Condo Blues: 2020




Monday, November 30, 2020

DIY No Sew Thread Cone Gnomes

I buy sewing machine thread in the colors I use most often in bulk by the serger cone. I  use stand alone bobbin winder like this one to wind the cone thread onto an empty regular size thread spool to use on my sewing machine. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.) This is supposed to keep me from running out of thread but when my historical costuming projects usually take up to 10 yards of fabric I still go through a ton of sewing thread.

Which means I have a nice little stack of empty thread cones on my To Upcycle shelf waiting for a craft project that never comes.

Until today!

I recycled empty thread cones into cute little gnomes. If you don’t have empty thread or serger cones cluttering up your house  waiting to be upcycled you can use paper craft cones like these

how to make recycled thread cone gnomes
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You will need for each gnome you want to make:

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Holiday Tablescapes and Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 557

Happy Day After Thanksgiving to my American readers and Happy Random Friday to the rest of the world! 

Like many of you, our Thanksgiving was different from previous years but in all honesty, was pretty darn awesome. For only the third time in my adult life, I didn't have to travel on or for the holiday which meant I got to watch my friends march in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (most of it was pretaped with very strict Covid 19 protocols) on TV. I'm a huge parade nerd - when I watch them I want to be in them and when I'm in them I want to watch them - and I can't remember when I've been able to indulge in my favorite Thanksgiving tradition in a very long time.

thanksgiving tablescape for two ideas
If there was any year to pull out the stops for a Thanksgiving tablescape it is 2020!

Sunday, November 22, 2020

How to Make Christmas Stocking Holders

Last Christmas I found the head of one of our Christmas stocking holders snapped off. I tried to repair it but it didn’t hold. The reindeer’s head careened to the side and stayed that way all season long.

Because there is nothing that says love and joy that a severed head on your Christmas mantle.

reindeer Christmas stocking holder
I immediately rejected my husband's idea of using this broken stocking hanger as the inspiration for a Godfather movie Christmas decorating theme.


I poked around for a replacement. Most were already picked over and what I saw didn’t really appeal.

The only choice is to DIY a Christmas Stocking holder myself.

 

DIY Christmas Ornament Stocking Holder

Thursday, November 19, 2020

IKEA Christmas Decoration Shopping Haul and Friday Favorites Linky Party 556

Most of the time our Christmas decor usually favors our combined UK heritage and how we met as Elizabethan entertainers. I have some decorations that need to be retired/retired themselves. It wouldn't hurt to add more of my Danish heritage to our Christmas celebration since it will just be us at home this year.

So I went to IKEA and bought the place out. 


cute Christmas gnome decorations
Shopping with my gnomies!


I should say I was very, very tempted to buy the place out because it was filled with cute gnomes. In the Scandinavian countries many of their Christmas decorations are gnomes (the Danish and Norwegians call them nisser and the Swedish call them tomte) because all these little ones ask for their service of protecting the family (and help take care of the animals if you live on a farm) is a bowl of rice porridge with a pat of butter on top at Christmas. Nisser are particular about what they want and how it is given because, well, they are just being Danish­čśâ.

Here's what my cart looked like as I waited in the socially distanced line at checkout.


Best IKEA Christmas 2020 Decorations
There's a whole lot of happy in this shopping cart.

Many Danish families still decorate Christmas trees with real candles that they light for a few supervised hours on Christmas Eve (that's when Danish families open presents.) As much as I love burning candles, I'm leery of putting a lit candle on a dry tree. The glass clip candle ornaments are the best of both worlds - traditional candle look without the potential fire hazard.

The heart ornaments are another Danish Christmas decorating tradition in addition to the gnomes. This year has been a series of one thing after the other. I figure we should show a lot more love for each other and have the protection of as many nisser as possible.

I used the gnome Advent calendar bags to make a Christmas tree Advent calendar I'll add to the link party below. 

The most exciting score is the ceramic Julebuk (Swedish Yule Goat)! The Julebuk used to deliver presents to Swedes before Santa hit the scene. Most Julebuk decorations are traditionally made of straw but I really like the clean modern look of the IKEA Yule Goat. I look at it as a trade off since I never had a chance to buy IKEA's iconic Dala Horse decorations (another Swedish tradition.)

Time to link up your best projects, home improvements, recipes, and creative ideas!

Sunday, November 15, 2020

How to Make a Wine Advent Calendar

I like the concept of wine and beer Advent calendars for adults but the contents inside is often lower shelf booze - meh. Not to mention, the good wine and novelty Advent calendars sell out almost immediately when they are put on the store shelf.

What to do? What to do?

Make a quick and easy gnome Advent calendar using a Christmas tree!

how to make a quick and easy Advent Christmas tree calendar

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

 

How to Make a Christmas Tree Advent Count Down Calendar

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Funny Christmas Sweaters and Friday Favorites Linky Party 555

The Ugly Christmas Sweater trend is fun for the holidays, especially now that there are so many over the top so ugly they are kitschy fantastic sweaters out there in shopping and DIY land. 

But I don't have one because I hate the way busy prints look on me.

And honestly, I'd rather have a funny or clever Christmas sweater or shirt than an "ugly" one.

So I made one for my store  LNWCreativeGifts! Instead of writing Ho Ho Ho like regular people, I put in Santa's super short scientific notation of Ho cubed. You can get my funny Christmas Ho Ho Ho shirt here on your choice of many different t shirt and sweatshirt  styles for men, women, and children. How cute would this be for a family Christmas card photo? (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.)

Time to link up your best projects, home improvements, recipes, and creative ideas!

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

How to Make Easy Embroidered Christmas Stockings

I bought a couple of color your own Christmas stocking kits  (similar to these color your own Christmas Stocking kits) thinking it might be a cute reusable gift wrap idea. (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 make christmas stockings
Save this handmade Christmas decor idea to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

Sunday, November 8, 2020

How to Make Bottle Gnome Christmas Decorations

much invisible because that’s the way the tomte like it. You don’t want to make a nisse mad because it they really feel like getting even, their bite is poisonous.

So personally, I think it is best to decorate with the not so fickle recycled variety and make quick and easy bottle Christmas gnome decorations! Although, just like the Irish leprechaun, Danish gnomes don’t go away after the holiday and you can decorate with gnomes all year round if you like.

 

how to make Christmas gnome decorations
Save this gnome decorating idea to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

 

This is a very forgiving Christmas craft project because the way you make your gnome is only limited to your imagination and what craft supplies you have on hand or want to use for this project.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

DIY Cotton Bath Puff and Friday Favorites Linky Party 554

While everyone else was baking sourdough bread during quarantine, I was making hot process soap. I took notes on what I did right and wrong and while I can't quite get it as thick as commercial liquid soap like I want, it cleans and lathers beautifully especially when I use a plastic bath puff. While a loofah is zero waste because I can compost it, it doesn't perform as well as a mesh bath poof that has to be tossed after awhile due to bacteria buildup. I tried washing one once and it fell apart.

I hadn't crocheted since I was a kid and recently picked up a hook to make a dishcloth. I looked for more quick beginner crocket projects on Pinterest (follow me @condoblues on Pinterest pretty please?) and found the answer to my zero waste bath puff problem - crochet a bath puff from cotton yarn!

how to crochet a bath puff

I followed this crochet shower puff pattern from Hooked on Patterns and it was pretty easy once I got the hang of it. My shower puff isn't perfect but still not too shabby for the third thing I crocheted as an adult. Best of all, I can wash it in a mesh lingerie bag in the washing machine when I need to - no more bath puffs in my trash can ever again!

Time to link up your best projects, home improvements, recipes, and creative ideas!

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!

Monday, November 2, 2020

How to Make Outdoor Christmas Tree Decorations

For the last couple of Christmases, I’ve struggled to find something to go with two lighted Christmas dachshunds decorations we display outside because an odd number of decorations grouped together is more pleasing to the eye than an even number. Since I bought those dachunds to celebrate of all things Lacey, why not put our fake dogs where our real dog likes to be - snoozing under the Christmas tree. In fact, we usually keep a spot under the tree clear of presents so Lacey can lounge on the fancy blanket surrounding it (although you may call it a Christmas tree skirt.)

I went with a more modern Christmas tree design because I really wanted to show off what makes my DIY tree different – the ornament windows. Also I can’t draw a traditional Christmas tree shape for beans.

 

quick and easy diy outdoor Christmas tree decor with ornament windows
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Quick and Easy DIY Outdoor Christmas Tree with Ornament Windows

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Quick and Easy DIY Sleep Mask Gift Idea and Friday Favorites Linky Party 553

The time change is this weekend. No matter how well I think I close my bedroom curtains, the early morning sunlight shoots through the curtains like a laser bean and directly into my eyes waking me up hours before my alarm is set to go off.  I fight back by wearing a cute handmade sleep mask at night to thwart Mother Nature's attempts at shortening a good night's sleep.

I make sleep masks out of super soft flannel which is nice on the eyes. I've also made sleep masks from scrap cotton fabric that are comfortable to wear during the summer because they aren't hot like the unbreathable silky masks sold in stores. Sometimes I embellish them with embroidery. Most often I leave them plain to show off the fabric. 

how to make flannel sleep mask gift idea

If you are looking for quick and easy handmade holiday gift ideas, follow my simple how to make a sleep mask tutorial here and make them for yourself or someone you love!

Time to link up your best projects, home improvements, recipes, and creative ideas!

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!

Sunday, October 25, 2020

18 Cozy Gift Ideas for the Whole Family

This year is like no other. Staying home and snuggling is in and large group activities are out. With that in mind, I created this gift giving idea guide for families, moms, dads, kids, and friends who are spending your time indoors and need a little self care, pampering, or indoor activities to keep you from going crazy!

18 cozy hygge gift ideas for men women kids
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100 Things to Do After Quarantine Interactive Poster   this interactive poster gives 100 activity ideas with family and friends you can look forward to scratching off the list to reveal the artwork underneath. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.)

100 things to do after quarantine poster

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Friday Favorites Linky Party 552

Our family has been trying to get out to enjoy the colors of Fall in a socially distant way. We're lucky to have a lot of dog friendly trails to walk in our local metro parks. This park surprised us by having photo ready Fall displays that allowed us to give Lacey a little rest while also snapping a few photos.

Fall activitiy ideas with your dog

Hi everyone! Lacey here!

Time to link up your best projects, home improvements, recipes, and creative ideas!

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!

Monday, October 19, 2020

How to Make Comfortable Padded Headphone Covers

I found a set of headphones with a microphone I forgot I had in that random box of cords you’re supposed to have when you hit 30. The foam ear covers where deteriorated but the microphone windscreen was fine. What good luck I thought! I don’t have to by a new pair! I used them for my next Zoom meeting. 

Of which, the last half an hour was the longest of my life because the bare headphones hurt my ears. OW!

 

how to make replacement headphone covers
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I  went into my craft studio, gathered materials, popped on an audiobook (I use Audible. You can Try Audible and Get Two FREE Audiobooks here,) and started to play. In the end I had new cute and comfortable ear covers for my headphones. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.)

 

Let’ do this!

How to Make Replacement Headphone Covers

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Friday Favorites Linky Party 551

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!

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Quick and Easy Potholders and Friday Favorites Linky Party 550

I noticed a worn spot on an oven mitt I popped into the washing machine. It made me realize how the potholder/oven mitt population has gotten dangerously low around here. I made a mental note to add pot holders to my next shopping list.

And then I realized I know how to sew and that I can new potholders. Yeah. I know. Crazy right?

Especially when I've been happily sewing fabric stash bust projects like a fiend since March. I can actually see the bottom of my fabric storage box!

how to make potholders from fabric scraps
They are fancy but that's OK. The life expectancy of my potholders are on the short side
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I  followed my How to Make Dalek Potholder tutorial to make the potholders with the exception of sewing three pieces of interestingly cut scrap fabric to make a rectangle and sewing quilting lines in the center for practice. Also, I was listening to a good book on Audible (you can try Audible and get TWO FREE AUDIOBOOKS HERE!)  and wanted to finish the chapter. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.) I had part of a medium weight bath towel I used to back baby bibs and used that for the middle layer instead of Insul-Bright (you can learn more about  Insul- Bright insulated lining here)

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

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

How to Weather Strip Windows and Doors the Easy Way!

All of the windows on my house are considered energy efficient. However, even the most highly rated doors and windows will still leak air a little bit due to the fact that windows are made to open and close and the builder had to cut a hole in the wall to install it. Not to mention, most usually have thin brush weatherstripping ( brush pile weather strip looks like this ) which in my opinion is utterly useless. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.)

Or at least the stuff on my windows and sliding patio door proved to be when the candle flame I carefully ran along them danced a crazy samba indicating there was air leaking through the brush weather stripping instead of stopping the air from escaping which is what weatherstripping is supposed to do. 

Tip: If you do not feel comfortable putting an open flame next to your windows and doors due to the potential fire risk, you can check for air leaks by running a stick of incense (you can buy incenses sticks here) or a smoke pen (learn more about air leak detecting smoke pens here) around the area where the door or window and the wall meet. If the flame/smoke moves in the slight breeze it is leaking air.

I also had air leaking around my sliding patio doors, exterior doors, and surprisingly under the doors to the closets on exterior walls. This is something you really want to fix because warm heated indoor air is drawn to cold outside air (and vice versa during the summer months) which means your heating or air conditioning system needs to use more energy and work harder to maintain the indoor temperature you set on your thermostat – which is why your heating or cooling bill is so high. 

how to fix cold windows doors sliding glass doors the easy way
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Thursday, October 1, 2020

Marble Look Porcelain Bathroom Tile and Friday Favorites Linky Party 549

After waiting, waiting, and waiting some more I can finally start working on my next big DIY project - remodeling the Owner's Bathroom in my house because the tile finally came in! Isn't it lovely?

porcelain bathroom tile that looks like marble
I fell in love with this tile pattern in marble but didn't want such a soft and slippery tile in a bathroom. After much hunting, I found this porcelain version with a slight texture to hopefully prevent slipping at a local tile shop.

The Condo Blues World Headquarters and Thunderdome has turned into an Obstacle Course with cabinetry and fixtures stored all around the house for the last two months waiting for the tile to clear customs and Covid quarantine.  Odd because I thought the thing that would hold up this rennovation would be the cabinetry and not the flooring.

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

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Creative Sustainable Living Solutions for Landlords and Renters

Mediaplanet interviewed me for their America at Work  campaign and  asked me for sustainable property ideas for home owners, rental properties, and landlords facing the unique challenges COVID-19 has created in 2020. 

Which is pretty darn exciting and flattering because USA Today is using my name with the words "expert" and "leader" to promote the series. 

I can't tell you how many people have been trying to convenience me to dye my hair green to match the image in my article.

You can read can read my interview in print in USA Today or read my interview on line here


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Thursday, September 24, 2020

DIY Fall Pennant Banners and Friday Favorites Week 548

It is officially Fall! Itching for a project to do that wasn't so involved that I could finish it quickly if any of the major items I need to start my big involved projects finally come in after many Covid related delays.

It's a little too early to go all out and decorate for Halloween (or at least according to my Husband) so I poked around in garage and decorated the porch for fall with festival drop cloth pennant garlands on the windows and porch railing that I haven't used in quite awhile.

Instant fall flair! I will add my quick and easy fall banner tutorial to the link party below.


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

Monday, September 21, 2020

Quick and Easy Foam Pumpkin Makeover

I have a love hate relationship with foam crafting pumpkins. I love that they are reusable. I hate that most of them look horrifically fake.

 

Yes, I know I could use real pumpkins. I do for indoor decorating and puree them later for Thanksgiving desserts.

 

Outside it’s fake pumpkins all the way where real pumpkins are most likely squirrel food and when performing at Fall festivals where real fruit is likely to get smashed.

 

fall pumpkin jester

This sweet little girl was fascinated by the pumpkin clip I made over.  I am forever grateful to the photographer that captured this moment!

 

How to Make Mod Podge Cloth Pumpkins

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

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