Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Far too many photos - but you're getting them anyway!

This is an extremely photo-heavy post and I don't really have that much to say (which will probably make a very pleasant surprise!) but I apologise now for a total lack of cohesion in what I have to show you today.

First of all I am going to have a shameless, last-ditch attempt to win some Geek-by-proxy points in Lesley's competition before it closes.

Young Fred Locket
(pretending to be a chicken at Granny and Grandpa's house in this photo)
was desperate for it to be his turn to make "Halloween Biscuits" at school, so he came up with a plan, and a rather geeky plan it was too (for a 6 year old anyway). He decided he'd make a chart with the days until Halloween across the top and the children in his class down the side. That way he could cross each child off as they had their turn to cook and would be able to see when it was getting closer to his turn! (so cute!)

Amazingly his turn came round far sooner than he expected so he is now just using his chart to count the days until Halloween! But in the meantime he had to ring his Granny Dog and tell her that you use golden syrup in biscuits!?!

Meanwhile Daisy Locket was off school poorly for a few days last week and decided she needed to make the most of her time spent lying on the sofa by sewing some shoes for Beatrix (her mahoosive rag doll).

We used the Heather Bailey Bitty Booties pattern and, with very little help once I'd shown her the stitches, this is what she produced

and here is young Beatrix proudly modelling them

Daisy went back to school today and the little shoes have gone too so she can show them to her teacher and her friends.

In doll related news, Fred's "Adam Friend" doll went through the wash the other day but I was rather shocked to find him like this

and even more concerned when I went back out later to see this

The poor kid! But I bet these cruelties paled into insignificance when I chucked him in the tumble dryer a couple of hours later!

Moving swiftly on to:

a rather depressing shot of the allotment

a very pretty butterfly in mum and dad's garden (have you noticed how much fewer there seem to be this year?)

and finally the real reason for this whole post

Mum and Dad's new puppy Milly!

She's totally adorable! Only 9 weeks old and so good. I wish we could have brought her home with us!

P.S. did you notice Daisy's lovely new socks, just finished by Granny Dog?

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Look out London, Watch out World


(image borrowed from here *)

Clear the streets!

Lock your doors!


coz I'm coming down to London again!

My "sewing night" friends and I are planning a trip down to the Country Living Christmas Fair on Friday 14th November and have actually been given 1st class train tickets too!

So if anyone fancies a bloggy meet up over a coffee just let me know!

Alternatively, you now know which day NOT TO GO to the CL fair!!!

I'm so excited!!!!

I am also rather nervous because I did something quite incredible today.................

I actually applied for a proper job for the first time since I had the children - so watch out world!

Unfortunately my CV was completely out of date - in fact I couldn't find one on the computer at all so had total panic stations while I searched through the deeply stratified archives (thank heavens for an archaeologist for a husband) for any previous job information. Maybe it's just me, but there is no way I would have been able to pluck qualification dates and details and former job details out of my memory!

Fortunately I found half a CV from 12 years ago and with the help of a humungous pile of old time-slips, pay-slips, P60s etc was able to cobble together a semi-decent application form (I think)

so please keep your fingers and toes crossed for me! It's "just" a part-time secretarial post - but it's one I think I would really enjoy and it's about time I started earning my keep!!!

*(no offence meant to any of my lovely bloggy pals who have had to cope with this kind of weather in real life)

Tuesday, 23 September 2008


I'm sorry - I really wasn't trying to be mean by making you all wait so long to see what was in the parcels! Life just got in the way and I haven't had the chance to update my blog.

So, what was in the parcels then?

The first one had some gorgeous Japanese fabric for me and Lesley - but I forgot to get a photo of it so you'll have to wait even longer to see it!

The second was a massive parcel of goodies from my lovely aunt who had been having a clear out of her craft supplies - look how much she sent me!

by the way, these are seriously large pieces of fabric!

then there was a brilliant birthday present from Maria at Wonderwoman (not)

with a fab book and lovely yarn and fabrics!

and another birthday present - this time from Jane at Craftyconundrum

a beautiful notebook and cover with a pocket full of pens inside!

- I think there were actually more pens than are shown in the photo but the naughty Little Lockets fell on the parcel as soon as I opened it and ran away with some of them - sorry Jane!

Abother parcel (which actually came a few days earlier) was all the way from Australia with these cheeky girls hiding inside - from the amazingly talented Jodie

fortunately the little gocco-girl hasn't started swearing yet!

And finally I very excitedly opened the large flat parcel that contained this book I had ordered from Rachel's ebay shop

it's brilliant with loads of really gorgeous designs in and I have already started two stitchery projects.

But I had been chatting to Rachel for a while, dithering over which Bronwyn Hayes book to buy before deciding on Little Chicken Feather, so I was overwhelmed to find that Rachel had also included the other book I'd admired in my parcel - because she couldn't resist sending it to me! How fantastic is that?

And the book really is fantastic - I'm so delighted to have both!!!

I am completely overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of my bloggy friends - you are all amazing! And special thank you's to Maria, Jane, Rachel and Jodie! And thank you too Aunty Margaret!

Monday, 15 September 2008

A grand day out

You just know you are going to have a grand day out when this is the welcome committee

Yup, I spent yesterday at the Pigeon Loft and had the most fantastic time!

Especially when I opened the white box and found a friendly little face looking up at me

My very own Mr Pigeon!!!!

with his little passport ready for any adventures!

I was prepared and had already made him a special little tanktop so he could remember his new name..........................

Lofty Locket!!!!!

(He really looks much nicer without his tanktop because it is so badly knitted - but Charlie and I reckoned this was his super-hero outfit, especially as it makes his wings stick out!)

And if getting my VERY OWN PIGEON wasn't exciting enough, there was cake too!

But even more excitingly (if possible) I got to play with this........................

Can you see?

We got to do Gocco-ing

It's incredible!

and now I am going to completely overwhelm you with the number of photos I took of the whole process - sorry (well, I'm not really sorry so you'll just have to put up with it!!!)

Step 1

The first thing we had to do was come up with an idea for the design. Charlie said I could choose and after a few many minutes of me dithering and saying things like "but I can't draw" and "I don't have any good ideas" I decided that a really "Lucy Locket thing" was my allotment

so this was my design (told you I can't draw) - little packets to collect seeds from the allotment for next year.

Step 2

Then Charlie turned it into a proper picture - because she really can draw (in fact she really can draw really, really well)

but Lofty started taking a keen interest in proceedings

so Charlie let him add a few details

Step 3

Next the pencil drawing had to be over-drawn with black pigma pen (I let Charlie do that bit too!)

Step 4

Then Lofty showed us where to put the original drawing

and then demonstrated where the light box should go

Step 5

Once the light box was in position with two new bulbs, we simply pressed down, the light bulbs went pop and our image was transferred to the plastic screen-y thingummy.

but you can't see it because it is practically invisible (and I took a rubbish photo)

Step 6

Then I chose what colour I wanted and Charlie inked over the design

while Lofty messed about playing peek-a-coo (hee hee, I'm so funny!)

Step 7

Once the screen was completely inked it went back into the printer and a plain piece of paper (or envelope) was put on the green pad. Then we pushed down and hey presto there was a newly printed image!

Step 8

so we kept on printing until the ink ran out (which it didn't) and ended up with gazillions of lovely seed packets standing neatly in the drying rack (and spread all across Charlie's kitchen)

Step 9

Finally I glanced at the time, realised I was in danger of being late for collecting the children from school, gave Charlie a big hug thank you, and ran out the door fiercely clutching all my new goodies.

Fortunately I got back in time and Lofty quickly made himself at home in Fred's playground

before discovering this rather lovely car

so I had to get him off quickly before he left any little "presents"

And when I got home look what arrived......

Not one

not two

not three

not four

but FIVE PARCELS --- All for me!!!! So come back next time to see what was inside!

Sunday, 14 September 2008

I'm so happy!!!!

So very, very happy!

My wrist is nearly better!!!!! Hooray!

And I had the most amazing brainwave (told you I was geeky!) - my sewing table might still look like this but it ocurred to me that I could actually

m o v e

t h e

s e w i n g

m a c h i n e

the whole 30cms from my sewing table onto the totally tidy dining table - brilliant!!!

So I have MADE SOMETHING!!!!!!!!

But I can't tell you what it is yet so I'll have to just give you sneaky peek for now.

And I've nearly finished my tanktop, and I managed to do some crochet!

I'm so happy!

Shame there's so much crafting to do - I'll just have to wait a bit longer before I can indulge myself with all the housework ;o)

Friday, 12 September 2008

Now I was rather concerned.....................

...................you see, my very good bloggy friend decided to issue a challenge with prizes for the best contestants and everything which I'm all in favour of in principle.

My problem comes from the fact that I am a scientific dunce with not one shred of scientific geekery to be seen.

How could such a very good bloggy friend have a competition where I was so obviously going to fail?

Was she really such a very good bloggy friend after all?

But then I realised..............................

you can still be a geek even if you are not scientifically-minded!


There's hope for me yet!

Here are some rather useful definitions of "geek"

"Geek is a common term for someone who is obsessed by their computer"

yup - I think I can relate to that one

"Geeks tend to spend every possible waking minute glued to their computer. ..."

hmmm, that one's true too...............

"eccentric: a person with an unusual or odd personality "

well this one is just perfect!

And if you look at this part of one of the definitions "Normally wears a tanktop, thick rimmed glasses and a bow-tie" then I score quite well - my glasses are very thick rimmed (but I'm not trendy enough to carry them off)

and I've just celebrated my nearly-mended-wrist by knitting this rather fetching little tank-top (you'll find out who it is for on Monday)

so I just need to find myself a bow-tie which I'm sure won't be too hard. I could always crochet one.............................

I reckon I could earn some extra geekerage points for the table I've just made for Dot's homework projects

or for the fact that I ALWAYS use Excel Spreadsheets when I organise a blog-swap

and what about my obsessive need to make things that match - for example, Dot's bag, pencil case, wallet and soon to be created pencil roll and P.E. bag. She has a really lovely pencil-roll already but it bugs me that it doesn't match the rest of her stuff;

and then there's the fact that I love theme-ing all the children's birthday presents - i.e dinosaurs (Fred's 6th), horses (Daisy's 8th) etc.

And I'm really, really obsessively messy - that should get me loads of bonus points I reckon.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Sometimes trash is good for you!!!!

Especially when it is trash with a capital T!

Not only does this mad woman ring me up and make me snort my tea down the phone, she also sends fantastic parcels - of the birthday present and Raiders of the Box variety and I have been lucky enough to receive both in the last couple of weeks.

I'm going to apologise first though for the quality of my photos - there's something wrong with my camera and it keeps taking very dodgy shots but I'm not techno enough to work out what the problem is so you will have to just put up with it I'm afraid!

First up is the fabulous Raiders of the Box parcel - it actually arrived on my birthday and I was very excited thinking the HUGE parcel was going to be ALL FOR ME but then I realised what it was and got even more excited as I ripped it open to see what was inside!

It was full of lots of lovely goodies and these are the three I chose - some beautiful floral fabric, two pieces of the most amazingly embroidered linen and a flower crochet kit - the yarn is almost like string and I can't wait to have a play with it!

Not long after this excitement another Trashy parcel arrived - this time containing my birthday present - all wrapped up inside this beautiful tin

and look at all the amazing stuff inside!

Fab old buttons, fabrics, a gorgeous cupcake candle that I have to keep reminding the children not to eat, a heart balloon and a pretty flowery heart, a very funny card (and even funnier envelope!!!), a little doggy cushion and some brilliant Penguin pencils that I had been coveting!

But the thing that made me laugh out loud was this notepad

That's just sooooooooooooooooooooo me! I didn't realise it was a recognised condition! I had to ring Trashy immediately and I think I forgot to thank her for all the other lovely things because I was laughing so hard!!!

Trash - you are a complete star! Your Raiders of the Box swap is fantastic and my birthday goodies are just amazing - thank you so much!

And in wrist news, it's still hurting but apparently if I take ibuprofen for a week and rest then it may well get better!!! (isn't it great when one of your best friends is a GP?) It is still driving me crazy that I can't craft and I'm getting really sick of one handed typing (in fact I have cheated on this and used both but am going to stop very quickly!)

So I'm still struggling to reply to comments but I hope to back on top form soon but I'll leave you with a most depressing photograph

my sewing table after the massive weekend reorganisation - the really depressing thing is that even if I could move it all there is nowhere for everything to go! And to add insult to injury (literally) I had spent a whole day last week clearing it! Will I ever be able to do any sewing?

Monday, 8 September 2008

I'm stuck

I've hurt my wrist more and it's very ouchy so I'm feeling sorry for myself again because i can't craft, I can't type (except with one finger) so I will only be leaving short messages where I can on your blogs -your comments pages will be slightly saner for a while at least, and i have to use the mouse with my left hand which is all wrong!

And as for the housework.....................that's what has got me in this mess in the first place!

I decided that my wrist was hurting because the keyboard and mouse tray on our mahoosive computer cupboard had broken off so you had to use the mouse at a funny angle putting strain on my wrist.

Cue my bright idea to get a cheap new computer table with functioning shelf.

Not such a bad idea I hear you say.

Ah, maybe not if it hadn't meant completely rearranging the dining room furniture including three huge bookcases (and their contents) and the mahoosive computer cupboard with all my craft stuff in!

Now I did delegate do it was a full Team Locket experience. And I even gave everyone special job titles with badges and responsibilities:

Naturally I was the SUPERVISOR (but I didn't just stand around watching everyone and actually did most of the shifting and carrying myself - hence the wrist problem)

Mr Locket was the DOGSBODY which mostly involved going to Argos to buy the new computer table, then build it and generally do loads of stuff - particularly rescuing me whenever I got myself stuck in the middle of moving some large piece of furniture!

Dorothy was the CATERING MANAGER and made lunch - cheese and tomato spirals (yum), double chocolate muffins (double yum) and salad nicoise for supper as well as providing the rest of us with drinks and going to the local shop for various cooking ingredients.

Daisy was the CLEANING AND SORTING ENGINEER because she absolutely loves dusting and washing things and organising where they should be.

And Fred was the RELOCATION OFFICER because I told him he had the muscles in the family and was the best one to help move all the books and boxes of craft stuff around!

Everyone worked really hard and the room looks loads better - except for my poor sewing table (which I had completely cleared last week) - everything that didn't have an obvious place to go was just dumped on top :( It's going to take ages to sort again but not today because today ?I'm resting my poorly little arm!!!

Flip it took a long time to type all that with one finger! I only meant to do a short post to explain why I wasn't going to be posting for a bit - I think I went wrong somewhere!!!

The next post will be about some of the lovely things that have been arriving through my letter box lately.

But as this has been a photo-free post so far I thought I would leave you with this view of Fred that I spotted in the background of a photo of Dot

it says a lot about that boy!

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Happy Birthday to ME!

Prepare yourself for loads of photos because here come some of my gorgeous birthday presents!

After taking all your advice, probably ignoring some of it and following my own instincts I gathered a lovely selection of birthday books for various people to give me

The crafting books are lovely - Material Obsessions has some gorgeous quilts with interesting combinations of pattern, fabric and design. I probably wouldn't make any quilt exactly the same but I've got some great ideas and I love looking at it all. The Amy Butler book has some great patterns and lovely pictures but I'm a bit intimidated by her instructions!!! The children's See and Sew book is just a nostalgic treat and Apples for Jam is delightful - I love the introduction and the recipes are super (and do-able too!)

The novels are a real treat too - I have always loved Katie Fforde - happy escapism, ditto Jill Mansell, and I can't wait to read the new Gil McNeil book as I totally loved "Diva's Don't Knit" and re-read it immediately after I finished it. The two Robert Muchamores are sort of shared with Dot - she got some for her birthday and I'm totally hooked now so we did a deal!

Another present that I sort of chose for myself was this selection of fabric from this Etsy shop - really reasonable and fairly speedy postage too - and I LOVE THEM!!!

The children made me some gorgeous cards including this one which was a Team Locket production - I got to lie on Dot's bed reading for the afternoon with supplies of tea, coffee and then wine delivered by room service while they worked on it - and that was before it was even my birthday!

and this is the message on the envelope from Fred's card

which reads "big hug (arms and hands) big kiss inside" - so adorable!

and my lovely niece Em (you meet her in the comments sometimes) made me this fab paper crane mobile - with her last sheet of ladybird origami for the top one.

I had lots of other lovely presents including wine glasses (so I don't have to drink from mugs anymore), beer glasses (ditto), beautiful chicken bowls, money for clothes, jewellery, a Sandi Thom CD, a beautiful mug and some very funny magnets (more of them in a later post) and this scrumptious cake from Granny Biscuit

decorated with jelly dinosaurs by the little Lockets.

Then I received two parcels through the post.....................

One from the other side of the pond

a gift from Clara - aka Working Mom Knits

these gorgeous height chart patterns for both boys and girls and a lovely card by Annie. Thank you so much Clara - it is such a lovely gift and a real surprise too!

And then one from closer to home - my lovely mad friend Lesley!

Everything came in a cardboard box wrapped in newspaper so I got to read some of her southern gossip and when I opened it I found this

one of Lesley's absolutely beautiful fabric boxes with my favourite birds appliqued on the front - and it was full of all these other parcels.

and an envelope with this message

and what a fabulous birthday card it is too

with the fabric like my childhood duvet cover on the back

I absolutely love it - it will be going on my quilt wall soon but for the moment it is on the wall opposite so I can enjoy it all on its own!

and then look what was inside all those parcels - loads and loads of gorgeous goodness

sock wool, stickers, badges, lavender soap (is she trying to tell me something?) and some very professional looking "hand made" labels - and see if you can spot the beautiful ceramic button - all fabulous! But look at these gorgeous fabrics

I'm so excited by these - but don't know if I can bear to cut into them! Lesley rang me from the shop when she was buying them - just as my car had broken down, so it was a lovely diversion!!!

So as you can see I have had a fabtastic birthday and my wrist is pretty much better now - well it was until this evening when I caught my thumb in the bib of my apron when I was cooking the children's supper and bent it back hard jarring my wrist again :(

But enough of that - I'll leave you with a photo of the gorgeous wrapping paper from my BIG SIS

perfect isn't it? Thank you Ally!