Five for Friday 4.17

1. Everything’s coming up culottes. Unfortunately, the culottes I made for myself from Liesl Gibson’s pattern turned out to be insanely unflattering on me, just a complete fiasco, legwear-wise. A couple of people on Instagram suggested running them through a laundry cycle to try to loosen up the fabric before making a final decision, but it’s hard to imagine it’ll make much difference.


unmanned culottes

2. This lipstick collaboration between Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge and a brand I’ve never heard of before looks great. I’ve been playing around with a matte red lip this year, but a rosy pink is more my everyday jam.

3. Madeleine L’Engle’s granddaughter has made public three never-before-seen pages from one of my favorite books from childhood, A Wrinkle in Time.  (tip ‘o the hat to my friend Natalie for bringing it to my attention)

4. This week was the week that Rob and I discovered that our cat, who has a pretty laidback approach to the world in general, reacts very strongly to hearing another cat on TV or a video online. It’s hilarious for the humans in the room. Less so for our furry friend, who seems to think that we’re either being invaded or someone’s having a party he really, really wants to go to.

5. A few days ago, I was talking to audiobook narrator Tavia Gilbert for something related to work and she recommended in the glowingest of glowing terms a book called Galileo’s Middle Finger. I made a note to look it up and promptly forgot about it. Then this morning I was suddenly seeing a lot of links to accounts of a scientist mom live-tweeting her son’s abstinence-only sex-ed class and realized that that woman is the author of the book.


Last night, I ventured into north Brooklyn (just a few blocks from where I lived a few years ago, but a bit of a trek from my current south-of-the-park neighborhood) for the release party of Jessica Pigza’s fabulous new book, BiblioCraft. Jessica is a rare-books librarian at NYPL and a life-long crafter and her book combines these interests in an innovative way, offering dozens of ideas for ways to use library holdings for inspiration.  She got a rock-star list of contributors (Natalie Chanin, Grace Bonney, Liesl Gisbon, Gretchn Hirsch…) to offer their own beautiful library-inspired crafts, but also writes a lot about using online image sources and how to effectively and efficiently deploy your local resources, library or otherwise.

I had the pleasure of visiting her at work a few months ago when I was interviewing her for Library Journal. She had pulled out some of her favorite items for us to look at. That’s a hand-drawn book of fern specimens open in front of her.

It’s a little hard to tell, but all of the motifs in the example below (a marketing tool for a man offering his penmanship services) are drawn in a single line without the pen being picked up—ideal for embroidery. Apparently I didn’t photograph them, but the NYPL has a number of books of watermarks that would make exceptional embroidery motifs since they’re necessarily so simple and graphic.

These wood-type specimen books are a treasure trove of typographical goodness.

And this wasn’t precisely craft related, but it was fun: a card game to learn semaphore, hand flag, and morse code signals.We think this spells out Klose. Many of the signals were very similar; it’s a little difficult to imagine transmitting a message this way to someone on a far-away ship.