Condo Blues

Friday, January 27, 2023

How to Prevent Cabbage Worms and Garden Pests the Easy Way!

For the 2023 gardening season depending upon how it goes in 2022

One summer, my husband and I tried growing a cabbage from its stem. Once it grew a good set of roots, I planted it outside in our container garden. 

Where we learn just how much cabbage worms love cabbage. We vowed never to plant cabbage again. 


how to grow vegetables from scraps

We were successful growing the cabbage and Romain lettuce. The celery failed us.

So what did I do? I decided to grow broccoli, kohlrabi, and bok choy thinking the seeds would be a better gardening investment because those fresh vegetables can be on the more expensive side in the grocery store.It was only after I got home that I learned I bought a bunch of seeds in the brassicas (cabbage) family.

We were right back where we started. Because not only do cabbage worms like to eat and destroy cabbage plants, they also like chowing down on broccoli, kohlrabi, and baby bok choy.

Fortunately there is an easy one and done way to prevent cabbage worms from wreaking havoc on your vegetables: use floating row covers. 

How to Use Floating Row Covers on Container Garden Flower Pots and Planters

Thursday, January 12, 2023

How to Repair Rips, Tears, and Holes in a Sleeping Bag

I tried washing one of our sleeping bags in my washing machine thinking it would fit since I washed our other sleeping bag in this same machine.

Turns out I was wrong.

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

Note to self: Next time go to a laundry mat and wash the sleeping bags using a big industrial size washer and dryer.

We invested in buying a good Coleman cold weather sleeping bag similar to this one. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.) It’s in my best interest to repair it since the rest of the sleeping bag is perfectly fine and would be a bit expensive to replace for cosmetic reasons. I’d rather spend that cash on extra s’more supplies to be honest.

Fortunately, repairing a sleeping bag is easy and may already have what you to need to fix at home.

How to Repair Sleeping Bag Rips, Holes, and Tears the Easy Way!

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Easy DIY Christmas Peg Doll Gnome Tutorial

 Do you know what is better than making little wood peg doll gnomes?

Making GIANT wood peg doll gnomes!

I made and donated a giant (well, according to the store. I was looking for the biggest I could get) peg doll gnome that looks like the character I play at renaissance fairs and Christmas festivals and donated it to a charity silent auction.

My giant peg doll gnome makes a cute decoration (whether for Christmas or for everyday home decor,) a quick DIY gift idea, or toy depending upon how you decorate the peg doll base. Let’s make!

how to make peg doll gnomes

In Denmark, they call gnomes nisse and that’s where I took the name for my gnome character Nissa.

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

How to Make DIY Christmas Gnomes


You will need the following craft supplies:

Large wood peg doll – Wood peg dolls come in all shapes and sizes. I bought the largest wood pegs I found here. They come in both female and male shape peg dolls.

Personally, I would buy these big peg dolls if I were painting peg dolls to be used as toys for young children because they are not the potential choking hazard as these2 inch peg dolls most people use to make toys.

Red felt or fabric scraps

White fabric (I am using fabric I have left over from making Nissa’s aprons)


Fabric glue

Sewing machine (optional)


Glue – I used E6000 Fabric Fuse (learn more about my BFF E6000 Fabric Fuse here) to ensure the hat and apron will remain on the peg doll forever.

Mod Podge – Learn more about the Mod Podge Matte formula I used here

Craft paint

Paint brushes

 (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.)


Step by Step Gnome Peg Doll Toy Tutorial

1. Use the craft paint and paint brush to paint the body of the peg doll as simply or elaborately as you like. I am not a confident enough miniature painter to attempt the detailed embroidery on Nissa’s costume (there is a reason why I sew more often than I do detailed craft paint projects.) I painted the peg doll body/dress blue. I painted the base yellow to represent my yellow wood clogs. Everyone always notices and comments on my crazy footwear!


real garden gnome
I was wearing clogs before they were cool. Photo courtesy of Steven Kohus

 2. I waited for the paint on the body to dry before I painted the head with this exact Sun Kissed Peach Apple Barrel craft paint.

3. While I waited for the paint to dry, I cut a triangle from red felt with a pair of scissors and rolled the triangle fabric into a cone.


how to make gnome peg dolls

I sewed the hat seam in place and turned the hat right side out for a more professional look but you can glue the seam of the hat as in the photo above if you like.

4. Since this is for a fundraiser, I took making the peg doll’s apron up a notch. Instead of painting the apron onto the doll, I sewed Nissa’s name on the apron since it is too small to recreate the embroidery on my costume by hand or machine.

After I sewed the name in red thread, I cut the fabric into a rectangle, folded over the edges, and used this exact fabric glue
(you can learn more about the Unique Stitch Stitchless Sewing Liquid I used here ) to hold the hems in place.

Next, I cut a long rectangle for the apron’s tie, folded the raw edges into the center, folding the fabric in half and pinned the apron into the center of the fabric tie, and sewed it into place.

Tip: I made the tie much longer than I knew I would probably need since I planned on cutting the ties to size after fitting it onto the peg doll.

If you don’t want to sew, you can use Mod Podge (you can learn more about Mod Podge Fabric Formula  here ) to glue the apron to the wood peg doll

4. Glue the felt hat onto the gnome’s head with E6000 Fabric Fuse and use the paint brush and craft paint to paint 2 dots for eyes on the face of the peg doll. You can paint a more elaborate face, hair, etc. if you like.

Tip: The easiest way to paint the eyes is to use the end of the paint brush as a dotting tool.

5. Once the paint and glue is dry, seal the peg doll with a coat of Mod Podge Matte Formula and a paint brush.

6. Once the Mod Podge is dry, tie the fabric apron on to the wood peg doll and trim the ends of the apron with a pair of scissors if applicable.

Tip: I applied a few dots of E6000 Fabric Fuse to the waist band of the apron so it will not fall off my peg doll gnome. E6000 is made to permanently glue two different types of surfaces together which is why I I used it to glue the fabric clothes to the wood peg doll.

how to make gnome dolls
My Mini Me!

Rather buy than DIY? Check out the following gnome craft kits – and more! - below!




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Monday, November 14, 2022

Two Quick and Easy DIY Woven Heart Mug Cozies

I have a set of double wall stainless steel barrel mugs similar to this kind  (I am including affiliate links for your convenience) that quickly the household MVP of mugs. My husband usually keeps his in the freezer to keep his cold beverages extra cold. I like keeping a hot drink in mine while I’m preforming as a gnome during outdoor Christmas events – instant hand warmer AND hot chocolate all in one!

Not bad at all for a couple of free promotional mugs. What’s not to like about that?

Actually there is one minor quibble. The mugs have a logo etched on the mug. Not a big deal when we are at home but it is when I’m doing the Christmas Gnome Thing.

I solved the problem by sewing a quick and easy no slip mug cover. 


how to make 2 kinds of christmas gift mug cozies

Nissa the Christmas Gnome salutes you with her woven heart mug cozy!


Wednesday, October 19, 2022

How to Clean Makeup Brushes and Sponges Naturally

I have a bunch of dirty makeup brushes, beauty blenders, and sponges that are dirty and could use a little extra love. I use them to apply stage makeup, some of it that is activated with 99% alcohol which can be rough on brushes and applicator tools (and skin. Skincare is even more important when using water resistant makeup.)

So if you are considering using rubbing alcohol to clean your makeup tools – don’t. Unless you like replacing makeup brushes on the regular. That is why the makeup brushes featured in this post are a cheap, but serviceable, synthetic bristle set that I only use for stage makeup. I have a separate set of natural bristle makeup brushes for my every day makeup.

Either way, this homemade makeup brush cleaner will work and care for both types of makeup brushes and tools.

How to Make DIY Makeup Brush, Beauty Blender and Sponge Cleaner


non toxic diy makeup brush beauty blender sponge cleaner
I use this exact stand-up foldable makeup brush bag and can't recommend it enough, especially for travel! Save this makeup cleaner recipe to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

DIY Crochet Pumpkins with Recycled Yarn

I recently inherited some yarn which included a few work in progress knitting projects without the patterns or were not far enough along to know what the creator intended them to become.

Which is fine because I don't know how to knit. 

One of the projects was a panel with orange and green yarn stripes (maybe a sweater or some sort of tote bag?) that made me think of Fall and Halloween pumpkins. Why not try to reclaim the yarn and use it to crochet a simple beginner pumpkin decoration?  

DIY crochet pumpkins with recycled yarn
Save this recycled craft idea to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

Since the project wasn't finished, it was easy to pull the stitches out and wind the yarn from each stripe into a ball as I worked. I joined the small yarn ball sections together with a magic knot until I had one ball of orange and ball of green reclaimed yarn.