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Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

As another National Poetry Month draws to a close, let’s celebrate with some Book Spine Poetry from around the internet.  What is Book Spine Poetry?  It’s when someone takes a titled book, places another titled book underneath it, and continues to do so until a verse has been created that can be read from top to bottom.  Some are witty, some are whimsical, some are subtle, and some are profound.  Have you ever tried it?  If so, please share your pics in the comments — I’d love to read them!

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I know many librarians who are tattooed, myself included.  I don’t know of many that are necessarily librarian-themed, though.  This is a fun page that shows several different librarian tattoos on librarians.  The artwork isn’t always fantastic, but I love the thought behind each.

Shhhing Librarian tattoo, image courtesy Mental Floss

Shhhing Librarian tattoo, image courtesy Mental Floss

See all 13 librarian tattoos here.

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Sunday Smiles: Paint-by-numbers

A 73-year-old man in Japan is creating amazing art.  The art itself is lovely, but how he creates it blows my mind; he uses Microsoft Excel.  I use Excel and other spreadsheet apps quite often to keep track of lists, calculate numbers, track budgets. But create artwork?  It never would have occurred to me that it’s even possible.

73-Year-Old Japanese Man Creates Impressive Paintings Using Only Excel

Image via demilked

Check out more of his paintings.

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Friday the 13th fell on Wednesday this month!

From a Pogo cartoon by Walt Kelly

Wed. Nov 13, 2013 was an especially trying day.  It began with my new alarm clock going off at 7:00.  I decided that I could sleep a little longer since it was my day off, so I set the second alarm for 8:30.  I rolled around for awhile trying to go back to sleep and finally looked at my clock to see that it said 9:00!  The second alarm hadn’t gone off and I had a 10:00 appointment with a doctor!  By the time I was dressed, I finally figured out that it was really only 7:30 and I had changed the time on the clock instead of setting the alarm.  Oh well, I had to get up for my appointment anyway.  Then I played the message on my answering machine and found that my appointment was in the afternoon instead of the morning.  The day just went down hill from there. . .  I finally found my sense of humor and realized that Friday the 13th had come on Wednesday this month.  Thank you Pogo!

Let me just say that I was born on Friday the 13th and have always considered it my lucky day. When I was a child, my dad’s favorite comic strip was Pogo.  He and I shared Churchy Lafemme’s joke about Friday the 13th coming on whatever day the 13th fell in that particular month. Dad and I thought that was one of the funniest jokes ever.  (Churchy was serious, however.)  It was Walt Kelly’s way of poking fun at superstitions in general.

Pogo, by Walt Kelly, was set in the Okefenokee Swamp and the characters were all animals.  Pogo contained wit, satire, slapstick, burlesque, poetry, whimsy and a lot of charm.  It satirized current events and politics with its cast of swamp critters.  The strip began in 1948 and ran through Kelly’s death in 1973. In Pogo, the jokes can be appreciated by adults and children alike, although they see different levels to the humor.  Kelly created a society in the swamp that reflected our own with a fun-house mirror’s accuracy. His drawings were detailed and he used sight gags such as having a character leaning against a frame of the strip.  He used animals because it was easier for him to exaggerate their movements and emotions than it was with human characters.

Many reviews say that “there will never be another strip like Pogo,” but the legacy lives on.  Such comics strip creators as  Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes), Gary Trudeau (Doonesbury), Jeff Smith (Bone) and Jeff MacNally (Shoe) cite Pogo as an inspiration for their own strips. They may not have all of the elements that made Pogo great, but each has some element that can be recognized.

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Over the years some of the most cherished gifts I’ve received have been handmade by family and friends — a scrapbook from my aunt, an afghan made by my grandma, a quilt rack built by my husband, and a variety of blankets and toys made for my daughter when she was born.  If you’re considering giving handmade gifts this holiday season, we have a variety of books for both adults and kids that can inspire and instruct you in your gift-making.  Here’s a sampling:

For adults:

lastminutegifts Last-Minute Gifts by Taylor Hagerty
practicalprojects Practical Projects from Fine Woods: Making Elegant Gifts from Wood by Kerry Pierce
gourmetgifts Gourmet Gifts: 100 Delicious Dishes for Every Occasion to Make Yourself and wrap with Style by Dinah Corley
simplypapercutting Simply Paper Cutting: Hand-Cut Paper Projects for Home Decor, Stationery, and Gifts by Anna Bondoc
sewgifty Sew Gifty: Fun Accessories, Decor Accents, Baby Gifts, and Other Perfect Presents by Janis Bullis
knitstogive Knits to Give: 30 Knitted Gifts Made with Love by Debbie Bliss
gardnersbookofhandmadegifts A Gardener’s Book of Handmade Gifts: How to Grow and Make Delightful Presents for and from the Garden: 20 Charming Practical Ideas Shown in 120 Stunning, Evocative Photographs by Stephanie Donaldson

For kids:

101greatgiftsfromkids 101 Great Gifts from Kids: Fabulous Gifts Every Child Can Make by Stephanie R. Mueller
giftstomakeforyourfavoritegrownup Gifts to Make for Your favorite Grownup by Kathy Ross
giftskidscanmake Gifts Kids Can Make by Sheila McGraw

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Gettysburg display

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” It was 150 years ago next Tuesday that Abraham Lincoln began his most notable speech with that now-familiar line. The speech was short, purposeful, and powerful. Today it still resonates with people of every age, and background. In 1865 Senator Charles Sumner commented on The Gettysburg Address in his eulogy to the slain president. He coined it a “monumental act” and felt that “The world noted at once what he said, and will never cease to remember it.” He was correct; we haven’t forgotten it. One hundred fifty years later it is a source of great pride for Lincoln historians and the American people in general. To celebrate this prestigious moment in our history Readers’ Services, along with the Lincoln Librarians, have created a display in the great hall. The bay contains several different posters displaying The Gettysburg Address in various artistic fashions. If you have a chance, please stop by and check out these notable works of art.

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Grace under fire

Georgetown branch has a long-standing program (almost 10 years strong!): Family Fun Night.  Every Monday night from 7 to 8, we have a variety of activities and crafts for families with kids of all ages.  Each week is a different thing to try — sometimes it’s board games, sometimes we make mustaches or do face painting.  And while we have several regulars who hang with us weekly, we see lots of different faces.  Last week, we did Q-tip painting and had a blast!

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This week, we had planned a theme of Paint a Mini Pumpkin.  I was planning to buy an armload of the tiny pumpkins — the ones you can hold in your palm.  I didn’t want them to rot before we had a chance to use them, so I waited to purchase them.  But when I went to purchase them, they were out.  I drove to a few different stores but there were none to be found.

Planning is hard

Last week we had a total of nine people, and a normal crowd for Family Fun Night is 30 people (kids and adults).  So I figured if I bought the 10 remaining pie pumpkins at the store and 10 more gourds that we would have enough for each kid to paint one item.  I got the paints and brushes ready.  And kids started to show up.  And more kids.  And more kids.  And more!  Our lobby was full of kids waiting to paint pumpkins.  I did not have nearly enough to go around.

My co-workers are awesome

My co-workers rallied with me.  Jon dashed off to the store to buy more gourds.  We brought out paper and foam pumpkins and scissors.  We squeezed out paint for the waiting tables, handed out brushes, and encouraged kids to get down and get creative.  Each child’s name was written on a slip of paper and we had a drawing for the pumpkins and gourds we did have available.  Some generous kids who did win a pumpkin opted out and let another child have a chance at getting one.  Jon drove to four stores before he found a place that had gourds for sale and got them back before the end of the program.

Our patrons are awesome

I was obviously not prepared for the crowd that we had.  But not a single person complained.  Parents encouraged their kids to have fun painting paper plates and cutting out paper pumpkins.  Grown-ups helped us pass out supplies and gather up the raffle slips.  There was creativity and community spirit and helpfulness and laughing and understanding and so much fun.  I am so thankful for the generosity of our families and their ability to be flexible and work with what we had available.  The kids in the room tonight learned that sometimes you just have to make the most of what you have.  And I learned that the Georgetown Branch Library — its patrons and workers — ROCKS.

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