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, 7 April 2016

Feather your Nest Friday, 8th April. 2016.

Somehow it is Friday already!

It has been an interesting week. The mood here in South Australia is not very good. I am mentioning this because this combined with what some of my US friends are telling me and several friends who's husbands lost their jobs in the last few weeks...  is building a theme. Job losses. And not just job losses but the diminishing hope of finding another one.
Our third largest town is Whyalla. It is an outback town built on the steel industry. Right now it faces ruin and thousands of people face losing their homes and livelihoods. You cannot sell your house and move if no one will buy it! And no one will as who would move to a town with no jobs?
Over 7000 direct jobs are threatened by a company going broke, plus another couple thousand contractors then every job they support from the train drivers, the shops, the school and too many to even think about!

I thought how this morning I could't think straight to write because of how many friends live in towns that this has happened to (or is happening to) or who have lost jobs as they are somehow down the chain from one of these events.

All year last year we did a week by week of building up our pantries. Of getting ahead as much as we can.  Keep going. Get ahead when times are good or even when times are ok.

I follow many blogs and benefit from the encouragement. A Working Pantry. Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth, The Prudent Homemaker and the blogs I have listed on the right hand side of my page are all greatly helpful to me.

I have a wander around and try to find new information too. Except it is not always helpful. Yesterday I did this and found a page that looked good until I started reading. An example of their saving money ideas was this:
When travelling first class and there is a group of you it may be cheaper to hire a private jet.

I am not even joking. This was how to save money. I have a feeling they are not experiencing hard times.

I would need a box of tissues to deal with the tears of laughter streaming down my face except I don't  feel like laughing!

From now on in Feather your Nest Fridays I am going to include pantry building to keep reminding us to be prepared.

So this week I saved money by:

I did more painting. Indoor window frames mainly and some preparation of outdoor window frames.

Andy caught more fish! This time he ended up with a couple of kilos of fish fillets. (Salmon)

I packaged up my soaps that I made earlier this year. I know that packaging is important to how I feel about giving what I have made as gifts. Anyway I am really happy as I like how they look and have so much added to my gift cupboard!

I loved soap making and will do it again next year. It was like when we make biscuits. All the perfect ones blame gifts and the imperfect ones are for us!

Because I also made Wool Wash, Laundry detergent and I am planning on making decorated pegs I could work towards some soap/laundry themed gift baskets as well.

We did the usual things, ate at home, I sent packed lunches to work etc.

We were blessed with rain which was great for the garden.

I got ahead by adding some pizza bases to the freezer.

I added to my pantry. First of all it needed re stocking of a few things I had used up. Then I added long life milk, tomato soup and baked beans.

How was your week? I hope you found ways to build up your nest! Lots of small things add up!

Have a wonderful weekend! xxx


  1. I know the feeling of job loss. Eight years ago I had a kidney transplant and my husbands company was leaving our city to go to another state. The inly thing is we knew about both ahead of time and we prepared very well. Having a stocked pantry, freezer or bunker can be a life saver.

    1. Dear Tealady,
      That was really a double whammy. One big thing at a time is more than enough.
      Tealady weren't you also waiting for surgery? Forgive me if I have mixed you up with someone else but I think you had a big operation ..? I hope everything is going well for you.
      Yes, a stocked pantry and just being a head can be a big relief and insurance policy! Have a lovely weekend! With love

    2. You remember well I am also waiting for heart surgery, it seems I have a few issues, I also have diabetes and finding a surgeon who can deal with all three is difficult. On bed rest so once again my pantry and freezer still allows us to eat healthy meals.

    3. Dear Tealady, Several ladies asked after you and if I knew how you are. I hope you find the right surgeon and do not have to wait to long. Also that you have lovely reading and projects that you can do while resting.
      With love,

  2. I am so sorry to hear of the job losses in that town and everywhere else as well. So many people may lose all they have worked so hard for their entire lives. I was looking at the beautiful ways you package up your soaps and thought of what a lovely and much welcomed gift it would be to someone who was going through a trying time. The gift is both beautiful and practical and would make someone feel so loved and cared for. Be blessed!

    1. Dear Debbie, Thank you so much. I love to be able to give little gifts at random times i.e. as you say for someone who needs cheering up etc. Making so many of everything I can do that and I love it!
      Hae a great weekend! With love

  3. Oh Annabel, the private jet tip really made me laugh. I don't foresee I will ever need that tip :). So funny!
    I have always been a cookie baker and my whole family knows that when I am baking to share, that if they want to taste while I'm baking then "eat an ugly one"

    Jobs don't seem to a problem in the USA but have you heard about the clowns we have running for President? Not a good one in the bunch..........

    1. Dear Rhonda, Yes that one amazed me. It was not what I was looking for!
      Haha we always eat the crummy, slightly burned and iffy cakes and biscuits first lol as the nicest ones are the gifts. Sad story but true!
      Here the job numbers are really untrue. If you have given up you are counted as unemployed or it you work 2 hours a week... so many people are considered employed but do not earn a living. Of the neighbours I know there are 17 adults. 3 are retirement age. 4 have jobs. Thats it! Yet they say our unemployment rate is about 7 % or so. Anyway don't get me started lol! I am following your presidential election closely! Very interesting! I follow as I think it affects the whole world and I have so many US friends. Have a lovely weekend Rhonda, with love

    2. Cookies- my oldest son would "sell" his lunch cookies. The ones that were a little over cooked apparently got the highest price. I never clued in till one of his friends asked me to make his own batch.

  4. Annabel I hope that no one says to any of these people 'well you are better off than a lot of other people' which was said to me just over a week ago.

    I thought 'what a funny thing to say'.

    Yes I know we are better off than many others but that is through being careful with our money and planning ahead. We have tightened the belt straight away unlike some I have known who have gone on spending like no tomorrow and then not knowing where their next meal is coming from.

    My skills are so out of date that my finding a job is not going to happen so I am just making sure that every dollar is worth more. Coles have sent me an offer of spend $50- over 4 weeks and get 10,000 points. That will boost my flybuys dollars quite a bit and if I am careful with my spending I can increase the value of the $50- to at least $75-.

    My lemon tree is in flower - the first ones on it so I hope that I will have some lemons soon. Plans for my garden have come to a halt at the moment - when my husband is back in work then I can get back on track with them. For now the lemon tree is the start.

    Hope everyone has a great weekend.



    1. Dear Lynette,
      Dad says the harder you work the "luckier" you are. I think that you are that kind of "lucky" too!
      You do so much DIY and home management, shopping around and many things that have "got you ahead" in so many ways. It is very sobering anyway. I hope your husband has great success with work soon. It sounds like he is very well respected, thought of and experienced. Also you both get on with things that need doing around the home while he is waiting which is really good in more ways than one.
      The Coles offer is really good I will check if we have it here. With lots of love

  5. Annabel,
    Those poor people in that town. That has happened here and I watched a documentary about it and it was so sad because one couple had to get divorced because there just wasn't any resources and the wife had to go live with her sister and family and the husband had nowhere to go but a men's shelter. We have done ok by being prepared, but my best advice is that stuff is just stuff and if you can sell things to improve your situation then be willing to do that. Payable skills that anyone has in the household that can add to a family finance jar is helpful too. I made loaves and loaves of banana bread that everyone loves packaged it pretty and Todd my charmer sold it and we put the money in a jar for emergencies or bills and Rick is still keeping things going with his skills. Your soaps are so pretty like from a specialty shop! As to the other stuff I swear sometimes we think alike! I got a store gift card because I had bought some meat and it was bad so they sent me a GC and you know me I want to get the most bang for my buck so I waited and they had chuck roast buy one get one free so after the gift card I paid $8 for 4 big chuck roasts which I cut in half and will actually be 8 meals worth for us. I also got a few freebies and a free kids book from a code off of a box that I got from recycling. Plus all of my seeds are sprouting and soon it will be time to plant them. I hope you have a great weekend!

    1. Dear Vicky, The roasts were a great deal! It will be fantastic when you get things planted but its so good to have them started and doing well! this year you have to take a lot of photos of your garden. Last year I was amazed by what you grow and the sheer quantities! It was like a market garden! I loved it! I hope this is a good season.
      I love that your son is a good salesman! Although banana bread probably wasn't too hard to sell!
      Lots of love

  6. Hit the nail on the head there, it's very scary. As a grandmother I think gosh how will they get jobs. I'm not so worried about myself but for my children and their children. My chest freezer is full, so full that you have to jiggle things to close the lid. I love that. Mainly home grown and home cooked. There is a bit of if not an 'urgency' but a feeling in the air about all this job loss, economic downturn, the real estate market is slowing which is not good for me selling a rental next month but oh well, what must be done. The small towns that rely heavily on one industry such as steel will really suffer. My partner and I have been going on lots of day trips of late, just taking a day off work during the week when (he's self employed so not hurting anyone) and it is quite encouraging to see some of the country towns. Even ten or fifteen years ago they were slipping but there is more growth now and more life in these towns. I still wish we had couponing here in Australia, I reckon I'd enjoy that. I love a challenge and finding the best things at the best prices. Hope your weekend is great Annabel. Fi xx

    1. Dear Fiona, I have a theory that the towns that are not far from a city have grown and are going well as people can commute to the city from them and city prices for houses are so high... so heading out a bit is a good option. Our old town is like that... it is only a bit over an hour to Adelaide and now it is a bigger town as many commute. I don't know if that applies to the towns you mention.... then the towns far off like another one of my old towns which is 3 hours from the city is shrinking and shops are empty. Awful to see.
      Anyway... it is great hearing of your well stocked freezer! And I think you and I would take to couponing like ducks to water!
      I think it would be fun and a challenge!
      Much love,

  7. This is such a frightening situation, Annabel. I must admit, living in NSW, our daily news tends to gloss over interstate events and my limited knowledge of Whyalla is from my school days (yonks ago) when it was shown to be a highly productive enterprise, thriving shipbuilding industry and was showcased as a sign of Australia's wealth. I really feel for those facing an uncertain future.

    Lynette, I absolutely detest that expression. We've had similar said, or "you're lucky", when my DH has worked 3 jobs when our children were little and I was a SAHM. We all do what we can to manage our individual circumstances - it doesn't make us "better" than anyone else or "lucky". Sorry, getting off my soapbox.

    We've been trying to get on top of some house maintenance. We've managed to repair a bedroom ceiling where water had leaked (the leak has also been fixed, fingers crossed) and fixed a section of the eaves where birds were getting in the roof.

    Have a safe weekend

    1. Dear Janine,
      Our news is quite hopeless. Half the time it is gossip, thinly veiled advertising and then sport! But this one is so big they are covering it here at least.
      I told Lynette my Dad says "the harder you work the" luckier" you get" as he doesnt like that expression much either!
      House maintenance is an endless thing I have decided! We are having a burst of it but its basically continuous! Well done as the ceiling will look much better and fixing a leak is important. And before winter too.
      Have a great weekend! With love

    2. Thankyou Janine.

      This person has no idea at all - she has no idea of who I really am and what I have done over the years or what I am continuing to do let alone what our family has been through during past years.


  8. Dear Annabel,
    I hate to hear of all the job losses! Thank you for encouraging us to keep stocking our pantries. It is like money in the bank being able to shop from one's pantry, whether it is for our own use or to share with others in need.
    Your soaps are lovely and so beautifully packaged!
    I used coupons, sales and senior discount to get some good deals at the grocery store. At the drugstore, coupons and store bucks made free shampoo and conditioner, 50 cent toothpaste and 75% off canned chilli and dark chocolate bars. I found packs of mini rose plants reduced to $1 and have added them to my garden. They may not be edible, but sure are pretty!
    Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

    1. Dear Elaine,
      Well done on your deals and free items! And I love the mini rose plants! What a price! They could be gifts also. How lovely! I really love roses and the miniature ones are gorgeous!
      Many thanks Elaine, have a good weekend to you too, with love

  9. As always, your soaps look lovely - the bows look so decadent!
    I stock pile shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, liquid hand soap and body wash. I only buy it when its 1/2 price at our Woolworths. I did a shop on Wednesday, spent $92.00 on various items and the savings were $62.00. My face cream is normally $35 and it was out for $22. I now have enough of these toiletries that I only need to buy 1-2 when they come on special to keep me topped up.
    I wish I'd been doing this for years and the savings are amazing.

    1. Dear Joolz,
      Thank you! I also wish I had caught on sooner and there are such big savings never really paying full price for anything. You had great savings this week! Well done! With love

  10. Watched the 7.30 report on Whyalla last night. Many of those interviewed were in their late 40's and 50's and had always worked for the same company. Their skill set does not allow them the opportunity of employment in many fields. Here's hoping the company can trade their way out of the difficulties and people can get a bit of a lifeline.
    Hubby and I live very carefully and are doing OK. However I remember reading somewhere that we are all only one disaster away from homelessness. I try to focus on the positive and what I can do.
    This week has seen me spend money to save money. I have purchased pomegranate, tamarillo and mandarin trees. I also bought a bulk order of potting mix. These trees are to go into the pool filter pots. The pots will go along the hot side of the house. As these drought tolerant, heat loving trees grow they will help by keeping that side of the house cooler, and they will also provide us with their fruit. A good investment
    I made more passionfruit cordial and some passionfruit butter this week. I also made fiery hot sweet chilli sauce. I have seedlings coming up everywhere and will be harvesting tomatoes very shortly. the majority of our salad and vege needs are being met by the garden.
    Using what I had in the craft cupboard, I have crocheted the Grandbub a little hooded jacket. Very happy with how this turned out. The pattern was a free Kindle download.
    This week I'm going to focus on my bathroom and medicine cabinet. I'm going to build up my Panadol and toothpaste. I made some toilet bombs today so the loo is taken care of for the next month.
    Yes we need to be aware of what is happening, and yes we need to be as prepared as we can be. Having said this we also need to focus on what is good in life. So taking a bit of my own advice I'm off for a walk to the beach, Life is good.

    1. Dear Jane,
      Trees are a great investment. I am writing a post on good investments and I didn't have fruit trees! So thank you, you just helped me!
      You are right... we need to be pro active and we need to be grateful and happy with life and enjoy it. Its a balance. I find being busy, making things etc helps me a lot to feel content and happy. I agree life is good. We are very blessed in many ways. Your Grandchild is so lucky! I look forward to April show and tell to see what you made next! With love

  11. Dear Annabel, isn't it funny what some peoples ideas of 'saving money' are? I guess in an odd way, we have to respect even those opinions as for everyone 'saving money' is somewhat relative. It stings a bit when our group are in such a different position though, doesn't it! I too am very worried about the situation with the economy and peoples jobs. Sadly it's often older employees who are really left out in the cold so to speak, as retraining for a new role is out of the question. It's so very sad to see capable folk, wanting to work, and yet being unable to do so through no fault of their own. Anyway...on the Feathering my Nest. Lots of sewing here, with embellished pillows and dyed linen on the cards. Eating in during the holidays and ensuring we have lots of 'fun food' was a priority, and we made our own entertainment with crafting, knitting and card making. School is back on Monday and whilst I'm a little sad, I'll be happy to return to my usual weekly routine! Have a lovely weekend everyone! Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi, I have been away for a few days hence even slower reply the usual! I love your crafts and am dying to see them. I will head over to catch up with you shortly! Embellished pillows sounds right up my alley!
      And oh how I remember the change over from holidays to back to school. It was a week of big cleaning up and getting back into routine.
      I cannot come to grips with the waste/decadence of that tip. I cannot understand a lot of things though. Often the person lecturing on conserving energy etc just got off a private jet to give the lecture! lol its beyond my little brain! I am glad to be here amongst us all living simply and if theres money to spare its spent helping our families or someone who needs it. Its very encouraging.
      I hope your week went well, with love

  12. Those soaps are wrapped so beautifully! I especially love the brown paper packets. I have just finished using the last of our homemade soap, I really should make some more. Im sorry to hear about the job losses close to you.I think maybe this is the reason you have been feeling the urge to stockpile. xx

    1. Dear Mel, I got the packets with the windows at a cheap shop. They are for biscuits and I used some at Christmas. They are fantastic for giving cooking gifts! Next time I see them I will get more.
      Have a wonderful weekend! With love,

  13. Thank you for your constant encouragement Annabel! And also for the kind link to our blog today. Have a lovely weekend :)

    1. Dear Jes, Your blog is a happy place, honestly I love it. I always talk about "building up" and thats what you do! With love

  14. Hi annabel
    The people who wrote that tip really need a reality check.
    You never know what is ahead, a well stocked pantry and an emergency fund is essential. Thee years ago this May I was diagnosed with breast cancer the day after my husband was made redundant. The good thing was that he was home to look after me but money was very tight our emergency fund disappeared as we were not eligible for any centrelink assistance for twelve months and the medical expenses were horrendous. We did have an excellent pantry stockpile and that got us through. My husband will start work three days a week on Monday. We are lucky we have paid off our house and live frugally, we take pleasure in our children, grandchildren and thank god for every day we have together.
    Susan K

    1. Dear Susan,
      I agree. Being so far removed from reality is exactly right. Why not help someone? It irks me!
      I am very sorry for the hard time you went through. I hope now your health is good and everything is fine (?) And I am so happy your husband has started work! I hope it went very well this week! I have been away for a few days so I am just catching up here.
      It is my hope that this will mean you can re build up your pantry gradually and things will be much better.
      I agree with your ideas and family priorities! Have a lovely weekend Susan, with love,

  15. Dear Annabel,

    The unemployment rate has risen drastically in every state that has oil and coal. Our city's unemployment rose to 7.2% this week, with a layoff last Friday of 500 mine workers. The 'green' agenda has been devastating for a lot of workers and their families.

    There are low paying service jobs available all of the time, but most people can't afford to live on them, so they have to take several jobs, if they can juggle the schedules to make ends meet. Single parents have a rough time when it comes to making ends meet.

    I don't know any single moms, but I have a nephew raising his young daughter alone and he has to be both mom and dad. Working two and three jobs isn't feasible for him, but he is a hard worker and being laid off hasn't set well with him. He wants to get back to work as soon as possible, but jobs are hard to find that pay enough to make ends meet. He does well with his money and has studied how to make it stretch.

    Pantry building is a lifesaver (literally). I, too, love to read The Prudent Homemaker. Her family's story is encouragement for all who need to know how to survive when there is no income. A very well stocked pantry made the difference in their lives and in so many others with a similar story.

    This week, we have had workers all over the entire outside. The back and side yards are being dug up to eliminate the smaller roots from three cottonwood trees we had removed. The yard is being leveled, new topsoil brought in, and new sod. The new patio was poured yesterday. Now, that might sound like a lot of spending and it is, but the upside of it is that the majority of this yard will be full of fruit trees and vegetable beds. I don't believe in planting things in the yard that are not edible. This will allow for food production for the remainder of our years as we are not young. The investment in the yard and the fruit trees, fruit bushes, and raised beds (which my husband will make) will save a lot of money going forward.

    I, also, used up some freezer items this week in cooking and did some baking that I froze for the future. We took advantage of a very good sale to add to the food storage.

    I cleaned the food storage room this week and the medical/household/extra herb supply room this week. I took an inventory of my fabric and determined what I want to make everyone as gifts going forward.

    Last Saturday, I took my eleven year old grand daughter for a surprise and purchased her a sewing machine. She now has the tool to make whatever she may need in the future, as it should last her into adulthood. It is a much better machine than we had originally purchased for her when she was six. I want her to know that skills are more important than buying and when people possess skills to be self sufficient, they will not do without.

    I apologize for such a lengthy comment :).

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    With love and a big hug,

    1. My sister is a single Mom and it is so hard. She does the very best she can but is exhausted and stressed to the breaking point with trying to make ends meet and do all that she has to do everyday.

    2. Dear Glenda, I messed up your reply and it appears further down! Sorry! xxx

  16. We are fortunate where we live here in Ohio- our city is extremely diverse as far as employment in that we aren't dependent on any one industry.
    That being said, in the last 2 months, two dear friends have been laid off with just 8 weeks notice. They have been at their jobs for several years and are well-paying IT and accounting jobs and their layoffs have come without warning! Both are in their mid-fifties. One has built up a well stocked pantry and immediately switched to a no-buy mode and will be able to live on their pantry.They have no debt. With their savings and severance pay, they could move fairly quickly if a job came up in a different location!
    The other family was caught off-guard. Wife works also (same bank-her job is in peril), they have consumer debts +co-signing for two adult children's cars, have mortgage and they've been too busy working to build a pantry. I doubt that they have a big savings either.
    These two families- roughly same age, same employer/same length of time, same size families, heard the same counsel about avoiding debt, saving and building up a year's supply of food and supplies and yet one will get through without much change to their normal way of life and the other will not.
    Your post is extremely timely and has helped us find new ways to add to our temporal security!
    We have been blessed with opportunities to build our pantries this week by putting in some work! In order to accommodate the 50 pounds of broccoli that I bought in our freezer, as well as to rotate our pantries, I took out a bag of Serrano peppers from the freezer and added the otheringredients and canned 9 jars of Sweet chili sauce!
    A "healthy food" store was opening a new branch on Wed. It is one that I already love going to because of their wonderful loss leader sales each week on produce and meats. They normally open at 7 AM but announced that they would be serving muffins, orange juice, coffee, and chocolate milk to all who were waiting outside between 5AM and 7 AM when they opened. They were also giving away a recycle able shopping bag with $50 worth of fresh groceries in it to the first 250 shoppers!
    I mentioned to a couple friends that I would be going and they asked if they could come too! I reminded them that it would mean picking them up at 4:30 AM and they said they would be ready! The challenge was on! My friend suggested we bring portable camp chairs to sit on in line waiting and I brought lap quilts for each of us! We got there at 5:15 and when they handed out the "magic tickets" for the $50 bags of groceries, we were #45, #46 and #47!! We also had printed off $5 off $25 purchase coupons too!
    We were thrilled! Before the store opened that morning, there were over 400 people waiting in line so only a little over half got the free bags of groceries! Did I mention that the outside temperature was 32 degrees F- literally freezing? But we laughed and chatted with the others in line and it became a fun adventure!
    I was running out of brown sugar so I made a new batch and filled my canister back up. Our electric bill went down by $101 this month through our conservation efforts (even though we have daughter and her family living with us using more utilities than normal) and our gas bill went down from the $33/ month that they had just lowered it to last month to $1.18 for the whole month!!
    We are building planter boxes from pallet wood and free buckets as inserts and hoping to sell some to bring in a few extra dollars.
    Hubby did a survey about his pacemaker that earned him $100 for an hour of his time!!
    It seems like, even in challenging time, there can always be "opportunities" found to save, build our pantry and even earn little "extra" streams of money!
    I am convinced that if we try to keep some optimism going, that we can muster through whatever changes come!
    Thanks for all your encouragement, Annabel!

    1. Dear Gardenpat,
      We have been away and just back last night so sorry for such a slow reply.
      Your friends situations are interesting. The first family sound like they will do much better. Banking is an area of mass job losses and more coming I think.
      It is all a good reminder to have a review and thats a good thing.
      You did well to make room in the freezer. So that really added to your supplies enormously. It took had work but you got ahead and that is a good feeling.
      I LOVE the fun you had at the new store opening! You turned it into an adventure and the rewards were huge! That is really fantastic! So all up your week was wonderful!
      I saw your planter boxes! They are excellent and I think will appeal as many people are wanting to grow their own food now. Anyway I love them!
      I agree that there are opportunities and we need to leap on them, put in the energy and make it a challenge. There is also friendship and support to make it fun along the way.
      I loved your comment thank you! With love,

  17. Daet Glenda, Do not apologise as I really appreciate such a comment of obsevations around you and also love to hear what you are doing.
    Anither lady told me how her town is in the oil fields and its on the way to being a ghost town now and jobs are very scarce. All this so soon after great prosperity. We discussed how many who were so prosperous would have anticipated it coming to a fast end and saved while they could.
    I love your investments in a yard of food production. I think thats brilliant. And also your efforts to get a beautiful seeing machine for your Grandaughter and the skills to use it well. As you say this is an investment in her future. Whether she mades her own clothes, clothes for her family, items to sell, decorate her home... they are all opportunities and possibilities for her now. Plus the joy of a hobby! You are a blessing to her life Glenda.
    You have really achieved a lot this week. I hope the garden will go ahead quickly once the soil is in so you get growth this summer. I hope you will take photos too!
    Also I wish your nephew luck with finidng a job suitable to take care of himself and his daughter.
    It is like having eyes and ears across the world. I continually marvel at the similairites of what is happening here and there. Commodity prices crashing basically is a big one. There is a feeling of uncertainty. I am trying to turn it into action and motivation for us, I am always beter if busy and with a plan!
    Thank you Glenda, have a womderful weekend, with love Annabel.xxxx

  18. We are facing the same in the UK, Wales to be exact, with the closure of Port Talbot steel.
    Appreciate you taking the time with this blog Annabel. It is a source of inspiration and encouragement from yourself and then from other likeminded ladies.
    With love
    Heidi xx

    1. Dear Heidi,
      I read about Port Talbot and how many jobs that is! And then the spin off jobs of everyone who provided services etc. Its devastating.
      Well we can only do what we can do but at least we are doing something and the best we can and that does make things feel better! Have a lovely weekend Heidi and thank you very much! Love

  19. Many years ago our area of the US lost the textile industry. Generations had worked in the same textile mills as parents and grandparents including our daughter in law's family. Huge mill buildings are everywhere and standing empty. So, my heart goes out to any of you facing that situation.

    Your soaps are beautiful.

    My big accomplishment is restocking my crocheted dishcloths. Many are fraying and needed replaced. I used yarn that was on hand so they were free.

    My husband is moving into a new job that his company has taken back from outsourcing so that is a move in the right direction for his company. I have heard of more jobs in America going overseas though. Friends of my husband are training their replacements as he was required to do many years ago. The sad thing is that these replacements do not know how to do these jobs and one American is replaced with 2-3 because the pay is so much lower. And they just cannot do what is needed. What are those big companies thinking? Bottom line and nothing else.

    1. Dear Lana,
      I have heard of this, of having to train the replacements. Its pretty awful!
      I do not understand how this all makes sense as profits are one thing but communities and your country are another!
      I am glad for you that your husband has a new job.
      Have a lovely weekend Lana, with love

  20. How pretty your soap look and love how you package them. Cheryl

  21. Annabel, I am so sorry to hear of the job loses, I know personally that this creates a very hard situation. I would encourage everyone to get busy building up their pantries, the sad reality is that none of us are immune to having the same thing happen in our cities and towns. Your soaps are beautiful! I'm waiting to get the rose soap molds and I will be all set to make some more soap too. I'm keeping my eye out for some of those bags. I have learned so much from you on packaging! Thank you for the mention of A Working Pantry blog!

    1. Thanks Patsy! Packaging really helps. I love anything with a window.. I have seen boxes with a window at the top and they would be lovely too. You will enjoy the rose moulds. They are great. They peel away so nicely and the soap is perfect. Its rather addictive! I hope you had a great week. Sorry for slow reply, we had a few days away. With love

  22. Dear Annabel,
    I'm so sorry to hear how bad things are in so many areas. As we talked about, the oil boom here did not last as long as expected. There was a huge (thousands in some areas) job loss and now there are vacant hotels everywhere and many houses for sale. I did not mean to mislead you, though. Many of the locals are still doing just fine, thankfully, and the town has just gone back to the way it was five years ago before the boom. This is because people were flooding in from other states to secure a job in such a high-paying prosperous industry. It was, however, short-lived and not as predicted. (I think many people were really living it up and getting into debt thinking they would have the means to pay it off with such a good income.) The few companies that managed to not shut down kept the locals and let everyone else go. Still, it was bad for a LOT of people, and I am afraid to think of how badly they were impacted. As you have said, being prepared is so important. I'm glad to read of the ladies here with stocked pantries, as it looks like it has brought them through some difficult times.
    On a lighter note, my week has been very productive! I wrote things down this time and I know it helps. I did quite a bit in the kitchen by using up things that were reaching their expiration date and also a lot of baking. I shopped grocery specials, signed up for samples, was given a canister of coffee, did laundry at the ranch, sold eggs from our chickens, and purchased two books with floral images from the library for 25c each to use for card making. I cooked breakfasts and packed lunches and coffee on workdays. Also, one of the old galvanized water troughs at the ranch sprung a leak and my FIL asked me if I wanted it. Of course I said yes! I will most likely plant something in it. Speaking of planting, it is really bothering me not to have a garden this year. With so many things going on in the world, I have decided to have at least a few plants. It just makes me uneasy to not have that supply of home-grown food coming in. Since we are moving, I also thought I would slow down on buying groceries and start eating from just the pantry and freezer. Well, I don't feel comfortable doing that either! I will work on using up the older pantry items, but I will replace them at the same time. I feel it is unwise not to do so at this time!
    Well, I hope everyone here has a lovely week. I know it is a gloomy world, but we can do our best to make our homes a cheery place of comfort and refuge. And may we rest in the knowledge that God will provide for the needs of His children, however dim things may look, if we trust in Him. With love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey,
      I am glad you wrote things down. I am hopeless if I don't! It is wonderful you got books that were suitable for card making! I love finding images like that.
      a water trough would be a wonderful planter! And look good too!
      You will soon have a garden and pantry at the farm! It will be great! And it will be fun too. That is one of the great things, being creative, re purposing things, making things, cooking etc... it is wonderful what we can do! And wonderful how God provides too, many times in very unexpected ways!
      Sorry for such a slow reply! With love

  23. Annabel, we live in a farming area and things are booming around here at the moment. Other regions aren't so fortunate though unfortunately. Then there are our farmers who have been in drought for years and have had no income. It has been so lovely seeing all the trucks of hay from NSW heading up to the Queensland Outback to help the graziers with some feed for their cattle. I think we should all try and help each other out particularly in such difficult times.

    1. Dear Nanna Chel, I saw images of the convoy of trucks. Just wonderful! I love that. Yes beef is going well yet some places are in drought. It is heartening to see help and generosity to those doing it tough.
      I hope you have had a very good week. With love,

  24. Partner has not had fulltime work since Xmas as building industry has dropped off, he is grabbing what he can but it is not enough. I work and we are only just keeping up with everything but it is getting tighter each week. Mainly as we still have debt to pay off. I can always make z meal out of nothing much but it us not as much fun after awhile. Yes please do a pantry stockup series as some of us are still learning. Homemade pea and ham soup tonight i filled a big container for freezer so I know that will be a dinner for another night. Love your blog as i learn so much. Look forward to seeing the craft items each week . Ruth.

    1. Dear Ruth,
      Thank you so much! We have been away so I am sorry about my slow reply.
      Ruth if you have time go through my Pantries and Preparedness series. There are all kinds of subjects including how to build your pantry for free, how to built it when there is very little money and many things. Also follow A Working Pantry,again if you have the time. Patsy has a lot on all kinds of ways to add to the pantry. Partly it is great for the ideas but also for the encouragement. As you say it is not fun when it gets really hard and worrying. Then friendship and support are really important.
      I really hope your partner will find full time work or else enough bits and pieces to add up to enough.
      Well done on cooking nourishing meals like pea and ham soup.
      If you don't mind me asking where are you located Ruth? Possibly I can add more helpful ideas depending on where you live...
      Many thanks for your comment! With love

  25. What a sad time for the town and for the whole country really. Our city relies on tourism and if people are losing their jobs, then they can't afford travel, so it has a big flow on effect. I love the idea of including preparedness in your Friday posts. We try where we can. We have a 2 bed unit, do storage can be hard. However, our dishwasher stopped working (and we are happy to wash up), so have been using this for storage. It's quite handy really. I stocked up on specials this week, both at the 2 big grocery stores. I also ordered a DVDs series and some books from the library and signed up for some free ting tot music sessions. I have found the library great for this. I have started to re think exercise and after hearing about crèches at guns etc I was tempted (not with the price though). I have since realised if I walk with the pram and count my steps then it is very worthwhile. Lots of love, Bridge

    1. Dear Bridge,
      Getting out and about with the baby in the pram is wonderful. They love it and its great exercise and fresh air, sunshine and seeing lovely things. Weather permitting of course! Its perfect!
      Also libraries are great! Its surprising what they have now and most of them will also order in just about anything you want if they don't have it so always ask.
      We went away fro our little beach holiday! We just got back tonight. I will be able to say we added packages of frozen fish to our pantry as Andy caught heaps from the beach!
      I hope you've had a good week Bridge, with love,

  26. Dear Annabel the soaps are packaged in such a lovely way! Absolutely love them. Here's what I did last week to extend my finances.

    1. Dear Teri,
      I hope your relatives have success with house hunting. Also I like the reading list suggestions. This is good for me as I like to find new blogs and articles when I have a few moments its nice to have something new to read. Much love

  27. Hi Annabel
    I think my previous post came out muddled and thankfully you rejected it. When I said they need a reality check I was talking about the people who suggest hiring a private jet as a way to economise, I'm afraid I just could not raise a smile about that.
    i am praying that there may be some way the jobs of the steelworkers may be saved because I am very concerned about what will happen to a lot of these families if there are no jobs. Having to deal with centrelink will destroy a lot of the men in particular and there will be a lot of mental health issues.
    Anyway I will move on to other happier things, I love the way you present your gifts and the ideas you have for gift-giving. I made soap with my grandaughter last week and she is keen to give it as presents when it is ready. I will show her how you wrap yours, she is eleven.
    I have been kept busy this week making gifts for the judges, and raffle prizes and group entries for a local CWA craft show this week so have only managed to save a bit by making my own sourdough, every little bit counts though.
    Hope you have a wonderful week.
    Regards, Susan K

    1. Dear Susan, Sorry! No I didn't reject it and I agreed with everything you said. I just was away for a few days as we had a little holiday. Im sorry to make you think this!
      Thank you for your comments and also for your kind words on my presents!
      Your granddaughter at 11 is at a wonderful age! She can do so much! Truly everything you do with her and teach her will stick with her always. And her children and Grandchildren too I would think.
      The CWA is wonderful. I love their recipes! My Nan always entered floral arrangements in the show... and my other Nan was a great scone and sponge baker!
      Many thanks Susan, with love

  28. Love the soap packages. Here in South Africa we also have lots of people losing their jobs. Life is also getting way expensive. so sad for job losses, all over the world. here is a huge corruption mindset going on and with the top jobs earning bigger salaries, they are swallowing up the smaller jobs. If just one person were to employ 1 person from their salary there would be lots of more jobs. well let me not go on and on. Lets just keep positive which is very difficult at times but try our best and get our pantries and craft rooms stocked up to survive is best. Well with the house theft going maybe they will get to steal the food supply and not murder us whites here in South Africa. Take care and have fun.

    1. Dear Susan,
      We have this mega salary thing here too and its obscene I think. Even the heads of many charities!
      Susan I know quite a few people from Zimbabwe. Not the same I know but it has given me an insight into some of what you mention regarding security etc. Most of them spent some time in SA before getting to Australia.
      I think do your best to get ahead any way you can, be discreet about whats in your house and be watchful. Be encouraged Susan and celebrate your achievements and the journey.
      I have been away so I am sorry for the slow reply! With love

  29. Praying that you and yours are all okay as it is not like you to miss a regular post.

    1. Dear Lana, Thank you! Yes we are ok, we had a few days away and it was lovely. Sorry to not let you know but security wise it is not a good idea to announce being away. We just got back tonight and I will get back to posting next week. Thank you for asking after us! I hope it was a good week for you. With love

  30. Annabel, Your soaps are beautiful and packaged so nicely. You are an inspiration!
    In regards to economic woes, my preacher-husband often says that, "Pain is God's megaphone." I think that's true, but I also suspect many of us wonder why God must be so loud sometimes! ;) I know I've learned more since we gave up my income so I could stay at home with our children than I learned working outside the home. Necessity became my tutor and taskmaster.
    The good thing is that I did learn and now my children are learning to be content, to make wise choices, and to do things for themselves. They're seeing it modeled every day, so I hope the lessons will stick.
    Have a lovely week!

    1. Dear Leigh, Thank you! The children learning skills and responsibilities is a great thing. And they say necessity is the mother of invention! That is true! I think a lot of creativity comes from figuring out how to do things or finding a different way.
      I hope you had a good week! We have been away for a few days and just catching up for the next few! With love

  31. Dear Annabel

    Not good to hear things are tough down your way.

    Unfortunately up here things have been tough for about 12 months now. When you look around in the city centre there are lots of shops that are empty and have for lease or for sale signs up.

    Here in our small town there were hardly any for lease or for sale signs up but now every where you look these signs are a familiarity. Just last week we said "goodbye" to another family that have had to pack up and move.

    I agree that things have a flow on effect and this is very tough.

    But what I often wonder is not how the adult copes but how the kids cope with having to pack up their belongings, leave their friends and school behind. This has to effect them also. It must be hard shifting from one place to another (the family that just left was only here 2 years). Some families are here less than a year before they leave. Not long at all for the kids to really get to know or make friends.

    Recently DP's company let 100 people go, but reinstated about 95 of them through a labour hire company as this saved them overtime, holiday pay and penalty rates. At least most got their jobs back. The 5 who didn't choose it to be that way as they retired or moved away.

    I think thought that a lot can be learnt from this. People often just pilfer through money when they have it and think that it will just keep on coming and not put any away for a rainy day. So I guess what we can learn is that we all need to have the emergency funds account even if only at $1.00 a day it adds up for when we need it most.

    I do hope things are ok with you.

    Love Aly xxx

    1. Dear Aly,
      We are just back from a few days away. It was good and we came home with ideas and fish!
      You make a very good point about how hard it is for children, I think thats true. They are resilient in many ways but I think changing schools and friends isn't easy especially if it happens over and over. Even for us our support systems and friendships and family... its terrible to have to move when we don't want to but its forced due to job loss etc.
      Where we live was once a really nice lot of shops. Now almost half are empty! And no one is refilling them. It doesn't look good and the closures have kept happening.
      I agree with you... I think make hay while the sun shines lol I always say that! And little bits add up! Everyday we get ahead is good. Little by little its all worthwhile.
      I hope you have had a good week! With much love


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