Sunday, April 28, 2013

7 Sweet Things: A new Sweetwater Style Series

7 Sweet Things

My life seems to be filled with snippets these days.

I decided that one way to "corral" those snippets could be turned into a new series for Sweetwater Style.

So welcome to "7 Sweet Things"!

Each week I will pick a theme....and share 7 things about it!



It might be my favorite blogs....
It might be my favorite thrift store finds....
It might be my favorite flowers.....
It might be my favorite quotations....
We shall see!

7 Sweet Things

Indispensable Tools For Projects and Crafts!
The Sweetwater Stash of Tools seems to keep growing....
Having the right tool for the project at hand is my answer to the question "How did you do that?"   
Here a list of 7 Sweet Tools that won't break the bank, but make doing projects easier!
You know the OBVIOUS  ones....glue gun, scotch tape etc.....but here are some you might not have in your cupboard!
 
 

 A Professional Trimmer.....


The Sweetwater Son gives me the best presents! 

This trimmer is a great example of that!  He probably noticed my crooked attempts of cutting and knew this would solve that problem. 
Having a trimmer like this one makes cutting paper a breeze...
AND... you can buy all sorts of blades if you want to get fancy...my favorites are the scoring blad and the one that makes perforations.



Paddle Wire....

I buy this in quantity! I buy mine at Michaels for a couple of dollars.

It is what I use when making bows...
I use it for hanging ornaments on the Christmas tree...
A snip of wire can make almost anything become more stable....so every "junk" drawer in the house has one...I even keep some at school....and used it twice last week!








    ZOTS.....Clear Adhesive Dots

These little sticky dots are almost magical...


I love the way they make attaching paper to paper without any wrinkles or waiting for glue to dry!

I use them when I am framing pictures....
I use them when I make gift cards....








  Cross Cut Wire Cutter..... 

This little gem was a "gift" from Mr. S after he watched me trying to cut some artificial flower stems with kitchen shears....wiggling the wire back and forth until it finally broke!

He had one in HIS tool box....but I guess he didn't want to share!!!

Now....with ONE snip those stems are cleanly cut.  

Any tough cut is no longer TOUGH!  The pointed end lets me get in close and make the cut precise.




 Heavy Duty Staple Remover   


This wicked looking object can be a real manicure saver!   

Those pesky staples on packing material used to drive me nuts...
And when I make a mistake with my power stapler....it is nice to know I can pull the staple out without wrecking the fabric!


Well worth the $10 it cost!





Curved Sewing Needles.....









I have a set of these in lots of sizes....WHY?

When you need to sew something that is hard to reach....the curve makes it so easy to run the needle through....

This is especially useful when you have hand sewing on something with fabric over a hard or thick surface that needs a stitch or two.

If you have never used a curved needle, you really need to try it!





Raffia



I love the almost unlimited uses of raffia.

It ties my plants to the plant stakes both indoors and out....

I stuff it in flower arrangements....to cover the floral foam when it shows through....

I tie up the garlands on the stairway at holiday time....

I wrap it around vases....
I use it on gift cards and packages....


Now....I have lots of other tools.....in fact I probably have TOO MANY tools....but these are MY favorites (at least today!!!)

What are YOUR go to tools of YOUR trade???
I would love to know!

Have a great day!


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

DYI How to Hide the TV Cords


One of the most annoying parts of modern life is the number of cables and cords it takes to keep all of our communications running....

I dream of the day when EVERYTHING can be run wirelessly.....

BUT....until that day arrives....

Cords exist....
Cables need to be hidden....

OR....to quote Mr. S....."You just need to get over it!!!"


Well...I lust after those entertainment systems with the FlatScreen Mounted on the wall and all of the cords in some magical place inside the wall!

Like this.....

Or this amazing built in..... 


Alas....that is probably not going to happen in the near future!
I have been looking at this mess since we rearranged the family room last summer....


I spent lots of time rearranging the baskets to hide the cords.....only to have Marvin knock them down....so the view from the couch was pretty ugly!!

Last weekend, I decided "Enough is Enough!"
In true "Sweetwater Style" .....I wasn't gonna spend any money....and I wasn't gonna do anything tooooo difficult!

HMMMMMM.....The solution turned out to be BURLAP!!!!!

Look and See!






Yup....I just cut 2 pieces of burlap that were wide enough to overlap in the center of the table and  long enough to reach the floor and puddle a bit.





I used some heavy duty thumb tacks to attach the fabric to the inside of the table top.....



Then I carefully (well not real carefully) rearranged all the cords behind the fabric!
The overlap in the center was the trick to making this a simple task.


I rearranged the baskets....in hope that Marvin will stay away!
But the burlap  just fades into the background with nary a cord in sight!

The whole project took less than an hour....including dusting and untangling!
And the cost.....almost nada!

Have a Great Day!
Link Parties:
Cast Party Wed    Sugar and Dots   Gingersnap Crafts    Craftionary    Create With Joy!  

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Tale of Two Springs!

SIX more inches of snow and a record low temp this morning!
Seriously?!
I tried to ignore the weather on Thursday.....wore white jeans and cute canvas wedges....
Ended up scraping snow off the car, wearing those shoes....making it feel like I was walking through the snow in almost bare feet!

Oh welll
At least the deck planters are happily basking in the greenhouse at Holaseks!



Makes me wonder about GLOBAL WARMING!!!

Since there doesn't seem to be much chance that we will see the green grass this April....

I decided to take a quick trip down memory lane and dream about what I was doing in the garden LAST year!!

This is a recap of a post I did on APRIL 10th last year!!!
It includes a thrifty trick I came up with for filling my pots before the annuals are on sale!

LAST YEAR:
We had record warm weather  in March....all the perennials in the garden started to come up and there is a lot of green in the garden.

THIS YEAR:  Only the hardiest of the pachysandra is even hinting at green



LAST YEAR:
I didn't need to even buy pansies for the front entry because when we got back from Mexico on the first of April....the tulips and daffodils were in bloom and the gardens were full of green.

It just didn't feel like I needed to buy anything...
and yet the planters were certainly looking "naked"....








THIS YEAR:
The planters are not "NAKED" they are still FILLED WITH SNOW!
and since even pansies wouldn't survive the cold.....Mr. S has had to keep Sweetwater filled with flowers from the grocery store!







 LAST YEAR:
In April '12 ....there were little volunteer perennial plants everywhere that needed relocating.

Those perennials are frost hardy....so I decided to use them in the planters.
I wandered around the yard and dug up some of those little volunteers....and just plopped them in the planters!




Lady's Mantle

Centurian
(I think that is the name)


Sedum





A Fern

More Sedum

A Stella Lily

 Ornamental Onion

Creeping Thyme

Sedum

Lady's Mantle








 Two kinds of sedum

More ornamental onion

Lady's Mantle

 

 Day Lily

Lamium

More sedum











A little mum plant




Onions and Chives added to the pot that the lettuce seeds are planted in.








A nice crop of wheat grass growing on the deck.









    This didn't cost me a dime!
    and
    I'm just thinking that this is truly 
    "Sweetwater Style"!


    THIS YEAR!!!
    Well.....I don't really want to talk about it!!!
    So instead of....


    I am off for some retail therapy with the Sweetwater Daughter!!!

    Here's hoping you are smart enough NOT to live in the frozen tundra that is Minnesota and you can get out in your yard for some gardening therapy!



    Saturday, April 13, 2013

    WIndow Boxes-A Head Start for the Growing Season!


    Healthy Planter


    It hardly seems possible that the planters on the deck will ever look like this!

    Especially since there is still a couple of inches of snow on them now!






    I have posted about this before.....but truly....this trick for getting a head start on the growing season is worth talking about again....and again....and again!Here is a link to a past post about  giving my planters a head start!

    Thursday we had a pretty big Spring SNOWSTORM....
    That meant lousy driving conditions....and I had a dentist appointment before school!
    It stayed crummy all day and it was still snowing on the drive home....YUCK!

    HOWEVER....the evening ended a lousy day on a high note!





    The Sweetwater Daughter and I were not as crazy as these folks who headed out to Target Field to watch baseball in the snow!

    NO....we are MUCH smarter than that!








     Instead....we headed to  The Holasek Greenhouses  with our pots and planters in tow to get a little gardening therapy at the annual Ladies Night !!!

    Walking in from the gray, cold, sloppy snow....

    Our mood was instantly 100% improved!



     Here is how it works!

    You take your planters to the greenhouse....(I had to buy some new inserts for the planters because the old ones were still frozen solid!!!)
    • You wander around and pick out the plants you like....buy them....
    • Go over to big tables filled with great big piles of potting soil
    • You plant everything the way you want-leaving all the mess THERE!
    • Someone from the Greenhouse wheels your pots to the back of the greenhouse!
    • Then they KEEP them for you until MAY when you can put them out doors!
    And ALL you pay for are the plants!!!! 
    Holasek Greenhouse
     Brilliant!

    We didn't know that Ladies Night was such a big deal....


    We didn't know that some people bring boxes of wine to drink while they plant...

    We didn't know that there would even be an ELVIS Impersonator serenading us...
    .



      So now......

    My planters are basking in the warmth of the greenhouse....

    GROWING....until May!

    In the meantime....


    Sending you warm thoughts!!!

    Have a great day!
    Link Parties
       

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

    The Primose Path

    http://www.mags-nificent.com/MSW/MagF/Mag/primroses3.jpg
    Primrose Path


    The primrose path refers to someone living a life of ease and pleasure. Not to be confused with "led up the 'garden path'", which is an idiom suggesting that one is being deceived or led astray.




    It would be nice to think that at Sweetwater we live that life of ease....and frolic down the Primrose Path.....

    But it seems that with the weather forecast for 10 inches of snow on April 11th.....we are actually being deceived into thinking Spring will ever come!

    I took a quick trip to Home Depot this weekend to find me some little bits of Spring for indoors!!!!

    There are obviously NO little bits of Spring outdoors around here!


    I bought 3 little yellow Primrose plants....$2.97 each...
    Put them in the copper pot from Goodwill that I found for $7...
    Stuffed some raffia around the edges to hide the pots....
    (Marvin is soooo happy to have something new to play with on the counter!)
    And there is a little bit of sunshine on the island!

    Here is a little trick to keeping these cheery plants looking good and lasting until they can be planted outdoors!

    It is all about "dead heading".....and with primroses you need to be super diligent about this!

    Every single flower that is wrinkling up needs to be plucked off......every day!
    This lets the new buds keep blooming.....
    This goes for the leaves as well!


    Doesn't that look better?!

    If you stay with this....and water them well.....you can keep them healthy and add them to your perennial border.
    The Sweetwater garden has many years worth of Primroses that bloom all spring!




    Too funny.....I think this awful weather is actually affecting Mr. S. too!
    He arrived home from a trip to the grocery store last night....
    AND.....
    Brought these little Gerbera Daisies for little old me!!!!


    They look so cheerful you can ALMOST ignore all the snow in the background!

    Have A Nice Day!
    And....I hope YOUR weather is better than OUR weather!!!
    Link Parties
    Katherines Corner