Condo Blues: home improvement




Showing posts with label home improvement. Show all posts
Showing posts with label home improvement. Show all 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. 

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! 

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

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!

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! 

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! 

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! 

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! 

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! 

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!

Monday, February 8, 2021

Master Bathroom Remodel One Step Forward One Step Back

I've said it before and I'll say it again: home improvement isn't always as easy as they show it on TV. Anyone who tells you that you can do a quality renovation in a couple of days just like on TV is a big, fat lair who hasn't spent a week in an editing bay cutting weeks of construction footage into something that looks like it only took hours without taking basic things into consideration things like drying or delivery times.

In other words, after demolishing and installing a new subfloor I hit a snag. Drat!
Bathroom remodel snags they don't tell you on TV
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Thursday, February 4, 2021

Mason Jar and Wine Cork Centerpieces and Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 567

I like to mix up my home decor from time to time. I want a new center piece for our dining room table and thought it was a good time to revisit making my mason jar and wine cork candle holders.

The construction is simple. simple. simple.


Wine Cork and Mason jar candles


Put a handful of wine corks in a mason jar, add a glass tea light candle holder, pop in an electric or real tea light, and decorate with a bit of raffia. Cute. Quick. Cheap. Love that!


I showed you my project, now it is time for you to show me yours!

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

Thursday, January 21, 2021

The Best Ever Sea Shanty and Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 565

Sea Shanties are having a moment on TikTok and as a historical performer, I sing a lot of sea shanties.  Mingulay Boat Song is one of my favorites because its slow and steady rhythm makes it easy to visualize the whole crew pulling together to hoist anchor to sail home to their families.  


Most renaissance festivals end the day with a pub sing. Another reason I like Mingulay Boat Song is after my fellow performers sing it, the fun is just beginning. If you notice a bagpiper makes his way onto the stage towards the end of the song ready to rip with Scotland the Brave. Everyone claps. Some sing. Cast members jump up on benches and tables to encourage the crowd or dance. Sometimes there is a crack the whip silly dance snaking around the pub. It is a rowdy, good fun way to end the day!

It's that time again - show me what ya got!

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Easy Embroidered Coaster and Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 564

It seems like I am always cleaning little drips of soap or water that collect under and around the soap dispenser. 

I whipped up a couple of quick cloth coasters to catch the soap dispenser drips so I can swap them out when I need to toss the dirty one into the wash. I also took the opportunity to try out the embroidery features on my new sewing machine.


how to make a quilted cloth coaster
Save this idea to your Pinterst boards for later! Share it with your friends!



The construction is very simple. After embroidering my design on the top piece of fabric, I traced a round object onto the top, middle terry cloth layer, and bottom fabrics and cut them out. Next, I made a top, middle layer, and bottom fabric sandwich and sewed it together with bias tape. 

I showed you my project, now you show me yours!

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Funny Christmas Sweaters and Friday Favorites Linky Party 555

The Ugly Christmas Sweater trend is fun for the holidays, especially now that there are so many over the top so ugly they are kitschy fantastic sweaters out there in shopping and DIY land. 

But I don't have one because I hate the way busy prints look on me.

And honestly, I'd rather have a funny or clever Christmas sweater or shirt than an "ugly" one.

So I made one for my store  LNWCreativeGifts! Instead of writing Ho Ho Ho like regular people, I put in Santa's super short scientific notation of Ho cubed. You can get my funny Christmas Ho Ho Ho shirt here on your choice of many different t shirt and sweatshirt  styles for men, women, and children. How cute would this be for a family Christmas card photo? (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.)

Time to link up your best projects, home improvements, recipes, and creative ideas!

Thursday, November 5, 2020

DIY Cotton Bath Puff and Friday Favorites Linky Party 554

While everyone else was baking sourdough bread during quarantine, I was making hot process soap. I took notes on what I did right and wrong and while I can't quite get it as thick as commercial liquid soap like I want, it cleans and lathers beautifully especially when I use a plastic bath puff. While a loofah is zero waste because I can compost it, it doesn't perform as well as a mesh bath poof that has to be tossed after awhile due to bacteria buildup. I tried washing one once and it fell apart.

I hadn't crocheted since I was a kid and recently picked up a hook to make a dishcloth. I looked for more quick beginner crocket projects on Pinterest (follow me @condoblues on Pinterest pretty please?) and found the answer to my zero waste bath puff problem - crochet a bath puff from cotton yarn!

how to crochet a bath puff

I followed this crochet shower puff pattern from Hooked on Patterns and it was pretty easy once I got the hang of it. My shower puff isn't perfect but still not too shabby for the third thing I crocheted as an adult. Best of all, I can wash it in a mesh lingerie bag in the washing machine when I need to - no more bath puffs in my trash can ever again!

Time to link up your best projects, home improvements, recipes, and creative ideas!

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!

And if you love all of this week's favorites, please pin, share, and invite your friends to this week's linky party!

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Friday Favorites Linky Party 552

Our family has been trying to get out to enjoy the colors of Fall in a socially distant way. We're lucky to have a lot of dog friendly trails to walk in our local metro parks. This park surprised us by having photo ready Fall displays that allowed us to give Lacey a little rest while also snapping a few photos.

Fall activitiy ideas with your dog

Hi everyone! Lacey here!

Time to link up your best projects, home improvements, recipes, and creative ideas!

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!

And if you love all of this week's favorites, please pin, share, and invite your friends to this week's linky party!