Checking out stains

Stopped by the house to check outnthe floors after sanding. We also checked out a stain compared to the natural color, and decided to stay natural. It’s the color on the right, and most of the house will look like the color toward the botom right of the photo.

New Floors – Prep and Paint – Part 1

img_2802This past weekend was a long weekend for me (State employees had Friday and Monday off), so it was the perfect time to get all of our painting knocked out! As I’ve mentioned before, I really enjoy painting, as long as I have the resources and the time.

I started prepping Friday by taping off the entire room and planning my attack. Once everything was taped off, I started priming the hallway and towards the front door. Once Deborah got home I decided to call it quits, but still had about two-thirds of the room left to do. Saturday one of our friends joined us to help finish the primer.

img_0120Sunday we had quite a bit going on around the house. Debs was cleaning and moving, I was cutting in everything, one friend was painting a closet, and another was helping me paint all the walls. After getting into the right ‘groove’, we flew through the whole house, finishing up in the early afternoon. We were a little worried at first due to where I cut in being darker than the rest of the paint, but by dinnertime, we noticed that everything was good to go. With the amount of prep work that went into getting everything set up, we noticed that we were not going to have to do a second coat, and just light touch ups here and there.

Monday I pulled off all the tape and inspected the walls. One of the first thing I noticed was just how BIG the rooms are now! Going from a dark to a much lighter color (especially in our small house), made a huge difference. Also, the walls seem to be much smoother after sanding and priming the walls (the first time we painted we didn’t prep at all).

img_0125Every night this week we have been moving more and more items around to get ready to pull up all the carpet. Tonight we may start moving some of the much larger items, like desks, dressers, etc. Starting Saturday we should be moving our bed and final items to other parts of the house, and pulling up the carpet and hauling away.

We will be staying in Short Pump starting Friday or Saturday night for the next week. We may be stopping by the house almost daily to check out the latest progress. I actually have to go by on my lunch break Monday to check out a few different stain examples. Originally we were going to not stain at all, but after how light the walls are, we decided to check a few out. Our contractor was nice enough to offer to try out 2 colors and the plain look in a small area, so we can make the decision!

Great photos of yesterday’s Inauguration of President Barack Obama

One of my favorite photo blogs, The Big Picture, has posted some amazing shots from around the world of yesterday’s Inauguration of President Barack Obama.

If you have never seen Boston.com’s The Big Picture, its an amazing project started last year I think. Instead of having tiny pictures you have to squint to see on screen, they gather some of the best shots available and give them to you in very high resolution shots. I hope more blogs and news sites do the same thing over time, now that storage and bandwidth are cheaper and cheaper every day!

New Floors!

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Since moving in almost 2 years ago, we have yet to do many large projects other than the Den. But that’s all about to change, because in about 2 weeks, we will be on our way into our largest project yet – redoing our floors!

One of the reasons that we purchased the house is that it was hardwood throughout. But years ago, Deborah’s sister-in-law’s mom (who was the previous owner for 30+ years), put down cheap Berber carpet through most of the house. With not taking really good care of it, it looks terrible, is a pain to clean, and just doesn’t work for us.

After having recommendations from my mom and a friend’s real estate agent for the same person, we settled on a particular company. He came out to the house, did an estimate, and helped us pick a new color. We are actually going to go bare, with an oil based coat. He said that since our floors had some age (over 50 years old), they were going to be slightly darker than usual anyways, and with the oil based coat, it would really shine.

The only problem with oil is that it takes a quite a while to dry. So we are going to have to move out of the house for a week while they sand, prep, and then seal the wood, and then let it cure. We are going to be living with my mom in Short Pump for the week, but stopping by the house to check on progress. I will be taking pictures and posting about everything throughout the week. If I get any notes or tips from the company, I will share them with you as well.

vanil-steam

Finally, we are repainting a good portion of the house as well. We painted the entire house (except for the new office) before we moved in. But with the change in floor color (and not being to fond of the current color in the pictures in this post), it was time for a change. We started with the office over Christmas break, which is pretty much done except for some touch-ups. Starting this Friday, I will be prepping and painting the living room, hall, and dining room a much lighter tan/off white. The color we went with was called Vanilla Steam, and its a much lighter color.

As mentioned above, I’m going to be documenting this whole change. I plan on writing a few posts over the course of the work, and plan on eventually linking them all back here!

Quick way to resize images on the Mac through command line – SIPS

For one of my sites, I had a folder full of various sized images that I needed to go through and re-size. But I had other things to do, so I didn’t want to use a Photoshop Macro and all the overhead associated with it. So after searching, I found SIPS (Scriptable Image Processing System). As far as I know, this is only available on the Mac (or more detailed, Darwin), and is part of Leopard. The manual is dated April 2008, and I don’t have a Tiger or below machine to test this on.

Browsing through the manual, you can see SIPS has a ton of uses. Everything from converting formats, resizing, work with ColorSync profiles, and more. All I needed it for was just to re-size a bunch of images (which were already in JPG format).

  1. Made a backup of my original folder
  2. Opened up a Terminal.app window (This is under your /Applications/Utilities/ folder.
  3. Moved to the image directory (‘cd ~/Desktop/origImages/’)
  4. Called SIPS to re-size everything (‘sips –resampleHeightWidth 120 160 *.jpg’).

This command is just saying ‘re-size everything to 120 x 160 pixels with a file name ending in .jpg. If everything was in mixed formats (but still images), you could change *.jpg to *.*, which means ‘all file names and all extensions’.

The best part about SIPS is that it has very little overhead, but quite powerful at the same time. While running on our Core2Duo iMac (2.2Ghz, 3GB of RAM), It only took a few seconds for a couple hundered images. You can also easily create BASH scripts. You could easily write a script (and create a cronjob for it) to resize all images in a watch folder, then copy them to another folder, etc.

Finally, SIPS is easily integrated into AppleScript, without having to much ‘command line’ detail. You can reach most of its functionality from the Image Events parts of AppleScript.

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Picasa for the Mac!

I’m not sure how many people know, but last year, I decided to start a new blog focusing on photography called ‘Exploring Photography Blog‘.

Well I dont plan on doing this that much, but I wanted to link to a post over there I just wrote about something I have been wanting for a while, Picasa for the Mac!

If your interested in photography, please bookmark the site and add the feed. I plan on posting quite a bit more to it this year!