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Naturally colored wool as it comes off the sheep via Instagram

September 20th, 2017 No comments

Naturally colored wool as it comes off the sheep

Naturally colored wool as it comes off the sheep

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.

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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

  

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New Zealand Trip – August 31, 2017 (Day 8) – Tinker School, Dunedin Botanic Garden and Spotting the Royal Albatross (146 Photos)

September 10th, 2017 Comments off

New Zealand Trip – August 31, 2017 (Day 8)

Photos from our recent (August 2017) vacation to New Zealand with stops in Wellington and Dunedin.

A visit to Tinker School. a stroll through the Dunedin Botanic Garden and a cruise through Otago Harbor to the ocean to see the Royal Albatross and more.

Click to view entire album

Tinker School Dunedin New Zealand  3

Rhododendron with raindrops Dunedin Botanic Garden Dunedin New Zealand

Albatoss Royal Albatross Centre Dunedin New Zealand  1

Click to view entire album



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Do It 2017 #11: Eat the frog and other productive advice

July 27th, 2017 Comments off

Frog Photo by Jack Hamilton on Unsplash

Photo by Jack Hamilton on Unsplash

Jack Hamilton

Eat the frog!

It has been said — in variety of forms throughout history, that…

“If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.”

A thoroughly disgusting thought, but a good one for my productivity of late. I am as fond — if not fonder— of procrastination of specific tasks that most people. Tasks like balancing the checkbook to doing my daily blog posting to sweeping the patio. Many of these tasks are extremely important, but most also come with an unpleasant side. Sure, it isn’t like mucking out the horse stalls of my youth, but we all face them with a certain amount of distaste.

So, in an effort to keep things moving forward in all aspects of my life, I have taken to “eating the frog” whenever possible. I’ll get up, make my coffee and then face the most procrastination-causing task on my to do list. Once that’s done, I can move on to other, more enjoyable tasks without feeling guilty about avoiding them and knowing that that is probably the worse thing I will have to do today. It doesn’t always work, but I have used it to recently move a couple of projects forward that have been languishing for a while now. Can it help you? It might. Then again, you might be someone who is blessed to never procrastinate on anything. I envy you, but we all have to find out own way through the swamp that is any given day.

Bird by Bird

“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, which 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.’” — Anne Lamott

This phrase crops up in our household on a daily basis. There are times we all need a reminder that every big project is made out of many smaller steps — and sometimes even smaller ones. The only way to complete a big project is to take it “bird by bird.” In my case, this means making a daily to do list — separate from my overall to do list. This list contains all my typical daily tasks as well as those weekly items that occur on the same day each week. Partially this list is to help me remember all the little things, but they are also a “bird by bird” breakdown of tasks that move each project forward. Typical entries include my daily posts to Instagram, a blog post on Garden Decor, video clips from my talks, reading time-related documents and articles, feeding the birds (the real one’s outside my window), phone calls, emails and more. Breaking my larger tasks in these small, even tiny, steps, helps to keep me progressing even when I might not be able to complete the entire project today.

To some, such a detailed to do list can make projects seem overwhelming, but for me, I find great joy in progress, even the smallest progress. If I keep on doing the small steps each day the overall project will eventually get done. If I never start on the big project because it is too big then it will, guaranteed, never get done.

Work on a variety of tasks throughout your day

I don’t have any pithy quote to accompany this advice, but for me, it is probably the most important. If I focus on any one task for too long, the quality and speed of my work quickly diminish. I start making silly mistakes, misspelled words, fuzzy thoughts and more. I have to switch up my work throughout the day to prevent this from happening while still getting work done. This means I might do something like writing this post and then switch over to some video editing for a while. Sometimes it means culling a bunch of photos and then working on an Arduino program I have been trying to get running. Finally, sometimes it means I set an alarm for 20 minutes, lie down on the couch, allow the cat to sit on my lap and dose. Never underestimate the power of a short nap to reenergize your day!

Douglas E. Welch To Do List

I have learned over time that I am a variety junky in all aspects of my life. My way of working may seem scattered to some, but it works for my and my overall productivity seems to prove it. In many cases, some of my best ideas about a project come from when I am thinking or working on an entirely different project. You can never tell how moments in your life are going to interact, so it’s important to experience as much as possible and see what happens.

What are your favorite pieces of advice that keep you productive in life and work? Share them in the comments!

7 Cheap Photo Hacks Using Common Household Items That Will Improve Your Photography (VIDEO) via Shutterbug

May 31st, 2017 Comments off
Some more cheap tricks to kick your photography up a notch. My favorites are using a beer cozy to protect an unused lens and using the cheap circular fluorescent to create a large ring light. — Douglas
 
7 Cheap Photo Hacks Using Common Household Items That Will Improve Your Photography (VIDEO) via Shutterbug
 
 


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An interesting link found among my daily reading

Get Inspired By This Jaw-Dropping Cardboard Armor For Kids via Geek & Sundry

April 11th, 2017 Comments off

This is an amazing example of cardboard crafting. The final look is absolutely wonderful and would please almost any cosplayer, big or small. — Douglas

Get Inspired By This Jaw-Dropping Cardboard Armor For Kids via Geek & Sundry

Superdad and artist Warren King says on his Flickr page that he used mostly Amazon shipping boxes, storage and moving boxes, and packaging for the armor, then gloss spray paint on top. But, what’s even cooler than the finished product is actually seeing the work that’s underneath it. Looking at the steps taken to create this suit of armor, you can truly see the artistry with just the bare cardboard.

Read Get Inspired By This Jaw-Dropping Cardboard Armor For Kids via Geek & Sundry


Find more on cardboard crafting with these books from Amazon.com

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Categories: Creativity, DIY, Fun, Make, Shared Items Tags:

On YouTube: Sewing Awl Case | Barb Makes Things #66

April 8th, 2017 Comments off

A great little leather working project that could be adapted to many uses. Take a look! — Douglas

On YouTube: Sewing Awl Case | Barb Makes Things #66

Watch Sewing Awl Case | Barb Makes Things #66 on YouTube

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I have a Speedy Stitcher, which is very useful, but any time I bring it somewhere, it just pokes me constantly through whatever bag I’m carrying it in. Correction: it USED to poke me. Now it’s nicely contained and protected in this wood and leather case.

Categories: DIY, Make, Video, youtube Tags:

On YouTube: 15 Minute Arduino Project: OLED Ammeter INA219

April 4th, 2017 Comments off

On YouTube: 15 Minute Arduino Project: OLED Ammeter INA219

Watch YouTube: 15 Minute Arduino Project: OLED Ammeter INA219

Another Arduino sandwich – this time the INA219 current sensor module, an Arduino Pro Mini and a 128×32 OLED. Part of my 18650 current monitoring project.


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I liked this video and think you might find it interesting, too!

On YouTube: Best 3D Printer Under $200 – Tevo Tarantula Full Review

March 31st, 2017 Comments off

On YouTube: Best 3D Printer Under $200 - Tevo Tarantula Full Review

It arrived very well packaged with thick protective foam, even the box was unscratched! The building process was enjoyable and is something I highly recommend to anyone as it is a great way to learn more about electronics!

It’s not perfect, it does need a couple of minor modifications. All of which is described in the video. You need a cooling nozzle, spool holder and a reinforced Z-motor mount. Obviously the settings inside your slicer impacts the result as well.

I was happy when I realised the bed could reach high enough temperature in order to print ABS filament. This was great news, as my Anet A8 is not capable of reaching higher than 70°C and ABS requires at least 95°C.

In conclusion the printer is amazing! Not only is the bed remarkable, but it’s way more quiet than my other 3D printers. The quality of the prints was absolutely stunning as well. Because of the bowden extruder it might have a hard time printing with flexible filament, but you will be able to print at very high speeds without compromising quality.

Watch YouTube: Best 3D Printer Under $200 – Tevo Tarantula Full Review

I liked this video and think you might find it interesting, too!

On YouTube: Now, Everyone Can Afford 3D Printing (Monoprice Select Mini Review)

March 22nd, 2017 Comments off

The cheapest price is now around $320 on Amazon, but there might be sales that lower it closer to the $200 mentioned in this video. — Douglas

On YouTube: Now, Everyone Can Afford 3D Printing (Monoprice Select Mini Review)

Watch YouTube: Now, Everyone Can Afford 3D Printing (Monoprice Select Mini Review) 

I’m a little late to the 3D printing game, but I finally get it. For $200 , the Monoprice Mini Select is a no brainier for anyone who’s curious about 3D printing. It’s an extremely capable machine with a small footprint. Best of all it comes pre-assembled ready to print, right out of the box.  No this video was not sponsored in any way. I just really like this printer 🙂

Monoprice 3d

I liked this video and think you might find it interesting, too!

On YouTube: Arduino Control Flow

March 13th, 2017 Comments off

Get started with Arduino programming in this quick and clear video on how programs work — Douglas

On YouTube: Arduino Control Flow

Watch YouTube: Arduino Control Flow

I liked this video and think you might find it interesting, too!


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