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 November 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 29th November 2019.

We were blessed with such a mild week of weather and even some rain.  Nice weather just makes life so much easier.  I have tried to take full advantage of it too!  So this week was quite productive!

Because the weather is good the garden is good!   My pumpkin patch is really growing!  I am so excited to even have a pumpkin patch!
My Foxgloves have flowered and flowered.  Everyone sees them as they are right near the kitchen door....

And I have pale pink Hollyhocks out.  They are so tall!  I love them I will be saving all of the seeds!

I fertilised all the veggie, herb and flower beds plus all the fruit trees and gave them a good soaking.  This was almost a whole days work. 
My first zucchini is ready to pick.  The parsley has gone to seed and when the seeds are ready I will save them and pack them up.
I planted two types of cucumbers and used an old wire garden chair as my climbing support.  It looks so pretty in the garden too!  I have been studying how you can greatly increase your garden space by going up. If you include supports for your tomatoes and have them go up instead of spreading out,  if you have a wall of fence add some wire or something and send up passionfruit or climbing beans or snow peas...   the sky is the limit to what you can plant that will climb. And it looks beautiful!  

I made two big impossible pies.  One was for us and one was for Lucy and family.  Each took a dozen eggs and garden spinach.   And I used my 25c bargain creams.  So they were very cheap to make and tasted so good.

I made Peanut Butter biscuits for the girls, this is what they requested this week.

In the op shops (thrift stores) I found new quality reels of cottons for $1. This is how I stock my sewing cabinet.  Also a vintage apron sewing kit.  It has voile underlay and organza top ... it was $4.  I will either make it up or give it as it is as a gift.

I made up some laundry liquid.  I recently ran out and I missed this a lot.  I use it for towels, socks, jeans, all the work clothes etc.  The spare amount is kept in a bucket with a lid and I have four large bottles on the shelf.   The recipe is the same one Jane uses from Down to Earth Blog.   I like Rhonda's recipes as she costs things out and provides links to ingredients and studies.   This was an older post and she costed it out to save you $80 every batch you make.  It would be more now!  I was shopping with Mum and many brands of Laundry Liquid were $20 each! 😬   When a recipe calls for grated soap I just use Lux flakes.  I think in the US there are Ivory flakes which are about the same.

There is no need to make it pink but it just makes me happy!  I walked away and later saw my pink roses drying, my laundry liquid cooling,  and my pink kitchen towel over my mix master.  These little domestic scenes make me so happy!

There are many times I just adore a little snap shot of life that is so beautiful.  A basket of eggs,  a bowl of lemons,  things just picked from the garden being washed in the sink...  sheets drying in the sun...  they are all so beautiful! 

We added to the family!  I have four ducklings!  It was an accident, I swear!   

No good pictures yet... they are Call Ducks which are what Bantams are to Chickens, only the duck equivalent.   I also accidentally got three tiny Pekin Bantams in pale lavender grey.  I hope I have photos soon. All this happened yesterday!   Unfortunately (for his health) Andy smokes cigars.  I said to him "you know how you just have to have a cigar in the evening? Well, I had this same kind of experience only it was with ducks."   And so I have ducks but also snuck in baby Bantams. 

I have been pulling up giant thistles in the hay shed to feed the chickens along with spent chard and spinach plants that are really tall!  Wherever I go I watch for potential chicken (and now duck) food.

I made Dad his favourite Sultana cake.

I cooked  roast lamb with loads of extra veggies.  When I plate up dinner I separately plate up enough for two more serves, cover it in gravy and hide in the fridge.   I love these "TV" dinners.  A complete night off!   What is left makes lunches and rolls.  A roast is a very good way to get many easy meals and also save a fortune on deli meats.  I do not buy deli meats.   Either I bake a ham or roast something then slice it up.  If you compare this can be over $20 a kilo cheaper and sometimes much more.  Also no added sulphates and so on.   The slow cooker does a good piece of cooked meat too.  So handy in summer!

So that was my week.  And today is just beautiful!  Sunny but not hot at all.  A man is coming to slice up the big tree stumps to make furniture with.  I will get a piece that will become a coffee table in the cottage.

I hope it was a good week for you.  How did you build up your home, add to your pantry, preparedness or savings?   Also Happy Thanksgiving to the USA ladies.  xxx


  1. You have had a very busy week that sounds most successful. I am making a huge effort to stretch those proteins. If my son is here he puts away a huge amount. I loved reading about the ducks. I will follow with interest to see how they grow.

    1. Dear Susan, The boys sure can eat a lot! One tactic is to serve starters or a desert or both... this helps ill them up! I do so many veggies wth my roast dinners and lots of gravy. Another is to do a whole tray of stuffing. That is delicious and really stretches the meat!
      Thank you so much re my little ducks! They ahem settled in so well. With much love

  2. So glad your having great weather. It is amazing how the heat or cold can slow you down. The foxgloves are so pretty and I bet you can't wait to see your first pumpkin.
    Dinner and excitement is over for our Thanksgiving. So thankful we can be together again. Have a great day!

    1. Dear Vickie,
      We have had more rain and such cool days. This is lovely for us considering it is officially summer.
      You are right.. when I see baby pumpkins forming I will be so excited! I would love a good crop of pumpkins! Maybe I should plant more in another spot as a back up crop...
      I am glad you had a good Thanksgiving. I think it is a wonderful celebration and wish we had it here. We have a lot to be thankful for! With much love,

  3. Annabel you have had another wonderful and very busy week. As much as I would like to be in the garden it hasn't happened. It is just too hot. Due to water restrictions we have to water at night or in the early morning. Bluey has been getting a bit of work done and I am the one cleaning up after him.
    I did make up two small Christmas puddings. One has been sliced and vac sealed and placed in a care package that has been posted off to our son. The other will be for Bluey and I.
    I kept up with my sewing this week. I made a small faux wrap skirt and embellished a singlet with an embroidery bunny and ruffle sleeves. This little outfit is for a special two year old. Several bookmarks and Christmas tags have been made on the embroidery machine. Some placemats have been made from patchwork and are waiting to be quilted. This will also be a Christmas gift. I still have a few small bits to finish off and then I am done. All the presents will be in the post next week.
    I washed part of the fleece from the family farm and started hand carding it. Some of it has been spun up. I also carded up some of the alpaca fleece I was given and have started spinning this up.
    Bluey is updating my Fowlers preserving unit as a Christmas gift for me. This was ordered today. I am quite excited by this.
    I hope everyone has a great week. Life is hot and dry good.

    1. Dear Jane,
      Heat and water restrictions sound very hard. I would hate both. Also so early in the summer!
      Your son will love his pudding. That is beautiful Jane. What could be better than pudding from home, from Mum.
      You have been so busy from when you got home! So many lovely projects. Actually you have had a big year with your spinning wheel, learning to spin and joining the group.
      The preserving unit will be a great gift from Bluey. Now to hope you have loads and loads of produce to preserve!
      Have a very good new week. I am off to a good start today... I caught up with Wendy and we did some trading. And I have the best op shop luck which I think you will like! With much love

  4. Annabel,you are just a marvel to me! You accomplish so much in a day. I am always amazed at what you do. All your animals, plants, baking, sewing and so much more! It truly does amaze me. I live in the city and have 2 cats. I don't grow plants.I do have one that is in house, that my son gave to me for Christmas 2 years ago.He said it was for air quality, lol. I know next to nothing about farm life. But I sure enjoy reading your blog as you share about your life. I think your home sounds wonderful.

    1. Dear Dots, Your son is right, you need plants for air purification and quality. They make a big difference inside the home. You can read a NASA article on this. Even though I am on a farm when I started blogging I was in the city. I still worked on preparedness and saving but in a regular house and garden. We just have to do all we can where were are with what we have. Thank you so much I am so glad you enjoy reading. Even across different countries and circumstances we all have so many thing sin common! With much love

  5. Dear Annabel, I love hearing about your gardening and your animals. We really need to get stuck into the garden. It has been a bit neglected lately. Sometimes it is enough to keep up with the watering. I love your new ducklings and hearing about the Bantams. I also think images of your laundry liquid, cakes, cooking, garden produce are SO beautiful. I think I will have to try your impossible pie! It looks so yummy. I didn't achieve much. It is so hot here. I did get a few presents wrapped. I also kept up with the housework, cooking and cleaning. I am looking forward to the Advent Season. I hope to be able to slow down and enjoy it all. Sending you lots of love, Bridge XXX

    1. Dear Bridge,
      It is great you already have some presents wrapped. These things do help as there is always a last minute rush no matter what! So everything that is taken care of is a blessing.
      Mainly the average day is watering the garden and often it is only ten minutes here and there planting something or pulling old things up. But these little bits seem to work. Mind you when we actually get heat it wont be easy!
      I know you love beautiful domestic things like I do. Even the ordinary can be beautiful and a joy. The boys will be so excited for Christmas! They are big enough to be so into it! Beautiful! With love

  6. Loved all the photos and stories. That soap looks luscious enough to drink-hope you don't have little ones around. I remember when I was about 6 years old, I developed a taste for Pepto Bismol. Mom caught me drinking it and put it on the top shelf of the linen closet. I climbed the shelves and got that bottle down. Don't let kids see where you hide things. LOL.

    1. Oh that is true... if kids were around my laundry liquid looks quite delicious. When I was little I helped myself to the brandy bottle and Mum caught me. By little I mean two or three. I guess she moved the alcohol after that! xxx

  7. Annabel you are such an inspiration. Love what you post, keeps me on my toes. Incidentally I would love the recipe for your impossible pie.
    Juli in hot and dry Queensland XX

    1. Dear Juli!
      Here is a link to Annabel’s wonderful impossible pie!
      I do agree that Annabel is inspiring and keep-you-on-your-toes-like!! She is beautiful!!
      From dry, burning Queensland, too,

  8. Thank you for the Happy Thanksgiving wishes. I had a lovely day with my family. Today we ate leftovers then I put lots of things into the freezer. I hit upon the idea of using a muffin tin to heat individual servings of some of the casseroles for our leftovers meal and it went very well. I'll be doing that again. Earlier this week when I realized we'd not be eating a planned meal, I made up a shepherd's pie out of leftovers and odds and ends from the fridge and put that in the freezer for a future meal.
    Now that Thanksgiving is over, I am starting my Christmas decorating. I didn't finish it today and the house is a right tumble at present with fall things coming down and Christmas going up. I normally come to Shabat evening with a great deal nicer housekeeping done than I've got tonight but there we are. Have a great weekend and a terrific week ahead!

    1. Dear Terri!

      Your Thanksgiving sounds genuinely beautiful! I love your creative resourcefulness in the way that you use your leftovers!

      Shabbat is already finished here, and the sky is working towards a storm and rain, which our parched, burnt land craves. We have a power outage at my parents’ place, so candles are alight!

      Keep making life beautiful!


  9. Such cute ducklings, Annabel! I envy you your milder weather because up here it's set to be another very hot week coming up with temperatures in the low to mid 30Cs. A storm is predicted for tomorrow so fingers crossed for some rain here.

    This week, I worked just one day so had four days here at home. I did some simple sewing, baked chocolate chip cookies and slice, and we had quite a few meals from freezer too. I potted up some Mother of Herb cuttings and salvia cuttings so will see if they take off.

    Have a lovely week! Meg:)

    1. Dear Meg!

      I am waiting to hear what names Annabel will choose for her sunny ducklings, and her very special home hatched chicken.
      I am hoping we all get good rain in time. Sewing, baking and gardening are some of the profitable joys in life. I’d love to see them.

  10. Annabel your hollyhocks and foxgloves are divine and what a pretty vintage apron kit and it would make a beautiful gift for someone :). You have got so much accomplished.

    Oh I finally got two photos of mummy red necked wallaby with the baby joey peaking out of her pouch too :).

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $160.60 in savings last week :).

    Purchases -
    - Purchased a gift card for groceries from RACQ saving 5% or $7.90.
    - Put in another order for a small fuel gift card through RACQ saving another 5% or $1.80.
    - Filled 6 jerry cans of fuel and took advantage of our 4c per litre discount with our rewards card saving $5.62 on usual prices.
    - Saved $5.50 by getting two free samples as a taste tester for a supermarket.
    - Did an online order with Pharmacy online for allergy medications and iron tablets for a year using a 10 % off site wide promotion and clearance specials saving $59.08 on cost we pay locally in pharmacies.
    - Put in a pick up order with Woolworths on their Black Friday online sale promotion saving $29.50 on usual costs.

    Online listings -
    - Listed 28 items on a free listing promotion on eBay saving $46.20 on usual prices.

    Earnings -
    - Made $32 from the sale of a handmade baby blanket and some saved pumpkin seeds on eBay.

    Finances -
    - Paid an extra smaller payment off our home mortgage saving time and interest on our home loan.
    - Banked extra money into our 3 month living expenses emergency account bringing us to 57.11% of the way there.

    In the kitchen -
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.

    Water preservation -
    - Used every drop of grey water to water something as well as saved shower water to fill drink bottles and clean with.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna, I am so glad you got photos of the Mum and the baby! We are seeing Swamp wallabies here. I love them. We have more wombats and echidnas. (and foxes unfortunately!)
      Well done on filling the jerry cans. We jeep four full. I would very much like it to be six!
      It is wonderful you sold the baby blanket! That was a boost to the earnings this week!
      Being almost 60% there with your saying goal... you will be doing so well with that by the new year. I would say you will smash this goal early in the year.
      I went to a local craft market today. I went this tim last year and got a lot of craft ideas... saw prices charged and what was selling well etc. It was fantastic. I came home with some really bargains too.. mostly succulents and herbs. Homemade items are selling so well. Everyone is over department stores that much seems evident!
      Have a lovely Sunday and new week! With love,

  11. Dear Annabel!!

    Just when you have such beautiful white foxgloves and luscious pink hollyhocks, your cheerful ducklings steal the limelight!

    Enjoying your profit,

  12. Dear Annabel,
    Thank you for the Thanksgiving well wishes. We had a lovely day with family and some friends.

    Your week looks so productive. The ducklings are so cute. I had a good laugh over what you said to Andy. It sounded so much like something I would have said to my husband over craft supplies or kitchen gadgets.
    Aside from the holiday preparations it has been a relatively quiet week here. I did a lot of sorting and purging of items we no longer have a need for, which we'll pass on to the rescue mission. This is a big football weekend so the men will be glued to the TV. I hope to use the time crafting. Blessings ,Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie!!
      Your time of Thanksgiving sounds wonderful!
      It feels good to be able to give or sell our excess to others who can use them. I feel chuffed that some small tyres and gear oil of ours went to a historical Woolshed in our part of the world.
      I do have a particular liking for your crafting. I hope to see it!!
      Loving your work,

  13. Annabel, I have three differed coloured hollyhocks. A red, a pink and white one and another one which hasn't opened up yet. It may be the pale pink like yours. If not, I would love a few of your seeds and I can send you some of mine. I have already got some red ones but the pink and white one hasn't gone to seed yet.

    1. Nanna Chel I would be thrilled to send you some seeds. I already thought this is so nice I will save every seed and will easily be able to share some. I have taken just ages to get this pale pink... in my dreams I would have a row of them all across the front of the house! Maybe next year I will have that! I have always just loved Hollyhocks. With love

  14. Annabel, I will let you know what the colour of the unopened flower is but it won't be long now. Then I can send you seeds for three different colours if you want them.

  15. Dear Annabel and Nanna Chel, if you would like them I have lots of different colours and sizes of hollyhocks and when the seeds are dry I will send each of you some.
    Hollyhocks are very good at cross pollinating and hence from year to year I get a lot of different ones
    Love Lorraine

    1. Dear Chookasmum!

      I would love to trade with you for some of your hollyhock seed, too! Annabel has my contact details.


    2. Hi Lorraine, I would love to trade too! I will save seeds and let you know when they are ready! Thank you!xxx

    3. Annabel, surely will I have messaged you
      Love Lorraine

  16. Dear Rachel, I will be only to happy to share some of my hollyhock seeds with you . The hollyhocks are still flowering so when the seeds are ready I will definitely send you some.
    Lorraine xx

    1. Oh, thank you!!

      This means such a lot to me!!


    2. Rachel, t will be my pleasure xx


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