Monday, August 06, 2012

CLoTHES 2012: Introduction

The theme for Summer Camps @ The Forge (church) has been "Play & Create", and we have been working through those ideas as a community in our Sunday gatherings as well. I've been thinking a lot about how I play, what I create, and how it seems like a lot of my time is spent wishing to do those things but feeling weighed down by all of the stuff I feel like I have to do. As I wrote recently, my new hobby of creating things out of Perler Beads has been teaching me how to play and create, but it has also caused me to reflect on how other hobbies, interests, and activities are part of my life. I've decided that it's about time for me to go through my life and evaluate where I am at with some of my different hobbies, so, for the next few weeks, I will be engaging in the Comprehensive Life of Turner Hobby Evaluation Survey - or CLoTHES, for short. (It took me only a few minutes to come up with that acronym, and I'm kind of proud of it.)
Most of my hobbies and interests have been reflected in my (semi-)regular media updates and in past posts, but I think it's a good idea for me to think about how much time, money, and energy I spend on each one: do I need to be more active, less active, or maintain the status quo? I'm looking forward to doing some reflecting, evaluating, synthesizing, and discussing of the place of the hobbies in my life. Here's a list I came up with from thinking about some of the things I put time and effort into, as well as looking at labels from posts on my blog: video games; board games; movies and television; missional and emerging Christianity; music (listening); writing and blogging; leadership (ie. in church); playing music; science fiction and fantasy (literature, multimedia); hockey (and sports in general); social studies (current events, sociology, pop culture and media studies, etc.); drama; Canadian history and culture; languages, linguistics, and word puzzles; Ultimate Frisbee; and thrift shopping. I just listed sixteen different activities, and I'm sure there are more that I will think of as I'm thinking about these. My first realization is how staggeringly long that initial list seems, and that the scope of what I'm trying to do here may exceed my reach. My goal is to conduct this personal evaluation over the next four weeks, which means that I will have to write four or five posts each week, which seems daunting considering my recent levels of output. I am confident, however, that having a structure and a goal to this process will force me to do it well, and I'm looking forward to it. So, friends, there you have it: an admittedly audacious goal, a typically Turnerian premise (yes, I just made myself into an adjective), and a hypothetically seminal series in the Life of Turner. It should be fun!

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Perler Tricks

I started a new hobby in the past week: creating art out of Perler beads. Yes, the beads that you place carefully on pegboards and iron to make designs. I knew they existed before this past month, but I had only seen designs in finished form and admired them. It wasn't until I was directing camp this summer that I saw them in process. (Side note: I'm having a blast directing Summer Camps @ The Forge (church). More on that later, but suffice to say that the rigorous schedule has precluded my blogging for the past month. But I digress.) I happened to have a bit of spare time during Create Camp, so I decided to start trying my hand at making something out of Perler beads. The result, with no light brown beads to spare, was an 8-bit Link straight out of the NES classic The Legend of Zelda. I was so pleased and proud of my work - irrationally so, I think - that I had to get together with a friend and "man-craft" on Friday night. We made Mega Man - his was jumping, mine was shooting. [By the way, he blogs over at He just started about a month ago, but he has some great stuff already. Enjoy.] I then went out and spent about $60 over the next week purchasing the materials I needed to be able to start creating my own Perler bead creations. Over the next week, I started to develop my collection of Legend of Zelda figures, as well as the set of bosses from Mega Man 2 and 3. My wife consistently enjoyed how much I was enjoying my new admittedly adorkable hobby, and she had to tell everyone (or have me tell them) how much she was enjoying watching me. I am surprised at how much I have taken to this new hobby. It has felt really fun to play with the beads and create these characters. I have had to re-learn this summer what it means to play, after a year of intense work, and this new hobby is helping me do just that. If it happens to turn into something more than a hobby, so be it, but for now, I'm looking forward to expanding my collection of figures and having fun with the beads in the near future.

Here's the link to the photo album of my creations on Facebook. (You can see the pictures and my comments, but no one else's comments.)


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