Monday, October 31

a bit of bobbing...

willing victims hanging around the back yard
i awoke on halloween with a interesting question churning in my little cogs...
"do chickie peas like to play bobbing apples"

autumnal mushrooms making nice little resting spots for passing pesky gnomes

and it would appear, 
like most things i find with my fine feathered friends,
they do indeed enjoy a party game or two

"i think i see one"

"me first, no me first"

"i spy with my little eye"

and there is always one who tries to cheat...

she is wishing you a bit of spook and a lot of chocolate ~ Tif

Thursday, October 27

the demise of Mr Shark...

warning: this post contains photos not for the fainthearted

on tuesday, there i was, me, my flannel fabric and Mr Shark (my trusty iron) in the lounge, this is beginning to sound like something out of Cluedo... i appear to have spread all around our shed now and not one room is spared from 'my beavering'. by our side on the rug, Used Dog and Little Olive in mid morning slumber. yes, a typical day in the shed until Mr Shark did a 'putt', then a 'splutter', followed by a little letting off of 'steam' and then it was all over. i gasped, how could this be... i twiddled with his bits, i fiddled with his cord but alas and alack, his little light had gone out. 
so tragic, so young

i spent the rest of the day in a shocked daze, i worried if my wish for flannel and nubbly curtains, and a joyful shop update, had all been too much. then i wondered if his history of steroid taking which had led to his hunky silver weighty good looks had been the cause of his early demise. every now and then i returned to the scene of the tragedy, more twiddling and fiddling to no avail.

later that evening when the surgeon had returned from his desk job and coaching soccer he performed surgery. i fretted too many hours had past for a miracle to happen. eventually i could take it no more and had to look away, seeing Mr Shark, a good and faithful friend, an important tool of my trade having a brutal surgery procedure carried out on my kitchen counter was all a little too much. 

early on in the surgery, when i still had high hopes

after what seemed an age and one where i began to doubt the surgeons qualifications, after all i do not recall when seeing medical procedures being performed on telly, the surgeon stopping every now and then to take a mouthful of orange dinner. the surgeon put down his utensils and tools, his dinner finished and Mr Shark looking the worse for wear and he announced there was no hope. he then proceeded to start opening up another part of Mr Shark.
i pointed out was this necessary as obviously he was 'dearly departed' from my life. apparently i was told, yes it was because how interesting to see how it all works...
i turned away

and so my beavering ground to a halt leaving me with no alternative but to find a new friend, despite my grieving heart. 
last night i went to the store where i found Miss Winnie, not to be mistaken for Miss Winer. for she does not wine about things, no sirree, she is the sort who pulls up her knees socks and gets on with things.
having inspected all the box had to say in the store, it would appear with this iron i now have in my life a winner! 
"top rated by leading independent publication" 
are the very words printed on her box, i did question who is the leading independent publication and thought it a little odd they were not willing to have the actual name of their publication printed on the box, but i chose to ignore this and only saw "top rated" which in turn meant "winner" and so Miss Winnie it is.

paying respect to a trusty weighty iron with hunky silvery good looks

 having not actually taken my new iron out of her box with respect for Mr Shark laid out on the dining room table, i am keeping my fingers and toes crossed later today (when a fitting amount of time has passed since Mr Shark's demise), i will find out if she lives up to the box she came in, and is indeed worthy of the name Miss Winnie

there appears to be a lot of hand-stitched 'joy' going on in the shed, despite feeling unjoyful about Mr Shark ~ Tif

Tuesday, October 25

three thrilling things...

to add an element of thrillingness to an otherwise frill-less week...

early morning in the shed, nesting mode well and truly in gear

thrilling thing one: every day this week i am removing one unmarked pyrex dish from the freezer, due to the length of time it has been in there, it is impossible to know what the contents are. this has added a mystery to dinner time and an air of thrillingness as to what we will be eating. all dishes contain something different, however i note they all share one thing in common, the colour orange

thrilling thing two: my nesting instincts have kicked into 'high nesting mode' and i am beavering away on making winter window coverings. i am using nubbly fabric found on ebay, which any granny worth their granny salt, would be proud to hang at their windows, and flannel. yes flannel, like you find at the fabric store to make soft and cozy things for small beings. to me the thought of hanging flannel curtains has me in a current state of giddiness which in turn has led to an element of thrillingness with the whole project

a nubbly little number most suited for granny curtains
a flannel fabric to make windows feel cozy and loved

thrilling thing three: over the past few weeks me and my adopted auntie have been beavering away on dottie angel goodies. i noted she has done a much better job at staying on track, where as i have gone off the rails most days with things like flannel curtains distracting me. however when i am not de-railed, i am thrilled to be thinking of the 'one and only' tres grand shop update i am planning in november... in time for my fabby fav time of year, the gleeful season. 

she is torn between completing second flannel curtain or stitching the 'epiphany' for the shop update which hopped into her little cogs this morning ~ Tif 

Friday, October 21

the three C's... day four

crafting and crocheting: (notes)

note one: on saturday a whole new world of crocheting opened up to me, after looking through my little loved pile of Japanese craft books i stumbled across a lovely scarf pattern. it reminded me how every year i see lovely crocheted scarves in the stores (namely anthropologie) and wish i could make one for myself. this appeared out of my reach until i sat in my PJ's, yarn and Mr Hook in hand, and discovered i may not beable to follow the written crochet word, but i can read patterns using symbols. the best thing of all, these symbols are universal, therefore does not matter what language the book is printed in, i can attempt the pattern if it is written in symbols...

oh happy joyous crocheting moment

note two: in november i am teaching a two part sunday workshop at the fine and dandy Assemble Gallery and  
Studio, i am tres thrilled to be doing so and my hope is you may wish to join me. all nitty gritty can be found here


**EXCLUSIVE WORKSHOP** Vintage Lappity-Lap Blanket with dottie angel

Piece, sew and embroider a small blanket with the one and only Tif Fussell (aka dottie angel) in this two session workshop exclusive! A bit by the artist: “Using the age old idea of taking loved and used fabrics to make something new again, we will be ‘piecing and layering’ fabrics to create a ‘lappity lap’ blanket adding finishing touches of hand-knotting, appliqu├ęd patches or doilies and embroidery. The finished result being a lovely reminder of traditions gone by and a rather spiffy bit of handcrafted goodness for your home, or to gift to another.”
Students must have previous sewing machine experience and the ability to do a running stitch by hand. A materials list will be provided upon registration. Seats are very limited, so don’t miss the fun!
Date: Sunday, November 13th AND Sunday, November 20th
Time: 1pm – 4pm


note three: i marvel at the mysterious ways the handcrafted Gods move. there i was on monday in my shed, rambling on about 'dumpties' and there was lovely Sophie in hers on tuesday, trying to locate a lost crafty mojo. off out the house she pops hoping to find it and she does! in the recycling centre no less. gosh what are the chances of two spiffy dumpties being found on the brink of no return. Sophie has done a peachy job of 'dumptie number one' and she tells me 'dumptie number two' is asking for a crocheted hat. never have i seen such marvelous finds, and how fitting to find 'dumpties' at the dump

note four: the three C's and the thrillingness that it is, will continue next week due to there not being enough days this week to fit in all the thrilling thoughts...

she notes it is friday, she notes the 'hurrah horray its friday' feeling coming on, and she wishes you a peachy one ~ Tif

Thursday, October 20

the three C's... day three

crocheting: (a blankie)

this whole post has been written with a song playing in my head, you know that little voice in your head that sings like a true singer, where to you, you sound like the bees knees. my little voice is singing "reunited and it feels so good, reunited cause you understood" it then goes on to make up a few words and then just go on repeating itself over and over.

this little singing voice of mine appeared last week, in the yarn aisle. choosing to spend my time wisely admiring balls of yarn rather than stand on the soccer sidelines in the cold, it just popped up from nowhere. it was inevitable i would find myself in this aisle as earlier in the day i had been hit by the nesting bug which always hits around this time of year, despite my protests. and with thoughts of nesting, comes thoughts of yarny blankets.

so i stood there channeling my inner Ingrid, i hoped some of her peachy talent for combining colours would rub off on me if i thought really really hard, but it was a tres sorry sight for yarny colours which stood before me in the 'chunky' section. oh woe is me i thought... i pottled around the corner, down another aisle, back again due to another yarny buyer not budging, quite obviously intent on her own project. down the next aisle and back around until i have frequented 3 aisles of double sided shelves of yarny goodness. my inner Ingrid found many peachy colours but alas and alack they were all in different weights. as i stood with despair in my crafty soul and my little singing voice going on and on, another little voice popped up. actually two. one from the other yarny buyer wishing to get past, and the other from another part of my little head...

first voice "excuse me please" to which i stepped aside.
second voice "surely Tif, if you combined several strands of the same yarn, you can make one chunky strand" to which i did a little jump (not a big one cause i had my clog boots on and i did not wish to land on the toes of the yarny buyer who was passing on by) and then i said a little 'eureka' to myself. i said this because i have always wished to find a moment worthy of such a word. i was never able to say this in science at school due to spending most of my science lessons sat outside the classroom in the corridor to stop the teacher weeping at my pants science skills in the labs.

yarn being admired upon arrival home at mossy shed

so i went on my merry way, picking up sport weight (requiring three skeins to make a chunky strand), worsted weight (requiring two skeins to make a chunky strand) and just good old chunky (requiring one skein to make a chunky strand). then it dawned on me, not sure if this was another little voice or not, but the dawning made me note, yes this was a fine and dandy way to go about making chunky yarn for a blankie but it was also a very costly way. as i pondered, it appeared

buy yarn and save your sanity
do not buy yarn and go insane

i was left with little choice quite obviously i would be a fool to ignore the handcrafted gods and their words of wisdom...

yarn waiting to be admired by lads of two, with very little hope

on arrival home at the shed, i put my yarn in a little bundle so i may admire it, after which i fretted if my inner Ingrid had let me down, if the colour combination was tres terrible. i decided to not listen to my fretting ways and start my blankie. after a while, i put my yarn in a basket so my lads of two may admire it when passing by... noting not much admiring was going on, i gave up with the nicely positioned pretty yarn basket (fearing Little Olive would be most admiring) and proceeded with my blankie.

proceeding with blankie despite fretting about colour choices

with the help of Dorothy (again where would i be without Dorothy) i am now busy beavering away on a ripply striped blankie. 
perfectly sized for one who is wishing to nest alone, but could fit a little critter or small being in next to them quite snuggly if need be... and all the time as i beaver away spending quality time with Dr Hook and yarn, my little inner singing voice is keeping me company along with my sanity

another attempt at being admired by lads of two, attempt failed just like before

she is noting already friday is hovering close by ~ Tif 

Tuesday, October 18

the three C's... day two

crafting: (the Blue Peter way)

last week nesting took over, i had been in denial due to a non existent Spring and a three week Summer. funny how it never goes along the lines of Autumn not existing and a three week Winter. always the other way round. 
it was leaving me restless, my denialing ways...

so after a good old talking to myself, i pulled up my nesting knee socks and got to grips with making the shed more cozy in the hope of putting my restlessness to rest. (that's quite a spiffy last few words, i have practiced saying it very quickly over and over and it is quite the tongue twister)

once my 'dumpties' had made an appearance in our little loungey corner it was inevitable a table of sorts would be required for important things like crochet and cups of tea. i knew this would be coming and therefore over the past few weeks have been keeping my beady eye out in the thrift store, wishing to stumble across a granny coffee table with fab curvy legs. a coat of glossy paint and Voila, the perfect coffee table.
however my beady eye spied many contenders, but none matching up to what my little mind envisaged.

back in the shed this Saturday i huffed and puffed our old IKEA table from out in the garage to inside. i am quite sure now i have said that, and what with the poor cupboard lurking in my garage you may be thinking my garage is a treasure trove of lost souls! our IKEA coffee table came with us in our move to Mossy Shed, and she has done a spiffy job for many a year, but like most things IKEA, the years and the dings become all a little too much. why is it an old piece of furniture only looks better with age and more dings, but an IKEA piece just starts to kind of look sad and a bit pants. (you don't have to answer that, i think i know why).
as this sad table sat there looking at moi and i looking at it, a 'Blue Peter' light bulb moment happened within my cogs. after a few moments of rustling around, i found what i was looking for...

several weeks back whilst loitering in the hardware store in all those aisles which appear to have stood still in time, i came across stickyback plastic in faux wood. well my little heart raced at such a find, i promptly paid for two rolls and rushed home to find a willing victim, but alas there was none to be found... until Saturday that is.

my childhood memories came flooding back, oh why oh why did my mother not have sticky back plastic hanging around our home? oh why oh why had i not saved up all the lids and packaging so i could craft a dolls house 'Blue Peter' style. i sat week after week watching as the presenters would show what they did and then lift out the finished article with a flourish and a "here's one i made earlier" voila moment. 

roll on many moons and i have at last dabbled with stickyback plastic and cannot believe i have waited so long, for it is perhaps the most spiffiest easy peasy fix i have ever done. yes it took a little bit of concentration, the sort where one's tongue sticks out a little to aid the fine art of concentrating and yes indeed, some may even say, calling this post 'crafting' is a bit dubious. for layering two lengths of sticky back plastic on an IKEA table and calling it crafting is pushing it, but i do not care, no i do not, such is my love for my newly fauxed coffee table in our nesty corner.

next up, to make our fauxed table feel most loved, an old round tea tray i am thinking, given an easy peasy new coat. yes that is well worth thinking about...

she has been distracted by grannies, a good distraction leading to new things ~ Tif

Monday, October 17

the three C's... day one

crafting: (a 'dumptie')

now some folks may think i have lost my tiny mind and i am 'a-okay' with that, for Mr Spell Checker has mocked me and Darren Dictionary has informed me in his very knowledgeable voice, that the word 'dumptie' does not exist.
but how can that be, for 'dumptie' is such a spiffy word, it surely should exist
'dumptie' (pronounced dump-tee)

ever since i stumbled upon a 'dumptie' last week i have wished to fill my shed with them, i have of course used great willpower and only crafted three so far. 
two in my studio which in turn is our winter lounge corner 

the first 'dumptie' i crafted last week, this unexpected happening had me positively giddy with thoughts of  further 'dumptie' making
not wishing my first 'dumptie' to be lonely, i made him a friend

and one in our family room, an elongated 'dumptie' if you please

a little 'lumpy bumpy' but some of the best things in life have a little lumpy bumpy-ness to them

this elongated 'dumptie' waiting for two bods who like each other to share, reminds me greatly of one i saw a while ago on sfgirlbybay, originally the bench came from Anthropologie. through some clever detective work (whilst wearing a deer stalker hat) i found the image pinned on Victoria's spiffy pin board. (not bad eh for a monday morning). 

mine was crafted from my long midcentury bench, i made a peachy fitted cover from a fabby sandersons fabric and then using two large cushion inners i made a long cushion cover from a thrift store fabric find and a piece of quilting fabric. i did debate going to the store and buying a piece of inner that would be the exact fit but then my little crafty cogs turned and i declared the two cushion inners in my cupboard upstairs would be equally, if not better than. yes perhaps they do look a little 'lumpy bumpy' but i quite like 'lumpy bumpy'. if you do not, and that is perfectly alright, perhaps wrapping the two cushion inners in wadding may help with said 'lumpy bumpy-ness'

i am thinking any lone stool and any lone cushion could easily no longer be lonely if we spent our days wisely in our own sheds, pairing them all up. it could be as easy as finding one little wooden stool and one little round cushion you already have and introducing themselves to each other (or square, i have nothing against squaries so do not leave them out). 
it could also be a case of, the need to add a 'dumptie' to you life, is the perfect excuse to go on a thrifty jolly. searching for a little stool or perhaps a small side table with legs looking like they could do with being chopped down. then bringing home your spiffy find, giving it a lick of paint and then spending a few happy hours stitching it a cushion top to make it feel loved.
after which i am quite sure, you will be having to check regularly on your 'dumptie' and its condition staying maximum 'dumptie-ness' for if my 'dumpties' are anything to go by, they will attract a lot of attention from clan members and their derrieres.

do check regularly upon the health and safety of your 'dumptie'

and so i think it only fitting, as the word 'dumptie' is of a greatness level with any other word i know like 'peachy' and 'spiffy' and 'crappity crap' that those who have a dottie angel book in their possession may wish to add a little note to the back pages in the fine and dandy section, 'a dottie angel dictionary'. i am thinking you may be able to pencil it in or scribbling it on another little piece of paper and sticking it in might be rather nice.

a spiffy little seat made for pondering
in between pottlings around and about
your abode

she is still beavering away with Miss Ethel, whilst sweating in her thermal vest, due to much beavering ~ Tif

Friday, October 14

constant canine companions...

hurrah hooray, 'tis friday, 
once again it has whizzed on round. 
i have never lost that feeling of 'yippee its friday'! 
it goes way way on back to my school days...
next week is quite thrilling, 
for it is all about the three C's.
 crafting, crochet and clogs.

for now though,
it is all about my constant canine companions,

who have done a spiffy job of keeping me company
whilst my man is in old blighty.
yes i am thinking quite honestly
there cannot be anything better
then a constant canine companion or two

especially this week...

she is wishing you a peachy weekend filled with lots of C's ~ Tif
footynote: oooh! lets play spot the difference. after all it is friday...
what is the difference between photo #2 and photo #3, apart from the obvious shape of the picture.
gold sticky stars up for grabs :) 

Thursday, October 13

blankets on the brain...

i have several drawers in my little brain 
and within them are stored many things to ponder.
they are labelled and they are quite a nice set of drawers. 
i would not say until the other day they are painted glossy custard yellow,
 but now they are.
for if i cannot achieve a custard yellow cupboard in reality
i can at least have one in my imagination.

one little drawer is labelled 'crafty must makes'
and a few weeks back i opened it.
from out of that little drawer in its fine and dandy coat of glossy yellow
leapt 'fabric lappity lap blankets'
"ah yes" i thought to myself, 
"of course that is where i popped you well over a year ago to keep you safe"
for the first time in yonks i feel like i can stop still,
open these drawers and see what lurks within,
waiting for their moments to shine...
'tis a good feeling.

over the coming weeks with high hopes, 
myself and Miss Ethel,
my adopted auntie and her Mr Bill,
and a pile of vintage and used fabrics
we will be beavering away on 'lappity lap' blankets.
two sizes of course!
one for little critters and small beings
and one for medium beings who perhaps care to share with another,
or perhaps not.

and then when we are all beavered out,
i will hang them in my shop window in a cluster,
for in my little drawer marked 'crafty must makes',
alongside the scribbled note saying "lappity lap blankets"
was a side note saying
"Tif, hang in a cluster, for a cluster of lappity lap blankets
 truly will make your crafty heart beat a little faster"

a 'lappity lap' blanket, this one will live at Mossy Shed for she stole my crafty heart

she has dallied in the yarn aisle whilst her #4 kicked a ball around the soccer pitch with a coach who appears to have lost his watch ~ Tif

Wednesday, October 12

crimes committed...

it would appear two crimes have been committed of late in the shed, one i am guilty of and the other not.

crime number one:
Colin the computer is feeling under the weather, i noted two days ago. thankfully despite my frustration, i fell short of tearing my hair out due to quite liking my hair at the moment and also being most happy my braids now reach over the top of my bonce and are almost touching my ears the 'tother side, which really is most spiffy. i cannot believe how in a few short months my wrappity wrap braidy hairdo is coming along a treat. but i digress, and this not 'a-okay' for we are talking crimes here and this is most serious.

i blame myself for Colin's sorry ways, i foolishly upon bringing 'Lappity' laptop into my life, felt it would be safe to allow Colin into the public domain of the shed. oh the fool that i am...

totally unrelated snapshots of a 'dumptie' made by placing a round cushion on top a stool

i charged Our #4 guilty of crimes committed against Colin, he protested his innocence but i think he looked shifty in the eyes when he pleaded 'not guilty'. in the meantime i was left with no alternative but to ask my man to clean up Colin's act and restore his spiffy ways back to their original spiffiness and with a bit of luck, all the crappity crap now clouding his vision will be gone...

crime number two:
i committed this crime last week with a can of custard yellow paint and a poor unsuspecting cupboard in my studio. after three coats on one side of poor unsuspecting cupboard it dawned on me it was not my destiny to own a glossy custard yellow cupboard. such is my restless ways at the moment i needed instant gratification with my painting ways and that was not happening. in a need to cover up my terrible crime, i rustled around my paint cupboard and found some glossy grey. i attempted to cover my tracks and when i stepped back i noted i had failed, for the poor unsuspecting cupboard looked pants in grey.

this in turn led to me dragging my victim out to the garage, covering it in a bedsheet in the hope of no one noticing. where upon i adopted an 'out of sight, out of mind' attitude whilst pondering what i would do without my trusty cupboard to hold all my spiffy 'bits and bobs' with which i craft with. i found my next victim upstairs, she has been a faithful little soul for the past 15 years since my folks passed her onto us, holding my granny undies and cotton hankies most trustfully.

after much huffing and puffing to get her downstairs, i pondered her fate. some pondering later i declared greeny turquoise would suit her lovely shape.

as it tippity type this little ramble today, i am most delighted with my newly painted cupboard and her glossy coat, however everytime i look at her i feel guilt, guilt for the poor unsuspecting cupboard now left out in the cold garage and recalling the crime i committed with a can of custard yellow paint in a moment of madness.

after a long period of separation (causing anxiety) she is reunited with Mr Hook ~ Tif