Wednesday, August 27


i had to go on a wild goose chase yet again for white subway tiles and i did not wish to go alone. i asked Our #4 if he would like to be my buddy as after all it is just him and me most of the time these days and thus i have declared us besty chums. he mentioned he really didn't think it sounded that much fun. i dangled a burrito as a carrot, i noted him waiver and then decline. nothing for it, i had to pull out the big carrots. i remarked the thrift store was in the vicinity of the wild goose chase. the carrot was taken 

it would be quite true to say, if one were to be asked by a market researcher in the street, what was my greatest accomplishments as a parent? i may say that my children grew up happy, healthy and honest. although that is all true, i do not think i would say it, for i think i would truly say one of my greatest accomplishments is instilling within all my four children the thrill of the secondhand hunt. i say instill but truth be told, it happened quite magically whilst we were busy getting on with clan life.

each one of my clan seeks a different type of secondhand treasure. now for Our #4 tis retro game consoles, games and action figures to name just a few. i will watch him, like a magpie looking for something sparkly to catch its eye. he will home in on it, he will check it over and then within moments, out comes his phone to look up the value and what he could make in his Ebay store if he chooses in the future to sell it on. if the price is right and he knows he has found a happy bargain and its on his list of 'huntdowns', then i can tell from where i am standing in my aisle of souls waiting to be rescued, his own set of angels are chorusing and his own set of secondhand gods are smiling down on him.

and thus after yet another 'subway tile' wild goose chase, a burrito (or two) for him and a salad for moi, we parked and pottled towards the thrift store feeling cheerier by the minute anticipating what treasures lay within, alongside of air conditioning. he made a bee line for his turf, me for mine...

i was not expecting any woolly waifs to find me and of course, that is always when they do. rather a lot started whispering to me, some i had to ignore because they had seen far far better days and i could not help them. others were peachy perfect in every way except we did not fit together well. so i gathered up the few that seemed to have potential and headed to the mirror. i do not have a photo of the one which passed the mirror challenge to share for he is lying flat on his back, soggy, waiting for Mr Sun to do his thing this morn. however i can assure you he is quite the odd fellow. first off he is silk and cashmere! oh i do not think i have ever had cashmere in my closet before. then he is a most lovely vomity olive green colour, which made my knees a little weak but the odd thing about him is he has no lower body. he has spectacularly long sleeves which nicely come over the wrist towards the fingers to keep the chill at bay and he has a top half which you button up but below the arm pit area he has nothing. i would not call him a bolero, for he does not come down over the chest, which i thought boleros do. however i am not a connoisseur on boleros having never really studied them, so i could be quite quite wrong. as i tried him on i came to the conclusion, over a frock he makes it appear your frock has knitted sleeves and a top bit to it. i also came to he conclusion if you had a chest at all to stick out, he would look most odd indeedy. so as i like frocks and thought a knitted top bit might look tres thrilling and i do not have a chest to bother speaking of, i concluded we were a match made in thrifty heaven.

upon going to check out, i glanced at the rails of discarded frocks and saw a knitted number sticking out. on close inspection she was not a frock at all, but a rather jolly long cardigan with a most spiffy pair of sleeves. i liked her pockets very muchly, very muchly indeedy

 originally from H&M i checked the content label (something i always do without fail) i was happy to see wool was listed. i tried her on, i asked Our #4 (who had appeared with a treasure) what he thought. he replied he thought it looked just like everything else i wore, which was the correct answer and i happily gathered up my gray dearie and body-less olive chappy to bring home.

i am thinking body-less chappy will get floral elbow patches when he has dried out, i am thinking i will show you when he is dry and patched, and i am thinking my gray dearie is quite splendid as she is and will only require a change of buttons of which i have plumped with wooden ones (way way up at the top of this big old ramble, can you see them? yes i know, tis quite a bit of scrolling to be done and i do understand your hand hurts already from scrolling all the way down here, so if you would rather not scroll, then 'scroll not' dear reader). i am thinking the plain wooden flower ones and just one handpainted wooden one, placed 2nd button down to add a subtle bling to her winter warming ways. not only daring but dandy too

Tuesday, August 26

a woolly victim ...

hurrah hooray! i have found my first thrift store woolly victim. in my little beady mind's eye i have quite the picture of what woolly fellows i would like to find, and since having this picture, it is of course typical the racks of despair are indeedy most despairing and thus any woolly fellows worthy of consideration are rather rare.

last week though i happened upon one woolly fellow, he was rather large, rather grolly green and had rather lovely bell sleeves that ballooned out and i noted would be most perfect for hiding a cotton hankie or two in, when drippy nose temps are upon us. it was a tad tricky to try the fellow on for i was nursing my right arm and the fabby vintage floral bit of ink recently placed upon it. 

being an open wound at the time i was not letting any man, any dog or any woolly fellow near it till it was healed. that is because i am all grown up and take things like this with a great deal of responsibility rather than a pinch of salt.

so i did a half try on and i came to the conclusion the oversize-ness of it was rather splendid, the wooden buttons rather perfect and the flared, almost swing jacket shape with the gigantic bell sleeves rather appealing.

i took my first woolly victim of the coming season home with me, gave him a bath and whilst he air-dried we began to ponder... 

we pondered pockets, kangaroo type perhaps. 
we pondered elbow patches, floral fabric ones perhaps. 
we pondered clusters of flowers, various different coloured popcorn ones perhaps. 
we pondered large appliqued vintage lace, across the shoulder chesty area perhaps. 
yes we pondered each thing individually till our little heads hurt
 and that is where we are up to, just a lot of pondering and no clue with what to settle with or where to begin. 

after all this pondering i am beginning to wonder if my cunning plan to rescue woolly wonders from the rails of neglect, to bling, may end up causing me an awful lot of pondering, a big handful of procrastination and quite possibly a pile of victims, when spring rolls around, still waiting patiently for me and my blinging ways to get going

Friday, August 22

a chunky monkey of a yarn ...

one thing that is tres tricky about working in the peachiest yarn shop in the northwest is every time you go to work some lovely new yarn whispers your name. thus by the time you pick up your monthly paycheck the chances of you actually having any change leftover is rather unlikely. this my man predicted before i even started my spiffy 'out of the shed' job last november. he is quite wise it would appear to the ways of his wife.

yesterday when i was pottling on in to work, several new yarns starting talking to me before i had even popped my basket down, signed in and plonked my natty name badge upon my handmade frock. i am sure i am not alone amongst yarny folks when i more often than not am stopped in my tracks by a yarn and then have to do a lot of thinking about what i will actually do with it, rather than find a project first and then go on a yarn hunt. hence i have a stash of one skein wonders mocking me from behind lace covered glass doors in my atelier of sorts.

and so it came to be a chunky monkey of a yarn called Optic shouted the loudest. 
i pondered him for a while and then i took him off the shelf and did what everyone who comes into a yarn shop does, i did the feel test, the 'can you and i live in close proximity forever' test. he past the test with flying colours and so now i was on dangerous grounds, for he was a softie, he was a chunky lad and he was not my usual sort, therefore i was attracted to his slightly rebellious ways with an ink pen. i could not tell how he would knit up. i asked the dearies i work with what they thought. we were all a little mystified to whether his charms would look peachy or pants. we went searching online, we came up blank. so there was nothing to be done but to take a leap of faith that this chunky monkey funky yarn of a chappy, had what it took to make a 'lemon peasy' scarf for chilly days look peachy and not in the least bit pants.

last night i cast on and in a matter of moments (being on size 15 pins) i could see not only how quickly a knit he would be but also really truly what a jolly nice fellow he is turning out to be with his ink splodges, creamy goodness and the odd rainbow 'hundreds and thousands' sprinkled in there for good measure

Wednesday, August 13

woolly waifs and strays ...

i have a cunning plan. it involves thrift stores and neglected woolly cast off waifs and strays.

i happened upon my plan when i found myself in a department store downtown with Our #2, we rode the bus all the way from the suburbs to the big city, tis one of my favourite things to do. we alighted in the main commercial shopping area and went about our busy bee business. Our #2 had quite a list of wishes and wants, to attend to and i had only one. to find some pants. not granny knicker pants but pants that are trousers. after several hours she had done most brilliantly and i? well quite frankly i had done pants and it was all a load of old pants. i fear i am in the tricky dicky time of life, you can no longer linger in the youthful section due to filmsy fabrics and short hemlines and then what are you left with? well i do know elsewhere you are left with quite a choice but for some reason i do feel in the northwest i am left with very little else. *i can start to wear beige, i can start to wear designer jeans and high heeled boots, i can wear very fancy and frilly, i can start to wear keep fit gear or climbing a mountain gear or i can start to wear my pajamas or sweats. perhaps i am wearing blinkers but when i look around at what is presented to me in the stores for my age and era it makes my heart sink, i start to break out in a rash and then i start to feel crappity crap

thus when we climbed upon the bus to make our very snug way home (due to many a commuter also having the same idea) i decided i had one of two choices. feel crappity and middle aged and quite out of place, or feel joyful and middle aged and find my place. it also occurred to me 'tis a rare day i go to the clothing stores and there is a jolly good reason for this, i come home feeling unhappy. i know it is me who makes me feel crappity crap and no one else. i do this to my own silly self. but do it i do and therefore tis up to me to sort it. 

so there we had it, knowing all that i knew to be so over the past few years and having had it reinforced to me upon my pottle around the big wig stores, my eye and my heart truly do prefer handmade or as of late, loitering in the thrifts store aisles to see what clothes may catch my eye. thus my cunning plan came into play to lift my spirits and not feel quite so washed up as i did. often i wander the secondhand souls looking to see who pops out at me saying "pick me pick me" but now i am thinking perhaps it is wise and rather exciting to actually start to have a mission. and my mission being to find woolly waifs and strays who may be most up for a bit of yarny bling. i will of course have to consider how much one can woolly bling for i do believe there is a thing as too much woolly bling and i would have to say to myself "enough Tif, step away from the woolly blinging"

i am thinking woolly elbow patches, or woolly pockets or perhaps a cascade of woolly appliqued flowers down one shoulder, or a change of buttons, or indeedy, a nip or a tuck here or there to give shape to a shapeless soul... so many possibilities, just the thought has me quite giddy in anticipation.

so far my travels have not come up trumps but i did find a little sweater vest which made me ponder, it made me ponder for the longest time causing Our #4 to start to sigh. 

for argyle is not my thing, i must tell you i am a little frightened of it but when i closed my eyes i saw this little fellow over a floral frock and clog boots, with the possibility of 'a tad of bling' and all became clear. i like that muchly about thrift stores, you go with one thing in mind and end up with something completely different. i did not let my argyle friend know despite coming across his splendor i was a tad disappointed his companions were not quite right. one sweetie in the most loveliest of green and perfect fit, cried out for pockets and elbow patches but alas, her itchy ways meant she could not stay with me, we parted a little sorrowfully.

i like my cunning plan, i like it very muchly, it has made me feel quite happity, wondering what lovely woolly wonders will befall me over the coming months to give my closet and my attire a little freshen up for the chilly days which will be upon us before we know it. what woolly waifs are waiting on the racks of despair to be found and blinged... ah yes, there is a stirring in my heart for thrift store travels i have not had in the longest time...

*please note, i am not knocking what folks chose to wear, that is the last thing i would do for quite honestly some or many may look at my floral creations alongside of clogs and wonder why. i am merely just pointing out the options i feel are open to me, living where i live and perhaps with blinkers on rather than rose coloured specs, make my heart and my head a little sad

footynote: haha hehe, tis most ironic for a fair few of the thrifty clothing finds which catch my eye usually turn out to be from the big high street stores, take my argyle buddy, he was from Gap... so i can only imagine, it truly is a matter of blinkers or rose coloured specs and what one chooses to look through when out and about :)

Monday, August 11

lately ...

we took a blustery ferry ride the day before Our #2 headed home, it was quite risque knitting up top but sometimes one has to risk it for a biscuit

no crafty time for weeks until i finally managed to wheedle out a moment to mend my clogs with duck tape and a tad of handy dandy mod podge and a few fabric scraps. i note i muchly prefer them this way then before

my old man had a birthday (on the right) so we took to the lake on paddle boards. i say we, i mean them, not me, i stayed under a tree and read a most interesting book whilst sipping my chilled cabbage juice

little olive spent the evenings perfecting the art of nesting

little olive spent the days being a hot dog in the hot sun

took an impromptu thrift store pottle with Our #2 and Our #4... i was determined to keep my pennies in my pocket but then a rather peachy jacket found me along with a 'seen better days' basket and the sweetest coin purse my eyes did ever see. my pennies promptly saw the light of day 

on the ferry coming back from bainbridge island i noted seattle never fails to impress when the sun shines

the day after Our #2 left i took solace in my atelier and dabbled with Miss Ethel and the fabric i found on clearance whilst pottling around bainbridge. i need to pull up my crafty knee socks and dabble some more

Our #2 spent 2 months studying in Chile and then traveling around Peru before she came to stay. she bought me back a hat... a hat that left me overcome by the skill of the artisan who made it and the fact my daughter should chose a hat so perfectly suited to me

i have spent most of my hours home schooling myself on nutrition and continuing my path of learning how to make this body of mine function pain free. it has been enlightening to say the very least and after a month or more of implementing yet more changes and learning to cook and bake from scratch with only the simplest of good ingredients used, i feel this time really could be the time i turn a corner

me and Our #2 popped up a little preloved shop outside Tolt Yarn and Wool, twas a tres hot hot weekend but thankfully as we sat at the side of the road watching the world pass by, we had our handy dandy hand fans

the next day we treated ourselves to a few hours by the river, it was supposed to be a whole day but i got ants in my pants (not literally thankfully) and wanted to return to my kitchen where i had been emptying everything out to reorganize and label so i was armed with everything close by to embark on my thrilling journey of cooking and baking for life

we notched up 24 years of marriage and goodness knows how many of living together. all i know is we have had our ups and our downs and of late, mainly due to the changes which have taken place over the past few years, with my clan leaving, family losses and my body having 'a moment', the down moments have been a little on the heavy side. but that is a-okay, that is life, that is marriage, the ups and the downs... and i know, as i tippity tap this today, there is still plenty of ups to come