One way of living a greener life is to make things rather than rely on Chinese factories. Making toys and games with your family not only allows you to upcycle materials, it also teaches important science lessons.
MAKE Volume 28 hits makers' passion for play head-on with a 28-page special section devoted to Toys and Games, including a toy "pop-pop" steamboat made from a mint tin, an R/C helicopter eye-in-the-sky, and a classic video game console. You'll also build a gravity-powered catapult, a plush toy that interacts with objects around it, and a machine that blows giant soap bubbles. Play time is a hallmark of more intelligent species -- so go have some fun!
disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.
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Has the baby bootie knitting bug bitten any other pregnant women out there? I've been itching to start knitting something adorable for my baby-to-be.
Luckily, I've got a co-worker who works at a Yarn Store, and she just brought me Itty Bitty Hats by Susan B. Anderson. It's full of easy-to-knit patterns for all kinds of cute-abulous baby hats. The photos are terrific and the instructions are easy to follow.
I picked up some Manos Del Uruguay cotton Stria yarn and am on my way to a striped stocking cap in itsy-bitsy size. Can't wait to meet the little person whose head it's going to fit on.
Like Ready Made? Are you less artsy, more crafty? Got a serious Skunkworks operation in your basement? Is your role model more MacGyver than Martha Stewart? Then you may want to check out Make.
Here's what Amazon reviewer wiredweird had to say about it:
This quarterly magazine really hits the spot, if you're in its crosshairs. It's a clean miss for others.
It's pretty easy to tell whether you're in the target audience. Do you have a closet full of decommisioned PCs, cell phones, and other 21st-century rubble that you just know you could do "something" with? Do you have a Dremel tool, fine-tipped soldering iron, and more than one kind of epoxy in the house? Do the phrases "It works" and "It's beautiful" mean roughly the same thing to you? Does the idea of a home CNC milling machine stir you to jealousy or a quick look at your checkbook? Two or more yes answers probably qualify you as the intended reader.
This is about hacking your PC mouse or the cage for your pet mouse, about resurrecting last year's laptop as an electronic photo frame, and about how simple a robot control can be (you'd be surprised). It's like Popular Mechanics, but for the people who consider software, resistors, and pieces from antique clocks to be interchangeable. Although a few of the ideas in each issue have low-tech appeal, most are aimed at skill sets from "geeky highschooler" to "electronics professional".
Make is published by O'Reilly, famous for its nerd-worthy "animal books" for software developers. If you don't know what I'm talking about, well, you're probably not a software developer.
We spent the weekend between Christmas and New Year's doing the winter version of spring cleaning -- out with the old, in with the new. Well, actually, it was more "out with the old (to Goodwill, of course), and in with a little extra space in the house."
One of the challenges I always face when I hit my closet is what to do with all the t-shirts I manage to accumulate. I've got several old favorites which for whatever reason -- too baggy, wrong neckline, no-longer-fashionable sleeves -- end up sitting on the shelf instead of getting worn. I haven't worn them all year, but I can't bring myself to get rid of them.
Which is why I was delighted to come across a copy of Megan Nicolay's Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-Shirt. Nicolay is a crafty do-it-yourselfer who offers, yep, 108 different things you can do with your old t-shirts -- from basic no-sewing-required ideas to crazy high-degree-of-difficulty projects like the "teeny bikini." Patchwork blankets, iPod cozies, handbags -- the sky's the limit as long as you've got scissors, a needle and thread, and the gumption to put yourself in Nicolay's crafty little hands and give it a go.