Condo Blues: February 2013

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Garage Door Dining Room Table

It is no secret that I am not in love with my dining room table. It needs refinishing or repainting or hacked to pieces with an ax to fit my design aesthetic.

But I don't own an ax.

Husband won't let me replace it because he spent his kid life eating around that very table. I respect that and  use a table cloth instead. It looks much better and is way cheaper than buying a new table. It is less work than refinishing or repainting it too - for now.

I use this tablecloth all the time.
My mom embroidered this tablecloth before I was born. 

That doesn't stop me from window drooling shopping over new tables. Especially when they are made from repurposed materials.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Washi Tape Dog Treat Box

Introducing the newest must have accessory for spring – the washi tape dog training treat box!

washi tape clip on dog treat box

Husband said he was surprised I waited two whole days after we adopted Lacey to make her something. What can I say? I’m a maker.

Condo Blues Lacey the Dog
I asked Lisa to reuse this photo of me because I am sometimes a little shy when she pulls out her camera.
You can read my story here.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Finally Curbside Recycling!

Hey, waitaminute Ms. Green Blogger I thought you already recycled?

Yep. We do.

We bagged our paper, glass, metal, and plastic, stuck it in the car trunk, and drove it to a city dumpster because the paid subscription service was so unreliable even die hard greenies gave up on it. The freebie dumpster option worked OK unless we got busy and the recycling piled up or I forgot to drop it off at the dumpster while running errands. I can't tell you how many times I drove around town with trash in my trunk until I remembered I had trash in my trunk.

Not to mention the other items we collect and drop off for recycling at local stores:

  1. Plastic cosmetic tubes can be recycled at any Origins store or counter
  2. Hard plastic bottle caps can be recycled at any Aveda store
  3. Batteries can be recycled at Easton Town Center (local folks) and any Batteries Plus store
  4. CFLs can be recycled at any Home Depot store
  5. Lithium ion batteries (for tools) can be recycled at any Home Depot store
  6. Eyeglasses can be recycled through the Lion's Club (your eye doctor may have a bin in their office.) The Lion's Club regrinds the lens and gives the glasses to needy people.
  7. Number 5 plastic can be recycled at Whole Foods through Preserve's Gimmie 5 Program

This isn't as crazy as it sounds (I hope) because I combine trips to a city dumpster with recycling items one through three at the mall and do a little window shopping while I'm at it (I leave my debit card at home to make sure it is just window shopping and not buying out Celebrate Local.) I don't often have items four through six, item seven is new for us. The city recycling program takes #5 bottles but not #5 tubs.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Meet Lacey

Pitter patter pitter patter romp romp romp.


Say hello to our new dog Lacey!

Lacey Condo Blues
Hello, my name is Lacey. 

She’s recycled :)

Lacey is an 11 month old fearful Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dachshund mix. Look at the long and luscious legs on this girl!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cooking Carrot Soup with Power Tools!

I believe power tool projects are cheaper than therapy.

Lisa Nelsen-Woods Condo Blues
Some of you tell me your fear of chopping off a body part is why you do not try using tools, you have a husband/son/brother/father to do it for you, or the garage is a foreign land because it is dirtier and unheated unlike your kitchen. I can totally relate. I’d rather spend more time in my heated kitchen than my unheated garage during the winter too.

Although I have secretly grabbed and sterilized a power tool from the garage to help me with a cooking project.

True confessions time. When I bake and puree fall pumpkins (read how on my food blog Lazy Budget Chef here) the rind is so hard to cut I usually grab my rotary tool from the garage and use it to cut the pumpkin in half. It was my dirty little secret until now because every cook I know can cut a pumpkin in half with a standard chef’s knife. I had a case of Really Stupid Lazy Budget Chef over it.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

How to Install a Toilet

We have a little Water War waging in our otherwise happy family. I bring up switching to a more water efficient toilet and Husband shoots me down on principal. In his mind water efficient toilets don’t work. If we had a toilet that flushed like one of those giant barrels at the water park that tip over and drench everyone with a bazillion gallons of water that might just satisfy him.

Before we go any further let’s do a little toilet water usage history lesson:

Friday, February 15, 2013

10 More Ways to Use Orange Peels

I always look forward to the winter citrus season so I can stuff my face with sweet juicy oranges.  I always end up with many orange peels. I can’t compost orange peels but didn’t want to throw them away. Orange peels have to be good for something.

That’s when I did some research and found out orange peels are very useful. I posted about 10 Easy Ways to Use Orange Peels (you can read the post here) and I started to put those orange peels to good reuse. Since that post I experimented, researched, and found 10 more easy ways to reuse orange peels. 

  Save this idea to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

If I don’t have enough orange peels for a project, I either store orange peels in a container the freeze or let the orange peels dry on a tray for a few days (no oven or dehydrator needed!) and store them in a jar in my pantry until I have the amount I need.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Retro Mod Craft Room

One of the projects on my DIY list is do something with my craft room/guest room/furniture graveyard room. I want the room to function better as my sewing and craft room and be inviting or at least not horrendous for my guests who sleep there. I have friends coming to visit from Germany and would like to have the room done before they come.

My current design process for this room isn't working. I walk into the craft room, look at the jumble, think about rearranging the current furniture and take measurements. Then I get upset because everything can't move where I think I want it. Finally I run out of the room screaming and stuff my face with chocolate.

Rinse, and repeat several days a week.

My problem is I'm to married to the furniture that is in the room and most of it isn't working. I decided to take a different approach to decide how I want this room to function and look like. I did a virtual shopping spree for the entire room. What would I choose for my craft room if I didn't have to worry about budget or size or hefting furniture up a flight of stairs?

Since I use this room mostly for crafting and sewing, I focused on that function for my mood board. I'll make a guest room mood board later. Then I'll see if there are elements I can marry from the two boards to come up with a workable plan.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Industrial Chalkboard Table

How I envy Lilyfield Life! She found a dining room table in her neighbor’s garbage and snatched it up before the trash truck could take it away to the land fill. She worked some magic with chalkboard and red paint (two of my favorite things) and turned that trashy table into this industrial beauty.

Can you believe someone threw this out?!

I wish Husband would let me do the same to our dining room table. It was his parent's table and has seen better days. He won't let me paint the beat up old thing time warn patina. We compromise with an small army of table cloths.

What do you think? Painted wood tables - yay or any?

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I Marched in the 2013 Presidential Inauguration Parade

My feet hurt. I was tired. My hands in their it-was-supposed-to-be-colder-than-this fleece gloves were starting to overheat. My frustration grew. I could not always hear the cadence from my band to stay in step due to the drum corps in front of us, the echo from the buildings, and the parade announcers over the loudspeakers. Out all of the parades I have ever marched or will ever march, this parade had to be perfect.

Then I saw it. I sucked in my breath like an excited child seeing for the first time what Santa placed under the tree on Christmas morning.

The Presidential box.

I am marching as an ally in the Lesbian and Gay Band Association (LGBA) marching band. Two hundred and fifteen people strong we are the largest civilian marching band in the 2013 Presidential Inauguration Parade.

Everything I was feeling vanished except patriotism, pride in my band, and the profound responsibility that I am there for something greater than myself.

Photo courtesy of MSN

Friday, February 1, 2013

Painted Thrift Store Bathroom Mirror

My upcycled mirror!
You know you nabbed a good thrift store find when two strangers walking into the store compliment you on the beat up mirror you are carefully loading into your car trunk.

True story.

With a little spray paint love, this pealing gold paint and not in a good way mirror is going to add a little more fun and a lot more less builder standard to my guest bathroom.

I bought the mirror last fall to replace the giant builder mirror in the bathroom. Builders use these giant mirrors to make bathrooms look bigger (with varying degrees of success) and to sometimes cover up quickly done or not painted very well walls (as least this is what I am finding in my own home. *sigh*)

I'm giving the new bathroom faucet a thumbs up in this photo NOT the enormous mirror.

Let’s paint this guy!