Crafting the Perfect Holiday

November 22nd, 2011

Christmas Display 2011_1A few days ago I started working on the decorations we will use for our holiday book display at the Elkton Central Library this year.  I am decoupaging old book pages on to a Styrofoam tree.  Will it be a success? I’m not sure at this point.  For me the joy of creating is not really being sure what you will end up with and the pleasure I receive when it turns out, hopefully, better than expected.  The other nice thing about it is that I’m recycling old books and flower pots!

Everyone is looking for ways to save money during the holidays.  One of the ways I save (and recycle) is by making my own gifts for relatives and friends out of vintage paper and fabric.  They appreciate the thought, love and effort put into the gifts, and I enjoy making them.  It, however, is not a pretty sight at my house during the “creative process.”  When an idea strikes me, I rip through the boxes and boxes of vintage paper and fabric I collect until just the right pieces come together.

The library has a wide assortment of craft books from Scherenschnitte (Papercutting) to rug hooking and many dedicated just to holiday crafts. Two of my particular favorites are Sara Toliver’s Vintage Christmas Crafts and Terry Taylor’s Altered Art.  I love the vintage quality of these two books and have made shadow boxes as gifts using ideas from both of them.  Happily, these shadow boxes have become treasured gifts, prized by the recipients.

vintage xmas gifts bookHere is a list of some other craft books available at the library that might inspire you to “craft” the perfect holiday this year.  In December all the Cecil County Public Libraries will host holiday craft programs for all ages and open houses with music and food.  We invite you to join us in celebrating the holidays.  And now is the time to check out those craft books!

What will you be crafting for the holidays?

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Game On!

November 9th, 2011

42-17371538When you say the word “gamer,” a lot of people picture a young man in a dark basement, his pale skin lit by the unearthly blue glow of his computer screen, immersed in a virtual world of dragons or elves and very much alone. This stereotype is unfair not just to online gamers, but to gamers of all kinds. And I bet you’re one of them. No really, I think you are, you just don’t know it yet. Good old Merriam-Webster defines a gamer as: “a person who plays games.” That makes sense. So what’s a game? Back to Merriam-Webster:  an “activity engaged in for diversion or amusement.”  That covers just about anything and everything! Farmville, Spider Solitaire, Angry Birds, Monopoly, Pokémon, Checkers, Poker, Tic Tic Toe…surely you’ve played one of these games. How about football, basketball, hockey, golf, soccer, softball, volleyball…you don’t play those in a dark basement. What about crossword puzzles or Sudoku? Yep, whether we like to admit it or not, we’re all gamers.

We here at the library support gaming in all its forms, whether it’s playing Peek-a Boo with the babies, hosting Wii gaming for the teens or providing DVDs, books and magazines for just about every “diversion and amusement” there is. So, why a blog post about gaming? Two reasons: Saturday November 12 is National Gaming Day. The Rising Sun Branch is celebrating with one the most popular games around–Angry Birds.  Teens in grades 6-12 can join us for Angry Birds Live! to play Angry Birds on the big screen, then make birds and pigs to play with at home. If you can’t make it to Rising Sun that day don’t worry, all of our other branches will be hosting this fun program over the next few months. The other exciting reason for this post–soon you will be able to borrow X-box and Wii games from the library! More details about that coming soon.

So all you gamers out there–what’s your favorite “diversion or amusement”?

Upcoming gaming programs:

Angry Birds Live!
Rising Sun 11/12

Chesapeake City  11/29
North East 12/1
Perryville 12/15
Cecilton and Elkton – coming in January 2012

North East  11/17 Wii Gaming

Perryville  12/8  Karaoke

The gaming fun will continue into the new year with more great programs in January and February. Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest updates on upcoming programs and events.