The 91204 Blog bio picture
  • Welcome to our world…..come be a part of it!

    Woohoo! We've finally taken the time to set up our personal blog! Of course, the ZeloPhotoBlog is still alive and well, but this will be the place to get up to speed on some of our non-photography stuff like DIY projects around the house and our life in general. If Dez stitches up a pillow cover or does something to her garden you'll see it here. If Seth builds something out of wood or does a before/after project you'll see it here. And of course, if Jackson does something that brings a smile to our face you'll see it here.

    If you're wondering about the significance of "91204", it's pretty simple. 9=The month, 12=The day, 04=The year. Therefore, it's when we got married :)

    So come with us as we grow and live our life. If you see something you like, let us know! If you want to make a suggestion, let us know! Thanks for stopping by!

Mid Century Stereo Phonograph Makeover – Before & After

If you recall, we picked up a couple mid century stereo units a while back.  They were in pretty rough shape at the time, but we whipped one of them into shape pretty quick.  Here are a few of the “BEFORE” photos:

As you can see, this stereo (even though it still looked kinda cool in it’s beat up condition) had definitely seen better days.  We started this DIY mid century modern stereo makeover by taking out the guts.  It was a delicate process because we didn’t want to damage any of the bones of the unit.  After a couple hours of tinkering, we successfully pulled out the record player, the speakers and all the wiring and electronics that had become home to many a spider and other bug.

After taking out the guts, we needed to cut out the speaker cloth areas as cleanly as we possibly could because we still wanted to use what we cut out as the new cabinet doors.  We quickly found out the the speaker grill pieces were simply a cloth covered insert that just popped out easily.  That made it much easier to see where to cut.  I used an oscillating multi-tool to give me a nice clean cut around the speaker area.  For the most part, I think tools from Harbor Freight are total crap.   This multi tool got the job done but I just wish the blade would stop coming off from the vibration!  So annoying!

After those face pieces were cut out, we made simple shelf/box inserts out of MDF to fit inside each space.  We pre-painted the box inserts before we installed them.  The corners on the stereo had separated a bit from being out in the weather for who knows how long, but a little caulk made quick work of the gaps that I couldn’t close.

Next we cleaned up the edges of the speaker area face pieces, gave them a little more rigidity by adding some MDF to the backside, and then found a pretty sweet, modern herringbone-esque fabric to wrap around the two cabinet doors.  Attaching the fabric consisted of using some heavy duty 3M spray adhesive on the front of the cabinet door, and pulling it tight and stapling it to the backside of the cabinet doors.

Next, using melamine we framed up a 1-inch deep form that were the dimensions of the top of the stereo.  This would be the form for the concrete top.  The sliding door on the top was cool, but hey….this is called a “makeover” project…..not a “leave it as it is” project, am I right?  Once our melamine concrete form was ready we mixed up some Quikrete and filled the form.  We vibrated out as many bubbles as we could by using an electric sander all over the form.  It didn’t get rid of every single bubble, but it was pretty dang close.  We pulled the form off the next day and let it sit out and air dry for a couple more days after that before test fitting it to the top of the stereo.  It was heavy.  Duh.  But it fit and we were happy!

With all the above finally taken care of, it was time to finish sanding the stereo and paint it!  When it came time to paint, I rested the stereo on a lazy susan so I could spray the paint and simply spin the stereo around 360-degrees so I could only spray in one direction the whole time:


Mid Century Stereo Makeover on a Lazy Susan from Dez & Seth on Vimeo.



We also mounted hinges on each door (that we painted satin black) magnetic push latches that worked out AWESOME.  We also painted the metal tips on the stereo legs the same satin black color as the hinges before reattaching them.  We put everything back together, adhered the DIY custom concrete counter to the top of the unit and put it in place!  We love it love it love it and think it’s an incredible improvement!  What do you think??  Check out the pics below….but PLEASE PLEASE pay no attention to our rust-orange carpet.  New carpet is on our to-do list but we want to get more dirty projects done before putting in new carpet  :)   Thanks for coming by!  (as always, be sure to pay a visit to Zelo Photography as well)



Quikrete Concrete

When we became homeowners we knew we were going to have a huge list of DIY projects ahead of us and we were excited about that. But I don’t think we ever imagined we would have been dealing with so much concrete! From breaking apart and hauling away a lot of old concrete to buying/transferring/pouring new concrete….it’s nuts! But it’s totally worth it to be able to stand back and say “yeah….we did that”. The photos below only represent a fraction of the number of bags of Quikrete that we’ve brought home for this new sidewalk pour.



JET Air Filtration System AFS-1000B

I’ve got a serious dust problem in the garage shop and I finally took a step towards conquering the problem.  Say hello to my new JET Air Filtration System (AFS-1000B).  I saw that Rockler (and apparently many other woodworking stores) were running a sale on JET products so I figured now was as good a time as any to pick up the unit.  It’s pretty straightforward…nothing weird about setup or installation…pretty much just plug and play!  As many other reviews have stated, the only thing that could be tricky is lifting the unit for mounting, but lucky for me I have an awesome wife who can lend a hand when I need it  :)

So here’s the unit in the box, and pulled out of the box.  Pretty exciting, right?



The handles on the sides of the unit proved to be very helpful and their placement closer to the heavier end of the unit was well thought out:



Here’s the back side where all the clean air comes out:



This is the clip that holds the removable filter in place:



The remote is….in one word….awesome.  The remote turns on and turns off the unit.  It also has the 3 speed selection as well as the timer feature which is nice to come into the shop and you can just select 2, 4, or 8 hours and forget about it.  I have found that you need to aim the remote right at the unit for best remote control performance.  No biggie.



Parts in the box (other than the unit and manual) include mounting brackets, screws and nuts, washers, bolts for hanging the unit, some adhesive pads, velcro for the remote and a couple AAA batteries.



Hanging the unit was actually pretty easy with a helper.  After measuring and installing some bolts in the ceiling joists, I hung chain from each and cut to length.  Then I lifted and held the 60 pound unit over my head while my wife moved around on the ladder hooking the chain to the unit.  Hanging the unit took about 15 minutes.



So far so good on this little monster!  Even though I knew the dimensions ahead of time, it still seemed pretty big when I got it (my garage shop is about 20×19).  That’s fine with me though.  It’s also surprisingly quiet.  Don’t get me wrong, you can definitely hear it but at the low speed it’s almost unnoticeable…at the medium speed you do notice it…and at the high speed you definitely know there’s a unit running, BUT it’s not bad at all.  I really expected it to be much louder, and it’s also very stable with pretty much no vibration/shake.  Blowing some dust in the direction of the unit I could easily see it get sucked into the filter.  If you don’t have one, go get one.

If you’re interested in photos of your product or special project or need a promotional video for your business, website or Kickstarter campaign, please contact us over at the Zelo Photography website.  We would love to hear from you and work with you on your project!




DIY Concrete Sidewalk Pour

After tons of breaking, sledgehammering, jackhammering, lifting, loading and dumping (check this out to see that hard work!)….we’re FINALLY forming and pouring the new sidewalk!! The original sidewalk around the house was uneven and wonky. It seemed like the previous owner (the one and only previous owner) poured it in various shaped sections and used a very weird flower pattern roller to paint all of it (you can see a little bit of the original concrete near the bottom of this blog entry). Worst of all, over time some roots invaded the sidewalk and lifted different parts of it, resulting in some sloping towards the house. Not good.

So Pop (Dez’s dad) came down to give us a hand with this project. First things first….head to Home Depot and get some boards, some Quikrete, and some gravel.

Next we needed to assemble the forms. This sounds easy (it has been on other projects) but in order to make the forms slope properly we had to do some serious jackhammering and pick-axeing to break up some of the hard rock/clay/dirt ground. That took some time but we finally got it.

Next we laid down a layer of gravel as the base and then started mixing the concrete. We bought a cement mixer from Home Depot last year when we poured the slab for the shed….(see this YouTube video of us using the mixer) excellent investment! We can load 3 of the 60-pound bags at a time. MUCH better than mixing it in the tub with a shovel:)

Once we filled our form we started screeding to level off the surface and get rid of the excess cement. Then we started troweling to get the surface nice and smooth. After it got a little dryer, Dez started edging to give the edges a nice, slightly rounded finish. The trick here is to find just the right time when the cement is still wet enough to move and shape but dry enough so that you’re not pushing around a bunch of water. Dez found that time. After edging we laid down a board in the center as a guide so I could run the groove/control joint. Supposedly this groove should take the hit if the concrete ever decides it wants to crack. I’ve seen sidewalks where this has worked, and I’ve seen sidewalks where this has NOT worked. We’ll see what the future holds for OUR sidewalk!:)

After the troweling, edging, grooving, more troweling and some drying time, we created an anti-slip texture on the surface by lightly dragging a broom across it. This is another one of those times where timing of the drag is important. You want the surface to be wet enough so the broom bristles actually scratch the surface, but you also want the surface dry enough so you’re not just dragging water to the edge and creating a puddle. If you mess up, you should be able to trowel it smooth and try again. Don’t ask us how we know!

Now we wait! We’ll pull the forms off tomorrow and get started pouring the next section. As I type this we’ve got one section down and about ten to go:)








UPS Fail and Why I Think UPS Employs Thieves At The Little Rock Arkansas Facility

Can somebody please explain to me how UPS can lose a package that measures 20x20x48 and weighs 52 pounds? Honestly, it’s beyond me and every person I tell the story to. If you follow this blog at all, you know we were hired for a cool unique job of building a half dozen of our Recycled Wood Chevron Planter Boxes for a couple “On The Border” restaurants. All the building goes great, the client is madly in love with the photos I send over of the progress and I proceed to ship them. All goes well at my local UPS Store, the shipping costs were pretty much what I expected them to be and then it was just a waiting game while we used their tracking numbers to follow their journey across the country.

Fast forward a week and I check the tracking numbers. What I see gives me a quick moment of panic. 2 out of the 3 boxes arrived at their destination in Sherwood, Arkansas but one box was scanned at the Little Rock UPS facility with no update after being scanned (and this is two days AFTER they scheduled delivery date).  Immediately I call UPS to find out what’s going on and of course all their employees are of ZERO help and they’re only telling me what I can already see online. Ugh. They tell me to give it a few more days and if it still doesn’t show up, then I need to go back to the UPS store I shipped it from and have the manager open an investigation. A few days pass and still no box. What the crap?? So I go over and we open a claim/investigation.

After 8 business days they do not find my box (did they even look for it?) and now I can get my refund for the insured amount plus the shipping cost…except that takes almost 3 weeks. But it finally arrives and I get my refund. Fine. But where on God’s green Earth is the freakin’ box?? It has to be somewhere, right? It can’t just *POOF* and disappear.


I hope some big-wig at UPS finds this blog entry and can explain to me the detailed, play by play, minute by minute process of doing an investigation on a missing package. The stupid canned response I would get from every UPS employee I spoke with was “well, we get so many packages that come through the warehouse every day it’s hard to look for one package in particular.” Okay, yeah….I understand that tons of packages come through the warehouse everyday. So what? You’re U-P-Freakin-S. Shouldn’t you have some sort of insanely accurate way of tracking lost packages after all this time you’ve been in business? Shouldn’t you have an incredible technique or process to find the property that people have trusted you with?? Do you not understand that the contents of the package could represent hours and hours and hours of somebody’s hard work and it’s something they’re extremely proud of?? How can a box get scanned at the facility and then somewhere between being scanned and getting delivered to it’s destination (which is only 20 minutes apart) it just disappears? Tell me, because I really want to know.  How do 2 out of 3 of my packages arrive safely when I shipped all 3 of them from the exact same UPS Store on the exact same date at the exact same time? It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.


My thoughts are as follows. UPS needs to find out who was scanning incoming packages at the Little Rock, Arkansas UPS facility on August 28, 2013 and they need to go to that person’s house and question them and search their home and garden. Next, they need to find out which employee handles the next step after the incoming packages are scanned, and question/investigate them the same way they did the first person. Next, find out was loading the packages into the trucks. Question/investigate them and their home. Next, find out which driver(s) would have been making deliveries to the Sherwood, Arkansas area that day. Question/investigate them and their homes.

A box measuring 20x20x48 and weighing 52 pounds doesn’t just disappear….it’s impossible. Get your lazy poo-colored uniform wearing butts over to the Little Rock facility and start opening every package that size and find my box. If you still can’t find it, then guess what….you have thieves working at your facility and they’re stealing people’s stuff. That’s the conclusion that everybody who hears this story is coming to.

I finally finished building the new box to replace the one that was “lost” and when I packed it I made a very special request:



Hopefully brown won’t let me down again but if this one also disappears, then something is definitely fishy and you can say you heard it here first —> UPS employs thieves at the Little Rock, Arkansas facility.!

So, how has brown let you down?