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.


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!)

What is YOUR food?

food5.jpgWe all love food, but we all have our own favourites. Sure, there are many great cookbooks out there like the ones shown above, but what are the recipes you love the most? The ones you return to? The ones your Grandmother used to make? Instead of keeping millions of food-stained pieces of paper, why not put together a “Family Cookbook”, filled with the recipes that mean something to you and your loved ones, complete with stories and photos to accompany it!

What is a family cookbook?

A family cookbook is an ambitious undertaking. You’ll need at least a dozen recipes, and photos of the food once it is made. But if you’re looking for something unique and wonderful to give to special people in your life this holiday season, now is the time to start planning.

Why would anyone want to make a family cookbook?

It’s not simply about organizing your recipes…it’s a way to pass on favourites from generation to generation. And everyone has at least one wonderful cook in the family, so bring them in on it. They’ll be a big help!

How do you even begin?

First, gather up some recipes that you love. Ask family members for some of theirs, and talk to other family members about recipes they loved as children, and try to find similar recipes online.

Next, pick 10 – 12 favourites—–any more might be too ambitious for this project. Now, make sure the ingredients and directions are clear. Type out each recipe as its own word document and save.  You’ll need these later to upload to a book design program.

This is the hardest part. Ask someone who takes great photos to help. Check Instagram and Facebook for great food photos taken by your friends or family members at restaurants (everyone loves to take photos of their food, right?). You’ll need some good lighting, and a simple counter top. Now go and cook. Try to take the nicest photos of each dish that you can….make sure the plates are free of splatters, and that you take it from an angle that doesn’t look unappealing, or too shadowy.

Now all you have to do is upload everything to an online photo book design site, like Blurb, Shutterfly, or even your local Staples or Walmart. There are a variety of options and pricing you can choose from—just upload your photos and the word document recipes, and you can arrange everything the way you like it, including a cover!

This would be a great option for an “easy” gift for family. Print multiple copies and they’ll ship everything to you when it’s finished.

Give it a try…make your own Family Cookbook!

Little Free Library

I’ve posted before about the wonderful Little Free Library idea. These are wonderful handmade creations that people put up in their communities to encourage people to read books. The idea is to take a book, or leave a book in one of these great nooks…no need for a library card or worries about late fees.

The idea has really taken off, and we now have a super book available at the library called THE LITTLE FREE LIBRARY BOOK : TAKE A BOOK, RETURN A BOOK by Margret Aldrich. It has wonderful photos, tells the history of the idea, and gives you some ideas to create your own little free library.

littleIf you’re looking for something fun to do this summer and have a great community that might get a lot of use out of something like this, why not drop in a pick up the book to see what it’s all about. Libraries of any type are a wonderful idea!

It’s Lego Time!

legodropinCalling all Lego enthusiasts!  Friday afternoons at the library are going to be fun this summer!  We’re having Friday afternoon Lego Drop-In Days from 2-4pm, starting Friday, July 10th.

No registration is required for this fun program….just drop-in anytime from 2-4pm.  Building something creative, or try one of our challenges. Just come by for lots of fun.

See you on Friday!


For our Frivolous Friday post, I bring you designer Katerina Kamprani’s “Uncomfortable Project”. It’s all about re-designing common household products into frustratingly unusable objects. One look at them, and you’ll see why….but I bet you’ll also be howling with laughter.

bad design ideasHow about a set of stairs that lead just far enough away from a door to be awkward? Or a pot with two handles….on the same side? Or a pair of rainboots with open toes? Right. Terrible designs, but brilliantly funny. Visit her website to see all of her current project ideas, or join her Facebook page for regular updates and design discussion.

These ideas will make you start looking at regular objects in a brand new way, I guarantee. Any ideas of your own? How about a pair of glasses that aren’t joined at the bridge of the nose? Or a round bar of soap? The possibilities are endless, really.

Kindle Cover Disasters

Since we’re almost finished with Camp NaNoWriMo, a lot of our writers have been thinking about self-publishing. It’s a lot of work—including the creation of a book cover.

When a book is traditionally published, there is usually an art department involved in creating the cover art. They don’t just throw something together…..a lot of thought is put into designing the perfect cover, one that reflects the theme of the book and will entice people to buy it. There are colours to consider, font sizes, images and more. The perfect cover will sell a book faster than word of mouth.

But what about people who are trying to market their own books? They don’t always have the benefit of knowing how to create something online….or what will sell. Sometimes, they get it soooooooo wrong.  Here are some fabulous examples of Kindle book covers that should never have been, courtesy of the Tumblr page called “Kindle Cover Disasters”.

coversSome of the covers are a little, er, weird. This page is not for everyone, but you’ll get a laugh out of some of these.  I don’t suspect any of them will get picked up and traditionally published with these covers. Lucky for us, I don’t think we’ll need to display these at the library any time soon.

Do you have a favourite bad book cover to share? Let us know!



Frivolous Friday…not so frivolous!

I’m always looking for new ways to keep my life organized. Library things. Home things. They all need some organization! And a fun printable will do the trick. I might even get excited about using it, and then stay more organized as a result. Because really, who has more than THREE big items to accomplish in a day?

DAILY-TO-DO-LISTSDrop by Design LoveFest to download the free printable and find out more about how to make your day easier. Do it! You’ll feel so much better about Monday, I promise.