Humorous Magazine Cover

I re-created a popular UK magazine cover, featuring Leo slurping away.  Fox Noel is in the dryer in a non-staged napping spot and was never harmed or at risk in the making of this shot 🙂


Internship Week14

Kowata Tree.  We met last Monday to discuss WooCommerce and the configuration task. Once again, the settings will require decisions on many details that affect order taking, taxation, shipping, tax, etc. At this time the client is not prepared to fill in all the details.

Since I was busy with portfolio night preparations, we snuck a small meeting in as follow-up to the WooCommerce configuration challenge, only this time he focused on his accounting needs and having potentially having some integration. Frankly, this is outside the original scope, but is something that will be required.

We agreed to put this on hold until my classes were wrapped up, and determine what role I can still play in the bigger picture. We’ll be meeting next on May 13.

Internship Week13

Kowata Tree.  I spent all day this past Monday preparing for and conducting the 360-degree rotational photo shoot. I was anxious to prepare each of the 30 images shot at 12-degree increments using Photoshop. After four hours I made it through half of them. I improved my proceedure for the second half of the 30.

I created some info dot path/features on the output file that is used on the website, and got the viewer configured, and was able to see my work on a web page. Very satisfying.


I created a machining video, mainly to test the lighting and best angles to shoot from. Then I embedded the video into the theme and experimented with display/config settings. In prep for our next meeting, I installed WooCommerce after watching another Morten Rand-Hendriksen Lynda series. It was invaluable as he went through the configuration settings, which is something the client will need to decide on.

Figured out the Hair Masking … finally!

Not sure why it took me quite a few attempts, but I finally figured out the edge refine feature, combined with a few extra layers for those stubborn final hairs.  Tward has a nice video that got me almost home, and I combined it watching advanced hair masking with the dude from PTC, Photoshop Training Channel

This is my most photogenic Golden, Becka, just the head-shot for now.


LP5 – Photo Restorations

Finding some flawed photos was time consuming, you know, a trip down memory lane.  I ran into two problems that I’ll need to improve on.  In Photo 1, the dog on the left had total white eye. For expediency, I used a fast-paced fill-in re-creation that I drew while looking at my current Golden Retriever.   In photo2, the photo was grainy and when I cloned the sky to replace my thumb I needed to blend parts of the sky.  Not as easy as it looks, although there is probably a better way.

 1 – Before and After



2 – Before and After



Added Photoshop Books to my Collection

In the past few weeks I’ve learned several new techniques about selection, masking and adjustment layers. This week the focus was on  photo restoration.  I think the materials that Deke presents are fabulous.  I still like to supplement my reference are with traditional resources.  I added these two well-rated books to my library, and will be leveraging both for this week’s photo restoration assignment.


Internship Week12

Kowata Tree.  I was still trying to get some web development time in, even though it might be a little premature based on some of the business complexities. So, since he was OK letting me go down this path, we discussed the sort of images that would be best for the site, and what new photos or videos might be needed. Knowing the 360 degree photo shoot was in the near future, I scoped out a studio rental and made a reservation.

Shifting gears back to site development, I figured that I could proceed, using existing content just to make some progress for discussion purposes. I created a MAMP environment, created a child theme, installed WP and plugins, and configured auto backups.   I cleaned up some of the existing photos deemed to be useful going ahead, and then created some WP pages as I explored this theme’s features.

I uploaded existing content to the WP library, and created a new header from bits of the old web site using my Photoshop skills. I had some challenge with the menus laying out right, but worked through it. Then, it was time to finally load the web360rotate viewer plugin. I used some demo images supplied by that company, and met with the client yesterday to show him the 360rotate feature as part of WordPress and review some sliders for preference.

I went into the shop this morning to make the carousel for the photoshoot that I have arranged for this coming Monday.

Duotone Image Rates 5 Stars!

For LP4, I took a nice rural, back-roads free photo, and converted it to duotone. Very easy to implement duotones, but you must have a totally unsaturated, b/w, monochrome image to make this work.  The easy to follow example I used was from

I like a brownish, magenta-ish look.  Gives it that retro feel.  I was amazed to see how many profiles for duo and tri-tones exist in the PhotoShop library.

I tried adding a title and some gold stars to give it some motivational feel, discovering that adding text or embedding another image into the duotone image.psd, resulted in those additions becoming duotone also.



To work around this, I saved the .psd to .jpg, thereby flattening it. Then, I placed another .jpg file with the stars and text that were colorized and the two coexist, displaying both duotone and rgb properties.


LP3 Collage – Four of the Greatest Golfers

An ambitious project to make the best use of my limited golf, selfie-type photos.   Notice the original polaroid photo with the three legends.  The wanna-be polaroid shows the young pup breaking into the scene.  Why, I even borrowed Mr. Player’s ensemble, less the hat.  I tried an orangish color sweater to match my hat, but settled for a black sweater like Gary had on.

The inclusion of a larger scoreboard and proper lettering, proved to be challenging.  I also noticed that I have a defective cap made by Titleist (Tsieltit as shown).   Ha, if I hadn’t pointed that out I might have gotten away with this attempt at fame!



Here’s the primary image that is about 85% believable.  Still need to work on clothing re-colorization!




Internship Week11

Early in the week, I made a few maintenance changes on the KowataTree existing site. Since no backup was performed for a while, I also cloned the site to a local drive after I struggled with FTP a bit. Since some of the existing content would be re-used, I spent some time charting the assets to make it easier to use them later.

I had talked the client into 360 degree photography product marketing, so I read up on what components I’d need to build a carousel and what photography equipment would be involved. I ordered the components from Amazon. I also began looking at WordPress themes that were advertised as being most ‘compatible’ with various Ecommerce plugins or solutions. I felt that using WooCommerce would be less costly as a trial solution, and that it has a large installed base with decent user ratings.

We met again earlier today to review my findings and recommendation. I needed to back up a bit, and explain the CMS approach vs. a HTML/CSS approach. He was on-board with a WordPress approach, and we toured a few of the themes that I found, picking one to proceed with.

Took the opportunity to get my timesheet approved, too.

Tward user setup done

I just installed a user login module and created a site page and menu to display it. I customize the login form a little for now, just to see what’s happening.

Tward has author privs and I emailed him the credentials.

I created a list of ten questions, while logged in as tward, with contributor privs at the time. Would only let me submit for review. So, I logged in as myself with owner privs, and don’t see that nice list posting anywhere. I thought I’d see something that I’d need to approve. Maybe it is somewhere, but I’ll need to dig.

I plan to have a variety of blog topics, so I’ll be interested how/if I can manage more than one from this site. I have an internship blog that I’d like to move to this website, but will need to see how two blog topics live together, or not. I did apply the Image Editing tag to my posts so far, and that does segregate by category. A bit clunky.

Internship Week10

Kowata Tree. Having research some furniture sites and a few other custom order product sites, I was prepared to share my findings at our Wednesday meeting. It was a needed, albeit lengthy review, to see some of the driving business models and how the order processes were structured and explained.

We ran out of time on Wednesday, so we picked up again yesterday. Our discussion turned to a reality check on his manufacturing capacity and the related lead-time on addressing custom orders. Due to the varying size of some prospective products, the topics of packing/handling and shipping methods and costs were discussed.

It was challenging to walk through some of these topics. Fortunately the client has a strong business background, but it was evident that moving the business model to an ecommerce platform would add complexity to the process. It was at this point where we both realized that there would need to be more research done, both on the business model/manufacturing issues and about how an ecommerce solution could be a fit.   We needed to let some of this sink in.

Internship Week9

Kowata Tree.  I finished a draft of the internship agreement and met with the client on Monday. We reviewed the agreement and I needed to make some changes.

During Monday’s meeting we had a productive session, white-boarding the business process for his prospective custom furniture manufacturing. We also discussed the types of products and challenges with each, based on lead times, size, packing, and shipping. Another topic was about his thoughts on how the products and site could be marketed. I thought it would be helpful to talk about the envisioned customer profile, as well as any competition that he was aware of. Following the meeting I merged my notes.

I refined the internship agreement, accounting for some of the information gathered in the past few days, and also reviewing my availability. We met again on Wednesday for a quick review and sign-off on the internship agreement. I committed to finding a few terms, conditions, and privacy policy statements for him to review for later use.

We met yesterday to continue the business plan discussion, now in the context of Ecommerce. I’m realizing that this is complicated and that a lot of burden falls on the client to figure out his business model. We were both unsure about some of the terms, conditions, and privacy policy clauses so he was going to run them by his lawyer in the near future.

Internship Week8

For Thinkbigger, we ran into a problem where just some new uploads weren’t registering on the new site. We both research the issue which turned out to be a small PHP change.   She launched the site live yesterday, and we met earlier today to admire our work (mostly hers)! I got my timesheet approved, and I informed her that I wouldn’t be available, except for emergency, since I needed to shift gears to Kowata Tree. I agreed to let my bill float until mid May, since I might still do some work for her. She also needed to get paid for the project.


I met with the owner of Kowata Tree as planned to gather typical client information and discuss the general internship agreement. Note to self: I really need to make a big checklist of items if I’m going to be doing this regularly. As follow-up I researched some hosting pricing options to compare with his current plan.

This morning I wrote up the majority of the Internship Agreement, first consolidating my notes, and then making it look pretty. I plan to finish it this weekend and hope we can meet early next week to finalize.

Internship Week7

I continued helping ThinkBigger on the Woodlands School project. I stopped by her place to assist her in migrating her MAMP site to her hosting provider so that we could ‘work together’ on the site. She assigned me the contacts, events, and campuses pages, which I put together fairly quickly and made sure we weren’t working on the site at the same time.

I function tested all the completed work to date and ran them through four browsers and at five different @media sizes. I only found a few bugs, that she dealt with and tested herself.

My third, and largest internship project fired up this week. I called the client at kowata tree, as we had discussed earlier the later March would be best. We set a meeting for next Tuesday, the 24th.

Internship Week6

I got back to my ThinkBigger client right away last Saturday. I wasn’t exactly sure if I knew how to modify the WordPress site to make the home page change, but the other email issue would entail a call to the service provider. I figured that there was some risk to us, not so much about whether we could or couldn’t do the job, but that it might take us a while … even putting our heads together. Not to mention the time to get in driver’s seat, make sure we had a backup, and that we were clear about when they wanted the job done.

She called her contact and got the word that the original developer wanted $350 to do the tasks, and figured ThinkBigger could do it cheaper!   We discussed it, and because of our newness to the situation, and with limited experience, she backed out of the RFQ.

We met on Monday to look at my internship form and what I proposed. She wanted to make it flexible for both of us, so I re-wrote it and met again with her on Wednesday to have her sign it. In the mean time, she wanted me to research some WordPress templates that might be a fit for her larger project, a re-vamp of Woodland School’s site (Milwaukee) in WordPress. She also thought that developing on MAMP would be a good idea, which I’m growing fond of.

I fired up the MAMP servers, for me and at her place. She was doing the site layout and any design work, so I was to test theme features and plugins, and optimize images. When I couldn’t get the theme to deliver sticky menus, I looked into some plugin options on Envato to make the menus sticky. I got excited about the Ubermenu plugins, purchased and installed them.

I plan to stop by her place tomorrow to get my timesheet approved.

Internship Week5

I received a call yesterday from a friend of a friend, who’s a freelance web designer. Her business is She’s a schooled graphic designer, and a self-taught web designer. She is having too much work now, and got a request from a client referral to quote on a change to an existing WordPress site. She asked me to look at the email request and at the current site and get back in a few days.

I explained my internship program, and asked if she might have enough work to include me. She foresaw a few weeks, and wanted to discuss with me early next week. In the mean time I began looking at

Internship Week4

Home for Sale.  I got a call from the client and they said that they wanted to put the project on hold. Apparently they weren’t sure if they wanted to sell the place before having a condo lined up. We agree to meet on Saturday to get my timesheet signed for now.

Internship Week3

Home for Sale.  I’m getting into WordPress. There’s so much to learn from my theme author’s blog postings and from customer forums. I tried a few other sliders, for my own benefit. I nailed down the image size that would work best and optimized the pictures I had.

I photoshopped one of the images of the house, from the road view, to make it into the header background. One of my ideas that they liked, was to use Google maps satellite views to show the subdivision and their parcel. I created several views that clarified where the lot was, and inserted a north symbol for bearings. I created a link to Google maps from a normal subdivision thumbnail.

I tried a few mortgage calculator options, the web is full of freebees, and settled on one that was plain. Then, I got a little creative and added a Menomonee Falls Village sign, which I had to do some retouching on, to the home page.   As of today I haven’t received any content from them, so I sent them an email reminder.




Internship Week2

I spent some fun time over the weekend to look into WordPress themes for the home-sale web site project. I liked the Elegant Themes offer, unlimited use of their roughly 55 themes for $89 for one year, upgradeable for another $150 for a lifetime subscription, full access to updates, etc. I’ll stick with the annual for now.

I decided to use MAMP for development and watch Morten Rand-Hendriksen’s series on Lynda about installing MAMP and WordPress. I think he’s one of my favorite authors on Lynda. Fun to hear his accent, and he goes at a nice pace and is very clear. I got MAMP Pro and set it up, installing WP locally under a unique server name, not the normal localhost setting. It took me an extra hour to figure out the details with this twist. Now I get it.

I installed two of my Elegant Themes, and some plugins and created some pages to experiment. I figured out how the menu structure relates to pages, and created the page layouts.

The client emailed me some pictures, but many were so similar, and there were too many of the flower gardens and not enough of the house. And, there weren’t any of the interior rooms. So, I made a new list of what pictures and other content assets I felt we needed, in prep for our next meeting. I used some of the images to experiment with the sliders I had, and to figure out what the best image physical size would be.

I packed up my nice MAMP server and met with them today to show off my progress, and get them to sign-off on the 18 hours I put in this past week. They were satisfied with the layout, and were happy with the way the slider worked and how I intended to list each room’s features. They understood the picture gap and said they’d get me some ASAP. We agreed to a tentative meeting for the next Saturday, pending having the content ready.

Internship Week1

Home for Sale.  This week I met with internship prospect #1 to discuss their interest in having a Home for Sale by Owner website. I determined that they’d be best suited with the use a WordPress theme. It would also give me a deeper exposure to using WordPress. I outlined a plan, with a four-week timeframe.

As I started on completing an internship agreement, I realized that I needed some more info to get the scope right, and I called the client. I scouted out some other real estate websites to see what home info they normally include, and how they presented their images. With this in mind, I finished a draft. After running it by Tammy a few times, I met with the client and got a sign-off.   We agreed that I’d have a meeting with them in about one week to review my progress.  I’m anxious to dig in.