Condo Blues




Friday, October 5, 2012

Fall Porch Reveal

All of the projects are done and it's time to reveal my decorated fall front porch. This year I went with a fall theme instead of our traditional Halloween pirate theme. Husband and I aren't feeling skeletons and ghosts since our one eyed pirate dog Captain Blitzkrieg isn't here to pilot our ship this year.

That's why we're going with Fall y'all.

Sorry, can't help it. It rhymes.

I did the new fall porch decorations for under $20 because I remade and reused what I had on hand.

Let's break it down.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Quick and Easy Butter Maple Shea Butter Soap

I love handcrafted soap but figured I shouldn't jump into another hobby that requires so much new equipment, is stinky, and makes a ton of stuff we may or may not like cold process soap. 

Then I found handmade glycerin soap. I can make small amounts if need be and play with scents, colors, and additives more easily - that’s my favorite part. 

Let's give it a whirl.

I bought my soap making supplies from Consumer Crafts and may have gotten a little carried away while I was shopping.   I made an unboxing video to show you what I got in my order because my $50 budget went a very long way. Yay! Now I have extra supplies to make Christmas gifts.



I did a little comparison shopping at Michael's yesterday. Can I just say woo to the hoo for Consumer Crafts bigger selection and lower prices?


How to Color Natural Shea Butter Soap With Kitchen Spices


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fall Drop Cloth Garland

This year I’m going with more autumn fall decorations for our porch instead of Halloween garlands and ghouls. I’m also trying to use what I have on hand with a few little extras here and there. Not only is that greener and cheaper but it will also help me clear a bit of leftover the fabric I have stored in my craft room from my costuming days. High fives all around!

I like the garland d├ęcor I see all over Pinterest. I think strings of orange pennant flags over the windows and door will be festive. To tie the bunting flags in with the drop cloth house flag I made, I moved into an urban country chic decorating direction (I hope) and made a cloth garland from the leftover orange and drop cloth fabric. Waste not and all that.



If you are looking for a plastic free decorating idea, this one’s for you!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Barnwood Speaker Shelves

Its funny how one little DIY project like painting an accent wall turns into a tumble of DIY projects like installing a TV wall mount, updating the fireplace surround with paint, and now building barn wood shelves for the surround sound speakers. It is like eating Terra Chips around here. I can’t eat just one.

During the mounting the flat screen TV project I did as part of Husband’s birthday present, I originally wanted the surround sound speaker placement to be on the back wall around the TV for optimal sound. I realized I have more TV than TV niche wall space. Plan B: make surround sound shelves from the reclaimed wood I rescued from a broken fence.

Learn how to build these reclaimed wood display shelves. It's easy. Promise.

I feel like I should almost apologies for having a flat TV, surround sound, and TV components because in  having a TV, let alone cable and a video game system is pooh-poohed in eco circles. I’m going to address it but I’m not going to apologize for it.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fall Drop Cloth House Flag

This year Husband and I decided to go with fall decorations for the porch and yard instead of our traditional sea dog cemetery since our one eyed pirate dog is not here to captain the ship.

I’m starting with our garden house flag. The LisaLand flag (an inside joke that Husband had made into my birthday present) is summery and a tad worn. Normally I replace it with a pirate flag I put up for InternationalTalk Like a Pirate Day (yarr!) and leave up until after Halloween. Yo ho ho and a bottle of chardonnay! (That’s what girlie pirates drink.)


I poked around a few stores for personalized house flags and the luck of being me, the house flags I like did not have a W. Who knew our initial was so popular?

When I can’t buy, I’ll DIY! 

Friday, September 14, 2012

I'm Canning Tomatoes!

Our almost illegal but not quite tomato plants (read the story on Lazy Budget Chef. It involves a police helicopter AND a paddy wagon) exploded into a bunch of tomatoes. We definitely met our 2012 DIY goal of growing more than six tomatoes. Yay!
 
The results are delicious.

But more than we can eat right now.

Last summer, I faced my fear of canning (don’t laugh. It’s true) and canned strawberry peach jam with leftover fruit (our eyes were bigger than our stomachs) and raspberry Moscato jam. No one died of botulism AND we had a nice stash of impromptu Christmas gifts in the pantry. I call that I double win.

You can find the recipes on my food blog Lazy Budget Chef

The use what canning equipment I had on hand method worked well enough for me to consider buying a canning kit to make home canning easier. Fortunately, my mom passed her canning supplies down to me. I was off and running. Well, actually, it is more like trotting.