Tuesday, January 29, 2013

From the Binghamton Press, June 12 1913

Risking duplication,  by printing my favorite item. I don't know why it tickles me so much, but it does:


Atlantic City, N. J.. June 12.~-The 
"Hitchlo Koo," a combination of tho 
"One Step" and "Tango," with a 
graceful kick as the final feature' of 
each set was Introduced as the latest 
dance creation at the annual convention of the International Dancing 
Masters' Association In session here. 
F. W. Scott, of Michigan, the oldest 
member In attendance, declared that 
"trots* that necessitate the clinch hug 
should be prohibited by legislation. 
There Is nothing bad about the new 
dances If they are danced correctly, 
but they seldom are."

In 1913.....

In June 1913, 1,100 Polish and Greek workers at the Brown Stocking Mills here in Ipswich, went out on strike.  The mill owners and police responded by emptying their company-owned housing and dumping all their belongings on the street. And by going to the docks in Boston to hire new immigrants to replace them.   There were riots and ultimately the police fired into the crowd and killed a young Greek woman, who was not on strike but was just leaving work to go home.  Ultimately the strike was a failure. After 3 weeks people moved back into their houses and carried on.  No one was ever disciplined for killing Nicholetta Paudelopoulou. When the mill closed 16 years later, the houses were sold the the workers living in them.

Reading about this today, I encountered this wonderful page from the Binghampton NY Press and Leader.  It's full of history - suffragettes and the Unwholesomeness of Veal and President Wilson's projected visit to the under-construction Panama Canal and a $15,000 barn built for 9 cows etc.

So, if you click here, you can read it for yourself.  Worth spending a few minutes to see how much the world has changed and how much it has stayed the same.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Senior Citizens Day Out

The CoG and I have decided to have an outing one day each week.  So, last week we went to the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.  It was a great day.  I really love contemporary art. I think what I love is that good contemporary art somehow bypasses my logical thinking brain and connects with my illogical, feeling, creative brain.  When I leave a good museum or exhibition, my head just feels like it's bursting with ideas and nothing in the world looks quite the same as it did.

Plus, we had lunch out and I always enjoy that.

 I have some random images for you from the day.

My favorite work from the museum: Hanging Fire (suspected arson) by Cornelia Parker.  This is constructed of salvaged bits of wood/charcoal from a suspicious fire in a woodshop.  The black bits are pieces of charcoal suspended on black string.  What you can't see is the wonderful way it moves with the air currents in the room.

Here is another little vignette I snapped: I like things that make me laugh, while having a serious message.  This was from the Guerilla Girls - an anonymous feminist collective which protests gender and racial inequality in the arts.  They appear in public wearing Gorilla masks. If you can't read it, click and it should expand. 

Those are the only pieces of art I took pictures of.  But the museum itself is wonderful. It's built of glass on a pier in Boston Harbor, so the reflection of the light off the water into the building is fantastic.  And the way the windows frame vignettes on the water is almost art, itself.  That's the CoG & camera, of course.

Here's a Panorama:

There was a wonderful media lab - don't know what else to call it - lots of computers with videos of artist talking about exhibits in the museum or their art etc. It was an amazing room.  It kind of juts at a  stair-stepped downward angle from the building,  like a movie theatre. But instead of a screen, there's a huge window facing the water.  This doesn't reall capture the downward angle of the room. It was dizzyingly awesome.

As I said, once I leave a wonderful museum of contemporary art, everything looks different. Here are a few things that caught my eye:

This is from the sidewalk outside the museum. It's not art, but I like it:

The T stop for the museum is the Courthouse. I'm sorry I was too slow to get the woman walking toward me here. She was wearing a face mask because it was very very cold.  I took the picture anyway. I said that the world looks different to me, after spending time with good contemporary art.  A lot of the art was about war and civil unrest, so this vignette had a new resonance for me.

Finally, this rude but amusing grafitto from the toilet by the T. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Another Project - Doll Diaper Bags

I've been working on two little diaper bags for Miss T and Miss A, who love dolls. I'm really proud of the way these turned out.  I had no pattern so I made them up as I went along.   The first one took 4 days because I kept stopping to figure things out - when there are so many pockets, plus the strap and the whole thing is lined, the order in which things are done is complex.  The second only took a few hours.

 They are small - maybe 9 inches wide,  by 4 deep,  by 5 or 6 tall.  They have 9 pockets and a 'blanket loop.'  One is blue, one is green, but they are identical otherwise,  and they come loaded with Stuff.  One goal I had was to make them have many different fasteners - like those little quiet books with zippers and buttons and snaps.  These have a button, a zipper, velcro, the carabiner that holds the keys on, and the mesh pocket thingies at the front.  I'd still like to work in a snap somewhere, but I haven't figured out where.

This has been so much fun.  It's Playtime for Grandma.  I just love love love making these things.   The first picture is both of them, the blue and the green. The other pictures are labelled below. Note that I am not pushing pink.  Miss T's favorite color is green.  Miss A. doesn't yet have a favorite color, so I chose blue for her.  I am hoping to shield them from the pinkification of toys for as long as I can.

Here's a front view.

Back View

Side View

Here's what's under the front flap, with the velcro closures below.

Here's another side with Keys and Key loop.

Here's the inside of the bag with many pockets. What I call the 'blanket loop' is at the bottom of the picture, front of the bag.  There's a blanket that fits in there and it closes with a button from the button box of the CoG's mother, Nanny.  My mother contributed to the bag, as well.  She taught me to sew - the whole bag is a product of her teaching.

This is some of the stuff in each bag - I will be adding a few more things. There's a doll bib, 3 diapers, a kiddie cell phone, 2 tiny little books, a little folded up blanket, a tiny stuffed toy, keys, and, of course, doll bottle, doll juice glass, and a little doll pacifier, in the upper right hand corner.

I can't wait to give these bags to the girls when we are there next week. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

East Coast Cold Snap

We received this video, titled 'How Cold is it in Maine,  from Son of this morning:

It's colder in Maine than Minnesota today, and for the last week.  Some ski areas have closed because of the cold.

Added later:  The temperature at Mount Washington tonight is predicted to be - 70 Degrees F.  Yes, that's correct minus 70 degrees Farenheit.

Monday, January 21, 2013

News Report from Brighton

My eye was caught by this headline from The Argus,  the Brighton News Paper:

Grade II listed bollard replaced with a stump

Who knew there were Grade II listed bollards?  It turns out that these bollards were featured in a 1948 film of the Graham Greene book 'Brighton Rock'.   And the council says that the 'stump' is only temporary while they figure out whether to repair or replace with a reproduction.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Swedish Country Doll Beds

My New Year's Resolution is to blog more frequently.  It's the 17th already and this is the first time I've blogged this year, but I'm going to do better this year. Maybe every other day is realistic.

I"ve been very busy, though, making things for the little girls.  They both play with dolls constantly, so I made them doll beds.  I used very inexpensive 1x3 lumber and a few scraps of 1x 6 that I had on hand.   Then I painted them.  And, finally, I made each a mattress, a pillow, a pillowcase and a blanket. They turned out really well.

I made those last week.  This week I've been working on another project which I finished yesterday.  I'll write about that one later this week.