Laptop sleeve/tote pattern finished – finally!

27 06 2009

I FINALLY finished writing up the pattern for the laptop sleeve/tote bag I’ve made for me and for my friends Char and Sue.

Example instructions

Example instructions

The pattern is for sale from my Etsy store here: (as is the laptop made for the pics in that pattern:

The surprising thing about writing up this pattern was how hard it was! The initial writing was easy, but then I had to test it to make sure it was correct.At that point I realised how many assumptions I had made about the audience’s knowledge, so it was back to the drawing board. Like the presentations I’ve done using code, a pattern has to be absolutely correct — no missing or assumed steps. It was much harder than I expectedand took much longer than I thought it would — and I’m a technical writer who does this sort of stuff for a living!

Fabric selector, by colour

24 06 2009

Someone on the Etsy forums posted a link to this amazing site:

You click on a colour strip, then get taken to a page of fabric swatches from various fabric sellers on Etsy. Click on the swatch and go direct to that seller’s page. Nice!

Step 1: Click a color strip

Step 1: Click a color strip

Step 2: Click a swatch

Step 2: Click a swatch

Step 3: View the fabric for sale from the Etsy seller

Step 3: View the fabric for sale from the Etsy seller

A meal and a half

24 06 2009

A few weeks ago, the state newspaper had some pictures of a snake eating a large goanna (lizard). Well, I’ve since had a whole heap of pictures of this event emailed to me!

It seems the pictures were taken in the Pilbara region of Western Australia by one of the crew at Cloudbreak (a mine). The information I got with the pictures was that it took 5 hours for the snake to finish off the goanna. And to avoid the snake being run over during its meal, they put some signage and tape up!

Another item added to an Etsy Treasury

20 06 2009

Wow! Another TWO fabric pieces from my Etsy store got added to an Etsy Treasury — one green, one blue. Thanks, DownHomeDiva and BlueHeronQuilts!

Etsy Treasury

Etsy Treasury


Italian Tomato Garden

19 06 2009

Flora shared this joke with me, so I’m happy to share it with you!

An old Italian lived alone in New Jersey. He wanted to plant his annual tomato garden, but it was very difficult work as the ground was hard.

His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament:

Dear Vincent

I am feeling pretty sad, because it looks like I won’t be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I’m just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. I know if you were here my troubles would be over.. I know you would be happy to dig the plot for me, like in the old days.

Love, Papa

A few days later he received a letter from his son.

Dear Pop,

Don’t dig up that garden. That’s where the bodies are buried.

Love, Vinnie

At 4 a.m. the next day, FBI agents and local police arrived and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies.

They apologized to the old man and left. That same day the old man received another letter from his son.

Dear Pop,

Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That’s the best I could do under the circumstances.

Love you, Vinnie

Added storage to sewing room

17 06 2009

I had a rush of blood to the head a few weeks back (always a dangerous thing!). My fabric and all my crafting stuff has been stacked in big tubs on the floor in the tiny spare bedroom I use for sewing and quilting, and which we use for storing wine, books, pantry items and the like. Then I realised that there was quite a bit of air space I could use… and remembered that we had an old pine shelving unit in storage.

So, on Sunday we got it from the storage unit and put it up on top of an old library catalogue cabinet where my husband stores his archive of music cassette tapes (!). I then spent an hour or so stacking it with my stuff and now I have more floor space which makes the room look less crowded!

Quilting can prevent memory loss!

16 06 2009

Charlene Kingston from Crow Information Design used Twitter to let me know about this New York Times article on preventing memory loss as we age. The article starts off featuring a guy called Bob:

At the age of 78, Bob Branham, a retired computer software developer in Dallas, Tex., took up quilting. It wasn’t his idea, actually. He’d never dreamed of piecing together his own Amish diamond coverlet or rummaging around Jo-Ann Fabrics in search of calico prints. But then he enrolled in a trial sponsored by the National Institute on Aging to assess whether learning a new skill can help preserve cognitive function in old age. By random assignment, he landed in the quilting group.

Read the rest of the article…