Best Decorating Books

best decorating books

  • Confer an award or medal on (a member of the armed forces)

  • (decorate) make more attractive by adding ornament, colour, etc.; "Decorate the room for the party"; "beautify yourself for the special day"

  • Make (something) look more attractive by adding ornament to it

  • (decorate) award a mark of honor, such as a medal, to; "He was decorated for his services in the military"

  • (decorate) deck: be beautiful to look at; "Flowers adorned the tables everywhere"

  • Provide (a room or building) with a color scheme, paint, wallpaper, etc

  • (book) physical objects consisting of a number of pages bound together; "he used a large book as a doorstop"

  • Reserve accommodations for (someone)

  • (book) engage for a performance; "Her agent had booked her for several concerts in Tokyo"

  • Engage (a performer or guest) for an occasion or event

  • Reserve (accommodations, a place, etc.); buy (a ticket) in advance

  • (book) a written work or composition that has been published (printed on pages bound together); "I am reading a good book on economics"

w08p Best Hermann the German

w08p Best Hermann the German

1. I live in New Ulm. I can share some details for those who are not familiar with this quaint, picturesque, small town. New Ulm is rich in German heritage and tourism is an essential part of our economic wellbeing. This weekend is Fasching and Bockfest, which is why I chose the subjects and setting that I did. Fasching is depicted as a German mardigras with many activities and tours booked for the entire weekend. The picture I took with rags tied to wires adorning our downtown area is a tradition that peasants used to decorate years ago because it was all they could afford. Fasching is known as the last hurrah before Lent! Of course, if you haven’t climbed our Hermann the German monument, you really need to give that a try sometime. Fabulous pictures can be taken from the top! Many visitors to Bockfest (a Schell’s Brewery celebration?) will visit this monument which commemorates Hermann Arminius. He was a Chieftain Warrior who led the successful attack to defeat the Romans and secure freedom in 9AD. New Ulm is rich in heritage and fitting that my subjects and settings display that history.

2. The Fasching rags across Minnesota street downtown reveal a balanced symmetrical composition. I do believe you can split this photo down the gut of the road and each side is very similar. Take a further look at this photo and notice the shading on the tar. The first 2 sections have a sun streak running across the road that I found interesting. For my Hermann the German photo, I believe I have several things going on that pertain to Chapter 2. The entire monument is a hard surface which contrasts with the soft, beautiful, fluffy white clouds and striking blue sky. What I find most fascinating about this photo is the perspective and depth of Hermann. This is an enormous monument overlooking our city. It is 102’ from the base to sword-tip. Hermann is 32’ high and weighs 4,400#. Ten pillars that are 25’ high encircle a central weight bearing pillar. Four cast iron lions sit in bases protecting the area and weigh 2,300# each. So, knowing this information, take another look at the photo. Hermann does not look like he is taller than anything else on this structure. The optical illusion is that the foundation of what holds Hermann is much bigger. Hermann is a distant object that is small and full-scale at the same time. Your brain can accept both of these realities knowing the facts and seeing the picture. I compare this to a winding road that appears to narrow as the depth goes deeper. I really like this photo and hope you do too!

3. I started out taking my photos in the manual mode, but, I must confess that it was super freezing outside, and I eventually succumbed to the automatic mode. I was so cold, and it was so busy downtown that it was very difficult to mess with the settings to get a decent picture. I started out adjusting my F stop from 2.8 to 8.0 and was still not getting a good picture. I was a little surprised that the 5.6 worked better than the 8.0 because I really was working with a larger depth of field. Small F stop = small depth of field; larger F stop = larger depth of field. The ISO was set at 80 which shooting outdoors with the sun and great lighting was perfect. Initially, I had it set at 200, but my pictures were not turning out and knew the lower ISO was going to give me the best shot outdoors during the day.

w09p1 best

w09p1 best

The Comfort Zone

I peer into the room
And think, "what a mess!"

We all die today or tomorrow
So I might as well get started.

Where should I start?
"At the beginning," I hear.
A little voice in my head; is that my conscience?
Then that’s what I’ll do.

I stare at the floor:
Socks, underwear, shirts, and pants
Miniature everests—the piles
Are strewn across the floor,
My coat across the futon.

Mismatched pairs of shoes, kicked off in a hurry,
Decorate the carpet;
Puddles of evaporated snow
And mud border the pumas.

On leaning against the wall
The other peaking out from under the bed,
My Chuck Taylors stick their tongues out at me.
Both lie squashed, flat, and holy from over work.

I Finish by picking up the remote.
"Back home on the tv for you."
The books and the magazines
Go back to the shelf.

I stand back to admire my work.
It’s sure to be a masterpiece—a work of art.

In the center of the room I spin
Three hundred and sixty degrees,
The panoramic view.

It’s perfection a l950’s sitcom.
Wait, where am I? Certainly not my room.
My eyes turn red, and I rage.
I close swing blindly, wreaking havoc.
Another look. I smile. I’m home

What makes a comfort zone? Some people are comfortable when all of their belongings are strewn about – surrounding them with familiarity. Others are comfortable in a neat and tidy environment. That’s where I am comfortable. To me having a cluttered surrounding is the same as having a cluttered mind. For me to focus, I have to remove clutter. But yet I understand the other extreme described in “The Comfort Zone.” I have beloved family members who fit that category. This poem appealed to me because the author came to terms with the fact that his or her comfort zone is clutter, just as I have accepted the fact that my comport zone is neat and tidy. But neither is right or wrong and people can operate and function in either environment.

Believe it or not, I had fun trying to create clutter! My first attempt was just to create piles and piles of clutter. But I was not happy with that. There was no focus. It didn’t tell a story. So then my focus moved on to the door – the entry into that private zone – the comfort zone. I wanted to create a peek into that zone but yet I did not want to focus on specific items in the room so I created a shallow depth of field that focused on the door knob, the most important part of the entry. To me, the focus on the door represents our individual view on our private, comfort zone.

Getting the right angle, shooting through the doorway, and getting the right focus were difficult. I wanted the door to be evident but yet not too dominating. The placement of the doorknob had to be just right also so I got a workout shooting from different eye-level vantage points. (Basically like doing a lot of squats.) I didn't want it to become lost in the clutter.

best decorating books

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