Tag Archives: Creativity

Escaping the Heat

The View - Cove at Cape Disappointment

The View - Cove at Cape Disappointment

As I write this, the day after our beach trip, storm clouds are forming above us.  So my pleas for relief have been heard. There’s something completely unnatural about living in a hot climate. But I suppose someone who grew up in the Arizona desert might beg to differ. The overly moisturized environment of the Pacific Northwest might seem a bit soggy to them.

How does one escape 104 degree weather? We do what any normal Portlander does… flee to the coast. This time we made our way up to Astoria and the Long Beach area up to Cape Disappointment. Ahhhh… it was a cool 65 degrees, and you could see the mist rolling over the tree tops.

Sandy Pug Butt

Sandy Pug Butt

The dogs (Otto, Kirby and Pono – Pono is Kirby’s brother) had a glorious time. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Otto most ecstatic and content. The cove by the lighthouse was pretty secluded and there was a steep trek down. Consequently, it’s not visited by too many people. So we felt pretty good about just letting the dogs run about. It’s quite problematic having chihuahuas on the beach with other dogs, because they’re so tiny and uppity. We worry about them getting into a deadly tussle with a much larger dog.

I was still feeling out of sorts from the heat from the last few days. The night before our beach trip, I got absolutely no sleep. I awoke feeling hungover, without having experienced the booze fun the night before, so I didn’t get much knitting done on the beach. On the way there, I did work on my Lace Ribbon Scarf (ala Knitty.com) with the very delicious Tantra silk from Art Fibers. If I was sharp enough, I would have taken a picture of the scarf on the driftwood. Art Fibers just does an absolutely amazing job with their coloring and variegation in their dye jobs. It’s worth, not being able to predict the colors exactly from their website photos. Each time I get a color I’m more than pleasantly surprised. As I look over the beach photos, the colors from this scarf seem very reminiscent of the colors I experienced on the coast that day. What a lovely coincidence.

Lace Ribbon Scarf in Art Fibers Tantra

Lace Ribbon Scarf in Art Fibers Tantra

As I lay on the beach trying to rehydrate my body and being, I did work on another Amigurumi creature, a mischievous monkey. Simple crochet in a spiral seemed to be soothing to work on.  I’ll post the photos up on this item later.

Our friend, Emily experimented with some stop-action animation with her camera.  She, Chad and Ryan worked together to shoot a short, short feature starring various beach paraphernalia and dead creatures (crab shells and Jelly fish).  It was quite interesting to watch all of them get involved in the creative process, each of them contributing ideas and direction. You can see the results here: Mysterious Beach.

Collecting materials for the movie set

Collecting materials for the movie set

Chihuahua brothers enjoy the beach

Chihuahua brothers enjoy the beach

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Filed under Amigurumi, Colors, Craft, Creativity, Crochet, Knit, Knitting, Lace, Project, Stuff I made, Yarn

Why can’t American TV Writers just write their own ‘good stuff?’

This has nothing to do with knitting though with one of my favorite programs. I got both seasons of BBC’s Life on Mars as a birthday gift from my very present-buying savvy husband.

Looks like American TV writers for ABC have really ‘cocked it up’ in their Americanized version of the popular British series. Why God, Why?! Why do we continue to have to take what’s good somewhere else and put our own cultural stamp on it? I suppose I shouldn’t rag on this until I’ve seen it, but still I smell a rotten dinosaur egg of mega proportions.

You can read the initial review of the program here:


The original program really was a joy to watch. My favorite character of course is Gene Hunt, who utters one of my favorite lines ever.

Cast from the original BBC Production… YAY!!!!

The new cast of the American version… ehhhhhh.

Re-doing foreign shows and films usually sucks. Why? Is it the writers’ fault or the studios’ for just acting on the notion (driven by business vs. creative motivation)?


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Dr. Who Pattern Debacle

Addendum 5/17 – Looks like the BBC and the author of the “Adipose” pattern have made peace.  It’s a happy ending as the BBC is negotiating a deal that includes a licensing for the pattern (which hopefully will be provided for fans on the BBC website). Plus Mazzmatazz may get to make Adipose babies for the BBC team and meet the Dr. Who crew.

See hostility just doesn’t pay. Now just about everyone is happy… the fans, the pattern maker, and the BBC.

Article posted here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/newsid_7400000/newsid_7406200/7406217.stm

If you haven’t heard anything about this, there’s been argument over some knitting patterns developed by a Dr. Who fan. In a nutshell, the fan created doll patterns of certain creatures from the popular BBC Series and made them available for free. In a rush to preserve the Dr. Who brand, the BBC has forced her to take the patterns now. Here’s a full version of the story.

I believe that many knitters are naturally creative people, and knitting is a powerful skill to have, because you can create all sorts of objects. When we like things or find them appealing, sometimes we want to recreate them for ourselves. It’s human to want to own things or have them in our possession. I collected Star Wars bubble gum cards and action figures when I was a kid because I loved re-living the scenes from the first three movies. I wanted to re-live the story because I liked it so much. Mazmataz recreated the Ood, the Adipose Babies, and the Tardis perhaps because of similar sentiments towards the Dr. Who series and its characters. I get it.

But the BBC doesn’t get it and from their point of view as a business that owns the intellectual property rights of Dr. Who they probably won’t.

I came of age (in the business world) in a large corporation who was ever so paranoid about loosing it’s brand. I suppose this is a law of nature that once on top, you become paranoid of others taking you down. It’s probably a king of the hill type syndrome. The company I worked for was so afraid of brand violation, they had numerous face to face course about how to protect their brand.

Now, I’m torn about this issue, because from a completely business point of view, I can understand why companies want to and need to protect their brand. However, from a historical view, I think that over-zealous protection of copyright or brand can only harm the rest of us or the general public who can benefit from the proliferation of new ideas and products.

New things… objects, ideas, concepts… do not just generate themselves out of nothingness. New things often come from older things. The gasoline combustion engine that drives cars was born from the ideas and objects developed by other tinkerers. The Model T Ford was developed from prototypes developed by others. If Henry Ford wasn’t able to pull the work created by others he wouldn’t have developed the automobile that made his company what it is today (probably someone else would do it). There are very few ideas or concepts that come from ‘thin air.’ They are usually based on another idea or concept or at least inspired by something else.

On the other hand, because we all live within a grid of monetary value where products from ideas can be exchanged for money. There will always be those people who take what’s offered for free and make money off it. Such was the case for mazmataz’s Dr. Who Patterns. Apparently people were knitting the patterns and selling the toys on e-Bay. That’s just pure opportunism. On one hand I think those people have violated a request not to use the patterns for profit. On the other hand, they were simply responding to the demand/value created by our system of demand/perceived need or desire for the said item.

In my mind this whole debate again raises the question whether intellectual properties should or are changing/evolving because of the advent of the Internet. It much easier to share information, instructions, ideas, objects and products on the web. They don’t have to be isolated or hidden from other people who may build upon them, improve them or even create something new.

I believe that some of the greatest creative and productive eras from history occurred when information was shared between cultures, peoples, or individuals. On a smaller scale, I have to say, the sharing of patterns both free and paid on social networking sites like Ravelry seems to encourage creativity amongst the population of knitters and participants. It also, encourages commerce. For example, a knitter might see a pattern knit in a different yarn and actually seek out and purchase that yarn. Or another knitter may have a stash of a particular yarn and need inspiration for how to use it. She/he might actually review the projects made by other knitters in this yarn and purchase a pattern made by a designer who advertises or posts information on their available patterns on Ravelry.

I know it will take some time and probably some ugly wrangling to get the intellectual property and copyright laws ironed out, but hopefully we will still be able to reap the benefits of the sharing and collaboration that takes place via the Net. In my head I’m still trying to think up a scenario that explains how all this sharing can be bad for us, because it’s good to think of things from more than one perspective.

knitted toys

Images from audreyem’s occasional blog. The original Adipose doll knitted pattern toy is on the right. A crochet version of the doll is on the left.

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Filed under Knit, Knitting, Patterns, Uncategorized