Saturday, June 30, 2012

A New Way To Fabric Shop!

 "Summer afternoon-summer afternoon: to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English Language   ~Henry James


I am never one to hurry summer along....in fact it is a well known RULE at Sweetwater to NEVER use the following phrases in my presence:
  • "Summer is sure going fast...."
  • "The Back to School sales are starting....."
  • "Wow....can you believe it is the 4th of July already....."
  • "It won't be long now 'til your birthday...(August 10 if you must know)

But this year I need to at least THINK about August....as it will be a crazy busy time!

The Sweetwater Son (that is his cute self up there in the photo) is most likely going to be moving....into a new house.....alas the rule is that "until the deal is DONE"....there WON'T be any pre-move planning..... he is afraid that it would jinx the whole deal!But come August...that will be so much fun....Craig's List, GoodWill and Garage Sales OH MY!!

Also in August,  the Sweetwater Daughter and her law partner are moving their practice to a new spot!
They are starting the process of decorating that space!
The goal is to do this as economically as possible....(this apple didn't fall far from the Sweetwater tree!)

Yeah....Yeah....I know this was supposed to be a post about FABRIC SHOPPING!!!!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Refinishing the Deck Table!




The Cocktail Table on the deck is our favorite gathering place on a summer evening.
We love being able to pull up the chairs and enjoy the view.
It has a built in firepit....but alas....
Mr. S. doesn't think a fire on the deck is a good idea...GO FIGURE!!!
So we drilled a couple of drainage holes and put pots of plants in instead!!!

The poor thing  has been around for more than a few years.
We used to take the tile sections indoors during the winter....but over time we have gotten lazy about that....
Besides....I like to do seasonal arrangements all fall and winter that give us something nice to look at out the kitchen window!


So you can imagine.....given the harsh seasons in Minnesota....the tile was getting "pretty shabby"!

A new table exactly like this one.....is available for as much as we paid for the table AND chairs all those years ago!!!!
Yeah.....and that is JUST what I DON'T want to spend my money on!!!!!




So it was time to get creative!!!! (or I might as well admit it.....CHEAP)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer Reading Challenge!

There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world. Love of books is the best of all. 
- Jacqueline Kennedy

As teachers and parents, we are always challenging the kids in our lives to "read, read, read" during the summer.
There are reading charts, book clubs and incentive programs everywhere you look!


This is probably blasphemous coming from a School Library Media Specialist....but I would tell you to just STOP  nagging your kids to go READ!

(ESPECIALLY true for those RELUCTANT readers!)

WHAT? 
YES....Stop Nagging!  

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Happy Birthday Mr. S!

While it is just a few years later....

Mr. S is almost as cute now as he was back then!



Like so many men, Mr. S. is almost impossible to buy presents for.....
He has the annoying habit of buying the stuff he wants....when he wants it!
His birthday falls close to Father's Day....so he has just gotten lots of presents....
And then...as he usually does this time of year...he just went out and bought a bunch of new clothes for himself!!!!

But this year he REALLY took the cake.....
He gets his NEW Truck today!
You know the old saying.....
"The only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys! "

I really don't think another new shirt is going to top that....do you?


Oh well....maybe I can find a big bow to put on top of it!



Then we are off to the baseball game tonight!

Really....an almost perfect "GUY" birthday....
a new truck, a baseball game, beer and bratwurst! 

Happy Birthday to you Mr. S!

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Deck Fountain Update!

I stopped at a garage sale the other day and scored these great galvanized steel containers for $5 each!

(I think they were originally from IKEA)

If you give a woman bare galvanized steel she will probably need to paint it!!!!

Wait until you see how cool they turned out!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Can Your Kindle Do This?


 I have a confession to make....
I totally stole the title for this post from The Decorologist!  (thanks Kristie!)


 It was just too perfect!

Her post has some great ideas for using books to decorate with! Go take a look!

Maybe only thing better than a great cup of good coffee might be a great coffee table book.



I love these big oversized tomes filled with amazing photos.






Most of ours come from.....where else....GOODWILL!


Well...one of my favorites....a book called SUMMER....got a big stain on it!
Oops...the water in a flower arrangement leaked....
I needed to find a way to save this favorite!!!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday Morning Musings!

Well!
I am finally on Summer Break....
Actually it started last Friday....
but it never really feels REAL until Monday morning rolls around and I DON'T have to get ready for work!

Wouldn't it be lovely to be the girl in this Winslow Homer Painting?
We have a hammock....
I have a book.....


Oh well....probably not!
More likely this will be ME!
Bent over the garden, weeding and weeding and weeding!
I am headed to my Mom's house with lots of bug spray to tackle her gardens!

In the meantime....take a look at what is blooming at Sweetwater!

Clockwise from the top left:  
  • Yellow Gazania an annual flower also known as African Daisy or Treasure Flower.  Loves the sun and likes it dry!  I have them in planters so I can move them around. 

  • Yellow Asiatic Lily-once in a while they actually bloom BEFORE the deer eat them.

  •  Lobelia...in a pot so they can move to the coolest spots in the yard...once these showstoppers dry out....they are gone for good...keeping them moist is a challenge!

  • Red Asiatic Lily...I got a picture of this yesterday....alas....overnight they were a midnight snack for the deer....Arghhhh!
  • Common Daisies....with Siberian Iris!  It is almost time for the Shasta Daisy to bloom and all these daisies that have taken over the garden will get ripped out like weeds!
 Clockwise from the top left:
  • The new rose....love the creamy tangerine color and it smells fabulous.  We are leaving it in the pot to see if it likes the front garden!
  • The first hydrangea bloom....will it be pink or blue this year?  We never know, but whatever color it will be a showstopper!
  • Pink Dahlia....love to cut these for little spots of color in the house!
  • Campanula-we have 2 kinds....one is tall and one is in a clump.  They really like our yard and we have transplanted them all over the garden.  They are nice in bouquets in the house.

And finally.....
Since I deadheaded the last of the peonies on the bushes last week....

It was time to "reconstitute" some of the buds from the refrigerator!

Here they are in all their glory!!!!
 I never really believe that it is going to work....but look see!
And there are 5 more bunches waiting!!!

Have a Great Week!!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Scents and Cents-a-bility!



Coco Chanel once said

 "A woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future."



 Wouldn't you have loved knowing this amazing woman?





What is it about perfume?
Every magazine is filled with ads and samples enticing you to buy yet another expensive bottle of the best smelling magical potion!

Oh sooo tempting and Oh soo expensive!
We "girlie girls" need a way to satisfy our perfume addictions on a budget.

Alas....perfume is NOT something you can get at Goodwill....EWWWWW!

SO

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Wedding Plans...What's Good Will Got to Do With THAT?

This week the Sweetwater Daughter and her husband will celebrate their 3rd Wedding Anniversary....Happy Anniversary to you both!
I can't believe it has been 3 years since we were in the midst of organizing the big day!
And of course...it was also the last days of school for me....but we DID IT and it was so much fun!
Since the last week of school is so frantic for me...I am reposting this guest post I did for Alecia over at Chicken Scratch!

Enjoy...


Are YOU planning a wedding?
Then....I suggest you get yourself to the thrift shop!

Two summers ago, our daughter got married in June and our nephew in August.
The planning and preparations were almost more fun than the big days!
 Both weddings and receptions were held at my brother and sister-in-law's beautiful Willow Ridge Gardens.
 But, you ask, "What's that got to do with Good Will?
Notice the stack of plates and the silver urn in this photo! 
Pretty....and elegant don't you think?

We did our research....
  • the cost of china rental for the two weddings....for almost 400 guests...at least $400...Yikes!
  • OR.....paper products-less expensive....but not very elegant!
Soooo.....we began buying up lovely plates and glassware from  GOOD WILL, THRIFT STORES and GARAGE SALES!

We had RULES!
  • Nothing could cost more than a dollar... 
  • We needed dinner plates, salad plates, wine glasses and drinkware...
  • Everything should be basic white or cream colored....
  • Every piece should be something we might want to keep and use later.... 
Here are just a few of the great pieces we found!



The china worked wonderfully for the buffet and casual styled wedding!
Much better than floppy paper plates to carry around!



For the more formal sit down dinner....it was fun to coordinate the china on the tables.
Every table was unique and lovely!

We also used my collection of thrift store silver for serving and decorative accents!

I think everything looks better on silver...don't you?  
Here are all those silver trays put to good use at another wedding for the cupcake service!

Now for the best part!
Both those Brides from two years ago split up the china pieces they liked....
and they have enough lovely place settings to use at almost any gathering for years to come!
 In fact....I might just have to borrow some of this from the Sweetwater daughter the next time I have a big party!

I have enjoyed sharing our fun way to save money on wedding china...and I hope it inspires you to get yourself out there shopping the thrift stores!

Remember....as you are in the midst of all the planning and preparation....be sure to enjoy the process!  The day will be gone in a heartbeat....but the memories will be forever!

I would love for you to hop over to Sweetwater Style and see some of the other wedding themed posts I have done!











Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Last Week of School-AHHHH

Our school is still in session...

the last day for kids is Wednesday!

Then one more day for teacher's and FREEDOM!

But let me tell you what I need to accomplish in those last few days!
Some of you might be old enough to remember the kids who were in the AV CLUB...you know the nerdy kids who pushed the film projectors around and plugged in all the equipment!  I think they did it to get out of class....no....I know they did it to get out of class!  
Well....I wasn't in the AV CLUB....never wanted to be in the AV CLUB....
Yeah...was a cheerleader (of course I was!!!)

Well...fast forward to today (notice I am not telling you how many years :)  )
and I find that in my school....

I AM the AV Club....too funny!
I am responsible for setting up all the sound equipment and audio visuals for all of the end of year events....
I am spending the weekend burning CDs, editing slideshows, making DVDs...etc. etc. etc.!
YIKES!
The crazy thing is it is kinda fun!
Time consuming....but fun!

I want to share the coolest project that we have been working on with our departing 5th Grade students!
It is called Spark-A-Vision....and the goal is to help kids envision their future life!
The idea is that if a young person can vision a future that incorporates the "Sparks" that they love....they will have a better chance of making that future a reality!

So for the last month our kids have been doing just that....and the results are just amazing!
Listening and watching kids creating a video that expresses  their hopes and dreams is an experience that has made the last weeks of school truly joyful!

Imagine.....

a fifth grade boy who says.... "I will marry the love of my life...." and doesn't break into snorts and giggles...

a girl who says...."I am a work in progress!" and KNOWS it!

a boy who says...."I will be financially strong." instead of I'm gonna be rich!

kids who say... "I will make a difference in the world!" and BELIEVE it!






I picked an example that I think you...my blogging friends will relate to....this little girl could end up the next "blog star" don't you think?

What a fun project this could be for you to try with your kids....
if you go to this website  Stupeflix, you can make a free video with an email registration!

I guarantee that it will be a rewarding experience....

To quote the Whitney Houston hit....
"I believe that children are our future...."
"Teach them well...and let them lead the way!"

Have a wonderful day!
AND....
think of me all tangled in the cords, wires and technology!





Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Blooming Great Saturday!

It is busy around Sweetwater this weekend...
    • A fun wedding
    • Some yard work
    • a visit to Mom to help her with her computer
    • Report Cards to do
Sooo not to much time to write a long post...
I took a walk around the garden yesterday and  I thought you might enjoy seeing....

"What's Blooming Around Here!"



I guess this is why gardening is so rewarding....I always feel like I am "RICH" when the garden blooms like this...

Oh...and did you know that at Sweetwater, the Garden Fairies actually PAY you to get out there and weed?
Yeah...really.....look what was in the Hosta Bed when I was cleaning it out!!!!
Someone suggested that Mr. S. actually did this so I would keep WORKING instead of taking pictures....tee hee!
Have a Great Weekend!
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