The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Catching up with Show and Tell, Part 3.

I had a beautiful email that made my day.  I will share some of it with you as this post has so many lovely ideas and is very motivating!  It has me planning for January in the new year!

So over to Alison and Rebecca from New Zealand...

We are two mums who have followed your blog for years and have been so inspired by the idea of making presents through the year to have a stash ready to give away by Christmas.  So for the last couple of years we have got together every second week for a “crafty Tuesday” to research, make and create gifts to give.  This year we have really been motivated to put extra effort into the presentation of the finished products and especially the wrapping, aiming for a look worthy of a high-priced product from a fancy boutique.

First is some of the cards we made that we made into packs to give away (inspired by you!)

Second is some of the soy candles we made and various presentation ideas we have (all made from card that was rescued from being dumped).

Third is muslin infinity scarf (on the left) and a merino scarf on the right that is so wonderfully warm.

Fourth is a selection of hand made lip balm – we found sparkly buckles and made the boxes ourselves!

Fifth is some of the creamy soaps we made which smell just beautiful.

Sixth are handmade lotion bars – just gorgeous on dry or cracked skin.

And lastly is a selection of reusable food containers – the spotty one is a sandwich wrap which works brilliantly and the little bags are little snack bags – brilliant for taking something little to school.  Both are made of washable food-safe PUL and will be filled with hand made treats like spicy almonds for teacher’s presents.

These are all wonderful gifts and beautifully presented!  
Alison and Rebecca you should be proud!  Thank you so much for saying hello, telling me you are reading and sharing all of this.  Some days I wonder if I should put so much time into the blog.  When I hear from people with emails like this I am so glad I do and it makes my day!

There are so many ideas here.  Many of us work best with a buddy.  Getting together with a friend or a group is a great way to get more done.   I know Cath and Wendy go to card making days together.  You get to chat, craft, exchange materials... sometimes we have too much of one thing and do a trade!    Also you are sharing ideas and skills.   
Also... what a contrast to expensive lunch dates or shopping dates.  Rather than spending money you are saving it.   It is just as much fun if not more!  
I used to go to an embroidery class that was a lot of ladies who would come together around a big kitchen table to embroider.  It was wonderful.  
Later on when the girls were bigger we would have other girls over for craft days and they would all sit and work on a craft.  Our place became a bit of a hit amongst friends.   Once I had about eight other kids over and taught them all chocolate making and they all took home a bag of chocolates they had made.  They loved it. 
Once a year my friend would come and stay for a few days.  The girls, Margarete and I would sit and craft a series of things we could use as gifts.  We would cook , make cards, create.  Margarete would go home with a whole car load of gifts, packing, cards, baking... she would be set for Christmas.  We had so much fun doing this!  The girls loved it too.  They were always so proud to give things they had made.

If you don't have a friend who would craft with you maybe you could find a group to join or find an online friend who will join you in your challenge... once a week share with each other what you have been making.  Or join in here!  In January I will start The Christmas Challenge again and we can all check in with our progress and creations.  Encouragement does make a difference.  Deadlines made a difference to me... if I know I need a photo by Friday I will get on with what I am making!  

There is still time to do a lot of creating before Christmas.  Then in January we will hit the ground running again! xxx


  1. I think working with a friend makes crafting/gift making go faster! Sometimes just having someone to talk to while you work makes things seem easier. I love everything they made!

  2. Great work Alison & Rebecca! What a great idea to have regular get-togethers to make gifts and create. Sounds like a lot of fun and very productive too! You have made so many lovely gifts. Do you mind me asking where you purchase food-safe PUL from? Cheers, Kelly

    1. Thanks Kelly. We had so much fun!
      I bought the PUL we used from an Australian and New Zealand website (that also ships to the US) called Greenbeans. It is actually a nappy (diaper) fabric store that I bought my nappy material from when my youngest two were babies. They discuss the testing etc. here

    2. Thanks for that Rebecca. I'm off to have a read! Cheers, Kelly

  3. You have both done fantastic work, Alison and Rebecca! And you have done a very professional job of packaging, too. How lovely that you have found some time and a friend to share creative ideas with. It really makes a difference spending time with others while creating. I hope you can continue for many years!
    Fiona xx

  4. We were so excited to receive your email and read your blog post containing the gifts that WE HAD MADE! We had so much fun spending time together and learning how to make new things - it is so much easier than working by ourselves, plus the motivation of having a regular appointment together kept us always looking for the next thing we could make.
    The nice thing was that we didn't run out of ideas for the year and I am looking forward to following along with Annabel next year.

    1. Dear Rebecca, Thank you! You have inspired everyone. Over on FB you are getting comments too!
      I hope this time next year you will share again what you two got up to! Many thanks! With love

  5. good work ladies, Those on the receiving end will be pleased & excited with your efforts.. Keep the good work up. Handmade items are soooo much nicer than shop bought goods.

  6. wow beautiful items & very clever recycling/upcycling there ladies, just love those summer PJs! very pretty!

    well, I just caught up with your blog & the news about the Bluebirds Farm! wow your dad is a hero! & how lucky you all are that the farm is still in the family? am i right there? i take it that there were several 'farmhouses' on the property & they were rented out or something? are you doing the new blog yet? love the farmhouse kitchen, that is a gorgeous stove, love so many cupboards! keep us updated please!
    i would love to live out on a farm that my family could also share; atm i live in residential in a country town on 1 & 1/2 acres; it's a struggle to get things growing but i keep trying.
    love the posts
    thanx for sharing

  7. Three amazing show and tells! I have been having trouble at my end with comments, but all three posts this week have been fantastic. The sewing has been lovely, and the body products today are beautiful! They are packaged stylishly too. What a great way to spend time together, it must be so fun!

    I have sewn some aprons for some little girls to go with some cupcake papers, toppers and boxes, sprinkles, and serviettes. I've given one away for a birthday and have another two made for Christmas.

    I've cross stitched a couple of pictures that I need to frame, and have some more things cut out and ready to sew. I made a mistake sewing binding on to a mini quilt, so I also have some unpicking to do. I wasn't too happy with myself when I realised lol.

    Well done to all the ladies featured this week!

    Jen in NZ

  8. Dear Annabel , it was so lovely reading your opening paragraph and introducing us to Rebecca and Alison :-) Sharing crafting together and the beautiful presentation of so many lovely hand made gifts !
    There;ll be some happy recipients at Christmas , Im thinking.Well done girls !v , Love Maria xxx

  9. Dear Annabel,

    I am so happy that Rebecca and Alison emailed you to tell you how inspiring you have encouraged and mentored so many of us; you'll probably never know how many!!! Thank you so much for putting in all the work to publish this beautiful blog!

    I love all your gifts, Alison and Rebecca, and the packaging is just stunning. I am amazed that you made those cute boxes!

    I am so ready for this next year's challenge!!! I haven't been on top of my presents this year, and though there is still time now to make lots of stuff before this Christmas, it's much more fun and relaxing to make them throughout the year!

    We are having a big windstorm which is blowing in some frigid weather...calling for wind chill of -18 degrees C this afternoon. Too soon, I say! I'm not mentally ready for winter! Just finished pulling the last of the carrots, beets, onions, and celeriac yesterday in a mad dash to get them out before they got stuck in frozen mud! :) The pantry shelves are groaning with abundance's been a good year for the garden and I am grateful!! (A great carrot harvest, again, I might add...wink, wink!)

    Lots of love, Jen in NS

  10. What lovely things you ladies have crafted! Presentation truly makes a difference. I love the little hand-made boxes with the sparkly buckles!Looking forward to another year of Christmas challenges. I love seeing what everyone is making.

  11. Such wonderful ideas made into beautiful and useful items.

  12. Beautiful ideas! I love lotion bars! As one who has such terribly dry hands all the time, I find lotion bars actually nourish and the moisture lasts much longer than the average lotion. Such a nice gift!

  13. Alison and Rebecca I can certainly see all of your items are made with love and even more important you have fun whilst doing it :) and they all look beautiful.


  14. Dear Alison and Rebecca,
    Y'all have done really well! Everything looks so professional. I'm sure the gifts will be very well received. I love that you made everything together. That sounds like so much fun and motivational too.
    Annabel, I just found out recently that the charity shop I recently discovered has "crafternoons"! My neighbor told me about it. They have a building next door to the shop set up with sewing machines for those who don't have any and everybody meets together and crafts and learns new skills. I think I will have to go check it out one day.
    Thank you for sharing this lovely show and tell and the story behind it!
    Love, Kelsey

  15. Annabel, Wendy, the other ladies and I have so much fun on card day. It started out as a couple of hours as a once off, then skyrocketed from there to a couple of hours once a month. That wasn't nearly long enough, so I talked to my family and now it's a whole day once a month. We meet on the third Saturday of every month and until recently always been at my home. Now we're alternating as our group comes from all over, so every second month at my home, and we rotate the other months. If anyone is in Melbourne and would like to come along, let me know. We're all skill levels, and we all share our talents and ideas, and we love to meet and get to know new friends. Our youngest member is 8, and our oldest wouldn't want me to disclose her age, so everyone will fit, and is welcome.


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