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 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


  1. I am so happy your family is all together on the farm. that is amazing. I wish we could all do that.
    I sue hope you get some cooler weather. I'd be happy to send you some cold (if I could).

    1. Dear Cheryl,
      Well it cooled down a lot today thankfully! Extreme weather is difficult either way it goes.
      Have a lovely weekend! Love

  2. Annabel every post of yours is a feast for the eyes. Thank you. I thank you as you show that the everyday is beautiful and an achievement.
    I dont know how you were able to manage the heat. I have been watching to see if your power grid held up. I see that generators have been put into action to make up for the shortfall to the system. Given the ongoing heatwave the system is under extreme duress. I so hope that it does not fail and that you all manage to stay as cool as possible.
    It must be so wonderful to have all the family close by. Those baby girls of yours are so lucky to have generational skills being shown to them.
    Life is sweaty, in need of rain, good.

    1. Dear Jane, Thank you! What a beautiful thing to say. We actually missed the news so now I know about the generators. Probably it is amazing that the power stayed on. I was worried about it. But we stayed on ... with the generator at the ready!
      I felt it was wonderful that Mum was there on the day to see the girls move and we all helped. So there we were four generations working together. It was very good.
      Can you believe we have rain today. Ok not a lot but a good shower. It has cleared the air so much. Very grateful! Have a lovely weekend! With love

  3. Annabel how wonderful that your whole family is now on the farm and that you and your Mum were able to help them get settled in and unpacked :). I feel guilty about complaining about our temperatures of 34 - 39 oc here and feel sorry for both you Annabel and Tania experiencing the 45 - 49 oc.

    Just a warning too which everyone in drought here in Australia is be careful using garden and other equipment as a spark from our lawn edger set fire to a small patch of grass in our back yard it is so dry. Fortunately it wasn't anything that water from a nearby hose couldn't fix. Fire can get away so quickly :O .

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $162.77 in savings last week :).

    Blessings -
    - We finally got around from our estimate around 5mm of much needed rain to partly fill our rain tanks and water the dry ground.
    - A friend who has too many eggs gave us 1.5 dozen which we will put to great use in our home.

    In the kitchen -
    - Made a 1.02kg batch of chocolate fudge from condensed milk made from our food storage and other items we had in our grocery stockpile saving $55.67 over buying it in the shops (fudge is running out at $3.50 per 60g to buy :O ).
    - Made a 2.2kg pie from meat from roast chickens we purchased on special on Christmas Eve and tinned mushrooms and corn saving us $36.15 over buying it from the supermarkets.

    Listings and finances -
    - Paid another extra small payment on our home loan to save interest and time on the loan.
    - Using a free listing promotion on Ebay I was able to list 43 items free of charge saving $70.95 on usual listing fees.

    Water Preservation -
    - During a recent storm where the rain came down heavily I put out rain barrels to catch the rainwater going over gutters and rain water tank sheds. We have been using this water to fill drink bottles, hand washing water buckets and water our potted fruit trees and herbs rather than using town water.
    - We saved grey water from our washing machine to water ornamental plant pot plants and used our grey water that was pumped from our grey water tank to water 2 mulberry trees rather than use town water.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead :).

    sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna,
      We have had fires start from machinery down here. So you are right about that and we start nothing. Then I was behind a car the other day and the passenger threw a cigarette out the window! I honestly felt ill.
      Wow I better reconsider the value of my slabs of fudge! I try to take notice of prices but had no idea on this one!
      Lorna when we first came here a lot of water was wasted when it rained. We keep working on catching all we can. Water is precious. I need to get going on more grey water usage as in our last house we ended up with a very good set up for that. It is surprising how much water that all amounts to also! i.e. a load of washing adds up to a lot.
      You had a great week and now you have gone from saving that deposit to paying off that loan. I know you will achieve this in record time also! With much love

    2. Lorna you are so right about being careful about sparks in the dry weather. Years ago, Bluey and a mate were hanging a gate. They had a water unit with them as a precaution. They were using a grinder and a spark took hold. It got into a pandanus and the seed pods exploded. That fire took hold and took out several thousand acres. It was remote country but just the same. Even with the water unit the fire got away. Here is a back up to what you were saying. Stay safe everyone.

  4. What a big week! It is so good to gather the family together and to live close by. We feel it keenly with ours spread so far apart and even on two continents. It has been as cold here as it has been hot there. We have had to close all the blinds and curtains just to keep the house warm and this is something we very rarely do as we like light and seeing out. We have those hot dry winds here in the summer too and that is when wildfires start in the mountains to the north of us. I pray that you will get through this summer safe from fires or disaster. God knew exactly when you should move to the country and He will care for you.

    We are living in dark times. One of our states approved abortions right up to the time of birth this week. This is evil that I cannot even conceive of and I am thankful to know that my God is still in control and He loves and cares for us all.

    1. Dear Lana,
      At one time Lucy was in England for a year and Chloe for three months. I tried to be ever so positive about it but the truth is I hated it. So I really feel for you and think of you often.
      We have had the house closed up but for the opposite reason!
      I saw your news. I am distressed too it is too horrific to think of. How a baby is not precious I dont know but who does these deeds and what they do and how they do it... the horror of it. If it was dogs or dolphins it would not be accepted. I am so sorry and it is very dark indeed. I am often having to just read my Bible and pray and wait on God. The time is here... when good is called evil and evil is called good. And people are proud of what they should be ashamed of. I see this every day. I believe this is just getting worse and it is hard to deal with. So I really understand what you are saying. I read a verse the other day which I highlighted... it said when you see evil do not walk past it but actually turn away from it... I have thought this over a lot. I am still thinking on it. We can try to put as much goodness out there as we can and pray. Thank you Lana sometimes there are no words really. With love

    2. Annabel, Our daughter in Germany has been so homesick that it hurts this Mama heart but I know they are where God would have them to be and that is what allows us to make it through every day. Thank you for your wise words.
      Much love, Lana

  5. Dear Annabel, it makes me feel so happy to know you are altogether at the farm and in the country. I think it will be absolutely wonderful for the girls to grow up in the country (I'd love it for my boys). I don't think there would be a better childhood. Not to mention, being surrounded by family! It is also good for the older generation to have family nearby. It's a win-win. I love what you have been making. You make things so beautifully, everything you makes always looks so luxurious and decadent. I keep remembering your Aunt's garden and in fact it is my inspiration with our garden. Tenants used to live in this house and never gardened so we really need to do a lot here. I want to fill it with plants- edible and non-edible. It's exciting. I have started small with the front garden bed and need to do it cheaply as possible, so I'm getting cuttings from the rest of the yard and from family. It is slowly filling up. It is nice to know it hasn't cost much too. I have also joined a pie-makers group on Facebook. I used to think Facebook was negative, because it was just people looking up other people. But now I love it, because of groups like yours and the pie-makers, no-spend groups etc. I find that information very useful and people are so helpful and kind, so it can be used in a good way. Thank you for all the work that you do and I'll be sure to join this group. Happy belated birthday to Lucy, I hope they have continued to settle in well at the farm. It is SO very exciting- thank you for sharing it with us :) Lots of love, Bridge

    1. Bridge 5 years ago we moved into our home which had been a rental for 10 years. We are slowly adding to our garden and it really is starting to look wonderful. Go for a walk in your local area. If there is a garden you love talk to the owners when they are outside. They are a wealth of info on what can and cant grow in your area. All the people I did this with got out the secateaurs and gave me cuttings. I have several extremely pretty franigipanis flowering in my garden that were given to me this way. Frangi's are my favourite flower. Gardeners love people looking and 'seeing' their garden. Most are happy to share with others. Give it a go.

    2. Dear Bridge,
      My aunts garden is fantastic and so much of it was free, struck from cuttings etc. With Facebook it is like the news... dont believe much! BUT we can use it to our advantage and it is a basically free way to chat with friends and link you up across the world to helpful and like minded people. So I love it for this. Like in real life it is only as good as the people you hang around with. I hear people say they are sick of the gossip and jealously etc on fb. Well I dont see any stuff like that as I am too busy on Pantry groups, The Provers 31 group, crafting groups... I am addicted now to Attic24. Get this.. now Mum is addicted to Attic 24. For your garden I would say if you are not already in it join the local fb buy swap and sell group. You will get so many free or cheap plants! Also you can post that you are looking for plants or whatever it is maybe you are looking for i.e. post that you make jam and will pick fruit. You will be amazed!! Oh the pie makers groups have amazing ideas. I will tell you that you might like Simply Vintage & Homemaking, Jenny of Elefanz, Gentle Domesticity... attic23 Moorland and More.... that will keep you out of trouble for a while. The key to knowing if something is doing you good is if you feel wonderful and excited and inspired!
      I hope you are having a lovely long weekend! With love,

    3. Thank you so much Jane and Annabel for replying to me.

      I did take some photos of a garden I love nearby (filled with fruit trees and native flowers- it is beautiful). That is a great idea, about talking to the owners and complimenting them and perhaps they might give me cuttings. That way they are locally grown, which would be great. Thank you for this wonderful idea, Jane. You are always so encouraging and helpful.

      Annabel, that is the wisest advice I have ever heard about Facebook or any social media; if it makes you feel wonderful, excited and inspired, it is right for you. It like real life in that it is only as good as the people you hang around with. I love this! I love how your Mum loves Attic24, I will have to look that up. I am going to have a look at the ones you suggested. I LOVE your Tuesday Afternoon Club and The Proverbs 31 group; they are inspirational. Thank you. Lots of love, Bridge

  6. Hi Annabelle just a small update on our move to the country we saw one old stone cottage that in photos looked like my dream but in person was so dilapidated it was unliveable now we have an appointment to see another place half an hour further away it is a fairly new house so not my character home but the location and property size and privacy is perfect and I guess a newer home has some good points.An offer has been made on our house but it was way too low but we have an open this weekend that has a lot of very interested people coming so fingers crossed. I also had sprinklers on for the wild birds yesterday I was so concerned some looked like they were at deaths door today is 24 degrees and it is bliss.I have decided to learn to crochet edges your edging has inspired me to pick up a new skill stay cool will update on how we get on with the country move

    1. Dear JarrahBella, I am hoping for you! My dream home originally was also a stone cottage and now I see it has fallen down! So bullet missed there hey! Most homes can be made into our character if we have the basics I think. So it is a lot to consider! But you will KNOW. We had birds looking like they might die too. We had water going, water bowls and hoses running. Probably we saved some from dying. Today... (Sunday) it is col here too! I also have everything opened up, breeze flowing through... it is heavenly!!
      I hope you love the edgings!! I am working on several at once. These projects are beautiful when we need not to go crazy staying inside to keep out of the heat! Good luck with both houses, I hope you get an excellent offer on your house!! With much love

  7. Hello Annabel,

    This heat is just relentless isn't it. I live in Northern NSW up near the Qld border, we are used to hot summer's but not dry ones! We generally have several days of high temps and the humidity builds and builds, and then a storm will roll in and cool everything down, and so the cycle will continue. But not this Summer, day after day of hot weather with absolutely no rain. 30 days we just went with no recorded rainfall! We had a big storm roll in a couple of nights ago, and I thought yes this is it...but in the end we had what seemed like 100 fat drops fall...then it just blew away!

    What a Summer!

    I'm struggling to keep my veggie garden alive, I lost a whole punnet of tomatoes I planted, but things like zucchini are doing ok because they like like the dry heat, we normally suffer with mildew problems on zucchini because of the humidity here.

    My passionfruit is ripe now, and we have been enjoying them fresh, but I also made a batch of Dried apricot and passionfruit jam. I wasn't too thrilled with the texture or flavour. It was a bit too runny...I'm going to rebrand it as 'Apricot Honey' LOL...and I couldn't really taste the passionfruit, so it was a waste using them in it. Oh well you don't know until you try, it's perfectly edible, so it won't go to waste.

    I've been slowly decluttering my study area. I've jumped on the Marie Kondo bandwagon, after watching her series on Netflix. She has some good ideas, the study looks better already, and I'm no where near finished.

    I'm also working on decluttering and sorting my recipes. I suffer from loose bits of paper every where, and I'm doing a big cull, and properly storing the recipes I want to keep.

    Of course I did a heap of other things through out the week to manage our home, but these were my focus areas.

    So my week has been pretty full and busy too, it's amazing how much we can achieve if we set goals, make a plan and just do it!

    Have a lovely weekend.

    Cheers Cheryl

    1. Cheryl here on the Fraser Coast we are still waiting for some rain. We have had cloud build up and the humidity but zero rain. It is a little bit like the 'Build Up' in Darwin, where we lived for twenty years. If you have excess passionfruit it makes the most wonderful syrup. We have used this on icecream, in milk shakes and mixed with soda water to make our own 'Passiona'.

    2. Oh Jane I love the idea of the Passiona, I'm going to try that.
      Here's praying we all get some much needed rain soon!

    3. Being an hour north of Brisbane I thought I would jump in here and tell you we had a very light sprinkle of rain in the wee hours of yesterday morning. We have had clouds gathering on the horizon for a few days, kookaburras going absolutely crazy but that was all the rain we received.

      We have noticed that storms and rain tend to go around us.

      Waiting patiently for a good long change in the weather.


    4. Dear Cheryl, I know something of northern NSW as Dad is up there a lot. I know it is hot and dry! I hope that by now you have had a cool day or two. Today is ours, there is a really fresh breeze. I have everything opened up to let it flow through the house. It is blowing on me now and it is just lovely.
      I also lost plants in the heat and some things look pretty depressed! I am learning too as this is our first season here. I cant wait for autumn to be honest! The passion fruit sounds lovely. What a flavour that is so beautiful.
      Have a lovely long weekend! With love

  8. I had a good week so far. I went to Savers and using my discount card got $3 off my total. I went to Priceline and picked up my Sisterhood gift and using my voucher was able to get 4 large baby powders on special and only spent 50 cents. Then I went to Coles as I had a free flavoured milk on my Fly Buy card it saved $3.51 very small and no I wouldn't buy it by choice. We haven't spent much on food as were buying from the discount store first. I have done a few surveys, went out for lunch rather than dinner as its a lot cheaper. Hoping for a break in the hot weather soon. Have a lovely weekend everyone Leanne.

    1. Dear Leanne,
      I love Savers! I ahem not been there for a while but would love to. The baby powers for that price was a good deal! I hope you have had a cool change. It is good here today and I have the house opened up. I think we have a long way to go that wise though... mid March I would say before we really can say bye to summer properly! (bring that on!) With love

  9. Hi Annabel
    Hoping your heat breaks and the danger of fires will diminish - that must be so scary. How wonderful that your whole family is now settled in the country-western you can't beat it especially for bringing up young children.
    Will you be putting photos of your crafts on the blog as well as on Facebook? I don't belong to Facebook so I'm hoping on your Tuesday crafty blog posts we will see all your lovely makes. Thank you for all the effort you put into your blog.

    1. Dear Penny,
      I will probably show most of what I have made here either on Fridays on The Tuesday Afternoon Club, I also put some on instagram. I try to do different photos and instructions over on FB so it is not too repetitive for those that do both. Just now I have so many things on the go! Tuesday there will be a post here and it is shaping up to be beautiful! Thank you for your kind words Penny, with love

  10. Dear Annabel,what a big week of family birthdays and Lucy's moving to the country! Glad it all went well and you survived such heat . Its 22 here now late in the evening which is warmer than usual.WE had 12 the other night , so changeable. Glad you got a little rain at least , must be unbearable your heat .Mind you riding in USA in 40+ was some challenge for us.
    Your pink bubble bath in that beautiful decanter , boy would I like to be the recipient of that ;-) Just gorgeous looking!
    I agree with Jane wholeheartedly !
    My week has consisted of baking a few slices and biscuits ,minding grandchildren one day , sorting the emergency supplies and listing them , and noting two items to be added.Trimmed my hair,and nails.
    Made nectarine jam as they werent being eaten. Chocolate banana cake ,with bananas not eaten and orange cordial with oranges .
    Hope you have a cooler week , With love , Maria xxx

    1. Dear Maria, January is birthday month in our family that is for sure!
      Nectarine jam is lovely and the prettiest colour and scent. Your cooking was loved but the Grandchildren I am pretty sure! That sounds like a very busy week. We have a long weekend for Australia Day. And it has cooled, today is lovely and I can cool the whole house down. A relief.
      Have a lovely new week! With much love

  11. Dear Annabel,

    Tania is sad today as I think I have lost some of my veggies. The tomatoes looked okay this morning, but tonight not so good. The bushes are loaded with green tomatoes which I will now probably make into pickles so they aren't wasted. We have the cool change, but it is not going to last long unfortunately. Two days and then up goes the temperature again.

    Today I feel defeated. We spent money to keep the veggies safe in the heat and it hasn't work. I feel like the new enclosure has been a wasted venture of precious time, money and effort. I added extra shade and although it did help, the heat was just too much to bear for some of the plants. I also think my nectarines have been baked on the tree. The other fruit trees are scorched. With the temperature reaching 49.5C (121F) yesterday, I am probably lucky to not have lost everything!

    Sounds like you had a good productive week. It is so wonderful that your whole family unit is all together living on the farm. Those precious little girls are going to love it there!

    Have a lovely long weekend,


    1. These kind of temperatures are frightening to me! You sound like you have tried very hard and I do hope that you will get respite soon!!

      xx Jen in NS

    2. So sorry to hear this Tania. I was wondering if your garden survived through it. We had 47 yesterday so I commiserate. Those few extra degrees matter. 😔
      Love, Kaye xo

    3. Dear Tania, You have done great to keep stuff alive at all. It was exceptional heat. Don't give up! I also have had losses. Not too many and we only had 45. But windy too. So many things are burned. I feel really sad over them as they were doing so well and now much will die off. If not the whole plant...
      I know we still have a lot of heat ahead of us, I just hope you dont get it that hot again. Being my first summer here it is a learning curve. I felt a bit depressed at the damage, like you. I am off to do some watering now so a bit more assessing... It is tiring and draining when we have a time we feel like we went backwards not forwards!! Hugs Tania, with love

    4. Thank you Jen, Kaye and Annabel.

      I have had a bad week with other issues and was feeling sorry for myself when I wrote this comment. After a good nights sleep I am feeling better today. I will pick myself up and try again when the weather settles down. On the radio this morning they said the rest of summer will not be as scorching hot, but will be like Indian summer conditions. I think that means that it will be still hot and dry. We need rain so badly, the drought is worsening up here.

      I went out and had a look this morning at the veggies and fruit trees. I have definitely lost the zucchinis, they are all fried. The tomatoes are not looking good, but I am still hopeful they may come back to life. They are such touchy plants and this year was the best I had ever grown. The rhubarb is just alive, hoping that it re-shoots. The nectarines are spongy, don't know if that is good or not. The grapevine leaves are crispy, but most of the grapes are okay. I am thankful for small mercies.

      Even the toughest geraniums have turned a crispy brown, but I think they will come back. Definitely don't want anymore heat like that!


    5. Hi Tania, I so understand your sad post. I did all I could to save tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchinis. Covered them, watered them, sprayed them during the day and then gave up. I had trained the cucs up a piece of reo mesh..thinking it was a good idea. All it did was make them so much quicker than everything else to turn to crisp! The next day I cut all my tomatoes back to about 30 cms high and hope they may shoot again. I think my rhubarb may survive... just. One thing that did not seem to be affected at all was my climbing spinach. It is called ruby malabar and is almost like a succulent. I use the young leaves in salads. At least I am producing some green! My lemons boiled on the tree and are wrecked. Looking on the bright side I can still remember what the veggies looked like in the winter and spring..
      all will be well eventually but I felt very sad too- all that care and nurturing to no avail. I think my geraniums will survive but they look terrible. Surprisingly I have a yellow calla lily in a pot in the sun and it is fine!! Hang in there, your garden is spectacular and inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing all your pictures so generously. With gardening love, Jo

  12. Hi Annabel (and everyone),

    Oh Annabel, the rose bubble bath and milky bath are gorgeous - what beautiful gifts those are! I enjoy just looking at them. The baking looks yum, too. You had a busy week!

    It wasn't a terribly frugal week for us, as we had a large vet bill for a sick kitty, but she is feeling better and home now, so that is the important thing. (Our vet also gave us a 10% discount, which was very kind of her, and saved us a good amount.)

    We did do a few things to build up our home/save money. I cooked from the freezer and pantry, and made a cake pan cake for snacking, chicken/veggies for lunches, 2 loaves of pumpkin bread, and a pasta dish. Some nectarines and strawberries were chopped up for a fresh fruit salad. All work lunches and snacks were brought from home (the savings from this really help when there is a large expense like the vet bill!). I cleaned lots of linens and my husband did some car maintenance. I purchased a big full of decorator ribbon at the thrift for $6; there are several large rolls of beautiful ribbon, so that will be nice to have for gifts and also home decorating. One roll costs more than that here, so I was very happy to find it!

    We borrowed books and a dvd from the library, and enjoyed a movie date at home; I put some stitches into a small cross-stitch piece and worked a bit on the sweater I am knitting. A kind friend gifted us with a box of chocolates from her recent trip overseas - such a nice treat!

    1. Dear Kathy, Vet bills are a big expense. But you did and always do a lot to save where you can. How nice to get a box of chocolates!
      I want to see the sweater you are knitting when you are finished. This week I bought some wool. I am so pleased with it. I am feeling addicted to crochet projects! It is so lovely having a project to work on! Have a lovely weekend! Love

    2. Hi Annabelle
      I'd love a copy of crochet instructions too if you are able to email me them please. Im not on Facebook remember. Blessings Tanya xxx

  13. Just wondering if you could share what kind of crochet edge you used on those towels. It is beautiful. I can tell there is the shell stitch but I'm not sure what else. I would love to duplicate that stitch if possible. Your work is always so beautiful and classy looking.

    1. Hi, it would be easy to make a tutorial on this since I am doing more hand towels with the same edging. As I go I will take photos and explain each row. it is amazingly easy. I cant read patterns and I copied the edge off a bath mat that my SIL gave me that was just gorgeous. Are you a member of the Tuesday Afternoon Club as it would be easiest if I post it over there... but give me a week or so to get it finished! xxx

  14. Dear Annabel,

    This is wonderful news about Lucy and her family! So happy to hear they are now moved. What a wonderful setting for the kids to grow up in!

    I love the photo of your bubble about elegant! I bet it smells divine, too.

    I can hardly imagine the heat you live through there...but I can certainly imagine how that combined with a strong wind would make for very scary conditions should a fire break out! We get temperatures in the forties (C) here in the summer, too...but that's with the humidity factored in. It's very hot, believe me, and the humidity makes it seem like the air is too thick to breathe, but I don't think it's the same as the actual temperature being in the forties...and I'm sure the plants react differently, too. You Aussies are tough folk! :)

    I haven't made as much progress on my reno list this week, but I have managed to get some more gifts made (though I made my sewing machine need a repair in the process...hoping hubby can fix it tomorrow). Have been eating from supplies at home to keep the grocery bill down. Darned some socks and fixed a loose button on a waistcoat. Sold some eggs and used up a million (or so it seems), as we have quite a glut at the moment. All meals from scratch, as usual. Visited my neighbor who had her first chemo session last week...and have started her a hat today, as she only has one to wear so far. (She just cut her hair yesterday.)

    I think your towels are just do such a lovely job making your foundation stitches so even!

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend. I'll email craft pictures tomorrow so they are there in plenty of time for Tuesday!

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen, I cant wait to see what you have been making. Tuesday will be wonderful thanks so much!
      With eggs I love to make creme caramel and pavlova, baked egg custard... that is god in cold weather.
      I hope your friend is doing ok. You are a wonderful friend to her.
      Thankfully we are having a break from extreme heat. It is still pretty warm but manageable! I fear we have a lot ahead of us yet though. Bring on Autumn!
      Have a lovely weekend! With love

  15. Dear Annabel,
    Everything looks lovely, as usual! The heat sounds awful. I'm glad you've been able to keep the birds and plants supplied with water. I know helping Lucy and family get set up was a lot of work, but how nice you and your mum were able to be there and help!

    We had our food box distribution at church on Saturday. When we were putting the boxes together, they looked kind of skimpy. We get most of the food from a large food pantry that gets the food from donations, grocery stores and some from government I think. We're a small group and most of us had already brought in extra to supplement the boxes, but almost everyone went home, prayed and searched their pantry to bring more. Sure enough, the boxes looked pretty good when we were ready to give them out. That was a highlight of the week for me!

    I hope you and the rest of the Bluebirds have a lovely weekend!
    Love from Arizona,

    1. Dear Elaine, The many benefits of a well stocked pantry! One is helping others. This was lovely and a little like a loaves and fishes story.
      We are having a break from the really hot weather now. It is warm but ok. But really February and early March are normally our hottest times. I am waiting on Autumn! Have a lovely weekend! With love

  16. Dear Annabel,
    What a wonderful feeling and how exciting must be to have all the family in close proximity on the farm. I loved seeing everything you accomplished this week. The bubble bath looks so luxurious.
    While you have the extreme heat, we are experiencing extreme cold, as well as snow, ice, rain and extremely high winds.
    For the most part we've been staying home due to the inclement weather. As far as nest feathering I've been doing a lot of cooking and baking with what's on hand and haven't been to the grocery store since Christmas. I've baked a ton of 3 ingredient gluten free peanut butter cookies and added chocolate chips to them. Also the two ingredient pizza crust with gluten free flour and yogurt. I love this dough because it's so versatile. Craft wise I'm still in the "use it up" mode and am making boxes and embellishments to hold future gifts. Making the boxes and decorating them has been so much fun. Also making more cards and personalized stationary for my girls and a few friends. Wishing everyone a good weekend. Blessings, Cookie

    1. Hi Cookie
      Can you share your pizza crust recipe please? Do you have a link/pattern for the boxes. Blessings Tanya xxx

    2. Dear Cookie,
      It seems that extreme weather of either kind means we need to be inside. Lucky for us we have plenty to go ahead and work on that keeps us happy!
      I have had success too with the simple pizza crust and overall with the general substituting GF flour for regular flour. I often have left over yoghurt too!
      I am doing a Show and Tell For the Tuesday group here on Tuesday. I can see Tanya is interesting in your gift boxes... so am I! If you have any finished that you could share please do. Everything you make is always exquisite!
      I want to tell you about a blog that is wonderful for paper crafts and if you dont already know her you will like... go back a few pages and see her compendiums... it is Fee's Little Home Studio. thank me later!! Have a lovely weekend! With love

  17. That is so wonderful that the girls are closer to you. You must be so happy. I cannot get over your heat. I have never been in heat like that. We hit 100 degrees maybe once every summer and I am melting from it. Wish I could send you some of the freezing rain we have been having lately. Good luck and stay cool.


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