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.

Tuesday 12 January 2016

The Christmas Challenge. Week 2.

I hope you had a good week!
Last time we were thinking about reviewing our craft supplies and maybe looking at what we have available as far as potential gift making goes. And also beginning to gather some inspiration about what to make.

Next step is working out how to use up our supplies and match them to our ideas!
Over the year we can do both. No doubt we will need top up supplies and little things but using up things really keeps costs way down.

I found I have a lot of supplies.

I could start a glitter shop.
Also there is a good boxful of cellophane bags, a box of card making supplies and I have plenty of glue.

I have quite a bit of crochet cotton and lots of odd bits of wool. And lots of soft pink chenille yarn that I love!

Helen gave me melt and soap and rose moulds!

I can't wait to start soap making! This will provide lots of gifts.

I found pink microfiber to sew into the eye makeup cleansing cloths! It is perfect.

And Chloe gave me beautiful labels for cooking gifts... look at these!

I love them! This was a gorgeous present. I will use blue tissue paper and ribbons.

The best part of my supplies is I have some beautiful wool fabric for embroidery (given to me by a wonderful friend) and a lot of soft cottons. This includes several sets of sheets and doona covers in rose prints!

This is a huge amount of material! Most are double bed or queen sheets. With a Doona of course it is two layers of fabric. Masses.

Next I have lovely soft cottons. These feel like Liberty prints. I have gradually bought these as I love them.

They are in gorgeous florals and lovely colours! 

I have a box of laces, trims, braid and so on.

In this case matching my supplies with things I want to make and can use as gifts is super easy.

As several of you have said you have lots of fabric I will share some of my plans.

I start with the largest amounts of material. I want to make myself a rose tablecloth with a lace or ruffled edging. A rose table cloth is right up my alley! Then a set of rose napkins! I am in heaven already.

These would be a great gift. I can think of two friends who would love rose tablecloths with lace trim and napkins. So two presents will be completed.

Then rose pillowcases with lace trim or crochet edgings. Previously I have used up materials on pillowcases and they were good gifts...

Other times I have used double fabric and made kitchen towels.

Next is sets of napkins. These look so nice tied up in a pretty stack. For anyone wanting to cut back on paper products napkins are a lovely pretty gift.

My floral cottons are to make ladies hankies. I love pretty hankies. I saw some in a shop that were a larger ladies hanky and so pretty. They were $15 each and so beautiful. This is my plan for that material. This also fits my keeping postal presents smaller plan!

Once I have made the gifts that use up the larger sections then I start using up the smaller bits.

One things I like to do with small pieces is cover diaries. Another is use pretty little squares of fabric cut with pinking shears and stitched onto gift tags.  For lots of lovely ideas take a look at a blog called Flamingo Toes. She has a post on ideas for fat quarter sized fabrics that are gorgeous.
Of course little bits are great for some patchwork projects too.

Things are good as I have lots of plans of things I want to make for both the home and gifts plus supplies on hand to make them and get going.

That is the aim for the week ... get going! You only need one idea and it is a start. We want to produce some gifts and or cards before the end of January. Items to put into the gift cupboard. Don't forget there will be a show and tell here in the last week of the month!

The main aim of this challenge is to make our gifts and save a lot of money (that we can add in to the Vicky Challenge as well!)
But there is more. I always say busy hands make a happy heart. I really believe this is true. It is for a reason that the Proverbs 31 woman always has busy hands!  This would be a whole subject of it's own but she was making things for her household. She was also making things to sell.
If we become good at making something we have a commodity. We can also use it to trade or sell. A skill that lets you do this is a very good thing.  It is an advantage to your household. It might be an extra income stream or an emergency plan.

Building up your skills might mean you save money in a whole new area as you are making things you once might have bought.

Getting really proficient in something puts you ahead. Scripture says "do you see someone really skilled in their work? They will stand before Kings" and this is true. Ordinary people become sought after for wonderful skills. Sharpen your skills! Skills are worth a lot.

Next is something I think is important. Like all scripture it turns out to be true on many levels. Being busy with our hands is good for us. It is understood now that knitting, crochet, needlework etc all act as a calmative. Even blood pressure goes down. I can say I really notice this. My mind often is in overdrive. But while making something I will feel peace and happiness and get lost in what I am doing. It is wonderful! It is good for us.
If you stress or worry channel some of that into your work as it distracts and calms you and you are being productive. Then you feel happy and proud of what you have made. It is a win win!
Yes, I want you to save money and fill your gift cupboard but I also want you to feel the great happiness and contentment of having projects going, completing them and the fun of learning something new.
It is wonderful!

Spin offs are when you are busy sewing or working on something you are not in the mall, shopping etc. You are so content and busy a quiet time working away is your happy time. I have no desire to window shop I want to get on with my lace trimmed table cloth!

A good supply of gifts and things you have made covers another area as well. You have donations. We are all asked to donate to this and that. There are raffles, fundraisers, auctions and stalls. You will always have goods to donate. When the girls were at school I kept a special basket of things just for those times.  Your donations will raise a lot of money. Imagine donating a quilt for a raffle or auction. This will all save you money and raise them more!

Overall you will have things for gifts, donations and for bartering or selling. You cannot make too much!

Next week I will take a look at some gift ideas with yarn. There are so many!

What did you find in your craft supplies? Did you spot anything with potential that is not exactly a craft supply? ie I have a big old frame that I want to make a kitchen blackboard with.
If you have supplies but are not sure what to make ask. I love finding ideas to match what you already have!

I hope some inspiration has come your way. Some ladies are well up and running. Wendy has made hand towels and soaps already. Have a look over on My Abundant Life. This is good. There are going to be times we are really productive and times we are so busy! Getting ahead when we can is wonderful. 

I am sorry for such a late post today. Today is one of "those" days! xxx


  1. I have been inspired by you and Wendy to attempt to make some soap for gifts. Where do I get the molds from?

    1. The cheap shops have silicone moulds usually sold for making little cakes etc. They are good. Bay has lots and usually free postage. There are also soap making outlets online. I am finding eBay good though. If you have a particular shape you would like be specific and search"hear shape soap moulds" or "heart shaped cake moulds" They must be plastic not metal. I hope that helps. I will have a tutorial coming up as I make my first batches! xxx

    2. Joy, op shops are great for finding moulds really cheap.

  2. Thinking of you Annabel and thank you for another beautiful blog post it was well worth the wait, I " discovered" some craft items that I haven't even opened , some little coloured ( pinks and purples) flowers and another pack of butterflies they are little embellishments perfect for my card making , I also found a pack of paper flowers, some stickers, some coloured gift tags that I decorate and stick onto card fronts all of these I had not touched. I also have in my craft stash 2 x 100 pages / packs of assorted scrapbooking paper, cardboard, gel pens, ribbon, Ric rac, glass jars ( not exactly a craft item but perfect for filling with chocolate balls or hot chocolate mix and decorating for a gift) . I also have craft punches , a paper trimmer, craft magazines for ideas, 2 die cutting shapes that I got on magazines for when I buy my sizzix machine hopefully this week.and I have containers and bags and boxes full of goodies including crochet hook, knitting needles and wool , the possibilities for gifts are almost overwhelming. I will make cards as sets in boxes to give as gifts and I will also make small pieces of art work using the scrapbooking paper and cheap frames and possibly craft letters ( wooden) . Oh Annabel , thank you for this challenge. I absolutely love those labels Annabel, they are so sweet. I am off to make some cards .love Barb

    1. Dear Barb,
      I am so glad you have good supplies! What a bonus! Also I see in you the fun you have and how much you enjoy it like me!
      When card making it is a close step to make bookmarks, tags for food gifts, labels and many things that are really lovely and useful too.
      I am interested in what the sizzix machine does and can't wait to hear! With love

    2. Annabel the sizzix machine is called sizzix big shot, I think Wendy and Cath have them and they basically cut out shapes using what is called dies or die cutting shapes and they also emboss as well. I will use it for scrapbooking, card ,making etc and I will hopeful get it at sale price which is $30 off the normal price at spotlight. You can buy the dies and embossing folders at spotlight , kaiser craft and other craft stores like lincraft I think. They are expensive at some places. I have wanted a sizzix big shot machine for years. I hope this helps Annabel love Barb

  3. Another wonderfully inspiring post Annabel, so many ideas floating around :)

    I have had molds but I still haven't attempted soap. Maybe 2016 will be the year I do. Those rose molds are so pretty, I must see if I can find some.

    I love the labels Chloe made for you, they are so pretty and so you :)

    I have previously donated a lot of fabric, but still have a bit lying around I could make use of. I might pay my mum another visit when the op shop is open again after the school holidays. I bet they have some treasures in there. I might even do a trip to Adelaide or around the country areas to go to some of the op shops there. I love doing that :)

    I have loads of wool and cotton, so plenty I could do with those.


    1. Dear Tania,
      I can see you making soap Tania. It is really easy and makes good gifts. I am going to do a tutorial, Nanna Chel has great ones.
      I totally agree that country op shops are great. Entirely different to city ones!
      I know you have been very busy, maybe through autumn and winter you will get more in the way of crafting time. With lots of love

  4. Hi Annabel, I cleaned out my craft room, which took a whole day to do, top to bottom. Wow! I was very surprised with what I did have and I was able to identify what supplies I needed and these have been purchased. I've reorganised the cupboard and can now find everything! I've added another two modern cloth nappies to the present box. I have a shoebox I put small strip and squares of fabric into. I'm going to use these to make some bookmarks. Thought you might be able to use this idea for your postal Presies. Have two crochet WIPs. One is a bassinet blanket and one is a QS blanket for my son, the grandchild to be Daddy. Hope to have the smaller one finished for the show and tell.

    1. PS forgot to ask where did you get the microfibre fabric?

    2. Dear Jane, I bought a pink microfiner body towel at Spotlight. It was near the other towels, wrapped in a plastic packet. Its a bit like those super absorbent hair towels only bigger. It is really soft and nice and I could make so much from it. I still hope to get white or a different texture to make them double sided. So looking for that next part. Then I am set to make a lot of sets! xx

    3. Annabel you may find a white microfibre towel in a baby shop or an outdoors place like Kathmandu - I have 3 pale blue microfibre towels that I use to take on camp - perhaps one will be turned into cleansing pads?


  5. Ooh I will look forward to your ideas for yarn as I have quite the collection! I think I will make a list of supplies I use up this year as I really do want to make as much as I can from what I have. But I'm sure i said that last year too and I don't feel like I made a dent! So as my gift list grows hopefully so will my 'used up' list! One idea I have is to make a dollhouse cushion, a basic cushion in shape of a house and then fabric scraps for the doors/windows etc. a friend had one made for her and I loved it, hers was in quite sophisticated colours so was a bit more grown up, I am going to make a bright one for my daughter. I'll send a picture if it turns out like I imagine it in my head! Mini beanbags filled with rice or something similar are also a neat gift for children and use small amounts of fabric. Can't wait to see the soaps you make!


    1. Jen I think the English Women's Weekly had a pattern for a similar dolls house a few weeks ago. I also saw one being made on the Great British Sewing Bee Christmas Special - so you may find some help on line if you google both of them.



    2. Thanks Lynette! Will have a look :)

  6. Annabel, I am looking forward to seeing your soaps. Have you heard about the room temperature method of making soap in which you don't need to heat up your oils? I am experimenting with that method at present and it is a lot quicker than the other method and would be great for mums with little children as it doesn't take as long. Just do a search for 'room temperature soap making' if you haven't heard of it and are interested.

    1. No I haven't heard of that! Thank you for this information. You have encouraged me to put this on my 2016 list! Im excited now as I nearly have everything ready to go! xxx

    2. The soap I make doesn't need heating up. It's very simple. Infact, the recipe came from Phil at House of Simple blog.

    3. Thanks for that tip if I can make soap with out heating that would be great considering the lovely little hands that go wondering around my house lol

  7. Hi Annabel!!

    Well, so far, I have found that my gift giving falls into three basic categories (with no set dates for giving!!). These are gifts for people in need (& may include portions of crops); gifts that are about sharing what I enjoy in life (like food, or a picnic); and 'in house' gifts.

    I enjoy reading about the projects you & the other readers have. I have not made soap, but you might find, in Australia, that the company New Directions could be useful for raw materials like essential plant oils, carrier oils, jars & lots more! Also, if anyone has shops that still provide cardboard boxes for customers, cherry & apricot boxes are so small and sweet that they could be suitable for hampers or just produce!

    I love your uses for all that linen! It is funny how, with particular things on one's mind, walking through an op shop can yield different results. For instance, last winter I was learning about new baking recipes and, with that in mind, I readily identified a tiny flan tin made in France (that suits my sweet little oven, & the idea of taking a small torte della nonna when we visit our 86 year old friend). That was fifty cents! On the same day, in a shop along the same road, I bought a new bench knife hidden in a folder of bread making recipes for $3. All this was because I had baking on the mind! Now I think I'll keep pretty linen on the mind. My husband likes table cloths!! Thank you so much!!!!!

    I love your idea about plants as gifts, & seeds would work, too. There are already pretty seed envelope designs, yet I also think it could be useful for people to create their own designs in case opportunities come for trading, even as a hobby.

    Now this might make you laugh. My current gift making project is really the completion of a project I was working on a couple of years ago. You see, I have an interest in knitting socks, with a turned heel, on three needles. I have only knitted a few pairs (& given them away) as practise runs, & using old wool that is not designed for the kind of wear socks need to endure. Anyhow, I have one sock, have just started the other (in my 'spare time' - thanks to Annabel!) in a cream colour, & this happens to be a pair for myself! That's the funny bit. It is an 'in house' gift, & this pair was mine two years ago. I think I'll even crochet a pretty edge. I was taught the most basic of crochet as a child, used to crochet school assignments (in plastic presentation leaves) down the spine, & once crocheted the edge of a baby's beanie ..... So why not frilly socks?!!

    Have I ever told you that I love your work?!!

    Rachel Holt

    Sent from my iPad

    1. Dear Rachel,
      Thank you! Well you have reminded me about frilly socks. I could be crocheting frills around little socks for Harper!
      Pretty linens are fantastic. I have a lot of luck with vintage tablecloths... if they are imperfect they can be cut up for napkins, kitchen towels etc. Sometimes the prints are glorious! Also vintage aprons!
      But sheets etc are so much material! It is amazing what you find.
      I am so impressed you can knit socks. My knitting is not that good.
      Rachel little snippets of time really add up with things like knitting and you can take them with you i.e. waiting for an appointment or waiting in the car and so on.
      I am shopping today, I will get some little socks to start on! With love and thanks,

  8. Dear Annabel, What a beautiful post! I think we have very similar styles, as I love roses and little birds, too. Any time I go to thrift stores, antique stores, etc. I am always drawn immediately to anything floral. (Think english cottage style.) I actually have those same rose soap moulds on my Amazon wish list. I don't make soap, but I was thinking I could buy pink Dove bars, grate them, melt them (and add a little liquid), and re pour them into those moulds. I've seen it done with soap scraps and think it might work. I'll have to look into it more as far as how the texture would turn out.
    Last week, I made my gift list and supply list and came up with a few new ideas, gift wise and recipient wise. For our healthcare, my husband and I are part of a Christian co-op and each month we receive the name of a person (a fellow Christian co-op member) in need, and we send our payment directly to them along with a note of encouragement and prayers. I love this and think it would be great to send each person a handmade card. Sometimes the person is sick and sometimes it is a notice that Mr. and Mrs. so-and-so just had a baby, so it will be a variety, but I just think it would be so nice to go the extra mile. Maybe I could include a bookmark or some small handmade trinket. This would be a good idea for anyone really, if you know of someone long distance that is ill, as it would cheer them up.
    Another thing I remembered is that we have a bunch of old farmhouse windows that my husband rescued from the dump before we got married (for free). When he first showed me these, my eyes got big and my jaw dropped. I'm so glad he thought to grab them and hold onto them all that time, as these are beautiful and sell at places for up to $100! Last year he used two of them, along with some scrap wood, to make a small greenhouse for me. I have a gardening friend that would love this.
    I'm excited to see what everyone is going to make. Happy crafting, everyone! Love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey,
      Oh my goodness the farmhouse windows! I would put family pictures behind them! I am not sure if they are the ones divided into smaller squares... if they are and you need a picture of what I am talking about say so. I found old windows down the street and I used these to frame Lucys wedding photos. I LOVE them.
      You can re mould soap and you can also get melt and pour soaps that make it really easy. But I am going to do a tutorial as I make my first batches. Kelsey it is so EASY that I think you will find it wonderful and if you love the rose shapes, this is for you. You get the moulds... give me a few weeks and I will show you how to do it.
      I think your idea of a handmade card and a book mark would be beautiful to write an encouraging note on. Really that would be wonderful.
      I am getting the idea too that you like the same kind of things I do! In an op shop if I find anything pink roses I am in heaven!
      You have given me the idea to do a post on re using old stuff for gifts and show the windows and Lucys wedding photos. Also I decorated other small old windows with rose decals... hang onto those windows!
      With love

    2. Annabel, your reply has me so excited I had to comment back. Yes, my farmhouse windows are the large six-pane windows you are talking about. The picture idea is brilliant. I remember seeing yours when I first discovered your blog, I'll have to go back and take another look. I just ran around my house looking for a place to hang one lol. And I will order those soap moulds! I'm so excited... Love, Kelsey

    3. Dear Kelsey, if you go to pinterest and search "window photo frames" or "ideas for old windows" you will be in heaven! I will try and take some new photos of mine. If I find an old window I nearly fall out of the car to get tot he kerb (since I have found all mine put out on the side of the road) The six pane windows are beautiful. You can put in six pictures or else one huge picture. They look amazing. Also you could have a six part blackboard or notice

  9. Awesome ideas! I have loads of cotton yarn to make into dishcloths, lots of fabric, card making supplies, and embroidery ideas. I bought a package of 1 dozen kitchen terrycloth towels to machine embroider on for gifts also. Now, I just have to get busy! Can't wait to see everyones goodies!

    1. Dear Donna, I just love dishcloths. Next week I have something you will love to go with these in the Christmas post. The kitchen towels will be gorgeous embroidered! I can't wait to see them too! With love

  10. Thank you for another lovely post, Annabel! I did see Wendy's pretty Christmas towels. She found some wonderful fabric and has put it to good use!

    Thank you, Nana Chel, for the soap making suggestion. I don't have small children any more but I intend to look it up just the same.

    We're still in full home improvement mode this week, but I did manage to sort through my Christmas cards and save some images that may be repurposed for new, handmade cards. My mother gifted me a stack of her cards to use, too. Our insurance agent sent us a wall calendar that I won't use as originally intended but can cut up for card-making.

    My list of gift ideas includes pot holders and oven mitts, homemade cards with a cute pattern I found and want to try, fabric covered photo albums, candy bouquets (large and small), jar mixes (baking, soups, dressing, tea, hot chocolate), "trinket" soaps for children, and molded chocolates.

    I bought a lamb-shaped mold before Resurrection Sunday last year and learned to make hollow chocolates. I wrapped the finished candies in clear plastic and tied bows around their necks. I think these and other shapes would be lovely as gifts for different occasions or included with food gifts or trays of sweets.

    Annabel, you've caused me to remember what I have on hand and dust off some long-unused skills and ideas, so thank you for this challenge! I'm sure to be better organized for it.

    Blessings, Leigh

    1. Dear Leigh, while you are in full renovation mode you might be too busy for crafts but be able to plan! Either way it is very productive!
      I love the sound of the little lambs with bows around their necks! How gorgeous!
      I am so glad you have supplies you can put to good use. Truly you will have a lot of fun. My mind has been spinning with what to do with mine. And Im cutting out some fabric today! With love

  11. Wonderful ideas! I really don't have a lot on hand because I have not done crafty things for many years. But, that is okay since I can start again. I have Pinned many ideas on Pinterest this week and found a great idea for a little mending caddy made from a tea pot. You make a pin cushion in the lid and add sewing items inside. I have an adorable tea pot in my cupboard that needs to do something besides tea because I only make it by the cup now.

    Happy crafting everyone!

    1. Dear Lana, I know just what you are talking about as I saw it only the other day! I think its lovely!
      If you haven't crafted in a while I think you will have a lot of fun getting started again. I truly think it adds something wonderful to life and has many benefits. I love this idea! Have fun gathering other things to plan as well! With love

  12. Annabel, I love it that you are starting us from assessing 'what we have on hand.' Using what I've got to make what I need, this especially includes gifts, is more important for me this year than ever before. Thank you! You've given me more inspiration for my Christmas challenge notebook with all your lovely ideas and pictures!

    1. Dear Patsy, I am happy you have supplies. I should have added lovely aprons in my list of things to do with fabric supplies. Aprons are a great gift. For children as well as adults.
      We can use down to the last scrap too... and re using linens... I know you have been doing that isn't it wonderful? This can mean supplies are very inexpensive too. With love

  13. Dear Annabel,
    I love your generous, creative spirit! It shines through these lovely posts!

    There are several things I have in mind to make:
    Bloom bags---little fabric containers with several spots for storing jewelry.
    More rice hot packs. I think I will sew some up with everything done but filling with
    rice. I also want to make some cute tags with instructions. My daughter found a
    cute poem, but is only had time to hand write without decoration last time. I have
    enough rice to do a few, but will wait until closer to giving them for some.
    Fabric gift bags
    Portable pillow bed. I have one purchased pillow case with Disney characters my
    little granddaughter likes, along with fabric and pillow stuffing in my supplies.
    Tree skirt. I found the panels to make this in my things.

    I have quite a stock of fabric, including some Christmas prints. I also have a lot of paper crafting or scrapbooking supplies. I have quite a bit of ribbon, lace, buttons and other sewing notions. I have some tree shaped silicone molds that were just right for stockings or adding a cute bit to plates of goodies. I have some yarn and crochet hooks that nay come in handy, too.

    I am enjoying seeing everyone's ideas. They make me eager to get going, as well as giving me additional possibilities!

    Thank you!

    1. Dear Elaine, You have a lovely list planned! And the supplies as well!
      You will have a wonderful time using up what you have. Next week I will get onto some yarn ideas. I love both. Yarn projects are good as they can go wherever we go to be worked on! So I have the sewing to do when home and yarn to do when travelling etc. It all adds up!
      I have started several things and am having a lovely time!
      I think the pillow bed is a great gift for a child. I can't wait to see that! With love

  14. Dear Annabel,

    Your linens are gorgeous!

    I am still working on reorganizing my sewing/craft room. I have way too much of everything, so need to start using it up instead of 'collecting.' (LOL). I do so enjoy a good sale and pretty fabric, as well, as nice lace.

    I hope to finish the room up over the weekend and try to figure out how to use up all the bits, bobs, and goodies in it.

    Have a wonderful day!

    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda,
      With supplies you have so many possibilities! It is good to have especially when bought on sales. Having a lovely sewing room too is wonderful. You can work on something walk away and come back and no packing it all up in between.
      I am just starting sewing. Today some cutting out! With love

  15. Love your rose mould Annabel, so pretty. I bought gingerbread men and Christmas tree moulds for $2 each (Wendy will know what a bargain that was, she was with me the first time I saw them) on Boxing Day to make Christmas soaps for us and for gifts this year. I have a "Christmassy" soap recipe to use in them - now I can't wait for Christmas!

    Have a lovely week :)

    1. Now I'm busting to know your Christmassy soap recipe Cath. Sounds divine. !!!

    2. Dear Cath,
      Two dollars sounds like a big bargain to me! I am looking at everything as potential soap moulds at the moment!
      The Christmas soaps sound lovely. The longer they harden the better so in theory you could make them soon!
      I hope your year is off to a good start. With love

  16. What lovely ideas! I have an abundance of 4 inch by 4 inch squares of pastel printed flannel, which I cut up in years past to use for baby quilts. Well, there are no babies needing gifts in my family: I have mostly teens and adults to whom I give gifts. Any ideas on how to put these scraps to good use??

    Wish a bunch of us could get together (I'm in the USA, wave hello to many of you across the ocean), we could swap some of our raw materials!

    1. Teresa is there a local women's refuge or similar that you could make the baby quilts for and donate them?


    2. Dear Teresa,
      Pastel printed flannel sounds lovely. Flannel is nice for heat packs, hand warmers and soft quilts. Maybe pot holders too. Heat packs are a lovely gift, you might have to do patchwork ones with four squares on each side! Otherwise I am thinking maybe a charity patchwork rug for a child or an older person as a gift like that.
      I totally agree it would be lovely to have meet and swaps! And a lot of talking I think too! With love

  17. Annabel, I just love all your beautiful linens. They'll make great presents for sure.

    I'm still going through all my card making supplies. I've tidied them up a little. I think I'll make some card making packs to give as presents. I have the Big Shot embossing machine so I can use that to make lovely papers to include in the packs.

    I've almost finished making the hand towels. So far I've decorated 40 in total. I think I have another 16 - 20 to go but I'll save that for another time.

    I did buy some white tea towels a couple of years ago. I'll use some of my scrap material to decorate them too.

    I have lots of beads and safety pins so I'll be making more Christmas angels to either give as presents or to sell.

    I bought some corded material last year to make heat packs. Darren came home with lots of free rice so I'll use some of that too.

    Pot holders or oven mitts are on the list for this year. I bought the special heat resistant material last year.

    I'll be making more rose, maple leaf and oblong bars of soaps to go with the hand towels.

    Thankyou for your post Annabel. I was really looking forward to seeing it. xoxo

    1. Dear Wendy,
      The towels are lovely and it makes sense too towels and soaps go tougher nicely. I like your plans for the year and you are well ahead. I can see you selling quite a bit. I know you sold some soaps last year. Packaged and looking pretty they are very saleable!
      Thank you! I also am almost ready for soap making, have been collecting everything! Wish me luck! Love

  18. Annabel those gift tags are just gorgeous :) I have so much mosaic (stuff) its not funny, i also have lots of wool and calico, paper ( tissue and crepe) Im sorting my craft room out at the moment and packing things away that i wont need for a while so that i can unpack other things that have been put away before lol Way to many options :)

    1. Karen... mosaic hey... that sounds very interesting. A while ago I saw a mosaic bird house that I just loved! Pinterest would be a help here if you need any ideas. Lovely garden pots, planters come to my mind...
      You have great supplies! I will have some yarn ideas next week! With love

  19. Annabel I have a few gift ideas on my list that will use up some of my stash of op shop sheets etc.

    One thing I spotted on pinterest was a tartan stocking with a fur cuff, went to Spotlight the other week and the price of fur is crazy so I am going to put my thinking cap on while I do some ladies Christmas Stockings.

    Another thing I want to make is the little tissue pack holders - there are times when you are out and tissues do come in handy especially when you are out.

    Our weather is hot and humid so perfect for planning and making notes, pulling apart doona covers and the list goes on.

    Loving the ideas that everyone is coming up with, I know that once I start I will be wanting to keep making so I am sure that a women's refuge or place that deals with young mum's will no doubt enjoy the fruit of my labors.

    Have a great week - I am still recovering from my day out in the heat yesterday - did manage to get just about everything for the new bathroom in the rental which was what I was aiming for.


    1. Dear Lynette, Thank you for your helpful suggestions and always willing to help everyone!
      You are right, we can keep making and someone will benefit. A womens refuge is a good place to help. Mum makes a lot of premie baby hats and clothes. There are endless places that need help. We will never be bored!
      Stay in the cool and pace yourself. We have had really hot weather although today is great and very mild. But it is overwhelming and makes me feel quite sick if I am out in the heat too long, usually a headache. Thats time for some quite sewing indoors.
      Many thanks Lynette, With love

  20. Annabel, I just love reading your posts, I really do.
    Yesterday my partner took me into our little town to go to the bank and IGA. I said let's go to the op shop, see if it's open since the Christmas break, and it was. I purchased a BRAND NEW pink gorgeous sleeping suit for the new granddaughter coming soon. It is one of those thick padded suit at the top, tapering off to a sleeping bag at the bottom, with a big long zip to slip the baby into. I'm sure you know it. I just snaffled it, then had a look on eBay for the brand it is and they are selling 40-60 dollars and she said give me two dollars for it. I also purchased a nice basket and some fabric pieces to make more animal pouches when I"m back on deck, all in all it came to 9.00, i was so happy gave her $10 and said keep the change. I got such a good deal. I had to go to a doctor review this morning and we stopped at aldi on the way, they have 4 packs of glue sticks for $1.99, it is purple glue stick too, so you can see where you have glued and it dries invisible, so could be a good item for all the card makers here to go get some, same in Woolies was 4.99. Because i can't do much yet, i'm just quietly gathering and tidying, my craft room looks pristine.
    Glad to hear you will be back into soap making, I decided that I would never buy soap again when i first started making it about 8 or so years ago. My skin is great too, as is everyone else who uses it. My partners step mum has tried every single soap known to man and my soap is the only one that has cured her itchy breakout skin.
    Can't wait for Friday's post.
    Fi xx

    1. Dear Fiona,
      You have had great success with he soap making and I know its good as I have tried it! That is a great testimony about calming itchy skin and means you always know what to make as a gift too.
      Love your op shop find! I love days like that when great bargains turn up, just something perfect.
      When I was mentioning crafting for charity I didn't even think of your animal pouches. I am on a website where people knit or crochet little nests for birds and bats and all sorts of things. this is my plan for some random scraps I have to use up. I thought really birds nests are my destiny!
      Thanks for your kind words! Here I am replying to you Thursday night and I've got to get on to fridays post! I think I am lagging a bit!
      With love and hoping oeuvre had a good week! Love

  21. Dear Annabel, I love all your linens! You are set to make many lovely gifts! :)

    I have some sheets that need to be used. I will make a couple aprons but I'm thinking of making some hankies also. Do you just sew two pieces of material for each hankie? Or line the pieces first, then sew together?

    Also, another idea for soap molds: I have some old, old metal jello molds(different shapes) and small bread pans. I used them for making soap a few years back. Just line each pan with some plastic wrap so it hangs over the edge a little. When the soap is dry, remove the plastic wrap and the soap comes right out! They are so cute especially the heart shaped ones.

    I've yet to make my list but sewing aprons, hankies and gift bags are at the top! Have a wonderful rest of the week!

    Love, Teri

    1. Dear Teri,
      I thought you would like the pink roses linen maybe!
      I think I am making the hankies with a hand rolled hem on single thickness. I will see how I go I am up to cutting out. I will post once I am happy with them.
      I love heart shapes! Thanks for this idea as I had discounted anything metal and yet if lined with plastic it will be fine! I hadnt thought of that!
      I think aprons, hankies and gift bags are all gorgeous ideas. And sheeting good for all of them too!
      I am glad you have supplies. I wish I was near by and we could sew together Teri. With love,

  22. I haven't worked out all my gift giving yet, but I am definitely making 2(possibly 3) travel bags to include a documents folder, bag tag and eyeshade. I may include a makeup /toiletries purse but that will depend on any leftover fabric. I have a number of lengths of curtaining that will be perfect for the travel bag and I'm pretty sure I'll get at least a couple of matching accessories.

    I still have some handtowels leftover from this year that weren't embellished, so I'll also get to them.

    I've already made a couple of gifts (one has already been given). I have a pattern for a tiny bag to carry computer paraphernalia or manicure kit etc. I've made 2 and as a friend had been having a bad time, I gave her one - she was thrilled, and said it had cheered her so much.

    I found some knitting cotton during my tidy up and I know a friend would really love a crochet vest, so that's something else to consider.

    There are so many ideas here already (and it's only week2).

  23. Annabel(and everyone else)
    All the ideas mentioned here are great. I have mostly been working on Valentine gifts but did some toward Christmas. For Valentine's I made a simple but very cute banner with reproduction vintage cards, tulle, and miniature clothespins. Then I cut all the pictures out from the back of the package, that most people would throw away, and made a tiny banner for the dollhouse. My daughter and I also made cards.
    I bought beautiful wintery jar candles for 50% off and smaller candles in mercury jars tied with silver snowflake charms also 50% off. The candles will be used in "Stay Warm" type gift baskets. I have some cotton scraps and burlap pulled aside to make banners. I've been handsewing catnip bags for my cat and her cat friends. And I have some recipes printed for special dog treats that I will make closer to Christmas. (Yes, all our pets and their friends get presents.) I have flour sack towels that I am hand embroidering that will be used in kitchen type gift baskets. I plan to work on cards this weekend. And dear Annabel my daughter and I so love glitter!

    1. Dear Ginger, I really love your "keep warm in winter" baskets. This has my mind going overtime as it is such a lovely thought and I think ooh a warm rug, hot chocolate mix, warm socks and a heat pack etc... I could do that!
      Thank you!
      Also I would just love to see the doll house banner. And flour sack towels! I hope you will consider sharing how these look at the end of the month!
      With love

  24. Wow so many great ideas my head is starting to scatter LoL... I must just keep reading for now till I share all my ideas

  25. DearAnnabel and all here, well somehow I missed this entry ,just found it while looking back on craft ideas.I just love everything here your photos lovely labels made for you , materials , ideas , everyone's input , just lovely!
    I have just sorted my yarns into same ply and here's where I get stuck, as Im not that crafty ,as in I have had sporadic periods of making things and then big gaps.
    Annabel ,you encouraged me to pick up crocheting again,and as you know I have tried making a few things over the last 3 years .A thick rug for hubbys flat.Lots of beanies/hats ,and a few small items of clothing for my little grand daughter. I seem to come stuck matching my yarns to patterns, perhaps that is the perfectionist coming out in me.Also I try to do too much at once and go around in circles , I need a lot of encouragement to focus so I will be keeping up with all everyone writes in and make a plan to start one thing this week.
    Wonderful crafty ladies here, thank you, with love, Maria xxx


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