The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Feather your Nest Friday, 22nd June, 2018.

It has been a good and busy week! We have had a lot of sunny days too.
This week Lucy and the girls were down at the farm.  It was painful missing out on this I can tell you! 
But the girls had the most wonderful time with Nan Nan Pat and lambs and the baby deer.

Mum had a big box.  I think something must have been delivered to the farm in it.  She put mats inside and pinned fabric to make a door curtain.   Success!   Happiness is a big box to sit in!

Harper helped Chloe collect kindling and she loved it!  Good little worker! 

This week I made Gluten Free scones.  As I am bad at scones I always add a teaspoon of baking powder and an egg.  This makes them rise much better.  I made three dozen.  Also no one notices they are gluten free.

Anything GF in the shops is a ridiculous price and when you can buy GF flour well this is the easy solution!

I made a big beef casserole as I found a massive markdown.  This made dinner then meat pies.  Really any casserole in your slow cooker can be used to make pies.   No one even seems to realise they are seeing the casserole again!   Also Chloe said to me that Luke doesn't like casseroles much.  I asked does he like pies?  Yes!  So there you go, you slap your casserole in pastry and call it a pie!  πŸ˜Š
Also pies freeze wonderfully so you have spare and emergency meals.

One time a while ago I bought a fast meal from Woolworths.  It was a Jamie Oliver meal of meatballs and you just baked it in the oven.  Since then I copy it.  I make or buy meatballs.  Very often I will buy hamburgers and cut each one into four and re roll them to get meat balls.  That is what I did this time.  This way too you can re roll them to what size you want i.e. for little kids you can make them really small.

So my copy cat recipe is to put your meatballs in a baking dish with lots of cherry tomatoes.  Bake this for about 15 minutes and roll them around at some point.   Then I pour over a jar of tomato pasta sauce and top with grated cheese. 
Bake until bubbly and golden.  That's it!   I made enough for a couple of nights.   Serve over noodles, zoodles or with veggies.

On the second night I served it with a potato bake.  While I was making that I also made enough for a couple of nights.  I use Hilde' recipe which is thinly slice potatoes,  sprinkle the layers with french onion soup,  pour over cream milk, evaporated milk or whatever you have and top with grated cheese.  For a big one I use about half a packet or a small scoop of homemade french onion soup mix. 
Bake until bubbly and golden.  I allow about an hour so it is beautiful and soft.   

I made honey carrots so these appeared a couple of nights also.

I put a corned beef in the slow cooker as Andy likes this for lunches.

I made a big pot of sweet potato soup.

This was my lunches.

And I made individual baked custards.  I love these!

In the op shops I found a beautiful cardi and a big thermo with two cups for $5. 

I ordered some pantry jar labels from The Little Label Co.  You can order the labels you actually want and need.  I ordered thirty and I love them.  I started putting them on my jars yesterday.  

This afternoon this is my job... to wash all my jars up, put the labels on and re fill them!

I finish a cot sized crochet rug.  It is going into the gift cupboard...

So that is my week!   While we have this sunshine I will get some washing out on the line too.

How did you get ahead, save, build up your home or pantry this week?
I hope it was good and happily busy for you!   All your efforts add up!  Things do not have to be prefect to be good!  

Have a lovely weekend! xxx

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Never underestimate the Titus 2 Woman.

I have been thinking a lot about the people who have helped or influenced me a lot in my life so far.  It is as if a bigger picture is emerging and I am just starting to understand it!
Apart from my Nannas' and Mum there are women who helped me so much along the way.  Enough to have a lasting influence and an impact on my whole life and my children's children!

Some I have never met.  Some lived near by and helped me when the girls were little.  Some I knew briefly but they had a big impact!

But there is one thing they all have in common.  They were all Titus 2 women.  They were all older than me and they all, in one way or another,  were busy at home and teaching the younger women.
I am noticing a lot that even with Christians there are unpopular Bible verses.  Anything about women seems to be socially unpopular.  Yet there you go, the women who have had the most powerful impact on my life were Titus 2 women.

The cooking in this post belongs to Maria who is always cooking for her Grandchildren.
I think these are Miracle Muffins with pineapple, pumpkin seeds and coconut.

I have written before about some of the women that filled this role here.   I have been so lucky with the right people at the right time in my life.  Just now I am blown away actually at how blessed I am and the quality of the Titus 2 ladies that were there for me.  None of these women were particularly highly educated, particularly glamorous, or anything that the world would call outstandingly "successful".   They were Mum's who were ahead of me in years as a Mother and strong Christian women.  They stood out above all others to me.

If you read my link above there was Dorrie who was my neighbour when Chloe was a baby.  She was the next best thing to having my own Mum living over the road.   I am starting to wonder if she was an angel.

Choc fudge Cookies.

And there was Phyll who was a Mum and Grandmother. She cooked, gardened and worked so hard. She opened her home once a week for the young women to come for Bible Study.  All the kids were welcome!   In between times if you needed help or advice she gave it.   Everything she spoke was sound.  She told you the truth. She was sensible and practical! She spoke with wisdom!

Online I had Laine.  She was another who told it as it is.  Some women wanted to argue with Laine but she stuck to what the Bible says.  If you do not know Laine reading her letters is one of the best investments of your time you will ever find!
You can find her letters here starting with the article I am currently reading  Her Income.

I really like women who are willing to tell you the truth.  I am noticing a lot that the words of the Bible are very offensive to many people these days.  I heard this... that the truth is very offensive to people who hate the truth!  Well I guess so!  But it takes a good friend to tell you the truth as anyone will lead you along a merry path!  

Snickerdoodle Cookies.

Patsy is one of my friends that just reminds me of Mrs Starkey!  Read her article Get a Job.
I am sure that these two women are sisters separated at birth!  Yes they give it to you straight!  They tell you the truth.

Thanks to the fellowship of this blog I meet a lot of women who are either younger with children or older with Grandchildren.  The younger Mums  need encouragement that they are doing a good job and have a very important mission.
The world is telling them they are wasting their time and talents raising their children.   As older women we need to be letting them know that we know how hard it is!  That they are doing a wonderful work and that the time they are in now flies past!   Ages I wrote about my time when I was a single Mum and looking after the girls.... That is here... Your Time.   You are laying important foundations.  What you are doing will influence several generations (at least!)

Veggie Quiche.

The other group here are the older women,  ladies with grown family and maybe Grandchildren.  If you are in this group please read Laine's Letters on being a Grandmother.   Calling all Older Women would be a good place to begin.  But there is so much more!  Probably as an "older woman" you do not realise how important you are and what a huge difference you can make!

Both my Nans worked so hard for their families. were kind and generous to everyone.  They helped others, shared food and cooking.  Nan L taught the new neighbours English as they knew none when they arrived traumatised in WW2.  They became life long friends and like family.  She was talented at baking, knitting, spinning and dying her own wool.
Nan B always said "an ounce of help is better than a pound of sympathy" and was one to send a meal. She was a talented florist.  Her work appeared in many shows and books.
Someone said to me once  it is a shame they didn't "work" and perhaps the world missed out because they were homemakers.  Pfft! They cast so much work and influence down the line their legacies are immeasurable.

We just have to live in the season we are in!  Happily when we move out of one season we move into another!  Each season is beautiful!  Just different!

Beer Bread.

I am just starting to realise how much the Titus 2 women that were there for me helped us.  Because they helped me they helped the girls too.  I am gradually realising more and more how much my Grandmothers made a difference to my life. I always knew it was enormously but even that doesn't cover it.   As I get older I am realising some of what they did.

Last winter Maria made her Grand Children Monogrammed crochet blankets.
This year it is personalised scarves for winter. πŸ’—
Kids are smart. When you make them something they see it as love!
Even Harper at three says "Nan Nan Bel MADE it for ME" I can hear Maria's Grand Children saying how their Nana made their scarves for them!

I was talking with Laine this week.  She now is a Grand Mother and a Mum to Lucy who they adopted and homeschool.   She helps homeschool the Grand kids as well.  And she helps her parents. I saw her go from a young busy Mum to a Titus 2 woman and here I am with grown children and Grand Children too!
I asked her how does she manage so many roles?  After all the first thing is to take care of our own households, husbands and children, then Grandchildren then help the other younger women...
Well lets just say life is busy! Sometimes we have to pray about how to manage our time and what our priorities are or we would never manage it all!  

Softest hankies made by Mimi.
Mimi manages being a Nan and a Mum. 
Her  daughter at Uni is bring home new uni friends to Mimi's cooking. 
And she is making cakes and gorgeous things for little Grand daughters as well!

I am noticing on social media literally thousands of chances a day to be a helpful older woman.  I see young Mums asking "how do I menu plan?"  and "what can I cook for dinner I have $50 left for the fortnight?" and a million such questions.  There is a need everywhere for teachers,  mentors, encouragers and friends.   You really never know what a difference you will make.  A world of difference would be my guess. 

I hope your week is going well! xxx

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Feather your Nest Friday. 15th June, 2018.

It has been a very busy week!  I got lots done and am trying to tackle the things that I can as it is too soon to be packing boxes but there is plenty I can get on with too.
With this in mind I bought a steam cleaner.  I had a fantastic one years ago and have always missed it.   So I did my research, chose one and headed off to get one.   I did great on price too and still haggled and paid cash.   This is the best thing ever.   For anyone interested I got the Euroflex Monster Compact Steam Cleaner.  It is fantastic.  Every day I have been steam cleaning.  I started with the laundry grout and tiles.  Then the washing machine.  Then all my appliances...  everything looks brand new.  It has a domino effect as I keep thinking of something else to steam clean!

Some of the ways I saved, got ahead and built up the home this week were:

I made chocolate mud cakes.  These were GF so I had a couple too.  Some were for Andy, some for Harper some for freezer.

I made roast pumpkin soup and to go with it I made Corn Bread.   I made extra loaves to freeze.  Also in one of them I used GF flour and it turned out just fine.

Later in the week I also made Mum's Veggie soup.  She gets a bag of the finely chopped up soup mix, adds zucchini and I added sweet potato.   Simmer and blend adding a Massel  Brand Chicken stock cube.  Has to be this kind Mum says!  Anyway that is it and it is delicious!

You could really throw anything in if you have things to use up.

A wholesale butcher here had specials that suited us. (For SA readers this is Specialty Foods, Thebarton)  We get the catalogue  emailed  each week.  So I got 12 lamb shanks for $1.90 each.  This was a saving of about $30 on lamb shanks.  Being winter this is a slow cooker hearty meal.  A delicious lamb meal for under $2 a serve is pretty good.  
Also we got pure beef burgers and I sat and cut each into four and re rolled them into meatballs.   I got 64 meatballs for $24.  I portioned them into meal sized portions.  We got seven meals worth which is only $3.40 a meal for two for meat.  

So my freezer is full again and I am only buying really good deals and nothing else!  Otherwise we are having a use it up challenge! 

I made Creme Caramel.  I always do this in the slow cooker.  

If you would like the recipe and how to do it in the slow cooker it is here.

I had bargains in Coles.  Recently they cleared a huge amount of hair products.   I stocked up for ages.  Now it is dishwashing liquid and dishwasher products.  Again it is due to new packaging I think.   I got packets of Finish Powerball dishwasher tablets for $3 a pack!
And Dishwashing Liquid for $1. 

I saved $77 on my bargains.

I had a sore knee.  It could be to do with steam cleaning around the bottoms of kitchen cupboards, skirting boards, kitchen cupboards, fridge... and so on.   I decided to try a castor oil pack as Patsy has talked about and I had the things on hand.  This is something I have been meaning to try.  So now I know and I think it helped as it is better! 

I traded essential oil roller balls for more medical supplies with Bella.  The supplies are going to the farm to improve Chloe and Luke's medical kits.  This is so good!  Thank you Bella!

Last night it rained and rained.  It is wonderful. This morning the sun is out and it looks like a nice day.
Today I am heading off to a wedding dress fitting with Chloe.  This is always fun and exciting!  She is only here 24 hours then back to the farm.  I have cornbread, orange cakes, soup and casserole to send home with her.

Before she picks me up I am putting beef and veggies in one slow cooker and filling the other one with potatoes and sweet potatoes.   Later all I will need to do is mash the potatoes.   I want a lot as after tonight the casserole will be made into meat pies and "shepherds pies" with the potato over the top with a sprinkle of cheese.  One meaty casserole usually gets me dinner then a few pies. 

So that is my week!  
How did you build up your nest,  save or get ahead? 

I am working on some blog posts here and there but otherwise I will always try and do my Friday post.  And I am working on creating Bluebird Farmhouse.  For a while things will just not be normal I just have less time to be on the computer.  But then we will settle back to a routine again! xxx

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Feather your Nest Friday, 8 June, 2018.

I had a great week and caught up so many things.  I thought I will do one big Friday post and this gave me time to catch up on most comments and correspondence etc.

So where do I start!?  I had unpacking, shopping, cleaning to do and Andy,  Lucy, Harper and Scarlett all with colds.  Basically everyone in Adelaide has a bug I think.   Due to this I started with chicken soup.  I made a potent pot of wholesome soup and we lived on that for a few days.

Garlic,  bay leaves, celery, parsley, turmeric, onion.... to me all these things are so helpful when unwell.

I had a wonderful purchase from Aldi.  I was so excited.  A cast iron enamel pot that is just gorgeous.

It is so lovely and heavy.  Cast iron pots like these in department stores are a couple of hundred dollars.  At Aldi under $30.   I messaged the girls and they both wanted one so we all have the same pot!   What I love is if I have a combustion wood fire I can just sit it on top and use the fire as my "slow cooker."  How I would love to do that!   Well, we have decided we want to move to the farm so maybe next winter I will be doing exactly this! 

Andy and I both lived in the country most of our lives.  I came to the city to get the girls into further education.  I achieved that and they both ended up with good jobs.  Lucy now is married with two girls and Chloe who always wanted to marry a farmer is getting married in October to farmer Luke.  They want to start a family right away.   
Lucy and family and Andy and me have all been offered opportunities by Dad to come back to the farm.  He is getting older.  He is always thinking how can the future generations be helped and made as secure as possible?  

Three years ago when I started writing the preparedness series I had a feeling.  A feeling to get prepared.  Actually it was almost a nagging feeling.  I was prompted to turn my empty cellar into a food and emergency supplies pantry.   I built up preparedness in all areas.  We put in rain water, generators,  a medical cabinet and the list goes on.  It is amazing what you can do when you do a little bit each week!
Still I had a feeling things were changing.  About a year ago I knew that we would be better off to go back to the farm.  We could have wood fires and cooking.   We could plant and orchard.  Have a big veggie garden.  Ground and rain water.   Andy could be hunting and fishing.  We could have a homestead!  
Taking classes with Patsy she would have scenarios and you had to participate from the point of view of your own location, climate etc.  Each time I did this from two locations,  the city and the farm.
Boy did this show me how vulnerable we are.  At the end of the day it is like in WW1 and WW2 the people who did ok had family on a farm.  Space to grow vegetables and keep chooks.  

Another thing has been happening.   There is a mood.   The city and the media use words now to intimidate Christians.   Here are some I have seen lately.  If you believe the Bible is the Word of God you are a bigot.  If you save you are a hoarder.  If you are  a conservative or you tell the truth according to Gods Word that is hate speech.  I think this is because to people that hate the truth the truth is hate speech.  Even in our lovely area I have seen some things in the last year that no one should have to see.   
So every hint we are getting supports the feeling and conviction that we should move to the county. Back to the country. 
And then my Dad turned out to be planning and working on making a place for us.  It turns out he thought if he could get either of the girls back on the farm then I would follow!  mmm he is a long term planner I have to say!

Once Dad knew yes!  we want to do it he started moving heaven and earth to try to make a place for us and for Lucy's family if they wanted too.  

I have wanted to share this and I still want to share more but we are just on the edge of this all happening but it hasn't quite happened yet!  So if you would pray I would be really grateful.

Part of my catching up this week was jobs and part it was THINKING and planning!
My brain was kind of in overload.

Ok back to the past week! 

With all the soup I made sausage rolls.  I made 39!  I froze some and will give Chloe and Luke about half of them.

I need to check the current prices for sausage rolls a the bakery.  This many sausage rolls would probably be about $160 to buy!  Baking is such a saver.

I also made baked custards in the slow cooker.

The soup is all gone now.  So while dinner last night was in the oven I baked a tray of veggies for pumpkin soup.   This is a recipe from Matt Preston who is not a chef he just hangs around with chefs and gets their easy amazing tips.   There is onion, sweet potato, pumpkin and an apple.  

Tonight I will blend it with stock and make some cornbread.  Dinner and footie on a cold night.

My Aunt says I should mention what is cold to us as our idea of cold will make you laugh if you live in the north.  So cold to us is down around freezing point in the middle of the night.  A cold day is around 9 which is about 48 F.   We don't get snow and we don't usually go below zero.  Today is cool at 13 ( 55)  In northern Australia they think this is cold but I don't think in the USA Canada or Uk this measures up as very cold at all! 

My craft this week was very small but a success.   Harper loves Emma Wiggle.   The Wiggles are a little kid sensation you have probably heard of.  Love is not a strong enough word for how Harper feels about Emma.   
Emma does ballet and Irish dancing.  Harper therefore is obsessed with dancing.   The other day I saw that Emma had ribbons on wrist bands and they looked lovely as she danced.

I bought soft hair ties and raided my ribbon supply and made dancing ribbons.

Here is Harper watching Emma dance with her ribbons and being able to do it too...

As I had ribbon this all cost me $1. 

I took a video to show Mum as a lot of twirling was involved. 😊

Lynette sent me a beautiful parcel.   One thing was little canister type containers that essential oils had come in.  She thought I might like to use them since I am making essential oil gifts.   I sure can!  I covered the labels on them with my own...

I can make up a little bottle of oil or a blend or a roller and pop it in one of these with printed instructions!   Thanks so much Lynette! 

Chloe had a visitor this week.   She has had many Kangaroos and Wombats but this is a new one...

I went to see Kath in the nursing home.  I took her favourite marshmallows and biscuits and coffee.  
On the way I went to a good op shop and to Bunnings to save petrol and do a few things together. 

So that is my week and some of what is going on!

With so much to do I am just trying to do anything that needs doing!  
When we move I will still blog but we will go over to Bluebirds Farmhouse!
Thank you to everyone who supports me here.  Our community and the friendships formed have taught me so much.  I have come a long way in a few years.  
Through this blog I have met some of the hardest working and wonderful Christian ladies I could ever hope to meet.   I recently realised it is fellowship.  We can have fellowship long distance due to technology.  This is amazing! 

Listen to this...
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
not neglecting to gather together, as is the habit of some,
but encouraging one another....

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up.

The older women ..... can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be set controlled and pure, to be busy at home.

Like the woman who found the lost coin... she calls her friends and says "rejoice with me!"   It is a beautiful thing to have someone to tell what you have achieved and your happiness.   It makes it even better!   Having someone who will recognise your efforts is so encouraging.  This helps me every day.

All these scriptures are what we have been doing together.  My message has been all your work at home is not a waste of time it is so valuable and worth more than rubies.   Make hay while the sun shines.   A little bit every day will get you there.  Read your Scripture and check everything against it.  Pray!  Make the most of the season you are in right now.   Take every opportunity!

I hope you had a good week.  How did you build up your nest, save or get ahead?

Have a lovely weekend! xxx

Saturday, 2 June 2018

A very late Feather your Nest Friday.

As I mentioned on Monday I was away this week.  It was my Dad's 81st Birthday and I headed to the farm to see him.  I had a lovely time.  He drove me for a day of touring around and showing me things and I packed a picnic with fruit cake, rolls and a thermo of tea and one of coffee.    It was a gorgeous sunny day although still cold!  Mum had roasts and soup going.  And the fire roaring.   The nights were so cold but we were snug and crocheting by the fire in the evenings.

The farm had very little internet reception.  So I am behind on all correspondence and blog replies.  Today I am working on catching up just on washing and the house.   We all know what it is like when we have been away.  It seems to take a few days to get back into the swing of things.

It was not a normal week of savings but an investment in other ways.

At the farm there were lambs and a baby deer that are all being bottle fed.  This is the first time for a deer.   He is so lovely and like a baby.

He wouldn't stand still so I got Chloe to hold him and took a heap of photos.

I love the spots.  To me he is just like out of a fairy story! 

Hopefully Harper and Scarlett will see him in a couple of weeks.  They will have so much fun!

The lambs are tiny.  Just a few days old.

This time of year while its cold is the time for clean ups around the yard.  Mum loves a fire and it was warm to stand near.   Fallen trees were being cut down for future wood as well.

Because there has been rain things are looking green and good.   Rain is always the big issue.

Before I left on this trip I did manage to bake a heap of Orange Cakes.   I did muffin size and small loaf size.  Several went into the freezer.

So now I have washing to do,  soup to put on,  custards to bake and so on.  The sun is shining and it looks like a beautiful day.  It was really cold last night thought!   It was a two hot pack night haha! 

Andy had a bunch of savings and makings amounting to a few hundred dollars.

I am not sure how I will go this week with posting.  I didn't think I would get this post done!  I will just see how I go.  I am getting a ridiculous amount of spam comments every day and this is taking me ages too!   These are commenters who aren't really reading they try and post a comment that is a thinly veiled ad for something they are selling etc.  Drives me crazy!

How did you build up your nest, get ahead or save last week?  For many of us we had the first day or winter!  There was a time I didn't love winter but now I do.  Soups,  the slow cooker going, warm and cozy, lots of crochet...

Have a wonderful Sunday and new week!xxx

Sunday, 27 May 2018

The World Within our Walls. Being Productive.

Since I was little I liked people who make things.  This was almost everyone in my world as Mum and both my Nan's were highly productive.   Lately I have been thinking about how Nana L spent so much time spinning wool, dying it with natural things like onion skins and knitting up beautiful things for everyone.  These were very happy days for Nan. She was in her element.  She usually had scones cooking in the wood oven and a lot of other things going on.  She was busy all day.

Nan had friends over once a week and they all would bring their spinning wheels with them!   These friends of Nan's were a happy crowd!  I got to be there quite often and loved it.   Many of thee ladies were very talented.   To me Nan was so happy when she was busy creating and making.
She had other friends who were incredibly productive.   Two of these friends had significant disabilities which I realise now looking back more than I noticed then.   I wrote about them here The Happiness Factor of Creating Something.    You would never have guessed anyway as they were very joyous and generous people.   I have no doubt that they way there were always making something had a lot to do with this.

Small projects I can take with me anywhere help me get lots made!

Over time I have come to realise that it is no coincidence that busy and creative people are happier.  Busy hands do make happy hearts.  You are not usually thinking bad thoughts or worrying about something while you are absorbed in creative work with your hands.   In fact you usually end up feeling wonderful.   Rather than sitting idle and stressing you are pouring your energy into creating and this is good for us!

When we have had a good day and achieved a lot we feel good!  Have you noticed that feeling of great happiness, achievement and satisfaction after completing something or some kind of day of hard work?  It is a beautiful feeling!   Jess wrote the most beautiful series that is very much worth studying here called The Blessings of old fashioned work.   This is glorious!  It explains a lot!
We are designed to work and it blesses others as well as ourselves.

Gardenpat is so productive.  He gardens, preserves, runs a small business. 
Then she added chickens and is even more productive! 

The Proverbs woman has "eager hands," she is making linen garments for the household as well as enough to sell.  She is "strong and industrious" and helps the poor an needy as well as having her own household in such order that they have no fear of the winter.  She is trading and working on her goods into the night.  She can be relied upon.  She is busy and this all is bringing great blessings on her family.   She watches over the affairs of her household.  

Jane and Bluey are so productive.  Sewing, crochet, wood work, gardening, cooking, preserving. Joy! 

 Creating things out of almost fresh air like a meal from random bits and pieces,  a birthday cake from flour and eggs,  a garden from a mess of weeds,  a garment from fabric or yarn.... whatever it is there is a sense of accomplishment and getting ahead.  Using what we have to the best advantage...

Vicky gardens, keeps chickens, preserves, cooks and makes Tutus! 

When I was in my teens a young couple came to our house and they had two little girls.   The wife was Linda and she brought her knitting with her.  She was knitting a striped jumper for one of the girls and I liked her instantly.   She was exactly where I wanted to be in a few years time and we became friends.   I just loved her!   And over the years I have had so many people that I have learned new skills from.   Ethel who made and decorated cakes.  Dawn who embroidered like no one else.  Dorrie who took me under her wing when Chloe was a baby and she taught me stretch knit sewing.  She lived over the road.  I would sew a bit more and run over the road to her to learn how to do the next thing...

Mum makes rugs, jumpers, hats for everyone she knows plus charity. 
She also cooks, preserves, gardens, mends (endlessly) and keeps ducks.

Over the years I learned (at least to some extent) the basic things like baking,  making cleaning products,  knitting, sewing,  embroidery including wool, shadow work, grub roses.... patchwork,
card making,  soap making,  basic painting, mending, slow cooking, yeast cooking,  veggie and herb growing,  jam and relish making...  I have loved learning each new thing!

More recently I learned sour dough cooking,  yoghurt making,  how to make essential oil blends and rollers.

I have LOVED learning how to use essential oils and boy has this blessed our household!   

Now and then it is time to learn a new skill.   We have all seen a child so excited when they learned how to do something.  We are really no different.  Last year with You Tube I learned a heap of new crochet patterns.  It was so much fun!   You know you are loving something when you find yourself counting down to the time of day you can get back to it.  So much fun! 

Kelsey makes cleaning cloths, sews, makes beautiful gifts, gift tags and cooking.

I think in terms of improving skills and learning new ones.   I do not think we have to be good at everything.  If you have one skill that you can get to a good level it gives you something you can also trade and sell.  This can be enormously helpful.   And this is where we will finish up for now as many of us are in fact launching little businesses of our own.    I have followed Patsy's journey in starting up her business this year.   She shared the goal and the steps she took. You can see her shop here Pillowcases by Patsy.

Sewingcreations gardens, cooks and preserves (in abundance!)

I have been accumulating the details of many of your own enterprises and planning a series on selling and trading your homemade or home grown goods.   If you would like to be featured and share some tips on how you did it and how you keep it going please email me at
We are going to attempt to have a system where by we all share each others shops/businesses with our friends and on social media which could generate a lot of free advertising for each other.   Also ways to help each other build our little businesses.

We are working on becoming more producers than consumers.   The more we can make ourselves the better.   The more we also have to trade and sell as well.  I am dreaming of a giant pumpkin patch, veggie garden and even an orchard.  I have always wanted an orchard!  Fruit trees with chickens running underneath = heavenly!

What do you produce?
What would you like to learn how to grow or make?
Do you trade or sell some of your produce?
What skills could you work on to become better at?
Do you notice that feeling of joy and satisfaction from creating?

This week I am heading off to the farm.  Andy is keeping the home fires burning.  So there will be no post on Wednesday and I will do a big Feather Your Nest post possibly Friday or over the weekend!

Have a wonderful and productive week! xxx

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Feather your Nest Friday, 25th May, 2018.

I had a lovely week and today is just the most beautiful sunny day after a really cold night.
After posting last Friday I headed off to see my Aunt and on that trip I always incorporate a couple of op shops and a really good veggie shop on the way home.

My Aunt has a beautiful garden and it is now citrus season.  Her orange and lime trees were covered.

Regular readers know about my Aunt and that she has no car and rides her bike to do her grocery shopping and has a fabulous productive garden.  She and my Dad (sister and brother) and in their 80's  Recently my Aunt was not well and when she recovered she rode to get groceries as usual.  She thought that she had lost fitness as it was hard going.  She has a big basket on her bike that she fills with her shopping.   Eventually she realised there was a brake stuck on and it wan't her fitness after all it was just the brakes!  So that was a relief.

Here we were admiring the autumn leaves...

I came home with a basket of Limes and three huge lush while bath towels.  One is Ralph Lauren no less.  Somewhere in my blog my Aunt read that Andy loves giant bath towels!
We had a lovely time chatting over cups of tea.  There was a lot to catch up on!

On the way home I had great luck at the veggie market and loaded up with pumpkin for lots of soup.

Saturday was the royal wedding.  I had soup on and made gluten free pumpkin scones. Chloe came over for dinner in front of the tv to watch the wedding.  She walked in with an coat and scarf and underneath her pyjamas.  lol this is a tradition with us!   We settled in on the lounge. The neighbours decorated their whole house with British flags.  The supermarket was full of red, white and blue balloons.  The boy in the supermarket said his Mum spent the week decorating the whole house to be a cathedral.  
We had so much fun!   And the entrance with the trumpets and the heavenly soloist was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen or heard.  And that Gospel Choir I think called The Kingdom Choir.... how they sang and how they dressed.... truly beautiful.   It was so fabulous I felt I floated on air all of Sunday.   You have to say that was frugal and fabulous fun!  And 2 Billion people heard the Word of God no less.

I made some little cakes for Harper and used up some flowers from my cake supplies.  

Yesterday I made a big batch of Butter Chicken in the slow cooker.   Talking about getting extra meals set aside the other day...   I am always amazed how little curry you need for a meal and how much I have.  It is the sides that do it! 

I set aside two containers so we will have curry again on Saturday night and I will freeze a batch.  So one cook gets me three dinners.  I picked mint at Mum's and made a double batch of Raita so that is ready for tomorrow night as well.   It was delicious.   I love the slow cooker! 

Wednesday I headed south to see Hilde and shop the cheaper stores near her including a fruit and veggie market, op shops, discount grocery store...   This once a month trip saves me so much money. I am so amazed that a half hour trip sees grocery prices drop so dramatically.  

As usual we had a wonderful time!  We picked lemons from Hilde's tree which is just covered.  

I had luck at the op shops too.  On the top of my list I had decanters.   Luke's birthday is coming up and he fancies a Whiskey Decanter.  I found two really beautiful ones...

I got both as I thought Andy will want one.
I also got crystal glasses from Aldi and packaged the decanter and glasses in a large ball box with tissue paper.

Gift ready!
(And yes Andy loved the round one and was thrilled with that!)

From this trip I came home with lots of produce at a fraction of local prices.   Tonight I am roasting a lot of veggies and over the weekend I will make soup.  

I also found two tops and two cardis that I just love.  They are hanging in the sunshine drying now as I washed them last night. So pleased!  ($5 each)
Another thing I got was several meters of Muslin cloth.  This is so beautiful and handy.  I needed some the other day to strain the lemons from my vodka for my Limoncello.  But it also makes the most beautiful face cloths or baby wash cloths. 
I also got  a pack of 20 glossy beautiful cards for $4.

While I say I do not buy cards it is another story if they are this gorgeous and 20c each!  Considering most nice cards are $8 and up!

I had eggs, zucchini and bargain cream so I made a zucchini slice...

I went with Lucy and the girls to the Doctors as the girls had injections.  I was armed with Princess bandaids,  freddo frogs and my usual bag of ticks in my handbag.  Neither of them even cried.  And yesterday I baby sat for a while in the afternoon while Lucy has an appointment.  We watched the Wiggles and danced :) 

I think that is about it!   Our evenings are dark and cold so hot meals are beautiful.  But today is just lovely and bright.  I have a meeting to go out to so I will enjoy the sunshine. 

I hope you had a good week!  Oh one more thing I have to show you Vicky got new chickens.

Aren't they beautiful!   Her son is the animal namer.  He named them Annabel, Patsy, Rachel and Jane.  Apparently he hears these names constantly! haha!  Can you guess who is who!? 

That garden setting.... so lovely! 

How did you build up your home, pantry, preparedness this week?  
How did you save, get ahead, get stuff done?

Have a beautiful weekend and remember to make hay while the sun shines! xxx