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, 29 March 2016

The Christmas Challenge. Show and Tell for March. Part 1.

Today I was going to ask for everyone's Show and Tell photos as we are at the end of another month already! I hope this has been a productive month for you and would love to see what you have been making. It gives us all inspiration and ideas! If you would share your photos please email me at

Quite a few of you knew what was coming and already sent me gorgeous emails and photos! Thank you so much! There are so many ideas that my own list of things to do is ever growing! But this is good, having the ideas is half the battle. It is also exciting having plans of what to do next!

Firstly, Debbie has been crocheting.  She made a mermaid tail rug for her Grand Daughters Birthday. This is amazing...

When I was little I wanted to be a mermaid so I would totally have loved this! I think its stunning. I'm sure she will love it Debbie.

Also Debbie's daughter in law has a photography business and Debbie has made her little outfits for baby photos. 

Check out this baby mermaid outfit...

The little bra top!!!

And she made a Cookie Monster themed pair of pants...

Wonderful work Debbie!

Rachel made up the Wool Mix to give away. She made these so charming by writing on the directions for use, using pictures from calendars and magazines for the tops and souvenir spoons for the scoops! I love this!

Once again Rachel's work looks like something from a Country Life magazine. Very inventive.

Jane has also been busy! 

Fist of all her husband made a butchers block for her out of recycled materials and basically for free!

This is BEAUTIFUL. I think I need to do a husbands page one day as I have quite a few amazing photos of what the boys have been making!

This is to be strongly encouraged, obviously!

Janet also made a rug for her daughters friend...

And crochet piglet booties for her Grandchild...

How cute are these!  Janet also covered notebooks, made pencil cases and edged towels. So she made a lot of progress for her gift supplies.

Marian made a kitchen gift with Bread and Butter Cucumbers...

The colour scheme and the Handmade Crochet Goodies label makes this look so appealing and professional.

Also she made a t shirt and shorts...

And the shorts and pants here she made out of a mans shirt...

I am so impressed by this. This is a lesson in you do not have to have the money to buy expensive fabrics, they can be found and recycled!

Janine also added a lot to her gifts.

She made an appliqu├ęd kitchen towels....

The detail in this amazes me!

Also a pedicure set for a friend...

And an embroidered towel...

Stunning work Janine.

Maria baked for Eater and for her Grandson's birthday. For Easter her Grandchildren came over and her little Granddaughter gasped with delight at the sight of a pretty table and all the goodies!

Maria reminded me of something really important. She said something about setting up for Easter and that she remembered what Flylady says... don't get stuck on perfectionism. This is so true. Her Grandchildren couldn't have been more thrilled. Yet we can think we have to have the perfect decorations, table setting etc. Perfectionism is the enemy! Just do what you can when you can! 
I continuously hear it... people who say they don't do this or that as they can't do it as well as someone else. They are not very good at something...  It doesn't matter! Don't let perfectionism stop you from trying things and enjoying them.
Ironically all Maria's cooking looks perfect! lol so this argument doesn't seem to apply, but still...

Fiona made a memory board...

She found a large frame in an op shop and made this! It is gorgeous! I think for gifts they are great i.e. themed for a little girl room, a teenager... a friend. Just lovely. 

Thank you for all sharing these with us. It is so impressive to see how busy everyone is especially since you already have busy lives. But the present cupboards are growing and also it is about keeping up with gifts we need during the year. 

There are so many good ideas. Many of them are made very inexpensively too yet make beautiful presents. Again, if we knew retail value on all of this it would be astounding.

We will be back next week with part 2, I look forward to seeing what else has been made this month!

Going into April and the weather cooling means I am crocheting. I made heat packs this week and finished them yesterday so I have made seven. This gave me a supply at home and gifts. I just love evenings crocheting! It is so soothing and I am amazed how much keeping at it adds up. 
Our Daylight Savings ends next weekend. We are coming into dark evenings and having things to work on makes them lovely.  I am happy if I have something to work on! 

Have a good rest of the week! I am off to babysit Harper. Mum calls her "our baby". xxx


  1. Annabel, I've been looking forward to this post and I'm not disappointed. I love all of them but the one that stands out for me is the little boy shorts made out of a man's shirt. I can totally do this as my husband discarded a shirt just today. There is enough good fabric left in it that I can made a pair of shorts for my little grandson! How's that for timing!!!!

    1. Dear Patsi,
      Well that is handy. I love to find fabrics to re use. For little kids there are so many possibilities as we don't need so much fabric. Also a mini version of something is super cute! Much love

  2. What talented and busy readers you have! Every single project is just beautiful.

  3. Wow, so many neat projects! Good on each lady and gentleman! Really makes me want to get stitchin'. And, I totally agree with what you said about perfectionism being the enemy of trying. Blessings Luv

    1. Dear Mary, Thank you! I hope you have some lovely projects to work on. I hope you are having a good week, with love

  4. Loving everyone's projects and look forward to seeing more of what people are making. The men's shirt idea is a great one. I love having something to do of a night when everything is done for the day.
    Have fun with Harper xx

    1. Dear Debbie,
      Thank you for contributing. You have been very inspiring! I can't wait to sit down in the evening to crochet. It is my peaceful time. Winter is good... no gardening or watering in the evening ... more handicrafts.
      Thanks so much. Love

  5. Annabel,
    Wow everyone is so talented! It's nice to be able to see everyone's creations! I always say there are no mistakes only room for creativity!

    1. Dear Vicky, Many things Ive made have been happy accidents! Its willing to have a go attitude I think that is important. Mind you I have had some classic disasters! But oh well.
      Hope to see what you have been up to next week! Love

  6. Dear Annabel, What lovely gifts everyone has made! Rachel has given me the idea to add spoons to canned goods. There is a drawer full of old spoons at the ranch and it would be a perfect use for some of them. Thanks, Rachel!
    I agree about perfectionism. I am always much happier when I actually DO things instead of stressing about how it needs to look like something on Pinterest. I like inspiration, but comparison is a trap! This can be applied to so many areas.
    Thank you, Annabel, for showing everyone's beautiful work. It's very encouraging! Keep it up, ladies! With love, Kelsey
    P.S. I would love it if you did a husband's page!

    1. Dear Kelsey,
      I love the spoons tied on! I think they add a lot.
      Thank you for your contribution for next week! I love what you made! yes we need to make what we can and also that gives us a chance to learn and improve our skills. Just go for it I say! Nothing I do is perfect but I have a lot of fun. Also some major mistakes have turned out to be good! lol like accidental inventions!
      Many thanks Kelsey, Love

  7. So many gorgeous things to make and so little time. I'm definitely going to have a go at the mermaid outfit for bubs. This would be so cute! You've got me down as Janet in this post and the last show and tell. Nope I'm plain Jane. That memory board is just the perfect idea. Can see all the girls in the family getting one of these for Christmas. Such a great idea. I love the pants and shorts made from a mans shirt. I have a floral shirt that was given to me that I just don't like. Time to re purpose this into something for bubs. What a great idea. This week has seen bubs getting a dress and panties and a tracksuit in newborn size made. Talking to the DIL she has lots for a 0-3 month old but not much beyond that. Looks like I'll be making a few slightly larger outfits. Given the amount of fabric in my stash, this child is going to have too many clothes full stop. This Granny to be, is having loads of fun!

    1. Dear Jane,
      I am so sorry! I just worked out how it happened as I do have you straight in my mind! Similar email address to someone else.... I have fixed it above now!
      I am glad you found some ideas. You will have so many as I can tell you are so excited about this Grand baby! Lucy found burp cloths, wraps, bibs etc all very useful. Also covers for the pad on the change table. They all reduce washing as a mess on a cloth is better than a mess all over everything and yourself!
      You will be in your element with a baby. As they grow there are so many things to make that are useful and also that are cute!
      Your husband is a star too.. many compliments coming his way here on on fb. Thank you for contributing! With love

  8. wow, there are some really good projects here, i particularly love the memo board, just looking some up on pinterest
    thanx for sharing

    1. Dear Selina,
      Old frames are quite easy to come by. You can also by a horrible picture for the frame and throw out the picture. Sometimes the frame is lovely!
      I love these too. Many thanks! Love

  9. Dear Annabel , I hope you are having a lovely week?, is thus an extra post for the Vicky challenge or the usual Christmas challenge?, I think the title of the post says the Vicky challenge show and tell!?. I will come back and comment further soon. Beautiful work Barb W.

    1. Dear Barb, oops I made a mistake and if not for you I still wouldn't know. It is the christmas challenge. I have made a few boo boos today, sorry!
      Now I have it sorted. Many thanks! Love

    2. Dear Annabel it is ok, I wasn't sure . We can blame it on the Easter break!. It is a short week and does not feel like Wednesday!. I had to double check what day it was before I corrected you!!. Oh how I love all the creations / goodies on displY today. I sent you an email with some cards of mine and an envelope I put through my big shot when I first got it.i don't know if I showed you the envelope before. I so so adore the message / memory board made by Fiona, the mermaid tail rug and little mermaid costume are so gorgeous and well every single item is brilliant. So talented all of you. I love the biscuits/ cookies , they would cost a lot in a bakery or gift shop . They look delicious!., Well done Maria. Thank you for another excellent post Annabel , very BarbW.

  10. I'm currently experiencing total food envy!!! That baking looks amazing. What a variety of gifts this month, there have been some very busy people! Thanks everyone for sending in photos and of course to you Annabel for putting these posts together. They are just lovely :)

    1. Thank you Jen! It is a happy thing to know how much creating goes on and gifts made! Next week is looking set to be just as good!
      Hope you are having a really good week. With love

  11. Hi Annabel

    Well lots of talent is on show this month.

    In one of Janet's photos I think that the dog thinks that blanket is for them

    Love all of Maria's cooking, my mouth is watering just looking at those pictures

    Well done to all those who have been busy making gifts, they are just wonderful.

    All I have been making is crafts with DD5 as she is on holidays at the moment.

    As for the weather cooling, yes we are in very different states and I may need to come and visit you for some cooling off. We are still around 35 and yes I am over it, then tonight on the news they say not to expect it to cool off any time soon.....grrrrrr

    I hope you had a wonderful time babysitting Harper.

    Best wishes for a wonderful week and thank you to all those who have shared their handiworks

    love Aly xxx

    1. Dear Aly,
      I feel sad about your weather! The heat is wearing. I have felt so glad of cool nights. Also it is darker in the evening. That can be a bit gloomy but once it is really dark I use fairy lights and candles to make it seem lovely rather than depressing!
      It is lovely you are doing crafts with your daughter. Being five she could soon learn crochet! When I was 6 I used to take my crochet to school to do in recess! lol
      Have nice school holidays! I am off to babysit for two hours again today! I am loving it. Harper is very affectionate and cute so I am glad of every chance to be with her.
      With love,

  12. Annabel, the work here is astounding, and so beautiful! The miracle of knitting and crochet always boggles my mind, and the detail in much of the work is incredible!! Phew!! It's so nice to see.

    Timber work is very special. I especially love the smell of freshly sawn timber.

    I am so glad to see Marian's navy blue kitchen crochet, and bread and butter cucumbers. Blue and red seems to be a lovely old fashioned combination. The ideas are building! Marian, I have sewing and fabric recycling ahead of me, so I am soaking up your work with appreciation.

    Fiona has produced something classically lovely, and practical, too. Maria, ahh, your baking!
    I may not eat a lot of sweet foods, but I'd love to try one of those beautiful iced (or frosted) cookies. I'm already hooked on US style molasses crinkle cookies!

    Wow, everyone (including Jane's husband)!

    Regards to all,
    Rachel Holt

    1. Dear Rachel, Thank you for taking part! Your packaging has given me a lot of ideas and added to the things I am looking for in op shops!
      Blue and red makes me think of gingham which I love and yes I think it is quite vintage and romantic somehow, I love it!
      Thank you for commenting on everyones work. I think molasses has a lot of goodness in it... you can feel free to show those cookies and recipe anytime! :)
      Have a lovely weekend Rachel, with love

  13. Dear Annabel,

    What a fabulous lot of goodies! I love that mermaid tail hilarious! Will send photos of the gifts I finished in March in a day or so. Haven't been as productive on the gift front, as I have been doing the rugs for our bedroom. (But, they're finished now, hooray!)

    The beer bread was a success, here...both hot out of the oven and toasted next day! Thank you again for the recipe. And I will have to get brave and try frying some fish with the beer batter!

    Have a lovely time with Harper!

    xxJen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      Thank you for your photos! The rugs are a big job, I think we have to allow that less is going to happen when working on major projects... yet you still did other things!
      I am so glad you liked the recipe. It can have a lot of variations i.e. chilly, cheese... anything you think really. Very good with a stew too. Or soup!
      The beer batter is beautiful. Its ridiculously simple and I don't know why it works but it just does! You could also use that batter on onion rings or anything else that is good fried in batter.
      Have a great weekend Jen. Sorry for my slow reply, I am running behind this week! With love

  14. The crochet piglet booties and the mermaid outfits are adorable. My daughter (almost 20) would love the mermaid tail blanket! Awesome work ladies!

    1. I love these both also! I need to improve my crochet skills. Gradually getting there as last year I learned new patterns and am making progress! But these inspire me to press on!
      Thank you for commenting! With love

  15. Thank you so much to everyone that contributed. Honestly, it brightens my day coming on here and seeing such beautiful gifts. Thank you for your generosity of spirit. I love all of them. I love what you said about perfectionism. I can see how it fits across many areas of life and can stop us from achieving great things. It was what I needed to hear. Thank you. We are on the tail end of illness in our house- yippee- so hopefully I can get into some sort of routine again. Thank you Annabel. You truly make such a positive difference to this world. Love, Bridge

    1. Dear Bridge,
      Truly, little kids do not care if the birthday cake is wobbly, the icing is crazy etc they just love that you made them a cake. I found all this out fast. There is a lot of things have to be perfect going on in the world but generally its not true! Our homemade things, our own efforts are just fine. I still get told I can't do things especially at the hardware store it seems! But my plastering, crack filling and painting turn out pretty good! So I resist the perfect thing, it stops us from learning and having a go.
      I am so glad you are getting better. I hope you are all over the bug and able to enjoy autumn and life in general. I dread sickness in the household.
      Thanks so much Bridge, with love

  16. Dear Annabel,

    I am in awe at all the talented people in this little community. The items they are creating is very impressive!

    I loved them them all!


    1. Dear Tania,
      Thank you on behalf of everyone! Lots of inspiring ideas!
      I hope you had a good trip over Easter and are enjoying the autumn weather! Have a great weekend! With love,

  17. Replies
    1. Yes just gorgeous! I can see myself making on of these in the future. Thank you for commenting! xxx

  18. Dear completely awe inspiring! I cannot fathom how one thinks to crochet a Mermaid Tail, but look at the results! Absolutely adorable! Everything is just lovely. Congratulations to everyone! I didn't achieve much this month, but I do have some trimmed pillowcases to share, so I'll email those. Love, Mimi xxx

  19. Goodness! I'm always so impressed with what everyone manages to accomplish each month. What a creative and talented group of ladies are here!
    Blessings, Leigh

  20. Hi Annabel. I thought I'd commented on this one..whoops! The variety of ideas coming through is staggering, isn't it! The mermaid tail...oh my gosh...the detail! I've not done much last month but have worked on some trimmed pillows and cushions. I'll send a piccie through. Thanks for sharing this post at Five Star Frou-Frou. Love, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi, I think I had a comment sitting in blogger again, sorry! I love the mermaid tail too. I loved Mermaids when I was little! Many thanks! Love


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