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 – I can only add content to the overall product from an personal standpoint because of other life happenings right now. However – community 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. 🙂

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 – where did the summer go? Burgeron106 is being hit by a hurricane! The Village is without a number 2 and the Philosopher – Christina 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 – one 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 – 1 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.

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  – sorta 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  – a 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.


Odd Week but reflection shows results in #106 Villages

I haven’t been consistent with weekly summaries. Many of the #ds106 “advice” posts are to start the summary early in the week and add to it instead of waiting until the last day. VERY GOOD ADVICE!

Giving it a go this week….and when done realized I had a productive week even though while going through it I felt like I had slacked.

I seem to have hit a plateau this week or maybe just falling into a realistic pace. I have spent some long hours on things the last few weeks because I could. This week has fewer leisure hours for some reason so not as intense of attack. I also seem to be hitting the midstream wall and content is not coming to me without lots of effort and thought.

Prisoner106 group kinda helped with that – seems the new new new new No. 2 is missing. Talky Tina jumped in and set some things up. From comments of many members – heading into August is a busy time and their time may be shortening as well. Radio week has some effort – not sure the constellations are totally in line – but ds106 surprises so it may fall into place or morph into something else.

This week in review:

Daily Creates: Getting back in the groove of doing the daily creates. They are a great activity and really do keep you sharp and thinking. I have slacked on them with doing more intense projects – so it is good to get back to them

Cowerful Dreams tdc1297

Cowlerful Dreams

Chicken tdc1295

Why did the Chicken cross the road?

and then views through a cutout….. tdc1298

Garden Cut Out

Butterfly Cutout

A challenge from RonaldL and John Johnston on creating a BCingU Gif..

I created a GIF while in my bungalow and waiting for a weekly message from No. 2.

Chicken GIF

Burgeron106 is looking at Native American fairytale and focusing on Animated GIFs – so reading and creating.

Heron and Hummingbird GIFs

Video week in Prisoner106 was a time sucker – I easily forgot how long things take – but I was determined to come up with a result even though I still can’t get totally onboard with the nuances of the story. Iron Maiden saved this week for me. I even have the music on my playlist for exercise time. 🙂 Here is my result of the creation process.

Wearing down to becoming Village Resident

A rather odd week it seems. Several independent things all together just making it odd. Or maybe it is settling into balance #4life by remembering to look up and see what else is going on and other creation possibilities not necessarily tied to No. 6 or tales of fairies.

Video  – a time for definite skill building.

I am starting to enjoy watching the Prisoner episodes – but in no way am I putting it together or carrying story lines from one episode to another. I was not diligent in watching them in order or making sure I finished one before the next either. I did find some episodes uploaded that are in 15 min segments. That has helped in watching. Don’t ask me why – maybe the shrink on the couch can tell me – but watching 4 – 15 minute episodes seems doable when I can’t commit to one 50 min clip. Same amount of time – but different. But it did seem that I am wearing down and becoming okay with being a resident. I think finding the tele-porter and getting back to Bovine might be necessary to stay free.

Which leads to trying to do a video without an idea. I did look through the assignment bank and probably should have stuck to a more direct route. I ended up combing several different strands of assignments and it became one project instead of several smaller ones.

What did inspire me was the music by Iron Maiden. I really like the song and the guitar sequences. It lead me to listening to more of the band’s music this week. During their height of fame I was a country girl listening to Steve Earle, Alan Jackson, the Judds and others. I seemed to miss the heavy metal era.

  • The project started with the song. I wanted to expand past the assignment of just creating a music video. So I used Mac Downloader and captured the song from YouTube.
  • I imported into Audacity
  • Found dialog clips from the Prisoner series at Http:// and imported them into layers in Audacity
  • I loved @iamTalkyTina ‘s interpretive reading of the opening dialog of the series and downloaded it from the prisoner106 archive.
  • I then worked on the sound file to blend with the music and somewhat tell a story (of a story I can’t figure out)
  • Sound complete

Then it was time to move to video. I want to get back to FinalCutPro because of the ability to really put your own stamp on it. As discussed in the visual week in creating book covers – wanting to start from scratch not edit.

I assembled my “bins” and imported into sequences – all the first organizing for FCP was set. As I started finding the razor blade for cutting etc came back quickly. THEN IT HIT ME! UGH! Rendering is necessary when working in FCP Every time something is added or moved. So using several different clips turned into a 40 minute rendering wait with the first clip. I had no patience for it on that day.

I kept it in the background, but opened iMovie.

  • Choose NO theme
  • imported into library clips, GIFS, stills and audio.

The next wall – iMoive accepted the GIFS, but creates them as a still image of one. To use the GIFs  as video or animated, I would need to covert them all from GIF to video in another program and then re-import. If someone knows the secret to making GIFs run in iMovie please let me know!

I wasn’t really sure which GIFs would actually fit where I might be going with the audio (remember – I said writing and storyboarding first is a lesson learned!) so spending a good chunk of time on converting hit the floor real fast.

I focused on using the clips I found, some stills I had – and now realize I had more that I could have/should have used. It was becoming the project that just needed to get done. Too much invested to leave it unfinished, but not quite compelling enough to turn into losing track of time into wee hours of the night without realizing.

iMovie was working for the most part. As with making art – lots of futzing. moving things and lining things up that most viewers will never even realize. I went back in and added Ken Burns effects to change some focus in hopes it wouldn’t be as noticiable that the video was not the dialog you were hearing. Towards the end I did clip the video and No. 6 seems to have a little tic or jerk as he says he is still himself – I actually liked that and had it repeated a few times as part of the story – so yes it was intended.

Towards the completion it still needed more since I didn’t have much original art included-  so I added title segments in some portions to focus on the dialog. It was like an aha – titles don’t just have to be at the beginning- and I didn’t have to go into a photo editor and make stills with text. The one slip was not having the Village font available in iMovie- and by this time I just could not think of figuring out how to get it installed and available to the program. Not for fear of doing a font install – but the uncertainty of iMovie in the way it saves automatically. After so many hours to get to this point I didn’t want it all to be lost of messed up and have to re-establish it all again. So yes – took the easy way out on this one.

So – still need to work on video skills and more practice to get comfortable and to use features that make sense. I will take this for the units this week.

I am glad I finished it and am okay with the result. I did learn while working on it. I am ready to do video again – but with a story that I may have more internalized.