Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas in Curaçao

Eliza Priest, circulation assistant, is from Curaçao and did a fantastic job of giving us an insight into her world. The theme was Christmas in Curaçao and she made a brightly colored chicken and potato salad with mashed beets. Talk about pink salad. Curaçao is primarily a tourist economy with some agriculture. Cruise ships are a regular event in this island country off of Venezuela. It is primarily Roman Catholic because of the Spanish roots, but it is a Dutch island. Eliza made a spicy rice dish with tomato gravy sauce. She made little pastries of ground beef in a dough to be fried and a peanut butter cookie shaped like an “S” for Santa. The freshly fried plantains were a crowd favorite. There were smiles on everyone’s faces by the end of the hour. One of us even looked up the meaning of the yellow stripe on the Curaçao flag. It stands for the sun!

And later that day, her seventh grandchild was born, a young man named Liam! Congratulations, Eliza.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Giving Green

Reference Librarians Tracy Williams and Dorrie Scott showed us how to create upcycled gifts using household items. You won't be able to look at a glass bottle or a roll of duct tape without seeing the potential for a beautiful homemade item!

Here are some of the ideas they demonstrated and recommended:

Tracy made this by cutting wine corks in half and gluing them onto a wooden letter. You can dip the halves in red wine to give them all the same color scheme.
Dorrie made this by drilling a hole 3/4 of the way into a cork, filling with a tiny bit of soil, and then adding a small, live plant. She glued a magnet on the back, and adds a drop of water once a week.

Tracy created this jewelry holder with some sticks from her backyard, twine to tie the sticks together, and copper wire to hang the earrings. Be sure to sand the sticks to smooth them down.
Tracy made this by printing out a page of piano sheet music, painting it with tea to give it a yellowed look, and then using mod podge to glue it to a canvas. She printed and cut out the “W”, glued it to the canvas, and then painted over it when it dried.

  • Dorrie recommended turning glass bottles or mason jars into beautiful decorations or organizers with paint or by wrapping them with rope. Make sure to run a strip of rope along the bottle first to give the rope coils something to grip onto.
  • Ever got those advertisement magnets in the mail? Cover them in scrapbook paper to jazz them up, or tape two to a strip of patterned duct tape to make a magnetic bookmark.
  • Paint natural wooden frames to freshen up the color. You can give them a distressed look by removing the glass and hitting them with a hammer before painting.
  • Dorrie swears by chalkboard paint for any objects--flower pots, bottles, cans, mirrors...
  • You can also mod podge a bunch of photos onto a canvas to create your own inexpensive photo collage.
  • Create flowered pens by wrapping them in patterned duct tape.
Some of our audience members had some wonderfully crafty ideas, too!
  • Create bracelets out of ribbon or tape spools, just wrap them in some pretty paper or fabric.
  • Cover bottles in flat glass stones and put a small string of battery powered lights inside to make a beautiful light.
For more great ideas, check out the library's Pinterest page: