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, 6 November 2014

Feather your Nest Friday. Our first Friday of November!

You know Christmas is getting serious when it's November! Last week I felt I got so much done and finished the month off really well. You know that feeling when you are tired but you have finished heaps of things, its a good feeling!

Thank you everyone who contributed last week. I think we all get ideas and inspiration from each other. I think of this all week as I go about things.

One of my frugal tasks this week was stamping a heap of white paper bags and gift bags. These were left over from last year. Previously I have posted how to make over a store carry bag so you never have to buy gift bags. I do a lot of these each year. I have everyone saving store bags for me. This is just a matter of gluing something over a store logo or advertising and decorating. Easy! These are a couple I did earlier this year to give you the idea of what I'm saying...

In this instance I just stamped paper bags and they are so pretty and a bit special for food goodies around Christmas and packaging some biscuits and things like that. The paper bag then becomes the wrapping and looks lovely. 

My Mum gave me some lovely 8 ply coffee coloured crochet cotton. It is a big quantity! So this is a bonus and I will have new things to make... possibly pretty hand towels.

Mum also gave me some really big old Agee jars. I collect these but only have ever found 5 so far. I have about 20 smaller ones. Mum gave me four. My whole storage pantry is made up of jars. Glass is wonderful. This old glass is very thick and some is slightly blue/green and there are bubbles in the glass if you look closely. Most of my jars have cost 20c or 50c but more recently they are getting expensive. Otherwise I like tins and use tins for biscuits etc. Anyway Mum gave me these...

With a couple of days I had painted the lids and added transfers so they match my others. This is what I do to them all so they look pretty in my pantry...

I am trying to increase my pantry supplies so these will be filled with pasta, beans etc. It is possible to fill your pantry with containers very very cheaply or free, there is no need to buy expensive storage. I would rather buy the food, that is expensive enough. But I love my jars and would choose them over anything else. If you want to see more of my jars I posted here.... Pretty Jars. Pretty Jars.

A beautiful online friend (and blog reader) Susan sent me a whole box of glorious cards she had made me plus crafting supplies including pictures of bluebirds and bird houses, glitter glue, card making components and all this divine stuff. It was heavenly to open. And it is funny how even online you can get to know a person to an extent that she picked out things that I adore so much. This was such a treat and so nice! This was an immense blessing this week to me. Look at these Bluebirds!

I made Gingerbread biscuits. I had a jar of free honey from the farm so I made a big tin of these. This is the recipe I posted last year. It is BEAUTIFUL. Ideal for kids to decorate too. Gingerbread. I made enough for us, the boys fishing trip on the weekend and a tin each for the girls.

When I went to Woolies they had flowering Hydrangea plants. I had seen these at a very fantastic price of $12 before. In the nursery they are $30 plus per flowering plant. I have been unable to grow them from cuttings despite trying for three years. They always strike but never get past a stick with a leaf. Anyhow I have been dreaming of more. As I walked in on Wednesday a girl was marking them down and I investigated... they were all going to be $5! So I chose 5 blue ones and she marked them down for me. They are glorious. So I got five for under the price of one at the nursery. I am thrilled with them! Here is one potted up in one of my free pots Chloe brought back from the farm for me. It is really quite huge. It took more than a whole bag of potting soil. But the pot was free and the plant $5. I have four still to pot up. When they are bigger they can go into the garden. I love the prettiness of the hydrangea against the rustic chunky iron bucket. 

I made a batch of facial scrub (although it is good body scrub as well) It is just caster sugar and runny REAL natural honey. It is very fine and does an amazing job. This is the recipe except this time I used caster sugar... Facial scrub. This stuff is so cheap and so good. I use it when I am in the bath so I can leave the honey on my face as long as possible. And before I wash my hair (just in case...) but worked in well it gives you beautiful skin. My daughters who have worked in the beauty industry use this above all the expensive products they have tried! I once saw a lip scrub for $60 in a tiny pot. So what the savings are on this I don't know!

Really it has been a great week with lots of things achieved and nice things too. And only one hot day which is today.

I hope you had a good week too. Rome wasn't built in a day. Things don't have to be perfect to be wonderful. Every step in the right direction is a step in the right direction! What did you do this week that built up your nest or saved your family money? It is so nice to get to the end of the week and feel "yes I saved money and did well... on this or that" as not everything we do is noticed. But over time it is as over time it equals something really big!

Have a wonderful weekend. xxx


  1. The glass jars look so pretty with their new lids.
    This week I was given some eggplants so I made a pickle from them which will improve with keeping and be ready for Christmas. A friend gave me four eggs from her own chickens and I made a baked egg custard. In return I gift small jars of my preserves onto my friends.

    1. Jean I liked your labels, it makes the product look very professional. I need to make some myself as they look so nice especially for the gift jars. Well done on your pickles and using what you have! Thank you for contributing.xx

  2. Beautiful post Annabel, those Hydrangeas look gorgeous, as does the gingerbreads & beautiful jars. I never thought of painting the lids & using decals so thank you for the inspiration. So happy you loved your little goodie box as I loved putting it together for you. xx

    1. Thanks Susan. On the jars you could also use any small picture and do it as decoupage and varnish. It makes them really sweet. To me jars lined up full of good things and preserves = happiness.
      I still have everything in the box and keep looking at it. I havent had the heart to dismantle it! xxx

  3. I love those hydrangeas Annabel. I lost my plant last year because of the extreme heat. I had it for years and was so disappointed. That is such a lovely gift from Susan, she seems to know what you like. I find myself thinking of you every time I see a bluebird or similar now, funny how we associate things :)

    This week I decided to write everything down that I did to save money. I have been amazed at how many things I added to my list. It is pretty long...

    Feathering from my nest this week;
    *Used cold water to wash clothes
    *Homemade laundry liquid to wash with
    *Dried on the clothes line
    *Folded washing straight away so I didn't have to iron
    *Froze leftovers for meals for hubby to take to work
    *Picked mulberries
    *Made salads from veggies grown in our garden
    *Made yoghurt
    *Used eggs from our hens, and sold the excess.
    *Baked some biscuits and made healthy chocolate bliss balls. The biscuits were taken to Ladies League that I attend along with a pizza slice I made. I didn't bring any home.
    *Miracle cleaner was used to clean my toilets and vinegar to clean my tiles in the bathrooms.
    *I bought mince from the butchers instead of the supermarket. It worked out to be a $1kg cheaper. I am trying to avoid the supermarkets.
    *Made homemade lasagna, there was enough over to freeze and have for lunch the next day.
    *Bought dinner rolls from the bakery, $3 for a dozen. These are cheaper than at the supermarket and so much nicer.
    *Put a timer in the shower to monitor water use. Just need to train my son to do the same, I think he goes to sleep in there.
    *I baked homemade crackers from leftover sour dough wraps. Brushed them with oil and added a little sea salt on top. Yummy!
    *I had five no spend days this week.
    *I have bought two passion fruit vines for $4.95ea. These will add much needed shade and a windbreak under our outside entertainment area. Cheaper than the blinds we were going to purchase.
    *Extra money was paid off the mortgage and also put some into the bills account as it was getting down.
    *Veggie scraps given to chooks and compost
    *Cans and bottles saved. In South Australia we get 10c each. Nice little bonus when returned for cash. We have two wool bales that we fill and usually that would be worth about $130 - $150.
    *Small change was added to our money tin. I empty my purse into the tin every payday and cash it in once or twice a year.
    *Teapot with tea-leaves instead of bags, and add leftovers to the compost.

    Have a lovely weekend xx

    1. Tania what an awesome week! I love all the things you did. I laughed about your son in the shower though!
      It is a good idea planting vines for produce and shade. So many bargains plus so many no spend days makes for a good week. Well done. You are a hard worker Tania your husband is a blessed man! I think I will try how you made crackers, that sounds really very good. Thank you for sharing all this I loved it! xxx

    2. WOW Tania, a very impressive list. All these little things add up to such a lot of money over the space of a year. Great job.

  4. I am trying this comment on my laptop- hoping it goes through!
    your jars are just beautiful! I like glass storage too, it is pretty and you can see what you have or are running out of.
    The heart cookies are so pretty too. I have 3 open jars of honey because my sweet husband knows I like it and he buys it for me from local sellers when he sees them.

  5. I had a very busy wek in my kitchen. I did lots of baking and cooking. Some was for my family and the rest I sold to a cleaning client. I also planted bean seedlings I'd grown from seed. Used the two light rule. Saved water from the showers and washing machine. Accepted some tomato plants from my Dad.

    Thanks for your great blog Annabel xoxo

    1. Thanks so much Wendy. The extra cooking to sell is a great achievement and help to the budget. Perfect time for some tomatoes to go in, I keep adding a few more and find ours grow best after Christmas although I will get some ripe ones before Christmas. Herbs, vegies etc added in January seem to grwo so fast I add a heap more then. Have a lovely

  6. My week has been full of highs and lows. Lets concentrate on the 'highs'. I've finished half a dozen Thai silk exfoliating mitts, two softies, sourced some ecards and an e-Advent calendar, the home is shiny, and we're off to a 50th birthday party tonight. You're always industrious and clever

    1. I hope next week doenst have the lows Mimi... I really love the sound of these silk exfoliating mitts and cannot wait to see... I hope on your blog.! You are always productive and creative and inspiring! xxx

  7. I am at the beach at the moment so am quickly checking your blog, Annabel. The internet connection isn't the best. I love those jars. Did you spray paint the lids? I will check out your link to the Pretty Jars when I get home.

    My husband doesn't like hydrangeas and tried to kill the one out the front of the house when he bought it as a single man. It is still thriving after thirty something years. We have acid soil so our flowers are blue but I would love a pink one so should add some alkaline to the soil.

  8. Hi Nanna Chel I hope you are having a lovely time! Spray paint could be used but I have a tin of ceiling paint and a little brush and give them two coats.
    It sounds like trying to kill hydrangeas agrees with them!
    Yes when you get home have a look at all my matching jars, I love them and have also made sets and given them away as gifts. Enjoy the beach! xxx

  9. I really enjoy reading about what everyone has been up to in "feathering their nests" each week.

    I spent the last $50 to qualify for the gift card this week at Woolies. I was able to use my raincheck to purchase 2 of the 4 litre oil (half price) for my store cupboard and also use the $30 card my husband had to pay for them to qualify. I'll use the $30 card coming my way for some special Christmas items as it should be sent out before then (according to the promo)

    I noticed at Coles express the other day that you can get 14c per litre off fuel if you make $20 purchases in their shop. They have bulk Quilton toilet paper for $10 and $1 tissues and milk and bread (the cheap Coles versions) available. Because we need a full tank before we go away next weekend, I will be working the sums and possibly take up the offer. Usually we get Aldi t.p. as it is the best option we have found. I figure we can save around $8-9 so that will make the fuel and toilet paper quite a bit cheaper! I'm sure others have already caught onto doing this but sometimes I am taken by surprise as to where extra savings can be made.

    Otherwise, I have been planning and have lists galore ready and am preparing everything for going away on a fortnight holiday next weekend. I like to take as much as possible (food wise) so we are able to still go away and enjoy holidays. I squirrel away a set amount every fortnight all year (auto transfer) to make it happen.


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