Wednesday, 28 September 2011


Good morning all.
Just a quick post before I go down to help Wipso clear her sewing mountain - sounds like we might have a busy day.
My table is a bit messy but unexciting I am afraid. Think I have been a bit busy with other things this week!
I did manage to make a couple of dresses and I think the one in the middle was the 100th that I have made so far.

I received a pretty duvet from SueH which we will get going on next week, but we are just to shattered to even think about it this week. Thanks Sue!

And lastly a few of the items my daughter M made when she was here last week.

We are going to have a stall at the Montgomery Craft Fair on Saturday 8th October so if anyone fancies a trip out then do come over and see us. Montgomery is a quaint little town.
( more of M's crafts are in her Etsy shop - Tilly Tea Dance )

OK - I will pop over to Julia's blog and link up to WOYWW.

Just before I go ....
Many many thanks to all our blog friends who kept our spirits up this week and sent such lovely thoughts, prayers and wishes winging our way over the internet and by text and by phone. You have no idea just how much it cheered us up and kept us positive through one of the worst weeks of our lives.
x Jo

Monday, 26 September 2011

Good news Monday!!

Hello blog buddies!!!
Another busy day here for Twiglet in her role as sister/aunt/great aunt!

I started the day by driving to hospital to meet Annie in maternity and bring her home for the day.
She had the twins all cosily tucked up together in their cot and awaiting their other nanny to baby sit for the morning.
Lexi was just rousing for her 10.15 feed when the nurse came to weigh her - she is almost back up to her birth weight so that's brilliant isn't it. A credit to all the loving care she has been receiving from nannies/ daddy B and maternity staff. Sam was still sound asleep (he has his feed after Lexi has been fed, changed and settled).

Once nanny arrived, Annie and I popped over to ITU to visit M.
She looked a great deal better than when I saw her last Thursday - thank goodness.

Her consultant and the neurologist checked her over and said the results of this morning's MRI scan were normal. She was chatting and even had a giggle with us over the handsome young consultant dealing with her today - so we know she is much better now that her wicked little sparkle has returned.
Her medication has been reduced and all tubes are now out. They will keep a close check on her for the rest of the day.

Annie and I went home to make 24 "Thank you" cards with a little photo of the twins so that M can give them to all the wonderful staff who have helped her and B over the last week.

I have just heard that M has now been returned to maternity so that she can begin caring for those gorgeous little twins alongside B - who is now a very competent new Dad!

We just hope and pray that, from now on, everything will be normal and that within a day or two she will be well enough to take her babies home.
Thank you all for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. It has meant so much to us.
Annie is just too zapped to contemplate blogging but, once she gets a good night's sleep, I know she will want to post some photos and update you. She is visiting tonight, I think.

Love to all

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Sunday Update

Annie just rang me from home.
B and twins' other nanny are in charge today so that Annie can have a break and do all the things she needs to do - like sleep I hope! She said she had managed to sleep between feeds last night and sounded perky. She left B getting ready to bath his twins for the first time with help from maternity staff.

She called to see M before she left and found her bright and more like herself. She may stay where she is for at least another day but that sounds good doesn't it. Still lots of issues to sort out and keep an eye on, so we are keeping our fingers crossed that all goes smoothly.

Thanks again for all your good wishes and a big cyber hug to you all from Annie!
x Jo

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Saturday Update

Thankfully everything seems to be settling down nicely.
Annie is coping well with the babies who are being very well behaved. Feeding and sleeping well and are just gorgeous.
Daddy B took them over to see their mummy this afternoon. A few tears I guess, but that's normal  and to be expected isn't it. M will have loved to see them and have an hour or two of cuddles with them both.
M is likely to be in ITU for a while longer so she is having to be very patient and get plenty of rest.

I feel pretty helpless. I can't even cook a meal for Annie's hubby as he is coming and going to and from hospital. Luckily there is a good chippy nearby and he is very handy in the kitchen anyway.

I have been knitting away - just to keep me from chewing my finger nails!!!!
Baby L is so tiny I thought she might need another cute little cardi.
Baby S will fit most of the lovely things Annie knitted for him so no probs there.

Annie hasn't seen all your lovely comments as she has no access to the computer and hasn't had much time for blogging!!! I have told her how much care and support you have all shown and she really appreciates it. Thanks so much.

I think we still have along way to go but each day M seems a little better.
Here's hoping for a speedy recovery for M so that they can all get home and enjoy being a little family at last.

x Jo

Friday, 23 September 2011

Latest news

Just had chat on phone to Annie.
She is in a family room at the hospital and caring for the twins.
It took  a very irate nannie Annie to get things sorted but now she is getting the treatment she deserves!
They took the twins over to intensive care so M could see them this afternoon.
M is slowly improving and they are gradually reducing medication.

So - apart from a sleepless night for Annie - things are looking up.

She is convinced that all the prayers, thoughts and good wishes have made a difference - we both believe in the power of positive thinking. So thank  you everyone for being such a wonderful bunch. We can't thank you enough.

x Jo

More news & Up Date!!

Hi folks

Just to say - things looking OK.
M's medication seems to be working and Dr's slowly weaning her off it.
Still another day or two of intensive care needed.

Looks like Annie is going to have to move in to look after twins.
Up to now they have been cared for by maternity staff but seems that is not an option now!
Watch this space.
Yes - Annie has been allowed to move in and look after twins. That way they will still be where M can get to them, when she is well enough to move from intensive care. Other options were that they sent them home to dad B - who would have to cope with them and a poorly M in hosp. OR foster care!!! Ha! As if Annie would let that happen. She is determined they will stay in hospital so they are there for M. when she is well enough. She must be desperate to see them by now!!!

Keep sending those vibes -it certainly gives Annie a boost to know you are thinking of them all.
Thanks lots

Friday morning update

Just a quick update for all you lovely friends who are being such a great support.
Annie managed to sleep last night and  is with M this morning.

M. had a better night and is sleeping now.

I guess the docs will do their rounds soon and Annie may know more then.

Twins OK. Annie gave them their bedtime feed last night and tucked them up before coming home.
They are absolutely gorgeous and all checks by doc yesterday were fine.
Let's hope M is well enough to see them today.

Lastly, a big, big thank you to you all your love, concern and prayers.
You have helped us all so much in keeping our spirits up.

Will update if I find out more. x Jo

Thursday, 22 September 2011

So far , so good

Just to add my thanks to Annie's for all your prayers and good wishes.
What should have been a most joyful time has turned into a nightmare for all the family.

Luckily M was in the right place for the care she needed and the hospital staff have been very supportive. Hopefully she is on the mend but needing lots of close monitoring and care just yet.

On the positive side - the little twins are just fine and so well behaved - feeding and sleeping and getting lots of love and hugs from the super staff and nannies and great aunties.

Let's hope the news tomorrow is even better.
Sleep and peace and quiet will work wonders I am sure so maybe by then things will look a lot brighter.

I am just so glad that I am here to support my little sis and I have to say your lovely messages will have boosted her and cheered her no end so thanks again.
x Jo

Update from Annie

Annie has asked me to update you - just so you know.
She spent yesterday with M and the twins - originally to help with feeding/changing etc.

Luckily (and, as often happens to Annie) she was in the right place at the right time.
M has had more problems and thankfully Annie was there to spot the signs and get help.
So, you can imagine the day they all had yesterday.
She will be back there with M & B this morning and I know, she will appreciate the thought, that all her lovely blogging friends are sending M positive vibes for a speedy recovery.

I will update with any news later today.
Thanks lots - you are a brilliant bunch. x x Jo

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

WOYWW - more photos!!!

Good morning to all our lovely blogging friends!
Aunty Jo is not at her desk today - she has been too busy keeping an eye on us and our mummy and helping nanny Annie.
She did make a quick card for us yesterday when she knew we had arrived safely.
Then she brought nannie Annie into the hospital for  a cuddle and a hug or two.
She says she hates photos of herself but Aunty Jo thinks this one is too lovely to be hidden from view.
So here is proud nanny Annie giving us our first cuddle - don't we all look just lovely!!

Things will be back to normal by next Wednesday - or will they?!!!!!

Oh and if you want to see some nice crafty items go and see what auntie M has been making over here.......Tilly Tea Dance

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Twins safe arrival!!

No photos yet but just to say - huge congrats to M & B on the safe arrival of their little twins - can't wait to see them.
Follow the link for details. Rushing now cos spent half the morning making a card!

Friday, 16 September 2011

Baking, bag making and bonny frocks!

Just in case you have a few blackberries to spare - here is my suggestion for a weekend treat!

Blackberry & Coconut Squares
Good Food 101.........Cupcakes and small bakes

I collected a few more blackberries this week and made a few more jars of jam  the last lot went down well with friends and family!!)
The last few blackberries were used to make this scrummy tray bake.

250g SR Flour
25g oats
280g brown soft sugar
200g cold butter, cut into pieces
75g desiccated coconut
2 medium eggs, beaten
350g blackberries

  1. Oven 180/160 fan oven.
  2. Tip flour, sugar, oats into large bowl and rub butter into mixture until only pea-sized pieces remain.
  3. Stir in coconut and then reserve a cupful of this dry mix.
  4. Stir eggs into mixture in bowl and spread over lined 31cm x 17cm cake tin
  5. Smooth surface with spoon and then scatter over blackberries
  6. Scatter reserved cupful of dry mix over top of cake and bake in oven for 1hr until golden and cooked through.
  7. Leave to cool and then cut into squares.
Delicious! Makes a nice dessert with cream/ice cream or custard - especially if you have a few extra blackberries microwaved with a bit of sugar for a minute and then poured over the top!!!!!

Just for fun I made our little Dutch friend's toddler daughter a little bag to go with her new pinafore dress that I finished yesterday. Her mum gave us a fab felted wool cardy so I am chopping it up and making bags/ brooches and anything else I can think of.

And these are my latest little frocks......... all that and a visit to the theatre - never a dull moment here!
Have a fab weekend.
Thanks for popping by. x Jo

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

WOYWW -too untidy to reveal!!

Good morning all!
My room is a scruffy mess with scraps of fabric, threads and bags all over the place.
The outcome of all the crafty action ...........

Two sets made with some of the lovely stuff sent to us by P & G of Woodside fabrics.

Below are some made from stripey fabric that I dyed in a Tulip red dye along with some sheeting to match. The fabric was navy and white originally but Annie and I found it gave us migraine and nausea to look at it - weird!
That's why I dyed it and I think the result looks pretty good.
There is still lots left so I shall think up a few more combinations.

The last set are made with fabric that one of Annie's customers brought for us today.
I love the sweet pea design don't you?
If you are wondering why I have been making these little frocks then check out the link here to find out about the "Dress a girl around the world" scheme.

No desk to snoop today - I will tidy up ready for next week, honest.
Right over to Julia's desk to see how tidy she is this week and then to see what you have all been up to.
Have a happy Wednesday!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

More little dresses

Just a few of the dresses made from the lovely fabric parcel that came from Woodside Fabrics.
They would make lovely little school dresses don't you think?

I still have lots more fabric to make up, so have plenty to keep me busy for a while.
It's amazing to see how different each batch look - even though they are all made with roughly the same pattern.

If you would like to see the latest batch of dresses that we sent to Sew Scrumptious ready to be taken to Africa then pop over to see what Louise has on show here.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Little knitties!

Just before I send these little knitties off to the expectant mums, I thought I would post a picture.
(It helps me remember what I have made - size/colours etc.)

Don't they look lovely all together. I can't wait to see the little babes wearing them. Fingers crossed, it won't be long now. Just a few more weeks and Wipso will have 3 more gorgeous little grand children. The tiny cardies for the twins looks so small don't they. I love the little shrugs and so do the girls. 

This week I have been knitting for Annie's  2 oldest grand children P & L -
I have just had to make 2 bright red shrugs for them to wear to a wedding. 
And now I  am making their fab bright pink hoodies which I will blog when they are finished.

Right - that's it for now - I am off to bake my bread buns - nearly a disaster there as I used plain flour instead of strong white flour. Luckily they were only half white and half brown flour so, with a little bit of tweaking, I think they will be fine.
Have a great weekend all!!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Tilly's new blog and my baking suggestion

Busy, busy day yesterday.
Cleaning, tidying, baking and even a bit of dress making.
Now before I forget...
Just in case you want to link up with another mad member of the family - my daughter M has set up her own blog. (Not to be confused with Annie's daughter M who is expecting twins any day now.)
My M's blog is I don't know how much time she will have for blogging as she is trying really hard to create some more lovely items for her Etsy shop -
Anyway - she has created a lovely page - I didn't realise she had such IT talent - so pop over and say hi - she will be thrilled to meet you.

Just a few things to share with you...
Di asked for the recipe for my Moccachino slices.
I found them in this little recipe book that Annie bought me for Christmas. It has lots of fab buns and tray bakes.
100g butter
225g dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
3tbsp boiling water with 1 tbsp instant coffee
2tsp baking powder
125g plain flour

284ml pot soured cream
300g white chocolate broken into chunks
4 tsp caster sugar
cocoa powder to dust
(I halved the topping ingredients and there was still enough to coat the cake)

Takes 45 mins  Makes 12 large or lots of small ones.

1. Oven 180/160 fan oven.  Greased and lined baking tin 30 x 23 cm
2. Melt butter in large pan and stir in brown sugar. Mix well
3. Take off heat and stir in beaten eggs and coffee/water.
4. Add baking powder and flour and mix really well.
5. Pour into baking sheet and bake for 20 mins until set.
6. Allow to cool and turn out onto board.
7. Meanwhile, melt choc, caster sugar and sour cream in a small bowl over pan of simmering water.
8. Stir well and leave for 15 mins.
9. Spread all over top of cake and then dust with cocoa.
10. Leave to set then cut into squares.

Its yummy but quite calorific - so make tiny squares and savour them - no don't eat two!!!!!!

The latest frocks hot from the sewing machine...
Thanks to Suz for all the lovely pillow cases. The little flowery sheet came from one of Annie's customers.
And lastly - just in case we needed a little more to keep us going. One of my friends who has a brill fabric warehouse Woodside Fabrics kindly sent us this huge parcel of poly cottons....

A big thank you to P & G - I am sure there will be lots of happy little girls once we get cracking on that lot!!!

OK - I am off to Wipso's to see if that nifty little skirt, that I made on Tuesday, fits the lovely
 little Dutch girl.
Have a thrilling Thursday all!!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011


Happy Wednesday everyone!
So - it looks like Autumn is here then. We had a wild windy day yesterday with lots of showers.
The leaves are turning and the blackberries are ready to pick.
I love this time of year but it seems to come round too quickly!

My table has lots of goodies to share with you today.
A fab tablecloth and 2 lovely crochet mats from the car boot. The embroidery is lovely. I am sure M will come up with something clever to make with them.
My latest extravagant spends on magazines. I will share them with M, Wipso and friend T so lots of us will enjoy them but I think nearly £10 is a lot to have to pay for 2 craft mags!
Mollie Makes is full of little crafty sewing projects and ideas and seems quite useful.
The Stitch magazine is a favourite of mine and has a couple of ideas I will be tackling when I have time.
In the bottom corner is a gorgeous crochet book which I think I will put on ebay.
Here are a few of the patterns/instructions within...

On the left of my table is a little wool skirt that I am making for our little Dutch friend. It's looking good so far. I just hope it fits and then I am going to do some fancy top-stitching to add an original touch.!
Lastly here is a snap I took in the sunshine on Sunday.

OK - I am off to see what Mrs Dunnit has been up to this week.
Have fun and see you all later.
PS check out my earlier posts for a catch up on Tilly Tea Dance's latest pics and all my little frocks!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

This is M's latest little pic which she has finished and framed, ready for her Etsy shop.
She used some vintage linen as a background and collaged little snippets of fabric,
 free machined in place, to embellish these little Baboushkas.
I think the pale ash coloured frame sets it of nicely and wouldn't it look good on a nursery wall??
The frame is 340 x 190 cms.

My latest creations were made using the duvet, bought for 50p at the car boot sale.
I rarely make 2 the same but today I just had enough of the right bits to do so.
I also made one for an older girl as I am sure there is a need for all sizes.
I love the cheery look to the fabric and it is lovely and soft to work on - yet strong and hopefully hard wearing.

The next 3 little frocks were made using pillowcases donated by our lovely blog friends.

And lastly the middle one with little collage of a house on the pocket was made with a pillow case M had rejected. I really like this little frock.
The other 2 were made with the duvet fabric that I had dyed flamingo pink. I have used lots of this fabric to trim other dresses.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch?

Just two pics to share....

Firstly, proof that I really did make Apple and Blackberry jam - well jelly really because I strained it so it doesn't have seeds in it.
(Although the recipe said I must NOT squeeze the bag - and I did because I was impatient and wanted to get it finished and in jars! Consequently it's cloudy and not clear, like a real jelly but what the heck - I am not entering it in a WI competition - it won't last long enough.)

I love the tiny jars and I know two little girls who will love to have their own little jar of jam to put on their morning toast.
I also know two big girls who have requested a jar, so I think I need to head off up the blackberry hill again.

And below......

One of M's mounted and framed lighthouse collages.
It's a sweet little picture worked on a piece of vintage cloth using tiny snippets of fabric and lace all free machined in place to add detail.
It is mounted on blue linen and then set in an ivory mount within a satin silver-look 8" frame.

If you click on the pics you can see the detail.
I think she would be happy to sell it if anyone is interested.
M. has lots of little pics for sale in her Etsy shop - Tilly Tea Dance so if you want to browse - click on the link and pop over.

Friday, 2 September 2011

A little bit of kindness goes a long way...

I know if you follow Wipso's blog you will already have seen this pic.
We had 49 dresses ready to go to Louise of Sew Scrumptious who is collecting them for the "Dress a girl around the world"  scheme.
We spread them round Annie's workroom for one last look before we parcelled them up.

I have to say we are always a bit overwhelmed when we do this. Not just because of the effort it has taken to make them, but really because of the generosity of the lovely folk who have sent us fabric and made it all possible.

To me it seems a bit like the story of the 5 loaves and 2 fishes (sermon on the mount).
From just a tiny bit of kindness ie the odd pillowcase or small piece of fabric given to us, has come such a wonderful array of little dresses which will be going to girls in Africa who have virtually nothing.

It has cost us nothing except the use of our God given skills and yet when you look at 50 little dresses all together it seems such a lot.

Well enough of my deep thoughts for a Friday morning!!
Here are my latest offerings.

I am quickly losing track of who sent all the fabric but I know Di sent that lovely pink flowery stuff and the pink on the right  was sent  by Elizabeth over at The Silver Scrapper's Craft Space. The gorgeous, flowery, burgundy fabric came from Tammy over at Turquoise Ocean blog.

The very pregnant M gave us lots of pillow cases and I trimmed this one with some really pretty fabric - just one of the many bits and bobs sent to us.
So a big thank you for your donations - I think we have made over 130 now!!!

Just to say - I do spend my time doing other things!!!
I picked blackberries this week and made 5 jars of apple and blackberry jam - and it tastes yummy - I had it on toast for breakfast.
Of course, I also nipped down to cut curtains with Wipso - I might be giving her a helping hand with her twin grandchildren when they arrive - can you tell we are all excited at the thought! Best of luck to M - lets hope it all goes like clockwork and we soon have our new babes safe and sound.
(See Wipso's blog for updates.)