Last week I alluded to the fact that I walked around the Tidal Basin amid the budding and blooming cherry blossoms because I was working on a project. Now you can see the results of that project. As some of you may know, last year I checked out this UK-based website called Makies where you can create your own avatar for free. (And you can create as many avatars as you want.) If you want to have a real-life version of any of your avatars, you can press a button online, pay via PayPal or a credit card, and—voila—you get a doll (or action figure) version of your avatar. The doll/action figure is created using the new 3D printer technology that has gotten plenty of attention in the media in recent months. So I tried it last year and I now have a cute blue-haired elf doll that I named Victoria.

I recently took Victoria with me to Washington, DC where I took photos of her among the various famous tourist attractions (including the cherry blossom trees in the Tidal Basin). I edited the photos when I got home and created a series of short photostories for this contest whose deadline was today. (Ironically it’s the same day as Tax Day. I had quite a week where I simultaneously worked on my both my contest entries and my own taxes while seeing my divorce become final. One day I’ll look back on all this and wonder how I managed to do it all without suffering a nervous breakdown. LOL!)

I had to download this app on my iPad called SlickFlick, which wasn’t so bad since it’s a free app. I downloaded the photos on my MacBook computer, did the initial editing in Photoshop, transferred them over to iPhoto, synched them over to iPad, imported them into SlickFlick where I added the captions, put the photos in a certain order, then uploaded them online. SlickFlick is easy to use. The only downside is that SlickFlick is very buggy and it crashed a few times on my iPad. There were other times when something happened during the uploading process and the photostory wasn’t posted so I had to re-upload it. (There was one story that I finally got online after four tries.) I think SlickFlick has potential but the app definitely needs more work.

I originally thought about doing one long photostory titled “Victoria Goes to Washington” but I ended up breaking the photostory down into shorter ones because it not only made the work easier (since I only dealt with one bite-sized piece at a time) but I was also dealing with a buggy app and it was easier to do shorter photostories with it.

You can view them online right now either through the SlickFlick app or, if you don’t have that app, you can simply click on the links below. The photostories could be read in any order since it’s more of a travelogue than a linear story.

Victoria Outside the National Theatre (Where it’s Currently Holding a Production of Monty Python’s Spamalot)

Victoria Outside the FBI Building

Victoria at the White House

Victoria at the Washington Monument

Victoria Climbing Around the Cherry Blossom Trees in the Tidal Basin

Victoria Viewing the Monuments at the Tidal Basin

I won’t find out about the contest outcome for a while but I’ll keep you posted, especially if I win anything.

UPDATE (April 15, 2013): I just went to this post on the Makies site and I found out that I didn’t win. Compared to what happened in Boston today, my loss in a contest seems totally insignificant.

UPDATE (January 16, 2017): One day I decided to visit my old photostories on for old time’s sake only to discover that the site doesn’t exist anymore. (I guess that means that the SlickFlick app doesn’t work anymore but I haven’t tried it mainly because I haven’t used it at all since I entered that Makies-sponsored contest back in 2013.) The good news is that I found my old photostories on the Internet Archive so I updated the links to reflect that.