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Ella Durham

Frontend Fem Fest! Weeeee!

1 min read

I had a great time a few weeks ago at Frontend Fem Fest—a day-long event of sharing and chatting about techy things people are excited about. I talked a bit about CSS animations in theory and practice and was able to hang out for a good chunk of the lineup including Designing Web Apps, Open Source Libraries, Git/GitHub, Bare Conductive Board, Grids, and AfterEffects.

Ella Durham talking about CSS Animations and web art Frontend Fem Fest
Here I am standing up in front of a bunch of wonderful people about to spill a bunch of tangential thoughts and ideas related to CSS Animations out of my brain.

I loved seeing the Trash Music Box! Gretchen Larson ( helped put together with the Bare Conductive Board. It had me itching to return to some old sketches to rethink and revive a couple of ideas.

Find presenter notes for it and the other talks at

Thanks to all of the organizations and people who came together to put Frontend Fem Fest together—especially Gretchen, who gave me the nudge I needed to come in. 

Now, I leave you with this:

An animated image of Ella Durham floating in space with the Frontend Fem Fest hula girl.

Ella Durham

Belated Nonprofit Dev Summit Notes, Thoughts, Links, Etc.

4 min read

Back in November, I attended Aspiration Tech’s Nonprofit Software Development Summit for the first time. Between the wonderful humans, excellent organizers, and great content, it quickly topped my list of pet conferences.

A bunch of time, the holidays, and some priorities later, I am just now getting around to pulling together the notes, thoughts, links, etc. that are still swimming around in my brain and jotted down on bits of paper I haven’t misplaced. I’m just going to dump it out in this post for fear I won’t get around to recording it otherwise.

The Internet Thing 
A sign that’ll monitor events and conversations of interest and light up when there’s significant online activity. 

An emerging metadata standard for zine libraries. Neat because I love zines and libraries and data. 

Self-hosted cloud. I’ve installed an instance of OwnCloud on my server and have been slowly migrating away from Google Drive. 

Privacy Story Telling might have been one of my favorite sessions. In short, it opened up with thinking about relatable, everyday stories people can be told to get them to think and care about their own privacy. There were many great perspectives in the room and mini-conversations that emerged.

A couple of big takeaways for me were that not one single message is going to reach all populations. If you say “privacy matters because if X is exposed about a person Y could happen," there are going to be a set of people that disagree with X and therefore will not side with privacy in that case. While it’s probably unlikely to come up with a universal story, there are some that come closer. For example, insurance companies data mining your network to determine rates.

It all had me thinking about messaging and how to possible handle privacy awareness campaigns.

There was a session on Application and Cloud Testing at the same time as Privacy Story Telling that I didn’t get to attend but was something I looked into later. The Specialists Guild helps train people on the Autism spectrum to become QA testers. Nonprofits may qualify for probono testing. 

The Cryptography Tools session, also one I wasn’t able to make, seems like it would have been a good brush up on crypto tools and a nudge to use them more frequently. I have it bookmarked.

I enjoyed How to Build Successful Communities of Practice. It was an open conversation about the different communities of practice we participate in and why or how we wish they were better. However, I was quite conflicted between it and Introduction to Tech Co-ops.

There were a bunch of co-ops at NPDev. I met some great people from Palante Tech, OpenFlows, Radical Designs, and Design Action Collective. 

I am really not sure why a co-op model hadn’t crossed my mind for a design shop before this but it was a bit of a funny epiphany.

I brushed up on and dived into some GIT as well as sat in on a session about using GIT for Content and learned about static site frameworks for rapid prototyping like Kalastatic. Which introduced me to Metalsmith and Swig.

There are a handful of other sessions I wasn’t able to attend that I want to go return back to. I have the wiki at the top of my downtime reading material bookmarks.

Ella Durham


Just picked these up this afternoon—thank you, Screen Ink., for the always awesome service and quality work. I have a handful left for $20 or trade.

Ella Durham

Things I Fell in Love With in Clarion Alley, pt. 4

artist: Texta Queen

Ella Durham

Things I Fell in Love With in Clarion Alley, pt. 3–3.5

artist: Megan Wilson

artists: Mark Bode and Paul Mavrides

Ella Durham

Things I Fell in Love With in Clarion Alley, pt. 2

artist: Cliff Hengst

Ella Durham

Things I Fell in Love With in Clarion Alley, pt. 1

artist: Danielle O'Malley

Ella Durham

Freeskool Workshop Recap: Screw Post Binding & Handmade Portfolios

1 min read

Screw Post Binding and Handmade Portfolios Freeskool Workshop Banner

Last month I held a workshop on screw post binding and handmade portfolios as part of a Freeskool Workshop Series I'm holding this winter. Between heading out of town a couple of days later for a nonprofit software development summit and returning to endless mountains of pie, I haven't had a chance to post a summary and notes until now.

I've posted the workshop outline and the notes, resources, and materials list as well as a folder of some images I pulled from the Interenet for my inspiration library on Google Drive for the time being. I hope to eventually fully develop digital counterparts to each of the workshops I hold but I want to make these available in the meantime.

Discussing lessons I learned while making my own portfolios in the past.
Talking about my own hand made portfolio and lessons I've learned making and binding portfolios in the past.
Demonstrating gluing chip board together to make a DIY binder book board.
Demonstrating finding the grain of chipboard to glue two pieces together for a thicker, DIY book board.
Gluing on an interior cover paper.
Gluing on the interior cover paper is always one of the more nerve-racking steps.
Attendees sit and watch in suspense as I glue together the final piece of the portfolio.
The suspense is palpable!

Ella Durham


I just set up my ! Great alternative to Drive. One of many neat things I learned about at

Ella Durham

I want to teach a free school workshop series this winter. Designers, community organizers, humans—especially those inclined to use your new skills for good—are there special topics or certain tools related to web design you'd excitedly attend a free workshop to learn?