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 27 June 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 28th June, 2019.

This week went really fast and was super busy!  But it was productive with lots to be thankful for.
First of all on Friday we got our puppy!  Dad said to get a dog. I was thinking this. Rosanne confirmed it.   And there were farm puppies.  Lucy's family adopted a dog that wasn't very wanted or loved when Harper fell in love (and I mean LOVE) with this dog a farm worker had.  Their love become so obvious in the end the worker said "take the dog!" and so they had an instant dog.  I was very cautious. You do not trust an unknown dog with children.  However it turned out that Kelly was the most patient loving dog ever.  She became a family member in a day.
When the girls wake from a sleep they say "where is Kelly?" and Kelly turned out to be the most excellent working dog and helps Kato during the day. She is the hardest worker ever.
However one day I asked if they realised Kelly was pregnant?  No apparently they did not.  I told the girls "You are getting puppies!!" and they were dancing around saying "yippee yippee" while Mum and Dad looked shocked.  I predicted the puppies would be born on Andy's birthday.  and they were born the evening before!!  It was pretty exciting!
And NINE puppies were born!   So one dog turned into TEN! (sorry to everyone who already knows this story!)

You can see how much Harper loves this dog and it loves her back.  Scarlett loves her too!

From the litter we chose a girl and one that was less mad keen on chasing sheep.

We chose this little one and named her Scout.

Well, she has been so good and we just love her!!  We are in a little routine now and she is happy and we are happy!

Meanwhile the older lambs are almost ready to wean.  The middle lambs including Jellybean are doing well.  And Blossom, the baby is going along well too.  I managed to get a photo of them all sun baking after being fed with smug and happy looks on their faces.  Blossom at the end is the funniest of them all! haha!

Some of the ways we build up our home, preparedness and pantry and saved money included:

Dad had given us a leg of venison. I roasted one half and it was beautiful.  I am now slicing it for many meals.

I made a few dozen man sized pasties. These fed everyone plus gave me many freezer meals. They are rustic but taste good!

A couple of days later I realised oops I have a whole packet of puff pastry left over in the fridge.  I was inspired by Mel S and Wendy to made trays of pinwheels with cheese, bacon and tomato paste.   Again they fed everyone!

I was sewing lots of custom made door snakes for Lucy's house. She has beautiful old fashioned french doors but they leak a lot of air.   And it is really cold. So I made eight to fit just right.

Then I went on and made four wheat heat packs for the girls... same reason... it is really cold down at their farm!

Speaking of cold, we had several severe frosts.  We have some garden damage from this.  But we are learning this is our first winter here after all.

I picked more broccoli from our garden to go with our meals.

We planted three more fruit trees.  With all the trees we planted we still needed an apricot and an orange. I added another lemon.  They are all in with tree guards around them.  Now we have an orchard of twenty fruit trees!   I am so thrilled about this as it was a major goal.

I was able to give eggs as a gift of help.
I made a big batch of pumpkin soup for us and also as a gift of help.

Tomorrow we are off to see the girls and I can't go without cakes.  I used up the last of my little decorations on this lot.

So that about sums up my week.  Of course a normal week involves all the usual cooking, cleaning, washing, family Birthdays, shopping and so on.  It is so much!  People say "oh what do you do with yourself?" as if surely I must lay in bed all day dying of boredom.   This is why it is good to review your days and week.  We have a good answer full of industry and productivity!   I have a fair idea of how much I saved.  I keep track of things we added to the pantry, freezer... how we are tracking at being more self sufficient and more prepared.  We are making hay while the sun shines!  

How did you build up your home this week?   I hope it was full of opportunity for you! xxx

Friday 21 June 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 21st, June, 2019.

What a week!  Good things to report!  And an exciting day today!  I am sorry this post is late.  It is because my internet has been bad and pictures would not load.

First things first.  As you know Dad comes over often and seems to love seeing what we have been doing, how the calf is, how the veggie garden is doing...  I was telling him a couple of weeks ago that it was almost time to plant bare rooted fruit trees (as it is winter here) and how much I want to add to the orchard.  We have a lovely rabbit proof fenced area with three big old fruit trees in there.  These are the trees everyone told me had no fruit yet we had tons of beautiful delicious pic apples and two types of pears from them!
Next thing I had a message from Mum.  Dad had ordered me ten fruit trees and I just had to pick them up in town!  I was so excited.  What a beautiful gift!  In fact I could hardly think of a nicer gift or more meaningful either.  Dad also picked out the exact trees he thought would be good.
So much of the week revolved around these trees.  I picked them up on Tuesday and we were told to plant them as soon as possible.
I knew we would need tree guards because of the animals.  Andy set to work to make them.

Then yesterday Luke came over with the farm Bobcat.  This little tractor is the handiest thing!   We placed the tree guards where we thought worked well, we lined then up with the established trees and formed three rows.  Luke dug deep holes in no time flat.   This is the paddock with Laffie and the lambs.  They seemed to enjoy is and bounded around and inspected everything.

I added two buckets of sheep manure to each hole and planted the trees.  Then the tree guards went on and next they get steel droppers to hold them in place.

We now have an orchard!   This area we now have thirteen trees but overall we now have seventeen fruit trees!   We will have a couple to add as Apricot and Orange are missing and we need those.

So this was a great amount of progress for the week.

During the week some of the ways we got ahead, saved etc included...

I cut Andy's hair.
Mum gave Andy three beautiful pure wool jumpers.
I made sour dough gluten free bread.
I picked Parsley and was able to give a bunch to Dad and a bunch to Chloe.
I made a big batch of spaghetti sauce.  This made two meals, a meal for each of the girls plus a meal for the freezer.
I made Play Doh for the girls.
To use eggs I made six cups of baked egg custard.
We added hay to the animals shed as it has started to get really gold.  We hit freezing last night and will again the next few nights.
I made a batch of gluten free scones...

Today Mum is coming and we are heading south to see Lucy and the girls.  I made a chocolate cake to take.  It is decorated with what I could find in my tin of cake decorations.

Last week I shared a very sad photo of an orphan lamb that I rescued and it was in very bad shape.  I did not expect her to survive.

This is her now!   We named her Blossom.  She has been a lot of work as she does not suck a bottle properly.  But she is so gorgeous.

Lambs are just the strangest animals.  Within about three days they go from out in the paddock to loving you like crazy and wanting to live in the house and watch tv.  Like they know everything!

During the week I finally had a little time to sew.  The first thing I made was something to help me feed so many lambs.  It was kind of an experiment but it worked!!   I sewed bags to put bottles in and hang from the fence.

These have helped me so much and saved me so much time.

The only glitch was I had to adjust how I tied them on because at first I tied bows and Laffie came along and undid them!   I was amazed.

Since then I beat her and tied them on with a knot and now it works!

I made pillowcases for the girls plus a batch of multi coloured play doh.

So the reason today is extra exciting is we are getting a puppy!  Like I need more animals, right?
I had thought about having a dog.  Dad said too how we should have a dog and how having one would be good security.  And now we have the chance and we get her today!

I took a photo of the garden near the kitchen door.  This has a parsley edge I planted all from seeds from the old house.

This time last year we didn't know we were moving for sure.  When we did move this area was sand and weeds.  Now I pick from it every day!

So that was my week!  I am very pleased as we were able to add to our preparedness very much!  We saved in many ways and it was wonderful!

I hope you found ways to save, get ahead, increase your pantry and preparedness and generally build up your home.  Looking well to the ways of your household includes so many things!   It is beautiful to look back over the week before we begin to plan the next one.

Have a lovely weekend! xxx

Tuesday 18 June 2019

The Tuesday Afternoon Club. June report.

There have been so many wonderful ideas shared and The Swap Party as well over at The Tuesday Afternoon Club.  Now and then I have a post here for the ladies without Facebook.  This gives us an extra dose of hand made goodness!

Firstly we have Cookie.  I am excited about this one.  This tiered skirt is very like a skirt both my girls loved when they were little.

Best of all Cookie made it from some fabric from sheets she got for 25c each from the thrift store.  And she would have miles of fabric for other projects!    Now here is the pattern which you can make in any size...

Here's the formula for the skirt. Measure the waist at the natural waistline. Multiply that measurement by 1.5. for the second tier multiply the original waist measurement by 2. For the third tier multiply by 2.5. Next decide how long you want the skirt to be from you waist down. Divide that number by 3 in  order to get the length of each tier. Now add about an inch to the width of each tier  to allow for seam allowance. 

1st tier -- see the side seam and then turn under the top to make a casing, leaving space to put the elastic in later. For the girls I would probably use elastic that's about 3/8  inch wide. So make the casing accordingly. For myself I use 1 inch non-rolling elastic and make the casing 1 1/4 inches.

2nd tier-- sew side seam and then gather at the top and pin to the bottom of the first tier placing the gathers evenly.

3rd tier--see the side seam. Turn up the bottom hem about 1/4 inch, press and then fold over itself. Stitch up on the machine. Hem done.  Gather the top and attach to the bottom of second tier. 

Cut elastic same size as waist measurement and run it through the casing. Overlap it and see down. Close the casing.  It's finished!!!.

Thank you so much Cookie!  I will be making these up for the girls.  They will love them! 

Next Cookie made bowl cosies. They are so good as they both keep a bowl of food warmer and stop you burning your hands.  The solution too when you are having a bowl of soup on the couch or sick in bed.

Beautiful gift bags, cards and gift boxes...

The box is filled with homemade fudge! 

And Dandelion Honey! 

Cookie you always come up with so many beautiful things.

Jen in NS worked on knitted projects.  Her knitting is so divine my Aunt went to great lengths to get her hands on some!  In the end mittens travelled from Nova Scotia to South Australia!  
Look at this wonderful work.   It all looks so warm and cozy.  Just divine Jen.

Chloe made the cutest Easter little cakes.  

She found good packaging boxes in the cheap shop which made them look wonderful for gifts.

Clare made bubble bath and filled gorgeous containers from the op shop.  How lovely it looks!  Clare your photo looks like it is straight out of a magazine!

So many lovely ideas!  I hope I have not forgotten anyone... it has been just ages since I did one of these posts.  As it is this is late in the day.  I had a day going in to town for supplies.  I started feeding lambs and the calf at 7am and then next thing I needed to bath the little lamb she was in such a serious mess.  I have never bathed a sheep before.  It didn't do a lot for me getting out the door on time!  Anyway she didn't seem to mind at all and wagged her tail even.  And it turns out sheep shake off water exactly the same as dogs do when they do that big shake after a bath!  Lucky I was not dressed yet just in my dressing gown.  Now the worlds grubbiest lamb is white as snow!   So this is how my day went and here I am posting late!

I hope your week is going well!   If you are able come over to the Facebook group and see what everyone has been making plus some op shop finds!   We are almost mid year now.  I am on track for Christmas and Birthdays provided I keep going at the same pace!

See you on Friday! xxx

Thursday 13 June 2019

Feather your nest Friday, 14th June, 2019.

What a busy week!  We had a few days of sunshine after rain.  So we got stuck into cleaning up dead trees and mess in the yards immediately around the house.   We did our own house yard in Spring before the fire bans came in.  Now we can get back to it.  We have had sixteen bonfires and some of them burned all day and all night.  A lot of the branches and logs are big and heavy.  I am bruised, scratched and tired and I have muscles on my muscles lol!  Every night I soaked in a hot bath with epsom salts!

As we do this clear ground is revealed and grass can grow.  It looks quite park like and beautiful.
In between burning the sticks and leaves we cut, loaded and stated for firewood.   

During the week I made apple crumble (still using up apples) and GF bread.  I made the most perfectly risen bread ever then I burned the top... but still salvaged it!

I also made GF Naan bread and froze a stack of spares.

I used up a big chunk of venison in a Tikka Masala Curry.  It was just beautiful.  That's to the slow cooker this was a big help.

Also made yoghurt for the week. (And some went into the Naan bread)

Lots of time went into the gang.  All seem to be doing well.  

It is a bit of a circus with three different feeding schedules and two formulas.  

When Dad comes over he inspects the calf and says she is doing well.  Also she chases cars but thankfully in the paddock not along the road! 

They all get on well together and play "you can't catch me" and run around madly in the sunshine then you see they have all gone to sleep in the sun snuggled up together.  Calling them scallywags would be an understatement! 

A big thing this week was achieving a goal we set for this year.  This was to install two new rainwater tanks in the backyard as the ones here are old and rusted out and leaking.   We had them on order after shopping around and finally the day came.  It involved a crane to lift out the old tanks and life in the new ones.  Removal of a rusty old tower with a small tank right at the top. Generally big mess and many guys here working on it.  To me this is a beautiful sight! 

There is only one thing better than new rainwater tanks and that is rain!  And it rained all night!  I think in the next few days we will have full tanks!  Clean. clear, pure rainwater!

On Wednesday I went to feed Chloe and Luke's dogs as they were away.  This turned into an adventure as when I drove in the driveway I saw a lamb on it's own in terrible condition.  I could see no mother and it appears deserted.  I left it for another hour while I did the dog feeding etc. (to see if a Mother might appear) and went back.  It could not walk or stand.  It was filthy and soaked wet through and shivering.  There was just no mother and it didn't get in this shape being looked after.   I couldn't leave it there.  It was in fact the saddest sight as I thought the last lamb was going to die but this one seemed beyond helping. 

This was how she looked when I got her home in front of the fire...

Now she doesn't look like this now and I hope she will soon look like the lambs above.  I hope next week I can show you how she is doing.   This lamb has been hard to get going. 

The sudden arrival of this lamb tested out my animal preparedness pantry.  It worked so well. I had the right sized bottle and teat, colostrum, blankets and everything I needed right there.  It was wonderful and easy!

Yesterday Mum and I headed off to see the girls.  Mum had not been well and so this was our first trip together again in a few weeks.   There was only one thing to do and that was take the lamb with us.
At one stage Mum was driving and I was nursing the lamb wrapped up in a towel and trying to get a bottle into her.   

I made a tray of biscuits for the girls.  Of all the choices they wanted Bunny Biscuits (like at Easter) so there I was decorating these at 9 pm Wednesday night!

So it was a busy week!  
Today I am trying to have a catch up kind of day.  There is a lot to do.  

I really hope you had a week full of opportunities to get ahead, add to your savings, pantry and preparedness.   It is so good to consider our week and be thankful for our blessings. 

Have a wonderful weekend! xxx

Thursday 6 June 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 7th June, 2019.

It was a very nice week.  The whole farm is looking green and today is a beautiful sunny day which will help the grass grow.

While it is fine and not raining we are having daily bonfires and wood cutting.  This is cleaning up our surrounds and making next summer safer plus building our woodpile.  It is beautiful being outside in the winter sun.

Some of the ways I saved, got ahead and made progress this week were:

I made a couple of tins of biscuits to take to the girls and keep at home.  Luckily four and two year olds are easily impressed with my flowers!  This is my Honey Gingerbread recipe and it is so delicious.

I used my gluten free sour dough starter to make some fruit bread for toasting.  I do not find it rises as much as regular sour dough but it is delicious none the less. I slice and freeze it ready to go.

Mum gave me a giant chunk of roasting meat and I roasted it with  heaps of vegetables.  I plated up our roast meals plus two more and poured gravy over the top.  I LOVE doing this as then you have a kind of homemade TV dinner to reheat.  The left overs made several lunches and tonight they are a shepherds pie.  

I had so much beautiful mail including cards and letters from the Swap Party.  This was a photo I took earlier in the week.  New supplies!  

Our mail comes Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.  I fly down to the letter box for my mail.  It is lovely!  Thank you to everyone who took part in the swap and I hope you have been having glorious parcels arrive too!

In the garden I have a whole patch of broccoli ready to start picking!   

I had op shop success with a set of flannelette sheets for $5 and a bag of cottons.  Also some lovely floral fabric. 

With animals now a part of farm life and the possibility of orphans arriving at any time I decided I needed to keep on hand everything I need.  This seems to be like with sick children... everything happens on weekend and public holidays and in the middle of the night.  So I need everything on hand.  I set up a new pantry!  Behind the door in the laundry I had a space.  Andy put up these shelves for me.   I rearranged my cupboards and had all these containers available to use for teats, formulas, medicines, bedding, bottles, funnels, leads, collars, you name it.

The wine rack part of the shelves is for feeding bottles.   How handy is that!?   This has already made life easier and I will continue to build up supplies as I can.

Setting this up causes a big re arrange and now my poor pantry is in better shape as many things I had in there came out to the laundry.  This means I have more kitchen pantry space to stock up.  It is so much better! 

The lambs and calf are taking a fair bit of my time.  But to see them out playing in the sunshine is so lovely.  

This is the baby.   She has been named Jellybean by a lovely young girl named Maggie who loves sheep.   This lamb is a week old now but was so tiny!  She still is tiny hence the warm coat!  

During the day they all play together in the yard with the calf. At night they go in a warm bed in the shed. 

Laffie has grown and bounds around like a manic and moo's very loudly when she decides it is breakfast or dinner. 

She is really playful and funny.  When cars come in the driveway she tries to race them up to the gate.

When I needed a rest this week I sat and made some gift tags and packaged them up.

So that was my week!  I have been sleeping well as hauling branches and logs for fires is pretty good exercise.  But each area we get cleaned up I am thrilled with.  Over the next few weeks this will all be an enormous job.  

How did you build up your home, add to your pantry, get ahead and feather your nest this week?  I hope it was a good week for you.  I hope opportunities came your way!  We have been very blessed with all kinds of ways to get ahead. It is so exciting to see how week by week we have been able to make so much progress in setting up a true homestead and becoming more self reliant.  Chipping away at things works!  Today with the sun shining on it my vegetable garden looks so beautiful!  This time last year that garden did not exist.  This time last year we weren't even sure we were moving!   
Take every opportunity and go for it! xxx