Wednesday 25 February 2009

Can't think of a title

I haven't got a title for this post as it is just a collection of "stuff" from this week.

I think I'm definitely going to go for the Amy Butler patchwork cushions on the sofa - they look so nice and "Spring-y" in the window - so I'll just have to make some different cushions for the blue sofa.

I cut out the squares for my Amy Butler quilt so that I could see what fabric scraps I'd have left over for other things. By the way, these fabrics were the ones I got from Mr Locket for Christmas (ok, he had a bit of help choosing them) and they are listed in my favourite Etsy items if you are interested in the design/colour details. I got 14 fat quarters and they are lasting very well with the addition (on the cushions) of some pieces I bought locally from her Midwest Modern Range.

this is the layout for the centre of the quilt (each block is 6 inches square) - very simple - but I just love the way the fabrics combine and merge into each other so I don't think they need much fussing with. But I want to add a border - probably about 4 inches wide before I add the binding. So it's back to you guys again:

Should I use white? Or should I used one of the prints? If so, do you think it should be this one?

I like the colour and I like the fact that it is a fairly "unobtrusive" print compared to some of the other bolder patterns.

What do you think?

I haven't done any other sewing yet this week but I have been busy with my knitting when I've had the chance. This is how far I have got with my sock (because I had to unravel the heel flap bit because I'd read the wrong number of stitches on the pattern - whoops!)

I just love the colours in this wool - I have to admit that I have tweaked the photo a bit in Picasa so it probably shouldn't be this bright - but it's so very pretty!!!

While I am typing this, Dot is sitting behind me having her guitar lessons. I love this half hour on a Wednesday (this is the second) because her teacher plays her loads of music both on his mp3 and on his guitar (he's very good) and he has found out the kind of music we all listen too so I'm listening in to Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, The Beatles and all sorts of good stuff. He is also SO positive and full of praise for how Dot is playing - a really good teacher.

Meanwhile I can hear some muffled giggles from the hall which on investigation turn out to be these two reprobates

sitting at the top of the stairs while "playing schools" and trying very hard to be good so they get to stay and listen to the guitar lesson too!

Monday 23 February 2009

All quiet!

It is so quiet in the house today now that half term is over - but I'm really not sure that I like it!

We finished off the front garden yesterday so here it is again - this time with added bark, compost and flowers as promised - they just need to grow now.

Dorothy carried on in her role as Catering Manager and made us these delicious chocolate chip cookies from Lucy's recipe and they were delicious.

I finally finished my third sock - and most amazingly I now have a pair! Unfortunately because I knitted the first one so long ago it has changed colour in the wash - but never mind, they nearly match!

(don't worry, I don't really have round feet - I'm just rubbish at taking photos!)

Having finished that sock I was ready (and very willing) to take up Michaela's odd sock challenge for which I am more than qualified. So I merrily cast on sock number 4 in totally different wool to sock number 1 which has been merrily partner-less for over a year and is destined to remain so for the foreseeable future!

I have to say that I REALLY LOVE this wool from Barbara's gorgeous shop. It is so much nicer to knit than the blue stripey (which had a lot of silk in making it very slippery on the needles). I've also cheated and gone up to a set of 2.75mm dpns because my 2.5s were getting really bent and annoying and bamboo is so much nicer to use than metal.

Moving on.........

I now need to ask your advice.

I was really lucky to be given my greatly missed granny's old wooden framed sofa last year and it has now been brought into the house ready for a facelift because the old cushions had been in storage for some time and needed changing.

So I bought some 4 inch foam for the seat and 3 inch for the back. But then I decided it looked too square and modern, so I am going to use two of the bargain feather cushion pads that I bought a while ago.

But how should I cover it/them? I have tried the very plain blue linen effect fabric option but decided that was just too normal for me and so have two new options that I'd like your advice on:

Option 1
Make covers from all the old denim jeans/dresses/pinafores that I have been hoarding - including all the pocket details etc. Ending up with something a bit like the border of this cushion.

Option 2
Make randomy patchworky covers from my stash of pretty fabrics.

Or, to make it more complicated....

Option 3
Do both - one side patchwork denim, one side patchwork pretty.

What do you think???

Edited to add another OR,

taking Trashy's comment into account (which echoes the niggling feeling I'd already been having about the patchwork denim idea), should I use my lovely Amy Butler fabric and cushions, even though I really, really love how the cushions look on my blue sofa???

And finally, too help you get over the stress and pressure of advising me on my cushion covering dilemma, here is a pretty flower picture

P.S. Please feel free to suggest totally different ideas for the sofa if you have a brainwave!

Saturday 21 February 2009

Gardening, baking and inventive modes of brick transportation

Yesterday was a busy day in Locketland as we tried to sort out our front garden after a couple of years of neglect.

This is what it looked like at its best in 2006 before we got properly hooked on the allotment.

I surprised all the neighbours by turning the front garden into a mini-allotment as I was determined to grow my own veg and had run out of space in the back garden. Anyway, I reckoned that vegetables were beautiful and deserved to be on display - much to the amusement of everyone that walked past. I think it proved quite a talking point at the time!

Unfortunately it became a talking point again - but this time for the wrong reasons...........

this is what it looked like yesterday morning - awful.

So Team Locket swung into action. Everyone was assigned job titles: Fred was "Excavation and Relocation Engineer" - in charge of digging and shifting soil, weeds, wood and bricks; Daisy was "Design Manager and Relocation Expert"; Mr Locket was "General Dogsbody"; Dorothy wasn't feeling very well so she became "Catering Manager" and I was officially "Bossy Boots"!

Here they are, hard at work clearing weeds and dismantling the rotten raised beds

Meanwhile Dot was in the kitchen busily cooking Cheese and Rosemary Bread

and Cheesey Snowflakes for lunch


Once the soil and boxes were cleared Mr Locket and the two smallest Lockets went off to the DIY shop to buy compost, black plastic and bark chippings and then the grand Brick-Relocation-Exercise began!

We have been storing a whole pile of lovely old bricks in our back garden that I was given by some friends a few years ago when they had finished a renovation project on their house. Now was the perfect time to make use of them - albeit in a very slap-dash, propped up, un-thought-out manner. But first we needed to get them into the front garden.

They came by basket,

toy trolley,

go-kart (she is sitting on some while she drives it!)

and finally SLEDGE!!!! How did that girl pull so many????? She has always been incredible strong and used to move furniture around when she was a toddler!

Once the bricks had been laid, the bark distributed and the compost scattered - this is what it looked like by the end of the day.

Much better. All it needs now is a bit more compost and bark and a lot more plants!

And then I looked up at the sky..............


Wednesday 18 February 2009

Local bloggy friends

On Monday the little Lockets and I had a bloggy meet up at Sunderland Museum with Lisa and her two little boys and Sarah and her daughter and son.

We all had a really lovely time and it was interesting to see how quickly the children made friends with each other. The boys broke the ice instantly when Fred brought out his "crazy bones" while the girls took a bit longer to get talking. In fact it actually started with lots of giggling as Daisy took on the role of Number 1 Clown and entertained them all with her vast repertoire of bizarre faces. After that they were all firm friends!

Meanwhile Sarah, Lisa and I had a lovely time chatting over hot chocolate and cake.

We then went to visit the incredibly ugly fish in the Winter Gardens

followed by a trip to Milo's favourite part of the museum - the old fashioned "house" where children could play with pots and pans etc - at one stage I think all 7 children were crammed in the tiny space!

This particular section of the museum was really interesting as they had displays comparing life/food/expenditure/income etc in 1919, 1949, 1969 and 1999 - amazingly in the first two years a pint of beer was actually cheaper than a loaf of bread!

But it was this display that really caught my attention

I immediately thought "Oooooh! Look at that gorgeous knitted bunny!"

Then I read the caption underneath

and was so disappointed with how it was phrased about how "people had to make do with home made toys" - I know this is how it would have seemed then but it still seems sad to me!

It was really lovely to see Sarah again and to meet Lisa for the first time and all the children were so well behaved and friendly - a great day! (even if ours did end with an extortionately expensive school shoe shopping session!!!)

Then yesterday we finally made it back up to the allotment after about 4 months of avoiding it! Because this is really a "craft blog" I have decided to create a special allotment blog over here so I can keep a record but you don't have to read it if you don't want to!!!!

Tuesday 17 February 2009

Presents through the post!

I've been very lucky lately with some gorgeous goodies through the post!

First from Missus Mother of the Moog


and these gorgeous mitts (beautifully modelled by Miss Daisy because I hate my hands!)

Then a fabulous bundle of loveliness from Emma Pebble (even though I know Emma's real surname I always think of her as Mrs Pebble!!!)


some beautiful beads that Emma had chosen for me in Covent Garden

buttons - oh how I love these buttons!!!

Dot's gorgeous Owly (sorry Emma, I can't seem to get a good photo of it so I am using a link to yours!)

AND a stunning ring for me with vintage pearls and flowers!

Then on Monday a beautifully wrapped parcel arrived from my partner Margy in Katy's Fat Quarter swap

Look at these gorgeous red polka dots!!!!! And beautiful vintage red ric-rac! A brilliant gift - thank you Margy!

So a lovely few days of presents through the post!

Next time I'll tell you all about the bloggy friends I met up with yesterday!

Lucy xxx

P.S. If you want the chance to win a FANTASTIC prize quickly whizz over to Trashy's raffle (if you haven't done so already!!!)

Wednesday 11 February 2009

The kindness of bloggers

The bushfires in Australia are too horrible to truly comprehend over here in cold damp England and my heart goes out to everyone affected by them.

Being a part of blogland has made the World seem so much smaller - I actually have good friends in Australia now. Friends I really care about. Friends I was very worried about until I was able to check they were ok. This has brought the horror of the situation much closer to home and made my need to help much stronger.

I'm delighted to see how many people are rushing to help with donations of money (please go to the Australian Red Cross site if you can) and gifts of toys/goods/blood etc.

But most poignantly to me at least is that the kindness of bloggers is once again beautifully demonstrated.

I hope to make a gift to send to the wonderful Toy Society. Trashy is hosting a fab raffle. Melly and Me are having a silent auction. Then there's the handmade help website (see my sidebar), Silly Gilly is co-ordinating an ebay auction, Jodie has donated the most gorgeous Kinder Girl, and I'm sure there are lots of other lovely things going on to help that I can't remember at the moment (sorry if I have accidentally left you out!)

The World is not so big a place after all.

Lucy xxx

Sunday 8 February 2009

Knitting up a storm

I'm in a knitting mood at the moment - I'm sure it is directly related to the weather!

You may remember that in December I knitted this hat and mittens for Dorothy (she knitted her own scarf)

But I was never quite happy with the shape and fit of the hat - I don't know why but it just never really worked for me (I know, I wasn't the one wearing it but I still didn't like it!)

So when I saw that Rachel had knitted one of these thorpe hats I knew I just had to try again which unfortunately meant a bit of this.....................

which was totally bizarre because I don't think I've ever unravelled a completed "thing" before!

But I'm really pleased with the end result (and fortunately so is Dot!)

Which meant that naturally I had to knit some more.

So yesterday lunchtime I tootled off to the nearest wool shop and by the end of the evening I had finished this one for Daisy (except for the plaits which were added this morning - thanks must go to Mr Locket for modelling both hats for the plaiting part - he looked very sweet!)

and got this far with Fred's (only he's not having any plaits!)

and seeing as it is so freeeeeeezing cold I can foresee a cosy afternoon knitting in front of the fire while watching something wholesome and Sunday afternoon-ish with the little Lockets. Hmmm, Little House on the Prairie should fit the bill!

And before I go I will reluctantly direct you to this gorgeous giveaway.

Reluctantly because naturally I WANT TO WIN!!!!!

Hope you are all having a good weekend and that my lovely bloggy friends in Australia are all safely far away from the horrific fires. My heart goes out to all those who are suffering out there.

Lucy xxx

P.S. Are these lunatics really my children???????

Tuesday 3 February 2009

Just things

Hello again! Sorry I've been awol for the week - one of the problems was that my camera batteries died and I kept forgetting to buy new ones. The other thing (which is definitely not a problem) is that I have been busily crafting on something secret so I can't share it with you yet - but here's a sneak peek
I loved making the psychedelic baby blanket so much that I carried on crocheting and made myself a scarf!

I think I will put a few more rows of brown round the edge to make it wider and warmer - that's what I love about crochet, you can "finish" it and then when you decide you want to add more you can!

I also finally finished a whole PAIR of mittens for myself!

On Monday I went to school wearing this "pair"

(it's okay though, I don't really have 2 right hands!)

the one I knitted last winter and one from last month - they go fairly well together don't they????

Last week Dot went to stay with Granny and Grandpa Dog (my parents) because she had Thursday and Friday off school and I was working. So on Sunday we all went over to pick her up.

We had the most delicious roast lamb for lunch - roasts at mum and dad's are so fantastic that I never bother cooking them at home because I could never do them as well. The children ate loads but Daisy obviously still had a bit of room left at the end.............................

(just ignore the date!)

and then Fred decided he should help her.............

the main star of these pictures though, is the gorgeous jumper Mum has just finished for Daisy - it's beautiful!

Lots of people across the UK have had loads of snow over the last couple of days. We got a bit but then it all washed away last night which is very disappointing :o(

But look at our lovely weather tree

We should have started it last month but kept forgetting so we are going to do it from the beginning of February instead - as long as we don't forget again!

Hope you are all having a nice week!

Lucy x

P.S. One of my lovely friends has recently started blogging here. Helen lives on an idyllic farm near Durham runs fantastic craft workshops in her beautiful little studio which is full of lovely things I can't resist buying!!! She now has a webpage with a shop and a blog so do pop over to say hello if you get the chance - there are always lots of lovely things to see and Helen is fab!