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Customer Reviews: 1294
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Chel Micheline "Chel Micheline" RSS Feed (Southwest Florida)
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Daniel Smith Watercolor 238 Dot Color Chart
Daniel Smith Watercolor 238 Dot Color Chart
Price: $21.67
2 used & new from $20.87

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars get these, May 22, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This chart was so helpful. I have way too much experience ordering tubes of watercolor based on online watercolor swatches only to receive them to find the color was nothing like I expected and wind up never using it. Plus, I have two palettes full of my favorite colors from a bunch of brands (Sennelier, Schminke, Mijello, etc.) but never tried Daniel Smith. I figured this would be a good way to see and try ALL the colors, and figure out which might be some good ones to add to my palette.

There's so much great stuff on these charts. I tested and played with all the colors, and wound up with about two dozen I find "essential" and unlike anything else I have in my paint boxes already (not a small amount, but better than just buying a whole set!) and can just work on adding them to my collection over time. And I know exactly how those paints perform and what their true color is. And there are several colors that I already have very close matches to, but find the Daniel Smith's are slightly granulated, and I like the texture.

The not-so-greats: the paint dots were BARELY dots on a bunch of the colors- several were just as if someone pushed an empty paint tube to the paper and the outline ring of the tube's neck was printed. Trying to get any paint off those dots was just like ruining the tip of my brush by piling up the paper it was on, just trying to get a little of the pigment to test. Those dots were barely useful. Other dots provided enough paint for several projects.

One thing I would recommend- paint THOROUGH and BIG swatches with these if you are looking at the way the colors work. A lot of the Daniel Smith magic is that several of the colors actually either have a color shift as the paint dries (Lunar Blue, Cascade Green, The Primateks) and you wind up with these beautiful effects where on tube of paint actually hold three different pigments that will split out as you paint. It's magical. But it's not something you can see unless you paint a BIG swatch with the color and really swish your brush into it. (and use good papers for your test- a lot of the color have cool sediment effects and won't do their thing unless they have a good surface to work on).

As far as the quality of the general line of paints- it's okay. I don't say that lightly. I just find that Daniel Smith's don't reconstitute as well as some other brands, and they often require a lot of paint to get a good color coverage. So I'm actually glad to have my "basics" from other brands and can round out my growing collection with these amazing, unusual, interesting paint.

But now that I have seen what the special colors can do, I can't paint without them because they really did bring all the colors I already own up to a completely different level. I feel like a mad scientist mixing my own colors with my new Daniel Smiths and see what happens.

Order this chart, really PLAY with it, and then be prepared to start making your wish list.

Highly reccommended, wish all brands had them.


Studio Series Watercolor Crayon Set (12 water soluble gel crayons)
Studio Series Watercolor Crayon Set (12 water soluble gel crayons)
by Peter Pauper Press
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $9.99
22 used & new from $5.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great portable gel crayons in good color range, May 13, 2016
I'll start this review out by saying that I am an actual watercolor artist- I have several sets of watercolor paints (in palettes and tubes) and a myriad of watercolor concentrates and crayons and pencils and powders, as well.

Watercolor crayons come in two styles- gel style, and traditional crayon style. These are the "gel" style.

First and foremost, I really do think these watercolor crayons are comparable to most of the other gel style crayons on the market, such as the Gelato line and the International Arrivals crayons. Basically, these "crayons" are little tubes of water-activated watercolor paint in a gel form, very much like a tube of lipstick. You can either wet a brush and dab paint from the crayon/tube or you can color directly on paper and then turn it into watercolor by dragging a wet brush across it.

They aren't similar to artist's grade watercolor crayons- those are more chalky and cream-based, and they tend to be created with actual pigments (which means often toxic chemicals such as cadmium, cobalt, etc.) to generate the traditional artist color range.

In all honesty, I tend to prefer the gel crayons because they are very translucent and bright, and they are easy to work with, both in the gel consistency and when they are combined with water. There's just something about them that makes them very fun and quick.

Also, they are VERY portable- unlike artist's watercolor crayons, which are literally in old-school crayon format with the paper wrapper- these gel crayons don't have to be protected from the elements. These crayons cannot crack, splinter into a million pieces, or pick up lint and dirt if they accidentally come out of their case while in transport. They can melt, though, at high temperatures (like lipstick) so keep them out of a hot car on a summer day.

I personally like this set because of the color range- it's very bright and vivid, but also contains the traditional Roy G. Biv range with black and white. So you can blend pretty much any color you like. I also like the ease of using them- they come in a little plastic case that fits easily in my bag, so all I have to do is grab a waterbrush (the Pentel ones are my favorite) and one of my mini-Moleskine watercolor sketch books and I've got a perfect on-the-go art set to take anywhere.

If you are looking for a set of watercolor crayons to add to your kit, or just want another way to color in your coloring books, or want something great for your kids to explore art with that doesn't create a huge mess and promises great results, these are the crayons for you. I really like them.

Highly recommended for artists, colorists, and kids.


Like Mother, Like Daughter (A Discovery Journal for the Two of Us)
Like Mother, Like Daughter (A Discovery Journal for the Two of Us)
by Paula Spencer Scott
Edition: Diary
Price: $11.07
46 used & new from $7.05

5.0 out of 5 stars awesome, awesome, awesome, May 13, 2016
I have a ten year old daughter, and we're at the stage where she's becoming incredibly independent and has really started to come into her own. I have been wanting to maintain a close, honest relationship with her, but sometimes it's hard to know what I should share with her (as far as what might be useful/interesting to her) and what might bore her to tears or make her think I am lecturing. I was very excited to receive a copy of this journal from Peter Pauper Press to look at, and knew as soon as I opened it, this journal is absolutely perfect- it's full of prompts, charts, FAQs to fill out, lists, suggested journaling topics, etc. that both moms and daughters can fill out. It's everything from favorite color to favorite foods to questions about fate and love, and everything from "who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?" and "what household rules would be changed if you were in charge". It's a perfect mix of serious and fluff, and incredibly insightful. It's meant to be filled out by both mom and daughter, but it can also just be used as a good reference for conversation for entire families (and couples, too), and could be kept by the dinner table or in the car for times when you are looking for a good conversation starter.

I am really, really thankful to have this journal right now- I really do think it's a wonderful way to keep the channels of communication open with my daughter as she continues to grow and develop her own preferences, and also provides a place for both of us to express stuff we might not be so comfortable sharing face-to-face or things we might not even think might matter to one another.

Highly, highly recommended.


Herman Miller Embody Chair - Graphite Frame/Black Rhythm Textile
Herman Miller Embody Chair - Graphite Frame/Black Rhythm Textile
Price: $1,229.00
2 used & new from $1,229.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars infinitely adjustable and extremely comfortable, May 12, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
First and foremost- the reason I gave this chair five stars because it really IS almost infinitely adjustable and it's pretty much the most amazing chair I have ever sat in.

However, the big question is: do I truly believe that this chair is worth the price? I honestly don't know simply because a big part of me feels very strongly that NO office chair should cost more than a couple hundred. But if office chairs *have* to cost what they do, I believe this chair is worth the price.

A little background- I have Spina Bifida, which is a pretty serious neuromuscular/skeletal disease. I'm also a fairly serious athlete (distance swimmer) so while I am disabled and have significant health problems (my spine looks like a winding road through a mountain) I also take pride in take good care of myself and doing as much as I possibly can.

In my lifetime, I've often invested a whole lot of money in "special" items (mattresses, shoes, etc.) that were designed either for me or supposed to be designed for people with injuries, spinal and hip issues, etc. And I have to be honest- more often than not, the high end items with special designations never lived up to their claim. So as an adult I have given up on investing more in things just because they claim to be specially designed and higher quality. An office chair like this is something I would never consider, even though I spend a lot of time in my office chair every day- I'm an artist and do graphic design and writing, as well, so I spend significant time "hunched" at my desk in my art studio. The chair I had before this one was pretty modded up with lumbar cushions and a tailbone cushion and that sort of thing. But I still couldn't get it perfect- I need serious lumbar support (the base of my spine is where my opening was when I was born- if I don't have pressure on it, I get numbness and nerve stuff) and since I have a fairly small build (5'4" 120 pounds), the chair needs to be fairly small and actually push into my back when I'm leaning forward, which most chairs can't do.

This chair does it. (!!!!) Almost EVERYTHING on this chair adjusts. Tilt, lumbar support, the depth of the seat, the height of the chair, the arm rests (up and down and in and out), recline-ability (not a word but no other way to describe it), and EVEN this size of the seat cushion- there is literally a strange lever on either side of the cushion that you can push or pull to make the chair cushion longer.

Once adjusted, which took very little time (the chair is very easy to adjust), I sat down fully in it and I felt very cradled. It's not a plush chair by any means- there's very little cushioning, but there is great "bounciness" to it. So it's comfortable and supportive. However, I can't speak to having spent months in this chair every day, but I will update my review when that time comes.

I'll be honest, the minute I sat down in this chair, I understood why people might invest in a chair like this. It's not hype- this chair is a whole different beast than any other chair I have ever sat in. I even joked with my husband about getting rid of the couches and getting a couple of these for the living room. At the very least, I think my husband, who has his own back issues, should get one for his office.

If you spend significant amount of time in your desk chair, have the money to invest in a piece of furniture like this, and are searching for the perfectly adjustable chair, I would really recommend this chair. Again, I'll be honest in saying I'm not sure ANY office chair is worth a grand, but if they have to be expensive, this one certainly deserves the higher price tag. There's nothing that compares to this at a lower price range.


Remington XR1470 HyperFlex Wet & Dry Electric Shaver, Men's Electric Shaver, Electric Razor, Shaver, Trimmer
Remington XR1470 HyperFlex Wet & Dry Electric Shaver, Men's Electric Shaver, Electric Razor, Shaver, Trimmer

4.0 out of 5 stars decent when used wet, not for curly beards, May 8, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
First things first- use this razor wet. Unless you have peach fuzz, a dry razor never really does the job (and it hurts!)

Honestly? It's a fairly good razor, pretty standard for a Remington as far as style and features and how well it works. It's nothing revolutionary or new to the Remington line, which my dad (who is 80) has used for as long as I can remember. Every so often his unit burns out or stops and he just get s anew one- he loves the style and the brand and they work for him. My husband, however, wouldn't use a Remington because they just don't work for him with a curly beard.

Decent for straight haired beards when used wet, not going to change your life, but it might make it a little easier.


Craft-tastic 3D String Art Kit
Craft-tastic 3D String Art Kit
Price: $17.65
28 used & new from $14.19

4.0 out of 5 stars great project, but low quality string might make it more frustrating than fun, May 8, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
First- as with the other Craft-astic kits, the yarn/string that comes with this is pretty low quality, which can make or break the project. Since I crochet and weave and things, I have a pretty huge stash of fibers, so my daughter always dips into those to do these projects.

Second, figure out a way to secure the two heart shape frame together before you start, because they tend to come apart while working, which means everything comes undone.

Besides these two issues, it's actually a fairly good craft kit, when compared to other craft kits on the market. Of course, the best thing to do is always go to your local store and choose the elements and create your own craft project, but if you just want to create something simple (or don't want to spend $50 or more figuring out materials) these kits are a way to go. Just be mindful of the potential issues (bad string and frame that can fall apart) before you start, and you can end up with a beautiful project.


Goody Clean Radiance Oval Brush with Copper Bristles and Hanging Hole
Goody Clean Radiance Oval Brush with Copper Bristles and Hanging Hole
Price: $9.99
7 used & new from $9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars a little delicate, but okay (not a miracle cure), April 29, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My daughter has super long hair and eczema, so we've had to deal with two of the things this brush is designed to tackle. I think the bristles are a bit delicate compared to other brushes (those with plastic bristles and the "brush while wet" brushes), but they do seem to help her scalp a little bit. However, this brush is not a miracle cure to scalp/skin problems- when used in conjunction with anti-dandruff shampoos and treatments, it's a nice extra. However, I think for the long term, we'll most likely go back to using the wet brush because if it comes down to detangling without pain vs. slightly less dandruff/eczema/itchiness, detangling without pain will always win.


Craft-tastic Yarn Tree Kit
Craft-tastic Yarn Tree Kit
Price: $19.88
30 used & new from $14.39

4.0 out of 5 stars great project, but the yarn isn't great..., April 29, 2016
This review is from: Craft-tastic Yarn Tree Kit (Toy)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The kit includes a wire "tree" and enough yarn to wrap around it to make a little jewelry stand that resembles a yarn-bombed tree.

The tree is quite nice- the wire is not brittle and bends easily but not so easily that the tree is not sturdy.

The yarn, however, is rather low quality, so when you wrap it, the tree looks "rough". I crochet, so I have rather high expectations from yarn, so that might be a biased opinion. But my daughter (who is 10 and picked up on this project right away and enjoyed it a great deal) wound up dipping into my yarn stash to finish the yarn tree because she didn't like all the colors of the yarn that came with it. There's only enough yarn to use all the colors- if you choose to complete the tree with just a few of the yarn colors that come with the kit, there won't be enough yarn.

All in all, though, this kit is probably my daughter's favorite in the last few years of craft kits she's tried. She was excited as soon as she opened the box, and the project kept her busy for several hours without losing her interest.

Highly recommended, just a heads up about the rather low quality of the yarn.


Simply Calligraphy: A Beginner's Guide to Elegant Lettering
Simply Calligraphy: A Beginner's Guide to Elegant Lettering
by Judy Detrick
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.47
65 used & new from $6.57

4.0 out of 5 stars (3.5 stars) really, really simple and basic little manual in black and white (hoped for more...), April 23, 2016
I'm a fan of brush lettering and letterforms in general as an art form and there are some beautiful, exquisite books on the market right now (especially with the explosion of chalk lettering a few years ago). I knew this book was a very "back to the basics" kind of book but I was surprised at how sort of "bare bones" it is. It is printed in two colors, there are no photos or creative illustrations other than the simple letterforms (which are basically italic), and there's really not much to it. The content of the book is great- easy to follow, very easy to learn from and pick up, but there's nothing *fun* and visually pleasing about this book.

I will say that I'm not a huge fan of the italic script taught in the book, but it's a good very basic way to get into lettering and calligraphy if you know nothing.

It's a good book, a "manual" as it is described, but absolutely NOTHING more.


How to Draw Manga Characters: A Beginner's Guide
How to Draw Manga Characters: A Beginner's Guide
by J.C. Amberlyn
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.46
39 used & new from $11.34

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT book on Manga, April 23, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book is an excellent book for either absolute beginners or more advanced artists who are a little unfamiliar with the general styles and characters in manga. My daughter is ten, and has been interested in drawing cartoons and manga for a few years, so we have all the Mark Crilley books as well as some other, and this book immediately became her favorite. Because it has several step outs for creating entire characters as well as some interesting like the symbolism of different colors used in manga, which is the sort of thing she really loves to find out about. I'm an abstract painter, and even I found it incredibly interesting and appealing when I read through it- it kind of made me want to grab a pencil and some sketching paper and create some characters of my own.

It's a good book, for kids or adults. It covers a ton of material, is easy to follow, very well designed, and a great book to have in a drawing library.


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