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.

Sunday 4 February 2018

The World Within our Walls. Domestic Bliss.

We are looking at lots of ways to make the world within our walls a safe and happy retreat from the world.  A big part of this for me is to do with standards i.e. the worlds standards and ideas are not necessarily our own and at least at home we can stick with what we believe to be true and right.
But there is more... we can decorate and run things in a way that makes us happy and our hearts sing!

For each of us there will be different things that are the little touches that we really adore.  It might be because our Grandma had pretty curtains in her kitchen or a floral under sink skirt or perhaps she wore an apron so even now the sight of an apron makes us happy.

Vicky has been adding the finishing touches to her new pantry.

Looking back to times when there was no K Mart and little money women still found a way and cut newspapers into pretty lace trims for their pantry.  They painted cans and jar lids to make canister sets.  They sewed curtains from feed bags and used wooden boxes for seating.  We just love to feather our nest and make it nice.  This business of making the ordinary beautiful was called "A woman's touch."

Apart from being warm and comfy we all have little things that make us feel happy and content.  Each member of the family will have things that they love and these are usually easy to spot.
Some of mine are fresh clean linen on the bed.   Pretty tea cups to drink from.  Flowers in the house.  I like things to be clean and I like sparkle and light.  I love gorgeous pillowcases,  milk jugs, a pot of tea,  frilly edges...

Happily Andy loves clean sheets and the way linen smells when it comes in from the line as that makes us both happy.  He likes a coffee mug and his favourite brand of coffee. He likes giant bath towels, leather luggage and hats.  In his office he has vintage trunks and he has a music room full of instruments and recording stuff.
We love a soft throw on the lounge in winter.  And soft lighting in the evening.
What I am trying to say is let your home reflect the people who live there.
If your daughter loves purple paint the walls purple!  Let each person flourish in their space.

I love to make ordinary and boring things nice. These things just make my heart happy!  They might be stupid to some but my heart just melts over jars for the pantry with painted lids or decals on the front.

These are just baby food jars.  
I made the blue set for Chloe and she uses them for vitamins.

This means I am never going to fit in with many home decorating fashions. There was a recent one where homes looked like dental surgeries.  You don't have to squash everything you love to fit in to some current trend!  It is your home, your sanctuary.... you want to feel comfortable in your own home!

Some of the most beautiful homes I have even been in haven't been new or grand in any way... they have just been homely.  You feel comfortable there.  There is love and peace inside those walls!
If I see a tablecloth on the table or a row of canisters or jars I think oooh I have found a friend!

Little touches speak volumes to me and they really add up.  

I put dishwashing liquid and things I think look ugly into nice bottles...

Sometimes I make up my own laundry powered and make it pink!

I love beautiful kitchen towels and pot holders.

I love netting throws and covers for picnic or outdoor food.   If I make a cake I put it on a cake stand, it just seems more special!

Even cleaning cloths are nicer if they are a bit pretty.  I can actually be happy cleaning!

This one was made by Kelsey as a gift.  So gorgeous! 

I also love to see time worn things that someone else has used... like a rolling pin that is really old or an apron that has faded.  To me this is so romantic!

If it is dark or colourful I paint it!   I spray painted a whole heap of random tins and used paper napkins to decorate the tops and then I had a "matching set."

Decorating, straightening, cleaning and making.... being happy and content at home is so lovely.  When you are busy and loving it you are also setting the tone.  What is actually better than coming through the door to a happy home?  

Don't let anyone tell you that your work at home is a waste of your precious time.  You are creating a thing of beauty and a resting place.   There is no place like home!  It is our sanctuary and our launch pad into the world too.  Don't underestimate its power or importance.   When the kids walk in the door coming home from school and they smell baking...  this is beautiful!   My husband will open the door and say "what is cooking, what smells so good!??"  He is so happy to be home.   To me these things are a bigger success than an academy award! 

What are the homely touches that really make you feel wonderful? 
Have you had that experience where you organise or decorate something and you love it so much you keep going back to admire it?  
Is there an area that needs a makeover because it bugs you? 
A little bit of cleaning or organising here and there soon adds up.  A few little touches of beauty soon add up too! 

Have a wonderful week!  xxx


  1. Barb says thank you everyone for the messages! She is still in hospital but ok. I hope she will be home soon!

  2. I do love your blog.
    Could you please explain how you decoupage the canisters. Do you just use little nail scissors and slowly cut the intricate shape out of the napkin, and then Modge Podge to stick it on? They look so nice!!
    Julie D - Karratha WA

    1. Thank you Julie! The paper napkins always turn out to be two ply so before gluing get rid of the backing layer. I just used clear flu with I brushed over the top of the tin, placed it on... then clear over the top. Mod podge would be ideal. Then I sealed with a clear water proof varnish as well. I can at least wipe them over well to keep them clean although I wouldnt submerse them in the sink. These would work on jars, lids anything really they are just miles cheaper than buying transfers/decals. I saw them on a clear vase which was stunning! Thanks so much I hope that helps. With love

  3. Thanks so much for the inspirational post today. I have been baking choc chip cookies and mending clothes, I think I'll clear the table and set it for afternoon tea before my little girl comes home. Clare

    1. Dear Clare, Afternoon tea all set out would be so lovely to come home to! these little things are just beautiful. Just the words"before my little girl comes home" make me almost shed a tear as I loved those days. Now if I cook something like the cup cakes Harper is so excited so I kind of get to do it again! With love,

  4. i am still working out how to make my house a home, i love my home but no one else does; i live by myself now so working out what i like & don't like is taking it's time; i do love anything old, vintage, antiques etc. i'll get there eventually, house is slowly being renovated & have lost my lounge room for the moment. stuff is stored in it.
    love your canisters & jars, so pretty!
    great post
    thanx for sharing

    1. Selina,

      It sounds like you are going through a transitional time. Be kind to yourself. You'll get there. Hugs,

    2. Selina it is hard when things that we love are packed up and out of site or tucked away in a room as we do work on our houses. We have downsized and a lot of my 'pretties' are still in storage. The plan was to spend some time after Christmas starting to work my way through boxes of items that are still in storage but my mother in law's passing has put an end to that for the time being.

      I know this too shall pass so focus on that.


    3. Dear Selina,
      I have been on my own. Though this was because of hard times something good that came from it is I could have things just as I liked them. Gently work on what you really love, what makes you comfortable and happy. Having a pinterest board is a great fun exercise in this so is having an old fashioned scarp book. Soon "your look" becomes obvious from the trends in what you always choose. This can be a beautiful process! So as you re build think on lovely things... the future holds all kinds of joys yet. With much love

  5. I'm a blue and white china girl and it features throughout my kitchen, living and dining areas. It makes me happy. I'm a doily girl too, probably because my mum crocheted some that I have. I love the curtains open to let light in. I love to have a dish cooking on the stove that is appreciated when someone walks through the door. My husband has remarked that he loves the smell of his clothes after they've been washed in OMO and yes, clean linen is lovely on a neaqtly made bed. I love everything up off the floor, no clutter lying around (which is easy now that my girls are no longer home). I deal with bills as they come in then they are filed, rarely do I lose paperwork.
    Nearly everything in my home, that is on display, has been given to me for birthdays and Christmases. I'm not into the display home look with bits and bobs that mean nothing to me.
    I love my home and I love being in it. A weekend home suits me fine. I potter and tidy and wash and bake and that suits me fine. :)

    1. Dear Joolz, I started collecting blue and white china when I was about 13. I had a glory box and started op shopping them plus collected doilies!
      And you said a weekend home suits you... yes! My idea of a lovely weekend is staying home! Today is quite hot here. I am going now where just pottering. This is a happy day to me. I keep going from one thing to another too... cutting up peaches, washing, dusting, now on computer obviously! haha! Your home sounds lovely! With love

  6. My weakness is wind chimes. All shapes, sizes and colors. Spring and fall we get plenty of wind. I have a couple very delicate ones that must be hung indoors or they would break the first day. I love the end of season sales when they are generally marked 50% off. Even though it's supposed to be winter we've had 70 degree F temps for a week here in California and another week of this weather at least is forecast. I can have my bedroom window open 24/7 and have wind chimes hanging right outside so I can hear them with the slightest breeze.

    1. Dear Jacki, That is warm for winter! I love being able to have the windows open and a breeze flowing through. As soon as our wether is mild I do the same. Not quite the same but I like music boxes! I just remembered that one! With love

  7. Dear Annabel, thankyou for reporting back re: Barb, hope she's back home very soon.
    I love your painted tins and lids , so fresh and pretty!As are the decanters and pink floral cleanign cloths.
    Kelsey's cleaning cloths look sweet too and so beautifully presented .
    I love floral tablecloths and China but I also love my German white dinner set Ive had for 40years , and I have tea and coffee pots milk and sugar containers and platter and tureen that matches.It has a pretty filigree edge all in white .Recently I started using it everyday and my daughter said it feels very special , when she visits.
    Also love the special gifts of ornaments and china given to me by famiyl and freinds over the years , my mother's walnut cabinet and some of her Lladro that I inherited . Artifical flowers in vases that my late father gave me in 3 places in our home. Our pink bathroom that is as old as the hills , with floral china knobs on the cupboards and it's lovely shaped bath. The artwork givento me that I wear and think of the giver .Candles given handmade and bought,and much more.
    The warmth that salt lamps bring in the dark . And I do wear aprons a lot :-) and I like the beds made and rooms to look tidy.
    Ive just pinned the worn off edge of my beach towel to sew and make neater tomorrow,inspired by you hehe.
    Thankyou , with love, Maria xxx

    1. Dear Maria, I just love plain white china. My main stuff is plain white with kind f little mouldings on the edges. Your Mums cabinet sounds just beautiful!
      Much of what you mentioned are things that have a lovely memory attached. I love this. I have a little mermaid ornament of my Nans she used to sit it in a bowl of flowers and I often get her out and do the same. I have also sat her on a cake!
      Oh... I would love a pink bathroom! There is one in a farmhouse and it is amazing... I think of I love Lucy and the 50s... I think its so glam and would totally love it! All these things are special and beautiful! Thank you for sharing this! With love

    2. Oops apologies ,I had a glitch as I was on my phone when I typed my post above should read as follows..
      From the sentence starting Artwork...that was painted by my daughter adorns several walls , and Jewellery given to me by family and friends over the years I like to wear and think of them .
      Somethign like that :-) Maria xxx

  8. Annabel, what a beautiful, heart-warming post. You are so loving and positive and it shines through your posts. I love your canisters, they are so pretty. My goodness Kelsey is clever. Her cleaning cloths are so pretty and what a gorgeous and practical gift, just wonderful!
    I am lucky my husband and I are on the same page, we like the same brand of coffee, antiques, and family heirlooms. I have been blessed with a lot of my late grandparents' furniture. I was very close to them, but now we as a family get to sit at their dining table and that makes my heart happy. I love flowers, fresh linen and freshly cut grass, washing hanging in the sun and the sight of my pot of herbs (I hope to have more).
    Thank you for showing my album the other week. That was so kind of you! You are so generous and encouraging to us all and I am very grateful to you.
    Love, Bridge

    1. Dear Bridge, I have my Nans dining table and I love it. I am so glad to have things in my home that are from family.
      Herbs growing is a lovely sight. Because I have herbs at the back door I use them so often. I water them with the water from the kitchen when Im waiting for hot water I fill a jug. It is kind of watering them for free!
      I love your album! I love the bluebird of course!
      I hope you are doing well with the new routine! With much love

  9. Domestic bliss is so important and needed.. Good post. Gail

  10. The Homey Touches that Make Me Feel Wonderful

    -My antique buggy wheel on my front porch
    -My “Old Glory” American flag hanging on our front door. This is the first home in about 16 years that I have the liberty to show my American patriotism without fear and with joy.
    -My piano, a surprise gift from my husband, with framed photos of our girls and parents on top of a beautiful Battenberg lace-trimmed table runner
    -My seashells full of sea glass collected on Saipan
    -My love seat and sofa’s feather pillows’s handmade Hawai’ian barkcloth pillow covers in our living room
    -The ottomans I slipcovered myself with another Hawai’an barkcloth print
    -Our faux fireplace complete with oak mantel and hearth that my husband built for me with love
    -The pair of bookcases on either side of the faux fireplace that he also built with love; and all the beloved vintage books on its shelves that I read and reread
    -My dining room table’s crocheted tablecloth
    -All the eight dining room chair covers I made from a purchased quilt
    -My lamb cake pan with a pretty bow tied around it, displayed on a kitchen corner shelf just like a friend’s mother displayed hers that is cast iron and is many, many decades old. (Thank you, Mom Smucker, for the idea!)
    -The only thing on my refrigerator door (I loathe cluttered refrigerator doors!) which is a little sign I printed and attached to a strip of magnet: “Mediocrity is dull.”
    -My vintage Coca Cola crate filled with faux rosemary on top of my refrigerator.
    -My kitchen’s undersink skirt/curtain that I made by stitching lots of doilies together and attaching it to curtain rings
    -Hiding the waste basket under the kitchen sink
    -My clean, clear, uncluttered kitchen countertops
    -My little vintage ceramic scoop hanging above the stove that says, “A wife can throw more away a scoop than a man can bring home with a shovel.”
    -My “Hallelujah” kitchen sign I made with a piece of driftwood and a Sharpie marker
    -My World War II Philippine souvenir shoes that I bought in America at flea markets, hanging on a wall. One’s red, one’s green, and one’s yellow. All the soles/heels are carved into little huts, and one of them was even signed by the giver and addressed to the recipient. I actually found the recipient online. She was a WW II nurse and her husband gave his life for my freedom. Since we lived in the Philippines off and on for 16 years, the shoes are very special to both of us as my husband is also a WW II buff.

    PART 1.... To be continued...

  11. The Homey Touches that Make Me Feel Wonderful (Part 2)

    -My tidy hall closets.
    -My antique wash board hanging above my washing machine and the vintage toy building blocks that spell “CLEAN” resting on it
    -All the beach, coastal and seaside-theme items I have personally made in our hall bath: three shadow boxes, a bulletin board with cross-crossed ribbons and seashells that displays my vintage, seasonal postcards, and the heart-shaped coral I found on a Kosrae, Micronesia beach two years ago on our 35th wedding anniversary
    -Our guest room’s flawless crocheted bed coverlet that I bought at a thrift store for $20
    -The valance I made in the guest room using a 1950s linen tablecloth with aqua roses on it (still in the packaging, never used)
    -The dust ruffles and matching bed coverlets I made for all our beds
    -The cornice I made and covered with Hawai’ian barkcloth for my husband’s office
    -The faux fireplace my husband built for our master bedroom
    -The looong cornice we made and I covered with more Hawai’an barkcloth and exactly and perfectly matched the print on it so you can’t tell it’s THREE pieces (above a sliding door)
    -The shadowboxes I filled with my husband’s toy cars and hung above his nightstand
    -The Wedding Day memorabilia and more that I filled my shadowboxes with and hung above my nightstand
    -The Anniversary Plates I’m collecting and am hanging on our bedroom wall above my life verse that I color-penciled onto the wall: “And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish the work of our hands, yea, the work of our hands establish Thou it” (Psalm 90:17).
    -A neat, organized walk-in master bedroom closet
    -A variety of gold frames, hanging in our master bath, each with a different Hawai’an barkcloth fabric behind the glass. Hmm. Did you ever think to frame fabric?! Me either! Got the idea from a magazine umpteen years ago.
    -A nice clock hanging in E.V.E.R.Y. room in our house, even in the garage!
    -A SILENT, non-ticking clock in our bedroom
    -My husband’s ball cap collection organized by clipping them to cafe curtain rings and sliding the rings over a rod in the walk-in closet. He LOVES this! Me, too!
    -Other verses from God’s Word color-penciled onto two other walls in our house (Guest room, hallway)
    -Our four granddogs’ photos printed in sepia, framed and hanging in our dining room
    -A happy husband fills my home and my life with peace, love, gratitude and joy!

    Ahhh. Annabel, I thank the Lord for my home!


    1. Dear Kelley, What a heavenly list! Wedding day memorabilia.. oh this one is lovely... I have decorations from my Nans wedding....
      A non ticking clock! hahah! I cant stand the ticking of a clock and once threw one out a window! (in the night)
      Dust ruffles..... should you blog again then instructions please! I need to make longer ones now as we raised the bed. I could use what I have and sew an edging to lengthen it. Chloe has the most amazing one from a thrift store... I have seen lace ones too which I love.... so this is a project for me.
      Tidy closets, beautiful linen press, preserves lined up... you reminded me to mention these!
      Thank you this was glorious to read! It makes my heart happy! With much love

  12. Annabel how pretty are those jars of both yours and Vicky's, the cleaning cloths are divine and they look so special tied with that beautiful satin ribbon. The tins are gorgeous too and it gives us all some good ideas to do things that are low cost but look so pretty.

    With the jars you could probably use pictures from magazines after cutting them out to decorate them with as well with a clear lacquer over the top.

    The things I love to do to make things homely is to make my own curtains, table placemat, coaster and napkin ring sets, tablecloths and buffet and entertainment unit runners.

    Currently I have curtains I have made myself out of a quilt cover with a lovely bright floral fabric in the laundry and toilet areas. It makes me smile to walk in there as it looks so bright and cheerful. In the hallway I have lovely French inspired fabric curtains which block out the light when we sleep and also keep the heat in a confined area from our fire in winter. The kitchen I have a mixture of tablecloths I swap over depending on my mood with some being floral and some French inspired fabrics.

    Currently I have some flannelette which I saved from some old pyjamas that is hardly worn that I want to turn into double layered cleaning cloths and also into some soft flannel tissues too. From old pillows I also saved the cotton coverings from them and soaked and washed the fabric and will turn those into some nice white fabric table napkins.

    Can you tell I am in a reuse and upcycle what I have mode at the moment :) . Now I just have to find the time to do it between replanting and amending our vegetable garden beds.


    1. Dear Sewingcreations,
      I think you re right! Images from a seed catalogue or gardening magazine would give flowerpot stick on lids etc.... it is all the same once sealed with varnish! So many possibilities!
      I think quilt covers, sheets, any linen is such a wonderful source of fabric. With the wedding we are collecting old embroidered linens. You should see some of the tablecloths... so much fabric... I am already plotting what to do with some of this after the wedding! To me embroidered tablecloths would make gorgeous curtains too!
      I also have pyjama pants in flannelette with the exact same thing in mind! This is such soft material I love it. Heat packs is another thing.... the softness is nice on them too.
      There isn't enough time in the day this is the problem... we might have to apply for an extension! With love

  13. the canister are so sweet, I'm thinking to use them for gift container at a future tea. As far as a homey touch that I have done lately. I took some very plain old white hand towels I had
    and bordered them with some fabric scraps, put them in a basket on my cabinet. Softened up the cabinet and look pretty in the basket.

    1. Dear allthingssewn, I love the sound of your hand towels. These would make gorgeous gifts too! Sewing is a huge help with so many things at home. I love anything with a ruffled edge think shabby chic table napkins... I think I better get more sewing done! With love

  14. Annabelle, I love the way you can take something that a lot of people would throw out as rubbish and turn it into something beautiful! You give me the best ideas.

    1. Thank you Phyllis! I think you do a lot of making over and re inventing yourself! I love new ideas! Interestingly the "old ways" have a lot of appeal and new ideas to me like at the moment bowl covers and doilies etc. Ooh so many possibilities! With love

  15. When I told my daughter that I decided my way of decorating is a combination of English Country and Early American, she reminded me that they are pretty much the same. Since the Colonies were British.

    I love many of the same things you do but I also love lots of wood (my husband does, too).

    I have read a number of articles here in the States about how the younger generation (basically age 35 and below) do not want anything old or vintage.

    They don't even want precious items that belonged to their parents or grandparents. I think it is a sign of the lack of connection most likely caused by lots of time spent with technology and fewer face to face evenings spent with family.

    1. Dear Brenda,
      I love English cottage gardens especially Hollyhocks and Foxgloves... floral china... I love it all.
      I am seeing this with the chuck everything out trend... there will be no heirlooms and no photos. I have silk baby clothes my Great Grandmother knitted and things my Nan made for Mum and for my girls. I would never part with them. Harper has worn things I did when I was little and now things Lucy wore. I have two of my Great Grandmothers bibles. One contains a letter my Great-grandmother got when her husband died (Great-grandfather) it is the most precious and beautiful letter. The Bible has her pencil marks where she was up to each evening.... this is one of my most precious things... I feel connected to her through these things. The only upside is because of the throw it out trend the stores are full of treasures and I would far rather shop in thrift stores than a department store! Your post yesterday really hit me between the eyes by the way! With love

  16. Another lovely, inspiring post! I love freshly washed, line-dried and ironed linens. Friends regularly laugh at me for ironing, implying that perhaps my time could be better spent. I secretly wonder why they think I am the one "in the wrong" :-)
    I also love hanging the laundry and was taught to hang like with like from largest to smallest, etc. I confess that when I see a line of laundry hung all higgledy piggledy with a sheet next to a sock next to a shirt, I think that the lady doesn't care.
    It's interesting that what says "homey" to so many of us doesn't have a thing to do with current decorating trends. More of what our mums and grandmas did. I hope I do that for my kids too. Even though I have only boys, I think they pick up on that stuff too (though they'd never admit it). :-)

    1. Dear Marie,
      I understand the thing about how linens FEEL and also smell! So lovely!
      That is interesting about the order of line drying. I can see my line out the kitchen window. I like it to look nice! I hang the sheets at the front which I can see and the higgledy piggedly stuff behind that so it looks neat to me even if no one else... Also if I am washing my pink floral sheets or floral tablecloths I just think they look heavenly for the whole day!
      Now as for boys... I think they are very sentimental about how Mum (or Nan) cooked and did things. Andy for instance so fondly remembers his Nans cookies she made filled with pink icing. She made them up and filled big jars to send with them on holidays and trips. He just loved this and mentions it often. And when Chloe made Luke that birthday cake... well he is a grown man and he was so thrilled with his tractor cake :) So they are soft inside! This is lovely! So yes they pick up on everything! With love

  17. What a lovely idea, to beautify your home.

    1. Lots of little things! One flower on my bedside table is a little one I like, it is the first thing I see in the morning. So nice. xxx

  18. Annabel I love how we are so similar in so many ways, yet so different in others. We both have white ceilings and walls and I have white floor tiles throughout my sub tropical home.
    I love my old furniture that is made up of dark timbers. The grain of the wood is just so beautiful.
    I love colour and lots of it. I am so glad that I can do patchwork and can make up covers for old furniture and turn beautifully made pieces into parts of my home.
    I love that Bluey has made me some beautiful furniture over the years. These pieces have been well used, telling a story of their life within the walls of our home.
    I love my home to be clean and fresh and well aired. I love to have home baked goodies in the tin, ready for hungry visitors.
    I use the china that I have inherited or been given over the year. My mother was given a beautiful dinner set for a Wedding present 55 years ago. She still has every piece of that set. I dont think I have ever seen it used. As I use my china, and always have, it is very mismatched but that is part of its charm.
    I love that our home extends to an outdoor area. We have greenery, seating, storage and cooking facilities. This too is a well used area of the home. Our climate dictates the need for such an area.
    Being 'home' is a wonderful place. Being home make life very good indeed.

    1. Dear Jane,
      Well aired.... that is something I should have mentioned. I have a THING about open doors and windows I have to have fresh air! This is big with me! And when changing the linen the windows all have to be wide open to air the room...
      I also LOVE outdoor dining and living. Yes, like a room. It is an extension of the house. I guess this is the most well aired room hahah!
      You also have sea air and I dont think anything is better. I guess we do just not so close ... from a couple of streets away I can see the ocean but its a few kilometres away. Many similarities! With love

    2. Dear Annabel, Bluebirds and Jane,

      I am so glad you mentioned the mismatched china, Jane. That is one of my things. I just love to buy one plate, just because I like it. Then, when we sit down to dinner, we all have different plates, but I like every one. My grandmother used to do this, so I guess I got the idea from her.

      I have read through this great list of everybody's homey things and I was thinking that I reallly don't do any of that stuff. I like it other people's homes, but that is not my style.

      The things I love are pictures hanging on all the walls. I love that and have done it in every house I've ever lived in.

      I love for the clothes to be clean and put away. That means so much to me.

      And, I love my gardens and yard to be beautiful and clean.


  19. I love the smell of fresh sheets off of the line that smell of sunshine. I also love my birdfeeder and watching the little birds come and go from it. I love pretty things and the simple touches that make them that way. I have several tablecloths that I like to use and I love. love bowls for some reason? A pretty serving bowl just makes me smile almost as much as something sparkly!

    1. Dear Vicky, There are probably people who dont know how sunshine smells on linen. But nothing is better.
      I love jugs, bowls, TUREENS! and silverware... love!
      Did I mention platters! I love them!
      We have so much in common! With love

  20. Dear Annabel,
    I will be printing this post, it is so beautiful.
    I like for my home to be tidy and orderly. To me it is just peaceful and says that someone cares when things are clean and taken care of. Clutter for me brings stress. With that said, I do not like things sterile and cold feeling! I like it to look lived in. Boots and my husband's cowboy hats hanging by the door, books on the end tables, a burp cloth over the arm of a chair :)
    I love fresh air and to have the windows open and light pouring in. I love flowers on the table and fresh linens. I like things to be pretty, too.
    I love baking and the smell of it, and the delight it brings to those who partake of it. I love when Colton walks through the door while I'm cooking supper and asks what smells so delicious.
    For decor, I love things that have a story or bring back a memory. I like the look of things slowly collected over time, and they don't have to match. Old, vintage, antique things are what I like, but my favorite things are the things Colton has built.
    And this may sound silly, but I love looking out the window and seeing my pets, or being greeted by them when I walk outside. A fluffy cat on the porch just seems homey to me lol.
    Thank you for all the inspiration, Annabel. It is just lovely.
    Lots of love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey,
      Thank you! Order... is a good word. There is peace in order and also in routine I think. Clutter brings me stress also. And confusion. I am pretty sure it is draining to most of us.
      Thank you for such a nice comment! Wiht love

  21. Hello Annabel, I haven't read everyone's comments yet, which I like to do so will come back, I'm almost ready for wednesdays post!
    Anyway everything you say resonates with me. I get such a kick out of a nice homey tidy space and gorgeous touches. Cleaning is an evil necessity, why not make it fun. I have just made myself a batch of cleaning cloths, I have used the rolled hem feature on my new overlocker and they are lovely, made out of old sheets, actually offcuts from the wombat and kangaroo pouches i've made. that also gives me a kick, making do with something that already exists.
    There used to be a saying "cleanliness is next to godliness". true huh.
    Have a great week fi xx

    1. Dear Fiona, Oh my goodness I would love the rolled hem feature! I could go crazy with that! I love cleaning cloths and also handkerchiefs!
      I love all you make! And also like you I love making something "from nothing" like op shop sheets etc! Very satisfying! With love and thanks,

  22. Absolutely LOVED this post, know, in day to day life I don't get to meet many people who share my values, so your blog really is a blessed place to visit for inspiration, truth and encouragement.

    1. Dear Jenny, Thanks you so much! I feel the same about your blog and group. Thank goodness for some refuge in the world I say! Thank you! With love

  23. Hi Annabel,the home iam now is not my own but i make it feel like home without going to to much effort,just recently i found a bathroom cabinet,for $5.00 in a 2nd hand shop that fitted into an area of the bathroom and it looks like it was made for that space,i was asked did i measure the truth is no i just took a guess:)iam waiting till the cooler season for when i can do a refresh of painting the walls again all this why saving like crazy.

    have a great week and stay cool xx

    1. Dear Melissa, I am after a little cabinet like this right now for my essential oils! I know I will come across one some time!
      I am a measurement guesser too. This drives Andy mad who says HOW do you know it will fit. I just know! haha!
      There is nothing like paint to totally refresh things. It is like a massive spring clean. I love it! Keep saving ... I am looking forward to the weather cooling too as it is pretty hot here right now and the garden looks depressed! With love

  24. I melt with paisley things and I love the shabby chic look, but I have no idea how to incorporate them into my home. My husband is an itinerant pastor, so we move often, and each parsonage is different. Different lay outs, different color schemes. We have loved and are thankful for each place we have lived, but it takes a while to figure out how to create that cozy-haven-love-it feeling each time we move. For example, we had to move last summer and our new bedroom is dark brown. I like it, but our last bedroom was very light, bright and airy, and our wedding quilt from my mother was right at home with my favorite pale greens and yellows. I loved it. Unfortunately, the quilt looks awful in our new dark brown room, lol. So I bought a new bedspread and curtains to match when we moved, in dark blues and reds, which we really do like, but it's been seven months and it still doesn't feel like home or give me that relaxed love it feeling. -Amy

    1. Dear Amy,
      Moving is hard work. It would keep things fresh though as there is nothing like moving to clean and clear things out. I can get "my look" and the right feeling pretty much anywhere if I can paint it. I just paint everything plain white. Not even a tinted white they suggest on the colour charts, actual plain white. Then I add my things and Im good to go. But you may not be allowed to paint these places so then I would do what you are doing with changing my colours. I have always done the painting myself although I think maybe thats coming to an end as my arm gets really sore. (I can stick to cupboards and things though just maybe not whole houses!)
      Also in all this your husband is doing very important work. I am thankful for every Bible believing Pastor! With love

  25. Dear Annabel and Bluebirds, well this is another favourite topic of mine. Even when I was a single Mum of three sons, and had NO money, I made sure our house was truly a home. I'd restore old furniture, polish thrift store finds like crystal vases, dressing table sets, cut glass jars and old china and display it all in Art Deco cabinets that nobody else wanted back then. I had cushions and throw rugs everywhere, mostly to disguise the worn furniture...boys can be hard on stuff! I'd ask the landlord of my rentals (always a rental back then) if I could stencil a border on the walls, or plant flowers, and the answer was always, always yes. In fact, my landlords were always sad when we decided to move, which was kind of nice. I hoarded old tablecloths to cover my battered old dining table. I stencilled the legs and backs of my mismatched dining chairs and added mismatched tie on cushions to the seats. This was all back when there was no internet, and I was just doing things by instinct according to what I liked. There were always lovely rugs under foot, and a cup of tea for anyone who called in. My Sunday afternoon lunches of home made lasagne and garlic bread were legendary...after all it was just a bit of mince, tomatoes and pasta...anyone could do it. I reflect on those times, as hard as they were financially, with enormous fondness. Now things are different financially, but my life remains mostly unchanged. I still have thrift store finds everywhere, but now it's unusual gilt or mirrored or silver plated boxes, tarnished silverware, oversized vases which I fill with palm fronds or strelitzia flowers from our garden, fat feather cushions covered in mattress ticking or toile sourced from the remnant bin at the haberdashery, a gigantic pair of silver angel wings gifted to me by The Divas school when she finished last year (a lovely gesture for all the sewing work, and lobbying for funding we had done for them), and cobalt blue glassware which Husband and I both adore and scour thrift stores for, no matter where we are. I guess the main difference is that I've learned to go large and create a statement with a few well chosen items, rather than have lots of little things. Easier on the eye, easier to clean, and easier to swap and change with the mood, the season, or the celebration. What a lovely post from you, and gorgeous comments from all. Love Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi,
      You and I did things in such a similar way. Everything I had was done up somehow by me, painted, made over, made nice somehow... it all came together to make a home.
      Back then I loved magazines or the ideas and books. Now yes we have the internet!
      I love the sound of the angel wings! How gorgeous!
      Effort and love just go a long way... a bit of creativity is pretty handy too. As you say a table cloth has power to upgrade things too!
      I love love love how we instinctively want to feather and fluff our nests, what a beautiful thing! With love

  26. Dear Annabel
    I love this, you definitely have that magic touch to turn the ordinary into beautiful! I love the tins you decorated with the birds nest images. So clever. I thought of you earlier this week as I was cutting up an old, torn sheet into squares. I'm planning on using them as lavender dusting cloths. Just have to find a big jar to store them in as you have shown you do! I love being at home and trying to make my house into a loving and comfortable home for my family. I need to remind myself to be patient and just keep plodding along doing tasks as time permits, around the busy hustle and bustle of young children. I look forward to more lovely inspiration from you and other bluebirds! Love Kelly xo

    1. Dear Kelly,
      Dusting cloths! These are so good as you are dusting, killing bugs, perfuming your home all at one time.
      I remember when the girls were little so well. It was busy buys busy. They aren't little for very long... I did a lot of things when they were in bed like my sewing! But most things were done in a minute here and a minute there. Thank you for your kind words! With love Annabelxxx


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