IMAGINE!

A FREE 3 Day public arts event is coming round the bend this Labor Day weekend. Mark your calendars and head down to Nasser Civic Center Plaza to see the transformation that occurs when Community Comes Together. Imagine! Public Art in the Plaza is “a multidisciplinary arts event as an opportunity to envision the Corning Civic Center Plaza as a future Public Arts Park. IMAGINE! will be held at the Corning Civic Center Plaza on Thursday, September 2 through Sunday, September 5, 2021. Free and open to the public. Bring a picnic and a chair to this family friendly event!” This event is hosted by The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes, but the Southeast Steuben Library will be a participant. The best part about this event is the location is our backyard! You can grab your library materials, then find the entertainment just outside our doors.

Sunflower Sculpture

You will find the Civic Center Plaza transform beyond what we could imagine in the coming weeks. The Library will host this Sunflower Sculpture created by Crows Nest Artists, Gwen Quigley and Tony Moretti. Thanks to the generosity of Tanglewood Nature Center, the Southeast Steuben County Library is renting this sculpture to exhibit in our community. 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.

Funky Birdhouses with Crows nest Artists

Join us on Friday, September 3 for a Funky Birdshouses Workshop with the Crows Nest Artists. Create fun, funky bird houses and feeders out of recycled, found and natural materials with the expertise of Gwen Quigley and Tony Moretti. Decorate the Civic Center Plaza for the Imagine, Public Art in the Plaza event during Labor Day weekend. Take your project home after the workshop, or leave it installed until September 6. This is a multi-generational workshop, fun for families or simply for kids of all ages, plus the results are great for the birds and world. Use this opportunity to be creative, use tools, build and decorate. This activity is made possible with donated funds received in memory of E. Jacqueline Welles.

Help us spruce up the Civic Center raised beds as we prepare for this epic event in the public plaza. There are two dates to volunteer your gardening skills, muscle power, hand tools, and pick up trucks. Sign up to help this Saturday, August 14 for either of 2 shifts starting at 8am or 10am. You are encouraged to also particpate next Saturday, August 21 for Mulch Day. If you love to garden, be part of community, and need some volunteer time in your life, join the Corning Garden Club for all of the transformation of this plaza.
Outdoor Yoga

If you missed our last Outdoor Yoga session with Elizabeth Moses, view the recording of the full class posted above. We visited Lindley-Presho-Caton Little League ball field for a refreshing session of movement. The next class will be at Margaret Smyers Park in Caton on Saturday, August 21 at 11am (if the weather allows). The class will be presented on Facebook Live if weather indicates heavy rain, so stay tuned to our page! Mark your calendars for the last live yoga session on Saturday, September 11 at 11am at Kinsella Park in Erwin.

Moon Mirrors

The latest Crafting with Kimberly class showed us how to make Moon Mirrors. We had a bunch of fun with this inexpensive and easy project. The few items needed to make a moon mirror are a round shaped mirror, flat sided glass baubles and a tube of caulk. We sourced all of these materials at the Dollar Tree and created them in Civic Center Plaza. The weather held up for us this time versus my Hypertufa class on Midsummer Day. We offered some Take and Make kits, but they quickly disappeared before this article could be published. I look forward to seeing YOU at one of our upcoming programs. Always keep tuned to our calendar of events for programs offered for any age!

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

Juneteenth and Buffalo Soldiers

Juneteenth is the day marked for Freedom from Slavery in the United States of America. Our friends at Elmira Economic Opportunity Program are hosting their annual Juneteenth celebration at Ernie Davis Park this Saturday, June 19 from noon to four in the afternoon. The Southeast Steuben County Library, in partnership with Steele Memorial Library, will host a movie night showing Buffalo Soldiers as a Juneteenth Kickoff Celebration starting at 8pm on Friday, June 18, 2021.

This free event will be family friendly and offer an opportunity to gather in unity and positivity as we celebrate freedom as a community. After a long pause of public gatherings, it is refreshing to offer an outdoor movie experience under the stars. Bring your blankets, chairs, snacks and crew down to the library parking lot. We’ll be outside, so layer for the weather. This kickoff celebration is a memorial for William Keith Vaughan who worked for Elmira EOP, made a great impact in the community, and lost his battle to cancer in 2020, just days before Juneteenth.

Keith Vaughan’s legacy continues with a bequest to our library to provide programming focused on Buffalo Soldiers. The request with such a refined focus sparked our creative librarian brains. Children and families were led on a virtual tour of the Buffalo Soldier Museum in March. Teen and adult poetry writers are now invited to submit their poetry to the Buffalo Soldier Poetry contest. The winners of this contest will have their poetry read in a virtual event hosted on July 28, 2021, National Buffalo Soldiers Day.

Rules of the Contest: There will be two submission levels – teen and adult. There will be prizes, including a monetary award and a small physical prize.
1st – $75.00 + physical award
2nd – $50.00 + physical award
3rd – $25.00 + physical award
• The judges for the contest will be Akua Lezli Hope; Karen Alpha; and Wendy Low.
• Submissions should be submitted by July 12. Be sure to indicate if your submission is to be considered in the Adult or Teen category. Submissions should be emailed to Michelle Wells: wellsm@stls.org.
• Michelle will number and send the poems to the judges for blind judging.

• Entrants must live in the five county area of Allegany, Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben and Yates.
• Entrants will have until the July 12 to submit their poem.
• The Judges will provide their choices to Michelle, who will make the public announcement of the winners on July 21.
• There will be an online program at 7:00 PM on the evening of July 28th, National Buffalo Soldiers Day, with a brief keynote speech about the Buffalo Soldiers and the winners will read their poems. The event will take place on the Zoom platform, and will be recorded. Please email Michelle Wells to get the Zoom link to join the event live: wellsm@stls.org

We hope to see you this Friday at our movie night kickoff, but you may want to rest your limbs to party all day for the legit Juneteenth Celebration. Many thanks to The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes and the Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes for offering the grants that make these programs possible. Our communities deserve these opportunities!

Free Take Home Art Kits for Kids!

There will be plenty of Free Take Home Art Kits for Kids at Juneteenth. The opportunity for artists and makers to teach their craft in a Take Home format gives creative outlet to kids who might not otherwise have the chance to have these supplies in their homes. Find the Freedom Flag kits I made as an artist in the community. Each paint pot and kit was lovingly packed by yours truly.

West Point Military Academy is a destination for any military buff and an uncommonly known location for Buffalo Soldier history. It was my hope to host he Buffalo Soldiers Association of West Point at our kickoff, but they are very busy preparing for a new monument this summer. A statue of Sgt. Sanders H. Matthews Sr., known as the last Buffalo Soldier, will be dedicated in September 2021 on West Point’s Buffalo Soldier Field. Sculptor, Eddie Dixon is the talented maker behind this commemorative piece. An amiable man, he said he has made many Buffalo Soldier sculptures over the years for museums and other sites. And he feels an affinity. “Naturally, you would feel an empathy toward soldiers, for the simple fact that I was one.” Plus, “I’m creating unsung heroes,” he said.

Many thanks to all the unsung heroes who have stood for peace, equality, and unity as our community has changed over history. It is an honor to bring memorial to those who have passed, while we lift our spirits to a brighter future. Let’s see Juneteenth become a legal Federal Holiday.

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!

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!

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!