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H. B. Hosegoood (Devon, England)
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Pyrography Workbook: A Complete Guide to the Art of Woodburning
Pyrography Workbook: A Complete Guide to the Art of Woodburning
by Sue Walters
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Could be the best book on pyrography anywhere, 17 Jan 2014
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I purchased this book on pyrography and then bought the book recommended by a lady at Peter Child called Step by Step Pyrography by Bob Neill. I think this book by Sue Walters blows the other books right out of the water. Not only is Sue's work absolutely stunning and inspiring, but the instruction is excellent. There is a full page of texture samples, for example, and then each sample is explained so you can try to achieve the same effect. Plus there are fabulous projects with drawings to trace at the end of the book. The projects are:
1. Ducks flying over bullrushes (a beginner's project with 8 pages of excellent descriptions about how to create the textures in the scene.
2. Profile head of a golden eagle (intermediate, with 8 pages of information about shading in general, using a blade for highlighting, shading feathers and producing a realistic eye).
3. The wolf image on the cover (advanced, with 14 pages on re-creating the design including detailed information on the nose, eyes, fur, plus the textures of the wood and rock in the background).

At the end of the book is a whole chapter devoted to drawing (with pyrography) different animal coats and another on combining pyrography and acrylic paint, which, by the way, looks fabulous.

Finally there are additional patterns to use - a pair of chickadees (remember the author is Australian), a fawn, an owl, a panda, a polar bear, some kind of marsupial, a squirrel, a tiger, a howling wolf and a pair of grazing zebra.

You should know two things before buying this book, however.
1. Sue uses a pyrography tool with a wire nib as available from Peter Child, not the kind of pyrography tool that doubles as a soldering iron. You will want a drawing nib, a flat shader, a skew and a spoon nib if you want to do everything Sue does. The soldering-iron type of machines just don't do as good a job.
2. You need to be interested in creating art. If you just want to do very simple stuff, then the book by Bob Neill is better for you.


My Grammar and I (Or Should That Be 'Me'?): Old-School Ways to Sharpen Your English
My Grammar and I (Or Should That Be 'Me'?): Old-School Ways to Sharpen Your English
Price: £2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A grammar book that is actually funny and a pleasure to read!, 17 Jan 2014
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Can grammar ever be interesting? Can it be fun? Could it even be funny at times? Yes, yes and yes. I adore this little book. It is accessible, easy to read and enjoyable. I thought I would read a bit each night, just spending 5 mins or so at a time, but I enjoyed reading this so much that I carried on as if I had been reading a novel. I actually WANTED to read a book about grammar, not just felt I should read it. It isn't a patronising book, you won't feel as if you are at school, and it is filled with little titbits on how to remember which spelling or word to use when. Of course, you have to be interested in the subject to enjoy it, but if you do care about grammar and would like to brush up yours, then this is the book for you. Definitely five stars.


SILENT WITNESS (Thriller/legal thriller): A Josie Bates Thriller (The Witness Series Book 2)
SILENT WITNESS (Thriller/legal thriller): A Josie Bates Thriller (The Witness Series Book 2)
Price: £2.53

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent crime drama with feeling, 1 Jan 2014
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This is a distressing plot. Did our heroine's partner of two years kill the disabled son of his dying wife two or so years ago? She wants to find out the truth - or does she? Can she keep Archer out of prison if she finds out that actually he did commit the crime? Whatever the outcome, will their relationship be over?

You can tell this is written by a woman or sensitive person. Compared with more male books of this type there is a lot more weight given to the feelings of the characters and their relationships. This actually makes matters more exciting - and distressing at times - because we aren't just reading for the plot, we actually care about the characters, flaws and all. It is hard to compare this with anything else, but I think it is a bit like the grown-up sister of One For the Money, which is a comic story but equally good in terms of characterization.

This is the second book in the series. It stands alone but it is best to read them in order.


Father Of Bluegrass - The Legend Lives On
Father Of Bluegrass - The Legend Lives On
Price: £10.40

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunately very dated, 28 Dec 2013
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I lovel bluegrass music, and often listen to Bluegrass FM on my Kindle Fire. I wanted to find out more about the history of the genre and bought the MP3 version of this record with much anticipation. Unfortunately it was not for me. The music is fast and lively and you can indeed imagine a set of old guys in a bar in the backwoods somewhere playing the tunes. But it just didn't do it for me. I much prefer the more modern, smoother and more polished bluegrass music.


Sweet Dress Book: 23 Stylish Outfits from Six Simple Patterns
Sweet Dress Book: 23 Stylish Outfits from Six Simple Patterns
by Yoshiko Tsukiori
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.96

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great but in petite sizes, 25 Nov 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Length:: 3:51 Mins

There are some very nice patterns here. In fact, a full wardrobe worth of dresses and tops - it may be called Sweet Dress Book, but as the cover photo shows, it includes tops. They are all fairly simple which makes them quite quick and easy to make and also simple to adjust. This is good, if like me, you are around 5ft 6in tall - or more - rather than the 5ft 2in tall model the patterns are designed for. The sizing goes up to a UK 14 but this is a sewing pattern size 14 and not the size 14 you would buy in, say, a supermarket, which is larger. You also need to add seam allowances to the full-size pattern pieces. If you are petite, no adjustments will be needed, but if not you will need to measure the pattern pieces and make adjustments to fit, at least to the length. Having said that, you should do this anyway otherwise why make your dress? Part of the reason for dressmaking is to fit your garment properly. Overall this book is great value for money and a lot of fun. I knocked off a star for the sizing but petite ladies can read this review as 5 stars.


The Bee Garden
The Bee Garden
Price: £6.17

4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely book but not exciting, 17 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Bee Garden (Kindle Edition)
This is a very nice book, full of ideas and pictures, and with some handy garden planners for a 'real' garden or border. It is great for beginners, but not really if you want to go beyond that because it only concentrates on standard herbaceous plants and herbs. The herbs are great, and I'm sure will improve the flavour of the honey, but I would have liked to have seen some trees, hedge plants, eye-catchers and other dramatic plants. My neighbour has a garden open to the public, full of rare and exotic plants. Often as not, my bees go over there, so I know for a fact that the bees go mad for salvias, sedums, giant echiums and the stunningly scented flowers of Euphorbia mellifera. (They are also passionate about the flowers in our laurel hedge and the cotoneaster seems to be their equivalent of a chocolate feast.) I was hoping that this book would give me ideas for some stunners to put in my own garden, but although it has given me some ideas, it lacks excitement. Maybe the author could do a follow-up book on pepping up your bee border.


PVC Line Wire 3.5mm x 30m
PVC Line Wire 3.5mm x 30m
Offered by Garden Selections
Price: £5.49

5.0 out of 5 stars This is strong stuff, 17 Nov 2013
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This review is from: PVC Line Wire 3.5mm x 30m
Oh my goodness, this is tough and strong and should last decades. It is thicker than I was expecting - yes, I know it says it is 3.5mm thick, but who knows what that means until they hold it in their hands? (OK smarty pants, but I didn't.) So, to readers like me, this is about as thick as a good metal clothes' hanger and about as bendy. If you wanted to train, say, a clematis up a wall, some ring hooks and three rows of this stuff, spaced about 30cm (a foot) apart would be brilliant. Other uses include making clips for Christmas-tree baubles, hanging pictures, making wire armature for felt animals or a trip wire for a nasty little brother... I'm sure you can think of your own subversive uses for this splendid wire.


Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting (Dover Art Instruction)
Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting (Dover Art Instruction)
Price: £4.72

5.0 out of 5 stars Still a very useful, informative book, 4 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was recommended this book on an art course run by the Federation of Canadian Artists. One of the instructors, Michael Workman, recommended this book, and I must say that my painting has improved no end as a result of reading it. Not only that, but I can now 'see' better - as in I no longer look at a sky and see that it is bright blue, but actually notice the lightening of colour at the horizon etc... It has also helped me distinguish tones better and given me renewed enthusiasm.
Not everything is still relevant. For example, the glazing medium the author recommends in this book uses ingredients I have not been able to obtain, at least not in England, but then there have been a lot of new products on the market since the book was published, and today it is easy to buy a glazing medium already mixed and ready to go. Thus I don't think small issues such as this should put you off.
I bought the Kindle version, which displays very well on the Fire, but the photos are not in colour anyway, so even with a different type of Kindle, you will not be held back. I can thoroughly recommend it, especially on a Kindle, which makes it easy to highlight passages without trashing the book.


Perixx DX-1000M, Gaming Mouse Pad - 250x210x2mm Dimension - Non-slip Rubber base - Special Treated Textured Weave
Perixx DX-1000M, Gaming Mouse Pad - 250x210x2mm Dimension - Non-slip Rubber base - Special Treated Textured Weave
Offered by Perixx UK
Price: £9.90

5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for rough and tumble, 4 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Despite what other reviewers said, our mat arrived in fine condition and unrolled perfectly without any crinkles. My son uses it for school (and for gaming no doubt too) and what I like about it is that he can scrunch it and roll it and squash it, but so far (two months) it is coping really well. He is one for stuffing all his things in the bag, without any regard to looking after it, and standard mouse mats have not lasted well at all. This feels sturdy and strong, and I have no doubt that it will last well. He says it is also super smooth, so he can roll his mouse over it quicker, which he says is the point of a gaming mat...


Zoggs Kids Splash Soft Water Balls - Multicoloured
Zoggs Kids Splash Soft Water Balls - Multicoloured
Price: £7.97

4.0 out of 5 stars Good fun but for small kids only, 25 Oct 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These (they come as a pack of three) are ideal for small children because they are lightweight. This may not seem important to anyone without children, but as someone who got a black eye when a small child threw a ball that went wildly off course and hit me in the face, I can tell you that it is. Their light weight also makes them easy to throw and they do float well. They are larger than I expected (tennis-ball size) and this, together with the cube shape, makes them easy for a small child to pick up. However, for me, these balls are only suitable for small children (5 or under).

Teenagers and adults will find that they can't throw these very far and that if they are to be used on a beach or in a garden, they won't roll. I also found the cube shape slightly annoying. With a bit of practice an adult can get them to skim a little way on water, though not at all like The Source Waboba Ball (Colours & Styles May Vary) which skims fast and furious over the water.

Another problem is that after a week's use for an hour a day (mainly by the dog fetching one from the sea), our ball completely compressed inside and appeared to take on water, making it heavy and dead. We threw that one away. Our dog is not one for tearing things up, and a boy could achieve the same result without difficulty.

In conclusion, by all means these are great for toddlers and the very young, but if you also have older kids or for adults who want a ball to have fun with in the water, go for the Waboba instead.


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