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.

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Thursday 9 November 2017

Feather your Nest Friday, 10 November, 2017.

The Feather your Nest Friday covers a couple of extra days as last time I posted it was a Wednesday.
Some of the ways I built up my home and saved were:

I have roses drying everywhere.  Some will be for my own crafts and cooking. i.e. they go on top of coconut ice at Christmas time, on bath bombs, soaps and so on and others will be packaged up for gifts and the next swap.

I have a shelf in the kitchen covered!

Some are for Jane and some for Tanya as they already have orders in!

I am still collecting more too. They dry quite quickly and hold such good colour.

Last week I forgot to report a good thing!  We came home from our trip with two new chickens!   

The are actually Bantams.  I seem to be collecting different colours.  I don't think I can help it!

Chloe had a big upset.  After we left  her place a fox got some of her hens.   I felt upset too.  We had just been there feeding them and she had such a variety of different colours.  Hers ALL have names too.
She got revenge on the fox and also already got some new hens which are just beautiful!  She found a local lady advertising some hens.

She said to me how she doesn't want to get low as chickens are good food security.  And she asked for a dehydrator or a foodsaver system for Christmas.  😊  

She had visitors with half an hour notice and she baked quick biscuits.

I loved this photo since you can also see the lovely view out of her window!

Much of my week was working on eggs.  We came home from the farm with so many!  
Apart from eggs for breakfast I made a giant quiche in my biggest baking dish.  

This gave me lunches all week.  So I managed to use 18 eggs.  Today I am making another batch of fruit cakes since I basically have orders.  This will take another 20 eggs.  Tomorrow I am making a triple batch of banana cakes since I have bananas in the freezer.  This will take another 9.   Progress! 

Mum gave me some beautiful crochet cotton!  I had none left.  So now I can get crocheting again!

Also last week I was asked if I would show a closer view of Mums knitted hand towels.  

They are beautiful!

I got some bargains... two childrens books for the gift cupboard down from $12.99 to $2. 
Two tins of baby formula at half price (very rare here)
A whole bagful of things Andy likes heavily marked down (i.e. salami) Many had been $8 and over and they were all under $2. He thought it was amazing!  These all keep ages so he is stocked up.

At the chemist they had a vitamin sale.  I got what I needed at half price (which is Magnesium and Vitamin B) and I got a bag of free goodies as part of a promotion they were having. It was valued at $200!   I found it contained useful things from mens vitamins to childrens sunscreen. Some things went into the gift cupboard.  There was something for everyone. 

I made chicken stock and then soup.  Andy wasn't well and he lived on this.  
I also made flourless cookies, a crustless cheesecake and yoghurt.

My Vicky Challenge total is going to be pretty good!  I have each item listed I just need to add it all up!

Today I am baking the fruit cakes. I soaked them overnight and they already smell beautiful.  I am going to make baked egg custards and use another dozen eggs! 

I hope you had a good week!  How did you get ahead and feather your nest?
Have a lovely weekend! xxx


  1. Hi Annabel, wow you have had a wonderful week or so. Lots of accomplishments! The apple doesn't fall far from the tree by the sounds of things with Chloe. Your flowers, bowls, chickens and your mum's hand towels are all beautiful!! I am finally making some items for Christmas gifts this week, I will send you some pics when done. It feels good to finally get to sew again! Have a lovely weekend everyone. Cheers, Kelly

    1. Dear Kelly, Well I was quite thrilled how Chloe is thinking in terms of being prepared and preserving. Also her pantry is looking good and she has two freezers! I am so glad you are sewing. Soon we will have hot weather. This is a good seeing time for me when it is too hot to be outside I sew!
      You have a good weekend too! With love

  2. Have a lovely weekend, Annabel. I haven't achieved anything in the craft department as our garden is covered in weeds so I am trying to clean that up. One of these days I will get back to being productive like you are once again.

    1. Dear Nanna Chel, The garden can take up a lot of time. I love being in the garden. I tend to get more crafts done in either the hold or really wet weather when I cant garden. There will be a season for everything! Have a lovely weekend! With love

  3. Lovely flowers and dish clothes.

    Sorry to hear about Chloe's hens. We've lost many chickens over the years to raccoons and opossums. One never gets use to the sadness and sense of loss. Glad she has more.

    Have a good weekend! Thank you Annabel and all the Bluebirds for sharing every week. I'm so blessed by the beauty and talent each one of you shares with the rest of us. The swap was a great success, too.


    1. Dear Leslie,
      Foxes are our main predator here although now and then stray dogs. I hate losing chickens! We do everything we can but now and then they beat us!
      Thank you for your kind words! I have been hearing and seeing some just amazing swaps that took place plus some friendships formed and some teaching and exchanging of skills! I am so pleased. We will do this again soon! Thank you so much Leslie, With love

  4. Hello Annabel and beautiful bluebirds and I hope you have had a wonderful week of feathering your nests :) .

    Firstly I felt inspired to thank you Annabel for the wonderful community you have created here and to send hugs to you for so many things. You have a wonderfully kind and loving heart and soul :). Your roses are just beautiful and ours are also in full bloom here and look just gorgeous too.

    We have been so busy of late as well and I will say fallen upon per chance some wonderful bargains and trading opportunities to increase both our food storage and to create my new wardrobe at such low prices now I have put on weight, which I needed.

    Here is how the week went -

    Purchases -
    - Purchased 4 whole chickens at Aldi for $3.69 kg (best that we can find here at the moment) and 4.45kg of beef mince on special for $7kg saving in total $28.24 over the usual prices here.
    - Happened upon a clearance clothing rack that they were just stocking as I walked in to Millers and snavelled a lovely pink embroidered cotton nightie, 2 thick and warm zip up vests and 2 track suit tops for a grand total of $25 saving $153 on usual prices. Funny thing was husband was assisting with trolley as I handed him things over the heads of other ladies it was so frantic and they were asking him and me how what the items they were trying on looked in the main walking aisle of the shopping centre. Got to love a husband that loves clothes shopping with you :).
    - At another shop I managed to purchase 3 cakes of lovely goats milk soap for $1ea (under half price) saving $3.27 on usual prices.

    Trading/Swapping -
    - Organised with our previous neighbour to put 10 bee hives on our property in exchange for 15kg of honey for us and we will provide him and his elderly mother with excess vegetables from the gardens we have during the year. This will be wonderful as our vegetables will have heaps of bees pollinating them all year round and we won't ever have to buy honey either saving us $129 per year. We have also organised the same deal for when we buy or land and build our home too.
    - Organised with a lovely friend to swap free range eggs from her farm for vegetables we grow here too.

    Grocery purchases -
    - Purchased 14 tins of spam to complete our stockpile of one of four tinned meats on 50% off special saving $34.30 on usual prices.

    In the kitchen -
    - Juiced more carrots picked from the gardens for juices for the two of us for lunch one day this week.
    - Juiced some more of our cheap oranges we purchased to make another 6lts of juice for the freezer which we have been drinking every day for lunch this week. Still have one more 3kg bag to juice but we ran out of empty saved and washed out plastic water bottles.
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.

    In the garden -
    - Picked more carrots for juices throughout the week.
    - Trench composted all vegetable scraps to amend the soils.
    - Hand watered all newly planted vegetable seeds with rainwater from our tanks, vegetable steaming and dish rinsing water in between scheduled town water watering days to save on town water use.
    - Continued to hand water the house lawns with saved grey water from our showers and washing machine again to save on town water use.
    - Mulched around the watermelon and pumpkin seedlings in the gardens with a mixture composted grass clippings and leaves rather than buying hay.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone :).


    1. Oh, your beehives sound amazing!

    2. Thanks Kathy we are excited too and they are fascinating to watch as well especially when the apiarist comes to check on them and we can see the busy bees at work inside the hives and outside too :).


    3. whenever I get to any chainstores the most discount I can get is 50%, what a great bargain from Miller's.
      Well done on the beehives, I am trying to encourage bees into the garden despite the fact that I am allergic to bee stings.

    4. Hi Margaret and thank you it was a huge bargain on the clothing and a great help to our budget whilst saving for our home, I am very happy :).

      Most bees will not attack as a rule they tend to only attack if you wave your hands around at them if they land on or are around you. Best to stay still and they usually fly away, our now resident bees fly and land on us all the time and then fly away.

      I hope this helps.


    5. Dear Sewingcreations, Thank you for your encouraging words! I think we all need community and support. It can come from all kinds of different places. I am amazed how we all have so much in common despite living far apart!
      I am pleased you have gained weight if you needed to. We have to be as healthy as possible. The clothes and nightie were a great buy! It is so sweet how your husband helped you!
      Your trading is impressive! Honey and eggs too! These are both great assets.
      All your work in the garden really pays off. It has warmed up here and I am using all our grey water also and keeping up water is quite a lot of work.
      I love hearing about your work for the week. It adds up so an amazing amount and is a testimony to hard work and how each area contributes to the overall picture. This is very motivating for us all! Have a great new week! With love

  5. Dear Annabel, you had a wonderful week going by your beautiful photos of everything of yours and Chloe's new chickens look very handsome as well as your bantams. Wow that was a lot of eggs you used , you are a big batch cooker for sure haha.Im your stingey cousin here. We are cityfolk here and eggs come from the supermarket .I hope Andy is feeling much better for having had your nourishing stock in soup. And your mum is a very industrious lady , it's passed along in the female genes I see :-)
    Ive had a good week in a variety of ways this week, after getting back from 10 days away. Unpacking, washing catchup, housework , more washing, unexpected babysitting my little grandson one day .
    Sorting Christmas gifts and some pre Christmas birthday gifts, and I downloaded Shabby Art Boutique's Christmas Planner , after a friend told me she had seen it from looking at your side bar of other blogs, so many thanks to Shabby Art Boutique and YOu Annabel for showing it. I went for the A5 size and glued the pages back to back so its handy to have with me or at least handy when I flit here and there up and down our stairs.
    My family looked after the plants and pots outside and all look good so Ive continued spot weeding and watering and rejigging some plants to other pots and areas.
    Good buys this week were flowering plants heavily marked down to 2.99 which are good in windy conditions.Some chunky plastic cars and toys for backyard play for my grandchildren . Some gifts that Im helping one of them with for the other half of his family.A bright jewel toned silk scarf for $4.
    A lunch out with two aunties as a treat for one who is in a home.
    Meals from freezer or scratch since getting home, and healthy slices for lunches.Also back to my exercise routines.
    Annabel I second what those above say that we appreciate all you do to encourage us along and uplift us and everything else in between.But also remember that you need time for yourself and your family as we all do. With thanks and love, Maria xxx

    1. Dear Maria, That Christmas planner is gorgeous. She has a lot of amazing free printables. I will be going through my present cupboard soon too! Big job!
      It takes time to catch up after being away. I always think it takes me a couple of weeks! And you have been busy as well. Have a good new week! With love

  6. Such sweet hens and your roses are just beautiful. It is hard to keep chickens going here in the woods as we have too many predators. Now bears have been seen. We are being careful since it was a cub that was seen and we do not want to encounter the Mama bear.

    We have had a cold and wet week but we had to be out for many doctor visits for my husband. We ate at home as much as possible. I added chopped green peppers to my freezer at 33 cents each. These go in so many winter dishes. I made my menus for Thanksgiving and the days around it when our family will be home. Grocery lists are made and we are picking up items on sale for the big day. Turkeys are .39 cents a pound with a $30 grocery purchase so I planned my list to take advantage of the sales at that store and purchase the turkey. I have been baking bread and freezing it for my stuffing. Today I will get cinnamon rolls into the freezer.

    1. Dear Lana,
      Well I cant imagine having bears! We get snakes which is bad enough but nothing like bears!
      I hope all is well with your husband. The turkey is a huge bargain. Ours is about $6 a kilo at best (2.2 pounds to a kilo) but I hope it will go down after Christmas on specials.
      You did well on the peppers too! I hope you have a good new week! With love

  7. Pictures are lovely and it sounds like you had a good week.
    Good going on utilizing so many eggs. It all sounds wonderful.

    1. Dear Cheryl, I am working on eggs again today! I used 20 yesterday! Have a lovely weekend! With love

  8. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    Beautiful beautiful roses!

    This week's efforts:

    Cooking: I made chicken broth, make-ahead oatmeal, and a double batch of banana bread for the freezer, and we shopped the freezer and pantry to make meals for the week. This was a real savings, as it was a busy weekend of running around and then a busy work week. I made barbecue chicken, brown rice, roast beef, and mashed potatoes for the week. All work lunches were packed and brought from home ($150).

    Entertainment: We enjoyed a movie from the library ($20), went for a lovely long nature walk through the preserve near our house, and have been reading books from our own bookcases.

    Garden: Harvested tomatoes, peas, celery, and herbs. This is the last of our garden as we've had a freeze, but there are herbs and yummy things frozen for later, too.

    Purchases: We have been considering new living room furniture for quite a while, wanting something sturdy and classic that would last a long time. (We have been using a microfiber set that is functional but not very well-built or comfortable.) This weekend, we used some of our cash savings to purchase a beautiful leather and hardwood set from a couple in a neighboring town for $600, saving at least $4,000 according to the website of the store from which it was purchased. It fits the living room like it was meant to be there! We also purchased an Amish-made, solid oak, beautifully carved dining room table, chairs, and china hutch for $800 from a couple who is relocating to another state for work (a savings of $5,200). A little lemon oil and it is just gorgeous! All of my china etc. fits inside the new cabinet, so I repurposed the old glass-fronted cabinet for yarn storage.

    I stacked coupons with a sale for some needed professional clothing items and ended up saving $306. (The total was a little over $120.) Professional clothing is expensive!

    I returned 2 things we did not need and was refunded $60.

    Meat prices were excellent ($2.99/pound for antibiotic- and hormone-free beef), so we purchased some roasts for our freezer. May and October are the months when our local farms process animals, so it is a good time to stock up.

    Our library's fall book sale was last weekend. All paperbacks are 50 cents, and all trades and hardcovers are $1. We spent $14 and came home with a lovely pile of like-new books and a few fun movies for our DVD library.

    Home maintenance: A local contractor installed our new garage door, saving a bundle over regular prices. The father-son team did a beautiful job, and told my husband the current one was "about to fall apart", so we picked the right time! They were able to match the door to our trim and left us extra weatherstripping in case we want to replace it again later. The garage is much less drafty now! My husband and I also repaired three sections of carpet that really needed it, postponing needing to make decisions about new flooring and saving the cost of having others do it for us.

    Crafts/Gifts: I ginished knitting a pair of socks, started a new pair and a shawl, and made a double batch of soap (jasmine and lavender). We found some very pretty glassware at the thrift that will make a nice gift for a family member who loves vintage glass (total cost was under $3) - it sparkles so beautifully now that it has been cleaned! My in-laws also gave us some beautiful quilts that were handmade by my husband's grandmothers.

    I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend,

    1. Dear Kathy, Wow you had a fantastic week! Being ahead on meals is so good for weeks that you are busy. This is the power of getting ahead. Many just go get takeout and blow the budget! Not us!
      That is the way to buy books. Andy gets novels from thrift stores and usually they are 50c to $1. Many of those are $20 or more new! That would make reading an expensive thing except there are libraries and thrift stores!
      The vintage glass will make a gorgeous gift. I love glass! I love crystal. I see the prices in the department stores... sparkly and wrapped beautifully this will be an expensive gift for very little.
      I love your knitting. I would like to see the shawl when you are finished.
      The furniture was amazing. This is all wonderful. What savings there! You must be thrilled!
      Now these quilts.... oh my goodness what treasures and I love this! I hope you are able to find a way to feature these quilts. Your husband must be so pleased. If they don't have anything already I would write down the names of the makers the years and all you can and keep that with them for future generations. This is very special. In fact if you send me photos anytime I would really love to see these. I have some sewing of my Great Grandmothers and crochet, little silk baby outfits... I treasure these things!
      Thanks for sharing your week. I hope next week is as good! With love

  9. Dear Annabeland beautiful bluebird buddies!,
    Thank you for another excellent blog post Annabel, you have had a great savings week, Chloe did well with her baking for visitors too.
    I also wanted to comment on Wednesdaysshow and tell, you are all amazingly creative and talented , I usually try to comment individually on each item but I left it a bit late to comment on Wednesdays post so please know I think each and everyone of you are very clever at your individual crafts. I admire the talent you all have.
    Ok now on to my Vicky challenge .this weeks savings included:
    I got a refund on an item I didn't realise I had a receipt for ( I found the receipt after some rummaging through my handbag) without the receipt I would only be entitled to a $2 store credit as the item had been heavily reduced , instead after going back to the service desk with my newly found receipt I got a $20 refund . So a $20 saving!.
    I received free postage on an item I have been wanting for years plus I got the item for $24 cheaper than I saw it in the shops , savings of $34 . I found some socks that had been reduced to clear, I got a pack of 7 boys socks for $4 , saving $4 , I got some ladies ankle socks ( 2 packs of 3 pairs for $1.50 a pack ) saving $2 a pack so an $8 saving. The socks are all for a local charity/ organisation who help homeless people and others in need. I also bought them a picnic rug for $5 , it's worth around $30 so a $25 saving.
    I got given some more free craft items that come from craft magazines that don't get sold, saving about $20.
    I got taken up to my local shops and I had morning tea , I saved $15 on taxi fares .
    I had my usual subsidised cleaning saving approx $36 .
    I saved about $30 on groceries , I put the $30 away I savings soa $30 saving.
    I earnt 3000 flybuys points in one shop , a lot of that was bonus points . Iaddedit to the points I had and converted 4000 points to $20 flybuys $ . So a $20 savings.
    I went to the doctors and was bulk billed, $60 saving.i also got $30 worth of free medication as I am on the safety net( after paying for medication I reached the limit they set and nowgetfree medication until the end of the year, I have had free medication for about4 months already!.) .
    I received 2 meals from my parents$20 saving . I made 5 cards to give as gifts , a $20 saving.
    I put another $70 in savings as I had some money left from last fortnight and I also didn't spend as much on groceries asI expected to.
    So this week I saved a total of $408 .
    Thank you again for great log Annabel, today and in general. I hope everyone has a lovely weekend .
    Sending best wishes to Jane andBluey and family
    Love Barb W .

    1. Dear Barb, Well done on having that receipt! That was very handy. The items from the craft magazines... this is great! And you got a lot of bargains this week too! 3000 flybuys is huge! That was a bonus!
      Over four hundred dollars saved is really good. Plus savings. All the little buts add up to so much. It is wonderful to see! Thank you Barb for sharing your week! With lots of love,

  10. How heartbreaking over the chickens. We have a fox here on the property (or did) and it would come out in the evening and sit on the rise and stare off into space. I always imagined it was her 'quiet time' after getting the kits to bed for the night, lol. Well, I know they aren't friendly to chickens but we had no chickens here so it was no problem to have her raising her kits on our place. I haven't seen her this year, though. I wonder if the coyote ran her off when it started running the cattle that were here? Now the cattle are gone so is the coyote. I'm glad! They give me the creeps when they begin to howl in unison.

    I had a lovely week really though it was really nothing much. I had a bad toothache that made my face swell and John had a cold. We both employed colloidial silver. I applied to a cotton ball and put on my gum above the aching tooth and he sprayed it into his sore throat. It works! My doctor is a homeopathic as well as a doctor and he recommended it. A bottle is expensive in the brand he gave me but I stuck with it because he's a thrifty man overall and I figured if it was the brand he chose, there was a good reason for it.

    I found new health insurance for next year (my third year on private insurance and my third company, as the others cancel after a year). This will be slightly less than what I paid last year and will have a slightly lower (not enough deductible with 100% coverage after deductible is met). I'm pleased with the change. I did a few other things of course, which I've posted over on my blog. Hope you have a lovely weekend! Terri

    1. Dear Terri, I haven't ever heard a Coyote except in the movies!
      I think I need a homeopathic doctor. I used to have one and he retired. It is interesting that the colloidal silver worked! I am going to look into that.
      I hope you are having a lovely weekend too! With love

    2. You can look online for a tutorial on making your own machine to make colloidal silver. We have made our own for many years and our only cost is distilled water now. My alternative med practitioner told me that it only works for about half of the population. It works great or not at all and you don't know until you try it. Some of our kids who always said that it did not work were happy to hear that they were right.

  11. Annabel your roses are exquisite. Having them hanging in the house would be so beautiful. I cant think of a more beautiful bunting. I don't have much to report as this has been a week of getting through each day as best as possible. Life is getting better.

    1. Dear Jane, Life is getting better! This is a long way from a week ago! What an amazing recovery Bluey has had to be home again! Truly he had an army praying for him!
      I hope this week will just be one of catching your breath. With love

  12. Hello lovely Annabel and beautiful bluebirds. I hope Bluey is well on the mend. I also have been reading all the news, but am sorry I haven't commented. Annabel, how wonderful you are thinking of moving back to the farm. I am glad you are praying- the right answer will come, along with how it is all meant to work out.
    I love your roses hanging up. What a pretty picture and they will make such lovely gifts. I am impressed with Chloe, she is just like you! Making such lovely things and her home looks so lovely. I love how you make such good use of whatever comes your way. For examples the eggs and all your cooking and baking this week.
    I definitely need to try and improve my gift giving. It is a budget that is getting bigger, as my son is getting older, I need to thank his son's swimming teacher etc. I am slowly building up my gifts, though I could always do more. Though, I am finding anything extra all too hard in third trimester pregnancy. I have to be thankful of the savings we have made in other areas- the meals I have frozen and the renovations DH has done. He fitted out our laundry and now I have cupboards in there! It is great. Lots of love to you all. Love, Bridge

    1. Dear Bridge,
      I have been thinking of you a lot as you must be almost due! I am so pleased about your laundry cupboards. R has done so much work as I know he did the kitchen and then other cupboards in your new home!
      You will be tired. Just managing a little one and the meals etc is quite exhausting when later in pregnancy! The beautifully wrapped soaps are a good thank you gift to make a heap of and keep on hand. I need to do more of those! I hope you are having a restful weekend! With love

  13. Dear Annabel and lovely bluebirds,
    What a amazing week. Annabel the roses are so beautiful. You were very productive. You made great use of all the eggs. The crustless cheesecake sounds yummy. Kristi made pancakes with almond flour. She added vanilla and chocolate chips.They were yummy. I am so sorry about Chloe's chickens. You really do get attached. I am glad she has more.���������� We did a lot of. Cooking this week. We enjoyed a complimentary chef box this week with three meals that were planned shopped for and delivered to our house. It was fun. Glad to hear Bluey is doing
    Better. Jane I hope you get some rest this week.
    Much love,


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