Friday, March 29

a 'hippity happity hoppity' easter = a 'safety first lucky happy' tablecloth

i am tres giddy today, for we are having an easter part-tee tomorrow! i cannot recall the last time we did such a thing. i suspect it is many many moons ago and not the fact my recall skills are pants. we have it all planned out. in the morning, me and Our #4 will make easter nests, an easter cake and hand rolled marzipan eggs, no less! then late lunch we will meet up with my adopted auntie and her man at the local curry house for the lunchtime buffet. oh but that... that is just the beginning of our easter part-tee. post curry buffet, we will return to mossy shed, spend the afternoon wisely playing board games and card games and then, come tea time, with a flourish and a voila! i will make a nice pot of tea and bring out the cake, nests, marzipan eggs with thumb prints and the fabby red velvet cupcake cookies my adopted auntie prepared earlier that day in her own kitchen.

surely i say to myself, this is so worthy of a bit of giddiness, and surely i say to myself, this thrilling event of an easter part-tee... which by the way Our #3 did point out really does it count when you only have 2 guests at your party, which i promptly ignored, then a few mos later dropped into conversation 'red velvet cookies' and suddenly he was all about the easter part-tee. ha! i see where his alliance falls. not with his mother's baking, no sirree! but with his mother's adopted auntie's baking. i did not let this rain on my little part-tee parade, nope, i did not. 
and so i say to myself, surely this fabby occasion calls for a fabby spring cloth for the table...

you could make one too, too, too, we're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo... no, no we are not, we are going to the curry house, not the zoo, stop this nonsense Tif and carry on with clear intention as to what you are rambling on about today.
quite right, (pulls up knee socks, does a bit of deep yogic breathing and steadies her wavering thoughts)

i am thinking, (cos i do a lot of that) you could make this tres grande, or tres petite. you could make it square, or you could make rectangular, you could also make it circular if you are wearing your clever clogs. you could take a measuring board and cutting tool, or you could grovel around on the carpet with a tape measure and scissors late at night like moi. you could serge or double fold the hems over or you could just like me, leave it raw and let it fray nicely, because after all, easy peasy is the name of the game

all things left wisely up to you as only you know best how you like things made.

basically all you need to have is a nice old mish mash of fabrics, all those pieces you have left from favourites you can't bear to part with. gather them all together and then start attaching them in strips. make sure they are sort of on the large size or this will take you more than an evening of grovelling around on the floor.

so to put it in a nutshell and make it easy to understand, looking at the photos i scattered throughout this most interesting and fascinating post, you will see, one of my strips was made from the tres bright and jolly retro orange flowers, on the right side of the cloth (kindly given to me by a dearie in old blighty, "hello hello"), and  the brown and blue mini floral (found at Joanns fabric store the other week). the other strip was made from the black floral (a vintage apron), a fat quarter of yellow florals (which i used the reverse for a faded look) and a bright pink paisley number (i believe also Joanns but don't quote me, as i really can't recall)

once you have your strips all measuring the same length, it just a question of stitching them together along the long sides. i also did do a bit of top stitching in a straight line along the seams just to keep those pesky raw edges underneath flat after a whirl in Miss Washer. (see photo #3)

after i had finished, i thought how nice it would be to keep going and make a lovely bed spread, or indeed a springified settee throw or perhaps a picnic blanket if i gave it a backing. oh yes i dreamed many dreams for 'my little 48" x 48" approximately sweetie' but t'was late, my knees and back were going 'yakkity yak' and also, i did not wish to drift from my path of 'cloth for easter part-tee'. so she stayed, just as she was, a perfectly patched little 'lucky happy' cloth, not just for easter but for any occasion requiring a bit of hippity happity hoppity...

now of course, some of you still awake may be noting, this little cloth is tres petite for our table, but i have a cunning plan, and my plan goes something like this. move the cloth to the middle of the table to add a dash of colour and springy-ness for the part-tee without folks being overwhelmed and attacked by too much fabric hanging around. because tablecloths can do that can't they? attack you and before you know it, you've jumped up to pass a lovely guest (one of the two you invited) a plate of easter nests, your frock gets tangled up with the hanging over the edge bit of the cloth and disaster strikes, cloth, table contents and yourself, all end up on the floor. hence my little cloth is a 'safety first' sort of tablecloth. 

give us a twirl little 'safety first, lucky happy' cloth....

'perfectly perfect for an easter part-tee' even if i do say so myself.

wishing you all a bit of 'hippty happity hoppity' this coming weekend, wherever, whatever you may be up to ~ Tif

Tuesday, March 26

its a wrap... hahaha! please excuse the pun, then again, its quite a good one, so please don't :)

if perchance you have been lying awake at night, tossing and turning... fretting and fidgeting. thoughts of unsightly light cords dingly dangling in your nest, keeping you from a restful night. fret not any longer dearest reader, for help is at hand.
however, just a note, if perchance you do not lie awake at night with such thoughts whirring around your little cogs, then perhaps you may care not to read any further. this is 'a-okay' with me. it is also 'a-okay' with me if you would still like to read on despite not having had lost sleep over your light cords. all are welcome, one and all, all and one, sleep or no sleep...

and so, an easy peasy, lemon-y squeezy, solution to your sleepless nights, no medicine from over the counter required. just a nice healthy dose of DIY crafting during waking hours will surely set you right for bedtime when it next rolls around

if you have your matchsticks in place, then let us begin...

some cords are tres ugly, others not so, quite often we are left with very little choice, the lamp is the thing we  fall for and therefore the thing we think of first. take your newly found lamp home, dingle dangle it from the little corner you require lighting up, step back, admire its peachy ways, only to have your little heart sink. "well darn and dash it. how dare that tres ugly cord hang around for, distracting from the peachiness of my lovely lamp?!" no doubt you exclaim to yourself. and this in turns leads to pondering ways to disguise ugly light cord pronto. and when you can't, well we all know, the spiral affect will begin and hence you find yourself, tucked up in bed, sleep won't come because your cogs are filled with ugly light cords mocking you and poking you awake.


a patchwork affair

* take various fabrics of your choosing and cut into strips of not more than 3/4 of an inch wide. think small patterns so they show, big patterns just won't be noticed.

* hang your cord up from a hook to make it easier, rather than lying it on a table and get all messy and in a state which may lead you to not feeling calm and collected in your DIY crafty moment.

* carefully with a small paint brush and some mod podge (or any other fabric glue) cover around 6 inches of your cord with a light coating of glue, starting right at the top, near the bulb-y bit. 

* take your first strip and do a nice carefully neat wrappy bit and then making sure you have the fabric strip at a slight angle continue wrapping around and down the cord. you must keep it at an angle, if not you will go around and around the same piece and end up with a large fabric doughnut at the top of your cord and still the ugly cord doing what it does best, distracting from your peachy lamp.

* when you have finished one strip, be sure to give a little extra glue to the end and then start the next piece, stopping to add glue every now and then to your cord as you travel down it


a stitched affair

this is a nice woven cord, but you could use it on a regular cord also. i found this lovely bright red cord, rushed home, hung it up and then alas and alack, realized its amount of redness just was not working well. however i did wish for a dash of red and so a few feet down the cord i wrapped some vintage cream curtain lining and did a whole load of natty stitching in different coloured thread. it took a little while and several cuppas but this made a most pleasing appearance in my books as it matched rather jauntily with the lampshade i had made... thus worthy of spent time and cuppas.


a non patchwork affair

just like the patchwork number up above except done from all the same fabric. here i used my prized bit of fabric found in china town in San Francisco. i used the majority of it to make a 'good luck' frock and the left over scraps are being eeked out on various other projects like bags and cushions. this light cord was the generic black plastic sort which are standard when you buy a very generic clip on lamp. after my wrapping was done, i took a little bit of my vintage woven ribbon (also from San Francisco), i treasure above all other woven ribbons i own and made a handy dandy 'keeper of the cord in place thingy' to avoid being attacked by the cord dingly dangly-ing above my head

and voila! no more tossing and turning, no more fretting and fidgeting and no more blearghy looking light cords distracting from peachy lamps. yippee!
footynote: perhaps you are thinking some images are rather blurry and Tif's not up to scratch, indeed that maybe so, but i like to think 'tis blurry eyesight from lack of sleep due to pesky light cords and nothing to do with my pants photography today

Monday, March 25

ordinary moments = extra~ordinary days

freshly painted window frame in kitchen gives a joyful outlook to the yard
early morning light highlights the windows need a clean but i care not
$4 snapdragons picked up whilst doing the grocery run and little olive having her morning nap
emerging signs of spring feeling quite at home in a thrift store find i happened across last year
the jolliest looking watering can, perfectly suited for important duties this coming spring
painted terracotta pots and old food cans make spring flowers feel loved
an indoor impromptu picnic, proving no matter how old your clan is, everyone loves a picnic
yes indeedy! 'tis the ordinary moments in ordinary days, when we stop still to notice, make them become extra~ordinary days...

Friday, March 22

"oh easter time, oh easter time"...

"oh washi tape,
oh washi tape,
how handy dandy
is your handiness"

"oh chocolate chick,
oh chocolate chick,
how delicious
is your chocolatey-ness"

"oh rabbit rings,
oh rabbit rings,
how jolly red
is your ringy-ness"

"oh kitschy flowers,
oh kitschy flowers,
how peachy
is your kitschy-ness"

"oh painted eggs,
oh painted eggs,
how delightful
is your painted-ness"

"oh easter tree,
oh easter tree,
how marvelous
is your springy-ness"

"oh easter time,
oh easter time,
how happy
you are making me"

Thursday, March 21

the many blouses of kathleen's cupboard... part deux

after Kathleen's cupboard and i
had settled upon the fact 
she needed a little pick me up
and quite frankly so did i,

a happy few evenings
were spent
leafing through my old magazines.
then armed with tear outs 
i bravely ventured forth
to my local paint store
where i have to say it gives me quite a thrill.
not only do they know my name
but they also have me in their system!
this is a paint store where tradesmen go,
professionals and the like.
i feel as though i have been promoted to their ranks
that they believe i know what i am doing
"here comes Tif, she knows what she is doing.
lets put her in the system"

i do wish they offered up badges for folks like me to wear
saying 'i am in the club'
then again, perhaps that is not what one 
would wish a badge to say.
perhaps i would suggest they do not have that on a badge at all
and go with something like
'i am knowledgeable on paint, thus i am in the system'
or something like that
but then if i wore my little badge around town,
someone may stop me,
quiz me and my knowledge on the spot
 and gosh!
i could be stripped of my little badge,
demoted from their system and
no longer,
alas and alack,
when i walk through their door,
 can they quite recall my name...
"ummm, hello... sorry, who did you say you were again?"

so for now i think it wise to keep quiet
and not insist on a badge
and in turn
heighten my chances
of staying in the system
with the in-crowd of tradesmen
and such like

both kathleen's cupboard and myself
settled for a jolly aqua colour
(the sort that looks blue
in some lights
and green in others)
and after just one brush stroke
we both got rather giddy and carried away
(and by carried away i am implying 
other victims around the shed
were found pronto,
after i had finished with K's C)

so after many years of new blouses
it is quite true to say
kathleen's cupboard is feeling rather splendid
in her new coat just in time for spring
and i?

well i am feeling rather splendid too

footynote: due to monitors and quite frankly, 'frankly frank' (my camera) being quite often pants at representing true blues and greens, i must tell you, Kathleen's cupboard is rather more luminous than the photos above would suggest. in some lights, she is positively glowing. the colour for those that care to know is Benjamin Moore, waterbourne interior satin, #526 Bahama Waters

Wednesday, March 20

the many blouses of kathleen's cupboard... part une

to start with,
when first kathleen's cupboard 
came into my possession,
she received a bright white coat 
to cover her wooden bare ways.
however at the time,
 she still preferred to go
a little au naturale 
and so i left her inners on show

after a few years, 
it was apparent kathleen's cupboard
was not getting any younger
and really was feeling the cold on chilly days
so a blouse it was

her blouses would change

season to season

whim to whim

and then just extremely quite recently
kathleen's cupboard looked at moi
and moi looked at her.

i noted she looked a little tired
she noted so did i.
i did not wish to offend, i responded.
more offer up a little pick me up,
as do we not all need one every now and then
especially as the years go rolling by.

end of part une...

and there we will leave this gripping, 
ney thrilling tale
of kathleen's cupboard and her many blouses.
such is the dingley dangely-ness of the cliff hanger
i suspect many a soul 
to be lying awake tonight
'a wondering and a pondering' 
what happens in thrilling part deux
to kathleen's cupboard

Friday, March 8

a little wooden stool named kidney bean...

on wednesday, i mentioned to my adopted auntie, i was on the hunt for the perfect stool to showcase my most perfectly perfect cushion. now of course those that know me well, know there is already an abundance of  likely looking stools loitering around our shed. however it was perfectly clear to me, not one of these stools would do the job. i knew this to be the case because only the night before as i went through old magazines, tearing out pages of inspiration so i may recycle and reduce the growing mountain of publications in the corner of my studio.... well this was rather fatal. for it stirred a stirring inside of me, a stirring which would require 'a-majoring' shuffling in our shed. and whilst i plotted and planned such a shuffling in my head my little beady eye alighted upon a stool on a page. 

twas a stool that had the look of a chair in days gone by and some how along the line had lost its back. i thought how sweet, how charming, how positively perfect for my most fabby fav cushion of all time. hence i found myself in the situation of trying each and every stool in our shed in the hopes of finding something similar and just like in Cinderella, the cushion did not fit a single stool and thus, i was left with thoughts of surgery. could it be possible to find a willing chair victim within our shed who may like to be chopped around a little. i looked around me, i noted we were lacking in volunteers, indeed if i did not know better, i would have sworn they were hiding from me. and so i was left with no other alternative then to venture forth out of our shed, down the hill, around the lake, across several bazillion traffic lights and find my little stool, who looked like the one my heart had skipped a beat at.

the next day, my venturing ways found me at the thriftstore, a rendezvous with a friend, most convenient timing you could not agree more. there, waiting patiently was a little wooden $5 stool with the funny odd thing of looking like once it should have had a back but quite obviously never had due to no odd looking scars of surgery in bygone days done by a callous fellow such as myself driven to such horrors all because of the need for such a stool. (gosh! i am not sure its possible to read that sentence in one breath) some days i can only stop and marvel at how the thrifty gods move in their mysterious ways.

now the thing that was most clear, the little stool i spied on the page was a lovely old wood number and really was rather splendid in its birthday suit. but this here little stool before my eyes, shaped like a kidney bean, had been at the receiving end of a rather sorry wood stain colour with layers of glossy yellowing varnish to top it off. the thought of sanding his little sweet self back to his birthday suit did not appeal. no sirree! what appealed was a quick old rub down (tee hee) and bringing out the duck egg blue pronto...

Used Dog kept me company because quite frankly she does not care to be far away. i fear her dodgy eye sight and terribly aging body makes some days rather frightening for her.

meanwhile little olive played super heros by herself in the other room

after a while i noted, not only was Used Dog rather sad looking, but so was my new paint brush, so i sorted that in a trice

this morning as i proudly placed my little stool in its little spot and added my beloved cushion with a flourish and a voila!

 i stepped back (narrowly missing Used Dog's slumbering bod) and decided it did not quite go with the rest of our family room. what a terrible blow, what was one to do? hence i was left with very little choice it would seem but to start the 'great major shuffle of 2013' in mossy shed so my little painted stool would 'fit-in'. i have yet to break the news to my man...