Painting Clean Edges

Our recent addition to the family prompted a space reallocation. M got the old office and A got M’s old room. Most of M’s old room is white, but a single wall was painted with stripes of white and two shades of green. Painting 10 centimeter wide stripes in alternating colors on a whole wall is fairly time consuming, (but a Paint samplescheap alternative to putting up wallpaper) which is why K reassured me that the colors were gender neutral and I would not have to repaint the room, if we got a girl at some point. Turns out gender neutral colors change over time and  3 years later we are repainting (purple with a white border)……deep down I guess I knew this would happen.

This is what I learned about how to get those perfect sharp edges:

  1. Get a good quality masking tape, which will make removing the tape cleanly a lot easier.
  2. You will need two colors of paint, even if your wall is allready the color you want as a base. Even the best masking tape will still let some paint bleed under the edge of the tape and the only way to get around that problem, is to control which color bleeds under the edge.

The process is best explained with an example. Say you have a white wall and you want to paint a purple stripe on it.

  1. Start by masking off the border of the purple line, making sure to press the masking tape thouroughly to the wall.
  2. Paint the border of the tape you want to end up as purple, white (the base color) and let it dry. ThisMasking tape allows the white paint to bleed under any part of the tape that is not completely closed off.
  3. Paint the stripe purple, making sure not to go beyond the outer border of the masking tape.
  4. When you have finished with the last layer of purple, peel off the masking tape carefully to reveal a nice clean border between the two colors.

Keep your brushes in a closed plastic bag and you will be able to paint with them over and over again without rinsing, for at least a week.

EdgesSo A’ room now has a purple wall and I thought the room was finished, but last week I overheard K telling some friends that she has some regrets about the color and now wants wallpaper instead!!!……….

Apple Brownie and Apple Juice

ApplesWe are literally drowning in apples this year. We have already filled the freezer with applesauce, which will later be used for apple trifle and yesterday we juiced the remaining apples.  When you juice you get a lot of pulp and it really annoyed me to let that go to waste. This  time I tried putting it in a cake. I used this Rivercottage recipe for Beetroot Brownie and simply replaced the beetroot with apple pulp. The apple pulp is a little dry compared to freshly blended beetroot, so to compensate I added 1 dl. of water (3 fl oz) to the pulp during blending. Even when I know there is apple in this recipe, the taste is still only that of great brownie.

Applejuice

Tip: Freshly squeezed juice should be consumed pretty fast, but if you freeze it in cleaned milk cartons, it will last several months. For apple juice you might consider adding a little bit of lemon juice to reduce discoloration due to oxidation.

 

Color Changing Activity Board for Toddlers

At the age of 2, M was pretty adventuros and kept us busy tidying up closets  and drawers. Part of our effort to keep his little hands busy, was to make him an activity board (busyboard). Here he could explore to his heart content, without any risk of cuts, burns, poisoning, electrocution or breaking expensive items. The board itself is nothing new.

Basically you cut a piece of fiberboard or plywood to desired size, paint it as you like, populate the board with whatever your child likes and mount the board to a suitable wall.

Our son had a special intrest in switches and colored lights and to accomodate that, I decided to mount 3 switches each controlling one channel of an RGB LED. The idea is that the individual colors can be turned on or off, one by one, enabling the child to mix the colors. The result can be seen in the video below.

The light feature is designed to be inexpensive and very easy to build. Its based on a single 5mm RGB common anode LED with voltage reducing resistors for each color.  However individual leds for each color could just as easily have been used. I used hot glue to diffuse the light.

The diagram below shows the curcuit alongside my ghetto implementation of it.

diagram and implementation

As seen I built it using whatever I had lying around that day, making this instance of the project very inexpensive and low impact. Except for paint, solder and hot glue every part is made with salvaged materials.

When someone sees the board for the first time, children and adults alike, they seem to go straight for the light switches and stay there –  fascinated.

 

Google Analytics – a Starter Guide

If you have gone to the trouble of creating a blog and publish stuff, at some point you will probably wonder if anybody is actually reading your posts. If you are looking for more followers your next immediate questions will be:

“Who, what and why are they watching?”

The base install of wordpress will not tell you this, but fortunately there are several reporting tools available. I chose Google Analytics because it’s greatly recommended, very comprehensive and last but not least – it’s free. 

This guide will help you install Google Analytics on your wordpress.org powered site. Continue reading Google Analytics – a Starter Guide

Upgrading to Windows 10 – Step by Step Guide

I just upgraded to Windows 10. I was actually relatively happy with Windows 7, but ever since the upgrade to 10 proclaimed it was ready to install, my computer started giving me periodic BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death), with increasing frequency. Coincidence?

Conspiracy theories aside my Windows 7 installation had been begging me to be put out of its misery for a long time, and if I was going to do a fresh install anyway, I might as well upgrade. Here are my recommendations for the upgrade and simplified step by step instructions of the process.

Continue reading Upgrading to Windows 10 – Step by Step Guide

Manfrotto 324rc2 head top plate repair

20150910_103346__1442516468_87.55.214.56I recently purchased a manfrotto 324rc2 head with a damaged top plate for cheap.

My plan was to repair the head for use with a small (and light) point and shoot camera.  The top plate has mounting holes in two locations which I thought would enable me to just mount the plate in the second set of mounting holes, making for an easy repair. Unfortunately, upon close inspection, the  damage to the plate was more extensive than just the mounting holes. The plate had several little hairline fractures which might result in a catastrophic failure if stressed too much.

Continue reading Manfrotto 324rc2 head top plate repair

No readers but lots of spam

As I was still researching and setting up the technical aspects of this blog, I suddenly got an email telling me that someone had commented on a post. At first I was really excited – our first reader! The comment read something along the lines:

“I agree completely with your thoughts in this post, it’s like you read my mind. Really nice blog you have”.

A comment like that would normally have given me a feeling of great acknowledgment, but when I realized to which post the comment had been made, I started laughing. This person commenting on our blog was either a master of meditation or holds the world record for lowest recorded IQ in a human. Why? Continue reading No readers but lots of spam