Library regulars know that I wear two hats, maybe a bit unsteadily at times. I'm a librarian, with all the detail-oriented, fact-finding, info-seeking skills implied. But I'm also a fiber artist--art quilter, knitter, and maker of art-to-wear. My personal blogroll consists of about 98% fiber-oriented sites and I can't help but mix the two worlds whenever I can.
I love my library work, but my art ventures are so valuable to me--they keep me balanced and happy. And my co-workers and our library patrons are understanding when I occasionally come to work with blue hands after a fabric-dyeing session.
With that in mind, I'll be including more art-related topics here--things that inspire me as I slog through enjoy my days researching and serving the public. Maybe they'll inspire you too and provide a little glimmer to get you through the day.
With that said, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London is widely known as the repository of the cream of the crop of fiber arts. Its website offers a huge array of goodies--arts news, images, children's activities, and web links to other sites.
If you are a knitter, here is their list of the best knitting blogs.
The Internet has evolved some unique opportunities for creativity and venues for building community. Or you can be creative and build community all at the same time. You can spend WAAAAY too much time investigating and perusing all that's available. But do take some time to give these great sites at least a look-see.
Photo Friday announces a weekly theme and hundreds of folks submit photographs. Always fun and sometimes astonishing.
Not to be outdone, Illustration Friday announces a theme and artists post drawings. Another jump-start to the creative juices.
Claire Robertson, a young Australian mom and illustrator who maintains a wonderful blog called Loobylu, has begun A Month of Softies at her site. She suggests a loose theme and participants make three-dimensional figures--dolls, stuffed toys, etc. The idea is that the items be sold for charity, but it would be awfully difficult to part with some of these very fun works of art.
Blogs bring the world to us with marvelous immediacy. Events on the other side of the planet are no longer far distant and unconnected to our daily lives. People very like ourselves are going about their daily lives despite war and atrocities on their own soil. And now they can bear witness with the world as an audience.
In August of 2003, a young Iraqi woman began blogging about her life amid war and occupation. She calls herself Riverbend and her blog is called Baghdad Burning. Her journaling has been compiled into a new book, also called Baghdad Burning. Alternet offers an interview with Riverbend.
It has helped me realize that the many people all over the world (but especially in the U.S. and UK) are quite naive and uninformed. It was disturbing to see their emails making claims that simply weren't true. For example, the Western perception of women in Iraq prior to the war. Until I began writing the blog, I had no idea that many Americans thought Iraqi women were like Afghani women or Saudi women. I had no idea that many Americans thought their military had brought computers and internet into Iraq.
Trevor Romain struggled with learning disabilities and the small-minded type of art teachers who flat-out tell children they are untalented. But he wanted to be an artist and he believed in himself. Despite over 400 rejection letters, Trevor persisted until he found his audience. Today he has over a million books in print in 14 languages. He concentrates on children and their issues--homework, dealing with bullies, etc., and he's one of those blessed souls who has not forgotten what it's like to be a kid.
As an artist and author who has a great deal to say about playing the hand you're dealt and ultimately winning at life, his blog is full of life-affirming tales and drawings.
From the beginning, I've had a Bookmarks list on the right panel of this page. Up to now, I've only linked to the main Alice Baker Library site. The time has come to add some links to worthwhile blogs which consistently offer great information.
Today I'm adding links to two blogs maintained by Tasha Saecker, the very able director of the Green Lake, WI, library. She led a workshop on library blogs at last fall's Wisconsin Libraray Association conference. This workshop was the Aha! moment I needed to realize what a blog could do for our library. AliceBakerBlog is the result.
There's been lots of buzz in the last few weeks over the book French Women Don't Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano. The Morning News has gathered a group of French food bloggers to discuss the bestseller and the reality of French women and their eating habits.
If the French could learn anything from Americans, that would be to have more fun with the food, while Americans could definitely be introduced to portion control.
Food blogs are a not-to-be-missed subset of the current blog proliferation. They're a great way to sneak into the kitchens of the great and the not-so-great--a fun way to live vicariously. One of these days, I'll post a more extensive list of fun-to-explore food blogs and we can all overdose on them.
Today is a good day to highlight one of the best-done food blogs around. It's called Chocolate and Zucchini, and it's the province of a young Parisian woman named Clotilde Dusoulier. She spent some time living in California, and is very fluent in English. The blog is in English and that's one of the big reasons that it makes Parisian ways with food seem very accessible.
Clotilde and her blog are profiled in today's San Francisco Chronicle. Bon appetit!