Twitchie Scorpion

I made a robotic toy scorpion in 2008. Here’s a video about it! Originally posted on MAKE.

I made this scorpion toy with a Twitchie Robot Kit. I’m really afraid of scorpions where I live in Arizona, so I thought a friendly toy would help me get used to them. I made his plush body from some fabric I had around, aiming to make him look like an Arizona bark scorpion, which are tan/yellowish/translucent.

Music is “At the Crack of Noon” by Shuutobi

Open Heart Brooch

At Maker Faire Austin, Jimmie Rogers gave me one of his Open Hearts to work into a portable brooch. I used a LilyPad Arduino board and sandwiched the two back to back, using two layers of fabric to insulate the circuit boards. I used conductive thread to make the connections, and I dangled the board sandwich from the LilyPad power supply, to which I attached a safety pin for making it a brooch. Because of the way I made it, I have access to the programming pins on the Arduino so I can change the animations any time I want.

I made an instructable about how I put it together. You can also view my flickr set. Thanks Jimmie!

Here’s a video of it in action:

TV-B-Gone Hoodie

Whenever I bring my TV-B-Gone out to restaurants, I always look real suspicious holding it up and pointing it around, so I’ve been looking for a more subtle and dinner-appropriate solution. I got zippered hoodie sweatshirt from the thrift store which had a convenient logo on the upper left front, complete with rhinestones! I thought the IR LEDs would blend in quite nicely, so I stitched it into the sweatshirt. The batteries are in the pocket. I broke out the pushbutton leads and used conductive thread to sew paths to the edge of the zipper, which has a metal pull. I made two little pads with the thread that are bridged by the zipper pull when it passes by, so all I have to do is zip the sweatshirt up or down to activate the TV turning-off action. Works great! I made an instructable for this project so you can see how to make your own. You can also view the full set on Flickr.

You can buy my LED sewing kit (whose parts can be used to make one).

Hoodie TV-B-Gone

TV-B-Gone Hoodie Schematic

Felt Knobs

I took basic knobs and felted around them with wool roving (in the washing machine and by hand), then detailed them with embroidery floss. Custom orders welcome!

Felted Knob - "King Kamehameha" Vintage Felted Knob - "King Kamehameha"

King Kamehameha

Felted knob - "The Professor"Felted knob - "The Professor"

The Professor

Felted knob - "Berry Pie"Felted knob - "Berry Pie"
Berry Pie

Felted knob - "Rosebud"Felted knob - "Rosebud"


Felted knob - "Ziggy Starknob"Felted knob - "Ziggy Starknob"

Ziggy Starknob

Felted knob - "Peaches & Cream"Felted knob - "Peaches & Cream"

Peaches and Cream

CAPTCHA Paintings


CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) images are used to thwart internet bots from creating accounts or posting spam. I collect particularly attractive CAPTCHA images, then recreate them in acrylic. If you have a favorite CAPTCHA, you can commission is as a painting through my Etsy Shop.

CAPTCHA Painting


CAPTCHA painting


CAPTCHA painting


CAPTCHA painting: "FW1K9"


CAPTCHA painting: "draddl"



VizProto Class

VizProto (3D Visualization and Rapid Prototyping) Class (class website)

Instructors: Dan Collins and Arius Elvikis

Spring 2008, Arizona State University

This is a studio about computer visualization, modeling, and rapid prototyping in an interdisciplinary manner.

Projects will include:

A. Benchmarks
-3D Laser Scanning
2008-01-30: Sarah Hatton and I scanned a pincushion and a ball of yarn.
Laser Scanning
the resulting pincushion model

Laser Scanning
The resulting yarn model

-3D Modeling
2008-01-29: I did my first Rhino tutorial: a flashlight.

My first 3D model

-Rapid Prototyping
3D printed ring

B. Team Projects
-Data Capture
Presentation on Low-tech spacial data capture with Alex Schlegeldownload PDF

-Visualization and Modeling
Presentation on Patterns with Sarah Hatton and Byron Lahey

C. Final Project
-Proposal: RFID Jewelry

Problem Space: RFID tags are currently used by artists in interactive installations and for protypical office and home devices to identify unique individuals. These projects show a great deal of consideration for embeddedness in their environments in true ubiquitous fashion. However, the RFID tags used to identify these individuals are clumsy and unattractive. An example keyfob tag:

Proposal: I would like to embed small flat and glass ampoule RFID tags in attractive resin rings, pendants, and other jewelry that can bring these identification systems closer into alignment with the systems with which they are meant to interact. These systems are highly dependant on the wearability of these tags. Specifically, hand held devices with small, short-range RFID readers would benefit from the tag being located on the hand in a ring as opposed to in a bracelet. As beautiful handmade technological artifacts, I believe these pieces will have commercial value on the online handmade marketplace Etsy. I would model the form of the jewelry in software, rapid prototype for form, make a mold, and cast the items in resin/lucite, embedding the tags while the material is still liquid.
Small glass ampoule tag:

Prior work: RFID bracelets:

RFID bracelet

Design inspiration/precedents by Etsy sellers poolballrings and studiostebbylee:

Work in Progress: Ring Model in Solidworks:


3D print:
3D printed ring


LilyPad Embroidery

LilyPad Embroidery: A Tribute to Leah Buechley

Floss, electronics, conductive thread, custom software

I’ve been working with Leah Buechley’s LilyPad Arduino, and in true embroidery sampler fashion, have composed this circuit to see what I could do. The embroidery uses traditional floss and techniques mixed with lights and sounds generated by the onboard software. The amount of light sensed by the sensor changes the speed and pitch of the lights and sounds generated. Move your shadow or hand over it to experience the changes.