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, 5 April 2016

The Christmas Challenge. March Show and Tell Part 2.

This is the second report on what everyone made in March! I am pretty sure there will be ideas here for everyone.

Thank you for emailing me pictures and letters. I love hearing how things have been made and even who they are for. There have been some beautiful stories!

I cannot fit all photos in but I appreciate everyone and each person is represented.

First of all Kelsey made her Father in Laws Birthday present. She made jars of spiced nuts, the card and gift tag. It looks very stylish!

She has also been card making. Kelsey cut up a curtain catalogue as the pictures were lovely and made them into cards! Now this is an idea that I wanted you to see! I mention how I use magazines and old books for my images. Catalogues can be perfect! And free! Once I had a Laura Ashley catalogue given to me. That made gorgeous cards! Another time in the junk mail there was a jewellery catalogue with fantastic images and I used that. Free images are everywhere! Do not throw out catalogues before you take a look at the pictures!

Thanks Kelsey these look beautiful and this is a great idea to share. ps I love the ruffle!

Pat has been making quilts for gifts. What amazing gifts too! 

Pat said these were some of the quilts she made in the last month! This is amazing and so much work. But they are heirloom and wonderful gifts. Beautiful work Pat. 

Jen in NS knitted socks for her present stash...

I think how beautiful and look at the pattern knitted into the grey pair!

And she used a printed fabric panel to make hankies which she added pretty edgings to. These were for her daughters at Easter. 

She also made them into table napkins and they used some with Easter breakfast. What gorgeous napkins!  Jen is also working on bedside mats which is a big project.

Leigh gave cooking gifts at Easter. Lovely chocolates and nice packaging! Even though she has been renovation Leigh, somehow, kept cooking!

Barb has been making cards. I am loving the butterflies Barb!

Jen made a beautiful baby rug for a teacher who is leaving to have a baby.  Jen said this teacher is just so lovely and wanted to give her a gift. Also Jen had the green in her stash and was able to use that up. What a stunning gift and I think the teacher will be so thrilled and touched.

Jen is also finishing off a rainbow scalloped blanket. She is a self confessed crochet addict. I think we should form a group :)

Mel C has been busy as always! Mel's blog is full of creativity and ideas. It is Thrifty, Frugal, Fun.
Firstly her ten year old son made these...

They have packaged seeds from the garden and he made seed packets with his own artwork. I just love this and it is a great idea for the kids to do! I think he did a great job!

Also homemade jam...

A woodland creatures mobile...

And bunting from the children old clothes i.e. as a memory bunting. Each child can have their own made of things they have worn in the past. I thought this is a bit like a memory quilt.  A lovely idea! 
Plus amazing cooking, Christmas ornaments, felt hearts instead of flowers ... well go have a look at her blog!

Debbie has done it again... The mermaid rug and other gorgeous crochet was posted las week. But SINCE then she has made this... An owl sleeping bag for a baby. How cute is this? Just stunning.

So if there is nothing here to inspire you then I am throwing in the towel. lol

Seriously, I feel inspired and encouraged seeing so many beautiful things created and knowing the gift cupboards are looking good and it is still quite early in the year. 

Thank you everyone for participating! Now on to creating in April! 

I have a few things started in crochet and I packaged up the soaps I made earlier. They are now in my gift cupboard and I got a lot of gifts! 

I packaged them as if they were biscuits/cookies basically...

I hope you are having a good week! What are you working on now and hoping to make this month?



  1. Oh Annabel the talent in this group is so diverse and so amazing! Every week I get new ideas. I have so many ideas that I have to write the new ones down! I wonder when I will ever get to make them all? Now if that's all I have to worry about then life is pretty darn good. I had a very busy week at the sewing machine. I made the granddaughter a fleecy hooded tracksuit and booties in a pink camo fabric. Her Dad is military so I did this as a bit of fun. I also made a little dress and matching bloomers in a floral fabric. In muslin I made 4 baby wraps or modesty cloths and six flannel backed burp cloths. Ten flannel and bamboo fleece reusable breast pads have also been added to the stash. As it will be the end of winter when bubs is born I crocheted her mother a shawl to keep warm during feeds.
    I wanted to know how much these goods were worth so went on Etsy. What an eye opener! If you are ever questioning the value of your homemade gifts against purchased ones, get on Etsy and discover how expensive homemade is. This week I am crocheting bubs a cardigan in a 9-12 month size in some gorgeous wool I had left over from another project. I'm also experimenting with making a ladies wallet for me. Life is good.

    1. Dear Jane,
      Wow you have been so busy! I have to write my ideas down on a list or otherwise I really forget and its too hard to go backtracking to hunt hem down. Also pinterest boards are a solution for this, I just pin them and have the visual reminder plus the link to the website etc. Huge saver for me as just like you say there are too many ideas and not enough time. Yes wonderful problem to have!
      You have achieved so much and I love the sound of everything. You have a lucky DIL too! I hope you will be taking photos for April Show and Tell!
      This is an excellent idea... Etsy is a great place to see what similar items are to what we are making. Also it can be great for ideas! Plus I think it is a place to see how big handmade items are, how stylish and sought after. Very inspiring.
      Im loving the pink came fabric and the reason you have used it. That is really sweet! I think she will love it!
      Thank you for sharing all this Jane. I better let you get back to it! With love

    2. Jane, you're wonderful!

      You are anticipating someone's needs, and putting your heart into meeting them. May your industry be much appreciated. Cherish it all. You are thriving!!
      Rachel Holt

  2. Wow, all this work is so beautiful, I love the owl sleeping bag. Of course the most important ingedient in everything here is the love involved in making these gifts and that is priceless.
    Susan K.

    1. Dear Susan, Thankyou! That is true. Love shines through. I can't imagine anyone not appreciating that!
      This reminds me... I have little baby dresses made by my Great GrandMother and I cherish them so much! Plus things Nan made and then Mum. Gosh I love them all!
      Thanks for commenting! With love Annabelxxx

  3. Dear Annabel..yet again...just wow! I have been very busy over the holidays and neglected to send you my photos, so I'll save them for April now. I've been dyeing and trimming pillowcases, and I'm really happy with them. Debbie, you have a real talent there, and everyone else, I'm just bowled over by your ideas and creativity! Love, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi,
      I am dying to see these pillowcases! Your school holidays sounded lovely and well spent. Its a busy time! Debbie's crochet is magazine worthy! With love

  4. What beautiful items everyone is making, Annabel! I have never packaged up soap before so it will be interesting to see how yours goes over the coming months in cellophane. I know that the humidity effects my soap but that might be from where it is stored more than anything. I am currently knitting a scarf which may be a gift depending on how the finished product looks :-)

    1. Dear Nanna Chel, I will keep an eye on it then. Our climate is drier here so maybe thats the difference?
      It is lovely to be knitting. I am crocheting and love it in the evenings! With love

  5. Annabel your soaps look gorgeous all packaged up!! And what a healthy boost for your gift cupboard. I really do love these show and tells, both in terms of seeing things I would like to give a go and also just marvelling at some of the things that are totally beyond me! The seed packets are such a lovely idea, and so beautifully decorated. I think it's so nice for children to contribute to handmade gifts, and gives them a chance to experience how much people appreciate their effort. It can also remind us grown ups that the recipient is certainly not looking for faults in handmade gifts, even if we are terrified they will find one in a gift we've made!

    1. Dear Jen,
      I think it is great for kids to decorate cards, paper, make gifts and cook etc. We filled school holidays with all of this and had so much fun. And yes good point, we see the love in it not the imperfections!
      Many thanks Jen, with love

  6. The gifts are so lovely, and all so individual. It's good to see you have a couple of young people taking part as well.

    1. Dear Janine,
      Yes we had some great variety! I thought the speed packets really good!
      With love

  7. Oh joy, what a lovely lot of pretties Annabel. So great to see everyone being so organised and sharing what they have done. Lots of fantastic ideas for me to get inspired and add to my list...

    Your soap looks lovely packaged up like that :)

    Lots of love,

    1. Thanks Tania! Soap making was fun and gave me a lot of gifts plus supplies. Guess what, jus like with cooking the gifts were the prefect ones then not so perfect ones are for us!
      So many ideas and a new baby in the family is a great inspiration for present making! With love

  8. Hi Annabel!

    My husband says it might be time to update the title from "show and tell" to ..... he doesn't know ..... !! It's like a fancy homemaking magazine!!

    I was looking forward to seeing more of Kelsey's work. 'Stylish' is the word - in the elegant sense! We had just been talking about red and gingham last week! The cards and concepts are lovely. The good things start with the satisfaction of completing a project, and continue with the joys of sharing here. The very best part is the pleasure in experiencing the response of an appreciative receiver of the gift! Thank you, Kelsey! I love your work. It's so stylish and all!!

    Pat, you are so productive. The way you have used stashed fabrics is admirable, and don't the colours work well! I found myself trying to break your patterns down into blocks, and haven't entirely solved it yet!! I love the work with tiny squares, and you've quilted it all beautifully, too. It would be interesting to hear the stories of how and when everyone learnt their skills.

    Jen in NS, you are a talented sock knitter. I am wondering what a pair like yours would be worth. I have seen US socks knitted on a vintage, hand cranked circular sock machine priced at US $35. A pair of those can be knitted in under an hour, I am told. That makes yours worth much more!! Is that your recent paintwork used as the backdrop, and what buds are shown? Also, I can't help wondering if you and Annabel are twins?!! Your crochet and lace borders are lovely. The bobble crochet is sweet!

    Leigh, I see that you have worked with the authentic lamb theme for this general part of the year. It is interesting to find that the biblical practice had been for the Hebrews to adopt a lamb into their household in days leading up to Passover. How meaningful, then, that an animal so sweet and innocent would have to give its life as a picture of what Christ, ultimately, did for us all.

    Barb, I see that you have obtained some interesting artistic effects in your card making. The sweet bird theme permeates through! Good on you!!

    Jen, that green (kind of vintage? and lovely) and crochet are so sweet and gentle. The story tugs at the heart strings! What a beautiful rug!!

    Mel, your resourcefulness is wonderful! It gives a very authentic feel!! Raspberry is a great flavour in a jam, and how much fun it is for anyone to watch seeds grow! Priceless!!

    Debbie, what a profuse worker you are! Your photographer daughter must be so very proud to have your devoted support. You are amazing!!

    Annabel, your work is so refreshing!! The pink in the flowers works well with the gorgeously packaged soaps! It looks like you've done this kind of thing before! I am sure this is better than a magazine, anyway! It is real, and I suppose you'll get a surprise when you open your gift cupboard and the beauty of it all hits you anew!! Did I tell you?? I love your work!

    1. Dear Rachel,
      When I first did a post of everyones work and called it Show and Tell I thought it was funny like in primary school we had she and tell at the from top the class. And no one said a thing and it has stuck! I still think its funny like we are grade one. But in Australia anyway everyone probably had show and tell. Overseas I don't know... maybe it is odd to anyone who doesn't know...
      Tell your husband if he can come up with a brilliant idea I will consider it!
      Thank you for commenting on everyones work. It just gets better and better every month!
      Thank you for your kind words. I love to make things look nice or try to! I am much more confident with giving my gifts too with pretty packaging. This helped me overcome the earlier hurdles of gifts being "good enough". But when I see what everyone has been making I think how wonderful and how thrilled people must be to get gifts like this. A lot of love involved too.
      I hope you're having a good week! Many thanks, love Annabelxxx

    2. Dear Rachel,

      I think it is so lovely of you to comment on each and every person's gift offerings. Thank you for your kind words about my socks. Yes, I'm afraid they take much longer than an hour to knit by hand, as I'm sure you can attest to! :) But I love to do it. Socks are actually my "t.v.-watching" knitting...we don't have t.v., other than for movies, but it's the knitting that I don't have to concentrate on. :)

      Yes, the boards in the background are our new painted floor in our gorgeous "new" bedroom...what a good eye you have! The buds are "pussy willows" you not have willows in Australia? These are one of the first signs of growth in spring, here...the little "pussys" are where the leaves will grow, but they are soft and silky and furry, just like a little kitten's fur, hence the name. I cut a whole bunch of them to put in vases to decorate the house, with a big batch to sit on our fireplace mantel in our newly painted bedroom.

      And thank you for the compliments on the crocheted border for the hankie...that was fun, too, and my daughter loves it. It was certainly inspired by all of Annabel's gorgeous edgings!

      xxJen in Nova Scotia

    3. Thanks Rachael, I agree it is starting to look like a homemaking/ craft magazine. There is a lot of talented people making great gifts.....amazing!

    4. Thanks Rachel, it's so thoughtful of you to comment on each gift. I love that you commented on the green, when i got to the end of the blanket my son said to me 'um Mum, that green is kind of ugly' lol. I told the teacher and thankfully she disagreed!

    5. Oh yes, Jen, there are pussy willows in Australia. I haven't seen one for years, so thank you for sharing yours!

    6. Dear Rachel, the artistic effects that I think you might be talking about on my card is a reflection of some of the 45 stuffed toy creatures above my lounge room on a ledge. I photographed the card on the lounge suite and the card Annabel showed is a shiny foil cardboard and I did not even notice the reflection on the card until I saw it on the post the other day!!. BarbW.

  9. Everything is so lovely. Thank you for sharing ladies! :)

    1. Thank you Jes! One of my up coming projects is from your peg tutorial! I am really looking forward to this and they will go in well with all the soaps I have made! xxx

  10. "Show and Tell" definitely translates perfectly to us in the States! I love how many different talents and gifts you all have! You have inspired me to try to stretch and grow and learn to do new things! I actually crocheted ( for the second time in just 64 years!) an edging on some hankies I made because of all of you-Annabel and the rest of you who have generously share your photos and ideas! Now mine do not and probably will not ever rival the talented Jen from NS whose glorious hankies are displayed above, but I am happy in my attempt and humble finishing them and I Have all of you to thank!! Keep inspiring us to try new things and expand our talents and gifts!!

    1. Dear Gardenat, I saw your beautiful hankies on A Working Pantry fb page... and I love the colours and the story of how you used old linen. Also they would make divine napkins like Jen did. Anyway I thought they looks very professional and loved your edgings.
      I know that trying new things is a breath of fresh air and exciting and fun. So if I had anything to do with this I am really happy!
      Your crochet is very good!! I hope you go on with it too. With lots of love,

  11. Dear Annabel,

    Things are so lovely here, and I adore the packaging idea you used for your soaps!! Absolutely gorgeous and look like they cost a million bucks!

    We have Show and Tell here in Canada,too. Once I went and showed a black eye (my Mom's brilliant idea when I didn't want to go to school because of it). My little brother, who was a toddler at the time, had been sitting on my lap, and was moving around energetically (as little boys will do), and whacked his head back suddenly, right into my eye. That's the only thing I remember "showing and telling", even though I must have done it many times in school! :)

    There is just so much talent and love shown here. I get so many ideas from you and all the ladies!! Thank you for the "Show and Tell"! And it's so nice to have a monthly "deadline" of sorts, both to stay focused and also to marvel at what's been done so far. I love having some extra things ready that can be gifted at short notice. One of the ladies in my husband's office has just gotten a new job...she's only down the hall, but now works for a different department, and I actually have a couple of things made that will work for a little "Congrats" and "Good-bye" gift. This wouldn't be, without your encouragement!


    Jen in Nova Scotia

    1. Your show-and-tell black eye story is hilarious!

    2. Dear Jen, Im pretty sure you were best Show and Tell of the day with that black eye! I took a lizard to show and tell once and that didn't end well as someone let it out of the box!
      It is wonderful being able to go to the cupboard and pick out a little gift to say congratulations, or for any occasion. Many times we just wouldn't be able to do it if we had to continually buy things. How lovely!
      Thanks for your beautiful contributions Jen, with love

  12. I really enjoy these Show & Tell posts! Everyone is so creative and there are lovely projects (and wrappings!) from which to learn. What good ideas! I'm particularly impressed with the quilts and crochet projects. They're just spectacular and such memorable, thoughtful gifts.
    Blessings, Leigh

    1. Dear Leigh, thank you for contributing! You have done very well while also renovating! Hopefully soon you will have more time, I am not sure how much work in the house you have to go... mine is more steady all year plus a week of the bathroom which will be a mess...
      Hope you are having a good week! With love

  13. Such creative ladies!!!! I love the ideas I get here. I would never have thought about using the pics from catalogues for card making.

    I have so many ideas of things I want to make. Thank you all for the inspiration!

    1. Dear Cheryl, That was a very handy tip from Kelsey. Pretty catalogues and magazine images can be so lovely.
      I am so glad you found ideas you can use! Many thanks, love

  14. Dear Annabel,

    What talented ladies share on this blog. Everything shown is so nice. I like to quilt, so the beautiful quilts really caught my eye.

    Thank you everyone for sharing what you've been making.

    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda,
      Thank you! I know you sew and have a lovely fabric stash. But also I know how busy you are just now. But a quilt is hard to beat as a gift. Also patchwork would be a fun thing for your Granddaughter to learn and do some squares working towards a whole quilt! I think sewing is greta for a young girl.
      Thank you so much, love

  15. I really, really love the Show and Tells too. I find these photos so inspiring. Keep up the beautiful work ladies, because I just know your recipients will love these gifts. My favourite gift is homemade, because I know how much thought, time and love has gone into it. It's easy to dash into a shop! Thank you for making my day.
    They are all beautifully presented. Love, Bridge

    1. Dear Bridge, Thank you! I hope you found ideas and possibilities. Kelsey's use of a curtain catalogue was one I thought is a real money saver!
      I hope you are having a good week and you are all back to good health too! With love,

  16. What a showcase of talent it is again for this month! I am in awe of the beautiful gifts and talented hands that have made them. xo

    1. Thank you Kaye! I can't wait to see the next lost next Month and better get going on my own to keep up! Mainly crochet this month I

  17. I wish i could knit,such a lot of talented women adding to their collection of gifts,I want to try making the soaps with the lux flakes very soon,i have been busy out back getting a chicken house ready,and making a secure garden bed,as where we are now the possums are everywhere playing havoc lol.xx

    1. Dear Mel, I am not a very good knitter and better at crochet but if you think you would enjoy it get started on you tube. It is totally amazing how fast you can get going which is really fun.
      We have had good success with lights and sensor lights with possums. We have so many possums here! Tried just about everything!
      The chicken house is an important job. Soap will wait until you have more time and have things as you want them. With love

  18. Thank you for sharing my pictures, Mr 10 is so excited his seed packets are up here too! Sorry it's not a great picture of them. All of these gifts are so lovely, what a bunch of clever ladies! I am particularly in awe of the crochet and knitted items, to take some wool and be able to create something like that is a truly amazing talent! xx

  19. Dear Annabel, Everything looks amazing! My husband was beside me when I checked your blog and found you had posted the show and tell. I let out a little gasp of excitement, which made him curious, so we looked at it together. The projects these ladies have created received wows from BOTH of us! Well done ladies!
    I love how you have packaged your soaps, Annabel. They look sooo luxurious! Just now I am putting together a wedding gift and presentation is playing a big part.
    Thank you for showing my photos! I have been having a good time with crafting and card making, largely because of your tips and encouragement. And because of the inspiration from these show and tells! Have a good weekend. Love, Kelsey

  20. Wow! What a wonderful job you ladies are doing! I am so inspired.

  21. Dear Annabel and all the lovely industrious ladies here , Im late here, but catching up and have to say that everyone's work is amazing! Mel and her MR10 -I could just picture his happy face in delight :-) Debbie's gorgeous crochet, Annebal your beautifully wrapped soaps, Kelsey and Barb's cards, Jen NS's socks and hankies, and Jen's baby rug and Leighs Easter edibles.I hope I didn't miss anyone out , everyone did such a good job! With love Maria xxx

  22. Added to say I did not mention Pat's beautiful quilts! Love Maria


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