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, 6 September 2016

The Christmas Challenge. Show and Tell for August part 2.

Welcome to part two of the August show and tell!  Thank you again for all the emails and photos! As usual they are in no particular order and I have represented everyone.   That said, I sincerely hope I haven't missed anyone. I have been up and down a ladder this week so many times I am not sure what'Thank you all so much!s going on!
I have not been able to use every single photo but I am using as many as I can. Thank you all so much!


Maria was busy cooking. She made so many good things including Bone Broth and Herby Savoury Rolls ...

Both of these recipes came from Jes at Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth.
Also Custard Biscuits...

Yum! I used to have a biscuit recipe that used custard powered... I'm looking that up again! (in Australia we say biscuits but the US girls would say Cookies)

Plus Lasagna and also her Mum's Dutch Veggie soup (using the bone broth as a base)

Knowing Maria this is just a fraction of what she cooks as she is always feeding her family, Grand children and helping others. I love seeing cooking! It says "love" to me. 

Mel made so many gorgeous things. Amongst them she cleverly used the packaging from a gift of tool shaped chocolates to make more! The package worked as a mould! 

Very clever Mel! Also I love that this is a great male present and I thought mmm also this could work with soaps. So watch the packaging things come in!  If the shape is good it could be a mould for soap, choices, bath bombs etc.

As well she made beautiful lip balms...

And an amazing Harry Potter themed gift and this is her sons Birthday cake...

Caramel flavour! Beautiful job Mel.

Even though Rachel was in last weeks post I have to add this photo of a sun hat she made over to pretty it up for herself...

This also shows how Rachel keeps spare buttons on wire hangers! That is very clever!

Kelsey sent a photo to show what Pappa made for his Grand daughter who moved into her new home. He makes fire starters with wood and wax. Anyone with a fire will know what a nice gift this is. He also uses wood that smells good. In Australia I think we could use Eucalyptus for this effect.

I have found a box of kindling, wood supplies and pinecones all really good gifts for anyone with a fireplace in winter. 

Marian has posted beautiful knitting in previous show and tells but she can also crochet and made this beautiful rug...

She said joining it all up was the hardest bit... I agree with hat!  But it is gorgeous!

And she also made super soft baby blankets. Love the sweet fabrics! 

Marian has babies arriving in their family! Beautiful work Marian!

Jeanette has been busy. She made two lace scarves. This one is in reds, orange and burgundy and I love the lace pattern!

I really admire lace patterns. For some reason I can keep track of a crochet pattern but not a knitting one. It ends up looking like modern art! Not in a good way.
Beautiful Jeanette!

She also made an afghan in aqua and cut up a tablecloth to make kitchen towels wth crochet edgings.

She says she has nine more to go!  I love having a whole pile of towels to work on so that makes me happy to think of. We have some op shopping coming up. I am going to look for tablecloths to cut up like this. It is a very economical way to make kitchen towels, napkins etc. 

Jen in NS finished an amazing jumper. Such beautiful knitting Jen. She also made her Mum a set of napkins and embroidered them beautifully.

Also socks  (and I love the colours!) and Mitts for her husband. Jen used a WW2 pattern for gunnery/artillery mitts and her husband will be able to use them in winter to bring in the wood. Wonderful idea and mans gift! 
As usual Jen everything is just lovely. 

Janine made...boxer shorts for her husband, Cargo pants for her Grandson and a dressing gown for her little Grand daughter. How beautiful! Excellent gifts to have ready for Christmas.

Also a knitted hat for her friends husband who is having treatment for cancer. He already wears it constantly so Janine is making him another. 

Thats so kind and I am sure appreciated.

You have all been so busy and everything is beautiful. Lots of variety as usual!

So here we are in September!  It's a good time to review what we have and work out what to make next so everyone is covered.  We want to avoid a last minute mad panic in December!  Keep your eye out for little additions. I saw beautiful big rolls of wrapping  paper for $1 last week so I got a few of those. Stashing things away when you see great specials all adds up too. I am never going to run to the shops to get a card, wrapping paper, sticky tape etc.... just keep a good supply at home. That is a saver in itself.

I hope your week is going well! And I hope you are inspired by some ideas here today!
What are you working on?  Also if you have some one you cannot figure out what to make then post in comments as we will all come up with suggestions!

We have sunshine and I am working on window frames and washing windows! xxx


  1. Hi Annabel, lovely post with all those gorgeous items that everyone has made. I think of all the food pictures it was Maria's soup that spoke to me the most, it looks amazing.
    We had roast lamb for dinner last night for my partners birthday and this morning my dogs watched in horror as I gave the bone to the chooks. they were most appreciative, but I can't give my dogs cooked bones.
    I was going to say i have done no making of stuff, but I did make ice cream from a famous restaurant in Olinda's recipe and that went down a treat and I made a beautiful chocolate baked cheesecake from a recipe that belonged to an old friends' cafe in Bairnsdale. Neither of those I had made for years and they were well received. Other than that nothing new.
    Have a great week. Fi xx

    1. Dear Fiona,
      Thank you for that comment about food. I think this variety is good as there is something for everyone and we can see how beautiful it is. The biscuits spoke to me. As a gift, taken somewhere in a jar, when someone arrives... who wouldn't want to be treated by those!
      Chooks love meat! They go crazy over it! Poor dogs though!
      Your birthday dinner, icecream and cheesecake sound stunning! They would have made your evening lovely and Im so pleased about that!
      Lots of love,

    2. Thankyou Fiona for your kind remark about my soup.We had a bowl tonight before dinner. This batch had no meatballs so I mixed it with a plain veg and beef soup I had it the freezer , it made a wholesome blend on this cold wintery day.
      Your ice cream and cheesecake sound winners :-)and would have taken time to make .Well done!

    3. Fiona,
      I love ice cream! Your goodies sound really yummy!

  2. Hi Annabel!

    What a delightful show this is!

    I saw Fiona's comment about her wonderful recipes, and wondered if she might share them. I don't use an ice-cream machine, but am still curious. Nice cafe and restaurant recipes can be interesting, since our cafe/restaurant is at home!

    On to the show, .....

    Kelsey, you can now tell your Pappa that he is famous! I don't think anyone will mind if I say that his work is the highlight of the show to me. The sweetness of this gift, made by someone's Pappa, and its resourcefulness, is heartfelt. Of course, you know I love a home fire, with that being the centre for so many comforting things. I am guessing that one lights the paper cases, and this then catches the wax-wood mixture alight? Will your Pappa be able to contribute to future shows? Thank you, Kelsey!

    Ah, Maria, you New Zealanders do good work! Hearty soup, and soft herb rolls (Jes, I should look at your herb roll recipe. They could bake well with wood!) plus biscuits ..... That'll do me!
    This is really well done!

    Mel, you are so talented! Your ingenuity with those chocolates is good. My husband says this saves buying real tools! Your lip balms, in their cute, action-packed packaging, and fancy baking are dazzling!

    Marian, the joining of the crochet may have been the most challenging, but it may be the best feature! Your soft collection of colours, along with snuggly blankets, is precious! (I am on the lookout for your knitted socks now!)

    Jane, I'm popping you in here! I can't see your work, but know you belong! I am thinking of Bluey, and his upcoming surgery. I know the Eternal is a God of faithfulness/loyalty, and He is able to rescue us out of our plights. May He be Bluey's rescue.

    Jeanette, knitted lace looks lovely to me, and your pattern looks beautiful. You look to be an energetic worker, and I congratulate you on your industry!

    Jen, all of your work is always beautiful. I appreciate the old war pattern, the speckled blue yarn, and the multi-coloured yarn. Your knitting is so fine and excellent. I don't know how you do those detailed patterns and finely knitted jumpers, and I have no intention of even trying to catch up to you!! Your fine embroidery stands out, almost sparkly, against the light blue of the napkins. That is pretty!!

    Janine, your beanie is a lovely gift for someone in need. That is of high value!! Your sewing is beautifully done. I love those little cargo pants (I like lots of pockets!) and the soft dressing gown! You are doing well!!!!!

    Annabel, I guess I nearly got away with just taking photos! ..... but then it was you who inspired the bonnet-style alteration when you mentioned the Victoria Trading Company!

    There is other work I am waiting to see! (Lynette! Mel S! Barb! ..... Kelsey! Bluey's socks!)

    Thanks again, everyone!

    With warm regards,
    Rachel Holt
    P.S. For now, Vicky, just enjoy your produce! I don't think crochet vegetable peelings will wear very well!

    1. Dear Rachel, Thank you for taking the time to comment one everyones work!
      I am glad you love the Victorian Trading company. Did you know at the bottom of the page there is a free e cards site! They have lovely e cards all free to use and send! This is really helpful!
      Plus their socks! With lace edges... and many inspirations for making and styling! I get heaps of ideas there.
      I hope you are having a very good week. We had beautiful days and today is raining solidly but this is good for the garden and the farm. So will be happy about it!
      With lots of love

    2. Rachel,
      Hahaha! I don't think so either and they probably wouldn't smell that great so I promise I won't crochet vegetable peelings. I love your hat that is adorable and the way you store your buttons is fantastic!

  3. Hello Annabel,

    Well August has had some really good gifts, the ladies have all done a great job.
    The chocolate tools that Mel made look really good.The knitting by Jen and Jeanette is really nice. Janine sewing will make lovely gifts for her family.
    Your home will look so different once you have finished all of your painting, I am so looking forward to you showing us the photo's.
    Marian Russell

    1. Dear Marian,
      Thank you so much for participating and your beautiful photos!
      I finished my bedroom painting! I am so pleased as very high bay windows seemed daunting to me especially inside the windows and around screens and the glass etc but they are done! (sigh of relief)
      I hope you are having a good week and can't wait to see what you make next! Your work is beautiful Marian and it adds so much to your giving and no doubt also budget! With love

  4. Dear Annabel,
    Another beautiful show and tell. I hope you will continue this throughout the year

    So much deliciousness going on with Maria's rolls, biscuits and soup. The soup especially jumped off the page for me. I was wondering if Maria would share the recipe.

    Mel, I'm impressed with your ability to look at something, not for what it is but what it can become, like the packaging being used for candy molds. Your's son's birthday cake is amazing, as are the beautiful lip balms.

    Rachel, the sun bonnet is so beautifully decorated. Your gift of display is amazing. P.S. Thanks for introducing me to Joybillee. I spent quite a bit of time there last night. Definitely kindred spirits.

    Kelsey -- a beautiful gift from your Papa. Fire starters are so handy, and the aroma from them is always wonderful. I hope you'll share other things from him.

    Marian, beautiful rug. The white joining sets all of the colors and makes them really pop.The baby blankets look so soft and cuddly.

    Jeanette -The scarf is so pretty and the colors fabulous .Did you applique the kitchen towels? They're lovely.

    Jen, your knitting is so fine and exquisite. Vintage knitting patterns are very sought after here. Beautiful embroidery on the napkins as well.

    Janine, so kind of you to knit a cap for your friend's husband. Gifts from the heart. The cargo pants are so cute. Great job on everything.

    I'm looking forward to the next show and tell. Thank you all for sharing your beautiful work. I'm continually inspired by you all to try new things. Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie,
      Yes we will go through to Christmas and also I am hoping we do one where we spread out the years work and take a photo of the lot! Mainly because the first year I did this when I emptied the cupboard at the end of November to start allocating who gets what it covered the whole floor! I was amazed! It was kind of exciting to see this is what happens when you start in January!
      Thank you for commenting on everyones work! I have some op shopping coming up and I have silk (preferably cream) on my list plus costume jewellery with silver chain and peals... for some of the necklaces we have been talking about.
      Now I should mention I can find both vintage knitting patterns and original tortoise shell knitting needles. The country op shops still have them if you dig here in South Aust. Maybe I should buy them up? They are usually like 20c each?
      I hope you are having a good week and I can't wait to see what you make next after the baskets and quilts! With love

  5. Hi Annabel,

    What a display! I was just realizing how close it is to Christmas as I was pulling out a couple of things from the gift cupboard for September birthdays. Yikes! The gift cupboard is getting full, but I have a few holes on the list that I need to address as soon as possible.

    Everything looks so wonderful! Maria's cooking looks divine, Mel's tool chocolates are really clever and that cake!!!!, Rachel's hat has me picturing her wandering thru a field of oats or wildflowers in a long dress..., the crocheted blanket and the cute towels and all that skillful sewing, and a soft hat for someone who is ill...what amazing people there are gathered here, and how much love is represented by all these objects.

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      Yep we are running towards Christmas now. These last months always go fast I think.
      Thanks for the comments on everyones work! Thank you too for participating and showing us your beautiful work. You always have plenty to show for the month. I look forward to seeing whats next! With love

  6. Oh my goodness, I am in awe once again at everyone's creativity and talent!
    Maria, you baked goods and soup lovely yummy! I'm so glad fall is coming for us so that we can enjoy soup and biscuits again without the scorching heat outdoors.
    Mel, your molded chocolates are ingenious! I would never have thought to look at packaging as molds. Your lip balms look professionally made, like you bought them from a shop and your cake looks delicious!
    Rachel, I love your hat and the decorating you've done to it! You button holders are really clever as well. It would be so nice to know how many matching buttons you have without having to dump the entire container and sorting them.
    Kelsey, your fire starters are such a heartfelt gift! I can image the lovely smell as they are burning!
    Marian your afghan is beautiful and the joining color you used just sets all of the other colors off stunningly!
    Jen in NS, Your socks and sweater are absolutely awesome! I aspire to knit socks and sweaters some day. Your color switching (I believe this is called Fair Isle?) just boggles my mind, I think I would have my colors all knotted up together! Your mittens sure are clever and your napkins are beautiful. I bet your mom loves them!
    Janine, what fine sewing you have done and how kind that you knitted your friend a hat and are making a second one as well!
    Hi Cookie! No my towels are terrycloth material that had the bright colored pattern of flowers and grid lines already on it. I don't think this tablecloth had ever been used or washed as it's still as crisp as if it was just purchased!

    I just love the weekly sharing, I have so many ideas of things I want to try/make for gifts that I'm afraid I'm forgetting some of them already. I believe it is time to start writing things down in a notebook, a thrifty one, that I cover in beautiful cut-out photos!
    Fond Regards, Jeanette

    1. Dear Jeanette,
      I have to write things down or no matter how hard I try they are lost as there are just too many ideas to keep track of! But this is good we will never be stuck for a project to work on!
      Thank you for commenting on everyones gifts. And thank you for taking part and your beautiful photos. Everything is just lovely. I can't wait to see what you do next!
      Lots of love,

  7. Annabel, your gift giving 'show and tell' posts each month just make me happy all over! Love, love, love the inspiration, my 'want-to-do' list just keeps growing ... you have some very talented readers!

    1. Dear Patsy,
      I understand how you feel. I get a lot of photos of produce, canning, gardens, crafts and cooking. They are all a joy to see. People are up and running and doing such good things. I love that! Make hay while the sun shines! Love

  8. Ok ladies I will take one of everything who needs my address?! LOL!! All kidding aside it is so awesome to see everyone's talent.
    Mel I love that you are so clever and creative! Your chocolates turned out fantastic!

    Maria your soup looks very similar to what I can each year and I am getting ready to can and it is a favorite when I gift it. I am ready for soup season!

    Kelsey that is such a sweet gift from your Pappa!

    Marian I love all of your blankets they are so sweet.

    Jeanette gorgeous is all I can say!

    Jen your knitting and embroidery are amazing! I love the gloves!

    Janine your sewing is excellent and that is so sweet of you to make a hat for a friend with an illness I bet it feels so comfy to him!

    Jane hugs for you and your Bluey!


    1. Dear Vicky,
      Maybe you should just put up your address and see what arrives! It might work!
      Thank you for commenting on everyones creations! With lots of love

  9. Thankyou Annabel and to the lovely ladies commenting on my cooking and soup .Im a plain cook next to some, and dear mum use to say the same about her own cooking but none of us thought that , we had lots of visitors when I was growing up, for a cup of tea and baking from mum.
    We have had somewhat of an upheaval here so others things have been put aside and will will get back to those hopefully next week or week after.
    The panels on my grand daughters rug are done and I now need some alone time and clarity to start edging them , the first takes the most time then It will get easier Im sure , this is the first rug where I will edge each panel.
    Cookie- here is the recipe for my mum's Dutch vege soup.Im not sure where she got it from ,but as my dad was Dutch I expect she wanted to make something relating to his homeland.All I know is we always had it in winter.
    My mum made most meals from scratch but used the odd tin of something for more flavour and as this recipe is fairly old , Ive replaced the Heinz Tomato soup with Watties condensed Extra thick and Rich tomato soup as Ive found that gives the richness the recipe requires.
    The pot I used is about 5.5litres(5,500mls),not as big as some .If you have a much bigger pot then you might be able to fit all of the big chopped marrow bone . I asked the butcher at our local supermarket for a large marrow bone and he cut it in chunky slices so I could get half in my pot and I froze the other half for the next batch.So the ingredients are :-
    1/2 large marrow bone in chopped chunks
    2 sticks celery chopped/sliced
    2 medium onions chopped smallish(reserve a little for the meatballs)
    1 large carrot grated
    1 kg beef mince
    handful of breadcrumbs
    pepper and salt
    spaghetti or vermicelli 200gms or to liking.(I used vermicelli in above photo)
    2 tins good chunky rich tomato soup(aprox size 400gms tins)

    Simmer the marrow bones in water for 3-4 hours.I then remove the bones.
    Add the veges.
    Mix the beef mince, the small saved amount of chopped onion, pepper and salt and the breadcrumbs. Then roll into small balls like when making biscuits, and drop each into the hot soup as you roll each one .
    Add the spaghetti or vermicelli.
    Towards the end of cooking add the tins of tomato soup.
    I take about an hour from when the veges are added till I add the soup and turn off about 30 minutes later . But Im flexible about this. Depends how much time I have.
    I think the flavour improves after a day and also if Ive frozen it (in flatpacks).
    Note: in my 2nd batch I did not make the meatballs , I froze that batch and use as a base eg with other soups Ive made that are bland , so to speak.
    I like to try new recipes but we dont always like them as much so If I have a lot left over this is what works for me.Bests not to tell family though , they get funny about me doing that ;-) Enjoy!
    With Love Maria xxx
    PS Annabel have a relaxing and safe trip next week and good luck with op shop finds.
    1 egg

    1. Dear Maria,
      Thank you so much for including that recipe. I think bone broth is an extremely healthy thing and people missed out on that for a few years and now it is known how good for you it is and shops are selling it! However I think making your own is going to be far superior.
      Thank you too for all the beautiful photos! They are a testament to how you look after your family too!
      With love

  10. Maria,
    Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. I just made a huge batch of bone broth so I'm one step ahead and now all that needs doing is the other steps and into the freezer. A nice hearty soup, which we like best. Blessings. Cookie

    1. Cookie, you are on to it asp :-)
      one more note about mums soup is that every batch turned out different ie some we liked more than others and Ive found the same in the past.
      it's been years since I made it though until this batch shown above.
      So my suggestino to you is , that if your pot is much bigger than mine you may need more tomato soup ,and the ratio of marrow bones to water is a factor too.
      Towards the end you can add more water if it is too thick for you.Some of my past batches had too mach spaghetti and overtook the soup base.argh!Hence trying the vermicelli which I break up a lot when I add it. Here is comes in a small longish packet with pretty blue colour on it.
      Good luck! , Love Maria x

  11. How clever to use the packaging from chocolates as a mold! I would think that post-holiday clearance sales would be a good opportunity to look for packaging like this...?
    Blessings, Leigh

    1. Dear Leigh, I think its clever too. I want to make soaps again next year so am on the look out for lovely moulds! Studying packaging now! Hope you are settling in well! Love

  12. Everyone's creations are absolutely wonderful. Thank you all for sharing what you have been doing. Thank you, Annabel, for posting all the beautiful pictures.
    Blessings to everyone,

    1. Thank you so much Glenda for commenting on everyones work.
      I can't wait to see next month now! We are all busy and its so good to see.
      I hope your week is going well! With love

  13. This has been such an encouraging year with the gift challenge, Annabel.
    I love all the ideas I see weekly, and the roundup of your readers gifts each month.
    It's a great feeling knowing that the gift cupboard is filling up. One question, how do you stop yourself from giving the gifts early? I'm guilty of giving the gifts once they're finished - especially the things for the grandchildren.
    Looking forward to the next round,

    1. Dear Janine,
      Thank you!
      Well the truth is I give a lot away during the year. I just have to make sure I have set aside enough that christmas will also be covered and I love Christmas and special gifts so I can do that too. So its some of each. Putting away things for Christmas also builds excitement! I guess the way I do things means making a lot of gifts but thats the good thing about it you can die a lot as it isn't costing terribly much apart from time of course! I hope that helps! With love

  14. Dear Annabel,
    I am so late to the party! Sorry about that!
    As usual, everything everyone has made is fantastic! Maria's cooking looks so delicious and comforting. How loved her family must feel! (I made cheddar biscuits last night and forgot to add the cheddar. True story.)
    I am always amazed by the talent of the ladies who crochet, knit, and sew. Lovely work, ladies. Jen, I am absolutely blown away by that sweater!
    Mel, you are so crafty and clever. I will start keeping an eye out for packaging now. Your cake looks great, too, and your lip balm looks professional.
    Rachel, I love the way you made over your bonnet. It is feminine and old-fashioned, qualities I love! Thank you for your compliments regarding Papa's work. I thought about you when he made them! I passed along the comments and they made him smile. Thank you :)
    As for my work, I will have contributions for the next show and tell, so not to worry!
    I hope everyone is doing well! Thank you again for the show and tell, Annabel.
    With love, Kelsey


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