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, 20 June 2017

The Christmas Challenge. Gathering.

Firstly, thank you to everyone for participating in this challenge! Next week we will start on Show and Tell for June. So get your pictures ready!

I love the concepts of gathering, harvesting, gleaning... making the most of what you have.  I get around with baskets in my car, scissors and string. I just never know what I might find!  At home I pick my herbs and roses and see how I can incorporate them into gifts.

Cookie recently sent me pictures that made me think how this is a good subject in our gift giving.  She had roses and said they were hanging upside down drying all around her home.

I thought how beautiful!  This is how my home looks in summer.  Fresh flowers, drying flowers in various stages.  Some dry and fall apart and then I have dried rose petals for sprinkling over a pavlova or cake.

Thanks so much Cookie for your gorgeous photos! 

My own roses will hopefully be back in spring but I have quite a lot still saved in cellophane bags.
They have topped parcels,  decorated coconut ice and bath products,  cards, soaps....

Right now some of my gathering has been Bay Leaves.  My house is like Cookie's with Bay Leaves! They hang from cupboard doors, shelves, door knobs and more...

They are quite a reasonable gift given they are around 50c each in the supermarket!  I usually package them up into cellophane to include in kitchen gifts...

I've gathered gum nuts, pine cones, shells, feathers, seed pods, herbs and all kinds of things to decorate parcels, make arrangements and gifts.    I noticed suddenly vases of feathers in homemaking magazines and shops, interesting!  Brown paper parcels, string and a feather.. lovely!

Is there anything around you that you could gather to help in some way with your present cupboard? It could be part of a gift, something to decorate cards (like pressed flowers) or things to pretty up parcels.  

Next week I will start Show and Tell so if you would like to participate please send your pics to  or post them on the Bluebirds Facebook page.   Some have already arrived! Thank you!  I love to see what you have been making, what supplies you have found and even works in progress!

I hope your week is going well!  xxx


  1. Hello Annabel, only yesterday I was thinking about feathers, we have new hampshire hens who have gorgeous russet feathers but also rosellas, parrots and wrens who frequently drop sweet coloured feathers around the place.

    Cookies photos are lovely.

    Wet and cold here, perfect weather to be making something.

    Have a great week. Fi xx

    1. Dear Fi, Truly, brown paper parcels tied up with string and a feather poked in look BEAUTIFUL. Also I have a nest in a large glass bowl... I often add tiny feathers in there... they look gorgeous! So save those feathers for sure!
      It is the weather for some sewing for sure! With love

  2. Dear Annabel, love Cookie's roses here and there and your bayleaves !Good gatherers you both are :-)
    Love Maria x

    1. Dear Maria, I realised I have hundreds of baby parsley plants coming up so I could pot heaps up... that is my gathering today!
      I hope you are having a good week there! With love

  3. You have reminded me to check the hemlock tree at the lake house for cones. They are tiny and resemble pine cones. They are great for all sorts of ornament making and decoration come Christmas time. They stay on the tree so they are kept very well for harvesting.

    1. Dear Lana, They could possibly make a beautiful wreath also, or a lovely table setting. I am going to go google this to see what they look like! With love

  4. Dear Annabel, what a pretty, pretty post! I adore roses too, and one of my primary plans next year when my darling girl starts University, is to really educate myself on the topic of growing them and cultivate a small but abundant rose arbour. Photos like yours and Cookies are just inspirational! Meanwhile I content myself with the ones my lovely husband buys me once in a while, and like you, I prolong their pleasures by drying them and using them in all sorts of ways. My daughter has now picked up on this, and made an 18th birthday gift for a friend last weekend. It consisted of a lace look white box, filled with a mason jar into which she'd put 100 tiny 'happy thought' notes and which she'd then covered with a French busroll topper and satin ribbon. She'd included the contents of a box of individually wrapped chocolates, a soap wrapped in A4 white paper and stamped with a birds cage (you might remember I did these last year), and then topped it up with some of my last batch of dried spray roses. It looked so pretty, and I'm fairly certain that nobody else gifted anything nearly as nice. I'm so proud that she's learned that gifting is not about spending money, and that she herself, is perfectly capable of generating something memorable from almost thin air! I can't wait for photos of Christmas Challenge projects this month. It's always a parade of loveliness. Love, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi,
      Ahh this is the idea.. generating something memorable from almost thin air! That is just right for what really is possible with DIY.
      I am in awe of tropical plants and especially fruits... so even though I have roses we are always looking at things that others grow! The farm is different altogether with native flowers and scrub. I still have awesome finds there though. Keeping our eyes open and making the most of what we come by is the key I think! I hope your rose arbour takes off! That would be so pretty! With love

  5. Dear Annabel,
    It's so much fun to gather things. Like you, I'm always on the lookout. Roses are hanging all over the house and just when I thought there was no more room, voila, the idea popped up to tie them up on hangers and then hang the hanger at the top of the venetian blinds. Right now, every available space, including door knobs have roses hanging on them. (lol). Looking forward to Friday's post. Blessings, Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie, I think your hanging roses look beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing these photos! You will have to share some of what you end up doing with all of these. They will be handy for many things!
      Thank you! With love


  6. Hi Annabel & Beautiful Bluebirds!!

    Annabel, gathering is so much fun!! Cookie, the roses are beautiful dried. How much more when fresh?! That would be nice to see!!

    I am enjoying gathering treasures from the outdoors! I am regularly gathering useful information on how to make and use things, and op shop finds still work in with all of this!

    It's a relevant post! Thank you!

    Rachel Holt

    1. Dear Rachel, Rustic things are all in style... the farm probably is a florists dream! I met a florist the other day, there have moved in near by. I said my family were farmers. She was just like !!! and said how sticks, leaves, everything, is so expensive from the florist wholesaler! Next time I see her I am going to find out what she wants... maybe I could get some swaps going!
      I hope your week is going well! I have been washing windows today and things look brighter! With love

    2. Oh, wouldn't swaps with the florist be a wonderful thing!

  7. I love the photos of your coconut ice and the pretty bundles decorated with dried roses. Another week has passed and I haven't made much progress on gifts. Time to hop off the iPad and get started methinks! Thanks Annabel for the motivation.

    1. Dear Amanda, Well you have half a year to go which is pretty good! One thing a week will still give you enough gifts fro everyone probably! I need a pinterest session too to decide what to make next! With love

  8. Dear Annabel,
    Your bay leaves and Cookie's roses are a beautiful sight! I love the idea of gathering things from nature to use in decor and gifts. You mentioned wrapping with brown paper. That is my go-to choice, as it can be dressed up or made to look rustic.
    Someday, I would love to have my own roses to dry. Living out at the ranch means we have a different type of soil than we did in town and I feel like I am learning to garden all over again. I've had quite a few disappointing fails this year, but I am determined to keep trying. We do have a pine tree, so I gathered cones this year and I pick up feathers as well. Deer antlers are another idea, which I know you have mentioned before.
    I can't wait to see what becomes of Cookie's dried roses! Have a lovely week, everyone.
    With love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey,
      Pine cones have lots of uses! Just keep your eyes out for possibilities! Living on the farm has a lot of advantages. See what your neighbours grow in their gardens this to me is the easiest way to find success... it can be really hard adapting to new soil and conditions. Raised bed are an option as then you choose the soil or improve it as needs be. But right now I don't think you need to be working on that! :) With love


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