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 30 August 2016

The Christmas Challenge. August Show and Tell.

Welcome to a wrap up of what everyone made in August!  Thank you to everyone who wrote and send in photos! There is a lovely diversity and lots of ideas!

As usual this is going to take two weeks! They are in no particular order and something from everyone.

First we have Pat. She made a quilt as a wedding gift for her nephew. Truly stunning and what a wonderful gift that will be kept forever!

Rachel sent in a picture of the pink tablecloth that we heard about a little while ago. I said I wanted to see this gorgeous op shop find so here it is! The very soft pink is lovely.

Plus her Dad's citrus jam...

Look at the colour! Since there were quite a few comments and questions on this I am enclosing the recipe that Rachel posted in comments...

Now, regarding the 'citrus jam', this could be quite interesting!

Firstly, I am thinking that the original Coles 'Taste Magazine' recipe is at the following link

Secondly, Dad wrote ..... 

"Our jam session has 2 grapefruit(large), 2lemons ,2lemonades,2mandarines,
2 red oranges and 3 or 4 small oranges 🤔or what ever is on the farm.
It varies every time 🕑,another batch has just come off the line."

The above citrus fruit (the whole fruit, cut up) were soaked overnight (12 hours) in enough water to cover them, without the fruit pieces floating. One kilogram of sugar was used, but may need to be adjusted to obtain the desired taste and consistency/thickness.

So, you see, I can only pass on estimates. However, I found the resulting citrus jam, kept in the fridge, refreshing, luscious and fruity! See what you think!!

Cookie has been making amazing fabric and cord baskets...

And quilts!  Cookie is extremely creative I have discovered as she has sent me some links and photos that have given me some big ideas! 

Cookie uses almost all salvaged and recycled fabrics in her work. 

Jo has made appliquéd towels... 

She wanted to learn how to do Grub Roses and did as I suggested going to You Tube for instructions and practicing. Well done Jo you have done an amazing job.

She also makes the Banana Cake and says it is a favourite at her place!

This is a link to the recipe Annabels Banana Cake.

Jo also went to You Tube to learn this bobble stitch I use so much.  And look what she made! 

This is beautiful and turned out so well. It is really a big encouragement to see all of this and know that you can decide to learn something totally new and be producing gifts from your new skill in no time! This is so much fun too.

Chloe made biscuits. She had several occasions to feed people who were helping her and she treated them to fancy biscuits. She said how grown men act like little boys over being made cute biscuits! 

Rosanne has a son who is a massive Dr. Who fan. She made him a Dr. Who scarf! It is 23 and a half feet long! He is going to go crazy over this!

This is the most amazing gift idea for a Dr. Who fan!

I really appreciate the emails and willingness to share what you have been doing! It's really uplifting actually. And each month I end up with a list of totally new ideas.
Best of all I think seeing what others are doing encourages me to learn something new. We might all have a specialty but learning a new skill or even new stitch is so much fun and so exciting. And you never know the new thing might become your new specialty!

Some skills are useful beyond gifts i.e. soap making fills your own cupboard with soap supplies, sewing skills mean you can mend and alter things. Rachel wrote to me and was saying how she does mending and alterations for her parents as her Mother's eyesight isn't so good anymore. She also might see something suitable for one of them in an op shop and make it over for them in some way.  All these skills can be a huge blessing and used in many ways! Building up your skills is a good thing.

I hope your week is going well! I have a lot to report on my 100 day challenge! Once you start spring cleaning and moving things it is never ending! It seems to have a domino effect. And we won't talk about the dust under and behind moved furniture. Eek.

I am working on pale blue towels with matching crochet edgings in cotton. They are looking lovely and are so much fun to do. I get about an hour in the evenings where we watch something on TV and some crochet time on the weekends when we watch football! Projects grow then!

See you on Friday! xxx


  1. Everyone is so talented that share pictures and recipes!

    1. Thank you Debbie for commenting on all the hard work! xxx

  2. Dear Annabel,
    I just love what everyone has made this month, well done ladies! I had a couple of projects that I've just finished so I'll email you soon and hopefully you can add them to next weeks show and tell. xx

    1. Dear Mel,
      Thanks Mel, I will look forward to seeing what you have been making! Your gift cupboard is going really well and you are going to have a wonderful Christmas! With love

  3. Dear Annabel, what beautiful projects hand made by very talented ladies. I have just finished hemming a tablecloth. I bought this fabric at a garage sale for $1. Washed it up and it washed up beautifully. I have almost finished my quilt. Will email pics for September. I am going away for 3 weeks to cook, clean etc. for the men whilst they are doing more reno work on the house in the country. I will also be taking my sewing machine so that I can keep on sewing. Once again what an inspirational post. Love Christine

    1. Dear Christine,
      It was wonderful to get fabric like that for $1! I will look forward to seeing your quilt!
      It sounds like you will be working hard on your trip. I hope you get time to sew in between! I hope it al goes very well. With love

  4. Beautiful photos and crafts Annabel, you have inspired so many people. Have a great week. Fi xx

    1. Dear Fiona,
      Thank you so much, I hope you will get time to be creating again now that the house is sold etc. With lots of love

  5. I am in awe of the creativity on display. Cookie and Pat's quilts are divine. Rachel can make a display that looks as if she is a stylist for a magazine. Jo, sewing, embroidery, cooking and crochet? Simply WOW! I'm hungry looking at Chloe's cookies. Rosanne's son is going to be very warm in his wonderful scarf. I lost my creativity mojo over August. Looking at all this wonderful work seems to have created a spark. Thank you ladies.

    1. Dear Jane,
      Well I hope September is going to be a MUCH easier month for you and you will be back to your normal life at home. Thats my wish! And for Bluey to be back to his normal self too. With love

  6. Wonderful, wonderful creations. I particularly liked the fabric and cord basket and the present quilt. Lovely work everyone from the crochet, quilts,sewing, knitting and the beautifully decorated biscuits. What a clever group you have collected here Annabel.

    1. Dear Christine, Thank you for commenting on the beautiful work! They are an amazing group! All so hardworking and generous. Many thanks! Love

  7. Hi Annabel!

    You have certainly had rich pickings for this Show and Tell! Aren't those quilting fabrics so rich!!

    Firstly, I'd like to jump in and ask Chloe if she would please pass me a biscuit! A sweet biscuit, and so fancy, would be really nice to enjoy with this Show! Look at all the fine icing detail. These are cute biscuits!

    Pat, your wonderfully rich fabrics have been placed expertly together. I really like those finer pieces, and how they give delicate designs. Your patience definitely has produced a quilt suitable for a wedding gift! This is excellent work!

    Cookie, I have been looking forward to seeing your work for some time now, and I am pleased with your results! You work so well with colours, and I am particularly appreciating how you have placed blue among the reds in the first quilt. I am wondering what this patchwork design is called. It is dazzling, and the fingers at the top make me smile! Thanks for introducing me to the scrap basket making. You must have had fun holding it at the sewing machine as you zig zagged the wrapped rope into its shape! That's a bit funny!

    Jo, those little houses are so cute, and I am thinking of you as Annabel's protege! Your grub roses and crochet edging and iced banana cakes and 'coconut ice' bobble stitch rug ..... are reminiscent of beautiful things I've seen before ..... somewhere! This is wonderful, truly! Keep going. I'd love to see more!!

    Rosanne, twenty-three and a half feet, with well blended colours ..... You're a champion to have knitted a scarf for a giraffe! You have used a lot of wool!!

    Annabel, I would feel tired to contemplate all the hours and dedication that has gone into these projects - if I wasn't enjoying the Show so much. I don't know how you keep gifting us with beautiful posts, but you do. Again, thank you!! (Mum likes your crochet edgings, too!!)

    With warm regards,
    Rachel Holt

    P.S. I am looking forward to seeing what the ladies have in store for part two!

    1. Dear Rachel,
      Thank you for commenting one everyones wonderful efforts!
      There is LOTS coming in part two! I think it will be very interesting to look back at the end f the year at what we all have achieved!
      I hope you are having a great week and thank you for your beautiful pictures! With love

    2. Hi Rachel,
      Thank you for your kind words. I don't know the exact name of the pattern for the red, white and blue quilt. It is probably a variation of a barn raising pattern, but I'm not sure. I found the pattern on Pinterest and did an adaptation of it. It was called 4th of July and used red white and blue fabrics. I just gathered all of my scraps in those colors and placed them accordingly. It was a lot of fun and lots of scraps got used. I'm looking forward to seeing what you've been working on. Blessings. Cookie

  8. I am humbled to have my quilt be the lead-in photo to such incredible projects others have done! Perhaps when winter comes, I will be inspired by all of you to try crocheting, knitting and embroidery that have always eluded my skill set!!! Isn't this age we live in marvelous- where we can get "global" encouragement from each other as well as so many free instructions and video tutorials just by clicking a couple buttons?!!!!!
    Your projects are so inspiring!!! In the meantime, I'm sure I can find some frozen bananas in one of my freezers that I am rotating through so banana cakes may be next in line to try!!!
    Thanks again for so many wonderful ideas to try and all the encouragement you all are to me and to you, Annabel, for hosting this forum for so many of us to share and learn from you!!! Well done!!

    1. Dear Gardenpat, It is a stunning quilt and knowing everything else you make and do in a month I admire you very much. I think if you can sew so well then keep sewing! But also it is fun to try a new skill and I like to have things to work on in the car on trips and crochet is good for that.
      I agree how amazing it is that we can all "meet" and help each other. So fortunate! with love

  9. WOWEE! I shouldn't be here, as I'm so low on data left to use on this month's allotment, but I couldn't resist coming over to see the Show and Tell! Absolutely GORGEOUS quilts! Rachel, what a beautiful picture with the crochet tablecloth. I love those appliqued towels...the cookies are so cute...and that Dr. Who scarf is hilarious! Can you imagine how much that scarf would cost in a store?? Everything is so inspiring...I have tried my hand at many new projects as a result of this blog, Annabel! Sounds like your 100 Day Challenge is going wonderfully and that lots of progress is being made!

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      Now you probably can't even read my reply but thank you so much for commenting!
      Good point... Roasannes scarf who sell for a fortune as all the Dr. Who fans would want it... it would be hundreds at least.
      Thank you for saying you have tired new things because of us. That makes me very happy. With lots of love

  10. Just WOW on the 23 foot scarf😱
    The biscuits-cookies are so cute and those house towels and rose towels are so sweet.
    I love seeing what real people make and I'm glad you share these every week. I look forward to it.

  11. Annabel,
    I always love these displays of talent and encouragement. Everyone has been so busy and the effort put into each thing is beautiful!

    Pat-I love your quilt it truly is stunning! I love the colors!

    Rachel- That tablecloth was an awesome find! I hope you have a pretty tea set to go with it that would be perfect and the citrus jam, looks like sunshine! That would be so beautiful on a pantry shelf in the middle of a cold winter here. Your display of them would be a lovely picture!

    Cookie- Wow you have been busy! I love your basket and always enjoy your kind words when you comment. Your hard work is much appreciated.

    Jo- Another busy bee! Everything looks fantastic your grub roses are perfect and well everything looks perfect!

    Rosanne- I love the scarf! My son is a big fan of Dr. Who also and I remember watching it when I was younger so the scarf brings back memories! It is great!

    Chloe- your biscuits are so cute! I love the snails the best!


    1. Dear Vicky,
      Thank you for commenting on everyones creations! They are amazing!
      I know you are working on a few things too! Plus tell your Mum hello and I would love to see some of her work as well.
      With lots of love

  12. Dear Annabel,
    I, too, am in awe once again at the talent of the women, and the beautiful things they've created. Thank you, Annabel, for providing the venue for this.
    Pat, the quilt you created for your nephew and his bride is exquisite and sure to become a family heirloom. The colors are beautiful.

    Rachel, I agree with Jane's comment. You have an incredible eye in setting up a shot and making things beautiful. I can't wait to see what you're keeping under wraps with us guessing as to what it is.

    Jo, the appliqued towels are so unique and adorable. Well done learning the grub rose and the bobble stitch.

    Chloe, I'd love to jump right through the screen and grab some of those yummy looking biscuits to have for dessert tonight. The icing details are wonderful.

    Roseanne, I don't know who Dr. Who is but I sure love the scarf and the colors. I enjoyed seeing it laid out on the bed as it really gave a good picture as to the magnitude of 23 1/2 feet. Wow.

    I'm really looking forward to seeing Part 2. Blessings. Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie, Thank you so much for sharing your photos! Your quilts and baskets are amazing! I love that you use recycled fabrics.
      Dr. Who is a British TV show that has gone on for decades and has a cult following. If you google you will see he wears this enormous scarf!
      Part two is shaping up to be huge! With lots of love and thanks,

  13. I've been a bit slack with my gift creation this month so won't share my efforts. I have half a dozen things under way, but none finished. As always, I'm amazed and humbled by what the ladies here achieve. Truly inspiring! Love, Mimi xxx

  14. Just gorgeous Annabel ! Do you have any recipes on glycerine soap making ? And do you make your own laundry powder or buy it. ? Its so expensive and I suffer allergies but work in hospitality and get really oily greasy and red wine stains. The cost of such basics just keeps going up and up !! I grow what I can yea even in the city like herbs because of tiny space living. But I'm struggling to make ends meet and plain worn out. Mentally and physically. Surely life is more than this ?? Sydney is so expensive but I'm here to be near family and also my medical care . Thank the lord we live in a country with subsidised medicines and medical care ! I'd like to also learn jam making but no trees.... hope to hear from you. A big fan of your blog ! Sonia

    1. Dear Sonia,
      Firstly earlier in the year I did a lot of soap making including Glycerine which was just melt and pour plus some laundry soap and wool wash... see here:
      And here:
      You sound like you work really hard and I am sorry that it is so hard to make ends meet. I know from another time you rote you have medical issues and also that Sydney is very expensive. My mind boggles at what our home here would cost in Sydney! It would be impossible for us. So I know that is hard. And I understand wanting to be near family.
      The laundry power I buy when I do buy it is DUO. It is $2 a box often in chemists. It is excellent! $2 is my limit on laundry powder. I would say go to Aldi. The prices are a fraction and things are excellent.
      I think that if you are worn out and cannot see things getting better then something has to change but what.... and I don't know what you can change or if there are any good ways of really reducing your costs or ways to bring in more money etc. If you would like to email me then I will certainly try to help which maybe I could do with more time and information. I will certainly try. My email is
      With love and best wishes,

  15. Dear Annabel,
    Wow, everything is so beautiful and well made. The quilts are all stunning!
    I especially love Jo's towels and Chloe's cookies. I think I will have to look for some similar cookie cutters.
    Rachel, I agree with the others and think you are so good at photography. You made a good decision snatching up that tablecloth, too!
    Rosanne, I think your son will love that scarf! You have used your wonderful talent to make a thoughtful gift for someone you love. Those are the best kind!
    Annabel, I have not done much in the way of crafting lately, but I am going to start! I figured out how to work my husband's grandmother's sewing machine. It is a vintage Singer and runs like a dream! Way better than my old one! Yesterday I got it in my mind that I want some new clothes. That is just not in the budget right now, so I went to my sewing closet and found a skirt I started three years ago and never finished. It is perfect for Fall, and I searched my closet and found pieces to make an outfit I will really like. I will try to finish that today, as I am so excited about it.
    I went into a local department store last week to have a look around, just for fun. I came out empty-handed, and my husband asked,"Didn't you find anything?" I said, "Yes, but I'm not going to pay those prices!" It is strange, but having a small budget and walking through a department store is oddly encouraging to me. I don't get depressed about not affording things. I think it is because it inspires my creativity, but also I am happy to know I am saving so much money, as really I can get something nicer at the thrift store. (Mimi has a good series on this right now!) It is a wake-up call to see what people actually pay for things. I often think of the ladies here and how the factory stuff can't even compete with the beauty and quality featured in the show and tells. Thank you for putting this together and thank you, ladies, for sharing! I always look forward to it!
    With lots of love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey, Thank you for commenting on all the good work!
      It is wonderful about that sewing machine! It is probably a beautiful quality machine and will last you a long time! If it runs great then its probably fine but you can google how to service it and oil it etc and that can be really good for it.
      Didn't Mimi find some beautiful things! I think if you look in the department store and catalogues etc you can get lots of ideas of how to put things together and ideas and then copy them with what you have, things you make and op shop finds. I won't pay those prices either. Im not even tempted! I think it will be in the op shop next year lol and usually is!
      I hope your skirt turns out well and you get lots of wear from it! Today was our first day of Spring! And you will be going into Fall. We say Autumn. Well I love that time of year the best of all. But Spring is good too and I love the blossoms on the trees!
      Have a lovely weekend Kelsey. You will be getting into the swing of your new life and husbands work routine etc! Happy sewing too! With love,

  16. Hi Annabel,
    What a treat seeing all these gorgeous gifts - there are going to be some very lucky people in a few months time. I love the variety of gifts that everyone is making as it gives us all so many ideas, now if someone could come up with an idea for creating more time ... Thank you everyone.
    Kelsey, on the subject of your vintage Singer, you should be able to get a manual off the internet. I did a quick search and found this site . The manuals are a free download, you just need to look for your model machine. I hope this is OK to post Annabel.
    Annabel, yours is such a wonderful blog, giving so much useful help and inspiration. You truly achieve the aim of your blog to "the be a place of encouragement and happiness."
    Thank you,

    1. Dear Janine,
      Thanks so much Janine so that. Also yes the manuals to the old machines is a great link! I really think the older machines are better. They were solid and reliable and now the new ones are plastic and flimsy!
      Thank you for commenting on the beautiful work too. More hours in a day would be good but then I need the energy to keep going gin those hours too! Im saying this as its fresh in my mind how I had to go to bed so early last night as I was so tired I couldn't function! Too many plans and projects and too tired to do them!
      Have a wonderful weekend! Many thanks, Love

    2. Dear Janine,
      Thank you for your thoughtfulness and taking the time to find that. Fortunately I do have the original manual, but that is good to know, I really appreciate it. Have a lovely weekend!
      With love, Kelsey

  17. Dear Annabel
    I just wanted to say thankyou to all the ladies for all the wonderful kind comments towards everybody's projects and my what beautiful creations they are. Your blog is full of kindness, help and love.
    PS. Rachel your tablecloth is just gorgeous, you were very lucky to have found it, I had to laugh about being Annabel's protégé. Jo x

    1. Dear Jo, Thank you so much for taking part and your beautiful photos! I can see you gave a lot of ladies great ideas. Have a wonderful weekend! With love,


I really appreciate your comments thank you! The aim of my blog is the be a place of encouragement and happiness. Very rarely is anyone rude. Actually only twice so far! If you post a rude or aggressive comment I will read it but not publish it, thanks for

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