Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Versatile White Ceramic Vases

One of the best reasons to shop thrift stores is to build collections.
A wise woman would probably choose ONE thing to collect....but no one ever said I was WISE!

So what do I collect?
Mr. S would probably ask "what don't you collect.

Copper, Silverplate, Fitz and Floyd, Red Wing and Haeger are just a few of my favorite collectibles.

Oh...here is my disclaimer!

When collecting is healthy, the display or storage of these things does not impede the use of active living areas of the home. When a collector expands acquisitions beyond well-defined collections and loses the ability to keep these possessions organized, it becomes a hoarding problem.  NY Times


And HEY....I use my collections all the time!
And Hey....I let my friends use my collections too!

Back to the main topic of the post....the versatility of white ceramic!












I love this ceramic "jello" ring mold.

It has a center hole that can hold a candle.

The shallow ring makes it easy to put short stemmed flowers all around.

Using a mirror to set a vase on is a fun way to add "double" the impact.

How to get this look?

Keep an eye out for pans like this at the thrift store.  You can give them  quick coat of spray paint...I would probably do white or beige...then you have a versatile vase of your own.

This photo shows the Haeger pottery collection.  The peonies are actually small bouquets that were used as favors for the Sweetwater DIL's baby shower. 

How to get this look?
Never go to the thrift store without looking at the vases.  Then pick a color or style that you like and keep adding to the collection. 
Whether you keep them in a cupboard....boxes....or on display, you will have a way to display your pretty arrangements. 
Here are those same vases used for table arrangements for a wedding reception in an old barn.
 
 





Keep your eye on the lookout for this classic urn shape.  Flowers almost arrange themselves when you have this as a base.














This collection of white ceramic is not any fancy brand....and all of the little rectangular vases were $1 at Goodwill.  The platter is one that I have had for forever!  What an impact for not so many flowers!

How to get this look?

I think IDEA has these little vases or something like them....but of course I couldn't find them on the web site. 
You could use little ceramic ramekins like these:

These are from a restaurant supply company if you can't wait to score a thrift store find.

The whole idea is a cluster of similar, small vases on a tray....so simple!

Back to that whole collecting thing....I am struggling a bit to figure out how to display this particular collection.  I want it available.....so I opted for a shelf in the lower level....who knows how long that will last! 

Oh my....looks like I don't have much room for any new pieces!

Happy Collecting!
Happy Flower Arranging!
and
Have A Great Day!


Monday, September 4, 2017

How To Build DIY Industrial Shelving

All great DIY projects have a back story to them.
This is the story of the DIY shelf over the television in the Sweetwater family room.

Once upon a time in the "Sweetwater Castle" the "Queen" decided it was time to repaint.

With the help of a wonderful painter....the yellow walls became a beautiful "griege" color.

All was well in the kingdom of Sweetwater.....

UNTIL....the "Queen" noticed the big blank wall above the television.

"This will not do!" she decreed.

She called for advice from the "Princess",  who suggested a floating shelf as the "crowning" accent for the wall.

"It shall be done," commanded the "Queen".

What follows is the "real" story behind this fairy tale!




 I was thrilled when the Sweetwater Daughter gave me the perfect shelf for Christmas.....
well...since it was on back order....she gave me a "picture" of a shelf!


Hey...you might be saying....that isn't very DIY !

The deal was.....the shelf never arrived.
With much follow up and a bit of confusion, the order was cancelled.






Now we are ready for the DIY part.
I decided I wanted to have the look of the exposed galvanized pipe and board shelf.

Hey....we could do this!



Mr. S ...or the "King" decided that it would be almost the same price to order the pipes already made as opposed to piecing them together.  We got two pipes from the OverTheLedge Etsy Shop. 


And they sat waiting for the shelf....and they sat and sat and sat.










After a couple of months.....we headed out to get the board.
That meant a trip to HomeDepot and Menards.....
We bought stain too.

And THAT sat and sat and sat.




*Disclaimer:  Sweetwater household projects were necessarily interrupted by several trips and other diversions.

Then one day.....we decided it was time!

We measured carefully and then measured again and those pipes were fianally put up!

We went to get the board out of the garage to try it out before sanding and staining.
OH MY!




And...we learned that there is no way that a board from a big box store can age and stay completely flat!



Mr. S headed to "a real woodworking store".





He purchased a lovely piece of red oak that hardly needed any sanding.
It was cut to size....and stained.

This board is PERFECTLY flat and straight.




This project was really not that "thrifty".   You could probably buy one from a store for about the same or less cost. 
The lesson learned....do your research about whatever shelving you decide to use for whatever project you are doing!

If you do want to tackle this Industrial Shelf look for your house: Great Tutorial...step-by-step...clear and concise.  Cherished Bliss has done a way better job of the process than I ever could.  (Especially because I never remember to take photos during the project!)

The REAL moral of this cautionary Fairy Tale is:


Have A Wonderful Day!
















Saturday, August 26, 2017

A Charcuterie Board -Easy Entertaining

This week the Sweetwater clan gathered for a belated birthday party for little old me.
With an almost 3 year old and a two month old to work around, it makes no sense to try to serve any kind of sit down meal these days. We are all too busy holding babies and playing with toys to sit down at the table.
The solution: Charcuterie!

Ooh La La!! Doesn't that sound french and fancy? 
So what is Charcuterie? 
The definition is actually the shop where you buy cured meats....but it has come to mean the way of serving them.
Basically it is just a fancy word for a big platter of cold meats (usually cured), cheeses, fruit and nuts!

The Sweetwater Daughter delivered a huge bag of goodies from Aldi of all places.
My job was to figure out how to make our Charcuterie look something like this!


Monday, August 21, 2017

Sunflowers "Eclipse" all other Summer Blooms

In honor of the solar eclipse....here is a repost about Sunflowers and a trick for arranging them.
Enjoy!



You gotta love Sunflowers!

Big bright and beautiful!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Avoiding the August Flower Gardening Doldrums

 
The lazy days of summer are upon us.
We have finished with most of our summer traveling and now it is time to get back to taking care of business around here....especially in the garden.
I have a LOVE/HATE relationship with August gardening.  
I LOVE that everything is growing and lots of things are blooming.....but the fact is....by mid-August most plants are past their prime.
The garden is in the DOLDRUMS
dol·drums
ˈdōldrəmz,ˈdäldrəmz/
noun
plural noun: doldrums
a state or period of inactivity, stagnation, or depression.


Here are some tips that I found to combat the "stagnation"!

Now I just have to get myself out there and "just do it"!


Monday, August 7, 2017

Monday Musings

Happy Monday!
It has been too long since I posted anything here....
Why?
It seemed like all the stuff that has been keeping me busy didn't really fit with the mission of Sweetwater Style.
It seemed that my projects really aren't anything to blog about.






All the "writers block" advice articles say just go for it and start writing.  So that is what I will do!









Mr. S and I took a trip to Voyageur's National Park with some friends.  We stayed at the charming Kettle Falls Hotel in a "Villa".....
 Our adventures started when our room came with an overpowering ODOR of vomit!  Yikes....but luckily we were given the room directly above.  It had  no kitchen, but we were allowed to use the kitchen in the "vomit" room.  The smell gradually went away....and all was well. 

I clearly am the poster girl for high fashion on the water.....and I even caught a fish or two.....





 We used the Air Fryer to cook the fish without a bunch of oil.  Oh...YUMMY!









The scenery was amazing and so was the weather!





Nothing beats time spent with good friends making memories!










































And then there are the Grands.....
Getting to know this sweet little Grand Girl is beyond wonderful
I forgot how all consuming babies can be....how fortunate we are to spend that time!
The Grandboy is a constant source of wonder!
All boy and using whole sentences to have conversations with us!



Helping GG (GreatGrandma) with her knitting!

This photo was taken BEFORE he completely unwound the whole skein of yarn!





Ahhh.....what is better than a costume box so that you can instantly become a SUPER HERO!



Loving the excitement of a summer time parade!


















How interesting.....an a bit A..musing!  All this Monday morning musing has given me about 10 ideas to blog about.  I guess the writer's block advice is correct....just start writing and the thoughts will come!
Stay Tuned...
Have a wonderful day....and thanks for listening!


Thursday, July 27, 2017

DIY Cleaners Using Dawn Detergent


If you don't have a bottle of this in your house....
You need to put it on your list of must buys!

I know I could use this for it's primary purpose....washing dishes....

BUT...honestly...I use the bulk stuff from Costco on a regular basis....

Using a decorative bottle with a pouring top is something I learned from Martha Stewart's Good Things!

I posted about that 5 or 6 years ago.....



So....what DO I use Dawn Detergent for?

You will not believe how well this works!
Spray it on.....walk away for awhile.....scrub a little.....DONE!

This formula also does a great job on crusty water stained glass and plastic.
These two acrylic beverage tubs are favorites of mine.  They get used for lots of things besides beverages.....like conditioning flowers for events.  I was almost ready to give up on being able to put them out for entertaining.....you can see how crusty the build up was.  A little of the "miracle" sauce and they were back to sparkly and shiny.

On to Part TWO


Seriously folks....this truly is almost magic.

I have tried it on a bunch of things with pretty darn good results.


One of Marvin the cat's least favorite "issues" is his BULIMIA!  Yup...he overeats and purges all over the carpet!  Since the cat food has orange dye in it....the stains are GROSS!
Of course, he always chooses to leave his treasures on the beige carpet!



 It takes a little time and some elbow grease with the solution of Dawn and Hydrogen Peroxide.

Because it is pretty soapy....it takes a good bit of rinsing and blotting to get all the soap residue up.


 Can you believe the way this works!?
Now...I just need to troll through the house and find the old stains....and get them erased!

I don't have photos of all the successful stain removal, but here are a couple of examples that have worked:

Wine stain on a shirt that had been washed and dried several times......gone in 10 minutes!
Grease stain on my favorite gray sweatshirt.....gone!
Dirty white tennis shoes....scrubbed....and bright white again!

This concoction will be my go to for pesky stains from now on!

I guess you could say:

Have A Great Day!