All posts for the month June, 2014

Meme me up, Scotty!

Published June 25, 2014 by accentsmagazinekeanuniversity

dog meme

This week’s CLMOOC Make Cycle 2 task was to create a meme (rhymes with beam).  OK, what is a meme?  That’s the million dollar question, and it took me a while to finally figure it out, but I think I got the right answer.  In it’s most basic form, a meme is a photo with a snappy quote, usually a direct quote from pop culture, a movie, a song, etc., or with one word changed in the phrase.  The idea is to make the words take on a different meaning when displayed with the photo, like the one I’ve presented here.

For the dog owners out there, perhaps you can relate to the words from The Police song “Every Breath You Take” since a dog will literally always be watching you, with every breath you take, every move you make, every single day, and every word you say.  Sting wrote this song in about a half hour one night (according to Wikipedia), but  he had a different idea in his head about its meaning, when he said, “It sounds like a comforting love song. I didn’t realize at the time how sinister it is. I think I was thinking of Big Brother surveillance and control.”  Of course, Sting’s meaning and mine are totally different, which is the idea of a meme, though his words inspired this meme.

Of course, there are those who would see this meme in a sinister way.  It could be Big Brother watching all the time, like Sting mentioned in his comment.  It could be taken as a government agency (which shall remain nameless), but which supposedly has a file on everyone, since it is always watching every step you take, every move you make, every single day, and listening to every word you say, but the song lyrics became the catch phrase for my meme.  Coming up with a catch phrase is somewhat difficult for me, since I am not a television watcher, so I miss out on the latest crazes in the pop culture world.  I rely on the Internet and my Facebook friends to see what everyone is talking about.  The latest seems to be about the World Cup games and the latest soccer player who bit another.  Several members of the CLMOOC posted their memes with the soccer theme, or with a biting theme.  I had to Google the soccer highlights to understand what was happening, which allowed me to understand that particular meme.

As for some of the other memes, well, suffice it to say that I just don’t always get it, but I’m not alone.  Judging from the comments of some CLMOOC members, they don’t always get it either.  I suppose there will be those who won’t understand my meme, though I tried to make it something that everyone could understand.  Evidently not everyone will understand every meme.  It’s OK if that happens.  Perhaps a meme and its ultimate meaning are directed to a specific audience.  Like reading a book, the author’s meaning and what one gets out of it may not necessarily be the same thing.  To each his/her own.  There are probably more possible ways to view the meme above, and perhaps someone would view it in the way in which I first perceived it, like a dog that is always watching, with baited breath for its human to come home and give it a pat on the head for a tail-wagging response.


To create my meme, I continued to study the CLMOOC members’ memes  for a couple of days to try to come up with a unique meme.  Once I finally understood what a meme is and had a photo and phrase in mind, I created it in PowerPoint and saved it as a .jpg, since my computer is so old and has next to no storage space for any of the downloads available/required to make memes.  The seems to be a popular site for creating memes from stock photos and adding your text.  I would rather make my meme from scratch.  I’d rather make it my own.


Creative time for the front porch.

Published June 23, 2014 by accentsmagazinekeanuniversity


As part of the CLMOOC Make Cycle 1, I was tasked with creating a “how to” guide of my choice.  Since I had a project in mind before the CLMOOC started, and even though I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, I felt that it was the perfect opportunity to get it done.  I am on an extremely limited budget, so I began looking around the house for objects to re-purpose for the project, which took no time at all.  I need look no further than the shed on my property.

My project involved taking two old deep sea fishing poles to make a curtain rod for my front porch.  The room is small–only 6′ X 12′, with two windows next to each other and the front door just a foot away from the windows.  Even though there are three windows across the front of the room, there is little natural light in the room because of a red maple tree hanging directly over and in front of the house, and the fact that the house faces north.  The valance originally in the room fit with the Americana decor, but lacked impact and didn’t let in the light.  So, in addition to re-purposing the fishing rods, I decided to create a new valance as well.

One pole had the reel attached, but the other didn’t.  I would have to use the two poles, as one pole wasn’t long enough to cover the span of the two windows.   A little creative measuring and tying together was done to make the two fit.  The reel end needed to hang over the bracket already in place.  I used twist ties found in my junk drawer—everyone I know has a junk drawer, and I am no exception—and I cut the twist ties to avoid excess ends dangling from the rods.

The new valance needed to be light and airy, so as not to block the light as the old fabric valance did.  I decided to use wide tulle ribbon in white and pale blue, as well as an extremely narrow blue and white gingham grosgrain ribbon—these ribbon spools  happened to be in my craft room, ready for the taking.  (OK, so I am a craft-a-holic and buy excess supplies when I find things on sale, just so I’m ready for a project such as this!)  The room now had some nautical knick knacks in it, so I decided to use seashells hot glued to the end of the ribbons, which would create an effect of the shells dangling almost as if drifting in the sea or floating on air.  (Yes, I also had shells, starfish, and sand dollars, too, which were remnants of the four large boxes of shells I brought home from Florida.  I picked up the shells, etc. on the beach after I spent an entire summer with my grandmother in Florida when I was 13.)

To begin the project, I gathered all of the materials and set to work measuring and plotting out the location of the shells along the ribbons.  After that work was accomplished, I began to experiment with the gluing, as I had never before used seashells and tulle together, and I didn’t know how the ribbon would react to the hot glue.  By trial and error, I found out that the hot glue wasn’t really sticking to the shells, and I decided to wash the shells because I thought there might be a coating of salt, or other substance causing the glue not to properly stick to the shells.  After a bit of testing, I came to realize that I was using way too much glue, and that I shouldn’t put it on the ribbon, but put it on the shell.   I adjusted the glue temperature to low, used just a dab on the shell before pressing to the ribbon, and voila!  It worked and the glue didn’t ooze out beyond the edge of the shell.

Next came the looping of the ribbon over the rod using a larks head knot (I knew how to do the knot, but didn’t know the name of it until I looked it up in my Encyclopedia of Knots).  Suffice it to say that it was a simple enough task, but very time consuming.  Getting the shells to face the right direction and not whack into each other caused me to do a lot of realigning of the ribbons and shells.

All in all, the project looks very attractive in my front porch and seems to be a real eye-catcher, especially for me, since I can’t seem to walk past the room without staring at my creation.  Even though the project took many more hours than I originally anticipated, I feel that it was well worth the effort, for the dramatic effect achieved, and it gives me a great sense of accomplishment and that I created it all by myself.  I made it my own.