The Laboratory Lamp

First created in 1860, the Erlenmeyer flask has come to symbolize chemistry, and by extension science as a whole. I wanted to use that symbol to create an item of functional decor, and what better for that than a lamp, with the relationship between the light bulb and the “aha!” of an idea?


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Garbage In, Garbage Out

For over a decade I’ve had kicking around in my garage’s attic the cases from a couple of old original-style Macintoshes, waiting for just the right project. Fishtank? Nah, been done. Embedded Raspberry Pi and display? Maybe, but not now.

One day, after staring at them stacked in my office, I realized that they had a similar form factor to the classic bullet-top garbage cans with the swinging lid. I could give one of these a new (slightly unceremonious) life as a garbage can!


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A Flock of Doubts

I’m sorry that it’s been over nine months since I posted here. I’ve been busy building in that time—some projects, but mostly a new life after the end of an eighteen year relationship.

The latter project is not the type I’m used to or enjoy, and it’s distracted me greatly from the former. After moving, it was almost four months before I got my shop set up again and could even think about working there, and I still have trouble finding parts I know I have somewhere around.

In that downtime, a flock of doubts swept in, and they’ve been heckling the creative parts of my mind from their perches in the rafters.

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Kickstarter: Portland Bridge Clocks

They don’t light up like a lot of my other projects, but the collection of Portland, Oregon bridge clocks I just launched has been a great way to test the Kickstarter waters. They’re laser-cut from bamboo, and you can get one of every bridge in the Rose City. Check them out for yourself here:

The Portland Bridge Clock Series


Moon Phase Purse

I’ve been going through a moon phase recently (pun absolutely intended), and thought it would be fun to make a wearable or totable that displayed the current state of the moon. There would be a bit of hardware involved, so a purse seemed like the perfect vehicle—you’re already carrying a load of other things, so there’s no harm in the addition of a small battery pack or a pile of LEDs.

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The Giant Spirograph

What’s eight feet across, has 90 teeth, and makes beautiful designs? Not a shark with an art degree, but this giant version of the classic Spirograph drawing toy. Chalk is the medium, and streets and sidewalks are the canvas.

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Molotov Cocktail LED Lantern

LED candles not radical enough for you? How about some revolutionary chic in the form of an LED molotov cocktail! Let’s call this number two in my series of bad ideas sure to draw the attention of the local constabulary, the first being the screwdriver key that lets you “steal” your own car. Read on and learn how to make your own.

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Konami Code Necklace

Up up down down left right left right B A Start… Who of a certain age can forget that code? I make no guarantees that this laser-cut mirror necklace will get you extra lives, but it will get you some extra attention.

Since there isn’t a whole lot to share in the how-to of the final product, instead I thought I’d share the meandering process of getting there from the initial idea. So often, project write-ups only focus on what worked and ignore the many failures and missteps along the way, and there were many failures and missteps in this project, spanning over a year.

If you’d like a necklace, you can buy it in my Etsy shop and help support my further creative endeavors.

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The Art of Tinkering

The Exploratorium in San Francisco recently released a book called The Art of Tinkering. They describe it as

a celebration of a whole new way to learn by thinking with your hands, working with readily available materials, getting your hands dirty, and, yes, sometimes failing and bouncing back from getting stuck.

Sounds like exactly what I enjoy!

I’m excited and proud to be a part of it, with a section on Pumpktris right on page 73, sharing a spread with littleBits and the folks from Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories, among others.

Order your copy at the Exploratorium store or at Amazon.

Easy Star Wars Paper Snowflakes

DIY papercut Star Wars snowflakes are all the rage these days (here, here, here), but what if you’re not that crafty? Or your mom won’t let you use the sharp knife? Successfully finishing one of those designs takes some fine motor skills and attention to detail that not everyone possesses. Now you won’t be left out, with these three easy papercut Star Wars snowflakes that anyone can do.

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