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.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Feather your Nest Friday, 6th March 2015.

For our first week of March we had really mild and beautiful weather. It has been lovely!

I already reported some of the things I did to build up our home on Wednesday's pantry blog.  But my pantry efforts are building up our home! They are making it more secure, making life easier if anyone is unwell or we are just really busy, as there are ready to go meals. Also I added to my first aid kits which I'm really pleased with too. Building up our pantires and preparedenss is really valueable.

Otherwsie I built up our home by organising and cleaning out my freezer. I am trying to get as many meals made and put away for when Lucy has the baby. For them and us! Now I have room and shelves ready for extra cooking. I am planning lasagnes, spaghetti bolegnase and soups to begin with.

I saved money by finishing my card making that I had started. I made two sizes. Some larger which I love to make but heaps of standard size cards so I can post them with a standard stamp.  I have a whole boxful of cards now ready for most occassions and letter writing. This will keep me going for a while! I have packed them into my card making box and it is so nice to have them.

Also I made spare "stickers". After sticking the pretend sticker on each envelope I had heaps left and have made a little tin of them. They can decorate parcels! It was the stickers I so much wanted as I loved the effect and really this was so simple. The only difference is the involvement of a glue stick! But I just love them! This saved me a whole order from Etsy and I am just as happy.

I patched some old jeans. I got paint on them and tried and tried to get it out. They are old by my favourite comfy jeans. So now they will be around home jeans. To do it I dyed a butterfly motif blue and sewed it on. So it is kind of subtle and better than a stain. They live again!

We have cracks in the bedroom walls. This happens over summer. I filled them in and it is actually an easy job and since our walls are white you cannot see it at all. No tradesman necessary.

I did a swap with Mum. I traded crochet flowers for knitting. We do these deals sometimes and it helps me with gifts and her with flowers! You can really increase the presents you make and all kinds of things around the home if you team up and share skills. I wrote about this in my ebook. Do swaps, it can be wonderful!  Next week I hopefully can post some pictures of Mum's and my collaborations too where she has knitted and I have added crochet. It is really fun too. Here are a sea of flowers I am taking to her later today...

I wanted to share that my aunt, who's garden I often feature, has a new book out. I have had several emails and letters about her last book A Fig at the Gate so she has won a few new fans here! This is her latest book that is just released. My aunt is such a reminder of my Nan who inspired me so much with her flowers, collecting, creating, sewing and beautifying!

How was your week and how did you save money and build up your home? I hope we are all coming into improving weather together!

The rest of today is going to be spent tidying up and cleaning as somehow I have too many projects out and things going on! There is a cool breeze blowing through the house and I have dinner planned. It is so good to look over the week and realise what we have done instead of only looking at all we have left to do! And to count all the blessings of the week and "see" the bigger picture.

Have a lovely weekend. xxx


  1. Loved the the rose patch. How did you sew it on? I'm new to your blog, but I have enjoyed the last couple of posts.

    1. Thank you CIndy and welcome!
      I just stitched the patch on by hand as it was almost down to the knee area and it took about two minutes with some tiny stitches. I like it too and at least I will wear these jeans lots more!
      Thank you for commenting and have a lovely weekend.xx

  2. Week started out well. did some grocery shopping Tuesday morning on way home from work. Had winter storm blow in Tuesday afternoon/evening so changed my day off work from Thursday to Wednesday. Napped most of Wednesday (guess I needed the rest), back at work tonight.
    Husband is going to hospital a week from today(Thursday) and will be at hospital/physical therapy for about 3 weeks. will have house to myself and my dog. Want to reorganize my pantry and unpack some more boxes from our move. Will be working on the documented life project pages to catch up while he is away

    1. Teresa I hope your husband gets on well with his hospital stay. It is so good you have planned things for this time. That will make it much better. Also you are probably like me, if I am home on my own I can make a big mess, re arrange things etc and eat an egg or something for dinner and just get heaps done!
      It was great you could change days and avoid the storm, very sensible.Have a wonderful weekend! xxx

  3. What a great idea dying the patch/motif blue! Even patched jeans you make classy and beautiful! There is no end to your talents Annabel. xo

    I see though, that you come from a line of truly talented and remarkable women.

    This week I have gathered supplies to make Easter baskets. All the chocolates were discounted and I've assembled our own basket or gift caskets for years! I still have some leftover cellophane wrap from two Christmas times ago. I think this will be the end of the rolls ;-) I don't give a lot of chocolate now though.

    I've been searching high and low for good prices on fruit & veg. I've put the $ per kg up to 2.50 kg now. There are still items for under that like pears, nectarines, grapes to be found this week. I love the autumn so we can turn to soup and drag out the slow cooker again. I've been searching out non meat recipes to include more of these and trim the budget a little for meat.

    1. Dear Kaye,
      I have been going to $3 a kilo and we have had lovely grapes too, they have been beautiful. At least this forces us to have different things all year round which is very healthy! But some things are soooo expensive. Cauliflowers were $8 each! But yes pears have been good, apples, cucumbers, lettuce have been pretty good.
      I love the sound of your Easter baskets! I better start thinking about that. I know I want to make some kind of celebration cake.
      I love autumn too, a return to slow cooked things and I cant wait to start on them.
      Have a lovely weekend, love

  4. I love your flowers, Annabel. I have finally been able to crochet some but need more practice. I am working on the rag rug tutorial as you requested :-) It should be ready next week all being well if hubby stops having to go to see the doctor. It doesn't rain but it pours sometimes.

    1. Thanks Nanna Chel I look forward to that. It will help me once I get going and I think Helen will want to do this too as we have talked about rag rugs before. We both love them! Also I will link to your tutorial as this is a very economical and lovely thing to make and fun too. I will have to see if I can figure out how to make a heart shaped one but I will be sensible and do a round or oval one first! Hope hubby doesnt need any more doctor appointments! xxx

  5. Dear Annabel

    What a lovely post and your crochet flowers are like little blossoms of sunshine.

    Not much happening on the pantry restock front. I have been working more than full time at the moment and so all things crafty and all things pantry restocking are at a standstill. On a positive front next week will see me caught up on the bills I had fallen behind on and I can get onto killing some debt again. The good thing is since I have a well stocked household I can just pop into the shops for the fresh food needs such as fruit and vegetables and the occasional loaf of bread. Apart from that there has been no need for a big shop which comes in handy at times like this.

    I have Sunday and Monday off this weekend so I am planning to clean and tidy the house Sunday and then Spend the day with the girls on Monday, maybe we will make a trip to visit my son and his wife. I am really wanting to see the baby's room.

    I splurged and bought a DVD for myself this week "The Judge" I so enjoyed it and have watched it a few times since.

    God Bless and I hope everyone has a good week ahead.

    1. Thanks Mel! I am still on the crochet flowers in different colours.
      When you are working longer hours and catching up on bills that IS feathering your nest and it will be great to get to the point you are getting rid of debt again so this is worth it! I am so glad you have the extra day off with the holiday Monday though!
      I want to see the Judge... I like Tobert Downey Jnr :)
      I kno when things quieten down you will be back to the craft and probably making things for the baby! How exciting!
      Have a great weekend, well Sun and Monday, and a bit of a rest I hope!

  6. I really love those crocheted flowers, so pretty!

    1. Thank you Julie they are really fun to make. I need to learn some more types as they are useful... I have used them on top of parcels as well as on blankets, baby hats etc.
      Thanks for your comment!xx

  7. Annabel, where can I find more information about your aunt's books? Your cards are beautiful! I wish I could sit at your work table with you and watch you make them.

    1. I wish we could sit and craft away together too! We would never stop talking! That would be so much fun!
      My aunt is Kate Llewellyn if you read anything I would try The Waterlilly or The Fig at at the Gate. Any bookstore, Amazon etc should all have her books. Here in Australia in year 12 at school or uni she is the studied Australian author so there are even study books on her etc.
      I am trying to guess what you got at Sams club!xxx

  8. Hi Annabel and fellow friends. I hope you all had a productive week. Annabel your cards look beautiful and so do your flowers. You're so talented.

    Here's my list for the week -

    * Picked lots of raspberries and yellow pear tomatoes each day.

    * Gratefully received lots of sandwiches from a catering job I helped with.

    * Bought some amazing bargains at my local fruit and veg shop. I bought three mangoes for $1, seven bananas for $1, half a cantelope for $1, apples for $1.99 and two bags of five kilos of potatoes for $5 and a cuccumber for 90 cents.

    * Collected a few eggs here and there. Most of our chooks are molting in some shape or form so they are not laying as often.

    * Dried the washing on the line and clothes horses.

    * Used lots of bread bags as bin liners.

    * Froze some leftovers from 2 dinners. We also ate frozen meals last Saturday as I'd been to a high tea and didn't feel like cooking or eating much.

    * Made 7 jars of raspberry jam with our home grown raspberries.

    * Gratefully received lots of bread from a friend and some scones from another friend.

    * Filled the car up with petrol at $1.12 per litre just before the latest price increase.

    * Darren emptied our compost bin onto a veggie garden bed. In a few weeks we'll plant some veggie seedlings I've grown from seed.

    * Saved the washing machine water for the next load. We also saved the shower warm up water and used it to water the veggie seedlings. I saved the kitchen sink water from washing hands to rinse out the sinks when they were dirty.

    * Made a double batch of Chocolate Lunchbox Muffins. I didn't have the room in the freezer to make a triple batch.

    * Made a huge batch of salmon patties using 5 tins of salmon. This was enough for 6 meals for the four of us plus a few spares. I frozen most of them for future meals. Making salmon patties can be messy with all the crumbing etc so when I make them I REALLY MAKE THEM !!!

    1. It is a great idea to make a bulk lot of patties and freeze them. I need to look and see if you have this recipe on the blog. I want a tuna patty recipe that I could do this with. Maybe I could just use tuna instead of the salmon?
      You had a great week Wendy and Im so glad for you with the extra free food you have had over recent weeks as I know you would really make the most of it.
      Hope you are having a good weekend! xxx

    2. I haven't put the recipe up yet. I'm sure you could use tuna.

  9. What sweet little crocheted flowers Annabel, and genius work on dying the lace blue to patch your jeans! I had a productive week this week. I did so much decluttering in the kitchen which has given me some much needed space. I combined all of my alternative GF flours into a GF flour blend pre-mix (like a Bisquick mix or the Bake Anything Mix that we Aussies know) which I'm now using for everything from pastry to pasta dough. I'm baking some currant and cinnamon scones using this today. I made great lunches and afternoon teas for my daughter for school, and also discovered that you can buy PowerAde which is a electrolyte replacement drink for sportspeople, not a caffeine and guarana laden thing like some of them, in powder form. My daughter had been complaining of cramps as she is very busy with Dance and theatre just now, and her ballet teacher suggested this as a solution. Who knew? It's worked brilliantly. Now these are around $4 for a 600ml bottle already made up, but if you buy the powder, it works out to just 78c for the same amount. Sure you don't get the dinky bottle, but our girl doesn't care! So that's a huge saving. We didn't succumb to takeaway despite being very busy, thanks to advance meal prep like marinating steaks, dicing veges, and steaming rice ahead of time. I made my Onion Confit which we love with the steaks, with quiche and all kinds of things. And I made Cherry Ripe Fudge as a treat, which was delicious. I baked Basil, Olive and Pumpkin muffins and we had those for breakfast two days running, and while I was there, I made a Pumpkin, Orange and Ginger Teacake.That's about all. It's busy here for all kinds of reasons, both happy and sad, but we soldier on, as always. Love to all for your wonderful uplifting posts. Mimi xxx

    1. I love your recipes Mimi. They all sound so nice.
      It was a good idea with the pre mix with the flours also the sports drink. Mel has commented below how she has found this very good too. In all things it really pays to compare the options and do the maths.
      Your onion confit is so good and upgrades everything! It is awesome on a pizza base too I discovered!
      Have a wonderful new week and keep on posting beautiful things! xxx

  10. What a fabulous thread Annabel. I find it such an encouraging read as I am 'creatively challenged' :) It's the small, simple touches that make such a difference and you give so many ideas that help me develop my creative side. Thanks so much.

    1. hank you so much Mary. I truly believe that a little bit of creativity adds so much joy and satisfaction to life. Whatever you feel you can do build on that. It is so much fun. With tutorials and you tube etc really be game to try things you have always wanted to try. We can learn anything and it is good for us, Im convinced of it!
      Many thanks Mary. xxx

  11. Mimi I used the powdered PowerAde when my eldest daughter played netball. She was prone to cramps also. It is fantastic and lasts forever. I used one can (jar) from one season and into the next without it tasting any different. I love it.

  12. I love the cards. I've decided to hand make allthe cards I give out this year. I need to get busy with two birthdays in April, two in May and 6 in June! This is what I did in my home to save time and money this week.

    1. Terri card making is a real saver and lovely to do. I am sure you'll enjoy it!
      You have made me think about what you said about saving time....this is a really good point. If we save time to use it better we can do better with our homes and our budgets. You have got me thinking about the applications of this! Many

  13. Dear Annabel and lovely ladies,

    What excellent weeks you've all reported! I love reading all of the comments!

    Annabel, the flowers are so sweet I can't wait to learn to make them myself! And of course the gorgeous cards. I'm reminded of a previous post..."It all started with the stickers." LOL!!!! Each and every recipient is going to feel so special getting those.

    So I had a crazy week here. I felt like I was constantly behind but that's just the way it is sometimes...the prior week I had sick kids and was unwell myself so it just took me some time to get back to normal. A lot of things on my to-do list got put off for next week. I'm guilty of aiming really high sometimes. Ok I'm trying to sneak away to the computer to get 10 minutes to type you this "hello" I had to ask the three youngest to please exit the room so I can post in peace :) So my home is lively & chatty with lots of laughing right now and that's good. It's 10:37pm Saturday and freshly showered children are off to brush their teeth (we allow a late night once weekly on weekends). We attend a late-morning church service so they still get up easily on Sunday.

    So this week I kept up with life. My family had clean clothing. My husband had freshly ironed shirts for work. We ate all meals at home. I learned a new gluten free pumpkin-carrot muffin recipe :) I mopped the family room. I finished the week on budget for groceries. I worked part-time, made all of our savings envelope goals for the week, thank you Lord. Since the first week in January, we've met our goals each week in savings and I'm beyond blessed to report that. I rearranged some of my bedroom furniture and you know how that move something then wonder "didn't I just dust? Why is this suddenly a bigger job than I anticipated?" I found the rest of the items needed for my Spring mantle. The first day of Spring isn't until March 20th but I'm so excited and the weather is so warm here I think I'll just do it early. (I live in the desert, at least our nights and mornings are still cool here for now). I did my own manicure. I went thrifting on a 1/2 priced day and bought several items of clothing in excellent condition and six brand spanking new tea towels and only spent $22.00. **Sidenote: a good haul thrifting makes me never, ever EVER want to pay full retail again. Like, ever...

    I also have another Christmas present stashed away :) Such a joy to plan and not be enslaved to the calendar of ridiculousness issued by all of the retailers.

    I took a little break in the middle there to say prayers and tuck kids in. We have a family, we have a home, we have our health, we have a full pantry, we have work, we have God. Life is indeed good.

    Thank you dear friend for making this place where we can count the blessings of the week and be encouraged by each other. I know I keep saying this but it is true I need this. It's pure joy! xxx

    1. You have a wonderful attitude Colette and appreciation for whats important.
      Now that we are in March and you have met your savings goals each week this is starting to be significant! Well done!
      I love half price days at the thrift stores and sometimes some of ours have bag sales. This is when you pay $5 (usually) for a bag. Then you can fill that bag with anything. It becomes an art form to see how much you can stuff into a bag! I also think no I am not paying full price for things as I know I can find it at a thrift shop. Its even extending to my side of the road brand new washing machine... why would I buy one!?
      It is so good to start stashing presents for birthdays and Christmas. I try to put things away each month if I can. I need to keep an eye on myself that I do this!
      Colette with a family, work, illness and everything that goes on just keeping it all going is a big achievement. Anything extra is a bonus but not always possible.I think you do very well.
      Thank you for your post, Im so glad you snuck a moment of peace to write it!
      Have a great new week! xxx

  14. Such an inspiring post as usual. I read but rarely comment. I finally got your aunt's book in through the library, A fig at the gate and am now all revved up to get into the garden. I can't start transplanting things yet as it is still so dry here, but when the rain comes watch out! I loved her book especially because she mentioned my Grandma's home town and even mentioned my uncle's street when speaking of the jacaranda trees.

    I am not buying any fruit at the moment because we have lots of beautiful sweet apples and we are have some frozen fruit. We are going to get some more blackberries today, it is a fun outing and the berries are delicious.

    I looked at some gluten free chocolate croissants in the supermarket yesterday, they were about $4 each, my son can't eat wheat. This morning in a muffin tray I broke up some buttered gf bread and layered it with a small amount of chocolate and poured a tiny amount of milk over it. They are delicious and very cheap.

    At a fermenting workshop during the week I was given some water kefir grains and learned how to make all sorts of ferments and we learned how they heal the gut and how the mineral and vitamin levels are increased through fermentation so that is my new challenge.

    Thankyou for this lovely spot in the blogsphere.

    1. Garden Del thank you for telling me how you liked my aunts book and it encouraged you in your garden. Gardens are very good for us I think.
      Jamie Oliver website has really good gluten free recipes. His are always yummy. It is so true that for the price of buying one item you can make a whole tray of them! Very handy in the freezer too.
      The fermenting workshop sounds amazing. I need to learn more about this. I know it is very good for our health.
      Thank you very much for your kind words about my blog. I really appreciate comments, thank you! xxx

  15. Dear Annabel,
    We received word on Monday morning that my sister in law had passed away. It has been a long week. We are hurting and our children have had some really hard times, so not much has been done. But it has been a blessing to have stock in the house so that we can stay home together and heal without having to be out too much. That is too hard for me when I am grieving. Hoping to get back to some sense of normalcy soon...God is faithful.
    Much love and peace to you,

    1. I am so sorry Marybeth. What a terrible time for you all.
      Im so glad you do have stock and can avoid running around when thats the last thing you need.
      I hope too that things improve and you all find peace and comfort. But it is very hard and there is no quick fix for these times.
      Ill keep you in my prayers with love,


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