Wednesday, December 31

the brightest lightest one ever ...

oh i do love a shiny new year,
tis my fabby fav thing of all without a doubt.
more than birthdays, more than christmases.

this shiny new year will be all about
living in the moment of here and now.
letting the past go
trusting the future will take care of its self
and seeing the extra ordinary in the ordinary.
each and every day
right wherever my little feet happen to be planted.

i will not be making a list of resolutions
for the coming shiny new year.
rather i will be making a list of words.
daily reminders of being present in the moment
rather than drifting backwards or looking too far forwards.

hippity happy shiny new year to you dearest readers,
here's to it being the brightest, lightest one ever


Wednesday, December 24

Friday, December 19

joyful thriftstore update ...

on weds, Our #4 had an interview for a job at the new thriftstore opening up in the town next door. this is tres exciting and even more so to arrive home and find a message saying could he come back on monday for a second interview! he is thinking he may be a shelf stacker, i am thinking he may be tres good at that, what with being 6' 2". both him and myself are a little giddy about the thought of him having a job at a thrift store. 
all fingers, toes, paws and claws are crossed here in mossy shed.

on saturday a most magnificent couch found me, it found me when i was least expecting it and truth be told, as i am magically tidying up forever and ever it was most inconvenient that she should catch my eye and tug at my heart. upon close inspection with my adopted auntie, her man, Our #4 and my reluctant man it was all agreed a couch such as this is a rare find indeedy!

twenty four hours later and a lot of convincing on my behalf, the most magnificent couch was loaded into the back of the car, strapped in for safety to lessen the worry of her ending up on the side of the freeway, she came home to mossy shed. 

my first intentions were for her to live outdoors under the overhang, waiting for warmer weather, and little green friends to start keeping her company. i was smitten by her wood sides, fabby fabric and could see the potential if i dared to start to mess around with her skirts. 

after one night outside i began to fret for my newly found friend, for damp and cold can play havoc with our health and that of furniture left out back round here. upon arrival home from work the next day, i told my man i felt it would be a wrong doing to leave her out there, my man agreed it would and so in she came from the cold.

fortunately my magical tidying up has left many gaps in our shed, but on the other hand, the whole point of my magical tidying up was to make gaps and to breath and not fill those lovely empty gaps up again. i must confess i was a little fretful my 'new~to~me, old~to~another' couch would cause me to feel overwhelmed as she filled in a rather large gap in my atelier of sorts, 

but my fretting ways were soon cast aside when she sat there resplendent in her little corner. i asked "do you bring me joy?" as per my magical tidying up book, my couch sung out loud and clear "i do oh yes i do"
i covered her seat cushions in one of two beautiful lace bed throws i also found on saturday's thrift store pottle, i wonder if they came from the same donator, for both appear to be quite at home together as though they are old friends

and as i stepped back, pondering her skirts, i felt nothing but joy to see her there,
waiting patiently for a moment in this busy week for me to sit with a cup of mint tea and continue upon my path of enlightenment, this time with Louise Hay

Monday, December 15

wise little piggies ...

last christmas,
 Mister Muchly went to see Santa.

he asked Santa for a friend
it took a little while for Santa to work his magic
but in Spring a friend was found

this christmas,
Mister Muchly suggested to his trusty sidekick
Twiglet Piglet,
she might like to go and see Santa 

(waiting patiently for the car ride into town)
and so they did.

however neither Mister Muchly
nor Twiglet Piglet 
were fooled by this year's Santa
pointing out he did not look
old enough to drive a sleigh.
Mister Muchly was so not convinced
he tried on several occasions
to remove his beard
before being tackled into a safe grip by 'Santa'

upon perusal of the photo,
i am thinking they are quite wise little piggies

Friday, December 12

the kindest thing i did for myself this week ...

 was finish reading

if perchance you too are on the path to self awareness
or maybe you are right at the start 
not quite knowing which way to turn
i do not think you could go wrong
with picking this book up 
and starting right at the beginning.
when i read books such as these
i always start at the very beginning,
never jumping in at random pages
for i believe each chapter builds on the previous one
and quite often, 
actually more than often
i have to pause for thought,
reread and then continue.
and more often than not
i get to the end
and know i will need to reread the whole thing
just to clarify i read what was there
and not what i thought was there.

the back of our loo door is full of wise words
i have gleamed from books 
over the past three years.
however the daily reminder
i gleamed from Brene Brown's book
will not be on the back of the door
but on the kitchen wall
to remind me each and every day
how far i have come,
of where i am now
and how muchly further i have to go 
in this enlightening, 
tricky dicky at times, 
journey of mine

i said this was the kindest thing i had done for myself this week
it was a fib,
it turns out to be the kindest thing i have done for myself all year.

Thursday, December 11

rebellious ways ...

 yesterday i made some easy peasy envelope cushion covers 
for our granny couch,
out of an old sanderson slipcover 
i made donkey's years ago.

i was not supposed to be doing such a thing

but i did it anyway

sometimes i marvel at my rebellious ways

Monday, December 8

pondering paint ...

tis all quiet again in the shed, not that my folks are particularly rowdy sort of folks, just that there are not as many bods around. i am spending the next few days wisely inbetween must~dos like working at the yarn shop, cleaning, laundry, cooking and christmas gifts finding, with thoughts of paint. not just any old paint but chalk paint (ummm, Tif, didn't you dabble in that before and it nearly drove you to the funny farm?) and not just any old chalk paint colour, but graphite.

my mother brought along with her a few copies of english magazines as she knows how much i enjoy a good old ganders at homes from my homeland. well one little article stopped me in my page turning tracks and it was an article about Annie Sloan and her latest book on chalk painting your nest and the world around you and there was one picture of a wall painted in graphite which made my heart skip and my cogs start to turn.

so last week on one of our pottles together, me and my folks located a can of graphite chalk paint and now my shed is empty for two weeks i am looking around for some willing victims. one willing victim will be our kitchen window frame. i think i have found another one, tis a huge old vintage framed piece of art and then there is the victim who had no choice, willing or not, i wanted to see what the paint was like. so yesterday, the day i spent all day in my pajamas, in between doing gleeful joyful tree trimming and the likes, i painted my drawer shelf on the wall to see what would be.

well, tis most graphite and dark and tis most chalk like. 
as one would expect if one paints something with graphite chalk paint.

as i am in the midst of tidying up forever and ever, never to tidy again, this means vignettes and collections of sorts have to be kept to a minimum or else they breed all over the walls and cupboards. so my drawer shelf is one of the few places i can change out with happy collections and feel this is okay because it is contained. 

when i ponder it from afar 

or up close, it looks to me like a diorama or shadow box of sorts. i like this muchly, i like how whatever i put in it, unless it is black or graphite, will pop happily and joyfully.
i have high hopes i will like my kitchen window frame and picture frame equally so although the matte~ness of it has me a little fretful...

footynote: please excuse continuing pants photos due to pants lighting, Colin the computer and his iffy monitoring issues and my long term separation with Carlos the Camera and ability to only see the world through squares.

Friday, December 5

makers market nitty gritty and whatnot and this and that ....

hello hello, 
we have been tres busy bees with 
my folks visiting, 
thanksgiving family time,

which included puzzle and game playing for all

holiday window dressing for the yarn store
and beavering away for the Makers Market 
which is upon us tomorrow.

i have also done a smidgen of joyful blinging 
as i do like a bit of christmas bling. 
this year i am going for minimal bling 
to see if i can make it through to the new year 
without me fighting the urge 
to pop it all back in the attic. 

i will share my bling next week, 
however today i will share Makers Market nitty gritty. 
if you follow along with my daily instagram postings 
you will have seen most if not all of these pics, 
but if you do not, 
then hurrah hooray! 
it will not feel like you are watching repeats on the telly.

a motley crew is gathering for the makers market in my 'atelier of sorts'

my dad took up calligraphy a little whiles ago and kindly agreed to making handwritten signs. he earnt a gold sticky star for his troubles

my mum did a fabby job at paper bag typing, however she did not earn a gold sticky star because unfortunately she typed some very rude words mid typing duties, implying the elf duties she had been given were quite crappity crap. rebelling in the elf quarters does not lead to gold sticky stars, i am afraid. tsk tsk

with limited table top space, i got creative with my leaning tower of lampshades thus making a most handy dandy holder for the vintage hmong dingle dangles and hand painted hearts 

my folks were tres good with their elf duties, oh! except for my mum's rebellious typing ways, oh! and except for her bleeding episode on the button cards .... mmmm, yes i have come to the conclusion my mum is quite a pesky elf and am quite sure she is the sort of elf who will be making noises about unions and fair pay before long

if you would like to come visit me 
and my little table of handmade, vintage, eclectic~ness, 
(but not my elves,
for alas and alack, the elves fly home tomorrow, 
sniff sniff)
i would be most delighted, 
for more nitty gritty you can clickity click right 

thank you kindly

Friday, November 21

seven things, not six and not eight, just seven ...

thing one:
late last night Our #2 turned up and on sunday my folks appear too! tis less than a week to Thanksgiving and it is truly beginning to feel like the holidays. it has been 2 years since my folks came to stay, we are all quite giddy waiting their arrival and i have promised them they will not have to stand for a whole 2 weeks and that there will be chairs and a bed for them to rest their weary bods.

thing two:
i will be participating in the 2nd Makers Market this december 6th from 9 to 6 at Tolt Yarn and Wool. my little stall will be a medley of vintage and handmade with a sprinkling of 'one offs' from my studio. if perchance you would like to pottle on by to see me, i would like that so muchly 

thing three:
alas and alack, the last of our chickie peas, Little Voice, was taken from us this past weekend.

 it has been 6 years since those funny little feathered friends came to live with us, the very reason for us moving to Mossy Shed. 6 years of every evening some bod shouting through the shed "has someone popped the chickens away?" and 6 years of me standing at the kitchen sink each morn watching them pace up and down ready to be let free to roam another day. my man said upon discovery of Little Voice having gone to the great las vegas in the sky, albeit not looking her finest, "we may be planning our future but we must still live in the present, therefore i vote we find ourselves some chicks next spring" i have no idea where that profound wisdom came from, but i liked it, i liked it a whole lot and in turn this made me like him too.

thing four:
i have finished up my 'woolly tattoo'-ed sweater but cannot don it for the cold dip has gone away and now we are positively tropical in temps with a bit of damp. i fear if i put on my turtle neck wool sweater i may just have a bit of a panic and overheat, thus it will have to just wait looking splendid upon a hanger till such time the temps dip again

thing five;
the new issue of PomPom Quarterly appeared at work yesterday, i had not planned to go in but a need to change a few displays was required so off i trotted. where upon i saw a copy and flicked to just one page which happened to have mittens upon it, not just any old mittens but crocheted mittens, the likes of which i have never seen before. be still my beating mitten loving heart. i was smitten, i needed to make those mittens. all plans to make Our #3 a knitted beanie to keep his nuggin warm this scottish winter went out the window. all plans to figure out a crochet version of the 1930's cowl went out the door. all plans to make a granny neckerchief to share on this here shiny space went out the cat flap. for all i have eyes for is this peachy pair

thing six:
i did not know when i wrote about the book i read this past week how many dearies it would resonant with, i felt i was not putting things into words correctly, that it was swimming all jumbly and bumbly inside of my head, mixed up with so many emotions and i could not let it come out clearly but i need not have fretted for it would appear the gist of it was understood. it is an emotional and physically draining process when you start to sort through mementos from years gone by. 
i am tres happy to think when i read the comments on facebook that perhaps this little book will help others join me in treading not so fearfully 'the path of letting go'.

thing seven:
dearest readers, happy happy weekend to you, may it be filled with love, light, learning and lots of joy

Wednesday, November 19

tidying up ...

i have just finished up a book with a cat on my lap in bed at 10am this morn, this is highly risque of me and not my usual morning routine. however when i rolled out of bed this morn at 6:30 to get Our #4 to school i noted upon my return (in pj's still) that is was my only morning in the longest time when i did not have to be out and about somewhere. 
so i took my book and a passing cat back to bed.

the book i am reading is called 'the life-changing magic of tidying up' by marie kondo and you can find it online if you go searching. it found me in an odd roundabout way which makes me once again wonder about how the timing of these things comes to be.

i have read it from cover to cover and placed little sticky notes here and there for fear my aging cogs will not retain. i realize all along i was purging with the wrong intentions, i am thankful to marie for pointing this out. it is not about what you wish to get rid of, but what you choose to keep and why. what brings you joy the moment you look at it and only keeping those joyful things in your life. she also holds your hand when it comes to letting mementos and photos go.

i have come to the conclusion i hang onto the past, always have and i wonder if i always will? according to marie, i will not if i follow her easy but strict rules for tidying up once and for all. i find it even more interesting that it takes a stranger of whom i have only just met to give me the ability to let so many things go, things which i was hanging onto because of who gave them to me or how they came into my possession. i realize despite having these things in my life, they cannot bring back that person and all but a few of those things actually connect me to a memory of that person. i do not want to live in the past any longer.

whenever i read a book such as this, i become a believer. i like books which lighten the load we carry, i like books which help clear the air and the noise in our heads and our bodies. i did not know i liked such books until a few years back one rescued me. i like that marie believes if i tidy up (clear out) once and for all, the weight i have been feeling the past few years will be lifted. of course it is quite possible you may read the book and think she and me are quite bonkers. truth be told i think it is a little too but i do not care, all i care is, right now i can let the past go and the future, (specifically a bricks and mortar dream) and truly live in the present.

my creative corner after tidying up. fret not, Miss Ethel is safely tucked under the table resting quietly until our next spin together
i told my man all about what i had learnt (half way through the book) the other day, when he came in from spending 5 hours picking up the debris covering our acre of moss. i told him it was terribly important to hold each possession in your hand and ask the question "does this bring me joy?" and if not, then its okay to let it go, even if at one point it did. i then continued telling him we can only have things in our home that bring us joy from now on. he looked at me covered in dirt, dried bits of leaves and pine needles and said "my leaf blower and lawn mower bring me no joy, i do not need to hold them in my hand to know that. shall i thank them, then get rid of them so we can slowly be buried under a pile of yard waste?"

 darn and drat, i have a 'non believer clever bod' in my midst. alas, marie does not talk about non believers, her wisdom only goes as far as to say, 
"where you tidy, others will follow" ... mmmmm, interesting, very interesting.

Friday, November 14

woolly tattoos ...

i do not wish to do anything else, forever and ever, other than stitch woolly tattoos on knitwear.
 i am pondering stitching 
'I ♥ MY MUM' 
upon my man's sweater sleeve whilst he is at work today.

my cogs are whirring with the 'woolly tattoo' possibilities and wondering if one could travel the world with suitcase and yarn in hand, teaching folks to woolly tattoo their yarny garments. i asked my man this morn whilst he was deep in thought, if this maybe so. if i plotted and planned and worked really really hard, should we, could we, would we, possibly have a chance in a couple of years to see the world whilst woolly tattooing from town to town?
"why not?" said he distracted 

already i was elsewhere... 

ah yes indeedy! i can see it now! 
and in my head i have left home two years early

Wednesday, November 12

things, oh so many things ...

thing one: 
i blog every day, it just happens most days it stays in my head and never ever gets tippity tapped out here. today is a day of tippity tapping.

thing two: 
it has turned tres chilly around these parts, when it does so and i see frost on the ground it makes me think of old blighty. i lay in bed last night pondering if i were brave enough to wear my mittens out of the shed. this morn i arose, still pondering and decided not to rush things and instead donned my thermal vest and woolly tights.

thing three: 
there is a magazine on the paper shelves over here called Flea Market Decor and the dec/jan issue is hot off the press. you will find me on page 110 where upon a jolly nice article was written about trimming different trees for christmas. 

my lovely friend Ingrid's wood and wool x-mas tree is in one of the photos and if perchance you wish for such a little wood festive tree for yourself you can find them in her most spiffy shop alongside of crochet patterns and other bits of wood and woolly goodness. 

thing four: 
last night i embarked on an embroidery project despite it being against the rules and regulations laid down in my newly made set of rules and regulations. 

i should be thinking of making wares for the up and coming Markers Market on december 6th at Tolt Yarn and Wool. yes i should, for last year it was really rather wonderful and so many dearies came to see me, i am hopeful they will this year too but they will not if i spend my time embroidering selfishly for myself and do not have a thing to put upon my little table at the Makers Market. i have had one thought, my folks arrive shortly and i am thinking they will probably want to insist upon helping make things with me! i will say "no no no, dearest folks, i will not hear of it" and they will say "oh but Tif, it truly would make us so happy to help you and spend quality crafting time altogether, please please let us help you make" and that will be it, i will have no choice for i would not wish to make them sad and think they are not wanted.

thing five: 
a little whiles ago, Karen Templer of Fringe Association invited me to be part of her Our Tools, Ourselves series where she asks 'makers of all sorts' questions about their tools.

 i must confess i was quite trembley about the whole thing because Karen's blog is a big knitted fish in a big yarny sea. a big yarny sea i have found myself doggy paddling in, ever since being thrown in the deep end a year ago when Tolt opened its doors. putting aside my dog paddling ways, if you would care to ganders what thrilling answers i came up with to very interesting and thoughtful questioning, then please click here or click here or click, click, clickity, click here

thing six: 
as i have been clearing my head and my shed quite manically of late, and then fretting i will clear so much away, nothing will be left in my head nor my shed, i realized this could and never would be. all i was doing was making space for opportunities to present, or doors to open, or perhaps not, does not matter. for what mattered was what i noted upon my clearing ways, as i bagged things for thrift, stacked others to sell, plotting and planning our next move, not actually knowing exactly when it would be nor where we would go, it finally happened. the moment that caused a crack in my heart four years ago when our #1 left home and subsequently, two others followed in her footsteps, the moment that left me struggling to move forward feeling quite visible and alone without them by my side. 

well that cracked heart i do believe has patched and pieced itself together again, it may have taken four years, with many a dip in the road, but i have got there in the end.
 and it was with rather a tearful moment i realized sitting amongst the piles of 'to-gos' and 'to-stays' that when the time comes for the last of my lot to leave in the near future, i will be more than ready suitcase in hand, a skip to my step and my man by my side, to start a new chapter, taking with me many treasured possessions, most of which i will be carrying in my head and my heart and not as one might have suspected, my little suitcase.

Thursday, November 6

YOTH yarns and my bees knees buddy Veronika ...

i am tres excited as this weekend i get to pottle around knitfit. you can find out all about knitfit right here if you are local to Seattle and fancy a pottle too. if you are not local you are still most welcome to click on the link and have a moisy because this blog is all inclusive and i would not want any dear reader to hang their head and weep, thinking they cannot click on a link just because they don't live in my neck of the woods.

i am tres excited because 
a) i did not know i was going till recently 
b) because although i am not signed up to do any classes all the classes look most worthy of taking
c) the marketplace and the vendors are tippity top yarny quality
d) my friend Veronika will be there launching her yarn into the big wide world

i crocheted these fingerless mitts with YOTH yarn kindly gifted to me last christmas by Veronika

can i tell you how i met Veronika?
i know some of you have heard mention of her before on this here blog. for you see Veronika crossed my path nearly a year ago when i started loitering working at Tolt Yarn and Wool. Ve is probably the most beautiful person i have ever seen, i have no idea if she knows this, but she is. well fortunately for me, Ve took me under her knitty wing and slowly but surely departed knowledge of yarns and knitting upon my little cogs. she kindly tolerated my many senior moments of asking the same question exactly a week later and never ever mocked my squares and rectangle ways. i would often offer up my thoughts and where i was going and she would always so very nicely listen patiently and then start her response with the words "that is great, but can i tell you something Tif?" whereupon she would enlighten me.

this small miracle of two sleeves and a cardi which actually fits would not have happened if wise ways had not been departed upon me, by my buddy Ve
and so it has come to be, whilst Veronika was saving the likes of me in a yarn shop, she had also quit her cubicle life and decided to follow her dream. a dream filled with yarn and here we are, one year later and she has done it, truly quite extra ordinarily done it! YOTH yarns have been stocked in our wool shop for some time, never staying put for very long, her gradient dyed skeins have literally caused a stampede (well okay, a tres long line but stampede did sound quite thrilling). the company has grown so much so, her yarn line is now dyed in Maine, all staying true to roots she started in her kitchen a few months back. 

YOTH has a webshop too which launched two weeks ago and if you are wondering why the DK weight is called Big Sister and the fingering weight is called Little Brother, well that is because it is exactly what this company is, a big sister and a little brother working alongside of many invisible family members to get a business venture and a dream, off the ground. 

it is quite a remarkable and inspiring story and that is why i am beyond tres excited to pottle around knitfit on sunday and happen upon YOTH yarns and see my friend Veronika, in all her glorious yarny surroundings, doing what she does besty best, shining brightly in her own little light, for all to see.

Friday, October 31

macrame, beards, more trickery & way too muchly noting ...

i am distracted from my path this past week by the need to nest and the need to macrame.

the need to nest and the need to macrame is due to the total pants weather which descended upon us in recent weeks.

therefore the couch has been dragged in from outdoors to indoors and the usual shuffling which entails has left me trying and failing to make things feel cozy without them getting on my nerves a few days later and feeling like i am being attacked from all corners by 'things'. 

i have spent the last few weeks choosing who will stay and who will go and listing furniture on craigslist and every single piece so far has found a nice home which makes me feel muchly happier knowing this. i am hopeful if the weather stops being complete pants for photo taking i may get some knick knacks online but with *the holidays fast approaching, my folks and my clan coming to stay, extra hours at the yarn shop, several interviews to finish up and a makers market to make for, i am thinking this may not happen till the new year. unless passing elves chip in.

also perhaps, if i didn't distract myself from my path by thinking of macrame and thinking of nesting. for it could be said a pair of curtains at the window would do a grand job of making things feel cozy and warm but nope, i have got it into my head that if i was a little green friend i would wish to hang around in front of this window, safely in macrame wonders with a few other doily clad dingle dangle friends by my side.

the beginnings of 'the hanging gardens of dottie angel' as quipped by Our #4
my macrame is limited ( understatement of the year ). i am a complete rookie and like most things, i have learnt one thing and will use that one thing to achieve my end. thus i have crafted two macrame ( i use the term loosely ) pot holders, one from yarny goodness and one from embroidery thread goodness. 

embroidery thread knotted number
i added some beaded detail to bedazzle close up inspection from macrame experts who may otherwise have been looking at my dubious 'eyeballed' knotting skills.
i then gave up with the macrame side of things because 
a) my neck and shoulders were crying. 
b) using knotted frayed fabric was far quicker 
c) what i really wanted was some incredibly knee weakening spanish macrame to miraculously appear and it wasn't.

darn and drat my impatient crafting ways

thus i sidetracked myself from my pants macrame ways by dream catchers with beards. 
as one does

 and went off on yet another path of which i was not supposed to. 

pondering beard... to beard or not to beard that is the question
therefore this morn i note i am no nearer to reaching any of my 'to-dos to plan for' listed above* 
(did you see that bit of clever trickery? the * trickery? i have a peachy pen pal who does that and i think it most good and muchly brilliant and i have wanted to try it out for a while and so i have and i like it, i like it a whole big lot)

and may i also make another note?
 a note that has me beyond giddy.
i note, no little green friend has come crashing to the ground... as of yet

and my man notes, if my selling of furniture is backed up by the theory we are no longer a clan of six but three (shortly to be two) and therefore do not require so many places to plonk our dwindling number of bods down, then what will happen come the holidays when seats are required for quite a few derrieres than we have available. i told my man this was a tres good note to be noted but i had done a lot of noting today and therefore was all out of noting for one day