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Ruth Henriquez Lyon RSS Feed (Duluth, Minnesota USA)

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Harness lace
Harness lace
by Ulla Nass
Edition: Unknown Binding
4 used & new from $19.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars difficult but has good information., October 8, 2007
This review is from: Harness lace
This book is a must if you want to learn to weave complex leno weaves/Tarascan lace without having to hand-pick every lace shed. The author first gives instructions for weaving simple one-over-one and two-over-two leno on either a frame loom or a floor loom. She then goes on to describe complex harness lace on both types of loom.

The complex lace weaves are, to my mind, much more beautiful, and, well, more complex than simple one-over-one or two-over-two leno. These complex weaves are also know as 3-thread leno, fancy gauze, peruvian gauze or tarascan lace. In this weave every warp thread interlaces alternately to the left and then to the right with another warp thread. You end up with warps and wefts that curve slightly, giving the cloth a sense of having "transcended the grid." They come off the loom slightly stretchy, almost like a knitted piece.

Her instructions include methods for making holes in different patterns such as triangles and diamonds, plus other patterned interlacements. You can also combine these with the simple leno patterns as well, thus making a visually varied woven structure.

The best photo of a sample is on the cover: it is a beautiful shawl woven with a number of the complex techniques, and looks almost as breathtaking as one of the ancient Peruvian gauzes. Within the book there are clear photos of loom set-up procedures, pick-up methods whilst weaving, and a few woven samples.

The book is something of a headache to figure out though. Not because she didn't do a good job of writing out her instructions. Indeed, she did the best anyone could do. It's just that it's really a technique that is better taught in person. Nevertheless, I managed to figure it out and weave an item similar to the shawl on the cover, simply by taking it slowly and reading the set-up instructions over and over again (once a day for several days). Finally it "clicked" and made sense.

The book is only 44 pages long, and the current price seems a bit much. But if you compare it to taking a workshop, I suppose it is comparable. It will certainly stimulate the formation of new neuronal patterns in your brain to undertake to learn on your own from the book. Your synapses will be firing right and left as you try to comprehend spacial concepts that are very different from any other harness controlled weaves!
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Photographing Fairies [VHS]
Photographing Fairies [VHS]
Offered by Jessie Books
Price: $32.95
11 used & new from $15.79

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The clash between alternate and consensus worldviews., September 24, 2007
"Photographing Fairies" is a haunting, sad, and sometimes terrifying story about society's oppression of alternate belief systems. The main character, Charles Castle (Toby Stephens), is a British World War I veteran who undergoes a personal tragedy at the start of the film. His loss throws him into a bitter resistance to life. Believing that existence has no meaning, he glumly earns a living as a photographer in London, and takes little pleasure in his business or his art. But then, a woman brings him a photograph she has taken of her daughter communing with a fairy. He suspects a hoax, and assumes she has somehow altered the picture. But an epiphany is in store for him. After he stays up an entire night struggling, without success, to figure out how the photograph has been faked, he instead finds proof that the photograph is indeed an accurate depiction of a fairy. He is forced to admit that there may indeed be more to life than meets the eye.

Immediately heading out to the rural area where the woman and her daughters live, he dedicates himself to exploring the mystery contained in the photograph. Although the woman dies in an accident soon after his arrival, he stays on and tries to wrest the secret of the fairies from her daughters. Meanwhile he must contend with her rigid, authoritarian husband (Ben Kingsley), an Anglican priest who despises everything the belief in fairies represents. The struggle between the two men becomes a struggle between two social viewpoints--a close-minded, mean-spirited Christianity which spurns any sort of mystery which cannot be explained by its dogma, and the quest for knowledge by seekers for whom the conventional answers no longer work. The film also builds tension between the idea of the meaningless, clockwork universe and the notion of a living, ensouled world. There are stunning visual effects, with exquisite hovering fairies pulling the viewer into Castle's alluring alternate reality. Meanwhile, the film's interpersonal and social conflicts intensify in measured steps, ultimately exploding in a violent act of destruction.

Perhaps what is most compelling about the story, however, is the development of Charles Castle's character from a bitter materialist into a man who trusts his perceptions in the face of intense social pressure to conform. There is a fascinating ambiguity towards the end of the film, as we see, on the one hand, Castle veering into what many might call madness. On the other hand we must also question the sanity of a society which so blindly adheres to ignorance of realities beyond our narrow, everyday vision. We are left with the feeling that perhaps his choices are the only sane ones he is able to make given the culture he is forced to live in. And his courage in facing the unknown is thrown into high relief against the backdrop of his peers' craven clinging to a socially sanctioned worldview. This is a beautiful, tense, illuminating and emotionally violent film. It should raise questions for--and inspire--anyone who has been ridiculed or criticized for having a vision that goes against, or beyond, that of the herd.

Art of Drawing: The Complete Course
Art of Drawing: The Complete Course
by David Sanmiguel
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.16
88 used & new from $3.72

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a fine art approach to drawing, September 5, 2007
The author wrote this book for students who want to go beyond competent realistic rendering. Although he provides a large amount of instruction on technical matters--such as working with different drawing media, value, composition, proportion, color, and perspective--you will not learn precise academic draughtsmanship in these pages. You will, however, get a feel for drawing as a means of inner expression.

The author provides many helpful exercises in each section, with both written and visual instructions. However, I think I have learned the most through looking at the drawing examples which are on every page of this book. They are not signed, and I assume they are all the work of the author, as they are all in a similar style. I've seen other art instruction books in which all the examples were the work of the author-- with disastrous results due to poor workmanship or crude aesthetic standards. But these drawings are beautiful. Some are barely developed--mere scratchings really--and yet they show how much information a few marks can make. Others are more fully realized works. All of them are in a style that combines spontaneity and solidity.

The book was originally published in Spain, and many of the landscape sketches and drawings reflect the architecture and terrain of that country. Drawing buildings has always been a weak point for me, but I've learned a lot from looking at the way this teacher composes building scapes combining loose marks and solid lines. He has a wonderful line quality, and he uses all sorts of smaller marks for textural effects. There are quite a few drawings where there seems to be no negative space, since even the spaces between the main subjects are activited with energetic marks.

This book does not try to address drawing from a modernist or postmodernist viewpoint--it teaches a style that anyone can "read" and make sense of. Its value lies in the combining of disciplined practice with a loose approach to mark making. Anyone who has learned the skills in this book can easily move on to more contemporary types of expression.

Landscaping with Native Plants of Minnesota
Landscaping with Native Plants of Minnesota
by Lynn M. Steiner
Edition: Paperback
43 used & new from $0.19

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on Minnesota native plants, June 23, 2007
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This is about the most user-friendly garden book I've ever owned. In the first third of the book Ms. Steiner teaches the how's and why's of native plants, and how to distinguish them from invasive, weedy introduced plants. She shows how to make your gardens wildlife-friendly, drought and disease resistant, and beautiful, describing planting strategies for all sorts of environments (sunny, dry, marshy, woodland, water gardens, etc.) She covers everything about plant cultivation--from weed control, pruning, staking, dividing plants, pests and much more. She also covers garden design, and the photographs of plant combinations are inspiring. One chapter, entitled "A Gallery of Gardens," has many examples of beautifully designed native plantings.

The last two-thirds of the book is an encyclopedia of sorts, divided into Flowers and Groundcovers, Grasses and Sedges, Ferns, Deciduous Trees, Deciduous Shrubs and Small Trees, Conifers, and Vines. She describes in depth many different cultivars of each plant under these headings, how to care for it, what other plants to plant with it, and what its prime landscape use is. This portion of the book is invaluable for planning your gardens, and is great for bringing along on your trips to the nursery.

This book is packed with so much information on both the science and the art of gardening with native plants. If you think that gardening with natives results in a dull, rather colorless garden, this book should change your mind and get you excited about working with the plants nature has so abundantly provided us with.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 6, 2011 9:12 AM PDT

The Astute Speculator
The Astute Speculator
by Eric L. Prentis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $42.30
27 used & new from $35.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A disciplined approach to short-term trading., June 10, 2007
This review is from: The Astute Speculator (Hardcover)
The Astute Speculator is a practical guide for investors wanting to improve their short-term trading skills. Eric Prentis makes no promises of exorbitant riches here. Rather, he presents a comprehensive, methodical plan to improve success for those that follow it. The book covers essential but oft neglected rules for money management which protects capital from losing trades. Even if fewer than half of trades are profitable, good money management protects the pricipal from significant loss. Dr. Prentis shows how to calculate risk prior to triggering a trade, and the use of protective stops after trades are executed.

A companion to The Astute Investor, his first book, The Astute Speculator expands on the subjects of short selling (a method for profiting from a falling market), industry sector analysis, momentum speculating, and fundamental and technical analysis.

The Astute Speculator is clearly written, well organized, and includes a comprehensive financial glossary. If I had read and practiced the methods recommended when I was starting to trade stocks, I would have saved myself from many bad trades. I highly recommend this book for beginning and intermediate-level investors interested in increasing their chances of making successful trades.

Review written by Jeffrey Lyon.

Girl with a Pearl Earring
Girl with a Pearl Earring
DVD ~ Scarlett Johansson
Offered by Sparks DVD Sales
Price: $8.26
126 used & new from $0.02

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Light emerging from darkness., May 20, 2007
This review is from: Girl with a Pearl Earring (DVD)
In this movie a young woman, Griet, is forced to leave home and find employment as a maid. She finds herself in the home of the painter Vermeer and his family. The setting is 17th century Holland, and the historically authentic sets and brilliant photography relentlessly drive home to the viewer the physical harshness of life in that time. Even people of means must contend with cold and damp, filth, cramped living spaces, and a myriad other sources of physical discomfort.

But the film also explores the emotional suffering of the time through its portrayal of Vermeer's family. We see very little kindness in this family, and plenty of resentment, grief, rage, sadness, and downright meanness. Griet comes from a family which is very poor but which seems to have real affection for her. Settling in with her employers, she must learn to navigate the shoals of the bitterness which surround her. Indeed, the Vermeer family seems to be representative of an age when the currency of power dominated human relationships in a much more obvious and raw fashion than we see today. The world outside Griet's family is one of darkness; grasping, cruelty, and ignorance are accepted modes of behavior.

But Griet does not become overwhelmed by this darkness. Instead, she discovers the paintings of Vermeer. Soon, her mind begins to open up to greater possibilities, and a new sort of consciousness seems to take hold in her. As the movie progresses, she becomes caught up in the growth of her interior vision so much so that the destructive energies of the household cannot distract her from this growth. In this way, she is an embodiment of the paintings themselves, which are very much about light appearing in the midst of darkness, and the power of illumination emerging from physical limitation. The photography mirrors this theme, with shots that are lit in the same manner as Vermeer's paintings. Thus the development of Griet's character, the photography, Vermeer's art, and the dynamics of the family conflict all weave together to create one overriding image: light emerging from darkness.

This movie moves slowly. We watch a young woman's enlightenment taking place against a backdrop of rising tension and hatred which are intensified by her presence. But it is the quality of her spirit more than her physical beauty which causes much of the tension within the family. Johansson convincingly portrays a woman who embodies a luminous, interior beauty-- and it is this that thoroughly captivates the artist Vermeer. A beautiful and awe inspiring film.

Canon BCI-6M Magenta Ink Tank
Canon BCI-6M Magenta Ink Tank
Offered by 2swellguys
Price: Click here to see our price
108 used & new from $1.73

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars be careful of which magenta you buy, October 12, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This, like all Canon products I've come across is superb. Be careful though, to get the correct Magenta ink for your printer. I mistakenly bought the BCI-6PM (photo magenta) instead of this ink because I wanted to use it to print photos with my Canon MP780. I ended up with every color print coming out with a greenish orange pall. I spent hours trying to figure what was wrong (Photoshop color space, ICC profile, Printer drivers etc.). Simply substituting the magenta cartridge for the photo magenta cartridge instantly solved my problem.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 9, 2009 3:22 PM PDT

What the Bleep Do We Know!?
What the Bleep Do We Know!?
DVD ~ Marlee Matlin
Offered by The Squirrel with the Dragon Tattoo
Price: $23.90
63 used & new from $4.33

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking and slightly annoying., June 21, 2006
This review is from: What the Bleep Do We Know!? (DVD)
"What the Bleep" looks at quantum mechanics and how it might relate to the human mind. It's interesting that, in each era we've passed through since Newton, theories of mind tend to mirror whatever happens to be the scientific theory of the day. Thus in the age of the steam engine we had Freud's theory of repressed unconscious energy building up pressure and being released through dreams and slips of the tongue. In the cyber age we've used computers as metaphors for how the mind works.

In the same vein, we are now beginning to look at the mind in terms of quantum physics. This does not negate the previous metaphors, but rather builds on them. According to the scientists on "What the Bleep," the quantum world is not determined, but rather potential. That is, nothing is really set in stone until an observer observes it. Thus we, as observers, have a huge effect on the reality around us via our attitudes and thoughts. Rather than being helpless victims being acted on by an insensate world, we live in an interconnected, conscious universe in which thoughts, emotions, and information send out ripples which affect the universe.

The film contains short bits of discourse from various scientists and thinkers interspersed with a story of sorts that is put in there, I suppose, to illustrate the points made by the experts. I found many of the scientific explanations for laymen to be clear and very interesting, but the film also had some problems.

The story centers around a deaf woman who seems to be an extremely self-absorbed "H.S.P.," that is, a "Highly Sensitive Person." Everything she bumps up against seems to affect her in the way that salt affects a slug. I found this distracting and rather overdone. Also, the uneven sound quality makes it so you have to crank up the volume for the discourse and turn it down for the music.

In addition, the speakers are not credited until the end. I was at times unable to figure out whether a speaker was a scientist or someone in the spirituality field with an interest in science. A lot of time was given to the ideas of JZ Knight, who, it seemed to me, had a lot of opinions based on, well, her opinions. If she had data or experience to back them up we did not hear about that.

But the main question I have after viewing "What the Bleep" has to do with whether or not the quantum level of physics can practically interact with the Newtonian level of physics, which is the level we live at every day. According to quantum physics, most of everything is empty space. I accept that. But I still cannot walk through a wall, because I inhabit a Newtonian world--albeit one which emerges out of a quantum foundation.

Now if, indeed, there is research showing that all the mystical, magical aspects of the quantum level can indeed reach up through the Newtonian level and render reality more fluid than we generally regard it to be, that's great. I want to see it, and I wish the film would have presented it. But until I do see it, I wonder if trying to merge quantum and Newtonian modes of experience isn't sort of like mixing metaphors.

The Astute Investor
The Astute Investor
by Eric L. Prentis
Edition: Hardcover
29 used & new from $0.06

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to build investment success., October 10, 2005
This review is from: The Astute Investor (Hardcover)
Eric Prentis has written The Astute Investor for people who want to take responsibility for their own investment success. To be astute in any field requires hard work, study, and reflection. The book contains no magic bullets or supposedly sure -fire techniques. Rather, it presents a good introduction to the most important investing topics. Moreover, it also contains much advice on how to discipline one's mind and emotions in order to make wise financial decisions, as well as a thorough section on retirement planning.

Prentis offers three sorts of information in this book. The first sort, what I call "preparing the ground," explains the context in which stock and bond market movements occur. For instance, he explains how the federal government controls the monetary supply, how to understand economic indicators, how the business cycle works, and how interest rates affect the business cycle, among many other fundamental topics. Investing without understanding these topics cannot be more than a hit or miss enterprise. Reading through this material might be daunting for beginners, but the author explains it clearly and as painlessly as possible.

The second type of information has to do with how to buy stocks and bonds once you understand the context of the market-you could consider this the "techniques" portion of the book. Prentis is very much a fundamentalist-that is, he presents several methods of choosing companies to invest in based on studying their financial health, future possibilities, and style of management. However, he doesn't neglect technical analsis, and explains some elementary chart reading techniques, including a good basic discussion of candlesticks. He also discusses how to integrate chart reading with fundamental analysis.

Aside from fundamental and technical analysis, an important part of Prentis' strategy entails placing a large portion of one's portfolio in the S&P 500 Index, and he has some very persuasive arguments to support this. For bonds, he describes the types of bonds, their risks, and at what point in the business cycle bonds are most profitable to buy.

The third type of information involves trading psychology as well as the qualities of mind necessary to carry out investing in a rational manner. He emphasizes that good investors tend to be lifelong learners. He also devotes an entire chapter to the contrarian mindset-that is, thinking for oneself and avoiding the herd mentality. This is important material, as the best investors are independent-minded people who learn to manage their emotions and to work out their own way of understanding the markets.

The Astute Investor is an excellent guide for both beginning and more advanced investors. The information on economics and investing techniques is thorough and provides a solid foundation for further study. Learning to invest is a lifelong journey-there is always more to learn about the markets and about oneself. This is a great book to carry along on that journey.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 7, 2010 11:37 AM PST

Ranches: Design Ideas for Renovating, Remodeling, and Buil (Updating Classic America)
Ranches: Design Ideas for Renovating, Remodeling, and Buil (Updating Classic America)
by Louis Wasserman
Edition: Hardcover
56 used & new from $6.29

58 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, informative, inspiring., May 2, 2005
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
After having lived for years in a boring, utilitarian ranch home, I had no idea that a ranch house could be as elegant as the homes in this book. Even though the authors present some very high-end renovations, with some imagination many of the basic ideas can be translated into more economical ways of updating your home.

The first thing you notice when flipping through the book is the sheer number and beauty of the color photographs. There is a color photo on just about every page. When there's not, then there is a diagram, such as "Fireplace Options," which shows you several ways to design an updated fireplace. Other diagrams show "before and after" floor plans, and a plan showing the early roots of the original ranch homes. Thus, it's not just pretty pictures presented here--there's a lot of nuts and bolts information.

The authors start off with a history of the ranch style, since it helps when updating to keep within the original concepts that the style evolved with. I learned that the current ranch design was originally popularized by designer Cliff May in California. But May drew inspiration from the traditional ranchos of the southwest. These ranchos in turn had evolved over the millenia from the atrium houses of the Romans. These ancient houses were "closed off" from the streets, whilst providing a private outdoor space for family living, the same as many ranches today.

The authors discuss how in ranch houses form follows function. For instance, typical ranch houses have been built with large windows to allow for passive solar heating--thus these were the some of the first energy efficient houses. Also, there were often more large windows and glass doors in the back of the house than the front. This is because ranches were built for privacy on the street side, with openness to the back yard in order to integrate indoor and outdoor living. Thus in ranches, windows are designed with energy use, privacy, and enjoyment of nature in mind. When remodeling an older ranch this information can be valuable in improving the look and functioning of the house.

The ranch home doesn't have to be boring and ugly. As the authors state, many ranch neighborhoods are becoming attractive to buyers again. That's because they have shady trees, and attractive back yards with an abundance of natural beauty which can be enjoyed from the house. The ranch design was built with adding on and remodeling in mind, so removing walls or tinkering with floor plans is often easier than with other styles of houses. This lovely book shows you how, and will inspire you to dream of ways to do it in a more modest fashion if your budget requires economizing.

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