Saturday, May 27, 2017

A Cover Up at Sweetwater!

Don't worry.....I am not going to go all political on you!
The cover up at Sweetwater is NOT scandalous!
It is simply the way that I "used what I had" to cover up some old plastic planters!

Mr. S is always trying to get me to throw away all the old pots around here.
They are stacked up behind the garage in an unsightly pile.
I just can't bring myself to buy new ones.....because they still are "good enough" to use.

A couple of the old pots got used to plant some dark red geraniums and some zebra grass.  
(you know me....why spend money on an accent plant when you have way too many "accents" growing in the garden)

Well....you can see that the old plastic terra cotta colored planter was maybe....NOT good enough!
It was pretty faded and a little dirty....
I thought about using spray paint.....but it still would have that plastic look.
Then I remembered my fabric stash!
I have a lot of burlap.....remember when burlap was all the rage?

That burlap turned out to be just the cover up that was needed to pretty up the faded old pot.

How I did it:

I cut a large square of fabric.
I trim the corners to create a circle.
I gathered up the edges and tied it with a burlap ribbon.
I tucked the edges of the burlap up inside the planter and secured them with some picks.
Pretty darn simple.

I know that the burlap is porous enough to let the water drain....
If you do this with fabric that is not loosely woven, be sure to cut some drainage holes.

HMMMM....this might be a good trick to use to cover up a basic store pot when you give a plant as a gift.

HMMMM....what else could I use for my cover ups....off to the internets and look at the ideas I found!


I guess Mr. S had better resign himself to the unsightly pile of pots behind the garage!
I have projects in mind.....so watch out!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Summer Decorating on a Budget-Part 2

Part 2 of Summer Decorating on a Budget can really be summed up by the following:

I admit freely to being a "fabric"holic!


 
The summer look for the lower level family room has been the same for a long time.
The navy "monster" couch and navy carpet seemed to lend themselves to a red, white and blue theme.
I was quite simply "over it".

The natural place to go to solve the problem was the fabric store.
I wasn't sure what I was looking for......
I needed to "immerse" myself in all the pretties....
These are the fabrics that called to me and made sense with the blue carpet and white walls.
Best of all....I happened to be there on a day when all decorator fabric was $3.99 a yard.
Be still my heart!

Too funny....when I look at these 3 fabrics lined up in the photos....I have to say I was a bit of a risk taker.


You might be saying in true Minnesota nice language....."well those are different"!
But look how the redo turned out using these unlikely pairings.


I have always loved chinoiserie fabric.

Vocabulary lesson: 
chinoiserie  chi·noi·se·rie
SHēnˌwäzəˈrē,ˌSHēnˈwäz(ə)rē/
noun
noun:  the imitation or evocation of Chinese motifs and techniques in Western art, furniture, and architecture, especially in the 18th century. 

Using just a bit for the seat cushions on the game table was a great way to have some that doesn't over power the room.
Would you believe that I just used the glue gun to attach the fabric on these?
Why?  Because I want to be able to take the summery look away and use the red pattern underneath in the winter.  If I used the staple gun....removal would have been a huge pain!













The cushions on the cedar chest "window seat" got my famous almost no-sew box cushion treatment!
Here is a link to the original post....http://sweetwaterstyle.blogspot.com/2011/08/almost-no-sew-box-cushions.html
I got a big laugh when I looked at the statistics for this post and saw that it has gotten almost 10,000 since it was published 5 years ago.  I guess that means that this is something worth doing? :)


Big fabric envelopes made from the floral fabric were an easy way to switch out the couch cushions.


The ikat fabric is a fun look for the ottoman.  

Yes....you can easily cover an ottoman with just a couple of seams on the sewing machine. Here is the post that shows you the steps.                   EASY ALMOST NO SEW OTTOMAN                                                            I left the red and blue underneath so the new fabric can easily lift off.

I still need to do a bit of "red removal" and shop the house for things that will fit the new colors.
but even though the temps are back in the 50's around here....I know that it soon will warm up and now.....



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Summer Decorating on a Budget! Part One!


Source
Time for summer decorating....bright, fresh, and airy are words that come to mind.


Lightening up the look of the family room was the first step in the summer transformation here at Sweetwater.

When we got the new oatmeal colored couch, I no longer need to slipcover the cushions with summer weight fabric.


(Read about how I used to do this with the dark colored couch using stretch twill for cushion covers that are almost no sew)







The color scheme in the family room was pretty autumnal with all the browns and copper.

Pretty.... but definitely NOT bright, fresh and airy!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Tank Tops on the Cheap!



TANK TOPS! I know, how… boring. While tank tops might be boring they really are an essential.  This piece  is the first layer in many outfits. A tank top is often necessary under a see through top or one with a low neck.  I think the fashion stylists call it layering....but what do I know? Don't you always feel more put together when you have a tank or camisole pulling "everything" together?

So we agree.  We all need boring old tank tops and lots of them.
You are probably working on your summer wardrobe...maybe even going to a retail (gasp) store to find some pretty things.

DO NOT.....I repeat DO NOT get sucked in to buying a tank top in one of those spendy places.

Friday, April 28, 2017

No Cost Early Planters

Ahhh....Spring in Minnesota!
One day it is sunny and 75 degrees.
The next day it is cloudy with snow!
The garden store is calling....come buy plants.
BUT...it is at least three weeks before those tender little plants can be planted outdoors.

The pots in the front of the house were looking sooooo bare and empty.
What to do?

Here is a simple and FREE way to fill a planter before they can be planted with flowering annuals.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Tea Towel Wall Art-

We took a quick trip to Florida last week.  Visiting with Mom and two of my brothers was nice.  We also took a little side trip to Clearwater Beach and Dunedin.  The weather was perfect for a heat lover. 80 degrees and sunny.  A taste of summer in April.

I am not much for buying obvious souvenirs when we travel. I like to buy something that reminds me of our trip but doesn't scream...."I bought this on my trip!"

Friday, April 21, 2017

 
I was recently asked to review FotoJet which is an online application that lets you create custom collages, graphic designs, and even enhance photos right on the website.  There are many amazing templates for photo cards, social media graphics, posters, etc. There is a built in photo editor that makes it easy to adapt your pictures to the project you are working on.  Best of all....it's FREE!

I want to share some of the things I have learned about 
FotoJet and sprinkle in some of the designs I "whipped" up in a pretty short time.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

April Enchantment

He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else. ― Benjamin Franklin

You may (or may not) have noticed the absence of new posts on this blog.
Here is my list of good excuses!
We have been traveling....20 days in Mexico...poor us!
I have been busy catching up for all the missed time with the Sweetwater Grandboy!
I just didn't feel like writing!!!!


In keeping with "MY ONE WORD" challenge it is time to share the things I have found enchanting in the past few weeks.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Dollar Store Tips


I have only recently become a Dollar Store shopper.
And....I am not exactly a fanatic about shopping there. 
Face it....some of the stuff in there looks exactly like it cost a dollar!

But....

there are some things to be found that are really pretty good bargains.



Since I am pretty new to the Dollar Store scene, I only have a few tips to share about how I shop there.  But, you know me, I always do my research to see what other people know about a subject and I will share a bunch of links from folks who are far more expert and perhaps a bit more fanatic about Dollar Store shopping.

These are some things I shop for at the Dollar Store:



Poster Board is a staple at Sweetwater.
I use it for backgrounds when I take photos.
I use it to back framed art.

Poster Board at the art supply store is super expensive.

At the Dollar Store....it is 2 for $1

That is a super good deal.










There are always some fun flower picks to look through.
I like the baby's breath and especially the faux bear grass sprays.

Marvin the Sweetwater Cat eats any real bear grass in my flower arrangements...(and then of course proceeds to hack it up).

I fool him by using these Dollar Store picks mixed in with the real blooms. 

They can be used over and over! 



I think I must be harder on gardening gloves than anyone I know.  My fingernails go right through the ends after only a few days. 
Garden gloves from the garden store are super expensive.

Imagine how thrilled I was to find these latex grip gloves for $1!

I could by 6 pair for the price of one from the garden store.






I have also found that cool mesh ribbon and burlap ribbon.  These are real steals for $1.





When all but one of the real succulents in my planter bit the dust.....I headed to the Dollar Store for a fix.

Would you believe that the succulents in this garden are FAKE?
Would you believe that they came from the Dollar Store?
I did add a bit of craft paint to soften the obvious fake colors....but hey...I think they could fool a lot of people.























Now as promised, here are some Links to other tips about Dollar Store Shopping.

Bargain Babe has a list of 10 Things You Should Always buy at the Dollar Store.

http://bargainbabe.com/draft-10-things-you-should-always-buy-at-a-dollar-store/


She also has a list of 67 things....here  http://bargainbabe.com/draft-10-things-you-should-always-buy-at-a-dollar-store/
http://bargainbabe.com/draft-10-things-you-should-always-buy-at-a-dollar-store/


Can you imagine buying 67 things at the Dollar Store?  I can just hear Mr. S......"you bought what?"

Did you know that the Dollar Tree actually has a BLOG?  dollartree.com

And for a giggle...you really need to go see all of these Dollar Store Hacks that some kids did as an assignment for a class.  They are really a hoot    http://dollarstore-hack.blogspot.mx/


Well that is all for now....I guess I could head to the Dollar Store....but my first love is still Good Will...so I am off to find some thrifty bargains there.....


Have A Beautiful Day!




Monday, March 20, 2017

Your Flower Fix for Today: Ranunculus

In the language of flowers, a bouquet of ranunculus says, "I am dazzled by your charms."
I would turn that around and say that a bouquet of ranunculus dazzle ME with THEIR charms.



Using just one of these pretty blooms was all this small arrangement needed. 
And....
















I was happy to find this bunch of artificial ranunculus at the thrift store.  I think they add a nice touch to the "Kate Spade Inspired" guest room.

I decided that since I am so enamored with these blooms that I should find out a little more about them.


HMMMM....maybe they are a flower that I could grow at Sweetwater.

This is what I learned:

If you live in Zone 7, you can grow them as perennials.  Alas...here in Zone 4 they are annuals.
I even found the bulbs on Amazon...and placed an order.
I have been doing a little research about how to grow ranunculus in the garden.....and after reading this article, I think I have found a fun new kind of flower to grow at Sweetwater.
I am starting to think that Ranunculus are a great alternative to roses.  They just have a fresher look.

am really loving how these flowers look as an alternative to roses.




Here they are used as the main flower in boutonnieres.











I looked for some examples of ranunculus used in wedding bouquets.
Oh my....gorgeous....
It makes me think that maybe roses are sort of "passe".....hmmmm!

http://bios.weddingbee.com/pics/71806/IMG_8053_copy.jpg


And now I will leave you with some lovely artwork featuring the lovely Ranuncula....ENJOY!


http://irinasztukowski.blogspot.com/2012/04/ranunculus-study.html








Have A Wonderful Day!


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Instant Spring in Ten Minutes for Ten Dollars!

This is the time to start looking for signs of Spring!





One of the sure signs of Spring is the arrival of the Primose plants at the Home Depot!

 Mr. S and I were there yesterday!

Ah Hah!  There they were.  2/$5

I figured it was worth spending $10 on a little bit of Spring that would last longer than the usual bunch of tulips.







The copper bowl (from Goodwill) was the perfect holder for the four little plants.
It was a simple matter of plopping them in there and adding a bit of Spanish Moss.
Spanish Moss is one of those "little things" that is great to have around to add a nice touch to planters.
Primrose plants need to have the spent flowers picked off to keep them blooming. If I am lucky, I will keep these around until it is warm enough to plant them outdoors....wish me luck!




There you have it.....Ten Minutes.....Ten Dollars.....Instant Spring!
Have you ever wondered about the old saying about being led down the "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 sometimes I think it is more likely that the garden path is our destination!


www.barbclarke.com
 Think Happy Spring thoughts today....it is only about 2 weeks away!
Link Parties
Happiness is Homemade
Create With Joy 
Life On Lakeshore Drive 
Nifty Thrifty Things 
The Fabulous Party