Maker Mania #3: Enabling the Future, Lego Tornadoes, Messing About With Making, Art Parts, Solid State Depot

The Faire is upon us, dear Boulderites, Boulderinos and various surrounding Boulderphillics! Or at least it will be upon us come Jan 31 – Feb 1 at the Boulder County Fairgrounds. And that means MAKERS galore! Join us here in the next few weeks as we preview the awesomeness that will be at the core of the Faire.

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Cotery Contest Brings Your Clothing Designs to Life

Are you a Zazzler or a Threadless-er or a Café Press-er? If you are, then you know how limiting it can be to work with ink on a tee shirt. Are you a fashion designer? If so, then you know how hard it is to source materials and market your line, and what a desperate gamble it can be to do these things with no guarantee that sales will be there on the back end.

That’s where The Cotery comes in.

Use the site’s design tool to bring the vision of your awesomeness into the world of electronic “what could be”. Then pre-sell your designs to fashion-forward users browsing for the next big thing. A bit like Kickstarter, if you reach your pre-sale goals, The Cotery kicks your design into production and your orders are magically fulfilled – making your electronic designs a reality. Snap, yo! It’s just that easy. And there are no up-front costs – if the design gets produced, The Cotery takes 10 percent of retail sales (5 percent for premium members).

It’s the brainchild of Boulder startup insider Char Genevier. As a high school student in Pasadena, CA, Char had an afterschool job at a web development company. “They’d literally be calling me during class saying there’s a bug in the software and I’m stepping out of stats class to take calls,” she says. On the side, Char and her boyfriend built an online message board for their school, an image hosting software, and the framework for what would become Char’s first startup, Social Engine, which, like the message board, allows companies and “people who want to be the next Facebook,” Char says, to design, brand, and host their own social networking sites.

Even after successfully bootstrapping Social Engine, Char felt like she working in a bubble in Los Angeles – they applied to the TechStars program, were accepted and moved to Boulder in 2010. There was an exit and the Cotery is Char’s answer to “what’s next?” It’s also the story of a true maker – in addition to being The Cotery’s CEO, Char built the back end.

Stop by the Cotery booth at the Boulder Mini Maker Faire, Jan 31 – Feb 1, 2015 to try it for yourself. Really: Cotery will be on hand to work with you through the process of designing your own clothing. Not only that but Cotery is also offering the opportunity to win a prize package that could help you push this new design into the world in a very real way. Launch a design on the site by February 15 and you could win a Cotery-sponsored package that will take your ability to sell your designs to the next level. Based on the number of presales your design generates, winners in “group” and “individual” categories will get the following:

Grand Prize (Design in Each Category with Most Pre-Sales):

  • One month subscription to Adobe Cloud.
  • Pre-Production Sample of Garment, one per designer in group category
  • Editorial Photoshoot
  • 6 months Premium Membership
  • Profit from winning design if sales goal is met

Second Place (Design in Each Category selected as Editor’s Choice):

  • Pre-Production Sample
  • 3 months Premium Membership
  • Profit from winning design if sales goal is met


Maker Mania #2: Tessa iPad Stand, Threshold School, AnomalyCon, Precision Machining Technology

The Faire is upon us, dear Boulderites, Boulderinos and various surrounding Boulderphillics! Or at least it will be upon us come Jan 31 – Feb 1 at the Boulder County Fairgrounds. And that means MAKERS galore! Join us here in the next few weeks as we preview the awesomeness that will be at the core of the Faire.

Tessa iPad Stand: The Tessa Stand is the most complete tablet stand invented, period. Pick it up, hold it, try it, and you will be asking where you can get one for yourself.

Threshold School: a project- based, independent 6th–12th grade school opening in Centennial, August 2015. At the heart of the Threshold program are large-scale, highly collaborative pursuits. Whether students are restoring wildlife habitats or producing feature films, they will use real tools and real materials under authentic conditions. The pursuits will genuinely matter to the young people; their purpose will not be a letter grade or a trophy.

AnomalyCon: AnomalyCon is Colorado’s premier steampunk, sci-fi, and alternate history. We aim to educate, baffle the mind, and entertain! We cover everything from sewing to engineering, to mad science.

Precision Machining Technology: Advanced Manufacturing is an exciting career choice for students who love making things and solving problems. Come investigate the world of precision machining at Front Range Community College.


Maker Mania #1: Usborne Books, pcDUINO, Parametric POLOC, Edify Technologies

The Faire is upon us, dear Boulderites, Boulderinos and various surrounding Boulderphillics! Or at least it will be upon us come Jan 31 – Feb 1 at the Boulder County Fairgrounds (tickets HERE). And that means MAKERS galore! More makers than you can count. More than you can imagine. More than you can shake a stick at, though we can’t imagine why you would want to shake sticks at makers. Hey, what is it with you anyway? Threatening defenseless little makers with a stick. Sheesh.

In any case, we’re going to do our best to give mad props via shout-outs to all our intrepid makers between now and the Faire. Barring that, we’ll write about them here at this blog. All the makers previewed here between now and the Faire will be AT the Faire, confirmed in blood, spittle and ink. Or sometimes just with ink. And sometimes not *actually* with ink, but with, you know, an email. So if you see things you like, put them on your list. And then come check ’em out at the Faire! Which, we should point out, is the perfect distraction from a Broncos-less Super Bowl…

Without further ado, away we go:

Usborne Books: Usborne Books & More publishes high quality books that allow people to expand their knowledge and travel to new places through the pages of a book. We have many hand on books that allow you to create new projects or experiments. Come try making a paper airplane!

pcDUino: pcDUino is a $39 DIY computer that is compatible with Arduino ecosystem.

Parametric POLOC: Parametric POLOC – Plops, O (drops), Lines On Canvas is a machine for creating large size abstract expressionist paintings in the style of Jackson Pollock. The mechanical machine tries to replicate the mechanics of drip painting, while the software tries to make rich, detailed, pleasing abstract art accessible to decorate your home. The exhibit allows visitors to take direct control of the painting process. This project is my introduction to physical computing.

Edify Technologies: Teaching kids to love and understand music through composition, with the app Sketch a Song.


Calling All Boulder Mini Maker Faire Volunteers!

Thank you for your interest in volunteering to support the first-ever Boulder Mini Maker Faire! This is going to be a fantastic event and your help is greatly appreciated (and needed!) to make it even better. It’s also a heck of a lot of fun to get involved — so we can’t wait to see you there!

In general we will need some help in the run up to the show with several aspects of the event. Then the biggest help will be needed during the show. And don’t forget: you get a super cool T-Shirt, food and drinks during your shift, and one General Admission ticket for each 4-hour shift. We can’t wait to get together and get our MAKE on!

So straight to the details. We’ll need help with the following:

Event set-up all-day Friday and Saturday mornings:

Materials delivery
Volunteer staff support (including food and drinks)
Maker way-finding during check-in/move-in

Box office support including admissions, wristbands and waiver release signing
Event ambassadors to help attendees find their way
Security inside and outside the event (including overnight shifts)
Maker support throughout the event with facilities and operations
Announcers for speaker and demonstrations stages

Strike-down and move out
Clean-up (which always seems to get the least volunteer sign up but is VERY important!)
And more cool opportunities to actually MAKE the experience by helping Makers in their booths!!

The shift schedule will be in 4-hour intervals (up to 8-hours max per day) and will range over a period from 7am-10pm depending on the day. We will have some lead-up events that you may want to participate in, including driving to pick up food donations and other supplies.

Please provide some basic information to help us start to place you around the event. Just email the following information to If you need more info, the email’s a great way to go, or you can feel free to call Jeff Scott, our supreme deity of Operations and Volunteer Coordination, at 303.859.2177.

Full name:
City of Residence:
Able to lift 40lbs or more:
Best cell or text number:
Spoken Languages:
Other skills that might help:

Please call/email/text me with any other questions, and we look forward to working with you to make this first Mini Maker Faire in Boulder spectacular!

23rd Studios Does Everything Graphics for Startups and Beyond

23rd.Studios.LogoAre you a maker, a hacker, a tinkerer with the next big thing sitting there brand spanking new on your workbench? If so, it might be time to, you know, show it to people. And if you’re gonna do that, you’re going to need a way to show it. That’s where Paul Talbot and his 23rd Studios comes in. In addition to graciously fulfilling all the photo and video needs for the Boulder Mini Maker Faire, Jan 31 – Feb 1, 2015, 23rd Studios is a one-stop shop for all of a business’s graphic and web design needs.

“One of the exciting things about working with maker and startup people is the energy associated with solving a problem or figuring out something new to solve a problem,” Paul says. It’s like that in the photo business, says Paul, who got his start in video while working as a photographer in New York City when producers realized that new DSLR technology meant he had video capability built into that camera he was carrying.

“I kind of fell into what I’m doing now,” says Paul. Now 23rd Studios has worked with everything from mapping images from Apollo, to graphic design for the Boulder Green Streets program, to food photography for Rueben’s Burger Bistro.

“On a photo or video shoot, you’re always solving problems to get the lighting just right, or work around that noisy air conditioner, or then after the shoot to use footage in creative and useful ways. I can’t wait to see the problem solving going on at the Faire,” Paul says.

Got a new gimbal device or wiring harness you’re showing at the faire? Or maybe a new photo drone technology? Be sure to track down Paul, ’cause he’d love to see it. He’ll be the one with the big camera clicking pictures and shooting vids.

Study: Does Vacationing Really Make You Happier?

Here we are in the week after the holidays. With Christmas on a Wednesday and New Years on a Thursday, for many of us it was a longer than usual break. Did you stay home or did you travel? For how long? And was it relaxing or stressful? Now as we get back to work and the kids get back to school, are you rested, recharged and reinvigorated as you roll into the winter? Or has your holiday high evaporated into sluggishness as you drag your thoroughly vacationed self back to the grind? A study in the journal Applied Research in the Quality of Life asks a similar question: does vacationing make you happy?

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