The Avid Embroiderer Presents - That Old Ratty Mouse Pad and a Freebie for Dad's Day

I have discussed the computer industry before and I want to point out something that has been a thorn in my side for - - ever! The (insatiable) people who create the things for our electronic lives are constantly changing and tweaking things to their liking. For instance, programmers/hardware gurus will add or remove features to hardware, software and often recreate something that worked just fine in the first place.  

One of their objectives right now is to make cameras (and other things like watches - IMHO - in the future, only wealthy people will wear expensive watches to show off their status) obsolete. The Techies want their phone/device to out preform the 35 mm professional types of cameras. Hmmm. . . 

They have always pushed new innovations which is good and bad news. The good news is the quality, useful products get better and are stellar with buyers and the mediocre items go away (does anyone remember "plug and play"??). The bad news is that they are reaping lots of dollars, with lots of commas and zeros and that is what is driving the market. Years ago, a new invention was created out of need by someone with a little "want" and a lot of imagination. Now it is the other way around, the industry convinces you that you REALLY NEED THIS. Frankly, I wish I could never buy another phone or computer, that is a goal but not necessarily a reality.

Today's case in point is the lowly mouse pad. The industry feels the mouse has outlived its usefulness and it is time to bury the mouse in a pad like shroud.  Newer machines are driven mostly by a Touch Pad that takes some getting used to. I like my mouse and for now, I am not giving it up. If you feel the same way, here is my solution to the dirty, cruddy mouse - that does not clean up with soap. . . 

I experimented with a number of things including different fabrics and was surprised that almost every fabric I have laying around responded to the actions of my mouse.  My mouse is cordless and optical which is just about the standard right now. But even an old mouse works on fabric. The exception would be things like a glass coffee table or some see-through fabric, the mouse would likely be unable to read that you are moving it.

After reviewing the fabric, I thought about embroidering something on the fabric (which is going to be a cover for the original pad). I had several options:
  • Density of design 
  • Size of design
  • Usability of end product

 Here is a mock up of one of the ideas I have.  It is not necessary to cover the entire surface of the pad with stitches, just a little something in any corner is great. Another idea is to use a very simple design such as an outline of an apple or a frame for around the pad.

This design is in the 'Freebies' area of AnnTheGran and does have the fill in for the dog, I just eliminated that color and love how it would look. 
Then I started to work with my ingredients. First I am using a cut-away stabilizer. When I use a heavy stabilizer like these, I always put my stabilizer into the hoop and crease it so that when I put the fabric into the hoop, the stabilizer stays put.

I am doing a frame that will not fit into a single hooping. So, I use my template to make sure that when I place the second half, it will be lined up. In this case, just a small mark was all that was needed. I used the same mark to place the flip side of the design.

After the embroidery was completed, I assembled my pieces. 

I used simple white glue and watered it down just a little bit. I used a business card to distribute it evenly.

I am pleased with my completed project. I did consider placing a piece of foam or felt under the fabric for a little extra cushioning, but did not this time. 

It is time for a Father's Day design and I created this one myself with a little help from my friends.

My Hack/Tip for this time: I have a busy schedule for being 72 years young. I like to read, sleep, eat and repeat. However, after over a year of keeping up with my embroidery site, a Society6 site (I love to photograph) and doing this blog, my house really looked like a bomb had hit it. While I was in the hospital, all my relatives came through my house - I would have been embarrassed if I had not been in a coma for 10 days . . . 

I recently decided on a schedule that works, after three weeks, well for me.  I set my computer alarm for 'on the hour.' That is the time I take my 'break.' I actually start my day with a break, OK so far. Then at the 15 minutes after the hour the alarm rings and I sit down to work on my 'money' projects - work if you will - that have deadlines and commitments. 

So, for the first 15 minutes, I clean, find things to toss and other things to go to charity. When you have a near death experience, you start to see that all this stuff is not necessary. I do the laundry, etc., then do somethings for me like work in the yard.  Those 15 minutes can get a lot done and are more satisfying to me for sanity purposes.

The 45 minutes (very, very short) are productive.  I make notes if I did not finish my project so that I can continue later without much delay.

Does it work for me? Yes, but I am thinking of changing it to 20 minutes for break and 40 minutes for work. After all, getting things done in all areas is really satisfying for me.

If you have a system, please let us in on your idea. Life is too short for a house that make you a slave or one that makes you a hoarder. 

Here is your freebie - enjoy!

Happy Fathers Day (194.9KB)
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