May 27, 2015

Painting a Door and How to Fix that Kick Plate

One of the hinty-billion things that have been coated with paint in the last two weeks - the front door. OF COURSE I forgot to take a before picture. But just picture the same door, but a pale yellow color, with a rusted bronze kick plate. 

Painting the front door is an easy project that really changes the whole look of the house. Seriously. The house looks faaaaaancy now that the door is dark and glossy instead of pale. We painted it on a sunny day, so it would have time to dry. After two coats of paint and about six hours of drying time, it was finished.

Just don't be like me and screw it up.

Now. The kick plate. That horrible thing that gets pitted and rusty and horrible, and you think you'll have to buy a new one because it's so gross. 

Remove it, sand it, and spray paint that mother like there's no tomorrow. I color-matched the shade of spray paint as close as I could to the color of the door knob.

We already had sandpaper and a 3-inch roller (which I highly recommend instead of using a paint brush, as a brush will leave strokes and the application isn't as even) so we spent about $15 in supplies. 

Not bad. 

See you later!

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May 22, 2015

Photo Friday: Blue Jays

I don't think this is my first Photo Friday with blue jays. (Nope. I checked. There's a Photo Friday called Blue Jay Butt. Aaaaand you're welcome.)

I hung a bird feeder in the yard a few weeks ago, and it's quite the hotspot for sparrows. They like to FLING the birdseed everywhere. EVERYWHERE. And then the jays calmly just pick it off the ground. 

Have a good (long, holiday) weekend!

See you later!

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May 20, 2015

A Favorite Thing - 50mm Lens

I am still covered in paint (I'm painting the kitchen cabinets! And using exclamation points to make it seem fun!) so in lieu of writing another blog post about how we're fixing up the house (by the way,  we're hell bent on just finishing the damn thing once and for all, hence all the paint) I figured I'd take a break from it again and ignore reality for a little while longer.

And sweet Jesus, that was all one sentence. Yikes. 

Today, I bring thee one of my favorite things. A 50mm lens. 

If you have a DSLR, I think a nifty fifty is just one of those things that you probably already have. They are tiny things that take fab pictures, and are worth buying, especially considering they are generally inexpensive. If you are a manual shooter that hates auto focus (*raises hand*) then you can get away with buying (usually less expensive) old lenses that were made for film cameras, as long as the mount is the same. I have a weird off-brand '80s lens that has a Pentax K-mount, which is what my camera still has today.

Mine has an aperture that dips all the way down to 1.9, meaning it will blow out the background into a lovely, blurry mess. Any f-stop 2 or below will do this, even though other things factor into it, like the number of blades in the lens, but holy crap. Who cares.

All I know is that it's a fun thing to play around with. Here are two pictures I took with a different lens, a zoom lens, back in January, with an aperture of F/4. The background is blurry, but still visible and it's pretty obvious we're looking at a Christmas tree. 

These were taken with the 50mm lens, at F/1.9.

My husband was cleaning guns, I was bored, and he just ignored me and went about his work. As the aperture (again, F/1.9) was so small, only a small area in each picture is actually in focus, the rest is blurry.

In this next picture, I almost bonked him in the head with the camera. I'm like one of those annoying tourists that gets in everyone's way to snap an eye-level picture of a rattlesnake. (That was oddly specific.)

50mm lenses are perfect for portraits, and I like them for pictures like these as well, where the background isn't the best, and I would rather it not be in focus. At all. 

I would like to do more portraits with this lens, but that means having to go out and talk to the people.

And I don't like the people. 

The struggle is real.

See you later!

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May 15, 2015

Photo Friday: Nuthatch

This winter I hung a suet feeder near the house, and it became a hangout for chickadees and nuthatches. With the warmer weather, the suet has been put away and I put out a regular seed feeder. The nuthatches are still hanging around, but not as much. 

I'm still cleaning out a memory card, and these pictures were taken about a month ago. I'll get to the bottom of this SD card if it kills me. 

By the way, on the bag of bird seed I bought for the feeder, it says it will attract cardinals, chickadees, sparrows, etc. 

I do have sparrows. And an entire herd of blue jays. And mourning doves. 

I think my birdseed is defective. 

Have a good weekend!

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May 13, 2015

DIY Ombre Hair

I'm going to take a break from talking about working on the house, because this is the second week in a row I've been covered in paint, and I think the fumes are making me slightly hysterical. Like Cruella hysterical. 
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So. Fun stuff! Hair stuff!

The last time I did something new with my hair July, when I cut it short because I was watching too much "The Good Wife" and needed some power hair in my life. Itching to switch things up, especially since my new glasses arrived, I bought a mixing bowl, brush, and two boxes of a highlighting kit...

...and did this (technically, my husband did most of it, because my long orangutan arms aren't quite long enough to reach the back of my head)...

...ombre hair. I've liked it for years, on everyone else, and finally took the plunge. This is the first time I have ever dyed/bleached my hair, so it was a bit frightening. There are about a bajillion YouTube videos on how to use a highlighting kit to ombre your hair, so there is no need for me to go into a ton of detail here. Instead of using the highlighting cap that comes in the kit, you section your hair, and paint the bleach onto sections using a brush, concentrating most of the bleach on the ends and avoiding the top of your head altogether. Wrap the sections in foil, and that's that.

My best Cousin It. I could do it better when my hair was longer. (See Above: Hysterical From Fumes.)

But I love the hair. I've been toning it with purple shampoo and it's getting nice and light for the summer. With the new hair and different glasses, I finally have a totally different look after about, oh, ten years of the same. 
It's all the fun of being blonde(ish) without actually having to go in and have your roots done. Lazy girl hair. 
See you later!

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