Category Archives: Maker Faire

The Final Weeks!

Our call for Makers is officially closed but, don’t despair we have a few spots left!  We are doing a hard close for vendors but, if you have something you’d like to demo, show off, let other people play with, let us know and we’ll see if we can squeeze you in!

Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be posting articles and showing you some of the cool new things you can see and experience at OC Mini Maker Faire 2013!  

Stay tuned!


Call for Makers ends July 1st!

You read that right, the day is quickly approaching and we are working on finalizing the details! We still have some space left for a few more Makers and vendors so, if you’ve been thinking about joining us for OC Mini Maker Faire 2013 now is the time to sign up. Just click the Call to Makers Application button and let us know you’re coming!


OC MIni Maker Faire 2012

Wonderful video montage of our first ever Orange County Mini Maker Faire which happened on July 14, 2012! Many thanks to everyone who helped make it a fantastically successful day!

Video by:  Andy Verostek

Music by : The Budrows

Makers of MakerPlace

Lounge at MakerPlace

It’s a pretty impressive facility, the digs at MakerPlace in San Diego.  They’ve got all the dream machines for woodworking, crafting (sewing & quilting), metal working, laser cutting, electronics and 3D printing not to mention office space, conference rooms and storage for your materials.   So it’s no wonder that at the One Year Birthday Celebration on Saturday May 9th there were some fantastic Makers there showing off their stuff.

I had made plans to meet with Dublin Mini Maker Faire organizer Tomas Ward and we thought this was the perfect place and time to do just that.

Tomas Ward

We had a great time touring the facilities and meeting the Makers.   Balazs Moldovan had some great whiskey and wine barrel chairs.  You can tell which ones had held red wine in a past life by the cheery rose tint and those that were charred to give a smokey flavor to whiskey.   The hole in the back of the chair is called the bunghole, it’s where the plug went in the barrel for draining the liquid.  This particular chair can swivel and has a reclining option too. Whiskey Barrel Chair by Balazs Moldovan Lots of other beautiful woodwork to be seen as well… WP_000242 Pat Downing was there representing blacksmiths with some nice metal work. Pat Downing metal As well as James Cosimini with his mini portable forge and some pretty knives. ???????????????????????? There were some nice textile arts on display including quilts and a “painting” made of stitching. WP_000241   One of my favorite things about gathering together Makers is the fun juxtapostion of odd things like custom made skateboard decks and Halloween quilts. WP_000240   Gary was there with the beginnings of his Mail-bot.  Gary lives at the top of a hill but, his mailbox is at the bottom so, he’s building a bot that will switch out mailboxes for him. Gary S. with mailbot   The brains are made up of a Smartphone and a Nullspace built microprocessor.mailbot brains   Also in the robot area was this cool hand (no one was there to demo it for us) WP_000250

…and this great Steampunk Aether Wave Disruptor by R.E. Calou.

Aether Wave Disruptor by R.E. Calou

The great thing is that with all these tools and machinery at their fingertips the Makers of MakerPlace can create all kinds of interesting things.

Light up wall art (laser etched glass):


Steampunk wine cellar doors:


Curiously strange mythical beasts like Grinnus Hexapedus:

Grinnus Hexapedus

San Diego definitely has lots of fodder for a terrific Maker Faire!  If you find yourself in the area go check out MakerPlace, you never know what you’re going to see.


Paper Bag Books

Here’s a fun reuse project to do with, or for, kids!  You will need:

  • Four paper lunch bags
  • glue (school glue or glue stick will work, just something sticky)

That’s it!  That’s the basics anyway, you can also have materials on hand for creating a cover if you want like felt or sheets of craft foam or decorative paper or what ever material you want.

So, start with four paper lunch bags:


First, keeping them folded, glue the flap that is the bottom of the bag down.


Then fold the bags so that the bottom is on the outside.


Next, you want to glue the bottom panel of one bag to the top part of another bag, do this with all the bags.



Make sure to cover the bag well with glue, especially along the edges.

And there you have the basic book!


Now you can get fancy and make a cover!  The black book is covered with felt and there is a fan of colored foam with sticky backs to make it easy.


Our resident teen artist covered her book with white craft foam then used puffy stickers and paint on it.


They can also be decorated for a holiday and given as gifts or extra fancy cards.  (This one is drying after having hearts applied with Mod Podge.)


We were gifted one of these fun little books with prompts on each page to help encourage them to be used.


And since the open end of the bag is facing out they can be used as secret pockets to keep treasures in!  How about using one as a recipe book.  Recipes can be clipped out of magazines and kept in the pockets while others can be written on the pages.  White lunch bags can be used as well.  Play with it and make it your own!

Community College Makers

Makers can be found everywhere including in Design classes at Community Colleges!  Recently I was invited to attend the Golden West College Design Department Student Show called Connection Points.

I particularly enjoyed this S’Mores Clock.  The graham cracker is the minute hand and the chocolate marks the hour.


Design program instructor, Greg Wight, has partnered with a local physician  who creates an amazing Halloween display each year in Huntington Beach which attracts thousands of spectators and media attention.  GWC Design students help to build huge props and displays which include animatronics and walk through attractions on the streets of a local neighborhood.

In 2011 the theme was Scary Tales and included sets portraying Alice in Wonderland, The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, The Three Little Pigs and other stories.   Following is a photo of the top half of Titan from Little Mermaid, this piece stands over 15 feet tall.


The theme in 2012 was The Wizard of Oz including the Wicked Witch of the East and The Great Oz, both of which are animatronic and include sound.



Many forms of design were displayed at the show including lots of artwork, fiber arts, sculpture, 3D printed pieces and this cool model of a concept house…


It’s great to see young people making and creating and the partnership for the Halloween display is particularly special here offering a great opportunity to apply and increase skill

Solar powered vehicle build by GWC Design program students.

Solar powered vehicle build by GWC Design program students.

.  We hope to see some of Greg’s students showing off their talent at the OC Mini Maker Faire soon!

Robotis Inc.


On Nov. 28th Jinwook Kim from Robotis Inc. invited me to observe one of the Kidslab classes that they offer.   He also provided a free kit for my 12 year old son and invited him to join the class.

The OLLO kit is fun and versatile although, it does contain really small parts that challenge fine motor skills.


Jinwook and I had a long pleasant conversation in which he stressed his strong desire to bring STEM education to as many grade school kids as possible.    His idea for being a part of the OC Mini Maker Faire in 2013 is to showcase kid’s projects from throughout the year.  In future years, when we have a larger venue, he might like us to host area competitions.

“ROBOTIS KidsLab teaches elementary school students math and
science through the use of the educational robot kit named OLLO.”

Miles enjoyed the class and since bringing the kit home he has designed and built many new projects on his own using the OLLO parts.


Make Room! at LOSCON39


The friendly folks at DIG  invited us to join them again for their 2nd annual Make Room at the LOSCON39 Science Fiction Convention during the weekend after Thanksgiving.   This year we were in a bigger space with even more Makers and I loved the wonderful comraderie we all shared.  Makers included: Deezmaker 3D print shop, a beer maker from the Maltose Falcons Brewing Club, Tim Lewis the animatronics guy, several tables of Arduino projects, the ThinBot Bartending Robot, Crash Space, Mag Labs, an amazing NAO robot and more.  Larry Burch ran an Arduino workshop and he and Annika from LA Robotics Club were part of an Arduino panel at 10am that was packed!

NAO robot J2 performing Tai Chi.  This robot was fascinating to watch, it can dance, sit down and stand up and even recognize faces.  Handler Jay Jay (Danilo Napalan)

The ThinBot Bartending robot by Kevin Roche, the bell notifying you that your drink is ready is a perfect touch.

Tim Lewis, Tim Laren, James Howarth and Larry Burch,  whom I bemusedly dubbed The Arduino Geek Squad for the weekend.

Larry Burch holding the beginnings of a gun made with Arduino.

Half of Darth Vader’s 3D printed head from Deezmakers.  Bequi asked for the castoff in order to see if it would work as a Mason Bee habitat.  Mason Bees are stingless native pollinators in North America.

Mini Mad Hatter Craft Day

Some of us on the OCMMF Team got together and did a little making today.   Pam came across this post on Facebook about making mini Mad Hatter hats on a website called Seeing Things.   We were so charmed and all of us needed an afternoon of good old fashioned crafting so we made a play date and did just that!

Hats made by Bequi, Amanda and two by Pam. The little one on top by Hvitr.

Two on bottom by Bequi, one on top by Hvitr.

Have you been working on anything lately?  Share it with us!

We Hope to Find Volunteers Under the Tree This Year!

Greetings from the OC Mini Maker Faire Team,

Our first event is behind us and we consider it a wonderful success thanks to all the excellent people who helped make it happen, including our amazing volunteers.   Now we are looking forward to next year and OCMMF 2013 to be bigger and better but, we can’t do it without the help of some passionate, dedicated, hardworking folks like you who are willing to volunteer some time and energy.    We are looking for a few good people to join our core Leadership Team to help us not only throughout the year but, especially on event day to keep things organized and running smoothly.  We’ll also be needing general volunteer help the day of the event, read on for some details.
Leadership Team Members needed include:
Accounting/financial Supervisor
     Someone with experience to help make sure we’re handling our finances properly, getting taxes paid right and following the rules, this is mostly a mentor/advisory position.
Fundraising Team
     Help us make connections and find businesses and individuals with the Maker Spirit who are willing to invest a little money in the OC Mini Maker Faire and help it to grow in the years to come.
Area Leaders (aka Mini Bosses)
     People who will be in charge of specific areas during the day of the OCMMF event.  Duties include but, are not necessarily limited to: helping to recruit volunteers for your area before the big day, checking in Makers & Vendors in your area and helping things run                       smoothly in your area during the event.   Many areas have a theme like Fiber Arts (yarn, cloth, etc), Maker Stage (music, demos, speakers, etc), vendors (small Etsy type vendors selling their wares), robotics, Homegrown Village (gardening, beekeeping, etc)
       No particular experience is necessary for this position we just need some dedicated, excited people who are willing to put in the time and energy to make it the best they can.
As a Leadership Team Member you will be fed and cared for the day of the event, 10 of your friends and family will be admitted for free to the event and you will have the pride of knowing that you are helping the Maker Community in Orange County become awesome.
General volunteers for the day of the event. 
These people will work for a few hours the day of the event with such tasks as ticket sales, runners, set-up crew, clean-up crew, etc. they will have the rest of the time to themselves to enjoy the event.
Please contact Bequi at if you’re interested.   You can also follow the progress of OCMMF 2013 via FacebookTwitter and Google+.
“There are 3,010,232 creative people in Orange County and we want to bring you together to share your passions.   We believe that when this happens you’ll not only inspire each other but everyone around you.  Join the movement, discover the Maker in yourself.”