Condo Blues: tutorial




Showing posts with label tutorial. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tutorial. Show all posts

Thursday, October 14, 2021

How to Make a Gnome Costume

I am playing a gnome at a renaissance festival. It’s a fun project because I’m a  second generation Danish American and nisse (what the Danish call gnomes. Some countries also call them tomte) are something we celebrate all year round but especially at Christmas when we thank the nisser (plural for nisse) for protecting the family and helping farms prosper with a bowl of rice porridge with a pat of butter on top on Christmas Eve (similar to American kids leaving cookies and milk out for Santa.) 

That’s why some non Scandinavians call them Christmas Gnomes when in reality, there is no such thing as a Christmas, Halloween, Easter, etc. gnome. Gnomes are just gnomes all year round (similar to Irish leprechauns. They are dress and act the same year round too.)

 

Nissa the Gnome Ohio Reniassance Festival 2021
Everyone say hi to Nissa Tomtesdottir the Gnome!

Traditionally gnomes look like a little man (with or without beard) or woman wearing a red hat, a red, blue, or gray Scandinavian peasant tunic/bodice and skirt, and is the about the size of an 8 to 10 year old child. This is what I am using as the start of my women’s gnome costume while making it in a 16th century silhouette with Scandinavian elements (more difficult than it sounds because the Danish national costume is different by region and based on clothing from the 17th to 19th centuries.) 

I have the added challenge of designing a mythical creature described as looking like a small human (at least I have that part down!) like she belongs with a group of Shakespearean fairies who have very elaborate makeup which doesn’t work for a gnome.  I’m required to have rosy red cheeks (which I’d rather not do at all but I’d rather that than being required to airbrush all of my exposed skin a different color) and wear my hair in braids (I bought these cute rose metal hair hooks to hide my modern hair ties.) (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.) 


Ohio Renaissance Festival Fairies and Gnome

 Family entertainment from the Fae Family! Sprout, the Seed Fairy (left,) Fawn the Fairy of Fluffy Animals (center,) and me as Nissa the Gnome (right.) Photo courtesy of Steven Kohus

Sunday, August 22, 2021

How to Make a Fairy Ivy Leaf Parasol

I’m performing a fae (a fairy. Well, actually, I’m a gnome) character at an outdoor renaissance festival. True to a gnome’s (and my own) Scandinavian roots, I’m fair skinned and burn easily in the sun. I’m also not fond of standing out in the rain without an umbrella either. 

In the past, I carried a waterproof bamboo parasol but that is not really going to work for the over the top Shakespearean fairy esthetic I need to create. Can we talk about how difficult it is to design a mythical creature described as looking like a human the size of an 8 year old boy and  looks like she belongs with a group of fairies who look like natural elements like this this acorn green man wall decoration (you can buy it here)? (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.)

Elizabethan fairies look less human and more like trees, flowers, animals with a humanish face. The more human-looking Tinkerbell type of fairy we are more used to came about during the Victorian era.

 

I figure the best way to do that is make a waterproof canvas bamboo parasol in the shape an ivy leaf.

 

diy fairy ivy leaf parasol
Save this costume prop idea to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!


How to Make a Waterproof Bamboo Parasol

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
.

Monday, August 16, 2021

The Greatest Waterproofing Spray Can Hack of All Time

I made a new canvas cover for an outdoor umbrella. Naturally I wanted to waterproof the canvas. If I can keep the sun from fading the color, that would be nice too.

The most eco friendly way to waterproof fabric is to coat it in melted beeswax. It's a messy process and  I'm afraid the wax coating will melt in the high heat days of summer we like to describe as Hell's Front Porch.

A fabric waterproofing spray is the easiest and least messy way to go. Since I am doing this project outside while wearing a dust mask, I used this exact Scotchgard Sun and Water Shield Spray because it repels water and UV ray resistant. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.) Although truthfully, I wasn't looking forward to the finger cramps and pain and uneven coating result of using a traditional aerosol spray can - until I hacked it!

When I noticed the button on the can of Scotchguard looked like it was the same size the large button on a can of spray paint, I had a flash of inspiration and hoped it would work. I made my aerosol spray can pain free by grabbing this exact wide button spray paint trigger, excuse me comfort grip from the garage and attached it to the Scotchguard can. It fit! 

 

how to spray scotchguard waterproofing spray evenly
Save this spray can hack to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

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!

  

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Why Are My Tomatoes Rotting on the Bottom?

I’m attempting to grow tomatoes in this year’s garden. I say attempt because I haven’t had much luck in the way of getting a plant to give me more than a handful of tomatoes any time I plant tomatoes.

I am determined that this summer will be different. I read everything I could find on how to grow tomatoes. I bought a more mature tomato plant instead of attempting from seed and upped the watering schedule.

I was excited to see more  blossoms than I’ve ever had on a tomato plant. I cheered when they grew into green tomatoes.  I was overjoyed when I plucked the first red tomato. Finally I broke our tomato curse!

Until I turned the tomato over and found this.

how to prevent blossom end rot in the garden
 Save this tutorial to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

Blossom end rot!

Vegetable Garden Blossom End Rot What it is, How it Happens, and How to Fix It

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!

Sunday, June 27, 2021

How to Prepare Walls for Painting

As much as I would love to jump into my bathroom and start slapping new paint on the walls, the new paint would look awful. I’d make the job ten times harder if I don’t prepare the walls for paint first. I lot of folks  don’t bother filling nail holes and such thinking they’ll hang the same stuff in the same place on the walls of the newly painted room. Sometimes that’s the case. More often than not, plans change and the little hole you have to fill and repaint is going to look worse than if you filled it before you started the project.

Trust me. I get it. I’ve had this conversation with myself every time I’m tempted to take a shortcut when my master bathroom renovation throws me another unexpected curve ball.

“Do you want to do it fast or do you want to do right?” is always the last question I ask myself before I make a decision about a task. Then I sigh and say,”I want to do it right.” Sure it may be more of a pain or take longer (hence the internal sigh) but doing it right the first time is better than cheating and having to do it over again.

 

how prepare a room for painting
Save these painting tips to your Pinterest boards for later! Share them with your friends!

How much preparation your room will need for paint will depend upon:

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 10, 2021

Giant Lawn Flamingos and Friday Favorites Week 585

How do you know it is officially summer?

  • It is after Memorial Day?
  • The lavender is starting bloom in my garden?
  • The weather is warm and kids are playing in neighborhood spinklers?
NO!

At my house it isn't officially summer until Divine my metal lawn flamingo takes residence in my garden  (much to the chagrin of my husband.)


She's no Frank the Christmas Gargoyle but she's 6 feet tall and I love her.



Time to link up your favorite projects, recipes, and 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. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

7 Beginner Resin Casting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

I was able to salvage the last builder grade vanity  from my bathroom renovation for my workshop. I want to make it into the miter saw cabinet I desperately need – on wheels!

how to turn a cabinet into a rolling miter saw stand
I love that standard bathroom vanities are the perfect Lisa height work bench

I had to make some repairs to the cabinet to fix the damage I made to it when I removed it. I added a few reinforcements to ensure the cabinet  will take stand up to a heavy saw and before I added four locking casters just like these to the bottom. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.) I chose casters I can lock in place to reduce the chance of the miter saw stand rolling backwards when I use the saw. I don’t think that would be a pleasant experience.

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.


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.

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. 

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! 

Monday, March 22, 2021

DIY Compost Station

When someone asks why we started composting, my husband and I say it’s because we had to because all we had for garden was clay and zero topsoil. We sang the condo blues over how very little would grow in that pretending to be soil, researched how to amend it, and experimented with composting in a DIY compost bin.

I made our first compost bin by drilling a bazillion holes in a black plastic trash can. We loaded it up with food scraps and paper from our paper shredder and in about a year we had compost! We added the homemade compost to our soil and after awhile our tan clay soil started to turn black with nutrients. I practically dance the first time I dug a hole and found an earthworm – it is another indicator that the soil is improving!

 

We take our composting very seriously. Why do you ask?

 

And we’ve been composting ever since.

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!