Saturday, May 13, 2017

13~ Global Scratch Day

For about 2 years, Maria has been enjoying Scratch, a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, and today she participated in a very special event celebrating the tenth birthday of the Scratch program, Global Scratch Day. Using Scratch, Maria has been learning to program, or write code, which has given her the opportunity to illustrate, write games, create animations, and engage in an online community of fellow coders. And today she taught Working With Vector Graphics, Advanced Workshop, portrait making.

The Benevolent Order of Makers was proud to be represented by Maria, and to participate in this great event. It's our first Scratch Day event, and it will not be our last!

Not only did we get to spend the day with family and friends, like Bex and Spencer, but we were surrounded by all kinds of enthused and energized people who were eager to learn, eager to teach, eager to share. The exchange of ideas and knowledge is probably one of our favorite incentives for being a benevolent order of makers.

We are so glad to have friends like Ido...

and Leslie... they brought their happy Scratch Day enthusiasm and experiences with them when they moved here from New York. Now we know what a Scratch Day can be, we are already looking forward to next year.

Maria and Simon~

Getting started.

Maria chose to share her knowledge of making portraits, using vector shapes, with more advanced Scratchers. To prepare for the hour long workshop she created different elements that coders could assemble, and make their own. She also wrote key notes and directions on two white boards. Geoff and I were on hand to help... Geoff for technical support, and me to move chairs, and take pictures. Really, she knows Scratch, and managed her lesson plan and preparations all on her own.

Tutu, Aunt Holly, and cousin Iz joined the class, which was a nice bonus.

During the afternoon session Maria decided to be a student and take on Pen... Pen blocks are for controlling the pen tool in Scratch. This class gave Maria new skills and confidence in using functions to create graphic patterns and geometric shapes.

Geoff, Nadav, Maria, and Simon~

Maria is fine tuning her project to share at the end of the day. A great aspect of Scratch is keeping things open, so people can share what they've made, how it was done, and learn from other Scratcher's projects, too.

The day, and the activities, the people we met, all of it raised our thoughts and confirmed our hopes and plans. We love our community, we love the integrity and drive of people who want to teach and learn, grow and share, and we are eager for more... more Make, more Scratch, more sharing, thinking, tinkering, playing, testing, failing, moving forward, creating, and BOoM!

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

11~ More Moments

Is it too late to make a New Year Resolution? Of course not. I'm going for it. I want to dedicate the rest of this year to taking more pictures of friends, with friends, for friends, about friends. I want to capture the smiles, the light, the familiar faces and moments that make our lives meaningful, supported, funny, inspired, motivating, engaging.

Thank you, Janece, Paul, for submitting yourselves so willingly and warmly to my Stop! I have to take your picture! request command. And fair warning: Family, friends, cashier at the Trader Joe's, I want more moments, captured for posterity, so get ready to say queso, please.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

10~ Prop Master

Maria's school is preparing to perform Sleeping Beauty. Maria is designing and organizing props, and the cool thing is... she's in touch with a budding prop master who is more than happy do her bidding. William wasn't only happy to make a sword and shield for Prince Phillip, he was ecstatic. Topsy-turvy fairy-non-magic cake? He nailed it. There are two more props we are looking forward to seeing completed. Maleficent's staff has some promising design features, and the dragon... ? that's a big one! Fortunately, Maria has some imaginative concepts drawn up, and we know a guy.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

9~ Crochet Blues

Is this a sad post? Maybe, a bit. If it is, it's my own darn fault. The trouble begins with granny squares; I keep making them, and when I ran out of rose colored yarn, I switched to blue ones. But I still had not learned a satisfying way to attach them. Now I have a drawer, overflowing, with rose and gray squares, and another drawer crammed with blue squares. Ok... that's the first part of my blues... Recently I decided to start a blue, cotton yarn blanket, and I committed to making it wide enough to attach rows of the blue granny squares from my stash. I measured. I planned. I was sure. The double crocheted rows of blue cotton yarn are coming along, and I concocted a solid method for attaching the granny squares (at last!) But guess what?? My strip of attached granny squares is too short to align with the blanket. Two and half inches, too short... but, my planning! The measuring! The confidence! Foiled. Shut down. Humiliated. Vexed. Addled. Instead of eliminating a work. in. progress. with a grand endeavor, I have created another wip. Now I have two incomplete, poorly planned blue cotton yarn works in progress. (And let's not even raise the question... Who needs to make blankets??)

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Monday, May 08, 2017

8~ Hey Kids!

Geoff asked, "How old are the goats?"
My brain goes back to the spring of 2012, when Alex and Suki were seniors in high school and Maria was only 7 years old, Max was finishing middle school, William and Geoff were building our "barn." Way back. I made a quick calculation... 2017 less 2012, and voila! "They're five! They're five years old."


It seems like it was just last week when I was introducing the kids. Take care... only *click* on that link if you can totes handle cute goats!

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

7~ A Good Scratch

Cairo kitty heard we were scratching and he came to have a look. Cairo, like most cats, loves a good scratch. What he didn't understand was that sometimes when we scratch we actually Scratch! Writing code, animating, making games, and creating vector line art, programming with MIT's Media Lab. If you have never Scratched, and would like to learn how to code, there is a wonderful opportunity to learn more... Look for a Scratch Day event near you! There is a global network of events to celebrate this 10th anniversary of Scratch. And it's not just for children... any beginner can get familiar with programming and writing code, using this free, open-source, and engaging program. Maria will be leading a class at an area Scratch Day event, and she's looking forward to learning new skills, too.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.