Archive for the ‘The Daily Create’ Category


The Daily Create: Response to The Seven Day Challenge

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

A week ago, Alan Levine tweeted out a challenge to accompany a summer downturn in the number of submissions to The Daily Create:

With visions of screaming drill sergeants and mean, sand-kickers going medieval all over everyone’s case, I decided the best thing to do was to play along and do my best to meet the challenge, and encourage others to do the same. Alan’s Charles Atlas comic taunt was sufficient to prompt a similar Charles Atlas response.

I was out of town during most of the intervening days, but with pretty much everything I needed in my backpack (with the exception of my USB mic, which was with me in my wheelie bag), the bits and pieces necessary to keep pace were close enough at hand. Tethering to my phone let me post from my non-internet enabled location.

Day One: July 11th: tdc185: Draw a Tornado.

I’ve already written about this one in “Tornado, Revisited,” but here again is the “drawing,” and then my subsequently animated GIF-version of the drawing process.

"Tornado" by aforgrave, on Flickr

“Tornado” by aforgrave, on Flickr

Tornado: TDC185 (animated GIF)

Tornado: TDC185 (animated GIF)

Day Two: July 12th: tdc186: Make a photo of an outdoor scene free of any human artifacts.

My little holiday get-away had me hanging out on the south shore of the St. Lawrence river in Québec near Rivière-du-Loup, and walks along the beach during low tide were part of my daily practice. While collections of a variety of items, including “sea glass” and other human artifacts were of interest (a couple great stories to come over the next day or so), there were also wonderful opportunities to get images of nature, undisturbed.

"Nature's Artifacts" by aforgrave, on Flickr

“Nature’s Artifacts” by aforgrave, on Flickr

I snapped this image using my new 50mm lens, and later marvelled at the wonderful detail captured in this pic. Check it out in a larger form. On Monday, while in Ottawa (and dropping by the Rideau Centre Apple Store) I took a moment to view this image on a new MacBook Pro with Retina Display. Wow. Amazing.

Day Three: July 13th: tdc187: Make a video of what is playing on channel 106 on your cable? (or make it up).

This one was a natural “make it yourself” opportunity, since there was neither Internet nor Cable (and thus no Channel 106) where I was staying during the week. Although I sorted out an idea (based on a photograph I took on the beach), plotted an outline, gathered the footage, wrote a narration, and started to translate it, there wasn’t time on Friday to complete everything (a short film, entitled “Sur la plage”), and so what I edited together (while on the bus to Montreal on Saturday), wound up being a channel-surfing excerpt entitled “Les Escaliers” — a portion (and actually, only the final paragraph of the thirteen-paragraph narration) of the concept. Good thing my time was limited. The short film would have been waaaaaaaaaaay to much for The Daily Create. As it was, this took hours.

Kudos to Spencer (@robertssw87) for the channel surf inspiration. I switched it up with a bit of a rationalization behind the meaning of the “ds” for Channel ds106 on cable. And waiting for the “static” file to download over my tethered connection while on the bus heading towards Montréal was worth it in the end.

Day Four: July 14th: tdc188: Make an annoying 30 second pre-recorded telemarketing call.

While many of my TDC items early in the week were influenced by my visit to the beach, this one wasn’t. This attempts to include some of the more annoying aspects of recorded messages which I get — most notably a continually received message that always starts in the middle of the message loop. I’ve also incorporated the content from a regular spam text/email notification that my Android phone number (don’t have one, likely never will), was randomly selected as a winner for a free MacBook Air w/2 TB drive (out of stock). I know you can’t get 2 TB notebook HDs yet, and pretty certain you can’t get 2 TB SSDs yet either.

Just as the Of Bananas, Coconuts, and Organ Grinder: The Influence of Monkeys on Human Civilization radio show earlier in the course was an opportunity for me to get some familiarity with Audacity (rather than my usual tool-of-choice, GarageBand), I took advantage of this Create to practice those same skills. I’m liking Audacity more and more. 

Day Five: July 15th: tdc189: Philosophy series; Tell us about “Technology You Can’t Live Without.”

By the time the prompt for this Create had been posted, I had arrived in Montreal.  My initial inclination was to choose from between the iPhone (likely contender), iPad, MacBook, or Sony NEX-5 camera, technologies I enjoy using on a daily basis. But that’s not what I wound up choosing, as Karen (@KarenJan ) was quick to notice:

I’d been spending some time working on learning to make my first cinematic animated GIFs (still working, but a post coming soon), and had been thinking a lot about my once-most-favourite movie, Ridley Scott’s 1982 Blade Runner (it lasted as the fav for almost 20 years, and is likely now my second most favourite, supplanted in the early 2000s by Ang Lee’s  Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.)  When I first saw Blade Runner, I was living in Toronto (now the most populous city in Canada, fifth-most in North America). At the time, the incessant rain in the film, together with the ongoing images of decaying buildings, made me ponder the question, “Where would I (along with the millions of other folks in Toronto) go to get water,” if suddenly one day I turned the tap, and nothing came out? And this was before the modern commoditization of (un-sparkled) bottled water.  It wasn’t too many minutes after reading the prompt that I had my “technology I can’t live without.”

Walking around the city of Montréal that day, in an incredible heat, and climbing all the way up the switchback paths to the summit of Mount Royale served to provide wonderful grist for my iPhone video camera. As it turned out, the heat the next day in Ottawa only served up additional images, and so this little Daily Create turned into a bit of a mega project. The spoken commentary at 2:00 minutes was done in one take — I edited it a bit with Audacity to remove a couple “ums” and some slightly-too-long “thinking gaps,” and then layered it back over the original video for that segment back in iMovie.

Having this TDC lens in front of my eyes for the day was a prime example of how The Daily Create can really jump start your creativity. Despite the time spent on this one, I really enjoyed putting this together. The free water handed out by the Vitamin Water folks was pure serendipity (wonderful shirt!), and the contrast provided by the vending machines at the summit of Mount Royale — and that long red hose watering the flowers, presumably pumped all the way up from the river level in the city far below — were moments of pure “found example” joy. The non-functioning “dry” fountain at the end was a great closer to punctuate the message. And the title of ‘s song from Jamendo is just another wonderful little bit to make this work.

Day Six: July 16th: tdc190: Flip the decibels. Make a loud sound soft, or a soft sound loud.

By the time this one arrived, I was back home. And a bit tired. And certainly hot. So it wasn’t much of a stretch to join up Brahms’ Lullaby (I went with an anonymous MIDI version to avoid the potential of hurting anyone’s feelings with the manglement) and the fan, duking it out for the loudest influence on the pending sleeper. Clearly, the sleeper (me) won out in the end.

Day Seven: July 17th: tdc191: Illustrate attraction in a photograph today.

The reality of the pending Seven-Day-Challenge Mashup hit this morning, and I toyed with the idea of returning to the tdc189 “Technology I Can’t Live Without” iPhone “attraction” as a means of tying the week’s work together, as a chunk of it was facilitated by the phone.  I also spent some time grabbing some video from Minecraft — scenes of how the critters there are attracted to wheat (it’s fun to run in circles and have a mass of chickens chase you), and how pairs of animals will be suddenly attracted to one another (and make a little baby animal) when you feed each of them a sheaf of wheat.  But then I found myself shooting pics of coins attached to the magnets in my pdo iPhone case. And as I moved around the room seeking some better light, I suddenly found the inspiration in shadows and location to create something more than just a photo of some coins stuck to my phone.

"Creative Attraction" by aforgrave, on Flickr

“Creative Attraction” by aforgrave, on Flickr

Still, the photo alone seemed like a bit too little effort for the seventh day of the challenge, and I was inspired with @cogdog‘s enthusiasm to generate interest in The Daily Create, and so I spent some time turning the image into a poster, and then a new ds106 Design Assignment, #611: “‘Celebrate The Daily Create’ poster”.

"Celebrate 'The Daily Create' poster" by aforgrave, on Flickr

“Celebrate ‘The Daily Create’ poster” by aforgrave, on Flickr

If you’re not yet following The Daily Create, the assignments are posted daily at 10 AM Eastern Time. Check out The Daily Create online and follow @DS106TDC on Twitter.

Seven-Day-Challenge Wrap Up (and beyond)

Given that these items represent the individual The Daily Create elements for Alan’s Seven-Day-Challenge — the next task will be to complete a mash-up of items from the past seven days into some form of narrative, the final stage in completing the Seven Day Daily Create Challenge (and Mashup Thereof).

That, and continuing towards my self-challenged #21daychallenge. As of tdc191, I’m on the 11th consecutive TDC.

Who else is looking to extend their Seven-Day-Challenge towards a consistent daily habit?  It’s fun! Unleash your creativity! 

7-day Daily Create Mash-up

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

About a week ago, I resolved to do some of the Daily-Creates for ds106. In perfect “make a resolution” style, I promptly failed and didn’t complete the first one on July 9! I was able to do the second and then in my Tweetstream I saw:

Now that I had started I surely couldn’t stop… So, for the past 7 days I have completed the Daily Creates. Most have taken me longer than the suggested 15-20 minutes (usually due to some random software issue or life just calling me to do other things…) However, all have been rewarding in some way and I am going to make it my goal to complete each day’s throughout the rest of my summer (except when I am travelling).

Truth be told I had forgotten that there was also a component to link them all together at the end of the week. Here they are, my 7 Daily-Creates linked into one story.

Take 1: My own work

I went outside to cut some herbs for dinner.

Herbs Not Humans

The weather forecast mentioned a risk of tornadoes and, when I looked at the dark sky, all I could think was “there’s no place like home”.
There's No Place Like Home

Thankfully, the threatening weather passed and all I could see was a single cloud that looked a bit like a horse.

When I returned to the house, the phone rang. On the other end of the line was an annoying telemarketer.

The only way to react to this was to use their own energy against them, like in karate.

I remember a time before all these impersonal robocalls.

But I certainly wouldn’t give up my iPhone that lets me take photos, make videos, draw, edit photos, record

All kickstarted thanks to ds106

Click image for ds106 logo
Anyone know how I can embed just a part of a video here???

The original work can be found here:

184 cloud photo (horse in the sky)
185 Tornado drawing (Wizard of Oz)
186 No human artifacts photo (herbs)
187 Cable 106 video (ds106 logo, keynote about UK)
188 Annoying telemarketing call (salesperson)
189 Tech you can’t live without video (old tech)
190 Flip the decibels (karate)

Now to mash-up the work of others as part of the Week 9 ds106 Assignments.

In Praise of External Challenges

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

I have to say that when I saw today’s Daily Create I wasn’t thrilled.

Make an annoying 30 second pre-recorded telemarketing call.

It didn’t sound like something fun to do so I put it off for most of the day. Without Cogdog’s Seven Day Challenge for the Daily Creates, I may well have skipped this. However, since had already completed the first few challenges I figured that I should continue…

I know that editing is everything and that I went on for way too long but so do the telemarketers! I ended up enjoying this process much more than I thought that I would. Thanks CogDog for the challenge.

How I Did It

I wondered if anyone had created a real script for telemarketers to use. Indeed, existed. As I have experienced, they recommended using the callee’s name repeatedly, building a personal connection and, of course, explaining why they are so awesome.

I also found that the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecomunications Commission (CRTC) listed some common telemarketing scams.

Armed with this knowledge it took just a few minutes to write an annoying telemarketing script on my iPad. I thought that I wuold try out one of the teleprompter apps I had downloaded a while back but didn’t like them at all. I found another free one (Listec Promptware Plus) that allowed me to easily see my script while recording.

I did my recording in Audacity and added a fog horn from iLife.

I uploaded my final version to Soundcloud and created a quick image using Microsoft Word clip art and cruise ship from Bret Arnett’s photostream to accompany it.

Within minutes my Soundcloud was spammed with a comment – kind of funny given the topic of telemarketing and unsolicited information!!

Tornado, Revisited

Friday, July 13th, 2012

On Wednesday, @cogdog issued a seven-day-challenge for The Daily Create, and the prompt for Day One (June 11th), was TDC185: Draw a Tornado.  Given that my drawing tools at hand were somewhat limited, I elected to “draw” the requisite tornado using a stylus on my iPhone, and used a photo from the day as my background and ink source. This is the original photo, taken using the Pano app on the phone.

Original PANO photograph (before Tornado)

Original PANO photograph (before Tornado)

To introduce the tornado, I used the clone tool within the iRetouch app, borrowing sections of the existing clouds for paint, trying to introduce swirls (not too successful with that), and saving my work periodically. When it was done, I posted it to Flickr and tagged it with the required tdc185 so it would be added to the assignment page along with the others.

@DoremiGirl was a bit taken aback by what I had “drawn,” …

… but I’m comfortable with the artistic license offered by these sorts of daily challenges. Although am keen to continue to develop my actual drawing skills (for real, with paper and pencils), this was the result for the day.

It wasn’t until I was offloading my photos from the last two days that I came across the successive “saves” of the process, and realized that they might collectively make a nice animated GIF.  As it would turn out, Photoshop CS6 has a Timeline feature where an Animation feature stood in CS3, so it took me a few minutes to get that sorted out (good learning!).  I added in some hand-made “in-between” frames, and here is the result.  (Sorry if it doesn’t represent the proper stages of formation of a tornado — these actually represent the stages I took in drawing this tornado!!

Tornado: TDC185 (animated GIF)

Tornado: TDC185 (animated GIF)

Explore your Inner Creativity: The Daily Create

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Towards the end of 2009, a number of friends on Twitter proclaimed their intent to participate in a project 365 photography adventure, and I decided to rekindle my interest in photography by playing along.  Supported in part by @duncan‘s TheDailyShoot, I managed to get into the daily habit of making time for photography, and sharing a photo a day to my account on Flickr. By the end of 2010, I was pleased, not only with the collection of photographs I had accumulated, but with a number of other incidental results:

  • a significantly improved understanding of my camera (primarily pocket-cam, a Canon Digital Elph Powershot 1000, at the time);
  • an improved eye for composition and techniques related to photography;
  • an appreciation for the work and shared community of other photographers;
  • a wonderful collection of images reflecting memories and experiences from throughout the year;
  • a serendipitous engagement with writing, as descriptions of photos sometimes turned  into mini-essays, commentaries, and juxtapositions of thoughts.;
  • and, perhaps most importantly, an understanding that a conscious effort, applied on a daily basis, was easily capable of instilling a new daily habit, whether it be photography or any other kind of endeavour. A technique that could be transferred, to other areas, be they intentionally creative, or otherwise.

My enjoyment of the 2010/365 project led me to continue on into 2011/365. Armed now with a self-bestowed boxing-day present, a Sony NEX-5 DSLR (actually, an EVIL or MILC camera, the choice after conversations with @digitalnative and several months investigation), I continued taking photographs, using the new Sony, the older Canon, and the ever-present iPhone to capture daily events and thedailyshoot photo challenges.

However, In August 2011, things got particularly busy (numerous trips, photo outings, and other things), my laptop hard drive became filled to capacity (Aperture and even the OS ground to a slow crawl as space for page swaps became virtually(pun) non-existent), and my habit faltered. September brought the return to school (numerous variables there) and October saw the end of thedailyshoot (after 690 prompts, it folded on October 6th, 2011), and by that time, the habit was upset. Despite a couple of attempted jump-starts (drives to visit the Muse Tree, for example, and the arrival of a new 2012/366 self-challenge), the daily practice of shooting and posting a photo to flickr had been disrupted.

(Perhaps, I should also acknowledge to myself, in hindsight, that I had become engaged in the fall of 2011 with a new regular (though not daily) practice of broadcasting on #ds106radio …)

At any rate, very shortly after January 1st, 2012, @timmmmyboy tweeted out a few test posts related to something new, TheDailyCreate, which would provide a daily prompt, not always for photography, but also for audio, video, and other sorts of creative inspirations. After providing a few test posts, I saw the value in this new prompt source, and decided to try it out.

The Daily Create

Skipping forward over February – June, we arrive at July 11th, and what do I see but a challenge from the @cogdog , somewhat uninspired by the recent summer engagement in TheDailyCreate (yes, folks are on summer holidays, relaxing, BUT you still need to nurture that daily creative habit, folks — and to that I can attest!), and so he presents a seven-day challenge. Do the daily create for the next seven days. Starting today. Starting NOW.

Daily Create Seven-Day-Challenge on CogDogBlog

CogDog’s Charles Atlas remix “Seven-Day-Challenge”

Now, a couple years back, I employed a “follow 30 people for 30 days” mantra when introducing new folks to Twitter, as a way of helping folks “see, over time” how the social media service could be supportive of their work as educators. And if I recall correctly, research somewhere has indicated a “23-day” adoption period during which a daily application of a routine will result in the forming of a new habit.

So I’m going to prematurely suggest that once you meet Alan’s seven day challenge, you repeat it, twice more. I figure 21 days ought to be close enough to 23 days for you to get the gist. And at that point, why stop?

One caveat. You may find yourself pushed to complete some of TheDailyCreate challenges. I would suggest that if you struggle with one of them, go back in the Archives and complete another one from that same category and post it, with its respective tag, instead. While I’ve not employed that strategy yet, I’m going to deploy it starting today.

In response to Alan’s visual seven day challenge, I reply:

"Twenty-One Days to a Creative Habit" by aforgrave, on Flickr

“Twenty-One Days to a Creative Habit” by aforgrave, on Flickr

Get your create on! Get it on on a daily basis. The Daily Create can get you started.

BTW, two days ago, I replaced the hard drive again in my laptop. I’m currently starting out the summer with a glorious 620 GB of free space on my drive. Yesterday, I managed 200 photos on my Sony, and when the battery ran out, I took another 108 on my iPhone. Both batteries are now recharged. And I just “created” that cartoon.  Time to draw a Tornado. (There are currently seven posted. Will you ad yours today? Now?)


Wrapping Up Some Daily Creativity for Camp

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

In an effort to keep pace with Week 2 of DS106‘s Camp Magic Macguffin, I jumped into The Daily Create cycle. It was a busy week, so I only got around to finishing the required three. Also, I did create … Continue reading

The Gospel

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

Gospel by shaping













This is a very basic story in the Bible. It starts with the miraculous birth of Jesus. With all the challenges (moving from place to place to avay from Herold and finally giving birth in a manger) faced by the parents, the process not a smooth one hence a curve. He stayed on earth until when He was 30 before He was persecuted by Humans to be killed(that also a very rough process). On the third day He arose, met His disciples and then ascended into heaven. His return is unknown till date.

ds106 – Digital storytelling summer camp

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Inspired by Jeff McClurken, I’m going to attend Camp Macgic Macguffin this summer as a virtual participant in ds106. I am already behind, but with school ending this week I hope to tackle more activities soon, as well as to involve my son. Self-directed learning in community, here I come. Mad props to Bunk 4.

Here are a few of my early responses to The Daily Create, and following those are screenshots of my new (in-progress) pad on the ds106 Minecraft server.

The Daily Create 137

The Daily Create 137

The Daily Create 138

The Daily Create 138

@chadsansing's beach house & mine

@chadsansing’s beach house & mine

@chadsansing's beach house & mine

@chadsansing’s beach house & mine

I’m thrilled to find two other NWP teachers in my bunk, and it’s been great to “meet” and see the work of familiar tweeps at play. If you want to practice digital story-telling this summer and learn how it feels as a learner, I say join in!

TDC #137: Trace of My Face

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

I’m good to my word. I’m working hard to keep up with The Daily Creates. They just haven’t been posted because I’ve been so darn busy! By the time I get done with things I HAVE to do during the day, I hop online to write at 750words and then promptly pass out. Luckily, all the hard bits of moving are over, and that means more time to sneak in fun things like this!

TDC137 Face TraceCC Attribution_NonCommercial_ShareAlikeClick here to see this photo on Flickr.

I was very excited about this assignment after seeing everyone’s really creative output. I don’t personally have an iPad (which is how most people seemed to be doing the assignment), so I considered going out to buy a Bamboo tablet, which would give me greater finesse over my digital art work. I’m still considering it… However, my mom offered to let me use her iPad, so I saved about $60 by springing for a $17 stylus instead. I’m thrilled by how it turned out. I may be getting a hand-me-down iPad soon-ish, anyway.