Friday, September 26, 2014

No More Rotten Pumpkins!

'Tis the Season 

of Everything PUMPKIN!
I am not really into all that pumpkin flavored stuff...
I do love to use pumpkins as a
 Truth be told....I actually like the little gourds that "look"
like pumpkins better than pumpkins for decoration!
I usually pick them up at the grocery store.

Here is my super simple trick for making sure pumpkins and/or gourds don't spoil!
If you do this, your little gourds will last through Halloween right up until Thanksgiving!



The problem that needs solving is the dirt and bacteria that is on the gourds when they get picked!







If you just wipe them off with a wet cloth, the dirt is gone, but the bacteria is still lurking around!











The solution is BLEACH!



 
A cup of bleach added to a sink full of water does a great job of disinfecting the gourds!

 Dump in the bleach.....
Add the pumpkins.....
Fill the sink to cover the gourds....
Give them a good scrubbing!



















Look how clean and shiny these little guys are now!

















Now they are already to put on display!

These gourds will certainly last and be a perfect addition to a Thanksgiving Cornucopia!
 Remember!
 This trick only works for indoor display....alas....once a pumpkin or gourd freezes....it will rot! 

Have A Wonderful Day!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fall Planters at Sweetwater!

Summer is over as of last night!
I say bring on the Fall!

The weather this week promises to be absolutely beautiful!
I plan to spend some time out in the garden trying to get ahead of the weeds!
I will also enjoy the flowers that are still in full bloom.

There is something about the  golden light this time of year that makes the flowers almost glow!

We will probably spend a lot of time by the fire pit enjoying crisp fall evenings!

The big pots needed to have a little Autumn Decor!
The Purple Fountain Grass is looking very Autumnal....but the annuals were looking pretty tired.
I was going to go get some pumpkins.....but then I thought....
and what I have is lots of artificial pumpkins!


Great....because:
  • They won't get rotten if we have an early freeze!
  • They won't be a target for neighbor kids to take and smash!
  • I can take them out and replace them with greens!
BUT.....they are so light weight that I was afraid a blustery fall wind would blow them away!

What to Do?

The solution was pretty darn simple!



I used an exacto knife and cut holes in the bottom of the pumpkins.


They are meant to be carvable....so this was no problem.




















Then I simple stuck a dowel (or I would imagine any stick from the yard would work too) into the soil in the pot!



Then the pumpkin went over the dowel for stability!

Not rocket science....but it solves the problem!







These should stay looking nice all fall!


 I also used some of the artificial pumpkins on the baker's rack on the front steps....hopefully they are protected enough that they won't blow away!

 

I hope you have time to get out and enjoy these lovely last days of September!

Link Parties

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Shades Of Gray!

Don't worry!  This blog hasn't gone X-rated!
I am not talking about the books....but the shades of the color gray!

 
 Gray is one of my new favorite colors!

 It plays well with so many other colors!  

Gray was the obvious choice for the paint for the re-do of a little chest of drawers in the lower level.
Right now the carpet down there is dark navy blue (what was I thinking....as the owner of 2 white haired cats)!  We are contemplating new carpet for down there....it might be gray or maybe I will have a new  favorite color by the time we get around to that project! 



The other reason that gray was the obvious color choice has to do with "Use What You Have"!

There was almost a whole quart of lovely, shiny gray paint left over from the garage door painting project!

Look how shiny and bright that is!












I won't bore you with the process of painting a piece of furniture.....you are bright people....you can GOOGLE IT if you need to!




It was a simple matter of a good sanding to even out the years of dents and gouges.....


Then 3 coats of paint.....with a light sanding in between.

The paint I used was Rust-O-Lem oil based....again...because I originally bought it for the metal garage door.  






The oil based paint is kind of a pain to work with, but it does have the best shiny finish!
These pictures don't really show the actual color very well....but I really like the way it turned out!




Take a look at this "inspiration piece" !



Seriously.....who would EVER pay $2335 for a chest of drawers....PEOPLE...there are starving children in the world !

I don't have to feel guilty about my cute little gray chest....total cost was the $16 I spent on the new drawer pulls! 


There is still some gray paint leftover in the can.....HMMMMMM?

Have a Wonderful Day!


Monday, September 15, 2014

Autumn Finds At The Thrift Store!

I realized that I haven't posted about shopping at the thrift store lately!

That doesn't mean I have not been shopping there.....I just haven't  shared about my finds.

Autumn is in the air...and the things in the thrift store that catch my eye are decor items that reflect the season!

I love getting new "stuff" to decorate with that doesn't cost a lot!
I

Don't you love this little wooden pumpkin?   It was 8 whole dollars but it was too cute to pass up.  I added a little rafia to the stem for some interesting texture.  I like the look of Autumn without being about Halloween!

I came across this tiered tray at a fun little consignment shop.  I know I will find lots of ways to use it.  Again, I probably paid more than GoodWill prices...($7)....but it is so versatile!


These floral picks were $.99 each....a steal!  Little tiny pomegranates, acorns and pumpkins...oh my!

It is also fun to "rediscover" items from past thrift store shopping adventures! 



Have A Wonderful Day!


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Fall Photo Art Project!

Fall is certainly in the air this morning! 

50 degrees.....brrrr....but it is beautifully bright and sunny!

Slowly but surely, the decor around here is also changing seasons.








This  summer beach scene is nice.....but you know me....I can't leave well enough alone!

 Here is the link to the post about how I created this from a photo!  Inexpensive Wall Art

And here is the link to the post about the iPad APP that made it possible to do!
Waterlogue A Fun New Photo App








Finding this photo in the hundreds and hundreds of pictures on my computer actually took LONGER than the rest of the project!


I KNEW it was there somewhere....but where???



SOMEDAY....I am going to organize them....hmmm,,,,is there an APP for THAT?!



Back to the project....




I played around with the different water color effects in the APP until I hit on one hat I liked.

Then I used iPiccy (the on line photo editing program)  to crop and resize it!
I uploaded it to Walgreen's to have it printed as a 16 x 20 Poster!
There was a coupon that day so it only cost $10.00!

Since the old beach picture is the exact same size....
And I will probably want to use it again....
I just popped the fall image over the summer image!

PRESTO   CHANGO!


 Hmmm....I am already thinking about the possibilities for the Winter Look for this frame!
Arghh....did I just say the word WINTER!!!!
I think instead....let's just enjoy FALL!

BTW...I was going to offer a free download of the print....but I can't get my Google to share anything bigger than 500K.  If you would like a copy of this image, just make a comment below and I will send it to you!  

Have A Wonderful Day!


Link Parties
Savvy Southern Style                                                     

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Use What You Have: Fall Mantle

It is Back to School time....BUT not for ME!
For the first time in....count them....58 years....I am not sitting in school!
Wow...does that feel odd...GOOD...but odd!


It is time to say goodbye to the nautical themed family room mantle decor at Sweetwater!


I don't think I shared this in a post...but the look is one that we have enjoyed this summer!



All of the elements are packed away in a box for next year.







I am all about NOT spending money on these displays...



So enter the Sweetwater "Use What You Have" theory of decorating!




The off white candles in the hurricane lanterns got switched to gold and pumpkin.
A little nod to "back to school" with the ceramic vase filled with greens is a nice touch!


This wreath has been hanging on a door all summer!
The colors blend well with the other elements.

The wicker tray and wooden plate (both Goodwill finds) balance the two sides of the mantle.


Three vine orbs and a ceramic pomegranate (more Good Will finds) add some interest.


This antique pitcher was inherited from Mr. S's Grandma.  I love using it.




It is filled with artificial sunflowers and the cattails I preserved last fall.

I think this fall inspired mantle looks pretty nice for no new investment of any money!











I challenge you to wander around your house and see if you can find some things so that you too can:



Have A Wonderful Day!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Simple Syrup is For The Birds (and ME)!


The Hummingbirds are out in force at Sweetwater this Summer!

This cute feeder seems to be just the thing to attract these tiny guys!

Mr. S and I are really enjoying the visits they make to the feeder!

Marvin gets soooo excited when he sees one....thinking he will be able to catch himself a treat.....NOT!





 You can buy Hummingbird Nectar already made! 

 Yup....even half price....it is still $7.48!
In my mind...that is way too expensive!
It is a simple matter to make your own!


Make some Simple Syrup!
1 part water
1 part sugar
a few drops of red food coloring

Simply (I guess that is why it is call Simple Syrup) bring the sugar and water to a boil (stirring often)
Let it cool.  Pour it into the feeder and add the food coloring.
The cost for this must be about 25 cents!

But Simple Syrup is NOT just for the BIRDS....
It is a great thing to have on hand to use in cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages!







I keep a bottle of lemon infused Simple Syrup in the refrigerator to add to ice tea!

This is so much easier than adding sugar and lemon separately!

 Sometimes I add this to white wine, soda and ice for a refreshing wine cooler!








 These are links to some great recipes and information about Simple Syrup!





Lemon Tree Dwelling Simple Syrup Ideas

http://whatscookingamerica.net/Sauces_Condiments/SimpleSyrup.htm



I can't wait to try some of these out!









 This recipe from Truvia looks interesting!  I will be curious to see if it has the right consistency and flavor.  If it does......it would be great not to add the calories! 
 So at Sweetwater.......now the water for the birds (and ME) is REALLY Sweet!  (get it?)

Before you go......
Give yourself a 5 minute break and watch this video of the Seals and Croft version of 
Hummingbird Fly Away!



Have A SWEET Day....


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