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Melissa J. Lee's Profile

Customer Reviews: 6
Top Reviewer Ranking: 741,394
Helpful Votes: 42

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BoHo Indoor Bocce Ball Set
BoHo Indoor Bocce Ball Set

4.0 out of 5 stars Game itself is lovely but basket has some quality control issues, February 21, 2014
This review is from: BoHo Indoor Bocce Ball Set (Misc.)
When the wire mesh basket that I preferred was not available, I decided to take the twig basket instead, mostly because the dimensions were perfect for setting it on top of the built in bookcase near our fireplace. It does indeed fit quite nicely. Having said that, I was quite startled when I lifted the basket from the shipping box by the fine shower of dirt, debris and leaf fragments that fell to the floor. I then spent the next half hour working with Q-tips and paper towels trying to get the cobwebs and further debris out of the corners of the basket. I am not particularly familiar with the rustic style, but I feel that at this price point the least the manufacturer could have done was shake the basket out a little before issuing it for sale. In addition, one of the twigs was split pretty badly - I have applied wood glue and a clamp, and it seems to be holding up, but, again, I feel there are quality control issues with the basket. In retrospect, I definitely wish I had selected the pewter wire basket instead. (Mostly, I wish they still sold the set in the wire mesh basket.)

The bocce set itself is quite lovely. The balls are a decent size and weight to throw (about which I had been concerned prior to purchasing the set), but being 100% wool they are soft and do not damage the furniture. This last is quite important for us, as we have an enthusiastic 8-year-old boy in the house. Being felted, the balls are slightly fuzzy, but I far prefer this to the other type of indoor bocce with stitched balls whose seams always seem to split after a few games.

My family loves playing bocce at a local restaurant. Being able to have a version of the game for home use, especially for those long winter evenings, is definitely worth it for us.

Satin Ice Gum Paste - 2 lb
Satin Ice Gum Paste - 2 lb
Offered by Foley's Fine Foods
Price: $16.50
9 used & new from $8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly easy to use, February 12, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Satin Ice Gum Paste - 2 lb (Misc.)
I have never used gum paste or fondant before, but my son really wanted a LEGO cake this year, so I bought the 2 lb container along with gel dye to try and fashion minifigures. I used the LEGO popsicle mold as a starting base to create Ninjago figures for cake toppers. The gum paste was extremely easy to use - the heat from my hands made it pliable (I did not experience problems with dryness as did some reviewers). Even though the popsicle mold was rigid, I found that as long as I dusted it with corn starch, it was easy to remove the gum paste and the gum paste held detail very well. My son loved the figures, although he hated the taste - which was fine with me, as I didn't want him eating all of that sugar anyway! I thought the flavor was fine - like a gummy marshmallow.

Spy Gear Long Range Walkie Talkies
Spy Gear Long Range Walkie Talkies
Offered by Modern Everyday
Price: $31.60
17 used & new from $25.00

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ours Have Been Durable, November 6, 2012
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:1.0 out of 5 stars 
My son received these as a birthday gift from a friend. Honestly, I wasn't going to leave a review, but I was so surprised to read the ones here (while researching other Spy Gear toys). My son has had his set for almost a year, and they are working just fine. Granted, he doesn't play with them every day, but they have been used, tossed in the toy bin, dropped, etc. No problems so far.

Batman Justice Unbalanced - PC/Mac
Batman Justice Unbalanced - PC/Mac
Offered by Bargain Buyers Software
Price: $17.95
17 used & new from $1.00

5.0 out of 5 stars No Bug in Our Copy, August 16, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I delayed buying this for my son for several months, due to the Scales of Justice bug. However, he loved the Batman Toxic Chill game and kept begging for a copy of this one, so I finally ended up risking it. I don't know if the company came out with a patched version later or if the bug only affects one difficulty level (there are three and he played the medium and hard levels), but he had no problem at all finishing the game. Buyer be warned, though - because this is an older game, it will probably not work on new computer systems. I just happen to have a 10-year-old Toshiba notebook in the house, and it works fine on that (along with Zoombinis, Reader Rabbit, the Learning Company Scooby Doo games - all great educational games for kids, IMO). Read the game specifications carefully before buying.

Links: Inspired Bead and Wire Jewelry Creations
Links: Inspired Bead and Wire Jewelry Creations
by Jean Yates
Edition: Paperback
Price: $20.21
95 used & new from $0.63

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Design Book of Grace, Style and Wit, September 17, 2008
I have to be frank - I bought this book, because I like Jean Yates' style. As someone who reads beading magazines, I see her work everywhere - and her designs are always polished and eye-catching. At the same time, you can tell that they are well-thought out and eminently wearable. The designs in this book are no different (which didn't surprise me at all).

I _was_ pleasantly surprised, however, to see what a wonderful showcase the book is for the breadth of her work - from whimsical, to romantic, to ethnic, even to a little sly, these pieces cover the full spectrum of creativity. Because I have very eclectic tastes, I really love the variety, and I find inspiration in all of them. (I also find inspiration in the stories she tells about each piece - Jean is a born storyteller.) My favorite pieces in the book are the ones with a bit of humor in them. The first is the perfect tea-time charm bracelet made of brightly-colored lampworked teacups finished with a toggle clasp in the shape of a teapot and spoon. The other favorite is a classic chain maille bracelet finished with a witty twist - a "naughty" sterling word charm and a padlock-style clasp.

As far as the book's layout and organization are concerned, the pieces are well-photographed, the instructions are well-written and the supporting project photos are plentiful and extremely clear. I've been wanting to try chain maille for some time (which, alas, remains on my "list of things to do" for the moment). There are a number of lovely chain maille projects in this book of different degrees of complexity, including one example of a Japanese chain maille pattern that I find very attractive. Again, the description and photos of the arrangement of rings, and the process of building the chain are very clear.

In short, I think this book is a keeper and is one I will be returning to time and again. I highly recommend it.

Picture Yourself Creating Metal Clay Jewelry
Picture Yourself Creating Metal Clay Jewelry
by Tammy Powley
Edition: Paperback
Price: $22.49
34 used & new from $13.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All you need to get started working with metal clay, August 14, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I wish I had had this book when I started working with metal clay. The author is a very good teacher. The sections from start-up to completed projects are very clearly written, providing a huge amount of information on pretty much every aspect of getting started in this medium. If you are thinking of trying out metal clay, or have already started but have questions about working with the clay, this book will be a terrific investment for you.

I was particularly impressed with the amount of time the author devotes to tools and set-up. I have not seen this level of detail in any other metal clay book, and I have read quite a few of them. Much of what I have had to learn over time is set out here.

The projects themselves are all suitable for the beginner, while at the same time providing instructions to create attractive pieces. My favorite is probably "Star Attraction", a charm bracelet with plenty of simple, light-hearted star charms. This is a five-finger exercise in working with metal clay, a project that will allow a beginner to practice basic skills and get a feel for working with the clay and some of the tools (here, the star-shaped punch, for example). At the same time, the design of the bracelet is solid - a cute summery piece of jewelry that I would certainly be happy to wear out.

For the sake of full disclosure, I need to say that I do have two necklaces in the Gallery section of this book (as well as a photo of my messy garage, where my kiln is located). However, I had no information on the actual projects or chapters in the book prior to buying my copy from Amazon. I have been incredibly pleased with its high quality. I consider it a valuable addition to my craft library, and I know I will be referring to it and recommending it for years to come.

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