Making: The Power to Create. Down memory Lane 2014

2014 has been a year where the Maker community in Singapore has grown by leaps and bounds. It was a wonderful year for the Maker Faire team as well, as we were more and more involved in the community events this year, with the aim of promoting Making in Education and families.

We started the year a Senja Cashew community club, where we supported the Hackidemia sessions at the Senja cashew Bursary awards.

Hackidemia session at the Senja Cashew community club

With more communities being interested in Making and learning, we moved on to the Tampines central community club in March, where we held our very first pop-up Makerspace, collaborating with Simplify 3D, Kids Parade, the Curious Design network, and the Ground up Initiative

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3D printing showcase by Simplify 3D at the community pop-up makerspace – Tampines central community club

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Maker Priyanka Datta teaches families about the joy of paper Quilling

 

We also began to bring the Maker movement into our own walls. We had the great pleasure of hosting several visiting Makers and inviting them to share, both with the Science Centre staff, as well as the visitors in Science Centre.

Andrew Quitmeyer and Marc Dusseiller facilitated a pop up Biotinkering space

 

Sakar, from Karkhana, sharing on the Make Break Innovate idea with the Science Centre staff

We also began to do Maker workshops for families – which have now become our signature learn thru Making workshops

Families tinker together in our regular Maker workshops. Kids learn basic Maker skills and learn how to use tools

April saw us in Shenzhen, learning from the Maker Faire Shenzhen. I must say that we were completely blown over by the scale and seriousness of the Chinese Makers.

A direct result of the Shenzhen visit was the family workshop by Karkhana – Make break, Innovate. Dipeshwor and colleagues, who were passing through Singapore on their way back from Hackteria in Yogyakarta, stopped to share their experiences, as well as conduct a short workshop on cardboard games.

Dipeshwor from Karkhana, with a family proudly displaying their cardboard game

 

When I say short, it often means that the workshop lasts way longer than planned, as participants usually continue to tinker and often do not want to leave the Maker workshop. Thats a very good thing, though I have now started to bring along cookies to the facilitator de-brief that happens after the workshops.

Two projects, which were the highlights of this year, were the Maker Faire bookbinding day and the Yarnbomb SG project. Both the projects were completely owned and organized by the community, and were excellent learning opportunities in how very creative projects can come out in a bottom-up manner.

Agatha Lee, one of the lead community Makers behind the YangbombSG project signs the yarnbombed pillar at SMMF’14

 

A teaser to bookbinding

 

 

After the warmth and generous support of the community through these projects, we launched the Hangouts initiative, a programme that allows the community to propose year round initiatives at the Science Centre, with the aim of reaching out to the public through tinkering and Making.

The Singapore Quillers meetup – held at Science Centre this December

 

In July, we held the biggest Singapore Mini Maker Faire  so far. Combined with the Singapore Mini Maker Faire Education day, which was held just a week prior, the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014 saw a gathering of over 250 makers with more than 150 maker exhibits, booths and workshops.

Kids light up the yarnbombed cardboard T-rex

 

Held at Senja Cashew community club, this was also the first time that the Maker Faire went to the heartlands in Singapore. The effect was awesome as we saw grandparents and grandchildren working, learning and Making together.

Repair Cafe at SMMF ’14

 

 

After a short break, the team came together again in October, to begin the Maker workshops for families. These workshops were an opportunity for kids and parents to experience learning with very loose structure and mostly experience the activities rather than learn about them. Facilitated by community Makers and volunteers, we also decided to make the workshops themed, so as to illustrate that Making is both interdisciplinary and widely applied. Watch out for the next Maker workshop in February, where we will be doing Making in Art on 14th February , 10am.

Families work together to make banana Pianos using Makey Makey

Family members work side by side to create marble machines out of everyday materials

Another highlight of this year was our visit to Maker Faire Japan. Invited by self proclaimed “Crazy Japanese Maker” Mazakasu Takasu, we spent a week in Tokyo immersing ourselves in the creative culture in Japan. We were astounded by the smooth way in which the Japanese transitioned from what could be considered as Japanese cultural crafts to stuff like Laser cutting and 3D printing – which are kind of the cornerstones of today’s Maker movement. This integration of the old with the new was almost seamless in Maker Faire Tokyo, leaving us completely open mouthed with amazement.

Laser engraved Japanese wood – the japanese style engraving was supposedly from EEG signals.

 

We also had the opportunity to discuss the burgeoning Maker Movement in Singapore and the Maker movement in Japan in an impromptu discussion with Nico Nico Beta – the Japanese equivalent of TEDx.

We ended the year on two high events. In order to raise awareness of coding as we move towards the Smart Nation campaign, we ran the Hour of Code from 8-14 March. at the Science Centre. With tech showcases from John O Brien, Henry Wong and several other Makers supplementing the online and offline coding activities, the event reached out to almost 2000 people. It was heartening to see kids as young as five years old grit their teeth as they worked out the higher levels of Lightbot – a gaming interface that taught children the basics of computer programming.

Families and kids programming at the Scientist for a Day. John Lim, in the foreground, shares how everyone can make a robot in less than half an hour by ‘hacking’ a remote control car

 

 

We also ran our first ever Maker Immersion camp in December –  a programme where we collaborated with local Makers to impart the idea of Making to children. Around 30 children took part in the Maker immersion camp, where they went through sessions on design thinking, fabric hacking, electronics and coding, interspersed with talks on the Maker culture and Making.

Kids and facilitators working on paper circuits during the Maker immersion camp

 

It was a very busy 2014 and 2015 looks even more busy and happening. We do hope that we can reach out to enable more families to embrace the process of Making as part of their daily lives. Watch this space for more stories and happenings  from the Maker Faire team.

Maker Immersion Camp 2014

Thirty one children took part in our first ever Maker Immersion Camp. For three days, the children were exposed to tools such as the hot glue gun, drills, screw drivers, pliers etc. They also learnt basic maker skills like taking things apart, wood working, fabric hacking sewing, and basic electronic circuits.

It was a fantastic experience organizing the camp, the enthusiasm of the children was great. The camp would not have been possible without the collaboration of local and Overseas Makers: Green Issues by Agy, The Bunglin Tinker, The Renaissance Engineering Club, Hackidemia, and The Curious Design Network. Here are some of the reflections from the camp as well as a compendium of resources for parents to follow up where necessary

The camp began with an introduction and icebreakers session, followed by Design Thinking for Makers by Elda Webb.  The children learnt about Empathy and the importance of communication for good design. Something different was that kids were required to design something for their partner, as opposed to themselves.

After lunch, the participants worked on their first project – Fabric Hacking – conducted by Susan Ong from The Bunglin Tinker

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Susan also spoke to the children about the need for upcycling and the environmental impact of garbage.

STEAM advocate Liyana spoke to the kids on what it means to be a Maker. Liyana’s slides are here: Makercamp-talk

On the Second Day of camp, Makers from the Renaissance Engineering Programme took over to introduce the campers to Electronics and Coding.  Details on the activities conducted are here

Playing with Paper Circuts

 

Set up of materials

Making the car

 

 

Learning about programming

On the 12th, We welcomed Agatha Lee of Green Issues by Agy who taught the campers how to sew electronics to fabric

Campers learnt to sew using conductive thread

In the afternoon, there was woodworking, where the kids learnt to drill and make a plant press. Photos to come.

The camp ended with an inspiring talk by Stefania Druga from Hackidemia, who shared with the children the many projects done by children around the world.

We asked the kids after the camp what they would like to learn next. Here are some of the responses.

How to dismantle a chain saw
I would like to learn how to make a robot
I would want to learn how to do kitchen Science
I would want to learn to make toys
How to build a musical room?
I would like to learn how to make a hover board
I would like to design a game
I want to build a motor hover craft
How to make an incubator
I would like to learn programming with arduino
Designing
How to make a robot with laser eyes
How to do different types of Java
How to make a living robot
How to make a phone

And those, I believe, gives us enough material for several more camps. Keep learning an Keep Making!

Hour of Code SG

hour of code banner

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced a week ago that Singapore students should be taught to “code, prototype and build things, to fail fast and learn quickly.” Hour of Code SG aims to teach children how to begin coding in an easy and interactive manner.

The Hour of Code  was launched in the US in 2013 as an online campaign to introduce coding to the public in a friendly and interactive manner. The Hour of code campaign introduces kids aged 5 and up into programming. This year, we are bringing the Hour of code to Singapore through a series of interactive activities. Activities are free, no pre registration is required. Admission to Science Centre applies to non members.

Activities at a glance. AM sessions are from 10am to 12.30pm and PM sessions are from 2.30pm to 5.00pm

Station Activities 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 14th December AM and PM, 13th December PM only

Coding with Scratch
Coding with Blockly
Lightbot
Turtleart

Coding Unplugged
Pixels to pictures
Codes and Cryptography

Tech Showcases

8th December 2.30pm-5.00pm: Programmers: Students of ITE college East with Arthur Pedida

How to build a robot car: This Robot car can be autonomous using sensors to avoid obstructions and find his ways. Additionally, it can be modified & equipped with Bluetooth module in order to communicate and be controlled by Smartphone.

8th December 2.30pm-5.00pm: Programmers: Cadaq

Raspberry Pi Camera

8th December and 9th December 2.30pm-5.00pm: Programmers: Mantej Singh

Lego NXT robots

9th and 10th December 2.30pm-5.00pm: Programmer: Melvin Zhang

Play a game which has artificial intelligence: I got interested in Computer Science at an early age when playing against a chess program and wondering how a machine could play better than a person. Through this project, I got to go back to my favorite topic in Computer Science and had the opportunity to interact with users and developers from around the world as we worked together to improve the software.

9th December. 10.00AM-12.30PM: Programmer: Kiruthika

What lives inside a computer?  Join in a tear down session where we will take apart an old computer and peripherals to understand what are the components that make up the machines that we use everyday.

11th and 12th December. 10.00AM-12.30PM: Programmer: Andy Giger

Illustrations of the usefulness of coding : I have a few processing sketches, ranging from complex scientific simulations to simple quick sketches, that I could showcase as illustrations of the usefulness of coding. A possible example: http://andygiger.com/science/e-coriolis/.

13th and 14th December, 2.30pm to 5.00pm: Programmer: John O Brien

Respberry Pi Beerbot: Steer a home-made remote controlled robot with Beer (or Coke) can grabbing capability over wifi! See what the robot sees using a Raspberry Pi camera! Drive and activate the can grabbing claw over an SSH connection! Ask insightful questions! Find out More about John at http://jweoblog.com/

From now till Maker Faire 2015

Upcoming maker workshops and maker camp

Register for Making Things Move: Maker workshop on 18th October 2014

Register for Making Music: Maker workshop on 15th November 2014

Register for the Maker Camp 2014

The Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014 may be over, but we have a series of very exciting Maker events planned for both Makers and public starting October 2014. Details will be up very soon, so watch this space.

Are you a Maker? Get in touch to facilitate  in our workshops and Maker camp

A big thank you!

Its been just over two weeks since the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014 and we are completely overwhelmed by the number of articles that have made their way into the online and traditional media about the Maker’s movement and the Singapore Mini Maker Faire. Thanks are in order to the Makers and the many groups whose support made the Singapore Mini Maker Faire such a huge success.

Sponsors
The Singapore Mini Maker Faire was part of the Singapore Science Festival and we would like to thank the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A-Star) for supporting all the events of the Singapore Science Festival. We would also like to thank the following sponsors
Autodesk Asia Pte Ltd
Intel Mobile Communications South East Asia Pte Ltd

Evernote
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore for their co-organization of the Singapore Mini Maker Faire Education Day 2014.
Also a big thanks to Make Magazine for their licensing and support in the organization of Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014.

Press coverage of Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014.

Live in the City: FM 93.8 interview on the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014, 26th July 2014
Yahoo News: Think Singapore Lacks Creativity? The growing maker movement here will surprise you
Experience the Power to Create at National Engineers Day and Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014
Asia One News: Look! a scarf for Dino
Lianhe Zaobao interview with Pan Yew, Guangyan, Nishant and Bart
Sculptor creates figurines from clay: Interview with Sze Sze

Heard of bio-printing?

frontIf you have never heard of bio-printing, or find it a very distant topic, here is your chance to know it better. Mr Fan Mingwei, Co-founder and Director of Bio3D Technologies (first bio-printing company in Singapore and one of the few in the world presently) will be showing one of their bioprinters and explain what is bio-printing at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire this weekend. Mingwei learnt about the Singapore Mini Maker Faire through a discussion at the Science Centre previously and he thought it might be a good idea to showcase this relatively new technology to Singaporeans. This would be the first time that he will be showcasing a real bioprinter at such a public event, and will even do some simple demonstrations. We are indeed honoured!

As this would be Mingwei’s first time participation at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire, he shared that he is looking forward to lots of fun and excitement learning about new and interesting works by different makers. He found it exciting that such a trend is picking up in Singapore and he hopes to see more people and organisation engaged in such a movement.

It would definitely be a rare occasion that one can see a real bioprinter and learn how it works. Don’t miss this opportunity this weekend at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire that will be held at Senja-Cashew CC!

What does art make you?

New Picture (3)“Art Makes Us” – What ran through your mind when you heard this?

Benjamin Low, who will be taking part in this year’s Singapore Mini Maker Faire (SMMF) with his friends Jacky Boen, Mithru Vigneshwara, Mui Rui Yi and Zac Ong, ex-classmates from LASALLE, introduced their team as “Art Makes Us”. When asked more about the team name, Benjamin shared that they coined this name during their studies of “Interactive Art” when they had to make use of coding or electronics in creating their projects. The name represents their collective interest in creating artwork and how they leveraged on their respective strengths in art direction, coding, hardware and sound/visual design.

This would be Benjamin’s second time at SMMF and it is wonderful that he has decided to bring his friends on board. Benjamin shared that his technical and arts academic background has cultivated his interest in doing projects that are multidisciplinary in nature. Indeed, his team’s showcase of “The Synesthete’s Music Machine”, a toy sound machine is exemplary of a multidisciplinary project and truly reflective of the spirit of their team. It translates images into sound, which is inspired by the idea of a synesthete – a person who is able to “hear” colours through an involuntary association of certain colours with certain sound, caused by a neurologically-based condition. Through his participation this year, he would like visitors to have fun experimenting with the sound toy.  Curious about this amazing machine? Don’t miss checking out the “Art Makes Us” booth this weekend at Senja-Cashew CC!

Benjamin learnt about the SMMF through word of mouth. One aspect of the SMMF that he finds appealing is the community based nature of it as people get together to share their common interests. He hopes that the SMMF will encourage more people to get creative with their minds and hands, and more importantly, to have fun!

 

We are researchers but we are makers too!

At the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT) booth, you will probably find some really interesting tools and toys, things that are used in actual research in a Research Institute, but designed and built by the researchers themselves!

Dr. Nick Lewty (3rd from left) and Prof. Christian Kurtsiefer (extreme right)

Dr. Nick Lewty (3rd from left) and Prof. Christian Kurtsiefer (extreme right)

Last year, the CQT team had a blast at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire connecting with an interested audience, such that they are back for more this year. The team is eager to showcase the tools they built to aid in their research work in the lab.

In a way, the message I received through the interview is “We are researchers but we are makers too!”, and that researchers and makers share certain similar traits and skills, whereby research skills could be cultivated and developed through the process of making. Whoever you are, this is a chance to speak with real scientists and find out how they also DIY!

Interested to find out what the CQT booth will showcase? Here is a sneak preview:- Levitating magnets and home built lasers!

So, wait no further and come by the Singapore Mini Maker Faire this weekend at Senja-Cashew CC!

 

Introducing the Sustainable Living Lab (SL2)

The Sustainable Living Lab (SL2) is back at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire (SMMF)! As the first organisation in the history of the SMMF to curate an integrated booth (SMMF12), SL2 has never fail to amaze us. It has set high standards to upkeep (See SMMF13) but we believe they will continue to thrill the visitors at this third run of the SMMF. This year, SL2 will take the entire ground foyer level at the Senja-Cashew CC, right in front of the CC General Office and the entrance to the swimming complex. Let’s look at what they have in store for us.

Theme Introduction

It is obvious that SL2 has devoted much effort in putting their show together again, from gathering the makers to conceptuliazing this year’s theme, Sustainable Village. Considering that the SMMF is to be held at the Bukit Panjang heartlands, SL2 decided to relive the kampung spirit of building, repairing and bonding, and to allow the older residents to bond with the younger generation through traditional building and repairing work. There will also be interesting modernization of activities with the aid of technology, enticing the young and encouraging the old to bond meaningfully too! Read their project and maker introduction to get a better sense of what their integrated booth will have to offer you. Some are really humourous!

Project and Maker Introduction

New Picture (3)Project Title: A Darn Good Mending Cafe
Description: Are your jeans worn out? Do your socks have holes? Are your cargos torn? They all DESERVE a second chance! Learn mending techniques such as weaving, patching and even traditional sashiko to give them a second chance. Participants can bring their own socks, jeans or trousers, and mend them on the spot!

Team Members:
WonderSASHIKO Agy
– Agatha Lee (aka Agy) is a fabric hacker / upcycler and an advocate of sustainable fashion, including the upcycling of post-consumer garments and textile waste. When she is not hacking her clothes or experimenting with sewable electronics, she is busy sharing tips on her blog, Green Issues by Agy, and at workshops.

SuperPATCHER Amy –  Amy Koh is an avid maker, dabbling in woodwork and sewing.

SpideyWEAVER Raye –  Raye Padit is an aspiring fashion designer who aims to lessen the production of virgin textile, and create more awareness to individuals about how we can contribute to promoting sustainable fashion.

New Picture (4)Project title : Hangover Herbs
Description: You want to grow some herbs but lack the space. We know how that feels. Hangover Herbs is an inverted growing technique suitable for small spaces. With a simple container, we will show you how to turn it into an upside down planter you can hang at home. Good for the earth, Hangover Herbs are made from upcycled containers. Ignite the urban gardener in you and get your hands dirty. Come along, no green thumbs needed just your DIY spirit.

Team Members:
Apoorva Madhusudan, Vatsal Sanghavi and Nova Nelson (Project Lead, cultivatecentral.com). After much tinkering we’ve come up with a fun DIY activity to help you grow some herbs…upside down!

New Picture (5)Project Title: The Amazing Pinhole Photography Portrait Project!
Description: Have your portrait taken by the simplest of cameras, and go home with the original and unique print of it. In these days where taking a picture is as easy as whipping a handphone out, we are going back to the basics of photography, using only the simplest of materials, making every single photograph a treasure. Our cameras are made of recycled material and create an image unique anything you get using a modern camera. Bring a box, or any object, and challenge us to help you make a camera from it, then have your portrait taken with it! . Or if you want a certain outcome, choose from our range of cameras to have your portrait taken and developed in under 5 minutes.

Team Leader: Isabelle Desjeux;
Team Members:  Din Chan and Farah Sanwari:
Isabelle has been running a pin-hole camera project, introducing dozens of children and grown-ups to the magic of making their own camera and taking special pictures with them.

Din has been part of the journey, taking part in workshops and helping out in the trouble-shooting sessions.

Farah has made her own camera and understands the principle of pinhole photography, and is now happy to share the knowledge. The developing box is designed by Isabelle and fabricated by Sathi and Farah.

New PictureProject Title: Vacuum Forming Method
Description: Vacuum forming is a technique that is used to shape a variety of plastics where a flat sheet of plastic is heated until soft and malleable and then pulled by a vacuum machine over an object or mould and sucked tightly around it. When the plastic cools, it hardens in its new shape. Examples of things you can make with this method include toy cars, packaging trays, masks, decorations and theatre props!

Project In-charge: Sathiya Moorthi Sathi

New Picture (6)Project title: Mech Pong
Description: We wanted to create something interactive for Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014. A “toy” that everyone could play and enjoy. There’s nothing better than to remake a classic arcade game: Pong.

Pong was a very popular computer game back in the 70’s, its simple and very entertaining. We then decided to build a mechanised version of it.

The project scope really allowed the team to be exposed to the digital fabrication process; 3D Printing customized plastic parts, Laser Cutting acrylics and CNCing plywoods.

It took the team about 3 weeks to fabricate the different parts and about a week to solder the electronics and complete the firmware programming (using the super popular arduino IDE).

Team Members:
David Teo, Kenneth Jon. Aditya Kapoor

New Picture (7)Project Title: Bicycle Energy Generator – Hand phone Charging Station
Description: Do you suffer from hypertension, depression and high blood pressure after seeing your electricity bills? Are you thinking how you could lower down those illnesses while toning your saggy legs into sizzling ones just by charging your phone?

Well, think no further. You don’t have to buy equipment worth hundreds or even thousands or dollars. Just built one, Using Household materials.

The Bicycle Energy Generator uses simple recycled materials such as a bicycle, wires, a power bank and a dynamo. Assemble these components together and you’ll have your own handphone charging station in your home.

Visit our Hand phone Charging Station & we’ll show you how….

Project team: Ridwan, a social & green tech enthusiast who dreams of seeing a world without any carbon emission or pollution, believes we are the stewards of the planet and it’s resources. We’ve not seen it in that light, overall, and have lost track of the fact that it is nature’s services that sustain us. Without a healthy planet, we cannot live, grow, love.
See Tho has many hidden talents. Apart from jewelry making craft, he has also excellent woods crafting skills. Last but not least, he possesses ideas that are ahead of our time.

The electronics whiz, Baoshi has solutions to almost anything related to electronics. With a keen eye for details and a room which is akin to an electronics departmental store, Baoshi developed the Bicycle Energy generator’s statistics board using Arduino technology.

A lead maker in the previous Makers faire, cheerful and bubbly Astrid has With wealth of expereince in designing electronic components.Evidently, Astrid assisted in the development of of the electronics components of the Bicycle Energy Generator.

New Picture (8)Project title : Community Builders
Description: During the Singapore Mini Maker Faire, the community builders will engage the residents at Bukit Panjang to get their hands ‘dirty’ and to build furniture together. We aim to help foster strong bonds and cultivate a DIY culture. Through this process, we wish to teach and bring together the young and the old generations to understand more about each other through making.

Project team: Poh Hong is a self taught woodcraftsman, and his love for wood challenge him to work on several interesting projects. He has also since set up a business along with his partner in doing interesting wood projects (www.designed.sg)

Cleo, Rianto, Charmaine, Seri are fellow learners hoping to know more about woodworking and be good at them!

Priyanka’s Quilling Passion

I sense a lot of passion when interviewing Ms Priyanka Gupta Sarvaiya about her quilling endeavour.

Priyanka quillingPriyanka from “Just Love Crafts” is a professional paper artist who works extensively with paper quilling, a craft which is very endearing to her. At the Singapore Mini Maker Faire (SMMF), Priyanka will showcase a wide selection of products and designs made with the art of paper quilling, such as tea light candle holders, photoframes, wall plaques, miniatures, shadow boxes, wall clocks and so forth. Through her participation at the event, Priyanka wishes to get more people acquainted with the potential of this craft which she said is fairly simple to learn. While she is already conducting regular quilling workshops, she felt that there are many who still do not know about this, hence motivating her to proactively create a greater level of awareness. To promote this craft, Priyanka has set up a meet-up group for quillers in Singapore and she was happy that non-quillers had turned up to find out more about it and even managed to leave with handmade items within a short span of 2 hours. Interested to join the meet-up? Check out more information here.

Views about the maker movement in Singapore

Priyanka has strong views about the maker movement. She felt that people of all age groups and background should be encouraged to learn something new. From Priyanka’s point of view, hands-on activities are not only enriching and therapeutic, but might even become a means of living for some. She hopes that people would be able to see it from a wider perspective and also take a collaborative approach in the process of making as it will both enrich themselves and the society, for example by recycling/upcycling resources and promoting local made products.

Having missed out on last year’s SMMF while travelling, Priyanka expressed excitement to participate both as a maker and as an attendee this year, with the objective of spreading the awareness of quilling to more people.

If you are interested to find out more about the craft of quilling, come by Priyanka’s maker booth at the Senja-Cashew CC this weekend or attend her workshops which will be conducted at 4.45pm – 5.15pm on both days. More about Priyanka can also be found at her “Just Love Crafts” blog and Facebook Page.