It was so great to have time to make St. Patrick’s Day cards this year. I wanted to create a card that lays flat and found patterns in the Silhouette store to use with my Cameo cutter. I also did a hexagonal popup with a gnome. I am gearing up for Easter cards and baskets next.
Category Archives: Making
I love to make things. Crochet is my main medium along with paper. I made lots of crocheted pumpkins this fall as I used up part of my yarn stash. I subscribe to a monthly card making kit and enjoyed making the fall cards. Now I am using my Silhouette cutter to create DIY nativity scenes to send as Thanksgiving cards so they can be displayed through the season. I made instructions for how to assemble them.
What I’ve Been Doing Besides Teleconferencing
One of my work-from-home rituals is to stop working at noon on Fridays. I am happy to take a few hours on Saturday or Sunday to do a few things if it means being able to get away from work.
Today, I spent time in the garden. While my husband grows the vegetables, I am the flower gardener. We have a formal garden near the house, just outside the south porch. It had gotten overgrown in the past year as my arthritis kept me from doing the work of weeding and mulching. With my new hip in place, I am back to battling weeds and close to being ready to lay down the mulch. My husband grew plants for me from seed, and I transplanted borage and milkweed thistle.
I’ve also been baking from scratch. I like to bake but had taken to using mixes, kind of semi-homemade. But a friend gave me sourdough starter and then I turned some of it into a whole wheat starter and now I am baking at least twice a week. Yesterday, I just baked with the “discard” from the sourdough, that is, the stuff I wasn’t going to keep after a fed a smaller amount of the starter to keep it alive for next week. If you don’t, you end up with the starter that ate San Francisco, which is almost the plot of Robin Sloan’s Sourdough. I had enough to make Cinnamon Raisin Sourdough Bread and some crackers using the outlines of a recipe from a baker on Twitter. I went for rustic and “artisinal” for the crackers. The bread was lovely toasted with butter this morning. And the crackers are a little thick but they have a satisfying crunch. I used some flavored salts that we received as a holiday gift along with a bit of pepper.
Finally, I’ve been cooking. Years of watching Food TV and the Great British Baking Challenge have given me a foundation for putting meals together. I put a piece of pork in the crock pot with carrots, onions, potatoes and apples. I layered in our first experiment with sauerkraut and was rewarded with that tangy bite. The picture is pre-cooking: once it cooks away for hours, it doesn’t like quite as pretty but it tastes delicious!
Digital and Analog Creations: Thinking About Dioramas
I am a maker and always have been.
I made my sister a model greenhouse for Christmas this year, working from scratch to build the structure and create all the various pieces from furniture to flowers. I like making three dimensional models from paper, too.
So, I loved making crafty book reports when I was in school. I made a scale model of the train from The Great Train Robbery using shoe boxes with 3X5 cards marking important locations and actions. I can only imagine what fun I would have had if I had been able to place myself in the model using green screen technology the way Cindy Gonzalez’s students were able to do:
This is one of my favorite green screen projects! 4th graders used the green screen magic to report from inside their dioramas. They researched, rehearsed, built the diorama, filmed in the green studio & edited their videos using @DoInkTweets. #gslearning @gr8ful2teach pic.twitter.com/JqHCGSRbHQ
— Cindy Gonzalez (@CindyGo75) April 26, 2019
As part of the conversation, Joy Kirr shared a link to an article about making dioramas more dynamic
Great question. Here’s something @MatthewXJoseph just sent me – https://t.co/VHcHwqUaPs
The ex I shared looks like history. As an ELA T, I often think of dioramas as old-fashioned “book projects.” I’d ❤️for my students to share their books with the world in more relevant ways.
— Joy Kirr (@JoyKirr) April 28, 2019
I think I bristled a little at the notion that dioramas were somehow irrelevant. But, I have to admit that I like Dr. Matthew X. Joseph’s ideas for making them dynamic by using tools like Flipgrid or Aurasma.
I will defend dioramas, however, as not being irrelevant in and of themselves. Making analog models is a viable skill in our digital age. Do a search on Google Images, Pinterest or Etsy to see some of the amazing work being done both professionally and artistically.
Lora Collins, 3D Studio Supervisor at Smithsonian Exhibits, describes her fascinating career in this article that begins with her early memories of visiting dioramas with her mother and then, as a young artist, finding her way into the field. She focuses on making mannequins but unlike the stiff department store figures, Collins creates figures that tell stories such as the man on the aircraft carrier who looks like he is in a high wind as he guides in a plane. And, she is still honing her craft, learning more about forensic reconstruction as part of her work creating figures from the Ice Age.
More Play Than Work
I am of a certain age, I think, where one starts considering retirement. And, this week, my Dad turned 84:
Just wished my 84 yr old dad happy birthday. He has been retired for 20 years. Still active making oral history videos of his neighbors at the retirement community & raising orchids. Has me thinking abt what I would do with 2 decades of unstructured time.
— Karen Richardson (@witchyrichy) February 6, 2019
I have been so fortunate to find work that intersects with my passion and the line between work and play is often blurred. Consider it a continuum: the work includes things like balancing the books where there is little or no room for play while the play end includes things like making a game console to play our Scratch games and sample Valentine’s Day Light-Up Cards for my STEM club meeting on Tuesday. It’s called volunteer “work” but it directly connects to my own desire to learn and create…to play!
The game console grew out of our experiments during our last meeting. We had some success with creating buttons and grounding bracelets but didn’t have time to perfect them. I wanted to show them how the engineering process works by taking the ideas we worked with and making a prototype of a console that they can explore.
How does this relate to retirement? My husband says I will never retire. I say I will just move closer to the play end of the continuum. Fewer Quick Books and more circuits and Scratch programming, along with Legos, as one friend suggested:
My answer. Legos. Lots of Legos. Haha
— Joe Talaiver 🌐 (@jtalaiver) February 6, 2019