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 9 September 2014

Planning for Christmas and my new E book!

I love Christmas and I love gift giving and all the celebrations that go with it. For many years I planned to make all my own Christmas presents and often made some, but I never really managed to make that many! Until the last two years when I finally did it! I made almost all my presents for Christmas and for Birthdays as well. I even has spares!

My friend Helen adores Christmas as much as any person I ever knew! She is probably planning her decorations as we speak. She makes it gorgeous and so special. But she has it right, she would not go into debt doing all this.

There is a lot of pressure on everyone financially and socially. Gifts can be part of that and people feel they need to participate in a level of gift giving that they know is going to leave them in debt come the New Year.

You know there really are ways around it. And ways to still give beautiful and thoughtful gifts for very little actual money.

One fo the keys is to start now. We all do the same thing... if it is the last minute we will buy and pay anything as there just is no time to do better! I have felt that sick feeling before.

I have written my first e book! I am really passionate that anyone can make all their gifts. And that if you have children they can be involved and they will love it. You do not have to be crafty. You do not have to be a good cook. There are ways for all of us whatever our talents might be.

Starting now (or earlier) there is time to make so many beautiful things. Part of that is snooping and knowing what the people you are going to give to like, need and love. 

The e book takes you through a process that has you making things that are easy for you and matching them to gifts suited to those you are giving to. They will be things you never even thought of but you will be so proud of!

My book is available on my blog front page or via my store on Facebook. I really hope it saves people so much money. That is the aim. We do not need to spend a fortune to have a beautiful Christmas. Think of the other things we could be doing with that money. Paying of debt, a family holiday, an emergency fund that could be a saviour in the future. Security is so much easier to live with than debt!

Over winter I've been working on projects to give and now coming up is some cooking I do. In October I always do fruit cakes. I do them then as by December they taste divine, as they "mature".  The week before Christmas I usually make coconut ice, shortbread and a few extra things. They are all I do near Christmas.

One trick is to make big quantities of these things for extra gifts. So I do a little production line.

Pretty packaging/presentation is part of things being "gift worthy" My coconut ice every year is something I would get complaints about if I didn't make it!

Last year we needed gifts for young girls. I made lolly kebabs which cost about $1 each. They were a great success...

I think lots about wrapping and packaging. I use lace from curtains (buy op shop lace curtains and wash them up and dye them) or tulle... as both are much much cheaper than ribbons and bows purchased from the store. Tulle cut into strips makes fabulous bows very cheaply.

If you want to save money this year make a little plan. Really you can save so much money and have the loveliest Christmas ever. Just a little planning is a saviour.

Christmas is also a hard time for many. It is a better time for us if we do something beautiful for someone that we don't even know or know from a distance enough to know this is a difficult time for them. Make a few extra things or a hamper and be ready. This will add joy to your Christmas in volumes.

This Christmas can be your best Christmas ever. The things that we loved as children are clues about what kids love and remember. I asked my girls last year what were the things they loved the most. Chloe said eating supper under the Christmas tree with the twinkly lights and her pillow was one of her favourite things. You see what I mean? Creating memories is really what it is about. She doesn't remember the gift that year but she remembers how much she loved that!

Today I am off to Spotlight for a few little things that allow me to keep working on gifts tonight. Ohhh I am so excited!


  1. Thankyou Annabel, it looks lovely and inspiring. Ive just downloaded and printed . We need a new print roll so all the photos have come out more pink than anything :-)
    Love Maria xx

    1. Thanks Maria. With your crochet abilities you have the basis for so many lovely gifts, I have seen some of what you have done! Gorgeous! xxx

  2. I am excited to read your eBook, thank you for your beautiful blog.

    1. Thank you very much! I truly hope some of my ideas save you money and stress this

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Thank you for sharing so early in the year leaving enough time for planning. You definitely have an art in display....particularly love the fact it is kept in mind with peoples budget! Hoping to see a seasonal series!

  5. Annabel, thanks so much for all the wonderful ideas presented in your e-book! We have gumnuts fall in our yard from the neighbors tree all the time! Instead of thinking what a nuisance for clean up, they will start getting put to good use! *winks*

    Well you have certainly given me lots of great ideas and I will begin by developing and keeping a list in a little book.

    1. Kaye gum nuts look lovely natural on brown paper with string. One year I sprayed heaps silver and used black wrapping paper and they looked spectacular. Also once sprayed I have then sprayed them with glue and sprinkled glitter over them and they make gorgeous decorations... I actually go looking for interesting gum nuts. At the farm some are shaped like bells which is even better! Yep we are surrounded by free supplies! Im so glad you like the book! 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.