Monday, 30 March 2009

The best job in the world!

With wages like these..................

I've definitely discovered the perfect job!

pattern-testing for Jodie!

(But I'm sure I should have been paying her for the privilege!)

Thanks so much Jodie - you certainly know how to treat your staff well!

(And thanks to Lesley too for letting me pinch her photo as my camera won't download at the moment - pah!)

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Party in the Dark

Earth Hour in Locketland was a huge success last night as we had our very own


We lit all the candles we could find

and lit a lovely open fire (because it was the coldest night we've had in ages!)

We then ceremoniously switched off the main electricity switch at 8.30 (leaving a load of washing mid cycle in the machine, whoops!)

Then the party began!

The scrummy food was kindly donated by Jane whose little girl's birthday party we'd been to in the afternoon.

It was lovely sitting there chatting with the children without the distraction of the telly or the computer and we talked about all the things we needed electricity for and what it would have been like in the "olden days" (we'd just been watching Robin Hood - hooray for the new series!!)

Once we'd finished our "tea" we played some games - slightly difficult in the dark, but we persisted, and then we all squashed up on the sofa and laughed ourselves silly taking it in turns to play charades.

The children want to do it every Saturday night now!

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Something we can all do

I feel a bit of a hypocrite writing this post because, with the amount of washing and drying that goes on in the Locket household, I probably have an appalling carbon-footprint.

And I have never really seen myself as a good recycler of general household items - even if I do love recycling the childrens' clothes (and pockets!) - hence my blog name.

My next door neighbour re-christened me "Lucy Landfill - Doesn't Recycle" a year or so ago because we had another Skip outside our house for broken furniture, and hoarded rubbish.

But there is something I can do tonight which might help a bit.

And everyone can do it too.

WWF are promoting Earth Hour tonight at 8.30pm where we are all encouraged to switch our electricity off for an hour.

It's a small thing to do but if they get the billion supporters they are hoping for it could help to make a big change.

Meanwhile I need to address my un-green habits on a day-to-day basis!

Lucy x

P.S. For local bloggy peeps there is something rather fabulous happening tomorrow - Helen is holding her

Give your family a treat and pop over to Durham and visit her - I promise you it will be worth it! (and the weather is meant to be better tomorrow too!!!)

Saturday, 21 March 2009

A busy week

On Monday I had a double treat:

First I went to the Lovely Helen's gorgeous home to help her with her blog.

Unfortunately Typepad is totally different to Blogger and there was also a problem with photo editing so even after two hours of trying we didn't manage to create the photo link that Helen wanted on the side of her blog page. Fortunately I had a brainwave in the evening and a long and hilarious phone call ended with success!

Helen is extremely generous and even though I hadn't been able to help her in the morning she insisted that I take some goodies home from her fabulous studio shop

look at my treats!

She also gave me eggs from the gorgeous chickens!

And before I left I fell totally and utterly in love with the most surprising thing.......................... a cat!

I'm really not a cat fan - probably largely due to growing up with lots of chickens and ducks that were frequently killed by neighbours' cats. The other reason cats and I don't normally "click" is because they are so independent and off-hand! I'm far more like an over-exuberant Springer Spaniel puppy wanting everyone to love me so I can never understand how cats can be so aloof!

But Gucci was a totally different kind of kitty! He practically wrapped himself round my neck like a furry scarf and even curled his tail round my arm as I was holding him as if to hug me just that bit more. I would happily have taken him home with me!

Unfortunately I took a little more "cat" away with me than Mum and Dad's puppy could cope with! Because my second treat was a visit to my lovely parents for lunch. Poor Milly was totally driven mad by the cat smells on my clothes and had to go in another room!

On Tuesday my friend Jane came round and we spent the day sewing.

This is the bag I am currently working on

Then in the evening I went to the local "Stitch and Bitch" meeting with Patti and did some more sock knitting.

As the meeting is held in a Borders bookshop with a Paperchase franchise, I accidentally bought myself this beautiful folder

Who could resist these patchwork owls????

The eagle-eyed among you may also have spotted a matching pencil tin next to my computer in the "tidy sewing desk" photo on my last post. Um, I accidentally bought it last weekend on my way home from IKEA.

On Wednesday I was at work in the morning then popped to the allotment in the afternoon.

Dot's guitar teacher came round at 5 but unfortunately Dot had come home from school feeling poorly and had gone to bed so Fred had the guitar lesson instead!

Shame the guitar was bigger than him!!!

After a mad dash to have supper and get changed I then went 10 pin bowling with my work colleagues.

I had a really good time with them all and ended up feeling VERY proud of myself as I was the only one from the Nautical Faculty to win a prize!

My very own Crumb Hoover!!!

So why did I win this luxury?

Because, out of about 40+ people, I got the lowest score of all!

Now my philosophy is that anyone can be good at bowling, and it's easy to be a winner, but it takes someone REALLY special to be as truly bad as me!

On Thursday I was at work all day - made slightly more complicated by the fact that my childminder's toddler was poorly so she couldn't have Daisy and Fred - but we got round that by me starting work late and Mr Locket taking the afternoon off.

As it turned out, it was quite fortunate that Mr Locket was off as my posh black boots broke and I was wandering around with a massive gape where the zip had split and my very bright pink sock on show! Mr L came to the rescue and brought me a change of boots in my lunch break!

In the evening I was back out again, this time for my usual Thursday night "sewing group" (where none of us ever get round to sewing any more). It was even more fun as it was one of the girls' birthdays so we had yummy food and lots of gorgeous presents were given.

Then on Friday it was back to work again.

Sorry, that's probably an incredibly boring account of a not-really-all-that-busy-week by most people's standards, but it was busy to me!

Thank goodness it's the weekend now!

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Playing Patchwork Shops

I decided at the weekend that I really HAD to tackle the chaos of my sewing area. I'm not lucky enough to have my own studio but I'm very lucky to have an incredibly kind and tolerant husband who doesn't complain about the excessive mess in what should be the dining room area of our open plan living room/dining room.

this is my sewing table underneath the dining room window - I know, you've seen it like this before, and no doubt you'll see it like this again, but it really was getting hard to be creative, especially as my sewing machine is normally squashed on the edge of all the clutter as well.

To get myself motivated I decided to make it into a game and persuaded the children that they would like to play too!! You know, many hands make light work! So we came up with the idea of "playing Patchwork Shops" and I even told them they would get to have some sewing lessons like in a real patchwork shop.

Dot organised the papers into work stuff, patterns, tutorials etc

Fred folded the fabrics that had become piled up on the table

While Daisy sorted out my thread box so it went from this

to this

Unfortunately I soon got bogged down in the nitty-gritty of sorting out the mess and the game evaporated so the children went on to do their own things and I failed to give them a sewing lesson - or even let Daisy iron my fabrics which is what she really wanted to do. Hopefully now that it is tidier we will be able to play the real "shop" part of it next weekend.

I was inspired by this post on Treefall's blog about how Manda has organised her new studio and I have to confess that I have shamelessly copied the idea

and I love it! Even if it did mean that I had to go to IKEA on Sunday! My super clever next door neighbour put it all up for me yesterday morning while I was out and I had a lovely evening arranging all my supplies and tools! Hopefully having less "stuff" on the work surface will make things a lot easier (and tidier?!)

This is a bad photo - but you can see that my table looks a lot better - I just hope it will stay that way

as my craft books were completely overflowing the shelves I decided to store the bulk of them horizontally so they are now organised by size!

And because all my posts lately seem to have been about sock knitting I thought I would leave you today with a photo of a pair of socks knitted by my lovely Mummy

compared with my idea of a "pair" of socks

Lucy xxx

P.S. come back next time to hear about my lovely morning with the gorgeous Helen of BusyBeeStudio (and then you will see the lovely goodies she gave me too!)

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Too many things to show you

Please excuse this extremely picture-heavy post!

I came across a really fab tutorial yesterday which meant I temporarily became totally obsessed with folding paper!

Do you get like that when you find something that is so simple but incredibly effective? Or is it just me?

I've also taken Michaela's Sock Startitis club totally to heart and have recently finished two more solo socks and am now on to the second one like this.

First of all I finished one for Fred (a nice little foot) so here are a series of photos of him modelling it with one (of a pair!!!!) of socks knitted for him by Granny Dog (mine is the one on the right)

Daisy then kindly modelled the sock I knitted for myself the general female Locket sock-pool

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - my children are bonkers!

Then again, there may be an explanation: Yesterday morning, after the two smallest and I had tried desperately to sneak up on the lollipop man, ducking behind cars, shuffling along crouched low to the ground, running wildly from one car to the next and giggling loudly (and I mean ALL 3 of us doing this, not just the children), the lollipop man pointed out to me that if my children were bonkers then there was a very good reason for it! (do you think he might have meant me???)

Lucy x

(and just in case you think because she is not here being daft, that Dot is the sensible one in the family, let me tell you that it couldn't be further from the truth!)

Sunday, 8 March 2009

So very lucky

Remember this little sneaky peek?

well now I can show you what it is!

If you have read Jodie's blog recently you will have heard that I was one of the incredibly lucky ones to have the privilege of test-driving the patterns for her FABULOUS dolls! (and yes, I did nag her to let me play along once I heard that Missus Moog was testing them - I couldn't let Lesley have ALL the fun now could I?!)

I don't think I can put in words how excited I was about this - Jodie's dolls are the most adorable, characterful little people I have ever met and I loved every single step of the making process - even turning the limbs and stuffing which I normally HATE!

I couldn't get started immediately because Lesley and I needed to track down some "Doctor's Flannel" which all Jodie's dolls are made from. It's expensive and elusive but now I've used it I can't imagine ever using anything else for dolls - it is so soft and lovely.

So, moving on from all the chat, here is young Hattie, who is very pleased to meet you all

although she is a little embarrased to be dressed only in her knickers
so here she is in her flowery dress

which goes very well with her little blue cardigan

but not as well as her most favouritist dress with owls on

Hattie also has a rather lovely pink dressing gown and a pet Kitty but somebody has forgotten to make her pyjamas so she is a little annoyed (and chilly)

She has already discovered that she likes climbing trees

but her favourite thing of all is skipping home from school with Daisy and Fred

So Jodie, THANK YOU SO MUCH for the absolutely fabulous "job" of testing the pattern - it was brilliant and I can't wait to make Hattie a little sister! This time a little blonde girl with pigtails has been requested by young Daisy Locket so watch this space.I hope your patterns sell like hot cakes at the Show this week - you deserve to do brilliantly well!

Lucy x

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Thanks to the wonderful Kitty we now have a fabulous linky-buttony-thingummy that you can put on your blogs to invite friends to the Easter meet up - the more the merrier in my opinion!!

So far we have quite a few fab friends hoping to come out to play:

Emma Pebble
Julia B
Jane from Sew Create it
and even my BOSSY BIG SISTER!!!!!

(I hope I haven't missed anyone off)

So, if you want to invite more people just email me for the html code for Kitty's fab badge and stick it on your blog! Unless you can work out how to take it straight from the page (if you do know could you tell me too!!!)

Lucy x

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

New Goodies and Something Exciting!!!


This post is going to be illustrated with some of the lovely goodies that have been appearing chez Locket lately because you can't have a blog without photos


But the most important part of today's post is the words (honest!!!)

Because I am planning a bloggy meet up in the Easter Holidays!!!!


Here's the plan:

On Wednesday 8th April I propose that we meet at Millet's Farm near Abingdon in Oxfordshire with our children for a picnic and lots of chat and laughter and fun. If everyone brings their own picnics then we will know that the children will have things they like to eat.

If the weather turns bad then I'm sure we could move inside.

Because there is a bloggy tradition of exchanging handmade gifts but there might be an awful lot of us, I was thinking that we could do a Secret Santa idea (but maybe it should be a Secret Easter Bunny) where everyone brings a wrapped handmade gift (although it doesn't need to be a bunny!) and then we all do a lucky dip.

And because I don't want the children to be left out I thought we could all bring an Easter egg (just the fairly cheap 3 for £5 type) per child that comes with us and again these could be lucky-dip-ped (unless there are any food allergies of course)


So, what do you think?

Can you come?

I really hope so!!!!

We can sort out what time to meet nearer the date.

And I hope you don't think that I've just randomly plucked somewhere to meet out of thin air - I have been canvassing opinion over a good central location and this seems to be a good one with plenty to entertain the children - although Gina has promised to entertain them all for us ;o)

Now for those pictures:
  1. the gorgeously generous Katy very kindly sent me some of her newly purchased fabric from America because I was literally drooling over it!!
  2. I have started yet another sock - this time a nice small one for Fred. I bought the wool at Ring-a-Rosie on Monday and also had to buy some 2.5 mm bamboo dpns so when I got back to the car I sat there for over 45 minutes casting on and doing the rib because I couldn't wait til I got home!
  3. Some new Tilda fabric from The Fat Quarters (Tuesday's treat)
  4. More gorgeous sock wool from Ring-a-Rosie because I simply HAD to have it - and fabulous matching buttons too! So what can I make with it? It's too gorgeous to go on my feet!
This final picture is of some fabric samples the very kind Julia sent me from Gone to Earth to co-ordinate with my Amy Butler fabrics. I think I'm going to go with the teal (top) although I know the middle one goes best - I just like the teal more. What do you think?

P.S. I will be updating the allotment blog later today too.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

This weekend in the Locket household

It has been a busy weekend chez Locket but first I thought I'd show you a sweet photo of Daisy and Fred happily reading their new books......................

and then once we'd started playing Bob Marley to them!!!!

Methinks they don't appreciate Reggae!

On Saturday Dot's school choir were performing at music festival type thingy at another school. We were told to go to North Shields which is about half an hour away by car through the Tyne Tunnel. Oh good, I thought, I can go to Ring-a-Rosie to get some more sock wool while we're there. We duly arrived at the school as directed and were mildly perplexed that it was locked and ours was the only choir there - but I think most of us just assumed that we were the most concientious.

Not so. Unfortunately we were at the correctly named school but in TOTALLY THE WRONG LOCATION!! Dot's school had made a mistake and told us to go to St Jo Bloggs School, North Shields, when we really needed to be at St Jo Bloggs, BLAYDON - a further 30-40 minutes away! So Dot and I gathered two of her friends whose parents had dropped them off and gone and drove off to the new location.

So no sock wool shopping for me then :o(

But fortunately the second school was right next to IKEA so on the way home we popped in to refuel the girls with hotdogs and I spotted this fabulous green canvas in the fabric section.

Aha! I thought. That will go nicely on my little wooden sofa with my Amy Butler cushions. (And it does)

It also goes very well with my lovely bird fabric so here are the three cushions I've made this afternoon for the blue sofa.

(they actually look better in real life - less of a stark contrast between the pattern and the plain)

I also finished sock No.4 and very nearly understood Kitchener Stitch!!!!! It isn't perfect but it's better than any other toe I've done.

Meanwhile in Locketland, while Dot and I were being musical, Daisy and Fred were earning pocket money by cleaning out my greenhouse ready for the new season of seed sowing. And they did a really fantastic job with all my pots neatly stacked and all the rubbish and accumulated grot of a winter of neglect cleared away.

Fred even decorated the birdbath - apparently they hope that as Magpies like shiny things they will come to visit.

Then after doing their exercises this morning

they decided to earn some more pocket money by cleaning the car

and got busy with the soap and cloths

or so we thought...........................
ok, so Fred scrubbed the car with his coat sleeve and Daisy used a Bob the Builder flannel!

I hope you've all had a lovely weekend too!

Lucy x

P.S. Dot was also busy cooking double chocolate muffins and flapjack and helping cook roast chicken for supper this evening - she's a star!