SF City Skyline


I had the immense desire to make something. I didn’t have a real plan of what I wanted the end product to be, but I used supplies that I had and started to make.

The San Francisco skyline has always been a smile-making vision to me, especially as I make the daily commute back to the city after a long day. I had already made some of these large stamps out of plexiglass and 2 layers of sticky back craft foam. I used a heated x-acto knife to cut out the details. I used a brayer to roll the paint on the stamps and then pressed it onto the material.

Now I have 4 buildings printed on material. I’m not sure what to do with them exactly. I’ve considered framing them individually or cutting them out to sew onto a bigger piece of material with other “buildings” made out of various fabric rectangles. But in this case, it doesn’t matter. I just needed to mix color and get paint on my hands.

This is a therapeutic toy I made. I work with a lot of kids who have poor motor control and difficulty interacting with toys. We have a few toys in the clinic that are simple to activate. They are great for facilitating reach and active range of motion in a variety of positions. Parents always ask me where they can buy them, but unfortunately, many of them are discontinued. I wanted to make something that could be easily replicated.

I used PVC pipe for the frame. I wanted to dye the frame, but that endeavor didn’t work as well as I’d hoped (I’ll try again soon). I found a clear ball that twists together at the Party store. It works well, in that the lights can easily be replaced or you could add anything you like. I used a Dremel to make a hole on each side of the ball. Then I took LED light up balls and cut out the light. I put those and some bells inside, and voila, you have a simple, light-up, auditory toy that can be easily activated.

I brought it to work, and it surpassed my expectations. It was adorable to watch a little girl’s face light up when she realized she could make the lights turn on. It worked well for a little boy with a brachial plexus injury who unknowingly was practicing external rotation. A mother of an older girl with limited motor control was very excited to make one because most toys that her daughter could activate were “baby” toys and this looked more age appropriate.

I continue to tweak it and rework it. Because the PVC pipe and the ball are so easily changed, the possibilities and add-ons are endless.

***Disclaimer: flashing lights should not be used with persons who have photosensitive epilepsy.