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, 8 March 2016

The Christmas Challenge. February Show and Tell. Part 2.

This is week two of February's Show and Tell. Thank you so much to everyone! I really hope I haven't forgotten any anyone! I have really appreciated all the emails, information and photos!
There are so many inspiring stories and wonderful ideas...

So lets get started!

Joanne R just learned to crochet. You wouldn't know it! She followed the Coco Bella You Tube clips to learn and this is her first completed rug. I am so impressed! I love everything about it, the pattern, the colours... well done Joanne!

Janine S has made bath mitts with face washers and hand towels. She used "in the hoop" machine embroidery to decorate them. I just love these!

She made childrens....

And adults...

I am thinking this would work really well with my soaps... so thank you Janine this is a great idea for me to use. I think they are lovely gifts.

Kelley made gorgeous bunting from vintage sheets...

Some were as gifts and meters/yards long. Lovely.

Christine B embroidered pillowcases...

And made beautiful cushions for her outdoor setting!

Well done Christine these are beautiful.

Midori made a lovely gift for a friend and crochet flower bunting to cheer up a friend recovering from surgery. She also only recently learned how to crochet and make flowers! Well done Midori!

Mimi made many things! And you can go over to her blog to find recipes and ideas... (and super easy divine recipes)

Basil Pesto is a beautiful thing to make and great gift...

And Marinated Feta...

Food gifts are always good. Mens' gifts are more difficult to me. I am going to do a post just on gifts for men coming up. But food gifts are great for men! 

Vicky learned to crochet flowers and made a wash cloth with a flower in the corner and is now working on another one!

I love adding flowers to things. I make them and Mum sews them onto the little hats she makes. They are fun to make and really add something.

Mel C made lots!

Bubble bath in decorated bottles plus bath salts...

Woodland felt creatures for babies...

And she sewed a little felt fox onto a purchased baby rug. Lovely ideas. Gorgeous gifts Mel!

You can also follow her blog here as you will get many more lovely ideas.

Rosanne made a scarf for her Grand daughter and a huge rug that used up her yarn stash...

Mary made something really special for her husband. They have a very romantic love story! This is maps of where they live and met. I am sorry the picture isn't clearer Mary, sorry!

Mary also covered a box with brown paper and wrote Man Box on it. She filled it with beef jerky, roasted nuts and so on. He loved it!

Midori learned to crochet flowers and made a garland...

She also used her crafts as acts of kindness and encouragement which is what it is all about! Well done Midori.

Leigh made pens decorated with roses and feathers! They look lovely. When Lucy was getting married I noticed a lot of very expensive pretty pens for wedding signings. But I would use one everyday! Leigh's idea was to make pens to add to the gift of homemade cards. I love this idea and think I will have to pinch it! 

Leigh's blog is A Chat over Coffee.

Glenda made her Grandson a Star Wars cushion for his bedroom. This is a great gift! The fabrics we can get now according to any theme mean the sky is the limit! Love this Glenda!

Barb has been making cards. She hasn't been well and crafts are helping her a lot to be quietly doing things at home. She is also watching You Tube and learning to crochet which I am so happy about! 

Kelsey made Texas shaped cookies for Texas Independence Day. These were a hit with her husband!

What a variety! I hope there are ideas and inspiration here that has you planning what to do next!

Thank you all who contributed. We will sum up March too... and now we better get making things for our Christmas Challenge for this month!

Next week I will have an update on what I have been making and lots of fresh ideas.  I am pleased with how my gift cupboard is going and I want to add heaps move this month. Then our weather will cool and this is crochet time for me. So I am accumulating yarn and planning what to make.
Working on things according to the weather helps. This week has been hot so I have done some sewing and stayed indoors as much as possible.

I hope you are having a great week! xxx


  1. Lovely ideas here! Thank you for posting mine Annabel. I'm so inspired to start crocheting now. x

    1. Dear Mel, Thank you for the photos and all your support! You have given some great ideas to everyone and I see some admirers.
      I will want to see your crochet! There have been a lot of crochet projects and gorgeous ideas... I am about to get back to it myself! With love and thanks,

  2. Dear Annabel, wow!, what talented ladies you all are . I am so proud of us all for being able to give such beautiful gifts and showing that they don't need to cost a lot either to be a nice gift. I have a lot more cards that I am finishing off but As Annabel mentioned I haven't been the best health wise / mobility wise and doing craft helps me feel like I am doing something.i am just a bit slower than normal that is all!.
    i will be working on book marks and decorating little boxes to put gifts in and also maybe next time I will have a bracelet or two to show you. I do beading too. I might make some necklaces to show you also Annabel. The crochet is a work in progress for me and happening very slowly but it is lovely to watch the coco Bella you tube clips to see what I could possibly make. I admire anyone who crochets or knits. Thank you so much for showing my card Annabel. Great work everyone. Love Barb Woodford

    1. Dear Barb,
      Decorating gift boxes is a great idea! If you have everyone save small boxes and also gift bags they are great to make over. They can look really nice.
      You will get there on the crochet. Just practice chain, then do rows of single crochet and rows of double crochet. Then you are set! Most things are made up of these only.
      I hope you are feeling much better. Im glad you are watching you tube and using your down time to soak up new skills and ideas. That is lovely! With love

  3. Dear Annabel. Oh my gosh, I am absolutely bowled over by everyones creativity! And congratulations to all, especially Joanne on the rug, having only just learned to's gorgeous! Thankyou for including my humble foodie gifts. They're easy, and such a great thing to have on hand. Can't wait to see what's happening for next month. Love, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi,
      Thank you for the photos! I love gifts from the kitchen.
      Its lovely seeing ladies who have never crocheted making divine things! I hope it inspires people thinking about it to get going! There is so much joy and contentment in making things! With love and thanks, Annabel.xxxx

  4. Hi Annabel

    What a wonderful bunch of talented people there are out there. I can not choose a favourite, but thank you to all of those who sent the photos for you to share with us.

    The present from Mary to her husband was very special and I am sure he loved it.

    I am hoping to get out some of my craft projects in the next few weeks and start my making. I know I can do it an I will do it.....

    Aly xxx

    1. Dear Aly,
      Thank you! As the weather cools it is easier to craft I think. Also you have had a few adventures lately so that hasn't been easy!
      Even today here it is rainy. It makes me want to crochet or sew! Mind you its not cool its warm!
      With a little DD crafts are lovely as they love to make things and it keeps them so occupied. You will be able to have Mummy and daughter craft sessions. With lots of love,

  5. Dear Annabel, I know I say this each time but I love seeing what everyone has made and I am so amazed at the talent. You are right, there is such a variety. I like seeing how each person's likes and styles are reflected in their projects. I have to copy things I see as I am not creative, but even so things never turn out the same because they are tailored to our own tastes. I think that is one reason homemade gifts are so special. You can't just go to the store and buy these things. They are so unique and, in a way, you receive a piece of the giver. All of the ladies have done so well, everything is so lovely! Thank you for putting this together and thank you for showing my cookies :) With love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey,
      I am mainly a copier. I need to find the ideas then I am ok. Your cards showed me you have a really good eye for assembling things. I loved them!
      I hope you get time still to make things as I know you are in a really busy period. But then when you are moved life will settle down and you will be having more time hopefully!
      Thanks for your pictures Kelsey! I love celebrating special occasions and holidays. With love,

  6. Thank you for posting all those lovely photos Annabel, great to see what everyone is making.

    1. Dear Fiona, Thank you! Lots of busy bees here! I hope I have the right Fiona... soon you will be up and running sewing and embroidering again! With love,

  7. Hi Annabel!

    Since the craft show continues, I can keep on appreciating the beauty worked into the lives of loved ones by this week's featured contributors!

    Joanne R, what softness your crochet portrays! It is just loveliness. I have come to appreciate soft blues, since it can suit some family members so well. Janine S, it looks like this has been a labour of fun! Those cute little bath mitts really catch my eye. Kelley, you are teaching me what vintage sheets look like, and how crochet really softens the overall effect! Christine B, you've added class to those pillowcases, and sunflowers are a winner for brightening someone's day! Midori, when someone is not well, even the tiniest gifts can be uplifting. You have gone the extra mile with such sweet and colourful crochet! That's very nice. Well done!! Mimi, what your work says to me is that the more down to earth we are in our lives, the more beautiful our lives can be! When we are able to parcel such beauty out into the everyday lives of those around us, the joy it gives us all is like a satisfying smoko break that divides up the day's workload. You and Annabel have much in common. Food counts. Just ask the animals!! Vicky, you're certainly crafty now! Watch out for those critters - they could easily camouflage themselves amongst your beautiful woodland colours! Mel C, isn't felt lovely to stitch with! I especially like the bottle with the pearl effect. It's dainty. Rosanne, your blanket colours are like those in floral bouquets. Your warming expedition is like a huge painting. Congratulations!! Mary, you're reminding us that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach; your gifts are thoughtful! Leigh, do you think we could write and dust at the same time?! These pens could be more suitable for wedding ceremonies than one might think! Glenda, what I like about your cushion is how you have focused on the interests of a particular person. That is important. Barb, your work continues to exhibit beauty. The pearl sets it off nicely! Kelsey, your Texas cookies are so stylish! I am looking forward to seeing more of your work.
    With regards to all,
    Rachel Holt

    1. Rachel,
      It is so thoughtful and kind of you to comment on each persons efforts. Thank you.

    2. Rachel, My daughter has always been "tactile" and loves to have something with which to fidget and keep her hands busy while she's studying. She often uses a stress ball-type toy or thinking putty, but she told me the feather pen (or a similar pencil) would be wonderful for test-taking because she wouldn't have to have an extra item on her desk during the exam. Then again, the tiny duster effect might be good for cleaning one's computer keyboard!
      Blessings, Leigh

    3. Dear Rachel, Thank you for your kindness! You are always so encouraging to everyone (especially me!)
      I hope your sister loved her hamper! It is rainy here and I am dying to get my crochet going. I just need to finish some hankies first! With lots of love,

    4. Thanks Rachel, yes, felt is my favourite to stitch with.

  8. So many beautiful things!
    We celebrated a birthday with some fun things, wrap and card from my gift closet. Instead of cake, homemade macaroni and cheese was requested and made.
    I am still getting ready for my duties as Easter Bunny. We are thrilled that our youngest granddaughter will be here, but she will be leaving before Easter and the big hunt. We are planning a small hunt just for her. I purchased some more candy with sale and coupons. Got one larger chocolate egg for free. One of my daughters got a very nice little football with university logo and colors which will be for the granddaughter's hunt. I found a good price and free shipping for a few more things for both hunts. I keep finding a few things already on hand, too, and am keeping my eyes open in the stores. I think I have as much fun as the kids!
    Have a lovely week. Thank you for sharing all the wonderful projects!

    1. Dear Elaine,
      I am very pleased for you that you will have your youngest Granddaughter and can have a little Easter hunt early. Good idea.
      You sound like you are doing a wonderful job as Easter bunny!
      I hope your week is going well, it is flying by! With love

  9. Such talented people and such beautiful things. I especially love the little set of woodland creatures and baby blanket. Adorable. Lisa xx

    1. Dear Lisa,
      Thank you... if you look on Pinterest and teach "felt woodland creatures" there are gorgeous and easy felt patterns. Mel's idea to make an appliqué is really good and this is easier too than three dimensional creatures. I love these designs!
      Loads of good ideas! With love,

  10. Wow, wow, wow! I love this show and tell! I love seeing what everyone is up to and getting ideas to add to my skill set. Can't wait to see what you've been up to. I bet your basket collection is beginning to get and Annabel makeover happening. I've just finished another baby rug. This is for my daughter to give to a friend. I've also made two fabric covers for A4 journals I picked up on special. Avon had a great special on Bubble Bath. I'm re bottling the two bottles I picked up into beautiful bottles. The gift cupboard is starting to look much more healthy.

    1. Dear Jane,
      You are fast! It is lovely to be so productive and give a rug to your daughter to give to someone.
      I love the idea of re bottling the bubble bath also.
      Its pretty good to have a healthy gift cupboard already... imagine in a few more months!
      You will have to take some photos of all of this for the March Show and Tell! With love and thanks,

  11. Absolutely stunning...everyone outdid themselves! I love the inspiration this gives each month, and can't wait to see what you've been up to with your gift cupboard, Annabel.

    xxJen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      Thanks! This fortnight has given me a chance to keep working away which is all in between painting etc. Overall my gift cupboard has really grown and I am really happy with it.
      It all adds up! By December its a surprise to see how much we have! With love and thanks,

  12. You have the most creative readers :)

  13. I'm so impressed with everything, but particularly with you ladies who have made such stunning projects after just learning to crochet. What beautiful work!
    Blessings, Leigh

    1. Dear Leigh,
      Thank you for your photos this month! I love the pens.
      I have noticed this too, the ladies who have only just started crochet and already are making beautiful things. I hope that encourages anyone thinking of starting. In a week you are up and running! It is so much fun.
      I hope your week is going well... the kitchen is looking good from what I have seen! With love

  14. Wow, Part 2! I wish I could hold and feel every project! Outstanding ideas for sure!


  15. These are truly amazing Christmas challenges. I really like these crafts. Thanks for sharing these photos here. I will take part in a sewing fest one of event venue NYC. Very excited for it as will be taking part in an event after such a long time.


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