Finished the project summaries project

Today I added the last project summary page, Deck, to the Project Summaries pages. The Deck one links to two deck-related projects (surprise surprise) from last year.

Firstly, a project to assemble an aluminum gazebo on our deck:

And another project to build a pool deck extension off our main deck, enabling easier access to our seasonal above-ground swimming pool:

So now my Projects pages are complete, summarizing all of the building projects I’ve done around the homestead, at least since I started this blog.

Over time, I will update those pages for any modifications as needed, and add new ones for new projects. These pages serve as useful references, more easy to find than searching through blog posts.

Added cat house, electrical, shop, beekeeping, plumbing, and chicken run project summaries

I’ve added several more project summaries to the Yellow Cottage Homestead site, for my project of summarizing homestead projects. Still a few left to go, but I’m getting there.

This is a summary of the project summaries (replicating the summary post). Each one includes links and pictures from posts on the Yellow Cottage Homestead blog. You can read the summaries for an overview of each project, and click through to the individual posts if you want more details.

Visit the Projects page to scroll through all of the projects, or pick individual ones below. Click or tap on the photo to visit that summary.

More project summaries will be added over time. Here are the ones available so far:

Cat House

A project to build a shelter and feeder for the family of feral cats that adopted us.

House Electrical

Electrical work in our house.


Projects related to our workshop.


Various construction projects related to beekeeping.

Garden Plumbing

Various plumbing projects around the homestead.

Chicken Run

A project to build the fence and netting roof of an outdoor run for the new chicken coop.

Chicken Coop

A big project to build a new chicken coop.

Potato Planters

A simple project to build three potato planters.

Project of summarizing projects

I’ve done a number of building projects over the years, and while I have a building category on the homestead blog, if I wanted to point people to the construction steps of a specific project, there wasn’t a very good summary of that; it was very difficult to hunt down the individual blog posts that cover that project. I also have tags, like “chicken coop” or “duck house”, but they get “polluted” with posts on their usage, as opposed to construction. Perhaps bad planning on my part.

So I recently started a new project, of a different sort: I added some new posts to the blog to summarize my various building projects. They are a custom post type, which keeps them separate from the regular posts, and able to be skimmed without the other topics.

Each post covers one project, and includes links to all of the individual blog posts discussing work on it, along with one photo from each post as a visual indication of progress.

Initially I have added posts on two projects.

A very small project, building some potato planters for the veggie garden:

A very large project, building a new chicken coop:

Click those links to read those summary posts, and click through to the individual blog posts to read more details and see more photos.

For extra meta fun, I also added a post that summarizes the summaries. That will be a useful one to visit to quickly jump to project summaries you’re interested in reading.

You can also visit the main projects page, which includes an infinitely scrolling list of all project posts.

These last two are also listed in the site menu on every page, hidden behind the “hamburger” icon in the top-left corner.

I will add more summaries of past projects over time, till caught up. Next will probably be building the chicken run. Look for subsequent posts on building the cat house, the berry cage, the duck house, the pool deck extension, and lots more. I’m not sure yet if I’ll include assembling pre-made things, like the greenhouse and deck gazebo. Or things like garden plumbing. Let me know if you think those should be included.

I hope you’ll find this resource useful. I know I will.

Retrobatch to the rescue!

Inspired by a conversation on with @jack, here’s the Retrobatch document I use when manually setting the date metadata from the filename, and adding a watermark:

Retrobatch screenshot

(The details in the sidebar are out-of-order; look at the nodes in the circles for the order they are executed.)

I use a similar document when doing it automatically, with the input coming from a Folder Action in the Finder. I can just capture a still from a camera watching the feral cats, chickens, etc, and it is saved in a folder that has a Folder Action script to open in Retrobatch, the metadata date is set from the filename, the watermark added, and saved to another folder, that then has another Folder Action workflow to import into Photos.

Here’s the Folder Action script to open the images in Retrobatch, then trash the originals:


This is the Retrobatch document (again, the sidebar is out-of-order). It takes the input files from the folder (via the above script), sets the copyright notice in the IPTC metadata, sets the date metadata from the filename, adds the watermark text, and saves as a more efficient HEIC format (since the input is inefficient BMP images):

Convert to HEIC Retrobatch document

The processed images are saved to a new folder, which has it’s own Folder Action. Here’s the Folder Actions window in the Finder:

Folder Actions

The output Folder Action runs this workflow to import the images to Photos. It is supposed to also trash them, though that doesn’t work:



Before Retrobatch, all that was a tedious process of looking at each image and manually adjusting the date by reading the datestamp in the image, and manually importing. Now, I just click one button, and all the rest happens like magic. A huge time-saver!

A more secure world

I’ve just added a SSL certificate to the site, like all the cool kids are doing nowadays (even though this blog doesn’t really need it, other than to avoid scary warnings by some dodgy browsers). Go secure!


Site administrivia:

I’ve just edited the blog posts about building the chicken coop to only be in the building category, i.e. to remove the chicken category, so the latter now only includes posts with chickens in them.  I also added a chicken coop tag to those building ones.  That seems more useful.

I’m also thinking about changing the way I do posts, to use a caption below each photo, instead of a description beforehand.

Still getting set up

I’m still getting this blog set up. I’m not sure what content I’ll post here; ultimately I want to document things like building a new chicken coop, and post photos and videos of our chickens, and getting into beekeeping, and the various other activities around the homestead.

Today I tweeted some screenshots of the Linea app, showing my latest chicken coop sketches.

Here are the images from the tweet:

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