Feather your Nest Friday, 3rd March, 2023.

It is the change of seasons and we have welcomed Autumn!  I absolutely love Autumn and already the weather has been so mild and cool in the evening.  Windows and doors are open wide.  I keep looking at the weather app and the next ten days do not go over 30.   I am pretty confident ... no more heat.   On Wednesday I heard a distinctive sound in the distance and I knew the Black Cockatoo's are back.    Today I finally saw them as they are closer to the house.  They are huge.  They make a mess but they are spectacular! 

Last weekend we went to see Lucy and her family.   I made the kids each a tin of biscuits.  Sidney got dinosaurs.   I thought they would last the week in the school lunches.

There is still lots of Basil to harvest so I made Lucy a batch of Pesto as she loves it.

This is something I love making.  So far I have stuck to Basil but you can use other herbs or greens (or a collection) to make up the fresh leafy green part.   I use as much Basil as will fit into my food processor,  eight or so big cloves of garlic,  a couple of handfuls of roasted nuts (I use almond) a couple of handfuls of parmesan cheese and enough olive oil to make it the consistency of a thick dip.

On buy, swap and sell I spotted another bunch of rose print fabrics.


I finished painting three chairs and have two more about half done.   It could be a slow and painful process but I put on a you tube video that I want to listen to and paint away.  So I am learning something interesting and the painting is quite relaxing.  I absolutely love them!!  

The kitchen towels on the chair are two I finished this week.  Next I start on new (but old!) sheets in pale blue.

I went into town and swapped books at the little library.   I took bags of pears to the swap tables.   The swap tables also have a Facebook page and very often people will post what they have just delivered to the tables and also post words of thanks.    Just before Christmas I left little bundles of scrubbies and dish cloths as Christmas gifts to whoever might like them.   I had made so many last year I had quite a few spare.   A week or so ago someone posted in the group "whoever left the dish cloths at the tables can you please message me"....  and I replied.   This lady told me she was giving me a bag of crochet cotton!   This is the cotton I got...

I offered her eggs,  pears, apples, dish cloths...  the only reply I have so far is to ask me if I want more?  She has colours!   I said "yes please"  and will find something I can give her in return! 

THEN!  another lady chimed into this online conversation and asked me if she could pay me to make scrubbies.  I replied that I would make her some but as a trade only.   By Wednesday when I went to town I had a nice little stack of five ready to go.    I got her address and delivered them.    We got on like a house on fire.   She sells essential oils and crystals.   Harper has a collection of little pieces of Amethyst,  Pink Quartz,  Tigers Eye and so on.  She has a special box for them and they are her treasures.   Well,  the lady paid me for the scrubbies with two little Jade Turtles and two little pink Quartz hearts.    In that moment I thought Vicky would be proud!   She is the Queen of Trading and now I am trading with people I haven't met yet for things I didn't even know I wanted haha!  Plus it is really fun!

March means I have calves due soon.  As you can see by the wide load...

From about the 25th I will be checking them twice a day as calving should begin.

I planted Lettuces and did some gardening every day.   Things look dry (even though I water everyday) at the end of summer and need a good tidy up.  Also I picked more pears.  Next week we need to pick a lot more. 

My cook up for the week was Pasties.  I still have some more to assemble tomorrow.   Today I sent some over for Chloe and I made Tom his own little individual ones.

These freeze very well and are a meal all in one.  I hope tomorrow I will get quite a few into the freezer for emergency and easy meals.   They are packed with veggies and we both really enjoy them.

In the thrift store I found a rose book which I am going to make into cards.

I got a Water Lily for my fish pond.   The fish like it.  I can tell. 

Tomatoes and Zucchini are still coming in.  I have work to do on apples and pears and am making the absolute most of all of this.   Eggs are coming in too!  

Thank you to everyone who commented on Vicky's post.  I know you are all inspired!   Keep building up your home and pantry.xxx



  1. Annabel those tins of biccies would have been a huge hit for the little girls and Sidney. The chairs are looking lovely.
    It's the start of gardening season for me. I was at a Nursery today and there was a lady looking at a large saucer pot. It was a polymer plastic pot and was $87. I have lots of pots this shape and size. Mine are the top part of a sand filter from a pool. Bluey cut them so I have a large deep pot and a large saucer pot from the top. These old pool filters came from the tip shop, costing $5.
    I have planted out onions, more basil, lagos spinach, Lebanese cucumber rainbow chard and a number of different tomatoes. Lots of seeds have been planted as well.
    My brother, who lives in the USA, is currently in Aus visiting. He will be here on Monday for a couple of days. It's his Birthday in early April so I thought I would make him a gift. I have embroidered up a Sulphur crested cockatoo and a black cockatoo and will make these panels into quilted cushion covers.
    My worm farms did not survive the heat this summer. I have emptied them onto the gardens and any worms or worm eggs will be able to work into the garden soil. I set them up today with fresh worms.
    On that note I will say have a wonderful week.

    1. Dear Jane, Pots cost a fortune. Like crazy! How exciting to be at the beginning of your garden season. For me it is the beginning of the cooler months season but I can still grow broccoli and celery and quite a bit. Plus tomatoes have a fair way to go yet so do zucchini. My cucumbers look good I hope it is warm enough for them to mature.
      Wonderful present for your brother to take home with him!
      Very good to have your worm farm up and running again! Enjoy your weekend! With love Annabel.xxx

  2. Dear Annabel
    I love the chairs. And what a find on the rose fabric!! The pasties and cookies look delicious.

    This week seems to have gone by with lightening speed for me. Firstly, I went to our local grocery store just to pick up a few salad ingredients and got a huge surprise. Instead of pricing lettuce by the head, they are now pricing by the pound, The produce is automatically sprayed with water so if one is not diligent in drying it off, part of the price one would pay would be for the water on the lettuce.

    I devoted most of my time this week to a cook-up to get ahead. I made 4 dozen English muffins, 2 loaves of raisin bread, and a very old recipe for "Sheep Wagon Carrot Cake" for the freezer. The cake was baked into 2 large loaves. It contains no eggs and only a tablespoon of butter. Very economical to make. I made soup, some of which we had for dinner one night and the rest frozen. I baked a new 3 ingredient gluten free cookie recipe with almond flour. Roasted a large chicken that we had one night for dinner and 3 more dinners and a lunch went into the freezer. I made a huge batch of stir fry for quick freezer meals along with pre-cooking and freezing rice. The craft room got a good cleaning after finishing my latest project.
    Now it's time to start on the Easter projects. When my children were small I used to make homemade Easter egg candy. It was a fun project and I'm going to go back to doing that for the grandsons. Next week the big project of cleaning the garage starts. Wishing all the Bluebirds a safe and healthy week ahead. Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie, That is very interesting about the lettuce! I would be giving it a good roll around and shake! Your baking sounds beautiful and you really did have a big baking week! I love the sound of that carrot cake. Also ready meals in the freezer are so valuable in my opinion. They are the gift of help.. to ourselves or to others!
      The Easter candy will be fun to do for your Grandsons. They will be so excited. The garage... well if its like our garage it will be a big project too!
      Have a beautiful weekend! With love Annabel.xxx

  3. Dear Annabel,
    I have read all the post in one breath and with a big smile on my face. You had me at the Black Cockatoos!
    I love the chairs and fabric, and you know I do the same as you - when I wash the dishes or weeding in the garden I listen on Youtube Patera*s vlogs or Jane, The Frugal Queen in France. I also watch for my pure pleasure The Chateau Diaries with Stephanie Jarvis in the middle of France.
    Your barter sounds exceptional, the cotton balls are beautiful and crystals for Harper is a magical happening. Shows you have to walk through life with mind and eyes open. I want to add here what a wonderful heart you have to make cookies for everybody and dinosaurs for Sidney. I Loved It !!!!!

    My report on the ground: Spring is here! Still cold nights and snow on the mountain tops but snow drops and buds all over, the smell of fresh wet Earth and sudden burst of energy in my body. My 4 golden ladies have started laying eggs on 15th February and I have 1-3 eggs everyday now. (just a reminder - they enjoy the dry nettles, and eat them down to nothing even if I do not chop or powder them).

    We had a general / national drill on Wednesday morning for the alarm sirens. I think they kind of expect something big...Moldova and Russia*s relations are already tense and Moldova is almost synonymous with Romania. And I fear our political leaders are quite weak for these times. Also the low-cost airline Wizz Air announced on Monday that it has decided to suspend all flights to Chisinau starting on March 14, due to "recent developments in Moldova and the high, but not imminent, risk in the country's airspace". Why suspend? Why 14th March? We remember how a year ago there were rummours about a Russian assault on 24th February.

    We will see, pray and hope. God is good.. I could talk with you Bluebirds all day long. Annabel, you have the most wonderful community around you, each and everyone a special person. Love to you all, Laura_s_world in Romania.

    1. Dear Laura, Thank you so much! It is beautiful to hear of your Spring and also the energy you feel and that apparently includes the chickens now they are laying! That is wonderful! You winter efforts with such things as the nettles all helped I am sure.
      I am watching Moldova closely as I can. I saw the air travel was cancelled. The national drill would be to me quite nerve wracking. I am praying for your safety and that everyone has eyes wide open. We have a day of sunshine and it is so nice. I hope the same for you and soon you will be working on your Spring garden! With much love Annabel.xxx

  4. Oh, Annabel! Your chair turned out gorgeous. The towels are so beautiful. I must make some. What a treat for your grandkids. What a fun adventure you've had with the trade tables. Thanks for your example. And so thankful for Vicky 's lessons on trade.

    I had a big baking day this week. We are enjoying sweet pumpernickel bread and toasted coconut chocolate chip cookies for the week. As we turn back to the sun, my chickens and ducks are laying again. I actually had to buy eggs a few times this winter. Thankfully, I only paid $1.99 a dozen as our market had a dollar off special.
    Our Dollar Tree sells frozen food. So I can buy large ravioli for $1.25 a bag. 3 bags feeds my big crew. But that is still a great buy. Then served with homemade sauce. It is still healthy. Saved more $ by giving home haircuts.
    My family and I enjoyed several audiobooks from the library. It kept us off screens and productive.
    Blessings to you all,

    1. Dear Leslie, Thank you!
      Your big baking down sounds fantastic! It is so good the chickens and ducks are laying again! Good job on the hair cuts! I cut Andys hair and forgot to mention that! Listening to something while working really works! I love getting two things done at once! Have a lovely Sunday and new week! With love Annabel.xxx

  5. Oh I love the story of the trades. So exciting! I also traded books at our local little library at the nature preserve. It was too icy to walk though but I have something to read for tonight's storm.

    1. Thanks Vicky, it is so nice to be able to do a free swap! I get to go back today as I am travelling so I will go to the swap tables and to the little library. I have three books and two bags of pears to take. Have a lovely Sunday and new week! xxx

  6. Love your biscuits! and those pasties look yummy. It is always so odd to think as we come out of winter people are going from summer to spring. Our weather has a mix of cooler nights and warmer days and we are in tornado season.
    * I love your pretty towels, and the chairs look like totally new chairs! I used to have a business doing embroidered items and I did a lot of painted furniture for my booth to sell. I love to paint.
    * I started a tray of 72 seeds. I have another under the grow light with vegetables, so this is a mix of spinach, kale, herbs, flowers, and turnips.
    * I used bones from the quarter cow and made bone broth and canned 5 quarts and 1 pint of rich broth.
    * I made some baby gowns with embroidered monograms and a onsie set with bib and burp cloths, and two diaper covers all monogrammed or with appliqued names on them. I had three baby gifts. I have one more gift I need to make.
    * I got my blocks all pieced and then just had to take a break and do something else. I need to add a border, then I can quilt it.
    * I've been deep cleaning the downstairs, moving all the furniture to clean baseboards well. I worked on the grout in the shower. It is stone tiles and our shower has two heads and is bog. It is beautiful, but a pain to keep clean. You can't use vinegar on it so I have to buy a stone cleaner. I still have some corners and will get back in this week to finish it.
    * I have made all meals from the freezer and pantry : smoked sausage with BBQ sauce and French fries, tacos, broccoli cheese soup, vegetable beef soup,. All but the sausage was already cooked and frozen so I've had a light week without cooking much.

    1. Dear Holly, I love the sound of your booth! I used to paint furniture too to sell. Mostly old dressing tables. I would paint them a palest pink which I mixed up myself. Most of the dressing tables came from the side of the road.
      Well done on getting your seeds started! Your baby gowns are just stunning. The rows of ruffles and the monograms are gorgeous!! What lovely gifts! I think you and I like a lot of the same things! I cant wait to see your quilt completed. You have put that together pretty fast! What a busy and productive week! With much love Annabel.xxx

  7. Dear Annabel,

    Your chairs are turning out so beautiful, and that rose fabric is to die for. I laughed about the water lily. Sending prayers for trouble-free calf deliveries!

    My eldest and I decided to tackle a partial kitchen "spring clean" this week. I washed the curtains plus the curtains that line the glass fronts of a cabinet that holds our pots and pans (which I don't wish to look at, hence the curtains). Surprise, surprise, I guess I've never washed those cabinet curtains before, and they shrunk A LOT. So, I had to rummage around in my stash and come up with some new curtains. They turned out cute, but I miss my little cherries on the old fabric! Boo hoo. There you go. A simple mistake, and I knew better, but it happened anyway. At least I got a new look in my kitchen! Ha, ha. Will be continuing on with the kitchen deep clean over this next week.

    You and Vicky are the queens of barter!

    Snowed in here today...winter has decided to finally arrive now that we're ready for spring!

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen, Thank you! Well done on being able to whip up some new curtains for your cabinet. They are a great idea for hiding things. I always loved the under sink curtains and cabinet curtains of the very old kitchens.
      I am hoping for drama free calf deliveries too! We will be weathering them really closely. It is cold here too but not that cold! I hope Spring re appears as I know you will be wanting to get planting! With much love Annabel.xxx

  8. Debby in Kansas USA3 March 2023 at 09:18

    Well Annabel, of course the fish like their new water lily! Who doesn't love beautiful fresh flowers in their home?!

    That's amazing about the trades! I'm sure they are just as tickled as you are.

    Those cookies look delicious, as do the pasties. If you're ever cruising through Kansas, I will most definitely enjoy such a gift haha!

    I love your chair! I freshened mine up a few years ago with some paint it's amazing what paint and new chair cushions did to spruce up the dining room. And all for less than the cost of one new chair.

    Enjoy your Autumn. It's my favorite. I love Spring, but rarely enjoy the wicked heat of summer! The added humidity about knocks me over. As long as the humid air comes with a good rain shower, I won't complain...much! We so desperately need the rain.

    1. Dear Debby, I have almost finished all six chairs. I was very lucky the upholstery is in perfect condition and I like the colour. Humidity is exhausting but it sure makes things grow! We have had rain too and it is fantastic, my garden has revived! With love, Annabel.xxx

  9. Annabel I think as an adult I would be thrilled with my own tin of biscuits so I’m sure the kids felt very special!! The chairs are turning out beautifully. I love that you’ve found a new trading partner.

    Yesterday I got out a crochet blanket I started making towards the end of winter last year. I pulled out all the wool and chose the next ten colours of stripes. I’ve done two of those colours and am just going to keep plugging away at it. I really want to find the inspiration to start on some bigger sewing projects but at the moment I’ve decided that crochet is so quick to just pick up and do a little bit that it‘s a good way to get me crafting again.

    My daughter and I cleared out her clothes that are getting on the small side and chose some new ones out of the box of hand-me-downs that I keep for her. She loves getting new clothes, and is so happy to find out who had them before her. Long may it last! It’s like shopping but for free lol.

    I hope everyone has a great weekend

    Jen (NZ)

    1. Dear Jen,
      I knew Autumn would have you fire up and be back to crocheting! I like working on stripes as I always want to get to the new change of colour and it pushes me along. So lovely your daughter is happy and excited for new to her clothes! And so happy you have a good supply you can bring out for her. It is already quite cold here so both my girls will be going through the clothes to bring out the next size up in warmer things! With much love Annabel.xxx

  10. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    Those chairs are looking beautiful with the new white paint! So fresh and pretty. What a nice idea to make biscuits for each of the children, I love it. The biscuits and pasties look delicious - and the cows are too cute!

    It's a treatment week for my husband - more time away from home so not as much time for extras - but I did get the washing/cleaning done and did a couple of cooking and baking sessions (pizza scrolls, bread, pumpkin bread, apple crumble). The garage got a good clean, I organized the big standup freezer (which really needed it) and I put some new pillow covers on throw pillows to give the living room an inexpensive lift. Today I have a big pot of beef barley soup going in my slow cooker, made with beautiful meaty beef bones from our local farmer and lots of veggies. My husband is feeling good but labs came back anemic, so I am trying to build him up!

    On the weekend I learned there was a craft store warehouse in the town next to ours, where they sell previous season's supplies and home decor. Well, this place was absolutely huge and prices were amazing - I got some skeins of merino wool yarn for $6 for 400 yards and lovely metal knitting needles for a few dollars. Crafts-wise I finished 1 pair of socks last night, and have been working away at my shawl and another pair of socks - and putting a few stitches in my cross-stitch pieces.

    I hope everyone has a good weekend.

    1. Dear Kathy,
      I am so glad you found out about this craft warehouse! Pure wool yarn is always a good investment. It is beautiful. It lasts. Despite many appointments you still achieved such a lot. The soup and bone broth both sound fantastic. Having had long term iron problems, Lucy is the same... Mum was the same... this is a battle Im familiar with. Lots of eggs are good but having vitamin C with your food helps you absorb the iron. Also Parsley is really high in iron so that gets sprinkled on everything! The weather has turned here and its cold... so my wool yarn has come out and Im getting back to a couple of blankets. If you can keep your eye on the warehouse you might end up with lots of future supplies! With much love Annabel.xxx

  11. Annabel! I am sooooo proud of you! The crochet cotton is a beautiful color and the crystals will be a beautiful gift for Harper. This makes my heart very happy! I absolutely love your chairs they are gorgeous! And the biscuits for the kids I'm sure they will always remember and treasure as they grow. You know how I love your birds and animals so I can't wait to see your new additions.

    1. Thanks so much Vicky! The swaps are growing and growing! My chairs are almost finished. Today or tomorrow I will finish them. Then I can move on to something else! With love Annabel.xxx

  12. Oh my goodness, you are doing such a wonderful job on those chairs! I just love how beautiful they look. I had to scroll up and go through your photos again.

    1. Thanks so much Dianna! I am nearly finished now. Then I can get back to sewing maybe! But I love them too, it has been worth it! xxx

  13. Anabell–I haven’t posted for months but faithfully read every entry. In May, my blood pressure dropped very low. I was medivacced to Anchorage with sepsis and spent 6 weeks in the hospital. Finally got my trip to Anchorage but it was not enjoyable! The toes on my right foot were amputated due to diabetes. I’m still healing. It was worse than it needed to be because my doctor ignored my violent petroleum and prescribed the wrong form
    of antibiotic.7
    Then Nov. 7 I gushed blood when I stood up. In the ER. they suspected endometrial cancer. I had a robotic hysterectomy 2 weeks ago. I told the surgeon I have had worse hangnails. Praise God, it was stage 1, level one, so routine follow-ups only.
    I am mostly at home, so I really appreciate your blog and all who share! Mostly I only go out for medical appointments and my son and husband do our shopping. I’ve been reading a wonderful series by Jennifer Chiaverini loosely based on
    a group of quilters in generations of a family. I’m not a quilter, but have so enjoyed these books. I have not read any of her other historical books.
    My husband. a retired pastor, is currently serving our home church which has helped financially but also gives him an outlet for his energy. We are still in the middle of winter in Fairbanks but are looking forward to gardening!
    Blessings to all, Alaska Gram

    1. Dear Alaska Gram, I am very sorry you have been so unwell. It is wonderful news that you do not have what was suspected!
      It is great your husband is serving the church and that also helps financially. I hope he continues as long as he has the health to do so. I am sure he is appreciated! Having a good book is lovely. Thank you for your kind words! I hope you continue to feel much better! With love Annabel.xxx

  14. Hi Annabel and Bluebirds

    Sorry I have been missing for a while but I have been catching up on all the Friday posts and January on the ground. A lot to take in and so many interesting things to be aware of. I would like to say "Thank You" to those who's posts I have read so far and to those that I have yet to read. I will be reading these as there is a lot of important information in them.

    Annabel, It is hard to believe how Harper has grown, well in fact all the grandchildren. Harper did look like she was enjoying the sewing and it is wonderful that your beautiful Mum sat and helped as well as yourself.

    Currently I am sitting here listening to the rain falling, which is beautiful but I am hoping that it doesn't make it steamy tomorrow as it has still been rather warm up here.

    How exciting it must be for you to be waiting on the arrival of your baby calves. Your photos of the cows are just so beautiful. I love going for a drive out in the valley here and seeing the cows except most of ours are the Brahmans, but there is a property up the range that have dairy cows that supply local milk..

    It is hard to believe that Term 1 will end here on the last day of March so holiday activities to plan and hopefully more sewing with DD12, This year really is flying by already.

    Take Care
    Aly xxx


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