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 28 January 2016

Feather your Nest Friday, 29 January, 2016.

This has been a funny week as we had a public holiday on Tuesday which broke the week up. But we used it to get lots done around the house. It was a full on work day here, no holiday at all, but that was so good!

Then yesterday Andy ended up home unusually early in the afternoon (normally he is home after 5) and he used the time to do office work then he put up my new IKEA shelves in the kitchen! So pleased about that!

When January started I was so keen to get things off to a good start. Some things were The Vicky Challenge, The Christmas Challenge, adding to my pantry, drinking much more water, starting to paint the house and learning new skills to help me make presents. And here we are right at the end of the month and starting February on Monday!

I can truly say we did get off to a good start! We got the old carpet out of the bedroom and now have beautiful floorboards, the laundry is painted plus the door and woodwork and some doors throughout the house. Everything that is painted looks so nice! Kitchen shelves up and new towel rails etc in the laundry also. Anyway lots of things done and others started!

This week I saved money by:

I cut and coloured my hair and did my nails.

I hand rolled the hems on more hankies, I haven't packaged them yet. I am dying to get onto the pink version of this flower print!

In the garden my parsley is going to seed. So I buried seed heads in several spare pots and parsley is coming up! I will use pots of parsley as gifts during the year.

I painted doors, door frames and skirting boards. This is great! They were  cream that was quite yellowish. As I paint them white it is like they were scrubbed and became pristine. Works a miracle!

This week I found packets of turkish breads and focaccia rolls (4 packs) for $1 each makes down from $5 and $6. I saved $18 on them and my freezer is stocked. These make our version of take away meals i.e. fast toasties, pizza "subs" focaccia etc.

I collected more supplies for gift projects and started on something new which is going to be a tutorial coming up... covered note pads and sticky note pads. They will be great gifts, very inexpensive and good to post as they are light. Here is a glimpse so far:

This is very easy and the card making ladies will find it even easier as you will already have the supplies. That will be Wednesday week. I have lots of work to go!

We got ahead by:

I added the decorated hand wash packs to the gift cupboard.
Several things to my pantry and cellar.
Added a  bit to the emergency fund.

We built up our home by:

Adding shelving to the kitchen. It is both useful space and a place for some of my pretty things. I haven't had time to set it all up yet but this is so far...

Freshening things up with paint.

Andy cleaned the gutters around the house and cleaned the air conditioner filters.

So overall it was a pretty good and busy week. In the evenings I am sewing while watching the Australian Open tennis. I really enjoy that. When my hankies are finished I am starting on Bella Coco tutorials and a pom pom trim around a throw rug.

How was your week? How did you build up your home and save? It is so good to get ahead even in small ways. It is lovely to get to the weekend and think of what we did accomplish and the things that we have to be thankful for.  Today I am thankful for rain as the garden is soaked after rain last night! This is great. We have very dry summers so this is a bonus!

Have a wonderful weekend! xxx


  1. Your hankies are so pretty, they look like fine water color paintings.
    The blue grouping in your kitchen looks straight out of a Cath Kidston catalog :)

    This month-we also added to our savings, built up some stockpiles in our home, and are just enjoying our home and family time.

    1. Dear Rhonda, I thought that very Monet /impressionist and pretty. The fabric is also lovely to feel.
      Well done on the savings and adding to your stockpiles, that is a good start to the year! With love,

  2. Annabel, is that towel with 'The Bluebirds are nesting' on it? Very pretty. Your covered note pads look interesting.

    1. Dear Nana Chel, Yes! Fiona embroidered me tea towels for Christmas including one with my name on it and this one that says The Bluebirds are Nesting! I will never use it! It will be on display! I was so thrilled and touched by this gift!
      I am still making note pads... for a good gift supply and some for myself! Have a good weekend! With love

  3. Dear Annabel, thank you for today's blog post , you have had another great week.i just have to make some of those covered notebooks/ sticky notes it looks and sounds like a project I will love . I have a lot of supplies from my card making and scrapbooking so I am sure I have most if not all the materials needed. I really look forward to putting them together and then giving them as gifts, I know a few people who will love them as much as I will.
    I have saved money by being given 4 tops/ blouses/ shirts yesterday, I will be making a 3 ingredient fruitcake I was given the recipe for , saving me money on snacks .
    I got ahead by adding 3 gifts to my gift shelf, adding a few things to my stockpile, adding some money to my savings and emergency fund.
    I am slowly getting there with my gift making and I will be well ahead by Christmas and well prepared for birthday gifts too.
    Annabel your shelf of pretty things is gorgeous ,I love is very much your style , my mum would love it as much as I do. I had another quiet week this week but got ahead and saved and was able to build up my home too by doing a bit more sorting and de cluttering.have a great weekend Annabel and everyone. Love Barb.

    1. Dear Barb,
      The three ingredient fruit cake is really good! I have made a couple of versions and they are great!
      It is lovely you were given clothes! Have fun working them into your wardrobe and wearing.
      Adding gifts and items to the stockpile and any getting ahead feels great. I love finding little ways to get ahead. Tonight I have a lovely dinner and all I have to do is head it up as I made extra thursday night and it was yummy! So I have a night off and can watch the tennis and how nice!
      Barb watch out for some inexpensive packs of stick notes, note pads and notepads with a cover... not plastic though. They will be handy the week after next for the notebook projects. Have a lovely weekend! With love

  4. Those notebooks are lovely, I'm anxious for the tutorial.

    Lots of baking, cleaning and mending in our house this week. My eldest daughter and I made applesauce today. Hope to have some to can tomorrow. I found a great deal on apples at my discount grocery. Also built up my pantry in buying canned tomatoes at 39 cents a can. So glad for this deal as my tomatoes didn't ripen well for canning this year.

    Have a lovely weekend! Wish you well on all the painting.

    1. Dear Leslie, Thank you!
      The tomatoes are a good deal! A very useful thing to have. It is wonderful you made applesauce. I love it. I hope you get lots canned today.
      I think I am having a rest from painting today but you never know by this afternoon I might decide to do a little bit! Its all progress!
      You have a lovely weekend too. With love

  5. Very impressive what you achieved during January! I saved money on gifts to my stepdaughter (38 weeks pregnant) by printing IOU vouchers from the Internet, and writing in ' Your washing done and folded for at least 4 weeks' and the other one 'lots of home cooked meals ready for the freezer' . She was thrilled!

    1. Maria, what a thoughtful and generous present! I couldn't think of a better present to a new mum. I would have LOVED this almost 9 months ago. She is lucky to have you. Love, bridge

    2. Dear Maria,
      I agree with Bridge, this is a lovely gift and so helpful. When the baby arrives your stepdaughter will be so grateful for all of this. Freezer meals are so handy. Well done this is a beautiful thing to do! With love

  6. Dear Annabel. The notebooks are just darling. And is there anything better in our climate than gorgeous wooden floors? I've been flu ridden for a week, so can't count much this time, but I will offer this. My darling girl, who has just turned 16, and who I think isn't listening half the time, did all the washing, hanging it on hangers as I've shown her to reduce ironing, got all her own school stuff ready for the first day of Year 11 yesterday, including home made lunch offerings, made dinner, fed the dog, watered the plants, made the beds and has basically been 'me' whilst I've been sick. I'm so proud of her! Love, Mimi xxx

    1. Mimi I hope that you are on the mend.

      They do surprise us when we least expect it.



    2. Dear Mimi,
      I am so sorry you are sick! I hope you are feeling better and resting properly.
      It is so nice to see your daughter take up the jobs around the house! It is also great to see how much she has learned and matured and can respond like this. You have trained her up very well. So nice to hear.
      Spend the weekend resting please! With lots of love

  7. Hi Annabel, great post. Every thing looks lovely as always, but I absolutely love the covered note pads. The sparkle is very glam. Feathered my nest this week, we had a family holiday in Queensland, got vouchers from Groupon for theme parks (4 parks for $80 each so $20 per park, stayed in budget accommodation which was neat and clean, took all our own food and went out for dinner twice. Our kids (teenagers) loved it, and we had several discussions about sacrificing some things (like eating out every meal) meant we could do other fun things. Back home now and my son went back to school today and Miss 15 and I had a lovely girly day together, tidied up, cooked, did our nails and a hair treatment. Probably not so much a week about house and home, but more memories made and the ties that bind. Lisa xo

    1. Dear Lisa, I am so glad you all had such a wonderful time! I also love that you had a girl day with your daughter doing nails etc. Those are good days and I used to notice while doing those things the chat was good too and it was time very well spent.
      Your week was nest building! These times are very good investments and also setting yourself up for the school term ahead.
      Have a lovely weekend! With love

  8. Hi Annabel!!

    We share the kitchen shelving idea, only you got there first!! I am very pleased to see the fruit of your efforts. I love the idea of planting a whole parsley seed head, & am curious to see more of your stunning note paper covers. Mmmmm, they make me think of someone I know!

    I have something to contribute this week - in the area of building up our nest. Now, this has taken years to get to, & much pondering along the way. You see, I have enjoyed seeing you getting ahead by freezing peaches and so on, but I do not have the freezer option - yet. I am a little familiar with the old Australian Vacola steam vacuum jar system (I grew up helping my parents preserve real peaches, & grew up on these & Granny Smith apples straight from an orchard), but I would only use my stove top preserving drum on a fire, rather than chewing up electricity. It was getting complicated. I have a collection of jars & accessories, but some jars are so tall that I would need to ask my husband to seal up the thermometer pocket with metal & special silicon just to get the water level high enough, & would need to make a large batch to make it all worthwhile, & it is summer ......

    During the week, I tested the following method I came up with. First, I used an empty olive oil can (4 litre, I think) & used a can opener to take the top off. Then, on another cool summer day, some egg rings were placed in the bottom, water was poured in, a lid improvised with a small baking tray, & it was all heated up on the fireplace as fruits cooked. (This would work outdoors over a barbecue plate). I decided to use something smaller than egg rings for the super tall size 36 jars next time; they only just made being covered by the water! I think of this as a method for low fuss "hot pack" preserving of smaller quantities of HOT, COOKED imperfect crops. The jars only need ten or fifteen minutes, at the right water temperature, in the can, as opposed to between one & two hours to complete all the cooking from cold using the old method. So, this week, for the first time, I preserved green Beurre Bosc pears (which we wouldn't get otherwise) & green apple pectin (which I have yet to test). I will be observing the jars. They all look wonderful, so far. Special note - I bought jar tongs with my "little house" money, had to keep bending them to make them more secure, & my husband wants to look at improving them further. Nobody wants to drop a hot jar of hot fruit & water!! Yes, the USDA has helpful data on preserving times & methods, which makes up for the confusion surrounding Vacola systems.

    Now for something funny ..... When I was a child, we used to put pictures on cakes of soap, making them stick just by wetting the soap & letting it dry, & then painting over the picture with clear nail polish to set it off. In thinking about this, I decided on a method of making do without glue. After all, it would mean they would be easy to wash off labels, & no glues going down with the sink water to the orange tree area ..... & I have no glue! Yes, I used soap to hold my labels on. I will watch them, too. I feel so proud of my kitchen discoveries, & am now chomping at the bit to put some other imperfect or small crops into jars - even recycled supermarket jars. Yum, yum!! Oh, by the way, the cooked pears I find really yummy served with treacle dumplings & custard. They have a mild tartness which contrasts nicely with the treacle sauce.

    Thank you!
    Rachel Holt

    1. Rachel I was only thinking about that soap craft the other day - it is such a simple thing to do and I can remember the girls I had at the time loved doing it.


    2. I had forgotten about that soap craft ~ we did it too! What a neat memory! donna

    3. Dear Rachel,
      I discovered the easy way to get hundreds of parsley plants for free by accident when one year I noticed the giant seed heads and quickly buried some in a bare post in the garden to see what happened. A week or so later there were HUNDREDS of baby parsley in those spots. I always thought you had to dry out seems and so on but no I did nothing and had the biggest success! So now I just bury them in a vacant spot in the garden or a pot and have hundreds of parsley to share.
      I love that you are bottling and I love the sight of bottled fruit. Please send me photos if you have the opportunity! Well done!
      And you have also reminded me of those soaps. Mum and I did them too. Initially I think we used transfers but then discovered an image and varnish. They looked so sweet. Maybe we should resurrect that idea! Lynette remembers it also so surely others remember too. A lovely idea thank you!
      You had a very productive week, I am so glad for you.
      Have a great weekend. Many thanks Rachel, love

  9. Those notebooks are gorgeous!I found some great op shop finds including a vintage looking teddy for a friend which was 60c and s blue bed valance for $4 which I will cut up to make superhero capes for gifts. xx

    1. Dear Mel, It is very clever to think to cut up a valance to make superhero capes! What a good way to do this and miles cheaper and easier!
      Love a good op shop find! Have a great weekend! Many thanks for your ideas! Love

  10. Wow Annabel, you are so very productive!
    Your hankies look gorgeous & the notebooks lovely. I look forward to that tutorial!
    This week I saved money using a supermarket discount offer & bought half price specials at the other.
    WE enjoyed free Australia day activities & the boys enjoyed a night out & me a night off!
    I cancelled an appointment as I am well, saving $60. Felt so good & the therapist agreed that coming from habit was pointless.
    I remembered your parsley seed head idea (I did it last year) and tried it with the seed head from Chives & it also worked, which makes me smile. WE have had some vegies bolt to seed & I began saving them to use as home grown gifts! The coriander seed smells awesome I shall endeavour to send some your way.

    Enjoyed your blog as always, inspiration & beauty in one place, thank you!

    Karen xox

    1. Dear Karen,
      The notebooks are so easy but take a 50c notebook and make it into a lovely gift. Very economical!
      Now and then I grow chives... I will try this with them as I hadn't thought of that! How easy? Best discovery ever!
      Coriander is beautiful. I love that scent. Do you need any parsley seeds? as I have trillions I think and they are dry... just let me know.
      Thank you so much! With love

  11. Thanks for so many inspiring ideas Annabelle. Planting parsley the way you did works really well. I do the same with the seed heads of leeks and then when they germinate I transplant them so they have more space. Taught myself how to knit on a circular needle and I think I have the beginning of a cowl scarf.... was not hard to learn at all....pleased with myself anyway! Cheers Jo

    1. Dear Jo,
      Darn said she did this with chives and you leeks... so I think I should just try it with everything. I always thought somehow it was more complicated and you had to dry out seeds etc. Also I just bury a cherry tomato to get cherry tomato babies and they come up so fast!
      Well done on teaching yourself to knit! I love cowl scarves. Flamingo Toes has a lot of ideas for them. Anyway I love them as long scarves I have trouble with they catch in the car door and things but the cowl ones stay just right all day.
      Many thanks! Love

  12. You have had a very productive week and all your craft tasks look great. Thought I would let you know that today, in a florist I saw succulents planted in a teacup (3 pieces of different succulents)and selling for $35.00 each!!! Somebody is making a nice penny out of those! Looked great and something very easy to replicate for a present.
    I also had a great purchase of 2 kilos of granny smith apples on a clearance which I am going to stew for apple pies or just to eat as a dessert with ice cream, yum. Also, got some baked goods at reduced price from Woolies to use for lunches and to stock the freezer.
    Have a great weekend and I enjoy reading your blog with all the ideas to save and use what we have.

    1. Succulents in a tea cup would be so sweet and a lovely gift! And yes the prices they charge! But people seem to pay them. However for us it is a very achievable idea!
      Well done on the apples. I love apples cooked i.e. with pork or baked apples ... I do a heap of baked apples in the crock pot and eat them for days, even as breakfast. they are beautiful!
      Thank you so much! Have a great weekend to you too.xxxx

  13. Wow Annabel, those notebooks are beautiful. Love the sparkle. I love notebooks. I use one all the time. I write lists, my weekly spending, present ideas. A pretty one is a great idea. Those hankies are so pretty. You both worked so hard this week. I don't know if I can say much- but for two very busy days I was super organised and made ahead meals and meals for my bub, was a lifesaver. I also just loved cuddling my baby, this was precious. Time goes too fast. Love, bridge

    1. Dear Bridge,
      I love sparkle! I never matured past five years old in relation to all things sparkly!
      It is really good that you thought ahead and had dinners made for your busy days. That really saves the evenings.
      Bridge cuddling your baby is the best thing ever. I know you cherish it. How beautiful. I cuddled Harper this week and she learned to say Dad Dad Dad! And she has kept on saying it! It is so cute!
      Have a lovely weekend! With love

    2. Oh my goodness, what a milestone. What a clever girl Harper is! That's gorgeous! I bet Dad is proud as punch. Love, bridge

      It's always so lovely that you reply to our comments. It's so thoughtful Annabel.

  14. Annabel the hankies remind me of a Monet painting. Very pretty.

    My week has been a bit topsy turvy - my husband had Monday off as a rec day so he had 5 days off including the weekend. The plan was to concentrate on the front entry but of course there were other things needing doing - so we have decluttered our extra furniture pieces and boxes of items not needed here for the time being back to the storage shed. We also spent one day reorganising the top cupboards. The side board got moved a few inches so that my husbands wine cupboard fitted onto the carpet.

    I have spent quite a few hours sorting through items from magazines that I thought I wanted to keep, the recipes I need to spend quite a bit more time on but the rest are now sorted into categories and can be popped into folders.

    I have also decided to go back to monthly shopping which I did today. While out I popped into a couple of op shops, only found 2 dolls that I am going to make clothes for and then pass them onto the knitting group I belong to.

    I have also reorganised the vanity in the bathroom, just need to pick up another basket and it will be all done.

    My friend rang me on Wednesday and wants me to help her declutter her Avon - I did this before but she has managed to get herself back into a mess again.

    Late this afternoon I spent some time online looking at raised garden beds - need to pop into Bunnings on Tuesday when I am over that way and see what they have.

    My list for Ikea is growing, now that our daughter is moving down the coast it will be easier to pop into Ikea.

    Tomorrow morning my husband is heading up the coast to help our daughter with the last of her things, most will be coming back here and going into his shed. He is not too happy at the moment because his work area has disappeared due to the items for the bathroom renovation in the rental and now our daughters things - as I say it is only temporary.

    Have a great weekend everyone.



    1. Dear Lynette,
      I think I would have a good time decluttering Avon and all the makeup and body things!
      Seriously I have very good success with IKEA. I love these shelves and the ones in the laundry for drying things, they are so useful.
      I would really love to see the doll clothes you make. It was good luck with finding the dolls!
      Have a great weekend Lynette, with love Annabelxxx

  15. Annabel,
    Everything is beautiful! I love your new shelves, that is something I need to work on. If I ever get to it I want to put up a small bar/rod and I have small metal buckets to hang on it(you know I love buckets!) I have not done much feathering this week I have been babysitting all week and was not even able to add to my gifts either. I am hoping next week is better, one of these days when I get in my attic I am sure there are things up there that I can repurpose and I love doing that! Have a great weekend!

    1. Dear Vicky, IKEA have the cutest buckets. There are so many things you can do with them! At Easter time I see a lot of little pink, lemon, blue bucket... they are lovely! Now you have me thinking of uses for them!
      Now I know you have an attack and a basement! Maybe we could have a challenge to turn stuff in storage into gifts, money for the pantry and so on!? I can't wait to find out what else you have in there! (this week Vicky showed me the most divine bedside cabinet from her basement!) Lots of love

  16. Dear Annabel, I love the shelf with the beautiful towel Fiona embroidered and the cute tins! The notebooks are lovely also!

    This week I made two loaves of French bread, a batch of Brandy's steak sauce (to use on black bean burgers), made cheese biscuits using grated cheese from the freezer and made some ranch dressing using my dry herb mix.

    I also recycled a pile of old magazines, cleaned the living room couch and cooked all meals at home. Plus, shoveled snow and more is coming! lol

    Have a lovely weekend Annabel and everyone! Love, Teri

    1. Dear Teri,
      You did lots in the kitchen! I can smell the bread! Well done on the recycling and all the snow shovelling! If more is coming then I can see that is an ongoing thing. I was wondering how people even open their doors after a lot of snow... we don't even think about these things but getting in and out must be an issue!
      Keep warm and have a good weekend! With love

  17. It's been our last week of school holidays here Annabel, and yesterday we had a trip to the zoo. Our kids absolutely loved it. It was a great way to finish the break.

    You seem to always have so much to share every week! I bet you are loving your laundry looking fresh. And your kitchen shelf looks lovely too. I finally cleared the top two shelves in our kitchen of odd bits of junk that didn't belong there and have displayed my mum's miniature Brambly hedge tea set. It is so sweet, and has been shut away in an ice cream container for years. There was also a tea set with nursery rhyme pictures on it, so I have displayed that too.

    I have started clearing out clothes and linen we don't need, as well as toys (when my kids aren't looking!). And of course I have been crocheting madly lol. I'm onto the third repeat now, I know I can't keep up this pace once school starts back, but the encouragement this week definitely kept me moving!!

    We had a freezer left open incident :(
    Luckily I discovered it in time that all of the meat was still chilled so could be put in the fridge. There was too much for us to get through so I gave some to a friend. Had it happened a couple of months ago we would have lost hundreds of dollars worth of food, so I'm very happy it happened when it was running low. And it was a good opportunity to give it a clean.

    There will be a big baking day of lunchbox fillers today or tomorrow, and then a big clean up next week!!

    Have a great weekend

    1. Dear Jen, I am sure that knowing I have to report on Fridays makes me do more things. Seriously at times I have thought that if I don't get a move on I will have no savings to mention and no crafts!
      Oh no about the freezer.... at least meat was saved and cooking then adds to its life span as well.
      I can imagine you are working on your crochet in every available minute! But I can see you have a lot going on as well! I used to view getting to sit down to crochet as a reward especially at the end of the day.
      Also I love Brambly Hedge! We have the books and I love the little mice and their babies and kitchens etc!
      When school goes back you will have a new routine... I always had a big clean up! It took a week! lol Enjoy the weekend! With love

  18. Ahhh Friday evening! This is the one time a week when I stop all work and enjoy the blogs I follow. I so look forward to reading what you've been up to and admiring all the pretty things! I share here about my week:

    1. I like your blue nails Terri! I hope you have a lovely weekend! I need to catch up on some blogs too, they are my inspiration! With love

  19. Hi Annabel

    Those hankies look very pretty and will make wonderful gifts. I am so in love with your notebooks, so sparkly and pretty.

    I also have parsley growing at the moment along with sweet potato, both a first for us to grow. Our worm farm has come along way and now they are producing "pee" so we use this to water some of our plants and they seem to be growing much better.

    I managed to pick up some pencils for both this year and next at a cost of 75cents per pack of 4 and as we needed 24 pencils it only cost me $4.50 rather than the $9 so I purchased enough for next year and therefore spent the $9 getting 48 pencils.

    Weather here has been shocking and very hot, we seem to get the stormy look but only the thunder and lightning and no rain. Unfortunately the air con has had to be on pretty much continuously for a few days so not good for the electricity bill....but I decided for the comfort of the coolness I would do with out electricity in other ways for the computer for the daytime, no tv on, no cooking as too hot anyway and had the fans on to circulate the air. We are lucky in the way of not really receiving an electricity bill as we pay on a payment plan which we pay each month of $250 (yes sounds a lot) but at the beginning of the year we are usually ahead by about a month and a half so we don't usually have to pay either Dec or Jan and we are still half a month ahead. We worked this out with our provider and this makes us all happy as we do not have a massive bill to pay each quarter....we pay each week so they have the required payment by the end of the month. On average around here after chatting with friends everyone has a bill of around $1200 to $1500 for their summer bills and a few people have now gone to our method of payments. We do have the option of lowering our price in the winter but then we would have to pay the Dec or Jan bill so we opted to just stay with this payment.

    I do wish we had an IKEA as well as an Aldi near us, this would make our grocery bill so much cheaper. This year my challenge is to set myself a task of doing more menu planning and in that planning to use a new recipe out of my recipe books to make the week more interesting instead of the same things....(DD5 limits our choices a lot)

    I had to purchase a new slow cooker the other day as the knob on my old one broke into little pieces but I have kept the insert and lid as it fits the new one also so that I can have the extra one ready to go. I am also purchasing one for the school to make some yummy meals for canteen in the winter.

    I am now on a mission to fill my 600ml bottle of $2 coins as we did use some for a movie and lunch day out over the holidays and surprisingly there is still a fair amount left in there.

    Well hope you all have a wonderful weekend

    Aly xxx

    1. Hi Aly!
      My Dad is a gardener, & he taught me that (when you have plenty of growth on your sweet potato vine) you can pick the leaves & tender growing tips, lightly cook/steam them & you have another source of greens. I find them a little peppery, & enjoy them with egg & baked beans for morning tucker sometimes!
      Rachel Holt

    2. Dear Aly,
      I think that is a really good way to manage the electricity bill. With the heat you get and the time it lasts as well there is no choice but to have the air-conditioning. Life would be unbearable! It gets hot enough here! But nothing like you get... and I struggle at times.
      I am doing the bottle full of coins too! I had never heard of that until Tania said it is $1000 if you fill a coke bottle. it seemed incredible! I have used a jar so far though until I get a bottle... I think its 600mls?
      Lots of weeks I try something new out of the ideas in the catalogues and the free Coles or Woolies magazines. They are pretty good as they usually use whats in season. I love finding something new that we like. I agree about not turning the oven on when its hot. We have a lot of cold meat, salads etc then. Bit of a help.
      Hope you have a lovely weekend! With thanks Aly, love from

  20. Such lovely crafts Annabel. They will be wonderfully received I am sure. I have been ill, although on the mend. It has slowed me down a bit but we still had a great week non the less.

    1. Dear Melissa, I hope you are feeling better. Have a restful weekend, I hope that does the trick! Many thanks! Love

  21. You've had a very productive week Annabel. Your crafts look great and the shelving is very practical.

    Here's what we got up to this week -

    * Megan and I both had to sew a button on a pair of jeans when the stud fell off.

    * Gratefully received some card making equipment from a lovely friend. I received a corner rounder, embossing ink pad and pen, embossing powder, two other ink pads, a pattern cutting mat, pattern cutters and cutting tools. I was overwhelmed with her generosity as these were items I wanted to get some time in the future if I could spare the money.

    * Gratefully received some other shape cutters from another friend.

    * Baked Anzac biscuits for Australia Day. Megan baked some mini meringues and we used home grown raspberries on top.

    * Bought four bags of present bows for 50 cents a bag. There's about 26 bows per bag. I think I'm right for the next few years.

    * Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread.

    * Baked raspberry and white chocolate muffins using our own raspberries.

    * Made a batch of soap with olive oil in it. I was able to make twelve rose soaps for presents.

    * Gave a hand towel, rose soap and a hand made card for a friend's birthday..

    * Ate leftovers for dinner after Australia Day.

    * Kept the cooling off most days as the weather has been mild. When the cooling was used we had it on low and used electric fans to move the air around.

    * Used the shower warm up water to keep all the fruit trees and bushes hydrated.

    * Hand washed the dishes a few nights. There wasn't enough dishes to put the dishwasher on.

    * Picked tomatoes, beans and a handful of raspberries each day.

    * I had to use the dryer one day to dry the towels. The weather was muggy so I knew the towels wouldn't dry on the line. To offset the electricity usage I stayed off the computer all day.

    * Used my flyby dollars to buy mince and sausages for our Australia Day BBQ.

    * Bough Megan two pairs of school shoes. Spendless Shoes had a " buy one pair get 50% off the second pair " sale. I got a pair that fits perfectly now and a pair in the next size up for next year. If her feet don't grow any more, we'll put insoles in the second pair.

    * Made potato cakes for lunch with 2/3 cup of left over mashed potato.

    1. Dear Wendy, I am glad you had milder weather. So did we. We even had a lot of rain! The garden is soaked! I am really glad of it.
      You had a very productive week! I love soap with olive oil. I used to do olive oil and goats milk but it is a long time ago... will make some soon and see how I go with remembering everything! You have inspired me!
      You are going to have a wonderful time with those card making supplies! I can't wait to see the results! With love,

  22. Beautiful gifts Annabel! Great work everyone!

    This week I saved by making meals at home mostly (we did eat out, but less than usual), making some tea at home vs. buying it while I'm out and about, careful shopping on a book I wanted and bank checks, entertained at home vs. at a fancy restaurant, finally made a batch of laundry powder (I used a bar of Olay soap in the recipe, which worked great!), made cards, and bought nice hand lotions (8 of them in a lot) on ebay to gift to female friends (works out to about $2 per gift of name brand lotion!). A successful week. I'm improving on both the Vicky Challenge as well as the Christmas Challenge with each new week. This is great fun, and I'm saving tons!

    1. Well done Teresa, Ebay is an amazing source of bargains. That was a great savings. I am so glad you are enjoying the challenges. They are motivating me that is for sure! Thank you so much! xxx

  23. Dear Annabel, You had a great week! It's nice to get projects done that make such a big difference like your painting. That is on my list for Spring.
    This week, the weather was so nice. I was able to have the windows open, saving on heating costs and freshening up the house. I also hung my clothes on the line.
    I planted some cuttings that a friend gave me. I was really wanting to garden but it's still too early for that. I can't wait for Spring!
    Our orange tree has produced lots of oranges this winter so I have been harvesting those. I plan on making things with them next week.
    My husband and I also processed the deer he harvested this fall (they have been in the freezer.) 63 pounds so far and we are still not finished! This is a huge savings. One pound of organic meat at the grocery store is almost $9! I am very blessed that we do not have to buy meat.
    My husband and I walked around the property and made plans for Spring. I know that isn't really feathering my nest but it has to do with building up our home in the future and I love it when we make plans together like this.
    I hope you are having a wonderful weekend! Love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey,
      Your husband and you work as such a good team! I think planning your garden is great. In lots of ways planning ahead saves time too but it is also fun!
      Kelsey I would love to see your windows and later your raised garden bed and things as you always have great finds and good things to do with them. Take lots of photos!
      Have a great new week! with lots of love

    2. Dear Annabel, Thank you! I will definitely send you pictures as I finish my projects. I don't know when I will get to the windows, as I am so indecisive. I'm just not sure what to do with them yet. But the raised beds will hopefully be in soon! Love, Kelsey

  24. I love your tins! How sweet! And I can't wait for the notepad tutorial. That sounds like a fun project!

    Have a lovely week! Blessings, Leigh


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