Tuesday, October 14, 2014

DYI Cornice Board Tutorial

There is some pretty big news here at Sweetwater!
The Sweetwater Daughter and Son-in-Law are just weeks away from making us proud Grandparents!
We couldn't be more excited!

The nursery is almost finished!

What I love about the decor in the room is that it isn't "too BABY"!

Helping with the nursery has been alot of fun!

When I told Mr. S that I was "in charge" of creating the fabric covered cornice for the window, he suggested that perhaps my usual Styrofoam cornice wasn't quite good enough for our "grandbaby"!

Never one to turn down assistance with my projects.....I let him have at designing a wood base for the fabric upholstery!
He used 1/4 inch plywood and 1 x 2 boards to create the cornice. 
The light weight of the wood makes it perfect for this project.
I just stood back and let him build the base....and I have to give him a lot of credit for how it turned out!

Once the base for the cornice was complete, it was time to cover it with1 inch batting.
Spray adhesive helped to stabilize the batting on the wood.

This molding was attached to the top of the cornice to make a nice top edge.

The pattern on this lovely fabric wasn't quite so "lovely" to match and align....
with some careful planning and seaming....it got done!  
 I have to say....the design is so great....it was worth the effort!

The next step was attaching the fabric with staples.

I couldn't use my trusty power stapler because the only staples available for it are too long...they would end up going through the quarter inch thick board.

I have a simple electric stapler that uses shorter staples....so I used that for most of the attachment.

In areas where there were support boards that could be stapled into....I could use the power stapler!

So with lots and lots and lots of staples.....the job got done!
You might notice the "tools" of the trade that helped a lot....the tape measure to be sure the fabric was centered....and the T-square to make sure the vertical line was straight!

The last step was to add this great looking navy and white trim to cover the seams.  It really has a nice crisp look!

Mr. S was in charge of installing the cornice in the nursery.....he used L brackets attached to the top of the cornice....Kudos to him!

Stay tuned for a guest post from the Sweetwater Daughter about how she painted the campaign chest that great looking shiny green.  The chest is the one that we bought for HER nursery....just a FEW years ago!

I think I need to get out and do some shopping to fill up all those drawers!

Have A Great Day!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Copper Cleaning Magic!

 I always keep an eye out for interesting copper items at the thrift store!
Over the years, I have collected quite a few pieces.
The earth tone of these pieces make them a natural choice for Fall Décor!
Now..some people might like the look of the aged patina of old copper.....
but sometimes a good polishing is in order.

Just like polishing silver.....polishing copper can be a real pain!
Enter my secret weapon!

Seriously.....this easy to find cleaner....works like magic on copper!
I got to work the other day scrubbing the "patina" off of some of my favorite copper items.

Yeah....they really were pretty awful looking!

This little colander or berry bow is one of my favorites.

Can you believe how grungy this looks?

I spent a chunk of time with the scrub brush and it came pretty clean.

Now...all that scrubbing wasn't really my thing....and I had a few more pieces to clean!.

Then....I had an aha moment!

Remember the "lazy woman's"  way to polish silver?
That method relied on the chemistry of baking soda and aluminum foil in boiling water.

Well... I got the idea that maybe hot or boiling water might work with the bar keeper's friend to magically clean the copper!
So...I mixed some up in a pan and brought it a boil!
I used 1/4 cup in about 2 cups of water....but there really isn't a "recipe"!

Look what happened after 30 seconds!

And...after only  2 minutes!
Needless to say....
this is my new method of choice for copper cleaning!

The collection is all bright and shiny now!
In fact...the pieces  might be a little to too shiny!
Not to worry...the patina will come back gradually....
I just need some inspiration to figure out how to display them!

Hope you have a "bright shiny" day!

Friday, October 3, 2014

I Need Your Ideas!

The Sweetwater Daughter and I are doing another Christmas Tree for the Auburn Home Charities! 


The theme for this tree was the book The Mitten by Jan Brett!

Our budget was $400 (go figure) and we did the whole tree for less than $150! 

That still seems like a lot for a Christmas tree....but all the money goes to the charity.  

With thrifty planning, we were able to add $250 to the charity!

This year the theme for all of the trees is "Christmas Carols"!
We want to do something that is a little out of the ordinary!
No "White Christmas"
No "Silver Bells"
No "Jingle Bells"
We decided to do....

This is where YOU come in!
Our ideas are starting to form.....the tree should have a 1950's Rock and Roll Vibe!

A few trips to Good Will should provide a bunch of vinyl records that can become giant ornaments!

A Poodle Skirt for the Tree Skirt makes sense!

Now I want to hear from you!
I want to pick your collective blog reading.....pinterest pinning brains!

What other fabulous and thrifty ideas do you have!
Nothing is too silly to hear about!
What do you think?

Can't wait to hear all of your "brilliant" ideas!
Then we will get to work creating a unique and thrifty tree!


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!
 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!

  • 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!

Link Parties
Miss Mustard Seed  
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