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.

Saturday 13 September 2014

The best Christmas ever starts now!

This week I released my first ever ebook, How to make ALL your Christmas Presents. (It is available on the blog and on the face book page).
Thank you for all the lovely comments and letters!

Over the next few weeks I am posting all kinds of ways to continue to save money at Christmas and have the best Christmas ever.

Yes, we are starting now! Because to make your own gifts, cards and treats it will happen if we get started with a realistic amount of time to do everything!

The ebook covered a series of ways to make your presents suitable for those you are giving to, that will be fabulous and inexpensive. Also how to present things to give them that wow factor. It also covered how to choose things that suit you and your own skills. You do not have to be crafty to make all your own presents!

The savings can be incredible. Of course it all depends on what you have been spending. Taking the pressure off financially and having money instead for the emergency fund, a family holiday or pay off debt is wonderful. And Christmas need not be "less".  In fact I feel I can make lots of spare gifts and give to more people than I might otherwise be able to afford to. It makes Christmas better!

My worst scenario used to be the last minute rush. You know, when you are desperate and have no time left, and you buy something way too expensive as you simply have to get something!  It's a terrible feeling! I've avoided this in the last few years just by starting early. This one change alone is a big saving if you have tended to do that.

So lets take the pressure off financially and work wise and do a little bit each week from now on in. I take the same approach to birthdays. In our family most of the birthdays are in December and January so everything happens at once!

A few weeks ago I posted the wash cloths and cleaning cloths I was making in a bobble stitch I had found on You Tube.  Since then I have used up the smaller amounts of cotton that were left over to make dish cloths. I have always seen them in pictures on other blogs and on Pinterest and thought how sweet they looked.  For these I have used Shell Stitch which I learned also on You Tube.

The thing is for anyone who can crochet if you can do chain and double crochet you can do these stitches. Both the bobble stitch and the shell stitch are made up purely of chain and double crochets, its just the order you do them in!

If you cannot crochet but would like to learn it is really easy. You can learn and be crocheting in a day. Ask someone to show you or use You Tube and set aside half an hour to get started. Learn how to chain and then how to so single and double stitches. It just takes a little practice and is really good fun!

I have found quite a bit of cotton in op shops and if I see it I get it! Otherwise my cotton comes from Bendigo Woollen Mills. They will send you out a colour chart and they also have big sales so that is when Mum and I get our cotton. It is beautiful quality.

In the e book I talked about choosing things to make that your recipient will love. I find men the hardest.
My uncle likes natural products, things without chemicals, natural cleaning products... stuff like that. He is also big on cleaning. So I made him wash cloths and dish cloths and added natural bamboo cleaning cloths and natural soap. I know he will really like that and yay I have a male present completed!

Knowing the colour schemes of friends and family is how I work out suitable colours for gifts. My daughter Chloe has pale blues in her kitchen...

And then I have the colour schemes of my sister in laws and my Mum and various friends. So I try and make something suitable for each of them. 

Mostly I make stacks of three and tie them up with a ribbon. Some will go with other items like tea towels with crochet edges and some will go into hampers I am making up with all kinds of kitchen things in them. It all adds up and these are really quick to do. And they are great for using up left over cottons as each one is only small and contrast edges use up another left over colour!

These are some of the things I am doing but the things you might work on can be entirely different, things suited to your skills and talents, and that was what the  ebook covered.

If you would like to join in on some of the projects as we lead up to Christmas and treat it as a challenge, watch out in op shops etc for an old Christmas tree. a couple of projects are going to use old Christmas trees. I bought a new tree in a box for $4 as the box was damaged. I found this in the January sales... and I have big plans for this $4 tree. Also in the lead up to last Christmas I saw several trees in boxes thrown out on the side of the road as well as in op shops. So grab one if you see one!

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend. Today is lovely, sunny and I have a lovely day to look forward to! xxx


  1. Annabel I just love that cotton as well as the colours. They are presented so beautifully and would be a much appreciated gift.

  2. Annabel your dishcloths are gorgeous and they would definitely make lovely gifts. I watched and practiced with the video you recommended today. I have only crocheted and knitted plain dishcloths in the past, nothing quite that fancy lol!

    A question please; I have been wondering where you purchase your cotton from? We have spotlight in Whyalla, but they don't stock much variety, definitely no pretty colours. I have had a look at Bendigo Mills online and their prices seem reasonable, and I will probably buy some from them. I am just curious to know if there is anywhere in Adelaide that stocks pretty cottons?

    Thank you for your time


    1. Tania Spotlight only has a cotton blend, at the one near me at least... so Bendigo is the best I have found at the moment. Although I might go have a look at a shop near by that I know does have cottons... and Ill get back to you. Meanwhile request the Bendigo Woollen Mills colour chart it is free I think and quite helpful as it is samples of the yarns so you can feel them too. And they have sales... I will let you know next sale, my Mum tells me as that is when we order. Its significant savings. I hate to run out! Now and then I have found cotton in op shops too. xx

  3. I know it's only April Annabel, but I just wanted to say again how I love your Ebook I bought. It really does have some lovely lovely ideas in it. I've already started my Christmas ideas and have got your ebook with my "Christmas Gift List/Ideas" book. Actually can't wait to get more things thought about and organised.

    1. Thank you Fiona! This is the perfect time of year to get stuck into Christmas presents! The weather and long evenings....
      I cant wait to hear what you make! xxx

    2. the first thing so far Annabel is tea towels, I bought a really nice piece of fabric from spotlight and made three tea towels, realised after first wash that just overlocking edge and then hemming is not enough, I must overlock, hem and then turn over the edge again so there can be no fraying. I have washed and used this tea towel several times and both my son's gf and my ddil are using one each to give me feedback. It's a linen from spotlight, bought on special of course, four tea towels for six dollars. So i've made up 9 altogether, it's great having them pressed neatly and ready to go. Not sure what they will go with, I'm just happy to have started the Christmas gifts. I warned everyone that I was going to make as much as possible this year. xx


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