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 28 February 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 1st of March, 2019.

Today is the first day of Autumn in Australia!  I have been looking forward to this for months!  The only thing is we have to wait a couple of weeks for it to feel like Autumn.  Today and tomorrow are very hot.  Usually the heat can keep up for a little bit yet then suddenly it will feel like true Autumn.  I am so glad to see the end of summer.  It is the hardest season here.

There have been signs of autumn though. First of all the Easter Lilies are out.  They are everywhere!  

It was a really good week!  I did some baking.  Mum and I were heading off to see the girls.   I made chocolate cupcakes with hundreds and thousands,  I used some apples in an apple cake and some little gluten free cakes.

To make the apple cake all I did is mix up a gluten free (you could use regular) cake mix, our half in the tin... sliced up two small apples and spread them across the batter.  Then poured the rest over that and topped it with apple slices and baked it.  It was delicious.  I drizzled icing over it.  Warm is would be a good desert.   Mum did a similar one using pears over the bottom of the pan.  Then when she turned it over the pears were the top.  It was beautiful!

Harper isn't much of an eater.  She sat and ate two and a half cupcakes!  Scarlett picked out hers and scoffed that.  Everyone loved the apple cake.

The pears are all ripening!  Every morning another few are yellow rather than green.  It is amazing to see as they were so rock hard I never believed they would ripen. And they are BEAUTIFUL.  The nicest pears I have ever tasted.  So we are eating pears daily.

We were given beautiful lamb for the freezer.  I packed it up into meal portions.

Each day we picked tomatoes and herbs.

I mended a sheet as it was one of my good ones and I am not parting with it!

A beautiful packaged arrived from my Aunt.  It was lovely.  She had a friend travelling through a town nearby and he dropped off a parcel for Mum and one for me.  It was like a care package tied up with string and a note on top.  It contained beautiful bath towels and a wonderful cook book!
Also it made me think to take every opportunity when someone is travelling.  Postage has become impossible for parcels now.  We have to go back to the old way of sending things with someone,  when people visit send them home with their Christmas or Birthday parcels rather than post them later (several of you have mentioned doing that)  and saving good boxes to pack it all into!

One night I made pizzas and used up an enormous amount of cherry tomatoes.  They were delicious!

Mum gave me some jars.

Chloe, Luke, Andy and me went out to dinner at a local winery.  We sat outside and this was the evening sunset...

It was just beautiful and a fun evening.

We have Black Cockatoos and it is very difficult to get a photo but they are used to me driving along the driveway and I got an ok photo, it is the best I have so far anyhow.  

They are huge and they are noisy but I love them!

Wednesday night my Dad rang.  He asked me if I want to go apple picking.  Obviously I said yes!  It involved a 40 minute drive and instructions to turn right at the rocks and pine tree.  I was to meet him there at 10 am.  
Everything you do here involves packing. I loaded the car with baskets, a ladder and my long handled fruit picker.  I packed tea, coffee, cake, gloves... and off I went.

The big and very old apple tree had the hugest apples I have ever seen.  Dad said they were small due to a dry year!   The tree was over the ruins of an old cottage. 

Through that window you can see a tree.   That is a big old Mulberry tree!  It was too late for the mulberries but next year I will be there!  I write in my diary when to visit various trees so I don't forget.  So I have Mulberries, mid February, written in my notebook.

We had a cup of tea and a chat then got down to picking apples.

To demonstrate the size.... the small basket is my own apples which are a medium to smaller size.  The big basket is Dad's apples...

After this I continued on to Mum and Dad's and gave Mum a whole basket of these as she will start cooking with them.   Then I had the  journey home!

When I had time to craft I worked on my blanket and I made a start on pot holders, for my gift cupboard and some for my kitchen...

And I made bookmarks...

And healing salve, sleep salve and germ fighter salve.

Mum gave me some wool wadding so I can work on more potholders.   Inside the first ones I cut up some old blanketing that was damaged and it made good insulation.

So it was a wonderful week!   I feel like I have lots of little adventures here! 

Today and tomorrow are very hot.  In between watering and looking after the chickens I will be inside quietly card making.  I am so thankful that in bad weather I am never bored.  I have all the apples to deal with, pears, crochet and the table covered in card making bits and pieces.  I want to make enough to package up cards to give as gifts.  The small bits and pieces will become gift tags.

How did you build up your home and pantry?  I hope you found ways to save and get ahead. 
Have a wonderful weekend! xxx

Thursday 21 February 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 22nd February, 2019.

We had another very good week!   We also had beautiful mild sunny days as if it is Autumn already!

On the weekend Mum and I headed down to see the girls. This makes a day trip where we head off at 9am and get back here about 5.  Mum then still has to travel further back to her house.  We also do our shopping on the way home in our regional town which we love!
I had made up chocolate cakes on Friday ready to take.

The girls are finding that further south it is a lot colder.  Even in February they have needed scarves and warm things in the evenings.  Mum made Scarlett a knitted vest and both girls warm hats.

Harper chose one to model.

It was a glorious day.  We are planning to do the same next week. 

This week we finally got to a job that has been waiting.  We cleaned out the entire chicken yard,  took away all kinds of junk the last people left laying around.  We put in new nesting boxes and hay.  It looks so nice now.   I have always been confident that this yard and shed were fox proof.   But when we moved so much stuff I found a place a fox could have got it.  It was just tin shed sitting on sandy soil with a gap between the two.  A fox could easily dig under that!!  We are amazingly lucky.   We collected heavy rocks and filled up this space with those then filled it in with dirt.  I am pretty sure it is fox proof now.  Talk about lucky!

Last week I showed that I was given four boxes of little candles.  I started finding ways to use them as gifts.  I made up several of these "Blackout boxes"  for some birthdays coming up...

We started picking the apples.  Dad thinks they are Pink Lady variety.   

They are really good apples!  Every day I will pick a bucketful.  I am sure these were ripe as they basically fall off the tree if you knock them.  However many are still green so those I will leave longer.

I also picked a lot of tomatoes and I pulled out some that are finished and just looking messy.

We planted two lemon trees!!  This takes our fruit trees up to 6 now!  

Some of my white sheets were looking less than white due to rain water with gum leaves in it!  I did a strip wash soak and they came up new again.   This is probably old news to many of you but it is the hottest tub of water you can get, 1/4 cup washing soda, 1/4 cup borax, 1/2 good laundry powder.  Agitate it all a few times and leave soaking over night or a good few hours until water is cold. Then rinse and wash as normal.  It worked a treat.  I put a few stained kitchen towels in with it and they came out spotless!  

We now have an endless supply of venison.  This is a game changer to the grocery list and expenses.

I finished up my lavender sachets.  In the end I wrapped them each in a cellophane bag with lavender essential oil inside.  This was a craft from Fee's Little Craft Studio.  I love them!

And in spare moments I worked on my Sweetpea rug...

I am loving this.  I live to get to the next colour change!

So that was my week!  It was very nice!  Today is a lovely day.  Dad already called in for a cup of tea.  He is always up and off to work early.   I am going to get some washing on the line and some more apples picked.  

I hope you had a good week too.  How did you build up your home,  get ahead, save or add to your pantry?   It is so wonderful to find new ways to do things, learn new skills,  take advantage of new possibilities!   Make hay while the sun shines, that is what I say! xxx

Thursday 14 February 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 15th February. 2019.

I truly had a wonderful week!  We have been blessed with really mild weather and even a little bit of rain.  It is so much easier when it is not hot.  Dad thinks Autumn has come early so I hope so.  That would be a dream but we still could have heat again yet.

There were lots of ways we built up our home, saved, got ahead, added to the pantry etc. this week!

We decided it was time to pick the pears.  Birds were getting a fair few and they broke easily from the stems or fell to the ground.  Pears are strange as they don't ripen on the tree and you must pick them hard.  This is a first for me!   It was great fun picking the two trees and they were so heavy I couldn't believe it!

They are beautiful.  We have five baskets of pears!

The apple tree is heavy with fruit.  Each day they are getting brighter... I notice the difference now, I took this photo a week ago...

Last night I saw they were really red.  There are hundreds of them! 

I made all the plums I was given last week into things.  First a cake.  This was just a GF packet mix covered in slices of plum then dusted with icing sugar.  Served warm a cake like this is a good dessert.

You can really slice any stone fruit over a plain old cake mix and call it a dessert and no one is any the wiser.

Also some jam.  Dad got three jars.

I added some veggies to the garden... chard, broccoli and late season tomatoes.

I had op shop (thrift store) luck.  Lots of luck actually!   Several good books, beautiful soft palest blue muslin,  a Wedgwood casserole dish ($4) and a set of vintage stationary ($2)

I made Harper a Cinderella pillowcase and Scarlett farm animals one and got her first pillow for her.

I was able to add quite a bit to the pantry and some potted plants to the front of the house and they look so nice. 

We are still picking tomatoes and I made up another batch of relish as it is so delicious.

My niece has her birthday tomorrow.  She loves my coconut ice so I made her a whole slab of her own. 

I decorated it with dried rosebud (ever handy) and then cellophane and pink ribbon.

I have been given left over glass little candles from a wedding.  There are 96 of them! 

There are so many possibilities here! What a boost to my gift cupboard these will be!

We had a trip to the city.  I was able to do a stock up at Aldi and I visited the peach tree in the lane where I used to get free peaches every year.  I knew I was probably a few weeks to late to actually get peaches.  But for some reason the peach tree was also late!   I got two huge buckets of perfect ripe peaches!!! 

I was so excited!  I gave some to Mum and Dad and some to Chloe and Luke.  We have lived on fresh peaches.  Last night for Valentines Day I made a peach crumble...

Baked peaches are about the most delicious thing ever!

As you can see this is our time of summer fruit.   It is really a time to make hay while the sun shines!
Dad called in with his hat full of Mulberries.   He told us a place to go to pick lots and when we tasted them we decided yes please, we will make a picnic out of the trip to pick them.  And Dad added there is a huge old apple tree covered in red apples.  He said go in about two weeks as they are almost ready.  So we are planning this trip... it is about an hour away.  To me this would be so much fun.  So now we have two apple trees to pick.  But I figure there is a lot you can do with apples and we will share them.  I will make a tray of baked apples for Dad too for telling us!

Isn't it amazing how much can happen in a week?  The Tuesday Afternoon Club has me trying even harder to make the most of every opportunity, use it up, set it to good use...  very motivating!

Today is a beautiful day.  I need to get some washing out on the line. 

How did you feather your Nest this week?  I hope it was a good week for you! xxx

Monday 11 February 2019

The Tuesday Afternoon Club, 12 February, 2019.

What a fortnight it has been!  The Tuesday Afternoon Club has grown and grown.
Here I am posting for some of the girls that for one reason or another are not in the FB group.  For many of us this is a benefit of a double dose of ideas!

First of all we have Clare. She sent me a photo of her Melting Moments.  Her husband thought she had gone to the shops and bought them.  But no Clare has certainly perfected Melting Moments which she made for her parents visit.

Beautiful job Clare! 😍

Maria has been very busy.  She worked some crochet cotton wash cloths...

A gift box of scrubs and essential oil serum for a sick friend...

Quiche, meringues and CHOCOLATE CREAM!

Cherry cake...

A cake for a friend who visited...

Chocolate zucchini loaf plus cup cakes...

And there was more!!  Maria cooks often for her Grandkids and family. You can imagine how much they love this! 

Next we have Jen in NC.  She is in winter and knitting away!   Beautifully, Jen has made hats for her neighbour undergoing cancer treatment.

Then mittens,  a headband, scrunchies and embroidered kitchen towel with a red crochet edging.  Imagine all of these as gifts.  Just beautiful!

Jen your gift cupboard must be looking amazing already at this point!

And we have Cookie.  This is timely too with Valentines Day this week!  She made gorgeous cards...

And decorated gift boxes!   This is sometime I can really add to my own making list... 

We often have boxes that have contained something we have purchased.  With some decorating they can easily become keepsake or gift boxes!  They are just beautiful Cookie.
I always keep and redecorate gift bags or store bags that are basically the same but have a store logo on them.  They are really easy to turn into gift bags!   Now gift boxes are another!   Thank you for the inspiration Cookie!

Thank you everyone for sharing what you made!  Now I am off to post in the Facebook group. If you would like to join come over to The Tuesday Afternoon Club.  

I hope your week is going well!  We have rain! xxx

Friday 8 February 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 8 February, 2019.

It has been another really good week!  Sorry to be posting so late but all day today the internet was dodgy and I could just not get photos to load.  Tonight things seem to be going much better so I am hoping to be able to post.

It was quite a week of produce!  All week I have picked tomatoes and I think over the weekend I will make another batch of relish.  I have promised to post this recipe so will get to that.

I was given a basket of rhubarb, peaches and plums.  Some of this is being eaten as our fresh fruit but some with become other things.

My Dad gave us fresh venison.  It is enough for quite a few meals.

I made three dozen sausage rolls.  Many went into the freezer.

Lucy gave me four very ripe bananas.  I used them plus some left over yoghurt and turned them into two dozen little cakes.  I also froze a heap of these.

I had my shopping trip into town.  This time I tried the smaller alternative supermarket.  It is so much better than the big one!  I got several amazing deals.  I took my time to learn what they have and where everything is.  The meat is much better and cheaper as they have a resident butcher.  Just amazingly better!  I was really thrilled by this as the main supermarket is really expensive. So sometimes bigger isn't cheaper!  It pays to look everywhere!

While in town I went to both op shops (thrift stores) and found the matching fine bone china plates to the cups and saucers I got last week!  Someone had just put them in a different place. I got them for 50c each!   Also I found a whole bag of sewing bobbins full of different coloured threads for $3.

Last year I found so many reels of cottons in every colour.  To find all these bobbins was great and they went straight into my sewing pantry.

On the craft front I completed more sets of hand towels and learned two new stitches. I make up a wash cloth while practicing a new stitch.  

This one was Cup cake from Attic 24.  I can follow her patterns as she explains with photos!  They are amazing patterns!

This one was Sultan Stitch which I found on You Tube.

I liked these heaps.  I also tried another stitch that just didn't work for me! 

I made up some more essential oil gifts.  These cosmetic brush pens were about $1.40 each on eBay.  They are amazing!  

I made one set up as cubicle and nail treatment oil...

And one set as Ultimate Serum...

I posted the recipes for these over in The Tuesday Afternoon Club. 
Normally Tuesday next week would be a Tuesday Afternoon Club  get together.  I think I might have to postpone that as we are travelling that day.  I will see how it goes!

We were really lucky to have mild weather.  Andy worked on our roof sprinter system and it is almost done.  Tomorrow is test it out day!

For me I felt I got such a lot of food put in the freezer that I really feel ahead.  I added quite a bit to my pantry and something to my sewing pantry!   It is so nice to feel I got ahead in some ways.  I felt it was fantastic to find a better place to shop in our local town.

How did you build up your nest, save, get ahead or increase your pantry this week?
I hope it was a good week for you! xxx