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.

Sunday 5 July 2015

A gift and a new week part 4. (Final!)

Part Ten. Consider gifts of time or help.

 Sometimes the best gift is a gift of help. 
Other times the a gift could be making a special meal for someone and a general fuss of them. Here I gave the gift of a special little afternoon tea to a young girl. And she loved it!

Another time I sat a table outside for dinner so my husband knew it was special and cooked him a beautiful dinner and served it outdoors. He really loved it. If you make someone feel special and loved you have pretty much succeeded! 

Part Eleven. Presentation and giving.

When Christmas time comes and the Birthdays that roll around enjoy giving and wrapping. And appreciate the work you have put in. Be proud of youself and note what you might have saved over the season. I hope it means a reduction in strain for your family and an increase in security instead!

Wrapping and presenting your gifts is the final process. You want them to look wonderful In many ways wrapping is so important. First impressions count!

I use a lot of tulle. Tulle is much cheaper than buying ribbon and looks very luxurious. Another one is using lace curtains. I have bought lace curtains in op shops, washed them and cut into strips for lace ribbons and used them to wrap things. Miles of lace for a couple of dollars.

I also use a lot of brown paper, I think it looks really stylish and is pretty inexpensive. 
Last year I crocheted flowers and made chains to embellish parcels. These were my favourite and I was able to use bits of yarn up in this.

An idea I have for this year is sea shells, string and brown paper. Or gum nuts, string and brown paper! A lot of natural elements make amazing embellishments. Again think of what is available to you. If you have beautiful gum nuts from a tree use them natural or spray paint them silver. If you have poultry save feathers, they look amazing on brown or black paper tucked under string. Tiny pinecones stuck in a cluster, your babies footprints all over a parcel (or your puppies paw prints) Peacock feathers, dried roses from the garden. Look at what you have and what is around you and collect. My uncle had a Holly bush and he tucked bunches of Holly under the ribbons of parcels at Christmas. How lovely! 

Part Twelve. Repeat.

After Christmas and the dust settles it's time to begin it all again. But here is the thing. Crafts and handiwork, gardening and giving are good for us. Busy hands really do make happy hearts. I notice that when I am absorbed in handiwork I am content and happy. It keeps my mind on nice things.

You may soon be in a position to share your skills with others and help them reduce their costs and enjoy the happiness and contentment that working with your hands brings.

And you never know. Some of the things you produce might be considered treasures and heirlooms someday and serve as reminders of your love. 

What could be lovelier than that?

I want to thank everyone who bought my E book last year and supported me. I hope it helped you have a wonderful and inexpensive Christmas last year. 
I have felt that the idea of using our own resources and talents to make things is timely now. These things also give us things to trade, things to sell, as well as gifts.
I really hope that working through each stage you will come up with lots of ideas. You can have so much fun with this and save such a lot. If you have something and just don't know what to make with it then ask! One of us will have an idea.

You really can have a wonderful Christmas,  give lovely gifts and also spend so much less than usual. I hope this will be a help to you! 
Have a really good week.


  1. Dear Annabel, you are such a kind, generous lady to share this with everyone. May God bless you abundantly for your generosity. xoxoxo
    You have put so much thought and effort into this wonderful resource for all of us to have.

    1. Thank you Kaye! I want to say lets get into our Christmas presents and build up our pantries with the money saved. We have been talking about this. Even half the presents made would save a lot. It is just another way to find a bit extra that hopefully helps.
      Thank you so much you always encourage me. xxxx

  2. Annabel, what a generous gift! I am speechless with it's ideas and beauty! I'm off to dissect it part by part ... you have inspired me yet again! Thank you!

    1. Dear Patsi, I hope you find ideas to fill your present chest that you keep. I know you can sew so that is a skill for sure but you also are good on preserves and growing things. That is so many possibilities right there!
      We can save some money and add to our pantries instead. This could work too as an idea... all the ladies really trying hard to get more into their pantries... but funds are a problem. Saving in another area can free up funds! It all works for good. Thank you! Love

  3. Thank you so much Annabel for such a fantastic series of posts. Your presents are thoughtful and beautiful . Very inspiring.

    1. Thank you Leisha, I really hope you find things to make and that you enjoy it! Love

  4. Annabel, thank you so much for this gift. It is most generous. Would you believe, I had been trying to purchase your Ebook a couple of days ago (I'd purchased Patsi's book that day and couldn't work out why I was unsuccessful with yours).

    I generally try and make some of my gifts, but don't seem to allow enough time to get everything done. Your ebook has me rethinking my time.

    Thank you again

    1. Dear Janine,I had taken it down or was in the process that is why it didnt work. I am glad though so you got it free. Starting now you will get enough time I hope. It is amazing what can be done is spaces of time ie watching a tv show or waiting for the kids to get out of school (that used to be a good one for me!)
      Put something in your pantry with that $4! Love

  5. Dear Annabel,

    Thank you so very much for sharing your e-book and ideas. It is very generous and thoughtful of you to post this.

    Your pictures and ideas are a true inspiration. I will begin immediately on a "Gift Giving Ideas," book as you suggested. Also, you have triggered some thoughts and ideas for gifts for family members.

    I love the colors in every picture you posted. Your handwork is beautiful and your wrapping ideas are exquisite.

    When you mentioned seashells, it reminded me that I have a seashell necklace my aunt (who has long passed) made for me in a 'give away' box. A couple of weeks ago I was going through jewelry and decided to give away the things I don't wear. I am not a seashell person, so thought someone else should benefit. I still have the box, however, as we haven't gotten to the Salvation Army yet. I will remove the jewelry and make gift wrapping deco for my children with a note as to where the pieces came from. You have given me so many wonderful ideas that a thank you seems quite inadequate.

    Last year I texted all my close friends and family members and asked them personal favorite colors and their favorite colors for their homes. I put these in my planner, so when I purchased or made them something I would have be able to refer to it. Your idea of an entire book is wonderful, as it is good to record things, rather than to try to keep them in one's head (LOL); especially as we get older.

    Thank you, once again, for all your sharing, caring, and work on the posts. You are a true blessing.

    Love and hugs,

    1. Glenda I keep a large section at the back of my journal called Gift Ideas. Each person is listed and if they say something that gives me an idea I write it down straight away. I truly would forget otherwise. Sometimes it can be the smallest clue but it leads to something.
      I love the sound of the sea shell necklace plus it is a family treasure. I write a tag to go with things that have a history so that might be kept.
      I also keep notes of colors of kitchens, bathrooms and personal you will have noticed I asked your kitchen colors recently!?
      I know you sew, garden, cook...just there already so many possibilities. I am so glad if I gave you any ideas! With love and thanks, Annabel.xxxx

  6. Thank you very much for that Annabel. I was a little slower than Janine, I planned to buy the ebook yesterday but made so many mistakes when ordering a book from Book Depository I thought it was best to wait for 24 hours.
    I an now thinking about extending my gift list, so many ideas to try.

    1. Thanks Maggie, I am glad I beat you to it!
      I am pleased if there are ideas that will work for you. I will add quite a bit more over the coming weeks. xxx

  7. Bless your kind heart Annabel :)

    1. Thanks Barb! I hope you find something useful. Love

  8. Annabel, I wondered what you were doing with your posts today. LOL! Are you going to write another eBook soon?

    1. Well I did have a crock pot post but I decided we need to get busy on Christmas. And I can think of so many skills you have... soap making, rag rugs, knitting, patchwork... you have a lot of possibilities! I am not sure what are the most supplies you might have... thats how I would decide what to do.
      I have a post coming that was going to be an ebook. It is how to make realistic looking roses. They seriously look real. Beautiful fake blooms that look realistic are expensive. They cost cents each. That is next! xxx

  9. Thank you thank you thank you.
    Just what I needed today to set me on the Christmas countdown.
    Your photos and ideas are beautiful and inspiring.
    Now to write the lists and most importantly start.
    love your blog
    Thankyou again Bevo

    1. Thank you very much! Also thank you for commenting. I appreciate that.
      I am so pleased if this helped you. The main thing is to get started and things just add up quite quickly. Lots more coming shortly on present making. Thank you! xxx

  10. OK, Annabel, when I go back to read all these for the second... and third times, I'll have a cup of tea with me!

    MY! MY! MY! I have GOTTTT to learn to crochet!!!!!!!! CANDY FOR MY EYES!!!!

    Is there anything-- ANYTHING-- like handmade? The thoughtfulness it's packed with. The love. The care. The purpose. You just want to cry, don't you? When someone makes you something and gives it to you. (JUST LIKE OUR JESUS!!!!)

    Hugs and happy highways,

    1. Dear Kelly,
      We have quite a bit in common loving hand made, vintage, pretty! I agree about the love factor. People are often very moved that something was made especially for them. I love that! Thank you! Love

  11. Dear Annabel,

    How wonderfully thoughtful of you! Thank you so much, I loooooove your e-book! This seriously made my day. I just revisited my Christmas plans last week, now this has me rethinking it again. I've already decided on a smaller scrapbook of all of the children for my mother-in-law. We've been a family for 5 years now, and that will be 5 years of birthdays, Christmases, holidays, school photos & events, etc. I already have all of the scrapbooking supplies I just need to gather/print the right photos. She will be over the moon :) Thank you for all of the inspiration! It's just so very generous of you.

    I echo Kelley's sentiment. There isn't anything like handmade, just for you. Priceless.

    Much love,
    Colette xxx

    1. Dear Colette,
      Thank you! I think you are onto a winner with your MILs gift. I know you will make it so nice and she will be thrilled.
      You have a heap of skills to use for great gifts. Im so pleased if I gave you any ideas you can use. Have a good week. With love and thanks, Annabel.xxxx

  12. Annabel, How thoughtful!! Thank you so much! Your book has so many wonderful ideas, things for me to ponder and get me motivated since half the year is over!!

    I so agree with Glenda's comment!! And how thoughtful of you so we can add to our pantries!! :) I will be using many of your ideas plus wrapping!! Another notebook for gifts is in order. lol I love how you make everything so beautiful and what a lovely tea table for a special girl!! Wow!!

    Thank you again, Annabel! HUGS!!! Love, Teri

    1. Thanks Teri! This is such a big area we can save. And probably give better gifts too!
      Presentation is a big thing to me.But it doesnt have to cost much either.
      I hope you have found ideas you can use. Lots of love and thanks, Annabel.xxxx

  13. Just lovely. Thank you so much for sharing!

  14. Love the cookies with the rainbow sprinkles.


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