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Crocheted Light-up Key Chain Light Saber

Crocheted Light-up Key Chain Light Saber

Posted by on Jul 19, 2013 in Crafting, Making | 0 comments

Now even fiber artists can get in touch with their inner padawan by making a small light saber that actually lights up. I got inspired to create this, appropriately enough, from a light-up key chain shaped like a light bulb. You’ll need just a few other things to make this lovely light source for a more civilized age. Aside from the light-up key chain, you will need: A clear bendable plastic, such as the kind you’ll find used for sheet protectors at office supply stores. Two colors of lightweight yarn or crochet cotton, one for the hilt of your lightsaber and one for the blade. A crochet hook sized appropriately to use with the yarn or cotton. A small amount of craft paint to match the color of your lightsaber blade. A small paint brush.   A container for water. A pair of scissors. A pen, or something with which to mark on the plastic. Clear tape. Newspaper to protect the surface on which you’re working. A ruler is optional; I kind of winged it, but if you want your light saber blade to be an exact length, and your lines to be perfectly straight, you’ll want one. First, cut the rings off the side of your sheet protector, and the sealed pocket off the bottom. Fold it out so that you’re working with a single, flat sheet. Roll your key chain up in the plastic so that you have a little more than one complete thickness around it. Mark how far you rolled on the plastic, and how long you want your blade to be. Connect these marks to make a rectangle. Spread out your newspaper, fill your water container, and open your paint. Take your paint brush and fill in that rectangle with your paint. You don’t have to cover it too thickly; in fact, you shouldn’t, if you want your light to shine through. Let the paint dry completely before continuing to the next step. When the paint is dry, cut out the rectangle. Attach it with tape to your key chain, and roll it up. Make sure the painted side is on the inside of...

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Crafting vs. Making: Is There a Difference?

Crafting vs. Making: Is There a Difference?

Posted by on Jun 18, 2013 in Making | 0 comments

Blog website owners make a ton of decisions when carving out their little corner of the web. Not the least of these decisions concerns the categories to cover. You want clear differentiation, even if you’re covering a narrow niche. If you define your niche broadly, that should be easy. So why include categories for both “crafting” and “making”? Broadly, you could say they’re the same: you start with some kind of raw materials, and end up with a finished object. But looked at from a sort of historical or “look-and-feel” perspective, they aren’t. While people have been crafting and making things forever, when I think of “crafting” I think of sweaters and dolls and quilts and such made by loving hands at home, often with a distinctly 1950s to 1970s feel, because that’s the sensibility in which I learned my first craft. (It was crocheting, back in 1974, if anyone cares). “Making,” on the other hand, is a word coined by the “makers’ movement,” started and energized by the first MakerFaire, put on in 2006 in California and sponsored by O’Reilly Publishing, the same people who put out the computer books with animals on the cover and MAKE magazine. Yet it, too, has much older roots. Think back to magazines such as Popular Mechanics, or Bill Hewlett and David Packard building a computer (and a company) in a garage, or even the Wright brothers creating the first airplane. While Mom might be sewing some clothes in her attic craft room, Dad might be putting together a TV in his garage workshop. (Yes, there was a time you could buy kits to build TVs; look it up!). On the other hand, when that garage workshop focused on wood, and turned out glorious little boxes or tables or elegant pieces of furniture, we might remark without irony on the marvelous CRAFTsmanship. And at MakerFaires everywhere, you’re likely to seek people who consider themselves artists, crafters, and makers all under one roof (and sometimes they’re all the same person!). So what’s the difference? We can’t draw the line at traditionally “male” and “female” crafts (there’s that word again!). With the Lilypad Arduino,...

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