Remembering the Lost


Riding the same bus route every day I notice things that change on the streets. A couple weeks ago four separate memorials appeared along Burleigh within only a few blocks. This is a tough part of town and I’ve seen these makeshift sites from time to time, but never four in one week. Over the Easter weekend there were seven shootings in Milwaukee, five of them within two hours on Saturday, April 4.

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Aaron M. Harmon, Sr., 24th and Burleigh.

Aaron got into an argument with Jeremy Green in a bar on 52nd and Hampton. They each went to their cars and got weapons and continued the argument outside the bar. They fired on each other and both died. Aaron was 24. Jeremy was 33.

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“Lee”, 27th and Burleigh.

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“Money Movin Moo”, 28th and Burleigh.

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No name, 32nd and Burleigh.

Thanks to Joel, who drove me to see these more closely. May they truly rest in peace.

Walking Around Today


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This little guy/gal was sitting on bright yellow plastic “bumper” tubing along the UW-Milwaukee Panther playing field fence.

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Bus shelter on the corner of Maryland and Locust. 😛

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This is one of my friendly neighbors and her Great Pyrenees. “Annie” is her fifth GP and she adores the breed, though readily admits that they are a lot of work, they shed a lot, and they aren’t for everyone. Annie is one gorgeous beast!

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The city is about to dig up some roads near my house and there are piles of bright aqua-colored pipes lying at the ready. This shot was a nice idea, but my phone didn’t quite get where to focus and I didn’t stop to check before walking on. I’ll have to try again. 🙂

Vivian Maier, Street Photographer


Documentary Film: Finding Vivian Maier

This intriguing documentary shuttles from New York to France to Chicago as it traces the life story of the late Vivian Maier, a career nanny whose previously unknown cache of 100,000 photographs has earned her a posthumous reputation as one of America’s most accomplished and insightful street photographers.

The documentary will be shown at the Oriental Theater on Milwaukee’s east side on Friday, May 2.

It Was the Hat That Got Me


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I feel extremely uncomfortable taking photos of people with a cell phone on the bus, but this preacher’s hat got me. It was a straw hat with religious words and exclamations written all over it in marker and a row of cheap gold Mardi Gras beads around the crown. I waited until after he sermonized the driver and got off the bus, bible in hand, to take a shot. I didn’t do so well,  and didn’t capture the greatness of that hat, but a quick trip through a fun filter saved the image.

Stitches Midwest, Schaumburg, IL


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Stitches Midwest is a giant fiber conference where one can take classes and workshops on various fiber techniques. In the market area are lots of knitting and crocheting, spinning and weaving supplies and, of course, gobs of gorgeous yarn are for sale.

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These gorgeous babies were $80-something a skein. I took a photo instead of making a purchase.

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These braids are hand-dyed rovings, or unspun wool or other fiber, that can be spun alone or in conjunction with other fibers to make yarn, or used for needle felting projects. Crafty people will have other uses as well, but those are the most popular uses.

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You can see the beautiful drop spindles for hand-spinning on the table in the background. I want to try that some day in my spare time, if I ever find any . . .

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Many vendors displayed finished items featuring their yarns. Buy the yarn and get a free pattern! Bargain! The various patterns can require several skeins of yarn and can cost upwards of several hundred dollars, but you do get to make the garment yourself. Bonus! Did I mention the pattern is free when you purchase the yarn?

Individual patterns typically range about $3-$15 or you can go online to the best knitting website/community ever, Ravelry.com, where you can sign up for a free user account and choose from thousands of patterns, tips, and forums. You won’t (usually) find patterns that are for sale at the fiber show here, but there are so many to choose from that are free. You can pretty much find a pattern (or 100) for whatever your heart desires, and loads of things that you never imagined you or anyone would desire. Fido need new knitted pajamas?

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This vendor was demonstrating how to use a spinning wheel, and getting more product ready to sell at the same time.

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So many attendees were wearing their own lovely creations. Here you can see vendor samples on display and one lovely knitted cardigan sported by a shopper.

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Demonstrations going on daily! And here is a spotting of the rare male fiber artist. We know they’re out there, but they are no where as numerous as the ladies. I only saw a few men and can’t even say for certain if they were into fiber or into the ladies . . .

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Extreme Stash display in the lobby.

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Hand-dyed hanks of yarn, ready to be wound into balls for your next project.

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Knit artwork – 3-D! I think she fell asleep knitting in her underwear . . . haven’t we all?

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Lots of pattern and how-to books for sale. Among my favorites: Literary Knits. As a librarian, there are many similarities between library conferences and knitting conferences. One obvious one is BOOKS and a love for them.

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Specialty buttons – gorgeous.

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The color displays made me want to swoon at times . . .

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Many vendors were selling project bags for carrying around your stash and needles, etc. I didn’t take obvious photos of these because I didn’t want to make vendors feel uncomfortable or think I was trying to steal their ideas. Sort of makes me uncomfortable to take those photos too. I did find an abso-feck-a-lutely to die for gorgeous teal and purple handcrafted knitting bag that went for upwards of $400. Did I mention the patterns are free with the purchase of yarn? Unfortunately that didn’t apply to this bag or it would have been an absolute steal.

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I was hoping and praying there would not be any combinations of two of my favorite things, knitting and schnauzers, but of course there were these sock knitting blockers. You get your final project damp and then stretch it out to a proper finished size to let it dry. I love to knit socks. I love my two miniature schnauzers. I took a deep breath and kept walking after snapping this shot. I am so strong!

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These needles are a size 50. I tried them out knitting on this practice garment the woman in black was making after the seated lady had her turn. There are five strands of different yarns together on the needles. It felt different from my easy size 6 needles I used in the car on the ride down to the conference, but not too bad. The hardest part was getting all five yarns where they were supposed to go.

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Piles and piles and piles of gorgeous fiber. It was really a sensory overload of the most pleasant sort.

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Wool carder in the back right and a couple small looms for sale.

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Beads of all shapes and sizes for embellishment. Many people string them onto yarn and knit or crochet with them, periodically lifting a bead up and into the pattern, or spinning them along with fiber into yarn.

Local Traveling Billboard From Hell


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This guy drives around campus and through downtown Milwaukee in his old station wagon covered with religious propaganda. There are baby dolls on the roof that seem to tie in with his anti-abortion messages that can be found pasted on the vehicle and sometimes heard from his outside-mounted speaker system. He blares hate speech and assorted far right diatribes as he cruises slowly down the road. He was doing this 30 years ago when I first arrived at UWM as a freshman. Still going strong. I wonder if that’s the same station wagon?