Paper Marbling Classes

This has been an ongoing passion of mine for quite a while now. I rarely get the time to marble the way I would like to because of a full-time job and seven-year-old, but I really need it and so somehow manage to fit it in. My attempts range from slap-dash to methodical depending on the circumstance. In the end though, it doesn’t really matter because they look beautiful (to me) and this is why my kitchen floor is speckled with paint.

You can marble the surface of many things: paper, wood, glass, vinyl records, leaves, shoes, clay pots, scarves… The only thing that may have to change is the type of paint and  how you would need to prep the surface. Then there is practice – lots of it.

Marbled paper fan

What can you do with all your marbled papers?

I’ll be teaching a couple of classes this summer on marbling.

The adult marbling class will be on Thursday, June 22nd at 6:15 p.m. We’ll be using acrylic paints. The first 30 minutes we talk about the process, then do a few demonstrations and then everyone gets to marbling. You will probably be able to do 3-4 marbled papers in that time that you can bring home.

There’s a Suminagashi marbling class on Tuesday, June 13th at 2:30 p.m.  Suminagashi is a cheaper/easier method of marbling that takes less setup time and is pretty straightforward. The colors are not as brilliant as with acrylic, but if used with patience and the right paper, the end result can be quite beautiful. You also need a steady hand to hold the brush and just barely touch the surface. And no sneezing. This is very important as it will cause your pattern to move (joking, but serious).


Marbling is meditative; watching paint float on the surface and then manipulating it is wonderful fun. I think that is more satisfying than laying the paper on the surface, but that’s another surprise: seeing what you get.

Registration is required – so I know how much supplies to bring (there’s a lot of supplies) – but anyone may come in and watch! Please remember to wear your play clothes.

Suminagashi Marbling, for ages 7+

When: June 13th 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

Where: Emily Fowler Library

Paper Marbling Class for adults, ages 16+

When: June 22, 6:15 p.m-8:30 p.m.

Where: Emily Fowler Library

~~Leslie Couture, Special Collections

This and That at North Branch Library

Had a baby?  Need help with breastfeeding?  The Breastfeeding Support Group meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m. The group is led by Catharine DeMore, a Certified Lactation Educator Counselor and Susan MacKenzie, IBCLC, RN, CPN, RLC, who will guide you through the breastfeeding process and will answer any questions you may have.  Different topics are discussed at each meeting. Mothers are encouraged to breastfeed during the hour.  Siblings are always welcome.

Breastfeeding Symbol

Are you into Crafts?  Finish It Friday is a group of crafters that meeting at North Branch Library on Friday mornings from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.  This is a come and go program. Crafters bring the project they are working on, whether it is a fiber craft, needlework, jewelry making, beadwork, etc. and visit with each other, share tips and experiences, and show their finished project.  Adults of all ages are welcome.  The group meets under the Forge neon sign.  Hope to see you there!

NB_Finish It Fridays_4_21_17 photo 1

Did you know that the North Branch Library had a Tissue-Dyeing Silk Scarves program?  Yes, you can use a special tissue to dye silk scarves.  The library provides the materials.  Mary Cresson led the class and those attending created beautiful scarves.  Many attending had the intention of giving the scarves away as gifts, but after seeing the results decided to keep them for themselves.  Here are some of the scarves creations:

12-9-2016 NB Tissue Dyeing 1   12-9-2016 NB Tissue Dyeing 2   12-9-2016 NB Tissue Dyeing 3   12-9-2016 NB Tissue Dyeing 5   12-9-2016 NB Tissue Dyeing 8

Carmen Grant
North Branch

In The Weeds, 5.9.17: Victoria Ebbels

In the early 1920’s, a young New York-trained artist moved to Denton to teach at the College of Industrial Arts, now known as TWU, and apparently became an assistant professor in Fine Arts. There is a bit of a mystery here, something in which we like to delve here at “In The Weeds”. Nowhere is she mentioned in the Daedalian yearbooks from 1921-1923. She is however listed as a faculty member from those school years in the College Bulletin, Historical Sketch of TSCW, The First Thirty Three Years 1903-1936 by E.V. White, Dean of the College. Why wasn’t she listed as an Assistant Professor in two editions of the yearbook?

Searching the 1923 Denton City Directory, she is found living at 1213 Carrier Street, which real Denton History geeks will recognize as the former name of the current Austin Street. Here is a photo of the house that occupies that address but we are not sure of its date of construction:

Ebbels 095

Interestingly, in the 1921 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map for Denton, the lot for that address appears to be empty: dentonjune1921sheet15. Was the house pictured above brand new when she lived there?

Here is the page from the City Directory with another mystery:


Who is “Grace Ebbels” also living at this address? According to the 1920 census, she was Victoria’s mother.

Ms. Ebbels went on to have a fairly high profile career in art under the professional name of “Victoria Hutson Huntley” with her work in the collections of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Metropolitan Museum in New York, The Chicago Art Institute, etc.  The Smithsonian American Art Museum website has some examples of her work. She went on to have a long career and passed in 1971.

Written by Chuck Voellinger. Questions and comments can be directed to




Fitter Happier

In 1997, the alternative rock band Radiohead released their third studio album OK Computer produced by Nigel Godrich which was an instant classic to most music critics. Ok Computer, a large departure sonically and in subject matter from Radiohead’s previous two albums, at times feels like Noam Chomsky who wrote the lyrics rather than lyricist Thom Yorke. OK Computer takes place in a dystopian society in what could be considered the third millennium where consumerism and technology are at its height and human psyche at a low. Radiohead creates the atmosphere of OK Computer with synthesizers and overdriven guitars and influences artists like DJ Shadow and Miles Davis. Another interesting aspect of OK Computer is that Radiohead put out ads in newspapers and television stations with an image stating lyrics from the song Fitter Happier. I have to admit I was about fifteen years late in discovering OK Computer, but once I heard it, it was an album that influenced me greatly and has become one of my favorite records. Twenty years after its initial release, it sounds like it was recorded yesterday.

OK Computer   Welcome to the Machine   Fitter Happier

Abdon Gonzalez
Emily Fowler

Reading Without Walls

What are you reading? I usually prefer my fiction books to be about the familiar–usually finding books where the protagonist is a thirty-something white female.  It’s not that I don’t like reading fiction stories featuring other protagonists, it’s that these books are easy to find.

According to the 2015 study by Cooperative Children’s Book Center, there is not enough diversity in children’s picture books.  In 2015, almost 75% of the books published featured a white character, while 12.5% featured characters that were animals or trucks.  More books with animal characters were published than ones featuring African Americans.  More books with animal characters were published than ones featuring Asian Pacific Americans.  More books with animal characters were published than ones featuring Latinos.  More books with animal characters were published than ones featuring American Indians.

Why is diversity in books so important? People want to read about the familiar.  It’s easy for a white child to find a book featuring a main character that looks like them, but not as easy for other children.  Children who see themselves reflected back in literature will make more connections with reading and will generally foster a more positive experience with reading.[i]  Diverse books are more than just books featuring a character of a different race than the reader.  Diversity in books also includes featuring characters of a different religion, gender, sexual orientation, ability, cultural background, or socio-economic status.

While researching the lack of diversity in children’s books, I came across the Reading Without Walls Challenge (  This challenge helps promote diversity in what we read.

1:  Read a book about a character who doesn’t look like you or live like you
2:  Read a book about a topic you don’t know much about
3:  Read a book in a format that you don’t normally read for fun (it could be a chapter book, picture book, graphic novel, a book in verse, an e-book)

If you are interested in ways to promote inclusion of diverse characters in books, check out We Need Diverse Books (, whose mission is to advocate for changes in the publishing industry to produce books that reflect ALL people.

Recently, 11-year old Marley Dias, made it her mission to promote diversity in books. Marley was frustrated that she could only find books about white boys and dogs.   Her goal was to collect 1000 books about black girls.  Marley launched #1000BlackGirlBooks—a large book drive to collect those books.  She met and exceed her goal, and was able to donate these books to a local school.[ii]

What new and exciting things will you read?





Screen Free Week May 1-7

Screen-Free Week May 1-7, 2017

As a parent, I am constantly working to make sure my child has the tools he needs to be successful.  Those tools include electronic gadgets from a home computer to an iPad to a smart phone.  These are all things my son uses for school work and other projects.  However, I was amazed at how quickly these tools became game devices and how all-consuming those games became.  All of the sudden, I was seeing the back of his head as he hunched over each device, sometimes playing games on two devices at once.  Maybe it’s time to turn off the electronics and take a break.  But how do I get my child to take a break and what can we do instead? Then I remembered Screen Free Week, May 1-7.

Screen Free Week ( is all about unplugging from digital entertainment and getting back out into the world.  Take time for free play, board games, daydreaming, exploring the outdoors, and reading a print book.

The library is great resource for unplugging.  We have comfortable seating and early literacy play areas.  We have programs for all ages where you can hear stories, be creative and learn new things. And of course, the library has some great books to read if you need something exciting to get your kids off those screens.  Some of my favorites include:

Picture Books

I Lost My Tooth in Africa by Penda Diakité

Dodsworth in Rome by Tim Egan

The Princess Knight by Cornelia Funke

Astronaut Handbook by Meghan McCarthy

Edward and the Pirates by David McPhail

Chapter Books

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins

The Watsons Go to Birmingham–1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

Princess in Black by Shannon Hale

Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver

Teen Books

Winterkill by Kate Boorman

Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson


Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca

Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands by Katherine Roy

Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh

We Will Not be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement that Defied Adolf Hitler by Russell Freedman

So, join the movement and unplug from electronics for Screen Free Week, May 1-7. Find life beyond the screen where you can interact in the real world and batteries are not needed. I know I am going to give it a try.

Stacey Irish-Keffer
Youth Services Librarian, North Branch

Denton: First You Have a Little and Then You Have a Lotta

I don’t feel serious at all, so in the spirit of April fun, here are some pages, some press clippings that appeared in the Denton Record-Chronicle from years past; they were pasted into a scrapbook and lived in the City Manager’s Office for decades. This was one of the ways City Hall used to keep track of City history: a designated person would read the paper every day, cut everything out, and affix the articles into the scrapbook using rubber cement. The Library inherited many of these scrapbooks some years ago and here they sit in the Special Collections Department which you are free to look at – if you ever have time to take a gander. I like their chronological format and the ease of the turning page which doesn’t require me to look very hard for what comes next.

And yes, the theme of this post does reflect a criminal nature. The one below is not quite of the Darwin Award caliber, but it seems to me that if you’re going to rob a bank, you shouldn’t wear a fake mustache (they always fall off).  Call it a portent, if you will. They also used a pillowcase, a favorite method of many a cartoon character, but a little bulky. I wonder it had flowers on it, the article does not mention that.

Has anyone taken statistics on the favorite wardrobe and accessories of robbers, I wonder?

Awesome headline #1: Shotgun Power Stops Drug Theft

I like this particular article not only because the person was stealing a television (which is no laughing matter as they used to weigh a ton) and carrying a pillowcase (!) filled with drugs, but because this phrase was used, “The potential power of a sawed-off shotgun prevailed this morning on a drug burglar.”

An Exciting Car Chase Through Denton:

Favorite phrase: “flushing two of the three from around a Coca-Cola machine.”

Cool Technology! With the increase in crime came the need for more modern technology – which Denton delivered:

I had no idea this kind of technology was available in 1970.


I’m ashamed to say that I have at times enjoyed the police blotter when the stories were funny. There is always the sobering human factor involved that makes it not-so-funny, although a good reporter can artfully soften the blow and make it more laughable.

Looking at 1970 made me wonder how much Denton has changed in terms of crime.  In 1968, Denton had a population of 39,846 and 970 criminal offenses. According to the Department of Public Safety’s website, Denton had 3,412 criminal offenses for the year 2015 and a population of 131,194.


~Leslie Couture, Special Collections Department