Condo Blues




Thursday, April 1, 2021

DIY Harlequin Jester Costume and Friday Favorites Week 575

Happy April Fool's Day!!!

As a professional jester in the Before Times, I consider April 1st to be My Day.  I don't play tricks or jokes on people, I just walk around extra happy and foolish. See?

how to make a harlequin jester costume
This costume is my first and probably last quilting project because it took four months to build!

Time to link up your favorite projects, recipes, and posts! 

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Why and How to Sift Compost

I recently upgraded our single tumbling compost bin to this exact double tumbling compost bin hoping to correct some mistakes we made when we started our first compost pile. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.)

The mistakes we made weren’t horrible and we did create usable compost that turned our practically all clay tan colored garden beds to earthworm rich dark black soil. But the compost coming out of the bin has always been soggy. It was also full of plastic bits we thought would compost but didn’t break down.

How did this happen? Well for one, since we don’t have access to grass clippings or leaves we used shredded paper and cardboard for brown matter (and any sawdust I made in the garage) and we simply didn’t add enough. The fix for wet or smelly compost is to always have more dry brown matter in your compost pile than green matter (vegetable and fruit peels, coffee grounds, etc.) As for the plastic bits, we’d just empty the entire contents of our home office paper shredder into the compost bin and all of those window envelopes I shredded thinking they would break down because they are made from cellulose where actually some sort of plastic.

There was finished compost  in the bottom of the single compost bin but because it stopped turning and we couldn’t mix it very well with one of those compost turner things that look like this. Our compost was a big wet clump full of unwanted bits that I could easily save by sifting the almost finished compost and chucking a ton of this exact wood chip pet bedding into one side of the new compost bin and let it break down. Adding more shredded paper and cardboard boxes would also do the trick but I didn’t have enough of either in the quantity I needed at the time.

how to fix wet smelly compost

Save this idea to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!


Thursday, March 25, 2021

DIY Replacement Lawn Chair Bag and Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 572

Ah Spring! Where it is sunny and tempting but still too cold to play outside. 

And by play I mean, dig in the garden or build stuff in the yard.

Instead, I ramp up the Spring Cleaning, reorganizing, and repairing. That way it gives me plenty of time to repair our toys and gear for summer fun. For example, the bags our folding lawn chairs can in ripped beyond repair and I sewed this quick and easy camp chair replacement bag from a jaunty nautical fabric.

how to make a replacement folding camp chair bag


Time to link up your favorite projects, recipes, and posts! 

Monday, March 22, 2021

DIY Compost Station

When someone asks why we started composting, my husband and I say it’s because we had to because all we had for garden was clay and zero topsoil. We sang the condo blues over how very little would grow in that pretending to be soil, researched how to amend it, and experimented with composting in a DIY compost bin.

I made our first compost bin by drilling a bazillion holes in a black plastic trash can. We loaded it up with food scraps and paper from our paper shredder and in about a year we had compost! We added the homemade compost to our soil and after awhile our tan clay soil started to turn black with nutrients. I practically dance the first time I dug a hole and found an earthworm – it is another indicator that the soil is improving!

 

We take our composting very seriously. Why do you ask?

 

And we’ve been composting ever since.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Fabric Storage Idea and Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 571

One of my small 2020 victories was actually starting/finishing a ton of UFPs (Unfinished Projects) and fabric stash bust projects.  I didn't realize exactly how much fabric I used until I started reorganizing my craft room. The fabric storage box I built was so full it barely fit under the bed. 

DIY storage box
I didn't take a Before photo. Imagine even more fabric than this and a 100% untidy mess that looks like a hurricane blew through. 

After The Year of Sewing All the Things three quarters of this storage box that is as long as a double bed is wide is EMPTY and I'm doing my happy dance. 

Time to link up your favorite projects, recipes, and posts! 

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

DIY Non Toxic Resin Look Coasters

Six years ago I made a set of aluminum can coasters that looked like this:

 

 

After years of abuse with a constant stream of hot coffee cups and cold beverages all day every day the coasters on our desks now look like this:

 

DIY coaster makeover before

Choosing a difference adhesive may have helped as well as adding a  protective coating to the top. Cutting down on coffee and ice water is not going to happen  - ever.