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”

Honoring Jim Henson and the Art of Puppetry

When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for having been there. – Jim Henson

On Saturday, May 13th, The Seattle Public Library is delighted to be hosting an all-day, all-ages puppeteering event called Jim Henson Con with fantastic co-sponsor, Geek Girl Con. The event will not only honor a beloved genius whose creations have captured the imaginations of people worldwide, but celebrate the art of puppetry and all of those who practice it, whether professionally or simply for the love of the craft.

Among the activities at this convention will be performances by professional puppeteers Jennifer Carroll, Rachel Jackson and Jason Mondine, puppet making opportunities, and Labyrinth and Rainbow Connection sing-alongs. Special guest Karen Prell, who worked with Jim Henson and was the voice of Red Fraggle in Fraggle Rock and the worm in “Labyrinth” will also speak at the event, which is very exciting!

Make or bring your own homemade puppet or Henson-inspired costume and you can participate in our runway show, complete with fabulous prizes! Check out our Facebook event page for the full agenda. Continue reading “Honoring Jim Henson and the Art of Puppetry”

Get Outside: Crafting

Click here to view Plant Craft in the SPL catalogI grew up in Highland Park, a neighborhood that knocks on the door of White Center, in West Seattle. It was a childhood spent outside. I had a wonderful sloping hill in my front yard that was perfect for rolling down; the grass was soft and filled with clover and daises. I’d spend a lot of my time playing hot lava monster with the neighborhood kids, walking to the local park a block away to see how high the swings could take us, enjoying quiet time alone making mud pies and daisy chains, or climbing in the giant tree that grew in the corner of my lot. There is something about the outdoors that brings that all back; our imagination shouldn’t cease at adulthood. Continue reading “Get Outside: Crafting”

Origami Boxes

I like to fold paper. A lot. I don’t like make cranes, other cute animals or little people. I like making boxes, and putting together geometric shapes.

There is one origami author and artist that is the queen of such things: Tomoko Fuse. Her boxes can be fairly (and I use the term loosely) simple, to quite complex and amazing.

A couple of my favorite books of hers are: Origami Boxes and Fabulous Origami Boxes

Tomoko Fuse (born 1951) is generally considered to be one of the pre-eminent living Japanese Origami geniuses. Tomoko first learned origami when she was 19 and in the hospital. She has published more than 60 books.

Another book of hers in a slightly different direction is: Unit Polyhedoron Origami

If you are a paper folder, or wish to be one, but don’t really want to make cranes and cute animals, these are the books for you.

       ~ Mike B., Central Library

What I Made: Handmade Graduation Card

Seattle is home to a thriving DIY culture.  As part of an occasional series of posts, we feature hand-made items created by staff at The Seattle Public Library and the library books, CDs, and DVDs that showed them how to do it themselves. We hope you’ll draw inspiration from their creations and check some of the many great how-to resources the Library has to offer!

I love doing things that challenge me, keep me busy and my mind focused,  but I’m not much of a do-it-yourself kind of crafty art person.  I took an art class in high school and I liked it, but wouldn’t necessarily say that I am great at doing arts and crafts.  But I recently had a friend who was graduating from college and really wanted to try and do something special for her.  One day while working on processing the incoming branch delivery, I came across the book Creative Cards: 40 Projects for Handmade Invitations, Greeting Cards, Gift Wrap and More by Paula Pascual.  And that’s when the idea just came to me – I decided I was going to attempt to try making her a graduation card. 

This book has 40 of the most innovative easy to do projects for invitations and greeting cards for almost every occasion.  I found a great project for a graduation card, but  had my own rough conceptualization in my mind and knew what I wanted to include.  I used a lot of the ideas and Continue reading “What I Made: Handmade Graduation Card”