Condo Blues: How to




Showing posts with label How to. Show all posts
Showing posts with label How to. Show all posts

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
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Blossom end rot!

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

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!

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, 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! 

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! 

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.

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

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Thursday, February 11, 2021

How to Put a Removable Pompom on a Knit or Crochet Hat and Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 568

I'm attempting to crochet a winter hat. It isn't going very well. I've had to rip out stitches/start over at least six times! At this rate I'll probably finish it by the middle of summer.

In the meantime, it has been snowing all week and my head is cold.

I found a cute chunky knit with a warm fleece liner similar to this Heat Holders thermal hat on winter clearance. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.) The price was more than right but it didn't have a cute pompom like the style of  hat I will hopefully make.

quick and easy DIY pompom hat
BRRRRRRRR!

Thursday, January 28, 2021

DIY Dollar Store Valentine's Day Wreath and Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 566

February will be here in no time and with it brings Valentine's Day! If you are looking for something a little different for your DIY Valentine's Day decor my glass bead heart wreath is just the thing! It is quick, easy, and best of all inexpensive because everything I used to make it came from the dollar store. Woot.

easy dollar store valentine's day wreath

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

12 Real World Ways I Went Zero Waste This Week

Some of the things they don’t tell you about trying to reduce your household trash with zero waste living is that it depends a lot on where and how you want to live. Most of the year’s worth of garbage in jar folks have access to big fill your own container stores, year round farm markets, or huge gardens where they can grow almost everything  they need. Not all of us are that lucky,  would rather not drive all over the place, or crunched the numbers and found some the prices in those shops sky high. *raises hand*


But’s not to say that zero waste is impossible!  Instead try the more realistic goal of concentrating on reducing your household waste than making it absolute zero. By focusing on reusing, the Rule of Half, recycling, reducing, and composting (when the bin isn’t frozen shut) my family has reduced our weekly household waste to approximately one grocery store size shopping bag (ish. We reuse any packaging, dog food, etc.  bags for garbage which means the size varies) a week. We average a 3/4 full recycling bin every two weeks. We also give ourselves a break if our output is more than that because we have seasons and that can determine what we can do and how we do it.


To give you some realistic ways to reduce your household waste (and possibly save some money doing it) I made a list of the zero waste practices, tips, and tricks I do in a normal week to give you some ideas and jump start your thinking machines to find a zero waste solution that works for you!

 

12 real world zero waste tips
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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
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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.

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

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

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And you know what?

 You can make one too!

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 16, 2020

Soapmaking and Friday Favorites Linky Party 538

Well, there is one thing I have to say about our social distancing summer, I'm getting a lot of projects done that I've been putting off (repeatedly.) For example just this morning I finally played that game of Sock Concentration (although you may call it  matching up and reorganizing your sock drawer) in a desperate attempt to find a pair of matching no show socks to wear today.

Although I briefly considered wearing a pair missing mates, because no show socks, amiright? But hey, it's done, I'm wearing matching socks (also I'm wearing an actual shoe that requires a sock) and in a Marie Kondo fashion that I revised after the first go round to work a little better for me - I hope.

My last batch of liquid hot process soap came out with the consistency of Flubber and I've been putting off trying again since its failure. Projects have been keeping me sane since this whole mess started and soap making was the only thing left on this list. Also, the summer heat in the garage already melted my coconut oil for me and since melting my oils at too high a temperature was Step 1 in my last comedy of errors, I gave it another go.

melted coconut oil
Soapmaking is easier when the summer heat melts your oils for you!

Monday, July 13, 2020

How to Make a Recycled Aluminum Can Butterfly Necklace

  I don’t drink a lot of soda but every once and awhile a pop can will cross my path. Once I finish the beverage I have two choices:

1. Recycle the can in the recycling bin.

2. Recycle the can into a cute necklace.

 

Today I am going with Option 2 because it will make a much more entertaining tutorial than Option 1 and it will give me a chance to answer I often get: How do you smooth the edges of a cut aluminum can?

 It’s easy! Let’s get started. 

How to Smooth and File the Sharp Edges of a Cut Aluminum Can

How to make a recycled soda pop can butterfly necklace
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Monday, May 18, 2020

How to Clean Caulk Off Clothing

I had a quick little caulking project I needed to do and didn’t bother changing into paint clothes because I didn’t think I’d get messy.

 Which of course meant I got several big smears of caulk on one of my few pairs of good jeans.

 It. Never. Fails. Why won’t I learn?

 How to remove caulk from clothing

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Can these jeans be saved? Yes they can! It is very easy to remove caulk spills from clothing. here’s how.

 

How to Remove Caulk From Clothing

Monday, March 30, 2020

How to Caulk Around a Toilet

After tiling the guest bathroom and replacing the boring builder molding with something a little more interesting, It is time to make this bathroom look and function like a bathroom by installing a working toilet – a luxury we haven’t had in quite a while since the builder toilet went on strike.


I went with a Watersense rated Delta Faucet Company toilet (you can find similar toilets here.)  (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.) I had such a good experience installing one in my powder room because every single thing you need to install the toilet comes in the box down to a screwdriver and the Watersense rating means it is water efficient (I think of it as the Energy Star rating for plumbing) without the hit or miss of not quite flushing everything that needs to be flushed like a duel flush toilet. 

the easy way to caulk a toilet and bathtub
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But before I can completely cross Install New Toilet off my punch list, I need to caulk around it (and also along the new tile next to the bathtub. Fortunately, you caulk around a bathtub the same way you caulk a toilet. Let’s do this!

Why Should I Caulk Around the Toilet?

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

How to Plant an Indoor Hydroponic Herb Garden the Easy Way!

I have more time to grow a garden during the winter and spring than during the summer. Unfortunately it is way too cold outside and I just don’t get enough sunlight inside of my house to grow even a tiny herb garden. Trust me. We tried. 

Also there is the whole I forget plants need water to grow thing. The only reason I can keep a succulent alive is that they thrive on low light and neglect.

I’ve been interested in hydroponic gardening (growing plants in water instead of soil) ever since my husband and I saw an exhibit on aquaponic gardening (similar to hydroponics except fish in a tank fertilize the plants.) I looked at several of them off and on but most of them needed preparatory (and spendy) seed pods that weren’t always what we were interested in growing or eating. Fortunately, on Christmas morning my husband unwrapped our gift and learned that you can use your own seeds to grow whatever you like in an AeroGarden.

how to set up and troubleshoot an AeroGarden indoor hydroponic herb garden
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We set up our indoor hydroponic herb garden and have been enjoying cooking with fresh herbs all winter which feels decadent because up until now, that as been a summer only thing.

How to Set Up an AeroGarden Indoor Hydroponic Herb Garden