Eileen always throws awesome parties, thinking of every little detail, from the decorations to the games to the desserts. Yet, once in a while, she enlists a little from from me. She was looking to create a do-it-your-self photo booth for a small backyard party. She had a backdrop and props planned and was looking for me to help her find a software program that would run on her laptop.
To my dismay, I could not find any simple to use programs out there. Most of them you had to pay for, and the free ones were terrible. What seemed like a simple task was turning out to be quite problematic.
So, I decided to just write my own photo booth software. By the end of the day, I churned out an app I dubbed Easy Photo Booth. Eileen was totally impressed, and we've been using the app at parties ever since. Eileen likes to print out the filmstrips and include them with the thank you notes. Guests seem to love that :)
Posted by Ash
This post may contain affiliate links to products we personally use and love.
My version was as simple and straightforward as they come. In front of the backdrop and props that Eileen set up, I placed a laptop (with a web camera) on a small table. The guests would then see themselves on the laptop screen. Easy instructions on how to proceed popped up.
I even setup the software to save the film strip images to DropBox. This allowed me to run a slideshow on the large family room TV of a live photo stream from the photo booth (via a second laptop I had plugged into the TV). This way, other guests not taking pictures got to partake in the photo booth fun.
My photo booth software was a huge hit. It’s now a staple event at our parties, and even our friends/families have started using it for some of their events. So I wanted to make the software easily available for everyone for free.
You can download a PC version of “easy photo booth” software here. I’m sorry, I don’t have a MacOS version of it, but I can port it over to Mac if I get a lot of requests for it.
Here’s a screenshot of the program in action:
Easy Photo Booth also offers an advanced mode if you want to fine tune the functionality:
Here’s what the software shows the guests after taking their pictures:
Film strip images like the picture above are generated from the software. It also saves the images individually in case you wanted to use a snapshot outside of the film strip.
I also added an “overlay” feature, which superimposes foregrounds onto your images. Check it out in action below (I’m hiding behind some tree coverage):
So if you’re looking for free and easy to use photo booth software for your party, you should definitely check out Easy Photo Booth.
Posted by Ash
This post may contain affiliate links to products we personally use and love.
Ever since I got a riding mower, I’ve been waiting for the chance to do something really cool with it (other than cut the lawn, of course). We had recently went to a farm to go strawberry picking, and they shuttled us to the field in a hayride. I joked to Eileen that I should build our own hayride to pull the family around the backyard, but then I got thinking how useful a wagon would be. So as many great inventions once started with a mere joke, so did my next project. I was going to build a wagon for the mower.
I was really excited for this project. Aside from the original purpose of a wagon ride around the yard, it could really help me save time in many other tasks (particularly when refuse pickup day comes, and I had to haul 10 heavy bags of grass clippings to the curb). I looked at many commercial mower wagons in the past, so I had a pretty good idea of what the project entailed. I had once considered buying one of them, but never got around to it because of the cost and small sizes they came in. I’m glad I never bought one or else this project would have never come to be.
Here's the completed wagon:
The actual construction of the wagon was not going to be that hard. It was just a platform with a fence. Since the wagon was completely custom-made, the wheel system needed to be built from scratch. I had a rough idea of what that entailed. Wheels would need to be mounted to an axle, which would be mounted to the base of the wagon. Even though I knew this, I still had lots of questions, such as what would prevent the wheels from sliding off the axle, or the axle from flying off the wagon? I did a lot of research on wheels, axles and bearings and gained some exceptional knowledge on wheeled machines.
My wagon wheel system would be comprised of the following:
A pillow block is a support pedestal used to mount a spinning axle to a flat surface. It contains a bearing that lets the axle spin independently of the mount. The ‘locking’ feature of the pillow block is just a screw that you tighten that prevents the axle from sliding out of the bearing. The pillow block housing comes with attachment holes to let you bolt it onto a surface (in my case, the underside of the wagon). Here’s a picture of one of the pillow blocks I used (the bearing on top fits into the blue housing below, and the axle rod slides into the bearing):
So here’s how the wheel parts go together. First, the two locking pillow blocks are secured to the wagon. Then the axle is inserted into the pillow blocks and locked into place with the block screws. Before the wheels can be put on the axle, some spacing washers need to go on first. It’s generally a good idea anyway to use washers to separate spinning parts, but I needed them specifically to enforce a minimum distance between the pillow blocks and the wheels. If I didn’t put a small distance between the two, then the pillow block mounting bolts would be too close to the edge of the wagon, and risk splintering the wood, or worse, ripping right out the side during usage. So after the spacing washers were put on, the wheel comes on.
After the wheel comes another spacing washer, and then a locking shaft collar. This is essentially a fat ring that you slide onto the axle rod and becomes immovable once you tighten a screw on it. It’s a lot like the locking mechanism on the pillow block. The shaft collar is the key part needed to prevent the wheel from sliding off the axle. Shaft collars come in a variety of flavors. I chose to go with a 2 piece clamping collar. This type of collar comes with two half circles that screw together to form a ring. I chose this type because compared to other types of shaft collars, it provided a larger amount of force to the axle to prevent it from moving. Here’s a picture of the shaft collar I used:
Finally, after the shaft collar comes the axle rod plastic cap. This is just a cap that you hammer onto the edge of the axle. It really has 3 purposes. First, the axle rod has some sharp edges on both ends, so I didn’t want it digging into things and doing damage. Second, it provides an additional layer of locking protection to prevent the wheel from sliding off. Albeit the locking shaft collar will do its job just fine, but it never hurts to have something extra to re-enforce it. Finally, it finishes off the wheel setup giving it a nice aesthetic look.
I did a lot of shopping around online and found the best prices to come from Zoro.com and Amazon. I got some great deals on Amazon for 10” pneumatic tires and some ⅝” bore pillow blocks. The rest of the parts came from Zoro. I made sure that all the parts fit on the axle size I was using, which was ⅝”
Here is a picture of the assembled wheel structure (see what a nice finishing touch the end plastic caps give):
Here’s a close-up of the pillow block and the spacing washers:
With the wheels completed, I could focus now on the wagon platform. This step was going to be a piece of cake. The wheels were going to be mounted on 1 ft blocks of 4 x 4s. Those blocks would be attached to a rectangular frame made of 4 x 4s. I planned on using pressure-treated wood for these foundational 4 x 4s. They were going to be underneath the wagon and exposed more to insects. Any structural damage to the foundation would be catastrophic so PT wood seemed a necessity. However, knowing that people would be riding in the wagon at some point, I didn't want them in close proximity to the chemicals used in PT wood, so the wagon floor and above would be regular wood. I did plan on using deck stain though to protect it from water and weathering.
On top of the frame would be some 2 x 8 planks for the floor of the wagon. Attached to the perimeter of the wagon would be a fence made of 2 x 4s. Finally, the rear of the wagon would have a swinging gate to allow easy access into the wagon.
Here’s my TinkerCad design of the vision I had in mind:
The rectangular frame underneath the wagon needed to be strong, as it comprised a majority of the foundation. So I used half lap joints to secure the corners of the frame (see my mailbox post where I used a center lap joint). I made repeated cuts with my circular saw to get rough cut of the joints. Then I used my chisel and hammer to clean up the cut, and smoothed it down with a sander. Here’s a picture of a half lap joint in the process of being made (for efficiency and consistency, I clamped two 4 x 4s side-by-side to get 2 joints cut at the same time):
Here’s a picture of the lap joints completed, and the rectangular frame is ready to come together:
To connect the joints securely, I used wood glue and lag bolts. I also wanted the lag bolt heads flush with the surface of frame, so I used a Forstner bit to carve out smooth holes to countersink the bolts. Here's a picture of the completed frame bolted together with glue:
Forstner bits are awesome. I just added them to my tool collection and have been using them in a lot of recent projects. Here’s a close up the holes they made for the bolts :
To complete the foundation, I attached the 1 ft blocks that the wheel axles would be fastened to. They needed to be firmly attached, so I used wood glue and two 6” bolts to make a strong connection. Here's a picture of one of them:
Next up was the floor. I used 2 pieces of 2 x 8s for the center, and 2 pieces of 2 x 10s for the ends. I attached them to the 4 x 4 frame with some countersunk deck screws. Here's a picture of attached floor:
Now the moment of truth came. It was time to attach the wheel axles to the frame. I bolted the pillow blocks tightly and flipped the frame over. Would the frame roll smoothly... (drum roll please). Yes it did! Here's a picture of the attached wheels and frame:
Here’s an underneath close-up of a pillow block mounting to the frame:
I could stop right now and have a gigantic skateboard, but the fun was only beginning. It was time to build the wagon fence and gate.
This part was really easy. I just cut a number of 2 x 4s. Some were attached to the 4 x 4 foundation frame to serve as posts, and the rest were used as cross pieces screwed into the posts. For the swinging gate, I used some 1 x 3 wood left over from a previous project. I made the rectangular gate frame with some pocket holes using my trusty Kreg pocket hole jig, and some wood glue. Here's a picture of the gate in progress:
Here's a picture of the wagon with the finished fence and gate (it looks great, doesn't it?):
Prior to starting work on the wagon, I had done some research on how to actually connect it to the mower. I found a contraption that let me attach a 2” diameter hitch ball to the back of the mower. They’re called universal garden tractor hitches. I also found an adjustable tow bar that would bolt onto a sturdy metal vehicle bumper (like some Jeeps). This would be perfect for my wagon. I could bolt the connection to my wagon, and attach the other end to the hitch ball on the mower. In theory it sounded good, so I hoped it worked in practice.
Here's a picture of the hitch and tow bar linking the wagon to the mower (the tow bar can be easily detached on either end when not in use):
Now it was time to test the mower and the wagon together. I started up the mower and slowly let the brake go. It started pulling the wagon without hesitation! I was worried the engine would struggle, but it did not. I did a few laps around the yard and it was working wonderfully.
Now, I just needed a test subject. After all, what's the fun in pulling around an empty wagon? Eileen was on the phone, and I was anxious to try out the wagon with someone. Then I looked at the house and who did I see looking out at me but my dog Zeus. Perfect timing! Here’s a picture of me testing out the wagon with my first test subject:
I later applied some deck stain to the non-pressure treated wood, and the wagon was completed.
Since building, I've given many rides in the back yard. I've also hauled many bags of refuse to the curb in minutes, saving a lot of time. It does take a few minutes to hook up the wagon to the mower though. So I don't always use it attached. It works just fine as a stand alone cart when I don't feel like hooking up the hitch. Now for some pictures of the wagon hard at work.
This was was taken when I needed to move a lot of equipment into my storage shed from the garage. What would have normally taken me several trips, took just one with the wagon:
Here is the wagon hauling 10 bags of refuse to the curb. I used to use my wheelbarrow, but that would only hold 2 bags at a time. It pales in comparison to the wagon:
Finally, here’s a glamour shot:
It was one of my most fun projects to date, and best of all, it was completed in just a weekend. The total cost was around $120.
Want to see more? Check out our similar projects.
Posted by Ash
This post may contain affiliate links to products we personally use and love.
Digging through my scrap wood collection, I came across some pieces of pegboard from our previous home that I had forgotten about. I had just relocated a lot of garden tools to the shed, and there was an empty wall in the garage that would now be perfect for the pegboard.
After mounting the pegboard and hanging up some tools, the wall still looked a little empty. I had a vision of mounting a heavy duty folding workbench to the wall.
This was the perfect location, and if the workbench folded, we could still fit the car in the garage.
Moreover, I was also in desperate need of a good workbench, as I had been using the driveway and garage floor for all my projects.
The lack of a completely flat and level surface made projects more difficult. So I embarked on this bucket list project of building my own workbench.
First off, the pegboard needed to be installed. I had to create a slight gap between the wall and the board to allow the hooks to be inserted.
I used some scrap 1 x 3 wood left over from a prior project to create the gap.
Using my table saw, I cut the wood in half lengthwise to make 1 x 1.5 strips and screwed them to the studs behind the drywall.
Here’s a picture of the wall showing the mounted strips:
Then I hoisted up each 2 x 8 pegboard sheet and screwed them into the wood strips, using washers to secure the board. It all just seemed too simple, and I needed more of a challenge.
Then I remembered some French cleat shelves I recently built in between the two garage doors (post to come soon!). They were portable shelves that could be removed from the wall by simply lifting, yet they were very sturdy when mounted.
So I quickly made 4 shallow box shelves and rigged up a French cleat system for them.
Here’s a picture of the shelves, along with the pegboard and my fancy tool collection:
With the pegboard and shelves installed, I could start on the workbench. To come up with the design, I first did a lot of research on existing workbenches, especially folding ones. I was initially considering one that folded up to cover the pegboard when not in use. A nice feature of that design was that it left below the pegboard intact and I could make use of the space for shelving in the future. I ended up ditching that idea because it would hinder my ability to get tools off the pegboard when the table was folded up. The extra space below the pegboard was not worth that inconvenience.
Thus, my workbench was going to fold downwards. Many fold down tables I came across had built in legs at the front that swung down. I wanted to make my table free of legs to give a more roomy feel, and also allow easy access to the floor when the table was down. Sweeping up a sawdust covered floor is a lot easier with no table legs in the way. So finally, all my research culminated into a custom design, which I created in TinkerCad.
Here are the TinkerCAD diagrams of the table in the up and down position:
As you can see in the diagrams, the table would be supported with 3 wall mounted legs. Each leg would rest on hinges, allowing them to swing inwards and lay flat against the wall. With the legs folded in, the tabletop (also resting on hinges) would fold downwards to lay on top of the legs. I really liked this floating table design and was eager to start work on it.
The workbench construction consisted of 3 main parts - tabletop, legs, and wall mounts. When all 3 pieces were completed, it was just a matter of securing them to each other with hinges. So first I started with the tabletop. I opted to use several planks of 2 x 8 and 2 x 4 wood for the top, much like a picnic table. I liked the look because it blended in well with my existing garage shelves (including a sliding shelf behemoth I made a few months ago). I first cut the planks to size (85” long).
Then to assemble them together, I used a number of techniques. First I drilled 10 pocket holes along the length of each board. I used the Kreg Pocket Hole jig to precisely drill all the holes. Then I applied construction adhesive to sides of the planks, clamped them together tightly and fastened them to each other with 2.5" pocket hole screws.
Just a quick mention about wood clamps - if you're really getting into some wood working projects lately and don't already have a variety of wood clamps, I would strongly recommend getting some. For years, I never had the need for any. Then about a year ago, I had to borrow a neighbor's 3ft bar clamp to help hold some warped wood in place while I drilled it down. I was hooked ever since. Now I've accumulated a host of clamps ranging from 3" C clamps to 3ft bar clamps. For the bar clamps, I always try to get them in pairs because many clamping scenarios are better with multiple pressure points. A lot of bar clamps also convert to spreaders, which let you "spread" a certain distance between two pieces of wood (never thought I'd use that feature, but trust me, you'll run into a scenario where you'll want to pry apart two pieces of wood). I've also got a few 90 degree clamps, which are a godsend for building bookshelves (or any other scenario where you need to secure two pieces of wood perpendicular to each other). I even use an awesome Kreg face clamp to keep two pieces of wood perfectly flush for joining (also use it for the pocket hole jig to keep it in place as well). Alright, enough rambling about wood clamps.
Finally, I ran 3 perpendicular 2 x 4 supports underneath the tabletop for additional strength. These supports also serve as stops for the swinging legs, so the spacing of them was actually determined by the positions of the legs on the wall.
Here are pictures of the top and bottom of the tabletop once completed:
The tabletop was very heavy but sturdy. The surface and edges were a little rough, but I planned to sand it down in the end and route the edges with a rounding over bit. Next up were the table legs. Each leg was comprised of 2 pieces of 2 x 10 planks, cut to 27” in length. The planks were secured to each other very similar to the table top (with pocket holes and wood glue).
I did notch the corner of each leg structure with a 45 degree cut for a nice angled design. This would give me more leg room, and also eliminate a pointed edge to get snagged on. Here’s a picture of one of the legs being worked on (the workbench was already becoming very handy, even just resting on some sawhorses!):
The next task was to bolt 2 x 4 mounts into the wall studs. I used 3.5” lag bolts for the fasteners, and made sure they were perfectly level.
Here is a picture of the completed mounts:
For the horizontal 2x4 (that the table top will hinge to) that connects to each vertical support, I used 5 fasteners to secure it - 3 lag bolts to attach to each vertical support and two 6" TimberLok screws in between the vertical supports to attach it directly to two additional wall studs.
For the lag bolts, it was essential that they be flush with the surface of the wood. Up until recently, countersinking lag bolts was not a clean and easy task for me. This was until I bought a set of Forstner bits that made the task a breeze. Unlike regular drill bits, these bits are specially made to cut flat bottom holes to precise depths.
Here a picture of one of the bolts up close countersunk with a Forstner bit (note the gap around the bolt head to allow room for the socket spanner):
Finally, with the 3 main project segments completed (table top, legs, mounts), I could start attaching them to each other with hinges. Prior to a Home Depot trip for all the lumber, I stopped by the local Habitat for Humanity Restore. I was in luck because I picked up 12 used door hinges for a mere $3. Home Depot was selling a pack of brand new ones for $23.
I highly recommend the Habitat stores if you happen to live near to one. They can sometimes yield big savings for your DIY projects. Attaching the hinges went on fairly easily. I used three of the regular door hinges for each leg, and then I used 3 heavy duty hinges for the table top.
Here’s a picture of the legs mounted with some hinges (once again, a level was used to ensure accurate alignments):
After the three table legs were mounted, I rested the heavy table top on them. I positioned the table in place, and attached it to the wall mounts with the 3 heavy duty hinges. I used two types of fasteners for the hinges. For the wall mount connection, I used four 1/4" lag bolts per hinge. For the table top connection, I used Simpson 1.5" structural screws (btw these screws are amazing for all sorts of projects due to their anchoring strength, so I always have some on hand in the garage). To prevent the doors from accidentally swinging shut while the table was down, I attached a small bolt lock on each leg to lock them into place.
Here’s a picture of one of the heavy duty hinges used to fasten the table top to the wall mounts::
Here’s a picture of the bolt lock in action to secure the swinging legs (note the rectangular notch I had to make on two of the legs to account for the heavy duty table top hinge when folded inwards):
The workbench was practically complete at this point. The tabletop just needed a good sanding, and the edges needed a nice routed cut (I used a 3/8" radius round over edging bit with my plunge router).
Here’s a picture of the tabletop corner once routed (looks very professional, doesn’t it?):
Finally the folding workbench was complete. I was confident in its strength, so both Eileen and I sat on it to prove that it was a sturdy design. The table did not even budge.
This was a much needed addition to my workshop/garage and will be getting a lot of use in the very near future. Lumber and materials costed around $150 and the entire project was completed over the weekend. Here are some pictures of the final product:
Eileen is going to paint that wall for me, and she has an idea for further tool organization on the pegboard. Stay tuned for an updated picture.
Want to see more? Check out our similar projects.
This post may contain affiliate links to products we personally use and love.
The Nitty Gritty
For many years I got by without a table saw. I've always just used my trusty handsaw or circular saw. I just didn't have a need for it because our current home at the time was small, so I couldn’t work on as many projects as I wanted to.
This changed once we bought a larger home. The list of projects we wanted to complete on our new home was endless. A larger yard meant things like planter boxes, storage sheds and picnic tables. A more spacious garage meant custom shelving and work benches. The projects went on and on. It was inevitable that the need for a table saw would come up, and it was the construction of the shed that prompted this.
The first couple weeks of working on the shed, I used my handsaw and portable power saws. Then as I got deeper into the project, I ran into a wall. I realized that I needed to make certain long narrow cuts that were nearly impossible to do reliably and consistently with my current means. So it was time for a table saw. I was really excited as I had always wanted one, and this was the perfect opportunity to make the investment.
I researched many table saws online until I settled on one I liked. At the time, the prices ranged from around $250 to thousands of dollars. I opted for the Kobalt KT1050 table saw from Lowes. After a 10% coupon I purchased on eBay for $2, I got the table saw for just under $300 with free delivery. (Here’s a very similar tablesaw on Amazon)
There were two main deciding factors for choosing this saw versus others in the same price range. The first one was the maximum cutting depth at 90 degrees. The KT1015 allowed up to 3.5 inches of height on the blade, which meant I could cut a 4 x 4 with one pass on the blade. Most of the other saws maxed out at 3.125". I could also cut 2 x 4s on the longer side if I needed as well.
The second decision factor was that it came with a folding built in stand. I didn't fully understand the mechanics of its intended operation until watching some YouTube videos. Then I decided this saw was perfect for me. During normal usage, the saw sits on its stand and works like a regular table saw. Then when you're done your cutting for the day, you press a foot lever, raise two handles and the saw tilts vertically on its side and is wheeled away for storage.
Here is the table saw in its wheeled storage position:
In this mode, it looks and maneuvers like a two wheel dolly. Because it stands up vertically, it takes up minimal space against the wall when not in use. This was perfect for my setup as I did not want a permanent spot for the table saw and was hoping to easily pull it out as needed.
In the picture below, the lever with the lock icon transforms the saw into working position.
So the table saw arrived about a week later at my front door. The shed project was being held up due to cuts needed from the saw, so I was eager to set it up and continue construction. It took about an hour to assemble all of the parts and learn operation of all the features. Since it was my first time using a table saw, I did a number of practice cuts with scrap wood to get a feel for the saw and its mechanics. I verified the 3.5” max blade height with a piece of 4 x 4. I tried some angled cuts with the included miter slide. I also ripped some bevel cuts on some 2 x 4s. The cuts were clean and effortless. The dust port sprayed most of the sawdust out and away from me, piling it up in a hill. Once I was comfortable, I did the real cuts I needed for my project and was very happy with the results.
Here is a picture of the side showing the yellow power switch and the blade adjustment wheel. You can raise or lower the blade by spinning the wheel. Also, attached to the wheel is a bevel lever that you can use to adjust the angle of the blade. I found the power switch to be in the perfect location because it is easy to turn the saw off with your knee after a cut. The opposite side of the saw is where the sawdust shoots out.
One thing I was not too happy about with the table saw was the misalignment of the riving knife. The riving knife is a metal splitter that sits just behind the blade. As the saw blade cuts through the wood, the riving knife slides right into the freshly cut groove and forces the wood to remain parallel to the guide fence. It’s a safety feature of table saws that helps to prevent a lot of kickback (when the spinning motion of the blade forces the wood to jerk back at you). The riving knife is supposed to be aligned perfectly with the blade, but mine was not. It actually wasn’t too bad at the beginning, but as I used the saw over the next couple months, the alignment got worse.
The manual did come with instructions on aligning it via some hexagonal screws, but I have just never gotten around to fixing it. I did also read online about a number of people having trouble with the alignment and could not fix it regardless of the adjustment screw settings. Some people have even had to stick washers into the riving knife mounting points to align it manually. Hopefully when I get the time to look into it more, it will work out for me.
In the meantime, when I cut wood, the riving knife either happens to nudge into the cut groove, or I have to place a pre-cut block of scrap wood to force the alignment. I do occasionally just use my finger to manually nudge the riving knife into place with the blade spinning, but this is highly dangerous and I would not recommend to anyone (note to self to stop doing this and fix the alignment).
Another thing that I was not too fond of was aligning the guide fence. This is the guide that runs parallel to the blade that you slide your wood against to ensure your cut is even. The guide has two clamping levers on both ends that you engage to lock it down to the table saw surface.
The problem with this technique is that you have to manually ensure the guide is parallel to the blade. If the guide isn’t parallel (within a close margin of error), then your cut is not going to be straight. Also, your wood will likely get stuck at some point as you slide it through the blade. So both ends of the guide have to be the same distance away from the blade. It’s really not that difficult to do, but can get annoying if you’re making a number of cuts and constantly adjusting the fence.
I’ve gotten use to using a tape measure to ensure both ends of the guide fence are the same distance from the edge of the table. Other people use a speed square to quickly align the fence. The fancier table saws use a rack and pinion system for the guide fence, where you spin a handle to slide the fence left or right. This would be perfect for me if I had a few more hundred dollars to spend on a table saw, but alas that was outside my budget.
Here is a picture showing the guide fence with one of the adjustment levers. There is a useful ruler on the front to help you set the distance from the blade, but I find this not to be always accurate. I tend to rely on my trusty measuring tape.
So the misaligned riving knife and the work needed to setup the guide fence are my only squabbles with the Kobalt KT1015.
It’s a terrific saw for a great value and should satisfy the needs of your typical home DIY’er. The table saw in general is really my most prized item in my tool collection. For a mere $300, it has put me on a whole new level of craftsmanship, and allowed me to accomplish projects that would have been nearly impossible in the past.
Hammering It Home...
Listed below are the projects where I used the Kobalt KT105 table saw. To see detailed steps and pictures, click the project below.
Hi! We're Ash and Eileen, and we are sharing our home project stories with you. From crafty projects to home maintenance to more ambitious DIY endeavors, we hope our stories inspire you to check a few things off your project list! :)