foxfirefey: A stylized house roof containing an attic window, logo of Seattle Attic. (seattle attic)
[personal profile] foxfirefey2014-02-10 12:14 pm

[sticky entry] Sticky: Welcome!

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[admin post] Admin Post: Mini Maker Faire and GeekGirlCon

Seattle Attic will be at Seattle Mini Maker Faire and GeekGirlCon this year! We're super excited to be at our first Maker Faire, and are always glad to return to GGC, our favorite convention. At both events we'll be running mini-workshops and discussions! We'll be in the Connections Room at GGC this year, where we'll have more space and get to hang out with organizations like the Girl Scouts, the ACLU, and also a group of girls building robots! We'll have more information to share once we know more about our locations and schedules. Yay!

[admin post] Admin Post: The Attic is Moving, Again!

The architectural firm we were subleasing our space from broke their lease with the building without warning and we were forced to move out on short notice. To compound matters, building management actually didn't know of our sublease until this happened. Fortunately, the building management company has been working really hard with us to help us secure a lease and relocate to another unit in the building.

So, the Attic is moving again!

We are slated to move some time this week. The new space is about half the size of our current space, but considering that we are currently only using half the space we have it will actually end up being a better space for us in the short term.

The downside to this is that we will have to cancel all our public events this week: Alternacoders and our regular Open House. We will, if the move goes well, resume regular events starting with Alternacoders on Monday 5/11. For more information, follow us @Seattle_Attic on Twitter.

Also, we're aware that our web site's SSL certificate is having issues! We're trying to fix that as I type this.

TL;DR: We got thrown under the bus but everything came out better than expected.

[admin post] Admin Post: Update on Seattle Attic Break-in

It's been three weeks since the break-in happened, and lots of folks have asked us questions and offered to help... so here's an updated FAQ!

1. Can I give the Attic money?
Yes, please! We are very thankful that this is the most frequently asked question about the break-in. :) While we do have insurance, we still have some significant out of pocket costs. For example, we have a $1000 deductible, as well as smaller costs like making a few dozen new keys and replacing small items that insurance doesn't cover. It's also helpful to build up a small cash reserve before moving, so we would appreciate any financial assistance that you can give. You can donate online right here. Thank you to all the folks who have donated to the Attic since the break-in!

2. Can I give the Attic stuff?
Maybe! We suspended material donations immediately after the break-in in order to assess the situation, and also to make sure that we have a secure space to put things in before we accept any stuff donated. At this point, we are a little more settled but we are not at the point where we can openly accept physical donations yet. If you are interested in making a physical donation and it's a time-sensitive thing (e.g., you're moving) e-mail us at

3. How's insurance coming?
We have been in contact with our insurance company. The first half of the insurance money will be getting to us "soon", with the second half distributed once we made the replacements. Unfortunately our policy separates computers from non-computers, which means that we have a deductible on each category for a total of $1000.

4. What's next?
Securing the space and communicating with our insurance company has taken most of our energy in the past few weeks. In the meantime, business is (mostly) as usual. Once we're through with insurance and equipment replacement, we'll provide the greater makerspace community with a wrap-up so that everyone can benefit from what we've learned.

Other questions? Ideas? E-mail us at!

[admin post] Admin Post: Break-in at Seattle Attic

Let's get right to the heart of the bad news: the Seattle Attic was burglarized last Tuesday. Some time after 1AM, what seems to be a crew of professional thieves broke into the Attic using a crowbar on the lock/door and took a large amount of equipment and valuables. No one was hurt. Among the stolen items are almost all of our computer equipment, most of our electronics equipment, our entire collection of woodworking tools (including large power tools), jewelry-making tools and supplies, a small amount of cash from our donation boxes, and our large screen TV. The thieves, ironically, did not take our lockpicking kit.

We are currently estimating a total replacement cost of just a bit under $5,000.

Here are before and after shots of our wood shop:
Wood shop before theft.Wood shop after theft.

We've reported the theft to the Seattle Police Department and notified area business associations. Unfortunately it's unlikely that we will be able to recover any of the stolen items. Fortunately we do have an insurance policy, and we are in contact with our insurance company to see how much of the loss we can recoup.

Is this the end of the Seattle Attic?

Two days after the break-in, many of the Attic’s members gathered at the Attic to discuss the future of our space. We decided, overwhelmingly so, that this is not the end of the Seattle Attic. While the theft was taxing in many ways---emotionally, mentally, and financially---it brought us together. It reminded us why we created the Attic: to have a community where we can learn and grow together. While the loss of much of our equipment is unfortunate, our community is the most important part of the Attic and it’s here to stay.

What is the current state of security of the Attic?

Our first priorities right now are to physically secure the space and to reimburse stolen member property. In terms of securing the space, we've already had new locks installed, as well as additional hardware to prevent the doors from being crowbarred or otherwise opened forcibly. Together with the other business sharing our space, we are looking into installing more advanced security measures such as alarm systems and security cameras.

What are the Attic’s current finances like right now?

Even with insurance, we have taken a pretty significant financial hit; and of course insurance money doesn't always get disbursed immediately. We do have a reserve of cash to pay rent for the near future and to replace stolen member property immediately, but the board will be prioritizing the replacement of the other stolen equipment since we won't be able to replace everything immediately. We are also taking this opportunity to re-examine our needs for equipment and the direction for the space.

Will the Attic be moving again?

While we're fairly certain that we can secure our space from intruders, there are building-wide factors that are out of our control. Coupled with access issues and the needs/cost ratio of our membership, this current space is no longer ideal. The board is investigating possibilities of moving to a space with better security that also suits our needs and finances better.

What about events? Will ___ be happening again next week?

We cancelled our regular Open House last Tuesday, given that the break in occurred that morning and we spent all of that evening inventorying our losses. All regular events (Open House, Alternacoders, Introvert Night, Book Club) will continue as scheduled starting with Alternacoders on Monday 3/23. As usual, events will be posted on our Meetup group and Twitter. Cancellations or changes will also be sent out via Meetup to RSVPed guests and via Twitter to the public.

Wait, is there anything left in the Attic?

Yes! The thieves did not manage to take everything. Equipment-wise, we still have our media computer, most of our small crafting equipment and all of our textile equipment (which are the most used items in the Attic). Fortunately our library was untouched, as that would be the hardest thing to replace if it was damaged or lost. We still have all our furniture, chocolate, and beverages, so we're completely equipped to run our regular events at this point.

Is there anything I can do to help?

First of all, thank you! The best way to help the Attic at any point is to become a member. Membership not only gives the Attic financial support, but it also lets you directly participate in building and steering the future of the Seattle Attic. We are currently suspending the donation of physical items---including equipment donations to replace stolen items---until we have fully secured our space and figured out any moving plans. Monetary donations are always welcome, of course, and can be made via's Donate page. If you are local and have any information related to the crime, please contact us so we can forward the relevant information to the police.


TL;DR: The Attic got broken into and got stuff stolen, but we’re here to stay. Join/follow our mailing list / Twitter for more updates down the line, or join us as a member to help figure out what’s next for the Attic.

Personal Safety Startup, seeking like-minded hackers to talk about safety and security in tech age

I'm working on a personal safety app called Buddy Watch, intended to use GPS and accelerometer data to actively detect emergencies. I found this group wile looking for people who might share my interest in or passion for tech innovations in the safety space, so I'm reaching out.

If anyone is working on a similar project, or is interested in hearing more about Buddy Watch, I'd love to share more info, learn more about your projects, and maybe talk about working together. We're a fully formed company, and while we are in the really early stages of a beta for the app, we have a lot of great research and community outreach under our belts and I hope to share and discuss ideas with the Seattle Attic community!

PS We are also making some early hires including maybe a CTO, so if this is really an issue you care about, lets talk!
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[personal profile] audrakj2014-11-07 06:15 pm
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ScreenConf #2 11/8/2014!

Here's the play list for tomorrow's ScreenConf (an idea so nice we're doing it twice--and probably more in the future!)

cme: The outline of a seated cat woodburnt into balsa (Default)
[personal profile] cme2014-11-02 07:34 pm
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[admin post] Admin Post: How scholarships work at the Attic

One of our goals for the Attic is transparency- especially within the membership, but externally as well whenever we can. As part of this, I want to share what we're doing to meet our goal of economic accessibility. Comments and critical feedback are very welcome.

Legally, the Attic is a nonprofit organization, and we are striving to create a non-capitalist space, where a person's worth isn't about how much money they make or what their purchasing power is (as much as we can).

However, we exist in a capitalist society, and that means we need to pay rent and buy replacement robot parts. We cover these expenses with a combination of donations and, where members can afford it, dues. We explicitly solicited money for scholarships in our fundraiser, and as part of this policy, we've set that money aside so that we can't use it unless we have members who are on scholarship.

That means we have four options for members:

  • Full scholarship. The Attic pays itself $50/month out of our earmarked funds for each member who's on a full scholarship.
  • Half-scholarship with transit money. The Attic pays itself $25/month out of the above funds and pays $25 to the member to assist in bus fare/food while at the Attic/babysitting/whatever makes it easier to enjoy the space.
  • Half dues. The member pays $25/month to the Attic, and the Attic pays itself $25 from earmarked funds.
  • Full dues. The member pays $50/month to the Attic.
  • Extra dues. If a member's financial situation allows it and their joy in the Attic encourages it, we ask members to consider paying a larger amount for dues at their personal discretion, with the knowledge that this is not required and the member may choose to change it at any time.

We encourage members to select the option that's right for their situation, with the knowledge that we will never question their choices, that no option makes a member more or less valuable to the Attic, and that things change and members can change their minds at any time.

We're also careful with the accounting information- the only people who will know what a member chooses will be the secretary and the treasurer, and we will never ask members to explain or justify their decisions. We trust and support our members, who are a valuable participants in the Attic because they are excited and exciting people, not because of their places in the capitalist pecking order.
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[personal profile] wingie2014-09-28 09:56 pm

Getting to the Attic's New Location

Our new address is 114 Alaskan Way S, Suite 200. We are located in the Prudential Building on Alaskan Way between Yesler Way and S Washington St. It is about two blocks from our old space.

This is the front door! We are currently still getting technology in place for visitors to contact us from the front door. In the meantime, during public events the door will either be unlocked or there will be a sign with instructions on who to contact (via text or call) to gain entrance.

The elevator is just a bit down the hall once you enter. Take the elevator to the second floor...

And you'll see our door! We are sharing the floor with Deontology, an architectural firm. Once we're more settled in (and unpack the printer/tape/Sharpies) we'll post a snazzy Seattle Attic sign on the door. During events the door should be open, but please knock if it is locked.

Note on Accessibility
There are about 4 steps between the front door and elevator. We do not yet have the means to access the accessible entrance. In the meantime, please check with us (via Twitter or if you have accessibility concerns and we'll see what we can do.

Attic Reads July - September Schedule

Attic Reads Banner

We've picked the next set of books for our informal Attic Reads book club!

Attic Reads is intended to be a fairly relaxed chance to discuss books through a feminist lens, featuring a mix of newer works of fiction and non-fiction and parts of older feminist "canon" as well as some lighter YA featuring female characters and authors.

We meet at 7pm on the 4th Friday of each month for discussion, and there is a casual reading/quiet work "introverts'" night at 7pm on the 2nd Thursday of each month.

You can find these listed on our public calendar and Meetup group as well, and we'll be sending out reminders via our Twitter!

We will be continuing our theme of alternating between a lighter, more uplifting read and something somewhat more "serious" or tragic month-to-month.

3rd Quarter Book Schedule:

• July 25 - Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America, by Barbara Ehrenreich (Meetup link | Goodreads book page)

• August 22 - Zarah the Windseeker, by Nnedi Okorafor (Meetup link | Goodreads book page)

• September 26 - How to Suppress Women's Writing, by Joanna Russ (Meetup link | Goodreads book page)

Attic members can get out any necessary liveblogging/quote dropping/note-taking/etc in our Slack #bookclub channel, and feel free to update the to-read/suggestion list on our member wiki.

Previous book discussions have covered:
The Second Shift by Arlie Russell Hochschild
Delusions of Gender by Cordelia Fine
Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow Series by Kirsten Miller
The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities by Ching-In Chen

And we will be meeting June 27 to discuss Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.
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[personal profile] audrakj2014-05-12 10:46 pm
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Peep sushi and egg dying!

On Easter Sunday, a bunch of us got together for some egg dying and peep sushi. What is peep sushi, you might ask? Feast your eyes on this spread:

The rice crispies stand in for the rice. Fruit by the foot and fruit roll ups make great seaweed binding. Vivisected peeps make for great fish stand ins! That cake frosting makes a matching wasabi and honeycomb takes the place of ginger. Candy corn, sour gummy worms, and candy eyes can be used as accents or fillings. There's even little colored sprinkles for fish eggs and mint garnish!

More pictures! More fun! )

I hope you liked this peek into our Easter Sunday! Keep an eye out for other Attic events, if you like what you saw here.

Pictures from the 4/27 Cross-Stitch/Embroidery on Paper Workshop!

picture of Attic members embroidering cards

Sunday I hosted an Attic workshop for people interested in learning to cross-stitch, or people who just wanted to sew on something different than conventional cloth. It was a lot of fun, and we made some pretty cool things!

I'll definitely be doing this again at some point, whether as another workshop with a designated "project" like this one or as a "sewing circle" type thing - the Attic has a whole box of supplies including embroidery floss and canvas for us to keep using. :D

Pictures under the cut! )

Thank you to jetts for taking photos!

Attic Reads April - June Schedule

We've picked the next set of books for our informal Attic Reads book club!

Attic Reads is intended to be a fairly relaxed chance to discuss books through a feminist lens, featuring a mix of newer works of fiction and non-fiction and parts of older feminist "canon" as well as some lighter YA featuring female characters and authors.

We meet at 7pm on the 4th Friday of each month for discussion, and there is an casual reading night at 7pm on the 2nd Thursday of each month.

You can find these listed on our public calendar as well, and we'll be sending out reminders via our Twitter!

Right now we're experimenting with a format where we alternate monthly between more "heavy" fare and "lighter," generally YA reads.

2nd Quarter Book Schedule:

• April 25 - Inside the Shadow City (Kiki Strike #1) by Kirsten Miller

• May 23 - The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities by Ching-In Chen

• June 27 - Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Attic members can get out any necessary liveblogging/quote dropping/note-taking/etc in our Slack #bookclub channel, and feel free to update the to-read/suggestion list on our member wiki.

For those interested, here's a selection from our suggestion list for future meetings - please recommend anything we've missed in the comments!

Read more... )

Previous book discussions have covered The Second Shift by Arlie Russell Hochschild and Delusions of Gender by Cordelia Fine.
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Self-promotion: I Didn't Want To Lean Out

I've written about my choice to leave the field of chemistry in Model View Culture's Lean Out issue.

You can find it here: I Didn't Want To Lean Out: Why I Left, How I Left, and What It Would Have Taken to Keep Me in STEM.

When I decided to leave, I let go of my intention to continue contributing to the advancement of human knowledge as a scientist and a chemist. I mourned that I would not achieve my goal of changing the culture of organic chemistry, and I knew that my leaving would mean one less woman for other women to talk to, network with, and lean on for professional support. I fought feelings of obligation and squashed that nagging sense that I was letting down The Sisterhood™.

I was furious. I saw that little about my situation was fair, but there it was, and there I was.

In the end, I chose my own health and happiness and I chose self-respect.

paper crafts!

As you'll have gathered if you've been reading the posts on this blog over the past couple of weeks, the Attic had a Secret Santa-esque holiday gift exchange! Here are some photos from the creation of my final gift to my recipient, our lovely president:

Read more... )

I also made some origami boxes using this tutorial and embroidered on the tops -

Read more... )

I'd like to keep working on my book-binding and miniature-making (and sewing on paper) skills in the future, so if anyone else would be interested in a workshop where we did a project like these ones together let me know!
memnus: Zombie on fire, screenshot from Half-Life 2 (I HAZ A FEVR)
[personal profile] memnus2014-01-11 02:25 pm
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January 19: Game day featuring MACHINE OF DEATH

I recently received the brand new MACHINE OF DEATH card game, and would love to have folks to play it with, so will be hosting a game day at the Attic! January 19th, starting at noon, going until people get bored and/or hungry.

For those not familiar with MoD, it started with a throwaway joke in Dinosaur Comics, then grew into two collections of short stories based around a machine that can predict, with 100% accuracy, how a subject will die, given only a blood sample. In the card game, players are a team of assassins that have their targets' predictions and are simply tasked with making them come true.

I will also have RoboRally, Dominion, and whatever else fits in my bag. Feel free to bring other games as well.

If the Seahawks win today (scores so far point to a good chance of that), there will be a football game at 3:30, so travel accordingly. It may be wise to wrap up early to avoid the rush leaving town.

This event is open to the public. Directions on our website.
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[personal profile] wingie2013-12-31 06:10 pm

We Have Circuits!

simple blinky LED circuit with a relay and a capacitor

A bunch of us are starting to go through the projects from the book MAKE:Electronics! We just got out of the planning/order stage and are about to jump in to the making things stage. So far, 1 LED has died valiantly in my attempts to make awesome things.
cme: The outline of a seated cat woodburnt into balsa (Default)
[personal profile] cme2013-12-23 06:24 pm
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Sunday 1/5 from 1pm-4:30pm: How to hem your jeans!

We're hosting a class on hemming your jeans! We have one spot available for someone who needs to borrow a sewing machine and three for people who can bring them. (But if you have the time free and don't have a machine, let us know- we might be able to work something out.)

The class is 3.5 hours long with a half-hour break in the middle for snacks (provided) and stretching your legs. We're asking for a $25 fee to cover materials and food, but if you can't do that, let us know and we'll work something out. Details are at

This class is intended for people who are comfortable operating a sewing machine. If that's not you, don't worry- we're having a "Meet your sewing machine" class in late January which will prepare you for another run of the Jeans class in February!