Friday, December 30, 2011

Have Fabric-Will Travel!

Are you ready for "Use What I've Got-2012-#2"?
I am challenging myself to make something out of something that I already have at least once every week....
This one might just win for long distance frugality!

 We just got back from a quick trip to see my Mom in Florida! 
She is lucky to spend her winters in this absolutely darling yellow cottage!

Mom wanted me to help her update her porch furniture with new cushions while we were there!
That inspired me to make this project into  "Use What I've Got Challenge 2012- #2"
SOOO!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Use What I've Got 2012 Challenge!

 I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!
We sure did at here at Sweetwater!
Lots of family, food, fun.....and of course "Way too much of everything"!

 Once the holiday passes....
I begin thinking of new stuff to do...
And old stuff that still needs doing!


That got me to thinking....
I decided to start a series of posts with the theme-
"What I Used Up This Week!"
The object will be to challenge myself to make something out of something that I already have at least once every week....
ALL YEAR
Come along for the first installment....
Dinner napkins from the old drapes!  (really it is not as odd as it might sound)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Will I Ever Be Done Shopping?

Sooo....I procrastinated....What's New?
I always tell myself I will do this all ahead of time....
I NEVER do!
So this post will be the shortest ever!
But then you probably don't have time to sit at the computer and read anyway!

I just had to share this photo!

My darling little niece and her little friend are finishing their holiday shopping!
Tee Hee....Mommy bought the little coat and hat at Goodwill....
AND...
The little plaid party dress underneath too!!!

Now if this isn't a great example of Sweetwater Style....I don't know what is!

Here is wishing that the man in your life appreciates your bargains
BUT....
 He follows this little guy's plan and  doesn't shop at the GW for you!



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

No Cost Holiday Centerpiece



I've had these 3 glass hurricanes for years.
I always think they will make a pretty centerpiece...

but until this year....not so much!

I have been seeing lots of posts out there for interesting ways to use combinations of glassware as stands....

Eureka!  

 

Here is the recipe



3 Old glass Hurricane Lanterns sitting on the shelf
3 wine glasses (from GW)
3 glass votive holders(from our daughter's wedding)
Some greenery Sprigs (free from HomeDepot)


Mix well...in layers

Place on Ceramic Tray

Garnish With Ribbon







I like that this centerpiece isn't too Christmasy...with a few tweeks it can stay on the table a long time!
Actually...that gives me an idea for a post about the transition from Christmas to Winter...stay tuned!

And....

 you thought I couldn't cook....well at least I can "cook" something up!!!








Sunday, December 18, 2011

Great Christmas Book List for Kids

You'd Better Watch Out!
You'd Better Not Pout!
You'd Better Not Cry!
I'm Telling You you Why!

The Sweetwater Librarian Is Blogging Today!

I've Made You A List...
I checked it twice....
These Holiday Themed Books are really Nice!

Enough with the lame Christmas Carol Parody....
On to the list of books....

Friday, December 16, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

Decor For The Boys!

Glitter!
Bows!
Lace!
Tinsel!
Velvet!
It Seems like a lot of the decor out there is a pretty "girlie"....
or to quote my son...."That's  a little  FESTIVE for me!"

A lot of my decorating is kind of girlie....
Pretty much, I put a bow on everything in the house!
BUT....We do have some touches that are just "For the Boys!"
Take a look!

Three Fun On Line Holiday Games for Kids


 I know you are all sooo very busy....
But sometimes you just need to take a break!


Here are a couple of absolutely addictive on-line activities for your kids!


Pour yourself a cup of coffee....
Find a good book to read.....
Step away from the computer....
and
Let your kids have a turn!

Or.....play them yourself for a giggle or two!




 Tee Hee!
You are very Welcome! 


Linky Parties

Just Me and My Boys
Home Savvy A to Z 
Dittle Dattle 
Sew Can Do
All Things Fee 
Skip to My Lou 
Turquoise Lovin"
Stuff and Nonsense 
Sun Scholars 
Naptime Crafters 
Tidy Mom 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

How to Deck the Halls with Boughs.......!

What do you get when you take....

12    Tired Teachers....
11     Kinds of Ribbon....
10     Bunches of Pine Boughs....
9       Bags of Pine Cones......
8       Spools of Florist Wire......
7      Garden Shears.......

6      Trys  to make  a bow
5      Lovely kids
4      Batches of Cider
3      Trips to Home Depot
2      Men Arranging
And a couple of hours in a teachers lunchroom?

What you get is a memorable time....
and a couple of great looking holiday arrangements too!
Come see the fun we had at our "Make and Take" Decorating Party!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Busy Busy Busy!

What a week...Lots of fun and planning for fun!
We hosted a great holiday/birthday brunch on Sunday!
I am getting ready for a make and take decorating gathering at school on Friday afternoon!
Not much time for blogging....but I thought you might like to see the mantel in the family room!
Let me tell you about how "thrifty" this was to put together!
This is totally "Sweetwater Style"...I used what I had....and just did it!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Next Decorating Steps....The Stairs that is!

My cold is finally gone!  My energy level is almost back to normal!

Being under the weather has really impacted my decorating schedule....but I FINALLY got the stairways done!
I always love looking at all the ideas for elegant banisters in the magazines...Aren't these lovely?

 Then reality sets in!
  • the decorations have to last through the season...so live greens are not an option!
  • We don't have a way to add lights without extension cords laying across traffic areas....no lights for us!
  • We actually hang on to the railings when we go up and down the steps....go figure...so the rail needs to be exposed!



I kind of like how they turned out this year....Read on to see!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Holiday Laundry Room!


I am always so envious of people who have big "stand alone" laundry rooms....
In our house...the laundry room is the back entry pass through from the garage!
And....
The only thing "stand alone" about it is.....ME standing ALONE doing the LAUNDRY!

So in true "Sweetwater Style"...what do I do?
Decorate....! Especially at Christmas!
If I have to spend time "standing alone" in there, it might as well look festive!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Let the Decorating BEGIN....in the rooms you use the most!

My goal in decorating for Christmas is totally "Sweetwater Style"...
  • Use what you've got!
  • Re-use and rearrange!
  • Try not to buy anything new!
If you consider that my decoration closet is FULL FULL FULL of stuff that I have been collecting for years.....then I have spent less than $20 on decorating so far....some scented pine cones and some ribbon from Costco!

I usually do the Holiday decorating in one big day....the Friday after Thanksgiving!
I pull out all the boxes....make a huge mess and clean it up!
Not this year....

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanks Giving! Simplify Your Shopping!

Thanksgiving is here!
The turkey is ready to go in the oven.....
Our family will gather soon!
Black Friday is tomorrow....and I WON'T be out there!
Why?

We have a wonderful tradition in our family that simplifies gift giving....

The adult brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews know what they want and they buy it...so finding the right gift is always a challenge!
But....giving gifts is fun and sharing is what the season is about!

Sooo....a couple of years ago we decided that our extended family would Adopt a Family (actually 2 families)through our county outreach program!
Now....we still get to shop and buy and give...
In November we receive the names and ages of the kids and adults in the families.  

There are 2 "gift requests/suggestions" for each child.  The adults indicate preferred store for a gift certificate!

Imagine....somebody else makes the list!!!!

Everybody picks the gifts they want to buy.....
The people from far away send checks....no shipping required!

 We tuck in lots of little stocking stuffers....
I still get to wrap gifts....and use some pretty bows!


 



We haul the "Santa Sacks" off to the drop-off on December 15th....

Happily Done!

I cannot tell you how this has "de-stressed" the whole shopping craziness....to actually know what to buy....
and...
best of all, know that the gifts are needed and will be well appreciated!

Now....the only shopping we need to do is for immediate family members!

Now THAT is Sweetwater Style!




Saturday, November 19, 2011

Taking another Bow! Tutorial that is!

I made a Costco run this week....

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


During every major holiday season they have beautiful wired ribbon at ridiculously cheap prices.
How cheap? $6.99 for 50 yards!
And the patterns are amazing....not always Holiday themed either!

While I was buying mine, I saw a couple buying every spool of one design....they told me it was for their wedding! Very patient groom taking the whole display apart to get enough spools!




These are the ones that caught my eye this year.


I haven't used bright colors for a few years....
I am lovin' the plaid...
oh....and polka dots..... and that green really pops!
Here is a tutorial to show you how to make some pretty and easy bows!




I went down to the ribbon stash!
Dug around and found other Costco Ribbons....







I must really love you my bloggy friends, because I am risking having Mr. Sweetwater see how much ribbon I have!
"Really dear...I will use it all someday!"







 People who know me, know that I put bows on everything...


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 a pre-made bow like this for a mere $8.50....or go wild and buy 12 for $102.00!

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 have put some links to bow making tutorials at the end of the post....






but now you get to see my lame attempt to show you how....
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!  NOW1  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 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
Bowmaking...with yardage chart

 I love to hear from YOU!
What is your favorite thing to buy at CostCo?



Related Posts from ME!

Bows Bows Bows
Thrifty Bath Soak Recipe
TIme Saving Gift Wrap Tips

Folded Gift Bag Tutorial




Read On to see the Link PartyList

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tricks for Arranging a Cornucopia



  I don't really do all that much specifically themed Thanksgiving decorating. I just sort of take the obvious Halloween stuff down and leave the fall looking stuff around.


BUT.....
 The Horn of Plenty or Cornucopia is almost as iconic an image as the turkey at Thanksgiving.

I have always loved the idea of having this as the centerpiece for the table!
Look at these lovely examples:





I could never figure out how to get mine to look like this without everything tumbling out whenever I needed to move it for one reason or another!
Finally, I figured it out!