Map Out the Library

If you’re looking for something interesting to do with the kids on a rainy afternoon, or weekend, why not stop by the library and “map it out”!

Mapping is a fun tool for creative–and busy–kids. It involves planning, imagination, and nothing more than a piece of paper and pencil. The map doesn’t have to be to scale…it doesn’t even have to be straight! It just has to fill up space on the page, and allow the mapper to fill it in.

What is mapping?

Mapping is simply drawing a space, and filling in everything that is already there. Mapping a library (or even a section of it), will encourage your child to walk around the look at what is physically in the space. They might have to ask questions to find out what’s behind a door, or look at an area they’ve never been in before. Discoveries can lead to all kinds of interesting things, such as new books, figuring out how a library works, and who works at the library.

What do we do next?

Once your child has discovered and labeled all of the spaces on their map, you could always get them to dream. Can they think of something interesting to put into a free area? Would they do something different if they were designing the library? How could they improve a space that they already use, such as a children’s area? All of these questions can lead to more questions, of course, but also some great brainstorming. It will force your child to see a familiar space in a new way, and maybe even get them problem solving. And once they’ve mapped the library, they can do other places, such as your home, a local museum, or even their school.

If you could re-design any space you regularly visit, what would it be?

Create That!

If you’re a creative person, you might have noticed we have a lot of great new books in the library that will give you a few ideas (and some patterns) to make that next ComicCon or event just a little more fun. If you sew, THE HERO’S CLOSET by Gillian Conahan has no shortage of great ideas for men, women, and children’s costumes that you can sew. She presents the ideas with great photos and (hopefully) straight forward patterns. Even if you don’t sew, some of the costumes are probably easily outsourced by a trip to your local thrift shop.

And if you want to get started on something for your littlest cutie, how about KNITTED ANIMAL NURSERY by Fiona Goble. The outfits are super adorable and will no doubt get a huge reaction from anyone who sees your baby in them. You don’t even need a holiday or event as an excuse for your baby to wear one!

We have these great new books and more available at the library. Stop in, check our new bin, or look at our library catalog for these and more. There’s something for everyone!

What Was That Art?

If you were a fan of 70’s sitcoms, you no doubt watched The Brady Bunch. The sprawling home featured in the show was interesting due to the number of people who lived there, and the fact that Mike Brady was an architect. But did you ever notice the decor, in particular, the wall art? Blogger Kirk Demarais sure did.

In a truly informative and detailed post, Demarais goes through the Brady household room by room, and analyzes each sculpture, painting, and work of art he can find. Not only does he try to figure out the name of the piece, but he tracks down similar art, and does a small profile on each artist he identifies.

Overall, it seems that the artwork was more about blending into the set, to allow the actors to stand out, rather than the background. But the set designers got it right–the pieces were interesting enough for a modern, fashionable family of the time, and bland enough for the rest of us not to notice.

Take your time reading through the post. You’ll probably recognize a few things you never even realized you had noticed before.

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!