lil monster 5

Adding LEDs to a painting

I have had an idea for a mixed media painting for a couple of years now. The background has been painted and is sitting on the shelf. Although I have tried to make the project simple there are many little components that need to come together and a fair bit of time and a steep learning curve. I was speaking to Darcy about this and here are some bits of wisdom that he shared with me that will help me to move this project along. When you are stuck on a project, take a break and work on something else. Come back to this project later. The other bit was to break the project down into little components. So I have done just that. I decided that the project has to have a basic LED with battery and conductive thread. Being summer I thought making a little cottage that would light up would be easy and quick. So I found a paper toy template and modified it using Inkscape.

Paper toy cottage

Paper toy cottage

There were many challenges with this option, the first being that it was not very big and would be too flimsy to hold a battery and LED well. I needed to have a material that would hold both easily. The other medium that came to mind was canvas. I made a sketch of what I was planning to do.

Sketch 1

Sketch 1

It took a few tries to get something that was appealing with some further modifications in the final painting.

sketch 2

Sketch 2

I used mainly acrylic paints for everything and gouche for red and black. Once dry I added a matte finishing coat on top.

lil monster 1

Lil monster

I had a number of small LEDs however the big red one seemed to work best. Upon advice from Alison, I tested the circuit before I attached it to the canvas. I started out with conductive thread and note the polarity of the LED. If it does not light up reverse the connection. I poked the LED through the canvas and folded the pins on either side.

lil monster 2

LED – back of canvas

The canvas held the LED well with no further glue or tape being needed.

lil monster 4

LED – front of canvas

It was hard to use conductive thread so I opted for a thin, insulated wire instead. I stripped a little of the insulation off the wires at both ends and twisted them around the LED pins.

lil monster 3

Circuit – back of canvas

I inserted the battery in the groove of the canvas and twisted one of the wires into one of the sides. Again no glue was needed as the battery was secure. Connect the circuit by attaching the second wire to the battery.

“I am a scary monster, boooo”

lil monster 5

Vote for me

It’s been ages since we have had a demo camp here in Ottawa and there’s one happening on Monday 19th Oct.

To spice things up the organizers asked for people to volunteer to be MC and if there was more than one candidate to place a vote.

It turns out that 6 of us feel up for the task, I being one of them.

The voting has started and I am asking for your vote.

Why should you vote for me?

Well I am a huge fan of Demo Camp and for the past few years I have attended most of them. I thought that this time around I would be on the other side of the fence so to speak and help out by being the MC.

So what qualifies me for this position?

I have been a guest speaker since university talking about various topics that I am passionate about. I love to inspire people into trying new things. I have never had the opportunity to be MC and looking forward to it.

So do VOTE for me. Thanks.

BlackBerry manners

Having a deviced attached to our hands seems to be common place these days.  This article made me laugh and I thought that I would share it with you. Shawn Kahandaliyanage is one such indivitual with a device attached to his hand and had the perfect strategy of walking and texting.

“I’d latch on to the brightest coloured shoes I could find, and follow behind that person, keeping their shoes in my peripheral vision while keeping my eyes [and attention] glued to my BB,” says the director of business development for Waterloo, Ont.-based mobile video company Metranome Inc.

All well and good until he got off a plane in the Ottawa airport one day en route to a business meeting. Trying to catch up on his e-mails, he followed a pair of red high heels. Suddenly, the shoes came to a halt and turned in his direction.

“I looked up, and was met by the dirty stare of the woman with the red heels. I had followed her straight into the ladies room,” Mr. Kahandaliyanage says.

You see what I mean. All kidding aside, mobile manners is something that we need to take into consideration and here are some great guidelines from Linda Allan an office and technology consultant.

  • Take charge
    Set times during the day when you choose to check messages; otherwise put the gadget away.
  • Shut it up
    The “new message” reminder or sound can tempt you, so turn it off.
  • Filter priorities
    Set up your e-mail filter during busy work hours to forward messages only from specific, high-priority contacts. Save the others to read at less hectic times.
  • Say I shall return
    To allay expectations of an instant response, set up an out-of-office message that promises a well-thought-out reply as soon as possible.
  • Talk rather than text
    Text messages beget more text. A phone call can often solve problems more quickly and completely. A bonus is that vocal messages are more personal and can carry more authority than written words.
  • Hide the face
    If you need to have the device out in a meeting to reference calendar or memos, place it face-down so you are not tempted to look and to show you are paying attention to the gathering.
  • Schedule text breaks
    At meetings, set ground rules for checking PDAs. Instead of an outright ban, consider a 20-minute break in mid-meeting.
  • Ask permission
    If you’re waiting for an important e-mail or call, let others at the meeting know ahead of time that you’re expecting it.
  • Take it outside
    If you must answer a message or take a call during a meeting, excuse yourself from the room to avoid distracting everyone else.
  • Set boundaries
    Avoid replying to messages on evenings and weekends, or contacts will be conditioned to always expect instant answers.
  • If you really must…
    Don’t succumb to stealth. Keeping the device under the table and typing sneakily will only make people think you are hiding something; better to let people see what you really are up to.

Mashups and open APIs’ the new entrepreneurship

I was at MESH last week in Toronto. Mayor David Miller gave a very inspirational talk about the future of technology in Toronto.

Here is a video of the presentation that I would like to share with you.

Listen to it as it is very inspiring and talks about the possibilities using mashups. This does have a Toronto focus but the point is to see the possibilities and start something of your own. Open source is not just free software it also means new ways of doing business.

What’s your opinion on this?

Startups and the Minister of Research and Innovation


I was at The Code Factory for a great session with John Wilkinson, Minister of Research and Innovation for Ontario.  It was a great discussion between the minister and various start-ups in Ottawa.

The start-ups present shared their experiences and woes.  John talked about the great work his team is working on and future developments.  He also brought to attention the challenges governments face with coming up with programs as they have to be fair to all.

So if you are one of those that recently graduated from you past job and now looking to start a business the next areas of growth are clean technology is huge globally so is digital media.

A couple of great sites to check out are and

Ian Graham will share his thoughts on this on The Road less travelled.

7 Productivity Tips for Freelancers

I recently launched my Social Media business and it’s been very exciting.  As a business owner one has to wear many hats so to speak one day you are the worker bee, the next moment you are the bean counter, sales person, marketing etc… So how do you get through your day and stay focused on what needs to be done.

Elliott Kosmicki is a productivity and personal development consultant and shares his tips with us.

Get it out of your head and onto something, he recommends mindmapping.  I have been exploring mindmapping online and find it very useful in sorting out my thoughts and plans.

Look at each email once, this is a great idea and I am actively working on this.  I have started tagging them so I can scan and know who I need to respond to.  I do say that the filtering is something that I don’t care to do yet.

Let calls go to voicemail, not a problem so far.  For more tips and tricks check out his post on 7 Productivity Tips, plus tools for freelancers and web workers.

Launching Virtual EyeSee, a Social Media Company

For the past few months I have been focusing a fair bit of my time in setting up a new business.  It’s to do with New Media marketing or Social Media marketing.  Given the developments in open source software and free social networking sites it’s a great way for corporations to take advantage of these communication vehicles.  They can be used internally within a company or externally to communicate with customers.

With this in mind I have founded Virtual EyeSee a Social Media strategy and training company.  The goals are very simple to educate people about the trends in this space and inspire them to use these communication tools to increase their bottom line.


The website was design and integration is by R-Cubed, who worked their magic to maintain a common look and feel for both the corporate website and the blog.


EyeSee is where I blog about my adventures in Social Media.  You can become a fan of Virtual EyeSee on facebook and ask all your burning questions on Social Media.


For the more advanced tweet me on Twitter.


So do join me on my advetnures on line and learn how to participate in these spaces.  If you are looking for a guest speaker for your organization, team building, conferences or networking groups, I would be happy to talk about social media, web 2.0 or whatever you want to call it.

C.U. Game Day

Carleton University is having a Game Day and it looks like a lot of fun.


It’s from Fri. Jan 30 to Sunday Feb. 1 2009. What looks particularly interesting is the Game Jam.  This is for artists, programmers and designers to work together in small teams on a game project.  The games will be based on a theme that will be announced at the start of the Jam.

So don’t miss out and join in on the action.

Startup Addict

When I worked for a start-up,  the challenges of funding and recruiting the right talent were very apparent.  It’s very simple, how do you get funds when the economy is on a down slide?  How do you recruit the right talent when you have a budget of zero $.


Startup Addict is a social network that addresses this issue.  It’s an online community for people to fund startups, recruit talent, sell goods and network.

I will let you know how it goes.  Follow the updates on EyeSee.


Schwag is always a challenge for companies, you want it to be unique, effective and reasonably priced.  Some of the common items are pens and t-shirst.  So here are a few t-shirts and what I think about them.

FaveQuest came out with this t-shirt.  I like it because it’s very simple and the color is very appealing.

This is Freshbooks first round of t-shirts and it’s plain white.  What’s really interesting is the humour that went into it.  Freshbooks is a time tracking and invoicing tool for self employed consultants.  Typically these people work from home hence the tie.  There is another version for women however don’t have it.

My all time favourite though is the one I got last night from Digital Ottawa.  Well it’s the first time I have EVER, EVER, received a woman schwag t-shirt!!!!!  I am soo excited, thanks Tamey.