Saturday, May 4, 2019

It's All About that VASE!

You need the right vase for your flowers.  
The container you choose makes a big difference when you are arranging flowers. 
The right vase compliments the flowers and the wrong one works against them.


Most people have a cupboard or shelf with a few vases.

I have to admit that I have a bit of an obsession with vases of all shapes and sizes.   I rationalize that I NEED them for the Sweetwater Floral business.....BUT....it is really because I love to have options when I arrange flowers.
 I thought I would share my favorite vases and where to find them on the "cheap"!

Basic Glass Containers

The dollar store is a fabulous place to find simple glass containers.
The cylinder, bowl and square vases are bargains.

You also may have lots of these saved from bouquets you have received over the years.







A simple bunch of carnations in a round dollar store vase can have a lot of impact for around $5.00.  
Using glass beads (also a dollar store buy) in the glass squares is a simple way to anchor your stems.

Would you believe that this is just a basic dollar store cylinder?  Yup....with a couple of bands of gold "duct" tape...they look pretty elegant.   The bands of "gold" also hide the stems.


Ceramic Vases
Ceramic containers are great to use because you don't have to worry about the stems of your flowers showing.  They are great to use with floral foam or other support structures.

Thrift stores are a great source for these.  Look for collectible brands like Haeger, Fitz and Floyd or McCoy.  They have a fun mid-century vibe.

There is really no limit to the shapes of ceramic vases.

I collect off-white and white Haeger and McCoy interspersed with some IKEA!!!





Metal Containers


Thrift stores have amazing options when it comes to metal containers.  
Some of my favorites are silverplate, copper and galvanized tin.

My all time favorite containers are these silverplate loving cups.  The urn shape makes them easy to use to arrange flowers.  They are also the perfect size for a 6 inch flowering plant.  There is something so elegant about the shape...and who doesn't love silver? I found all THREE of my silver urns at the thrift shop. 






 French garden buckets are another iconic shape.  Big or small ones make perfect containers for a hand tied bouquet or more elaborate statement arrangements. I love the plain galvanized metal, but I often see them at the thrift store in really fun colors or with rustic stencils.

Here are some great resources about how to decide what vase for what flowers.  

https://www.fiftyflowers.com/blog/what-fits/Fifty Flowers has advice and "recipes" for 10 vase shapes.

https://www.koch.com.au/blog/right-vase-for-flowersMore recipes for arrangements for the Koch blog

https://goop.com/style/decorating-design/flower-arranging-by-vase-2/



Probably more than you want to know....but this is a pretty page with almost any shaped vase and gorgeous flower arrangements for Goop.



There you have it....all about the vase!
Hope you buy some flowers and arrange them today!
Trust me...it will make your day!


Saturday, April 20, 2019

Ten Dollar Bouquet of the Week! Awesome Alstroemeria!


Alstromoeria are Awesome!



AND......
  • Amazing.... they last almost forever!
  • Affordable....they are usually under $8 for a bunch!
  • Adaptable.... they come in so many colors!
  • Available... you can find them throughout the seasons!








Friday, April 12, 2019

Tiptoe Through the Tulips!

The weather outside is frightful.....yes....3 days of snow in APRIL!

Tulips to the rescue!
I can't think of a better antidote to the white landscape than a bunch of colorful tulips!

Sunday, April 7, 2019

A New Look For Sweetwater Style!




Sweetwater Style is getting a new look!
The purpose of "Sweetwater Style" has always been about showing ways to combine style and elegance in economical ways.

That won't change.
BUT....the focus will change.

See if you can figure out the new theme for Sweetwater Style!



Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Permanent Botanical Decor! Say What?

I learned a new fancy name for "fake flowers". You can now call them  "permanent botanicals"!
You all know how much I love fresh cut flowers!
The whole idea of our little Sweetwater Floral business is about fresh flowers on a budget!
BUT....
Lately there seems to be a lot of buzz out there about using permanent botanicals.
Permanent botanicals have come a long way from the plastic posies that we love to hate!



 Around Sweetwater....Faux Florals

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Throw Pillows from a Throw Blanket!

One of the easiest and thriftiest ways to update the look of a room is with decorative pillows.
Every one has them. In fact, I dare you to take a count of the throw pillows in your house!!!
I don't just have pillows on the furniture....I have pillows in the closets waiting to take their turn in whatever decor scheme suits my fancy.

 A trip down the pillow aisle of almost any home decor store is pure temptation for me.

A pillow is affordable.....
A pillow is not a forever commitment like a piece of furniture.....

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Decor Items to Transition from Christmas to Winter!



source

 I thought this survey was pretty interesting because I always struggle with when to take down "Christmas"!
I love all the glitz and sheen and red and green.
But as soon as the big day is over.....it starts to feel cluttered.

When we entertain between Christmas and New Year's Day it is easy to make the case for leaving things looking festive.
Since we have no parties planned this week.  I am starting to get twitchy about taking things down and getting it packed away.


One strategy to use when "undecorating" is to ease out of full on holiday into a comfy cozy winter look.

You can actually leave a lot of the holiday decor items out and achieve that look just by tweaking things a bit.

Here is a list of the "stuff" NOT to put away.

 Pine Cones
The natural look of pine cones make them perfect for your woodsy, cozy theme. Tuck them into a big basket.  Tuck in some realistic looking artificial pine branches and a few white or silver orbs to complete the look.

 
 



Branches
The birch in the porch pots look nice all winter. Why not replicate that indoors?  Chunky birch sections can be placed on a bookshelf or mantle.  Skinny birch looks great in a vase with some greenery and flowers.

All those branches and twigs that looked so wonderful in you holiday arrangements can be turned into minimalist natural decor.  Curly willow, red dogwood, skinny birch all work this time of year.  Think of them as "no care" plants.










 Airy Greenery

Put away all that greenery that screams "Christmas Tree".  The greens that look feathery and airy give a fresh look to winter decor.  I especially like these Lemon Cypress trees.  I am giving myself big pats on the back for keeping them from drying out....they need lots of hydration.  White Pine is another type that looks more wintery than Christmas!

















Antlers
Search Yarn wrapped antler on Pinterest
If you have access to antlers, they make a great accent in baskets or on a shelf. Mixed with pine cones and greeneryThis is my next craft project!  Yarn wrapped antlers just make me smile!















Cozy Throws
Layering throws on sofas and chairs is an inexpensive way to add color. Those throws also invite you to curl up and enjoy some down time after the flurry of activity of the holidays.


Candles and Twinkle Lights

I will bet that most of your candles are white or off white.  Put away the obvious holiday themed items and find a way to use your neutral candles in a new way. 
Those battery powered twinkle lights can continue to add sparkle around your house.  This time of year it is dark when I get up and dark by 4:30 in the afternoon.  A little twinkling can be mood changer.





 Holiday Plants
Those Pointsettias can still work as lovely accents if they are off white or if red is a color that works in your decor.  Take them out of the holiday foil and get rid of the cute little ribbons.  Find a ceramic pot or even bunch them together with some other plants.  They will last as long as you remember to keep them watered.  (Note to self: keep them watered.)

 


Holiday Themed Family Photos
Take a minute to have some of those amazing holiday snapshots printed.  The deals for photo prints make this a particularly good bargain this time of year.  Frame them in simple frames or display on a chalkboard.  Seeing those reminders of the holidays is a great way to extend the season without leaving the tree up until February.











Winter Birds

There is something so cheery about a cardinal.  If you have any redbirds that are part of your christmas stash, they can make a nice wintery vignette.  Look for these when you are shopping the after Christmas sales.  This lovely glass friend was a find at a "before" Christmas mark-down sale. The cardinals inside are almost as fun as the ones on the bird feeder outside the front door.  













 And a few other holdovers!

Hey, if the Amaryllis bulbs are still blooming for real, then this Amaryllis tea towel can still "hang" around for a few weeks.


This "permanent botanical" seeded Eucalyptus I scored at the thrift store looks nice and wintery with some glass winterberries which were another thrift store find.


This year I am gradually "undecorating" instead of big marathon undertaking.  That means a big mess in the storage area while I gather and put away.  My goal is to do a lot(or little) weeding out as I go.  It always seems so hard to part with holiday decor even if I don't use it all each year. 

In the meantime.....remember when you take your tree down:
source
Have A Great Day!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Holiday Decor Series: Bows Bows and More Bows!

I have been on a pretty long blogging break.
Yikes....I haven't posted since Halloween and now we are deep into the Holiday Season!
I don't have any real good excuse for this....I am sort of rethinking and want to revamp the blog.
I guess that will be my project for the new year.
In the meantime.....
wikipedia.com
I will share some of my old favorite Holiday Decor on a Budget posts from years past.
So with a nod to Charles Dickens I present for you...
NOT the of GHOSTS of Christmas Past.....These are POSTS of Christmas Past!


Let's start with those BOWS...because it really is all about those BOWS!



I pretty much put a bow on EVERYTHING....and knowing the tricks to making these lovelies will save you money and add a bit of "class" to your decor.

Tooo funny....I was looking for pictures of pretty bows to add to this post and I found this site:
christmastreewreaths
You can buy a pre-made bow like this for a mere $6.75....or go wild and buy 12 for $72.00!

It always amazes me that people really buy stuff like that....go figure!











Here is mine using the Costco ribbon!

Now....you do the math!
$8.00 for 50 yards of ribbon.....2 yards per bow.....hmmmmmm!










I love Costco for lots of things....but I REALLY love their wire edged ribbon!

cochaser.com

 $7.99 for 50 yards of beautiful wired ribbon!
Beautiful ribbons....and with 50 yards there are no worries about running out.

It takes a long time to use up 50 yards of ribbon so my "stash" is growing.

We use these ribbons for our annual Boughs, Bows and Beverages events here at Sweetwater....so it is really a good investment (says the woman trying to rationalize her ribbon fetish)!

Read about Boughs, Bows and Beverages here.

There are lots of places to get ribbon.....and lots of sales this time of year.

It is also a great idea to save your bows from year to year.




It is now time to get your BOW on!
There are some links to bow making tutorials at the end of the post....written by actual posters who excel at writing tutorials.

Here is my poor attempt to show you how I make a pretty....professional looking bow.
Warning:  holding the ribbon, the wire, and taking pictures.....now THAT was a trick!




Start by cutting a piece of florist wire about 12 inches long....

If you don't have any paddle wire like this...GET SOME!  NOW!  You will use it and use it and use it!






Leave the ribbon attached to the spool and pull out about a yard.....

If you cut now...you might not have enough for a pretty bow....and besides...if you mess up...
just let go and start again!










Make a loop that is half the size of the bow you want....

pinch it tight....











flip over and make a loop on the other side that is the same size

pinch that tight










Keep going back and forth....
loop, pinch, loop, pinch





This bow has 5 loops on one side and 6 loops on the other.....


I read somewhere that you should always have an odd number of loops....but who's counting? Oh...ME!





Now take the piece of wire and wrap it around the center....whew!  You can let go of the loops now and hold on to the wire.











Twist the ribbon...NOT the wire....around about 3 times to get an nice tight center.










NOW....you can cut the bow away from the spool!



Then start pulling the loops up and twisting them into a pretty shaped bow.

The wire in the center lets you have at it without worrying that the bow will come apart.

The wire edge of the ribbon lets you shape the loops.
There you have it! 

 Here are the other links I found with much more professional tutorials....take a look!

Better Homes and Gardens Video Tutorial
Directions for lots of fancy bows
Michael's Tutorial

Good Luck!

Have a Wonderful Day!



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