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So, I Read This Book Today

Editing, Proofreading, Reviewing and Other Stuff

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My Odd Obsessions

Alright All You Fiber People Out There-I Have A Puzzle For You!

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So, I stopped by Goodwill to check on the possibility of a pressure cooker being there that might have a handle like I need for that pot (Nancy at Goodwill says they get in pressure cookers all the time, but they go fast!) and I came across a UKO . . . an UnKnown Object!

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I saw this in my local Goodwill, and it is driving me nuts! I have to know what it is for….

I thought that possibly it was a yarn winder, but the sides holding the roller are solidly built, it doesn’t open up to let the roller slip out easily (though you can do it…)

It would be possible to use it as a yarn winder, but then there is the canvas “leader” fabric. You see it is connected to the bar at the front (?) of the device. Or maybe I should look at it from the other direction. . . yea, maybe that is it? If so, maybe a warp winder?

If the lead (or whatever it is) was attached so it could be wound around the drum it would make more sense, instead of being attached to that crosspiece. I considered buying it, just for the glass doorknob on the handle! There is one piece of the “drum missing, otherwise, it is in fairly good shape – whatever it is! You can see from the photos that the roller bars have seen use – the stain is worn off.

I have a sinking suspicion  that 1) I will find out what it is and go “Doh!” while slapping my head, or, 2) I will find out it has nothing to do with fiber art at all!

Anyway! Any ideas? Theories? Wild guesses? I am tempted to buy it, just to be able to sit and stare at it to try to figure out how it works! LOL…
Thanks, Leiah

Wow! Time Flies When You Are Having Fun!

It’s that part of the year where all I want to do is be out in the yard, to garden, watch the birds, plant flowers in the yard. It has been a weird summer, cold then hot, wet then miserably dry, then miserably humid. Pah! Let’s see what I have actually accomplished while not blogging!

20160718_084726First, the garden. The constant rains earlier on means a big, lush garden. Some of the plants, i.e., the zucchini, are way TOO big for my garden! I will have to plant them separately in their own bed next year. They are choking everything else out, and I am

having to strip out leaves in order to let light in to other plants. And of course, there is always the one that ‘got away’. In this case, the one nearly as big as Koda!

The peppers are coming along nicely. This is a photo of a Spanish Spice pepper. Yummy!  20160718_084749Spicy, without blowing the top of your head off while burning off all your taste buds 😮 (The pot? An apricot tree!) I even have Corn!!! 20160718_085220

20160718_085634The little flowers you see where I laid a couple of the zucchini I harvested? Yep. Those are morning glory vines. They grow absolutely everywhere, and choke out the other plants unless I rip them out every day. They seem to grow a couple feet a day!

20160718_085437Koda is, of course, my constant companion and helper. I love having his company, and he still adores the taste of mint!

The rare black Russian tomatoes (left photo) seem to be doing well, the ones that starting developing are already about three 20160718_08504920160718_085233inches across. The Zapotecs (right photo) are doing well, and the new, tiny Sugar Tomatoes are making a lot of clusters. I am most thrilled, however, with the Grapes! I have always had one or two clusters a year 20160718_085319that the birds and other critters get first, but as you can see from the photos, the vine is loaded this year! Me being me, I went out and wrapped the branches around where the clusters are growing with dog fur (Shelties really shed!) hoping to scare off the critter so I can actually get most of the grapes for myself!

Here is the fabric for my next quilt project!

20160707_155141I am helping out Jan Krentz, who is wheeling around in a wheelchair right now from a broken leg. I am making the quilt from one of her test patterns, taking photos and checking for measurement errors in the pattern as I go along. I will send photos when I am done. The one below is going to be for sale when it is done… lots more to do on it, of course, but the top 4 diamonds are all sewn.

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I “interview” a lot of fabrics for the spaces between the star and the outer ring of stars. These are three of the first I picked out of my “stash”. The light is bad where I have my big layout board, it always turns everything orange! 20160725_183958

Of course, I ‘interview’ several fabrics before deciding on a color palette for the stars as well. Losers?

purplepossibilities

And another:

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This is how I decide if a star is really going to “work” or not. I make one diamond, then use two mirrors to check out the overall flow. These two still have “possibilities” but I wound up liking the one I have on my board better.

I have a ton of reviews to get to, so off to do that! I have been doing edits for Susan Bliler and Michael Angel this summer, as well as some “technical” edits for a couple of businesses (Ugh! Dry, dry, dry stuff!), so I need to get the book edits done, and I have actually read a few books (and listened to more!) since the last time I posted as well.

More soon!

Full Bloom by 4th & 6th Designs

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I usually don’t do quilt kits (you get the pattern and all fabrics to make the quilt as pictured, that sort of thing) but for this one I am giving it real consideration. How beautiful is this? So sunshiny and happy! It is by 4th & 6th Designs.

Barbara and Mary are sisters (born 4th & 6th in their family) who are award winning quilt artists. I would love to get my act together enough to design enough beautiful patterns (and maybe do kits, but you have to buy fabric by the bolt for that… of course, maybe I could do it strictly with my and dyes…hum… there is a thought!) and run a company like theirs!

Golden Quilt Company is doing the kit out of their store, and I find myself going in just to stand and stare at it – LOL! Of course, I have to watch it – because every time I go in, I find something I want. (Sigh)

Anyway,  I just wanted to share my newest obsession with you. 😉

So, I Think I Settled On A Layout

Any thoughts on the new website layout? Inquiring minds want to know!

I am going to stick with this one for a month at least to see what everyone thinks, and what I think about it as well. Looking forward to your truthful comments!

Review: Bluetooth Headphones

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I don’t normally post my product reviews here on SIRTBT, but in this case, I am making an exception! As an avid audiobook reader, sound quality is important, as all your audiophiles out there are well aware. And besides, I love music when I am too distracted to listen to a book, or when I am editing. So, I have been tickled to test several different types of headphones lately.

The ones I am reviewing today are the SoundPeats. I love bluetooth headphones. There is nothing quite as uncomfortable as working on something that requires moving around and wind up getting headphone cables caught on something and they are jerked out of your ears, or off of your head! OUCH! Bluetooth does have some drawbacks, of course, like range. When you can only get half-way across the next room before they start cutting out, that sucks. And headphones, as a whole, are sometimes hard on my head, comfort wise.

Taking all this into consideration, these SoundPeat headphones literally Rule!

Here is my Amazon review: $39.99  Best

Soundpeats A1 Bluetooth 4.1 Headphones with Built-in Mic and 12 Hour Battery

I am not normally blown-away, gobsmacked, by a set of headphones. But in this case, I am definitely making an exception!

First, let’s talk about sound quality. I have tried some extremely expensive headphones at professional studios and these, at only $39.99, are just as good, in my opinion, as the Sennheiser models. I have been listening to Moby, Michael Walen, Ivy, Pink, Satie and others on these today, and they are amazing sound quality.

Comfort. While in a large format, these are amazingly comfortable. They fit well over my ears, don’t put too much pressure on my bone structure at the back of my jaw, and the soft padding at the headpiece and earpieces make them entirely comfortable.

Range. This is just as important to me as quality and comfort. I am a busy person around the house – I edit books, garden, and work in my studio where dyes and fibers should be kept away from my tablet. I get a good 40 yards or more of distance before I have to wander back and move the tablet closer to my location. With NO loss of Sound Quality!! For a bluetooth device, this is awesome.

I would highly recommend that you try these headphones if you are a sound junkie like myself!

Mediabridge Cadence Wireless Bluetooth Headphones.

These are nice in that they are lightweight and wrap around the back of the neck, as do the EGRD, instead of over top, making them more comfortable. As I have used them I notice that they have good range, and are comfortable – as long as you get them settled on your ears properly. They are naturally rolled into a circle when you get them, and when they lie in the case, and if they aren’t settled correctly they aren’t quite as comfortable – but there is that range thing again…. they are small and lightweight which is a true plus.

My Amazon Review: $29.99 Better

I have been looking for a nice pair of Bluetooth headphones to use with my audiobooks. As I mostly use a tablet, it is a pain to carry it around with headphones on without having my tablet keeping me unable to hold anything else, dropping the tablet, or just being aggravating to have to carry around. I do have a Zune, but I find that I really like being able to keep my books in one place with backups in the Cloud. I have tried various bluetooth options, but just never found anything I really like. Hooray to find these – they paired up and are working beautifully. They are padded, so the pressure on my ears isn’t great. I haven’t worn them for a long period of time yet, but so far, no worries. The sound quality is good, the lay of the neck piece is comfortable, and they are light weight. Overall, I love them.

I received these headphones from the manufacturer in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.

 EGRD Upgrade Version Apt-X Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Sports Stereo Headsets.

My review for Amazon: $19.99  Good

4.5 stars. This headset is awesome. The way it lays around the neck is ultra comfortable. The earpieces are rather typical for the in-ear type, but comfortable as well. I love that the tips are magnetized to hold the buds and keep them from hanging where they could tangle or catch on something.

I dropped 1/2 star because the range isn’t as good as others I have tried. With my other set I can go downstairs and do laundry, leaving my tablet upstairs, and I can still pick up my audio books. These keep me within the upper floor and inside of an approximately 30 ft space.

Otherwise? A great investment to keep you from having to be wired in!!!
I received this item from EGRD in return for a realistic review. I like them 😉

My final input? The SoundPeats for when you really, really want good sound quality and there is no one else around who you have to pay attention to. High quality, long range, great comfort for over the head models. The Mediabridge for range and comfort with good, though not great, sound quality. The range on the Apt-X is pretty limited, but they are very comfortable and if someone is hanging around you need to occasionally pay attention to, well, these are the best in-ear models I have found.

Oh, Poo

Well, speaking of poo…. my new friends the Whislers at Fairmount Stables were good enough to gift me with a mountain of horse manure from their own personal mountain. Woo hoo! Free Poo! The thing is, I had to get it here. They are just around the corner and up, but hiking back and forth with the wheelbarrow didn’t appeal. And borrowing a truck and shoveling it in the back (especially after all this bloomin’ RAIN), bringing it here, shoveling it out, shoveling it into the wheelbarrow, shoveling it out where it needs to go… nuh uh. Just nuh uh. So, what to do?pofinal

In steps Bin There Dump That. William Blauvelt, the owner/operator of this neat little one man show showed up bright and shiny early this  20150516_073857 morning at the stables and Greg used his backhoe to load up the back of his big green truck. Then, not only did he bring it to me, he also pulled off the gate for me, then put it back on – and he put it on so that it actually opens without having to struggle! Score. . . I am sharing, of course, with Ruth. Hey, she got me back into this whole permaculture thing, she deserves some poo as well!

I have been doing a lot of yard work, and I have two books on my desk! A third of Michael Angel’s next Fantasy and Forensics (happy dance!!!) has Dayna on her next adventure on Andeluvia, the alternate 11918436world where centaurs, griffins, and other ‘mythological’ beasties The Deer Prince's Murder: Book Two of 'Fantasy & Forensics'roam. Poor Dayna. She has fought and bled for the human and non-human population of this gorgeous world – and the jerky humans are just as bitchy, jealous and ungrateful as always – meaning Dayna and Shaw the Griffin are on their own, this time without even the help of Galen the Centaur Wizard who is forced by the king to remain behind in his position of Court Wizard. There are still dark forces poisoning the King’s Court – and darker forces overshadowing the world. I am sooo excited to have this first third on my desk. And I can’t wait to read the rest!! Don’t miss the first two in the series – click  the covers above and pick up your copies today!

I also have the next in Susan Bliler’s Skin Walker Series. I have been honored to edit the new ones and re-edit the previous editions, which is a great pleasure. If you haven’t read them yet, these are some great paranormals with wonderful characters, developed story lines, and solid word building. If you haven’t checked them out yet and you like paranormal romance, I can highly recommend them! Click the photo to order and read King, Book 1 of the Skin Walkers saga. I am re-editing Leto for publication in a couple of weeks – I will let you know when it comes out! Leto is Book 6 in the series. Leto (Skin Walkers, #6)The complete series is:

BOOK SERIES
Book 1 – SW: King (published 2013)
Book 2 – SW: RedKnife (published Feb 2015)
Book 3 – SW: Bishop (Coming soon 1-2015)
Book 4 – SW: Mason
Book 5 – SW: Conn (published 2012)
Book 6 – SW: Leto (published 2013)
Book 7 – SW: Monroe (published 2013)
Book 8 – SW: York (published May 2014)
Book 9 – SW: Gauge (published Feb 2014)
Book 10 – SW: Remy
Book 11 – SW: Legion
Book 12 – SW: Tyce

I am going to the High Plains Plant Propagation Cooperative – Semi-annual Symposium and Plant Sale tomorrow at Living Systems Institute, at 14020 W. 32nd Ave., Golden. Wish you could come as well!

The Cooperative was formed to make plants available to the public from
– stock that is proven to thrive on the Colorado front range, that
– fits into plant groupings (guilds), that are
– beautiful,
– productive, and
– low maintenance,and lead to a healthy, thriving habitat for humans and other living things. We also get to see a demonstration on Hugelkultur Mulching (apparently that is what I am doing in the garden – who’d a ‘thunk? Here are some photos of other people’s beds:

Hugelkultur

Wishing I had hay bales – I bet the bunnies would have a chore getting over these!

I am LOVING using up things that would  normally go into a landfill to build something GOOD for the environment! I am putting in a bed in the front as well, with columbines, wild pansies and “Bee Plants” for Ruth’s bees to come down and enjoy. And in turn, I get to enjoy FRESH honey!

Maybe if I kept the good stuff up high and planted alfalfa low, the bunnies wouldn’t eat my stuff!

 

 

So, lots of stuff going on, and I reallllly need a nap!

And I hit 500 followers!

500 Follows!

 

Cute!

I went to my local yarn shop’s Fleece Day Market the other day. Fun had by all, and lots of beautiful fleeces!

There were also goats, sheep and llama there – my favorite was one particular llama:

https://i2.wp.com/recycledlamb.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMG_2037-1024x768.jpgLook at that FACE!! They were so cute, all the little creatures, but it would be fun to have this little girl in my back yard, I have to tell you…. These babies are so spoiled – the best food, the best living space and handling. They are nearly as spoiled as my dogs 😉

Yes, I AM Playing With My Site!

leiahYes, I am playing with my layout. I am instituting a new site elsewhere, but I am trying to get a feel for what I like as far as colour, layout, that sort of thing.

What do you think about this layout?

Review: The Unplugged Woodshop by Tom Fidgen

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Highly recommended for anyone who appreciates fine craftsmanship, or anyone who would like to learn to create beautiful wooden pieces.

My mission in life is to preserve craftsmanship. – Waris Ahluwalia

I will no doubt sound outdated in the extreme when I say this – but I truly miss craftsmanship. In this day of plastics and throwaways, the feel of a truly well made table, the curve of a hard-carved chair arm or the beautiful lines of a bookcase is something I search for, and don’t often find. So, it was with great pleasure that I accepted when asked to review The Unplugged Woodshop by Tom Fidgen.

Mr. Fidgen is a true craftsman, and it shows in all of his work. This volume contains some of the most amazing works I have seen come out of “unplugged” shops – workshops that use solely hand tools that don’t require the modern day convenience of electricity! His works are amazing. There is a drafting table that looks as if it came straight from a Craftsman Era workshop that would be beautiful for any aspiring architect or artist. A gentleman’s valet would fit beautifully in any dressing room or bedroom, while an old-fashioned doctor’s medicine chest, complete with carry strap, makes a beautiful and highly unusual wine tote for visits to friend’s dinner parties.

Handcut dovetails in all of his drawer work is especially prominent in my favorite piece – an absolutely stunning library style card catalog. For those of you too young to remember, there was a time when we didn’t run to a computer to look up books. Instead, our fingers did the work in a different way, running across sometimes handwritten tags on the fronts of many drawers holding 3×5 cards, each neatly lettered with the titles and information about all the books in the library. I spent many happy hours in the library when I was in school, paging through the cards, enjoying the smells of old paper, and dreaming of the worlds to be found in books. Tom has repurposed the card catalog for use in the kitchen,setting the height to 43 ½ inches in order to be at a good working height. I envision it in another setting, in my quilting workroom where the drawers will hold spools of thread, small tools, and the myriad of other items I am constantly searching for as I work. Tom gives gorgeous examples of how you can utilize cheaper woods and yet still turn out gorgeous pieces by using veneers of highly prized woods to give your project a million dollar look on a budget. His zebrawood veneer on the card catalog is stunning, while blending walnut, quarter-sawn oak and cherry woods, along with veneers of more exotic woods can turn the simple architect’s table into a museum quality piece of art.

The photos in the books are absolutely stunning. Great care has been taken to not only show the beauty of the finished pieces, but to give beautifully illustrated photos of the projects as they are built. Any of the photos in the book are works of art in and of themselves.

Don’t have the proper tools for working wood? Tom even helps you there, as he gives patterns and instructions for making your own tools! He also gives tips and hints about how to handle your tools properly, how to us a handsaw properly for best results, properly using a plane (which he shows you how to build) and other methods of proper workmanship and hand tool safety.

If you are at all interested in the fine art and craft of woodworking, you could not go wrong with this beautiful book and the stunning projects within.

Highly recommended!

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