Thursday, February 8, 2018

Round Up of Inexpensive Wall Art




 Finding great looking things to hang on the walls without spending a fortune can be a challenge.

But NOT having great looking things to hang on the walls would be just SAD!






When we travel, I love to shop in all the fancy art galleries we see.
I should clarify the word "SHOP" and change it to "LOOK".
Oh, how I would love to rationalize spending thousands of dollars on unique pieces of art!
Alas, I just can't do it!
My thrifty alter ego reminds me that there are other ways to have pretty things on the wall.

I decided to do a post about the many ways and many places you to find great "art" for you walls.
Since I have been doing this for more years than I want to tell you....I will take you on a "art walk" around Sweetwater as well as share some great ideas from some other thrifty folks.

First though.....about frames and framing.
One of the best sources for frames is the thrift store. 
Look past the questionable "ART" in the frame and imagine it with your own.
A little spray paint or touch up with a sharpie can make a battered frame look new.
If you don't have access to a mat cutter, look for standard sized frames.


One great source for art is those vacation photos you take.
This is an enlargement of the view from our hotel on our trip to Hong Kong.  I used a photo effect program for my iPad called Waterlogue to create the watercolor effect. 



Look for coffee table sized art books at the thrift store.  You won't feel bad tearing out a page that has a fabulous image.  Adding an oversized mat allows the image to look larger than it actually is.

Note cards or greeting cards with a theme can make a nice tryptic. I have to confess that since I wanted the images from the purchased cards to be bigger, I scanned and printed them larger.  It probably doesn't exactly follow copyright law...but I did buy them and didn't make them that much bigger.

Wrapping paper come in many beautiful patterns.  A lot of boutiques sell single poster sized sheets of paper.  This chocolate themed paper will be perfect as subtle valentine decor...althought the "real" thing might be tastier.




































Framing a tea towel is a similar way to have a large image on the wall.  Keep an eye open for these when you are boutique shopping. Here are two different towels switched out for the season with new mats in the same frame.

Those of you who are frequent readers know my obsession with fabric.  Using a fabulous print as a wrap around a frame is a simple way to create large interesting pieces of art.




I did a little looking for some other sources for interesting and inexpensive art.

Check out  https://www.posterhaste.com  
There are really wonderful options for personalized art here.


Mr. S got this print as a gift from the Sweetwater Daughter.

She ordered it from this site.
https://grafomap.com 

You just type in the place and a cool looking graphic is generated.


I think I might do one for our current location in blue.





Here are a couple of other people's blog posts about "cheap" art!


www.apartmenttherapy.com/cheap-art-frame-ideas

https://www.pinterest.com/favillephoto/unique-things-to-frame 

So....anyway....that is my roundup of ways to have "luxury" art on a budget.
What are your suggestions?
I would love to hear from you!


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

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!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Simple Almost No Sew Custom Shower Curtain

A Long Long Time Ago.....
I posted about the no sew shower curtain in the guest bathroom.  The complete tutorial for how to do this can be found on the link.
This curtain really doesn't look bad.....but heavens....it has been hanging around for over 7 years!  GASP!
 The dark brown walls will be staying for awhile.  We are redoing the master bath later on this month....and energy and budget for the guest bath just won't happen.

My challenge:  Find some way to freshen up the room with out spending too much time and little or no money!

If you are a regular reader, you know that for me, many projects start with a fabric inspiration!
Fabric stores are my happy place!
Speaking of happy....don't these little birds just make you smile?


I love the clean white background.
I love the multiple colors on the birds.
The green is bright and cheerful.
We can pretend the branches are brown...until we have time to paint!


 Here are the simple directions for an almost no sew shower curtain:

To make a shower curtain you will need 2 Lengths of fabric (typical drapery fabric is 54-60 inches wide).
1.  Four yards of fabric will give you enough fabric for a full looking curtain.

2. Cut the fabric in 2 pieces and seam them together (straight seam on the machine or fusible webbing will work...never tried to glue gun....but why not)

3. Cut a piece of fabric that is 8 inches wide from each of the pieces.....I cut this from the long sides of the fabric.  You will have 2 pieces that are 8 x 72.  Fold the strips to make tabs.  I don't sew these...it has never seemed to be necessary.  Cut the folded strips into 8 inch pieces for use as the tabs.

4. Turn both of the sides of the big square in to make a smooth edge.  You can stitch or use fusible web for this.

5. Fold the top of the square down to make a 2 inch "hem".

6. Fold the tab pieces over and pin them to the top.  Space them 5 inches apart with a 3 inch "loop".

7.  Stitch across the top of the curtain at 1/2 inch down and 2 inches down.  This will secure the tabs.
I imagine you could do this with a glue gun too!

8.  Measure your curtain to make sure you know how long you want it....then turn up the bottom for a nice hem.

9. Hang the curtain by the tabs on a tension rod.  I have a regular shower rod with a liner behind the decorative one.


There you have it!

Then it was just a matter of "shopping the house" for some art and accents to fit the new decor.


I changed the mats on these little pictures to white for a brighter look.


This canvas has just the right color scheme for the new room.






The ceramic birds look right at home with their "friends"!










The new update was worth the couple of hours spent.
Even with new towels...I think the total cost was around $50!
My kind of decorating!

Have A Wonderful Day and Stay Warm!

Link Parties

Sunday, January 7, 2018

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.  

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

http://www.signs-unique.co.uk/
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

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Sugared Cranberries Simple Recipe

Aren't these just beautiful?
I think they look like berries in the snow.


Sugared Cranberries are strangely addictive.
They look so tempting sitting on the platter.
The sugar hits your mouth and then the bright tart cranberry almost pops in your mouth.
HMMMMM
Have I made you want to make them?
I think this treat would be a perfect addition to a New Year's Eve dessert buffet.

Easy Sugared Cranberry Recipe 

  • 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • additional sugar for rolling (you can make superfine sugar in the blender if you want to get fancy)
Wash cranberries and discard any damaged ones. Place in a bowl. Combine sugar and water in a pot and heat until simmering. Stir until sugar is dissolved and let cool for a few minutes until warm (not hot). Pour over cranberries and let sit in fridge, covered at least 3 hours.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Use a slotted spoon to remove berries from syrup. Set berries on a cooling rack that is placed over foil to collect drips. Spread berries out so they are not touching each other. Let dry for 1 hour.



 
 
 
Roll berries a handful at a time in sugar. Place sugared berries on a baking sheet, or foil, etc. and let dry for an hour or two.








That was easy....!

The finished cranberries look amazing sitting in a single layer on a tray.
BUT....
I found this when I was doing my "research" for this post!
 
Sugared Cranberries as a Cake Topper.
I love the little sprigs of Rosemary...or you could do mint.
 
http://www.shaydacampbellblog.com/2015/11/sugared-cranberries-cake-topper.html    
Have a Wonderful Day!

 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Gift Idea: Tea Towel in a Frame

Two weeks until Christmas!
That means that there isn't a lot of time around here for writing blog posts.
My goal is to do a few posts with a ideas that you might use to save time and/or money during the holidays this year.

Frame A Tea Towel for Statement Wall Art

Inevitably, you are going to be going shopping in one of those cute gift boutiques....
Inevitably, you are going to fall in love with lots of items that are way out of your price range....
Don't despair!
Check out the tea towel section....you will probably find something very cute for a reasonable price.
AND...
Tea Towels make fabulous gifts....
BUT...
Why not take it up a notch and frame that tea towel to create a statement piece of wall art?


I found this towel at a gift boutique....yeah...I know I said this was about giving gifts...but I loved it so much I had to keep it for myself. (note to self: next time buy TWO of something thrifty that you love).
I already had the frame, but you can find deals on poster frames with the mat already in them.  Michaels and IKEA are good sources.

The HOW TO is simple:
1. Buy the tea towel.
2. Buy the frame.
3. Iron the towel.
4. Use spray adhesive to smooth the towel on the backing cardboard that comes with the frame.
5. Reassemble the frame.
6. Wrap it up!


Be sure to tell the person you are gifting how easy it is to change out the "art" for each season!


I have written about this before with more detailed instructions and some good sources for tea towels.
Tea Towel Wall Art: http://sweetwaterstyle.blogspot.com/2017/04/tea-towel-wall-art.html

Sources for Tea Towels http://sweetwaterstyle.blogspot.com/2015/01/wall-art-from-tea-towel-and-interesting.html

Remember when every 1960's kitchen had a calendar tea towel? (well....some of you are too young to remember that....but trust me)
A framed calendar tea towel is an easy way to go beyond the ordinary...and way cuter than the one on your phone!

How cute are these towels from Spoonflower.com?




Hope this has given you an idea for a last minute gift if you needed one!

Have A Great Day!