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, 2 May 2017

The Christmas Challenge. Show and Tell for April, part 2.

We have a lot of photos this week! Everyone has been so busy and achieved so much in April!
This is making me think seriously about my goals for May. This is my time of year that I can really get some knitting and crochet done.

Jen in NS knitted tiny socks and I took the photo myself as she sent these for Scarlett!

They are really exquisite. Thanks so much Jen. The colours are just beautiful but it is the tiny sized stitches that really get me!

Jen also sewed PJ's for her daughters using sheets! Since we have been talking about how handy sheets are as a source of fabric this is a perfect example. Love the pink roses! Perfect! 

Maria crocheted a dress for her Grand daughter. Oh my goodness I love this!

She is trying to assure me it was easy and I could do this.  I really don't think I could but I would love to learn! It gives me ambitions! In my opinion this is a future heirloom Maria. 

Barb has been card making, using her nifty machine that cuts out designs...

What a handy machine!  I can imagine having a lot of fun with something like this! Well done Barb!

Mimi made the most beautiful tea towels. (Kitchen towels)  These look so stylish.

She regularly makes amazing birthday cakes.  You can check out her blog A Tray of Bliss (the link is on my side bar) as Mimi has so many craft ideas and is very inspiring.

She also made nighties (nightdresses) and made the very good point that having nice things on hand is a very good idea. I agree, after Mum went into hospital earlier this year and I packed a hospital bag twice... you need things to take unexpectedly and you need them now!  A few spare, fresh and lovely things is a really good plus some to wear every day as well!

Jane knitted her daughters rugby loving boyfriend a scarf and hat as a present. He loved it. (helped by the fact Jane made sure this was his team no doubt!)

And a gorgeous crochet bunny rug... I love this beautiful pattern.

Beautiful work Jane! This is stunning!

Janine B made up little Mothers Day gifts for her daughter's school fundraiser. These would sell like hot cakes.  Janine was going to make more for her present cupboard as well.  I love the flowers in the packaging!
Also Janine is teaching her young daughter to machine sew.  They were re making towels into hand towels and face washers.  I love this!  Sewing is such a good skill to have and I thought I was very grown up when I could sew on the machine.  I loved it! And it stared me off to a life time of sewing.

Jeanette is well ahead... she finished a rug made for her son for Christmas. It is in peacock blues.

Beautiful colours. This is a wonderful gift and warm!  So much work in this! 

Cookie finished her fusion quilt. I have been waiting to see this as it is a combination of fabric and crochet.

It is just gorgeous.   I love it Cookie!

Then she painted up a canister ...

This is before!  Yes, just an ordinary coffee tin.  Baby formula tins would work too! 

Stunning Cookie!  I love this as you are turning ordinary things that might go into the bin into amazingly useful and lovely things!

Jen in NZ finished a cross stitch for her friends new baby. This is the third baby and third cross stitch Jen has stitched them. How totally gorgeous...

Also she knows two other new babies arriving and made these for the nurseries (apparently she had some strong hints thrown her way!)

Very, very clever Jen! 

And she made a little handbag for her daughter!  So sweet!  

I am thinking I could do something like this as Harper is just into handbags.... 

Thank you all so much for all the photos and letters!  It has been wonderful to see what you have been making and what a variety.   
I hope everyone found inspiration and ideas from seeing each others work. 

Now we better get busy and see what we can add to our gift cupboards for May. 

I hope your week is going well!  We have some sunshine today after a few days of rain so the sheets will be on the line! 

There is a very good book currently free on Amazon as an E book.  You don't have to have a Kindle to download e books.... I used to think you had to buy a Kindle.  Kindle is an app you can download for free so I have it on my iPad.... this means I can collect free ebooks.
A Cabin Full of Food  is one I already have and it is excellent.  Check the price before you download it but as I write it is free!  I would normally mention this on a Monday but it might be gone by then!

See you on Friday! xxx


  1. Annabel, what beautiful work everyone has done! Those little socks are just too cute and I love the pj's sewn out of old sheets! What creativity! Great work everyone!

    1. Thanks for encouraging everyone Patsy! A very good selection for April! I better lift my game for May! With love

  2. Absolutely every item inspires me....such beautiful work. I, too, love the jammys made with sheets. Would Jane be able to share the pattern she used in the bunny rug? Thanks for sharing everyone's accomplishments, Annabel xo

    1. Mary the pattern is the 'viral blanket' off you tube. It is really easy to do and to follow.

    2. Thank you Mary.... and thank you Jane... I was going to ask the same thing. Also I find I can learn from you tube much easier than trying to read a pattern so I will give this a go! xxx

    3. Thanks Jane and Annabel :). off to YouTube.....

  3. Lovely gifts made with love. Thanks Blue birdies. So many great ideas and talented folk. Love it.

    1. Dear Janine,
      Thank you for taking part! I think it is wonderful you are teaching your daughter sewing. Tell her that if she makes something else this month I will feature it (if she would think being featured on an Aussie blog is cool... lol) with love Annabel xxx

  4. Dear Annabel and beautiful bluebirds,
    Wow how creative and talented you all are :
    Jen in NS those teeny tiny socks are just beautiful and the Pjs are so pretty.
    Maria that little pink dress is gorgeous , I am sure it will be perfect for your granddaughter
    mimi , your tea towels and the blue and white checkered nightie
    looks lovely.
    Jane , I am guessing your daughters boyfriend barracks for the Brisbane Broncos ?, they are my favourite team also . The work that has gone into the scarf and hat and also the bunny rug is amazing.
    Janine the Mother's Day gifts look great , what an excellent idea.
    Jeanette , your rug is exquisite, beautiful work.
    Cookie , your fusion Quilt Is genuinely beautiful , you are very talented . I also love your painted tin / canister, such detailed and lovely painting.
    Jen from NZ , your cross stitch is so sweet and the animals and handbag are so lovely .
    Thank you for sharing your work everyone and Annabel thank you for showing my card. Everyone is extremely good at their crafts .ni cannot wait to see next months photos.
    Love Barb W.

    1. Dear Annabel and bluebirds, I re read my comment and I just wanted to apologise to mimi , I was sure I had commented on your beautiful cake but I didn't . So I wanted to tell you how pretty the flower adorned cake looks , it's gorgeous. Once again everyone's work is just stunning. Love Barb W.

    2. Dear Barb, Thank you so much for taking part! Your machine sounds like really good fun and very useful. Thank you as well for encouraging everyone! With love

  5. I look forward to these Show and Tell posts. I love seeing what everyone is up to. So many wonderful ideas and so many talented people in this wonderful group. Looking forward to seeing what you get up to Miss Annabel.

    1. Dear Jane,
      Thanks for taking part so much with great photos. You are always busy and its not just crafts but cooking too. Also you mix up sewing and crochet and other things. I like a bit of variety myself.
      I am glad you mentioned where to find the crochet pattern, thanks for that. With love

  6. Girls!!!! Everyone's photos are a-MAZ-ing!!! Love x 18!!!!!


    1. Thanks Kelley! They sure are. Today I went tot he yarn store for some supplies thinking I better get things lined up for May. Currently I have been on a use it up challenge and I realised I have really used up all my left overs... It has cooled right down here so just right for crochet and wool. With love Annabel.xxxx

  7. Ladies, what wonderful gifts you have made. I would love to have any one of those items.
    I have a nightie cut out from an old cotton sheet, but never thought to make pj's for the grand children. Guess what is on my next op/thrift shopping list.
    My gift cupboard is woefully empty, I really need to get going on building it up.

    1. Dear Margaret,
      I am glad you found an idea that you can use here. I hope you have good luck at the op shop. It is funny how op shopping works... sometimes nothing then sometimes a fantastic haul!!
      My best way to build up the gift cupboard is to make several of everything the I can or make a spare. Sooner or later these things always seem to come in handy. Things in actual batches i.e. soaps or hankies etc give it an instant lift. But we are not mid year yet so there is still lots of time! With love,

  8. I LOVE all your projects ladies! Very inspiring! Also, the Cabin Full of Food has been a favorite over here lately too! P.S. Thanks for the mention of "Strangers and Pilgrims" this week on your post. Very kind :)

    1. Dear Jes, I have found that book really good. I am noticing that any books that include a lot about not wasting food are very "in" both from a money saving point of view and reducing waste point of view. Prices seem to be going up everywhere. I am still hoping for a food scraps cook book! I think it would be a winner! :) I am loving your preparedness series and basically everything you post! With love


  9. Hi Annabel and Beautiful Bluebirds!!

    Phew!! The work shown here is of incredible quality and beauty!!

    Jen from New Zealand, your daughter's little handbag is sweetly bright and cheerful, and how fun to have lovely animals pushing their heads through your walls!! Feeding chicks, and blowing bubbles - precious times!!

    I love how you make life beautiful, Cookie!! Your painting is still practical and lovely, at the same time, reminding us of the beauty in life as we go about our daily work! I love your fusion quilt! It would add such a gentle prettiness to a room.

    Jeanette, your crochet looks really woolly and warm!! I don't know how you've done it, yet the colours and pattern work really well, and your son will love the comfort it brings! What a marathon effort!!

    Janine B, you are very cluey to come up with your sweet, practical gifts, and to package them so well! Yes, we'll be looking out for your daughter's sewing!! What fun this could be for her!!

    You've crocheted such a beautiful bunny rug, Jane! You are excellent in this!! Also, you've made someone happy with your Broncos knitting!!

    Mimi, I'd love to see more on how you made that nightie! It's lovely! Your cake of roses is very cheerful -- and sweet!! Ha ha!! In an op shop, I saw a set of two cake tins designed for constructing a giant patty cake! Well, that was no good for camp oven baking! I love, too, how you tied that wider bow on your tea towel! You're so stylish!

    Barb, are you sure you're not some kind of engineer in the making? The way your machine makes these cut-outs is wonderful! The "Thank you" is so exquisitely pretty! I've not seen this before, so thank YOU, Barb!!

    Okay, Maria, I am confident that you have the rugged New Zealander qualities that can overcome any obstacles in teaching Annabel how to crochet this beautiful little dress! Annabel, I shall look forward to seeing your version on the Show, sometime -- go for it!! (From the 'Blog secretary')

    Jen from Nova Scotia, I had imagined your sewing to be beautiful, and it is!! The top at the top is my favourite!! I am just trying to imagine just how tiny your knitting stitches are in those tiny socks -- how beautiful!

    Thank you, Bluebirds!!

    Rachel Holt

    1. Dear Rachel,
      Thank you for your kind words to everyone! I admire fine stitching too. I was telling Jen about a lady who used to use bicycle spokes for knitting needles. Her husband would put a bead on one end and sharpen the other end. She knitted exquisite dolls clothes and I would add a tiny grub rose!
      Yesterday I got myself some lovely wool! More chunky though! It is the weather for it now!
      I hope you are having a very good week! With love

  10. Dear Annabel and Bluebirds.

    All of your work and creativity is absolutely stunning! The rhino and giraffe are just the cutest! Everyone's crocheting has inspired me to learn more. Barb you make the loveliest cards. Mimi the cake is just gorgeous. An incredible skill to have. Bluebirds, you are amazing! Blessings Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie,
      Thank you for sharing your photos! What a good month you had! Now I will be looking forward to seeing the next projects especially knowing some of what you are up to! Thanks so much! Love

  11. Dear Annabel,everyone's work if just wonderful!
    Ive been using up my supplies too .My grand daughter's dress was using yarn from the rug I made her. I have two other smallish projects now in the making one for day one for evening.
    Jen's baby socks are lovely in those soft rainbow colours.And the pjs for her girls are so pretty and fresh looking.
    Barb's machine cutout cards are unique.
    Mimi has been very industrious with her trendy teatowels, sweet nightie and gorgeous flower cake.
    Jane did a great job on the striped scarf and hat,I bet that lad was thrilled.The bunny rug pattern and colours I love!
    Janine B's lovely fundraiser idea with hanky and flower.
    Jeanette's vibrant blues rug Im sure her son will love.
    Cookie's fusion quilt is so sweet and soft looking , and her can painting , well she should be selling it now methinks.
    Jen in NZ's cross stitch bunnies are very sweet and so clever to make the soft animal heads, as well as the cute purse for her daughter.
    IM newly inspired by everyone's work and yours Annabel.
    Thankyou all! Love Maria xxx

    1. Dear Maria, Thank you for sharing your photo! I really think the dress is just gorgeous. You have really inspired me and now I am wondering what you will make next!
      We have the right weather for knitting and crochet! I have things lined up to do next to where I sit at night!
      Hope your week is going well, with love

    2. Hi Maria, gorgeous dress! Is the pattern available online?


  12. I am absolutely gobsmacked at the array of gifts shown...what beauty, creativity and love!

    Maria, that dress is simply stunning. I agree with is an heirloom!

    Barb...that is a very nifty device you've got for cut outs...lots of fun for cards! I love the peacock.

    Mimi, your tea towels look divine, and I love the top of that nightie! I need to make myself some p.j.'s, now that I've done some for the girls...your nightie looks like the perfect thing for the warmer nights we're starting to have!

    Jane, I'm glad your hat and scarf were a big hit! That blanket is absolutely gorgeous, both in color and pattern!!

    Janine, you were busy...such a lovely display!

    Jeanette, that blanket is beautiful...and you are miles ahead, having it finished for Christmas already!

    Cookie, that quilt is gorgeous! That might be a kind of quilting that I could wrap my head around...I bet that would be right up Annabel's alley...thinking of it as a whole bunch of hankies with attached edges!!

    Jen in NZ...your cross-stitching is divine, and I love your faux animal mounts!! Ultra cute!

    This makes me want to hurry with my chores today to get on to creative pursuits!!!!!!!!!!!!

    P.S. The best part about those little socks is the pointy toes...and the fact that I have the rest of the skein made up into socks for myself, so Scarlett and I are matching! :)

    Lots of love, Jen in NS

    1. Jen,
      The PJs for your girls are just beautiful. I was wondering if you used a pattern? And if so could you share which one? Blessings, Cookie

    2. Hi Cookie,

      Thanks for the compliments. I put together a few patterns...the shirt with the eyelet sleeves is a version of Butterick B4685 (without a side slit at the hem as I wanted to use the edging of the sheet), the shirt with the peach colored sleeves is pattern Simplicity 8523, and the shorts are from a McCall's p.j. pattern # 2476. Hope that helps! Jen.

  13. ALL of these are the most beautiful gifts I've ever seen!!! You ALL should start an Etsy shop of your own!!!!!

  14. Hi Annabel

    What clever ladies. Such beautiful craft work.
    They will make lovely gifts.


  15. I love everything. What talented readers you have. I have been waiting to see that fusion quilt. It is beautiful.

  16. Oh. My. Goodness. Such beautiful and cute gifts everyone has made! I went from picture to picture, exclaiming at each one. Well done, Bluebirds!

  17. What creative women, everything looks beautiful. Love the nighties. I have a fair amount of health issues and end up in the hospital at least once a month and have added velcro to one sleeve so that I can wear something pretty while there and after seeing the nightgowns with ties at the shoulder, it was a huge ah ha moment. Great idea! Off to my sheet closet and my sewing machine, can't wait to make some night gowns. to keep ready for my next trip to the hospital.

  18. This is a very beautiful post Annabel! Those socks are just lovely, what a lovely gift to receive in the letterbox! Such beautiful crochet and knitting, that's very much what I want to be doing at the moment, but I must continue to get some other projects done with supplies I already have. To date I have spent $3.60 this year on thread I ran out of during the cross stitch. Apart from that everything has been made with what I have. And I could certainly make plenty more!

    I'm inspired by the sewing, I haven't had the machine out since we moved. Think it's time :)

    Cookie, your canister makeover is amazing!

    Barb, those cut outs are so detailed, what an excellent tool for your card making.

    Thanks for the lovely comments, that cross stitch took a while and I didn't always enjoy it but I am very pleased with the end result. The other projects were nice quick finishes to give me a boost!

    Thanks Annabel, these posts must be a lot of work to put together. They are lovely to read and look at :)

    Jen in NZ

  19. So many pretty things!!! I just love the night gowns. I wonder where I could find a very simple night gown pattern?

  20. Ladies, you are all so talented. I am green with envy and want to have a go at making everything!

  21. I ran out of time! Thank you to everyone for all the kind comments and for encouraging all the girls who shared their work. Lets have a very productive May! Don't forget that stocking up on papers, tape, ribbons, making some cards or tags etc is all adding to you gift cupboard! xxx

  22. I love that someone used the term "gobsmacked" to describe their reaction to this wonderfully creative group of things. Ditto. I was blown away. They are SPECTACULAR!!!
    Nice work!

    Debby in KS

  23. Oh my goodness. I've been so busy. I thought I'd commented, but I haven't. Better late than never! Thankyou to everyone who said lovely things about my projects. I have to say I always feel a bit of an amateur amongst the company here, but I keep learning. For those who asked about the nightgown, look for Pillowcase Nightgown on Google or Pinterest. Mine is just that. Two wide rectangles, about double the width you want for your finished nightgown, with an armhole shape (well half a one actually) cut out at the sides. Then you just stitch the sides, hem, and zigzag or overlock the armhole edges. You can now just stitch a channel at the top front and back and thread ribbon or bias binding through, gathering the nightgown front and back. I thought the pintucking was a little more elegant and 'finished', and really pintucking is just a series of pleats, pinned into place and stitched. There is nothing hard about them at all. I was lucky enough to find bias tape that matched the colour of my gingham exactly, so all I had to do there, was cut lengths and stitch to my necklines. I'll try to do a blog post on it shortly, but that's it in a nutshell. They are not hard at all, and the choice of fabric, and little things like the pintucks and bias ties, really make them a bit more special. Thankyou as always to everyone for the inspiration, and thankyou to Annabel for showing my pretties. Love, Mimi xxx


I really appreciate your comments thank you! The aim of my blog is the be a place of encouragement and happiness. Very rarely is anyone rude. Actually only twice so far! If you post a rude or aggressive comment I will read it but not publish it, thanks for

Spam is never published... if you are advertising a product or selling website your comment wont be published. I am inundated with stuff about drugs, horses and weird things! I am not going to publish this stuff! Thank you.