Monday, August 21, 2017

Sunflowers "Eclipse" all other Summer Blooms

In honor of the solar is a repost about Sunflowers and a trick for arranging them.

You gotta love Sunflowers!

Big bright and beautiful! Sweetwater....
The Deer like to munch on Sunflower leaves...


Sometimes I grow them on the deck...

Once in a while a few "volunteers" hide long enough to set blooms...

But I have given up trying to plant seeds and
hope for a nice crop....

So I have to buy them "gasp" !

Usually at the Farmer's Market...

This week Mr. S. brought a nice bunch home from the grocery store!

Sunflowers are hard to arrange in a vase....

They are big, floppy and hard to keep upright....

This is one flower that doesn't do well stuck in florist foam or a frog....

Here is the Sweetwater trick for making this quick nice looking arrangement!

First need an opaque vase....not a clear one!
This Haeger vase from Goodwill is the perfect size and shape for a Sunflower Bouquet!

Fill it with water....
Add a couple three paper towels.....let them soak up the water!

Stick the whole bunch of Sunflowers in the wet paper towels....
let the paper toweling support the stems as you arrange the flower heads....

Gather the stems together and tie with a big bunch of Raffia....

 How's that for a tutorial!
and oh yeah....Thanks for the flowers Mr. S!

 Have a Great Day Everyone!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Avoiding the August Flower Gardening Doldrums

The lazy days of summer are upon us.
We have finished with most of our summer traveling and now it is time to get back to taking care of business around here....especially in the garden.
I have a LOVE/HATE relationship with August gardening.  
I LOVE that everything is growing and lots of things are blooming.....but the fact mid-August most plants are past their prime.
The garden is in the DOLDRUMS
plural noun: doldrums
a state or period of inactivity, stagnation, or depression.

Here are some tips that I found to combat the "stagnation"!

Now I just have to get myself out there and "just do it"!

Be a Dead-Head!  

(no...not the fanatic follower of the band)

I know if I keep cutting back the spent flowers on the Geraniums, Zinnias, Dahlias and Snapdragons, they will bloom until frost. 

The snapdragon that is tallest needs to be cut back to encourage branching and more flowers.

This stand of salvia is on the second bloom after being brutally trimmed a few weeks ago.

 I try to "proactively" dead head.  This means I have flowers to make tiny bouquets to put all over.

Out with the old....and ugly!

This is the time to be tough and ruthless....cut back everything that is overgrown or yellowing.  Since the garden is pretty makes sense to get rid of things that have seen better days.  This also lets the pretty plants shine a bit.

I have no idea what happened to these Impatiens....but they just have to go!

 Replacement Plants
I probably won't replace or add too many plants this year.....but this is a great way to add and enhance your garden. Check out the sales at your local nursery.  If you have spots in the garden that need a boost for next year, this is a great time to buy some interesting perennials.
Mr. S did exactly that when he gave me these two wonderful Hydrangeas for my birthday.  They will be refreshing eye catchers in the fading garden. I can't wait to get then in the ground!


This is probably the hardest thing to get done in do what I say...not what I do!

Every week or so....I force myself to head out covered in bug spray and attack some of the weeds. 
I read an interesting tip that might be worth doing.....get some bags of mulch and add some to the edges of the garden beds.....HMMMM....

Rest on Your Laurels and Celebrate!
There are always bright spots in the garden to enjoy.....Focus on the Late Summer and Autumn bloomers.... 
Morning Glory - BTW did you know these are toxic to cats!!!?

Dazzling Dahlia

Joe Pye Weed attracts butterflies

Purple Coneflower


Tree Hydrangea

Black Eyed Susan
Have A Great Day! 

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Monday Musings

Happy Monday!
It has been too long since I posted anything here....
It seemed like all the stuff that has been keeping me busy didn't really fit with the mission of Sweetwater Style.
It seemed that my projects really aren't anything to blog about.

All the "writers block" advice articles say just go for it and start writing.  So that is what I will do!

Mr. S and I took a trip to Voyageur's National Park with some friends.  We stayed at the charming Kettle Falls Hotel in a "Villa".....
 Our adventures started when our room came with an overpowering ODOR of vomit!  Yikes....but luckily we were given the room directly above.  It had  no kitchen, but we were allowed to use the kitchen in the "vomit" room.  The smell gradually went away....and all was well. 

I clearly am the poster girl for high fashion on the water.....and I even caught a fish or two.....

 We used the Air Fryer to cook the fish without a bunch of oil.  Oh...YUMMY!

The scenery was amazing and so was the weather!

Nothing beats time spent with good friends making memories!

And then there are the Grands.....
Getting to know this sweet little Grand Girl is beyond wonderful
I forgot how all consuming babies can fortunate we are to spend that time!
The Grandboy is a constant source of wonder!
All boy and using whole sentences to have conversations with us!

Helping GG (GreatGrandma) with her knitting!

This photo was taken BEFORE he completely unwound the whole skein of yarn!

Ahhh.....what is better than a costume box so that you can instantly become a SUPER HERO!

Loving the excitement of a summer time parade!

How a bit A..musing!  All this Monday morning musing has given me about 10 ideas to blog about.  I guess the writer's block advice is correct....just start writing and the thoughts will come!
Stay Tuned...
Have a wonderful day....and thanks for listening!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

DIY Cleaners Using Dawn Detergent

If you don't have a bottle of this in your house....
You need to put it on your list of must buys!

I know I could use this for it's primary purpose....washing dishes....

BUT...honestly...I use the bulk stuff from Costco on a regular basis....

Using a decorative bottle with a pouring top is something I learned from Martha Stewart's Good Things!

I posted about that 5 or 6 years ago.....

So....what DO I use Dawn Detergent for?

You will not believe how well this works!
Spray it on.....walk away for awhile.....scrub a little.....DONE!

This formula also does a great job on crusty water stained glass and plastic.
These two acrylic beverage tubs are favorites of mine.  They get used for lots of things besides conditioning flowers for events.  I was almost ready to give up on being able to put them out for can see how crusty the build up was.  A little of the "miracle" sauce and they were back to sparkly and shiny.

On to Part TWO

Seriously folks....this truly is almost magic.

I have tried it on a bunch of things with pretty darn good results.

One of Marvin the cat's least favorite "issues" is his BULIMIA!  Yup...he overeats and purges all over the carpet!  Since the cat food has orange dye in it....the stains are GROSS!
Of course, he always chooses to leave his treasures on the beige carpet!

 It takes a little time and some elbow grease with the solution of Dawn and Hydrogen Peroxide.

Because it is pretty takes a good bit of rinsing and blotting to get all the soap residue up.

 Can you believe the way this works!?
Now...I just need to troll through the house and find the old stains....and get them erased!

I don't have photos of all the successful stain removal, but here are a couple of examples that have worked:

Wine stain on a shirt that had been washed and dried several times......gone in 10 minutes!
Grease stain on my favorite gray sweatshirt.....gone!
Dirty white tennis shoes....scrubbed....and bright white again!

This concoction will be my go to for pesky stains from now on!

I guess you could say:

Have A Great Day!

Monday, July 17, 2017

How to Upholster an Old Office Chair

 Yup.....we all have at least one office chair.
An office or task chair is one of those necessities that you really can't do without.
Even new ones usually lack any kind of decor charm.
The one in my sewing room IS NOT new.....and it certainly has no charm!

I learned to "upscale" an office chair a couple of years ago to make an eyesore part of the decor.

I could not believe how easy it is to do. is easy to do if you have the right KIND of chair.
Notice that the cushions on this chair are inserted in a plastic frame.
All it takes for this project is:

Some really pretty fabric!

AND.....a couple of really basic tools.

It is just a matter of cutting two pieces of fabric the size of the cushion with about 2 inches of overlap.

Most decorator fabric is 54-60 inches wide.
You only need about a yard of fabric to do both the back and seat cushion.
But of course you will need to measure to be sure!

Cut the fabric to size.
Round the corners off to reduce the amount of fabric as you go around the frame.

It is a simple matter to just push the fabric in between the plastic frame and the cushion.

The putty knife usually works well.
Sometimes the screw driver helps to pull the frame out a bit to get the fabric started.

Make sure to pull and stretch the fabric tight.

One suggestion is to do part of the top, then part of the bottom, and part of each side.  This helps you get a tight fit.
Finish by going all the way around.

There is plenty of give in the plastic to get the fabric in there.

For about $10 and an hour of work time...the ugly utilitarian looks like part of the decor!

When I walked by the framed poster that was hanging in a different room....I said "AHA!"
The colors couldn't be a better match.

Here are a couple of posts I did a few years ago that give even more details.

The "manly" desk chair for Mr. S.

The "old version" of my sewing chair.

I hope this inspires you to upscale your own chair.

Have A Great Day!
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