Remapping Makey Makey Keys (or what it’s like to think about learning)

Here’s where I would write about how long it’s been since I’ve posted anything.  But who has time for apologies?  Not me.

The reboot of my DIY/Maker senior seminar started back in January.  After a conversation with Christina Jenkins back in November, I decided to give the class a little more structure focus.  I think it’s helped.

Right now there are four groups of 4-5 students who are rotating through Makey Makey, Arduino, 3D modeling/printing, and e-textile stations.  We’re spending about eight days at each station.  Each rotation is followed by debriefing/project show-and-tell and reflections, which you can read here.

Today, a student asked how she could remap the keys on her Makey Makey so she could more notes on this virtual keyboard.

Virtual KeyboardMy internal monologue went something like, “I did this back in December with a sound effects machine.  I’ve totally got this.”

Only I didn’t.  AND I was being observed by another teacher.  Enter flop sweat and mumbling and lots of, “Uhhhhh….”

Now that I’m in the comfort of my own home and all performance pressure is removed, I do totally have this.

And I’m going to write it down, so I don’t forget.

SparkFun has amazing tutorials.  This Makey Makey Advanced Guide tutorial seemed to be just what was needed.

I downloaded the Makey Makey source code and opened it up in the Arduino IDE.  I remapped the inputs to play a range of keys.

remapped keysHere’s what I forgot to do:  change the board to Leonardo in the Arduino IDE and change the serial port.  When I verified the code, I kept getting all kinds of error messages.  Growing frustrated and confused, I decided to step back and actually read the SparkFun tutorial carefully.

DirectionsFor whatever reason, I don’t have the Makey Makey add-on (probably need to fix that), but one of the error messages in the Arduino IDE mentioned only working with a Leonardo board, so I selected Leonardo from the list of options.

So first steps:  Select the correct board….

Boards… and make sure you’ve selected the correct port:

PortsOnce that was done, I remapped the D5-D0 pins and the up, down, left, and right arrows so that the virtual Makey Makey keyboard has 10 playable notes.

It’s not particularly revolutionary stuff here people, but that’s ok.  I’m writing it down so I don’t forget, and so I can make a little more sense in class tomorrow.

I guess some of the more interesting stuff is what I learned.  Here’s what I know:

  • It’s hard not knowing when you and others think that you should know.
  • It’s disorienting jumping into another person’s project.
  • I’m surprised by how much of a visual learner I am.  The fact that two blue alligator clips were used was equally disorienting when I don’t think it should’ve been.
  • I also like to write out my remapping plan on paper before actually doing it.

Again, not revolutionary, but the semester is still young.  The night, however, is not.

We made things

The first “Make Something” workshop was held in the Saunders Family Library Wednesday night from 7-9 p.m.  The workshop featured Phil Barbato, a Richmond artist who specializes in pretty amazing plush creatures, which you can see (and buy) here.

Workshop supplies

Workshop supplies

10 kids pre-registered after an assembly announcement last week.  Two more students begged to come the day of the workshop.  Two younger children of an English teacher were eager to attend too.  The more the merrier, I say!

The gang's all here.... almost

The gang’s all here…. almost

Phil lead a beautifully chaotic workshop.  We started by designing our creatures on 8 1/2 x 11 paper.  Those patterns were then cut out and traced on to 9 x 12 sheets of felt.

Tracing patterns

Tracing patterns

Cutting, sewing, and stuffing came next, followed by the proud display of finished creatures.

Creatures

Creatures

Studious rabbit

Studious rabbit

Bearded unicorn

Bearded unicorn

Few participants had any sewing skills, but they were all quick learners.

Here’s my reflection in tidy, bulleted points:

  • I was surprised by how hung up the students were on perfection.  Many of the kids constantly commented that they weren’t good at crafts or they wanted perfection even though they had never sewn before.  I really shouldn’t be surprised by this, since I feel the same way when I jump into something new.  Trying something new is hard, frustrating, and intimidating.
  • One of the kids who attended the workshop has been back in the library TWICE since Wednesday (I’m writing this on Friday) to make repairs to his backpack with needle and thread.  That’s pretty awesome.  This is the same student who had his friend cut out the pattern he drew, because he was afraid of messing up.
  • A couple of girls were talking about how much fun they were having making their creatures.  I told them that all of the supplies for the workshop lived in the library’s makerspace and they could use the space and the materials any time.  The response: “Are you serious!?”  I hope they come back.
  • One student suggested that sewing should be incorporated into the mindfulness class.  “I dread sewing, but once you get started, it’s really meditative,” she said.

Allen, the head librarian, and I are hoping to do a few more evening workshops throughout the year.  Some shorter pop-up “Make Something” workshops during the school day are also possibilities.

I’m looking forward to them.  They offer up a much needed respite from the routine.

Audio essays, ampli-ties, and quadcopters (oh my!)

The creative non-fiction class is working on audio essays based on the Kitchen Sisters’ “Making Of…” series.

Their assignment is to find someone on campus who makes something and interview that person (or people), and then–of course–craft an audio essay.  I got the chance to talk to the students about the maker movement, makers, hackers, motivations for making things, and theories that may or may not explain why the “maker movement” exists.  It was exciting to watch them start to think about the makers in their lives.  After a few minutes of thinking, there was, “My mother’s friend is a doctor, and although she’s busy, she finds the time to make and sell really beautiful pottery.”  And “My friend paints shoes and sells them.”  There was even some, “I think Mr. Rider probably makes something.  Let’s go talk to him.”  I loved that the students wanted to reconnect with an old middle school teacher through making.

The visit inspired me to get going on the Flora LED Ampli-Tie that I’ve been wanting to make since summer.

I pulled out the supplies this afternoon, ordered a few parts I was missing, and started in on the instructions.  I’m looking forward to having two of these ties ready to go for the theater manager and the performing arts director in the next week or two.

I was thinking about the Ampli-Tie project this morning, and it occurred to me that I haven’t pulled the supplies out of the storage bin, because there was so much else to do.  There was a ton of “real work.”  Working on the ties seemed like a waste of time.  Definitely something that could be moved to the bottom of the to-do list.  That’s silly thinking.  The makerspace has been too quiet.  There’s no reason not to get in there a few times a week even if it’s to work on something small and/or quick.

Luckily not everyone thinks like I do.  A junior is about two weeks into research for a drone project.  After quickly reaching the limits of a Parrot quadcopter, this student is planning to build a quadcopter inspired by the creations of Justin in Victoria, Australia.  Film Club and some teachers in the science department are already coming up with ways they can use the quadcopter.  I’m looking forward to watching this project evolve.

Where is Hatchet Jack?: a project incomplete (animated GIF challenge #5)

Where are you Hatchet Jack?

Where are you Hatchet Jack?

It’s likely that Hatchet Jack isn’t missing at all.  Maybe he’s been around.  Or maybe not.  Maybe he’s still sitting along atop the freezing cold peaks of the Rocky Mountains.  Who knows.  I miss a lot of tweets and internet conversations because of other commitments and distractions.  Despite that, it seems like he’s been radio silent.

Here’s my GIF.  I want to add it to a missing persons poster, but I haven’t had time to figure that part out yet.  In my head it’s something like Sean Placchetti’s “dancing Jim all over the world,” but with a missing persons poster…  and Hatchet Jack.

Oh.  I should also say that the Hatchet Jack face is from a photo found on the Google Images.  The frames of the body and hatchet are from the brilliant “Shia LaBeouf Actual Cannibal.”

 

 

DS106: it just makes sense

DS106 makes sense.  Running with bulls does not.  But running with bulls is exactly what’s going to be happening near Richmond August 24th.  Fools.

DS106 makes sense.  Bull running does not.

DS106 makes sense. Bull running does not.

I found some archival footage from the bull runs in Pamplona, Spain at Archive.org.  I downloaded that clip and then went to Photoshop, where I went to file >> import >> video frames to layers.  I then selected the file I wanted to import (I changed the file extension to .mov per Alan’s suggestion here).  The video is a few minutes long, and I only needed a couple of seconds so I checked the “selected range only” option and selected the couple of seconds that I needed.

Screen Shot  I grabbed the DS106 logo from ds106.us and made that a layer.  I made it the head layer and then made it visible on all 39 layers that made up the animated GIF.

Photoshop screen shot

Photoshop screen shot

Next, I created two layers of text: one for the “It just makes sense” and another for “Headless #DS106 . August 26, 2013.”  Initially I had both text boxes at the bottom of the image like this:

But when I went to preview the GIF, “It just makes sense” moved to the top of the frame and nestled itself under DS106.  I have no idea why.

Photoshop screen shot

Photoshop screen shot

I liked it like that, so I left it.

I made the text layers visible in all 39 layers that made up the animated GIF.

But here’s another Photoshop conundrum: If you look at the two pictures above, you’ll notice that layer 38 has the “It just makes sense” snug under “DS106.”  However, layer 39 had the “It just makes sense” text at the bottom of the image like I had originally planned.  I’m not sure why the positioning of “It just makes sense” text changed in 38 layers, but not layer 39.  If anyone has suggestions, I’d love to hear them.  I had to manually move the “It just makes sense” text box in layer 39 so that it matched the other 38 layers.

There we go.  I’m ready for the next challenge.

 

 

 

 

Watch out for that horse, Jim: GIF challenge #2

How on EARTH did I miss the #DS106 GIF challenge in preparation for headless DS106, which begins August 26th?  I blame my absence from Twitter.  But August is only 3 days in, so it’s easy to join the challenge without feeling overwhelmed.

I’m guessing Talky Tina is responsible for the GIF challenges.  Challenge #2: “Dancing Jim All Over the World” can be found here.  Go ahead.  Click the link.  I’ll wait….

…. It’s funny how Talky Tina and Alan Levine both really like to throw out challenges.  Alan just issued a Daily Create challenge back in July.  So odd…

I was just thinking today how I missed DS106 and how I haven’t blogged lately or made anything lately.  And my thinking about thinking about WordPress rabbit holes isn’t something I want to unpack right now.  The GIF challenge really couldn’t have come at a better time.

Here’s my submission for challenge #2:

Dancin' Jim & the Headless Horseman

Dancin’ Jim & the Headless Horseman

Boy oh boy do I love the Disney version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

I’m pretty sure we watched it every Halloween in elementary school, so there’s lots of youthful nostalgia attached.

I did another Dancin’ Jim assignment back in the spring.  Despite that, I couldn’t remember the steps I took to build the Bava in the Boardroom project, so I spent a lot of time trying to find tutorials that made sense to me.  Bits and pieces of this 12-minute Youtube tutorial was helpful.

I was going to attempt to insert the dancing Jim into a short clip from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, so I downloaded the last several seconds of this Youtube video using Clip Converter:

In the end I opted to use a still from the clip I downloaded.  I opened that still in Photoshop and then opened the dancing Jim GIF.

Photoshop screen shot

Photoshop screen shot

I duplicated the still nine times since there are nine frames in the Jim GIF.

Photoshop screen shot

Photoshop screen shot

I then duplicated a Jim layer for each layer of the headless horseman.  I made sure layers corresponded (layer one of Jim was visible in layer one of the horseman.  Layer two of Jim was visible in layer two of the horseman.  You get the idea).

Photoshop screen shot

Photoshop screen shot

I previewed the GIF, noticed that Jim was dancing way too fast, and changed the duration of each frame to 0.2 seconds.  I then saved the GIF for web and devices and called it a night, because it was late.

Photoshop screen shot

Photoshop screen shot

I don’t remember there being as many steps the first time I tried this assignment, so I feel like I did things the hard/long way.  I really need to work with Photoshop on a daily basis, or else I forget EVERYTHING.

Guess I should assign myself my own daily create challenge.

Creativity and Courage (things said at CMK): a reflection (pt. 2)

I mistakenly left my iPod in Virginia, so I was tethered to my MacBook and old school notebooks during the few scheduled sessions, impromptu conversations, and #cmk13afterhours.

outdated technologies

I’m also very embarrassed by my old school phone

I’m sure people looked at me the way I look at folks who write checks in the line at Target or use AOL or Hotmail.  Next time I’ll remember not to judge check writers or AOL users.  We all have reasons for doing what we do, I guess…  Maybe.

I’m looking back through my notes as some of the things that were said over the week.  I want to think them through here.  Feel free to support or challenge the thinking or continue as your were out there in the Internet.

Creativity and Courage

Manchester, NH is only an hour away from Boston, so a trip to MIT’s Media Lab was on Tuesday night’s agenda.  The introvert in me considered skipping out, but it’s MIT’s Media Lab.  That’s argument enough for getting over any social anxiety.

Upon entering the Media Lab, we encountered a few exhibits representing the cutting-edge work taking place at MIT.  Wheels + Legs and the Silk Pavilion are two exhibits currently on display.

part of the Wheels + Legs description

part of the Wheels + Legs description

part of the Silk Pavilion description

part of the Silk Pavilion description

 

I was especially intrigued by some of the cardboard prototyping done for the Wheels + Legs exhibit.

Prototyping from the Wheels + Legs exhibit at MIT's Media Lab

Prototyping from the Wheels + Legs exhibit at MIT’s Media Lab

We slowly made our way to the 6th floor where we were to listen to Tod Machover.  He talked about “Death and the Powers,” an opera commissioned by the Association Futurum of Monaco.  He talked about “A Toronto Symphony: Concerto for Composer and City,” a bold collaborative endeavor with the people of Toronto.  A similar collaborative undertaking is in the works for the 2013 Edinburgh Festival.

Someone asked, “Why don’t you do any work in the United States?”

Machover essentially said that American symphonies were, for the most part, conservative and hesitant to experiment for fear they’ll lose subscribers.

I wish I could remember Machover’s response word-for-word.  Basically he implored us to be creative and courageous whether we’re teachers, administrators, or on a symphony’s Board of Directors.

The advice resonated with me, because I buy-in 100% to the idea that the library should have a makerspace and digital media labs like YouMedia.  I believe that the library was a coworking space before coworking was cool.  I believe the library–a common space, a shared space–is ideal for workshops, forums, roundtable discussions.  The library is an ideal place for creation, not just consumption.  Despite the trendiness and the cliche of that previous statement, I believe it.

Sometimes it’s tempting to back away from these beliefs when we still exist in a culture where people perceive libraries to be about books and quiet and librarians to be about the Dewey Decimal system and teaching citation styles.  It’s not that these things don’t belong here, it’s just that there’s so much more to the work than that.  I can help a student think about a research paper and show her/him how to properly cite a source.  It’s equally exciting (ok, more exciting) to help a student make a movie or watch a student play around with a Raspberry Pi that she/he got from the library.

Raspberry Pi

cc licensed Flickr photo by qgil

There was a lot of talk at CMK about creating democratic cultures in school and the erosion of democracy through the defunding of public education.   I was surprised that this conversation popped up in several different venues over the week: once in a late night lobby talk and then again in some of the few scheduled sessions.

I’m thinking about libraries and how they support democracy through the provision of tools and shared space and the programming of thought-provoking workshops.  The library is a democratic space, because students (or community members) have access to books, articles, 3D printers, cameras, green screens, etc, which gives them the freedom to defend ideas and possibly create physical manifestations of those ideas.

I feel lucky to work in a pretty progressive school.  There’s a lot of tradition here both in culture and academics, but I think minds are open to change and new ideas.  As we move into a new space in August, I’m interested in seeing how new ideas take root, what butts up against tradition, and what is born from courage and creativity.

 

 

Toys, time, and amazing people: a CMK reflection (pt. 1)

The past week has been disorienting.  I touched down in Manchester, NH Monday for the Constructing Modern Knowledge institute.  Perhaps you’re asking, “What is Constructing Modern Knowledge (CMK)?”  It’s only the hands-down best professional thing I’ve done in forever.  More specifically, it’s a place to meet and work with creative and courageous educators in schools, museums, etc.  There is not a lot of moving from session to session at CMK.  There are very few sessions.  CMK is a hands-on carnival of project ideas, messing around, frustration, breakthroughs, and perhaps a finished project by day four.  CMK is about building knowledge by doing something.

Day one started with registration and a welcome/explanation of the CMK process by Gary Stager.  Participants with project ideas called those out.  They were written on easel pad post-its by Sylvia Libow Martinez.

Taken by a CMK participant. Available at Flickr. If you took it, let me know. I'd like to provide proper attribution.

Taken by a CMK participant. Available at Flickr. If you took it, let me know. I’d like to provide proper attribution.

Once project ideas were collected the 100+ participants signed up for the projects that intrigued them the most.  I signed up for the “haunted hotel” (building pranks for the conference area/hotel), the interactive scarf (a scarf that would interact with sound in its environment), and the smart plant (a plant that would serve as an intranet for a classroom or community).  Because the idea reminded me of a PirateBox and the robot hive mind in Robopocalypse, I went with the smart plant.

I found Joe Bacal, the initiator of the smart plant project.  I talked to Joe about LibraryBox and Robopocalypse.  He did not look at me like I was insane.  This was when I knew for certain that my kind of people go to CMK.

I wasn’t the only one who felt this way.

Folks stopped by and asked what we were working on.  Most left to find another project, but a few stayed.  Our group ended up consisting of Joe, Maggie, Linda and Kevin.

We talked about how the plant would be a place for students to record stories or information about what they were learning on a subject.  The plant could be a place for community members to record their narratives (think Storycorps).  It could be a place for students (or community members) to take pictures or record short films.  Information could be emailed to the plant at something like theplant@theplant.edu.

Essentially, the plant would store audio, video, images, and text centered around a common theme.

It didn’t take long for us to decide that this was kind of over our head.

And then Joe broke up with us after lunch.*

The smart plant ended up to be nothing like a PirateBox or a robot hive mind, or even our first vision and that’s ok.  That’s how it’s supposed to work.

Smart plant sketch, smart plant in the flesh.

The plant was really just a prop in the end.  The project turned out to be a reason to play around with Arduino, which I’ve been wanting to do for over a year now.  We got a chance to dabble in electronics and programming.

Arduino embedded in the plant

We consulted many tutorials from Arduino and Adafruit.  We picked the brains of some of the expert faculty like Eric Rosenbaum and Sylvia.  We picked the brains of some CMK participants who were more advanced than us like Jaymes Dec and Michael Mitchell.  Sometimes the experts and advanced kids didn’t have the answers.  They were just as stumped as Maggie, Kevin, Linda, and me, but between their shared advice, suggestions, and internet forums, we pieced answers together.

That was one of the beautiful parts of CMK.

Another beautiful part of CMK was the time.  At some point after registration, I saw this on the CMK website, “In addition to providing a rich sandbox where educators enjoy the luxury of time to work on personally rewarding projects….”  As the mother of a three-year-old, time to work on personally rewarding projects outside of working to make sure my son doesn’t grow up to be a sociopath doesn’t exist.

No, I exaggerate.  Time to work on personally rewarding projects exists in small chunks of time.  I can start on something in the evening after my son goes to bed, maybe work on it for 2 hours (three if I’m lucky), and maybe pick it up again the next night or the night after.  Because I work from 9-11 pm, the work is done in solitude.  This is no way to work.  It amazes me that our students aren’t coming out of their skin, because it’s how we expect them to work.  How do they dig deep in 45-minute or 90-minute chunks of time?  How do you use your evenings to explore, when time scheduled and there’s homework in every subject?

CMK participants digging deep, both in groups and alone. Photo by Gary Stager (I think).

We started working Monday afternoon and finished up Friday before 1:00.  It was an intense marathon of “hard play.”  For me, there was nothing easy about playing with Arduino.  I’ve looked at the C/C++ programming language before.  I kind-of-sort-of know what this is:

circuit diagram

CC licensed Flickr photo by Windell Oskay

 

 

 

 

 

 

But when it’s in this form, I lose my footing:

circuit

CC licensed Flickr photo by Windell Oskay

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, just because the playing wasn’t easy doesn’t mean it wasn’t fun.  It was a challenging puzzle that seemed doable in a team.

This post is almost over.  I promise.

So far I’ve discussed the availability of precious time and “hard play.”  Let me take some space to talk about the people at CMK.  Of course CMK wasn’t the first professional development I’ve done in the 11 years that I’ve been a professional something or other.  However, I do think it’s the first time I’ve made so many connections that will extend beyond the institute/conference/whathaveyou.

I do believe Keledy Kenkel had a lot to do with connecting people.  The signal to socialize went up before the conference even began.

#cmk13afterhours was a result of that Monday night dinner.

Afterhours included dinner, late night tech/education talk, super late night lobby conversations with Brian Silverman, ukulele jams, and just plain hanging out.  We talked about comics, parenting, TV, our schools and basically the things that make us who we are.

Also, I got to meet Tracy Rudzitis (and here), who has been at CMK for four years now.  Here’s a great photo of Tracy, a CMK senior.

Tracy Rudzitis

Photo by Gary Stager (or a CMK participant). Available at: http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=cmk13

I miss my CMK13 friends.  I feel closer to some of them than I do to people that I’ve worked with for seven or eight years.  And that has a lot to do with me.  Opening up and reaching out is really something I’ve failed at here at school.  But that’s a topic for another time…

So now what?

I have things to think about.  Things that people said to mull over.  I’m trying to think about how I can share what I learned and saw with students, staff, and faculty here at school.  I want to implement the hard play, collaboration, creativity, and big thinking in the commons when it opens in August.  I want to bring those things to my DIY/Maker senior seminar.  What kind of connections need to be made for this to happen?

I’m excited about the possibilities for the new school year.  I look forward to bringing some new ideas to my colleagues and students.  I know that I have CMK13 alum available as a sounding board.

Here’s to bringing some creativity and courage to the 2013-14 school year and beyond.

 

* there were no hard feelings

Mapping and reflecting

A sad, sad truth:  I have done very little on my map projects.

I mean, I’ve done SOME stuff.  I started thinking about the audio tour that I want to do regarding work.

G+ audio tour convoI started some sketches during the week.  I was inspired by those “Family Circus” strips where Billy takes the longest route possible to end up where he wants to go.

Family Circus strip

Family Circus strip

What I did was not nearly as cool as Bil Keane’s work.  But I’m ok with that.  It’s just to organize my thoughts anyway.

My work mapped

My work mapped

I’ve also spent some minutes working on a “map” of my…  I’m not sure what to call it…  It’s not really a map, but more of a story about my relationships with map, traveling, hometowns, etc.

Popcorn maker progress

Popcorn maker progress

Oddly enough, I didn’t realize it was more of a  story and less of a map until I wrote that previous sentence.  All week I’ve been feeling these internal nags: “You’re using the wrong tool.”  “This isn’t a map.”  “YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!”

I know enough to ignore the nags, but they squelch motivation all the same.

Another thing that smothers motivation is one’s 3 1/2 year old dropping his afternoon nap.  This means no more power naps for me and/or time to clean the house or work on projects.

This dude is up from 6:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

photo(3)It actually makes for a fun, creative day.  But there’s not a lot of time for documenting reflection or working on “work” stuff.

And again, I’m ok with that.  There are no deadlines.  No apologies.  Just making, and sometimes those makes have to marinate a little.

 

 

 

 

Another day, another make

In elementary school there was nothing I loved more than making dioramas.

"Domestic Revolution," a CC licensed Flickr photo by machintoy

“Domestic Revolution,” a CC licensed Flickr photo by machintoy

Lucky for me, dioramas were always a project option.  Read a book?  Great.  Make a diorama portraying one of your favorite scenes.

This delight in miniature worlds probably explains my fascination with terrariums.  I’ve been wanting to make a terrarium for years.  Building a terrarium was a project during last summer’s Maker Camp.  I was confident my house would be lousy with terrariums by summer’s end.  Christmas presents for everyone!  Terrariums all around!

Summer came and went, and there was not one terrarium to be had.  For some reason the project just seemed so overwhelming.  What do you mean I have to go out and buy charcoal?

Mason jar terrarium from Make Magazine

Mason jar terrarium from Make Magazine

What do you mean I can’t use real moss?  I have real moss right outside my door.

Light bulb terrarium from Hipster Home

Light bulb terrarium from Hipster Home

UGH!

All of this required SHOPPING just seemed like such a pain in the a** (I really hate shopping).

However, things started coming together when I was in the craft store buying supplies for my toy hack.  I added a bag of artificial moss to my cart.  This was the result:

Ornament terrarium

Ornament terrarium

I broke off small pieces of moss and dropped them inside the ornaments, which I bought on sale after Christmas YEARS ago.  There was no strategic placement of the moss mainly because I lacked long tweezers like the ones shown here:

Terrarium supplies

Terrarium supplies

The opening to the ornament is too small for chopsticks, which you can also use for placing plants and terrarium creatures.

I stole the centipede from my son’s collection of plastic insects.  So far he hasn’t noticed that it’s missing.  World of Mirth, a local toy store, also has a collection of unique plastic bits and bobs.  I plan to pick up some creatures there for future terrariums.

World of Mirth in Carytown

World of Mirth in Carytown

Some thoughts:

I’ve looked at two tutorials: one from Hipster Home that recommends tillandsea for the greenery and advises against the use of soil, real moss, etc. and another from Make Magazine that uses soil, charcoal, and a variety of real plants.

My terrarium doesn’t have any base (no sand, no soil, just fake moss dumped in).  I’m interested in building terrariums based on both tutorials to see which works the best.