Essence of me? 60sec? I’m too complex!


Daily creates are an important part of maintaining creative flows and really do boost deeper thinking and learning. They also feed and nurture keeping your head up instead of looking at your feet so that you are not missing possibilities when doing more involved creations.

You can’t do them wrong – except not to do them at all.

Because of some larger projects I have been neglecting and skipping doing the TDC – although I do check each day and I LOVE seeing what others do. But like any exercise – you just gotta do it and it will become part of you.

TDC 1328 was to take 10 things that show the essence of yourself and create a 1 minute video. Since I am in the 5 decade of life I seem to be little more complex than 10 things. It reminds me of learning the lesson of interviewing professionals for positions who were on the latter end of their career or for part time positions where a seasoned veteran was a good choice. So much to share that interviews took too long. I finally figured out to phrase each question with time parameters of “in the last 6-18 months” or ” if you had to give only 1 example and only one what would it be?”. That’s how I felt – too many things and not enough structure or parameters for what “essence” was to be.

Then remembering this is a daily create – DON”T THINK SO HARD!

I set my timer for 20 minutes and went forward not worrying about this being my only opportunity to share or create.

Opened my Photos storage and selected some photos quickly along with some short video clips.

I have a few video editing programs because of my former job position which required me to review and check out different tools. Choices were:¬†iMovie – which hasn’t bowled me over lately, Final Cut Pro/Adobe Premier – too complex for a TDC, Camtasia – love it but for different application and Wondershare by Filmora which I haven’t really tried other than look at the demo – so it won the toss up.

I like the bells and whistles provided and that it is a little more updated than templates in iMovie. It is a tool for doing the greeting card – short type videos IMHO – not a production. Some limitations on manipulations. Easy to use as claimed though. I could see using some of the bells and whistles in short clips ant then exporting them out to another editor for use.

Dropped the stills and video clips into the editor in a random fashion. The only thing I wanted to make sure of was that the photo of me and my husband was last to end the video.

I then had fun trying every transition and used multiples – which in a production video can be counter to the story.

There were also some filters and enhancements so I popped a few of those in.

Added a title and a closing.

The tool will upload to Youtube – so that cut some time.

Done. ūüôā

Stuck to the 20 minutes Рsometimes the write ups take longer than the TDC! Those in an active session -I advise starting a draft post of your weekly summary and stick them in it as you do them Рtwo birds with one stone Рespecially on the busy weeks. Of course Рdefinitely do a full independent write up especially when you have done something that others might learn from when reading.

Transitions, wrap ups, and beginnings!


  • – time for wrapping up the short summer and bringing projects to completion.
  • -time for family and making memories with visits and activities.
  • -time to panic about not being ready for the new adventures of fall
  • -AHHHH!!! So much going on and all fun and important!

As family is arriving for visits – I had some time to fill while waiting for next events. The summer #ds106 holiday groups are winding down but #prisioner106 combined with #burgeron106¬† members are working on a radio show. Several have stepped up to take on some heavy lifting who will all be recognized in the final product posting and credits. ¬†My time now doesn’t allow me to commit too deeply at this time, but the energy is high and draws you in to wanting not to miss any¬†part of the action.

While a partner activity would be ideal РI can only add content to the overall product from an personal standpoint because of other life happenings right now. However Рcommunity is available for feedback that is helpful and connects!!

While others work on the script and main part of the radio story, I have done some smaller activities in creating a bumper and a commercial. Hindsight tells me this should be about half as long! Still trying to figure out what could be cut out…..

Tune in on September 6th to the 106 Goodspell Show with Mariana Funes and John Johnston, produced by RockyLou Productions, for the premiere of Labryinth Tales!

The bumper:

I also created a commercial for Minotaur Tea. You will need to listen to the show to find out why it is the product. ūüôā

The commercial ended up being 3 versions. My first version was the basis.


  • Review commercials on YouTube to remember most are phrases, not narratives.
  • Outline and write a basic short script for the product
  • Since I didn’t have access or time for collecting people to read lines – I used text to speech¬†to record the script
  • I used different speeds and chose the UK voices – it is Tea, you know! The UK voices are more easily manipulated so they don’t sound so computer like as well
  • Next was finding some background music. I searched for Swing and found a repetitive piece that would work well if chopped up – plus it was kind of catchy. ¬†It is by¬†Henry Rubin – Music of the World
  • I could have left it at this – but that would not be complete so I searched for Tea kettle sounds and tea cups, an evil laugh and a sip and ahh. Adding these added dimension to the composition.
  • I used Audacity and set the clips in layers.
  • I chose to use both male and female voices and mix them up rather than one voice. I thought this would add more interest in the overall product.
  • My first version was 1:35 – some repetitions. I seemed to be trying to direct the listeners and not have them create the vision in their own way in their minds.
  • Because of transitions in a radio show and the connecting of different clips I added a buffer of the steam kettle at the beginning so that content was not abrupt.
  • I normalized the vocal tracks to soften any sound bursts
  • Checked how the tracks sounded together to make sure one wasn’t overpowering another
  • I posted. Received some immediate feedback from some that confirmed – too long for a commercial.
  • I went back and cut 30 seconds out – it was better and my favorite version
  • Went back again and cut back to a total of 45 seconds – this is probably the best¬†for the purpose and needs.
  • Because I kept voice submissions to each phrase and had music that was rather repetitive and didn’t have specific parts of melody or stanzas the cutting was clean and smooth.
  • Faded out at the end to ease out the music so it sounds like it is the end

Sometime I will learn not to post every iteration – ¬†but in doing so I hope others realize they are not alone and that even when you think something is done or you can’t see what can yet be changed – you will as soon as you have posted!

Shortest Version – Best fit for inclusion in Radio lineup



A slightly¬†longer version –¬† my personal favorite


and – the long version DRAFT that needed some feedback to get where it needed



Got your interest?

Tune in on September 6th to the 106 Goodspell Show with Mariana Funes and John Johnston, produced by RockyLou Productions, for the premiere of Labryinth Tales!

As the summer holiday groups end – the fall groups are starting up! Next is #ds106tales!!

See you on the dark side.

Change of Seasons – Switching up and Radio

Wow Рwhere did the summer go? Burgeron106 is being hit by a hurricane! The Village is without a number 2 and the Philosopher РChristina Hendricks,  has pulled things together for the group left in the Village. The new UMW students are gearing up for #ds106tales and digital storytelling 106.

As a transition from the holiday creations to the rigor and schedules of the fall, a group is completing a radio collaboration. The last half of August is time for family and transitions of our own so not too much time to delve too deeply. But I still have the urge and wish to create and contribute.

To contribute I created a bumper for the radio show.

Viv Rolfe Рone of the Famous Headless Inkspots,  had created some music rifts for us to use. I chose one and went with it. My personal challenge was to keep a bumper to the length of under a minute.  I took the script and crafted it down to bullets/headlines and recorded Р1 take!

I have always wanted to use the echo effect and this seemed to fit the bill. It added to my recording. I left the call out at the end in my un-effected voice.

Not many details – straight forward. It was the music that inspired and helped the final outcome direction. Thanks Viv! I used Audacity for sound editing.

I can’t wait to hear the full radio show – stay tuned – you won’t want to miss it!!! It will be broadcast on #ds106Radio on the #106GoodSpell the end of August and beginning of September.

Tales of DS106 – Fall 2015 Coming Soon!

Tales of DS106
Tales of DS106 Fall 2015

Looking ahead. A little over saturated with No. 6 after the last few creations and fairy tales needing a little kick in my mind to focus. I should be working on radio show things – but sort of lost in figuring out exactly what to do or work on yet. More than anything I was realizing I need to make a new banner for the blog as the season changes and haven’t decided what it is going to be¬†yet. So shiny object chasing for a few days!

My first direction was to start working on family stories. One of my own goals with ds106 was to improve skills so I could use the tons of photos, video, sound, and stories of family and begin threading it together for those around now and in the future. Real stories seem far more complex than creative stories. After a day of organizing files I realized I have a TON of prep work and need to figure out a strand to start creating the pieces first.

The comic book covers for Tales of DS106 for the fall UMW cohort looked interesting. As a quick practice I decided to create one for the upcoming session. I will probably follow along as I love seeing the work the students create and the twists and turns. I am not holding myself to a schedule of trying to keep up with them this round at least that is my thought at this time Рbut definitely follow and support them in their work. I am moving into #4life and will continue TDC and work on projects but not within the Friday to Friday schedule and maybe not even on the same areas of focus. I will let it up to serendipity as they create and find new ways to do things that look interesting to do as well.


  • Inspiration¬†and style guide from:¬†
  • Paul Bond graphic from: header
  • Jim Groom Graphic from his avatars
  • Bitmoji avatar graphic from my account
  • Created rectangle for upper third and filled with color
  • Added two vertical rectangles for side and filled with color
  • Downloaded and Installed PostCrypt Font from¬†
  • Added Filter>Noise to lessen the abruptness of color of the coverTales2015cover
  • Added a rectangle as a horizontal divider to separate sections. I wanted to have a drop shadow – but moved on instead of trying at this point.
  • Figured out how to change the line spacing by using the properties menu when in Text mode – helps a lot!!! Before I would create each line and try and place them!
  • Would like to have the title outlined text instead of all one color – another thing to discover and master.
  • I did use Photoshop – as before mentioned – I have it so use it.
  • And of course – had to GIF it. ūüôā did this by creating two single graphics and set them at .1 sec in timeline.

From here ¬†I may begin to create a cover for each family member for their story. I plan to use many media and assemble in a flipbook format so that each story can have all of its pieces and tangents instead of a summary like overview. Still thinking it out.Getting family to collaborate is harder than opening up to the ds106 community. ūüôā

Update: My sister-in-law has been awesome at providing new content and will be visiting this month – so her help will probably be just in time to kick off something with her portion of the family story. Once that is in place I think my girls will get the idea and other family so then it will be up to me to keep up with things!

Not a Hulk- but a Hunk! Giffing #6 B Cing U

Working on GIFs again during this week of self directed learning.

I have been wanting to figure out how to put two layers of action going on and sound. I also was very impressed with the Hulk GIF by Jim Groom and wanted to figure out how to do one similar – but not quite into the comic book genre yet.

I struggled with the two different movements by thinking of them as two different movements. Working with the layers I figured out that I would need to blend the two actions into one to create not blend them after creating.

I captured the b-cing-u footage from The Prisoner with MPEG Steamship and made a GIF. Capturing left it a little dark so for the active frames I adjusted the Brightness/Contrast throught the Auto option so  that they changed as needed rather than trying to set each one at the same ratios. Same ratios would have been jumping instead of fluid. This time Auto was a good choice.

I captured a still of  Number 6 in his handsome pose.

I then split the handsome No. 6 and ended up with a right and a left.

I create a background with text  Рsorta of a poster or book cover fashion using the Village font.

The b-cing-u gif I cut down to 12 frames.

It was then creating a layer for each with the split handsome portrait in different spacing to look like it was cut in half and opening.

I then reversed the process to have it look like it was closing. Having the first ones done, I was able to have them in the background and recreate the handsome face closing with the new b-cing-u gif background. Happened upon that by accident  Рa good accident!

I set the timing so the full version was longer to loop from end to beginning. I also lengthened the time of the gesture of the B at the forehead to be longer. All other frames were set a the same rate.

Lots of repetition – but worked.

I haven’t got around to figuring out masks yet and not sure if they could have been applied to this rendition.

My next challenge is to add sound to the GIF. another next is to make the image behind to be something different……….

I again used Photoshop because as long as it is paid for and I have it – I might as well use it! I also want to drop it into Fireworks and see if that produces something different.


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