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.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Feather your Nest Friday. 4th September, 2015.

I have been at the farm and it isn't Friday anymore! But I still want to do my Friday post and look back over the week. So sorry it is late.

It seems like a really long week! There is a lot to report!

Some of the ways I saved money this week:

I made several quiches. They made meals and work lunches.

When I have these I like them for breakfast. They are mainly eggs and vegies so I think they are great for just about any meal! They are also nice hot or cold so they are just really handy.

I made up more lemon butter. I needed to get moving on the lemons as a few were getting stale. So I made this and froze some, gave some as gifts as well. My Dad likes it so I took some to him.

Also I used the peels to soak in vinegar. I like vinegar to clean with and make cleaner but not the smell. After a few weeks this smells like lemon. It is super fresh fragrance with extra cleaning properties.

On the way to the farm I went to three op shops. It is a three hour trip. The first part of the trip sees me go through some country towns. One op shop in particular is wonderful. In the country the op shops are much cheaper. I had the best luck! I got a doona cover for the rose print cotton. Here it is on the line as I washed it as soon as I got home...

This side is roses the other side is rose buds. I think I will make serviettes or pillowcases from this. I just love it. It was $1. That is a lot of material for $1.

I also got two damask tablecloths with matching serviettes and they have never been opened. Gorgeous!

Plus beads and pearls. Two belts. A lovely top and a soft jumper I love. It was so good! Grand total $9.

I took Dad a practical present. I have given him all kinds of gifts over the years. Lately I have worked out if I give him things I have made he likes that. So his Fathers Day gift was fig jam, plum jam, lemon butter and a big basket of vegies...

Also I made the card...

I finished some more kitchen towels. This time blue.

At the farm I picked lavender. I have a project planned for this. It was lovely out in the sun picking bunches. 

I also picked fresh bunches of Bay Leaves since my last lot were all dry and packaged up. This is everything hanging on my ladder now that I am at home.

I picked flowers to dry and I don't have a photo. I picked a lot.  Enough for several huge vases. I will try to remember to show that next week. It is amazing to fill vases for free and these will dry and last years.

Mum gave me a basket of jars. Also a duck. Not an alive duck, a frozen duck to roast. :)

I made tags. They can be gift tags or to tie to food as labels...

I just found a mason jar image on the internet and copied it onto thin cardboard, cut them out, punched a hole and added string. I made a few dozen so far. I really like them as they will go with my pantry themed gifts. 

I hope you also had a good week. We have had pouring rain and a sunny day since. A mixture for the start of spring.
It was really a great week. When you get home from being away a few days there is always heaps to do.

My Dad is much better and working as usual but has to be careful of his arm. It is looking good and he thought they were wonderful to him in hospital.

I took photos of the farm house and some of the kitchen and garden etc which I will post next week.

How did you build up your home and save money this week? I hope it was good  and you are enjoying the changing of the seasons.
I have planting to do and spring cleaning too ... so I have a few plans for next week already.

Have a lovely


  1. Dear Annabel,

    Your beautiful pictures are always food for the soul. I love the mason jar tags you made. I wish I had half your energy (LOL).

    This week I inventoried the 'holes' in our food storage and saw that we had a lot of catch up to do. It's been a busy and difficult year moving, health wise, and with family matters, so I let things slide some. We spent the week, doing stock up orders, trips to the store, and gathering yard produce.

    John cut a lot of the elderberries and we froze them for the future when I am out of flare-up and can make them into jam. I did three containers of elderberry tincture and it will be ready in four to six weeks. The oregano, basil, lavender, and comfrey is all ready to be cut and, hopefully, I will be okay enough to do that tomorrow and get them on the drying rack.

    I rearranged some storage area and ordered more buckets that will help with storing bulk items that are currently in bags on shelves. That will free up more shelving for cans, jars, and bottles. John, also, determined he will make more shelves for the kitchen cabinets and we can space them closer together to add more storage space. He intends to get that done this week.

    John had the back-up generator serviced for the winter and set up an appointment to have the heater serviced for winter for the house. We closed on our previous house this week, so that was a blessing, and has helped us move forward mentally here without having to split our work time and attention.

    I am so glad your Dad is doing much better and that you had a wonderful time at the farm.

    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda,
      Considering all you have going on and also your health you still get a lot done! As you know I am also considering the "holes" in the pantry and it is a challenge to stand back and objectively think what do I really need the most?
      I am devoting this week to this task.
      Also I hope I will get my storage buckets this week. That will help.
      I am very pleased for you about your house! Yes now you will be able to concentrate on one place! This is awesome!
      I hope you are getting a restful weekend, with love,

  2. Annabel,
    Everything in your photos is beautiful. I knew you would do great at the op shops and I love the doona cover. Rose patterns are one of my favorites I have a few things with rose patterns that when I worked at a thrift store they were going to throw out because they were old and dirty out I brought them home and washed them and they were still very nice! I hope you have a great week mine has been very busy!

    1. Dear Vicky, Old fashioned rose patterns are just gorgeous. I can go ages without seeing any but there it was!
      It really was a great week. I hope the new week is good for us both! I know you are busy. It will be a big week I think. With love, Annabel.xxxx

  3. We are recovering from 2 weeks of company! My mother was here visiting and even though she is a very easy guest it is always a bit of a relief to get back to normal! We are freezing and canning and getting the last of the garden put up before the first frost and our little cold snap this weekend is reminding us that could be any day! We have started calling around and looking for the best deal on our winter firewood as well. I love fall and am enjoying putting my long pants back on and my crocheted slippers!! This is our first winter with a freezer and we are almost full! (that last should be read in a smug self satisfied tone!)
    Glad your Dad is doing better, can't wait to hear your lavender project as mine was bountiful this year and I am looking for things to do with it. I consider you to be one of my best sources for new and interesting ideas!

    1. Dear Kathy,
      Thank you very much! Mum has two types of lavender. This one was covered in flowers. Another one that is larger isnt flowering yet. So next time I will hopefully get some more. I hope you will like this project. I think I will have it up in about two weeks as I just need this to dry a bit.It makes really good gifts!
      I hope the cooler weather gives you time for loads of good projects. With love,

    2. opps PS you could pick bunches of lavender and hang it upside down to dry and then it will be ready to go... xxx

    3. Kathy, I am so glad to read that you were 'glad to get back to normal'...I just had company all weekend and enjoyed it greatly but I felt guilty over my bit of relief when they headed home, lol. It made me feel better to know that others find it nice to return to routine even with easy guests (and mine were easy!).

  4. As usual you have had a busy week and got lots done. Love the the sheet and your ladder of all sorts of lovely items drying, the lavender would make the house smell wonderful. I'm glad your Dad is doing better, it is a worry when they get older and hurt themselves especially when they continue to work and dont rest as much as they should. I just visited my dad too and he is still working as hard as ever and has a really bad leg with an ulcer that has now come up near his ankle but he has things to do. I think with a farm it is ingrained into them to work hard always, which isn't a bad thing but at 80 it is time to slow down a little..
    I have had a good week and can do most things again including crochet :)
    I started a Morrocan wedding blanket after seeing yours and Mimi's which I have been enjoying doing as I sit of a night, that is the one thing that annoyed me as I had to just sit and I'm used to sitting and knitting or crocheting. I can even go back to work this week so looking forward to that as things have been tight but having a well stocked pantry makes things a lot easier.
    Have a lovely week Annabel xx

    1. Dear Debbie, It sounds as if our Dads are cut from the same cloth. Dad would never want to be unable to work or worse in a nursing home or hospital. I understand that. He would far rather drop dead in a paddock any day so he will always keep going. I agree too but you still worry...
      A morrocan wedding blanket is a big project! But it is a goodie! I cant stand just doing nothing either. If I lose my legs I will survive but not my hands! I love to be doing something and even an hour in the evenings really adds up to making so much!
      I hope you have a good week and go well back at work. I think after being off for a while it can be a huge shock and very tiring. So I will be thinking of you on that.
      With love,

  5. I envy your trip and your lovely op shop finds, but the mason jar tags are the cutest! Would you please share where you found the image you used? I would love to make some of those tags for my food gifts. Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much! I cant remember the exact website as it was quite a while ago. I searched "free printable mason jar" and it was a single image. Then my husband made it so I can print 9 to a page.
      If you have any trouble I will be pleased to send you a copy of my sheet I photocopy.
      It is so simple and I sit and cut them out. I hope to do some more as I find prints I like. Also the photocopier only likes thin cardboard!
      With love,

    2. Thank you so much! I'll try to find it and will beg a copy if I can't find one.

    3. Thank you so much! I'll try to find the image and if I can't I'll beg a copy.

  6. Annabel we do not have op shops with those prices - what great bargains.

    The past week has been busy - the damage list to the rental has increased, insurance assessor will be there first thing tomorrow morning so then we can start to get it all dealt with.

    I spent time emptying folders, took out all of the Guide stuff and now have heaps of empty folders to use again.

    Did my $50- shop at Coles for the second week, half way there to earn the 10,000 points.

    We ate out of the freezer. My cook up is just about all gone which is OK because I want to make some biscuits/cookies this week to start decluttering the pantry.

    Washed the sheets for the spare bed - DD is now in Darwin and will soon be here so need to get the room/bed ready for her. The spare bed is a hideaway bed/murphy bed that is in my husband's office so need to put curtains up and tweak a few things for her that haven't been necessary.

    Reorganised furniture so that when our other items come out of storage we are ready for them.

    Found a small set of kitchen scales at the op shop and also a brand new never worn pair of slip on sandals.

    Visited the chiropractor and also picked up some more herbal tonic from the naturopath.

    Have also done a bit of knitting, not a lot though because I need to be clean and haven't felt clean after being at the rental, DD would not be able to work in it because it would be classified as a health hazard. The smell, even with windows open just about knocks you out.

    Mimi gave me an adult colouring book when we met - it is keeping me sane whilst dealing with the rental.


    1. Dear Lynette,
      I am sorry you have such a mess to deal with. I hear of this way too often. We faced a decision a few years ago about renting a house. I knew I couldnt do it as people left such a disaster zone one time at the farm on a farm house that we actually gave up on that house. It was not repairable.
      So we sold the house instead. But now it is very hard to find a safe and reasonable return on an investment. I would only have family in a house now as my only answer. It is terrible! Anyway how can people live in a putrid smell?
      It is great all your cooking in the freezer came in so handy. I am about to do some myself as ours is also run down.
      I love the colouring in books! Mum has bought some as Christmas presents. I think all the things I loved when I was a kid... colouring, cutting out etc I still love. I am sure most people do but they just dont do them. I do and call it card making! lol
      Have a really good new week. With love,

  7. Annabel, what gorgeous pictures and what images you invoke with your photos and writing! I feel like I'm right there with you! I hope your Dad is feeling better. As always, you make your life sound so happy busy and plentiful, and I love that. I've had a very contented week. I've made jam, crepes, meatloaf, and curry...all with extras for another day, or in the case of the jam, for gifting. I also made some green banana relish with the last of the home grown bananas, and it was really quick and easy. My daughter and I custom scented some Pillow Sprays for her to gift to her friends after Dance Recital this year, and she and I are crocheting Fairy Scarves...basic scarves made with very cute and soft, multicoloured pompom yarn, and embellished with ribbon, rosettes and lace, and these will be Christmas gifts and a contribution to a fundraiser. They are quick too, so we've made 15 already, and hope to double that by the end of the week. They'll easily sell for $10 so we're pleased. I've had family here for Fathers Day, spent time in the garden with them, sewed Dance costumes for the school and stitched sequins and fluffy trim to my Moroccan Blanket's slow, but getting there. Thankyou for the continued motivation. Love, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi, Thank you so much! I cant wait to see these scarves. You are always industrious and producing creative things. Neither of us can imagine sitting doing nothing that is for sure.
      It was a week full of good things. There are always annoyances etc in life but overall I think how lucky we are and if you look at the news and see such things as the refugee flood just now you just think HOW BLESSED are we and feel grateful. So I am fluffing my next and thinking about spring cleaning except the weather has turned cold and is not convincingly spring!
      Have a really good week! With love,

  8. Dear Annabel
    We planted lavender this year- and what great bargains you found!
    Built up our home with two baby Indian runner ducks and two piglets! :) The pigs will be used for meat and the ducks for their eggs. I must say, I am smitten with the ducks.
    Have a lovely week
    Heidi xx

    1. Dear Heidi,
      What a good week! I love ducks and at the farm we kept pigs for many years. We still keep ducks... hence the one in the freezer. But they can be lovely and so friendly. And with pigs and ducks no scrap is wasted.
      I really love animals but also they really build up your pantry in all kinds of ways. Eggs alone have so many possibilities. Good investment.
      Many thanks, with love,

  9. Lovely photos as usual, Annabel. My girl was quite taken by your heart shaped baking dish? Did you pick that up at an Op Shop or in a store? I might try and find one.

    1. Dear Nanna Chel, I love heart shaped anything. This one was from an op shop where I got two that matched. But often I post a pic of a pink one that more recently came from a kitchen store. Maybe from Wheel and Barrow. Not 100% sure. But they are around. If I see any I will let you know where.I also have a deep heart shaped mixing bowl (pink) that I love! I will just keep my eyes out. I have heart shaped side plates too that I got from Target.
      Have a good week! With love,

  10. I'm a tad envious of your visit to the farm Annabel. I really miss going out to the farm and all the farm jobs - fences, drenching, riding round the paddock on the tractor with Wayne for hours on end, weeding, the sheep and the cattle. Maybe one day we'll be able to go back to farming, we both miss it terribly :)

    My week has been quiet but fruitful. More added to my stockpile, I'm working on a meat/chicken shopping list for next year, I finished the cards for the September card swap and posted them off and the usual caring for family and home that makes me happy.

    I love your $1 doona cover, and I agree country op shops are the cheapest. It would make lovely pillow slips or placemats, even a table topper or runners/doyleys from the leftovers or shoe bags, lingerie bags, even hankies - you could trim them with narrow lace or crochet a narrow lace edging around them. So much potential from two pieces of fabric!

    1. Dear Cath, Yes once a farmer always a farmer really I think. I am a farm girl in the city!
      I am very keen on your building up the pantry series. Every person encouraged in this will benefit.
      Thanks for the ideas for this material. It was dry today on the line and just gorgeous. A table runner would be lovely! I will be making most of every scrap. Small bits at the end might become tops for jam. This is such an amazing way to get miles of material so cheaply. it is soft good cotton. What luck!
      Have a great week! With love,

  11. We now have a mule, not that we wanted one but it was dumped on us. One of the neighbors saw a man just open his trailer, let him out and drove off. They could not get the tag number from the truck so we could track him down. We called around to see if anyone wanted him, 2 will let us know. Love your pictures. I need to gather my lavender and lemon balm. So glad your dad is better. I would love to make some of those jar tags for my food gifts. I'm also crocheting scarves for gifts.
    Have a good week!!!


    1. I had to look up "mule", I thought maybe thats the same as a donkey and donkeys I know. But its not the same! I dont think Ive ever seen a mule! Well I hope he comes in handy somehow, maybe lawn mowing? I would adopt him too this is how we get all our animals.
      Thanks so much. It was a big relief that Dad seemed pretty good. Our weather has turned like winter again and I am crocheting and cooking stew!
      The tags are so easy, just google for a mason jar image to photo copy onto thin card. I will be trying them to lots of gifts. With love,

  12. Another "pretty" post Annabel.

    I love the doona cover you found. It was waiting just for you. Cath has some lovely ideas for you to try. I cant wait to see what you do with it. :)

    Sounds like you had a lovely break away and your dad sounds like mine, nothing will hold him down for long. My dad says he must keep moving because if he doesn't that will be it! He is 79 this Saturday. It must be a west coast thing as they both come from there, they make them tougher over that way! lol!

    My nest feathering went like this;

    *Used a thermos for keeping water hot instead of boiling the electric kettle every time we want a cup of tea.

    *Starting going through my pantry and taking things out that don't belong there. This has freed up some more room for food storage.

    *Sold excess eggs

    *Picked some kale to put in meals.

    *Continued on with getting the veggie garden ready. Nearly finished pulling weeds, my back will be pleased!

    *Stewed up native peaches (quandongs) and put in the freezer. These will be used for dessert.

    *Planted cucumber seeds.

    *Baked a banana cake using bananas that were gifted to me.

    *Wrote out as many meals as I could think of and decided on meals for a monthly menu plan.

    *Shopped the specials this week and stocked up.

    *Three no spend days.

    *Paid extra on the mortgage.

    *Saved pre run water from house to water pot plants.

    *Planted out fig cuttings into pots.

    *Picked oranges, lemons, grapefruit and mandarins.

    *Made up a double batch of laundry powder.

    Wishing you a lovely week,


    1. Dear Tania,
      That was a productive week! My aunt has good success with fig tree cuttings so I am sure they will grow.
      I have eaten Quondong pie and it was beautiful. They were from up near the Flinders Rangers. Mum knows a lady who makes so many she sells them. I loved them!
      We have had extra rain. It poured and is cold. This has made me go back to winter cooking and I am making stew and pies.
      Your Dad and mine are about the same age, Dad is 79 and 80 next May. They are a good breed. Busy and productive and happy. I love that!
      Have a really good week, With lots of love,

  13. Dear Annabel,
    I love how you never let grass grow under your feet! You've been so productive, I love all of the photos. I'm thrilled for the fabric you got along with the other treasures. I'm sure I'd just lose myself in those country op shops. Glorious! So happy to know your dad felt well treated in the hospital.
    Here's my week:
    *made all meals at home
    *made zucchini slice and froze some
    *made potato soup and froze some
    *had a leftover/use it up night. This was good!
    *came in under the budget for groceries a third week in a row. Using the extra to fill in the gaps in the pantry. I might be ready for shopping every two weeks, I'm not sure yet
    *made all savings goals, thank God
    *made my bonus-daughter's 17th birthday cake, chocolate cake and chocolate icing (her request :)
    *worked part-time for extra money, it did not interfere with my family life whatsoever. I pray this will always be the case when I do work. Extra money to pay down a debt.
    *bought a few Christmas presents. Like you Annabel, I am doing a few pantry themed gifts and the farmers market has really good organic extra virgin olive oil on sale, buy one get one free. I was so happy!
    *worked on a scrapbook/photo book gift for Christmas
    *dusted, fluffed, tidied, scrubbed, and all those other wonderful things that make a house a home :)
    *made next week's meal plan.
    It was a good week. I so enjoy reading about everyone else's. I positively thrive on the encouragement here!

    Colette xxx

    1. Dear Colette, What a nice week! You achieve a lot. I can just see you busier than a bee. But that is so good. And you are getting heaps done and getting ahead.
      The Christmas presents from the photos will be a hit I am betting. Memories and personal treasures are great gifts for the family, Grandmas etc. They love this! Well, I love this too!
      You are doing great with the meals and shopping. It is no small job feeding a family. They are always hungry and meal times seem to run into each other!
      I hope this week is great for you. It is a joy to get ahead on little things, the pantry, the freezer, a meal made ahead, a gift put away. I love feeling I have done a little of that in my week.
      I have hit the ground running as I got a fair bit done Sunday and more today!
      Thanks so much Colette, Lots of love,

  14. I love the jar labels! They are so pretty and would be so handy for gift giving! I've been canning also although the garden is winding down. I love reading about your trip to the farm. So very calming and fun at the same time I bet.
    Have a great day
    Vickie's Kitchen and Garden

    1. Dear Vicky, Thank you! I will be keeping an eye on your free ebook listings! I love to get free ebooks. Also I love that you do frugal accomplishments. It makes such a difference to look back over our week as we plan a new one, many thanks,

  15. I had a productive week last week and am well started on another good week.

    I so love reading about your farm. I live on the land my grandparents farmed in their early married years and regret that we've not been able to farm it so it's reverted back to 'wild' land. I suspect this land had been cleared and farmed since mid 1700's and hate to be the generation that let it go, you know? But I'm very grateful to live here as it brings me great peace.

    This is what I did last week:

    1. Dear Terri, Thank you and thank you for sharing your busy week.
      I think its wonderful that you live on that farm! What memories and what a special place. Many farms are not in families any more.
      With love


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