Saturday, February 22, 2014

This Winter Needs to be OVER!

We had ANOTHER weather related School Closing yesterday!
That makes 6 for this year.....more than the total snow/cold days that I can remember in my entire LONG career of teaching!

This is the view from the deck right now......

I have to say that I much prefer THIS view....

Monday, February 17, 2014

A MANLY Bulletin Board for Mr. S.!

The NEVER ENDING Winter is certainly getting to me this year!

But it is a different story for Mr. S because he loves ice fishing!

Being the 21st Century kinda guy that he won't see him out on the ice looking down a hole like this guy!

Nope.....he is the proud owner of an ICE PALACE!

Over the years.....the ice palace seems to be outfitted with all the necessary MAN CAVE accessories to make it a weekend get away supreme!


For heaven's sake it even has a bay window!

Now.....because this is such a MANLY sort of abode......I am not often asked to give input into the decor!

As long as I followed the dictum of "Nothing too FROU FROU"....I was allowed to create the custom window treatments and a bench seat cover a couple of years ago....I went with a VERY subdued blue and brown it was acceptable!

So when Mr. S. asked me to find him a bulletin board to hang up some of the "trophy fish" photos....I was up to the challenge!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Upscaled Thrift Store Fireplace Doors!

The other day I got an email from my nephew telling about a thrifty DYI project he just finished!
He did such a good job!
He sent me great pictures!
He described the step by step process!
I guess you could call this a "Guest Post" from the Sweetwater Nephew!

Could she be any cuter?

" We have a big, beautiful fireplace that doesn't have any doors and may not be the most safe for a soon to be crawling baby....we had gotten a quote for custom doors from a local fireplace store and it was over $700!! Crazy."

 Here is how my nephew solved the problem for way less than $700!

1.       Went scrounging around the Habitat re-store for some fire place doors that were close in size.  I found one that was a little short in height. ($20 Brass doors - in good shape)

2.       Since the door was short I need to add a base that would look seamless and bring the doors up enough to cover the opening.  I found a specialty metal company online and ended up ordering a piece of extruded aluminum tubing 3" x 1.5" (this was actually the most expensive piece - $37 with shipping)

3.       Used some hardware I already had to bolt the new piece to the doors.

4.       Went to home depot and got some steel wool and some High Heat spray paint (I believe it was rustoleum for about $6 or 7 bucks a can - I think I used 2 cans to cover the doors with about 5-6 light coats - steel wool = $4-5/ bag (2 bags))
5.       Took the steel wool to take down all of the shine on the brass and give the spray paint something to stick to.
6.       once that was done, I cleaned everything with a series of wet and dry clean rags.
7.       Taped off the glass doors with some painters tape I already had
8.       Propped it up and started giving it some very light coats of the spray paint letting them dry about 1.5 hours in between coats.

9.       Opened the doors some to get some black in and around the hinges as well.
10.   Brought into the house tested for fit with brackets already on the door top and some new "L" brackets I had connected to the base. ($ couple bucks at HD)
11.   Screwed all brackets to the fireplace (concrete floor for two of them and brick for two others - concrete/ masonry screws I already had)
12.   Actually ended up using the leftover steel wool as a sort of insulation by stuffing it in and around the doors where they overhung the opening (seemed to work great to block out any escaping hot and air and pretty fire proof)
13.   Opened the damper and lit our first fire!

$20 - doors
$37 - aluminum base
$14 - spray paint
$10 - steel wool
$5 - hardware
$86 bucks total....

Wow....this really does look amazing!
$86 and few hours of work....
Safe Baby....Priceless!

Thanks for guest posting Sweetwater Nephew....
and enjoy your fireplace during the awful weather in NC! 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Cleaning Calphalon Pans!

I guess that I have to admit that I am a bit of of cookware snob!  
If it isn't Calphalon or Cast probably won't find it at Sweetwater!

The set of Anodized aluminum pans (Calphalon) were an extravagant purchase we made 25 years ago!

Wow....I thought $200 for 5 pans was a LOT OF money....and at that time....for was!

But 25 years later....we are still  using those same pans and they look like new!

Well......they look like new NOW......after I spent some time cleaning them!

I don't know about you....but we sometimes do a less than stellar job of scrubbing the pots and pans after a meal....and the result looks like this!

Yeah....I know.....having dirty pans is definitely a FIRST WORLD PROBLEM!!!
But this was starting to bug me!

I DO know that the reason our pans have lasted 25 because we have taken care of the anodized coating.... isn't because we NEVER scrub them....but maybe just maybe...because we don't scrub them very often!!!

Anyway...this is what I like the pans it is made for.... is expensive....$14 for this little container!
But with a little elbow grease it works amazingly well!  Because it is made for the Calphalon surface, I know that I am not damaging it!  I guess this is one of those times when spending money on the right "tool" is really thrifty.....

It isn't perfect....but pretty darn good! 
So it isn't even 9 o'clock and I have solved this FIRST WORLD Problem....But I created another one!

All that pot scrubbing just wrecked my manicure!!! 
Oh well....

Have A Great Day!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Valentine Ideas!

Valentine's Day is nearly here and I have to admit....
this is NOT my favorite holiday!
 But in a nod to the season....there is a little bit of decor on the Baker's Rack!

It is pretty obvious from the posts on the blogs I read that some people really get into the whole hearts, flowers and chocolate! So I thought I let you bask in "other people's" stuff....since I am not "doing" Valentines this year!

"The Girl and A Glue Gun" has put together some really great classroom party ideas here.  I have "done" more than my share of classroom parties and know how hard it is to come up with fun projects....If you are the room parent for your kiddo....go take a look!

Jenny over at Days of Chalk and Chocolate is on a mission to reduce her "fabric stash".....hmmmm...maybe that is something that should happen at Sweetwater!  Anyway...she made this very simple and cute Heart Garland that you could whip up in just a hour or so!

Hop over to Delightful Order and take a peek at the Free Printable Valentine cards DaNita made for you!  I just might have to break down and print some of these!

Kristin over at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia is a girl after my own heart....she has lots of wine corks......we have those at Sweetwater too!   Look at the Wine Cork Heart she created.  This might just make my to do list for this weekend....I love me a quick project!

This link will take you to my recipe for the simplest perfect Hot Fudge Sauce!  Really....just 3 Ingredients and 10 minutes of time!

I don't think I will make any this year....I am trying to avoid the temptation!  But YOU go right ahead....!

Let me know what YOU are doing for Valentine's Day.....are you a true believer....or a bit of a Valentine curmedgeon?

Have a Great Day!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sunday Snippets From Sweetwater

Happy February! 

I would have to say that I am awfully glad that January is behind us!  If it wasn't was blowing and below zero!  A total of 5 days of school cancelled because of extreme cold has to be a record!

snippet (n)

1. A bit, scrap, or morsel: "sparkling black bass ... strewn with snippets of coriander and basil" (Gael Greene).
2. Informal A small or mischievous person.
I had no idea that a snippet was a small or mischievous person.....but since I am are a few snippets from around Sweetwater this week!

A good friend from school retired this week.  JoAnn and I worked together for more years than I want to admit to. We celebrated with great stories!  This is the little gift I gave her....

The fun story about the little frame is that the tiles that are glued on to the simple frame are some that I rescued from the school that we worked at together for all those years.....I scored a bucket of these little tiles from the trash when the school was being remodeled....and now JoAnn has a little piece of her history to put on a shelf!

Our new car arrived.....luckily we were scheduled to pick it up on Monday...when we didn't have school because of the cold!  Why you ask?  Well, it took over 2 hours for them to teach me how to push all the buttons so I can drive it!  Go Figure!!!  Then it sat in the garage on Tuesday because of another cold day off!  I thought Mr. S was going to cry on Wednesday morning when it was time to drive to school for the first time.....there was a SNOWSTORM during morning rush!  Long story short...I love it....or will when I figure out all of the new technology!

I planted some wheat is happily sprouting in the front window along side the Holiday Poinsettias!  I hate that they still look too nice to throw away.....but IS February.....maybe I need to hang some hearts on the and call them Valentine Plants!
Anyway.....the wheat grass is a little bit of summer in the house! 

I splurged on some fresh flowers for the house!   Well.....they are from the grocery for $12 I have flowers that will last a couple of weeks.  The mums are already a week old and still look great.  Yesterday I got some Astromeria....another long lasting flower!

Today I am going to do a little Valentine's decorating....the nice thing about blogging...I have a pictorial history of what I have done in the past.....hmmmmm.....maybe I will just totally copy last year's decor!

Since learning that I fit the definition of a SNIPPET....I wonder what mischief I can get into THIS week!

Have a Great Day!

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