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




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.




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



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.



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



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. 





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




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




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.



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.




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.





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.




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 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  He’s incredible.



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:




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?