Now for something completely different.
Of course, once we sat down to start working on them, I wanted to come up with a faster/more efficient way of cutting out the felt pieces. That got me hand drawing which rapidly turned into an Inkscape project because I knew I could reuse elements.
It spiraled out of control.
Once I had gotten all the felt templates done, I realized just how far I had gone and knew it would take us a while to get the puppets made, but the troops were getting restless. So, I took the templates and turned them into printable/colorable pages that could be used to make finger puppets out of paper.
Huge hit and it gave us time to get the felt ones in work.
So, all the templates have been compiled into a downloadable PDF – felt template, a color printable, and a black-and-white printable for coloring.
Included in Volume 1 are Luke Skywalker, Obi-wan Kenobi, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Darth Vader, and Yoda.
More will be coming soon as I’ve already been asked for Darth Maul and R2D2 and C3PO.
The original Timbuk2 messenger improved by 25 years of expertise.
Great Bag with Great Customer Service
Pros: Durable , Attractive, Comfortable , Roomy , Lightweight , High Quality, Good Strap Length
Cons: Quality Escape
Best Uses: Airplane travel , Commuting, Computer, Extended trips , Office
Describe Yourself: Practical, Comfort-Oriented, Career, Modern
Was this a gift?: No
tl;dr – great bag, good size, great strap, and supremely AWESOME customer service.
I LOVE nearly everything about this bag and the two gripes I had I’ve found fixes for. I got the Medium size in Dusk Blue with Surf Strip. I love the color; works well in professional environments with just a hint of fun due to the three-color straps. I’ve gotten a ton of compliments.
The new compression strap layout is so nice – keeps the bag small on light-load days and I love that I can stash my jacket under the bag on days when I don’t have space for it on the inside. The clips being under the flap looks very nice, but you do have the trade-off of it being not as fast to open. I prefer the 2014 look, but be aware that the clips are harder to get at. Not much, but noticeable.
I love the organizational panel layout, though I would make them just a bit deeper to handle pens better.
I love the size – perfect for carrying my work laptop around, lunch, books, and all my other EDC; it should go without saying that the side pocket (Napoleon pocket) is one of the best designs on a messenger bag. It just works.
I did have a small quality issue – the zipper toggle on the Napoleon pocket slipped free. I can see how the design is supposed to work and I think the shrink wrap wasn’t quite far enough up on the zipper to keep it from slipping off. I was able to re-thread the toggle and moved the wrap higher onto the zipper. A quick hit with the hot air gun and FIXED.
I cannot say enough good things about the strap adjuster cam – it is inspired design and engineering. I was nervous that it would bind or require a lot of effort to move. But it is nearly frictionless. Again, it just works. I love it. And because it is so easy to adjust, I have a new method for carrying the bag – adjust the strap to its shortest length, and then I can quickly grab the bag from my car and sling it over my shoulder like a backpack when you only use one strap. If I’m just walking from driveway to house, this is the easiest and fastest way to carry the bag.
When I carry the bag “normally” across my chest, everything is very comfortable. It took me a couple of tries to figure out exactly how the bag was supposed to hang, but now, it’s effortless. The cross-strap works well, though it does cause the main strap to bunch a little. The default strap pad is nice and comfortable; I’d like to test a bit more before calling it perfect, but for my day to day use, it is very nice.
The internal water bottle pockets are great, keeping everything upright and water-free. The medium sized bag is just slightly too short for my preferred Klean Kanteen 27oz bottle with a sport cap. With the flat cap, I think it would be fine. An 18oz fits perfectly, so for the short term, I’ve switched to that, but plan on getting the flat cap for my 27oz. Not a ding against the bag, just a trade-off.
I did have two gripes, both concerning the cross-strap.
1) The elastic band that is used to capture the tail is basically worthless – it holds the tail out of the way only in the most simplistic of cases. But, I fixed that. I ordered a 3/4″ thin bar slide online (Google it). Works SO much better, though it was a bit tricky to install; FIXED.
2) When I’m not using the cross-strap, the way it hangs annoys me, gets hung up on things, or nearly caught in my car door. However, Timbuk2 customer service rep Antonio absolutely made my day. I suggested that they make the female end of the cross-strap (the part that goes on the main strap) available for people to attach to the other cross-strap point on the bag to serve as a storage anchor. He agreed and is sending me one, no charge. AWESOME policy. Well done Timbuk2. Once that’s installed, I’ll just clip the cross-strap into that to keep it of the way. So, also FIXED.
July came and went and boy was it busy. 26,000 words in on How to Kill a Cyborg. That puts me just past halfway in the story, so looks like it will be shaping up to be a shorter piece. But that also means I reached my stated goal of 25,000! So another win for Camp NaNo! Yes, it’s not like last November, but every time I buckle down it seems I’m able to get something done that I didn’t think I could. There might be a life lesson in that somewhere. 😉
Re-reads on Betrayed went well and I’ve started rewrites I think the nicest thing that happened to me while writing last month was getting to the last 5 chapters of Betrayed and realizing that I wasn’t reading for content, but for pleasure. It’s such a heartening feeling to re-read your own work and not be utterly horrified by it. Plenty of typos to be sure (how did I miss SO MANY?) but the story still speaks to me and that’s got to be a good sign.
And now off to my next adventure – I think I have a problem. I committed to writing a series of radio-style mini-plays that will be produced by my friend Nathan Christensen for a set of performances he’s arranged with the city of Collinsville.
And I am so nervous.
I’ve tried to behave of myself as a writer, to act and think as one, to “fake it till I make it,” but now the rubber really hits the road. I have to produce something on a deadline and I have to do it under pressure and it’s going to be performed live.
I am both super scared I’m going to fail miserably and super excited to see something I’ve written performed for an audience. There’s this fine line of confidence and fear that I seem to constantly walk when I take on a new writing challenge. But I have a story idea and I have a plan. Now it’s just a case of sitting down and working it out.
Whew! Writing is hard work.
At least I hope I come.
I’ve decided that one of the best ways to help me on my path in being a writer is to write.
Honestly, I’m amazed I even have to put that down, but I know that it is true. Many people like the idea of being a writer, just like many people like the idea of being a famous musician or being a talented artist or becoming the President of the United States. But forget to actually put in the work to become such.
I don’t want to be that kind of person. I want to write and I’m willing to put the time in, at least I hope I am.
I’ve committed to my next monthly challenge for writing, one designed to ensure that I write everyday. NaNo’s are great for getting books written, but I am learning that a big prerequisite for my own success is doing something with consistency. Everyday. No exceptions.
So, I’ve committed to do 750words.com 30 day challenge for the month of May. 30 days, no misses, 750 words minimum, each day.
Success is me getting my name on the Wall of Awesomeness on the site.
Success is also me using this as a way to generate more story ideas, so I want to get at least one new story idea a week.
Finally, success is improving my typing accuracy and speed as part of the package.
Any one care to join me?