Feb 252013

Waking up at precisely 9:30 on a Sunday morning without an alarm: I feel that I’ve transitioned into adulthood. No more college late-night/late-mornings for this hardworking student. In two days I’ll be handing over 1K of money earned with part-time jobs this semester and signing an apartment lease. My soon-to-be housemates will be having a little help from their parents with money as they get up on their feet, but the help I had from my dear Dad was finding the fantastic, perfectly-suited place.
To be honest, I’m slightly dreading spring break. Instead of a thoughtless respite from school, there’s at least two large-scale group projects (and possibly a partnered presentation) to keep tabs on, and I must gallavant from one childhood home to the next, collecting furnishings for the newly-leased residence we will share. And whilst wrestling with feng shui, orchestrating heaps of laundry, as the laundry facilities at the apartment complex are $3.00 less expensive per load than those at school. I have to recoup rent expenses somehow. I’m also a little nervous about working some full-time days at my parts finishing job: I’m having nightmares about my fingers falling off and not being hired full-time for the summer (because obviously, one cannot sand quickly, efficiently, and accurately without a full 10-finger quota).

Not only has there been an excess of activity mentally, but this week has been eventful: the AFTERPIECE opening was this Wednesday evening! It was overwhelming. I took off work because I needed to spend the afternoon making baked goods. After morning classes, I realized that in the previous weeks’ grocery preparations for baking, I’d forgotten the requisite pound of butter. I hustled over to Giant, completing a quick round of goods collection (including bread and ramen) in less time than a good shower. I then had the first face-to-face group meeting for another class, which, though productive, cut into my cookie-making time. After repeated rounds of card games while waiting for baking, I had a sinking feeling and checked the time: it was 30 minutes until the opening, only 3/4 of the double batch of cookies was baked, and I wasn’t dressed formally. I was, in fact, quite floury. But we got there OK, and on time, glad that the clear pyrex mixing bowl looked the part of a fancy serving dish when mixed in with the other platters.

My parents surprised me by bringing my Nana to the opening! I spent the evening introducing my friends and professors to my #1 art fans. I even got a hug from Carole, my Sculpture professor who introduced my to the MakerBot 3d printer, and helped me get a grant through the school to buy the one I used in creating my Individual Study project:

Ceremonial Garment (plastic age)

Ceremonial Garment (Plastic Age)
Alice Watkins
Thermoextruded Modules

It’s the culmination of my senior-level work as a Studio Art major, and I worked on it continuously for the entirety of the Fall2012 semester. Each module, the visible feather-like units as well as the hidden linking modules took ten minutes to print on the MakerBot. Constructing the garment from the plastic units was inspired by Scale mail, a pre-firearm variety of protective vestment.

I’m so relieved its all done. The senior show was the last requirement for the major I need to graduate. Now I can focus more on just passing my five electives to fulfill credit requirements. I’ll not miss the extensive hoop-jumping required for getting a degree. And I’ll still be close enough to appreciate the natural beauty of this area, one of my reasons for choosing the University of Mary Washington four years ago.

The second life-changing event this week was Friday’s arrival of the much-anticipated bluetooth keyboard. As soon as I had it functioning, I blogged about the experience in a post entitled Fairy Tale Moment. It’s rocking my world. I type now, using said keyboard and my iPhone nestled in a 3D printed stand so I can easily see the low- distraction Rich Notes app interface. Rich Notes is superior to the standard Notes app, which has three ugly fonts to choose from and an uncompromising lined yellow background. I can type in a serif font in Rich Notes, and adjust the font size with a pinch and swipe. It has a very clean interface, and no ads even though it’s an independently developed free app. The only drawbacks I’ve encountered are it’s tendencies to forget the last five characters or so if the app is left abruptly (it autosaves the content at predetermined content intervals, it seems) and the app’s ability to absorb additional full-steam typing slows down when a note gets approximately 500 words long- as if the note’s file size gets too large. The former issue made me worry about content backups, but content is easily backed up by sending the note as an e-mail but holding it in drafts; the latter issue also easily solved by saving the original note and starting a new one, entitled ‘…part (n+1)’. It’s nice to be able to have a simple, clean word processor in a portable package that is compatible with an external human interface device.

This morning I had a serious realization: I’ve been coming to DS106 work with the perspective of a senior-level studio art major. It seems simple: that’s part of who I am. But I realized that the mindset gained from the training I’ve been through has impeded my full engagement in the class. Even before college, I’ve trained to create clean, fully-realized objects. Also, in critiques I’ve learned how to critically examine the fruits of creative endeavors and talk succinctly about visual communication. DS106 is a different take on art-making. This is not training to become a professional, 106 is opening us to the world of creative possibility. We are all beginners here, and my ego and unreasonable standards have gotten in the way my learning new things.

In this fresh new perspective on DS106 I have done my first 3 simple Daily Creates. No time-consuming inspired-by Daily Create time lapse drawings or comics. The first DC, take a picture of something you made is shown above: the photo of my individual study shown in duPont gallery. I took the picture for my own records, but can also proudly present it as a Daily Create this week with my newfound simple knowledge of creating.

This week I also reimagined myself as a pastry in the if you were a _ pastry why are you the best? daily create challenge. I don’t have a favorite baked good, so I created a fictional one, the Traditional Watkins Pastry that would encapsulate the outgoing side of my character. Pastries are sociable, even if I’m not usually. I endeavored to be brief, but also create a thorough description filled with tasty imagery, as well as juicy context to make a good digital story.

Exhausted from the unceasing effort demanded by my self-inflicted schedule, packed with work, classes, and group project meetings, I was happy to hire a friend to take the photos for my third DC. Caught snoozing in the early hours of Saturday afternoon, I completed the snuggled up in a blanket daily create.

Snuggly Daily Create

After my nap, I worked on design assignments. (If you didn’t know already, DS106 Week 6 is all about Design. Check out the great talk I helped cohost Thursday afternoon!

By cutting out the middleman this week, I’ve been more productive with assignments. Instead of physically hooking up my phone to my mildly dinosaurific Macbook Pro, then downloading photos, sorting through them, then using the slow Flickr website to upload images one at a time. On the computer, the internet is always slow – not only because I’m on the inconstant Apogee, but I have a habit of keeping too many tabs open. I multitask and I leave things open to remind me of tasks. But with a the Flickr app, as well as other new free apps this week (and a human interface device), I can move created content directly from my phone to the internet. Often I go back to it on the computer and edit details – for instance, on the Flickr app I haven’t found the settings toggle for putting an image under the category of drawing instead of photography, a change easily made on the desktop internet interface.

The first task this week undergone in this manner was designing a logo for my Radio Show group.

Team Radio Show Unite!

I’m in an incredible group: @bellekid invited me soon after the necessity for group formation was announced, and I enthusiastically agreed, having seen her frequent and well-crafted contributions to DS106 via twitter. I then invited Crafty Dayesee, a dedicated and cheerfully enthusiastic studio art comrade with whom I’ve previously collaborated. @foxylee13(sp?) I’m not as familiar with, though I’m enjoying the Ponies theme of her Ds106 blog, especially the inInsane Twilight trading card @chachachelsea I’m also not familiar with, but I’ll get to know her soon enough through collaboration and reading her blog.

"Insanity Twilight" MLP Trading Card

I have the Google Drive app now, though not completely happy with the interface (it doesn’t allow for typing in landscape view, it has a tendency to select text while scrolling, which could lead to an autosaved catastrophic deletion of content) its very useful for collaborating with groups, as it allows for recorded discussion that can be accessed from anywhere at any time. I’m using it to collaborate with Digital Dynamite as well as group projects for other classes. We each use a different color to establish who is contributing. It can be a little confusing at times – it would be fantastic if there was a collaboration app that automatically attributed and notified other members through alerts or emails. But the Google Doc is working OK. This week Digital Dynamite established its theme – we decided to do an interview format where we each talk about a DYNAMITE moment, an anecdote about personal change and motivation. I haven’t decided on what to talk about yet – I’m not sure if I should talk about something fresh and recent or really nostalgic and semi-fictional (as memories so often are). Unsurprisingly, each of our individual logo submissions to the Doc involved some kind of TNT/explosion theme, with red. After a few days of discussion, ??? created a logo that summarized each of our individual designs into a very legible logo statement:

Tuesday I created my first response to a design assignment. I had “Just Glue Some Gears on It (and call it Steampunk)” by Sir Reginald Pikedevant, Esquire, stuck in my head.

In outlining my work for the week, I picked design a tattoo as one of the assignments to do. Realizing, though I love steampunk (and making fun of steampunk), I’ve never drawn anything with a cool gear motif. I intentionally didn’t use a reference, realizing that my recollection of what gears actually look like is imperfect – just as steampunk is a selective interpretation of the Victorian/Steam era.

Ink Gears Steampunk Tattoo

As with the logo, I drew this in my thought journal – my physical multipurpose idea organizer. I first sketched the circles out in pencil, and where some of the teeth should be. As this was to be a black-on-skin tattoo design, It needed some strong areas of black, some areas of just line, and some scale changes for levels of detail so that it would be intriguing and legible whether it was viewed close up or at a distance.
Another way I’m embracing my imperfections this week is not cleaning up my designs. The presentation-conscious professional artist internal voice is driving me to take both designs into SketchBook and clean up the white areas with the eraser tool – take out distractions such as the smudges from erasing before the ink was completely dry and some text showing through from the page before. The realist in me realizes that this time-consuming activity contributes little to my DS106 experience, and would be better spent completing other assignments.

Carole has told students in various contexts: Be friends with the artist you want to be, but be the artist you are. I want to be a very clean artist, that creates beautiful objects that bear themselves with the mystique of unknown creation process. Objects so well-designed they seem born, not made. But I am not that artist. My objects always have the touch of imperfection, but I have learned that it adds appropriate humanity and additional beauty, so I can embrace these apparent flaws.

For the Learning by Design visual note-taking, I took notes on this week’s DS106 objectives Week 6: It’s All Designed.

Part 1 of Visual Notes

Part 2 Visual Notes

Part 3 Visual Notes

I had fun, even though I didn’t use as many pictures as the examples. I hope this outline will help future week six students or serve as a design reference on which to look back.

Embedded in this outline is my take on One Story/Four Icons This is not exactly an outline for a story, because I think very literally – I haven’t been able to guess any of my peers’ symbol stories.

Four Symbol Story

This is a visual translation of my favorite quote from a supernatural TV show I watched recently on Netflix.

Six Word Memoir

It doesn’t make much sense to me to write a memoir (six words or not) when my life beyond university is only threatening to begin. I know something for sure, though: DS106 has changed my life forever. I’ve never before been an active participant on the internet in this manner. I love all the new tools I’m learning with which to share and create. I’m definitely going to continue developing my proficiency in these areas.

 February 25, 2013  Posted by on February 25, 2013 Week in Review No Responses »
Feb 182013

The worms died from lack of air. The whole moldy box was a health hazard anyway. I felt bad for a few days after wrapping the box in plastic and tossing it in the dumpster. The worms weren’t very lovable pets anyway, I had to remind myself – they were bait worms to begin with. I think it would just be best to volunteer at an animal shelter when I need to cuddle something furry and pet-like. The SPCA is actually quite close, though not close enough to bike (which would be incredible!).  No furry pets of my own though, exceeds my income by a good deal.

This week, I had the most fun with the PhotoBlitz exercise.  I now can use the Flickr app on my phone to take pictures at my convenience and upload them when I connect to WiFi automatically.  This makes it much easier to do photo assignments as it cuts out the steps of uploading pictures to the computer then uploading them to a website.  Its nice to have more on-the-go internet utilisation capability.  I feel empowered by the ability to better use my tools, especially the phone that is already a prosthesis through its messaging and e-mail purposes.

Pick A Bad Photo, Apply A Vintage Effect And Write Something In Helvetica

The first assignment I completed this week was the “Pick A Bad Photo, Apply A Vintage Effect And Write Something in Helvetica”,  As someone who is still overcoming the tendancy to photo-spam,  it was nice to use a photo otherwise lost in the shuffle of unsorted files, and add an accompanying quip.  It’s more interesting as a story than just an oddly-framed snapshot of a restaurant aquarium.

You’d think I’d have learned from last week’s fiasco to find a way to work on DS106 related work throughout the week, as it’s overwhelming to start working on Friday night or Saturday.  But it’s just not possible with my full class schedule and part time jobs – especially with the additional time necessary for Afterpiece preparations.  I hope with the additions I’ve made on my pocket computer with the Flickr, Tumblr, SoundCloud, and Google Drive apps, I can better blog on the go and stay abreast of my DS106 duties.  If only I could find a RSS feed app that would function well, it would be simpler to comment on other blogs. If only there were an official Google Reader app or some such…


Come to the opening on Wednesday if you’re near campus!  I’m going to have fresh cookies and my Dimensional Drawing (3D printed) individual study will be displayed.


 February 18, 2013  Posted by on February 18, 2013 Week in Review No Responses »
Feb 042013

Today in examining the worm bin I saw more mold than worms.  It was difficult to discern the progress of the worm bin when more than mildly disgusted by the odor, especially with sight of green slime and white puffs.  However, I can’t complain – the bin does seem to be making dirt from food scraps.   The two slices of pineapple pizza I put in with curious enthusiasm earlier this week were only recognizable by the crusts poking out, the rest had disintegrated into pasty chunks under the coffee and bedding material.  The lint and hairball experiments were less successful over a week – they are better destined for large compost piles.   Or, perhaps worms are naturally reclusive and don’t much like being poked around.  The three I saw seemed in good health to my inexperienced gaze.  However, if the moldy problem persists, I’m going to trash the moldy farm and start over by sorting out the worms.  In some brief research, I found that my issue is probably lack of aeration and the insertion of starchy, not vegetable-based, food.  I should have left them alone in their bedding the first week – I could be killing them with enthusiasm.  Only coffee grounds and paper from now on, with the occasional vegetable.

Chapter 1. EncounterThis week I reimagined Daily Create.   I hope you enjoy the first installment of CAPYBARA&Bird,  created in the light of musing on the nature of storytelling.  It’s incredibly thrilling to finally, bravely embark on my first comic endeavor.  I’ve investigated and immersed myself in comics and graphic novels intensively for the past year, after a general interest in them for a decade.  In a blog for The Graphic Novel, I talk about my strongest inspirations.

This week was the advent of comment groups.  I started the week on-the-ball, following Twitter last Sunday night after finishing my previous weekly summary blog, to the point where I read the Week 3 article before the https://twitter.com/ampersanddragon/status/295772870825623552 groups were posted.  As soon as they were available, I jumped on the Flow and found my group mates.  https://twitter.com/ampersanddragon/status/295789563543179264.    But from Monday-Thurs I was swamped with homework and the overwhelming need for sleep – 1900 is a little early for a nocturnal girl, but it happened after work on Monday.  Probably doesn’t have anything to do with the fact I got max 6 hours/night in the past week, and no recharge over the weekend due to roommates and mandatory meetings.  Ugh.  Enough with reasons that ride the fine line of excuse.  I didn’t comment on my comment group members’ blogs this week, and especially not by the soft Wednesday deadline.  Each post on storytelling I read was intriguing, but I found none meaty enough to converse with in a comment.  I felt rude when trying to phrase a comment on how I would enjoy discussing an idea if only it were better explained, so I abstained.  I abstained again when the most weighty response I had to a bland post was pointing out a mediocre illogical spelling-check word replacement.  However unenthusiastic about commenting, I did reply substantially to comments on my blog and made rigorous improvements to the design and navigation of this website thanks to Cragghia.  Now the front page will have small blurbs of all my blog posts, with weekly summary posts grouped together on the right.  I even learned a little html shenanigans to make it so that I could have embedded flickr images that link to YouTube videos (by changing the href redirect)  I also made the CAPYBARA&bird images not redirect to their own page and not flickr.  It took several hours to fiddle with the layout, but I’m very proud of the result.

Some less exciting, but equally visually stimulating results are those from my Five Cards experiments.  Saying this may make me a stodgy art major, but I feel that creating engaging stories takes some craft and labor lacking in these Dada-style methods.  Perhaps I am merely a masochistic creator, taking pride in details well thought-out, and elegantly presented.  A different example of poor planning I found in the in[SPIRE] gallery,  where multiple stories presented themselves suddenly with blue dead ends following an initial intriguing hook.  I didn’t find an example that led to its intended fruition that illuminated the nature of digital storytelling, but it did reinforce the importance of checking hyperlink functionality.

Vonnegut was a tough nut to crack.  Immediately prior to watching his video, I’d watched this Ted talk on women in stories.

It made me really keen to examine stories in detail.  I realized that my life doesn’t pass the Bechdel test from day to day.  Not that it’s reasonable or realistic to measure life and movies by the same standard, but it was interesting to notice.  But this and the Vonnegut analysis have a striking similarity: three lines creating a generalized story analysis.  Both have value – Vonnegut shows the general contour of a story, and Bechdel can be a red flag for an inaccurate or inappropriate representation of women – but both have limited scope.  The Vonnegut analysis does not allow for the subtlety of longer stories and the Beschdel test has the potential for false positives.

For illustration of Vonnegut I analyzed Beauty and the Beast  the result was a more wiggly graph than any of Vonnegut’s, but it  similarities to the poor girl dancing with the prince diagram.  Though I was loath to, I endeavored to leave out as many details as possible in my account – while refraining from naming any names, as Vonnegut did.

G                                                            *
|                                                            *
|                                                          *
|                        ****                        *
|                      *      *                      *
|                   *          *                    *
***          *               *                *
|    *        *                  *             *
|     *     *                    *           *
|       ***                      *        *
|                                    *     *
I                                      **

My favorite example of digital storytelling is The Wormworld Saga.  It’s an incredibly long (pun intended) internet-based graphic novel.  It’s not complete yet, Daniel Lieske is only on milestone 2 of chapter 5, but it promises to be an epic coming-of-age tale for a young boy in a magical world.

So far I’m having an absolute blast in ds106.  I shamelessly self-promote my awesome website and find excuses to bring up this incredible online-class-about-the-internet in conversation.  I’m finding confidence in writing that I lacked in all the writing-intensive classes I’ve taken.  I was frustrated this week because the weeks outline didn’t make it evident that the professor was expecting numerous small blog posts referred to and summarized in the week’s summary.  Over the week I’d developed a draft post of the weekly summary with sections for each medium experiment, but upon evaluating it against the requirements Friday evening, I realized I had my weekend’s work cut out for me reorganizing it into disparate posts and rewriting the summary.  With the ideas separated, they also needed more individual development.  I also spent some of my time redesigning the website.  This is my latest-evening blog post yet, but I’m also very proud of the progress made this week.


 February 4, 2013  Posted by on February 4, 2013 Week in Review No Responses »
Jan 272013

My pet fish died from cold this week.  In need of a secondary outlet of affection (a pet, after a boyfriend),  I have built a worm farm.  It is of modest size and material – a shoebox, several cereal boxes, weatherproof tape, and a plastic bag coalesced with relative ease into a secure shelter.  Two small pizza boxes and leftover crusts (all 5cm scraps) moistened and topped with a heavy sprinkling of coffee grounds creates the dirty landscape that serves as food and home.  35 ounces of red worms and dirt introduced to this coffee-scented environment filled the gap in my soul vacated by Alizarin Prime.  Pink pointed ends quested blindly, smooth coils undulated, expanding and stretching while a small packet of worms explored their new world.  It filled me with simple, child-like joy.

“You do realize you are giggling over a box of trash filled with barely-sentient living intestines?” a friend asked me today.   I shrugged, and extolled the virtues of the organic compost I will harvest in 3-4 months.  I have always wanted to compost – to prevent food scraps that can become healthy soil from being added to a landfill.  I don’t want a landfill in my backyard,  and I don’t want a landfill in someone else’s.  I like solutions that one can take pride in.  Vermicomposting is one of the solutions I’m investigating.  It prevents food waste from being transported again to a non-functional destination, and in doing so, makes healthy organic soil that can then be used for safely growing herbs or vegetables without harmful chemicals.

Another first for today: I have uploaded a drawing video with authentic drawing scritchy-scratch sound!  I had attempted on the earlier drawing of the week to record, but the sound recording failed.

This time, I again used my Macguyvered mic – a set of iPhone talk/listen headphones’ microphone taped to the business end of the pen of the graphic tablet.  The tether makes pen maneuvering a bit more complicated, but it’s much easier to find than before.  I’m not completely happy with the sound quality, but I am happy that I was able to record sound and line it up properly.

iMovie is pretty clumsy, I want to find an alternative.  It saves huge files on my computer unnecessarily – I don’t do much clipping or editing – I just need simple audio and video adjustments: cropping, alignment, volume.  QuickTime still served well as a free program for screen-capture, but it makes HUGE files.  I used Audacity for recording the audio.  I also figured out a nifty trick for lining up the two in editing: start screen-capture before audio recording!  It shows exactly where to line things up, but iMovie was a little annoying with clipping the two consistently, instead of misaligning the audio, so I had to export the project before trimming it or speeding it up so that the audio would stay stuck.  It was an annoying, time-consuming experiment, but I did some reading for another class while iMovie incapacitated my computer.

I did a great deal of my blog appearance customization last week, as I’ve had some experience with WordPress from UMWBlogs.  However, making the welcome page different but related to my ds106 page was a challenge.  I previously had all my new social media accounts featured as tiles at ds106, so I moved most of that to the welcome page and featured my YouTube playlist and blog content instead.  I think the welcome page still needs some design tweaking to be intriguing, but I’m not sure what direction I should go with it yet.   Suffusion is definitely the most nifty (and profanity-inducing) theme.  Utterly customizable, but not intuitively organized in offering those options.  I’m looking forward to organizing my site better once I have more content and know what needs organizing.

This week I got widgety!  And plugged-in.  Either Akismet or Jetpack created a WordPress.com account with my e-mail, which is impossible to delete.  Especially annoying considering I already had a WordPress.com account from having a Gravatar (apparently).  I finally got it all working with the site, though.  Most of the Jetpack widgets don’t seem very useful, but I’ve seen the Gravatar Hovercards on other sites and was happy to enable those.  It’s always cool to get some idea of the perspective from which a person is writing, by how they identify themselves.   It’s awesome to be able to craft my own online identity. My favorite part so far: custom e-mail.  I set up an actual account (not an e-mail forwarding address) because I don’t like being beholden to the big G.  I must have a big G account to use Hangout and the Tube, and I’ve had that account for 10 years, maybe.  But still… remembering when the G was just a box of internet curiosity, and looking at how huge it is now gives me the shivers.  The extra-coolest thing about making an e-mail was the ability to create e-mail aliases.  Now I can give any spam-worthy website that requires an e-mail to sign up or make coupons or whatever an alias that will send its mail to my account.  So feel free to spam flibberflabber2@ampersanddragon.net.  I can delete it if I don’t like the junk I get from it without changing the name of my actual email!

On the subject of cool and odd, here is my GIF:

Talk to the hand... it talks back.

Talk to the hand… it talks back.

I realized only after finishing it and showing it to a 3rd party who hasn’t seen the movie LO,  that the content of this scene isn’t very clear.  This is Justin, who is being spoken to by Justin’s hand.  I really can’t describe this incredible movie.  It’s a horror movie that isn’t (too) scary, it’s a comedy that doesn’t make you laugh (unless you feel sick at the same time), it’s a demon movie that’s non-satanic.  I love the quality of stage-play that it exudes.  It’s minimal, but incredible – totally available on Netflix, and if you don’t have access to that – it’s your own first world problem.  I thought about re-making this Gif so it would be understandable to people who hadn’t seen the movie, but I didn’t have the heart after showing all my friends who have, and watching them ROFL as it repeated again and again.

Boot camp has kicked my butt, but I’m thrilled to come back for more. I love challenging myself and learning about new ways of making.  The more media I know, the better I can combine them creatively!

 January 27, 2013  Posted by on January 27, 2013 Week in Review No Responses »
Jan 202013

Of the introductory videos I watched, Intro to ds106 was the most helpful in explaining the general structure and intent of the class.  It’s nerve-wraking though, to think of this class as an airplane being built in the air, though, because flying in airplanes makes me sick already.   I found the Happy Student’s guide to ds106 more encouranging.  Before watching it I was nervous and feeling overwhelmed by my unfamiliarity with setting up social media accounts and starting to interact with the wider internet.

But afterward, I felt empowered by the world of creative opportunities opened by being a participant in the internet.  I’m glad that I can learn how to use the communication tools that are YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, and SoundCloud!

I am especially excited to use The Daily Create as drawing practice and experimentation with drawing videos – sharing the creative process (part of how I look at the world) with people who feel that drawing is difficult, frustrating, or foreign.  I’m still learning, and that’s fun!  If anyone has tips on how to add sound I’d greatly appreciate it.  My dream woud be to have Victor Borge Phonetic Punctuation style drawing sound effects in the movies to make them more engaging and funny.

I used SketchBook, a very clean drawing program that rarely lags, and a Wacom Intuos3 graphic tablet to draw.  QuickTime does a good job at screen-capturing, but makes a huge video file, so I have to delete the original once I convert it to a faster, smaller file in iMovie.  That takes a while, but I can work on something else while I wait, and it’s worth it.  I’m making these quick drawing movies for myself as a viewer, It’s fascinating to see my own decisions make an image take shape.

I was really proud when I’d fiddled with my WordPress theme Suffusion. I’d used WordPress a little bit in another class, and found that Suffusion allows for an incredible amount of design customization.  There’s a confusing amount of menus, though, to allow for that level of manipulation.

My About page isn’t very detailed yet, I’ll be updating it as I learn more about my relationship with ds106.

Since I’ve found out how flexible and self-driven this class is, I’m thrilled to be a part of ds106.  I’m going to use it as an opportunity to hone my creative skills and learn new ones.  I also want to take the time to share some of my discoveries from delving into our textbook this week.  One of my goals is to have less of an impact on the environment.
I’ve always wanted to compost food scraps instead of sending leftovers to the landfill.  Compost heaps or drums are large and smelly, however, and consequently inconvenient.  I learned from watching the No Impact Man documentary that it is possible to compost with no unpleasant odor indoors: VERMICOMPOST! Also known as worm farming, it boils down to having hundreds of cute, squiggly pink pets nibble your leftovers or peelings and poo out clean extra-nutritive dirt. Dirt, it so happens, is a limited natural resource (check out Dirt! the Movie).  Consequently, the realization dawned that I could use the worm casings (poo) to fuel a small-scale garden of herbs and vegetables.  So I also looked into methods of Organic gardening, finding the Organic Gardening Magazine’s guide to saving seeds.  It may or may not work, but I’m going to try saving pepper and tomato seeds so that I can grow free vegetables this summer.  I can’t start the worm farm until after graduating, because I live on-campus and Residence Life forbids non-human animal residents in the dorms.  And sadly, the Animal umbrella definitely includes a plastic tub writhing with rosy trash snackers.

 January 20, 2013  Posted by on January 20, 2013 Week in Review No Responses »