Monday, 26 July 2010

A big hill and an even BIGGER project

Yesterday we dragged the children up a GINORMOUS hill in Northumberland.

It took an hour and a half to drive there but when we arrived Daisy said "I'm NOT climbing THAT!!!"

"But it will be fun!" we replied...........................

And it was fun,

but it was also very steep (which is why 95% of my photos of the children are from lower down the hill!),

very exhausting,

very beautiful,

(with excellent mobile phone reception!!!)

very sheepy

(and very poopy!)

and very windy and wet at the top.

So why were we there?

Well, it was for the first installment of our mad summer holiday scheme:

The Little Lockets are going to try to study a potted history of Britain over the next 6 weeks, with site visits, timelines, artwork, posters, maps, historical cooking (maybe), and their very own blog!

And as this is still a craft blog I thought you'd appreciate the fact that when I got to the very top of the very steep mountain I sat down and cast on my next pair of socks.

Appropriately these are Circle Socks but as they were started on the top of an Iron Age hillfort I'm going to call them my "Round House Socks"

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Not very golden Golden Wedding Quilt**

My wonderful parents celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary this weekend - 50 years of the most fabulous marriage. They are completely devoted to each other and far more romantic than most couples ever manage to be!

Inspired by Michaela's Golden Wedding blanket I decided to make them a quilt. So back in April I went through all my books and 100s of Australian Homespun and Country Threads magazines until I'd narrowed down designs to about 15

I wanted something more traditional than my normal style but not old fashioned and I knew I wanted to use these fabrics by Timeless Treasures that I had bought very cheaply a couple of years ago from Hancocks - fortunately I was also able to find a couple more metres in this country so I would have enough.

This was the design that I chose - although I found it really hard to "see" how it would look in my fabrics!

And then I started sewing...................

And then I stopped because I was distracted by a million other things.................

So about 2 weeks ago there was a mad panic as I realised how much I still had to get done!

I decided straight away that there was no way that I could get it properly finished and quilted so I accepted that I would just be giving mum and dad a "flimsy" instead of a finished quilt.

Their party was on Sunday and I finished it on Saturday afternoon in time to take it round for a family meal in the evening.

And they love it.

And so do I!

It's definitely the most complicated thing I've ever made and I am very aware of all the wonky bits and mis-aligned seams and points - but hopefully no one will be inspecting it that closely!

And now for the quilting............................. Anyone got any good tips on what type of quilting I should do???

P.S. Sorry for the erratic quality of the photographs - my normal camera has been "sanded" again by the beach (oops) and the other one is meant to be good but is actually rather rubbish and I can't be bothered to read the instruction manual!
P.P.S ** not very "golden" because it's BLUE!!! ha ha ha - I crack myself up sometimes! ;o)

Saturday, 17 July 2010

What happens when............. post a photo of your rather tired looking fence on your blog?

Things like this start to appear in your garden.............

and wood starts being smashed up before your very eyes!

Then you spot the culprit...........

...........the very clever "Mr Powder" who lives next door.

And you need to pick sweet-peas to say thank you to Mrs Powder who told Mr P to rebuild the fence because it looked so shabby!

Because your new fence is EVER so smart!

Thank you Mr and Mrs Powder - I'll be round later!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Looking a bit empty

Now this is a VERY strange view..................a corner of our garden that's actually looking tidy!

(The rest of it looks more like a scrap yard!)

But it's looking a bit empty too................

Aha! That's better!

A new and lovely treat for the Locket garden - so let's hope the sun keeps on shining for the summer holidays and that we find time to finish painting the fence and rapidly-deteriorating greenhouse!

And the other little Locket who's enjoying a newly tidied part of the garden is young Alfie bunny

who loves his new long run

and quite enjoys having his friends in to play with him too!

"oooh cheesy feet!"

Monday, 12 July 2010

Rather more successful kitchen escapades

Dot and some of her friends are hoping to create a school magazine and unsurprisingly Dot will be writing the book review page and the cooking page so the other weekend she decided to test some recipes with her little helpers while I took the photos.

The starter was "Tomato and Mozarella Bruschetta"

And the main course, which I forgot to photograph "in process" as it wasn't going in the magazine was Tortellini bake with mediterranean vegetable sauce (including the first courgettes from the allotment!!)

And pudding had to be "Eton Mess" because of all the strawberries we are getting from the allotment and this is where the little helpers really came in to their own:

The mix may have been stirred a little too vigourously but it still tasted delicious! Next time we'll aim to have bigger pieces of meringue though!

And just to finish the children helped make the first batch of jam too!

We've made a further two batches in the last week and there is still more to be made - so it's a shame I've run out of jam jars.

At least there was no green pond slime this time!

How to lose your husband...........

An alternative title could be "reasonable grounds for divorce"

Offer him this lovingly made drink......................

"More pond-slime Sir?"

(ok, so my attempt to recreate the delciously refreshing "fresh mint and limeade" drink that I had at Marks and Spencers a couple of weeks ago really didn't work! Poor Mr Locket did not enjoy it one bit - and he came up with both blog titles and said I had to show you all!)

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Pretty Happy Things

I thought I'd show you some photos of things that have been making me happy lately:

Beautiful flowers from the allotment............... a gorgeous new Dartmouth Pottery jug that I couldn't resist on Ebay the other day.

Beautiful cups and saucers from Helen's gorgeous shop.................

.......and a stunning and HUGE bowl that I also persuaded Helen to let me buy! I just wish you could have seen the wonderful flower arrangement she had in it when we arrived at her open day: the bowl was full of water with the flower heads of peonies, roses, honeysuckle etc floating in the top interspersed with fabulous bright yellow rubber ducks! It looked stunning - until poor Helen had to pour it all out into another lovely bowl so I could buy this one!

My new Polly Jeans (even though I previously vowed that I would NEVER touch such a complicated pattern!)

I love them so much I thought I'd show you two pictures but don't be tricked into thinking I'm in any danger of knitting both socks..............

............because here's my one and only Rhodie Gus! Cropped just enough so you can't see that I haven't actually grafted the toe yet - although maybe the knitting needle sticking out will have given that away already?!?

And finally, the surprise thing that's making me happy at the moment is this:

......our rather-scruffy-but-ever-so-much-tidier-and-better-than-a-few-weeks-ago allotment!

At the beginning of last month I was feeling so overwhelmed by the weeds and all there was to do (and life in general, if I'm honest) that I really thought I was going to have to give up the allotment.

I mentioned this to my lovely friend Alison who also has the plot next to me and a couple of days later she persuaded me to go back up to the allotment with her - where I discovered that she and another friend had spent hours digging and weeding and generally sorting a large section of the plot so that it was less awful and overwhelming for me!

I'm incredibly lucky to have such kind friends - especially as they both have their own allotments to work on - and it has really helped kick-start my gardening mojo. I have been working really hard up there over the last couple of weeks and it is all starting to look so much better - even if there are still thousands of weeds!

And to make it even more manageable I have "lent" a couple of beds at the back of the plot to a lady who is on the waiting list for an allotment but is only up to number 62. She is desperate to get some allotment experience and I am very happy to have someone take over a bit of the chaos!

And finally, for those of you who asked me AGES ago.......... the bricks in the bottom of the wigwam serve absolutely NO gardening purpose whatsoever but are merely there for the children to sit on as this is going to be a giant green teepee for them to hide in! Dot already spends most of her time at the allotment sitting in there reading.