Condo Blues




Friday, October 3, 2008

Kitchen Décor That Only Norman Bates Could Love

Haiku Friday

Bad Idea Bears visit
while I drool at décor ideas
Look! Norman Bates’ house

I’m absent-mindedly looking around online for items that I could use to decorate The Condo for Halloween. And wouldn’t you know it, the Bad Idea Bears showed up and tried to convince me to buy a bunch of weird stuff and redecorate.



Bad Idea Bears: These items all go together; you could use them all to decorate your kitchen! Don’t pay attention to what Kenneth Brown says in his TV show Over Designed. Theme kitchens are very in this year.

Me: Well yeah, if you’re some homicidal nutcase like Serial Mom or Norman Bates from the movie Psycho! No. I’m not doing a CSI kitchen theme in the Condo.

Bad Idea Bears: (Batting their eyelashes and looking excessively cute) Pleeeeeese!

Me: Weeeell. I suppose I could blog about it. I haven’t done a design-centered post in awhile. It’s October and time to plan for Halloween. And I am feeling kinda cheeky…

Bad Idea Bears: Yaaaaaay!

So let’s take a look at how Norman Bates may decorate his kitchen if we wanted to proudly proclaim to the world that he is in fact, a psycho nut job. (And before you ask, no. I don’t seriously recommend decorating a house in this theme. I’m just trying to appease the Bad Idea Bears and my Inner Brat after having a not so great week.)

Let’s have some fun, shall we?

Scene: Day

Setting: The kitchen of the Psycho house on the Universal Studios lot. Where else?


(Norman Bates walks into the back door of his house and into the kitchen after a hard day of work at the Bates hotel. Norman fumbles in the dark for the Hanging Harry Light Pull and turns on the overhead kitchen light.)

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(Then Norman puts on a manly black chef’s apron and begins to prepare a sumptuous meal for his mother.)

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He decides to make stir fry. That involves chopping a lot of vegetables. Fortunately, for Norman he has a fondness for kitchen knives and the Ex Knife Holder.

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In fact, Norman likes to chop things up so much that keeps around two sets of knives in his kitchen! When a situation demands a good hack, slash, or chop, he knows he can count on the knives in his Throwzini knife holder.

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Norman thinks Mother may be a little peckish after sitting in the basement all day. He decides to make her some hors d'oeuvres and looks for the Pound party picks.

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Norman: Oh goodness! The party picks are in the dishwasher. I can’t use dirty party picks. Mother would not approve. I suppose I’ll serve her a plate of cheese cubes instead. Now, where did I put the OUCH! Voodoo doll toothpick holder? Oh there it is!


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SFX: the telephone rings. (Norman puts his cup of tea (hemlock, perhaps?) on a Splat Stan Coaster. He answers the telephone.)

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(Norman grabs a pen from his Dead Fred Penholder, writes something on a piece of paper, and hangs up the telephone.)

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Norman: (calling to his Mother off screen) Mother! I have to go. Janet Leigh is going to check into the hotel tonight. After I deal with her, we’ll set down to a nice dinner and watch a nice wholesome family movie like Grindhouse, OK?
End of Scene

Welcome to the inner workings of my mind. For the record, no amount of prescription medication or therapy makes the Bad Idea Bears go away. Sometimes you just gotta roll with it. That’s a fact.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Save Some Bucks – How to Seal Heating Ducts!

I am on a mission to seek out and destroy air leaks in The Condo so I can save money on my heating and cooling bills this year. According to energystar.gov it will be worth it too:
“EPA estimates that homeowners can typically save up to 20% of heating and cooling costs (or up to 10% of total energy costs) by air sealing their homes
and adding insulation in attics, floors over crawl spaces, and accessible basement rim joists.”

One place to look for air leaks is in the heating and air-conditioning (also known as HVAC) ducts in your home (or Condo.) Air leaks make your HVAC system use more fuel and work harder to do the job it’s supposed to do. And that can cost you money. Especially if those air leaks are in the unheated/uncooled areas of your home such as a basement, or in my case, in an unheated utility room.

There are generally two places where air leaks occur and that you need to seal:

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How to Freeze Fresh Tomatoes

I like to eat fresh tomatoes. When my friends and neighbors have an overabundance of tomatoes growing in their gardens and ask me to take some of their extra tomatoes off of their hands the correct answer is always “yes!” because I only have room on my patio for one hanging tomato plant.


Luckily, a generous soul gave me a big ol’ bag of tomatoes this summer. Unluckily, it was two days before I planned an out of town trip. I knew if I left those fresh red beauties in my refrigerator while I was on vacation a week later I’d come back to a bunch of spoiled tomatoes, ready for the compost bin. I don’t have super duper canning skills, equipment, or knowledge. Time was also at a premium. What do to do? I sent those tomatoes to the deep freeze. Yes, it’s true. You can freeze tomatoes.

Here’s how.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

How to Make Moth Repelling Lavender Sachets

I love the look and smell of the lavender growing in my front yard. I also love that lavender is a natural moth and pest repellant.

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This year, I had a good crop of lavender and decided to make sachets that I could hang up in my closets to keep the moths at bay.

First, I dried the fresh lavender. Once it was dry, I removed the flowers and cut the stalk and leaves into tiny bits.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Save Travel Time and Money with a Zero Waste Road Trip

Husband, Blitzkrieg, and I took off for an 8-hour road trip from Ohio to a tiny mountain town in Northern Georgia. When we travel with our dog, we bring a picnic lunch because we don’t want to leave the dog alone in a hot car for health and safety reasons. I wondered if we could do it as a Zero Waste or Low Waste road trip beause depending up whom you read on the Web or watch on TV (hello Planet Green!), doing something the Green Way is always:

· More expensive
· More time consuming
· More difficult
· but better for the environment


Long story short – we did it! And guess what?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Make a Denim Beaded Cuff Bracelet From a Coffee Cup Sleeve

Here's another idea on what to do with those leftovers when you make a pair of shorts from a pair of pants. Grab a cardboard coffee cup sleeve, some thread, and some beads and create a bejeweled cuff bracelet!




Beads by Lilli uses denim for her bracelet but I think any fun scrap fabric will work for this project. In fact, you could wrap some tin foil around two of those coffee cup sleeves and make yourself a set of Wonder Woman bracelets for Halloween!

Is it too early to think about this year's Halloween costumes?

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