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, 14 February 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 15th February. 2019.

I truly had a wonderful week!  We have been blessed with really mild weather and even a little bit of rain.  It is so much easier when it is not hot.  Dad thinks Autumn has come early so I hope so.  That would be a dream but we still could have heat again yet.

There were lots of ways we built up our home, saved, got ahead, added to the pantry etc. this week!

We decided it was time to pick the pears.  Birds were getting a fair few and they broke easily from the stems or fell to the ground.  Pears are strange as they don't ripen on the tree and you must pick them hard.  This is a first for me!   It was great fun picking the two trees and they were so heavy I couldn't believe it!

They are beautiful.  We have five baskets of pears!

The apple tree is heavy with fruit.  Each day they are getting brighter... I notice the difference now, I took this photo a week ago...

Last night I saw they were really red.  There are hundreds of them! 

I made all the plums I was given last week into things.  First a cake.  This was just a GF packet mix covered in slices of plum then dusted with icing sugar.  Served warm a cake like this is a good dessert.

You can really slice any stone fruit over a plain old cake mix and call it a dessert and no one is any the wiser.

Also some jam.  Dad got three jars.

I added some veggies to the garden... chard, broccoli and late season tomatoes.

I had op shop (thrift store) luck.  Lots of luck actually!   Several good books, beautiful soft palest blue muslin,  a Wedgwood casserole dish ($4) and a set of vintage stationary ($2)

I made Harper a Cinderella pillowcase and Scarlett farm animals one and got her first pillow for her.

I was able to add quite a bit to the pantry and some potted plants to the front of the house and they look so nice. 

We are still picking tomatoes and I made up another batch of relish as it is so delicious.

My niece has her birthday tomorrow.  She loves my coconut ice so I made her a whole slab of her own. 

I decorated it with dried rosebud (ever handy) and then cellophane and pink ribbon.

I have been given left over glass little candles from a wedding.  There are 96 of them! 

There are so many possibilities here! What a boost to my gift cupboard these will be!

We had a trip to the city.  I was able to do a stock up at Aldi and I visited the peach tree in the lane where I used to get free peaches every year.  I knew I was probably a few weeks to late to actually get peaches.  But for some reason the peach tree was also late!   I got two huge buckets of perfect ripe peaches!!! 

I was so excited!  I gave some to Mum and Dad and some to Chloe and Luke.  We have lived on fresh peaches.  Last night for Valentines Day I made a peach crumble...

Baked peaches are about the most delicious thing ever!

As you can see this is our time of summer fruit.   It is really a time to make hay while the sun shines!
Dad called in with his hat full of Mulberries.   He told us a place to go to pick lots and when we tasted them we decided yes please, we will make a picnic out of the trip to pick them.  And Dad added there is a huge old apple tree covered in red apples.  He said go in about two weeks as they are almost ready.  So we are planning this trip... it is about an hour away.  To me this would be so much fun.  So now we have two apple trees to pick.  But I figure there is a lot you can do with apples and we will share them.  I will make a tray of baked apples for Dad too for telling us!

Isn't it amazing how much can happen in a week?  The Tuesday Afternoon Club has me trying even harder to make the most of every opportunity, use it up, set it to good use...  very motivating!

Today is a beautiful day.  I need to get some washing out on the line. 

How did you feather your Nest this week?  I hope it was a good week for you! xxx

Monday, 11 February 2019

The Tuesday Afternoon Club, 12 February, 2019.

What a fortnight it has been!  The Tuesday Afternoon Club has grown and grown.
Here I am posting for some of the girls that for one reason or another are not in the FB group.  For many of us this is a benefit of a double dose of ideas!

First of all we have Clare. She sent me a photo of her Melting Moments.  Her husband thought she had gone to the shops and bought them.  But no Clare has certainly perfected Melting Moments which she made for her parents visit.

Beautiful job Clare! 😍

Maria has been very busy.  She worked some crochet cotton wash cloths...

A gift box of scrubs and essential oil serum for a sick friend...

Quiche, meringues and CHOCOLATE CREAM!

Cherry cake...

A cake for a friend who visited...

Chocolate zucchini loaf plus cup cakes...

And there was more!!  Maria cooks often for her Grandkids and family. You can imagine how much they love this! 

Next we have Jen in NC.  She is in winter and knitting away!   Beautifully, Jen has made hats for her neighbour undergoing cancer treatment.

Then mittens,  a headband, scrunchies and embroidered kitchen towel with a red crochet edging.  Imagine all of these as gifts.  Just beautiful!

Jen your gift cupboard must be looking amazing already at this point!

And we have Cookie.  This is timely too with Valentines Day this week!  She made gorgeous cards...

And decorated gift boxes!   This is sometime I can really add to my own making list... 

We often have boxes that have contained something we have purchased.  With some decorating they can easily become keepsake or gift boxes!  They are just beautiful Cookie.
I always keep and redecorate gift bags or store bags that are basically the same but have a store logo on them.  They are really easy to turn into gift bags!   Now gift boxes are another!   Thank you for the inspiration Cookie!

Thank you everyone for sharing what you made!  Now I am off to post in the Facebook group. If you would like to join come over to The Tuesday Afternoon Club.  

I hope your week is going well!  We have rain! xxx

Friday, 8 February 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 8 February, 2019.

It has been another really good week!  Sorry to be posting so late but all day today the internet was dodgy and I could just not get photos to load.  Tonight things seem to be going much better so I am hoping to be able to post.

It was quite a week of produce!  All week I have picked tomatoes and I think over the weekend I will make another batch of relish.  I have promised to post this recipe so will get to that.

I was given a basket of rhubarb, peaches and plums.  Some of this is being eaten as our fresh fruit but some with become other things.

My Dad gave us fresh venison.  It is enough for quite a few meals.

I made three dozen sausage rolls.  Many went into the freezer.

Lucy gave me four very ripe bananas.  I used them plus some left over yoghurt and turned them into two dozen little cakes.  I also froze a heap of these.

I had my shopping trip into town.  This time I tried the smaller alternative supermarket.  It is so much better than the big one!  I got several amazing deals.  I took my time to learn what they have and where everything is.  The meat is much better and cheaper as they have a resident butcher.  Just amazingly better!  I was really thrilled by this as the main supermarket is really expensive. So sometimes bigger isn't cheaper!  It pays to look everywhere!

While in town I went to both op shops (thrift stores) and found the matching fine bone china plates to the cups and saucers I got last week!  Someone had just put them in a different place. I got them for 50c each!   Also I found a whole bag of sewing bobbins full of different coloured threads for $3.

Last year I found so many reels of cottons in every colour.  To find all these bobbins was great and they went straight into my sewing pantry.

On the craft front I completed more sets of hand towels and learned two new stitches. I make up a wash cloth while practicing a new stitch.  

This one was Cup cake from Attic 24.  I can follow her patterns as she explains with photos!  They are amazing patterns!

This one was Sultan Stitch which I found on You Tube.

I liked these heaps.  I also tried another stitch that just didn't work for me! 

I made up some more essential oil gifts.  These cosmetic brush pens were about $1.40 each on eBay.  They are amazing!  

I made one set up as cubicle and nail treatment oil...

And one set as Ultimate Serum...

I posted the recipes for these over in The Tuesday Afternoon Club. 
Normally Tuesday next week would be a Tuesday Afternoon Club  get together.  I think I might have to postpone that as we are travelling that day.  I will see how it goes!

We were really lucky to have mild weather.  Andy worked on our roof sprinter system and it is almost done.  Tomorrow is test it out day!

For me I felt I got such a lot of food put in the freezer that I really feel ahead.  I added quite a bit to my pantry and something to my sewing pantry!   It is so nice to feel I got ahead in some ways.  I felt it was fantastic to find a better place to shop in our local town.

How did you build up your nest, save, get ahead or increase your pantry this week?
I hope it was a good week for you! xxx

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

A pretty and easy crochet edge.

A few ladies have asked for a tutorial on this crochet edge.  This will maybe suit beginners as I cannot read patterns!  I learn mainly by watching you tube videos and I get on very well with Attic24 where she writes the instructions up with photos and I seem to be able to follow fairly well.

This is the edge I am working on sets of hand towels right now.  I really am doing a bulk lot!  I copied it from a lovely bath mat my sister in law gave me.

It is VERY easy.  If you can do chain and a double crochet you are set that is all you need.

The first row I work through the fabric you are working with.  Towels tend to have a border so I use this as my straight line to follow.   I just guess the spacing.  Some people use a ruler and a fade out pen to mark spaces.   You need a crochet hook small enough that it will go through the fabric ok.  Towels are good as they are quite soft to work through.  If you do not want to do this you could work your first row with the yarn and a darning needle and work a blanket stitch.  This would be about the same in appearance too.

The ply you use is up to you... on pillowcases I have used quite a fine yarn and various cotton and silky textures.  Same with handkerchiefs.  On a towel or face washer I use five ply mostly and cotton. Obviously thicker yarns will give a chunkier edging.  A fine yarn will look a little more delicate and lace like.

The second row you work six chains then secure your chain into every third stitch on your foundation row.  This creates a row of arches... 

A few arches before the end of the row I will weigh up the spacing and make adjustments so they will look pretty even yet end perfectly on the last stitch.  I call this creativity! 

So now you have a nice row of arches.  Turn your work and crochet three chain. 
Now into the first arch and under the row of chain crochet three double crochets.  Then do one chain and three double crochets into the next arch and so on... you have groups of three DC in each arch and a chain between each set.

At the end of a row I crochet 3 chain and secure it into the end of the last row to kind of finish off the row neatly.  

Now turn your work and crochet three chain.   This row we are working three double crochet into the first space between the groups below.  This is the space made by that one chain between each group.  So do three double crochet in under that gap... then one chain and three more double crochet all in that one space.   You can see below...

After your second group of three work three chain... stretch those chain right over and skip the next space and go into the alternate space... you are completely missing a whole space.  Now repeat and work 3 dc, one chain and 3 dc into that space... then three chain, skip over the next gap and go into the flooding one... all the way to the end.

It can happen that you have a funny number and need to end your row with a half rather than full set of DC.  If that happens don't worry!
I think this is a case of you will see what I mean when you get there!  At the end secure your arch down with a single crochet to finish, work this into the last stitch below.

Now turn your work and work three single crochet.

The final row... into each space between your groups of three (the single crochet you did last row is the gap between your groups of three) this is where you will now work five double crochet, one chain and five double crochet all into that one space.  After your two groups of five then secure the arch you just created by going under the chain space below and working one single crochet.  Then go straight to the next gap and work five double crochet, one chain and five double crochet.  You can see in the picture you are just working straight on top of the row below only with more stitches.  
When you get to the end secure to the row below to finish it off neatly. 

This is really nice on hand towels and very quick.  It would be nice on the opening end of a pillowcase... the ends of a fleecy or wool scarf, even along a curtain for your kitchen window.

This was an earlier post on some ideas with Crochet edgings... Crochet edgings and things to make 
over with them.   This post also shows how to work a foundation stitch plus an edging I used to do at one time!

I am not sure but it might have been Cookie who worked a pretty edging around the bottom of a cardigan or sweater.   This could also lengthen a skirt.

If you have trouble following me don't give up there are countless easy crochet edging tutorials on you tube where you can follow along.   I was very daunted by patterns until I realised I can do the stitches it is all in the order.  As you can see I am no perfectionist.  My motto is get going and keep practising!

I know quite a few of you have recently taken up crochet and can now do an edging.  So a multi row edging would be the perfect next thing to try!

I hope this helps someone! xxx

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 1st February, 2019.

January is over.  It was such a good month and I think due to the Tuesday Afternoon Club I achieved more crafts, use it up and other projects than ever before... like some kind of personal best!  Thank you to everyone who has joined in or contributed in some way.  There are so many very productive members and it is a joy to see!

I had a very good week.  Luke and Chloe came over on the weekend for dinner.   It was a beautiful evening and not hot at all.  In the city I found an old chandelier that did not work and got it to hang outside over our table.  My ultimate dream would be if a bird builds a nest in it... except for the mess underneath I guess!   Anyway I really like it.

I made potato salad, rice salad and a bowl of tomatoes from the garden with fresh basil  (also from garden) and I baked a ham.   For desert I made chocolate cup cakes.

This all gave us loads of left overs.  I love salads that keep a couple of days!  So the next two nights we lived on beautiful ham and salads.

All week Andy worked on a sprinkler system over our roof in case of a bushfire.  He is going as fast as he can before the next lot of real heat.  This week has been really reasonable.   This morning there is a beautiful cool breeze blowing through the house, it is lovely! 

I made a batch of yoghurt.

I am really happy with this,  finally I sat and altered some tops that I love but are too big.  Each one probably only took ten minutes.  I altered six.  There was one that I decided no amount of altering would fix so I donated that one.  But I got six "new" tops to wear and it's wonderful! 

I had a trip into town.  There was one op shop open so I went in and found beautiful bone china cups and saucers for $2 a piece.  I also got some brooches which I am planning on using in a craft project...

I also got a cone of Bendigo Woollen Mills cotton in pink for $2!!

Every day I picked tomatoes.  

Yesterday I made some into a batch of Tomato Relish.  It turned out so well! It is delicious!! 

I finished up some more sets of hand towels....

I did two in the white. Glenda game me sparky white cotton!  It is so pretty.
I did two in the blue.
Then some wash cloths.  I am making little flowers for the corners and flowers with a sparkly centre.

My Bay Leaves from Mum's garden were dry so I sat and bagged them up into cellophane bags.  I stamped a heap of little calico bags to put them into.

These will be little gifts to go into hampers, kitchen themed gifts and they are small and light so could go into the mail.   They added a lot to my gift cupboard.  I also replenished my own jar as I always use Bay Leaves in stock, soups etc.

Our the back we have a courtyard area.  This is the last area I need to do something with and plant.  So I started on that and planted some creepers to cover the fence and some flowers along the edges.  It is looking much better already. This has been on my list to do for a while.

I made a cheesecake in the slow cooker. I used the crumbs from failed gf biscuits to make the base.

Yesterday at Mum and Dad's Chloe heard a noise and went to investigate.
This Cockatoo had crashed into a window!  He was stunned but he recovered and was ok.

I am happy with the week!  It was a bit of this and that!

How did you build up your home, get ahead, add to your pantry or save this week?
It is a beautiful day here.  Tomorrow is Scarlett's birthday so we are heading south to the farm down there and Mum is coming with us.   

I feel happy with my week and January!  Now on to a new month!  This is our last month of summer. Bring on Autumn! 

Jenny is a Bluebird that is in trouble right now.  She and her husband bought their own home for the first time before Christmas.  Many of you follow her for her beautiful embroideries.  Her town Townsville has been declared an emergency/disaster.  She has flood water in her yard up to her doorstep and they have sandbags.  But the water is still rising.   Please pray.  xxx