The Possible

I have done it! I have completed my impossible project and made it POSSIBLE!!

My bear has finally been completed and I’m super happy with the results. The last class day I worked on this, I created the internal pockets that I sketched out, and attatched them inside the bear.

They worked successfully! I then added a nose and eyes to the bears face, stuffed it, then closed it up, and done!!

It was really satisfying being able to see the impossible become possible. When I was younger I always wanted to make my own stuffed animal. I always attempted but never was successful. So finally creating this made the child in me very happy and filled with tears of joy.

The night I completed the bear I was watching the movie Christopher Robin on Netflix and couldn’t help but notice how much my bear resembled Winnie the Pooh! So that brings me to the What’s next? portion of this project…

WHAT’S NEXT: after completing this project, I now plan to look into the speaker device and see how I would be able to program multiple sounds into the speaker. As of right now I only have one sound being able to be played, but I want to explore the option of having more. I also plan on making a red T-shirt for my bear that possibly lights up, also by pushing a button or switch, to resemble Winnie the Pooh, but adding the lights as my own personal touch! I will also be working on the learning objective handout I mentioned before that I will be using in my handout.

I noticed when I presented my completed bear and passed it around the classroom, everyone stopped to take a moment and hug it. After a week of cramming to finish up projects, lesson plans, activites in multiple classes, I’m glad my bear was able to reduce some anxieties and frustrations from my classmates. I will for sure bring this type of project or lesson into a classroom to help the students take a break from their normal studies.

Another Impossible Update

So my impossible project is coming to a near end! I had many trails and errors, for example I bought the wrong shade of sherpa fabric so my bear would have almost been two different shades of brown! But luckily Michael’s craft store still had one last bundle of sherpa in the right shade I needed. A couple of times I also sewed the wrong pieces in the wrong places or even backwards. For example I sewed the bears’ arms where its legs should be, and had to unstitch it all and back track a little bit, refer to the pattern I found on the internet and start again. I screamed (just a little bit) to let the frustration out but luckily it was an easy fix!

This is where I am currently at and how far I’ve gotten with the bear:

The bears body has been completely assembled (just needing the bottom feet, then adding face details! (nose and eyes))

What I am currently working is finishing the body then inserting the speaker component. My plan for the speaker component is to make an internal pocket in the bears arm to hold the speaker. The wire is to be hanging out and leading into the bears arm/ hand so when the hand is squished/ pressed, the music/ sound will play!

an update on the sound, unfortunately I checked all over our home computer and could not find the voicemail audios from my dad. They could possibly be in our other computer that is in Austin, but I won’t have time to travel to Austin anytime soon. So for now, I will be leaving the music I already have programmed in it and hopefully when the voicemails are found I can switch it!

What’s next:

So while I’ve been working on this I have been thinking about the learning object that I will use while teaching in my classroom that involves this project. I’m thinking about creating my own handout that shows the different methods of sewing and also a how-to on speaker circuits. I want it to look free and sketchy like I took it out of a sketchbook. So I will most likely be drawing pieces of it and scanning it into InDesign or PhotoShop to create my handout.

 

Impossible update

So far my impossible project is coming along GREAT! Unfortunately I was not able to use my sisters’ sewing machine, we cannot find the peddle ANYWHERE. But that did push my to perfect the little sewing skills I already have. My sewing has gotten a lot better, and I have even gotten faster! I also have been messing with my speaker component, and finally figured it out! After a couple wiring fixes, my speaker is up and ready to go! For now, I have added Minecraft music to test it out. Although I might change it to a sweet message prerecorded by my father. He passed away 3 years ago, but I have a couple voicemails of him saying “I love you, and I miss you!” saved onto my home computer. So if everything works out, I want to convert those voicemails and program them into the speaker component and add it to my teddy bear.

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I have completed my bears’ head and I am now working into piecing together the body!

 

My bear will soon be completed by the looks of it. If I have spare time to kill, I want to design a tshirt to put on my bear that lights up using a lily pad circuit and conductive thread! It may be a little challenge, I have to make sure nothing is short circuited or I might catch something on fire since its direct contact with fabric. But it seems like a fun idea!

PS. while working on this project I have actually been listening to minecraft music. A while back one of my professors played it during class and I realized it really made me calm and focused. So I continued listening to this music and it has been really helping me remain focused even through any bumps in the road that I have come across. Which is also why I programmed the bear to play minecraft music for now. The music calmed me while working so I figured it would calm me to sleep also.

More updates on my bear coming soon!

 

The beginning of the impossible

So… I gave up.

My first initial idea was just too much for me. I researched a lot and looked into everything and I think building my own oil diffuser will just be too much for me. It would be a fun experience and very satisfying once completing, but I just think it would be too much for me and at some point I would have wanted to pull my hair out.

Fortunately, on April 9th I had an interview in San Antonio for a summer teaching job. As my supervisor and I were going over the lesson plans and curriculum I will be delivering during June and July, I had a sudden spark and knew exactly what to do instead! One of the activities had to do with msuic and stuffed animals, (sort of like a hot potato game) and a light bulb appeared over my head instantly! (not literally) for my impossible project I am now going to make my own stuffed animal out of sherpa and fiber, (most likely a teddy bear) and put in a speaker so the animal will be able to talk through a prerecorded sound. I have purchased everything needed, all the material and stuffing, and the programmable speaker will be coming in the mail soon! and just for fun, I also ordered a motor that acts as a heart beat for my stuffed animal! I’m a lot more excited to start on this project than the other one. I already know how to sew (somewhat) so I will be teaching myself how to use a sewing machine for this project! Sewing machiens have always been a fear of mine actually. I have one at home but it just sits there because I have always been afraid to use it. But this is my learning curve and I’m gld it will help me overcome my fears!

At the beginning of every class my professor will ask us one by one in our table discussion where we are at with our projects, what’s coming next, what is working and what isn’t, etc. On Aprill 11th I went into class and was not afraid to say I gave up. It was a  learning experience, rather a small one, but it was better for me to simply give up and try something a bit more realistic rather than continuing the diffuser project and practically burning myself out. Of course the objective is not to come to a completion and a perfect set and done project, but to at least come close to it, with some learning. But I knew it would be very difficult so I decided to change my project completely. I was able to share that with my classmates and show them it is okay to change it up a bit. (maybe at least while its still early in the time frame)

Impossible/ Interface update

I finally completed my interface activity this past week. In my last blog post I shared the first step. I started off easy and went with the simple parallel circuits. But then I had a bright idea, and instead of using the copper tape as “buttons” or sensors, I installed actual buttons! I used the same coding, press space bar to activate a cry for help and press the down arrow to show spiderman coming down to save the day, but instead of the copper tape being connected to the makey-makey for the sensors, I connected two buttons in the circuits place. To me the buttons added a more complete effect. I like the satisfaction of pressing a button and expecting something to happen, and it actually happens! A classmate commented on my interface story activity that it reminded them of an old 90’s arcade game with the joystick and two buttons. My story element containing Spiderman probably influenced that correlation a little more also.

Working with the makey-makey was really cool, and a great element for the classroom. It pushed coding a little further and made materials a lot more interactive. I like how I was given matierals and not given direct instructions. It made my learning a lot more exploratory and personal. I made my own design decisions and learned exactly what I wanted to learn. And if I wanted to learn more, I pushed myself to add more elements to extend the learning and take it to another step.

Now as far as my impossible project…

I have my idea, I have settled with building my own oil diffuser. I made my porposal in class and with a little table discussion, I recieved a green light to proceed with my project. The only issue I had was the electrical portion, having to mix water with an outlet for my plug in diffuser. But I did mention that some are batterie operated and some are even USB plug ins that can work straight from a computer, so that took the ease off of worrying if id electricute myselfFor the next couple of classes I plan to be taking apart an oil diffuser and seeing how they work. (preferably looking into battery opperated ones and usb plug ins) – I only have used plug in ones that go to an outlet on the wall in my home so I want to explore the battery opperated one and usb first to get familiar with it and potentially try to even incorporate some parts into my own diffuser.

As far as design aspects, I am not too sure what I would want it to look like, for now I just know I want it to be able to light up, maybe change colors and possibly even add a music compenent to it as well. I will have more detailed images and a blue print once I get started on it soon 🙂

beginning of the impossible

In my digital media class I will soon be working on an IMPOSSIBLE project. It was introduced last week and I have began the brain storming phase. The Impossible project is something I will be working on, to make something that pushes my curiosity. My only limits are to incorporate the past material inquiries I have been given, and also to not know how to do what I am proposing. So for example if I were to propose a project where I would build a tv, I must not know how to build a tv before I begin the project. It is a learning experience where I will think of something that seems entirely impossible to me and make it possible! (Hopefully) Of course it is not required to come to a finishing point where I achieve what I proposed, for example ACTUALLY have built a working tv from scratch, because it is all about the learning process. It would be very great to have completed what I proposed but I do not also want to overwhelm myself so therefore it is not required to be perfect and done.

I have had a couple ideas under my sleeve that I came up with while brainstorming that include:

-building a mini pottery wheel

-building a mini kiln

-building an oil diffuser

A student last semester did build a mini pottery wheel already so I would not want to copy her idea or anything, so I might go with building an oil diffuser, containing a switch to turn the oil diffuser on and off and also a switch to change the color LED light settings. And if I’m feeling super creative and up for it, I might throw in a speaker that connects with an aux cord, maybe even bluetooth. It seems SUPER impossible for me so hopefully this proposal is acceptable.

I’m really excited about working on this project soon!

But in the mean time, I’m currently working on a material inquiry activity called Interface. I’m instructed to build a physical computing assemblage with materials I have already explored in class — Scratch programming, circuits, switches, and microcontrollers. I will engage the overlap between computational materials (e.g., code & circuits) and traditional art materials (e.g., drawing, painting, collage) to make an interactive story element.

So far I have started by testing the waters so I won’t end up overwhelming myself. I have a story element including a cry for help and spiderman coming down, hanging by a web.

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I have a built in simple parallel circuit connected with copper tape and a makey-makey. (similar to the microbit)

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My next step I want to incorporate a more advanced button switch and more story elements included in scratch.

So I will continue working on the interface activity and soon start on my impossible project! Updates on my progess will be posted, so stay tuned! 🙂

Learning and Digital Media

So far my digital media class has been a mini tornado of learning! alot of information has been delivered but thankfully I’ve been able to keep up. so here is a glimpse of one thing I recently worked on.

A couple weeks ago I learned how to use micro:bit and moto:bit along with scratch.

(This link further explains what micro:bit is and how to use it.)

Once I learned, (somewhat learned) how to use microbit and motobit, I incorporated my learning into my next project, Toy Take Apart! In my toy take apart project I had to literally take apart a toy and make it my own by adding any type of motors and/or LED lights. I had soooooo many ideas running through my mind I had a lot of trouble deciding what to do and where to even start. Since I was still fairly new to micro and moto bit, I decided to take baby steps and then come back to my toy and work into motors later on. I can definitely say the assignment was a great learning experience. Being able to take over and gear myself into my own learning and basically do whatever I wanted, gave me the ability to self learn. Like I said I didn’t know very much about micro and moto bit, but since I was given the time to sit down and mess with everything, I was abke to figured a lot out as I went along with my programming.

I started out with a simple plush stegosaurus dinosaur, and my final product was the same dinosaur, programmed to have 4 LED lights turn on and off when designated buttons were to be pressed. I went through many different options and a lot of trial and errors, (which included and accidental exploding of an LED light)

IMG_6388**WARNING** DO NOT ATTACH AN LED LIGHT TO A TWO BATTERY HOLSTER. THE LED LIGHT WILL EXPLODE**

It was a funny accident, everyone learns from their mistakes of course.

Once that happened, it was like a light bulb appeared over my head and I knew exactly what to do after that. I attached the LED lights to the motobit, and the motobit to the microbit and came up with this:

BINGO_final_coding

I programmed 4 LED lights to turn on when the button “A” is pressed and turn off when button “B” is pressed. I then cut open the dinosaur and sewed velcro onto its back so when the LED lights were installed, the buttons to turn on and off the LED lights were accessible. destuffing

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The feeling of the final assemblage was very rewarding and a big sigh of relief.  I was super proud of myself and I’m excited to soon incorporate motors into the toy!

Gif making

Earlier last week I caught the flu… I was stuck in bed for almost a week. So unfortunately I had to miss class. The day I missed, my professor gave tutorials and discussed how to make GIFs. The assignment to create a gif wasn’t due until the following week so I wasn’t toooooo worried about it. I knew I could go to class the following meeting and get help from my fellow classmates. Unfortunately the following class meetings were just as jam packed and we didn’t have much work time aside from the work we were doing those days in class. So it was up to myself to make a gif and catch up on anything I missed. I sat down and looked within our course website and luckily my professor uploaded a tutorial video on how to make a simple gif. I followed step by step exactly what the video was explaining and with just my luck, I taught myself how to make a gif! the first gif I made was a simple gif of a ball traveling from one corner, to another. I didn’t have many issues creating the first gif since I followed step by step. And here it is.

martinez_ball_GIF

I used photoshop to create this gif. I had no idea I could make a gif on photoshop, I thought I was only able to edit photos on photoshop! So that was another thing I learned. After creating the ball gif, I wanted to create another by myself. I didn’t know exactly where to start or what to even make so I googled some ideas and came across a couple Pokemón gifs. I found one I really liked of a character named Pikachu, doing a little dance. I decided to take baby steps since I am fairly new to making gifs and just remake the one I found. I drew a couple frames and sooner or later, I remade the gif! It was really exciting to create my own gif because I use gifs a lot in my everyday life, especially when texting or on social media. Here is the Pikachu gif I created:

martinez_gif

I was a little nervous to make a gif since I missed the class we were introduced to gifs. It seems a little hard but I caught on quickly and am really proud of these gifs I made! Of course I’m super excited about these and will most likely continue making them in the future!

My professor also had us upload our gifs to an HP reveal app to give our gifs an aura effect!

here is the link to my aura!

If you download the HP Reveal app and follow the instructions on your phone, you can see my aura! if not, search for me in the HP Reveal app, my username is: ashycx

This was a great learning experience and I’m excited for where the gifs will be contributed in my next projects!

expanded media…

This semester I decided to take a video class. I myself have not been very interested in video art, but I do have to say I have not been exposed to much video art in my life, and neither the history of it. Since I was younger I have always been a painter, so this past summer I challenged myself to step out of my own comfort zone and pushed myself to take other classes to learn different medias. Last semester I took ceramics. I quickly found a new love for clay and throwing. It was like a second nature for me and I fell in love with it. I made tons of bowl and mugs and sculptures big and small, some were for a grade and were submitted, but some projects I made on the side for myself and practice.  It was such a great experience and was also actually really therapeutic and calming. I do plan on returning to ceramics in the future. But this semester, I am taking a video class. Now I am terrible with technology. I for one don’t rely on computers or technology to do work for me. I am more of a hands on person and want full control of everything I am doing. I want my art physically in my hands, and I would rather get my hands dirty and do that type of hard work. So this class… it has been a challenge for me. but I am getting the hang of it rather quickly and everything I am learning has been very useful. Today my first project was due, a themed series. I went ahead and did a video of my family and I doing things. At first I wanted to have the project based off of footage that I secretly took without my family knowing that way I captured moments that were pure and true to their character. The theme would have been a type of spying and hidden camera feeling, but while in the process I noticed a common theme carried throughout the footage I collected was the type of music we listen to rahter often. I did not notice this until I was editing the footage and a light bulb appeared over my head and turned my whole project into a different direction. I’m actually really satisfied with the results and letting the footage speak for itself.

the video has been uploaded to youtube, and can be found at this link.

the beginning of a new semester

So far this semester has been filled with a lot of excitement! I am only a couple weeks in so I have not made a complete project yet, but the in class activities I have done that lead into further projects have helped me learn and grow a lot! One thing I explored and picked up quickly on is a website called “scratch.” Scratch is a block based visual programming language and online community where children ranging from 7 and up can create their own interactive stories, games, animations and so much more. Scratch allows children to learn coding concepts and create interactive projects without needing to learn a text-based programming language. Many schools even use it as part of the curriculum. As I progressed in my own scratch creations, it made me realize how quickly kids can pick up on learning something new. I came across many small trials and confusions within my own project, but discovered many kids younger than me already knew the answer and how to solve some of the issues I came across.

The animated story I created on scratch was no where near as advanced as the children can create. But I am still learning and will continue to as I progress and create more projects.

Here I have recreated a well known story of how Ash Ketchum got his first pokemon, Pikachu! I have titled it Pokemon Episode 1. (Instructions on how to view are within the link and story.)  Sounds and music were pulled from youtube and images were either drawn or found on Google.  Being my first full project on scratch, there is a few minor hiccups, but I really enjoyed creating this and am really proud of it. Super excited to conintue working with scratch!