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, 4 October 2016

The Christmas Challenge. Show and Tell for September.

It is time for show and tell for last month! Thank you to everyone for your emails and photos! I have loved them all!
I am trying to get a lot into this post as next week I am meant to be posting a grub rose tutorial. (Which is not easy to make I have discovered!)
So I have included something from everyone but not every photo or it would take me two or three weeks. I hope I have not forgotten anyone thats my main worry.

It is wonderful to see how Christmas cupboards are filling and all the gifts we make for occasions along the way as well  I always end up with ideas from seeing what everyone has made. I hope the same for you, if we have ideas lined up it is lovely!

We will start off with Maria. She finished her third rug for a Grandchild.

Her Grand Daughter picked out the edging colours. Pink. (She has good taste!)

Maria has one rug to finish then each Grandchild has one. Beautiful work Maria.

Fiona has been working on crochet edgings and doing a wonderful job!

Fiona had a go at it a little while back and felt she didn't go well. Then she had another go and now she is up and running! So persist if you feel you are not getting it right,  sometimes something just clicks and you are off!  Plus, realistically, we all have to learn and baby steps get us there! Then you have a whole new world of possibilities!

Pasty is also working crochet edges and this is new to her so I think between us pretty soon we will have conquered the world with pretty trims and edgings!

Mimi has had a busy month and this is a sample of what she was up to...

Pop over to  A Tray of Bliss as Mimi is looking at lovely ways to have a beautiful Christmas without spending a lot of money. You will find so many idea plus the easiest recipes ever that are just fabulous.

Jen in NS knit gorgeous socks!

For the blue ankle socks Jen used a vintage 1940's pattern! I JUST LOVE THEM! They are so complicated to make I would have a melt down but I think they are so gorgeous.

Susan is working on a series of lovely calendar gifts. They are just so sweet. Also a good idea for those of us with gifts to post.  It was hard to choose which one to show!

Susan makes amazing cards as well which include so much detail.

Mary added floral decals to a storage bin... we would call this a bread bin ...

And to a gorgeous little stool as well. A girl after my own heart, Mary! And a further pretty addition to your lovely kitchen!

Kelsey made gift tags with nests on them. I know because she sent me some!

Somehow she knew I would love these and she included the rubber stamp so I can make my own! (which I am working on... I thought why can't I have Christmas nests with sparkly eggs?)

Janine knitted socks:

Janine had renovations going on and had no access to her sewing room. So she knitted. Well, that is a good use of plan B Janine and very productive! 
But she did get some sewing done and made a little outfit for her Grand Daughter...

Christine made stunning quilts...

She also sent me photos of her beautiful orchids which I loved seeing. (plus gave me some tips on my mainly unsuccessful orchid growing!) Beautiful work.

Jeanette did some very clever repurposing and turned a broken outdoor light into a set of lanterns...

Very clever! I love this!

Jane has blown me away. In times of difficulty and worry she still managed to produce  amazing gifts.

I think working on something actually helps stress and worry. It does me. Bluey has his operation tomorrow.

Jane worked edges on towels!  Gorgeous! 
And applique potholders/trivets as well and look at the detail!

I know there are also a lot of projects underway that we are not allowed to see yet! So next month is shaping up well!

This month I am making my Christmas fruit cakes. It is the perfect time as it gives them a chance to mature and they taste so much better then. Also it gets something big done and dusted well ahead which is really handy. I always make a couple of small spare ones. Every year these have turned out to be great. I am making a dozen mini ones in muffin trays as well and individually wrapping them.

How is your Christmas cupboard looking? Keep your eyes out for inexpensive little additions that finish gifts off.  Soon it is all going to come together!

I hope your week is going well. Today is big here, several things on my list are hopefully going to be ticked off! Doors are being installed, painting done (by me) and my niece is coming to help me paint up really high and paint the chimneys!  I will be glad of this burst of activity after the last week of getting no painting done due to the storm.
See you on Friday! xxx


  1. Such great talent and great inspiration! Your fruitcakes sound wonderful too! I've been watching about crochet edgings on you tube and blogs. I tried it on my own first and I'm like Fiona it didn't go as well as what you post. So just a quick trip to get yarn and I'll be rolling along. Thanks for posting all these pictures!

    1. Dear Vickie, Keep at it! I hope it comes together for you as it is really good fun. Thank you so much... cakes next week I think I have everything lined up! With love

  2. Hi Annabel, So many talented women! I especially like the crochet edgings of course and Mimi's Inches and decorated soap. The gift tags are darling too. Loved looking at all the goodies. Nancy

    1. Thank you so much Nancy! I agree lots of talent and good ideas I hope your week is going well! It is flying by here! xxx

  3. Dearest Annabel

    So many very good ideas. I am loving looking at everyone's creations. I have just ordered the yarn to make DD16 a Mermaid Tail afghan and I am excited. DD19 is putting in orders for scarves and beanies for Christmas and I have a little surprise in planning stage for both of them. My surgery is booked for the 5th of December so plenty of time to get some small projects completed for Christmas.

    I have just purchased and downloaded Jes' book and I look forward to reading it. God Bless and have a great week ahead
    Mel xxxxxx

    1. Dear Mel, I have seen the mermaid tails and also Debbie did one which was amazing. That will be a lot of fun to do.
      I will write Dec 5 in my diary. I am hoping this will give you some recovery time, enough to still enjoy Christmas even if you're not very mobile.
      You will love the book! With all your fruit trees you will find new uses to make all kinds of things... plus Adelaide citrus is good and I often get lemons and oranges... so many good gifts and crafts from these!
      Much love to you Mel,

  4. Dear Annabel,
    What an amazing array of gifts made by extremely talented women. I love the show and tell. Sounds like you have an extremely busy day today but then it will be done and what a good feeling that will be.
    Wishing everyone a beautiful creative day. Blessings. Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie, Yes things turned out busy. The door guys cancelled due to a mistake but the painting went ahead! Much has been done since then!
      It has been a big week. I am hoping all is well with you, thinking of you, with much love

  5. Hi Annabel and all!

    I hope you don't mind me using this as eye exercise! .....

    Somehow, my show started from the bottom and, like you, I was amazed by Jane's work! The characters portrayed on those trivets look homely and loveable! They seem to remind me of someone ..... ! The edgings are soft and beautiful, and somewhat Annabelish! The dedication shown, Jane, in your homely counted cross-stitch is priceless! May the warmth of homeliness, created by our Maker, be a comfort to you and Bluey in hospital. May the Eternal hold onto you both.

    Maria, I love those scalloped edges! The main stitch is lovely, and the blanket looks pretty and warm. Just days ago, a cotton blanket straight from a hospital blanket warmer was wonderful to me. Blankets are important!

    Fiona, did I ever tell you I love scalloped edges! Yours are really special!

    Mimi, your string-wrapped soap, and smocking, look refreshing!

    Jen, do your socks get more wonderful, or are they just wonderful in different ways?! I like the rugged style, and those blue socks are amazing. It would be fun to press all those 'buttons'!

    Susan, your gifts are sweet, beautiful and practical! (I'm getting shorter .. nearly eye sleep time!)

    Mary, the roses are sweet. My eyes first thought the middle jar was wound with pink string. That looked good, too!

    Kelsey, your tags have that special touch - beautiful, stylish and full of thought. Annabel's photo captures them well!

    Jeanette, your photo looks homely. How much more with candles!

    Janine, you make me smile! I'm so proud of your sock knitting!

    Christine, your quilts are beautiful! I love the pink, green and yellow tones .. a gift of comfort!

    Vicky, did you ever give out your address, and did you receive any gift samples?!!

    .. Beautiful work everyone! I'm proud of you all!


    1. Dear Rachel,

      I hope you are doing well after your accident! Ha,ha about pressing the "buttons"...I bet you like to pop bubble wrap, too! :) xx Jen in NS

    2. Dear Rachel,
      One time a shop I sold things in sold paint I mixed up called "Annabel Pink" I thought it was the best thing every having a pink names after me! Well now you said something was "Annabelish" I think that is very nice and I love it!
      When I see lovely photos of beautiful crafts and produce I will say they are very "Rachelish!"
      Thank you for commenting one everyones work!
      I hope you are feeling much better and your eye improving daily!
      Rest and recover and I hope soon you will be back to your old self! With lots of love,

  6. Dear Annabel,

    Wow! So many wonderful gifts! I love that calendar...what a marvelous idea! And those hotpads/trivets of Jane's...those are gorgeous. And what a great idea for broken outdoor light fixtures! Thank you for the compliments on my sock knitting...I knit them because a)everyone in my family wears them and they wear out! :) and b)they are a nice, portable project that I can work on in the car, in small moments, etc. I am glad to hear that your painting is going so well and that you will have some help with some of it! I am making slow progress on our deck, but a few boards a day and HOPEFULLY I will get done before the weather is too cold and wet to paint!

    Must go and get things done for the day. xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      I know you have gifts to post... I think paper crafts are really good for this! I love the calendars too!
      Your socks are beautiful. You are a sensational knitter. It is a great skill to have.
      I also like how a vintage pattern is so divine in the present day!
      A few boards a day will get you there on the deck! Truly its amazing how this works. And I have had my niece helping for tow days and oh my goodness this has been wonderful! Many thanks Jen, with love

  7. I am getting intimidated by the talent some of you ladies have! Such beautiful needlework and quilts and creative repurposing! I started a batch of vanilla extract this month and am hoping to make apple butter.
    Blessings, Leigh

    1. Dear Leigh,
      I have vanilla started too and I love it. I think its a beautiful gift too. I think apple butter would be divine! Thank you for commenting on all the good work! With love

  8. Dear Annabel, I am once again totally gobsmacked at everyone's talent and creativity! I love Show and Tell!

    Maria, I love your added touch of your granddaughter's initial on her afghan, I think I'm going to have to copy that idea! Thank you!

    Fiona, great job! I'm so glad you tried again, your edging is beautiful!

    Keep it up Patsy - you'll conquer the edging in no time!

    Mimi, I love your smocking, I have always wanted to try! Now that my girls are grown up, I am wishing for a granddaughter someday so I can make some little smocked dresses.

    Jen in NS, I LOVE your socks, especially the light blue ones, what a lovely pattern!

    Oh my goodness, Susan - your mice in the cocoa are so adorable! I would smile every time I looked at the calendar!

    Mary, your bread bin is so pretty! I have a similar bread bin that my husband spray painted bright red and I love it, but now I think I need to add a decal to the front to dress it up like yours!

    Kelsey, I hope your eye is feeling even better today and that you are well on the road to recovery. Your gift tags are so pretty and it is so nice of you to send the stamp to Annabel! Annabel, I cannot wait to see how you dress up your tags as well!

    Janine, your socks look amazing and I love your tag bands. They look so warm and cozy!

    Christine, your quilts are gorgeous, I especially like the green in the second one!

    Jane, your cross stitch is so well done, you have many patience to count all those squares on the chart! I have tried but I do not possess the patience required. Prayers said for Bluey's surgery tomorrow. I also love your edged towels and your roses. The appliques on your hot pads are amazing!

    Annabel, I am so glad that someone will be helping you to paint up high. It can be so dangerous to be on a ladder and I never think it's a good idea to climb one when you're at home alone. I had a friend once fall off one while dusting her ceiling fan (she is a widow) and she laid there for hours after she fell before she could call one of her sons for help. She broke her shoulder and required surgery to pin it back together!

    I hope everyone has a wonderful remainder of their week!

    Fond regards,


    1. Dear Jeanette,
      Thank you for commenting on everyones work! And thank you so much for participating!
      I am more cautious now about ladders as I had a bad fall a few years ago and yes you guessed it I was home on my own. I was so lucky I didn't break anything but it was terrible. I had so many bruises all over that Andy said I was worse than a motorcycle accident he was in once. Since then I am just not so confident. Maybe a good thing! Much love,

  9. Annabel,
    Once again there is such a display of talent! I love everything!
    Fiona that is the cutest material! Your edging looks fantastic!
    I second all of the wonderful comments on such diligent work it really shows that all of the ladies must have a lot of patience!
    Rachel your comment made me giggle because I had forgot about that!
    I think I am jealous of everyone's talents, but watch out ladies I think I will be making some really nice potholders when I get one of those child's weaving loom kits that has the bag of loops with it!


    1. Dear Vicky,
      I love Fiona's fabric as well! You will soon be back to crafts as your garden finishes up. Winter time is wonderful for being busy on gifts etc. But I know you have crochet on the go in between. Have a good weekend! With lots of love,

  10. Dear Annabel,

    I always enjoy looking at all the lovely things the ladies have been creating. So many ideas running through my head now, just wish I had a little more time to find my creative side again.

    Such gorgeous work, well done everyone!


    1. Dear Tania,
      Thank you so much for commenting. Spring is a busy time, I hope you get some time to work on things for Christmas. Cakes are my next thing, maybe next week. With love, Annabel.xxxx

  11. Dear Annabel,
    Don't believe Vicky about the child's loom. She can't even use it! But I love her anyway!! She is a very talented person! I love all the projects on your blog! It is very encouraging to people who have no concept of saving and making do!

    Love to all!!
    Vicky's Mom

    1. Dear Vickys Mum, hahah! Really!? Yes she is talented and also very hard working.
      Thank you so much! I hope we can encourage everyone to be learning something and making something. It adds a lot to life and the budget too! With love Annabel.xxxx

  12. Wow Annabel! A wonderful array of home made goodies , I love them all ! And your niece Allie is a darling to help you paint by doing the high spots.I think any of us could feel our work is not up to scratch when we see another's .I find I like many can be critical of my own work and I often show my husband something I think looks wrong and he usually says not to worry so much it all looks fine.
    Jeanette , please feel free to copy , I got the initial idea when I crocheted a towel size striped rug for my little grandson visiting to take back home with him ,and so he knew I made it for him. Im a bit careful about putting whole names (stranger danger ).I googled a few ways and ended up using a chain stitch with my hook , if that makes sense. I looked at embroidery for intials too.But I liked the chain stitch for how it looks both sides of the rug.
    Thankyou Rachel ,the stitch was easy , and good practice for me.Im glad you are making such a good recovery and your poor eye is saved phew, that was lucky .
    Hope those with awful weather are keeping safe and warm.Take care. With love , Maria xxx

  13. Annabel, I love all the gorgeous Christmas gifts and ideas. I am stuck for my 17year old grandson. He has started work this year, so earns his own money. I would love to make him something special. We usually spend $40 on a gift or give him money. I make him his own special birthday card. Please could you ask the lovely ladies on your blog for some ideas? Even though he is getting close to being an adult, he still feels loved when he gets a handmade gift. Many thanks Lorraine

  14. Everyone's finished projects are just beautiful and will make lovely gifts that will be appreciated muchly by the recipient.
    I have finished my sunshine blanket and will send you a pic today. Hand made gifts are so expensive now if you have to buy them and there are markets everywhere now dedicated to homemade.
    Looking forward to the next months projects. Take care. Debbie xx


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