Condo Blues

Sunday, June 30, 2013

How to Compost Paper

The clay soil in my garden is so bad,

"How bad is it?!" you say.

That I was so frustrated, tired, and sore from a week jumping on the shovel with my whole body to dig into the dirt and turn it I named my blog Condo Blues.

It took a good long while to amend our soil and get it healthy enough to grow something that didn't die the following year. What is the secret to our now thriving landscape?


This is what the compost in my compost bin I built from a storage tub looked like when I checked the bin in last spring.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

How to Emboss Ribbon with a Sizzix Big Shot

I forgot to buy a birthday card.

I had a stack of colored paper, a brand new Sizzix Big Shot die cutting and embossing machine and the 10 dies from the Sizzix Big Shot Balancing Act Value Pack (courtesy of  Sizzix and The Balancing Act on Lifetime TV) sitting in front of me on the craft room table.

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I should be able to whip up a cute card in no time with all of this stuff, right?

Not so much.

I couldn't come up a design I liked and was feeling out of my element because I don't do paper crafts very often. Thanks a lot Pinterest!

Then it hit me. The Big Shot die cuts fabric (my comfort zone), as well as the  paper, card stock, metal (think soda pop can thin type) I tested while I was figuring out how I wanted to make the birthday card.

Fabric got my creative wheels turning. If I can die cut fabric, I wonder if the Big Shot can emboss ribbon?

Let's find out.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

11 Pretty Summer Things to Inspire Your Home Decor

While running errands and being otherwise frazzled during one of those weeks, I needed a little Me Time to recharge my creative brain. One way I do that is to look at pretty home decor eye candy. 

That's how I found myself in Homegoods after buying dog food for Lacey. This isn't a sponsored post or ad or anything. It just so happens we buy Lacey's human grade ingredient and only full of good stuff  dog food at a regional pet store that just so happens to share a shopping center with a Marshall's/Homegoods and  sometimes eye candy drive bys happen.

Let's "shop" for home decor and DIY ideas and inspiration!

First up, are mint green shabby chic, pretend antique candle holders. One thing I like about this particular store (other than it is close to home) is they put together some since shelf displays in the dinnerware section. It is hard to tell from my cell phone photos, that the candleholders are displayed with the pseudo jadeite light green dishware and decor. The light green color is what makes this mismatch of items into a pretty display that works. This is something anyone can do to make what you already have look less of a hodge podge of stuff you have and like and more like a purposeful and spendy display of stuff you have and like for zero dollars. Not to mention the whole the greenest thing is to use what you already own thing.

I laugh to myself when I see a ready made knock off made to look like something a DIYer did or found in a antique/junk shop. Although I realize not that everyone has access to those real goodies or  time to redo them. A few fake goodies somehow have found their way into my house for the same reason.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

12 Tips for Low Waste Air Travel

I love to travel and have always hated dealing with checked luggage even before airlines started charging for it. Through many trips for pleasure and business I have packing a suitcase down to a science. I can travel almost anywhere – including a week in England – with a carry on suitcase and a backpack as my personal item.

 Air Travel Packing Tips 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Homemade Lavender All-purpose Cleaner

I made a super scum busting and disinfecting all-purpose cleaner that is all natural AND smells like the sweet, sweet smell of all natural lavender.

Lavender is a natural antiseptic. In fact, medics in World War I bound soldier’s wounds with sprigs of lavender to fight infection when their regular medications ran low.

Vinegar is a natural disinfectant, which makes it a great natural cleaner for most things although not everyone is fond of the smell.

After some DIY cleaner experiments with my lavender bush based on last winter’s all-purpose orange cleaner recipe, I came up a super scum busting antiseptic disinfecting all natural all-purpose cleaner

How to Make Lavender Antiseptic and Disinfecting All-Purpose Cleaner

Sunday, June 16, 2013

My Father’s Day Gift to the Most Important Men in My Life

I’m lucky gal. When I see something I want or need, I am not afraid to go into my workshop, pull out my tools, and make it. If I don’t know how to do or use what I need to make my idea a reality, I’m not afraid to ask (especially my BFF Google) or take a class and learn how to do it.

I always thought if people couldn’t find what they liked or have a champagne taste on a (craft) beer budget like I do they just build or make over something to fit their vision. Stereotypical Man’s Work and Woman’s Work never existed in my world. It has always been You Have Two Hands And The Job Needs To Be Done So Do It work.

Do you know who I have to thank for this?

My Dad.

My Father in law too.

Collectively Husband and I call them The DIY Dads.  Without these two men in my life, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. This post is my tribute to them and their Father’s Day gift. Well, part of it anyway.

Thanks Dad for not kicking me out of the garage while you worked on something, especially when I was little. For teaching me if I want something and don't want to wait, it usually best if you build yourself like our first DIY project,  the scrap wood step stool we needed so toddler me could reach the bathroom sink and brush my teeth. I’m sure I didn’t help much except maybe to hand you something or stay out of the way but I will never forget that once the paint was dry you said we built it.