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21 KitchenAid Mixer | Douglas E. Welch Gift Guide 2017

December 6th, 2017 Comments off

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21 KitchenAid Mixer | Douglas E. Welch Gift Guide 2017

Kitchenaid largeKitchenaid small

While these expensive mixers aren’t necessarily an impulse buy, if you have a dedicated home baker in your life this just might be the best present ever! I have both of these mixers and both are currently installed on my counter turning out the 80 dozen or so cookies I make each year for your annual cookie party. I’ve also used them for bread, cakes, ice cream (with optional attachment) and much more. It is rare I use a hand mixer anymore as these beast do the job much better and much more quickly.

…and they come in a bunch of cool coolers, too! (SMILE) — Douglas


 

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Categories: Baking, Bread, Cooking, Food, Gift Guide, Home, Products Tags:

25% Off All Art Boards Today! – Day 3 – 12 Days of Promos from Redbubble

December 2nd, 2017 Comments off

 25% Off All Art Boards Today! - Day 3 - 12 Days of Promos from Redbubble

25% Off All Art Boards Today!
Day 3 of the 12 Days of Promos from Redbubble

Directly from my Instagram Photos

Original Gifts for Original People

Available exclusively from
DouglasEWelch.com/shop/
DouglasEWelch.com/shop/artboards (Direct Link)

Art Board Features

  • Professionally printed on watercolour textured 4ply art boards
  • A great format for series/collection presentation
  • Individually wrapped in cellophane sleeves
  • Easily applied to walls with 3M velcro dots (4 supplied per board – please apply and remove with care)

View my entire portfolio of over 150 Designs

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20 MUVI X-Lapse 360-Degree Photography and Timelapse Accessory | Douglas E. Welch Gift Guide 2017

December 1st, 2017 Comments off

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20 MUVI X-Lapse 360-Degree Photography and Timelapse Accessory

20 MUVI X-Lapse 360-Degree Photography and Timelapse Accessory | Douglas E. Welch Gift Guide 2017

I picked one of these up on sale a few months ago and have found a variety of uses for it. It only plans right to left, since it is based on a mechanical timer, but it is a great way to start integrating movement into you time-lapse movies without spending hundreds of dollars on more complex motorized camera sliders. It is cheap enough to just have fun with it.

  • Create 90° degree (15 minutes), 180° degree (30 minutes), 270° degree (45 minutes), 360° degree (60 minutes) sweeping time-lapse films.
  • Create 90° degree, 180° degree, 270° degree, 360° degree panoramic pictures
  • Mount cameras up to 750 grams on the standard 1/4 -20 UNC male tripod screw thread. Perfect for the MUVI HD or other actions cameras with continuous photo mode
  • Standard 1/4 -20 UNC female tripod screw thread for mounting on Veho DuoPod tripod or other tripod systems and integral fold out feet to stabilize and support larger cameras
  • Ships with iPhone/Smartphone holder to enable panoramic time lapse photography using your smartphone with apps such as Time Lapse Pro, Glimpse Pro, Osnap

 

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs

19 The Fruits and Fruit Trees of Monticello | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 27th, 2017 Comments off

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19 The Fruits and Fruit Trees of Monticello

I was doing some research for my wife’s next book today and came across this book as a source. While I had only planned on mining it for the information I needed, I found myself reading entire sections. It is an amazing history of the agricultural side of Thomas Jefferson and Monticello as a vast agricultural research center, long before anything so called was even imagined. Not everything was successful, of course, and the book lays out all the failures along with the successes.

We visited Monticello many, many years ago (October 1994, according to my notes on the back of the prints) and visiting it again, through the pages of this book, reminded me of how striking the home, the gardens and the farmland all were.

Photos from our trip to Monticello in 1994

Monticello 1

Monticello 2

Monticello 3

Monticello 4

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
Categories: Books, Garden, Gift Guide Tags:

18 BOOM 2 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker and others | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 26th, 2017 Comments off

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18 BOOM 2 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker and other

I have a smaller bluetooth speaker that I specifically was gifted for kitchen use. I love listening to podcasts and music while I cook and the little speaker did a perfectly good job. That said, due to the noise of running water, food processors and others, it would be nice to have a speaker with a bit more oomph. The BOOM 2 series of speakers is just one such speaker, but it was included in many other gift guides on the internet and will likely be my, more powerful, replacement for the kitchen and garden.

 Boom 2 speaker

  • Insanely good, loud 360degree sound with deep bass
  • Portable design so you can bring the music anywhere
  • Waterproof*, shockproof, designed for adventure (* IPX7 rated waterproof up to 30 minutes and a depth of one meter)
  • 15hour battery life and 100 ft. Bluetooth wireless range (Actual battery life will vary with use, settings and environmental conditions. Rechargeable batteries have a limited number of charge cycles)
  • Maximum Sound Level: 90dBA. Frequency Range: 90Hz – 20kHz. Drivers: two 45mm (1 3/4″) active drivers and two 45mm X 80mm (1 3/4″ x 3″) passive radiators.


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17 Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 23rd, 2017 Comments off

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17 Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

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.

 

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
Categories: Books, Creativity, Education, Gift Guide, Writing Tags:

16 CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 Complete Starter Kit | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 21st, 2017 Comments off

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16 CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 Complete Starter Kit | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

For the technology lovers in your life — whether young or old — give them the power of exploring programming and computers in many forms. This kit gives you everything you need to get started with your Raspberry Pi today! Want to create your own interactive Internet of Things devices? Add-on the SunFounder 37 Modules Sensor Kit V2.0 to give you temperature/humidity sensors, LEDs, components and detectors of all types.

Raspi kit

  • Includes Made in UK Raspberry Pi 3 (RPi3) Model B Quad-Core 1.2 GHz 1 GB RAM
  • On-board WiFi and Bluetooth Connectivity
  • 32 GB Micro SD Card (Class 10) – Raspberry Pi Recommended Micro SD Card pre-loaded with NOOBS, USB MicroSD Card Reader
  • CanaKit 2.5A USB Power Supply with Micro USB Cable and Noise Filter – Specially designed for the Raspberry Pi 3 (UL Listed)
  • High Quality Raspberry Pi 3 Case, Premium Quality HDMI Cable, 2 x Heat Sinks, GPIO Quick Reference Card, CanaKit Full Color Quick-Start Guide

Add on these products to give you even more options

 
SunFounder 37 Modules Sensor Kit V2.0 Raspberry Pi Projects for the Evil Genius

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs

15 The Spice Companion: A Guide to the World of Spices by Lior Lev Sercarz | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 20th, 2017 Comments off

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

15 The Spice Companion: A Guide to the World of Spices by Lior Lev Sercarz | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** This book is available from the LA Public Library in print and ebook format

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 sections 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, Gift Guide Tags:

14 Garden Arbor | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 19th, 2017 Comments off

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14 Garden Arbor

From Douglas…

We have been meaning to get a trellis for the Lady Bank’s Rose in the front garden for a long time, but it wasn’t growing very fast and we concentrated on other, more important tasks. That all changed this Winter and Spring, though. With the large amount of rain we had — along with the removal of a short fence that was blocking the sun — the rose added a lot of vigorous growth and bloomed quite nicely, even for a relatively small plant. You can see from the photos that it was big enough to cover most of the side of the trellis after we trimmed and tied the main stake to the newly built arbor. 

We need to do a bit more staking to prevent any blow down during our windy days and you can see an ugly remaining fence post that we need to cut off as best we can. it is set in cement and littered with nails so I need to find a clear path through so I can use the hand saw to cut it down as low as possible.

Looking out the window after cleaning up from out work, Rosanne said “It looks like it has always been there” and indeed it does. it blends in well, while also adding a nice decorative touch.

If you are looking for an arbor for your garden, this “Athens” model is all vinyl and no maintenance, something I had to have when I went looking.

Assembly was easy and required nothing more than a power screwdriver to drive the self-tapping screws. I look forward to it being here for many years to come.


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13 Electric Kettles | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 18th, 2017 Comments off

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13 Electric Kettles

From Douglas…

My wife gave up coffee several years ago. She started using an old stovetop kettle we had and then we had a coffee maker with a hot water dispenser, but after visiting the UK last August, I was reminded again how useful and convenient an electric tea kettle is for morning beverages and several other reasons. Once we returned, I was finally able to convince her to pick one up at the local discount store and I am glad we did. Along with heating water for tea, the kettle is great for jump starting pasta water and other cooking and also for cleaning around the house. I especially love that it has an automatic shut-off, which guarantees we never boil a kettle dry again. 

Learn more about Tea 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
!
† These books are available at the LA Public Library
 

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