Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Email Format
Close

Archive

Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

The One Ring via Instagram

October 5th, 2017 Comments off

 

The One Ring via Instagram

The One Ring

“One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.”

You can even buy your own at the Weta Cave. 🙂

See this entire collection of photos on Flickr

Instagram

Join me on Douglas E. Welch Photography on Facebook 







* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

Rosanne emerges from the Wardrobe to continue the tour at Stanborough Mill

September 20th, 2017 Comments off

Rosanne emerges from the Wardrobe to continue the tour at Stanborough Mill

Rosanne emerges from the Wardrobe to continue the tour at Stanborough Mill

“Daughter of Eve from the far land of Spare Oom where eternal summer reigns around the bright city of War Drobe”

Stansborough LTD Woolen Mill, Petone, Lower Hutt, New Zealand.

This small and unique mill produced fabric for costume for The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Narnia and more. They raise their own unique sheep herd that produces naturally colored wool in a a variety of shades from black to gray to white.

You can get an overview of what they do and see their turn of the century looms working on their factory tour.

Instagram

Join me on Douglas E. Welch Photography on Facebook

You can get an overview of what they do and see their turn of the century looms working on their factory tour.

Stansborough ltd


Learn more about New Zealand with these books

 

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

 

200+ Free Art Books Are Now Available to Download from the Guggenheim via Creators

May 21st, 2017 Comments off
What are you going to read today?

Free books?!?! Yes, Free books!. Art books, at that. What are you waiting for? — Douglas
 
 
Tomes of work by Picasso, Kandinsky, Lichtenstein, Flavin, Klimt, Rothko, and more are as good as yours.
 
A veritable art history degree’s worth of books digitized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum are now available for free.

There’s Wassily Kandinsky’s 1946 treatise, On the Spiritual in Art; books about movements from the Italian metamorphosis and Russian Constructivism; thousands of years of Aztec and Chinese art; and catalogs of work by the many greats to pass through the Guggenheim’s Frank Lloyd Wright-designed halls. Formerly locked in paper prisons (a.k.a., hard-copy books), analysis of work by Pablo Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein, Dan Flavin, Robert Rauschenberg, Gustav Klimt, Mark Rothko, and more is now free to roam the web as PDFs and ePubs.

A Trusty Trick for Cooking Without a Recipe (& Anxiety) via Food52

May 17th, 2017 Comments off
I’m always looking for tips, tricks and rules of thumb for cooking and this article contains some great info. Learn how the fat you choose affects the taste and style of your dishes and more. — Douglas
 
Say you are making a beautiful carbonara. You’ve got the bacon crisping, the Parmesan shredded and at the ready, the pasta water simmering away, and—oh no. You used up all the olive oil making Maialino’s dreamy Olive Oil Cake! And all you’ve got on hand is… coconut oil. Drat. That won’t work!

Sure, it’ll fill the oily void, but the flavors of the dish will be all off. You might run out to buy more olive oil, or you might think of this instead as an opportunity for culinary experimentation. Up to you. Either way, it’s easy enough to tell that coconut oil isn’t exactly what the dish is calling for—and it’s certainly not what a nonna would reach for. At the same time, butter would be unusual in a stir-fry, and sesame oil very peculiar in a sauce for sole meunière.
 
Book mentioned in this article
 

An interesting link found among my daily reading

On YouTube: Words That Have Lost Their Better Halves by Arika Okrent

May 16th, 2017 Comments off
Categories: Books, Education, History Tags:

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott [Book]

April 29th, 2017 Comments off

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

I first read Bird by Bird a long time ago and often recommend it to people who have a desire to write. After talking with a friend about the book recently, I thought it time to revisit and re-read the book and see what new things I might take away from it.

Unlike Big Magic, which I wrote about a few weeks ago, Bird by Bird is more of a traditional book on writing — offering direct advice, exercises and support to help you write and write better. That said, Lamott has a great way of interjecting the realities of being a writer along with a strong dose of humor to help you cope with the ups, downs, sideways and convolutions of writing a being a writer.

“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'”

On the concrete side of the writing equation, Lamott details her advice on writing using “Short Assignments” — committing to only a few hundred words detailing a particular character or scene. Just enough to get your writing — something — which can often be the most difficult part of any project.

Next is allowing yourself to write, in her words, “Shitty First Drafts. This is Lamott’s way of saying that sometimes you just have to write. We can all get tied up in trying to make every word we write perfect — the first time. Almost anyone who has ever written will tell you that this is a sure road to madness, writer’s block and worse.

An entire essay on Perfectionism follows to give some reasons and some tools to combat it and continue writing, no matter how bad you might think your project is right now.

Lamott then follows with chapters on other important aspects of writing including Set Design, Plot, Dialogue and more.

Part II of Bird by Bird, The Writing Frame of Mind is a series of in-depth essays on “Looking Around” or how better to see the world around you and use it in your writing, “The Moral Point of View” which explains how it is very difficult to complete any writing project that you don’t care passionately about — at least in some small way. You have to have the thread that drives you through your project. Something important you want to say. There is also an important section on “Jealousy” that I think is required reading for any writer. Jealousy is something we must all learn to deal with if we want to have a happy life and a successful (or at least, fun) writing career. Otherwise the “green-eyed dragon” will gobble you up with a moment’s thought.

In Part III, an essay on “Calling Around” explains how important it is for a writer to find sources for their writing — those people who can call on with specific information about world’s you may not move in, but still want to use as a setting in your writing. Lamott also details why it is so very important to find a trusted friend to read your early drafts and how you may go about finding them. Writing groups might be one solution and Lamott shares her thoughts on how important a good (and functional) group like this might be for you.

Part IV deals with the nasty bits of being a “professional”, “published” writer. It isn’t an easy life and there are a few things you need to know before you head down that road. It can be unforgiving. It can be crushing to your ego. It can also be exhilarating and dramatic and a host of other feelings.

I read Bird by Bird essay by essay in most cases. Taking time to think and digest the lesson in each section before moving on. You might also turn to (or return to) individual sections were you need a bit more support and a bit more thinking to use the lessons in your own writing.

After this re-read of Bird by Bird, I still think this is one of the foremost books for writers of all levels, but especially for those just beginning their writing journey. There is a lot of great advice, guidance, and truth in this book that can benefit everyone.

Categories: Books, Creativity, Education, Writing Tags:

9 Books To Read If You Struggle With Anxiety via Romper

April 29th, 2017 Comments off

I have had issues with anxiety all my life and I have recently begun looking for some ways of mitigating its effects. Here is a collection of 9 books (plus 2 recently recommended to me) to help you cope when anxiety in your life gets to be a bit too much. — Douglas

Read 9 Books To Read If You Struggle With Anxiety via Romper


Recommended to me, but not included in the linked article

I am currently reading My Age of Anxiety and I am in the 4th week of the Mindfulness program as outlined in the second book

Books included in the linked article

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 


An interesting link found among my daily reading

The Spice Companion: A Guide to the World of Spices by Lior Lev Sercarz

March 19th, 2017 Comments off

The Spice Companion: A Guide to the World of Spices by Lior Lev Sercarz

There comes a time in every cook’s life when you start to move beyond simply following recipes and begin to experiment more and more within those recipes. After that, more advanced cooks will reach for the next level — the graduate level, if you will. It is books like The Spice Companion that become part of your graduate food studies. Instead of dealing in the generalities of a specific cuisine or specific dishes, you go into the details of specific ingredients in your food. You dive deeper into more and more detailed levels of knowledge, so that, at the end, you emerge with a deeper understanding of how those ingredients come together in a recipe. With this deep knowledge, you can begin to create our own unique recipes.

The Spice Companion begins with some extensive and excellent information on the author’s personal spice philosophy, the history and origin of various spices, and how to source, blend and store spices. At its heart, though, The Spice Companion is an amazing reference book for spices of all types. A few random flips through the largest part of the book turned up spices I knew — like cinnamon and cloves — spices I had heard of but never used — like za’atar and wasabi — and spices entirely unknown to me — like Urda chiles and Sansho.

The detailed spice section are amazing in their depth and include a photo and/or drawing of each spice, a description of its flavor and aroma, it’s geographic origin, its harvest season, which parts of the plant are used — like leaves, stems, seed pods, etc –, and an extensive About section that provides even more information about typical uses and dishes that can be made with the spice.

The author then uses a graphical icon-based system to show which dishes might use this spice, other spices that can be paired with it, recipes for spice blends with this ingredient and finally, a recipe that uses this spice blend. Wow! It is almost overwhelming.

There is so much information to be found within the pages of The Spice Companion. I can foresee reading in a random fashion, jumping from one spice to another, but also then revisiting it later for a full cover-to-cover read to deeply enhance my spice, blends and overall food knowledge. This is a book that should find a place alongside your regular collection of cookbooks to offer more specific information on spices while also giving your great ideas on how recipes might be “dressed up” or enhanced by the use of alternative spices

This is a book that should find a place alongside your regular collection of cookbooks to offer more specific information on spices while also giving your great ideas on how recipes might be “dressed up” or enhanced by the use of alternative spices. It is the equivalent of a writer having a great dictionary or encyclopedia at hand when they work. There are times when you simply NEED to look something up and The Spice Companion would be a great place to turn.

Categories: Books, Cooking, Food, In the kitchen Tags:

Small Victories: Recipes, Advice + Hundreds of Ideas for Home-Cooking Triumphs by Julia Turshen [Book]

March 13th, 2017 Comments off

Small Victories
Recipes, Advice + Hundreds of Ideas for Home-Cooking Triumphs
Julia Turshen

When reading a cookbook I don’t tend to make grand proclamations that this book is good and that book is bad. Cookbooks are all about what you take away from the book and one person’s favorite is another’s failure. For me, my like or dislike of a cookbook directly relates to how well it works for me. Does its message resonate? Are the recipes actually something I would consider making? Can I put my new found knowledge to immediate use? With those criteria in mind, Small Victories certainly worked for me on a variety of levels.

First, even though I am a bit of a fussy eater, I found many recipes I want to try out as soon as possible. Each recipe is well described and also includes several variations you might want to try. Turshen includes old standards like her take on biscuits (Everything Biscuits), roast chicken (Roast Chicken with Fennel, Rosemary + Lemon) and desserts (Berry + Buttermilk Cobbler) while also exploring further afield with Roasted Salmon with Maple + Soy, Jennie’s Chicken Pelau, and Crisply Hominy + Cheddar Fritters.

In Small Victories, you’ll find sections dedicated to Breakfast, Soups + Salads, Vegetables, (maybe even a few that I would eat) (LAUGH), Grains, Beans + Pasta, Meat + Poultry, Shellfish + Fish, Desserts, A Few Drinks + Some Things To Keep On Hand and Seven Lists — which gives some great ideas on small bites to serve with drinks, 7 Things To Do With Pizza Dough, Leftover Roast Chicken and more.

Another reason I found Small Victories so enjoyable are the excellent stories attached to each recipe. Even when I wasn’t particularly interested in a recipe, I still made a point of reading each of these descriptions almost like I would read a regular book. These descriptions also contain the “Small Victories” which are the namesake of the book. These are small tips and hints are a great addition to the cookbook and provide yet another level of value.

As Turshen writes, “Think of small victories as the corners of the puzzle, the pieces that help us become inspired, relax cooks who know how to fill in the rest.

I found my copy of Small Victories at my local library and you might find it there, too. It’s always a great place to start when looking for new books in your life. However you get your hands on Small Victories, I highly recommend you do. I think you’ll find some interesting recipes, tips and maybe even the next step in your cooking adventures.

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 

Do It 2017! #8: Show Your Work by Austin Kleon: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered [Book]

March 6th, 2017 Comments off

From the author of Steal Like An Artist (see my previous blog post) comes Show Your Work, another excellent book for anyone who seeks to gain more visibility for their work — especially those in creative fields.

Do It 2017! #: Show Your Work by Austin Kleon: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered [Book]

My reading copy of this book came from the Los Angeles Public Library in eBook format

Reading Show Your Work was like listening to my own frequent talks on career topics. Much is exactly the same message I have preached to people for years. That is, the only way to get your work noticed is to share it as widely as possible. Music must be heard. Art must be seen. Writing must be read. Otherwise, it is a wasted effort.

Share, Share, Share

One message I share deeply with the author is the utmost importance of sharing your work via blogs and social media. As the author puts it, “It sounds a little extreme, but in this day and age, if your work isn’t online, it doesn’t exist.” If your work can’t be discovered, stumbled upon, ran into, seen in passing, found in a Google Search, etc, you are severely limiting the exposure and discovery of your work. I don’t frequently use the word “MUST”, but I will in this occasion. You MUST make your creativity discoverable, through social media or other methods, or it simply doesn’t exist. Of course, you can ignore this if you are only creating for yourself, but most who create want their work to be seen, to be cherished, to be sold, to be understood, to be an important impact on the world. Don’t let your work languish. As the Bible says, “Don’t hide your light under a bushel.” Show Your Work!

Make them come to you!

Another dream I often talk and write about is the upending of the current job search market. I envision a world where job and life opportunities comes to you instead of you going, hat in hand, begging, for your next job, you next commission, your next opportunity. Imagine what an amazing world that would be/

Kleon says, “Imagine if your next boss didn’t have to read your résumé because he already reads your blog. Imagine being a student and getting your first gig based on a school project you posted online. Imagine losing your job but having a social network of people familiar with your work and ready to help you find a new one. Imagine turning a side project or a hobby into your profession because you had a following that could support you.

I doubt that I will see this as commonplace within my lifetime, but it is an admirable goal we should all be trying to bring to fruition. We need to move beyond the norm of job search and turn it into a world were people go seeking new collaborators from the huge stockpile of great, interesting, talented people they already know. Of course, it is up to you to share “what you do and how well you do it” so that people clearly know the type and quality of work you do and you can be in the forefront of their mind when they need someone with those talents. If not, they’ll simply — and quickly — find someone else.

Show your work page

What do you have to share?

It might be more than you think. Sharing the process of your work is just as important as sharing the final product. Human beings LOVE to see “behind the curtain.” They love to feel like they are getting a special, closer, deeper, more intimate look into your work. This is something only you can provide. when friends and clients bemoan “What do I have to blog/post/status update/Instagram/Twitter/Tumblr about?”, this is my first recommendation. Share what you are doing. Share your successes. Share your challenges. Share your failures. Both you and those who follow you will both be better for it. Does this mean share everything? Maybe not, but most of us share far less than we might…or should.

If you need a good kick in the seat of your pants, Show Your Work can provide it. You’ll find yourself making notes, lists and todo items continuously as you go through it — I know I did. While your at it, check out Kleon’s other book, Steal Like An Artist (see my previous blog post on this book). I think you’ll find it enjoyable and greatly useful, too.

What do you have to share? What should you be showing off to your friends, family and the world? 

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 

Google+