Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Minimalist Easter Decorating!

Little Bunny Foo Foo hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice and bopping 'em on the head
Down came the good fairy and she said:
"Little Bunny Foo Foo, I don’t want to see you
Scooping up the field mice and bopping 'em on the head.
 The bunnies are out and about at Sweetwater!
 Marvin spends a lot of time watching at the window!
I hope they spend their time on field mice and 
NOT on the tulips!

Speaking of bunnies....here is a peek at the very minimal Easter decor around here!
We aren't entertaining this year...so it really is minimal!
I just decided to "use what I have"!

The table in the living room has this vignette.....two paper mache bunnies overlooking a flower pot of wheat grass and a bowl of bird's eggs.  The pot looks a lot like Fitz and Floyd....but it has no marks (other than the Goodwill sticker).  I keep thinking I will do something fun with the bunnies....but hey I am going minimalist this year.  The bowl of eggs are the leftovers from when I took apart a Goodwill wreath.
 On the chair next to the table there are some stuffed bunnies from when the Sweetwater children were little!

These two bunnies started out on the family room hearth.....

But....I moved them up to the mantel....and think that is where they will stay!

The Baker's Rack really needs some more work....but I have the Fitz and Floyd Easter stuff and the Bunny print out.....so it will do for now!

 What is Easter without an Easter Bonnet?  So this little straw hat with a black gross grain ribbon makes a cute addition to the entryway table.

This basket of pansies can't go outdoors quite yet...so with a few wooden eggs and a couple of bunnies.....they make a bright bit of Easter on the table in the kitchen!

Not sure what I will do with these pansies....but right now.....they are a bit of Spring on the center island in the kitchen!

Minimal time....
Minimal expense....
Minimalist Decor!
Have a Great Day!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Easy Thrifty Easter Centerpiece!

Easter is sure late this year.....hard to believe it is April 9th and Easter is still more than a week away!

And still....he daffodils in the yard haven't peeked up through the leftover snow piles quite yet....but they are available in abundance at the grocery store for very little money.....

They are a little luxury that I treat myself to!

And if you have vistited Sweetwater Style before....you know that I plant an awful lot of wheat grass.....it just makes me feel good to see a little green around here!
I also had this Easter Egg wreath that came from Goodwill long ago....in fact so long ago that it was getting pretty shabby looking!

I took it apart and tucked the little eggs away....knowing that they would find a use one day!

I decided to use all these elements to create a simple and thrifty Easter Centerpiece this year!

All you need is $2 bunch of grocery store Daffodils....
a block of floral foam....and a big bowl of wheat grass!

I cut small blocks of floral foam that I presoaked in water....
I tucked them throughout the wheat grass....and pushed the grass back up around them!

Then it was a simple matter of cutting the Daffodils and pushing the stems into the floral foam!

Then I added the little eggs I had saved from the wreath along the outside of the bowl....
I did add a bit of Spanish moss too!

I tucked a few more eggs around the Daffodils to further disguise the floral foam!

I am really pleased with the finished product.....and Marvin is TOO!

I have some more wheat grass sprouting because I know this won't last until Easter....!
Maybe by the time I am ready to redo this....t
here will be Daffodils growing in the Sweetwater Garden!

Have A Great Day!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

I'm Back...from vacation that is!

It has been over a week since I have written a new post....and with good reason!
We just returned from an 8 day trip to Marvelous Manzanillo, Mexico!
I never like to announce to the blog-o-sphere that Sweetwater is sitting empty....thus the lack of posts!

Manzanillo is a great spot in between Puerto Vallarta and Ixtapa!  
It is quiet and rustic...making it the perfect atmosphere!
We are fortunate to use the "Colima Cabin" owned by the Sweetwater Brother and his wife....
Now...that is the kind of brother to have!
The condo is right between two fancy "all inclusive" resorts....but ours is pretty darn "all inclusive" itself!  

We shared the week with a couple of fabulous friends who were perfect travel companions!
Imagine.....cabin living....with the beach!


Now.....back to normal living!
Spring is really on it's way now....so I can hardly wati to get started with warm weather projects!

Look for another post soon....once I recover from vacation! 

Have A Great Day....Think Spring!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Waterlogue-A Fun New Photo APP!

I discovered this new APP for my iPad a couple of weeks ago!

If you love playing with photos the way I do....
you are gonna want to splurge and spend the $3!

In a nutshell...the app takes a regular photo and turns it into a watercolor!

Here are my BEFORE and AFTERS using the APP!


 Seriously....this is the easiest app to use!
Not bad for $2.99

I think these would look great enlarged to 11 x 14 and framed.....
They would also make great notecards....
 I can't wait to pick out some more photos to play with!

Anybody have any better ideas for what to do with my new art?

Have a Great Day!
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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Signs of Spring-Pussy WIllow and Forsythia!

A week with NO below zero temperatures!  
A week with NO new snow!
When the temps hit 40° all the kids on the playground shed their coats!
It must be SPRING!

I took a couple of minutes to brighten up the mantle this week!
My inspiration was this gorgeous painting I found on a wonderful blog!
Eat Drink Paint by Kim Rempel is pure visual candy!

Since I can't spend the money on the painting (it is sold anyway!)
I decided to create an arrangement that mimics the art piece!

I had a spray of artificial Forsythia and some Pussy Willow branches saved from last spring!

I use to try unsuccessfully to create arrangements by bending the branches of artificial flowers while they were still clumped together on that big plastic stem!
I finally learned to treat the artificial spray like "REAL" flowers and cut them to size!  
That red handled tool in the picture is a real godsend.....it clips through the plastic and wire "like butter"!

I didn't have any of the dry floral foam you are supposed to use for artificial arrangements....but since my motto is "use what ya got"... a block of fresh floral foam (used dry) worked just fine for this project!

Cutting the branches apart allows for an freer and more natural arrangement of the Forsythia!
Then it was just a matter of adding the Pussy Willow!
By the way....did you know that the fuzzy gray thing on the branches are actually called "CATKINS"?

The floral foam was showing.....so a little Spanish Moss was added to hide it!

Now the mantle looks a bit more seasonable!
Now if only the snow outside would melt.....the real signs of Spring could start to show up!

Have A Great Day!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Getting Chippy!

I hate to throw away a good serving tray....or vase....
but it seems that my favorites always end up with a little chip along the edge!
Don't you just HATE that?

This chip is on the underside of a great Haeger planter that I got at Goodwill for $4!   You can hardly  see it....but still a chip!!

The tiny chip on the corner of this serving tray doesn't impact the serving area.....but still it is a chip!

The chipped corner on this glass tray/vase is on the bottom corner....hardly evident but still a chip!

Here is a clever little trick that I have found to camouflage those incidental knicks!
I will leave it to you to decide if this is "genius" or just "WEIRD"!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Hooray For Dr. Seuss!

Think now,  just think of the authors you know!
Those folks who write kid books that we all love so!
Dr. Seuss may just be the best!
He seems to be more well known that almost all the rest!
 Monday is Read Across America Day!
We honor Dr. Seuss every which way!
Maybe you would like to take some small looks!
At what we do in our school to get hooked on those books!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

This Winter Needs to be OVER!

We had ANOTHER weather related School Closing yesterday!
That makes 6 for this year.....more than the total snow/cold days that I can remember in my entire LONG career of teaching!

This is the view from the deck right now......

I have to say that I much prefer THIS view....

Monday, February 17, 2014

A MANLY Bulletin Board for Mr. S.!

The NEVER ENDING Winter is certainly getting to me this year!

But it is a different story for Mr. S because he loves ice fishing!

Being the 21st Century kinda guy that he is....you won't see him out on the ice looking down a hole like this guy!

Nope.....he is the proud owner of an ICE PALACE!

Over the years.....the ice palace seems to be outfitted with all the necessary MAN CAVE accessories to make it a weekend get away supreme!


For heaven's sake it even has a bay window!

Now.....because this is such a MANLY sort of abode......I am not often asked to give input into the decor!

As long as I followed the dictum of "Nothing too FROU FROU"....I was allowed to create the custom window treatments and a bench seat cover a couple of years ago....I went with a VERY subdued blue and brown tweed....so it was acceptable!

So when Mr. S. asked me to find him a bulletin board to hang up some of the "trophy fish" photos....I was up to the challenge!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Upscaled Thrift Store Fireplace Doors!

The other day I got an email from my nephew telling about a thrifty DYI project he just finished!
He did such a good job!
He sent me great pictures!
He described the step by step process!
I guess you could call this a "Guest Post" from the Sweetwater Nephew!

Could she be any cuter?

" We have a big, beautiful fireplace that doesn't have any doors and may not be the most safe for a soon to be crawling baby....we had gotten a quote for custom doors from a local fireplace store and it was over $700!! Crazy."

 Here is how my nephew solved the problem for way less than $700!

1.       Went scrounging around the Habitat re-store for some fire place doors that were close in size.  I found one that was a little short in height. ($20 Brass doors - in good shape)

2.       Since the door was short I need to add a base that would look seamless and bring the doors up enough to cover the opening.  I found a specialty metal company online and ended up ordering a piece of extruded aluminum tubing 3" x 1.5" (this was actually the most expensive piece - $37 with shipping)

3.       Used some hardware I already had to bolt the new piece to the doors.

4.       Went to home depot and got some steel wool and some High Heat spray paint (I believe it was rustoleum for about $6 or 7 bucks a can - I think I used 2 cans to cover the doors with about 5-6 light coats - steel wool = $4-5/ bag (2 bags))
5.       Took the steel wool to take down all of the shine on the brass and give the spray paint something to stick to.
6.       once that was done, I cleaned everything with a series of wet and dry clean rags.
7.       Taped off the glass doors with some painters tape I already had
8.       Propped it up and started giving it some very light coats of the spray paint letting them dry about 1.5 hours in between coats.

9.       Opened the doors some to get some black in and around the hinges as well.
10.   Brought into the house tested for fit with brackets already on the door top and some new "L" brackets I had connected to the base. ($ couple bucks at HD)
11.   Screwed all brackets to the fireplace (concrete floor for two of them and brick for two others - concrete/ masonry screws I already had)
12.   Actually ended up using the leftover steel wool as a sort of insulation by stuffing it in and around the doors where they overhung the opening (seemed to work great to block out any escaping hot and air and pretty fire proof)
13.   Opened the damper and lit our first fire!

$20 - doors
$37 - aluminum base
$14 - spray paint
$10 - steel wool
$5 - hardware
$86 bucks total....

Wow....this really does look amazing!
$86 and few hours of work....
Safe Baby....Priceless!

Thanks for guest posting Sweetwater Nephew....
and enjoy your fireplace during the awful weather in NC! 

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