Craftster Rocks Maker Faire San Mateo, 2009

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Hand of Man Last week Jungrrl, Kittykill and I were lucky enough to attend Maker Faire in San Mateo, CA, as representatives of Craftster. I don’t even know the words to describe how utterly amazing it was.


We arrived on Friday for set up day, and set up our booth. We had a fairly simple set up, so we were able to wander around and check out he other booths around us. Even at that early point we could tell we were in for a crazy weekend! The first indication was a booth selling kits for a life sized mechanical giraffe. From there it just got more and more astonishing!

Booth supplies tables
whirly Kittykill, Jungrrl wing ring

In the evening after set up was a happy hour and dinner (local microbrew and delicious paella). It was a chance to relax and enjoy a meal in the late afternoon sunshine, see some of the incredible contraptions at the Faire, mingle with our fellow Makers, not to mention some of the best people watching ever! We had our pictures taken with a replica of R2-D2, and we all agreed that we *need* Steampunk outfits after seeing some really fabulous ensembles.

Batgirl at the booth outfit dragon bike
R2D2 Kittykill R2 bowls of buttons

Among the highlights of the Faire were a steam-powered motorcycle (it was nearly silent!), a giant snail that may have started life as a Volkswagon, but is now something like pure fantasy come to life, a 2 story mobile Victorian house, cupcake carts, a gigantic, car-crushing hand, and a human-scale version of the old game “Mousetrap” that uses a bowling ball!

steam motorcycle snail car house
cupcake carts mousetrap Robby Robot

On Saturday the Faire opened to the public. We were there in the morning for some last minute set-up, and to get ready for the people to arrive. We offered three different free make & take crafts: button rings, cell phone charms made with resistors and capacitors (inspired by the book Kilobyte Couture) and Perler bead projects (including 8 bit video game graphics, Domo Kun, or design your own). We had a steady crowd all day at our booth. It was really fun to meet some Craftsters, including Ritapizza, Zhad_Squad, Average Jane Crafter, Arimethia,Crafty Chica, and Mirmaid81 (sorry if I am missing anyone! I know we met more!)

Ritapizza and Kittykill yoshi crafty family
anglerfish mario family homer
homer creator perler beads perler table

We also met some awesome women from the Freelancers Union. They were so nice, and so enthusiastic about improving conditions for Freelance, Temp, and Self-employed workers. We were very impressed with their mission and dedication.

freelancers union perler girl resistor couple
cell charm resistor project rings

We all love spreading the word about Craftster and meeting other crafty folks, so working these events is a real pleasure. It does get very busy, though, and can be quite tiring, so we made sure to give each other breaks to walk around, shop, take pictures, and gasp at all the unbelievable creations. I went over to the Bizarre Bazaar and was very excited to meet one of my favorite Etsy sellers, PearsonMaron. They were super nice, and I bought a little cloud factory, which makes me very happy. I also discovered a cool artist, Goldiloks, and bought some adorable housewares from her. Kittykill met Crafty Chica and Average Jane Crafter, and they had their picture taken together, and Jungrrl went to see the Hand of Man by Christian Ristow and the Mousetrap in action. After a long but giddy day, we went back to the hotel, had some soup (we were all too tired to chew!) and collapsed, exhausted but still marveling at all we had seen.

Crafty Chica, Average Jane Crafter & Kittykill farm booths Average Jane Crafter
pinball airstream toxic skull wing

Sunday started with breakfast, and a cab ride back to the Faire to do it all again. It was crowded again with lots of people, all excited by the amazing atmosphere of creativity and innovation. From crafts, to physics, robotics, and homages to history in the Steampunk aesthetic, there was something for everyone. I loved seeing families together, parents explaining scientific principles to their kids, and all ages just taking it all in. After a second day at Maker Faire it was all over. We called a cab (in a hilarious moment, I tried to explain to the dispatcher to tell the driver to “look for 2 brunettes and a girl with pink hair, standing near some stripy tents and 3 huge weiner dogs”! We got back to the hotel, slept like logs, and were soon on our way back to our respective hometowns; exhausted, inspired, and thrilled by all we had experienced.

3 weiner dogs

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11 Comments

  1. sweets4ever says:

    Great article!! And great Faire too, of course!

  2. jungrrl says:

    soooooooooooo much fun! Even though I was *totally* drained for over a week after I still can’t wait for next year!

  3. kittykill says:

    What a blast! I was totally exhausted but had such an awesome time crafting and meeting everyone.

  4. Riechan says:

    coool !! To bad I don’t live in the U.S I would LOVE to visit a crafts fair like that !

  5. elucidation says:

    Oh my gosh! Look at those cupcakes! Looks like a lot of fun! :D

  6. mirmaid81 says:

    Yeah for Crafters! Love having my picture posted with my best friend for the rings. I love my ring.

  7. rayvictors says:

    “GREAT” is understatement. . . Awesome to see everyone with such fresh ideas. Thanks Maker Faire for making it possible.

  8. Arimethia says:

    It was so awesome to meet you ladies as well. I am also convinced that I “need” a steam punk outfit, along with my husband. ;-)
    What a great event. EVERYONE who can should go, it was awesome.
    That steam punk motorcycle was actually electric. He said he put a little “steam” (I think it was like a mini fog machine or something) on it to “fool everyone.”
    I was totally fooled!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Awesome pics! I NEED to go next year!

  10. Victron says:

    This is one awesome festival! I would love to go attend this festival next year! Hopefully that r2-d2 comes back again!

  11. Bill Houghtaling says:

    Who built the Robby ?

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