Monday, September 30, 2013

Digital Creativity: Harnessing the Collective Energy





"It is innate for human beings to create stories and to create art."  ~Jason Eskanazi

In Week 5 of DS106, we were challenged to create stories through our photographs. Using suggestions borrowed from David duChemin in his book Ten:  Ten Ways to Improve Your Craft,  we were asked to be more deliberate in taking photographs.  In an age where everyone takes pictures of everything ALL THE TIME, they are doing just that.  They are taking a picture to record an event, not a photograph -- a creation, a play on words,  light, or perspective.  Not since I took a photography course in college have I been so deliberate about taking photographs.  At the time I had a 35mm SLR that my father bought on a trip to Vietnam in 1965.  We developed our own film.  We captured ideas and translated them to images.

The first exercise was a PhotoBlitz.   The exercise challenges you to think quickly and creatively.  You take 11 pictures given certain key words in 15 minutes that evoke the given idea.  I chose Ho'okipa Beach on Maui's North Shore for the exercise.  Other students expressed feeling awkward taking photographs in public (who is this weirdo)?  Beach goers are more relaxed and I was free to roam.  I chose to create a Haiku Deck on Visual Literacy using my pictures.  Schools focus on Literacy, Digital Literacy, Numerical Literacy and Cultural Literacy.  Rarely do we see focus on the importance of Visual Literacy and how it can be used to draw connections across the curriculum.

We were then asked to select what we considered our five best pictures.  These were my favorites....

PhotoBlitz!

"And we find that people doing this week’s work come away noticing the world around them in more detail." ~Headless #ds106

My next photography exercise was not assigned.  We took a Road Trip to Hana and I decided to try out the suggestions that I learned during the week.  Follow the rule of thirds, change your perspective, get pickier, pay attention to the moment.  No longer was I just clicking, I was actually designing the picture.  Not too bad for an amateur with an iPhone.  I also employed the Fast Tricks for the iPhone to further enhance my skill set.

Sea ArchLava CliffsFollow the Path...The Jeep Goes Everywhere!Windmill Farm PerspectiveHamoa Beach
Hamoa Beach #2Haleakala National Park SignA Zen Moment on the Beach

Road Trips, a set on Flickr.

The final exercise I was able to complete was to "pimp up" my Flickr account.  That included creating a set of my best photos.  I decided that I would select the Blue Ribbon photo for each week of #ds106.  This way I can see the progression of my work (hopefully)!  As you can see above, I was able to embed a Flickr set into my blog and used FlickrSLiDR to embed the Blue Ribbon Photo of the Week in a Flickr Slideshow below.

Blue Ribbon of the Week


Created with flickrSLiDR

I spent a considerable amount of time looking at the work of fellow DS106ers, commenting on blogs, seeing incredibly creative images, methodology, and hard work that has been expended this week by the community.  I am energized by the collective energy that is evolving.  Each idea generated creates a flurry of activity, support and partnership.  Consider Rochelle Lockridge & Christine Hendrick's Audio Week in Review, or Ary Aranguiz's CollaboGiffing Project, Mariana Fuenes's determination to isolate the "eyes" in Ary's animated GIF and John Johnston's Photoblitz App..to name a few.   

DS106 channels the collective energy into the creation of stories, sounds, and art that allow us to make make meaning of our experience.  In Is There Such a Thing as Digital Creativity by Julian Sefton, she suggests that the process of selection, manipulation and decision-making in meaning-making through comparison of editing across media...points to the way that digital creativity – or at least meaning-making in the digital era – brings together in the new ways processes that used to be separate and bound by academic convention.

DS106 showcases the power of digital creativity by harnessing the collective energy of the group.  In eLearning and Digital Cultures: A multitudinous open online course, Jeremy Knox (a co-facilitator of the course),  observes that where work was collected and displayed together, the observer begins to get a sense, not of the individual merit of a single piece, but of the collective energy and intensity of the multitude...a shift away from thinking about individuals to thinking about connections, flows, and relations that exceed us as human beings.

DS106 transforms digital creativity into an engaging (often intoxicating) social experience.  We move from passive participants to active content creators. In the sharing of our individual stories, we contribute to the collective energy of the group.   In his blog, Kevin Hodgson reminds us that  the activity of making shifts consumers away from mass-produced materials and therefore, provides an individualistic sense of creation; and that the social element of digital literacies has the potential to increase engagement and heighten the creative element of making something that will impact the world.

What DS106 exemplifies is the synergistic creativity of the group, the importance of collaborative storytelling,and the opportunity to hone the skills necessary for creating, communicating, collaborating and networking in a digital world.



Thursday, September 26, 2013

Communication - A Lost Art






Make a photograph that illustrates an aspect of communication.


I enlisted my granddaughter in this exercise.  We seem to be obsessed with communication these days, our cell phones tethered to us wherever we go.  But are we really communicating?  

My initial idea was that I wanted to use a picture that showed communication devoid of technology, something like this (my granddaughter receiving a lei after her dance recital).  

This exercise made me think about what communication is really about these days.  Is anyone listening, or are we just talking...



Make a photograph featuring a path, road, or trail that leads the eye through the photograph.




Sandy Brown Jensen picked up that these lupines were in full bloom and in Oregon, hers were long gone.  Yes, I cheated just a bit.  This picture is our home in Steamboat Springs Colorado.  This picture was taken in early July, but it is the background image of my computer, so I look at it every day.  You can just barely see the road curving out to the right, but it was just such a great image that fit the Daily Create. 



Make a photograph that features a grid of some sort today.



One thing that DS106 teaches you is that if you look closely, you can see many things.  We move too fast to notice the details.  This is actually the table on our lanai that sits on a tile floor.  I love how the grids intersect.  I also started to play with the Rule of Thirds.  I downloaded Gorilla Cam to my iPhone (I don't have a camera) which overlays the grid for you.  

What is Philosophy to you? Record an audio definition in 30 seconds or less

 
This is my first adventure into Audio in a very long time.  As our Headless Volunteers, Christina Hendricks and Rochelle Lockridge pointed out in their DS106 Headless 13 Audio Week 4 Review, the VoiceOver is too low.  I am just learning Audacity, and spent so long just getting the 3 sounds to work together, I let it go at that.  Fortunately, the podcast was full of great ideas, including the simple AMPLIFY to make it work.  Not sure how I missed this in the tutorial, but that's the great thing about DS106, we are all here to help each other.  They also questioned the use of the echo. I was going for the cellar effect, but I see that it did not exactly work.  I should go back and redo it, but I am already launched into Week 5, so we shall see.
Thanks for listening!




Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Little Miss Muffet...



I am finally sitting down to write a reflective blog on Week 3:  What Mean Ye Digital Storytelling for DS106. In a recent comment, I described myself as being way behind -- and our Headless Cheerleader +Christine Hendricks  reminds us that "it really doesn't matter if you're "behind." I've heard people say there's no "behind" in ds106, because, of course, nothing is required! You can do what you can, when you can."


I enjoyed describing what Storytelling means to me in my blog Once Upon a Time.  Little Miss Muffet was one of my favorites, and my Dad always used to call me that.  It brings back many wonderful memories of my childhood.

In addition to the stories that make up our cultural literacy, fables, fairy tales, myths and legends, nursery rhymes and the Bible, +Sandy Brown Jensen reminds us of the Hero's Journey.


Kurt Vonnegut gives us the shapes of stories,
Image: visual.ly's infographic-style interpretation of Kurt Vonnegut's "Shape of Stories" theory.

and our High School English teachers taught us there are 7 types of stories summarized in Christopher Booker's, The Seven Basic Plots.



I tried the 5 card Flickr story exercise "Think Globally, Act Locally" which resulted in a rather bleak story about extinction.  +Sandy Brown Jensen commented that she learned this exercise by writing a sentence for each picture.  This exercise clearly indicates that the pictures alone should convey the story with the narrator able to add only a title and description.  The randomness of the pictures selected forces you to think outside the box, but it can also create a somewhat disjointed story which was clearly expressed in the comments by the viewers.  "I understood your visual progression up until the horse, then I lost the mental thread."


flickr photo by keepps

We were also encouraged to view stories created by the DS106 community.  I started out looking at inSPIRE, a community created collection of the best work of past DS106 students.  I was immediately taken by Silent Era's Back to the Future inspired by Ben Rimes, the Tech Savvy Educator, because of the author's comments.  This is the true spirit of DS106.  (It is interesting to note that Ben's original video went viral).

Many times, I see the awesomeness in other people’s work and think to myself, “There’s no possible way I can do that!,” and shy away from the assignment.  But for some reason, Ben’s jaw-dropping “Silent Era” assignment and the genuine and unselfish way he shared his process inspired me.  It gave me that needed push to improve upon what I had already done.  Not only was I inspired to do my own assignment better, but I am also inspired to try and inspire others in the same manner in the future.

As I checked out Ben's Blog, I was fortunate to find the perfect example of a Digital Story that was created by his wife "One Day in 60 Seconds."  There are lots of web sites out there that allow you to create different digital stories over time, but this is so poignant, crisp, and to the point -- all in the span of one minute.  It has a beginning, middle and a perfect ending.  I am inspired to create a similar type of story.


The importance of the daily create discipline is becoming more evident as the course progresses.  Our creativity is like a muscle that needs daily exercise.  I am struggling with being able to technically create the image in my mind, but each with each exercise, the muscle memory is taking over.  It was nice to be able to combine this week's work into a single blog, Creativity - A Daily Exercise.

One of the most important ideas that is conveyed in DS106 is the importance of documenting the process used to create your image.  I am not at the point that I am using any complex design, but looking at +Alan Levine's description of "On the Cover of a DS Book" for Anya Kamenetz's next book is a standard that I will strive for.

In many cases, I wait to view other people's imagery until I have at least the idea of what I would like to construct in order not to be influenced by other's work.  Once I have an idea, or even after it is posted, I will then look at what my colleagues have created.  I am amazed at the talent that is exhibited and am learning many tricks of the trade.

I also appreciated the comments this week for #talkingheadless106.   I tried to provide good feedback and appreciated the comments that I have received.  I think that because I am new to the group, it will take a while to be more comfortable in providing effective feedback.  Steve Wheeler talks about the importance of blogging and feedback in his blog - Blogging as Conversation.  The community of DS106 is constantly evolving, but it provides a safe environment for experimentation that encourages creativity and conversation.


Parting Shot: The important thing is not the camera but the eye. ~Alfred Eisenstaedt
Eisenstaedt reminds us that our films and cameras can only take photos of what we see through our creative vision. It also emphasizes the importance of training the eye to “see” a picture before clicking the shutter.




Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Is God Dead?



What is Philosophy to you? Record an audio definition in 30 seconds or less

As a freshman in college, I was introduced to philosophy through the words of  Frederick Nietzsche.  Nietzsche led to Kierkegaard  and Kierkegaard led to Descartes.  For me, the construction of an argument to prove that God does exist is absurd.  Fortunately for me,  Alan Watts opened the door to Eastern Philosophy, and to this day, through the practice of yoga, I believe that each individual has their own personal philosophy that is an integration of the mind, body and spirit.

This is the first time I have used audio for the Daily Create Exercise.  In her comments,  +Christine Hendricks calls it 'polished.'  I had done an off the cuff version that was 58 seconds and thought the feed would cut it off at 30, so I transcribed the words, cut out the chaff and this is the result.  I was pleased to find out that Black Sabbath had the perfect album cover to compliment the clip.


Creativity...A Daily Exercise

I was feeling like I had done little work this week when I went to look at my Daily Create blog posts.  There were none!  Fortunately, I had participated, I just did not take the time to write up the process (I confess that I don't have a complex process yet for what I am doing).  I will just share what I succeeded at -- and where I failed.  Failure is good.  It is part of the learning process.  I was thrilled when I went to review the Weekly Assignment Checklist to discover that it was suggested to combine the Daily Creates for the week into a single post.  So here it goes...

Take a photo that represents the TDC idea of regular exercises of creativity



This is probably where I got stuck at the beginning of the week.  I wanted to use a rotating 3-D Text animated GIF to use in another daily create.  I was able to create the GIF.  I just did not manage to insert the animated GIF onto the static image.  Despite assistance from Rochelle Lockridge and Christina Hendricks, I did not have the time to stick with it so I let it go.  I ended up using a portion of the GIF for this image.  I never did the Daily Create for this day, but it went perfectly with the title of my blog.  Next time.  

Baby panda bears are happening everywhere! Write a birth announcement for one.


What's in a Name?

需要八個字符的熊貓寶寶名稱

熊貓寶寶出生於2013年8月24日5:32
母親美香和父親是個謎
請幫助我們一起慶祝!

Since I couldn't come up with a pithy little statement that hadn't been done by fellow DS106ers, I decided to use Google Translate for the announcement.  I thought it might be fun for the Zoo to have a contest to name the Panda Cub, because I am fascinated with the importance the Chinese place on the naming of babies (pandas included).

Another custom is to find the newborn baby's Eight Characters (in four pairs, indicating the year, month, day and hour of a person's birth, each pair consisting of one Heavenly Stem and one Earthly Branch, formerly used in fortune-telling) and the element in the Eight Characters. It is traditionally believed in China that the world is made up of five principal elements: metal, wood, water, fire, and earth. A person's name is to include an element that he lacks in his Eight Characters.


Take a photo that represents the idea of clarity



I can see Clearly now...

This is the image that I took that I wanted to have DS106 4Life in a 3D animated rotating GIF. I thought that somehow I could use the screensaver on my computer to capture the image, but that failed.  I did however,  find a 3D Text generator. I also wanted to lift the glass and have it float on a different background, but all the techniques that I tried were hampered by the lack of definition of the color of the glass and the background. I tried many different manipulations and eventually called 'Uncle.'  When I looked at the original image, I actually thought it was quite cool and decided that it was a worthwhile submission. And the bonus is that I have a DS106 4LIFE screensaver.  Apparently, I am hooked.


We predict the next book by @anya1anya is about #ds106. Design her some cover art.




I had this idea at the beginning of the course, and thought that this Daily Create was perfect for it. Unfortunately, I didn't get the entire gist of the exercise and have the image and title, not the whole book cover.  I try not to look at the Daily Create gallery until I have started on my idea so that I am not influenced by others.  In this case, when I saw the other images, I realized that I had totally missed the boat.  I did read with interest +Alan Levine's detailed blog on the creation of his image.  The process and the final image is what DS106 is all about.  

Create an interesting high contrast black and white image of an easily overlooked object.


A Dying Breed


This is the cover of the Maui Wrap which is delivered free to our mailbox.  It is the only print newspaper that I read anymore.  Hence the title:  A Dying Breed.  When I posted to Flickr, I got a comment on the article itself by someone who thought I was referring to the Outrigger Canoes.  I appreciated the opportunity to have the conversation.  This is another attempt at attempting to insert an animated GIF into a static image (newspaper boy in upper left corner over mailing label).  Again, unsuccessful, but with experimentation, I was able to get a negative image which reminded my of the original type presses.  

In looking back over the week, I had actually contributed to 5 of 7 Daily Creates.  While I was unsuccessful in executing many of my original ideas, I learned a great deal.  I also realized the importance of mastering the animated GIF, as well as other basic PhotoShop (or GIMP) manipulation techniques.  I appreciate the time that seasoned DS106ers take to document the process for newbies such as myself.  I appreciate the opportunity to be in such a creative community.  Indeed, I am in DS106 4LIFE.




Saturday, September 14, 2013

Once Upon a Time....

What do you associate with the word storytelling?  What comes to mind visually when you think of the word?

When I think of storytelling, the first thing that comes to mind is my grandmother's Curio Cabinet.  For as long as I can remember, when I would visit, we would spend one afternoon cleaning the cabinet in which she placed her treasures from around the world.  Since she was Russian, many of the objects came from her mother prior to the Revolution.  We would take each object out, clean it and she would tell me its story.


For me, storytelling embodies voice, emotion and  connection.

The cadence of one's voice is a critical component of storytelling.  When I worked as a Librarian is the Aspen Middle School, I loved to read stories to the kids.  It was my voice that made the story come alive.  I do one helluva "Wicked Witch of the West."  But, I am just an amateur.  Listen to some Cowboy Poetry, or the poems of Sarah Kay to hear how voice makes for a compelling story.



Stories are powerful when you are connected to them emotionally.  A great memory I have of storytelling are the stories told 'round the campfire.'  When I was young, I went to camp in Vermont.  The all girls camp had an affiliate boy's camp and several times during the summer, we would go to Camp Norway to sit round their large campfire.  We would listen to stories, sing songs, and play games.  I can still retell one of those stories that I heard over 45 years ago.


Our culture is based on stories.  Whether it is the Creation Story of the Bible,
the constant battle of Good vs. Evil in fairy tales,

or the subtle imagery of nursery rhymes,



most of us remember these stories from our childhood.  They are the remnants of the oral tradition, the way that wisdom and learning was passed from one generation to the next before the invention of writing.

How does Digital Storytelling change the way we tell stories.  I will never forget the time I visited my grandmother with my MAC Laptop and a camera shaped like a ball that connected to the computer (can't for the life of me remember the name), and we documented the Curio Cabinet together with a cassette tape recorder and camera.  I transcribed her words and printed a booklet for her.  I only wish I hadn't lost the original file, because now, I would be able to post this online.  What a treasure.  Fortunately I still have the printed version.

Digital storytelling is about sharing.  It is about extending your story beyond your horizons.  Gardner Campbell tells us of a boy from Africa who contacted him because he read a story that was posted by Gardner for one of his students.  This boy contacted Gardner because he HAD to contact the student who had written about Tupac Shakur.  There was a shared CONNECTION.

Storytelling for me is about voice, emotion and connection.  Without the story of my grandmother's Curio Cabinet, I would never have created one of my own.  Oh, and the stories it could tell.

 -

Think Globally...Act Locally


Five Card Story: Think Globally...Act Locally!

Until each and everyone of us is willing to take responsibility for the world around us, we will continue to witness the extinction of the entire planet, one species at a time.

Creating a story from random images in Flickr is an interesting exercise.  It took me a few tries to get one that actually made sense.  This particular set of images is somewhat depressing, but I had to use the image of the horse because it was so compelling.  The picture of the plastic dinosaur is almost comical but it allows me to insert the concept of extinction into the story.  And it is comical to think that because of our own stupid actions, we are destroying the planet.  A good way to get the creative juices flowing.  Try one for yourself using this link....http://5card.cogdogblog.com//play.php?suit=5card

a Five Card Flickr story created by Cathleen Nardi

Until each and everyone of us is willing...

flickr photo by bionicteaching

to take responsibility

flickr photo by bionicteaching

we will continue to witness the extinction

flickr photo by keepps


of the entire planet,

flickr photo by Serenae

one species at a time.

flickr photo by Serenae


Monday, September 9, 2013

Chrysalis

In Week 2 of DS106 Bootcamp, Gardner Campbell encourages us to become architects of our own digital lives.

I spent the week "breaking ground."  I worked on a new image for my blog, I looked for new blogs to follow, I assembled the arsenal of digital tools that I will need to erect this "CyberInfrastructure."  I am not looking for a digital face lift, I am looking to add a digital voice to my digital identity. 

That's where I got stuck.  I wanted to reflect on the past week and all I could do was assemble the words of others. I tried weaving them together in a narrative, but it didn't sound right.  And then, I found this remix from Tom Woodward and I realized that this is exactly the piece that I was missing in 
the digital literacy puzzle: remix, redesign and reinterpret what I have learned 
so that it has meaning for me.

So, here is my attempt to recreate what I learned this week.  Week 3, bring it on!



I selected this image of the alphabet by Norwegian photographer Kjell Sandved, because of the concept of the emergent chrysalis.  My friend, Cheryl Arnett had one set up in her classroom this month for the beginning of the school year.  Her young students were fascinated when the butterfly emerged from its cocoon.  I imagine my digital voice emerging in this way.

"Technology amplifies the recursive practices of narrating, curating & sharing.  You need to learn how to control feedback."


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Every Refrigerator Tells a Story



tdc#609:  Fridges are Cool! Make an image that shows how hip a refrigerator can be


Ok, I'm not sure if it is cool, but I thought the transparent image of the front door and the inside of the fridge was pretty neat, IMHO.  It also gives me a chance to practice with layers.

If you look closely, you can see the pictures that my granddaughter Sophie drew for me.  The picture on the left is of the spider that lives outside the dining room window.  When she asked me what I should draw, I said, why don't you draw Charlotte?


As I get more adept with the software, I realize that I could make both pictures the same size so that they overlay directly over the picture.  I was going to try and do this, but I realize that I haven't written my weekly summary, so there's always next time!

The Hills Are Alive...with Animated Gifs


Make an animated gif from your favorite/least favorite movie capturing the essence of a key scene. (Make sure the movement is minimal but essential).

I didn't really want to do this exercise until my Frainger Ary Aranguiz told us she was hooked and posted 3 in a row.  Another DS106er asked why all the fuss about animated GIFs.  It was Alan Levine's response and Jim Groom's detailed instructions that won me over.

"Why is there such a focus on GIF animation? Do they really hold that much potential as a tool for communication or art form? Should I spend my time trying to learn this? I can, probably, get the tech...but Why?"

"But when you go through a mindful process-- identifying a subtle piece of the world to isolate, or a moment/character in a film, it gets interesting. I am curious how people develop a sense for what might make a good GIF (I have some ideas). But for a film clip, it is this great reductionist process to extract a few seconds form a larger work, focus it down to a short video clip, then import into Photoshop/GIMP, and reduce it even more to a number of frames, and reduce it even ore to emphasize the moment, or reduce the file size..And when you get to the point of being able to isolate movement to just a small portion of a frame rather than just flipping them like cards.. well you have arrive IMHO to an artful process."

I selected the classic Sound of Music for my project.  I saw the film when I was about 7 years old. I try to watch it at least once every year.  I know every song, and I always cry.  I even saw the picture when I was in Salzberg, Austria at a guesthouse.  Their idea of afternoon tea was to offer wine and cheese and play the Sound of Music.

When I reread the instructions, (Make sure movement is minimal but essential -- and Jim Grooms recommendation to not exceed 10 frames), I simply could not clip her midway through the line.  The result is 19 frames and you get the ALIVE.

For me, this particular scene says it all.  In fact, what she is really saying is "Yeah.  I completed my first animated GIF!"














Thursday, September 5, 2013

Imagine Whirled Peas


TDC #605:  Can you find calm in chaos or the opposite, take a photo.


I came up with this idea right after the Senate committee approved the resolution authorizing U.S. strike on Syria.  I am also the primary caregiver for my 98 year old mother-in-law who has dementia.  Often times she gets frustrated and angry with me.  In order to maintain my sense of humor, this is how I imagine her brain.  The Buddha is holding kyanite, a crystal that has a calming effect.

I borrowed the background image from yowzers.com.  I hope that is ok for a newbie.  Perhaps I can learn how to whirl peas through #ds106.

The concept was easy, the execution was more difficult.  I do not have Adobe Photoshop, so I downloaded ArtWeaver, which is very similar.  I managed to learn a little more about layering, which I can see is a must have for #ds106.

In the immortal words of John Lennon...


(Note:  I also learned how to embed a video in Blogger!)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What Does Your Key Chain Say About You?







Who would have thought your key chain could tell a story....

Participating in DS106 in GMT-10 is a bit daunting.  Even though I am an early riser, by the time I look at the Daily Creates, there are already several posted.  Not wanting to influence my ideas, I wait until I have finished uploading my image/video, and then enjoy watching the others.  Not this time.

I must say that I never thought about the story my key chain tells, but a story it does tell.

My analytic brain immediately thought video and so I decided to use Vimeo to assemble it, as it has the ability to add both sound (narration and sfx) as well as still images.  I shot each element of the key chain and then recorded narration for each segment.  Editing in Vimeo is easy, unless you add a still picture (or maybe there is a length limitation).  Not sure which, but I finally gave up on my last "closing" slide, and posted the video, as I had already exceeded the recommended 20 minutes.   Of course, I  forgot to put tdc603 in the title so it won't appear in the feed.  Did I mention that the images were poor?

Later in the day, I had the opportunity to view other videos -- and realized that I took a very simple task and made it exceedingly complex.  Damn.  I could have just used my phone (better camera) and told the story. Duh! So, what did I do?  I did the whole thing over in 5 minutes (not including upload time).  The result is below.  




On the plus side, I now feel like a pro with the Vimeo video editor.  Still unable to load directly from my phone to YouTube, but that is another story.....

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Elegant in its Simplicity



This orchid sits in my kitchen window.  I removed the background using Clipping Magic.  Nature, for me, is the most elegant that any 21st Century gadget will ever be.

Right Brain, Left Brain. Who is steering the ship?



I had heard about #ds106 earlier this year and was hoping that I would have a chance to participate in the experience.  That opportunity presented itself in a "headless" section that started last week.  I had also enrolled in Coursera's Creativity, Innovation and Change MOOC and thought that this would be the perfect way to tap into my creativity.  I have not been disappointed.  It is only the first week and I am having the "time of my life!"

I was hesitant to jump in, and posted the following question in the Google+ Community:

When I receive the following response from Christina Hendricks, I decided I had nothing to lose.  Alan Levine @cogdog, our fearless leader, (despite being headless) also chimed in:



The first week is appropriately described as "Boot Camp."  Our first directive suggestion was to introduce ourselves to the group using Social Media.  I posted in Google+ as well as Twitter.


I have spent the past week setting up a new blog (I wanted to compare Blogger to Wordpress), participating in Daily Creates (exercises designed to stimulate creative activity), and getting to know my fellow classmates.  Of course, my computer decided to go ballistic at the same time, so I have been experimenting with different iPad apps to complete these tasks.  My latest Daily Create effort #602 is by far the best (the sixth for me).  I am learning to integrate my analytic and creative mind.  In addition to this worthwhile effort, I have been having fun coming up with a caption in order to enhance my Tweets:



And of course, we were given 3 videos to watch and look for those essential "nuggets" that really resonate with you.  For me, those nuggets looked like this:

 "Disruptive Wonder"...everyday fundamental things and experiences frame reality in a way we often take for granted...The random jumble of letters that I have confined to a single possibility of making my name.  And then I wondered, what else could these letters spell? "

This is the question that Kellie Anderson posed.  Had it not been for fellow Frainger, Ary Aranguiz @trendingteacher, I would have never thought to play with the letter of my name.  After several tries, I came up with this.  I like it!

Cathleen Nardi = Learnd Teach-in 

"Do Not Try to Create and Analyze at the Same Time.  They are different processes."  

This little nugget is embedded in The Daily Creates (tdc) (don't ask me where because I can't find it again).  This is the biggest 'AHA' that I had this week. It actually became manifest during tdc#600.  All of a sudden, my analytical mind took a back seat to my creative mind.  It was a mind blowing experience!  I can compare it to my yoga practice.  If I am thinking about how I will NEVER be able to do the wheel pose, chances are I won't.  If I just let go, and allow my body to form the wheel, guess what, it happens.  For me, tapping into the Universal energy is what creativity is all about.

" I also try in several ways to encourage the class (encourage=give heart) to blog as part of the journey to the magic."

I was thrilled to meet Gardner Campbell again in my MOOC journey.  His keynote address at OpenEd 2012 formed the basis of a Tumblr blog earlier this year.  His words resonate with me.  His encouragement to blog is essential in the process of this creative work.  It is only by reflection that we actually make sense, making meaning of what we experience.

So now that I have the building blocks of Daily Creates, blogging and communicating with my online co-participants, now I actually need to find a voice and a theme that I can use to tell my story.  Thankfully, Boot Camp is a two week process.  I hope to find some inspiration in the next week.  Perhaps my headless image (see above) who has taken charge in what appears to be a crisis will be my inspiration. 

Thanks for listening.











Backwards = The Perfect Ten

Backwards = The Perfect 10!
Backwards = The Perfect Ten


This is TDC 601! That is 106 backwards! Draw something 106ish backwards


Now that I seem to be getting the hang of the Daily Creates, I went back to Paper53 for inspiration.  The first thing I did was try 106 to see if I could "see" anything.  Adding the arrows helped, but then I dead-ended.  I wanted to add the question mark, so I brought it into another program for emphasis. I then decided to flip the image upside down when I saw the 901.  

My analytic mind jumped behind the steering wheel and came up with 9+1=10.  While not a really great idea, I liked how both sides of the brain complimented each other.  Upside down and backwards equals the Perfect Ten.


A Symbol of Longevity

600: a Symbol of Longevity

600:  A Symbol of Longevity

Celebrate the 600th Daily Create! Express 600 in a drawing without using numbers.


Where do they come up with these ideas anyway?

My analytic mind immediately wondered what 600 symbolized so that I could come up with an image to represent it.  We all know that storks ares symbols of fertility and associated with Springtime and birth.  But did you also know that because they are rumored to feed their elderly parents, storks are a symbol of filial piety or gratitude. They are emblems of immortality and longevity. Legend says they live an incredibly long time. When they are 600 years old they stop eating solid food.  

Now, I did no fact checking on this, but it did give me and idea for an illustration.  What happened during the process was one of those "nuggets" that we were warned about in DS106.   "Do not try to create and analyze at the same time.  They are different processes."  My creative unconscious actually took over during the drawing and this is what evolved.  While it is by no means a work of art, to me it represented my analytic self getting out of the way in order to unleash my creative juices.  Yeah! 

This image was created using the simple app "Drawing."

Birthday Wishes for Guilia

Birthday Wishes for Guilia
Birthday Wishes for Guilia

It’s Her Birthday! Doodle @GiuliaForsythe some visual notes on the ideal way to celebrate!


This was extremely difficult exercise.  In fact, I had decided after trying numerous different iterations that I simply was not going to make a submission for this day.  

It was not until Rochelle Lockridge @rockylou22 expressed a similar feeling and then was able to breakthrough using Paper53.  A colleague had turned me onto this app and I found it easy to work with -- and was able to execute my idea.

The presents for Guilia include "copyright" because, in fact, Guilia did teach me a lesson about copyright when I began my MOOC expeditions in December 2012.  Thank you Guilia and we hope you had a most excellent birthday!

Scared of a Cuddly Bug?


Cuddly Bug


#598:  Draw an insect in a way that makes it cuddly or adorable



For the next Daily Create, I was very intimidated (which I can see from other ds106 posts, many others were as well.  Taking iPad in hand, I used DooDoo Lite (they need to change the name), which I downloaded for my granddaughter so that she could do original art for her dioramas.  She loves to draw and we like making them together.

Aquarium DioramaBudding Artist

Before you start laughing, remember, the purpose of the Daily Create is to get the juices flowing.  I think he's kind of cute.