The Traveling Raisins of PhotoFriday Fame

I think I neglected to show this video here. Bonnie Kaplan and I launched a project last year with our friends in the PhotoFridays Flickr group to send two little California raisin characters around the world. As they landed in different locations, folks took pictures of them, shared them with our Flickr group and the mailed them forward to the next person (Flat Stanley … eat your heart out!).

When they finally came home, I took all of the images, wrote a song and then used Animoto to mix it all together.

Here you go:

Peace (in the journey),

The Claymation Project: Tolerance

We have ambitions. And focus (for the most part). But whether my class can complete stopmotion claymation movies before our school year ends in three weeks is uncertain. We’re going to try. We’re going to try. And boy, they are very engaged for a June project.

Since my literature groups just read two books that center on racism and tolerance (The Watsons Go to Birmingham and Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry), I decided it might be interesting to have them create short claymation movies on the theme of “tolerance.” And so, we have stories developing, and clay characters being created, and next week: let’s get filming!

One group of boys who have been loving the study of Sparta in Social Studies are working on a story with Spartans and how a group of hero-warriors come to understanding the differences of others. One particular student is very adept at clay and it is pretty amazing to watch him in action (his mother has been giving him clay to keep him busy since he was a little dude).

(These pics are also shared over at Photo Fridays)

I’m excited but stressed about finding enough time for them to create a movie they will be proud of before the school year ends. I’ll need to keep moving them along, pushing them to focus, and hoping the technology works as it should.

Peace (in frames),


Photo Fridays: Some Japan Photos

I love the community of Photo Fridays, the Flickr community created by Bonnie where we share pictures and connect. This week, I added a few from Japan, including this one:

As I wrote:

The shrine was defended by a series of Samurai statues, most with swords and weapons in their hands. This one, however, caught my eye. Instead of a sword, he had a pen and paper (perhaps an early editorial writer?) and I dubbed him my “writer warrio.” He looks like he has some digression to write about, doesn’t he?

Come join us with Photo Fridays, if you get the time.

Peace (in pictures),

A PhotoFridays’ Adventure

I don’t always blog about it, but the PhotoFridays project that Bonnie started up continues to be a source of great interest. Simply put, participants (and you are invited!) add photos via Flickr to the PhotoFridays group, and then write comments and share ideas, etc. It’s a nice way to mix the visual with the written word.

Bonnie has now launched a project within PhotoFridays in which we are mailing around a pair of California Raisin figurines. When we get them, we take photos of them in our environment and then mail them off to the next person (I said it is sort of like a Flat Stanley project).

When I got the little dudes the other day, I also wrote a short, first-person narrative of their visit, and I am hoping others will follow my lead and do the same, adding the stories both to the PhotoFridays site and also in paper form into the envelope. At the end, it might be neat to see the entire collection.

Here was one of my photos:

And my narrative:

Arrived yesterday. Sick of being stuck inside this envelope. And tired of hearing my brother practice his saxophone. If he plays the melody to Tequila one more time, I am going to squeeze the last bits of grape juice from his body and leave his skin behind. Before the envelope was even opened, I heard a lot of commotion. This must be a busy house, I thought, and I warned my brother. He ignored me and started to work on some Ornette Coleman free jazz lines, which also drives me crazy. Finally, some dude opened us up and took us out. Fresh air, at last. I looked outside the window and noticed all of the trees were different colors. This must be New England, I told my brother. In the autumn, the leaves go from green to red, yellow and orange. Beautiful, man, was all he could say. He so much wants to be the hipster. The dude who took us out of the package them lined us up next to a comic book. A comic book! What are we? Some playthings? The picture on the cover was some scrawny guy, looking like he was running for president. Click. Then, the guy puts us on top of some blocks that were hung on the wall. I noticed some musical notations, and so did my brother. Cool, man, my brother said, and then started to play some Grover Washington Jr. Now, that I didn’t mind. Click. I figured we had some time, but then this guy stuffs us right back into the envelope and starts writing on the outside. Hey, man, that pen hurts! I wonder where he is sending us this time …

If you want to be a recipient of the traveling raisins, just let Bonnie know (you can find info at the PhotoFridays site, including Bonnie’s email).

Peace (in sharing),

Photofridays: The truck shots

Bonnie has been overseeing a great feature called Photo Fridays, in which folks are invited to share a picture through Flickr. There are 35 people as members of the Photo Fridays group and many, many wonderful photographs.

You’re invited, too. Come into the Photo Frodays project.

This my photo from this week:

I like this shot because it captures a parallel between my son’s toy truck (which used to be mine) and our family van.

Peace (in pics),

A PhotoFriday Tag Galaxy

I have no idea what practical use this application might have, but TagGalaxy allows you to use tags from Flickr to create an entire world of photos. I used the photos from our collective PhotoFridays project (launched by Bonnie to great success) and, although there are not quite enough photos there yet to cover the entire TagCloud world, it was still pretty neat.

I used screenshots to capture the PhotoFridays TagCloud because I can’t find the way you might embed the actual world into a blog. But you can do it yourself. Just go to TagGalaxy, write in the tag “photofridays” into the prompt and give the world a spin. I think it will be cool to come back and do it again later this summer, when the pool of pictures gets larger.

Peace (in pictures),

Photo Fridays with Coltrane

This is part of a Photo Fridays project over at Flickr that is overseen by Bonnie. You are invited to come on in and add your photos to the collection.

This is Coltrane, my cat (named after the legendary jazz saxophonist John Coltrane). I was taking a photo of something else entirely when he poked his nose right into the lens of the camera. I kind of like it.

It sort of looks like he has a milk beard, doesn’t it? But that is just the flash of the camera dancing off his face.
Peace (in purrs),