Monthly Archives: March 2013

Book Review: “The Best of Sewing with Nancy” by Nancy Zieman

best_of_sewing_with_nancyThe Best of Sewing With Nancy is almost like a continuation of Nancy Zieman’s book, 10, 20, 30 Minutes to Sew I reviewed recently. It follows the same format of illustrated, step-by-step instructions for completing a variety of sewing tasks. I got my copy from Alibris for $1, along with 10, 20, 30 Minutes to Sew.

This book rounds up the most popular topics from the first decade or so of the Sewing with Nancy series on PBS. Each chapter reads like a small book on its topic, and covers content presented in several episodes of the TV series. With some expansion, each chapter could indeed have been a standalone book. Continue reading

The Telescope Caddy: Part 2

Welcome to my project-in-progress.  Last time, we discussed the project concept and the overall plan for the telescope caddy.  In this segment, we start putting the plan into action.

The Pattern

To create an overall pattern for the caddy, I taped artists tracing paper (the same stuff I use to trace patterns) to the side of the telescope.  Using a graphite sketch crayon from the art store, I traced an impression of the outer edge of the telescope’s base. Then I cut it to size with rotary cutter and scissors. (You can click or tap on the photos for a larger view).

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The Telescope Caddy: Part 1

Now that I have a specialized notebook for my astronomical observing, the next thing to tackle is a way to keep tools and accessories organized while at the telescope.

The most important accessories are the telescope’s eyepieces, which are interchangeable like the lenses on a high-end camera.  Like camera lenses, each offers different magnification, zoom and field of view.  And they’re a pain to keep organized in pitch darkness; each one is about the size of a hand grenade and can cost several hundred dollars. The last thing you want is for one to fall on the ground and hit cement or dirt.

The Telescope

There’s several types of telescopes; my preferred type is called a “Dobsonian” after its creator, John Dobson. It somewhat resembles a cannon on a pedestal. Compared to other types of telescopes, it is drop-dead simple to use and the optics are powerful enough to show even faint galaxies. Fully assembled, it is taller than I am; it breaks down and nests for easy transport to and from an observing site.

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The Ultimate Observing Sketchbook: Part 3

In the previous post in this series, we selected our ugly denim fabric, and stitched the frame that will hold the tablet computer inside the sketchbook.  In this post, we’ll complete the sketchbook cover and take it for a test drive.

Outside Cover

I started work on the outside first.  I drew some chalk lines to delineate the back, front and spine.

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The Ultimate Observing Sketchbook: Part 2

In our previous post in this series, I explained the inspiration and design of the observing sketchbook and provided some concept sketches. This time we actually start making the sketchbook.

I started with 1/2 yard of  hot strawberry pink bull denim I got from the Red Tag shelf at Jo-Ann Fabrics.  I waited until the 50% off Red Tag sale before I pounced on an entire bolt of this stuff.  I serged it on the edges and ran it through the washer before cutting.

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