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 31 January 2020

Feather your Nest Friday, 31 January, 2020.

I am late with my blog as we have had the biggest storm and no power.  The up side is we have had a massive amount of rain.  I don't know how much yet as it is still raining!   I hate being late with the blog as it makes me feel unreliable.

Well, apart from the obvious rain celebrations, it has been an interesting week.

In the garden I now have a large shade sail over the veggie patch which will help me keep things going through the really hot days.

By watching Buy, Swap and Sell on Facebook I found a beautiful wooden table and eight chairs for the cottage for an amazing deal.   They are perfect for the cottage.

When we picked this all up the lady was so lovely.  They were moving the next day.  She had the loveliest garden and she offered me potted plants,  roots and cuttings.   I came home with a potted Daisy bush and Lemon grass, Aloe Vera plants (five I think) and all kinds of creepers and succulents! It was just wonderful.

I made baked egg custards,  pizzas from the garden tomatoes and basil and I also planted 18 more basil seedlings.  If you want to harvest it first you have to plant it!

At the store coffee was on the best special I have seen in a long time.  I saved $36 on coffee and got ahead in supplies.   Now, I am finding very few good deals and very high prices.   Also fairly empty shelves.  Still notices up saying this or that is unavailable or in short supply.   So this makes it even more important to take advantage when we do find a really good deal.

We had some really hot days.  I finally got back to sewing!  I am trying to use the fifteen minutes a day method.  (I think this came from Down to Earth Blog and also Patsy,  it works!)  Once I get going I find I am there more than 15 minutes but other days I have just achieved the minimum.  None the less this adds up so fast!

First I made up some Lavender Sachets.  I am using what I have and the fairy images I had from WISH.

I found playing with pretty fabrics so much fun.
Having things to work on during awful weather makes the days so much better!

I kept going until I ran out of Lavender.  Then I went on to Roses and kept going until I ran out of Roses!  I save and dry roses all year so all the buds are dried for free, not purchased.

In the evenings I crochet and I finished a cotton shopping bag.

Everyone has heard about the virus outbreak.   This is where my medical pantry came in.  I see that masks have sold out and people are selling them for incredible prices on Ebay.  That is ok I already had about 80 in my medical supplies.   When something like this happens you are not going to be the first to the store and the first few to the store will buy all the supplies.  That is all they have!
It also made me glad I have my essential oils.   I got busy and made up kits for myself, the girls, my niece and a friend.   We all have purse sized hand sanitisers,  immune boosting rollers,  germ fighting rollers and I have a diffuser necklace so I walk around in a little personal cloud of germ fighter.

I had everything on hand to make things up.  With the masks and essential oil supplies I am now thankful I started a medical pantry a couple of years ago.   I am amazed how fast things sell out.  Then there is panic buying.   We need to have our supplies in place then we are not part of this.

I hope you had a good week!   Also it is now February!  
Now I need to work on my Vicky Challenge post as that would normally be today.  I will do my best to catch up.

We had 1 and 3/4 inches or rain so far.  This is amazing for us.  Because it has been warm the grass looks such a bright green!  

Have a lovely weekend! xxx


  1. I always assume the the internet or bad weather keeps you from posting when you are late so no bad thoughts here. The rain is wonderful ��. One must never run out of coffee!

    We had snow this morning for about two hours and then rain. It was lovely to see it coming down while warm inside the house. I am concerned about the virus since our middle son's family lives very near two of the cases. It keeps a Mom praying. I have checked my oil supplies to be sure we are ready if a need arises.

    1. Dear Lana, I think the snow would be so pretty!
      All the electrical storm which was so wide spread utterly took out our internet. Then the power too for about 4 hours. Eventually it just passed and magically all came back on!
      Yes a Mum has plenty to pray about. This is a good time for the oils. I credit you that I am able to go to my supplies and know what to use, how to mix thing sup and have everything to do it! This doenst happen overnight but gradually I learn a bit then bit more. You got me on to Hopewell oils too and I thank you so much! With love

  2. Annabel, your sachets are just so beautiful! I'm glad you're getting rain, but sorry you were without power because of a storm. That is no fun at all! I made elderberry syrup and cider fire today. I need to get my EO necklace out and start using it as well. Your shopping bags are so pretty, almost too pretty to use! Enjoy your rain!

    1. Dear Patsy, I wish we had Elderberries here. I am thinking I might buy a commercial formula online. I hear there are known benefits of Elderberry as it inhibits the flu virus for one thing. I love your fire cider as well. That would knock out the germs well and truly!
      YEs get your oils out this is the time! With love

  3. Dear Annabel and Bluebirds!!

    Annabel, I am grateful with you for your rain! Your table and chairs for your cottage project is exciting, too!

    I love the way you constructed your rose sachets! They remind me of sleep pillows, with their fine covering fabric and natural sleep-inducing fragrances.

    The blessing of rain here has the citrus trees in blossom, and the gentle fragrances waft across the property!

    I’m glad you’re doing well!


    1. Dear Rachel,
      My cottage project is happening! I have several things now for the cottage and this weekend is strip out the cottage of putrid carpet and yuk! It will be big and many trailer loads to the tip. This will be a major (and most gross!) step!
      Oh how nice your trees are in blossom! The rain does more good than anything! With love and thanks,

  4. Hi Annabelle. You are certainly not unreliable but i love reading your blog and keep checking to see if you published it . You are a wealth of information and encouragement. Thank you so much for taking the time for this blog. I don't know how you accomplish so much. But a little at a time does add up. Ann

    1. Dear Ann, Thank you so much for such kind words. I have blogs and it is funny as I can feel quite annoyed when they are late or missing! Hence I worry when I am late! Ann truly everything does add up. My 15 mins of sewing is a good example. I am really getting so much more done by doing this! Many thanks and have a good new week! With love

  5. well done! sounds like a great week.

    1. Thanks so much! Have a very good new week! xxx

  6. Dear Annabel,

    So glad you had rain, we ended up with 95.5mm, so nearly four inches! Wow cant believe it! And yes the plants are smiling!

    Everything you made is beautiful as always. Love the sachets and crocheted bag.

    Our son & girlfriend are over in Japan at the moment and we are terrified he will get exposed to the virus. He is there for three weeks and only left last Wednesday! They are wearing masks and using a sanitiser so hopefully that will get them through. It is really a concern should it take off.

    I love the idea of 15 minutes to make stuff. Might try it myself.

    You are definitely not unreliable Annabel, life happens to us all. If you don't post we know you will have a very good reason for not doing so. Especially with our really reliable internet here in Australia Ha!

    Much love,
    Tania xxx

    1. I would advise most strongly that your son and girlfriend wear glasses as the virus can be contracted through the eyes. It is so easy to touch your face and infect yourself that way.

    2. Tania, It seems beyond belief that you got so much rain! That is amazing! I cant even imagine it actually! I hope your son is ok but the Japanese are very high on cleanliness and hygiene and very good that way which should help a lot.
      As time has gone on I have kept with my 15 minutes of sewing. I cant believe how much I am getting done! It is completely surprising!
      Many thanks Tania I am truly pleased for you and your whole garden! With love Annabellxxx

  7. Annabel I love the way you prepared your germ fighting oil packs for the family. Those lavender and rose sachets are beautiful as is the crocheted shopping bag :).

    You are so right I was looking at the face masks on eBay and they were certainly selling them for high prices and yes they are mostly sold out too I noticed. Fortunately we too already have them in stock here.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $120.77 in savings last week :).

    Free samples -
    - Got a 300g bag of mixed lettuce, cabbage and carrot salad and a 250g of shredded cheese free for being a supermarket taste tester saving $7 over purchasing them.

    Internet listings and earnings -
    - Listed 26 items on an eBay free listing promotion saving $42.90 on usual listing fees.
    - I earned $8 from the sale of dried thyme from my previous gardens.
    - DH earned $90 from a mowing garden job.

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

    - Bought on special 1 x 6pk of Jumbo rolls and 1 x 6pk of mixed grain jumbo rolls for $1 per packet, 3 x 420g of sultana bran for $2.47 ea, 200g of sliced mushrooms for $1.82, 1 x 8.5w led bulb, 2 x old gold chocolate bars for $3 ea, 1 x kelloggs 805g box of nutrigrain for $4.25 saving $25.97 on usual prices.
    - Purchased 1 x 6pk packet of fruit buns and 400g of sliced button mushrooms on markdowns saving another $4.81 on usual prices.
    - Bought a 5lt bottle of fuel preservative on eBay using a promotional code saving 15% or $35.75 on prices we pay locally for it here.

    Home deep cleaning -
    - Used save rainwater to clean half of the kitchen and 1 side of the house windows outside.
    - Polished the stainless steel bench, stove and sink with methylated spirits and water 50/50 mix.

    Gardening -
    - DH sprayed the whole property for weeds using 120 litres of saved rainwater from runoff from our back patio from the overfull swimming rainwater tank.
    - We watered the vegetable patch by hand one night also using the saved rainwater from the tank.
    - All potted fruit trees were watered all week with saved rainwater from runoff off our tank stand shed roof.

    Have a wonderful week ahead :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Sewingcreations,
      I need to re look at mask prices as they no doubt have gone up further. I am glad you have your supplies on hand. Some times money can no longer even buy things when we need them. This is a very interesting subject to me.
      Well done on all your eBay listings and sales!
      It sounds so lovely to have the rain water! I was wondering if the Wallabies still come now that is has rained?
      Since the fires Mum has a Wallaby that comes even up along her veranda every day.
      I hope your new week is off to a good start. We have mild weather which is making it seem quite Autumn like and there is green grass shooting up everywhere! I wish it would stay this way! With much love

    2. Annabel no we have not seen any of the wallabies since the rain unfortunately. We are glad that they have enough food and water in the creek down the back to drink though :) to last them through a while.

      Your Mum is lucky to have a little wallaby that comes on her veranda that is indeed a sign of trust as they are usually very timid.

      My week is off to a good start and we continue to use our excess rainwater to deep clean the home with.

      Have a great week ahead :).


  8. So happy you are getting rain. I hate that your temps have been do bad.
    Sounds like another industrious week. I too make sure I always have face masks and gloves on hand. Need to be prepared ahead of the problems.

    1. Dear Cheryl, Well done you will be glad of your supplies! I always knew in my head how what is in stores doesnt tough the sides when there is a great end for something. In China they have a mask lottery now! It is the weirdest thing but in certain times suddenly the vitally important things are worth more than gold, more than money, money cannot buy what you are needing. This is a demonstration of that. I never expected to experience it so vividly. I am thinking now what else may be like this? That would be good to have wise stocks of... mmm. With love

  9. I don't know how you can bear to pick roses whilst they are still in bud! Your sachets look lovely, but I couldn't deny myself the pleasure of seeing the roses in bloom. I know, I'm selfish.

    1. Dear Su, What happens is I will pick stems of roses and one each stem with be full booms, partly out roses and some buds. So I get to enjoy the first roses and after these are dying I will save the buds. So I get the best of both worlds. Because a lot of roses grow at Lucys farm I am able to pick masses and fill the house with glorious perfumed roses. No denying any of the pleasure here, I adore roses. I even save the petals as they fall. Lucy fills her house too with the hugest vases of roses. Its amazing. Her garden is very old and she had to lure the roses back to health but there are so many! Next season maybe Ill make a video. then you will see! With love

  10. Dear Annabel,

    Your sachets are just BEAUTIFUL! I love how with the rose ones you can see the beautiful rose buds through the material...gorgeous! I am so happy to hear you got some much needed rain and some way of giving your garden plants some relief from the searing sun. My youngest came down with a cold this week...the first time any of us has been sick in 2 years! And of course it's a doozy, so I'm keeping her full of chicken noodle soup and hot beverages..."tea" from the black currant juice I canned is full of vitamin C...the Newfoundlanders say to mix the juice, hot water, and gin for a drink right before bed when you have a cold and you'll sleep like a baby and be better in no time! (I left out the gin for her, but if I end up getting this cold, you can bet I'll try it! :)) Very exciting about all those plants you got when you picked up the furniture!

    You are right about panic buying. I went to do my usual Friday grocery shopping and the stores were just a zoo! There was a forecast for a snowstorm (though by the time I was shopping they had downgraded it to just 2 cm of snow...which is nothing)...and everyone was "stocking up"!! Crazy. The shelves were practically bare and the lineups to pay took forever!

    Will go do some thinking and then will check in with the Vicky Challenge. I forgot to take your advice and keep a list going on the fridge or somewhere noticeable, so will have to backtrack. :)

    Love, Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen, I hope your daughter is better and the rest of you didnt get it!
      I honestly think chicken soup with garlic and bay leaf and all the goodness is wonderful medicine. Your canned juice is a wonderful thing too, so much vitamin C. I would dearly like to can juice.
      Panic buying, for many reasons, is surprising. But just when you are wanting to stock up things are not there. This has really reminded me why I keep food, medical and animal pantries. Thank you for your compliments on my sachets... I have loved making them! With love

  11. Glad you were finally able to post...I always look forward to them! Congratulations on the rain! I was wondering if you could give us your “recipes” for the essential oil blends you put together. I’m always interested in what others consider to be good blends. Thank you for all your time & effort. I love this community!

    1. Dear Louise, Thank you! Right now with oils I am focusing on germ killing blends. Also probably immune boosting blends. So for these I did for germ killing... the small sprays are alcohol plus some drops of essential oils. Generally I will do a few drops of each oil adding up to around 10 drops. This would be eucalyptus, (or tea tree) orange or lemon, Clove, and rosemary. Cinnamon oil is another good one. The rollers I do the same 10 drops all up of the oils then fill the roller with a carrier oil like coconut or almond. This can be rolled on your wrists, glands behind and under you ears and bottoms of feet. This really works to fight things off. A room spray is a weaker dilution... just use alcohol and water plus oils. I use this also to wipe doors and phones and germy surfaces. I hope this helps you. With love

  12. Annabel I absolutely love the lavender sachets! The fairy fabric is just beautiful! And using the mesh so that the rosebuds can be seen looks so good. They will make the most beautiful gifts! Do you add a few drops of essential oils to enhance the scent? I have made lavender sachets before just using dried lavender but they lost their scent quickly. I thought maybe adding oil could improve it.

    I must go back and read your beginning essential oil posts as I'd like to get into using them more but find it a bit overwhelming knowing which ones to buy first, what other things I might need etc.

    I'm so pleased for the rain! What a huge relief that must be. And perfect timing for all your new plants, how lovely of that lady.

    It's back to school tomorrow, and everyone is a bit nervous about starting their new schools (me too!), but also ready. I bought a bag of uniform for my eldest for $100, with several of everything he needs. When we went to the uniform shop to check we were sorted I realised it probably saved me around $300 buying it second hand. And we have a son starting next year, and then the following year as well so it will all get used.

    I managed to put together a lovely gift for a 9 year old girl from the box of bits and pieces I have picked upover the last year. It's generally arts and craft things and toiletries, and I just add to it when I find a good deal. This week I added 6 packs of 36 felt pens that were $2 each. I love being able to find something in there instead of heading to the shops at the last minute. And I've found kids love getting a gift bag with lots of little bits in it, and my kids love sifting through and choosing what to give! I find birthday parties and presents can be really over the top, it almost becomes like a competition between parents. I just can't buy into it. I think it's silly. Having a gift box means we can give nice gifts but not end up spending an absurd amount.

    Lots of baking and labeling clothes happening here today!

    Have a lovely Sunday!

    Jen (NZ)

    1. Jen, well done on the great finds for the uniforms, that is a huge saving right there. I also think there is absolute craziness when it comes to children's birthday parties and presents. I do think it can be a competition between parents! I think you are very smart to have a gift cupboard, I love ours too, and it is lovely that your children can then choose presents from it for their friends. Lots of love, Bridge

    2. Dear Annabel, thank you for your beautiful and inspiring post. I love it! I am so impressed with what you have achieved for the week. You are never unreliable, you are so giving and thoughtful! Those lavender sachets are so pretty with the fairy fabric and I love the rose sachets too. The roller blends look beautiful- what fabulous gifts they make. So good to have on hand too. I am off to an essential oils workshop in two weeks at a friend's house. It should be a lovely afternoon. That crocheted shopping bag is absolutely beautiful! You make the most beautiful things. Well done on finding the table and chairs too.I love how the lady gave you cuttings etc.
      I have had a good week. I am concerned about the rising grocery prices. I really believe now is the time to really invest in saving costs in anyway possible. For example, instead of buying a new lettuce this week ($4!), I buying one every second week. I just wrap it with a wet tea towel. I also use shredded cabbage. DH has made a trellis all along the back fence and we have transplanted pots of passionfruit there. They have bounced back already, so should grow well there. Lots of love to you, Bridge XXX

    3. Dear Jen, I used an old curtain as my see through layer over my rose buds. Very cheap to do and I have miles left, now need to think of another use. Jen I am happy to help with the oils. think of what you want to achieve first or medical needs you want to help with. Then choose your oils to suit. As many oils have multiple uses some will cover a fair few purposes. And now here in Aust. the cheap shops even have essential oil rollers! So hopefully this will have happened there too. If there is anything I can help with let me know.
      What a deal on felt pens! A present cupboard is vital with kids at school... they seem to get asked to so many parties etc. Yep this is an area that can be very expensive but you can beat that!
      I hope the kids are happy with going back to school and settle well! With much love

    4. Dear Bridge,
      The trellis alone the back will be beautiful. They look nice but also growing some garden upwards gives you more produce and space! You store your lettuce similar to me and it works! It stays so fresh for ages this way! I pick out the biggest lettuce I can find too... they are a price per item... they will vary so much in size! Bridge I think you will love the essential oil class and learn so much! This is very useful knowledge. Here the cheap shops now have essential oil rollers!! Also droplet bottles and small cosmetic containers so keep your eye out! I hope you enjoy the class and ask questions. You want info that will help your family. We dont need to know everything we need to know what will help our family, that is how I started. And truly essential oils have helped me with stress, sleep... and I never get the bad sore throats I always got my whole life. Thing of the past now (thanks to oregano oil) I cant wait to hear how it goes! With love

    5. Thanks Bridge, uniforms are another thing that are so expensive! I was so pleased to find them second hand. I hope your passionfruit grows well, what a beautiful thing to have on hand! Have you tried passionfruit curd before? It's basically lemon curd with some passionfruit pulp added. Absolutely delicious!!

  13. I am plodding on and trying to keep costs low. I managed to refuel the car when the price was much lower. Now that my daughter has moved closer to home my fuel consumption is so very low. I am pleased about that. I bought some chicken breast at $7.50. My elderly mother will now only eat eye fillet steak. It was on sale at $28 kg. So that part of my pantry is set for a while.

    1. Dear Suzan, With the price of fuel it is good to fill up when it is down a little!
      Your Mum has expensive taste! Hopefully you can bulk it out with lots of veggies. I hope the new week will be good for you! With love

  14. There are no masks available here. When the bushfires, I know it is a different type of mask, were out of control down south, a number of locals bought out the masks here and shipped them to wear they were needed. These have not yet been replaced.
    I have been getting my Thieves oil and using it in rollers. I don't have any spray bottles so might grab some this coming week.
    I have been making a lot but all little things for the home. These are still adding up.
    So glad you got the rain. It keeps threatening here and then splitting and passing us. It would be lovely to get some of the wet stuff. Until then the supervisor and I retreat to the sewing room with the air con on in the afternoons.
    Life is hot and sweaty good.

    1. Dear Jane, I think the shortage of masks is going to last a long time. In China you can enter a lottery to get one!
      I am so glad you have your cool sewing room. We are lucky with a mild week now. Life is so much easier! And things look good because of rain.
      I have been following all you made. You got so much done in January! Just wow! You must be thrilled. I cant wait to see what you come up with this new month! With love

  15. I also checked my EO stash because of the virus and just the "normal" flu in general is rampid here. I just purchased more Tea Tree Oil and the source I trust tells us that it and Lemon are more effective than Thieves for combating illness. Farmer & I sniff those before and after we've been in public. That and Kombucha for gut health have been keeping us mostly healthy this winter. We each fought off something this week. Just a few days of feeling tired and then a night of fever and we are back to normal.
    Vicky Challenge for the week: Around $20 (USD). For the Month of January: $677.95! Who would have thought it?!

    1. Dear Kay,
      Well nearly everyone is surprised by their savings when they track them! You did great! It is kind of an eye opener isn't it!?
      I think Tea Tree oil is very good and so is Lemon. And acting very early while there is a chance to fight things off is the way to go. Spotting that first warning sign is important. I am getting much better at that. Now I hope Feb will be a month of big savings for you too! With love,

  16. Hi Annabel and fellow Bluebirds,
    I am another who loves seeing the beautiful things you make for gifts. I don't have a lot of gifts to worry about. In my family we have no little ones to buy or make for, it's all adults. We no longer give each other gifts for Christmas as such. At birthdays we give each other gift vouchers or cash and pool it together so the person can spend it on something they really would like. But when I see the lovely gifts you make I think WOW!! My problem is lack of patience in learning the skills. I would want to be able to do it perfectly, yesterday. Also crafting and making things has never been something I've enjoyed very much(see above). But I do so enjoy seeing what all you ladies make.
    I have a change coming up in the next couple of weeks. I am moving on from my current job. I have loved my time there and am sad to leave. I am returning to a teaching job I held a number of years ago. It comes with a $NZD 10000 a year pay increase, which on one income I can not afford to turn down. My current employer has been wonderfully supportive and understanding and I have made friends for life in this job.
    Aussie ladies we had 36 degrees here on Sunday and it was awful. We stayed inside with the aircon on all day and watched an episode of Jack Irish. I truly don't know how you cope in 40 degrees and up. My brother in-law went to the beach. Crazy. Our main beach has no shade, the sand gets so hot it burns your feet, no grass to sit on and is very exposed to the wind. Plus it would have been crazy busy. Give me a cool, clear river any day. Trouble is my favourite one is in my happy place 8 hours drive away:-)

    Once again thank you for all the hard work you put into your blog Annabel. I am in agreement. Never worry if your late posting. We now other circumstances have risen.

    Stay safe and well every one.


    1. Thank you, Mandy!

      Your comment is beautiful!

      We’re not always sure that we cope with the heat here, anyway, yet we might struggle with the cold over your way! Ha ha!

      If you find gift ideas that you just cannot resist, you might decide to give them as random acts of kindness! You could brighten someone’s day! It seems to me that almost everyone around us could use some encouragement in this challenging world!

      Your new job sounds like a wonderful opportunity for you to get ahead, save, build up your pantry, ..... do things that you believe you should do!! We are very pleased for you!!

      You have such beautiful scenery over the ditch! Your cool, clear rivers are inviting!!

      Thanks again for your comment!



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