2013: Here’s To Making Things And Friends

It’s New Years Eve and a popular day for reflection. 2012 was a really big year for me personally. I call it My Year of Fitting In. As many transplants to LA can attest, it can take a little while to figure out where you fit in, but once you do, it’s like you finally found home.

I wrote a few blog posts in 2012, two of which impacted my life greatly:

Why Los Angeles Will Outpace the Silicon Valley As The Tech Startup Capital led to the creation of Represent.LA


Want: Kid Friendly Hackerspace in LA which led to LA Makerspace

I didn’t know the impact that a crowdsourced map could have on a city or cities (http://representmap.com) and I definitely had no idea if anyone else wanted a hackerspace that woud allow kids. If I learned anything from this year, it’s this, and I quote from my favorite movie Contact:

…we belong to something that is greater then ourselves, that we are *not*, that none of us are alone!

It wasn’t until just now, reviewing my calendar did I realize how much traveling I did for speaking gigs and pleasure – Sweden, Denmark, Japan, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco (thrice), Portland (twice), Dude Ranch in Colorado, Ireland, London (twice), and I’m writing this post from Vienna.

In addition to LA Makerspace and Represent.LA I started new day jobs that pay the bills,  I’m now the Technical Director at the Digital Media Learning Research Hub at UC Irvine to support youth in their passionate interests and I joined the Born This Way Foundation, an organization focused on creating a braver, kinder world.

As with life, there were definitely some difficult times, my dear friend Xeni Jardin spent 2012 undergoing cancer treatment, but I am so happy to report that she is now cancer free. We were kicked out of the house we were renting, but thankfully found a better place, and we lost our beloved Lucky Cat, which there is no replacement for (I’m crying right now just thinking about her).

I would like to thank everyone that reached out to me this year to send me an article, make an introduction, back the LA Makerspace Kickstarter or just to say ‘hey.’ That always helps to backup the whole “we are not alone” philosophy. There are a few other people I would like to make mention of: Alex Benzer, my co-creator of Represent.LA and who allowed me to use Social Engine for workshops, the LA Makerspace BOD: Jeff, Levi, Michael, Michelle, Sharon, Teresa, and Joseph, Kent and Lindsay, my pals at BoingBoing who have posted multiple updates about LA Makerspace, Jeff Sturges at Mt Elliott Makerspace who I consider a mentor, Dale Dougherty and Mark Frauenfelder at MAKE Magazine & Maker Faire who have made so much of the maker community accessible to everyone, Dale and Anne Marie Thomas at Maker Ed who are helping the world realize that you make to learn and learn to make, Nirvan, Harley and Tara of the Imagination Foundation who have shown the world that one kid can make a difference, my husband Sean who inspires me with his thoughtfulness and punk rock approach to life, my Mom who has always been a maker I just didn’t realize it, and my kid, Ripley, for the motivation and inspiration and truly truly the best thing I ever made.

My New Year’s Resolution for 2013 is about making deeper connections in my community and with myself. I want to make more maker friends in LA and around the world, share as many how-to’s for all of the projects I work on as possible, bring lots of brilliant makers into LA Makerspace to share their wisdom with others and make the space accessible to anyone in LA that wants to be there.

2013 is going to be truly a year of making things and friends, because the two go hand-in-hand. Read the resolutions from some of the top Maker Minds…many of them plan to do more how-to’s and ensure making is even easier for everyone to get started and most of them are all very accessible to the community.

Happy Making of Things and Friends to All in 2013!

Hearts and Hugs,

Photo by Sean Bonner