I Was On The Radio

As part of my Radio course at uni, I get to work in a small team to produce and present a radio show on 3RRRfm once every few weeks. The show is called Room With A View and you can find out more here. On our first show six weeks ago, I took on the role of producer and online producer which was great for me because I’m kind of bossy and can be a bit of a control freak and I really know my way around editing a website and tweeting about the show.

Our second show went to air this Monday, and for this show I took on the role of presenter. I was so, so nervous and kind of a bit terrified of being the presenter. As much as I love public speaking, I always forget how nervous it makes me, so it takes me by surprise every time. I could talk underwater with a mouth full of cement, but stick a microphone in front of my face and I’m prone to freeze up.

The show went really well, despite my nerves. Afterwards I was on such a high, it really was quite exhilarating. We got good feedback from the station’s talks manager too, which was quite rewarding.

You can listen to this week’s episode by clicking here. During the show, we interviewed Dean Denham from the Melbourne Ukulele Kollective, First Dog on the Moon, and Lachy and Al from Fortnightly Fort Night.

Sam and I at the desk rehearsing, just before the show went live.

Sam and I at the desk rehearsing, just before the show went live.

And if you want to listen to the episode that I produced (but didn’t present in) from May, you can click here.

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Loomed Elphaba Glovelettes- Pattern

I’ve finally written the pattern for the Elphaba Glovelettes! You can get it here, or by clicking on the photos below.

Elphaha Glovelettes 3 Elphaha Glovelettes 4 Elphaha Glovelettes 5 Elphaha Glovelettes 6

There won’t be a video tutorial unfortunately. I did record the entire process of making the second glovelette, but my phone doesn’t have enough memory to edit the clips together (it barely had enough to record them!) and the programs on my computer keep crashing when I try and work with the footage. The pattern is fairly simple anyway, and there are lots of YouTube tutorials out there for the particular stitches that are needed. In any case, I’m always happy to answer questions and help out!

I did end up wearing the glovelettes when I went to see Wicked this week, here I am with my friend Tegan waiting for the show to begin:

photo

If you make a pair of Elphaba Glovelettes, I’d love to see them! Tell me about it in the comments below!

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Craft Book Club- Salted Clouds

I know I haven’t posted the pattern for my Elphaba Glovelettes yet, but I’ve had a few setbacks with the video that I was going to make. I might have to make do with just releasing a written pattern. I’ll do that by next week, I promise.

This month I got my project for the Craft Book Club done a little early. I finished reading “The Big Sleep” by Raymond Chandler and although Kelly was right about the greenhouse scene having vivid imagery, I was most struck by how often it rained in this book! There were lots of rainy days and gloomy skies so I wanted to work with water as a bit of a theme. The other water related scene in the book involves an out-of-control car flying off the road and into the ocean. That gave me the idea to use salt and do something with salt paintings.

Originally I was just going to do some salt paintings and pick one I liked and frame it, but I had so much fun experimenting with different techniques with the salt that I ended up with a heap of sort of test patterns. I decided to cut them into clouds and make a canvas of a rainy sky. I’m glad I did I’m very happy with how it turned out.

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Next month the book is “The Giver” by Lois Lowry. I’m not going to start reading it until July though, so I don’t get too ahead of myself. Besides, I have plenty of other projects to work on, like the round blanket I’m knitting for example… More on that next week too.

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Craft Book Club- Elphaba Fingerless Gloveletts- Sneak Peak

I really wanted to knit something for my Craft Book Club project this month (reading Wicked by Gregory Maguire), but with the end of uni looming, I really didn’t have the time to knit a scarf like I first wanted. I also really didn’t have time to knit a cape, which I wanted to do, inspired by Elphaba’s wardrobe of capes and what-not to keep herself dry.

So instead I knit myself a little fingerless glovelett, inspired by the description of Elphaba’s colouring. Gregory Maguire describes Elphaba’s skin throughout the book as: pale emerald, vegetable, green as moss, new-apple, green field, soft green, grass green, stem-like, tender spring leaves etc. None of these colours are the bring garish green that she is portrayed as having in the movie or the musical. It’s much more believable I think, makes her more human, just a pale green, not a monster green.

I didn’t have a green that was quite right, so I mixed two strands together, a brighter green and a very pale green and I think the combination is spot on for how her skin is imagined in the book. The edge is one strand of purple and one of black. At several points it’s noticed that her hair and lips look dark purple, almost black against her skin, and I thought this colour combo would work nicely for the fingerless gloveletts. I’m very happy with how it turned out.

Elphaba Glovelettes 1

I’ve only made one so far, but it’s the third one because I had to keep adjusting the pattern. I’ll make the matching half this week after I’ve handed in my last assignment, and when I do I’ll post the pattern on here,both written and a video version.

Elphaba Glovelettes 2

I wanted the thumb hole to be quite large, as I don’t like feeling restricted, and I wanted the edges to be decorative rather than practical. For practical I would have used a rib stitch, instead I used double moss to make it kind of bubbly.

Next week I’m going to go and see the musical, as it’s in Melbourne at the moment and I think I’m going to treat myself as a reward for getting through this semester so well. I’m hoping to wear these when I go!

Kelly of Milly and Tilly, who runs the Craft Book Club, was also inspired by skin things in Maguire’s book. She made a doormat that was inspired by Fiyero’s diamond tattoos. The next book is The Big Sleep by Raymond Chander, I haven’t read it before so it will be good to be inspired by something totally new.

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Editing Audio

Last week I spent a lot of time working on editing a package for my Radio subject at uni. The package was made up of two interviews recorded by my assessment partner Sam and my job was to mix them all together and add effects to make it sound like a well put together package.

While editing, I kept making links to a reading that I’d done for another subject (Communication Histories and Technologies), called “Schizochronia: Time in digital sound” by John Potts, 1995. Potts talks about how different digital sound editing is from analogue sound editing. His opening paragraph goes like this:

You are sitting at a digital work station. You press a key and watch as a cursor moves through a waveform. You hear the sound at the same time as you see it traversed by the cursor. You decide to retrieve a sample, which you’ve stored in the computer. It’s located way up ahead of the present waveform: in a few seconds you’ve scrolled forward, claimed the sample, and positioned it next to the waveform. You magnify the image, to get a better ‘look’ at the sound. You decide to insert the sample into the waveform, trying various positions. If you change your mind, nothing is lost: this is, after all, non-destructive editing.

-Potts, p. 17, 1995

This is pretty much exactly how I spent my week. I would intently watch the cursor move through certain waveforms to figure out when/where to cut the waveform. I moved samples along timelines and up and down across different tracks. I zoomed in when I needed to get really picky. I overlapped things, faded things and inserted things and was never nervous about making mistakes because it was indeed non-destructive editing that I was doing. I had several versions of the project saved also, just in case I did stuff up and ctrl-z wouldn’t fix it.

Waveforms 1

It was interesting to see how this reading so accurately related to my editing experience. The concept of time in digital editing is very much related to visuals. You can see how long a sound is, and you can see the past and the future in relation to the cursor as it moves through the waveforms.

Waveforms2

I also found it helpful to write out a transcript, so that I could see the order of what was being said. After I cut the rough cut, the draft of the order of the speech parts, I wrote out the transcript and printed it out, because I’m also a tactile learner and love my coloured pens and highlighters. I read through the transcript and made notes of what needed to be moved where and where I thought certain sound effects would work well. Then I pulled the document back up on my computer, opened a blank document, and rearranged the transcript into the order that I wanted. Then I used the new transcript to help me reorder the waveforms into the correct order.

Transcript Notes 2 Transcript Notes 4

Transcript Notes 3

From there, I started adding in the effects that I wanted. I would add an effect on a separate track. Adjust it it my liking. And then listen back with my eyes shut so that I couldn’t see the sound anymore, and I had to hear it the way any listener over the radio would hear it.

Eyes Shut

After I’d completed the entire piece, I listened back to it with my eyes open, but instead of looking at my workspace, I stared at this rather boring part of my room, again to allow me to focus solely on the sound of the piece, and not the way it looked or the way my eyes heard it.

Drawers

According to Potts, analogue sound recording and editing technologies work with aural and tactile senses, while digital ones work with aural and visual senses. Dr. Byrne (our guest lecturer from Comm. Hist & Tech) said that while digital sound recording and editing technologies basically do the same thing as analogue technologies, they usually just make the process easier or faster to do. I found that in order to make a good package, I needed to rely on visual as well as tactile senses along with my aural senses, hence I found it helpful to write and print a transcript so that I could physically manipulate the representations of the sounds I was working with.

Here’s a link to my version of the complete piece if you want to have a listen (it’s a large file, 75MB, so if you have limited Internet, don’t click the link). And here’s the link to Sam’s version, which we submitted for assessment.

 

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21 Day Fitness Challenge

Inspired by another Zoe, of Harken Home, I’ve decided to do a 21 day challenge. Apparently it takes 21 days to break or form a habit. I’ve heard this statistic a few different ways, sometimes it says a whole month, sometimes it says longer. But 21 days seems like a good place to start.

So I’m giving myself a 21 day fitness challenge. Every day for 21 days I must do 20 minutes of exercise. This will be easy to fit into my routine. I already ride to work when I can which is a 20min ride each way. And I can swap out the bus portion of my trip to uni with a walk to the train station, also about 20 minutes. Then on days when I don’t need to go anywhere I can choose to do a 20min walk or ride, or do some yoga at home or at the local studio instead.

I’m going to be posting a photo each day on instagram to show what I did for that day (yay for public accountability!) so feel free to follow along with me there. And I’ll post on here at the end of the 21 days with my thoughts on the experience.

Want to do a 21 day challenge of your own? Join in on the fun by using #21days on instagram and post a comment here to tell me what habit you want to make or break!

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23 Things To Do While I’m 23

It’s my birthday! Today I’m 23. Three years ago I wrote a post, called 20 Thing To Do While I’m 20. Well I thought I should do it again for this, my twenty-third year of life. After I complete an item on my list, I’ll blog about it so that at the end of this year, I can look back and revisit all the things I’ve done.

  1. Knit a full size blanket
  2. Start a soap-making business
  3. Grow my own veggies
  4. Go camping
  5. Swim in the ocean
  6. Run a fundraising event
  7. Teach something
  8. Work creatively with young people (younger than myself that is)
  9. Get fit (ride more, yoga more, walk more)
  10. Get my licence
  11. Travel to Vietnam once
  12. Travel to Queensland twice
  13. Take more photographs (do photowalks, and photoshoot days with friends)
  14. Go to a live performance
  15. Enter a scarf in the annual National Wool Museum’s scarf festival
  16. See more movies at the drive-in cinema
  17. Go on an ice-skating date
  18. Borrow more library books
  19. Go and explore the Dandenongs and have a picnic
  20. Catch the city circle tram and stay on for a round trip
  21. Get suitable contents insurance
  22. Pass all my subjects at uni
  23. Bake more cakes (full size, not cupcakes)
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Procrastistudying

What a ridiculous word I just made up. Anyway, you know how there’s procrastibaking? That is, the art of procrastinating something by baking and thus feeling productive even though you’re avoiding what you’re supposed to be doing? Well I do that sometimes, if the kitchen is tidy. But lately I’ve discovered my weakness is procrastistudying. That is, the art of putting work into one subject when there’s more urgent work needing to be done in another subject.

Today so far I’ve been working on stuff for Radio; polishing off run sheets, contacting interviewees, communicating with my group members. It’s all very important stuff and I mean, we are going live to air in a week and a half. But, today I was supposed to be working on my comms subject. Writing a speech and filming a video. The speech is more important but the video is more fun. I can hear it calling to me to be worked on first. I mean, I get to dress up as an oil spill and kill penguins*. but I’m forcing myself to write my part of the speech first. Because it’s more important. And more urgent. And if I get it out of the way, I can be very, very silly with the video I’m making.

*No penguins will be harmed in the making of this video, I promise!

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Paper-cut

This morning at work I gave myself a paper-cut when I was marking down the bread. I pulled a bunch of sticker paper into my hand to throw it away and sliced just below my index finger, on the corner that forms when I touch my finger and thumb together. It’s only small and has been a bit stingy today but nothing totally annoying. Until tonight that is. Until I sat down with a pen and notebook to make some notes for an assessment I’m working on. My pens keep rubbing on it! And it’s really distracting.

I love taking notes with pens and paper (especially if I’m using multiple coloured pens) because I feel like it’s a practice that really cements new knowledge in my head. And it really helps me work our ideas for speeches and essays.

I’m currently working on a discussion starter (a cross between a short essay and a speech) for philosophy about the philosophy of play. It’s very interesting and I’ve found some really good sources to use. But I keep getting sidetracked by this paper-cut! But if I take the philosophical world view that life is play, perhaps I’m just playing at being hurt and distracted. Perhaps I just need to get my shit together and finish writing this piece, so I can move on to the next. From the outside it must look like I’m a uni student, but here’s the secret, I’m only playing at being one, that’s what makes it fun…

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How To Make Odd Socks

You will need:
1 clothes dryer
Half a dozen pairs of socks
A load of washing

Method:
1. Wash the clothes.
2. Load the clothes and socks into the dryer.
3. Run the dryer until clothes are dry.
4. Empty the dryer and sort/fold the clothes.
5. Discover odd socks, missing socks and socks that don’t even belong to you.

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