27 December 2010

Say A Little Prayer For Joshua

Our little boy Joshua was diagnosed with Bronchiolitis and Pneumonia and admitted to hospital on Christmas Eve. During the course of the afternoon his condition deteriorated and he was transfered to the pediatric Intensive Care. On the morning of Christmas Day he had to be intubated. He is now stable but still fully sedated, we're hoping to see an improvement in his condition in the next couple of days but he is still fighting for his life.

19 December 2010

Christmas Potato Stamps

We've had a lot of rain recently - I know, a lot of people have had snow but that won't happen in our neck of the woods, but let me tell you we've had rain. A lot. And so we had to find things to do inside. The other thing that has happened is that this year we have none of our Christmas decoration. I don't fancy going out buying a lot of things just for this year so instead we spend time making things. It's a bit limited what you can do with a 3.5 year old - he is really into MAKING things but that doesn't mean you can make the most complicated things. So we opted for potato stamps:

First press cookie cutters into potato halves, about 1cm deep. With a knife take off the surplus of potato that is outside of the cutter shape. I wouldn't recommend using plastic cookie cutters, the metal ones are just easier to get into the potatoes.

Get colours, glitter and paper ready ....

Once finished, let your stamps dry fully.

Cut out and place in a heavy book overnight to flatten them. Then stick around your fireplace, voila.

And if you're still looking for some last Christmas cards, print off some free ones here at Dawanda. Christmas stress? Pah!!  [frantically buys last-minute Xmas presents online with no hope in the world of receiving anything before the end of January]

10 December 2010

The Race To The Finishing Line

It's been a bit of a mad month - first I decided to re-open my frogs+sprogs shop and on Dawanda. I didn't really expect very much to happen, but how wrong was I ... several of the lovely snuggly blankets are now in the post, as well as a few of the funky crayon rolls. I hope their new owners will enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them.

Then there was the advent calendar project .... and since I had now dusted off the sewing machine, I decided to go for option no.1 and voila ....

I am quite pleased with the end result - I know it still has a number missing, but the little man hasn't noticed so far, and to be honest I doubt he will. I'm planning to stock these in my shop for next year so I'll soon start working on them.

And last but certainly not least there was the Christmas Swap organised by the lovely Louise over at Sew Scrumptious. I was lucky to be paired up with Louise herself, and the directive was one christmas card, at least one handmade christmas decoration and some Christmas chocolate. Her parcel arrived a few days ago and look what got: (apologies for the poor photo quality, it was evening time and I managed to get photos done just before other half launched himself onto the chocolate):

The cutest little christmas stockings with my sons' initials:

A gorgeous fabric wreath:

And some more chocolate ... but that was gone by the time I finished the photos.

My parcel is now on it's way over to her, here's a little preview.

I now have one project to finish before Christmas and am also working on lots of new product ideas for the shop. Surely an excuse for some more fabric buying?

9 November 2010

The Crafting Mojo Is Back

With all that has happened this year, I haven't even looked at my fabric stash once. It was just too depressing, so I just buried that subject somewhere, but I always knew that one day I would start again. And voila, I am happy to report that the crafting mojo is back - in fact I have spent the last couple of days scouring the internet and discovering various incredible blogs of fabulously crafty people. More of that next week.

I always had the idea of making an advent calendar for the little man and I doubt I'll have the time to start and finish it this year, but it will definitely be a project for the next year. So far I have found a few that I like, now all I have to do is decide which one to go for.

I love this design, very simple but relatively easy (ha ha I'll probably regret saying that ...). It's from Lina at Linaloo.

This one is probably even easier, all instructions here from the ever inspirational Martha at Martha Stewart.

And last but not least, I also love the idea of these tins on a baking tray, from TyAnne at inspiremecrafts.

Decisions, decisions ...!

3 November 2010

Stew Good

Temperatures have started to drop a little here, mind you it is still sunny and about 18-20 degrees during the day so not too bad. But we're a far cry from this:

I'm a big fan of throw-together-what's-in-the-cupboard and this quick stew is perfect for this time of the year.

Chorizo and Chickpea Stew

(this serves about 3-4 people)

600 g Chorizo, sliced into halves
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
good handful of dried herbs (oregano etc) or fresh thyme, whatever you have to hand
1 can of chopped tomatoes
Boiling water
Vegetable stock powder
Half a head of Savoy cabbage, sliced
2 cans of chickpeas, drained
Salt and pepper

  • Heat a heavy pan and fry the chorizos for about 10 minutes. Stir regularly as you don't want to burn them. You don't need to add any oil as the chorizo will give off its lovely paprika-coloured oil
  • Remove chorizo, gently fry onion and garlic
  • Add dried herbs
  • Return chorizo to the pot and fry for 5 minutes
  • Add chopped tomatoes. Fill the empty can twice with boiling water from the kettle and add to the pot.
  • Sprinkle the vegetable stock powder over it, let it boil for about 7-8 minutes
  • Add the savoy cabbage, let boil for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the chickpeas, stir well and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.

This is best preapred in advance and eaten later in theday or even better the next day. Serve with crusty bread and a nice glass of Rioja.

31 October 2010

Look at you now!

Thought that the blog needed a bit of an update so forgive me for playing around a bit with it these days. In the meantime have a look at this video, isn't it wonderful?

30 October 2010

Still fighting strong

Hello there, yes we are still here, are you? Well meet Joshua, who is now 8 months actual, 5 months corrected. He finally left NICU on the 5th of August, a little more than 5 momths after being born, and came straight home. He has since been readmitted twice with bronchiolitis, each time for a week, and we have just gone through another cold, luckily he escaped hospital this time round.

The fact that he is home doesn't mean that all complications from his prematurity have been resolved, far from. He has Chronic Lung Disorder and is still oxygen-dependent, but hopefully his lungs will grow stronger and he will eventually not need the extra help anymore. He never developed a proper sucking/swallowing reflex and is therefore still fed by NG-tube which is very very uncomfortable and causes many problems for him and us. Getting him off the tube will be our objective over the next months, but it will be a hard task. Worst case scenario he will have a g-tube where he is fed directly into his stomach. The fact that he has spent so much time in hospital also means that his development is quite delayed, but hopefully he will eventually catch up. Usually for babies with lung problems the first year really is the hardest, especially the first winter when the flu season starts. All we can do is try and keep him away from possible infections, but when you have an older toddler who goes to pre-school that is quite hard.

But despite all the the problems and worries we are so glad to have him home and take each day as it comes.

Hello world!

18 June 2010


Nearly four months after my last post .... and we're still here. I thought I should really make an effort and write something - I know I've been pretty bad at posting but I have been a little busy ...  we are still in Spain and our little 'miracle baby' as they call him is improving but still in the intensive care unit in Malaga. He weighed 900g at birth (2lbs) and has now gone up to nearly 2.9g (coming up to 6lbs) - he is doing incredibly well in many ways but his little lungs are still very weak, hence the reason why he is still in hospital. He has also had pneumonia which didn't help making his lungs any stronger but for the last couple of days he managed to breathe nearly unaided. It's been a scary time so far but I am so incredibly proud of him given everything he has already been through in his short life. Initially we had hoped he would be out of hospital by his due date (which was at the end of May) but he could well be there for another two to three months. The next challenge we now have is that he has to learn to suck and swallow so that eventually he'll be able to take his milk independently whereas at the moment he is still being fed via tube.

I often miss the life I had before all this happened and I admit I don't read any of the 'creative' blogs that I used to before not only because of the obvious lack of time, but because I miss my sewing machine and my fabrics. But as soon as I walk into the ward, come up to his cot and see his perfect tiny face it's all forgotten and so worth it. 

5 March 2010

The One Where She Has The Baby

Exactly a week ago I wrote that I would spend 7 weeks in hospital unless there were any complications .... well the next day there were. Just after lunch time I suffered placenta abruption and within 40 minutes our son Joshua was born by emergency cesarean at 27 weeks of pregnancy. It was a very scary day as we did not know if he would make it through the day, his brain was deprived of oxygen at birth and in the first hours the doctors had very little hope of survival for him. But he made it through and we have now made it through the first week. We are grateful for every additional day we have with him and take every day as it comes.

So just when I thought I would have all this time on my hands the game plan has changed again and we are now settling into a daily routine of new nursery (which the little man adores, in fact so much more than his nursery back in the UK) and then going to the hospital twice daily for the allocated visiting hours ... oh and me expressing milk about 8 times a day which really is what I do all day long, at least it seems that way.

The neo-natal unit in the hospital is fantastic, in fact if it had to happen anywhere in the world we are very lucky that this particular hospital in Malaga is one of the best places to be under these circumstances.

So again I'll keep the blog updated with progress but I'm kind of hoping that it'll involve less drama in the future!

26 February 2010

When The Unexpected Happens ....

Three weeks ago we decided that we'd had enough of the cold and that a short break somewhere further South would do us good. As always thanks to the internet, flights and holiday home were quickly found, and last Tuesday we were on our way to the Costa Tropical in the South of Spain for a week. My pregnancy, then at 26 weeks, was without complications so off we went ....  And then it happened on Sunday morning: my waters broke. Dash to the first hospital, referral to the second, and here I am now 5 days later flat out on my hospital bed in Malaga. Luckily so far baby decided that it was better to stay put but we will now be here until further notice. If all goes well and no complications, labour will be induced at 34 weeks so another 7 weeks to go of keeping my legs well crossed.

To say that this was a shock is an understatement, but we are slowly building a little life here - well when I say we it's really my other half who has been absolutely amazing rushing around organising thing whilst always being here by my side when it mattered. Luckily he can do his work from here so doesn't have to go back home, and we've now also found a nursery for the little man that he'll go to for a few hours every day as from next week. He'll be fluent in Spanish soon ....!

So the frogs+sprogs shop is taking a break until further notice, I'll still update the blog because I have a feeling it'll do me good to write a little bit from time to time. But the focus will have changed a little. And I finally have time to read up on everyone else's blog!

12 February 2010

Blankets, blankets and more blankets ....

So the sun finally DID make an appearance and I got to take all the photos I needed of the new blankets which are now in the shop. I am trying to pick a favourite but simply can't - I think baby no.2 will have A LOT of blankets ...

10 February 2010

7 February 2010

Fabrics and more fabrics

As I said in my last post, before Christmas and in the last two weeks I spent some time on my favourite fabric websites and a few days later these arrived:

Most of them have already been turned into lovely soft and snuggly blankets, all I need now is the sun to come out so I can take photos of them .... phew!

And here is where I sin:

Fabric Rehab

Saints and Pinners

Fabric Inspirations

Celtic Fusion Fabrics


M is for make

I have also used the months of January to have a good clean-up in my fabric stash and use up all the fabric scraps, the result of which are lots of new crayon rolls and bibs (still to be finished). It's been a busy month!

Now I just need more time to put them onto the website .... there definitely aren't enough hours in the day!