Sunday, May 27, 2012

Bitten by the quilting bug

My knitting has been gathering dust. Sitting woefully in the corner, my yarn suffers an aggregious amount of neglect. And the cause? Quilting. Oh how precise and mathematical an art! Oh how lovely the fabrics! How silky the thread! How delightful the soft whirr of my new sewing machine -
Incidentally, this is my first real sewing machine which I purchased off craigslist for a great price last month. It has everything I want in a machine and the previous owner took excellent care of it. She even gave me all her sewing notions because she was moving overseas. It's PERFECT! I tried it out today for the first time and everything worked so smoothly.  For you crafty types that want to know, it's a Janome Memory Craft 4800 Quilter's Companion and came with a walking foot for doing fancy quilting.  So far, I've just used the standard foot and the 1/4 inch seam foot, but I am looking forward to trying out this fun little gadget.
Today was a relaxing crafting day that I spent with a friend. She had never been to Dressew before, which is a travesty since Dressew is nearly obligatory for making any crafts. I needed to go anyhow to pick up a bit more fabric and some thread. I was also in need of an iron and ended up purchasing 'The Mighty Travel Iron'. Because it's so cute and mini! And Mighty!
My current project happens to be a pinwheel quilt for a friend's baby. She is a very good friend and had the good fortune of giving birth last week to a healthy boy. Since I am still in the process of looking for employment, I have time to spare for mammoth crafting projects. In about 7 hours today I cut, pieced, sewed, ironed, and squared up 15 pinwheel blocks. I might have been able to finish all 20, but had to spend some time figuring out the math and learning to use my new sewing machine. The blocks are looking good so far and I'm hoping to get this quilt finished by next weekend!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Got Craft?

If you've been following this blog for a bit you probably already know this, but for those of you that are new I have to tell you that I love free stuff. In fact, I will go to extraordinary lengths to obtain free stuff. And that is why I got up at 5:15 this morning to line up on Commercial Drive for the Got Craft? event, my favourite craft fair in Vancouver. The sun wasn't even over the horizon as we sleepily made our way into the line, but our efforts were rewarded by obtaining a coveted indoor position to wait for the next 4 hours. In fact we were only the second people to arrive, guaranteeing us our chief objective: a swag bag full of crafty goodness from all the vendors! Happiness! We are spending our time in line reading books, comics (from Free Comic Book Day yesderday!), playing Truffle Scuffle (a game designed by my cousin, incidentally), knitting, and whiling away the minutes on the internet.

Less than an hour now till it opens! The DJ is set up and all the vendors are arriving! Can't wait!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Guild Wars 2!

There are many momentous things happening right now, but perhaps one of the most highly-anticipated (in my little sphere of the interwebs) is the imminent release of Guild Wars 2.

Now, ironically, this game doesn't even have a release date yet.  But like the brainwashed little lemmings we all are we've gone out and pre-purchased the whole shebang just so that we can have a chance to get a glimpse of this game for ourselves in this weekend's Beta event.  Will this game actually live up to all the hype?  I hope so. My biggest concern is with how guilds will function there, and whether there will be any type of alliance functionality.  As far as I'm concerned, the easier they make it for people to connect with each other in-game, the better.  To all my guildies, I hope to see you this weekend!

In other news, I bought a sewing machine.  I know!  Aren't you excited?  My yarn stash has been languishing on the shelf, while my fabric stash has been growing increasingly bigger.  It certainly didn't help when I found out that The Cloth Shop was moving to Granville Island and had their whole store on sale.  This knitting blog might morph into a quilting blog at this rate.  Below is a small wall hanging I made over Christmas (yes, it's sideways... feel free to rotate your head).  It was my first experience with paper piecing, and though that part went ok, the whole 'sewing in a straight line' part could use some work.  I should have more opportunities for practice on my new machine  =)

Oh, and did I mention that I graduated and went to New Zealand?  Y'know, penguins and kiwis and mountains and glaciers.  I'll post up some photos in a bit!  Highlights included seeing two different species of penguins in the wild, spending a whole month with my sister, and celebrating my mom's 60th birthday with an epic homemade meal!  Vacations are awesome, but vacations with people you love are the best  ^_^

Saturday, November 19, 2011

On information and application

In starting to write a new blog post today, I found this one I wrote a few months ago and forgot to post.  So I'll post it now  :)  Better late than never!

A friend of mine made a comparison today that I thought was quite apt. He was visiting another university to look into their religious studies program, but found that there wasn't much being done to implement what was being studied. He likened it to the difference between studying physics and engineering. Physicists learn a lot about how the universe works, but for the most part the focus is on knowing theory. Engineers on the other hand learn how to apply the principles they learn to make something that works. They may not understand all the theory, but that doesn't stop them from attempting to build something useful. My friend made the comparison with regard to Islam, but I see this being just as prevalent within Christianity. We have too many scholars, and not enough do-ers. So many people are eager to debate theology, but the practical application of that in their lives is mysteriously absent.

Many people think that since I've been in school for so long that I like learning things just for the sake of learning things. But that's actually not true. I like learning things that are applicable and relevant to my life. Otherwise, I just get bored. For instance, if you had told me a few years ago to learn about chemical surface modifications of polydimethylsiloxane, I would have fallen asleep after the first sentence. But once I started research, I had a problem to solve and suddenly that information was relevant to me, and I started reading up on it in my spare time. For the information I couldn't find, I ordered some products and conducted some tests to see what would work.

Some people think that the solution to all their difficulties in Christian life is to learn more. If only the Pastor gave more insightful sermons. If only they read that bestselling new book. If only they go to seminary or Bible college. I submit to you that our problem isn't with knowing, it's with doing. We're a culture that's over-educated and under-experienced. Learning more theology isn't going to make you more loving towards that coworker who gets on your nerves. Studying Bible commentaries won't give you the courage to go volunteer with the homeless. Christianity is not a theoretical field, it is applied. Maybe it's time to stop trying to have everything figured out and be responsible for what we know. Once we're willing to act, it's easy for God to correct our misconceptions and adjust our direction. For those who aren't willing to act, no amount of information will ever be enough.

Now the irony of this is that right now it's only a blog post. Just another piece of information floating around on the web. So here is my challenge to you this week: take a piece of theory you know, even if you're not sure if it's 100% correct, and transform it into action. I guarantee that through experience you'll learn far more than studying could ever teach you.