I May Have Gone a Little Overboard with Phones

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I did post a little bit about one of my retro handsets for cell phones before, but it appears my collection has grown.  Since they were so affordable, I wanted to try out a few to see which I liked best.  My collection now includes the original Echo Logic one on the left, the mini Bubble Pop phone in the middle and the really cool looking Sodial brand antique style one on the right.  I will say that as far as how they work – they all work great but do have some minor differences that I’ll point out below.  Each one is just simply plugged into your phone’s 3.5mm headphone jack or into your computer for internet calls.    This keeps your radiation exposure lower since you aren’t holding the actual cell phone to your head, as well as allows you to use your smart phone at the same time to do other tasks.  All three worked great on both my android phone and Igor’s iPhone.  And the receivers can stay plugged in to the phone because if you get a call, you will still hear the ring.



Starting with the Sodial antique style handset, I have to say it is very comfortable in the hand and it’s shape allows for excellent sound and hearing for the person on the other end of your call since the mouthpiece is curved and aimed right at your mouth.  However, because of its shape, this one does not allow you to cradle it between your shoulder and ear.  Mine is working wonderfully but I do notice the coiled cord is not as thick as the Echo Logic one so wonder if it will last as long.

The mini Bubble Pop handset also worked great and fits in my purse!  Because it is smaller than a full-sized handset, the earpiece does not cover your entire ear and is a bit less comfortable – I had to find the right angle to hold it at to keep it comfortable while using it.  Also, there is a volume control button but I have just kept it at the highest setting and never adjusted it.  There is also a button for picking up and ending a call. And again, since this is a smaller phone, the coiled wire is also much thinner than the Echo Logic one so although it is working great, I’m being very careful with it when putting it in or taking it out of my purse.

The Echo Logic handset is my favorite.  The feel is just like the phones of yesteryear, it is easy to cradle between shoulder and ear, and it has a button for picking up or ending a call.  The cord on this phone is pretty heavy duty and much more like the phones of yesteryear as well.  In fact some of the reviewers purchased this handset for elderly relatives who were having a hard time holding cell phones to their ears and hearing well.  I love all my fun new handsets but this is the one for me when I’m home on a long convo with a friend or relative!

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Phoney Fun

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I adore gadgets that make life easier.  It could have easily become a problem when I first started cooking from scratch because there are innumerable kitchen gadgets I might have found enticing.  However, I had to draw the line somewhere.  Kitchen storage space is not infinite, after all.  So I decided long ago that when I purchase a gadget it has to not only be cute and useful but has to perform a function that something else can’t.  For instance, I really found that an egg slicer was sort of a waste of space for me when I could do the same job with a knife.  And that gave me more room for my spiral slicer which makes wonderful raw veggie spaghetti from zucchini like nothing else I own can.


My latest purchase has me as giddy as a schoolgirl though and it has to be one of the most affordable things I’ve bought for the amount of joy it is giving me.  I just have to tell you about it.  You see, I’ve always been concerned about the radiation emitted from smart phones, and even more now that Igor and I have decided to give up our landline to save on monthly bills.  There are a couple of family members who I do tend to have long conversations with.  The thought of holding an uncomfortable smart phone up to my head, having it get all hot on me, and then having to worry about accidentally disconnecting the call with my big cheeks, had me thinking of ways to deal with it.  So I bought a blue tooth headset which sat in my ear and worked really well.  But I actually lost it after only a few months.  Those darned things are so small that they are easy to misplace and lose when you aren’t home.  I finally bought another one but when I called an out of state campground to try and make reservations with it, the sound kept dropping and the person on the other end couldn’t hear me!  I finally had to have Igor call from his phone without using a blue tooth device to get the job done.

Finally, I thought that maybe I should look into some type of headset like the old call centers used – it would sit on my head like a headband with a microphone and leave me hands-free.  So I did some online window shopping and I found something I loved the look of even better:

It’s an Echo Logic Retro Handset that plugs into your smart phone’s headphone jack.  At first, I just laughed.  How totally cute and retro!  Then I read the reviews and was very intrigued.  Many mentioned the comfort and nostalgia of using such a handset, how they didn’t have to worry about accidentally hanging up on someone with their face, and how well they could hear and be heard, as well as being able to cradle it on their shoulder just like with the old phones they were designed to resemble.  While it didn’t leave you completely hands-free, it DID allow you to use other apps on your smart phone while using it since you didn’t have to be holding the phone up to your head.  You could actually be looking at your phone and doing things on it at the same time.  All this, PLUS reducing the radiation you were exposing to your head made me decide it was worth a try for a purchase under $10 (and with free shipping because Igor is an Amazon Prime member).

I received the handset yesterday.  I am in love.  It is super comfortable, a bit lighter than the original handsets would have been, but perfectly shaped, features a sturdy cord with a decent length, and I can hear the phone ring through the speakers even when I leave the handset plugged into the headphone jack.  I had to call a few people right away and I felt like a teenager on the phone with her besties!  It was so much fun!  I talked to my niece and was able to look things up on the internet at the same time as we were talking, and I was able to type notes for some crochet ideas I had as well.  I seriously did not want to stop using it.  Normally I can’t wait to get off the phone when I’m using the cell phone so this is a big thing for me.  It’s one of those things that you just want to buy one for everyone you know.  Igor sort of laughed at me when he saw what I’d bought.  But after he tried it out and I seriously told him that I thought it was one of the best purchases I’d ever made at that price, he seemed impressed as well.

I’m definitely going to order some of these as gifts for friends and family.  But I have to run now.  Call me!  🙂

P.S. For a funny story about what happened when I first got my smart phone plus a free pattern, see The Phoney Drip post.



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The Story of the Phoney Drip


One day, I was home alone on a cloudy, rainy day and every so often I would hear a loud single drip. Now, I panicked because we live in New England and had already had an issue with ice dams in the 1st floor bedroom (which is now my craft room). It would only happen every so often and so I’d keep listening to hear it and try and find where it was coming from.

Finally, I was pretty sure I had narrowed it down to the living room.

So I stayed in the living room, keeping still and quiet, and listening to try to narrow it down more and more. I checked every discolored spot on the ceiling, standing on a stool to touch it to make sure it wasn’t wet. I needed to find it to put a bucket under it to catch the drips.

Well, I couldn’t locate it for sure – so I finally felt defeated and called hubby at work. I felt terrible telling him that we had another leak somewhere and that i couldn’t find it because of all the work he had already done in the craft room.

And I knew it was the last thing he needed to hear while at work and thinking of other problems to solve. Poor Igor.

After hanging up with him, I still listened and tried to figure it out. Finally – a lightbulb went off in my head.

I had just gotten a new phone and had made the default tone a little drip sound so it wouldn’t be annoying or distracting if we were out. And it was sitting on the coffee table in the living room! It had been my darn phone the whole time, making the drip noise whenever i got a Facebook notification!!!!!!


Was I ever happy to call Igor back at work and tell him I’d solved the mystery and that he had nothing to worry about. Hahaha!

P.S. Boy that drip sure sounded a lot louder when in the house alone though.

If you have a funny story due to a strange sound on your phone, please feel free to share in comments.

If you would like to make your own little drip, follow the instructions below.

Phoney Drip


This pattern is my property and is not to be copied or reposted. It should remain free and finished objects made from it may be sold. Credit should be given to me as the designer.  Links to the original pattern location are appreciated.

Copyright 2014 Author: Tina Le Page – Mad Crochet Lab, All rights reserved

This pattern uses U.S. crochet terms and is worked in the round.  Place a stitch marker at the end of each round and move it with the completion of each round to hold your place.

Skills Needed to Make this Experiment:

Working in Round, Chain (CH), Single Crochet (SC), Increase (INC), Invisible Decrease (INV DEC), Work in Back Loop Only (BLO)


F Size Hook (3.75mm), Pair of Safety Eyes in Desired Size, Blue Worsted Weight Yarn, Polyester Fiberfill, Stitch Marker, Tapestry Needle


Starting at top,

1. CH 2, 3 SC in 2nd CH from hook = 3

2. INC, SC in each of last 2 SC = 4

3. INC, SC in each of last 3 SC = 5

4. INC, SC in each of last 4 SC = 6

5. *SC in next, INC in next, repeat from * around = 9

6. SC in next 3, INC in next 3, SC in last 3 = 12

7. SC in next 4, INC in next 4, SC in last 4 = 16

8. INC in next 4, SC in last 12 = 20

9-10. Work even = 20

11. *SC 4, INC, repeat from * around = 24

12. *SC 2, INV DEC, repeat from * around = 18, place safety eyes now

13. *SC 1, INV DEC, repeat from * around = 12, stuff firmly

14. SC around in BLO = 12 – skip this round if you want a round bottom such as for hanging from a mobile.  Otherwise this round gives you a flatter bottom so the drip can stand up without rolling away.

15. INV DEC all the way around = 6.  Finish off.  Thread yarn tail into tapestry needle and weave through the outer loops of each stitch around, pulling tight to gather.  Knot and hide tail inside body.



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