We had a bumper crop of navel oranges this winter. Not that we needed an excuse to eat marmalade, but certainly a good excuse to pull out the canning jars!
Each year a worldwide group of makers do a holiday gift exchange. We draw a name and make something for them in the October-November time frame. This year, I drew the incomparable Keith Decent, the host of the “From the Ground Up” podcast and craftsman for many, many cool things.
Interested in Automata, a form of kinetic sculpture, I built him this statuesque effigy of him working on his passions: custom rug tufting and burritos.
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I’m a big fan of electronic billboards and stock ticker symbol displays. So, when I’m learning a new platform like Arduino (1 & 2), Raspberry Pi (3 & 4), or Circuit Python, one of the first projects I tend to make is some form of a textual information display.
In this project, I used ZenQuote.io to furnish a random quote to display on an Adafruit LED Matrix:
In 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I answered a maker challenge. This was part of my audition for the television show, Making It Season 3, on NBC. The challenge: “Create Your Inner Beast.” This is the video I created, with some rough edits to remove some dialogue that may remain part of my NDA.
My inner beast is the Ursa Californicas Fabricas, or the Maker Bear. A bear, because I’m a proud papa bear, I like to hibernate whenever possible, and I’ve seen my back in the mirror… I’m a rather furry dude!
If you are a California Maker and want to do a sticker swap. DM me on Instagram and I’ll get one in the mail to you soon!
I consider the time I spend fixing stuff to be time well spent. With four kids, I have many, many opportunities to fix stuff. I just usually forget to document it. This time, however, I was so excited to not have to buy a $200 piece of plastic from Toyota, that I had to share!
One of my favorite podcasts and online group, Fools with Tools has an annual gift exchange among the interested members. This is what I made in 2020 for Tony Rouleau 🤗
In response to the Black Lives Matter movement, some friends of mine founded the group Rise Up Against Racism here in the San Francisco. Their flagship project has been to build Little Free Antiracist Libraries, fill them with a curated set of books for children and adults, and to install and maintain them with the help of stewards throughout the region.
The RUAR leadership approached me about designing and building their first batch of libraries. We prioritized simplicity, paintability and durability as they commissioned local artists to decorate each one with a unique mural. The libraries were constructed with MDO plywood, the same indestructible material that CalTrans uses to make highway road signs. As of this writing, we’ve installed 4 libraries and counting. Examples below:
For the Winter Holidays in 2019: My engineering department at work had a recipe contest. I took first place for both recipe and presentation! Here’s my submission: “Bake to the Future!”
Valentines doesn’t have to be romantic. Take time to celebrate your friends. Show appreciation for the community in which you thrive. This was my love letter to the Maker Community this Valentine’s Day.