September, 2011

Get Your Geek On

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Maker Faire was amazing.

First I gave a fun and spazzy demo at the booth.

Then Rufus and I went out exploring the fair.

First thing we checked out was Sean Casey’s “Tornado Intercept Vehicle.” What does a tornado intercept vehicle do? Just what it says it does – that monster was made so Sean and his team could drive into tornados and get footage for his film Tornado Alley. New Yorkers can check out the movie at the IMAX theater at the American Museum of Natural History. I know what I’m doing next weekend.

But we had to solder on…that’s not a typo, it’s a hilarious tech pun.

We went straight to the MakerShed to learn how to solder. Last year at Maker Faire we got really stoked about DIY music stuff and even bought an Atari Punk Console, but we never did get around to making it. This year we were determined to learn the basic skill of soldering so that we can finally craft that thing.

The book above doesn’t lie – soldering is easy! But I have to admit it was helpful to have a real live humanoid assisting us with our soldering boot camp.

That little robot above is what we soldered. In the end, he got a light that blinks because of our heavy duty circuitry.

That’s me confidently brandishing the soldering iron that I now totally know how to use, you guys. I did have some help from the teacher after Rufus figured out the light on my piece wasn’t working because I soldered the positive and negative streams together.

But I still feel good about my work, and I’m happy to know how to fix that soldering issue. I love that self-soldered little roboto on my lanyard.

Before we left the shed we had to try the Trip Glasses. They were pretty far out, and I bet they work wonders if you use them in a quiet, dark room.

We tried some circuit connecting with non-toxic materials.

At Maker Faire, you see lots of awesome contraptions like the Dogzilla worn by the guy above. And you can check out crazy music like that from Datalore below, a duo that plays hacked Gameboys.

Inside the New York Hall of Science, there were even more things to see and do.

Greggy Soriano from The Next Great Baker was making a Maker Cake inspired by the Faire. It even had a mini Rube Goldberg set up on the outside, inspired by the crazy Life Size Mousetrap pictured below.

It was a truly awesome day. As we walked out, we were serenaded by the bonkers Sashimi Tabernacle Choir.

I wish every day was a Maker Faire day. The combination of DIY tech and craft makes my heart sing. It is such a completely inspiring collection of cool, creative people trying new things. Next year I have to go both days so I can be sure to see everything. Many thanks to the folks over at for having me as a guest. Hope to see you there next year!

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Fall in the House of Craft

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Saturday’s Handmade Crafternoon at the NYPL was a huge success! It was a joy to meet Grace Bonney and help her celebrate the release of Design*Sponge at Home, her first (and truly inspiring) book, featuring the best of the best of design*sponge!I’ll do a proper recap asap, I promise.

This weekend I’m doing a demo at Maker Faire in NY on Sunday at 1pm! I’ll be demoing ideas for handmade party decor. It’s going to be a blast. Maker Faire is the COOLEST, I swear. If you didn’t go last year, you missed out. Hope to see you this weekend!

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Crafternoon Hits San Francisco

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Boy do I love San Francisco. I’m not the first one who left another little piece of my heart there, and there’s no way I’m the last.

The first Crafternoon at the San Francisco Public Library was a tremendous success. On Saturday, August 27th at Presidio Branch I kicked off the Crafternoon series, West Coast library style, showing folks how to create collages and decoupage.

An incredible amount of gorgeous craft supplies were generously donated by EK Success Brands. Here are just some of the lovely things they donated to the series, which will be used at all of the future events. EK Success set the library up so that the Crafternoon at the SFPL series is sure to achieve handmade greatness!

The space at the library is perfect for this series – bright, sunny and brand spanking new! And we had a fantastic turnout of family and friends, ready to craft and chat.

People dove right into the decoupaging, creating all kinds of beautiful pieces.

I was absolutely thrilled with every aspect of the event. It took a lot of coordinating and brainstorming, and all of the effort really paid off. I’d like to thank all of the good people at the San Francisco Public Library who made it happen: Christy Estrovitz, Rosie Merlin, and especially Megan Anderson, the Presidio Branch manager pictured below.

Megan brought a diverse selection of craft books to the event, and had a laptop with her so that any attendee with a library card could check books out directly from her. And for those folks who didn’t have a library card, she was able to sign them up on the spot!

The next SFPL Crafternoon event will take place in October. Please check the Presidio Branch site for details closer to the date.

As for me, I’m back in NYC, ready for this Saturday’s Handmade Crafternoon at the NYPL. We’ll be celebrating the release of Design*Sponge at Home, the first book by design*sponge, which is out today! Hope to get crafty with you soon.

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