all mixed up

March 31, 2011

I’ve always been told that we learn from each other;  Whether it be peers, teachers, colleagues, etc.  In Melanie McBride’s article about Escaping the Edu-travelogue,  she points out that we now have modes of learning that don’t involve “qualified” teachers, institutional spaces, or curriculum picked out.  I agree, but it also depends on how you define the word “qualified.”  Does it mean having a PhD. or a lifetime of experience?  Or could it be someone who has simply narrated their process of creating something that allows others to recreate and alter the work?  As we are starting our own remixing projects soon, this statement really stuck out to me to keep in mind. “The choice and selection and use of particular content is as integral to remix as the act of editing and changing the meaning of those materials.” ds106 has been a fascinating class because it allows us to explore what is being created and put online and figure out what can be worth using or provide the stimulus for new ideas.  Part of creating our own assignments is seeing what’s out there that can be manipulated or even what hasn’t been done yet.  In the Dr. Mashup article, Brian Lamb argues why we should embrace the mash-up and I agree with a lot of what he says.  I believe a remix or mash-up is new art.  And while at times, may be a little hazy as to its full originality, if you’re the first to have created that particular song/design/etc. then yes, I think it’s original.  And I explain more below but, for example, just because the DJ didn’t write the music himself, the mash-up he has created is a new, original sound.

I am not very familiar with the remix/mashup culture.  I’ve seen a few videos here and there and heard a handful of songs that have been mixed but it is not something that I feel like I’m seeing daily.  For my groups radio project earlier in the semester, we tried to create our own mashups of songs from various decades to create unique music for our radio show.  We spent hours listening to excellent examples and then testing out various songs.  And we failed pretty miserably trying to get something to work.  But out of that experience, I gained much more respect for mash-up/remix music artists.  So what if they didn’t write/produce/perform those songs, their well done creations make the art seem effortless.

Mashed Up Abstract Art by Andy Saxton2006 on Flickr


Visit Fredericksburg!

March 25, 2011

Once I got going with this assignment I started to reallllllly enjoy it! Editing the html was quite easy, including pictures, as long as they were on flickr.

Where I did struggle was with the advertisements at the top of the page.  For some reason it is duplicating the ads after I’ve saved the .html and re-open it.  This is a screen shot of what it should look like….

And this is what happens with the final project……spot the difference?

When I went into the code and deleted the html for the “Subscribe for the magazine ad”, the entire format of the page was screwed up.  The picture was up to the right of the “Ireland” Ad which I couldn’t find to try to delete too.  And now if you visit the page (link below) the ads continue to change as if you were viewing the original website.

Click HERE to visit the full page!!!

I uploaded the image/screengrab of the page to flickr but if you try to view it it’s very tiny.  Any idea how to fix this?  View Here! Thanks!

Fredericksburg makes the list as one of the top cities to travel to in this months National Geographic edition.

I’ll be editing this National Geographic page with the must-do’s and see’s of Fredericksburg (there are more options for writing below the big picture).  Biggest choice – deciding what picture to use to feature our city!

First Place

March 14, 2011

This picture is from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship from 2010.  UMW is the boat closest to the bottom of the screen.  We came from last  off the line to winning in the final sprint of the race. (Very rarely can a crew come from behind to win!) It is, hands down, my favorite race of my collegiate career.

Image: by teammate Anne Campbell’s parents; Quote: by General George Marshall

can't stop

March 10, 2011

Okay, once I got started with my final project designs I just couldn’t stop after only one.  So I bring you image numero dos.  I’ve also decided to create a page for my favorites (because this one was an instant favorite!)  The only editing I did was to enhance some colors.  I hope it makes you want to get on a sail boat!

Image: Cairns, Australia; Quote: by Mark Twain

photo project

March 9, 2011

These words are not my own……but the pictures are!

I love inspirational quotes.  They don’t have to be said by someone famous.  Funny, sarcastic, elegant, heard a million times, or virtually unknown, quotes often invoke images in my mind.  Usually the images are pictures that I’ve already taken.  Other times, it is a half formed image of something I’d like to take because I feel it could express the words.  This often leads to me taking more pictures than the average person.  Not to mention, my hobby of scrapbooking is fulled by this combination of expression through words and images.

We’ve all seen greeting cards with an old fashioned image and a quote or the “demotivators” which poke fun at the subject.  And doing the Big Hip Hop design project in ds106 showed that you can create powerful messages depending on the words chosen and image used.  For the rest of this semester, I’d like to create my own line of artwork consisting of images I’ve taken and favorite quotes.  Depending on the subject, I will be experimenting with the final layout….for example, greeting cards, postcards, labels, billboards, or like this first one, just the image.


Image: Outback, Australia; Quote: by Lewis Carroll

Decade Radio

February 24, 2011

Welcome to the Decades Radio.  Our broadcast will take you back in time to the 1940s, 1970s, the 2000s and then into the future 2030s.  What better way to recall all the important celebrity gossip, world news, hit songs and entertainment reviews then through a witty banter by college students?

For an exclusive preview of the 2000s listen here:

[audio:|titles=Decade Radio 2000s]

Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks for the complete edition of Decades Radio! (Compiled by Jessica Masulli, Megan McMillan, and Stephanie Lefferts)


To create the above clip, we first organized the order of the show and wrote a script in Google Docs. This allowed us to all add and edit on our own time. Then we started compiling each section in Audacity.  Originally we tried creating our own mash-up of top songs from the 2000s.  (Including songs like Hey Ya by Outkast; Gold Digger by Kanya West; Umbrella by Rihanna; and Soulja Boi.)  Even using other songs, we spent hours discovering just how difficult it is to create a decent mash-up.   It is frustrating trying to match beats from different genres. We had to settle for an awesome Sweet Home Alabama mash-up already made by MTV. (Listen to the full song!)  Our second mash-up is from a popular TV show and Rap artist….(Check out the complete remix – after listening to our show first, of course!) Each of us recorded one of the speaking sections and we even got our roommate to call in as “Britney Spears.”  We each chose a favorite movie to review.  Can you guess whose is whose?  Our commercial choice was purely by chance.  In throwing out ideas, we got from Sham-Wows to the Slap Chop to Vince Offer (more commonly known as the ShamWow Guy!) to Snuggies to Snuggies for animals.  And hey, why not have a snuggie for man’s best friend?  Yes that’s right, we are encouraging you to purchase a snuggie for you dog….did we sell you on it?!

We will be creating 3 more segments for the final 30 minute show.  The remaining decades will have similar formats but are easily open to creative changes as we research the decades.  You may be asking, where will our research come from for the 2030’s radio?  Watch out, because anything’s possible in the future!

image link here.

How to Choose

February 18, 2011

I can’t believe how quickly this semester has gone by.  Google Reader, while extremely helpful, has been at times overwhelming to log in and see a few hundred unread posts….and it’ll have only been a day since the last time I looked.  But it is fascinating to see what everyone has been creating.  This class is so wonderfully dynamic that its hard to pick out favorites….but since I have to….here are a few that I’ve really enjoyed.

Tim Owen’s The Big Hip Hop is one of my favorite design assignments.  I love overlaying images with lyrics or quotes and creating a new meaning out of either the image, lyrics, or both.  Megan McMillan did this assignment early on in the class, (view here!!) which I greatly appreciated because, since we live together, I understand the dedication to our “upstairs neighbors” singing of Katy Perry.  I’ve often wondered though if one of those “neighbors” has seen the post because the singing seems to have stopped since then. oops?

I thought Jessica Masulli’s 3 Frames story was clever because she didn’t tell us the details of what was happening so that people had to opportunity to guess themselves.  And the images were great!

Callean’s visual assignment of creating a story using the song titles in your itunes/media player is very fun because music is something we tend to listen to everyday.  This gives us a chance to really notice what we’ve got in our music players.  (And how many songs have the same title). I love reading how people have mixed them all together. (You should read them too!!!

I was also very impressed by many of the daily shoot photographs. It was cool to have a theme that everyone had to follow because it really highlights people’s different point of views.  And although this person doesn’t attend UMW, his photograph for Daily Shoot #444 – pretend you’re a stringer and take a picture of something newsworthy – I thought was excellent.  The man in the image has a lot of character and I was impressed that the photographer got a direct shot of a person because it is often intimidating to ask a stranger to randomly take a picture of them, let alone have then agree enthusiastically. (View image on Flickr).

Keep up the amazing work ds106ers!!!!

As for my own work, I really enjoyed the daily shoot.  It gave me an excuse to carry my camera around everywhere and enjoyed people’s inquisitive looks as I hunted for the perfect image.  My favorite though was the Hershey Kisses!  I also, as I mentioned above, loved creating my own “The Big Hip Hop” image.  I discovered it was a lot more challenging than I thought it would be. (Check it out!!!!)  Finally, I had fun recording my 10 Things I Hate About ds106.  Although, I’m not a good rhymer, in fact, I dislike trying to write poetry immensely, but it was fun to try to think of words that I thought represented the classes.

10 Things I Hate About ds106

February 17, 2011

The ds106 “Bitch and Design” discussion via radio was quite interesting.  And while I voiced my complaint, I thought I’d go a little more in depth with my own version of “10 Things I Hate About You.”  I recorded it using Audacity – click on the link (twice) to listen!!!   10 Things I Hate About ds106 poem

New Release!

February 14, 2011

The newly titled “Enough to Know Better” by the jazz group Ectosinum hits stores this Tuesday!  Look for it wherever CDs are sold.

I enjoyed working on creating an album cover by following the different links.  The randomness really adds to the creativity.  An Ectosinum by the way, “is a genus of predatory sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Naticidae, the moon snails.”  Didn’t realize snails would be considered “predatory” creatures.  Only thing I struggled with was that every image I looked at in the “Explore/Interestingness/7 days” was All Rights Reserved.  Did anyone else run into this problem???  (View original picture here).  My quote was from an anonymous source and reads “Nobody knows the age of the human race, but everybody agrees it is old enough to know better.”