Little Red Triangle

The #ds106 Daily Create for December 26, 2019: Abstractify: “Re-create a popular book cover by keeping the same words and text but changing the imagery into abstract art.”

Here is what I made:

Little Red Riding Hood book cover with a triangle for the hood, a circle for the face, a rectangle for the cape, and an oval for the basket

I stared with this cover image of Little Red Riding Hood from a Project Gutenberg version, posted on Wikimedia Commons.

Little Red Riding Hood original book cover with a drawing of a girl in a red hood holding a basket

I added that image to GIMP and used the “smudge” tool to smudge the colours. I tried various brushes and various settings to get something that still held a hint of what was there before, but was mostly a bunch of colours.

Then I added a couple of new layers for the shapes. For each shape I used the select tool to make the shape and then the bucket fill tool to fill the colour in the selection. I put the circle on a different layer than the red block and triangle so I could move it around more easily and place it where I wanted.

For the basket I used one of the brushes that comes with GIMP and used a dynamics setting I no longer remember (had to play around with that one a lot too).

In other news, for this I downloaded GIMP 2.10.14, which definitely works better with my OS than the 2.8 GIMP version I was using a couple of days ago!

The cat is king

The #ds106 Daily Create for December 24, 2019 was: Dress your pet up as royalty. Here is my cat Marco dressed as King Henry II.

Painting of a king with a golden crown, a golden necklace and a red robe, except the king's face is replaced by that of a tabby cat.

I used an image of a painting of Henry II from Wikimedia Commons, and this picture of my cat Marco:

A tabby cat sitting on a kitchen counter in front of a refrigerator

I used GIMP to create this image (version 2.8.18, which seemed kinda buggy, and I just now saw that I’m behind a couple of versions!).

I started by importing both images into GIMP as layers, and then I had to scale each layer up or down to make the cat’s face fit approximately into the space in the painting where King Henry II’s face was. As you can see, it didn’t fully work, because basically the robe is around Marco’s legs rather than his shoulders. But this is where I ended up landing.

Then, after some aligning and cropping, I added an alpha channel to the painting image and started using the eraser tool to let the cat image underneath come through. The tricky part was the whiskers, which I had to do one by one on the crappy little trackpad on my laptop, which is not conducive to drawing straight lines nicely.

I also ended up doing some erasing, and then realizing I wanted to resize the cat image more, and so then the erasing didn’t fit anymore, and then I had to start over (the above is about the fourth version or so). I think layer masks might have been my friend instead but honestly, it’s been so many years since I’ve used them that I can’t remember how to do so (and it was late last night when I was doing this and I decided not to try to re-learn at that point).

When I had the erasing looking pretty good I got this image:

Painting of a King with a golden crown and golden necklace, except the King's face is replaced by that of a tabby cat. The robe is further down the cat's legs than in the first version of this image above.

The robe was sitting too far below his shoulders and I didn’t like the way it looked. But the erasing was already done and I wasn’t going to do yet another version.

So I imported the original painting into the image on a new layer, and erased everything above the collar. Then I moved that layer up, effectively moving the collar and robe up on the image. It still looks like it’s sitting a bit low on him in the final version (top of this post), but I think it’s better.

I kept thinking that it was possible to do a selection on an image and copy the selection to a new layer (rather than adding a new layer and erasing everything around what I wanted), but again, I couldn’t remember at the time. Of course, all I needed to do was a web search to find the answer, and yes it’s possible, as this post from Logos by Nick shows.

Now to download GIMP 2.10 and see what has changed!

June 2017 #30dayTDC summary

My June 2017 30-Day The Daily Create Challenge Art

Here are links to all of my #ds106 Daily Creates for the 30-day challenge for June 2017!


My #30dayTDC tweets

Week 4 of #30dayTDC for June 2017

Yesterday was the last day of the #ds106 30-day Daily Create challenge. With this blog post I’m managing to finish them all. It’s been both harder and easier than I thought it might: harder to be creative even when I didn’t feel creative, and easier because I managed to come up with ideas and artifacts even for things I though I’d have a hard time with (and some of them I really did have a hard time coming up with ideas for!).

June 25, 2017

The daily create for June 25 was: “Do your colleagues think you’re a joke? Prove them right by turning yourself into a cartoon.”

The daily create page said we could try, which is an online tool that makes your images look like cartoons. I used a selfie of me in a hat given to me by Pat Lockley:

Me wearing a Pikachu hat

June 26

The Daily Create for June 26 was to caption a set of photos. Please see this blog post for a very short story.


June 27

The daily create for June 27: “Top this caption! So many possibilities. Create a tag line. An Alternate reality. Or just plain old royal humour.”

The Queen of England sitting next to her son Charles. Charles looks very dejected.

I used to add some quick captions.


June 28

The Daily Create for June 28: “The #30dayTDC is just like riding a bicycle. Show us your bicycle, or someone else’s bicycle, or just something about bicycles.”

I made this one with the Paper by 53 app on my iPad. It has some neat functionality: you can create a background with a colour and then change the colour of the background only quite easily even after you’ve put other stuff on there. You can draw something, like the bike, and then copy and paste more versions of it on the page. You can also move the elements you’ve put on the background.

I think I was channeling the “alternate reality” suggestion from the daily create the day before and I created an alternate reality where bikes could fly.

Drawing of a night sky with a bright, full moon and three silhouettes of people riding bikes against a background of stars. Written on the bottom is: Airbikes!

June 29

Daily create for June 29: “Create your fantasy band. Who (alive, dead or fictional) would be in your fantasy band, and what would your role be?”

I was in a drawing mood, and this one I decided to do on actual paper (okay, maybe not digital storytelling here!). I wanted to draw some cats playing music together, but my drawing skills are so rudimentary it was all I could do to create a solo act.


drawing of a cat sitting on a bench playing a keyboard and singing.

June 30

The daily create for June 30: “Tell a story in two images.”

I found this one difficult because it was so open–it could be any two images in the world! At first I tried picking two from five card flickr as @dogtrax had done for this one, but I just couldn’t put a story together I liked from my own set of five images.

So then I went to my own set of images from my phone and found a couple that I thought could work together. I then put them into the app on my phone and added text and some filters.

a lake with trees reflected in the water that are upside down, with the caption: "She had entered a strange, upside down world..."

Looking up at some clouds that look like pillows, with the caption: "Where the clouds were pillows for her bed."

Don Quirana

#ds106 Daily Create for June 26, 2017: “Let your imagination go wild with the dialogue or plot laid out by these images. Don’t go all literal on us! This is the Daily Create, after all.”

A series of four images of a frog and a beetle.
From this tweet by @grahamslexa


The strange tale of Don Quirana

Chapter 4

When he woke up the next morning, Don Quirana found that his horse, Rocinescarabajo, had stolen his staff and was wearing it on his head.

“Rocinescarabajo!” Don Quirana shouted, “Get that thing off your head this instant! How can I perform my knightly duties when I can’t wield my staff because you are sporting it as a new hat?”

Rocinescarabajo just put his head down and started munching on the lichen on the branch.

Don Quirana grabbed his staff and pulled, but it wouldn’t budge from Rocinescarabajo’s head. Rocinescarabajoe was unfazed as he continued to nibble. “Well, fine. Keep it. I will simply take another one from a villain I will surely vanquish later today,” Don Quirana sighed.

Don Quirana found that Rocinescarabajo’s new hat was actually a boon to mounting and dismounting, and he swung himself up onto the horse’s back and shouted with this empty, staff-less hand in the air, “Onward!” and, as he spotted a group of ferocious giants off in the distance, he spurred his horse towards them and they ambled off, slowly, towards the windmills.


It’s probably pretty clear what this short story is based on! I changed Quixote to Quirana, given that the protagonist here is a frog (rana in Spanish). Don Quixote’s horse in the original story is called Rocinante, and I mixed that with the Spanish word for beetle, escarabajo, to make that rather long-winded and unwieldly name for his horse.

An engraving of Don Quixote on a horse with a long staff and Sancho Panza on a donkey looking up at Don Quixote.
Don Quixote and Sancho Panza by Gustave Doré (1863), public domain on Wikimedia Commons



Week 3 of #30dayTDC

I’ve got a week of catching up to do on the June 2017 30 day Daily Create challenge. Here are the ones I’ve done this week.

June 18, 2017

The daily create for June 18 was “Scribbles into photos”:

Use the fotogenerator to turn a series of line sketches into a photo. Draw yourself, your dog, your cat, your teacher, your anyone. How scary or realistic are the results?

My son and I both played around with this one for quite awhile. Here is what I landed on:

My son played with this app for over an hour, doing lots of drawings. Here’s one of them:

June 19, 2017

The daily create for June 19 was: “What animal would you be?”

If you were an animal, what animal would you be? Tell us, or show us, by any of the usual means. Or unusual.

I had a lot of fun with this one. I used an image of kittens from (licensed CC0) because I wanted to be a kitten in a basket of kittens. Then I took an image of me from a few years ago and put both of these images into GIMP. Here I am!

Once there, I had to move and scale the image of me so it would fit in the right place. My face is facing a weird direction compared to that of the kitten, but this is the daily create and I didn’t have time to mess around with that. I added an alpha channel to the kitten image, reduced the opacity so I could see my image under it, and moved my image around to approximately the right place. Then I used the eraser tool to erase around the kitten’s eyes so you could see my face underneath.

But of course the eyes weren’t in the right place, so I had to make a couple of copies of the kitten image and cut each eye out with the free select tool and then use the “cut” and “paste” functions to put each eye on a new layer (different layers for each eye so I could manipulate them separately.

Finally, I also recolored my face so it was a bit closer to the kitten’s face colour.

I also made a version with the cat’s nose. The nose is really off in terms of how it’s oriented, though.


June 20, 2017

The daily create for June 20 was: “Can you impress someone in 5 words?” Taken from a challenge, from this tweet. Here are a bunch of responses from others.

I was doing a 7-day drawing challenge from a local art store, and doing two challenges each day this week was hard. I decided to draw this one.

I thought later that it would be better for the person to ask if the other wanted help, but I couldn’t make that fit into five words!


June 21, 2017

The daily create for June 21:

If you can name a band “Men Without Hats” what else can you be without and still have a band? And an album?

Let’s see your bands name and make their new album cover!

I had a hard time coming up with ideas for this one. I kept thinking “men without hats” and what kept coming into my mind was something about “without cats.” My son is a huge cat lover, and if he didn’t have any cats he would be devastated. So that’s what I made.

I made this image in Pixlr:

boy with his hands covering his face as if he is very sad. Text next to him says "A boy without cats"

Then I used the Squigglish app in my iOS phone to add a squiggly drawing of him thinking of a cat. It worked really nicely and I tweeted the gif that resulted (the squiggles move), but now I can’t find the gif on my phone anywhere. I just tried to make another test squiggle gif and it saved to my phone just fine. I don’t know where this one went, and I can’t seem to download it from Twitter. Darn!

But here is the tweet…


June 22, 2017

The daily create for June 22 was to make a “lune” poem:

So we are doing the 30 day Challenge. Some of us want Talky Tina’s CREATORIST badge.

Let’s write a Lune using @johnjohnston’s Lune Maker about the joys of being a creatorist.

I hadn’t heard of a lune before, so I learned something! According to this web page from the poets collective, there are two forms of lunes. The one used by the Lune Maker linked to above is the second form: 3 words, 5 words, 3 words (no other rules).

picture of notebook & pen with the words: "I draw sometimes. think I'm no good. I draw anyway.

June 23, 2017

The daily create for June 23:

A new planet has been discovered. Sensors indicate it is a hospitable home for DS106.

You may name it. What are you going to call it? What are it’s features?


Here’s my contribution:

I did this one in GIMP using original images from NASA and @iamtalkytina.

Mars image (artist rendition of rover for 2020) from NASA.

Talky Tina image from @iamtalkytina, licensed CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

In GIMP, I opened the Talky Tina image over the NASA image, and painstakingly used the eraser tool to go around and remove the background from it (after adding an alpha channel to give it a transparent background after erasing). That always takes a long time. But now I have that image cut out against a transparent background for future uses!

Then I recolored the Talky Tina image to make it look like she is on the planet. I played with several ways of doing so, and settled on “colorize,” adjusting the colour, saturation, and brightness until I liked how it looked.

Then it was just a matter of adding text. I used “Eurostile” for most of it, and then Haettenschweiler for “creatorists.”


June 24, 2017

The daily create for June 24:

What wisdom can you share with us and with future generations using Hieroglyphs?

The Hieroglyphs Generator will help you express your thoughts. Make them nice ones!


Here is mine:

It says: “Make time for art.” But it’s a little small, so I did the option where you can take out vowels and it came out bigger:

Tomorrow I catch up on the one from June 21 and also do tomorrow’s one. It is sometimes difficult, but a lot of fun, doing all of these. I must say I am getting less sleep this month than usual, though, because I always do my creates after everyone else has gone to bed!