Condo Blues: ideas




Showing posts with label ideas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ideas. Show all 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

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

How to Make Easy Storage Bin Labels

I am a famous for storing something in "a better place" and forgetting where I put it. 

And that goes double for my sewing room and craft studio.

I eventually learned that if I take 10 minutes of my time to make a label for an item, I will always put it back where it belongs and save an hour of searching for it later. It also keeps family members from asking me to stop what I'm doing to find household items that are staring them in the face. I tell them to read the label to the bin/caddy/pocket/shelf/whatever.

Genius!

I need to label the new storage bins I'm putting in my craft room. I want them to look cute but they also need to be something I can easily update because my supplies rotate in and out. I considered chalkboard labels like these  but figure the writing will wear off with handling based on other chalkboard labels I use (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.

how to make clip on storage container labels
Save this tutorial to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!


One thing I like about decluttering and organizing a creative space is I often find a long forgotten cache of supplies that I can use to make or build the custom storage solution I need. In this case, the buried treasure is a bunch of discontinued countertop samples a friend gave me. I'm going to craft those countertop samples into storage bin and box labels and show you how to do it! 

Sunday, May 2, 2021

The Best Ever Quick and Easy Sewing Pattern Storage and Organization Idea

I store my sewing patterns in a recycled shoebox because it is the width of a sewing pattern envelope.

Also, with a husband who is a long distance runner, I can get a replacement shoe box when I need it on the regular.

It worked for awhile - until it didn’t.

As I’ve done more costuming work, my pattern envelopes are  in all shapes and sizes. On more than one occasion I plopped the whole pattern into a gallon size zipper baggie because the pattern pieces won’t fold to fit back into its envelope. I try to store my sewing patterns by category but they quickly return to their natural disorganized state – a pile busting out of its shoe box(es.)

how to store and organize craft and sewing patterns
Please excuse the carpet that needs vacuuming. That’s what prompted me to move the pile and find a better solution.

This is not working. I need to find a better way to store and organize my sewing patterns that fits in a small, limited craft room space.

Friday, April 30, 2021

Friday Favorites Week 579

Time to link up your favorite projects, recipes, and posts! 

  

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Sunday, April 25, 2021

DIY Farmhouse Floating Shelf

During our bathroom renovations the bed in the guest room/craft room has become a de facto storage area that also holds crafty bits.

Who am I kidding?

The bed is a  dumping ground. It is a mess and it is driving me nuts.

Fortunately I have a great spot for a wall shelf to store the crafty bits above the closet door if I use a floating shelf. Let’s do it!

how to make a farmhouse style floating shelf
Save this tutorial to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!


How to Make a Quick and Easy Floating Shelf

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! 

Sunday, April 18, 2021

10 Zero Waste Craft Projects that also Save Money

I recently read an article claiming that zero waste living doesn’t have to be expensive.

That immediately said to an interviewed college student who said that they couldn’t afford a $20 zero waste made from adopted unicorn tears deodorant that the student just needs to change their attitude because they are buying better and more expensive stuff. Because the superior feeling of spending more money on low waste deodorant outweighs the reality of then not having enough money for school books or tuition, I guess?

The author also said that no one who wants to go low waste (which is a more accurate description than the search engine friendly term zero waste) does it to save money.  It really burns my cookies that when confronted with the reality of price, a zero waste expert ignores it and tells you to buy it anyway. That's how zero and low waste living gets the (wrong) perception that its only for the privileged!

10 ways to make zero waste save money

Save these ideas to your Pinterest boards for later! Share them with your friends!

My family is practically debt free because we don’t waste things. As I started switching from disposables to reusables the amount of trash we make plummeted and extra dollars accumulated in the bank. For example it cost zero dollars to stop using plastic zipper baggies and plastic wrap for sandwiches and leftovers and start using the containers with lids (many repurposed) I already had. I had no idea how much money we wasted on that stuff until we didn’t need to buy it anymore - and you could see a serious dent in how much landfill trash it kept out of our bin.

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. 

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Why and How to Sift Compost

I recently upgraded our single tumbling compost bin to this exact double tumbling compost bin hoping to correct some mistakes we made when we started our first compost pile. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.)

The mistakes we made weren’t horrible and we did create usable compost that turned our practically all clay tan colored garden beds to earthworm rich dark black soil. But the compost coming out of the bin has always been soggy. It was also full of plastic bits we thought would compost but didn’t break down.

How did this happen? Well for one, since we don’t have access to grass clippings or leaves we used shredded paper and cardboard for brown matter (and any sawdust I made in the garage) and we simply didn’t add enough. The fix for wet or smelly compost is to always have more dry brown matter in your compost pile than green matter (vegetable and fruit peels, coffee grounds, etc.) As for the plastic bits, we’d just empty the entire contents of our home office paper shredder into the compost bin and all of those window envelopes I shredded thinking they would break down because they are made from cellulose where actually some sort of plastic.

There was finished compost  in the bottom of the single compost bin but because it stopped turning and we couldn’t mix it very well with one of those compost turner things that look like this. Our compost was a big wet clump full of unwanted bits that I could easily save by sifting the almost finished compost and chucking a ton of this exact wood chip pet bedding into one side of the new compost bin and let it break down. Adding more shredded paper and cardboard boxes would also do the trick but I didn’t have enough of either in the quantity I needed at the time.

how to fix wet smelly compost

Save this idea to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!


Thursday, March 25, 2021

DIY Replacement Lawn Chair Bag and Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 572

Ah Spring! Where it is sunny and tempting but still too cold to play outside. 

And by play I mean, dig in the garden or build stuff in the yard.

Instead, I ramp up the Spring Cleaning, reorganizing, and repairing. That way it gives me plenty of time to repair our toys and gear for summer fun. For example, the bags our folding lawn chairs can in ripped beyond repair and I sewed this quick and easy camp chair replacement bag from a jaunty nautical fabric.

how to make a replacement folding camp chair bag


Time to link up your favorite projects, recipes, and posts! 

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

DIY Non Toxic Resin Look Coasters

Six years ago I made a set of aluminum can coasters that looked like this:

 

 

After years of abuse with a constant stream of hot coffee cups and cold beverages all day every day the coasters on our desks now look like this:

 

DIY coaster makeover before

Choosing a difference adhesive may have helped as well as adding a  protective coating to the top. Cutting down on coffee and ice water is not going to happen  - ever.

 

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

Save this fairy door craft idea to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

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 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!

Sunday, January 31, 2021

DIY Plastic Free Pot Scrubber

Disposable kitchen pot scrubber sponges are one thing I was happy to kick to the curb after trying washable and reusable Paperless Kitchen sponge scour pads (you can learn about them here.) Finally I had a plastic free dish scrubbie that I could pop in the top rack of the dishwasher to clean on the regular! (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.) 

Until the garbage disposable tried to eat one. 

RIP pot scrubber. 

So much for zero waste :( 

Fortunately More than one reusable dish scouring pads came in the package so it wasn’t a total loss. I also used it as the motivation I needed to try an idea I have been mulling around for awhile: crochet a plastic free pot scrubber from jute twine. 

Well, that and Cabin Fever.

But you know what? It  worked!

how to crochet a plastic free pot scrubber sponge
Save this zero waste idea to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

 

How to Crochet a Jute Dish Scrubber Sponge for Absolute Beginners

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!

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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Thursday, December 17, 2020

Slow Christmas Ideas and Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 560

Christmas is my favorite time of year because there are so many fun places to go, things to see and performances to do before we get the extended family together for a big, happy celebration on Christmas day!  

Except this year. It's a pivot. pivot. Christmas pivot kind of year.

But you know what? I'm enjoying the change. 

Wine Advent Calendar
After opening the last couple of days of our DIY wine Advent calendar, I'm starting to understand the appeal of Advent calendars!

  • No quick, wolf down dinner, we have to book it out the door and to an event.

  • No fighting traffic, crowds, or stores because everything is being picked up or delivered to our door (let's give an extra shout and thank you to all postal and delivery drivers. THANK YOU!)

  • There's the chance to put the holiday things you don't always enjoy aside for something new because it's just the household this year. For us, we're going to start our day with mimosas and end it with either fancy lobster tails or super causal homemade pizza for dinner. We haven't decided yet. Which one would do you think we should have for Christmas dinner?

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Happy Hanukkah and Linky Party Week 559

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah! I hope you start your holiday off right and celebrate happily and safely. 

Happy Hanukkah













Time to show off your creative recipes, projects, and ideas!