Friday 29 August 2008


I don't know how but I've hurt my wrist.

My right wrist too :(

So I can't

hand sew
machine sew
cut out
or even use the computer easily - the mouse hurts and typing hurts too.

(and I had commissions that needed to be finished this week)


and then there's all that lovely housework I so desperately wanted to do.................oh woe is me!

Wednesday 27 August 2008

Dotty Locket's Birthday

So my lovely Dorothy is now 11 - incredible!

And she's off to big school next week!!!

When asked what she wanted for her birthday she said

"Um, books please!..............................................then if you need any other ideas I'd quite like some books ......................and if anyone else asks then books would be good! ............................. how about books? And if you're really not sure what to get then I'd love some books!"

What a sensible girl!

Can't think who she takes after!

Her wish was my command

a jolly good stash of books from various members of the family and more books bought with birthday tokens from friends - should keep her quiet for a while (hopefully!) and then I get to read them all!

She also got some artsy crafty things from us, beautiful clothes from Granny and Grandpa Dog (and a book!)
(one of Dot's new dresses and a new dress for Daisy too - doesn't mum and dad's garden look lovely?)

and lovely cooking things from Granny and Grandpa Biscuit

including this gorgeous cookery book as recommended by Clare - the recipes are fab!

as well as an MP3 player full of great music
(that I REALLY want for myself) from Ally and co and lots of other lovely things from family and friends.

One of her absolute treasures is this Phoenix Trader Recipe Box from my friend Jane - Dot has been busily transferring her favourite recipes onto cards to put in it. She's becoming a really good cook.

So far she has received 5 home made presents.

(Fred looking rather strange here!)

The best being this gorgeous collaged picture by Daisy and Fred made out of old Country Living magazines (I really enjoyed helping them with this and Dot was banished to the kitchen to cook us scones and cakes so she didn't see what we were up to!)

I made her this butterfly from the Melly and Me pattern Blossom - such a fun thing to make

and then kitted her out with new things for school:
a patchwork pencil case with my very first inserted zippy pocket (wonky but functional!)

a co-ordinating wallet for her dinner money, bus pass, library ticket etc

and the piece de resistance.................................... a new school bag

(because she was worried that her old one would be too "bright and cheerful" for secondary school with her all black uniform!)

I loved sourcing the fabrics for this one and putting it together even if it did take 8 hours and still needs "tweaking" with some decorative red buttons for the front flap and a few more rows of top-stitching to make it super-strong (once I've replaced all the snapped sewing machine needles!)

(it's not really wonky - well not that much anyway! - it's just the way the flap has been put over)

It's fully reversible so she can have a "bright and cheerful" side too and has a gazillion different pockets (more zips - thanks to this tutorial over at U-handbag)

and pencil holders etc (the Russian doll bit in the next photo)

It has an extra wide strap but it can easily be folded over to make it narrower and it is nice and thick so it shouldn't cut into her shoulders - no matter how many books she puts in it!

Hopefully it will be sober enough to be "suitable" for secondary school but funky enough to pass muster with her peers (who will probably have designer labels instead of homemade!)

I've never found it easy to fit in with "the crowd" and I know Dot feels "different" too sometimes - what I would like her to be able to feel is "original" and "individual" instead.

I still need to make her a matching pencil roll and a P.E. bag - hopefully using this tutorial, and at the same time I am pootling away with some more mini-quilts. I started this one

originally for Sally-Ann who sent me this gorgeous Camper-van quilt. This caravan was going to be my "alternative camper-van" and is from this fantastic book by Anni Downs of Hatched and Patched. But the more I thought about it the more I realised that as the owner of the fabulous Daisy, Sally-Ann would probably prefer a real camper van quilt so I have started something different for her. So if any of my remaining mini-quilt-swapees fancy a flower-power caravan quilt then just let me know - it will look a lot nicer when it is finished I promise! (and I'll even iron it too!!!)

And if you've got to the end of this mammoth post then you clearly deserve a medal - so go and ask Trashy who she has put in charge of medal-making cos I haven't got any!

Tuesday 26 August 2008

another mini quilt!

I was really excited the other day when this huge parcel of goodies arrived from Stephanie at HoneyBee!

Stephanie is one of my mini-quilt swapees so I knew there would be something beautiful inside as her work is so amazing but look how many parcels I found

lovely allotment-y fabrics for each of the children as well as some pieces for me which the little Lockets want me to help them make into an allotment quilt

great selvedges and jumbo ric-rac

the most fantastic mini-pin-cushion that sits in the top of your cotton reel (and was put to use immediately!)

and this incredible quilt

Thank you so much Stephanie - I love it all, especially the quilt which is so intricately pieced - I don't know how you have the patience and neatness - it's amazing!

I'm just sorry it has taken me a few days to blog about it - but you can blame Dot for that - getting ready for 11th birthdays and weekends at Granny and Grandpa Dog's takes a lot of doing - but I will leave you with a gorgeous photo of my gorgeous girl celebrating

You'll have to come back next time to see what I made for her - the final thing only got finished this morning after spending 8 hours working on it!

Monday 18 August 2008

sweet and innocent things

I thought you might all appreciate some simple and innocent things to look at in this post to help you recover from Trashy's quilt............................

so here we have some lovely onions drying in my allotment shed - don't they look good?

I was chatting to Emma on my mobile whilst tidying my shed and she asked if it was a "pretty shed" so I explained how it had been derelict when we took on the allotment

and how I had rebuilt it with help from my allotment friends out of recycled fascia boards and bits of plastic

(photo from last August - look! Blue sky! AND dry grass patches!)

"so no bunting then?"

Nope, none at all, but look at my lovely tidy gardening tools

I do love my shed!

And while we are on the subject of allotments I thought I'd show you my favourite photo so far this year

It's not clever but the subject matter is gorgeous and I love how it all looks!

So Daisy leads me nicely on to my next part of the post........................

this parcel that arrived chez Locket this afternoon

a package full of goodness from our wonderful friend Gina

Not only was there a special parcel for Daisy containing a fantastic sock creature to thank her for designing the mini-quilt I made for Gina

(Millie Boggle was the name the children and I came up with in Gina's competition a while a go and it transpires that this young lady already has a taste for wine so she has come to the right place - as long as she doesn't drink too much of it!)

but also presents for all three little locket-y ladybirds so Dorothy and Fred wouldn't feel left out!

Here is a sample of the goodies inside each parcel - how kind and lovely! Gina also included old fashioned fruit lollies - the kind where they have the picture of the fruit in the middle - but they were gobbled too quickly for me to photograph them but I did get a lick of Daisy's as it was my favourite orange flavour!

Thank you so much Gina, the children were all delighted - especially as they had just come home from a two night sleep over at Granny and Grandpa Dog's house and were inevitably feeling a bit flat.

So......................... talking about Granny and Grandpa Dog (my mum and dad, named "Dog" by Dot when she was a baby because she always got excited about there being a dog at their house - as opposed to Granny and Grandpa Biscuit, where she got, um, well, biscuits) leads me very neatly into my next sweet and innocent photos

sneaky peeks of Emma's Russian Doll Swap gift from me

and Rachel's mini quilt - that I had time to stitch a bit more of because the children were having their sleepover

and yes, they do both look a bit similar (what you can see of them anyway) but that's because I really liked the colour/fabric combinations when I tried them out the first time and so used them again!

And the other thing that talking about my mum and dad leads on to is

new sock wool for my mummy bought from Barbara's gorgeous shop Ring-a-Rosie.

But I couldn't go through to Barbara's shop without arranging to meet up with Clare and the girls could I?

So we had a lovely time walking along the beach collecting pebbles for a silverpebble and watching the waves............................

all except for Fred

- who decided that throwing stones at the sea wasn't good enough

he had to run in after them...................FULLY DRESSED!

Meanwhile this friend of mine keeps dropping me sneaky hints about the things she has been making and buying lately for "somebody's" birthday............................ I can't wait!

Tuesday 12 August 2008

Not for those of a sensitive disposition

Okay then.

So you want to see Mrs Trashy's quilt?

Are you sure?


It's a good one!

But first there are some important points that you need to bear in mind

  1. Mr Locket is an archaeologist
  2. Mrs Locket was an ancient historian (before her brain got marshmallowed by having three little Lockets)
  3. Mrs Trashy knows about 1 and 2
  4. Mrs Trashy lives in the South West of England
  5. Mrs Trashy has a bit of a donkey thing going on
  6. Mrs Trashy left me a little warning note on the parcel

and most importantly of all

Mrs Trashy has a wickedly funny, if rather wacky, sense of humour

So you still want to see it?

Still sure?

Really sure?


Ladies and gentlemen (you never know, there might be a gentleman reading this) may I proudly present Trashalou's amazing mini quilt

and ta-da! here it is on the quilt wall!


That's the back?

Are you sure?

And you want me to turn it over?

Are you REALLY sure?

Ok, here it is

What's that?

You want a close up?

Are you really, really, REALLY sure?

Avert your eyes granny...............................

because here we have the one and only

in ALL his glory!

And for those of you less familiar with this curious Dorset landmark you can find out LOADS more HERE.

Trashy you are a total genius! This quilt had me crying with laughter (and I laughed even more when you told me how much you giggled as you stitched it!) You are completely bonkers and I am so delighted that you are my friend!

Thank you!

P.S. Come back next time when I shall have some nice tame photos of my newly tidied sheds and drying onions and garlic - much less racy!

Saturday 9 August 2008

Brilliant Blogland

We had the most fantastic day on Thursday when the Locket tribe invaded the lovely Quilty's home and stayed for NINE WHOLE HOURS!!!!!

Not one or two hours but NINE!

And we had the most fantastic time! Youngest Quilty and Daisy Locket are the same age and get on so well - you'd think they had known each other forever. They spent practically the whole day outside rollerblading (Daisy's first attempt) and were found towards the end of the day rolling up and down with umbrellas hoping for rain?!!

Dorothy Locket and Quilty 3 are the same age and have so much in common - I don't think they stopped talking all day and swapped books, sewed ladybirds and went off for a walk to the Quilty Allotment and had fun there too.

Meanwhile Fred was spoilt rotten by Clare's two eldest daughters - they were so kind and spent ages with him showing him how to play on a nintendo, helping him with puzzles, and playing cars and all sorts. I really appreciated how much time they gave him when they could just have gone off and done their own things and Fred absolutely loved it and tried to attach himself to the table leg so he wouldn't have to leave! When we eventually prized him off he ran and hid behind the curtains instead!

I didn't get many photos but Clare has written a lovely post about our visit so pop over to see the motley crew!

When we eventually dragged ourselves away and got home the children just fell into bed and then at 9.30pm there was a knock on the door...................

my Russian Doll swap parcel from Emma at Silverpebble had arrived!!!!!!

The postie wasn't working overtime - he'd just left it with one of my neighbours who had obviously seen our car and realised we were home.

Now this was a parcel that I was seriously excited about getting - Emma and I have been chatting on the phone lately so she has become an almost real imaginary friend now and she had hinted that the parcel was on the large side - especially for a necklace!

And there were so many lovely goodies in the parcel for me

my gorgeous necklace that I can't seem to get a good photograph of - sorry Emma it really doesn't show it off well enough.

And she had also included all these amazing goodies

beautiful old buttons, fabrics and lace, amazing beads, a really pretty handmade Russian Doll card and a lovely old smocking book

and then there was my birthday present - "for whenever it is" - along with instructions to have a glass of dry white wine - no problem there Emma!

The necklace is made of Chinese lampwork beads - they are so beautiful and make a lovely cluster.

But that's not all! Emma also included presents for the Little Lockets

and it is amazing, Emma couldn't have chosen more perfect presents for each of them

a fantastic science kit for brainbox Dot - she was so impressed!

a beautiful ring that Daisy has turned into a necklace by pinching the lovely turquoise ribbon from my birthday necklace

and a pair of ammonite fossils with a lovely handwritten description of them and web-sites to visit to find more for Fred - he absolutely loves them and no-one else is allowed to touch them!

Thank you so much Emma - everything is absolutely gorgeous and you have been so generous. I've worn my beautiful russian doll necklace every day since it arrived - I love it!

So this brings me to the reason for the title of this post - Brilliant Blogland. I could never have imagined a year and a half ago that I would start a blog and "meet" the most amazing friends - some of you I've never actually met in real life and may never have the chance to, others I talk to on the phone and get the chance to meet every now and then and others live near me so I can meet them more regularly - but you are all wonderful! An outsider hearing about blogland and bloggy meet-ups, swaps and giveaways, would no-doubt be very sceptical about "cyber friendships" (and I'm sure I would have been a few years ago too) but it's the most fantastic way to make friends with fabulous people with such similar interests, tastes and obsessions! I can't think of any other way to find such like-minded friends!

So a HUGE THANK YOU to good old Blogland - you're the best!

P.S. another parcel arrived yesterday.......................... my mini quilt from Trashy! But I'm afraid you are going to have to wait until the next post to see it as it definitely needs a post of its very own!!!