Okay folks, next time I’ll be back with a mathematical theme which has now gotten two requests! Diving into the mathematical models of order and visual stunning, we will have some fun with fibonacci on the next podcast.
My plate may not actually have a Fibonacci sequence on it, but it sure reminds me of things governed by an interesting and visually appealing mathematical concept!
If you want to know how to start a podcast the way I did it, just look (and listen) to episode 1 on my blog. Or send me an e-mail at scientificquilter (at) gmail (dot) com
Sadly, I did have to pay for the podbean account so I could get episodes posted that are larger than 20 minutes. And I think if you decide to pay for the wordpress blog, then you can get mp3 to download directly to the blog itself, but whereas mine are free, the episodes have to be hosted elsewhere.
Honestly, most of the time spent figuring things out is done at the start up. I got my bumper music set up at the beginning of all the shows by taking a really long musical selection and breaking it down into 5 second segments with a ‘fade in’ effect in audacity and ‘fade out’ on the other side. Then when I enter the music in you go to import music on audacity and then delete everything but the segment of bumper music that you want to play that time. Not all that hard to do.
For me, because of how much I want to include on each show, sometimes the hardest and most time-consuming parts of creating a podcast is writing the blog. My episode posts are really long because I don’t post every day, just during the episodes and a preview podcast blog post and some other blog idea of whatever strikes my fancy during the week. But you don’t have to have an extensive blog to have a successful podcast either.
My choice of blog templates prevents me from having a custom banner at the top, but I’ve messed with this blog enough getting all the widgets the way I want them that I am not going to mess any more with it (at this time). I think some you can do things like edit the CSS (style sheets), but I don’t know enough about that to attempt that (yet).
Not to mention that I already had a microphone because of RockBand, but the other microphones that are USB capable should also work ‘plug-and-play’ into the computer without a lot of headaches. You have to do a little work setting up your audacity to tell it that your input is the rockband microphone, and it helps to put it into a single channel instead of stereo.
The tutorial post I have for audacity (in my first episode show notes) was REALLY helpful in getting all the setup for audacity ready and getting me familiar with the software – although the hosting site I used Brye Lynn’s suggestion of podbean on her first podcast of Sew Stitch Create - episode 1.
I am sure I also looked up in google “how to podcast” or “podcast tutorial” as well which watching a YouTube video about the LAME mp3 decoder in Audacity was helpful.
Currently I’m debating which topic to go with next for the podcast and taking a break (sorta) from the audio part so I can spend (some) time with family. Will be back soon with another podcast preview.
This is NOT a cooking blog, nor will I ever get to cooking on this blog, nor will anyone else have to see my horrid cooking experiments.
However, I was asked to recreate the 2nd place chili that I made for a cooking contest at work (there were only 7 entries). With a little help I hope to turn this wonderfully juicy looking (but tough at the moment) pile of meat into some hearty chili for the holiday. Yum Yum (I hope). A lot of pressure because I know it was made good once. Now to channel the chili spirit somewhere to help guide me to the path of chili enlightenment.
Maybe if I’m lucky some help from a “mysterious stranger”.
This Christmas I have 3 (4) ornaments to share with you. One chemistry, one yarn, and two fabric wreaths (variations on the same idea).
The Chemistry Borax Crystal Snowflake Ornament
Growing crystals from super saturated solutions is something that you can do easily with household products. A supersaturated solution is one that you force a liquid (typically liquid solvent) to dissolve more solid (called a precipitate solute) than it typically can hold. Most of the time, heating a solution can force the solution to dissolve more solids, and then as the solution cools, the solids come out of solution – sometimes in the form of crystals. Alton Brown says that even fudge is a crystal structure, so crystals are found everywhere this time of year.
To grow borax crystals
several pipe cleaners
something to cut pipe cleaners (NOT fabric scissors)
a string or fishing line
a pencil or pen
a wide glass jar
hot (boiling) water – just enough to almost fill up the jar but not too full
Mule Team Borax laundry booster
(You can substitute sugar crystals for borax, but I think they take longer to crystallize)
(I wonder if you could substitute fabric pieces for pipe cleaners. If anyone does this, I’d be curious to know)
Procedure for creating crystal snowflakes (or you could do a star of david, or other object you want to crystallize)
1. Cut the pipe cleaner into sections to create the crystalized shape
2. Tie your fishing line or string around one side of the snowflake.
3. Place the pencil across the top of the jar such that your ornament hangs in the jar without touching the bottom.
4. Any snowflake too high up will not have water on it, and thus may not form crystals. Make sure the sides don’t touch the jar either for more perfect crystals.
5. Remove the snowflake once you get it to the right height in the jar.
6. Add water to the jar near the top (or you can put this in a microwave safe measuring cup that holds the same amount of water as the jar).
7. Microwave for at least three minutes. If you’re worried about superheating your water, place a chopstick in the water as it sits in the microwave.
8. Use a hot pad or towel to CAREFULLY remove the jar from the microwave.
9. Add borax crystals until you can’t get any more to dissolve and start to see borax staying on the bottom. This takes a lot of stirring and a lot of patience. I had to remelt my crystals after the first night because I was too impatient and I thought I had enough borax the first night.
10. Keep adding and stirring, and if you need to, carefully pour off some of the excess water so you don’t spill over onto the floor. Remember that the snowflake is also going to displace some of the water so you may have more liquid than you realize.
11. Add the food coloring to the jar, and then put in the snowflake into the jar. (the following picture shows too little borax dissolved to get a good result. Add more borax than this.
12. Wait overnight at least for the solution to cool to room temperature. If you have multiple jars / snowflakes you could try putting one in the fridge (be careful!) to see what type of crystals form. Crystals forms differently with different amounts of starting temperatures and cooling rates.
13. Take a paper towel and place the completed crystal on the paper towel giving it time to dry. This snowflake you can see a little bit of blue tint to it with lots of crystals.
Another ornament I made this year
The dragon boat ornament from Jennifer Ackerman-Heywood at CraftSanity. I had black yarn available, and I used a piece of cardstock and cut out her template on her site.
Yeah I think I’m addicted to this podcasting thing. This should be a nice (maybe short?) crafty podcast where I talk about chemistry ornaments. I never got to doing much physics ornaments because usually we were completing our catapults this time of year. Projectile ornaments! Wouldn’t that be fun?
For this ornament that you will probably have time to complete for next year (or this coming week if you hurry, but you have to wait for an overnight step).
Not so much for quilting though. Although I did revisit a wreath idea that I remember helping with that had fabric patchwork pieces, which may almost count for quilting.
If I am in your quilt guild and you got an e-mail about a blog post that I wrote, just clearing up a little information before I get in trouble.
1) There is no direct blog post about the group – yet (until I post this).
2) There is a mention in a podcast that I uploaded a few weeks ago right after the holiday party. If anyone actually wants to listen to the part that I mention the quilt guild in my podcast it starts at the 30 minute mark of episode 2. It was my experiences of the holiday party. You just click through to episode 2 of the link on the left.
3) If you don’t know who I am, I am rather shy when not behind a computer and in large groups, so a lot of times I just like to sit and observe what’s going on.
4) No names are mentioned about the guild – including the town I live in, so if anyone feels embarrassed, you are safe from “internet people”.
5) I do love you guys!
6) Leave a comment or an e-mail to tell me you’ve been here!
e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. If I had a laptop, maybe I’d share it all with you in person in January meeting.
As I’ve seen in many students (adults & me included), there seems to be a point when learning a new technique seems scary, whether its science, math, or quilting even.
Fear of learning new techniques is risk of doing something that could have negative consequences upon failure, whether that is unsatisfactory results, public humiliation, or loss of time and/or money. Perfectionism is praised by quilt judges and peers, and so getting points to match up can become a priority for quilters and the possibility for not reaching that perfectionism may cause quilters to stop trying new things due to their lack of confidence – or rather their fear. How do quilters motivate themselves to move past the fear and see the rewards of learning to be greater than the risk of failure?
Follow me on my audio journey (i.e. speech) on how to combat the fear by listening to my podcast. An outline of my speech is as follows below, so you know where I’m headed on the podcast. I hope this is helpful to more than just me.
Setting deadlines may help motivate discipline and practice
Practice makes perfect
Use muscle memory, weather physical or mental, to help get you through techniques
Other ideas for stumbling blocks
Have the desire to learn the new task before trying
Psych yourself up for new projects
Create tutorials for others to help you ‘really learn’ what you’re doing – blog about it!
Give yourself time to digest new material
Something Else to Think About
Higher level of needs and thinking is where the categories of creativity and problem solving lay. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs suggests that to obtain these needs other needs of food, shelter, etc need to be met first.
Ruthanne asks “Why aren’t we creative?” (see Mirkwood Designs specifically episode 1 ) and we should strive to reach those higher levels of needs as much as possible in our lives. Looking at the level just below creativity and problem solving is esteem and confidence and respect – the main part of my podcast today.
Maslows Needs from Wikipedia
As I always say: Be creative and think about what you’re doing. Get to work on those higher levels of thinking and get out there!
And coming up, something completely different, but still focus on quilting, (and science I guess), I will explore a few ideas for getting past the fear of learning new techniques and taking up new projects. Also, a small look at creativity and problem solving. Applicable to many disciplines. No pictures really for this one. (I could draw one with photoshop I guess).
Being not a “yarnie” I don’t feel comfortable going to Ravelry really. But I did look at their (old) tour and I was impressed with how you could organize your patterns and wips, in addition add the social media aspect of everything. Any Ravelry veterans feel free to add in details here.
I was wanting an online database that would take care of managing all our WIPS. I have a list of steps that you have in a quilt project that I would like to post pictures and comments for each available step.
Here is the following categories I came up with:
Haven’t started yet – still planning in my head
Bought the pattern
Gathered materials for
Created any needed templates or foundations for creating
Blocks sewn together
Wouldn’t that be keen? Oh, and I want it to be free like other websites. I’m not incredibly database literate, but its gotta be the main structure behind things like facebook etc. I tried using power point as a database because I like how you can add pictures. Power point is limiting – the sorting part isn’t there. Another nice feature would be the size of cut pieces you need to create completed locks for your patterns, the amount of fabric needed for your quilt - an all in one quilting resource.
To manage it all, it is probably a nightmare, but I have heard other quilters cry out for this, and this is my turn. Anyone want to get a start on this?
Today I can call myself an embroiderer because I officially “finished” my little applique design embroidery study. I was going to make a small wall hanging out of this to hang below my ‘baltimore style applique quilt’, but maybe this is destined to be a pillow instead. What do you think?
This was done with leftover pieces from the mimi dietrich applique quilt I did. The pattern pieces are hers, but the layout is my own. I had several variations of this design I played around with before settling on this.
And its not photographing well by itself, but I used stem stitch on the heart, and inspired my swirls from the fabric pattern within. There are red swirls which are “echoed” by the dark dark navy blue (looks like black … shhh don’t tell anyone it’s not black).
In any event, I’m going to try my hand at hand quilting this just to get the feel of hand quilting. But I don’t have any supplies for hand quilting. Have to go find a thimble and a quilting hoop first. And probably some hand quilting thread. Time to pick up another project until I get to the quilt store (after the holidays).