Condo Blues: December 2014




Monday, December 29, 2014

My 10 Best DIY Projects of 2014

Wow, 2014 was a great year for Condo Blues! I made a lot of changes behind the scenes to bring you the best projects and content possible. My hard work paid off because more of you have stopped by to my virtual home to say hello.

top 10 DIY projects of 2014

 
Let’s look at the 10 most popular posts on Condo Blues in 2014!

Monday, December 22, 2014

42 Homemade Christmas Gift Tags

I like wrapping a pretty gifts for Christmas. I keep a box of gift boxes and bags I reuse every year and another box of wrapping paper and things like silk flowers, fabric ribbon, and bows I recycle into clever gift toppers for the Christmas gifts I need to ship.

  42 handmade printable gift tags r


For the gifts I deliver in person, I made gift wrapping easier on myself by using the reusable cloth gift bags I sewed from my historical costuming scrap stash. I still get the pretty and fancy look I like but with a time and sanity saving green twist because I reuse my homemade gift bags year after year.


I sewed my cloth gift bags as a post- Christmas cabin fever project and used them the following year. Read my homemade cloth gift bag tutorial here.

With all of the attention I pay to buying meaningful gifts and their fancy wrappings, I’m ashamed to say I have long history of phoning it in when it comes to Christmas gift tags.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Outdoor Christmas Décor: Modern Lighted Tomato Cage Christmas Trees

For as much I enjoy looking at Christmas light displays you’d think I’d do something fancy outside of my own home.

modern tomato cage Christmas tree with lights
Nope. I keep it simple.

Why?

Because it is always too cold outside to put up and take down elaborate Christmas decorations!

Peace, love, joy, and warmth. That’s what my outdoor Christmas décor is all about.

And by warmth I mean not freezing my legs off while I’m outside or in the garage building new Christmas decorations.

This year I made a few changes in our outdoor Christmas décor and especially in what I used to display them. I wore the right work pants for the job, my Duluth Trading Company Women's Fleece-Lined DuluthFlex Fire Hose Pants.

Did I mention these multi-pocketed wonder pants are lined with warm and soft fleece, one of my favorite cold weather fabrics? Oh yes, my friends. My new fancy pants kept me warm while installing Christmas decorations. They proved their worth later that evening on a walk with Lacey to look at Christmas lights a local park. We left early because Husband wore jeans and got cold. Me? Not cold at all.

fleece lined fire hose pants
The best thing about Duluth Trading Company clothes is they realize women need just as many pockets in their clothing as men.  DuluthFlex Fire Hose Pants have six packets: 2 front pockets, a zippered thigh cargo pocket, 2 back pockets, and a Pokey Things Pocket (their name, not mine) on the right back thigh.

Monday, December 15, 2014

15 Things I am Not Going to Do This Christmas

It amazes me how some folks use Christmas time to make others feel horrible because they have different holiday thoughts, traditions, or celebrate (or not) a different December holiday.

Sadly, I internalize their criticism of the way we do things as not green enough, too generous, too stingy, too religious, not religious enough, too secular, or too fill in the blank.  I always let them make me feel sad, angry, and depressed for several days during my favorite time of the year.

This Christmas, I am going to try not to fall into that trap.  I can’t change others but I can change how I let others make me feel about myself and how we like to celebrate the holidays.


15 things I am not doing for christmas to keep my sanity



I will also try to keep my attitude about others in check because fair is fair.

15 Things I am Not Going to Do for Christmas 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas Kid Craft: Waterless Mason Jar Snow Globes

Last Christmas my nephews Mr. 5 of 10 and Mr. 9 of 10 surprised Husband and I with a homemade Christmas gift. My sister-in-law said that they wanted to make a Christmas gift for me because I often make gifts for them. Yay!

My sister-in-law tried to hedge things a bit by saying, “it might not be very good…” as I unwrapped our gift but I cut her off with a happy squeal. “Look the boys made us a mason jar snow globe! I love it!”

Because I do. 

diy waterless Christmas snow globe


With a little adult help, your kids can make waterless mason jar snow globes too. They make fabulous gifts and even better Christmas decorations!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Forget Elf on the Shelf! We Have Yoda on the Soda

People are insane about Elf on the Shelf.

Either they think Elf is a fun tradition and love it or they think Elf is a creepy stalker partying like a student on Spring Break and hate it.


There is no middle ground.

Husband came up with an Elf on the Shelf alternative.

I present:


Yoda on the Soda
“You will know (the good from the bad) when you are calm, at peace. Passive. A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.”

Yoda on the Soda.

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Monday, December 1, 2014

Easy Outdoor Christmas Swag Decor

I want to add vertical live evergreen swags to my outdoor Christmas decorations. I couldn’t find them for sale this early in the season. My source for free evergreen branches (Christmas tree lots) didn’t have any to give either.

I thought I might have to wait until next year to do the project until I found my inspiration. A red and silver jingle bell door knob decoration! I’ll take four please. One to swag and hang on each of my four porch posts. 

how to make an outdoor jinglebell evergreen Christmas
  Pin this step by step tutorial for later!

This tutorial is so ridiculously easy. Lacey could do it if she had thumbs.

How to Make a Vertical Jingle Bell Christmas Swag