Good midday to you readers,

As I am certain you are aware, I have just teleported back from the West coast to join you here in the intertubes. While away I sought out many titillating adventures including but not limited to: bison stalking in Golden Gate park, house boat tow-a-thons in Sausalito, daily sandwich inhalation most anywhere, fortune cookie hi-jinks in Chinatown, and of course Maker Faire Bay Area. While my many non-maker related outings were delightful and on occasion profitable, the Maker Faire was tremendous.

I think it’s safe to say I went into Maker Faire with a 50/50 mix of Berserker and 5-year-old on Christmas morning energy. I was a juggernaut on a rampage of discovery. I ran through the gate and bounced from each new wonder with joy without halting. Robot dance party kept me busy just long enough to spy the BrollyFlock before I dashed inside the Fiesta Hall to find Arcattack’s rapping robot. Then the Tesla coils played “Popcorn” and I came to the realization that I was in trouble. There was no way I was going to be able to see and do everything. Especially when I had already planned to attend several demos and discussions that were scheduled at the same time. Mr. McCluckin’ and I agreed to split up to see the most important discussions and report back our findings.

This was a splendid plan until we hit one big snag, the map, info booth, and app all placed the crafter lounge in the middle of the fire arts area. Initially the concept of crafting while dragons threw flames overhead seemed exhilarating. Alas, the crafter lounge was no where to be found in the fire arts region. I spent a very sad 30 minutes searching high and low for it, only to happen upon the lounge once I gave up and decided to try and find a different discussion. During this period I walked into the end of 2 other chats I had hoped to catch just in time to hear the presenters thank the audience for their time, of course when I happened upon the crafter lounge the session I was looking for was also wrapping up. I left and found Mr. McCluckin’ and told him my tale of woe. We decided paella could fix our problems and sat down to reconsider our plans for the faire.

After lunch I realized that under no circumstance would I be able to see and do everything. Trying to do so would most likely ruin Maker Faire for both me and my love rooster. So I needed to let the Maker Faire be the frenzy it promised and I could bounce around inside it like a marble in a washing machine (loudly and damage inducingly). Renewed by the incredibly tasty eats provided Mr. McCluckin’ and I set out with a new mindset and the Faire subsequently blew our minds.

Now I have never been to any sort of convention prior. I wasn’t prepared for the congenial and hyper energy everyone was putting off. Much like any crowd, there were those trying moments when someone steps on your foot, a child starts up their scream machine and refuses to shut it down, or you simply can’t see past the shoulders of the mob to determine what all the fuss is about. But every time that happened I would look to my side and strike up a conversation with someone that was feeling the same way I was and we would laugh it off. Then I would learn something amazing about that person, like they were from Arizona and in their spare time fiddled with 3D printers or they came from Orange County where they weave newspaper into fabric. They were here just to rub shoulders with others that love making…just like me! Every maker on display was unique and awesome, every single discussion I saw opened my eyes to new possibilities, but it was the people at the faire that ultimately took it to 11.

I would go back but I need a year or more to spend the fantastic energy I built up at the faire. More than anything, I realized I want to be among my people more often. Makers are fascinating, their thought processes are awe-inspiring, and just being near them can launch your creativity to new levels. I want to find the makers in my homeland and perhaps over tea or circuit boards we can form partnerships that will create the things tomorrow needs to be the shiny future we all desire.

With that said, here are links and short descriptions of some of my very favorite things I happened upon:

The tiny house from Tumbleweed brought to life my childhood dream of cubbyhole living. Perhaps I read too many books about gnomes as a kid, but I have always loved the idea of living in a tiny space. Touring the wee home really made my day.

The center stage talks interpreted live by Image Think brought all the doodles in my head to life. I am a visual person and the live drawings and final poster products simply sang with possibility. Mr. McCluckin’ and I have been trying to determine how to insert more doodling into our lives ever since.

Silvi typing away at The Poetry Store booth was magical. Here you could buy a poem that would be penned in 3 minutes or less, all you needed to provide was a subject and a donation. I may have gone poem crazy. At one point I was in line behind 2 teenage girls that wanted to buy poems for their parents. As Silvi asked what things one girls dad liked I heard her report “Korean pop music and slipper socks.” Oh how I wish to have read that poem.

Tape town! Seriously an entire tiny city and surrounding region made of masking tape. The mind baffles as you spy every inch lovingly twisted or folded by a very patient and sticky artist. Check out tapigami to see all their installations.

The roving muffins and cupcakes were super sweet! All punning aside, there is something transcendent about a cupcake that’s housing a human. Maybe it’s just my love of sweets that made this so outstanding. At one point I saw Caine of Caine’s Arcade tooling around in a pumpkin flavored cupcake; he was very polite. Here’s a little video from Acme Muffineering describing how they are made.

Lastly, I seriously enjoyed Mr. McCluckin’s nerdy joygasms whenever something new and exciting would find him. He thrilled over a Dalek named Fred, several R2-D2 bots, and the hover De Lorean, just to name a few. When he first booked this trip it was for me alone, but this fair wouldn’t have been as astounding without him. As always I would like to reiterate how lucky I am to have found myself such a good looking rooster with such a big, generous heart.

All right, that about wraps it up. I am off to make something new and exciting, or at a minimum edible as it’s long past time for lunch. Have yourself a splendid day.


Henny Penny


Framing Myself


The hen house has been a hotbed of activity of late good readers. First off there was the Ravioli Festivalo! Mr. McCluckin’ and a few of our semi-famous friends made 270 cheese raviolis all in one night. Then over the course of a week the mister and I made 158 pork-lamb-beef-and-love meatballs, 3+ gallons of marinara, 47 turkey-not-dry-at-all meaballs, and 38 vegan raviolis filled with marshmallow peeps. It was hectic and meaty, not to mention sticky as all get out. Luckily the Festivalo was a hit with just a wee bit of the in-laws showing off their crazy eyes. No one was hurt in the making and no dogs escaped the house, so I call it a success. Oh and there was a cake! A red velvet number from Saveur, it was simply divine and I am quite sad to not have a photo.

Since then I have been on a tear to get ready for the upcoming trip to San Francisco. Plus I have had this insatiable desire to read. It started in March when I waded through that Olympic sized pool of illness, the downtime that ensued really encouraged page turning. Then my obsession careened into April and it would seem May is holding the same promise. Since March 1st I have read 16 books and several magazines, not to mention the nutritional panels on all my cleaning products.

It’s a wonder I’ve found time for any crafting, but you see I did make time for a little something this week. For a year of more I have been considering all the necklaces that love jumbling into one giant mess on my dresser. This week I put a stop to the tyranny of knots with a handy-dandy jewelry organizer. Basically I took an old frame that I swiped from Grimace’s love lair. Then I sanitized it, painted it plum, installed a wire backing, and laced pretty buttons onto the front.

There were a few tricks I learned as I went along. First off I thought a staple gun would hold all the mesh in place, nope, it took about a pint of hot glue and a final addition of masking tape to cover the rough edges and really firm the screen up. Secondly I first tried a heavy floral wire to attach the buttons but all that did was mess up the mesh and cause droopy button syndrome. Through a bit of trial and error I found that regular jewelry wire tied in knots with a crimp bead tossed into the mix held steady and didn’t ask too much of the screen it gripped. Lastly, if you want to paint the frame, by all means pain it BEFORE installing the screen, it will save you a mess and a great deal of time.

Now all my beloved jewels hang proudly in the corner of my boudoir. Come admire them sometime if you like, I’m sure we’re bound to host some form of Festivalo again.

I’m off to play tiddlywinks with the pooches. Do have a lovely day, I simply insist.


Henny Penny