So, yes, Maker Faire... We noticed this year that the Make people were offering a really great opportunity to get two adult day passes for free if you joined the "Maker Faire Street Team", which just involved posting fliers and posters and a few stickers and badges around your local area in places like coffee shops and libraries, schools and other appropriate places, so we jumped at that chance and one Saturday morning the whole family had a bit of a jaunt around our neighbourhood doing this. The kids actually enjoyed doing this quite a lot. As a result we ended up only having to pay for two $5 children's day passes to all go to the Maker Faire this year!
Arc Attack's tesla coil show that we had missed out on the year before. Fantastic stuff! If you've not seen them in action before, here's a link to them playing the Dr Who theme tune this year with Adam Savage dancing like the geek he is in the faraday cage.
Astromech, the R2 unit builders club. The kids knew that they were going to be there and had been looking forward to seeing R2-D2 "in person" so much that Carys had actually put out her starwars tshirt two nights before the faire ready to wear and when she found out that there would be more than one R2 unit there, she drew a picture for each unit.
his website for people looking to embark on their own R2 build. Seems like the perfect long term project for Carys and Paul, especially now that Paul's got the CNC milling machine he built up and running.Me and the girls have made several trashy robots from recycling in the past, like Wall-e and a Dalek and some space craft from Star wars too, so I might get the kids involved in making an R2D2 this way to give Paul some time to look into the specifics of cost and material options required to build a more accurate and robust droid. Thank you to Chris for letting Carys and Ffion into the R2 area to meet the units up close. It made their day :)
Bay Area Lego Users Group area and the inflatable glowing asparagus forrest from "O Yeah Toys". The interactive discofloor, and the muffin cars pictured at the top of this post that were powered with modified electric wheelchair components were also big hits with both girls.
"50 dangerous things" By the time we got all the way up to the far end of the Faire it was getting late in the day though and although Ffion was keen to try the stick your fingers together challenge and did really well with it, both kids were quickly distracted by the enormous electric giraffe that was wandering past, so they didn't try all the things that Gever had out.
Brightworks and how they plan to operate.
We've made giant kid friendly kanzashi out of Baby wipes and paper towels with the kids after I read about about the craft on Diane's blog Craftypod, that I've been subscribed to for a very long time. I couldn't figure out from just looking at these different shaped plastic contraptions she showed on her blog how exactly they might work. I'm guessing that there will be a video online at some point showing how to use them though. I'd also hoped to just say hi to some of the Craft team there because they have been very supportive of Filth Wizardry in the past and have posted about several of our projects over the last couple of years on the Craftzine blog. Hopefully there will be some more mini maker events over the coming year and I can say hello and thank you in person then. I think next year, we will have to try and get just adult tickets for one day of the event and find someone willing to babysit for us, and then take the whole family on the other day, because me and Paul are really into the technical stuff that is at the faire, but don't really get a chance to endulge when we have the small kids in the equation.
Right now though I need to really take it easy for a couple of days because my back is rather displeased with me and the weekend's antics. I still haven't planted the bed of spinach and the bed of peas and beans that I was planning to get sorted before little miss Boardman no.3 arrives, but with only a couple of weeks to go, my body has informed me that it is on strike when it comes to digging, lifting or bending. I'm really looking forward to meeting this little girl and introducing her to my older two, but I'm also hoping that she'll submit to another week or so of cooking time ;)
Did any of our UK readers make it to the Newcastle Maker Faire back in March? How was it? We are likely going to be back in the UK next year and I'm hoping there will be another UK Maker Faire in 2012.