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, 11 April 2017

The Christmas Challenge. My projects so far for April.

After my big present cupboard clean out I could see I have a lot of work to do to fill it up!  All my wrapped soaps went in on a tray ready for gift giving.   That helped!
This month is a bit of a mess really. I have a toilet in the box in the dining room, a shower screen on the floor in the lounge room, a ripped apart bathroom and a bath in Andy's office. Anyone who has renovated knows what it is like!

I am working on a crochet rug in the evenings.  This is lovely to sit down to and add a bit to each night.  I hope to make a few rugs through the rest of Autumn and Winter. Mostly I am using up yarn I have.  I would like to make a few scarves for myself... I like the ones that are a loop or a longer loop that you twist like a figure eight.

My card supply is very low so I decided to get on to cards.  Harper's Birthday is coming up so I started on cards for children. Suddenly I need a heap of new baby cards and also cards for little ones. I like doing things in batches and I found four fairly beaten up (secondhand) Beatrix Potter books for ten dollars in total.  I love these kind of images so this was perfect!
From these I got 28 cards and 18 gift tags with a few images still to spare.  One book also had stickers which I thought I could use to decorate parcels so they were a bonus.

Harper is mad keen on cats so one of the cat ones will be her Birthday card I think.

The tags are quite large so they could also be bookmarks or labels.  

These were really lovely to make as I know all these stories so well and they are so sweet.

I made up some of each into packs to give as gifts...

And I have finished some very soft little cheesecloth/muslin washcloths with crochet edgings.  These little cloths are lovely for babies and for makeup removal. They are double thickness. I get them in Ebay for the grand price of 35cents each and free postage. Seems too good to be true but really true! 
(If you want some look on Ebay for 10x cotton facial cleansing muslin cloth towel you will see quite a few... check postage is free. I just noticed some of mine were 26 cents each as well) 

These would also look lovely with little grub roses in the corners... that might be next.

Given the prices of cards in stores this all would have cost a lot to buy. Now I have a big supply.   Next I will get on to some cards for adults.
Over Easter I am getting out the sewing machine. This will mainly be to do some alterations but I will also make up some heat packs. They make lovely gifts and we all use them so much that a fresh supply is good.

Last week there was something missing from Show and Tell!  Jane made a gift for Kelsey who is expecting a baby boy!  So I had this picture but could not show it as Kelsey didn't have it yet and I would wreck the surprise!  But now she has it so I am good to go!

This was such a lovely thing to do Jane. It is just gorgeous and perfect for our little baby Bluebird!  What stunning work and Kelsey was just so thrilled that a parcel could come all the way to her from Australia with such a kind and custom made gift! 
I had to share this as it's so beautiful! 

I hope you are having a good week.  I am off to Aldi then having a big cook up for the Easter long weekend and Easter gifts. 
Also the sun is shining and my new clothes line is up! Photos coming on Friday! xxx


  1. Dear Annabel,
    I LOVE what you have been making! Everything looks so sweet, I just adore the Beatrix Potter images you have used and the dainty edging on your washcloths. We went by the used bookstore the other day and my mission was to look for children's books for our little Bluebird. I found a treasury of Beatrix Potter stories and a Peter Rabbit counting book for just a few dollars. I won't be cutting these up, of course. :) And Harper sounds like my kind of girl with her love of kitties!
    I am glad you are able to show Jane's gift! It is even more beautiful in person and I have it hanging in the nursery, as I just love looking at it. Jane, I really cannot thank you enough. It is so special to me and I can't wait to see my precious baby in it! It is so lovely and it will become an heirloom, for sure.
    With lots of love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey, What treasures to find! I read these to my girls. They are beautiful.
      Yes I had to wait and hide this picture or wreck the surprise! I was so glad it arrived so I could share the pic!
      I was so happy about this as so many of us are friends and miles are just no obstacle at all. There are people reading who feel the same way even though they don't comment. My Mum talks about everyone like friends and if someone is missing she says "where is ...." have you heard if they are alright?
      Many many clothes I kept put away for the next baby or just to cherish. I am so glad I did that!
      It is nice to think you have fresh additions to your nursery and getting things ready for when the baby arrives! With lots of love,


  2. Hi Annabel and Jane!!

    I think "sweet" is the word for the soft, ribboned cards! The crochet edging makes the face cloths beautiful!

    Jane, I am very impressed by the crocheted cardigan you made for Kelsey's little boy. It is both soft and rugged, at the same time!! It is a delight to see!! You are wonderful at crochet!!

    With very warm regards,
    Rachel Holt

    1. Dear Rachel,
      A little edging works wonders on things. I cannot crochet anything like Jane can however! I hope your week is going well! I have lots to report on Friday! I think you will still be busy on your new batch of olives! With much love,

  3. Annabel,

    How precious of Jane to send such a priceless, handmade gift. Love from across the globe, nothing else like handmade.

    I too have been making cards using a Preston Bailey florals book I had. These were the second batch I'd made with a florals book, all inspired by you, Annabel, dear. This project yielded 35 nice, large cards. Amazing!

    For little children's or vintage books that I don't want to chop up, I make color copies onto card stock, then chop those up. I have the original book pages to use again and again.

    I will send you my notecard images to you as I just shared with them with Cookie!


    1. Dear Kelley,
      I am replying two in one ... the cards are amazing! They look like expensive gift boxed cards. Good cards here are almost $10 each let alone a set. A beautiful book is the way to get a lot of images. Op shop books even big glossy books are mostly $4 or so here usually... if they have a lot of images it is a super cheap way to make cards. I am amazed how well it works out. Yours are gorgeous as I love florals!
      Making copies is an excellent idea. Thanks for sending me the photos... they will go into April show and tell which is off to a good start already!
      I am also so pleased about your Mother doing so very well. You must be so happy. With love

  4. Annabel how lovely of Jane to make such a beautiful gift. I wish I could crochet that well. Your cards are quite beautiful as well. The little Bluebirds will love receiving them :-)

    1. Dear Nanna Chel,
      Thank you! I think you may be on to something in my plans. :)
      It is nice to have a good supply stashed as well! With love

  5. Annabel your cards are gorgeous. I love how you can make them look so professional. Mine are nice but definitely homemade.
    I loved making that little cardi for Kelsey. When I read her post telling us she was having a baby after six years of trying, I knew I had to send her some Aussie love. I had made Bluey a blanket for his Birthday in March and I had this lovely soft blue and raffia coloured Bendigo wool left. A little cardi for our little Bluebird was made.
    Kelsey I am so glad that you like it and that I got the sizing right.
    Thank you Annabel for helping keep the surprise.
    Life is good.

    1. Dear Jane, Thank you! Bendigo wool is beautiful. this only adds to the cardi being an heirloom.
      That was so kind of you and beautiful thank you Jane.
      It wasn't easy to keep quiet believe me! So I was pleased today to finally be able to share this little story as it is inspiring. There is always someone we can do something nice for. Lovely! You might be Aussie Aunty Jane. :)
      with love

    2. Jane,your wee cardy for kelsey's baby is gorgeous , you are a darling , love Maria xxx

  6. Dear Annabel,
    Your cards and gift tags are so beautiful I love them. It's amazing that you could find those clothes on eBay and at such an amazing price! I was wondering what brand of crochet thread do you use?

    Jane, you're a lady of many, many, talents. The crocheted cardigan for Kelsey's little Bluebird is absolutely beautiful.

    Wishing everyone a beautiful and creative day. It's starting to feel like Spring here! Blessings, Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie,
      I just have a collection of odds and sods of crochet cotton. The nicest I have is some vintage silk thread. this was I think DMC from ball, quite fine... as the fabric is fine. I often have food cottons in op shops so I cant say I have a particular brand that I use.
      I am glad you have spring weather. We had a beautiful autumn day today and apparently more of the same tomorrow. It was about perfect.
      Many thanks Cookie, With love

  7. Hi Annabel

    I also enjoy Beatrix Potter books and pictures. I found some books at the local op shop so I have a small collection to enjoy.
    I love the cards and the crochet edged face washers-such a clever idea.
    I was sorry to hear about Andy's job situation and have prayed for you both.
    I wonder if I could bother you to let me have the directions to making sour dough bread. As I can't eat wheat I would probably have to adapt your recipe so it would be a bit different to your beautiful breads-although you never know maybe it will still work out okay.
    Also how do you make heat packs as a few of us in my household use them and a couple of extras would be handy.


    Kerrie (

    1. Dear Kerrie,
      I am working on putting up a whole explanation of the sour dough. The starter itself "eats" bread flour but this would probably rise in other kinds of flour but I am not sure. However I will put the whole instructions up very soon and you will see if it is a help to you.
      Also I will explain the heat packs for you, they are so simple and lovely. We just love them. I will get that up in the next week or two. In the stores here i.e. he chemist they are about $30 each and I can make them for about $3 each usually.
      Thank you very much for your kind words and prayers about Andys job. We are doing ok and he has had a couple small design jibs come in and is keeping really busy on various projects we have here.. which if we had to pay someone to do would be expensive. So we are using any free time for things like this. Thanks so much! With love

  8. Oh I think I am on sweetness overload! What an incredible gift, to send something so beautiful so far away! And Annabel, your cards are lovely. Today's post has just made me smile and smile!

    1. Dear Sarah, Thank you! I was smiling too. We can put some joy in the world and think on nice things! I hope your week is going well! With love,

  9. Your cards are just lovely!

  10. Awww, I love your sweet cards, Annabel! I, too, love Beatrix Potter and still have several of the little books that I read to my children. Enid Blyton is a favorite childhood author of mine. We lived in England when I was 6-10 years old and I was (still am) a voracious reader. My mom and dad bought me the books from a little bookshop in our village and they made my imagination run wild with thoughts of fairies, toadstool rings in the forest, and magic! Your little washcloths are adorable as well! I cannot remember if I sent you photos of the baby shoes that I crocheted for a dear friend at work or not. Let me know and I will send them along to share with everyone.

    Jane, what a wonderful, kind gift to Kelsey for her new baby boy! Your sweater is just adorable!

    My little female Chihuahua was grabbed by a coyote last night when we made our last trek out of the evening! This is the second time she has been caught by one in the last 3 years. She only weighs about 10 pounds, but she thinks she's the size of a giant. I am taking her to vet this afternoon to make sure everything is okay. She has several puncture wounds, but thankfully they did not rip into her. She's a timid baby and now she doesn't even want to go outside in the daylight to do her business. I am kicking myself because I always go outdoors with them in the dark (with the porch lights on), but last night I was having some vertigo, so I checked to make sure the coast was clear, but sadly, one of the coyotes must have come up from the long grass and got her.

    I hope everyone is having a good week.

    Fondly, Jeanette

    1. Dear Jeanette,I had to read your post twice , I do hope your wee dog is okay , poor darling . Take care and Happy Easter , Love Maria xxx

    2. Dear Jeanette,
      Oh my goodness. I had a chihuahua when I was a teenager called Gidget. When I moved away to university she went to live with my Nanna. She lived to 22 years. I am horrified and cant even imagine a Coyote and that she survived. I can tell you an Australian version of this... I know someone out picking up wood with their int little dog and a Wedge tailed Eagle picked him up and flew away with him! But the dog must have made a terrible lot of noise and the Eagle dropped him! And he survived! Can you imagine that!?
      Jeanette we loved Enid Blyton as well! I read all of those!
      Have a very happy Easter. And a lovely weekend! With lots of love

    3. Thank you Maria and Annabel, Sassy is mending quite well! As I thought, she does indeed have 6 puncture wounds, but the vet shaved her fur and cleaned them even better than I could. She had a total body x-ray to ensure no bones were broken (they aren't, thank goodness!), and they gave us some antibiotics, some pain pills, and some anti-inflammatory/antibacterial cream to put on the wounds. She is willing to go outdoors to do her business if we walk close to her and we are taking her out to the side yard as opposed to the backyard and that seems to help her fear. She's still stiff and sore, and going down stairs only one at a time instead of her usual bounding down them, but it appears that both she and I were very fortunate and she is going to be just fine! I will never let my dogs outdoors again without my being right there with them. I'm so very sorry this time that I let them go alone.

      Happy Easter everyone!


  11. Dear Annabel,
    The Beatrix Potter cards and tags made my day. Everytime I see one of her drawings I smile. Your crocheted edgings are lovely.
    Jane, what a beautiful gift for Kelsey's baby. I love the hood on the sweater.
    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda,
      Thank you! We have always loved Beatrix Potter. We also love Winnie the Pooh. I still have them all as my little library. I used many of these images as embroidery designs over the years.
      Have a very Happy Easter Glenda! With love

  12. Annabel, Your cards are so beautiful!!!! I made some Easter cards this week to send to my family. I used my grand daughter's (Amelia) foot print to make into a chick! They came out cute and I know my family will enjoy a little gift from Amelia! I sewed an Easter basket for Amelia out of fabrics that we used for her baby shower! I also crocheted some new dish clothes for my daughter for Easter while we were camping this weekend. It was so relaxing!

    You and Andy have been on my mind and in my prayers!

    1. Dear Holley, I love how you made the Easter cards! Well done!
      The Easter basket sounds lovely too. Your weekend sounds like it was beautiful. Don't you love that crochet is so portable and you can do it anywhere? Small projects are great like that.
      Thanks you so much... we are doing well, with love

  13. Annabel,
    Oh, my goodness! These are adorable! I am sending you an email. You have to see the craft I just made. I think it will make you smile. I was debating on if it was good enough to send for the Christmas challenge, then I read this post. All I can say, is 'Wow!' I think you have been sending out Bluebird telepathic messages! Lol!

    1. Dear Anne, Thank you so much for the picture! I love what you made and will show the girls in Show and Tell. Such a lovely idea.
      Little old books are a wonderful source of images with all kinds of potential! I already have all of these which I wouldnt cut up as my library of little kids books as well.
      Have a very happy Easter, with love,

  14. Jane,
    I got all excited when I first saw the post and responded before I slowed down to really read. The cardigan you made is so beautiful! You have such talent, and such a giving spirit to go with it!

    Congratulations! I'm so excited for your family! Babies are such a blessing!


  15. Annabel these Beatrix Potter pretties are gorgeousness overload! And Jane what a lovely thing to do. Kelseys little darling is going to look a picture in that tiny cardi. I am away at the beach and card making is happening here too. I am so far behind on gift making this year but with your ever gentle example, I am getting back on track. Thankyou. Love, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi, Enjoy your break! And your card making! That sounds lovely. You have been busy with costs and headpieces, it is a lot of work. Cards are so many to have an abundance of. Soak up the sun! with love

  16. Dear Annabel, I just love your cards and gift tags !I was on my phone when I read this so couldnt see the detail I can see now on my laptop.The pale blue is lovely on the crochet edge.
    We may be in for some rough weather coming from the north, I have the candles and torch out before I got to bed soon.If we are lucky it may pass over ,our house is up high and bedrooms top level so we can get some good shakes at times not just of the earthquake kind.
    Tomorrow my 2 grandchildren are coming for and Easter treasure hunt as they cant come Sunday.And then we will have lunch.They are so excited.It will be inside because of the weather .
    Have a lovely Easter everyone!
    Love Maria xxx

    1. Take Care Maria and enjoy your day with the grandchildren
      Aly xxx

    2. Hi Annabel

      What a great deal of work you have been doing. Such gorgeous cards and gift tags you have done.

      I have to comment on such a wonderful gift that Jane sent to Kelsey. I am sure it will get lots of use as it is just a stunning cardigan.

      Jane your work is superb, you are so talented

      Wishing everyone a Happy Easter

      DD6 and I are off to make hot cross buns, decorate the house and do some Easter crafts whilst we wait for Dad to come home from work this afternoon

      Aly xxx

  17. Dear Annabel,

    Your cards are absolutely stunning...and they look marvellous en masse! I love that Jane made Kelsey a cardi...what a thoughtful gesture, and so beautiful, too! I got some Easter p.j.'s made...and even on the sly (which is NOT easy with two teenagers), and have been crocheting potholders like there's no tomorrow from a lovely book I borrowed from the library. Blocking the pieces today for a sweater I've knit for myself...I've been slowly working on it since October, and even after blocking there will be plenty of finishing work, but at least I'm at this stage! :)

    It is sunny, pillows are sunning on the line, beef stock is simmering on the stove, yogurt is fermenting on the counter, sourdough is rising on the table, the goats are slated outside for some sun and a few nibbles of tender green grass, and the hubby has 5 days off for Easter before he begins his new job next Tuesday...all is lovely and right!

    Lots of love and Happy Easter to you and everyone here!

    Love, Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen, I love all the activity and productivity you describe! That is such happiness to me! I hope your husband loves his new job!
      I want to see this sweater! And I love the Easter Pyjamas! Beautiful presents!
      Have a wonderful Easter Jen! With love


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