Thursday, December 28, 2017

Sugared Cranberries Simple Recipe

Aren't these just beautiful?
I think they look like berries in the snow.


Sugared Cranberries are strangely addictive.
They look so tempting sitting on the platter.
The sugar hits your mouth and then the bright tart cranberry almost pops in your mouth.
HMMMMM
Have I made you want to make them?
I think this treat would be a perfect addition to a New Year's Eve dessert buffet.

Easy Sugared Cranberry Recipe 

  • 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • additional sugar for rolling (you can make superfine sugar in the blender if you want to get fancy)
Wash cranberries and discard any damaged ones. Place in a bowl. Combine sugar and water in a pot and heat until simmering. Stir until sugar is dissolved and let cool for a few minutes until warm (not hot). Pour over cranberries and let sit in fridge, covered at least 3 hours.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Use a slotted spoon to remove berries from syrup. Set berries on a cooling rack that is placed over foil to collect drips. Spread berries out so they are not touching each other. Let dry for 1 hour.



 
 
 
Roll berries a handful at a time in sugar. Place sugared berries on a baking sheet, or foil, etc. and let dry for an hour or two.








That was easy....!

The finished cranberries look amazing sitting in a single layer on a tray.
BUT....
I found this when I was doing my "research" for this post!
 
Sugared Cranberries as a Cake Topper.
I love the little sprigs of Rosemary...or you could do mint.
 
http://www.shaydacampbellblog.com/2015/11/sugared-cranberries-cake-topper.html    
Have a Wonderful Day!

 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Gift Idea: Tea Towel in a Frame

Two weeks until Christmas!
That means that there isn't a lot of time around here for writing blog posts.
My goal is to do a few posts with a ideas that you might use to save time and/or money during the holidays this year.

Frame A Tea Towel for Statement Wall Art

Inevitably, you are going to be going shopping in one of those cute gift boutiques....
Inevitably, you are going to fall in love with lots of items that are way out of your price range....
Don't despair!
Check out the tea towel section....you will probably find something very cute for a reasonable price.
AND...
Tea Towels make fabulous gifts....
BUT...
Why not take it up a notch and frame that tea towel to create a statement piece of wall art?


I found this towel at a gift boutique....yeah...I know I said this was about giving gifts...but I loved it so much I had to keep it for myself. (note to self: next time buy TWO of something thrifty that you love).
I already had the frame, but you can find deals on poster frames with the mat already in them.  Michaels and IKEA are good sources.

The HOW TO is simple:
1. Buy the tea towel.
2. Buy the frame.
3. Iron the towel.
4. Use spray adhesive to smooth the towel on the backing cardboard that comes with the frame.
5. Reassemble the frame.
6. Wrap it up!


Be sure to tell the person you are gifting how easy it is to change out the "art" for each season!


I have written about this before with more detailed instructions and some good sources for tea towels.
Tea Towel Wall Art: http://sweetwaterstyle.blogspot.com/2017/04/tea-towel-wall-art.html

Sources for Tea Towels http://sweetwaterstyle.blogspot.com/2015/01/wall-art-from-tea-towel-and-interesting.html

Remember when every 1960's kitchen had a calendar tea towel? (well....some of you are too young to remember that....but trust me)
A framed calendar tea towel is an easy way to go beyond the ordinary...and way cuter than the one on your phone!

How cute are these towels from Spoonflower.com?




Hope this has given you an idea for a last minute gift if you needed one!

Have A Great Day!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

How to Make An Outdoor Light Swag

The front of the house here at Sweetwater has five light fixtures.
Two on the sides of the door and three across the front of the garage.
So nice to have all of that light.
Not so nice if I want to decorate those lights for the holidays.
Buying swags for FIVE lights is really not an option for someone as CHEAP thrifty as I am!
So over the years, I have learned to make my own using stuff that is almost free.
Read on to learn the trick behind this pretty swag.
 
Did you notice how this swag has a lot of dimension from front to back? 
I used to just gather up some greens....wire them together in the middle and tie it with a bow.
They looked okay but were sort of flat!
AND THEN....
I discovered a trick for making these fuller versions.

 
Chicken Wire! 

An eight inch strip of chicken wire can be cut using a sturdy snipper.  I am so lucky that Mr. S gifts me with these romantic type presents!  I guess he knows what I will actually use!
Form the eight inch strip into a cylinder by folding it over and pinching the sides in.  It is helpful to use work gloves when you do this...chicken wire is really hard on your hands.
Now you have a form/base for your scraps of greenery.  I love the fact that you can use some pretty shabby greens in the back of your swag.   Just keep snipping greens and pushing them into the wire.  After you have the top and bottom of the swag the shape you like, start adding greens that stick out and make the swag look full from the front to the back.  You don't need to put a lot of greens in the center because your bow will go there.

 When you are pleased with the greenery, you add a bow.
Bows seem to be intimidating to people.  Making a fancy bow is really pretty easy.  Check out this link to see a step by step of the process.

 I used some of that fun netting as the background for the bow on these swags.  That stuff is easy to find...I have seen it at the dollar store, Lowes and Micheals.  I like how it makes the plaid ribbon stand out.

These swags on the wire cages are especially nice because of how they can be attached to the lights.  Simply run a length of ribbon through the back of the cage.  This ribbon can be tied around the light.  No worries about wires that can scratch your fixture.
 I am always pleased that the swags look like something that I went out and purchased!
They frame the entry and add a lot of holiday oomph for little or no money!


Happy Decorating....

Before I go.....The Sweetwater entry is decked out for the holidays too!  I had an old grapevine wreath that was the perfect size.  A few scrap greens and some leftover ornaments from the Festival of trees event.....I am liking this a lot!


Have A Great Day!












Friday, December 1, 2017

DIY Hostess Gift Tutorial: Birch Log Decoration


There is something about birch logs and branches that says "holiday" to me.
This cute little holiday decoration is a great hostess gift and so easy to make.

How to make a Miniature Birch Log Decoration

Supplies:
3 birch sections about 6 inches long
Paddle wire
Greenery
Accent berries
Ribbon


Step One:
Cut a 2-3 inch birch log into six inch peices.

Lucky me....I have a big bucket of birch logs in the garage.   If you don't have access to the woods to cut your own birch....you can buy a few logs almost anywhere.  It kills me that they cost $5 a log...but I guess that since one will make at least 2 of these decorations...that isn't bad.



Lucky me....I have one of these:

It is called an Alligator Lopper.
It is electric...
It makes short work of cutting small logs.
It runs about $70....hmmm....great Christmas gift for someone!








Step Two and Three:
Wire the set of "logs" together using the paddle wire.

Wire some sprigs of greenery and berries together with wire.

You can use fresh or artificial greens for this.
You can also use hot glue for the logs if you wish.




Step Four:

Tie a ribbon around the logs to cover the wire.

Add the greenery.

Top with a pretty bow.








So Simple
So Elegant
So Inexpensive



 








This gorgeous book would be a wonderful companion gift to go along with your decoration.

The paperback is available from Amazon for $10.99.



So I will leave you with this quote from Frost:



Have A Wonderful Day!