Monday, December 15, 2008

Book recommendation, Sea of Poppies

I am most of the way through a new book, Sea of Poppies, by Amitav Ghosh, and I thought I would like to recommend it. The book starts in Baltimore, 1838, where a young man, son of freed slaves, takes a chance and signs on to the Ibis, a former slave ship, headed to India, purchased to take part in the China opium trade. Before heading to China, the ship is to revert to it's former purpose and transport Indian indentured workers or coolies to Mauritius to work on plantations.

With a fantastic range of characters and an intricate story line this book transports you to the sounds, smells and motion of 1838 Calcutta. British gentlemen, upper caste Rajas, Laskar sailors, religious Indian fanatics, indentured Indian coolies fleeing vengeful families all help fill the story with details of the times and make it hard to put the book down.

The book is a little kite related as one of the main characters, Raja Neel Rattan Halder, is a kite flyer, flying fighter kites from the roof of his family home with his son. So I added the book to my book store at .

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Kite Books

It is getting near Christmas and time is running out for that perfect present for the kite lover in your family. You can check out the kite books in my Amazon Associate store at Kite Store Purchases made through this link will help me keep my website up and running. There are some very nice books there.

Speaking of Christmas presents, I have had to shift my focus at work and learn how to run an engraving machine. LL Bean's new stainless steel water bottle is very popular right now and, where there is usually only one person engraving, part time, they had to add 3 more people to keep up with demand. I have done hundreds this week already and I am just a rookie. I did mess up several already, who knew McNeill had 2 ls? Or oops, that was supposed to be in block letters. So look for my goof ups in your local LL Bean factory store. If your name is Tiffany and you like block letters go for it.

I am one step closer to my sewing room, the small room is almost ready to move into. Then I will be able to move the closets and lastly set up the sewing room. I am hoping that I can be sewing by January 1.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sewing room for kites

Winter is not when most people are thinking about kites but most of my kiting friends think about kites year round. I am in the process of converting one of our bedrooms into a sewing room for kite making. My wife's idea and a good one I must admit. Lots of work though. Big pain in the a.. But it will be great once it is done. We have been using the dining room table for sewing and, since we don't have an eat-in kitchen, we can't leave a project set up on the table. We have a small house, a two story Craftsman cottage built in 1910 and the bedrooms are not large so I won't have one of those huge tables other kitemakers make out of several full sheets of plywood. I will make small kites.

We will be making small kites next month at a kite making workshop my friend and fellow kite maker Tony O and I are hosting. It is kind of Kitemaking 101, the basics of kite making and our participants will sew a small diamond kite with an appliqued design on it. We will cover the basics of fabric cutting, sewing and framing using ripstop nylon and a wood dowel frame.

Last month I set up an Amazon Associate Store on my website, The store is full of most of the kites that are available through Amazon and I don't think I added any that I would not mind owning myself. Lots of stunt kites from Prism Kites and I don't mind recommending any of their kites. I don't expect to make much money but, when I am flying kites, many people ask where they can get nice kites like I have. This store will be a simple place for them to go and the kites in the store are kites that I can recommend.