Tuesday, March 29, 2011

10 on Tuesday - Libraries!

Carole's topic today is 10 reasons to use the public library.  This is totally a topic I can get behind, as a former patron of the bookmobile and daughter of a children's librarian.  Actually, I'm having trouble figuring out where to begin.

1.  Not only are they "free" (in that you are paying for them anyway), but borrowing a book seems like an enviromentally sensitive solution.

2.  Story Hours.  When I was home with La, when she was little, these were such a great way to get out of the house and do something fun (for free!).  She was at an age where I probably got more out of it than she did. 

3.  Summer Reading Clubs.  I really had a lot of fun with these when I was a kid, and my kids always sign up for them eagerly too.

4.  Drawing/Puzzle table.  This is the girls' favorite feature at our library.

5.  Hold.  At our library the best way to get THE book you want is to put it on hold.  It's always a cheap thrill when the email comes and says that your materials are ready.

6.  Randomness.  As much fun as it is to get the thing you're looking for, the adventure of finding a book that just "looks good" is excellent also.  This has many applications:  the regular fiction stacks, the picture books, the dewey decimal section that has your favorite topic, the new releases, the books on CD.

7.  books on CD!  I now have a CD player in my car and books on CD from the library is like the best thing ever.

8.  The artifacts.  One of the things that I loved at the Stuart library was the high school yearbooks from the year my mom graduated.  Turns out one of our friends' mom was in the same class as my mom, but went to Martin County High.  Also, they had these books of newspapers from the 30's.  Those were really cool too. 

9.  The librarians:  I have no idea how they do it, but they are always friendly and helpful.

10.  It's just a good place to find something you'd never thought you'd find.  For instance, I was stunned to find (in elementary school) that comic strips were put together into books and you could find them in the library.  I borrowed a lot of Family Circus books back then. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Art To Wear

The Brownie Troop recently finished the Art To Wear try-it.  It was one that they pretty much had a consensus wanting to do, then they voted to see which parts they would do.  They picked:  macrame/friendship bracelets, face painting, paper mache, and making masks.  One week we made masks out of paper plates and construction paper.  They did a nice job with them and it was a fun meeting.  Another week we had a friend come and paint the girls' hand.  While people were waiting to have their hand painted, we worked on making friendship bracelets from kitchen cotton.  There were two models - each had four strands of cotton, one had granny knots (making a spiral) and one had square knots (making something like a ladder).  The girls' bracelets were pretty much "free-form".  :)

Paper mache was holding us back - it was getting darker earlier, and colder.  It seemed too messy of a project to do in an hour in the Sunday school classroom where we meet.  So, we tried something else.  My co-leader and I made a whole slew of the Purl Bee's 20 minute totes out of unbleached muslin, with extra wide twill tape for handles.

The first try was with fabric crayons.  The girls each made a picture with fabric crayons on printer paper.  There were a couple of problems with this:  the selection and trueness of colors was disappointing, then as soon as you mention that the images come out in reverse everyone needs to write letters in their image, and finally the ironing on was so pale that you couldn't see the picutres at all.  This was not good. 
I exchanged the fabric crayons for fabric markers.  The next week, the girls decorated their bags with the markers and it was a lot of fun.  Except for my daughter.  She had a melt down because she didn't get the same bag as her friend.  [I only mention this because it ended up turning out well.]
Later on, at home, La decided to work on the bag she was given.  (Yay!)  But then she messed it up.  On both sides (boo).  So once she was done being mad and ready to listen, we talked about other options.  One idea (inspired by Gerrie Congdon's blog) was to color/scribble on it with the pens, then try to discharge it with a bleach pen.  This did not work well, although, maybe we could have left it on longer.  When we were shopping for something else in Joann's we saw repositionable stencils.  So we bought one of a skull and crossbones, cosmetic sponges, and a jar of hot pink Jaquard paint.  We had some purple, turquoise, and dark red at home already.  This was a winner.  All through the process, El wanted to make one too, so she took the original faint iron on panels and used those.  This is what we ended up with.  I'm very impressed that La was able to keep going and try something else with the project when one thing or the other didn't turn out exactly the right way.
20 minute totes
20 Minute Totes

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Knitting projects

Here are the knitting projects I'm started recently:
1.  A Clapotis for my sister.  It's in Cascade 220 Superwash Paints.  It is super fun to knit - there is something about it that is transfixing.  It's just interesting enough, between the colors and getting another repeat done to drop a stitch.  Much like Monkey socks in that sense.  It's about 6 or 7 repeats wide.

Clapotis scarf

2.  Socks for DH.  I re-animated this project from 2006.  I think I stopped working on it when I realized that the second foot would not match exactly.  I was looking around for yarn to start a pair of socks for him and found some brown striped sock yarn.  Then thought.  Shoot.  If I'm going to make brown striped socks, let's finish these.  I didn't care that much any more that they would not exactly match - and he didn't either.  Function over form.
Socks for Mike

Also active, I'm still working on a pair of socks for my sister.  :) 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

So, all of a sudden it's a month later....

I finished some stuff:

Like this hat for my representative:
Hurricane Hat

Pattern:  Hurricane (Ravelry)
Yarn:  Cascade 220 superwash

This sweater for my cousin's new baby (well, new in January).
Baby Sweater
Pattern:  Clementine's Baby Kimono (Ravelry)
Yarn:  K1C2 Crock-o-dye [The color is actually more in the purple family IRL].
And look:  I got this one back from the quilter
Josh's quilt
The quilting and back
Pattern:  Plain Spoken from the The Modern Quilt Workshop by Fun Quilts (Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr). 
Fabric:  Kona Cottons in brown and green on the front; batik on the back that looks like tree rings.
Quilting:  By Darlene at Dars Longarm Quilting - pattern is "the river".

Next up:  binding that guy.  Probably in red.  Yellow might work too.  Knitting a scarf-sized Clapotis for my sister.  I picked up a pair of socks to finish that I started in the summer of 2006.  I remember being real mad at them when it turned out they weren't going to match.  Sewing some spring skirts for myself.