Wednesday, September 30


yes, that's what i'm doing... waiting.
the clock is ticking, i have less than one hour until the 'delightful' members of the shed walk back through the door and i find myself waiting... poised to jump the minute etsy's 'back up' from their little maintenance thingy that's going on.

i was half way through listing dear cybil, an autumn apron wrap when she vanished before my eyes.

it might very well have been 'told' ahead of time but i don't loiter much on etsy looking for these things... perhaps i should, thus avoiding my waiting and "oh crap" issues of today

so as we wait perhaps i may take this 'waiting period' to tell you how much i appreciated your 'doily abuse' support of yesterday... i am no longer fearful to put them in my etsy store.
yes indeedy, for i arose this morning with determination in my 'self', to get some cracking good pics done so my 'doily whatnots' have a chance to shine in all their glory.
i'm not sure they are crackingly good pics, as there was a chill in the air and my little hands were a wee bit iffy, but they will suffice for today's listing attempts.

here's a little ganders of what else i am waiting to list, just to pass the time...

i am now off to open a belated birthday gift i found lurking in the mail box this morning, which i put to one side as a treat for 'after my listing' was done... i am most excited by this 'lurking gift' for i do believe it will once and for all, lay the 'panini episode of 2008' to rest...

she will return tomorrow with news of a 'tempter' living under her roof, who appears to not be fully onboard with her thrifty shopping habits (gasp, shock, horror) ~ Tif
footynote: and as if by magic, the wonderful world of etsy is back again... parcel will have to wait, my little store is calling me :)

Tuesday, September 29

my 'doily doubting' ways...

i am busy today beavering away on something i wish to share with you next week.
(ah ha, yet another tale of intrigue and mystery to leave you 'hanging on')

however, before i get back to my 'beavering' ways i do have something else to share with you.
something i like,
but interestingly, i am quite 'hesitant' to unveil today.

usually i don't think twice, after all you are such a lovely lot when it comes to supporting me and my crafting epiphanies. this time however i'm 'hesitant' for it involves doilies
("oh blimey, Tif... what's the big fuss about? doilies are as old as the hills and you've had them in your work since time began")

you are quite right, dearest readers... but there is a difference.
this time i fear a hush will descend and then the term 'doily abuser' will start to ripple through the audience, whispered at first, then louder until a crescendo is reached and the chanting of "doily abuser" will be heard across all cyberland.

it started last week when the lovely dani emailed me with a question.
that little question prompted 'something' tucked far away in a drawer marked "for future crafting" to open, within my brain. it was like a "oh yes!" moment and so i got to work, and after the weekend i had the results of my efforts laid out before my clan.

they picked up my 'doily whatnot dishes', turned them around, inspected them closely... i might even add, marvelled somewhat as to how they were made...
then the question came
"are you going to put them in your etsy shop?" my man enquired
"i think so" i replied, still pondering, as to whether or not i had abused a doily

she is going to list them tomorrow (gulp) along with other goodies and perhaps locate some ear plugs just in case ~ Tif

Monday, September 28

olive & crochet...

little olive received her 'blankie of the utmost kind' on saturday.

i finished it on friday, but once again had selfish thoughts of keeping it all to myself... on saturday little olive discovered my original 'blankie of the utmost kind', was overcome with it's loveliness, decided it was truly an 'utmost blankie' and took it for herself.

now before we exclaim at her 'wayward' ways, we must remember that little olive has known the delights of 'crocheted goodness' since ten weeks old, thus causing her to crave for it's warmness and 'nest ability' potential at all times.
in her defense, i do not believe little olive stood a chance when coming upon such a blankie that begged to be 'loved' and so she lost her sense of 'right from wrong', giving into the moment without thinking of the 'naughtiness of her actions'.

i discovered the 'crime' in action, seeing a 'streak of rainbow' whizz past my ankles, fly off the step into the living room and end at it's destination, little olive's 'other basket'. (the first one being in the kitchen). where all good things are taken to be loved, licked and treasured.

"i don't think so" i exclaimed running close behind, imagining all sorts of horrors that could befall my little blankie. but i was wrong to 'doubt' her intentions, they were all purely honourable... all she wanted was to love my little blankie like it were her own and how could i blame her?
there was nothing for it but to collect finished 'blankie number two' and trade.
now i'm happy
and she is happy

i have a small amount of yarn left and am thinking 'a chill' is in the air as we head into autumn and perhaps i need to fashion her a little 'sweater vest' to match.
thus when she sits upon her little blankie in her little crocheted vest, she can take on special superhero powers like 'invisibility' and go on to save the world...

she thinks she is on a slippery slope heading fast towards the title of 'mad dog' woman ~ Tif

Friday, September 25

snippets of color...

when it came to looking around the shed, with camera in hand, for all the 'extra color' i had been noticing of late, it soon became obvious to me that most of the 'extra color' came from piles of stuff like laundry and other such 'nonsense' that has appeared in recent days whilst i've been busy with miss ethel.

but i said i would bring you snippets of color and so i shall...
some you have seen before
some you may not
some you may find quite lovely
and some you may not
but i hope you will agree, they are indeed snippets of color...

thread in a bowl

bathroom towels

knitting needles

yarn in a bowl

family portraits by my brother

little olive's finished blankie

buttons in a dish

our #4's closet curtain

ceramic bird from freemont sunday market

and moi in the mirror, found at freemont sunday market in the most 'peachy perfect' color and yes! i am wearing pink... will wonders never cease

and before i head to my bed, may i just take a moment to say thank you for all the lovely birthday wishes you sent my way...
or in the comment section of my ramblings
or perhaps my dottie angel inbox.
you truly have been most generous with your good wishes
and i start my weekend feeling most lucky to have you as my friends.

she is quietly thinking how humbled she feels by the challengers that have joined her and their reasons for doing so ~ Tif

Thursday, September 24

to twitter or not to twitter...

"have you been on your twitter yet?"
my man asked late last night as he started his work.
"yes, but i'm not sure i'm any good at it" i replied dejected from the couch, with my blankie in hand... a billion loose ends needing to be tucked away.
my dejection, due to not only the mammoth task of 'finishing off' said blankie but also due to 'Mr thrifty devil', making it all up.
no such 'cardie of lust appeal' was on the racks in my thrift store.
it was all totally crappity crap...
and so it set me thinking about just how hard this challenge could get if one were to need a certain something. not just a 'happen to come across it, oh so lovely' thrifty find but a 'i need it to replace a broken something' thrifty find.

my man proceeded to take a look at my blog on his laptop...
we always go through the "what's the name of it again?" business (i know!) and then he marveled at how fabby his three columns were looking, which i then pointed out looked that way because i had come in afterwards to do a complete overhaul of the 'messy layout' i had been left with...
anyhow, after patting himself on the back for a job well done he clicked on my 'twitter button' and after a few seconds, he started to chuckle, then boldly laughed out loud, ending with what looked to me like tears in his eyes...
"what is it... what's so funny?" i asked becoming slightly alarmed, my 'non cardi thrifty finds' vanishing from my thoughts.

"well, it's like some computer generated system has twittered for you... it's like a code, like someone said you can construct a sentence but only use two verbs and one noun"
he then continued
"and what is a counch?"
"what!" i scrambled off my seat
"you've written 'olive is trying to destroy counch inners'... would that be a couch/sofa or were you talking about a conch shell we happen to have hanging around" to which he chuckled even more...
after his chuckling was done, he decided to offer some advice.
now dearest readers, this is where i imagine you are shaking your heads... for you too are thinking what i am thinking. there are times to pick, when offering advice and perhaps a 'wise man' may not pick this time to offer up such info.
but my man was not a 'wise man', he was a 'foolish man' and so continued upon his 'let me enlighten you' ways, when all he had to do was look up from his laptop screen and read my face like a book, to know the 'unwiseness' of his 'wellmeaningness'.
(that's rather an exciting sentence, i'm quite pleased with that)

"so Tif," he continued "you need to get interesting, you need to twitter from the thriftstore" (sore point indeed) "perhaps from the chicken coop, that sort of thing. i would also advise you to actually construct sentences that are readable, so people know what you are twittering on about".

i replied, quite in control i felt for one who felt a 'twitter fool' of the worst kind...
"but how do i do that when i have a cell phone built in the dark ages, i have no texting talent and no internet access. plus i do feel another thing not going in my 'on the road' twittering favor is the screen is jippy at times, it chooses not to divulge information other than a neon looking blob for viewing purposes? how pray, is one suppose to 'twitter on the go', with such a phone? plus"
i added
"i don't actually know how to twitter in normal sentences, i don't blog in normal sentences half the time. i can't write in a normal way... i fear i am, and i will always be, a creator of sentences who has a mental block when it comes to mainstream writing"
and with a sigh i added
"perhaps i am not cut out for twittering"
to which i promptly went to bed.
feeling like an utter 'twittering' fool... i should never have attempted such a thing.

this morning i mentioned to my man that i felt rather 'put out' by his amusement last night at my twittering expense...
to which he said "it's a new day Tif, just move on".
which 'put me out' even more, until i thought in my head
"oh, sod him" i then felt much better...
since my 'sod him' moment, i have spent many a happy hour with miss ethel, making apron wraps whilst 'little olive' licks off this morning's applied vanilla body lotion from my ankles.

and then dearest readers, i picked myself up off my sewing chair, dusted myself down and purposefully strode over to my desk chair and began to twitter...

she will return tomorrow with 'snippets of color' to start the weekend off on a happy note ~ Tif
footynote: if in anyway i have painted my man in a negative light, this is purely intentional... the 'power of the blogger' can be a mighty fine thing

Wednesday, September 23

the devil goes down to 'thrifting'...

tonight i should be going to puppy training classes, i have been going for five weeks...
but i alas i cannot go, for i have to play truant.
i may pay for my 'skipping class' ways, but i am beside myself with needing to get a thrifty fix, i have 'the shakes' and 'the sweats' and it isn't pretty.

i find it extraordinary that my puppy trainer chooses to run her class on the very same evening, at the very same time, as was my regular 'thrifting time'.
for five weeks i have driven past the thrift store and headed straight to class like a good girl. removed little olive from the car and taken her into the 'lions den' full of big, big puppies that all wish little olive to be 'theirs'.
for five weeks i have watched her look at me with those eyes that say "why? please tell me, what have i ever done to you?" ( i could list a few words like couch, carpet, chicken poo, but it seems unfair when in the lions den)
i was all set to go tonight, i felt strongwilled enough to put my thrifting evening once again to the sidelines and then it happened.

i blame my mother.
("ooooh, Tif... that's just wicked that is!" i hear you exclaim)
quite right you are dear readers, a very wicked thing to say, especially as my mother is a lovely caring soul who goes about her busy day in old blighty, traipsing the charity stores and vintage stalls on my behalf. apart from the lovely linens and lace she finds, she also sends me magazines from across the pond so i may enjoy a read with my cup of tea.

and that is precisely what caused me to fall from the straight and narrow, allowing me to lose my 'puppy training' driven ways and to start hearing
"just think Tif, could be something just peachy perfect waiting for you tonight" in my little ear... oh yes, the thrifty devil is back on my shoulder making me say such wicked words about my mother.

let me enlighten you...
yesterday, it was an ordinary evening in the life of moi, as i 'hopped, skipped and jumped' to the mail box (actually it was more like stumble, due to lack of daylight and street lighting) however it really doesn't matter how i got there, but i did... and within the piles of 'dullness' was an envelope from my mother containing

i love reading this magazine, i feel it gives me hope that one day, in years to come i may just have digested a piece of valuable 'country living' advice and put it into practise. thus far in my life, i tend to just gaze at the pictures of lovely back yards, prized veggie patches and fabulous cooking advice, daydreaming and a wishing.
as i flipped quickly through, whilst looking like i was clearing the kitchen, picking up used socks, shouting instructions to death ears around the shed, my eyes alighted
upon page 97.

and that is where i fell by the wayside.

the most loveliest of lovely fashion pages...

perfect in every way
showing me what i already know to be true

floral and knits are a match made in heaven...
and then i started to 'twitch'.
i 'twitched' several times further
by the time i reached page 102,

the 'thrifty devil' had appeared upon my shoulder.
"so what you going to do Tif, you can't buy new... but just think, a cardie of similar 'lust appeal' could be waiting for you on the thrifty racks as we stand here"
"but i have no time this week dearest devil, my evenings are taken up in a perpetual round of dance, gym, soccer, school events and puppy classes" i fought back...
"you light weight, call yourself a 'handcrafted thrifty' mama, since when did you ever let family life get in the way of a 'thrifty kill'... you're going soft in your old age" and he continued to taunt me, even at bedtime as he made himself comfy upon my pillow.
as i fell into a slumber i recall myself making a 'pact with the thrifty devil' and his charming ways.

and so here i am this morning, already thinking of a 'fibbing excuse' for missing class and another 'fibbing excuse' to the kids as to why we can't go.
is it enough to say
"well your mama needs to go thrifting for a cardigan"?
no it is not
i need to get canny, i need to get good at deceit
i need to ask the advice from my new friend 'mr thifty devil' on my shoulder...

she shall return tomorrow, with news of whether the 'thrifty kill' was worth the 'fibs' and if not, she is thinking perhaps fashioning something from the underneath of her couch which has appeared upon her floor, courtesy of little olive ~ Tif
footynote: all images courtesy of the fabby 'country living' magazine that appeared in my mail box

Tuesday, September 22

little olive and a colorful moment...

i woke with a great long 'to do' list this morning.
all quite nice things as i failed to write the 'horribly dull' stuff on the list, thus making my list look rather 'arty and crafty', rather than 'maidy and cooky'...

i have not succeeded in any of the things as two other things not listed, have got in the way.

thing number 1: my blog...
the layout is doing my head in, having added an extra sidebar, courtesy of my man... i was left with an 'all so busy look' to bother my waking thoughts.
i have to say i don't usually give my blog layout much thought but this has been 'nagging at me' since sunday night... anyhow after a lot of 'toing and froing' from my photo folder to my blog, i have achieved a layout that 'pleases me' enough to move on, thank goodness.


thing number 2: miss pesky olive...
who is driving me to distraction today. i have decided she is an attention seeker, which is to be expected of a little puppy... when the shed is full of 'comings and goings' she is happy as a lamb and as sweet as can be.
when it's just dull old me and used dog, she starts to play the squirrel nutkin thing to a 'tee'.
this morning i applied my new birthday moisturizer kindly gifted to me by my girls... "ooo, lovely" i said as i applied it and breathed in the vanilla fragrance.
i then went about my day feeling quite special, as nice moisturizer is not something i usually buy for myself. (nor, can i from now on...)
"how thoughtful" i said to myself, thinking it most lovely my family had taken on board my challenge and given me 'useful and thoughtful' gifts for the coming year. (and yes, i did get woolly socks)

after several minutes of being downstairs, little olive made a bee line for my legs... for the past hour i have been continuously 'bathed' by her little licky tongue. i fear i will never beable to use my birthday 'oh so special' moisturizer again and more to the point, i am this close to running out the door and just hosing my legs down in the yard. as much as i love a 'little lick' every now and then, i draw the line at having dried puppy saliva all over my lower legs...
oh and here she comes again... and voila! as i am tippity tapping on the keys she sits below 'washing me'... i shall have to practise the art of 'ignoring' for me to get through this...

and so my plan today was not to talk 'dog saliva' to you but 'color', dearest readers.
i noted yesterday as i 'guest posted' for emma's lovely weekly feature 'colour your monday happy', just how much color has filtered into my life.
i do believe i am getting past my color phobia ways and along with my challenge i am embracing a new colorful me.
as i look around my shed, little vignettes of color are 'popping up' in a rather uplifting way...
i plan to bring you some pictures of such things later in the week. but for now i need to leave, and leave very quickly as i'm going to have a 'wobbly' in a mo...

i love little olive deeply, after all i am crocheting her a matching blanket like my own little blankie, but i cannot deal with the 'bathing' and now as i look down i do believe a rash is appearing...
could that be the lotion or the olive licks?

she is trying to get to Miss Ethel, as another crafting epiphany has appeared, but alas little olive is not 'on board' ~ Tif
footynote: i have to just say how wonderful it is to have so many of you on board with the challenge and also the fact that alot of you feel inspired to make changes, however small with the way you 'shop' even without taking the challenge... it's most fabulous, really it is.

Monday, September 21

41 and 'a okay'...

never have i been so excited for my birthday for the longest time...
i felt an air of 'surprise' around the shed on saturday, plans afoot, little whispered conversations and knowing looks...
i went to bed with strict instructions not to set my alarm and not to get up for little olive...
apparently all was in hand.

i awoke to a chorus of "happy birthday" and a cup of tea in bed... a luxury that has not been mine for a long time and one that was so very welcome.
on my arrival downstairs i found a table laid with breakfast and then it was out the door to Freemont sunday market for a rummage...
the day past pleasantly and relaxingly... one cannot ask for more than that.

i shall divulge a little more upon my birthday later in the week but for today i wish to focus on my challenge...
let me assure you dearsest readers, this will not be all i talk about for the coming 365 days but i feel it important to perhaps answer a few questions just so it is clear what my year ahead is about...

Kari kindly asked me last week about a few thoughts and has mentioned it upon her blog and i felt it best to share it here as well...
so, if you are sitting most comfortably i shall reveal my telling Q&A

How did you come up with the idea for the challenge?
it just popped into my head a few weeks back when i was thinking about how i enjoy thrifting and i love handcrafted. i began to wonder if i could carry that through 100% into my everyday life... i do not particularly enjoy high street shopping although saying that, i have a soft spot for Anthropologie and NOA NOA which is going to make this challenge a little heart wrenching.
but mainly i get my 'shopping fix' from secondhand buys and items that have been handcrafted.
however, i do see this maybe a challenge when it concerns everyday requirements and not just the lovely 'pretty' things i seem to drag home from the thrift store. (actually i have to say that's not completely true, quite often they aren't that pretty but what they have is potential, and quite honestly that is the best one can ask for from a thrifty find.)
i'm actually rather excited to see in a year's time just how much the way i shop has changed and evolved... i always have in my ear "is it a need or a want?" when i am out in the shops and if i'm totally honest with myself, 9 times out of 10 it is probably a "want" and that is very telling in it's self.

So in the home, are we basically talking about everything, besides food/groceries here?
absolutely, that is the plan. i have chosen to NOT buy anything unless it is handcrafted or secondhand, not just the decor stuff but the nitty gritty stuff as well... now, technically my man hasn't taken the challenge, therefore if my washing machine broke i would have two options

1. buy a reconditioned one or
2. he could buy a new one, but i would not be allowed to touch it for as long as my challenge remains! i like the second option myself...

joking aside, i do have a large family and a washing machine is a necessary item, if my machine did break and i needed to replace it, i'm not going to make life miserable for myself. if i have to buy one, i have to buy one... this is really a challenge to see how little one can do without buying new.

Is there anything in the home or closet not included in the challenge?
undies, tights and gifts given to me... of course now i'm fretting about other things like yarn.

You’ve mentioned that you have already thought about some of the problems that may come up along the way, what have you thought of?
the only thing that i have 'Nagging Mr Doubt' going off in my ear about is appliances and electronics, pretty much anything else i don't seem to think will be a problem. when i tire of my clothing then i shall get creative with the help of Miss Ethel, my trusty sewing machine or i shall peruse the aisles of the thrift store.
and of course there is always the wonderful world of Etsy for handcrafted goodness when it comes to just about anything.

Will you involve your children in this challenge?
this challenge is for myself, i have not included my children in this. although my eldest daughter does a fabulous job at finding clothes from the thrift store. that being said if they need a piece of furniture for their bedrooms, it will be found secondhand... pretty much most things will, with the exception of some clothing.
i think i'll dip my feet in, try it myself and if after a year, realize it's the only way to go, then perhaps i will encourage them to join me on my journey through a thrifted, handcrafted lifestyle.

How can others get involved in the challenge?
if anyone reading this fancies joining in, it's quite simply a matter of choosing to only buy handcrafted or secondhand for your home and your closet for one year. all you have to do is pick a day that works for you to start and then go for it. anyone wishing to join in is most welcome to add my 'challenge of the utmost kind' button to their blog and link it to me so others can find out information if they wish.
be sure to let me know, so in return i can add you to my 'challengers' link list... i hope that all makes sense!!
it's also important for anyone wishing to 'have a go' to know it's okay to exclude 'things' from the challenge, just like me and my undies :)
i also want to make it quite clear, this is suppose to be fun, a way to get creative within the home and to perhaps focus on something positive. it doesn't matter if you stumble along the way... it's more about learning from the experience and growing with it. and perhaps looking back after a year and being rather proud of supporting handcrafters and the efforts made of 're-using' items that still have plenty of life left in them.

there we have it... i hope it clears up a few question marks out there and just one last thing before i head off, i have become a 'twitterer'...

i can't believe i have, i never thought i would see the day... i have no knowledge of this 'twittering lark' and yet i find myself 'twittering' (or 'tweeting' as my children corrected me... see i've already got that bit wrong) to cover the next 365 thrifty, crafty days.
so with the encouragement of my man, my children and kelsey (our #2's friend, who is very 'twitter' aware from where i am standing), i have further dipped my toes into yet another 'unknown', but i have high hopes of 'bluffing' my way through as usual.

she is off to paint a sidetable and locate her florence nightingale hat as 'cold' season is upon us and 'one fly' aka 'her #4', has already dropped ~ Tif

Friday, September 18

aged 40 but only just...

so this is it...
next time we meet i will be a 41 year old handcrafting thrifting mama.

i'm thinking there may be tears
i'm thinking there may be laughter
and i'm thinking you will no doubt be by my side as i am so fortunate to have you as my friends.

and on that note, if any of you wish to take on this challenge for yourselves, you are most welcome to join in.
you don't have to start on sunday, you can pick any day you wish and you are also most welcome to list any 'exceptions to the rule'...
just click on my little button on the side for details and be sure to let me know so i can add you to the 'challengers of the utmost kind' list.
as you can see i already have two willing victims who feel the need to bring a handcrafted, secondhand lifestyle to their home and closet.
kari and debbie, have taken it upon themselves to join me and i am most happy to have them and any others for company along the way...

i am actually most excited to see how things progress... what horrors may rear their ugly heads. but best of all, how creative i can get with customizing my clothes and kitting out my home with handcrafted goodness and thrifty items.
and not resemble (as i fear will be the case), a 'mad deranged bag' lady but a 'bohemian eclectic crafty' woman of a 'uncertain' age...

she is wishing you the best of lie-ins on sunday morning and one for herself as well ~ Tif aged 40 for the last time

Thursday, September 17

in disguise...

when is a printer not a printer, dearest readers?
when it is wearing a little...


'granny chic'


i am thinking it most important to treat all my appliances and electronics with the utmost of kindness from now on...
and so i have set forth into my shed, offering up words of appreciation and encouragement wherever needed to my mechanical friends, so that they may continue to 'support me' with what i require of them for the coming year...

if this means i shall spend the year crafting cozies from barkcloth and yarn to keep them 'loved and warm' then so be it.
after all, i am thinking perhaps we could all do with a little bit of appreciation and encouragement from time to time...

she is thanking you most kindly for giving her 'some' of late... especially in the 'nostril and challenges' department ~ Tif

Tuesday, September 15

a 'challenge of the utmost kind'... part two

'the reveal' i fear, will be some what of a disappoint...
for i have not discovered a 'fountain of youth' hidden under a mound of moss in my back yard, nor have i unearthed a pot of gold beneath Gladys, to pay for electrolysis and other such things.
no, dearest readers the only thing i have discovered is the 'art of ignoring'...
but before you start "booing" and shouting "well, that's a load of old crappity crap Tif", let me enlighten you to the ways of 'ignoring' and how it can change your perspective on life.
not only did the nostril hair of weeks back cause me to ponder deeply, but so has the 'comings and goings' of Mr Vertigo, along with the number 41 looming and also, may i add the nagging feeling i get of being 'tired'... not the usually 'tired' at the end of the day sort of 'tired' but the
"i'm just plain tired, all the time" sort of thing going on...

and so i have taken it upon myself to deal with this situation, instead of ignoring it,
(which is ironic because i'm telling you how fab the 'art of ignoring' can be... but when did i really ever make sense of anything anyway)
i have pondered the situation in my mastermind chair, inbetween my epiphany crafting moments, 'wondering and a thinking' about what i am to do. after all i have made my own nest and therefore i need to nest in it,
i have lots of children (although plenty have more than me),
i have lots of critters (once again, there are plenty with more than me)
and i have a crafting business i am so eager to take to another level and yet i do not know quite how.
the answer i believe, is to stop wasting time on things i do not wish to do any more or that cause 'negative' feelings...

with this in mind, the first to go is wasting precious time on 'my age' and how i look as a 'middle aged' person. let me assure you, i don't spend everyday thinking about it, but as i head towards another birthday, those pesky negative thoughts rear their ugly head, taunting me and mocking me when i catch my reflection...

so that's where my 'challenge' comes into the picture. for instead of seeing my 41st birthday as a bit of a 'bleep' on the horizon, i chose to use it as a marker for the start of my challenge, thus causing me to look forward to the date, even relish getting to 41 and starting on a whole year of 'challenge'... a perfect way to 'ignore' i am even 41, i will be way 'too busy' being 'busy with my challanging ways' everyday to give it a second thought. how perfect is that!!! those pesky nostril hairs can't get to me, those frown lines aren't having a last laugh anymore, oh no... for i am studying the fine 'art of ignoring' with a distraction technique called 'a challenge of the utmost kind".
so without 'further a do' i must unveil to you, what i have been twitting on about since yesterday...

now of course you are probably all thinking, well that's not such a big deal.
but i beg you to take a few minutes of your day to ponder what really is involved when choosing to buy only handcrafted and secondhand for a whole year for one's self and one's home... not the 'icing' on the cake sort of things but the heart of the nitty gritty stuff that goes into one's home and one's closet. 'the basics' if you will..

i was giddy with excitement when i decided to participate with my little brain's thoughts, as i get closer to the 'kick off' i'm not quite so giddy as 'Mr Doubt' has come knocking, trying to weaken me with thoughts of the problems that may occur along the way.
i am keeping my fingers crossed no appliances pack up on me (why oh why, i didn't change out Mrs W. Machine before this is beyond me)...
however, just to be clear, i do have two exceptions to my challenge.

1: undies and tights.
if such a time occurs that i require new undies, most doubtful as i do not care to be bothered with buying undies, then i shall be purchasing new (no need to go into the 'whys' of that one), the same goes for tights. being a skirt and dress girl, it is most important for winter that i have woolly tights to keep my 'skinny pins' warm. i have never seen these secondhand at the thrift store so i am allowing myself to purchase a new pair if an old pair is beyond darning... and trust me, most of my tights do have darned holes in them already.

2: gifts.
having talked this over with my best buddy Debbie, she assures me that i must accept a gift that is not handcrafted or secondhand. that it would be the height of bad manners to return a gift on the principle that the giver had gone to anthropologie and bought me a lovely 'something' and i tried to give it back. i think she is talking a lot of sense as usual so i'm willing to accept gifts, especially ones from anthropologie and especially around christmas time (never have i wished my man to lurk upon my blog as i wish this moment in time)

there we have it dearest readers, from sunday 20th september, i shall sally forth,
for one year becoming a handcrafted, thrifty mama... who will try very hard to get creative with her wardrobe and her home, which according to our #2 when i announced my 'challenge' isn't that impressive.
"well that's not a challenge, look around you mother, we practically live in a thrift store"
and she has a point, i feel.

she has filled her little etsy store up, not a huge amount but it's better than nothing, and remember she is ignoring the negatives and so technically her little store is 'half full' and not 'half empty' ~ Tif

Monday, September 14

a 'challenge of the utmost kind'... part one

on reflection, finding a nose hair long enough to make a grown man of 74 weep several weeks back, was perhaps a good thing.

at the time, after getting over my initial "OMG!!!!!" horror, and staring at the culprit, no longer in the offending place but rather between my thumb and finger...
thoughts of "how long has that been there?" and then worse still, "are there more where it came from?" i confess i did not see it as a positive.
then i began to think, if indeed it would qualify for a world record of some sorts, wondering should i be calling the Guinness Book of Records to record my discovery. it seemed quite possible they may be interested but then it dawned on me,
a) to count as a record the extraordinarily long nasal hair probably needed to still be attached in some way to have proof of original ownership and
b) did i really wish to go down in history, however briefly as the woman with the longest nostril hair.
quite honestly, no i did not.

and so having spent rather too long on the 'hideousness' of my discovery, i did what i usually do in these circumstances...
i went into denial, i did not glance at a mirror for the rest of the day.
allowing myself to go with smudgy eyeliner, oily forehead and perhaps another hair protruding, and be none the wiser.

this little 'moment' added to the other 'moments' i've had along the way in the past few years.
the graying hairs,
the sagging bottom,
the wrinkles that can no longer be passed off as laughter lines,
the moustache (oh yes i know it's there, mocking me)
the rounded shoulders,
and now the nostril hairs...
this time last year i was on the verge of turning the big 4-0, in the blink of an eye i am now standing on the doorstep of 41, with a nostril hair in hand.

but do i care dearest readers, does my little heart beat a little quicker and my throat constrict a little bit when i think of the number 41?
no it does not (gasp!), how strange is that coming from the woman who took several months or more to get over being 40.
well the thing is, i have a secret to my 'not caring ways' and that secret has been in the way of a 'challenge'....

i'm not saying i've completely come to terms with the 'older' person that stares back at me every morning but i have come to accept who i am and with this i have set myself a 'challenge' for the coming year,
a challenge to distract me from turning 41 in less than a week,
a challenge to make different choices for myself and best of all,
a challenge that excites me and helps me ignore things like 'a nasal hair of the worst kind'...

she will be back tomorrow with part two... the reveal ~ Tif

Friday, September 11

a crafting epiphany...

and so it came to pass last friday at 4pm, i could be found in my 'mastermind' chair...
i would like to say i was fabulously dressed, hair done just so and looking the picture of 'craftiness' but i most report the truth.
i was not dressed attractively, nor was my hair done just so and i looked anything but the picture of craftiness. but there i sat and there i pondered...

for it was coming to my attention by the little voice inside of my head that now the kids were back in school i needed to get my crafty arse into gear...
i had set myself a fine date of sept 8th to rendezvous with the 'always well dressed', 'threads done just so' and 'ever the picture of craftiness' Miss Ethel. but my little crafty cogs were not really turning as well as i had hoped...
and that is when it happened dearest readers,
my crafting epiphany happening...

i know this to be true as i asked my man the following morning to explain the meaning of the word epiphany, he gave me a most detailed answer and then it dawned on me, all my life i have been having crafting epiphanies and never known it, until this fateful day, last friday.
so please allow me to enlighten you upon my epiphany...

a few years back i made some bunting, quite traditional in shape, from vintage linens and crochet. you have seen it many times on my little blog before, lurking in the background of pictures.
i knew i wished to resurrect my bunting from long ago but with a fresh look. i have been pondering this idea for a while now, but then i squirreled it away in my little brain to retrieve at a convenient point (if i ever found it again, of course)...

and so my epiphany came to me in the way of bunting, which in my head became garlands, which in turn became a combination of recycled found materials, scraps, doilies, lace, embroidery etc.
("nothing new there then Tif" i hear you exclaim)
and quite right you are, the usual combination of 'what not' that seems to appear upon my wares.

and so over the past few days Miss Ethel and i have spent many a pleasurable moment bringing to fruition my 'epiphany' and creating
my new dottie angel "don't ever leave me" garlands,

which (with luck on my side) will appear in my little store's update next week along with a few other goodies...
also next week i have news of the 'challenge' i have set myself, and if you are thinking along the lines of a marathon run in a crocheted bikini, then think again my friends. it will be the biggest challenge i have ever set myself and i am hoping to see it through to the end... even if it breaks me

until then, she bids you 'adieu' and a happy weekend ~ Tif