Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Throw Pillows from a Throw Blanket!

One of the easiest and thriftiest ways to update the look of a room is with decorative pillows.
Every one has them. In fact, I dare you to take a count of the throw pillows in your house!!!
I don't just have pillows on the furniture....I have pillows in the closets waiting to take their turn in whatever decor scheme suits my fancy.

 A trip down the pillow aisle of almost any home decor store is pure temptation for me.

A pillow is affordable.....
A pillow is not a forever commitment like a piece of furniture.....

However.....
There is always the dilemma of how many pillows I should have out at one time.

If this is your dilemma too....I did a little internet searching and found these articles to be really helpful.

How Many Throw Pillows Is Too Many?

Pillows 101: How to Choose & Arrange Throw Pillows

Guide to Choosing Throw Pillows 

Now...on to the latest pillow project at Sweetwater.

The rustic, Nordic theme in the living room needed to change once the holidays were over.

Somehow....I never got a picture of the living room decorated for the holidays....go figure.

This is the best shot I could find....but note the red plaid pillow and the Swedish hanging over the couch.













Anyway....the lumbar pillows on the two accent chairs needed to lose the red and beige linen stripe.

When I went to put the old turquoise covers back on the pillows....I realized that they looked pretty shabby!


Goody...a chance to go to the pillow aisle at HomeGoods!


source






There were literally hundreds of pillows to choose from....
There were literally hundreds of pillows that I DID NOT LIKE!








AND THEN......

 I spied this lovely nubby blue and white checked throw.

The price was right at 16.99

The fringe along both sides looked like those fancy fringed pillows that I like so much.












HMMMMMM!!!   This throw could easily become the new pillow covers!

The process was pretty darn simple.

I put the insert on top of the throw to determine the width of the pillow.

It turned out that the throw was exactly twice the width....so by cutting it in half lengthwise I could make both pillows.

I wrapped the throw around with an overlap and cut that to length.
I was able to have the fringe be the bottom of the wrap.
Then I turned it wrong side out and stitched the sides.
Normally with an envelope pillow the lap is on the back.
Because I wanted the fringe to be an accent, the overlap is on the front.

Here is a tutorial for making an envelope pillow.  Home Stories A to Z Pillow Tutorial
This is a technique that is worth learning!!!!

And now for the reveal!!!



Wow....2 pillow covers for $16.99 and I still have enough of the throw left to make something else.
Any suggestions???

Have A Great Day!



Saturday, December 29, 2018

Decor Items to Transition from Christmas to Winter!



source

 I thought this survey was pretty interesting because I always struggle with when to take down "Christmas"!
I love all the glitz and sheen and red and green.
But as soon as the big day is over.....it starts to feel cluttered.

When we entertain between Christmas and New Year's Day it is easy to make the case for leaving things looking festive.
Since we have no parties planned this week.  I am starting to get twitchy about taking things down and getting it packed away.


One strategy to use when "undecorating" is to ease out of full on holiday into a comfy cozy winter look.

You can actually leave a lot of the holiday decor items out and achieve that look just by tweaking things a bit.

Here is a list of the "stuff" NOT to put away.

 Pine Cones
The natural look of pine cones make them perfect for your woodsy, cozy theme. Tuck them into a big basket.  Tuck in some realistic looking artificial pine branches and a few white or silver orbs to complete the look.

 
 



Branches
The birch in the porch pots look nice all winter. Why not replicate that indoors?  Chunky birch sections can be placed on a bookshelf or mantle.  Skinny birch looks great in a vase with some greenery and flowers.

All those branches and twigs that looked so wonderful in you holiday arrangements can be turned into minimalist natural decor.  Curly willow, red dogwood, skinny birch all work this time of year.  Think of them as "no care" plants.










 Airy Greenery

Put away all that greenery that screams "Christmas Tree".  The greens that look feathery and airy give a fresh look to winter decor.  I especially like these Lemon Cypress trees.  I am giving myself big pats on the back for keeping them from drying out....they need lots of hydration.  White Pine is another type that looks more wintery than Christmas!

















Antlers
Search Yarn wrapped antler on Pinterest
If you have access to antlers, they make a great accent in baskets or on a shelf. Mixed with pine cones and greeneryThis is my next craft project!  Yarn wrapped antlers just make me smile!















Cozy Throws
Layering throws on sofas and chairs is an inexpensive way to add color. Those throws also invite you to curl up and enjoy some down time after the flurry of activity of the holidays.


Candles and Twinkle Lights

I will bet that most of your candles are white or off white.  Put away the obvious holiday themed items and find a way to use your neutral candles in a new way. 
Those battery powered twinkle lights can continue to add sparkle around your house.  This time of year it is dark when I get up and dark by 4:30 in the afternoon.  A little twinkling can be mood changer.





 Holiday Plants
Those Pointsettias can still work as lovely accents if they are off white or if red is a color that works in your decor.  Take them out of the holiday foil and get rid of the cute little ribbons.  Find a ceramic pot or even bunch them together with some other plants.  They will last as long as you remember to keep them watered.  (Note to self: keep them watered.)

 


Holiday Themed Family Photos
Take a minute to have some of those amazing holiday snapshots printed.  The deals for photo prints make this a particularly good bargain this time of year.  Frame them in simple frames or display on a chalkboard.  Seeing those reminders of the holidays is a great way to extend the season without leaving the tree up until February.











Winter Birds

There is something so cheery about a cardinal.  If you have any redbirds that are part of your christmas stash, they can make a nice wintery vignette.  Look for these when you are shopping the after Christmas sales.  This lovely glass friend was a find at a "before" Christmas mark-down sale. The cardinals inside are almost as fun as the ones on the bird feeder outside the front door.  













 And a few other holdovers!

Hey, if the Amaryllis bulbs are still blooming for real, then this Amaryllis tea towel can still "hang" around for a few weeks.


This "permanent botanical" seeded Eucalyptus I scored at the thrift store looks nice and wintery with some glass winterberries which were another thrift store find.


This year I am gradually "undecorating" instead of big marathon undertaking.  That means a big mess in the storage area while I gather and put away.  My goal is to do a lot(or little) weeding out as I go.  It always seems so hard to part with holiday decor even if I don't use it all each year. 

In the meantime.....remember when you take your tree down:
source
Have A Great Day!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Holiday Decor Series: Bows Bows and More Bows!

I have been on a pretty long blogging break.
Yikes....I haven't posted since Halloween and now we are deep into the Holiday Season!
I don't have any real good excuse for this....I am sort of rethinking and want to revamp the blog.
I guess that will be my project for the new year.
In the meantime.....
wikipedia.com
I will share some of my old favorite Holiday Decor on a Budget posts from years past.
So with a nod to Charles Dickens I present for you...
NOT the of GHOSTS of Christmas Past.....These are POSTS of Christmas Past!


Let's start with those BOWS...because it really is all about those BOWS!



I pretty much put a bow on EVERYTHING....and knowing the tricks to making these lovelies will save you money and add a bit of "class" to your decor.

Tooo funny....I was looking for pictures of pretty bows to add to this post and I found this site:
christmastreewreaths
You can buy a pre-made bow like this for a mere $6.75....or go wild and buy 12 for $72.00!

It always amazes me that people really buy stuff like that....go figure!











Here is mine using the Costco ribbon!

Now....you do the math!
$8.00 for 50 yards of ribbon.....2 yards per bow.....hmmmmmm!










I love Costco for lots of things....but I REALLY love their wire edged ribbon!

cochaser.com

 $7.99 for 50 yards of beautiful wired ribbon!
Beautiful ribbons....and with 50 yards there are no worries about running out.

It takes a long time to use up 50 yards of ribbon so my "stash" is growing.

We use these ribbons for our annual Boughs, Bows and Beverages events here at Sweetwater....so it is really a good investment (says the woman trying to rationalize her ribbon fetish)!

Read about Boughs, Bows and Beverages here.

There are lots of places to get ribbon.....and lots of sales this time of year.

It is also a great idea to save your bows from year to year.




It is now time to get your BOW on!
There are some links to bow making tutorials at the end of the post....written by actual posters who excel at writing tutorials.

Here is my poor attempt to show you how I make a pretty....professional looking bow.
Warning:  holding the ribbon, the wire, and taking pictures.....now THAT was a trick!




Start by cutting a piece of florist wire about 12 inches long....

If you don't have any paddle wire like this...GET SOME!  NOW!  You will use it and use it and use it!






Leave the ribbon attached to the spool and pull out about a yard.....

If you cut now...you might not have enough for a pretty bow....and besides...if you mess up...
just let go and start again!










Make a loop that is half the size of the bow you want....

pinch it tight....











flip over and make a loop on the other side that is the same size

pinch that tight










Keep going back and forth....
loop, pinch, loop, pinch





This bow has 5 loops on one side and 6 loops on the other.....


I read somewhere that you should always have an odd number of loops....but who's counting? Oh...ME!





Now take the piece of wire and wrap it around the center....whew!  You can let go of the loops now and hold on to the wire.











Twist the ribbon...NOT the wire....around about 3 times to get an nice tight center.










NOW....you can cut the bow away from the spool!



Then start pulling the loops up and twisting them into a pretty shaped bow.

The wire in the center lets you have at it without worrying that the bow will come apart.

The wire edge of the ribbon lets you shape the loops.
There you have it! 

 Here are the other links I found with much more professional tutorials....take a look!

Better Homes and Gardens Video Tutorial
Directions for lots of fancy bows
Michael's Tutorial

Good Luck!

Have a Wonderful Day!



Thursday, October 18, 2018

How to Make a SCARY Fairy Garden!

We have been traveling for a week or so.....
It seemed too soon to decorate for Halloween before we left, but now it is only 2 weeks away.
I don't do a lot of crazy Halloween decor any more.  We never were the people who filled the yard with gravestones and ghosts.
I do like to do a few things that pay homage to the season.


This is one of my favorites!
I love fairy gardens.....and this one can be enjoyed in the warm comfort of indoors!

AND....almost every component is a thrift store find.





You can create your own "Scary Fairy Garden" or "Ghostly Gnome Home".
These are the components:
  • A large box or basket- this is a wine box/tray that I found at Goodwill.  The aisle with baskets and wood always have great things for good prices.
  • Ceramic houses that are usually in the Christmas decor section at the thrift store.  I painted them with craft paint to look spooky.
  • Small pumpkins are always available at the dollar store.
  • Little ceramic ghosts can be sourced at the thrift store.  You probably have some in your holiday stash.
  • The stone "courtyard" is a piece of tile on mesh that we found at the tile store. A little moss tucked in is a nice addition.
  • The "tree" is some curly willow that is tied together.  A branch from the yard would work well.
  • I added some battery powered twinkle lights wound around the branches.


Easy....
Simple....
Inexpensive....
Just my Sweetwater Style!





Happy Haunting!





















Saturday, September 15, 2018

Slowly Embracing Fall

The temps are going to hit 90 degrees today.....thoughts of sweaters, boots, and pumpkin flavored food makes NO SENSE!

Why is it that people seem to get euphoric over the fact that Autumn is upon us?

 




I imagine that if you have been trying to manage the schedules of a bunch of kids on summer break, the idea that the school system will take over is NOT a bad thing!  That is a good reason to say Hurrah Fall.





I imagine if you live in a place where the temperatures and humidity are oppressive for many days in the summer, the arrival of cooler days is NOT a bad thing.

But....for me....no kids to wrangle any longer....and living in a state where Autumn can mean SNOW....I am not so quick to jump on the pumpkin wagon!
Source
I LOVE summer!!!  Let me repeat...I LOVE SUMMER!
Alas...there is not much I can do to stop the calendar pages from turning.

This year I decided to make the transition SLOWLY!

I am slowly packing away the summer decor around here and putting out some touches of the Autumn season.

I stitched up some new covers for the chairs in the family room.  They are quite a bit more fall like than the turquoise and blue ones that were there before.

Away went the starfish and beach scenes by the fireplace.

I used a photo editing app to turn this fall photo into a watercolor look.

 The coffee table arrangemen is just some spheres with interesting textures and cotton bolls.  Nothing a Grand can't touch and explore!


The baker's rack has autumn tones with the copper items. 
The bowls are filled with some artificial produce.....yup...I am turning into that dotty old woman with WAXED FRUIT! 




But hey....the Sweetwater Grandgirl loves to put the food in her grocery cart and push it around.

















 The wreath on the front steps lost the patriotic red, white, and blue.  Sunflowers and dried grasses have a nice transitional look.  I even broke down and added a couple of scarecrows and pumpkins.


These little nods to the season are just enough to head toward Autumn.
It is supposed to stay really warm around here for a few more days...
And just so you know.....I am still wearing my WHITE JEANS....2 weeks after Labor Day...So There!

Summer "Ain't" over until I decide it is over!

Have A Wonderful Day!