Mandalas, Muffins, and Mimosas

I recently took a mandala rock painting class with a bunch of girl friends last month. I was surprised at how lost we all got into painting our mandalas and how fast the two hours they had scheduled for our group went! The art studio we went to also offered us muffins and mimosas while we got our painting on. Since I live in Tacoma I thought what better way to spread this idea than highlighting books from the library for patrons to recreate this activity at home!  Maybe even for Galentine’s Day, perhaps!

Mandala for the Inspired Artist: Working with paint, paper, and texture to create expressive ...Mandala for the Inspired Artist [working With Paint, Paper, and Texture to Create Expressive Mandala Art] by Marisa Edghill
This book takes on multiple mediums to create your own mandala art. “From making art with pencils, paints, and paper to tape, nature’s textures, and found objects, readers will discover a variety of ways to make unique mandala artwork.” This book is also for all skill levels so don’t be afraid to make your mandala in the medium that works best for you. In class none of us were familiar with this art type and each rock created was amazing, unique, and beautiful – just like the women who created them! Continue reading “Mandalas, Muffins, and Mimosas”

Craftfulness

I recently found my crafting tote filled with two in-progress blankets, yarn, and crochet hooks. I’ve been spending my nights crocheting as a way to decompress and I’m enjoying how it has become a part of my settling in for the night. Slowing my busy mind and body to focus on the pattern I’m creating gets me back to myself. Crafting in this way provides a form of mindfulness meditation and brings its therapeutic elements into my daily life.

A few books in our collection touch on this very subject:

Craftfulness: Mend Yourself by Making Things by Rosemary Davidson and Arzu Tahsin

Davidson and Tahsin illuminate how craft practice re-introduces balance into our lives and our habits by cultivating creativity, carving out space for ourselves, promoting focus, creating a safe space for failure, and, ultimately, allowing us to make peace with imperfection. Whether you knit, crochet, sculpt, weave, quilt, tat, draw, or bind books—working toward small, attainable goals gives us a sense of purpose, accomplishment, and control that is proven to positively impact our mental health and happiness. (Goodreads) Continue reading “Craftfulness”

Unexpected Embroidery Content

There are times as a reader when you pick up a book and you think you know exactly what you’re getting: this is an historical romance; this is a novel about a family. And you’re right, but you also discover that it is deeply about something else. That was my experience with the two novels below, novels which contained a surprising-to-me amount of high quality embroidery content.

The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite (historical romance)
In the early 1800s Lucy, a scientist and an astronomer, has spent her youth helping her father with his work and publishing work under his name. After his death, she travels to London to apply to the Polite Science Society, a premier scientific organization of the day, and to try her hand at translating a French astronomy text. Turned away by the Society because she’s a woman, Lucy finds refuge with Catherine, a society widow who spent years supporting her explorer husband and is now interested in being Lucy’s patron. There is a lot here about the science of the era and the way it existed as a kind of gentleman’s pursuit; the roles available to women; and, for sure, the love that grows between Lucy and Catherine (this is a romance novel, so expect some steamy sex scenes). But I devoured it because of the detail lavished on Catherine’s hobby: embroidery. She embroiders maps, and botanical motifs, and the night sky on a finely woven scarf! The description of Catherine’s work made me hungry to see the way embroiderers blend colors, how elements of the natural world can be depicted, how craft becomes art. Continue reading “Unexpected Embroidery Content”

Who needs Disney+ when you have the library?

Sure Disney+ has new TV shows and movies to watch, but the library has the classics like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and lot of other great Disney resources too!Walt Disney

Whether you want to start at the beginning and learn about the man who dreamed up Disney with the book Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination,or read about the history of Disney from their art to their music, check out these books: Continue reading “Who needs Disney+ when you have the library?”

The Space Needle: A 21st Century View

How many times have you gauged your location or some necessary distance by that 605 foot spinning top of a landmark? Long after March 1962, the centerpiece of Seattle Center has evolved just as the campus it towers over continues to morph and change with the ever-growing city surrounding it.

The future is here! Built in record time, the Space Needle went from being a doodle of an idea, on a napkin, to an iconic landmark. Once the largest structure west of the Mississippi, the Space Needle is now dwarfed by buildings that soar over the 605 foot tower. Continue reading “The Space Needle: A 21st Century View”