March is National Craft Month

If the bleak winter so far hasn't already had you dusting off your knitting needles or roaming the local craft stores looking for something to do, now's a good time to start! March is National Craft Month, and the Ann Arbor District Library is a great resource for books on sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, woodworking, and a whole lot more. Dive deeper into your favorite craft or pick up a new one!

Here's some titles from our collection to get you started:
Sewn By Hand: Two Dozen Projects Stitched with Needle and Thread
Knitting Off the Axis: Projects & Techniques for Sideways Knitting
The Weekend Woodworker's Project Collection : 40 Projects for the Time-Challenged Craftsman
Weekend Handmade : More than 40 Projects + Ideas for Inspired Crafting
Home, Paper, Scissors: Decorative Paper Accessories for the Home

AADL's Logo Remix Contest Workshop!


It's the debut of AADL's Logo Remix Contest! Make your own video-animated "remix" of the AADL logo and enter it to win prizes! We'll host open workshops in early March with our computers and software available for you to get started building your entry! A few selected animations will be projected above AADL's activity area during the Ann Arbor FoolMoon event. Get the contest guidelines starting Friday, February 22nd at aadl.org or have staff print them out for you.

Workshops will be held on Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 7:00pm - 8:30pm and Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 10:00am - 12:00pm in the Downtown Library, Training Center on the 3rd Floor. The contest entry deadline is Monday, March 25.

Click on the links to get a copy of the AADL logo image file in both PNG and JPEG formats!

Have questions? Call the Downtown Youth Desk, visit our contests page, or send an email to remix@aadl.org! Want to know more about FoolMoon? Go to festifools.org.

Make Bows and Flowers with Ribbon

Sunday, March 3 | 2:30 - 4 pm | Pittsfield Branch Program Room | Teen to Adult

Looking for new craft ideas? How about ribbon crafts!

Come learn how to make beautiful bows and flowers out of ribbon. We’ll be trying four crafts out of The Complete Photo Guide to Ribbon Crafts, including a ribbon rose and a five-pedaled flower. They're perfect for hair accessories or brooches or even decorating gifts. All materials will be provided. Some crafts will require simple sewing.
ribbon roseribbon rose

Washi Tape Greeting Cards

Wednesday, February 20 | 1 - 2 pm | Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room | Grade 3 - Adult

Washi tape is a popular, decorative, Japanese paper tape used in craft projects. We have a variety of colors and patterns of washi tape, along with various colors of card stock and other patterned paper available for you to make greeting card images and other inspired crafts.

If you have never heard of washi tape, check out this Pinterest pinboard for great project ideas. You could also bring an item from home to decorate, and feel free to bring a your own roll(s) of washi tape to use along with ours to create your greeting card, if you like!

This event is for youth (Grade 3 and up), teens, and adults.

Create a Custom Hardcover E-Reader Case

Monday, January 7 | 7 - 8 pm | Traverwood | Grades 6 - Adult

Are you an e-reader owner who still loves the feel of a good old book in your hands? Bring your e-reader to the Traverwood branch on Monday, January 7 from 7 - 8pm, and create a custom case for your device out of a recycled hardcover book. We will provide the tools and supplies, all you need is your e-reader so that you can find a book cover that fits it. Then, decorate your e-reader case after it is assembled!

This event is for adults and teens (grade 6 and up).

For more crafty ideas, check out these books from the AADL.

Maker Music for Teens and Adults: Atari Punk Circuit

Friday January 4, 2013: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This Friday, January 4, we'll be making an electronic instrument out of commonly available pieces and parts.

For this Maker Music event, the Ann Arbor Hacker-Makers of All Hands Active will be teaching people how use basic circuitry to create their own musical instrument, the Atari Punk Circuit. What's that? An Atari Punk Circuit uses an assortment of basic electronics and two knobs to allow people to create basic two-tone electronic sounds, kind of like those that used to be the soundtrack to the first video games on the Atari video game console.

Do you need to know electronics to come to this event? No, that's why we're having it! Come learn a bit about electricity, circuits, and have some fun trying out making different sounds. After you're finished, take a look at our Music Tools collection, too!

This event is for adults and teens (grade 6 and up).

Make a T-Shirt Backpack

Thursday, January 3 | 1 - 2:30 pm | Downtown | Grades 6 - 12

Do you have an old t-shirt hiding in the back of your closet that just doesn't work for you anymore? Maybe it's too small, or it has a little stain on the sleeve, or it has faded after a hundred washes.

Give your old t-shirt a second life and turn it into a drawstring backpack! You bring the t-shirt, and we'll provide the rest. There is a small amount of sewing involved, but don't worry, we'll show you how to sew a simple stitch.

For more crafty ideas, check out these books from the AADL.

Your Guide to Buying Local This Holiday Season

Where will you shop for holiday gifts this year? It’s buy local week! In the recent years, local businesses in Michigan cities including Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti have been participating in several “buy local” themed holiday sales in order to take some of the spotlight off of the big box stores. This growing trend to “buy local Michigan” is a great way to support our state’s economy. If you’re looking for gift ideas that will support southeast Michigan, or just the state in general, here are some ideas:

-Farmer’s Markets are on the rise! According to a study done by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Michigan has been leading the country in the percentage growth of farmers markets over the last two years and also “ranks fourth among the states in the number of farmers markets.” There are several local farmer’s markets that are open year-round, such as The Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market and The Detroit Eastern Market. Pick up a locally made loaf of banana bread for a stocking stuffer. Or, for the more adventurous, cook your own gifts to give from the fresh foods found at the markets. The AADL’s catalog has several local-themed cookbooks for you to draw ideas from.

-Michigan is famous for its vineyards and wineries. Take a friend or loved one who enjoys wine on a tour of Michigan wineries by following this guide. Or pick up a bottle from a local winery.

-Speaking of local drinks, Michigan is also well-known for its local breweries. Ann Arbor Brewing Company, Bell’s, and Arcadia are among some of the most popular Michigan breweries holding holiday sales this year.

-Within the last few years, there have been several “Michigan” themed retail stores popping up that stock Michigan-made products. Among these include The Michigan General Store in Ypsilanti, The Dixboro General Store, The Produce Station in Ann Arbor, and the website “The Mitten State” which sells vintage-inspired Michigan themed t-shirts and other Michigan-themed gifts. Buying gifts from Michigan retail stores is a great way to support your local and state economy.

-Over the next few weeks, Friday, December 7th, Friday December 14th, and Friday December 21st, Main Street in Downtown Ann Arbor will be hosting “Festive Fridays” which include live street entertainment and extended hours for Main Street retailers! This is a great opportunity to enjoy and support your local economy.

-Connect with local crafters and support them at DIYpsi, coming up December 8th & 9th in Ypsilanti. Other local DIY craft events and holiday bazaars coming up include Tiny Expo in Ann Arbor on December 8th, the 7th Annual Holiday Baar Bazaar in Detroit on the 14th, The Detroit Mercantile Merry Market on the 15th & 16th, and The Detroit Annual Food Bazaar on December 10th.

-If you’re into crafting yourself, check out some of the craft programs coming up at the AADL to make your very own gifts to give!

-Do you have an avid reader to please this holiday season? Check out the AADL’s Friend’s of the Library Book Shop, located on the basement level of the Downtown branch. The shop’s holiday hours this season are: Saturdays, 10-4 and Sundays, 1-4 through December 16th, 2012. Then closed until January 5th and 6th, 2013. The shop includes a wide variety of gently-used books, CDs, DVDs, sheet music, and jigsaw puzzels.

Happy local holiday shopping!

Block Printing Workshop

Tuesday, December 4 | 6:30-8:30pm | Pittsfield | Grades 6-Adult

In this workshop you will create a design, carve the design into a soft linoleum block with the proper tools, and then print the image onto paper or note cards. This is your chance to create something to hang on your wall, or perhaps design a holiday card to send out.

We will supply all the tools necessary, you supply the creativity! If you have something you’d like to print on, or have your own tools, feel free to bring them. Check out some of AADL’s books on block printing for a spark of ideas.

This DIY event is for Grades 6- Adult, and takes place at the Pittsfield Branch on Tuesday, December 4, from 6:30-8:30pm. See you there!

Magazines A-Z: Make:

MAKE is a quarterly magazine which focuses on the do-it-yourself ethic. Projects may involve computers, electronics,
robotics, metal and woodworking, among others. Considered a small part of the larger maker movement
Make magazine is for folks who like being resourceful. Makers: the New Industrial Revolution is book explaining this new industrial revolution
movement by author Chris Anderson, who is also editor of Wired magazine.
Interested? Check out issues from your library.
You can also get an overview of what's in the current issue by taking a look here.

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