25 April 2012

Messes and More Messes

 

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This is the usual view of my family room, when it’s all cleaned up.

 

 

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This week, this is the view.  EEK!!!!!!   I just hate this!  The curtains have been sent out for a major cleaning.  More major than Nature’s Miracle could take care of.

 

 

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Now, I ask you, does anything about these curtains look like grass to you?   I wonder why puppies think curtains are grass?

 

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We’re not sure who the culprit is who mistook the curtains for grass.  We do know it’s not these two, Sammie Jo or Georgie.  They know the way to the doggie door in their sleep.

 

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The guilty one could be this devil,  my granddog, Miss Lucy-Lu, who came home for Passover Seder two weeks ago.

 

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Or, it could be this devil, Mr. Riley or Mr. Popeye as we call him  (notice his crooked mouth on the left side).  Riley is my nephew-puppy who comes to stay when his parents go out of town. 

 

Neither of the King Charles Cavalier puppies are the most house trained dogs in the world, although both their parents claim they are!!!    Actually, the soiled curtains are probably a combination of these two stinkers.   Whatever.   I always say, if Queen Elizabeth is comfortable with seven Corgis living in her palaces, I can surely have a few dogs of my own. 

 

 

 

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Here are the cousins meeting for the first time.  Lulu and Riley give each other a little kiss.  Awww.

 

 

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And of course, Riley being all male, demands more from Lula, like a little Hello sniff.   Lulu, being the hussy, obliges.

 

 

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So, now until Friday, this is what I’m living with.  Things like this make me really nervous.  I can’t stand to have my house all torn up.  I can’t even LOOK at the back windows now.  I’m pretending this doesn’t exist.   Those blinds are driving me crazy.   I wanted the man to just take down the blinds too so I wouldn’t have to look at them.   He thought I was a little deranged when I asked him to that. 

The blinds are really only for show under the curtain panels.  If I was just using the blinds without the curtains, I wouldn’t have hung them this way.  Instead they would be hanging inside the doorframe.   But,  hung like this, they hide that dead space between the ceiling and the window – making it look more clean lined.

 

 

In short, notice how these blinds fit inside the window.  See that dead space between the ceiling and the windows?   That’s what I think, in most cases, should be avoided.   If those blinds were installed at the curtain rod, the look would be so much better.

 

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Here, Suzanne Kasler did the correct thing with the blinds in this living room. The blinds are raised up to the curtain rod. There are panels between each window – instead of only at each end.  This way, you have a simpler, much cleaner line.

 

Shades2 Keep Your Bedroom Dark Using Blinds, Shades, Shutters, And Curtains

Again, this is so fussy. If this was my window, I would have installed only one blind raised to the curtain rod. And I would probably have four panels of fabric instead of two.

 

 

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In my bedroom, there is really only one window.  By placing one long shade under the rod, and adding four panels of fabric (one is out of view on the left)  - the eye is fooled into thinking there are three windows, instead of one, ugly, very long, short one.  It’s a much more elegant look done this way.

 

I wrote a LONG blog post about curtains and blinds a few years ago – HERE – which details my formula for curtains and blinds, if you have more questions.

 

 

 

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In other Cote de Texas news, I recently got a new lens for my Nikon D90 camera.  I am totally excited about it.  Here is a picture taken with my old Tokino ultra wide lens.

 

 

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And here is my new Nikkor lens 14-24.  Whoa.  (Disregard my purse and the non staging.  I took this photo for my own purposes, not knowing it was going on the blog!)   I can’t get over the difference in clarity and sharpness between the Tokino and the new Nikkor lens.  So, I was pretty thrilled with my purchase.   For a while.   I was hoping to gain added width to my photos, but after doing test shots, I realized the width was pretty much the same.  Which, totally bummed me out.  I’m really aiming to get that huge wide shot that professionals get.

 

A nice wide shot just like this of Mick Jagger’s Paris apartment (which is gorgeous by the way – see the slideshow on Vogue.com. Their new web site is drool worthy.)   So, after buying the new Nikkor ultra wide lens, I’m still denied these ultra wide shots.  Why?

  After spending hours studying the problem on the internet, I finally, after five years, have figured it all out.   Seriously, this issue has vexed me for five years and now I finally know the answer.  To put it simply, the Canon and Nikon digital cameras shoot through a cropped sensor.  Huh?

 

35mm Crop Factor

To understand the crop factor,  look at this picture above.  The large picture is what a camera shooting with 35 mm film looks like.  The picture is that wide and big.  Now, where the green line – is how much smaller a photograph using a Canon 1.3x camera looks like, and the red line is the Nikon DX (mine.)  The blue line is the Canon 1.6x.   Notice how much smaller those images in the boxes are compared to the total image outside the boxes.

 

In other words, no matter how ultra wide my lens is, my pictures will always be cropped where the red line is.  This is NOT acceptable for taking interior photos!!!  No wonder my images are always less wide than the professionals take!!!   And, how stupid of me.  It’s taken me YEARS to figure this out. 

 

This image is taken from Ken Rockwell’s web site who does on line reviews of cameras and lenses.  It’s all free, but he does ask for donations, which I did send him for using this tutorial.  If you ever have any questions – check out his web site Kenrockwell.com.  He’s incredible.

 

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Look at these two photos to further see the difference in width.  This shot, taken with a Canon Sureshot is much smaller compared with this below:

 

 

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Taken by a professional – you can see how much more image you get with a camera that doesn’t have the cropped sensor. Picture of a showhouse by Maria Tracy, furnished by Custom Creations. 

 

So, what to do now?  I’m not going to use 35 mm film.  I love digital and I love the automatic cameras.  Which leaves me this choice – the Nikon FX or Canon Full Frame – both do not have a cropped sensor.  The images from these two camera series is the same size as the 35 mm film.  Got that?  

So, of course, now I want the Nikon D800, the newest FX version.  Sshhh – don’t tell Ben, please.  He’s still having heart palpitations over the cost of my new ultra wide Nikkor lens.   But, if I’m going to take interior pictures for the blog, I need to be able to take them properly.  For you, of course!   It’s all decided and ordered – the only problem is everyone and their brother wants the Nikon D800.  The camera is backordered for months and months.  Unfortunately.  But, at least this will give Ben time to recover from the lens expenditure.   All this isn’t cheap.  The lens and the camera (body only) are both ridiculously expensive compared to the D90. 

Does anyone have the Nikon D800?  I’m wondering if it’s hard to learn how to use.  Let me know if you do. 

 

This is how my week is going – messed up curtains and messed up photos.  How’s it in your world today?

125 comments:

  1. Well you know very well that I am OBSESSED with your original curtain post. Totally obsessed, have read it approximately 279 times (could probably recite it verbatim at this point), and have shared it with everyone who has asked me the smallest q about curtains. :-) So the blinds cracked me up!

    And I'm jealous. I'm having the same issues with my Canon...I can't believe how expensive the wide lenses are and I think you just saved me the expense of buying one. Guess I should just start saving for a better camera all together? Frustrating! Wish I knew all this stuff 3 years ago.

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  2. LOVED the pics of the puppies!! I laughed through this post regarding which puppy soiled your beautiful curtains. I have two small dogs that on occasion go to visit their grandparents (who also have a small dog). Someone always seems to leave surprises around the house. We never know who the culprit might be. And, supposedly, these dogs are house trained! I always say, as I do with my kids, "You're lucky you're cute!".

    Kat

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  3. I love your 2 puppies!!! they are worth a little mess. I am with you on the curtain subject, simplicity is the best. My mutt (whom i love dearly) has in the past 3 months, used my Living Room and Hall curtains as a lamp post and happily relieved himself on it, snuck into my study and was locked in by mistake and discreetly peed in the center of a brand new hand tufted wool rug I had made in Belgium, then went on to trip me which resulted in a broken ankle, a torn ligament and 3 months in a cast!! You've got to love them.
    As for the Nikon, I am constantly trying to figure out mine, thanks for the tutoring link!

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  4. Ohhh those puppies are adorable! I would gladly put up with having a mess in my living room for those two! But then, of course, my house is generally messy anyway ;-)
    I have been needing new curtains for a while now, but just couldn't decide on what they should be like. Looking at your curtains and the blinds I now know that's the way to go in my room as well. Thanks for that!

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  5. Hahahha.Joni you are hilarious. Those 2 little puupies are tres adorable! Just spend the next few days blogging from your gorgeous dining room!
    -linda,ny

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  6. well....
    it has to be a 'BOY'
    because a girl doggie would have to wedge herself up a wall to tinkle like that.

    i love your house joni!!
    as for my world?
    i am climbing out of the ashes.

    love u xx

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  7. The puppies are precious! My life is run by my hounds!!! I have had to give up a few things ... but know the bare feeling. My rugs are about to be taken up to be cleaned and I am DREADING it!!! I am so happy to read your post about the faux shades. I just blogged about this today, a small family room that we wanted to appear larger and cozier. All based around faux shades and panels! I want my clients to know you don't have to have huge cavernous rooms to get this look!

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  8. Hey Joni - are those Vero Linens I see on your bed (LOL) - Steve at Vero Linens.

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  9. I am looking for indoor outdoor seagrass like that on the cover of the new southern living. Please reply if you have seen a really great one. Messes? My kids cleaned up juice with bleach yesterday. It looks pretty good.

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  10. The puppies are so cute it is hard to be upset with them...hard, but not impossible. I am off to read your old post about curtains and blinds. I wonder if it answers my question about your bedroom window: How does it look from the outside with the separations between the blinds? What a difference it makes to hang the blinds high and eliminate that awkward space under the rods. I hope you enjoy the new lens. The picture does look much sharper, so it is not a wasted expense, but the new camera sounds fantastic.
    Best...Victoria

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  11. It's hard to stay annoyed with those adorable pups but I feel your pain about the room being torn up and I'm LOL at your bedroom photo with Ben's mocasocks (remember this is slippy man's wife here)!
    JoniI know nothing about professional cameras but I do know that your blog photos are always great to me...keep them coming with old or new camera.

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  12. Your long post on curtains was one of the most informative ones you have put on this blog. I have referenced it many times and always learn something. As to cleaning curtains, I have never had a pair cleaned that hung right afterward nor looked as fresh. The dry cleaning process just takes some of the finish off the fabric. Perhaps it won't be that way with linen but I will be eager to see. Are you worried about shrinkage?

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    1. not at all, there is plenty of material on the floors to shrink up.

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  13. Your room is beautiful,curtains or no curtains!Also, couldn't log on to comment, but Sally's new design is fabulous, as well.
    My own dogs have dictated my decorating "style", which I choose to see as more-or-less, nonchalant.As per The Queen,I wonder where the corgis sleep?And if the Palace Curtains need regular cleaning, as well as the rugs? Has a former valet ever written an expose about this? Inquiring minds.....

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  14. Oh Joni, I can so feel your pain. I am a designer, and just finished curtains for a project. Gorgeous linen panels with a 5/8" velvet banding. My client had to convince her husband to have them fabricated. They turned out stunning! Like any job we became friends. She is a dog lover, and when our usual boarder was booked for spring break she insisted on caring for our Cavalier King Charles while we went on vacation. And yup, my dog did it on my client's new curtains! I must comment as Anonymous because if my husband finds out, or her husband finds out, one can only imagine!

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  15. I love it: from curtains to puppies to curtain and shades to-- new camera?
    Have a wonderful day--hope the curtains come back safe and sound. The pups are gorgeous.

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  16. The Queen has staff, gardeners, drivers, animal handlers, secretaries & etc.

    Wish you did too. More postings for us.

    It's dreadful to go into a home with expensive window treatments and they did the funky crud you mention.

    Worse, when the window treatments are placed too low on the wall.

    At the moment I have a drapery rod & panel on the floor. Laura, 1 year old kitten. Loves to climb.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

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  17. You convinced me to get a seagrass rug and my pooches have more or less destroyed it thanks to abundance of rain, the pet door, and my permissiveness. Now that's a mess.
    No one would notice a mess in your beautiful home Joni. No one but you.

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    1. well, i'm getting new seagrass in a month or two. so yea. i hear you. but i will say there are no stains or smell on it at all thangs to natures miracle. if it was sisal, now that would be a big mess.

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  18. Your theory on how to hang the drapes and shades makes perfect sense. Others {including me} would probably hang them the way we think they should be and then say 'I don't like it. Not sure why'. I like the why's and why-not of the details. Thanks.

    BTW - the little puppy on the cushion probably melted every readers heart. I stopped at this part of the post for several minutes to drink in her cuteness.

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  19. Maurie@GraciousInteriors.blogspot.comApril 25, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    Joni, When a woman's nest is messed up, she's messed up. We had water damage to our home back in September. I have been living in two rooms in an extended stay unit since then. We move back into our home in mid May. I have been "stun-gunned" every since the disaster. It's like I was zapped, and the electricity triggered ADHD! Hope your window treatments come back smelling "loverly" and that the two adorable puppies are forgiven. They melt my heart. (I had to give away my cock-a-poo, when we moved out. None of the extended stay units would allow pets.) And, by the way, your blog fans will love your new wide angles. We study every detail in the cropped pics...Now we will have more to drool over. p.s. I love the rug in the last two photos. Is it a dhurrie?

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    1. it looks like a new styled oushak. not a dhurrie.

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  20. Joni,Great post - from window treatments to pooches to cameras. These are the things I call "good challenges". Good luck with it all!

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  21. This post is so helpful! We just moved into a new place with cheap white blinds EVERYWHERE and as we save to replace the blinds with proper window coverings it is driving me crazy to look at the plain white blinds. I'm with you, I think window panels make such a difference to the look of the room! We just moved from a New York City apartment to a townhouse and our living room has a lot of light but it is on the small side with one window panel and one back door that is all glass. How would you suggest I cover the window and door? I feel like panels would be too much for these two individual windows...I'm thinking roman shades would be my best bet...I would love your thoughts on how best to cover smaller custom windows.

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    1. i love roman shades. that might be a perfect solution for you for sure.

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  22. Thank you for the perfectly timed post. Had custom linen draperies hung at ceiling recently in two adjacent large rooms and my eye was immediately drawn to that dead space. My walls are green, linen is natural color and have dark wood trim at windows. Couldn't decide if it was all the different colors that was the problem or the dead space. I have some bamboo blinds sitting around. Have been trying to convince my hubby that we need to cut them up and hang them in all the dead spaces in our newly curtained windows. This post will seal the deal!
    Do you think it will matter if I only have a flat section of blind hanging in that space (rather than a folded up long blind that is drawn up above the window?)I was planning to staple the blind sections to a "1-by" and attach that to the wall with L brackets just below the rod (which is up at the ceiling.)

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    1. well, i think it would be ok. but, maybe you should look into the cheap on line discount blinds places. they are really so cheap. they don't have to go down the floor, just a few feet that folds up because you will never let them down. your way may look perfectly fine, i just would need to see it. but check into those discounted ones. they might be much more cheap than you think.

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  23. You solved the mystery. I am not a good photographer at all, but I have a point and click camera. I am so proud of you for really looking into it and figuring it all out,Thank you for doing this for US/You!! I know how you feel about things looking a certain way in our homes. When you spend as much time and energy making your home comfortable and beautiful it is hard to see it in disarray. I love open windows so that would not bother me. The more view of outside and the more light the better in my world. Kathysue

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  24. Joni-I love your home and yes the way to hang the blinds is to omit the dead space. That is so true as is all your excellent advice on curtains. We have 2 chihuahuas and they only pee in the house when my cousin and sis-in-law come over with their dogs! I think it's a marking their territory kind of behavior.

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  25. Well, since the curtains are down and since you wanted to refinish the floors, now's the time! I always call it MAW (might as well). And thanks for the primer on lens. You always keep us guessing what's next!

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  26. Oh the things house guests will do! They are so adorable though!!

    Try not to stress out though unless you are planning a dinner or cocktail party before the cleaned curtains return!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  27. Nature's Miracle. Around here we buy it in the huge economy size! We have 2 Cavaliers, who don't like getting their princess feet wet (to include even just a little dew on the grass in the AM). We used to have a cow hide rug in the family room on our wood floors, and the little sly ones invariably peed on the rug. We surmise they are looking for an absorbent surface so as to hide their puddles. We had to take the rug up. Of course we tried pee pads, and the girls "go" just next to them on the floor, except when Willow our tri-color decides to turn the pads into confetti. Yup, gotta love them.

    We are remodeling our master bedroom, and I have learned so much about how to dress the windows from you. You are such a fabulous resource!

    Sue in RI

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    1. omg - the zebra! lulu destroyed my zebra, ate it up and i had to get a new one, then riley peed on it!!! hahahahaha. glad i love the two of them. they just need to be properly trained with the doggie door.

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  28. I just bought the Nikon D7000 from Best Buy. They told me the same thing, that it is very hard to come by cameras these days because of the tsunami in Japan. Can you not put your camera in manual mode to get rid of the automatic crop? I haven't purchased a wide angle lens yet, but want one. Rindy.

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    1. no. the crop can not be made bigger. at all. that's it. that just how big the sensor is. period.

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  29. What is a good source for the type of blinds you have?

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    1. Call Monica - she is listed on the left side of my blog.
      or just google discount shades. any of them are usually great.

      Delete
  30. Charlotte Des FleursApril 25, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    Hi Joni, Wow, what a week for you! Agree 100% about the blinds mounted at curtain rod level. Mounting them there creates a nice, unbroken line along the top of the room and helps to draw the eye upward. I also noticed in one of the first photos where the blinds were mounted too low that the curtains were not interlined. I believe you have mentioned before about the value of interlining. However, I think you could do a whole post about all the benefits of interlining drapes.

    Cavalier puppies. Cutest, sweetest, most lovable dog on earth. Naturally, therefore, the most pampered and innocently entitled. Up until 18 months ago we had 3 of them. We have had Cavliers for over 20 years. Even bred and showed them. (That is a whole story in itself since Cavaliers are VERY hard to whelp.) I agree with the woman who said they don't like to get their precious little paws wet (or dirty, I might add.) In spite of taking them out morning, noon and night and after meals, of course, they would still sneak a little pee on our wool oriental rugs. My husband's male, Queensland Heeler was more direct. He just lifted his leg on the ottoman in our bedroom.

    We have a friend who is a major Cavalier breeder and has a drop dead gorgeous home to boot. (Her husband is a very in-demand anesthesiologist.) She keeps all of her 6+ Cavaliers in the house. Most of her floors are wood but the dogs used to sneak into the livingroom (just for fun) and leave a calling card or two. She bought Nature's Miracle by the case and, seriously, had her carpets cleaned every 4 to 6 weeks! Finally, she put up a very decorative (and expensive) wrought iron fence around her living room. It actually looked good and kept the dogs off her carpets.

    You notice that the Queen has Gorgis not Cavaliers. Hmmm...maybe she knows something we do not?

    Well, there are staged, magazine-pretty rooms and then there is real life. C'est la vie!

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    1. my cavalier, who is stone deaf, is perfectly trained. she NEVER EVER NEVER goes inside! it can be done. when it rains, though, she does go on the patio instead. she can[t stand wet feet!

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  31. Joni,

    Amazing post! Went and read the longer one you did in 2009, also amazing. I have been struggling with this question in my new house, even going so far as putting up curtains and removing them because they just didn't look 'right." Now I know why!!! I love your blog, keep the great work coming.
    Lis
    livingwithlis.blogspot.com

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  32. I could certainly relate to your post today. My daughter has a King Charles who has not only peed on her beautiful new silk curtains but chewed a few antique rugs as well. She had the curtains treated (as well as all upholstery and rugs) which has helped and the rugs repaired (with a stern admonishment from the store owner). Fortunately Coco has outgrown such bad habits but my sweet daughter rescued another puppy and a cat...that's 4 pets now plus 2 active little boys. Needless-to-say the children and pets take precedence, but finally some boundaries were established and a gate installed! I recommend having all fabrics and rugs treated.

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    1. oy. it reminds me of when we had two cats, dog, baby - all in one double bed!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      when the puppies come, we do put up a gate to keep them in the family room. thank god for the gate!

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  33. Such helpful advise on the camera's + blinds/curtains + puppies. Love this blog. Thank you for the sweet e-mail. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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  34. Well, we make certain sacrifices to have our pets. Those are too adorable. On the curtains plus shades, I only have one small disagreement: in the picture of the triple window with two white chairs in front of it - if you put in more panels they would totally obscure the window glass - not enough expanse. I actually like the look of this one with three individual shades which emphasizes the wide casings. In my opinion it plays up the architectural feature in what looks like an older house. As for cameras, I'm still learning to use my advanced point and shoot. Would love to graduate to a DSLR, but can't really justify it. It would be fabulous to have a full frame, and I think your readers deserve it :-) I'd love to be able to photograph interiors. Your new lens did capture the light so much better. There's so very much to learn about photography, it overwhelms me, but I'm getting better at using manual settings on my point and shoot. Editing helps a lot. I've taken three classes in Photoshop Elements (the easy, cheap version of Photoshop), which I find challenging, but my pictures look so much better. Have you ever tried editing software?

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    1. i do agree about that window - the casings did look pretty. i was desperate to find an example and that was the only one i could find on short notice.

      anyway - you know the dslrs are basically point and shoot? they are fully automatic if you want them to be. i never use anyother selected but the automatic. so easy.

      yes - i photoshop or clean up all my photos first. i striaghten them, play with the lighting, the sharpen, the saturation, tools i get on picasa for free. if i need more, i use paint, again free.

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  35. GUARANTEE YOU it is your visiting little boy dog, marking his territory. Don't re-hang your curtains until he is back home or he will do it again. He is probably marking the chairs and sofa legs too! If he hasn't been neutered yet, he needs to be right away.
    Love all the tips on hanging blinds!

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    1. poor riley. he was neutered monday. and when he came this weekend i put all the curtains up on chairs so he couldn't get to them. what a mess. i just want to order new ones now. also, he did much better in going outside this time, much better! may be learning!!

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  36. I totally get that disruption in the home can be a challenge. Disturbing the usual order of a room is never a place I like to go unless forced by circumstance, as you obviously have been. However....in the big picture of "things", just be grateful you are alive and stop swetting the small stuff. If living without curtains for a few days is the biggest stress in your life this week, consider your life to be fortunate!

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  37. Also, forgot to add this: Nature's Miracle is a waste of money. Try Zero Odor...you have to get it online @ www.zeroodor.com but is THE BEST by far and well worth the expense. It especially will remove the odor of cat urine PERFECTLY...which we didn't think ANYTHING could do!

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    1. thanks! i never heard of it. I"ll order some for sure. thanks!
      Joni

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  38. Thank you so much for the tip on the blinds and curtains! I have a huge window in my family room, and of course it NEVER occured to me to hang an extra curtain in the middle to divide it...genius! Love your blog. :)

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  39. You always make my day. Ann

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  40. I think Riley has some 'splainin to do! So adorable! Agree with you about the blind/curtain thing. My complaint is to find hardware deep enough that allows curtains to move back and forth AND allows enough space for blinds to roll up without backing into the curtains. ARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!

    I'm still laughing about the dog who used the ottoman as fire hydrant so to speak. What we do for the love of our pets.

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  41. What a timely post! (Not about the pups although they are adorable). Curtains! Having not yet found a decorator in Denver, I'm looking at your blog for help. Do you remember your post about the house you decorated where you had two print chairs you had to work around? You paired it with a brown slipcovered sofa and gorgeous curtains. I'm looking for that post. But you have so much inspiration, it's hard to choose.

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    1. http://cotedetexas.blogspot.com/2010/12/my-design-eleria-house.html

      The Eleria house! that's the link.

      Delete
  42. Another valuable lesson from Joni. Thx.
    I wanted to show my daughter the post about Sally's wonderful house but not to be found. Did you take it down? It was one of your best and I loved seeing Sally's ideas, style....a lot to be learned from it.

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    1. it's there. just go to the end of this post and click on "older post" at the very end of the blog.

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  43. I just returned from a trip and I am drowning with stuff to do! Love the camera info.

    I am considering adding the panels like yours that are out for cleaning in your 'situation'. I LOVE the thin curtain rods and the tiny rings that you have used. Would you share the source for them???

    Long before I considered the panels, I, too, did the blind in the window thing and I am sorry about that as they are full length ones, not just trim at the top, raising them would be less than successful...so...I will not add panels to that room, (yet!) the one with four blinds. But I am shopping for the other room with 2 windows to blind and drape. I will do the blind thing at the rod level this time.
    I would like your rod info...my perfect solution.
    Thank you, Joni!
    xoxo, Chris

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    1. http://www.antiquedraperyrod.com/

      this is where Monica get my rods, they are not expensive. the thinner the better, imo.

      Good luck!

      Joni

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  44. Thank you for posting this. It’s exactly what I was looking for!

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  45. Aunt Joni! This made me laugh so hard! Sweet Riley (Popeye) is so good at our house I swear! I am sorry he is being naughty over there. You are the best for letting him stay and giving him so much love when we are out of town! XOXO

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    1. did you see that video jeffrey sent me. i wish i could figure out how to post it. i was hysterical laughing. so funny. i actually think lucy did it anyway, not riley!

      Delete
  46. Hey, those pups are worth the effort. I DESERVE A NEW CAMERA...after this post...I hate my Canon Sureshot (just like the pocket size, however).

    ReplyDelete
  47. In our neck of the woods, Holly did a piddle on the rug upstairs today. Your little cavy's are SO DEAR! And, I can relate--I have a giant farmhouse table in my foyer--listed on craigslist--just waiting for someone to snatch it up and make it theirs, and it's DRIVING ME CRAZY!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MY cav is housetrained~! I have no idea why elisabeth is having such a hard time with lucy. i'm going to try again this summer to get her trained.

      Delete
    2. Charlotte Des FleursApril 25, 2012 at 10:34 PM

      Our first Cavaliers were house-trained as well. However, when we brought in a third who was not, all you-know-what broke loose. I think that the well mannered Cavs thought, "Why should I have to behave myself when this new, interloper does not?" It seems to me that 2 dogs are really the max. After that they start to think of themselves as a doggie-controlled pack not a human-controlled pack and your home becomes THEIR kennel.

      Don't let those meltingly sweet, big eyes fool you. They plot in secret how best to lull you into submission. All they want is to get onto your lap or onto your best pillow on top of your best couch!

      Delete
  48. I looked it up and YES some dogs will mark inside their own house when visitor dogs come over--"Male dogs often mark territory in their own house if they are stressed by changes, such as a visiting dog.."

    I have belly bands for my male dogs- this product called a "belly band" wraps around a male dog's midsection to contain urine. They are available in pet stores.

    Or online. I got some fleecy cotton ones on bellyband.net or something like that.....and I put a panty liner inside. There are diapers for female dogs you can buy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. really? that's what lucy needs! she has ruined two apartments of lizzy's. i'm going to tell her.

      Delete
  49. Joni..you are so funny. Thx for this post...I've been wanting to take my own photos of client's new rooms, but my camera is weak. I'm definitely looking into your Nikon. I'd like to purchase a seagrass rug for my living room, but flooring people in Tucson have no clue on seagrass. Any recommendations? Restoration Hardware? I will try your link on the left. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pottery Barn too. and call Anthony - on my left hand side.
      get ready for shock. those cameras and lens are way too expensive

      Delete
  50. Ok. I have a question? Why can't you enlarge your photos on your blog by changing the HTML? Should not matter what kind of camera you have.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not about making the photos larger. It's about getting more things into the photo when you are taking it in the first place. A wider view.

      Delete
  51. I have a Canon 5D which is a digital full frame sensor, and using the 24-105mm L series lens it takes great pictures for interiors, however, my next lens will be the 17-55mm L series just to get that much wider like in the Vogue picture you posted. Full frame digital cameras are pricey but worth it, you should look into getting a slightly used one, there are great deals out there. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  52. it brings a smile to my face every time i see your dogs. i have a blenheim cavalier and a liver and white springer. aren't they the best combination? though my cavalier is now 4 he still hates to go out if it is too cold or wet, and believes one of my guest rooms is carpeted with grass! my cavalier is from a breeder in dallas (i live in CA). those wouldn't be cloudbase cavalier puppies would they? makes me want more of those sweet boys!

    ReplyDelete
  53. the cavs all came from texas, but not dallas that i know of!

    so weird you have the same combo almost. there's a reader who has my same exact combo - english springer and a tri cav. that is soooo weird to me!!!

    the two puppies are the cutest things in the world. ben and i are so in love with them both, we can't stand when they leave to go home!

    ReplyDelete
  54. I'm a Cavalier King Charles owner myself and I'm crazy about this breed of dog. Cavi's are certainly suited to majestic interior design photo shoots. They love to lounge on French antiques. But, you know all about that! Your Blenheim granddogs are adorable.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Drapery puddles lead to puppy puddles :)

    Love the wide angle pictures. I never realized what that red square meant, either.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Drapery puddles lead to puppy puddles :)

    Love the wide angle pictures. I never realized what that red square meant, either.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Joni that bellybands.net site doesn't have the female dog diapers but other places do--here is one place that has washable ones:
    http://www.dogquality.com/dog-diapers/washable-wonders-dog-diaper-female.html
    it says they are for senior dogs but any age female dog can wear them/ A friend of mine gets them for her 3 year old pomeranian.
    PetSmarts has them too!

    ReplyDelete
  58. What are you going to do with your current camera? If you're selling it - let me know.
    xo,
    A

    ReplyDelete
  59. No, no, no, say it ain’t so Ms. Lucy couldn’t have done anything so rude to your curtains! I mean look at that innocent little face…aww, come on Grandma. Lucy and Riley are cute. And OMG I didn’t realize how bad that dead space looked between the window and the curtain rod…ugh, I just hung new INSIDE blinds will I ever win? Now I understand why I hate the look so much…the dead zone! As for cameras I’m out they aren’t my thing even though I hate taking sucky pictures. I have enough to learn with new website software and I’m so not techy. Besides do you know what I can do with all the money that camera costs? I could pay you to take my pictures…;)

    XX
    Debra~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. why not lift the blinds up? could you do that? I'm sorry. I hate when this happens and people are disappointed.

      Delete
  60. Oh my goodness, what a great post! I love the mix of inspiration, education and social discourse....in the end, makes us all feel human:)

    ReplyDelete
  61. Joni, I love the look of the curtains with the woven shades and want to put it in my home. Curtains are already there, hung at the ceiling. My question is, I want to be able to control the light in these particular windows during the day and night. If I use only woven, unlined, then I'll have no privacy at night, especially. If I line them, it will completely block the sunlight unless I pull them up. Can I actually have three layers - the curtains, the woven shades with outside mount, and wooden blinds with an inside mount? If I leave the wovens pulled up all the time, I can control light and privacy with the wooden blinds. Is this too much? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it does sound like a lot of layers. I would get the lined shades I think. there are different kinds of thickness. some block out the sun, but some just filter the sun and that would give you the privacy at night too. look at the web sites on shades and see about the different kinds of linings. that would be the way to go, imo.

      Delete
  62. My husband says(he is a camera nut) he has all these cameras and says you can accomplish a wide angle shot w/the D700 .... He has the D-800 on order as well... It is still not here....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes, but i think i should get the d800 now instead of the d700. ?? the d800 is suppose to be superior?

      Delete
  63. Oh my! Cameras! We've had a Nikon D90 for awhile and every lens under the sun. We don't need a lot since we aren't posting important shots of interiors like you are, Joni. But we have nine grandchildren and we like to travel. So we've been pretty happy with that camera. Until...our last single daughter is getting married in October. Like many young brides these days, she wants a photo booth. So instead of just hiring someone who owns and sets up photo booths, handy husband decides he can build it -- and he can! But then that brought about a whole new "need" for a professional camera. OMG! The research and the hunt and finally the purchase. And it's a Canon 5 something with no automatic shooting at all. Guess I won't be using that one until I take classes -- something we never did with the D90. The wedding is the end of October. Praying brilliant and handy hubby learns how to use it and set it up in the photo booth. So since it was HIS purchase and his baby, then nothing should be mentioned about my redecorating the guest and master bedrooms. Right? Will send you wide angle raw photos when done! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  64. Hi,
    I'd like to inquire about doing a sponsored blog post - about 150-300 words that talks a little bit about Immigration Visas and links back to our site http://rapidvisa.com. We are a immigration visa company and thought we might be a good fit for your readers/visitors on http://cotedetexas.blogspot.com

    Here's a list of some blog post titles we've done in the past:
    - How to Get Your Marriage Visa
    - Things To Know Before Applying For Your Immigration Visa
    - How to Get Help With Your Immigration Process

    Our budget is around $15 for the post. Is this something you'd be open to?

    Also we might be interested in a small banner ad if the price is right.
    Our budget is $40/year - something like this:
    http://postimage.org/image/hfhj9bjc7/

    Let me know if you'd be open to either or both of these.

    Also if you have some other sites just send them over and we might be interested in doing a sponsored post on there as well!

    Regards,

    Phil

    ReplyDelete
  65. SO, THE D90 is fully automatic, right? I have to have that. I can't do it any other way.
    photobooth?????? oy. I would rent one I think!!!! who's ggoing to be taking the pictures?

    ReplyDelete
  66. You will never get to this comment. It is number 91!

    Your curtains.......(thank God you do not call them DRAPES) I have just "corked it " about correcting that....but I just flee from the websites that say "drapes" I just have to!)

    You are totally correct about the way you have your curtains hung.with the shades, Don't go in there unless you have to...and hide your eyes. I have had to learn that when things are out being cleaned or laundered. It is HELL. We suffer. People who are not visual have no idea. My daughter says , (as I go into an apoplectic attack when I see a house I love painted some outrageous color......."Oh Mommy; it must be so hard to be you"! "Most people don't even notice!"

    We are kindred souls...just hide your eyes. I have a very funny quote from Elsie de Wolfe to send you...... It will help you cope!!!

    Have I become an insufferable snob?? There are so many really wonderful design blogs (who needs grad school?) I just delete my subscription when I see "drapes" Joni.....tell me if I am turning into an old bat cranky person. I honestly just delete the subscription with that word for curtains. Lordy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What is it about drapery or drapes that you don't like? Curtains sounds like something you hand in a cottage kitchen.

      Delete
    2. Oops, meant to say "hang in a cottage kitchen"

      Delete
    3. Actually Penny, you are a cranky old bat and a snob to boot. You delete subscriptions when you hear drapes. Really? It must be a difficult life.

      Delete
    4. Wow, you really need to get a life. "Curtains" sounds like an old woman; which I guess you are.

      Delete
    5. We can always learn...my favorite thing to do. My well educated, very successful, knowledgeable designer (who is not pretentious at all) calls them "draperies", never drapes, so I try to say draperies. I was under the impression that curtains referred to a more casual style. It doesn't matter but I like to use correct terms when I can, so I understand your "crankiness". I get that way over things. Perhaps now I will use the term curtains. Willing to be taught! I don't think you're a snob at all, just like to use proper terms. Words matter! To some of us. We all have our quirks/preferences. If you don't care, call them anything you want to. No need to get ugly about it and call people names. IMO anyway.

      Delete
    6. I am currently working with a very successful designer and happen to be doing drapery/curtains in three rooms. She and her workroom use the term "drapery". Perhaps it is regional. I think curtains reminds me of what you sheer on a rod and hang over the kitchen sink or in your bathroom. The word does not do justice to so many of the beautiful examples of "window treatments" we see on this and other blogs.

      Delete
    7. Penny, do you do the same thing when someone says couch instead of sofa? I'm just wondering!!!!
      you are too funny!!!! I have a thing for bad grammar and bad spelling.

      Delete
    8. What about "davenport"?

      Delete
    9. Joni....I'm thinking it probably is a regional thing! And I much prefer sofa to couch. I could always get caught in an error but I do notice grammar and spelling....it's the way my brain works, something I like to get right whenever possible. Has nothing to do with being a snob.
      Penny and others like her....Joni, for one....have comments I enjoy reading. All part of the fun...and this blog is defintely fun to read. Thanks all!

      Delete
  67. OH I forgot to say I did not read any of the 90 comments before mine!

    I just shot that rocket blind! I will see tomorrow!

    XXOO

    Penny

    ReplyDelete
  68. oh just one more ps

    caves are not "real dogs" they are divine love dogs.....that cannot be held to rules.'

    I rescue corgie mixes (there is a special rescue); my daughter has two caves....adorable. they just aren't real dogs. (not a criticism.......just they are not real dogs....are they?"

    Yours are the only ones who do anything wrong,..so maybe yours are real!!! Tee her!

    ReplyDelete
  69. corgi. not corgie. that was an "autocorret". sheesh!

    ReplyDelete
  70. Not a fan of C.K.C. because my sister-inlaw's dog pooped in my house on Easter 3 times. He is now banned for life from my house.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Charlotte Des FleursApril 26, 2012 at 8:04 AM

    Nearly 15 years ago I assisted my step-daughter with the design and decoration of her livingroom. It was a VERY small project because she had a limited budget. We used Cadet Blue as the primary color (not the powdery French Blue so popular at the time) because Cadet Blue has been around forever and will always be available in fabrics. To that we added very small accents fushia, shell pink and cream. (Mario Buatta says, "A room without red is like a woman without lipstick.") My step-daughter has never had the money to "update" her decor. However, her living room still looks as charming as the day we completed it so long ago. Since it wasn't trendy, it does not look dated. (We used top quality fabrics, interlined curtains and installed UV film to preserve the fabrics.) Several of her neighbors copied the colors and the look.
    She was upset. I reminded her that "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."

    Recently her 14 year old son and I installed a collection of vintage / antique Blue Willow platters and plates in the same room. It added another level of style perfectly in keeping with the very traditional look she already has. Not everyone can change their look to fit the latest fad. Thank goodness there are classic looks that people can live with for long periods of time.

    The "Gustavian Swedish" look has been around for centuries. Therefore, for a certain group of people who live in the appropriate climate, I think the "Houston" look" or the "Belgium" look will also be around for a long time. Other than people complaining about it being a "fad", the Houston look is a very spa-like, emotionally neutral look and therefore quite soothing for many people. That is not a bad thing if it meets their needs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would love to see pictures of your daughter's house. it sounds so cute!!

      Delete
  72. Great post, love the dogs and your house and the camera info is very helpful, I never knew that about lenses. Now I know what to look for in a camera upgrade. "Cause I like takin interior pitchers." (That's my redneck coming out.) Have a great weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Thank you for posting this. It’s exactly what I was looking for!

    ReplyDelete
  74. Joni, I feel your pain about the draperies in such a personal way -- I have my woven wood shades mounted the same way in my kitchen, and I had to take the draperies down and send them out to the cleaners TWICE in the kitchen due to the indiscretions of Mr. Sharpie the Permanent Marker Pup! Thank God he has stopped urine marking my draperies since he was neutered!! He kept peeing on the silk velvet panels in the dining room and my favorite Vervain print panels in the kitchen. It's a good think puppies are so darned cute!

    I'm glad you're getting the camera. Just remind Ben that it's a business expense, and half of whatever you spent on it would have gone to Uncle Sam in taxes if you didn't buy it.

    ReplyDelete
  75. I have the D90. LOVE IT! But I understand your cropped problem :) Have you checked out Houston Camera Exchange? Those guys are so nice. They let you test out your gear before you commit to the price. Though, you can't go wrong with a D800. Don't have one myself, but I have messed with one and it's spectacular. Now you know you have to get the proper lenses to go with a full-frame right? Well, good luck with the camera and curtain anxieties.

    ReplyDelete
  76. This post has kept me busy for hours. With such cute faces, King Charles Cavaliers will always be forgiven quickly. Great photography tip - I was looking to update my camera and spent time at your suggested link reviewing cameras then reading other information........My husband is nervous now ! Then I stopped at your long blog on curtains and blinds - fabulous...............Warm regards

    ReplyDelete
  77. Joni, do you have your linen stabilized before you have them made into curtains? In humid climates like Houston you must have a lot of movement in them from season to season. Is that why you make them longer than a three inch break?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i line and interline my curtains with blackout lining which protects them from the sun.
      no, i just like the 3in break for some reason. i think it's prettier than just stopping at the floor.

      Delete
  78. Great window covering advice. I am going to try your trick of dividing up a large window with curtain panels (like your bedroom) in my living room. I wish I had read your advice before ordering my bamboo blinds. By the way, your doggies are so cute!

    ReplyDelete
  79. : )
    Another wonderful post. Made me smile after a day of packing to move.
    Thank you for your thoughtful illustrated details about the blinds. ♥Chloe

    ReplyDelete
  80. Great post! Would you share the name of the fabric used for your family room drapes and the gray taffeta in your dining room? Also, would you use natural wood blinds with solid silk taffeta in a dining room? (need to be able to cover the window)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used a Pindler ticking stripe in the family room
      and in ths others - its a matte taffeta from schumacher;

      Delete
    2. Thank you - the gray matte schumacher - do you remember name? Yours is so pretty and want to make sure I don't get a gray that goes blue!

      Delete
  81. Online Education Topics

    Download Education Topics For All Below Courses: Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering,Electrical And Computer Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering,Biological Engineering, Material Science And Engineering, Aero Space Engineering, Nuclear And Engineering.

    http://online-education-topics.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  82. Hi Joni,
    I just spent the last couple of days hanging drapes. I've been lectured by my spouse on being sick of the drapes dragging on the floor, and then gave him a heart-attack with a quote of name brand roman shades. The entire week has been drapery hanging stress, so your article really couldn't have been more timely! Of course I've gone to Joni's school of drapes and roman shades, so hubby's not done with the project yet!!!

    My project has stone floors because the resident dog's nickname is Pee-Pee (courtesy smart-mouthed grandkids, it's really Kiwi) It makes me feel better that I'm not the only one struggling with dog issues.

    Thanks so much for all your tutorials, they really make life easier. Also, I'm loving the comments section with the "replies". I don't know how you find the time!!

    ReplyDelete
  83. Joni--I was reading a few more comments--I want to share my problems with the Nikon D90 since you might be looking at it. The lens mount is plastic and flexes with the larger, heavier lens. I'd get an error message and it would only reset if you take the battery out. That was really bad when we were on vacation trying to take a nice shot. Thank heavens Costco has a good return policy and took it back. At the time, there were comments on the internet about people having the same problem. Maybe they've fixed the problem since then, this was over 2 years ago.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Hi

    just thought I would chip in about your camera problem given all the great inspiration you have provided me with over the past year. You are indeed correct that it is much easier to get true wide-angle photos with a full frame (FX) camera than with your crop frame (DX) D90. However, that being said, you need to consider that the wide-angle lens that you have is DX SPECIFIC, ie, if you buy a new FX camera like the D800, you will also need to buy a new lens: basically all lenses for FX work on DX no problem, with the 1.5x focal length factor, but there are some lenses like your Nikkor 12-24 with are made specifically for DX. The reason being that they require smaller optical components as they do not need to image on such a large sensor. They are thus lighter and cheaper than the FX equivalent. If you try to use a DX lens on an FX body you will experience what is called vignetting ie a black circle around the edges. You also need to consider if the gain in field of view merits the expenditure. A better optiion would be to go to the widest DX lens available, ie the Nikon 10-24mm. The best full-frame wide-angle lens for Nikon is the 14-24mm f 2.8. Your 12mm is equivalent to 18mm in 35mm equivalent. If you go to the 10-24mm however, you will have a 15mm equivalent which is really not so far off from what you can acheive with FX bodies. I personnaly own the 10-24mm and I love it. So if its possible to exchange your 12-24mm for the 10-24mm I would do so, they are about the same price.
    I am also curious as to which Tokina lens you had. The 11-16mm is generally considered to be top notch for architecture/interiors and is used by many pros. It has a larger aperture than the Nikons (f 2.8, ie you can shoot in darker rooms without needing to crank up the iso) and is also known to be good at controlling distortion. I went for the Nikon as it has more range and is better at controlling flare, but I am mostly doing landscapes not interiors.

    Bottom line: please dont throw away your D90 and throw out thousands of dollars before really looking into what you could improve with the current set-up and understanding exactly how little could be gained in terms of field-of-view. If you have any questions feel free to ask :)

    M

    PS. Of course I am not saying that the D90 is a better camera than the D800 as it most likely is not. The question is more what features do you need. In that regards, I think you could still be well-served with your current set-up. Photographers are usually good at making you think you always need the latest and best while for most it is actually overkill. The D800 will be much larger, heavier and have more complicated controls. Not to mention that it will generate much larger files given the 36MP sensor.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Hello,
    I agree with the comments from "M" above. Very well said. I am a real estate photographer (real estate for sale, not magazine style) and shoot with a Canon 7D and an EFS 10-22mm lens. I debated purchasing the full frame 5D but decided that for what I do, the extra expense of the camera body plus having to purchase a new full frame wide angle lens just wasn't worth it. The 14mm of your new lens really isn't ultra-wide. I usually shoot on the 10-12mm end of the zoom range. I think the Nikon 10-24mm lens that M mentioned that would be much better for shooting wide interiors. You might get some distortion at the 10mm setting but that can be corrected in photoshop if it bothers you on a particular shot. Ken's website has a review. Try to send back your current lens and exchange it for the wider one. I'm sure the D800 is really nice but it seems like it will be a bit of overkill price and file size wise for your needs. Just my thoughts.
    -Audrey

    ReplyDelete
  86. Hi, you have a nice and beautiful blog cow hide rugs are helpful in decorating the home. check out Cleaning Tips for Designer Rugs...

    ReplyDelete