Iowa Tree Specialist

Here’s a small one-page website I was hired to build for a local tree service company. The website features a jQuery slideshow, Facebook activity feed, and a custom script I made that makes the background automatically change depending on what season it is.

This website is also optimized for mobile devices. The Facebook feed is hidden, background changes to a solid blue color, the header image adjusts to fit the screen, and the margin at the bottom of the page is removed. So that this page will look good no matter what device it is viewed on.

Gmail Trick

Here’s a random little tip/trick:

When e-mailing someone with a e-mail address you can add a plus sign (+) to the end of their username and put whatever you want and it will still end up in their inbox!

So if you send e-mail to it will end up at!

This can also be used in combination with filters to sort e-mail easily. For example, I could set up a filter where anything sent to gets sent directly to my junk folder and then give that e-mail to any website that requires an e-mail address even though I probably won’t want to read anything they send me.

Unfortunately some websites look at the plus sign as an invalid character in an e-mail address and won’t let you use it. :(

Also, Gmail doesn’t care about periods (.) in the username. So,, and all go to the same inbox.

All of the e-mail addresses I’ve used as examples here are the same as far as Gmail is concerened.

Even this one: ;)

Try it for yourself!

Transparent border

So it’s been awhile since I’ve been on here. I’ve been busy with the new baby and work and stuff. Some of you may not know, but I run a screen printing business called Five Fifteen Printing & Design (, and with that I have to do a lot of design work so I’ve decided to write a Photoshop tutorial because, why not?!

In this tutorial I’m going to show you how to create a transparent border/stroke around an object or text that will show through any objects or text underneath it. I have to do this a lot when designing t-shirts for bands.

First off, we’ll start with the basic design I’ve come up with for a band:

But wait! We need to put the band’s logo in there:

I think we can make that look a little better… Right click on the logo layer and go to “Blending Options”.

On the left hand side, go to “Stroke” and give the logo it’s border. The color doesn’t really matter because we’re going to make it transparent, but adjust the size to meet your needs. In this case I’m going to go with 30 pixels. Click OK.

So now we have something like this:

Now it’s time to turn that border transparent! The logo layer should now have a little “fx” icon next to it like this:

Right click on the “fx” icon and select “Create Layer”.

What this does is break up any effects that we’ve added (such as the border/stroke) into their own layers.

Now, right click on the new layer that was made (Should be called “[Logo Layer's name]‘s Outer Stroke”) and click “Blending Options” like we did before.

This time, on the default menu that comes up, under “Advanced Blending” change your Fill Opacity to 0% and your Knockout to “Deep” as shown below:

Click OK and that’s pretty much it!

But wait! One more thing to make your life a little easier… Hold down the CTRL key on your keyboard and click on your logo layer along with any effect layers that were made when we separated them earlier.

Right click on them and select “Link Layers”.

This will make it where if you move your logo layer, the other layers will go with it.


Hope this tutorial can be of help to some of you out there!

Oh yeah and if you were wondering who the band They Will Repent is, they’re a local band from my hometown, Des Moines, IA. Check them out!


A WordPress website I built for The Aerial Arts & Fitness Association Expo. The client I was working for liked the look of the Twenty Thirteen theme that comes with WordPress, I just heavily modified it using the Child Theme system. It’s a pretty simple setup using minimal plugins.

Form Maker – For allowing the client to create custom forms with no coding knowledge.

WP Ultra Simple Paypal Cart – A simple shopping cart system so that visitors may purchase tickets to the event.

The client was very happy with the turnout and it has become a key tool for the success of the event.

Five Fifteen Printing & Design

This is a website I made for my small t-shirt printing business. It contains just 4 simple pages that use my Simple PHP Navigation code. Also the gallery uses a script that I’m going to be releasing soon that automatically loads all the images in a specified folder and creates thumbnails for them if one doesn’t already exist. It also uses fancyBox to display the full-sized images. Simple yet effective design.