Did you know baskets can be made from almost any flexible material?
In the bookArt of the Basketby Bryan Sentance he talks about the different materials used in basket making: reeds, grasses, bark, rushes, rattan, bamboo etc. He also gives practical examples of some of the baskets that can be carried by hand or on the head or back. There are also good directions for some basket making techniques to use if you wanted to try it for yourself.
Basket weaving is probably one of the oldest arts in the world. I’m not even going to begin to try and figure out who did it first! I am amazed at all of the styles, colors and shapes baskets come in. Basketry in Americaby Kristin Schwain and Josephine Stealey starts out showing you traditional baskets and ends with a section on baskets as art which are truly spectacular!. Indian Baskets of the Pacific Northwest and Alaskaby Alan Lobb shows the traditional baskets made and used for hundreds or thousands of years in the Pacific Northwest using local materials.
Tapestry Weaving Kristen Glasbrook by gives you step by step instructions for creating a tapestry. They include setting up the frame, winding the warp and all you need to know to weave the designs onto it. The weaving basics for tapestry also work for baskets.
You can go one step further and weave with beads and metal rings to make jewelry. Beadmailleby Cindy Thomas Pankopf makes it look easy. I know, I know – famous last words, but you won’t know unless you try!
Even birds’ nests are similar to a basket.Avian Architectureby Peter Goodfellow shows us how birds design, engineer and build their nests. Weaving techniques are used, and many nests look like baskets. There are many sketches of nests being built and kids will especially like seeing how the birds build their nests.
If you are a sports fan, perhaps your favorite basket is a basketball net. Balls!By Michael J Rosen is a very fun book with trivia about all kinds of sports balls, and some basic history to go with it. Basketball started in 1891 in a gymnasium in winter because it was too cold to play soccer or lacrosse. The bored boys used a peach basket and the game evolved from there.
I still think my favorite basket is an Easter basket with a chocolate bunny, but no matter what you want to carry, there is probably a basket designed for that!
The oldest leather shoe known to archaeologists was found (in 2008) embedded in a pit of sheep droppings in a cave in Armenia and is around 5,500 years old, according to a report by the BBC?
The so-called Areni-1 shoe is an example of early, basic footwear, which may have gone on to influence the development of other types of shoe design in the ancient world. According to LiveScience, anthropologists believe that humans started wearing shoes around 40,000 years ago, contributing to anatomical changes in human feet and limbs. However, we have very little idea of what these prehistoric shoes might have looked like.
Investigating History Mysteries by Alex Woolf is about all the ways archeologists can find information about artifacts. He talks about carbon dating to test for the age of items, analyzing oxygen isotopes to tell what the weather was like, DNA sampling for identifying where a mummified body was from, and investigating insects and pollen samples for additional information regarding the surrounding areas.
You know those days when your shoes are pinching your toes and your feet are hurting? Shoes: A Brief Historyby Lucy Johnston and Linda Woolley will give you a new appreciation for how comfortable your shoes really are! In the 1600’s and 1700’s pointy shoes were very popular for men and women, and narrow raised heels could make walking difficult, uncomfortable, and very painful. There are many interesting pictures of shoes in a variety of styles and materials from as early as the 1400’s.
Of course, shoes have been in stories for generations. Some very well-known fairy tales involving shoes are Puss in Boots, the Elves and theShoemakerand Cinderella. Other stories are bound to become classics. I’m amazed how many times shoes can be the answer to a problem!
Set in the 1950’s, New Shoesby Susan Lynn Meyer, tells the story of cousins Ella Mae and Charlotte who open their own shoe store where African-Americans can try the shoes on. In Seamus’s Short Storyby Heather Hartt-Sussman, Seamus is very short but discovers high heels to make him taller. But then he realizes that it’s not so bad being short after all. We also have the DVD Kinky Bootswhich is the story of Charlie who grew up in a shoe factory and Lola who grew up loving shoes. To help Charlie with the struggling family business, Lola helps him design shoes for cross dressers: “But Charlie learns that being different – just like walking in stiletto boots – isn’t always easy.”
There is only one thing I can think of that is comfier than a nice pair of slippers – – and that is to wear no shoes at all! You can readWhole Body Barefootby Katy Bowman or Barefoot Walkingby Michael Sander and Jessica Lee to discover the pleasure of getting in touch with the earth.
Lastly, even though you can walk barefoot, my favorite kind of “barefoot” is Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa. Her cookbooks like Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust make it easy to prepare simple and elegant food, that you can eat with or without shoes!
If you were young and LGBTQ+ anytime before 1969, there was no world wide web, no “customers who bought this item also bought,” and no friendly librarians steeped in the parlance of broad-mindedness, diversity and human variety. Gay literature was not positively represented. In June, we celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride Month with the commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, which spurred the start of the modern gay rights movement.
Among other things, that movement lead to a shift in the perception of gay literature, and the acceptance of it remains a work in progress, a not-quite-there-yet effort. This annual observance showcases a glorious variety of humans, and it is a reminder that work remains to keep the evolution of LGBTQ+ rights moving in the direction of equality. As the Library of Congress put it, Pride month demonstrates “how LGBTQ Americans have strengthened our country, by using their talent and creativity to help create awareness and goodwill.”
In this child-level nonfiction biography, learn how this Emmy-winning host, producer, and television personality became the world’s most famous drag queen. Even as a young child, RuPaul Andre Charles loved to dress up and imitate the glamorous women he saw on television. When he turned fifteen, he began studying theater in a performing arts school in Atlanta and never looked back. — from the publisher’s description
A kid-friendly primer to LGBTQ history that covers everything from the Stonewall Riots to RuPaul’s “Drag Race.” “Be Amazing” encourages young readers to embrace their own uniqueness and ignore the haters. Ages 0-8.
Patricia Highsmith‘s eerie 1952 romance-as-thriller, The Price of Salt, got the Hollywood treatment in 2015 and emerged as the feature film Carol. The rights to her first novel, Strangers on a Train, published in 1950, were immediately secured by Alfred Hitchcock, who released the classic film of the same name in 1951. She had her own group of underground Manhattan friends, all closeted lesbian “creatives,” including the remarkable photographer Berenice Abbott and the writer Djuna Barnes (doomy, melodramatic Nightwood, 1936).
Evaristo, winner of the 2019 Booker Prize for this title, is the first black woman to receive this highest literary honor in the English language. She compels the reader to accommodate and adjust, and the rewards for this tiny bit of mental labor are extraordinary. As she creates a space for immigrants and the children of immigrants to tell their stories, Evaristo explores a range of topics both contemporary and timeless. There is room for everyone to find a home in this extraordinary novel. Beautiful and necessary. — Kirkus Reviews. Available to check out as a book club set!
Cynical August starts to believe in the impossible when he meets Jane on the subway, a mysterious punk rocker she forms a crush on, who is literally displaced in time from the 1970s and is trying to find her way back. McQuiston’s joyful sophomore romp mixes all the elements that made “Red, White & Royal Blue” so outstanding—quirky characters, coming-of-age confusion, laugh-out-loud narration, and hilarious pop-cultural references (“Bella Swan, eat your horny little Mormon heart out”)—into something totally its own.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, this novel about a resilient and courageous woman transformed by the friendship of two remarkable women has become a Broadway show and a cultural phenomenon. Check out the book or the feature film.
Bessie(DVD) starring Queen Latifah. Bessie Smith, known as the “Empress of the Blues,” was a bold, supremely confident artist who sang with breathtaking emotional intensity on songs such as “Down Hearted Blues,” “Empty Bed Blues,” and “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out.” — Britannica. While you’re at it, check out other materials featuring this Tennessee native.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universeby Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Set in El Paso, Texas in the 80s, the novel follows two Mexican-American teenagers, their friendship, and their struggles with racial and ethnic identity, sexuality, and family relationships. A gem of a coming-of-age YA story.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth. In the early 1990s, when gay teenager Cameron Post rebels against her conservative Montana ranch town and her family decides she needs to change her ways, she is sent to a gay conversion therapy center. Check out the book or the feature film.
Emezi’s debut novel incorporates Igbo cosmology into her semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel about a young woman, Ada, who must contend with a multitude of identities living within her as she navigates the world—first in Nigeria and later as an immigrant in the United States. Exploring the spaces between gender, culture, and existence, Emezi writes of identities that do not fit neatly into a single category.
A Vietnamese-American poet’s debut mines his extraordinary family story with passion and beauty. The novel also draws on elements of his life, to tell the coming-of-age story of Little Dog, the son of Vietnamese immigrant parents in the US.
When David meets the sensual Giovanni in a bohemian bar, he is swept into a passionate love affair. But his girlfriend’s return to Paris destroys everything. Unable to admit to the truth, David pretends the liaison never happened – while Giovanni’s life descends into tragedy.
Describes the funny, poignant adventures of a young girl’s adolescence. Jeanette is a bright and rebellious orphan who is adopted into an evangelical household in the dour, industrial North of England and finds herself embroidering grim religious mottoes and shaking her little tambourine for Jesus. Jeanette’s insistence on listening to truths of her own heart and mind—and on reporting them with wit and passion—makes for an unforgettable, moving chronicle into adulthood. “Winterson’s voice, with its idiosyncratic wit and sensitivity, is one you’ve never heard before.” — Ms. Magazine
Tired of being labeled white trash, Ruth Anne Boatwright–a bastard who is attached to the indomitable women in her mother’s family–longs to escape from her hometown, and especially from Daddy Glen and his mean-spirited jealousy. Allison’s remarkable country voice emerges in a first novel spiked with pungent characters ranging from the slatternly to the grotesque, and saturated with sense of place — Greenville, S.C.
A landmark coming-of-age novel that launched the career of one of this country’s most distinctive voices, Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown, remains a transformative work more than forty years after its original publication. Born out of wedlock and adopted by a poor, loving family, Molly Bolt finds the South and even bohemian New York a hostile world for a lesbian but manages to thrive and remain confident. With her startling beauty and crackling wit, Molly finds that women are drawn to her wherever she goes–and she refuses to apologize for loving them back. This literary milestone continues to resonate with its message about being true to yourself and, against the odds, living happily ever after.
A semi-autobiographical tale of Doolittle’s early 20s. She is driven to a nervous breakdown by conflicting aspects of her personality. After her relationship ends (a thinly veiled portrait of Ezra Pound) and she comes home from Bryn Mawr, Hermione goes through a painful self-reflection with a beautifully transcribed eerie, interior monologue.
When AP political reporter Lorena Hickok is assigned to cover Eleanor Roosevelt in the 1932 campaign, the two women become deeply involved. “Loving Eleanor” is a profoundly moving novel that illuminates a relationship we are seldom privileged to see, celebrating the depth and durability of women’s love.
The fifty-year friendship of two remarkable women, Jane and Cam, is relived as Cam, in her seventies, recalls and celebrates the personality, compassion, and fulfilling career of her recently deceased friend.
Bedeviled by fragments of her childhood dreams, Ellen embarks on a painful odyssey that leads from her Charleston youth to lesbian experiences, spiritual quests, and a reconciliation with her mother.
Crossing by Pajtim Statovci; translated from the Finnish by David Hackston
Originally born in Kosovo to Albanian parents, Statovci’s family fled to Finland to escape the violence that destroyed Yugoslavia. This novel, a finalist for the National Book Award, follows a young Albanian boy, Bujar, and his best friend as they deal with the aftermath of war, eventually leaving to find better lives in Italy. In a foreign country, however, they are forced to confront their identities in more ways than one, exploring the intersections of sexual orientation, gender identity, alienation, and migration. –BUST Magazine
This gripping graphic novel about a 28-year-old Japanese woman who is struggling with her sexuality and mental health, makes even the lumpiest of her warts-and-all confessions look adorable. Winner of many awards and critical acclaim, the memoir features minimalist drawings that underscore a powerful story of struggle and self-discovery and confronting topics ranging from sex work to depression with dignity and understanding. It will strike a chord with people from anywhere, undergoing any kind of struggle.
The friendship between Gertrude Stein and Thornton Wilder is a surprise. How did two such different writers, of different generations and with such radically opposed cultural backgrounds, become so close? As the editors succinctly explain, and the letters so eloquently prove, Wilder, 37 when he first met Stein in Chicago in 1934, was in dire need of a mentor, and Stein, sanguine at 60, was thrilled to find a new disciple, especially one as gifted and impressionable as Wilder. –Booklist
Today, the options and freedoms on offer to LGBTQ+ people living in the West are greater than ever before. But is same-sex marriage, improved media visibility and corporate endorsement all it’s cracked up to be? At what cost does this acceptance come? And who is getting left behind, particularly in parts of the world where LGBTQ+ rights aren’t so advanced? Combining intrepid journalism with her own personal experience, in “Queer Intentions,” Abraham searches for the answers to these urgent challenges, as well as the broader question of what it means to be queer right now.
Information-packed, with a forceful thesis and jargon-free prose, this is an important contribution to Mormon studies as well as a convincing consideration of the ways religions construct and maintain frameworks. Petrey’s trenchant history takes a landmark step forward in documenting and theorizing about Latter-day Saints (LDS) teachings on gender, sexual difference, and marriage.
Short and straightforward profiles of queer figures throughout history, ranging from ancient and obscure to modern and well known. For as long as there’s been air, there’s been Queer; in acknowledgment, Prager offers 23 short biographies of individuals who changed their world and ours. Ages 12 and Up.
Harvey Milk, the first openly gay politician elected to office in California, fought for civil and human rights. Elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, this charismatic and eloquent public servant was assassinated by a fellow supervisor almost a year after taking office on November 27, 1978, at age 48. Check out the books and documentary, The Times of Harvey Milk.
A selective glimpse at prominent same-sex nuptials. For more than a century before gay marriage became a hot-button political issue, same-sex unions flourished in America. In the households of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns and James Ivory and Ismail Merchant, both parties were famous. Walt Whitman, the father of free verse, had a 25-year relationship with his muse, the significantly younger railroad worker Peter Doyle. Jane Addams, the most admired woman in America in the 1900s, and who became the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931, had a 40-year marriage with Mary Rozet Smith, whose financial backing kept Hull House afloat.
In this gorgeous, entertaining narrative of bohemian aristocracy illustrated with lots of photos, Zinovieff gives an account of her grandparents’ unconventional relationship with her grandfather’s gay lover, examining period taboos, family secrets and cultural dynamics that shaped their shared lives. This impressively researched saga, which spans both world wars, is an effervescent account of the British upper class in the first half of the 20th century.
Behind the Mask : the Life of Vita Sackville-Westby Matthew Dennison. A lively, vigorously written biography of a singular character that beckons readers urgently back to Sackville-West’s writing. A British novelist and poet known mostly for her ardor for Virginia Woolf and as a gardener at Sissinghurst later in life, she grew up an only child to her overbearing mother. Her adoration for playing dramatic roles, cross-dressing, and wearing masks tied in befittingly with Vita’s extravagant, secretive persona, and her duality of nature, male and female, that she would try to resolve in her writing.
A collection of essential essays and speeches written by Lorde, a woman who wrote from the particulars of her identity: Black woman, poet, activist, cancer survivor, mother, and feminist writer. This collection now considered a classic volume, of Lorde’s most influential works of non-fiction prose has had a groundbreaking impact in the development of contemporary feminist theories. –Wikipedia
The flush toilet was invented in 1595 by John Harrington?
Without running water, his system wasn’t very popular. People have given plumber and engineer Thomas Crapper the credit, but it was Alexander Cummings who created the “s-bend” and modern flushing in 1775.
I found this information on pages 8 & 9 in The Technology Behind Everyday Appliances by Nicolas Brasch. This was a fun book, and I also learned that the screw as a fastener was invented about 300 years before the screwdriver!
You never know when you will have to do a little home repair on your toilet. Ultimate Guide: Plumbingby Merle Henkenius gives you step by step instructions for working on your toilet, sink, dishwasher, garbage disposal and much more. There are lots of ‘smart tips’ offered which can save you lots of money, trouble and even help you avoid calling a plumber.
Poop Happened! A History of the World from the Bottom Upby Sarah Able tells us that even the bible talks about excrement. In the book of Deuteronomy, God, through Moses, tells the Hebrews to carry a paddle (shovel) “and cover that what comest from thee.” The Romans were the first to build sewer systems and aqueducts and some of them are still in use today. Another interesting fact I learned is that the “powder room” really was a room for powdering wigs in the eighteenth century. There are lots of other very amusing facts in this book as well.
One of the most important issues involving toilets is the process of becoming potty trained! We have a large selection of books in our parenting section about this.The Complete Guide to Potty Training by Michelle D Swaney gives step by step techniques and ideas that will make the process much easier. We also have many other books to read to your child and DVD’s such as Potty Time that they can watch.
Kids especially love any kind of bathroom humor. It’s a Bird, it’s a Plane, it’s Toiletman!by Nancy Krulik is a very exciting tale that kids will love. You can read about another bathroom superhero in Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey. There are many different adventures that the kids will laugh about as they read, and some very nasty archenemies such as the purple potty people and bionic booger boy!
I’m always amazed to see the selection of reading material in people’s bathrooms. I know I do a good part of my reading there! It would be kind of ironic to read this in your lavatory: The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Peeby Sarah Silverman. This work is an autobiography of Silverman’s life, and the adversities she overcame as a child being a bedwetter. I personally applaud her bravery for admitting such a thing. It cannot have been an easy secret to share with the world!
While working on this blog, I realized there is no shortage of material about this subject. I guess when ya gotta go, ya gotta go! Just keep in mind the lovely indoor plumbing we have today, and how our ancestors had a much more difficult time getting their business done.
The world’s largest pearl weighing in at 14.1 pounds was discovered in a giant clam off the coast of the Philippines in 1939?
I found this on page 46 ofThe Secret Life of Clamsby Anthony D. Fredericks. I always thought that only oysters made pearls.
But the author tells us about a kind of giant clam, Tridacna gigas, that grew the largest pearl: “The Pearl of Lao Tzu” which is privately owned and valued at $93 Million! He also tells us that clams were on earth about 510 million years ago and some of these oldest clam fossils were found in late Cretaceous rock in Kansas and had actually grown pearls.
Razor clams are native to the Pacific Northwest. I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many times we dug clams when I was a child. My family loves clams and my mom cooked them so many ways. Razor Clams: Buried Treasure of the Pacific Northwest by David Berger shares similar stories of clamming with the family. He also shares many recipes that highlight these tasty critters. David doesn’t mention pearls, but I know in all of my time clamming, we never found any!
Many famous people loved pearls. Elizabeth Taylor owned a fantastic pearl, but it came from an oyster and previously belonged to Mary I of England, and then Elisabeth of France. Eleanor Roosevelt was famous for wearing her pearl necklaces as well. They were as smart looking on her as she was, and she was a strong and accomplished first lady. Eleanor Roosevelt: Fighter for Justiceby Ilene Cooper has great stories about all the things she accomplished.
A completely different take on pearls are thePearls Before Swinecomics by Stephen Pastis. They are quite humorous, but not what one would necessarily call “pearls of wisdom.”
There are lots of mystery stories of stolen pearls and pearl necklaces. Geronimo Stilton stars in a fun series of books for kids. Cavemice, Paws off the Pearl is just one of many adventures that Geronimo and Thea Stilton have. Nancy Drew, The Thirteenth Pearlby Carolyn Keene has Nancy and her friends trying to find a stolen necklace.
Oysters: A Celebration in the Rawby Jeremy Sewall and Marion Lear Swaybill have done for the oyster what Anthony D Fredricks did for the clam. They show different varieties and explain the characteristics of each kind. If you are a fan of oysters, this will make you want to travel the world and try them all! They describe oysters like a fine wine with different hints of flavor depending on where they are from.
Lastly, don’t forget the rule of only eating oysters during a month with a “R” (September to April). This helps replenish oyster supplies by allowing their breeding in the summer and eating them in the cooler months gives them better flavor as well. But you can enjoy clams all year long!
In 1609 the Italian astronomer Galileo first pointed a telescope at the moon and noted that the orb had terrain including mountains, flat plains and craters? Therefore the moon was solid and it’s surface might be walked upon.
Galileo is known as the father of modern physics – indeed, of modern science altogether. His discoveries were based on careful observations and ingenious experiments that contradicted conventional wisdom and the views of the church at the time. The new book Galileo and the Science Deniersby Mario Livio looks at Galileo’s theories and accomplishments, and how he arrived at them – as well as why they are relevant now. This is a must read if you love science!
Astronautsby Thomas K Adamson is a book for children that shows how astronauts work in space on a space station and walk on the moon. I used to imagine what it would be like to walk in space and now you can see exactly how it would be.
Imagine winning a chance to go to space! 172 hours on the Moon is a novel by Johan Harsted. Mia, Antoine, and Midori are selected by lottery to join experienced astronauts on a NASA mission to the once top-secret moon base, while an old astronaut in a nursing home tries to warn them of the danger there. Perhaps it will be a trip in a lifetime, literally.
There is a little treat we had while I was growing up nicknamed Moon Pies, but they were actually Whoopy Pies. Whoopie Piesby Viola Goren is full of recipes for a variety of flavors of these delicious snacks. They look like little planets on a platter!
We have all heard that the moon is made of cheese, but it is unknown where this saying started. There is a really cute song on the children’s CDInside I Shine by Danny Weinkauf called “The Moon is Made of cheese.”
Moon is also a company that publishes travel guides. While you may not be able to take a vacation right now, you can plan a trip or watch a travel show and take a virtual trip… of course, you probably won’t need a guide if you are sitting in your living room.
Finally, how can you talk about the moon without mentioning stars?Paper Starsby Karen-Marie Fabricius gives directions for origami, quilled and folded stars. You can make these and turn your house into the great outdoors on a starry night. The directions are well laid out and easy to follow. Enjoy!
The California newt and the rough-skinned newt excrete a toxin from their skin that can be deadly to humans or other animals. The toxin excreted by the California newt (Taricha torosa) is known as tetrodotoxin (TTX), the same neurotoxin found in pufferfish.
Pufferfish, also called blowfish, live in tropical waters. They are prepared as a delicacy called fugu in Japan. You need to have a special permit and training to prepare this potentially deadly dish. It is also illegal to serve to the Emperor of Japan, as one fish has enough poison to kill 30 adults. The Puffer Fishby Alicia Z. Klepeis tells us there are about 120 different kinds of pufferfish.
There are many other animals that can be toxic: spiders, snakes, jellyfish, bees, wasps, scorpions and even the platypus! They can use their teeth, fangs, stingers, spines or spurs to introduce their venom into you. The book Venomby Marilyn Singer tells all about them.
Eye of Newt and Toe of Frog, Adder’s Fork and Lizard’s Leg by Marty Crump gives the lore and mythology of amphibians and reptiles. One well known example is the snake in the garden of Eden. Other examples would be the rod of Asclepius (the snake on a rod) used to represent the Western medical profession and the Caduceus (2 snakes entwined on a staff with wings) for commerce and negotiation and also used by the U.S. Army and some other medical organizations. For the playMacbeth Shakespeare wrote of three witches around a cauldron using animal parts as ingredients (see the title of this book) which spurred the world’s imagination.
Of course, stories about witches and wizards make for popular fiction reading as well. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling is a prime example of that! Another fun series is Bella Broomstickby Lou Kuenzler.
And while we are talking about Newton, THAT reminds me of Fig Newtons! They are a favorite “healthy” cookie. I mean, they have fruit, right? How bad can they be for you? A Fistful of Fig Newtonsby Jean Shepherd – best known for his story/movie A Christmas Storywhere Ralphie Parker wants a BB gun – is a collection of short stories based on his life…. Like the cookies, just one won’t be enough. You’ll want to read the whole book!
That the world-famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway is nicknamed the Brickyard?
The Speedway was originally paved with more than 3 million bricks in 1909. I found this in the DK Smithsonian book Drive on page 63. It says on the cover “the definitive history of driving,” and that pretty much says it all. There are pictures of every car imaginable, the making and racing of automobiles, early advertisements and even renditions of possible future cars. We even learn that the first speed limit was 4 mph, and some of the first vehicles had a whopping 12hp engine!
Assuming the bricks were 6-inch in length, 3,000,000 million bricks laid end to end would reach 284.09 miles or the equivalent of the distance from Newark, NJ to Buffalo, NY. With the Indianapolis speedway being 2.5 miles long, this would be about 113 ½ laps altogether.
Nowadays, when you say ‘bricks’ the first thing people think of is Lego bricks. The eBookA Million Little Bricks by Sarah Herman talks about the Lego company’s history and the phenomenon of this amazing and popular toy. She reminisces about old Lego sets and talks about the new sets available. Beautiful Legoby Mike Doyle has some of the most amazing Lego figures, buildings and characters I have ever seen! This is definitely art, and worth checking out just to see the creativity.
The Taj Mahal is a building complex that is truly artistic. Construction started in 1632 and was completed over an 11-year period. They used white and black marble (bricks and blocks) with inlays of precious stones and intricately carved marble flowers. The book The Taj Mahal by Lesley Dutemple is part of the series Great Building Feats that shows a variety of different structures and the building techniques used to make them.
The feature film The Last Brickmaker in America shows what the art of brickmaking used to be. In this heartwarming movie, starring Sidney Poitier, he teaches a young troubled boy his craft, and the pride of making something worthwhile. You don’t have to make your own bricks, but you can do your own building with bricks with the assistance of the book Masonry Homeowner Survival Guide. It shows how to prep an area, measure what supplies you need, and shows the techniques that will make you look like a master.
Lastly, one thing I always think of when thinking ‘bricks’ is the Pink Floyd song “Brick in the wall”. We havethis on CD so “brick on!” OK, that doesn’t have the same ring to it as “rock on”, but you get the idea.
Raggedy Ann and Andy were first made in 1915, and their creator then went on to write 25 books about them starting in 1918?
I found this information in the Warman’s Companion Collectible Dollsby Dawn Herlocher. Johnny Gruelle was the original creator and his family made the dolls. They eventually sold the rights, and the dolls have been made by many other companies since then, but they are still around.
Raggedy Ann and Andy are great dolls for younger children, with their soft bodies and candy hearts. You can make your own soft dolls using the patterns in Topsy-Turvy Knitted Dollsby Sarah Keen. They have a doll on one end, flip the dress up and there is a different doll on the other. One of them is Red Riding Hood/Big Bad Wolf. They are so cute!
I think after these, young children progress to Barbie dolls. The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie: a Doll’s History and Her Impact on Us by Tanya Lee Stone tells how Ruth Handler and her husband Elliot started the company Mattel. They first made jewelry and furniture, then made doll house furniture with scraps before moving on to making Barbie Dolls and marketing other toys.
Older children enjoy doll houses and miniature furniture. Making Dolls’ House Furnitureby Patricia King is full of hundreds of small miniatures and complete directions for making the pieces using things that are upcycled and probably just laying around your house. Making Doll’s House Miniatures with Polymer Clayshows how to shape clay into many pieces that would be great furnishings. Both of these would work for dioramas as well.
Another very popular ‘rag doll’ is the breed of ragdoll cat. The Encyclopedia of Cat Breeds by J. Anne Helgren tells an interesting story of how the breed was created and genetically altered in a secret government experiment. If you are looking for a pet cat, this would be a great reference book as it tells about each cat breeds’ activity levels, docility, health, compatibility and other pertinent information.
My mother used to dress her cat up in baby clothes and push it up and down the street in her little doll stroller! Whether you are playing with a doll or your cat, you can rest assured there have been generations of children, and some adults, doing this for centuries. The oldest doll discovered is from 4500 years ago. This rare discovery of pre-historic toys was made at the Itkol II burial ground in the Republic of Khakassia, southern Siberia.
Roller skates were invented in 1760 by John Joseph Merlin (a young Belgian) who put wheels on his shoes to impress people at a masquerade party? Ice skates had already been around for quite a while, so watching people glide along on the ice probably gave Melin the idea.
I found this information in the Worldbook Encyclopedia 2020 edition entry on roller skates. It also tells us that there are three kinds of roller skates: quad skates with 4 wheels, in-line skates with the 4 wheels in a line, and clamp-on skates which were the original type. Competitive roller skating is common in the areas of artistic skating, speed skating and roller hockey.
One type of speed skating is roller derby, which definitely has its own artistic flair! Rollergirls: the Story of Flat Track Derbyby Felicia Graham, Melissa Joulwan and Dennis Darling is all about the making of a new roller derby league: The Texas Rollergirls. The story is told mostly in photographs, but it is plain to see their passion and determination.
Adding edges to ice skates was invented by the Dutch in the 13th or 14th century. Ice skates then cut into the ice instead of gliding on top of it. These ice skates were made of steel, with sharpened edges on the bottom to aid movement. The earliest ice skating happened in southern Finland more than 4,000 years ago. This was done to save time and energy during winter journeys.
The fundamental construction of modern ice skates has stayed largely the same since then, although differing greatly in the details: particularly in the method of binding and the shape and construction of the steel blades. In the Netherlands, ice skating was considered proper for all classes of people, as shown in many paintings from the time.
The bookIce Skating Schoolby Naia Bray-Moffatt gives excellent directions and photographs of many of the basic skating techniques. A lot of the directions could be used for roller skating as well, especially if using rollerblades.
BUT – there is a fourth kind of skate! You can see these at an aquarium. They are members of the Chondrichthyan family which include more than 70 species of stingrays. The Stingray by Miriam J Gross has detailed information about these mysterious creatures.
Now, back to that masquerade party – – Imagine the surprise on people’s faces as our John Joseph Merlin rolled in and the spectacle that his outfit must have made! I imagine that was exactly what he wanted to happen.
Someone else that always set out to make a statement was Wladziu Valentino Liberace. The book Liberace Extravaganzaby Connie Solomon and Jan Jewell shows you full color photographs of a lot of the costumes he wore, with close-up photos of the beaded work on them. Some of these suits were worth $24,000 or more.
We have a wide selection of books that will make it easy for you to plan your next costume for a masquerade ball or other fancy dress occasion. Start planning now and you can make a grand entrance as well!