Crafting at the Library

Crafts aren’t just for kids! An article from Neurology, a journal published by the American Academy of Neurology, states that older adults who participate in creative activities, such as crafts, could delay the development of memory problems. Crafting also allows you to develop new skills and can give you the opportunity to do something a little bit different. All great reasons to make a craft!

Below is a craft that we recently made at the Louisa County Library. Try making this paper rosette wreath at home:

Supplies needed:
Paper, cut into 1.5” x 12” strips (thicker paper, such as scrapbooking paper, works best)
Glue gun (plus extra glue sticks)
Cardboard form (cut out a 12” circle from a piece of cardboard)
Scissors, ruler, scrap paper
Optional: 1” circles or other shapes, ribbon

Step 1:
Fold your strip like an accordion using 1/4” folds. You might want to score your lines with a ruler first if you have trouble making small, even folds. You’ll need about 11 pieces of paper, more if you want to overlap your rosettes.

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Step 2:
Join the ends of the folded paper and secure with glue or tape to form a cylinder.

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Step 3:
Gather the folds on one end of the cylinder and gently press down—don’t worry if you have to gently reshape your cylinder as you go. As you press down, the shape of the rosette will begin to form.

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Use hot glue and a small piece of scrap paper to secure it at the center of the plain side of the rosette. The scrap paper will create a flat surface and will make it easier to glue to the wreath form.

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Step 4:
Glue circles (or other shapes) to the centers of the circles on the decorated side of the rosette.

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Step 5:
Arrange rosettes around wreath form and glue into place. If you want to make smaller rosettes, cut the paper into 1″ x 12″ strips.

Step 6:
Tie on ribbon and enjoy your new wreath!

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For more inspiration on paper crafting, check out these books:
Sweet Paper Crafts by Mollie Greene
Beautiful Paper Cutting

And check out our calendar for upcoming craft workshops!

“The indiscriminate reading of novels is one of the most injurious habits to which a married woman can be subject.”

dept of speculation coverBooks on Tap read Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill at Champion Brewery on August 2. The novel, short on plot but long on introspection, follows a writer who hopes to be an “art monster” as she marries, has a daughter, teaches writing in college and negotiates her marriage after her husband’s infidelity. Told in short bursts, it has been likened to an x-ray, drawing on the author’s experimentation with poetry during a bout of writer’s block. It starts in close first person, switches to third person after the cheating is discovered and then back to first as the husband and wife reconcile.

We all liked this witty rumination on growing older, knowing oneself and making compromises. Two of us listened to the audiobook and missed all the formatting (and thought we had missed entire chapters!). We didn’t think that the characters were particularly sympathetic but the narrator’s emotions resonated. Her desire not to lose her identity and drive after childbirth and her questioning of priorities accurately reflects life in middle age. However, the point of view is so narrow, it only serves to confirm that you can never truly know what happens in another couple’s relationship. The book contains all aspects of a full life: family, career, loneliness, romance, anger. Its format also mirrors how we communicate now, inward-turning short bursts with (inaccurate?) quotations of famous people. While the ending wasn’t particularly happy, it was happier and happy enough.

More Information:
About the author
Interviews with the author
About the book

Books on Tap Information:

 

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“The only people who have to think about their identity are the ones who don’t fit the mold.”

simon coverThe LGBTQ Book club met at Central on July 31 to discuss the young adult novel Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. Everyone liked the warm coming-of-age story of Simon’s email flirtation with an unknown classmate, his forced outing, and the revelation of the surprise identity of his online crush. The novel is populated with Simon’s family and many, many friends, which are hard to keep track of but all have clearly drawn personalities. The book is lauded for its diverse cast of characters, but this seemed very subtle to us.  We were pleasantly surprised with the support Simon received from his family, friends and teachers, something that would have been unusual in a young adult novel ten years ago. While some of us who grew up in the area thought it rang true, a few of us thought that Simon’s classmates could have be crueler in real life and that Simon was free from any religious shaming.

Simon notices small, physical details about his friends such as the shape of their fingers. However, his primary relationship with Blue is conducted all online, with no physicality. Getting to know each other through email allows each boy to craft what they are saying, making their relationship less awkward and more intimate than it would have been face-to-face. This is mirrored the first time they are intimate, which is hilariously cringe-worthy.

The quotation “straight (and white, for that matter) is the default, and the only people who have to think about their identity are the ones who don’t fit that mold,”  resonated with us. One participant read an interview with the author who explained that the title was a play on the phrase “homosexual agenda.” While we didn’t think that would resonate with today’s teens (and none of us realized it while reading the book), it does position the coming out story as part of the human condition. This is a deeply human story and everyone must struggle with identity, ideally without wounding others along the way.

More Information:
About the author
Interview with the author
About the book
Other works
Movie adaptation

Recommendations:
Alex Stranglove (film)
Rise (TV series)

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