Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Diana Eng’s Make, Operate, and Wear Guide

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Diana Eng’s Make, Operate, and Wear Guide


As a fashion designer and ham radio operator, I come from a variety of backgrounds. This gift guide includes some trusty favorites, some of my most inspirational resources, and the new products that I am most excited about.


Party Flavors: Gingerbread Martini Jelly Shots, You, Price: Made with love
Part of the gift giving season is bringing the right dish to a holiday party. I love the cute treats at Jelly Shot Test Kitchen, and wintertime provides the perfect cold weather to transport jelly shots of both the alcoholic and nonalcoholic variety (I <3 the rainbow cherry jigglers, too).


Ham Radio, Yaesu, $619.95
My favorite radio is Yaesu FT-817. It is both a nice portable radio and a good value. You can use it for HF/VHF/UHF (meaning you can use it for traditional ham radio communication on HF along with satellites and repeaters). The built-in battery makes it easy to take to the park for portable operation.


Pattern Magic
, Laurence King Publishers, $24.95
This book is for the experienced dress designer who likes garments with innovative construction — designers like Martin Margiela or Three as Four. The book is in Japanese but the diagrams are easy to understand for someone who knows how to make patterns with slopers (like most fashion students).


Shadowfolds: Surprisingly Easy-to-Make Geometric Designs in Fabric (the pre-ordered gift), Kodansha America, $18.45
For the person who loved the origami movie Between the Folds, and also likes to sew, this is the gift that they will flip for (like I did). Paper folding artist Chris Palmer has kept his technique for easily creating complex folded structures in fabric a closely guarded secret for five years. In fact, many fans such as myself, heard rumor of this technique, but weren’t even sure if it existed. Finally, Chris’s friend Jeff Rutzky persuaded him to share the technique with the world in this book, Shadowfolds. You will have to gift wrap the preorder print out from Amazon, because it won’t be shipping before Christmas, but your recipient will know you’re hip on origami.


Morse Code Radio Kit, Small Wonder Labs, $55
Here is a gift for the ham radio enthusiast who wants to go old school and learn Morse code and build their own radio. The SW+ Series, 40+ from Small Wonder Labs is an inexpensive easy to build CW radio kit. Make sure to get the SW+ Connectors/Controls ($15). Remember, the recipient will need a ham radio license to transmit.


For the innovative knitter you can buy yarn from Habu Textiles. They stock a range of materials, including paper, bamboo, pineapple, steel, silk, cotton, finely crafted into yarn and thread.


Light-up Princess Shoes, $10-20
I think my favorite fashion tech on the market is sold for little girls. Disney makes some fantastic princess light-up shoes. The styles are surprisingly cute and similar to the jelly styles that Marc Jacobs and Melissa have been making. The online Disney store does not have much of a selection. But you can pick up more styles from your local store.


United Nude Lo Res Pumps, United Nude, $235
For us grown-up ladies, there’s always United Nude. In addition to their Low Res Pumps, they also have a Mobius strip shoe.

Make: Holiday Gift Guide 2009: Hobby Radio
See Diana’s Hobby Radio Gift Guide from 2009 for more of her recommendations of great radio gear.


In the Maker Shed:
Want more? Stop by the Maker Shed. We’ve got all sorts of great holiday gift ideas, Arduino & Arduino accessories, electronic kits, science kits, smart stuff for kids, back issues of MAKE & CRAFT, box sets, books, robots, kits from Japan and more.

Holiday Shipping Deadlines in December:

15 (Wed) – Postal shipping deadline
14 (Mon) – Ground shipping deadline
18 (Sat) – 3-day shipping deadline
20 (Mon) – 2-day shipping deadline
21 (Tue) – Overnight shipping deadline
*Orders placed after these dates using these shipping methods may arrive on time; however, the dates listed are what we consider likely “safe dates.”

United States Postal Service (USPS):
Due to the high volume of mail that the postal service deals with around the holidays, please order by Dec 15 if you intend to select this method. However, we have had increased reports of packages sent via USPS lost or delayed in transit during this high-volume period. Since we do not replace or refund any order placed using this shipping method, we strongly encourage you not to use this method in December.

4 thoughts on “Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Diana Eng’s Make, Operate, and Wear Guide

  1. Todd Harrison says:

    In this article you say you like the FT-817ND but in an older video you used an FT-857D. Doesn’t the FT-857D have more power and features? Just wanted to know which would be getter and why.

  2. mpechner says:

    Diana picked very cool items.

    The Ft-817 is a great radio, but there is the 5W limitation. An FT-857 is about $800 and puts out a full 100W. For backpack portable you are moving from a few pounds to about 10 with a battery. But you get a bigger bang per pound for the extra power.

    I own both and love both radios.

    Small Wonder Labs has many really cool kits. All are through hole and relatively easy to build. If you are CW challenged ad don’t have that great HF rig yet, he makes a PSK-31 transceiver that matches well with a netbook, so you can to keyboard to keyboard communications.

    The elecraft gear is top end. I dream of building my own K2. The K2 is about the only kit that is a full HF transceiver with documentation written with the healthkit philosophy in mind.

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Fashion + Technology Diana was a contestant on Project Runway season 2, graduated from RISD, and currently lives in New York City.

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