Sunday, June 29, 2014

What I Read This Week: June 29, 2014

I packed up all but one of our books this week. We still have 9 boxes of them, but they are smaller boxes than the ones we used during the last move. Progress?
  • Magazines
    • Martha Stewart Weddings, Winter 2014 - I saved this issue to read last because it was the winter issue, and we are having a winter wedding. It was slightly disappointing. There were some pretty gray weddings (one of our accent colors) and I enjoyed the metallic ideas. Now I'm out of bridal magazines to flip through... I'll restock after we move.
  • Books
    • I'm only about 50 pages from the end of All Quiet on the Western Front. I should finish this week.

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Friday Find: Storybook

File this under "Brilliant!" A long while back, Real Simple's website featured an awesome DIY: storybook placemats. Just pick your favorite, illustrated page spread and place in-between laminating sheets. That's it.

Yes, you have to mutilate a book to make these, but I still think they're awesome.

Heck, I would make adult versions of these.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Seen on the Metro: Level Up

This morning, the metro platform was packed. (Thanks WMATA!) As the mob and I finally shuffled onto a train, I saw a guy reading a book through the window.

He was an older gentleman with a shock of white hair and a killer mustache. In his hands, he was reading the final pages of Ready Player One. I've heard great things about this book and, once I was on the train, I saw his nose buried in the book. It was a jerky ride into the city (Thanks WMATA!), but his eyes never wavered from the page.

Variations on a Theme: Decor

The Fiance and I are relocating in about a week. (I need to get with the packing.) While I hate the physical act of moving, I am stoked about getting to decorate a new place. Our new digs have a huge bank of windows and lots of closet space. I've already got my eye on several walls that might need some DIY paintings.

In honor of my need to peruse home decor stores, I thought this month's Variations on a Theme would be decorating and DIY.

Young, House, Love: 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update & Show Your Home Some Love
Sherry and John Petersik

Design ideas for every style, skill level, and budget, from the beloved couple behind This debut book by bloggers Sherry and John Petersik is filled with hundreds of fun, deceptively simple, budget-friendly ideas for sprucing up a home. With two home renovations under their (tool) belts, 5 million blog hits per month, and an ever-growing audience since the launch of Young House Love in 2007, Sherry and John are home-improvement enthusiasts primed to pass on a slew of projects, tricks, and techniques to do-it-yourselfers of all levels. Whether an experienced decorator or a total novice, on a tight budget or with money to spend, any homeowner or apartment dweller will find ideas for his or her own home makeovers here. Learn to trick out a thrift-store mirror, spice up plain old roller shades, "hack" your Ikea table to create three distinct looks, and so much more. [My review]

Domino: The Book of Decorating: A Room-by-Room Guide to Creating a Home That Makes You Happy

Deborah Needleman
Domino: The Book of Decorating cracks the code to creating a beautiful home, bringing together inspiring rooms, how-to advice and insiders' secrets from today's premier tastemakers in an indispensable style manual. The editors take readers room by room, tapping the best ideas from domino magazine and culling insights from their own experiences. With an eye to making design accessible and exciting, this book demystifies the decorating process and provides the tools for making spaces that are personal, functional and fabulous.

Quick and Easy Paint Transformations
Annie Sloan

With this book in one hand and a brush in the other, you can learn how to create different finishes and effects with paint to change everyday rooms and furnishings into something special, all for the price of a pot of paint. The first section of the book tells you everything you need to know before you start - how to prepare surfaces properly, choose the right paint for the right place, use the best tools and select a colour scheme that will work with the room in question. Then, the 50 different techniques are divided into nine sections: colour washing; distressing and aging; fabric effects; wood effects; stone effects; metallic effects; stencilling and printing; stripes, checks, and spots; and, varnishing and glazing. There are step-by-step photos showing how to achieve the finished look, backed up by inspirational photos showing the effect used on walls and doors, furniture and floors. Learn how to bring old second-hand furniture bang up to date, or how to give modern pieces a softly aged appearance, as well as ways to treat and transform floorboards, doors and plastered walls, all with the aid of a pot of paint and a brush. Whatever the style of your interiors, "Quick and Easy Paint Transformations" will show you the best way to makeover your home.

Design*Sponge At Home
Grace Bonney

Design*Sponge didn't need its trademark asterisk to stand out. Grace Bonney's blog ranks as the most popular design site on the web, drawing over 75,000 unique visitors and 250,000 page views every day. This large-format hardcover is the book that its 280,000 followers on Twitter have been anxiously awaiting. Design*Sponge at Home has it all: Fifty do-it-yourself projects to personalize your space; home tours of 70 interiors featuring artists and designers; step-by-step tutorials on home improvement skills; fifty before-and-after makeover submitted by readers; essential tips on flower arranging; and, not least, 700 photographs to point the way. A fantasy feast.

Undecorate: The No-Rules Approach to Interior Design
Christine Lemiuex

Undecorate profiles twenty homes from all over the country, revealing their owners’ love of imperfection and penchant for surprise and unusual juxtapositions while inspiring readers to follow their own whimsy and practicalities in their personal spaces. An anglophile creates an English manor in Hollywood, mixing British flea-market finds with midcentury furniture. A car fanatic turns a vintage Airstream trailer into a master bedroom and situates it in the middle of a vast industrial loft in downtown Chicago. A couple transforms a log house in Nashville, Tennessee, by blending their modern and eclectic styles with the home’s rustic charm. Though the designs differ widely, the spaces all express an open-minded attitude. Some homes embrace their contexts, while others transcend them. All are shaped by instinct and imagination and share innovative ideas that readers can use to organically and elegantly create their home to match their lifestyle and tastes. Lemieux gets to the essence of the homeowners’ distinctive styles, pinpointing the transformative ideas, thoughtful details, and useful solutions that make each home memorable. With more than 200 full-color photographs, Undecorate will both inspire and guide homeowners to a new outlook on home design.

The Nesting Place: It Doesn't Have to Be Perfect to be Beautiful
Myquillyn Smith

Popular blogger and self-taught decorator Myquillyn Smith (The Nester) is all about embracing reality---especially when it comes to decorating a home bursting with boys, pets, and all the unpredictable messes of life.In The Nesting Place, Myquillyn shares the secrets of decorating for real people---and it has nothing to do with creating a flawless look to wow your guests. It has everything to do with embracing the natural imperfection and chaos of daily living.Drawing on her years of experience creating beauty in her 13 different homes, Myquillyn will show you how to think differently about the true purpose of your home and simply and creatively tailor it to reflect you and your unique style---without breaking the bank or stressing over comparisons. Full of easy tips, simple steps, and practical advice, The Nesting Place will give you the courage to take risks with your home and transform it into a place that’s inviting and warm for family and friends.There is beauty in the lived-in and loved-on and just-about-used-up, Myquillyn says, and welcoming that imperfection wholeheartedly just might be the most freeing thing you’ll ever do.

Other Decor Books
Furniture Makeovers - Barb Blair
A Good House is Never Done - John Wheatman
Home By Design - Sarah Susanka
Linens: For Every Room and Every Occasion - Jane Scott Hodges
The Perfectly Imperfect Home - Deborah Needleman
Spruce: A Step-by-Step Guide to Upholstery and Design - Amanda Brown
The Things That Matter - Nate Berkus
Use What You Have Decorating - Lauri Ward
The Welcoming House: The Art of Living Graciously - Jane Schwab

Links and Stuff: June 26, 2014

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Why I Love... Bookplates

I may not add bookplates to items in my personal library, but I love finding them in books. On occasion I'll run across a bookplate while at work or perusing items in a used bookstore, and it always leaves me with a smile on my face.

I love these added ephemera because they give character and back-story to a book. Most bookplates name the previous owner and give a hint of their artistic taste. Some bookplates are simple "From the Library Of..." while others are gorgeous, full-color images. Some of my favorites appear to be from children; the images are playful and the handwriting of the name appears forcibly controlled. Bookplates come in so many variations you never know what you'll find. I enjoy seeing what pops up on Confessions of a Bookplate Junkie.

Most bookplates I encounter are old. I don't think people add bookplates to their collections anymore. It's difficult to stick one to a Kindle.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

What I Read This Week: June 22, 2014

Holy mackerel was this week full of "stuff." The Fiance and I signed the lease on our new apartment. Now we're dealing with everything that goes with moving: elevator reservations, truck rental, dealing with Comcast (ugh), and bribing friends with food to help us lift our furniture. I am so looking forward to unpacking - said no one ever. I'm excited about the new place, but man do I hate the logistics of moving. At least there's room for all our books.

Happily, I was able to take a break from the moving checklist and tour our wedding venue with my maid of honor and bridesmaid. We took pictures and measurements. Gotta start working on those DIY projects and layout ideas... once we finish moving, of course.
  • Magazines
    • The Knot DC, Maryland, & Virginia, Spring/Summer 2014 - This issue was just like The Knot books I purchased... but with more pictures. There was no new information to me, but I did enjoy reading and seeing the local real weddings.
    • Cooking Light, July 2014 - I pulled two recipes, but I mostly flipped through this issue. This was a good magazine for summer parties but the ideas seemed a bit complicated for my style of shindig - wherein I try to throw things together with as little work as possible... and usually fail.
    • Martha Stewart Weddings, Spring 2014 - This issue was incredibly thick and heavy. It's mainly ads and editorial shoots, but man are they purty. I also pulled an escort card idea that The Fiance also liked.
    • Real Simple, July 2014 - This issue had a number of interesting articles. The most interesting of the articles was about organization and marriage. Who knew a home organizer could help de-stress your relationship? I also enjoyed the article on how to throw themed parties this summer. Finally, I pulled the delicious looking s'mores cupcake recipe.
  • Books
    • I've read several chapters of All's Quiet on the Western Front. I am surprised by how readable it is. I don't know what I was expecting, but it's more enjoyable than I anticipated.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Friday Find: Nailed It

This wee's Find made it's way through Pinterest quite some time ago, but I still think it's awesome.


These literary nails are snazzy looking and, I hear, not incredibly complicated to achieve. Pick your base color and let dry; plunge nails in vodka (swig as desired); cover nails with strip of newspaper, let sit for a few, and then pull off slowly; cover with clear top coat. Voila!

I pinned these from the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die tumblr.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Links and Stuff: June 19, 2014

  • Libraries where the books are still chained.
  • These bookstores. I want to visit them. 
  • Apps to help catalog your home library.
  • Need more Game of Thrones? Try the real deal.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

What I Read This Week: June 15, 2014

It rained all week. I'm a fan of a good rainstorm, but everyday is a bit much. Quit it Mother Nature. At least the weekend was lovely.
  • Work
    • I perused the Ithaka S+R US Library Survey from 2013. It focuses on how academic library directors perceive their organizations role on campus. I was a bit surprised to learn that there has been movement away from research support of professors and grad students. I was not surprised at all to see that many directors see a skills gap in their staffing.
  • Magazines
    • The Atlantic, June 2014 - This was a slimmer issue than normal, but the two main articles were phenomenal. Whether you agree or not, Ta-Nehisi Coates "The Case for Reparations" is a thought-provoking piece. The article on the Yarnell wildfire that killed 19 firefighters was utterly heartbreaking. I was holding back tears at some passages. I also recommend that piece on Antonin Scalia.
  • Books
    • I finished The Arrangement. It was unexpectedly good.
    • The Fiance and I started watching History Channel's "The World Wars." (Good show.) It inspired me to hit my library's stacks and snag a copy of All's Quiet on the Western Front. I'm only a few pages in, but it's pretty good so far.
  • Other
    • Salon hosted an intriguing article on "The Tao of Martha." It was about those who try to emulate the domesticness of Martha Stewart. I get it. Have you seen my Pinterest?

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Friday Find: Rawr!

I'm a fan of all things nerdy and amusing. I had to do staff evaluations and HR training at the end of the week. Not my favorite thing. I need a pick me up, so I amused myself with this image.

Just look at that monocle! And his little hat! So nerdy cute.

I have no idea where this is from. It was in my Pinterest feed, so of course I pinned it onto my Librarian Stuff board.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Seen on the Metro: Summer Readings

This morning, I saw a gentlemen leaning forward in his seat reading Carol O'Connell's Judas Child. The book had the tell-tale library signs: mylar cover and barcode.

The man was wearing a red and white, vertical striped, short-sleeved button down shirt and khaki cargo shorts. On his feet were sneakers and next to his messenger bag was some variety of iced frappe from Starbucks. He looked ready for summer in every way, except for the ID badge tucked into his shirt pocket.

I found his facial expression to be quite interesting. Behind his glasses, his eyes squinted. His mouth looked tight, and I got the feeling he was encountering a stressful or disturbing passage in the book. After reading the book's plot summary, I can understand his seeming unease.

Why I Love: Coffee Table Books

You know those big, oversized books that always seem to be in the sale section at big box booksellers? I love those. I rarely buy them, but I love them.

Coffee table books are magnetic to me. I love to flip through the glossy pages and get lost looking for hidden treasures in the images. These aren't books I "read," these are books I ingest. I slowly go through each page absorbing whatever the author has placed in front of me. The subjects of these books are all over the place and that makes them all the more intriguing to me. I own books on Princess Diana's fashion, illustrated Grimm's fairytales, and astronomy. Each book is full of luscious images and interesting text. I love pouring over each image trying to find hidden details. Coffee table books may be heavy to hold, but the pain in the wrists is worth the enjoyment of hours of beautiful digestion.

Best of all, coffee table books make the best home decor. Place a few "just so" and your home comes alive.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Seen on the Metro: Cluster

This morning, I found myself standing on the metro. The train was rather crowded but not in the that oh-my-goodness-what-is-touching-me way. The room for movement gave me a nice window into a cluster of readers across from me.

Two of my fellow passengers were seated. Both were reading library books. The man closest to me was entranced in an old-school looking paperback. I was unable to read the title, but the cover appeared to have been printed in the 70s. Sitting next to him was a woman wearing HUGE sunglasses. (Purple frames. Quite stylish.) She was also reading a library book - a rather hefty hardcover. I was, again, unable to read the title, but there were illustrations on the page that led me to believe it might have been about linguistics or genealogy.

In addition to this duo of readers, there was a young woman standing right in front of them. She, like myself, was leaning against the side of the metro trying not to fall over during our herky-jerky ride. I was a bit envious of her outfit choice; a gray, swiss-dot romper that looked to be remarkably cool in today's humidity. My envy turned to amusement when I noticed the paperback she was reading - Gunmetal Magic. I love it when people accidentally dress like their books. It reminds me of this scene from 101 Dalmatians.

YouTube Tuesday: Rainbow Power

Sunday, June 08, 2014

What I Read This Week: June 8, 2014

This week was light on meetings and heavy on "catch up." Also, The Fiance was out of town for work for 48 hours. All of that meant I got a chance to plow through a backlog of readings. Go me!
  • Work
    • It took me a few days, but I managed to finish The State of America's Libraries for 2014. People continue to think libraries are important and libraries are continuing adapt to community needs but money remains an issue. I think they could release the same report every year and no one would really notice.
    • In my attempt to catch up on my back log of professional reading, I also tackled the following:
      • American Libraries, May 2014 - The only article that jumped out at me (on a personal level) was the brief piece about libraries using crowdfunding. Bout darn time. I did find the article on collection development to be professionally helpful. The issue also had an interesting piece on extremist literature in library collections.
      • American Libraries, June 2014 - The bulk of this issue was a preview of the annual conference... in Las Vegas. I can only imagine the shenanigans to be had when a ton of librarians are let loose on the strip.
      • American Libraries, Digital Supplement to June 2014 -  Ebooks are on the rise but still have a way to go (cause publishers and libraries don't see exactly eye-to-eye).
  • Magazines
    • National Geographic, June 2014 - The cover story is about military dogs, and I heard an NPR interview with the main subject before the issue arrived in my mailbox. The audio made me cry, those tears welled up again while I read this article. It's a moving story. Nat Geo is also doing a series on how to feed a growing population. This month was about farmed fish and I found it utterly fascinating. Also, puffins are cute!
    • Washingtonian Bride & Groom, Spring 2014 - I love looking at DC area weddings. (I might follow one too many DC area wedding blogs.) This magazine was those blogs in print form. While we're pretty much past the info gathering stage, I loved looking at all the pictures. I did enjoy the article on how to write your own vows. 
  • Books
    • Who put a HUGE dent in The Arrangement. This girl. This is not your typical romance novel, and I am enjoying the change of characters. 
  • Other

Friday, June 06, 2014

The Friday Find: Mug

I'm going to go out on a limb and make the broad generalization that all book lovers need mugs. Whether it be coffee, tea, cocoa, or other tasty beverage, reading and sipping go hand in hand. There are an epic amount of literary-inspired mugs available, but I find this one quite enjoyable.

You can grab this mug off the Brookish shop on Etsy.

Bonus points if you immediately know where the line is from.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Links and Stuff: June 5, 2014

Librarian friends, I need to direct your attention to a new tumblr: No, sir...

Sunday, June 01, 2014

What I Read This Week: June 1, 2014

I should stop trying to write stuff here. It's always hard to try to pinpoint those few ideas that sum up my week. My brain was pulled in all sorts of directions this week. I'm sure if someone tried to diagram out all the thoughts in my mind from the past few days, it would be quite the messy spider's web.
  • Magazines
    • Real Simple, June 2014 - The dog who posed for the cover of this issue is totally adorable. When it comes to content, I enjoyed the articles on reading, modern etiquette, and how to handle common injuries. I pulled one recipe as an inspiration for that random jar of bacon tomato pasta sauce we have in our pantry.
    • Martha Stewart Real Weddings, Fall 2013 - The front half of this issue was entirely "meh," then it got pretty awesome in the second half. I enjoyed looking at all the pictures from the real weddings, but I loved how the random number facts were included at the end of each article. Also, there were some tasty looking cakes in this issue. 
    • Brides, April/May 2014 - This was a thick issue that was absolutely stuffed with pictures of dresses and advertisements for dresses. I'm not entirely sure there were any actual articles to be had. 
  • Books
    • I finished Caitlin Moran's How To Be A Woman. It was a phenomenal book; I'll have a complete review soon... as soon as I let the fan-girlness subside.
    • Now on my nightstand - a romance novel. Specifically, Mary Balogh's The Arrangement.
  • Other
    • #yesallwomen