THE MAKER BRIEFINGS: On Baking Princess Leia Cookies And Ladies’ Build Night At VHS

December 1, 2011 

by Emily Smith | Thursday, December 8th marks the first-ever ladies’ build night at VHS in Gastown. Come by, learn to solder, and make a super cool Fuzz Pedal that you can show off to your friends. The workshop’s for beginners, so if you’re new to soldering or don’t even know what a fuzzbox is, don’t be shy. There will be friendly people all around to help you out, if you can find it.

Use traditional holiday cookie cutters like bells and santas to make Princess Leia,  Darth Vader, Ewoks, Jabba the Hut and the rest of the Star Wars gang.

Looking for a more portable way to get your caffeine intake? Check out this instructable on how to make a pocket-sized espresso machine.

Beautiful animations created on bicycle wheels using paper cut-outs. Brilliant.

For Christmas this year, ditch the gadgets and get your kids a cardboard box.

Always wanted to make your own cheese but didn’t know where to start? Check out this DIY Mozzarella and Ricotta Cheese Kit.

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Emily Smith is a graphic designer, crafter, technical writer, life-hacker, and bicycle lover. She is passionate about DIY, open-source geekery, and facilitating collaborative and creative workspaces. She is an active member of the Vancouver Hack Space (VHS) and enjoys foraging for unlikely materials and increasing bicycle safety. In her off time you can catch her spinning on a drop spindle, dyeing with found materials or knitting half a day away.

THE MAKER BRIEFINGS: A Film On The Endangered Desire To Pass On One’s Craft

November 17, 2011 

Inspiring. Via Etsy:

Korehira Watanabe is one of the last remaining Japanese swordsmiths. He has spent 40 years honing his craft in an attempt to recreate Koto, a type of sword that dates back to the Heian and Kamakura periods (794-1333 AD). No documents remain to provide context for Watanabe’s quest, but he believes he has come close to creating a replica of this mythical samurai sword.

THE MAKER BRIEFINGS: On Champions Of Change & Badass Illegal Gardening In NYC

November 12, 2011 

by Emily Smith | Dale Dougherty, co-founder of O’Reilly Media, Maker Faire, and founder of MAKE Magazine was honoured at the White House on November 4th as a “Champion of Change.” The initiative recognizes Americans doing extraordinary things in their communities while facing the challenges of the 21st century. You can listen to the recording and read more about what Dale had to say here.

George Lucas (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) has been spotted knitting at Starbucks. Is it just a matter of time til he reaches Rosey Grier status? I’m looking forward to the book!

Leave it to the Dutch. The microbial home was exhibited at Dutch Design week in The Netherlands this month, and the thing that was most noteworthy from this exhibit was – in my opinion – the paternoster, a ‘plastic waste up-cycler’ that uses mycelium fungus to break down plastic packaging and bags. Enzymes within the fungus can decompose plastic, utilizing the material for food and producing edible mushrooms!

Lastly, check out the video above of an illegal vegetable gardener in New York. “I’d say this is as bad-ass as a vegetable garden can get.” No disagreement here.

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Emily Smith is a graphic designer, crafter, technical writer, life-hacker, and bicycle lover. She is passionate about DIY, open-source geekery, and facilitating collaborative and creative workspaces. She is an active member of the Vancouver Hack Space (VHS) and enjoys foraging for unlikely materials and increasing bicycle safety. In her off time you can catch her spinning on a drop spindle, dyeing with found materials or knitting half a day away.

THE MAKER BRIEFINGS: Dwelling On The Entirely Hackable “Kinect” With Maia Love

October 17, 2011 

by Emily Smith (photos: Alex Kwok) | The Kinect is an interesting tool. It’s sort of OK for gaming, but when it comes to hacking, there are all kinds of creative applications. From using it as a controller for roomba hacks to generating interactive visualizations and music, the possibilities are far-reaching. I recently caught up with choreographer Maia Love who, with the help of Miles Thorogood (interactive artist), has integrated the Kinect with a dance performance by Darcy McMurray, wherein the Kinect-generated visualizations are based on Darcy’s movements. The performance is stunning, and through talking with Maia, I can tell that it’s a seed of something that’s going to take even more shape in the future. I’m so looking forward to seeing where these performances go, and checking out more interactive installations and performances from this group in the future! (fingers crossed). Video and interview after the jump… Read more