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S. Shipley (Nottingham, England)

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Locking Loops: Unique Locker Hooking Handcrafts to Give and Wear
Locking Loops: Unique Locker Hooking Handcrafts to Give and Wear
by Theresa Pulido
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 10 Nov 2011
Theresa Pulido has written another super book on Locker Hooking with more ideas, tips and techniques, lovely colourful patterns, beautifully photographed "handcrafts to give and wear" and well detailed instructions and a good variety of items to make. As with her first book, "Hook Loop n Lock", this, her second, also caters for the absolute novice and experienced Locker Hooker and I am as delighted with this book as I was with her first.

The introduction of the "Ruched" element to her designs particularly excites me. Imagine if you will, the fond memories which an old much loved dress past its sell by date gives every day as a Lampshade (page 115), always near, the still good areas of the material used for "ruched" areas, not so brilliant pieces, locker hooked. The Media Tablet/Journal Cover (page 80) already a favourite and on my list 'to do'. The use of different loop lengths also extending locker hooking's 'usefulness' and the almost endless variety of materials both new and recycled that can be used for this craft.

I have enjoyed locker hooking, as my primary craft, for many years now and it is a delight to see it treated and shown off so well. I do hope there will be a third!

Everyday Crochet
Everyday Crochet
by Doris Chan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.65

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, 27 Aug 2010
This review is from: Everyday Crochet (Paperback)
I really like this book. Though I've been able to do basic crochet for years I've only ever used it to finish garments or to add length to items and have never followed a crochet pattern. So, whilst not a beginner neither am I an intermediate crocheter. This book was bought as a bit of a gamble and because I am intrigued by working downwards and not having to do any sewing up if I can avoid it and this is one gamble that has really paid off. I've successfully and quickly finished my first garment - Galena - and to say I'm pleased with the finished article is a huge understatement it fits well and exactly how I wanted it to fit which, I believe, is Doris Chan's particular gift with this book.

This is a book you need to read, it is necessary to thoroughly read, as the author suggests you do, her Introduction and Chapter 1, to read the individual chapter advisory notes and to read through the pattern you are doing before you start particularly if you are not that experienced. The patterns at first sight looked daunting - they are covering many sizes - but with good, clear, photographs of the finished items to urge me on and with a little concentration and attention to detail at the beginning I soon realised how well written and quite simple they were to follow as I started to work my way through.

I thoroughly recommend this book as an extension to basic how to crochet books.

Hook, Loop and Lock: Create Fun and Easy Locker Hooked Projects
Hook, Loop and Lock: Create Fun and Easy Locker Hooked Projects
by Theresa Pulido
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.99

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Locker Hooking treated as the wonderful craft it is., 7 Aug 2010
As a long time Locker Hooker I awaited the arrival of this book with a mixture of excitement and trepidation as this "obscure craft" is rarely given the recognition it deserves. Oh happy day when it arrived! It is wonderful, surpassed my hopes, and Theresa Pulido has written a book which not only gives clear and basic instructions in how to Locker Hook but also lovely items which are enticingly and beautifully photographed and whose instructions for making them are clear and can be made by the experienced and beginner alike. She has given me ideas to further my primary craft and, so far, a "Banded Bangle", made the night I received the book, many more of which I'm sure I'll be making along with many of the other items contained in this book.

Locker Hooking is a craft which can be a good way of recycling if that is something you like to do as, so long as you can make a length out of something; plastic bag, fleece, old tee shirts, yarn, fabric offcuts, ribbons, beads, lace, found objects etc., you can locker hook with it, you can easily create beautiful, useable items. I very much hope there will be a sequel exploring more the possibilities this craft offers and perhaps using the small Locker Hook too but, in the meantime, this book will keep me busy, having given me tons of ideas for new projects and, hopefully, will introduce many, many, more people to this easy, versatile, quick and exciting craft. Very well done!

No Title Available

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delighted with this oven, 7 Dec 2009
I am delighted with mine but I bought this oven for much less elsewhere, sorry Amazon! Before purchasing I did a lot of research and finally settled on this, partly because of the price, but also because of the included items, which most other companies don't include with their ovens - I don't want to be purchasing a whole lot of extras and adding on even more costs when I'm unsure of how useful a product is going to be and one of the items in particular, the oven lid holder, I believe is vital and comes with this oven, yet not with most others!

What a useful and versatile oven this is already turning out to be. The added delight of being able to properly oven cook small items quickly, such as a couple of sausage rolls, without the feeling of guilt of heating up a normal sized oven for them, combined with cooking full meals with good sized joints along with vegetables, defrosting or cooking from frozen and keeping food warm (and crisp) after cooking makes a Halogen Oven a real asset in any kitchen in my view. Mine heats up to full temperature in less than 5 minutes (you don't always have to wait for it to warm up before you start cooking though) and cooks food in much less time than a normal oven. The taste of the food is quite delicious I must say. The room doesn't heat up along with the oven and as you are cooking in glass you can see how your food is coming along. Tabletop cooking also means no bending! You do need to get used to using your halogen oven and attend to your food as you would with any cooking implement but the User Manual and Recipe Book do help you on your way and there is a wealth of information on the internet too specifically relating to the Flavorwave Oven I have found.

I can't speak highly enough of my experience of the Flavorwave Halogen Oven.

Crocs Womens Prima Silver 10028-040-046 8 UK
Crocs Womens Prima Silver 10028-040-046 8 UK

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Crocs Prima love them but ...., 30 Nov 2009
These look great in Silver and go with far more than I thought they would. They are light on the feet and mainly comfortable. Like another reviewer though these do make funny noises sometimes when you are walking and don't feel terribly secure on my foot at times, however, I had bought a size larger than I would normally after reading information about Crocs but sometimes this style are just too loose. It won't stop me buying more of them in different colours though. I also bought, at the same time, a pair of Crocs Alice and had the experience of wearing them in torrential rain and although I had no alternative but to walk through muddy puddles my feet remained completely dry and I arrived home to find not a mark on my shoes - they were completely clean as though they were new out of the box. I was amazed. I mention this because Crocs Prima are made from the same material and are of a similar style. A woman of a certain age has just discovered Crocs and the glorious colours they come in and she loves them!

Crocs Womens Alice Grape 10056-505-048 10 UK
Crocs Womens Alice Grape 10056-505-048 10 UK

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dry feet in torrential rain and clean shoes, 29 Nov 2009
Second time I wore these, to my dismay, it poured with rain, muddy puddles I couldn't avoid were everywhere but my feet remained dry, surprisingly I thought. When I arrived home my shoes were clean, no sign of mud, no water marks, no muck of any sort anywhere! They looked brand new out of the box. I was amazed. They are light to wear and on the whole comfortable. The lovely purple colour seems to change with the light and are rather daring for a woman of a certain age like myself! I've not worn Crocs before and they are certainly different to 'normal' shoes and do need a little, not a lot, getting used to. I haven't done great long walks in them yet so I don't know how they would be in that instance but walking round doing grocery shopping was more easy on the feet than usual. I like them and will buy more. It is worth mentioning that I take a UK size 7 or 7.5 in 'normal' shoes so, after reading the reviews and information about Crocs, I bought a UK8 (W10) in these and this was the right decision to make. Amazon's delivery was, as usual, excellent they arrived very quickly.

Navigo Satellite Navigation System with UK Mapping
Navigo Satellite Navigation System with UK Mapping

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant little beastie this Sat Nav!, 13 Mar 2009
I did a lot of research before purchasing this Navigo Satellite Navigation Unit, as I was a novice, and I have been well rewarded.

I am impressed with the looks and feel of the unit itself. The display is sharp and bright, as previously mentioned, with very good depth of colour and the speaker was so loud when I first heard it I nearly dropped the little beastie, I now use it on the mid setting and it is perfectly audible whilst driving along. The touch sensitivity is superb even through the screen protector packaging which I've left on for now and several weeks after purchase. Whilst I'm using my computer I leave it plugged in with its USB cable to charge and it always lasts longer on a charge than I expect it to - several hours - I've not needed to use the in-car charger yet.

The supplied mapping software, Turbodog, does have its pro's and cons I must admit. Firstly, even though I'd never used a sat nav before I did find my way around it within minutes and had set my first trip up quickly without any need of instructions. I like the clear voice it uses, the maps are good in my area, and I arrived at my destinations with no problem but I must say that it doesn't make best use of roads available making trip planning a must in some cases and it does seem to think some bends are turns! It quickly 'logs onto' satellites even when I'm sitting in my armchair at home.

However, following the suggestion here I now have the device running using TomTom V7 as well as IGO and MioMap and it was simple to do with the instructions which are available on the internet and all for the price of an extra SD Memory Card from Amazon, for safety's sake, and just a little bit of time. Frankly, I find TomTom my least favourite not helped by the fact that it is the longest to 'log onto' the satellites unlike IGO, MioMap or Turbodog which are now within seconds of start up of the navigation system even after a full power off and are instant with sleep mode. I still prefer Turbodog's voice though.

Learning to follow the instructions these systems give, however, is an experience in itself resulting in much mirth and laughter when a fed up sat nav voice says for the umpteenth time "recalculating". I was never very good at judging a 100yds let alone half a mile! :-)

Only one thing lets this package down in my mind and that is the windscreen cradle which broke but which Amazon have quickly replaced for me. Still, the Sat Nav unit itself, its versatility and how it performs, not to mention its keen price deserves my 5 stars.

A big thank you also to Amazon, I ordered the unit on a Sunday afternoon, it arrived first thing Tuesday morning with standard mail. When I needed the replacement cradle that package too also arrived just as quickly.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 28, 2010 12:34 PM GMT

Bosch AXT 1600 HP Quiet Shredder
Bosch AXT 1600 HP Quiet Shredder

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - Opened up a whole new world of gardening., 20 July 2006
Getting rid of garden prunings is now fun!

This shredder is very well built, is far, far quieter than I expected, making it a pleasure to shred, and is easy to move about on sturdy wheels and if you do need to lift it I have found its shape easy to put your arms around to lift over steps where you can't just pull it up on its wheels (there is a handle in the body of the shredder to pull and push it around). This is a sturdy machine but not overly heavy one person can lift it.

It is easy to use, everything is very simple and clear on the shredder, the instruction book is pretty good and as I expect from Bosch. I did find that I could manage with the spanner OK and it was assembled in no time. It was larger in life than I expected it to be but that is not a criticism it was just a surprise - it does make it comfortable in use.

Using the shredder is a delight, you put your branches in, the spiral mechanism draws it down and it comes out at the bottom. Occasionally, on smaller or 'willowy' branches it does need a bit of encouragement to take it down but I found combining it with a slightly larger branch would do the trick. I also put leaves etc., through with branches and they got a bit shredded too. Though Bosch suggests "For best results, shred fresh branches soon after they have been cut", I shredded branches which were up to 9 months old (lavatera, buddleia, roses, spirea etc.), and this machine just chomped them up with no effort at all just as it did with the day or so old prunings and some of those branches were quite hefty though not over the recommended cutting size. I would not put a load of hedge trimmings through unless it was with branches though - its intended use is "for cutting fibrous and woody garden waste for composting". I should mention that friends have been impressed with the results from a 'cosmetic' viewpoint too!

There is a pusher/clearing tool with the shredder but as it is metal I haven't felt comfortable using it to push stuff down with (see below for reason), but I will try R. Brennan's tip and thinking about it I can see that would work well. I haven't so far used it for clearing blockages because it hasn't got blocked up yet!

Superb for mulching around plants, composting and if you have enough shreddings, not bad for paths either. I plan to keep a couple of bags of large shreddings aside for the winter to use on snowy or icy paths in the garden to prevent slipping.

I thought that I would probably use the shredder 2 or 3 times a year for the main pruning times, but already I have found I am happy to get it out for the odd few branches one prunes along the way. It really has changed my approach to my gardening.

Like the previous reviewer being a little "Green" I was not happy about dumping my garden waste. I have a relatively new garden with little top soil and hated the fact that I kept taking goodness away and dumping it not to mention the difficulty ferrying it to the tip at times.

It is mainly thanks to the first reviewer that I finally settled on this particularly shredder. I am so glad I did. I do have health problems which affects what I can do and I am also a little frightened of electrical tools especially when they make a lot of noise. This shredder does the job, does it well, is comfortable and easy to use AND it is quiet. This is exceptional value for money in my view.

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