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.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

The Christmas Challenge. Show and Tell for November. 2017.

Today I am off to the farm!  I am posting then heading south. It is very warm weather too.  As usual I will op shop on the way!  There are two small towns that have great op shops.  This breaks up the trip which is a three hour drive.  It makes it really fun.  Most of the trip is lovely.  I go along the Coorong. If you live overseas then google that as it is interesting!

Today I will start show and tell for November. We are getting so close to Christmas now!

First of all we have Cookie.  She is waiting on the birth of a very special baby and she made a beautiful quilt which was given at the most fantastic baby shower I have ever heard about!

And she is busy now on burp cloths and all sorts of other baby items!  Anyone would love to have Cookie sewing lovely things for their new baby!

Maria made Angel Wings for her Aunt.  What could be better than angel wings? Ruffled angel wings! 

I have always loved this verse.   I think this is a most beautiful Christmas gift Maria!

Also Maria showed me her packaging for her little fruit cakes and Christmas cooking.

I thought this is bright, cheerful, reusable and sealed.  Very good idea.  I could do with saving up some nice containers to do the same.

Kathy recently mentioned inheriting her husbands Grand Mothers quilts. I said how I would love to see them and she sent me photos!  So here they are:

This is my favourite for the quilted pattens and the colouring. Just divine.

These are just stunning.  I know I would have loved this lady.  What work she put into these.  

What is also wonderful to me is that Kathy really appreciates these quits and they will be valued and cared for.  To me these things in a family are worth more than anything you can buy in some shop.  Just far more.

Kathy also shared an op shop (thrift store) find she was thrilled with...

I can see why, I love cups and saucers.  I watch for them all the time!

Thank you Kathy!  I wonder if I will find any treasures today?

If you have work to show please email me at and I will feature it next week.  Feel free to include cooking for Christmas as well as crafts!  In fact as we go into December if you are cooking and packaging up goodies please share as it seems packaging ideas are something we are all looking for.  I can add these kind of pictures at any time!

I will have to post feather your Nest Friday on the weekend when I get back.  But I think I will have a lot to report and will look forward to hearing about your week which I hope will be a great on!  xxx

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Pantries and Preparedness. Fruit season!

We only have three days of Spring to go.  Summer starts on Friday and wherever I go fruit is setting on trees.  I went walking last night and found a nectarine and a peach tree in a lane that I didn't know about!  All covered in fruit!
Usually I pride myself in knowing every fruit tree around and I didn't know about these!  Even our supermarket has a lemon tree in the car pack. It is amazing how few people pick the lemons and walk right past it to buy lemons in the store.  In fact the whole car park has a hedge of Rosemary and once I saw a lady buying tiny sprigs of Rosemary in a little plastic packet.   I have Rosemary five feet high so I am ok there!

Summer is the hardest month here as we get heatwaves and our power prices are the highest in the world.  And we get blackouts as well.  And we get bushfires.  So mostly I am glad when it is over.  But the fruit and summer vegetables are the best thing! The time to get ready is now!

The Plums were from my Aunts lovely garden. 

Laine always prayed before shopping.  Since I changed my shopping ways and shop many stores I also am in the habit to pray before shopping.  To see the best deals, find the things we need and to have things to build up my pantry.  Well, I do the same with fruit season and produce.

For years I had buckets of apricots from an elderly neighbour plus plums.  Her son put her in a nursing home and pushed down all the trees.   Then I had six years of peaches from neighbours over the back and now they pushed down all three peach trees.  Things are looking grim.  (also what is wrong with people!?)

But there are possibilities everywhere and I am praying that I have lots of fruit come my way.  This is my chance to have a years worth of stewed fruit, pies, jam, relish etc for our household and also for the girls.  This also gives me gifts.  I can make up a hamper of five different jams or a pie with a jar of jam.

Figs from the farm. I can count on these!

The last few years Chloe has picked figs from several trees out on the farm.  I suddenly had to become big on fig recipes!  And I have found so many!  I bake them with chicken, wrap them with prosciutto and fill with cream cheese,  make fig paste and jam,  top a pizza.   Chloe is going to be dehydrating them this year as well.   

Whatever it is that comes your way you can turn it into an asset.  Figs for instance sold for $2 EACH here last summer yet there are trees on farm that no one picks.  How often it is that people have a gold mine in their own backyard and not realise.

Chloe took this picture to show me she had made Lemon Butter plus was using the peels to make vinegar for cleaning! 

I keep a basket in the car just incase of finds!  This year I am watching in some of the out of town fruit and veggie shops for cases of tomatoes.  If I can get any at a great price I will be making relish and sauce.  So I am casting my net further afield. 

I let everyone know I make jam.  I am happy to pick fruit and return with cooking in exchange.  I am willing to knock at a door and ask if I see fruit being wasted.  I have made several friends this way!

Fruit, preserves etc also give you something to barter with.  There is a swap group near us and probably they are everywhere.  Your abundance can be exchanged for something else.  This is full of possibilities!

Teri just sent me pictures of her summers work!  Beautiful.

For now I am busy putting the word out.  Saving containers that I could fill with stewed fruit for the freezer.  Saving jars.  Storing sugar, labels and saving lemons or freezing lemon juice (if you add a little lemon juice to jam you never need to buy pectin) 

I watch for jars everywhere!  I save them and wash them up,  get them from op shops and let everyone know I want jars.  I have about a hundred ready right now.  Also I am saving bottles for tomato sauce, plum sauce and who knows what else!

This week I will be in country op shops again.  So I will be watching for more jars. 

More of Teri's current pantry!

A well stocked pantry is one of the best things you can have.  This is all a great way to add a lot to your shelves for very little.  This is making hay while the sun shines!  Aside of supplies you have the ability to go to the pantry to help someone else,  find a present, take something with you when going to visit someone.

This is Rachel's citrus jam.  Looking gorgeous.

Sometimes I end up with something I am not familiar with.  I still say yes!  This is my chance to learn about something new and find new recipes.  This is when the internet is great.  I just google  "recipes using....." and you get so much information.  

Many times we even overlook things right in front of us.  Until Jes taught me I didn't know how to use rosehips.   If you go to Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth you can find information on how to use everything from your apple peels and cores to your orange skins.   They are all resources!

More preserving by Teri.

My Nan always knew every fruit tree (especially lemon tree) in a fifty mile radius.  She loved produce!  I inherited it from her I think.  Recently Allie my niece told me how she just loves picking fruit.  It turned out she knew nothing of her Great Grandmother.  So I let her know she comes from a long line of industrious cooks!  

This year I would also love to do sun dried tomatoes.  I am asking Andy to build me an outdoor drying rack.  Might as well use the scorching heat for something good!  We have dry heat which is ideal.   So I will be learning something new! 

So I hope this summer will be busy with produce.  I am ready!  

Have a good week!  It will be busy here.  And next weekend I will be putting up the Christmas tree! xxx

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Feather your Nest Friday, 24th November, 2017.

We have rain after a really warm week.  And I got my linen washed and dried including my woollen underlay all about an hour before it started!  I was pretty proud of this timing but it was cutting it fine!

Some of the ways I feathered the nest this week included:

I have a lot of roses dried now.  

There are still lots hanging up but I packaged up as many as I could.  Jane told me that the soap supply shops sell rosebuds for about $8 a packet.  So I looked around online, on ETSY etc and found this is about the going rate.  I saw some packets of 6 buds for $4.   I always check out prices as mostly this is surprising and I then count my efforts in my Vicky Challenge.  But it is good to know!  I notice a lot of natural things are selling for high prices.  Pinecones sell around 50c each (or more) Gum nuts are sound $8 for a bag of 30...  You may have a gold mine and not know it!  

I have 22 packets made up so far...

I grouped them into colour and sizes....

This was really fun to do as I could play with flowers all day.  I am going to add a pretty ribbon around each packet.  Some of the tiny pink buds I will save to go on my Coconut Ice.  Some will be gifts for my soap making friends, some will be saved for our next swap party.

It was my week of flowers as I was given a huge bunch,  these were actually saved from a bin! 

They are just coming out and are palest pink!  They are HUGE!  

And in the garden I have hydrangeas just starting to flower and a little white rose that is flourishing...

I went through the present cupboard.  As usual I found things I had forgotten about.  I have stuff everywhere!  As usual it proved that doing a bit all year really adds up.  I am in a mess right now because I have little heaps as I work out all my parcels. The best solution is to start wrapping I think. Laine told me she has all her presents wrapped and that when we have time and feel up to it to just do it!   Many times December is overloaded and it is hard and we are exhausted.  I am agreeing and so as of today I am wrapping.  

I gave the dishwasher a good clean.
I found another huge Agave plant on the side of the road, this will be for Chloe's garden.
Finally I caught up with the eggs!

Beautiful mail from Kelsey made my day.  She sent me one of her handmade cards and beautiful floral papers which were from the swap party...

When I start card making I have the loveliest things to work with! 

The tomatoes I planted earlier have taken off and have started to produce tiny green tomatoes...

These are about six feet high now. It seems not long ago when I planted them!  
Our apple and quince trees also are covered in small fruit.

So that was my week so far.   Each night I have either been walking or swimming.  This is a spin off from changing my diet, I am not achy so I feel like doing something in the evenings.  This is all really adding up!

I hope you had a good week.  How did you build up your home, save, get ahead?

Have a wonderful weekend! xxx

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

The Christmas Challenge. Fast ways to boost you Christmas gift supply!

Thinking about this I came up with a lot of things I have made in big numbers.  This is my favourite way to really boost the present supply,  make multiples production line style!
I came up with a long list which I have narrowed down by considering things that we can realistically do now in time for Christmas time wise!
The next factors are things that will suit at least several people plus be a reasonable cost.  Better still, use items we already have on hand!

Many times I have made batches of prettily wrapped soaps.  I buy pink Dove soap in boxes.  The fact they are boxed makes the wrapping look neat and lovely.  Usually I can get these for $1 each in the cheap shops yet it is beautiful soap that smells just lovely.  When I post these everyone says how the parcel smelled so good!
You can use wrapping paper,  craft papers, images from magazines or books, wallpaper...
I got the idea when I saw exquisitely wrapped soaps in a gift store. They were $20 each!
I have used all kinds of ribbons I have, silk flowers, bling, old brooches...

One year I worked crochet edges around face washers and little flowers and paired these with my soaps.  If you crochet this is a fairly fast project.  My edgings tutorial is here. 
Working an edging around something is much faster than crocheting the whole item. Edgings look lovely on kitchen towels, aprons, pillowcases, wash cloths, scarves, towels... and more!

My soaps are usually in a few colour schemes.  I have used floral book pages and all sorts of images.

The main thing is to wrap neatly and stick things down in such a way that your ribbon will conceal everything. I then craft glue the ribbon edges to hold tight.  
I have also given these away in groups of three if I need a larger gift.

Another gift I have made lots of times is various versions of notebooks.  Most of us love note books! You need to find inexpensive little books with plain covers.   Sometimes I have found them in multiple packs.  If you are a crafter or card maker and have images, sparkly stuff, stickers etc you are set.  Also lace, motives, ribbon,  etc are possibilities.  

These are fun to make and if you make small ones they post well.  A pen could be an addition.   Another idea is to use larger books and cover them with fabric to be diaries or with food/cooking images to be somewhere to write best recipes. 

Similarly cards make good gifts!  I love a big card making session.  If you make them into packs of five or six you have a gift. Everyone uses cards and they cost a fortune!   

I usually use cellophane bags as my packaging but a lovely box would be very nice.  Again a pen would be nice if you want to add something, stamps or a birthday book maybe. 
My dear friend Ethel many years ago would make up a folder with dividers and pockets.  She did this for the Mums and Grandmothers.  It would have cards for every occasion and all the family birthdays written in.   So Grandma could turn to January and there was a list of Birthdays plus the cards needed. This was a beautiful and helpful gift.  It was a gift of help, money saving and thoughtfulness.

Another one Ethel taught me was mini Christmas cakes.  She saved the tins from tuna and washed them up. He husband would knock the sharp edges with a hammer.  These became her little cake tins.  Lined well with non stick paper she would make up Christmas cakes.  These can be made well ahead.
Most years I do some of these.  They are right for a person who lives alone or even a couple.

You could use any recipe at all. My Christmas Cake recipe keeps at least a year and that is here.  Ethel decorated hers beautifully with royal icing.  My icing skills are not so hot.  You could also use muffin trays or little round soufflé dishes or any small cake tins.

Gift tags are another idea.  Like cards they make lovely gifts in packs.  They could also be book marks.
Tanya has made lots....  

She cut up a book of flowers for her images. They are really pretty!

Six in a cellophane bag tied up prettily is a good gift.

Tanya your gift tags are just lovely!  The bottom ones I can also see as luggage labels for travelling.

Another I make every year is Coconut Ice.  In stores this is sold in tiny pieces as it is rich.  I make a couple of baking trays of it and cut them into about 3 x 5 inch pieces.  This is one of the times I use my dried rosebuds too.

This is so yum and easy to make.  It is smooth and creamy.  I like to make the top layer the palest pink.  

This is my recipe Coconut Ice.

Lots of recipes are good for making big batches.  Packaged nicely they make great gifts.  I like fudge, rocky road,  gingerbread, peanut brittle....

I usually make shortbread.  Even with the price of butter this is a spectacular gift for very little.  To give it as a big gift I do the whole recipe on a pizza pan and give it whole.

This recipe is good as it isn't crumbly! Vanilla Shortbread. 
It can be cut out in shapes as well or baked whole and cut into wedges.  If you have tins then it can be given this way.

If you have someone who is gluten free (or grain free etc) making them a batch of something they can have is a really wonderful gift!  It is thoughtful and special and most store bough special diet items are very expensive!  This could be a hit. 

Holley suggested Crock Pot Candy. She shared this easy recipe which is here.  I am going to try this thank you Holley!

Barb suggested making up little hampers with a theme.  Pampering,  coffee drinker, afternoon tea, gardener.  This can be quick and easy to put together.

Jane has made lots of things in big numbers.  One is lip balms...

Another was shopping bags.  

Something like this would be great if you have a lot of fabric and fairly fast to make up.  
Pretty pillowcases are another one!  

Jane also decorates pegs. These are amazingly useful!  She started with a tutorial found on Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth.  A couple of years ago I did ones with birds on them.  They still keep the cheese packet shut! I gave them away on cards of six.   Thank you for demonstrating this also Jane! 

Wendy makes decorated hand towels in big numbers.  This is another good one. She adds a strip of pointed fabric and lace etc.  If you have fabric or lace remnants this would also work on face washers or kitchen towels.

Another I love to do is make up hampers of some of everything.  If I have preserves I will include a cake, jam, packets of shortbread, gingerbread, peanut brittle or whatever I have been making.  It is a selection.  Size it to match the family.   I watch for baskets from the op shop/thrift stores and save wooden boxes, trays etc.  With some cellophane and ribbon you can make it look wonderful.   If you look at the prices of hampers in the stores they are extremely expensive.  These are wonderful gifts.   

Sometimes I have found bulk packs of things that can be broken down into gifts.  I watch out for these!  This can apply to pretty much anything but the last time I did it was the hugest pack of Christmas Sweets.  I broke it up into about 20 little packs that I decorated and added these to my hampers.

With just over a month to Christmas making a big batch of something can really boost what you have.  Timing is everything.  For most of the baked goods I collect everything I need now.  Make sure I have cellophane etc as well.  I generally make coconut ice, shortbread etc about a fortnight before Christmas and give it out then.   For things given on Christmas Day I would do this kind of cooking a few days before.   Everything else can be done now to keep Christmas week calm!

Thank you everyone for sending in ideas!  There are some more in comments on last Wednesdays Christmas Challenge post and I have run out of time.   If you would like to add ideas and recipes please do!  

I can't believe how close we are to Christmas!  I know tomorrow is also Thanksgiving for our USA friends. Happy Thanksgiving!   

I hope your week is going well!  It is hot here! xxx

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Pantries and Preparedness. Grain free with Laine.

A couple of weeks ago I shared how I am experimenting with not eating grains in an effort to rid myself of pretty bad aches and pains.  I wrote about that here with help from Cookie.

I am up to week seven now with no grains at all.  I no longer have aching legs, arms, joints... I wake up feeling much better in the mornings,  I have a lot more energy and I actually FEEL LIKE exercising and am walking or swimming everyday.  And even then... no pain!

This experiment has worked so well for me I cannot see myself ever eating grains again.  I had a week of pain after eating seeds so I got a great big reminder of what it feels like.  I was miserable. It was just awful.  So no grains and no seeds.    And I don't care a bit.  The way I feel is so drastically different it is worth it!

The photos today are from Rachel. She got chickens! 
She sent me this series of pictures to show me.
Each time she said "chickie chickie" they pretty much said they were too busy to pose for photos! 
It became a little story that reminded me very much of Winnie the Pooh!
They are gorgeous and funny!

Now this is not for everyone.  But I am sharing in case it does help someone.  If you suffer pain, inflammation, chronic disease or exhaustion then read up on foods that are natural anti inflammatories
and suggestions that might be worth trying.  I found it only took five days to know it worked. This was a small investment of time and effort for such big results. It cost nothing.  I just had to get organised!   Several of my good friends helped me very much.   One of them was Laine who many of you know so well!

Back in the days of Laine's Letters she was very interested in health and eating natural foods.  She has helped me a lot and was another voice that encouraged me to try what I thought was quite radical... going grain free.

Today we get an insight into Laine's diet and reason for her making many changes.

Over to Laine...

Dear Sisters,
I just celebrated three years grain free! And I say celebrated because going grain free has reduced pain considerably in my gut and bladder, for I suffer with a condition known as Interstitial Cystitis ( IC) which often stems from problems within the gut. I read a fascinating book called Breaking The Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall years ago which shares how she helped her daughter with gut issues through a grain free diet. But it was more than just going grain free, it was eating specific carbohydrates (as stated in the book) to help the gut soothe and heal, and to bring down inflammation; that inflammation, in turn, aggravates the body to create other conditions -many of them autoimmune- as in my case with IC. The diet is called The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). 

Unfortunately, just implementing the SCD diet did not solve all of my problems. I had to keep a copious amount of notes on my diet to learn that in the confines of the SCD diet I could not tolerate dairy, honey, anything fermented, nightshades, or very little fruit. Nor could I tolerate too much raw of anything. It has been a very slow climb back to feeling normal, but well worth all the prayers and effort to be out of daily pain and aggravation. I thank the Lord daily for the food He has given me to eat. I really enjoy my diet so much. I had to learn how to cook many new things, but even my grandkids love my food! 

Here was my menu yesterday :

Breakfast: pot of light tea
                   1/2 c coffee with cashew cream
                   1 egg and lentil flatbread with a big side of kale chips 
                    6 roasted pecans, 1 frozen kiwi slice, and 1 blueberry cashew cookie

Lunch: chicken breast soup with lots of green beans and navy beans
             Light Tea with 1 warm blueberry cashew cookie and 2 T banana vanilla N'Icecream on top, 6 roasted pecans, 2 Brazil nuts, 1 fresh ginger tea

Dinner: Poor Man's  Stew with carrots and rutabagas, lots of kale chips,
              6 roasted pecans, 1/2 small Apple, 1 blueberry cookie, and 1  fresh ginger tea

I am not on any medicines. I take the tiniest pinch of a probiotic as prescribed by my Chinese practitioner. I have been with her for six years now, and she has been a great help in getting my IC stable. I ask her before trying new foods so as not to upset my IC condition. Unfortunately, I didn't ask her about a change to an under eye cream which sent me into a very painful flare that lasted over two weeks this past April. So what goes on my body is as important as what goes into my body, which is why I keep a lot of notes to connect all the dots. 

The good news out of all the trials of gut problems, IC, plus  painful arthritis and rosacea -besides it being nonexistent at this time- is that I have been able to help others in my family. My granddaughter is benefitting greatly on the SCD diet without nightshades or dairy too. She is two years old and has been suffering from excema and severe mood swings coupled with joint pain and mouth pain. It's so good to see her thriving on the version that works for her in the diet.

Perhaps someone reading this has been suffering for some time with debilitating symptoms. My symptoms were bad for many, many years. I didn't want to take pain meds to cause further damage down the road, so I had to get to the root cause and change a lot of my diet over time to see success. Hippocrates said, "Food is medicine, and medicine is food" could not be more true, even after all these many, many years. For months I wrote down the food I ate on the days I felt good. It took me weeks and weeks to get 4-5 good days. I took those "good day notes" and set them next to each other. This is how I realized what foods my body liked and what became the basis of my diet. I built upon those foods slowly as I healed. 

I have tried adding in oats or brown rice this year in small amounts, but it didn't go over very well. So presently I am still on the SCD diet and very happy. My weight is normal , sleep is good, hair and nails healthy, and energy is great. The best is no pain where I had pain for so many years. How I thank God! He has taught me so much. I am so very grateful.

"Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers." 3 John 2

Yes, yes, yes!


Thank you Laine for writing this for us.  As well she has helped me so much as I have asked her so many questions.  How lucky I am to have her as a teacher once again!  (and how amazing is life sometimes that this could even happen...) 

If you were to Google Laine's disease you will find it is very painful.  This is entirely different to what Cookie suffers and yet both of them have so much relief.  This is what made me prepared to try it.  Both Laine and Cookie lead wonderful lives and without the pain of their illness, this has to tell you something.  

From Laine's advice I have found a food diary very helpful.  I have had times where I would swear I had not done anything different but felt pain creep back in.   But the food diary means I can check, see patterns and be reminded of what I have actually eaten.   From this I have found I get pain sneak back in my joints after days I ate cashew nuts!   So this has been very helpful.

Many times we have some idea of what agrees with us and what doesn't.  But life gets in the way,  food is very tempting, we are busy looking after other people....  but the best thing we can do for our families is be as fit and health as we can and be there!   

I hope you have a good new week! 
I have been going through my present cupboard, I have stuff everywhere!  But I have enough for December and January Birthdays plus Christmas!  
Our weather has warmed up and we are going to be swimming for a few days in the evenings.  I can swim laps now and have no aches and pains afterwards!  Progress, progress... xxx

Thank you Rachel for the photos! 
Chickens make me happy! 
So do eggs! 

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Feather your Nest Friday, 17 November, 2017.

It was a bit of a messy week!  I wouldn't say it ran smoothly!  First it was hot for a few days but thankfully now it has cooled down and we even have rain.  Andy was sick the whole time which is rare for him but he was really crook and only just getting better now.  I was seedy as well!  We all have weeks where it is more a case of survival than anything much more!
So... it will do me good to think of the good things and the things I did achieve as before looking at my list I would have said that I achieved pretty much nothing!

Luckily before the wheels fell of I had been baking.  Still on a mission to use up eggs I made six fruitcakes.   I also had bananas in the freezer and so I also made three banana cakes and 12 as mini cup cakes for Harper.

Several fruit cakes will be gifts.  Two banana cakes are already missing from this picture!  One was given to Chloe and one to Allie.  Chloe's boyfriend is working day and night harvesting. She sliced the cake up for some snacks for him that he can take on the tractor.  I donated a fruit cake to this cause also!

The little cakes went into the freezer for Harper.  They are packed full of banana.  
This all used up 28 eggs!  

But I still had eggs.  And with my grain free experiment I need things that I really like that have no flour.  So I made a crockpot full of little baked egg custards...

Debbie gave me the idea to use pretty little cups and I sit them in with water 3/4 up the sides.
So these were just lovely for me and felt like treats.

I love them and this used up six more eggs!  😊
This would be gorgeous to do for children in the small child sized tea set cups.... at the moment I only have two of those so I might try to collect more. 

The recipe for the custard is easy.... 
4 eggs 
1 teaspoon vanilla,
2 cups milk
300ml cream (10 ounces )
1/3 cup sugar. 
Blend well.

I use less sugar and more vanilla!   (1/4 cup sug. 2 teaspoons vanilla) 
Also the volume of milk and cream equals about three cups and I just use what I have, evaporated milk plus milk, cream or any combination.
I turn on the Crockpot and get it going with a jug of boiling water from the kettle.  I fill my little cups with the mixture and sit them in the water so that it comes up around 3/4 of the way to the top of the cup.  I sprinkle lots of cinnamon over the tops.  Once all my cups are in I top up the water a bit if needed... better to do it this way than flood your custards!  Put on the lid and let them set.  I do this when home... it is usually an hour and a half to 2 hours. I just poke one with a knife to see if it is set!  Left a bit longer won't hurt.  I like them set well.  That is it!  I pour the cold water on to a plant the next day! 
I also do this with creme caramel mix which is very similar with the addition of two extra egg yolks. This is extra rich and creamy.  I don't bother with the sugar syrup as Im trying to keep sugar down.  
Either way they are really nice and feel like a treat. 
Anything that needs a water bath i.e. cheesecake is a natural in the crockpot.  I might do crustless cheesecakes in the cups next! 

This week I had someone to visit in hospital and I made a posy myself to take...

I made yoghurt and flourless cookies.

My friend Nerilie gave me a gorgeous shopping basket.  

I love it!  
It must have been my week as Sue gave me curtains with big roses on them and lace curtains.  There are so many things I can sew with these!  Then there were surprise jars in the bag as well!

In the mail I got parcels again from our swap.  I have had beautiful fabrics, tags, cards and all kinds of craft supplies arriving.  I should have taken photos of them all but the last two were cards and tags with Bluebirds made by Holley...

You can imagine how much I love these!  Look at the little bow on the Bluebirds bonnet...

And Christmas cards by Lorraine...

She included glittery Christmas stickers which are stunning!   
As you can see my parcels are full of just gorgeous and personal things that brightened up my week so much.  Thank you both.  Thank you everyone who joined in the swap.  I am happy to report that I have heard of so many lovely parcels arriving around the world, friendships formed, even skills shared along with patterns etc.  

I heard back from Crafty Cristy and her husband is doing really well. She feels really helped by all your prayers.  Thank you all for messages of encouragement to her plus prayer and I can see she is doing so much better too.

This weekend I am planning to get everything out of my present cupboard and see what I have. It is full!  This is really good fun as by now I have always forgotten things I made in January, February and sometimes more recently!  Then I start to work out who gets what.  The ultimate is to find I have so much I can even use somethings for January Birthdays.  To me this feels like really getting ahead!  
It also gives me time to fill any gaps, wrap and post things well in time.  This is kind of like reaping the harvest of the years craft work and bargain shopping!  I think I have a good harvest this year!

How did you feather your nest, save or get ahead this week?
Have a lovely weekend! 

On Monday we have a post by Laine! xxx