the only thing i didn't think of is the tracks that make the regular ironing board fold up for storage...you might want to make sure you detach the tracks too before reattaching, or somehow just attach the bare metal ironing board top to the plywood. either way, i'm glad you guys liked the idea. =]
here's an idea...instead of making a board to go over your current ironing board, make a custom board. take a piece of plywood as large as you want it (i wouln't go larger than the Big Board dimensions though, it might tip over) and the base/legs of an old ironing board (you could probably find one at a thrift store). Attach the old ironing board legs to the plywood using screws, then staple a few layers of batting, then a layer of thick cotton canvas around the plywood. voila!
the only difference with the big board is the sidewalls for fitting around an ironing board, and that probably wouldn't be hard to figure out. a*
eta: and i would probably make the plywood at least 46" long so that an entire width of regular 45" wide fabric would fit over it without hanging over the sides. =]
i picked up both adorn and cutting edge today and love them both. cutting edge especially, since i was looking for a new sewing magazine that was a little more, ah..."hip" than threads...though don't get me wrong, threads is awesome and great for techniques!
i picked up a large fiskars self-healing cutting mat (the largest size) a 45 mm fiskars rotary cutter & the largest clear rectangular quilting ruler for lining up straight cuts at wal-mart for $35-$40, i think. i know i didn't spend more than $50 including tax for everything.
and they will definitely cost more anywhere else. i was amazed how much more expensive they were at jo-ann's and michael's. darn wal-mart and their stupid low prices! =P
well, it may be a bit longer before i get started...this stuff is so soft i'm going to spend a couple days rolling around in it first! but when i do get started, i'm using simplicity pattern 4403, the pink version on the far right shown here
yeah, they issued a release earlier this year that said they were going to phase them out of their stores. wal-mart has been having flat or down sales lately, and i doubt they do enough business in their fabric department to warrant continuing with the expense. don't get me wrong, i've occassionally scored some deals off the $1/yd table, but i can hardly ever find anyone to help me w/ cutting or questions.
that being said, i'm definitely going to go stock up on notions & interfacing, since theirs is at least $1/yd cheaper than Big Chain Fabric Store.
canon is making some great point & shoot digital cameras, do not require proprietary memory (in fact, i don't think anyone does...most are using standard compact flash or SD cards these days), and i have heard their image stabilization system is great. as far as charging goes, most cameras will come with an a/c (wall plugin) charger, and some may come with optional car chargers. battery life can be determined by the quality setting you've chosen for your photos, and how often you use the flash, so keep that in mind as well.
canon and nikon are safe bets, although panasonic is actually making some great digital point & shoots right now. they currently have some in production with leica lenses that are getting great reviews from pros, although they may not have one with that feature in your budget. as much as i love film, i'm probably going to get one of these eventually for casual shots. =]
don't just try to get as many megapixels as you can, look for image stabilization features. at your price point, a camera packed with megapixels is definitely sacrificing quality somewhere else in the product. it's worth losing a megapixel or two if the camera has a good image stabilization system. for example, fuji finepix has a 7.3MP camera for $179 at best buy, but a review on amazon says its terrible regarding image stabilization quality, and i checked examples on flickr and they are definitely awful. definitely check reviews on amazon or elsewhere before making a final decision.
unfortunately i don't have any other recommendations because i only shoot film - medium format slide & b/w. i always laugh when people say it's going away, because it's simply not true. =] a*