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.

Thursday 23 November 2017

Feather your Nest Friday, 24th November, 2017.

We have rain after a really warm week.  And I got my linen washed and dried including my woollen underlay all about an hour before it started!  I was pretty proud of this timing but it was cutting it fine!

Some of the ways I feathered the nest this week included:

I have a lot of roses dried now.  

There are still lots hanging up but I packaged up as many as I could.  Jane told me that the soap supply shops sell rosebuds for about $8 a packet.  So I looked around online, on ETSY etc and found this is about the going rate.  I saw some packets of 6 buds for $4.   I always check out prices as mostly this is surprising and I then count my efforts in my Vicky Challenge.  But it is good to know!  I notice a lot of natural things are selling for high prices.  Pinecones sell around 50c each (or more) Gum nuts are sound $8 for a bag of 30...  You may have a gold mine and not know it!  

I have 22 packets made up so far...

I grouped them into colour and sizes....

This was really fun to do as I could play with flowers all day.  I am going to add a pretty ribbon around each packet.  Some of the tiny pink buds I will save to go on my Coconut Ice.  Some will be gifts for my soap making friends, some will be saved for our next swap party.

It was my week of flowers as I was given a huge bunch,  these were actually saved from a bin! 

They are just coming out and are palest pink!  They are HUGE!  

And in the garden I have hydrangeas just starting to flower and a little white rose that is flourishing...

I went through the present cupboard.  As usual I found things I had forgotten about.  I have stuff everywhere!  As usual it proved that doing a bit all year really adds up.  I am in a mess right now because I have little heaps as I work out all my parcels. The best solution is to start wrapping I think. Laine told me she has all her presents wrapped and that when we have time and feel up to it to just do it!   Many times December is overloaded and it is hard and we are exhausted.  I am agreeing and so as of today I am wrapping.  

I gave the dishwasher a good clean.
I found another huge Agave plant on the side of the road, this will be for Chloe's garden.
Finally I caught up with the eggs!

Beautiful mail from Kelsey made my day.  She sent me one of her handmade cards and beautiful floral papers which were from the swap party...

When I start card making I have the loveliest things to work with! 

The tomatoes I planted earlier have taken off and have started to produce tiny green tomatoes...

These are about six feet high now. It seems not long ago when I planted them!  
Our apple and quince trees also are covered in small fruit.

So that was my week so far.   Each night I have either been walking or swimming.  This is a spin off from changing my diet, I am not achy so I feel like doing something in the evenings.  This is all really adding up!

I hope you had a good week.  How did you build up your home, save, get ahead?

Have a wonderful weekend! xxx


  1. Dear Annabel and Bluebirds. It's been rainy-sunny-rainy here all week, so getting washing dry has been a trial! No sooner do I hang it all out, and it's raining! So like you, I am frantically washing linens at the moment, to take advantage of a sunny moment. I baked with my granddaughter this week, making snowman cupcakes and chocolate cupcakes with tiny homemade gingerbread men toppers, while we sang Jingle Bells over and over. That was fun...I think. Precious they are. I tidied my 'shop' which is my dry store and pantry stockpile, and discovered quite a few treasures that I'd set aside for gifts. These are things like a sterling silver dragonfly pendant still in the jewellers presentation box, found for $6.50, some cute teddy brooches for my granddaughters bought for $3 each, some candles I've made from supplies here, and some trimmed pillowcases and boxer shorts made earlier in the year. So whilst I was feeling quite behind the 8-ball this Christmas, I am not as behind as I thought. Yay for grabbing bargains and spending 15 minutes stitching when I could! I found some enormous chickens marked down to just $2.80, so bought 3, some gluten free bread marked down to $1, so bought 6, and made marmalade from home grown cumquats. All in all, despite feeling really frazzled with a sick doggie in the family that will have to be put to her eternal sleep sadly, it wasn't a bad week on a practical level. Just emotional with my daughter finishing school, poor sick doggie, and family Christmas headaches...sigh. All good though, now that I've done a tally, I don't feel so bad! Love to all. Mimi xxx

  2. Your roses are just so beautiful Annabel. After everyone ate and decided to take a nap after Thanksgiving dinner I started sewing another clothespin bag. I think I will keep this one for the county fair next summer. It's hard to sneak in time to sew so this will take me awhile. I'm more able to crochet in the evenings. Have a wonderful weekend.

  3. Hi Annabel, this week has been about keeping up with medical appointments for Bluey as his road to recovery continues and prepping for the arrival of Johanna and Tilly. They arrived on Wednesday and Tilly took all of 30 seconds to come running to me. We haven't seen her since June so I was surprised. A minute later and she was in Bluey's arms.
    Since their arrival our world has been turned upside down and the only way we could be happier would be to have our son here as well. We have sent him a number of care packages and plan on sending a couple more before Christmas.
    I received a beautiful care package of my own off the lovely Tanya. Tilly has decided the bubble bath is just the best ever! We have had bubbles everywhere. My eczema has been playing up and there was a wonderful lavender salve that is so soothing on it. Annabel I think Tanya should share the recipe.
    Our neighbour knows I love roses but have not been successful in growing any. He turned up last week with a potted rose for me, that he grew from a cutting. It is now budding and it looks like I might have roses of my own. Woohoo!
    Have a lovely weekend everyone. Life is truly wonderful.

    1. Dear Jane, What a happy time for you! This is just what you both need. The care parcels to your son sound just wonderful and Im sure they make a big difference to him.
      The bubble bath sounds beautiful. I love bubble bath! Tanya has sent me the lavender salve recipe. I will include it in a Wednesday post and I will be making it too!
      I hope your rose takes off! I know your climate is so different to ours. Here it is dry and we rarely have humidity. Roses seem to just like it so they thrive. Currently I have hydrangeas just coming out.
      Just enjoy your lovely time with Jo and Tilly. What a good lead up to Christmas! With love

  4. Annabel I have just inherited six rose bushes as a neighbour wanted to get rid of them and the ones we didn't take she put in the bin. She asked my hubby ages ago to take them but he never got round to it so she gave him an ultimatum in the end as she just wanted them gone. I know absolutely nothing about roses so need to do a crash course. They have all been pruned drastically as they were moved during warm weather but I look forward in the future to using rosehips for natural remedies etc.

    1. Nanna Chel I knew and old English Fellow years ago - he grew prize winning roses. He always maintained that rosebushes in Queensland needed to be pruned right back in the hot weather rather than the cold of July. I know that Bunnings has Rose planting soil - I would dig a hole and then pop in about 1/2 a bag then back fill, water in and keep an eye on them. Wish I lived nearby because I could have given those other bushes a home.


    2. Dear Nanna Chel, My brain explodes wondering why anyone would get rid of roses but in this case this is good, you got them! I know QLD is much different for growing them. But if others have them there and they do well then it can be done. Apart from roships the petals will give you so many things from jam to soap making supplies. Just wonderful.
      Now I hope they take well! With love

  5. Dear Annabel,
    It was a busy week here with Thanksgiving and visits from old
    friends. It was delightful! This week I cut out purses from old
    Otherwise worn out jeans, took inventory of the gift closet.
    For Thanksgiving, put the pie filling which into beautiful cups per your idea and baked it that way for a grain free dessert. I also baked grain free soft gingerbread cookies to go with the pumpkin custard. They were awesome. Wishing everyone a good weekend. Blessings, Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie,
      Because I like the servings in cups so much I am collecting more cups! I love them! Today I am doing cheesecake in cups (no crust and very low sugar) I top with berries. This is going to be my treat for the next few days. With this kind of stuff who misses grains!? I have to stay a step ahead though but it is working. Also I think my taste buds are changing as my cravings/ food dreams haha are about steak and veggies! We have had warm weather so a lot of cold meats and salads which we both love. Your pie and gingerbread sound so good!
      I look forward to seeing these purses. Very much in fact! I have already discarded two pairs of jeans since grain free also equals lost kilos. I saved them to do something with them!
      Have a lovely weekend! With love

  6. Hello Annabel and beautiful bluebirds :) .

    So glad you are feeling better Annabel and are able to do more without high pain levels and your packaged roses are beautiful :).

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $91.97 and probably more with our marigolds and sugar baby watermelons.

    Purchases -
    - Purchased 3 x large pots of French lavender from a church plant sale for $12 saving $41.94 over buying them in the local hardware/plant store.
    - In our local op shop I purchased 16 coat hangers including 4 sturdy wooden suit jacket ones for $1.50, a working cherub wall clock for $2, 2 display folders for $1 for sorting our recipes etc in for $1, and a padded insulated small bag for $1 to use as a small medical kit for the car and hiking. All up this saved around $49.53 they would have cost new.

    Tidying, decluttering and organising in the home -

    - Deep cleaned the lounge room, bedroom and bathroom for our house inspection on Monday using flannel rags from old saved sheets rather than paper towels.
    We damp dusted all furniture, walls and blinds and then polished all the furniture and blinds with pledge. In the bathroom we have cleaned all the tiles in the shower recess and floors & scrubbed the grout with an old toothbrush and citrus vinegar. It all sparkles now :) .

    In the kitchen -
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.

    In the gardens -
    - Replanted volunteer sweet corn, marigolds and sugar baby watermelon seedlings in rows. These made 2 x 5mt rows of marigolds, 5 x 1mt rows of sweet corn and 1 x 5mt row of sugar baby watermelon.

    Water preservation -
    - Used rainwater from our tanks to clean walls and damp dust and wash out buckets and then emptied it on the lawns.
    - Used dish rinse water and vegetable steaming water to water vegetable seedlings in the gardens.
    - All grey water from our showers and washing machine was used to water all the house paddock lawns throughout the week without using town water.

    Have a wonderfully frugal and money saving week everyone :)


    1. Dear Sewingcreations, You had a busy week with lots of cleaning! It feels good when everything sparkles.
      The lavender sounds beautiful. Church sales etc are a great way to get plants. I increasingly cant believe the price of plants! I gave my daughter a large Devils Ivy I had grown. She saw one the same size in a florists. It was $150! Good grief.
      Your rows of marigolds and corn sound so lovely please take a photo of these!
      We had rain so our rainwater tank finally has something in it! Using your rain water, grey, cooking water etc all saves a lot.
      Have a wonderful weekend! With love,

  7. What a beautiful inspiring post Thank you Annabel I have a question for you I want to make some of your sugar scrub I also have a recipe using coconut oil How long do these scrubs last for? Thank you Shelley

    1. Dear Shelley, I think sugar scrubs should last just ages, at least a year. They make a great present. Some fancy brands sell sugar stubs for over $100 a jar! Hope this helps! Love

    2. In reply to your question Shelley on the best use by date of coconut oil in the scrubs it would be about a year if stored in a cool area of the home otherwise less. Sugar itself (white) has an indefinite storage life if stored in a cool sealed container as well.

      We are into food storage so I go on the recommended storage time of the ingredients used.

      I hope this helps.


  8. It is Thanksgiving week here in the USA. We have had a house full of kids and grandchildren. Special treats were part of the grocery budget but we have cooked from the pantry and sales as much as possible. I bought and wrapped all the gifts for out of town kids who will not be here at Christmas and they will take them home. This saves a lot in postage. Have a good weekend!

    1. Dear Lana, That sounds wonderful. Also you are so smart and organised to send the Christmas parcels home this way. That would save a fortune! That is what I call getting ahead! Well done. I am glad you had a house full of kids and Grandchildren! With love

  9. Annabel,
    Dried rosebuds are expensive so that is awesome you have so many to package up. Garlands of them with some ribbon is a pretty gift too. I am not sure what my savings are yet I still have my receipts and notes to self sitting in my little basket to be added up, but with the deals I have been getting from KMart I have saved around $100 and got a bunch of free items. I have added quite a bit to the gift stash just using promotions like free cash or free promotional gift cards the stores way of trying to get you to shop and spend money. Nope I keep those impulses in check and stick to the budget! I have also gotten several free samples and products to review as well. I think my totals for the year with everything we've done will be good.

    1. You have done so well and your gift cupboard must be full! I am amazed at the free stuff you get! And such good stuff too! The reviews have really paid off. This would all add up to a lot as I know one thing you mentioned was worth a lot! Oh plus that sweater also... A good week, a good month! xxx

  10. Dear Annabel,
    I am so glad you like the papers!
    I love your roses. They are so beautiful and you have an abundance. One day I will have roses again! I would love to have hydrangeas too, but I have heard they don't grow in our area. I have looked into buying dried ones on eBay and you are right, they are expensive.
    This week (well these past weeks, really) have been busy. We are turning the upstairs loft into my craft room so spare moments have been spent on that. I have been cleaning/organizing and Colton has been building. He is so good to do these things for me! It is almost finished and I will send pictures.
    Also, a produce truck wrecked in our town (the truck driver was ok) and the volunteer firefighters who worked the wreck got to take home all of the produce they wanted as it could no longer be sold. Colton brought home crates and crates of avocados, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, corn, zucchini, and limes. He even brought home a case of Mexican sodas (the truck was coming up from Mexico). He has been off work since Thursday for Thanksgiving (yay!) so we canned salsa and dried peppers. I will freeze more peppers and try to bake some zucchini bread before things go bad. We were able to give LOTS away. So sorry for the truck driver but we were very grateful for all the produce. It was hundreds of dollars worth.
    I bought John three little outfits on Black Friday. I am not one for shopping on Black Friday, definitely not one of those people who camp outside the stores the night before. But we were in town visiting family and one of the local stores had a special on baby clothes, buy one get TWO free. I went an hour before the store closed so there was really no one there! I picked up an outfit for now and two in bigger sizes.
    We also ordered two DNA kits on special and I bought them through my cash back sites for an even bigger discount. Colton and I have wanted to do this for a long time but wanted to wait for a sale. We ended up getting two kits for the price of one. Based on my family tree, I'm guessing British and Scandanavian but we'll see!
    I hope all of the Bluebirds are doing well!
    With love, Kelsey


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