Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Librarian Through and Through

I am a librarian through and through. I love what I do and I do what I love. I live and breathe my passion. I wonder how many other occupations out there infiltrate nearly all areas of those professionals' lives? Being a librarian is who I am, what I do, and how I identify. This means, that when I give gifts, they are often librarian-themed and I am "giving part of myself." 

I recently made my mother-in-law's banana bread (it is off-the-hook delicious). Now, the librarian in me needed to add a little literary flair... When I first got to my current school and was cleaning out the office, I found boxes upon boxes of old library checkout cards. Instead of letting them sit there and collect another decade of dust or (gasp) recycle them, I use them. A lot.

I simply cut the checkout cards down to size, wrote a quick message, used a heart hole punch and Viola!

Here they are as the tags on some wedding gifts. You'll also notice that I don't often use "real" wrapping paper. The closest I get is brown butcher paper, I love the shabby chic look. Generally, though, I use fabric to wrap the gift and then use scraps of a coordinating fabric to tie it all together.
Everything is just cuter when it's on a library checkout card. Seriously.
Is that not the most adorable wedding gift package?
I also use old card catalog cards...
Wondering what was inside those beautiful packages? The couple were from two different countries so I made a little framed art to pay homage to their homes.
Writing this makes me wonder what other librarians do in their lives that include glimpses of their professional lives? What other professions infiltrate everything you do?


Saturday, August 16, 2014

How to Add Custom Favicon on Blogger Blogspot

You know you've "cyber made it" when a little caricature of you appears in the URL box of your blog. That's a sure sign of success. Check it out:

I will say, unapologetically, I am adorable in a URL box. Seriously.

How can you appear as a tiny, cute version of yourself in a URL box you ask, let me show you...

I started by searching, "Icon in url bar blogger" because I had no idea that what I was looking for had a name (of course it did) and that it was an easy fix. A "Favicon" or "Favorites Icon" is the little graphic located to the left of the URL in the browser box.

Step One: In your Blogger dashboard, click Layout:
Step Two: Click Edit on the Favicon gadget. If, at some point, you removed this gadget from your site, you'll need to go back in and Add a Gadget:

Step Three: A window will open, select Choose File and locate the image you'd like to use from your computer. Click Save and your Favicon should replace the Blogger logo. My logo did not appear immediately and I had to clear the cookies on my browser before it worked.
 One thing to keep in mind... Blogger will not accept images that are not perfectly square. I am not a graphic designer, so I simply adjusted the size of my image in Preview:

After clicking on Adjust Size, I unlocked the image (click on the padlock), and changed the dimensions. Play with it, I can take a bit of finessing to look right:

I am far from well-versed in all things techy, so I am constantly Googling (which is officially a word now. At least, according to spell check. If our ancestors could see us now, Googling fools) anything and everything about my blog. Here are a few sites that helped me in this process:

"How to Add or Change Favicon on Blogger Blogspot" by Helplogger
"Tutorial: How to Create a Custom Favicon for Your Blog" by Design Your Own Lovely Blog
"Custom Favicons" by Typepad Knowledge Base

Are you interested in having a too-cute-for-words caricature of you? Check out my post on getting Getting Melonheadz-ed and you, too can have a mini cartoon you.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Updated! Shark Week Storytime

A few weeks back I planned to do an ocean-themed storytime to go with my Reader's Reef genre bulletin board. What started as ocean-themed quickly turned into something attuned to Shark Week in the library. There are just too many adorable shark projects and ideas on Pinterest. I couldn't help myself!

My book selections were good, but I will definitely make some changes for next time around. I absolutely love Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen, it is a new favorite! The kids loved, loved, loved it!
I think I'm a Shark by Bob Shea is an adorable book for students to read and check out, but it wasn't great for reading aloud. I think next year I'll display it, but not use it in the storytime.
Last came Wave by Suzy Lee. This. Book. Is. Wonderful. I actually really enjoy using wordless books for storytime, the kids always impress me with their level of engagement and focus. The pictures are amazing and the "story" is so sweet. Love this one!

Between books we sang "Five Little Fishies" and used the shark and fish felts (my husband's favorite). All credit for this goes to Jane from Piper Loves the Library! I fell in love with her shark so much, that I had to make one of my own. I love his big-toothed smile and semi-grimacing eyebrow furrow. Like Jane, I mounted him on black felt so that his tail and fins wouldn't be so fragile.
"Five Little Fishies"
(Sung to the tune of Five Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree)

Five little fishes, swimming in the sea.
Teasing Mr. Shark, "You can't catch me."
Along comes Mr. Shark, as quiet as can be ... and ... Sssnnnnnap!

Four little fishes, swimming in the sea.
Teasing Mr. Shark, "You can't catch me."
Along comes Mr. Shark, as quiet as can be ... and ... Sssnnnnnap!

Three little fishes, swimming in the sea.
Teasing Mr. Shark, "You can't catch me."
Along comes Mr. Shark, as quiet as can be ... and ... Sssnnnnnap!

Two little fishes, swimming in the sea.
Teasing Mr. Shark, "You can't catch me."
Along comes Mr. Shark, as quiet as can be ... and ... Sssnnnnnap!

One little fishie, swimming in the sea.
Teasing Mr. Shark, "You can't catch me."
Along comes Mr. Shark, as quiet as can be ... and ... Sssnnnnnap!

Burp ... I'm full.

Thank you, Jane, this was a wonderful success!!!

Update: Thanks to Shark Week on Discovery Channel, there are a gazillion shark-themed ideas on Pinterest. These are just a few I tried (and loved!):
 Shark Fin Hats, aren't they fun! Pinned by Raquel Hernandez, I was unable to locate the original source. I simply cut strips of blue construction paper, stapled them together and added a fin (with some CHOMP marks). So easy and so fun!
The idea for this darling clothespin shark comes from Estefi Machado. The blog is in Portuguese and while I was able to translate the post through Google, it was still a challenge to understand. So, I took my best guess.
 I did a sketch on white card stock, outlined it with black marker and added some color.
 The fishy is attached with a small section of wooden toothpick, glued to the back of the clothespin.
 Cute and fun!
 Another fast and fun shark craft? The shark clothespin for developing fine motor skills, from Make, Do and Friend. Just paint, glue and play!
 I painted my sharky with blue acrylic paint, added a construction paper fin, and squiggly eyes.
The white paint was tough... I had to clamp the clothespin open in order for it to dry and even then, the teeth stuck together. Still cute.

Up next... I'm debating creating a storytime entirely dedicated to peas. Hmmm, what do you think? You might be asking yourself, "Why peas?" Well, they're healthy, they're green (I'm a fan of doing color-themed storytimes) and peas in a pod are absolutely adorable. Think of the craft possibilities! Pinterest, here I come!


Friday, August 8, 2014

Dr. Seuss Shirts

Orange Lorax Shirt
Supplies for the Lorax shirt: brown craft fur (I found a panel of the fur in the aisle that has pom-poms and felt sheets), white, black and tan scraps of felt, orange cotton t-shirt and matching colored thread.
Let me just say, this mustache was a huuuuuuuuge pain! The fur was really hard to work with and it took me a few tries. The first time I cut the fur, I was left with a mess and fur everywhere! For the second try, I slid the blade of my scissors under the fur but above the mesh. It worked! It cut the shape, but helped the fur to keep that "scruffy" look. Otherwise, it looks way too manicured. Play with it and you'll get the look you want. But, prepare to be covered in fur.
I stitched the mustache in place and then added the eyes (I forgot to stop and take pictures). Done! Adorably done. And the best part? I got the shirt at Value Village so the entire project cost less than $4!

Blue Truffula Tree Shirt
Supplies for the Truffula Tree shirt: colored craft fur (I bought 1/8 of a yard of each color), non-shiny yellow ribbon, blue cotton t-shirt and matching colored thread.
This is the messy part of the project, prepare to look like you gave a muppet a haircut.
Here are the completed circles.
I cut varying lengths of ribbon and then sewed them onto the shirt. I used a black permanent marker to make them look more authentic. (I don't think the tree tops can withstand being washed, so I'm not worried about what would happen to the tree trunks in the laundry. It will be a special occasion-only shirt).
I did a simple overcast stitch to adhere the tree tops to the shirt, it worked quite well!
The final product, I love!!!

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