Early gifts – Electric sheep and birds in my sleep

Sheep!

When my good friends Brian and Sharon heard the news that I’m likely to be spending time in hospital soon, they sent me a parcel out of the blue, with a huge box of crayons and a colouring book (for something to do in a hospital bed!) and about 4 yards of this:


There was a note attached, too: “To make comfy lounge pants”! I’m not one to disregard notes so I reckon I’ll be turning these wee sheep into Jalie 2686 that I recently made in purple silk for Pip. It’s nice to have proper pyjamas when you’re in a situation when they might be seen by other people…

Electronic sewing!

And speaking of Pip, we exchanged gifts last week and she got me the fabulous Fashioning Technology book.

You may remember that my brother bought me the amazingly cool Lilypad Arduino for Christmas last year, but I really haven’t done much with it since the books on learning circuits and electronics are just SO dry. So imagine my surprise when I realised that not only does this book give step-by-step instructions for building cool electronic toys, clothes, and decorations, but that it also teaches you everything you need to know about the electronic components, too.

It starts off with “these are what these bits look like and what they do”, showing you about LEDs and simple circuits and all that, adding a little bit at a time and even explaining how to trouble shoot. It’s really, really well written and I can’t recommend it highly enough if you’re interested in sewing and electronics.

Here are two of the projects they show you how to make, too – earmuff headphones that glow when you’re listening to music, and these finger puppets that whir and light up and buzz and things. Very cute. Really, my only problem with this book is that it wasn’t released soon enough – I could’ve really done with having this last year!

Friday music!

And in “slightly tenuous link to sewing” news, I am absolutely smitten with the special sneak preview I’ve had of the new album from The Bird and The Bee. If you know nothing else about them, let the following photo sink into your consciousness and then love them thereafter:

How can you help but love a band who has a vintage sewing machine in their press photos? Besides being completely prolific (5 EPs and 2 LPs in 26 months!), they’re also just giving songs away! Go to their official site to download a free mp3 of their version of The Twelve Days of Christmas that actually won’t make your relatives go insane from Christmas overload (though IMHO, last year’s release of Carol Of The Bells was even better).

And until then, have a listen to the most infectious song on the new album, Love Letter to Japan. James and I both woke up this morning with it stuck in our heads!

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