Latest at the Library

Do you want to learn a craft or art, but don’t feel inspired or know where to start? Or maybe you’re already a crafter or artist but would like to learn more and dig deeper into your passion. At the Kansas City Public Library, inspiration and guidance can be found in a wide and wonderful selection of titles about many arts and crafts!

In a series of articles, I will seek out some of the titles available in different arts and crafts, make suggestions on how to search for titles and other resources, and explore other ideas on using these resources – in general how to get creative about getting creative! And as I have experience in running a business making and selling my own crafts, I will explore the “getting down to business” side of crafting in an article of its own.

In this first article, I’m exploring a craft near and dear to my heart: jewelry design! I’ve been designing and making jewelry since the 1990s, and I frequently use Library resources to increase my skillset and keep inspired.  

If you are new to jewelry creation, one of the first things to think about is what sort of jewelry you want to make and the material and tools you’ll need to make it. Beading? Beadweaving? Gemstones? Wire wrapping? Metalsmithing? Vintage-inspired? What about making your own beads, or other components, in polymer clay, precious metal clay, glass, or crochet?

The practice of making New Year’s Resolutions dates back to the ancient Romans, who not only established January 1 as the first day of the year but also invented the South Beach Diet (just kidding). Despite the timeless allure of starting over, it can be hard to stick to those year-end promises. The Library has many free resources that just might help you carry your best intentions well into 2011.

We’ve arranged this post by topic, focusing on some of the most popular areas of self-improvement. But that doesn’t mean you can’t research other goals like, for instance, quitting smoking, giving to charity, learning a language, improving your grades, or getting to know local history. Basically, If you can dream it, we can hook you up with a book, magazine, database, video, audio book, or maybe even a free class. Just apply the research techniques outlined below to your subject of choice.

Now, onto the Resolutions!

Before the days of TV and radio, merchants caught customers' eyes with brightly printed, alluring advertising trade cards for all kinds of products in the new, manufacturing-driven economy. The trade card explosion of the late 1800s was a short-lived but significant phenomenon, and the Missouri Valley Room holds nearly 1,000 such artifacts, including more than a few that highlight that most wonderful time of the year for advertisers – the Christmas holidays.

In addition to providing a rich resource for researching the history of printing, advertising, medicine, and fashions in late 19th century culture, the Missouri Valley Room’s collection of advertising trade cards gives a glimpse into the history of early Kansas City companies. The Kansas City Public Library received a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant from the Missouri State Library to digitize these trade cards.

Read on for a few choice selections, and explore our digital collection to find more advertising trade cards from our city’s past.

Corle Cracker and Confectionery Company

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