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, 18 April 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 19th April, 2019.

It was another busy week!  The first thing was Harper came to stay with us over night on Saturday.  This was her first night away from Mum and Dad.  Well, she was just an angel and we did card making and we made a special book of photos and stickers.  She loved it!  She made everyone presents and was so proud of them!  She loved collecting the eggs and at night we went outside and looked at all the stars and the moon and she LOVED that as well!

Some of the ways I feathered the nest this week were:

I bought an organic chicken and made a big pot of chicken stock.  This is in readiness for cold and flu season.  I had that going in the slow cooker the whole day.  Thank you Sonia for reminding me to make some chicken soup ahead.
Next I took some of the stock and made chicken soup with plenty of bay leaves, garlic, onion, celery etc which we had for dinner on two nights.  
I froze batches of the stock ready to make more.  I have everything on hand to make chicken soup at any time.

This week I planted out some garlic that was shooting so hopefully I will have a whole row of garlic.
Then I planted Brussel Sprouts.  Andy doesn't like them but Dad does so I added those to a little space I had.

Tuesday morning Luke came to the door holding a tiny newborn lamb.  I had told him this year I will take a couple of orphan lambs and calves.  It was on my shopping list for Wednesday to get ready for this and buy milk powder, teats etc.  But this was Tuesday!  I had nothing!
I took the lamb from him and off he went!   It was so small and I don't think it ever had a drink.  Luke said the Mum was dead.   Andy was on his way home from an appointment... so I messaged him and he was able to stop in town and get teats and milk powder.  Then I Googled how to make a colostrum replacer and followed that.  I did 600 mis milk, one beaten egg and a spoon of castor oil.  You feed this until it is all gone then go on to lamb formula.  The first day I thought the lamb would die as it was very weak.
However lo and behold after the first couple of drinks he brightened up and now he follows me everywhere!  He is still extremely tiny so he is on six feeds a day.

In the shed there was a giant box and I made this into a lamb play pen.   It is also warm and safe at night.  Now I need a little enclosure on the grass for day time.  

When I did shop I also got calf milk and so now I am ready for anything!   I hope to take him and his bottles with me to see the girls!  Then they can feed and nurse him. 

I had frozen pasty mix left over when I made bulk pasties.  I got that out and make some more as I now had fresh pastry supplies.

Andy went to the city and brought back a fridge and chest freezer.  These were in the shed at Mums house and we used to share them.  Now no one is in the city anymore we brought them back here.  So I have an additional freezer!   The fridge will be for when shearers are here, they need milk and drinks etc.   So these are a huge helpful addition. 

I am Easter cooking.  Yesterday I made chocolate cakes for Chloe and Luke.   I did not buy Easter eggs, instead I cook for everyone.

Then I made Quiches in King sized muffin trays and these are going over today as there is a working bee to pull down and old shed.

Today I am making more Quiches to take to Lucy and Easter biscuits (cookies) which will be bunnies with marshmallow tails.  (hopefully!)

I now have beautiful stove kettle.  It is mainly for when the fire is going we can have free hot water everyday.  I love it!

During the week I made over some jugs and vases I got for $3 each at the op shop.   I almost forgot to take a before photo and had started painting but you can see the bright colours and designs still kind of...

I have finished two of them.  The third will be different.

I love them now!   The nests are just a paper serviette. 

From having Harper here I am inspired to make a fairy garden so I have started on that...  maybe some pictures next week.

So that was my week!   I hope it was a good week for you too.  How did you get ahead, save, build up your pantry and feather your nest this week?  

Have a very Blessed Easter!  xxx


  1. I am glad the lamb survived! Your jugs are so pretty now

    1. Thank you so much! Have a very happy Easter!! We have a little bit of rain today so that is a bonus! xxx

  2. Dear Annabel,

    You've had another lovely week! The lamb is precious! I'm glad you were able to rescue it. Harper and Scarlet are going to love it, too.

    We're still enjoying spring weather. I have always wished for a little rose garden and finally have an area with 6 large pots of roses in varied colors that are all blooming and looking pretty. We picked the last of our tangelos and grapefruit, along with almost the last of the neighbors' lemons and grapefruit. I'll take most of it to the food pantry this weekend. Got a box off to the granddaughter in WA for Easter. Older grands are in town. Planing to get together with them, family and friends for Easter. I have food planned from the pantry or picked up on sale for the get togethers--sweet potatoes, fruit salad, fruit and green salad to go with what others are providing or bringing. The plastic eggs are stuffed with candy and little toys that I'm bringing for an Easter egg hunt for some of the little ones on Easter Day.

    Withing you and the Beautiful Bluebirds a Blessed and Happy Easter!
    Love from Arizona, USA

    1. Dear Elaine, Happy Easter! It is Easter Sunday here and raining!
      It is lovely that you have roses now. I love roses. Your Easter cooking sounds beautiful. You would have been busy with all the produce but it is wonderful to have it.
      Enjoy your day! The egg hunt will be so sweet. Get photos! With much love,

  3. Oh Annabelle I love the jugs. Never thought to do that idea! Instructions please :)

    1. Dear Mum 2-8 Thank you! I simply did many very fine coats of spray paint (from cheap shop) then cut out the design of the serviette. Very carefully feel away the layers so you only have one layer the top layer. I used aquadhere and water to make a thin glue paste and painted this on where I wanted the nest to go then smoothed it out. Then later varnished it lightly with the same mix. Any clear glue will do. Thats it! I have a bird print to go on the last one. I really like them they would be expensive in a store as they are quite large. I will have more vases for the wild flowers in spring! With love

  4. Annabel the little lamb is just adorable and no doubt will be your best mate and follow you everywhere. Your baking looks divine as usual :).

    We spent most of the week pulling down the last of the huge grapeyard vineyard so didn't get a lot accomplished.

    Finances & listings -
    - Paid our 6 monthly water bill for the property and we used only 70lts of town water per day average for the two of us :).
    - Paid our usual fortnightly mortgage repayment.
    - Listed 10 free listings on eBay saving $16.50 on usual listing fees.

    Home organisation and cleaning -
    - Cleaned out and swept the garage where my car lives after we sprayed it for Redback spiders last week.
    - Vacuumed my car and DH washed it and now it doesn't look like a red dust ball anymore :).
    - I swept the cement paths down one side of the house to get rid of dust and leaves.

    In the kitchen -
    - Cooked all meals and 3 loaves of bread saving $10.47 over buying it locally.

    In the gardens -
    - Pulled down the rest of the grapeyard vineyard and cut the post in half where a tap was connected and put all the good posts in the leanto shed.
    - Cut the not in good condition wood up with the chainsaw making just over a cubic metre more of firewood to add to our winter firewood supplies saving $240 over buying it.

    Hope everyone has had a great week too :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna, It is great you cold use that wood as firewood. Fire wood is so expensive! Also I am not sure if you are taking down just posts etc or actual vines... but I would love to lay my hands on long vine prunings to make wreaths. When green they are so easy to make. I have vineyards all so close by but cant seem to get long vines!
      Good that the garage is now useable and spider free! And the car is clean. Mine needs a good clean. It has been so dusty here. I might clean the inside as at least that has a hope of staying clean for a little while.
      I am glad you had another good week! Week by week there is progress! It is lovely to see how far we have come in a few months. Wishing you a very Happy Easter. With love

    2. Hi Annabel and happy Easter to you and your family too :).

      We took down the vines and the posts from the grapeyard enclosure. The grapevines had not been watered in 18 months as the house was vacant so unfortunately they died a natural death and were all crumbly otherwise I would have kept them.

      Just an idea if you do have commercial vineyards around you is to ask them next time they prune could they keep some for you and give them your phone number. Quite often they will happily do this giving them less rubbish to get rid of.

      You are right we have both made a mountain of progress since moving into our 2 new homes :).

      Have a wonderful week ahead :) .

      Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

  5. Annabel, the lamb is so cute and I love your 'Harper' ideas. I will have to remember to do that with my grands. That's a good idea to have stock ready to make chicken soup in anticipation of the upcoming cold and flu season. When you're sick, the last think you want to think about is cooking. Your jug is beautiful, I can't wait to see what you do with the other two.

    1. Dear Patsi, Have a wonderful Easter! It is raining here, although very gently. I love to have everything on hand in case anyone is unwell. So I am organised now. My fairy cupboard and garden are coming along. It is really fun to do! With much love

  6. There is nothing like having the grandchildren all to yourself when they spend the night! That wee lamb is just adorable.

    We really feathered our pantry this week with deal after deal on so many things. We are getting ready for a week in Florida and will leave in the morning. My Mom will turn 80 on Monday and I am so glad we can be there to celebrate with her.

    Happy Easter!

    1. Dear Lana, You would have travelled by now so I hope you had a good trip and tomorrow your Mum has a beautiful Birthday. She will have a lovely day with you being there. I am so glad you found so many great deals! Have a very happy and Blessed Easter! With much love,

  7. Oh what a memorable weekend for both you and Harper. That is just precious.
    LOVE the baby lamb - oh my goodness, the sweetest.

    Have a lovely Easter with your loved ones!

    1. Wishing you a very Blessed Easter also Cheryl! Thank you! xxx

  8. That is wonderful you could mix up colostrum substitute. Fascinating. And it worked!! What a precious little creature (lambs always make me think of the Lamb of God) -- I'm so thankful Luke and you are so caring of the animals. I love your new tea kettle! Awesome you and Harper could stargaze together :). I was amazed at the full moon here last night--had to gaze at it for a while.
    I finished a shawl from some yarn my niece gave me; it's kinda ugly, but I'll still post it Tuesday ;). I bought 2 Pioneer Woman tea towels and did some crochet edging on one so far. I LOVE how it turned out.
    Plan on making some Hot Cross Buns today and an upside-down pizza (old recipe from Betty Crocker cookbook).
    A very blessed, Happy Easter/Passover to you all...and Good Friday today here.
    Mary B

    1. Dear Mary, We had the most beautiful full moon too! It was a deep yellow and just beautiful. We sat out looking at it too.
      Well done on the shawl! I really like the Pioneer Woman crockery and kitchen towels etc that I have seen. They would look amazing with crochet edgings!
      Wishing you a very Happy and Blessed Easter too! With much love

  9. I'm sure Harper had great fun at your place! What lovely memories you are making with her. And what an adorable lamb! You must sometimes feel like you are living in a fairy tale:-)

    1. Wishing you a very Happy Easter!! I do love how full and busy life is here. It is full of goodness. xxx

  10. Dear Annabel,
    Your week sounds so lovely especially the overnight with Harper. The baby lamb is just precious. I love what you've done with the vase and pitchers. You've inspired me to try my hand at decoupage soon. All the cooking and baking is wonderful. If you were in the US 16 the size of a small muffin pan would have cost $70 in an advertisement I saw.

    This week from some of the tomatoes that got put in the freezer last year, were made into cream of tomato soup. Dandelion head were harvested and made into dandelion honey. Enough was made to use for gift giving. Roasted a chicken and made bone broth with the carcass.Did a little shopping for fresh vegetables only. I'm continuing to cut out and kit up items to be sewn at a later time. This week I cut a dozen microwave soup bowl potholders/ soup cozies, and matching napkins. This will be a great help having all of these things cut out as gardening and canning season come along. I found 2 metal trellises for the vegetable garden to use to vine up things. We got the estimate for the windows we need. Tomorrow will be a big baking day. Did all of the usual fluffing and dusting. Wishing all of the Bluebirds a blessed Easter and/or Passover. Blessing, Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie,
      The vases to me all came down to an image I love. And that fits into my farmhouse/country theme. I am really pleased with them and they will be really useful.
      The soup sounds just lovely and the honey. Also the honey and broth sound so good. Very nutritious. I love the idea of a soup cozy with a matching napkin. It sounds like you are coming into a very busy time... where as we are going into winter soon. We have to do what the season dictates and make the most of the time. Have a very Happy and Blessed Easter! With much love,

  11. Oh my goodness. The lamb is so sweet. The girls are going to fall in love.

    1. They did! I took the lamb with me yesterday along with bottles ready to go! Big success! Wishing you a very Happy Easter! With much love

  12. Oh Annabel, great minds think alike. With the boys here so often I was thinking of setting up a fairy garden for them too. The dollar store here has loads of little things but I love the ones with repurposed items in too.

    It was a busy week with a lot of work in the yard until I ran out of mulch, so it was down to weeding...and poison ivy. I had a doctor visit when I found it spreading rapidly and not responding to treatment with essential oil. At the doctor's office, I was asked if I'd like a work at home job...So my resume is going in on Monday! Life is getting more and more full...and I love it!

    1. Dear Terri, In the cheap store they had a heap of cute little things and I like natural elements too. i.e. if you cut up a twig you can get little stepping stones. There was a lady there doing same as me for boys... she picked out little toadstools, frogs, lizards, and hers was going to have dinosaurs!
      Wow to being offered a job while at the doctors! I hope you are ok from the poison ivy. We dont have that here so I dont know what it does but it sounds bad!
      Have a very Happy Easter! With much love

  13. Annabel I adore the idea of a fairy garden. In Toowoomba I was walking along a street looking at gorgeous gardens. I noticed that at the base of a number of the large street trees there were little doors and lamp posts. These were the homes of the fairies that lived in that area. It was just gorgeous.
    That lamb is a sweetie. I wonder if he might end up being a pet for life?
    Your jugs look amazing. They look so much better now they have had an Annabel makeover. I'm looking forward to seeing the final one.

    I have been experimenting with the embroidery machine that my son and DIL gifted to me. I have been going through the patterns and have been making these up into a bit of a sampler. This is just for me to let me know the size and the colours that could be used on future projects. I did make up a set of 6 serviettes with a butterfly on each. These are for me and I love them.
    I baked up some triple choc muffins and some lemon curd butterfly cakes for Easter. The chocolate muffins are for us and the butterfly cakes have gone home with our daughter as her Easter gift.
    I hope you have a safe and blessed Easter with family. Happy and safe Easter to my fellow Bluebirds.

    1. Dear Jane, I love the street you described! There was one house near where we used to live which had a fairy door, pathway and little ladder leaving against the tree. So gorgeous.
      The lambs are lovely when little. When they grow up they drive you mad as you have a full grown sheep that wants to sit on your doormat all day!
      You are doing a wonderful job with the embroidery machine. Many people have things like this and never fully use it just because of the learning factors. Fully utilising it will give you so many amazing options and so much fun! Everything so far has looked perfect!
      I saw your chocolate muffins. They looked amazing. I decided baking was the way to go too. Much better value.
      Wishing you and Bluey a very Happy Easter, With love

  14. This post made me smile Annabel!
    What a lovely time you had with Harper, she will look forward to staying again I'm sure! Especially with a new lamb to play with!

    I think it is wonderful that you cook for everyone for Easter, what a good idea. I would never have thought to paint vases or jugs like you have - genius! They have turned out so well.

    We have had a week of school holidays, and a vomiting bug that now four of our six children have had. We were over 4 days clear after the third finished, so thought that it was done. But unfortunately not! So we have hardly left the house since school finished. It has been a week of amazing sunshine which is very lucky at this time of year, so the washing line has been full every day. I'm so happy to have been able to dry all of the bedding and towels outside. Despite the illness it's actually been a very enjoyable week of staying home and taking it easy. That said, it will be nice to be done with it!

    I've done lots of baking, including hot cross buns on Friday, those who are not sick still eat a lot! I have completed 14 letters of the cross stitch alphabet for my daughter, so am on track to finish by her birthday. I have banned myself from any other projects while I get this done as I think momentum is the key lol.

    I decided that this year I want to have Christmas presents for everyone other than my children sorted by the end of June. I have been purchasing gifts as I find them, including some packs of things like candles and perfumes that can be split up to create more than one present. (I stole that idea from you lol). I want to sew gift bags so that I use less wrapping paper, so will try to get that sorted by the end of June as well. That will help me work through some of my fabric stash too!

    Wishing everyone a lovely Easter,

    Jen in NZ

    1. Dear Jen, That bug is going around here. Lucy and the girls have now had it. Awful. The minimalists all have posts on only having two towels per person and sets of linen etc. Thank goodness Lucy had lots of spares. The washing was endless. You were lucky with sunshine! I hope you are all better now! I remember your hot cross buns I think from last year. Well done! I love your idea on buying the packs on special and splitting them up. Absolutely! Yes I have done it on some things.... I watch for bulk packs of things etc and it can work out so well! Just takes a little time and re packaging. Like with pens... a bulk pack of pretty ones then I open it up and add one pen to each of the homemade note books. I need to watch out for some more good deals!
      Have a very Happy Easter with your family! With much love

  15. Dear Annabel,
    That little lamb looks so sweet! I bet the girls will be so excited. It sounds like Harper had a wonderful time staying with you. You are creating such beautiful experiences and memories for her!
    This week John and I were struck down with bad allergies. We are both feeling much better now, but it made for a rough week. Colton worked two 48 hour shifts this week too so we are all tired!
    We have had some new and exciting developments on the ranch these past few weeks. First, we have bees!!! We didn't know we had them until Colton went down to our "junk" pile (far away from our house) looking for something. He noticed a bunch on a bush and buzzing around an old wooden spool of cable. He called a beekeeping friend over and the friend said our bees are more gentle than his and judging by the size of the hive it looks like they have been here for about 3-4 years. They were able to get a sampling of the honey and comb and oh WOW! It is absolutely delicious. We feel like we have discovered a gold mine! Colton has ordered a proper hive and bee suit :) I am thinking of so many possibilities with honey and beeswax too!
    Colton also talked to the manager at our local grocery store about taking all of the bad produce they throw out for our chickens and compost. The manager said the owner can't allow him to just give it away, but he does not mind if someone picks it up once it is sitting out by the dumpster. The manager told us what time they usually set it out so guess what we have been doing :) The best part is, with a lot of the produce, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it at all, so I just keep it for us! Now I am not eating anything bad or rotten obviously, but one very tiny spot on a tomato can be cut out, and peppers that are just starting to lose their firmness are still ok. The potatoes in my pantry look worse than what they throw out lol. The chickens are happy with the rest.
    Colton has also started work on our new garden shed and coop. I am beyond excited. Some girls dream of shoe closets and exotic vacations, but this is my dream. We have been saving and saving for this and it is nice to see the start of what we have been working so hard for. Colton loves to build things and he is equally as addicted to chickens as I am so this is really fun for both of us. I will send progress photos.
    As for housekeeping, I feel I am finally caught up on a lot of what I had fallen behind in. I just kept on doing a little at a time and thinking of what Mimi says- do the next thing. It feels so good to be able to get ahead and be on top of everything. I need to start writing things down again each week so I can report!
    I hope everyone has a good week to come!
    Love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey,

      I didn't get a chance to comment on your market table, so I just wanted to say here how lovely your aprons were and what a great idea about the potted plants!! Your table looked very stylish and well set up...I hope it went well!

      This is very exciting about the bees! I can almost taste that honey, just reading about it! I am very happy for you!

      xx Jen in NS

  16. Dear Annabel,

    I have been missing in action from blog land for awhile, and haven't had a chance to comment on anything. Firstly, a belated blessed Easter to you and your family! Ours was wonderful and involved a baptism, which made it even better. I am very excited about your little bottle lamb! I've been thinking, when is she going to get a miniature goat??? But a lamb is just as good! :) I am so glad to hear that your granddaughters are close enough to be able to come over occasionally and spend the night. That sounds like a lot of fun for both you and Harper!

    The bathroom reno is coming along. It's all the little finishing things now that are taking up time...touching up painting and caulking, etc. We should be done completely by the end of next week! The last big job I have to do is to paint the door and frame, which is kind of finicky, but will look so much cleaner and brighter when it is done.

    It is very wet here know what they say about April showers! I have just a few seeds started, but it will be awhile before I can really get out in the garden.

    Oh, before I forget...I love the jug makeovers! You are a clever lady to see the potential in items!

    xx Jen in NS

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