Maker Faire Austin 2007

If you missed this year, they've already made plans for Maker Faire Austin 2008. We arrived Saturday morning a little after 10 AM. The sky was clear, the air was warm, it was a perfect day for Maker Faire.

After handing our tickets over we proceeded into the fair grounds where everything was set up. Mostly everything was set up under a tent. Then there was the main "Make Magazine" building where they held "how-to" demos and had books and stuff for sale. But the best stuff was under the main tent outside.

My favorite booths were the ETSY booth, the booth for local artist Patricia Zapata (Please check out her website for examples of her wonderful artwork), and the swap-o-rama-rama section was awesome. I actually learned how to alter a XXL t-shirt to fit me. They also had a booth set up for free screen printing.

On Sunday we headed back to Maker Faire to visit some of our favorite booths again.

The first tent we headed to was the Toyota HEYA tent. I learned how to make my own buttons. That was really cool. Next, we headed back under the main tent to visit some of our favorites from the day before. However, we got side-tracked at the booth where we made our own greeting cards. The girl there, Chelsea Martinez, was really cool. She's a local artist who does a lot of collage work. I left her the card I made though. I thought maybe someone else could use it. Then before I knew it, I was sucked in to the "Junk Booth". Basically they had tons of old junk that you could bend, brake, destroy to use to make anything you wanted.

I spent at least an hour at the junk booth working, but it was well worth it. By the time I was done though we were good to go. We hadn't planned to spend all day anyways, we were going to stop by IKEA on the way out of town. There was a whole section I didn't even see, the technology section, but I was more interested in the arts and crafts section anyways.

Overall, the whole experience was great. I feel inspired to get started on making more of my box art. And I feel grateful for getting to meet some really great artist. I'm sad I had to leave Maker Faire though. I thrive around creative people.

So look for me next year at Maker Faire Austin 2008. My friends and I are already planning on getting a booth of our own and being "Makers". So mark your calendars and clear your schedules. This is one event you don't want to miss.

-stay creative-

The WalMart Experience

First off, you have to understand that I consider Wal-Mart to be the devil one of the leading causes to the downfall of our economy. With that said, my friends, Alex and Jennifer, and I were in the car on the way to Austin, TX (for Maker Faire) when Jennifer remembered that she forgot their toiletries. Alex got flustered about not having his Toni&Guy hair gel and Jennifer politely apologized. I figure it's nothing to get terribly upset about. But then Alex pulled out their "tom-tom" (which is a cool little GPS device) and searched for a CVS pharmacy nearby the house we were staying in. When we finally reached our exit off the interstate I offered to just go to Wal-Mart since it's right there and we knew it would be open anyways.

So we go in and I can't believe I'm actually in the dreaded place. With it's larger than life size and prices so low you hardly believe your eyes. I proceed to use the restroom. Don't wash my hands. Pick up some anti-bacterial hand wipes. Then head to the check out line.

Here's where the whole experience happened.

As I'm standing in line this Indian man approaches me from behind. I just assume he wants to check out, but he's standing unusually close to me. As I turn to see what it's all about he ask me if I'm a student here. "No" I replied. (For whatever reason I lied to him.) And he says "Oh, so where do you work?" I told him I work for a company in Dallas and that I like my job. All the while he has this sort of nervous habit of shifting his weight from one foot to the other. He smiles a lot too.  When I finally asked what he does, he told me "Do you know" "Yeah" I replied. "Well I have a web company similar to that" he says. I said that's cool. And then he was saying how I must enjoy my job a lot making six figures and all. I told him I don't make that much, but I'm still happy with my pay.

He never comes out and says what he wants from me. He never asks if I want more information about his business. He never offers me a business card. Nothing. All I got from him was random questions about what I did for a living and a seemingly friendly conversation. In the end I walked away not knowing very much about my encounter with the Indian guy from Virginia.

-stay creative-