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, 2 June 2016

Feather your Nest Friday, 3 June, 2016.

Welcome to June! For us that is the beginning of winter too.

This week I went to the farm to see my Dad for his Birthday. That is why I didn't post on Wednesday and also I have not replied individually to comments but I can see Kelsey did a very good job for me. Thank you so much Kelsey and everyone. I almost started replies then realised I would never get todays post up either!

It seems like it was a really long week as lots happened. Starting at the beginning...

 I did a lot of cooking on the weekend. Bananas were on a big special and I bought some that were further marked down. So I made a huge slab of Banana Cake.

Then I made three dozen Banana Muffins/cakes? (same recipe just in muffin trays) plus three giant sized ones.
Excuse my wonky icing. I froze a heap, sent them on the fishing trip for the boys, gave the girls some each...

I finished my pink and cream rug, finally. Mum is making a knitted hat with the left over yarn to go with it. This is going into the present cupboard.

On the way to the farm I called in to three towns. It is a three hour trip and I pass some lovely little places.  First I went to the Adelaide Hills and went to Aldi. They had some of the skin care I was madly chasing and marked down. Now I think I have enough of the foundation until next time it comes out too.

Then I stopped at a little tiny town that has a wonderful op shop. Oh my goodness I was so lucky! My favourite brand of shoes are Zierra as they are very comfortable and don't kill my feet! They had my size in a colour I love!  Plus I picked up a necklace for $3 because it was layers of pearls.
When Chloe saw it she pointed out it is Mimco and was a $250 necklace!

I also stopped at another tiny town and got fabric, curtains for Chloe, another necklace and two gorgeous cardigans!  

Happy day! I love what I got, spent a few dollars and feel spoiled. I think, apart from such treats for so little, op shopping has another effect. I basically never feel like going actual retail shopping. If I shop I imagine finding things in the op shop for a dollar or two and it basically removes all temptation. I have had my retail therapy, am thrilled, and I'm done. The shoes plus the necklace alone would be $500 plus in the regular shops. It seems silly! 

When I got to the farm everything looked green and lush and the fire was on.
Mum was cooking, as usual, and I had to take a photo of cakes she just took out of the oven.

There are almost always ducklings at the farm and I always visit them.

On Dad's birthday Mum made a Black Forest cake. Here it is before she put it together...

And after...

Also Mum had a lot of crochet out as she was sending it to go off to two charities. She does this very regularly and even gets to hear some of the nice stories that come back about who received various things. The hats  and headbands are going to cancer patients. 

In the afternoon Dad took some rare time off and asked if we would like to go mushrooming? 
YES! So off we went and a couple of hours later we returned with these...

The larger red tray was too heavy for me to lift. It took two of us to get it out of the car!

It was so much fun and we had so many we made some trays to give away. Chloe took some to work and they were gratefully received.

I brought some home and we had steak and mushrooms for dinner last night. (Plus I have loads more still)

While away I finished three tops for Harper. I gave the fox a bow so she is now a girl!  Plus two bunnies with tails.

When I got home the first thing I saw was that neighbours had put out on the kerb two half round wrought iron tables. I love fancy wrought iron. They need new tops and painting etc.... but I will get to that!

Finally I got a huge bag of apples for $3. I am planning apple pies and apple muffins. I will also do a pork roast and apples.

This week I mixed up my money saving, nest building and getting ahead into one report.  But it was some of each. It was a good week.

I hope you had a great week. How did you feather your nest, save and get ahead?
Have a lovely weekend. I am off to babysit for a little while this afternoon and the sun has made an appearance!



  1. Dear Annabel, I love hearing about your visits to the farm. They always seem full of adventure and abundance! The op shop finds are stunning and a Mimco necklace I know, is worth in the hundreds, so well done! This week I feathered my nest here in many ways. I did a really deep clean, including washing all the things like bathmats, cushion covers, pot holders, and décor items like doileys and tablecloths, and returned them to their spots. It rained in the middle of this, so I had things hanging all over the house...thank goodness for the fireplace going! I made my own edible glitter as you saw by the blog post, using it to sprinkle on cake mix cookies and cupcakes for snacks, and added customised teabags, embellished clothespegs, hand made greeting cards, book worms (a weight for your open book) and Cloche Cushions, which I'll put up on the blog today or tomorrow to the gift stash. Those efforts added at least a dozen items to the gift cupboard, and will see us gifting lavishly and generously for the foreseeable future. I made a polar fleece rug and hat for a new baby here, dried more lavender and hung it from my pot hanger in the kitchen, and started a new mixed fibre collage project. I wanted to enter it in the RNA Show here, but the cut-off date was yesterday! Ah well...maybe next year! A good, productive and creative week. I hope everyone else had a good week too. Lots of Love, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi,
      Thank you! I really loved the edible glitter! I have plans with this as in pretty little jars this would be such a lovely gift, apart from using at home of course.
      You did a lot! You did well getting things dry in the current weather too.
      I really liked the tea bags, clothes pegs ... very luxurious.
      The polar fleece sounds lovely. I have some cut out to do a crochet edge around...its on the waiting list. My things to be done are in a kind of holding pattern.... I have pale pink and I thought harper would like one as she has a blankie that feels like polar fleece which goes everywhere...
      I hope you can enter the show next year. You may have more things to enter and do a mass entry by then!
      Have a great week Mimi. I hope you are safe and dry as I see reports of a fair storm up there and flooding. With love

    2. Dear Annabel, yes we've had some wild weather over the weekend. All okay here, but another reminder of how quickly circumstances can change. We were very grateful for our stockpile, including the long life milk, bread mix, toilet paper, dog food and ready frozen meals. It meant we did not have to literally risk life and limb going out in the hazardous weather and treacherous road conditions. The edible glitter in jars will be lovely I think, and pale pink polar fleece...gorgeous! I think half the trick with making your own gifts, is to find things that can be whipped up when you have a spare 15-30 minutes or so. If you sit around waiting to 'find the time' you'll never get anything done! Your beautiful embroidery is a good example. Little bits here and there. I'm about to do a post on your wool wash too. Another super easy idea, that is just lush and lovely. Love, Mimi xxx

  2. Annabel, the crocheting is just beautiful. I hope that someday my crocheting looks half as beautiful as yours. I love the the little fox with the bow and the bunnies are just too cute! That sure is a lot of mushrooms, I would be canning them up as soon as possible. We've been harvesting raspberries almost daily and have harvested 11 good size cucumbers from the container we planted the cucumber seeds in. I have been very pleased with our container gardening thus far this year.

    1. Dear Patsy, Lots of mushrooms have been cooked and I like to dry them. Then they are very good to pop into casseroles to soak up liquid. I do a beef stroganoff that they are good in. It was amazing getting so many!
      Your cucumbers look amazing (saw them on FB!) This is a good tip, that they grew so well in containers. I hope you have lots of harvesting ahead of you. Have a lovely weekend! With love

  3. Annabel I'm so glad you had such an enjoyable time on the farm. I have rarely missed the farm since we left, but the photos of the ducklings had me thinking of two of the ducks the children raised, Lucky and Muddy, who went on to live long and happy lives with us. They behaved more like dogs than ducks.
    This week started off with a flurry of activity. After giving our bedroom a good going over last week the other rooms were looking a little tired. I cleaned out and rearranged my sewing room. The present cupboard was looking a mess, so out came everything, the cupboard was given a good clean and the presents(have I really made that much?) were organised into baby bits and Christmas gifts. Baby gifts went into an under bed storage box and Christmas gifts back into the cupboard. I realised my female relatives are going to have a wonderful Christmas, but the males are going to be very light on with gifts. I'm glad I did this as now I have changed tack as to what needs to go into the cupboard.
    The linen cupboard, laudnry and the bathroom cupboard were cleaned out. Very little is being thrown out or given to charity. The old linens have been cut up, some for hankies and some for workshop rags.
    Mondays last job, was to change the lounge into it's winter attire. I put a rug on the tiles and changed some of the cushion covers. Its definitely cooler now(days getting up to mid 20's and nights down to low teens), and the rug on the tiles is quite cozy.
    The rest of the week has seen an enforced slow down. I've been crocheting and sewing when I felt well enough to do it.
    Annabel we've had rain! Glorious! This weekend there is all sorts of weather warnings. We will sit here and be fine whatever is thrown at us. Our well stocked pantry and gennies will keep us going. Any rain is so thankfully received.
    Life is good.

    1. Dear Jane,
      A review of the present cupboard is a really good idea. I am going to mention that in a coming post thanks to you. I tend to do the same... loads of presents for women and less for men. I think I better have a mens ideas post too.
      It was also a good idea to put the baby gifts in their own spot. That is an exciting project too!
      I hope you are feeling better and so glad you are able to sew or crochet as that certainly makes it less frustrating when on enforced rest.
      So glad about the rain. We have had good rain and really the last couple of years have been very dry... so this is most welcome. It makes a world of difference. The farm was so green. As it turns out if the weather is rainy or rough and you are inside crocheting this is kind of good timing!
      Have a lovely weekend! Many thanks Jane, love

  4. The tops you made for Harper are so cute! I especially love the girly fox. Just and idea ... a few small white beads sewn around her neck would make a cute pearl necklace. It came to mind after seeing your wonderful op shop necklaces. Great find on the mushrooms and shoes. Also, your Mom's baking looks delicious!

    1. Dear Sharla, Thank you! You think just like Chloe! Chloe said to give the fox pearls! It is a lovely idea.
      Mum has an Aga country style stove and it keeps the kitchen warm through winter. Something good is always cooking! Have a good weekend Sharla, Love

  5. Dear Annabel,
    Your cakes look delicious and the blanket is gorgeous. Your mother does beautiful work, also.
    This week we focused on the yard the first three days, then yesterday, I ran some shopping errands that were necessary. Today was a kitchen day, so I grated four pounds of cheese and put them in Pyrex glass containers to freeze. The two pounds of Colby Jack and the two pounds of medium Cheddar netted 17 two cup Pyrex containers. It is always less expensive to buy the blocks (especially at Sam's Club or on sale elsewhere) and grate them rather than buying grated cheese.
    Actually, the more work one does at home in the kitchen the more savings. All prepared items, in the grocery store, are a lot more expensive.
    We saved $39.00 this week on garden items that were on sale for Memorial Day. I had a few summer clothing items that were needed and I saved $86.86 on those. We, also, saved on some of the groceries we bought this week by using coupons and shopping sales.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda,
      Thank you! Well done on grating all that cheese. It is much cheaper to buy the blocks here also.
      The garden must be coming along now. It will be beautiful when all planted. And very productive!
      I am very fond of pyrex! It is lovely and we have another one called Corningware that I like too. I watch for these all the time.
      It has been a good week! Many thanks Glenda, love

  6. Dear Annabel, what a beautiful post today, a bit of everything. I am so pleased you had a lovely time at the farm and Happy Birthday to your dad.
    I haven't commented for awhile because I now have Carpal tunnel and typing is at times painful , I have been reading and wanted to say how much I loved Kelsey's post . What a brilliant idea and it has inspired me to think about something like that for my place or my gifts or for my stockpile. I could ask my Dad to build me a box style seat which would give me more storage and more seating. Thanks again Kelsey.
    I love the fact that you were able to find your favourite shoes in size and colour for a fraction of retail price, great shopping Annabel.
    This week I have saved money by, : receiving free pressure cleaning of my front concrete patio and ramp , a must for rainy weather as it gets slippery .
    I exchanged meat and veg from my fridge and freezer for 7 meals made by my mum including slow cooker beef casserole, meatball bake, curried chicken and roast chicken dinner as well as some containers of pumpkin soup ( about 6 individual serves. My parents and I are working together so I do not have to cook much as I am not up to it at the moment, it works for us because my Dad cleans up for mum and helps her sometimes.
    I decluttered a box of beads that was given to me and have kept some and will be donating some.
    I spent a night at mum and dads and was treated to my favourite meal which I helped make and apple crumble with two portions to come home.
    My clothesline was fixed for free , making it easier for my cent a care ladies and myself, no more broken line.
    My front gate was badly broken and that too was fixed for free
    I made 4 simple cards using what I had here.
    I received free medical care from my doctor and free follow up treatment for my hurt knee.
    A good week in all. Thanks again for another excellent post Annabel, so glad you had a great week. Have a good weekend. Love Barb W.

    1. Dear Barb, Thank you so much!
      Thank you also for commenting on Kelseys post.
      What beautiful meals from your Mum! What a help that is.
      Free medical treatment is a real blessing. I read all the time of our US friends and others who say they are paying off medical bills. To have no medical costs plus good healthcare is something I increasingly am grateful for. We pay insurance but overall it is quite reasonable compared to what many have to pay. It is also a blessing to have a good Doctor that you know and trust. That is priceless.
      Sorry I am slow on my replies Barb. I am catching up! Hope you are warm and safe as it is a rough weekend! With lots of love,

  7. Gee that is a great week Annabel. Lots of great op shop purchases and massive savings. Love love the ducklings. they are so gorgeous. Liked the story of the two ducks that were hand reared by the children and became pets like dogs, was it Jane who said that? The pink baby rug is sublime, delicious and beautiful. I can imagine a little baby lying on that with one of your mum's hats on. The baking looks very delicious also and i love the baby wear you have made for Harper. Have fun babysitting. Also have a great weekend, looks like plenty of rain here for the weekend. Fi xx

    1. Dear Fiona, Thank you! Then you will like this story... my Nan kept ducks and chooks. One day she saw some duck eggs were hatching and she picked one up to look at it closely. Then the house phone rang and without thinking she rushed towards the house to answer the phone but still with the egg in her hand. Well she dropped it! She would have been horrified. Anyway she tried to rescue it and lo and behold it hatched and the duckling was ok and she looked after it. That duck loved her! It thought she was its Mother and was a wonderful pet! So it was a big story "the day Nan dropped the egg and it hatched!"
      I think you will be having a soaking weekend. Yesterday was nice, to today is raining solidly! Staying in, watching footie and crocheting! With lots of love,

  8. Your week looks like it was just lovely Annabel! I am about to go and look up a recipe for Black Forest cake now! The crochet you and your mum have done is really gorgeous. And those mushrooms - what a great bonus from your trip away.

    I've learnt a lot about blanching vegetables to freeze them this week, and now have spinach, brocolli and beetroot in my freezer. I also made over 1kg of beetroot hummus which my kids and I are really enjoying. I baked my daughter's birthday cake, and turned the bits that were cut off into chocolate truffles. I also baked banana muffins, chocolate muffins, and chocolate chip cookies. I made some hot chocolate mix and some laundry powder as well.

    I've decided to have a separate stash of food specifically for an earthquake. I tried to combine it all and just have one general stockpile, but the reality is that the 'earthquake food' is not typically food I would buy. Much of it is packaged food that I would usually make myself, but couldn't if we lost power etc. But of course if my family sees it in the cupboard they will devour it, so I'm filling plastic tubs and keeping them away from the rest of our food. It really is intended for a major emergency, so I'm hoping to build a 'regular ' stockpile as well, and not touch this food except when it's to be replaced.

    Have a lovely weekend everyone

    1. Dear Jen, There are some fancy Black forest cake recipes. I will tell you our cheats one! Make two round chocolate cakes in your favourite recipe.
      Whip a heap of whipped cream. In a saucepan heat up a tin or two of seedless black cherries. Save out some liquid to mix with cornflour and drizzle this in to make the cherries and juice thicken up. This is your filling in the middle. Cut the bottom cake so it is flat and stack your cake, cherries, cream and then the next cake. It looks good to have cherries overflowing and it just tastes so nice! Thats it!
      Well done on the frozen veggies! I love that you turned the cake off cuts into truffles! Truffles or trifle are great from cake bits or when a cake is a broken mess... just yum.
      Very good on the emergency preparedness. Yes, it is no use having foods you cannot cook. The US department of homeland security has a good website of what to include. I was only looking at that yesterday. We keep back up cooking methods but also some foods that do not need any warming or cooking are very good. And water of course. Also obvious things such as manual can openers and some people have electric ones and they are no help just when you need them the most!
      Torches, matches, batteries, candles, first aid... over the last year and a half I have tried to work on all of this. The car.... rugs, water, first aid, shoes, torches and so on... Truly it is a very good thing to do. The official sites say that three days of food and water is basic. But I think much more. In many disasters no one comes to help for two weeks! We have had cyclones and power outages in Australia that have lasted ten days or more... no power, no money no shops no fuel... you have to manage ok at least for that length of time. Anyone not prepared is in trouble in those kind of times. It is better than money in the bank Jen, well done.
      I hope you are having a good weekend. Yesterday I was babysitting and today is pouring rain and I am staying in! I doubt I will put a toe outside! With love

  9. Hi Annabel!

    Welcome home! It's so nice to think you had some time out at the farm in the fresh country air!! There's nothing quite like it.

    It's refreshing seeing the many good things in your week. Those 'cottontails' are so cute. When I was young, we had a Golden Book called "Little Cottontail Grows Up". Your work reminds me of this!! Your banana baking looks wonderful! We've been having our bananas in custard, by my husband's request! He loves it!! That pink and cream rug is so pretty, and even frilly! It's very nice! Your op shopping really was opportunity shopping. It's so much fun sharing these things! Good on you!!!!!

    Right now, I'm considering the good things in our week here. We've got rain, and we can use plenty. My husband cleared the gutters of leaves. The house is warm, with the fire on. My husband has done the lion's share of the firewood this week. We've been enjoying being outdoors, weeding the paddock. Washing has dried - by sun or by fire. I've appreciated using homemade laundry liquid and your wool wash mix. I still love what I bought in op shops last week, and I've got a bountiful supply of tasks for the new week! Some jobs seem overwhelming, but, when I realise what has already been accomplished, I can take heart!

    I've seen a few comments relating to this post already. I love Barb's gratefulness! (Barb, I hope more answers for providing relief, from ailments, come your way. That would be really wonderful! Good on you, Barb!!)

    Anyway, Annabel, enjoy just looking at your shoes and pearls - until you're ready to wear them, that is!! I like just seeing my 'new' pink shabby chic quilt - with scalloped edges!

    Oh yes, my Dad has what is now a very thin, worn army jumper which is beyond saving! I sent him a message saying that, if he hasn't thrown it out already, to throw it my way for recycling. The rag work cogs in my head are beginning to turn! It's fun!

    With warm regards,
    Rachel Holt

    1. Thank you for your kind words Rachel, I am very fortunate really and very grateful. I am grateful to have Annabel and all of you motivating, supporting and inspiring me and particularly grateful that at my time of need health wise I am blessed with a good stockpile, gift cupboard and beautiful healthy food made by my mum. There are many people in this world worse off than me and I try to stay happy and grateful mostly. I also have a kind and understanding doctor which helps. Thanks again Rachel . Barb W.

    2. Dear Rachel, Bananas and custard! I should do that. I also love banana pancakes. I had such a windfall of bananas!
      Given the weather I am just hearing about I am glad you have the gutters done and to think of you snug inside with the fire and plenty of wood. It sounds like a very rough weekend! Bad enough here but not as bad as the eastern states and coast.
      I think rag rugs have a lot of potential. A great recycler.
      I hope you are inside knitting by the fireside as I write this! With lots of love,

  10. You had such a fun, productive week! I envy you your farm time and your nice, long visit with your family.
    Here we've done some purging to get ready for our church's huge rummage sale. The proceeds will benefit a short-term mission team that's heading out this summer.
    I made more bleach-dyed shirts, including a "Doctor Who?" themed one for my daughter to take to her Summer Studies on-campus university dual enrollment class that begins in a little over a week. I also made some gifts that I can't write about because I don't want to spoil any surprises.
    Have a lovely weekend!
    Blessings, Leigh

    1. Hi Leigh, I will have to check out your blog. I have dabbled in bleach dying and always wondered how to do stencils on them. A Doctor Who one sounds awesome! xx

    2. Dear Leigh, That is a wonderful way to declutter.. to benefit a fund raiser. It is a win/win.
      I love the bleach dyed t shirts. Sometimes I think it can be hard to find things that teenagers age group will really like and I think they would just love this! On Wednesday I will link to you as I show the t shirt picture you sent me. I hope the rummage sale is a big success. with love

  11. Love your blog!!

  12. HI Annabel, you are lucky your family have a farm it is always great to visit. your Dad would have loved that you were there for his birthday and his cake looked yummy.
    Fresh mushrooms are always a treat and the flavour is amazing.
    Harpers tops are so pretty and she will love them.
    Your op shop finds are great especially the mimco, both my Daughter in laws love anything Mimco.
    I have cooked a few extra meals to add to the freezer which will come in handy when we move, when we are too tired to cook at the end of the day and will save on takeaways. I am still crocheting of a night and making squares for Lisa's sunshine blanket and also packing slowly.
    WE are supposed to have heavy flooding rain today and tomorrow so I am prepared with torches and radio and plenty of food if it gets bad like last year,
    Hope you have a great weekend Annabel. Love Debbie xxx

    1. Dear Debbie,
      I love the farm and I know Im luck to have that "home base" for all the family. It is the centre of everything kind of.
      Extra meals ready to go will be very good when moving. Moving is full on and exhausting. I am looking forward to seeing this blanket. I had seen the design I think on pinterest before. I love the tune and when you read "you are my sunshine" it is impossible to not say it as you sing it and hear the tune! Its a big job though! But it will be beautiful and an heirloom.
      Also it is the weather for it. I am thinking you would have had cold and wet weather this weekend also. I hope not flooding though... (inserting.... I just saw the news and flooding everywhere so I hope you are safe and sound)
      Have another great week. Good luck with everything to do with getting ready to move. With much love,

  13. Dear Annabel,

    What a great week you had! That Black Forest Cake looks divine...but my jaw dropped at that display of mushrooms! Wow! I've never been mushrooming, but I do love to eat them! All the crochet and the embroidered tops are just gorgeous.

    This week I continued to declutter so that I could clean properly!!! I ended up selling $240 worth of "clutter", which I call positive reinforcement, for sure. I made mozzarella and then made lasagne for supper, fixing up an extra one for the freezer (for which I felt very proud for thinking that far ahead! :) I was definitely channeling you and your bulk cooking, Annabel!). I also made "egg cheese", which fries up really nicely as a substitute for paneer, which we ate tonight. I froze up the first batches of rhubarb. Planned out the garden (making sure I've rotated crops accordingly and have companion plants in adjacent rows, etc.) and got 2 rows of potatoes planted...things have still been a little wet, so we haven't been able to get much in so far. Sold 3 doz. eggs and a loaf of bread. Helped my girl study for her Learner's License which she passed today!

    Looking forward to getting some peas and other crops in the ground over the next couple of days before it rains again, and to sitting down tonight with my knitting and a bowl of popcorn for family movie night!

    Have a great weekend!

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Hi Jen!

      It's really nice to see and hear of skills that are levels above where I'm currently at! This includes Annabel's soft, beautiful crochet and your cheese making. It's like you are speaking 'double Dutch'! All this encourages me to stretch and learn; it is really wonderful in its inspiration!! Thank you!!

      My husband encourages me to take an interest in dairy goats, saying the young ones are so cute, and they have such a sense of humour - with their butting antics! My interest, however, is in - wait for it!! - dairy sheep!! I know, this seems strange, yet it wasn't always this way!! Have you ever been able to compare the products of the two?

      During the week, my husband was watching the first of three 'State of Origin' football matches. I found the television so glary; it really strains the eyes! It is much nicer, I find, to knit by lamplight, even if I have once singed the wool, and even if I have not seen the dark wool creating extra turns! Oh dear!! I won't undo that now; they'll be woodsman socks!! My husband isn't a popcorn eater, but it sure is fun to have a popcorn party with the dog, who is so sporty in catching them!!

      It's been nice talking to you. I'll be trying to get the pea seeds into the ground in the next few days, too!! This is good rain!! The garden is late, but that is okay if I can establish it bit by bit and keep it going, I think!

      Rachel Holt (Queensland!)

    2. Hi Rachel,

      My cheesemaking is elementary, Rachel, don't you worry. Just when I start getting cocky, I have a batch that doesn't turn out as intended. Keeps me humble! :)

      Dairy sheep would be very interesting. We have a neighbor that used to keep them. I love so many sheep cheeses!

      Dark yarn is definitely harder to knit without an error of some sort in dimmer light, but you're right...woodsman socks are a perfect use!

      My husband isn't much of a popcorn eater, either. Our dog used to love popcorn, too, and luckily my girls love it, so we say, more for us! :)

      Interesting about your you mostly garden in your winter? Is it cooler then for most crops? Got one row of peas in today and salad stuff...parsnips, turnips, chard, carrots and beets tomorrow, I hope. And then I'm crossing my fingers the rain doesn't wash out all the seed!

      All the best, Rachel,


    3. Well, Jen, since we don't live in the Australian Snowy Mountains, and since we don't have deep winters of the northern hemisphere, some of us Aussies seem to use a bit of personal preference with regards to gardening, and need to. I know of one person who, with the previous drought, decided to plant only in autumn, whereas, normally, we can plant in autumn and spring. A wheat farmer I know grows an old strain of wheat from Canada (& Russia) which he grows through winter to, I think, avoid rust and pests ( being a certified organic farmer). Of course, we have winter crops and summer crops. Peas, for us, are a winter crop, and green beans are for spring-summer. I'll have to learn more about your climate. I suppose the sea moderates the temperature for you, yet gives cold ocean winds!! Today is bitterly cold for us, as winter sets in. The temperature is 9.3 degrees Celcius, with wind gusts up to 60 km/hr, and cold rain. We're inside, mostly! Enjoy your springtime planting! Brrrrr!!
      With warm regards, Rachel

    4. Dear Jen, Congratulations to your daughter! That is a great achievement and milestone. Andy's son also just got his.
      I am also impressed by your cheesemaking. It is wonderful.
      I like that you put extra cooking in the freezer and thought of me and my cook ups!
      Your garden will be fantastic. I have heard others say that planting is late due to late snow and just not suitable conditions. I hope you get just what you need... some sunshine and a bit of rain.
      Have a great new week. Last week was very productive and lots of good things. I felt like that here too so it was really good.
      With lots of love,

  14. I so love the needlework you do. One day...I keep promising myself I'm going to get busy with embroidery once more. And I will when I slow down a bit on other projects, lol! Just saw off grandchildren from a two day visit that felt far far longer in a good way. The not quite but almost two year old was so cute trying to act like the bigger kids. Here's what we did (because my daughter in law is a big help these days while they are staying here):

    1. Dear Terri,
      It is wonderful that your DIL is helpful. It can be hard to share a kitchen and living space. But you are doing very well and that is lovely.
      I think I am just going to say that at this time with a little one around that you are way too busy and embroidery can wait until quieter times! I need good light and can get some done in the day... then in the evening I crochet. But needles and fiddly things are hopeless with little kids around. Your turn will come though. I am enjoying it as I also had years and years break... and now suddenly here I am back to it. Like a cycle.
      Have a wonderful new week. With love and thanks,

  15. Annabel,
    What a great week you had! We went mushroom hunting the other day and came back empty handed ahh if I could only trade you peppers for mushrooms! Some of your dried ones would make a great gift in a pasta themed basket with some sauce and your dried herbs you grow. You and your Mum! Your cookings make my mouth water! And the stitching and crocheting is lovely! I finally got the peas and spinach in and one more spot I can plant if I need to. It has been hot so all laundry is hung on the line. I made faux ice cream and it is a bit sweet so I serve it with fruit to cut the sweetness. We have been working outside most of the week so not much feathering went on here this week. I love the pink and cream rug that is beautiful! P.S. Can I get out of the corner now? LOL

    1. Dear Vicky,
      Well done on all your planting. That is a big investment of time and energy but you have to do it now in the right season.... so it is feather ing your nest ultimately. It will feed the family and build up your pantry and I know you share with others also. Really growing your own like all things means you can help the extended family and others too. All wonderful.
      We have the opposite weather. Its cold and wet and windy! A lot of the country has had extreme storms etc this weekend.
      I hope the new week is going to be good! Oh yes you are out of the naughty corner now. You can have gold stars if that makes you feel better lol :)
      At my age I still appreciate gold stars!
      With lots of love,

  16. Dear Annabel,
    Your posts are always full of beauty, especially this one! Your trip to the farm sounds like a dream. I can just picture the cozy scene of your arrival with the fire going and your mum taking fresh baked goods out of the oven. Both of your baking looks delicious (I rather like the wonky icing), and your crochet is beautiful. So are Harper's little tops! I hope your dad had a happy birthday. What a blessing to get so many mushrooms!
    You had amazing finds at the op shops again! You never know what you will find, so it's always good to check even if you leave empty handed. I have found things at garage sales and when I tell people where I got them they will say, "You got THAT at a garage sale!?" I think this applies to your recent finds! You just never know.
    This was a big week for us. My husband had his job interview on Tuesday. He feels good about it, and we should know in a couple of weeks whether he gets the job.
    Thursday, we made the final payment on our house and received the deed to our property. It is filed at the courthouse, so everything thing is done. Such a good feeling!
    At the ranch, I finished deep cleaning the bedroom and bathroom that will be ours. That alone made a huge difference in appearance! Soon we will start moving our things in. This means I need to hurry up with the kitchen. So.much.stuff. lol!
    My home didn't get much feathering, I'm afraid. It has been a bit of a struggle lately to stay on top of things, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We have had a good bit of rain, though, which was greatly needed.
    I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend!
    With love, Kelsey

    1. Yay Kelsey! Congratulations on your house that is so wonderful! And I hope your husband gets that job!

    2. Hi Kelsey,
      Congratulations on paying off your house, how exciting! xx

    3. Hi Annabel,

      Sorry I haven't commented much lately or replied to your email yet. I've been in pain with a wisdom tooth and have been trying to rest and only do the minimum. After after 3 visits to the dentist in one week, I am due to have it removed on Tuesday. Funnily enough the tooth isn't hurting as much now! Thankfully we have public dental care here so I only pay a portion of the total cost and that has saved me over $200 alone this week! I am glad you had a nice break at your parents house, oh how I love the countryside. All that baking looks amazing and those mushrooms-wow! I love your embroidered animals, so cute! You found such wonderful op shop bargains too. I would much rather buy second hand, its better for the environment and our purses! Recently I bought some vintage handkerchiefs for 20c each and yesterday I found an adorable teddy bear for 50c. I added a bow and gave it to Mr 10 and he was so happy :) This week I made a few more bottles of bath salts for my stockpile and also bought the $1 Dove soaps and wrapped them up prettily which will make nice gift sets. I also had a voucher for Chemist Warehouse and filled some prescriptions there for cheaper than my local chemist, so I will now be shopping there instead. This will save us lots over a year. xx

    4. Dear Mel, I hate it when things go wrong with teeth. Sometimes they put you on antibiotics and that knocks out the pain... not sure if that is the case but am very glad it is not hurting now. tooth pain is really terrible. I hope Tuesday goes well. You will need to rest afterwards.
      You started me out he woodland creatures! I am doing a deer now...
      I am glad the dental work isn't costing you a fortune. That is such a help as these things can be very expensive!
      Will be thinking of you. I have had two teeth out and I just hate going to the dentist!
      With love,

    5. Dear Kelsey,
      You have made so much progress. Paying off your home is a huge achievement. You are taking giant steps. It is always a bit hard when between two homes but it won't be long now!
      i was thinking about your husbands interview. It is hard waiting on that too.
      We also have had greatly needed rain. I actually saw in Texas that there was flooding again but that must not be near you. I saw cattle and horses being rescued from high water they were swimming in.
      This will probably be another big week for you. Just go along steadily. Having cleaned up the bedroom and bathroom is great as they will be nice to move into and set up how you want them. You will feel much more at home.
      You are right about garage sales and op shops. you have to look. People always say to me how I get such great stuff. But I do a lot of shops. And when there I will pull out boxes and sit on the ground if necessary to go through them, ask the staff if they have what Im looking for (often turns out to be out the back) and so on. The staff often have told me people walk in and walk out and very few people sit and go through things properly... and I think that is one of the keys to success. And persistence!
      Have a good week and I hope you make lots of progress! With love

    6. Congratulations Kelsey on making the final payment on your house! That's wonderful news! I'll keep my fingers crossed (and prayers too) for your husband's job. Love, Bridge

    7. Thank you, ladies!
      Love, Kelsey

  17. Love your op shop bargains Annabel. I was very lucky myself this week too with some great op shop bargains got a cute 'bolero' style Liz Jordan jacket that will be great for work or going out, and some great name brand clothing - Hurley, Quiksilver etc for my teenage son who is fussy and growing like a weed, all $4 each. So happy, I could never afford these kind of items at retail price. Love your baking also, and your Dads black Forrest cake looks great, this is my husbands favourite cake so I will 'attempt' to make him one later this month - any tips? Lisa x

  18. Just saw that you had replied to Jen re black forest cake, so I will be copying (; Lisa. PS. This hasn't been an easy year for our family for a variety of reasons and your blog has been my 'happy place' . There have been weeks when I have felt quite discouraged and have come here to your blog and this lovely positive community and felt uplifted again. Many thanks, Lisa x

    1. Dear Lisa, Im glad you saw what I said to Jen... this is a simple way to make it and really good. It saves an excruciating long recipe that is daunting! Also there is no reason you couldn't do two chic packet mixes and then fill them. Truly they are good and think how much this would cost in a shop or restaurant! My added tip is to serve on a cake stand if you have one or an impressive plate or tray... it just adds to the oomph!
      Well done on awesome op shop finds! When the girls were teenagers we had the same thing with brands and the massive cost of them... I did pretty well with op shops back then too. What a help.
      I am very sorry this has been a hard year for your family. I hope things improve for you from here. Lisa be encouraged as whatever the circumstances are your efforts help your family so much and you make home a more safe and comforting place. This is the greatest thing!
      Thank you for telling me you read and find us all encouraging. I am glad to have you here. Have a good new week! With love


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