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Archive for March, 2012

Photo Caption Contest (Part 4)

The caption must be 5 words or less. You will need to:

1. Leave your caption as a comment on the post.

2. Like the post.

3. Reblog the post.

Captions will be judged and the one deemed the most creative and interesting will be declared the winning entry.

SPONSOR:

The official author website of Jason Greiner, author of two poetry books and one photography how-to.

DIY musical instruments for kids

Music can be great for kids.

In addition to the enjoyment we as adults get from the musical arts, it can be an amazing tool for kids as well. There have been numerous studies connecting a child’s linguistic and mathematical skills and development with learning how to read music and play an instrument.

Oh course, with the youngest of children you can’t just drive right into the more technical elements. So, how can we get kids interested? One way is to help them to make their own “instruments” to play.

Here are three simple examples that can be made in literally a few minutes with basic household items.

Tambourine

Take a moderately thick paper plate and fold it in half. Get some beans from your pantry (or if you’re not a bean person grab a few small rocks from outside) and put them inside the folded plate. Close them in by stapling the place together and there you go.

Drum

Save that old coffee can rather than tossing it in the trash. Take an old piece of fabric, perhaps something like a worn out t-shirt or towel, and stretch it out over the opening of the coffee can. You can hold it in place it a rubber band. Kids can use either their hands or virtually any appropriate object around the house to strike the drum.

Guitar

Don’t throw away that old tissue box. Instead, take a rectangular tissue box and remove the plastic from around the opening. Get yourself the roll from some toilet paper or paper towels.  Cut a hole in one of the short ends of the tissue box big enough to insert the roll. Seal the outside where you inserted the roll with heavy duty tape like duct or masking tape. Put several rubber bands around the box so the go over the open hoe in the center. There you go, instant mini guitar.

American Idol Top 9 Show Recap

After two weeks of voting surprises, with a really big one in Erika last week, perhaps we’ll see a correction in the voting this week if you will.

I originally missed Colton’s performance this week but went back and checked it out later. All in all, the contestants all did pretty well. But as usual, a few front runners continue to emerge while the rest of the pack if fading behind.

Here’s how I rate the performances:

 1. Jessica - Interesting twist on the original song. Slow start but well done. Her vocals where truly haunting.

2. Colton – Such a heartfelt performance. Once again he showed that he is a force to be reckoned with.

3. Phillip - Awesome song selection. So cool and catchy. Great job.

4. Elise - Great song choice. She’s one awesome rock chick. Very cool.

5. Hollie - She crushes the high notes every time. Very good as usual.

6. Heejun - Very deep for him. Great start but good overall.

7. Skylar - Fun and energetic, decent but not great by any means.

8. Joshua - Kind of plain. OK at first but once he hit the middle through the end it really fell apart.

9.  DeAndre – Way too much falsetto. His vocals where just all over the place.

Based on this week alone, the Bottom 3 “should” be Skylar, Joshua and DeAndre with DeAndre going home. But we have two consider two things. 1. The voters have been highly unpredictable so far. 2. At some point, votes should start to be based on a singer’s entire body of work rather than just a single show. If that happens the Bottom 3 should be the same as above with the exception of Heenjun replacing Skylar.

Photo Caption Contest (Part 3)

The caption must be 5 words or less. You will need to:

1. Leave your caption as a comment on the post.

2. Like the post.

3. Reblog the post.

Captions will be judged and the one deemed the most creative and interesting will be declared the winning entry.

SPONSOR:

Twisted Angels alternative modeling community – featuring emo, punk and goth pics.

What do you do when you get writer’s block?

It happens to all of us.

Whether you are a novice writer and simply write for pleasure or you are an experienced professional earning his or her living with the art of writing, we are all equals when it comes to writer’s block. This phenomenon does not discriminate.

So, when a case settles upon us, what are we supposed to do about it? How should we handle it?

Think in terms of sports.

Perhaps you’re and athlete or sports fan and maybe you’re not. It doesn’t really matter. The point it, the following analogy might just be helpful.

Let’s take the game of baseball for example. When a batter seems to be struggling at the plate, unable to make contact or hit anything that will get him on base, what does he do? He keeps stepping up to the plate. Perhaps he’ll change some element of his swing or stance but the important thing is that he keeps  taking his turn at bat.

That’s essentially what writers have to do. We just have to keep writing. Sure, for a while your work might seem like useless dribble but that’s OK. Eventually, like the baseball player, you’ll come out of your slump.

And oddly enough, I find that a lot of the most creative and skillful writing comes just when you work your way out of a bad case of writer’s block.

Photo Caption Contest (Part 2)

The caption must be 5 words or less. You will need to:

1. Leave your caption as a comment on the post.

2. Like the post.

3. Reblog the post.

Captions will be judged and the one deemed the most creative and interesting will be declared the winning entry.

SPONSOR:

Three Rivers Creative Arts- one of the top photographers in Pittsburgh PA.

Song that really tug at the emotions

Music can be very touching

I would venture to say that over the course of everyone’s lifetime, there are some songs that come along that really touch us in one way or another. Perhaps it’s by instilling within us a sense of inspiration.  Or maybe it’s a collection of lyrics that cheer us up when we are down. And still in other cases, it might be a musical work that brings tears to our eyes. Whatever the case may be, we all have some songs that have touched us deeply. Here are a few of mine.

Josh Groban – “Weeping”

Michael Fronti and Spearhead – “Say Hey (I Love You)”

Christina Perry – “Jar of Hearts”

Carrie Underwood – “Temporary Home”

Alan Jackson – “Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning?”

Caption contest starts now!

How to play:

During the next 10 days (March 25-Aprl 4), I will post a total of 5 different photos specifically for this contest. Your goal is to choose any or all of the photo posts and create a caption. Therefore, you can enter up to five times.

The caption must be 5 words or less. You will need to:

1. Leave your caption as a comment on the post.

2. Like the post.

3. Reblog the post.

Captions will be judged and the one deemed the most creative and interesting will be declared the winning entry.

The winner will be announced April 9 and can choose any three of the following options as prizes:

1. The free promotion of your blog by us on Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, Digg, Stumbleupon and Facebook.

2. Either of the poetry books “Shadows and Shade” or Wishing Wells” by Jason Greiner*

3. Professional-grade facial airbrushing or other editing on any 10 of your photos.

4. A one year free membership to the Twisted Angels alternative modeling site featuring the best in hot emo, goth and punk models.

5. A modest, yet to be determined, cash prize via Paypal.

6. An 8×10 print of any of artistic photo you choose from one of the top photographers in Pittsburgh PA, Three Rivers Creative Arts.*

* Denotes that the item will have to be shipped to a physical address. Arrangements for shipping can be made privately.

 

Here’s the first photo, good luck.

How creative are you?

Are you a creative person?

There are many people out their  blessed with a creative flair of some sort. Some are captivated by the chance to take a brush to a blank canvas. Others love to mold creations from clay or crave them from slabs of stone. Still others like to bring stories to life in the form of films. For those of you who are anything like me, you might have a couple of artistic passions.

In part to showcase the creative potential of all of your “artsy” types out there, I’ve decided to try a little experiment. In the very near future, this blog will be hosting a contest of sorts. In it, I’ve decided to combine two of my primary artistic interests – photography and literature.

Specific details will be given in time but for now, the basic concept is this:

My blog will feature a photo and your job, if you take up the challenge, is to create the most interesting and inventive caption you can think of in 5 words or less.

Stop back for more details soon.

 

DIY Photography Equipment List

OK, so anyone who has ever ventured in doing some photography work realizes that whether you’re in at as a hobby or looking to work at it in a professional capacity, photography can be quite expensive.

Naturally you need a camera, film/memory card, batteries to power your unit and the absolute basics. And even these alone will likely run your at least $500 minimum. And that doesn’t even include all the other things you’ll need to invest in for portrait photos and any other spot of shooting you may wish to undertake.

So, here’s a list of photography tools you can make on your own or make use of other objects to provide the same effect.

Reflectors

Head to the craft store and pick up solid white foam board. You can also spray paint it with metallic silver or gold for additional color options. You can also buy a car window visor and use that.

Lens Cleaner

Don’t pay extra for a “photo specific” cleaner. Get yourself a travel-size spray cleaner of eye glasses. It will probably cost you a ton less.

Backdrops

You can buy muslin from a fabric shop and dye it however you choose. Or, you can use heavy, lager blankets or think sheets.

Backdrop stands

Get some PVC pipe (very cheap) and put one together on your own.

Diffusers and Gels

As mentioned in earlier posts, white medicine bottles and color copies on transparencies can fulfill both these needs effectively and for much less than the typical retail price.

Happy shooting!

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