Condo Blues: design




Showing posts with label design. Show all posts
Showing posts with label design. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Easy DIY Machine Embroidery Flour Sack Towels

I bought a scad of flour sack towels from Amazon here. (Amazon has has changed my life when it comes to researching and buying pretty much everyone in my house that I have no problem recommending it to you (and using my affiliate links.)

Flour sack towels are the world’s most flexible kitchen towel. They work with almost every kitchen design style – Mid Century Modern, contemporary, retro, and of course the ever so popular Fixer Upper farmhouse decor. Besides, flour sack towels are is less fiddly to machine embroider than terry cloth towels so the chances are high I’ll quickly get the hang and  be churning out cute embroidered towels for my kitchen, to give as gifts, and to use as gift wrap for wine and mason jar hostess gifts.
Cute, green, and practical zero waste gift wrap. What’s not to love about that?

As I also took the opportunity to see what some of the built in machine embroidery files of my Brother SE400 Sewing and Embroidery Machinelook like in IRL, I accidentally created red work embroidery simply by using red thread on open, one color designs to coordinate with the accent color in my kitchen.



Sunday, March 12, 2017

Tiny Mall Micro Loft House Tour

Tiny houses are all the rage, so it should be no surprise that city dwellers can live cute and with a ridiculously small carbon footprint in tiny micro apartments – in a converted historic shopping mall!



 Pin this tiny house tour and share it with your friends!

You don’t have to be a shopaholic to live here. In fact, given that the average size of each tiny apartment is 220 square feet it is probably best if you aren’t.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 352

Merry Christmas Eve Eve! Lacey asked me to put up our favorite Christmas marquee sign to make sure Santa doesn't forget our house. She's hoping for a new squeaky tennis ball because you never can have too many tennis balls to hide under every piece of furniture in the house.


Let's party!


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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

How to Make Your Christmas Tree Look Fuller

In addition to our family’s main Christmas tree, my husband and I decorate the upstairs landing with my hand me down (formerly) single gal Christmas tree.

Our little Christmas tree is starting to show its age. The pine needles are in a perpetual state of squished and refuse to fluff.  When one of the branches snapped off in my hand this year, I thought it was time to retire it after many years of service.

But with a dose of Christmas magic in disguise as a few decorating hacks I made our scrawny tree look full and gave it new continued life!
 

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You can use these Christmas tree decorating ideas for both live and artificial Christmas trees although obviously you won’t be able to fluff and adjust the branches of a live tree like a fake one. Either type of Christmas tree will allow you to shove a broken Christmas tree branch back into the tree to fill a hole. Guess how I know?

How to Fill Holes and Make a Full and Fluffy Christmas Tree in Six Easy Steps or Less!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Fall Wreath Alternative: DIY Birch Sunflower Basket

After I decorated the backyard patio for Fall, I figure I better turn my attention to the front of the house. My plan is to transition the front porch from summer decorations to a Fall outdoor décor theme that I can transition to Halloween if time permits (life happens!) and back to Fall for Thanksgiving (wishful thinking because of that time thing, ya know) until it is time to pack it all up and decorate for Christmas.
 

 Pin this wreath idea for later!


Instead of decorating with something like the DIY Fall wreath I made for the back patio, I decorate with a half wall birch basket.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Renaissance Noble Dress Part 1: The Design

I need to replace my current Elizabethan noble costume with a new one.

Unfortunately I am my own worst client because the only thing I know that I want in my new princess type dress is this list of vague demands:
  1. Make it different than what other women will most likely we wearing.
  2. Use massive amounts of embroidery to help with Number 1 and give me a Sofa Time With Lacey project.
  3. Use as much of my beading, trim, and costuming stash as possible. It should also help with number 1 but really I just want to put some of the weird amounts of stuff in my studio to good use.
  4. Bling that sucker out to be a pretty, pretty princess of more is more epic proportions – as one does as an Elizabethan noblewoman. I realize this is not in line with being a simplistic budget minded green DIY blogger. But it is totally in line with being a person who spends most of her workdays covered in paint and sawdust while wearing yoga pants and a ratty t-shirt.

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I let the fabric I found decide my costume’s color scheme since many of the accessories I have will work with almost any color. The color specific items I have  need to be replaced anyway.  I was hoped I could find a green brocade or damask because I look smashing in green.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

How to Make a Corner Window Cornice

Our Master Bedroom has a windows on each wall in a corner and high ceilings. Installing a corner window cornice will tie the windows together and solve several window decorating problems:
  • A window cornice will add visual height to the wall while also visually bringing down the high ceiling.
  • I can use small scale curtain rods I already have. I don't need to buy new curtain rods that  meet in the corner or need to have a custom corner window curtain rod made or cut to order.
  • I can hang off the shelf curtains lower on the wall and just touching the floor so they look like custom length curtains. The cornice hides the curtain rod and hardware.
  • I can make a lightweight custom window corner for practically nothing because I am using cardboard boxes to build it.
  • It’s a no sew project. If you can use a stapler, you can make this project!

How to Make a Cardboard Window Valance

 

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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Tiny House Living Lies

I think tiny houses are twee and adorable. I have dozens pinned to my Pinterest boards (follow me @condoblues on Pinterest, pretty please?) I applaud living in a small ecological footprint. There positive financial aspects too. I understand how freeing that can be.

But.

I find it hard to believe that living tiny is nothing but utopia.


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We never hear about the downside of living in a tiny home. Sure, there is talk of how difficult it can be to decide what to keep and what needs to go. However the elephant in the itty bitty room no one will openly admit or discuss especially on tiny house TV shows is this:
  • It is illegal to park and live full time in a tiny house on wheels in most parts of the United States. Legally parking a tiny house is the most problematic issue and absolutely not addressed. Most camp grounds and mobile home parks forbid tiny houses - which is their right - as they are privately owned. Buying or renting land and plopping a tiny house on it may not solve the problem either. Local zoning laws often include minimum square footing for a house on a foundation and prohibit full time camping in a RV which is how tiny houses on wheels are classified. And sometimes what must be done to make a tiny house legal makes living in it all but impossible as Rowdy Kittens discusses here in her post On the Road Again…
 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

DIY Cigar Box and Wine Cork Storage Box

More often than I want to admit, phone and table cords, earphones, and eyeglasses are strewn about the side tables in my living room.  I put the stuff away. The next evening we need the stuff to read books or watch movies on our tablets and plop it on a table before heading off to bed. I put the stuff away…

It’s a never ending cycle.

A friend found a bunch of empty wood cigar boxes in the basement of her wine shop. I was drooling when I found out. Old cigar boxes are the gold standard of recycled project material just begging for an upcycle!

Needless to say, I made my way over to her shop and came home with a cigar box to make into a decorative storage box with wine cork feet to contain the flotsam and jetsam littering the living room.

 You have no idea how much work it took to to win the eBay auction for these vintage metal frames. I had my optimist fill them with my prescription. I love them!

How to Make a Decorative Cigar Box Storage Box 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

How to Make an Office Chair Mat

The plastic mats under the rolling chairs in our home office have seen better days. No matter what kind of office chair mat I buy, it eventually cracks, breaks, and sheds plastic chunks all over the carpet in the office.

I need to use a chair mat under our rolling chairs to protect the carpeting we aren't ready to replace.  Replacing the mats every couple of years isn’t sustainable. More than that it is a pain!

I solved our problem by making durable office chair mats from laminate flooring I bought at the Habitat Restore. I went with laminate flooring instead of plain plywood because I was concerned the plain plywood office chair mats would crack and break. Laminate flooring isn’t my favorite look but it is built to do the job I need it to do – be a floor.


Pin this tutorial for later!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Our Top Condo Blues Blog Posts for 2015

 Before we can say hello to 2016 we should take a look back at 2015. It is always interesting to me when I take a look at which Condo Blues projects and blog posts are the most popular posts of the year because I am almost always surprised!

2015 is no exception. I had no idea there were so many readers who want to cut glass bottles without fire or risk of burning down your house. I thought it was just me!
As we say good bye to 2015 and before we say hello to a bright, shiny, and new 2015 let’s take a look at my most popular Condo Blues in 2015.
 

How to Cut a Glass Bottle with Hot Water

 


Friday, December 4, 2015

Make Peek a Boo Window Gift Tags

After a two day craft room excavation I had a couple of boxes of old business cards and nice little pile of random paper, ribbon, buttons, and punches on my worktable. The following day and fueled by probably more hot chocolate than one person should drink in an afternoon I started to play.


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Once I got on a creative roll, I upcycled a bunch of old business cards into gift tags I’m not ashamed to tie onto our Christmas gifts this year. I have so many handmade stash buster gift tags, that I’m going to turn this craft project into a blog series. Come craft with me!

 

How to Make Embossed Gift Tags for Hanukkah or Christmas

Friday, November 6, 2015

Washi Tape Headphones

I decorated the headphones I keep on my desk with washi tape. By using paper washi tape I have a plastic free craft and the option to easily change the design in the future.

After awhile I wanted to step up my washi tape craft game from covering an object with the same washi tape design to projects that mix and match different tape patterns and colors. But here’s a little secret you don’t know about me: I choke when it comes to mixing and matching patterns in my décor projects. Also I only have two rolls of washi tape and they don’t coordinate.


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Luckily, I received a review copy of  Washi Tape Crafts: 110 Ways to Decorate Just About Anything by Amy Anderson, the author of the book Mod Podge Rocks! I knew Amy was writing a washi tape craft book but what I didn’t know is her book comes with 10 rolls of custom design washi tape.

Monday, October 26, 2015

10 Natural, Reycled, and Upcycled Acorn Crafts

Fall is one of the best times of the year to decorate with nature. A simple walk in the park or, if you are lucky, a few steps from your front door is a whole host of Mother Nature’s splendor just waiting for a little green Fall decorating and craft magic.

 
 Pin these clever ideas for later!


Autumn leaves, pumpkins, and cornstalks (I almost bought some from a farmer’s market on a whim last weekend,) are what I normally think of when it comes to Fall décor.

It wasn’t until I saw Dandelion Patina ‘s  recycled sweater and coconut shell acorns that I thought about decorating with acorns and acorn crafts. I pinned her post to my Fall decorating Pinterest board (follow me @condoblues on Pinterest pretty please?) and fell head first into real, recycled, and upcycled acorn crafts and decorations.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Quick and Easy Boat Cleat Towel Rack

I need to to organize the towels in the guest bathroom and found my design inspiration at the vet’s office. Wha? Let me explain.

Lacey’s vet has boat cleats on the main desk which allows you to anchor your pet’s leash (pun intended) over the cleat so your hands are free to make payments and sign paperwork.  It is quite genius and something I’d totally expect seeing growing up on Lake Erie.

The guest bathroom is taking on a nautical vibe. I like repurposed and reclaimed design elements. So why not organize my bathroom by repurposing dock cleats? Sounds like a plan.

How to Make a Boat Dock Cleat Towel or Coat Rack

 
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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Carve a Life Size Snake Pumpkin for Halloween!

You may not know this but I have something in common with the archaeological adventurer Indiana Jones.

I hate snakes.

I think snakes are creepy, ugly, slimy, and icky! Icky! Icky!

Spiders I can handle, but snakes? Not unless they are incredibly and undoubtably fake.


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 Or they light up. Like this guy!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Decorating with Real Pumpkin Topiaries and Mosaics

I appreciate carving and decorating with real pumpkins for fall and Halloween.

Doing it is another story.

 Pin this post for pumpkin decorating ideas!

Carving pumpkins is messy, goopy, and if you do it too early, moldy by the time Halloween rolls around. Besides, if don't carve the pumpkins, we can make fresh pumpkin puree (learn how on my food blog Lazy Budget Chef) and use it to make fantastic food after Halloween. Lacey likes this idea very much.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

How to Build a Rain Barrel Drainage Pad

Late summer/early fall is a great time to do garden landscaping projects. The weather isn’t as blazing hot as it is in the middle of summer and most of the materials are now on clearance to make room for fall and winter merchandise.

  
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Or in our case, you end up with a bunch of extra bricks from repairing your vintage brick garden border and want to do something with the lovely, worn, and free reclaimed bricks.

Thanks to two months of never ending rain and me replacing the broken spigot on the rain barrel (read the tutorial here) before the rains came, Husband and I have plenty of water to use for watering our new plantings. Eco Dork that I am, I get positively giddy watering my plants with rain water but I’m not happy with stepping in the mud that sometimes surrounds the rain barrel spigot.