We’re Crafty!

We’re Crafty at the Southeast Steuben County Library. Aside from our humble Creation Station Makerspace, we offer several crafting classes each season. Crafting with Kimberly has been engaging patrons each month with a themed craft. We transitioned back to virtual programs via Zoom during the height of this seasonal transition. End of summer, back to school, harvest time hustle causes all sorts of havoc for schedules. I have found that offering virtual classes welcomes many more late-working professionals to participate, as well as parents whose children can craft or play in the sidelines. That type of flexibility is what makes the Southeast Steuben County Library so accessible. Check out our most recent class to decorate your entrance with a Spider Web Wreath.

Spider Web Wreath Tutorial

Limited supply stock made it tough to create the kits for this class. There are no leftover supplies to offer Take and Make kits, but if you loved this craft, visit our library building and you will find the new home for Take and Make kits. Deeper inside the hall of books, across from the Reference desk, you will find the Creation Station Makerspace. At the entrance to the “Station,” there is a collection of crafting freebies. Take and Make kits can be found there, if they are in stock. This feels like the best Trick or Treat offering ever! When you are there, find the sewing machine, serger, 3D printers, and Cricut precision cutter.

Cricut has myriad uses for the crafty individual. With a little knowledge and experimentation with the design software, you can be creating your own apparel decals, custom cards, gifts, and personalized goodies. If you want to know more about Cricut and Cricut Design Space, follow along with the tutorial above. There is also time to register for Maker Monday where we will be creating Halloween Party Decorations. It should be a Spooky Good Time!

Tabletop Birdhouse Tutorial

You should pick up a Tabletop Birdhouse kit when you visit the Creation Station. The tutorial premieres on Friday, October 8 at 7pm. Grab your glue guns and get ready to craft a cute birdhouse, or give it a Haunted House vibe. A little black paint and a set of fairy lights will surely make these sweet houses look more Herman Munster than Donna Reed. I noted that harvest season is in full swing and the holidays are literally weeks away. I generally get into Donna Reed mode once the days are shorter and cooler. Join me for if you have an interest in a Paper-Free Kitchen and Dining experience. Sign up for the Sewn Napkins tutorial in November. We will be sewing along together to cut out paper waste and be more ecologically conscious.

“It’s Fall and that’s apple picking season.” Fans of Saturday Night Live might recall this hilarious scene of the Chickham’s Apple Farm. If you live Upsate, you know the deal. We pick apples! This sketch comedy mocks the way some farms truly market what nature gives us for free. Just look around your neighborhood or country sides. Johnny planted his Apple seeds everywhere. We’re pretty lucky that way! As a homestead crafter, I love to prepare apples as butter and sauce, but I’ve grown a wild love for fresh-pressed apple cider. Apples from my tree fell too quickly and “got the deers drunk.” Instead of heading up to “Chickham’s” I used the Art of Asking to accomplish my craft (thank you, Amanda Palmer) and picked a bushel for free from my neighbors’ yard. The satisfaction of pressing apples picked by your own hand is tremendous. All the vitamins and minerals, with a bit more elbow grease, make the product even sweeter. Just like any craft, success is all about finding the Joy in the Making.

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

Sunsetting

Summer has past and warm weather is “sunsetting” in our region. The winds of change are upon us as the leaves shift colors and our gardens wither to the ground. This transitional time of year proves to be fast-paced and hectic, so I want to share a few fun things to save time, money, and energy. Libby is an amazing App run by Overdrive that offers tons of digital content. If you already borrow digital materials from the library, you likely use Overdrive to navigate to your magazines, audiobooks, and ebooks. If you are an Overdrive user– prepare now, because as of 2022, the Overdrive App is sunsetting and attempts to use it will be redirected to the Libby App.

Libby by OverDrive - Memphis Public Libraries
Download Libby

Give me a chance to introduce this little lady if you have not yet met. I lovingly call Libby my best friend who can travel with me on many devices and knows just where I left off in a digital magazine, book, or audiobook. Extremely time efficient friends are extra helpful in this hustle and bustle world. This one-tap app will have you reading or listening in just a few short clicks. Check out this tutorial video to get started.

Getting Started with Libby

We understand that getting acquainted with new apps and technology can be tricky, that’s why we offer Tech Coaching options with our patrons. If you hit a snag in using this app or any technology for that matter, call the Reference desk at the Southeast Steuben County Library for some help. Our Tech Coaches are skilled to guide you through many technical glitches. All you have to do is ask.

Once you become acquainted with Libby, you might be interested in discovering more digital catalogs that Southeast Steuben County Library provides 24 hours, 7 days per week. Hoopla Digital is offered only to our card holders and opens another avenue to digital content, like movies, television shows, music, and more. Unlike visiting the library and borrowing physical items, you can peruse these catalogs at your leisure and borrow items you want with no wait time. All items are downloaded or streamed directly to your device. You just need to create an account with Hoopla Digital using an email address and password. Then, enter your library card number and PIN to get registered. Follow this video tutorial to begin.

Hoopla for the Web

You can use Hoopla on a computer browser, but there are some limitations to downloading content onto a computer. I have found Hoopla works best on mobile devices and tablets, but there are also Roku and Alexa options I have yet to explore! Check out the Hoopla Digital video library to find the device you have or just call us at the library for assistance.

There are nuances to each of these digital catalogs, so be aware of borrow limits and make the best use of your digital options each month. Keep in mind how these services can save you money and time. Hoopla has saved me lots of money and shipping delays on required reading materials for classes. Before I purchase a book, movie, or music, I first check the Libby or Hoopla catalogs offered through Southeast Steuben County Library. Most times I am happily surprised to find just what I need and have instant access to the content. Hoopla also offered multiple checkouts on titles. This is excellent for book clubs and classes, where many copies of a book are needed at once. Give these digital catalogs a try. Drop a comment below to tell us know what you think.

Cyanotype Diptych

Our readers might recall from our last post, Summer to September, that we hosted this fantastic Cyanotype workshop with artist, Megan Walsh for Maker Monday in August. Sunlight is a necessary ingredient for developing this type of artistic photography, but we lacked the necessary UV index on the day of class to create a quality print. The diptych above is a good example of what can be achieved when processing a Cyanotype. Considering the weather forecast for this coming weekend (Hello, October!!!), it will be a great time to pick up a Take and Make kit from the Creation Station and learn more about this fun craft on your own. Ensure the UV index for the time of exposure is at a rate of 5 or higher to achieve the best effect. Read the kit instructions closely and keep the prepared paper out of the sun until you are ready to expose your image. Have fun, get creative, and share your results.

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

Summer to September

As the final days of August approach and those Yellow School Buses begin to grace our streets again, we find there are plenty of activities to steer us past September. If you have not tuned into the Southeast Steuben County Library Calendar of Events recently, you might miss out on some great opportunities to engage with your community. Most recently, the library and Corning Garden Club took the initiative to spruce up some neglected raised garden beds that reside between the library building and Nasser Civic Center Ice Rink. What once housed invasive weeds, untamed shrubs, and actual trash now has new presence just in time to present the public with an arts gathering, Free and Open to the Public.

Imagine a new approach to Nasser Civic Center

Imagine!- Public Art in the Plaza will take over the library’s backyard, Nasser Civic Center Plaza, starting Thursday, September 2 and runs through Sunday, September 5, 2021. The event kicks off at 6:30pm with a ribbon cutting ceremony, which reveals a public art installation of kites. “Art Lifts us Up” is an overall theme of this event, which is an effort to gather community and work through the challenges of this on-going pandemic.

The library has arranged for the installation of a giant Sunflower Sculpture to be on view during this event. The sunflower is a symbol of positivity and strength, qualities that make up our unique community. We want you to ensure you get down to the plaza! The creators of the sculpture, the Crows Nest Artists, will be on site on Friday from 5 to 7pm to host a Birdhouse Making Workshop. Create fun, funky bird houses and feeders out of recycled, found and natural materials with the expertise of Gwen Quigley and Tony Moretti. Your creations can be used to decorate the plaza and can be picked up on Sunday evening or take them home right away for your feathered friends. 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.

For those who have plans for Labor Day weekend, check out the next Crafting with Kimberly on Tuesday, September 14 from 5:30 to 7:30pm where we will learn a simple Sunflower Painting method. As the season changes, we try to hold a pop of color, positivity and strength as we head into the dark and cold months of winter. Kimberly’s August Birdhouse workshop is postponed until further notice, but keep an eye on the Facebook Page for news and other notifications. We will begin to transition back to virtual workshops via Zoom starting in October. This will give us ample time to craft together, while staying cozy at home.

We practiced yoga outdoors in the hidden gem of Margaret Smyers Park in Caton on August 21. It was a hot and humid morning in the Civic Center Plaza while we gardened, but the rain nearly ruined our plans for asana practice. Luckily there are plenty of pavilions to rearrange in the park and we made the best of a wet situation. Of course, the rain halted once we moved the tables and created shelter, but the practice was priceless. Click here for a recording of the session and find a few other Creation Station made videos while your perusing. Join us again next Saturday, September 11 at 11am in Kinsella Park, Painted Post. Families and Friends welcome. No rain allowed!

Cyanotypes with Megan Walsh

Our latest Maker Monday was lead by Megan Walsh who is well-known for these blue-toned creations. This type of photographic printing process creates imagery using sunlight and provides incredible details. Despite a rainy afternoon, there were peeks of sunshine that allowed us to test this method. Using botany samples from her property, Megan described the process and gave us a few chances to battle the weather for a quality print. It is recommended to have a UV rating of 5 or higher for this process to be effective. Luckily we had kits to practice on a bright day. Our next Maker Monday will be hosted by Yours Truly. We will make Wooden Wind Chimes using driftwood, beads, and other found materials. Sign up today for your lesson on September 20 from 4:40 to 6pm.

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

Midsummer Day

How can we have approached midsummer when Solstice was just three days ago?! Leave it to the Almanac to give us the factual description and global traditions, while I fill you in on fun library details.

Friends of the Library Book Sale

The last days for the Friends of the Library book sale have arrived. Enjoy 50% off all items in the sale today and tomorrow. Fill your bags for $5 on Saturday, June 26. If you are not aware, our Friends provide the programming funds for the classes we host with the income they receive during these book sales. If you love our classes and want to give back, visit the sale and fill a bag or 3! We get by with a little help from our Friends.

Crafting Fairy Gardens

Crafting with Kimberly is our monthly crafting program for adults that uses Dollar Tree supplies to create kitschy decorations and gifts. This month we made Fairy Gardens and had the fun of hosting this class in person in the Civic Center Coutryard behind the library. Offering classes in-person is just what our patrons were waiting for, because we filled that class with 15 happy crafters, but also offered a hybrid option with a Zoom room for those who cannot get to the library for various reasons. This model allows us to record the class, which I then edit and share to the Southeast Steuben County Library YouTube Channel. I offer Take and Make kits from the class that can be used to craft along with the online tutorial. We have discovered adults truly love this creative freedom we offer.

Book of the Sea

Maker Monday in May was hosted by local artist Wynn Yarrow. We have made many paper crafts with Wynn this year, but this time we went to the Sea. The theme of the sea fits so well with summer and the New York Summer Reading theme of Tails and Tales that this edited version of the class is apropos. Summer Reading kicks off on June 28 at Fallbrook Park. Families, children, teens, and especially adults are encouraged to register and participate in this annual program focused on boosting a love of reading to all age groups. We have lots of prize incentives to build the excitement. But let’s ease into the water slowly with a Take and Make kit to compliment this class video of the Book of the Sea. Kits will be available to pick up tomorrow and the video tutorial will premiere at 7pm on June 25. Get your glue sticks ready! (Note: the video will expire on July 25, 2021.)

Elmira’s Juneteenth Celebration

We hosted the Kickoff event to Elmira’s Juneteenth Celebration on June 18 in the parking lot of Steele Memorial Library. A movie showing of Buffalo Soldiers with Danny Glover was on deck for the evening. Unfortunately, thunderstorms scared most of the crowd to keep cover and stay home. Fortunately, everyone piled onto the streets near Ernie Davis Park on June 19, actual Juneteenth Day to celebrate community, peace, and unity. The smiles on every face make all the difference for a successful event. Rain washed out the afternoon, but the main event had already rocked the streets and most folks had headed home with full hearts.

Maker Monday Downpour

The most recent Maker Monday event was hosted this week. Those threatening thunderstorms stuck around all weekend and finally struck our class at the very end. We gathered again in the courtyard to make Hypertufa Flower pots using recycled objects. Several students skipped class with the pending weather to which I was oblivious. Living in Upstate New York gives you a different awareness of the weather. I often feel it’s silly to cancel an event due to thunderstorms that will likely pass in a few minutes. With that thinking, I neglected to watch the radar to see the indications of the storm running right over the library in the window of time class was held. (Lessons learned.) We had a near Wet T-Shirt Contest, first of it’s kind at our library! Funny thing is the class was over, we just needed to clean up supplies. My wonderful students risked being soaked by the rain rather than run away and leave me to deal with the mess alone. That’s how we maintain that mantra- we get by with a little help from our friends. Sometimes we make those friends in the midst of a major midsummer downpour.

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

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!

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!