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 November 2016

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

I already have quite a few pictures for November so I thought I would get started on show and tell for the month.  I hadn't even mentioned it yet but everyone is getting in the swing of it!  However my usual notice is that I would love to see what you have been making! It benefits us all! We gather tips and ideas and inspiration. Plus it is motivating to me to know I will be showing you what I made so I am always thinking how I better get cracking!
Please email me at and even projects still being worked on, foodie gifts etc are all welcome!

Being the very end of November we are really getting close to Christmas! But the next few weeks are an opportunity to finish projects, make a few more things and make it to the finish line!
It has been fantastic!  My own present cupboard has been so full and it is wonderful I can go and put together a great gift for almost anyone.

I am already starting to plot and plan what I will make next year. And I will be starting in January like I did this year.

Firstly we have Jane. She says sewing is so joyful for her.  I am amazed by what she gets done even when obviously really busy with heaps of other things.
There are Angels, A Christmas tree, crochet, gift tags ...

Then we have an Australian Christmas romper and Christmas stocking for her little Granddaughter.

Jane also made her new Great Nephew a soft toy and his own first Christmas stocking. And this amazing bag! Truly beautiful work!

Janine S made so many things and she feels that she is not a fast worker! Her display does not show already given Birthday gifts etc. She knows that she has used over 70 yards of fabric this year!

There are still things she has been finishing including toiletries bags and pj pants for her nephews.  There are little outfits, t shirts, socks, placemats and so many things here! What a selection! Well done Janine! I am pleased to say that Janine says she will be doing this again next year and is really happy with the results!  This is what I mean about how things add up!

The range of items Jane and Janine have made could just never be achieved in December alone. The whole year approach is the way to go!
I think also to use the months of the year that you have more time. In winter I just get more crafts done as the garden takes so much more work in summer.  I get some sewing done when it is really hot and I just need to keep busy inside the house.

Mum has been knitting kitchen towels. They are a beautiful cotton. She has also been making things for Harper and the new baby!

Tomorrow I am putting up the Christmas tree! Today I have my first Sourdough bread rising and hopefully cooked in time for dinner.

I hope you are having a good week and am looking forward to seeing what you have been making in November! xxx


  1. Dear Annabel and friends, this is exactly the outcome we all strive for. As you say Annabel, there is no way we could achieve so much, by starting now, at the pointy end of the year. What Janine and Jane have produced is absolutely mind boggling. I haven't dragged all of mine out yet, but I think it's going to be more than I need, put it that way! Any extras will be donated to charity or womens shelters, and I think it's just as important to be in a position to gift generously to those causes at this time of the year. I have been so inspired and motivated by everyones efforts this year, and really look forward to gifting generously, then starting all over again in January. Well done Janine and Jane, and Jane, I am in LOVE with that bag! Adorable! Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi,
      I think lots of people feel its all too hard and its because of an unrealistic time frame. We can do heaps if we just get going early and go along steadily.
      I feel the same, making extra means being able to give to people that might not normally be on our list. That makes Christmas!
      Your soap this week is so gorgeous. Like it is STUNNING. So soap making will be on my new year list. All my soap from this year is gone or wrapped and ready to go. It was really good fun too! So I am saving rose petals and buds like crazy!
      Thanks Mimi! With love

    2. Thankyou for the compliments on my soap Annabel! Yes, everyone has gone crazy for it! Like I cannot keep up with requests, and remember making it now means that they can't even use it till mid January, but nobody seems to care! I did another batch yesterday and I'll do one today. That will mean I've made 4 batches, each 26inches or 66cms long, yielding 22 bars of soap. That's 88 bars of soap in one week....hahahaha! I'm going to start looking like a bar of soap! But it just goes to show, that even now, with a couple of days of effort, you could have Christmas done and dusted. Just a note though. Each soap will be packaged with a disclaimer reminding the recipient that this is fresh, locally manufactured, Artisanal soap, which is still curing, and MUST not be used before January 15 2017. If you have any doubts that people will adhere to that, it's best to give them a foodie gift instead I think! Mimi xxx

  2. Hi Annabel!!

    What a very pleasant surprise this Show is!!

    I can't help picturing Jane in that adorable character that she so well appliqués and embroiders! I love it!! As usual, Jane is the epitome of industry! I love that bag!! It would hold a pocket knife and fire steel ..... oops ..... or some stitching threads and scissors and needles!

    Janine's photo kindly enlarged unexpectedly when I bumped the screen. That helped!! I love those little girls' dresses. (Janine, could you make one for me?! Alright, I ought to make one myself!!) I saw socks!! I love the little bag, too! Sewing (& sock knitting!) really is Janine's gift!!

    Are those cotton towels actually for drying dishes? They are beautiful! It's good I don't have a supply of that kind of cotton ..... because crochet is meant to be my summer hobby!! It's beautiful knitting! Ahhhh!!!!! How lovely! I've learnt something!

    Thanks again for the Show!

    With very warm regards,
    Rachel Holt

    1. Dear Rachel, I wish I could have printed that picture larger. I have three choices and vertical pictures will come up larger than horizontal. So I am glad you could do that as there is so much wonderful stuff in that picture!
      Mums towels can be for drying hands or dishes or covering things and they look lovely in the kitchen! You could crochet them too... :)
      Jane is very industrious I have to agree!
      I hope your week is going well! It is lovely here and painting is happening and sourdough is rising! With love

  3. Glenda could do with some prayers. She is not well. thanks girls xxx

  4. Those are wonderful. I think you Southern Hemisphere-ers have an advantage with your winter being in the middle of the year. I agree that it's the best time to craft. I'm a little burnt out by January and it probably takes me until March to get over it. And then our yards start waking up and demand attention. And so it goes until November. And then starts the "Ack! Christmas is next month!!".

    This year I'm going to summon all my energy up and make my creative list early and just start. I figure that if I can push hard this winter, I won't be running around crazy next November, thus not burning out. A girl can dream, right?! I'll look here for my inspiration. :).

    1. Dear Debby,
      I feel kind of worn out usually after Christmas too. Usually I crochet and sew for a while then in autumn and winter I wills tart on working with wool... rugs, blanket embroidery, heat packs...stuff like that. The weather does dictate a lot of our lives!
      Planning is a good fun part of it. I collect a lot of ideas but need to review and work out what to make thinking about who Im giving to and what I have on hand. I am planning soap making already.
      I think it does work... December is much less hectic when the gifts and a lot of the expenses too are taken care of earlier. On the other hand... it is always a really busy time! I am trying to spread things out over the whole month and pace myself! And here we go its the 1st today! With love

  5. what a lovely pile of gifts both ladies have made
    prayers for Glenda

  6. Yes definitely prayers for Glenda, Annabel. Everyone's work is very inspiring. I have trouble finishing anything these days. Ah the life of a carer...too many interruptions. I can't wait to see how Gertrude behaved for you. I won't mention the other name :-)

    1. Dear Nanna Chel,
      I think being a carer is a full time job. Probably more like three full time jobs. So the fact that you make soap and so many things is amazing! Oh and blog!
      Yes! Things are going wonderfully! I have two lots of starter, one out and one in the fridge. I made a dozen dinner rolls and a big loaf of bread yesterday and they were hot from the oven at dinner time. One had seeds and one plain. Both really good! It has been really fun and interesting. This lot that is out... tomorrow I will make the sponge and then the dough which I will roll out on polenta and make pizzas. See how that goes... You did me a big favour getting me started on this! Thank you! With love

  7. Dear Annabel....Beautiful work done by beautiful and industrious ladies :-)
    Prayers sent for Glenda xx
    With love Maria xx

  8. Hi Annabel,

    I was so surprised with this post. My photo was a real 'spur of the moment' shot as I really surprised with how much was there and just wanted to acknowledge your encouragement through the year. Thank you, and thank you to everyone for their help and support this year.

    Rachel, sewing is definitely my first love, but thanks to you and the other sock knitters here, I stepped out of my comfort zone this year, and I'm so glad I did.

    Glenda, I hope and pray that you will soon be well.

    Best wishes,

    1. Dear Janine, I wish I could have made the picture bigger! But we can see how much you made and its enormous! It is also a testimony to how working all year adds up to such a lot.
      I think it is fabulous too that you added in the knitting as overtime I try something new I find that really fun and I am glad I did. That often turns out to be the best thing and becomes a regular that I enjoy. Its good to stretch our creative abilities!
      Soon we can be planning our attack for next year. I already have a few things in mind!
      Thank you so much for sharing what you did this year! With love

  9. Dear Annabel,
    So many gorgeous and inspiring gifts that Jane, Janine and your Mum have created. I'm so glad that we are going to do this again next year.

    My prayers join with yours for Glenda.
    Blessings. Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie,
      Thank you! Yes we will get going again in January and I will keep Show and Tell going. It has been amazing to see everyones work and its so happy somehow to know what we are all up to and working on. There is a lot of talent and a lot of learning. I am thinking what will I try to learn that is new to me next year? This week it has been the sourdough bread and it worked! At first when I read the instructions with the starter I thought it was really daunting! But step by step I got there. Learning something new is really good! Makes the brain work lol!
      Thank you for all your contributions this year! You are one clever "cookie" that is why your name is Cookie! Love Annabelxxx

    2. Dear Annabel,
      I'm looking forward to seeing photos of the bread. The aroma from baking bread is irresistable. How did you not just slather butter on it after it came out of the oven and gobble it up?? (lol). Love Cookie

    3. Bread and butter! Scrumptious!

  10. Most of my Christmas gifts this year have been bought, as I was just trying to get through until August when I retired. Your pictures of what folks have done throughout this year have been a HUGE inspiration, and I look forward to making lots of fun things next year. I absolutely *LOVE* the fabric that the Australian romper is made out of -- sooo cute!
    Praying for Glenda, thanks for letting us know.

    1. Dear Chipmunk,
      Now that you are retired hopefully you can start in January and be just like Jane and Janine come this time next year.
      That is really cute fabric I thought too!
      Thank you for your prayers for Glenda also! With love

  11. All of these gifts are so nice! You have convinced me to start earlier for next year. I find it hard to do things in the summer but most of the time we have a long winter so I'll be busy!

    1. Dear Vicky, I get more done in some months than others. But it works out over the year. Even planning what to make and gathering supplies etc is progress. Plus picking things up insoles etc. It all results in a healthy gift cupboard. But winter is my crafty time too! With love

  12. Hi Annabel, Looks like Janine and Jane have a good supply of handmade Christmas gifts and their family will love their gifts.
    Those kitchen towels your Mum made look lovely and soft and would be wonderful to use.
    I hope Glenda feels better soon.
    Hope you are having a great week. Love Debbie xx

    1. Dear Debbie,
      Thank you for commenting on the lovely work! I know you have made heaps this year and some really big projects too!
      With love and thanks,

  13. Adding my prayers for Glendas speedy recovery. Mimi xxx

  14. Dear Annabel,

    Such wonderful handiwork!

    Jane, your sewing is beautiful. That bag is stunning!

    Janine, you should be very proud of what you have created, it all looks fantastic!

    Mum, those kitchen towels are really something special! They look so lovely and would make an amazing gift.

    Love and prayers for Glenda, hope you are feeling better xx

    Thank you Annabel for sharing the lovely things that everyone has been creating. I look forward to these posts, so I can take some inspiration. I have dusted of my sewing machine and have started some creating too :)

    Lots of love,
    Tania xxx

    1. Dear Tania,
      Thank you for commenting one everyones work!
      I can't wait to hear what you are making! Having a sewing and crafting room for yourself will be fantastic! With love,

  15. My goodness the sewing is just amazing ladies! And your Mum's dishtowels are so nice she does beautiful work! There is definitely going to be some very happy folks come Christmas time! Good job ladies.
    Many prayers for Glenda!

    1. Dear Vicky,
      Thank you! A busy year is really paying off! Collectively think what we have done! It all adds up! With love

  16. Hi Annabel,
    This challenge has meant that every time I have needed a gift there has been one on hand. As I started the gift making in January I now have a cupboard full of gifts. I will definitely be doing this again next year. I have already started a list of things I want to make.
    This last month has been a difficult one. Bluey has had some very low days and I have my own health issues to deal with. We had a renovation of two weeks instead of 4 days. This meant a house of asthmatics had a house full of plaster dust and other building debris to deal with.
    I had to run away to my sewing room, my happy place and get in and make stuff. I was very 'industrious', so as not to go completely batty. My little sewing bag carries a small hand stitched piece that I am currently working on. I love that little bag and was sad once it was finished. There is more applique and stitching on the back.
    Now that it is so hot I have been on Pinterest and have found a whole new lot of things I want to try and make. I discovered a few tutorials on you tube and will be having a go at these as well.
    Glenda I am sending positive thoughts and prayers your way for a speedy return to health. Big cyber hugs to you.
    life is good(and so sweaty)

  17. Annabel I had an Oops moment and hit publish before mentioning Janine's lovely work. It's all a great big WOW! Seeing your Mum's dish towels got me to order some cotton as I want to get some more made. Your Mum's are such a lovely stitch. My knitting is way too basic so mine will end up being crocheted.
    Love seeing everyone's work and so looking forward to next week's edition.

    1. Dear Jane,
      You did have a very big month. And I laughed because what you said is so true that crafting and escaping into it keeps you from going batty. I think this is true for a lot of us at times!
      Thank you so much for all your photos and input into show and tell. Your gifts are just stunning! With love,

  18. Dear Annabel,

    What a lovely display of gifts! I am in love with that stocking and the bag! And look at Janine's pile! Your Mum is absolutely amazing with her output!

    Things are very busy here, but in a good way, as I'm sure they are for everyone. We had our first snowflakes yesterday, so it's really starting to feel festive. I'm having a hard time imagining the heat where you are...but I love the photos of your roses that you share, even though it seems surreal with our season here! :)

    Love, Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      Snowflakes seem just as unlikely to me but I think it must be lovely and sos pretty! Like a "proper" christmas scene! We ar more likely to have a bushfire at Christmas than snow.
      I know your gift cupboard is in great shape. You really have done a huge amount this year. Thank you for commenting on the gifts made. With love

  19. Praying for dear Glenda's health. Xo

    Beautiful work everyone, as always. Such abundance and everything made with love. Xo

    1. Thank you Kaye! I hope it has been a good week for you! xxx


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.