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Inspiration

Bay Area Maker Faire

In May I presented on two panels at the Association of Children’s Museums conference (about making with young children, as well as a panel that was an introduction to the concept of makerspaces in museums) and then immediately scooted up the coast to Bay Area Maker Faire in San Mateo, California. I also spoke very briefly there, but the best part was definitely walking around and taking in all the sights. We
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Wedding Decorations

A wedding is a great excuse to make stuff. In the case of my recent matrimony there were a lot of hand made things. My wife and I (along with some other helpers) spent the last year making decorations, invitations and other essential wedding materials. It started off with the creation of our “save the date” announcements. These went through a couple of prototyping stages before we settled on a final produ
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Baking as Making

A few weeks ago, as we welcomed our new MakerCorps members to our team, we were asked a question, “What is your first memory of yourself as a maker?” I instantly remembered myself discovering cooking. The dish: “Hot Dogs ala Katie”. It was fancy (plated on lettuce, of course) but unfortunately far before Instagram existed, so I didn’t know I should be photographing my food. Therefore, no
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Art All Night

Each year local Pittsburgh artists take over a large warehouse space and put their work on display for an entire night; from sundown till sun-up. The Pittsburgh art scene is amazing. Events like this are a great way for people to get acquainted with local artists and their art. There were paintings, drawings, sculptures. There was also live music and large community projects for people to add to. There was even an ar
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Learning to Sew

When I was little, I had a giant stuffed toy named Gumby. Gumby was big–bigger than I was!–and green. He was a character from a show I watched on TV, which was made with stop motion animation. Gumby was fun to jump on, because he was squishy and soft, so my little brother and I jumped on him a lot. After a while, Gumby started to look a little lumpy and worn out. I wished I could make him look new, but I
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Pop-Pop Boats

Pop-pop boats, so named for the popping sound they make as they travel, are a great way to experiment with a steam powered contraption at home. These toy boats have been made by children around the world for over a hundred years — starting back when steam powered real oceangoing ships. Many plans and how-to videos exist on the internet, but here are a few which move from simple to complex. These involve cutting
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