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#4Life – Digital Mustard
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Creating in fabric – still Art

I continue to be creating in fabric lately. The digital part is documenting what I am doing.

I have a collector gene and sewing seems to fill that as well. There is the fabric hunt and acquisition. The tools and accessories. The patterns and the products. And then the set up and the organization. It really does fill so many spaces.

Organizing and creating rhythms and processes is necessary. I now have a command hook on the side of my sewing machine with my tail cutting scissors. Practicing using and putting back and always knowing where it is.

I used a letter sorter for hold my rulers. A vintage creamer and sugar bowl for my fabric clips. Bed risers on my table to raise it so it is comfortable for cutting and sitting at on a counter stool for assembly.

Next was the presser feet that came with my machine. the little plastic pouch was useless. I got an inexpensive plastic bead box and added labels. So far works great!

Presser foot storage

Bobbins – I started with a small plastic case. Each time I opened and took on out – they all came out and landed all over the room. And the tails – ugh!. I used some Amazon points and got some huggers for my spools and a BobbinSaver – a plastic ring that holds the bobbins. So far it is a huge improvement.

Bobbin storage

Thread tail containment

 

I have found a mentor to help me thru things. A smart and talented woman who does fantastic work – but with reality mixed in. She knows how to get to quality – but get the job done. Can’t thank her enough for taking me under her wing. We have some similar interests and she is so generous in her sharing and help online. LOL – she has chickens and roosters and one of her favorite fabric subjects are rooters…under her wing – — get it? LOL She is also a Flash WonderWoman! She can make 2 dozen feed sack totes in a day! Check her out at Grammies Little Aprons and Sew Much More on Facebook.

I am not looking to expand into selling lots of things and having to keep an inventory. But I am going to need an outlet to move some of the creations on. I already know I have more than I can use. I am exploring options.

The path I am most interested in is combining my vintage shopping pleasures with creating. The other tangent is learning more skills and getting to take part in activities from a small business in my hometown and support them – so using quilting techniques in my up cycle vintage creations. That probably really limits the market share. But I am not look

ing to earn living or make a fortune.

I met a vintage crafter online who was moving her MIL’s estate and purchased (very reasonably!) some Christmas tablecloths and a floral. The floral is dynamic. Not a favorite of mine, but it makes a statement. I worked on some interfacing combinations and some other things and created a nice size tote. Not as large as I had done – so actually more useful.

Standard tote

I was pleased with the results. I didn’t have dark pink thread on hand and didn’t edge the handles. My mentor was quick to point that out. I went ahead anyways.

There was still fabric left. I wanted to do a different style bag. Since I am not in a mass production cycle – I am more apt to create different bags for many reasons. One to keep improving my skills and two I don’t know what to do with them now – why would I have dozens of the same thing in different patterns. If I was doing craft shows or mass market, one type might work. For now I am creating one of a kind and limited designs.

So from this fabric I got a “Happy Bag”. A bag with a large “smile” pocket on the front.

Happy Bag - Front "smile Pocket"

Back of the bag.

Back of Happy Bag

I had to go to the vet today for meds for our Jaxin. It was a Saturday and there is this place near by called Northwinds Junk Post that I have wanted to explore. They are only open on weekends and it is 35 miles away – today was the day!

I was fortunate to find some seed sack cloth yardage. A little dirty – but cleaned up well. I can’t wait to use it as lining or as a bag itself. I will now be able to create an entire end product with vintage cloth!

Vintage Fabric SKOR!

All cleaned and folded for storage until used.

Vintage Fabric - cleaned and folded

And now I need to find LARGE vintage buttons and other doo dads!!! Lynn Prey – help!!! What do I look for and what are good prices?

For being in Wisconsin in the winter – things are feeling good and creating is going on.

 

 

60 Years -HUH? Ramblings and thoughts

60 Years! = Who would’ve thunk?

No make up, no fussing – just me. In my pj’s and relaxing.

Yes- some self reflection.

I turn 60 on November 3, 2017. Amazing! and not ashamed to claim it either.

I don’t feel like 60 years on this earth – in many ways I feel like I am just starting. I have so many things I still want to do and accomplish. What I do know now is to take it in and enjoy every minute while it is happening – no wishing time away.

And yet – so much has happened over the last 60 years.

  • Elementary school
  • Middle School
  • High School
  • Band, extra curricular activities
  • Bowling
  • Jobs
  • PEOPLE! So many who were and are and always will be a critical piece of my puzzle even if they are already in place and I don’t see anymore. Thank you! Each of you has been a part of my story.
  • People and connections in each of those stages
  • Family-  added and lost
  • Love, marriage, children, grandchild
  • Learning, creating
  • Making a difference
  • Working hard and hardly working….
  • Doing stupid things
  • Doing very smart things
  • Adding many new people to my circle and yet losing so many
  • so much!!!! I can’t even begin to bullet list it.

I can say every stage of life has been spectacular. Memories of all I have been a part of are strong and meaningful. There are no regrets. And while there is at times a feeling of loss – it is overcome by the feeling of knowing I had the experience or connection and it was a so important at the time. I look at not losing, but fortunate to have had the opportunity and the chance to be in a time and place when it was.

We can’t have things forever – so why not keep adding while not grieving, but rejoicing that we had something even if it was an instant.

What I have learned. Accepting others for who they are, rejoicing in their uniqueness and passions. Care and love is stronger than hate. No one should suffer and never suffer alone. Listening is important. The world does not revolve around ourselves. Sometimes others don’t have it figured out. Chocolate and turtle sundaes – and vodka are good. Hugs and snuggles are priceless. Family is number 1. Worry is wasted energy, but sometimes something that you have to do. Be happy with what you have.

Maintenance, upkeep and care go a long way. One act can change everything you know. There is no easy way to do anything and no one will do it for you. We are all better when just do it.

Health is important. Illness sucks.

So much yet to come….

enough reflection – it has been – looking ahead and not at my shoes….

Here’s to the next 60 years (or at least 30!) Hoping anyone reading this is a part of the journey….

yeah  – just beginning to realize how fortunate I have been and still am. Thank you to all who have been a part of it and to those yet to be added. The best gift of all – what others bring to my world and heart. Thank you.

New Journey -IPhone Photography with IPA and Personalizing for Me

I am going thru an online course IPhone Academy. The first course is based on using the iPhone as your primary camera vs a DSLR.

I do not have any intention of discontinuing use of my Canon Rebel. I love it and have some investments in it with lenses etc. But many times I am without it. In 2009, I always had my small point and shoot with me and had begun the photo a day routine. Jump ahead 8 years and carrying around a point and shoot is like getting the daily paper  – it is falling into oblivion. My phone is with me more than not. The quality of the phone camera has improved so much it is truly hard to not use it. The challenge is to use it well and with the features it has to get good photos and photos that will be good for processing later. Anyone can point and shoot – but to use the phone as a camera and art takes some practice and learning.

When I think about a phone that costs $600 or more – why wouldn’t I be using it for more than texting and communication? The phone costs more than my DSLR beginner kit did!

As a self directed learner – there are many ways to accomplish the goal of learning to better use the iPhone camera. The Internet has many communities and groups who share. You can find and piece together all that you need to improve.

BUT – in a social media feed I stumbled across Emil from iPhone Academy. A young business man who has capitalized on his proficient use of the iPhone and iPhone camera. I watched a few of the click and tease videos. Emil has a nicely paced delivery style which was easy for me to follow.

As someone who has had a life in instructional design and online delivery – it was great to see the polish of Emil’s instruction. He takes it seriously – and seems to have the energy to get all the details done. Questions are anticipated. Video and audio and written –  (multi modal) are provided. Feedback is built in and automated in to provide instant validation. Moderation is provided and modeled to establish community. All the things we know as educators are important for good instructional design implemented and in place. It is an instance of making learning a business service. The learner does not have voice in direction, but does have consistent structures in which to rely for making progress. He is a business man who has taken his interest and now markets it.

Well – I grabbed the hook. While I could follow and assemble tutorials and videos and pick a little here and there from many awesome and sharing individuals I decided to take the route of purchasing Emil’s IPhone Academy course at the 80% discount promotion (and still higher cost than I am usually comfortable). Besides learning some new things about my iPhone camera – I am fascinated in seeing and reviewing how the course is put together and how  it holds up. Definitely a ready made example for others to learn from in creating online instruction. (if one is in need of creating some somewhat traditional delivery in the cover of technology tools).

I am impressed. It is a well oiled machine and evident that it is a focus because it is to create business. Many learning paths I have taken before have either been institutional places that can be somewhat rigid and steeped in academia and get stuck in explaining the theory of learning within context of whatever course you are in or the open format (still my favorite) in which I design and personalize my own learning path.

But there very much is a need for some of the learning pie to have a slice of what Emil offers. Not everyone finds the same energy or interest in how and why we learn when learning themselves – they just want to learn and need “services” that provide direction and flow. His target audience is not in creating learners, it is giving topics of interest to those who want to learn the topic.

Some have criticized and said IPA is out to just sell apps and make money. I think that is capitalism right? No one has to buy it.

So far – I am okay with the price I paid. The format and the pace are good for me. The IPA staff have created a dynamic flow of interaction I have rarely seen in education institution offerings. It seems to attract individuals who are not associated in any way with education. Maybe that is what it is – just people who have an interest and want to pursue. Hmnnn-  I think that is the product outcome we have wanted as educators.

I am thru the first of 7 modules. I think I will make it thru all of them. The pacing, the hooks to the next level are all there and designed not only in pedagogy – but social media and consumerism. I am intrigued equally in how the delivery and flow, the kinds of participation and interactions, as well as with the content of learning things about my iPhone camera.

To the dismay of Emil – I probably won’t sign up for the next course (but who knows?) – Editing iPhone Photos. For that I will continue with what I know and take the open learning route. It is a topic and direction in which I want multiple views and ideas vs. producing trendy or similar art. But I can see where many individuals will take on things they may not have on their own and develop skills because they will have the opportunity. So in that sense I think it is great that it is offered and available. And yes- good for Emil and his business for being successful. They are not after the whole pie – just a slice they can manage.

The parts I bring to the IPA course for myself are seeing photos as stories. As documentation of lives. As art and as more art.

In this video that came across one of my feeds, Charlie explains photography as art. I like his thoughts. They resonate. And guess what – Charlie was a techy before he retired – how about that?

Here is an article that goes along with the video:

A Message To Photographers | Direct Advice On Making Truly Great Images

Even with a purchased path of learning – one always can and will personalize (or should). IPA is my content and a resource – but not my total learning experience. I will grow more by taking what I learn and discover into other places and applying, tweaking, expanding. It is my prep and research to contribute in other places at a higher level.

I will be following my #ds106 format of blogging as I learn. I have added a category for IPA.

#4life – #ds106: Still the method that helps my learning mean more to me and to make me accountable to self -but also in increasing my wealth thru sharing.

 

Fiscal Year Change Remnants=Create Surge!

Not sure what it is. When working June 30 was the end of the fiscal year and July 1 was the new year. The time for new beginnings and a chance to maybe get it right for once. It seems to be hope.

While I am now no longer a retiree rookie and starting year 4 (where did that time go?) there still is that sense of new year and hope. New goals, new energy.

I have been active – just not public.  Following a 13 month old and trying to capture family memories, the everlasting challenge of trying to organize workflow and photos/videos!

I am headstrong – making inroads to photo/video management. I have started a weekly family update in a private section of the family blog to capture our history as it happens. That is going well. It will allow me to keep up as well as have the opportunity to better do the main events of our lives.

I also realized I had become functional vs creative. Things were getting done – but not really creating. So I have signed up for an iPhone Photo Academy online course to improve my use of that camera because it is the one that is always with me. OMG! The talent in the participants! This is a good thing. It will push me and inspire me.

Part of this is getting back to creating each day – so a photo post a day will be the goal. I have also come out of my room at Hotel DS106 (you can check out but never leave) and reaching out to have some playtime with others in creating things. I missed the 30 day Daily Create Challenge in June 2017 when energy was high – hopefully there are still a few who are running fast and will hang around for a while longer.

Time to get back with others again.

Here is my photo for today – July 3, 2017. Pig Wash and Dry. This was mostly practice in how to hold the phone in a better way for pictures. Simple but important.

Pig Wash

 

#ds106 #4Life is Real – it transfers

My ds106 journey started in January 2015 fast and furious!

RECAP: I decided to take the open course plunge because I wanted to begin the storytelling of my family in digital form for my kids and grandkids to have instead of a room full of photographs and momentos that would seem like just old stuff to them.

While I still continue the ds106 routines because they have become #4life – I am really seeing how “education” can turn into “life” and be useful.

Much like in high school, wondering when one would ever use algebra in real life – I trusted the ds106 non-rule rules for success. Many of which have been restated and re-emphasized by students in the traditional ds106 courses as advice to newbies. 

Big lesson learned: Start your weekly summary early in the week as you complete tasks and you will be set at the end of the week and not miss as much or feel overwhelmed.

YES!

That habit has helped me in now doing some weekly updates of family events and news. I keep a post in draft form and add to it as the week goes on. Just like ds106 where dailys, assignments, etc. all have a place, I have created the same type of organization for each section of the family. Some weeks get video summaries, some get photos, some get GIFs, etc. I seem to be coming up with a halfway decent outcome and the work is distributed over the week so I am keeping up with it.

So many of the non-rule rules transfer to life. The marker of a true artist environment of innovation, exploration, and creating, backed up by constant practice of skills and building skills, commitment to self and discipline.

It is that we are our own toughest judge – so just do it. Doing your own part without entitlement or expectations will bring others to begin to add and contribute making whatever you are doing even better.

Thanks #ds106 and the #ds106 community of #4Life….

(Due to some of the information and the comfort level of family members about info on the internet – the majority of my family documentation is in closed or private formats – I keep a separate WP setup just for family memories – otherwise I’d be glad to share)

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