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 21 March 2017

The Christmas Challenge. My present cupboard and progress.

During the last week I have been on a re organise blitz and one area that was desperate was my present cupboard. It never had shelves and I once hung a set of canvas shelves in there that are made for clothing like jumpers/sweaters.  I don't know why I put up with it for so long as it basically didn't work. Things slid out and if you put your arm in to get something everything basically fell out!
Finally I fixed it up.  Andy worked all weekend so I did this myself too!  The man at the hardware store cut four bits of plywood the right dimensions for me then I was set!
One simple project like this still took hours by the time I emptied the cupboard, started again and re organised it.
There is not much in there at this stage either as we have most of the family birthdays in Jan/Feb/March. Also I have another spot for gift wrap, ribbons and cards.

After admiring Cookie's painting she has been encouraging me to try some myself.  I am not sure about the results but I have had fun and I only needed to buy one thing to be able to try painting nests.
I am still practicing.

I am working on cards and gift tags...

In the evenings I am adding a crochet edging to a table runner for Chloe....

Tomorrow the football season starts. This signals the start of watching some TV, darker evenings and less gardening.  It all equals a lot more crochet time and more crafts.  I have lots of things lined up, baskets of yarn out as well as embroidery plans. I can't wait!

So this is the sorry state of my craft cupboard before intervention...

I think I'll leave this picture small!

The shelves went in and I lined them...

And now it is re stocked. I am working on having shelves and boxes with names on them so that I can see what I have for each person.  The whole middle shelf is just going to be Harper and Scarlett. Harpers Birthday is coming up so I am basically ready for that!

I am really happy with how much better it is!  So I am happy with the week!
For some reason I have an organising bug and several other areas of the house are completely pulled apart and the place looks like we have been broken in to!  Do you notice the mess you have to go through to re organise a cupboard or shift things around?  Things get worse before they get better!
My other areas are all pantry related but things will be much better when they are done.

Next week we will be up to Show and Tell again.  If you would like to share what you have been  working on we would love to see!  You can post to the Bluebirds Facebook page or email me at   Works in progress are fine too.

I hope you are having a good week!  And I hope I can dig myself out of my messes and have a couple of other areas made over as well by the weekend!

Do you have a specific place to keep your present supply and how do you keep track of what you have and who it is for?  As the year goes on and we really build up to Christmas it can be a lot to store and organise. But it is worth a lot. Not running to the shops in December is a huge time and money saver.  I hope by the time Show and Tell is finished I will have a lot more made to add to my supplies. xxx


  1. Hello Annabel. Well done on the shelf making. Looks great and certainly much more practical than the bendy hanging thing, although that looked pretty spacious. I'm sitting in the waiting room at the dentist, so expensive week including over a thousand for the dog's surgery. She is sitting st home in the lounge room with this huge cone on her head - the vet said we should be able to get foxtel on it. It's the first time I've put it on her because we are together all day and I've slept with her the past two nights. Yes, she's special!

    I am continuing with my sewing challenge. I know there will be a new baby coming soon and so I'm making some things for that.

    Hope that everyone who reads this blog is well and happy. Fi xx

    1. Dear Fiona,
      A vet with a good sense of humour! I was sorry for both things the dogs surgery and your dentist visit! I hope the rest of the week is much nicer!
      You can have a new baby glory box! I totally relate to sewing for future babies. Then sewing more when they are born as well! With much love

  2. Hi Annabel. I must say I'm very impressed with your painting of the birds nests! They look amazing! Your present cupboard looks great too. Isn't it funny how we tolerate silly annoyances, then fix them and wonder why we didn't bother sooner! I store my presents in our 'shop' which you might recall is where we store our emergency supplies. They're not so 'emergency' any more. It's more of a place to keep excess day to day items, and it's really really useful. So presents go in there too. It's so fun when the family ask 'do we have such-and-such' (including gifts) and I can say 'yes, look in the shop'. Lol! We love it. Beautiful work as always. Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi,
      I love your shop and yes presents belong in this category as a supply at home is a huge help. I think overtime we use our home stores it is just a huge saving in terms of time and money.
      Thanks so much Mimi! With love

  3. Dear Annabel,

    You are doing really well with your nest paintings! What a lovely idea and each one a little piece of custom art! :-)

    I like how you have made over your gift cupboard. I don't know why we put up with things so long either! I am guilty also. ;-) it is fabulous when an ill used area suddenly becomes so useful and accessible!

    Hopefully we will see some lovely Autumn weather soon! Anything under 30 deg c.will be welcome here :-) it starts a much more productive time of the year to me.

    Love, Kaye xoxo

    1. Dear Kaye,
      We have a pretty nice autumn day today. Up until now it has been really warm. A cooler day and football starts tonight! Much more crochet happens then!
      Now I can work on stocking up my present cupboard. I also have other cupboards to make over including my kitchen pantry cupboard. I need a way or organising cans better.
      I hope your week is going well Kaye! With love,

  4. Dear Annabel,
    I think your painted nests look fabulous! I'm very impressed!
    I know just what you mean about things getting worse before they get better when it comes to cleaning and organizing. That is what has been going on here for the last couple of months. I have just about finished organizing my craft supplies into the cupboards upstairs. I am very happy with how it has turned out, as it looks and functions much better, like your gift cupboard! I mostly used plastic drawers and baskets and printed labels for everything.
    This month I made my friend a receiving blanket and matching set of burp cloths (tutorial on Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth) for her new baby girl. I also sewed some reusable cleaning cloths for my home. Everything was made out of flannel that I purchased on sale. I will try to send you pictures if my phone cooperates. Did you get my email reply? It shows that it went through, but I want to make sure.
    I hope everyone is doing well. I'm looking forward to show and tell!
    With love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey,
      Yes thank you I have your email and just replied. I am so glad you are feeling better and able to get on with all the projects you have to work on. It is so exciting getting ready for a baby.
      The gift for your friend sounds lovely. I imagine you are making a supply for yourself as well. They are very useful. I see how many Lucy goes through in a day, it is a lot! They save the linen and clothes so much mess though. You can safely have a few dozen burp cloths.
      I am glad you have your craft supplies all organised. Each thing we get on top of like this is a big bonus.
      You have to remember to rest too. Just pace yourself and you will get lots done and soon you will have your little baby! How exciting! With lots of love

  5. Lovely table runner and art work. My eldest daughter is an artist and was very impressed with your nests.
    It has been so long since I visited. Love all your changes. Great job on the gift cupboard! My gift stash is in an old mop bucket. My gift bags and wrap are in a retired wash tub. These are in my bedroom closet. Hope to have more space some day. I miss having a home of my own.
    Well, here in the states, we are gearing up for Spring. Buying chicks and seeds this week. The snow has stopped.

    1. Dear Leslie,
      Chicks and seeds! This all sounds lovely Leslie! Any space at all is something and I am glad you have a stash.
      Thank you very much re the nests!
      Enjoy Spring. I feel the same way about autumn I just love it! With much love

  6. Your paintings are fantastic! They look 3D.

  7. Annabel,

    Bluebirds are certainly nesting in your paintings! Way to go!

    And things sometimes get ugly before they are made lovely. Good for you!


    1. Thanks Kelley. Many works in progress here! I hope things are going very well there. xxx

  8. Dear Annabel and Beautiful Bluebirds,
    I love your cupboard makeover Annabel , it's more efficient by the looks of it and definetly prettier !.
    I have a set of shelves in the middle of my wardrobe that I use as a gift area . It needs a good sorting out at the moment. I am also using the baskets of my white cupboard in my kitchen for some gifts too . I have a book where I write who I have to buy for and the Occassion and how much I want to spend and a few ideas of what iwill make or buy. I need to update my book too Annabel.
    I love your nests Annabel, you have done a lovely job, well done they look great.
    I hope the rest of your week is lovely . Love Barb W.

    1. Dear Barb,
      I think I need to adopt your very good idea of the book. When I have an idea for a gift for someone (like finding out something they need) I note it in the back of my planner. But I need to write down what I do have as well that would be good.
      I hope your week is going better and you feel improved on last week. Thank you so much Barb! With love

  9. I forgot to comment on your paintings Annabel. They are awesome. What a vast talent set you have. Whatever you turn your hand to - it's just lovely. I so look forward to your posts. Fi xxx

  10. Dearest Annabel

    Your painting is lovely and I know how much you will enjoy going it. I am also on an organising bug and am attacking my wardrobe. I have half the amount of clothes that I started with. Cannot wait to see what comes next week with the gifts

    Love Mel S

    1. Dear Mel,
      With all your weight loss you will be needing smaller clothes! A good seasonal sort out is good too. I have a lot of beautiful pictures and ideas in already for next week! I would love to see some of your work too as I have seen in person how beautiful your knitting and embroidery is.
      I hope your knee is not holding you up too much... though I think it is... you must be counting the days to your surgery.
      Many thanks Mel, Love

  11. Dear Annabel,
    You're so talented and creative. The nests came out just beautiful and I love the idea of the notecards and gift tags. I hope that painting the nests is just the beginning and that you will continue on with other painted lovelies. A little touch of paint can just beautify the most ordinary things.

    The table runner you're doing for Chloe is just gorgeous. It would be fun to see it in place when you're finished with it.

    Love your gift closet and wish I had the space to have one. I will once some of the piles of fabric that are in there are used and I'll have some empty shelves (ha ha). Looking forward to show and tell next week. Blessings, Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie, THANK YOU for encouraging me so much to have a go. I was a bit nervous to post the pics! Like you said you have to go away from something and then look with fresh eyes. Anyway when I did the first ones Andy thought he was hilarious and said "your tires look a bit wonky" hahaha very funny. Then later he felt bad and he said "if you put that in a tree a bird would come and sit in it" (better!) haha! So I like this thought!
      I will make sure a pic of Chloe's table with the table runner is posted. She is good with taking photos for me and she always has her table looking lovely.
      Patsy keeps an old trunk as her gift pantry. I thought that was very good... so maybe a creative space could be yours possibly. I do like opening it and surveying what I have lined up. I especially like it full enough to have spares and something for any occasion. I am working on that!
      Thank you so much for all your help! With love

  12. I love your closet! Especially with the pretty lined paper! I keep our presents in a plastic storage box as we have no closets... And I will add that your nests came out lovely! :)

    1. Dear Jes, Any space you can find is good. Also knowing where thing are and what we have... I have previously even forgotten that I have presents put away which wasn't ideal! Thank you so much! I am working on a wooden box with a painted front... we will see how that goes! With love

  13. Annabel, your present cupboard looks so fresh now. I have never been an artist but I have read that taking up drawing really helps our brains as we get older. What a beautiful table runner you are doing an edge on for Chloe! I love the lacy fabric.

    1. Dear Nanna Chel,
      I think you are right. I think learning anything new is really good for us and fun. Knitting patterns, they say, are as good as crosswords etc for our brains. I am determined to learn new things this year. Sourdough was something I count in my learning for last year thanks to you!
      With much love

  14. Dear Annabel,

    Your nests are beautiful! And the color of those eggs is just perfect!! Your gift cupboard is lovely, too, and looking fairly well stocked for having just been depleted!

    I hope to send you a photo or two before next week. I finished a couple of things, but I am really trying to make myself and our home a few things this year, too, as I (and the house) am getting a little threadbare and neglected! :) I am hoping to get a skirt cut out for myself today. I made a prototype out of a sheet...too big, and pretty plain, so good thing I checked. I think I might try a little improvising with a bit of a ruffle; we'll see! The trouble with making your own clothes is that you can't try them on ahead of time! :)

    Love, Jen in NSxx

    1. Dear Jen,
      I look forward to your photos! We can count what we do for the house too. I do and many times I make multiples of things production line style. So that way some things are gifts and some are for us!
      I hope your skirt turns out lovely!
      I hope your week is going well! With love

  15. Your cupboard looks great! DO you open the door everytime you pass to just admire your work? I would. :)

    I am more the type to pick up good deals all year long rather than make them. We have a linen closet in out bedroom that contains general gifts for any need that arises. Then we have many empty dressers so we fill up those drawers and also areas in closets that are unused. We sort of have a system for where things are for birthdays and Christmas that have been purchased ahead and it works.

    1. Dear Lana,
      Thank you! I also pick up all kinds of deals and some thrift stores things too even. Especially after events i.e. Mother Day etc when they have amazing sales!
      It is wonderful that you have space. This seems to be a big issue for many. Having things stashed ahead of time, at good prices, is a great help. With love


  16. Hi Annabel!

    I love your birds' nests!!!!!!!!! Next time Andy is looking at a nest in a tree, you could tell him that tyres don't grow on trees!! If we could all build nests like these, and turn them upside down for shelter, they'd be useful in our preparedness skills! Nests are wonderful!

    You're doing beautiful work!!

    Rachel Holt

    1. Dear Rachel,
      I have always loved nests and eggs! The whole theme of nesting is just gorgeous to me. So if I was going to learn anything it would be nests. I fear birds are out of reach though!
      I hope you have had a good week plus rain! Many thanks Rachel! With love

  17. Annabel,
    Your nest painting is lovely you are doing wonderful there! And that is an excellent use of that space I think you'll be able to fit a lot more in there and keep it organized much better. I like your shelf lining that is very pretty as well. I keep my gifts in a trunk my brother bought me years ago and I have a notebook that I keep a running list of what gifts I have for who. I also have a small trunk in my bathroom that I keep gifts like candles.

  18. Annabel, your nest paintings are lovely! As our trees are not completely leafed out yet, I am able to see the 5 nests in our trees right by our driveway and am imagining the baby birds that will be learning fly soon!

    I am going to send you a photo of my fingerless mittens, I now officially have two pairs finished, though I have already gifted a pair to a friend! Now, I'm starting a ripple afghan for my son in a beautiful peacock blue. I still have knitted socks on my horizon, but I think I keep thinking up other things to knit and crochet just because I'm nervous about the socks! LOL

    I hope everyone is having a wonderful week!



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