About @mdvfunes

Mariana Funes is published author, chartered psychologist, a contemplation activist and a learning technologist.

Well, that was close!

What is hiding in those underground tunnels under the village?

I found this door in the basement of my tree house today and decided to open it. It has been there forever, I notice it each time I go down to get a nice bottle of wine from the cellar to drink with NanaLou or Reg when they visit.

Today I decided to investigate. i went down some stairs followed a corridor and found myself here

I followed the instructions on the terminal room. Andrew is right.

 I have uncovered a vast underground labyrinth of tunnels and corridors. While I have encountered a large number of locked doors along my explorations, I have in one instance found a room within which I have discovered a piece of functioning network hardware.

I spent hours looking before I came across this room. I then spent as long trying to find a way to add to the digital message in a bottle but I think I succeeded. As started to find my way back to my tree house at the Burgeron’s, I got lost again.

Luckily I had my phone with me. The memo recorder and torch apps worked well.

I need to rest now, it was a close call this time. I should have just used the transporter. I hope Andrew gets my message.

Behind the scenes

I discovered there are underground tunnels in Cardiff (UK) and found some amateur footage of these. I used the Tiny Planet app to create the movie at the start from a still image. Sound effects from iMovie and discovered Window < record voiceover on iMovie. Then used audio effects to create Dr M’s voice. The plan was not for a monster to attack me but Gifadog will insist on taking the limelight whenever I record.  Just a bit of fun for a rainy sunday.



The emperor’s new clothes

“What is this?” thought the emperor, “I do not see anything at all. That is terrible! Am I stupid? Am I unfit to be emperor? That would indeed be the most dreadful thing that could happen to me.” “Really,” he said, turning to the weavers, “your cloth has our most gracious approval;” and nodding contentedly he looked at the empty loom, for he did not like to say that he saw nothing.

Hans Christian Andersen (1837)

This must be the earliest recorded case of Impostor Syndrome! The emperor does not even trust his own eyes and walks out naked to meet the crowd. The people around him claiming to see the most beautiful suit even as they see him naked. Only a child on seeing him speaks the truth. The crowd turns on him and points at his naked body. The tale ends, in its original format, with the emperor saying ‘I must bear this till the end’. Even if I know I am naked and the crowd knows I am naked, and I know they know I am naked, I must keep up the pretence of being dressed until the end.

I happen to have loved this tale as a kid. Themes in it echo those of The Prisoner in the next village where I am working at the hospital. Who can tell the most convincing lie? How having hierarchical power does not inoculate you from even the prisoner telling a good tale that can destroy you; the importance of what ‘a majority’ chooses to see and how that majority is easily convinced that white is black and black is now white. Questioning everything constantly and believing nothing.

I guess I will be having lots of sessions with the family this week after such disheartening messages about how humans can behave towards each other. I have my memory machine ready to record and also some tapes to show them memories of the great kindness and trust the family has shown to others now and in past generations.


Behind the scenes

Thank you to the lovely Jonah Stern for allowing me to remix his lovely image for this assignment. Thank you to our retired eminence in the other village for his animated gif that gave me just the right frame to transform and adapt to fit inside the coat. Little questions marks a png file put in place with free transform. Village font for the alternative take on the ‘I am not a number!’ the prisoner constantly repeats. Hoping I can add this to the ‘minimalist book cover’ assignment with a twist!



Freytag’s Dramatic arC

Listening to Cousin Froid ( gosh it is hard to type this spelling) tell the story of how Clogs came to be, I was reminded of the dramatic arc in stories. I could not remember where I saw it just that it was a video, that the guy’s first name was Paul, and that it was about storytelling. The Google obliged eventually.

So what is really interesting to me is the distress part and how it is necessary to help focus our attention on the story. Something dramatic has to happen or we just go ‘meh’ and the story falls flat. I need to review my Tango butterfly story, as it does not have enough drama in it. I need to have her fall and break a wing or something. Anyway family, I thought I would post this in case it is of use to others crafting stories this week.

A lyrics poster for a great song

wakedhersoul So I went to the Assignments Bank to do something for this week on design with a celtic flavour. I loved the image of the woman in the myst and used it as background for the poster. Then the fun started. Searching for celtic fonts I came across on called First order and thought it would make a good basis for my lyrics. I picked the bit of the song I wanted. Which song? The trailer of woe, of course. And set to work. Let us just say that I have spent a long while finding out about fonts and working with the idea of the assignment about how lines from a song can,

be illustrated by using only typography. Consider how the font, color, sizes and placement of the typography can reflect or emphasize the meaning of the words.

I have kept it simple so far, but even simple is hard. Colour, size and placement will be left for the future, I focussed on font choice and how it speaks to a specific word. Only images I allowed myself were Noun Project icons as full stops to a sentence. I have been through far too many fonts to mention but one I want to share with the family as we share a Zombie Heritage, walked_her_soul___zombie_fontI had poor Nana Lou walking her soul with the Zombies! I felt that was just too much pastiche so I did not use it but I did find it great that an elaborate Zombie Font exists. I then talked to Nana Lou on the porch and she said ‘My dear, I love your poster but I have a little problem with it. The song says ‘waked’ not ‘walked’. But I can change the lyrics for you… if it is easier’. I had walked the Internet for a font that would show a soul walking but this soul was waking not walking. Dang. The web gophers (are they elves?) got to work and in the nick of time the faux pas was fixed. This time with a subtle use of outer glow to show a soul waking up. Phew. Then another less controversial font, we have the Good bye cruel world font for ‘cruel wrong’, kind of obvious but does the job. Photoshop used with many layers, multiply blending option rocks, colour picker too. I was going to use Affinity Photo but got too impatient to try new tool. What is really lovely about this when you use it with new lyrics rather than ones you already know is that it is like doing a close reading of poetry. You learn the lines and have to embody them to find something to do with just letters…loving this! [update and sometimes you embody the wrong word ’cause you did not pay good enough attention when you first read it!] drM

Tango Butterfly

And I promised I would tell you about my time in Buenos Aires dancing the tango, my dear Windmill.

– Oh, yes! I am ready to hear that tale dear butterfly. Buenos Aires? That is very far away…in South America, I believe.

– Well let me tell you a little secret, I was born there.

And so it was that when I was old enough, old enough to be sad to leave, I had to fly far away from my country of birth. Life was too hard there for me and my family so we flew away. I never forgot the tango. I used to sit on a tree in La Boca and watch the humans dancing the tango on the street. They were free to dance on the street! I so wanted to dance!

So every day I would get the chores done at home and before school I would go to La Boca to watch the dancing. I could not get enough of it. I wanted to learn but I kept being told I was too young and anyway butterflies do not dance the tango. In Argentina or anywhere else.

I just kept coming to watch anyway.

And then one day, I felt something touching my wings.

– Would you like to be a human and dance the tango for a day? I can make that happen for you. I am the Butterfly Fairy.

– Yes! Can you? Really?

– I can. But only for a day and then you will never fly again.

But – said the windmill- no more flying? You do still fly. I am confused.

…and at the time I did not know I would again. The Butterfly Fairy was testing my passion for the dance, she never planned to leave me flightless. And I said yes from the bottom of my heart. I wanted to dance more than anything in the world.

– come back tomorrow and we will do it  right here – she said and disappeared.

I could not sleep a wink all night. I was going to finally dance the tango the next day.

It was painless. The change, I mean. I had done it before when I became a butterfly. after all.

And I danced and danced all day until I could barely stand. I went to sleep and then woke up a butterfly again. Time passes and even those moments you want to hold forever dissolve back into the earth.

But after that day I was not the same. Flying had lost its lustre for me. Why fly when you can walk and dance? When you can touch the ground with your feet at each step?

I finished school and things were tough at home as I told you earlier. I did not help matters at home always mopping and wishing I could walk. My family decided to fly away and leave Buenos Aires for Europe. I still remember the boat leaving the harbour. We were not strong enough to fly across to the other side of the world, so we settled on a boat that was making the journey whilst we could rest for most of the way. We did not know what awaited us the other end.

Well, as you know what awaited us was life in Holland and getting to know you and being best friends with you. So it was not all bad. Yet, I missed dancing for a long time. Then, one day I realised something. If a stopped flapping my wings and let the wind carry me, it was just like I was back there in La Boca dancing the tango. And ever since I discovered that, it is like I am dancing the tango every time I fly back here to see you.

And that is why everyone calls me Tango Butterfly.

Behind the scenes

I have been dithering about this story for too long!

So I went back to the story spine and used it to structure my first fairy tale. I am sure it can be improved and I am really happy for any of you storytellers to edit this post to your heart’s content. I just wanted to get a story out there and then build on it through the summer. I want to add gifs to it and make it into a multi-media experience. But not tonight.

Dr M. teleporting tree house

Hello family!

I have arrived to the family home and am comfortably settled in my tree house as usual each summer. As you know my tree house is very special. It is definitely larger on the inside and is often in the news.

Dr M talks about her Tree House

What you may not know is that I had some adaptations made to it specially for this summer.  We know about our time cycle and the adventures we can have there. Well, I wanted something like it for my tree house. I consulted with many excellent engineers and they have added a teleport button to my lovely house for this summer. Just like the other doctor! the technical term is Tree House Materialisation or THM.

If you look closely you can see the teleport button under the house and the sign for the 'other' village too

If you look closely you can see the teleport button and the Prisoner 106 Village sign

If you load this file and this file into JJ MacGif new clever contraption here, you can hear the tree house materialising as an audio gif! He is so clever. I used this other clever gadget to get the right format file from Soundcloud.

I still need to make cosmetic changes as I need to add my badge for the other Village I am visiting this summer to my front door. I also promised to bring a set of Jim Groom’s for the whole family from the there!

I will leave the box of them out in the front porch of the trailer so that NanaLou can distribute to the family during the festival or before.

Our holiday adventure begins. In the ‘other’ village I am working at the hospital so it is not going to be as relaxing as visiting the family here. Although I hear that some family members are struggling with their identity and may need a few sessions on the couch this summer.

I plan to make sure that our screening room in the tree house has many good video fairy tales to inspire our writing this summer. I also think we need to tidy up our media library or we will soon run out of space. Can I ask the members of the family to remove anything they do not need for this year extravaganza and move it to the shared Google Plus folder not the Dropbox as this folder takes up space in the family’s computers.

A busy summer ahead, I shall look forward to writing my epic fairy tale ‘Tango Butterfly’ for the festival this summer too.

Stop Press- News from Nana Lou


Well, look what Dr M found as she was checking the mail box for news from Nana Lou.

It seems she has gone to celebrate her birthday away from the trailer and with a mystery man, as well as with Aunty Sappho? As we say in England, and may be elsewhere, spill the beans, Sappy! Although the Gifachrome seems to have used very few colours, this shrink could swear that Nana Lou looks several years younger having fun in Maui.

Silent Harry and Dr M

Well family, this week we are reading movies to prepare for next week when we make them.

As you know from last week’s trailer, Dr M is working on a silent movie for the reunion and wanted to learn a few tricks to make the movie a little more realistic. It turns out that in the unit we are working on this week from the open syllabus there is some information to prepare for just such an assignment.

From that assignment I went to a tutorial by Cogdog that has lots of tricks to help Dr M with her movie making.

If you do one thing this week ‘read’ the movie clip Cogdog made. What tricks does he use to turn a modern film into a silent one? Then read his blog post to get more pointers. Have a good week all!

This week Dr M is around to guide you around the trailer. Just knock at the tree house door but watch out for the gardenia pot.




Doggy Boo / updated

We think we have found a photo of the Boos pet: Doggie-Boo

We think we have found a photo of the Boos pet: Doggie-Boo

Have you seen him? Can you find the source of this photo? Was it taken by our investigative reporter? or Aunty Sappy? Or Mama Boo herself?

Reggy Burgeron hasn’t found the original owner of the photo of Doggie-Boo despite extensive Internet research from under the bed in his camper. Reggy does believe that we’re dealing here with a passed-on Maltezer dog.

Reggy did find a Gif-a-Chrome photo with the same dog (Doggie-Boo) on it.

Doggy Boo is the dog of Mama Boo and Bobby Boo

Doggy Boo is the dog of Mama Boo and Bobby Boo