Friday, October 29

lacking and the lurgy...

due to a lack of Mr Daylight and Mr Internet along with a house call from Mr Lurgy, my week has not gone as planned. but i am taking a leaf out of Our #1's book and seeing my glass as half full and not half empty. since she left for the bright lights of old blighty i have tried to hold on to her optimistic attitude. it has been 11 weeks since we said our goodbyes and it is just under 7 weeks to go and we will be saying our hellos. truth be told the 11 weeks has felt like 11 months...

on wednesday when Mr Daylight showed his face, the rain and windy dying down for a few hours, i rustled up Our #3 and along with Carlos, my trusty camera we managed to get a few pictures for my little shop resulting in some sweeties hanging in the window.
as you can imagine these photo taking moments are always a bit of a fiasco within the shed

this gave me a chance to wear my jaunty new cap upon my bonce!

i am most delighted with my crocheted hat from the lovely Emily, she makes them in every color under the sun and quite honestly i think they are a complete 'bobby bargain' for a handmade cap who does the most spiffy job of keeping one's nut warm in this autumnal weather.
i also rather like my little cap because more often that not, i am having a bad hair day. this is due to my lazy 'hair-doing' ways... after i have washed and dried my hair, i braid my hair and so it stays that way, until the next time of washing. i do not wash my hair daily, therefore it takes on a rather 'bed heady' look over time, braids staying 'as is'. my lovely blue corduroy hat is perfectly suited to covering up my birds nest on day two of 'unwashed' hair. i really don't think one can ask any more than that of a little hat of handmade goodness.

Mr Daylight was gone as quickly as he appeared. leaving no time for my 'da da da da dah' tutorial picture. i have all the 'nitty gritty' photos taken (last week Mr Sunshine was most willing) but they are not much good if i do not have the actual 'high hopes da dah' finished picture. for no one would know what they were actually trying to make and with the 'highest hopes' in the world, i am thinking a 'finished item' picture is a must for a tutorial.
this is where i felt my glass was half empty, for i had promised a tutorial for the end of this week, but then i turned it around and thought how spiffy to have the tutorial to look forward to next week, so once again the glass was postively overflowing.

now one would think Mr Lurgy visiting would make the glass look a little empty, however because of his lethargic making ways, i was rather pathetic yesterday, without Mr Internet i could have used my time wisely to catch up on all i put off on monday but instead i sat in a little heap on the couch with Mrs Hook for company. she is most ample and i do like her comforting ways. as luck would have it despite feeling a little foggy brained, a crafting epiphany found me. they don't happen very often but when they do it is a grand moment, so i know if Mr Lurgy has not visited, i would not have sat on my couch in a heap and i would not have had the crafting epiphany moment! never did i think Mr Lurgy was a half full kind of guy but i have been proved wrong.

she is wishing you a weekend of 'overflowing' glasses and will be back with high hopes on monday (Mr Internet willing) ~ Tif
footynote: gosh i forgot to say "have a happy halloween", it all sort of bypasses me, so it slipped my little brain. come sunday eve, i will be holed up on the couch with Mrs Hook whilst watching 'its the great pumpkin, charlie brown'. needless to say, i am total pants at scary movies...

Tuesday, October 26


i have shed fever today, i think it is something to do with the crappity crap weather.

yesterday i could not leave the shed for fear of being blown over and covered in wet soggy leaves, i had visions of wondering how long it would take my clan to notice their mother was not in her usual spot within the shed.

however today, as i reported in the earlier paragraph, i have shed fever. it does not happen often for i love my shed, but now and then it creeps up from behind, it creeps from behind because it is a 'sneaky little blighter', a bit like Mr Lurgy, who is also a 'sneaky sneaker' who waits for one to turn the other way and pounces.

so because of shed fever i am willing to face my fears of being lost under a pile of soggy leaves and shall go to the grocery store, i do not care for grocery shopping at the best of times, i wish i could embrace it as a 'fun day out' but alas my local store does not warrant such a title.
i see it now
'local grocery store, bring all the family, a fun day out'
and if such a poster were to be posted in their window, i would beg to differ.

but shed fever has me antsy and so has the cries of complaints at the lacking of edible matter within our shed. another thing to make me antsy is Mr and Mrs Monkey... ever since i made a little LOVE wall patch and asked them to "smile pretty please" they have become rather attached to it.

i popped it in my little shop window this morning despite their protests, explaining the little wall patch was dreaming of life somewhere more exotic than Mossy Shed and her acre of wet soggy leaves.
Mr and Mrs Monkey are no longer speaking to me, their silence is deafening and making me feel a little wretched, which in turn is making the grocery store look more appealing by the minute

if the dreary weather would shift, she has plans to snap a few pics for a 'high hopes' tutorial soonish ~ Tif

Monday, October 25

monday morning...

last thursday evening when i was rootling through the chunky yarn section in our local craft store, i came across a fat quarter named 'farmdale curio' by alexander henry fabrics.
the little fat quarter distracted me from the chunky yarn section
with its pretty vintage palette of cream, brown, grey, red, orange and yellow.
i tried to ignore said little fat quarter, i rounded the corner and went back to my original intentions. but alas, the little fat quarter kept whispering my name, after ten minutes, which i thought was quite an admiral length of time, i caved...

since returning home to the shed with the little fat quarter
i have been 'a plotting' and 'a planning' quality time with the little sweetie.
this morning we awoke to yet another day of blustery 'winnie the pooh' weather
and so it seemed foolish of me to not take advantage.
"why do monday morning 'chorey' things Tif, when a 'perfectly perfect' little fat quarter
has been waiting patiently for 4 nights and 3 days to be played with" i told myself.
taken heed of my own wise words, i battened down the hatches, made a cup of tea, heated up Mr Shark and switched on Miss Ethel.

being the size of a little fat quarter, there was not a lot to play with,
i pondered a cushion or a bag as i pottled around my studio,
my pottling took me into the lounge, little fat quarter in my hand, where it all became clear.
kathleen's cupboard in all her peachy danish glory, had mentioned the other day, perhaps it might be quite nice to have a new coat.
well as i am all about little coats these days, who was i to disappoint.

a few happy hours later, 'patching and a stitching' with my little fat quarter playing center stage,
kathleen's cupboard is now feeling most happy indeed, with her grande 'just say it like it is' coat.
it is a little bit wonky, certainly random and perhaps a tad squiffy, but she doesn't seem to mind :)

she is thinking tuesday is looking a grand day for monday 'chorey' things ~ Tif

Friday, October 22

and the winner is...

Janine, myself and little Finley stayed up super duper late on wednesday night,
taking our time to read all the wonderful inspiring books you live by,
here and in my inbox...
actually that doesn't sound quite right,
obviously we did not stay up super duper late reading all the books you mentioned,
for that would be quite impossible,
a night not being long enough
and the results of such an impossible task
could possibly led to madness.
so what i mean is,
we stayed up super duper late reading your comments,
on the wonderful inspiring books you live by!

thank you most kindly for taking part in our book bundle giveaway
and for also, as always, leaving such words of inspiration.
i do not think i have ever had a give away when i am not left with so many new things to discover,
and now i have a book list as long as my arm of new and wonderful reading material for me to work my way through.

i realized, i had not told you the book that inspired me so.
quite clearly for me, it was Pippi Longstocking and her adventures.
i do not recall how many of her adventures i read, although i have a well thumbed copy from my childhood,
what i do know is, Astrid Lindgren taught me to use my imagination
and for that i am most thankful

so we have a winner
and here she is
da da da da dah!!!!

my grandfather gave my sister and me,
the Readers Digest Great World Atlas back in the 1960's.
books in our house were few and far between.
this book to a small child, was HUGE.
its pages felt thick and luscious.
having not been in possession of this book for 3 decades,
i could still identify it by smell alone.
my sister took it off to college with her.
i found a substitute in a junk store a few years ago.
it still gives me the feeling the world
is a huge and incredible place

hurrah! hooray! for the lovely Kim,
her tale of childhood
and her inspiring wordly book
had Janine and myself most warmed,
congratulations my dear!

next week i have plans to tell you what Janine and myself got up to during her visit
and as if that wasn't thrilling enough,
i am also working on a little 'high hopes' tutorial which involves
not Mr Hook,
nor Dr Hook
but the ever-so-lovely
quite robust,
no nonsense,
let's just get the job done,
Mrs Hook

till then, she is wishing you the grandest of grandy weekends ~ Tif

Friday, October 15

book week... day six

and so we come to the end of book week,
but do not be sad dearest readers,
nor hang your heads and weep,
for it may be coming to an end but it is a peachy end.

as i mentioned yesterday,
when this sunday rolls around,
the lovely Janine and her little clan
will be insitu at Mossy Shed.
we will be doing what we do best,
which i don't actually quite know what that is yet,
but i am quite sure it will be
the bestest of besty things.

so's whilst i am away from my shiny place
doing besty things with Janine,
we thought it would be nice to have a little giveaway,
and even nicer,
since it being book week and all that grand stuff,
why not give away a book!
for indeed there is nothing quite like a beautiful inspiring book...

and so without further a-do, i must tell you
through the generosity of Janine and UPPERCASE
today's spiffy booky giveaway
is none other than the fabby book bundle from UPPERCASE.
hip hip hooray!

four wonderful books from a brilliant publisher
are looking for a home!
i actually felt a little giddy upon knowing this knowledge.
the peachy winner will receive one of each book,
'as and when' they are hot of the press.
da da da da dah!!

book one:
and illustrations by stefanie augustine.
a charming storybook
for whimsical grown-ups and sophisticated children,
beautifully written with stunning pictures

book two:
'work/life 2' a directory of illustration,
designed and written by Janine vangool.
featuring talented artists from around the world,
highlighting their personal stories,
insightful interviews and compelling images

book three:
being a collector of the utmost kind,

lisa set out to document her collection on January 2010,
embarking on a year long project
resulting in this special book.

book four:
the second book in the suitcase series
(the first being the lovely camilla engman)
explores the thrifty, crafty, peachy life of Tif fussell
and her alter ego dottie angel

(in other words, me)

so now to the nitty gritty,
and please be sure to read the nitty gritty bit
cause it is tres important to follow the rules


1. you can leave your comment (please see #4)
here or email me
be sure to leave a way for me to get hold of you.
it does not matter where you live in the world,
this give away is open to all peachy folks
who love beautiful books and wish to give
these pretty four a loving, forever home

2. the winner will be picked by myself and Janine.
however we will, if need be
rely upon Finley's expert opinion
in this matter of great importance

3. the competition will CLOSE on Wednesday 20th Oct, 10am pacific time.
the winner will be announced on Friday 22nd Oct
at some random time depending on when little olive takes her nap
(gosh this all sounds very professional,
i am thinking i must have my professional hat on today)

4. now this is the bit that needs a thinking cap,
no panicking though,
for there is plenty of time to think and ponder.
to be in with a chance of winning all four books,
you MUST answer this simple,
but 'oh so interesting' question...


it could be either fiction or non-fiction,
it could be the front cover or pictures within,
it could be a character or the story its self,
or it could be the author that penned the book...
anything at all to do with one particular book
you recall reading, perhaps have read many times over
that has inspired you, in your head and your heart.
give away now CLOSED

so there we are,
a perfect end to a lovely book week
courtesy of my peachy publisher Janine,
how splendid indeed.

she is wishing you a lovely week and will return next friday with a winner ~ Tif

Thursday, October 14

book week... day five

today i am busying myself with busy things around the shed,
and ignoring the glass jars and their need for woolly jackets.

for in three days Janine and her little clan are coming to stay.
means the lovely Janine and her little clan
pack up their suitcases and come for a visit!
hence the name 'suitcase series'...
here in mossy shed,
we are getting a little exciteable about the whole thing,
especially little olive and used dog.

however, i am thinking of giving each of my clan members
a note card with 'do not dos' written upon it,

1. do not bicker
2. do not leave wet puddles upon the bathroom floor
3. do not pick your nose unless it is in private
and while we are at it,
4. do not sniff, blow your nose
5. do not leave a trail of crappity crap
6. do not ignore me so i have to repeat myself 5 times
before you are spurred into action
7. do not do anything other than marvel at my orange meals

and the list goes on,
anyone living with a clan of aging children and a man
will know exactly what i am talking about...
however i have decided not to write my 'do not dos'
no sirree, i am going to throw caution to the wind
and trust my clan will rise to the occasion
showing their 'best shiny' sides for 4 whole days.
i fear this could be a moment
for clinging onto 'high hopes' like never before

now to book number five of book week,
and it's a goodie!
hooray hurrah!

my soul sister kindly gave me Orla Kiely's book for my birthday,
we share a mutual love of Orla and all her goodness.
so it was with great excitement i received this wonderful book,
okay so i was totally giddy, for i am a huge Orla nut!
the book is everything it promises to be
and a whole lot more,
page after page of Orla's world is revealed
in all it's colorful, patterned, retro glory

she tells about the early days, how she got started.
she talks about her creative process,
her inspirations, resulting in her stunning patterns
and how the scale and rhythm along with the color,
all play a part in creating her wonderful range
of clothing, bags and soft furnishings.

right at the back of the book is a little chapter on blogs,
where Orla talks about blogs being an endless source
of amazement and inspiration for her.
seeing how others interpret her patterns and color
within their own homes is wonderful.
this is the bit when i got super giddy,
a little lightheaded even and Miss Ethel felt the same.

for in the back of Orla's lovely book
is none other than mossy shed and Miss Ethel.
now of course many of you will be seeing once again
there is irony when it comes to Tif and her tales.
for indeed this would be the very wallpaper i am in love with,
still am to this day,
but alas the love affair came to an end within the shed.
i can actually hardly bare to mention it
so i have said that last paragraph in a whisper.

but not to worry, for upstairs in mossy shed
Orla's patterny wonders still continue to grace our walls

i have high hopes,
if ever Orla happened to be passing by the shed one day,
perhaps she may indeed knock upon our door
and despite gasping 'thee gasp'
she will be most happy to see the upstairs bit of the shed,
thus immediately forgiving me
and my wicked wallpaper stripping ways

if there is one book
to recommend for your wish list this holiday season
then Orla Kiely's book would be it,
not because of Miss Ethel, nor mossy shed,
but because it is a tres peachy read
and indeed totally Orla

she is thinking tomorrow would be a peachy day indeed for a grand give away ~ Tif

Wednesday, October 13

for the love of ercol...

for me, nothing says granny chic quite like vintage ercol.
on monday evening an ercol coffee table found me on Craigslist,
i gasped 'thee gasp',
for i have not seen the likes of such granniness this side of the pond,
ever, never, ever.

by tuesday morning i was plotting how to go and see it's loveliness
but not go alone.
for she was in the big city, in an area i was unfamiliar with.
i do not do freeway and city driving often,
if i do, there must be good reason for it.
my friend maggi planned to hold my hand,
but alas her little sprogs were sickly tuesday morning.

"what to do, what to do" i said to myself whilst wringing my hands.
i skyped with Our #1,
told her of my plight,
she rolled her eyes and quite rightly pointed out,
if at the age of 17 she was driving all over Seattle
then it would be quite possible aged 42,
i could manage such a feat.

i 'binged' a map,
studied the round trip in details,
wrote down my directions on the back of an old envelope.
then promptly my envelope was 'loved' by little olive
whilst i paced up and down my studio fretting,
knowing i had no choice but to go it alone.

after three and a half hours of build up
i left the comforts and safety of the shed,
Carlos my trusty camera by my side
and my slippers upon my feet (thread included)
i bravely travelled to the big city.

i noted i was going the speed limit and some were not.
i noted as soon as i got off the highway,
my envelope let me down
whilst lost and doing my breathing exercises,
i channelled my inner 'granny chic' radar sensor,
it did not let me down,
after several turns
i arrived at an emporium filled with secondhand goodness.

upon entering with Carlos in my pocket
and my slippers (thread still attached) upon my feet,
i knew my bravery had been rewarded.

arriving home at mossy shed, later in the afternoon
i cannot tell you which i was shaking more about,
knowing a little bit of ercol granny goodness was happily settling in.

or knowing after nearly 11 years of being a Brit living abroad in the surburbs,
i had finally faced my fears
travelling to the big city on my own
and making it home to tell the tale

she will be back tomorrow with day five of book week ~ Tif

Tuesday, October 12

book week... day four

yesterday i was distracted by Miss Ethel and Miss Margery,
i do not often speak of Miss Margery
and there are reasons for this.
Miss Margery belongs to Our #1
and on many an occasion i have sat in my studio
hearing the floorboards above shake with her usage.
i feared for Miss Margery and the sewing traumas she endured
at the hands of Our #1

actually, her name isn't Miss Margery,
Our #1 gave her a name quite unsuited to her lovely stitching ways.
so upon discovery of Miss Margery holed up in the back of the closet
after Our #1 left the shed for the bright lights of old blighty,
i took her out,
dusted her down
and called her Miss Margery.
she travelled alongside of Miss Ethel, to the big city

upon returning to the shed,
i have placed Miss Margery in my studio
and yesterday she showed me her coat of many stitches,
let us just say, i was smitten.
together a threesome of the utmost kind,
(not seen since the days of dorothy, mr hook and dr hook)
resulted in handcrafty goodness
soon to be hanging in my little shop window.

but for today, we will continue our grand book week
hip hip hooray!!
Lotta Jansdotter needs no introduction i am quite sure,
she is a crafter, designer and artist extraordinaire.

Lotta appeals to me,
in the way japanese craft books appeal.
in all their pretty, handcrafted, inspiring goodness
combined with the clean lines i look for,
when living with handcrafted.

most of all she appeals to me for a particular reason,
many moons ago,
i read a little bit of blurb
and the blurb told of Lotta being a self taught crafter.

i gasped 'thee gasp'
and knew right then and there,
i wished to hug Lotta on the spot,
thank her for saying it with pride.
it is interesting to look back now, quite a few years on
and see it was a defining moment for me and my crafty soul.
to know Lotta had succeeded with her own crafty soul,
wonderful aesthetics and beautiful self taughtness,
gave me the confidence to start up my little shop on Etsy,
to ramble upon this here shiny place
to continue along the righteous and goodly path of handcrafting.

Lotta's lovely book Handmade Living opens the door to her world,
showing how she creates her signature scandinavian style
within her beautiful home and studio.
allowing the reader to truly get a glimpse into her handmade world,
highlighting her inspirations,
her family traditions
and her decorating style,
page after page of a handmade life is revealed,
it truly is a lovely book indeed

she is trying to muster up some of that same confidence and drive to the big city on her own, gulp! ~ Tif

Friday, October 8

reassuring to know...

1: book week will resume next week with 3 more to show and 1 of them up for grabs
(yes indeedy, a give away!)

2: despite waking fretful this morning worrying about the safety of a certain squirrel, recalling my days of being a 'tufty member' (gosh that sounds a little dodgy), i am delighted to report Tufty Squirrel is indeed live and well, 57 years of age and not looking a day over 3!
(i wonder what his secret for eternal youth is)
i fear i have failed my children by not introducing them to Tufty and his pals Willy Weasel and Minnie Mole. i plan to rectify the failure of my mothering skills and today after school we will sit down and become well versed in the ways of Tufty and his wise words.
i will also be sending Our #1 the link so she may swot up on road safety across the pond. just thinking of her living in an urban setting with parked cars lining the streets adds another thing to my list of 'things to worry about Our #1 living in the big world without me'.

3. how wonderful to know folks are taking a stand when it comes to laundry lines in some neighborhoods.

they are campaigning for basic rights to hang out their grundies and such in their own back yards.
i am so excited by this revolution, for indeed i felt the constraints of such rules in our last abode. i am overcome with the urge, despite the low temps, to hang our undies out in support, showing my solidarity for their cause

4. my latest predicament being how to leave the shed and continue my need to crochet little woolly coats for glass jars! can i just say, this predicament has not caused me sleepless nights, perhaps a little pondering before dropping off but not actually tossing and turning, fretting as to how my little jars and moi can continue our bonding on the move.
so thrift store grandness being what it is, i found the perfect solution, vintage Tupperware in all it's granny green glory! gosh just looking at vintage Tupperware washes a wave a nostalgia over me.
my handy dandy little find is perfectly shaped for a few balls of yarn, Mr Hook and a couple of jars on the go. it sits nicely on the seat next to me as i drive where ever i happen to be driving.

when parked it allows me to access my yarn and jar easily without worries or concerns as to my jars safety (gosh this could be one for the Tufty club rules i'm thinking) and best of all i can carry it around in public without random passing strangers thinking me odd.
actually scratch that last bit, anyone seen carrying a Tupperware box full of glass jars and yarn will look odd, but i am thinking it will be 'odd with a bit of granny chic charm' and that my dearest readers is good enough for moi.

she is wishing you the peachiest weekend with perhaps a trip outdoors with some Tupperware yourselves ~ Tif

Thursday, October 7

book week... day three

for day three of book week,
i have a wonderfully fabby book to share
which may indeed be known by quite a few of you.
it is a brilliantly inspiring book
full of 'handmade crafts for a cause'.
yes indeed, it is the peachy Craft Hope book by Jade Sims.
dadadada dahhhhhh!

Jade is a buddy and a dearie,
a dearie of the utmost kind in more ways than one.
i met Jade when she came to Seattle
a few weeks back for my dottie angel camp.
i think now you can see why i was a little nervous,
the standard of my dearies was tres high!!!
a little while ago Jade was inspired to start Craft Hope,
an organization that combines a love of crafting with a desire to help others.
such was the success of Craft Hope there are now
tens of thousands of crafters in over 100 countries
following the Craft Hope site
and making handmade goods for causes all over the world.

the Craft Hope book is chocker block full of charities
and peachy ideas, crafters can make for them.
many talented designers, artists and crafters
have donated their time and their tutorials
to make this book the wonder it is.

having spent a few days in the lovely Jade's company
i can tell you she is one incredible person.
she is a mother and a crafter,
she is kind and generous
she is thankful to the many who have,
and continue to make,
Craft Hope the success it is.
this book will warm your crafty heart,
leaving you marveling at the crafting community
and what it does for the greater good of others...

she is thinking at this rate, book week may turn into book fortnight ~ Tif