Thursday, July 14, 2011

I brought home some carnivorous plants last month

...and I can't stop looking at them.  So I photographed them, so I could share them with you.  
The first one is of a baby sundew leaf doing her best impression of a Valentine.  
That stem is less than a millimeter wide, by the way, so she's satisfying my love for itty bitty sparkly things pretty well.  I also found the limit of how small my camera (a Canon G12) can shoot.
Next is a pair of Venus fly traps, just hanging out in a crowd, waiting for a fly.  I think the one on the left just told a joke and the one on the right is laughing at it.

These are American pitcher plants, a particularly brilliant cultivar called 'Scarlet Belle' with some bladderwort flowers, and sundews showing off their sparkling dew.  Three different species of carnivorous plants are growing in this one pot.

 Here's another sundew, a rotundifolia cross breed.  These colors just scream, "Summer!"
Below is a tiny patch of bonus sundews, "weeds" that grew in the pot of one of the American pitcher plants.  After I took home these pots, I realized there were entire ecosystems growing in them.
This last photo shows maybe 1.5 inches across of turf. At last count, I found 20 itty bitty sundews in this one pot.  Small stuff.  Some of them are so small you can barely detect there's a plant, but the dew sparkles in the sun.  I'm enjoying their mini-ness.  Unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to bead any of these things yet, so you'll just have to be satisfied with the photos.  I purchased all of these beautiful, healthy plants from the good people at California Carnivores.

Friday, July 1, 2011

How to Make a Digital Flipbook Animation on How to Tie a Slip Knot

The first stitch to start crochet or knitting is typically a slip knot.   Here is what a slip knot looks like.
I illustrated how to tie a slip knot with this Doceri video.  To make this movie, I created a digital flip book of sorts, and the video shows different ways to play it back.
To explain how I did it, here I show you what my Doceri control panel looks like when I am authoring or playing back Doceri files.  Specifically, here is what I see at the end of the 8th page of my 13-page digital flip book.  
At the top of my iPad screen, you can see lots of buttons and ways of controlling my presentation, both for authoring and for playing back my drawings.  The relevant controls are labeled below (with the help of Doceri, of course).  
At the beginning of the video, I played the file, frame by frame, by touching the "forward to next stop" icon repeatedly.  I similarly touched "back to previous stop" to play the file backwards.  Later in the video, I showed the file by repeatedly pressing the "play" button.  There, you can see each frame played out separately, where each stroke plays separately.  I did not design this file to be played back with the play button, but I wanted to show you the difference, since I play most of my movies with just the play button.
To make a flip book movie like this, I drew several layers for the knot at a time, one right over the next.  After I got at least two layers drawn, I went back in time on the Doceri "time line," and I added a "white stop" by touching the "windshield wiper" icon on the top right of the control screen.  The 12 different white stop markers on the time line above each indicate that the screen is cleared at that point in time.  In the images above, you can see that our point "you are here in time" is just before a white stop.  White stops can be added and deleted just like any other stroke on the time line.
Since the screen clears after each complete image of the knot is shown, when I play back the file by forwarding to the next stop, an animation results.  It's just like the flip charts I used to make in the corner of my notebooks as a kid.  But since it's a Doceri file, I can easily color and edit my work.
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