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Archive for the ‘Make’ Category

On YouTube: PromptSmart – Intelligent Teleprompter for your iPhone and iPad

March 7th, 2017 Comments off

An interesting bit of software for those of us who produce our own videos without the benefits of a a large crew and a lot of money. Adding the voice recognition piece to the standard teleprompter could be a winning combination for this software. — Douglas

On YouTube: PromptSmart - Intelligent Teleprompter for your iPhone and iPad

Watch YouTube: PromptSmart – Intelligent Teleprompter for your iPhone and iPad

Teleprompters help you stay on script and produce great, value-packed content. Try PrompSmart, the smart prompt app you can use from your phone or tablet. It works on any mobile device and integrates with Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox and Box. Make better, value-packed video with a little help from PromptSmart.

I liked this video and think you might find it interesting, too!

On YouTube: Create is a Verb from Barb Makes Things

March 7th, 2017 Comments off

Noted: Everything You Need to Get Started in Screen Printing for about $50 (or Only $100 to Go All Out)

March 7th, 2017 Comments off

On YouTube: Intro To Laser Cutting

March 4th, 2017 Comments off

On YouTube: Introduction to the Laser Cutter

March 4th, 2017 Comments off

I’m trying to increase my own knowledge about all the equipment that can be found in a Makerspace, so I have been searching about in YouTube for good introductions to laser cutters, 3D printers, drill presses and more. I’ll share my best finds in the days to come. — Douglas

Watch YouTube: Introduction to the Laser Cutter

I liked this video and think you might find it interesting, too!

Are you “Dreaming of Knitting”? Share your love with these Totes, Mugs, iPhone Cases and More!

March 3rd, 2017 Comments off

On YouTube: Makey-Makey: You’ve Never Seen Bananas Do This…

February 25th, 2017 Comments off

Do It 2017!: #7 Give yourself a creativity budget

February 25th, 2017 Comments off

Do It 2017 Do It 2017! #7: Give yourself a creativity budget

So far in this series, I have talked about being creative, making space for your creativity, and making time for your creativity. Today, though, I’ll address one of the more problematic aspects of creativity and your creative pursuits — giving yourself a creativity budget.

It is a sad fact that, even when money is available, we often discount our own creative adventures, deciding that it isn’t worth the monetary investment to pursue our creations. We feel frivolous, silly, wasteful, imprudent and a hundred other things. We might be saying to ourselves, “It is wrong to spend money on paper and paint brushes when there are bills to be paid, children to be fed, etc, etc, etc.” While it may be true that we have other commitments, most of us usually have some discretionary income, too. If you have enough money for a pint of beer, you have enough for a few sketching pencils. If you can eat out once or twice a week, you can also afford a nice set of watercolors or a couple blocks of paper. For most of us, there is money available. We just have to realize that we deserve to spend it on ourselves.

That said, creating art can often be done on a shoestring budget — or no budget at all. How many buskers have you seen that create some amazing music beats using only recycled buckets or crates? Acapella singers on the street can captivate an audience using only the power of their voice. Sometimes constraints can help us to go deeper in our creativity than we might in a fully stocked studio. If you truly have no budget for art, start making collages from newspaper and magazines. Draw with a ballpoint pen on copier paper or Post-It Notes. You can even burn the end of a stick and draw on the cement sidewalk if need be. It is creativity that is important, not the tools you use to express it. Don’t let yourself get caught in the trap of thinking you need hundreds of dollars of supplies to even get started. Do something today, using the supplies at hand. You can always get more or different supplies later once you’ve created a habit of creativity.

Budgeting isn’t just about saving your money, it’s also about deciding where it goes. You can create some space in your budget to support your creative endeavors if you try. I know I can cringe at the price of some art supplies, but I still make space to buy some every now and then. I know that a good brush or good paper can make the difference between great, fun creativity and struggling. Like a student musician who struggles with their first cheap instrument, you can struggle with cheap supplies. Once you allow yourself to dedicate time and attention to creativity, you’ll come to a point where your future growth requires some investment, so you can continue to grow in your art.

Look for sales at your local art stores and haunt them religiously. Recently, our local Aaron Brothers store had an amazing sale on art supplies of all sorts. Papers — for drawing, painting or journaling — were Buy 1, Get 2 Free! I typically see 2-for-1 sales, but this sale was amazing. The same sale was also available on a variety of paintbrushes. Instead of spending $60+ on watercolor paper, I purchased 3 pads for around $20. One paintbrush was priced at $16, but I came away with 2 more brushes for the same price. Buy as much of your supplies as possible during sales like this and you’ll only have to budget them in one or twice a year.

Finally, remember that you yourself are worthy of investment and that is exactly what art supplies are — an investment in you, your creativity and in many cases, your happiness. Don’t shortchange yourself. In most cases, you aren’t going out and buying a ceramics kiln, print presses or other big ticket items for your creativity. You’re buying yarn, paints, glues, polymer clay or papers. You can always add the larger equipment and supplies later, as our skills and needs grow.

Surely you can find some space in your budget to add some supplies to your studio — even if your studio is comprised of your kitchen table or the stoop outside your back door. Go out this weekend to your favorite store and, at least, see what they have to offer. Spend $20 on your creativity and then get creating. You deserve it and the world deserves your creativity!

Show off how you are using your creativity budget this week! What small tool or supply did you add to your studio? Why? What will it help you create?

Previously on Do It!:

On YouTube: SparkFun Simultaneous RFID Tag Reader

February 24th, 2017 Comments off
Categories: DIY, Make, Technology, Video Tags: , , , , ,

Do It 2017!: #6 A Bias Towards Action and Being The Good Example

February 16th, 2017 Comments off

Do It 2017#6 A Bias Towards Action and Being The Good Example

One phrase that drives my creative life — and my life as a whole — is to always have a bias towards action. When life is confusing, worrisome, sad or dark, I find that doing something is always my solace.

Why? Well, to be as honest as I can be, I can be a moody, depressive, SOB at times. My normal(?) thoughts are pessimistic and worrisome. For me, this means if I am not careful — very careful — I can be overwhelmed and overdriven by the people and events around me. Something as simple and common as a couple having a quiet, if obvious, argument nearby can make me just as badly as if I were participating in the argument.

Knowing this about myself means that I have to have methods of controlling my downward spirals and a bias towards action is one of them. For me, being trapped in indecision affects me deeply, and in many cases, even physically. There is a tightness in my chest, an increasing pulse and a general feeling of anxiety that won’t go away. One of the few things that can help to alleviate this feeling is doing something.

Deciding to Decide

Even though I might not be able to make a particular decision or change a particular situation now, doing something about that decision can help — and “Deciding to Decide” is better than nothing. Much better, in my case.

The same can be said for bad situations. While burying myself in a project can have the immediate effect of isolating me from an uncomfortable situation, the act of doing also calms me mentally and physically. Doing something, nearly anything lightens my spirit and keeps me on the road to productivity and creativity instead of descending into the depths that my mind can conjure. Left to its own devices, my mind will create almost unimaginable horrors, if I let it.

Do something — good

When I am driven to action, though, I try to take the next step and also think about doing some good with my actions. Sometimes this takes the simple form of creating something beautiful when the world is rather ugly. I tend to not get involved in online arguments about politics or policy (unless pushed to action by the outrageous), but instead, I make a point of being a bit a beauty — a bit of light — in an otherwise dark world.

Look at my social media feeds, especially Instagram, and you’ll see little hint of whatever turmoil I am feeling in my life today. Instead, I use these sites as a salve for both my own and, hopefully, my readers/followers, souls. Whatever news surrounds my posts, I hope that my posts bring a smile or sense of happiness, if only for a moment. I know that these are the people I seek out in my own feeds and I try to do likewise.

Be The Good Example

In fact, in all my creative pursuits, I try to be the beauty, the change, the “good example”, that I can be. I believe that no matter the state of the world, our neighborhood, or our lives, we can also strive to provide a good example to others. This is the simplest, straightforward power we have and should never relinquish. No matter how crazy things get, create — and create something good, however, you might define it for yourself.

I know that, for me, creativity — making, taking action, building, drawing, painting, whatever you might do — is an important part of making the life that I want to live and, hopefully, making the lives of others just a little bit better.

What are you creating? What good example are you providing? How are you making the world a better place? For yourself and  others?


Previously on Do It!:

Categories: Creativity, DIY, Do It!, Make Tags: