Monday, September 27, 2010

Not an Artists Rendering

It specifically is not an artists rendering because I am not an artist. Photoshop is one software program that has always been difficult for me to get. I once sat with a book that had step-by-step instructions on how to merge two images with one masked and I still couldn't get it. I understand the theory. I'm reasonably intelligent. I often pick up these sorts of things quickly. It frustrates me to this day that I could not get this. So much so that I've wasted the first paragraph of this blog entry on the fact that I can not mask out the background of one image and superimpose it on to another in Photoshop. How's that for neurotic?

Annnnywho, I got an email from rugsale.com today informing me that my stair runner carpet should be here this Friday. If that is true, then I can install it this weekend. That will be huge. After that, I just need a few small pieces of furniture and some pictures on the wall and I can stick a fork in the foyer and move on to the front door.



The mirror is real, but I'm sure you will be shocked to know that the small demi-lune table is not really in that photo. It looks so real! I've been Googling my fingers to the bone for the past few days looking for tables for the foyer. A hall tree would be the proper Victorian piece for this spot, but I've decided not to go that route. I found the piece above at Ethan Allen.

When I started looking I first went to Ballard Design and found a nice little table right off the bat and it was on-sale. The only problem was the sale table only came in white and the one in the picture with the mahogany finish was not even available at full price. I get the feeling they had zillions of the white ones left over and they were desperate to dump them.

I then went to Overstock.com and found nothing that appealed to me. After that I let Google tell me where to go. This is where it got interesting. If you Google 'console table' you get a number of sites that all seem to have the same exact inventory, and they all offer dozens, if not hundreds of different tables.

After looking at 3 or 4 of these sites I began to think they were all the same site only different domain names. It doesn't matter what link you click on you get the same selection at the same price. After looking at page after page after page of small tables I gave up at those sites because nothing really jumped out at me. I then just typed in ethanallen.com and found the table above.

One thing you'll notice about the table above compared to similar tables at all of the other sites is that the table above has no lower shelf. Almost all of the others have a lower shelf 6-inches or so off the ground. I do know this style of table, when it was in fashion, would not have had the lower shelf. I think the real reason for the lower shelf is to make up for poor craftsmanship. Oddly enough, the table from Ethan Allen is less expensive than many similar tables at other sites I looked at.

19 comments:

Oldhousefanatic said...

If you are going new, and you are, I think it is a very nice piece. You are correct, the bottom shelf is a modern idea, and I think your choice is much more appropriate to the age of the house. I appreciate that you choose to leave the modern choices to things that are not part of the house.

Karen Anne said...

I've never figured out Photoshop. If something is nearly impossible to learn to use, I figure it's not me, it's the currently lousy state of user interface design because companies hire inexpensive workers who have no clue.

Is that the right style table for the foyer? I'm not a furniture maven, but it kind of looks French to me.

When I can't find something I'm looking to buy with google, I try googling on images. That often turns something up and is a quick way to home in on what I want vs. munging through web sites.

Kathy from NJ said...

I love love love that table. It will be perfect in your foyer.

Christine Thresh said...

Why don't you wait for the right table to come along. You can keep your eye out when you visit junk shops and garage sales. If you find a beautiful little table covered with ugly paint -- you know how to strip and refinish.
The right one will pop up.

Laikabear said...

I like the table! My photoshop skills are very limited also. I don't think I would be able to make the table look more real.

"After looking at 3 or 4 of these sites I began to think they were all the same site only different domain names. It doesn't matter what link you click on you get the same selection at the same price." YOU ARE SO RIGHT!!! When I was looking online to buy a sleeper sofa for my 2nd bedroom, I went to several sites that seemed to be the same site, but with different names. It was a little odd.

The entry is looking awesome; I'm glad you're posting again with regularity. I love the Petch House. :)

Sean said...

Have you tried ebay? They have some really great pieces and for a console table the shipping wouldn't be bad - A lot of the furniture sellers do Greyhound shipping which is really cheap and I have not had any issues with damages and such....

J Auclair said...

Use the pen tool to painstakingly make a path around the table (directly around the outline of it). Then convert the path to selection, copy it, and paste it into your photo. It will come in without the background.

Greg said...

I knew it was a matter of time before someone gave me Photoshop instructions. I thank you, and after that, all I can say is - not in the version I have.

Karen Anne said...

I have some Bombay stuff, so I've been on their email list for when they climbed out of reorganization. They just sent me email with this link:

http://www.qvc.com/cgen/render.aspx?qp=class|o044&rewrite=no

Some tables there you might want to look at if you haven't already bought the Ethan Allen one.

It doesn't look like their actual website http://bombaycompany.com/ is fully up yet.

Greg said...

For the most part, that is a very nice table and pretty much what I'm looking for. The price is great, but I'm not sure about the hand panting on it. It seems a bit much. I'm concerned the quality of the painting may not be good, and given that there is so much of it, it will be noticeable.

Did I mention I love the price.

Karen Anne said...

I'm not sure what Bombay's painting is like. I have a bookcase and a filing cabinet that masquerades as a dresser, from their previous product line before they went into the bit bucket. I got them because they reminded me of the dark mahogany furniture my parents had. No painting on those.

Kathy from NJ said...

Greg, you get what you pay for. The Bombay table is not all wood and will likely have to replaced 3 times before the Ethan Allen one starts to look broken-in.

Greg said...

"You get what you pay for"

There it is a nutshell. Considering I have a strict no-particleboard policy here, I probably wouldn't be able to buy it even if I wanted to. It goes against the policy.

Karen Anne said...

Hmm, my Bombay stuff is all wood. Maybe they've changed.

Kimberly Dillbeck said...

Hi Greg,
I haven't visited your blog in awhile, but have been following you for a long time. I teach Photoshop in my graphic design class so maybe I can help you get mashing. I do think that I have a really good way of explaining it to my high school students, at least they seem to get it eventually. So here goes....

So you have 2 photos each on its own layer.

First put the mask on the top photo by clicking the mask icon in the layer palette. The icon looks like a rectangle with a circle in it.

You will then see the mask when you look at the layer thumbnail in the layers palette. It looks like a white square. The white represents white paint, which in a mask makes the photo on the mask layer appear solid. If you paint on the image with black paint (regular paint brush) the image will go transparent and disappear. You will also see the black show up on the little mask (white square) in the layer palette. If you mess up and remove too much of the image, just switch to white paint and paint the image back into existence. This also works with a black and white gradient.

It is easy once you get it, but it confused me at first as well.

Hope this helps!

Greg said...

Kimberly,

I will give it a try......again!

Macy Alexander said...

I can't figure out Photoshop either. I've worked my way around it though by using PowerPoint. Open Table picture. On the photo tool bar, click the tool that looks like a pencil with an eraser made into an arrow. With that tool, click the empty space you want removed. This will remove all the background leaving only the table. Open room photo in same document, and move the table to the proper placement. You can then save the whole file as a jpg. Seems complicated, but is really, really easy. I've made some great Facebook photos that way :) Good luck!

Greg said...

There was a program I used to use 10 years or so ago that I would make parts of jpgs transparent for putting on my web site. It was as easy as you describe what you are doing with Power Point. Simple pick the color you want to be transparent with an eye-dropper and that was it.

lohi said...

Photoshop has a "magic wand" that selects by color. Choose it, click on the color, then hit delete. First, however, you must unlock the background layer by double clicking it then clicking OK on the resulting window. Photoshop is actually easy but there are a few stumbling blocks that will stop new users. Locked background layers are one, because you can't do much to the layer without unlocking it first.if you try to delete anything it will be replaced by the background color if the layer is locked. I have never understood why this is a default. They should get a panel of teachers to advise them when they do upgrades, because we could easily point out the stumbling blocks for new users.

Kim