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, 31 October 2013


For years I've collected jars. Glass is the best thing to store food in. At one stage I bought plastics, what a waste of money. Glass keeps things so well and looks so nice. Some of my biggest jrs have been around $2 or less.... some plastic containers are $20 or more. 
Biscuits and things you want to keep crisp stay crisp in jars.

Old fashioned transfers are my way to make things prettied up. There are so many available. You need to search "vintage water decals" to find them. Transfers is an Australian term, water slide decals will find you what you want.

I love Arwen Moore Designs. They have a web site and an etsy store and a great selection and service. 

If anything is still long enough I'm likely to slap a transfer on it.

These are a few of my kitchen storage jars on the bench....

A little transfer looks beautiful on a painted lid too.
Iv'e made over so many things. This is a little old spice rack that was all dark brown and $2 in the thrift shop. These little racks, without the jars, are a perfect size for nail varnishes. A good gift for a girlfriend who always does her nails or a teenage girl. Old spice racks are really easy to come by.

A very favourite blog of mine, Sweet Melanie, is by a gorgeous lady who is always painting something. She also sews like you wouldn't believe. If you want inspiration and cheering up  she's your girl. Anyway if she is stressed or worried she tends to paint something. I so agree! Getting absorbed in a project and transforming something really does make you feel better! Turning something you found for a dollar into something you could easily say would be expensive in a shop, well its very satisfying!  And it's fun. What about fun? A lot of "grown up" ladies never seem to have any fun. If paint or fabric is your fun then have a beautiful time creating something!

Being a stay at home Mum.

Today turned out to be full of surprises! Lovely internet friends hosted my friend and I a virtual tea party as a send off from a thread we had been writing for three years.

We all "took" cake and tea cups and saucers and chatted. 
Heres mine!

This was from a little, real, tea party for a lovely little girl that visited.

As a result of this end of an era I had quite a lot of emails. There were several ladies who told me that what I had written had helped them justify being a stay at home Mum as that is what they wanted most in the world but didn't feel it was "enough" somehow... and not just financially.

If I encouraged one woman to be happy at home with her children I am happy. There is no greater job in the world than raising your children and no one can do it better than you can!
It's a huge job and so important. Don't let anyone ever tell you differently! 
Being told you are wasting your time or your talents is a terrible lie. It makes me want to cry. People said that to me. Why dont I start a shop was a common one. I would think because I had two gorgeous little girls and I WANTED to be with them as they re little for a very short time!
Every moment is an investment in your children and the future. 
Of all the things I have ever done bringing up my children is the best. It pays dividends better than anything else I have ever known.
Don't listen to the world on this one. It made my day to think I encouraged someone in this. 

So what started as a sad day turned out well and I've realised our words can have a great effect on people and maybe change lives sometimes!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

A quiet place.

Every girl needs a quiet spot in the garden.
Today is a bit of a sad day. I'm saying good bye after writing on Simple Savings for over three years. We had this time writing everyday about simple indulgences that make life lovely and most of them were free or under 50c. I made so many good friends!

Its a beautiful day outside but here inside I'm saying some sad goodbyes :( 

One thing this week has been to look at presents I have already made as I plan what else I should be doing for Christmas.
These super soft chenille rugs feel so good. The yarn came from our bargain store Cheap as Chips. Love that store! So each rug cost about $4 to make. They are the softest squishiest thing I ever felt. 

The yarn came in a few soft colours and I also stocked up on white when it was on special. Dyeing it any colour you want is easy. You need to unwind it into a skein first. The back of a chair works. Basically you want to spread it out so it will take the dye and dry then roll it back up into balls. Be careful to be gentle or the yarn will tangle up. I like really soft colours and am thinking maybe a soft lilac or green would be nice. 

My seedlings need watering and some things in the garden are waiting but the sun is beautiful and does me good. The birds are singing "it's a lovely day today".


When I saw pale blue edible glitter I thought oh yes! It's very hard to capture in a photo but it's really sparkly. I got it in Spotlight and checked multiple times that it's actually edible! The pretty cup cake cups were from Neds, a bargain. Truly cup cakes are so pretty and easy and a little treat. These ones were for my daughters birthday as her favourite colour is pale blue. A little bit of sparkle goes a long way even when your'e grown up!

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Card making...

Every year I make cards and tags. I haven't worked out what I'd like to do this year... except for knowing it has to involve glitter!
I always love anything with birds. Birds to me are so cheerful and happy. 
Simple cards from a little while ago, these were from a $1 thrift shop book that I cut up. To make ruffles I cut strips of crepe paper and dye them in tea or coffee to get a bit of an antique look. Then apply a line of glue and gently squish the paper into gathers to your liking. 
Keep an eye out for images you love. They are everywhere. Anything old or with a vintage or aged feel appeals to me. Saving trinkets like old jewellery or keys, stickers, lace... anything really and you have little additions to tie on and embellish. 

Keeping a box full of cards ready means never having to buy a card. When I look at cards in the shop I nearly fall off the perch when I see the price, many are ten dollars or so. 
Making cards is easy and great fun... and very inexpensive.

Christmas coming....

Making our own Christmas presents is really easy. This year I started in January! Now my cupboard is full of things I've been doing all year. In the warmer months crochet is good for me. These little wash cloths paired with a matching soap are gifts for some of my internet friends. If you can do any basic crochet then some cotton is easy to turn into something pretty.
For years I did the same stitches my Nan taught me. These wash cloths are very basic. This year I thought it would be nice to learn some new patterns. You tube is amazing, everything you could want to learn is free to learn on You Tube! Sometime Ill post about new patterns and uses for them and how I'm going with that. 
If you can't crochet yet search You Tube for some how to crochet clips. Once you find a teacher you like it will only take about half an hour to get going. 
Yarn is pretty expensive but I've found small projects like these don't take very much yarn and that often in thrift shops you find amazing yarn! I always buy cotton when I see it so I would say most of my wash cloths cost less than a dollar to make. 

There's more.... having handiwork to do is good for us! It distracts us as its absorbing and relaxing. Studies show knitting lowers your blood pressure! If I watch TV I'll be working on something. This time is enough to make all your presents all year round. I even remember my Mum and Nan knitting away in times of worry and stress. They were ever productive and I know this helped them through worrying times. Nan also spun her own wool. The spinning wheel was in the lounge room. She would spin and dye her own wool and my Dad, a farmer, would give her fleeces. I look back now and know Nan was always a worrier but these things settled her and were a huge joy for her. The wool she produced was stunning and smelled of lovely lanolin.

Another gift is pretty pillowcases. You could use a purchased pillowcase. I made up a heap from mixing pretty florals. If you can sew a straight line pillowcases are for you! To do the first round you need to use a very fine needle to get the needle through the cotton. Or you could use a thick needle and sit and poke your holes through in even spaces before you crochet your first round. You could even use a sewing needle and do a blanket stitch as your foundation row. Then a pretty edge in a colour to go with your print. Working a couple of rows of crochet around towels, hand towels and face washers is lovely too. Women seem to love pretty pillowcases, little girls too. Everyone should have a pretty one especially for your travel pillow!

Both my girls were crocheting at about five years old. The younger the better! I remember everything my Nan taught me when I was little. It stays with you. But it's never too late to learn, you follow a You Tube teacher. If you are lucky enough to have a Nan or Mum who crochets or knits ask them to teach you. These are lovely times of talking and doing something together. I think of my Nan every time I crochet a flower as she taught me those.

We keep six chooks. Most of my life I've kept a few chooks. My Nan always had hens as well. Even in the city I've found its ok to keep them. On our street several families have a few hens.
They are really easy and entertaining. I always have beautiful healthy yellow eggs that make most shop ones look depressed and insipid! I can always whip up a quiche or cake, lemon butter... or give someone half a dozen eggs and some herbs as a little gift.
Chooks have personalities and are really friendly. They bring a little joy to everyday.

Our front yard in spring... I spend a lot of time out there. Our street is quiet and being outside in the sun agrees with me. Our birds are beautiful and know me so well they don't worry to move away from me very much. Its lovely!
Almost every year I end up with free lemons. I just love them. When life gives you lemons make lemon butter! It is so simple to make. Making it in the microwave as you would make a custard is so quick and easy and saves standing stirring it over the stove. I had a friend coming and was in a hurry. I used a bought sponge and roses from the garden and assembled it all on a pretty plate. My friend just loved it and it tasted beautiful. The bright yellow is even better as I used our own chook eggs. How easy is that?
Im slowly building a blog. Its going to take a while!

Monday, 28 October 2013

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