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 23 May 2017

The Christmas Challenge. Show and Tell for May, part 1.

I am starting Show and Tell for the month a little earlier than usual as I have so many pictures already!  I hope you are having a good month of building up your present cupboard!  Mine is a bit depleted after a couple of birthdays in the family.  So back to filling it up again!

Hopefully you will find some inspiration here.  This all certainly gets me thinking about what to make next!

Firstly we have jewellery from Fiona.

Look closely...

You know when a dandelion goes to seed and you blow the ball of seeds into the wind and make a wish? Well,  here we have a wish in a bottle! 

So lovely!  Some delicate work I think as well!

Fiona also used an old sheet that belonged to her partners Mother to cover a lampshade...

It is beautiful!  I have two lampshades that really need recovering....  
And I can't help but notice the table underneath!  I am trying to peek at that AND the gorgeous lace doilies on top!   I love it all!

Fiona has a lovely blog Saw it, Pinned it, Did it!  You can find more details and other crafts here.

Jacqui made a beautiful Liberty print quilt. When Harper was born Jacqui made her a quilt with deer and farm animals on it... it had foxes and things we love and that the farm actually has.  It is treasured and used constantly. Well... this turns up for Scarlett...

I can't even describe how beautiful it feels as the fabrics have a silky feel to them and are so soft.   Lucy was over the moon.  What kindness and generosity.  With some of the things in the world at the moment that are horrific... here we are with someone we have never met, except through writing and blogging,  doing something like this for my daughter and her new baby.
You can really bless others with your talents and things you make.  Just spread some kindness.  Thank you Jacqui you are amazing! 

Debbie has a new baby arriving in her family! 
She has been busy and amazes me as she can both crochet and knit equally beautifully.
I love these soft rugs with a crochet edging...

These are perfect gifts and could also be made in a small size as a burp cloth.  I would love to make some of these!
She also knitted like cardi's and a little dress, bibs...

Look at the grub roses!

It is all just beautiful.  

Jane made a marbled soap.  To me it looks like chocolate and reminds me of that Neapolitan ice-cream...  

There are already requests for instructions!   This is what Jane shared with me...

I think I have lost the You tube video Jane mentions... we will see if she will post the name of it in comments... sorry about that!

 I mixed up a batch of my plain soap.
1000g olive oil
250g copha
172g caustic soda(lye)
450ml water

Before you start making soap make sure that you are working in a well ventilated area, that there are now small people or fur babies wandering around that could get splattered with the caustic solution. Where gloves and eye protection. 
Pour the caustic soda into the water, not the other way around. Stir until all the soda is dissolved. Into this place the block of copha and stir until it is melted. Pour in the olive oil(you could use canola oil if you want the soap to be whiter in colour). Use a stick blender to bring the soap to a light trace. This is where it looks more like custard. Check you tube videos and you can see some good examples of this.
I placed equalish amounts of this soap into three bowls. One I left the natural soap colour. I did put some vanilla extract into the plain soap but I don't think the scent has taken. One I placed a few spoons of cocoa into until I got the colour I wanted. The third I placed soap colour Carmen into. until I got the colour I wanted. I then placed these in layers in a silicon cake tin. I didn't have a wire coat hanger so I used a plastic one. In could only use the end that would sit inside the shoulders of a shirt. I followed the process in the you tube video. I then placed a freezer bag over the top of the soap and wrapped the whole lot up in towels and left for 24 hours.
When I unwrapped the soap I was not hopeful of a good result as it looked like a cake tin full of pink poo. Once I cut it though, I was chuffed to bits.

Thank you Jane!  This looks so amazing! What a success! 

Maria made her Grandson a batman cape!  Oh my goodness!  


Now she will have a little super hero running around!  I bet he loves it! What an idea!  Thank you Maria you just inspired many of us with children and Grandchildren!

Thank you everyone for sending me your photos!  
If you would be willing to share what you have been making please email me at  

I hope your week is going well. Mine is!  I now have bathroom shelves and it is all looking good!  Also I had a kind of bathroom glory box which had been going for so long I forgot what was in it!  Yesterday I got it all out!  I had towels, hand towels and bathmats I had crocheted around with little grub roses in the corners!  I had candles, soaps, bubble bath and all kind son things!  So out they came and into my shelves! It was really good fun to get to this bit!   Essentially I had made presents for myself!  And I liked them! 😊

Really anyway you can build up your present cupboard is a help.  I found just beautiful wrapping paper at Aldi and got several rolls at at a great price.  Plus I added tape.  Who wants to be running to the shops just to find these things? 

By Friday I might have some bathroom pictures even though I haven't finished painting it is nearly there!  See you then! xxx


  1. Here's the link to the you tube video
    I am in love with Fiona's necklace. I remember her saying somewhere that she was hoping to get her dandelion home without it all blowing away. Very, very clever.
    Quilts, baby wraps, so much glorious knitting and a Batman cape. Love it all.

  2. Annabel what a beautiful quilt Jacqui made for Scarlet. How generous. I have a rag rug started for our new grandbaby but we won't know if it is a boy or girl till he/she is born so I am making a yellow one which is not a favourite colour but I am trying to use up fabric I have bought over the years. Jane's rocky road soap turned out really well and some of us are having so much fun with our hanger swirls. Soapmaking is as exciting as making sourdough :-)

  3. Thanks for sharing my photos, Annabel! I still love wearing my dandelion seed necklace :)
    The baby items are gorgeous, as is the soap. It reminds me of Neapolitan icecream too! My grandmother always served us that!
    Looking forward to seeing your bathroom photos when you are ready!
    Love, Fiona xx

  4. Ohhh Annabel more lovely makes here from the Bluebirders.Every item is gorgeous!I must say for those who crochet and see the colour change in my batman cape, that I was using up remnants and the second ball of black did not match.Also it's for my grandson running outside in the cold air as an extra layer.
    Fiona's wish in a bottle necklace is so unique, I love it attached to the black ribbon.And such a lovely idea with the old sheet for lampshade and a memory too.
    How kind of Jacqui to make Harper and now Scarlett a beautiful soft quilt Im sure it will be much treasured.
    Debbie does such beautiful crochet and knitting and her work above shows that. I especially lovely the white knitted crossover and hat and the lovely grub roses.
    Jane's marbled soap looks good enough to eat! She's braver and more persevering than me, using lye.I may change my mind one day so thankyou Jane for the tutorial.
    Thank you Blue Birds :-) Love Maria xxx

  5. Dearest Annabel
    It was such a pleasure to make both your gorgeous grand daughters a quilt. I love sewing and it gives me such pleasure to give
    Jacqui x

  6. Gorgeous work ladies, such beautiful projects, so much talent.

  7. I want it all and I want it now, lol.

    I just love the idea of making a present box for yourself. Our future selves are also in need of some TLC from our present selves!

    1. Allegra I love Glory Boxes! These really are present boxes for ourselves! Over the years I have had them for moving into a new house, a new room like this one, for a holiday/trip etc.... it is really good fun. Another idea is to have some pampering things put away for a time when you need a bit of TLC as you say... which we all do sometimes! xxx

  8. Every week I am in awe of the talent that shows up here! You ladies really are something!
    I added to my present cabinet, not by crafting but by thrift store shopping. Several years ago, we started giving our kids "Something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read" for Christmas. This helps me keep organized as I shop and make all year long. Well, yesterday was a great trip to a thrift store, I got 5 out of the 6 kids' "read" presents, and 3 of the girls' "wear" presents. I was so thrilled! I think they will be too. I hope everyone is doing well and hugging their loved ones a little tighter this week.

    1. Dear Sarah,
      Thank you so much and I know exactly what you mean about the hugs.
      I love the want, need, read formula. I always gave things that were needed as well as wanted. The girls loved getting clothes which they needed anyway. Sensible. Op shop finds are fabulous. I am more than happy to include finds like these in my stash of gifts. I have found some amazing cook books that look completely new and are $80 plus in the shops for under $5. Into the present cupboard they go! Your finds were excellent! With love

  9. Dear Annabel,

    Everything is beautiful and so inspiring. Blessings, Cookie

  10. BEAUTIFUL!!! You all have such talent.

  11. Dear Annabel and Beautiful Bluebirds!!

    Jacqui has the right idea, I think! The joy in making a gift for someone who cannot return it (little baby Scarlett, in this case) is precious! Let no one take that from you, Jacqui! The quilt, itself, is beautifully composed, with such cheerful selections of fabric!

    Maria, too, lets her heart shine through, with touching creations to warm the hearts and bodies of her grandchildren! You are very clever, Maria, applying your crochet so well!

    Good on you, Jane! I love that you apply yourself so energetically and enthusiastically to making products for your household! It's wonderful that your soap has been so successful! You set a good, industrious pace!!

    Debbie, your beautiful crochet and knitting are going to be wonderfully warm and snuggly for your forthcoming grandchild! It is all lovely, with the white knitted set being extra special! It looks like this is all so natural for you!!

    Fiona, you have constructed your dandelion necklace with an elegance of style! The bottle is so tiny, too! That fabric on your lamp works very well!! It is good to see your talent! Thank you!!

    This is another good Show of homemade gifts!

    With warm regards,
    Rachel Holt

    1. Dear Rachel, Thank you for encouraging everyone! It is cheerful to see much industry I think!
      Speaking of industry :).... I just finished painting the bathroom! It looks bigger, fresher and lovely! I am so glad to have this done! We have a mirror and a cupboard to go up then that is IT! Here me celebrating!?
      I hope your week is going very well. It seems like we have all been busy lately but it it ok when it is on good things!
      With much love,

    2. Dear Rachel, thankyou for your lovely comment, you are always so generous in spirit with your Maria

  12. Gorgeous items showcased this week, the soap, the necklace, the knitting, crochet and quilting. Very beautiful, all of it.
    Annabel hope all is well with you and the family. Fi xx

    1. Thank you Fiona, it has been a busy week so far but all good things really. Getting major things done is pretty satisfying. Plus today is lovely and sunny, I have the clothes line covered as it has been rainy up until now. Boy I can fit a lot more on this clothesline than the old one!
      I hope your week is going well, with much love,

  13. Dear Annabel, Such talented bluebirds!! Everything is so beautiful!! I'm also looking forward to your pictures of the new bathroom!! Love, Teri S

  14. Dear Annabel and beautiful bluebirds,
    I apologise for my late comment Annabel , I haven't had a good few days so I haven't felt up to doing as much online as normal.
    I absolutely love the variety of the creative talents this week .
    The wish in a bottle necklace is gorgeous and unique , I love it Fiona. I also love the lampshade cover, such resourcefulness .
    Jacqui, that is so lovely of you to make Quilts for Harper and Scarlett , beautiful gesture.
    Debbie , thank you for showing us the baby items you made they are sweet and so pretty.
    Jane, your soap reminds me of colourful fudge or ice cream , such luxury.
    Maria , that batman cape will be loved by your grandson I am sure. I bet he will be
    the envy of his friends.
    Thank you so much ladies for sharing your talents with us all once again .
    Annabel , I have added some gifts to my gift cupboard but not home made gifts . I bought 3 small gifts which I will add something to , these gifts were $1 each reduced after Mother's Day.
    I also bought a gift for each of my nieces both reduced in price, one gift was $2 and the other was $3 but they don't look cheap. I will tell you more in the Vicky challenge/ feather your nest post. These gifts will be for their birthdays which are coming up in the next month or so.
    I hope everyone's week is going well .
    Love Barb W.

  15. Oh my goodness what sweet gifts. I just love everything! Good job again ladies it is so wonderful to see what everyone makes.

  16. Thank you everyone for such kind comments encouraging everyone! I have been painting and run out of time to reply properly. I will get on with Fridays post as it has been a good week! xxx


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