I have learned a lot of things in grad school but one of the biggest is: see what other people have done first, and leverage their work if appropriate. When I'm stuck on a project, it's likely someone else has had the same problem, and I can learn from them. So when I do something neat or that I think can help someone else, I try to document it on Instructables.

Wood Veneer Sun Jar

The idea for this came from a simple problem: I couldn't find my cousin's house when I was driving there late at night. I wanted house numbers that are visible day or night. First, I just made a traditional Sun Jar with a vinyl sticker number on the outside. The layer of glass above the light sensor made the jar more likely to turn on in medium light (possibly an artifact of low sun in Boston spring). I wanted to make a jar where the solar component was at the top, and ended up modifying a jar to add a wood veneer top. This made the light work better, and looked very nice. I made a simple instructable about the process.

This Instructable was featured on their home page, featured in their daily projects email on 29 May 2014, and won a prize in a Lamps and Lighting contest.

Artwork Distortion for Conical Glasses

I started using glass etchant on a crafty whim, and quickly moved to using a vinyl cutter for my masks. While working on an espresso glass, I had trouble getting my text to look very nice since the glass what not cylindrical. If I wanted my masks to wrap well around conical glasses, I needed to distort the artwork. The math took about ten minutes, but I decided to share by making this instructable, and a conversion page that would do the math for you. Below is a summary.