Condo Blues: 2020




Thursday, September 17, 2020

Friday Favorites Week 547

I sometimes randomly scroll through Facebook Marketplace just to see what there is to see. Yes, I know this can be a dangerous habit if I impulse buy all of the instruments and furniture that tempts me, but sometimes it pays off big. Last weekend the stars aligned perfectly and minutes after a farmer listed tomatoes that didn't sell on the last day of their farm stand I snapped all of them up for a song.

For the rest of the weekend I spent some quality time with my grandmother's canner and tools. Which is a much nicer way to say my kitchen  looked like a murder scene from tomato seeds and juice spilled everywhere toward the end of the evening. My husband said not to say murder scene too loud because I had the kitchen window open and the neighbors might call the police. 


tomato water bath canning supplies

But I had a plan.

 If the police came knocking on my door to investigate, I'd throw them an apron and tell them they are free to search the red pulpy liquid in the big pot on the stove for body parts by ladling it into these warm mason jars.

It didn't happen but it's always good to have a contingency plan (especially if that plan gets you extra help when preserving food.)


I showed you my project! Let's see your fantastic DIY projects, crafting, recipes, and tutorials!

Sunday, September 13, 2020

How to Make Recycled Glass Bottle Halloween Witch Decorations

I have several empty glass beverage bottles in my recycled craft supply stash and think they will make cute indoor Halloween decorations. As what? As Halloween recycled bottle witches!

how to make recycled glass bottle Halloween decorations

Share this recycled Halloween craft tutorial to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

 

I didn’t want to make the stereotypical ugly green faced witch dressed in black. Instead I took my design inspiration from three of my fellow renaissance festival actresses who portray The Fiendish Sisters. They are more of the Shakespearean type witches  but instead of predicting the rise and fall of Scottish kings, they host whiskey tastings. Which (witch?) is a great gig if you can get it.

 How to Make Halloween Witch Decorations

Thursday, September 10, 2020

How to Level a Rain Barrel Stand and Friday Favorites Week 546

Last weekend was Labor Day Weekend in the US and I celebrated it by laboring in the front yard. The bricks around the pallet rain barrel stand I build have lately been in a constant state of wrecked no matter how many times my husband or I restack them.  

how to make a brick rain barrel stand
I tried starting a Dilapidated Chic design movement but it didn't take.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

The Most Important Thing You Are Not Doing to Make Sustainable Living a Long Term Lifestyle

In a green living group, there was someone who said that like many folks during the pandemic, they have been furloughed from their job/working reduced hours. They asked for advice in another sustaining able living group was yelled at for accepting plastic wrapped food and conventional household products from a food pantry. Not only was this family feeling bad about a situation our of their control but when asking for advice they were kicked when they were down about accepting a bottle of conventional dish soap and when what they really needed was ideas of things they could do while they are struggling.

This my way or the highway mentality to sustainable/zero waste/green/plastic free living really makes my blood boil.

what you must do to live sustainably
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Thursday, September 3, 2020

Easy Fall Wreath And Friday Favorites Week 545

This weekend we celebrate Labor Day Weekend in the United States which we consider the Last Day of Summer, even though the real last day of summer is September 21st. Why? No clue. I don't make the rules. I just live here.

So I guess it is time to take down the summer decor I never put up and start replacing it with fall decor that I might put up. Or not. It's been that kind of crazy year.

Easy fall wreath
I made this fall grapevine wreath by randomly hot gluing dollar store flowers and pumpkins on a plain thrift store grapevine wreath. A super simple way to make a big wreath to fill a blank outdoor wall.


Give me some inspiration! Let's see your fantastic DIY projects, crafting, recipes, and tutorials!

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Friday Favorites Link Party Week 544

It's that time again! Let's see your fantastic DIY projects, crafting, recipes, and tutorials!

Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:

Jerri at Simply Sweet Home - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Lisa at Condo Blues - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Amy at A Day of Small Things - Pin

Penny at Penny's Passion - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Jennifer at Busy Being Jennifer - Twitter | FB | Pin | Inst

If you are featured this week, be sure and grab a featured button for your blog!

You can show your love for this week's favorites by going over and commenting on the posts and by pinning or sharing!

And if you love all of this week's favorites, please pin, share, and invite your friends to this week's linky party!

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

How to Sew a Skeleton Skirt with POCKETS

I plunked a bolt of skeleton print fabric on the store’s cutting table.

 

Fabric cutting lady: what are you making?


Me: A skirt


Fabric cutting lady: Oh! Are you getting ready for Halloween early?


Me: No. Just making something fun to wear for every day.


Fabric cutting lady: (Gives me a blank stare because she doesn’t know what to do with this information and says nothing. This isn’t the first time I’ve gotten this response from her about one of my weirdo projects.)

 

That doesn’t matter because I made a cute, twirly dirndl skirt that has pockets!
 

how to make an A line skirt with pockets

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

 

And you know what?

 You can make one too!

Thursday, August 20, 2020

The Benefits of Pet Health Insurance and Friday Favorites Link Party Week 543

Lacey was more than overdue for her annual vet exam, vaccinations, and a very much needed grooming as you can see from the photo. Our fantastic veterinary practice does all of that (including boarding and doggie daycare)  was closed due to lock down when Lacey was due for her shots. When the practice opened, pet parents have to wait in their cars during the exam. I put her exam off for a little longer because Lacey does better when her people are with her in the room and we all hoped things would get better and the practice could be back to business as usual. Lacey was not upset about this at all.

why you need pet health insurance
How would you feel if every time you go to visit Dr. H she squirts medicine up your nose and gives you a shot in the tushy? You wouldn't like it either Lisa!

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

How to Make a Halloween Mini Tote Bag

I bought a Halloween themed color your own mini tote bag kit (similar to the color your own tote bag kits here) thinking it might be a cute to hold allergy free Teal Pumpkin project treats during Trick or Treat. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for you convenience.) 

I wasn’t too jazzed with the colors or quality of the three markers that came in the kit which I expected since it came from a dollar store. No big deal. I planned on coloring it with craft paint and adding a few easy embroidered accents and outlines for fun.

 

how to embroider a Halloween candy bag
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Sunday, August 16, 2020

Sherlock Holmes Fairy Door

I made a mistake and cut a piece of molding too short when I was working on my guest bathroom. It was the last piece of molding I had to install. It was also the last bit of the molding I bought for the job.

Of course.

My options were to try to ignore the little gap between the molding and the tile or buy a huge piece of molding that only comes in giant size to cut to the proper size with a ton of leftover molding I will not use again.

I tried ignoring the gap. I even pushed the slightly larger than I thought bathmat over the molding and gap.

But.

I.

Still.

Knew.

It.

Was.

There.

How to fill a gap in floor molding

I’m very disappointed in your shoddy workmanship Lisa. This never would have happened if you let me supervise. Nice tile job, though.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Friday Favorites Link Party Week 542

My living room is the Room of Many Boxes as my husband and I impatiently wait for the one thing that will allow us to start our bathroom remodel - the floor tile. 

Waiting is the hardest part.

In the meantime, I've keeping myself busy sewing and soaping like a madwoman. My lastest projects are in the link party below!

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

Let's Party!



Wednesday, August 12, 2020

How to Make Button Hair Ties

My hair is growing out and is now long enough to put up into a proper ponytail as long as I use these exact Goody no slip hair elastics because for the first time in my life I haven't had to use a ton of clips, barrettes, bobby pins, and a gallon of hairspray to hold flyaways when I put my hair up. It's a miracle! (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.) I've tried other hair ties that claim to be for sports or no slip and they often slip out of my hair or slip enough that I have fly aways mid day. The same goes for the thin hair ties that look like this that I used as a teen. Bleah. I think they are better put to use around my thread spools and bobbins in sewing room to keep them from unwinding.

So while the no slip Goody hair elastics work fantastic, they are super thick and don't look as cute or subtle. Yeah I could hide the pony hair tie with a ribbon or barrette but it’s been so long that I’ve had hair long enough to use them, I really don’t have any. Besides, I’d like the option of wearing something a little more sleek when I have to be a grown up.

 Let's make a hair elastic cover up with buttons!

how to make pony tail holders from buttons

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Most of the buttons in this tutorial are vintage buttons from my Grandmother’s button box. I also made a button pony tail holder from a large flat button to see if it would work. It did! 

You will need:

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Super Silky Oh So Fluffy Coco Butter Body Butter Recipe

My latest batch of liquid soap came together beautifully. That gave me the courage to retry making the coco butter soap recipe from this soap making book that I messed up so horribly it came out like Flubber. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.) I learned from my mistakes and had e a perfect batch of coco butter soap cooking in the slow cooker. I also had a wee bit of melted coco butter and coconut oil leftover – too little to use it for soap, too much to throw away. I am just about out of moisturizer and coco butter is one of my favorite types of lotion and body butter. Hey, let’s make some!

Except.

I don’t like how my previous homemade body butters made coconut oil eventually lose their fluffy texture, the oils started to separate,  and coconut oil turn grainy in the jar.

So much so that I told myself the next time I make it, it will not include coconut oil as an ingredient and that I’d make a lotion instead of a body butter. (Lotion= moisturizing oils/butters+emulsifier+ distilled water. Body butter= moisturizing oils/butters only.)

Which I remembered after I had measured and combined the melted coconut oil, coco butter, and vitamin E oil in the measuring cup I use for water. D’oh!

Can these homemade moisturizer ingredients be saved? Yes! Keep reading to find out how!

All is not lost! First up, using a high speed stick blender or mixer (like a like this KitchenAid Stand Mixer) over a hand mixer will help loads but to really keep the ingredients fluffy and from separating you need to use an emulsifier because well, that’s what emulsifiers were born to do. 

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Never Underestimate a Small DIYer Driving a Small Car and Friday Favorites Link Party Week 541

I got a text that our new shower doors for our upcoming bathroom remodel are ready for pickup. Happily I emptied the trunk of our car, put the back seat down and zipped off to experience contact free pickup.

Home Depot guy comes out with my order (these exact shower doors swoon!) (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience,) looks at my Ford Focus hatchback, and said it wouldn't fit.

Oh yeah? Well, I say never never underestimate a small woman in a small car who really hates her shower doors and will move Heaven and Earth to transport the new one to her house.

Especially when she has a long history of transporting oversize color guard props in tiny cars - sometimes across state lines.

how to haul oversize color guard props in a small car
My view from the passenger seat transporting 20 ft streamer flag poles in a Ford Focus sedan. They run diagonally from the end of the trunk to the end of the dashboard but they fit! (Never doubt me husband. Ever.)

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Blah Builder Condo Bathroom Remodeling Plan

After putting it off for too long, I am planning the end of the Bathroom Remodel Trilogy with Master Bathroom: Revenge of the Leak.

This time around I am not even going to even try to consider reusing the bathroom vanity. We learned from Bathroom Remodel 2: Mold Sneak Attack the micro leak around the toilet flange may have caused the vanity to mold like it did on the subfloor.

This isn’t a great loss because when we removed the guest bathroom vanity we found just how cheaply it was made. We realized that all of the cabinets in our condo would eventually need replacing. Then we sang the Condo Blues because part of the reason of we bought a new build is the expectation of quality cabinetry – ha!

On the upside, since we knew ahead of time that everything needs to be replaced in the main bathroom, I was able to do a little scouting while I was sourcing a new vanity for the guest bathroom last year.

 

condo bathroom remodel before
Good bye builder bathroom!

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Virtual Get Togethers and Friday Favorites Link Party Week 540

I make many things in my craft and sewing studio (and you can tell from the shelves in the photo that need a major tidying up!) Like many of you, I made myself an expert in Zoom and video conference calls (one was even a wedding!)  But last weekend was a first! I attended my first virtual community band conference with the international community band I also spin and play in because our yearly IRL conference was canceled due to Covid. 

The best part was the part of the conference was where we had a virtual band rehearsal lead by one of my favorite Artistic Directors to demonstrate how we can play "together" without playing together. It felt fantastic to make music with my friends again!

virtual band practise
I've been getting a lot more use out of my tabletop music stand lately for holding my iPad while I Zoom and Facetime with family and friends. I was great to use it for its intending purpose!  (You can follow my affiliate link to get the exact folding tabletop music stand I have here. It is much more sturdy than those awful silver folding stands that always fall apart while you are playing!)


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

Let's Party!

Sunday, July 26, 2020

3 Quick and Easy DIY Face Mask Lanyards

When I have to go out and about on a necessary errand to two, I'm required to wear a cloth face mask.

  As always, I try to batch my errands to save gas (eco friendlier and all) and most importantly, time. 

 Which means, I usually take off my mask by the ear loops when I get back into the car. Then I hunt to find where it shifted around while I was driving to my next stop when it is time to put the mask back on again (always using the ear loops as recommended!) I need a better way to keep track of my cloth face mask in between the short times I remove it and need to put it back on again.

 I took my inspiration from the floating sunglasses strap similar to this one  I use when I’m at a water park or pool to keep my sunglasses from sinking if they are accidentally knocked off my face. In no time at all I a cloth face mask lanyard. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.)

 Well, actually I made 3. Two handmade face mask lanyards and one cloth face mask chain because it is such a quick and easy project to do.

 Let’s make stuff!

  3 quick easy face mask lanyard tutorials

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Thursday, July 23, 2020

Quick and Easy Popsocket Makeover and Friday Favorites Link Party Week 539

Last October on vacation I broke the door on my  wallet phone case. I fixed it with a small piece of decorative duct tape on the fly and didn't get around to replacing the case until recently because the duct tape fix didn't work anymore. The flamingo Popsocket I made over while still useful, is dirty and worn from use and could use a quick and easy makeover. 


I replaced this phone case that only holds 2 cards with a similar wallet phone like these that holds at least 3 cards since I broke the purple one by trying to stuff my room key, ID, and debit card into the wallet part. (Disclosure I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

How to Water Succulents the Lazy Way!

Two years ago I was given an echeveria plant. Up until that time I had no idea  how to keep a succulent, well truthfully most indoor plants, alive. Fortunately it came with watering instructions, an eye dropper pipette thing that looks like this, and a little bamboo pokey stick. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.) The instructions said to poke the stick in the soil. If the stick is damp/wet the succulent doesn’t need watering. If the stick comes out dry, water the echeveria with one graduated pipette full of water. I followed the same instructions (with slightly more water because it is a bigger plant) with the aloe vera plant buddy I bought the echeveria so he wouldn’t get lonely.


 And whaddaya know? Both plants not only lived but they grew so much I had to repot them after I found an even easier and lazier way to water but not over water my succulent plants. 

How Much Water Does a Succulent Plant Need to Grow?

How to water succulents the lazy way

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

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Soapmaking and Friday Favorites Linky Party 538

Well, there is one thing I have to say about our social distancing summer, I'm getting a lot of projects done that I've been putting off (repeatedly.) For example just this morning I finally played that game of Sock Concentration (although you may call it  matching up and reorganizing your sock drawer) in a desperate attempt to find a pair of matching no show socks to wear today.

Although I briefly considered wearing a pair missing mates, because no show socks, amiright? But hey, it's done, I'm wearing matching socks (also I'm wearing an actual shoe that requires a sock) and in a Marie Kondo fashion that I revised after the first go round to work a little better for me - I hope.

My last batch of liquid hot process soap came out with the consistency of Flubber and I've been putting off trying again since its failure. Projects have been keeping me sane since this whole mess started and soap making was the only thing left on this list. Also, the summer heat in the garage already melted my coconut oil for me and since melting my oils at too high a temperature was Step 1 in my last comedy of errors, I gave it another go.

melted coconut oil
Soapmaking is easier when the summer heat melts your oils for you!

Monday, July 13, 2020

How to Make a Recycled Aluminum Can Butterfly Necklace

  I don’t drink a lot of soda but every once and awhile a pop can will cross my path. Once I finish the beverage I have two choices:

1. Recycle the can in the recycling bin.

2. Recycle the can into a cute necklace.

 

Today I am going with Option 2 because it will make a much more entertaining tutorial than Option 1 and it will give me a chance to answer I often get: How do you smooth the edges of a cut aluminum can?

 It’s easy! Let’s get started. 

How to Smooth and File the Sharp Edges of a Cut Aluminum Can

How to make a recycled soda pop can butterfly necklace
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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Quilted and Embroidered Cloth Face Masks and Friday Favorites Linky Party 537

I needed to test if my sewing and embroidery machine was actually fixed the third time it came back from the repair shop (yes, really. You read that right. Three times to replace a part I suggested might need replacing in Round 2.) I grabbed some scrap fabric and set up a complicated machine embroidery design to put my machine through its paces. Thrilled that it worked, I played can I machine embroider that weird fabric? and messed around with various sewing machine feet, stitches, and settings. I had some pieces I rather liked so I made them into cloth face masks, playing with a few different styles and techniques for funsies. It felt good to play.

how to machine embroider tissue lame
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My favorite is the embroidered deer. The embroidery came out beautifully but I wasn't thinking ahead and used a thick piece of stabilizer which is hard to breathe through - oops! I cut the majority of the stabilizer from around the deer to make a breathable mask. If I were to do it again, I would chose a lighter or water soluble embroidery stabilizer. Live and learn!

Sunday, July 5, 2020

1950’s Wrap Sundress

A good long while ago, I fell in love with the 1950’s vintage wrap sundress sewing pattern Simplicity 8085 (you can read about it in detail here.) I bought a super cute cotton cherry print fabric with the intent to make a dress for myself. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convince.)

 Two years later I still  had a sweet vintage sewing  pattern reprint and super cute cotton cherry print fabric  in its shopping bag in my sewing room.  *sigh*

I need a dress for a wedding reception (hopefully? maybe? We’ll see how group events play out when the time comes) later this summer for a wedding my husband and I attended on Zoom. That’s all the incentive I need to finally sew my 1950’s wrap sundress. I made a few tweaks to the pattern because as my husband observed long ago, I always hack a sewing pattern in one way or another. 

how to sew a 1950's wrap sundress

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How to Sew a 1950’s Inspired Wrap Sundress

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 536

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

Let's Party!




Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:

Jerri at Simply Sweet Home - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
Lisa at Condo Blues - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
Penny at Penny's Passion - Twitter FB | G+ Pin | Inst
Kelly at Under a Texas Sky - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL
Jennifer at Busy Being Jennifer - Twitter | FB | Pin | Inst

If you are featured this week, be sure and grab a featured button for your blog!

You can show your love for this week's favorites by going over and commenting on the posts and by pinning or sharing!

And if you love all of this week's favorites, please pin, share, and invite your friends to this week's linky party!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Three Dollar Patio Vegetable Garden Tour and Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 535

Gardening in a condominium can be a challenge given the Home Owners Association rules and compact space. Add a pandemic that doesn't allow for a lazy afternoon wandering my favorite garden center for whatever catches my eye and the challenge levels up a bit more. 

I was happy to find that plants in five of the ten pots I planted last year came back because most of my  perennial herbs (minus my chocolate mint) are decimated by winter weather. The rest of the planters I filled by sprouting vegetables scraps which lead to this year's nickname - Our Garbage Garden. 

 
three dollar patio vegetable garden
Save this small space vegetable and herb garden idea to your Pinterest Boards for later! 
Share it with your friends!


In the photo above we have golden oregano in the front, followed by chocolate mint, winter savory, cabbage and romaine lettuce sprouts. I've never grown romaine lettuce before. It is supposed to look like that? The other romaine lettuce I planted is much lower to the ground.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Victory Rolls and Friday Favorites Week 534

One of the things I have not attempted during quarantine and social distancing is cutting my own hair because I know from past experience that I need to leave that for the pros. Lucky for me, I wanted a change and thought I'd grow my hair out a bit before this whole mess started. So instead of attempting a quarantine haircut, I'm learning how to roll my bangs into Victory Rolls! Here's the latest attempt.

side part victory roll hair style
It's not perfect but it's getting there

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

Sunday, June 14, 2020

How to Make an Insulated Growler Caddy

My husband and I have a couple of glass growlers for those times we want to bring home a local craft beer from a brewpub that doesn’t put it in cans or bottles. We only tend to use them when there is a BBQ or party where a group of friends will be there to help us drink a little under 2 liters of beer (an open growler goes flat more quickly than a 2 liter of pop) over the course of a long afternoon into the evening with a bonfire. In other words, not very often.

No to mention in Ohio to go growlers have to be made of glass, which are hard to keep cold and carry if you are also juggling pot luck food as you walk from your car to the party spot. There are a lot of wood growler caddies out there but I really want something insulated. That way I can also use the growler as a water jug to refill our sports bottles  from the car when we are out and about.

When I can’t buy, I DIY! I dove into my fabric stash, grabbed some leftover corsetry fabric,  and sewed an insulated growler caddy. If you are looking for a handmade gift idea for men, based on my husband's reaction, this is a good one.  He liked the idea so much that he encouraged me to make a second insulated tote bag for the other growler.

Let’s sew!

how to make a craft beer growler caddy


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How to Make an Insulated Beer Growler Tote

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Lighting Question and Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 533

I'm putting the finishing touches on my guest bathroom remodel and hit another snag besides the first one of finding black mold that made me change the entire design scheme I had already planned. Now the bathroom has an oldy vibe with a literal twist of modern in the faucet that is staying no matter what because I looooooooooveeeee it.

I'm happy with how the new design is coming together. I had planned to keep the original bathroom vanity light now I'm not sure. Is this vanity light too contemporary for this room? Should I replace it? Keep it? Paint it black? I keep waffling back and forth on what to do. Let me know your feeelings in the comments below!


Should the light stay or should it go?



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

Sunday, June 7, 2020

How to Strip Paint the Non Toxic Way

I have a love – hate relationship with spray paint. I love that spray paint will cover almost every surface (if you use the right formula) and easily paint hard to paint areas like indentations and intricate moulding. I hate that many of my spray paint projects en up with paint bubbles and drips.

how to strip paint from wood
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The best way to avoid spray paint bubbles and dripping paint is to hold the can further away from object you are painting and use several light and even coats of spray paint rather than blasting a thick coat of spray paint from close up. Using a spray paint handle (you can find several types of spray paint trigger handles here) will help you paint with even coats of paint and not kill your fingers from pressing the can’s spray nozzle. 

Spray paint bubbles are also caused by painting a second coat of paint on an object when the first coat is not completely dry. I know this because 9 times out of 10 I get spray paint bubbles because I thought my last coat of paint was dry after 24 hours and it was not. The joys of living in a humid area!

 

2 Ways to Repair Spray Paint Bubbles and Drips

 

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Easy DIY Small Space Under Sink Water Filter Friday Favorites Linky Party 532

My mini DIY project for the week was decided for me by my old water filtration system because it started to leak after I changed the filter. After some tinkering, some Googling, and tinkering some more, the only solution was to replace the whole thing. Which lead to more Googling and researching for the best under sink water filter for small spaces like our condo. 

Since our water tests at a good quality, we don't need a super duper reverse osmosis water filter system. Good thing because there isn't room under the kitchen sink for one. I didn't look at whole house water filter systems because I have even less room to install one of those on the water main and frankly all of our drinking and cooking water comes from the kitchen sink.


easy DIY undersink water filter installation
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Sunday, May 31, 2020

How to Hang a Hook on a Hollow Core Door

I want to add a robe hook to my guest bathroom.  The logical place to hang it is on the bathroom door.

Unfortunately it, like all of the doors in my condo is a hollow core door. Can you hang towel bars and hooks on a hollow core door?

Yes you can!

The secret to hanging towel bars and hooks on hollow door without them crashing to the ground is all in the type of wall anchor you use – in this case Molly Bolts!

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

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Growing Vegetables from Scraps and Friday Favorites Linky Party 531

Last year my patio container garden "plan" was Hey, this looks new and interesting. This year I was happily surprised that five pots out of the ten containers grew back since most herb plants don't survive the winter and turn into annuals no matter what. 

Normally when I'm stumped as to what to plants to grow, I just wander through the garden center and see what catches my eye. This year that isn't possible so other than taking our chances on a packet of free basil seeds I had in a drawer, I had no idea until we got a box of vegetables delivered from a local restaurant. Is Pinterest right or wrong? Can you really regrow vegetables from their scraps? We decided to give it a whirl.

how to grow vegetables from scraps
This is what passes for entertainment when you are self distancing from the world.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Red, White, and Blue Face Masks and Friday Favorites 530

 I've been doing  a deep dive into my fabric stash and sewing reusable cloth face masks for family and friends who do not sew. I've been sitting on some white and blue star fabric someone gave me and figured with the Memorial Day and the Fourth of July just around the corner, it would make a cute mask.


I made this one with ties but I can also make masks with elastic if you like.

After all that sewing, I had to take my workhorse sewing machine in for repair and  my backup sewing machine when it decided it wanted to break too. Oh no!

Monday, May 18, 2020

How to Clean Caulk Off Clothing

I had a quick little caulking project I needed to do and didn’t bother changing into paint clothes because I didn’t think I’d get messy.

 Which of course meant I got several big smears of caulk on one of my few pairs of good jeans.

 It. Never. Fails. Why won’t I learn?

 How to remove caulk from clothing

Pin this hack to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends! 

Can these jeans be saved? Yes they can! It is very easy to remove caulk spills from clothing. here’s how.

 

How to Remove Caulk From Clothing

Thursday, May 14, 2020

DIY Mental Health Jar and Friday Favorites Week 529

While cleaning my craft room I came across the word of the year memory jar I made by painting a recycled salsa jar with stained glass paint (there are several types of glass paint here,) repainted the lid from a project where I broke the jar, and decorative stickers and bits from my craft room. (I am including affiliate links for your convenience.) For awhile I wrote down the little and big moments that made me feel happy, warm, or cozy (the loose English translation of my Danish Word of the Year Hygge) with the intent on reading the contents of the jar on that year's New Year's Eve but it fell by the wayside as the year went on.

After one too many social media conversations about being disappointed about upcoming plans, events, and whatnot being cancelled due to Covid-19 (and then feeling guilty afterward for being sad over something so trivial when so many people around the world are going through much, much worse) I started to think that for my mental health I should try to focus on what little good things are happening around me instead the daily mountain of bad.   


I took the ribbon and label off the jar to repurpose it for my Mental Health Jar.
Photo courtesy of my food blog Lazy Budget Chef

No good or happy event or moment is too big or small for my jar, because let's face it, things are so weird that I road the happy until the wheels fell off the day I ordered Instacart groceries and the original delivery date was a week away until I added my product substitutions and the delivery date changed to later the same day of the order - which hasn't happened in a very long time.  Kinda silly, I know, but at least it points my head in the direction of complimenting rather than complaining.

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

Monday, May 11, 2020

20 New Sewing Tips, Ticks, and Hacks for Beginners to Professionals!

The first thing I ever sewed was a pair of potholders for my Kindergarten teacher’s Christmas gift and I’ve been sewing in one way or another ever since. I’ve picked up a lot of tips and tricks along the way through formal classes, fellow sewists, and the good ol’ trial and error (and error and error) and I’m pretty good at it. Or at least good enough that other people pay me to sew things for them from time to time.

Lately I’ve been fielding questions from folks who are breaking out their old sewing machines after a long hiatus – a quarantine will do that, you know. I’ve also been brushing up on new sewing hacks from fellow sewing and costuming friends as we dive into sewing cloth face masks for our family and friends. I figure it is my turn to share what I know to help you make your sewing projects go a little easier, a little quicker, or allow you to make that one little unexpected tweak that takes your sewing project from OK to Wow!

 20 best sewing tips tricks hacks and ideas
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20 Sewing Hacks That Will Make Your Life Easier!

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Elizabethan Chemise (Shift) and Friday Favorites Week 528


I'm trying to be productive during our quarantine lock down by sewing the personal historical costume projects that got pushed way down my To Do List when paying gigs came my way and took precedence. My latest Quarantine Costuming project is a square neck linen Elizabethan Chemise which is also called a Shift.



Historically women of all social classes wore a chemise or shift as their first layer of clothing to keep the more expensive to replace and difficult to clean layers (namely their corset and dress) from getting dirty more quickly from sweat and body oils up until the end of the Edwardian area. This is long before washing machines and when Laundry Day took ALL. DAY. LONG. to do. So if you want to take a quick reading break to go hug your washing machine - go for it. I'll wait.

Welcome back!

The necklines and sleeve length of chemises changed with the fashion of the time. In Elizabethan England square necklines where all the rage and arms where covered to the wrist although most historical performers including myself, where a rounded German style gathered neck like the one below because it is easy to make. Last season, after spending fourth months quilting a new jester costume I made do with a shift I already had. The short sleeves aren't period but I can get away with it because I'm a jester and as an ad for one of the faire's vendors. Also it is stinkin' cute!

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