Master the Vignette

uz9unioepmw-alejandro-escamillaIf you’ve mastered the flat lay in your Instagram photos, now is the time to start thinking about your home as a three-dimensional version of the perfect photo. Vignettes are a great way to provide visual interest in a small space, or a focal point in a room. All you need are some interesting objects, and little bit of patience.

I came across a great post by the people at Design Sponge called “10 Ideas for Creating a Beautiful Vignette”, so you know they understand design. While your Christmas decorations are probably overtaking the room right now, once everything is away after the holidays, you’ll probably be noticing how empty things look. Why not take a few minutes while the palette still looks bare, and make an interesting vignette or two in one of your rooms. Turn over a new leaf for 2017!

Lego for Adults? Of course!

Since tomorrow is one of our PA Day Lego Drop-Ins, I’ve been thinking about Lego today. Wasn’t it a fun surprise to come across this book which is new at our library—aimed entirely at adults who still love Lego, but want to make more “mature” designs.

Lego Crafts for adultsGEEKY LEGO CRAFTS: 21 FUN AND QUIRKY PROJECTS by David Scarfe, is a fun-filled book that has 21 challenging projects for adults. Sometimes, they’re just for fun, and other times, they actually make something practical. But guaranteed, you’ll be fighting over Lego blocks with your kids!

You can place a hold on this book using your library card and PIN on our website!

That’s a Real Job?

28119463Toronto artist Danielle Meder has a job that many of us probably did not even know existed: she attends fashion shows and draws the clothes. Danielle is a Fashion Illustrator.

While fashion illustrators have been around for a while, they often do very different things. Sometimes, they’ll draw clothes from a live event, such as the fashion shows during New York Fashion Week, or maybe they’ll work with a client to design an outfit to take to a seamstress. Some sell their work to galleries, and others are use their work to teach others.

Danielle tells her story that begins in smalltown rural Ontario, and ends up with her new book called DRAW FASHION NOW, in an interesting interview over on Yes and Yes.

While some of her life is spent at the glamorous fashion shows, a lot more of it is quiet and detailed and solitary. Her new book explains the techniques used in fashion illustration, and how you can get started doing the same thing. While the drawings are simple and gorgeous, I am sure the act of creating something along those lines is not quite as easy as it looks. There is much more involved than just being able to draw a reasonably good image of a model in an outfit–as Meder explains, she knows a lot about fabrics, and how clothes are put together, which helps her to translate what she sees onto the page.

It’s a fascinating read, and I’m sure the book would also be a great gift for anyone who might be working toward a career in the visual arts, and especially for someone who loves clothes. Now, sit down and try to draw what you’re wearing right now….it’s not easy at all!

Finding Your Creative Self

Early in 2016, we offered up a brand new course as part of our “Lifelong Learning Series” at the library called “Finding Your Creative Self”. We’re happy to announce that we’re going to be offering another six-week session this fall, to a brand new group of patrons!

Find your(3)This fun and inspiring class is for adults who are looking for ways to get re-inspired, to find like-minded people who also want to live a creative life, and find joy in creating again. It is for writers, knitters, painters, yoga-enthusiasts, moustache-twirlers….anyone who does something creative in their lives, but has been feeling less than enthusiastic about it lately. Each session will focus on a new idea, and will include in-class exercises, as well as work to take home to build on the ideas from each week. But this isn’t some boring old class—we will do a creative activity each week, and spend a lot of time laughing and talking.

The course is based on a number of popular creativity books, such as Julia Cameron’s THE ARTIST’S WAY, Elizabeth Gilbert’s BIG MAGIC and THE YEAR OF YES by popular TV writer/producer Shonda Rhimes, and will have you digging deep and searching for the fun you once had.

“Finding Your Creative Self” begins on Tuesday, September 20th and runs through October 25th, from 1-3pm, but there will be a class-limit, so be sure to register early. This was such a popular course last time, we had a huge waiting list, and we don’t want  anyone to be disappointed!

Registration begins today, so call us at 257-2702 for more information or to register, or drop by the library to sign up. We want you to feel inspired again about doing those creative things you used to love to do! What have you got to lose?

Creativity is Alive and Well at the Library

As part of our “Lifelong Learning” series at the library, we have been running a six-week course entitled, “Find Your Creative Self”. It rose out of the interest people have in creativity, and the lack of inspiration we sometimes feel when it comes to making things. After the flood of interest, we thought maybe you’d like to know how things are going.

Most of the course is based around the ideas from two creativity-inspiring books. The first is Julia Cameron’s THE ARTIST’S WAY, and the second is Elizabeth Gilbert’s BIG MAGIC.

waymagicBoth books cover many of the same topics, from identifying the fears that hold us back, to learning to respect and love the act of creating, to championing ourselves when we don’t often feel like we can. But each book takes a different approach–one quite rigid with meaningful exercises and soul-searching, and one more inspiration-based–and we decided to combine the ideas to appeal to a variety of people.

Each week, we do a creativity activity (or a “creactivity”, as I like to call it)–anything from drawing crazy pictures based on a single shape, to making art out of string cheese. Let me tell you, this past week was one of our best activities–where we performed a rousing rendition of “Swinging on a Star” using only found instruments, such as sponges, pool noodles, safety pins and thumbtacks. Bruce Springsteen—look out!

cheeseBut more importantly, the participants have really been making some progress in their creative lives. We’re discovering what’s been holding us back (lack of time!), ways in which we can open up our creative minds (try cleaning out a closet and getting rid of things you never use), and a greater sense of allowing ourselves to be creative. It’s been a struggle, and there have been some near-tears, but we’ve also done a lot of laughing and getting to know new friends and supporters.

Will everyone come out of this with a brand new hobby or career? Maybe not. But I know that most people are enjoying doing new things and trying the challenges they’re faced with each week as a means of exploring their abilities. After the end of the six weeks, we’ll do a little assessment, and see what we’ve learned and how we’ve grown, and hopefully, there will be progress made in the future as they go off and try to approach creativity in new ways. I think, if anything, we’ve all learned to be easier on ourselves. Being creative is supposed to be fun, not guilt-inducing, or self-esteem-crumbling.

Happy creating, everyone!

 

Decoration Inspiration!

For your Frivolous Friday post this week, I want to talk about decorating…specifically fireplace mantels. Since packing away all of my Christmas decorations for another year, my living room looks sadly bare. How is it that piling on greenery, sparkly lights, and tiny ornaments can make a room look so finished? And yet, even thinking of doing that throughout the year would seem overdone. It’s my fireplace mantel that seems to make me stop and stare as I try to figure out new and interesting ways to spruce up the space after the holidays.

20141111_111007As you can see….not the most exciting option. But I’m working on it.

So, when I ran across this inspiring post about ways to decorate your mantel, it got me thinking. Now, I’m opening closets, looking on shelves, and searching out those fun items we probably have lying around doing nothing, in order to make our living room centerpiece more of a conversation. Checks and Spots has great ideas for year-round amazing. Now, we won’t have to wait another 11 months to have fun.

What do you have on your fireplace mantel?

Starbucks + Christmas – Christmas = ???

10890728_1234187126596633_2133648073_nBy now, you’ve probably all heard the crazy argument going around the internet about Starbucks and their “plain” holiday cups this year. If you haven’t, you’re lucky. But just to summarize, when Starbucks rolled out their annual red cups November 1st, a former pastor in the US took offense to the fact that they were so plain, and free of all Christmas references, which he took to mean that Starbucks hates Christians, of course.

Now, as far as anyone can tell, holiday references in Starbucks’ previous red cups were only things like ornaments, or reindeer….and not really any religious references. This year, they kept the cups clean—only a graduated ombre to the deep red—to “usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories”, claims Starbucks President Jeffrey Fields. So why the pastor chose to take this fight to such an extreme level (and really, it has nothing much to do with being Christian and celebrating Christmas at all), leaves everyone stumped. He started up a campaign online to get people to say their name was Merry Christmas, so that the Starbucks employees would have to write that on the cups, and therefore, keep the Christmas at Starbucks, as well as fight the fight using the hashtag #MerryChristmasStarbucks.

What?

Red cups, blue cups, reindeer or no deer….what does it matter? Coffee and books go together,and we’re fans of Starbucks here at the library. Does anyone really passionately care what the design is on the cup? Unless you’re the one who designed it, I don’t think so.

I’m pretty sure this former pastor, Joshua Feuerstein, who now calls himself a “social media personality”, just needs to chill out, and maybe take up adult colouring as a form of relaxation.

Just keep the red pencils away from him.

(Speaking of adult colouring, join us at the library on Wednesday, November 25th at 6:30pm for some fun zen colouring. There may even be Christmas things to colour!)