Knitting machines, owlie bags and Nokia themes.

First, I'd like to apologise to anyone whose comment has been deleted - I've had some fun with spam recently but the new field in the comment section seems to have sorted that out now, so comment away! :)

A few years ago I picked up a bag at a jumble sale. It was a garish green and pink monstrosity that clashed with every item of clothing in the known universe, but I'm pretty sure I've used that bag more than any other I own. Colours notwithstanding, it is the perfect size and shape for me - a messenger bag small enough not to get in the way, but large enough to fit books and my little netbook inside, with cute elasticated pockets at the side which are the perfect size for a phone or a pot of bubble mixture. Folks, I love that bag more than I will ever love a woman, but the damn thing's falling apart. The fabric is disintegrating like so many broken dreams. What's a crafter to do in that situation? Why, make a new one, of course!

So here's my prototype version of The Comfy Bag. I made a rough pattern by tracing around the original (which I can't bear to disassemble) and put it together with pillowcase fabric, then lugged it around Sheffield for a week by way of product testing. It needs some tweaking, and I need to learn how to use a sewing machine properly, but I think I'm well on the way to resurrecting and (dare I say it?) improving my old favourite.

More stuff, my new knitting machine and some web design on the inside... Continue reading Knitting machines, owlie bags and Nokia themes.


Pinboards, teacosies and anatomically-correct romace.

Most of what I've been doing recently has been web design, something which I really enjoy since it bridges the geeky/creative divide so nicely. My webcomic, Teacosies With Irony has been rather neglected in recent years, and will continue to be so for a bit, while I concentrate on other projects, but I've been meaning to make a nice, simple archive website to showcase it (because oh, I am proud). And this was REALLY fun from the geeky perspective because look what happens when you press the arrow keys on your keyboard!! I am so impressed by that, I may melt. Also it took me AGES.

The other thing was a website for my best mate's dad, for his company Meridian Training Solutions. It's not quite finished as I write this, but I really like what I've done with it. I think it'll look very good on my portfolio if I ever get around to making a portfolio. Oh, and if you need a financial services trainer, well, you know where to go.

Speaking of geeky, just look what I have done to my poor unfortunate laptop. Let me explain, the keyboard, battery and hinge have been broken on this machine for some time, but I've just been using it for music and video, no problems there. Then the backlight on the screen broke. Ah. Well, I could have bought a new backlight and fixed the problem, or something sensible like that, but instead I thought it would be more fun (and it WAS), to disassemble the poor thing. Turns out LCD screens are really cool - look how pretty it is when I hold it up to the window! So I have plans, involving building a new case for the machine that I can leave on my windowsill during the day so the screen is lit with sunlight, then sit in front of a lamp at night time. Practical? No. Awesome? I think you know the answer.

For Valentine's day this year I decided to take what I consider to be an admirably anatomically-correct attitude towards romance*. You may notice the background of this card is a William Morris print - I found a bunch of  patterned notecards in a charity shop a while ago, isn't it pretty? This particular one is called "Strawberry Thief". I think the additional artwork uses Tippex rather pleasantly.

One last example, from the surprisingly fun craft of Stapling Fabric To Things is my new pinboard. I needed some way of displaying postcards from friends, nice photos and other pretty things that wouldn't have me scraping blue-tack off the walls in the distant future. Pretty, no?

More from me soon, keep your eyes peeled.

*Uh, although of course in reality the circulatory system has little to do with human affection, as far as I'm aware.


Lady Ada Lovelace and some haikus.

The first and most important thing I'd like to talk about in this post is Ada Lovelace Day. It's an international day of blogging about women who work in technology, on Tuesday 24th March. I'll be taking part. Will you?

I've got some decent ideas for my post, although since I don't technically work in the field (I'm more of an amateur geek) I might go and interview some ladies in the know. It appeals to my feminist tendencies and my fascination with steampunk. Oh, blogging is fun.

Oh, and check out this bit of Ada-craftiness.

I went up to Sheffield for the weekend, had some wonderful fun, took a tiny number of photographs. Brilliant not to have exams in January, not least because it makes me insufferably smug. I am enjoying, in Tom Lehrer's words, my copious free time. And my non-free time, my job is still going well. Although I have to say that now, my bosses have Googled me. Hello, Jeremy and Mary, if you're reading this.

Most of my creative activity recently has been sending cards and writing letters to friends, a very pleasant diversion. Sending things through the post is fun, mainly because recieving post is fun, and the one tends to lead to the other.

Soon this blog will actually have some kind of style and/or layout. No, really.

Check out my Haiku Review page, a way of keeping track of the books I've read this year, with brief, 17-syllable synopses. So far I like it. And need to read some more books.