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Program a Blink-tastic Costume, Saturday!

Here’s a story from Leslie Birch, designer of the award-winning FLORAbrella and electronic designer extraordinaire! She’s teaching our upcoming workshop, Program a Blink-tastic Costume: Intro to Lilypad, this Saturday, October 26, 10am-4pm. There’s a few spots still open, reserve yours today!

florabrellaI don’t think I will ever forget the first time I lit up LED’s. In fact, it was at one of The Hacktory’s first classes on simple circuits and we made little spiders that were so adorable. Now I’m lighting up 5 meters of LED strips and loving it! My recent project was part of the Adafruit/Element 14 Get Closer Challenge. The idea was to create something that would bring people together using the FLORA microcontroller. So, I decided to make an umbrella that would use LED strips and a color sensor, so that it could either match your clothing, or do fun patterns like a changing rainbow or random rain. I did a lot of research and planning, and I even learned how to do Fritzing — a drag-and-drop program that allows you to make circuit diagrams. In the end, the project really surprised me, and I still find myself laughing at how amazing it looks.

So, I feel like everyone needs to connect with their inner maker, and I want to help them do it. My “Program a Blink-tastic Costume” workshop offered the end of this month will teach people the basics of a circuit, give them creative freedom with LED colors and placement, and allow for awesome programming. It is so cool to make lights do what you command them to do, especially when it is on your own outfit! I can tell you just from walking around with my umbrella, that people are truly amazed by the magic of lights. So, expect an entourage with your blinking costume. The best part is that you can tell others the story of how you created it and spread the word about DIY electronics. Be emPowered!

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