Power Sewing DVDs

Sandra Betzina, international lecturer, writer, TV personality, and pattern designer, stars in this series of how-to sewing videos from her webTV show. Some also feature writer and designer Ron Collins.

Even if you’re a super sewer these are a great visual aid to hone your skills. If you’re looking to see how others get it done, these DVDs are also for you. I know it helps sometimes to have a visual aid when working on projects.

Power Sewing Skill DVDs to choose from include: Foolproof Buttonholes, Pant Fitting Pointers, Copy Ready-To-Wear, Anatomy of a Jacket, Jeans Couture, and Linings A to Z. Everything you need to figure out fly fronts, hems, sleeves, pockets, vests, alterations, and more.

DVDs in the new-to-AADL Power Sewing Master Series include: Fabrics, Needles and Presser Feet, Pattern Alterations and Interfacing, Details, Behind the Seams, and Home Décor.

Each show provides an in-depth instruction with close-up camera work and graphics. Whether you have been sewing for years, or just getting started, you will learn new methods that will inspire you.

826MI Robot Workshop CANCELED this Saturday! Rescheduled for Saturday August 27.

Due to circumstances beyond our control the upcoming 826MI Robot Workshop for this Saturday, August 6 from 1:00-4:00 PM at the Downtown Library has been canceled. This event has been re-scheduled for Saturday, August 27 from 1:00-4:00 PM at the Downtown Library in the 4th Floor Meeting Room. This event is for kids in grades 4 & up and Teens in grades 6-12.

Block Printing Workshop

At this linoleum block printing workshop you will create a design, carve the design into a soft linoleum block, and then print the image onto paper and/or note cards. This is your chance to create wall art, or perhaps design a card.

Have you done block printing before and are looking for more instruction, ideas and practice? Or are you a first timer wondering what block printing is all about? This workshop is for you.

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.

Don't forget to 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 Pittsfield on Tuesday, July 26, from 6:30-8:30pm. See you there!

Make an iPod Cozy!

Come take a stab at hand sewing and jazz up your iPod or MP3 player at the same time. Using colorful felt, embellishment items, and embroidery thread, you’ll create a one-of-a-kind cozy to keep your iPod or MP3 player protected with a handmade case for it. All supplies are provided, and we’ll have patterns and samples to get you going. Feel free to bring your MP3 player if you want to test out your design. Don't have an iPod? No worries, you can make a small case to hold whatever needs holding.

To keep the crafty crafting, check out some books on hand sewing or felt fun.

This DIY event is for Grades 6- Adult, and takes place at Pittsfield on Tuesday, July 12, from 7-8:30pm. See you there!

Finding Grant Funding For Community Non-Profits

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011: 10:00 am to 12:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Training Center

*Registration required: Register Now

Looking to up your grant-seeking skills for your community non-profit organization? Help your non-profit by attending this hands-on workshop!

Discover the online resources that can assist you in getting operating and programmatic grants for your non-profit. Additionally, there will be discussion about matching sponsor and nonprofit priorities and resources to help with proposal writing.

Karen Downing, the Foundations and Grants Librarian at the University of Michigan, and French Studies librarian, Jennifer Bonnet will discuss various web-based funding databases currently available, illustrate search strategies and give you time to look for funding for your own organization.

Registration is required for this session. Register online at aadl.org, in person at any location or by calling 327-4555.

Summer Screen Printing Workshop

During this hands-on workshop you'll view a presentation on how screen printing works, and will then get a chance to screen print onto paper or cloth. You’ll have a choice between printing an original Summer Game design onto a tote we supply (or a cloth item that you bring in), OR you can print a different Summer Game design onto paper to create a print. That’s right, we’ll have two of Jannie Ho’s AADL Summer Game designs and two screen printing stations set up, ready for you to DIY.

To keep up with screen printing, check out these books as a resource.

This DIY event is for Grades 6- Adult, and takes place at Pittsfield on Wednesday, June 29, 7-8:30pm. See you there!

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Johnny Cupcakes Event this Friday! T-shirts WILL be for SALE!

Friday, May 13 @ 7:00 PM Johnny Earle of the Johnny Cupcakes T-shirt empire will be at the Downtown Library to talk about his self-made business! Learn how he resisted the temptations of cooperate interests and did it his own way and found himself ranked by Business Week Magazine a top entrepreneur under 25 in 2008. Johnny also just opened his first store across the pond in London! T-shirts will be for sale and Johnny will be signing them and meeting with fans after his talk. Johnny Cupcakes2Johnny Cupcakes2

The Thunderdrome: Unearthing a Gem in Detroit

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Let's time travel. It's 1969 and we're in Dorais Park, Detroit, near E. Eight Mile and Mound Road. Construction has just been completed on a brand new velodrome -- a cycling venue consisting of a steeply banked, concrete oval loop, 250 meters long -- in anticipation of the U.S. National Track Championships held there later that year. This Championship and the many that follow are bright spots in a declining neighborhood. For the next 20 years, the city maintains this bastion of bike racing against urban devastation, marked here by the closure of the Chrysler assembly plant across the street.

Eventually, the Dorais Park Velodrome is abandoned by the city and handed over to the elements. Illegal car races are sometimes held here, accelerating the cracking of the concrete that was only designed to sustain bicycles, while bushes, grasses, and trees split apart the fissures. Two decades of neglect take their toll.

Welcome to 2010. A group of renegade urban landscapers, known as The Mower Gang, take their lawn care equipment to Dorais Park, unearth the velodrome, and begin rehabbing the battered beauty. It's renamed The Thunderdrome, an homage to the post-apocalyptic Mad Max film series from the '80s, and a race is staged for two-wheeled vehicles that October.

As race organizer Ben Wojdyla writes, "the Thunderdrome wouldn't be limited to just bicycles. We wanted higher speeds and more excitement. We wanted loony subcultures, weirdos, a scene, a spectacle—something people could get excited about. So in addition to traditional fixed-gear road bicycles, geared bikes and mountain bikes, we also invited racers on mopeds, scooters and pit bikes". The Fall race is a success, drawing hundreds of spectators and racers and spawning the demand for a Spring race, which will take place this Saturday, April 30, at noon. Detroit reinvention and DIY spirit charge headlong into the future of the city.

The latest issue of Bicycling Magazine, with holdings at all AADL locations, has an article on the Thunderdrome, as does the October 2010 issue of Popular Mechanics. Check out the Thunderdrome's website for more details on the race.velorace3velorace3

Enviro-Friendly Crafts

Celebrate Earth Day this month of April with some earth-friendly upcycled crafts. Keywords: Upcycle, repurpose, reclaim, remake.

For some inspiration try Recyclo-Gami: 40Crafts To Make Your Friends Green With Envy! The book is full of ideas for reusing common materials to make accessories, jewelry, household decorations, games, and gifts.

Green Crafts For Children: 35 Step-By-Step Projects Using Natural, Recycled, And Found Materials is another fun book, with kid-friendly projects reusing materials and found items you might normally discard.

For more sophisticated making, try Eco-Craft: Recycle-Recraft-Restyle, which focuses on repurposing materials into lovely designs for the home.

Check out more recycled craft projects in these books as well!

Take Part in Art -- Marvelous Masks

image by C. P. Storm, Flickr.comimage by C. P. Storm, Flickr.com
From masquerade balls to dramatic performances, from exuberant carnivals to solemn ceremonies, people all over the world love wearing masks. Why are masks so popular? Maybe because wearing a mask lets us transform ourselves into anything we can imagine!

If you love masks, you can come to the art table in the downtown youth department to make some with us. Or you can join in at home:

Read!
Niño’s Mask – A young boy is told that he is too young to wear a mask in his village carnival. Won’t everyone be surprised when he makes a mask and becomes el perro – the dog – all by himself!
Behind the Mask – Kimin wonders what to wear for Halloween. When he discovers a mysterious mask among his grandfather’s things, he learns more about his own past.
The Art of African Masks – Discover how different cultures make and use masks in Africa.

Do!
Masks – Make masks from all over the world!
About.com has tons of ideas for making masks from egg cartons, plastic jugs, paper plates and all sorts of other stuff!
At PBS you can learn more about African masks, or you can make your own!

Try a mask today – they work for superheroes and luchadores, so you know they've gotta be good.

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