Ursula Sadiq

"Hey, how did I get here?", asks the once and future geek. "Each step made sense along the way, didn't it?" Didn't it?

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There are burner conferences. MALC i.e., Mid Atlantic Leadership conference is one I just attended. Words that I captured (not mine mostly, but the resonated):  

"We are in the practice of creating safe space for the expression of the full spectrum of human experiences"

"We have the Demonstrated ability to create the world we envision"

"It's not my job, it's just my turn"

"Allows you to be, Invites you to do"

"Exclusive to people who want to be inclusive"


BEAUTIFUL SIDE PROJECT < I want this to be my burner name

ART CLAVE < I wanna do a popup store called this. Is this possible in my town??​​​​​​​

The difference between me and my campmate exemplified on day 2 of the conference: ME: I lost my notebookHER: I lost my vape

He did a Pop up maker space? Who'd have thunk it? Is this possible in my town??

Housing gentrification: things to think about. 6 values: Equity, Inclusion, Creativity, Self determination, Responsibility. Also "Triple bottom line"


Below, my more detailed notes/musings:

We have evolved (are evolving) from throwing kick-ass burns into extending our culture into the outside world. Just look at what is happening at Museums like the Heritage Norfolk or the Renwick in DC. WHAT IS OUR CULTURE? (insert a lot of fuzziness here) AT WHAT POINT IS THE MAINSTREAMING TOO MUCH? (inserts more fuzziness here)

Acculturation. Partnering with the Burner Adjacent fold.  (meso cresso, figment, all those others I'd have to look up)

HOW DO I BRING THE AWESOMENESS OF A BURN BACK TO MY COMMUNITY? I personally struggle with this, because I'm a smallish town burner, where we lack critical mass. It's natural to want to share an awesome experience. It's natural to want to share what one has worked on.

There are folks who do this actively. Bring some of the values home: immediacy, gifting. Showing artforms that are less familiar to new audiances. 

THE TOPIC OF ARTIST PAY: the artist says "If I feel strongly about the event, especially a free event, I'll gift my time/effort. And sometimes I'll work for minimal pay for the joy of sharing my craft. One key to this is having clear expectations set and payment defined before we start"

"Attainably priced workforce housing" goes over some much better than the "Affordable housing" term.

And also we gave out $1500 in grants. (Our comminity needs coaching on grant writing). 

Gotta run, more later. (maybe)

4/27 '18 10 Comments
I love this. I particularly love the idea of a popup maker space.
I love "It's not my job, it's just my turn."
Condolences on the passing of Larry Harvey. I've never been, but I admire the fire.
Brian Rapp 5/1 '18
I met Larry once (that I recall). He rolled up to a large project we were building at Burning Man 2014 and suddenly all progress ground to a halt. We all got hugs. Then I got to play grumpy foreman who scowled at everyone until they disengaged from Larry and got back to work.

I do so appreciate how he ignited an event that means so much to so many, and burns on so brightly. Hopefully it continues the brightness for many years to come
Ursula Sadiq 5/2 '18
He came to my bar one night when the bar was essentially empty (we were hosting Bootie elsewhere in our "village") and just hung out, drank beer, and listened to Fela Kuti and Miles Davis with us. Said his name was Hairy Larvae and we just treated him like a normal dude. It was great and low key...and I'm glad we could just be cool people around him without making any fuss. Good stuff.
Avocado Tom 5/16 '18
I am so happy that you are completely inspired by the community.

I ran out of gas and ended up being *very* frustrated by BMOrg Leadership who almost seemed to go out of their way to not support our community here. The classic example were that it took them five years to deign to interview a second regional coordinator (and that only happened after duress and semi-public shaming). When DC's RC announced his retirement it took them 6 months to bring in THREE new RCs.

When I went to the "Global" Leadership meeting in the Bay Area, it was something of an echo chamber, but there was also a lot of positive energy, which I appreciated.

I have lots of thoughts on bringing the spirit to your local community, but the easy ones might be:

1. Host a monthly gathering somewhere you don't mind being anyway, so that people interested in the community have someone to talk to. I did it at a bar. I met many wonderful people who have since become wonderful members of the community, all they needed was someone to help them learn about it and talk to.

2. Can you set up an art project or booth at a local fair or farmers market? Could be as easy as having a costume exchange and/or face painting. Take is as an excuse to buy fabulous clothes from thrift stores, then offer free costumes: you help people pick and give them the confidence to be fabulous. You can also accept old "costumes" (read: fur and fun stuff) at PDF or other burns and bring them there. Do it once a year so it's not a burden. Or do it more! Have some sort of interactive crafting to get people involved? Set something up at the Pumpkin' Chunkin' (sp?) like a pumpkin decorating booth where people can bring their pumpkin and you help them decorate, then take photos (polaroids or other) and post them on a board throughout the day..

3. Invite regional burners to come to a once a year event you set up. Is there an outdoor summer movie series nearby? Host a pillow-fight at one movie a year? Or create an esoteric and fun event that will draw attention:
(a) The Ides of March March (Pittsburgh started this years ago);
(b) A fun costume bike ride on decorated bikes one day a year;
(c) Enter a float in a parade with all burners having fun;
(d) Host a Mardi Gras [costume party at a bar | parade | king cake party | etc.]
(e) Invite people with Art Cars to do a "shriners parade" or just gather in a very public/central parking lot for one day a year

Above all, just keep being you and keep kicking ass. If all the burns do for you is recharge your batteries so you can be a more awesome you, that's still a big deal. Just use it to shine your positivity into the local people. It doesn't have to be burner-y, it can just be you being awesome. Then people will want to be cool like you and will want to start doing cool things with you. Collaborators and critical mass can help us all do more awesome things.
Avocado Tom 5/16 '18
I love a lot of these ideas. I imagine I'll run with one/some of them at some point. I do have a challenge of "lack of critical mass" - I live in Delaware. We don't even have a RC. And I don't really want that job.

I'm on the PDF board these days and that is spreading me pretty thin. We move to two different events at two new sites in the last year, so it's been a crazy year to join the board. But I hope as I learn the ropes, and as things settle down, it will get smoother. Then maybe I"ll have energy to figure out something for this area.

The BORG I think is recognizing that regional are the future. BORG speakers how supported this event said as much. Maybe they were pandering, but I didn't get that impression. They canceled GLC this year because I think they too were getting the echo-chamber vibe and wanted to rethink things.
Ursula Sadiq 5/16 '18
They keep saying they've seen the light, but I don't think they have. There needs to be a serious change in attitude and some support, especially for cities that aren't NYC, Boston, DC, LA, etc. I remain hopeful, but until I see some real motion, I will remain unconvinced. (More than happy to discuss in more detail offline)

I honestly think the monthly happy hour - especially if you have a bar you'd be going to anyway - is an easy win. You'd be surprised who randomly turns up. And regarding being RC: I understand being stretched thin and not wanting the job, but at the same time, if you can just be a local point of contact (and set boundaries for yourself) it might bear fruit. Just a thought. Again, happy to discuss in more detail offline.
Avocado Tom 5/16 '18
I'd like to chat offline. It's been too long! But after Memorial day (i.e., the NEW Playa del Fuego Event! Now with no swamp, no built in spectators, no amenities, and possibility of bears!)
Ursula Sadiq 5/17 '18
Sounds like a plan!
Avocado Tom 5/17 '18

It's time to make camping swag again!

A week or so ago, I went with some campmates to the Renwick Gallery, which is part of the Smithsonian, in Washington DC.  The Renwick is currently hosting an "Art of Burning Man" exhibit. Highly recommended. Inspiring. (In case you are wondering, my camp is called Balls Camp. We favor Ball Gowns.)

I saw a trinket there that inspired me to make a more complex necklace for camp swag than I have in the past. Not saying the designs won't continue to evolve, but I'm pretty happy with it. . .and I'm starting to wonder what an acrylic version would look like. . .

4/14 '18 2 Comments
These are beautiful.

Sometimes I wish I had the constitution for Burning Man.
Ya, I hear you. Mostly I camp here on the east coast, because trekking to and enduring the desert is so much effort. A bunch of localish regional burnereque events have sprung up over the years, so I am much more likely to hit a few of those a year instead of the big burn.
Ursula Sadiq 4/17 '18

I do so love patches. But I've never ever made one (or had one made). So I'm attempting to remedy this.

Last night, I made a design. Today, I'm going to find someone to make 100 of them for me. Hopefully this design is "patchable". And that patch makers are affordable.

UPDATE 4/17: The proof is here. Me likey!

4/11 '18

So I have some friends who march with the local 501st Legion, First State Garrison.

They wanted to engrave helmet stand bases. The stands are stainless steel. I've never tried steel on Glowforgeous Splendiferous, so I'm heading down that rathole. 

First, I did the design file, and a quick cut on wood.  Meh.

Then I tweeked the design file, redid it, again on wood. Better!

But now I notice there are issues with the font where characters overlap. Meh. 

Now discussing with my friends the next steps. Space the font out? Color in the overlap spots? A different font all together??

I also did some research that suggested a coating to use before you attempt to laser steel. So I got a bottle of Dry Moly Lubricant Aerosol Spray. Yup, I'm buying Moly. :-P  . . .My Moly arrives tomorrow. So maybe tomorrow night I'll be etching steel! Assuming I can sort the font issues by then. 

3/25 '18 3 Comments
That is very cool. It's also territory I have not tread - even a little.
That's a goofy bug in the Glowforge software. Definitely report that as an issue. (It's related to rasterizing polygons using an even/odd method as opposed to a winding method.)
Sean M Puckett 3/26 '18
I didn't even think about reporting it. Will do. . . I just combined the shapes in the design file to make it go away. . . now I'm dragging my feet on doing the actual steel lasering. . .but soon..soooooon.
Ursula Sadiq 3/27 '18

It occurs to me that I never posted finished photos of what I did with the silhouettes I posted about last month.

So here:

I made a cuttouts of my campmates and framed them. I did this 4 times i n various color combinations, and have 1 more to make. (I stopped because I ran out of frames). I made several because some of my campmates wanted their own copies. Here are 2 of the finished product - coffee mug included for scale

And then, with the silhoutte of my daughter, I assembled a wall hanging, and then attempted an inlay. The inlay is not as perfectly flush as I would like, but I'm fine with it as a first try.

So yes, having fun with the Glowforgeous Splendiferous. 

3/24 '18 3 Comments
This is really cool!
Sweet toy
Thomas Boutell 3/25 '18
What ^they^ said.

Last night, some nice people said some nice things to me about the mermaid nightgown. So this morning I was inspired to spend time on a skirt made from the remaining mermaid print fabric.

I can't really finish the hemlin until the kid is around again next week.

Someday I will have to get me a serger.

3/17 '18 1 Comment
Looking good!

Well over a year ago I bought some mermaid print fabric with intention of making my daughter a nightgown. Today, I finally made it.

I goofed the pattern some, but it's a nightgown, so there is a lot of room for slop. (actually, I didn't so much goof the pattern as pick the wrong pattern, then tried to correct for this after the first few parts were already cut out.)

Anywhoo, she's sleeping in it tonight. Warms the cockles, it does :-) 

3/11 '18 5 Comments
I love it! What does she think of it? That's a fun fabric.
It's cool fabric - she picked it! She usually likes the clothes I make her, including this one. Sometimes she likes them too much - I made her a play long costume skirt (un-hemmed, just a circle with elastic) and she keeps wanting to wear it to school. . . . I don't actually try to make real clothes, just PJs and costumes. And the occasional flag.
Ursula Sadiq 3/11 '18edited
There's nothing better than an appreciative recipient, is there? :)
I love the flared skirt. That is one fancy nightgown.
Yeah! I love how the flare of the nightgown is reminiscent of a mermaid's tail. So cute!

I am in a slump, creativity wise. Slogging along. I had the flu 2 weeks ago. Still coughing from that. And the mid-winter blahs doesn't help. And, oh joy, I strained my back 2 days ago so I'm gimpy and grumpy.

Anywhoooo, I saw an ad with silhouettes. And decided I should make some silhouettes on my underused laser cutter in the basement. But first, I needed some silhouettes. So I dug up some photos, and taught myself how to make silhouettes in Gimp (=freeware photoshop).  Source photos for the first 2 below.

The third silhouette is of the 8 campers in my camp last month at LoveBurn. Created from a number of camp photos. . . . next up cutting cardstock with these files. As soon as my back can handle walking down to the basement.

2/24 '18 5 Comments
What's causing the yellow-green around the spear tip?
Brian Rapp 2/25 '18
There are feathers tied near the tip.
Ursula Sadiq 2/27 '18
Yeah - those silhouettes are kinda awesome! Nice work. I wonder if I should do something similar - but fantasy / sci-fi themed. Hmmm...
You should! And then you should get a laser cutter to make them into artifacts. ;-)
Ursula Sadiq 2/27 '18

The flag turned out alright. . .it's really red-white-green, but the yellow street lights washed all that out in this video. Also, it was crazy windy for the first 2 days. Snapped our flagpole!

2/6 '18

And I cut the stencil for the flag. I'm a bit sad that the stencil is so small, but my lasercutter is only 20" x 12"  :-/  

I'm expecting it to look like this one the flag. Wish it was bigger :-/

1/23 '18 2 Comments
This is SO cool! I'm happy you included the coffee mug in the shot for scale. And the flag is really cool! Do you have a laser cutter in your house, or do you go to a makerspace? (You said "my lasercutter," but I didn't know if that was literal.) If so, you are the second person I know!

Do you know Mike Sandler? He's got one and laser-engraves pretty much anything he can get his hands on. It's really fun!

I do know Sandler! He cut things for me before I got my VERY OWN GLOWFORGE. It's a small bed cutter 20' x 11' cutting area. Currently living in my basement.

I wish we had a makerspace around Dover. But we don't, so I've resorted to buying my own toys. And sometimes chatting up contractor type dudes with cool tools at the local bar (#notaEuphamism).
Ursula Sadiq 1/30 '18