Sunday, July 31, 2011

Side Table Revamp-Leather Look for less!

This is what I want! 

Home Shopping Network, $199.95

At that price this table is really pretty affordable.  But still,  $200 for a table that is going to sit in an out of the way spot seems like a lot.
This table was stuck out of the way in the lower level on it's way to the GW drop off.



The awful finish is the result of a less than successful attempt at faux painting---arghhh!


I am pretty pleased with the results.  Not perfect, but certainly better than before! Read on to see how I did this!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Tools of the Trade-The Indispensables

Happy Friday!

I spent a bunch of time this week looking at all of the amazing blogs that are out there.
This causes me stress as my internal TO DO  list grows longer and time left in my summer break from school grows shorter
I better get busy!

You should read this post by Mari at For the Love of the House. 
She writes:
"I am a list-maker.
I love lists. 
I love making lists, I love reading lists,  I love crossing things off of lists (I always cross things off- even if I'm getting ready to throw the list in the trash I cross off 'accomplished' items first ;)"
Then she lists the 10 "housey" things she can't live without!

I AM NOT a list maker.
I HATE lists.
I LOVE other people's lists

But Mari's list had lots of things on it that I also consider to be indispensable.
I must really like you all because I am going to make you list of the "housey" things that I would hate to live without!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Fairy Garden-Sweetwater Style




Garden fairies come at dawn,
Bless the flowers then they're gone.
~Author Unknown
The little fairy garden in an old birdbath makes me smile whenever I look at it.  
I imagine it may entice some fairies to come bless the flowers.  
Do you think they could cast a spell on the weeds too? Here's hoping!
Read on to learn how to make your own and find inspiration from some other fantastic Fairy Gardens out there.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Wedding Flowers For Less-First Steps

A good friend is getting married on August 13th.
She has done me the honor of asking me and another friend to be the "florists" for the event.
 What Fun! 
Friday we met at the Minneapolis Farmer's Market Flower Mart to get the plan under way.
Be sure to check out the link above to see what this fabulous place has to offer.

Come along and see the fun we had creating the vision for the big day!

Friday, July 22, 2011

No Fuss Deck Lighting

I love the quote from the movie "You've Got Mail" when Kathleen announces that all will be fine, but "in the meantime, I'm putting up more twinkle lights."
That's how I feel about the twinkle lights on our deck.
 Sweetwater Style calls for simple, easy, inexpensive elegance.  This solution is almost too easy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer Look for Your Couch-Use Sheets

The temperature in Minnesota is going to hit 100 degrees today!
I love warm weather but this is a bit much!
Try this easy way to "air condition" your couch.  Use a sheet for sewn slip covers or take the easy route and just tuck and pin. Read on to find out how!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hydrangeas in the House-Tips for Making them Last!

Hydrangeas have taken the place of Peonies as my favorite flower now that it is July.
Hydrangeas are the showy, temperamental and unpredictable.  They are beautiful in the garden and even more beautiful in flower arrangements.
I have finally figured out the way to make these pretties behave when I bring them inside. It is all about the conditioning! It is easy and works almost every time!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Off for the Weekend....but before I go!






No time for a long post today as we are off to southern Minnesota for a family wedding.  It will be fun to visit with family and friends.
 





Instead reading a post from me, take a moment to look through my blog roll.  There is some great reading and lots of inspiration to be found there. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

I Am A Dead Head!


No, I don't mean this....
Deadhead or Dead Head is a name given to fans of the American jam band, the Grateful Dead.[1][2][3][4][5] In the 1970s, a number of fans began travelling to see the band in as many shows or festival venues as they could. With large numbers of people thus attending strings of shows, a community developed. Deadheads developed their own idioms and slang. (from Wikipedia)
I mean I am a Dead Head when I garden! You can see it is worth the effort!
There are some basic techniques for pinching back annual and perennial flowers in your garden.  To quote my daughter "Mom, not everybody knows how to do this...you should write a post about it."  So here goes:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Goodwill Girls Gather for Giggles and Goodies!

Three girlfriends joined me yesterday for some thrifting fun at the Hopkins Goodwill Store.

We did have lots of giggles and found some goodies  too!  
Then we went down the block to recover from all our hard bargain shopping on the patio at Pizza Luce.  Over some delicious food and refreshing beverages, we congratulated one another on our great finds.
What great finds? Read on to find out!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Easy Decor Update-Rearrange Accessories

"Never buy an accessory that you can't use in at least two rooms."
I read this somewhere last week.  Of course I can't remember where....so I can't give the writer credit.




This simple idea really stuck with me.  I realized that I do this a lot. 
You probably do too, but sometimes we all need little reminders to "just do it"!
Here is a very simple example, using some pillows that I made a couple of months ago.






Monday, July 11, 2011

Free Websites for Photo Effects!

Peony-PhotoForged
Do you love the idea of editing your digital photos?
These are cheap/FREE alternatives for those of us who don't have the money or the skill set to work with PhotoShop. 

This great list of free Web 2.0 photo manipulation websites were in a the book Creating a Digital-Rich Classroom  by Meg Ormiston.
I am always looking for ways to make today's classrooms more relevant for students by using technology tools.

While I was in "nerd mode", I realized that these sites could cross over to "grown-up" or "kid craft" projects to do at home.

Read on to see the list and some examples.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Plastic Planter Transformed with Spray Paint

Finding an inexpensive way to dress up our front entryway has been a real challenge. 
The height of the opening and the scale obviously call for some pretty big planters-not the puny ones in this photo.  A trip to Target and Home Depot solved the problem.  Take a look!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Smoothie Recipe Challenge-Join the Conversation

Do you love Smoothies as much as I do? 



Since I am off to run about a hundred errands this morning and knowing that I probably won't stop for lunch, I just treated myself to a great smoothie.  Mine was simple:  a banana, some blueberries, greek yogurt, orange juice and a little pomegranite syrup.  I added a packet of EmergenC.  Simple and delicious.
I bet you have your own go to smoothie recipe. 
Let's do a little virtual recipe exchange!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Make A 1Hour Project-Throw Rug from Upholstery Fabric

The powder room at Sweetwater is very very small.

There is hardly room to turn around in there....but it is in a convenient location....so I really shouldn't complain.

Finding a throw rug to add some color was a real challenge. A 3x5 is too big and tiny bath rugs looked too "bathroomy".

The Solution: Being a fabric lover....and having a pretty nice "Fabric Stash"...I had some fun upholstery fabric.....so I decided to do a DYI Throw Rug with that fabric!


This Trina Turk Rug was the inspiration!

$210 Trina Turk Inspiration





$7 Sweetwater Style Solution

Here is my no sew, fast and easy solution.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Peony Update-The Proof in Pictures!





There has been some complaining by the man in the house that the peony filled newspapers are taking up valuable space in the beer and pop refrigerator.

I think he thought I forgot about them....not!

Here is the proof that you really can extend the blooming time for these gorgeous flowers.


Peonies in July-Priceless!


I have to admit that I always think that there is no way that the floppy, sad looking stems will really come around.  Patience is NOT one of my strong suits.  But if you wait the 12+ hours and don't give up you will see that it really does work.  Remember that these were cut a full 5 weeks ago-AMAZING!
The leave are droopy and the buds look dead-oh my!


Put the newly cut stems in room temp water for a LONG time-12 hours or so.
Hooray...it looks like it is working!

Almost there....

Patience has it's virtues.

Time to make the arrangement.



Success!

I have to admit that the leaves on the hydrated stems are less than wonderful. What to do?  I  picked strong healthy leaves from the plants in the garden and used them as filler. I use peony leaves as fill for my arrangements all summer and fall because they are such strong, long lasting leaves.

TIP:  If you don't have any floral foam, get yourself to the craft store now...I buy mine at Michaels-4 blocks for $5.   Be sure to buy WET foam for fresh flowers-not DRY foam which is for dried arrangements. 
Using floral foam to arrange your flowers will make you look like a pro!



Soak the foam well, put it in the container and now you have the freedom to insert your stems at any angle.  Flower arrangements last longer too because the ends of the stems can absorb water, and it is easy to change the water without disturbing your design.

Now I am going to go sit and have a cup of coffee while I look at my peonies....
Have a wonderful day!