To be a bit cliché, this shoemaker is a professional Web Developer and her child is this blog, but it was past time to launch what I have of a new design. All the content is still here, everything else is a work in progress (kind of like most of my sewing projects)!
Eight years ago, after realizing I’d been going through a computer bag/backpack a year, I made my first “spend money on quality” purchase—a Timbuk2 bag that I picked up at their retail shop while working and living in the Bay Area for the summer. I had hoped to get a few good years out of it; I did not expect to still find it just as integral to my life now as it was in college—nor still in almost perfect shape (albeit a bit dingy).
The one regret I’ve always had is that I bought a plain messenger bag rather than one with a laptop sleeve. I had a neoprene sleeve for the laptop I bought that same summer, but for some reason always found it awkward to use. Then, I was abusive to the laptop that replaced that one and never bothered with a sleeve.
Knowing that my new laptop deserves better, I scoured local shops and websites for a replacement bag, but couldn’t find anything I like better than my bag. So, I decided to retrofit my trusty friend.
I bought a piece of .5″ tall foam (kismet—there was a scrap of the perfect size sitting forlornly in the foam-by-yard section), some elastic, and Velcro, and combined them with minky scraps and a stashed fat-quarter.
I improvised the construction without a lot of forethought, so there are choices I’d have made differently a second time around—mainly securing the top flap and side elastic in the seams instead of hand-stitching them on later, and completely changing how the bottom is constructed.
It’s secured to the bag interior with a huge strip of Velcro, and allows the laptop to slide in and out easily without having to fiddle with a zipper. Best of all, it’s perfectly fitted to the laptop.
We’ll see if the bag and insert make it to laptop number four in a few years!
I’ve mentioned before that when I do digital mockups of my quilts or play with designs before quilting, I do so in Adobe Illustrator. I have nothing against EQ or any other quilt software, it’s just that I don’t actually have that software; I do have Illustrator (albeit an older version from when I was in college).
I’ve been using Illustrator for just shy of a decade, so it is absolutely shameful that I didn’t know how to draw a quarter-circle until a few months ago. So, for anyone else in that boat (I know some of you use Illustrator too), I posted a quick tutorial on it over at my Web dev blog on rachaelarnold.com. (Once upon a time I had a grand ideas of having a few different blogs. I even updated them all. These days, I pretty much stick to this one here, but on rare occasions I update the one on Web development, too.)
To my knowledge1, my content has never been stolen and posted with attribution to someone else. However, a Twitter friend recently retweeted a message from another crafty blogger who found her tutorial and photos copied in their entirety on a blog full of egregious violations of copyright.
Luckily, thanks to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA), US bloggers have a clear recourse to having their stolen content removed. Unluckily, DMCA claims can be made only by the copyright holder2 and relies on the copyright holder knowing that their content has been stolen. Bloggers in other countries may have some recourse as well (such as the EU’s EUCD), but you’ll need to research your own laws.