Social Distancing and Crafters

Face Masks I’ve been working on as one way to pass the time after all the kids have gone to bed. I’ve been keeping very busy.

As a crafter and Mother to 4 kids, I know the most productive crafting time is after they have all gone to bed. I’ve been doing this long before Covid-19 came along. I have found things that help the quiet (or a quiet a sewing machine can be) time pass alone not feeling so alone. It’s more than being alone, as a parent its time to actually spend with myself and my thoughts. There are many thoughts and self-conversations I would think would make for an excellent Vlog or Podcast but until I get the gumption to actually put my face and voice to digital media, printed word it is.

I live life as a passing of one project at a time, like remember when I was making [insert project] and [insert event] happened?

I am not the fastest crafter by any means, but I do get it done!

My first go to when I’m in my alone crafting time is rehashing all the projects I have currently in progress. Right now there are many. A blanket for my Mom’s BFF in Virginia. Another blanket for Basil to match her decor in her room, everything in turquoise or mint. Sewing many many face masks, but this project will span the whole of 2020 and onward. I’m eagerly awaiting some hand spun wool yarn from my Husbands co-workers wife who spun it herself. I would love to make the best sweater ever from it! And, once I get my new Singer Heavy Duty Sewing machine, I am going to then make bowl cozies. All because I am so tired of having to find a way to take a hot bowl of food out of the microwave.

If you have a problem of any kind, I bet you there is some kind of crafty person out there who can make you a solution of some sorts.

Blanket for Kaola

I live life as a passing of one project at a time, like remember when I was making [insert project] and [insert event] happened? Whenever I think about this question as it leaves my mouth I think back to how long it took me to complete that said project… I can say a blanket is pretty heavy on time it takes me to complete it.

15 Minutes Later…

I just finished watering all my house plants as I remembered it is Saturday and that is the day I chose to water my plants. To make sure that I don’t over water anything and nothing is forgotten that is why this day is the one day for watering only. It’s harder to forget that way to.

During this time Theodore has also been put down to bed for the night as its 7pm local time and he’s not yet 2 years old. He was ready for bed, rubbing his eyes and all. Little boys are the most adorable when they are cuddly and sleepy. Those are my favorite parent moments.

I have found in my own personal way of crafting that it is impossible to have only one WIP (work in progress) at a time. If I don’t feel like I’ve got too much going on then I start to feel idle and restless until I find another project to work on too. I’m not saying that everyone should work on everything all at once because there are those out there, and I’ve met a few, who cannot have more than one thing going on. It just doesn’t work for everyone. So please, work on your own projects at your own pace and preference.

The next thing to help my solitude during alone crafting time is Audible. I love audio books because it allows my hands to be free to craft. Audible has not paid me either to put a plug in for them, I really just love their service. So far Game of Thrones has kept me going for over 60 hours of audio time, 5 hours remaining of the second book now.

The last thing that I’ve been working on during my alone time is creating videos and working towards my goal of having a Vlog entry and even a podcast some day. Some day I am going to get there, some day.

I have read a lot of articles where Covid-19 has had a big impact on others who are not getting their needs for social interaction met. So the biggest thing as a crafter I want to advocate for is that no matter what, no matter how far, and no matter who, please reach out to your friends, family and co-workers. It doesn’t have to be a super long conversation, even just a check in will help. Pay them a compliment, find something nice to share maybe. Let’s still enjoy each other’s company even if we are not face-to-face.

Thank you for your time and thank you for supporting the Arts! Check out our Family’s latest creations on Social Media and shop us on Etsy.

Not What is Typed is all the Hype

I’ve already said it before, that anxiety wall of recording my own voice was spectacular! I mean that once I finally did the radio bump, it was done and now its all gone. I definitely have a life motto that’s grown over the years: Just get it done with because all the fuss is for nothing, and “Awesome” but that’s a whole different story.

So I learned a lot about audio storytelling, how radio broadcasts work, I created a couple of short assignments for Unit 4 and I genuinely had fun! If it wasn’t for nerves, a lot more people should do this kind of stuff, it’s a great way to put yourself out there and really show off who you really are. I, however, did not join a radio broadcast group, I will be looking for “accomplices” for that here in the future to collaborate with and have more fun doing audio projects.

Speaking of which, just being honest as I am, I was not a true fan of Ira Glass’s audio clips. Just wasn’t what I could really engage in nor actually finish listening to. I got good lessons from them, such as really really proof your work, equalize and edit. It’s no fun to listen to two people talk that one is too loud and the other is too soft.

Moving on, This Unit had fun #DailyCreates that I really enjoyed. My Squeaky Pickles creation was my favorite, as are pickles. And being #prosaic was new, I liked this one for its subtly more than anything. I chose the photo of the Berlin wall that had a man standing atop of it with his arms up. In the plainest thing, I could think of, and I would likely do from a higher elevation myself, he was waving at his friends. A happy thought.

All in all, this was fun in a way I broke out of my shell fun. What was more fun was keeping my two-year-old away from the microphone… he enjoyed my radio bump too.

A lot of my ideas are more on the spot, it does take me some time to implement them and learn a couple of thing about the programs I am using to accomplish the assignments. I love using my imagination and hope that I can inspire others too.

I want to do more of this audio work, I will make sure of it.

Working on Audio

I Was Just Trying to Help Audio Clipon This American Life, hosted by Ira Glass

I’m listening to this story interviewing Sharon Snyder by Ira Glass, on his piece from This American Life, and the first thing that comes to me is the emotion swelling inside of anger at how she was fired for something so small. The frustration at such a sequence of events is baffling. So Sharon simply provides a form to someone who requested it directly and she is fired under the act that as a clerk she was providing legal counsel.

This clip was interesting in other ways, for one the difference in volume from Ira to Sharon was drastic, it was difficult to hear Ira and almost deafening to listen to Sharon. Aside from that, the story being told was captivating enough to not notice much else going on until the summary background music at the end picked up. At that point, I could not hear Ira hardly at all anymore. I’m not sure if I chose a bad clip or a wrong segment for audio for this unit, but, I did enjoy the story.

I hope to improve upon this on my own audio by really focusing on the sound levels so that others don’t express the same difficulty I had.

What an Adventure!

Original Post

Take a look at that happy puppers, how much enjoyment he gets from going on a simple walk. I loved this video, after combing through a pile of defunk links, because it really tells a story. It starts with excitement of the beginning of the walk, there’s a brief pause for a breath at the stop sign, then we continue on the journey. A warning sign briefly catches our attention, but as a viewer we can see the warning as a weak attempt to see the dog in any other light than happy and good. the video ends as the walk is completed and a happy puppers gets to destroy junk mail, my favorite part. It would be lovely to see more videos like his one but this story is whole on its own. Enjoy!

My Favorite Stories, Old and New

A story may have a beginning and an end, its whats in the middle I love the most. I recently “found” an old book from my childhood that I loved so much and during this assignment I wanted to showcase it. “The Painter’s Cat” by Sharon Wooding is a simple and deeply detailed story that captivated me as a child and still captivates me as an adult. It’s really short that the world you enter is so brief but the imagery last so long.

Of course its a classic timeline story, the cat is happy, a disturbance arrives, the cat leaves feeling betrayed, wanders around alone, cold and wet from the rain for some days. Then a known friend walks by, the cat follows them back home and realized that he was loved more than anything all along. Simple. But the words and the details keep you going for the short story.

Another story that is one so endearing is a video I’ve found, there’s no words spoken at all but it speaks volumes! If you get the chance, watch this video and enjoy. This digital story is the good and the bad, the ups and the down and the Journey is the best part.

A Good Story Told is an Experience.

An experience that you see physically in your mind’s eye without getting up from the floor you’re sitting in is a good story. You’re imagination goes wild, images fly past you and you’re just sitting there. Something exciting happens and your heart starts to beat a little bit faster, you lean in closer to the person speaking just to hang on to every word. Eventually you realize you’re about to drool because your mouth is hanging open, so you stop for just a moment to recompose. That’s a good story and a good storyteller.

Now an online storyteller is someone who can capture the emotion of the words without sounds that can still captivate you and keep you going for one more sentence, one more page before you’re too tired to keep your eyes open. You hear the story as you read it off the page, the screen, you hold in your hands. Descriptive words still describe entire scenes of colors and sounds and tastes and smells, you can still feel the hairs on your arms tingle with excitement. But, digital storytelling is where you seek out a story, a novel, a excerpt, just to find that one missing piece you longed for.

You found out your favorite book is coming out with a sequel and in our digital world you must have the preliminary showcase pieces to get one more taste.

A good story will keep you interested and searching for more even after you’ve read the last few printed words, and the authors biography on the back pages. That is a good story.

The Road Never Walked On, Just a Click Away.

In our digital age, there are now more “roads” that extend far beyond what you can measure on Earth. Businesses, in hopes of staying current, took the beaten path off the pavement and placed it on your screen. Your direct viewership gains their business the foot traffic it takes to keep alive digitally and physically. A Cyber Infrastructure. The business and personal use of these online technologies allows for everyone to be able to interact with everyone else that they share a common interest with. I use common interest because an individual will not typically visit a site or place that does not fit what they are looking for or interested in.

We are living in the middle of the largest increase in expressive capability in the history of the human race.

Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody

@GardnerCampbell states in this video from the University of British Colombia that we are not in the middle but at the beginning. We, now, are innovating how we interact with each other digitally and our level of openness with one another. Our interactions can lead us to be open to the world by sharing a blog or site on larger social platforms but we can also just be open to each other, both of these require us to have identity markers so we can still be individuals among the masses. The last thing is we also should be open to ourselves, self-aware of what we are doing and who we really are. Using Gardner’s words, we should “decorate our lockers”, create a self brand that we can share online and personally.

Going back to the business sides of things, businesses that have existed for some time are making the digital move to a cyber infrastructure beyond the pavement by their front doors. To do this they typically cannot keep doing what has worked well in the past because our digital age requires a digital thought of connectivity. It’s no longer about telling someone about some thing, we need to share it and involve them. This turns into “Likes”, “Shares”, “Re-tweets” and followership on social sites.

Although, thinking of the digital future, an age old saying I once heard from my Mothers when she owned her small town craft store comes to mind again and again with an online footprint. “A satisfied customer may tell one to two people of their good experience but an unsatisfied customer will share their terrible experience with everyone willing to listen.”

“Well, I have a bag of gold, would you like a bag of gold?”

Of course, I don’t share that information with the intent of dissuading anyone from being open to the world, but I hope that as a human being this information and age of digital sharing can inspire us all to be the good person and do the right thing. Be kind, rewind… and redo. All philosophical aspects aside, we all use these digital face lifts at some point in our online careers. To make improvements and staying relevant not just in content but in location is all apart of staying alive online, i.e. maintaining a followership.

As I go through the information from DS106, I find it more and more interesting how I can tie all these things into what I hope to accomplish with Vogel Craft Co. Each video, article and how-to is helping me to build my skills as a Social Media Consultant aiming to help businesses and other people build their social media infrastructure. By building bridges we can all make changes for a brighter digital future.