Friday, September 25, 2020

September Current Books on my Shelf

When I was younger, I used to fly through books. It's like my eyes gobbled up everything on the page, the words filling my head until the early morning hours. I'd read a novel in an afternoon, only stopping to shower and sleep. I miss those days a little, though now I've been sampling differently.

My recent strategy read what I want when I want to. Sometimes I'm in the mood for a romance novel. And then I start digging into heavy topics. Really I'm letting myself go where I need to. So here is what's on my shelf right now. I've finished a few of the books from last month, though I'm still reading The Cooking Gene by Michael Twitty, and I'm savoring Martin Luther King's essays. Both require considerable thoughtfulness and reflection after each reading. Also, another update: I have yet to find a suitable bookmark.

1. Woman Who Glows in the Dark by Elena Avila and Joy Parker

I've always had an interest in the healing arts; I've often wondered what my life would be like if I had gone into the medical field. This particular book has been interesting because it brings together some of the old traditions I have seen from my family and puts it in the context of our culture. So far I'm liking how the other is connecting the different types of medicine that goes into the mestizo culture; a mix of Indigenous, Spanish, and African ideas blended together to make these traditions what they are today. I'm not sure how this book stacks up against others on the topic, but I'm getting my toes wet.

This book comes from the Warhammer universe and depicts a group of nuns who are just super badass. I mean, they are crazy in pursuit of "heretics" against the Emperor, who they worship as a god. But really, I'm enjoying a group of ladies who run things in the universe, even if they are maniacal in their pursuits. It's my SciFi kick of September. Bonus: I'm painting miniatures right now that match up with some of the characters. But I'm making them pink :)

I am INCREDIBLY grateful to the editor of this book who said "hey everyone, let's throw some translations of the articles in English in the back of the book." Did they have to do it? No. But because they did, I can read it so much quicker! My Spanish is a bit rusty; language use is a muscle, and since I teach Spanish 1 with my kids, I'm pretty good with that first few chapters, but after that, I need a refresher. So far this book has given me so much information about the history of this style of dress and where it came from. I'm eyeballing the beadwork here, by the way. 

4. Beadwork: A World Guide by Caroline Crabtree and Pam Stallebrass

Speaking of beadwork...YES. When did I start loving beads this much? I don't even know. But seriously, I've fallen in love with stuff from around the world. I don't think my house can hold all the beads I want to buy. The cool thing about this book is that there are a TON of pictures, so it's a quick read, but also helpful to look up close and personal to see all the details. I have so much respect for beadwork artists everywhere. Tell me your secretssssss.

5. Seen by Jasmine Walls

I might be cheating on this one since I actually bought it to do an activity with my students. The back of the book is FULL of fun lesson plan ideas that help students explore graphic novels, themes in history, and connections to current events today. It even lists my standards for ELA content! So if I haven't sold you from the teacher's perspective, let me tell you, I liked the book too. The author/illustrator uses each panel to depict Edmonia Lewis, her life, art, and struggles. It was a quick read, but I'm really excited to share this with my students. Also, it's good to support black authors/illustrators. I can't wait until the next book in their series comes out!

Happy reading friends!


Saturday, September 12, 2020

Costume On: Classes and More!

Next weekend I will be teaching two classes at Costume On. There are a variety of classes representing different time periods and aspects of costuming; there's a lot historical yummy in there, so take a look! Here's a peek at what I'm teaching. I have spots available, so if you're interested, sign up!

Punch Paper Workshop: Pipe-Light Stand in the Shape of a Quiver

Most people think of antique punch paper as hanging on a wall or tucked away as a bookmark, the tiny paper bearing a message of hope or faith. The art form was well-established in the mid to late 19th century, but the possibilities are endless for interpretation today!

The creators of such art were not always young ladies practicing their needlework for their patient parents. Instead, there are examples of punch paper being used for practical purposes, such as with boxes, wall hangings, and even with sandpaper! Paper is a blank slate that allows creative license, no matter the century. Men and women alike used punch paper in a variety of ways, from using them as gifts to adorning the house. They are an inexpensive but accurate addition to many historic impressions.

In this class, Kristen will provide close up photographs of different antique punch paper items, as well as her thoughts about the construction or reproductions she has completed. Different techniques when working with punch paper will be discussed as well, along with some patterns included to help inspire future projects. Students will have an opportunity to learn how to cut and construct a pipe-light stand from Godey’s Lady’s Book, 1867. Kits will not be provided for this class, but a supply list will be made available for participants.

Online Research: An Organized Frontier

In the past twenty years, many museums and organizations have put their original collections online. There are numerous sources available to research, with each having a different set of directions. It can be overwhelming to understand each when trying to build research for an impression or project. Yet it is these primary sources that create the most authentic experience for any history lover!
In this class, we will explore different online archives that are free and accessible. We will discover how to save items and create our own research index. Discover new online research possibilities, the language of looking, as well as learn how to navigate their formatting.

Students will receive a handout that includes a list of resources for further study, as well as a plan for how to organize their online searches in a way that serves their own impression.


On My Bookshelf: December

December has been a really rough month. Between what happened in Oxford (not far from where I live...) and just the general pandemic issues,...