Things to do on a Weekend #2
One of the more popular searches that arrive at my blog is the phrase “Things to do on the weekend” and “things to do on a saturday”. So it appears I should probably write another article and in doing so meet the search needs of my visitors. So allow me to introduce my very first attempt at creating an Instructable.
As a father of a small child ( well at the time of writing this blog post shes 4 and a half she’ll tell me ) and a well known geek you might think that every weekend is a party of paints, sticky backed plastic and “heres one I made earliers”. Having a source of ideas for “things to do” seems to be part of the grab bag of coping mechanisms you develop as a parent and instructables fills that gap in the what can be made category.
When Alyssa pointed to a craft activity in her “Fun to Learn: friends” magazine and asked if we could make it I seemed the perfect opportunity to mix a little geekery with parental entertainment.
What always amazes me about these projects is they give you the feeling that with everyday items found around the house you can build the project. A quick inventory of things lying around the house showed that we lacked even the most basic of items such as the big cardboard box , the flower pots and much of the paint. Reviewing what was available to us ( some paint brushes and a tin of blue wall paint ) left us with a list of things to go shopping for.
The local Hobbycraft store, which appeared almost with the suddenness of an Athena poster shop, provided many of the basic craft materials. Much fun was to be had in asking for a cardboard box since the staff member seemed to feel it wasnt something they were going to give to the public, thanks to Neville the store manager then who stepped in with a dose of reality. A quick dumpster dive and the relevant sized box was located. Plastic flowerpots and grey primer paint were located in the local Homebase and with all the materials gathered we headed home.
Armed as we were with Hot Glue Guns, Swan Morton Scalpels, Carpet Knives, Kiddie Scissors and aerosol based grey primer we were able to set forth on the construction and creativity section of the activity, so ended day 1.
Reading through the instructions for the project from the magazine there were many gaps left in the description and indeed many of the steps would lead to much paint mess and frustration of “waiting for things to dry and waiting for things to stick. So abandoning the instructions we set forth on our own process of building, painting and sticking all with the aid of a happy little helper who was kept both suitably occupied and distracted during the 6 hour session of cutting, sticking, priming, painting, cutting, sticking, pasting and testing.
Taking pictures of the process as it occured whilst remembering to grab as many stages as possible as well as writing notes on the materials to make it clear in the instructions as to what occured required another level of focus. All the while I was juggling the attention deficits of a small child.
The results though we were quite pleased with.
The process of entering the images and creating the instructions on Instructables own website was straigh forward , if a little time consuming , the results can be reviewed, edited, modfied and worked on in a collaborative process before the instructable is published. Over all the project took 6 hours in creation then there was a further two hours of creating the instructable and another hour as I typed this blog. Social Media and web2.0 is not always for the time sensitive.
Instructables website provides an excellent blogging platform for arts and crafts. Once a Instructable has been published you can review comments, views and interest in the project. Each instructable is published with its own License defining what other may do with the instructions and the results. It makes the creative process far easier to document, publish and manage.
One word of warning though. Instructables may be addictive as it leads to finding many interesting and apparently quick projects which can be more of a distraction than an hour alone with twitter.
So that was one weekend in many and yes I am tracking the others and taking notes, names and pictures for the purpose of writing up yet more fun things to do on the weekend.
Thanks for reading.