Maker Mondays and More

Maker Mondays is our monthly arts and craft program, which is often lead by a teaching artist from our region of the Finger Lakes (FLX). On April 26, Wynn Yarrow will lead the next Maker Mondays with Papier Mache the Quick and Easy Way. Hit that hyperlink if you want to join the Zoom Room with us. Our gratitude for the grants programs in our region helping to make this program possible. This activity is made possible in part by the QuickARTS grant program administered by The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes and funded by the Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes, Inc.

If you register for the class, a free materials kit will be provided for you to pick up at the Southeast Steuben County Library. We offer curbside delivery for those patrons who prefer the service. You can schedule a curbside delivery of a program materials kit or any material the library offers. Check out the online catalog and type “kit” into the search query to find crafting and maker kits that you can borrow to explore a new hobby. For those who cannot attend our classes, check out this link for paper mache instructions from The Spruce Crafts.

Sew Wednesdays is another monthly offering from the library makerspace, Creation Station. Offered on the Second Wednesday of the Month (S.W.O.M.), I compile a video tutorial and upload it to our YouTube channel for Public Preview at 7pm. This week, we will learn how to make a Bunny Lunch Bag.

Set an Alarm for April 14 at 7pm

As we approach Earth Day and consider ways to eliminate waste or simply reduce and reuse our packaging, this sewing tutorial will show you how to create a cute and functional lunch bag for you midday fuel. There’s even enough room to add a paperback beside your sandwich and salad.

We are super stoked to have a second helping of Sew Wednesdays this month thanks to our friend and ethical apparel designer, Jesse Junko Bearsdslee of Themis and Thread.

Fashion Revolution Week is April 19-25, 2021. It is a great time to learn who made your clothes and even take a test run at making your own. With skills and style like Jesse, you don’t want to miss this personal invitation to join the revolution! Sign up today to for a spot in this Live and Virtual Apron Sew-Along class on Wednesday, April 21 at 8pm. Sew an Apron just like the image above. There are 3 fabric options chosen for the kits. Your registration includes a Grab and Sew Kit specifically crafted for you by Jesse Junko Bearsdlee. If you have no interest in sewing, but want to support artisans like Jesse, visit her store Hector Handmade online or visit it on Seneca Lake.

Dreamcatchers and LIVE MUSIC

For the final Kitsch & Kvetch class, we met in-person at the Fountain in Riverfront Centennial Park. To our surprise, we found a full celebration with kilts and bagpipers and LIVE MUSIC for Tartan Day, which is April 6, “the date on which the Declaration of Arbroath was signed in 1320.” The Scottish American Society of the Southern Tier hosted this event, which was a delight to many passersby on an evening with such pleasant weather. This moment felt like the true turning of the tide for Covid-19 and the Quarantine Lock-down. Warm weather and birdsong often gives me that kind of hope, but LIVE MUSIC made the hope feel ever-more-real. We have lots of supplies leftover from class. Dreamcatcher Kits with instructions are coming to our Take and Make table in a couple of weeks. Think May Day, Roger.

Crafting with Kimberly will replace Kitsch & Kvetch, which actually replaced Crafting with Kimberly during quarantine…

We are very excited to welcome back our Crafty Gal, Kimberly Canale with another popular gnome option. This time it’s Nature Gnomes! Register for your spot in this class, which will be on Star Wars Day, May 4. May the Fourth Be With You and us as we plan to meet in person at the Civic Center Courtyard behind the library, but we will also provide a Zoom Room for those who prefer a virtual option. Kimberly returns with another kitschy-cute Gnome for you to craft on your own. Glue guns and sticks have all the control in this process so grab a finger saver now.

Finally, we get another chance to ground our minds and move our bodies to the gentle guidance of Elizabeth Moses of Crystal Heart Yoga. Her direction through the postures of yoga will invigorate your spirit and awaken your will for a wonderful weekend. Be sure to set aside this moment of self-care for yourself on the mat. We take Mindfulness seriously, providing this moment as a gentle gesture to take care. Just a sip will make a world of difference. This class will be offered on Facebook Live from the Southeast Steuben County Library page. Login, Like Us, and set notifications for when we go live. We offer much more than what this blog records!

That’s a wrap for this stationary moment. I’ll check you on the flip side!

national craft month

March is National Craft Month, so we’ve been busy packing Take and Make kits, hosting craft classes, 3D printing and editing videos to add to our YouTube channel. If you have not been able to snag a craft kit or attend a class, the Tube is your virtual classroom no matter how far flung you may be from Corning.

Paint Faux Watercolor with Filomena Jack

Starting in reverse, the most recent Maker Mondays brought us Faux Watercolor painting with Filomena Jack. This class was made possible in part by the QuickARTS grant program administered by The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes and funded by the Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes, Inc. Take a peek at this fun class as get a taste for watercolor painting without the expensive supply investment!

Crochet with Kimberly

Kitsch & Kvetch was hosted by Kimberly Canale who taught us to crochet a water bottle holder to use for long walks and hikes. The pattern we used to stitch the project was created by Goddess Crochet. Kimberly guided us through each step of the pattern, while giving some neat tips and tricks. If you have a hankering for hooking, but need a little guidance, check out the Stitch n Bitch book from the library. If you need supplies, ten crochet kits will hit our Take & Make table this Saturday, April 3, as an Easter Bunny Treat. Be sure to hop in the library to grab a kit and say “Hi” before you leave.

There will be one more Kitsch & Kvetch on April 6 before we return to Crafting with Kimberly. Register today, then join me at the Riverfront Centennial Park at 6:30pm (weather permitting) to weave dreamcatchers using natural elements. If we are hit by rain or snow, the class will be recorded on Zoom.

Sew a Drawstring Pouch

Sew Wednesday taught us how to make a Drawstring Pouch. The little pouch also makes a convenient storage space for my face masks. I usually keep a stash of them in my car, but they were tossed haphazardly in my dash compartment before I made this handy helper. The library has lots of fabric and sewing supplies to help you create a similar pouch of your very own. Stop in the Creation Station to learn more.

We share the joys of yoga movement one Saturday per month. If you missed the class in early March, you can follow this link to watch it and make some time for yourself on your mat. We will host another relaxing session with Elizabeth Moses of Crystal Heart Yoga on April 10 at 11am via Facebook. No account is necessary to watch the video, but Facebook can be tricky. We want you to find relaxation and avoid tech goblins attacking.

As we turn the calendar pages in the morning, remember not be a Fool tomorrow! ❤

That’s a wrap for this stationary moment. I’ll check you on the flip side!

What’d the Doctor Say?

From 1997 through 2018, the National Education Association (NEA) and Dr. Seuss Enterprises partnered to create Dr. Suess Day. This annual celebration on March 2 honors the birthday of author Theodor Geisel, the “Doctor” whose stories are well known and loved by many generations. It has become evident that a selection of his work holds racial connotations that cannot be ignored. Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced today that six titles in the author’s collection of work will stop being published because of racist and insensitive imagery. The NEA’s contract with Dr. Seuss Enterprises ended in 2018. Since then, the NEA has been marketing March 2 to be better known as Read Across America Day as a strategic attempt to focus on motivating children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources that are about everyone, for everyone.

This shift is not about Cancel Culture. Read Across America began as a project to instill a love of reading in young learners, but has been recognized as excluding whole sectors of student populations. This is more of an evolution of society. Learning something new or “re-educating and reorienting our consciousness” takes courage, acceptance and adaptability. Cultural Diversity is becoming a steadfast goal in organizations. Rather than use nostalgia as a defense for acceptance, it is time to use history as an educational platform for positive and effective change.

Truffula Tree Treats from 2015

I sensed the lack of Seussical fanfare today after I shared a social media memory from 2015. A friend replied with this article that President Biden was “Erasing Dr. Seuss,” which caught me in a rabbit hole of internet research on this subject. Despite the cute red and white stripes, the Cat in the Hat injects racial innuendos of the Black Face Ministrels. The first lady of the last presidential administration was called out by a school librarian for her gift of Geisels in 2017. Said librarian offered a list of diverse books for students to read instead. Was the Cat in the Hat Black is part of that list and a must read for all those seeking to be “woke.” Deconstructing racism is just like peeling back the layers of an onion.

Peeling Back the Layers

As we step towards the path of Peeling Back the Layers, I invite you to show up for yourself, so that you have capacity to show up for others. Can we call that a smooth transition? <(wink)> Mark your calendars for 11am this Saturday, March 6. Yoga with Elizabeth Moses will likely get you centered and ready to continue on the righteous journey of enlightenment. This class will be presented on Facebook Live and will be accessible at your convenience.

While change and pivoting can become exhausting, we are aware of the global Mental Health crises during this pandemic. Mindful exercise like Yoga is a great step toward self-care. Keep an eye on the Southeast Steuben county Library’s calendar of activities as new Mental Health Awareness programs will Pop-up in the near future. “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” ― Rumi

That’s a wrap for this stationary moment. I’ll check you on the flip side!

What’s Happening!!

Hey, HEY, hey! We’ve reached the final Friday of February and I have a recap of what’s happening in the Hall of Books, aka Southeast Steuben County Library. Sponsoring Black History Month events with the SUNY Corning Community College Diversity Center has kept us engaged and focused on positive change. There were weekly online programs including special guest speakers, student moderators, local movers and shakers, and our community members engaging in conversation on the unique platform of Zoom. Meeting UK based glass artist Chris Day, athlete/author/activist Etan Thomas, and UK based Kanneh-Mason family of musicians provided opportunities to engage with global voices in a socially distanced way. I find that although we are socially separate in space, this virtual meetup setting we have grown accustomed to is really an amazing tool of Unity. In “Regular Times,” most of our schedules would find resistance to attending these meetings in-person, but the luxury of internet connection and digital devices allows for a greater chance of community connection than ever before. The programming wizard behind this magic is Babatunde Ayanfodun, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Assistant at the college. He stated his goal with these events is to “re-educate and reorient our consciousness.” I completely agree with that mission and look forward to extending these conversations on equity and inclusion throughout the year.

After wonderfully deep-dive conversations with Chris Day and Etan Thomas, I found pure delight in the sound of Live Music being played for our ears from “Across the Pond.” The Kanneh-Masons’ music soothed my spirit and made me realize that what I truly miss in this pandemic is the chance to see musicians perform on stage, feel their music in my pulse, and share the energy of the experience with complete strangers who decide to gather for the pure enjoyment that music brings. I found my toes tapping and goosebumps rising to particular notes from the violin and piano. I reveled in the mastery these kind souls shared with us in the small community of Corning, New York. If the online, virtual events are getting you down, I highly recommend a little musical entertainment to soothe your savage soul.

Maker Monday: Book Lover’s Creativity Class

Filomena Jack was our guest-host for Maker Monday and lead a Book Lover’s Creativity Class. Watch the video recording of her class on our YouTube channel. You might find a selection of other treats. Perhaps you’ll feel inclined to hit the Subscribe button and show a little Library Love. Follow Filomena Jack Studio for more crafty tutorials. Remember to register for her next Maker Monday takeover. It will be a unique virtual class using markers as “water color” to paint an all over floral design.

Take and Make

If you step inside the library building, grab a Take and Make kit from Filomena Jack Studio before they are gone. These kits are a wonderful way to get crafty on your own schedule. All you need to add to this kit is a pair of scissors and a pencil to make your own experimental books! Share your projects in the comments or tag us on social using #CreationStation

Today is the Day!

Library Advocacy Day is Today. How do you show Love for your Library? This annual campaign is critical to maintain the funding libraries need to provide quality services to their constituents. We asked our patrons to send in their Love Letters to Albany. Are you willing to be a Library Superhero? What is the value of your public library to you and your family? How does your public library impact your life? If you love your library, like we do, you have a part to play in Advocacy Day. Making your voice heard is what helps #FundLIbraries It takes less than two minutes to send your message supporting New York’s Libraries.

Brian Hildreth, the director of our library system, showed his Library Love today. The annual bus trip our Library Super Heroes usually embark upon looked very different this year as a virtual rally. Whether you were part of the action this afternoon, remember that Advocacy does not end today. Support of equal rights, racial equanimity, diversity, and inclusion are still a part of the agenda. While we near the end of Black History Month and look towards the spring, our library will continue to advocate for our patrons. We hope you will return the respect.

That’s a wrap for this stationary moment. I’ll check you on the flip side!

President’s Day

The speed of time allowed the day for LOVE to come and go with the beat of a heart. I created this little Heart Shaped Pot Holder sewing tutorial as part of the library’s YouTube channel options. Lots of folks are interested in learning to sew and often seek some inspiration. Thanks to Craftsy, I transformed their written instructions into a visual tutorial. If you lack a sewing machine, take one of ours for a test drive. The Southeast Steuben County Library has several sewing machines to borrow!

Sew Wednesday sewing tutorial

The Southeast Steuben County Library is sponsoring several events with SUNY Corning Community College this month. We celebrated the art of glass maker, Chris Day on February 9, which was really fun since Chris lives in the United Kingdom. This Virtual Life is offering unique options for engagement. View Alice’s Ordinary People tonight as part of the library’s two-part event. Before you hit part two of this event tomorrow, catch this discussion with athlete, author and activist, Etan Thomas on February 16 at 6pm on Zoom. This #BlackHistoryMonth presentation is lead by SUNY Corning Community College. Register to engage with the conversation or tune in Facebook Live to watch the presentation.

If you have a hankering for handmade books, register today for Maker Mondays: Book Lover’s Creativity Class with Filomena Jack on February 22 at 4:30pm. Filomena will lead students through the process of making 4 types of experimental books. This class will take place via Zoom. Register for the class, pick up supplies at the Southeast Steuben Count Library. You will receive a link to sign in to the class and enjoy this virtual offering. Filomena is the Star Maker in March once again with a Faux Watercolor Painting technique. You just might want to register today for the excitement.

Register to Make with Us!

Take and Make project kits are returning this Saturday, February 20. Artist Wynn Yarrow created a variety of kits for each person to take a pack and create their own individual work of art. Each kit contains felt, threads, a needle, and beads in a selection of colors. Wynn gave me a pin as a gift. The image below is an example of what you can make. Pick up a pack at the Sanitation Station starting Saturday until supplies deplete. ❤

Take & Make Felt Pins

March and the next Kitsch and Kvetch are really right around the corner. March is National Craft Month, so we have a two-fer for ya.The next session craft club session is on March 2 at 6:30pm where we will collage photographs onto ceramic tiles creating Photo Coasters. These objects become useful home decor and make lovely gifts. If you’ve got an itchin’ for stitchin’, register for the second Kitsch and Kvetch on March 16 where we will Crochet Water Bottle Holders. Each registrant will receive a 3D printed crochet hook and enough yarn to make the project.

Register Here

That’s enough of a breakdown of the month on this snowy President’s Day holiday. Stay safe out there!

That’s a wrap for this stationary moment. I’ll check you on the flip side!

Celebrating Black History Month

February is Black History Month and we are celebrating by sponsoring several events hosted by our friends at SUNY Corning Community College and the Katherine P. Douglas Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. We welcome you to a conversation with glass artist, Chris Day on Tuesday, February 9 at noon.

Chris Day fuses glass, ceramics, and metal to explore Black history and personal identity. He will discuss how the legacy of slavery, the under-representation of Black artists, and his mixed heritage shape his work. Joining us as guest moderators will be Susie Silbert, Curator of Postwar & Contemporary Glass at the Corning Museum of Glass, and Jessica Smith, SUNY CCC student.

Gain some personal insight from athlete and author, Etan Thomas on Tuesday, February 16 at 6pm. Join us for a presentation and discussion with former Syracuse University and NBA player Etan Thomas. Etan will speak to our community about the black athlete, their activism, and the impact on social change. Etan is a major voice in the conversation of social justice and it will be a pleasure for our students, local youth, and all community members to hear from him, how he pivoted from Syracuse Orange and NBA basketball player to an activist, writer, speaker. Joining us as a guest moderator will be Sky Moss, SUNY CCC Professor.

Enjoy a performance and discussion with members of the Kanneh-Mason family on Wednesday, February 24 at 2pm. Younger sisters Jeneba on the piano and Aminata on violin will perform a few songs then join us for a discussion with their mom, Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason. Joining us as a guest moderator will be Benita Eldridge, Assistant Principal at Elmira High School.

The Southeast Steuben County Library will present a two-day event focusing on the film, Alice’s Ordinary People. Alice’s Ordinary People is a documentary about Alice Tregay, an unsung heroine of the Civil Rights Movement. Her remarkable story spans the historic marches of Dr. King through the election of Barack Obama, and her great contribution in the field of politics is the thread which connects the two. On Monday, February 15 at 7pm, the Library will show the film via Zoom. On Tuesday, February 16 at 7pm, there will be a live talk and discussion led by the filmmaker, Craig Dudnick.

Get Your Body Moving

Get your body moving on Thursday, February 25 at 6pm with Afrobeat Fit. Afrobeat Fit is a high intensity cardio workout where music and movement derive from the late and great artist and influencers of Africa. Afrobeat Fit “Sweat Sessions” are always inclusive to all and rooted in love!

This Month is Cooking!

In Celebrating Cultures Through Cooking, Chefs Andy and Nogaye will demonstrate the preparation of “thiou” and ingredient baskets can be purchased for $35 prior to the event through an online registration. Once purchased, baskets will be available for pick-up at the customer service desk at Wegmans Corning. Guests are invited to prepare their own “thiou” at their home, while the chefs create the demonstration. Professor Moss will moderate the demonstration with questions and answers, facts, and information.

There is so much to pack in this month. This listing is just a sip of the options we have to offer from the Library and our community partners. Zip around these links and broaden your perspective.

That’s a wrap for this stationary moment. I’ll check you on the flip side!

Technical Difficulty

Glitches!

Technical difficulties are glitches we experience and eventually fix. Whether digital, electrical, or even even in the body/ mind/ spirit capacity- things can go awry anytime. Within just 26 days of entry into 2021 the Nation’s Capitol was attacked, our library website crashed, Covid-19 reached our staff and closed the library, and my hand decided to stop working for what we’ll call a Hot Minute (comparable to my anticipated lifespan). Yet, the the earth continued to rotate in the vast expanse of our galaxy. The natural rhythm of life inevitably returns to a pace we can tolerate with less anxiety, but perhaps more awareness and courage.

While most of our minds are still reeling from that Doomsday of January 6, we can also appreciate the effect of law and order to withhold the election results and provide a new administration to help steer this country into a positive realm. The challenge is grand, but each of us holds a duty to put our hands to use to build the peaceful society that each of us deserves. I am looking to the newly elected officials as the Makers of America and checking how I can fit in as a new color to this rainbow of hope.

Click Here to Register

The website difficulty that reared its ugly head last week became part of a multi-fold situation where all program registration forms were not available on the webpages, then Covid-19 hit our staff and the library closed for the week, so classes needed to be postponed. While our staff numbers return to a required quantity to provide the stellar services we offer, the library is closed, but Curbside pick up is still an option. With every technical difficulty discovered, there is a key to resolving the problem. Luckily we have a graphic guru who fixed our website and now registration for programs can continue with ease. Maker Mondays is rescheduled for February 1. Register today to make a spectacular swivel card with Wynn Yarrow on Zoom.

Kvetching over Cancellations

My wrapped hand (seen above) is part of a tendon problem that many Makers and typists experience. With the proper care, rest, and rehabilitation, I should be able to stitch, cut, sew, and create to my heart’s content in a few more weeks. Until then, the new craft club, Kitsch and Kvetch is canceled in February. We would have learned how to crochet granny squares together, but that plan is on the back burner until March. In place of the canceled class, stay tuned to the Southeast Steuben County Library’s YouTube channel where the latest Cricut tutorial will drop on February 2. If you missed the first Kitsch and Kvetch, this video will be a rerun to catch up on what you missed! We meet again on March 2 to create Photo Coasters using ceramic tiles, printed photographs, and lots of glue.

Repair that Technical Difficulty

My first Sew Wednesday was a personal lesson in patience and acceptance. I actually began this blog post the night of January 13, while waiting for large files to upload, download, and do-si-do. This age of online experience is a constant learning curve, but a valuable challenge. While I juggled recording devices, focusing on close-up footage, editing the video, and relying on country WiFi to work like broadband, time ticked away. This little ditty finally published late in the evening, but the final product also needed to be adjusted. Luckily, the lessons of patience and acceptance rose to the occasion. A few snips and new stitches of thread resolved my quandary of poor execution. The Travel Pincushion tutorial is a great project for beginner and advanced sewists alike. Holler atcha girl if you give it a whirl.

Pizza from the Valley

January is National Hobby Month! For those intent in adding a new hobby to their year,  the options are limitless. If you like cooking, our old Urban Corning friend, Myles Lasco lives on the west coast, but longs for the flavors of the Twin Tiers. Follow along with Myles as he interprets his own copy cat recipes of some regional favorites. If you’ve ever tasted a Mangialardo’s Pizza and had a craving to mimic it at home, follow this tutorial for an entertaining approach to this famous pie. You can even use the dough to make some hoagie rolls.

Perhaps glass blowing is your aspiration; Corning is the Crystal City after all. If you are a Netflix subscriber, watch and cheer on local female glassblower, Cat Burns. She proves her skills on screen and will teach you the same. Sign up as a student for her classes at The Corning Museum of Glass. 

Viewing Art Exhibitions

If viewing more art exhibitions is on your hobby list, take a down Market Street from the library to the galleries. Our community partners, The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes have work on exhibit by local freelance artist, Julie Waltz-Stalker. If your location limits you from strolling the streets of Corning, visit this virtual gallery. Photo credit: Chris Walters Photography.

V O L U N T E E R !

A hobby like volunteering can be cherished in your community. I want to send a big SHOUT OUT to our long-time volunteer extraordinaire, Mary Ann Thomas ! ❤ Personal service and dedication like hers is admirable and infectious. Read more about this big check she shared with our library in the FHFCU Blog. It looks like our new neighbors and friends are helping make positive change happen in our small community. Much gratitude, Mary Ann and First Heritage!

Bernie’s Mittens!

As the passing of time proves, there is a moment for everything. I truly appreciated this weekend’s lighthearted moment of Bernie’s Mittens Memes. After so many glitches this month, it was a joy to find this Easter Egg in the archives of ReCouture, a fashion show to benefit The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes. Upcylcled trash is transformed into wearable art on the runway, but Bernie’s upcycled mittens have Stolen the Show.

That’s a wrap for this stationary moment. I’ll check you on the flip side!

Heavy Holidays

Have the holidays left you feeling Heavy? Celebrations occurred in varying capacities of comfort these past few weeks. Some folks met virtually, while some continued long-standing traditions of holiday splendor. Family gatherings may have been outside with blankets and face coverings, a very unusual experience from previous years. Or–nothing may have changed–traditions met regardless of external restrictions. However you celebrate, or skip, the holiday season, there are many ways to enter to the new year feeling Heavy.

Be it with excessive snacks and high caloric bevvies or with family turmoil highlighting hidden anxieties, the spectrum of Holiday Heavy is as broad as the spectrum of light. Individuals are just like snowflakes- unique and one-of-a-kind. We want to flit about, fly and gather- to be jovial, but the Covid turmoil gripping the globe, consistent political poo-poo, and weight of the effects of governments’ decisions on each of us personally are piling the issues like a blizzard. This weight can make it hard to feel light.

Santa’s Elves to the Rescue

Enter the magical elves of the season to keep things Merry and Bright. If a Scrooge Spirit left you feeling Ho-Hum, there is still time to let Santa’s Toyland shine away the sour. This magnificent gem located at 1174 Red School Road in Caton, NY is a Maker’s Delight. It is a VIBRANT LIGHT spectacular that is a local tradition since 1999. The couple behind this magical scene put their heart and soul into these handmade creations and possibly their entire life saving’s into their electric bill annually to serve our desires. Besides this sweet secret location being within a pebble’s throw from my home quarters, it is offered FREE to the public. Just drive by this country home between the hours of 5:30 and 10:30pm now through New Year’s Eve to see this spectacle for yourself. If you are too distant to see this in person or just want to share it virtually, check out my drive-by video below. This is how we celebrate Christmas Eve in Caton.

In Case You Can’t Visit

While the wet weather washed away our White Christmas, these lights truly sparked the holiday spirit for my family. It is endearing to know how a simple (those lights are not simple!!) gesture can make so many hearts glow. The Creation Station Crew’s gesture – 12 Days of Giving Crafts also sparked many hearts in our community. The Take and Make kits we created flew off our Welcome table as quickly as we could offer them. We are as grateful as the recipients to spread the joy and good cheer. One young Maker in particular found a Friend with Booker the Reindeer. His mom received the last of these 3D printed cuties and we couldn’t be more pleased to see the joyful connection these two have created.

Booker Being Painted

The Air-Dry Clay star project I created finally found its finish line. After working with each star with much patience to create a metal surface effect, they were strung on fishing line/ monofilament and knotted through holes in sticks that were varnished. The final product is rustic, yet elegant. I love the way each star seems to dance in mid-air as they catch a draft from the heater or someone passing. Kinetic art in simple status.

Simple Stars

That background is certainly wretched, but this elf was hustling to finish the projects for Santa’s sleigh. Later in 2021, we’ll discuss photography and quality backgrounds. Those wrinkles and fuzz, low-light and blur are all examples of what-not-to-do. What you should do is register today for the first Kitsch and Kvetch class slated for Tuesday, January 5 at 6:30pm. We will walk through the basics of Cricut Design Space. I’ll source a sweet iron-on decal for you to create on your own. Then, just arrange a time to cut it out at the library. The process is quick and fun. Whether you have design skills, but never used a Cricut precision cutter or have no idea what this means, but you desire some “Me Time,” register with this link and get prepared for a fun evening.

Grow a Grogu

“Such a large bounty for such a small package”. – The Client ❤ If you got hooked on The Mandalorian or just love a little green Jedi with wide ears, this cute model just might be your ticket to the Creation Station Makerspace. We are filling requests to print The Child, also known as Grogu. This model will fit an Echo Dot 3 and looks out-of-this-world when you communicate with Alexa. These babies take a whole day to grow, so warp-speed your requests before Empire Strikes Back.

Ball Drop or Cake Pop

While the Times Square Ball Drop (Google search that line, it’s fun!) might look mildly different this year, it is with heavy heart to relay that my absolute favorite holiday is canceled. Some of you think of January 1 as New Year’s Day. To this Philly Girl, January 1 is and always will be Mummers Day. The tradition is strong in my home where we’ve religiously snuggled in front of the television, even braved the frigid temperatures on Broad Street- followed by the real Parade on 2 Street a few times, to enjoy hours of costumes, dance, and merriment to signify the start of a new year. While I know Philly goes rogue and no one can tell a Mummer what to do, Protest Parades will still occur, just not televised for those of us stuck in Upstate New York. Instead of watching Mr. Mummer or viewing the glow of Waterford Crystal, I’ll make a ball (or several) and eat some emotions as I welcome the new year and bid adieu to 2020. Just think, this new century will be of legal age to drink. Twenty One, here we come!

Make Mummers Part of Your Day

That’s a wrap for this stationary moment. I’ll check you on the flip side!

Ps. Happy Cold Moon! Get outside and look up. The skies are clear for a change in Corning. ❤

12 Days of Giving Crafts

Christmas Bells

We started the Twelve Days of Giving Crafts on 12/12 to boost the holiday spirit. I have been collecting leftover class materials from the year and packaging them as Take and Make project kits for patrons to share or enjoy at home. The Christmas Bells rang in this idea and became a popular feature at our welcome station in the Southeast Steuben County Library. Keep your eyes peeled for this special treat basket on your next visit inside the building. Take one kit to use or pass it along as a gift. Be sure to tag us @ssclibrary on social media and mention #CreationStation ❤

None of Your Beeswax

Beeswax Fabric Wraps have become very popular way to swap out plastic wrap and stay environmentally conscious. This was an in-demand class before the pandemic hit, and one of our last in-person classes hosted inside the building. The surplus of supplies are now packaged sweetly for your enjoyment. There are tons of lovely tutorials to follow. My favorite is from Crafty Patti and I based all of the instructions and ratios using this tutorial. The wraps you create are reusable for many months, and can be refreshed with more beeswax, pine resin, and jojoba oil when necessary.

Take and Make one today!

Another package of Take and Make kits I just released are Air-Dry Clay Star sets. I 3D printed star cookie cutters, rolled out the clay to a thin layer, cut out the stars in various sizes, then poked a hole in a point of each star so it can be hung. After allowing the clay to get leathery, I pressed lace onto the surface for a patterned texture.

Stars and Lace

After allowing these stars to dry completely on a flat surface for several days, they can be painted or sealed. I recommend acrylic paint with very little water. Perhaps my clay was not dry enough, but in experimenting with surface patterning, the clay started to mix with the pigment. I decided that abquick application of paint with low water content and minimal touching of the surface gives best results. If the weather were warmer, I would have taken a quick cover approach with spray paint.

Surface and Texture

I’ll work with these stars for awhile longer until I reach a finish that suits my style. I am aiming for a shiny, yet antiqued appearance. These stars will be strung and hung on a sturdy branch as rustic decor. I was inspired by this cute craft from Think Make Share, but wanted to experiment with a medium other than paper. The results will be revealed next week.

New Progamming

First Tuesdays from 6:30-8pm will be your new favorite time in the new year. Join our modern take on a crafting club where we create the latest trend and learn to make all the things. Snacks to nosh and adult bevies are optional! Sling your hot glue guns and wield your crochet hooks, it’s going to be a fun venture. Supply suggestions will be provided. Participants will collect materials at the library.

by the Chimney with Care

The stockings are hung by our chimney with care. If you want to make a stocking like the ones above, follow this link for a detailed tutorial. For our friends interested in sewing, I have a new addition coming to the 2021 library’s activities calendar. Sew Wednesdays will be every SWOM (Second Wednesday of the Month). These sewing tutorials will premiere on the library YouTube channel at 7pm. Grab your notebooks and a bowl of popcorn as we walk you through the process. Stitch up a sweet project each month following along with a tutorial from the Creation Station. Remember, the library has sewing machines you can borrow to use at home! Mark your calendars for January 13 where we will make Travel Pincushions.

More new programs will be popping up soon, but don’t be shy! If you have a suggestion for a class or request a specific Take and Make, drop a comment or email. We look forward to hearing from our followers.

That’s a wrap for this stationary moment. I’ll check you on the flip side!

Advent

Traditionally Advent is a season, November 29 to December 24, and holds loads of religious significance. An advent is the arrival of something. All religion aside, there are many seasons and reasons to countdown and perhaps celebrate. While the holiday season is upon us, and there are many cultures to consider, we often focus on Christmas. Whether you recognize the birth of Christ, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Yule, the festivals of light have arrived and what better way to prepare than with lots of stars to brighten the long nights? I took to the trusty Cricut precision cutting machine to whip up an advent calendar of sparkling stars that can also be used as gift packages. This project builds upon the origami skills we gained in the Shining Stars class for Maker Monday in November.

Sparkle and Shine

The Southeast Steuben County Library makerspace, Creation Station hosts a Cricut Explore Air and all of the materials one needs to complete this Origami Star Advent Calendar. We have a subscription to Cricut Access, which can only be used in the makerspace, but you can complete these stars with good old-fashioned scissors and origami skills. After running through the process, I would even suggest using origami paper and following the tutorial provided later in this blog. There are some downfalls to the Cricut system that bug me, so I want to give you the heads up on how to proceed with the best success. This project creates twenty four paper stars that can hold a small prize, message, or cash. I took advantage of an extra star to personalize a gift for a relative, then hung it on the tree seen above. (Yes, that is our Jade plant decorated like a Christmas tree! Eclectic we be.)

Thinner Paper Suggested

Although Cricut offers lovely project ideas, their provided instructions lack in many ways. I often feel I am cutting paper or vinyl without a clear view of the steps to the final process. There have been several times when following a project in their design suite, that I have to research better instructions elsewhere in the internet. This project proved to be a prime example. If you search “Advent” in Cricut Design Space, this project pops up in the results. I highly recommend using a thin card stock or paper to construct these. I used thicker card stock, but the folds were tough to crease and the layers of the paper started to peel apart. This is apparent in sharp corners, like the brown star seen above.

The Countdown

I sourced this YouTube video to instruct the proper folding method to achieve these stars. Follow that link to find the best tutorial to guide you to success. A little patience goes a long way. Silver stickers I have had forever were perfect to adhere to the back of each star. I cut numbers to create the count down using adhesive vinyl. A punched hole and fishing line make these stars visually float, since the filament is clear. Add an ornament hook and you’re all set. Hanging these stars in a window on a curtain rod proved to be the most simple approach and festive touch to my holiday decor. I hope you give this project a try. Reach out if you want to learn how to use the Cricut in the Creation Station!

Booker the Reindeer

The Creation Station is starting to provide Take and Make project kits to our patrons. We currently have a daily raffle to win a 3D printed Booker the Reindeer. This model can be found on Thingiverse and printed upon request if you mention this blog post. If you want to enter the daily drawing, follow this link to enter. Each kit comes with an articulated reindeer, sandpaper to smooth the model, acrylic paints, and a brush. If you are a lucky recipient, please share your creation with us on social media. Tag the library @ssclibrary and use #creationstation. We can’t wait to see our fleet of reindeer out in the community!

Christmas Scene

If you happen to stroll through the library this month, take a peek at the Christmas Scene on display near the circulation desk. This project was a labor of love, also made with the aide of the Circut. This paper-craft takes lots of patience and dedication, but has provided a festive scene for several years. If I were to make this again, I would use an archival glue recommended by paper-craft artisans. Some layers of paper are starting to pull apart, but a little dab of Elmer’s glue stick is a quick fix. This scene easily stores in a shoe box and is actually living its fifth season in our care. Give a comment if your family has a paper Christmas Scene passed down through the generations. HOLLER if you are another crazy-crafter who made that scene above!!!

Ringing in the Spirit

As we wind down the year-we-never-could-have-imagined, there is a sweet suggestion spreading on social media. At 6pm on Christmas Eve, assuming Eastern Time, it is suggested to ring a bell for 2 minutes to spread the Christmas Spirit. My family has traditionally banged pots and pans outside around the house on New Year’s Eve. This bell ringing is likely a new addition to our tradition. Have you found this suggestion in your scrolling? Does it also intrigue you? Let us know if you celebrate with bells or lights or other unique ways to make the season bright. Stories unite us and create the blankets that keep us cozy through the long winter. We always look forward to hearing from you. ❤

That’s a wrap for this stationary moment. I’ll check you on the flip side!

Grateful

This week is focused on things that fill our proverbial cups. Given the circumstances of a pandemic, the pending Thanksgiving holiday may have you feeling more perplexed than appreciative. Travel plans should be halted. Meals should be kept to our personal quarters. Families should stay separate. Nothing is like it was a year ago. Despite our desires to maintain celebration status quo, authorities are leaning in with strict policies to keep us all safe for a joyous 2021. It can all feel suffocating and scary, therefore we focus on the little things that keep our days bright.

Maker Monday in November

We created Shining Stars for Maker Monday this week as a way to celebrate the start of the holiday season. With simple snips and folds of paper, followed by bits of glue, class members began to create intricate decorations to beautify their spaces. Some of you may think origami is too hard to practice. When you have an instructor like Wynn Yarrow, no skill is too difficult to learn. Even in a virtual setting like a Zoom class, she takes time to ensure each student is on par and not rushed. This is how we operate in the library, in all of our classes, but we strive more-so in this virtual world. Some tricks to making these stars seem out of reach at first, but with a smidgen of patience, you feel like a magician transforming flat paper into three dimensional objects.

Shining Stars with Wynn Yarrow

Using origami paper, we started folding several squares of foil papers, gluing them together, and creating a very dimensional star. (see above image: top right) We built upon our skills by manipulating one small square of paper into an ornate element. (see above image: middle and bottom center) This can be hung as a solo element or glued together with multiple elements to devise a larger shining star for your holiday decor. I had fun playing with different color options and look forward to making many more of these stars for gift toppers.

There was a collection of pine-cones I stored in 2019, but never put to use. When I cleaned out the Creation Station, our library makerspace, I rediscovered them and felt the need to make a wreath for a festive approach to winter. There are too many tutorials on the internet for making a pine-cone wreath; it’s hard to decide which one to feature. Whether you use a wire wreath versus a Styrofoam wreath, or floral wire vs. hot glue all boils down to personal preference and perhaps what you have on hand. I am prone to up-cycling and working with what I have, so I went the Styrofoam and hot glue route.

Working with Wreaths

Bleached pine-cone wreaths seem to be the kitsch right now, but just the word bleach gives me hives. I knew I could skirt the fad and still reach similar results without much cost (or dermatitis). I had a small variety of spray paint colors and decided on neutral tones to dress my front door. I prepared two batches of colors, metallic black and matte white, leaving a third batch natural. Then I treated all of the cones with a varnish to shine the surface and seal them from the weather elements. Once the paint prep work was complete, I fired up my trusty hot glue gun and searched for episodes of Portlandia.

Tri-Color Pine-Cone Wreath

The fun part of making a wreath is designing it to your preference or improvising with the materials you have on hand. I used this lovely tutorial from Whitney Baldwin as inspiration, then went rogue per usual. My muted tones are more suitable to my palette. I might add a few fairy lights to make this wreath sparkle. I might even put a bird on it. ❤

Yoga Birds

These happy “birds” flew to their rainbows of success this past weekend. With the support of Jasmine Margreno and her Vibrant Life School of Yoga, there are seven newly dubbed yoga instructors set to soar in this community and beyond! (*Find me smiling- third masked face from the left.) This photo fills me with the utmost gratitude for setting and achieving this personal goal. Corning lost an inspiring yogini this year. Retha Cazel was a close friend and mentor who urged me to follow my dreams. Amid a pandemic, I achieved this lifelong goal and developed new friendships in a time when we are all so very isolated.

Get Fired Up this Thanksgiving

My classmate was gracious to share a Thanksgiving treat with our library. This video was part of our graduation project. Before you start prepping for a full belly tomorrow, join us for a Premiere 75 minute Vinyasa Flow at 8am sharp! Get your body moving so your meal fuels versus flattens you. We all find ways to be creative and stay active. Take a step onto the mat and test this territory. Find a new way to feel Grateful.

That’s a wrap for this stationary moment. I’ll check you on the flip side!

I Wet My Plants

The news over the weekend resulted in lots of Americans shaking their tailfeathers.Talk about Dancing in the Streets! The news was so exciting, some of us might have even wet our plants 😛

As we turn the page of this epic election, we focus on the holiday season. That silly quote and image inspired me to “borrow” the idea and dissect it to teach in a program. ‘Tis the gift-making-season and lots of us can settle our nerves by transforming into Crafting Elves.

While I can’t give credit to the original maker of this adorable project, I can guide you to create one just like this. Give a shout if you want to play along. I’ll find a date to create and we’ll Zoom through the tutorial.

Creature Comforts

We Zoomed in October. Just a few weeks ago, we made Clay Birds with Wynn Yarrow for our monthly installment of Maker Monday. Using air-dry clay, round a ball of clay, then hollow it like making a pinch pot. Form a head and body, then create texture on the surface. I like to believe mine is a strong E.A.G.L.E….(oops!…Philly girl, here) or a Phoenix, similar to Fawkes in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. If you would like to experiment with this process, there are still packs of clay and instructions to pick up at the library. To create one of your own comfort creatures, just send me a message or comment and I’ll set aside a Take and Make kit just for you. Remember: the Southeast Steuben County Library offers Curbside Pickup for your convenience.

Register Today for Shining Stars

The next Maker Monday is on November 23 from 4:30 to 6pm. Click here to register. If you miss the event, but wish to join at a later time, I can help make that possible. This project will surely brighten the dark days of the Ember Months. These might deck your holiday decor with handmade flair. If you wanted to make a galaxy of these stars, you can schedule an appointment to use the Cricut precision cutter in the makerspace, Creation Station.

As we creep into the colder season and are still forced to isolate ourselves, our Maker Team is dedicated to keeping us crafty throughout the long, cold winter. Keep on the lookout for Page Kits, take and make craft kits for adults. They will be packed with care by our loving mascot, Page the Owl.

Tiny Trees for Take & Make kits

Tiny trees with LED lights are being 3D printed daily as we prepare for the season of giving. Expect to see some LED Christmas Card kits, too, recycling cards from Christmas Past. The spirit of the season has struck and we are following suit. I hope you can sense the excitement!

Exhibit of original art by Jennifer Fais

In case you visit the library, take a peek at the newest art installation of original art by Jennifer Fais. The hanging system was a generous donation from our new neighbors across Denison Parkway. First Heritage Federal Credit Union invested in downtown Corning and just opened their new Headquarters building across from City Hall. Shout out to the new kids on the block! They are big supporters of the local art community. The bank offers artists quarterly solo-exhibitions through a partnership with The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes. I highly recommend stepping through their doors to check out the art exhibit, Lost and Found by Megan Walsh.

Lost and Found, a solo exhibition by Megan Walsh

Since we are striving to get by, yet stay inclusive in this isolated, digital world, really cool options are popping up. Anyone can virtually visit this exhibition! Just click here to take a stroll through the gallery. Lots of credit goes to the Head Curator and Grants Gate Keeper at our unique arts council, Chris Walters. It’s fun to see how each creative person can reinvent or adopt the wheel, while some of us just wet our plants.

That’s a wrap for this stationary moment. I’ll check you on the flip side!