DIY Holidays: Crafty Gifts and Gifts of Food

Today is Black Friday, the traditional start of the holiday shopping season and historically the busiest shopping day of the year. If the idea of battling frenzied crowds for the latest must-have doo-dad makes you want to pull the covers over your head and never come out, we have an idea for you – make your own gifts! You’ll get to stay home, avoid the clogged streets, and maybe even learn a new skill. And nothing says you care like a homemade present! Here are a few recent titles to inspire you:

Miniature Terrariums
Terrariums are among some of the easiest, quickest and cheapest crafts to make. Try it out yourself at our Holiday Craft workshop coming up next Thursday, November 29th at the Central Library, 5:30 pm (free and open to all while supplies last).

Take a Tin by Jemima Schlee
You’ve probably got a few tin cans lying around the house somewhere. Upcycle these ubiquitous household items into lamps, storage and other fun gifts. Continue reading “DIY Holidays: Crafty Gifts and Gifts of Food”

Nap Time is my Happy Hour

Napping isn’t just for kids anymore. Sometimes on my days off just curling up with my cats and a good book I’ll find myself just nodding off a bit…and it’s wonderful! Same goes for work, when I’m working a late shift and the afternoon yawns hit, I’ll curl under my desk on my 15-minute break and take a little shuteye. Turns out, there’s a scientific reason for nap time.

From Scientific American (11/18/15):

We reach peak daytime sleepiness in the afternoon, making 2-3pm the ideal time for a nap. If you are an early riser, you may need to shift that time slightly earlier.

Napping between 10 and 20 minutes is best, and no longer than 30 minutes. Longer naps can cause you to feel groggy, something researchers call sleep inertia.

Set an alarm so that you can rest easy without worrying whether or not you’ll wake up in time for your next meeting or class.

Create a nap-friendly environment. Dim the lights and perhaps add some white noise or some low level classical music, whatever works for you.

Some people swear by the coffee-and-nap combo. Since caffeine takes about 20 minutes to kick in, you can swig a cup of joe and then take a 15-20 minute power nap.

 

Here are a few nap inspired reads to get you started! Continue reading “Nap Time is my Happy Hour”

Bird Week: Put a Bird On It!

The Seattle Public Library is partnering with the Seward Park Audubon Center for Bird Week, April 23-30, in celebration of the center’s 10th anniversary and the National Audubon Society’s 2018 Year of the Bird.

Long before Portlandia made it a meme, artists and craftspeople have been adorning their work with birds. One of the earliest known artworks is a 30,000 year-old sculpture of a water bird carved from a mammoth tusk. By the time John James Audubon began painting his famous Birds of America in the early 19th century, birds had been the subject of paintings, sculptures, weavings, jewelry and many other art forms for millennia.

You too can join this hallowed artistic tradition and celebrate Bird Week by creating your very own bird-centric art pieces Continue reading “Bird Week: Put a Bird On It!”

Judge a Book by its Spine

They say to never judge a book by its cover (though we all do), but what about its spine? While in libraries, bookstores, and private homes we all try our best to face our beautiful collections out for all of the world to behold, most collections are smooshed together citing space considerations, presenting only the slender spine of the work.

Why should anyone care about the spine of a book? The spine is, especially in the library, a very valuable piece of real-estate on each book. Apart from the covers of display books, this is the first part of the book that people see. The spine conveys both utilitarian information about a book’s place in a series, its author, and publisher; and also presents a chance for the book to sell itself. This space can provides a reader’s first clue as to what the book is about, its characters, its appeal, and so on… You might not get to the cover, if you don’t get past the spine. Continue reading “Judge a Book by its Spine”

Happiness is a Painted Rock

A rock I found at UW Tacoma!

Well it’s March and that sun of ours is making its way more and more into our lives. It gives those of us that live in this beautiful Pacific Northwest region more opportunities to romp around. Taking place in my little corner of Tacoma is one of my favorite little surprises around this time: finding Tacoma Rocks. Painted rocks have also spread to Seattle and other parts of our region.

As you make your way to parks and campgrounds and beaches, keep an eye out for some happiness in the shape of a painted rock…or check out these books from the library and make your own!

The Art of Stone Painting: 30 Designs to Spark your Creativity by F. Sehnaz Bac

“Transform ordinary stones into a colorful works of art. Full-color illustrations accompany step-by-step instructions for creating 30 different themes: trees, flowers, animals, mandalas, geometric patterns, marine and holiday motifs, and more”

Continue reading “Happiness is a Painted Rock”