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Welcome to iBrattleboro!

Welcome to iBrattleboro!
It's a local news source by and for the people of Brattleboro, Vermont, published continually. You can get involved in this experiment in citizen journalism by submitting meeting results, news, events, stories, reviews, how-to's, recipes, places to go, things to do, or anything else important to Brattleboro. Or, just drop by to see what others have contributed.

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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

Creative


Original stories, songs, poems, and other creative pieces.

Against the Grain

We think we’re very clever. Always have. Even when we know we’re being dumb as lemmings we’re awash in self-admiration. It’s irksome, but we don’t speak of it, the risk is too large. Lately I had a moment like getting hit on the head, when all goes foggy, but then focus comes back extra clear. It was a low epiphany, not a thing to boast about. Almost reluctant to bring it up. Just wondering if I’m alone with this.

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Weekend Creativity Series - Water Fountains

One of my favorite urban design features is a water fountain. Just about anything that sprays water or features interesting pools catches my eye and ear.

One of my favorite things to do when living in DC, for example, was to visit all the water effects along the mall on a hot day. There’s a first ladies’ grotto by the capital that is very cool and refreshing, the Canadian embassy and East Wing of the art museum feature fountains, there are reflecting pools, fountains at the Navy exhibit, and a pond at Freedom Plaza, to name but a few.

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Weekend Creativity Series: Topiary

I’m a sucker for good topiary. It’s unreal and unusual, unnatural and often results in something quite amazing and lovely.

My first memories of topiary are, of course, the gardens at Walt Disney World. Disney has long employed master gardeners and encourages creative topiary work that shows off their characters and other fanciful creatures. There was a sea serpent made of multiple shrubs, for example, that seemed to be swimming near the entry to the Magic Kingdom. EPCOT, by the way, hosts an annual garden festival.

(Another not-as-fond memory is the topiary in the remake of The Shining.)

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Weekend Creativity Series - Fun With Phone Cameras

You can take more interesting photos with something as simple as your smartphone. It is a matter of creativity. And necessity. There are too many boring photos being taken.

Here are a few quick tips and tricks to get you thinking in new ways about the camera you’ve got with you almost all the time. These come via COOPH.com.

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Photo Contest Reminder

Click on the attachment below.

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Summer Intensive Digital Photography Course with Dave Mazor

Learn How to use Your DSLR Camera and Print Quality Images, Monday through Friday, June 20 through June 24, 5:30 to 8:30, 15 hours, $150.00, Instructor: David Mazor

This course will cover all the basics of using your DSLR camera and digital edits in Photoshop.

The course will begin with the technical uses of the camera parts and functions, and the understanding of light. The main objective is for students to create strong images of different subject matter under various lighting conditions.

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Weekend Creativity Series - Cowbells (and Plastic Tubs)

“More cowbell!” you may be thinking. But how are they made? Let’s look at the creative use of metal to make a musical instrument.

I got to work with metal a little bit in school shop class. We were given rods and had to make screwdrivers by heating and pounding the metal. It wasn’t hard to get the shape right, but to get the metal to the proper hardness was a bit of a challenge. I think we also spot-welded some small metal boxes.

This cowbell-making project wouldn’t scare me to attempt, but it would require quite a few specialized tools that are not in my toolbox.

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Weekend Creativity Series - Tree Houses

For a kid in the summer, nothing quite compares to having one’s own tree house to escape to to for privacy. It was the perfect place meet with friends. Parents knew where you were, but you were away from them and could see them coming. Just think of all the deep discussions that have been held by those admitted to treetop forts.

Tree houses aren’t just for kids to play in, of course. All around the world grown-ups build tree houses to work, play, and live in.

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Weekend Creativity Series - Cake Decorating

Want to turn an ordinary cake into something a bit more fancy? You must learn to use a piping bag and cake decorating tips! It’s scary and weird the first few times, but you’ll get more comfortable with practice and soon you’ll be able to make any cake look a bit more finished.

Wilton is the company that makes and sells most cake decorating supplies, and they supplied this introductory video. To do some decorating, you’ll need something to hold the frosting (a bag), a variety of tips, a coupler to attach your tips to your bag, and then some practice.

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Help Obama Kickstart World War III!

President Obama needs your help starting World War III!

Find out how you can help!

Video Link

Courtesy: The Second City Network

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Weekend Creativity Series - Batik

Batik is a technique used to put patterns and artwork on to cloth. The basic idea is to draw on fabric with something, usually hot wax, that will resist colored dye. The fabric can soak up color, your artwork remains, and the wax gets removed in a final step to leave the finished fabric and pattern.

Hot wax, colored dye, hot electric irons. Danger abounds! Hard as it is to believe, we did this in elementary school art class. It was one of my favorite projects.

We heated up paraffin until it melted, we painted on our pieces of fabric with the wax, then dipped it all in RIT dye. When it was dry, we’d heat up our irons, place the waxed fabric between sheets of newsprint, and would iron the wax out of the fabric. The newsprint acted as a sponge.

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Weekend Creativity Series - Make a Flip Book

My creativity is definitely biased toward drawing and animation. This week I’d like to share a video about doing a very simple and rewarding animation project - making a flip book.

There are lots of ways to do this, and there are many different types of flip books you might want to try. You can use post-it notes, small drawing pads, pieces of paper cut and stapled together, or the edges of your math book. (Of course, you shouldn’t write in your math book.)

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Weekend Creativity Series - Build an Earthen Oven

This week we can attempt a project that allows for multiple layers of creativity. Building an earthen over takes some design and construction skills, but then also allows for the additional creativity that comes from cooking. It also provides a creative way to learn about history.

Annikee tipped me off to this video series by Jas. Townsend & Son in which historical recipes and cooking methods are revealed. In 2016, cooks are spoiled. We have refrigeration, ovens with constant temperatures, and machines to help us do the heavy work.

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Weekend Creativity Series: Essential Art Supplies

Everyone has their own favorite tools, and for artists this means art supplies. We have a room dedicated, filled with all sorts of goodies.

I’m rather simple in my essentials. I exclusively use whatever is available. If I get a choice in the matter, I’m drawn to soft pencils and black sharpies, and small sheets of paper. For animation I get out my Color-erase blue pencil and work with punched paper.

But that’s just for drawing. I also like to have easy access to rulers, flexible curves, colored paper, scissors, exacto knives, tape, a range of glues, wood, metal, glass, clay, fabrics, cameras, instruments, and reference books and videos.

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Weekend Creativity Series: Chuck Jones

One of my creative mentors is Chuck Jones, one of the best directors to work with Bugs Bunny. I met him first through Saturday morning cartoons, then later as part of the animation program we were running at the children’s museum in DC.

Above my desk is a drawing of the coyote and road runner that he drew as part of a class at the museum. I can still remember him drawing it, explaining each line as he went along. It reminds me of him, and of the types of conversations he liked having. He was extremely well-read and drew from a lifetime of paying attention to little details.

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Weekend Creativity Series - Watercolor Washes

Wet into wet. Wet on dry. Dry on wet. Washes Here’s a 15 minute video to help spice up your watercolor abilities. If you follow along, you’ll end up with a series of abstract paintings that you can use to redecorate your home.

Grab some watercolors and some watercolor paper, some brushes of varying sizes, and some water. Then play along with the video.

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Elephants to Stroll With Heifers

Marking a first for the organization, Brattleboro’s Strolling of the Heifers is planning to feature their newest acquisition in this year’s parade - 42 Asian elephants.

“We were watching the accelerated retirement of the Ringling elephants and realized they needed a new home quickly,” said a spokesperson for the Stroll.”Why not southern Vermont?”

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Chemtrail Conspiracy

It was not a secret government agency. But today’s meeting was top secret. 

HASP is quite sensitive,” the Colonel explained, “If the truth ever got out…”

“But Colonel,” interrupted Faraday, “Chemtrails are all over the internet. It’s a bit late for hush-hush!” It was true: almost from its inception, the High Altitude Spraying Program had been exposed.

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The Happy Birthday Animation Project

I just finished a winter assignment and thought I'd share a bit about "the making of" this new animation.

This project really started a few years ago, when I was given the FAX jr. animation stand used at the Animation Lab at Capital Children’s Museum. (I used to run the program at the museum, and the animation stand is an old friend.) I invested in a new camera and software to shoot single frame animation, and did some tests to make sure it was all working.

The stand really pulled me away from computer animation and back into physical media of drawings and objects. I decided to give myself an assignment of completing a fully drawn animated project. But what to do?

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Weekend Creativity Series - Hitchcock

Two Alfred Hitchcock treats for you this weekend, to cover a range of creative topics such as suspense and filmmaking.

The first is an interview he did in 1972. I love listening to him talk, and he has a very dry sense of humor.

The second is an analysis of the way he blocks out a single shot in one of his films.

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iBrattleboro Poll

Brattleboro is considering a second sidewalk snowplow. That snowplow

Choices