I’ve been a busy little bee

While babysitting Friday night, I got most of my homework done (except for a troublesome paper and a short presentation, the latter of which I finished on Sunday), so I had all Saturday and a chunk of Sunday (and Monday night too!) to… do anything but homework. It was lovely.

I’ve been working on making myself a new bag, since my last one died long before it should have and I just couldn’t justify shelling out $75 again for something that would just fall apart. It has taken quite a lot of time to get this far, in part because it took a while to figure out which pieces to cut out of which fabrics, and in part because after everything got cut out, I had to spend almost 2 hours ironing the fusible fleece or fusible interfacing to fabric. Important steps, but time-consuming. Plus, the general construction is a lot of work (and a bit confusing).

But, I’m pleased to report that Saturday I finished the laptop case.

New netbook case

Aside from some errors that I haven’t figured out how to correct (involving the zipper), the only change I made was to alter this so that it would fit my very tiny netbook instead of the 15″ laptop it was designed for. Also, I made a mistake when putting on the zipper and accidentally put it on the opposite end, so what is now the front was supposed to be the back, and vice versa. Oh well. I will end up re-making this so that it fits better (it’s still too big) and will get the fabrics in the right places. Also, that stripe of Katie Jump Rope (the orange checks) between the two Aviary prints will be replaced with a ribbon, or at least a better print. Overall, I am quite pleased with this project and would definitely make it again.

And after a lot more time sewing, last night things finally came together so that I had something that actually started to look like a bag.

Progress on messenger bag

There’s still no lining, and I need to go buy some brown webbing for the strap (because I am not sewing one out of fabric like they suggest), but I’m quite pleased.

Progress on messenger bag - inside

You know you’re impressed. Details on the fabrics and pattern are on Flickr. You can’t see from this picture, but there’s a large pocket on the back (that will probably fit my laptop, since it is so tiny). The lining also has a large zippered pocket. I’ll post better pictures of all the little details when it’s finally done (and hopefully I’ll take them when there’s some sunlight, because this taking pictures in the dark thing is just no good).

Lastly, there are more things growing at my house!

Doesn't that just make you happy?

Yesterday morning, the birds were chirping (don’t they know it’s still February and we’re in Minnesota?), and it’s starting to get light out before we leave for work. It always seems like it takes such a long time for the days to get longer, but it is happening. And, eventually, the grass will be green and not buried under snow (though fellow Minnesotans shouldn’t get their hopes up too soon – I heard on the news that March is actually our snowiest month), plants can live outside in the sun, and we can all fill up on Vitamin D. Until then, this bit of green will have to do.

2 Replies to “I’ve been a busy little bee”

  1. Things to think about (or things that I thought about):

    1) Hand size – mine are big, which was one of the reasons I chose the HP Mini. The keyboard is 90% full size, so I have fewer problems typing on it.
    2) Operating system – your choice is basically either Windows XP or Linux or some non-standard OS. To my knowledge, none of the current netbooks are powerful enough to run Vista, and Mac doesn’t have any out there. I really wasn’t interested in learning yet another OS, so I chose one that came with Windows XP.
    3) Mousing/trackpads. One of the things I find most annoying about laptops is that trackpad below the keyboard. I find that when I type, part of my palm often rests there and moves the mouse around, often accidentally clicking, which totally messes up what I’m doing (this may be a problem only I have). The HP Mini has an on/off toggle for that trackpad, so if I know I’m only typing (like while taking notes in class), I can turn off the mouse. This is what sold me in the end, though I don’t seem to have to use it that much. I think they placed it slightly off-center and that has helped the problem as well.

    Also, I would never own just a netbook. It is simply not powerful enough, and is quite slow (though that can be improved by swapping out the hard drive, which we may just do in 6 months). Also, most don’t have a CD drive, so if you want to install software, you need another computer or some solution to that problem. The wi-fi card has worked flawlessly on mine, and I’ve really only used Firefox and Google Documents, which suits my needs perfectly.

    The battery life is kinda short on mine (less than 3 hours, I think, though I haven’t tested it), but the extended battery (which is pricey) would add additional weight, which I didn’t want. I love that my HP Mini weighs only 2.3 pounds (without the power cable). Definitely a back/shoulder saver.

    If you like the HP Mini, I suggest getting it from Best Buy. Their standard configuration is good and offered at a better price than through HP’s website. $425 with tax. There are other netbooks out there that are cheaper that may better suit your needs – it just depends on what you’re looking for.

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