Pondering the construction of a reader cover, part 1

30 01 2011

Dear bloggy friends,

I know I’m not putting much on here…  I admit that my blog has been ignored more often than not.  If you’d like to follow me on facebook, please send me a friend request here and mention the blog, o.k.?

On to the post……

I purchased my sister-in-law’s nook color a while back, as she was not happy with it.

Secretly, I was hoping to convert it into an android tablet, but right now am happy with it just the way it is.  I finished “Water for Elephants”, and am working on “I am Number Four” right now.

She had purchased a silicone cover for it when she bought it.  It works fine, but I take issue with it as cat hair sticks to it like crazy, it won’t offer any protection if the reader is dropped, and it feels sticky in my hand when holding it.  Being ever the seamstress, I have embarked on a journey of trying to find a pattern to use for making a cover.

I’ve found quite a few designs online, none of them have the exact specs I’m trying to meet.  I’m wanting the following:

  • something I can hold to read,
  • protect the unit if dropped, and
  • wrap around the reader to buffer dings and scratches.

Here are a few I’ve located:

Chica and Jo’s custom kindle cover case seems to offer quite a bit of protection, but the pocket design isn’t going to work with a nook color, as we have a full screen.

Padded case for your kindle might help, but it would need to have some more sturdy materials used to help protect the reader, and I’d have to remove my reader to use it.

Here is a pattern from an etsy seller that you can purchase, that shows promise…  with modifications by adding a flap and using sturdier materials.

Cookcraftgrow has a cover she designed and put directions for online.  I like it, especially the snap around the lower left corner!  But… again I’m concerned about the dropping of my lovely little device.

So, I’ve been exhaustive in my quest to find something to fulfill my “sturdier materials” mantra above…   After dropping a number of things on my tile floor to test (being ever the scientist), I’ve come up with a couple options – chipboard, as found in binder covers, and coroplast (corrugated plastic, which looks like colored cardboard, but is extruded plastic – it comes in many varying thicknesses).  And it just happens that I have a whole bunch of coroplast lying around this house.

Coroplast was VERY popular for making the large elections signs that were used in last November’s elections, and is also used in most of the signage in front of local gas stations for beer and soda.  I happen to have the following in my garage:

  • 2 large 4’X8′ election signs from a person who lost a local election (5 mm thick)
  • 2 smaller sheets my dad sent back with us from our visit to KS (2 mm thick)

We’ve been collecting it to make the Girly some model remote control (r/c) airplanes as it will weather her crashes and bumps at high impact – yes, it is THAT strong!  There are websites for building planes and trainers from it if you know where to look on the internet…  She really, really wants a flying pizza box! I figured it was perfect medium for building this cover.

My first draft us not quite what I wanted…  Still trying to work out the design before posting part 2.  In the meantime, here are pictures of attempt #1….  I used Beatles Yellow Submarine Fabric, fusible fleece, 2 mm coroplast in both covers(which I found I could sew through!), a snap for holding the corner of the nook, and two kinds of elastic.

The Beatles fabric came from Equilter.com, but is no longer available.  However they have this equally awesome fabric!

The next version will have a flap for securing all sides of the reader, and I need to figure out a better harness that doesn’t slip around…

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Maker Faire Detroit, or…. girls who dig science.

1 08 2010

We spent the day yesterday at the Henry Ford, at the Maker Faire.  We met up with our friends and had a great time.

The girls did screenprinting:

They did some crazy activities:

Saw some crazy stuff:

But…  The highlight was the performance of Coke Zero and Mentos by Eepybird!

Here is the video!





Tie Dye with the Boy Scouts

14 07 2010

We helped a local troup make shirts for camp – they needed to match for patrols and thought tie dye would be good.  What follows are a few of the shirts they made that day….

Coming up soon, a sewing project and some tie dye for us!





Hoop Dreams

9 08 2009

So, I’ve had a thought on my mind for some weeks now that I’ve been trying to figure out how to engineer.

At the end of the month, we will be taking the ferry over the lake, and driving more hours than I thought possible to go to the Porcupine Mountains Music Festival.  Well, I want to bring hula hoops with me, but have had a total fail on the transportability of my big hoops – I’m not willing to figure out how to check a large 42″ circle when going on the ferry.

I did lots of research.  I looked at the infinity hoops – these collapse by pressing and twisting the circle to a figure 8 (infinity sign), then fold to to a smaller size.  These didn’t work well for me when built – I concluded that leaving the connectors untaped leaves room for some flexibility in the hoop for collapsing.

But….  the tube started coming off the connecters the first time I started the twist.  Too short a connector?  I don’t know the source of the issue that made these not work well for me.  Never fear!  Glitter Glue Princess decided these would be great to leave a grandma’s house for hooping at the lake when the hooping desire hits.  She decorated them and got them ready to go.

In the meantime, I bought one of these off Etsy to figure out how they go together.  Hopefully it will arrive by the end of the coming week.

At this point, I’m not ready to give up on building my own.  Of course, that intensified my research.  I found a how to article about collapsible hoops that snap apart, with bungee cord through the hoop, similar to construction of collapsible tent poles.  So, I bring out all the new tools – my dremel and some elastic cording I found from the fabric store.  I think I dremeled too much off the sides of the connectors, as there is some jiggle when connecting the pieces.

I put one piece of elastic cord through the hoop – imagine how much fun it was to have your hoop start flopping around you while spinning…  It made the GG Princess just laugh her head off when she saw it as the whole thing was just flopping everywhere when I tested it.  Not to fear!  I cinched another piece of elastic around the inside and tied even tighter.  This did the trick and the hoop stays together well when hooping – I’ve got a bit of clicking in the joints when starting the spin, but it is not annoying.

Here is my completed hoop:

And in a collapsed state:

Now the hoop can fit in a bag about a yard long!  Hehe – something else to make!

My improvements to be made next time:

  • not remove so much of the connector barbs to keep the joint more firm
  • use a heavier bungee – I found a seller on ebay and bought 50 ft – 3/16″ marine bungee cord for kayaks to replace the thin stuff from the fabric store  – there is a LARGE disparity in cost for 3/16″ vs 1/4″ (try 45%!).

Now to sit on my hands and wait till the mailman brings me bungee to try v.2 and the infinity hoop for me examine…  Maybe I should go sew something…  Or help Glitter Glue Princess with her entry in the American Sewing Expo Innovation Generation competition (more on that in the future!).





Sewing Nerd? I am!

20 09 2008

I bought this vinyl  decal for my old car, but just got it installed on the “son of square car”.  (We need a better name for the car but haven’t thought of any yet.) It showed up a couple days AFTER the crash – nothing like fortuitous luck, right?

I found this gem on Etsy at vinyl wall art’s shop…  Isn’t this the cutest thing ever?!?!  She also had them for knitting, crocheting, crafting and scrapbooking too!

Glitter Glue Princess doing her best imitation:

Now, she wants me to get an “I love my toaster” for the back too.   🙂





The newest exercise fad at my house…

14 08 2008

Over the past few weeks, the female members of my household (myself and the Glitter Glue Princess) have taken up hula hooping.  Not just any old wimpy hula hoop from the store will do, mind you, but heavy duty, hand designed hoops are needed for this new craze.  Somehow, we found something to combine crafting and exercise – who would have figured, huh?  We’ve been hooping for at least a half hour daily since we started this, getting better and better at it…

There are many websites out there that tell you how to make the hoops.  We made the hoops out of tubing from Lowe’s and ordered a plethora of tapes online.

Glitter glue princess could not wait for the funky tapes to arrive in the mail, and created one of her hoops using electrical tape only.  After the tapes did arrive, she was a wee bit afraid of working with the glitter tapes, due to them being metal (she was afraid of cutting herself).  We found that fabric gaffer tape is great as it makes the hoop “cling” to you more – it provides a bit of drag to help keep the hoop up longer.

Here are a few shots of the hoops thus far, no action shots just yet….  One with the multicolor sections was Glitter Glue Princess’s first tape job.

My only worry about this new craze is where we will do this when the weather gets cold – I don’t think Michigan winters are conducive to this exercise trend.  🙂

If there’s interest, let me know and I’ll post a mountain of links on this…





They are all out to get us…

15 03 2008

No, I’m really not that paranoid. I’m just a recent victim of credit card theft.

Somehow my card number was used to buy about $200 worth of flowers (huh, would have liked to have seen those!), furniture in Dubai, and something in Great Britain.

I will state that Citibank was great and called us, but even so, I called back on the number on the back of my card rather than using the automated man who called us – I’m no idiot. The last time we had used the card was in Philadelphia, at the Independence Visitors Center across from the liberty bell – huh? Nothing spells freedom like getting your credit card skimmed…. Right?!?!? For the record, I have no proof of that, but the irony didn’t escape me.

Well, Citibank didn’t flinch at my charge to Finland for my ottobre design subscription in the previous month, but the Dubai and Britain charges set them off. This is my satisfied customer plug for Citibank – thank you!

Thankfully this whole thing is behind us now, but this started me off on a new tangent – identity theft prevention.

I’m now looking into RFID blocking fabric, such as the stuff sold here…. There will probably be more to come on this, as I’m still researching it. With chips being installed in passports, credit cards, clothing care labels (rfid reading washing machines? what?!?), and the information easy to intercept, I’m thinking about how I can make nice looking items without looking like the idiot with a tin foil hat on in the corner… 🙂

If you have any recommendations for patterns to make wallets or passport covers, I’d love to see them…. Then, I’ll secretly sneak some of the RFID blocking fabric into it – hehehe.