Monday, January 26, 2009

coffee cozy

i love my coffee... probably a little too much. usually i want two cups from my french press, but it's always cold by the time i get to the second cup. not that it stops me from drinking it, but i figured a little sweater might solve this problem. so, with some extra yarn and a few hours during the nhl all-star game i made a french press cozy. it hasn't actually been put to the test yet, but hopefully that second cup will be toasty warm a little longer.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

atari punk console

last night was my first time at the vancouver hackspace. for those unfamiliar with hack(er)spaces, here's wikipedia's definition:

"a hackerspace or hackspace is a real (as opposed to virtual) place where people with common interests, usually in science, technology, or digital or electronic art can meet, socialise and collaborate."

the colloquial definition of "hacking" generally involves subversive and often illegal activities. while this is an element of hacking, it is more accurately defined as creating or re-purposing electronics, software, or any other digital media outside the mainstream. hacking and hackerspaces are very connected to the diy ethos.

anyway, last night they organized an atari punk console workshop. an atari punk console is a simple soldering kit that uses two 555 timer chips (or in this case a 556 chip, which is two 555s in one) and a couple of potentiometers that usually control the volume of a speaker. the frequency and pulse width of the output are controlled by the potentiometers... basically the noise changes when you turn the knobs. capiche?

here is my board complete with jumper wire rats nest. surprisingly it worked!

here is an apc in action:

useful? no. cool? yes.

here's some links if you're interested in hackerspaces:
vancouver hackspace

next project in my new arduino micro-controller:

Monday, January 19, 2009


for those of you that don't know, gocco is a japanese machine/technique for screen printing on paper. unfortunately they discontinued production of the printing machines and now it is difficult, or at least expensive, to find one. i've lost several ebay auctions over the past couple months (mostly because they always get crazy expensive), but i finally won an auction yesterday and so there is now a gocco pg-10 on it's way from japan!

here are some examples of gocco prints.

here is a super awesome tutorial on youtube. it'll make you miss the 80's.

make stuff/do stuff: book binding

the first make stuff/do stuff of 2009 was yesterday. this was also the first time ms/ds was themed. usually the events are just free for alls, but i decided to focus on book binding this week. admittedly the term "event" is a little misleading as it was just liz and i, but we managed to get some impressive book binding done and enjoy some home-brew beer and nachos along the way. considering this is the first book binding either of us had done i was pleasantly surprised with the results. we used the coptic stitch and while my stitches could have been tighter, liz learned from my mistakes and hers turned out really well. geoff's:


liz also added sweet tassels to her tuque

Sunday, January 18, 2009

diy brewing

over the holiday joel and ken had the bright idea of brewing their own beer. they went to west coast u-brew who put together a batch of sierra madre amber ale. there wasn't a whole lot of diy going on, as my only contribution was putting it in bottles, but this is perhaps the first step to doing true home-brew. while it doesn't have a whole lot to do with the true diy ethos, it will provide us with cheap and delicious beer. as you can see i sampled a bottle and it turned out quite well.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

past projects

first project with the sewing machine. started sewing pieces of fabric from an old jacket and somehow ended up with a bag for my lomo camera.

this is one of two tote bags i sewed and screen printed for tina and jesse's wedding (graphic designed by jesse)

i sewed the t-shirt and did the printing.

my shoulder bag that i made and printed.

xmas present plushies

xmas present tote bags made from recycled shirts and scrap fabric

i knit that scarf... and drank that beer

my half crocheted hat

the finished product

decorating with squares

maps turned into fridge magnets

Monday, January 12, 2009

birth of a blog

admittedly i am not much of a blogger. i'm certainly not one of those people with infinite energy and drive, even though i wish i were. my general purpose blog had no focus and i had no real interest in updating it. so, i've decided to start a blog with more focus and about something i really care about. hence a blog about do-it-yourself (diy) projects entitled: make stuff/do stuff. i want this to be a place where i can share my experiences in diy. a place where i can post my successes and failures, share ideas, showcase other do-it-yourselfers, and get feedback.

here is my mini-manifesto on diy in convenient list form:

why i love diy...

1. it feels good to make stuff
2. less consumerism
3. it's an excellent creative outlet
4. ability to have/wear/use something unique
5. ability to recycle/re-task/renew objects and materials
6. the diy community is much more enjoyable than the mall
7. it's an opportunity to teach, learn, and share
8. people have to pretend to like something if you make it for them

one day i'd like to start a diy studio/workshop. it would be a space that facilitates diy in the community. the concept is a shop with the space, tools, supplies, and a little know-how for people to build a wide variety of projects. there are similar spaces such as blim, which is an amazing place that is mostly an arts and crafts workshop. there are also spaces such as techshop that provide higher end equipment and cater mostly to hobbyists.

so, in the meantime i'm trying to involve myself in as many diy projects as possible. potential and on going projects include:

-screen/gocco printing
-book binding
-vacuum forming