Thursday, February 25, 2010

Awful Author Photos

I've discovered a new category in the informal Awful Book Design Contest, of which Ugliest Book Cover has so far been my only category (examples here and here). The new category is called....wait for it... Awful Author Photos!
Exhibit A: The Tie
As you may remember, I have these adventures in the library stacks called Weeding, and if you want to see the criteria I work with you can reference this post.
Exhibit B:
The author's serious expression, coupled with pose
(Extra points for light blue pin-striped suit, also)

So this is my winner, so far, in the AAP category. And really, when you take it all together, it's a pretty strong entry: the tie, the suit, overall pose, and let's face it, also the author's first name in conjunction with the former. It's nothing about the author himself, mind you, nothing personal, and I haven't read the book either. But suffice it to say that this is one made it to the big library in the sky.

P.S. Also, check this out, great librarians think alike because there is another post out there from a blog called Awful Library Books about Those Amazing Leeches (Ugliest Book Cover of All Time, year one). Except if you check the date, I broke the story first, that's right, you read it here first, ladies and gentlemen. (Wait, do I have any gentlemen readers?)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Shalom Cardigan: Done

A quick to knit, perfect for chilly days, new for me, and flattering sweater! Remember when I went to Burlington? I visited the wonderful Kaleidoscope Yarns (where, hold on, they actually keep *stock on hand!!!!!* so that I could purchase ten skeins right on the spot...instead of the frustrating local phenomenon of: Oh, sorry, yup we only have those two skeins left, but we could order it for you. Blech.) and purchased yarn for the Shalom Cardigan (free pattern) by Involving the Senses, that I first saw on SouleMama's blog.
Except there were a few things "wrong" with the pattern: the only size offered was for a 34" bust and the original was knit for a 6' tall woman. Oh, AND, the original was knit without sleeves (huh?). So this is where the wonders of Ravelry started to make sense to me: I was able to log on and search for others who had knit the Shalom.
First, I started looking at all the little thumbnail photos for a slightly curvier lady. Then I used her directions for a 38" bust and SouleMama's directions for sleeves, and tweaked a few other details, and came up with a very cozy addition to my wardrobe. You can find my conglomerate of patterns here.
And how could I resist THIS addition to my personal library??? This Book Is Overdue: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All by Marilyn Johnson. Though it's sometimes hard to get excited about more school-work-related reading, this is a pretty cozy bedfellow. Already, I love this Marilyn Johnson for her snappy and clever rejoinder to that tired question I get asked: Do we still need libraries/librarians in the age of Google? The answer she gives is essentially, OK sure, for most of you reading this blog, you obviously know your way around a computer and a mouse. But what about those folks who need hand-holding to print their e-ticket? Or how about if you're pretty savvy and have your own computer and internet at home but you're still not quite sure how to even phrase a question that Google will understand? What if you don't speak English as your native language but you need to navigate an online form to apply for a job at McDonald's?
my Library of Congress bookmark from ClimateGirl
Total nerdy fun. And even if you're not a librarian, this is interesting and rousing reading. I kind of hope my parents and loved ones will read this book, so they know a little bit more about the profession I am in and the one I am studying. (And yes, we are getting it for the Rockport Library's collection also! I have already put some names on the hold list!)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thursdays (and Birthday Part 2)

On Thursdays, we head to our little local ski mountain. Apparently it's the only ski mountain on the East Coast where you can view the ocean from the top. I am a non-skier, but I sit in the Lodge and read articles about youth in libraries and their research skills while knitting and talking to friends. I liken myself to a Roadie for a band, you know the person who handles the gear and the amps and the bottles of Vodka for the musicians? Except I am handling bags of boots and helmets and dry socks and neckwarmers ("warmneckers") and snacks, snacks, snacks (not Vodka). Plus my knitting and reading and whatever else.
The kids get out early on Thursdays, so for a few hours things are pretty mellow and it's a bunch of people I know. And you know, I *am* sending off my babies up the mountain without me. But that's the thing, is that it's a perfect way to gain that bit of independence: to explore the world and navigate lines and experience the injustice of teenagers who sometimes cut in line and take another run and ride up the lift and chat with someone you don't know and just keep going.
Because I have never been that worried about my kids talking to strangers; I want them to know how to talk to people in the big world and to know who feels like a safe person to approach. What I do hope is that they would know who and how and when to ask for help if they need it.
Today, adorably, Sylvan tacked himself on to a group of middle school students from our school because his usual ski buddies were not around. And it was really sweet to see all these extremely cool people taking the time to include him. At one point, he was skiing extra fast to catch up with a favorite older girl and he took a spill on the mountain! But two of the coolest cool boys happened to be right there to help him up, collect his poles, and encourage him. While one skied ahead to tell me, the other skied down slowly with Sylvan. I love that these older cool boys had the chance to show their big-hearted kindness today.
My sweet boy drawing his robots; this one is a collaboration. We have been inspired by the movie Robots and also by Miss Smith's wonderful robots.
Oh. And this is Punk Ida. Riding in her Red Wagon. Random, I know, but you see these kinds of things around our house sometimes. Like the Turkey Baster.
Here are two more pictures from my special day. If you look closely, you can see I am wearing my sweet felt pin from MiesMama! (Cake was lemon with vanilla bean frosting. Mmmmm.)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

35, day 1

(Well actually, I have only been 35 for about 6 minutes...But hold on! If I was in New Zealand with Mary Nanna and Miss Smith, I would already be well into my 1st day of 35!)
party favor Valentines
repurposed Nikki McClure calendar,
you know those little mini pictures of the months that live on the backside
of your calendar
Rolled-hem hankie crafternoon! (Reminder tutorial is here.) Lots of laughing, pretty fabrics, fun books to share. And sewing friends.
A Gratitude Wrap made by Marcia, so I can take my notecard-writing on the road.
Inside, three pockets for a notebook, notecards, and stamps. So pretty and functional, and let me point out to you that there is a LOT of bias tape on this project. Which is a pretty big pain to sew. I do appreciate that detail!
We had snacks. This wasn't one of them. (But may I say: Y U M)
These folks know me well. Somebody even organized these friends into bringing lots of fat quarters to share with me! Look, this is the chicken themed pack (Note the white fabric with what appears to be hexagons: it's chicken wire!):
This is the yummy greensy goldsy bluesy selection (including some fabrics at right that originate from Ghana) and a little gifty from Rhea of Alewives (awww.):
And Oh. My. Cuteness. Donut and coffee mugs. Little tiny Japanese girls with parasols?! I ask you.
And we now have our very own Chia Obama, the "Determined" version (he also comes in "Happy"). We will post progress photos of our first African-American president with his organic green afro. Yes! We can!