Bootcamp Smashed! Unit 2

I am posting prior to the weekly deadline of the student sections because I started my unit seven days ago – so this is my Sunday night.  A good tip – I did take the advice of previous ds106 students and added to the summary as the week progressed so that at the end of the work being done it is just some tweaking and voice to be done. That was an excellent piece of advice and good to learn early in the journey. So here is my unit summary for Bootcamp week 2.

blogregister I have confirmed that I can fill out a web form and follow directions!! My blog is registered on the DS106 Openonline page feed. 🙂 Happy Dance for Digital Mustard!! Having an established identity for the blog creates a different feel and perspective for doing the work. It is mine – not the courses – so its my creds on the line now. Name your blog and own it – another nugget to collect.

Customizing my Blog

This part is a satisfying accomplishment. In my past professional work there were many different tools to be set up and configured as well as designed. Websites, communities, LMS, email templates, virtual conference rooms, etc. Creating for a business group is different in that you have other factors to work in to the mix and pleasing multiple stakeholders. In many ways this is another way for me to see if I can “cut the mustard”. Can a establish an online presence that reaches others, makes sense, communicates well and is sustainable and maintainable in a real life situation? That is yet to be determined.

Themes: – SO MANY THEMES!!! One could get lost for days just looking at themes.

  • Does the theme have a good layout for widgets?
  • Clean and minimal? Colors and Pattern?
  • Text dominant or graphic dominant?
  • Do you want to pay or try a free option?

Settled on the 2011 default theme. It gives me the option of a rotating header graphic to include some of my photos without having to change the header all the time. I like the randomness and the dynamic nature. The theme also allows me to pack in content through widgets and posts and not have all the “noise” around it of background graphics and colors.

Personalizing with my own pictures was important. Having widgets for my Flickr and Instagram another plus. Tying in community thru the Twitter feeds was also important. While I can use Tweetdeck – a quick glance in the blog does a status check without getting sidetracked when trying to do other things.

Blog Menus: Establishing a menu for navigation and categories to keep things organized and flowing came next. Tagging is still a skill to improve upon. I tend to create too many new tags instead of confining to a set. I am also trying out the sharing feature in order to push my comfort level on the fact that others could indeed be interested.

I do think it is already starting to reflect who I am and how I am and will be growing thru this process and onto #ds1064life by taking my own spin on suggestions or guidance given. I especially like the comments back that allow me to find out things about myself that I didn’t realize were showing or how someone else may view.

Things I would like to do in this space would be that after completing the ds106 units that I have been successful in establishing my place and my voice and can continue to add and expand for some time to come.

ARGHHH!!! – Just found the toggle bar! I was wondering why this theme didn’t let me format more!!! Should have remembered – the same thing is in Moodle now and other online systems.

While I am currently owned by and have not installed my own on a domain – I will get there in the future and be able to export to a new installation. Since my day job often involved systems configurations, the chance not to have to install the plugins etc. was a relief. However, I KNOW I will want my own domain and be out from under the constraints of the mass provider. But I also am one who believes not everyone will be able or want a domain of their own so this journey will help in my understanding how others can accomplish similar success within a hosted service.

EMBEDDING – Flickr did not embed at first.Solicited help from the ds106 community and got some ideas, mostly what I had already tried – but they did spur me to think differently and kept me focused on finding an answer. Turned out to be a default setting (?) under Permissions/Privacy in which the option “Hide from 3rd parth and API search engines…..” was selected. So when would go out for the embed, it couldn’t find the picture and would leave it as a text link that had to be clicked. Problem solved and working now. Cool beans!

ASSIGNMENTS: GIF – Say it like Peanut Butter: This was an assignment and actually became fun after I got started. I can now see why it becomes addictive.You can read the blow by blow details if you like for these 3 different Wonderful Life GIFs. I went from not a clue to using some wysisyg tools as well as started explore Photoshop and other tools for creation.  sayitlikepb I think the power of being able to use this method with an actual message or is the full implementation. It is also one of those things that takes time and the output_ThglMAbetter it is, the longer it will take and the less noticed the actual process is and more importantly the message is conveyed. When I get to the point of hitting the message strong and no one commenting on the techniques or tech of the gif I know I will have arrived.Still working on the animated GIF concept and trying a GIF Fight – which will probably be a hangover into the next unit.

Gardner Videos: At this point as an open course participant I am opting out of a fully written analysis and reflection of the Gardner videos and bags of gold. I did enjoy the videos, but at an hour plus each, as entertaining as he is, I drifted. Some of that was time of day I was viewing and also because his message was not new to me. It was validating and good to hear his delivery. Some of the other participant reflections I read were spot on and had me cheering. The downside was it reminded me so much of work and getting people on board in their enlightenment and understanding of personal cyber infrastructure. At this point in time, I am focused on implementing the process and the thoughts rather than creating the band wagon to get others on it. The mood will eventually strike me and I will most likely reflect and post at a later date under Chasing Shiny Objects.

NOIR: I think some of my distraction from the Gardner videos were the posts and tweets around NOIR. The instructor sections are taking ds106 thru noir and sounded much more interesting at the moment than the videos. I probably won’t go down a full noir path – but sampling and taking on some of those activities in place of the ones in the headless course may show up. The characters students are creating are fantastic! I read some of the background and am trying to learn about noir.

Daily Create:  IMG_1555Thank you #noirds106 sections, #ds106 and #4life participants! Following the parallel activity of the 3 sections ramps up the energy for learner independence of an open course track. You automatically have travelers with you on the journey. Seeing the instructors post for students and watch as they create and figure things out as one class in their busy schedules and life is such a boost. The creativity and innovations, views and discoveries coupled with seeing it all thru diverse lenses of individuals from all stops on the path of life. I am fortunate to have embarked at this time. You guys rock! The other community section consists of those who have passion for this journey and could bleed ds106 – another great resource. The diverse nature of the community adds significant energy to the creative juices and the support to push the sides of the box out of the way and take chances.

How does this relate to Daily Create? Well – the instructor lead sections are working for points and they have to do a daily create – DAILY. Yeah – how about that?

My muses for some of the challenges were Janelle Pierangelino at the Original and Only Janelle Pierangelino and Mia Boleis at What’s Up Mia? in the instructor led sections. 

Cat on a Synthesizer in Space


Some of My Daily Creates

Framedflage - tdc1108

Groove Space Feline

Full reflections and details are on the Daily Create section

So – How do I feel about #ds106 after unit 2? – For being January in Wisconsin I am feeling absolutely fabulous about #ds106. I don’t know if it is New Year organization tendencies or what – but I am welcoming the efforts needed to tackle things. There is frustration, feeling overwhelmed, feeling less than adequate. There is also energy in accomplishing tasks and seeing a thought come to life in a creation. Mostly there is this connectedness and energy of meeting new people without really meeting them and catching their energy. It brings warmth to the heart and soul to see creating and connecting and especially the unconditional support of each other without any previous relationships.

Keep it up #ds106 ers! Love it! Embrace it! Fail forward! I’m along for the ride and looking forward to it.

Groove Space Feline

TDC1109: Make a cat, on a synthesiser, in space.

Groove Space Feline

I am anxious to get some felt tip pens and markers for drawing exercises as Sketchnoting for Beginnerswell as trying my hand, eye, and mind in sketchnoting by reviewing the work of Sylvia Duckworth and others. .

But I also need to jump into some image manipulation as well. So for this daily create I downloaded a trial of Photoshop to create the drawing. I have Adobe CS6 suite and have not used it – but it is on my desktop and was a lot more comfy in my chair in the living room to do this tonight. (explains the 30 day trial)

Was good to get into PS and have things like layers etc. come back a little bit.

From the submissions available when writing this post – this is the one that more meets what I also had in my brain. Janelle Pierangelino has my vote for the best!

Cat on a Synthesizer in Space

Liberate Your Art! Postcard Swap

I am going to participate in “Liberate Your Art! Postcard Swap 2015”.

Join me!

You take a picture of your art – any kind of art you create that is your own – have postcards printed – 5 of them – and send them off to Kate by March 14. She assembles, sections, puts the postage and address labels on (you send them unattached) and mails them out a few at a time over about 3 weeks. You will receive 6 postcards back from other artists.

There are a few more logistics – but looks smooth. Gets some “happy” in your sneaker mail in April!

 Click the picture for details!

See my submissions.


Have you ever just felt framed? I am working alongside some classes in ds106 by participating in the Open Course option. January 2015 has 3 sections with instructors in various locations and then a few of us in the Headless Open Course. The instructor led course sections  are taking a different slice and moving through the ds106 experience as “noir” and “noir film”. As I move thru the open course – I may take on some “noir” – once I figure out what it is and what it means. From some quick scans – I see hats and 1930-40’s film references. Somewhat inspired, until I figure out what it is – thought being framed and in hat and in amongst art seemed appropriate for this 2nd unit and the daily create.

TDC1108 Take a picture of you wearing something camouflage, camouflaging yourself in somewhere or anything that you see that is camouflage.

Framedflage - tdc1108

From my involvement in 365 and Daily Shoot – self portraits are like poison! But this challenge made it a little fun and easier to take a picture of myself. Thanks to Mia Boleis’ girafflage picture to get us started – it is so darn cute!!


Used my camera on continuous timed setting in order to get into place and get a few shots in a row. Sometime in the shoot, by focus went out and a few other things – hoping it is only the battery wearing down!

Stayed with the 10-20 minute rule on this one in order to begin to develop the habit and not make each day project productions. The variety is sure to keep the creative flow growing and add ideas to projects.

It’s a Wonderful ds106 Life

This Say it Like Peanut the Butter assignment post will have a few iterations because now that I have gotten this far….. I WANT TO BE ABLE TO CREATE A REALLY COOL ONE WITH A MESSAGE!

As part of Unit 2 in ds106, the challenge assignment is to create an animated gif from a favorite or unfavorite movie. The bigger challenge is to find resources to help you learn how to create one. The assignment was created 4 years ago and it seems things have gotten a whole lot easier to pull out a clip and make a short animated gif. So easy in fact that I am not sure I learned too much on the first attempt other than I can cut down on a lot of time by using some of the tools available.

Attempt 1 – too long

The movie I selected was “It’s a Wonderful Life”. This scene is where George realizes he does exist because his mouth is bleeding. Other scenes considered were him running up the stairs and the finial coming off, and the end where the bell rings for Clarence.
#2 – short and looped – probably the best for the assignment. Other tools could provide a less jerky movement.
#3 I like the tongue starting the movement – but still a frame or two too soon.

I have to admit – it took me a while to start to do this part of the unit because all I could think of was the early days of web page design and how blinking pages were the rage and then everyone settled down and they became the “what not to do” for good design. I think the animated gifs can be appropriate and useful  communication in digital stories if done with purpose and intent. So as with most creation and art – if it has purpose and meaning it will be good and of value. That being said – the exploratory gifs that come out of this assignment within the viewpoint of seeing if you can find resource, help, and the new ideas for your own learning and then share with others on the same journey is right on target and wonderful to see.

I have seen some pretty killer animated gifs in the ds106 Google+ community and some other places linked from ds106 so this first attempt is more the proof of looking for resources and trying them out to see if something can be created and to research and read about what animated gifs are and why to use them.

I found Jim Groom’s tutorial page and started to download the tools. In doing so the gif creator just showed up and made a gif for me when I thought I was downloading the video. ! I wasn’t able to eliminate frames. I would have liked to have taken about the first 7 out so that the hand motion was just the animation. When putzing with some duplicates – the gif would run once but not loop, I have my version 1.0 done so far.

This gif is the “cheater”, easy way out. but it really did spark the creative juices and desire to master the finer details. Using other tools to make it smoother, make it my own iteration so it doesn’t have a tool watermark, and some content of meaning to me. I want to get to Gimp and to Photoshop to try the creation. So I will continue to work on this assignment and create another more extensive gif. Stay tuned!

For this gif I used and basically just had to put in a start time and choose 1-5 seconds and click a button. I came across this from downloading the Fastest youTube Downloader app. The movie didn’t download -but the make a gif button showed up – from there it was all dumb luck. It also has a Chrome plugin so that you can make a gif on the fly.

Toutput_ThglMAhis is actually my first attempt (or warm up attempt) before finding a movie. If using my own photos, I would improve by using a tripod so that the background and perspective stayed aligned. He was a good sport! This was a user end tool as well – Gif Maker – upload your pics, rearrange and click the button. It doesn’t allow for tweaking or details – more wysiwyg. These tools are great for the fast and dirty kinds of things in everyday work or in creating concept drafts. Learning the finer skills is desirable for a more complete end product or combing several media together.

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