this will work or if we should just stick to the web shop. Julie does most of the vintage products and I’m the one who makes things. She has a young family and a very busy job so time can be a problem too. It would be wonderful if we lived closer together.

how do you juggle between your graphic design job and being able to make things?
Jane: On the 3 days I work away from home, I find it very hard to spend time on my own projects. My head is filled with the projects I’m doing there. Of course I answer emails and send out orders but I usually can’t be very creative in the way of making things.

what is your most proudest crafting achievement to date?
Jane: My wall vases. I really like the way they turned out. I have made about 25 and I still have more to go. I like that they were ugly heater dishes that no-one would have wanted and I love the idea of having a vase hanging on the wall

Tif: i have to agree, this wall is simply one of the most beautiful walls i've laid eyes on, it actually has caused me to have 'wall envy', something i don't have very often

have you always used recycled items within your creations or is that something that has evolved over time for you?
Jane: Not always but I have been doing it for a long time. At least 20 years so you can imagine how big my collection of “supplies” is. I’m not very well organized though so I often have a hard time finding what I need. I have a million tins and they all have treasures hiding in them!
Tif: i now have 'tin lust' as well...

the Christmas tree that you applied to your wall last year is quite honestly the most beautiful tree i have seen. were you just sitting there one day and thought, "oooh, i know, lets stick all my quirky little collections on to the wall for Christmas"? i'm intrigued to know if that is how it happens for you, do you have crafting epiphanies that appear from nowhere, or do you perhaps have an inspiration book, where you jot down thoughts to reflect on at a later date, taking time to evolve an idea?
Jane: Well, yes, it did sort of happen like that. At first my idea was to take pictures of all sorts of christmassy items, cut them out and glue them to the wall. I did about 2 and then decided it was too much work. Why not just stick all the little objects to the wall instead? I didn’t think it would work but it did and I was very surprised when it became such a big hit. This year, last year’s tree was on the cover of magazines in Romania, Russia and Israel! Haha, I couldn't believe it.

Tif: that's fantastic and i'm not surprised, it has to be the best looking green christmas tree i've laid eyes on

if you could invite anyone to your place to have a little sit upon your stools, admire your wares and then have a chat, who would they be?
Jane: I’d like it if you could come over. I‘m sure we’d have lots to talk about :)! Also my Australian friend Tina. I haven’t seen her since Robin was a baby and she stayed with us in Amsterdam. My famous people would be Sophie Calle and Tracey Emin. They both have such interesting stories. And then of course, Johnny Depp

Tif: oh yes! i'd be there in a heart beat, i couldn't think of anything else i'd rather do, i would be most willing to help you go through your tins of treasures and quite honestly on this occasion i would be willing to share Johnny.

and last but no means least, quite a telling question i feel,
have you ever cooked a fish in a dishwasher before?
Jane: I’m thinking of saying yes to sound more adventurous but to be honest: No. Have you?
Tif: well actually i haven't, but i was saying to my man just the other day that surely someone has, and he mentioned that there might even be a cookbook written on dishwasher cooking, after that i tuned out as i knew the conversation was going in a direction i did not care for.

and so dearest readers, it just leaves me to thank Jane so very kindly for being here with us today (although really it was a few days back and this was recorded remember)
to actually take time out of her busy life to answer my rather dubious questions and tolerate my lack of quality interviewing skills is truly above and beyond... i am most fortunate indeed to have such a lovely crafter to grace the pages of my shiny place.
and i think it most true to say how delighted we are to have got to know the very talented creator behind ATLIW

she will be back on tuesday, until then she wishes you a crafting epiphany or two, of your own ~ Tif
footynote: please do note that all pictures belong to Jane, i wish i could once again say they belonged to me and only me... mine, mine, mine! but that would be wrong and wicked. so please do take notice of who's property they are and so shall i :)