Condo Blues: March 2021




Sunday, March 28, 2021

Why and How to Sift Compost

I recently upgraded our single tumbling compost bin to this exact double tumbling compost bin hoping to correct some mistakes we made when we started our first compost pile. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.)

The mistakes we made weren’t horrible and we did create usable compost that turned our practically all clay tan colored garden beds to earthworm rich dark black soil. But the compost coming out of the bin has always been soggy. It was also full of plastic bits we thought would compost but didn’t break down.

How did this happen? Well for one, since we don’t have access to grass clippings or leaves we used shredded paper and cardboard for brown matter (and any sawdust I made in the garage) and we simply didn’t add enough. The fix for wet or smelly compost is to always have more dry brown matter in your compost pile than green matter (vegetable and fruit peels, coffee grounds, etc.) As for the plastic bits, we’d just empty the entire contents of our home office paper shredder into the compost bin and all of those window envelopes I shredded thinking they would break down because they are made from cellulose where actually some sort of plastic.

There was finished compost  in the bottom of the single compost bin but because it stopped turning and we couldn’t mix it very well with one of those compost turner things that look like this. Our compost was a big wet clump full of unwanted bits that I could easily save by sifting the almost finished compost and chucking a ton of this exact wood chip pet bedding into one side of the new compost bin and let it break down. Adding more shredded paper and cardboard boxes would also do the trick but I didn’t have enough of either in the quantity I needed at the time.

how to fix wet smelly compost

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


Thursday, March 25, 2021

DIY Replacement Lawn Chair Bag and Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 572

Ah Spring! Where it is sunny and tempting but still too cold to play outside. 

And by play I mean, dig in the garden or build stuff in the yard.

Instead, I ramp up the Spring Cleaning, reorganizing, and repairing. That way it gives me plenty of time to repair our toys and gear for summer fun. For example, the bags our folding lawn chairs can in ripped beyond repair and I sewed this quick and easy camp chair replacement bag from a jaunty nautical fabric.

how to make a replacement folding camp chair bag


Time to link up your favorite projects, recipes, and posts! 

Monday, March 22, 2021

DIY Compost Station

When someone asks why we started composting, my husband and I say it’s because we had to because all we had for garden was clay and zero topsoil. We sang the condo blues over how very little would grow in that pretending to be soil, researched how to amend it, and experimented with composting in a DIY compost bin.

I made our first compost bin by drilling a bazillion holes in a black plastic trash can. We loaded it up with food scraps and paper from our paper shredder and in about a year we had compost! We added the homemade compost to our soil and after awhile our tan clay soil started to turn black with nutrients. I practically dance the first time I dug a hole and found an earthworm – it is another indicator that the soil is improving!

 

We take our composting very seriously. Why do you ask?

 

And we’ve been composting ever since.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Fabric Storage Idea and Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 571

One of my small 2020 victories was actually starting/finishing a ton of UFPs (Unfinished Projects) and fabric stash bust projects.  I didn't realize exactly how much fabric I used until I started reorganizing my craft room. The fabric storage box I built was so full it barely fit under the bed. 

DIY storage box
I didn't take a Before photo. Imagine even more fabric than this and a 100% untidy mess that looks like a hurricane blew through. 

After The Year of Sewing All the Things three quarters of this storage box that is as long as a double bed is wide is EMPTY and I'm doing my happy dance. 

Time to link up your favorite projects, recipes, and posts! 

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

DIY Non Toxic Resin Look Coasters

Six years ago I made a set of aluminum can coasters that looked like this:

 

 

After years of abuse with a constant stream of hot coffee cups and cold beverages all day every day the coasters on our desks now look like this:

 

DIY coaster makeover before

Choosing a difference adhesive may have helped as well as adding a  protective coating to the top. Cutting down on coffee and ice water is not going to happen  - ever.

 

Thursday, March 11, 2021

30 Best Sustainable Living Blogs and Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 570

When you are doing a live performance you get immediate feedback on how people like, or don't like what you are doing. Blogging isn't like that. I'm grateful for all of your comments and emails but the only thing I have to see if folks are reading and hopefully liking what I do here on Condo Blues is a bunch of tools that give me cold, hard, numbers. Readership fluctuates naturally during different seasons and holidays. Even thought I know why, it makes me think if I'm making any sort of difference or creating something people like to read.

It's always nice to get feedback, especially when I'm in a writing slump, and this week I got it with stars, exclamation points, and biodegradable glitter. I am included in Shaman's Market's list of 30 Best Sustainable Living Blogs for 2021 as their Number 1 pick!

Best Sustainable Living Blogs

I'm thrilled and grateful. Here's what they have to say about little ol' me and Condo Blues:

 "A blog about green living, crafts, decor, and dogs by self-described “Frugal Green DIY Diva” Lisa Nelsen-Woods, Condo Blues is filled with quirky humor and style that’s sure to make you smile. From DIY home renovation, and crafts to countless painless frugal life hacks and healthy, delicious cooking recipes, Condo Blues is a great all-around blog for anyone interested in living differently."

They called me quirky! Quirky is good.

Time to link up your favorite projects, recipes, and posts! 

Sunday, March 7, 2021

How to Make an Easy Indoor Fairy Door

Columbus has many visit this type of business, stamp a passport, and collect a prize trails. We have a local coffee trail, craft brewery trail, a local small business trail, and a delicious donut trail among others. I recently learned about a cool one in Dublin, Ohio – The Fairy Door Trail. Dublin goes completely nuts for all things Irish,  Celtic, and St. Patrick’s Day. So it makes sense that they start a new trail by putting new fairy doors in their local small businesses in March for St Patrick’s Day just in case a leprechaun would like to use it. Which is mighty thoughtful.

I fell into an Internet fairy door rabbit hole after that and wanted to add another fairy door to my house just in case a fairy, gnome, leprechaun, or hopefully - a Borrower - would use it. I loved the Borrower books and movies as a kid and I often think a Borrow probably borrowed that thing I can’t find (which is way more fun than acknowledging I misplaced it.) If you don’t know what I’m talking about  you can read The Complete Adventures of the Borrowers series here. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience)

 

It’s National Craft Month so why not make an indoor fairy door (or the mythical sprite of your choice) to celebrate?

 

Let’s make stuff!

How to Make an Indoor Fairy, Leprechaun, Gnome, Elf, or Borrowers Door


how to make an indoor fairy door

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

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Easy DIY Dog Leash Organizer and Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 569

My craft room is default the dumping ground for everything we can't store or use in the guest bathroom while we renovation the master bath. It is a hot mess and it is driving me crazy!

As I looked around the room trying to find where I can put more storage, the only space available is on a few walls. Which was a light bulb moment because I had a few things I don't use all of the time but still want easier access than in a closet or drawer. I decided to go with a good ol' coat rack similar to the dog tail dog leash organizer I made by our front door. 


how to make a dog leash organizer

I use it to organize the embroidery hoops for my sewing and embroidery machines and a few other tools and looks a lot cuter than a nail in the wall.

Time to link up your favorite projects, recipes, and posts!