Friday, February 20, 2009

YouTube - Okay, so everyone knows about YouTube - music videos, news clips, etc... but I have found it to be great educational tool for myself.  I have referenced it for a wide range of need-to-know topics: making homemade fondant for my sister's wedding cake (much tastier and cheaper than the store-bought stuff), filleting fish, planting vegetables and herbs, making rag rugs, cutting little boy's hair, making sour dough starters, sewing curtains and the list goes on.  

Freecycle - This is one of the coolest things that I have been introduced to lately.  Maybe this just shows how long I've been outside of the western world and how out-dated I am, but I'd like to think this might be new to other people as well. Basically, Freecycle is an online group you join where people offer items they are no longer using and it is free for the taking if you can pick it up.  I like this on so many levels.  I can get rid of things I've enjoyed to homes that will use them, I can receive free things that might cost a lot of money otherwise, and it is environmental because all that stuff doesn't just go in the trash.  There are networks all over the world, so sign up and find out what is being given away in your neighborhood.

Librivox - This one I'm borrowing from my cousin's blog.  She introduced me to this great source for free audiobooks.  All the books are in the public domain, so you won't find any new releases, but they have a good selection of classic books and poetry.

Blurb - This is a personal favorite of mine.  (The program is free, but of course you have to pay for the printing.)  While the idea of scrap-booking is appealing as a creative past time, I can neither afford all the supplies nor do I care to have to pull out and put away all those bits of paper and cute little doo-dads that people use.  There are definitely some people who do it well, and I admire them, but for me I have found digital scrap-booking to work best.  There are many programs out there that allow you to upload your pictures and create a book.  Blurb offers a free download of their program and the cost of printing is better than many I've seen.  They are constantly updating and improving their service as well. I wonder if it doesn't save you money in the end because you don't have to keep developing your pictures as you go along. Because I married a Mac user, I have benefitted from being able to use Apple programs to create my own pages and uploading them to the Blurb books rather than being confined to their lay-out options.  I've made three books so far and my hope is to make one for the first year of each child I have.  Hop over to their website at check out some of the amazing books people have created.

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