2019 Maker Year in Review

With 2020 fast approaching, I wonder a bit where the time went. In order to track that, I give you my maker year in review – a selection of projects I’ve started and finished in 2019!

January

Silicone moldmaking

I started the year learning how to make molds with silicone and cast things in resin! This wouldn’t go anywhere huge in 2019, but I really enjoyed the learning process.

February

Bruno

Valentine’s Day meant another project. NJ found herself enjoying having something to hold at night so I found a pattern and put our sewing machine through its paces. His nose ended up attached at a funky angle and he’s needed some repairs on account of fake fur is hard to work with, but I like him a lot – and so do NJ and the girls. As we progress in our pregnancy with our third child and NJ needs more support as she sleeps, Bruno is a key player in the pregnancy pillow strategy.

March

Spray Booth

I can’t believe I haven’t hardly written or videoed about this but yeah, I built a tabletop spray booth. It’s a great addition to the shop and has let me do projects in all sorts of bad weather that would make painting in the garage our outside not feasible.

Custom master spool

This was part of a project that you can read more about it here, in Failure isn’t Failure.

Some cool 3D printer tweaks and prints

April

3D printed easter eggs

You can find the eggs I printed on Thingiverse, by Antonin Nosek, and via Maker’s Muse, by Angus Deveson. They’re great.

May

Cold casting

Cold casting kind of also went nowhere, but I want to continue to explore it. It’s fun and very cool. Unfortunately I ordered bronze powder instead of brass, and you can’t get a shiny gold finish out of bronze no matter how much you want it. I just need to find a project to put the bronze powder to use – would love to hear in the comments below if you have ideas!

Chocolate molds

Silicone molds come back around! With some new food-safe silicone in hand, the kids and I made custom chocolate shapes for NJ and filled them with all sorts of goodies. This was also very much a learning project but we had a total blast making them.

Herb garden

We love cooking (including cooking together) and this was a great addition to our usual summer fare.

June

Mounting bracket

June was a month to start but not finish much. One quick make was this Fusion 360 and 3D printing project to help mount fairy lights on the deck.

July

XS costume

โ€œFriday is Heroes & Villians day at camp,โ€ my littlest said. It was Monday, and my projects for the week were supposed to involve rebuilding a computer and sorting out my 3D printerโ€™s filament dispenser from last weekโ€™s episode. But very quickly, those priorities changed. We needed a costume. And we had just a few days to do it.

Bajoran rank pin

Another very quick Fusion 360 and 3D printing project for a friend who does excellent cosplay (and is just an excellent person), Thea.

Runabout crash diorama

This make got a whole video dedicated to it! It was such a blast do to.

August

Inform 7 IF started

I love interactive storytelling, building systems, and writing pseudocode (all the flavour of full-fat programming with none of the pesky language!), and I want to do more of it. I’m looking forward to finishing this story and, separately, following the transition of Inform 7 to open-source.

September

Mustard

October

Overhead camera mount

Bathroom

Panorama of bathroom in light grey with green accents.

I talk more about the bathroom project in the post Labours of Love.

Scarlet Witch costume

I love this costume and I love it on my eldest. She’s so rad, and totally sells the vibe of Scarlet Witch. Although it definitely had me thinking about thje fact that I have a tendency to overcommit to Halloween.

T-800 arm

In a sprint-finish at the end of the month, I completed a 3D printed prop for Thea and Jody’s annual Halloween bash, Heroes and Villains. This was a fun build, but I definitely was feeling a little thin as I rolled into November.

November

Annette and the Broken Shroud (The Fairy Forest, Vol. 1)

This is my favourite thing on this list. I’ve written about this project in a couple of places, here and here and here, for example, and spoke about it to Apt613 in an article at the beginning of NaNoWriMo and again once the contest was finished.

Open-source Creative Cloud

I cancelled my Adobe subscription and am moving everything over to free and open-source software. So far, I’ve got a pretty good collection that’s doing more or less everything I needed from the expensive software suite… plus a few new things, too.

December

New computer

Hopefully this will allow me to do some of the things that I was struggling with on the old computer. I want to experiment with Blender, I’d like to dabble in game development a little more, and I want to be able to edit video without feeling like I’m in purgatory. So far, having a modern computer has been an absolute joy. I even played a Halo campaign for the first time ever!

Baby Yoda Ornament

This may be the last make of the year, but with the Mandalorian just finishing its first season this is as good a place as any to leave it.


This post is part retrospective and part therapy. I have a bad habit of treating even my most rigorous creative time as being underwhelming and unproductive. I’m not 100% sure how I feel about my volume of creative output this past year – and one of the 23 things listed here is a completed novel. I’m starting to realize that my standards of output are a little unfair at times and maybe I should go a little easier on myself. Clearly, I made some cool things in 2019.

And – for those eagle-eyed readers who didn’t already know – one of the things we made in 2019 is a baby. There are no awkward feelings of creative self-doubt around that one. I can’t wait for that adventure to begin in the spring of 2020. And I suspect, dear readers, that won’t be the last you hear of that.

I hope your creative 2019 was productive and fulfilling and fun, and that you’re barreling towards a 2020 that’s even moreso!

As always, folks, paddle your own canoe.

Trevor

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