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 25 July 2017

The Christmas Challenge. Show and Tell for July 2017. Part 1.

Everyone has been busy busy busy! Gift cupboards are filling up!  I know you will find ideas and inspiration from seeing what the ladies having been making!

Today we have no electricity! We are treating it as a practice run and Andy has the generator out and running and now I have internet, a hot cup of tea and he can keep working in the office. I am going to run over to Mum's for hot water and wash my hair!

Thank you to everyone who has sent me pictures!  This will take two weeks at least! I am using something from everyone and they are in no particular order!

Firstly, we have Wendy.  I love seeing what Wendy has been making as she is a very good example of how we can learn new things. She used to say to me that she loved my cards but she just wasn't crafty.   I took no notice as anyone can be crafty just like anyone can cook.  We have to be prepared to learn and practice!    So Wendy went from not being crafty to:
Becoming a wonderful card maker!
Encouraging others to learn!
Supplying her own family economy with cards.
And now having an online store where she sells cards!
You can check out her store here My Abundant Life Shop.

These are some recent cards Wendy has made:

If you have something you would like to learn or something you think you are no good at read this Practice Makes Perfect!!   Truly, if we set our minds to it we can learn so many things and then continue to improve our skills.  And it is fun!  I am very proud of you Wendy!
Be inspired by Laine's Letter and by Wendy and work hard at building up your skills, there are so many benefits.

Jeanette made a stair case shawl. This is what she called it....  I love the edging!

Jeanette you are wonderful with colours!  The quilt in the background is amazing as well!

This scarf is crochet.  Beautiful work! 

Vicky found a beaten up old bucket in the shed.  She thinks like me... beaten up can be beautiful. In true shabby chic style she took it and beautified it!

I love it!  It has vintage charm and look at those roses!  Well done Vicky!

Michele has not done any sewing in years and she re started to sew for her Grand daughter. Take a look at this gorgeous little dress!  It is just beautiful Michele! I hope you will keep sewing!  This is nicer than anything you could buy! 

Sewingceations15 has been really busy.  She made a lot of cards...

She turned a Doona Cover (Quilt cover) she had not used into curtains!   They look lovely!

And she has made table settings with placemats, coasters and cutlery holders!

Beautiful work and very productive! 

I really love seeing what you have been making and also hearing the stories that go with the work.  There are so many possibilities.  We can very often turn things we have on hand into amazing gifts or make something for our homes.  I also love to see skills being used and the willingness to learn, practice and then learn more!

What are you working on and what skills would you like to learn?
In some cases it is a matter of what skills would you like to start using again that you haven't used in years!  I used to embroider every spare minute day and night!  I am a bit rusty now but I want to brush up my skills.  The main problem is there are not enough hours in the day!

I hope your week is going well! Yesterday I went half an hour south of here, saw my friend Hilde (who made me a beautiful lunch!) and I found three more amazing stores that I can include in my circuit.  I had already worked out that supermarkets are absolutely not cheaper than small stores anymore for us.  Yesterday I compared a lot of items to some shops Hilde took me to.  Many many things were a quarter the price of the supermarket.  It was a really educational day!  I am thinking I will make it a once a month shopping day to go down there and stock up.  

Have a good day and I will see you on Friday! xxx


  1. Just so much beautiful inspiration! Good job everyone!

  2. Dear Annabel,

    I hope your electricity wasn't off too long and that you stayed warm! This is another great post that I look forward to every week! Just yesterday my daughter told me what she had gotten for her friend for her baby shower this coming Sunday. She wanted one more thing but couldn't figure out what to get on a very tight budget. I went into my thinking mode and into my craft room I went. I'm making two bibs that will look like the mascot of the college that they went to! I'm so thankful for the resources I have in that little craft room! It makes coming up with something special to give as a gift a joy! I enjoy every minute of it!

    I'm also continuing my embroidery on some tea towels that will be part of a food Christmas gift for most everyone on my list! Just have to keep trying to fill up my gift closet!

    Blessing to you on another wonderful week!

  3. Wendy's dress cards are just wonderful, they remind me of many happy childhood hours spent playing with my paper dolls. I have managed to spend some time each afternoon the last few days sitting in an armchair in the sun working on a knitting project. Bliss!

  4. As usual, such beautiful gifts for the gift cupboard!! There are so many ways to use a person's creativity!! Now I want a beat up bucket!!! :)

    I am amazed at the price differences you are finding by going further afield. We notice it both ways when we go to the big city: some things (like milk and flour) are cheaper there, and there is lots of choice, but other things are more expensive (like produce) than if you turn and head the opposite direction to where the fruit and veggies are grown. (Although even there you have to make sure you skip the markets that cater to tourists. Then a premium is charged and it makes more sense to shop at the supermarket for produce shipped halfway around the world.) We are headed to the city in a couple of days for one of our big shops and I am keeping all the info posted here from the last couple of weeks in mind to see if I can find some new spots to shop and save! Maybe I will find a new ethnic market...

    Thanks to everyone for sharing their inspiring gifts!

    xx Jen in NS

  5. Absolutely lovely projects everyone. You all have such nice handiwork.
    Whom ever receives them will lucky.

  6. Beautiful! I found a bucket just like that in a ditch out in the country. I think I might decorate it the same way!
    Thanks for sharing!

  7. Dear Annabel, Wendys cards are so precious. The detail, right down to the pearls, is adorable! Jeanettes staircase shawl and quilt are fabulous, loooove Vickys bucket, Michelles sewing shows that we can all brush up on rusty skills, and Sewing Creations turning a doona cover into a shower curtain is a bit impressive! Of course her Paris themed napery caught my eye, and I must confess to a bit of fabric envy! Gorgeous work as usual from everyone. Mimi xxx

  8. Erghh I think my iPad hates me lol. Just wrote a long comment and pretty sure it's gone. Love the colours of the shawl, and garter stitch is my favourite. That dress! It's beautiful. Love the placemats and immediately thought Mimi would love the fabric! Wendy, you make such a variety of sophisticated cards now, they are really impressive.

    I had written more, but will fill you in with quilt progress another day! Thanks Annabel :)

    Jen in NZ

    1. Thankyou Jen. I've now added wallet cards to my blog shop.

  9. Everything is just beautiful! the crocheting and sewing shows just how talented these ladies are and Wendy's cards are so pretty! I love seeing what everyone is working on and all of the talent in our group!

  10. Dear Annabel, no electricity again ? You poor thing ! I'm still very unwell with a severe chest infection. Power has got so expensive here in Australia generally many can't afford to turn the heat on at all. I'm blessed my unit has sun in it all day. Wonderful crafts.! Love sonia

  11. Thank you everyone! Wait until next week there is so much! xxx

  12. Hello Annabel and everyone :) .

    What a very clever, productive and artistic bunch of ladies we have on here. I just love seeing crafts of any kind from other people.

    Annabel I am sorry to hear that your electricity is still a problem where you live but hopefully with the new technology on the news about alternative energy that that will solve the issue for many households.

    1. Thank you so much! The new battery they are installing at huge cost will apparently give us 13 extra minutes of power so I am not too hopeful. We had reliable power stations and they knocked them down! Summer is really worrying us. But we are hoping like mad it will be ok. Thank you! xxx


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