Friday 30 May 2008

I love books!

One thing we will never run short off in the Locket household is books (one day I will show you my favourite room in the house, also known as Dorothy's bedroom, that is absolutely full of books!)

But however many books we have there is never any hesitation when it comes to buying more - especially when they are bargains - so the lovely little second hand bookshop we found in Keswick was like a treasure trove. As we went up the stairs to the first floor shop we saw a row of books on the landing all marked at only £1 each and look what Dorothy found

aren't they lovely?

I found two Paddington books for Daisy for £3.50

(but she doesn't know where the other one is now!)

and two Hannibal the Hamster books for Fred for £3. I loved these stories when I was little but had completely forgotten about them until now

Fred loved them and lay on the bed at the Travel Lodge reading away to himself - a relatively new skill!

And look what I found for myself..........................

but sadly they didn't have the crochet or knitting editions.

We had already bought Daisy these two books for her birthday

and as we always give a little present to the other children when it is one of their birthdays, we had bought Dorothy paperback editions of Pollyanna and Good Wives and Fred had a Richard Scarry book (that link is specially for my friend Jane to show her who I was rambling on about the other day) and a dragon finger puppet!

But most exciting of all is this wonderful book that was sent as a gift by a very kind friend.

The postie had tried to deliver it on Saturday when we were having a surprise cinema party for Daisy with 3 of her friends so I had to wait until yesterday to go to the sorting office to pick it up. But WOW it was well worth the wait!

I knew I would love this book but I had no idea how much! It really is a lovely, lovely book - you know when you get a book and find maybe three or four things you want to try making? Well with this book it is pretty much every project that I want to do - as soon as possible too!

I just need to find some wool jumpers to shrink (my kind of washing!!!) - in the meantime I am going to play with some of the scraps I already have - but I can't show you what I am making yet so I will leave you with another photo of Daisy's doll (christened Beatrix after Miss Potter of course) in her newly-rescued-from-the-big-bag-in-the-garage-outfit

it is so lovely seeing the children's clothes being re-worn (even if it is only by a rag doll!) - when Daisy dressed her in a little shortie romper suit that Fred had worn as a baby I nearly cried! But don't worry, I'm not getting broody - three little Lockets is definitely enough!!!

P.S. Edited to add two things....................

1. Katy has just had the very good idea of a Russian Doll Swap so pop over here to sign up

2. Etsy seems to have gone rather quiet lately so I am planning on taking my wallets to some of the local shops instead. I will leave them in my shop until Monday so if there is anything you want you need to get it now. (that's about as "hard sell" as I get I'm afraid!!!)

Thursday 29 May 2008

A Birthday and a little Holiday

Things have been very busy chez Locket lately as Daisy has just had her 8th birthday and in true Lucy Locket style I set myself the challenge of making as many of her presents as possible although the finished number was less than I had originally intended.

To make things more complicated we had also arranged a mini-holiday in the Lake District to celebrate her birthday which meant that everything had to be ready before we could go - so I was still sewing on Monday morning while the children were waiting patiently in the car!

We finally managed to get away and drove to Keswick. The weather was gorgeous and we had a lovely picnic by Derwent Water

and the children played with fishing nets by the lake.
We then hired a rowing boat which was great fun - Daisy decided there were all sorts of Sea Monsters in the water trying to pull away her oars and some nice ones that were trying to help (the nicest is apparently called Humpalumpa (although now she is apparently called Aggie) who got lost when her family flew to the sea)

I'm not a photographer at all but I really like this picture of the Greylag geese with their goslings by the rowing boat moorings.

After rowing we had a mooch round Keswick town and found some fantastic books - especially in a little second hand bookshop - more about them in a later post

We stayed in the Travel Lodge at Cockermouth and woke up very early the next morning to open all Daisy's presents.

Here are some of the handmade ones

Dorothy had knitted her this beautiful little purse

and I managed to make her this Paddington Bear bag (as requested!)

with a matching t-shirt (Asda's best white t-shirt for 75p customised by me!)

(the back of the bag)

there was also a matching wallet and she already has a Paddington pencil roll and purse so I think she is well kitted out!

Daisy also requested a Mahoosive Dolly when she saw me making this one so I did as I was told

- this time using the girls' baby clothes that I have been keeping to make into something or other - the great thing is there is a whole garage full of more clothes so this dolly will never go short!

Here she is with her smaller big sister Jemima who I made for Dorothy's 3rd birthday (nearly 8 years ago!)

and of course she had to have breakfast with us!

then supper!

We spent Daisy's birthday in Windermere but it was incredibly busy and we were unable to get to see Hill Top Farm where Beatrix Potter once lived because of the queues. We did manage to get into The World of Beatrix Potter and Fred in particular loved it. We spent the night at a different Travel Lodge in Kendal and had a lovely meal at Pizza Express in town where they made a fuss of Daisy and sang happy birthday.

On the way home on Wednesday we visited my parents in Durham and had a lovely birthday tea - complete with the gorgeous "Daisy" cake at the top of this post!

So now I need to catch up with all your blogs, get on with some orders, send some more mini-quilts out and start making Fred's birthday presents as it is only 8 days until he is 6! No rest for the wicked!!!

Sunday 25 May 2008

The kindness of bloggers

A few weeks ago I received this email

Hi Lucy.
I missed signing up for your mini quilt swap as I was on holiday. You could have called me a cheat if I had signed up though as I allready have the quilt I wanted to send you. It was made by my aunt in the late 70's and has spent the last 25-30 years in a box. I have 3 others the same and thought it would look great on your wall.
I would not want anything in return; you have allready (unknowingly) given me a lot.
Laughter, when reading your blog.
More laughter, when reading other blogs from the list on your blog.
Most importantly, you have, with other bloggers, given me my crafting Mojo back! It had been missing for nearly 20 years!
I now have a new sewing machine and a list as long as my arm of projects I want to make!
If you let me have your postal addy, I will get it in the post to you
PS. My aunt would have been pleased if her quilt could hang with others; unfortunately she died 2 years ago (aged 91)

I was obviously intrigued and overwhelmed by the generosity of Eve's offer especially as I hadn't met her (in the blog sense) before this email arrived.

And you can imagine how thrilled I was when I received these parcels yesterday

and look at this amazing quilt! I think I was expecting something really traditional so this fantastic chicken was a real surprise. Look how tiny those hexagons are and the colours are so funky! Eve's aunt's name was Dagny Jalser and she was born in 1913. I feel really honoured to have one of her quilts on my wall.

And look who were hiding in the parcels for the little Lockets

These amazing Munkees knitted by Eve who quickly made themselves at home in the urban jungle that is our back garden!

The children were thrilled and have christened them "Mad Thing" (Dorothy's), "Petal" (Daisy) and "Raindrop" (Fred) - it was difficult to get a photo of them because they haven't left the children's sides since they opened them.

especially as they are so snuggly!

Thank you so much Eve - I am really touched by your generosity.

I also need to thank Eve for this award that she gave me yesterday

Thank you so much Eve - I am delighted that I have helped you get your crafting mojo back (although I'm not sure I really deserve the award!)

I would like to pass this on to all my friends in blogland - I am constantly inspired and encouraged to make new things and try new ideas - thank you!

Friday 23 May 2008


Today has definitely been a day of quilts.

I am pleased to say that I have managed to post out 4 of the 22 on my little (long) list! So here are some sneak peeks of Jodie's



and Est's
mini quilts - I hope they don't take too long to arrive with you and that you like them!

What is more exciting is that I received two parcels today!

Fortunately I had left a little note for the Postie because I thought I might be out when he arrived so he squeezed one through the letter box and left one with a neighbour so I don't have to do battle with the sorting office again!

The first was a lovely parcel of goodies from Kate

with this gorgeous quilt - the quilting on here is just amazing, I wish I knew how to do that - you need to click on the picture to see how intricate it is!

these lovely fabrics for me

and some fabulous novelty fabrics for the little Lockets

Daisy has already claimed the shoe ones!

Thank you so much Kate - your work is always so fantastic and I love my quilt!

My second parcel was from Gina but I had to wait very patiently for my neighbour to get home so I could collect it and then I had to scramble around to find the camera so I could rip the packages open!

I knew that Gina was going to do something in Janet Bolton's style because she knows how much I love it - but nothing prepared me for the gorgeousness of this quilt

I just love it - and of course it is Dorothy, Daisy and Fred which makes it even more special and those fabric combinations are so me!

Gina sent me some gardener's soap from Barnsdale for when I'm stinky from the allotment,

this gorgeous card

some chocolates for the children (no time to photograph them - they were devoured!)

and these lovely fabrics

Thank you so much Gina - I'm so very, very lucky!

I'll have to wait until tomorrow to do the quilt wall photo as I have run out of white-tack (my temporary adhesive until I decide how I want to arrange them all).

I worked out how to set up a flickr group for this mini-quilt swap and all the participants should have received an invitation to join it. If by any chance you haven't received it then do let me know. I also managed to work out how to put the badge for it in my sidebar so it will be there for you to look at any time!

I'm off now to do some more of Daisy's birthday present making!

Lucky Lucy Locket x

Thursday 22 May 2008

Another mission accomplished

I feel a huge sense of relief today because I have managed to finish the two orders that HAD to be done this week and although I wasn't delighted with the horse picture I am really pleased with this bunny.

The bunny body is sort of my own design in that I drew the pattern pieces free-hand and tried to make her different to other designs I've seen but it is very difficult to know where/when something becomes your own. And there are only a certain number of different ways to do a bunny's ears or arms or feet - at some point they will overlap with someone elses ears, arms or feet!

The dress is definitely not my design - I used the pattern from Rosalie Quinlan's My Dolly Bekkie because it is the most successful doll's dress pattern I have found. I changed it slightly because I was using this little newborn baby dress for the material

and I am really pleased because I have been able to re-use the hem and ruffle,

the pin-tuck bodice, the ribbon, bow and the sleeves.
I even managed to use the back pieces with the button and button-hole and all the interfaced fabric - so it really uses as many of the original features as possible.

The dress fabric is the most adorably soft baby needlecord - it almost feels like velvet and was lovely to work with. The little jacket is made with some Tilda wool felt.

When Daisy found this new bunny she decided she was her Betty Bunny's younger sister so I had lots of plaintive role play along the lines of "don't sell me! I want to stay with my sister!" so here they are together for one last photo-shoot - I know, I'm cruel to separate them but TOUGH!!!!

Isn't it amazing how much better you can feel about things when you make something you are proud of?

Now that the two urgent orders are out of the way I can concentrate on making some of Daisy's birthday presents - but unfortunately I won't be able to show you them until after the date - just wish me luck with getting them done!

The deadline for posting out your mini-quilts is this Saturday (24th May) so please let your swap partner and me know if there will be any delay. I need to make a little confession here, although I hope to get at least 3 of my quilts posted by Saturday, the one for my official swap partner Leanne is not going to be among them as I am trying to do my own design for this one which makes it more tricky - I have told Leanne and she says she doesn't mind - I just hope it will be worth waiting for!!!

I had some very, very exciting post yesterday but unfortunately can't show you the contents because it is a very secret something for Fred's birthday in a couple of weeks so you'll need to be patient (and so will I which is much, much harder!) This envelope may give you a clue as to who it was from

Wednesday 21 May 2008

A lovely lunch

On Sunday the Locket family travelled down to the Yorkshire Dales to meet up with other members of the clan. One of my brothers and his family live down there and my parents (who live about 30 miles from us) had arranged for us all to meet up and go out for lunch. The little Lockets had a fantastic time with their cousins and it was lovely to spend time with my family.

We went to a brilliant pub called the Wensleydale Heifer - apparently it is one of the best places for seafood even though it is such a long way from the sea!

I remembered to take pictures of the food for you

Scrummy fish and chips

and sticky toffee pudding knicker-bocker-glory!

and even got an extra one of a clean plate so you could see how clever it was.

I am busily trying to finish off some orders this week so I have time to make Daisy's birthday presents for next tuesday, so yesterday was spent struggling with a commission for a wedding picture for a couple who met on horseback!

This is the finished item - but it doesn't really look like I spent 5 hours solid working on it does it? I just hope they like it.

obviously it will look better once it has been pressed!

Today I am going to be making a bunny using baby clothes for the dress for a Christening at the weekend but the sun is shining and I really wish I could go to the allotment instead! And then there are all those mini-quilts.....................................!