Neopixel Shelf

In these days of video calling in place of any other social contact, I’ve seen a lot of excellent video backgrounds. Perhaps I’m old-fashioned but I went the traditional route, and set up my computer close to a wall (so you can’t see the mess in the room) and added a nice pinboard behind me. I looked a bit flat against the wall though, so I did what anyone else would do … and built a handmade wooden shelf with neopixels in it!

webcam's eye view, showing radiator, shelf with blue lights, and pinboard above
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Sewing Machine Cover

I don’t blog about craft projects all that often, if you have this post in your feed and didn’t want it, then try my “tech” feed specifically rather than all of the blog posts (recommended as I will be blogging a few non-tech things in the coming months). Anyway, I love to make things, code or otherwise, and since I’m not travelling a lot at the moment, I have time to make things AND to write about them. Today: my new sewing machine cover!

New Sewing Machine Cover

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Making a Play Kitchen

This Christmas, a little girl in my life receives a play kitchen of her very own, handbuilt just for her. It was a fun project and I thought I’d share it (and the pictures, of course!).

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Fabric Bags

This weekend I decided it would be good to spend some time away from the computer, but the weather wasn’t really good enough to get out and do much, so I needed a “rainy day” project. I remembered that I’d signed up for a free introductory Craftsy class a few weeks ago, so I logged in to take a look at what was involved. Continue reading

Christmas Kitchen

It’s Christmas and we’re at home this year, which means I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen! This post combines Christmas planning thoughts, a craft project, and some recipes we enjoyed this year – and delivers a surprise to anyone subscribed to the main blog feed expecting only technical content. Continue reading

New Netbook Feet

I have a small netbook that I use for events, which I’ve had for a few years and keep upgrading with various bits and pieces. This year, all the little rubber feet had dropped off so if you put it on a surface, it kind of slid around, which was annoying. It occurred to me that I’d bought some sugru at Maker Faire this year, so I broke it out and made new feet for my netbook (and a little keyboard where the same thing had happened)

Sugru Feet for Netbook

Sugru is like slightly toxic plasticene when you first get it out of the box, but it sets like strong rubber. In fact it was perfect for this, the finished feet feel securely attached and they’re slightly squishy so they absorb the shock of me typing or the issues of a slightly uneven surface. Perfect!

Blanket for Reuben

Some very good friends of ours recently had their first child, a son named Reuben, and this is the blanket I made for him:


It’s a very traditional granny square crochet blanket, I love these because I can take a ball of wool and a hook with me to anywhere and just make another square or two when nothing else is happening, but I never have to carry around the full project until I’m assembling it right at the end. The border is one round of trebles and another of double crochet – as simple as anything!

Two-Strand Crochet Ripple

If you’re reading my main blog feed, this post may take you by surprise – however at one time I enjoyed crafting and blogged about it often. Recently I’ve been finding more time for this, helped by the inspiring news of pregnant friends, so hopefully this is the first in a resurgence of craft-related articles. There are category-specific feeds if you’d rather only read the tech and/or php content.

So, I crocheted a blanket for my friend’s baby (welcome, Benjamin!)

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Big Bed Cushions

This week I finally got around to making the big cushions for our bed. We do have some but they were cheap and are now old – and I reallocated Kevin’s onto my office chair about a year ago. Since we do often read or use the laptops in bed, cushions would be a good thing to have, but I just didn’t have the time to make them! Work was less crazy in February and I found I had the mental space to think of these things, so I bought two big fluffy cushions, and dug out the fabric I had left from making the curtains so that the cushions would match, and here they are:

New Bed Cushions

The cushions were 66cm so I cut two rectangles that were (66cm plus seam allowance) wide and ((2.5 * 66cm) plus seam allowance) long. Then I hemmed across the short sides (this was really fraying fabric, I should have overstitched everything before I started but I was too impatient!). They are simple envelope-backed cushions so I lay them on the floor with the right side up, folded the long sides at 33cm and then 99cm, basically you have a short end folded up and then the long end folded over that, with the seams showing. Then you sew up the sides and when you turn it the right way out – the short bit of the envelope is on the outside.

Dead simple but they match the curtains and they are lovely and soft – the fabric is plain sheeting too so nice and comfortable even in bed!