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 28 June 2016

The Christmas Challenge. Show and Tell for June.

This week I was going to ask for your photos for the month and some already arrived so I will just get started! I would love to see and share what you have been making during June. Even a snap of a project still being worked on is wonderful. It inspires us all!
You can post them on the Bluebirds Facebook page or email me at

So we will get started! As always I cannot publish every photo but usually most of them. And I always represent each person. (Unless like last time I had a brain fade and forgot!)

I feel that here in Australia and New Zealand we are getting heaps made as it is cold and staying inside,  crafting and cooking is the obvious thing to do. And that the US, UK, northern ladies are busy with their gardens and outside work so might have less time for crafts.
This is how I am in summer. There is a lot to do. We have to work around the seasons and make the most of them!

I am going to start with my Mum. As you know she makes a lot and also a lot of cooking.
Most recently she made Harper a little knitted skirt. She always made these for the girls from when they could walk until about when they went to school. I have most of them still. There were worn and worn but still in perfect condition. Usually they included glittery threads. Here is Harper (resetting my phone) wearing her new skirt.

These are really warm worn with tights underneath. Mum is working on a pink one now.

Also she made me a hat to add to my pink and cream baby rug. The hat was from left over yarn from the rug. This really adds to the gift.

Maria (From NZ) is working on crochet rugs for her Grand children. And in between she has made so many things! Including beautiful cooking.
I love seeing cooking as it can be a gift or for the family. Either way it is wonderful.

Firstly...  mittens for her Grand Children...

Maori bread, which is a heavy and hearty bread. 

Mussel Slice..

A series of lovely cards...

Diabetic Fruit cake. This is a different recipe than the last one and Maria likes it better. If anyone needs it ask in comments. 

Beer bread...

Maria I hope when you see this you realise how much you did this month! Absolutely beautiful!

Jane and her husband Bluey have both been busy.  Very busy!  Bluey made this cot for his Grand Daughter from recycled and salvaged wood! It contains Camphor Laurel and Oregon wood and brass fittings. 

Truly a gift of love and an heirloom of the future!  

Jane has made her Grand daughter a whole outfit. This includes the little black slippers that Jane also made!

Just gorgeous. This is one lucky little Granddaughter (plus parents I think!)

Barb has been covering notebooks for gifts. She has made them for men and women.

Well done Barb on adding to your gift cupboard!

And I have to show you... Teri has grown her own Peonies! She has a vase full of them inside!

Beautiful. Peonies and Roses are my favourite flowers.

I hope you feel inspired by all of this June activity! And now over to you for next week! Really it is a great help to gather ideas but also a lift in energy to see what everyone has made. It is quite amazing to see how clever and hard working everyone is. And we are learning. No one becomes proficient in anything without practice and mistakes. But learning is so much fun and it is a big investment to really improve your skills. And expand them. Apart from gift making being skilled at something is a possible income earner. Keep working on your skills. They are valuable.

We are having a cold week but so far it has been good and I have done heaps of cooking. It is about time to put another pot of soup on! I hope you are having a great week. 
What have you been working on this month? xxx


  1. What a wonderful showing!!! I have good intentions, but, as you noted, here in the US, it is our busy summer gardening and preserving time!

    I do plan on getting some more things done once our kids/grandkids who are coming for this long holiday weekend have gone back home, I have some definite projects ready to go! Besides hubby, our youngest son and me, there will be an additional 15 kids/grandkids staying with us! Just got the meal planning all finished and ready!

    1. Dear Gardenpat, Yes you have to go along with the season for sure. It would be crazy to miss planting and harvesting as that is a window of opportunity!
      15 children staying for the weekend! Wow! I am imagining the bedding and cooking alone! But I hope its wonderful! You need to get photos with that many together all at once! That would be amazing!
      Many thanks, with love

  2. Dear Annabel, firstly, thankyou so much for showing my mittens and baking , and commenting on my work , I needed that lift as Ive been feeling a bit overwhelmed with sick friends and family needing support which is not a lot in itself, but all the little things one does add up , don't they , like writing cards, giving flowers, messages of support and so on along with daily life .I feel better if Ive been making things and trying recipes out.
    The fruitcake came from the Diabetic 4 Ingredients recipe book.Im a bit hooked on it haha but not so DH who I made it for .We've also had 2 dinners from the book and enjoyed them but we both commented that what I cook normally is just as good and less fuss. But it is nice to have a change.
    The mittens gave me a break from the rug and also fitted in with my busy week last week.

    Harper looks gorgeous in the skirt your mum knitted as does her whole outfit .And what good teamwork with your coconut ice colour rug and mum's knitted hat , wonderful!
    Teri's peonies look so pretty , well done !
    Jane- what a lovely modern set for your DGD, mine would love it!And the cot is beautiful that you and Daley made!
    Barb-pretty notebook , very handy useful gift :-)
    Well done everyone! With love, Maria xxx

    1. Dear Maria,
      I think you do an enormous amount as over time a picture builds up and I know you are feeding everyone, the family drop in and you provide meals and snacks plus as you say friends and family not well and problems etc... it is a lot. And tiring! Well amongst all this and part from the rugs you have going you did all this plus more... the chocolate crackles too! It all makes a big difference to quite a few lives, big and little!
      The mittens are lovely in this weather. And it is nice to be able to use your own cards for some of the notes sent out. I think thats an extra touch.
      I hope this week is going well for you! Much love and thanks,

  3. Annabel, Harper's shirt looks very warm indeed. I don't think my granddaughters ever had a wool skirt and considering they live in the Outback guess it wouldn't have been worn very often anyway :-) Those peonies are just so beautiful. I bought one to grow a couple of years ago but haven't had any flowers as yet unfortunately. I hope it does flower one day as my husband paid $15 for it!

    1. Dear Nanna Chel, The outback heat is probably too much for wool! But the girls lived int these skirts when they were little, down in the south east where we were they were just right. I hope your peony flowers! I would love them but I don't think they grow here... I have seen them not even in the shops other than as cut flowers but I just adore them.
      It is so cold here today, maybe the coldest day yet! I hope you are having a good week! With love

  4. Hi Annabel,
    everything is beautiful as usual. So many clever and busy people. I really love the skirt your mother knitted, she sure is a quick knitter. I wonder if you could post the pattern, I would love to try it for my granddaughter. I am a slow knitter though so hope I could finish before winter is over. Thanks Ann

    1. Dear Ann,
      Thank you so much! Mum doesn't use a pattern for this as she makes it up. She measures the waist size and desired length. She works a flat section just a bit bigger than waist size and does enough to make a waist band that folds over which she later sews and fills with elastic. Then the first part is worked to sit fairly flat and then she increases to create flare and a kind of ruffle effect so there is some volume. Then works round and round until the right length. I don't know if that is any help to you! I googles to see if I could find a similar pattern... I can see a lot of skirts but not identical. But hopefully you can find a free pattern similar if that would help or go by Mums method. They are really lovely and being able to do favourite colours, sparkle etc is so personal!
      I also saw a lot of similar little crochet skirts while searching and this has given me ideas!
      Many thanks Ann, good luck! Love

  5. These are wonderful gifts, such fabulous talented readers here. The skirt that Harper is wearing is sooo cute. I would dearly love to be able to gift my Grand Daughter such imaginative and beautiful skirt.

    I have found a free pattern online for a crocheted "Minions" blanket and matching cushion cover. I am so determined to set to and make it, I have two Minion lovers one of them is 25. There are also matching stuffed Minions softy patterns as well. Looking forward to setting to and starting these projects.

    I am also very much wanting to start making some aprons for my chef loving family members and friends matching these with some other home made "kitchen" gifts. Maybe even some cookies in a jar to go with?

    Looking very forward to seeing next month's showing

    Love Mel

    1. Dear Mel,
      It is quite helpful when someone is mad keen on a theme as it makes gift giving easier! I would love to see your Minion blanket when you've finished!
      Aprons would be a great project and gift. I love aprons! Perfect for cooks too.
      I hope you are surviving the cold... this week has been freezing to me.
      Many thanks Mel, with love,

  6. Hi Annabel!!

    We're home from town, and this show has been waiting for me! The garden, too, grows while we're away!

    I love your Mum's knitting. The skirt is so pretty, and what a nice family tradition this skirt knitting is. The hat looks so soft, too! This is beautifully warming work! It has been heartwarming to hear of your Nan's work and to see your Mum's. That's special!!

    Maria, I think I am hungry again!!!!! Your mittens look sweet for your grandchildren. I know they're taken already, so maybe you'll let me try a tiny piece of each - Maori bread, beer bread, fruit cake and mussel/muscle/muesli (funny computer!) slice!! I am growing hungrier!! That's a nice card, too! Good on you!! I think I'd better do some baking very soon. Did I tell you you've made me hungry?!!

    Bluey, you've done it again!! This is a very handsome cot you've made! I've seen how my husband sands back old timbers to reveal lovely wood, and that camphor laurel component must have smelt good, too. The cot has come together really well, and you should be very proud of your workmanship. I like the thought of your campfire golden syrup dumplings. Everything tastes so much better cooked on a fire, especially in cast iron, doesn't it? I really ought to move my dumplings to the fire! Jane, I think your granddaughter will need those clothes for training to keep up with you both! You've done a fine job, with all the special touches and pink inside the little shoes! You've done a great job!!

    Barb, your decorated notebook is a way of putting a bit of your joyful, grateful attributes into someone's life. In a busy world, these can be so refreshing! The sparkles work well, like they're in a night sky! You have some wonderful gift ideas!

    Teri, what a masterpiece! Your peonies are perfect for the eyes! Thank you, and definitely show us more!!!!!

    Thank you, Annabel, for the evening's entertainment!

    Yesterday, I made the dog a new warm coat from bright pink fleecy fabric from an op shop. It fits really well, and this is another gift that my husband appreciates!

    Keep warmer!
    Rachel Holt

    1. Dear Rachel,
      Well done on the dog coat. Your bright pink dog would be highly visible long distance I am thinking! So we will say it is safety plus warmth!
      Thank you for commenting on everyones work. I am glad you enjoyed it!
      Wait until you see next week! I already have so much beautiful work that it is really uplifting to just see.
      I hope you are having a good week! With love,

  7. I love all these ideas -such inspiration! You are right just after I post this I'm going out in the garden to weed (US) We gave my older daughter her birthday present already (money) but I have been crocheting dish cloths and dish scrubbies plus I'm giving her a photo album of her children. It's been rather hot here in Michigan but last night it cooled off and I sat in the swing to crochet. Have a great week!

    1. Dear Vickie,
      In the heat I am the same... often I sew or other project as cooking is out and in the evenings I do what needs doing in the garden. Both types of extreme weather we need to get on with things inside. I do my recipes into my scrap book, update the photo album etc too. It catches me up!
      I love the idea of making a photo album as a gift. Your daughter will love that!
      Sitting in the swing to crochet sounds beautiful to me! Many thanks Vickie, with love

  8. HI Annabel, the knitted skirt your mum made for Harper is too cute, she looks so sweet in it with her little tights and re booting your phone. Her profile is so gorgeous, she is a very pretty little girl.
    Maria's mitttens look so gorgeous and the baking is delicious, what a great pile of baking.
    Jane's husband has made the most amazing cot, it's sure to be a family heirloom and love Jane's rich black baby outfit.
    Barb's covered journals look really pretty too.
    Great work everyone. Fi xx

    1. Dear Fiona,
      Thank you! Of all the toys and things she could play with she would prefer the phone! One time after I looked at photos and she had accidentally taken selfies! lol they were classics too.
      Thank you for commenting on the beautiful work. Amazing aren't they!
      I hope you are having a good week, keeping warm near the fire. With lots of love,

  9. Harpers skirt is beautiful! Can't wait to see the pink one! She is an adorable baby. Its 90+ degrees here in GA, so I can't imagine crocheting or knitting rugs (or afghans as my grandmother called them). We are harvesting what we can in the heat and about ready to make salsa with our tomato crop. Have a great week! My inside activity when the heat is too much is scrapbooking, I finished our vacation album from our Hawaii trip last September! donna

    1. Dear Donna,
      I abandon knitting and crochet in the heat too! Plus the garden calls and it is full on then. Harvesting is more important as you only get a certain window of opportunity.
      I also do the photos, scrap booking and so on in the hot days! It is great to have things to do quietly and keep cool.
      We went to Hawaii years ago when the girls were about 5 and 7... we just loved it! I will never forget how lovely it was!
      Many thanks Donne, with love,

  10. Dear Annabel,

    I love seeing what everyone is getting up to. Such talent and enthusiasm to get things done!

    Harper looks very cute in the skirt your mum knitted for her. She is quite the little lady :)

    I had better get a wriggle on and finish my blanket so I can send you some photos :)


    1. Dear Tania,
      I can't wait do see your blanket! I saw some of the squares you made while away. I love to take a project like that when travelling. Its surprising how much you get done!
      It is raining here again so I hope you are getting some.
      Many thanks Fiona, wiht love,

  11. Marvelous work, ladies! I love all of the cute children's clothes this time. My knitting skills are very basic, so I know just enough to admire the work that went in. Bravo all around!
    Blessings, Leigh

    1. Dear Leigh thank you for commenting on the lovely work. My knitting is basic too! So I am thinking either I will declare crochet my specialty or improve my knitting. Im leaning towards the first one!
      I hope you are having a great week.With love,

  12. Dear Annabel and lovely ladies. Wow, just wow! I always think I'm doing okay on the gift making front, until I come here and see what you've all been up! Maria, you are on fire! And as for the cot, the cards, the peonies, the gorgeous little girls outfit, Barbs notebooks and your Mums knitting...just stunning! I'm sneaking back to my little crafting corner now. I'm outclassed :) Love, Mimi xxx

  13. Hi Annabel, I've been having internet access issues for the past couple of days. I have tried to comment and have failed. Everything seems to be back to normal. Fingers crossed.
    I love Harper's little outfit, head to toe. She is such a sweet little girl. The little skirt is truly delightful. Your Mum is a very clever lady. You and your Mum have inspired me to have a go at crocheting a little beanie to go with the bunny rug I have almost finished. I've never made one so small. Challenge accepted.
    Maria shall hence for the be known to me as 'The Domestic Goddess'. Her house must smell amazing with all that gorgeous cooking. So much love going into the making of everything means she truly deserves such a title.
    I have some notebooks awaiting a little bit of attention. I wont be bedazzling mine as Barb has done but will be sewing up some covers for them.
    Rachel it must be the week for sewing up dog coats. I made one for my sons dog. Freddie the Granddog now has a black coat with skulls on it. I then took a leaf out of Fi's book and cut out the skulls on the left over polar fleece and made these into hand warmers. These have been sent off to the nephews.
    I showed Bluey everyones comments re his cot. He didn't say much, but I know he was very chuffed. At the beginning of August this cot will be holding one very precious little bundle.
    Life is good.

    1. Dear Jane,
      We are having internet problems, several other ladies said the same thing. Then several of the US ladies said it too! It makes you wonder.
      I am glad you told Bluey how much admired his cot is! And your beautiful sewing. The slippers get me, they are just gorgeous!
      I love the "Grand dog" using this concept I have a Grand Dog called Wednesday.
      What an exciting time for you! Not long to go now!
      With lots of love, and thanks for participating your photos are beautiful! Love

    2. Dear Jane,wow Im humbled by your calling me a Domestic Goddess! I didn't see your post until now when Annabel mentioned it on last Friday's Feather your nest Friday. Im in awe of the work you and Bluey do as a team !That bundle due in AUgust will be in for a treat ;-) hehe , with love and thanks, Maria xx

  14. A beautiful showcase of talent yet again! Well done everyone, your skills and talents are wonderful. :)

    Harper is just adorable in her knitted skirt! Your Mum is a master knitter Annabel! :-)

    1. Dear Kaye,
      Thank you! In this weather knitted things are so nice. They are truly warm and cozy. What a week! I know it must be cold there also.
      I hope the end of the week is going well for you Kaye. With lots of love and thanks,

  15. Such impressive work everyone.

    That cot is AMAZING!! Bluey's work is above and beyond and such a wonderful family heirloom.


    1. I agree Janine, thanks for saying this as I think we need to build up these good guys who work so hard for their families! It is just wonderful! xxx

  16. Everything is fantastic, as usual. I always come away full of ideas!

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen, Thank you! My own list of ideas is growing. I got some good ones for men last week. I love having a heap of plans. Hope things are going well and the garden is too. With love

  17. Harper is absolutely gorgeous. Her hair! Her outfit is just beautiful and it suits her so much. Gosh I think your mum would be run off her feet is she sold these skirts. They are beautiful. Well done Barb on those lovely notebooks, Jane with your beautiful handiwork, Bluey for that beautiful cot and Maria for that cooking. How wonderful, and what talent! Thanks Annabel. Love, Bridge


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