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June 17, 2014

I like manipulating photos.  You may be looking at my other blog posts and saying "REALLY???"  Yes!  I don't bother doing most of them because I've developed the bad habit of desiring speed over accuracy in blog posts.  (I consider them throwaway news items.)

At this point, I feel it's time to put together a formal sampling, because I keep doing them, and it's probably a talent I should promote more heavily.  This may call for an actual web page.

Clara, my sister's cat - fixing an overly yellow photo, and then changing the background

Removing a dust speck flare issue - or at least softening the damage

Williamsburg, VA carriage - lots of tourists in the background.

Williamsburg, VA, cropped and tourists removed.  (You can play 'Spot the Difference' now!)
We had hoped this photo would come to us in color
Photo after colorization.

Darn kids.  Get off my photo!

And away they go!

My grandfather.  The original image had gotten
a little beaten up
Damage removed!

My sister liked the photo, but not the boat sticking out of her husband's head.

So I moved it!

This was a quick sketch to get HOA permission.  Mostly proud of
getting rid of the Juniper covering the front porch and essentially
recreating everything that was behind it. 

This is an actual 'after' photo, which I did not have when doing
the editing.  

I felt I didn't have enough pictures of myself during my first trip
to Disney World.

So I added myself in one.  After we got home.  Hmm, should
have blurred myself more.    

My mother-in-law sent me a photo of her house after a snowfall, hoping I could
help her turn it into a future Christmas card.

So I 'decorated' the exterior of her house with greenery for the holidays.

June 13, 2014

I decided to make a narrower dishwasher door and center the sink on the counter.  Have a look at my dishwashers!

The one on the left is the one I made for the original kitchen.  It came about because after several days of waffling about buying the Houseworks kit, I took a good long look at it and decided I didn't NEED a kit.  Especially since my cabinets were likely a different size and I'd end up having to customize it anyway.  This door is made entirely of wood scraps.

For the new dishwasher, I cut the shape out of illustration board, and the top black part is cut out of really thin balsa.  I didn't really WANT a stainless steel look, but it will do.  I was fortunate to find a shiny silver cardstock at a local scrapbooking store sometime last year, and I bought it and a semi-shiny black paper, which I used to cover the top part.  Both work really well for this.  It's got a small sheen, but not ridiculously so.  The buttons and the lock are also cut from the paper and glued on.  The bottom part I painted with the same black glitter paint I used inside the oven.  I'm satisfied with it.  It totally says 'dishwasher.'   Although maybe to some people it might say 'trash compactor'

Then I went ahead and made the cabinet doors and drawers.  I decided to make them non-opening this time around.  I really don't want people reaching in and fussing with them.  Again, illustration board, and the trim on the doors is poster board.  I painted everything, but I dislike the color.  I want cream, but everything I have looks white to me.  I'll repaint when I figure out the right color, and possible do some antiquing.  Then I'll add handles!

I am displeased with the faucet.  It's too small, I have to put it on the very edge of the sink to get it over the sink at all.  It's supposed to be a big U shaped faucet, the kind you can fit big pots under, but a faucet that big should also hit about the center of the sink, right?  It doesn't extend nearly far enough.  I'll probably end up remaking that, too.  I may have to redo the doors, too.  They look a little off-kilter.  

June 12, 2014

Our front yard was frustrating us.  The fancy area under the bay window was just overwhelmed with shrubbery and a dead tree.  The juniper was taking over the front porch.  The neighborhood kids and dogs were treating it like a bus station, running through, dropping stuff, scattering river rocks and leaving dead bunnies.  (I'm presuming dogs were doing this, and not kids.  I was afraid that one day one of them would advance to dead cats, and then what would I have to do?)  And then there was the ornamental berry-of-some-sort tree.  Short, messy, and useless.  We couldn't walk under it, couldn't trim it so we could, and it dropped nasty red berries that nothing would eat or touch.  And in the spring when it bloomed flowers?  NASTY smelling stuff.  The perennials under the tree were also driving me nuts.  ONE flower would sprout and bloom.  Then a different flower would sprout and bloom.  Why would you plant just one of each?  Argh.

So we made a decision and called a landscaper.  EVERYTHING along the front of the house got torn out.  Trees, holly bushes, whatever the other three bushes were, and all.  Then we went after the cherry, and replaced it with a Norway Maple.  Then we added a low brick wall along the front edge, getting rid of the river rocks and extending the bricks under the spruce all the way across.  We added an upright Mugo Pine to the empty corner, and lined the edges of the lawn with pyracantha bushes, which will eventually be trained into a nice evergreen hedge.  Drift roses went under the bay window.  

Fortunately we didn't have to touch the other side of the driveway.

Now that everything's finally in place, we can concentrate
on restoring the lawn.

drift roses
Drift rose

June 10, 2014

Well, I kind of did.  Walked away for a bit, and then came back and tackled a totally different area.  The Kitchen Bay!  So what if some of my lights still aren't hooked up and nothing is glued down?

It now juts out an inch and a half further from the already added section.  I also ran it all the way up to the trim, and will be moving the bathroom window out an inch, which will give a bit more privacy in the shower and a nice ledge for setting stuff.

I also began working on the lower kitchen cabinets.  I started out guessing the height at 3 inches (because mine are 36" high), compared Robin to it, and subtracted an eighth of an inch because it kind of hit her at the waist, and I thought that was too high.  I could PROBABLY go lower,  but I'll leave it as is in case someone taller moves in.  I've picked out a deep sink shape (yay honey mustard containers!)  and am now facing a new dilemma.  Where do I put the sink?  I have two options.

Sink offset to allow for 1.75" wide dishwasher

Sink centered on counter

The obvious answer is to center it on the bay window.  We like symmetry.  HOWEVER, I want this kitchen to have a dishwasher.  The dishwasher door in the pictures is the one I pulled from the old kitchen, but it's not going to fit there if the sink is centered on the counter.  I've seen narrow dishwashers online - sounds like they run about 18" wide, which is an inch and a half, so making a narrow one is certainly an option.  But looking at the picture, there's all that space to the right of the sink under the cabinet.  I suppose I could put three narrow doors down there, two under the sink, one to the right.  I have a narrow cabinet like that next to the fridge - perfect for holding cutting boards and cookie sheets.

Frankly, I prefer the offset because of the cabinetry complications below.  But I just don't think it will look right with the window.

I've unfortunately discovered that all of the mail forwards I've set up to in connection with my web site mail server are suddenly no longer working due to a decision made by Alpha Hosting.  Perhaps I AM a little lazy in wanting to only check in one place for all of my email rather than signing in and out of multiple places, but they could have at least warned me first!  I believe it cost me a potential job interview before I caught it.

I am now tempted to shut down the web site and move everything on it to here. However, I've had since 2002, (and a Tripod account for 5 years before that!) and there's no way I will ever get such an awesome deal again. On the other hand, I also haven't really used it in the past few years, only adding a few pages here and there regarding a project I've done.  My web site was essentially my blog, before blogs came about.  This means that most of the data on there will translate easily to blog format, but it could overwhelm the blog!  My husband has offered me room on HIS server space, where I could combine blog and web site all in one place and not have to deal with 3rd parties that like to randomly change things.  It's a tough call.  I should go look at layouts and think.