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, 27 June 2017

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

I love seeing what you all have been doing and I LOVE hearing about what you have made and all the details!  It is really good to see such a lot has been achieved in June!

Firstly we have Kelsey!   The first picture is of a wedding present Kelsey made for her cousin who has a lime green kitchen.

Kelsey got the measuring cups and spatular from the gift registry and sewed the napkins to go with them. I think this looks just beautiful!  Very professional Kelsey!

Next she made a cake for Fathers Day...

As you can guess it's a carrot cake!

Then she made mixed berry muffins and she used my "use it up" muffin recipe!

And finally she made receiving blankets which are double sided... (for her baby) I love the prints! 

Kelsey your sewing and cooking are both wonderful! You must be very pleased with the month! 

Jeanette made baby gifts also for her hairdresser and friend!  

Booties and baby rugs/receiving blankets!  The colours are just gorgeous. She must be so thrilled Jeanette. Truly lovely! 

Chloe's boyfriend is a farmer and tractor driver.  It was just his birthday on the weekend. I had to show you this! I have always said a cake is one of the best gifts!  

She had to drive it six hours to get it to him!  Well, it was a hit!  Little boy or big boy this is always going to be appreciated!

Cookie had wonderful op shop finds to help her gift making.... amongst other things she found stunning skeins of wool.  You have to love op shopping. They had the original price on them and were expensive but I think Cookie paid 50c per skein.... this is an example...

There were also red skeins and other finds! 

Rosanne completed a blanket for her Grand daughter. Or I would say a bedspread...

It has an intricate flower cutout patter as a strip though the top section.  It is stunning. I can only dream of achieving this! Roseanne this is an heirloom for sure! 

Maria finished a jumper for her Grandson.  This is beautiful and warm for winter right now.

I know your Grandson feels loved when you make him something Maria from comments he has made before! You did such a good job on this!

Well, that is enough for this week!  Next week is shaping up so well too!  If you would like to contribute please email me at or post pics to the Facebook page. 

So far this week I got a series of small gifts made!  It feels good to be putting things away that actually might make it until Christmas!  Each little thing adds up!  

I hope your week is going well!  So far so good here.... this afternoon we get the valuation of the floor... I am nervously waiting for this!

Also thank you all so much for so many helpful comments on Mondays post "Learning with Laine".  I really appreciate that it takes time to comment and help. But so much help came in and I feel very blessed by that. And to top it off I got a letter from Laine. THE Laine!  So next weeks Pantries and Preparedness Post is actually by Laine!  I feel so honoured and excited!  Ahh! what a week! xxx


  1. How exciting! A letter from *the* Laine! I would be jumping up and down!

    Gorgeous gift preparations from everyone!

    Looking forward to Monday and hearing from Laine!

    1. Dear Jenn,
      I was so pleased to hear from Laine, I wrote to her now and then but I know she is really busy, she is homeschooling etc. Anyway I had a question (which you will see in the post) and she answered and included a whole list of things that make up a blog post! Yes I was basically jumping up and down! Has made my whole day! With love

  2. Beautiful work ladies!
    That is wonderful, Annabel, that you received an e-mail from Laine.
    Love and hugs,

    1. Thank you Glenda! It has been a good and exciting week! xxx

  3. Annabel, oh my, what beautiful and creative gift ideas!!! I am almost ... I did say 'almost' speechless with their beauty! I'm fighting the urge to start a new crochet project after seeing all these pretty things, even though I'm in the midst of some big time harvesting and preserving of the garden. Sigh! I am looking forward to hearing from Laine ... do we really have to wait???? What a teaser you left us with!!!

    1. Dear Patsy, I get much less crafts done in the summer for the reasons you mention! Sometimes late evening though... but now in winter there is much more time and dark evenings... so I am crocheting! The main thing is this harvesting and preserving as when the opportunity passes it is gone!
      The letter Laine sent me totally made my day. I cant wait to share it! With love

  4. What is an op shop? I really enjoy reading your blog ❤

    1. Dear Nana, Thank you! You would say thrift store I think. Op stands for opportunity! With love

  5. I'm overwhelmed by the creativity of our group as always! Oh that crochet by Jeanette, Rosanne and Maria is gorgeous! Cookies op shop find will 'find' it's way into something special I am sure, and the napkins Kelsey made, never mind her other pretties are a joy to behold. I love that Chloes cake was delivered personally and customised to boot, and she clearly wasn't the only one with the baking bug this month...Kelceys cake looks delish. I love a good cake :) Lovely, wonderful news on the email from Laine too Annabel. Yippee! I love these posts. It's just a feast for the eyes! Mimi xxx

    1. Thanks so much Mimi. It is beautiful to se what everyone is up to and inspiring! Next week is big and thank you very much for your contributions. We have a lot of variety which is good as there is something we can all do! With love

  6. Dear Annabel ,the Bluebird crafters are doing lovely work,.
    kelsey's kitchen gifts look amazing, as do her pretty muffins and what a yummy looking Father's cake, I bet he loved that! The baby receiving blankets look lovely and cosy and sweet , well done kelsey and I hope you are keeping well.X
    Jeanette's baby booties and crochet edged rugs are gorgeous, Im sure they will be loved.
    Chloe's boyfriend's cake is a man's winner gift!
    Cookie did well with her opshop yarn buying,what a pretty soft green her yarn is.
    Roseanne's crochet bedspread is very effective over the pale under cover , showing off the lovely pattern strip.
    Thankyou for showing the jumper for my grandson,it took me some time as Im not that proficient a crocheter, but IM pleased with the resultsand can't wait to see him in it.
    So pleased that you heard from Laine, looking forwadr to her post .
    With love, Maria xxx

    1. Dear Maria,
      Thank you so much for sharing your photo! This was a big project and it is beautiful!
      Speaking of men and winner gifts.... my Dad found out about this cake Chloe made. He said "what kind of cake is it?" and Mum told him it was a chocolate cake. mmm. He was like "why doesnt she make me a chocolate cake?" so now there will be chocolate cake making for Dad! hahah!
      Maria since we first started this your crochet has gone through the roof! That dress.... the blankets... the hats you did! All amazing. Well done! With love

  7. Annabel I'm so happy for you, hearing from Laine must have been so exciting given how much you value her words.

    Kelsey you have been so busy making things before your baby comes, I too love the fabric you have used! It's such a lovely time waiting for a baby, what a beautiful way to spend it preparing.

    I'm always so taken with the knitting and crochet, especially as it so cold here in the mornings and evenings. Roseanne - the bedspread is amazing! And Jeanette, the baby booties are so cute! Maria, you've done a beautiful job on your grandson's jersey.

    Wow Cookie, what a bargain on the wool, that's always exciting.

    I know several boys and men who would be thrilled with the cake Chloe made, and as someone who has transported cakes nervously before, I also appreciate the art of delivering a cake unscathed lol.

    I'm sorry I didn't send any photos yet Annabel, will get on to it before next week.

    Thanks everyone for a lovely post!

    Jen in NZ

    1. Dear Jen,
      Thank you! I will look forward to your pics Jen as everything you make is amazing! I relate to feeling like yarn crafts when it is cold.
      Thanks so much for commenting on everyones efforts, with love

  8. Dear Annabel and Beautiful Bluebirds!!

    This is a beautiful show!

    Kelsey! Your special, motherly touch shines through in your work!!!!! The wedding gift is superb! It is stylish and of quality taste. The label is perfect! The green is really lovely!
    I love your baking! You might have some in the freezer for me to taste!! The cake plates are so pretty!
    Sewing for your own little boy is wonderful! He'll love the prints - when he's a bit older! Ha ha!!

    Jeanette, your crocheted baby items are so very sweet, and practical! This is a precious gift for you to give, and handmade!

    Chloe, your cake is very, very handsome!!!!! I'm sure it was (& I say "WAS") very tasty, too!! At least the machinery are still left!! Great effort, with the delivery, too!

    Cookie, sharing the op shop find is as fun as the find, itself! The next fun part is showing the finished product!!

    Rosanne, your bedspread is both intricate and incredible! I'd like to see you teach Annabel to achieve this crochet masterpiece!!

    Maria!! You've done it again!! I love the jersey style, and the blue and green together! If it was my size, I'd be pleased to wear it!!

    Thank you, everyone!

    Rachel Holt

    1. Dear Rachel, We had a very good variety didnt we!? Next week is shaping up to me somewhat massive!
      I hope your week is going well. Today is a bit nice with some actual sun here! With love

  9. Wow! Such beautiful gifts and I LOVE that farmer cake!!! How wonderful for you to get a letter from Laine! I don't have much to show so far, as everything is half done...and creeping along at a snail's pace as we get the garden in, etc.. Maybe by next month! I do love to see everyone's creations on the Christmas Challenge posts!

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen, Thank you! Getting the garden in is number one. I know you make lot of thins so I will look forward to next month! I hope your week is going well! With love,

  10. Annabel,
    First I need to say, Wow! A letter from "Laine" herself. How wonderful to say the least.
    Everyone gifts are so beautiful. Also so functional. They add such beauty to peoples lives while serving a very good purpose. Maria's jumper for her grandchild will keep him warm but also will keep him snuggled in his Grandma's love.

    Kelsey's sewing abilities are amazing. She is able to give gifts of love and knows that they are so useful to their recipients. The color co-ordinations of her kitchen gifts is right on target.
    What can I say about Chloe's cake but that it is truly amazing, how ingenious, her boyfriend had to be impressed, very hard to cut into such a cake but I bet it was delicious. Following in her Mom's footsteps. You must be so proud of her.
    Jeanette's gifts to her hairdresser and friend are precious. It would make me want to have a baby. She is very talented.

    Now the hardest part is waiting till Monday to see what Laine wrote. The world lost a wise woman when she discontinued her blog. But her Family's lives are enriched.

    I should mention I chose another hard and tedious crochet project for another Christmas present. A Season 18 Dr Who scarf for my Grandson, I think I spend more time sewing ends in than crocheting. You change colors most every row. I was ecstatic the first time I reached a 5 row same color direction.

    With overwhelming anticipation of Monday's post,
    Love, Rosanne

    1. Dear Rosanne,
      Thank you for commenting on everyones work! Also for sharing your amazing crochet! Your current project is equally huge but what a gift! I want to see it when done!
      When Laine stopped writing it was because her site was hacked or because someone helping her stopped I cant remember which but she would have kept writing otherwise! Then she lost the letters or access to them. It was my friend Helen and I that found they were stored on the web archive and Helen printed them all out and made them into books for herself, Kaye (another friend) and me AND copies for Laine which were posted to her. Finding her and her address is another whole long story! Well Laine had her letters returned to her! So this is how we became friends which was all amazing to me. To find the letters I posted in various places over the internet requests that if anyone knew what ever happened to Laine to please contact me. I got a lot of information but finally one was the web archive link and another lady wrote to me saying she was Laines friend. But I didnt believe her I thought "yeh right!!!" hahah but she was! I found this out when I said to this lady ok.. here is my email address please ask Laine to email me. And she did! But I got that email and I thought maybe it was fake! I am so suspicious as it seemed too good to be true! But reading it over I thought THIS IS LAINE! I rang my friend and told her... I read the letter to Helen and she said Annabel this really is Laine. Neither of us could believe it! So here we are... a couple of years later! I still cant believe it!
      I am looking forward to Monday too as we have several subjects to cover with Laines help but Mondays post is hers! With love

  11. What a treasure to hear from Laine! I am so anxious to read your post from her. Love, love her writings. Wish I had them all printed out. Not as many available on the "web" as there used to be. Enjoy your post and look forward to them. Blessings, Sharon D.

    1. Dear Sharon,
      The web archive is a bit weird... some you click on the subject and it takes you there and it is empty as if that one hasn't saved... but you can go back there a minute later and try again and it is there. So re try any you are missing. Print out as many as you can as there is no guarantee of them always being available like anything on the internet.
      What I love is that she still writes just the same as if there has been no time lapse! This has all made my week! With love

  12. Dear Annabel and Bluebirds,
    WOW!! Incredibly beautiful gifts and baking. As always I'm inspired by all of the Bluebirds beautiful work. Monday's post can't come soon enough. Blessings, Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie, It looks like everyone had a busy month and good finds! Thank you re Mondays post! It is a bit exciting! With lots of love,

  13. My, my, everything is so wonderful! I must admit to serious envy over the green kitchen goodies that Kelsey did for the wedding gift. Green in my very favorite color and I was probably drooling openly!!

    Can't wait to see more!!

    1. Dear Debby, I know someone else who is mad over apple green and her new kitchen is all green. She would have loved Kelseys gift too! Next week is shaping up to be big! Many thanks! Love

  14. Kelsey- I love the fabric for the napkins and it looks like our baby bluebird is going to be well outfitted the blankets are so cute.
    Jeanette-the baby shoes are my favorite! They are so adorable and you made several colors too! What a wonderful gift.
    Chloe- the cake is fantastic!
    Cookie- what a great find I know you will make something beautiful from it!
    Roseanne- Wow! You always amaze me!
    Maria- I love the colors of your jumper and your stitches look so perfect and neat. Your grandson will be warm and stylish both!
    Annabel-Such a fantastic group of talented ladies! It is such a joy to see what everyone is making each week!

    1. Dear Vicky, Thanks for commenting on everyones work! It has been a good month! Its very motivating to see. I just thought... I hope you took pics of the tutus you made! I forgot to remind you about that! With love

  15. OK, now, Bluebirds. I *LOVE* everyone's handiwork and gift ideas...


    Chloe's cake?!?!?! The creativity factor is off the charts! I **LOVE** your cake, beautiful Chloe. And I think I spy a gorgeous gal at the wheel of one those tractors!!! Hmmm... Looks like an engagement ring on her left hand... or is that a wedding band?!


    1. You are so sweet Kelley! Chloe read this last night! If this comes true you will deserve some kind of prize! Thank you, you made our day! xxx

    2. I'm obviously a poet (left hand... wedding band) but I just may be a prophetess, too! *wink*


  16. Thank you all for your kind comments! I have been enjoying myself so much, working on gifts. I am currently finishing up a scarf and am almost finished with another crocheted shrug (I ran out of yarn so will purchase another skein this weekend). My husband bought me some rolls of the "cake" yarn and I made two never-ending flower pillow fronts. Just need to use fabric or crochet the backing to put them together.

    I love Kelsey's bright green kitchen utensils and napkins, what a lovely gift! And Kelsey, your baby blankets are so cute and your baked treats look so yummy!

    Chloe's tractor cake is so creative and looks delicious! I love frosting, that's my favorite part of cake!

    Cookie, don't you just love yarn bargains when you find them? I found some in a thrift store in Arizona in February and was so tickled! I also met a lady there that buys cashmere sweaters and unravels them for the yarn. She says she never pays more than $4 for a sweater, so it's an amazing bargain! I've asked my oldest daughter to go in every so often and look for sweaters for me too!

    Rosanne, your bedcover is so pretty! I love the floral design.

    Maria, your jumper is so cute! I have never made anything wearable other than slippers, shrugs, and scarves/hats. I'd like to try my hand at something like yours!

    1. Dear Anonymous,

      Who are you dear? It's agreed: everyone's fruitful labor is amazing!


    2. Ha ha, Kelley! You have to put the clues together .... It's our friend Jeanette!!


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