Archive for January, 2009


January 21, 2009

When I want to remember the US Presidents in order, my mind conjures images:  I see the posters Miss McNulty put up on our fourth-grade classroom walls, one for each president through Nixon.  It was 1975, so there should have been a poster for Gerald Ford, but I guess she bought the set before Ford took over.   Each poster had a portrait and some facts–birth and death dates, place of birth, term in office, party, ethnicity, religion (I remember being fascinated that only one of them was Catholic, living in a town where most folks were Catholic).  Those are the pictures I see when I hear “Van Buren” or “Fillmore.”

The poster my daughter will remember appeared on her classroom wall (well, window) yesterday:

Scholastic poster of 44 presidents

Scholastic poster of 44 presidents

Count them.  44.

New Tutorial: Altered purses

January 20, 2009

I’ve added a page and link for a tutorial I’ve just written, on how to make purses like these:

Maroon purse, after

Maroon purse, after

Kate Spade purse, after

Kate Spade purse, after

What I read in 2008

January 7, 2009

BG=Book Group selection.  I’m in two book groups (and sometimes a third), so a lot of my reading is driven by that.  These are numbered in chronological order, from January to December.  I don’t read very fast, so 29 books in a year is pretty good for me (but several of them are very short novels, and a few were revisits).

1. The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories (Susanna Clarke)

2. The Book of Lost Things (John Connolly)  BG

3. Ghostwritten (David Mitchell)

4. The Ship Captain’s Wife (Martha Hodes) BG

5. Passing for Normal (Amy S. Wilensky) BG

6. Triangle: The Fire that Changed America (David von Drehle)

7. Kindred (Octavia Butler) BG–re-read.

8. Mapping Fate (Alice Wexler)  BG–re-read.

9. Don’t Let’s Go Down to the Dogs Tonight (Alexandra Fuller) BG

10. Memory Keeper’s Daughter (Kim Edwards) BG

11. Anil’s Ghost (Michael Ondaatje) BG

12. The Center Cannot Hold (Elyn Saks) BG

13. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay (Michael Chabon) BG

14. Sarah Canary (Karen Joy Fowler)

15. Lying Awake (Mark Salzman)

16. The Bookshop (Penelope Fitzgerald)

17. The Museum at Purgatory (Nick Bantock)

18. Moving Violations (John Hockenberry) BG

19. A Guide for the Perplexed (Jonathan Levi)

20. The Sensualist (Barbara Hodgson)

21. Wheeling the Deal: The Outrageous Legend of Gordon Zahler, Hollywood’s Flashiest Quadriplegic (Chip Jacobs)

22. Daughter of Fortune (Isabel Allende) BG

23. My Body Politic (Simi Linton) BG

24. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Junot Diaz) BG

25. Memoirs of a Spacewoman (Naomi Mitchison)

26. March (Geraldine Brooks)

27. Sister Moon (Karen Joy Fowler)

28. Riven Rock (TC Boyle)  BG

29.  Eavesdropping (Stephen Kuusisto)  BG–re-read