Condo Blues: December 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

My Top 10 DIY Posts for 2012

Wow 2012 you sure gave me some ups like appearing on Blog Talk Radio and in This Old House Magazine and in Beth Terry's book Plastic Free, and raising $1,080.00 for the Blitzkrieg Cancer Treatment Fund. Thank you thank you thank you again for helping our boy. It really means the world to us.

2012 gave me the the rock bottom of downs with fighting canine cancer and losing Blitzkrieg earlier to lymphona that we and his medical predicted.

Through the good and the bad. I did projects. Projects and keeping busy keep me sane. Well, as sane as anyone can hope for that is. From the looks of it, you like projects too! 

Here are my top ten posts of 2012 based on the mystical magical blog stats and algorithms. 

1. How to Make Dandruff Shampoo  

Friday, December 21, 2012

Shop Christmas Week Discounts to Save Money Next Christmas

It's a few days before Christmas. I have stuffers for the stockings ('cause I like to help Santa out - he's a busy guy on Christmas Eve!) All of the gifts are tagged, wrapped, and under the tree.

Now is the time to go Christmas shopping!

For next year.

It will save you time, money, and sanity next year.

Most frugal tipsters suggest you save money by buying Christmas wrapping paper and decorations at a deep discount the day after Christmas. Unfortunately with new sales cycles and the bad economy pushing stores to offer the steep discounts early, and such there may not be much available on December 26th. But, those things ARE available at the deep discount Christmas week.

I took this screen capture of Sears Christmas Shop today.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Renaissance Christmas Tree

I like Christmas and the excuse to dress up the house in its party clothes. This year it all seemed like work I had to do instead of work I wanted to do because Husband and I are feeling the loss of the biggest Christmas lover of all - Blitzkrieg.

Blitzkrieg didn't know anything about oil lamps burning longer than they should, or a baby being born in a barn, or if a special hunk of tree is burning in the fireplace. All he knew is when I brought certain boxes and tubs in from the garage (Blitzkrieg knew the difference. I moved some tubs into the house when cleaning the garage one summer. Blitzkrieg got excited and did the Pekingese Dance only when he saw me move the Christmas tree box into the house during the project), the Christmas tree was going up with a special soft blanket underneath to sit on. The Pack Leaders put things under the tree (but not in the special space we eventually left for Blitzkrieg to sit under the tree.) Then a special day comes when the humans divide the spoils to the pack and you go to bed with a belly full of homemade dried sweet potato treats.

Blitzkrieg photo bombing by cloth gift bag tutorial post.

Yeah, so basically, if you have a pet that clues in about the holidays, their understanding is all on a purely materialistic level despite your best efforts.

Monday, December 17, 2012

How to Make a Lush Christmas Garland for Free

I love big fat plush and lush Christmas garlands. I'm talking massive amounts of magazine worthy evergreen and boughs of holly. Sadly, I can't find anything like that for sale, real or fake. The one time I found something I liked, it cost scary money. Being a budget minded gal, I left the budget busting garland where I found it - at the store.

Keep reading! I'll teach you how to make this lush evergreen 
Christmas garland for little to no money!

I haven't seen anything like it since. All of the fake evergreen garland I see now looks anemic and hateful.

Friday, December 14, 2012

7 Dazzling Christmas Trees

Husband and I took a much needed vacation last week. We went to Frankenmuth Michigan, which is a lot like Brigadoon but with lederhosen. You can read about the first part of our trip on Lazy BudgetChef: I Ate My Way Around Frankenmuth, Michigan here.

The two things Frankenmuth has going for it are:

  1. It is a Bavarian town
  2. It is Christmas year round
There is a giant Christmas store in Frankenmuth called Bronner's. Husband described as, “It looks like Christmas threw up in here” although he meant it in a nice way. It is hard to impress upon anyone who hasn’t been there that Bronner's is not your typical pop up Christmas shop. 

 Examples of the items they sell to commercial customers are all around the store.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

10 Minute Gift: Cabinet Knob and Wine Cork Bottle Stopper

I decant our big ol' bottle of mouth wash into a prettier and easier to mange glass bottle. I'm surprised I haven't broken the bottle over the years given my traditional zombie like state as I get ready in the morning.

Basic green mouthwash rates a 3-4 (moderate hazard) on EWG's Skin Deep database so that's what I buy. Also, we hate the taste of the lower rated mouthwashes - blergh!

Instead of accidently breaking the bottle, Husband and I break the cork bottle stopper just to keep life interesting.


On a recent lunch date with an out of town friend followed by some serious drooling at a nearby Anthropologie, I came up with a plan to make an unbreakable (but cute!) bottle stopper for my bathroom.

How to Make a Bottle Stopper

Monday, December 10, 2012

West Elm Confetti Garland Knock Off

I found a bag of purple glass ball ornaments covered in hot glue and foam from a failed Christmas wreath project in the garage this year. A few hours of picking hot glue off the salvageable Christmas balls I have enough to hang them on my DIY garden trellises to turn them into trellis Christmas trees.

I made the stars from recycling bin cardboard using the tutorial in The Big Ass Book of Crafts 2 (one of last year's Christmas gift. Thanks sis!)

It looks like I accidentally changed the outdoor Christmas decor color scheme to purple, silver, and turquoise from red and white sparkly glam Christmas decor.  That's OK. Change is good.

I need something to tie the greenery around the door to the trellis Christmas trees near the yard. I thought I found it in West Elm's Confetti System Garland but it only comes in red.

A few days later I got blue and turquoise tissue paper in a delivery.

Light bulb moment!

How to Make West Elm Paper Confetti Garland

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Pop Can Poinsettia Wreath

I appreciate a good wreath. In fact, I like them so much I have a whole Pinterest board devoted to nothing but wreaths (give me a follow on Pinterest and I'll follow you back!)

Johnnie from Saved By Love Creations metal poinsettia wreath is my newest pin. Lookie! Lookie!

I love the paint technique she uses too. Photo courtesy of Saved By Love Creations.

At first I thought Johnnie took a metalworking art class because the poinsettas are so sculptural and the wreath is expensive-looking.