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, 19 September 2017

The Christmas Challenge. Show and Tell for September, 2017.

There are Christmas decorations in the stores now!  And in October I make my Christmas cakes! So I guess I need to accept we are getting to the serious end to our Christmas Challenge.

The good news is there is still plenty of time to get heaps made, add some bargains to the stash, review what we have and what we need.  Overall we want to get to December with as much ready as we can.  The last few years I have saved so much money by not buying gifts at the most expensive time of year and by making as much as possible.  Also by watching out for major bargains during the year.   I have ended up enjoying Christmas much more and have been able to give gifts to lots of ladies at the nursing home and to someone in need.  I have even found myself ahead for the new year with spare gifts to go towards birthdays and other occasions.  A healthy gift cupboard is a great way to get ahead.

Now is also a good time to watch for the items you use in Christmas cooking and grabbing them when on great specials. My friend Kaye keeps a large tub especially for these items so they are set aside for her Christmas cooking.  This is another big money saver!  There are hamper clubs that people pay into all year. By doing this yourself with fantastic deals and buying the specific things you want you can end up with about four times the goods and value!

Now to see what you all have been making so far in September...

First of all we have Jeanette.  She crocheted an afghan for her husband.  I listened live to the Presidents speech late last night and even though I am Australian I think this is magnificent!

This is just wonderful Jeanette!

Jane has had a very busy month!  She made a mens toiletries bag...

Lotion bars and beeswax wraps...

I really want to do the beeswax wraps. You use them to wrap or cover food instead of plastic wrap and you keep re using them.  So like napkins they replace a lot of disposable items.  I think I need to ask Jane about this... 

And she has been sewing up a storm!  Her little Grand daughter is going to have the cutest wardrobe!

And a little Christmas Dress!

Jane you have achieved so much! Your Christmas cupboard is looking good!  (plus I have seen other things she is working on!)

Maria has been card making...

These are just lovely! Card making is so enjoyable and cards are expensive so this is a big savings and I think cards in packs make great gifts as well so there are multiple ways to use them.

Well done Maria especially in a month you have had a serious injury to deal with.

Rosanne made an Afghan for her DIL.  She makes each one according to the colours requested.  I don't know how many she has done so far this year but it is a lot!  

Big projects like this are possible with thinking ahead and getting started early.  People dream of making gifts and starting in December but this is already such a busy time.  The earlier we state the bigger the possibilities!

If you would like to contribute to next weeks Show and Tell please email me at or post your photos to the Bluebirds Facebook page.  We can give each other a lot of ideas! 

I am off to Aldi today. They have some amazing items that I hope to add to my cupboard that I thought are just right for my sister in law and a few others.  I hope they are not sold out!  I have all the mens presents taken care of.  Next I need to work out the girls gifts.   And I need the dried fruit for my Christmas cakes... Aldi is very good for that too. 

I hope your week is going well!  My place is almost back to normal with just a bit of unpacking to do.  I am hoping by Friday to have everything set up as I want and my kitchen to be totally re organised.  I am loving it so far! 

Thank you everyone for your contributions.  They are inspiring and beautiful to see! xxx


  1. Good morning Annabel, the crafts done are amazing. I am quite amazed at the american flag crochet - what startling work Jeanette and Jane's sewing and crafting is great too. Maria's cards are lovely, you often mention Annabel about packaging up cards as part of a gift. I have just done that with gift tags I've made. There are so many of them and I thought they would look nice in a little cellophane bag. Roseanne's blanket is beautiful too. I bet you are loving the floors all done, they look really classy. Fi xx

  2. Hi Annabel and busy Bluebirders, firstly thank you for the Aldi heads up. I went and had a look and picked up a couple of things.
    I picked up some Mr Men, Mr Awesome mens bathroom products to go in the toiletry bag shown in this post. I now have one Brothers family gifts, all sorted. I have parts of all gifts made and am accumulating bits to make the whole package. If I didn't start early in the year, I would not have the finances to be able to purchase each person a gift, come Christmas. I have a large family so an early start is a necessity. It's also a lot of fun.
    Jeanette I am in awe of your crocheted flag. It is magnificent!
    Maria flutterflies are my favourites! I love the cards. I hope that you are well and truly beating your injury.
    Rosanne your DIL is one lucky lady to have you in her life. That afghan, will be a big warm hug from you, every time she snuggles up with it.
    Thank you Annabel for hosting this. It is such a blessing to see your work showcased and to see what others are doing.

  3. Dear Annabel and Beautiful Bluebirds!!

    It is really nice getting to know the generous exhibitors!

    Jeanette, your crochet American flag will warm your husband's heart and body!! It is very nicely made!

    Jane, you are doing so well! I do think it would be lovely to have a tutorial on the beeswax wraps (I do have beeswax!), and can you wash them, too? Your sewing is wonderful! You and little Tilda are treasures for each other!

    Ahhh, Maria, your eyes are working well!! Aren't butterflies such delicate wonders of the world?! I love your lace and bling!! You've done a very nice job!!

    Rosanne, your crochet, too, is beautifully done. What a treasure that you have appreciative recipients to treasure your work!!

    This is beautiful work from the beautiful Bluebirds! Thank you!

    Rachel Holt

  4. Annabel there are instructions on my blog about how Racheal from our simple living group makes the beeswax wraps. She adds pine resin which helps to make the wraps cling. She experimented with a few different ways before she settled on this way.

    1. Chel it was your post that got me into making beeswax wraps. Now I am waiting for pine resin to try with the next lot.

  5. Dear Annabel and Bluebirds,
    What an amazing array of beautiful gifts. I love the Afghan Jeanette made for her husband! Jane, as always your sewing is incredible. It must be so much fun to have a granddaughter to see for! I've never heard of the beeswax wraps and would love to know how to make them too!

    Maria, the cards are look so elegant! Roseanne, your crocheting is lovely. You dil is one lucky lady.
    Beautiful work everyone. Blessings, Cookie

  6. Beautiful, beautiful work, everyone!! I love it all!

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Jen,
      I thought about you last weekend as there was a big WW11 reneactment here and there were lots of Canadians in attendance, as well as folks all the way from England. It was amazing as they even brought jeeps and some artillary with them. Cookie

  7. I made chocolate cake and put half in the freezer for times I need something in a hurry for the kids to have in their lunchboxes.
    What I find hard is working five days a week leaves me little time to get everything done. Housework, shopping, craft and preparedness. How do others do it?

    1. Dear Janine, I wouldnt be able to do it all. I think overtime you shop watch for amazing deals on little things to put in your gift cupboard plus an item for your preparedness and pantry. (this adds up to a lot fast) and if you sit down in the evening to watch TV have whatever you are working on always right next to where you sit. Almost all my knitting and crochet are done in this time. Housework is another matter, it seems endless! I find there are not enough hours in the day and I don't work outside the home so I doubt I could manage what you do! Time is precious and sleep is needed so there is only so much you can do with 24 hours but little bits in all areas really do add up! With love

    2. Janine I am very fortunate to be semi retired. After living and working in the corporate world for so long I find if I don't do things I go a bit stir crazy. When I was working, parenting and had a working property with my husband, crafting time was very limited.

  8. Annabel,
    What a lovely post. I feel honored to be alongside these very talented ladies.

    Jeanette, your flag afghan is absolutely beautiful, your husband will treasure it for many years to come.

    Jane, I have no idea where you find the time to do all the sewing, your Granddaughter's dresses are precious, she will look darling in them. I love the idea of the beeswax wraps, I am one that is going to have to check out how to make them.

    Maria, your cards are so beautiful, I do so hope whoever receives on treasures it and keeps it forever. Knowing the love that went into making them.

    Annabel, you surprised me with posting my afghan, what a sweet thought! It was lots of hours of work and I am hoping the recipient does like it. I am now working on the next one for 7 yr old Granddaughter. I need to get that one made so I can make the last one before Christmas. I am so behind I Christmas present making this year since the big projects take so long.

    May all have a wonderful time creating.

    Annabel, we can't wait to see all the kitchen completed. I love your new floor.

    1. Dear Rosanne, I think your work deserves to be shown! Also you are showing the power of starting early with such big projects and how much can be achieved in a year! This is very inspiring! And gifts like these will hopefully be kept forever! Thank you so much, with love

  9. Thank you ladies, as you can see, I haven't finished attaching the stars quite yet. Hubby requested that I make it 2-sided so, of course, that means 100 stars to be attached! It is slow going as I am attaching them front and back simultaneously and so far only have 9 (18) finished. I also found out yesterday that I will be having knee surgery on October 2, so I will be laying around for probably a week and then off work for another 1-2 weeks so I should be able to get quite a few gifts made for Christmas in that time! Now, to plan what I will be making!

    Jane, I would love to be your neighbor so I could beg you to teach me to sew better! I love the idea of the beeswax coverings, so I will be looking into that.

    Maria, your cards are beautiful! I'm so glad your eye is getting better as well!

    Roseanne, your afghan is so pretty! I love the stitch you used around the border, what stitch is it?


  10. Wow everyone! I am in awe of you lot!

  11. What pretty pretties! Beautiful work everyone!

  12. What wonderful talents! I love the flag Jeanette and the little clothes so cute Jane. I love the cards Maria they are so pretty and Rosanne your afghan looks very cozy!
    Keep up all of the beautiful work ladies it is such a joy to see,

  13. Lovely, lovely gifts. All recipients will be very fortunate.

  14. Everything is beautiful! My mom made me dresses like Jane's sleeveless. They were ideal for SoCalif because the weather never got terribly cold. She could add a long sleeved shirt and tights and the dress doubled for winter.

    I would love to know more about the butterflies on the cards. They look 3D.

    I'd also like to try the lotion bars and beeswax thingies!

    Nice work, everyone!!

  15. Great job everyone! I am totally in love with the flag afghan!

  16. Thank you everyone for your kind words to our participants this week! Thank you Jane, Rosanne, Jeanette and Maria! I already have some lovely entires for next week! xxx


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