Scenes from a sewing lab

Here are some fun pictures I’ve taken in the sewing lab since it opened on our 4th Floor at the end of September! 

Rainbow threads

A free hand elephant a ten year old created for her first time quilting

The elephant is named Jewel and is her alter ego

Testing heavy duty threads to help a couple build a yurt and start their eco village

Measuring, marking and cutting an apron

Pressing a waistband

A finished apron complete with decorative waist tie

A mixed media gift tag turned dinosaur collage designed and sewn by an 8 year old boy

Finished mixed media gift tags

Closeup of some gorgeous fabric scraps donated to the Library by Temperate – grown, spun, woven, dyed, & sewn entirely in the southeast

Learning to crazy quilt with Temperate fabrics

Random patron stops by to see if she can still sew a tote bag from memory

Really excited after my first successful multicolored embroidery test run!

The brilliant Emily &Michael Felix lead a workshop on reclaiming fibers

Embroidering dog bandanas (made in the sewing lab!) for a football game

A patrons mother sent her a dress from Africa we upcycled into two dresses – one for each of her daughters

A workplan to create a squid for cuddling for a roller derby teammate

I’ve been so impressed with the creativity, resourcefulness, and excitement of our community. In addition to what you see here we’ve also had

  • A woman make a new window for her Jeep
  • A woman create multiple soft glasses cases for holiday presents for her friends
  • Multiple people mending their clothes
  • Several men who came to the library to “finally learn to sew” after growing up they were told they weren’t allowed
  • Two men in to learn the basics of embroidery
  • Two teenage boys who dropped by and learned how to make pocket squares

There are so many more stories, you guys. Since opening the last Saturday in September we’ve had 179 unique checkout of our equipment and that’s without counting the embroidery machine, serger, or irons. (It’s coming! Don’t panic!)

Coming up we’re teaching how to make cord savers, paper party buntings, Temperate (0% waste!) Teddy Bears, upcycled designer clothing infinity scarves, and more. 

Stay tuned!

What I’m Telling Teens Who Are Politically Nervous.

Our new year is here and with it we will begin a new presidency. Some teens have asked me what they can do as they’re feeling powerless. My advice to them is simple and I will share it in case you have teens who are feeling the same way:

  1. Don’t stop paying attention. The elections are over and it’s now up to you to stay politically informed. Read all the true news you can and keep up to date on why things are making you feel the way you feel.
  2. Register to vote ASAP. If you really want to change the world it’s one of the only free ways to participate. Do it now before the rush of the next election season, before life gets busy.
  3. Vote in your local elections. Everyone focuses on the big political races but making a stand locally can have an impact from the bottom up. Read about your local politics and vote according to what you hold precious.
  4. You vote every day in your spending. Especially as teens you have a LOT more political power than you think and that’s because money rules this world. Are you vegetarian? An environmentalist? Religiously motivated? What companies deserve the support of your hard earned dollars? You may not be old enough to vote yet but your dollars have a daily impact on our world and you can improve the world with your dollars. Every time you spend, you vote.

This list has nothing to do with one party or another and is important for all teens looking to understand their role in politics. Be kind to one another this new year, folks!

Finals Week Strategy for Success from the Person Voted Biggest Procrastinator in High School

Finals Week Strategy for Success from the Person Voted Biggest Procrastinator in High School:
1- Reread notes needed
2- Open all articles you’ll need
3- Make and eat kick ass breakfast burrito
4- Write a blog post about procrastinating in an effort to destigmatize procrastination as a thinking exercise
5- Head downtown to see if that painting you loved is still for sale
6- Stop for favorite snack supplies and a couple other groceries
7- Prepare perfect movies needed for background noise
8- Play first movie & bust out some work
9- Have favorite snack
10- Bust out some more work and maybe even finish 1 paper
11- Choose 3-5 items from your closet to donate to Goodwill
12- Give yourself a facial
13- Determine if you’re done thinking about that other paper
14- Are you done? Yes? Do a little work- not tooooo much and see how you feel No? Choose a pair of shoes to donate. Yeah, that’s what I thought. Get some more work done, asshole.
15- You win! Relax and watch a horror movie or art documentary with fresh jammies and more of your favorite snack for dinner!
Stress/Distraction Strategies :
  • You okay? Want a nice cup of tea? Go ahead… remember to take a sip before it gets cold.
  • Whew, this is hard. You should probably take the dog out onto the deck and get some fresh air.
  • Y’know, the cat’s litter box could always use a little attention. If you take care of that doing homework won’t seem so bad. Go on. I bet you won’t complain about this paper after that.
Perfect Movies Needed for Background Noise (Today):
  • She Devil
  • The Others
  • True Romance
  • Airheads
  • Hook
  • Matilda
Favorite Snack:
  • Fresh raspberries
  • Smoked salmon
  • Smartfood popcorn
  • Some kind of craft beer