Currently viewing the tag: "nerd stuff"

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Friday Favorites // 054 :: girldust.com

  1. Alex and Ani’s Deep Sea collection is stunning. I love the Marina Deep Sea wrap bracelet.
  2. I appreciate that this incense holder from Free People is suitable for both stick and cone incense.
  3. This muted mint shade, called Lush, from LVX is summertime perfection. LVX polishes are 7-free, cruelty-free, and vegan.
  4. I ran out of notecards recently, and it was a sad day. Check out these sea life cards!
  5. Tj dragged me into LUSH a couple weeks ago (because I kept insisting I didn’t need anything), and they had this new(ish) soap, Outback Mate, at the register. It smells SO GOOD. Eucalyptus, peppermint, and lemongrass.
  6. This journal is on my wishlist.
  7. I love Loyal Citizen Clothing out of Portland, and this Maine state flag tee. #VerMainer

There’s an Ingress event coming up at the end of August in Portland (the one in Maine), so I’m currently a little bit obsessed with accessorizing. I play on Enlightened, which is represented by the color green. Thus, that nail polish and tee. Team spirit, friends!

While we’re kind of on the subject, I want to take a quick moment to speak in defense of games like Ingress and its baby sibling Pokemon Go. Games that get people, especially painfully introverted people like me, out of the house and socializing are great. Nerdstuff has often kept me inside and away from people, but instead I’ve climbed mountains. I’ve been to the edge of the world in the middle of the night. I’ve explored local cemeteries under a dusting of snow. I’ve run like a mad-person around Brooklyn, getting sunburned and blistered and giving people high fives. And I’ve gotten to do most of it with my best friend. I’ve also met some genuinely great human beings I would never have otherwise met! Maybe don’t be so quick to judge people on what they choose to do for fun. That says more about you than anyone else, and the world is already a pretty terrible place. Why make it worse? You might not get it. Well, I don’t get Game of Thrones (or any other popular television show TBH), but I don’t expect you to explain or defend your evening leisure activities to me. I’m cool with you watching TV.

* If you’re an Ingress player who plans on traveling to these parts at the end of August, stay tuned. I’m going to round up some friends and put together a girldust approved places to eat and drink list. Or you know, if you’d like to meet up and say hullo that weekend, I am so down.

More…

  • This Playing for Change “Hawai’i Aloha” video from April is a new favorite.
  • Local folks: The Woodman Museum in Dover is teaming up with the UNH Marine Docents for a day of learning. The event is free, and a $5 discounted admission cost per person is available to visit the Woodman Museum. Thursday, July 28, 2016, 10 am – 3 pm. More information here.
  • My obsession with hooping has returned, full force. I haven’t had much luck tracking down a local hoop maker, but Hoop Mamas has a great online selection. Saving my pennies.
  • The traditional Hawaiian voyaging canoe Hōkūle‘a will be stopping in Mount Desert Island Maine, as part of her leg through the New England area. This sail is part of a historic worldwide voyage covering more than 60,000 nautical miles, 100 ports, and 27 nations. Read more about the schedule of events at the Abbe Museum blog, here.

Enamel lapel pins are so hot right now. Am I using that right? Do people actually say that? I’ve added some great pieces to my own mostly vintage pin collection (which I should definitely write an updated post about), but there are so many awesome pins available right now. Here are twenty of my personal favorites, with links. I’ve tried to limit pop culture (movie/tv/video game) derivative works, but there are some I couldn’t resist. #pingame

It’s a little Monday afternoon snow storm window shopping. Enjoy.

Lapel Pin Envy :: girldust.com

  1. Urn from Inner Decay
  2. Decline & Fall from Inner Decay
  3. Slower Black Wheat from Explorer’s Press
  4. Poppy from Explorer’s Press
  5. Witch Hat from Sara Lyons
  6. Sad Ghost from Sara Lyons
  7. Hung to Dry from Rambling Hands
  8. Momento Mori set from Cat Coven
  9. I Believe from Last Craft
  10. All Hope is Not Lost from Frolik Studio
  11. Black Lodge Coop from Bunny Miele
  12. Coffin from Yesterdays
  13. Sailor Moon Crisis Heart from Creepy Gals
  14. Cry Baby from Penelope Gazin
  15. Dovahkiin from Jess Hrycyk
  16. Ugh from Night Cheese Lifestyle
  17. D20 from These are Things
  18. Trust No One from Cry Wolf
  19. Retro Record Player by Abby Galloway from Valley Cruise Press
  20. Ouija Board from Punky Pins
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Let me preface this by saying that I am not a parent (and likely will never become one). I’m not an expert in childhood development or early education. What I am is an art historian who believes that it’s really important for kids to learn about art. Art reflects its time of production, and yet is somehow able to transcend time completely. Art History isn’t actually separate from History (with a capital H) Maybe it seems kind of obvious, but when that notion hit me, it hit hard. Art is history, plain and simple. It’s places and people, stories and politics. It doesn’t have to be boring. Get kids passionate about art, and they will become passionate about history.

I am sure education has changed since I was a kid, but I remember being both somehow bored and bewildered by “Social Studies,” even though it was actually my favorite subject. There were massive, massive gaps in my early education. Learning about art and material culture can help fill those gaps, and a little extracurricular Art History education can provide visual substance for kids who need it.

File this under: Museum Stuff and Art School Dropout.

Bear with me a bit, because even though this is a small list, these are all over the place as far as content goes. But, so is art. If you do have children, take cues from them about what their interests are. You probably do a lot of that already. These books are good places to start, but there are hundreds more. I’ve included some general art books as well as a few artist and period specific books that shine a little more brightly in my eyes. I think these are books that a child can enjoy either on her own or with parent involvement.  Nota bene: The titles below will take you to Amazon, and are affiliate links. I will receive a commission for any sales made through the use of those links.

13 Art Movements Children Should Know I’ve actually heard great things about this entire series, but I like Movements in particular because it lays out, very simply, that historical context I was babbling about at the start of this post. This one is useful for Art History undergrads, too. Trust me. Take a break from your flash cards.

Can You Find It? and Can You Find It, Too? I Spy meets art. These interactive search-and-find books from the Metropolitan Museum of Art focus on tiny details in famous works. There are a number of titles in this series, but these two are the originals. Ages 5-9.

Art History Books for Children :: girldust.com

illus. Deborah Kogan Ray / Mary Azarian

Hokusai: The Man Who Painted a Mountain I’m not sure if you knew (you probably do), but Hokusai is one of my favorite of favorites. Lots and lots of Art History education tends to focus on European art, and I get it, but amazing things were happening in Asia, too, long before they “opened” to the West. We’re talking printmaking and mass production, which are definitely of historical importance. Hokusai was doing his thing from about 1786, so the same general era as Neoclassical and Romanticism in Europe. This book not only includes a glimpse into Hokusai’s sketchbook, but is thoughtfully illustrated by the author. Ages 7-12. I want this for me. Deborah Kogan Ray has also written a book about one of my childhood favorites: Wanda Gág, author of (the sweet, but somewhat dark tale) Millions of Cats.

Linnea in Monet’s Garden I read this book in the second grade, and I was obsessed. I checked it out from the library as often as I could. This was my first ever Art History book, published in 1987! It’s a dreamy, sweet little story about a girl discovering Claude Monet. It does a beautiful job of weaving narrative with bits and pieces of Monet’s life. The illustrations reflect Monet’s work in perfectly soft way. Ages 4-8.

Snowflake Bentley This is both a photography and science book! Wilson Bentley spent fifty years of his life perfecting the process of photographing snowflakes with the use of a microscope, and he discovered that no two snowflakes are ever alike. Every elementary school student in Vermont is familiar with his story. His starkly beautiful silver gelatin prints can be seen at the Smithsonian and other museums. This book, illustrated with woodcuts by Vermonter Mary Azarian is another that is near and dear to my heart. Ages 4-7.

The Art Book for Children This is another general knowledge book that has received high praise. The Art Book covers thirty well known artists, both classic and contemporary, and their works. Ages 7+. First in a series.

Art History Books for Children :: girldust.com

illus. Hadley Hooper / Anja Klauss

The Iridescence of Birds: A Book About Henri Matisse This is a beautifully illustrated book about Matisse as a boy. Ages 4-8.

The Little Hippo: A Children’s Book Inspired by Egyptian Art I think every kid goes probably goes through an Egyptology phase. And I think it’s okay to support that interest without stressing out too much about repatriation. That’s an issue that can certainly be addressed later, maybe by chatting with a museum docent. This is a book for younger children, probably ages 4-8. Note that it does deal a little bit with death, as most books on Egyptian art are likely to.

I’d recommend, if you are able, that you check out a museum or its website on your own before bringing your kids. Choose a handful of works (or even just one or two pieces) to visit and talk about with them, anything you think they’ll love. Don’t worry about seeing the whole museum, and don’t necessarily worry about seeing what’s famous, though obviously famous works have their merit. Take your time. Let your kids obsess over something seemingly insignificant. Let them stare at it for ages. Because here’s the thing: there are some works at the MFA Boston that I will visit over and over again, run to every time. There is a bronze drum in the Asian art galleries adorned with tiny frogs. There is Isabella and the Pot of Basil. There is The Fog Warning. There is no rhyme or reason to what I love, and it doesn’t really matter. Nothing is insignificant, so indulge in their obsessions. You let them obsess over cartoon character franchises, so let them obsess over works of art.

If you have any favorite art books of your own, please share them in the comments! It’s good to hear from actual parents.

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Making headstone rubbings is a great way to preserve a bit of history. Wax rubbings can reveal design elements and text not quite discernible through our vision alone. It’s also appropriate, on occasion, to maybe reflect quietly a bit on our own mortality, feel the earth beneath our feet, and say hello to those that have passed before us.

stock photography by redwolf518stock @ DA

Personally, I do feel like this is a solo project, but I remember doing this a few times as a guided activity in elementary school (there was a cemetery immediately next door to our playing field). I actually recall quite a number of cemetery field trips. In retrospect, I suppose that’s just a little bit strange. I wonder if they do things like that anymore. Perhaps not. There was also a dilapidated wooden stage on our playground that we were allowed to play on and crawl under. I digress. My childhood was idyllic, really.

First things first, be respectful.

  • Check to see if it’s okay for you to take a gravestone rubbing in your local cemetery, especially if the site is a historical one. Some older stones may be too fragile to stand up to the process. If you are uncertain about a particular stone, ask first.
  • In “active” cemeteries, be considerate of any funerals taking place. It may be more appropriate to return to the site on another day.
  • Pay attention to all posted signs and follow them. Do not trespass after hours. Don’t be a creep.

Basic supplies:

  • large sheet(s) of paper
  • scissors
  • masking tape or poster tack
  • soft brush and/or rag
  • wax discs or sturdy crayons (check out Oldstone wax)
  • rubber bands or a poster tube to transport completed rubbings

You want paper that is flexible, but sturdy enough not to tear. Printmaking paper works well. Other guides (like this one from Ancestry Graphics and Printing) suggest using medium-weight interfacing, which I imagine works really well, too! Try whatever you like!

When choosing a stone, look for well defined patterns and text. Carefully clean the surface of your chosen stone. While removing surface dirt, twigs, etc. with a rag or brush is probably safe to do, removing moss and lichen from older stones could potentially damage the stone’s integrity. If you notice any decay, erosion, or breakage, do not attempt to clean the stone. Some people carry spray bottles of water. Use your best judgement, and always err on the side of caution. Don’t use any chemicals or soaps to clean the stone.

Lay your paper across the surface of the stone and gently secure it in place with masking tape or poster tack. Your paper should be large enough to tuck around the back of the stone, and secure it from there. You may want to cut the paper to size. Make sure that your adhesive will not damage the stone on removal. Avoid taping on crumbling spots and cracks.

Once your paper is secure, start your rubbing from the outside edges of the stone to the center. Use even pressure.

Carefully remove your rubbing from the stone and secure it for transport. Make sure you don’t leave any scraps of paper or bits of tape behind.

stock photography by redwolf518stock @ DA

I know I’ve linked to it previously, but I absolutely love this great graphic guide to cemetery symbolism from Atlas Obscura!

Fellow Maine residents should check out the Maine Old Cemetery Association.

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