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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Tuesday 15 May 2018

The Christmas Challenge. Lately...

My latest additions to the present cupboard were clearance items after Mothers Day.  Nothing actually was obviously related to Mothers Day i.e. colouring in books, drink bottles, socks...  even Andy scored stainless steel drink bottles for taking to work for $3  (down from $12) and they were plain green not even girly so he is none the wiser!

Otherwise I have been card making and using up some of the bargain books I got from the op shops.  In the evenings I am crocheting.

Card making is a big saver.  Throughout the year we need cards and it is nice to have plenty on hand. As well as for greetings, notes and best wishes cards can make an actual gift i.e. a pack of five or six in a pretty box or in cellophane with a ribbon around them.  I have sometimes added a pen, stamps or address book.

I love having a good supply on hand and if I go away on holidays I love to take writing paper and cards and write actual hand written letters.  I keep a box for this and a card making session stocks it up again.

This month I got busy and cut up my rose books and made myself a fresh supply...

I had three good books so I ended up with main themes of colourful photos,  beautiful gardens and rose paintings.   All worked well.

All the little bits left over go towards making gift tags.

In earlier posts I have shown lots of cards I make and how they are useful.
Here is a link to a post about cards as gifts and some presentation ideas...  Cards as Gifts.

For some really easy instructions have a look at my tutorial Card Making Part 1   and Part 2 These are super simple!  If you are not confident with crafts this is a good way to get started.
When we are trying to save and get ahead there is nothing that gives you a boost more than being productive.  Saving is one thing... producing things is another.  Believe me... together they are a powerful force!

I tend to go through stages with my card making from fancy to simple.  It also will depend on the supplies I have.  For ages I loved to do ruffles and appliqués...

I like flowers and birds as my themes best but I have made a lot of childrens cards and I will choose books i.e. Beatrix Potter,  Winnie the Pooh, woodland creatures and so on.
For men I will get wildlife books and do deer, eagles, fishing type themes.  It is good to just follow someones interests and go with that.  In my family wildlife works but you could do trains, motorbikes or pretty much any theme.

Every time I am in an op shop I look for books with great images.  Old calendars can be good too.  Sheets of music, wrapping paper, magazines with good quality paper.... then think of bits of lace, appliqués, broken jewellery, ribbon, glitter, stickers, wall paper samples.... so many possibilities!

Today I am off to Aldi and the same supermarket that had the big special on roasts today has a big special on coffee.  Really big!  They just be trying hard to get people in the door!  Also it is sunny so the washing is going out!
I hope you are having a good week!

What are you working on now?
How is your present cupboard going?  
See you on Friday! xxx


  1. Hi Annabelle,
    I love your cards but wondered where you sourced your envelopes to go with them. Do you find them at op shops and make your cards to suit or something else. thanks Ann

    1. Hi Ann, Usually at cheap shops like $2 shops... they have packs often about six cards and six matching envelopes for $2 Also Spotlight but they are expensive. You can also get them in big numbers online. I love to do the larger square ones but they aren't so good for standard mail so I will put them on parcels I am giving personally. I try and make mail sized ones too for those I will post. Sometimes the shops had lovely colours like I got some pearlized pink and lilac. Hope that helps! Love

  2. Annabel you cards are so beautiful you really should sell some online as a way to diversify and earn money I am sure they would sell like hot cakes :).

    I have been making 2 more bread bags as 1 has already sold. One has country harvest pumpkins and produce on them with gold accenting around each piece of produce and another one that is plain blue. Both turned out well and I learnt how to make a larger one for homemade bread from an internet tutorial and then made it larger to suit.


    1. Dear Sewingcreations, Thanks so much! When I get ahead and make some as gifts I figure I am saving a lot there. One day if I get way ahead maybe I will sell or do trades! Speaking of... your parcel is posted! I am better at trades than selling I think but it all amounts to the same thing in a way.
      That is great about the bread bags! I think anything re useable is now very popular and a potential seller. These are a good idea. As people want to move away from disposables and plastics this is a big opportunity! Produce bags for use in the supermarket i.e. to fill with fresh fruit and veggies are for sale everywhere at big prices I notice... as long as they are light they can be made of lace curtain fabric, mesh etc. I saw some for $40 for a set of different sizes. I have made these for years. Now I think of it I should sew some as gifts for this year! I hope your week is going well. With love

  3. The photos of the roses are just beautiful, Annabel. You certainly do have an eye for picking out lovely things.

    1. Thanks Nanna Chel. I am so glad I am stocked back up! xxx

  4. Hi, Annabel!
    I was given a tin of rubber stamps of birds, flowers, etc. and I have on hand stamp pads of different colors. Unlined index cards are very inexpensive, so I just fold the index card in half, use the rubber stamp to add a colorful image to the front and use them as gift tags. There's just enough room on the inside for a short message. I use a hole-punch to thread ribbon or string to attach it to the gift, or simply tape the gift tag to the package.
    I'm sure there are a lot more uses for the rubber stamps. I've thought of bookmarks, dressing up plain stationery, labels. Any other ideas out there?


    1. Dear Phyllis,
      I really like stamps especially to decorate envelopes. Some of the things i regularly use them for.... I tear strips of pretty fabric and stamp along them to make gift wrap ribbons. I might try and post a pic so you can see what I mean... stamp little paper bags for food gifts. Stamp envelopes for seed envelopes. Make a set of beautiful recipe cards. I LOVE recipe cards! Stamp plain paper to make gift wrap. I am big on embellishing the stamped image with a touch of glitter. Ok this is an idea for a post so I will get onto it! Thank you! With love

  5. Such elegant cards you made, Annabel! What a delight to see!

    I did a little Christmas shopping by matching up a coupon ($10 USA) and a huge clearance sale at a department store: bought a nice hoodie for one of my sons and a stocking stuffer for my husband, all for around $3 total! That’s over 90% savings. I’m trying to stick to a more modest gift budget this year, so these type of sales and waiting for a coupon to pair with the sale really stretch my budget.

    Happy week Bluebirds! Love, Teresa

    1. Dear Teresa,
      Wow you did so well with the coupons! What a great way to add to your present cupboard! Well done! As the year goes on I hope you find lots more opportunities like this. 90% is amazing.
      It can be done and it is kind of fun. Thanks for sharing this! With love

  6. Your cards are gorgeous, Annabel. You sure find books with lovely pictures in them for cards! Sounds like you got some great "Mother's Day" deals, too!

    My Christmas challenge is going very slowly, though I guess birthday presents count, too. I just finished a birthday dress...I never want to sew with Chinese brocade again!!!! But I am not making good progress at filling up the present tub! There is a big town-wide yard/garage sale on this weekend in the neighboring town, so maybe I'll find some goodies there to help!! Loved the photos of sewingcreations15's garden last post!!

    xxx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen, Yes birthday gifts count too and take up at least half of what I make... sometimes keeping up with birthdays is a full time job! But the gift cupboard covers all gifts to me.
      Wow that dress sounds amazing! And that fabric hard to sew!
      Have a great time at the garage sales! I love this idea of a whole town sale this is happening here too. I hope you have wonderful luck with this! Lots of supplies!
      I knew you would like the garden photos. I still am in awe of your garden so beautiful. With love

  7. Love your cards Annabel. The garden photos are my favourites. I also pick up books from thrift stores. Most recently I picked up a book with black and white animal photos in it. I used these on silver cards picked up at the $2 shop. Fifteen minutes of cutting and pasting and I had a set of 6 cards suitable for males.
    At Aldi they had a big sale on for card making and scrapbooking materials. I have added quite a bit to my papercrafts cupboard. I plan on making up a few more of my colourful seed envelopes to add to the gift cupboard.
    Sewingcreations15 I think I need to get onto you tube and find your bread bag making tutorial. I have a few family members who would love a home made loaf of bread presented in a home made bread bag. Fabulous idea. Thank you.
    I have had a request from a friend to make her some of my market bags. Annabel these will be the same as the one that I made for you. I have a QS doona cover, picked up at a thrift store, that will make fabulous bags.
    I have so much to keep me busy and I should head up to the sewing room and get on with it. However I think I might head down to the beach instead.
    Life is good.

    1. Dear Jane, I was in Aldi and saw the scissors that cut all the party edges! I love that as adults we can still cut glue and have great fun lol
      I think the market bags are wonderful and I love mine! And a doona cover is a great way to get a heap of fabric. Everyone uses re useable shopping bags now so they are just so useful.
      I also love the seed envelopes. I am collecting seeds like mad too for my future veggie garden :)
      You are so lucky being able to pop down to the beach! With love

    2. Hi Jane and here is the bread bag tutorial but I made the bags bigger and cut the material 54cm H x 78cm W to accommodate our high loaf bread making machine loaves. .

      Could also make this idea into a market or shopping bag too as it has a squared off bottom and just put handles on it was my thoughts :).

      I hope this helps and you are right they would make a great gift. Thanks for the idea too with putting the homemade bread in it for a gift idea.


  8. Annabel these look lovely as always. I love that we all have our own take on card making. It makes for great variety and ongoing inspiration. I particularly love the ones with the urns filled with flowers. Stunning. Thankyou for your lovely encouragement in this department. It's easy to forget what a huge money saver this is. Mimi xxx

  9. Love your cards, very elegant.

  10. I use a program on my computer from Hallmark to make my own cards. I print them on paper bought from a paper supplier. They cost me about what a card from a dollar store costs, but I can edit them, change the greeting, etc. and print on my color printer. My husband (2nd) and I have many grand and great-grandchildren and it's much easier to keep up with cards for them. I don't have (or don't take) time to make them like you do, but yours are very beautiful and more personal.

  11. Beautiful cards! I have some stamps, pretty papers and little embellishments that I like to use for cards and other paper crafting such as photo albums. My daughter has helped me a lot with getting some of my my photos organized by showing me that I should first get the photos in albums so they can be viewed, and then worry about decorating, adding journaling, etc. There are photo sleeves that hold and protect the photos while also allowing the photos and pages to easily be moved around. There are also little cards that can be purchased to slip in with the photos and add information. I have some of the little cards and have also been using some of my supplies to make my own little cards to add decor and memories to the albums.
    Love from Arizona,


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