Friday, 21 March 2008

Challenge 7 - Got there at last!!!

Ok, I'll put my hand up, I'm the one that delayed this challenge for so long!

Lesley had her softie made and delivered to its recipient on time (a rather long time ago)

Whereas I have been piffling and pootling and faffing and pithering with a splash of bimbling thrown in for good measure (thanks for such great words Lesley!)

It's not that I haven't been productive - I have, honestly, just not on this project.

I cut it out and stitched the body weeks ago.....................

(time passes)

Then I started turning the limbs.......................

(time passes again)

Then I started stuffing the limbs and body.................................

(more time passes)

Then I turned a couple more limbs

(even more time passes)

Then I cut out the dress (from my very gorgeous Greengate napkin) ..........................

(half a day passes)

Until, finally, I actually sat myself down, detached myself from my knitting needles, untangled myself from the wool and gave myself a good talking to.

Then I plugged the iron and the sewing machine and got to work.

And hey presto, several hours later - look who's here

My very own "Floss" from this pattern.

I'm so pleased I have finished her.

And I'm very impressed with how patient and tolerant Lesley has been for waiting all this time for me to get my act together!

Thanks Lucy!

Well, I decided to make a Magoo monkey from this Melly & Me pattern for my nephew's 2nd birthday on (ahem) 2nd March!

I was very strong minded and made him out of fabric from my stash as I really couldn't justify buying even more!!

The pattern and instructions were so well laid out and so clear to follow that he was a delight to make. He's also rather huge!!

He seemed to go down ok with the birthday boy - I'd have appreciated a little more enthusiasm from his mother but she struggles to get the whole hand made thing - I get the impression she thinks I'm being cheap!!

I have three more patterns from Melly & Me's range that I want to make but then I also have several long lists of things I need to, want to, have to make so I'm not making myself any promises!!!

So although this one has been a long time coming we hope you like our finished goodies and that they were worth the wait!

Now we'd better have a staff meeting to decide what Challenge 8 will involve.

See you soon and have a very Happy Easter!

Lucy and Lesley xx

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Challenge No.7

Our next challenge is going to be lovely. Lucy and I are both fans of the beautiful soft toy patterns designed by Melly and Me.

Therefore for Challenge No.7 we will each choose a soft toy to make using one of their patterns.

As always - please join in and send us a photo if you'd like to.

Back soon,

Lesley and Lucy xxxx

Monday, 25 February 2008

Time flies ...or 'I thought Valentine's Day was 25th February'

Er ...... sorry for the slight (11 day) delay on this one!!!!

Poor Lucy Locket has had her Valentine cushion all done and ready to blog since Valentine's Day itself. Unfortunately her challenge partner has been found somewhat wanting on the crafting front of late.

In my defence yer honour it's been a busy couple of weeks and I have been bravely battling the lurgy to beat all lurgies - I may even have caught the dreaded Man Flu but rest assured I've passed it back to Moogsdad :)

Onto the whole point of the post then!!!

Here's the cushion I've made for Moogsdad on behalf of his Minx who provided the beautiful artwork of herself, her Dad and her Teddy.

Please note the figures are not necessarily to scale ;) In real life Minx is not twice as big as her Dad - although volume-wise she is!!!

Here's a close up of Minx and Moogsdad (he's a little less assymmetrical in real life - ha haaaa!!):

Without further ado here is Lucy's beautiful cushion that has been ready for nearly two weeks!!! (good job she doesn't have a Moog as it would be looking very slobbered on by now!!)

I was quite happy to wait as long as Lesley wanted/needed/or forever really because I am not very impressed with what I made.

In my defence I made it while Mr Locket was at work on Valentine's day and it was finished for him coming home.

The quotation is from Robbie Burns "My love is like a red red rose" and I first heard this sung at a Burns' Night supper the year before Mr Locket and I got married and I loved it, especially the line "til all the seas gang dry my dear".

I appliqued a little heart on the back just to stop it looking too boring and because blogland has inspired me to do that little bit extra that you wouldn't necessarily see.

It's not my best piece of work and I had much greater ambition in mind but it goes well with the rest of our "hearty" cushions on the sofa and Mr Locket was very pleased with it which is what really matters.

I just wish I had produced something as amazing as Lesley's cushion!

Monday, 11 February 2008

Challenge No.6

For this challenge I suggested to Lesley that we make something Valentines-y.

But this time for us to keep.

Or, as I put it in the email to Lesley:

"I've had a thought for the next challenge. Could we maybe make something for Valentine's day for our home/husband? I'd quite like to make Mr Locket/the sofa a cushion"

Mr Locket/the sofa would like a cushion is another matter! And I obviously don't call him that to his face.

So that's the plan for this week/fortnight/whenever. To make our dear husbands/sofas a luvverly valetines-y cushion-y thing-y.

As always, feel free to join in.

Lucy x

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Happy cushions!

Lucy here!

This has been a fun challenge and I have really enjoyed stitching Daisy's bird's nest picture
I love the way she draws and tried to be as faithful to the original as possible although it was quite hard to trace as I didn't have access to a photocopier to make the lines bolder.
As it was Daisy's picture I decided to use some of her clothes to make it into a cushion. The pink gingham is from a pair of Boden trousers that were Dorothy's and then Daisy's and the denim is from a lovely hand-me-down pinafore dress that had a zip up the front. You can't see the denim very well from the front as the cushion inner is a bit big at the moment - I'm waiting for it to squish down!

The zip came in very handy for the opening on the back and I think it looks nice enough to have this way round too - especially with those lovely recycled pockets!!! I was really quite happy with it until I saw what Lesley had been doing................................

I decided to make two stitcheries - using one of Minx's and one of Sausage Monster's pictures. Believe me I'll do anything to avoid an argument!!!

The cushion on the left is Minx's design of the Moog making the sofa nice and hairy. I buried all my adult needs to make it 'right' and reproduced it exactly as Minx had drawn it - i.e. with the sofa lines going through the dog etc.

The one on the right is Monster's lovely drawing of our house - he's even drawn the downstairs loo extension on the side of the house :)

Their original drawings were on A5 paper so I enlarged them a couple of times on the photocopier and use dressmakers carbon paper to trace the images onto a piece of Scrapstore calico.

Minx's was a simple matter of back stitching over the traced lines using colours to represent our sofa and our dog!

Monster had drawn his picture with a thick orange felt tip which got even thicker with enlarging. As I don't have the patience or inclination to do the whole thing in satin stitch I used orange fabric paint and then stitched around the edges.

The cushion fronts were made with some patchwork fabric from the Hobbycraft sale basket. I kept the backs as simple as possible with an envelope closure - made from a nice big bit of Scrapstore fabric.

I'm really pleased with how these came out and may have to make more for the other sofa. Then there's the armchair. Maybe some floor cushions.....................

As we have said before we would love you to join in with any of our challenges if you feel the urge. Gina asked if she could come out to play this week! She mentioned that she didn't have any little people handy to draw her pictures. I emailed her this one that the Minx had done at the same time as her Moog picture.

Isn't she lovely?

Beautifully appliqued and freehand machine stitched outline!!!! I'm going to have to try doing that myself - it looks scary, especially the curly hair. Minx told me she thinks Gina is 'wicked' - such praise and so well deserved :)

Thanks so much for coming out to play Gina!

P.S From Lucy

I just have to show you the picture Fred has drawn which will be my next stitchery - once I have done all the things I HAVE to get done!

I thought they were aliens but apparently they are thumb-wrestlers!

Monday, 4 February 2008

Challenge No.5 - in stitches!

Thanks so much for all your lovely bunny comments!

After a little pondering we both agreed that our next challenge would involve some stitchery.

There was a lovely post last week on Mollychicken showing stitcheries made from children's drawings which had been made into cute little bags. Picking up this fab idea we have decided to use drawings done by our children and will turn them into a......something.......not 100% sure what yet but cushions seem like a possibility!

If you can please pop over to Monkee Maker's blog as the lovely MM is holding a very special raffle to raise vital funds to help a very brave little girl get the medical treatment she deserves.

Be back soon :)

Lucy and Lesley xxxx

Friday, 1 February 2008

Breeding like rabbits!!!

There's a great deal of truth in the belief that rabbits breed like....erm, rabbits.

We chose to make a Tilda Bunny each for our 4th challenge.

Here's the offering from the House of Moog. Once I'd stopped bleating about the other things I really have to get made at the moment I thoroughly enjoyed making my rabbit (singular).

The pattern and instructions were easy to follow and she went together without a hiccup.

Despite having to amputate her legs at one point as I'd sewn them on backwards. Ahem...

Well, apart from having to scrub her face prior to stuffing as a big black mark had appeared. Apart from that it was fine.

Mmmm, except for having to make the hat to hide the fact that her ears had somehow developed a yellowish tinge!!

Then there was 'antiqueing' the lace in a mug of strong coffee as my cream lace had 'disappeared'........

Easy :)

The rabbit's body, dress and trousers are all made from recent finds at the Scrapstore. the only bit of 'new' fabric is the red checked bit on her ears which I got from here - fantastic online service as the fabrics arrived less than 24 hours after ordering!

She's yet to be named but she has been 'bagsied' by the Minx!

Unfortunately my photos aren't as gorgeous as Lesley's - partly because while she had sunshine we had heavy slushy snow-showers (not nice stuff at all, although Lesley reckons she's jealous! I'd rather have sunshine anytime!)

My bunnies have definitely been multiplying! I went for the smaller version from the Tilda book and used the green cord trousers for various different bits and pieces.

I don't know what they are all looking at though! I wish they would pay attention when I am taking their photo.

And here is my other little bunny:

Not a Little Cotton Rabbit - do you really think I could have kept it quiet if I had managed to get one of Julie's wonderful creations????

No, this is a Debbie Bliss bunny knitted by yours truly - unfortunately I have lost one of the ties for her cardigan and haven't had time to make another one yet! She is meant to have a pink net tutu (oh, and some ballet shoes too) but I went for this velvet ribbon and broiderie anglaise combo.

The bunny is knitted from Eco-wool and the cardigan is made from some gorgeous Louisa Harding angora mix. It is so soft and was lovely to knit.

Considering I say I don't "do" knitting, I seem to be doing rather a lot lately!

I think both Lesley and I have really enjoyed making our bunnies so don't be surprised if they keep on breeding!

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Challenge No.4


Lesley and I have decided to hurry spring along by making some bunnies for our next challenge. We have agreed that we will probably both be using this lovely Tilda book

available here and here

to make bunnies rather like these

but knowing us there will be plenty of differences, not least because I will be using these toddler trousers in mine and goodness knows what Lesley will find to "repurpose"!!!!!

So watch this space............!

And as always - feel free to join in!

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Here be owls!

But do two owls count as a parliament? Or a stare?

Ho ho, bet you didn't expect to see us back so soon!! It's amazing what you can get done when you ignore the housework :)

We have completed our owl challenge so it's over to Lucy for her lovely tactile bird....

Here is mine and Lesley and I agree he is a wise Tawny Owl, made when I was meant to be completing some orders (and starting Kitty's doll - sorry Kitty, she's started in my head!)

I sketched out a rudimentary design based on some owls two of my older brothers had when I was growing up. Theirs were much larger but were made of a similar tweed and velvet combination and were lovely. I think a friend of the family had made them as presents.

I used some of my dad's old trousers and one of his tattersall check shirts (so I really hope he doesn't want either of them back!) and for authenticity I sewed the label from the trousers on the bottom of Owlie's foot. His back is made of some of the velvet I bought before Christmas and keep turning into bags, so he is very tactile.

I took him up to school (partly so I could get a good outdoor shot) and as each of the three children spotted him they said "Did you make him for me? Is he mine?" until they were practically fighting over him, so I guess that means he was a success!

Well Lucy, you obviously have two more to make!!!

I love Lucy's owl and think he's so smart in his checked shirt and best tweeds and what a fab idea to put the label on!! He also looks sufficiently wise!

My owl (s) is(are) also made from 'repurposed' fabric.

A couple of weeks ago I sketched out an idea and I have to say it doesn't get much simpler than an owl! I then drafted several pattern variations.

For this challenge I would like to introduce you to Priscilla who is a Little Owl. She is not the wise old owl of folklore but an owl of small stature who feasts on insects and tiny critters.

Priscilla is made from a pink wool scarf (£1 charity shop) with a pink felt chest and eye circles and purple felt beak and feet.

She is destined for my beautiful 15 year old niece as a surprise unbirthday present. Both her sisters received cuddlies from me on their birthday's last year but poor C missed out as her birthday felt just after Christmas and I wasn't organised enough!!

Here she is with the prototypes I made from my first pattern. Surprisingly they have

been adopted by my naughty children.

The purple one is Ozzie a Long Eared Owl - a nocturnal secretive creature who is most likely to be seen by accident. Most probably because he's made from some mad curtain fabric from the charity shop!

The red and green one is Pierre a European Eagle Owl who is likely to be an escapee from captivity. Or - he escaped from being a cushion being drooled on by the Moog!!!

Please note these owls are not to scale :)

Two owls may not count as a parliament but four most definately do and when they are joined by two more in the Locket household it will resemble the Houses of Parliament on a good day!!!

There will be news of the next challenge to follow very shortly. It will also be something cuddly in case you were wondering!!

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Challenge No.3

After several discussions of the 'No, you choose' 'I don't mind' 'No, you choose' variety Mrs Locket and I have come to an agreement for our next challenge.

As Mrs Locket is 'easy' (her word) and I'm bossy (her my word) we will be making a soft toy each. An owl to be exact. We may make up our own patterns or we may use existing ones such as this or this.

There is a whole lot of owlie goodness in blogland right now. Here are some more links to whet your appetite:

Roberta Baird
While she naps
Lucy Kate
Softies central

I'm really looking forward to this challenge - should be a hoot!!! sorry I know that was lame but I just couldn't help myself!

love Lesley and Lucy x

Friday, 18 January 2008

Challenge No.2 Completed!

This post is dedicated to Lucy's BIG sister Ally who didn't believe we would get these bags finished until next week at the earliest! I don't often get the chance to prove her wrong so I'm not letting this one pass!!!!

Your bit Lesley............................
Yup, we got there. Mrs Locket got there first by a couple of hours as I was in a big school governor's meeting deciding the future of primary education in the city - at least that's my excuse!!!
Although I initially set out to make a more 'Spring-like' bag I'm pretty pleased with my more Wintery one. As the Scrapstore fabrics I use are remnants they can be funny sizes. This one wasn't quite big enough for all the bag panels so I improvised with some toning dark red fabric for the reverse that no-one will see anyway.
The light here is appalling today so I apologise for the dark photos.

This was the only place I could photograph it without showing the piles of clutter!
We do have a very bad dose of 'piles' in this house!!

Here's a bit of a close-up of the fabric. It actually has
lovely texture but the flash has washed it out a bit.

The main fabric panels are stiffened with Vilene.
I've taken to using flanelette in my softer bags
but felt this needed something more substantial.
It certainly made the stitching up interesting!!!

I also put 'very useful pockets' in the lining for 'very useful things' to go in and a key clasp on a ribbon as I am always losing my keys in the bottom of my bag!
I like to think of my bag as 'quietly sophisticated' (nothing to do with envying Lucy's delicious fabric at all your honour!).
Now for Lucy's extremely gorgeous take on the 'Messenger Bag Challenge':

My bag definitely has a dual-personality thing going on!

This is the calm, refined, bordering on elegant side, complete with dark blue velvet, vintage crocheted lace and mother of pearl buttons.

Sensible, almost grown up, and really fairly "quiet"..........................

.......................Just like me!????

But turn it round and something altogether different is going on!

Wild, wacky and very very

Um, just like me????

Well, to be honest - neither side really matches my personality -
but the quirkiness and different-ness definitely does!

I put a couple of pockets on the inside - this large one on one side and a small thin one for my mobile phone on one of the gussets.

and even made a little detachable lipstick purse (although I very rarely wear ANY makeup!) because I was fiddling with a bit of fabric and this is what I came up with!

The bag is fairly sturdy because I layered the velvet with a fairly stiff canvas to stabilise it. I didn't follow a pattern for dimensions or method but I have made a couple of Amy Butler Messenger bags for Dorothy and her cousin so I just made it up based on what I had done before. I'm actually very pleased with how it turned out because I was beginning to think I wasn't going to have time to do it this week. And the great thing about it is that it is really quite big with plenty of room for knitting AND sewing AND a magazine AND a book AND my camera AND snacks for the children and anything else I want to drag around with me!

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Bag Fabrics

It has been strangely busy chez Lucy-Locket lately - something to do with a swap I think! - so my creative productivity has been reduced! I'm part way through making a blanket order but, just to prove that I really am going to make my messenger bag, I thought I would show you the fabrics I have chosen.

At the top is a blue cotton velvet that I bought fairly cheaply before Christmas from Dunelm Mill. The VERY COLOURFUL fabrics at the front are ones I bought yesterday from Barbara's shop Ring a Rosie (except for the one on the far right which I bought before Christmas). These are quite a departure from the norm for me - much louder and busier than I would normally choose but they are so gorgeous!

I plan to make the bag reversible with a plain velvet side and a colourful side so I can change it to suit my mood! I am a bit out of my comfort zone with using such rich colours to show them at their best but I'll just have to see how it goes and hope I like the end result!

Lesley has been much more productive than me this week - not that I'm jealous or anything!!!
Over to Lesley...
Not so sure about the productive thing but I've managed to do a few bits! I thought that an interesting part of our challenge would be seeing how we each interpret our 'brief' - now I'm not so sure and kind of wish I had Lucy's pretty fabrics!!!
I was planning to do a turquoise bag with a piece of velvet from the Scrapstore. Unfortunately it turned out to be full of staple holes. After a quick rummage I came up with another piece of fabric from the Scrapstore. A piece of olive green and deep red chenilley type upholstery fabric.
The lining is Lucy's favourite '80's duvet cover from the charity shop!
Finger's crossed we'll be posting the finished articles very soon :)
love Lucy and Lesley x

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

If you want to play too here's a link

First of all thanks so much to everyone who has commented and visited Loo-sley Crafting over the past few days. We are delighted, to say the very least, by the response :o)

Our aim, sick children, crafting and blogging permitting, is to have made a messenger bag each by the end of this week.

If you would like to make one too and maybe email us a picture to post on the blog then please join in. If you like you can follow the instructions in this great tutorial.

love Lucy and Lesley xx

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Throwing down the gauntlet!

Hello there crafty people and welcome to a new joint venture between Lucy Locket and Moogsmum !!

Here's a little background to help explain what on earth is going on!

Why 'Loo-sley Crafting' - a very clever amalgamation of Lucy and Lesley (her and me) - impressed? Good.

Lucy and I both started blogging our crafty doings last year and 'met' through blogland. We both live in the UK - in the England bit - Lucy in the North East and me in the South. Somehow we 'connected' and have struck up a very real imaginary friendship that involves filling each other's email inboxes with more mail than is healthy!!

Before Christmas we were both sewing like mad things making all manner of things for school fairs, orders and gifts. Once all that was done and dusted we started discussing ways to help keep up the creativity in the New Year.

We decided a Craft Challenge was in order. The Challenge will involve us setting projects for ourselves to make something new or to remake an old favourite. The timespan of each challenge will take into account the fact that we do (despite outward appearances) both have lives outside of blogging. Hopefully this will stop us cracking under the pressure of deadlines!!

In a very roundabout way that has led us to set up another blog to record our progress.

Our first Challenge, this week, happened entirely by coincidence when we realised we'd both made the sock monkeys we'd been wanting to make for ages - on the same day and at the same time! Spooky!

Mrs Locket produced the gorgeous Freddy using the best Primarni (Primark) socks:

Whilst I churned out Minnie Mabel and Peter Parker again using quality sockage - this time courtesy of Peacocks:

The pattern for these guys was obtained by following this link on the marvellous Monkee Maker's blog. Be ready with a goodly amount of stuffing if you plan to make one - and do at least double stitching on all the seams to avoid embarassing inner thigh burstage - on the monkey!?!

Crafty Challenge No.2 has been set for the coming week. Being girlies we both feel we need a new handbag. With this in mind we will both produce a messenger bag in which to transport all those little essentials (like Lucy's knitting and my 147 tissues!)

Watch this space.....

If you want to join in and send us your pictures then please feel free.

Here's to a Crafty New Year!

love Lucy Locket and Moogsmum xxx