Condo Blues: 2021




Sunday, July 25, 2021

Why Are My Tomatoes Rotting on the Bottom?

I’m attempting to grow tomatoes in this year’s garden. I say attempt because I haven’t had much luck in the way of getting a plant to give me more than a handful of tomatoes any time I plant tomatoes.

I am determined that this summer will be different. I read everything I could find on how to grow tomatoes. I bought a more mature tomato plant instead of attempting from seed and upped the watering schedule.

I was excited to see more  blossoms than I’ve ever had on a tomato plant. I cheered when they grew into green tomatoes.  I was overjoyed when I plucked the first red tomato. Finally I broke our tomato curse!

Until I turned the tomato over and found this.

how to prevent blossom end rot in the garden
 Save this tutorial to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

Blossom end rot!

Vegetable Garden Blossom End Rot What it is, How it Happens, and How to Fix It

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Friday Favorites Linky Party 591

Let's get this party started! Time to link up your favorite projects, recipes, and posts! 

 


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

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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!

Lisa from Condo Blues chose

3-Ingredient Homemade Cream Soda | How to Make Cream Soda from The Kitchen is My Playground

Jerri at Simply Sweet Home chose

Pink Lemonade Icebox Pie from Miz Helen's Country Cottage


Penny at Penny's Passion chose
from The Kitchen is My Playground
 

Amy at A Day of Small Things chose Strawberry Can from Paper Seedlings

 

Jennifer at Busy Being Jennifer chose

Crochet Bear from Anne Maries Haakblog

 

Friday Favorites Button 

 

Thanks so much for partying with us this week! Please add your links below.

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Sunday, July 18, 2021

How to Make a Folding Wagon Spotter ID Tag

I loaded up our folding wagon for its grand debut at an outdoor rehearsal. It immediately paid for itself the second I didn’t have to struggle carrying  all of the things I needed that day down the long path from the parking lot to the outdoor rehearsal space. No wonder so many of my fellow cast members had folding wagons! *mind blown*

 

The only downside of the day was playing Where’s Waldo for my wagon in a sea of folding wagon that look like. 

 

I need a name tag or label or spotter for my folding wagon that lets me identify it quickly and easily.  I tried putting the bumper sticker I got at rehearsal on my wagon but it didn’t stick to the nylon fabric. Bummer.

 

I wanted something a little more fun than using a permanent marker to write our name.  I wasn’t feeling machine embroidering our name or monogram on it either. My inspiration came from the small license plate I had on my bike with my name on it as a kid. Hanging one of those off the back rail of the wagon is ideal!

 

And stupidly difficult to find in a brick and mortar store.

 

I decided to make a quick and easy wagon ID tag that’s more durable than the cloth and cardboard stroller spotter tags I found on Etsy (not to mention they are all cutesy baby related. Great if you have toddlers. Not so great if you don’t.) You can use this project to make a wagon, stroller, or heck, even a bicycle ID tag if you like. Here’s how.

 

How to Decorate a Folding Wagon

 

how to decorate a folding wagon


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

 

Thursday, July 15, 2021

How to Make Easy DIY Compost Tea and Friday Favorites 590

If you garden, one of the best zero waste ways to deal with food scraps is to compost them. 

So what do you do when everything breaks down into a lovely full bin of compost? 

Make compost tea and fertilize your lawn and garden the natural way! My husband and I couldn't have turned the sad chunk of clay pretending to be our yard into dark, rich soil without adding compost to the soil when we plant and compost tea fertilizer later in the season to keep them growing.

 

If you can steep a tea bag in a cup of hot water you have all of the skills necessary to brew compost tea. You can read my How to Make Compost Tea Fertilizer the Easy Way tutorial here. Your plants will thank you for it!

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

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Natural Gardening Hacks and Friday Favorites 589

I spent a good chunk of the week doing plant therapy, although you may call it gardening. I transplanted the sweet fennel that was outgrowing our container garden into the front flowerbeds. Every time I pass them on my way to take Lacey in and out I whisper,"please live" to my transplants. 

It worked when I transplanted my golden oregano earlier this summer. I'm hoping the same good vibe strategy works with the fennel. Well, that, and heaps of compost and all natural gardening hacks and techniques.

You can lean how to make plants grow the inexpensive and frugal way by reading my 12 Natural Gardening Tips for Beginners post here.

 

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

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Celebrating an International Holiday Weekend and Friday Favorites 588

This is a big holiday weekend for our readers in not one but two countries! Today (1st, July) our Canadian neighbors are celebrating Canada Day! This Sunday (July 4th) my fellow Americans will celebrate Independence Day!

How to make an easy Captain America t shirt

My husband likes to celebrate the Fourth of July by wearing his Captain American shirt to backyard BBQs. You can learn how I made this quick and easy Captain America t shirt here.

I hope you have a happy, fun, and safe holiday weekend (or regular summer weekend for all of you non North American readers!) And if you are in the US and Canadian heat wave areas, please drink plenty of water all day, take it easy, and please try to stay cool in the shade!

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

Sunday, June 27, 2021

How to Prepare Walls for Painting

As much as I would love to jump into my bathroom and start slapping new paint on the walls, the new paint would look awful. I’d make the job ten times harder if I don’t prepare the walls for paint first. I lot of folks  don’t bother filling nail holes and such thinking they’ll hang the same stuff in the same place on the walls of the newly painted room. Sometimes that’s the case. More often than not, plans change and the little hole you have to fill and repaint is going to look worse than if you filled it before you started the project.

Trust me. I get it. I’ve had this conversation with myself every time I’m tempted to take a shortcut when my master bathroom renovation throws me another unexpected curve ball.

“Do you want to do it fast or do you want to do right?” is always the last question I ask myself before I make a decision about a task. Then I sigh and say,”I want to do it right.” Sure it may be more of a pain or take longer (hence the internal sigh) but doing it right the first time is better than cheating and having to do it over again.

 

how prepare a room for painting
Save these painting tips to your Pinterest boards for later! Share them with your friends!

How much preparation your room will need for paint will depend upon:

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Celtic Fest Ohio and Friday Favorites Week 587

Last weekend I got a little bit of normality back and went to a shortened version of Celtic Fest Ohio, a celebration of Irish,Welsh, and Scottish food, music, dance, food, shopping, did I mention food? and drink. 

But I really had to work for it - as a volunteer! 


serving celtic feast at Celtic Fest Ohio
A little peak at the back stage magic it takes to serve patrons all the best food the British Isles have to offer at both Celtic Feasts!

And I worked my butt off - hard.

A huge thunderstorm knocked out the electricity in the area and flooded a section of the park (the water was waste high in that area during the storm) greeted me at volunteer check in. It threw me a curve because my assignment changed slightly due to a bunch of volunteers not showing up like they promised 😠. 

It was nothing I couldn't handle because I used to put on large scale events like this and curve balls and Plan B are the norm. Besides, waiting for power to come back on so I could get my cash box gave me a chance to pop into some of my friend's booths for fully vaxxed IRL tackle hugs. My emotional and spiritual gas tank started to fill and it felt wonderful.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Container Garden Organization Ideas and Friday Favorites Week 586

 Lacey realized that all of the plants in our patio garden are herbs and vegetables and tries to sneak  snacks from the small pots whenever we go outside. I needed a fast (and hopefully less expensive) solution to organize all of the new plants we bought from the garden center.


how to organize a container garden
The white tubes are watering tubes. You read my DIY self watering planter tutorial here

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Ten Things You Need to Know to Level and Repair an Uneven Floor

After  I replaced the moldy wood subfloor in my master bathroom, I checked it with a torpedo level (a torpedo level looks like this,) declared it level, and promptly passed out in bed from exhaustion. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.) The next day, I double checked the new subfloor with the correct tool for the job, a large I-beam level (an I-beam level looks like this.)

The new wood subfloor is not level.

There are a few random areas where the floor isn’t flat, mainly where some of the seams of plywood sheets meet - a pretty common thing when you are replacing a subfloor (especially if it is the first time you’ve removed and replaced a subfloor.)

You can’t lay tile on an uneven floor. Well, you could, but the grout and tile will eventually crack and break in those areas and you’ll curse the day you were born when you have to rip everything out (probably) and do what you should have done in the first place. Fix the uneven wood subfloor with a self leveling underlayment coating for floors.

how to fix an uneven sloping floor

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Thursday, June 10, 2021

Giant Lawn Flamingos and Friday Favorites Week 585

How do you know it is officially summer?

  • It is after Memorial Day?
  • The lavender is starting bloom in my garden?
  • The weather is warm and kids are playing in neighborhood spinklers?
NO!

At my house it isn't officially summer until Divine my metal lawn flamingo takes residence in my garden  (much to the chagrin of my husband.)


She's no Frank the Christmas Gargoyle but she's 6 feet tall and I love her.



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

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Edible Landscaping Groundcover Ideas and Friday Favorites Week 584

Last weekend was a long holiday weekend here in the US and my husband and I spent a chunk of it digging in the dirt. We want to add more color to our front flowerbeds which is largely an oasis of black mulch. Wood mulch isn't a bad thing. Mulching protects the soil from eroding and helps keep moisture in the soil after watering. Wood mulch also breaks down over time and add nutrients to the soil - which a good thing for our clay soil but also a bag thing because we have keep buying heavy bags of mulch. Anything we can do to less the chance of the yearly hefting mulch into the landscaping beds is a good thing in our book.

We didn't have to look any further than our own backyard for a practical zone 6 living groundcover solution: transplant the golden oregano overflowing its pots in the container garden to the front yard.  Thyme is another fast growing perianal garden groundcover we could use or mix in with the golden oregano but we don't cook with thyme as often as we do with oregano. We're hopping the yellow in the ground cover will make the lavender blooms pop a bit more.

Please don't die.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

My First DIY Cold Process Soap Project and Friday Favorites Week 583

I fell in love with using handmade soaps after trying some I bought at a renaissance festival. Every year I'd buy a bar or five. I dabbled with making soap with a melt and pour kit like this one   because I could play with herb add ins, natural scents, and colorants without messing around with lye because lye sounded scary! (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.) A soap maker friend encouraged me to keep experimenting because that's how you learn how different herbs and oils interact and influence the final product.

When I stumbled upon a liquid hot process soap tutorial online, I realized I had most of the equipment needed and I could buy the soap ingredients at the grocery store. I gave it a whirl and realized working with lye isn't as scary as I thought!  But liquid soap is tricky (at least for me.) The book I have doesn't give a lot of why to the how and there is even less information on line unless you're making cold process bar soap. Cold process soap tutorials didn't seem as scary as they did before I started making soap in an old crock pot. I bought this exact The Natural Soap Making Book for Beginners book and made my first batch of cold process soap!

DIY cold process soap
The color is a little *intense*  and there were some slight bubbling after sequestering but overall I'm pleased with how my first batch of real deal bar soap came out. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

How to Permanently Kill Weeds in a Sidewalk or Driveway the Easy Way!

I have an annoying group of weeds that grow in the space between my garage door and driveway. I don’t want to use commercial weed killer because I don’t want use that kind of stuff around my dog and we also have a bunch of neighborhood kids that use our driveways as turnarounds spots for their bikes, scooters, and such. I try to garden as organically as I can.

 

Also, commercial weed killer containers are so big I doubt I’d use it all.


I tried all of the normal natural weed killers that people with green thumbs swear work:

 

  • I pulling the weeds by digging out the roots and removing the plant – the weeds came back.

 

  • I tried to kill the weeds by pouring hot water from my electric kettle on the weeds over a series of days – the weeds came back.

 

  • I tried to kill the weeds by dousing them with vinegar – the weeds came back.

 

DIY organic weed killer

I’m pretty sure that the weeds just laughed at me by this point. Ha! Ha! Ha! We are mighty! We are indestructible! WE ARE WEEDS!!!!!

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Steampunk Dinosaur Decor and Friday Favorites Week 582

I have a bad habit of buying a piece of wall art and not framing it and hanging  because I want to paint a  wall, rearrange a room, or have some grand project that often gets moved down in priority on my project punch list. 

I have bare walls when I could at least have something interesting on them. 

I decided it was time to frame and display this piece I bought at the Columbus Art Festival in the before times. Everybody say Hi to Uncle Morty!


steampunk decorating ideas
Uncle Morty is not the title of the work. I named him Morty, because its a name that brings up the idea of a lovable, life of the party, fun uncle, who miiiiight have a business where he knows a guy and you shouldn't make him mad but probably not because he's always a sweet guy who pulls a quarter out of your ear every time he sees you (maybe.)


Oh and if you are wondering, the friend I went to the Art Festival with when I bought the piece thought I was weird when I bought it and so did my husband when I brought it home.

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

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

7 Beginner Resin Casting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

I was able to salvage the last builder grade vanity  from my bathroom renovation for my workshop. I want to make it into the miter saw cabinet I desperately need – on wheels!

how to turn a cabinet into a rolling miter saw stand
I love that standard bathroom vanities are the perfect Lisa height work bench

I had to make some repairs to the cabinet to fix the damage I made to it when I removed it. I added a few reinforcements to ensure the cabinet  will take stand up to a heavy saw and before I added four locking casters just like these to the bottom. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.) I chose casters I can lock in place to reduce the chance of the miter saw stand rolling backwards when I use the saw. I don’t think that would be a pleasant experience.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Easy Garden Watering Hack and Friday Favorites Week 581

I used to have a hard time not killing plants in my flower, herb, and vegetable gardens. I'd either overwater them or under water them. 

Often I thought a recent summer rain had already watered plants for me because the soil was wet on top but not deep down at the root of the plant. The result? Plant murder. (Unintentional, but it's still death.)

A few years ago, I learned a great little gardening hack on how to know when you need to water a garden that works 100% of the time - use a simple rain gage like this one! (Disclosure: I'm including an affiliate link for your convenience.)


best gardening tip and watering idea
I put my rain gage in a pot in my outdoor container garden.


Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Easy DIY Wood Crate Storage and Drawer Organizers

In our early just bought a new house and need new stuff to store our old stuff days I turned some vintage fruit crates I discovered neglected in the basement of our old rental into a down and dirty wood crate storage dresser by slapping the drawers from an old  cardboard night stand into the crates and calling it a day. The storage boxes aren’t very pretty but it worked at the time. I had every intension of upgrading to a better solution later.

 You can probably guess that Later never came.

This version of my fruit crate storage dresser is not working for me any more. The supplies inside quickly turn into a jumble that I have to paw through to find the thing I need. The final straw was finding feathers turning up here, there, and everywhere in the drawers and room except in the drawer that is supposed to store them with my hat making supplies. Gah! I need an organization makeover – stat!


 vintage wood crate dresser

I used a hodge podge of baby food jars and such to store beads and jewelry findings that barfed out their drawers. This isn't pretty, but it is honest. An honest hot mess!

Thursday, May 6, 2021

DIY Door Sign and Friday Favorites Week 580

It's funny how you think you come up with a totally new and original idea for a craft or decor project to find out someone (or many someones) have done it too. It's fun to see  how another person put their creative spin on a great mind think alike situation. Case in point:

I added a hanger to a sign I made with this exact Home paw print stencil and added my little creative spin using a woodburning tool like this one to add texture so it looks like the bottom of a dog paw. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.)

how to stencil and wood burn a Home door sign
I hang the sign on the front door sometimes instead of decorating with a wreath

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

How to Make Easy Storage Bin Labels

I am a famous for storing something in "a better place" and forgetting where I put it. 

And that goes double for my sewing room and craft studio.

I eventually learned that if I take 10 minutes of my time to make a label for an item, I will always put it back where it belongs and save an hour of searching for it later. It also keeps family members from asking me to stop what I'm doing to find household items that are staring them in the face. I tell them to read the label to the bin/caddy/pocket/shelf/whatever.

Genius!

I need to label the new storage bins I'm putting in my craft room. I want them to look cute but they also need to be something I can easily update because my supplies rotate in and out. I considered chalkboard labels like these  but figure the writing will wear off with handling based on other chalkboard labels I use (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.

how to make clip on storage container labels
Save this tutorial to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!


One thing I like about decluttering and organizing a creative space is I often find a long forgotten cache of supplies that I can use to make or build the custom storage solution I need. In this case, the buried treasure is a bunch of discontinued countertop samples a friend gave me. I'm going to craft those countertop samples into storage bin and box labels and show you how to do it! 

Sunday, May 2, 2021

The Best Ever Quick and Easy Sewing Pattern Storage and Organization Idea

I store my sewing patterns in a recycled shoebox because it is the width of a sewing pattern envelope.

Also, with a husband who is a long distance runner, I can get a replacement shoe box when I need it on the regular.

It worked for awhile - until it didn’t.

As I’ve done more costuming work, my pattern envelopes are  in all shapes and sizes. On more than one occasion I plopped the whole pattern into a gallon size zipper baggie because the pattern pieces won’t fold to fit back into its envelope. I try to store my sewing patterns by category but they quickly return to their natural disorganized state – a pile busting out of its shoe box(es.)

how to store and organize craft and sewing patterns
Please excuse the carpet that needs vacuuming. That’s what prompted me to move the pile and find a better solution.

This is not working. I need to find a better way to store and organize my sewing patterns that fits in a small, limited craft room space.

Friday, April 30, 2021

Friday Favorites Week 579

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

  

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!

Sunday, April 25, 2021

DIY Farmhouse Floating Shelf

During our bathroom renovations the bed in the guest room/craft room has become a de facto storage area that also holds crafty bits.

Who am I kidding?

The bed is a  dumping ground. It is a mess and it is driving me nuts.

Fortunately I have a great spot for a wall shelf to store the crafty bits above the closet door if I use a floating shelf. Let’s do it!

how to make a farmhouse style floating shelf
Save this tutorial to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!


How to Make a Quick and Easy Floating Shelf

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Celebrate Earth Day with the Rule of Half and Friday Favorites Week 578

Today is Earth Day, although honestly we try to make every day Earth Day around here by refusing, reducing, reusing household items with the goal of running a low waste home.  One useful and FREE way to do that is to follow The Rule of Half whenever possible. The Rule of Half is to try using half (or at least less) of the amount of stuff  you would normally use to get the job done. 

how to save money for FREE with the Rule of Half

A good example of this is toothpaste. Instead of loading up the length of your toothbrush with toothpaste like the toothpaste companies show you, put the dentist recommended pea size to half a length of toothpaste on your toothbrush. You create a little less trash because a tube of toothpaste lasts a little longer. One tube of toothpaste might not seem like such a big deal but if you do the same (or at least measure items instead of just chucking it in) with the majority of items you use on a daily basis it can make a difference in the amount of household trash you put by the curb every week and all for the affordable price of FREE. No fancy eco products required! (Unless you want to.)


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

Sunday, April 18, 2021

10 Zero Waste Craft Projects that also Save Money

I recently read an article claiming that zero waste living doesn’t have to be expensive.

That immediately said to an interviewed college student who said that they couldn’t afford a $20 zero waste made from adopted unicorn tears deodorant that the student just needs to change their attitude because they are buying better and more expensive stuff. Because the superior feeling of spending more money on low waste deodorant outweighs the reality of then not having enough money for school books or tuition, I guess?

The author also said that no one who wants to go low waste (which is a more accurate description than the search engine friendly term zero waste) does it to save money.  It really burns my cookies that when confronted with the reality of price, a zero waste expert ignores it and tells you to buy it anyway. That's how zero and low waste living gets the (wrong) perception that its only for the privileged!

10 ways to make zero waste save money

Save these ideas to your Pinterest boards for later! Share them with your friends!

My family is practically debt free because we don’t waste things. As I started switching from disposables to reusables the amount of trash we make plummeted and extra dollars accumulated in the bank. For example it cost zero dollars to stop using plastic zipper baggies and plastic wrap for sandwiches and leftovers and start using the containers with lids (many repurposed) I already had. I had no idea how much money we wasted on that stuff until we didn’t need to buy it anymore - and you could see a serious dent in how much landfill trash it kept out of our bin.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

How to Spring Clean Your Dryer Vent and Friday Favorites Week 577

I'm Spring Cleaning inside of the house, like ya do, and I noticed one thing I need to Spring Clean on the outside of my house - my dryer vent!

DIY dryer vent cleaning
I'll spare you the current gory state of dryer lint build up and give you this one when I first installed my energy efficient dryer vent.

Even if you clean the link trap/screen in your dryer after every load lint can still build up in the dryer duct, vent, and end cap. Dryer lint is highly flammable (which is one the reasons why people use it to make homemade fire starters) and according to experts it doesn’t take much for accumulated dryer lint to cause a dryer fire. Fortunately cleaning a dryer vent is a quick and easy thing to do. Learn how in my post How to Clean a Dryer Vent the Easy Way! you'll be glad you did.

I showed you my project, now you show me yours! Time to link up your favorite projects, recipes, and posts! 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

How to Sew a Retro 1940's Polka Dot Top

I bought all of the materials to make a cute vintage short sleeve blouse to add a little diversity to my normal t shirt and polo shirt summer wardrobe. I let the project fall to the bottom of my To Sew list as the  costuming I'm most confident in making took priority because I very rarely, almost never make day to day clothing from scratch. Mending and tailoring I can do with my eyes closed but I'm almost ashamed to admit that until I got a computerized sewing machine two years ago I have never sewed anything with my nemesis - buttonholes - in my life.

I figured it is about time I sew a little bit outside of my comfort zone and make this cute summer blouse.

how to sew a vintage pinup style short sleeve blouse
Save this idea to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Decorative Rain Barrel and Friday Favorites Week 576

As I type this it is raining. It is pouring. I'm dancing instead of snoring because it is warm enough to  hook up our rain barrel! Right now it is filling with sweet, sweet, organic and free rain water! We use rain water  I use to our container garden and make compost tea. It also keeps a poor drainage spot in our side yard from turning into a mud pit. 

Oh and it is pretty too. I looks like a giant boulder!


how to install a rain barrel
You can find pretty rain barrels similar to my Water Stone here (affiliate link for your convenience.)


I showed you my project, now you show my yours! Time to link up your favorite projects, recipes, and posts! 

Sunday, April 4, 2021

How to Make a Recycled Wine Cork Wall Organizer

After putting the job off as long as humanly possible, it is time to clean and reorganize my craft room.  Every craft supply and tool found an organized storage space with the exception of my embroidery hoops. I kept moving them place to place during the decluttering project. It didn’t help matters that I added several big and hard to store machine embroidery hoops to the mix when I got a sewing and embroidery machine for my birthday.  

how to organize machine embroidery hoops

Her name is Bernadette. She can sew everything from chiffon to leather and has so many settings and features it is like flying a rocket ship. Cool, I always wanted to be an astronaut! 


 I sat and looked around the room trying to find a place for more storage. After quite a bit of time (I may have also been streaming Netflix) I found it – blank wall space under a shelf.  Great!

One of the things I like about cleaning, decluttering, and organizing a creative space is rediscovering supplies (fancy talk for I forgot I had that!)  I almost always end up using the found objects to make storage and organizers for the item I uncovered that don’t have a good store bought solution including this one. 

Thursday, April 1, 2021

DIY Harlequin Jester Costume and Friday Favorites Week 575

Happy April Fool's Day!!!

As a professional jester in the Before Times, I consider April 1st to be My Day.  I don't play tricks or jokes on people, I just walk around extra happy and foolish. See?

how to make a harlequin jester costume
This costume is my first and probably last quilting project because it took four months to build!

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

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! 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

DIY Bottle Cap Bees and Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 568

February is almost over and we are inching towards Spring which brings warm weather, flowers, and happy little bees! Bees are going to be this year's craft and decor trend. Why not get started a little early and recycle a few bottle caps into cute little bees?

I made the recycled bottle cap bees and little trinkets to trade with children when I do (someday) children's theater. It's a versatile craft project. You can glue a magnet to the back to make them magnets, a pin back to make them into pins, or punch a hole and make it into a necklace. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination!


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

Sunday, February 21, 2021

How to Build an Outdoor Dog Ramp

Our dog Lacey lives life at 90 miles an hour. She runs. She jumps. She barks. She barks some more.

So. Much. Barking.

When Lacey practically flipped a switch from her normal bouncing off of satellites self to barely and cautiously walking it meant a quick trip to the vet for x rays.

Lacey has two slipped discs in her back which is common for dachshunds. We left the vet with meds for the pain and inflammation, bed rest for two weeks (good luck with that!) and to eliminate jumping situations as much as possible so her back doesn’t get any worse.

I bought these light weight dog stairs with a washable cover for the living room furniture Lacey is allowed to sit on. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.) They aren’t the prettiest but they were cheap enough to buy a few more to add to what we have so that every chair/sofa in the living room has stairs leading up to it. We think jumping up on a chair that didn't have dog steps is how she hurt herself. 

Sitting next to my people is my favorite place to be!

I also scored this exact folding dog ramp on Marketplace for a song because OMG folding dog ramps for cars are spendy! Hopefully we can get Lacey to use the ramp to get in and out of  the car. No matter how many times we tell her to wait until we pick her up Lacey will catapult herself into the back seat of the car because waiting is for sissies – apparently.

 

How to Make a Down and Dirty Small Dog Ramp

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 567

Hi everyone Lacey here! Lisa is letting me take over the blog today. 

We hope everyone is safe and warm during the recent snowstorms. It has been snowing a lot and I've very glad my people are staying safe from slippery roads and stuff working from home. 

But mostly it is because I want my people home with me all day, every day.

 I like them. 

A lot.


Toasty warm!

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Quick and Easy St Patrick's Day Shamrock Decor

ne of my favorite things about St Patrick’s Day is it is the one day of the year that even mainstream places will play Irish music. Listening to a good jig or reel always puts in a good mood no matter what.

The only thing I like better than listening to Scottish and Irish music is dancing to it. I performed as a Scottish Country Dancer and even had Scottish Country Dances at my wedding reception.

Scottish Country Dance is social dancing somewhat like American Square Dancing. Competitive Irish and Scottish dance is a completely different thing.

So why not decorate our door for Saint Patrick’s Day with a quick and easy shamrock featuring The Swallowtail Jig? It is one of my favorite jigs because of the lyrical flute part that I’m still trying to nail down because I'm out of practise.


DIY st patricks day shamrock decoration

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

Quick and Easy DIY St Patrick's Day Shamrock