Curling up with a good book is one of my comfort activities…unless I happen to be in bed with a virus. Then it loses some of its cozy appeal.
Books still make the involuntary bed stay more bearable and I got the chance to spend some time with some new books.
I’ve been spinning for 19 years and I have a pretty good sized spinning library. I just can’t seem to resist books of any kind :-). If I were recommending just one book to a spinner, this would be it. Very concise and very well written.
My fiber tip…
putting a washed, dry fleece in the clothes dryer for 20 minutes on no heat/air fluff will take out an amazing amount of tiny vm (little bits of plant stuff). This works best for the really tiny stuff that is hard to pick out manually. Larger pieces of hay/straw don’t come out as easily in the dryer, but are easy enough to pick out manually. Now, here’s the caveat —- it’s been said to me that this practice can be dangerous and can cause a fire. It’s not going to catch on fire while you are running the dryer on no heat, but those little bits of vm are flammable. Clean your dryer after fluffing fleece – not just the lint trap, but under the lint trap to the bottom of the dryer. And the exhaust hose. Since I tend to never clean out the pockets of my jeans before washing them, I probably get as much straw and miscellaneous flammable bits in the dryer with regular laundry as I do when fluffing fleece. I am a serious pocket person – I never wear anything that doesn’t have pockets -EVER. By the end of the day, I’ve probably gained 5 pounds just from what I’ve put in my pockets. Once I donated an old jacket to the thrift store and found, when checking pockets – two syringes, three elastrator bands, miscellaneous bits of yarn and fiber, some dried leaves, and an egg. So I clean the dryer often anyway.
I’d just gotten this book the day before I took to bed. It’s a hands on type of book with step by step workshop lessons, using the author’s photos. When I looked at the first photo to fix, I thought – geez, you ought to be a good enough photographer to take something better in the first place. I was browsing this book away from my computer. Computer is upstairs – bed and bath is downstairs. I stayed downstairs. Once I got back upstairs and worked through a few of the lessons, I saw the wisdom of the author’s teaching methods. I’ve had photoshop for probably ten? years, moving from PS7 to CS3 over the years. I think I’m pretty good with it, but realized working through this book that I get good results by trial and error more than by really knowing what I’m doing. That said, this book does not really explain in detail why you should use an adjustment of such and such, but you can see what’s happening and intuitively “get it”.
My Photoshop tip…
This book talked about using threshold to find your brightest and darkest spots, but I learned to do it abit differently. Open your photo – click “new adjustment layer” and choose threshold. Move the slider all the way to the right until the image goes completely black. Move the slider to the left until you see a white spot. Place the furthest right eyedropper (the highlight picker) over the white spot. Press shift and left click. A little gunsight will appear. Move the slider all the way to the left until the image goes completely white. Move to the right until you see a black spot. Place the furthest left eyedropper (the shadow picker) over the black spot. Hit shift and left click. Another little gunsight will appear . Then hit cancel because we really don’t want a threshold layer. Now do another new adjustment layer and choose curves. The image will come up with the two little gunsights. Number 1 is your brightest point and number 2 is your darkest point. Click the appropriate eyedroppers (shadow/highlight) into the centers of the gunsights. Why is this different from using the eyedroppers to chose your white point and your black point? Because you want your brightest/darkest point, which might not be your white/black point.
Try it – it’s fun 🙂
sheep will eat zucchini. Anyone that has ever raised zucchini knows that a 4 inch zucchini grows to about the size of a small submarine in three days. Neglecting the garden for a few days made me desperate enough to toss a few to the sheep. They love them!