About theprojectboard

I love working with my hands and using my creativity. I post my photography, interior decorating, recipes, furniture restorations, and ideas I have for future projects. Don't be a stranger!

Creating an Autumn Scene in Photoshop

I’m not sure about you guys but I’ve found the Photoshop tutorials on the YouTube channel PIXimperfect super helpful. There is one tutorial that is only 1 minute long and shows how to make a picture look like it was taken during autumn. It’s really effective! I used the technique today on a couple of photos I took while we were in Savannah, Georgia a few years ago.

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It’s not 100% perfect (a couple of the leaves in the street sign picture turned cyan instead of yellow and I had to do some correction) but it’s a really quick and easy way to get started.

If you’re interested in using this method on any of your photos, you can find directions here:
www.youtube.com/channel/UCMrvLMUITAImCHMOhX88PYQ/videos

Of course, you could also go outside during October and take some real pictures of autumn colors like I did yesterday.

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Have a great weekend!

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The Project Board – A Look Back

Today marks 6 years since I started my blog. I’ve found it very helpful to keep track of how I’ve done things throughout the years like how I made curtains or a certain recipe. I don’t otherwise mark a lot of this down and it’s been helpful to be able to come back and follow a recipe that I liked a few years ago. I hope you’ve also found it helpful to read some of my blog posts and be able to come back to things you liked.

My most popular posts are:

Slide1Bathroom Before and After posted on October 14, 2012 has 7,420 views, most of which come from Pinterest.  The bathroom looks exactly the same now as it did then, except it now has a shower curtain instead of glass doors. We’re talking about replacing the baseboard next year but otherwise have no plans for changes.

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DIY Curtains posted on December 12, 2012 with 4,369 views. I made the curtains to go in our bedroom as pictured right but they have since moved to our home office. I replaced them with black-out curtains because we got tired of our neighbor’s flood lights keeping us up at night. Our bedroom is currently going through some renovations and I will post pictures of that by the end of the year.  My 3rd most popular post has been the Bedroom Makeover Pictures that go along with the DIY curtains.


My personal favorites are:

Buffet1_wordsRefinished Buffet posted on July 14, 2015.  I still can’t quite believe my luck at finding this on the side of the road out with the trash. I worked really hard on this and it was worth it. People compliment it when they come over and are often surprised to hear that we didn’t buy it new. Actually, the only furniture in our house that we bought new is the couch, coffee table, and end tables in our living room. Everything else was either given, bought at Goodwill, or found on the side of the street like the buffet. I am getting to the point, though, that I’m willing to spend some money on new furniture, especially because I think new furniture would look great with the renovations we’ve made on the house recently.  There are two things I’d really like to have soon and that is a new dining room table and a big, comfy chair for our entry way.

Here is what our buffet looks like now –
Buffet_UpdateI made the tray at Board and Brush.  If you haven’t checked them out, you should.  They have locations all over the U.S.

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DIY – Installing Hardwood Floors, posted on March 18, 2018.  As you can tell from the picture on the right (and from the post), we installed hardwood floors throughout our house and also replaced all of the trim and baseboards. The two of us (my husband and I) did all of the work. In the “after” picture, we still need to do some touch-ups on the bay window and put the shelves back on the bookcase behind the couch. But we think it looks a lot better than the early 1990s carpet we had before (no offense to 1990s carpet).

 

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My Starter Story, posted on January 18, 2015.  I like this post because it bring back memories and reminds me how much progress we’ve made on the house.  After we are finished with installing the hardware floors, new baseboard, and trim, it will be fun to look at before and after pictures again.  Soon the bedrooms will have new trim, new closet doors, new interior doors, and new carpet so I’m looking forward to before and after pictures of those changes.  It’s also interesting to look back and see some of the decorative decisions we’ve made and how things have changed even since 2015.  The picture to the right is a reminder that one should always, ALWAYS spend the $3 to get a sample before deciding on a paint color.

 

IMG_1691Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, posted on December 2, 2012.  One of my co-workers gave me this recipe and it is one of my favorites.  It makes a few dozen so it’s easy to give them to family and friends, especially around the holidays.
Thank you to all who follow my blog!  I really appreciate it.

Chocolate Mousse Pie with Pretzel Crust

This weekend I made a pie to bring to a friend’s house. I saw a recipe for chocolate mousse pie on Pinterest that looked really good but it was vegan which makes things a bit more tricky.  So, I just searched the internet for an easier, non-vegan recipe for chocolate mousse and I search separately for a recipe for pretzel crust. Here is how I made mine:

Pretzel pie crust (recipe from Tasty)
– 5 cups of pretzels, crushed
– 1 stick (8 tablespoons) of butter, melted
– 1/3 cup brown sugar

combine pretzels, melted butter, and brown sugar in a bowl. Press mixture in to the bottom of a slightly greased pie pan. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes or until brown. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.

Chocolate Mousse Pie Filling (recipe from Cooking Classy)
2 Tbsp salted butter, diced into 4 pieces
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (or another 1/2 cup semi-sweet if you don’t want it quite as rich)
2 cups mini marshmallows
1/3 cup milk (the recipe calls for whole or 2%. I used skim milk and it was fine)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
– Container of Cool Whip

Combine butter, chocolate chips, marshmallows, and milk in to large saucepan. Heat over low heat and stir regularly until everything is melted and the mixture is smooth.  Pour in to bowl and allow to cool for 45-60 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whip 1 3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks to form which takes about 5 minutes.

After the whipping cream has stiffened, add it to the cooled chocolate mixture and fold until combined. Then add the mixture to the pretzel crust. Put pie in the refrigerator and allow to cool for a few hours.

After the pie has cooled, top with some Cool Whip (or make your own) and garnish with melted chocolate or chocolate shavings.

I used both bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate for the mousse and it did turn our pretty rich. This pie would also be great with a graham cracker crust.

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Enjoy!

House Update

As a recap – my husband and I began installing hardwood floors almost a year ago.  During this time, we decided we should go ahead and install new baseboards, door and window trim, and interior doors.  The reason is because we had to remove the baseboards in order to install the hardwood floors and it seemed silly to put old, worn, and scratched baseboard and trim next to brand new, shiny floors. Exhibit A below.

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For contrast, we decided to go with white trim and doors.  In our opinion, it makes our house look cleaner and more modern. Additionally, it’s much easier to paint everything white than it is to try to match stain colors.

We still have to install baseboards in the bedrooms and finish installing hardwood floors in the hallway that leads to the back door.  We also need to install (and paint) new closet doors in the bedrooms and the back hallway but we are really close to being done.

Here is a sneak peek of the before and after. The closet in the hallway is not yet finished but everything else in the picture is.

Update

What house renovation projects have you done this year? After we’re done with this, I hope we get a LONG break before we have to do anything else to the house.

Glacier National Park

We recently visited northwestern Montana and spent a few days in Glacier National Park.  Neither of us had ever been to Montana before but we heard good things about the park and couldn’t wait to go.  I took over 300 pictures during our few days there and we were both blown away by the beautiful scenery.

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If you have been to Glacier National Park, what did you think?  What was your favorite part of the park?  Are there other National Parks you’d recommend?

Painting a Built-in Bookcase

We are in the process of replacing all of our old wood trim with white trim.  I am going to write a separate post about replacing trim once we are further along but one thing we finished is a built-in bookcase in our dining room. The back of the bookcase is drywall which is why the back of it was originally the same color as the rest of the dining room walls.  Here is a before picture:

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I started by removing the shelves and taking them outside to sand.  I used an electric sander and 80 grit paper to remove most of the stain from all sides of the shelves.  When that was done, I applied one coat of primer.  Then I added two coats of semi gloss white paint from Behr using a roller brush for smooth surfaces.

Back inside, I removed the tracks from the sides of the bookcase. They were really flimsy so removing them was easier than I thought it was going to be. Then I filled in the holes that were created when the tracking was nailed in to the bookcase.  I used DAP DryDex for this.  After the filler dried, I sanded it smooth.  Then I sanded the wooden sides of the bookcase by hand with 80 grit paper.  I wanted to keep the amount of sanding dust to a minimum so I only did enough sanding to scuff up the wood and allow the paint to adhere better.  After sanding, I wiped the wood down with a damp cloth to remove all dust.

Next, I added a layer of primer.

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After the primer dried, my husband caulked the joints to make everything connected.  It made a pretty big difference as you can see below:

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Then I added two layers of white semi-gloss paint using a roller brush for smooth surfaces.

We decided not to install a track similar to the one we removed.  The nice thing about the track is that you can easily adjust the height of your shelves or add more shelves.  But we wanted to go for a cleaner look so my husband made small wood supports that we nailed to the sides (and then I filled the nail holes, caulked, and painted).

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After the wood supports were installed and everything was caulked and painted, we added the shelves back and put up new white trim (that had also been caulked and painted). Here is how it looks now:

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I hope you like!  We still have some old trim to remove and new trim to put up as you can tell from the above picture but we are getting there.  Thanks for reading!

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