Condo Blues




Friday, September 7, 2012

How to Paint a Gas Fireplace

 A fireplace wasn’t a Must Have when Husband and I house shopped but I secretly hoped our first home would have a fireplace. We lucked out when we found our Condo. It has everything on our Must Have and Wish Lists including a fireplace.

I still like the fireplace but I’m falling out of love with the brass accents. I would love to use the brass as an excuse to buy a new brass free gas fireplace with a clear rock insert that makes it look like fire and ice when you light a fire.

how to paint a gas fireplace surround
Fireplace Before

However, I can’t justify the resources and expense it takes to replace a fireplace we rarely use. Angie of Country Chic Cottage  and Cara of Moore Craft Time  issued a Craft Lightening challenge – to make something that takes 15 minutes or less, excluding the drying time for paint or glue.

I looked at my 2012 DIY Goal List and took them up on the challenge. It’s time for a quick and easy fireplace update.

How to Paint a Gas Fireplace 


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Urban Scrawl Inspiration

Urban Scrawl MuralHusband and I have the best friends in the world. Our in real life group is so understanding of our devastating loss of Blitzkrieg. We got sympathy cards, personal calls, and condolences from an overwhelming number of friends, neighbors, our family vet, and the vet hospital oncology team. Every single one touched our hearts but none so much as Blitzkrieg's oncology nurse. She made and painted a plaster paw print she took of Blitzkrieg for us on her own. Tears I did not know I had welled up inside me when I unwrapped it.

Many of our friends are calling us for spur of the moment dinners and get togethers too. Thank you friends. Keeping busy helps.

That's how Husband and I ended up at Urban Scrawl. One of our couple friends invited us to join them at Urban Scrawl because they know we like local food and arty things.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Salt Resist Tie Dye T Shirt

I didn’t check a white thrift store t shirt carefully enough in the store. I brought it home and realized it has a stain I can’t remove. Bummer.

Not really.

I tie dyed the t shirt and made it better than new!



Once upon a time, a booth at the Viking Festival sold tie dyed Scandinavian flag t shirts. I wanted a Danish flag tie dye t shirt, but they were out of my size. They haven’t been back to the festival since. This idea inspired my t shirt design.

Make a Danish Flag Tie Dye T Shirt

Thursday, August 23, 2012

7 Tips for Buying a Comfortable Backpack

I like to use a backpack when I am traveling because it doesn’t scream, I HAVE AN EXPENSIVE CAMERA IN HERE PLEASE STEAL IT like my fancy camera bag does.

Unfortunately, once I switched to a heavier DSLR camera my current backpacks (I’ll get to that in a minute) didn’t work for me. The backpack straps sit on a knot I have in each shoulder.

The extra weight of the camera plus whatever else I want to carry (water bottle, etc.) rides the knots like a cowboy on rodeo night. I get a migraine. Dealing with a migraine is not the way I want to spend my vacation, or for that matter, a blogging conference.



As a green blogger, I get information about backpacks made from eco friendly materials all the time. I appreciate that but an ill fitting backpack made from eco friendly materials is useless because I will spend more time and resources replacing it with more backpacks that may or may not hurt my back. If I have to go with a  backpack made from not so eco friendly materials I’d rather it be made from material that takes a beating and lasts as long as my backpack from the 80’s that I still have and use.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Brass Drawer Pull Makeover

I am not a fan of brass knobs and drawer pulls, especially the Chippendale style brass drawer pulls. Too much of an old lady with a house that smells like bad cheese and 80's brass everything combo sandwich for me.

Do not confuse this with Chippendale Dancers. Those Chippendales I like.

If I got a dresser full of Chippendale drawer pulls in desperate need of a makeover, I'd be out the door buying new pulls before the first coat of paint was dry. Diane from in my own style  has a cheaper, greener, and cuter way to go. She remade the drawer pulls with paint and paper napkins.


The colors she used are to die for too. 

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Tool Test Masking Tape vs Painter’s Tape

My insomnia is visiting and won’t leave like an obnoxious relative (not that I have any experience with obnoxious relatives who won't leave my house. My relatives are lovely.) Putting my energy into a project helps me get through the days I miss Blitzkrieg so much that I want to jump out of my skin because I haven't slept in days.

So instead of packing before I left for BlogHer, I grabbed the low VOC paint I had left over from painting the kitchen and used it to paint an accent wall in the living room as a no cost project.

I have several half rolls of painter's tape in my tool stash (this will teach me to keep the garage more organized.) I also had a roll of masking tape I don't remember buying. I remember my parents using masking tape to tape off windows and molding when they painted my childhood fixer upper but I’ve always used blue painter’s tape for painting projects. I’m not sure why.

Let’s find out.