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, 1 November 2016

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

We are in November! I had so much fun yesterday as by my own rules I was "allowed" to get everything out of the present cupboard!  I am still sorting it all out as it takes ages to work out who gets what and so on. But already I have Birthday gifts as well as Christmas gifts for some family members. That will put me well ahead in January as well ahead now for Christmas!
For everyone who has participated with this challenge I cannot wait for you to experience the same... getting things out that you barely even remember having put in there and making gifts up. There will be so much you will NOT be buying this December!

Thank you to everyone who has sent in pictures. We are going to need two weeks of this Show and Tell.

Also thank you to everyone who commented on Monday's post about big bills. More and more ideas came in. Plus quite a bit of information and tips that could be useful re the medical care costs in the US plus other money saving and making tips generally. A great selection of tips came in on saving on prescriptions and electricity.  Next week we will pick up from there with as many ideas as we can come up with and different things... things we might not have thought of or tried before.

In light of big bills and tight budgets making your own gifts can be a huge saving. Gift giving is a big area we can review and possibly cut by a lot.  This does not necessarily mean giving less. It can mean giving more! (as you will see below!)

Now to Show and Tell...
As usual I am posting things in no particular order and representing everyone but I do not use all photos otherwise it would be too many posts! But I love seeing everything and many times I am able to use photos somewhere as I did with Rachel's Dad's beautiful photos on Monday. Thank you!

Firstly we have Pat. She makes quilts at a rate I have never seen! And she is using all fabrics she has on hand or that come her way.

Pat has used many as gifts including a wedding gift recently.

Thank you Pat you are very inspiring! Your colour schemes are always gorgeous.

Cookie has many talents. This month we have some of her cards. She paints her own roses then applies them to her cards.  I have seen them close up as she sent me some!

Some had a lace trim as well...

I love them!

Wendy makes a lot of cards. At one time she told me she just isn't crafty.  I took no notice of this and soon she was trying her hand at cards.  You should see what she makes now! 
And we have said many times that learning new skills and working on them can lead to gifts, items to barter with, items to give to charity, things to sell...   Now Wendy has started an Etsy shop with some friends.  She has gone from "not crafty" to having her own online shop to bring in extra income for her family!  
For Christmas Wendy has made little beaded angels...

This is a link to her shop...  The Crafty Mums Co-op.  I think this is a very inspiring story and I am very proud of you Wendy! 

This could be an idea for others. Hand made things are sought after. With the internet the whole world can be your market.  Also on Etsy you can sell craft supplies. This opens up a world of things you could possibly find and sell such as fabrics, yarn, laces, embroidery etc. There are some creative examples like a lady who cuts up angora, cashmere and other luxury jumpers/sweaters and sells the pieces to be re crafted. Really Etsy is an amazing source of beautiful things. It is also a good place to check what people are paying for the things you are making.

Susan made Lemon Astringent using the recipe in Jes' ebook.  You can find the ebook at Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth (on my side bar) and the book is called 100+ things to do with fruit scraps.
The labels for the projects are included in the book.
Susan has fruit trees so I knew this book was going to be wonderful for her!

What a nice gift or lovely to use ourselves! Thank you so much Susan. I am waiting on fruit!

Mimi came up with an idea that made me wonder why on earth didn't I think of that!  She went to the thrift stores and found lovely things like silk camisoles, satin pyjamas and dressing gowns...  on her blog she even shows the before photos (think crinkled) and then the afters where she has added little touches of embroidery. For everyone working on their rose embroidery this is a wonderful use for them!

Take a look here at A Tray of Bliss and also look at more recent posts as I notice she just posted tips on packaging for items like this. Very helpful as presentation is a big component of gift giving and as you can see this looks lovely and luxurious! I think she paid $3 or something for the silk camisole! 

I can see so many possibilities here and I would like to embroider a little dressing gown for Harper. Gorgeous.  But I also love half slips, pretty nighties and dressinggonws... so now they are on my search lists!  

Next I have gorgeous knitting from Maria G.

The top rug is knitted in cotton and was for Maria's Granddaughter.
The bottom rug is for her friends baby. Just beautiful knitting Maria.  She also made a knitted rug for a recent 50th Birthday gift.  They are heirloom gifts!

Thank you everyone. This demonstrates handmade gifts can be really economical and luxurious and incredibly generous gifts.  being busy with your hands = happiness! 

I hope your week is going well!   
What are you working on and how is your present supply looking? There is still time to get a lot done!  November is great to finish up bigger projects and fill some gaps in our gift giving supplies.


  1. Beautiful work from everyone. Those quilts! And thankyou for the mention Annabel. Once you see how a little TLC transforms those pyjamas and camisoles and so on, you'll be hooked! Lots of love, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi, Thank you very much for the photos. You have given me a whole list of new things to go on with. I have op shopping planned next week. I am so excited! When I went to a department store a few weeks ago I was horrified by the prices of lingerie and this is how I am going to beat them! Plus for gifts of course. With love

  2. :::clapping loudly::: What a treat to see so much talent in such lovely things. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Oh my this is such eye candy. Clever, clever, clever ladies.

  4. Dear Annabel (and Bluebirders),
    It is late here but I just wanted to give you an update on my husband. His surgery was this morning , November 1,and it went extraordinarily well. He's resting comfortably in ICU. My mind will be fresher after some rest so that I can look at all of the lovely things everyone has contributed to the show and tell. Much love to you all. Cookie

    1. Thank you Cookie for letting us know! This is wonderful news! You must feel a great sense of relief! Now get some rest. You must be really worn out. Fantastic news! xxx

    2. Good news Cookie! Please take good care and know that many good thoughts and prayers are coming your way!

    3. Cookie I am so pleased for you both. . Take care of yourself so that you can take care of hubby. Thoughts and prayers.

    4. Truly wonderful news Cookie! Mimi xxx

    5. This is wonderful news Cookie! I hope you have been able to get some rest. Continuing to pray for a swift and problem free recovery.

      love, Kaye xo

    6. That's wonderful news Cookie. I will keep your husband in my prayers. Love, Bridge

  5. Annabel,
    Once again a spectacular show and tell!
    Pat- your quilts are so lovely and your so fast too!
    Cookie- amazing is all I can say such talent!!!!
    Wendy- your angels are precious I hope you sell lots of those from your shop! Your cards are so pretty too.
    Susan- looks fantastic!
    Mimi- beautiful, frugal and very pretty packaging all in one! your very talented!
    Maria- I love both and who wouldn't love one of these?
    Thank you again for all of the show and tells each week Annabel! I feel so behind in talent!

    1. Dear Vicky,
      Thank you for commenting on everyones work! And next week is shaping up to be even bigger! So many ideas and so lovely! With love

  6. Hi Annabel and Co.,

    I'd like to start by telling Cookie that we share her relief that her husband is now resting after successful surgery. This is refreshing to hear!! Also, the beauty of her hand-painted roses stands out about a mile away! Everything about Cookie's cards is wonderful, and a pleasure to view! (Good on you, Cookie!)

    Pat, it is incredible to see what can be made of little pieces, and your little pieces come together so artfully! Clearly you have a talent for piecing these puzzles together, and what comfort your quilts must be for your recipients!

    Wendy, I had a peek at your Etsy store, and was impressed by the quality of your goods. You all do some stylish work!

    Susan, I noticed the pink presentation! You don't have to like pink to work here, but it sure helps!! I know witch hazel is wonderful, so I hope you find the lemon astringent extra special! I am, at this time, just imagining quantities of dried citrus peel powder, along with citrus vinegar solutions for floor cleaner, room sprays .... and who knows what else?! (Thanks to you, too, Jes and Co.!!)

    Mimi, you've got the touch! Your thoughtful gifts are so luxuriously comfortable and beautiful in presentation. Mmmm, those roses do look Annabelish!! Lovely and lush!!

    Maria, colourful and warm blankets go so well with your warming, hearty cooking and baking. Both are highly valuable gifts that you provide! This is excellent!!

    I haven't forgotten that Bluey is top of the show, along with Cookie's husband!! THIS is wonderful.

    Thanks, Annabel! Your Shows are something to look forward to!

    With warm regards,
    Rachel Holt

    1. Dear Rachel, Thank you for mentioning everyone!
      Your beautiful photos will be in next weeks Show and Tell. You have a way of presenting everything so well! I can't wait for next week actually!
      I hope you are having a very good week. We have some lovely weather at last! I am paining my IKEA shelves and getting washing done and harvesting roses!
      With love

  7. Hi Annabel,

    What a wonderful array of goodies! I love all of them...I had never thought of painting roses and then cutting them out and using them on cards...what a great idea and it turned out so beautifully! So much gorgeousness on display here...I would certainly love a silk camisole with roses embroidered on it! :)

    So glad to hear about Cookie's husband and Bluey.

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      I am glad you got an idea that hopefully you could use... I though since my painting isn't marvellous I could cut out painted roses from a book if I can find on in the op shop!
      I know you are having a busy time... I hope the week is going ok! With love

  8. Everything looks just gorgeous!!! I am getting so many gift ideas!!!

    1. Thanks you Jes! I am loving seeing things being produced from your book. Next week I am getting bags of lemons! I will be up and running! xxx

  9. Dearest Annabel, oh my, what a feast for the eyes today! I have gone back and looked at each picture several times. I love each and every item that everyone has crafted! As I am cleaning out my craft room, I am finding things that I have tucked here and there that are gifts but before now, I did not have a specific place that I was putting everything so I think they were forgotten! I will have that special place now and look forward to pulling out everything at once next year!

    Cookie, I am so glad to hear your husband's surgery went well. I am sending prayers for continued healing! Please take care of yourself as well and try to rest when you can. I look forward to hearing more good news from you as your husband is progressing.


    1. Dear Jeanette,
      Thank you on behalf of everyone and wait until you see next week!
      I think it is good to have a special place for gifts as I have "lost" things!
      It is good news from Cookie!
      This Show and Tell has given me a whole list of things... I am planning next year already as it is nice to have totally new gifts to work on. with love

  10. Pat, I bet your quilts are love and treasured and will be passed down in families, as heirlooms.
    Cookie, those roses are magnificent.
    Wendy, what lovely decorations.
    Susan, your lemon astringent looks so well presented, I love the label.
    Mimi, how clever to up-do goods from op shops. Beautiful!
    Maria, your knitted blankets will be loved too. I bet they will last much longer than the ones in shops!
    What lucky recipients!
    I am inspired by Wendy, as I too am not ‘crafty’. I have done up some journals and these will form the basis of some of my presents. But, I could do better. Still, it’s an improvement from last year, so I need to commend myself that some of my gifts are homemade this year- made with love. I would like to make your shortbread too and your coconut ice! I think these are good gifts. Lots of love, Bridge

    1. Dear Bridge,
      Thank you so much for commenting on everyones work!
      You have done well and journals will make beautiful gifts! Bridge, its mostly confidence. Mainly my way has been to see something I love and not wanting to pay the price I examine it and copy it. Something I think I can manage of course! Also food is a great gift. I do big batches even of one thing then present things nicely. You cans ave a fortune this way. The shortbread is so good and very economical too! The coconut ice works out pretty well also as a usual serving of that is tiny. So small slabs of it are big gifts! This year I also have fudge planned (Caramel Fudge) so I will share that assuming it works out!
      Thank you so much! I have been thinking of you about your kitchen plans! With lots of love

  11. Such lovely gifts! So many wonderful ideas and such talent. I just love the show and tell I am happy to report that I am ready for Christmas. I still need to wrap and bake but I am done. Thank You to Annabel and all the lovely ladies for ideas.:) Pat the quilts are perfect and what a wonderful gift. I am sure they will be treasured. Cookie the cards are so beautiful. How special people must feel when they receive one. Cookie that is such great news about your husband, I am so happy.Wendy the cards are beautiful and the angels are so sweet. Good for you starting an Etsy shop.Susan I just love that you made the lemon astringent from Jens book. It looks so professional and I bet it smells wonderful.Mimi you have out done yourself again oh the presentation is so wonderful. I love vintage :)Maria I love the blankets they are beautiful. What a blessing to receive any of these lovely gifts!
    I have a prayer request my brother Billy in Arizona hurt his back and is hardly able to walk and is in a lot of pain. I am praying the Lord heals
    him. As he is in a city far from me and I am not able to go.
    He is a disabled Veteran and gets to and from the grocery and to the doctors by bus so he needs to be able to walk.He is very, very low income just what we can help him with. Thank You for your prayers.
    With Lots of love,

    1. Patti, The poor and needy are precious in His sight, and you are right in standing up for Billy. May the Rock, whose ways are all justice, be Billy's provision, and lead him in the everlasting way.

    2. Dear Patti,
      My prayers join with yours for the complete healing of your brother Billy. Cookie

  12. Hi Annabel,
    Such beautiful gifts from everyone, and such talented people. There are going to be some very lucky recipients come Christmas Day.
    So pleased to hear Cookie's husband has come through his surgery so well.
    Have a great week,

  13. Dear Annabel,
    Thank you all for your continued prayers and good wishes. My husband must be feeling better as he asked me to go to the Starbucks in the hospital and get him a "decent" cup of coffee Then when the anesthesiologist made visit to see how he was doing he told him that he had a sore throat from being intubated and could a prescription be written for ice cream to be served every 4 hours to remedy this. This is all good in my book.

    As I've said before I really look forward to Wednesday's posts and see all of the beautiful things that are being created. That we all share and get inspiration from each other is the best.

    Pat, your quilts are beautiful. I especially like the one that's shades of purple. The setting for the colors is exquisite.

    Wendi, your angels are just lovely and delicate. I love your Etsy shop. So many beautiful things being created.

    Susan - Lucky are the recipients you receive the gift of lemon astringent. Lemon is such a refreshing aroma. I'm looking forward to citrus season here.

    Mimi, I'm always in awe of the beautiful things you create and refashion. You've given me a lot of inspiration and I'm looking forward to going on the hunt at the op shops for things I'd previously overlooked.

    Marie, your knitting is absolutely gorgeous with all of the colors used going so beautifully together.

    Thank you Annabel for showing my cards. Wishing everyone a beautiful creative day. I'm off to get my husband a "decent" cup of coffee. Blessings. Cookie

  14. Those quilts! Oh, how lovely! And the painted roses look as though they are popping off of the page. Beautiful work, everyone! Thanks for sharing all of the pretty handiwork, Annabel!
    Blessings, Leigh

  15. Dear Annabel, Thank you for sharing everyone's beautiful talent!! All beautiful!!

    Cookie, so glad your husband is doing well after surgery!

    Love, Teri


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

Spam is never published... if you are advertising a product or selling website your comment wont be published. I am inundated with stuff about drugs, horses and weird things! I am not going to publish this stuff! Thank you.