Condo Blues: January 2016




Sunday, January 31, 2016

Tiny House Living Lies

I think tiny houses are twee and adorable. I have dozens pinned to my Pinterest boards (follow me @condoblues on Pinterest, pretty please?) I applaud living in a small ecological footprint. There positive financial aspects too. I understand how freeing that can be.

But.

I find it hard to believe that living tiny is nothing but utopia.


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We never hear about the downside of living in a tiny home. Sure, there is talk of how difficult it can be to decide what to keep and what needs to go. However the elephant in the itty bitty room no one will openly admit or discuss especially on tiny house TV shows is this:
  • It is illegal to park and live full time in a tiny house on wheels in most parts of the United States. Legally parking a tiny house is the most problematic issue and absolutely not addressed. Most camp grounds and mobile home parks forbid tiny houses - which is their right - as they are privately owned. Buying or renting land and plopping a tiny house on it may not solve the problem either. Local zoning laws often include minimum square footing for a house on a foundation and prohibit full time camping in a RV which is how tiny houses on wheels are classified. And sometimes what must be done to make a tiny house legal makes living in it all but impossible as Rowdy Kittens discusses here in her post On the Road Again…
 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

DIY Cigar Box and Wine Cork Storage Box

More often than I want to admit, phone and table cords, earphones, and eyeglasses are strewn about the side tables in my living room.  I put the stuff away. The next evening we need the stuff to read books or watch movies on our tablets and plop it on a table before heading off to bed. I put the stuff away…

It’s a never ending cycle.

A friend found a bunch of empty wood cigar boxes in the basement of her wine shop. I was drooling when I found out. Old cigar boxes are the gold standard of recycled project material just begging for an upcycle!

Needless to say, I made my way over to her shop and came home with a cigar box to make into a decorative storage box with wine cork feet to contain the flotsam and jetsam littering the living room.

 You have no idea how much work it took to to win the eBay auction for these vintage metal frames. I had my optimist fill them with my prescription. I love them!

How to Make a Decorative Cigar Box Storage Box 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

How to Cut Wine Corks for Crafts the Easy Way!

Have you ever tried to cut a wine cork in half?
 
Neatly?

Without the cork flaking and shredding?

Or  accidentally cutting your fingers to shreds?

ME TOO!

I need to cut a wine cork in half for an upcoming project. I want to cut the cork quickly, easily, and safely. Most of all I want to cut the wine cork without cork bits shedding all over the place. A nice, clean, cork cut is all I ask.


How to Neatly Cut a Wine Cork in Half


Cutting wine corks for crafts isn’t hard to do. If you want to cut a wine cork without it falling apart, you’ll need to do one simple step before you cut into it.


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Monday, January 18, 2016

Even Organics Can Make You Sick – the EOS Lip Balm Lawsuit is Wrong

Today’s Baseless Internet Outrage of the Day is brought to you by people who don’t realize lip balm made from organic and natural ingredients can cause allergic reactions because – new flash!most allergies are caused by things found in nature.

Hay fever anyone?

What we commonly call hay fever is an allergic reaction to some form of pollen. Or if you are me, tree, grass, and weed pollen – including the pollen of many plants and flowers we plant inside and out of our homes. So I have first hand experience of having surprise allergic reactions, succeeding - and failing - at avoiding allergic reactions, and how much it sucks sometimes because I have allergic reactions.



The thing is, I don’t think that just because a product uses natural or organic ingredients it is automatically perfect and will not cause heath issues in some people even though products made with organic and natural ingredients are the type of products I buy and use as much as I can.

According to the New York Times article Allergies Can Be Natural, Too:
“While most skincare and hair care is filled with potential allergy triggers, it turns out that organic versions are, to green parents’ dismay, among the worst offenders. “Generally the more expensive organic products have more allergens; they’re in their purest form,” said Lisa Borden, 39, a Toronto-based mother whose 8-year-old daughter is allergic to peanuts, nuts and kiwi.”

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

How to Make an Office Chair Mat

The plastic mats under the rolling chairs in our home office have seen better days. No matter what kind of office chair mat I buy, it eventually cracks, breaks, and sheds plastic chunks all over the carpet in the office.

I need to use a chair mat under our rolling chairs to protect the carpeting we aren't ready to replace.  Replacing the mats every couple of years isn’t sustainable. More than that it is a pain!

I solved our problem by making durable office chair mats from laminate flooring I bought at the Habitat Restore. I went with laminate flooring instead of plain plywood because I was concerned the plain plywood office chair mats would crack and break. Laminate flooring isn’t my favorite look but it is built to do the job I need it to do – be a floor.


Pin this tutorial for later!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Project Me: Pick a Personal Word of the Year

When I stopped making New Year’s resolutions for the sake of having one on New Year’s Eve, it became easier for me to keep them. I often make New Year’s resolutions but now I do it at a point in the year when I need it.

It is my way to keep New Year’s resolutions that works.

The same can be said for choosing a personal word for the New Year. I thought about doing it last year when I saw all of the other cool blogger kids were doing it as a way to keep or instead of making a New Year’s Resolution but couldn’t come up with a word with meaning. The only word I came up with at the time was vague and too general. I knew I’d forget about it soon after January so I didn’t do it.

This year, I picked a personal word of the year a few weeks after New Year’s by happy accident.



Learn how to make my New Year’s Memory Jar from a recycled salsa jar on Lazy Budget Chef here!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

DIY Recycled Bottle Cap Zipper Pull. So Easy!

I keep my dance, color guard, and yoga gear organized and ready to go in separate string backpacks. I am extremely fortunate to get the little backpacks from marching band events. That  makes it a zero cost organization system. The downside is all of the bags are from the same sponsor. Is too easy to grab the wrong bag for the wrong class. Whoops!

I can fix this by making a unique handmade zipper pull for each backpack so I can tell them apart.

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This is a quick and easy recycled craft that is fun to do with kids. Sourcing the materials might be the best part of the project because we are reusing bottle caps. Enjoying a soda treat in the name of recycled organizers? Don’t mind if I do!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Our Favorite Condo Blues Craft Projects of 2015

We’re celebrating the New Year by looking back at some of our favorite Condo Blues craft projects and tutorials we published in  2015.

When it comes to crafts, upcycling and recycling materials are the things you crave. 8 out of our most popular craft post tutorials feature reclaimed materials. Woo hoo! Who says green living can’t be cute and creative living too?
 

Our Top 11 Condo Blues Craft Projects in 2015


Make Candle Wax Warmer Melts, Tarts, and Cubes: The Complete DIY Guide!  

 
 
 

How to Make Aluminum Can Coasters 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Our Favorite Condo Blues DIY Projects in 2015

We’re celebrating the New Year by looking back at some of our favorite Condo Blues DIY projects for 2015.

From the looks of it, we are all extremely organized people! Or at least we all want to be extremely organized people, myself included!
 

Our Top 10 DIY Projects on Condo Blues in 2015

 

Organize Your Garage in Three Easy Questions   

 



6 Smart Strategies to Organize a Garage and Workshop