Condo Blues




Sunday, December 13, 2020

Hearts and Gnomes Christmas Decoration House Tour

This year I mixed old and new to decorate the house for Christmas. As our gnome population grew so did my collection of Danish Christmas heart decorations. Actually many of them are Valentine's Day decorations I bought in February and use as Christmas hearts. As crazy as this year has been I think we all need to share a little more love, kindness, and compassion now more than ever.

Christmas out door decoration house tour
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Thursday, December 10, 2020

Happy Hanukkah and Linky Party Week 559

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah! I hope you start your holiday off right and celebrate happily and safely. 

Happy Hanukkah













Time to show off your creative recipes, projects, and ideas!

Sunday, December 6, 2020

How to Make Lavender and Eucalyptus Shea Butter Lotion

I absolutely love handmade soaps and bath items. Unfortunately handcrafted lotion bars didn’t work out for me. My annoying pollen allergies make my skin picky about the beeswax in them since you don’t know exactly what the bees ate before they created the wax –  because you know, bee life.

I experimented making body butters and learned that the greasy feeling I didn’t care for was due to the coconut oil I added to the mix. I also learned that you can turn any homemade body butter recipe into a lotion if you add water (which needs a preservative.) OK good to know.

quick and easy Shea butter lotion recipe
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A few more  experiments later I came up with a homemade non greasy, moisturizing lotion entirely made from plant based ingredients – including the preservatives. Yeah, yeah, I know. In green living circles many folks claim they don’t want to use chemicals. That is impossible because everything – even if it is organic  – is made of chemicals, including yourself.

What I believe they mean is that they do not want to use toxic chemicals, which I totally agree with. The same goes for preservatives. This lotion recipe contains water which is the perfect breeding ground for growing mold and bacteria, which then can be dangerous to use (that’s why bath and beauty items including handmade at the farmer’s market are required to have expiration dates.)  But not all preservatives are created awful! There are several natural and non toxic preservatives we can use such as Phenonip and that’s what we will be using today.

 Many homemade health and beauty remedies include Vitamin E. Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant that will keep the oils in the product from going rancid (and do fantastic things for your skin) but Vitamin E will not stop mold or bacteria from growing in the mixture from, for example, being introduced to the moisturizer from dipping your hand in the jar. I like to include Vitamin E in my handmade moisturizer recipes more for its beauty properties but if it helps keep the oils from going rancid while the Phenonip keeps the entire thing mold and bacteria free I think they are two co workers that work well together. Besides Vitamin E oil is cheap and available at most grocery stores. 

All Natural Zero Waste Homemade Shea Butter Moisturizer Recipe 

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 558

It's December and I did an early deep dive into my favorite time of year - CHRISTMAS! I normally don't decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving but this year I made the exception. Christmas lights and decor make me insanely happy especially when almost all of our decorations have a memory or story attached like the little Santas shown below.

Santa Claus decorations

My husband and I adopted one of these rolly polly guys when we visited a Christmas store during our vacation several years ago and he has made me smile ever since. What are your favorite December traditions?

Time to show off your creative recipes, projects, and ideas!

Monday, November 30, 2020

DIY No Sew Thread Cone Gnomes

I buy sewing machine thread in the colors I use most often in bulk by the serger cone. I  use stand alone bobbin winder like this one to wind the cone thread onto an empty regular size thread spool to use on my sewing machine. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.) This is supposed to keep me from running out of thread but when my historical costuming projects usually take up to 10 yards of fabric I still go through a ton of sewing thread.

Which means I have a nice little stack of empty thread cones on my To Upcycle shelf waiting for a craft project that never comes.

Until today!

I recycled empty thread cones into cute little gnomes. If you don’t have empty thread or serger cones cluttering up your house  waiting to be upcycled you can use paper craft cones like these

how to make recycled thread cone gnomes
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You will need for each gnome you want to make:

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Holiday Tablescapes and Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 557

Happy Day After Thanksgiving to my American readers and Happy Random Friday to the rest of the world! 

Like many of you, our Thanksgiving was different from previous years but in all honesty, was pretty darn awesome. For only the third time in my adult life, I didn't have to travel on or for the holiday which meant I got to watch my friends march in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (most of it was pretaped with very strict Covid 19 protocols) on TV. I'm a huge parade nerd - when I watch them I want to be in them and when I'm in them I want to watch them - and I can't remember when I've been able to indulge in my favorite Thanksgiving tradition in a very long time.

thanksgiving tablescape for two ideas
If there was any year to pull out the stops for a Thanksgiving tablescape it is 2020!