Condo Blues: April 2020




Thursday, April 30, 2020

3 Quarantine Bottle Cap Crafts and Friday Favorites Week 527

Doing DIY and craft projects keeps me from going stir crazy during quarantine. I figure it was a good time to dip into my bottle cap collection stash and use the time to recycle it into  the trinkets and favors I trade with children on that glorious day when we all will safely be able to gather in groups and my little jester character will once again perform at a renaissance festival.

Here are the three recycled bottle cap crafts I'm making. They are very easy to make for children or better yet, make them with your children!






I showed you my project. Now you show me yours!

Sunday, April 26, 2020

How to Build Recessed Bathroom Storage Shelves

I never liked the cheap plastic medicine cabinets that came with my condo. I was even more perturbed when I removed the medicine cabinet to paint the walls and found the hole and framing for the cabinet less than square - to put it mildly.

 I figure I better replace it and poked around window shopping while I was searching and pricing every thing else I needed for the guest bathroom remodel.

Have you ever priced medicine cabinets?

Be prepared for some sticker shock. Even the cheaply made medicine cabinets like the one I have are a couple of hundred bucks. The medicine cabinets  made from actual wood are even more expensive while still lacking style. That’s more that I wanted to pay for a medicine cabinet in a second bathroom we don’t use often.

I really don’t need a medicine cabinet with a mirror door because there is a mirror hanging over the sink.  Actually I really don’t need a door either because the way it was installed, the current medicine cabinet door smacks into the bathroom vanity light if we’re not careful. Open bathroom storage shelves are the only answer.

how to replace a medicine cabinet with recessed shelves in a bathroom
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I stood in the guest bathroom staring at the wall and trying to visualize how to turn the medicine cabinet hole into an open storage niche as pretty yet affordable as possible when I realized I was standing on my answer – use leftover tile from the bathroom floor!

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Mini DIY Ceiling Light Makeover and Friday Favorites Week 526

I've been keeping busy with a bunch of quarantine mini makeover projects.

Because quarantine mini makeover sounds so much nicer than bunch of nagging DIY projects I put off forever and need to do something to keep from going stir crazy in lockdown so I'm finally getting around to it.

Ahem.

My late project is getting rid of one more ugly builder ceiling light in the in our upstairs hallway. I installed this industrial beauty while my husband was making dinner. One more light banished - 2 more to go!

You can buy a similar semi flush mount ceiling light here (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.) 


The thing that made my heart sing "this is the ONE"are the Edison style bulbs (you can buy Edison style light bulbs herebecause they work with tapestry and pendulum clock. Best of all you can buy LED Edison bulbs so I get the energy saving LEDs I like and my husband gets the warm yellow light of an incandescent light bulb he likes. We both win.

I showed you my project. Now you show me yours!

Monday, April 20, 2020

How to Sharpen Scissors and Rotary Cutting Blades at Home

There is nothing like cutting fabric with a pair of sharp scissors or better, yet a rotary cutter.

Unfortunately using them to cut fabric also dulls the blades on your scissors and rotary cutter. Have you tried to cut fabric with dull scissors? It’s more like chewing fabric than making nice, crisp, clean cuts.

As a kid, I vaguely remember fabric stores holding fabric scissor sharpening events to draw shoppers to the store. In all honesty, I’ve never heard of one now that I’m an adult with a drawer full of dull fabric cutting tools and blades that need a little sharpening love.

What to do?

Easy! You can sharpen scissors and rotary cutting tools yourself!

how to sharpen scissors and rotary cutter blades
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How to Sharpen Fabric Scissors and Rotary Cutting Blades the Easy Way!


Thursday, April 16, 2020

Friday Favorites Week 525


Time to link up your fantastic and creative craft and DIY projects, recipes, and ideas!


Let's Party!






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Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Let's Play Quarantine Bingo!

My husband and I have been social distancing and quarantined a little longer than most. Ohio enacted our COVID-19 shelter in place order the second week of March but we were sticking closer to home the week before that.

In other words, we've been in quarantine for 6 weeks and as for how much longer nobody really knows. Which makes it difficult to come up with ideas and tutorials for you. Do I go business as usual with regular DIY and crafting projects or something else? Let me know in the comments below.

Really the only thing that has my attention right now is sewing cloth face masks for friends and family who don't sew. I'm in limbo on that very helpful mental health project until my sewing machines come back from the repair shop. I am so thankful sewing machine repair is considered an essential service. I have people counting on me.

Cloth face masks!

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Homemade Cloth Face Masks and Friday Favorites Week 524

Projects keep me sane during stressful times and while I'm a little grateful for the distraction I wish my latest sewing project wasn't so desperately needed right now. The cloth face masks I'm making are not surgical grade, N95, or medical PPE. They are type the CDC has asked everyone to wear when they are outside to keep our (potential) germs to ourselves.


The Game of Thrones fabric is my favorite.


A family member asked me to make her some and the ball started rolling from there. I guess saving every scrap of leftover fabric has its advantages in an emergency.

Time to link up your fantastic and creative craft and DIY projects, recipes, and ideas!


Let's Party!

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

8 Reusable Cloth Face Mask Tutorials


When I visited Japan it wasn’t uncommon to see people wearing a simple face mask when out and about because in Japan (and other Asian cultures) when you are sick with the cold or flu. In Japan it is polite to wear a mask when you are sick and  out in public so you don’t accidentally pass it on to anyone else around you. That is something I wish we had in American culture (how many times has someone given you their cold because they weren’t wearing a simple face mask?)  but I really hate that we have to go through a deadly global pandemic to adopt it.

As of April 7, 2020 the United State Centers for Disease Control (and well as the Governor of Ohio) recommends that everyone wear a cloth face covering when out in public. The idea behind wearing a face mask in public is not what a someone yelled at me for falling for “pandemic panic” or a “false sense of security.” My reply was just as less than kind because I'm battling an allergy related sinus infection that never seems to end and don't want to pass this misery to anyone else (unlikely but I get horror looks when I sneeze with and without the mask.)


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The idea is that by wearing  even a simple, non medical grade cloth face mask when you are in public is so you may be less likely to unknowingly pass a virus to someone else when you aren’t showing symptoms and don’t know that you are sick. This precaution leaves the medical grade and N95 filtering face masks and respirators to our front line COVID 19 heroes who need to be protected from known viruses in the air around them in a front line setting. 

How to Sew a Reusable Cloth Face Mask

Sunday, April 5, 2020

How to Clean Furnace and Air Conditioning Ducts at Home

While doing a deep dive, move every piece of furniture that isn’t nailed down Spring Cleaning I noticed several of the heating and central air conditioning ducts had a black soot like dirt or dust collecting around the register grill on the wall and ceiling.   I vacuumed them with the brush and hose on my vacuum sweeper and made a mental note that I need to add this task to my deep cleaning  checklist.

A few days later it was back.

So. Gross.

DIY heating and air conditioning duct and vent cleaning
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Why do I have Black Stuff Around my HVAC Registers?

Friday, April 3, 2020

Cute Quarantine Dogs and Friday Favorites Week 523

How are adjusting to our new normal of self  isolation and social distancing? 

My husband is working from home again. Lacey got a promotion from Office Manager to CCO - Chief Cuddle Officer.


Lacey really need to work on the distancing part of social distancing though.


Ohio closed pretty much everything down earlier than most. We've had a a stay at home order in place since the first week or so of March.  My spring allergies have had me home and inside for longer than that and all I have to say is thank goodness for  library ebooks, social media, and streaming media while I start that long someday I want to do this project list. I've hit the point when I need to unplug from the 24/7 news cycle in the evenings and focus on something completely unrelated. What about you?

Time to link up your fantastic and creative craft and DIY projects, recipes, and ideas!


Let's Party!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

How to Make a Quick and Easy Quilted Petticoat or Skirt

I figure the best way to fill my unexpected time off is to work on some of the sewing projects I never got around to doing because a paying gig came along and knocked it further down my priority list.

The first Quarantine Costuming project I made is a quilted petticoat to wear under my historical skirts in cold weather, just like the ladies of yore used to do – as the temperature when down the number of layers (in this case skirts)  goes up.

how to sew a quilted skirt
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A traditional quilted petticoat would be made out of cotton fabrics and hand quilted similar to a blanket quilt.  If you look at quilted petticoats in museums some of the quilting makes elaborate designs on the solid fabric which are gorgeous but incredibly time consuming! I didn’t want to put that much work quilting something no one is going to see but me when I wear it.