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Customer Reviews: 1416
Top Reviewer Ranking: 117
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Shala Kerrigan "Glitter it and call it art." RSS Feed (Anchorage, Alaska)
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   

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Ghirardelli Chocolate Dark Melting Wafers - 12oz
Ghirardelli Chocolate Dark Melting Wafers - 12oz
Price: $3.98
9 used & new from $3.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious, easy to use, March 1, 2015
These are some of the best melting wafers I've ever tried. The flavor, like most melting wafers, is a bit on the mild side because of the fat. The fat is what makes it melt smoothly and not need tempering. It comes off as creamy dark chocolate instead of "chocolaty flavor" which is how most melting disks taste.

Melting in a double boiler- it melts smoothly and easily. It tastes fantastic. It sets up nicely in thin coats with a good snap and sheen.

Oh, and strawberries dipped in this? Perfect.


Elmer's Glue-All Multi-Purpose Glue, 7.625 Ounces, White (E1324)
Elmer's Glue-All Multi-Purpose Glue, 7.625 Ounces, White (E1324)
Price: $3.49
37 used & new from $1.14

5.0 out of 5 stars Reliable all purpose product, February 27, 2015
My family uses a lot of PVA glue, and different types for different things. Elmer's Glue-All is a very good multipurpose craft glue with a good viscosity. It dries shiny/clear.

We buy larger bottles of it because it's a key ingredient in the paper mache mix my daughter uses for costume making. I use it for paper crafts with card stock because it spreads well and is a good strong bond. It's not a good choice for some really sheer paper projects because it will show through. However, my mom used to use it for napkin applique projects that she covered with iridescent glitter and the shine worked well when evenly spread for that sort of project and made the napkins more translucent.


18k White Gold Plated Cubic Zirconia Cushion Shape Halo Stud Earrings (1.90 carats) by ORROUS & CO
18k White Gold Plated Cubic Zirconia Cushion Shape Halo Stud Earrings (1.90 carats) by ORROUS & CO
Offered by E Depot Express
Price: $29.99
2 used & new from $19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Sparkly, they look really good and are easy to wear, February 23, 2015
Gorgeous amount of sparkle on these earrings. I'm really impressed. They look great for a lot of types of outfits, the stud style works for a dressy office look, but they are sparkly enough for evening as well.

Lightweight, easy to wear, nicely balanced so they don't tilt, and comfortable. The stones are set well and the settings didn't snag my hair.
Review item provided at no cost, this is my honest experience and opinion.


Corel Painter Essentials 5
Corel Painter Essentials 5
Price: $44.38
20 used & new from $43.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Solid starter program and a lot of fun, February 19, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I design printable crafts and draw coloring pages for my blog as well as being an illustrator for mandala themed coloring books. Most of my work is done in graphics programs, and I get asked fairly regularly what programs I recommend.

My own preference is CorelDraw and Painter, but those are a little out of the pricing range for a lot of people, so I appreciated the chance to try out Painter Essentials.

I loaded it on my Windows 8 laptop with a touchscreen fairly quickly and easily. Then opened the program. It's very friendly, with a nice interface that's easy to understand if you've ever used any kind of graphics program before. The photo editing tools are beautifully done. Hobbyists will love the painterly effects they give photos, and people who want a program for digital scrapping or other purposes will enjoy this one.

I prefer using Painter on my Windows 7 machine, but since this has a one machine license, I put it on my Windows 8 laptop so I could see how it functioned with the touch screen. Using a firm touch on a stylus, the drawing worked well. The palettes and controls needed to be done with my finger for the best response.

The photo rendering tools are fast, you can go from photo to painted effect in nearly no time at all.

It's a good start at learning how to use painting programs without a major investment, and it does a lot. I'm been considering what program to buy for my husband for the occasional image editing he does since he doesn't like the free online tools. This looks like the right one.


Shadow Study (Soulfinders)
Shadow Study (Soulfinders)
by Maria V. Snyder
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.87
26 used & new from $8.91

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old friends, some new, glad for new stories in this world!, February 17, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've been a fan of Maria Snyder's books since Poison Study, and have to admit this series is my favorite.
The reason I like her books is that they are romantic without being explicit, they tell stories. Complicated stories with interesting characters. If they can be a bit predictable, she still tells the story well and puts in enough twists to keep it interesting.

Yelena has come a long way since Valek pulled her off death row to become the food taster for the Commander. This new trilogy introduces a couple new characters while bringing in a lot of characters from the original trilogy and the Glass books. Trying not to give too much away, Yelena and Valek are facing old problems for new reasons with their friends still ready to help.

I love the fact that Yelena is strong and smart and really appreciate that her relationship with Valek is one of partnership, that they do have respect for each other along with deep love. I also like that friendship, honor and loyalty are a major part of the plot and why things happen just the way they do.

If you read romance for intensely emotional or steamy scenes, you won't find those in Maria Snyder's books. For all the fantastic elements, the romance itself is more realistic, quiet and deep. If you're a fan of her other books, you'll enjoy meeting back up with all the characters in this series again. If you haven't read the first trilogy or the Glass books- this doesn't rehash the plots of those books, but you should still be able to follow it and enjoy it. However, you'll enjoy it more if you do know the characters.


The Crocheter's Skill-Building Workshop: Essential Techniques for Becoming a More Versatile, Adventurous Crocheter
The Crocheter's Skill-Building Workshop: Essential Techniques for Becoming a More Versatile, Adventurous Crocheter
by Dora Ohrenstein
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.47
60 used & new from $8.46

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book! Highly recommended, February 12, 2015
The Crocheter's Skill-Building Workshop is a fairly comprehensive book aimed at beginners, advanced beginners and intermediate crocheters, as well as crocheters that have worked off written patterns and are ready to start designing or adapting patterns to fit their own style.

Full color photos with step by step instructions that are well written make it easy to follow, and the stitch patterns are in both international crochet graphs and American style text patterns.

It starts with a review of the absolute basics, but also shows variations on those basics. For example, most beginning crochet books don't cover using a long chain instead of a turning chain to start a row for example. This one does, and shows how it works and explains the pros and cons of each method for starting a row. It also covers extended stitches and how to join in colors.

Then it gets into various stitches, including specialty stitches like loop and knot stitches. Again the photographs and instructions are very clear. I've always had an issue with knot stitches, and these instructions taught me how to do them.

A chapter on shaping and construction shows how stitches build and how to increase and decrease neatly. It also covers how to check gauge and why that's so important. Another chapter covers crocheting in the round using finished rounds, spirals and how to taper a spiral done with taller stitches.

Advanced shaping covers all those edges- to create sharp darts, smooth sleeves and other details found in well-crafted clothing. It explains how to shape with textured or openwork stitch patterns. It covers internal shaping as well in pattern.

Textured stitches are where crochet gets really awesome for me. It's the difference between boring and interesting for projects I make for my monochrome loving husband. A full chapter covers things like popcorn, cables, crocodile stitch and crocheted ribbing.

Color crochet has the standards like stranded crochet and color checks, but it also has some pretty spike stitch techniques and an easy 2-color diamond that's a lot of fun to stitch.

Finishing techniques is seams, blocking and everything you need to do to put it all together and finish it.

After that, there are a few projects so you can practice the skills learned. Textured stitches, internal shaping and ribbing are used in projects like a slouchy hat or a star stitch cowl.
Complimentary copy received for review on my craft blog. This is my honest opinion.


Vonshef Electric Yogurt Maker with 7 Yogurt Jars
Vonshef Electric Yogurt Maker with 7 Yogurt Jars
Offered by Designer Habitat
Price: $49.99
2 used & new from $17.49

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use, perfect portions and economical, February 12, 2015
I'm super happy with this yogurt maker. It comes with 7 glass jars with plastic screw on lids and the how to manual includes several recipes and options to get you started.

For making yogurt with a store bought plain yogurt to culture, I use about half of a little container of plain yogurt with powdered milk mixed thick (an extra 1/3 cup of milk powder per quart) and a splash of cream (heat the milk and cream, and let cool to warm). Then put it all in the jars and turn on the machine in the morning and leave it alone until that evening. Then chill the jars, and it sets up nicely and thick. I prefer sweetening with a touch of maple syrup and whatever flavors I like. My son likes to flavor/sweeten plain yogurt with drink mixes.

It's very economical to make yogurt using powdered milk, and has a lot less waste than buying little plastic containers. Since it's so inexpensive, this is a unit that I happily recommend.

My experience making yogurt goes back to the 70s, and older style yogurt makers, and I use heirloom mesophilic cultures now, as well as this. The advantage to a yogurt maker is that they are really easy to use for first time yogurt makers and the glass jars on this one make for perfect sized servings to pack in a lunch.
Review item provided at no cost, this is my honest experience and opinion.


Omron 7 Series Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor Plus Bluetooth Smart
Omron 7 Series Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor Plus Bluetooth Smart
Price: $59.99
47 used & new from $57.03

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly good, easy for a couple to use and monitor bp and heart rate, February 9, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is well designed and easy to use for a couple.

Nice large display makes it easy to see the numbers. Stable but largish base makes it better to keep on a nightstand, it's light weight but too bulky to be really portable. It's easy to switch back and forth between two people and works very well with my iPad. The wide range of sizes does very well on large arms. My husband is hitting the upper circumference limit and it works reliably.

It would be 5 stars except for the cuff. The cuff is very tall, and if you're a shorter person (I'm 5'4"), positioning it on your arm so it's a half inch above your elbow may be difficult.


MiniMinit 40 filters & 1 holder one cup tea coffee
MiniMinit 40 filters & 1 holder one cup tea coffee
Offered by Stock Your Home
Price: $6.46
10 used & new from $1.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for the herbal teas I drink, February 5, 2015
These are so easy to use for bulk teas and the stick works with most of my cups- it does fine on standard size cups. Extra large or jumbo cups the stick is a bit short. For those sizes I used a stainless steel knitting needle. Chopsticks are too big for the hole size.

They hold a fair amount of loose tea to brew strong cups, and it's nearly as convenient as standard tea bags. Less messy than a tea ball and more flavorful than pre-filled tea bags, I'm a fan.

You only get one stick per package, but if you like them, you'll use them often enough to justify buying a couple packages so you have an extra stick.

For coffee- because it's a steep method instead of a drip method, it might be too bitter or strong for some coffee drinkers. I prefer a drip style one cup brewer.


Mudder® New Style Steampunk Pocket Watch Chain Belt with Mechanical Movement
Mudder® New Style Steampunk Pocket Watch Chain Belt with Mechanical Movement
Offered by JIABAO TECHNOLOGY
Price: $25.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars attractive mechanical skeleton pocket watch, February 5, 2015
Another attractive mechanical skeleton pocket watch from Mudder. These are Chinese fashion watches so you do need to exercise a little care in how you use them but with proper care, they make a nice prop. They also keep decent time as long as you wind them regularly.

The watch doesn't need to be opened to tell the time, and the watchworks show on both sides of the watch. The metal is a very shiny dark color that resembles hematite. As a mechanical watch, it does need to be wound regularly.

Packaging is a nice cardboard box with a sleeve, and it has a miniature pillow to put it on. In the box it's in a plastic bag, so if you're giving this as a gift, open up the bag, arrange the watch on the pillow and close the box. It's a nice looking package and makes a good gift. Especially if you are giving it to a coplaying friend or young person.

My son has several mechanical watches, and this is one of his favorites.
Review item provided at no cost, this is my honest experience and opinion.


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