Opening Credits Redux

For this last Remix, I chose to rework the opening credits from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The project took some time, but was fun to complete. I used Movie Maker for this remix. Here are the steps that I took:

1. Went to google images and saved all the images I chose for my opening credits.

2. Moved the pictures in the order that I wanted them to appear.

3. I wanted to add names of the actors/characters to my opening credits, so I added text to the first several pictures. In order to find out actors’ names, I looked them up on imdb.com.

4. Then, I added music to my opening credits. I wanted to use two songs from the movie, “Danke Schoen” and “Do You Love Me.” I had to first download the songs and then input them into the movie maker.

5. At the end of the credits I wanted to add a short clip from the movie. In order to do this I had to convert a file from Youtube using mediaconverter.org. After the file was converted and saved, I added it to the end of my credits.

6. To make the video smoother, I added transitions to the slides. I also faded the music out at the end of each song.

7. Finally, I added credits to my video and changed all of the font to blue rather than white.

In order to upload the video onto my blog, I first published my video to Youtube and then added the link. Check it out here.

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Remix #3 Postcards From Magical Places

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For this remix I decided to make a postcard. I was really hoping to go all out with this one and use the more advanced version of Pixlr. My original thought was to use the existing picture of Ireland (a shot that I took myself when I visited in 1999) and layer another picture with it to create a fanciful location. I was really hoping to insert a picture of the “wall” from the HBO series Game of Thrones and use it as a new horizon. Unfortunately, this was a LOT more difficult than I anticipated. So, after more than an hour of playing with the program, and reading a couple of tutorials to not avail, I abandoned the idea.

I decided instead to focus on an end product that I could potentially use in my classroom. I used the picture of Ireland as a picture of part of the journey that the creature from the novel Frankenstein takes in search of Dr. Frankenstein. This focus seemed fitting since the Halloween holiday just passed and after Thanksgiving break we will be reading Frankenstein in my British Literature class.
The picture includes a caption of “Still Searching…” to show that the creature is searching for his creator in hopes of finding companionship, guidance, or possibly redemption. On the back of the postcard I have included a short note from the creature pleading for Dr. Frankenstein to stop hiding and take responsibility for his actions.

Once I determined the course this remix would take, the steps were fairly simple:

1. I scanned in the picture from Ireland as I did not have a digital copy

2. I edited the Ireland picture on pixlr.com with an effect as well as a torn border. I also added the text “Still Searching…” Then I saved the picture as a separate file.

3. Then, I went to google images and found a postcard template that I liked. I picked one with an aged looked because Frankenstein is a novel from the Victorian era and I imagined the postcard to be aged and torn after traveling so far to reach the doctor.

4. I updated the postcard image to pixlr.com and added a sticker which became the stamp on the postcard. I chose the Celtic knot.

5. Next I added text to the back of the postcard. This took some playing around because I had a large amount of text and the program makes it difficult to edit and adjust the font style and size. Then I saved the picture as a separate file.

6. To complete the assignment I then created a collage with two pictures. I inserted the picture of Ireland on the top and the postcard back on the bottom. I adjusted the size and shape of the collage to fit the pictures. I then saved this as a separate file.

Make Your Own Ringtone

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In order to create my ringtone, I used a program called Soundations. Find this free program at soundation.com. The program gives options to utilize a free program, but you can also buy the Premium or Power package which allows for more storage and additional music selections.

It didn’t take long to learn the basics of this program. Soundations has a library of free sounds at your fingertips that you can choose from. Just click to listen to a variety of clips and then click and drag the clips you want to use into the corresponding Audio Channel. This makes it very easy to layer one sound over another. Once you have chosen a sound, you can drag it to increase the length of time it plays, or copy and paste it in different locations. If you layer two clips that have different speeds or rhythms, the program automatically asks you if you would like the program to time stretch the clip in order to match the other audio clips you have chosen.

For my specific ringtone, I used four different sound clips from the free library: BellAgosha, BeatGrimed, BellDirtyDark, BeatHyphy6and Clap. I began with BellDirtyDark to start the beat and then layered BellAgosha and BeatGrimed on top of it. As the BeatGrimed audio ended, I,  allowed BellAgosha to play for a moment before I introduced the Clap. In order to make the Clap audio work, I had to time stretch it to fit the rhythm of my existing sounds. After I put this initial portion of the ringtone together, I copied and pasted it again a second time for a longer ringtone.

This program is super easy to use and I was able to teach myself just by clicking around. When I ran into questions, I just asked my 11 year old daughter, who was much more familiar with the program than myself! I have added her ringtone to my blog as well to demonstrate how much more you can do with the program if you have more time and are more creative than me!

In order to post my ringtones to my blog, I saved the files as wav files on my computer. Then, I uploaded them to soundcloud.com. Once your sounds are uploaded, SoundCloud allows you to share the links with your blog, Facebook, Twitter, email, etc.

Check out my Ringtone here:

Check out my daughter’s creation here:

Twitter Thoughts

I have never been a proponent of Twitter, and only created an account under extreme duress from my professor. Okay, so maybe I am exaggerating a bit, but I really could care less about having a Twitter account. So when I read our assignment to tweet at least once a day this week I sort of rolled my eyes. In all honesty, I was more concerned over the fact that I was going to have to ask someone what the heck a hashtag was and I didn’t want to humble myself and admit I had no clue about something in which the typical 12 year old is well versed. After throwing a mini tantrum and calling Tammy to lament the assignment, I decided to suck it up and figure some things out once and for all. I successfully tweeted about some reading my American Literature kids were doing and even tweeted a couple of things about some day to day stuff in my own life. I did end up calling a friend to ask about the hashtag as well as some other features of Twitter, and felt better when she told me that she had to call another friend of hers to ask the same questions. I guess maybe we’ve all been there, the place where we are new to something and have to take a deep breath and ask questions. Perhaps it was a good reminder that my students probably feel this same way on a regular basis in my class.

After getting my feet wet with the basics, I tried to expand my knowledge base a bit. I clicked on other people’s tweets, I followed new people, I read previous discussions, and started to feel better about the whole process. I even decided that I would take matters into my own hands and figure out the elusive bit.ly process. I quickly searched it on YouTube and in less than 5 minutes I posted my own link with a shortened url. I even have to admit that I found it somewhat amusing to write my own, creative hashtags, though I didn’t allow myself to go overboard with it because that would be admitting that I enjoy Twitter too much. Afterall, I can’t keep up with both Facebook AND Twitter, can I? When would I have time for things like activities with my children, reading a good book, or crashing on the couch for hours watching mindless TV?

I do see some merit in Twitter in regards to the professional realm. Following others in your field gives you quick and easy access to links, articles, or videos that could be helpful to you in your job and can further your knowledge base. I like the idea of professional connections, but I still don’t have much of an interest in what you ate for lunch. And you probably don’t care about the cute things my children do.

But maybe I have been sucked in already. I found myself installing the Twitter app on my phone yesterday, and I even checked it at school this morning. Really? Who am I?! My aversion to Twitter was primarily because I didn’t want another mindless activity to eat up my time. But maybe if I can stay focused on the professional connections Twitter allows I can make an exception. Afterall, now that I have it on my phone I can multitask by checking Twitter while I watch my daughter play softball. Isn’t that what every good mom does these days?

Remix #1

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This is a photo of my youngest daughter, Erica, from Easter 2011. I’ve always loved the expression on her face and the bright colors in the picture. I tried to add effects that made the picture more dream-like. Erica is my free-spirited child who often loses herself in imaginary play for hours. She is sweet and caring. I wanted to portray that essence here.

I used a program called FotoFlexer to alter this picture. I played quite a bit with the distortion, twirling the flowers, leaves, and branches. Then I used the neon effect to brighten the colors. I was able to paint certain areas of the photo and then add a neon color of my choice. I added the neon effect to the flowers, leaves, and branches separately. In order to soften the picture a little, I blurred it a bit and also added some opaque circles very subtly. To brighten the overall color, I used an effect called Lomoish. I also rounded the corners of the picture.

Overall, FotoFlexer was easy and fun to use much like Pixlr. I worked on a couple of versions of this photo before I decided on this one. I like the end result of the picture, but Erica noted that she “likes it better the normal way.” I guess you can’t please everyone!

 

 

 

 

Hostess Cupcakes and Twinkies

I did it. I gave into that impulse buy at Target today. Doesn’t everyone say that you go into Target for one thing and come out with 20? Well, I managed to keep my item count under 20, but I did give in to a childhood moment and bought chocolate Hostess Cupcakes and Twinkies. My excuse is that my youngest daughter who is 6 has never had a Twinkie. I can’t be responsible for letting her grow up without ever trying a Twinkie! So I bought her one. But then there were the chocolate cupcakes sitting right next to the Twinkies… my mind drifted off to long driving trips and boring evenings in a Motel 6 room with my parents. My only saving grace was the evening snack I sometimes got: Chocolate Hostess Cupcakes. I don’t think I’ve had one since I was maybe 12. And guess what? They are still as good as they were over 20 years ago! Here are some inciting photos in case you’ve forgotten about the packaged yummy goodness.

Another interesting tidbit is that apparently Twinkies have been the source of controversy in regards to their shelf life. Some have reported that Twinkies are edible from anywhere from 50-150 years and that their shelf life may be in the range of 5-40 years. Other reports note that they are made with a chemical used in embalming fluid. Well these all seem like very unlikely facts. Check out snopes.com to verify whether or not any of this is true.

http://www.snopes.com/food/ingredient/twinkies.asp

Or maybe I need to spend a little more time researching and attempt to “triangulate” the story as Rheingold suggests. What myths, urban legends, or other suspect stories have you run across on the internet?

Pixlr Part 3

This photo was taken in July 2012 with my boyfriend Jeb. I reconnected with him after my divorce. We dated in high school and it seems like we have been friends for our entire lives, even though we lost track of each other for almost 15 years. I used one of the creative effects which resulted in the picture splitting into three sections. I see that as a representation of our past, present, and future. I really like how each frame is a different color. Jeb and I are such different people, like the colors, but we really work well together. When I look at the picture it’s difficult to distinguish the original single image, which is somewhat representative of our relationship at this point because the future is somewhat unclear. Our relationship is long distance at the moment, so the fact that the picture splits us is fitting. Even though we are apart, we are connected in so many other ways; the middle frame of the picture is representative of that for me.

 

Pixlr Part 2

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In this photo I returned to some favorite pictures that I’ve taken near my hometown of Wheatland, Wyoming. I used the collage feature to incorporate both of them together. One aspect that I love about my town is the vast difference you see when you look towards the west and when you look eastward. I wanted to show that stark difference in this photo. I have always found the sweeping plains beautiful in their own way, but my affinity really lies with the mountains. However, home wouldn’t be one without the other. I put a border around each photo and added text to help explain what views are being represented. I left the color natural because I wanted to portray the same view that one would have if they were actually present.

Continue reading

Playing with Pixlr

I think I had a little too much fun with pixlr.com, so I’m going to post a couple of different photos. This first photo was the first one that came to mind: one of my favorite pictures of my daughters together. I’m not sure how I managed it, but they actually posed together- and smiling- for a picture. Maybe part of it had to do with the fact that it was Christmas and they just opened a bunch of presents. Apparently, a healthy support of the economy brings siblings together.

With this picture, I was really just trying to capture a rare happy moment between sisters. I didn’t change much regarding the color or texture of the picture, but I did crop the picture and put a subtle border around the edge to give the appearance that they are closer. I think the text is really what brings it all together for me. Obviously, the observer can see that they are supporting different college teams, but the term “sister rivalry” is probably more accurate for them because they compete and argue and fight on a daily basis. Although they constantly try to one-up each other, I know that underneath it all they truly love each other. I think this photo captures that moment. Continue reading

September 6, 2012

Another week gone by… I can’t believe we have completed almost 4 weeks of school already! Labor Day has passed and I’m ready for some cool fall weather. Several people have told me that there is a “cold snap” coming early next week. Apparently, in Georgia that means that the lows are in the 50’s and the highs are in the low 80’s. I don’t really see what’s “cold” about that. A cold snap in Wyoming means that it snows on September 22nd and you find yourself shivering outside while you scrape ice off your windshield while trying to remember where you put your gloves last April. Yes, I said April. I remember many years during spring break where I was building snow forts and dodging the 60 mph winds. Oh, how I miss Wyoming…
Check out the weather forecast for my hometown of Wheatland, Wyoming: