DIY Marble Look Serving Tray

You all know how I am all about “using what I have”.

Well…when we redid the bathroom, there were a few of these pretty 12 x 18 tiles left.

I knew that one would make a lovely oversized serving tray.

I checked out retail stores to get some ideas.  These looked the way I envisioned the tray I wanted.

As you can see….the prices were all over the place.  But I figured I could make one cheaper than even the least expensive one….and….I already had the tile just sitting around.

I looked for tutorials for doing a project like this.
House of Wood 
has a nice one……pretty much exactly what I wanted to do.

I bought some drawer pulls at Home Depot…..I got out the tile….and then I made my FIRST mistake!

I asked Mr. S for advice about the type of glue that would be best and if we had something around home that would work.

Mr. S:  Why wouldn’t you actually drill the holes and screw the handles in?
Me: Sounds like a lot of work and I don’t really want this to be a big deal.
Mr. S: I would be happy to do it.
Me: Go For It!

The tray is absolutely beautiful!

Now….for the other side of the story!

Drilling porcelain tile is a b***h!
It took more than a couple of hours and several destroyed drill bits to finish the project!

So…..my almost free tray actually ended up costing as much as the least expensive retail one!!!

Oh well….to quote Mr. S:  “at least now you don’t have to worry about the handles coming off when you are carrying something.”

And….I have a really pretty tray and one less leftover tile!

 Have A Great Day!

Dollar Store Spring Wreath

Did you know….that florists no longer call “fake flowers” fake or silk or artificial?
These flowers now have the much more elegant title of “Permanent Botanicals”!
Sounds so fancy…..
You know how much I love real flowers….but sometimes the permanent botanical route makes sense.

Here is my the wreath on the Sweetwater front door!

 The wreath itself is the Trader Joe Boxwood wreath that I bought for Christmas.
I used the information from Julie Blanner’s lifestyle blog to preserve it.  You can read about that here: https://julieblanner.com/how-to-preserve-boxwood-wreath/
I am amazed at how well it has lasted.

The flowers are from the dollar store!

Yup….$4 for enough flowers to fill the wreath nicely!

I use “permanent botanicals” from the dollar store a lot.

Here I used little white blossoms and yellow carnations with some preserved magnolia leaves.
I think the little bird nest is a nice touch.
And…seriously…I wish I could keep the bunnies caged up like this to “preserve” my tulips.  PUN intended!

I had some time to do a little looking around for good looking permanent botanicals:
Take a look at this site: Shop Silk Flowers Online at Afloral.comThe flowers are really great looking…definitely not dollar store!
I loved the tutorial for the DIY peony arrangement.  It even tells you how to make the acrylic “water”.


In doing the “research” I found a couple of really simple tricks to use is you want your artificials to look more real:

  1. If you don’t have the time or inclination to make the acrylic water….put some real water in the vase. (duh)
  2. Don’t leave the artificial arrangement in the same spot for more than a couple of weeks…or about the same time as real flowers would last.
  3. Mix flower blooms that are artificial with foliage and fill greens that are real.
  4. Use flowers that are familiar…..and that would maybe come in a florist bouquet.
  5. Take the price stickers off 🙂
I will leave you with some inspiration!

 Lilacs are so hard to keep looking fresh.  These would stay pretty a long time. I would miss the scent though.

These tulips might serve me well when the bunnies do their damage !

Well…wishing you a day filled with flowers whether they are “permanent” or natural!

Invisible Window Hanging Trick

Hmmm….I am an actually an APPLE person !

However, I do love the windows in our house.  
I love that many of our windows don’t need to be covered.  The clean look of big tall gridded windows is something I love.
That is especially nice in the kitchen.  It is far enough away from things that privacy is not an issue.
But…and you knew there would be a BUT in there….that bare window sometimes calls for a little decoration.

Hanging things in the window without damaging the wood can be a challenge.
I have solved the problem in a pretty elegant and inexpensive way.
Of course….a tension rod would work….but I think you might agree that this looks even better.

Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best!

We took two little cup hooks….and screwed them to the underside of the upper window frame molding!
They can easily be removed and filled with a bit of wood putty and covered with a bit of stain!

Then Mr. S  went to work and cut a piece of stainless steel tube/rod that he had in HIS “stash”.  
It slips into the cup hooks to make a sturdy bar to hang “Stuff” from!

 Even better would be to purchase a wooden dowel and stain it to match the woodwork.

I have been “just gonna do that” for a couple of years now…..

Here is the rod holding up the birch branch Heart…

The tutorial for making this is here:  How To Make A Birch Branch Heart

When I use this trick….it makes the wreath look like it is floating on the window.

The other nice thing….
If you don’t have something to put in the window…the rod sort of disappears.

Now I am off to the store to buy a dowel so that it will match the window trim.
HMMMM….maybe I should do one for the front living room window too!

And some final window thoughts for you….


Have A Wonderful Day!

Do You Hygge ?

I keep coming across this word. I have a basic idea of the concept, but thought I should research it some more.  I sure don’t want to miss out on the latest “trend” :).

Pronounced “hoo-ga,” this word from the Danish is a concept that cannot be translated exactly to one single word.  It is a bunch of words: cozy, contentment, well-being and, enjoying the simple things in life.

According to the BBC, hygge is a means to cope with those brutal Nordic winters. Denmark can go dark for up to 17 hours a day during the worst of the season, and the average temperature is frequently around 32 degrees.
Wow! 32 degrees sounds like a heat wave! The temps here in Minnesota have been hovering around 0 degrees all week.
The holiday decor is put away for the most part.
I have a lousy cold!
Seems like a great time for some Hygee around here!

 It would be tempting to just pile up a bunch of stuff and make some nests!  That really doesn’t embrace the style.  The goal is to create a serene but cozy atmosphere.  If you are like me….clutter  and serene are pretty much opposites!

In the spirit of “Use What I Have”,  I decided to look for ways that we naturally do to embrace Hyggee.  Then I “shopped” the “stash” for things to use that will add more elements of Hygee to Sweetwater.  


Coffee is pretty much a staple around here.
Well that is one staple….


And then there is wine!

This concept is truly one that embraces Hygee!

Throws and Pillows…..there are lots of these around here already.  A pile of couch pillows always call to me to come sit and relax with a magazine or a book.  There is usually a cat to add to the cozy feeling! I think the addition of the handwoven tapestry on the back of the white couch adds some texture.  The sofa pillows are the softest velvet….also pretty cozy!

Twinkle lights and candles….I was going to put my battery powered twinkle lights and candles away after the holidays.  I am so glad to have a reason to keep them on display!

Natural elements….Taking the obvious holiday items off the mantel and just leaving the natural greenery brings a touch of nature into the room.  This grapevine wreath with some touches of greenery is a leftover from the holidays that still looks nice.

Wardrobe…leggings, woolen sweaters and fleece lined slippers may not be the most elegant outfits…but they certainly embrace the sense of comfort that is Hygge.

Finding your spot….the photo below might just be the epitome of Hyge!  I found a bright sunlit window with a cozy throw and a special grandboy to spend some quality reading time with!  True joy!

Here is wishing you Hygge in your life!
I would love to hear how you find “comfort and a complete absence of frustration”!  Here’s to a calmer 2018!

Blog Parties

Sunflowers “Eclipse” all other Summer Blooms

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

You gotta love Sunflowers!
Big bright and beautiful!
Alas….at Sweetwater….
The Deer like to munch on Sunflower leaves…
Sometimes I grow them on the deck…
Once in a while a few “volunteers” hide long enough to set blooms…
But I have given up trying to plant seeds and
hope for a nice crop….
So I have to buy them “gasp” !
Usually at the Farmer’s Market…
This week Mr. S. brought a nice bunch home from the grocery store!
Sunflowers are hard to arrange in a vase….
They are big, floppy and hard to keep upright….
This is one flower that doesn’t do well stuck in florist foam or a frog….
Here is the Sweetwater trick for making this quick nice looking arrangement!
First off….you need an opaque vase….not a clear one!
This Haeger vase from Goodwill is the perfect size and shape for a Sunflower Bouquet!
Fill it with water….
Add a couple three paper towels…..let them soak up the water!
Stick the whole bunch of Sunflowers in the wet paper towels….
let the paper toweling support the stems as you arrange the flower heads….
Gather the stems together and tie with a big bunch of Raffia….
 How’s that for a tutorial!
and oh yeah….Thanks for the flowers Mr. S!
 Have a Great Day Everyone!