By Beverley A. Laundry

    1. 6

      Foxy Teacosy

      Earlier this year my husband and I began adding tea drinking to our evenings binge watching TV series. We would regularly sip through a few cups of camomile or oolong in front of a bit of GoT or Dr Who. Eventually we invested in a teapot. This stark white teapot became a worthy target for my forever knitting fingers and thus the great Foxy Cosy was created.

      As our teapot fleet slowly expanded, I found myself drawn to recreate the glory of Foxy and eventually managed to capture the process as a written knitting pattern. I’m releasing my pattern here, free of charge to all whose stark, plain teapots are calling for foxification. Enjoy.

      Foxy Teacosy Pattern



      The Foxy Teacosy is worked from the bottom up, starting flat and joining to knit in the round for the top third (The ears and top). The top is grafted together with Kitchener stitch. The nose portion is added last. Stitches are picked up across the middle at the colour change and the nose is knitted back towards the bottom. It is then stretched into place and secured with a nose button at the centre bottom.

      The finished cosy is a rectangle shape with a gap on one side for the spout. Two buttons secure the other side around the teapot handle. The shape of the teapot brings foxy to life.

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      This week’s project was a beanbag to eventually go up to Oscar’s bedroom. Until the rest of that is all sorted, it will stay down in the lounge with all his books. I found this cute pattern through Pinterest, though the original tutorial page doesn’t seem to exist any more the cached pattern PDF download can be found by doing a quick google for “micheal miller bean bag chair tutorial” (at the point of writing this anyway). There are 2 versions; kiddy size and adult size. I made up the kids one using a $2 op-shop king sized sheet, a metre of winnie the pooh fabric and some calico scraps that I had lying around. Here’s the result:

      Finished, complete with cover

      Finished, complete with cover

      Oscar assuming the maximum relaxation position.

      Oscar assuming the maximum relaxation position.

      If I made one again, I’d add more beans. 100L just isn’t quite enough for a firm beanbag and now that the inner lining is sewn closed I can’t add more to this one without considerable effort. Still pretty happy with the outcome and looking forward to reading many stories from here.

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      Spoiler Alert!! My baby’s going to be a…

      Twas 20 week anatomy scan day today. Baby Laundry has 1 heart, 1 stomach, 1 bladder, 2 kidneys, 1 brain, 1 spine, 2 legs, 2 feet, 10 toes, 2 arms, 2 hands, 10 fingers and whatever else is there holding it all together :o)

      So, after 35 mins of prodding and poking around making sure the above was all in place, we tried to determine whether it be pink or blue. At which point baby clamped its legs together as tight as it could. The two sonographers pretty quickly saw through the grey blobs and gave a verdict, though they couldn’t say they were 100% certain.

      Here’s a nice profile view of our growing baby.

      So what colour do you think schlee is?

      (Click the appropriate colour to make your guess and I’ll tell you if the sonographers agree)

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      Here be the official spilling of the beans to the internet. Apologies to anyone we didn’t manage to tell in person who feels they should have been told before this, we did our best.

      Here goes: Jed and I are trying our hand at growing a human child.

      We’re at the 12 week mark as of today, and preliminary results are promising. The Junior Laundry is exhibiting signs of being indeed human. YUS!

      Here are our first baby photos: (Baby is approx 5cm from head to tail)

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      Two fun WP7 development Fakts

      1) StatusBar != StatusBar

      The statusbar at the top of the screen, referred to as “StatusBar” in the official WP7 interface design document and pretty much everywhere else, is not called a “StatusBar” in code. To set the visibility of the “StatusBar” in xaml, in your page:

      [sourcecode language=”xml”]




      Apparently it’s actually called the “SystemTray”. This caused me hours of fruitless Googling “WP7 Hide StatusBar” when trying to figure out how to get rid of it in my fullscreen WP7 game, and I was a little annoyed at the end of it.

      2) Generating XAML content in Expression Design for use in a WP7 game
      For years now, Expression Design has been my favourite piece of vector graphics software. During my career as an iPhone application developer, essentially all graphic content of the apps I developed was made in Expression Design and exported to PNG or TIFF. This didn’t take any advantage of the vectory goodness other than to allow me to easily resize and re-export when I mucked up required sizes etc. but due to the simplicity and elegance of the software, made my job more enjoyable.

      My masters project (a sheet music reader/annotator/organiser) however is positively dripping in vectory goodness. In this I have used Expression Design to export XAML drawing brushes for each bar of music displayed. This gives me smoothly zoomable music that looks, dare I say, fantastic. Anyway… moving on the grunt of this Fakt:

      When I started developing FruitSalad for WP7, I decided to make it in Silverlight instead of XNA, so as to enable use of pure XAML graphic content. There were a few stumbling blocks on my way to getting this to work though:

      –          Silverlight for WP7 doesn’t support DrawingBrush

      So my WPF approach of creating a DrawingBrush for each graphical resource (in this case, each piece of fruit) and binding in to the Fill property of a rectangle (or Backrground property of a Grid panel) would not work at all.

      –          Silverlight for WP7 doesn’t support ViewBox

      Due to the complicatedness of each of my pieces of fruit, simply ctrl+shift+c –ing to copy the XAML used a combination of Canvas, Path and ViewBox objects. Not supported.

      My solution: Use Expression design to export as XAML Silverlight 3 Canvas. This created simple enough XAML to use in a XAML app.

      My next issue was how to actually use these Canvas items in such a way that I didn’t need to create a separate UserControl for each  different type of fruit in my game. Ideally what I wanted to do is have a Fruit object that changed its Content to the appropriate Canvas for its fruit type.

      I couldn’t figure out how to do this sensibly, but did come up with an incredibly convoluted solution. The main problem I encountered was that I wasn’t able to Bind a StaticResource to the Content property of an element. So what I ended up doing was creating a Button Style Template for each type of fruit:

      [sourcecode language=”xml”]
      <Style x:Key="WatermelonBlock" TargetType="Button">
      <Setter Property="Template">
      <ControlTemplate TargetType="Button">
      <Grid HorizontalAlignment="Left">
      <!– The Exported XAML Canvas –>
      <Canvas …. />

      Then apply the appropriate style when the fruit type of the control is set:

      [sourcecode language=”csharp”]
      private static void OnTypeChanged(DependencyObject d, DependencyPropertyChangedEventArgs e)
      FruitView view = d as FruitView;
      //Get the string key for the type eg "WatermelonBlock"
      string styleString = view.GetStyleString(view.Type);
      Style fruitStyle = view.Resources[styleString] as Style;
      view._RootButton.Style = fruitStyle;

      The fruit object itself looks like this:

      [sourcecode language=”xml”]

      <Button x:Name="_RootButton" Style="{StaticResource WatermelonBlock}" Click="Button_Click">


      I think this is a messy solution, but at least it works. If anyone can find a better way to do this, I’d love to hear about it.

      So those are two of the roadblocks I reached when starting out with WP7 development. I hope my solutions can help others to convert fruitless Googling and forum searching into productive coding time. But where’s the fun in that?

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      WP7 Challenge

      So, with 5 days before closing I decided to make a WP7 game to enter into the NZ WP7 challenge

      This is what I came up with: Fruit Salad.

      Now, bare in mind this is < 5 days development. And that 5 days included learning how to actually do game development in Silverlight and the several hours of freaking out every time it became apparent that my WPF fueled plan was impossible due to lack of <drawingbrush>, <viewbox>, translate transform bindings … so pretty much .. tremble at the awesomeness of my last minute coding skillz!

      Application Description:

      Fruit Salad

      Fruit Salad is an exciting twist on the typical sorting game, as to
      play, you need to learn Maori, challenging your memory and dexterity.

      When the game starts two kete (baskets) appear on screen, along with a
      never ending supply of fruit and vegetables. Sorting will depend on
      the labels on the kete;
      you might be sorting the fruit from vegetables, or the green from red.

      Drag and flick kai into the appropriate kete but be careful, if you
      sort into the wrong kete, or if you let the kai rot, you’ll lose

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      Fun with wedding photos

      I had some fun playing with some of my favourite wedding photos. Tada!

      Tags: ,
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      The happennings since September


      Gradutation, Wedding planning, Wedding , Honeymoon, Life

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      A Promising Beginning

      A brand new blog, a brand new outlet for ranting about life the universe and everything. But don’t worry, rants needn’t be negative. I am well and truely capable of rambling on about exciting and happy things going on in my life. For example…

      I totally just had an HTML success. Sounds too good to be true, I know. I’ve built a couple of websites in my life, some have even made it onto the actual interwebs. I’ve grown from a table-happy n00b to a major div hog, I’m even trying to break the unscalable-pixel-defined-layout habbit. Throughout my adventures with divs, there’s always been one thing I couldn’t get my layout to do: fill the height of a window nicely with a properly positioned header and footer and expanding content within.

      And this is how I did it:

      <div class="container">
      <div class="innerContainer">
      <div class="header"></div>
      <div class="content">
      //Main site content goes in here. If using "float"ed elements, stick a .clear div before closing the content div.
      <div class="clear"></div>
      <div class="footer"> </div footer>

      with css:

      html{ height:100%}
      .footer{position:relative; top:-50px;  height:50px; }

      And I think that’s all. It took me a while to find a combination of divs with the right heights to pull this off. While writing it out, I may have missed the random step that actually makes it work. I hope not.

      And with that, a blog is born.

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  1. Site and Contents copyright Beverley Laundry 2010