Wednesday, January 30

risky biscuity business going on...

last night i got a calling, it was most inconvenient for several reasons. firstly it was cold, wet and dark outside and secondly i was cream crackered. however, there is something about the call of the thriftstore i am unable to ignore. i looked at the clock and the clock face looked back at me. 6:55pm. i dug deep and rustled up all of my super thrifty energies, told my clan i must leave the shed due to 'a calling' and promptly gathered up my bag, clog boots and newly finished crocheted scarf. 

what i truly love about shopping in our thriftstore is, basically it does not matter in the least what you look like, does not matter you have been up over 12 hours, look like you have been dragged through a hedge backwards and are indeed doing a jolly good job of looking like an old bag lady. no, indeed i find myself feeling far more at home wandering the aisles of our thriftstore any day or eve of the week as opposed to the aisles of the local shopping mall.

upon entering the thrift store i decided to throw caution to the wind and change up my usual route. now this route is one i have done for donkeys years and so it was rather a risky biscuity sort of thing to do. however dearest reader, that is the kind of gal i have become of late! 'taking risks such as these as one never knows where they may lead', is my new motto...

this risk led me first to the jewellery department, feeling sure a granny brooch or two had sent out the calling. after perusal of the bling area, this appeared not to be the case. i went on my way to clothing, i doubled back on myself just in-case i had been negligent in spying a frock on the rails of despair. alas no again. i pottled through bags, on towards shoes, visualizing the most peachy pair of clogs waiting for me, having sent out the signal earlier that eve. again, nothing. i began to wonder if my risky ways of changing my usual route had cast a terrible curse upon my thrifty luck. i told my inner voice, to bugger off and carried on. through linens, towels, doilies via pictures onto vintage books, round the corner to the final 3 remaining aisles. wooden delights lacking, vases quite frightening, crockery most lacking and the forsaken ceramic souls, all forlorn in a row. 

i stood for a while, took stock of the situation i found myself in and pondered my next move. surely i had not been mistaken, surely the call had come through loud and clear. had i lost the plot completely... in all my born thrifting days, a night such as tonight had never happened before. then i cleared my mind and i listened and there it was, a little call. i retraced my clippity clopping clog boot footsteps, took a left down the cook pot and plastics aisle and there it was, tucked under several layers of friends, hidden from view, a most perfectly peachy tray of the most perfectly peachy floral design 

with the most perfectly peachy label,

now doing a perfectly peachy job of jollying up our table and our shed

proving to me, my new motto is a mighty fine one to adopt and one i will keep for a while....

Tuesday, January 29

mr wintle & me...

i found mr wintle
through serendipitous circumstances.
or rather mr wintle found me.
at the time, unbeknownst to me,
he was to become a most important factor
in my turning point.

upon discovery of mr wintle 
i tippity tapped out his wise words
stuck them on the wall 
and stared at them blindly 
everyday as i ate my lunch

i read and i re-read his words
and i could tell,
 here was a fellow
who knew what he was talking about.
months past and with it
mr wintle and i shared many lunch dates

one day, not less than two weeks back
it happened,
as the pesky voice inside my head
questioned once again
"why bother Tif?"
and once again
 i found myself listening
to said pesky voice...
mr wintle piped up in my head, 
clearly and precisely
with just the one line
"if you think you are beaten, you are"
and it was all i needed to know,
in that moment,
i could see,
not only would 
mr wintle and i be firm friends
forever and a day
but i had turned thee corner.
a corner i had been looking for
over the past months,
ney years

at last i had quietened
the pesky voice of doubt,
and i could continue
on my quest for my lost little light,
knowing the healing process 
could now begin...
with mr wintle by my side

Friday, January 25

i can see clearly now...

as i stood in my kitchen today, eating nuts and grapes, about to head out the door to polish my aura at yoga it dawned on me, something was different, so intensely different it stopped me in my 'nut and grape' eating path...

and then after the dawning moment i realized it was the weight... the great weight which had been weighing me down, making me lose my way for so long now, was nowhere to be felt, i was lighter than i had been in years. i gulped, i felt the tears well up, i felt gripped by a small flicker of light and i dare not breathe, i dare not truly breathe for what if this moment, this dawning moment did not stay, if it vanished just as it had appeared, the light snuffed out and the weight descending back upon my shoulders, leaving me once again stumbling in the dark and alone 

so i took a deep breath and i dared to test the little light for i knew in my heart of hearts, this moment was the moment i have been searching for, waiting for, not truly knowing i had been doing such a thing over the past years but now it was clear. i was ready to let go...

 for the first time in 3 years the weight of sorrow, loss and bereavement was not there, i could not find it even when i dared to dig deep looking for it. all i could find was a feeling of happiness and i can only take this moment which found me this morning quite unexpectedly in my kitchen, as me at last coming to terms with events which rocked my world, events i did not know how to handle, how to put a voice to them, that battered my heart so hard it left me reeling for air. all i knew, as each event overlapped the next was to bury them so deep inside that with it, i buried my ability to live happily day to day, i buried the little light of joy i was carrying and i buried my health too.

the sudden and shocking death of my aunt and godmother, the suffering death of my father-in-law (along with the guilt of being so far from those that needed me) and the feeling of an utter hopeless 'sense of missing' in my day to day life when both my girls moved so far far away. all slowly but surely knocked me sideways over the past 3 years and left me unable to find my inner light, unable to talk about it and so terribly unwell

and today, today, at last, more than any other day in the past 3 years, this day, the 25th day of a shiny new year, i have found my voice and i have found my little shiny light, waiting patiently for me, never having left, just buried deep below the pain and the sorrow but now shining brighter than ever before. and my little light did not come alone, no he bought with him the wonderful words of Jimmy Cliff filling my cleared head and healed heart and telling me everything is going to be okay

"i can see clearly now the rain has gone, and its gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day"

Thursday, January 24

easy peasy as 1 2 3...

as i stood at the kitchen sink yesterday rinsing out a plastic bottle, i looked at the little fellow and marveled at his rather lovely 'bud vase' like qualities... and so i decided there was nothing for it. the kettle was popped on pronto and it was my duty to rescue him from the brink of recycling, right then and there

1: find an empty plastic bottle with a pleasing shape, you may have to patiently wait for one or two to empty (i am thinking soap and moisturizer containers would be perfect shapes due to their narrow necks). clean him out and remove all labels (if he is being left naked in places)

2: find your stash of fabric scraps, scissors, mod podge and brush. pop kettle on, proceed to spend a happy half hour, snipping and sticking

3: when all is dry, give your newly patched friend some blooms and a place to call home

things to consider

* spray paint your little plastic bottle first if the original colour is not to your liking, think a jolly cheery colour which makes you smile

* patchwork your plastic friend all over with fabric, leaving nothing of his former self showing, thus keeping him warm and making him feel loved in the process

* if placing fake flower stems in your patched vase, (rather than real flowers and water), give him a helping hand with staying steady on his feet by adding some grains of uncooked rice to make him bottom heavy

* think of making your patched vase some friends so he does not feel alone, different heights and different colours. or find other willing containers who might wish to hang out together. place them along the kitchen window, so they may do a grand job of brightening up the dull winter days ahead

Tuesday, January 22

a thrifted frock with potential...

today i have been greatly distracted from my list of 'to~dos' by a frock. this particular frock found me last night hanging on the racks of despair at my local thrift store. reasons why it caught my beady little eye and thus resulted in my distracted ways of today are as follows

reason 1: a mandarin collar
reason 2: black fabric with an itty bitty flora
reason 3: teeny tiny open work down the front
reason 4: minute button after button
(could result in time consuming fiddly business of getting dressed every day but banished this thought so as not to be put off)
reason 5: rather peachy cuffs with more minute buttons
reason 6: and the most important thing of all when coming across a thrifty find, it had potential

tres tricky to get good pics but these go someway to showing the frock and its potential
since my distracted ways came into play i have devised in my head a cunning plan on how to make my newly found frock into something wearable

plan 1: lop off at least 8 inches from the bottom to make it knee length
plan 2: darts at back of frock, just above waist band to make it fit a little better
plan 3: rustle around (quite gently and with care so as not to distress them) in my woven ribbon collection and add some detailing around the waist area to give it an illusion of a 'high waist' and less 'waist waist' band. this in turn will add a pretty detail and gives me an excuse to wear my ribbons (brilliantly cunning i feel!)
plan 4: don newly customized frock over a slip, leaving some of the buttons most risque~ly undone near the knee, to show slip peeking out. 
plan 5: add a jolly pretty vintage pin near mandarin collar 

all of this is in the hope of making the frock look less severe and matronly, for it is frighteningly so when worn just as i found it...
obviously having done all 5 plans it does look most brilliantly fabby in my head, however what is in my head and what usually eventually lies in my hands are quite often 2 different things. i have put that trifling thought out of my head though, for i will not let a small detail of it all going pair shaped and looking pants, put me off! no sirree! 

i see a whole wonderful world appearing before me, when i wear my newly customized frock. i see us becoming the best of friends, i see us with woolly tights, clogs and cardis to keep the chill off and in warmer climes i see us with clog sandals and a headscarf looking effortlessly bohemian and eclectic. i see us sight~seeing together in europe this spring, and before then, i see us testing out the waters together by wafting around the local grocery store, folks glancing and questioning who this mysterious and most peachily dressed woman could possibly be and not one person, no not one single soul, realizing the frock upon her bod once hung on the shelves of despair with very little hope... 

Monday, January 21

a vignette of a life...

dearest reader, i must tell you, last week as we sat in the evening, Our #3 required testing for his homework. as is usually the way, i volunteered my man for such an important task and continued on my merry crafting way in the corner. it soon became apparent he had a list of words, the words required learning, along with their meaning and then finally to be placed within a sentence so the reader of the said sentence would know and understand the meaning of the word. i was thinking, well that would make any word feel most special if it were to know a whole sentence had been devised for it to shine brightly.

suddenly my man exclaimed "well here is one your mother will know!" and proceeded to say the word 'vignette' with great glee. Our #3 said it was not a word he was familiar with, to which his father responded "well it might come as a surprise then to know you have lived your whole life in a vignette, from the moment you were born, and throughout your 17 years, a constantly changing vignette". (this was followed by quite a lot of chuckling from my man). our lad looked rather puzzled and so i took it from there...

now not one to actually do my child's homework for them, and lets be honest, even if i wanted to, i would not be able to, i think from around the age of 7 they surpassed much of my knowledge on things such as math and history. but here, here was a moment where along with the chosen words on his list, i could perhaps shine a little with my knowledge. 

so i continued where my man finished off, i enlightened my third child, as i pointed to 'here, there and everywhere' within the room we loitered and beyond. after which i gave him the sentence, i told him it really was not the sentence for a reader to understand what the meaning of 'vignette' was, however it was a sentence which made me smile

'it would appear, unbeknownst to me, for 17 years i believed i lived in a house but apparently not, apparently i have lived in a vignette all along, created by my mother'

Thursday, January 17

stay a while and mend me...

after my girls had left
and i was in full on pottling mode, 
removing the 'bits and bobs' wall, 
something caused me to pause. 
two pieces of hand embroidered 
'just say it like it is' wall patches 
lay side by side, 
unpinned where i
had placed them 

it struck me 
how they told me 
what i felt inside.
for indeed when my girls are with me
i am whole
i am mended
and when they are away from me
i am missing a piece
i am a little broken

as i pinned these two reminders 
back upon the wall,
penciling in the 'and'.
i walked away and i prayed,
please do not let it be 
a whole year again
before my girls return 
'stay a while
mend me'

Wednesday, January 16

let me count the ways i love thee...

i have found a new love, i am so smitten some days when i think of my new love it brings tears to my eyes. it might be quite true to say, my smitten ways are so strong, i only have eyes for my new love and nothing else.

i recall once upon a time the same love when i stumbled across doilies and lace, i still have that love, 'tis an enduring one, however my new love has given me a new lease of creative life and is one which has me spending my day thinking of very little else...

i did not think myself a ribbon sort of girl, but then again, quite often i think myself not to be a certain 'kind~of' and turns out i was the last to know. pretty ribbons, vintagey colours, in all their woven wonder~ness have stolen my crafty heart, cogs and creativity.

such is my love for my woven sweeties i have taken photos of them so i may admire their peachy ways even further. as i took the photos, taking time to check each and every strip was feeling a-okay, not overwhelmed by my attention and that of Frankly Frank (taking the snaps), it dawned on me the cooking pot my woven lovelies were living in was not 'a-okay' anymore. was high time i wrapped each ribbon lovingly around a card and then in turn placed neatly, all huddled together in a row, where i may admire them from a far, from close up, from passing by en route, or from just passing by for the excuse to pass by their colourful, uplifting 'i love you like no other' ways

i have become a woven ribbon geek, i say it loud, i say it proud. 
for being a ribbon geek has filled me with a creative joy i have been lacking of late, and in turn that creative joy has led to the old rusty cogs turning and moi, for the first time in yonks, making handmade goodness to pop in my little store... i am plotting, i am planning and it feels mighty fine!

Tuesday, January 15

crocheting in retrospect...

apparently last week was national crochet week! i did not know this, but now i do, i also did not know what nation, as i recall it said 'national' and not 'international'. after some thoughtful moments i declared to myself, such trifling details do not matter, what matters somewhere out there was a terribly thrilling week long event of crocheting and all its goodness. 

i did not fret i had missed it, for unbeknownst to me at the time, i was crocheting in my mossy shed, so i think it perfectly acceptable to say i took part in 'national crochet week'. on second thoughts (lots of thoughts and thinking going on these days) i think it perfectly acceptable to say i took part in 'national crochet week in retrospect'. then again, perhaps not, perhaps that is not quite what i did. does it matter? does anyone care? what matters is crocheting was done.

"pray why were you crocheting Tif?" you ask. goodness, that is a brilliant question and one most worthy of an answer a ramble...

on the 26th of December Our #1 turned 21! home to celebrate it from across the pond she exclaimed she would like to go out for a grand thrifty pottle to celebrate. as her mother it was my duty to grant this birthday wish and i insisted upon accompanying her so she did not get lost. several forgotten souls were found that day, including one which made my heart go pitter patter. it was as though it knew i would come for it.
 for several weeks earlier i had made the decision to take down my 'bits and bobs' wall in our entrance way come the new shiny year and put up a coat hook. "but what coat hook?" i asked myself weeks before. in my head i plotted lavish plans of old wood with a multi delight of different hooks and knobs, i could see it clearly, right there, in the space in my cogs i reserve for 'visualizing'. tis a place filled to the brim of images, floating around, crowding in on each other, things i hope one day will see the light of day.
however on the 26th of December the coat hook on the shelf of despair, standing before me, put to rest my 'handy hook' visualized image in my cogs

how could it be, in all the years of seeing old expandable peg rails on my thrifty travels, none as sweet as this one had found me. i have no doubt, the coat of perfect green, a little bit worn and a simple naive white painted floral detail sealed its fate to come home and live on our hallway wall.

the fresh shiny new year arrived, with it my girls packed their bags and headed many miles across land and sea to their homes and i was left with an ache. an ache i know too well and one i dull by pottling and shuffling around the shed. down came the 'bits and bobs' and out came the handy dandy coat hook. i decided to request my man's muscles for the job, i like to think it makes him feel needed in life, i am quite sure he thinks otherwise. i pointed to the naked wall, revealed my lovely coat hook along with its friend 'mr yellow' hook, and waited for a small gasp and hushed tones of wonder at the peg hook and his coat of fabby green. instead my man responded with, (taking 'mr green' in  hand and looking at his wobbly bits with the eyes of a sceptic) "would this be a useful coat hook Tif, one that actually has a purpose to it, or is this just another way of displaying things which make you happy?". i looked at him and smiled, pointing to the dull ache in my chest, no words needed 
"just as i thought" he said "i don't know why i bothered to ask"

and so, rolling on to last week, coat hook doing his thing of looking peachy i decided some crocheting of an old wooden hanger in pink needed to be immediately attended to. thus making 'mr green' feel welcome and even better still, it was done on national crochet week in retrospect. and that little piece of knowledge has done wonders at warming my crafty soul...

Monday, January 14

cogs, ponderings & such like

as is always the way with me, a new year equals a jolly good excuse to shuffle things around the shed. more than any other new shiny year, this one needed a fair few cobwebs blown away and a fresh clean slate. after pondering the shuffling required, i set to on removing 'bits and bobs' from the walls. after which i stood back and marveled at the huge amount of pin holes 'bits and bobs' can create when attached in vast array upon one's wall. so i promptly set about covering up the pin holes with select fabby favs from the 'bits and bobs' laying redundant on several tea trays.

before the christmas season was upon us, i stumbled across a rather jolly red woven lamp cord on my travels. i did what was the only possible thing to do at the time was, i bought it home to the shed and rustled it away in a drawer. i knew it would be perfectly suited to my fresh shiny new year shuffle and this secret knowledge had me rather giddy. with the red cord retrieved last week, a lamp shade was now required. looking around the shed i volunteered up several 'hangy-me-jigs' for a new year makeover. using long lengths of frayed white vintage sheeting knotted together and a few lengths of lace, 'several moments and a bit patience' later, i had myself a rather pretty shade to keep the red cord company. after a bit more faffing about to get it in place i stood back to admire. 

two things struck me. thing one the frayed fabric looked tres peachy but was missing a certain 'je nais se quois' and thine two, the red woven cord, for all its rather red loveliness was rather 'hello i'm a bright red cord hanging on a wall' sort of thing. immediately my little creative cogs whirled into action, for they were rather liking being used for a change. in a few moments they stopped whirling and came to a conclusion. a rather natty bit of lace stitched along the bottom with equally natty looking stitching would sort 'thing one' 

and some old cream linen stitched once again quite 'natty like' around some of the cord would tone down the abundance of red cording down the wall. "brilliant" i cried, "tis the answer" and immediately set about doing the deed my cogs had suggested.

i am thinking i have more of my shuffling ways to share, i am also thinking most folks would not even notice the difference... 'tis all a blur Tif, some folks may say.... all a blur

Friday, January 11

normal service will resume shortly...

goodness me! that was a bit of a blip, indeed it maybe quite true to say, the biggest blip of my blogging career to date (does one call it a blogging career, i am wondering if there is such a thing, actually i know there is, for many a folk has made it so. however i am wondering if i am qualified to call it that...) 

i fear 2012 was rather full of blips, i have no idea why it became such a blippy year, but it did (actually that is not true! i have lots of knowledge as to why but dwelling upon it, i will not). i am thinking blippy years are indeed the norm, 'tis perfectly okay to have one every now and then. i am also thinking how brilliantly convenient and rather handy dandy a new year is upon us
shortly. thus allowing me to put a long blipping year behind and giving me high hopes for a shiny new year laid out before me 'blip free'. 

yes indeedy, 2013 has assured me of its plans to be as blip free as possible. obviously there are no guarantees, however i am a trusting sort of gal and so i put my trust in 2013 for i am a believer and i believe there is a glorious 'blip free' year filled with goodness to come...

thus me thinks it quite perfectly safe to say,
"normal service will resume shortly"
hip hip hooray!