Condo Blues




Monday, November 22, 2021

A Christmas Story House Tour

A Christmas Story is one of my favorite Christmas movies (I skip the problematic Chinese restaurant scene) because I was a kid living in the Cleveland area where they shot some of the movie. I love looking for the dollops of 1980’s anachronisms like Ralphie’s glasses and Mom’s hair. You can watch the movie A Christmas Story here. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.

The house they used in the movie has an interesting history. Before and after they made A Christmas Story a regular family lived in it as a regular house and modernized it accordingly. The current owner of the house saw it for sale on eBay and bought it fully intending to turn back into its movie accurate glory.

This proved a little harder than it first seemed to be because the inside of the house didn’t look like it did in the movie. They shot the interiors on a soundstage in Toronto Canada.

The owners watched A Christmas Story a million times, slowed it down frame by frame, gutted the house,  and recreated the staircase and sets we all know and love. They also put as much care searching for replica furniture and props to furnish it and now you can tour it! 

a christmas story house tour

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Monday, November 8, 2021

How to Machine Embroider a Canvas Tote Bag

Normally when I machine embroider something, I embroider the design on uncut fabric, layout and cut the pattern piece on the embroidered fabric, and sew it into the final project for perfect placement.

Which is what I planned on doing when I popped down to the fabric store for supplies to make personalized tote bags as a thank you gift for two friends who did huge favors for me, even though I was short on time to both sew and embroider the bags from scratch.

Luckily when I zipped through the Circuit section of the store on my way to the fabric I saw this exact lined blank canvas tote bag for sale.

The bag is super cute and has a nice big area to machine embroider a name. Best of all I didn’t have to decide on fabric (which always takes me forever because I must look at every bolt available in the store every single time) or a pattern, and would save time in the construction department. Not to mention, the ready made blank fabric tote bag probably cost less than buying all of the materials to make the exact same thing.

The only thing that made me pause is thinking, how to I embroider a store bought tote bag without taking it apart? 

 

handmade gift idea how to embroider a tote bag
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Easy! You float the tote bag  fabric on top of the hooped embroidery stabilizer instead of trying and failing to smash it all in between the hoops.

Friday, October 22, 2021

How to Find and Fix an Air Mattress Leak

The worse time to find out that your air mattress on has spring a leak is when you are sleeping on it.

I found that out twice this month in two different places with two different air mattresses – lucky me!

Fortunately, it is very easy to patch a hole in an air mattress. The slightly more difficult thing is to find the hole in the air mattress or at least it was for me, since the hole in my barely three month old air mattress was a tiny pinhole. 

how to patch a hole in an air mattress or pool float
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How to Find the Hole in a Leaky Air Mattress or Pool Float

Thursday, October 14, 2021

How to Make a Gnome Costume

I am playing a gnome at a renaissance festival. It’s a fun project because I’m a  second generation Danish American and nisse (what the Danish call gnomes. Some countries also call them tomte) are something we celebrate all year round but especially at Christmas when we thank the nisser (plural for nisse) for protecting the family and helping farms prosper with a bowl of rice porridge with a pat of butter on top on Christmas Eve (similar to American kids leaving cookies and milk out for Santa.) 

That’s why some non Scandinavians call them Christmas Gnomes when in reality, there is no such thing as a Christmas, Halloween, Easter, etc. gnome. Gnomes are just gnomes all year round (similar to Irish leprechauns. They are dress and act the same year round too.)

 

Nissa the Gnome Ohio Reniassance Festival 2021
Everyone say hi to Nissa Tomtesdottir the Gnome!

Traditionally gnomes look like a little man (with or without beard) or woman wearing a red hat, a red, blue, or gray Scandinavian peasant tunic/bodice and skirt, and is the about the size of an 8 to 10 year old child. This is what I am using as the start of my women’s gnome costume while making it in a 16th century silhouette with Scandinavian elements (more difficult than it sounds because the Danish national costume is different by region and based on clothing from the 17th to 19th centuries.) 

I have the added challenge of designing a mythical creature described as looking like a small human (at least I have that part down!) like she belongs with a group of Shakespearean fairies who have very elaborate makeup which doesn’t work for a gnome.  I’m required to have rosy red cheeks (which I’d rather not do at all but I’d rather that than being required to airbrush all of my exposed skin a different color) and wear my hair in braids (I bought these cute rose metal hair hooks to hide my modern hair ties.) (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.) 


Ohio Renaissance Festival Fairies and Gnome

 Family entertainment from the Fae Family! Sprout, the Seed Fairy (left,) Fawn the Fairy of Fluffy Animals (center,) and me as Nissa the Gnome (right.) Photo courtesy of Steven Kohus

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Fall Chili and Friday Favorites Linky Party 600

 Yesterday was the official start of the Fall Season and the weather decided to cooperate.

With a 20 degree dip in temperature and overcast rainy day. Which makes it a perfect opportunity to brew a cup of tea, break out a cozy afghan, and count the minutes until tonight's chili dinner finishes cooking in the Instant Pot.

Why do they call it chili when it's hot?

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

Monday, September 20, 2021

Friday Favorites Linky Party 599

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


 


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