hey all! this time of year, every tech-adjacent publication has their list of gadget gifts for your family, usually sponsored by Best Buy or Amazon or whatever. I wanted instead to send you all some cute ideas for other ways to spend your money if you have some to spare. this is 100% not sponsored! just nice stuff I think is worth considering, made by independent creators and wholesome communities.
a lot of cultural spaces and organizations have been struggling financially this year, while still doing their damndest to make space for art and community and creativity in a difficult time. I highly recommend checking in on your own local spaces to see what they need, but here are some end of year drives that are on my radar:
Gray Area: in a city that has struggled to maintain cultural spaces and community due to gentrification, Gray Area has helped keep San Francisco weird with their arts and educational programming. they’ve been unable to host events in their space due to the pandemic, but have continued their programming online. you can become a one-time donor or a sustaining member here!
Wonderville: on Sunday, December 20, Death By Audio Arcade will be hosting a telethon fundraiser to save their IRL home, Wonderville. in addition to the telethon, which will air on their Twitch channel, they’re running an auction that includes one-on-one workshops for creative coders and game makers. they’re looking to raise $30k to sustain their operations through 6 more months of the pandemic, so take a look and see if you can help out!
#SupportP5: the Processing Foundation has an online campaign this month to support and sustain their software products, Fellowship Program, Processing Community Day, and much more! donor gifts include neat stuff like stickers, tshirts, and hoodies to rep your love of Processing and p5.js! learn more and donate here.
did u know that zines make an excellent stocking stuffer/Hanukkah gift/non-denominational holiday present for your Twitter crush?? and a lot of zine-makers these days offer digital copies that are all the easier to send via sliding into someone’s DMs!
Jackie's Guide to Making a Website (by you & for you): who doesn’t love a riso print! this zine by Jackie Liu takes a unique and intimate approach to understanding web design and development through through friendly fundamentals. there’s a million blog posts about how to install Wordpress, but not enough content about how to shape your self-story for the web. check it out!
Hell Yes! CSS!: CSS can be an incredibly powerful & robust way to create visual spaces on the web, but it always gets such a bad rap. zine maven Julia Evan’s latest zine dives in deep and is a great desk reference for the fundamentals. I personally want to gift this to literally every programmer who I’ve caught doing inline, everything-is-!important CSS. get your copy here!
The Messy Issue: Identity 2.0 is an interdisciplinary art project that empowers people to protect their digital identity, and their first zine is dedicated to the chaos of these identities. interviews with finstagrammers, articles exploring female agency online, and original artwork - what more could you want! order this one for your instagram crush and then keep the free stickers for yourself. get it here!
learn & make!
now is the time to hunker down with your soldering iron (in a well ventilated space!!!!) and tinker our way out of this dark winter!
Winterbloom synth modules: preorders are now open for Winterbloom’s new Castor & Pollux oscillator, but I also just love the concept of the Big Honking Button, which is also available as a DIY kit to give you a few hours of soldering practice. look cute while making chill sounds, what a way to spend the winter!
DIY USB Kit: why assemble your own USB cables? why not! also it’s cheaper and you have your choice of connectors and cord colors to get the exact lewk you want for your setup. this would make a weird lil stocking stuffer for someone! get them here.
AdaBox: the AdaBox subscription always seems like such a rad idea to me - subscribe and get a curated box of DIY electronics every 3 months. what a fun way to get your ideas flowing by having some new toys to tinker with every few months! you can subscribe for yourself or send a gift subscription here.
Lieve Oma: itch.io is full of lots of little lovely games, and Lieve Oma feels especially poignant in a year when a lot of people are missing time with their families. name your own price and then spend some time hunting for mushrooms with a loving grandmother, what a treat. you can download it here.
Be A Better Cyberpunk: this bundle of 29 games, music and zines is cyberpunk without the AAA crunch drama, epilepsy warnings, and bad politics, all made by LGBTQ+, BIPOC, and independent creators. all proceeds are split evenly between the creators. get it here!
Jingle Jam: this year the Yogscast Jingle Jam bundle includes one of my personal favs, Dream Daddy, along with 35+ other games and stuff for donations over £25. it’s a nice way to stock up every winter while giving to charity! get it here.
Bubblesort Sticker of the Month Club: I luv a subscription, what a pleasant way to surprise yourself or a friend every month with a new treat. cybertwee kween Amy Wibowo’s stickers are always infinitely cute and always related to computers, tech, and gaming. check it out!
Clack Cat Sweater: everything Mintlodica touches is adorable, and you can still get one of these keyboard cat sweaters by xmas if you order by December 12. idk it’s just cute! get it here.
if you have anything in the works that you are excited about (an event, a workshop, a new project), please send me all the details. if you wanna share links or chat, there is now a Discord server that you can use here.