August 11, 2012

Life Savers

No, not the round hard candy with a hole in the center. Literal life savers in the form of two new tools in my arsenal. Melodramatic? Perhaps. If not actual life savers, they certainly are time, frustration, and strain savers.

Life saver #1:
OttLite, where have you been all my life?

OttLite offers full spectrum lighting which mimics natural daylight with low glare. This is very exciting.
Why am I so excited? I’ve worn glasses since the age of seven. I am EXTREMELY nearsighted. I recently resorted to bifocals, hoping to be able to once again focus on small details when sewing, knitting, crafting, etc. The bifocals made no difference. They’re more annoying than anything else. At the risk of sounding like a commercial, the OttLite has done for my vision what bifocals cannot.

A couple words about why I hadn’t purchased an OttLite before now.


The floor lamps retail between $100 and $270. (I got a desk lamp and a floor lamp online from JoAnn, current sale price $80 for both lamps with bulbs included. And I had a coupon for flat rate shipping at $2.95.)


Reviews of OttLite are a mixed bag. Most users love the clarity of the light or, I suppose, the calrity of vision provided by the light. However it works, the light makes it easier to see clearly. BUT, there are many complaints about craftsmanship. For the price, I’d expect these to be made better than a cheepo lamp from a big box store. Not so. The lamps I purchaed have very heavy bases to prevent tipping, but the reviews of the crafter’s floor lamps invariably complain of flimsy bases and frequent tipping. The switches on both my lamps feel like they're about to break off in my hand and do not work smoothly. I will probably install an inline switch on each cord (is that what it is called when you cut the cord and wire in a switch?) to circumvent the flimsy switches. And the bulb socket or the shade on one of the lamps is crooked. The bulb almost comes in contact with the shade.

Without OttLite
With OttLite

Life saver #2:
Humble needle threader, who knew you were so handy?

For my gift tags punched from pages of damaged, de-accessioned library books, I attach a string for hanging purposes. I punch a 1/16 inch hole in the gift tag and then try to thread a doubled-up length of crochet cotton through the hole. This is akin to trying to stick a banana in your ear. It just doesn’t fit. Unless you have a needle threader at your disposal. Look how easy:
Combine the needle threader method with the OttLite – oh my gosh, I can actually SEE what I am doing, what a strange and wonderful concept – and I am excited beyond belief. Ah, life’s simple pleasures brought to you by the proper tool and the proper light.
Some tags made from the animal behavior section of the encyclopedia.

(PS Please excuse any typos or weirdness in fomatting. My internet connection is down so I am posting at the library. They do not have Macs. I am at a disadvantage, especially since I can't mumble and grumble out loud.)

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