This weekend, I reached my own personal Wikipedia milestone: I started my 100th article, during the New York Academy of Sciences Women in Science edit-athon. It was about Nellie M. Payne (1900-1990), an entomologist who held a couple patents on insecticides. She did some pioneering research in the 1920s, on the effect of low temperatures on insects. I just chose her off the work list for the edit-athon, probably because her name is Nellie (I’ve also done entries for chemist Nellie May Naylor and music hall performer Nell Emerald). It’s not my most interesting entry, nor my best entry, but it’s my 100th entry. Onward! (My user page at Wikipedia has the complete list, if you’re curious.)
Because my friend Kim said this reminded her of Tron. Made from a bunch of nice rayon/cotton blend (three colors of Tahki Stacy Charles “Victoria”), and some Bernat “Souffle” (nylon, the black parts), all thrifted. Looking forward to seeing how it wants to be worn.
It was another fun season of crafting for Halloween this year. For daughter, another Pokemon hat (Espeon, this time):
Also crocheted some Sylveon ears for her friend to add to a headband:
We photographed it at Trash for Teaching, because we got some of the materials for making it there. He won best costume at his teen dance, and we also won $100 in Crafted Cash at Crafted in San Pedro, so it was a popular costume.
For the yard: my Little Free Library got a monster costume:
Nell and I have been doing chalk art at the Redondo Seawall for five years now–always on the same panels, more or less, at the beginning of the walk. A retrospective:
2014 (we were in a hurry, only stayed a couple hours, had to go to a bar mitzvah that night in Temecula; so I didn’t get one photo with all three panels, but you can see 2-3-4 in these):
2013 (there were two events in 2013, we chalked the same squares at both of them):
There’s a time-lapsed video of me working on panel 4 that year.
2011 (our panels weren’t all in a row that first year, so there’s no one photo for them; Nell did the NintendoDS, I did the other three):
It was a good year for reading here! Thirty-eight books finished. Some illustrated books, some YA novels, one academic book read for review. BG=Book Group selection. I’m in two book groups, so a lot of my reading is driven by that.
This year in books (for me) was shaped by the closing of Mysterious Galaxy Redondo Beach in the late spring, the first of several local business closures this year that upset my routines–RIP Cork’er, Neighborhood Grinds, Soup Bar, and soon, Harmony Works.
These are numbered in chronological order, from January to December.
1. Jo Walton, Farthing
2. Robin Sloan, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
3. Kirsten Miller, Kiki Strike: The Darkness Dwellers
4. Meg Wollitzer, The Ten-Year Nap BG
5. Hanya Yanagihara, The People in the Trees
6. Naoki Higashida, The Reason I Jump
7. David Handler, Runaway Man
8. Margaret Atwood, MaddAddam
9. Mark Dunn, Ella Minnow Pea BG
10. Helen Dunmore, The Greatcoat
11. Colum McCann, Transatlantic
12. Jessica Ellen Sewell, Woman and the Everyday City
13. Andy Weir, The Martian
14. Jeff Vandermeer, Authority
15. Lauren Groff, Arcadia BG
16. Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves BG
17. Gerbrand Bakker, Ten White Geese
18. Rupert Thomson, Divided Kingdom
19. Jane Jeong Trenka, The Language of Blood
20. Octavia Butler, Fledgling
21. Paul Auster, Book of Illusions
22. Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch BG
23. Haruki Murakami, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle
24. Tana French, Faithful Place
25. Natalie Danford, Inheritance
26. Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being BG
27. Jeff Vandermeer, Acceptance
28. Cory Doctorow, Little Brother BG
29. David Gerrold, The Martian Child
30. Hari Kunzru, Transmission
31. Jhumpa Lahiri, The Lowland BG
32. Oliver Sacks, Hallucinations BG
33. Jo Walton, My Real Children
34. Tom Perrotta, The Leftovers
35. Jonathan Auxier, The Night Gardener
36. Kenny Fries, The History of My Shoes and the Evolution of Darwin’s Theory BG
37. M. L. Stedman, The Light Between Oceans BG
38. John Scalzi, Lock In
We had a good Halloween this year, even with a football game and some (welcome) rain. I did a lot of crocheting, and some other crafty stuff, and even made a raggedy stop-motion video.
I got a call from a friend–can you make hats for Halloween? (She asked in September, so I said yes. Don’t ask in October.) How about four hats, all looking like the Count from Sesame Street? Sure, I can do that… right? It took three tries to get a workable design, but then it went pretty quickly. I only have three “heads” for simultaneous modeling, but trust me there were four total.
After the paid job was done and delivered to happy preschoolers (who apparently slept in their “Count Hats” the first night they had them), I turned to hats for my daughter and her friend, who wanted to be Thor and Loki. These were pretty fun to make; metallic yarns can be annoying to work with, but helmets like these really need some metal.
The third crochet Halloween thing was already done in time to start appearing on October 1: our yard had an “infestation” of thirteen large colorful crocheted creatures who changed position each day. They started appearing on October 1; this photo was taken on October 7, when there were seven creatures in place.
This is son’s second year using a regular boxy wheelchair with big wheels (before that he used a Convaid stroller–smaller wheels, more triangular in profile). The Kogi truck last year was easy and fun to make, and I decided to try something a little more complicated this year. He loves big clear bowls–tupperware, salad bowls, that sort of thing. So we built a cardboard costume around a big plastic salad bowl (cheap at Party City, but sturdy enough, and I didn’t have to damage it to make the costume–it’s still perfectly usable for its original purpose). It’s kind of a “steampunk submarine,” but leaning more to the whimsical than the mechanical. Lots of duct tape and spray paint, and some random bottle caps, also some plastic bits from Trash for Teaching. And there’s an Altoids tin, and bamboo skewers, and old wallpaper samples, and a WHOLE lotta brads.
I made a stop-motion video of the yard “infestation”–it’s pretty raggedy, but I’m happy with the results, and I learned how to use iMovie a little. Music is by Psapp, “This Way,” mostly because I liked the sort of munching found-sound effect.
No particular need to comment on this one, it speaks for itself.
I’ve been enjoying various crowdsourcing projects for many years, most noticeably Flickr Commons until Flickr’s user interface became unwieldy for my purposes, about a year ago. I still use Commons images for collage projects sometimes, but only from my “Flickr Favorites” board at Pinterest. (Can you still use Flickr? Good for you. I can’t. Yes, I know changes are afoot. Changes are always afoot at Flickr; that’s not always something I like in a website.)
So I needed a new crowdsourcing home, and Wikipedia was the obvious next choice. I’d already started to do little tasks there, and I was already comfortable writing Encyclopedia-ese from two print encyclopedia projects I worked on. Now, a year on, I do still miss my Friday mornings with the Bain Collection, but I have a new playground, and so far I’ve liked that a lot too.
As of this morning, I’ve created 27 new entries on Wikipedia (26 on my own, one to help a friend whose work was stuck in an editorial queue). Mostly women, but there are two men (both of them involved with oceans, though that’s a coincidence); a lot of people involved in museum work, which I don’t do, but I guess I gravitate towards those who do. Some of these names I knew before starting their entries, but some were new to me on that day. I like edit-athons, and I like picking names from a list and seeing where they take me. Not surprisingly, I prefer writing about dead people, because their obituaries and tombstones are fair game, and their images are more likely to be available for use. Six of my posts have been linked on the front page of Wikipedia as “Did You Know” (DYK) facts so far–not for more than a few hours, but it’s still a hoot, and the process of getting there is an impressive part of the backstage rigging of the site.
And yeah, six of them involved Flickr Commons images I wanted to know more about. So it’s maybe not such a big shift after all.
Here are my 27 entries as of June 23, 2014:
(*=written as part of an editathon)
- Gertrude Van Wagenen (DYK 19 March 2013)*
- Nelle Richmond Eberhart (DYK 30 July 2013)
- Edith R. Wyle (DYK 4 March 2014)
- Pauline Gracia Beery Mack (DYK 22 March 2014)*
- Chizuko Judy Sugita de Queiroz (DYK 13 May 2014)*
- Henrietta Rodman (DYK 27 May 2014)*
- Grace Nicholson*
- Zarh Pritchard*
- Lydia Fowler Wadleigh*
- 40 Families Project*
- John Francis Ropek
- Fanny McIan*
- Mary Rose Hill Burton*
- Sandra Welner
- Zelma Wilson*
- Caroline Gardner Bartlett
- Jessica Duncan Piazzi Smyth*
- Maud Younger
- Tsianina Redfeather Blackstone
- Eveline Winifred Syme*
- Ethel Spowers*
- Lill Tschudi*
- Antoinette Rodez Schiesler*
- Nellie May Naylor*
- Shirley Kaneda
- Gretchen Sibley
- Adrienne Asch (with Beth Haller)
Our kitchen table needed covering–we don’t eat at it much, it mostly holds groceries and boxes and backpacks and such. But we can’t use tablecloths, because a member of our household pulls them down, every time. So, I was thinking, “fitted tablecloth”? Do they make such a thing? And then… can I make such a thing? I might have been able to sew a cover, but decided that it’s easier for me to crochet. I used various fabric strips from Trash for Teaching (of course), so it worked up quickly, and the results are stretchy enough to hug the tabletop, and cushion it from any sharp corners.
Yes, it does look like I yarnbombed my own kitchen, but that’s a bonus for me. Speaking of which, there’s still time to go see Surroundings, the current installation by Yarn Bombing Los Angeles, at the Manhattan Beach Creative Arts Center.
Are you an art teacher? Does it pain you to throw away the paper plates of expensive paint after a lesson? Make serendipity paints. The three above came from one large classroom’s leftovers! Three spice jars, one each for reds/blues/golds, scoop and scrape your paints into the jars to filled, cap tightly. These are great prizes for young artists, or gifts for fellow art educators–practically free, and they’re keeping some paint out of the trash.