Deuce Cities Henhouse

Veggie Garden Planning!

Involving Kids in Vegetable Garden Planning
Involving Kids in Vegetable Garden Planning

 
Pssst, hover your cursor over the garden drawing
Yo Guys! It’s Veggie Garden Planning season! Planning the coming year’s veggie garden with the kids has become my ultimate favorite sign of spring. Finn and I started this tradition four gardening seasons ago back in 2012. Gus was merely a little-dude-baby back then and Finn and I did this as a way to have Mom & Finn time. Although Finn is not the worlds biggest vegetable fan, he has always been very enthusiastic when it comes to tending and cultivating a garden. This year Gus is old enough to participate too. It does my heart good to see these two boys get so excited about growing things! Gus would like it if we could also plant some chocolate ice cream, french fries and chicken nugget seeds too – he’s kinda got the right idea.

Involving Kids in Vegetable Garden Planning
We’re all excited to get out in the dirt and get the garden ready for seeds and our little seedlings that we’ve been tending to over the last month or so. I’m going to be testing the pH of my soil this year for the first time and I’m curious to see how this will improve our gardens yield. I’m also trying pole beans for the first time! In the past we have grown bush beans, but I was always bummin’ by how quickly the harvest came and went. The pole beans should allow us a constant growth of new beans. We’re considering growing zucchini and/or summer squash on a trellis this year. Any of you have experience doing this? We don’t have a huge garden, so I was thinking one plant of each squash, and the internet tells me it’s easy to train the vines to grow on a trellis. Like I said, I’d love to hear from you if you’ve had experience with this. We’re trying potatoes again! Last year I just used some spuds from a bag of potatoes that had started growing roots – the results were lame. This year I’ve invested my $15 and am getting some real potato tubers from the professional seed people. I’ve got my fingers crossed that this will work, because there’s a little guy I know who’d really like to see me grow some french fries.

+++ OUR 2015 GARDEN +++
Cucumbers | Zucchini | Summer Squash | Carrots | Kale | Radishes | Broccoli | Rosemary | Basil | Pole Beans | Peas | Arugula | Bibb Lettuce | Cutting Lettuces | Potatoes
2014

Involving Kids in Vegetable Garden Planning

2013

Involving Kids in Vegetable Garden Planning

2012

Involving Kids in Vegetable Garden Planning

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in gardening

How to Edit Interior Photography Using Photoshop
Alright pals – as promised here it is, Part 2 of my photography posts. If you missed it, you can find Part 1 right here where I cover tips for setting up and styling the shot.

Okay, onward! Today I’ll be sharing my photoshop techniques. This is where the photo really comes to life. Before we dive into that, let’s talk about a few quick things.

I thought I should probably share a little about my gear. I use a Canon 7D camera, and I have an assortment of three go-to lenses. The first two are prime lenses (they have a fixed lens and don’t have a zoom), but prime lenses are really affordable. For vignettes I use my Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 Lens, and for wide shots I’ve been loving my brand new Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 pancake lens. The big dawg, good-for-everything lens is my Canon 17-40mm f/4L wide angle. I’m always curious about what other people are using, so hopefully that helps.

Let’s talk about photoshop. Yes, it’s scary if you haven’t used it, but there are a ton of great tutorials out there AND there are so many different techniques for using it and applying effects. I love to see how photoshop-fluent-friends use photoshop – everyone does it differently and its easy to learn new tricks from watching others use it. You can learn a lot from youtube vids and books too. If you don’t have PS installed on your ‘putron, but you’re interested in purchasing photoshop you can subscribe via Adobe starting at $9.99 per month or try the free 1-month trial.

What I am sharing with you today are the most common go-to photoshop tools that I use for standard interior image editing. There are always, always exceptions to the rule, and in photoshop there many different ways to achieve similar outcomes. For those of you unfamiliar to photoshop I hope that this guide will be an introduction to useful tools. With exploration of the ‘adjustment layers’, ‘layer masking’, and ‘image transformation’ you will begin to learn more and more about photoshop and the endless possibilities it can provide.

RAW Image

How to Edit Interior Photography Using Photoshop
One of the easiest things you can do to produce a better image, is make sure you are shooting RAW. The RAW file format captures all the image data, where as in a jpeg image, information is compressed and the quality is lessened. Shooting RAW allows your camera’s light sensor to capture a higher range of color and brightness, which in turn translates to more attainable quality in post-production editing. The downside is that the RAW format takes up more storage space on your camera or computer, and it can slow your camera down – but really when you’re just shooting interiors, the good outweigh the bad.

SEE MORE, READ MORE

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in How-To, Photography

A Bit of Spring

Add Spring to your home using grocery store bulb gardens and pretty little vessels
One of my new favorite things is growing mini bulb gardens indoors. Last fall and winter I grew paper white bulbs inside of these small, matte, pale coral “bowls” I picked up at CB2 last spring. I really enjoyed having these mini gardens for a good chunk of the winter as semi-permanent floral arrangements on our bed side tables. I was hungry to find bulbs to grow in these small pots this spring. I couldn’t resist when I saw a spring bulb arrangement wrapped in purple foil at the grocery store last week. For $12 bucks I snapped it up and brought it home. I quickly disassembled the garden and reassembled it in my tiny pots, placing them on our night stands. If all goes well, we’ll be enjoying yellow daffodils, purple hyacinth, blue muscari and colorful tulips for the next few weeks. You should probably try it too.
Add Spring to your home using grocery store bulb gardens and pretty little vessels
Add Spring to your home using grocery store bulb gardens and pretty little vessels

Add Spring to your home using grocery store bulb gardens and pretty little vessels
What bulbs grow in the summer/early fall seasons? Does that even exist?

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in Around the House, Decor

Adding a Record Stop to Basic Shelves

Adding a Record Stop to Basic Expedit Ikea Shelves
I’m dedicating this post to all the folks out there who use Expedit (or the newer Kallax) Ikea shelves to store their record collection. For us, these bookshelves have been terrific for our records, they fit the height of a record nearly perfectly and are able to hold a lot of records. We’ve had our shelving system for 5 years, and there has been no warping or sagging – this seems impossible but I think the geniuses at Ikea probably did some sort of math and calculated the perfect amount of spacing needed between the vertical slats to hold heavy records. The shelves were well worth the small amount of money we spent on them. However, I’m so sick of having to constantly pull the records forward so that they look organized on the shelves. There is no back to the Expedit shelving system, and the records are constantly getting pushed back to the wall making it hard to find records and most importantly it looks bad (that is always most important). Between us hastily putting records away and the kids playing in the music room, our records are constantly looking like a hot, hot mess (see below).

Adding a Record Stop to Basic Expedit Ikea Shelves
Gross, right? I know it might make me seem really anal (which is actually a fact, I am), but I can’t stand this, it seriously drives me nuts. I spent last Saturday morning putting the records away and organizing the shelf trying to achieve some sort relative calm, when it dawned on me that there was a really simple and easy solution to this problem. It’s what I’m calling “Record Stops” (patent pending) .

Adding a Record Stop to Basic Expedit Ikea Shelves
I had some leftover 1″x2″ boards in the garage – you could easily use furring strips or 2″x2″s as well. I quickly chopped 15 pieces of wood down to 13 316“. All of the pieces were snug and fit the width of each cube nicely. I stained the wood with three coats of a dark gel stain. I used Minwax “Rosewood” stain, and it matched pretty well to the Brown/Black (such a stupid color-way name) Ikea shelves. Being that the shelves are made of fiberboard, I figured screwing or nailing the stops wasn’t really going to be that practical – instead I opted to use Liquid Nails to glue each of the stops into place. Placement of the stops was really easy, I used a record as a measurement for depth and moved the stop into position – it wasn’t rocket science and precise measurments were not necessary. A few hours later, the glue had dried and the records were ready to go back on the shelf. I’ll never have to worry about panicking over the chaos of our record collection again. I know it’s such a little thing, but really it makes a big difference.

Adding a Record Stop to Basic Expedit Ikea Shelves

Adding a Record Stop to Basic Expedit Ikea Shelves
Much better.

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in Around the House, DIY, How-To

Artifacts


Bros. I’ve reopened the investigation into the history of my house and the people who lived here long before us. I’ve always been so curious of this, and I’ve never been able to find many answers. There is something incredibly amazing about the history of homes and the people who’ve lived their lives in them. I consider our home a member of our extended family, and I know that my family history will live on with it. Seriously, like woah. Too deep for a Friday morning?

Also, it’s our five year anniversary of living in this amazing place so I thought it would be the perfect time to do some investigating.

I just restarted my ancestry.com account so that I can learn more about the few names I have of people who might have lived in this house. When we moved in I found a few photos, a postcard and some scraps of paper down in the tool cabinet, but don’t have any names to go with them – they could have nothing to do with the history of the house for all I know.

I was able to dig up some old Minneapolis directory information from the early 1911′s and am on the hunt for a Ellis W. Drisko and his wife Elizabeth, the original owners of the house in 1910. Unfortunately the Drisko’s never had any children and leads are coming up dry. I found an old city map from 1923 with details of our block, but no photos. A while ago I did some sleuthing, digging through old census records but it didn’t go far. I also got in touch with the special collections department at the Hennepin County Library and they are going to help me look up a building permit index card and we’ll see what we can find from there. I’ve also devoured the local history section of the Minneapolis Public Library Website.

The crown jewel to this investigation would be a photo of this house from the early to mid 1900′s and to know more about the first family that lived here for nearly 30 years.

The Artifcats

Original Owners : Ellis W & Elizabeth M Drisko
Pay Stub with the Name ‘Otto Ross’
Two Family Photographs of the same group of people taken at ‘J.O. Anderson’ Amery, Wisconsin
A Photograph of a single man taken at ‘L. W. Lee studio’ at 28 Central Ave, Minneapolis
A note written in Swedish with the name Mr. B.G. Hager
A postcard of the ‘Range Swedish Lutheran Church’ – Range, WI sold by the ‘St. Paul Souvenir Co’.
A check from the year 1883


Are you an amateur genealogist? Have you found old photos of your house at a library or history center? Come on, don’t be stingy, give me some advice.

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in My House