Category: Community

All things to do with the greater makerspace hacker space community as well as our local community

AMT’s Adventures at Maker Faire 2018

The Art Printing Photobooth aka The Edgy Printacular

At the Bay Area Maker Faire 2018, a team of Ace Monster Toys members created a photobooth where participants could take selfies which were then transformed into line art versions and printed, all initiated by pressing one ‘too-big-to-believe’ red button.

Back in March, AMT folks began prepping for Maker Faire 2018, and had an idea: what if you made a machine that could take a selfie and then generate a line art version of the said selfie, that could then be printed out for participants like you and me?! Thus, the Art Printing Photobooth was born! This project was based on the Edgy Cam project by Ray Alderman. AMT created a special slack channel just for Bay Area Maker Faire 2018 #maker-faire-2018. Then members set about figuring out how exactly to make this art-generating-automaton and Rachel (Crafty) campaigned for having a ‘too-big-to-believe’ push button. They would need many maker skills: CNC routing and file design, woodworking, electronics wiring, and someone to art it all up on the physical piece itself. Bob (Damp Rabbit) quickly volunteered to take on the design and CNC cutting, while Ray (whamodyne) started to chip away at the code that would be used to convert photos to line art.

Then the trouble began. By mid-April, our intrepid troubleshooters were running into all sorts of snags – so much so that the original code needed to be thrown out and rewritten from the ground up! To add additional difficulty (and awesomeness!) the team decided to use a Print on Demand(POD) service to allow participants to have their generated art uploaded and available to be printed on mugs, t-shirts, posters, etc. Soon after, Ray wrote up a new digispark code for the big-red-button to actuate the script and convert and print the line art (code given below) using Python3, opencv library, printer library from

Meanwhile, Crafty Rachel and Bernard were configuring the TV mount that would be the selfie-display of the photobooth and Damp Rabbit was busy CNCing and painting up a storm to create the beautiful finished product – The Edgy Printacular! The EP was a hit and won three blue ribbons at Maker Faire 2018. Another happy ending that speaks to what a few creative makers can do when they put their heads together in a place with all the right equipment, Ace Monster Toys <3

Soft Skills for Shared Spaces Workshop Series

Over the years the AMT community has experienced growing pains. And it turns out many of these growing pains are not unique to AMT or even makerspaces. We are proud to have partnered with Emily Bowen MA, ABS to bring a 3 workshop series on soft skills. The focus is on soft skills for inclusion, sharing and challenging situations. These workshops are primarily geared towards leaders and instructors though community members in general, will learn great skills.

We have a limited number of sponsored tickets for each workshop. Contact [email protected] to request a sponsored tickets if finances are an issue.

The Good No

Sat, September 15, 2018  | 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM PDT

Learn how to hear both a hard and soft “no” as well as how to set firm boundaries by saying no with tact and brevity.


Words for Woke Leaders

Sat, September 29, 2018  |  11:00 AM – 1:00 PM PDT

Leaders will learn:

  • How to speak and think in an inclusive way.
  • How to direct behavior change in non-shaming ways for best results.



In the Heat of the Moment

Sat, October 13, 2018  |  12:00 PM – 1:00 PM PDT

Learn practical skills:

  • How to support and diffuse emotions and behavior resulting from frustration, anger, triggering and fear
  • How to create safety in shared spaces




DIY Burner Fashion Week – July 23-31

Before you know it it will be time for the burn. AMT has a workshop line-up designed to help folks make smashing gear and finish up those last minute projects.

Monday the 23rd | 7-9pm | Headgear! Make amazing fashions for your noggin.
Tuesday the 24th | 7:30-9-8:30pm | Laser Cutting Faux Fur
Thursday the 26th | 7-9pm | EL Wire for Playa Gear
Saturday the 28th | 11am-2pm | Manskirts and Kimono making Workshop
Saturday the 28th | 12-3pm | Painted leather feathers
Sunday the 29th | 10am-2pm | Finish this Fashion: Project Completion Lab
Monday the 30th | 7-9pm | DIY Fairy Wings Workshop
Tuesday the 31 | 7-9pm | Textile Tuesday

And more!

2018-2019 Goals

The AMT board of directors is proud to present the goal for the new fiscal year.

Be intentionally inclusive

AMT strives to be a place for the growth of all kinds of people. We, as the organization, want to be engaged in a continual process of understanding how we can make people feel welcome and safe.

Actionable items to support this goal

  • Update and promote the anonymous incident report system.
  • Continue discussions about inclusivity at AMT and the wider makerspace community.
  • Create media and advertising that shows a diverse range of people and projects.
  • Roll out a code of conduct by end of Q3.

Support Sustainability

We want AMT to be around for the long haul as a positive force in people’s lives. This means both running the org in a way that is sustainable financially and operationally, but also creating a culture in which it is easy to get and stay involved with helping run the space.

Actionable items to support this goal

  • Recruit 40 new members by November 30th.
  • Develop an officer application process and improve recruitment process.
  • Reassess incentives to encourage officer retention.
  • Reassess and prioritize officer positions to fill, and fill positions.
  • Improve the ability of members to get involved with contributing to and maintaining the space using from member feedback.
  • Improve promotion of leadership and general volunteer work.
  • Celebrate community successes and support of project leaders even more
  • Reduce critical single-person dependencies (critical tasks only one person knows how to do).
  • Complete revisions of our bylaws.

Strengthen our community

AMT is a space that fosters collaboration and support between members, as well as shared knowledge and responsibility for the space. The community is so much of what is amazing about AMT and is also what keeps it sustainable. We want AMT to be a good member of the maker community and East Bay community.

Actionable items to support this goal

  • Continue engaging in events in the wider community, such as the Oakland library program and Hoover school project.
  • Develop more content and programs that strengthen soft skills within the community, such as the new member orientation.
  • Create strong relationships with other groups, organizations, and spaces in the greater Bay Area.
  • Expand professional development offering for officers, stewards and Monster Corps members.
AMT Board Election Polls Now Open

2018 Winter Election: Candidate Interviews

We have three seats on the board open this election cycle. Five awesome folks have stepped up as candidates. Ballots have been sent to voting AMT members* and election results will be in on January 31st at 6pm.

Get to know the candidates:

Christopher Constantine

Member since May 2017

Why you want to be on the board at AMT?

I want to help out.

What are one or two things you would get done if you were elected?

Keeping AMT running is important to me.


Pierre Grandin

Member since June 2016

Why you want to be on the board at AMT?

I’ve been serving on the board for 2 terms already and I feel like our current board is really getting better as a leadership team. We are better organized and more efficient than in the past. I’d like to continue being part of that team and help support our organization.

What are one or two things you would get done if you were elected?

We are still understaffed in the officers department, and need to address this. I also want to continue the work to improve the efficiency of the officers / directors relationship, which will ultimately lead to a better leadership team as a whole.


Patrick Safinya-Davies

Member since July 2017

Why you want to be on the board at AMT?

I’d like to help with the decision making process to advance the mission and goals of AMT as an organization and maker space.

What are one or two things you would get done if you were elected?

If elected, I would like to find more opportunities to bring our maker community together with the greater community. I’d also like to help address member concerns. Finally, it would be great to highlight all of the hard work that the volunteer staff does to make AMT function.


Peter Gardner

Member since November 2017

Why you want to be on the board at AMT?

I’m new to Ace Monster Toys and would like to step up and help out in any way I can.  I’m interested in big picture issues and helping to drive the vision of AMT while taking member opinions into account.

What are one or two things you would get done if you were elected?

I have seen no flaws in the organization except that Rachel probably works too hard.


Rob Froetscher

Member since June 2017

Why you want to be on the board at AMT?

As I am at AMT most days, I feel invested in the place and interested in helping keep it going. I appreciate the ways it has spurred me to be more creative and the community it fosters.

What are one or two things you would get done if you were elected?

Keep AMT running. Be invested and interested and mindful of the direction of the org.
*If you are a full member and have not received your ballot please contact [email protected]


Hoover Garden Project – December Update


Highlights of the Dec 20th Meeting:

  • Attendees Included:  Crafty Rachel, Serena Patel
  • We discussed overarching design tools and relevancy, outlined an approach for design.
  • We began to develop a list of classroom activities and began to map to dates.
  • Cal Collaborators were invited to author content about the project for the Blog
  • Agreed on an overarching area of scope in the partnership
  • Discussed scholarship requirements and suggestions for ESW students,  AMT training and certification for ESW scholars and craft work and classroom activities.
  • Begin to compile a list of classroom activities and dates.  Brainstormed on activities in two groups “Big Kids” and “Little Kids”

Highlights of the Dec 27th Meeting:

  • Attendees Included: Vanessa, Wanda Stewart, Crafty Rachel,  Serena Patel 
  • Three Scholarships were confirmed
  • March Build Day Go/No-Go decided as a “GO”
  • Discussed information needs for March Build Day – build goals and funding, firm deliverables for funding, logistics for the day – food, parent and teacher engagement, tools, site coordinators.
  • AMT to host, possible to do multiple dates
  • Rachel to work with AMT approach AMT community for assistance in Promotion.
  • January 15th Workday  – Confirmed as a “go”
    • AMT has booth for table top activity
    • Activity ideas – voting/collaboration – draw your dream garden, color a garden, draw a chicken coop, vote for your favorite.  Stretch Goal – compile a look book from results.
  • Work Day Project ideas – build a path, construct benches, worm bins,.
  • Visual Language Design:  Rachel to post to blog in lieu of a presentation.
  • Classroom activities will start – Feb 7th.   Wednesdays 3-5th Graders, Thursdays 8-Noon 3rd and 5th Graders.  Sessions will be 100 minutes.   Fridays, Start Feb 2,  Kindergarden and First Graders 1:15-1:45. Sessions will be 30 minutes.
    • For classroom activities bring feedback and capture new ideas from participants.
  • Need to develop a facebook page for the garden project.

Hoover Garden Project Kick-off Meeting

Highlights from the December 6th Kick-off meeting

  • Meeting attendees included Wanda Stewart, Miguel Elliot, and Crafty Rachel as well as 3 engineering students from Cal.
  • We discussed the structures for the garden including a bulletin board, outdoor kitchen, coops, primary signage and more. It really helped to get a handle on the project
  • We discussed goals as relates to signage and communication structures. A focus on communication that helps folks know “how to be” in the garden came up… and refined as 3 buckets: Self/Others/World
  • Some logistics worked out including agreeing on a shared google calendar, a slack channel on the AMT Platform (#hoover-garden).
  • Two milestones where identified: January 15th workday and January 24th for the class workshops to begin.

Next Design meeting December 20th • Noon to 1:30 • via Google Hang Outs

Learn More about the project and join us as a contributor

AMT Badges

Show folks who step up a little love with a button badge!

Have you spotted these badges in our space yet? We’re excited to introduce a new badge program in which members can acknowledge and celebrate community engagement. AMT Badges are little tokens of appreciation that member can give each other. We do so much for each other and the community… give a badge to a member when you see them stepping up!


To get badges: You must be gifted the badge by somebody else.

To give badges: When you see something worthy, choose your badge give it to the person and ping an officer so we can post a digital badge to the recipients AMT profile. Also if you want give a badge anonymously an officer can be your messenger.

Badges are located on the media table upstairs.

Don’t see the badge you need?

Have a great idea for a badge? You can email officers to get a new badge created OR make your own custom badges on any of the Thursday Night General Meetings when we crack out the button maker.

Badges may sometime in the future make you eligible for special classes (sash making!!)