Hauntingly Good

Gearing up for Halloween can be a flurry of activity. Making decorations for this season has me feeling like an elf far before we speak of Santa’s Workshop. The growing excitement to see Trick-or-Treaters march down the streets once again inspired some ghostly goodness to pop up on our 3D printers. Using glow-in-the-dark filament, this ghostly creation haunts our hall of books, but you can request on of your own or a fleet to frighten your friends.

Ghostly Goodness

To promote our 3D printing finesse, there is a promotion underway. Pumpkin Giveaway Alert!

Enter for a chance to win a 3D printed Pumpkin candy dispenser for Halloween. Comment on this post with the word “Chocolate” or “Fruit” depending upon the flavor you prefer. Comment both words separately for 2 entries. Share this contest for a little extra Library Love. Two winners will be selected at random. Contest ends Friday, October 29 at noon. Winners will be announced at 4pm the same day. Find the contest on the Southeast Steuben County Library Facebook Page.

As I decorate my home for the season, I veered from the Crafting with Kimberly Tabletop Birdhouses tutorial and created a Tim Burton-esque model, perfect for any Beetlejuice movie fanatic. This mild goth-girl has no room for pinks and florals, but black and white stripes speak strange and unusual, because “I myself am strange and unusual.” (Lydia Deetz, Beetlejuice)

This haunted house stack sits upon my front entry, which also adorns a skeleton and loads of dried flowers. I have been building an ofrenda to honor my loved ones who have passed this year using flowers and gourds harvested from my gardens. This practice has become a daily meditation that equals artistic expression, but is as transient as the lives we lead. Each moment is precious, each minute a gift. Visit the children’s department at the Southeast Steuben County Library this week to view an ofrenda created by community members in honor of dearly departed Mary Lu Walker. We greatly miss Mary Lu and her songs that fill our memories. There is an item representation of her many beloved songs, like Peanut Butter and Mittens. It’s sure to bring a Cheshire Grin to many storytime guests.

Find this flower and leaf skull mandala that I made as part of the memorial for Mary Lu. Perhaps you will become inspired to create an ofrenda of your own. If you do, please share an image in the comments. This unique form of expression is healing and honors the end of the season of growth as we enter the season of death and the dark hours of winter. Don’t get Scared! Keep and eye on our calendar of events to keep your spirits bright and entertained!

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

What’s Going On?

Creation Station is a Makerspace that is Free and Open for the Community

Since summer is zipping by at warp speed, it’s time to catch up our followers on what’s going on in the Southeast Steuben County Library before the season’s change again. The Creation Station Makerspace is preparing for real-life once again and we are pleased to welcome makers eager to 3D print, sew, and create personalized graphics using the Cricut machines. In just the past month, we’ve taught several sewing lessons, prepared a few 3D prints, and began discussions on ventilating the space to allow for the new Snapmaker to live up to it’s reputation as a multiple use machine. While it can create much larger 3D prints versus our original Makerbot Replicator 2, this new addition to our creative space will allow for Laser Engraving and Cutting, as well as CNC Carving. When the ventilation is final, we will be able to help create personalized gifts for wedding parties, (almost…) just like CCLD Tinker Lab!

Splash Outdoor Movie Night on July 23 at 8pm.

Trek out to the Lindley-Presho-Caton ballfield for a Friday night movie under the stars. Join us for a viewing of the big tale “Splash”, rated PG, 1 hr 51 min runtime. Bring your chairs, blankets, and bug spray for an evening of enchantment. Concessions will be for sale. Take your own snacks or cash for the concession stand to support the Lindley-Presho-Caton Little League. This is a double header; “Tom & Jerry” is on plate for July 30!

Mark your Calendars for Yoga in the Parks!

In case you missed the notifications, Yoga in the Parks is also on plate for a few dates this summer. Pack your yoga mats and return to Lindley-Presho-Caton ballfield on July 24 before 11am for a refreshing and joyful session of Yoga Asana practice with Elizabeth Moses of Crystal Heart Yoga Studio. Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. You should understand that when participating in any exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. The experience and careful guidance provided in these classes makes movement accessible to all bodies. Feel confident that all levels of experience are welcome. These sessions are perfect for folks who are curious about yoga, but nervous to take that leap to studio classes. If you can’t attend this class in July, try to join us for the other upcoming dates and locations:

• August 21 at Margaret Smyers Park in Caton
• September 11 at Kinsella Park

If weather is a concern, we will make notifications via the Library Facebook page, but always use your own discretion.

Learn How to Make Hypertufa Flower Pots

Our June Maker Monday was a fun flower pot making experience that ended in a wash-out thunderstorm. Learn how to make the mix and cast into simple shapes with this tutorial I created for the library YouTube channel.

The next Maker Monday class will be hosted at a special time on August 23 at 1pm. Join special guest artist, Megan Walsh to learn how to make Cyanotypes. Known as a camera-less photographic printing technique, cyanotype is a unique and easy manual process used to create printed image. Using the power of sunlight, create your own original prints, with good definition and an intense, unique shades of blue. Print materials can include plant clippings, leaves, feathers, or objects brought from home such as keys, lace, and buttons.  Materials will be provided, but you are encouraged to bring items to experiment with. This class will be held in-person outside at the courtyard of Civic Center Plaza. *Registration deadline, August 15. A rain date will be determined, should that circumstance arise! If you cannot attend this class, but love the Megan’s art, find it for sale at Craft Farm in Elmira.

3D Printed Logo

Remember to visit our library for your 3D printing inquiries and needs. Turning ideas into reality is key to any dream. The image above is the a marketing prototype for a local musician, DJ Green Arrow. After scheduling an appointment, we used Tinkercad and a little help from a colleague to turn a digital image into a 3D element. If you have a skill you wish to learn or share, let us know in the comments. A makerspace is a community effort. It is our mission to make learning free and accessible to everyone. This includes creative literacy. Email Erica Unterman if you want to learn how to turn your ideas into reality. Let’s schedule an appointment and meet at the Station.

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

Chunky Knit Planters

Chunky Knit Planters

New Home for Fresh Basil

I found this Chunky Knit Planters tutorial a few years ago and stewed on the idea until now. There are a few items you will need to produce this project. Polymer clay is the star of the show. For the sample you see above, Sculpey is the medium of success. Tin cans or oven-safe vessels are the base of this project. If you do not have Sculpey in your toolbox, follow this simple recipe to make a Natural Polymer Clay Substitute. Making this recipe was the first step in my journey to creating this tutorial.

Mix Ingredients into a Pot and Mix

Using 2 cups each of baking soda and cornstarch and adding 1.25 cups of cold water to a saucepan over low to medium heat, depending upon your stove, mix the ingredients until they combine. The numbered photos give you a visual of the changes in consistency.

Add Oil and Food Coloring

Once the homemade ingredients were cool enough to handle, I mixed in 1-2 tablespoons of oil. To keep this project an easy kitchen sourced creation, I used canola oil, but you can use vegetable glycerine to make this smooth. If you wish to make a colored clay, form a pancake with the clay, poke holes in sections and drop food color into the holes. Knead the clay until the color mixes to a solid shade. Less kneading reveals a tie-dye effect.

Lavender Blob

The process to make this chunky knit look is to make coils with the clay, then twist those coils and align them alongside each other on the outside surface of your vessel, attaching the clay at the top and bottom and pressing to adhere all elements together. A faux knitted stitch is revealed by laying each twisted coil side by side, giving your vessel a little blanket hug.

Make the Coils, Twist the Coils, Cover the Can

Take a peak at my video tutorial of this project over on the Southeast Steuben County Library YouTube channel. You will see the full process of each clay I used and the results. This project can take a full day if you let it, so be prepared to have fun. Save the clean up for another time!

Preview of the Samples

I loved working with both of these clays for several different reasons. Making my own clay from natural ingredients was rewarding and very inexpensive. The batch of dough made twice the amount of planters than did the polymer clay. The polymer clay was easier and quicker to work with and made the most durable final product. Sadly, the homemade version saw some sad ending.

Not All Endings are Happy

For some reason, or several, the natural polymer clay substitute did not hold up well after baking. The surface of the colored version was uneven, dried out in spots, but was still very soft after an extra 15 minutes of cooking time. Perhaps the coils were too thick for the cooking suggestion of a 250-degree oven for 15-20 minutes. This was my glass test vessel you will see in the video. The hope was to have the glass vessel pop out and leave only a clay planter in which to put fairy lights or a candle. Sadly, my experiment failed and the whole thing fell apart. The lip on the white version broke off in transport to my studio. I believe I could have scored both the base and coil to make a better seal, but I would have to do another test to know for sure.

Try it Out!

Perhaps this tutorial recap and complimenting video provide you some inspiration. Don’t be shy! If you make this project, share your examples in the comments. Now is the time to refresh your houseplants and give your decor a little sprucing. Be well and Keep Crafting. ❤