Feather your Nest Friday, 3rd, November, 2023.

It feels like a good month since last Friday!  We are in NOVEMBER!  This year has gone by quickly!  

Some of the ways I feathered my nest this week include:

I went to visit a friend I had not seen in a long time.  This meant a trip to a town that I rarely go to however it is not further away from the two towns I usually shop in.   Seeing my friend was just beautiful and we went together to a local coop store where people sell their homemade items, cooking and plants.  They had Sweet Potato plants... something I have never grown.  We were lucky that the man who sells these was there and when I asked he gave us a complete lesson in how to plant,  grow,  harvest and propagate them.  Like,  the whole nine yards!   So I have two Sweet Potatoes to plant and I also bought a Cactus because it is so stunning! 

We also went to a huge cheap shop which a massive craft section and I found several things I have been hunting for.   Later I went to the local thrift shop as well.  I found a beautiful vintage bird book for $2 and three sets of bone china rose cups, saucers and plates which were $6.

It was love at first sight!  

It was a great day! 

At home I harvested quite a bit of Parsley which I freeze dried.

I added a beautiful little preserving jar that I also found in the thrift store.  😊

Chloe had a house guest who commented  WHERE did she get her extra large and super absorbent kitchen towels?   In that moment she knew what she could give this person for Christmas...  some of Mums hand made towels!   Without leaving home I was able to make three t towels with fabric I had on hand and I added two wash cloths...

So Chloe has another Christmas present sorted out.  I was also able to give her a couple of dozen more baby lettuce seedlings.

My own lettuce in my stack planters is going really well.  I have several varieties and I am harvesting it every few days.

Guys were here adding the news doors to the big shed.   There is still a bit to do then we are set!  The roof is all complete.  

The three big fruit trees are covered in baby pears and apples.  Today we got them covered in nets.  The apple tree was a bit of a debacle but then the pear trees were easy.  

My cook up for the week was a big batch of a creamy chicken pasta dish and I threw in a lot of home grown spinach. 

I tried a recipe for Spinach Triangles... which I really liked.   The Spinach is going crazy in the garden so I have been trying to make the most of it.   This recipe had Spring onions...  I replanted the bottom of them into the garden to re grow. 

A very persistent broody hen has six eggs to hatch.  She is only a small hen so I thought six might be enough.  And it won't hurt to have a few more chickens, right!?  🐔

We had friends come for lunch.  I made my homemade pasties and served them with relish.  We had a impromptu Bible study on the subject of current events.   I've had three opportunities to have really good fellowship with Christian friends in the last fortnight.  This did me so much good.

I made a Date Loaf to share with Mum.   It was delicious and a new recipe I will be keeping.

A beautiful parcel of fabric, along with a Dinosaur cake mould, arrived from a friend.  This was just wonderful!

Tomorrow Mum is coming and we are heading off to a craft, produce and plant market that is an annual event.   I am so excited!   We have seen previews of some of the stalls and I can see so many good ones.  We both would much rather buy anything from a home and local producer than a big store.  But also these kind of events are great for ideas and for seeing the prices.   Many of us who produce things at home undervalue their worth!   If I come across enough new ideas I will do a post on the Tuesday club and share them.

How did you build up your home, pantry or garden this week?   I would love to hear! xxx


  1. Those tea cups are gorgeous, I love them. You pack so much into your week; can't wait to hear how the sweet potato grows. Imagine the saving if you can grow it, cheapest it's been here all year is $2/kg! This week has been another inside, outside week, with some appointments and visitors. I was gifted some beautiful kitchen towels, and in my favourite colour (blue) and a pretty yellow, they are just lovely and were completely unexpected. And then another friend called in and gifted me the most beautiful little tapestry/cross-stitch stand that folds into a little side table. It is just lovely, and portable, so it will be easily packed to come away with us on our travels. My sewing time has been used to make little gift bags and small stockings from the leftover, small pieces of fabric in my stash. There's quite a pile now, ready to use. We've been eating from the pantry and freezer, and Wayne has had the extra serve for his lunch next day. I picked rhubarb and froze it for the future. The rosemary is going crazy, so I've been cutting it every day and hanging bunches to dry. The raspberries are looking wonderful and I think we'll get a crop of blackcurrants this year. The first planted tomatoes all have flowers and are nice and tall and healthy looking, so we may be eating our own tomatoes for Christmas. Enjoy your day tomorrow, it sounds blissful. I can't wait to hear what goodies you find, and what the prices were like, it's good to see a commercial value on things we make. Have a wonderful week, Cath xxx

    1. Dear Cath, You had a great week! Some lovely gifts too! Well the market was fantastic, inspiring and I did get ideas as well as a big update on prices of things. The t towels I posted above... there was a stall of homemade t towels, soaps, cotton wash cloths like we do, makeup round ones.. she had t towels just like mine... x large, cotton on one side and waffle on the other. A set of two was $69! I got from her the idea to use the waffle to make bath towels she had two layers of waffle... one bath towel was $89. I didnt unfold it to see the size but it looked a regular size not bath sheet size. She had soap on a rope... they looked vary manly and rustic for $15. I am going to put that as a 2024 project. I need to get all the ideas written down but I did take a fair few photos too.
      Oh was cloths were $12 to $15. Best of all Mum had a great time and it was a beautiful day! With love Annabel.xxx

  2. Your fellowship sounds lovely! And the lettuce, parsley and spinach growing is wonderful! I'm so grateful for your encouragement! This week my side gig made a little bit of money, and I managed to do a few extra chores that saved us a ton. My son needed senior pictures so we headed out to a local natural area on a sunny day. The pictures came out so good with all the fall foliage! I paid way too much for my oldest child's senior pictures, so I know this saved us so much! As we head into colder weather, I'm looking at ways of warming up without turning up the thermostat. Adding an extra layer, using a small space heater, having a cup of warm beverage, and well timed baking helps! So do extra quilts and blankets. I hope you have a good week ahead!
    Stacy in Virginia

    1. Dear Stacy, Thank you so much! Well done on your sons senior pictures in the lovely natural setting. We do not get freezing weather but when it is cold I find a heat pack... one of the microwave ones I make... helps so much. You can even make little ones to put in your pockets. They are wonderful! They make good gifts too! I stay much warmer when I am wearing a soft scarf. Well done on your side gig and the extra chores! This all has added up to a week of huge savings! With love Annabel.xxx

  3. Annabel, I absolutely love the china you found. The cactus is a beautiful addition to your garden.
    I had a slow week this week do to a few physical problems but did add to our pantry, so I felt good.

    I had made an apple pie for my husband, it was 5 lbs of apples, and I didn't want to waste the peelings, so I made 5 - 16 ounce containers of apple jelly. I even used jars I saved from relish, they look cute with their gold tops, the jelly came out a pretty pink.

    We shopped sales, loss leaders and clearance items only. We were blessed with reduced meat, even at Aldi. (This is a rarity.)
    Adding to our pantry at much better prices. My best purchase was 12 pounds of ebsom salts and paying 18 cents out of pocket.

    So slowly but surely I have been frugal and also adding to my pantry.

    1. Dear Rosanne, I just love how apples turn pink! You did a great job with the 5lbs of them. What a deal on Epsom salts! It is about 3 a pound here. I am about to look for some! Have a lovely Sunday! With love, Annabel.xxx

  4. I look forward to your inspiring posts each Friday!
    I’m intrigued by the Freeze Drier.
    Now that you’ve had it a while, do you think it was worth the $?
    If it’s not too much trouble, can you give a bit of a run down on how you do it all?
    Have you done left overs at all?
    Anything you’ve Learned about it that you would do differently? I have been tossing around purchasing one just not sure, I would use it as much… I really do not have much of a garden.
    Do you like it better than the dehydrator?
    I certainly appreciate your time and knowledge.
    I have so enjoyed all the effort you have put into each post.
    I have been with you since the beginning and have learned so much! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    1. Dear Tootles, Hello!! Thank you so much! I love my dehydrator. I got to the stage I had it running all the time before I began to think about the freeze drier. I began to learn about them through Acre Homestead and other you tubers who were freeze drying all the time. The more I learned the more I was interested... until they became more common in Australia. But even then I was very cautious and hesitant. I have not freeze dried left overs as yet. I am gradually trying new things and so far everything has worked out well. I will try to include more info as I post. Yes I have loved it and do think it was worth it. It was expensive of course. I also had to rearrange my house to create a freeze drier area, table, set up. As I grow more and more I have more food to preserve. As I also trade, look for good deals etc that gives me more again. I still will use my dehydrator for some things but yes overall I like it better and mainly because the end product will last for up to 25 years as compared to probably a couple of years. Herbs are amazing freeze dried. When you add them to your food it is as if they were never preserved they re the same as when you picked them. Its strange! I harvest and waste much less now because of it. I want to be able to feed all my family should the need arise. People spend this amount on holidays, habits etc without a thought. Food security is to me a better way to spend this amount of money. I would do it again only next time sooner! With much love Annabel.xxx

    2. Thanks so much for your time and knowledge answering!!!
      As I said earlier, I have been with you since nearly the beginning, and have gained so much wonderful wisdom. Blessings upon you.

  5. The cactus is beautiful! I think I will try a grow tower like you have. Do you just water the top and it trickles down to all the lower grow spaces? Your lettuce looks fabulous.

    1. Dear Lynd, Thank you! When the seedlings are tiny they all need a sprinkle. Once they are bigger with decent root systems you can mainly just water from the top and the water will work its way down. When its really hot I think I will probably hose the way around so they all get more water. But overall yes the water works its way down. It is a really easy way to grow a lot! I hope that helps! Love Annabel.xxx

  6. Yes on the chickens! It is nice to hear about what you are growing and harvesting now that it is so cold and every thing has frozen here. That cactus is wonderful!

    We did an insurance check up and will save $1000 on our homeowners insurance for the next year and our auto insurance will be half what the renewal rate was. That is real savings for just some time on the phone and a bit of paperwork to change companies.

    1. Dear Lana, Wow what savings! That goes to show how ringing up the companies pays off! Great work. Things are really starting to grow here with such sunny days! Have a lovely Sunday! With love Annabel.xxx

  7. What a lovely week Annabel! You’re right, the cactus is stunning, I love the wooden planter it is in. How nice to catch up with your friend. The tea cup set is beautiful!

    We’ve had a busy few weeks, full of lots of exciting events but tiring! I’m hoping it will wind down a bit for the next few weeks, and then as we get close to school finishing it will probably be busy again. So I need to use this time to get organised. I want to finish my assignments for my current course next week and then take a bit of a break from studying.

    I made a crochet dishcloth which was so much faster than knitting one! I’m planning on giving some as teacher gifts so the faster the better. I also stocked up on pure wool for only $2/ball.

    I’ve been adding to Christmas presents, I’ve only got one child left to buy for. My idea of a fun Christmas is one where I don’t have to go shopping in December lol.

    Have a lovely weekend, enjoy the fair with your mum!

    Jen (NZ)

    1. Dear Jen, I also like to be done before December. With the cooking etc December is busy enough... not to mention end of year kids things!
      The craft market I went to yesterday had the cotton dish cloths between $12 to $15. Also bundles of little round ones as makeup remover pads. Tied up in bundles they all looked beautiful. I think crochet is faster too! I have tried both on the wash cloths and now I stick to crochet.
      It will be great to finish your course work and have the break. Wool at $2 is a great buy these days! Have a very good new week! With love Annabel.xxx

  8. What a bargain on the cup trio and it's very pretty too.

    1. Thanks Wendy, I know you love them too! xxx

  9. Wow Annabel another wonderful and productive week. I am glad you got the run down on how to grow the sweet potato. I only grow the orange one here. Potatoes grow but they dont thrive here. Sweet potato grows really well so it is our go to potato.
    I think the tea cup set is just beautiful as is the cactus. Who would think such a spikey mean plant could produce such gorgeous flowers?
    I went to Office works and had some of my patterns printed off in A0 size. I wont be doing any home printing onto A4 and sticking them all together anymore. I have the girls Christmas dresses, the little boys Christmas shirts and the mens Christmas shirts ready to draft off patterns in the various sizes. Now I just need to get the cutting out and making done.
    This past week I have been sewing Christmas baubles to send to family and friends. I finished off a Christmas wall hanging for my daughter, two Christmas fairies for my Grandies and a Christmas tree skirt for me.
    I have also sewn two summer weight sleeping bags and two sets of Pj's for Spencer.
    When we went to the Accountant, I saw that there was an Op shop next door. I took myself in and found two cool summer dresses for me and one for Katie. I also found a truck for our toy box, for when the little boys visit.
    It's so dry here that level 2 water restrictions are in place. If we dont get some decent rain soon, we will be up to L3 before Christmas. I am so thankful we have a bore that we can pump from. This is keeping our garden growing whilst so many people are having to leave theirs to die.
    We did have a wonderful afternoon on a sunset cruise of our Bay last Tuesday. There are bushfires around the town, but not impacting the town at this stage, and the smoke made the sunset magnificent with colour. The winds were up so it was a bit rough and we only saw the one sea turtle. It was a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours.
    Mum has been for a visit. She has put in an order for more lip balm, soap and crochet face cloths for Christmas. I need to make some more lip balm but have everything else made. Mum will soon be on the finished list for gifting. Mum is not the best cook in the world, so when she gets here she loves that Bluey cooks up special meals for her. Dad didnt come so we didnt have to cater for his disgust of all things that are called vegetables. Mum stuffed herself silly and this was good to see as she is skin and bones and could use a bit of beefing up.
    I'm with Jen(NZ), a fun Christmas is where I dont have to go shopping in December.
    Have a wonderful week. Life is good.

    1. Dear Jane, It is awful to think of people having to let gardens die. Thank goodness you have that bore. Your sunset cruise sounds very nice! Also good that you had Mum to visit and she enjoyed Blueys cooking. Now you know what she wants for Christmas that is handy and you will have it all made in no time. Very nice you found dresses and a dress for Katie! She would be thrilled with that. It is so helpful when we know exactly what they like, size, style, colours and can strike the jackpot! Have a very good new week! With love Annabel.xxx

  10. I am so thankful for your continuous encouragement to be prepared. I have always had a deep pantry, but I was driven to do more when 2020 broke upon the world. My husband just got notice that his company is shutting down the plant he works at December 31st. I have no need of groceries except fresh milk, fruit, and vegetables. We will start applying for jobs this weekend. Men in the 45-60 year age range are often passed over. I am praying that my husband will find work quickly. I taught elementary school before my children were born. I will most likely start substitute teaching in the next few weeks to save extra money over the next 60 days. I am not scared because I am as prepared as our circumstances allow. Deanna in Michigan USA

    1. Dear Deanna, Thank you so much, I am really happy to hear that I helped encourage you. I am really sorry about your husbands job. I have heard about a fair few especially in the last week. I hope he finds something else quickly but your stockpile is such a help. Substitute teaching could be very good. That pays very well in Australia I know that much. While your husband is looking for work you might have things that you would love help with that adds to your preparedness in some other way. I hope this week goes well with some possible jobs to apply for. With much love Annabel.xxx

  11. Rick from Fl Nd Donna from N Indiana
    Dear Annabel, well, I THINK Donna got your post! Sometimes we wander plus hearing and makes for uncertainty. At any rate she thanks one and all for the outpouring of love via the post to her!!
    Planning on going to (stepson) Jim’s Thanksgiving. Her (stepdaughter) Judy is cooking as Jim’s wife is recently home from hospital! All in all a good lookout for now!! Donna’s worried about snow and icw on bird feeders but Jim (who fills them) assured her it would all take care of itself!!
    Went to new MD and he listened! So pleased so far!
    Otherwise, sorting out my Christmas gifts shelf! I do a Nativity advent calendar with felt figures and gifts for my granddaughter. I just put gifts in lunch bags (so much cheaper than “gift” bags!) I WAS planning on sending a small gift box to relatives’ kids in Denmark but shipping starts at $40. for under 10 lbs. Instead it filled my Advent gift bag! Other gifts in piles to start wrapping! Plus doing our weekly pill bags and printing your Monday and Friday newsletters made up my week!

    What a lovely week you had! I always feel so re-committed to entertain good and uplifting thoughts when visiting Christian friends! It’s not like mixing at church some how. Anyway, it was a pleasure! As was your thrifting! That cactus and that cup and saucer set! Plus getting the lowdown on sweet potatoes!
    Glad to hear you were spared damage from that ice and snow storm on tour fruit trees! I see lots of fruit in your pantry!
    I love date bread but find banana bread unappealing somehow. Date is so moist and full flavored, sort of hardy spice cake taste!
    We’ve been trying to use up freezer meals. Luscious very wide Amish noodles in Chicken soup! Heavenly! Also my deep dish lasagna and Danish frikkerdeller (beef and pork) burgers! Yum!
    Trying to include gifts from your suggestions list for Christmas! Such good ideas! Also have butternut squash for soup!
    On line I found a cute sticker for inside the lid of the mailbox, saying: “Thanks for all you do!” With picture of Mail truck!
    Remember, too, to include postage stamps when gifting card sets to friends or (especially) elderly! Most retirees and others do not have a lot extra for that expense or able to get out to buy them!

    Thank you, as always, Annabel for your unending efforts on our behalf!
    Sending Love , Hugs, and Blessings to one and all,
    Rick and Donna

    1. Dear Rick and Donna, I agree that the gift of some stamps along with cards is very helpful. Also I love the sticker for inside the mail box. I am thinking what I can do there because out here the mail lady we have, who comes 3 x. week, is so very appreciated.
      Your cooking sounds delicious! Also you paper bag advent calendars! Thanks giving sounds so good to me, we do not have it here but I think it sounds lovely. So for us Turkey is a Christmas and sometimes New Years Day meal. Plus I aim to have as many left overs as possible!
      I am glad Donna has had some mail! Have a wonderful new week, Many thanks, Annabel.xxx

  12. The china is gorgeous Annabel and how lovely to have fellowship. It is always refreshing. And so wonderful you were able to help Chloe with a friend gift.
    Usually my busy season is over or almost over by now, but not this year there is still quite a bit we have to do. But good things happen too.
    I traded for 6 big heads of broccoli and added them to the freezer and will be trading for more.
    A man that Rick works on his ATV was having huge ash trees cut down at his house which is close to us so we took the wood he wasn't saving. Nice big pieces. We got free fire wood and the man saved $500 off of his bill for the company not having to haul them away.
    I received a free pack of diapers and alot more perfume samples in the mail.
    I baked 7 loaves of banana bread, oatmeal cookie bars and a pound cake to use up bananas and some went into the freezer.
    We pulled out the fencing stakes from around the garden and tilled both gardens. This next week we will be planting garlic and the winter rye we use as a cover crop.
    I hung out the wash on the few nice days we had.
    I had the freezers organized, but decided to defrost them one at a time and give them a good cleaning.
    We sold 6 of our chickens. The original buyer backed out when we still had them as peeps.
    I cut up old Christmas cards to use for crafts. Not ones from friends though.
    I had some blue yarn that wasn't a full skein I wanted to use up so after crocheting my granddaughter a little bag I decided to make my other granddaughter and daughter in law one too. My daughter in law's bag I will fill with some of the perfume samples. I have men's cologne samples too and my son and daughter in law have loved getting those little bottles of smell good the last few years. Stores sell the same size samples in sets and call it a discovery set and they cost $12- $30 a set so basically I make my own haha.
    And I've been saving little brown boxes to use as gift boxes. I'm going to use a vintage theme again this year.
    The poo from the chicken coop we put in the garden along with the banana peels and egg shells from my baking.
    Have a beautiful week Bluebirds!

    1. Dear Vicky, The broccoli looked beautiful and now Ive seen one of your meals too... a great trade! I like your vintage theme. That is my favourite. You did a lot of baking! And cleaning out the freezers is excellent too. Now you will have room for a Turkey if you find one!
      I have been saving boxes and packing, especially if it just plain brown paper type.... this will help me with some of the paper type gifts.
      The free firewood is great! Especially good getting some really heavy thick bits. Being ahead in firewood is a very big advantage. Have a lovely new week! With love Annabel.xxx

  13. Dear Annabel,
    Those rose cup and saucer sets are so you and so pretty. I had good luck in an opp shop yesterday too with tea towels for our little caravan. I also got a beautiful Waterford Bride and Groom figurine - all in white - for no reason - it is just pretty. This week I was able to get a few long overdue projects done including green curtains to match the color of my husbands F250 ute for it's back windows. I had two green pillow slips that had John Deere tractors on them and these made the middle of the curtains, I left them as cases with the zippers in for if he ever wants to hide or store something in there. It is not exactly a professional finish but he loves them and that is all that matters. I think I've said in a comment before that I planted sweet pea seeds in March deliberately close to our bedroom window. After watering them, looking for them to sprout and helping them wind up a ladder, excitingly they began to bloom last week. And as I had hoped and prayed for, when I opened the bedroom windows to air the room out on Wednesday- their beautiful scent came wafting in. I can't tell you how happy that made me. I think heaven must smell like that. Love Clare

    1. Dear Clare, I love how your husband likes the curtains so much! The Waterford bride and groom is probably a collectors item! I just googled... I think you have a valuable item!
      The scent of Sweet Peas would be bliss! How beautiful! That would make me happy too! You had a very nice week! With much love Annabel.xxx


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