Friday, May 27, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment}~A Soule Mama ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Making Smiles

To learn more about Maria's smile, visit Love and Rockets, the blog about our Young Makers Club, art and engineering!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Love and Rockets SteamPunk at Maker Faire

We were at Maker Faire, Bay Area!
Geoff, Natalie, William, Alex, Max, Maria, Eli, Suki, Michal, Helen, Grant, Isaac, Hannah, Zoe, Kevin, Dannie, Sean, Steve, Rick, and Amy caught up with us for dinner!

I know, right? So many friends gathered together. It was a dream come true. When we went last year, I knew that I wanted to convince as many people as possible to join us at Maker Faire in 2011, because the experience must be shared. My second wish was to become involved, to participate: One year later and we succeeded in making two dreams come true... we brought friends, and we are Love and Rockets~Art of Engineering :: Makers Club!

As you might imagine, I took some pictures. Seriously, not as many as I would like to have taken, but I am OK... given the choice between playing or taking pictures, I am happy to have chosen to play.

Today's post will reflect happily on the joy that is SteamPunk, our artful engineering.

Natalie, Suki, Maria, William, Alex, Max, Eli, Isaac, and Grant came to Maker Faire in some retro-futuristic-airship-Edwardian-Wellsian-Vernian-Victorian attire and accoutrement. Thrifted, crafted, stitched, and glued... our ensembles reflect the art of dress, the play of every day, the incarnation of literature and fantasy that makes our creative reality.

The moment we stepped out of our Green Goose Airship our enjoyment began in earnest. It is impossible to not find something pleasurable at Maker Faire. Whether you want to engage in a discussion about physics, or simply apply the laws of physics to play... you will find a way to enjoy the day!

Except for food, and merchandise, once you get in everything is free. Pay your admission, step in, and participate... touch, engage, play, interact, sample! I can't think of many places where the expectation is that you will be an active participant, that you will (in the words of a friend) think, make, tinker! People there want to share what they made, what they are thinking about, and they are as curious to learn about your projects, your creations, and ideas.

The San Francisco museum, the Exploratorium is a wonderful example of the hands-on attitude toward learning. The museum of science, art and human perception is a collaborator with The Young Makers Program. They had a great booth at the Faire, including this musical bench, whose notes were made by the contact of the occupants with each other, the seat and arms of the bench.

So, where do you begin?

Arriving at the Faire, we were overwhelmed with opportunities, but consensus was pretty high...our first stop would be beneath the trees where other SteamPunks were gathering.

And as soon as we arrived, we found Crackitus Potts was preparing the H.U.G., a net propulsion device, in case of zombies...

Some zombies can be, with appropriate restraints applied, relied upon to do service for the LEAGUE, but first the zombie must be captured, restrained, then trained...

And what?! Baron Von Fogel has spied a zombie in our very midst...

When a zombie is spotted, Crackitus grabs the net propulsion device, and prepares to do battle...

Look out Zombie-boy!

Nothing can stop the super accuracy and efficiency of Crackitus Potts and his H.U.G.

My children have interesting desires, and this turns out to be a dream come true for Alex, who, on his way to Maker Faire, was discussing his hope to be recognized as a zombie and captured by LEAUGUE of S.T.E.A.M.

Maria enjoyed the demonstration, but she was looking for someone in the crowd. She was looking for R.O.S.E.. Maria met R.O.S.E. last year, then was crushed when she missed her chance to say good-by. Luckily, she and R.O.S.E. were able to exchange emails. Of course a lot of anticipation had been building since last year, and Maria could not wait to see her friend again. It seems R.O.S.E. has taken a break from her duties as a Reanimate Optimized Search Engine.

Maria went directly to the St. Claire Aeronauts, so she could pen her friend a love letter. The good Captain St. Claire and his generous crew were there, and they provided all of the supplies and encouragement necessary for writing letters, making envelopes, and delivering messages at the Faire.

Suki took pen in hand, and wrote to her own true love.

Maria filled the page with her message to R.O.S.E., including a garden of flowers, and lots of pretty stamps.

And then Captain St. Claire himself, taught Maria and Suki the art of envelope making. Thank you St. Caire Aeronauts!

Captured and trained, Alex is put into service right away. The net must be properly stowed, and reloaded into the H.U.G. You never know when uncivilized zombies will come around, or when there might be some monkey business... ever have trouble with phantom monkeys?!

Sir Conrad Wright III knows the importance of keeping equipment in good condition... safety too concerns him, and for his particular specialty he dons protective clothing around his neck.

With a device more futuristic than retro Crackitus Potts and Baron Von Fogel are able to capture an image of Maria with her letter for R.O.S.E., instantly transdigiporting the message directly to R.O.S.E..

Hopefully R.O.S.E. got both the transdigiported image and Maria's actual love letter.

We certainly appreciate the sincere and gracious attention The LEAGUE of S.T.E.A.M. gave Maria, and she loves her special R.O.S.E. pin.

More friends arriving! Using my own futuristic hand held mobile device, I was keeping everyone posted on our movements, and that is how Isaac, Hannah, Zoe, Kevin and Dannie were able to track us down. Isaac came with his cousin, Hannah, and friend, Zoe. His own school project was on display at Maker Faire. Maybe he was writing to Grant about the CalSol UC Berkely Solar Vehicle. Kevin and Dannie rode over from Davis... it was looking a bit like a FIRST 2102 Team Paradox reunion!

Or maybe like a Sky Consortium Ball!

The LEAGUE of S.T.E.A.M. with Love and Rockets, this is a special occasion indeed.

With one hundred thousand people in attendance, it's no surprise it was a while before we caught up with Grant! Well worth the wait. Maria had more hugs to dispense than minutes in a day, and she made Suki and Grant solemnly vow that the three of them were buds for life!


Many of us met at Saphira, the fire breathing dragon from a Bay Area Young Makers Club. We were also introduced to a new Young Makers Club project, Fire Jam... more on that in a later post!

Twelve hours of amazing sights, artful attractions, and engineering marvels, and a lifetime of great memories. I think Max's favorite moment may have been the Arc Attack concert, when Alex shouted to the band a request for the theme from Doctor Who. An electrifying performance, best enjoyed in person.

Is it any wonder we spent the ten hour drive home talking about next year?