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, 12 August 2014

It's the little things.

I read a lot of blogs and websites about saving. I have noticed a lot of articles like "how to cut back when you don't think you have anything left to cut back on". 

During times like these another thought is how to give, how to give and help people when you don't have much spare cash. 

I have said before I am nervous about the kind of charities that just want your credit card details and a signature. I am nervous of charities with CEO's who make a million dollars a year. I would rather give in a direct way. Help someone in need, send goods with a family travelling to an orphanage overseas or give to an organisation I do trust.  Cutting out the middle man where possible. Now, I have no problem with any way any person is called to give. Giving is wonderful. Even if our gift never arrives where it is meant to giving is good for us. And we can be called to give in all sorts of ways and we just need to trust that it is the thing to do.

But in tough times when spending on ourselves is out and spending on others seems impossible there are still ways to give.

Opportunities just present themselves. It isn't always about money, it might be just a gift of kindness. There are a myriad of acts of charity that do not involve money at all. Visiting the sick, the lonely, encouraging a young Mother, sharing your herbs or eggs with a family, writing  letter to a lonely relative... cooking a meal for someone just home from hospital. Really we have so many ways to give to choose from there is always going to be something we can do in the season we are in. And we all know that there have been moments in our lives that someone did something kind for us. Funnily the really stand out moments that I can remember feeling so touched by kindness, things that have stayed with me, have been small things. Kind words, a heartfelt note, practical help of some kind. They probably seemed like little things but to me they were wonderful. Years later remembering the little dresses Nan's friend made for Chloe or my Dad's friend that gave me pot plants to establish my first very own garden. So kind and thoughtful. 

Today I thought about this as I have yarn and it is easy for me to make some things to help someone. I had made a rug and sent it to Sister Chris who is a Nun who used to visit us when the girls were little. She used it for charity work and wrote me a lovely letter. She remembers the girls as little kids... maybe 6 and 8 years old at most. So I decided to write her a letter and include photos of Lucy's wedding. She would barely recognise them now. But she had an impact on our lives and the girls remember Sister Chris. I enclosed a little baby rug I had crocheted as I know she would visit a lot of people and the Nuns help Mums with no home, victims of domestic violence etc and someone will be able to use a pretty little rug for a baby girl. It's what I have. So that is what I've sent. I just pray it blesses someone.

As I made up the parcel I felt it looked pretty and I know it will come as a surprise. I hope she likes it! 

It isn't big or expensive, it hardly cost me anything except my time. But I felt excited and happy to prepare this parcel and I figure you never know who might be really blessed, you just never know what might come of even the smallest thing. 

The second parcel I got ready was to a lovely lady, Kelley, who is collecting pillowcases for a hospital in Manilla, the Philippines. Having come to know Kelley I know these pillowcases will truly brighten the day of hospital patients. She is collecting until almost Christmas so if you would like to join in on a beautiful project go over to Kelleys blog and have a look...

Using some fabrics in my cupboard I whipped up some pillowcases and added braided edges. Very quick and easy. These actually cost nothing as it was using all stuff I had. And I added four purchased pillowcases with Tinker Bell and Care Bears as they were adorable and I could imagine children in hospital loving them.

If you have any suitable material maybe sew up a few pillowcases for this lovely project.

And there are so many possibilities. At every turn there are little ways to help. We don't need to feel that only grand gestures are important. Hundreds of little things add up. They are not less significant or important. 

Both my Nans were big givers. Nan Lucas made everyone fabulous cakes, knitted them jumpers (after spinning the wool) cooked everyone beautiful meals. My other Nan gave everyone eggs, fruit from the garden, cooking and flowers. Mum makes baby hats and rugs for everyone that has a baby far and wide, knitted hats for premature babies and cancer patients, jumpers and blankets for charity and endless parcels go off to help so many people. The common thread is the happiness that comes from making something to be able to give and help. 

In a world where it seems bigger is better it is really nice to remember it's the little things that count. A seemingly tiny gesture might mean the world to someone.

Don't feel you have to do grand things. Little things with love are big enough.


  1. Your gift of love looks beautiful Annabel, and I think anyone would love to receive it. You reminded me of a the gift a very kind lady at Dmil's work made for my firstborn. It was 3 knitted hats in different colours and styles, and I was so thrilled at this unexpected gift. All my 3 babies wore one or more of these hats and my first grandson also wore one. I don't think that giver will ever know how much her gift meant to me. I think she may have passed now , I will ask DMil soon, she may know. Thankyou for this reminder xx

    1. Thank you! That is exactly the kind of sweet unexpected gift that lives on and on that I mean. We just never know do we!? Thank you for sharing that will me. It encouraged me in my

  2. Annabel,

    Your post and the comments so far are spot-on. Admittedly, my heart burns in anger to see contributions people make, often sacrificially, that put the heads of charities in multi-$$ homes and riding in chauffeured vehicles. This happens here in this metropolitan city and my heart breaks for fatherless, motherless children begging on the streets.

    So, like you, we give material possessions, not money, that are either new, used or something we made ourselves. So often here, the coins I give to the sweetie pies begging at my car window are demanded by the adult leader of the syndicate. I could kick and scream! It's just wrong. I'm sorry, Annabel, but your post truly struck a cord...

    Gifts that live on, as you said, typically prove to mean more than money. Your pillowcases and the baby rugs (in America we walk on rugs on the floor; we blanket the babies :-) may seem like a small thing to you, but to the recipient of your contribution, your kind gesture will reap untold warmth and love in the heart. Your gift will indeed live on.

    An on.

    May God richly bless you is our prayer, Annabel. Can't wait to see the fruit of your sefless labors.

    Hugs and happy week to you,

    1. Dear Kelley, Well your parcel is in the air! I hope it arrives safely. I would not want to be in the shoes of anyone who effectively steals from the poor. I could be a fan of Robin Hood though I think... but not the other way around! But I see it happening all the time. But as you say there are ways we can beat this and give directly. Bless you for all you do and all your encouragement. Love

  3. Annabel, that is a very lovely post and so very true. You have made some beautiful items which I am sure will be treasured by those who receive them and I am sure that God will bless you for your generous heart.

    1. Thank you Nana Chel. Thank you for your words of encouragement. I had a sad day yesterday and I wrapped up these parcels and went to the post office today. Just doing it made me feel better. Then I got home and there were beautiful replies to this post that really made my day. We never know what a little help or gesture will mean to someone. Thank

  4. As usual Annabel you have struck a chord with me (& others by the looks of it). Your gifts are made with such love & tenderness, they always look so pretty that anyone lucky enough to receive one couldn't help but feel blessed & uplifted. It's funny how big charities always want our money but the little charities just ask for simple donations that bring warmth, food, clothing & a little bit of happiness (like the pillowslips) into peoples lives.

    To bring happiness to others is a precious gift that enriches the giver just that little bit more. You must be VERY rich indeed Annabel. :)

    Love & Hugs

    1. Dear Susan, thank you. I have been thinking about this for ages... that people who are so kind often dont think they do "anything" or that they dont do enough but they do! Im pretty sure there are miracles in small kindnesses and small "helps". I decided in the end just to do what I can in the season Im in and maybe one day I will be able to do more. (I hope) Thanks Susan, xxx

  5. Annabel, I have fundraised for charity both in a personal and professional capacity and what you say is so true. So little of that money actually filters down to the people for whom you imagine you are fundraising. I long ago decided to do as you do, and give directly. A meal, a hamper, a warm blanket, a kind word or a short visit. It takes very little to make a difference in a lonely, at-risk, or life that has changed circumstances for a little or a long while. Give what you have is so true. And if you have little, you can still give time, and sometimes that is the best of all. Mimi xxx

    1. Mimi thanks. Being disgusted with some of the "charities" could mean giving up on charity and I fear that some people may have. But it is actually lovely and a joy to give personally and I know you do. This is another example of my "fancy paying other people to do THAT for you" theory! xxx

  6. I was lucky enough to win a kilo of hand dyed wool in a facebook competition and had initially decided to knit for the grandies and nephew, but after seeing a tv segment about a policeman who made a pledge to do one random act of kindness a week for a year ( giving out vouchers in the supermarket, giving cakes to a ward that looked after his nana etc) that im going with 52 weeks 52 beanies - there are plenty of organistions that I will be about to send them too this time next year .Tv time will certainly be more productive for awhile . Thanks for reminding us of the small things we can do

    1. Thant is the loveliest idea. And congratulations on your win! I find TV time a really productive time and love it for that. Its killing two birds with one stone... If you get a chance at all I would love to see the beanies you make. I think they will be loved and appreciated. Read the first comment above... a lady was given beanies for her baby and she has never forgotten! I think you will be blessed many times over. Thank you for telling me this, I love it! xxx

  7. Such a lovely post, spoken from the heart. You are a real treasure, those are beautiful gifts :)


    1. Thank you Tania you are very kind. Today I went to the dentist and on this subject the girl in there said to me she is so depressed with the world news and things that are going one. And she is quite young. It made me think yes we need little acts of kindness even when its not to someone in need, just to someone sad! You made my day, thank


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