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I got inspired to make a quick wreath after reading this blog post over on decor8 the other day.
I’d been planning to do something for our front door since our old wreath was so decrepit, but I hadn’t gotten around to it. I’d never considered using live greenery since the only ones I’d ever seen looked like they’d take a master’s degree in wreath artistry and a few months to create. Hello, Martha Stewart!
But the blog post made me see how pretty a quick, natural wreath could be, and I realized we had plenty of greenery in the back yard. I bought a form at Michael’s (about $4) and clipped various bushes: magnolia, Yaupon holly, rosemary, and wax myrtle.
Sadly, the regular floral wire was out at Michael’s, so I bought this stuff that’s kind of like a never-ending green twist tie. It’s not so bad. And I basically twist-tied the greenery on in a haphazard, overlapping circle. It took me about half an hour. The best part was not having to follow any directions.
Personally, I’m kind of smitten with its exuberant cowlicks. I would totally do this again. What about you? Have you made a wreath of your own?
In other news, with this being the last day of school for the year, I’m winding down my latest draft of my young adult novel and am readying it to send to a reader/ writer/ friend. Scary and exciting at the same time.
Hopefully I’ll be around a little bit over the break, but if not, Happy Holidays to you!
and p.s. We’ve been watching this hilarious show called Lilyhammer. It’s about an American mafioso-turned-informant who chooses Norway as his relocation destination. All kinds of funny cross-cultural issues come up. It stars Steven Van Zandt, of Sopranos and E-Street Band fame. You can find it on Netflix.
By: Jerry Beck,
Blog: Cartoon Brew
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Artist of the Day
, Music Videos
, Daren Rabinovitch
, Encyclopedia Pictura
, Grizzly Bear
, Isaiah Saxon
, Open Source Ecology
, Sean Hellfritsch
, Trout Gulch
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Encyclopedia Pictura is the creative association of Isaiah Saxon, Sean Hellfritsch and Daren Rabinovitch that has been producing striking, playful work since its inception. One of their early shorts, “Grow,” shows off the power of a simple, clever idea executed well:
The team has produced several music videos including work for Björk and Grizzly Bear. Here are a few stills from Grizzly Bear’s “Knife” video, which features their multimedia, practical/digital effects combination approach to direction:
There is a load of interesting behind the scenes footage and photos also on their website, such as this video:
Their claim of working in “film, art, game design, community building, and agriculture” is not a bit of bombast. From their about page:
From 2008-2011, EP led an effort to build a unique hillside neighborhood and farm called Trout Gulch. They lived and worked there along with 15 others. In 2012, they co-founded DIY in San Francisco, with Vimeo co-founder Zach Klein and OmniCorp Detroit co-founder Andrew Sliwinski. Saxon also volunteers as Media Advisor to Open Source Ecology.
They are passionate about gardening, farming, construction, villages, augmented reality, science visualization, social ecology, technological empowerment, adventure, and country living.
DIY is both a feature film in development as well as more recently a new and growing online community that encourages young people to become “Makers” and share their work, gaining confidence in their creativity and earning digital badges for their profile as they go. DIY meets kids where they already are, on connected devices, and encourages their natural creativity while learning real-world, off and online skills. The DIY “anthem”:
The Do It Yourself/Maker attitude is perhaps the most valuable thing that is being nourished as young people challenge themselves to new experiences inspired by the site.
When a person grows up understanding that they can create and mold the media and environment around them, they don’t have to resign to an existence of passively consuming at the corporate trough. An individual’s confidence in their own creativity is an essential survival skill for the future.
The Lee & Low office is closed today because of the storm, and our thoughts are with everyone affected by Sandy and the rain, wind, and flooding that she brought with her.
Drummer Boy of John John illustrator Frané Lessac has shared instructions on how to make masks for Halloween and Carnival, but they work just as well as a Hurricane craft for those still cooped up and looking for something to do, as most things can be found around the house or replaced easily with household items.
Enjoy, and stay safe and dry!
Crayons or colored pencils
12” elastic cord
colorful bits and bobs (beads, feathers, glitter)
1. Print off the mask or follow the simple outline and draw your own:
2. Cut almond shapes out for the eyes. You can ask an adult to help.
3. Poke 2 tiny holes on either side of the mask ½” from the sides.
4. Tie a knot on one end of the elastic and thread though. Then thread through the other side and knot.
5. Color the mask with bright crayons or pencils. (For inspiration, look at the Carnival masks in The Drummer Boy of John John)
6. Glue on the colorful bits and bobs.
7. Let dry.
8. Jump up and paaaarrrttiee !!!
Filed under: Activities
, Curriculum Corner
, Drummer Boy of John John
, frané lessac
It's a bit like a busman's holiday being a writer. I mean, how many other professions actually continue to do their job after hours, just for fun?
I don't know about you, but I seem to spend my days in front of the computer - or writing - or reading, it's how I earn a crust. So when it's time to put my feet up, or have a day off, what do I usually find myself doing? Yep, you've got it – sitting in front of the computer - or writing - or reading!
I mean, does a painter and decorator dash home after a day of painting and decorating to splash more paint on his walls? I don't think so! Or does a motor mechanic swop work boots for slippers and then slide under the chassis of his car? Probably not – and certainly not by choice!
So how come writers get so absorbed in the whole world of writing and books that it takes over our lives. (Unless it's just me and I really need to get out more!)
It is nice though when you do find time to do something completely different like going out into the countryside on a warm sunny day and relaxing with a friend over a refreshing drink. Trying not, of course to chat about books and writing.
Then there's visiting the grandchildren – that's always a lovely thing to do. Oh! But what's their favourite pastime? You've got it – reading. So it's either Sam aged 2 perched on my lap while I read to him or Megan and Brennan aged 7 and 5 respectively reading to me. And what's the routine before bedtime – yup! They get a bedtime story each.
|Me and my tribe - not reading!|
I enjoy trying to keep fit and visit the gym whenever I can or just go for walks. But even before I set out I'm deciding what to think about during my walk or gym session. Exercising, I've found is the perfect opportunity to think up new plots or solve difficulties in something I'm working on. It's sometimes a bit annoying if you find you've arrived back home and you're only halfway through a particular chunk of dialogue though.
Bedtime is my reading for relaxation time, and two great books that I've just read one after the other were Stephen King's Under the Dome and 23.11.63 – which is based around Kennedy's assassination.
By: Emily Smith Pearce,
Blog: Emily Smith Pearce
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, Cal Patch
, pattern drafting
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This project looks simple, but it has taken me many months to complete. Okay, I have to admit, over a year, but I wasn’t working on it that whole time. I haven’t sewn much for myself in the last few years, mostly for my kids and our home. Part of that has been not wanting to spend so much time on something that might not fit me in the end. So when I heard about Cal Patch‘s book, Design-It-Yourself Clothes, I fantasized about making something to fit me perfectly.
I really like this book. The instructions are clear and written with a sense of humor. The projects are just the right speed for me——beyond beginner but simple enough not to be intimidating. But my favorite thing is that the book leaves lots of room for experimentation. So I like to flip through often and just dream about what I might create. For me, dreaming is more than half the fun.
That said, my first project doesn’t involve a lot of experimentation, besides the pattern drafting itself. It’s the first project in the book, with very little deviation besides the added waistband.
I crossed off a lot of firsts with this skirt. Besides my first self-drafted pattern, I also made my first muslin (trial run of the pattern in a cheap fabric), sewed my first invisible zipper, and used my first French seam. I now realize flat-felled seams would be better here, but oh well.
I’m not completely crazy about the skirt. There are a lot of flaws you can’t necessarily see here, and although the fabric is lovely and soft, I’m not sure what to wear it with. Just having made it feels like a big accomplishment, though.
Since I had plenty of fabric left over, I offered to make a skirt for my daughter, too (just a simple gathered rectangle). If you know me well, you know I’m really not a matchy-matchy type. Our bridesmaids didn’t even match. But my Little Miss loves matching, so she was totally hip to it, especially when I offered to add a floral strip at the bottom.
I love her styling choices here. She’s a bold little fashionista. I feel a mother-daughter matching day coming on. Oh, the things we do for our kids!
3 Comments on The Great Pattern-Drafting Experiment, last added: 5/19/2011
I finally took some time to personalize the screensavers on my Kindle 3, thinking it would be a quick hour or less. And indeed, the process of jailbreaking a Kindle and hacking it to load your own screensavers is drop dead simple. That part really didn’t take any time at all.
The hard part is more deciding what pictures you want to see as a screensaver every day, a task that ended up taking me all afternoon. I first got caught up thumbing through the free downloads on the Kindle Wallpapers Tumblr, which is fascinating on its own.
Then I decided to add a few of my own pictures, so I found a half dozen of my favorites, converted them to black and white, and shrunk them down to 600 x 800.
When I posted on Facebook about what I was doing, someone lamented that she’d recently left her Kindle on a plane, which made me flash back to something I read several years ago. I can’t find a reference to it right now (little help?), but I remember reading about a guy who took pictures of himself and text on signs about how to return the camera if someone found it. He then kept those picture at the beginning of his camera’s memory card in case someone ever found the camera and looked through the photos.
I’ve always thought that was brilliant, so I figured I’d try it with my Kindle. I took a picture, added some text, and then loaded it as a screensaver.
Granted, it’s unlikely that this particular image will be displaying if I lose my Kindle, but my hope is that whoever finds it will be interested enough in the screensaver that is showing to scroll through them. I know it’s a long shot, but it was also something fun to do.
Which then got me thinking about libraries. Are there any libraries customizing the screensavers on their Kindles? As a librarian, I came across some free, library-related screensavers, so I put a few of them on my own device. If you, too, want some library-themed screensavers, here are the ones I’ve found so far:
Do you know of other images we could use to build a list for libraries and librarians?
3 Comments on Library-related Kindle Screensavers, last added: 5/17/2011