craftiness, Inspirations

Bear with me…

Apple 85W MagSafe Power Adapter for 15- and 17...

Apple 85W MagSafe Power Adapter for 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pro (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Minor home tragedy has occurred…my Macbook’s charger got its positive and negative pins crossed, yesterday (ahem, while I won’t mention any names, I’d like to point out that it was the Mr. Handy Man of the house who re-wired the plug…because he said I’d gotten them mixed up and had wired it wrong. Hah!), made an awful sizzling noise, and gave off the acrid fumes of deep fried circuit boards…all in the one second before I could run to unplug the thing.

So. No charger until I order a new one. Mine was modified to plug into a automobile’s cigarette lighter socket and charge straight from a 12-volt DC battery—without using an energy inefficient inverter—by the effing geniuses at MCT, Inc.seriously, I owe these guys, big time, for the technology I enjoy whilst living on a boat out in the harbor…these are my real heroes, not the pikers at Apple)

That’s nearly 200 smackeroos…thank you very much, Apple, for being such a bunch of snobs and designing the oh-so-exclusive, nobody-else-is-allowed-to-manufacture, fits-with-nothing-else-on-the-planet Magsafe Adapter.

In the meantime, the Macbook battery that they said lasted 8 hours, lasts 4, if you’re lucky. If I wanted to blog or check e-mail and RSS posts, I’d have to row ashore everyday, cycle into town, and plug my laptop into the power grid at the library or something. Weh. I’d much rather stay home and go into seriously intense creative mode. Things are going to be a bit quiet around here until my new charger arrives from the U.S. Sorry ’bout that.

In the meantime, go and check out Catherine Frere-Smith’s little embroidered bird softies, which have me in a paroxysm of love and envy at the moment. She was going to be my next über embroiderer, but it can’t wait till my power struggles are resolved…you really should go and have a look at this fresh blog post now.

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embroidery and textiles, stuff i've made

Nutmeg The Wren

It’s slow going, but I am enjoying the challenge and all the different aspects of softie designing. Like wire feet. What a pain in the butt it is to design tiny posable bird feet that also look convincing and are structurally sound!

Still just a prototype, but this one I am not going to cut apart with scissors and a scalpel, like I did the other two. Pretty happy with the pattern shapes, at this point, so I am keeping this one., and took the time to try an embroidery pattern out (Gah! embarrassing closeup! what terrible stitching along those seams…too much in a hurry!) on his back.

I’ve also given him a name: Nutmeg.

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embroidery and textiles, stuff i've made

sewing : : Reinventing the wheel

I spent this entire day designing a little bird softie from scratch. While it’s true that there are quite a lot of patterns for bird softies, plushies, stuffies, and more on the internet, I couldn’t quite find the one I wanted. Besides, there are copyright issues, patterns that you aren’t allowed to sell the finished products from, and so on and on. So I set out to design my very own pattern. I wanted a small bird…delicate and mouse-like, something that could make a nest in a dainty teacup. I wanted a wren, with their short bodies and long tails sticking straight up in the air like flags.

Probably a good thing that I have never designed a pattern for a 3D object, before…I had no idea what I was getting into. Compound curves like crazy! My back hurts from sitting hunched over this little guy for such a long time.

These are the prototypes…a felt one, above (he has a plastic spoon handle for a tail), and a bare-essentials flannel one, below.

Happy with the work, so far, and proud that he’s a homegrown softie—based on nothing more than an Australian bird identification guide—and not a mutant of craft book and internet patterns. Mine, he’s mine…and I am in love with the little fella, all ready. :)

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