Illustrations Galore!

It’s Wednesday morning, and that means it’s Storytime at the library. One of my favourite things about picture books are the illustrations.  When they’re done right, they can elevate a wonderful story to become something superb!  And if you haven’t read a picture book since you were a kid, things have changed a lot. There are many wonderful illustrators out there doing sophisticated and creative work to go along with imaginative texts.

10518183_1464589700455123_726164712_nLauren Castillo’s  StudioCastillo on Instagram

I follow quite a few illustrators on Facebook and Instagram, so when I came across this great post at Sharpread about wonderful illustrators to follow on Instagram, I jumped right on it.  It’s the perfect medium for instant, small illustrations that can stand on their own.  And who wouldn’t want to see one of these adorable pictures in their feed? I’m kind of getting tired of super macro flower shots and selfies.

You can see the full list right here and get a feel for their work. I’m going to go and follow some of these right now. I hope you do, too!



Paper cutting or Drawings?

I love looking at illustrations.  It is a big part of my job when it comes to selecting picture books for the library collection. Illustration plays a major role in this type of book and can often make or break a story.  And a trend we’ve been seeing more of in the last few years is paper-cut illustrations. The artist uses paper and cuts in intricate ways to make gorgeous pictures that seem to jump off the page. That’s what I thought when I saw the work of Eiko Ojala.



Ojala uses his computer to digitally render these illustrations….no paper involved at all! Of course, paper art is his inspiration, and you’ll love looking through the various examples on his website. While the digital world has dramatically moved forward in making realistic images (CGI, anyone?), does this take away from the “real” art of paper cutting?  I don’t think so. It has merit on its own, I strongly believe.

Take a few minutes to wander through the site. You won’t be disappointed!

Printable Post-it Notes

I came across this ingenious idea recently on the Skip to my Lou blog, which always has lots of great crafty ideas.  This is especially timely for Christmas, when we’re often picking up little stocking stuffers for friends and family.

There are so many cute little post-it note dispensers, I know I’ve been tempted to purchase one on occasion. But the idea of giving just a stack of paper in a cute dispenser is lacking something. Not so, now. At Skip to my Lou, they’ve designed a template that will allow you to print a special message on your top piece of paper (or throw a few within the stack for surprises later in the year)! Just download, stick your papers onto the template, then design and print.  Drop by the blog to see how to do it. 


Stick ’em up!

Large Print Beauties!

Once upon a time, large print books were scarce.  And the ones that were available had drab covers with extra large fonts. For people who had vision problems, or just wanted something a little easier to read as they aged, large print books were an okay option–not great, but okay. 


Times have changed! Not only are we able to get many of the latest best-sellers and new releases in large print format, but the covers are exciting and often exactly the same as the regular print versions.

20130826_113747This is a welcome change to the library shelves. Contemporary books with contemporary covers means more people will be reading these, even as large print.

Need a card? Print your own!


Insanely beautiful and very trendy, these fun little note cards at the great little website called Caravan are FREE!  All you need to do is download and print them onto your own cardstock.  While you’re there, you can also read their creative blog and maybe be inspired to do something special this weekend! Have fun!

Bookmark Winners!

Two out of three of our bookmark winners joined us last week to pick up their fabulous bookmarks and have a photo taken!  We’re so happy to have bright new bookmarks to hand out to new members and these designs are fabulous!

bookmarkwinners.jpgMark Chapman and Hannah Shulist.  Missing from photo is Kate Martin.

Congratulations to Mark Chapman, Hannah Shulist and Kate Martin!

As if from nowhere…

Many people have limited space in their homes, and storage can become a problem.  But what if your bookshelves could help you stay organized AND give you more room to move? Orla Reynolds is a designer who has solved just that problem with her “As if from nowhere” bookcases.

The bookcases hold four chairs and two small tables which can be pushed together to form a larger one. Pulling the chairs and tables from the shelves won’t disturb your books and almost blend right in when they are full of books.  How smart is that?