Condo Blues: roundup




Showing posts with label roundup. Show all posts
Showing posts with label roundup. Show all posts

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 13, 2021

Easy Garden Watering Hack and Friday Favorites Week 581

I used to have a hard time not killing plants in my flower, herb, and vegetable gardens. I'd either overwater them or under water them. 

Often I thought a recent summer rain had already watered plants for me because the soil was wet on top but not deep down at the root of the plant. The result? Plant murder. (Unintentional, but it's still death.)

A few years ago, I learned a great little gardening hack on how to know when you need to water a garden that works 100% of the time - use a simple rain gage like this one! (Disclosure: I'm including an affiliate link for your convenience.)


best gardening tip and watering idea
I put my rain gage in a pot in my outdoor container garden.


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 8, 2021

Decorative Rain Barrel and Friday Favorites Week 576

As I type this it is raining. It is pouring. I'm dancing instead of snoring because it is warm enough to  hook up our rain barrel! Right now it is filling with sweet, sweet, organic and free rain water! We use rain water  I use to our container garden and make compost tea. It also keeps a poor drainage spot in our side yard from turning into a mud pit. 

Oh and it is pretty too. I looks like a giant boulder!


how to install a rain barrel
You can find pretty rain barrels similar to my Water Stone here (affiliate link for your convenience.)


I showed you my project, now you show my yours! Time to link up your favorite projects, recipes, and posts! 

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! 

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, 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 18, 2021

Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 567

Hi everyone Lacey here! Lisa is letting me take over the blog today. 

We hope everyone is safe and warm during the recent snowstorms. It has been snowing a lot and I've very glad my people are staying safe from slippery roads and stuff working from home. 

But mostly it is because I want my people home with me all day, every day.

 I like them. 

A lot.


Toasty warm!

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, 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 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, December 31, 2020

End of the Year Silver Linings and Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 562

What a long, strange, trip this year has been. My husband and I kicked off 2020 at a Roaring 20's party and shortly afterwards everything roared to a full stop. While it is all too easy to focus on the boatload  of the bad things that happened this year, for my sanity and mental health, I'm trying to focus on the few positives I experienced:

- I did a lot of projects on my Do It Yourself Honey! list. DIY, craft, and otherwise. As a result, I got  new and repaired clothes, household items, home improvements, and cleaned out a bunch of my fabric stash and scraps. Yay!

- A Christmas gift from my mother in law inspired me to relearn how to crochet. Something I haven't done since my grandmother taught me as a kid.

- Zooming all over the country to see friends, family, and performances regularly instead of the once or twice a year we normally do in real life.

- Having the free time to shop at farmer's markets and can a boatload of end of season sale tomatoes.

- Lacey is absolutely thriving with both of her people being at home 24/7 (although her people have gone a little stir crazy at times being home 24/7.) 

Hey Lisa, if you are looking for a project how about filling my treat jar with some homemade dog treats? It's looking pretty empty in there!

What good things happened to you this year?

Time to show off your creative recipes, projects, and ideas for the last time this year!

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 561



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

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 558

It's December and I did an early deep dive into my favorite time of year - CHRISTMAS! I normally don't decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving but this year I made the exception. Christmas lights and decor make me insanely happy especially when almost all of our decorations have a memory or story attached like the little Santas shown below.

Santa Claus decorations

My husband and I adopted one of these rolly polly guys when we visited a Christmas store during our vacation several years ago and he has made me smile ever since. What are your favorite December traditions?

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

Thursday, November 19, 2020

IKEA Christmas Decoration Shopping Haul and Friday Favorites Linky Party 556

Most of the time our Christmas decor usually favors our combined UK heritage and how we met as Elizabethan entertainers. I have some decorations that need to be retired/retired themselves. It wouldn't hurt to add more of my Danish heritage to our Christmas celebration since it will just be us at home this year.

So I went to IKEA and bought the place out. 


cute Christmas gnome decorations
Shopping with my gnomies!


I should say I was very, very tempted to buy the place out because it was filled with cute gnomes. In the Scandinavian countries many of their Christmas decorations are gnomes (the Danish and Norwegians call them nisser and the Swedish call them tomte) because all these little ones ask for their service of protecting the family (and help take care of the animals if you live on a farm) is a bowl of rice porridge with a pat of butter on top at Christmas. Nisser are particular about what they want and how it is given because, well, they are just being Danish­čśâ.

Here's what my cart looked like as I waited in the socially distanced line at checkout.


Best IKEA Christmas 2020 Decorations
There's a whole lot of happy in this shopping cart.

Many Danish families still decorate Christmas trees with real candles that they light for a few supervised hours on Christmas Eve (that's when Danish families open presents.) As much as I love burning candles, I'm leery of putting a lit candle on a dry tree. The glass clip candle ornaments are the best of both worlds - traditional candle look without the potential fire hazard.

The heart ornaments are another Danish Christmas decorating tradition in addition to the gnomes. This year has been a series of one thing after the other. I figure we should show a lot more love for each other and have the protection of as many nisser as possible.

I used the gnome Advent calendar bags to make a Christmas tree Advent calendar I'll add to the link party below. 

The most exciting score is the ceramic Julebuk (Swedish Yule Goat)! The Julebuk used to deliver presents to Swedes before Santa hit the scene. Most Julebuk decorations are traditionally made of straw but I really like the clean modern look of the IKEA Yule Goat. I look at it as a trade off since I never had a chance to buy IKEA's iconic Dala Horse decorations (another Swedish tradition.)

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

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, September 24, 2020

DIY Fall Pennant Banners and Friday Favorites Week 548

It is officially Fall! Itching for a project to do that wasn't so involved that I could finish it quickly if any of the major items I need to start my big involved projects finally come in after many Covid related delays.

It's a little too early to go all out and decorate for Halloween (or at least according to my Husband) so I poked around in garage and decorated the porch for fall with festival drop cloth pennant garlands on the windows and porch railing that I haven't used in quite awhile.

Instant fall flair! I will add my quick and easy fall banner tutorial to the link party below.


I showed you my project! Let's see your fantastic DIY projects, crafting, recipes, and tutorials!