Site Review: Ribblr

I just found this site: Ribblr recently, and I’m hooked!

It’s a lot like Ravelry in that you can buy and sell patterns, but it’s so much more! I made a couple of free patterns, and I really love how interactive the patterns are.

  1. Journaling – each pattern allows you to keep a journal related to that pattern. You can share the journal with the public as well. I used it to keep notes on what yarn and hook I used, how long it took me to make the pattern and what I thought of the whole experience.
  2. Marking – each pattern allows you to mark off which line you’ve done in the pattern so you always know where you are and where you stopped if you take a break

The site is divided by level of experience or you could just view the entire library of patterns. It’s also searchable by free and paid patterns and by designer.

You can have a creator account as well as a designer account so you can access both if you like. I’m more of a creator, but I know a lot of people who both create and design so that feature is nice to have.

I strongly suggest everyone check them out, even if you don’t create yourself, you might know someone who does and can buy them a lovely pattern they don’t have.

If you check this site out, please let me know. I’d love to hear what others think of the site!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Samuel Richardson

This man is the unacclaimed father of the novel. He lived from 1689 to 1761 in England. His most famous work is Pamela, and he was part of the “Cult of Sensibility” whereas his work was full of emotion and theatrics of that nature.

Both Pamela(written in 1740) and his later work, Clarissa(written between 1747 and 1748), were written in letter form, and this is known as the “epistolary novel”

Pamela is often said to be the first English novel though the term is applied a bit loosely since other works in novel form had been produced before this work. It’s better to say Pamela made novels and novel reading very popular as it attracted many readers of all social strata and encouraged other writers to follow suit.

Richardson and the “Cult of Sensibility” certainly influenced writers such as Jane Austen who detested the way Richardson wrote and created her own bodies of work as a critique and spurning of Sensibility. She certainly didn’t want her readers to believe all women were hysterical and all men hypochondriacs as society viewed people who showed too much emotion.

Personally, I think emotional theatrics should depend on the type of character you’ve created. If they’re the emotional sort then, by all means, let the emotions pour out. It’s only natural and realistic they should faint, or wail at the smallest thing. If they’re stoic, then they should be stoic and endure whatever situation they’re in as much as humanly possible – as long as it’s realistic.

What do you think about Mr. Richardson and his “Cult of Sensibility”? Reading either Pamela or Clarissa will assist you in learning what I mean about Sensibility, but I’d say read Pamela since it’s the shorter of the two.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

YouTube Tuesday: Creative Mom

Diana is the wonderful creative behind this channel, and she does some absolutely amazing stuff!! She makes houses(seriously cute ones!) not just out of cardboard but also out of bottles! I am so happy Ara over at Bentley House Minis mentioned her on one of her videos because I’m enjoying watching the videos Diana has made of her creations! Here is one she did of a house made from bottles!

How adorbs is that!!! I am in awe of people with her kind of talent! If you like this video, do what I did, hit the Like Button and the Subscribe Button as well – you’ll want to I’m sure!! Also, drop a comment so she knows what you actually think of her work – I did!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Bio Agriculture Economy

We’ve talked about the Forest Based Economy and the Blue or Ocean Based Economy so now, we should talk about the Bio Agriculture or Bio-Based Economy.

What is Bio Agriculture aka Bio-Based Economy

In simplest terms, this is an economy based on agriculture and its by products such as field waste from harvesting. By recycling waste material and using non-prime land for growing inedible grasses for biofuel production, this enables locals to produce more for selling as well as personal use.

How is Bio Agriculture Different From Agriculture.

Agriculture is a term for growing food. This means everything from an herb garden to an orchard. Anything non-meat and non-dairy you can harvest falls under Agriculture. Modern Agriculture uses a lot of chemicals to get rid of pests and increase yields. This is all well and good for the pocket of the grower, not so good for the health of the consumer. Also, Modern Agriculture doesn’t use their plant waste, they just plow it under in an effort to add to their soil.

Bio Agriculture is not a new concept or term. It’s actually been around since the 1930s, and Henry Ford even made car bodies out of soybeans for a while. It has gained in popularity as a healthy, holistic way of growing food on a large scale. Homesteaders have practiced Bio Agriculture for a very long time as they want healthy food for their families. Bio Agriculture uses no chemicals – everything is natural when it comes to pest control and enriching the soil. In addition, planting methods involving crop rotation and disc plowing are employed. Unlike Modern Agriculture, Bio Agriculture encourages the use of plant waste to make other things.

Benefits of Bio Agriculture

  1. Healthier food – the absence of chemicals on any kind makes what ever is grown for consumption healthier, Use of natural pesticides and companion planting negates the need for chemicals for pest control. Use of natural selection when growing enables the production of larger yields.
  2. Liquid-fuel production – this includes bio-diesel and ethanol based fuels.
  3. Markets Beyond the Traditional – in addition to food and feed, Bio Agriculture has seen a rise in the desire for items made from natural plants. These include bamboo sheets and hemp clothes.
  4. Cleaner Environment – no chemicals means no polluted water table and no poisoned animals. In addition, the processes for creating products from plants is almost completely carbon free. Also, no chemicals means cleaner soil, and holistic farming practices such as crop rotation and disc plowing create healthier soil.

Public Policy Regarding Bio Agriculture

In the 1980s, The New Uses Council and the Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops were formed. In 1992, The Alternative Agriculture Research and Commercialization(AARC)Center was created and later, in 1996, The Alternative Agriculture Research and Commercialization Corporation was founded. These entities provided funding for a lot of corporations commercializing products from their bio-based research and development. These products range from furniture to clothing to plant-based lubricants – even pharmaceuticals.

In 1998, the Council of the NABC(Netherlands-African Business Council) released a paper called Vision Statement for Agricultural Research and Development in the 21st Century and in 2000, they released another paper called The Bio-Based Economy of the Twenty-First Century: Agriculture Expanding into Health, Energy, Chemicals and Materials(Eaglesham et al. 2000).

In 2000, The National Research Council published a report, Bio-based Industrial Products: Priorities for Research and Commercialization, and this gave it Bio Agriculture legitimate scientific backing.

Public Views of Bio Agriculture

Personally, I doubt a lot of people know what Bio Agriculture is, but I am quite certain most know what it does for them. It provides them with luxury items such as bamboo sheets, quality clothing made from hemp and even sustainable building materials for their homes. More and more people are demanding plant based products as opposed to plastic and metal. If they can recycle it, even better!

Conclusion

It’s my humble opinion that a Bio Agriculture Economy shouldn’t be the only economy present in any given area, much less country. It has its limits and its drawbacks as far as money making is concerned. In my last discussion regarding sustainable economic models, I’ll discuss the Circular Economy.

I strongly recommend doing research on all the economic models I’ve discussed to find out more about each one. My articles are not exhaustive or definitive in any way. They are merely a way to open up a discussion about these models.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Free Crochet Pattern: Country Charm Blanket

This pattern is on my list of bookmarked patterns at #6. It’s from All Free Crochet Afghan Patterns. I’m beginning to like motif blankets as long as they’re connect as you go. I have a thing about not liking to go back and weave in a ton of ends. Still, this one is made a bit differently so when I can, I’m going to make it.

The pattern is:

Country Charm Crochet Blanket

If you make this blanket, feel free to post pictures, I’d love to see what you make!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Book Review: The Blackstone Chronicles by John Saul

Published in 1997 by Random House Publishing Group. this is the complete six part series based on the fictional city of Blackstone as imagine by John Saul. This is a horror series so be warned.

While Stephen King is my favorite horror writer, I like John Saul as well. He slowly builds up the horror using things like dolls and handkerchiefs to scare the pants off the reader. This use of the mundane is very like King and thus, helps to sell the scare.

While I like the plots, and the stories in general, his writing style is awkward reading for me. He mixes action in with his dialogue, often burying dialogue in a short action scene. I find this makes the flow jerk a bit, but that’s just me.

So, here are the short stories in this series, all in one convenient book:

Part 1 An Eye For an Eye: The Doll

This is pretty self explanatory – it’s about a cursed doll. It’s a lot like Annabell, and it’s a girl doll. While not quite original, the way the characters react to the doll as well as the actions of the doll itself make this story unique and quite creepy.

Part 2 Twist of Fate: The Locket

This is a heart shaped locket like one used to give to daughters and girl friends. It opens, and you could put something inside like a picture or a lock of hair. The one in the story has a lock of hair in it. I won’t spoil the story for you, but it made me rethink wearing any type of jewelry for a while.

Part 3 Ashes to Ashes: The Dragon’s Flame

This one is about a lighter that was shaped like a dragon’s head. The story is a bit gruesome so fair warning!

Part 4 In the Shadow of Evil: The Handkerchief

This is another one that’s self explanatory. I can’t say much more without spoiling the story.

Part 5 Day of Reckoning: The Stereoscope

A stereoscope is like a ViewMaster but much, much older. It uses two pictures of the same scene only slightly different which, when you look at them together through the scope, makes the picture look 3D. It came to being about 1830-40,and it was made to be a toy, to amuse people – like the ViewMaster. In the story however, it’s not that amusing.

Part 6 Asylum

This is where all the things in the other stories had come from, where their evil had been born. This asylum was back in the 1940s or therebouts, and it wasn’t the nicest place in the world to be committed to. I can’t say much else, but I’m sure you’ve seen enough horror movies about asylums to know how this series is going to culminate and end.

I recommend you read this book. I enjoyed it myself, but not everyone likes the same things I do. If you do read the book, let me know. I’d like to talk to someone about it.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Points of View: What and When

Everyone who has taken an English class has heard of Points of View in Literature. There are so many articles out there written about POV, I don’t really feel the need to write yet another one. This said, I will do a quick overview to refresh your memory.

What is POV

Point of View(POV) is a literary device used mainly in fiction writing. It’s used to help draw the reader into the story. There are three main POVs:

  1. 1st Person – Narrator’s Perspective “I”
  2. 2nd Person – Your Perspective – “you”
  3. 3rd Person – Someone Else’s Perspective – “he/she”

The above is a very simplistic definition. In my humble opinion, the best definition and examples can be found at Lit Charts.

When Should They Be Used

Now that you know what the different POVs are, you can decide which one(s) to use when. It all depends on the story you’re writing and what impact you want it to have on your reader.

A great many famous authors have used 1st Person POV to great effect, some of these being

  1. Samuel Clemens(Mark Twain) – Huckleberry Finn
  2. Herman Melville – Moby Dick
  3. F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby

This POV allows the reader to follow a great deal of action from the role of an observer, but they won’t be able to tell what the actors in the story are feeling/thinking unless it’s through the use of dialogue. Still, this POV has proven to make the above stories memorable to the reader.

2nd Person POV allows the reader to become the main character through the use of “you” as well as writing as if you, the reader, are seeing/hearing etc. what is going on. Some of the famous authors who used this are:

  1. Nathaniel Hawthorne – The Haunted Mind
  2. William Faulkner – Absalom, Absalom!
  3. Leo Tolstoy – Sevastopol Sketches

To me, this perspective brings the action closer, you can experience the story on a more personal level, especially when you can see what the main character is thinking and feeling without the use of dialogue. Horror stories are scarier, to me, when written in this POV.

3rd Person POV is the one a lot of writers use, and the following famous writers wrote some truly memorable stories using this literary device:

  1. J.M. Barrie – Peter Pan
  2. William Golding – Lord of the Flies
  3. Louisa May Alcott – Little Women

Of course, there are times when two or more POVs are used, and they can enrich the experience of the story being read. Some authors who have used multiple POVs are:

  1. Stephanie Oakes – The Arsonist
  2. Marie Lu – The Young Elites
  3. Morgan Rhodes – Falling Kingdoms

If done right and with a great deal of focus, the use of multiple POVs can make your book a best seller or a flop.

It just takes a bit of thought to decide what POV(s) your story needs and then, you need to be consistent. Constantly changing POVs without clear direction to the reader can leave them confused and exhausted. This means your story won’t get finished, the reader may not even go beyond the first chapter! Even with multiple POVs, you must be clear what’s going on.

I hope this was an interesting read for you this week.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

YouTube Tuesday: Bentley House Minis

Ara is the creative spirit behind this channel, and she’s Amazing!! She makes lots of stuff, and I couldn’t decide on just one video so, I am linking to a playlist. This playlist is about a dollhouse in 1:12 scale that is made out of cardboard! Ara also made furniture for the dollhouse out of cardboard, and she was nice enough to share all of the blueprints and patterns for this project.

I am definitely going to try something like this when I’m done with my book end project!

Be sure to Subscribe to Ara’s channel as well as Like/Dislike and comment!! Feedback is always welcome, good or bad!

Personally, I think you’ll like her channel. She’s easy to listen to, explains things very well and goes slow when she’s demonstrating so following along is a breeze.

Don’t take my word for it, go check her out!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Update May 2021

I have several things to update you on. 🙂

MSAL

That image is of April’s square on the Mystery Sampler Stitch-Along I’m working on. I think it came out pretty interesting looking. I already have the pattern for May’s square, and I’ll be working on it tomorrow.

Personal Stuff

I’m taking classes from Shaw Academy in Bookkeeping and a mini MBA in Business. I am nearly done with the second of four modules. The classes are about 30 minutes each, and they put a lot of information into those time periods. I am really enjoying them.

I’m also taking Personal Development classes over on Skill Success. They are mostly beginner level courses, but I’m still learning a lot from the classes I’ve taken so far. I’ve taken several different time management courses as well as memory and productivity classes.

I took those courses because I really need help being more productive and use my time better. I need to hustle and make every day, every hour, count in order to reach my goals, and those classes have helped me figure out how to do that.

I visited with my gentleman friend as well this past weekend. I had fun, and we didn’t really do much. Just getting away and spending time talking and being together was enough for me. We were hog hunting at night, basically watching the feeder and waiting to see if they showed up. He has a scope on his rifle that links to his phone so I could watch what the scope was seeing too. It was actually pretty entertaining – like watching a black and white horror movie. 🙂 We didn’t see any pigs, but we did get to watch some deer and raccoons.

Book Ends

I am making a pair of LOTR inspired bookends. My son came up with the ideas for them. They are going to be small dioramas of two scenes in the LOTR sage. One is going to be the table where the hobbits sat in the Prancing Pony when they meet Strider. The other will be the white tree where Aragorn and Arwen got married. They will be done in 1/24 scale, and I’ve already begun work on the Prancing Pony bookend. I am taking it slow so I get them done as nicely as I can.

Writing

I’ve begun the long task of putting my second draft of Golden Knave on the computer. I do several drafts in long hand and then, I put it all on the computer. With my back the way it is, I can’t sit in from of the computer for too long before I have to get up and move around. This means taking breaks and staying focused when I get back from the breaks. Actually, my neck has begun to bother me as my condition worsens with age. Still, the story is getting closer to being published.

I am still working on getting cover art for The Inbetween, my supernatural thriller. Any suggestions on an artist to work with would be greatly appreciated.

That’s about it for this month, I’ll have more to talk about next month I’m sure.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!