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.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

The Christmas Challenge. A tutorial...

My Christmas cupboard is full! Now I am storing things underneath and on top! This is a good feeling. Last year when I finally went through everything at the end of November I had my presents,  things for charity gifts and things to get me through the busy December and January birthdays that our family has. It was really good. So I think I am on track for a repeat of that!
I have been still working on crochet around towel sets and bathmats.

Last week I got a lot of questions on crochet edgings. So this week I am going to go on with that and I hope it helps!



Firstly go here to a post I wrote a couple of years ago. It shows some things you can add edgings to plus a basic tutorial on how to do a simple edge and how to get that foundation row done.

Since then I have seen so many new things with a crochet ending including tablecloths, napkins,  bath mats, pretty bibs (burp cloths) curtains, skirts, scarves and many more!

For the basics start with my old post and what I say here will be in a addition.

Firstly there are extra ways of working your foundation row. The main thing is finding something that will make holes easily through your material. Some things are much easier than others. Towels are usually easy as they are soft. If you want to do an edge around thick cotton or denim you are going to need a super fine hook, skewer, darning needle or something like that.
After I wrote this Glenda told me there is a device you can buy that makes the holes for you! Vicky also suggested to run things through the sewing machine with no thread to make your holes and regular spaces.

Rosanne and Vicky both work their edging and sew it all on afterwards meaning they don't need to do the foundation row. So there are many options and you can do what you think is easiest.

Most times I let how something is made dictate where that first row will go and how wide it is. If there is a hem or border then I work my holes just under that line where there is a single layer of fabric as you don't want to be trying to get a hole through layers. Hems and borders helpfully give you a lovely straight line to follow too.  Some ladies mark out their holes/stitches by measuring and placing dots. I don't I just go by my eye. So thats up to you.

When Mel was here we were studying a bathmat that my sister in law gave me with a beautiful crochet edge.  We decided it looked easy enough to copy so I am going to share that here.

As with all patterns it is going to look finer and lacier with a fine cotton and chunkier and thicker with a thick cotton. This is the bathmat I am copying:



I had a towelling bath mat and 5 ply cotton so thats what I've used.

The first row I just did a basic double crochet into my hole, one chain then a DC into the towelling and worked that all around. I used my really fine crochet hook for this row.
I just choose one that will go through and also pick up the cotton ok.





The next row I changed up to a medium crochet hook. On this round I worked one double crochet into the first chain of the foundation row. Then three chain and skipping three chain spaces I worked a double crochet into the fourth space. So it formed bridges and pillars like this:



Easy! The next row I worked three double crochet into each "bridge" and one chain  between each set...


The next row...

This ones a bit different. I worked three double crochet, one chain and three more double crochet into the first "bridge" then one chain and skipping one whole bridge and going over to the alternating one repeat the there double crochet, one chain and three double crochet into that space... and work around doing this skipping a space each time...


So now you are starting to get a scallop edge. You could even finish it there if you are fed up by now!

The final row really makes it though! 

This time work five double crochet, one chain and five more double crochet into the very top chain space of you last row of arches.  It is one arch on top of another. Then work one single crochet in between each set to secure your arch in place. And repeat. . This gives you a very big scallop to finish.



I really love the result and can see it on pillowcases, sheets and kitchen towels!
It is really just a series of easy rows. And possibly not even correct but what I could make of the bathmat edging by looking at it closely.

I think it was Mark Twain who said "the more you explain it to me the less I understand it". lol
If this applies please try you tube or find some tutorials as if edgings appeal to you they are easy and fun.
I have imaginings now of making covers for food with these edges and gingham curtains with this along the bottom! It costs very little to really add a lot to something!

Also remember when women ran a row of lace along their pantry shelves? Imagine working crochet edgings for this!

Vickie from Vickie's Kitchen and Garden did this. I love it! She had plain metal shelves and take a look at what she did!


Thank you for letting me share this Vickie! Her blog is really good to follow as amongst other things one of her regular features is current listings of wonderful free ebooks. I follow on Facebook and then never miss the books I want to add to my collection. They are amazing!

So there are many ideas for your crochet trims and lacy edgings. As usual it is a case of too many ideas and things I want to do and not enough hours!

What are you working on and adding to your gift cupboard? I hope the week is going well! xxx

PS next week we will start Show and Tell again! Thank you for the photos already! Please feel free to post pictures on the Bluebirds Facebook page or email me at brinkzi21@hotmail.com
I love to see what you're working on! xxx




Sunday, 21 August 2016

The Vicky Challenge. The Victory Garden and Pantry.

I had a fairly quiet week as far as the Vicky Challenge goes. It was a busy enough week but I am not sure I saved a lot of extra money!

The main things were the work lunches and coffees which I count as $100 saved plus making my Uncles Birthday present which was boxed up shortbread biscuits. I will say $25 for that. 
I invested in some things such as seedlings and seeds but they have to produce before I can count those! 
I might be having brain fade otherwise it is the lowest amount I have written in my saving book all year! 
However I do know what I am averaging per month and my yearly total is looking amazing! 

This weeks saving subject is very motivating!  Vicky has been working away and she told me that she had started her garden with a name which is "The Victory Garden".  Just like in the war years when they had the "Dig for Victory" champaign. I just love that. With a name like that how could you not want to be working in your garden!  
And to add to that she had called her new pantry and cellar "The Victory Pantry" which of course I love too.
In out chats I get updates on how things are going in the Victory Garden and Pantry.  A fortnight ago you saw how she had a freshly painted cellar and new shelves so here you will see an update. 




I asked Vicky to explain her idea for the Victory Garden and Pantry so over to her...

The Victory Garden and Pantry:

Why did I decide to call them this?  I believe that the history of the women who came before us and the things they did to make a home or support their families or pave the way for us is a true testament to the strength and resilience we all have or can choose to have and I find such inspiration from these women that I don't want to just say it I want to live it. During WWII women showed great strength and creativity. They did a beautiful job with rationing, getting creative and did their part in every way. They were encouraged to grow a garden and home can and that is what they did. They grew Victory Gardens as part of the war effort. 
Not getting into politics here, but some things are just not good and I don't like the direction things could go. When we started planning our garden we decided that 2 would be 3 and 3 became 4 and we need a strawberry bed and some blackberries and blue berries for the grandkids and so and so on. 




Some of the days harvest in the kitchen! 

While I was out weeding one day after we had planted a neighbour stopped by to chat and was telling us he had lost his job also and wasn't quite sure what his family would do? 
We have planted so much and there will be lots extra so I thought to myself this year will be my Victory Garden and Pantry! Like the ladies before me I will grow and grow more and can and can some more and add and add some more until my Victory Pantry is filled with the bounty I harvest and add to it each week. 



Taking inspiration from a time when people helped one another I will have plenty to help someone who has a need from circumstances they cannot help. The older couple on a fixed income who can't stretch the money any tighter, the family that lost their sole income or the homeless gentleman who would like something fresh for a change and a nice warm blanket, or the older woman who can no longer garden, but still wants to be in her kitchen working with fresh produce. To be able to help others and bring them joy even in small and humble ways is a real victory to me! 
XOXO




This is the start of a vegetable sauce Vicky makes up.

I think if you have a mission in mind (plus a plan) then you can really achieve great things. The savings for Vicky's family here are huge. But then you add the other benefits... helping others, bartering, getting ahead, healthy meals full of fresh produce, filled pantry shelves and freezer and on it goes!





Vicky's cellar shelves are starting to fill! 

Just to inspire you even more I am going to show you Jen's garden. (This is Jen in NS) Just take a look at these! 




Jen has her own Victory garden that is just glorious. I loved seeing this as each week she mentions making jam, harvesting and baking and now I can picture her out in this garden. Thank you Jen this is a credit to you and your family.

We can all have our own Victory Pantries and plans. Working towards your goals and overcoming the obstacles along the way is a victory!

This week I am back to painting. I am kind of daunted by what I have to do!  I want to get it all done by Christmas and be finished for when Lucy is very pregnant and the baby arrives. I have the whole front of the house to do, two more rooms inside, outside woodwork around windows plus a big area of latticework inside the back fence. And a dodgy arm. I worked out by the time I am done it would be a saving of over $20,000 this year in painting alone! And I am more than half way. So here goes..! 
Motivation is such a big part of achieving our goals and saving!  I know we will look back on this year having achieved a lot! 

How was your Vicky Challenge last week?
I hope this week is full of progress and good things! xxx


Thursday, 18 August 2016

Feather your Next Friday 19th August 2016

This week was a bit of this and a bit of that!

Yesterday Mel S came over to work on crochet edgings! She lives in Adelaide and I have met her before!  This was really fun as we had a lot of ideas to share. She is a beautiful knitter and her cross stitch is amazing!


There were a lot of ideas exchanged and it was so nice to chat about what we are doing. Mel has been putting in a lot of fruit trees and a lot of things around her home. As you can imagine we would never run out of things to talk about!

Mel also gave me two sets of floral sheets in the softest cotton! Thank you so much!

Some of the ways I saved money this week included:

It was my Uncle's Birthday. I baked him Shortbread biscuits and boxed them up. He loved this! 


This also gave us biscuits for the week.

I planted seeds into my herb towers and refreshed then with extra soil etc. I planted chives, coriander and radishes.  Also I added thyme seedlings as I use a lot of thyme.

There are lots of baby succulents and I divided them and got about thirty new plants.

I kept on working on hand towels and bath mats etc. I have one white bathmat to go then I am on to blue.


I got ahead with gifts made and by adding some grocery items to my holiday gift basket.

Overall I have been trying to get on top of everything so that I can start painting next week. When the weather is nice I am going to be working on the front of the house. And otherwise I have two rooms inside to finish.

The nursery room is finished except for decorating... I am working on that!

I got four large flattish plastic storage tubs. They will go under the bed when the bed is higher from the ground. (that project is on the list)

Our chicken that is super friendly and follows you around will often sit on the back door step. If she wants something she sits there and chatters. Usually I give her a piece of cheese then she goes off happily. But she knows she's not allowed to come inside.
On Wednesday it was lovely weather so I had the door wide open. I heard a funny noise in the kitchen... a scratchy scratchy noise.... so I went hunting.  On the other side of the kitchen bench I keep a row of baskets under a shelf.  And there was Chickie in one of my baskets!


She has never done this before! And she wouldn't get out either! So I had to just carry the whole basket outside!


Talk about cheeky!  Later on she was sitting in my herb garden! She never normally does this either. I decided she was going crazy. Then I saw she had laid an egg! This is her first egg! 
Now I think it is sweet she wanted to come inside to lay her egg but I booted her out! 
So we have made her several new nesting boxes hoping she will like one and use it instead of setting up camp is crazy places!

How was your week? How did you feather your nest, get ahead and save?
We had lots of rain last night. Things are soaked! It is lovely. I have cooking planned for tomorrow.... a big lot of banana muffins and we will see what else!
I am off to the shops and to run a few errands.  Have a lovely weekend! xxx



Tuesday, 16 August 2016

The Christmas Challenge. Crochet edgings.

We have lots of signs of spring! Today is just beautiful! It is so bright and beautiful I instantly feel more energetic.

I have added quite a lot to my present cupboard. Some things I've made plus some bargains.  I have got to the point where I am getting excited to get it all out and be wrapping! But I need to hold off for a few months yet!

Over winter I did a lot of crochet and many rugs. I hope to give some of these to charity at the beginning of next winter plus several are baby presents for babies on the way. During the challenge I had a couple of people say that they have no one to give their handmade work to. So give to charity and the needy is my answer to that.

Now I am changing to working edges on towels, bathmats, hand towels and face washers.  We are working towards a new bathroom so some are my new bathroom glory box items!  Lots will be gifts.
Tomorrow I am having a friend come over for the afternoon as she is wanting to learn edgings and can already crochet. This is so easy to do and transforms things.

I would like to do across the fold down of a sheet. Lots of times I have worked around the edge of pillowcases. So much to do... not enough days!

This is just a good way to take regular things and make them over. Like the old tablecloth Rosanne cut up into kitchen towels and worked a crochet edge on. So inexpensive and such an amazing result. Other possibilities are hankies, serviettes, tablecloths, scarves, blankets, baby socks ...  curtains!

Here I have added embroidery in one corner. I did a muslim face cloth (could also be a baby wash cloth), a hand towel and a face washer. As I have soap in my present cupboard I will match soap up to these. I also made powered puffs so these all kind of go together which is good!


I did whole sets so there is a bathmat as well...


I have a few white sets to go then I have a pale blue set with blue cotton.  Watching the Olympic Games has meant I have got quite a bit of crochet done!


These are good sized projects to take away on holidays, do in the car etc.  Kitchen towels are lovely as well. If you know someones bathroom or kitchen colours you are set!


I might try and do a tutorial but it would be the blind leading the blind since I don't read patterns or speak crochet language!  To get a frill I work three double crochet into each chain space... if that is any help!

Grub roses are the handiest skill to know and very easy to learn. That is fiddly to show but if you like them please promise to learn. Try you tube. Once you have done one you can churn them out as they only take a few minutes each! Plus once you know you can use the same stitches to make little bees, bunnies and various other things. It is so much fun to learn and so handy!  I had to brush up my skills again to start embroidering for the baby. But it didn't take long to get back into it.

Which leads me too...

Lucy is expecting another baby! Our whole family is so excited! My fingers will be worn to the bone from embroidery now!
If anyone would pray for her as she is suffering terrible migraines to the extent that finally the Doctor sent her to a neurologist. He thinks he can help her but not while she is pregnant as none of the drugs are safe for pregnancy. She is having two migraines a week and only one or two days a week without a headache.  I used to be like it and so was my Mum. We both have improved with age and get less. When the girls were little the local Doctor would come to my house after the surgery closed to give me an injection. It was terrible! So it makes me feel sick as I know what it is like.  She had a couple of good weeks and this week has migraines again.
Thank you.

I hope your week is going well! I want to soak up some of this sunshine. Each day I am doing a few things in the garden.

What are you working on for your gift cupboard and current presents?  Do you change crafts as the season changes?
As the year goes on all this work is really adding up! xxx


Sunday, 14 August 2016

The Vicky Challenge. And the making of meat pies.

First of all I need to add up my Vicky Challenge!  Last week was another one of those weeks that I got a big surprise about prices in the real world.
After making a lot of pies I thought I had better check on the current prices at the local bakery to be ready for today.
Major shock! It is lucky I didn't guess that is for sure. I found that a plain pie is $4.90 and a potato pie is $5.10!  A family pie is $24.  I was obviously seriously out of touch and hadn't bought one for a while!

So for my challenge this means my 17 individual meat pies were:
13 potato topped pies =  $66.30
4 pastry topped pies= $19.60
1 family sized meat pie = $24.
Total $109.90

When I made these we ate a meal of beef casserole, baked potatoes and sour cream on the first night as well.  So my savings from this cook up were much more than I thought!

I also did regular things, made all the lunches for work and made the fishing day food all of which saves about $150.

I washed up my wool blankets where many people get these dry cleaned.

Made 12 jam tarts.

We had two use it up dinners which were yummy.

And I did my own manicure.
All up I wrote  $345 in my savings book.

My savings subject this week is going to be pies. It is a big saving making them but additional savings come from the fact that you can use up a lot of left overs to make them! Also that many stews, casseroles, savour mince, curries etc can become a pie and you get a really different meal from left overs. And many cold meats that are left over can become a hot meal again in a pie.
The next way they save you is they are so easy to make and are a complete meal in one package. They freeze very well. So they make great meals on busy days and in emergencies.
If you keep basics like these in the freezer you never need takeaway.
A pie is also a lovely gift as it is a whole meal. For someone who lives alone and isn't well I would make a dozen small pies that can go into the freezer and taken out one at a time.

Many men especially seem to just love meat. Pies are a meaty meal they seem to like. Yet they are a meat stretcher! An individual pie is a meal in itself and this is how they are eaten here in Australia, especially at lunch time. But you can serve pie for dinner and add mashed potato and all kinds of vegetables to the plate making your meat go even further.

For kids that are not very good on their vegetables you can smuggle so many into pies as they cook down so basically without knowing it you are feeding them tomato concentrate, onion, mushroom, carrots and whatever else you have added in. You can pack in a lot of goodness.

This is just the way I make pies. It is really easy and I cheat anyway as I always keep puff pastry sheets in the freezer. If you want to make your own pastry then use a favourite recipe instead.

I use my crockpot as to me that is the easiest thing and you get lovely tender meat. However if you make stews or casseroles in the oven then that will work too. I would never make a single serve casserole. I always stretch it or double or triple it and make spare meals or pies.

In this case I made beef pies. I knew I mainly wanted pies but that on the first night we would have this meal as a casserole with baked potatoes and sour cream. So mid afternoon I sunk whole big potatoes in to the mix so I just fished them out for dinner!
This mixture was beef cut up roughly, 3 large onions chopped, about four cups chopped mushrooms, about 1.5 kilos beef (there are 2.2 lbs in a kilo) ) a tin of tomato soup, some soy sauce, heaps of carrots and broccoli... sometimes I use a tin of mushroom soup but I didn't this time... seasoning...


It went all day and at the end I thickened it slightly with some gravy mix. But then it was quite rich and beefy. I break up the meat with a spoon a bit before pie filling.


So on night one we had casserole with baked potatoes. It would have been nice over rice too. Or mashed potatoes or creamy polenta...

I let it cool and put the whole lot in the fridge overnight and made my pies the next day.

If you have a regular recipe for stew or casserole that you like it is going to make good pies! See how you can add more veggies to this and turn it into wonderful pie filling. Left over casserole becomes a whole new meal once in a pie!
Beef is expensive here now. So is lamb. But you can see all the vegetables far outweigh the beef and yet when it cooks down it looks really meaty.

Some other good combinations are chicken or turkey pies.... onion, celery, corn, carrots and a tin of cream of chicken soup. This is so easy and yum! It makes a great casserole and great pies! Or any chicken casserole recipe that you like.

Venison... either a red wine or tomato base and winter vegetables.

Lamb, rosemary, mint, veggies...

Mince (ground beef) tomato soup or tomato puree, gravy, onion, herbs...

Curry... chicken or beef curry makes beautiful pies!

All of the above combinations are so flexible. Do not ever add water to your crockpot unless you're making soup. Thats my tip!

Use flavours your family loves and use what is a good price where you live. Currently here is it cheapest to make chicken pies. Or to simply use up left overs in your pies.

You can also use cooked meat. In this case you can skip the cooking phase as if you use smallish chopped veggies they will cook in your pie. Basically you need to shred the meat or chop it up, add some liquid or gravy (I would use a tin of soup) add your veggies... I would use chopped carrots, celery, a tin of corn, onion... and fill your pastry case.

You want your mix to have a gravy base without being to runny. Think thick casserole consistency.

I used a large sized muffin try to make individual pies. If you have little kids I would make them little ones in the right sized tray for them. Just crease your plates, trays and I always add a square of baking paper underneath. This stops you getting any broken ones.


Then fill them about 3/4 so there is room for topping or pastry topping.

I topped these with mashed potato and a sprinkle of cheese and baked them.

Others I topped with pastry.  These are really small pie dishes so still individual in size.


When I cut my pastry I set aside the cut off bits and these become your decorations. I take no time over this and you can do anything you want. You could cut out heart shapes with a cookie cutter and scatter these over the top.  I used to get the girls to make shapes from the offcuts and they would go on top. Boy did we have some interesting decorations!  They would spell words and all kinds of stuff. Or you could put on the initial of each person. Kids love their name things!
For the sake of the freezer I used to put C for chicken or B for beef on pies too.

With the scraps I quickly cut leaf shapes. I am not fussy about this and it's quite random. If you are a perfectionist maybe get a leaf cookie cutter. 
To make a rose just cut a strip maybe 3/4 inch wide and roll it up...


Sit your leaves around your rose. On a larger pie I will do three roses. Squish the rose down a little into the pie and squish the "petals" out just slightly...



This is very forgiving and not an art competition. Its a pie. It all looks pretty good when baked! 


You can brush your pie with a glaze such as egg and milk.  I mist mine with olive oil spray.
Don't forget to seal your edges and prick some air holes.


Don't let perfectionism stop you.

I have a very flexible attitude to the whole process. Whatever vegetables I have in the fridge that need using are going to go into my pie. 
If I am short of pastry I will do pastry bottoms and potato tops. You can do a scalloped potato top. Or sweet potato. Or pumpkin and potato. Or you could use no pastry on the bottom and use a little individual casserole dish and just a pastry top! 

If you intend your pie to be frozen or re heated I would cook them a little light so they are still blonde and not too dark. This means on the reheating day they won't end up looking too dark or dry.

When cold they freeze so well. I pop them into sealed bags and label. 
If I know I am having a busy day I might take a pie out of the freezer in the morning. If I am caught later in the day I will choose individual ones as I can thaw those quickly in the microwave and finish them off in the oven.
When we go away on holidays I might take a pie out of the freezer in the morning before we leave. When we get to our destination and by evening it will have mostly thawed and I will pop it in the oven for dinner. 




Fruit pies are just as easy but another subject. I will do some when we get to summer with fruit coming in.

Another time I will do pasties as you need very little meat for them and almost all vegetables. They also freeze well!

I think our pies are similar to US pot pies...  only portable as they are usually totally encased in pastry and you can eat them in your hand.

I hope pies will help you use up your left overs and give you ready meals and save you money!

How did you go last week in your savings challenge? As usual I learned something and got a surprise with prices! 
Have a great new week! I think we are all experiencing the first signs of a new season! xxx

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Feather your Nest Friday, 12 August, 2016.

The weekend is almost here! Time to take a look at what I actually achieved this week which I know usually makes me feel much better and happier. If I didn't do this I would just focus on everything I still have on my "To Do" list (which is long)

With the Olympics we have had a bit later nights but there have been some wonderful and inspiring stories that we have enjoyed so much.  Another lovely thing is that in our area it is Magnolia season! Everywhere I go there are beautiful Magnolia's. Pretty much every street has them. These ones are down the street...


The flowers are huge I guess the size of a side plate,  larger than your hand anyhow! 
Most of the ones around here are pink but some are white.

Some of the ways I saved money this week include:

I made a lot of meat pies. This gave us two dinners this week.


I made one family sized one plus 17 individual sized ones.
I have realised meat pies are an Australian thing. So for the US and UK ladies here at the bakery the number one lunch is a meat pie or a sausage roll. Millions are sold a day!  They are yummy! 
They are really easy to make. For the Vicky Challenge I checked on the prices as I went past a bakery. Boy am I out of touch with prices! I got a big shock. Anyway more on that in The Vicky Challenge.
The thing is pies are so easy to make. I am going to show a super easy tutorial next week. They freeze perfectly. They are a meal all in one which make them a very easy meal to give someone or deliver. And you can make them in any size. Individual serving size is very handy.  

I made some little ones in my baby enamel pans...


Also I topped some with pastry and some with mashed potatoes and cheese. And some I made in large sized muffin tins as they are about right for an individual pie. 

I use large snap lock bags to freeze meals. Glad wrap often moves when you are re arranging things in the freezer so now I use strong zip lock bags. They can be reused.  



I had some left over pastry and made a dozen of my usual jam tarts as well.


We had a left overs night and used up things in toasted sandwiches. 

Another night we had fridge pizza.

I packed the lunch and drinks for the boys fishing trip plus all work lunches. 

Finally we had several sunny days. I washed the lovely wool blankets that I got from the op shop some time ago. I used the homemade wool mix. They came up so well, soft and fluffy and smell beautiful. I am so thrilled with them plus they are huge! Queen size at least.  Now they are filed and in my blanket chest. And all just in time as then we had rain!

I started a holiday basket. Ages ago I bought four nights in a travel auction for a bargain! It is at one of our all time favourite beach spots! Lucky I did this as otherwise we would not be having this holiday!  From a month or six weeks before going away I start a basket and get things like tea, coffee, milk, crackers etc when on specials. The holiday basket also is exciting as it marks a holiday coming up! This week I put in tea, long life milk, oat crackers, a jar of coffee and sugar.
The day we leave I will take out two meat pies from the freezer. They will thaw on the trip and be night ones dinner.

Some of the ways I got ahead were so many meals frozen. I am using Mum's freezer too! 
I added to the present cupboard. 
All the work in the spare room has added to my supplies and organisation... I have great supplies and am ahead with packaging, wraps, ribbons, cellophane bags etc.

I added to my pantry:
Powdered milk and medical items.

I have a small space under the bed which is part of the emergency pantry. But the bed is low to the ground. I guess the space is 5 inches? I discovered Bed Risers! Do you know about them? They go under the legs of your bed and give you a few inches extra height to your bed thus extra space underneath. I read about them on a blog. You can buy them but they are quite expensive and for our bed they were going to be $100+
I showed Andy pictures and he said he could make them with stuff he has in the shed. 
Then I can use tubs with lids that slide under the bed!  How I didn't know about these I don't know.

We made progress on our solar and had a company come to give us a quote. We have another company coming on Monday.


I hope you had a good week! I know Vicky did, the shelves she showed in her cellar are filling up and she is now harvesting tomatoes and peppers!

How did you build up your home, get ahead, stock the pantry and save this week?
Little things add up!  It is a wonderful feeling to get ahead in small ways.
Have a lovely weekend! xxx




Tuesday, 9 August 2016

The Christmas Challenge. Show and Tell for July, Part 2.

Thank you to everyone who commented on last weeks Show and Tell. This week continues on in the same way... lots of beautiful things that everyone has been making!

Firstly Marian....


Marian knitted a little girls jumper and she also made a girls scarf. Lovely!

Plus she made knitted washcloths and used a beautiful printed band for presentation.


I think this looks fantastic.
And also an apron which she paired with a cookbook. The cookbook she got on special and I notice the colours go with with the apron too! What a beautiful gift.


Patti made a heavenly title girls Tutu. She also made a matching headband. This looks like fairy floss and so pretty! 


Janine made her first socks! She sends thanks to all the ladies here who encouraged her and offered advice. It worked!  Her Mum was a sock knitter and left all her needles and yarn to Janine so she has had the supplies.


Plus she loved it and already gave some to her brother who was thrilled with them.


Janine, I think you should be very proud as you have done a beautiful job! 

Vicky (in between harvesting and canning!) is working on a beautiful crochet rug. I love the colour!



Jane made made Bluey a bathroom bag for when they re travelling. She made a loop on it to go over the door in an effort to try and stop him from leaving it behind!


Also a gorgeous baby rug and hat...


And a table runner for her table....


She also made cork coaster and a trivet from corks she was given. And her daughter has been painting old pots and potting up flowers.  I love this as we all have old pots that we could make over.


That was a big month! All beautiful!

Jeanette worked crochet edgings on tablecloths and a pillowcase for her daughter.


I love the idea of working an edge around a table cloth! 
She also made a quilt using her son's fraternity t shirts. I think this is amazing and another idea for boys!


Jeanette that is fabulous!

Mel C is working on a child's quiet book. 
These are her winter pages...


This is an idea I would love to copy. I thought of the old Fuzzy Felts we had which were felt shapes you arranged on a board.... I loved those too!

She also made crafts with her son and the sweetest skirt for herself...


I love the print and the shape of this skirt!

Mel also made  Dandelion Balm, massage oil and has Vanilla extract started...


It is beautiful watching this infuse and get darker and darker until is smells divine.
You did a lot this month Mel, well done.

Roseanne finished another kitchen towel from her cut up table cloth. She crochets her edge then sews it on. 


I am working on crochet edgings again as I have finished my last rug for a while. Thank you Rosanne for telling me this different way of doing it!

Thank you everyone for all the lovely photos! I have more than I used as I just couldn't fit them all in but thank you! Thank you too for all the encouraging comments both here and on Vicky's garden and canning. Encouraging each other and building each other up is a big thing.  It takes courage to show what you have been making in public and to give as gifts. These days it even takes courage to say you are a homemaker, live by your faith or save money etc. The world can be very critical and try to tear you down! 
When that happens you need to have your feet firmly planted on solid ground.  I have written before about getting told I was wasting my time bringing up my own children, keeping home, making my own gifts, cooking etc. This week Andy was told it is "not appropriate" to be a Christian in todays modern world. Happily he has his feet on solid ground and was more amazed than discouraged. 

So I am going to end with my motto for all things homemaking! 
I hope you are having a wonderful week! Keep working away on your wares and your nest! xxx