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 31 January 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 1st February, 2019.

January is over.  It was such a good month and I think due to the Tuesday Afternoon Club I achieved more crafts, use it up and other projects than ever before... like some kind of personal best!  Thank you to everyone who has joined in or contributed in some way.  There are so many very productive members and it is a joy to see!

I had a very good week.  Luke and Chloe came over on the weekend for dinner.   It was a beautiful evening and not hot at all.  In the city I found an old chandelier that did not work and got it to hang outside over our table.  My ultimate dream would be if a bird builds a nest in it... except for the mess underneath I guess!   Anyway I really like it.

I made potato salad, rice salad and a bowl of tomatoes from the garden with fresh basil  (also from garden) and I baked a ham.   For desert I made chocolate cup cakes.

This all gave us loads of left overs.  I love salads that keep a couple of days!  So the next two nights we lived on beautiful ham and salads.

All week Andy worked on a sprinkler system over our roof in case of a bushfire.  He is going as fast as he can before the next lot of real heat.  This week has been really reasonable.   This morning there is a beautiful cool breeze blowing through the house, it is lovely! 

I made a batch of yoghurt.

I am really happy with this,  finally I sat and altered some tops that I love but are too big.  Each one probably only took ten minutes.  I altered six.  There was one that I decided no amount of altering would fix so I donated that one.  But I got six "new" tops to wear and it's wonderful! 

I had a trip into town.  There was one op shop open so I went in and found beautiful bone china cups and saucers for $2 a piece.  I also got some brooches which I am planning on using in a craft project...

I also got a cone of Bendigo Woollen Mills cotton in pink for $2!!

Every day I picked tomatoes.  

Yesterday I made some into a batch of Tomato Relish.  It turned out so well! It is delicious!! 

I finished up some more sets of hand towels....

I did two in the white. Glenda game me sparky white cotton!  It is so pretty.
I did two in the blue.
Then some wash cloths.  I am making little flowers for the corners and flowers with a sparkly centre.

My Bay Leaves from Mum's garden were dry so I sat and bagged them up into cellophane bags.  I stamped a heap of little calico bags to put them into.

These will be little gifts to go into hampers, kitchen themed gifts and they are small and light so could go into the mail.   They added a lot to my gift cupboard.  I also replenished my own jar as I always use Bay Leaves in stock, soups etc.

Our the back we have a courtyard area.  This is the last area I need to do something with and plant.  So I started on that and planted some creepers to cover the fence and some flowers along the edges.  It is looking much better already. This has been on my list to do for a while.

I made a cheesecake in the slow cooker. I used the crumbs from failed gf biscuits to make the base.

Yesterday at Mum and Dad's Chloe heard a noise and went to investigate.
This Cockatoo had crashed into a window!  He was stunned but he recovered and was ok.

I am happy with the week!  It was a bit of this and that!

How did you build up your home, get ahead, add to your pantry or save this week?
It is a beautiful day here.  Tomorrow is Scarlett's birthday so we are heading south to the farm down there and Mum is coming with us.   

I feel happy with my week and January!  Now on to a new month!  This is our last month of summer. Bring on Autumn! 

Jenny is a Bluebird that is in trouble right now.  She and her husband bought their own home for the first time before Christmas.  Many of you follow her for her beautiful embroideries.  Her town Townsville has been declared an emergency/disaster.  She has flood water in her yard up to her doorstep and they have sandbags.  But the water is still rising.   Please pray.  xxx

Monday 28 January 2019

The Tuesday Afternoon Club, 29th January 2019.

The Tuesday Afternoon Club is taking place here and over on the Facebook group as well.   We have almost four hundred members over there!  The crafts and work is just so inspiring.  Here we have a get together also for those would wish to do it here instead.

Firstly we have Kelsey.  She has been busy!!  

Kelsey made a friend beautiful baby gifts.  We have burp cloths and a scrunch tab toy...

To make the scrunch in the toy Kelsey uses a cereal bag between the material.  It works perfectly! 

Even the packaging is handmade and beautiful...

Kelsey canned oranges and orange jelly...

Look at that glorious colour!

Now she has the peels soaking away in almond oil, olive oil, vodka and vinegar ready for projects to make cleaning and beautiful products! 

Another gift made was tags for a friend.  How gorgeous these are...

Kelsey also made cards from a calendar a family member was throwing away.  They are great cards and suitable for men which is handy as I find men the hardest group to make things for!

Veggies were harvested from the garden!  The carrots are from seeds I sent to Kelsey... look at them now!!

Kelsey's husband also helped her with her craft room.  He made her some drawers to store all her ribbons in.  Now this is another area organised.  They look wonderful...

Kelsey you have been extremely industries!!  It is all a joy to see!

Tanya has been sidelined with a leg injury!  But still she crafts on!  She made lavender sachets using a pattern that Kelsey gave her!

Also marble mazes.  I had not heard of these but it is like a puzzle and for a child who can push the marble along the pattern to get to the end.  Clever!  Kids would love this!

And beautiful bookmarks...

Tanya I hope your leg is improving.  You always do beautiful work, thank you so much for sharing it with us.

Jen in NC produced beautiful knitting...

She made cards and also knitted Aran Mitts that looks so warm...

I love the little birds carrying their envelopes!!!   Jens knitting is next level to me.  Just amazing. 

Also Jen made napkins and a matching heat pad.  Then she made napkin rings from some left over wool fabric she had made a skirt with.

Just beautiful.  What gorgeous gifts.  Thank you so much!

Clare sent me a beautiful letter and amazing photos.  She grew all these giant sunflowers!  This is what remains...

Even now these are stunning to me!!  Look at the size of some of them!  Full of sunflower seeds.  How my chickens and parrot would like these!  She is making up envelopes to give away and sell her seeds...

I have  a new goal for next year. Thanks to Jane I grew some beautiful sunflowers this year but I know I had them too closet the house so they got too much shade.  I will save some o the seeds and go crazy next year and plant whole rows of them!   That wheelbarrow load of sunflower heads would feed my bird gang for weeks!  Thank you Clare you have inspired me very much!  Clare is also very industrious and takes every opportunity to get ahead.  

I just love that there is so much variety.  Thank you so much for sharing your projects. The next Tuesday Afternoon Club should be here in a fortnight.  If you would like to post here then email me your pictures at 
If you would like to join the Facebook group then join here at The Tuesday Afternoon Club.  There are too many entries over there to count, so many ideas, patterns, tips and lots of encouragement.

We are almost at the end of January!   But we have made a wonderful start to the year.  Our present cupboards will be full at this rate and it is so much fun to do what we can and learn new skills!!  xxx

Thursday 24 January 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 25th January, 2019.

We had a really big week!  I am glad to think back and review it as already it is starting to make sense to me why I am tired!

First of all we had Mum's birthday. We had afternoon tea at the farm and I made Mum a gf date and honey loaf as a little present.

Then on Tuesday it was Lucy's birthday and the day that she and her family moved to their own farmhouse.  Now this was a big move and a five hour drive with the girls and her husband in another vehicle.  And it was hot.   This also felt like a significant day.  All of our family is now on the farm.  The city is really no longer part of our lives.  
We had a trailer loaded up and Mum arrived here to come with us and meet them all as they arrived.  We set off with everything for their dinner and the goal of helping and making things pretty well set up by evening i.e. beds all made ready to get into etc.
By a fluke we arrived at the farm about two minutes ahead of Lucy and the girls and I held the gate open as they drove through.  Harper was saying "Nan Nan Bel!" then "Nan Nan Pat!" and Scarlet was  pointing at all the cows running around lol
It was really good as the girls were all happy and there was no anxiety about such a big move.
I also had arrived with Harpers requested cake just as she said... chocolate cake with hundreds and thousands.  Even in my beaten up old cake tin so it was rustic to say the least.  But not to her.  To her it was beautiful!

This is the thing with kids.  They love that you MADE IT for THEM.

I also took little gf cakes as part of our picnic but we didn't stop to eat them the day just was go go go.

When we left we felt it had been a good day and Mum and I felt it was mission accomplished.  We had a long drive home but it was a happy drive.

Next we had a really hot day.   Now we were not as badly off as some like Tania who had 49C.
It was 45 here and it was windy.   When I woke up and felt the air and the wind it was the first time I felt nervous to live here.  We have done all we could in a short time to prepare for fires but oh how I wish we had another year or so to do it as there is still much to do.  
Anyway it was a long day and I watered the garden five times.   I had old net curtains draped over things, even chairs sat over some plants!
We kept sprinklers on all day for the birds and one in the chook house.  In the evening all kinds of birds came to sit under the sprinklers.  Some we had never seen before.  We had Butcher Birds sitting on our railing dripping wet from the water yet looking like they might die panting and looking stressed.  I felt about the same.  
Today it is much milder.  Not cool but much better!

So aside from all of that some of the ways I saved and built up our home included:

I added Bush Basil and Eggplant seedlings to the garden.  And kept them alive despite the heat amazingly!

I spent a while tying up tomato plants and tidying the garden generally.
I picked loads of cherry tomatoes.  I gave some to Chloe and some to Lucy plus basil for salads.  Also I roasted a whole tray with some thyme.

I picked spinach from the garden and these with the tomatoes became two large impossible pies.

I cut Andy's hair.

Mum gave us something for our emergency supplies... it was a tow kit i.e. when someones vehicle is stuck you can get them out!

A few things were completed for my present cupboard.  Most of my crafts I just put over on The Tuesday Afternoon Club.     With hot weather I get more crochet and crafts done as I just have to be inside more.

I finished a pari or hand towels with a crochet edging.

I made bubble bath and and used lots of my dried rosebuds and blissful essential oils in milky bath bags.

Some of these were for myself and some for gifts.   
I have a table covered in Bay Leaves I am packing up now that they are dried nicely.

I was very honoured to be asked to be involved in a new Facebook group.   I feel it is a wonderful and important project so I said yes.   I want to say that since participating in A Working Pantry Classroom group and the classes Patsy conducted I have loved these groups.   A place to chat and learn and distance is no problem.  Like here I guess!   You might only know three people in real life with the same interests and passions.  But in a group you soon have a dozen such friends.
The group is The Women of Proverbs31 and Rosanne has felt called to step out and begin teaching and encouraging and establish this at this time.  So I am very excited about this!  If you would like to join we would love to have you!

So that was my week!   Today we are kind of catching up as it is milder weather and I feel a bit exhausted.

How did you build up your nest this week?  Did you save, add to your pantry, get ahead in some way?

Have a lovely weekend!  xxx

Thursday 17 January 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 18th, 2019.

It was another good week.  We had some hot days!  I am not a fan of the heat.  But some good comes of it in that I do get more things made... I need to stay inside during the worst of it.  And it is the perfect time to do things like wash the woollen underlay,  quilt, pillows, blankets etc.  So that is what I did.   Nothing smells like sunshine dried and aired linen.  Things were all back on the bed by evening.  For anything wool or feather I use this homemade mix  Wool Wash.  It smells so good and it makes things so very soft.  Blankets etc come up just beautifully.

So I set the sunshine to use!

I made Luke a slab of fudge and used one of my little labels to tie it up.  He always does us favours so I mostly try and do something for him which is usually cooking.

I have pink Gerbera's right next to the back step.  The rest of this section of garden is all herbs and veggies but for this little burst of pink just as you come into the house.

I got a ham with $10 off the price. I baked it and we had cold meat and salads.  I made a big rice salad.

Each day I picked tomatoes!   

I have just reached the point that I can't keep up.  So I think I will dehydrate some and pack them into olive oil and make some relish.  We love both!

Mum came over on Sunday for afternoon tea to see our outdoor table and chairs and what we have been doing.  I used up some of my lemon butter to fill little cakes.

Mum gave me some cold packs for the freezer.  I take frozen packs when I grocery shop.  Everything cold is packed in together for the trip home.  I never go shopping without my eski etc.   Just now I am in the city.  I am doing a stock up at Aldi today.  I have frozen packs and insulated bags to pack it all into!  It is a three hour drive home and hot but this will keep everything perfectly cold. 

Luke came over to see us with four packs of fresh pork.  It gives us four generous meals.  He and a friend went halves in a pig.  They were packing it to freeze and he set some aside for us.  I count every meal we get ahead and write them on my list on the freezer. 

Andy is working on a sprinkler system for right around the veranda and roof of the house.  This is so that if a fire comes we have both a perimeter of sprinklers and lawn and water over the house itself.  I will be glad when this is finished.  We also have a generator so if the power goes out we can still run the sprinklers.  

I have been working away every spare minute on making things and setting things to good use but I will report all of this in The Tuesday Afternoon Club.  I hope over the weekend I have some time to do more!

How did you build up your nest, get ahead, increase your pantry or save this week?  Being summer here my main way to increase the pantry is fruit, tomatoes and herbs coming in.  I will get on to tomatoes when I get home.  I think the pears are close to ready to pick too!   And I think next week we will be at the farm down south and I might come home with figs! 

Have a lovely weekend! xxx

Monday 14 January 2019

The first blog Tuesday Afternoon Club meeting!

If you missed the introduction to The Tuesday Afternoon Club you can find that here.

Most of the club will make place in our Facebook group and all are welcome! You can find it here The Tuesday Afternoon Club. 
For those that don't have Facebook we will also meet here once a fortnight to share what we achieved, ideas, packaging, patterns etc.

For those with both Facebook and the blog you will get bonus ideas here fortnightly!

The club is working for me.  I have been doing so much thinking of Tuesday as my deadline!  And the ideas and work we have seen so far are amazing.  I now have a list projects I certainly never thought of on my own,  from soaps with little birds on the top to rhubarb sparkling wine!  I hardly know what to do first!

Today first we have Tanya.  She is off to a wonderful start.
She personalised pillowcases...

Made beautiful cards...

Trimmed baby singlets...

Look at the farm themed cards!  I love these with the tractor and the gingham. My son in law is tractor crazy so this is such a good idea.  And Tanya lives in the outback of Australia so now doubt she has farmer friends! 

This was a special gift with a lot of work with embroidered details and names...

And the blanket was a beautiful warm gift. 

Tanya your gift cupboard and your card supply are both going so well.  Everything is beautiful. 
Tanya has eight children and she does all this! 

Kelley created a dress for her little Granddaughter. 
She used a $3 strapless dress for part of the material.


From today and other Show and Tell posts Kelley has shown the use of reclaimed fabric.  She has used clothes, old doilies and bed linen to make her exquisite dresses and baby clothes.  This is such a good idea.  Children's clothes, purses and many crafts only require small amounts of material.  And material is expensive.  So this is a way to make things very inexpensively.  

Marilyn is making cosmetic purses.  She found this is great for using up fabric remnants and they are so useful and make wonderful gifts.  She followed a You Tube tutorial called So Sew Easy Cosmetic Bag.  Of course they could be used for so many things as well as cosmetics and organise your handbag as well!

Clare and her sister made Clare's little girl a sheep themed birthday cake as she is mad keen on sheep!  I think they were very inventive and came up with a cake that was an absolute hit!!

Cookie has been making an array of stunning cards.  

Cookie uses all kinds of ideas and we have seen handprinted cards in the past.  I was lucky enough to get one in the mail!

One to the things I worked on this week was crochet edgings. 
These are lovely soft little wash cloths made from two layers of muslin.

I found these on eBay.  I am showing the packet to help you find them, more than one seller has them. They are gorgeous and super soft.  Suitable for babies or for makeup removal etc.   They work out at 39c each.   (They come in packs of 10)  Last year I worked little grub roses in the corners of some.  This time I can working a crochet edge on them.  I am planning to make beauty products and essential oils gifts so think these will all go together nicely. 

My Mum made me wash cloths and hand towels for my Birthday.  She did some in knitting and some in crochet.  I like the different textures...

Thank you everyone who has participated here, over on the FB group or both!   Come over to the Club page and share today what you have made, what you are working on, even what materials you have and ask for suggestions!    If you have always wanted to learn a skill or try something out now is the time! xxx