The Bookminder: A Meeting Countdown Bookend

Here is the link to the Bookminder Instructables Tutorial.

The Bookminder is a meeting countdown bookend that shows you how many minutes you have until your next meeting. The bookend displays the meeting time using data from If This Then That applets that connect your Google calendar to your feeds. The Bookminder is an alternative to constantly monitoring your screens in your apartment when you are on a break from zoom meetings. Not looking at your screens allows you an actual break and the minute timers are specifically customized to your schedule.


The materials I used to make the project and the form and circuit construction below.

The form of the bookend was inspired by other bookends I saw on the market that were layered pieces to create a solid form. I designed these layers to include a space for the circuit and the breadboard. Originally, I thought that I would be able to stack the display on the breadboard so I created the bookend with those dimensions in mind, but it ended up not working out that way. Since this is an interesting year, I designed the files and sent them over to the VFL to construct, which they did by cutting out MDF, laser cutting it to include the sections for my board, and attaching it together. I then hand painted it when I brought it home.

For the circuitry, I based my code and my wiring on Becky’s WIFI weather display and got her help on making adjustments to read the countdown on the display as well as got her help with the wiring.

In the future, I will adjust my bookend’s dimensions to include space for the whole breadboard and also include the depth measurements of the wires. Additionally, I would love to be able to construct the bookend myself in the future so I could get the learning experience of building. Also, for a more even paint texture, I would spray paint each layer first, let it dry, and then attach it. I didn’t do that this time since my building isn’t spray paint friendly. Also, now that I’m using the alphanumeric display I could also include additional text as well in the display in the future.

Working Final Project – Margarita

Google Draft Tutorial

Instructables User Profile

Form of the Project Development

Prototype circuit with NODEMCU, LED Display stacked

Video Project Storyboards

More IoT and Final Project Planning – Margarita

Lesson Progress:

I’ve read through both articles and will continue working on them tonight and this afternoon but wanted to send over what I have worked on so far.

Speculative Bill of Materials

Project Proposal + Circuit Diagram

Bookend drafts / inspiration

I decided to go with the bookend with an LED display that shows how long you have until your next meeting / event. The display would sync up with your Google calendar using IFTT and connecting with the Arduino IO. The plan is to also add a neopixel jewel to turn on when the value in the display is equal to or less than 5 as an alert of you need to be ready to do your meeting.

If I can figure it out I would like to make two so there would be one for different people. I think I would need to create another circuit using a different ESP8266 board.

IoT Intro Exercises + Final Project Brainstorming

Software Wifi connection. I recorded additional videos showing the connection no longer failed but am having trouble uploading them to Youtube.
Sign up confirmation
Sign up confirmation
Hardware Setup Video

Three Proposals for the Final Project

The ideas I had were as follows:

  1. An LED display on your kitchen cabinet that shows how many clean glasses you have left. The display is connected to either photo sensors or pressure sensors within coasters that the glasses are put on. The display counts how many sensors are activated at a time.
  2. A combination vase / bookend that connects to your calendar and shows how long until your next event if you don’t want to look at your phone.
  3. A device that notifies you on your phone when your laundry is done. The device has motion sensors that detect the vibrations of the washer / dryer and sends a notification when the machine stops vibrating.

WarioWare Crew Member – Margarita’s Halloween Costume

I made these sunglasses after looking through inspiration photos of bedazzled sunglasses and realizing that it would be cool to have the lenses work as a backdrop and a diffuser for the LED feature. My initial idea was that the glasses would serve as “Seeing Fireworks” glasses and that was the basis for my costume. Upon pulling the outfit together, I found my husband’s scooter helmet and combined the helmet with the glasses, which made him think of WarioWare. So, I decided to rebrand my costume into “if I was a WarioWare crewmember what would I look like”.

The glasses are put on underneath the helmet and are connected to a tilt ball sensor that is worked manually off to the side to change the fireworks display. It’s not the most comfortable pair of glasses to wear as the wires I have are not long enough when I connect to the uno. So, I had to create this structure near me to hide the uno and hide my shaking the tilt sensor manually. Originally, I wanted to create the glasses with the GEMMA so I would not have to be connected to the uno and could turn the glasses on with the tilt sensor connected to the frames. However, I realized too late that I bought the GEMMA with the microUSB and I don’t have the connection for that so I decided to use the uno. The code was definitely tricky for me as well and thanks to my classmates and Becky I was able to get a lot of help so thank you all for that!

If I were to remake this costume, I would definitely make sure that I had all of the proper equipment from the get go including longer wires. I would also think more about the ‘story’ of my costume from the beginning so I could incorporate more elements ahead of time to help hide the wiring.

Materials Used:

  1. Arduino Uno
  2. Breadboard
  3. Wires
  4. Oversized Sunglasses
  5. Beads
  6. Hot Glue Gun + Glue
  7. Epoxy
  8. Aluminum Wire
  9. Bubble Wrap
  10. Black Duct Tape
  11. Two Neopixel Jewels
  12. Two Neopixel Rings (12 LEDs, RBGW)
  13. Ladyada’s Electronics Toolkit
  14. Tilt Sensor

Circuit Diagram and Arduino Code (Found in Tinkercad)

In Progress Imagery

In Progress: Halloween Costume – Margarita

My costume is the embellished sunglasses which are oversized and fun. The costume is meant to be silly.

I started working on my circuit this week not realizing that I connected a lot of wires that don’t make sense to be used together like the GEMMA and the uno. After dismantling the work and going back to the basics, I realized that I bought the GEMMA with the microusb and I don’t currently have the wiring to connect the microusb to my computer so I am transitioning to connecting my wires to the uno and breadboard. I also worked on adding the beads to my sunglasses which I did do and added the strings on the sides based on Isabell’s suggestion.

Tinkercad Circuit: Tinkercad Circuit Link

Tinkercad circuit link:

Supplies List: Two neopixel rings – 12, two neopixel jewels, Arduino Uno, Breadboard, Tilt Ball Switch, necklace beads, oversized glasses, wires, black duct tape, epoxy, hot glue gun / hot glue (for diffusion), aluminum wire to hold the beads together more.

To Do: I need to continue makings sure all of my lights light up and working on the code for the project.

Margarita’s Halloween Costume

The costume I am planning on working on is a pair of “seeing fireworks” sunglasses. The glasses will have black beads added to the glasses to create a decorated look. The fireworks will be created using an Arduino customized to make a starburst effect from the middle of the glasses to the outer neopixel ring. I found this code on reddit that I think would be cool to take a look at: The glasses will turn on using a tilt ball sensor from when the glasses move between the forehead and in front of the eyes.

The materials I will be using are as follows: Power Supply module, tilt ball switch, and a 9V battery with a snap-on connector clip that came with my starter Arduino kit, as well as wires and resistors. I am also using oversized sunglasses and black bead necklaces, and black duct tape. In addition I purchased the following from Adafruit: NeoPixel Ring – 12 x 5050 RGBW LEDs w/ Integrated Drivers – Natural White – ~4500K, Adafruit GEMMA v2 – Miniature wearable electronic platform , NeoPixel Jewel – 7 x 5050 RGBW LED w/ Integrated Drivers – Cool White – ~6000K, Lithium Ion Polymer Battery – 3.7v 150mAh, and the Adafruit Micro Lipo – USB LiIon/LiPoly charger – v1.

Also here is the circuit. I think it’s not 100% accurate since I’m trying to figure out how to combine the tilt sensor with the neopixel wiring.

Margarita’s Neopixel Circuit and Halloween Costume Brainstorming

This is my customized circuit. I changed the randomized the display of the LEDs and changed the colors as well. I added a tissue in front of the lights, since I wasn’t sure if the colors were reading, as a way to show the light diffusion of the color changes. The link to the TinkerCad circuit is here:

The first is a set of glasses that displays a “Seeing Lights” costume that is inspired by glowing lanterns / fireworks that will be randomized and will pulse with neopixel rings. I would need the neopixel rings, and the sunglasses as well as little metal pieces, wires, or jewelry to add to the effect. The second is a “Pinwheel Bun ‘Crown'” that would be incorporated into a hair tie to tie around a bun and use wire and strips of LED neopixels to display the light. The third is a “Mummy Hat” that will be pieces of cloth on a floppy hat and have sections inside the rim that can be wrapped around the face and pieces of cloth falling off of the hat that would have the LED Neopixel strips. I would need the hat, neopixel strips, and the cloth I would use the grey linen from the whale I made.

Margarita’s Personalized Pacific Plushie

The Personal Pacific Plushie is a whale plush night light that was custom-made for two children ages 3 and 6 who share a bedroom. As the night light will be in both of their rooms, it is important that both children share a sense of ownership over the night light that is reflected by implementing features both enjoy. The whale plush night light combines two of each child’s favorite features in their plushies. The three year old loves purple and the six year old likes re-engineering his toys. The Personal Pacific Plushie is a purple and grey whale that has two detachable parts, the grey narwhal horn and the purple dorsal fin. The whale comes not lit up but has a buttoned flap that can be opened by the parents to find the on/off switch. The parents can turn on the switch to enable the blue lights by the tale and the fins, and the white lights by the detachable sections to light up and function as a night light. The lights serve to make the plush seem like the whale is swimming underwater.

Circuit Diagram

Soldering was new for me and initially it was a little overwhelming because I wanted to make sure that the wires would all be attached properly to the battery pack so the LEDs would work. I actually didn’t know if they would work and decided to attach all of them at once since I only had one battery pack and hope for the best. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it worked great. What challenged me the most during this time was definitely not being sure if the soldering would work or not. If I had more time to work on this project, spend more time on my stitching to ensure that each of the pieces was sewn together more neatly and consistently. I would also make the shape of the whale’s head more gradually turn into the tail shape than the dramatic shift that it has now. I would also want to find a better way to stick the detachable pieces on the whale. I used the velcro which is fine but it doesn’t stick as well as I would like. I would also want to look into how to make the narwhal horn have more of a spiral.

Materials: 100% pure linen: purple and grey, Poly-fill, Purple and grey thread, 3 AAA batteries, 3 slot AAA battery pack holder with switch, 4 Blue LEDs, 2 White LEDs, 6 200 Ω resistors, 26 wires, 4 pieces of fabric velcro

In Progress Images

Margarita’s Plush Night Light Proposal

This is the prototype I created. It is made out of thread and old cotton sweatpants.
These are the multiple views of the plush night light with different variations available for the whale’s features.

Description of plush night light: This plush night light is a customizable whale (that will eventually be purple). The whale can function on its’ own or can be transformed with two detachable parts, the horn and the dorsal fin. The night light will have blue LEDs in the fins and the tail (1 per fin and 2 in the tail). The body will have 2-4 white LEDs close to the detachable sections. The LEDs will be used the highlight the whale’s component parts. Hopefully the light placement will make it seem as if the night light is gliding in the water.

Backstory: I decided to create the plush whale night light thanks to my target user. I spoke with a friend of mine who has two children ages 3 and 6 who share a room. They both have specific features that they like in their plushies. The 3 year old likes pink and purple while the 6 year old likes legos and taking things apart. This night light would be living in their room with both of them, so I wanted to create a night light that they would both find interesting. The whale will be made in purple for the 3 year old. The whale’s detachable features were incorporated with the 6 year old in mind. Thankfully, they both like sea animals, which was the inspiration for the whale.

Parts and Materials I plan to use: I plan on using 4 blue LEDs and 2 White LEDs. I will also be using a 4.5V battery pack with switch containing 3 slots for AAA batteries. In addition I will be using heat shrink tubing for the soldering. I also plan on using purple linen as the fabric for the whale and purple thread for sewing the body. For the eyes, I plan on using gray or black thread.

Circuit Diagram:

Contains 4 blue LEDs and 2 white LEDs

Patterns and Process: My initial sketches consisted of the whale, a caterpillar with detachable butterfly wings, and an ice cream cone with detachable scoops:

Following those ideas I worked on these patterns:

These were the original patterns I made. I updated them after making my prototype after seeing that the whale looked flat and that the tail was not distinct.
These are the final patterns I ended up using to make the prototype adjustments.