Tuesday 29 April 2008

What a lovely day

I've had a really lovely day today because I was lucky enough to meet the wonderful Clare/Quiltdude and the fabulous Charlie P of the Pigeon Loft who came home from her continental studies to celebrate her 21st birthday.

None of us had met up before so I think we were all fairly nervous and excited in equal measure but we just got on so well and didn't stop talking or laughing from start to finish.

Our first port of call was Barbara's lovely shop Ring a Rosie where we all stocked up on wool and I got to play silly games............because you know you are going to like someone when their handbag looks like this

and in keeping with Waldorf Monkey's first visit to Ring a Rosie Charlie let me play "Spot the Pigeon"

quickly followed by "Spot the Dinosaur"

Lots of imaginary and non-existent, invisible gifts to those of you that can find them!

And talking of gifts, when we finally dragged ourselves away from Barbara's to go for coffee, passing another fantastic sign in a shop window

Charlie gave me these scrummy "Percy Pigs" - but I love their German name even more

and Clare gave me my mini-quilt - I had no idea she had already finished it - and I absolutely love it!it is all hand-pieced and hand-quilted and is absolutely beautiful - and look at the gorgeous fabric and label on the back

I'll post another picture the next time I blog with it up on the "quilt wall" - thank you so much Clare it is beautiful!

Now I haven't let you down today because I did remember to photograph my coffee and cake

and to make up for forgetting last week here is another photo of the cake, this time in close-up - and it tasted even nicer than it looked!

Thank you so much Clare and Charlie - I had a really fantastic day and hope we can meet up again soon - forget about going back to Germany Charlie - you are wasted on that languages degree and should be a crafty designer instead - and Clare, we've got so much in common it's frightening!

And as my bloggy-versary party is finally over I can now announce the winners of my "you don't have to pay it forward Pay It Forward" giveaway who are

Dotty Designs
Charlie P
Annie B
Lucy Kate
and Sal

If I haven't already got your snail mail address from a swap could you please email it to me. These gifts may take me a while to make because of my other committments but I will try to make them in much less than the usual 365 day limit for PIFs!

Thank you to everyone for your lovely comments and encouragement - I LOVE BLOGGING!!!!!

Monday 28 April 2008

Happy Bloggyversary to ME!

Would you believe it? I have been prattling on to you all for a WHOLE YEAR as of today - and, unfortunately for you, none of my posts have been as short as the very first one!

If you had asked me just over a year ago whether I would have a blog of my own I would have laughed - I have always felt really self-conscious whenever I have tried to write a diary or anything like that and would never have dreamt of doing it online but then I discovered the whole world of CRAFTY BLOGGING - and I was an instant convert!

I absolutely LOVE my blog and the whole blog world and am very happy to have had the chance to make friends with you all!

So I'd like to invite you to my Bloggyversary Party. The imaginary wine is open (and there is loads of it) and the imaginary buffet is set out so come over and have fun!

Now, as it's my party I can do what I like can't I? And this is the point at which I am going to be really rebellious (which is totally unlike me - I'm such a stickler for doing things right!).

My act of rebellion is this:

I have been really lucky lately to have been chosen as the PIF recipient from two blogs and had already signed up to another (I also have two PIF parcels waiting to be sent out from last year - it did say we could take up to 365 days didn't it???).

But the problem with PIF-ing is that once it has been around a bit everyone has taken part at least once and people have so many other commitments that they can't take on another pay-it-forward.

So what I am going to do is break all the rules and offer to Pay It Forward to 9 people who comment on this post - but THEY DO NOT HAVE TO PAY IT FORWARD IN TURN.

I hope this makes sense!

So leave a comment on this post and you will be in the draw for one of the nine presents that I will send out - but you do not have to pay it forward unless you really want to.

Sunday 27 April 2008

Rag Doll update

I thought I would let you know how I was getting on with the Mahoosive (thanks for a great word quiltdude!) Rag Doll.

She doesn't look quite as scary anymore does she - I mean I really don't want to stop Trashy from sleeping. She doesn't have real hair yet but I think her let's-plonk-a-ball-of-wool- on-her-head-and- see-if-we-can-get- away-with-it-Wig is quite stylish - don't you?

Here she is with her older but smaller cousin Jemimah (made for Dot for her third birthday and proudly sporting the new scarf knitted for her by Dot)

The dress and cardigan will fit easily now and I just need to put little tucks on the shoulders of the dress to make the armholes smaller - rag dolls don't need as much room to move as babies.

I'm going to show her to the baby's mum tomorrow and see what she thinks - if it isn't right then I will keep the doll as Daisy would rather like to have her as one of her birthday presents (and then I get to do the fun part of making her clothes!)

As far as my mahoosive job-list is concerned I seem to be doing ok so far - I have nearly finished another sock monkey (without screaming) and have done quite a bit of work on various rag dolls and some of your mini-quilts.

But look what has happened to my "family portrait" quilt as a result

It is just a really useful place to pin things when I need to be able to find them quickly but have no more room on the table for them - I currently have a work list, four and a half rag dolls' body pieces, 3 pairs of socks for future monkeys, the clothing for a boy rabbit doll, 5 mini-quilts and the lovely wall hanging from Lesley all pinned on top of the quilt - I think it will soon be completely covered.

But I suppose it's just a new piece of art!

I'll leave you tonight with some "ahhhhhhhhh!"

Mr Locket singing Fred's "Ladybird Club" song with Fred on Ukele

The song goes something like this

"C'mon we're the ladybirds!
If you're bored tell your mum
if you can go to the cinema
to see the Ladybirds

I'm looking forward to next week as I have another bloggy meet-up planned - and all that sewing to do too of course!

Don't forget to pop over tomorrow.

Lucy x

P.S. You didn't think I'd really finished did you?

This is my final photo (honest!)

"So what did you do this weekend Mr Locket?"

Saturday 26 April 2008

Far too much to do - but whose fault is that?????

Once again I am in the situation of having far too much to do but I know I only have myself to blame - and I will enjoy (nearly) every minute of it once I get going.

Daisy has been asked to 4 birthday parties in the next couple of weeks and Fred has one too so I decided that homemade (and therefore free) presents might be a very good idea given the parlous state of our finances!

In my wisdom I decided that I should make a Sock Monkey for birthday no.1 - but the truth is that I really don't actually LIKE making Sock Monkeys and I got very cross with it and myself this afternoon. I was definitely a very Grumpy-Mummy-Locket - but I'm quite pleased with the result and hopefully Daisy's friend will be too.

I'm going to have to go out and buy a bumber-big-bag of toy stuffing tomorrow as I currently have to make
  • 4 more monkeys (if I can bear it)
  • 2 small dolls
  • 2 medium sized dolls with dresses made out of baby clothes for the babies' christenings
  • 2 "Lucy Locket Owls"
  • several birthday presents for Daisy for next month
  • and a larger rag doll (more about that later)
on top of that I have someone wanting a wedding stitchery, various wallet requests and a whole load of wallets to put finish for my Etsy shop - not to mention one or two mini-quilts and two PIF gifts from last year - my 365 days to Pay It Forward are nearly up!

It's a good job I like sewing isn't it???

About the larger rag doll - I have been asked to make a doll to fit this gorgeous baby dress

(size about 9 months I guess) for the little girl's first birthday.

The problem I have is that to make the doll big enough to fit the dress (given that babies are differently proportioned to rag dolls) it will be HUGE - rather like this....................

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm, a bit freaky don't ya think?

Obviously it may be better once it gets its stuffing and hair - but I would be very grateful for any HELPFUL suggestions!

Hope you are all having a lovely weekend. Make sure you come back on Monday - not saying why though!

Locket xxx

P.S. Pop over to Barbara's blog as she is having a "name the teddy" competition - I don't really want to tell you all this because I want to win but I am a kind and generous person at heart.........!

Friday 25 April 2008

Lucy Locket's Mini-Quilt Wall - Part 1

I've had another lovely and self-indulgent day today. This morning I went to see a friend who has recently become a Phoenix Trader - something I once considered doing myself until I realised it was just because I wanted to own all the cards myself!

I knew I was going to be able to buy some lovely cards (and I did) but I also had a sneaky suspicion that there would be something yummy to eat as Jane is a very good cook and made me these muffins a while ago.

I wasn't disappointed - she had made a scrummy ginger cake for today - but once again I forgot to take a photo - sorry everyone!

When I got home,

to this very bare looking hall (with a very bare looking wall just crying out for a collection of mini-quilts from around the world)

I was very, very, VERY excited to discover a special delivery parcel through my door!

I ripped it open, saw who it was from, and then discovered I wasn't allowed to open this bit!

Can you believe it - part of the parcel was addressed to

so I knew I would have to wait for the scurvy bunch of Little Lockets to get home from school before I could see what was inside!

But wait! There was another parcel for me too.............................

And when I opened it I nearly exploded with happiness because look what was inside

A truly incredible mini-quilt from Katy! I love it so much it almost makes me cry with happiness. It is just a HAPPY picture with happy colours and it is MINE!!!!!!!!!

It came with a lovely tag

and a really nice label on the back - complete with a ginger monkey! (ok, so he's black but I know he's ginger inside!)

And FINALLY the children got home so we could see what was in their parcel

gazillions of crafty gorgeousness - designed to set any creative little heart a-flutter! The children were so excited as they "discovered" all their goodies and can't wait to start playing with it all!

Thank you so much Katy - we are a very, very lucky and happy collection of Lockets!

So I will leave you today with a photo of my Quilt Wall with its very first occupant!

See - there's loads more room left!

Have a great weekend everyone - and especially Katy for making me so happy today!

Lucy xxxx

Wednesday 23 April 2008

Real "Imaginary Friends"

I had a lovely day today because I got to meet one of my "imaginary bloggy friends" for REAL!

Sarah had correctly guessed the shoe-sizes for the 5 children in my 150th post giveaway and as she only lives a few miles away from me we decided to meet up in person rather than submit "Chick-Chick and Barney" to the trials of Royal Mail.

This is where we arranged to meet

a) because it was convenient for both of us
b) because it has the most fantastic textiles room, and
c) because there is a lovely coffee shop/restaurant where we were guaranteed cake!

But guess what?

I let you down bloggy friends!

And forgot to take a photo of our scrummy lemon torte with cream and chocolate sprinkles! So you will just have to imagine how nice it was...............!

Sarah was absolutely lovely and we talked for over 4 hours before we decided we really should go back to normal life - I'm sure the staff in the coffee shop were wondering how long we could sit there!

As we were leaving we spotted some ladies busy demonstrating their work in the textiles room - one was spinning on a wheel while the other two were doing "tapestry weaving" - it was fascinating and I think they were quite surprised to have two interested "crafters" asking questions about what they were doing.

I even got to show them my lovely "pair" of socks! (I think this might have been the point at which Sarah wished she could pretend she didn't know me at all!!!)

Now, considering the fact that I was meant to be the one giving Sarah a present, you can imagine how delighted I was when she gave me a parcel with these lovely goodies inside

there is a gorgeous hanging heart, a tissue cover and a really lovely needle-case complete with needles, pins and safety pins - but how did she guess that I like chocolate?????

Thank you so much Sarah - I had a really lovely day and am looking forward to our next meet-up - I hope it is soon!

Tuesday 22 April 2008

A lovely bloggy gift

I was really excited the other week when Esther of My Cuppa Charms announced that I was one of the winners of the giveaway to celebrate her first year of blogging!

Esther makes the most exquisite things and I am lucky enough to own some already - see here and here - so I knew I was in for a treat when this parcel arrived through my door.

Even the sellotape is amazing and the label is so nice with this lovely message on the back

But best of all - look at this gorgeous picture inside

Thank you so much Est - I LOVE it! There is so much detail in it with all the sequins in the middle flag stripes and the beads sewn into the "drapeau"! And as for the expression on that little bird's face - it is adorable!

Monday 21 April 2008

Behind the Green Door

This sign on a Coffee Shop door made me laugh today

but which is stranger - this sign, or the fact that this is such a short post from the Queen of Upper-Waffling?????

Friday 18 April 2008

PIF gifts and TLC

I was the very lucky winner of Anglesey Allsorts' recent PIF draw and a lovely parcel arrived in the post yesterday.

These were the lovely goodies she sent me, complete with the most fantastic label

and she really sweetly included a package for the Little Lockets

full of lovely crafty goodies - sorry the photo isn't very good - but there are transfers, bags of glitter and the most fantastic finger puppets to decorate - I can't wait the children can't wait to decorate them!

Thank you so much Vicky - we are all very, very grateful!

The other topic of interest for today's post is........................

TLC is a little club that we have set up in the Locket Household as Dorothy has left Brownies but can't get into Guides, Daisy has left Rainbows but can't get into Brownies and Fred is still too young for Cubs.

We came up with the idea a few months ago and made club badges and a sash each to wear them on and then I bought the supplies to make them all club t-shirts too but we forgot. So the first job on starting the club again today was to make the t-shirts

while the children made the sign and decorated their Ladybird Club Notebooks

Here is part of Daisy's design

We decided not to use the sashes anymore as they went across the ladybirds on their t-shirts so I very quickly (and very roughly) made them some little bags from the legs of old jeans to put their badges on instead.

One of the things we want to do in our "club" is earn badges like you used to do in Brownies (sadly this didn't seem to happen in Dorothy's Brownie group) using this book as inspiration

a copy of the Brownie Handbook I had as a child (Dorothy reads this cover-to-cover on a regular basis!)

and their ideas for Badges to do our own.

Today the children earned their "Sewing badges"

for all the stitching they have been doing recently and because we finished their cushions today.

here they are busily stuffing them - and the finished products are pretty cute too

When you actually read the rules of the badges we used to do you can see how much more was expected of us back then (crumbs that makes me sound so old!!!) For example, to get the knitting badge you needed to be able to
1.Choose your own pattern and, following the printed directions, knit a garment introducing two types of stitches.
2. Knit a pair of socks or gloves, or mittens with thumbs, using two or four needles.
I don't think many modern under-10s would be able to do this level of knitting do you? The needlework one is pretty hard too - they expect loads of different stitches - but I think the Little Lockets have definitely earned theirs!

We are planning to move onto the Cookery badge

and the Gardening one too (I need some incentive to get my seeds sown or we are going to have a very empty allotment!)

I'll let you know how we get on but I will leave you today with this gorgeous photo of the Ladybird Club Members modelling their new t-shirts

I absolutely LOVE this photo - it's amazing how animated they look when you get them to say "KNICKERS" instead of "Cheese"!!!!!

Thursday 17 April 2008

Too tired to blog????

Nearly, but not quite!

As the weather has picked up a bit over the last couple of days (i.e. only raining for half the day!) we have been able to get up to the allotment again.

It has been getting me quite stressed thinking about how much there is to do there and how far behind I am getting with all my seed-sowing etc. so I am really pleased to have been able to achieve some good stuff lately.

I'm now going to bore you all silly with photos of soil - hang in there as there will be one little crafty photo at the end!

First up are my two main potato beds after their second digging over - they are quite big too so I'm rather proud of my work here.

next you get to admire my lovely trenches with artistically placed spade and beautiful shadows

Then you get to see the potatoes in situ (I know how to make my blog interesting don't I?)

and here is today's digging achievement - quite heavy clay-ey soil that has been dug, de-weeded, manured and planted with the (almost) last of my potatoes - first earlies of Rocket and International Kidney (Jersey Royal) and main-crop Pink Fir Apple.

I have to say that every muscle in my body is aching now and when we were rained off at about 3pm today I was too tired to even sew when we got home!

Moving away from potatoes (although I know you find them very interesting) I thought I would show you two "pond-y" things

First one of my new tadpoles

Kindly donated by a fellow allotment holder. (Someone else complained that I was "messing with nature" because I put the tadpoles in the pond but I replied that I had already "messed with nature by digging the pond in the first place.)

And finally one of the willow plants that I grew from a bunch of willow branches that I bought from a florist when Daisy wanted to make fairy teepee's in a fairy garden one birthday.

I've just moved them so that they are either side of the pond to provide some more shelter and interest.

Now I promised you something crafty so here it is
a tooth pouch for a little girl who has to have some teeth removed today.

I will leave you with a "little Locket photo" of Fred hard at play

I'm always interested in how he likes arranging things - a lego domino rally inside a circle of cars............

If you are still here then please come back tomorrow to see the lovely PIF gifts we received from Vicky at Anglesey Allsorts and to hear about "The Ladybird Club" - I promise not to show you any more photos of soil...........................