October 8

Cross-stitching smileys; inspiring minds

About one million years ago I cross-stitched a whole bunch of forum smileys/emoticons and attached them to note cards for a massive Internet forum-based snail mail exchange. At the time I was pretty sure that what I was doing was ridiculous, but I was having fun, and these were only people on the Internet anyway, so who cared, right?!

Cross Stitch Emoticons

Today I received the nicest letter from one of the recipients that I’ve actually kept in touch with after all these years. In it, he explained that crafting had never occurred to him before he received my card, but that he loved it so much he tried out cross-stitch for himself (he actually sent me his first attempt – a Half-Life lambda icon), and that led to him trying out other crafts and projects from knitting, to papercraft, to electronics, and beyond!

So really what I wanted to share with you today was the thought that even though I was sure my little cross-stitch pixel-art cards were daft, they actually inspired someone out there to explore their own creativity, and that is AWESOME.

So keep crafting, folks – inspire away! And you know, looking back I reckon those emoticon cards were actually a pretty cool idea. If I do say so myself :)

July 30

PixelBrite: Programmable Pixel Light Panels

PixelBrite by LeoneLabs

I’m getting used to being in total awe of some of the creativity, innovation, and pure genius displayed by people all over the Internet. The Geek collective especially seems to be amply blessed in all three departments, and this Instructable inspired by the wonderful Close Encounters of the Third Kind, posted by LeoneLabs, is no exception.

Admittedly, this isn’t your easy-to-recreate kind of geekcraft. You’ll need to get your head around electronics, microcontrollers, a bit of code, and it looks like you’d need a fair bit of patience to do all of the optimising and stuff that LeoneLabs goes into in the later steps. The components and materials also cost in the region of $550, but when you look at the results (and there are more awesome images to drool over if you follow the link), it looks like $550 well spent!

Personally, I have nothing further than GCSE (10th grade) electronics knowledge, and probably even less experience wth microcontrollers. So I will just sit back and marvel at the greatness that is PixelBrite, and wish I had one. Or four.

June 25

Han Solo Lego Portrait

Back in April I went along to The Sydney Brick Show: a big Lego event where Lego sculptors bring some of their awesome creations and chat with other fanatics, whilst hundred of little kids run around suffering from excitement overload. I was originally going to write an entire post about the event, but there was just so much awesome stuff there, that I’ve kind had to just cut it down to the best for now. And here you are: Han Solo Lego Pixel Art.

Han Solo Lego Portrait

This incredible portrait of Star Wars’ Han Solo is something like 1 metre squared and is made up of over TWENTY THOUSAND bricks. And they are all those tiny “one-ers” that you miss when clearing up and then stand on days later.

Han wasn’t the only pixel art there. Continue reading

May 1

World’s Smallest Stop Motion Pixel Art: IBM’s “A Boy and his Atom”

Now THIS is a GeekCraft: A Boy And His Atom: The World’s Smallest Movie

A Boy and His Atom by IBM

Okay, so you need a $214 BILLION company to sponsor you to make one of these for yourself, but this is pixel art at its most tiny, and science at its most frivolous.

IBM this week released their mini stop-motion movie made using atoms. Yep, those dots acting as pixels are carbon monoxide molecules – two stacked carbon atoms – which have been manipulated frame-by-frame to create a story about a boy and his atom. It took a small team two weeks to complete using a scanning tunnelling microscope (STM), which uses quantum physics to move atoms and molecules around. The video has earned IBM a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for creating the teeniest tiniest stop motion film.

Want to know more? Watch the second film all about how they made it: Moving Atoms: Making The World’s Smallest Movie

March 5

Skels and her Geeky Bead Weaving

I love Red DwarfHey there, geek-crafters. My name is Skels and I’m thrilled to introduce myself as another new writer.

I’m British, but currently living in Sydney, Australia. What makes me geeky? It could be my love of SciFi TV and movies, or my crafty habits as a self-proclaimed “tinkerer”. Or perhaps it’s the months and months of my life that I have invested in various MMOs over the years (sup, EU Argent Dawn WoW?!), or it could be that I’m currently studying for a degree in Natural Sciences in my spare time, you know, just for fun.

My all time favourite TV show is Red Dwarf, favourite game is Simon the Sorcerer, favourite movie is Twister and favourite colour is yellow. I like beading, drawing, photography, piano playing, baking, and jewelry making. I’m also a keen amateur astronomer; my most beloved posession is my 6″ Meade telescope.

I’ve been a fan of Geek Crafts for a while now, ever since discovering how to make pixel art keyrings and things out of teeny tiny seed beads. The great thing about pixel art is that it is so easy to reproduce with loads of different crafts – quilts, cross-stitch, bead weaving, pearler beads, even Lego. And who doesn’t love a little 8-bit nostalgia?!

8-bit Bead Weaving by Skels

If you want to find out more about bead weaving there are some really clear tutorials over at BeadItBabe.com. I used the square stitch for my designs, working with 3 mm seed beads and black waxed beading thread. And if you want some geeky designs to follow or inspire you feel free to check out my selection of keyrings and earrings: Click here to see the 8-bit beading set on Flickr.

Until next Tues, stay nerdy! And if you like, follow @Skels on Twitter. Cheers!