Princess Wands

A few days ago, my daughter who is having her 5th birthday party this weekend comes up with her sweet little eyes and asks “Daddy, what special thing are we doing at my party like we did at [her brother’s].”  Of course, she was referring to the Birthday Badges that I designed and they assembled.  With less than a week until the party there certainly wasn’t time to design a PCB, have it fabbed and delivered in time without paying outrageously high costs.

So, it was time to scramble and see what I could come up with using parts that I had on hand and could get at local stores.  Her party has a Cinderella theme.  I had a stock of blinking RGB LEDs left over from the Red Bull Fish Detector project that are a lot of fun and require only a resistor and battery to make work.  So, that sounded like a good basis for the project.  When I think of the Cinderella story, the fairy godmother and her magic come to mind.  So, the idea of a magical princess wand was born.

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I made the team! – The Make: Beta Team

I woke up this morning to a great surprise.  I received a letter from Make: magazine informing me that I’d been selected as one of the members of their new beta team.

I’m honored and excited to be a member of this team of about 100 members worldwide that will have the privilege of building projects for the magazine before the articles are published as a way of beta testing the build instructions.

Make: decided to start this team back in March and I thought it sounded very much in-line with what I do in my spare time anyway so I filled out the application.  Apparently, so did about 1100 other folks.  So, I feel very lucky to have been chosen.

What does this mean?  Well, I don’t fully know yet.  What I do know is that I’ll randomly be delivered a project and all it’s parts & pieces and asked to build it and discover if the instructions need to be improved and report back.  We get to keep all the projects and part of our job is to show them off to friends & family and get input back.

We’re allowed to blog about our experiences building the projects. So, be looking to hear all about it here and I’ll be looking for feedback from you.  It’s not clear to me yet whether we can blog while we’re testing or after the magazine has been published.  So, check back every day just in case 😉

Make: can be considered the handbook of the Maker Movement.  If you’re not familiar with this movement, there’s a good overview of it here.  I’ve been a Maker all of my life.  In the past we’ve been called tinkerers, hackers, warranty voiders, nerds, geeks….  I like this new name and the positive movement that it has created.

Get up and go make something!