Friday, October 30

snippets of...

'yarn envy'

that's what i've got and i've got it in the worst way.
i blame a number of things
i blame the examples i see daily of granny squares on flickr
i blame my new found 'embracing' of color
i blame my rubbish stash of sludgy colored yarn
i blame my not rushing out and stocking up before the challenge
i blame a little book that lurks inside my cabinet.

for this little book has made me lust like i have never lusted before

for the first few weeks of our living together i kept the book beside my bed, every night i would check on it, carefully looking from page to page, admiring the colors, admiring the styling and above all admiring the colorful yarn

once my challenge began, i had to lock the book away, for it was causing me to think terrible thoughts, to plan, to plot, to deceive, and yes... to dare myself to buy yarn.
"gasp, shock, horror" i hear you cry...
(i'm quite pleased with getting 'horror' in somewhere seeing as it's that time of year)

last saturday i found myself wandering the aisles of the yarn shop, i picked up balls, i hugged them, i played with color combinations, all the time the 'devil' himself upon my shoulder, encouraging me, daring me.

i'm pleased to report, i did not waiver from the path of my handcrafted thrifty challenge, but i did cry... i left empty handed and went home to look at my small pile of colorful acrylic yarn and reflect upon my little book

it would appear dearest readers, that i did the right thing, for not less than two days later i had the 'wonder' of spying some yarn at the thrift store, in creams no less... perfect for yarn balls at christmas. amongst the cream was a turquoise skein that positively made my heart sing.

and as if that wasn't enough to lift my spirits, the very same day, in my inbox was the lovely Ami, telling me she had an abundance of thrifted acrylic yarn in the colors i was craving.
she said she had so much, that perhaps some would like to come and live at mossy shed.
i have no doubt it was 'karma' for shunning the devil and his 'yarn tempting' ways

as i await my little package in the mail, i have set forth to conquer crocheted circles... for some, 'easy peasy' but as i am 'crappity crap' at anything other than squares or rectangles, it is a brave step.
whilst hiding out with my watermelon hair last night, i attempted a circle
and it would appear the 'handcrafted' gods shone down on me.
for my circle stayed a circle...

i could hardly breath, could it truly be i had mastered such a skill.
i started off thinking i'll just do enough to make a 'dot' for a garland, no need to push my luck.
then i thought, "mmm perhaps a coaster",
next my thoughts ventured to a cushion cover,
"dear god Tif" i thought to myself, "how about a circular cover for one of my stools"
in my giddiness the world of 'crocheted circles' was my oyster...
i was riding high with 9 rounds completed.
today however, i'm back to reality, thinking i'll just make a little mat instead, not to get above my 'crocheting stations'...

and so it appears even with my yarn supply being 'upped' i continue to have 'yarn envy' when i glance upon my little book...
thus my need to share 'snippets of it' with you today,

so perhaps you too may share my 'yarn envy'...
and if not, no worries for i know i am not alone in my envying ways,
ah yes, it would appear i have created a 'yarn envying' monster to rival even myself

she is wishing you plenty of 'yarn action' this weekend along with some 'spooky' good times, and will see you on monday ~ Tif
isbn # for book is
just incase it makes you lust too :)

Thursday, October 29

thrifty thursdays...

i remembered what i was supposed to remember, but alas it was after i should have remembered it.
the lack of remembering, resulted in me dripping wet cursing my forgetfulness to steal shampoo from our #1 and #2, and trying to read the small print on the '2 in 1' kids shampoo located at my feet.
after much 'trying to see in focus' all i could discover was, i would smell like a watermelon.... it did not mention anything about highlighted, damaged hair and as i applied it (the fool that i am), i knew in my heart it was the 'devil's own' shampoo for women who pay to have their 'hair done' and are prone to frizzy color treated issues.

i sit before you tippity tapping, smelling like a watermelon and with hair three times the volume that is acceptable in public areas.
with rain outside, adding no doubt to the volumatic problems of my follicles, i shall stay inside the shed for fear of being 'fined'... until that is, 'musts' prevail when i am required to do the 'soccer run'.
i shall 'don' a hat of crochet, therefore allowing for the expansion of hair matter and stay within the comfort of my car, crocheting with my piddly bit of yarn left.

but for now, let us talk 'thrifty', let us talk 'handcrafted', yes dearest readers, let us talk about 'the challenge'.

it would appear by my calculations that some time has passed since the 20th September, time which i must admit has not dragged, but positively raced. i do believe it is the time of year, holiday celebrations all roll into one, that is until we get to January and then it's 'drag time' like no other.

i can declare 1 month and 8 days into my handcrafted thrifty year, things are looking pretty good. my man has commented on lack of funds leaving the shed, i pointed out perhaps the reason being my 'challenging' ways... (and then kicked myself, for that would mean i am the 'flitterer' of money and not he)
to which he quickly agreed.
i stopped listening when he started along the lines of "hallelujah Tif, why didn't you do this before..."
it's times like that, when i prefer the company of my chickens and my dogs.

but what he doesn't know, is what i know... and i'm not sure i want him to know either.
for this challenge has caused me to become an addicted thrifter like no other.
darn it, i can't get past a day before the shakes appear and the sweats set in...
my mind wanders to what thrifty delights could be waiting out there, neglected, cold, lonely, in need of a loving home.
i become unresponsive to my clan and their needs,
'my need' to nurture a thrifty waif, far out weighs my need to cook dinner...

and so it would appear this thrifty handcrafted challenge has caused me to become even more sneaky in my approach to bringing home the strays...
especially now i have a new love,
a love for color,
a love for enamel,
a love for kitchen items.
yes, i see their potential is endless
lovely bowls for holding yarn

little saucepans for props

but no where do i see their potential to enhance my cooking skills.
i have discovered i cannot have it all dearest readers,
i admire my little thrifty enamel finds for their ability to brighten up a small corner of the shed, gallantly holding my yarn balls safely
or to participate with chickens in my etsy shots.

to ask of them the miracle,
"dear god, Tif cooks an edible meal"
is enough for any little 'enameled sweetheart', beg to be left on the thrift store shelf...

she has been updating the shop and is looking forward to 'snippets of...' tomorrow ~ Tif

Wednesday, October 28

feeling grannified...

i finally plucked up the courage to unpick my 'love at first sight' granny curtains, snapped up in a frenzy of 'have to have you right now' moment, a few weeks back on a thrifty jolly out of the shed.
(and if you actually managed to read that sentence first time and understood what i was saying then i give you a gold star, the sort we had as kids, not the fancy smancy ones given out now at school. after you have adhered your gold star upon yourselves, you may feel most rewarded for the rest of the day... come what may, complaints or otherwise from people in your lives, you can glance down at your little imaginary gold sticky star and 'smile a smile' to yourself knowing you are 'a okay')

and so it was, after a few weeks of just admiring them, checking on them and generally 'cooing' to them, i finally located my missing unpicker that had mysteriously disappeared, at the same time as all the creatures in the shed started to look a little 'shifty'.
i did have grand plans on making a new slip cover for the daybed in our lounge, but that was until little olive discovered she could make a mouse hole at the bottom of the 'slip cover of the moment', and spend her time racing in and out playing 'squirrel nutkin' with used dog.

this told me that i would be positively, certifiably insane to use my fabulous granny bark cloth for a slipcover that eventually would end up with mouse holes at the bottom.
after all my unpicking, i then thought "crap". perhaps i shouldn't have unpicked them, but left them until i found my 'forever home' by the sea and hung them at the window there...
and so i folded up the washed fabric and pondered a while...

it took a fab find at Fremont Vintage Mall with Debbie, to spur me on, to give me the guts to wield my scissors in the direction of my granny fabric.
a wonderful little stool (yes, i know... i do believe i have become a collector of stools. that really does sound a little 'iffy' to say the least, especially if you are still in elementary school)
a perfect little granny stool, never been used by the looks of things and covered in vinyl of the mustardy yellow variety. 'peachy perfect' to say the least
i am fast running out of 'stool' appropriate space at the shed, but that did not stop me bringing this beauty home. i popped it by my fireplace for all to admire. the only admiration i have witnessed so far, apart from Debbie's kind
"oooh Tif, that was a lovely find"
is little olive and her licky tongue...

and so it came to be last week, as i sipped my tea sitting on the floor with little olive on my lap and used dog laying by my side, all three of us admiring the most recent granny stool to enter the shed. it dawned on me that my granny fabric was an exact match for this little stool and then it dawned on me how lovely it would be to make this little stool a cushion of it's own so it may feel 'admired' and 'loved'.
with a hoppity quick jump, i got up (actually it was more of a groan and a creak for used dog and myself, little olive did the hoppity quick bit). we scurried through to the studio, noting time was not on our side as school was soon to be over and got to work with an old pillow insert from the cupboard, a small tasteful amount of vintage lace and THEE granny fabric.

i am most happy with the little cushion,
little olive is most happy too,
as when i turn my back, the little cushion becomes hers.
and i am most happy as i look upon my fireplace to see all the handcrafted thrifty things that abound...

and on that note she will be back tomorrow with an update on her handcrafted thrifty challenge ~ Tif

Tuesday, October 27

a bonus to blogging...

luckily when typing i rest my hands and arms upon my little green desk,
"why is this lucky, Tif?" i hear you enquire.
well dearest readers, i am experiencing 'an experience' that happens to me on occassion, quite regularly actually and i do find it most inconvient when it appears at times such as 'shop updating'. a time when i should be super motivated, sweating it out with Miss Ethel and beavering away on vast quantities of 'lovelies'.
but alas i have been struck down in the worst way with 'pondering', 'procrastinating' and 'delaying'... causing my hands and arms to become heavy and slow.
i do not believe a little crocheted coaster should take the best part of the morning to produce... it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that is not time well spent when thinking about an item one wishes to sell.

i am thinking it may have something to do with the crappy weather... i declared yesterday it did not bother me, but today i appear to be affected by the lack of daylight. perhaps also, by not finding 'closure' with my missing slip and let's add on top, missing my soul sister and her lovely company...
i think the best thing is to 'walk away', leave Miss Ethel to gather a little dust, blot out my vanished slip, push Debbie to the back of my mind and spend some time with you lovely lot instead.

so for today's 'pick me up', i thought it quite nice to tell you about Gloria, how we met and the story so far...

when i first started blogging in march 2007, after the initial 'bravo' of getting my blog started and feeling most pleased with myself (due to little prior blogging knowledge), i set about adding a few links on my sidebar.
sites i found lovely to look at. there were so many out there in cyberland but i added links to a few, that on greater inspection seemed to be most pleasing to my eye and let's be truthful, made me a little envious.
for they were doing what i would like to be doing but had yet to figure out how...
and so it was that i placed a link to The Laundry upon my blog, thinking nothing of it.

to my surprise, a little while later, a letter appeared in my inbox from Gloria Nicol, the brains behind The Laundry. she thanked me for adding a link to her shop and was most supportive of myself and my wares.
i was positively speechless, little me sitting in my 'other' home at the time, just dipping my toes into the cyber waters and Gloria had stopped by to say hello.
over the past few years we have exchanged letters, just like pen pals... i have seen her name in print on many an occasion and smiled a smile to myself, most happy at her growing recognition.
i was delighted when her cyber shop was joined by a reality shop and often wish to be able to step through the door, have 'a little potter' around, before going up to the till and saying
"hi Gloria, it's me... Tif".
who knows, perhaps one day that it will happen.

but for now i must 'make do' knowing that Gloria will appear from time to time in my inbox, with a few words of encouragement for me. one such appearance happened a couple of weeks back... encouraging words came forth and then Gloria asked me if i would like to make her an apron wrap, so she may wear it when working in The Laundry...

of course i did a little dance,
of course i ran around the shed, yelling to anyone who would listen whilst pointing to her latest writing in Selvedge,
and of course i sat right back down and replied "why YES! i would love to"
even though i didn't have the foggiest idea of how to make a full apron wrap...

two vintage pillowcases and two weeks on, with some clever work by Miss Ethel, a full apron wrap is winging it's way to old blighty to live life in The Laundry, and i have to tell you i am most chuffed to know it's final destination and to know it's owner.

and so there we have it dearest readers, it really is quite extraordinary the people i have had the pleasure of 'meeting' over the past few years.
along with Gloria, i have got to know many talented, generous, creative people through my little blog and i have often marvelled to 'used dog' and now of course 'little olive', as to why i should have the good fortune...
whatever the reasons maybe, i shall continue to think myself most lucky to have you, dearest readers, stumble across 'me and my ramblings' in the blogging world.

her hands and arms are feeling lighter now, she is thinking a cup of tea is in order ~ Tif

Monday, October 26

oh, bother me...

the fact that our #4 is home poorly does not bother me.
the fact i have three pairs of woolly tights now sporting holes does not bother me.
the fact all morning my internet and phone connection has been 'non existent' does not bother me.
the fact it is raining does not bother me, despite needing to take pictures for my etsy update, (actually that's a lie, but for 'setting the scene' purposes we have to pretend i'm not bothered in the least...)
the fact i am down to a piffling amount of yarn does not bother me. (not true again)...
the fact my printer has decided to get sick and i only have three sets of 'every eventuality' cards printed off does not bother me. (okay, so that's total rubbish as well, but once again we need to play 'pretend' for the sake of my dramatic bothersome issue coming up in a minute)
the fact that i spent the best part of last night listening to 'lack of food' complaints in the shed, does not bother me.

no dearest readers, all those little niggly things do not bother me today, for i am bothered by the most bothersome thing of all.

a missing slip!

(not the slip you see pictured, for that slip belongs to another... i never photographed my slip in all her full glory, and sadly it would appear it is too late now)

now before you think, really is that all Tif has to be bothered about these days, let me enlighten you to the fact i am not only bothered by the disappearance of my 'everyday' slip but am bothered by once again my memory and lack of.

how is it i can remember in great detail my soul sister's pen set from when we were 12 and yet my 'lovely faithful' slip whom i hold close to me most days of the year, has vanished without recall.
and not just in the past few days i might add, no this 'vanishing act' happened long ago... i know this to be true as i've been looking for over five weeks now, so who knows how long she's been 'out there alone' without me.
i loved my slip, i remember the moment i spied her at the thrift store... she wasn't quite like the rest, she appeared to be a little quirky in her fabric content and her style.
i took her home, promised her a new life and ever since we have remained close, until now that is.
how is it, i can recall the moment of 'meeting' but not the moment of 'departing'?

i know i had her in old blighty this summer, but on returning stateside to a heat wave, i threw 'my modesty' and 'my slip' to the wind, just floating around in wispy thin skirts not caring if every man and his dog could see my 'unmentionables'...
but since then i have no recollection of us being together.

'how, where and when'
is a mystery which bothers me so.
i do not like my skirt riding up my woolly holey tights, it is irksome to say the least. for now i am wearing another slip from my closet, but alas we do not seem to be a perfect match, however much this slip tries to please she is not my other 'true love' slip...

i fear the awful truth is most distressing,
a truth that makes my very blood run cold
a terrible truth that i must face...
when sorting out my closet 'pre-challenge days', gearing up for my handcrafted thrifty year,
( i can hardly voice it dearest readers, it makes me weep to think of it... but for you i will go on),
i do believe... (gulp), my 'dearly departed' little slip, who gave me over two years of 'damn fine' service has ended her days in a trash sack filled with my 'closet rejects' and then donated.

(i shall pause here, while perhaps we reflect upon the horror of my crime committed and then the wickedness of myself, to delete the very act from my memory. thus proving a 'perfect crime' has been committed by myself upon myself)

perhaps it was the discovery of a 'nostril hair of the worst kind' only days prior that caused me to commit such a deed, driven by the distraction of my nostril issues, my mind being somewhere else at the time... of course it all fits now, the perfect criminal mind at work. not seeing my cruel actions for i was truly in a state of distress, thus distracted from what my evil hands were doing.

i am wondering if one day when trawling the thrifty aisles, perhaps by chance my little slip will be waiting for me and perhaps she'll be quite willing to forgive and forget the 'crime of insanity' i commited against her.

until such day, she will go on being bothered by the loss of her slip, the loss of her memory and her ability to 'commit such a crime' with no recollection ~ Tif

Friday, October 23

snippets of...

i am thinking it quite nice to make fridays
a 'snippet of... day'.
be it snippets of color,
snippets of vintage,
snippets of food,
(obviously not my own culinary delights)
snippets of loveliness...

i do believe the potential for 'snippets of...' is endless.
of course i may think otherwise in four weeks time when i am having a 'snippets of...' mental block, but until that possible day, i hope to bring you 'snippets of goodness' to inspire you every friday.

this friday let's start with
'snippets of... loveliness'
(because i rather like the sound of it)

"hang on a minute Tif?"
"yes?" says i
"isn't that little olive?"
forgive me... i had to sneak little olive in, i couldn't help myself, with those puppy eyes, mixed with crocheted goodness... she truly is a little 'snippet of loveliness'

she is wishing you each your own little 'snippet of loveliness' this weekend ~ Tif
footynote: all of the above 'lovely snippet' pictures belong to their owners, that is except little olive, cause she belongs to me :)

Thursday, October 22

testing the waters with my soul sister...

i did say 'grand news' didn't i?
of course after i said it, i began to think about the word 'grand' and what it could mean.
perhaps my thoughts of 'grand' are quite different from somebody else's 'grand'.
therefore you could be popping by today, thinking "oooh, that's right... Tif had something really grand to tell us" and then when i tell you, you may very well think "well that's a load of pants, by 'grand', i thought Tif was going to announce she was eloping with Colin Firth, or perhaps having Johnny Depp's baby"...

now i fear i may disappoint with my 'grandness' of yesterday.
perhaps i should reset the words to 'breaking news', then again perhaps not... for that would imply my news is on the level with eloping or having a baby.
so i think for the purpose of my 'unveiling' i will go with not 'grand news', not 'breaking news' , or even 'earth shattering news' but just good old 'news of the utmost kind'.
i think that's perfect, it sums up exactly what i'm going to divulge to you and probably right now you are wishing me to stop 'twitting' on about whatever blimen' news i have and just go ahead and spill the beans...

but you know me dearest readers, and you know i cannot possibly do that without 'telling a tale'.
so if you have rediscovered your patience with me and are sitting comfortably, then i shall begin...

i am the youngest of four, my three elder siblings being brothers.
although i love them dearly, as a small child i wished for a sister.
i am not sure if i ever voiced this wish to my parents, and i am quite sure even if i did, to comply with such a wish was not top of their list of 'to dos'.

i was nearly 12 when i found my sister.
she was in math class sitting up front, with her pens all color co-ordinated, her hair long and perfect, she stood a foot above the rest of the class and she was beautiful.
i was in awe of her ability to sit up front of class, her non frizzy hair, her color co-ordinated pen set, her 'underlining of relevant' information with said 'pen set' and most of all, the way she carried herself so beautifully.
for close to 30 years this wonderful person named Debbie has been my soul sister, through good times, crappy times and downright funny times... we have been together despite the miles between us.

as we step into our 40's together, she is still organized with her pens, makes fabulous lists in pretty notebooks and remains beautiful, standing a foot above the rest...
i have marvelled over the years as to why i had the good fortune of finding my sister so early on in life and that best of all, she should want to go through her life holding my hand and being the sister i never had. after all, i am 'total pants' at keeping my pens in order, never 'underlined' in my school books, i need my hand holding nearly everyday across cyber space and as is often the case, nearly 'pee my undies' whenever we get together. (and yes, it was a close call for both of us, this past week in my grocery store...)

"so why is Tif telling us this tale?", i hear you wonder and i do feel it is a relevant question, after all i am apt to wandering off when i ramble...
but today dearest readers, i feel my little tale is most relevant, for without Debbie i would not have pushed the envelope so to speak (is there such a saying, where did that one come from?)
Debbie left her little brood in old blighty, to visit moi and my little brood, stateside... so we could plot, devise a plan, map out our future.
she bought notebooks,
i provided the pens.
her notebooks were pretty,
my pens were crappy,
(you know the sort... with the dentist's telephone number on.)

and our plan?
apart from opening a shop one day together,
apart from growing old and laughing about it together,
apart from ending up in the same retirement home together,
our plan is
to put dottie angel 'out there'...
no 'eloping' or 'celebrity babies' involved,
just paper, pictures and my ramblings.

now of course, technically a few sets of 'every eventuality' cards is hardly taking the world by storm, even if they cover such important sentiments such as
"so sorry you are feeling crappity crap"
"thinking you are quite peachy perfect"
but me and my soul sister are going to test the waters by placing some cards in the store next week and see how they are received...

in the meantime our little cogs are turning and we hope to take bigger 'paper' steps in the future,
until then, i shall put in a call for some 'elves' to visit my studio at night for card making purposes
and continue to think myself most lucky to have found my soul sister all those years ago...

she will be back tomorrow with a new series (oooh, the suspense! )... that's if you are still awake ~ Tif

Wednesday, October 21

and the winner is...

my camera cable has gone AWOL.
i recall the person that took it (who shall remain 'nameless'), took it with the words
"can i borrow your camera cord, just for today? i'll bring it back tonight."
i believe those words were spoken several days ago and now i have sat pondering my predicament for most of today.
i emailed the 'nameless' person, told him of my woes, and those of my readership.
a little while later (due to 'nameless' person being a busy person), i received a reply. he noted that i could actually take out the little disc thing from my camera and pop it in the computer thus transporting my pictures that way.
i "gasped" to myself and then replied back, noting that i don't do things like that. i learn to do something a certain way and then can never stray from that path. i received no other reply...

several hours later i was left with little choice but to figure out where the 'disc thing' was in my camera and then figure out the little slot on my computer. of course now i have done all my figuring, it is glaringly obvious that this is by far the most easiest way to upload pictures. i will not however inform 'nameless' person of that, for i would never hear the end of it...

and so we do have a winner, a little late, but none the less, a winner...
and yes, she was picked out of the crockpot by a passing chicken.

congratulations to Lisa,
here is what Lisa had to say about her favorite holiday

I love Thanksgiving. It reminds me of my Grandparents farm in West Brooklyn, Illinois. Sitting in the kitchen with my Grandma, eating her apple pie. Or running through the corn fields up to the duck pond with my cousins after eating my Grandma's Thanksgiving meal. Food that is forever stamped on my heart as what "home" and holidays taste like. Thank you Tif for the moment to remember and for the chance to go into the crock pot. My fingers are crossed! Kindly, Lisa

be sure to email me your address Lisa, and the 'whatnot' holiday garland will be winging it's way to you 'hoppity quick' in time for your favorite holiday season...

and before i head back to the kitchen to scrub out the crockpot and throw in all the leftovers that have accumulated in my fridge recently,
i must thank you most kindly for all the wonderful comments you have left here, and in my inbox... your reasons for celebrating holidays truly are wonderful and have warmed my heart.

she will return tomorrow with grand news (ah ha! i love a cliff hanger...) ~ Tif

Monday, October 12

a 'whatnot' garland giveaway...

i have counted the garlands in my life...

i think it possible to say
i like garlands.
it's also possible to say, 15 is too many.
15 may appear to passing strangers that i am in fact a little obsessed with garlands
and so there is nothing for it, but to give away my 'whatnot' garland from last week's tutorial, thus giving the impression that i am downsizing my collection of 'finery' for the shed and surrounding acre of moss

if you fancy a chance of winning my little 'whatnot' garland with the wise words
"shine a little light on me"
then all you have to do is ponder for a bit and then leave me a comment, either here or in my inbox ( telling me what you favorite holiday season is.
and i will pop your name in my crock pot :)

now of course i use the word 'holiday' because i am bilingual, being able to converse both in english (my mother tongue) and american (my adopted tongue)...
if i were to say "holiday" in the UK, most people would presume i was packing my suitcases and heading away for a few days... here, everyone would think i was talking about a 'celebration' of some sorts, be it, hanukkah, christmas etc.

so i think you have the idea, i am not wishing you to tell me about your favorite vacation trip but about your favorite 'celebration'. for me that would be christmas, hands down it's my favorite time of year... my parents made it magical for me and my brothers, year after year, way up until we left home and even afterwards.
i have in turn, tried to emulate that lovely feeling of 'family time' for my own little clan. i see my christmases as 'stopping still' and spending time together, made even more so by our #1 being born on the 26th and our #3 being born on the 27th. i also see it as an opportunity to 'decorate' the shed with yarn balls, crocheted trees and of course, more garlands... so it's a no brainer for me. christmas it is!

this year i am being super prepared and instead of running around like a 'headless chicken' one week before, i am thinking way ahead of time.
thus me completely bypassing halloween,
thus conveniently forgetting about thanksgiving
and thus heading straight towards Christmas...
already my little cogs are turning and pondering, a handcrafted thrifty tree.

i think it might be rather lovely if you also mentioned your reasons for your favorite holiday celebration, because i know we all like to know these things, at least i do.
the winner of this giveaway will be announced on wednesday 21st october, i plan to have a passing chicken help me choose the winner. which i feel will add an element of excitement to my wednesday morning, knowing the shed will feel lonely with my best friend gone.

and before i leave you for a week or so, to spend quality time with Debbie, i must just report that my 'thrifty dry' spell has come to an end.
("hallelujah" i hear you chorus)
yes dearest readers, there is a thrifty God and yes, he shone done on me saturday evening.
i was most excited to stumble across a little swedish horse (no doubt last years from ikea, but i'm going to pretend otherwise) in a beautiful deep teal color.

along with a pretty tin tray

and if that wasn't enough, a little set of free standing bathroom shelves for the downstairs loo 'makeover'... which i shall reveal to you upon completion of 'said' makeover.
("oh that's lovely Tif, something to look forward to on your return".
"why thank you, it will be nice won't it?")

she is looking forward to reading your 'favorite holiday' comments, and being '41 going on 13' for the next 7 days ~ Tif

footynote: and just incase someone may perhaps miss me, i will still be a 'twit' over here everyday :)
footyfootynote: i am wondering if a passing chicken would be willing to put her head in a crockpot to pick a winner, do they have an inbuilt fear of such a pot. it will be most interesting to find out.

Friday, October 9

me and my thrifty ways... part two

as i reported yesterday in 'thrilling' part one of my thrifty ways, my secondhand finds of late have been slim on the ground.

but i have not let that deter me, no sirree... our hallway needed 'brightening' up and 'brightening' i did.
armed with paint (not sure what i will do when my little cans run dry), some mirrors, an 'interesting' flower painting and my thrifty yarn, i set forth at the beginning of the week with my transformation.

my thrifty yarn was the starting point, which i came across last week... not in the thriftstore but in a rather lovely vintage store called Sisters, not too far from me.
my little eyes spied a glass bowl of vibrant colored yarn scraps... and as i thought the case maybe, they were for display. obviously i had desperation in my eyes, thus causing the lovely owner to take pity upon a 'handcrafted thrifty' mama such as i, and agreed to sell me some.
"hurrah" i thought as i drove home, glancing across to my glowing stash safely buckled in... wanting to hug my fabby yarn and show the world right there and then, it's wonderful colorful qualities.

later that night i sat upon my little couch in the kitchen and began a 'blankie of the utmost' kind.
after ten minutes my eyes began to itch... could it be?
after another ten minutes i was ready to rip my eyeballs from their sockets. yes, it could be... i had wool yarn in my hands.
this would never do for a doggie blankie, Miss W. Machine and her 'wayward ways' with laundry would have this thing felted in a jiffy.
so i unravelled and pondered.
me on my little sofa pondering, opposite little olive in her basket sleeping,
with garland above.
of course, it only stood to reason, if little olive had a crocheted garland then so should i...

i set about crafting a garland for our hallway, and if i may be so bold, let me give you a 'visual' of my front hall, so you may further 'see' my results.
as you step through the shed's front door, you have a wall less than six feet in front of you.
if you turn to the right, there is a cupboard for coats, the lounge area and just to the left of this picture is the stairs...

if you turn to the left, there is another cupboard and a through way to either my studio or the narrow corridor leading to the kitchen.

i love this little space.
the minute i stepped into mossy shed, the first time i viewed her, this little area felt like home. at the time the wood was dark and the area rather grim. but nothing a little paint couldn't fix.
originally i painted the doors a lovely french gray but as color has been creeping into the shed of late, the gray was begining to look rather flat and dull...
as you can see from the pictures above, the doors are now a glossy chartreuse (left over from our #3's closet doors)

on my wallpapered wall, i have retired two hooks to the kitchen drawer and kept one, giving him a coat of chartreuse.
next i hung a rather 'iffy' floral painting i picked up sometime ago, it looked rather sad in it's brown wood frame and so i made it feel much happier with 'scary pink' paint.

i'm still working on the little corridor that has very little light, leading to the kitchen. i have decided to collect mirrors, you know the sort, the plastic kitschy ones and give them a new lease of life with a coat of 'brightness'...

and the 'dernière touche de finition',
(okay we need to stop and pause just there. did you read what i wrote, are you now wondering if Tif is taking french lessons to brush up on her rather pathetic ten words she remembers from school. nope dearest readers, i have discovered the translate button on darren dictionary's website. i see a whole world of deep and relevant foreign 'quotes' appearing before me)

but back to my 'final finishing touch' in the hallway.
yep, the 'used' yarn... now a woolly garland
and of course, a few doilies were added in for good measure...

i am most happy with my little handcrafted hallway, i have practised coming in and out the front door several times and going "aaah, home sweet handcrafted home" as i cross the threshold to Mossy Shed.
next week the downstairs loo will get a 'spiffing up' when debbie comes to stay, with her little pot of wallpaper glue in hand, 'used and gifted' from across the pond.

she is thinking a handcrafted thrifty mama couldn't think of a better gift to be given ~ Tif
footynote: i forgot my manners, so excited was i about my garland. thank you kindly for the 'tutorial' words of support, i am so delighted to know my instructions were not 'iffy' in any way and you have been inspired to throw away your precision tools... have a 'peachy perfect' weekend my dears and see you monday for a 'whatnot' garland giveaway... hurrah!!!

Thursday, October 8

me and my thrifty ways... part one

it has now been 18 days since i started my life as a handcrafted thrifty mama.
as i tippity type, 18 days seems rather a little amount of time, somehow it feels longer...
i'm pleased to report that so far it's been going 'pretty peachy'.
i have resisted the persuasiveness of Mr Tempter,
i have left Target with only cat litter in hand,
i have drawled over anthropologie's emails that appear daily in my inbox,
but i have not broken.

the biggest reward thus far, is the lack of money being drained from my purse.
when we are out and about, especially in the likes of Target, our #4 will ask
"can i... pretty pleeeease?"
now, i just have to say,
"but i can't... remember it's against my thrifty handcrafted rules"
and that's it.
he accepts it,
understands it,
shuts up about it,
how perfect is that!
so i recommend this thrifty lifestyle, if only to have the brilliant excuse to say "no" to everything tacky, mass produced and overpriced in the toy department
and best of all, not having to listen to
"but mom... please" for several hours afterwards...

that all being said, thrifty finds have been at an all time low.
sods law really.
fabric and 'vintage notion' finds, are non existent and so i must rely upon my trusty stash to see me through for the time being...

i have several projects i am working on around the shed,
all of which involve
glossy paint,
handcraftedness with yarn
and thriftiness with accessories

i have perused the aisles of vintage on etsy for
wallpaper scraps
coming up trumps...

whilst waiting for these pieces to arrive i have got busy with a couple of things on my 'wish to achieve' list... and yes you are quite right, i did not get busy with the laundry and washing 'used dog'...
i got busy with covering the seat cushion of my 70's armchair.
the fabric i used came from a thriftstore house coat i picked up a while back but didn't want to cut into... i had visions of wearing it around the shed to feed the chickens in.
however, after several months of loving it from a far in my fabric pile, i actually tried the thing on...
sadly, i was not the vision of 'bohemian thrifty goddess' i had imagined i would be, thus immediately taking it off and locating my scissors.

the color is the most perfect sludgy vomit green, mixed in with pops of turquoise and purple.
it needed to be seen... if not on me, then in our shed.

i'm quietly amazed that for a twenty minute quick sew job. no proper measuring, just a black crayola maker and my trusty Miss Ethel, the cover actually fits...

tomorrow she brings you part two, where she embraces 'thrifty luminous' yarn ~ Tif
footynote: and if like our #4, you may question my 'cat litter' buying ways... i pointed out to him, that i cannot 'handmake' cat litter and i do not believe it is possible to find such an item 'used'. to which he shrugged and said "fair enough"...

Tuesday, October 6

a vintage recycled, 'whatnot' holiday garland tutorial...

ingredients required:
rose colored specs
a trusty basic sewing machine
scraps of vintage fabrics
off cuts from sewing projects
skinny lace
the odd petit doily or two
buttons of one's liking
embroidery thread
fabric scissors

ingredients not required:
exact measurements.
precison cutting tools
cutting mat
or any other
'precise' measuring thing,
all must be tossed aside.
in short
do like i do
make it up as you go along.

if you are ready,
then i shall begin

step 1:
choose an assortment of fabrics from your stash of leftovers, vintage and perhaps even 'sparingly used' favorite fabric of all time.
i have used bark cloth, cotton, tablecloths and antique linens.
i have also chosen to theme them for a 'holiday season' look. you can do the same or just go with your own style.
cut 15 rectangular, double sided pieces from your fabric choices.

cut them different sizes to add a 'quirkiness' to the garland.
do this all by eye, (remember, no measuring tools allowed).
this also helps add a 'handcrafted' vintage feel to the garland.
(my pieces are no bigger than 4" x 5")

step 2:
leaving edges raw, stitch around each piece with the help of your trusty sewing machine.
(for the purpose of today, Miss Ethel, is my trusty helper)
then attach any doilies, patches of contrasting fabrics or other such things.
you have now completed 15 little flags.

lay out your 15 flags in a pleasing order and set aside

step 3:
for the string part of the garland, take random lengths of lace, ribbon, ric-rac or thin strips of fabric. (you could even use bias binding if you have some to hand.)
place near your trusty sewing helper along with your pile of 'pleasingly ordered' flags.
leave extra string at each end of the garland for tying purposes,
start stitching flags onto the string, one at a time.

as your length of string runs out, attach another as you go. no need for pinning...

i have left a rough gap of 3.5" between my flags.

step 4:
hang garland up and step back to stare,
ponder where you wish to place a few buttons
and a couple of cross stitches along the string.
when your decision is made,
go ahead and stitch on the buttons and crosses

step 5:
next you will need to think of a saying you wish to put upon your garland.
i chose
"shine a little light on me"
i felt this covered most 'holiday' celebrations whatever your beliefs may be,
it would also look 'pretty peachy' above a little girl's bed.
once you have decided,
take a scrap of white linen and pencil on your words.
embroider with a contrasting color.

next pin, (yes, i did say pin this time... just for the purposes of placement)
your little saying upon the hanging garland.
step back once again (avoiding small objects, children, sleeping dogs, even perhaps the elves in your workshop) and see if the arrangement of words is pleasing to your eyes.
if so
go ahead and take the garland down
and return to your trusty friend
stitching your 'little saying' in place.

step 6:

rehang garland
step back for the last and final time

invite passing strangers and perhaps the mouse that lives in your studio
to admire also.

that's it dearest readers.
quite honestly, it's a rough guide to an age old item.
but one that i hope, will bring a vintage eclectic charm to a corner of your home this holiday season.
and really i can't stress enough, it's more of a project for using up all your off cuts from your stash of fabrics and other 'bits n bobs' you have lying around your crafty area.

if after all that,
you are going
"for crying out loud Tif, i can't sew and even if i could, your instructions are rather iffy"
do not worry,
for the little 'whatnot' garland that features along with the lovely Miss Ethel in today's tutorial will be up for grabs next monday...

she is thinking she may have achieved the unachievable ~ Tif