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!

And They Called Her Scamptastic – 13 Foot 1987 Scamp Fiberglass Travel Trailer #scamptastic

Well here they are…..the official “before” photos of our “new” 1987 Scamp Fiberglass Travel Trailer (here’s the Scamp website for new trailers) which we have named “Scamptastic” (you can find more pics on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook by searching the hashtag #scamptastic ).  Last year we rented a super fun teardrop trailer from Little Guy San Diego for our 9th anniversary (see the following image):

That trailer was super fun, super easy to tow, and of course……super small!  We had no problem spending 10 days in that Little Guy but we did come to the conclusion that we wouldn’t mind a little more elbow room…to stand while we change our clothes and stuff like that.  We also wouldn’t complain if we could stay inside to make our food and not have to crawl outside if we wanted a snack from the galley kitchen.  The only thing is that we have no interest in a “real” RV, and we don’t have a truck that can pull a big ol’ trailer or fifth wheel.  We’re rockin’ a Subaru Outback, yo!  The solution?  SCAMP!  Now, how do we get one?  Well it just so happens that our cousin’s parents were going to sell theirs, and after looking up tons of info and pics of other Scamp trailers we had to talk to them about it.  While their Scamp certainly needed some love and attention, it was in pretty decent shape overall.  Any issues or problems that we could see right off the bat (or that may surface after getting it home) would surely be things we would be able to tackle given our passion for DIY.  After kickin’ the tires a bit and saying goodbye to a few hard-earned dollars, we hitched her up to the Subaru and plugged her in to the harness and away we…..DOH!!  Taillights don’t work properly.  Jiggle here, jiggle there.  Still nothing.  Ugh.  A quick run to the store to pick up those magnetic emergency taillights got us up and running and we were off……..



Here are the “before” photos….”before” cleaning….”before” washing….”before” anything!


Both windows need to be replaced but the rear window was the worst.  The windows are supposed to be plexiglass but by the looks of the cracks on the rear window (scroll down for more) I’m pretty certain it’s actually regular glass, and the weight of the glass probably has something to do with how the rubber seal had separated and was sagging.  The tape job looks nice though  :)


Here’s the front window (plexiglass) and you can see the two cracks that have started.  In a future post we’ll show you a photo of how these cracks got much bigger while driving up the freeway!


This is the rear window again.  See the cracks?  Totally glass, right?


Don’t you just love the realistic look of the wood grain pattern throughout?  Ooooooh, fancy!  Opposite.  We’ll be taking care of that in due time  :)



So there she is!  #scamptastic is alive and well and growing stronger everyday.  By the time you read this post we’ll have already done a few necessary updates in preparation for a small maiden voyage to Sonoma County, and of course we’ll officially blog that stuff for you to see.  We have a lot of ideas for Scamptastic but we have to pace ourselves so we don’t get too distracted from our house projects.  Stay tuned for more updates here on The 91204 Blog and also all over social media:


See you soon!  And if you see us on the road be sure to snap a pic and post it and tag #scamptastic !  :)


Modern Floor Lamp – Wood, Concrete and Other Parts

Over the last couple years we’ve seen a lot of desk lamps, floor lamps and pendant lights and I’m sure some of my ideas/inspiration has come from seeing some of those, either online or in person.  We had a spot between our sofa and chair that needed something….a table….a planter….a floor lamp….something!  So we decided on a floor lamp, and we decided that we would make it ourselves.

Having gotten some pretty nice results using poplar for a coffee table (post coming in the near future) we decided we would make the floor lamp using poplar, and the base out of concrete.  For the lamp shade, we were walking around Target one day and saw a bunch of these wire baskets on clearance.  They came with a cloth insert, so I think they were just supposed to be storage baskets or something, but we immediately thought “lamp shade!”

The wire basket needed a little modification to accept the light socket, so a little snip snip with the bolt cutter and we were all set. Well, it was also green so we painted it white. Now we were all set.

The design and assembly of the poplar body was fairly simple, but required a good amount of sanding to get rid of any high points and make all the joints flush. The trickiest part was figuring out a couple of the angles. Attaching/assembly included Gorilla brand wood glue as well as some allen screw parts for a cleaner, more finished look (as opposed to just using nuts and bolts). A Forstner bit was used to countersink the allen screws. Ahh, I love Forstner bits! Finally, the wood got covered with Satin Minwax Water Based Oil-Modified Polyurethane and after a couple rounds of fine sanding and more poly, that gave it a nice smooth finish.

The base was originally going to be a different concrete casting and we used another cool bowl we found on clearance at a Target with all these geometric angles…it was sweet. But after pouring the concrete and attaching the lamp to it, we didn’t like size of the base with the size of the lamp. So we scrapped it and made our own flatter, wider disc-shaped form and poured the concrete into that (we had to get creative with melamine and a couple 5-gallon buckets from Lowes when it came to making a flat, wide concrete form!)

Then we fashioned an anchoring bracket to hold the lamp to the concrete base using a pipe flange, some pipe and a PVC plug (sanded and smoothed to look more like a nicely finished plug on the pipe). Once that was all done we just had to feed the wire through the little holes and attach the socket and plug. This had to be done carefully so we didn’t fray or pull back the chevron zig-zag cloth wrapping on the wire.

When it was all done we screwed in a light bulb. After trying several other bulbs first, we landed on a round frosted glass 40-watt LED bulb. The light from the bare bulb was soft enough to tolerate but it could be better still. We found a cylindrical glass shade at Lowes that fit inside the cage and softened the light just a little more. Now it’s perfect. And by perfect I mean perfect. Enjoy!

1987 Scamp Trailer 13′

We’re pumped.  Sorry for the terrible photo though!  We’re the proud new owners of a 13-foot 1987 Scamp Fiberglass Travel Travel!  Woohoo!!  We’ll have more photos soon….it’s gonna make for a pretty sweet before & after set of photos!  :) You can also follow the progress on the social media sites by searching #scamptastic and #scamp91204


Industrial Metal Drawers and Recycled Wood Custom Console Table

This idea came to me a long time ago, shortly after building this chevron box….or this chevron box…or this pallet table.  I don’t know, all chevron stuff is kind of a blur now (but I still love it) but I really liked the idea of leaving the wood in it’s natural wood tone (as opposed to staining or painting any of it).  So using a bunch of leftover wood from various projects I started working on this console table.  I started by building a table top that I would attach the recycled wood to, along with a set of legs made out of 1-inch black pipe (painted the pipe too).  Sorry, no pics of that process but the table top is just a box/slab framed kind of like a basic wall with “studs” and “sheathing”.  Then I started picking through my wood and finding pieces that would work well and were relatively straight but with good character.  The wood consisted of a bunch of different stuff, not just pallets.  My cutting started with shaving some wood off the edges to give me a clean edge on both edges of each piece, plus I wanted all the pieces to be the same width.  Then I set up the table saw to slice each piece in half.  Doing this not only made each piece thinner and more lightweight, but since each piece of wood had two good looking sides I was also able to get two pieces out of each.


When I finally ripped all my wood to size it was time to start making my 45-degree angled cuts.  Pretty simply done using the miter saw after which I started attaching the angled pieces to my table top.  Gorilla Glue is incredible.  I don’t use anything else.  I attached my pieces using Gorilla Glue first and spread it around the backside of each piece using Rockler’s glue spreading tool.  It’s pretty sweet!  It’s like a comb and as you spread the glue around it makes grooves in the glue….just like a tiling trowel…and you get all your wood evenly “buttered” with glue.


I had a serious butt-load of rusty nails that I’ve pulled out of pallets in the past, so these were going to serve as an additional way to secure each piece to the table top.  As you can see, a lot of the nails were bent and twisted but a little bending with some pliers got ’em all straightened out.  After past experiences I’ve learned to pre-drill in certain situations to avoid cracking or splitting the ends of a piece of wood, so that’s what I did here.  I pre-drilled the holes in the recycled wood pieces, then hammered the rusty nails into place.  I wanted the nails in a very basic but specific pattern.  They came out nice!


When I cut the angled pieces, I left them a little long on purpose.  That way I could come back later with the router and clean up the edges since I was planning to attach trim around the edges.  Using the router with a trimming bit allows every piece to get trimmed to the edge of the piece beneath it.  The trim bit has a rolling bearing at the end of it that travels along the edge of the table top….anything hanging over the edge gets trimmed nicely!


Once all the overhang was trimmed off it was actually starting to look like something and I could see my vision coming together!  Now I needed to figure out which pieces were going to be the face trim.  Since this console table was going to be about 7-feet long I saved my biggest and longest pieces of wood for this step.  Unfortunately, even after planning my cuts and my rips the best I could, my longest pieces still didn’t quite make it, so I had to attach a couple shorter pieces using a 45-degree cut technique to make the joints as seamless as possible.  Doing it this way is just like doing baseboards and other trim like that.  This also came out pretty good!  Since all this wood is salvaged, it’s got it’s twists and turns that need to be dealt with, so in order to attach my trim pieces I decided to use pipe clamps to get things nice and tight.  Glued and nailed and left to dry overnight gave me pretty awesome results.  You should try it sometime  :)


While I do love the “as-is” look of the recycled wood, I wanted this piece of furniture to be a bit more “finished”, so I took the sander to it with some 220-grit sandpaper.  I was careful to take it easy with the sander because I didn’t want to strip the table of all it’s character or clean the rust of all the nails.  I just wanted to soften a few edges and take care of a few spots that could lead to a splinter disaster!  Once the sanding was complete I brushed on a single heavy coat of Minwax Crystal Clear Satin Polycrylic.  It really brought out the rich warm tone of the wood.


Now that the table top portion of this project was complete it was time to add another industrial element to the mix.  For this I decided to start gathering a bunch of cool metal drawer units.  You can find a ton of different variations of the Steelmaster drawers, so I definitely incorporated some of those.  After taking a bunch of measurements I hit up Etsy, eBay, the Rose Bowl Flea Market and the Long Beach Antique Market, until I FINALLY accumulated the perfect collection of unique and interesting metal drawers.  Then it was just a matter of figuring our what order I wanted to put them in and then attach them to the underside of the table!


Attaching the drawers to the underside was a little tricky.  Some were more tricky than others.  But whatever….when you want something done a certain way, and you want it bad enough, you’ll figure out a way to do it.

Aside from the awesome wood pattern of the table itself, the unique mix of industrial drawers hanging beneath it, and a couple lamps from Target, the only decor on this table is our collection of light bulbs.  About 3 years ago we were at Anthropologie getting inspiration from all the overpriced stuff in the store and we came across this large industrial light bulb that was mounted on a simple block of wood.  The price tag?  $249!!  I very very carefully put the light bulb back on the shelf with the other ones and backed away very very slowly.  Fast forward a few months and we went to the Rose Bowl Flea Market for the first time.  As we browsed through all the seller’s things what did we find?  The EXACT same style light bulb as the one at Anthropologie.  The price?  $10!  Boom….first flea market purchase complete.  That started our collection of cool and industrial light bulbs.  I don’t think we’ve even spent $200 on our collection, and it’s way way cooler than just having 1 light bulb from Anthropologie.  Am I right?  Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.


Now it’s all done, assembled, decorated and put in place.  We love it.  Like…..really love it.  A lot.  Do you?  You’ll also notice a very unique piece of art above the console table.  This piece of art was done by a very talented artist named Rob Cartwright a.k.a Survive185.  We’ve never actually met Rob in person, but he was the hotel manager at The Blackstone Hotel in Chicago when we photographed a wedding there.  The Blackstone Hotel has a really cool story behind it with a lot of history (a history that includes Al Capone!).  Anyway, the hotel was hosting a street art/graffiti gallery in the lower level and the hotel was running a special package where you could book a room at the Blackstone and it would include some interesting things but one of those things is that the manager would create a small graffiti piece for you using any three words you wanted.  We didn’t stay at the Blackstone on that trip and we didn’t actually find out about the graffiti package until after we got back home to San Diego.  But we emailed Rob and asked if it would still be possible to have him do a piece for us using only one word….”ZELO”….for our business, Zelo Photography.  He was excited to do it and we were excited that he was excited.  We told him to do whatever he wanted with it.  We had no idea what the final product would be until we caught a glimpse of it on his Twitter feed.  My heart skipped a beat when I saw it because I wasn’t expecting to see it on Twitter!  But dang….when it arrived at our door it was bigger and better than we ever could have imagined it.  Now it hangs in our home and we get to enjoy it every day.  Jump out to the Survive185 Facebook page and like it to see more updates and more incredible art.  You can also follow Survive185 on Instagram and also on Twitter (and here).  Great stuff.

Anyway… it is… all it’s glory!  Maybe one day when I learn how to weld I’ll fabricate a more “custom” set of table legs but for now the pipes will have to do.  Thanks for looking at our Industrial Recycled Wood Console Table!


Remember….if you have an idea of something you’d like to see built…either in general or for your home or business, please let me know!  I’d love to throw around some ideas and some numbers and see what we can come up with!  Contact me (Seth) at the following email address:   INFO  [at] ZELOPHOTO  [dot]  COM  and let’s make something cool!  :)





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)