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....


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Brilliant Solution For An Awkward Doorway!

The Sweetwater Brother just reminded me that I was going to write a post about the door in the condo in Manzanillo!
 
You might be asking yourself....."Why would you want to write a post about a door....in a vacation condo?"
 
The answer to that is that the doorway to the master bathroom and the master bedroom was a bit awkward!
awk·ward
ˈôkwərd
adjective
adjective: awkward
1. causing difficulty; hard to deal with
difficult, tricky;
More
cumbersome, unwieldy, inconvenient, inappropriate, inopportune, difficult
synonyms: embarrassing, uncomfortable, unpleasant, delicate, tricky, problematic, troublesome, thorny;
antonyms: easy, convenient
The Problem: 
The original configuration of the master bathroom was that it was open to the master bedroom.
The renovation that was done created a "water closet" for the toilet.
The main door to the master bedroom is positioned in such a way that it made adding a "water closet" door impossible because the two doors would have been in conflict!
The Solution: 
Add two-way hinges to the door so that it could close the bedroom door AND close the "water closet"!
The door has two sets of hinges and the door is sized perfectly so that it allows you to close both doorways perfectly depending on which way the door swings!
 When privacy from the main living area is needed....the door can be closed.


 When privacy to the toilet area is need the door closes in that direction!

That is definitely a BRILLIANT solution!
Very elegant!

This was done by professionals in Mexico....but I can't imagine that it would be to hard as a DYI project!

Have A Great Day.....and I wish you NO Awkward Moments today!















Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Silver Polishing For Lazy People!

Alas....there are no butlers or footmen at Sweetwater who can polish the silver!



I imagine the Silver at Downton Abbey the silver is all real Sterling too!






The Sweetwater silver is all SILVERPLATE.....
And.... it almost all came from the thrift store!

I do love the silver pieces I have....
I do love using the stuff.....
I do love sharing it with friends...

In fact...a girlfriend is coming over this week to take inventory of the collection and see what pieces she might use for her wedding reception.

FUN!

What I do not love is polishing this stuff!  But it needs to happen every once in a while!  Especially if it is going "on a field trip" to a wedding reception!

Typically, I get out the polish and just do it....
Then I remembered reading somewhere that you could use tinfoil and baking soda to remove tarnish without polishing!
So of course.....I did some research and found a bunch of tutorials about doing this!
And it WORKS!
This is what you need!
This is what you do!



Line a big pan with aluminum foil.
SHINY SIDE OUT

Pour in some baking soda.
3 or 4 Tablespoons per quart of water

Get the water boiling!


Dump in the silver pieces....

Let the magic happen....
It takes a little while....like five minutes!









Look at the dark color the foil turned!


According to Mr. S (he is not a chemist....but pretty darn smart about stuff like this)...what is really happening is a chemical reaction that results in sort of electroplating the foil with a tiny bit of the silver.

Mr. S. told me I needed to find the scientific reason this works....here is a link from some guy at John's Hopkins if you feel the need to study up on this....but here is a quote from the article:
"The reason that this process works so well is that it acts electrochemically. There is a flow of electrons between the silver object and the aluminum foil, and that's what removes the tarnish."
Sounds just like what  Mr. S told me....don't you think?









I decided to try this with the silverplate flatware for the first try with the process.

I hate polishing this the most....as you can plainly see!

The results were truly amazing!
Not perfect.....but with no polishing!






I decided to try using the kitchen sink for some of the bigger pieces!













I wasn't quite as happy with the results.....probably because I couldn't keep the water hot enough!
I will figure some way to put a bigger pot on the stove next time.
I was really pleased with the way the tarnish came out of the grooves in the edges of the trays.
 It would have been a real pain to get this result with silver polish!

Disclaimer:  
Remember that all my silver pieces are thrift store bargains and NOT heirlooms!
In the process.....a tiny bit of the silver is coming off and going to the aluminum foil!
Mr. S thinks it would take a WHOLE bunch of treatments to actually damage the pieces....but I thought you should be forewarned if you have precious pieces!


I don't think I will completely give up my Downton Abbey moments....but this process is one that I will use more often!

I would love to hear from anyone who has a solution for doing this on the larger trays and bowls.  
I am thinking that my roaster might work.....what do you think?

Have a Great Day!




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