The Burgeron Bard Arrives

The children at the Bovine County Fairy Tale festival have been wonderfully entertained with Nanalou and other #Burgeron106 community sharing stories over at Dr. M’s treehouse.  For those at the festival looking for more adult fare I’ve been in charge of programming and advertising the talent line-up over at “The Porch”. This week, in support of our Celtic Fairy Tale theme from the summer long Around The World Workshops, the world renowned bard of Celtic literature and history, JJ MacGif is joining us.

“In ancient times the Bards were the keepers of tradition, of the memory of the tribe – they were the custodians of the sacredness of the Word.”  Learn more…

He had plans to visit the family last summer for our family reunion, but was unable to make it due to finishing his intense training as a master storyteller. We especially appreciate him taking time away this year from his newly appointed government position as the Minister for Education & Culture and his post as Poet Laureate.

Bard_JJMacGif_Poster2_QRCode

Want to hear a preview of this great olam’s work? Click on the PR poster above or use your mobile device to scan and read the QR code. (QRCode App available for download at: https://scan.me/download) There you’ll find his rendition of “The Fairy Oak of Corriewater” from the Scottish folktale “Elphin Irving”.

You might find this summary and analysis interesting as background on the poem.
http://tam-lin.org/stories/The_Faerie_Oak_of_Corriewater.html

On a dark night the sound of pipes heralds the coming of the faeries, who emerge shining from the green hills. They have come to dance and celebrate beneath a thousand year old oak that the Queen of Faeries had planted. The Queen is also celebrating her capture of a handsome human named Elph Irving, and intends to seal his service for seven years with a kiss. Before the kiss takes place though, the faeries rush to their steeds as a christian soul interupts. The sister of Elph Irving approaches, and takes hold of her brother, calling on God. He is transformed into a variety of beasts, and she continues to hold him. When he is turned into fire, however, she releases him with a scream and faints. The faeries laugh at her failure, and she is consumed in the blaze.

THE FAIRY OAK OF CORRIEWATER

The small bird’s head is under its wing,
The deer sleeps on the grass;
The moon comes out, and the stars shine down,
The dew gleams like the glass:
There is no sound in the world so wide,
Save the sound of the smitten brass,
With the merry cittern and the pipe
Of the fairies as they pass.
But oh! the fire maun burn and burn,
And the hour is gone, and will never return.

The green hill cleaves, and forth, with a bound,
Comes elf and elfin steed;
The moon dives down in a golden cloud,
The stars grow dim with dread;
But a light is running along the earth,
So of heaven’s they have no need:
O’er moor and moss with a shout they pass,
And the word is spur and speed—
But the fire maun burn, and I maun quake,
And the hour is gone that will never come back.

And when they came to Craigyburnwood,
The Queen of the Fairies spoke:
“Come, bind your steeds to the rushes so green,
And dance by the haunted oak:
I found the acorn on Heshbon Hill,
In the nook of a palmer’s poke,
A thousand years since; here it grows!”
And they danced till the greenwood shook:
But oh! the fire, the burning fire,
The longer it burns, it but blazes the higher.

“I have won me a youth,” the Elf Queen said,
“The fairest that earth may see;
This night I have won young Elph Irving
My cupbearer to be.
His service lasts but seven sweet years,
And his wage is a kiss of me.”
And merrily, merrily, laughed the wild elves
Round Corris’s greenwood tree.
But oh! the fire it glows in my brain,
And the hour is gone, and comes not again.

The Queen she has whispered a secret word,
“Come hither my Elphin sweet,
And bring that cup of the charméd wine,
Thy lips and mine to weet.”
But a brown elf shouted a loud, loud shout,
“Come, leap on your coursers fleet,
For here comes the smell of some baptised flesh,
And the sounding of baptised feet.”
But oh! the fire that burns, and maun burn;
For the time that is gone will never return.

On a steed as white as the new-milked milk,
The Elf Queen leaped with a bound,
And young Elphin a steed like December snow
’Neath him at the word he found.
But a maiden came, and her christened arms
She linked her brother around,
And called on God, and the steed with a snort
Sank into the gaping ground.
But the fire maun burn, and I maun quake,
And the time that is gone will no more come back.

And she held her brother, and lo! he grew
A wild bull waked in ire;
And she held her brother, and lo! he changed
To a river roaring higher;
And she held her brother, and he became
A flood of the raging fire;
She shrieked and sank, and the wild elves laughed
Till the mountain rang and mire.
But oh! the fire yet burns in my brain,
And the hour is gone, and comes not again.

“O maiden, why waxed thy faith so faint,
Thy spirit so slack and slaw?
Thy courage kept good till the flame waxed wud,
Then thy might begun to thaw;
Had ye kissed him with thy christened lip,
Ye had wan him frae ’mang us a’.
Now bless the fire, the elfin fire,
That made thee faint and fa’;
Now bless the fire, the elfin fire,
The longer it burns it blazes the higher.”


THE MAKING OF…

[NOTE:  I tried to get fancy and use the collapsible “read more” feature to make the post more scanable from here down. To my horror, upon a later preview, all of the supposedly collapsed text had disappeared – leaving only the <!–more–> code. YIKES! Luckily I save often and was able to return to an earlier draft and copy the text I’d lost into the current version. Yet one more reason I want to move our site to a new and fully functional wordpress theme.]


DESIGNING A PR POSTER: DesignAssignments1521 DesignTutorials1521

imageThis week’s trip to the Bank of DS106 Assignments had me researching the design world.  Designing A Promotional Flyer,DesignAssignments1521, caught my attention. I don’t think of myself as a designer, so this was a learning challenge I wanted to take.  The image, fonts, colors, placement of text and other stuff are all important in getting your message across in a clear and inviting way.

Using Photoshop CC 2014 I uploaded my image and began placing the text.I found a couple of celtic related fonts for free and after experimentation decided on UnZialish Regular with the addition of a drop shadow effect. My first attempt at copying and pasting the William Blake quote was awful.  The line spacing was coming over as maybe 4 times more space than I wanted. I tried removing the formatting, but that didn’t help.  Frustrated I went to the web and found out how to fix my line spacing issue. There’s an option called “Leading” that is not readily available in the Options Bar, but hidden in the Character Panel.  Once I found the Character Panel,

which was not easy I can tell you, I was able to play around with both the font size and line spacing until I came up with a look I liked.  I choose the line spacing to be two font sizes larger than font itself.

The placement of the text was simply by feel.  I moved them around until it looked “right” to me.  There were several iterations. Finally, I used the eyedropper tool to pick colors from the poster itself to maintain integrity with the image. Again, I played around, clicking different shades from different locations until I found one that worked.

ADDING A QR CODE:

QRCode_FairyOakSoundCloudThe addition of a QR Code was a flash of brilliance that sort of works by allowing the viewer to use their cell phone camera to access the web for more information. I input the URL that I want the user to follow into the generator.  It generates the QR code image which I then downloaded to my computer. Adding the image to my Photoshop file didn’t work correctly, so I opened it in preview and took a snapshot of the image, which then pasted into a new layer just fine.

This concept works great for a real physical poster that you’d post on a wall- but not so great in the purely digital world unless you are opening the poster on a laptop/desktop computer and have additional access to a mobile device to scan and read the code.  (A work around would be to add a clickable link with the use of an image mapper software like this one from CoffeCup.)

A FINAL GLITCH:

There was one more little glitch. I wasn’t sure on the proper spelling of MacGif. My tweet to @johnjohnston confirmed that I had spelled it incorrectly as “Mac Gif”. It was an easy fix in the Photoshop file. While I was in there I also took the opportunity to adjust the white colored font at the top. The “8pm” text wasn’t as visible as I would like against the white clouds.  I darkened it a bit by using the eyedropper to pick up a hue from his white shirt.

But this tiny change in the original file proved not so easy when I tried to update my announcement of the event/poster in our Google+ community. I thought I’d simply delete the link to the poster image and re-add the new one. Guess what I learned this morning? You can’t do that.


Attributions:

The Celts Cometh

The Bovine County Fairy Tale Festival is underway. Our weekly Around The World workshops are a place to learn more about a culture and to build your creative digital muscles.  Participate in a workshop anytime or dip your digital toes into all nine!


Week 2: The Celts Cometh & Designing Destiny

Resources:

duncmyth“This anthology of Celtic folklore tales by Joseph Jacobs is one of the best of the crop. It includes some great tales such as “Munachar and Manachar”, the “Brewery of Eggshells”, and “Fair, Brown and Trembling”. Jacobs also includes an extensive Notes and References section if you want to follow up on each tale.”

Scottish:

Scottish“This is a collection of Scottish folklore which will appeal to all ages. There are animal tales, stories of the fairies of Scotland including Brownies, Bogles, Kelpies, Mermaids and others, and tales of Witches and of Giants. While many of the themes are similar to other European folk-tales, this collection emphasizes specifically Scottish aspects of the stories.”

Irish:


This week’s digital skills workshop: It’s All By Design

To assist festival-goers in further developing their digital literacy skills and establishing a personal digital identity, each week we highlight a different topic being sponsored by the Bank of DS106 Assignment with volunteer support from the Open DS106 community.  This week we offer “It’s All By Design”.

Rather than specifying “assignments” everyone is encouraged to learn more about the topic, Design,  by visiting the Open DS106 Syllabus and choosing something to create from an array of digital design projects. Each project links to examples of work completed by others.  They also include links to tutorials that can help you learn how to complete the work. By tagging your web related posts (either on the Burgeron Family blog or a personal blog) with both DesignAssignments and DesignAssignments#### your work will be added to the list of examples.  We found these tips for writing up ds106 Assignments in a blog post most helpful.

The Burgeron family blog is always available for posting. (If you need editor access or help let us know.) Or you can post to your own personal blog. Let us know there’s something new with a tweet tagged with #burgeron106 and posting a quick note at our DS106 Google+ Community.


Extra Extra Read All About It….

Celtic folk-tales, while more numerous, are also the oldest of the tales of modern European races.   They include (1) fairy tales properly so-called–i.e., tales or anecdotes about fairies, hobgoblins, &c., told as natural occurrences; (2) hero-tales, stories of adventure told of national or mythical heroes; (3) folk-tales proper, describing marvellous adventures of otherwise unknown heroes, in which there is a defined plot and supernatural characters (speaking animals, giants, dwarfs, &c.); and finally (4) drolls, comic anecdotes of feats of stupidity or cunning. (reference source)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_nations

 

Happenings in Holland


Week 1: Netherlands Nostalgia & Working The Web

stork-DS106_Dutch2

DUTCH FAIRY TALES

The Around The World workshops at the Annual Bovine County Fairy Tale Festival are in full swing with continued learning, reading, storytelling, writing, creating art, and much more.  We were encouraged to visit Holland this week and try our hand at working with the web.  My research into Dutch fairy tales began a few weeks back when Professor Ryker T. Stork arrived at the Burgeron place.  If you look close at our website banner you can see that he’s taken up residence atop my shed in the large nest that Cousin Ron made for him-  as I learned is common in the stork world through reading Dutch fairy tales like “Why The Stork Loves Holland”.  The “why storks deliver babies” thing was an interesting aside.

Speaking of “aside”, my confusion and curiosity about the whole Netherlands/Holland/Dutch nomenclature had me searching the web trying to wrap my ol’ brain around it. Cousin Ron offered to help me out by pointing me to short video on YouTube that claimed to be able to teach me everything I needed to know to be able to know the difference between Holland & The Netherlands in only 4 minutes.  I’m not sure if it helped or made matters worse. I’m leaning more towards the “worse”. 🙂


WEB ASSIGNMENT: “Email! Email! Read All About It!”

For a Web Assignment I took a trip to the Bank of DS106 Assignments to see what piqued my interest. I decided  WebAssignments1644, “Email! Email! Read All About It!” was something I wanted to invest in. As directed, I opened an account at Vertical Response. It was a painless process that went smoothly, and it’s FREE for small newsletter distributions like what we have here in Bovine County and the Fairy Tale Festival.

The user interface to create the newsletter and e-mail distribution list were straightforward.  There are templates with somewhat limited formatting choices, but that actually made it easier. (I saw an option for using your own HTML code, but I haven’t followed up on that yet.) I could go in and make an adequate newsletter very quickly.  Seeing in-app previews for both laptop and mobile devices was a real bonus. Sending draft copies to myself helped me to fine-tune the layout and links. I always like to test things out on myself before subjecting my friends and family to my projects.

I chose a few posts from our blog that I felt would provide an introduction or update to what we were up to and that a reader would be drawn in by the image. The color selection of the outside margins was an unexpected detail that bothered me for quite awhile until I finally settled on a golden color that went with the banner color scheme. (See image at end of post.)

Once the formatting was finished I could send it to my e-mail list.  There is a fantastic stats page that lets you see who actually opened the e-mail and who clicked on what. I mean, it gives you e-mail address detail, not just aggregated numbers. It then suggests that I resend it the newsletter to the e-mail addresses that didn’t open it the first time.  As you can see below, I had a disappointing 50% hit rate for my first newsletter. 😦

VerticalResponse_Stats

As noted in the assignment directions, there’s no easy way that I could find even, to embed a copy of the newsletter into our blog.  And after much trial and error I found that I could hover over the “View Online” link at the top of the e-mail newsletter, then right-click to “copy address”. I’m hoping this turns out to be a successful workaround to provide a link to the online version of the newsletter. I haven’t tested it on anyone else yet though.  Let me know what happens for you.

http://bit.ly/1UmmJT0

I wanted to have an actual embedded newsletter with active links in my post here. Simply copying the newsletter didn’t work well. I then settled for recreating an image of the newsletter, so at least you could see what I’d created. I pulled up a preview copy of the newsletter, using the Grab app on my iMac I capture the image in three parts. I then opened and combined the layers in Photoshop to produce the image below.

I briefly considered recreating the live links with a recently discovered feature the “Slice Tool” in Photoshop that allows you to create hyperlinks on an image. The effort to add that fine-detail wasn’t worth it this time around.  Maybe with my next project….

Newsletter_1

Holland Works The Web

The Bovine County Fairy Tale Festival is underway. Our weekly Around The World workshops are a place to learn more about a culture and to build your creative digital muscles.  Participate in a workshop anytime or dip your digital toe into all nine!


Week 1: Netherlands Nostalgia & Working The Web

stork-DS106_Dutch2My heart nearly gave out a few weeks back as a stork flew in, out-of-the-blue. I thought he was delivering a baby for ol’ Nanalou.  But no… nothing like that.  It was Professor Ryker Teunis Stork, world renowned scholar of Dutch Fairy Tales and Proverbs from the University of Amsterdam. On the invitation of Cousin Ron he had flown in to spend his sabbatical teaching Dutch Folklore workshops at our Bovine County Fairy Tale Festival.  After meeting Professor Ryker I was so excited to learn more about the Dutch culture that I jumped right into losing myself in the Google, entering new search terms and following link after link.

Here are a few the family might be interested in.


This week’s digital skills workshop: Working The Web

To assist festival-goers in further developing their digital literacy skills and establishing a personal digital identity, each week we highlight a different topic being sponsored by the Bank of DS106 Assignment with volunteer support from the Open DS106 community.  This week we offer Working the Web.

Rather than specifying “assignments” everyone is encouraged to learn more about the topic, Telling Stories Within the Web,  by visiting the Open DS106 Syllabus and choosing something to create from an array of web based digital projects. Each project links to examples of work completed by others.  They also include links to tutorials that can help you learn how to complete the work. By tagging your web related posts (either on the Burgeron Family blog or a personal blog) with both WebAssignments and WebAssignments#### your work will be added to the list of examples.  I found these tips for writing up ds106 Assignments in a blog post most helpful.

The Burgeron family blog is always available for posting. (If you need editor access or help let us know.) Or you can post to your own personal blog. Let us know there’s something new with a tweet tagged with #burgeron106 and posting a quick note at our DS106 Google+ Community.


EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT…

Did you know due to the maritime and economic power of this area of provinces in the 17th century, the Netherlands became known worldwide as Holland. To make matters even more confusing the inhabitants of the Netherlands are called Dutch and their country, the former County of Holland, roughly consists of the two Dutch provinces of North Holland and South Holland.  You can learn more about the Netherlands with a visit yourself to Wikipedia. I’d also recommend checking out the World Atlas for a quick history lesson.

Map_Europe_Netherlands Map_Netherlands

And if you’re lazy … watch this short video which will explain all to you about the Kingdom of The Netherlands in 4 minutes.

Or this one:


We invite you to visit any or all of the  Around the World workshops being held this summer at the #Burgeron106 Bovine County Fairy Tale Festival.

FairyPuffin_FestivalPoster

Dr M’s Tree house in the news

Dr M talks about her Tree House

Dr M talks about her Tree House

Read the full pre-publication article 

As Dr M starts to open up her home ready for the reunion on August 16th, we have uncovered a pre-publication article from The Telegraph that seems to show not all is as it seems inside the tree house or in Area 106. There has been much scare mongering about what is actually going on in Area 106 as concerned citizens in Bovine try to discover its exact location and purpose. The article seems to show an hitherto unknown connection between Area 106 and Dr M and it suggests that its purpose is to carry out research in Eco-living.

(….and thanks cousin Froid for noticing this was an example for our week 5 computer class. Dr M decided to create an example rather than a long post this week. But the link for this week open course is available for the family to do as many assignments as they want!)

 

 

ABC Duet

2014-07-03 17.36.56

Inspired by recent Burgeron stories Sally Lou makes a photo of an alien.

Met with Little Sally Lou this afternoon for her computer lessons.  This week’s computer classes were all about audio, so we played with audio stuff as well as taking pictures using different effects with the Photobooth app on the iPhone. The alleged alien invasions (Anna Cow’s relatives, The Boos, Don)  being discussed on our site may’ve influenced this one.

I had so much fun with Sally Lou, her dad & mom that I got home too late to make a proper blog post for the family.  How many other Nana’s get to have fun like this with their great-great grandchildren?

The DS106 website has this great thing called the assignment bank where students can find and create their own assignments.  I wanted to do something that we could post to the site. I looked around in the Audio Assignments section and didn’t find much that seemed like a six year old Sally Lou and I could do easily together.  So I created my own.  And I decided to toss my 3 year old great-great grandson DJ into the mix as well.  It’s a mashup duet of the two of them singing the ABC song.  I recorded DJ on Wednesday night, then Sally Lou sang her version this afternoon (Thursday).  With a little help from Nana Lou & GarageBand 6.0.5 they’re now singing a duet.


The Making Of….

It helps all of us learn by sharing with the rest of the family how we created something.  I’ve found I learn by both sharing my process with others and reading how others have completed their projects.  So here’s what I did to create this delightful duet.

I recorded both children using the iTalk App on my iPhone. The original files were in an .aifc format which I could load into GarageBand but not easily onto this site for you to listen to.  I used the iTunes feature of “create mp3 version” to put them into the format that I’ve post here.  And since our free site doesn’t allow us to upload audio media files, I uploaded them to Rochelle Louridge’s Rockylou’s DS106 Blog site and linked to them that way.

Sally Lou sings her ABC’s

 

DJ sings his ABC’s

 

I tried a couple of different ways to assemble audio snippets: Having DJ simply repeat after Sally Lou; the two of them singing in unison, then a combination of the earlier two attempts.  With my desire to keep it short and interesting to the listener I felt the final attempt with a mix of DJ “repeating” after Sally Lou and at other times singing in unison was my best effort.  Here’s a screen shot of my GarageBand workspace.

ABCDuetGB-sm

I was very pleasantly surprised when their ending segments were almost in harmony.  How lucky was that?

I have a few more audio tracks from this week that I plan on editing and posting later this weekend.  Stay tuned!

Resilience – 5 Card Flickr Poetry

Being a scientist by training, poetry hasn’t always come easy to ol’ Nana Lou.  Thanks to our week one #burgeron106 assignment I’ve had an opportunity this week to practice with a 5 Card Flickr story. I’ve seen others grapple with this assignment in the past. And it was nice to know I wasn’t alone right here in the family. Mama Boo shared her struggles and story with the rest of us which inspired me to give it a go.

You are dealt five random photos for each draw, and your task is to select one each time to add to your building set of images, that taken together as a final set of 5 – tell a story in pictures. I modified this a bit by telling the story created by the photos in the form of a poem. I find this helps me to get out of my logical mind (what I still have left after a 100 years…) and come from a deeper more intuitive place.  I even chose the pictures based on my intuition. When finished it just feels right.

If there is one thing about ol’ Nana that’s that I’m resilient.

http://5card.cogdogblog.com//show.php?id=35116

Image Attribution: Tom Woodward (Photos 1,3, 4, 5), Serena Epstein: Photo 2

RESILIENCE

A promise of beauty, love and eternal life

Stainglass Window
A reality that includes death and decay

Decaying door
Don’t despair. Recover, Rebuild, make new again

Rebuilding
The tree of life invites you to open the gate

TreeOfLifeGate
Where Spring brings a refreshed promise of new life: emerging, unfolding

SpringUnfolding Eternally beginning again