Oh, yeah, I had promised to do a run down on the Maker Faire. I did it here, but that wasn't enough to convey our day. I walked in feeling stressed, but left feeling refreshed. There was a ton of traffic to get into the fairgrounds, which was stressful enough, but when I went to take my first picture, I realized my memory card was still attached to my computer at home. I started shaking and practically hyperventilating. Apparently I am not the person you'd want around during a real emergency. Just this morning I knocked a glass of water all over my desk and just watched it for a few seconds while I tried to go back in time. Then when I finally jumped into action and stood the glass upright, I pushed it too hard and it flopped over the other way, fully emptying its contents and soaking even more papers. Sigh.
The good news about the memory card is that the Maker Faire is among the best places to show up without one because within a few long minutes, we located a booth selling new cards. Hooray!
The crowd was a little overwhelming, but once things settled down a bit, we were able to do some amazing things. Like last year, the kids made a cell replica and I learned to crochet. Kevin questioned why I went back to the crochet teaching station, but I am so glad I did. My teacher this year was really helpful and much less rigid than last year's teacher, who wanted my hands held in a very specific way. This year's teacher kept reassuring me to do whatever method worked for me and as a result, it was a much more enjoyable experience. As with everything in life, a good teacher makes all the difference.
The kids worked with scrap art and Rocket made a little house for a toy Go-Go. They love toy mash-ups and while the Scrap booth had regular craft glue, the Spring Fair at Clover's school allows kids to use hot glue guns, which they love as much as working with the toys. It's such a perennial favorite that friends of ours have even put out little toys and glue guns at their parties to entertain the kids. (That works because our bigger kids have been trained at school on glue gun safety. I'm not so trusting with Rocket.)
Lego Jeep, fun for all ages!
The very best part of my day was toward the end after I got separated from Kevin and the kids in the TechShop. I was talking to one of their female staffers at the embroidery machine when my family got bored and moved on, but it was one of those great Maker Faire conversations where the subject quickly went from embroidery to lasers to welding. When I couldn't find them, I realized I had some precious time alone at the faire and headed back into the Expo Hall where I was able to see Rachel Hobson give a great talk on embroidery.
Her presentation was a highlight of the day, which really reminded me why the Maker Faire is so special: it's the embracing of all-ages learning. Not only were there many fun ways to introduce the kids to different aspects of science (strawberry DNA extraction!), but there were so many opportunities for adults to learn too (learn to crochet for the second time!). I already know how to embroidery, but I was still able to learn new tricks from watching a veteran go over the basics. I loved it! Rachel poked fun at her cute little metal lunch box with embroidery supplies that she brings along to pass the time at her kids' sporting events, but that fact alone made me want to be her best friend.
One idea she shared is to make up a little starter embroidery kit, perfect for an older child's birthday gift. She already traced the embroidery patterns onto felt, then threw in a few needles, some floss and a small hoop. I plan on using this idea.
Sadly, this guy did not go home with me, but a girl can fantasize, right?