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  • September 2019
    M T W T F S S
    « Feb    

That’s Sew Cool!!


Do you like sewing?  Crafts?  Animals? Having fun?

If the answer to any of those is yes then you should check out the Felt Friends event at the Woods Run branch of CLP.  It’s this Saturday at 2:00PM.  You can call the library at 412-761-3730 for more information or check out the link here.


Altered Books

A cold, snowy winter’s day is a great time to get crafty and creative!

Sometimes books outlive their usefulness. Why not turn those 1970’s era Britannica Encyclopedias into a work of art?

Altered art or altered books refers to any artful repurposing/crafting/mixing/recycling of books. Best thing about altered books? NO RULES! You can let your creativity run wild: Turn old encyclopedias into bookshelves or a hardback book into a ring box. You don’t have to be an artist to turn an old book into something magical again. You just need unused books, instruction, art supplies and some creativity.

Designs can be simple or intricate. Below are some truly inspirational altered books.


source: andysowards.com

its all the same

source: art-e-zine.co.uk


source: briandettmer.com


source: briandettmer.com

For the visual learner, there are tons of YouTube videos on how to get started! And, of course, the library has you covered too!

altered art for the first time altered art techniques for creating altered... altered books collaborative journals and other adventures in book making altered books workshop the repurposed library playing with books big ass books of crafts big ass books of crafts 2

Michael @ Hazelwood

DIY T-Shirt Boa Scarf

Picture from Generation T website

I have what feels like, a million t-shirts laying around. I wanted a quick and easy project to use up some of my t-shirts.  I love this one!  All the cutting required takes a little bit of time, but you can do it while you watch tv, so it’s not too painful. I got this project from the book: Generation T: beyond fashion.

The author, Megan Nicolay, has great step by step instructions along with plenty of photos. Go ahead, try one of her projects.

If you’d like to get started right away, there’s a tutorial on the boa scarf  at HERE on YouTube.

Hungry? Head to Art Club!

Many of you are already aware of the Main Teen Room‘s AWESOME Art Club which meets every Wednesday from 3 pm to 5 pm.  But did you know that beginning this month, on the second Wednesday of every month we’ll be offering a different food related craft at Art Club?  Instead of getting creative with yarn, glitter, and tissue paper; teens will be making their masterpieces from spaghetti, sprinkles and other edible materials.  Teens- we heard you loud and clear.  You don’t have to say it with your mouths, because we probably wouldn’t be able to hear it over the roaring of your tummies anyway.

 Wednesday, January 11 @ 3pm: Marshmallow Mania

 Wednesday, February 8 @ 3pm: Candy Dynamite

 Wednesday, March 14 @ 3pm: Cookie Decorating

You say you can’t make it to Art Club?  Please, stop crying and check out these books filled with yummy recipes and edible crafts instead.  Just try not to drool all over the library’s copy.

Candy Construction: How to Build Edible Race Cars, Castles, and Other Cool Stuff Out of Store-bought Candy!

by Sharon Bowers


Learn how to build a chess board from chocolate kisses, a pirate ship from krispy rice treats, a race car from licorice and more delicious construction projects using just about anything with candy and other goodies.

Cute Yummy Time: 70 Recipes for the Cutest Food You’ll Ever Eat

by La Carmina

Easy instructions for making the most adorable snacks.  The most difficult thing about the recipes in this book is mustering the strength to eat your cute creations.

Face Food: The Visual Creativity of Japanese Bento Boxes

by Christopher D. Sayers

Any die hard manga and anime fan knows what a bento box is.  But do they know how to make the delicious treats that go inside?  Check out this step-by-step guide and interviews with charaben enthusiasts.

Junk Foodie: 51 Delicious Recipes for the Lowbrow Gourmand

by Emilie Balt

Even if you’re not the most impressive chef, you can still make a delicious feast.  Just visit a vending machine and open this inspirational book!

Winter Break Boredom.

Happy Winter Break!

It is now December 23rd and winter break has just begun. Once all the eating and gift giving subsides you will definitely be looking for some free or low-cost fun! Here are my top five suggestions!

1. Visit your local library for a free program! You can make a winter bracelet at Hazelwood or a party hat at Main on Wednesday. And all week long you can get your game on at you nearest library: East Liberty, Hill District, Allegheny, Hazelwood, Main, and Downtown.

2. Go ice skating! At Schenley Skating Rink, one session and skate rental is only $5.50 for those age 17 and under! The Rink at PPG Place in downtown Pittsburgh or the brand new “Penguins Pond” in the South Side Works will each run you $9.00 with skate rental.

3. Bowling. It might sound lame but bowling with a group of friends are some of my fondest memories. At Forward Lanes in Squirrel Hill there are all you can bowl deals for $10.00 a person including shoes! Check out teen friendly Rock ‘n Bowl and Pizza, Pop & Bowling at Arsenal Lanes on Butler St. in Lawrenceville.

4. Trip to the movies. Many local movie theaters have weekday discounts. Check out $5.00 Mondays or no 3D surcharge Wednesdays at the SouthSide Works Cinema. Shows before 6:00PM Monday through Thursday at the AMC Loews Waterfront are also discounted to $5.00.

 5. Last but not least… FIREWORKS on New Years Eve! Check out the website for the Cultural District’s First Night 2012 Celebration for information about the best places to view the fireworks! Hint: There are shows at 6:00 PM and Midnight.

Please have a safe and happy Winter Break! If you have anything to add please feel free to comment!

-Michael (CLP Hazelwood)

Shop Responsibly This Season – Buy Local, Buy Handmade!

Thanks to Michael for the post about the history of Black Friday, and the movements that oppose it.  I, myself, practice Buy Nothing Day on Black Friday, however I’m not as radical as some.  For example, take activist Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping.  Reverend Billy’s team of activists battle consumer culture and the fact that now, for many, consumerism is the point of the holiday season, and he has worked tirelessly against this “shopocalypse,” for 14 years.  Below you can see him perform a credit card exorcism.

While his mission makes sense to me, I still do like to give gifts for the holidays.  How do I accomplish this and still maintain my beliefs in sustainable shopping practices?

I buy local. I buy handmade.  I don’t only do so on Small Business Saturday – the day after Black Friday – but all year long.  I also *try* to be crafty myself.  While it doesn’t always turn out so great, like the 1/2 knitted baby blanket that was supposed to be for my niece’s 1st birthday (we just celebrated her 2nd) or the cookie batter I made a few years ago that was supposed to yield 2 dozen, yet only yielded 6 (and tasted quite funky), I still have a really good time in the attempts.

(Image courtesy of ningmilo)

If you’re interested in following suit, here are some resources to justify your choice, and to help you find your way to shopping responsibly this holiday season!

Check out this ABC article on gift ideas for items made in America.

Branded: The Buying and Selling of Teenagers By Melissa Quart

This book will prove to you the that there is more to participating in this world than to “turn oneself into a corporate product”.

The Power of Half: One Family’s Decision to Stop Taking and Start Giving Back By Kevin Salwen and Hannah Salwen

It all started when a 15 year old teen was struck by the image of a homeless man standing by a Mercedes coupe.  It continued when her family decided to sell their mansion, move to a house 1/2 as big, and donate 1/2 the profit to a charity.  Inspiration will surely follow, if you check this book out.

Etsy is a community of artists and those who love their work and are able to support it.  You can purchase most anything here – from handcrafted wallets to greeting cards to teddy bears.

Visit the I Made it Market’s Nomadic Indie Crafts Marketplace events this month to find the perfect handcrafted gift for that special someone!

To get crafty yourself, take a look back at some of these blog posts – or check out the craft section at the library!


Artsy Shoes!

Altoid Tin Speakers!

Altered Books!

-LeeAnn Anna

Free & Affordable Fridays In the ‘Burgh

I live in the suburbs. I know, I know– it is supremely uncool  to live anywhere other than the city. And sometimes, I really agree.  Besides the ever present city construction, the detours, and the unfortunateness of rarely having a backyard, there are some true benefits to living in an urban area– public swimming pools, better (if not great in Pittsburgh) public transportation, and something to do– always, something to do.  It is this last one that I look at in today’s post.

As summer is winding down, and everyone is getting ready to go back to school, it’s time to find the last summer-tastic things to do in the city.  Did you know that every week there is a segment on Pittsburgh Today Live called Free and Affordable Fridays? Me neither. The women who host the show give viewers a top five list of cool things happening in the city in the coming weeks that are either free or affordable. Bring in the close of summer with a bang by checking out these entertaining events of the next couple of weeks. Most of them involve music– so if you’re in the mood for a free concert, you’re in luck.  Since you’ll need all the details, I’ll just give you a link to the article. Some of these events have already come and gone, but many of them have repeat showings.

In addition to the awesomeness of the happenings in that article, there is something else happening tomorrow that you won’t want to miss– African Arts in the Park, presented by UMOJA African Arts Company. This day-long festival, held at Point State Park, celebrates the many traditions found in African art. There will be demonstations of head-wrapping and drum making, interactive workshops, poetry and spoken word, stilt-walkers, steel drummers, and sogows (life-size African puppets)– and this event is also TOTALLY FREE! I can’t think of a better way to spend one of the last Saturdays in summer.

Check out these books to become brush up on your African art knowledge.


-Julie, CLP Beechview 


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