Foiling the Felines!

Marvin the cat has developed the most annoying habit/craving!

Back in the day….”cute little Marvin” just slept in the green grass and DID NOT eat it!

 He seems to NEED to eat almost any foliage that is in any floral arrangement in the house.
He doesn’t bother the house plants….just the greenery in flowers.
And of course…..after munching….there is the puking that follows!

In fact….he even tries to eat the husks on the sweetcorn if it is sitting on counter….go figure!!!!

Now…you know I am NOT going to give up having flowers in the house!!!
And….you know that a flower arrangement needs green filler to look pretty!!

What to do?
Wanna see?

 These lovely Sunflowers just cried out for Hosta leaves…..Marvin’s absolute FAVORITE greens to munch on….
Since that wasn’t an option…..

 I headed to the craft store and bought the best looking “permanent botanicals” that I could find.

I looked for things that are often used as fill at the florist shop.

Total investment: $18.00

But….the proof is in the photos.

Look again at the sunflowers.
You have to look really hard to see that they are not real.

In fact….Marvin keeps sniffing them…and then turning to give me his best “stink-eye”!

Here are some more examples.

These Zinnias are tucked into some Dollar Store ferns and spiked grass.  There is a little real pachysandra too….that is one that Marvin doesn’t eat.

Now obviously, I would rather use real greenery.
But given the choice of using artificial greens with real flowers or cleaning up cat vomit….I bet you can guess which one I pick.

Have A Blooming Great Day!

Illusion vs. Reality in the Sweetwater Garden!

The lyrics from the classic Joni Mitchell song “Both Sides Now” began running through my mind as I started to tell you about the garden.

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s cloud’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all
Now swap out the word garden for clouds and you have the tale of the Sweetwater garden.
Ahh….the illusion of perfection!
From afar the peony garden is perfection!
It is so lovely and colorful.

Alas….the reality is the many many weeds at the base of these lovelies!
We have such a crop of weeds (Snow on the Mountain) that we actually put landscape cloth down to kill it!  The problem is that we can’t spray too close to the peony plants and there was no way to get to all of the weeds….I am simply not that patient.


Perfect Hosta

Regular visits from these creatures;

results in chewed off blossoms….

No matter how much repellent we spray….they still come!

Sometimes a deer will actually chomp off a blossom, realize it has repellent on it, and SPIT IT OUT!

A gardener needs to balance illusion/perfection with reality/imperfection.
I realize that when I pass by other people’s gardens……the illusion I see is the beauty of the flowers.
I guess until I can afford to hire a gardener…. I need to look at my own garden the same way!

Have A Wonderful Day!

Monday Musings

Happy Monday!
It has been too long since I posted anything here….
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… 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!

Preserving Cattails for Indoor Decor!

This post involves blood and gore!
This is supposed to be about preserving cattails. 
How could that involve blood and gore?
It all started when I asked Mr. S to come along to the countryside to collect some cattails.  
We do this every couple of years.  
It is a simple matter of climbing down the embankment and cutting the cattails before they get to “ripe” and start to puff.
it would be simple enough…..
If the rock retaining wall HADN’T crumbled when Mr. S stepped down….
But Mr. S is tough and stoic!!!!
So even though he fell and twisted his thumb….we kept at it!
Then….we got back in the truck and found even more cattails along the road….
Then many cattails in hand…back home we went.
When John got out of the truck…he asked me what I thought we had walked in to make his pants get all red!!!!!
 YIKES!  He was covered in GORE!
Luckily, when we got to the source of the bleeding…it wasn’t a big deal!
The bleeding stopped in 5 minutes and the little wound was covered with a regular bandage.
BUT….I his boot was filled with blood…
There was a puddle on the floormat in the truck.
Now on to preserving those cattails…..
I originally posted about this here…PRESERVING CATTAILS TUTORIAL
In order to make the cattails last, you need a very strong “GLUE”.
I have tried a couple of methods.
Hairspray: it isn’t strong enough…and who has it anyway.
ModgePodge:  Works….but has a funny texture because of the way it sits on the surface.

Polyurethane is my go to solution for strong long lasting cattails.

The poly absorbs into the cattail and keeps in all that fluff that is just waiting to burst out,

I used a disposable brush and put on a very thick coat.

 The can of poly that was on the shelf was pretty old…so I feel like this was a great use of the “dregs” in the can.

I left them out in the yard to dry.
Then….I went back into the house to help clean up all that GORE!
So thank you to Mr. S for “taking one for the crafting team”!
wait till you see what I use these very COSTLY cattails for!
More to come soon….

Dollar Store Craft WITH Caffiene!

The perfect combination!
I wouldn’t say that I am addicted to crafting…well maybe a little obsessed…not addicted!
I would have to admit that I am addicted to coffee.
The aroma…
The taste…
The warmth…
The BUZZ… 
It is all good!
There are some things you can do with coffee besides drinking it!
How simple to make aromatic candles using coffee beans and votives.

Put some coffee beans in a pretty glass, vase or funny coffee cup to make a pencil holder.
When you pick up a pencil, you get a little hint of coffee aroma!
Funny story….I used to do this for the coffee holders in the Media Center.
Great idea….until…I got a phone call from a parent informing me that some of the kids were EATING the beans to get a caffeine buzz!

This is a wreath I saw hanging on the door of a coffee shop in New Orleans this winter.
I took the picture thinking, “I could make one of these!”

It took me seven months to finally get around to doing it!

A dollar store foam wreath is the base. 
This burlap ribbon was another find at the dollar store.

 The ribbon is wrapped around the foam base to make sure none of the green would show through.
No coffee related project should happen WITHOUT a cup of coffee.
Trusty glue gun heated up….
Coffee beans at hand….
It is just a matter of gluing those babies on…..

So I glued and glued and glued!
I have to admit…
This took a little longer than I had hoped!
AND… fingers ended up dark brown with a few glue gun burns.
In fact…I did this over the course of a couple of days!
No one ever accused me of having a long attention span!
ESPECIALLY when I am drinking coffee!
Perserverance paid off!
With a burlap bow and a favorite coffee quote, this little craft turned out well.
I was hoping the wreath would give off a bit of aroma.
It doesn’t!
I was hoping that the project would lend itself to a “gift project”.
But I know I won’t have the patience to do this again.
So my friends….if you want one of these…you will have to make it yourself!
Have A Wonderful Day!