Fun at Foster's blog

FOL Book Sale at the Fourth of July Street Fair

While E.P. Foster Library will be closed on July 4 along with all other Ventura County Library branches in observance of Independence Day, the City of Ventura will be putting on its annual 4th of July Street Fair—and the San Buenaventura Friends of the Library will be there!

Along with E.P. Foster TAG, the Friends will be holding a special book sale during the street fair. Stop by downtown for some great deals on great books and other materials, and then see what the rest of the fair has to offer!

Red, white, and blue 3D-printed figurines stand in front of books for sale by the Friends of the Library.

Ventura Region Summer Reading for Adults 2015

The San Buenaventura Friends of the Library are once again sponsoring the Ventura Region’s Summer Reading for Adults!

Through August 13, you can enter once weekly by filling out our online form. All we need is your name and the title of the book you read and you’ll be a part of our weekly drawing. Prizes include gift cards for local businesses and an Amazon Kindle.

Every person who enters can select one of the Ventura Region libraries (AvenueE.P. Foster, or Saticoy) to pick up their prizes. For more information, call or drop by one of these locations!

Wabi-sabi and Zen

Wabi-sabi is the quintessential Japanese aesthetic. It represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. It is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is a beauty of things modest and humble.

A weathered metal handle on a wooden door.

Writer Patricia Ward explains that “Wabi denotes simplicity and quietude and incorporates rustic beauty, such as patterns found in straw, bamboo, clay, or stone. It refers to both that which is made by nature and that which is made by man. Sabi refers to the patina of age, the concept that changes due to use may make an object more beautiful and valuable. This incorporates an appreciation of the cycles of life and careful, artful mending of damage.”

An autumn tree branch with several red berries.

Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, asperity (roughness or irregularity), simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy, and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes. 

Rabbit tracks in the snow.

Photographers can capture this aesthetic when we take images of worn items, used pottery, weathered wood, or utensils that have been broken and lovingly repaired. A photograph itself can also be considered wabi-sabi when the subject is impermanent or transient, such as cloud formations, sunsets, rainbows, etc.

An old, cracked stone bowl filled with plant material.

The Ventura County Library has books on wabi-sabi and zen, as well as electronic resources on zen and an eBook on wabi-sabi for artists.

 

Resident Photographer Aleta A. Rodriguez

Early Learning Center Grand Opening @ Foster

The library's new Early Learning Center incorporates education and play to promote early literacy skills.

E.P. Foster Library has been developing a new Early Learning Center on the second floor, and on Wednesday, July 1, we will be holding a special ceremony to mark its grand opening!

The new center was established thanks to donations from the San Buenaventura Friends of the Library. It will serve as a place for children and parents to work on early literacy skills.

The ceremony will take place at 3 p.m., just before the Nifty Balloon Show. Come and see what the Early Learning Center is all about!

David's Dish: Bee Sting Honey

The cover of the book "Back in the Day Bakery: Made with Love."

I was in the mood for a spicy, sweet treat. I didn’t want something too complicated to make and wanted to keep the cooking to a minimum—it’s summer, after all. Perusing the stacks at E.P. Foster Library proved futile; nothing struck my fancy. As I checked in returning library books I came across an interesting cookbook: Back in the Day Bakery: Made with Love, by Cheryl and Griffith Day.

I flipped open the book to page 284 and found my long-lost love: Bee Sting Honey! Ah, the cheeky-looking honey bear stuffed with honey—a sight to behold! The book is worth checking out for that picture alone! Bee Sting Honey would meet all the requirements of my mood: sweet, spicy, and easy to make. Bee Sting Honey is the most smashing condiment known to man, and so I made some.

Most of the ingredients I had on hand, however one ingredient caused me a world of trouble to find. It was red pepper flakes, and eventually in the cupboard I found some red pepper flake packets from a long since devoured pizza purchase.

In my medium nonreactive saucepan I brought all five ingredients to a boil: the honey, cider vinegar, cayenne pepper, red pepper, and fine sea salt. The ingredients then cooled and I poured them into my honey bear. I served the Bee Sting Honey with sourdough bread and baked brie—fantastic!

Photo features the iconic bear-shaped honey container and other ingredients.

*****David’s Dish

 

Check out the book at Saticoy Library, or put it on hold—we will send it to you. If there are any cookbooks in Foster Library’s collection that you would like me to try out, please leave the title on our Facebook page and I’ll get cooking!

Crafternoon Comes to E.P. Foster Library!

Starting on Thursday, June 25, E.P. Foster Library will begin hosting a new series of special Crafternoons every week at 2 p.m.

During this time children of all ages can take part in various craft activities on the second floor of the library. For additional information, call the library and ask for our youth librarian.

Come join us for these special Crafternoons. Get your craft on in the afternoon at Foster!

Library LAB Makeshop: Ethanol Fuel @ Foster

Our second Makeshop class is happening at E.P. Foster Library on Tuesday, June 23! Makeshop events are put on through our Library LAB and are tailored for elementary and middle-school students.

This class will continue our discussion of alternative energy with a demonstration of an ethanol-fueled motor. Participants will then do an activity where they will design and create working circuits using conductive ink and LEDs!

This free event begins at 3 p.m. on the second floor of the library. Call the library or visit the Library LAB website for more information.

Summer Cosplay

Summer is finally here, and for many it’s more than just vacation time—it’s cosplay time. Fans of comics, manga, movies, and anime will soon be converging on Comic Con and Anime Expo, all decked out as their favorite characters. For the uninitiated, cosplay—or costume play—is what I like to call “Halloween for Grownups,” but really, it’s more than that. Rather than just putting on a store-bought costume, cosplayers often make their creations by hand, down to the smallest detail. They embody the character they are portraying, showing true devotion unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

With cosplay growing in popularity, there are finally some books available that offer ideas and advice on how to get started, many of which are now available in the library. One such book is called 1000 Incredible Costume & Cosplay Ideas, by YaYa Han, Allison DeBlasio, and Joey Marsocci. The book is made up of a collection of photographs of cosplayers from around the world, dressed as a range of characters from anime, manga, comics, television, movies, and books. There are even sections devoted to original characters and props.

While it lacks any real instruction on making costumes, this book more than makes up for it with the beautifully-done photographs that fill its pages. The pictures were submitted by everyday people, like you and me, from all walks of life and with all sorts of interests. While you might see some familiar characters, you’ll also see some you may never have even heard of before. The book, I think, is more about encouraging and inspiring people to try something new, to venture out of their comfort zones. If these people can do it, then so can you. It’s more about the ideas than the instruction.

For a book that focuses on real instruction, I would recommend Cosplay Basics: A beginner’s guide to the art of costume play by Yuki Takasou. Inside this book you will see chapters on making costumes including props and wigs; purchasing costumes with instructions on alterations; hair and makeup; participating in an event, such as the San Diego Comic Con; and taking pictures. Each chapter includes helpful illustrations, and a manga story about a first time cosplayer. The author goes into real details, and her knowledge and experience shows—for she herself is an avid cosplayer.

Each of these books has something the other lacks. This is not to say that they are not both useful. They actually complement each other very well, and would best be read together. Whichever book you choose to read, you’ll be in for a treat.

Heather, the Graphic Novel Goddess

Library LAB Makeshop: Wind Power @ Foster

The Library LAB's summer Makeshop series is coming to E.P. Foster Library! Join us on Tuesday afternoons for STEM-themed classes and activities for elementary and middle school-aged students.

Our first class will feature a demonstration on wind power, and the first twenty participants will be able to build a simple flying helicopter. We will also discuss energy storage and potential energy.

This Makeshop event will take place at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9, on the second floor of the library. For more information, contact the library. We hope to see you there!

Summer Vacation

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer and the winding down of the school year. As this season begins many people have plans for vacation. Your Resident Photographer recently returned from her own vacation and encourages others to seek out locations that are far enough away to feel like you’ve actually gone somewhere, but not so far that you spend most of your time driving to your destination.

This year we decided to make a loop with the farthest point being Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. We had a lovely stopover in Sacramento and stayed in a motel which backed up on the American River Trail. This part of the trail runs along the Sacramento River before taking a turn at the fork of the American River. After dinner, we took a stroll down to the river and noticed quite a few fishermen in little boats. It was very serene for being smack in the middle of the capital of California.

We proceeded to Klamath Falls, Oregon, where we stayed a couple of nights and went to visit Crater Lake National Park. Personally, I believe this park should be on everyone’s bucket list. Access to beautiful views of the lake are easily reached from the parking lot and there are two roads that circumnavigate the lake itself. Unfortunately, the East Rim Road was still closed because of snow. Often the rim roads are closed until June, so we were lucky that the West Rim was open.

After visiting Crater Lake we headed back into California and spent one night in South Lake Tahoe. This town has a split personality because the border between California and Nevada runs through it. The Nevada side has large casinos and the California side has numerous resorts and quaint lodges to stay in. Lake Tahoe itself, though, has some beautiful views and is definitely worth a visit.

Our next stop was Mammoth Lakes, one of my favorite spots. We decided to take it easy and just do a tour of the actual lakes themselves. Anybody interested in visiting the lakes will find them quite accessible. They were a bit on the low side because of the drought but were still quite beautiful.

On our way back home, we stopped in Red Rock Canyon State Park. This is one of those unusual spots which has formations right off the highway. I would highly recommend this park for an extended day trip. You can make it as easy or as difficult as you like, depending on the kind of experience you are looking for.

Whether you decide to travel across the country or just across county lines, E.P. Foster Library has travel books to help you plan your trip. There are also eBooks and eAudiobooks available as part of our online research tools. Bon Voyage!

 

Resident Photographer Aleta A. Rodriguez

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