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, 9 August 2016

The Christmas Challenge. Show and Tell for July, Part 2.

Thank you to everyone who commented on last weeks Show and Tell. This week continues on in the same way... lots of beautiful things that everyone has been making!

Firstly Marian....

Marian knitted a little girls jumper and she also made a girls scarf. Lovely!

Plus she made knitted washcloths and used a beautiful printed band for presentation.

I think this looks fantastic.
And also an apron which she paired with a cookbook. The cookbook she got on special and I notice the colours go with with the apron too! What a beautiful gift.

Patti made a heavenly title girls Tutu. She also made a matching headband. This looks like fairy floss and so pretty! 

Janine made her first socks! She sends thanks to all the ladies here who encouraged her and offered advice. It worked!  Her Mum was a sock knitter and left all her needles and yarn to Janine so she has had the supplies.

Plus she loved it and already gave some to her brother who was thrilled with them.

Janine, I think you should be very proud as you have done a beautiful job! 

Vicky (in between harvesting and canning!) is working on a beautiful crochet rug. I love the colour!

Jane made made Bluey a bathroom bag for when they re travelling. She made a loop on it to go over the door in an effort to try and stop him from leaving it behind!

Also a gorgeous baby rug and hat...

And a table runner for her table....

She also made cork coaster and a trivet from corks she was given. And her daughter has been painting old pots and potting up flowers.  I love this as we all have old pots that we could make over.

That was a big month! All beautiful!

Jeanette worked crochet edgings on tablecloths and a pillowcase for her daughter.

I love the idea of working an edge around a table cloth! 
She also made a quilt using her son's fraternity t shirts. I think this is amazing and another idea for boys!

Jeanette that is fabulous!

Mel C is working on a child's quiet book. 
These are her winter pages...

This is an idea I would love to copy. I thought of the old Fuzzy Felts we had which were felt shapes you arranged on a board.... I loved those too!

She also made crafts with her son and the sweetest skirt for herself...

I love the print and the shape of this skirt!

Mel also made  Dandelion Balm, massage oil and has Vanilla extract started...

It is beautiful watching this infuse and get darker and darker until is smells divine.
You did a lot this month Mel, well done.

Roseanne finished another kitchen towel from her cut up table cloth. She crochets her edge then sews it on. 

I am working on crochet edgings again as I have finished my last rug for a while. Thank you Rosanne for telling me this different way of doing it!

Thank you everyone for all the lovely photos! I have more than I used as I just couldn't fit them all in but thank you! Thank you too for all the encouraging comments both here and on Vicky's garden and canning. Encouraging each other and building each other up is a big thing.  It takes courage to show what you have been making in public and to give as gifts. These days it even takes courage to say you are a homemaker, live by your faith or save money etc. The world can be very critical and try to tear you down! 
When that happens you need to have your feet firmly planted on solid ground.  I have written before about getting told I was wasting my time bringing up my own children, keeping home, making my own gifts, cooking etc. This week Andy was told it is "not appropriate" to be a Christian in todays modern world. Happily he has his feet on solid ground and was more amazed than discouraged. 

So I am going to end with my motto for all things homemaking! 
I hope you are having a wonderful week! Keep working away on your wares and your nest! xxx


  1. Beautiful projects! When Christmas comes or a gift is needed what great things the recipient will receive. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Dear Annabel,

    Thanks so much for sharing. I really loved reading those Proverbs too. I have been told I am wasting my time with all the things I make because I am a 37 year old woman who likes to sip tea, plant a garden and craft! I have been told I act like a 60 year old? I live a quiet, slow and purposeful life and my husband and I are happy. So that's all that matters to me. If you go against the grain, you definitely cop criticism! Which is why I love blogging so much :D

    Janine, those socks are just amazing and look so professional with the label!
    Vicky, I don't know how you find the time, but that crochet rug is lovely!
    Jeanette your crochet edging is so pretty and that quilt is wonderful! I'd love to make something like that one day.
    Jane, you've made so much! I really like the travel bag what a great idea. That crochet rug and hat is adorable and the table runner too. I love the look of patchwork.
    Patti, the tutu is so cute!
    Marian, you are so talented with your knitting!
    Well done ladies, I can't wait to see what everyone has been up to next month! xx

    1. Dear Mel, Well you're a pretty cool 60 year old lol! I think what you do is awesome and your blog is beautiful as well. So keep going against the grain! The grain is overrated!
      I hope a baed base turns up for you. That would complete all your effort with the beds.
      Thanks so much for commenting on everyones work and thank you for sharing yours. Everything is beautiful and your gift cupboard must be looking very healthy! With love,

    2. Dear Annabel,
      Thank you. There have been lots of free bases but most are snapped up really quick! I'll keep looking! The gift cupboard is getting very full! xx

  3. I am totally in love with this blog Miss Annabel. I share more here than I do with my family and friends, as I know I won't be put down for the way I choose to live my life. The diversity of skills amazes me and also challenges me to do better. I believe in life long learning, and I learn so much from your posts Annabel as well as from the comments of the readers.
    The work on display is truly wonderful. What little girl wouldn't love to snuggle up in Marian's jumper, or prance around in Patti's tutu. Bluey has put in an order for me to make socks after seeing the ones Janine has made. I can knit and it looks like I am going to have to challenge myself in this area. Mel's vanilla extract looks delicious and Roseanne's tea towel edgings are gorgeous. How the heck does Vicky manage to fit so much into the same 24 hours that I have in a day?
    I'm pleased to report that we have been travelling for almost two weeks and Bluey still has his bathroom bag. He no longer has the plastic soap holder, soap or his original toothbrush. Tomorrow we will purchase some spares as the spares are now in his bag. A bunny rug I crocheted last March is a favourite of my DIL's for wrapping up our Tilly Bear. It is so lovely to see my beautiful little girl wrapped up in Granny love. Life is good.

    1. Jane I really love the baby blanket. Did you use a pattern you found online? I recently knit a blanket on the diagonal (much plainer than yours!) and wow the second half is fun! I have not tried one with crochet, but am feeling ready to move on from granny stripes.

    2. Dear Jane,
      Thank you! That is a beautiful thing to say. I went off and told Andy what you said about sharing more here than with family and friends! That means a lot to me. The two of you do so much, work so hard and are very creative. And you help your family and neighbours. Just amazing. I appreciate all your comments and support and participation so much!
      Beats me how Vicky does it! It is a lot. Since this she has sent me update and has done an amazing amount!
      It must be beautiful to see your rug in use around your little Granddaughter!
      Much love to you Jane,

    3. Jen the bunny rug is a c2c (corner to corner) pattern that I picked up on YouTube. It's super easy, using chain and treble stitch. I have used this on baby bunny rugs and also on a Queen size blanket I made for my son.

  4. You do know, Jane, that the days are longer in Vicky's world - with summer and all!! It will all be reversed soon enough!
    Would you like me to cheer you on with your sock knitting, too?!! It's all a lot of fun!!
    Keep warm down there! I'm pleased that Bluey still has his bathroom bag!
    Regards, Rachel Holt

  5. Annabel, what can I say ... everything you've said just speaks to my heart in such a big way and the 'eye candy' just feels me with motivation to get busy. I think I'll just go back and drool over the pictures again and bask in the knowledge that I'm not the only one who considers her role as a homemaker important. Thank you for this timely post!

    1. Dear Patsy,
      Thank you. I appreciate that. The gift of encouragement works both ways here. There is a lot of peace and happiness and working on our crafts and being content. It is all connected. I love it! With thanks Patsy, love Annabel.xx

  6. Annabel, what a strange thing for someone to say to Andy. Unbelievable! I made my granddaughters a quiet book when they were little. Since then there have been many more ideas put on the internet and you just have to type in 'Quiet Books' into Pinterest to see what I mean. They are a lovely gift for children.

    1. Dear Nanna Chel,
      There is a lot of opposition these days. But Andy won't be discouraged or take any notice. I think possibly it makes you stand even firmer!
      I will follow your advice as I want to make either the quiet books or the shapes on the board version. I think they are lovely! And maybe an interesting way to use up all kinds of odds and ends too. With love

  7. Dear Annabel,
    Seeing everyone's exceptionally beautiful work on Wednesday mornings has become a special treat for me that starts my day A creative mind is just one of the many beautiful gifts we receive from our creator. The beauty and quality of everything that has been presented far exceeds anything that could be purchased from outside sources.
    I echo Jane in her first paragraph. She says it so well. But not only that, it is the sharing found here of the women from different corners of the world of the important values that sadly many in this world have forgotten. I love that you posted Proverbs 31.
    Blessings to all. Cookie

    1. Hi Cookie!
      I had a good look at the site Susies-scraps, and found some useful and beautiful fabric scrap projects. What's more, it is an Australian site, with some lovely recipes, and an old, blue wood stove!
      With warm regards,
      Rachel Holt

    2. Dear Cookie, Thank you so much! I love too that we are a group spread far and wide and yes so much in common. And the talent and variety of what we all make it wonderful! Thank you for commenting on everyones work. Encouragement is a great thing. With love Annabel.xxxx

  8. Hi Annabel!

    It's comment time again!

    Marian, your handiwork is so tastefully put together (even that rooster on the apron pocket is matched to the fabric beneath it!). I love gifts that are both practical and beautiful, and I see this in your work. Enjoy your giving!!

    Patti, what would we do without pretty things?!! - especially with a bit of pink! It's nice that you have contributed in these categories!!

    Janine, I am delighted to see your hand knitted socks! It has been lovely to hear of your family story, and your enjoyment, in this area. The socks are well presented, and a luxury, really!!

    Vicky, your crochet is lovely! The colour is delicate, and the pattern so sweet! You are excelling, and it's nice to see!! You're not doing this to make your new pantry pretty, I hope!!!!!

    Jane, Bluey's bathroom bag looks like just the thing, and it is proving to be a success! Isn't it so satisfying when a family member really benefits from something you've made!! You are industrious, and I hope your current crochet, while away, brings you peace and relaxation. The name 'Tilly Bear' for Matilda makes me smile. Enjoy your good things!!

    Jeanette, you've done well to put that quilt together! It looks both colourful and rugged! Someone looks to have had fun holding it up to be photographed, too!! It's a great idea, and your crochet edging reminds me that this is supposed to be a crochet club of sorts!
    Enjoy your crochet!!

    Mel, I really like that you do homely things! You are rich in that you have a husband and children, and it is of amazing value that you are home for them. As a parcel deliverer once said, it can be difficult to make home parcel deliveries since most people nowadays are AWAY paying off their home! To be able to visit someone for a cup of tea may have once seemed normal, but is now quite special!! (That vanilla looks wonderful!!)

    Roseanne, good on you for holding up the crochet fort! You are clever in making your edgings like a braid first. Isn't recycling/repurposing fabric enjoyable!!

    Annabel, the downwards changes in society are disappointing. More and more, we are called to be "in the world, but not of the world". We are called out of Babylon, and are to be set apart as the people of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Our homes are, indeed, havens. It's wonderful that some still have their feet on the ground!!

    With warm regards,
    Rachel Holt

    1. Dear Rachel,
      Thankyou so much. I have done the whole working mum thing, It was hard and I missed my kids. I've now spent the last 4 years at home and truly love it. I remember one sitting and chatting with bunch of mums. They were all working and studying and were talking about how they felt "trapped" at home with the kids and how studying or being at work completes them. I was the odd one out! I value my role in the home and it adds more value to my life than paid work ever could. xx

    2. Dear Rachel,
      I'm so glad you enjoyed the site. I love seeing all the things she comes up with and have marked a few recipes to try. I'm a hopeless scrapaholic and delight in turning what some view as nothing into a valuable something. The bowls are so much fun to make. I'm a compulsive fabric string saver so that there's always something around to make baskets out of. I'm also in love with the fact that when making quilts from scraps there's never any need to worry about color, all that's required is contrast, so anything and everything can be used to make something beautiful. Blessings. Cookie

    3. Dear Rachel,
      Thank you for commenting one everyones work!
      Also your thoughts at thee end hit the nail on the head for me. Babylon about sums up what I am seeing sometimes in the media etc. I am so glad for friends who think like you do.
      I love what you said further up about Vicky and her time. I think that might be true!
      I hope you are having a great week. Its almost Friday already! With love and thanks,

  9. Dear Annabel,

    I have to be short and sweet as I cut my thumb badly yesterday and so am one-handed to type! Everything is wonderful! Love the socks, Janine! Love that owl hat! Love the little girl's sweater! Love the t-shirt quilt! Love that skirt! Love it all!

    Forced rest today, as I can't scrape paint or weed very well...will spend time with my girl today as she sews a very ambitious "renaissance" dress out of the 2nd project she's sewn. :)

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      One handed typing is not the easiest! I hope your thumb is ok, that sounds bad. Keep it clean and no dirt!
      Satin is not the easiest to sew with left alone with a complicated pattern so that dress sounds like a challenge! I hope it goes well!
      Thank you for commenting even though you were disadvantaged! With love

  10. I can honestly say that theses posts have had a positive impact on my yarn stash! Every time I see more projects I feel inspired to make something else. I ordered some yarn online a couple of years ago, and it turned out that the company had run out of one of the colours. So they sent me two replacement packs of ten balls in another colour ( I had ordered a ten pack). Then a year later they also sent me a ten pack of the original colour! So I have a ridiculous amount of this yarn. Unfortunately I don't really like working with the yarn! But I am determined to get through it before buying anything else. So seeing everyone's projects is wonderful inspiration.

    I am also in total awe of the quilts being made, this is absolutely something I want to try. I have a couple of bags of beautiful scraps from friends that I want to make I-spy quilts with. But at the moment I am loving knitting and crocheting and reducing the crazy amount of yarn so I figure best to stick with that plan!

    BTW Mel, I am told I'm a nana often, I'm mid-thirties. And I whole-heartedly agree when people say it lol.

    thanks everyone for sharing the beautiful projects

    1. Dear Jen,
      I'm glad I'm not the only one! Not to long ago, I was invited out to a pub with a friend via FB. I openly declined, saying pubs weren't my thing and that I'd rather stay home with a cuppa and sewing. I'd rather be honest, than lie! Well my teens were mortified as I apparently had just openly broadcasted my official status as a Nanna! LoL x

    2. Dear Jen, I am glad this is having a good effect on your ideas and yarn stash. It was amazing to get all that extra wool because of the colour change. Well that was a bonus but I can see you will be glad to use it up too! But think of the gifts!
      It would be wonderful to try quilting especially if you have scraps. I feel summer is good for fabric and sewing and winter is good for knitting and crochet... at least to some extent. That gives a bit of variation too.
      Mel Chloe makes jam and knits etc and comes under the same category! Many people say YOU MAKE JAM! as if its some kind of miracle. She turned 30 his year. I am so glad she loves these things. She is just working on a much bigger pantry, imagine my happiness! lol
      Many thanks Jen. With love

  11. Oh such beautiful handwork! Everything is so gorgeous it inspires me to get more creative! But some of us can only create simple things but it is inspiring!!!

    1. Thank you! Simple is beautiful. I am so glad you feel inspired. Don't worry about things being perfect just enjoy making and creating and giving! xxxx

  12. Thank you for sharing from Proverbs 31. I love the encouragement you give us and am thankful for you and the others who share similar values.

    The handiwork is beautiful! I have a tablecloth in the same pattern as the one Roseanne used for her towels. I nearly donated it, but couldn't quite part with it 😀. I have been considering making a table runner or placemats, and now may make towels, also.

    I hope everyone is enjoying a good week!
    Love from Arizona,

    1. Elaine,
      That would be lovely! All matching.

    2. Dear Elaine,
      I am glad you kept that tablecloth! It has many possibilities!
      Thank you so much for comment. I am glad you enjoy the ideas and Proverbs. I love it. I have loved it for years. When the girls were little I kept Proverbs 31 on my fridge. I need to get it up somewhere I can see it every day again!
      Thanks so much Elaine, With love

  13. I love looking at all the gifts every one is making and I will have to get with it soon. Annabelle I also loved the verses!

    1. Thank you Vickie! I would love to see what you make. You are probably so busy on your garden now! xxx

  14. Everything is just lovely. but, I especially want to comment on that apron. As an individual who sews, Marian did a fantastic job of matching the pattern on the pocket of the apron to the pattern on the body of the apron. That could not have been easy. Well done!!!

    1. Dear Nancy,
      That is really observant. I noticed how the colours and the book coordinated so well. The sewing looks beautiful. Thank you for saying this as it would be lovely for Marian to see.
      With love

  15. Hello Annabel,
    I would just like to comment as others have done, that this blog is by far the best that I read and that I enjoy reading it every week.
    Once again the ladies have done a wonderful job with all of their gifts, I love the socks that Janine has made and I think that I would like to have a go at them.
    Its a shame that society has to be so critical and negative if people don't fit into the way they see that society should be. People these days tend to judged people far to quickly.

    Once again THANK YOU to all of the ladies, and especially to you Annabel its so good to see what each of us have made.
    Marian Russell

    1. Dear Marian,
      Thanks so much for taking part and sharing what you made. Each month you make a lot! And a variety! And now it sounds like socks might be next!
      Truly, your work is beautiful and I know you are a busy lady too. Your present cupboard will be looking wonderful. Keep up the great work it is a joy to see! Many thanks Marian, with love

  16. Dear Annabel,
    I love that you ended this post with Proverbs 31. I think the lovely things each lady has created is a good illustration of one of the many ways we can exercise our unique and individual talents within the realm of home. Such beauty!
    Once again, I am very impressed with the knitting. When the weather cools, I want to pick it up again. Well done to Janine on the socks and Marian on the jumper.
    I also like Jane's table runner. I have the supplies for that and the pots!
    Thank you for sharing, everyone. Annabel, I join the others in saying how much I appreciate your blog and the encouragement shared here by everyone. Thank you for taking the time to post each week and reply to all our comments, and also for not being afraid to share your Christian faith in a time when we meet with increasing opposition.
    With lots of love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey,
      Knitting is a lovely winter thing. Its a wonder you have had time for any crafts with moving and setting up again. But winter should give you time to get back into knitting and many things.
      Thanks so much for your words! I really appreciate them. With lots of love

  17. As soon as our lawn and garden need less attention (I'm typing fast to get out to water both before the excessive heat becomes... excessive), my thoughts will turn to preparing items for Christmas. SO looking forward to cooler weather here in the Midwest of the USA.

    1. Dear Brenda, I understand this... in winter I get far more crafts done than in summer. We are outside more in summer except for the real heat when I will stay in and sew or something. But overall winter is my biggest craft time. For us this is nearly over! With love

  18. Beautiful work! Thank you for sharing and inspiring us, ladies!

    1. Thanks for encouraging every Leslie! xxx

  19. Thank you all, my son loves his quilt and both my daughters love all of the tablecloths and pillowcases I have made for them. One suggestion, if anyone makes a t-shirt quilt is to be sure to buy fusible interfacing and iron that on the back of the t-shirt material, this will prevent a lot of the stretching that happens with that type of material. I backed this quilt with fleece so it is very warm!

    Roseanne, I love your towels! I bought a terry tablecloth at an auction which I am going to cut into kitchen towels and crochet edging on directly. My two daughters will get some of these for Christmas gifts.

    I am working on a knitted lace scarf right now that is giving me fits, but I've already made one, so I'm going to stick with this one until it's finished. I'm also nearly finished with a gorgeous aqua blue color crochet blanket. I'm not certain who will receive this gift, but I think it will be under the tree this year as well! Knitting socks is going to be a winter project for me this year, I've always wanted to make a pair and all of your lovely socks here are tempting me!

    Hubby and I bought an antique wooden bed at a garage sale that has a headboard and footboard. I have seen on Pinterest where they cut the footboard in two and one piece goes on each side of the headboard to make a bench. Hopefully we get this done soon, right now it's much too hot to be hanging out in the garage!

    Thank you all so much for letting me participate in your group. Everyone is so kind and supportive of one another and I absolutely love to follow along! Jeanette

    1. Dear Jeanette,
      Thanks for clarifying with that other comment. I thought it was you but Im careful as I have made mistakes before!
      Also thanks for adding the tip about the interfacing. I thought of the stretch factor and how that would work. this will be a big help to the ladies who want to make quilts like this.
      The wooden baed sounds beautiful! There would be a lot of possibilities with that!
      Your projects really interest me especially the lace scarf! I hope we get to see these in a future show and tell! Thanks so much for taking part I really appreciate it and love your work and ideas! With love

  20. Mariam the jumper is beautiful. The packaging on the wash clothes is wonderful and the apron and the cookbook wow!Janine
    the socks are just amazing. how wonderful this is your first try.Vicky you get so much done. Lovely blanket and it will surely be treasured. jane I love the bag you made for Bluey and it seems to be working. The Baby blanket and table runner just so many lovely things. Jeanett I love the
    edging and so many possibilities with this and the Quilt such a good idea. Mel I love the little quiet book andand the cute skirt. The vanilla will certainly make some people
    happy. Roseann the kitchen towel is great and I am going to use this idea for some project I have in mind. The ladies are all so cleaver and it is really nice to share here. So much talent and so much love for our homes it is very encouraging. Annabel thank for this lovely place to share
    and posting Proverbs 31. I was encouraged this week. One of my daughters friends is selling all their household items and moving back home to Sweden. She told me that a baby blanket I made years prior will be carried on the plane as
    not to lose it going when their clothes are shipped back home. I just want to encourage all the ladies you really are creating heirlooms and special treasure.
    Have a blessed week.

    1. Dear Patti,
      Thank you so much for commenting on everyones work! And for sharing how much that blanket was appreciated! Your daughters friend must really love it! That shows how special it is to her. I really agree. I think we underestimate that factor. Thanks so much Patti, with love

  21. Thank you Annabel for showing my socks - I'm so thankful for all the encouragement and help given here with links to tutorials etc. Without this help, I doubt I would have attempted the knitting.
    All the projects are just so inspiring. I have kept DD's t-shirts from her annual dance contests as a child, so seeing Jeanette's quilt has given me something else to add to the list of to do's.
    Thank you,

    1. Dear Janine, Im so pleased! thank you for sharing your pictures! I think you have encouraged some more sock knitters too! With love


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