DS106 T-shirt Remix

Awhile ago, I received my very awesome DS106 Kickstarter t-shirt.  It is super fantastic cool.  However, when I checked “medium,” I was thinking men’s t-shirt sizes.  Someone at headquarters saw it and thought, oh, a girly medium would be better.  Now, I totally appreciate that they thought I was so delicate, but as it turns out, I’m a bit more robust than a girly medium can handle.  So for a few weeks, I was sad that I couldn’t wear my new threads.

Enter Pinterest: the scariest time suck I have ever entered (outside of actual DS106 projects).  I found this great idea.  Just cut out the seams of your shirts and add in a few inches of another t-shirt.

It fits so well with the whole DS106 Remix idea, that it just felt like the perfect solution to a slightly too small shirt that made me look like a Playboy Bunny Wannabe.

I sliced out the side seams of my DS106 t-shirt, added about 4 inches of 2 other t-shirts (in fabulous, but non-matching, stripes) and like magic**, I had a t-shirt that could fit my more Renaissance woman frame.  Plus, it adds a little something to the gray background of the original, I think.

**Use a sewing machine that has a zig zag or knit stitch and it becomes even easier.  Remember that t-shirt fabric stretches.  Pin the right sides together and gently run it through the sewing machine with the appropriate stitch.  If you try a straight stitch, it will not stretch-and that would be a tragic turn of events for your favorite t-shirt.  Also, t-shirt knits will not ravel, so you can leave the edges unhemmed if you so choose.

Journey of Love

I was asked to do a drawing for the church bulletin for this week.  The week’s theme is “Journey of Love” ad the sermon title is “Heart of Love.”

When I think of a journey, I think of putting on some good walking shoes and putting one foot in front of another, so here’s a shoe print with an icon of a heart and an arrow to point the way.

A very simple image, but I had to learn how to do a text arc.  You really can learn how to do anything online.  I’m not really sure why we need teachers anymore.  Oh wait…  because kids would have no idea how to do a search.

Which reminds me, I heard an interesting story on NPR this morning that Encyclopedia Brittanica will officially no longer print encyclopedias.  So I guess if you have a set lying around somewhere, you should hang on to them for a while, they might be worth some shiny pennies one day.

Altered Books and Blackout Poetry

My middle school students have been working for the past month on their altered books.  One of the parents donated a bunch of old science books from Time Life and we have been systematically ripping out pages, painting, gluing, and using Sharpies on them.  Here are a few of their Blackout Poems.

And a spare poem thrown in for fun.

The assignment for this page was to find text that they liked and blackout the rest.  They were trying to create a free form poem, without worrying too much about making sentences.  I encouraged them to use images either by drawing them, or by including them (not blacking them out) on their page.

The students liked this page in particular because it was creative without being too taxing.

If you are in the area next week, the kids have a show at the Box Factory.  You can come and check out their books along with a bunch of other great art.


We’re Flipping Out

Today, my 3rd and 4th graders were working on flip books.  We made some very silly ones. There was an elephant that squashed chocolate mice, a girl that flipped over, a race car, a growing flower, a juggler, and a guy trying to cook hot dogs over a campfire.

That last one was mine. Want to see it?

This was inspired by the Daily Create project for today. The original idea was to record something cooking.  Since I was already doing the flip books, I thought I’d animate something cooking.

A quick lesson in creating a flip book: cut some heavy drawing paper to a nice neat size (ours are 4.5×3 inches) and staple about 20 of them together at the top.  Starting at the last page, draw a simple image.  Lay the next page down over the top and redraw your image slightly differently. You’ll be able to see through the paper just enough to figure out where your next image should be.  Repeat until your images go where you want them to be on the last page.  Hold at the top (staple side) and flip!

Helpful hints: Don’t draw anything more than halfway up the page.  You won’t see it when you flip the pages.  If you are unsure of where to start, draw a bouncing ball.  Move it a little, or move it a lot.  Small movements will be a slower speed and larger movements will show a faster bouncing ball.  Keep it simple! Detailed drawings will be hard to recreate.  Stick people are welcome!

And the most important tip: When stapling the pages, make sure that one edge of your paper all lines up.  Staple the OTHER edge.  This will make it much easier to flip.

Happy flipping!

*A special thanks to Nathan who did the filming for me so I could use both hands to flip the pages. You rock!

Cartoon Ben

For Valentine’s Day, Ben bought me a Bamboo tablet.  I’ve been having such fun with it.  I went ahead and cartooned Ben using Adobe Illustrator and my new tablet.

This isn’t a DS106 assignment, but it totally should be. Cartoon You!

I’ve been drawing Ben as a cartoon for a few years now, but it’s so much better with the tablet.  He looks all professional and digital now.  If he’s really cool, he’ll use it as one of his avatars somewhere online.  That would totally make my day.

4 Icon Challenge

I decided to start my DS106 assignments with this challenge because ever since Ben did it, I wanted to make (a better) one.  I’m not sure I succeeded, but it is 4 icons from one of my favorite movies of all time.

I created this in Adobe Illustrator.  It was my first time playing with Ai, and I kind of like it.  I’m much more used to drawing my ideas with crayons and markers and the extra added challenge of trying to create a graphic completely on the computer was fun and frustrating.

So, what movie is it?

Lights! Camera! Widget!

You may have noticed a new look to the site. This week’s DS106 assignment was to mess with your website. I’m sure they put it much more elegantly over there, but to summarize, it was mess with your website. So last night, I sat down and did some messin’ here. A new banner with my own photograph helps a bit. I’ll have to get a few more into the rotation. As much as I love the light show image, I think I’d like some more color here.
I also played with the widgets a bit over on the sidebar. There is some Twitter thing happening over there. I attempted to play with my flickr photos as well with a widget happily titled, “Hey, It’s a Flickr Widget!” However, it’s not playing well with others now, so it may have to be dumped for something more grown up. But really, it makes me sad that HIAFW would have to go, because, dudes, that’s a great name for a widget.
In other news, the latest Daily Create photo assignment was kind of fun. The description was to take a picture of raw materials next to a finished product.

This is a basket of some fun roving from various locations, a spun bobbin of some merino and finished yarn from Pumpkinhaus Fibers and some Funky Carolina tidbits.  Those two finished yarns will be knit into a sweater very soon.  Maybe I’ll even finish it this winter in time to wear it.

Mermaids and Sprouts

This weekend was Halloween.  I don’t mean Sunday was Halloween.  I mean this weekend was Halloween.

On Friday, Miss R dressed up at school, had a party, did the parade, the whole bit.


Saturday was downtown trick or treat.  So we all dressed up to go downtown and grab some candy and ride the carousel.  The carousel was AWESOME all decked out in spooky finery.  The headless horseman was even riding the UofM horse.

H was riding the horse with a purple pimp hat.  Not sure how that happened.  The baby tiger on the Benton Harbor Tiger was adorable!

Since we were downtown, a family photo on the cannon was in order.

And of course, we fired the baby out of the cannon.


Then, on Sunday night (you’ll note that this was actually October 31st) we all went out to do some trick or treating.  This was the first year that Miss R really ventured out for candy.  We walked around for about an hour and got 42 pieces of candy (she counted).  Which I think is the perfect amount of candy for a 5 year old and her parents.


*Original plan was a Munchkin for Donut.  The weather declared that he only wear the hat, so he became a sprout.  I’m sure he’ll thank us for it when he turns 13. His hat was knit by Nicole of Knerq for Miss R years ago, and then a flower pin added for fun.

**A gray wig was as dressed up as I got on Saturday.  It was very last minute when Donut woke up from his nap just in time to go trick or treating with Miss R and Ben. After seeing this picture, I’m not so worried about getting gray hair, it’s not that bad.

***Miss R as Ariel the little mermaid.  I made her tail out of the most horrible, no-good, super stretchy, sparkly, tail fabric I could find.  She loved it.