Condo Blues: home improvement




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

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! 

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Wearing Wood Dutch Shoes Part 2 and Friday Favorites 598

One of the first questions I get when I'm wearing my Dutch clogs (called klompin. You can guess why) is are they a comfortable shoe to wear? I've had my shoes for awhile, broke them in during outdoor show rehearsals, and the opening weekend (12 hour days) of the festival I am performing in.

My answer is :

  • Yes, once you get used to walking in them (toe first instead of heel toe,) and  as long as you are wearing very thick socks/leather klompin socks (if you want to wear a slightly thinner knit sock) and
  • No, because I bought the wrong size. My first pair was a smidge too small and gave me blisters, they felt like they were heavy as rocks at the end of the day because my feet hurt so much. 

Fortunately, I found an unworn pair of wood shoes in my size on eBay and was able to get them much more quickly than ordering a new pair from the Netherlands. The correct size pair looks giant compared the original shoes I bought, take a look.

I am not wearing my thick wool socks in the photo so you can see that a correctly sized Dutch wood shoe is supposed to have a much larger gap between the shoe and your foot than when you size and buy leather shoes.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Labor Day Weekend and Friday Favorites 597

We're celebrating Labor Day this weekend in the US which we traditionally consider the end of summer.  Our agenda is full of BBQs, gatherings, and lot of head scratches for Lacey.

DIY dog treats
If you could fill this empty treat jar with some yummy homemade treats, that would be good too.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Machine Embroidered Shirt Cuffs and Friday Favorites 596

One of the funny things about being a historical entertainer is creating three layers of clothing and still be considered unseemly (by historical standards) even though you are not showing any skin because you are still in your underwear.

But one of the fun things about creating historical clothing is the chance to really go to town with the embellishments! For example, I just finished the machine embroidery on the collar and cuffs of my 16th century Danish chemise. The next step is to cut out the pattern (this Easy Noblemans/Noblewoman's Shirt Sewing Pattern by Alter Years
) with a few modifications to make it in the Scandinavian style and sew it together. (I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.)

diy redwork embroidery shirt cuff

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Dutch Wood Shoes and Friday Favorites 595

I'm in rehearsal for a show (all things being equal given the current health climate.) I'm hard at work breaking in my new character shoes!

  how to wear wood clogs 

This is an immediately slapped shoes on my feet after opening the box photo. You are supposed to wear thick socks which makes them more comfortable.


I quickly learned why the Dutch call clogs klompin
.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

How to Buy the Correct Size Backpack and Friday Favorites 594

Many parents are buying school supplies before their children start school (a few schools have already started!) It's much easier to tote that stuff back and forth to school, or anywhere really, in a backpack. 

 I almost always use my old college backpack instead of giant purse to hold our stuff. I almost always end up with a backache and at least one migraine during the trip too. I thought that is just the way it is when wearing backpack and after some research, I realized I couldn't be more wrong!

Once I learned to look for certain strap configurations, where the backpack sits on your back, and the proper size for my height (bigger and tiny small is not always better) I bought a backpack that hasn't given me issues and wrote a guide so you know what to look for too. You can read my comfortable book bag backpack buying guide 7 Tips for Buying a Comfortable Backpack here.

 

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

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Saving Tomato Plants from End Rot and Friday Favorites 593

The tomatoes on my plants started to ripen with a bad case end blossom rot last month because there wasn't enough calcium in the soil to allow the tomato plant to grow well (this was news to me.) 

I gave my tomatoes a good dose of this exact organic tomato fertilizer to get the calcium party started. I also started watering my tomato plants with a few teaspoons of powdered milk dissolved into my watering can. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.) 

The only reason I used powdered not fat milk instead of watering down regular milk is I bought the no fat milk by mistake and didn't realize it until I used to make a batch of failed yogurt. Turns out my yogurt's loss is my tomato's gain.

After a week of having more little fails than successes laying bathroom tile and sourcing material for a new costume commission, I finally have a big, fat, huge win! My tomatoes are ripening and there isn't any black rot eating away at the end of the tomato! 

how to save tomato plants from end blossom rot
My tomatoes are on the small side for Roma tomatoes but that probably has to do to the lack of calcium in the soil from the time I planted them. At least I know what not to do next year!

  

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Friday Favorites Linky Party 591

Let's get this party started! 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, 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!

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Celtic Fest Ohio and Friday Favorites Week 587

Last weekend I got a little bit of normality back and went to a shortened version of Celtic Fest Ohio, a celebration of Irish,Welsh, and Scottish food, music, dance, food, shopping, did I mention food? and drink. 

But I really had to work for it - as a volunteer! 


serving celtic feast at Celtic Fest Ohio
A little peak at the back stage magic it takes to serve patrons all the best food the British Isles have to offer at both Celtic Feasts!

And I worked my butt off - hard.

A huge thunderstorm knocked out the electricity in the area and flooded a section of the park (the water was waste high in that area during the storm) greeted me at volunteer check in. It threw me a curve because my assignment changed slightly due to a bunch of volunteers not showing up like they promised 😠. 

It was nothing I couldn't handle because I used to put on large scale events like this and curve balls and Plan B are the norm. Besides, waiting for power to come back on so I could get my cash box gave me a chance to pop into some of my friend's booths for fully vaxxed IRL tackle hugs. My emotional and spiritual gas tank started to fill and it felt wonderful.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Container Garden Organization Ideas and Friday Favorites Week 586

 Lacey realized that all of the plants in our patio garden are herbs and vegetables and tries to sneak  snacks from the small pots whenever we go outside. I needed a fast (and hopefully less expensive) solution to organize all of the new plants we bought from the garden center.


how to organize a container garden
The white tubes are watering tubes. You read my DIY self watering planter tutorial here

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!