Meet the Maker: Jen Pitta

This “Meet the Maker” interview was written by guest blogger Breanna Gustafson, a student at Bridgewater State University and a graduate of Cape Cod Community College and Plymouth South High School.

Do you ever hear the saying “Do what you love, love what you do?” Local paper crafter Jen Pitta of By the Shore Stamping is doing just that.  Jen is no stranger to the art of paper crafting.   Jen specializes in creating her own hand-stamped greeting cards and scrapbook pages. She has also created shadow boxes, home décor such as framed prints, banners, and stamped tile coasters.

“My creations are really only limited by imagination!”  said Jen.  With just a little bit of creativity, the opportunities are endless.  Jen has a long history with paper art.  Ffifteen years ago Jen began scrapbooking after attending a home party teaching the idea.  “I’ve always had a love for paper, pens, and coloring. Once I was introduced to pairing my love of paper with my love of telling stories, it seemed like a no-brainer for me,” said Jen.  It was shortly after Jen began scrapbooking that she discovered rubber stamping and began making her own greeting cards as well.

About nine years ago Jen decided that she wanted to make hand-stamped invitations to her wedding. Jen made 135 hand stamped, embossed and scored invitations along with Save the Date reminders, a rehearsal dinner invitation and created six different thank you card designs for after the wedding. “Once I completed that monumental task I was having so much fun that I started offering classes and now nine years later I’m still having so much fun!” said Jen.

Jen`s exhibit at the Maker Faire will have a large assortment of samples of her work including cards, scrapbooking, and some of her home décor pieces. She is planning on demonstrating a variety of different stamping techniques throughout the day.

“One of the biggest objections I hear from people that see my work is, “Oh, I am not creative at all.  I must take a moment to dispel the myth of needing to be “crafty” to enjoy this. While I have always been a bit crafty myself, I have known so many people that didn’t think of themselves as being crafty who now love rubber stamping and scrapbooking,” said Jen.

Attendees of the 2015 Cape Cod Mini Maker Faire are encouraged to stop by Jen’s booth!

Meet the Makers: Barnstable Amateur Radio Club

ham radioAmateur or “Ham” Radio is a popular hobby and service in which licensed Amateur Radio operators (hams) operate communications equipment. Although Amateur Radio operators get involved for many reasons, they all have in common a basic knowledge of radio technology and operating principles, and pass an examination for the FCC license to operate on radio frequencies known as the “Amateur Bands.” These bands are radio frequencies reserved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for use by ham radio operators.

Amateur Radio has many aspects. One can explore electronics, antenna design, software, digital communications, emergency preparedness, satellites, weather-spotting, competitive operating, world-wide “DX-ing”, or just use ham radio as a powerful communications tool, especially when widespread disasters strike. Emergency responding agencies depend on their communications network when all else has failed.

The Barnstable Amateur Radio Club is an active group with activities throughout the year.  They participate in the American Radio Relay League field day, the Boy Scouts of America’s Jamboree-on-the-Air, and Amateur Radio Direction Finding, which is a racing sport that combines radio direction finding with the map and compass skills of orienteering. It is a timed race in which individual competitors use a topographic map, a magnetic compass and radio direction finding apparatus to navigate through diverse wooded terrain while searching for radio transmitters.

Feel free to stop by on Saturday and say hello to the hams.  They’ll be the guys with the antenna!


Underwater ROVs

Cape Cod is home to some of the world’s leading manufacturers of underwater vehicles.    These vehicles–both remotely operated and autonomous–perform tasks such as deep sea surveying and mapping, investigating shipwrecks, inspecting dams and tunnels, search and recovery operations, and tracking great white sharks.

At this year’s Cape Cod Mini Maker Faire, two innovative programs will be on display that are designed to inspire and train the next generation of scientists and engineers to work on these types of vehicles.

The National Marine Life Center will be demonstrating a SeaPerch ROV.   SeaPerch is an innovative underwater robotics program that is funded by the Office of Naval Research.  Students build a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) from a kit comprised of low-cost, easily accessible parts, following a curriculum that teaches basic engineering and science concepts with a marine engineering theme.

Technology/Engineering teacher David Breski and his students from Monomoy High School will be exhibiting the ROV that they are making for the Marine Advanced Technologies Education (MATE)  competition.  The MATE competition challenges K-12, community college, and university students from all over the world to design and build ROVs to tackle missions modeled after scenarios from the ocean workplace.  Here is a video  showing some highlights of the 2014 MATE International ROV Competition.



Are you a teacher who would be interested in learning more?  Consider attending this three-day workshop this summer right here on Cape Cod to get started.  Plans are in the works for a Cape-wide ROV competition next spring!


Meet the Makers: Scott Anderson

Copy of IMG_0054We’re really happy that Scott Anderson can join us at the Maker Faire.   Scott Anderson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and raised in North Berwick, a small seaside town 25 miles east of Edinburgh.

He received his MFA in drawing and painting from the Edinburgh College of Art in 1999.  He has taught art and design since 2001 and is currently Associate Professor of Art and Design at Cape Cod Community College.  He co-authored A Visual Language; Elements of Design and edited The Basics of Throwing.

Scott will be demonstrating the craft of clay wheel throwing and will answer any questions that you might have.  There will even be an opportunity for hands-on participation.  Fun!

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Meet the Makers: Framingham Makerspace

How do you foster a culture of innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship? How do you attract and retain talent in your local workforce? Incubators, accelerators, makerspaces, and coworking: these collaborative workspaces provide valuable resources to potential startups in the rapidly growing innovation ecosystem.

We are so pleased that members of the Framingham Makerspace will be joining us to share some of their experiences getting their brand-new space up and running. Their space contains equipment ranging from a glass grinder, to 3D printers, to electronics equipment, to sewing machines, to metalworking and woodworking equipment. They even have a welding shop!  For more information about the new space, check out this article.

Makerspaces have been described as “evolving hotbeds of innovation.” With access to space, tools, classes, and experts, these collaborative workspaces allow anyone to take ideas from concept to reality. We wish the Framingham Makers continued success as they move forward!


Meet the Makers: Duxbury Free Library

One of the great things about a Maker Faire is the opportunity for people of all ages to learn new things. The Duxbury Free Library will offer Maker Faire attendees the opportunity to learn how to solder.  Soldering is an incredibly useful skill to have for projects ranging from electronics, to jewelry, to crafts.  Maker Faire participants will learn how to solder a Maker badge to make blinking LED eyes, a perfect beginning soldering project.

Ellen Snoeyebos, Young Adult/Reference Librarian, and Jessica LaMarre, Children’s Librarian, have done a terrific job with their makerspace initiative at the Duxbury Free Library, offering workshops and drop-in sessions on subjects such as 3D printed jewelry, littleBits, Lego We-Dos, and Mindstorms, and electronic holiday cards. They have a blog that chronicles their experiences and is a terrific resource for any library or other organization that is interested in creating this type of programming.

In addition to soldering, the Duxbury Free Library will bring their 3Doodler and their 3D printer for live demonstrations. They are also hoping to interview people for their regular on-going podcast.

Libraries have always been community hubs, and makerspaces—places to create, build, and craft–are a natural fit because of the wonderful way that they promote community engagement among people of all ages.  We are glad that the Duxbury Free Library will be joining us.

Meet the Maker: Jesse Craig

We’re happy that Jesse Craig will be exhibiting his SenseMesh wireless mesh network project again this year.   A wireless mesh network differs from a traditional wireless network in that instead of having a limited number of wired access points, the network connection is distributed among “nodes” that communicate with each other to share the network connection across a large area.

Jesse says, “SenseMesh is a wireless sensor network mesh that integrates nodes with various sensors to provide a stream of real-time data. The data can include information like temperature, humidity, acceleration, and pressure. The network is both self-healing and self-organizing, providing for a robust means of communicating data across moderate distances. Technologies used include: ZigBee, I2C, Microchip PIC, LiPo batteries, and solar power.”

Check out the recent article in the Barnstable Patriot about the Maker Faire and about Jesse’s project:

Meet the Makers: The Barony of the Smoking Rocks

0Get thee to the Cape Cod Maker Faire to meet members of the local chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism, the Barony of the Smoking Rocks!   The SCA is a practical history society, recreating the arts and skills of pre-17th century Europe.  They’ll be back for a second year and will be showing off their handcrafted armor with mock combat demonstrations!

Ann Carpenter, a member of the local chapter known as the Barony of Smoking Rocks, says, ”While dressed in clothing of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, you can experience tournaments, royal courts, feasts, and dancing. You also have the opportunity to learn and practice ancient arts and skills such as calligraphy, cooking, armoring, metalworking, carpentry, and fiber arts (to name just a few!) — within an all-ages social group.”

This looks like so much fun!  For more information, you can visit the website of the local chapter and also the national website.


Meet the Maker: Discover R/C Flying

We are happy to welcome Discover R/C flying to the Maker Faire!  They will display of some of the equipment used to fly RC planes, helicopters, and multi rotors (drones). They will also demonstrate model building techniques using various foams and balsa wood.

They were a big hit at the Cape Cod Makers drone and quadcopter meetup!  Start watching at 17:35 in this YouTube video.


Meet the Maker: Cape Cod Media Center

Have you ever dreamed of running with dinosaurs or swimming with the fishes? Well, at the Cape Cod Mini Maker Faire allow all of your dreams to come true! The Cape Cod Community Media Center will have an interactive exhibit that highlights the uses of the green screen (Chroma key) technology.


The Cape Cod Community Media Center is located in Dennis port, MA and is serves five Cape Cod towns; Yarmouth, Barnstable, Chatham, Dennis, and Harwich.  The Cape Cod Community Media Center is a valuable resource for residents of the surrounding towns. The Media Center is a Public Access television station that works to help the community find their voice in a creative way by teaching members the art of TV Studio Production, Field Production, and the foundations of editing video. The Media Center also hosts events, workshops, and classes. “We love community projects!” said Director of Outreach and Special Projects Paula Hersey. A typical year of community projects for the Media Center may include candidate forums with the Women League of Voters, streaming live events, the Arts Foundation Spring and Fall Grand awards, as well as producing and hosting several shows for the community that highlight events, organizations, and businesses. Be sure to visit the Cape Cod Media Center`s booth at the Maker Faire for interactive learning!

This post was written by Breanna Gustafson, a communications major at Bridgewater State University and graduate of CCCC and Plymouth North High School.