Archive for the ‘Tools’ Category

I-cord for New Project

Sunday, October 28th, 2018


Loom Knit I-cord Front


Loom Knit I-cord Back


Cast on Double Knot on Two Pegs with a Single Strand of Wool Yarn

Wrap for Purl

Wrap Peg, Two Wraps on Peg

Wrap for Purl

Place Third Loop/Wrap Below Previous Wraps


Pull Lower Loop Through Top Loops
Pull Lot Off of Peg and Replace Loop on Peg

Flat Knit

Flat Knit from Right to Left
Place Yarn Above Existing Loop
Lift Bottom Loop Over Top Leaving One Loop on Peg

Keyboard Malfunction and Solution

Monday, March 19th, 2018

I have a MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2016). Since I took it out of the box I have had a difficult time using the keyboard, especially the spacebar.

Thisis anexample of what happens whenItypeon this keyboard.

A couple of weeks ago it was so bad that I scheduled an appointment at the Apple store. The Genius rep cleaned my keyboard and asked me to type something to see if the cleaning solved the problem. It didn’t. The charge to repair the keyboard is $475. We discussed using a bluetooth keyboard, a new one would be approximately $60.

The Genius rep explained that many people did not adjust to the new keyboard design. I used and still use my 2009 MacBook.


A few nights ago I noticed that when I hit the keyboard exactly where the tape is, the spacebar worked. So, approximately .5″ of the 3.75″ of the spacebar works.

Pet Red Eye and PS Express on iPhone

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

Elliot with Red Eye

Elliot with a Bunnicula Eye

Bunnicula Eye Corrected

In PS Express–Click Red Eye, Click Pet Red Eye, Tap Eye.
Bunnicula Eye Corrected

Elliot is our rescue bunny. We put concrete forming tubes on the sofa to prevent her from tearing up the sofa.

Shredded Tube

Now she shreds the inside of the tube rather than the sofa.

Plantel Plant Trays and Zenport Ring Knife

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

I recently attended the Santa Barbara County Fair in Santa Maria, CA. When I wandered through the horticulture displays I saw a sign for free plants. Plantel Nurseries was giving away vegetable plants. I snagged a few plants-kale, chard, lettuces, and celery.

When I returned home I immediately planted them in pots. While I was planting them I got to thinking about the Plantel plant trays. The cells were smaller than those of the typical plant trays available at the neighborhood nurseries.

I visited the Plantel website and was directed to Peaceful Valley Farm Supply.

Plantel Plant Trays

While I was visiting their site I found the Zenport Ring Knife.

Zenport Ring Knife

This is an image of the Zenport Ring Knife from the Peaceful Valley Farm Supply website.

I thought that it might be useful when I am working on a project that has loads of binding and cutting of yarn and cord. I wasn’t sure what size to order. One reviewer stated the ring runs small. I ordered two sizes, both were too large. So, I bound them a bit.

Zenport Ring Knife

The top ring knife is bound with a bamboo yarn and will be used for clean projects.
The bottom is bound with waxed linen cord for ease of cleaning and will be used for gardening.
Wrapping the ring makes the tool more comfortable to wear.

I am not recommending that anyone else should attempt this at home.
Using tools inappropriately can be dangerous.

Zenport Ring Knife

I attempted to use the knife ring as instructed, but it was awkward and difficult.

Zenport Ring Knife

I flipped the ring knife and it was easy peasy cutting. I had better control of the blade.

Even though it appears that the blade can come in contact with my hand, it does not.

I am not recommending that anyone else should attempt this at home.
Using tools inappropriately can be dangerous.

Rock/Succulent Garden in Progress

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Rock Garden

Rock/Succulent Garden in Progress

Rock Garden

Rock Garden

The two small blue rocks in the lower right resulted in the need to move three flagstone and a blue rock.
But I really wanted those two little rocks. They will be a nice backdrop for thyme.

Next is to add cactus mix, plant succulents, install drip system, add mulch, and enjoy.

The mailbox is sitting on a box that will be replaced. The mailbox came from our home in New Jersey. The cardinal is the Ohio state bird. I am originally from Ohio; it was our first home. So, bit sentimental to keep the mailbox in the courtyard.

The mailbox also functions as a place to store frequently used garden tools.

Building a Rock/Succulent Garden

Friday, June 9th, 2017

I am in the process of converting a garden space into a rock/succulent garden. Spent the past few days removing everything–Solandra maxima, small Japanese maple, a medium sized Brugmansia, miscellaneous plants, and a bazillion bulbs.

While removing the current irrigation system, I found an amazingly large root growing through the entire space. The garden space is only 4.5′ x 7′. Curious how anything else was able to compete.


The irrigation system was in place when we moved in. The main line seems to be quite deep.

Rock Garden Space

This morning, my first task will be to remove the root. I am hoping to remove it in one piece. That may not be possible.

Next will be the removal of some of the soil, prep the bed, organize the rocks, and set up the drip system.

Then after all of that, get the plants in the ground!

Rock Detail

Detail of rocks that are currently being used in my garden and will be used in the rock/succulent garden.

What have I learned? Two tools that have been helpful in the removal of bulbs and unwanted other stuff.

Garden Tools

The tool with the blue handle was designed for harvesting grapes, but I used it in place of my fingers.

Always wear proper eye protection when digging in soil that has some hard bits and rocks. It is important to protect your eyes from possible flying debris.

No excuses–if your goggles steam up, use a couple crops of Sea Drops. It is typically sold in scuba diving shops.

Sea Drops

The bottle lasts a really long time. I started using my bottle in the early 90s.

Happy Holidays, Bob, and The Bird

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

Happy Holidays Bob

How I rescued the lovebird, who came to be known as Bob–

1. Opened upstairs bathroom window, removed screen, placed towel over window frame.
2. Placed The Bird, our cockatiel in his travel cage, placed cage in plain view in the bathroom.

The Bird

The Bird enjoying our tree. Yes, his name is The Bird.

3. Played a Youtube video of Lovebirds singing.

Then I waited.

The lovebird flew to the window and looked in. Then he flew back to the top of the birch. Then he perched on the window ledge. He would not come in the bathroom.

After a couple of hours, yes a couple of hours of him flying to the window and hovering, I had an idea. I turned on all of the lights in the room. Immediately he flew into the room and landed on our cockatiel’s travel cage. John was home by then, he closed the window. Success.

What did I learn? The towel on the window ledge was a good idea for the bird to grab onto and enter the room, but a really bad idea for closing the window. Patience is a good thing to have. The entire rescue took only 4 hours.

Why is his name Bob?
It took a long time to name him. We noticed he has a habit of bobbing up and down before flight and when he is attempting to escape from his room. The bobbing is funny, almost dance like. So, Bob he became.

The frames and text applied to the photos were an easy peasy couple of clicks in Snapseed.
The Snapseed app is on the App Store.

Jefferson, Monticello, Notebooks, and Tools

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

I am an obsessive note maker. A small notebook is in pocket or bag, always at the ready.

A Staedtler Lead Holder was my go to writing utensil, until last night. I am in the process of planning a wool, knitted and fulled wallpiece.

The problem with using lead is the possible disappearance over time. But it is easy to erase for changes.

Pencil and Eraser

One of the cool things about the Staedtler Lead Holder is the built in sharpener, which eliminates the need to carry another tool.

Pencil and Sharpener

There are two problems with a felt marker, not permanent and mistakes.


I stopped by target today and picked up a bottle of Bic Wite Out.

Bic Correction Fluid

It is so much nicer than the last bottle. No longer is the applicator a brush, it is a little sponge wedge that glides nicely.

Back to notebooks and note making. I was delighted to see reference to Thomas Jefferson and his pocket notebooks at this great book art site. It was a different time, but I am not keen on the material that was used for the pages. I do like the idea of reusable pages that you could write notes in pencil and erase when notes are transferred to sketchbook or journal.

Jefferson Ivory Books

According to the Monticello site, Jefferson carried a small ivory notebook on which he could write in pencil. Back in his Cabinet, or office, he later copied the information into any of seven books in which he kept records about his garden, farms, finances, and other concerns; he then erased the writing in the ivory notebook. The photo of the notebooks was taken by Edward Owen.

The Monticello site also included additional information about tools that he carried with him, Among his collection of pocket-sized devices were scales, drawing instruments, a thermometer, a surveying compass, a level, and even a globe.

Got to thinking about tools that I tend to carry with me. When I go hiking I always carry gloves, tool for digging, small cutters, bags for finds, a magnifier, a small flashlight, twine, and often a camera.

The Monticello site has loads of interesting facts and fun things for purchase. I am an avid gardener and have purchased seed from the site. My favorite seeds have been: Sunset Hibiscus (Abelmoschus manihot), Aquilegia Barlows, and the Fringed Pink (Dianthus superbus).

Every time I visit the site I look at the wheel cypher decoder. Maybe one day I will actually purchase it.

Jefferson Wheel Cypher Decoder

Wire Twist Pliers

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

My husband is a private pilot and does some of the mechanical work on his plane. He recently bought a tool for twisting wire. I thought the tool would be great for a future project.

Wire and Wire Twist Tool

I selected steel wire–24 and 18 gauge. A length of wire was cut with the twist pliers’ handy cutter. The wire was bent in half. A clamp was inserted through the loop created and to a stationary object (handle of a drawer). Then it was time to twist the wire.

Twisting the 24 gauge wire was easy peasy. But, the 18 gauge wire was really a bit too thick.

Wire Twist Tool

Twisted Wire

The top twisted wire is 24 gauge, the bottom is 18 gauge.

The tool was purchased from Aircraft Spruce.