Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Thrifty Beach Themed Decor

We all know that BEACH = SUMMER!

Alas there is no plan for a beach vacation for us this year.
Really, I am not complaining....I love Summer around here too much!

That doesn't mean there can't be a "beachy" feel to some of the decor at Sweetwater.

Here is the inspiration for my "beach on a table" vignette.

Are you getting the theme?
Did you know you can buy decorative pilings?

For a mere$119.99 these three wood pilings with rope can be yours....and there is free shipping!


It is pretty simple to make your own! 
I am lucky to have access to a pallet pile.
These two 4 x 4 posts already had the angle cut and were just the right size.
I forgot to ask Mr. S. what purpose they served in the pallet world...but I think they are perfect.
You could head to the scrap pile at Home Depot and probably find something similar.
OR...rumor has it....if you search Pinterest....there is a way to make these with Pool Noodles.
Who Knew???

The posts got a gray paint wash.
Then I tied some thick rope around them.

Let's deconstruct the rest of the vignette.

The wreath has been around a long time.

The rope is wrapped around the wreath with shells, starfish and driftwood decoration.

Some of the starfish were actually made from playdough!  (SEE HOW HERE)

A simple burlap bow finishes it off.

When I first looked at the photos for this post, I realized that the black lamp wasn't quite right.

I shopped the house and found a much better fit.  (Rope Lamp Tutorial).

I share this with you as a hint.  Whenever you are "staging" and area, it is good to step back and edit it.  It is almost never about going out to buy something.  More than likely if you "shop" the house, you will find the perfect item you need without spending a cent.

I have been collecting sea glass on some Manzanillo Beach strolls for years.

This collection holds many memories of warm sunny days.

It was a perfect addition to my "faux" beach.
 I put some sand in a low glass vase and displayed the collection in a fun way.
This big glass jar with shells in it has been around forever.
It is the perfect "anchor" for the table. (pardon the pun)

This vignette was almost free....if you don't consider the cost of the trips to collect sea glass!

Simple and Sweetwater Style!

Have A Great Day.....and if you are at the "real" beach....wear your sunblock!

  Link Parties
Share It One More Time

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Bar Table from a Wine Barrel

Today's post is brought to you by some dear "old" friends of ours.

You know those friends that you have and don't see often enough?

But. when you do see them....it is like you were still hanging out in the old neighborhood?

Well these are THOSE friends!
Thank Goodness for Facebook to help us stay connected.

When our friends posted about a fabulous DIY project, I just knew I had to share it with you.
 Is that cool or what?
Even better....I asked for specifics and directions and my friend basically wrote the post for me!

Tutorial for Wine Cork Topped Bar Table

Acquire a wine barrel. 

Drink copious amounts of wine, reserving the corks. 

Purchase a glass top (we went to Pier 1). 

I organized the corks by length, although it's not necessary. 

Then by trial and error, place the corks on the barrel top creating your own design. 
Finally, place 8+ vinyl or silicon cabinet door stoppers on the barrel top. 

Put on the glass top. Super easy!

I feel a little embarrassed to show you the Sweetwater Wine Cork Projects.
They are pretty simplistic in comparison...
The "drink copious amounts of wine" part holds true!

These trays or trivets are made by hot gluing corks into thrift store wood trays.
They come in very handy and save the surface of your table.

Corks were the perfect border to hide the raw edge of the wool shirt!

So I challenge you to "drink copious amounts of wine" 
or make friends with a bartender and ask her to save you some...

And to my old friends...thanks for sharing!
Wish the house that this bar is in wasn't so far away!
and remember....

Have A Wonderful Day!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Pillow Knock-Offs Summer Edition

One of my favorite ways to give a quick fresh look to a room is with new decorator pillows.

I must not be the only one....just take a look at HomeGoods or Target and you will see bunches and bunches of pillows that have fun seasonal motifs.

Now....I guess giving a fresh look to a room for around $30 seems like a deal.
But if you follow this blog....you know I think that is WAY too MUCH $$$ to spend.

Come along and I will show you my inspirations from the stores....
and then....
My KNOCK OFF versions of the same pillows.


 This nautical inspiration is really fun.  But it made me "Crabby" to think about hand painting something like this.


I love this simple burlap pillow and it is definitely on my to do list....


But this charmer from Target is the one that really caught my eye!

Who doesn't like lobster?

The red color is perfect for the blue and white decor in the lower level.

I used my Cri-Cut and Sure-Cuts-A-lot program to create a lobster stencil!

The stencil is done on canvas with red acrylic paint.

I went all fancy and did red cording around the edge.

The navy and white stripe fabric is left from my DIY Ironing Board Cover.
And....oh my....I actually put a zipper in the back....wasn't I ambitious?

Since everything I used was already in my "stash"...this cost me nothing.   If you started from scratch, you could probably do this for under $10.

I have always loved those vintage postcards that say "GREETINGS FROM...."

Zazzle has done a pillow with this theme.


I decided to commemorate our fun trip to Savannah, Georgia this past winter.
Some simple Google Image Browsing and I found this great vintage poster.
My apologies....I didn't save the source....!!!

I used the "Print on Fabric Using Your Printer" technique to create this fun pillow.
Using an machine applique stitch around the print is a clean way to attach the printed fabric.

This next Knock-Off isn't exactly a Summer theme....
I am continuing to work on the Kate Spade Inspired Guest Bedroom.

I came across this pillow when I was looking for ideas.

I had the green and white striped fabric.

It was pretty darn simple to create this knock off.

It has a bed pillow for a form so that it is bigger and fluffier than the inspiration.

The better for cuddling a Grandboy!!!

So the next time you are in a store with a big display of accent pillows.....
Pause....say HMMMMM....and go home and create something!

Have a Wonderful Day!

Link Parties
Coastal Charm 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Stuff to Buy at Goodwill: Make Your Own Fancy Cards!

 Here is another post in the "Stuff to buy at Good Will" Series!

Check out the aisle with the office supplies and cards!
You can often find whole wedding invitation kits for a down and dirty price.

 You don't have to have a wedding in your future to use the lovely paper, notecards, stickers, and other great stuff in those boxes.

Friday, May 27, 2016

How To Save $$ on Patio Planters!

Have you SEEN the cost of already planted patio planters at the nursery or Farmer's Market?
There are at least eight big patio planters here that need plants!
Even at $25 a pop....that would be a budget breaker for me!

Here is my lower cost solution for big good looking planters!
I use perennials for accent plants.
all those plants that need dividing in the big gardens find a temporary home in the planters!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Spring Painting Projects

I never knew that I could emulate Pablo Picasso.

In fact....I am JUST LIKE Pablo Picasso!

Seriously.....read the quote!

I paint things not as I see them....but how I think them!

I have always envied artist who can paint pictures.
Alas....that is not a talent that I will ever have.

BUT....give me a can of Spray Paint and a beautiful sunny day....and I can make things look the way I think them.

I have been really busy painting STUFF around Sweetwater!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Reupholstery: Should You or Shouldn't You?

We have a nice little chair here that originally came from the thrift store.
It is a nice size.  It fits into small spaces.
It is reasonably comfortable for an occasional chair.
It has a caned back which made it simple to just make a new cushion cover to fit with the decor.
(Would you believe this is the best photo of the chair I could find in my archives?)

Alas....Marvin has decided that the caned back of the chair is a terrific scratching post!!!
Remind me again why we love our pets!? 

 I knew that having the chair recaned not worth it for a thrift store chair.

Or more to the point....to reupholster or not?

Saturday, April 30, 2016

How To: Mantle Decor

 Did you know that there are RULES for decorating a mantle?
Yeah....who knew?
I have been decorating my mantle for years....and never knew that there are rules I should be following!!!!

I know this because?
I ran across this blog post from THRIFTY CHICK DECOR

so I went back in the blogging time machine to see how my past mantles have followed the rules I didn't know I was supposed to follow!

It was enlightening!

I especially noticed how less than marvelous the photos are!

I really am trying to improve my photography!!!

But back to the subject at hand!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Ultimate Teacher Appreciation!

Well....you know I can't just sit around blogging all day!
So...I do some other stuff too!
I have the privilege of serving on the St. Louis Park Public School Foundation Board.
The foundation is dedicated to enhancing learning for the students in St. Louis Park.

There are a variety of fundraising efforts that make granting money to teachers possible.
One of the programs we sponsor is "Gratitude Greetings".  Parents/students can donate to the foundation and send a personalized message of thanks to the staff who make such a difference in our schools.  I know personally how touching it is to receive a heartfelt message from a student or parent.  It really does have a greater impact than another personalized coffee mug!

But talk about teacher appreciation!
The man in the photo below is Thomas Friedman.
He is a three-time Pulitzer Prize winning journalist.