Friday, December 19, 2014

Disney's Frozen in the Library

Disney's Frozen - The Sing-Along Edition
on a Starry Night!

Our Library kids made stars and even more stars over the past couple of weeks.  We put many of them together on a glass wall in the shape of pine tree.  A rather fat pine tree!

Trees have been our "thing" this season. 

 Monday December 15th, was a magical night at the library.  We hosted the sing-along edition of Disney's Frozen and the first to arrive were some of our very own neighborhood stars dressed as Elsa and Anna.  Take a look!

I think we had 6 Elsas, 3 Annas, 2 Svens and one Olaf!  Check out my apron!  It was the easiest thing I could do and the photos with the kids were cute.  The funny thing about our Family Film night - the children were ALL GIRLS!  We had some dads, (God bless 'em) and plenty of moms, (bravo) but no boys.  What?  Boys don't sing?  Kristof's not the star of the show?  What?  

The night was full of singing and dancing with twirly ribbons.  The bouncing snowflake on the screen helped all of the adults with the songs.  The girls knew them by heart.  They knew most of the dialogue as well.  Too funny.

Our program room was set up with all of our Frozen books and lots of winter themed books.  We offered white powdered sugar donuts as families arrived and we took a very short intermission for ice cream sandwiches! You know - frozen sandwiches! 

We had 64 people sign up to attend Frozen but just 38 attended. The weeks before Christmas are very busy.  May need to re-think a December family film.  Our Main Library is showing Frozen during the Holiday Break in the daytime - probably a better idea.  We'll see.  

This stunning Elsa and her little sister were the last to leave.  I snapped the photo, got a hug and they skated away!  (you in the movie...they skated away!)

P.S. (Piper Script): We've got a Saturday craft ready to roll - more trees!  Birch trees in the snow..with tissue paper snowflakes!  We're working on "ours" right now...where's the tissue paper?  

Stay warm, leave a comment!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Gifts on Flannel Friday

Christmas Presents for Little Mouse and Me

You do know how it goes on Christmas Eve, "...all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse"  But here at Piper loves the Library, the mouse is stirring!  I spy, with my little eye, a brown mouse!  Do you see him?  He's very excited about the glittery gifts!  I think we should tiptoe closer and sneak a peak.  Shhhh...very quiet everyone, shhhhh

Four Christmas presents underneath the tree
Four Christmas presents for little mouse and me

Oh my goodness, what can they be?
Shhhhhh, let's open one to see.

Three Christmas presents underneath the tree.....

Two Christmas presents ....

One Christmas present underneath the tree
One Christmas present for little mouse and me

Oh my goodness, What can it be?
Shhhhh...let's open it to see.

Cupcakes!  Shhhhh! A box of holiday cupcakes?  
Christmas is for sharing.  Let's eat!

Keep Calm
cupcake on

(That's ^ not part of the rhyme!) 

Opening presents is so much fun!  The drama here is almost as good as "little mouse and the house".  No doubt the holiday season adds to the excitement for the kids.  And you know me - I have to make them guess...what do you think is in the box?  Shhh, quietly, remember - everyone is sleeping!  Who likes cheese....shhh...whisper!!  Kids love to shush.  I've heard that librarians do as well.

Construction: I wrapped medium card stock with Christmas paper.  I did the box tops separately in order to open and close the boxes. And I made simple little felt pom poms on top to be festive.  All pieces are backed with flannel.  The cupcakes, monkeys and frogs are pre-made from Michaels.  I made the mouse  (used an old Mouse Paint/mouse pattern from one of my favorite librarian friends, Heather Baker) and I crafted the cheese free hand! 

We wish you Happy Holidays and lots of cupcakes!

P.S. (Piper Script): Jane loves cupcakes!  I love the library!  Just sayin'

Bridget is hosting Flannel Friday this week.  If you'd like to learn more about Flannel Friday just click.  Thanks for reading.  We love libraries, books, kids, cupcakes and comments!  

Friday, December 5, 2014

Flannel Friday Holidaze!

The First Tree 

                     ... and it's flannel!  Yay!  

This is the tree that started it all
planning for Christmas while it was still fall

Then with paper scraps and glue
more trees grew and grew

The Tweens and Teens wanted to play
we brought out oil pastels on Wednesday

The magical dancers came at night
we made tall trees to their delight!

Music and dancing to entertain
Ballet stars and a candycane

We hope you know that dancers read
T'is the reason they succeed

Easy to see they each love their book
Hanging with a book is the "New" look

Mrs. Breen says to read every day
We're quite sure they know this at The Connecticut Concert Ballet

Alas a card from a dear library friend
It says "be merry" and that's the end!

Happy Holidays from Piper Loves the Library.   We are grateful to our followers - it's why we're here.  Comments, ideas, and sharing are welcome.  Hearing from you is quite special.  

P.S. (Piper Script)  As my friend ...right up there ^ says:  BE MERRY and #giveabook

Friday, November 21, 2014

Olaf's Flannel Family

Do you want to build a snowman?

I feel that I should apologize in advance to all our wonderful library families.  The Frozen songs - you're going to hear them all over again...starting now!  Our flannel Olaf made an appearance in story time this week... yep...that guy right there..

...he's just so cool.  And well - after a year of being all by his-flannel-self, I decided he needed some family.  You know, the holidays are coming.  He really shouldn't be alone in the dark, in a closet in the library's basement.

The fall story time session ended this week, so I brought the flannel board out of the story time room and into the children's department with Olaf's family.  Oh by gosh by golly!  Take a look!

FYI: if Olaf's family visits you...they like accessories.  And if you bring them accessories they will surely ask for a sign.  If you make them a sign...they're probably going to need two birds to carry it!  And well, I think you know how it goes.... on and on and on.  My advice? Purchase ear plugs and ... Let it go!  

Just so happens we are showing Frozen, The Sing-Along version on Dec 15th in our little branch.  Wow, it looks like maybe I planned this!  Magical thinking!

When Piper and I came back from lunch yesterday, we were greeted by Olaf's distant cousin... we didn't catch his name.  Maybe you know him?

P.S. (Piper Script): The young man who created this snow man was so proud of himself.  Wish we took his picture!  Next time.  

If you'd like to see more Olaf and his template - take a look at our original post  Thanks for visiting Piper Loves the Library.  For more information on Flannel Friday visit the Official Blog .  This weeks round up is hosted by Lisa @ Libraryland.

So...we are going to dance this one out...right now!  Let it go....let it go.....

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Flannel Cupcakes? What?

How to make the cupcakes!

November is full of birthdays!  Today is my brother Bill's big day and at the Library this afternoon we celebrated the birthday of a dear friend and colleague with cake and singing and streamers! You know, "Party Like a Preschooler!" Go Fish!  My little sister celebrates this month, a niece, a nephew and my great niece, Daisy, as well.  Happy, happy, happy!

When I set out to make these cupcakes I discovered I had this chevron scrap-booking paper in my stash.  Yes- it gives the illusion of those little folds in the cupcake paper, I know - it's perfect!  If you're like me - making a trip to the craft store, after I've started a project, is a total bother.   Therefore I advise all flannelizers to pick up felt on sale, buy extra, check out the crafting paper for anything you like and buy it!  You know that if you like it - you will use it at some point.  You will.  

This photo demonstrates just how I made the cupcakes... 

....with camel color felt backing, white felt frosting and yellow felt flame.  I want to be able to put the candles in and take them out so they have their own felted bottoms to stick to the flannel board.

Sometimes Piper's cupcake gets all three candles!  I also want to light the candles and blow them out.  It's all part of the narrative of the birthday story - and you know how the kids love birthdays.  

 Okay, here they are with the candles lit.  So believable!  Don't forget to make a wish!  

Happy Birthday to all the November babies

P.S. (Piper Script): What's your birthday story?  Jane says she doesn't have birthdays anymore!  hmmm? 

If you're interested in Flannel Friday please check-out the official blog here.  


Friday, October 31, 2014

Community Art - Maker Space - in YOUR Library

Community Art in the Library

El Dia de los Muertos will be celebrated in our little branch library with an invitation to the community to participate in an art project.  All the supplies will be out to make paper Sugar Skulls.  We hope that our patrons will leave their artwork for the month - but we recognize that sometimes they want to take their masterpiece home.  It's all good.  

My colleague Joe and I made the sugar skulls in the photo and we cut out about 40 plain skulls from paper plates.  We'll let everyone go to town with the markers.  The display area is set up with the title : Mexican Sugar Skulls to honor El Dia de los Muertos  

Over the past few years we have done a number of community art projects.  We've discovered that our families enjoy being part of the art on the walls of their library.  Moms, Dads, grandparents, teens, tweens, little ones - all particpate - we include everyone.  It's not the product - it's the belonging and the process of creating something bigger.  

This past July we asked our community members to color a firefly...they were shy at first and!  So this was day one:

Be a Reading Bug and Light the Night

And here we are at the end of the week.  Colors!

This project was tremendous fun and we kept it on display through September.  Senior citizens loved coloring a firefly or a flower and shared stories of their youth - who knew? Accidental engagement ...or the power of art.  Loved it!  This piece is 30"x 40"

We did another Community Art Project to remember 9/11. 
 I asked the staff to paint sheets of medium weight watercolor paper on both sides.  They did this over two days.  I explained to them what we were working on and everyone wanted to paint.  Honestly, it makes you feel good to know that we are doing something meaningful.  I located a butterfly template on-line and with the help of our teen volunteers - we traced lots of butterflies.  Library patrons were invited to cut out a butterfly of their choice fold the wings up and glue the butterfly wherever they wanted on our foam-core board. 

Many little ones brought their butterflies home and a number of families took photos of their children standing with this piece of art. 

Something like does a heart good.    

One holiday season we decorated our very large tree - a live tree, (not a Christmas tree) inside the library with pre-cut card stock birds.  Our patrons were encouraged to color the birds,  thread a ribbon through them and hang them on the tree.  Take a look:

They did it.

This was another "feel good" project.  And many birds with home with their artists.

When we do these projects I always invite the staff to participate first.  Our circulation staff is great - they will then follow through with the patrons inquiring if they would like to color a bird for our Peace Tree. One of my colleagues likes to take birds, butterflies, flowers, etc; home for her grandchildren to make - we build connections - in and out of the building.  

I'm not sure what the holiday project will be this year but I do know one project we'll do in the new year. 

Inspired by  Eleanor Estes' book, A Hundred Dresses, we shall invite our patrons to make dresses.  Sort of Origami, paper folding dresses with embellishments.

Here's dress #1 ...only 99 more to go!

I think I see a clothesline with those tiny decorative clothespins holding up the dresses. Maybe I should invite libraries across the country to contribute little paper dresses in February.  Hmm, I'm going to think about this.  We could have hundreds of dresses! 

Over the summer we made these beautiful flower vases in one of our kids' programs.  I did not have enough materials to offer it to the entire community but I did offer it to the staff.  Yennesse took her's home to create and totally rocked it. Just look at it!

 Let me say, when you are in the middle of Summer Reading and your staff is working "all out" ... Art Therapy is a nice change of pace.  Providing all the materials in one place where they can work on their own masterpiece and complete it - well, it's priceless!

The biggest reward in all of this is ownership and pride in your very own library.  It's your space patron people - and this, these community art projects,  are but one small part of the maker space movement in libraries across the country.  

We love comments and questions. Talk to us!  Thanks for reading. ~ jane

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Update those spider crafts with S.T.E.A.M.


Please let me introduce you to the
 Very Big and Very Busy Spider!

These gorgeous inspiring spiders were a Pinterest find and we tweaked them; of course!  Besides we had to talk about spider eyes...S.T.E.A.M. people!  Our inquiring kids deserve the truth on spider eyes.  It's cool stuff.

Eight legs and eight eyes for web-spinning spiders.  And you just know that everyone made a web-spinning spider because he was so bouncy with the white silky super strong yarn thread   

Jumping spiders have two eyes - and all the kids knew about jumping spiders!  Some spiders have 4 eyes, some 6 - and some have no eyes. 

*We used pastels a.k.a. colored chalks on 9x12 black construction paper to make the spider's  body.  BTW a 9x12 spider body is huge! 
*I had strips of purple and blue for the kids to fold in order to get the springing legs which we  taped on.  
*All those yellow eyes were secured with glue sticks. 
*I tipped each piece of yarn with tape and made a double knot on the other end
*We made a tiny slit on the top of the spider and pulled his silky thread through from  underneath.  That was sort of like a magic trick.  I kid you not.  These spiders came to life  once the yarn was attached.  

We did a few flannel stories including Black Cat, black cat, what do you see?  Oh my...look what the cat brought home - a jumping spider!  I still love that repeating thread in story time. It's not always a theme at Piper Loves the Library programming...but themes can be outstanding.

 I hope you know that we really love Eric Carle's The Very Busy Spider. 
But we might have to make him a few more eyes!

Holy smoking spider eyes!  There goes Batman!

P.S.(Piper Script): What? Were you expecting Spiderman?!  Check out these spiders...adorable!  Research told me that spider eyes come in equal numbers only.  Like I said's all about the S.T.E.A.M.

We are always grateful to our Flannel Friday Friends for inspiration and support.  Please visit the round-up for fun flannels and tips.  If you'd like to learn about this creative group please click here.  Thanks for visiting Piper Loves the Library.