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ds106 – Digital Mustard
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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)

Photo Avalanches and Hocus Pocus

tdc1427-2

Digital life brings file management hell! It is SO necessary. I find the longer you have been in this the more you have to change…..those just starting are able to leap ahead from our lessons learned. Clean up is tedious – but necessary. In some ways it is like our new home – we have lots of things that are important to us or have history and still in great condition -but it would be so much easier to start from scratch than try and work with what we have.

But you can’t escape – so it is figuring out how to make what you have work and improve on it. Much like collaboration on creative pieces – building and tweaking on what is already there…..hmmnnn – another DS106 thread of life.

I embarked on the DS106 path in January of 2015- 6 months after retirement. My goal was to organize myself and learn in order to document family. As I have gone thru iterations, I have found wealth. As I approach my 3 year mark, it is time to reflect.

I have improved my skills and learned new things. I have met new people. I have expanded my global view.

While DS106 is many things- it has made me think about learning and teaching.

I have always been one to think learning is personalized. You get out what you put in. I never quite figure out how others do it differently. How can you not want to put things in order and figure out how they work?

Part of my personal journey is to keep family first. Figuring out how to make sure my kids and their kids know who we are, where we came from, and how great they are in carrying us into the future.

I have inherited the family photo albums. We have 30K in digital pics! We have our first grandchild who prompts us to create even more to document!

After 2+ years of trying to figure out Lightroom I fell into a format by accident.

I have been following and reading bloggers by the numbers on how to organize and manage. I saw a common thread of saving by date and then using collections. It all sound great- but how.

I deleted what I had set up in Lightroom. I was working with only current photos. On a lazy Sunday, I started a new catalog from all of my photos that were on my hard drive. I didn’t realize I had set up Lightroom for certain import specs. By accident I got it right. All my photos imported by date!

This did create MANY folders. but it was okay. It was better than going photo by photo.

I began reorganizing by year to make the tree structure smaller. This was also a time to get rid of all the duplicates. It actually went smoother than I would have expected.

The other plus was the work I had done previously in Lightroom or in tagging etc. all carried forward!

The first thought was to get my catalog smaller in case Lightroom would start to freeze etc because the catalog had 30K+ photos. But more research points towards the fact that it is a database and not actual storage and many have not yet found the breaking point.

Next steps will be to go in and create the collections. I now know to keep folders with originals and dates move forward from there. With tagging I can create collections for special events or times.

I am almost finished up to the current date. Ironic in that 2017 is the most difficult. Seems I was saving and making sure I had pictures so I have 5-6 of the same picture to go thru. My sister also scanned all her hard photos and shared them with me so I have 1K that say 2017 when they are really the last 30 years. They are all tagged by her name – so I will create a collection and a folder that says Sandy’s Pics to separate them.

There are also all the ones I have downloaded from family via Facebook, messenger, texts. Those don’t always come thru with good metadata – so there is now a folder of Unsorted that will need attention.

All in all – so far it is feeling a whole lot more manageable. I found my notes from more than a year ago a workflow. I have changed it up a little to actually be less tedious.

  1. only download on desktop and directly into Apple Photos
  2. Title, tag, add descriptions etc. in Apple Photos
  3. Export to an auto import folder on my desktop so when LR opens they import with all the tags and metadata. (at least once a week or as needed)
  4. Optimize SmartFolders for Collections to pull in by tags.
  5. Set Time Machine up to back up hard drive so that Photos and Pictures folder are backed up. I know I have pictures in two places – but now I can back up the photos library and and the hard drive in two different places so that I know I will have redundancy.
  6. Set up Flickr for album uploads to share with family (also another back up)

Along with this new workflow I am also doing a weekly update in a private family blog. My first direction was to create the stories – but with so much coming in and limited time – I have been missing milestones and become buried in content. The weekly updates will offer a slice and still allow me to do the creations for events and milestones – but hopefully have more organized and ready to use. Plus it eliminates the urge to include everything in a creation – because now the content is still somewhere and available as narrative.

As I was cleaning up these files I also cleaned up my music files. Two older iPods are now music only and have all of our music on them. New music can be added easily now. It is backed up as well. Two years to get to this point – including ripping all of our CDs!

Can you see me doing a happy dance? It has made sticking to a walking regimen easier too. Just hope the new neighbors don’t laugh too hard if I start singing out loud while walking.

Yes – I guess Spring is the time to get organized!

The photo is from a ds106 Daily Create. It is a self portrait in a mirror and using photo editing to eliminate the camera. It took a little longer than 20 minutes but was a great creation process. #TDC1427

#tdc1470 Cowgirl Name Generator – My Intro

I have been tardy and absent in official Daily Creates. So much for resolutions and keeping up with #western106. In December the all call sounded that Daily Create runs on ideas submitted by the community and to “pony up”. I had looked at #western106 types of things and came across a name generator – so I submitted the idea used for #tdc1470 to TDC.

Dang nabbit! it made the cut and showed up today. How can I not do the one I submitted? Guess this is the keg of dynamite I needed to go off under me to get up to speed and get at least 3 in a week done and posted. Now mind you – I have created each day – just not the tdc prompts. I do read and view others work each day and try to add a comment for a creator on their blog as much as possible.

When the name generator assigned me the cowgirl name of Annie “Tiny Dancer” Jones – my mind immediately went to Elton John’s Tiny Dancer – but that was way not cowboy – well it could be – but not the kind I was looking for and the only Elton John song I found was Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy – interesting – but not what I wanted. Elton has some good music but never fits where I am for some reason. He was the “surprise” artist at the Harley Davidson 100th Anniversary Celebration. We scrambled and were 3rd row from the stage. All sorts of rumors of who was going to be the surprise headliner. As the day went by waiting and the vendors were “Rocket Man” t-shirts it seemed imminent. On the one hand a great opportunity to see a great performer live – but so not what the mood and vibe was for a 100 year celebration of a motorcycle company and lifestyle. Some day – maybe – an Elton John song will connect with what I am seeing in my head – but I ain’t going to worry about it.

I searched YouTube for Cowboy Tiny Dancer and it gave me some choices. I stumbled upon the work of Scott David Winn- a film maker, song writer and director. The video is Old West Dance Battle – Cowboy vs Outlaw. The music pulled me in – catchy tune that reminded me of Zumba class – “Boom Boom Red”. One of the things I have done for me besides creating art, is Zumba classes – mind you – Zumba Gold – more low impact and not as much twisting and hip motions – but the group does get its groove on for sure. 🙂

While the song and music video is longer and tells a story, a short part seemed just right for introducing Annie “Tiny Dancer” Jones. What I did like about the video is that it takes the old west and plays it in a more modern context and it works. Again the western genre for me seems timeless and just the overlay of looking at culture, life, and what is going on. The structures and components don’t seem to have a date stamp on them.

I downloaded the clip, made some cuts, added a title and end. Just enough for a daily create.

The other bag of gold I found was the next video of behind the scenes of making the music video. Some great commentary on steps and thoughts of creating the production and some chuckles too. So very #ds106.

 

 

Westerns: The ride began for me

westerntownWestern = what does it mean to me?

Excellent question! I am not totally ready to deeply reflect or describe what Westerns mean to me or what I think they are, but I gotta get something down in this first week. Our scout Alan Levine – has a wonderful read or Sandy Brown Jensen a mesmerizing story teller,  both of which I would love to follow as a model – but will have to come back to do another day.

When I look at “Western” and how I have viewed them thru out my life I can pretty much sum it up as my imaginary world.  Riding a horse on the open range – adventure. I don’t remember ever thinking of the violence or the inequalities. I was always drawn to the outdoors – the views of the mountains, the hills, the desert, campfires, adventure and travel. The pioneer spirit. When I reflect now I think I saw the westerns as an extension of the pioneers. Wagon trains, discovering new territories and establishing new communities. Characters who faced challenges and overcame them thru relationships with others around them.

Westerns to me were people who were building and creating. Creating culture, society, rules, norms, towns. It fascinated me – and now with this journey of #western106 it does again.

smithjonesOther girls were watching Dark Shadows and General Hospital when I was young – I was watching Wild Wild West, Laredo, and Alias Smith and Jones. Alias Smith and Jones was a favorite show that I didn’t miss. Peter Dual and Ben Murphy were posters on my walls. Dr. Quinn – Medicine Woman, Little House on the Prairie – people who worked hard, respected each other, faced problems and were building community.

The Legend of Billy Jack – (Tom Laughlin) and the song One Tin Soldier – I’m not sure it was a true western – but it was to me. I  was a Billy Jack junkie and didn’t miss any of the film series.  I am not sure it qualifies as a Western – but it was a guy who wore a cowboy hat and usually out in the western USA taking on the bad guys.

I  watched Zorro. Bonanza and Gunsmoke were occasional watches but not followed faithfully. Wild Wild West was a favorite.  It think that was during my “spy and secret agent” phase, just with a Western theme.  The Lone Ranger, F Troop, Maverick – so the light-hearted as well. Cat Ballou with Lee Marvin as Kid Shelleen,  and Jane Fonda I enjoyed as well.

littlebigmanI was  attracted to westerns because of the Native Americans and their stories. Dances with Wolves and Little Big Man.

Many of the stories and portrayals we now know were not correct. The stories would talk of nature, of spirituality, of being one with nature and family to me. I was always rooting for the Indians and for the cowboys who learned from them.

This path also led me to be a faithful fan of Kung FuKungFu West with David Carradine. Yes – grasshopper – I think this is a western.

The classics like Fistful of Dollars, High Noon – those did not hold my interest at the time. So they are on my list to see what they are about.

Yep pardner – this Western thing has a lot of trails to cover….and the good thing is – even if I can’t get a decent post about it now, having to try to get something down helps expand my thoughts and ideas and start to focus on what lies ahead in using the theme for some #ds106 art making……So affirmation as to the ds106  processes – doing them keeps the momentum and pace going.

Man with No Course – This is for the checklist. Moving down the trail.

 

 

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