There is a whole knitting community out there.

So I have been working away knitting on my knitting project. It is all fun but I was like what kind of support is out there when I need help. Well, let me tell you there is a lot in the knitting community. I just signed up for Ravelry this is an online community that has it all for beginners to the experienced.

This community has different patterns, forums and places to purchase yarn. I have been finding that the forum is where the beginners communicate about how their projects are going and a place to ask questions. I also like the Ravelry as a place where you can link your own blog so other knitters can connect.

As a continue to explore this online community, I wonder if you belong to a community for your learning project. What does your community provide you? Do you feel like the community is there to support you?

Please leave your comments below

Happy Learning Everyone!

Photo credit: leanforward_photos
Photo credit: leanforward_photos


Chapter 2: Exploring with Tips

After learning the basics with the tips, i decided it would be a good idea to explore what all the different tips do. It was important to explore the different tips because it would allow me to differentiate the ones that I could use on different projects. For example using bigger tips to make the larger designs, or the smaller ones to make more intricate designs.

When looking at all the tips I was trying to figure out something simple to decorate the cupcakes with that would allow me to explore the different tips, and the first thing that came to mind was monsters. Monsters came to mind because they can be creative and look differently than other designs.


Top: Bigger Tips
Middle Left: Big and Small Tips
Middle Right: Medium Tips
Bottom: Small Tips

Using the different tips to explore what i could do with them, allowed me to make different colors in the icing to set up the piping bags. I also found some candy eyes to add into the designs to make them look more like monsters rather than colored blobs of icing.

 Stay tuned for the next chapter, which involve using small tips for details.

CHORD-ially Learning Guitar

My level of excitement right now is through the roof. With last week being Spring Break and having some time off of both school and work, the guitar and I spent some quality time together. What was my biggest frustration last week, is now my greatest accomplishment! COWBOY CHORDS!

There were moments I thought my fingers were going to fall off of my hand – but I was determined to make some sort of sound ring out. And what do you know… by hard work paid off and BAM – I felt like I was a strumming machine, making up all sorts of rhythms and songs as I jammed out the 5 chords I have mastered.

As I shared my utter excitement on Twitter…..

I got a surprising response from a fellow educator….

So another HighFive goes out to Twitter and its amazing ability to connect you with people, some who you have never crossed paths with – and being a such a helpful resource. is such a cool website – one that I’m not going to lie, was very intimated of at first. But I found a list of absolute beginner songs, and can some what jam out to a little Enrique Iglesias Hero – which isn’t ready to be shared with the world quite yet! Amie also shared with me Cadd9 fingering, which required some researching on my part to figure out what it actually was.

This is only the beginning folks! With every passing day, it’s getting better and better, and like I shared with Twitter…


Update: Things are Coming Together

Hi There,

I guess I’d better provide an update on my learning project. Things feel like they are starting to come together nicely. I’ve chosen the song, Knocking on Heaven’s Door, because it is the only song my Dad ever sang to us while he played the guitar when I was young.

I used the chrome extension ScreenCastify to record a short video of my guitar lessons.

I am still using Garage Band and I am finding the combination of that, Youtube and consultations with my Dad to be fairly sufficient.

The song I am currently trying to learn is Knocking On Heaven’s Door. I started by checking out this video, then I looked into the chords on Ultimate With a few more hours practice I hope to be able to play this song fairly well.

A few things I’ve learned along the way…

  • Keep your nails short, especially on the left hand.
  • Make sure your fingertips are pushed directly on the strong behind the fret.
  • Find a reliable tuner and tune often!




Making connections!

Over the break I had the opportunity to meet (again) with the Elders that I met about a month ago.  To make this more personal, I met Elder Jan and Elder Mike.

They invited me over to their house on the reserve just out of the town where I live.  On my way there I got really nervous closer to the reserve as I was meeting someone new at their house.  I was not scared, but uneasy because I did not know what to say.  All I could think was: What do I say? What are appropriate questions to ask?  What if I overstep?  

When I got into the house I was greeted with such warmth and excitement.  I expected that I would be coming over to a home where just myself and the Elders would be. Boy was I wrong!  They had the whole family over for lunch (I found out this was a Sunday routine) and I was a guest at their family gathering.  We were at Mike’s house and Mike’s wife was close friends with Jan, hence why she was over at the house as well.

Mike’s family was so welcoming and funny.  They did not hesitate to have my sitting on the floor playing rummy and asking me for new card games.  I also got to meet Mike’s 2 children and his 5 grandchildren.  It was neat to be exposed to Cree language in a home where the language was rich and meaningful.  They mostly spoke English, but spoke phrases and words in Cree.  This reminded me of my home and how we spoke phrases and words in Ukrainian.

I honestly had NO reason to be nervous to visit Mike and Jan.

This was far different that I expected and I now know not to come with expectations because they all treated me like family; laughing with me, teasing me, feeding me (an unbelievable amount), and offering me all sorts of cultural knowledge without even knowing it.  Mike and Jan kept the conversation rolling and I found out much more about them by their family and how they carried themselves.

I am so fortunate to have made friends with Mike and Jan.  Look what happens when you get out of your own little bubble?! Who knew…

I cannot wait to share the knowledge they have with you all!



Has anyone else made a relationship with and Elders around their area or in their life?

Forums: A Way to Network

So I joined an engraving forum. Actually, I joined a forum a few weeks ago but I was inactive, mainly reading posts and searching for resources. 

Today, I wrote my first post on the Engraving Forum! I felt nervous, what if the other members don’t like me? Ok, so maybe that wasn’t exactly my thought, I’m nervous that the community won’t welcome me since I am so new and inexperienced. 

I think my nerves are mostly from going out on a limb and being out of my comfort zone. I’m looking forward to meeting new people and learning new things. The internet is truly amazing at its ability to shorten the distance between people and to ease the transfer of information between people! 

5 things I’ve learned about online learning so far…

5 things I’ve learned about online learning so far…

It is easy to get distracted.  

As I have mentioned in previous blog posts its easy to trail off on a path completely irrelevant to what it is you had the intention of looking up (you know when I talked about how you can find yourself lurking on your cousins nephews friends trip back in 2002 – same thing). To avoid this I have started setting an intent for my purpose of going on Pinterest, YouTube, etc. As well as trying to set a time limit and stick as close to it as possible so that I use my tie to search for things and have less time to stray off track.


There is always more than one way to go about things

Or a hundred ways to go about things…

Take your time, look up the different ways to go about what it is you are trying to learn or accomplish. Don’t jump at the first way to do something, take time to research, and always read reviews or comments of those who have followed the steps – they usually have some great insight.


I’d rather read than watch 

Videos take time, and like I said I am easily distracted. I would rather read a step by step instruction than try and watch a video that takes me for a round and takes forever to try and get to the point. However, when you are trying to figure out how to do something very specific sometimes it is nice to see visually how someone goes about it every step.

Shortcuts may not always end up being shortcuts

How to reupholster a chair in 1 hour may look like a good idea but chances are if you want it done right and if this is your first try you will mess up and you will have to start over anyways. So like I said before take your time, do your research, the fastest way to learn how to do something might not always turn out as expected.


Everyone has to start somewhere

I pulled apart my chair, then put it back together, then I pulled it apart. I’m learning, I get frustrated that it doesn’t look like something out of a vintage catalogue. I still haven’t found any fabric I love for a price that I am willing to pay. But I am learning and everyone else once was too.  The expert in anything  was once a beginner, so keep going. Someday you might be the expert.


And if you’ve got a second take a break and have a laugh at these epic DIY fails.

Happy learning ECMP fam,

Ms. M

Social Networking- Boon or Bane?

In the last class, we got a chance to listen to Carol Todd . After listening to her, I realized how strong a mother can be. She lost her daughter Amanda Todd when Amanda was just 15 years old. Amanda faced “Sextortion”  a kind of cyberbullying, which resulted into self-killing of Amanda. Amanda was a very talented, happy and easy going girl, who was contacted and manipulated by an anonymous person on Facebook, who flattered her so much to the point of convincing her to flash her topless body to him. Then this person harassed and blackmailed her to such extent that she ended up taking her own life. Carol is fighting for justice, not just for her daughter but also for many more youngsters who are stuck in this turmoil. In addition to this she is engaged in other noble cause too. She has established the Amanda Todd Trust, receiving donations to support anti-bullying awareness education and programs for young people with mental health problems.

After knowing about Amanda and Carol, I am in perplexed state of mind. Where on one side we are inventing and learning about advancement of technology for betterment of mankind, on other side, there are some people who are misusing it and destroying other life of others. It poses a question in front of me, should we really make connections on internet when we don’t know about the person sitting on other side?

As Internet usage is growing daily, the world is coming closer. The World Wide Web sounds like a vast phenomenon but surprisingly one of its qualities is bringing the world closer , making it a smaller place to live in for its users. However, it has also created another problem for people who spend long hours browsing the Cyber World –  that they are vulnerable to being exploited by others through cyber bullying. These people search for youngsters for their unethical pictures to misuse them later- which is a cyber crime. My friend Anila Kanwal has explained this term “Cappers” for such people very well in her article “Cappers and Cyberbullying- A growing online crime“. While law enforcement agencies are trying to tackle this problem, it is growing steadily and many children and teenagers are becoming victims of it.

One of the best ways to avoid being a victim of cyber crimes and protecting your sensitive information, is by making use of impenetrable security that uses a unified system of software and hardware to authenticate any information that is sent or accessed over the Internet. For youngsters its important to inform them well in advance about keeping personal data and information safe and to use internet and internet connections responsibly.

Cyber bullying is spreading across the Canada at a fast rate. Some provinces are more vulnerable to it as this data indicates.

Canada Bullying Statistics by Province


Fortunately, we are the safer province so far. But there is another agency, “The Canadian Centre for Child Protection” says it has seen a 40 per cent spike in teenage “sextortion” in the past six months.

Predators are meeting their victims in online game chat rooms and social media sites like Facebook, youtube etc. Their conversations start off harmless. The teen is then invited to engage in a private chat over personal access medium,like video chat. Eventually they’re coerced into taking off their clothes or performing a sex act on a webcam. The victim thinks they are talking to someone their own age, but they’re not.The video is then used to extort money or additional sexual content from the teen. Most of the times these people are after money. They demand for it and in case they don’t get it either they threat the victims or just move on to next victim.


Photo- Credit

I would like to end this article by wishing that no more kids should fall into such traps so that no more Amandas have to die and the law enforcement should be strict to the point that every capper has to think a hundred times before making innocent children his victim.