Archives for January 2013

Website Weekend brings us a little closer to our community

After another successful Website Weekend, we have some new swag to add to our Mm collection! Patrick Schmidt is a recent graduate of Website Weekend and runs a few projects, including Open Clay Project and Open Fine Arts Gallery in Berkeley. He made us some keychains with the Mm logo using a very interesting technique.

The process he used is called millefiori, which was originally known as a glass technique, but is now also associated with polymer clay.

CaneThe first thing he did was construct a “cane,” which is a big prototype of the 2 dimensional design, but as a 3 dimensional shape.

ReducingThen he pressed and pulled the clay to elongate the cane. This is called “reducing.” Some shapes, like circles and triangles, reduce better than others. This is the hard part of the process, as it is very easy to distort the creation.

Slicing the caneWhen the cane was reduced to the size he wanted, Patrick then used a razor blade to thinly cut it into slices. For our keychains, he added them to another piece of clay, then baked them in an oven for half an hour. After the metal key rings are put on, they are done!

keychainsPatrick uses this technique for jewelry, but also as a great educational tool. Chromosomes, DNA, and RNA can be easily visualized when created using this process.

This was such a cool process, and if you want to learn more, Patrick teaches a free class every week at his art gallery in Berkeley. He will also be teaching classes with Make SF and Workshop Weekend, where we first met him and where we also run a class!

He will also be having an art show this coming Saturday, February 2nd from 6-9pm. Try to stop by, say Hello, and learn a little bit more about the art in our community.

Patrick at Open Clay Project

Our Modular Office

room arrangementWe love our office. Not just the location, the building, and its staff; but our office itself. Thankfully, Kristin had the foresight to make sure all of our desks were on wheels. We can do so much with the layout of our office because of the wonderful invention of wheels. When we have classes, we arrange the desks like a classroom, facing the front of the room and our whiteboards and giant projection screen. When we have staff meetings, we can quickly turn the desks to face each other for easy discussion.

We also rent out our space frequently for board meetings for non profits whose conference rooms are too small, or for workshops where the activities vary and they need to move the desks around during the day. We find it very helpful to be able to arrange the room exactly the way our guests want. If you are interested in using our space, be sure to send us an email!

ping pongThese wheeled desks come especially in handy when we feel like putting the desks together and playing a little ping pong, or clearing them away for some office basketball! Let’s face it, we can’t work all the time; that would just be exhausting. Be on the lookout for upcoming ping pong tournaments in our rec room/office, just be warned that we are very competitive!

MIGHTYminnow Live from the Bottleneck Café Radio Show!

MikeLucky us, we were featured on Big Mike’s show on Mutiny Radio SF last Wednesday talking about MIGHTYminnow, making websites, rocking it in Oakland, and even swing dancing! A longtime friend, Big Mike hosts The Bottleneck Cafe Radio Show every week spinning Blues, Jazz, & Swing. The interview with Kristin starts at around 35:30 to talk a little about the music, Mm’s clients, and Website Weekend. In the interview, you can hear a more personal twist on what we do, how we got started, and how we got our name. You can also learn about Kristin’s semi-secret second love, Swing Dancing! The second part of the interview starts around 1:14:00.

As Mike describes, Website Weekend is for anyone who has need for a new website and is savvy enough with the computer to check email. If you feel like this is you, be sure to contact us with any questions, and keep updated on any upcoming classes we will be offering by signing up for our newsletter.

Thanks to Big Mike for such a fun opportunity. And mad props for being so damn talented and knowledgable, Mike!

A Website Weekend Success Story

As we recently wrote in a newsletter, Mm’s New Year’s resolution is to help small businesses and non-profits establish stronger web presences. In this spirit, we offer our “Website Weekend” class as a cost effective and fun way for organizations with lower budgets to get fancy new websites live – quickly and easily!

As a case in point, during our last Website Weekend, Aquarius Pool and Spa created a fabulous new website for their family owned business. Aquarius is a successful outfit that has been serving Contra Costa County for over 40 years. They came to class with content, photos and ideas and came out with a beautiful new website.

Aquarius HomepageEach website that is created in this class is built in WordPress, which makes it very easy to create and maintain the website yourself.

With WordPress you also have lots of options to personalize your site. You can start off with a basic template and change the settings until they fit your requirements and specifications. For example, Aquarius wanted a photo slideshow on their homepage, and they found a template with a slick slider on it. They were also able to add a contact form, a location map (complete with directions), and newsletter signup form to their site.

Contact FormThe next scheduled Website Weekend class is January 26th and 27th. If you are interested in creating a new site and have questions, be sure to contact us for more details. Or simply register online!

We are always so pleased to be affiliated with companies like Aquarius. We know first hand the hard work that goes into running a business, creating a brand, and managing all of the moving parts. It is really nice for us to be able to say that we are a small part of helping great businesses create a web presence that is a more visible, more professional, and easy to maintain in the long run. Maybe we could help your company too?