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!

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!

Pressing Matter

Welcome to November 2020 and the Eve of the United States Presidential election. I wish the best to the sanity of our nation! This divisive situation has put many families at odds, broken friendships, and burdened us as humans who seem to forget our true basic needs. This has become a football game, fight to the finish, head to head challenge. If you are not on one side or the other, you’re wrong! I’ve played that card too many times these past four plus years, but really just want the best for my community. It seems easy, but we just can’t seem to get along. History just keeps repeating itself.

Pussyhat Project

Craftivism was a term I learned during the last presidential election. Anyone who uses their craft for the greater good is a craftivist, according to Betsy Greer. If you recall the pink hat project that resulted in the 2017 Women’s March on Capitol Hill, you might have been one of the Makers of the Moment then, stitching hats to cover the head of anyone willing to march. Then, pink yarn was just as scarce to find as toilet paper was in March or canning jars in August (even now!) of this year.

Craftivism

The Pussyhat Project is just one example in the history of Craftivism. While this movement swept the world in the last election, we currently witness 4×4 Trucks of Volunteer Troops invading our town roads and waterways with their political pride. The dichotomy of the history I am living is truly unbelievable. I often wonder if I am part of a Hunger Games trilogy or simply facing the the coming of a Battle Royale.

Natural Dyed Fabric

“Sew,” I took what bit of craftivism I could muster during this everlasting pandemic and started pressing things of my own before I grab the ballot tomorrow. With the help of a trusty Cricut and some heat transfer vinyl, I transformed my fabric from my last post. As a female in the United States of America, the Nineteenth Amendment is the only law allowing me to actually place my claim on a ballot, therefore it is my mantra. Once I discovered the late Notorious RBG was rapidly replaced by a female willing to set aside female rights, I had to start cruising on my sewing machine for my own political statement. I took the fabric dyed with nature’s Goldenrod to give a little hope to the situation.

Nineteenth Amendment

The Women’s Suffrage Movement took decades to win! What is it about giving women rights that causes such offense? Celebrating 100 years of victory in that epic battle, I choose to wear this law proudly as I make my vote for myself and for those fought to allow me this privilege.

Amendment XIX, The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

This is a pressing matter. We must not sit on our loins and allow our voices to go unspoken. Get out and Vote!

Feminism is my favorite “F” Word

Freedom is really my favorite “F” word, but I recognize we are all born indentured servants to the political system. We can let politics rule and guide us, or we can Let Love Rule. It took a long time to develop a dialogue with my family of opposing political views. Rather than aggravate each other with antagonistic actions, we choose laughter and lightness. The most important value we remember is to love and stay friends, despite our differences. We choose to just get along. I hope you can do the same.

May the odds be ever in your favor.<3

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

Makers Moving

Mark your calendars for Empire State Maker Faire this Friday and Saturday, October 16 and 17, 2020! This FREE educational event is geared toward anyone interested in creating and making. Whether you define yourself as a maker or are still determining the definition, I can almost guarantee that you enjoy developing something new or altering things to make them better. Southeast Steuben County Library has partnered once again with Maker Faire Twin Tiers and all New York State Maker Faires to present this weekend of exciting techniques, technology, and tinkering to engage your excitement and entice your inner-artist or engineer. Check out the full schedule for all the deets.

Alternate Inflation Device

Twin Tiers Maker Faire partners, Corning Museum of Glass will present their Alternate Inflation Device used to create hand-blown glass. This technique was developed by the Team at the Studio at Corning Museum of Glass. Using pressurized air to inflate glass is an innovative way to approach this ancient art and allow glass to be created during this pandemic. Check out the demonstration on Friday at 2:15pm.

Monochromatic “Watercolor”

Local artist, Filomena Jack will present a Super Fun Monochromatic “Watercolor” technique. With her quirky style and positive messaging, Filomena is sure to delight her audience with whimsy. Tune in to the YouTube channel on Friday at 11:15am to check out this lesson. Watch any or all of the Empire State Maker Faire and let us know what was your favorite part.

Outdoor Yoga at Caton Park, October 17 at 11am

If you get an itch to hit the great outdoors this weekend, head over to Caton Park on the outskirts of the city of Corning for a vibrant Yoga session with Elizabeth Moses. This will be the last outdoor event planned for 2020! The start time has moved to 11am, so the sun will be out and ready to warm your limbs. *Check the weather and notifications before leaving your home. Three online sessions will be available on Facebook Live on October 31, November 14, and December 12.

Time is limited to register for Clay Birds with Wynn Yarrow. Sign-up by Wednesday to receive class materials in time for the start of the Zoom session at 4:30pm on Monday, October 19. The objects we create will be perfect for gift giving or cherishing for yourself. Check the library’s activity calendar for the next Maker Monday on November 23. We will create Shining Stars with Wynn Yarrow.

SUNY CCC Book Club Meeting Tues, 11/10 at 5:00pm

As we continue discussions of race and racial inequity, our fellow librarians at Arthur A. Houghton, Jr. Library of SUNY Corning Community College have developed a Book Club open to anyone who is interested, whether they are connected to the college or not.  Here are some more details about the next meeting.

The SUNY CCC Book Club will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, November 10 at 5:00pm.  Participants can join us on Zoom using the meeting link:  https://zoom.us/j/93549808634?pwd=QXE3WlFMR0FlUjJxVkQydU5UbktFUT09. You are also welcome to join by phone by dialing 1-929-205-6099 and using the pass-code 170566.

The book for November is The Color of Water by James McBride, a memoir by the author, musician, and playwright known for his National Book Award-winning novel The Good Lord Bird.

There are copies of The Color of Water available at other SUNY schools if you’d like to request the book for pickup at the CCC Library.  Alternatively, many of STLS libraries in Steuben and Chemung counties have print, ebook, or e-audiobook copies available. Follow this StarCat link for details: The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother, by James McBride. We are looking forward to our discussion in November!

Some Light Reading

Page Cache is still running! You have a few more weeks to source and redeem some of those red cache tokens in exchange for a small cone from Dippity Do Dahs Homemade Ice Cream. Page the Owl has been busy flying across the region hiding these prizes in preestablished Geocaching locations. Some clues to get you out hunting start like this. Some light reading is necessary on the Northside. Peter Pan’s Girlfriend is locked in a highly unsuspected spot. Find me if You Can and Resting Near the River hold a similar theme. Down by the Creek and Sitting Watching the Trains (and World) Go By are very secluded gems, perfect for socially distanced excursions. Lost in the Wilderness is more urban than anticipated. The nearby Hobbit Holed eluded Page the Owl, but let us know if you find it!

Rather than give away all the secrets, I encourage you to get out and geocache. It’s a unique adventure to seek out Tupperware in random locations. Anyone who has observed Page the Owl’s meanderings knows first-hand how crazy it may seem, but the addiction to finding all the caches is real. Give a Hoot and Get Hooked!

Preparing Horse Chestnuts for Natural Dye

This week is jam packed with goodies to keep you and your family occupied. Check back next time for some adventures in preparing natural dyes for fabrics. From berries to weeds, the options are endless to creating environmentally safe fabric dyes with gentle hues. Time and cold weather are the limiting factors.

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

TwoFer Tuesday

That’s what 90 degrees Fahrenheit calls for, a twofer special. Being a library blog author, I don’t have the licensure to sling brews, but I do have the power to pass on programming. In case you missed the Caton sessions of Yoga in the Parks with Elizabeth Moses, we have a Two Fer fer ya!

Yoga, Yoga

Let’s rewind to remind you that the Southeast Steuben County Library has offered this mindful programming since the onset of Covid-19 in the United States TWENTY WEEKS AGO. I capitalize that time frame, because we all know this epidemic is carrying on far longer than Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy. You can also click that twenty weeks ago link to see all the videos we have curated on our Facebook page.

The library ramped up online and virtual classes back then, knowing the need to connect with community would be even stronger as we all isolated ourselves from each other. Now that the heat of summer is here, it’s wise to take advantage of socially distant gatherings. Therefore, we are touring the parks of the library’s coverage area. We hit Caton park twice so far. Follow these links to get a dose of rejuvenation.

Energizing Yoga at Caton Park
Refreshing Yoga at Caton Park

That double-shot of goodness will surely perk your spirits and your heart rate! Today, though, I urge a retreat to the forest. The Finger Lakes offers plenty of wooded protection to explore. A gem I found nearly in my backyard surprised and inspired me. It happens to be the same location we just visited…

Caton Park Trails

If you have not yet been, go now to check out Caton Park! There are three pavilions, basketball courts, horseshoe pits, swing sets, a playground, and a volleyball court. I hesitate to mention the sprawling tennis courts. While they exist, mother nature is taking over and the gate is locked. The forefront amenities excite any adventurer, but finding an entire course of trails was more than a respite welcome on a hot summer’s day. The trails are not blazed, but paths are visible. A trusty canine friend will surely show you the way if your sight deceives you.

Trail Head

There are two entrances to this walking trail. Our hike led us about a half mile into the woods, up and down hills. While I heard cars on the main roads, I felt totally serene and cool in the sanctuary of the tree canopy. There was a moment that I felt like Bill Bryson in A Walk in the Woods. (idea: Download the Libby app, dial in your library card information, download that audiobook, then listen to Bill as you walk these trails! A-yo!!)

Rugged Terrain

The terrain can be rugged at times, so proper foot coverage is advised. Be prepared to contain your refuse, because this is a Carry-in, Carry-out park. Bathrooms are available, which is a rarity in rural parks where an occasional Porta-Potty might lurk. Overall, this gem is a secret I want to keep, but know it’s best to share. The park is located in the heart of Caton, just a few miles south of Corning, NY. This rural part of the United States has been land-marked by the corporate conglomerate Dollar General. While I don’t support the existence of that store at all, it’s bright yellow sign is a golden beacon letting you know you are close to your destination.

The Purpose to my Mission

Aside from seeking a stimulating adventure and refuge from the heat, I had a secret purpose to my mission. Hints will begin for a game of hide-and-seek. As the clues come together, it is my goal to not-so-subliminally train your eye to the treasure. Memorize what you see and get prepared. Become part of the Geocaching community now. Time is of the essence!

TORONTO, ON – JUNE 23: People participate in an outdoor yoga class at Hotel X, inside domes to comply with social distancing measures to control the spread of Covid-19, June 23, 2020 in Toronto, Canada. As Canada begins to reopen its economy following Covid-19 shutdowns, gyms and fitness centres still remain closed as they determine how to comply with social distancing measures. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)

While I work on the final touches of this treasure hunt, I want to remind you that Yoga with Elizabeth Moses is Live and In-Person (weather permitting) this Saturday, August 15 at 9am in Hornby Park. We’ll be there again on August 22 at the same time. Both sessions will be recorded and uploaded to our YouTube channel. Be sure to Like, Subscribe, and Share with all your Yogi/ Library-Loving friends. If you can join us in person, please remember to bring your own towel or mat, water to hydrate, and a face-mask to protect one another. We’ll skip the yoga domes, for now.

Black is King

Before I close– can I get a witness for Beyoncé’s Black Is King?! This visual album, although limited to Disney Plus subscribers, is VISUALLY STUNNING. For a kid from the ’80’s who LIVED for music video premieres, this one knocked off my socks! Despite what critics critique, I enjoyed the pure beauty of the set designs and costumes. There was a point in the movie where I thought, “I just can’t even!” I still can’t. I just have to put it here to share, because that’s what I do. ❤ Brava Beyoncé! I’m going to price myself a cheetah print Rolls-Royce. Cheers!

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

e’Scape Plan

My escape plan each evening tends to lead to my garden. Warm weather leaves me craving fresh air and birdsong. A mindful gardener is always at the ready to harvest and process their bounty in preparation of the pending seasons of cold.

It is by virtue of living in the Finger Lakes (#FLX) region that I discovered the delicacy we will discuss today. This type of tinkering is far from the electronic tech stuff we explore in our maker space, Creation Station, but I dare you not to geek out on the genetic code of garlic. It’s a super food and I told myself I’d marry it one day. (Ha!) I believe I’ve achieved that marital status, as the crop is the easiest to maintain and provides two harvests per planting. Garlic is the double duty power plant you need in your homestead (and when I say homestead, that’s anything you call your dwelling—my first “homestead” gardens were in pots and tin cans on a curbside in Philadelphia). Space is not a major concern for this allium. Give a clove a six inch dirt covering to rest inside in the fall and it will show its gratitude as the first green shoot to pop out of the ground in spring.

Garlic in May, before the Scapes Soar

While I’m busy prepping and planting my remaining garden beds in spring, Garlic is growing and showing off. By late June, the flower stem begins to develop and curl. That is the scape. Once the scape curls, I harvest it by cutting it off of the plant a few inches above the leaves, which allows for more nutrients to go directly to the bulb.

More than 2.5 Pounds of Garlic Scapes to Process

Once washed and dried, I weighed my bounty to assess just how much I could make of each recipe I found in this video. I really love the Garlic Scape Powder recommendation, but Pesto and Pickled Scapes are a favorite in our home, so garlic powder will wait until I harvest the rest of the plant in a few weeks. I decided to put up a batch of pickled scapes to eat throughout the year and process a couple cups of Garlic Scape Pesto to enjoy now.

Fresh Garlic Scape Pesto Process

I used the New York Times recipe for this batch of garlic pesto, but there are many options to choose. You can omit the cheese to keep this recipe vegan. The flavor is still wonderful. What I also love about this recipe is using inexpensive sunflower seeds in place of pine nuts. I have replaced pine nuts for walnuts in pesto recipes previously , but am aware that practice is not safe for nut-free homes.

Check out that fresh basil in the lower middle frame above. THAT basil is from a hydroponic plant I got at the grocery store in April. Remember when we made Chunky Knit Planters? Recall that plant in the final product?? Yep, that’s the one! Harvesting from my kitchen table is incredible.

Prepping the Pickles

In order to can the garlic scapes for pickling, I cut off the tips of the harvested end and the flower. Some people prefer to cut their scapes to straight lines for ease of packing, but I prefer to preserve the spiral. We think the curl is the most unique feature of this delicacy, so a little more time in preparation makes for a beautiful presentation.

Steamy Stockpot of Sterilized Jars

Before I start preparing the garlic scapes to be canned, I sterilized the jars in a stockpot with at least an inch of water covering them. I learned from a rustic homesteader that a rack is not required under the jars to protect the glass, so I go rogue. You might choose to follow more strict processing rules at the Ball Jar website. Once the water comes to a boil, I know the jars are sterilized and safe for use. I take them from the water bath to dry and fill each one like it is a work of art.

Filling the Jars

Using a chopstick that I sterilized in the hot water bath, I gently push down each garlicky curl. I work to keep the flower end of each curl up, so that it acts as a handle for the person who grabs it. I ensure no curls are tangled and continue to fill the jar, leaving a half inch of head space. Any straight portions of scape get stuffed in the center to completely pack the jar.

Scapes and Scraps

The bounty of scapes I harvested equaled 6 pints for pickling after making the pesto. The bowl of scraps will go to the compost bin for fertilizing the new crop this fall. Once the jars were filled, I made the brine. This Pickled Garlic Scapes recipe from Home in the Finger Lakes was very helpful and the first recipe I tried several years ago. If you don’t have pickling spice mix in your cupboard, use approximately 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns and 1 teaspoon of dill per pint. If you are a pickling guru, you may have a favorite brine recipe to share in the comments. I put the spices into each jar for equal proportions, then pour the brine over everything, allowing a 1/2 inch of headspace per jar.

Chopsticks help keep down the Scapes

As the brine fills the jar, the scapes tend to also rise, so I use the chopstick as a stopper. I hold down the scapes for a few seconds and watch them blanch into a vibrant bright green. At that moment, they seem to back down from the rise, which allows me to wipe the jar rim and place the lids on top for sealing.

Sealing it Up

We learned in our Homesteading Series at Bluebird Trail Farm in 2019 that the best way to seal your jars is to hold down the lid with one finger, while applying the screw ring with the other hand and twist to close. Then grab a towel to hold the hot jar and tighten the lid with the other hand.

Spicy Pickles

Two jars were reserved as spicy pickles. I added 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper to each jar, then realized I needed a way to mark these separate from the rest of the batch. Using chunks of fresh garlic, I used this as my marking system, which worked better than labeling the jars with marker that could contaminate the water bath.

Get in the Bath!

Each jar was then gently placed into the bubbling water bath and processed for 10 minutes. This gave me time to clean up the kitchen and prepare a pasta meal with pesto and fresh veggies. After the jars boil for 10 minutes, they can be removed from the pot of water and allowed to rest for 24 hours, undisturbed. The best part of the whole process is hearing that distinct “pop” of a lid sealing properly outside of the water bath. It’s like perfect science.

Fresh and Fermenting

I usually take the pot off of the hot burner and allow everything to cool overnight. Once I’m ready to put them up, each jar will be labeled with the ingredients, so we know what’s inside. These jars make perfect gifts during the holidays and are a great addition to any barbecue or pot luck meal. A recent study found that consumption of fermented foods are linked to low Covid-19 mortality. Pickles could be the perfect food, after all.

Zoom on Saturday

Pivoting from the e’Scape plan, let’s talk about future things. There are still a few hours to register for Photo Fun with Dan Gallagher. This class will guide you through using an interchangeable lens camera or SLR. The Southeast Steuben County Library hosted a similar class last summer and all attendees proved better portfolios and family photos with credit to Dan’s excellent teaching.

Work with Whatcha Got

Check out this video, in case you missed the first of a three part series for #SeWednesday. Jesse Bearsdlee guides viewers on how to upcycle or repurpose old clothes into a new ensemble. We learned how to make a bodice in part one. Follow this link to join us for part two on July 22 at 6pm EST. Learn how to Work with Whatcha Got, Upcycled Dress Waistband or Separate Belt.” This video series 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.

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

Earth Day 2020

be kind

In a world where you can be anything, be kind. That is the prevailing message that resides with me during this healing time for Earth’s homo sapiens. I admit I miss my regular pizza haunt for my daily slice. I love seeing the speed of service, the art of the sale. As I took a stroll down Market Street to check on the art mural at Volo, the creative message above struck me as golden.

Refreshed Mural

The progress of this community art mural is impressive. It was refreshed on Sunday, April 19. Scroll through the images here to see artists in process. Notice the N-95 mask on our central hero. See Covid-19 get Blown Away in the Glory Hole (ironically the name of the last establishment at this address). Can you spy Little Joe? Credit goes out to the artists who started this mural in motion- @kevinarts, @krazinski_b_art, and my friend @aswannamedemily. If you get the itch, go down to fill in the spaces! Gratitude to the Dude behind the idea–and to the Gaffer District for letting him do this for our community.

Mask Maker

Since the CDC recommended wearing face masks in public, and New York State’s face covering mandate, my studio is a Mask Making Factory. I make batches as time allows, but more creative endeavors and outdoor adventures have been calling. Thank goodness we got a reprieve from snow!

Celebrating Planet eARTh

With the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day this week, my family took advantage of warm and dry weather to get lost in the woods of the Finger Lakes Forest. We celebrated Mother Earth with a geocaching adventure and found some negative ions along the way. The loot we found in the treasure box was quite an appropriate reminder of how extra important our medical services are at this moment in history.

Get Lost and Geocache

A walk in the woods was the right medicine to refresh my spirit to learn a new skill. I decided take the virtual-library-program-video challenge. Some of our programmers are offering ways to entertain us online with story times and science experiments, but I admit the camera gives me the jitters! Cheers to all the divas and dudes rocking our video instruction and entertainment worlds right now. The challenge is REAL. Facing a still camera, while pretending to speak to a room full of patrons has been a beast I’ve delayed slaying…until NOW.

Earth Day Seed Bombs Premiere on YouTube

Join me on Earth Day, April 22 at 4pm EST on our YouTube channel to learn how to make Seed Bombs and Infused Paper. If you have never made or received seed infused paper, this is a fun tutorial. Most of us have the supplies at home and there is little to no cost to participate. I recycled shredded junk mail and some tissue paper to create lovely paper and handmade gifts. I’m getting excited by the possibilities of these videos. Check in again on Monday, April 27 at 4pm for my Chunky Knit Planter tutorial. If you have any requests, place your video suggestions in the comments for future installments.

Seed Bombs and Infused Paper Samples

While the world is recognizing the requirement to Shelter in Place, all live art events and music festivals are cancelled. Still, artists are finding ways to express themselves on internet platforms. Earth Day Art Model is a telematic art festival where art and technology meet online. This project will begin at 8pm on April 21 (TONIGHT) and run for 24 hours. I am certainly intrigued!

Homemade Suet Bird Feeder

Whether you celebrate Earth Day 2020 by planting trees and seeds or even by feeding seeds to the birds, honor the moment on the only home planet we know. I think this world is quite beautiful. I find it more so when my feathered neighbors flock the feeders to nibble on my homemade suet blocks, filling the yard with color and excitement. Tell me how you choose to cultivate your Mother Earth. Be well, my friends, and Be Kind. ❤

Covid-19 Craftivism

This week in Covid-19 Craftivism, we focus on ventilators, face shields, and protective masks. Homemade manufacturing is on the rise. I’ve curated samples of how the stewards of art studios and craft rooms are stepping up to help the front line.

Joshua McMenamin makes ventilator splitters.

Ventilators are the breathing aides that are in critical demand. These machines provide the mechanization of breathing air into the lungs of a patient. Glassblowers, like Josh McMenamin of Orbital Glass in Colorado, are offering their skills to the medical field by creating glass ventilator splitters. These devices can split the air delivery of a single machine to provide ventilation for up to four patients. While providing one ventilator for each patient is ideal to offer adequate oxygen intake per individual, having alternatives to support life is of utmost value in this crisis. This technique of splitting air supply has not been tested on humans, but offers an option to sustain more lives. This fourteen year old study provides more information on this option. If one machine can help up to four patients, this can aide in the most dire situations.

Zaragoza Maker Space Face Shield

Friends from around the world connect with me daily to share the newest maker information. We find 3-D printing communities participating in medical supply aid for Covid-19. Zaragoza Maker Space in Zaragoza, Spain has provided printing files to produce protective visors with 3-D printers. Bot Camp has another version of a healthcare face shield. Using 3-ring binder plastic sheets, a barrier of protection is made available to emergency and medical professionals. Makers who are preparing these items are urged to share their progress on social media with the hashtag #coronavirusmakers.

Face Mask Perspective from New York Times

If you followed any social media over the past few days, face mask shortage is the constant conversation. Last night, Arnot Health put out a call to local news outlets asking for makers to sew protective face masks. Sewists everywhere are revving up their sewing machines with another facet of making for the medical field in our country. Solidarity to protect our medical and emergency personnel has risen the frenzy to make face masks regardless of the implications that they offer no value of protection. After countless communications with friends and family in the emergency medical fields, the idea that our country has been depleted of a simple personal protective elements is absurd. Making these items out of fabric seems even more ridiculous, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Jennifer Maker offers Cricut Face Mask Tutorials.

If you own a Cricut precision die cut machine, or have the inclination to make these masks with a paper pattern, Jennifer Maker provides a perfect tutorial. This variation includes a pocket to insert a HEPA filtration fabric, which is the only way to protect from vapor inhalation. These masks are not medically approved, but offer a stop-gap at the very minimum. They also provide peace-of-mind, but that is a false sense of peace. This is what local manufacturing looks like and may continue to grow. As mass production has been sent overseas in cost-saving efforts, capitalism is proving to be a failing financial model for sustainability. Art and making continue to prove valuable to every community.

Bed-In for Peace

All of this stewardship is impressive, but I have this need for peace. I find a need for more personal time and am taking life at a slower pace. My favorite radio station, WFMU reminded me of a seemingly simpler time with John Lennon and Yoko Ono. I would love to have a moment of peace from all the fear. Let’s trust in abundance and focus that everything is going to be alright. Let’s put fears aside and see how a simple Bed-In can help us all to Keep Calm. It’s always hopeful to think we can Give Peace a Chance.