All posts by Emily Barney

I am the Tech Training and Marketing Librarian at Chicago-Kent Law Library. My job is to make technology easy for people to use. I enjoy learning how to make people's lives easier with the tools we have to offer and new ones we're discovering all the time.

Wedding Quilt & Speech

My brother Ben married a wonderful person  a couple weeks ago (see wedding site)  providing me with a new sister as a great belated birthday present. Because clearly this is all about me.  😉

My other sister (oh, that’s fun to say) and I have been working on a wedding gift for them for some time. With all the other travels and busyness in our lives lately it ended up being a bit belated too. But they just had their local church reception here after the out-of-state wedding and their honeymoon so at least it fit into the last possible moment of wedding celebrations.

Here are a few photos of the process and the speech I gave at Ben’s church – I don’t normally get super emotional and weepy, but I’ll admit this had that effect on me. Continue reading Wedding Quilt & Speech


Villainous Puppetry Part 3: Maleficent

After Snape & Voldie and Loki, it seemed time to introduce a few feminine wiles to the motely crew that hangs out on Kim’s couch. Another fabulous horned anti-hero seemed appropriate. The only question was whether to seek inspiration in Angelina Jolie or the original animated version. My sister was designated Chief Pinner and found many relevant Maleficent References. I ended up combining the Jolie horns with the animated profile. Collecting resources involved googling words I never thought I’d need, like “plushie breast pattern” and “plushie horn pattern”- Safe Filter ON! Continue reading Villainous Puppetry Part 3: Maleficent

Villainous Puppetry, Part 2: Loki, Prince of Asgard

This one began with a link (/broad hint) for this felt plushie but I figured for the future King of Midgard I could do more. Also, Kim’s Pintrest made researching the costume details quite delightful: All that Hiddles is Gold.

Unlike Snape and Voldie, Puppet Loki did not have a pre-existing set of adventures on YouTube. But now that he exists in the world, you can follow his continuing adventures online. Here are his public channels:

Continue reading Villainous Puppetry, Part 2: Loki, Prince of Asgard

Villainous Puppetry, Part 1: Mustache Buddies

The Greeks and Romans ascribed great powers to the muses but somehow never got around to naming a muse of puppetry and internet fanart. So I’ll just nominate my friend Kimberly K.

This system is working for me, anyway. It doesn’t hurt that we normally spend at least 40 hours a week together and watch/talk about all the same geeky stuff. And she drops some pretty broad hints, like “I would love it if someone made me those Snape and Voldemort puppets from Potter Puppet Pals.” Continue reading Villainous Puppetry, Part 1: Mustache Buddies

Sister, Sister

The first time I heard my sister’s voice, I remember feeling like a failure. It wasn’t really my fault – my parents lied to me and my brothers. They said that if we would just keep it down, we wouldn’t teach the new baby to cry so much. Then when they called to say I had a sister I could hear her crying. Obviously something went wrong.

Then I met her. That was also a bit of a disappointment, too, but only because she turned out to be a baby. I was seven and I wanted a sister to play with. Continue reading Sister, Sister

ART: The (mostly) Affable Ladies of the Boston MFA

Good portraits are ineffable – they capture not just a likeness, but an expression, a gesture, some small glimpse of personality. In the faces below I see boldness, thoughtfulness, crotchety sarcasm and flirtatious friendliness. Some seem amused, others sad – a few merely private, content to keep their own counsel.

These ladies drew my attention in my recent visit to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, made me wish I could gather them together in one room (or hallway, à la Hogwarts?) where they could converse together while I eavesdrop  to see how well they match up to my perceptions.

Most seem like they would enjoy each other’s company, or at least be quite capable of making some incisive observations on the parade of visitors that come before them each day.

What would you have them thinking or saying? Continue reading ART: The (mostly) Affable Ladies of the Boston MFA

Places: Food Tourism & Street Markets

Obviously I like food. My other blog is titled “the kitchen tourist” so it’s not at all surprising that food factors into my travel plans pretty importantly too. Give me a huge variety of food in one place, full of colorful things  to look at and sample and photograph, and I’ll happily wander around for hours. Continue reading Places: Food Tourism & Street Markets