It may only be November but the holidays are coming up! Are you starting to prepare? Did you know that you can use our makerspaces to help you get ready for the holidays? Whether it’s gifts, decorations or any sort of holiday craft – we’ve got you covered and can help you out! This week I decided to get crafty and try making a festive holiday card. Using the Silhouette Cameo (which is available at our Erlanger Branch), you can get creative with cutting out cardstock, paper, vinyl and more! I started by visiting a local craft store to pick up some holiday themed paper and embellishments/decorations. Then I made an appointment at the STREAM center in Erlanger. I learned that the Silhouette Cameo has little pens for calligraphy so I decided that I wanted it to write out “Happy Holidays.” I chose my font that I wanted, loaded the paper and it wrote it out for me in a couple of seconds. I’ve always admired beautiful calligraphy but am not talented enough to do it by hand! It is very nice that this machine can do it for you. My next step was to cut out a snowman shape, this also took just a couple of seconds. You pick out a design/shape on the software and tell it to start cutting! It’s as simple as that. Lastly I used the large paper cutter at the STREAM center to cut my paper into a card and then I put it all together. There are many examples on Pinterest or other crafting websites that can give you inspiration/ideas. The Silhouette Cameo is free to use as long as you bring your own paper. The Silhouette Cameo: [...]
Looking for a cute wedding gift to give? Want to personalize something like a special quilt? Look no further, the STREAM Center at the Erlanger Branch has an embroidery machine! You can embroider towels, quilts, shirts and more. It can do a 4” x 4” embroidery area, the machine has 70 built in decorative designs and 5 styles of font. You can also hook up a laptop and import your own files! The only cost is .10 cents for a bobbin (just bring your own fabrics). I decided to embroider a hand towel with my initials on it, I've included pictures below of the embroidery process! So many colors to choose from! Setting the fabric in the hoop to make sure the design is embroidered correctly. There are different fonts you can chose from, you can also adjust size and position. The final product! I purchased a very soft plush cotton towel, you can see the design peeks through the plush cotton. This is something to keep in mind, if you want your design to be displayed clearly then you might opt for a thinner towel/fabric. If you are interested in getting something embroidered and learning about the process, you will need to setup a one-on-one appointment at the STREAM center. The STREAM center also has upcoming sewing related programs, check them out here. Registration may be required.
With summer in full swing it’s time to work on the garden! (when it’s not 100 degrees out). Have you ever heard of a fairy garden? A fairy garden is a small “garden” with whimsical figurines like dwarfs, fairies, cottages and other small items. They are lots of fun to create! Did you know you can make a fairy garden using 3D printed figurines? Small figurines can be pretty pricey at the store but using the 3D printer at the STREAM center allows you to print out small items to put in your fairy garden! Below is how I created my fairy garden: I started with a pot, some soil and 2 small moss plants from the garden store. I then went to the STREAM center for some help! The STREAM center staff showed me a website called Thingiverse were you are able to download 3D modeled objects to print. I found small mushrooms, fairies, stepping stones, a bridge and more. I filled out a 3D print request form and gave it to the STREAM center staff and they gave me a call when my prints were completed. I specifically asked for them to print some of the objects in white so that I could paint over them. I decided to add a rock and also a plastic cap (from an old drink) to create a pond. Some of the items I 3D printed: 3D printed fairy & bridge: The completed project: Whether it’s a fairy garden, pencil holder, chess set, key chain, etc. There are SO many things that you could 3D print. I suggest checking out Thingiverse OR 3D modeling your items and then contacting the staff at the STREAM center. They [...]
Have you ever seen a cool DIY (do-it-yourself) t-shirt on Pinterest and thought to yourself…”I wish I could make that!” Well, you can and it is SUPER easy. The Silhouette Cameo is a pretty impressive machine that can take your design and cut it out on paper, vinyl, fabric or heat transfer material. It’s a crafters dream but it is also an expensive piece of hardware. Did you know you can use it for free (only pay for materials used) at the STREAM Center (Erlanger Branch)? No buying fancy machines or artist background required. I just got back from Walt Disney World on a family vacation and before I left I knew I had to make a cute Disney shirt for my 18 month old daughter. So I picked up a blank t-shirt for around 1.00 $ at Walmart. I then searched the internet for ideas and inspiration on what to put and decided on “Best Day Ever” (from the movie Tangled). I typed out my phrase/design and brought it to the STREAM center. Racheal helped me setup my file, print it out and iron it on/heat transfer it to my t-shirt. The whole process cost me 2.00$ total (1 $ for the shirt and 1 $ for the vinyl used) and took around 30 minutes to complete. Below are some photos of the process and completed t-shirt. Vinyl Colors that are available: Racheal helping to iron on the printed design: The completed t-shirt: My 18 month old wearing her t-shirt in Disney: Have more questions or don’t know where to begin? Make a one-on-one appointment with a STREAM staff member, they can answer any questions you might have and can help with the [...]
In the cooking world, the Instant Pot has been a huge craze since last year. Haven’t heard about the Instant Pot? It’s a programmable pressure cooker that cooks foods fast and is super easy to use. It also can be used as a slow cooker, rice/porridge maker, steamer, sauté/browning, yogurt maker and food warmer. I purchased my Instant Pot during a black Friday sale last year and started skimming through the instruction book immediately. It may seem intimidating at first but after using it a couple of times I definitely got the hang of it. Something else that helped were Instant Pot cookbooks from the library. Below, I’ve included some of my favorites. Check them out! How to Instant Pot : mastering all the functions of the one pot that will change the way you cook Instant Pot miracle : from gourmet to everyday, 175 must-have recipes Instant Pot® Cookbook : 60 delicious foolproof recipes Instant Pot® obsession : the ultimate electric pressure cooker for cooking everything fast Some dinners I have made: General Tso's Chicken Indian Butter Chicken Buttery Ranch Pork Chops & Butternut Squash Noodles Decorate your Instant Pot: Want to take your Instant Pot to the next level? Decorate it with a vinyl decal made with our Silhouette Cameo at the STREAM Center. Decorating your Instant Pot is very popular, take a look at Pinterest or Etsy for inspiration. Make an appointment with one of our STREAM center staff and they can help you create your design and print it for 1 $ or less. If you already know how to use the Silhouette Cameo, reserve time to use it here. I am a huge Harry Potter fan so [...]
Women's History Month: Her Story A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to Women's History Month Women’s History Month is celebrated annually each year in March. As many new books have recently been published recounting the accomplishments of women, we’d like to share some of those with you. Some names will be familiar while others may be relatively unknown. Enjoy learning about women’s history! Alabama Spitfire: The Story of Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird by Bethany Hegedus, Illustrated by Erin McGuire This is the true story of Nellie Harper Lee who grew up to become one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. Though young readers will most likely be unfamiliar with her Pulitzer Prize winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, they should still be able to relate to the young child full of dreams for her future. Born to Swing: Lil Hardin Armstrong's Life in Jazz by Mara Rockliff, Illustrated by Michele Wood Lil Hardin was born in 1898 in Memphis, Tennessee. She loved music and went on to become a famous bandleader and composer, working with many of the greatest early jazz musicians, including her husband, Louis Armstrong! The acrylic illustrations are vibrant and engaging. Brave Jane Austen: Reader, Writer, Author, Rebel by Lisa Pliscou, Illustrated by Jen Corace This is a brief biography of one of the best known writers of all time who forged a way for women writers. The stylized illustrations effectively evoke the time period during which Austen lived and worked. A Lady Has the Floor by Kate Hannigan, Illustrated by Alison Jay Belva Lockwood was a teacher, lawyer, and presidential candidate [...]
Have you ever picked out a book based on the cover? The cover draws you in (whether it's the design, color, title, pictures, etc.) and you take it with you while not even knowing the synopsis. This situation happens quite a bit whether you are at the library, shopping at a bookstore or even online. Sometimes the opposite even happens and you might be turned away from a book based on the cover because it looks boring or unattractive. Book covers are very important. Let's be honest, we judge books by their covers everyday! Looking for some book recommendations with striking covers? Take a look below! The following list is a mix of old/current books (Adult, Children's and Young Adult). American War (by: Omar El Akkad) Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (by: Neil DeGrasse Tyson) Borne (by: Jeff Vandermeer) The Night Gardener (by: Terry and Eric Fan) A Separation (by: Katie Kitamura) White Tears (by: Hari Kunzru) Breadcrumbs (by: Anne Ursu) How to Murder your Life (by: Cat Marnell) Exit West (by: Mohsin Hamid) The Goldfinch (by: Donna Tartt) Red Queen (by: Victoria Aveyard) Cannibals In Love (by: Mike Roberts) Appetites Cookbook (by: Anthony Bourdain) Commonwealth (by: Ann Patchett) The Girl Who Fell From The Sky (by: Heidi W. Durrow) Visit one of our three library locations to check out one of these books and take a look at one of our many book displays! You never know -- you might pick up your next favorite book based on it's cover. Looking for more book suggestions? Check out BookUs to connect with a librarian and get book recommendations.
The Children's Department now offers Maker kits for checkout! What is a Maker kit? A Maker kit is a kit that includes a technology related item, books to go along with the item and an idea book full of ideas and/or lesson plans. Below is an example: What Maker kits are available for checkout? We have 9 kits that you are able to check out: Code-a-Pillar Kit Ozobot Kit Augmented and Virtual Reality Kit Raspberry Pi Kit Code and Go Robot Mouse Kit Record and Learn Kidistudio Kit Sphero Kit Circuits and Magnets Kit Makey Makey Kit Magformers Kit Who can checkout a Maker kit? Anyone with a library card can check it out for 28 days. What ages are the Maker kits targeted for? Code-A-Pillar: Ages 3-6 Ozobots: Ages 8 and older Augmented and Virtual Reality: Ages 8 and older Raspberry Pi: Ages 8 and older Code and Go Robot Mouse: Ages 5 and older Record and Learn KidiStudio: Ages 3-6 Sphero: Ages 8 and older Circuits and Magnets: Ages 8 and older Makey Makey: Ages 8 and older Magformers: Ages 6 and older
Munch the tortoise who lives at the Independence/William E. Durr Branch has made his NCAA bracket picks! See his bracket below. During March Madness the library has all of your basketball needs covered, from books to magazines to movies and more.
When you are expecting a little one it can be overwhelming thinking about what you need for baby. You try to rack your brain of everything you think you could possibly need and your list grows and grows. I had my first LO (little one) last September and was fortunate enough to have 3 baby showers (2 family and 1 work). I was excited to start my registry and did lots of research on what others recommended to buy. I went into it really trying to only get what I thought was needed. Now 5 months later, I have compiled a short list of my favorite/most used things that I received at my showers. One of my other goals was to start my LO’s book collection, so I have included some of my favorite books below as well. Enjoy! Best Items: Diaper Pail On my registry I originally had a diaper pail (Diaper Genie) but changed it to a different brand (Baby Trend). I did this because you could use your own trash bags/grocery bags in the Baby Trend one. Many diaper pails (like Diaper Genie) require you to use their refill bags; this just adds on another cost. So depending on how much you want to invest, go the inexpensive route and get one that you can use any ol’ trash bag. The pail has done a great job and is definitely a necessity if you want to keep those stinky smells at a minimum. Bottle Warmer If you plan on using bottles, a bottle warmer is a life saver. It is a quick and easy way to warm up your LO’s bottles so you don’t have to do it the old school way [...]