Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Iron Craft - Trends (Nautical Planter)

We have gotten a few little Spring teases. Its gotten warm, then the next day is freezing. The weather may not be agreeable, but I am ready for Spring! I decided if I can't make it happen out side, I'll bring a little bit of spring inside! So I decided to add some houseplants to our decor. I came across these planters at the Dollar Tree and thought I'd decorate them.

This also went along with an Iron Craft Challenge, Trends. Crafters were able to do a project inspired by some of the latest trends, which included floral, geometric or one of my favorites, nautical.

When you live on an island, a lot of people adopt the nautical theme in their houses. I like the motif but some people cover their houses in sea shells with clever signs that say "Life is a Beach" I prefer a more subtle approach to the nautical look. I'm really drawn to nautical stars and compasses. I don't know why but they are just so cool and look old-timey.

So I decided to add some nautical flair to my planter! And it came out pretty snazzy! Here is how I made my nautical planter.

Materials & Tools


  • I used pickmonkey and used their nautical star overlay
  • I printed it out and traced it onto some contact paper and cut it out with the exacto knife 
  • I then took my planter and made sure it was nice and clean, then I positioned it on my planter
  • Next it was painting time! I used Martha Stewart's Gunmetal paint 
  • I gave it a coat or two and let it dry 
  • After I let it dry for a bit I peeled off the contact paper to reveal the design

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Little vaca....

Hey yo, here has been my life for the past few weeks. 

Craft night returned! We used scrap paper and made some super fantastic animal silhouette art. A more in-depth tutorial is coming soon! 

I also did another Iron Craft project. For this challenge we had to do something inspired by some of the latest trends. One of the trends is a Nautical theme. I used a nautical star stencil and decorated one of my beauteous planters. 

This past week Tim and I went on a little vaca and visited his Dad in Fort Myers. We kept ourselves busy and ate a lot of good food! 

After this crappy winter I was looking forward to spending sometime in the sun! So we spent some time out by the pool. 

Later that day we took a visit to the Naples Zoo. We saw Tigers (but no loins or bears...oh my) and some other cute animals. We went in the afternoon and apparently thats when the animals like to nap, so we saw a lot of lazy bums. Not all of them were lazy, the giraffes were entertaining. I even got to feed one! 

The next day we got rained out, which made me sad because it meant no pool time. However we did some bowling. Tim's Dad kicked our butts but I didn't mind too much because earlier in the week we played mini-golf and I totally dominated. On our last day we took a trip to a wildlife preserve and experience nature first hand! We saw some birds and rare flowers. We watched an owl munch on some crawfish and that was pretty amazing. 

Since it was a vacation and I had some time on my hands I did some serious reading. I've been reading NOS482 by Joe Hill. This was also a recommendation from Caitie and since I'm a big fan of Hill's graphic novel, Locke & Key I thought I'd give it a try. After reading so many children's and teen's novels, its good to take a little break from those for a bit. It's really spooky and suspenseful. I described it to Tim and I said it reminds me of a Stephen King book. He laughed and sarcastically remarked "Gee I wonder why" Unbeknownst to me Joe Hill is Stephen King's son and I'm the last person on the planet to realize this. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The week that was.....

After taking a few months off, it was finally time to bring back Craft Night! We are going to be making Animal Collage art. Its pretty simple, we take a shape of an animal (in our case we have a bear, fox, doe and dog) and trace in on our ‘canvas’ (its really a piece of cardstock) then we take some strips of scrap paper or magazine pages and we make a collage to fill in the shape of our animal. I’m glad to be bringing it back, because its been too long. I’m also excited to hear how Callie is doing with Beans 2.0!

I also made this nifty chalk board! Every time I do a craft night, I write out the instructions, but its a bit time consuming. So I had some scrap wood around and I made it a chalkboard! (Fun fact, making chalkboards was a previous craft night activity, read all about it here)

I had a bunch of other scrap wood hanging around. I have a lot of left over 3 by 7 inch blocks, so I thought I'd do something with them. I started making a bunch of hanging signs! Of course I made some Doctor Who themed signs. I also made a one saying Bonjour! I think I'll make some more with greetings in different languages.

I am thinking about making a nautical theme sign for Iron Craft. The next challenge is all about Trends. Of the trends suggested, I really like the nautical trend. When you live on an Island, you see a lot of houses with nautical motifs. I like a more subtle approach, no sea shell lamps or signs saying "Life is a Beach" for me. I'm not sure what I'll do but I'll be sure to tell you about it.

I've been continuing on my reading marathon. I'm catching up on an award winner I missed. The librarians at work are always raving about Three Times Lucky and it won a Newberry Honor. I thought I would check it out. I got my next reads few reads lined up to keep my roll going!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Best thing ever (this week) - #ruinachildrensbook

If you haven't been watching @Midnight, you are missing out my friend! @Midnight is a game show in which comics poke fun at the days events. One of my favorite games played on the show is #HashTagWars and I like that people can play along. This week my favorite hashtag was #ruinachildrensbook. The idea is to take an established and popular children's book and put an ugly spin on it, thus ruining it.

As someone who reads children's books, it was really funny to make fun of it a bit. I even got in on the fun and my ruin a children's book title was Don't Let Lindsey Lohan Drive the Bus (instead of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus). Here are some of my favorites:

If you need a good laugh today, go check out the #ruinachildrensbook

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Teen Tech Week Bingo (Library Life)

March has brought about another Teen Tech Week. This is an annual event that encourages teen library goers to use the libraries non-print resources for fun and for academics. After seeing so many QR code scavenger hunts I really thought it would be cool to do in town because we are located in such a neat little village. However March is still cold, and I’m not sure parents would appreciate sending their kids all over town. However I helped come up with something similar, an interactive game of BINGO!!

This ain’t your run of the mill bingo game. Each square features a different task that the teens had to complete. Each task is technology related and vary. Tasks were as simple as following the library’s Goodreads page, or involve them recording a video book talk on either vine or youtube. Every time a task is completed they saw a librarian that stamped their bingo card. Once they made a straight line or a diagonal, they won a prize.

We wanted to make sure the kids shared their content with us so we asked that most of the tasks be submitted to us by email or shared with us on social media. We also created a hashtag teens could tag the stuff they were doing for the contest.

Something that I didn't take into account, was that not all kids use social media. A lot of the younger teens are not allowed to go on certain sites, so weren't able to complete some of the tasks. Luckily I included a few tasks that were about technology, but did not require social media. I asked them a few tech related question that they had to answer. An example is I asked them to define an internet troll and one tasked asked them to translate binary. 

It was a fun contest and I hope we get to do it again next year.

Week at a glance...

Hey there blogging buddies... its been a while. Hows things ? Here is what I have been up to lately....

I've been on a bit of a reading roll lately. I felt like a bad librarian because after going over SLJ's list of 100 greatest children's novels, I realized that were a lot of classics that I haven't read! So I've been on a reading roll and I've been tackling that list! So far I've read the Westing Game, Holes and Because of Winn Dixie and so on.


It hasn't all been Children's classics, I finally got around to reading Maus. Its been on my to-read list for a while. One of my history professors in college always said it was the best narrative depiction of the holocaust. I guess I was on a historic/graphic novel kick, because I also read March by John Lewis. It is about Lewis' experience growing up during segregation and the part he played in the civil rights movement. Its interesting to see such serious moments from history be retold in graphic novel form. Its a format gets scoffed at, but the mix of imagery with text can evoke such emotion that sometimes the written word can't do.

I haven't been in the craft room that much lately. Work has been crazy (more on that later). However I have been doing a few things round the house. I made these snazzy pillows as part of the last Iron Craft Challenge.

I also decided to add some greenery into the house. The last few weeks we've gotten some Spring teases but its still to cold for gardening. So I decided to bring the outside in and I made some planters. I found the planters at the Dollar store and I jazzed them up a bit. Then I raided Home Depot for some house plants. It dawned on me that we don't have any houseplants at all! So We needed something! I put them in the dinning room, because it needs some sprucing.

I know Summer is still a few months off, but not for librarians. We started to organize and plan for the summer and it is a pretty daunting task. Some exciting things are happening and I love the theme this year: Fizz, Boom: Read! We are going to do some fun science-y things and I'll be sure to tell ya all about them! 

Friday night I got to channel my inner Katniss with an archery lesson. For Christmas Tim got me a voucher good for a lesson and an hour of shooting time at the Smith Point Archery Range. It something I've wanted to do for a while and it was a lot of fun. I did archery in High School and I guess some of it stuck with me, because I did pretty good with a few bulls-eyes! The instructor was a really awesome crotchety old man who was impressed. I think I might be investing in a bow. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Best thing Ever (this week) - Draw Quest

I've been trying to get back into drawing lately. I searched the app store to see if there was anything that would be helpful. I one of the Apps that came up was, Draw Quest. I've been having a lot of fun with it and making some fun drawings. 

The concept of Draw Quest is simple, everyday there is a new drawing challenge. There is a scene with a piece of it missing. It is up to the artists to fill in the rest of the picture. For example you have a blank road sign and you have to decide what is on it. I opted for Caution: Prince ahead. I even added a crying dove. 

The drawing tools in the app are pretty basic, but for every drawing you do you earn coins. These coins can be used to purchase to buy upgrades, like more colors and different paint tools. What is the best part of the game though, is seeing all of the other drawings. There are some pretty epic drawings.

So go check it out and make some beautiful drawings. 

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