Thursday 31 January 2008

Lovely bloggy gifts!

I've been really lucky with my post in the last two days! And both treats were totally unexpected which made them even more enjoyable!

Yesterday I went to pick up the usual collection of bills and bank statements (and multiple catalogues of course!) and discovered this beauty amongst them:

It was from Kate and she sent it to thank me for hosting the Valentine's Swap!

Thank you so much Kate!

I've always admired fabric postcards but never actually received one so I was delighted to get one and so touched that Kate had thought of sending me it.

It's so fab that you can actually post them without an envelope - they look so lovely amongst all the boring post!

Then today I came home to another bit of "interesting post"

This fabulous corsage from Gina to wear for our Bloggers Convention at the Country Living Spring Fair. I absolutely love it and have enjoyed wearing it today but don't worry Gina I have taken it off now and put it somewhere safe ready for March 14th!!!!

After reading about everyone's fantastic gingerbread houses at Christmas and eating some of BIG sister Ally's, I couldn't resist this "lazy cheat's" gingerbread train kit when it was a fraction of the original price in John Lewis earlier this month.

Mr Locket and the Little Lockets decorated it although I think more sweets and icing went in their mouths than on the gingerbread! Now I've just got to keep their hands off it until after supper!

Finally, a little sneak preview of one of the things I have been making for Challenge No.4. - I know it's not quite what I said I was going to do (although I've done some of them too) but you will have to wait a bit longer for the full display!

Lucy x

Tuesday 29 January 2008

The Next Generation

Todays post is about the next generation of crafters among us and ties in well with the lovely artwork Moogsmum's daughter Minx has done.

I was really excited yesterday because I discovered Applehead's Blog and her shop Appleseed. I absolutely love her small people and ordered some postcards from her.

In the evening I showed Dorothy (10) the website and said how excited I was about them.

About half an hour later she came down with this

and this

Aen't they brilliant? She's even come up with captions for each one!

Dorothy is quite like me and is a bit of a perfectionist at heart and often finds it hard to be creative because she sets her standards too high so I was delighted that she had just got on and done these without any help or advice. These truly are HER work!

My next crafter is my 12 year old niece.

At Christmas I showed her (very roughly because I didn't have a pattern with me) how to make some fingerless mittens and she did them really quickly

Then, after seeing Freddy, she decided to have a go at making her own sock monkeys - look how well she has done!

One of them was a birthday present for a friend and now all her school friends are asking for them! She has told them she is "crafty like her aunt" - which I think is great, although BIG sister Ally is a bit fed up as she is the one who taught me loads of sewing skills in the first place!

Finally, keeping on the child theme, I thought I would share this text I received from a friend the other day:

"Hi Hun, I've had 2 tell a lie! Ben overheard me telling a friend about you making his bag, he wanted 2 know why santas elves didn't make it!
Hope u dont mind but i told him u were making gifts with santas fairies as u are good friends with them all!!!
p.s. dont be surprised if he thinks u have wings 2!"

How brilliant is that?????

I rather think I've been promoted - don't you??!!!!

Monday 28 January 2008

Who's coming to London?

I'm feeling very excited because on 14th March I am going to be getting up ridiculously early and travelling down to London with my sewing friends to go to the Country Living Spring Fair!!!!

One of the local papers has been doing a promotion so we have been able to get return rail tickets for only £18 which is a huge saving.

I'm doubly excited because I am going to be able to meet my very mad, very funny, truly brilliant imaginary friend Lesley for the first time along with my very real, and Lesley's imaginary, BIG sister Ally!

If any other bloggers feel like meeting up it would be great to see you and have a coffee - maybe we could all wear a special bloggy form of identification (ok, that bit was a joke, honest!!!) Gina and Jane are also hopefully going to be there.

The only problem with this is that if I am going to be meeting you guys in real life for the first time (except for Ally who, of course, I have met many, many times before!!!!) I'm going to have to do some serious dieting before hand!!!

I have decided to go back to Weight Watchers tomorrow and will add a section to my side-bar where I will show how many pounds I have lost (or regained - but hopefully not!) I am not going to reveal my starting weight because it is too shocking!!!!! (I'm really very thin on the inside!)

One exhibitor that I am really looking forward to meeting again is Janet Bolton.

I absolutely love her work and her books and was lucky enough to meet her a few years ago. I bought a notebook from her and she even drew a little sketch of the picture I liked best on her stand for me. One day I will get this framed but it is a very treasured secret in my notebook at the moment.
Weird Bunny asked me to show this print I bought from Janet which she had spotted among some other pictures on my wall.

and this is my version of
this picture

from My Grandmother's Patchwork Quilt book. I made this a few years ago for my friend "Aunty Ann" but had never taken a photo of it until last week when I was round at her new house.
I'm actually rather proud of it!

It's amazing how good something you've made can look when you haven't seen it for a couple of years!

My final photo is for Lesley. I was on the phone to her last week when I said "Oh, sorry, I must just take a photo of my curtains!" she asked if I had particularly nice curtains but I just said she would have to wait and see.

So my curtains aren't particularly nice and if you look closely you will see they are particularly grubby, but the sun was shining and the curtains were still closed (because I hadn't got round to tidying the sitting room!!!!) and the children's snowflakes were casting shadows on the curtains - I thought they looked lovely.

Thursday 24 January 2008

Thursday (because I can't think of a good title)

I've spent the day at home today as Mr Locket had the car.

And I have actually managed to do a little bit of sewing!!!

This is the blanket order I have been working on (the monkey in the middle was inspired by Lesley's painted design) and I have sewn most of it together and will complete the top tomorrow after I have embroidered the baby's name and date of birth.

The bit I find hardest of all is getting the back panel on straight and flat - fleece is so "bendy" that it always seems to end up wonky!

I also managed to start sewing Kitty's prize-doll

but don't get too excited Kitty, it's still going to be a while before it is finished!!!

Then when I got too cold to keep on sewing I went into the kitchen to make this:

500g organic beef mince (because I watched Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall the other week)
2 onions
3 cloves of garlic
6 sticks of celery
1 large turnip
8 carrots
a handful of mushrooms
2 leeks
and two cartons of tomato passata
plus stock and seasoning etc

The mince only cost £2 and this quantity will feed the 5 of us for about 3 meals!

and the children LOVED it - despite it having gazillions of vegetables in (probably because I blitzed them in the blender before I cooked them so they ended up invisible!)

I thought I'd share this card a friend gave me today - brilliant isn't it?

And later on I am off for my Thursday night sewing session with my friends (although I might sneak some knitting in there too!)

Lucy x

P.S. The new challenge is set up over here.

Wednesday 23 January 2008


I was walking around Asda this morning,

feeling really flat and fed up because I had missed out on MM's monkee sale again

and searching (unsuccessfully) for a birthday present for one of Fred's friends,

whilst talking to Moogsmum

who was having an equally bad time in Romsey hunting for fabric,

when sudddenly...................

I came upon the SALE in the clothing section.

I idly flicked through the clothes looking (unsuccessfully) for something to wear

when suddenly.........................

I spotted the price label on one of the dresses! And then another and another and another (and so on - I think you get the picture!)

this is Dot modelling for me - sadly I would not have fitted into this dress! (maybe not even into 2 of them!)

So of course I had to buy them all regardless of the size (mostly 8's and 6's)

For the fabric of course!

Lots and lots of lovely, potential-filled fabric!

Some were even kind enough to have special buttons on them in hearts or stripes (with extras in case I lost one)
While others had enough pockets to keep even this Lucy Locket happy!

So how much did I pay for each garment?




Bargain-Double-Schmargin me thinks!

To make the day even better my friend bought me this gorgeous tin as a thank you for trying to get a monkee for her daughter! It is teeny-tiny - in fact this photo is about the exact size - and has even more decoration round the sides and on the back

I love it!

Tuesday 22 January 2008

What I've been doing

Monkee Maker asked what I had going on the needles that was stopping me from sewing so I thought I would show you.

But then I thought about the amount of new photographs I would have to take in the dark and decided she would have to wait - I have lots and lots of lots of different projects on the go at once because I am such a butterfly brain.

The unifying factor is that they are all very small!!! Even if I have started knitting again I can't see myself being drawn into doing big things - they just take too long.

I am definitely still on the baby-slopes as far as knitting is concerned but it is very relaxing.

"Baby-slopes" is my attempt at a subtle link to this instead:

The knitting I did for Dorothy when I was pregnant.

I initially started knitting a few of the squares for this blanket as practice pieces to see how to make pictures in knitting (from Debbie Bliss' Farmyard Knits) and then I liked them so much I decided to do more and sew them together into a blanket (I can see now that they are not very good but considering it was a first attempt at intarsia I think I did ok!)

The blanket was swiftly followed by this cardigan from a magazine pattern (something like Prima I think) I remember some of the mum's from the aqua-natal group I had belonged to being horrified that I would dress a baby girl in such bright primary colours rather than the more fashionable (hmmmmmm?) pale pink and beige (yukkkk!)

She wore it to come home from hospital and it became a family tradition that each of the baby Lockets had to have it on when they made that first trip home.

Here is a picture of Fred on his way home via Granny and Grandpa Biscuit's to pick up Dorothy and Daisy.

I love this shot, where a day old baby is left by the back door with the shoes!

If you look closely you will be able to see that I had also made a little knitted bear with a jumper to match the cardigan. ( I was going to photograph this separately but it would have meant tidying the children's bedrooms to find it and I couldn't be bothered - I wanted to be able to publish this post sometime this week!!!)

Finally, a bit of madness for you.

The raspberry canes I mentioned yesterday arrived just after I had published my post. My friend Alison had ordered them for 4 of us to share and as they were bare root plants we needed to get them planted as soon as possible.

This meant rushing up to the allotment this afternoon after school pick-up. It was freezing cold and dark with the two of us plodging in soggy mud on our respective plots trying to plant as quickly as possible! Unsurprisingly no-one else was there!

I'm back in the warm now with the fire lit and a nice glass of red wine.

If you want to see what I have been sewing today you need to pop over to the Loo-sley Blog later!

Monday 21 January 2008


I've had a strangely un-productive weekend as far as crafting is concerned. I managed to do a little bit of knitting (which I will show you another day, when I have done a bit more) but I haven't done any sewing at all - which is not ideal as I have a number of orders that need starting, continuing and finishing SOON!!!!

These are the things I did do this weekend and the reasons why I didn't do much crafting:

On Saturday I went up to the allotment.
It was meant to be a family outing but the girls were both feeling manky and Fred couldn't be bothered so I went by myself.

The weather was good and I enjoyed having a bonfire and drinking cups of tea outside (there is something fun in that!) but I am glad I took a photo of what I did because I came away feeling like I hadn't achieved much at all.

But here is the evidence that I did! One long thin bed dug over and weeded ready for the new raspberry canes when they arrive.

I decided not to spend the time there shovelling manure as I didn't want to be too stinky when I got home! I'll save that for another day!

On Sunday my lovely parents came over and took us all out for a delicious meal at the local Italian bistro. The children loved it and were all "clean plate rangers" and we had a super time and because mum and dad were coming the house got rather a lot of tidying!!! But as it turned out we met them at the restaurant instead of at home!

My main distraction this weekend though, has been this:

although I really wish it had had this cover - I just like it better!

I bought it on Wednesday when I went over to Borders and to Ring a Rosie (where I bought more fabric and more wool!) and I have been reading it at every opportunity!

I really enjoyed it, but it is one of those frustrating books that makes you want to read constantly but at the same time do something creative!

My fingers were itching to knit while I was reading but I didn't want to put the book down!

Don't these authors realise what a quandry they put us in?

I have the same problem with the Elm Creek Quilts books.

It is really very inconsiderate of them!

By the way, these are the fabrics I bought from Ring a Rosie

and this is the reversible bag I made with them on Friday as part of this challenge with Lesley.

But now I must go and get on with ALL THAT SEWING!!!!!

talk to you all soon. Lucy x

Friday 18 January 2008

And the Winner of the 100th post giveaway is........................

After seeing how many comments I got on this giveaway I had a look at doing a random generated number thingy but I didn't like the fact that it would then take me ages to find out who had actually won by counting through the list.

So I decided that I would prefer to stick to my tried and tested method of writing the names out long-hand (one day I will get my printer fixed!) and then I persuaded Dot to cut them up while I went to get Daisy from her friend's house

and then Fred had the honour of choosing the winner - like this:

(how cute is he????)

and the winner is..........................


so congratulations Kitty - get in touch and let me know what colours you would like your dolly dressed in and I will try to get her finished soon even if I didn't manage to do a single bit of sewing today despite my listy-intentions!!!

Friday's To Do List - 3pm Update

3pm Update
Still haven't done anywhere near enough - partly because too busy messing about on the computer!

12 o clock Update
Not doing very well so far - it's already lunch time (although no lunch has been made because I discovered I need to go shopping first) and I have hardly achieved anything yet!

I've been good and haven't made you read my to-do-lists for a while so you will have to bear with me today as I have a lot to do and this is the best way of making myself get through the list!

  1. Make poorly Dorothy some porridge (and me too of course!) couldn't do it- NO MILK!!!
  2. Blitz the kitchen it's pretty good - wouldn't stand close inspection though!!!
  3. Do Loo-sley blog post about my messenger bag - yup it's finished!
  4. Top-stitch appliques on blanket order
  5. Make some soup for lunch didn't do this at all as the local shop had prawns on special offer so I made Dorothy and myself some of our favourite prawn mayo sandwiches - the diet will have to start tomorrow!(to save money and lose weight because I'm going to the Country Living Spring Fair on Friday 14th March - and guess what? I'm going to meet Lesley there! So if you any of you are going let us know - maybe we could all meet up?)
  6. Tidy sitting room well at least you can SEE the floor now!
  7. Tidy dining room it's pretty tidy - just need to sort out my sewing table now
  8. Hoover through downstairs
  9. Cut out pattern pieces for giveaway doll
  10. Stitch doll body
  11. Turn and stuff doll
  12. Type some of Dad's book
  13. Dry lots of washing and put away- still got that bit to do!
  14. Make something decent for the childrens' tea - don't know what yet!
    made their favourite fish pie
  15. Do draw for 100th post giveaway - this is going to have to be a random-generator-job as I really can't face writing out all the names longhand - and announce the winner

I'll let you know how I get on and if you want to be in with a chance of winning the doll there is still time to leave a comment on this post! I will do the draw at about 6pm tonight!

Tuesday 15 January 2008

100th Post - And That Valentine Swap Again!

Hello again everyone!

This may not be the best timing but it is actually my 100th post today so I am proposing a little giveaway in true blogger-fashion! If you would like to leave a comment on this post I will choose a name (probably by making the children pick it from a bowl again) on Friday 18th.

The giveaway present will be a small doll adapted from one of Rosalie Quinlan's patterns. She will be something like this
but the winner can choose the fabric colours for the clothes (and it won't have "Evie's first christmas" embroidered around the hem!!!)

So if you would like a chance to win your own little doll then leave me a comment!

Now, back to the Valentine Swap

Hopefully by now you will have all received your swap partner's questionnaire replies and will have started making contact with them.

You will all be pleased to hear that I now have a partner too - Queen Bee - so I am no longer feeling sorry for myself! Many thanks to those of you who offered to do a double stint and be my partner as well as someone elses - it cheered me up!

Just to re-cap, the rules of the swap are that the swap parcel would include

1. a small handmade item that takes less than 3 hours to complete and has a valentine theme. It could be anything: a sock creature, soft toy, simple stitchery, mini-quilt, pin-cushion, bag, purse, knitted something - anything that you would enjoy making and sharing!

2. something chocolatey or sweet-like!

3. and some craft supplies from your own stash - e.g. buttons, ribbon, fabric scraps, lace, wool, string, beads - anything like that but not worth more than £3/$6 in value.

The parcels are to be sent ON February 14th (or before if you are super organised - I just don't want people to feel stressed by the different shipping times etc as I have organised this a little too late!)

If you have a problem and are unable to send your parcel on or before February 14th please let your partner know about the delay as soon as possible. Likewise, if there are any problems or parcels missing at the end of the swap please contact your partner direct.

And finally, the main rule of the swap is HAVE FUN!!!!!

Monday 14 January 2008

Howdy Pardners!

Now this post has an awful lot of links in (and I thought yesterday's was bad) so I think I deserve a very big medal!!!! (or at least a large bottle of wine!)

Here goes:

1. The names were written on a sheet of paper

2. Cut out
3. drawn by the children and Jonny

and the partners are
Garden Girl (UK) with French Knots (UK)
Thimbleanna (USA) with Jeanette (Finland)
Trashalou (UK) with Vicious Chicken (UK)
denise (UK) with Blossom (AUS)
Tintocktap (UK) with Kae (UK)
Rachelmp (AUS) with Patti (UK)
Dawn (AUS) with Monique (Holland)
Corry (Holland) with Mary (USA)
Kaz (UK) with Lina (Canada)
Leanne (AUS) with Heidi (AUS)
Levin and Emily (AUS) with Sarah's Home (UK)
Heleen (Holland) with Monda Loves (UK)
Kitsch n zinc (UK) with Juliann (USA)
Dotty Designs (UK) with cheryl (USA)
AnnieB (UK) with Jo in Tas
Lissa Jane (AUS) with Laura (Italy)
Nicky (AUS) with May Kristin (Norway)
Stephanie Pettengell (UK) with Sara Eden (UK)
Gina (UK) with Pink Petal (UK)
Linda K (Holland) with Picperfic (UK)
katelnorth (UK) with LucyKate (UK)
Kitty (UK) with Working mom knits
jenny (AUS) with Pollyhope (UK)
Blueberry Lane (AUS) with Lesley (UK)
Beth (USA) with Lynette Anderson (AUS)
Katy (UK) with Fran (UK)

I will email you all over the next couple of days with the questionnaire answers and contact details of your partners - so have fun!

Tragically, because the final number was an odd one I have been left without a partner! This was greeted with wild cries from the children of "I'll be your partner mummy" "No! ME!" and so on! but if anyone would like to be my partner at short notice I would be most humbly grateful............sniff!

So as an amendment to the original plan, the first person to leave a comment on this post expressly asking to join the swap will have the dubious honour of being my swap partner!

Sunday 13 January 2008

Valentine Swap - Participants

Right then! The final members for the Valentine Swap are:

Monda Loves
Sarah's Home
Dotty Designs
Lynette Anderson
Linda K
Pink Petal
Garden Girl
French Knots
Working mom knits
Stephanie Pettengell
Vicious Chicken
May Kristin
Sara Eden
Kitsch n zinc
Lissa Jane
Levin and Emily
Blueberry Lane
Jo in Tas

Those of you whose names are in bold still need to return your questionnaires. According to my email these have been sent out to you but if they have not arrived do please contact me asap so I can send them again! I need all replies back by Monday evening (8pm GMT) so I can organise partners - good old names in a hat procedure!

To those of you who signed up but did not send your details in time to be included I can only apologise. I extended the deadline until 11pm (GMT) to allow for the time difference but then had to finalise things (so I could go to bed!) This swap needed to be organised quickly as I came up with the idea so late! If I organise another swap I will try to think about it in plenty of time!!!

Finally, just so I am not only talking about this swap, I thought I would share this with you:
I have recently been very lucky to be given a couple of blog awards.
I received this You Make My Day award from quite a few friends! Lesley, Gina, Leanne, Cathi and Jane! Thank you so much - I feel very honoured!

I would like to award this back to the five of you and also to all my blog-friends as you all make my day. Having access to your wonderful blogs has been an inspiration! But if I need to choose 7 people then I will award it to Patti, Kitty, Lissa, Annie, Nicolette, Joni and Est.

Then Lina sent me this one which needs 7 weird facts about me!
  1. I'm generally fairly weird! (Ask Moogsmum, she'll tell you!)
  2. I don't eat apples very often even though I like them
  3. I have loads of scrapbooking supplies but have only ever made one page!
  4. As a teenager I used to spend my spare time either up a tree or sitting in a chicken run reading my books
  5. I like talking to seagulls
  6. I don't really like shopping for clothes or shoes or handbags
  7. I used to think I was quite academic but my 10 year old daughter is 100 times better than me at maths!
I will follow Lina's lead and award this to 3 people - although how I am expected to only choose 3 I don't know!! I will try not to award it to people I know have already received it!

Here goes! I hereby bestow the You're an Amazing Blogger on Mrs Moogsmum, Mrs Monkey Maker and Mrs Ric-Rac who all make me laugh so much (in a good way!)