Friday, 30 November 2007

To do List Up-dated

Well, I haven't done it all as I had a slight hiccup!

Who didn't realise that it was Dec 1st TOMORROW????

Who hasn't got their Advent Calendars ready (despite remembering to send 2 in the post?
(and they were on time too!)

Who had to brave Asda with the swarms of people this evening to get mini chocolates?

Yup, the idiot over here!

I've still managed to get quite a lot done and even have some photographic evidence for it! I just need to prioritise finishing the first doll and her clothes for tomorrow morning. (forgot to mention make wings and bloomers!!!)

1. Sew small doll together
2. varnish doll's shoes (without spilling or splashing varnish all over the rest of the doll
3.make dress

4. do stitching for dress - prepared it and stitching it tonight
5. dolls hair (without losing temper) - doing that tonight
6. dolls face (without her losing her temper) - finishing that too
7. turn pieces for princess and the pea doll (and try not to swear too much!
8. stuff P&P doll (and try not to poke a hole in the legs or arms)
9. sew together
10.turn pieces for medium doll
11. stuff medium doll
12. sew together
13. stuff and sew up pin cushion

14. finish Christening present which I obviously can't show you!
15. Cut out 7 mattresses for Princess and the Pea order
16. cut out princess' nightie
17. cut out medium doll's dress
18. draw pattern pieces for large doll onto freezer paper
19. cut out and iron onto calico
20. drink red wine well that bit's easy!

The next priority is getting the Advent Calendars found, filled and displayed. Then tomorrow I plan to make a new one with the children. So we should have about 6!

Friday's To Do List

  1. Sew small doll together
  2. varnish doll's shoes (without spilling or splashing varnish all over the rest of the doll)
  3. make dress
  4. do stitching for dress
  5. dolls hair (without losing temper)
  6. dolls face (without her losing her temper)
  7. turn pieces for princess and the pea doll (and try not to swear too much!)
  8. stuff P&P doll (and try not to poke a hole in the legs or arms)
  9. sew together
  10. turn pieces for medium doll
  11. stuff medium doll
  12. sew together
  13. stuff and sew up pin cushion
  14. finish Christening present
  15. Cut out 7 mattresses for Princess and the Pea order
  16. cut out princess' nightie
  17. cut out medium doll's dress
  18. draw pattern pieces for large doll onto freezer paper
  19. cut out and iron onto calico
  20. drink red wine

I know I'll manage one of the things even if nothing else gets done - and it is important to make sure you include some things on the list that are achievable isn't it? (guess which one!!!)

I've had a quick tidy round so the house is fairly/sort of/nearly/almost/practically/potentially tidyish so now I need to get working!

I'll let you know which of the remaining 19 tasks I manage to achieve! Wish me luck!

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Production line progress

1. Sewing machine seems to be working again

2. Lucy seems to be working again

3. The orders are piling up

4. Can't really show you what I've been doing for various reasons!!!!!

So I've just given you some snippets to give you a general (pink) idea.

I also got some gorgeous fabrics from The Fat Quarters the other day but again can't show them yet.

Here's some knitting though!
My lovely Noro scarf.

It isn't really tapering - I just can't take photos. Barbara from Ring a Rosie is posting me a second ball and I am thinking of unravelling it and starting again from the green so I end up with the pinks - what do you think?

Finally, I've just been round to a friend's house and had the most fab haircut! I really hate going to the hairdressers and having to sit in front of unflattering mirrors for ages staring at myself and coming out with a yukky hair do so it was lovely to have my hair done in much nicer surroundings - and it looks lovely! I just wish it was going to look as nice as this tomorrow! In celebration of my new haircut I am going to be very brave and include a photograph of me. Like many people I absolutely hate having my photo taken and hate how I look but as long as you promise not to put your glasses on I will leave you with this titchy little picture so you can all admire my lovely hair!

Monday, 26 November 2007

Procrastination, prevarication, general avoidance and photos

I've got lots of sewing to do.

Lots and lots and lots of sewing to do.

So what do I do?

Knitting and crochet (and neither of them very well I must say!)

To clarify things though, I do need to confess that I have always been able to knit and every now and then I get the urge to produce very basic garter stitch scarves (like when all that fancy wool became so fashionable). I can do slightly cleverer stuff but it always takes so long that I get bored and give-up - sewing is much more instant!

So here are my collections. Which are pretty good for a non-knitter.


knitting needles

crochet hooks
(even though I don't really know how to crochet yet!)

And now an expensive knitting magazine!


Here are some of my woolly creations so far:

1. My lovely, baggy, far-too-big-for-me wrist warmers

2. The first few inches of my Noro scarf

3. some crochet - don't know what for, maybe a blanket square, maybe nothing!


4. Well, I don't really know what this is!
I was sitting at Patti's house this morning trying out crochet stitches, but then I got bored with going in rows so decided to go in circles round the edge (it must have been listening to Goldilocks and the Three Bears that did it)

It could come in very useful though.

As an eye patch
(you never know, some pirates probably like purple!)

Or as a nose-warmer
(this looked even better on Krisha by the way!)

Or maybe I should just chuck it in the bin (or sellotape it in an school notebook like the last bit of crochet I did 15 years ago!)

Anyway, enough of this nonsense, I've got sewing to do!

This photo is for Anna to show her some of the lovely S'mores we've been making (have you ever tried them with Smarties instead of Hersheys? Yummy!)
And this one is for Julia as proof of my front-garden-allotment before I got the real thing. I think she would approve of this in her role as Minister for Food.

P.S. Do you like our new clock? Lovely isn' it! It would be even better if it had a battery in and actually told the time.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Look........................... Scrapbooking!!!!!!

This post is specially for Lissa and Thimbleanna
(see the comments on my last post)

Worried about me going over to the darkest dark side?????

(That's Scrapbooking to everyone else!)

I've already been there!

Ok, so it was only a brief visit.....................

A few years ago.............

but I can always go back!

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Not one parcel but TWO!

I was delighted yesterday to receive Anna's parcel of goodies but you can imagine my amazement when I got home from picking LSH up from work and visiting his parents to discover another delivery note through the door. This time it said there was a parcel behind my water butt! (A recorded delivery, needed to be signed for parcel!!!!)

A while ago MrsMoogsMum had posted about some bags she had made to sell at school craft night. I spotted bag No.1 and begged her to let me buy it instead (after nearly crying with laughter at the photo of her Ruby monkee investigating the sewing machine)! She wouldn't let me buy it but said we could do a trade! (Part of my return parcel is already made but another part has been awaiting Jenny's return!)

So there was my wonderful bag that has instantly been converted into a
KNITTING BAG (ha ha ha!)
But then there were loads of goodies inside too!


A gorgeous felted mousey
(called Sid)

a stunning ceramic necklace that MrsMoogsmum
had traded one of her bags for

and most excitingly of all, a stitched panel that I had admired from many posts ago!

The round tower is from a piece of Rupert Bear fabric and the yellow floral fabric is the same as the duvet covers my sister and I had when we were young.

I absolutely love it and need to work out a good way of framing and displaying it.

So thank you kazillions my mad and funny friend! I love my goodies and will now be dedicating my life to coming up with some good return parcels for you and for Anna too!

I meant to put this in earlier and I'm probably telling you something you already know, but I absolutely love the SewMamaSew blog where they are posting craft tutorials each day on a different theme. What a fantastic place to get Christmas present ideas! I love it! If you haven't been there already go and look now!

Friday, 23 November 2007

The Graham Cracker Challenge

A while ago I was reading the lovely Thimbleanna's blog where she shared a delicious looking recipe that included Graham Crackers. Intrigued I asked her what they were but we couldn't think of a UK comparable biscuit. So Anna decided we would need to do some research to improve International Biscuit Relations for the sake of bloggers everywhere!

Last week she told me she had sent the parcel (after nearly collapsing from shock at the postal charges!) so I was very excited when when I got back this morning to find a Parcel force note through the door telling me to go to the Post Office.

One HUGE box later!

And look what's inside!
All the ingredients to make "S'mores" - I've never tried these, they sound fab and the recipe is on the back of the Cracker box.

I love the concept of Jet-Puffed marshmallows!

Purely in the interests of research I have tried a bit of everything!

Just testing them, honestly!

I haven't worked out what the Graham Crackers are like yet - need to try more obviously - but in taste they are like a sweeter Rich Tea biscuit but the texture is much more crumbly. I'll have to ask LSH what he thinks later - he is more of a biscuit connoisseur than me!
Anna also included some fabulous stickers (I can see the children trying to pinch some of these!)
I really love the quilt ones!

And even more exciting than all the sticky and edible things look what was in the bottom of the box!
A Squished Bunny!

I let him out of his quarantine casing but he didn't look very happy

So I went and found him a carrot

But I rather think he wants a s'more instead! Or at least some of the ingredients seeing as he has been sharing a box with them for the last week!

Better try out that recipe soon hadn't I?

Thank you so much for all these wonderful goodies Anna, I am so grateful and will plan a secret return parcel of some typically British treats soon!

Back to news of Jenny. Well after waiting in all day yesterday for her to be returned I finally gave in and rang the shop only to find they had no intention of bringing her to me at all, a misunderstanding they said. Hmmmmm.

I asked if they had solved the problem and they said it was the foot control (ignoring the fact that she runs on her own when the foot control is disconnected.) So I went back through to pick her up this morning. I asked about the "running by itself" business and was told "well it didn't do it." (Yes it does!) "not here it didn't" Double HMMMMMMMMMMMM.

I have since spoken to Janome about my problem and they have said it is entirely in the hands of the retailer. Not their problem basically. Treble HMMMMMMMMMMMM!

To improve my mood I went back to Ring a Rosie and bought some more wool! This time I had kidnapped Patti and made her come with me. We had a good time choosing yummy yarn and even managed to get some christmas shopping done for the little people.

This is my wool for trying to crochet.
(The end one is brown not black)

And these buttons are to go on a boring black cardigan (maybe - or they may just be to look at!)

And look! A fingerless mitt! So I have one warm hand and 10 very cold fingers!

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Do not adjust your set

Yup, you are seeing correctly, it is wool and a knitting needle!

In my house.

On my cutting board!

"What's it doing there?" I hear you ask.

"I thought Lucy liked sewing not knitting"

Well yes I do, normally..........

But these, my friends, are not normal times in this household. I am sitting here in a room with no shiney sewing machine. Jenny has left the building! Jenny (my 6 month old Janome) is the other side of the Tyne Tunnel in the sewing machine shop all alone without me! :( I feel totally lost without her!

She has been messing about when I have been sewing by pretending that the foot control is no longer there half way through a seam.

Now the obvious answer would be "get a new foot control".

But Jenny is a complex girl and simple problems don't suit her.

Not only is she stopping erratically she is also choosing to start sewing, by herself, without the foot control attached and when I am nowhere near.

Now Jenny is clearly a sewing machine with her own ambitions and creative intentions.

Unfortunately, for reasons of safety (mine, and more importantly, the childrens') this kind of random sewing cannot be allowed!

The engineer is hoping to bring her back today - but she may not be fixed.................

Ho Hum!

So, while I was in Whitley Bay taking Jenny to the doctors I popped in to see Barbara at Ring-a-Rosie to buy some wool to cheer myself up.
Charlie thought this was a great idea and jumped straight into the bag after oggling all the eye-candy displays in the shop (I was going to take a photo of him doing this but chickened out when some real people came in!!!!)

Now I don't love wool in the same way that I love fabric but it is still pretty gorgeous and I succumbed to four balls - two of which I have no idea what I want them for! Just Because.

One of these "intention-less" balls was a Noro silk, mohair, lambs wool combo that I really couldn't afford to buy but had to have anyway! The colours are amazing!

The other two are going to be (hopefully) turned into a pair of handwarmers (fingerless mitts without the finger bits - so really, really fingerless!) and the wool is really soft.
Barbara also gave me these scrumdiddliumptiously gorgeous little buttons to go on my handwarmers! Aren't the lovely? Like little sweeties!

So far I have managed to rib about 6 cms and create a very strange and inaccurate thumb hole!

The pattern had some clever kind of twisted rib thingy going on but I got confused very quickly and resorted to knit2 purl2 rib.

I nearly sent Barbara a frantic email at 10.30 last night to ask for help on the thumb hole but managed to restrain myself.

My knitting-blog friends out there need to breathe a sigh of relief too because you all crossed my mind in my time of need - and Lesley and Patti, you should be most worried because I have your phone numbers.............(Hahahahhahahhahahahahaaaaaaaaaa!)

So lets hope my sewing machine is fixed very soon shall we?

While at Barbara's I also bought these fabulous fabrics - I think the bottom one looks quite Amy Butler-ish, what do you reckon? The Look and Learn piece will be incorporated into some wallets and art bags at some point.

Please, please let Jenny come back soon! Lucy x

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Identity Crisis!

During last week's cruelly-crubbish-craft-fair I suffered a real identity crisis. I stood there thinking "I don't feel like Lucy Locket at all. I just feel like a sad and unsuccessful school mum making things that no one is interested in." This was not a nice feeling! So to prevent the same thing happening again at this week's craft fair I came up with a cunning plan................

A label!

Then I would know who I was and, more importantly, so would everyone else!


So here is my new pinny - and, as Monkee Maker noticed on the last post, my new blog header (although that needs tweaking to get the right size/focus etc, very fiddly!)

I have had the bottom half of this apron for ages - a bargain buy from the Basement Corner at IKEA - and I wear it a lot when I am "creating". It is also very useful at craft fairs because of the big pockets for the piles of cash I make (humour me here!) or monkees made of knit!

So in true "recycling pockets" mode I used two of the girls' outgrown denim pinafore dresses to make a bib for it and added my name (so I wouldn't forget)

Fortunately (presumably because I was now appropriately labelled) last night's craft fair was much more successful.

Charlie and the children came to help me set up and the whole evening had a much more positive vibe.

Stop flirting Charlie!

People were genuinely interested in my work and especially the whole concept of recycling children's clothes into something more permanent and lots of people asked me for my card rather than being given one!

I also sold quite a few things and then woke up this morning to discover I had sold one of my wallets on Etsy too! (Fortunately I had remembered to remove all the things I had sold during the evening before I went to bed - it would have been really frustrating to sell the same thing twice!)

Finally a picture of the little sofa I picked up from Mum and Dad's yesterday - it used to belong to my Granny and I treasure it because of her. I plan to recover the cushions (one day) but for now have made use of a cheap shop bought quilt - it looks quite jolly!

And now I am off to do battle with the sewing machine shop as Jenny, my lovely new Janome machine (only 6 months old) has decided to be very contrary. I seriously hope they give out "courtesy sewing machines" or I am going to be one cross crafter as I can't possibly manage without her with all the orders I have stacking up. Wish me luck!

Lucy x

P.S. thank you for all your lovely comments on my last post. I am having trouble replying as I keep forgetting who is no-reply and who isn't. Does anyone know how I can change my no-reply status for comments that I leave?