To the right you can see the product of my hard labor with the sewing machine: a laptop sleeve for Tom's new MacBook Pro. I used the really awesome pattern from Sew Mama Sew with a few modifications. I couldn't find fusible fleece, so I would up using double-sided sewable fusing to stick quilt batting to the appropriate pattern pieces. I used a cigar patterned quilting cotton for the lining and black twill for the exterior.
It's a nice, snug fit and pleasantly soft without being too fluffy.
For the motif on the exterior I found a photograph of a bannerstone, did a basic automated trace of it in Inkscape, printed it out, traced it onto half of a manilla file folder using graphite paper and then cut out the outline using an Xacto blade to make a stencil.
I stuck a good-sized book inside the finished case, put a washcloth over it just in case there was any bleeding from the paint, and then pinned the stencil to the case with a multitude of pins.
Then I used white textile paint and a sponge brush and filled in the stencil and went over it with some pewter textile paint and a smaller sponge brush to get the look of veining in the stone.
I really enjoyed this project and am very happy that Tom likes it and it turned out so well.
The only major snags were the lack of a free arm on my sewing machine, which made stitching around the opening a huge pain and the fact that the basting spray I bought to stick the batting to the lining wound up not having a spray nozzle. I wound up with the double-sided fusible, though, and I think it worked out much better in the end.

For my presents, I got more sock monkey jammies and matching slipper socks (aren't they fabulous?) and one set of double pointed knitting needles with the instruction to buy a set of multiple sizes of my choosing. I went with these from Amazon. This means I'm a step closer to knitting socks!
I also have cash to do something with. I'm considering a new low-end sewing machine with a bit more funcitonality - buttonholes, more stitches, more presser foots, and a free arm. Nothing particularly fancy.

Oreo got some new treats that are supposed to be good for his joints and a rubber squid thing with long felt tentacles.

So, a wonderful Christmas all around.  I hope everyone else had as nice a day!
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