Tuesday, June 29

in the blink of an eye...

well i had to go and do it,
i had to count the days left of being with Our #1,
and now of course i wish i had not.
for the number of days is way, way too little for me to grasp.
the thought of Our #1 leaving the nest has played heavy upon my heart and my mind over the past few months.
some days it takes me by surprise,
out of nowhere comes a little voice, reminding me less i forget the time is drawing close...
and with it,
i feel like the very breath within my soul has been taken.

so with that being said i need to take a little time,
we will not necessarily be doing anything in particular,
just hanging around the shed together.
perhaps a bit of thrifting for old times sake...
lordy how i will miss my thrifting buddy.

she will be busy packing up her belongings
i will be busy trying to finish up her blanket per her request
and all the other 'lappity lap' blankets that keep asking to be made...

i am thinking over the next seven days i will spend my thoughts wisely,
telling myself how really, despite it feeling like the end,
it is truly just the beginning of a new chapter for her and for me

she will be back with a 'skip in her step' soon ~ Tif

Friday, June 25

a kitschy plan...

i have mentioned before
how i do believe the best thing we ever did since moving to mossy shed
was adding our back yard chickens...
but what i failed to mention was the one down side i have found to having them live with us.
i know for some, it may come as a shock to learn
i do indeed find a negative with my chickie peas.
all of their positiveness far outweighs the little negative
but it is still one that i must tell.
our chickens may go wheresoever their little hearts care to roam
within our back yard,
thus making any lovely little flowers fear for their lives...

so when i looked upon this picture after showing you earlier in the week,
it dawned on me, something was obviously missing.
for indeed the last time i took such a shot,
i had flowers looking pretty in their pots.
now all i have is an acre of moss
and bulldozed pots and beds...

there was nothing for it, dearest readers
but to take a risk,
a risky kitschy kind of risk...
so without further a do,
whilst my menfolk watched the footy this morning
i, along with Our #1 left for the thrift store.
i donned my thrifty find from a few days ago
hoping it would bring me luck...

with my kitschy plan inside my head
i knew i was on a mission, perhaps an impossible mission
for we all know,
missions are not easy to fulfill at the thrift store.
it is more 'per chance' that things come our way...

back at the shed looking at the kitschy goodness i unearthed

i am filled with thoughts of my 'outdoor flowery' plan,
in my head it looks tres peachy
but in reality i am thinking
it could go either way...

she is wishing you all the most loveliest of lovely weekends and thanking you most kindly for your peachiness this past week ~ Tif

Thursday, June 24

thrifty thursdays...

hurrah! it is thrifty thursdays,
oh how i have missed my thrifty thursdays 'show and tell'
so without further a do i shall proceed...

well, truth be told dearest readers i felt a little guilty leaving my children to loiter,
but upon entering the thrift store my guilt slipped away
for that is the wonder of a thrift store...
it just becomes you,
your thoughts
and the your next peachy find.

i do believe yesterday,
i had my most peachiest frock find to date.
i found her rather neglected upon the racks of despair.
indeed it was her color i was instantly attracted to,
that 'perfectly perfect' sludgy, slightly icky, green.
and then to see that perfect green matched with blossoms and branches,
not to mention a mandarin collar...
well i think it comes as no surprise
when i say
i was overcome with dizziness and not the Mr Vertigo kind.
i did not bother to try her on,
her price tag being only $5 i was willing to take a chance...
if her fit was iffy
then i would 'choppity chop' her up to make cushions.

upon returning to the shed
i donned my new thrift store frock,
i gasped the gasp
could it be this little sweetie had potential,
perhaps a little loose and yes way too long,
but surely nothing Miss Ethel could not handle

after a few stolen moments here and there in my studio
i noted my thrift store frock began to shine...
and voila!
her pretty summery self shone forth.

she is thinking it is all adding up to Mr Summer doing a bit of loitering himself ~ Tif

Wednesday, June 23

welcome Mr Summer, welcome...

i fear i may be tempting fate,
after all it is only day two of sunshine
but it is a risk i am willing to take.

the most peachiest of retro tablecloths made from terry towelling
now brings a kitschy granny goodness to our kitchen knook...
unfortunately i have noted little olive eyeing her up.
and trust me, little olive may be only inches off the ground
but she came with invisible springs attached to her legs.

the back doors have been flung open

and a few paper lanterns, sprightly scraps and birdies are
happily 'dancing a dance' from my recycled, recycled 'gleeful' christmas tree

i shall continue to tempt fate every day by adding something new to
my little branch of summer happy in the hope of making Mr Summer so delighted
he stays put for a while...

she has a cunning plan to drop her children so they may loiter and she may go 'a thrifting' ~ Tif

Tuesday, June 22

linens to love...

if there is one thing that gets my crafty pulse 'a racing'
and my little heart to quicken
it has to be vintage tablecloths and pillowcases.

indeed i can safely say when it is just
Miss Ethel
a pile of vintage fabric finds
everything else fades away
i am transported to my happy place...

she is quite certain today is the day summer will start ~ Tif

Monday, June 21

the movement of granny chic...

a few weeks back i was happily in my own little world,
cutting, pasting and 'a sticking' wallpaper to the inners of a peachy estate find.
a lovely little cupboard that caught my eye.
alas she was a little more 'world weary' than i had hoped
but as i stood in front of her that fateful morning,
i could not let her down...

safely back in mossy shed,
i gave her several 'lickity licks' of my glossy white paint
and then proceeded to inspect her insides.
they were a rather dull painted brown color.
after attempting to paint them granny knicker pink
i gave up on that idea after the first coat.
so i set to with paper and glue...

"ha!" said my man glancing over at my work in progress,
"i can just see it now, in years to come, someone will be in the thrift store
and come across your granny cupboard,
marvel at how lovely it must have been in it's original state.
how could someone have committed such a crime with wallpaper and paint"
to which he continued to chuckle to himself

i did not wavier, nor did i put down my paper and glue.
after her inners were complete i finished her off with a lovely set of old wood handles.
then came the usual shuffle around the shed,
figuring out a spot where she may shine in all her new granny chic glory...
after the perfectly perfect spot was found,
i stood back to admire her beauty
and then i pondered,
no, this sweetie was not going to end up in the thrift store later in life,
being mocked by passing strangers.
i'm thinking another life for her...

someone, somewhere will come across her,
gasp the gasp, i have gasped many times myself.
and then with a little bit of luck,
that someone will exclaim for all to know

"why this is the most fabulous example of the granny chic movement,
a movement that occurred in the early part of the 21st century.
it was not uncommon for discarded forsaken souls to be picked up
and adorned with paint, paper and fabric.
if i am not mistaken this looks to be a 'dottie angel' example...
yes, yes it is! look just inside the cupboard there,
the signature of the woman behind this granny chic redo.
one Tif Fussell aka dottie angel,
a lover of granny chic goodness...
oh this is indeed the most peachiest of finds"

she has 'batting and basting' on her mind ~ Tif

Friday, June 18

so far so good...

yesterday it would be most true to say
by the end of the day,
i was hanging onto my 'high hopes happy' plan by my little finger tips.
fearing it was slipping away so soon after finding it,
i went to bed telling myself to get a grip.
that indeed i can start today 'a fresh' with high hopes.
i awoke refusing to acknowledge Mr Vertigo laying beside me, all smug with himself
and started the day with a positive attitude.
i am delighted to report my newly acquired postitve attitude has worked wonders,
truly i do not feel brilliantly fabby but i am feeling much happier.

at lunchtime, i enjoyed being driven to the pub by my children,
as all around craned their necks up high to see the England world cup game,
i kept mine low, chosing to spend my time wisely with Mr Hook

later i spent a few stolen moments out of the shed
at my friend Maggi's house down the road
with her crafty buddies and it was indeed a tonic for my crafty soul...

i am continuing my obsession with blanket making
at any given opportunity.
my latest 'lappity lap' blanket nearly complete

and i must also say,
i did not bat an eye this afternoon,
as a soccer ball claimed a victim within the shed,
knowing many more will probably follow in coming weeks...

i have also noted, whilst 'smiling the smile' to myself,
knowing my 'high hopes happy' plan is now in my hand,
the sun is at last coming out to play...

she wishes you the peachiest of peachy weekends and is thanking you kindly for the words of wisdom ~ Tif

Thursday, June 17

a 'high hopes happy' plan...

dearest readers of the utmost kind,
you have bought tears to my eyes,
for indeed i feel like i have been hugged time and again by your kind words of yesterday.
i am thinking we all need hugs every now and then,
that indeed it is okay to feel a little sorry for one's self
but then i am thinking it is also important to continue with high hopes of things getting better...
and so today you find me with high hopes and my overalls on.

my high hopes are for the grocery store,
my kitchen cupboards are positively echoing.
i fear i may require a zimmer frame to complete my one task of the day.
as i know no whereabouts of such a handy contraption, i am taking a volunteer with me.
i am thinking to find a volunteer amongst my delightful offspring i will also be requiring a carrot to dangle in front of them.
for yes indeedy, ten whole weeks of peachy closeness stretch out before us.
school is out and now it is just
me, Mr Vertigo, three teenagers and one pre-teen in close proximity

it would be quite true to say,
i fear for my shiny place,
i fear for Miss Ethel seeing any action,
and most of all i fear for my sanity.

but i have a cunning plan
my cunning plan was thought up whilst dallying with Mr Hook.
a cunning plan with a name...
and that name is
the 'high hopes happy' plan.

just saying it makes me feel so much better.
try it for yourselves.
smile a smile to a random passing stranger within your nests
they will stop and
wonder what knowledge could you possibly know that makes you smile in such a way.
and if they by chance enquire, then you may enlighten them
"why i'm thinking about my high hopes happy cunning plan"
they will be intrigued, wishing to know more details

and so dearest readers, for me the 'high hopes happy' plan
is about seeing happy and hopeful things each and every day this summer.
for i hold my hand up high and say,
i am positively shaking at the thought of losing my precious alone time where i do my thinking, my crafting and my rambling...
but i also know i will have that time again.

the time i will not have again is time with my children living altogether,
close by me where i feel like i can keep them safe from the world
even if in reality i cannot.

i need to take the precious moments of good and crappity crap...
listening to them bicker,
the exasperation that comes from the trails they leave behind them,
the moments when you think you will lose it super big time if one more child fights over the telly.
when we sit around the table, another orange colored meal laid out before us
and i look around me, they are laughing, probably at my expense, but none the less laughing together.
when a cup of tea appears by my side, thoughtfully made for me without request,
when i realize i am fast becoming the shortest in the family,
indeed listening to "mum, there are no clean undies, where are they?"
yes those are the precious moments

i need to take it all in,
hold on to it whilst i still have it,
see the happy in each and every day
september will roll around fast enough.
Our #1 will have moved so far away across the pond
and the other three will be back in school here.
the shed will take on hushed tones
and i will once again have alone time with my thoughts, my crafting and my ramblings.
with a little bit of luck, we will be left looking back
at a summer of 'happy' and looking forward
to our futures with continuing 'high hopes'

she is off to 'stock up' with her chosen volunteer ~ Tif

Wednesday, June 16

Mr Vertigo and his tricky ways...

i must tell you dearest readers,
i am indeed feeling so much more dandier then a few days ago.

and if i blamed my apron neck loop then i fear, i misplaced the blame.
for despite it appearing to be the most obvious culprit in my unfortunate event,
and on close inspection it did play a part in my fall,
it is the doorstep of Mr Vertigo where i shall place the majority of the blame.

for Mr Vertigo appeared a little while ago,
i had hoped to not have the pleasure of his company again.
when he first appeared late one night
i said "drat and darn you Mr Vertigo"
i decided to ignore his dizzying ways and continued at my usual pace,
and i was indeed a fool.
for he is a clever blighter, taking full advantage of my fogginess
and dare i say it, forgetful moments of his arrival within the shed.

and so it came to be on sunday morning
dressed in my eclectic finest and
minutes away from leaving to meet my friend of the utmost kind,
Mr Vertigo seized his moment and pounced.
i strode purposefully in peachy clogs, from the kitchen toward the telly,
hearing the world cup crowd going wild,
in my right hand a plate of chocolate spread,
in my left, a glass of orange juice.
trailing from a hook my apron, quite innocently, of that i am sure.

out of nowhere Mr Vertigo pounced, as quick as a flash,
lassoing my leg with the apron loop
me and my unbalanced ways did not stand a chance.
a few seconds later
my plate and glass left unbroken still within my hands...
my chocolate spread on toast flung far away,
(little olive taking full advantage)
juice dripping down my head
and me, doing a fabby 'life alert' pose

since that moment i have discovered that hardwood flooring is not the softest of landings
after a short spell in the land of nurses and doctors, i returned to the shed,
bruised but not broken...
i am delighted to report my right arm is doing a peachy job at getting back up to speed,
thus me tippity tapping today and also dallying with Mr Hook whilst resting on the couch.

my leg is trailing behind a tad,
but nothing a few more days of pottering in slow motion won't fix.

i am now wiser to Mr Vertigo and his tricky ways
i have told him to 'bugger off' several times since my unfortunate event,
so far he appears to not be listening.
but this is okay, for i will not let him bring me down again,
no sirree, i will keep him in my sights
until i see him pack his bags and leave for warmer climates.
and i must tell you, i am hoping it is sooner rather than later

she is thanking you most kindly for caring ~ Tif

Monday, June 14

the irony of it...

a tale must be told of an unfortunate event for Tif,
her peachy clogs,
her morning plate of chocolate spread on toast,
her glass of orange juice,
the world cup
a rogue apron neck loop lurking with intent...
yes indeed,
the tale must be told
but not today

she will be back as soon as her 'owies' are healed ~ Tif

Friday, June 11

an 'ordinarily extraordinary' blanket how to...

before we begin i must just say a little bit about my blanket.
for me i like to do simple crocheting projects,
and this blanket could not be more simpler...

i often wish i was the sort to lay out all the yarn before hand,
and have some clue as to what one is aiming for.
but for me that is never the case,
just as when i sew i rarely know what fabrics will come into play when i begin,
so it is for my crocheting.

for sometime now i have been wishing to make a patchwork blanket,
in my head i saw the large squares, the doilies and the edging
but what i could not see was how i would attach the squares together...
i wished to join them as i went along,
saving me all the joining up at the end, which i'm crappity crap at,
it sends me into a big bad moody person.
i had little clue as to what i was doing when i started out,
but i do believe the handcrafted Gods were smiling down on me.
everything fell into place
as i attached the squares a pretty eyelet pattern appeared
and i think it would be most true to say
i did indeed hug myself with glee.

now my blanket is complete,

i have high hopes that she will become my travelling companion,
she will travel with me to old blighty this summer
and where ever else i may go in the future.
in short i am hopeful, we will grow old together

with all that being said, i will now tell you in words how i made her
but i do have pictures to show the joining up bit...
i can not promise you will be any the wiser after looking at the pictures
and reading my iffy directions,
but as usual, it is what it is and i have done the best i know how.

i used worsted weight yarn,
a mix of acrylic blends i had in my cupboard.
i started my square off with a chain of 30 plus 3
i worked in double crochet US which is treble crochet UK
when i finished my first square i joined in the next color
and continued crocheting, weaving in the ends as i went.
after 5 squares were completed (first strip completed)
i started the next strip, joining the second strip to the first as i went
(see photos below)
i made 4 strips in total of 5 squares
making a blanket of 20 squares total
and measuring around 42" x 48"

for the edging i did a double crochet US stitch in cream
then a row of single crochet US
finishing it off with a simple picot stitch giving it a lovely bobbly trim.

i appliqued on some vintage doilies,
just using simple hand stitching
and voila!
my 'ordinarily extraordinary' blanket was complete.

now for the NITTY GRITTY bit about joining the squares...

i do so hope this has done the trick,
that indeed you are now wiser to how i joined my squares
and not left in a bewildering confused state.
and perhaps you may spend the next month
whilst the World Cup is playing in your living rooms
making your own 'ordinarily extraordinary' blankets with the eyelet join

she is wishing you sunshine and crafting for the weekend ~ Tif
footynote: 'joining up' pictures show my lastest patchwork piece you can see in my hands here.
that is why the colors are little different :)

Wednesday, June 9

only fair...

as i said i would show you,
it would seem only fair that i do it sooner
rather than later
so today, i donned my new thrift store overalls
for the class field trip.
i took Mr Hook along for the ride
but alas he saw no action...

as i chaperoned young lads around the international district
i had high hopes the sound of a fiddle would be heard
kevin rowland from dexy's midnight runners would appear
and take me away from it all...
but just like Mr Hook
i saw very little action in the way of being 'whisked away'.

upon returning to the shed,
a little bedraggled...
i looked into the mirror
and came to the conclusion,
no matter what words of wisdom are written
with regards to the 'age limit' for overall wearing
i will never ever forsake my peachy friends again.
for with my rose colored specs firmly upon my nose
i will continue to believe,
me and my overalls make quite the pair

she is busy busy thinking 'how to-ing' for friday whilst listening to Kevin ~ Tif

Tuesday, June 8

a poor excuse...

dearest readers, did i say "tomorrow", yesterday?
oh silly silly me, what i meant was friday.
quite an easy mistake i'm thinking to make,
for indeed tomorrow begins with a 't'
and friday begins with an 'f'
see, perfectly understandable that i should get confused...

so yes it will now be friday for the 'ordinarily extraordinary' blanket nitty gritty stuff.
for i wish to do a good job at explaining the joining up of my squares.
as explaining in plain english is not my forte
i must have a jolly good think about how i will demonstrate what i did.
not to mention,
i only finished sewing on the doilies late last night...
so i am indeed a little behind

i awoke this morning to the knowledge i have but a few days of sanity left
and then school gets out.
tomorrow i am off on a field trip with our #4 and his class buddies to the international district.
and today?
well today it would appear after all my Mr Sprightly Spring moaning
he has indeed made an appearance.
i stood in my back yard of moss at 9am,
turned my face to the sun
doing a perfectly perfect job of impersonating a sun flower...
it felt most lovely indeed.

so i shall be away for a few days and
shall return with my little 'how to'.
and yes i am thinking to make up for my confusion between a 't' and an 'f'
i shall don my dungarees for you to see,
so you may be inspired to hunt down a pair at your local thrift store
reclaim those heady carefree days of overall wearing
whilst humming 'come on eileen' by dexy's midnight runners
for we are not alone
it would appear there are many just like us that love a pair of comfy overalls...

she is off to stand in the sun, pasty pins and all, whilst thinking ~ Tif

Monday, June 7

where for art thou Mr Sprightly Spring...

i have come to the conclusion that i have been robbed...
yes indeed, robbed of Spring
and as of a few hours ago, it would now appear also our credit card details.
but we will not dwell on such 'crappity crappiness' of the utmost crappy kind.
no we will go back to Spring and the mysterious disappearance of it...
which is crappy enough in it's self for one day.

i am beginning to wonder if i jinxed it.
for indeed i did 'sprightly springify' the shed to within an inch of its life in January.
now i am thinking perhaps that fooled Mr Spring and he has passed me by,
thinking his job was done...

usually this time of year, my little pasty pins have had some exposure,
of course in winter,
i may forget the razor and go as nature intended.
but in June this is risque.
for although my pins are not seeing much daylight i must keep them 'daylight ready'
i know the minute i say "oh sod it Mr Spring" and start to grow my winter coat,
he will appear,
out of the gray will come blue,
no warning
and at a most inconvenient time.
a time when i am unable to dedicate a marathon session with my pins and a razor.
he will have the last laugh watching me sweat it out
in my layers of clothing.
unable to remove my woolly attire...
so i cannot take the risk,
despite this being my risk taking year,
for now i will continue to have my pins 'spring ready' and pasty under my layers.

i will also continue to assess my frocks.
for i'm all about the frocks...
any season is frock season for me
but i am particularly fond of spring summery frocks.
so far i have found 3 summer frocks at the thrift store,
one of which is now with handy apron and pocket,
so i may collect eggs
small creatures
or perhaps care to carry around my yarn
Mr Hook

and best of all
(perhaps the bestest of besty all)
a pair of dungarees (overalls)
oh, how i rejoiced when i found them.

for dungarees have been my best friend for many years.
they saw me through my teen years.
then into my twenties
and through four pregnancies...
but then i hit the big 30.
apparently, according to an article i read at that time,
by 30 it was a big "NO NO" to be seen in dungarees.
oh the power of the written word,
i took my 'lordy how could i have let you go' old man's denim LEE dark washed vintage dungarees
and sent them packing.
even now i'm choked just thinking about the crime i committed
due to the opinion of another.

11 years on, in my local thrift store
i was stopped in my tracks by a pair.
not quite the same, for another could never replace my true love.
as i reached out to them,
they spoke to me,
i said "i'll give you a try"
all the time, the article from so long ago, ringing in my ears...
by the time i had the second clip in place and turned to the mirror
i could only hear one thing,
for a small chorus of angels had crammed into the little cubicle with me,
singing their angelic hearts out with a small round of
"hallelujah, hallelujah"
from outside the cubicle,
glory shone from under the door
it would appear, a little piece of me, i lost so long ago had returned home...

since being reunited with some dungarees
i have noted just how content i feel.
in the back of my head i hear dottie angel
once again reminding me just how wonderful it is to be
an eclectic woman of an uncertain age.
and despite the fact Mr Spring appears to have forgotten about me,
i note it really does not matter.
for wearing my dungarees or apron frock,
clippty clopping clogs upon my feet
and pasty pins
i'm feeling sprightly and springy even in the crappiest of crappity weather...

she will be back tomorrow with how she made her 'ordinarily extraordinary' blanket ~ Tif

Friday, June 4

me and my sweet 'mr hook'...

quite simply put,
i crochet to save my sanity...
and as i had not crocheted in quite sometime
i feared my sanity was in peril.

my lack of crocheting ways
has come from
trying to finish Our #1's blanket,
every time i look at it,
i am overcome with an emotion that i have yet to get a grip on.
perhaps for some it is hard to understand,
indeed i myself,
am somewhat amazed by the intensity of the emotions that pour from my heart,
when i give myself time to think of her departure into the world,
and more so when i think she will soon be followed by Our #2...

but i miss my crocheting and
i am miss my sanity.
i need them both
for without them i am 'a drift'.

so i have told myself it is okay to start a new blanket
and return to Our #1's in a few weeks.
i am quite sure some of you have inhaled a deep breath
followed by a 'tut tutting',
knowing the knowledge that comes with putting a work in progress to one side.
and yes i know it is risky,
but it is a risk i must take,
for i need to spend quality time with Mr Hook...

since making my decision,
i am back on the path of crocheting goodness
and lordy does it feel so mighty fine...
me and my sweet Mr Hook
back together,
doing what we do best.
'oh so happy'
double crocheting.
back and forth
no need to think
no need to look
just me and him in perfect harmony,
sorting out the world
one stitch at a time,
thoughts are pondered
questions never quite answered
time spently wisely...

i am now at the point where i only have eyes for him,
Miss Ethel is out in the cold,
the Clan are making noises near dinner time,
i, with no intention of moving out of my chair.

used dog and pesky olive are left to their own amusement.
little olive now living with a chronic case of 'crochet addiction'
trying all sorts of pesky approaches,
so my 'ordinarily extraordinary' blanket may become hers
but i see her every time.

and why would i call my blanket
an 'ordinarily extraordinary' blanket?
i'm thinking you may be thinking...

well for me i am always quietly amazed.
when i sit back,
having repeated over and over
one simple stitch
in several different colored yarns
i see once again,
that an ordinary 'day to day' thing,
when made by hand
has the ability to become something quite extraordinary...

she is wishing you the peachiest of peachy times, this weekend ~ Tif