Take Part in Art -- Marvelous Mosaic

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Mosaic -- the art of making images from little pieces of stone, glass or tile -- is an amazing art form. Debuting in Ancient Mesopotamia in the third millennium BC, Mosaic is still going strong around the world, adorning palaces, churches and sculptures, as well as private homes and gardens.

You can check out the latest Art Table on mosaic at the Downtown Youth department, or participate at home!

Read all about it -- For the historical perspective, read Piece by Piece! by Michael Avi-Yonah, which describes the mosaics of ancient Greece, Rome and Byzantium. To learn more about one modern mosaic artist, try Niki's World by Ulrich Krempel. This book focuses on Niki de Saint Phalle, the creator of the magnificent, mosaic-covered Tarot Garden. Adults who want a quick introduction to mosaic can explore JoAnn Locktov's The Art of Mosaic Design, which is full of beautiful color photographs of the best modern mosaic art.

Make Mosaics at Home -- To start making your own mosaics out of materials you probably already have around your house, try Anna Freixenet's Creating With Mosaics. If you grown-ups want to make your own mosaics too, try The Mosaic Idea Book by Rosalind Wates, Mosaic Techniques and Traditions by Sonia King, or The Complete Pebble Mosaic Handbook by Maggy Howarth. The FamilyFun website also provides an awesome list of creative mosaic activities.

Field Trip! -- Mosaic is all about building something new from the pieces of something old. The upcoming Detroit Maker Faire is a great opportunity to do just that. We at the AADL will be celebrating the Maker Faire by hosting Wreck and Make Labs in July, where you can pull apart all sorts of gadgets and make awesome new stuff from them. Pick up the latest copy of AXIS for more information! The city of Ann Arbor will share in the action, with the Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire in June.

Make a Mother's Day Card and Flower!

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Mother's Day is Sunday, May 9th. That's coming up very soon. But there is still time to create something very special for Mom. So all you dads of kids from preschool through grade 5 bring the kids to the Pittsfield Branch on Saturday, May 1 at 11:00 a.m. We'll provide the supplies and directions for making beautiful cards and large tissue paper flowers. Mom will be thrilled with the children's masterpieces.

The Library has one title about Mother's Day crafts. But I have found that the more plentiful Valentine's Day craft books work well with just a change of text. Here is a good online site, too.

Remember that President Obama will be town that morning so you might have to figure out some creative routes to the Pittsfield Branch Library if you're coming from the downtown area.

Teen Stuff: The Crafty Girl's Guides to Almost Everything

Are your everyday items becoming a little too ordinary? Does your calculator need some sparkle to its numbers? Is your handbag looking lifeless these days? Good news: the Crafty Girl series has a solution (more like hundreds of them) to all of these problems. Author Jennifer Traig is fantastic at transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary with easy-to-follow steps for the crafty girl looking for some daily inspiration. Each book in the Crafty Girl series is dedicated to making one part of your life really sizzle, from Beauty to Accessories to Hair. Happy crafting!

The Rugged Manly Art of Knitting: Some titles you may not know about.

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Wonder of wonders, you can still get Rosey Grier's Needlepoint for Men on MelCat. For those of us in the boy knitting community, this is an iconic title, but I figured it had been banished to the realm of triumphant find on eBay or the local rummage sale.

Fortunately, others have picked up the mantle of fiber arts books for men. Knitting with Balls is all about men who knit and even gives some of the history of men knitting. Sailors and soldiers once had to learn how to knit just to make things like nets and socks.

The current grand dame of knitting herself Debbie Stoller even got on the bandwagon and wrote Son of Stitch and Bitch.

On February 21st, we will host The Rugged Manly Art of Knitting at the Pittsfield Branch Library from 2 to 3:30. Men of all experience levels are welcome. We will provide yarn and needles, and a couple of the guys on staff will be there to show you simple projects. I've put the word out in the knitting community here in Ann Arbor, and I think some experience knitting guys will also emerge from their yarn stashes and show up for knitting fun. It should be a good time. And for further proof of the legacy of men's knitting, here are pictures of Franklin Roosevelt and Cary Grant knitting.

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Valentine Fun

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Valentine's Day is coming up again, and with it, the chance to show all your friends and loved ones how much you appreciate them.

Some of you have undoubtedly purchased your boxed sets of Valentines already, but remember, nothing says "love" like that special, homemade touch. Come on down to Mallett's Creek Branch this Saturday, Feb. 13 from 2-4 to make a creative Valentine or two for those you love!

Amigurumi Crochet Happy Fun!

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Sunday January 31, 1:00-4:00 PM -- Pittsfield Branch: Program Room

Looking for a seriously fun and unique new craft obsession? Amigurumi is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small, stuffed toys. Whether you're a beginner or have plenty of experience at amigurumi, join us and learn how to make your own deliciously cute amigurumi cupcake, creature or mushroom. We'll have our "crochet cam" set-up to make instruction easier and projected on the big wall!

This event is for Teens in grade 6 & up and Adults. Registration is not required and this program is free of charge. All supplies will be provided

The AADL Kid-i-cotts

Join us this Friday in the Downtown Multipurpose Room from 6-8:30 pm to celebrate the Caldecott medal winner. The Caldecott Medal has been awarded since 1938 to recognize excellence in illustration. This year the award has gone to Jerry Pinkney's excellent rendition of The Lion and the Mouse, which tells Aesop's classic fable entirely in pictures.

This Friday, after a brief presentation of the Caldecott winner and other historical Caldecotts, you will have the chance to tell stories in pictures yourself. Your imagination is the only limit, so bring all your creativity, enthusiasm and love of art!

Hats and Noisemakers for New Year's Eve

Here's to a loud and festive New Year's Eve! We're having a craft program at the Pittsfield Branch on Tuesday, December 29 from 2 - 3 p.m. We will make crazy hats: cone hats, newspaper hats, and crowns. Choose the hat you want to make and then decorate it. We'll also be making noisemakers from plastic cups and beads. All supplies will be provided. This is for children preschool through 5th grade.

Pittsfield Branch | Tuesday, December 29 | 2 - 3 p.m

Wrap It Up!

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Create gift tags and wrap using special stamps, paper and ribbons. Get inspired by checking out, Encyclopedia of Greeting Card Tools & Techniques, or Cool Rubber Stamp Art.

Saturday, December 12 | 1:00-2:30pm | Traverwood | Grades 4-Adult

Winter Adventures -- Youth Magazine Update

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There's no denying it, winter has definitely arrived -- and with snow predicted for some time this week, it's time to plan how to keep yourself entertained when the weather turns icy.

If you're an outdoorsy type, Boy's Life Magazine has all the information you will ever need, with articles on ice fishing, making emergency shelters out of snow, and ice climbing -- on frozen grain silos. (Strange, but true.)

For those of us who prefer to stay indoors with a hot cup of cocoa, Nintendo Power Magazine provides the latest information on the best new games -- like Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks, the first Legend of Zelda game where Zelda gets to go adventuring herself! My personal favorite, for the name alone, is Zombie Panic in Wonderland in which your favorite fairy tale characters fight...you guessed it ...zombies.

Bridging the gap between outdoor adventure and vegging out is National Geographic Kids, with an article on the return of the lynx to Colorado, and a review of upcoming Disney original The Princess and the Frog.Owl Magazine and its sister publication ChickaDee get in on the act with articles on arctic animals, gifts you can make yourself, and, in ChickaDee, an up-close look at Quebec's Hotel de Glace, a hotel made entirely of ice.

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