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 6 August 2015

Feather your Nest Friday, 7th August, 2015.

Today I saw pink blossoms on a tree so I know spring is around the corner! But it has been a wet and cold week.

Some of the ways I saved money and build up my home this week were:

I finished pruning the roses.

I took on the pruning back of a big mop top tree we have. It was really overgrown the last couple of years and had lost it's ball shape. Normally a job like this Andy would do. But he has worked every weekend for more than I can remember now. So I decided to take it on. Most of it could be cut with snippers... but maybe twenty branches were too thick and needed a saw. Plus I could only reach these from a ladder. I am very good at falling off ladders but there is a lot of mulch under the tree so I was game.
It took three days of doing as much as I could and I did it! It is now a neat pruned shape so I hope it grows back into the lovely ball it's meant to be!  I'm quite proud of this as it looked really daunting!

I finished another Christmas present.

This is a set of kitchen towels and pot holder. I really enjoyed working on these as they are so pretty and I love the color! 

I kept sewing vegie bags/lingerie bags/gift bags and used up some laces I had by combining them with the tulle. These were fun as bits and pieces turned out really well and I used up what I had.

Also I was given nine bananas. Tomorrow I will make Banana Cake and Muffins and I already froze some for smoothies.

Each morning I drank the juice of a lemon in water. I also sliced up a dozen lemons and froze the slices to put in jugs of water in the summer. I still have about fifty lemons!

Another  one will go into Banana Cake so that's one less!

I added to my pantry and cellar.

I cleaned out and organized a bathroom cupboard. Now I am trying to build up spares of the things that Andy uses like shampoo etc. It looks much better and I can see what we have and what is needed.

Some parsley plants came up in odd spots where they were doomed so I shifted them so they can grow up.

Again I learned new things. And next week hopefully you will too as Glenda has written a contribution about ways to preserve things that is wonderful. I am excited about this!

I cut Andy's hair. Then altered four pairs of good pants for him. They were from an op shop and a really good tailor had made them for someone. They would have been very expensive. Anyway he loves them and they needed slight alterations which I did. Now he has four new pairs of dress pants.

Today it looks like I am spending money. I really need new jeans. It has been a really long time since I had any and the jeans I like are 30% off today only at a shop I know. So today is the day.

I hope you had a great week! There is a lot to be said for being busy and doing what you can to build up your home. It all adds up so fast. You see and feel progress. You see the fruit of your work. We need to feel good about this and be glad about what we did get done and count our blessings.
I think it always applies but in times of stress or worry I do best if I get on and do things. Cook, clean, make someone a meal...  we can make a difference and make the day better by what we do. Achieving a few things makes a big difference to how I feel.
We also need to take into account the season we are in and do the work that presents itself as timely right now. Apart from the seasons in the weather there are other seasons in life... babies through to a grown family and Grand children. All these seasons involve different work and ways of managing things.
Then there are bigger picture seasons. Times to prepare and get ready and we need to be watchful for them too.  That is being prudent. I have come to love this word! I never really knew what it meant! I followed A PRUDENT Homemaker and began to learn what this word means. It is a wonderful word!
It means to be wise or circumspect in affairs, careful in providing for the future, provident.
Provident means "timely preparation for the future."
The Proverbs 31 woman is prudent.
The Prudent Homemaker, it turns out, chose a name that exactly describes her!
Scripture is full of references to being prudent. It is worth a study. Maybe I will do a study on it and make a blog post.
"The prudent see danger and hide, the simple go on and suffer for it"
"a prudent wife is from the Lord"
Now I love this word and think about it a lot. It is prudent to spend your week well!

Having said that there are times when we can't do a thing too. But the times we did get ahead, put food in the freezer etc. cover us during the down times.
Be encouraged that your work makes a world of difference to your family!

How did you save money and build up your nest this week? xxx


  1. Thank you for the encouragement :) I would love to see a post on the topic of prudent. Thanks again!

    1. Thank you! I will look into coming up with more on being prudent. It is a good word!
      Thank you so much, have a lovely weekend. Love

  2. Annabel,
    I love your towels and potholders! Gorgeous! And if I lived close to you I would be stopping by for cake. Banana Cake is one of my favorites. It sounds like you have been a very busy woman. I am always happiest when I am busy. I have my dressers cleaned out and the clothes I don't wear ready to donate. I have more to go through and shoes that I know I don't wear. I went through my fabrics and am getting rid of a stack that is just down right ugly! It must have been given to me at some point. I am going to make some of your pretty fabric bags and fill them with spice packets and other small pantry items and I am thinking of making pretty tags to attach to them and hang them with the round shower hooks to a pretty hanger so they can be hung in someone's pantry to take less space. I have been working in the garden lots this week. We donated a love seat as soon we will be getting new furniture that will cost nothing, but going to pick it up. And then we will donate the rest of the furniture. Have lots more, but it would be a long list. Have a great week!

    1. Dear Vicky,
      It sounds like we are both working on a big clean out. This is good! I would rather store useful things than clothes I dont wear etc. Plus giving things away that someone else can use is good.
      How exciting to be getting new furniture! It sounds like you had a very good and busy week! Now have a great weekend! With love,

  3. Always a pleasure to come and visit with you Annabel.

    I love the tea-towel sets. Someone is going to be very happy receiving those. Also love the pretty veggie bags, they certainly will turn some heads in the supermarket. Great idea to freeze sliced lemons for later use. I have nearly run out of mine. I gave some away and I have been using the rest as medicine for this annoying flu.

    Not much nesting in my home this week. I just did the basics when I was able, and the rest will wait until I am well. I am a little better each day :)

    On the upside, I haven't had to cook too much this week. I did spend a little extra money at the Chemist, and have been home most of the week, so quite a few no spend days this week.

    Not long until we meet up. I am getting a bit excited now, even dreaming about it lol!


    1. Dear Tania,
      I hope you are feeling much better! I am excited too to meet in only a week! And to meet Wendy and Cath. It will be a big day!
      The main thing is to stay warm and shake this bug so you are fit and well in a weeks time to come to Adelaide!
      Have a great weekend! With love,

  4. Hi Annabel Another thoughtful lovely post! Thank you I love your lingerie gift bags They are beautiful I make bags like these in bright cotton fabric to use as book bags I put a couple of books into a bag to give as a gift to children including newborns. I often tie a small brightly coloured toy at the top. Always well received a frugal and useful gift. Have a lovely weekend Annabel and thank you for the wonderful posts.
    I lost my post before( where do they go) so sorry if you end up with it twice Shelley

    1. Shelley I love the idea of the book bags! I can see lots of possibilities with this! Also now I have a Grand daughter I can think of books and book bags for little kids. Thank you for this!
      I am glad this post came through. I always say the ones that go missing must have hit a bird. :)
      Thank you for your kindness, with love,

  5. Dear Annabel and Friends,
    The tea towels and pot holders are really beautiful Annabel. Today I hung out one of your tea towels on the line, and stopped for a moment to admire it. I think of you each day as I open the draw throughout the day and pull out another lovely tea towel from you.
    This week I have managed to donate more books as I work through Marie Kondo's book on the Magic of Tidying up.
    I also tried Crazy Dough today and I have a loaf of bread from that as well as dough in the fridge ready for later in the week.
    I also learned something this week from Erin Paine when I was looking at her Instagram. Someone asked her in the comments if she had received her email as she hadn't got a reply from Erin. Erin replied that yes she did, and that she was behind on answering her emails.
    What I learned from this, is that the order of things in our home needs to be in priority. Erin has a new baby and is in that season. I am in a different season of life, but I still need to work out what is the most important thing I can be using my time for.
    Love to everyone, Helen

    1. Dear Helen, Yes we have to work around the season we are in! My season changed when Harper was born. Really it is like having a baby. You dont know just how much things are going to change! Also in weather seasons I know as soon as it is spring everything changes and I get less time to sew etc. as the garden and planting etc become important. There are many kinds of seasons.
      I am also cleaning cupboards.
      I am glad my tea towels are still going! I love pretty ones and save some for things like wrapping scones or covering food etc.
      Have a lovely weekend! With love

  6. I had another week with many appointments to attend or take my girls to. Haven't done as much as usual at home, but being out and waiting between drop offs/ pick ups had me calling in twice to the op shop. First day I bought 5 items of babies wear for $1! Yes, truly 20c a piece! One was an osh kosh pair of cotton pants and an embroidered dressing gown! The vests that do up over a nappy with printed fronts I also bought, four pink and mauve ones. You had to buy ten items, so spent a whole $2!! The next time I went, I bought $1 an item linen, including a gorgeous retro tablecloth in fabulous fabric, a lace curtain to cut up for craft, a pink cot sheet for the porta cot. It is good to incorporate trips and errands while out and about spending time and fuel.

    I finished week 4 of my Coles shop and have the $50 loaded ready to go, and also have accumulated $20 extra in redeemed flybuy dollars through bonus points. I have a month now to spend the $70.

    I bought Dickies towels half price at Woolworths and bread and some other items spending $90. I had a voucher so made it up to $100 by buying some toilet paper. I got $10 off my order instantly (for spending $100) so the toilet paper was free. :-)

    My daughter had a high tea party for her birthday at home. A popular tea place charges $18 a head, so a significant saving doing our own! We had a lovely time.

    1. Dear Kaye,
      The high tea party sounds just lovely. And yes I have seen huge prices for high tea!
      Your op shop bargains were amazing! What good things too and what savings. It was a great idea to call in while you were out and about. That alone made big savings for the week.
      Have a lovely weekend! With love,

    2. Can you please explain what is considered "high tea"? That is a term we do not use in USA.

    3. Dear Sheila,
      I think it is a British term.. it is afternoon tea, a bit fancy. So think three tiered cake stands, cucumber tiny sandwiches, little cakes, scones jam and cream, lovely feminine china, tea pots etc. It is really lovely! I will skip lunch for high tea any day! I hope that helps! With love,

    4. Thank you for the explaination. My Scotland born Mother always has a teapot in a tea cosy. I seriously don't anyone that does that type of a party here. Sounds like fun.

  7. Thank you for the kind encouragement at the end of your post. At the beginning of the week someone gave mea veggie tray. I chopped up the peppers and peas and used them in stir fry. I chopped up the red peppers and used it on pizza the next day. I chopped up the celery and carrots and put them in th freezer on top of my container of chicken broth to use for chicken soup sometime. We ate the asparagus as a side dish for another meal. There is a small container of vegetable dip that is still sealed, it does not expire for quite some time, so I plan to save it for my sons birthday party. It made me so thankful to receive the gift, and so very happy to be able to use all the veggies. I also received to very large zucchini that I plan to shred and freeze for zucchini bread and chocolate zucchini cake. Yum!


    1. Dear Marie,
      How wonderful to get given all those vegies! And you put everything to good use. That was so good. And now the zucchini... they are very useful too. All of this must have been a great help. Sometimes if I am given something I have to think "what can I do with this" and its like a little challenge but I will not waste it! The savings can go into something else!
      Tomorrow I am making cakes with the bananas I was given, I am making a double recipe to use them up as it will freeze. With love,

  8. Annabel, the tea towels are just beautiful. I would love to be able to crochet half as well as you. Looks like you've had a productive week! I like the idea of freezing the lemon slices, will try that the next time I find lemons on sale ... if I have any left from making lemon butter ... that stuff is just too good!!!

    1. Patsi, if it is any help the pattern along the edges is four single crochet in a row then five double crochet in one hole... repeat.... it makes a pretty scallop. I use this endlessly!
      We love the lemon butter. The last person I sent some was my Dad, we goes mad over it.
      I still have a lot of lemons... I wish I could pass some to you over the fence! xxx

  9. I just love your tea towels and veggie bags. They are so beautiful. Anyone would be thrilled to receive such lovely things.

    I really like your comment about "We also need to take into account the season we are in and do the work that presents itself." That is such great advice. One season (or one day, for that matter) may have different pressing needs than another one does. It reminds me of Elisabeth Elliot's advice to "do the next thing." I have found it comforting since I learned to do the next thing. It helps keep me from getting overwhelmed by All There Is To Do. I just do the next thing. Then I face the next one. And, amazingly, so much gets done that way.

    We are in a season of transition in our family. We have already moved once this year and have to move again before the end of the month. But this move gets us to a long held goal, so it is good. It just makes life really busy and puts before me the temptation to get overwhelmed. No. Just do the next thing. Thanks for the timely reminder.

    1. Dear Cristy,
      I love Do the next thing and it has saved me many times. Elizabeth Elliot died just recently. I will be forever grateful to her for this thing she taught me.
      Many times when I didn't know what to do I thought "do the next thing".
      Moving is such a lot of work but also exciting. Especially it is good as you are achieving a goal! I hope it goes very well. You are in the season of moving but soon you will be in the season of settling in!
      Thank you for your lovely comment. Love

    2. I had heard that she died recently. I felt we had lost a great saint of God who taught many of us women how to walk out female beauty Biblically. I am surely grateful for all she taught me through her (transcripted) radio programs.


  10. Dear Annabel,

    Love your blog, honesty, family and the love you all have for each other. I have been married for going on 17 years. I worked, had my own home and business, gave it up to get married. Moved to CA, became a stay at home Mom, helped him with his debt ( 40,000), put money down on house car, and moved again due to his health. Nursed him through things, moved to another state, put stock money from childhood down on another house, kept us from losing our home to foreclosure when he got sick, helped him send resumes out ( in fact did his resumes to get him a new job), and then finally made sure we were debt free. No car loans, and small home loan and bought a new home ( needs work with the last of my childhood stock money) to be completely debt free. Cook from scratch, bake from scratch, make my own cleaners, laundry soap, soap, herbals, home school and would have to fix our current home up to sell, and fix new then be near his new work, be debt free and have 20 more years maybe to save for retirement. THEN..... he has an either affair online, or life, yells, screams at me, ( seems to be bipolar) wants divorce, won't help me fix up, current house, or new house ( he is living in near his work) comes he every weekend to yell, tells me he hates me ( while bringing milk) wrecked my car, and his numerous times, luckily had insurance to get him new for work ( new used car). Now have to fix mine, get homes fixed and move. I don't work as I worked here to be debt free, save money, cook, bake, clean, take care of the kids, etc. I have been devastated and will be fine, trust in God, will move on and make a great future for myself and kids. I garden, and go to produce auctions, can and just try to save and love life. I am telling you, as I wish my family had the love yours does. I do love my kids and will make this work.

    I love your blog and watch for new posts all the time. I haven't commented until now, as well. just dealing with life. If you have any advice would appreciate. I appreciate Helen's and Terri's posts as well. I always read Laines Letters also and thought I would be treasured and appreciated as you all were. I have worked hard to be debt free, honor my husband and try to look beautiful everyday. I am just heartbroken.

    Blessings to you and yours,

    1. Dear .... I am sorry I do not have your name. If you write back please tell me that so I can call you by your name.
      My life has had a lot of bumps. I have in the past been in an abusive relationship. In the end I left that relationship and it was the hardest thing I ever did. It involved addictions and I could not fix it. But I tried to fix it!
      I dont not like to advise really but somewhere there is a line that constitutes abuse and no one wants to see a person living like that.
      I thought I would not survive. Really. I did not think I could get through it.
      But look at my life now!
      If he has left and wants a divorce then he mustnt be coming to yell etc on weekends. Each time that happens it sets you back.
      If you would like to email me privately my email is
      It is very hard to recover but you and your children can re build your lives and have great happiness, I truly believe that ! xxx

    2. Hi! I just wanted to say I will be praying for you! I admire your attitude and know you will be able to re build your life for you and your children! Teri

  11. Dear Annabel, what a sweet and gentle touch you have with everything. My week has been a little chaotic, but I have managed to sew some beautiful wristlets for Christmas gifts. This week, I was thankful to have managed that. Love, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi,
      I am hoping you might be having a restful weekend.
      I would love to see these wristlets! On your blog I hope soon. They sound lovely. And if the week was a handful you did a good job doing something like this! With love, Annabel.xxxx

  12. I love how your mind sees these fabrics and makes them into beautiful things for your home and for others. I spent time today working on my back porch which has looked neglected this spring/summer. It feels good to take what I have and turn it into something pleasant for us to enjoy. I shared my week of frugal doings here:

    1. Dear Terri, Thank you! Thank you also for sharing your week.The porch area is a lovely living area in the good weather. I am planning our outdoor eating area for spring... it needs a major clean up after winter.
      Have a lovely weekend! With love,

  13. This week has not been about me - I have a close friend who's sister has not much longer for this world - the sister has kept her illness from not only her siblings but also her adult children. It has been a case of if she had gone to the doctor sooner rather than later and then followed what the doctor said to do then she would have longer with her family.

    My friend is here her sister is in New Zealand so a bit of working out to be done on getting over there.

    Next week I plan to meet up with another friend who needs a hug.

    Today I received an email from another friend who runs a not for profit group that aids the homeless, women's refuges etc etc - the email contained the list of things that they need - no matter how many items we sit and make there is never enough the wharehouse (as they call it) is just about empty, again.

    Annabel I love the pretty bags and you have reminded me that I have a lot of fabric that I can put to good use - my friend with the not for profit group needs bags to make up toiletry kits so that is something else I can do across the horrid months of summer. I already have a bit of a collection of knitted items needing sewing up for that time as well.

    This week I have been working on children's mittens to go with the beanies I finished the other week - still using up the odds bits of yarn that I have - I have put together plains and patterned yarn in the beanies and then using plain for the mittens. My bags of not full balls of yarn are getting smaller.

    Yesterday I cleaned out and reorganised my wardrobe - I do need to look at some new sandals and next year some new shoes.

    I also made up the cough mixture that I have been making since I first came across the recipe in the newspaper when the children were little - my husband has a cough which we are working on keeping to just that rather than bronchitis.

    The best part about the week has been that our daughter posted some new photos on her face book page - I know that all is good with her after seeing them.

    I know that after the 20th I will be tied up for a bit for a few days getting things sorted out at our rental - we need to do a check and make sure that the current tenant has not left any damage etc. Given that there is 'stuff' spread from one fence to another I am doubtful that it will all be as it should be when I walk through the house.

    Have a great weekend everyone


  14. Dear Lynette,
    That sounds like a difficult week. I am so sorry for your friend and the shock of it all.
    Little bags for toiletry supplies would be a great idea and simple to make.
    Lynette would you like to say what supplies are most needed and where they can be sent, if you can, or that is suitable. I could put it on the blog as many of us have small soaps and shampoos and things that we could pack up and post. When people know a need is genuine and hear it through a friend they want to help. I certainly could help...
    Given what you have said before about the tenant I think inspecting might be stressful! I hope everything is ok!
    Little hats and mittens is great for using up small bits of yarn. I am sure they will be greatly appreciated. With love,

  15. Thanks for sharing on how to make the veggie/lingerie bags. These will be great gifts!

    At my house we are trying to keep up with our tomato harvest. Also I buy my bananas at a discount so I have to stay ahead of the very ripe ones. I saw a few that had bruises and splits in the skins this a.m. I quickly peeled and wrapped 3 together in wax paper. These slip nicely into a ziplock bag and into the freezer. Perfect for baking or smoothies.

    Thanks again for your blog. And judging by the above responses, looks like you really have a ministry. My husband and I got a good laugh over your response to my comment last week, about people needing their "head read." I don't have people push me to get a job now.


  16. Dear Leslie,
    Thank you so much for such an encouraging comment. That is very kind.
    The mere thought of a tomato harvest to keep up with is lovely to me! That is your season the "keeping up with the tomatoes season" and that is what you need to be doing right now. This will set you up for the months to come. It is wonderful!
    We have spring coming. I usually grow a lot of cherry tomatoes, I seem to have best success with them and my basil is always massive, it practically takes over!
    I am looking forward to spring now. Just three weeks to go! I hope you have a lovely Sunday and great week! With love, Annabel.xxxx

  17. Annabel, You had a very good, busy week! Much was accomplished! The gift bags and tea towels are beautiful! I really like what you said about being prudent and also how we are all in "different seasons". "be encouraged that your work makes a world of difference to your family" really struck me and helped me feel like I really do accomplish things each day, even if I don't feel like my to-do list is getting done! Thank you!!

    I love reading all the comments. I was able to keep up with the laundry this week (although its time to do that again lol), put 15 pints of chicken broth up, picked and canned about 45 #s of beets (all from our little garden) and helped family. Plus, cooked all meals from scratch and did a bit more organizing. A good week!

    I'm looking forward to a "prudent" post and also Glenda's post! Love, Teri

    1. Thanks Teri. We do make a world of difference. I know you make a world of difference in a whole heap of lives. That is so important. It goes down the generations. Your grandchildren will be telling their grandchildren the things you dod for them. Plus in a larger family one on one special time with a cild becomes a wonderful thing. Grandmas make these things happen. Life is busy and a lot of work to do. Grandmas are big helpers!
      Well done on the chicken broth! You had a very good week too. With lvoe and thanks,

  18. Wow! I love the produce and lingerie bags. I really need to make a couple for around the house (instead of hand washing everything *laugh*).

    Great work on the tea towels too! They are almost too pretty to use :).

    By the way, in relation to the post above this one, would you consider sharing your recipe for sausage rolls? I'm from the US and have always wanted to make them to try and yours look absolutely delicious!

    1. Thank you Erika! This is my friends post on the sausage roll recipe... it is good and easy. I make it up in large batches and add a few grated carrots.
      I hope that helps! They freeze very well. Thanks so much! Love

  19. Love the bags! I will be going thrifting at some point to see what kind of fabric I can find (though tulle is fairly cheap at the store).

    I am curious about your tea you make your own towel out of fabric and crochet around or do you use a purchased towel. Inquiring minds want to know :) And I apologize if you've addressed this question elsewhere!

    1. Dear Jenn, Thank you!
      These tea towels I bought then crocheted around. But I also make a lot of tea towels. I am making some just now from vintage sheets and a doona cover...I think I will have them on a post late next week. I use double thickness cotton and most often sew along a trim around the border or across the bottom. There is so much fabric in things like sheets, curtains... I wash it up and it makes lovely soft and pretty tea towels. I am always after soft florals, old fashioned roses etc.
      Many thanks for your comment! Love


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