Easy, Inexpensive DIY Drop Spindle

With a few dowels, some O-Rings, a rubber band, a metal hook and two old CDs, you can have your very own drop spindle!

Our Club Ten fiber club (Sea Base location) is run by Kathi Reyes. Kathi is an internationally known natural dye artist. She is an experienced drop and wheel spinner.

Kathi demonstrated to us how to make a drop spindle out of CDs a couple of weeks ago.

The instructions are detailed in the video:

LB AFOL June Meeting

We got off to a start with the contest entries for the June/July Summer Build Challenge.

Building to the theme of LEGO Brick People, here’s what we got…


The fun continues at The Comic Bug in Manhattan Beach tomorrow.

Micro Build with LEGO Bricks at Great Educational Experiences!

I had the first MicroBuild, which is a bit about geometry, a bit about math and a whole lotta creativity!

The kids learned about scale and perspective then built… for them… for me!

Fun, fun, fun… tired… fun!


“I love Trish’s energy and teaching style. She introduces concepts and challenges and allows the kids plenty of time to come up with their own creations. My daughter can’t wait for the next meeting. Thank you, Trish!”

“It was AWESOME!!! I am so lucky to have Cindy to gather such an enthusiastic group of builders!” (me)

“great!my son was so energized after.”

“My kids absolutely loved this class! They’re looking forward to another Lego class. Thanks Cindy for offering such great classes.”

2×2 LED matrix


Breadboard layout for the 2×2 matrix with rows and cols labelled
Laid the circuit out on a cardboard simulation of the breadboard, with wires taking the place of the breadboard rows and columns.
It’s unorthodox, but it helped me to do this to see the flow of the current. I tried to do it from the breadboard, but it was a bit easier for me to understand when I could move the wires around a bit.
I also really like the look of the wires and the components in this “soft” circuit. I guess this could be a really funky sewable electronics project if we wanted it to be!

(above) Finally able to decipher what it did, and got Joe the Bro to help explain it.

Note: the 2N2222 transistor is a NPN (not pointing in) BJT (bipolar junction transistor). Collector is negative, base is positive, emitter is negative. Technically, the flow of current is from positive to negative in a diode, but the application of a current to the base AND a current being applied to the collector will enable saturation of the middle layer of the transistor sandwich and permit flow from the collector to the emitter.

Circuit explained.

The two transistors are acting as switches.  A voltage applied to the base  will cause the base layer to become saturated with electrons and cause the current to flow from the collector to the emitter .  This permits a flow of the current through the 2 LEDs connected to each transistor.

Unplugging one of the transistor bases will prevent the related collector-emitter flow, and will turn off those LEDs attached to the transistor.

Disconnecting the wires attached to either of the 220 ohm resistors will break the circuit for the two LEDs connected to that resistor.

Next up: add 4 single input, single output switches on each of the resistors.

Sewing (Softies) with Electronics

We had the first session of Sewing with Electronics.
Covered a lot of possibilities, then decided to make a sock softie with LED eyes.
Today we were trying out the 4 ply conductive thread from SparkFun. So cool!
It feels like a chain, it’s so thicccckkkk!
Two LEDs in parallel are nicely supported by a single 3V battery.

Finished the project, here’s the video!

The Art of Masque & Mardi Gras

Learn the art of Masque performance from professional clown and mime, Caprice Rothe, who also carries the title of “E.T.’s hands”. Youth will make their own custom masks and learn to portray the individual presented by the mask.

Caprice was the movement instructor at the South Coast Repertory for many years and has to her credit many techniques in Mask making.

Read more about Caprice Rothe.