Saturday, January 31, 2015

Learning | Pirates! In the Library!

One of the most interesting places in a library is the reference section.  It's a great place to look for answers to research questions, but the best thing about being in the reference section is stumbling on information you did not know existed. 

Recently, a co-worker found The Pirates' Who's Who, Giving Particulars of the Lives and Deaths of the Pirates & Buccaneers. Well, I was so surprised, you could have knocked me over with a feather.  A book about pirates in the Reference Section? An old book, from 1924. Over a century ago! And the thought of the pirates having a "who's who" book tickled my funny bone.

After we tried to look up Captain Jack Sparrow (who is a fictional*character, and unfortunately not in this book,) we thumbed through, looking up famous pirates, and discovering the not-so-well remembered pirates of yesteryear.

I looked up Jean Lafitte. He was a complicated guy.  He and his brother were blacksmiths in old New Orleans; they started selling smuggled goods through their shop. The goods came from pirates and privateers, who traded on an island in Barataria Bay. The governor tried to have the Lafitte brothers convicted for this activity, but they were acquitted. Lafitte and the Baratarians sided with the Americans in war against the English, helping to win the Battle of New Orleans. His blacksmith shop still stands, in the Vieux Carré (French Quarter) in New Orleans.

The Pirates' Who's Who book cannot be checked out, since it is a reference book. You can visit Cesar Chavez Central Library, and look at it in the library.  You do have some other options, however.  If you have an eReader, download a free digital copy of the book from Project Gutenberg. 

Looking for more pirate books?  Here's a list of some pirate books in SSJCPL's collection; most of these can be checked out.

If you really need library materials about Captain Jack Sparrow,  this list can help.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

She's Crafty | Space Light Structure

During an episode of Antiques Roadshow a woman brought in a collection of jewelry that caught my eye. Modern, beautiful, and luminous, I was drawn into following the appraisal more closely and yearned to hear more about the artist who turned out to be Margaret De Patta.

To learn more about the artist and her jewelry I sought out books--of course--and found, Space Light Structure: The Jewelry of Margaret De Patta through Link+. In 2012 the Museum of Arts and Design in New York and the Oakland Museum of California put together an exhibit showcasing Margaret De Patta's jewelry pieces. Space Light Structure is the exhibition catalogue, pairing the work that went on display with the history of such topics as the Bauhaus movement, modernism, the artist herself, and constructivism.

Margaret De Patta had a knack for balancing the elements of her pieces in such a way that encourages people to wonder how these structures come together. The effect is absolutely stunning and masterful.

You can learn more about the Margaret De Patta Studio Jewelry appraisal from Antiques Roadshow on the PBS website by clicking here. There's a slideshow of the jewelry collection featured on the episode as well as a video of the appraisal.

If you, like me, are now inspired to try your hand at designing some works of jewelry art, here's a short list of what we have to help inspire and guide your explorations:

If you would like to see a longer list, click on the search term jewelry making to see the results. All 109 of them!


Monday, January 26, 2015

Just Life| Soup Galore

It has been so cold and gloomy these past several days. All I am craving is a hearty pot of soup.

Unfortunately, I am not very good at making one. The only decent soup that I can make is barley soup. But I am not in the mood for barley soup. This cold weather calls for a hearty soup and I don't know how to make one.

I wish my mom was here now, but she is 1000's of miles away.

I think I should stop the self pity though!

For heaven' sake, I work in a library. Thousands of wonderful soup recipes are just a few shelves away.

So I am getting myself some cookbooks and I am gonna learn how to make some delicious soups.

You never know, maybe, I would surprise my mom with a hearty soup when she comes to visit this February. Just wish me luck.

Here are a few books that I am gonna check out:

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha