Hawaiian Luau Craft Program

Let's pretend we all can take a Hawaiian vacation. Come to the Pittsfield Branch on Tuesday, August 3 at 2:00 p.m. for an island experience. We'll be making grass skirts and floral leis. You'll be ready to learn the hula! This program is for preschoolers through 5th graders. All supplies will be provided, light refreshments will be served.

For children's books about Hawaii, click here.

Make It Happen: Patchwork With Punch and Style

Here are three new, beautiful books to inspire you to add a bit of whimsy into your handicraft.
What do Scandinavia and Japan have in common? Zakka. Translated it means “miscellaneous goods,” which is vague. Zakka is basically a design aesthetic featuring household items that enhance your environment. Does it truly overwhelm with beauty and cuteness? You decide.

Zakka sewing: 25 Japanese projects for the household and I love patchwork!: 21 irresistible Zakka Projects to Sew are two great books that feature projects inspired by the Japanese zakka aesthetic. They are things for the home and self with some kitsch to them. Included are wonderful photographs and easy to follow instructions. Tea cozies, coasters, bags, pillows, quilts, towels are just some of the projects waiting for your crafty hands.

For more on patchwork projects, check out Patchwork style: 35 simple projects for a cozy & colorful life. There are oodles of handmade ideas, everything from potholders to purses, using the patchwork technique.

Finger Knitting with Jillian Moreno

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Did you know that you can knit without using needles? If you're in grades K - 3 come to the Traverwood Branch on Wednesday, July 14 at 2:00 p.m and learn how to do some finger knitting. Knitting expert and author Jillian Moreno will show us how. We'll provide the yarn, you provide the fingers.

For children's books on knitting, click here.

Make Jewelry From Paper Beads

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First make beautiful paper beads from our supplies, then create cool jewelry out of the beads you made. Join us at the Traverwood Branch as we show you how to Make Jewelry from Paper Beads.

Get inspired with the Paper Jewelry Book or try Paper Gifts and Jewelry. A great way to 'Make It Happen' this summer at your library. It's happening at Traverwood July 7, from 2-3:30, for grades 6-12.

Aliens & Spaceships

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Get out of the heat. Come to the Malletts Creek Branch on Wednesday, July 7 at 2:00 p.m. to make some aliens and spaceships. Be sure to bring your imaginations!

This is for preschoolers through grade 5. The little ones will need help from their grownups. All supplies will be provided.

Look here for some books about our friends from outer space.

Reading about 'Making it Happen' with Crafty Mysteries!

Considering the theme for our 2010 Summer Reading Game: Make it Happen, it would be prudent to mention that crafts are great! Creating something with your own two hands is very satisfying, especially if it turns out better than you planned! Unfortunately for me, I was not born with the DIY gene and my crafting skills do not pay the bills. Instead of crying into my hot glue sticks, I found that I prefer reading about people who do have the skills that I do not possess. Here are some great crafting themed cozies for all of you DIY loving people out there:

Happy Birthday, America! A Star-Spangled Craft Program

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Come to the Pittsfield Branch on Friday, July 2, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. for a craft program in honor of the Fourth of July holiday. We'll be making holiday wreaths, Uncle Sam masks, flags and pretend fire crackers. We stocked up on red, white, and blue construction paper!

This is for preschoolers through 5th grade. Preschoolers will need some help from their grownups. All supplies will be provided.

For some books on the holiday, click here.

Take Part in Art -- Pop Art is More Than Soup Cans

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When someone says "Pop Art" most of us, let's be honest, automatically think of Campbell's Soup cans and Marylin Monroe. But how much do we really know about this quintessential postmodern art form? Pop Art emerged in the 1950's and promptly laid siege to the dividing line between "high art" and "low art," bringing the elements of everyday life -- like movie stars, comic books and advertisements -- into the artistic sphere. Pop Art reminds us to take note of the beautiful in everyday life -- not just the beauty of sunsets and flowers, but also the beauty of breakfast cereals, cartoon characters and, dare I say, Campbell's Soup cans.

To explore Pop Art, you can always come to the Downtown Youth department and check out our latest Art Table display, or follow these tips to join in at home.

1. Read all about it -- Pop Art by Christian Demilly provides a good introduction to the movement. Susan Goldman Rubin's books on Andy Warhol, Wayne Thiebaud and Roy Lichtenstein are a great way to find out more about specific Pop artists, as is Debra Pearlman's Where Is Jasper Johns?. Adults interested in Pop Art can check out Pop Art: A Continuing History by Marco Livingstone or the encyclopedic Pop, edited by Mark Francis and Hal Foster.

2. Field Trip -- Although they don't have a Pop Art collection per se, Detroit's Museum of Contemporary Art is hosting several exhibits dealing with the art of everyday life, especially "Mother May I" by LaToya Ruby Frazier. Is this work possibly inspired by Pop Art ideas? That's for me to ask and you to debate. (Debating things like that in public makes you look really, really smart, by the way.)

3. Make your own -- What have you been walking past every day without thinking about it? Your toothbrush? Your sneakers? Maybe it's time for their day in the sun. Collage fans can cut and paste images from magazine photos and ads to make their own work of art. Kinderart, Associated Content and Ehow offer several creative ideas for at-home Pop Art projects.

Summer of DIY @ AADL, for the Kids

This summer at AADL our goal is to MAKE IT HAPPEN, with a ton of DIY and MAKE programs for all ages. As always, there are many craft and DIY related books to help get you on your way with some new projects. Here are a few to get the kids started:

Kid Made Modern, by Todd Oldham is new, hip, colorful book, that talks about basic craft supplies, and has oodles of projects to work on, including vases, rugs, printed t-shirts, duct tape totes, pillows, zines, printmaking, jewelry, forts, and more. All are easy enough for children to work on. D.I.Y. Kids is another great find. This books features a lot of crafts and projects that recycle and repurpose supplies you probably have lying around. You can make toys, kites, castles, decorated boxes, clothing, accessories, and beyond. And for the younger kid set, ArtStarts for Little Hands! Fun & Discoveries for 3 to 7 Year Olds has simple projects for kids to make out of every day household finds. Help those little ones make sailboats, animals, cars, trains, puzzles, and more.

Happy making!

Your Guide to Avoiding Summer Boredom

I don’t know about you, but I’m counting down the days until summer vacation! Summer is the perfect time to explore, build, create, imagine, and discover. Here some books and websites to get you started, whatever your interests or age:

Howtoons.com is a comic-style website of directions for making some crazy new toys. How about a Speed Blaster or Robofingers? There is something for everyone here and all the projects can be made with common household items like pop bottles, paper plates, and straws.

If you’re planning a campout or a hike, Camp Out! and Follow the Trail have all sorts of information about what to bring, what to do, and how to prepare for emergencies. Another fun book is Cooking in a Can, full of recipes for cooking over a campfire, from vegetables to grilled sandwiches to cake.

Even from your backyard or a park you can get up close with nature. 101 Nature Experiments includes how to grow various types of gardens, make your own compost, and discover all sorts of things about critters, bugs, and plants up close.

More into art than science? How to Draw What You See and Illustrating Nature will get you ready to draw and paint plants, animals, and landscapes 'en plein air'. There are also tons of crafts to make using stuff from nature: check out Organic Crafts, Ecology Crafts for Kids, and Nature’s Art Box for inspiration.

Summer is also a great time to update your wardrobe. How about making your own purse from fabric and embellishments, jewelry from beads and fiber, or perhaps a wallet or tool belt made from duct tape? These books give step-by-step instructions for creating one-of-a-kind accessories to keep or give as gifts. The Hip Handbag Book, Ductigami, Hemp Masters, and Creative Beading will get you started and you can let your creativity do the rest.

Finally, don't forget about the AADL Summer Reading program! Our theme this year is "Make it Happen," and events include art workshops, games, and all sorts of activities. Check out the Summer Reading events page to make sure you don't miss out!

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