Summertime Crafting

This summer has been a complete whirlwind of activities.  I have been busy with the kids, teaching, reading, fighting knee pain, and making STUFF.  Some of my favorites this summer were a set of 3 costumes I made for a Steampunk Art Camp.  Most of the pieces were recycled from other costumes, with a few new pieces thrown in.  The bowler hat is my favorite piece.

This particular costume is simply an old bowler hat with a bow and feathers with a few gadgets hot glued on.  The peplum came from a Wicked Witch costume, and I added an extra layer of fabric to make it a bit “frillier.”  The pants and shirt were discovered in my own dresser drawers, and the belts I stole from my husband’s closet.  It is so much fun to try and make a costume from what is in your basement and not spend a penny!

Besides costumes, I’ve been making quilts, knitting up a storm, planning a high school curriculum. In fact, this afternoon, I’m off to the quilt shop to play with one of their new Innova quilting machines.  Will let you know how it goes!  I’m so excited, I can hardly sit still.

One Day in 60 Seconds

Yesterday morning, I got up and had this brilliant idea. I wonder if I can make a video of our ENTIRE day and condense it down to 1 minute?  But how?

I was inspired by a video that took 2 months of vacation time and condensed it to 1 second video of all the activities into just over 1 minute.  It was brilliant.  I started taking 1 second worth of video of the kids.  They just sat there.

Let’s go to the beach!!!  Now we’re talking!  Then, the rest of the day just played itself out and I had to remember to keep getting video.  There was a couple of hours in the afternoon that I missed because I was all worn out and took a nap.

It was definitely tricky getting 60 separate events throughout the day without making it seem too staged.  I finally decided that I should just get video of what we normally do without going too far out of my way to get something “fantastic.”

The editing took just short of forever.  My 1 second clips were all between 1.2 and 1.5 seconds, so I had to use the clip trimmer to get them all down to exactly 1 second.  ONE at a TIME. Then, I just ran all the video together in order and hit play.


Hip Hop Easter Remix

For DS106 Remix week, I’ve been doing a few little projects on the side again.

This one is called “The Big Hip Hop: Turn Up the Cheese.”  I went over to The Big Picture for this image of a little girl in an angel costume standing in a cathedral. This image is a bit “sweet” for DS106, so I tried a couple variants.

In the first, I used lyrics from Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years.” I liked how it kept the  theme of Easter.  I experimented with fonts and decided on the much overused “comic sans.”  Nice, but not really pushing any boundaries. This one feels beautiful without much effort, lazy even.

Then I mixed it with a Coldplay song, “Viva la Vida.”

A touch of teenage angst font and still, I’m getting a nice message.  I just can’t seem to cheese this up.  The little girl is just too sweet.

Ok, one more try.

Had to dig into the way back machine for a song by Real Life called, “Send Me an Angel” from the year 1983.  (For those of you who weren’t around then, here’s a link)

I love the teenage angst font with the lyrics for this one.  So demanding, it really has a DS106 feel to it.

I have no idea what assignment this was, because I closed it, so there will be no tags until someone figures out which mashup this is.


Cartoon Jim

Just a quick post today to introduce Cartoon Jim.

Found an image of Jim on the internets (wow are there a lot of Jim Groom images out there!) and then used the little tablet to draw him as a cartoon.


For those of you who are family member who are looking for photos of the kids, I’m sorry. I’ve got nothin’. I’m currently immersed in this crazy online class called DS106 and I’m not even getting credit for it.  However, I’ve convinced some important people that this could possibly be used as Professional Development.

I will attempt to put pictures of the kids here again very soon. Until then, you can look at Jim, the guy who leads us on this wacky adventure in digital storytelling.

Everybody Had Matching Towels!


This is one of my favorite crazy songs from the 80s.  This DS106 assignment called for the creation of a simple image for a song title. This one is fairly obvious, but still a little fun.

I imported the lobster and guitar to fireworks.  I used the magic tool to select the guitar and inserted it to the lobster image.  I then selected small portions of the guitar and cut them out to make it appear to be held by the lobster. TA DA! simple.

Lobster image courtesy of this website, guitar here.

The Long Forgotten Fat Cat Tapestries

Around the turn of the 16th century, the Unicorn Tapestries* were woven in the Southern Netherlands.  These tapestries depict the Hunt of the Unicorn in 7 panels.  It has been reproduced in many forms over the years in many different art styles.

Several days ago, the 8th Unicorn Tapestry was discovered.  This one is believed to have been burned in a fire not long after the artist completed it.  No one is sure whether the fire was intentional or accidental.

This 8th tapestry has been dubbed “The Fat Cat Tapestry**.”  There has been much speculation about the origins of the design, but after much research, the cat is believed to be the beloved pet of Anne of Brittany who commissioned the tapestries as a wedding present to her husband.

It is little wonder why the artist would have wished this particular tapestry to remain out of the public.

*For more on the Unicorn Tapestries check out the Musée National du Moyen Age in France.

**This assignment from DS106 was just too good to pass up.

Who Invented the Internet?

I’ve been having such fun with the DS106 assignment database. After going through almost every single assignment and having brief flashes of inspiration on at least half of them, I decided to jump in with another silly one.

Today’s assignment is “Patty Pioneer.” To quote the directions, “Simply put, this assignment involves editing a picture of any Computer Pioneer so that it looks like they are eating/about to eat/holding a burger or similar types of fast food.”

Seeing as I know just about nothing about computer pioneers, I decided to go with the first thought that popped into my little head: Al Gore.  Because, you know, Al Gore invented the internet.*
He seems like the kind of guy who would like to eat healthy.  What’s healthier than a Subway sub?  I mean, those folks over at The Biggest Loser like it, and inventing the internet is hard work.  You deserve a great big sandwich, Al.
*I totally know that Al Gore didn’t invent the internet, but I do like to perpetuate the myth.  If you want the real story, check out Snopes.  Al Gore WAS influential in the popularity of the internet, so I think he counts as a computer pioneer.

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?

DS106: An Adventure in Storytelling

Ben has finally done it.  He’s convinced me to take this crazy class online.  It’s a for real class at a university, and it’s offered free to anyone online who wants to jump in and join the chaos.  I’ve watched Ben for almost a year, live, breathe, and try to explain DS106.  Sometimes it’s humorous and I jump right in to the assignments with him, and sometimes I get so lost in attempts at keeping me up to date with the insanity that the students and teachers take on with their role playing that I just throw up my hands and go knit something.

But this semester, I’m giving it a try.  My favorite activity so far has been the Daily Create.  It’s a take on the Daily Shoot wherein they give you a suggestion for the day, and you attempt to make something that vaguely follows the rules.  Today’s assignment: Take an extreme close up of an easily recognizable object.  I tried several times, and failed at what I thought would be a clever picture.

Here’s a close up of a dead plant in the backyard among the snow.  Ok, but not terribly interesting.

Here’s one of the yarn I spun. I like to take photos of yarn, but my camera lens is just not up to it.  Too much light, too little light, not close enough to really see the fibers.

I took a few of other random objects, oranges, cookies, shoes, but nothing really spectacular.

Then, I took this one of the book I’m reading.

This one could have been totally boring, except for the fact that the winter light coming through my bedroom window is making a nifty shadow on it.

The idea of looking at something so close up is not new, I do it all the time with kids in the art room. The only difference is trying to capture it with a camera rather than drawing it.

While I still “don’t get” DS106, I’m really digging the Daily Create.  This week we start actual projects in addition to the Daily Create and I’m wondering what is on the horizon.