Are You a Maker? What’s Your Project?

When you are a Maker, you make things.  Everyone is a Maker, because everyone makes something.  The Maker Movement is an inclusive environment for learning – anything.

I will tell you a secret.  I make things… sometimes.  It’s a bit embarrassing that I finish – probably less than 10% of the things I start making.  Of course, if you count baking and cooking, the percentage goes up quite significantly!

I am continually tasked to find something that I have made to share, because I am a Maker who identifies with the Maker Movement.  Here’s an article from Time magazine about the Maker Movement.  That and I respond to requests for help, and there are many who ask me to be at places and share what I do.  In a Maker Faire, a LEGO convention, a Comic Con or other event, it’s best to have a project to show.

My big problem is that the projects I finish are usually ones that I give away.  Either that, or they get squirelled away somewhere.

I sew, and one of my most memorable is the 52+ image quilt that I embroidered with my Bernina Artista 180 computerized embroidery sewing machine.  The machine is old, and I’d bought it used over 10 years ago from our local Long Beach Sew Vac.  I’d bought it for the embroidery capability, but never used that part of it.  I was afraid of breaking this very expensive sewing machine.

Luckily for me, I had a 4th grader.  There’s no better motivator than your child and the children around him/her.  I was fairly involved with the PTA at Lowell Elementary School, and helped to get donations for the Spring Auction.  So I came up with a project.  It was to make a quilt out of the drawings of the children in the class.

Now I must see if I can find the drawings they generated.  That was several years ago, so I need to fire up some old computers to look for them.

Trish Tsoiasue is a Maker and, together with Morio Murase and Caprice Rothe (Hands of E.T.) started a community called Makersville, a BSA Career Exploring Club called Club Ten (Unit 1010) and a BSA Career Exploring Post called High Values (Unit 1111).  She has come to the conclusion that she makes social systems (communities) and sometimes she makes and finishes physical things.  She is the LUG Ambassador for the Long Beach LEGO User Group, a Recognized LUG.  Once she played a game called the Community Lemonade Game.  She also blogs on the Belmont Shore Patch, and she has several YouTube channels, her main channel being Squigglemom.

Do You Use the Thermofax?

It’s obscure, but its amazing, and it’s been going through transition.

The Thermofax is an old 50’s 3M machine that was experiencing a resurgence of popularity through an alternate use. Silkscreening with the Thermofax is amazingly easy when you have the right materials.

We’ve used it for classes with youth, and in the past have been able to make drawings using the right pencils, pass them through the machine and silkscreen. Bam. You could also do it using a laser printer, which toner contains carbon.

About 1 year ago, Riso, the company that made the Thermofax screen material changed the formula, and a lot of the old equipment that folks used didn’t work any longer. Instead of just any laser printer, you now had to find a laser printer with enough carbon in the toner to make it work. So now, instead of being able to use our old Brother AND our old hp that folks had donated to us, we discovered we could only use our old Brother. Add to that the trouble we had with the machine…. not burning the image due to the fact that the light bulb needed replacement…

We found a supplier in Australia that had the old Thermofax screen material and bought some (but they are out of the old stuff now).

We finally think we’ve got our answer together this summer and used it on some work near the end of summer with some success.

Old brother printer (not HP), old 3m thermofax, new silkscreen materials, burn setting of 2-3. And NOW we hear that Welsh Products, the only supplier of the film here in the US… is retiring because of the trouble they are having to field with their customers, dwindling supplies of the machine, etc. I’m bummed. Does anyone use the thermofax? Is anyone else bummed about this?

Making another post where we can share our successful situations.

Science Everywhere! Cub Scout NOVA

Cub Scout NOVA
Get started on your Cub Scout NOVA award path!
On August 28, 29 we are hosting a 2 day camp where we will work on the Science Everywhere! NOVA achievement.
If we are successful in completing the requirements, you will be eligible to receive the NOVA patch.
This will kick off the 2017-2018 NOVA program for our youth.
High school aged youth who are interested in working on their NOVA award may volunteer in the Cub Scout NOVA program and on an as-need basis in the ScoutMaker maker space at the Sea Base.
To register, select the NOVA at the Sea Base link on the Makersville store:
Those cub scouts wishing to have small format activities and guidance may drop in at the Makersville Makerspace at Bayshore Church (register for a single 1 1/2 hour session).  For a semi-private den counseling please contact us!.  Those boy scouts in high school wishing to assist with the Cub Scout NOVA program should please contact Trish Tsoiasue 562-225-9589 info(at)

2016-Long Beach Touch a Truck

It is the biggest Touch a Truck in the country! 100 trucks, 10K visitors, a collaboration between 3rd District Councilwoman Suzie Price and Justin Rudd.

These are the photos and video of the event.  Count the trucks!  Naked Juice, One Coconut Water, St. Nick’s Christmas Lighting, Intellectual Virtues Academy were all there!


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Christmas Family Days

We had some amazing days of making things and I’m loving sharing them with you through these photos.

Also, check out the posts on Family Days on the Belmont Shore Patch.