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linda@surroundedbyscraps.com
Portland, OR

503-997-8958

Handmade quilts and home accessories by fiber artist Linda Nussbaum. See samples of past projects as well as pieces available for sale and inspirations for custom orders. To see what is currently available for sale, please visit my Etsy Shop.

I Blame the Smart Phone

Surrounded by Scraps

I Blame the Smart Phone

Linda Nussbaum

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So easy to say, and yet it has become a constant part of my life too. The conveniences are innumerable, but I've noticed that there are some things I used to do regularly that I overlook now. One of those things is using a camera to take photos of my sewing, which means I would have to upload to my computer and resize the photos on a regular basis in order to share. Now, with Instagram, Flickr and Facebook apps, etc. the snapshots go directly from my phone to social media (and whomever might take a look at them) without needing to be dumped onto my laptop. And that last step is a crucial one for me to work on blog entries (at least on the platform I use and am familiar with). 

And has anyone noticed how freaking big those photo files are coming off the phone?? I still have DSL — just saying ;).

So today I am taking some time to be at my computer, plug my phone in and do some "office work." Oh, and to share what I decided to do for my handmade holiday gifts (even though a few of them are still sitting on my dining room table waiting to be packed up and shipped out!)

My initial idea was to make wallets — you know, for those ubiquitous smart phones. I started playing around with different tutorials, combining some and seeing what I got (and can I just say that Pinterest and Google images were invaluable in this whole process!!):

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I made several that I rather liked, using fabrics that I thought various members of my family would enjoy before a crucial fact stopped me in my tracks. I have always been a bit behind in the smart phone galaxy (pun only slightly intended). Some of you may know that I tenaciously held on to my Nokia flip phone as long as it was operable, up until the battery barely held a charge for 6 hours or so. This would have been fall of 2013, I think. My first smart phone was gifted me right around that time when my brother and brother-in-law had a replacement iPhone 4 coming to them under warranty just when the iPhone 5 was being released. So, I was the lucky recipient of the "old" generation replacement.

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I still have that same iPhone 4. All of the wallets I had made thus far were fitted to my phone, which as I learned is MUCH smaller than any of the phones currently in use by people who care about updating their technology. Oops.

I eventually decided to bite the bullet and ask outright what types of phones family members use and looked up the dimensions online. From this I tested out one of the patterns I had played around with using new dimensions. But there were two major flaws with this approach. 1) I didn't have any phone models to actually test that what I was spending my time and fun fabrics on would work in the end; 2) Do you know how many different versions of phones there are and that every dang one is a different size?!? I gave in, but not before developing a phone wallet tutorial for Cool Cottons' blog in early December using one of those gifts.

The sample I used for the Cool Cottons tutorial, found at the link above, about 3-4 entries below the "Happy New Year" Post.

The sample I used for the Cool Cottons tutorial, found at the link above, about 3-4 entries below the "Happy New Year" Post.

Moving on. I went back to my Pinterest board of "gift ideas" and noted the photo that was actually the cover photo for that board, a remote control caddy from a blog post by Becky of My Fabric Obsession. There was no tutorial listed, but it was not too difficult to work out something similar. I also learned that I kind of dig box pleats!

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Those all went out prior to Christmas (if BARELY). I've since made one more, and might even consider making one for my own home! Novel, I know!!

In addition to the caddies I made some special for each of the nieces and nephew (again, 2 of them have not yet been sent, as my older nieces were traveling over the holidays, which I viewed as a short reprieve on deadlines ;)

Appropriately topical pillow cases for my 10 yr. old nephew.... whom I learned had gone to see the new movie with his dad the first day of release, I think.

Appropriately topical pillow cases for my 10 yr. old nephew.... whom I learned had gone to see the new movie with his dad the first day of release, I think.

My first makeup bag... and my first zipper bag ever. I used this fabulous tutorial from The Sewing Chick!

My first makeup bag... and my first zipper bag ever. I used this fabulous tutorial from The Sewing Chick!

Also my first attempt using the heat-applied vinyl coating for fabric. A makeup bag of which you can wipe out the interior is superior, right?

Also my first attempt using the heat-applied vinyl coating for fabric. A makeup bag of which you can wipe out the interior is superior, right?

The following are what are still sitting right in front of my computer ready to be wrapped in outdated holiday paper and sent off with our second batches of cookies this weekend.

Another makeup bag. And yes, I kind of cheated on my fabric selection, but I think it will suit her well, though it was really the fabric I used for the interior that I had selected specifically for this niece.

And one more niece to go... It all came full circle with a wallet!

There were a couple of other little things thrown in the mix, but I will say that after a rather long hiatus from my sewing studio (and from inspiration in general) these projects have helped bring me back. I am and always will be a hopeless procrastinator, but when it comes down to deadlines, I'll get to work!

So bring on some deadlines, 2016!!