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.

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


  1. I've noticed that too Annabelle on the stores. Sometimes bigger just means they have more of a selection and higher end goods. It does pay to shop around. You had a great week!

    1. Thanks Vickie. Checking every store is an eye opener. I have other odd little stores to check in this town. Next time I got back I will explore more. Have a lovely weekend! xxx

  2. Annabel,
    Everything looks so delicious. We are in winter and fresh produce in our area just doesn't look good, we are looking forward to summer where tomatoes taste like tomatoes.

    It is so wonderful that you found the saucers to your teacups. I get excited when i find a matching piece to my Mom's set. What a blessing of finding the bag of full bobbins. Your sewing pantry was happy receiving the new arrivals.

    I haven't posted of late due to travel and sickness so my pantry has suffered neglect. I was blessed with my husband purchasing fresh ginger while we were visiting daughter and I was able to make 3 1/2 quarts of ginger concentrate. I add about 2 tablespoons to a glass of water to drink. It helps me drink more water.
    Our food budget has been extemely low last month and this. Husband has stayed at hotels with breakfasts and dinners provided and I have been eating out of our pantry.
    I'm praying next week I will be blessed at thrift shops while I travel with husband.
    May you receive an abundance of blessings dear!

    1. Dear Rosanne, I hope you are feeling better and will be ok for the trip. And that you have great finds! I have to say that thrift shopping has built up so many areas from linen to crafts. I love it!
      We have a couple of weeks now I think of a lot to do with fresh produce. Yesterday I made plum jam, we have a heap of fruit in the fridge just for eating and I have pears ripening spread out on the floor! But this is the time to make hay while the sun shines! Rest over the weekend as much as you can, with love

    2. Aw, I pray you have abundant blessing at each thrift shop you visit! and for a boon in your food budget.
      Mary in SD

    3. During the winter I drain diced tomatoes to put on salads. Much tastierq. I save the liquid for soup.

  3. Dear Annabel and Beautiful Bluebirds,

    I'm so glad you were able to find a better grocery store! The fresh fruits look delicious and I think they are types you don't have yet on your farm yet.

    We've been enjoying walks in the park for exercise in the fresh air, sunshine and nice weather, also saving cost of gas to get to the gym. We found several good pieces of wood free for the taking from trees city workers had trimmed at the park. A couple days later, we found more and a couple of the men came up and offered to help us load it. We found out from them that it was mesquite wood which not only burns well in fireplaces, but is great for smoking meat. They urged us to take all we could use and tell anyone we thought could use it. We ended up getting some later for our daughter, too.

    Trips to the grocery store have been limited to a few fresh items and sales or clearance. I was also able to take advantage of 10% off total purchase discounts twice combined with sales.

    As usual, I downloaded a few free Kindle books from Vickie's Kitchen and Garden site. This week, I received a paperback copy in the mail of a book I've been wanting to read and won from her site.

    Some of the things I've made in the kitchen were a pork loin roast with green chili sauce, turkey and dressing casserole, French toast and split pea soup. I've been watching the ingredients lists on prepared items especially closely since my husband has issues with garlic and my daughter who often eats with us has problems with soy. I ended up making my own green chili sauce, which was delicious, much less expensive and had neither soy nor garlic. I tucked a couple over-ripe bananas and a zippy of tiny tomatoes in the freezer. I plan to make banana muffins for us and to take as a treat to friends.

    My crochet blanket is progressing a few rows at a time. I enjoyed time with friends making Valentine cards for the veterans. Fabric is set aside to make a flannel rice heat pad for one of my daughters who saw her dad's flannel one and decided the flannel was cozier. I was able to get a free 8x10 copy of a photo from Christmas that I want to use on a scrapbook page.

    Have a lovely weekend!
    Love from Arizona,

    1. Dear Elaine, How wonderful about the wood!! In the city here wood is very expensive... i.e. $400 for a trailer load. Here on the farm we are surrounded by it though. I would have taken all that wood too and how good to even know the type and what it can be used for!
      Vickie's blog is wonderful fro free books. I have got many thanks to her!
      Your cooking all sounds beautiful. I am wondering if you got any photos of the cards fro Veterans. I truly think this is the loveliest idea. Flannel is so soft, I love it and think for a heat pack it is very nice. I love velvet for a heat pack also. I watch thrift stores for that!
      You had a lovely week! I hope you have a good weekend! With much love,

  4. Hi Annabel (and everyone),

    The fresh produce looks amazing, Annabel! I can't wait for gardening season to start here. How wonderful to find the plates to go with those beautiful cups, and more gorgeous crochet.

    Lots of cooking again this weekend - pasta bolognese, roast turkey breast, veggies, mashed potatoes, wild rice blend, and a double batch of chocolate chip muffins. All work lunches ($150) and snacks brought from home ($40). I added a small container with snacks (granola bars, trail mix, etc) to the car; this way we have healthy snacks when we are out and about. We've used it twice already!

    My husband removed the last of my rosette-stricken rosebushes on an unseasonably sunny day this weekend. Landscaping is pretty expensive here, so he saved us a bundle. I'm sad to see them go, but it is good to have them cleared and making plans for what to put in their place. There may be room for a couple of dwarf fruit trees!

    I went thrifting and found a large bag of spools of thread and another bag with several pairs of fancy edging scissors and die-cut fancies for cardmaking.

    Our big aloe and one of the smaller ones had lots of baby plants, so those were re-potted and will be gifts later on this year. I put them in small terracotta pots that cost about $1 for the pot and saucer.

    I sent two birthday cards from my stash; it is so odd to realize that it saved $10, but cards are expensive here.

    This weekend is a big library book sale - all books are $1 or 50 cents. That will be a fun sale to browse!

    I hope everyone has a nice weekend,

    1. Dear Kathy, It is sad about the roses but it is better to get them out and new things in. I have had to call a few things here "had it" and remove them. I hate giving up on plants though!
      Your cooking all sounds amazing! Just delicious and it is all better than anything you could buy and healthier for lunches, apart from the savings!
      I wish I could trade you for some Aloe. Aloe and Comfrey are two things I am wanting. I must get onto those...
      Last year I found bags of wooden cotton spools, all full and never been used. Like you I grabbed them. I was so thrilled! Thrift stores are amazing for sewing and craft supplies!! Cotton is getting very expensive and I think the old stuff is better quality. So between us we both did well on the sewing things from the thrift stores! The fancy scissors were great too, they are expensive here.
      In Australia it is nothing for a birthday card to cost $8 to $10. Hence when making your own the savings are huge!
      I am hoping you have great finds at the book sale! I bet you do! With love,

  5. Annabel you did so well and so glad you found a cheaper supermarket, got the matching plates to your tea cups and saucers and was able to get a big bag of bobbins with cottons on it too. What a blessing was the venison and fruit and rhubarb.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $161.15 in savings last week :).

    We have been concentrating on not spending money as we are making up for clothing we had to purchase (as we both lost weight) and the fan that died that we had to replace which left us a bit behind in our budget. Also we are saving to have our new oven installed by an electrician along with a couple more needed power points in the home.

    Blessings -

    - Our lovely neighbour gave us 350g of whiting fillets and around 500g of calamari as her family and boyfriend are avid fishermen.

    Earnings -

    - Made $44.39 from the sale of 2 5 layer luxury cotton eye masks in my eBay shop which I used to purchase a 30 m x 1 mt roll of flyscreen for the home and some fibre washers and o'rings for the inside house taps. We found we had run out of both tap washers and o'rings :o .
    - DH earned $60 from a mowing job and he used his earnings to purchase another 20 mt grey water/sullage hose for the home and put the rest away for our fortnightly splurge budget so we didn't have to take that out of our normal pays.

    Finances -

    - We used money we were in advance on in our splurge budget to top up our home emergency kitty and buy a tin of tyre leak repair foam for the ride on lawnmower tyre. More money that didn't come out of our usual pays that we can save.
    - I listed 10 items on eBay using a free listing and final auction value fee promotion saving $16.50 on usual listing fees.

    Purchases -

    - Bought a 30 x 1 m roll of fibreglass flyscreen, 20 tap o'rings and 20 fibre tap washers on eBay saving $45.12 over buying these in the local hardware store.
    - DH purchased another 20 m roll of sullage/grey water hose from the irrigation store saving $27 over buying it in the local hardware stores.

    Sewing -

    - I made 3 x plain coloured and 3 x patterned bread bags and another 3 dark coloured 5 layer cotton eye masks for my eBay store as I had sold out of them.

    In the kitchen -

    - Made a 1.02 kg batch of chocolate brownies from our homemade premix saving $55.67 over purchasing them in the local cafe's.
    - Made a single batch of coconut chocolate chip biscuits saving $7.01 over buying them in the local supermarket.
    - Made a loaf of fruit bread in the bread making machine saving $2.87 over purchasing it in the shops. We had a few pieces and froze the rest in bags of 2 in the freezer for future meals.
    - Made 2 loaves of bread in the breadmaker saving $6.98 over buying it in the local shops here.

    Water preservation -

    - Used grey water from our washing machine and grey water from our sullage tank to water ornamental potted plants, star jasmine, mulberry and our mandarin ? tree in the yard.
    - Used saved shower warm up water and dish rinsing water to water potted fruit and herb plants with.

    Hope everyone had a wonderful week :) .

    sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

  6. What a lovely productive week you have had, Annabelle. I am so glad the plates are matched up again in your house with the cups and saucers! Who else but you could have put them to their proper use? It is always good to stash things away for some future time. 3 dozen sausage rolls for example will come in handy! We have been eating out of our stash for a whole is so good to have this as a resource when required.

  7. This has been a bit of a spending week for me. Most unusual but does happen. Whilst shopping with my daughter she saw a dress on a rack and gave it to me to try on. I normally would have walked straight past but had a go. It fitted! It was beautiful. The sons Wedding is in September so this dress is going to be perfect. We walked past a shoe store and there was a pair of shoes perfect for the dress and I adored them. Wedding outfit is sorted.
    I have added a few assorted bits and pieces to the card making stock in my craft room. Cards have been made for both males and females. One went off with a soup bowl cozie for my Dad for his Birthday.
    I am in the process of updating the linens in my kitchen. Annabel sent me some gorgeous kookaburra fabric.
    I have been through my seeds and have worked out what needs to be used up and what needs to be replaced. Once we get some rain(I live in constant hope), it will be time to get the garden sorted. I have been doing small amounts during the evenings when it cools down.
    Bluey picked up some amazing meat specials this week. This has all gone into the freezer for future meals. The freezer had been getting low. All the frozen leftovers have now been used up. the freezer has been cleaned out and is now starting to look healthy again.
    A bit of an all over the place week. but a good one. The daugher also dropped a resume off in the morning and had the job in the afternoon. A casual position but one that still allows her to attend Uni and have a life.
    Life is good.

  8. A very quiet week here. I bought a lot of groceries on special and planned some cheap meals. Spent a lot of time in the garden getting it back under control. I took another bag of 16 things to savers and received a discount stamp on my card. I bought a few DVDS which were cheap even cheaper than getting a bus to the library and borrowing them. I have some cuttings to plant tomorrow and more things to sort and discard. I am proud to say that financially i am meeting my saving goals i havent bought anything new and am only spending 20$ per fortnight which i call my pocket money on second hand goods if anything catches my eye. I am even finding it difficult to spend that money. Looking forward to a week of cooler weather. Leanne

  9. Lucky!! I went to the thrift store Thursday hoping to find some sewing goodies and they had nothing :-( I was really disappointed, but...I may try Goodwill today. You really hit the jackpot as did a couple of other ladies up above! All your crochet looks lovely. I've started a C2C crochet shawl I will post when finished over on your FB page. Have a great weekend~Mary in SD xoxo

  10. I'm glad to hear about the cheaper, better grocery store. That will be such a help to you. We spent quite a bit of time on the house hunt this week and even looked at one house twice and I am glad we did because we saw all it's faults the second time. We were gone many days right up to mealtime but came home and ate every time instead of stopping to eat out, even the day we looked at a house 2 hours from home. My husband asked me this week where I really want to live and I had to admit that I want to live here in this house that is too big, too tall and too many stairs. I cannot imagine living anywhere else and just want to stay HOME. Clearly God has to work on my heart as well as show us our new house in His time.

  11. Dear Annabel,

    Thank you for replying to me about the eucalyptus oil...I will see if I can get some! And also for replying about the crocheted edges on towels. I was thinking just one edge, but wanted to check to see what you did! So I went ahead and put some on a dish towel I had embroidered...thanks for the advice!

    That is amazing that you found matching plates for those tea cups! And those bobbins are an amazing score. I always seem to need one in a different color than I already have filled...and no empty ones to put the new color on! Can a person have too many bobbins?? :)

    This has been a very busy week, mostly as I finally took the plunge, the no-going-back step of starting to rip off wallpaper in the main bathroom. This bathroom has been awful since we first moved in here, 9 1/2 years ago, but it is such a big job, we just haven't tackled it. One of the first things one of the kids did was rip the wallpaper and scratch the raised flocking so it looked ratty from day one. Ugh. Anyway, there are numerous issues in this room and before anything else can happen, the wallpaper has to come off. This, I have to admit, is one of my least favorite jobs, and I have had to remove it from each room we have done in this house. I did not grow up with wallpaper, and other than its use to hold in plastered walls (and there are a couple in this old house, but not in any of the rooms we've done so far), I just cannot fathom putting it up!! Especially since when you go to replace it, you have to remove the previous layer, and removing it is a huge chore!! And I'm not sure why wallpaper would be good in a bathroom, which gets moist. But anyway, I've been breaking the job up into an hour to 2 hours a day, and I've gotten quite a bit done.

    I also washed the outsides of the main floor windows this week, as we had one day that was above zero. Since we live so close to the ocean, we get salt, as well as dirt, all over our windows, and they really needed to be cleaned!!!

    Made jam-filled cookies, vanilla and plain yogurt, granola, sourdough bread, and corn tortillas. Sold 7 doz. eggs. Made a birthday card for my Mom. Repaired a hole in a glove. Embroidered a tea towel. I think that's about it!!! Sure kept me out of trouble, anyway!!

    Better get back to the wallpaper! :)

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      I was just a kid when my mom removed the wallpaper from our bathroom, but I remember it being such a chore. That is, until someone told us we could use a handheld steamer and it would come right off. I remember it working much better. If you have a lot to do, it might be worth looking into.
      Love, Kelsey

  12. Dear Annabel,
    How wonderful to find the matching plates to your tea cups! And also about the smaller grocery store. Our small local store is very expensive but they run the most amazing sales so I keep an eye out.
    It has been a week of produce here as well! It's so wonderful to be able to harvest from the garden. This week saw lots of that and I managed to get almost all of my carrots blanched and frozen or dehydrated. The rest will be stored in the refrigerator. We have been working on our use it up challenge and as a result, we have been emptying the pantry of things that we want to replace with healthier alternatives. The garden has really helped in that respect too because I am able to replenish the pantry despite using things up. I also stretched some ground venison by adding grated carrots and zucchini and making hamburger patties for the freezer.
    We didn't have to buy many groceries, but I did purchase some sale items.
    I was given some more clothes for John. I think we are set for a while!
    We ordered galvanized nesting boxes for our chickens, as they will be laying soon, and we used reward points to purchase them, so it didn't cost us anything! Colton put that together and hung it in the coop. He also took apart the porch swing my parents gave us and sanded, painted, and rebuilt it. It is hanging on our porch and it is just perfect.
    We were blessed by several friends this week and were given half a cheesecake, leftover spaghetti from a church function, a steak dinner with desert, and eggs from our neighbors. We are trying to be generous with our garden produce in return.
    A few small things were that I planted some calendulas in pots, I gathered our tax info so that can be processed, and I used free printables to create my own planner (inspired by Patsi!) for 2019. I also mended a few garments. My savings this week came to $316.68.
    I hope everyone has a lovely week ahead!
    Love, Kelsey

  13. Dear Annabel and Bluebirds, here I am today, and what a feast for the eyes as always. Those bobbins! I'd buy them just because they look pretty! I must find those cosmetic pens...what a stroke of genius. I'm mainly cooking and embroidering these days. The embroidery because it's portable of course, and cooking because, as always, that saves us so much money. Love, Mimi xxx

  14. I forgot to get any photos of the Valentines, but I'd like to be involved when cards are made for some of the other holidays. Maybe I can get some photos next time.

  15. Hi Annabel & Bluebirds

    How did the sprinkler test go Annabel?

    As always such an inspiring post. Those bobbins are such wonderful colours.

    Wondering if you have heard anything of Jen from Townsville?

    Last Monday I started making a quilt for DD8 to use in the winter on the lounge and was looking forward to going to sewing today until a migraine side tracked me last night and just not in the headspace to go today.

    Last week was filled with sewing, cooking and catching up with a friend for lunch. Some of the simple things in life are such fun

    Hope everyone has a wonderful week

    Take Care
    Aly xxx


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