Archive for Hobby

Top Movies for the Year! — Well so far

This year seems to be, for me anyway, the Comic Book adaptation year. I have seen quite a few of them. I have two standouts that I would love to talk about.

The first by far is Logan. I was watching Fatman on Batman a YouTube show by Kevin Smith, and both Kevin and Mark talk about how well written Logan is. For me, Patrick Stewart gave his best performance (maybe edging out A Christmas Carol by just a smidge).  Logan is an amazing movie even without the superhero/mutant stuff. Hugh Jackman showed an aging Logan who needed to care for a “father” with dementia and find out that he was a “father” to a girl who grew up as a lab experiment. Yes, there was violence in the movie, but it was important to the narrative.

The second was WonderWoman. Although it was not as put together as Logan, or written as well as Logan, it was well crafted. There were some moments that put this in second place to Logan (with a deep sigh), I felt that we were left with an ending that was lackluster over the top and very dark. The pacing wasn’t as good as the first 15 minutes of the movie (which IMHO should have been given at least 30 minutes  I would have liked to know how Amazons age and would have liked to see a gap between when Diana finding out that she was powerful to seeing Steve Trevor crash). Aries seemed to be a little blah to me, not as robust as he should be. Although we have in Batman V Superman a Diana that pined for 100 years, the ending didn’t seem to match the level of pining or longing.

These two movies really were great! I don’t think I can say that enough. I think they both surpassed anything that I could have hoped for.

(Okay, I know that Star Wars the Last Jedi is out in December. I think that movie is in a different category, they can’t screw it up, can they? I mean fans have forgiven Lucas for the 3 90s movies, or have I? Plus Princess Leia! Oh My Goddess I will cry if they mess it up…. Just saying…. )

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2

Thor Ragnorok

Beauty and the Beast

Justice League

Atomic Blonde

PowerRangers (yes, I liked it better than Spiderman Homecoming)

Spiderman Homecoming

xXx: Return of Xander Cage

Underworld: The Blood Wars

The Fate of the Furious

Transformers: The Last Knight

Kingsmen and the Golden Circle (I really wanted this movie to be great!)

The Dark Tower – Disappointing horribly made, didn’t watch it to the end.

Movies that I want to watch

I still have a few movies that I want to watch to round out the year. I wanted to wait for them to be on On Demand or a paid service so I can watch for free.  Movies are expensive. I try to reserve theatrical movies to movies that work well on the big screen, ones that are filmed in 3D, have the 4D experience or something I really think that I will like. For instance, I am happy that I didn’t see the Dark Tower in the movies because I stopped watching within the first hour.

Battle of the Sexes

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women

Goodbye Christopher Robbins

Despicable Me 3

Blade Runner 2049

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (Update: It was on On Demand. It was a decent movie. The original series Valérian and Laureline was a French comic 60’s to present. Valerian is a Major and his partner Laureline is a Sargent. Although the description says that are time travelers, they don’t actually time travel in the movie. It is action packed and has some memorable parts. Over all I would give it a grade of B. It won’t win any awards, but it’s a decent way to spend the afternoon!)

War for the Planet of the Apes

The Smurfs: The lost village

Inktober 2017, is over!

Well, it’s over! I am sitting here thinking of what to write, and more importantly what to confess.In full disclosure I didn’t finish, I only got to day 17.  I did intend to catch up, but I never got a chance, I kept falling behind, thinking tomorrow that I would but never did.

This was my first Inktober. I was excited by it, making sure that I had all my stuff together to participate. I didn’t do strictly ink, I used watercolor as well. I wanted to do the spirit of the challenge. I wrote a post on my Instagram page, not everything, most though. I did try to follow the “official prompts” and did so for every day except for one.

Besides the never-ending fear of catching up, I felt the pull of not feeling good enough. What does that mean? I don’t know. Maybe I do.

I realize in writing this blog post that I don’t need to explain anything as to why I didn’t finish or to justify it. I think with any self-challenge it’s good on a personal level for self-reflection. It’s good to understand, but not judge, the process, or “your” process.

A process that’s the important part. I haven’t found this easy, in fact, I often sabotage the process, because — of tons of reasons. It’s not my lack of knowing how to create a process, after all, I am a trained Instructional Designer, avid Bullet Journalist, journaling enthusiast, blogger, etc… I know how to create a process – -But staying with it, that’s my problem.

Sure, I can follow through with a process for work, for things that are other than, well, for me it can be difficult. The idea of perfection, that you must complete something before moving on, or even the shame of failure. The culprits, of course, are the common ideas like;  finish your dinner, that or this person is better, make sure you get it right, there can be only one, and if I might, my favorite, you don’t have the talent (not, really favorite, but something I use)… These all interfere with the process, interfering with self-regulation, knowledge of self, and confidence.

So how did I end up not finishing Inktober? Or for that matter how does all this come together, and what have I learned on this journey?

A lot actually.

Letting go of the baggage.

That’s the rub. To throw off those things that are learned over a lifetime.

It’s okay that I didn’t finish because the challenge was to improve, and I think I did. I actually have one that I really do like.

Lesson learned for the next challenge? Simple, well maybe not so simple. The Challenge is for you, and you can determine the rules. It’s okay to leave the challenge when you feel that it’s putting pressure on you because this should be fun.

 

 

#Inktober, why I am doing it this month

Inktober is an initiative by Jake Parker – It is a 31 one day drawing challenge, in which you draw with ink and paper every day for the month of October.  These are the official rules of the challenge. He also has created prompts for the month.

You can follow me on Instagram to see my progression.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is my first Inktober. I decided to do the challenge this year because I really wanted to challenge myself. I do think it will help me to develop my drawing skills and have something to look forward to every day. I am also getting my niece involved with this as well.

 

 

 

 

I was hesitant at first doing the challenge because although not a novice, I am still unsure about my skills. I have a hard time sharing my art, because I feel it’s not good enough, or that someone will be unkind. Sure it’s my own insecurities, but that is why I really want to do this challenge, to get to a place where I am not insecure. For this Challenge, I am using a Stillman and Birn toned (tan) Nova series mixed media spiral hardcover notebook. I really do love the feel of the paper, it has a little bit of a tooth, and handles watercolor nicely.

So far, these are these are the images that I created.

I didn’t have my notebook with me for the first day of the challenge I left it home.  I did this on my Samsung Note8 with the app Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. I later printed a copy and put it in my sketchbook. The first prompt was swift, what better way to show swift is a Witches Black cat on a broom. I was tempted to do a Nimbus 2000 from Harry Poter, but I decided for a regularbroom instead.

 

 

 

 

The next image is not on the prompt but I had so much fun with the black cat I decided to do a witch. I used the same app Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.  I really like how this came out. I love that you can use the Copic colors with this app. I forgot how much I really love drawing digitally, My favorite part of this image was doing the hat.

I printed a copy of this, but instead of putting it in my Intober sketchbook, I put it in my every day one.

 

 

 

 

 

On day 2 the prompt was #divided. For this, I had my sketchbook with me, but I wanted to do something different. I pulled out my sharpies. As a Witch (and Pagan) I notice that although not written on a sign, a divide when people find out that I am a witch. Notice that my Witch isn’t dressed in black, or face painted with green, but she is wearing pink. She is just a normal woman with a different belief system. Of course, there are no flying brooms, but it’s fun to play with it. The cat is there at her side so she isn’t alone.

I really liked how the sharpies worked! I love the colors. I also used some highlighters that I managed to blend with a water brush.

Day 3, was poison. What better way than to show a Witches bookcase with poison. Of course, a cat shows up again. Notice on her bookcase, there are books on ethics, herbs, and poison. I bet this Witch has the remedy for the poison.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4, today! So this is the last of the images. I sketched this in another sketchbook last night, I wanted to come up with some ideas for the underwater theme. This is not completed yet and not final. I most likely will sketch some more. I want to get the arms right. This is the one thing that will push me. I need to do more figure drawings.

I decided to draw a merman. I have no idea why, but I thought that it would be fitting. I also put a shark and a squid to be his companions.

 

 

 

 

 

I use my Bee Paper Super Delux Mixed Media for my everyday sketching. (I will be doing a video on that soon) It is one of my favorite mixed media notebooks. I have been using them in various sizes for the last year. I have filled 3 of them and just started on another one.  I also love Stillman and Birn.

UPDATE 10/05/2017:

Here is the completed drawing. It is done with all shimmering inks, with a minor exception for his skin which I did use Schminke Yellow Naples Reddish (convenience color for white skin. This quick pick doesn’t really show the prettiness of the sheen. I did a merman because I wanted to try something different. I learned a couple of things; 1) I need to work on my drawing anatomy — especially hands, arms, and torso — 2) I really like ink, but then that is a given.

 

I hope that everyone has a wonderful #Inktober, #Inktober

 

 

Ceit’s Sketching Fun

I am going to do a series of YouTube Videos on my adventures in Watercolor. I am not great at it, but I do enjoy it.

 

First sketching video. I am really just starting in the past year. I love to watch videos on drawing and watercolor. I try to sketch daily but sometimes I can’t do it..

The Materials I used
Bee Paper Company
Super Deluxe Mixed Media
4x6in. 150gm – 60 sheet spiral bound

Pentel Waterbrush.
Pocket Pallet (I found it on Etsy not eBay – https://www.etsy.com/shop/ExpeditionaryArt?ref=l2-shopheader-name) I love these pallets but you can create your own small portable pallets. I have several that I am going to feature in a video in the future)

Daniel Smith Watercolors – Do I need them at this point? Probably not, but I do love the colors. I also use Revees watercolors I found for a set of 18 at Michaels for 8 dollars, in my Coloring books.

Escoba Travel Brush – I love them so much. The only draw back is if I have to bring water with me.

I will show my travel kit in a later video.

Thank you for watching.

Personal Learning — An Instructional Designer perspective

 

Screencapture of Watercolor Study notebook

OneNote Watercolor Study. Note Book

Sometimes you don’t want formal instruction, but rather to explore on your own, to take your time and focus on certain things. Personal learning is a concept that learning is directed by the needs of the learner. Although, more and more personal learning spaces are showing up in Academics, individuals can set up their own Personal Learning Spaces with tools like OneNote. You can see my personal learning space I used in Onenote: Watercolor Study – OneNote – View only 

The set up is very simple, I added tabs across the top that will allow me quick access to those specific concepts, ideas, and interests I have in watercolor. In the first tab, I asked what I wanted to do, this is my goal, assignment, mission statement area. This tab includes my story. It gives me the ability to set long and short term goals. I can even give myself specific measurable learning objectives. In Academics, Instructors could provide a syllabus and instructions. Since this is an informal learning space in which I am learning as I go along, my goals will be broad and not specific. As I learn, I can be more specific and detailed. Since I am using OneNote as my platform, I can add editors and viewers, which means that I can add mentors or others who share the hobby or the profession.

To keep track of the material that I consume, I use the OneNote chrome extension and

Image of Chrome extension in action.

OneNote Chrome Extension

place it under the tab that I think it belongs. I really like the extension app because it allows me to save things quickly in different formats, full page(saves an HTML file in Onenote), screen-capture of area of screen, bookmarks, or other formats.  No need for cutting and pasting. In OneNote, there is an ability to annotate the page, add notes, and to customize it. This comes in helpful when I want to make notes about my work.

 

 

Screencapture of My Work Section in OneNore

My Work section with notes!

At some point I will want real feedback from others, this will help me share the work with the person I want feedback from and allow them to edit the notebook. Possibly to add additional resources I don’t have, to evaluate the material I have in the Notebook (is it good enough), give assignments, and/or project ideas. Feedback not only from those who are in the field, but other learners can be a powerful tool. The nice thing about OneNote, is that you the learner can dictate how you want the feedback and in what format. To keep track of my work I created a My Work tab and used my camera on my phone to take a picture of it and upload it via the OneNote Android app.  I can also use the Andriod App to upload images for future projects, take notes on the go (using the keyboard or draw with my finger).

Starting a OneNote for a personal learning is easy and totally customizable. Here are some tips to get started:

  1. Title the notebook for the type of learning you want.
  2. Create goals, and break down the goals into bite-sized pieces that you can obtain in short periods of time.
  3. Give yourself assignments. Just don’t “watch” a video, make sure you do something with the knowledge in the video. If you watch a video on “how-to” something then follow along. You can always pause, go back, or move forward.
  4. Be critical of the material you are using. Only you can see if the material is useful to you.
  5. Create different sections. Even if you don’t end up using them, or they turn out to have a life of their own, you can modify them, split them up, or even delete them.
  6. Use the clipping tool from Chrome, it helps you to organize better.
  7. Be creative, look at different ways you can use OneNote.
    1. Record a note – Audio or Video
    2. Draw with a pen tool or your finger (on a touch screen device)
    3. Use the TO Do list and if you have it linked to Outlook you can add them to your calendar.

Over all, this process is working for me. As an Instructional Designer, I like to have neat and organized areas to put my learning material. As I grow more comfortable with Watercolor, I can imagine this space growing into a Place where others can benefit from the information in it.

#OneNote #PersonalLearning #Instructional Design

Bullet Journal Update

I have been using the Bullet Journal System for the last 2 years. I have used different notebooks, I started in a Filofax but quickly moved away from that system because I couldn’t find a thin printable high-quality paper that I could use in my Laser printer. After using the  Leuchtturm 1917 Notebook A5 Hardcover Dotted that you can purchase from places like Goulet Pens. I recommend them because they have great customer service and the turn around is great.not to mention they have a great pen selection for fountain pen lovers.

I currently use a notebook by Nanami Paper called the crossfield, it is 480page,  5mm, A5 sized, tome river paper, dot grid notebook. The paper has a beautiful feeling to the touch. It loves fountain pen ink (although it dries slower than other paper, but they give you a blotting page), and watercolor.

I roughly use the Ryder Carrol system and you can find out more at his website Bullet Journal. What I love about the system is that it is very flexible and allows you to take control over your own time. I use other products to combine it with my notebook to help me keep on track. The inserts I get from DIYFish on Esty, she has great inserts for Filofax or midori style notebooks. I use Hyperdex Stamp Set and I use 2017 / A5 1-year Calendar / fold into A5 – Inserts Refills Filofax Binder Collins.

I use my Bullet Journal in a different way, because not only do I use it for planning, track tracking, I use it for everything. It’s the one book that comes with me everywhere.

For work:

  • Note taking at meetings – in conjunction with OneNote (I will do a separate Blog post about this.
  • Note taking – for articles, books, or blog posts
  • Brian dump for ideas, understanding.
  • Mindmapping. great for designing courses and helping faculty
  • Everyday tasks and reminders. I use this in conjunction with Outlook.

Here are images from my October 2016 set up.

octorber 2016

two pages from a bullet journal spread

 

I try to make each month my own. I like to add the Moon Phases for my spiritual work, add paydays, holidays, time off, or anything that is important to me.  The point of this is to make it work for you. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just something that you will use.

I do like to use watercolors in my journal. I currently use Prima

page from Bullet Journal

Bullet Journal week on two pages with Hyperdex stamp

Watercolors, They come in pan form and easy to store in a bag. It’s a great way to add emphases to your entries or to de-stress.

 

To the right is how I use DIY stamps for my daily time tracking and tasks. I have one week on two pages I really like this because I can quickly see what I need to do, and, well, what hasn’t.

 

been done. I use the time tracker because I want to see my sleeping habits and time spent on projects. I do color code by using a

Week on Two Pages with Hyperdex from August 2016

Week on Two Pages with Hyperdex from August 2016

pentel mechanical pencil that has an assortment of 8 colors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Color Code

Color Code Key for the Hyperdex

I really love the system and encourage everyone who loves pen and paper to give it a try. I love technology as well and do use tech tools as much as I can. I think of my Bullet Journal as my collection of ideas, that I can then enter into the digital world. Below you will find my YouTube Video which walks through my just completed Bullet Journal.

 

 

Hobby: Buffy

On of my all time favorite shows was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy is still fresh today as it was when it came out in the 90s. I really love to help spread the word when I see cool inventive things, this was created by a fan. What great work!

Oh NO, Not that, Thoughts on Cursive Writing.

I am recently reminded that Cursive is dead. It’s not really taught in schools anymore, because some say that because computers have taken over the world, there is no need for learners to learn, well cursive.

I admit I do a hack job at cursive, mixing at times print and cursive. There are many ways that you can improve your writing skills.

Here are some tools:

Kidzon Cursive

Cursive Logic (this is by far my favorite one. it was a kickstarter program)

Tools needed:

Paper and writing instrument!

On journals and paper!

 

One of my passions is writing. I love the feel of the paper, of how the nib of the fountain pen glides, the sheen of the ink, and how I feel when words flow from my mind. Most journals made for the US market are not great with fountain pens. The big reason is because most people use ballpoint pens, gel pens, or rollerball. The in that comes in these quick consumption inks are made to be disposable. Not saying that gel pens are not great pens, but they just don’t have the same feel as a Fountain pen.

 

I have found a great journal called Seven Seas, sold by Nanami paper (http://www.nanamipaper.com/categories/seven-seas-tomoe-river-paper.html). It’s a small website that has a following. There is a wealth of information on his site, and Dave (the owner) is fantastic to work with. The best-selling notebooks on his site is the Seven Seas journal made with Tomoe River paper. The paper is made in Japan by a company called Tomoegawa (http://www.tomoegawa.co.jp/english/index.html)  It’s super thin paper 52gsm for instance regular copy paper might be 20lbs (75 gsm).  (I hope I did that right! Paper weights can be confusing.  This journal is extremely well made and it holds 480 pages. You can get the Seven Seas in three ways, lined, blank, and dot grid (which is more like a cross rather than a dot. I think it’s better than a dot because I can follow the lines a little better). I use these books for journaling and Bullet Journaling (which will be in another post).

Here is a review of the Tomoe River paper (http://edjelley.com/2014/01/20/seven-seas-tomoe-river-paper-journal-review/)

Although, I am in love with the Seven Seas notebooks, there are times when I would like a little diversity in my notebook. So recently I started to make my own books! Yes, bookbinding. There are times when I want nice paper to write with, or watercolor paper for water coloring. Although, I can watercolor on Tomoe River paper, it can get crinkly, so I have decided that I will make my own. Not only for me but to give to friends.

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