Thursday, October 18, 2012

Merrily We Sew Along

Head over to my other blog, Improv Diary , to join in a sew along co-hosted by Imagine Gnats and Casa Crafty.  All of the details are listed there and there will be prizes folks! Good ones! But of course, do it for the community bolstered inspiration, the tutorials, and the freedom of sewing in the improv way!

merrily we sew along

xo, nicole

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Show Me A Story Book Review + Giveaway!

I am so pleased to be able to share something really truly special and awesome with you all today - this wonderful book called Show Me A Story (Storey 2012), by Emily Neuburger of Red Bird Crafts. If you have kids, teach kids, or even know some kids, then read on while I share what I feel as a mom, a former elementary school teacher, and someone who just like to pass around the beautiful things in the world. Emily is also a friend of mine, so I can tell you that she is the real deal and has put an enormous amount of thought and energy into the publication of this book, which takes all of the work out for us, and leaves us with 4o rich and authentic activities we can do with kids to promote their creativity and even proficiency at telling a story - orally, visually, and written.
When I was asked to review the book, of course I said yes without hesitation. It is a subject that is very near and dear to me and I have tried to bring the richness of story into my home by way of reading a ton to my kids as well as providing ample time for my daughter to write - it is pretty much her favorite thing to do.  Coincidentally, as the review copy came to my mailbox, my husband and I were beginning to see that our younger son appears to be having a much tougher time getting his thoughts and ideas out into the world (on paper, mostly).  It was weird - the timing. It was also great because Show Me A Story is so freakin' beautiful and appealing that any kid would want to pick it up and see which projects they might want to start with. So was true for Harry. I will note, however, that when I asked him to tell the story of his characters to me, he looked worried and wondered if he needed to write it down. "No" was the right answer for him and I got to hear about the race car and the big monster who fought him and the "annual reward" for defeating the monster, which was an enormous box of golden fries (who wouldn't want that over a trophy?).

He chose this as his first project:
The travelling puppet theater, which is basically a background with cuts to allow for popsicle stick characters to move around. The picture is terrible - so sorry!

Harry used Sharpies and nice thick paper.
Meet the bad guy.
and the good guy

They fight, sound effects are made, and the good guy wins

and gets the french fry prize!!!! The crowd goes wild!
 Each time you turn the page of this book there is a new thing you want to make or do. Story stones are on top of my list! They are super cute and they are rocks!! so they are great to have in hand.

I'm sure you were totally interested in my boy's project, but I know you really want to know how you can get your hands on a copy, so I will get on with it.  I have a copy to give away to some lucky person. All you need to do is be a U.S. resident and leave a comment here by October 7  October 10 (Note: I am extending the giveaway until Wednesday, October 10)to enter. Give me the first sentence in a story you would write today while you are at it. And if you want another chance to win, head over to the Storey blog.  They'll tell you what to do.
This giveaway is now closed :). Congratualtions Nancy!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Why everyone should go to a Maker Fair

This past weekend, Debra and I went to set up a little 10' x 10' sewing studio at the World Maker Faire 2012 in Queens. We were there to promote our book and get curious people interested in sewing on our machines.  What can I say? It was awesome! I had people talking to me about sewing conductive thread through garments and using an arduino to respond to some change in the wearer's body temp or heart rate to make something on the garment change.  Picture actual hackles going up on the shoulders of your shirt because you got nervous! Another visitor wanted to know which kind of sewing machine he should buy for hacking.  What do you think he is going to make that machine do? There were some seriously creative thinkers about and a million things to see and make while there (though I heard that second hand as we were so busy with visitors that we didn't have time to leave the booth at all).
Before the gates opened we really didn't know what to expect.  The rain just stopped and we heard the subways were down.
It was like this all day and people were so interesting and great.

We taught men, women, boys, and girls how to draw with thread. They made some pretty cool stuff!

The first day ended at 7pm, so the chandelier that Debra made came in real handy.
And, and, and... we won two awards!!! We were awarded the Educator's Choice award and the Editor's Pick Blue Ribbon.  We were so proud it was almost unbearable.
So, my real point, before I started bragging, was this: If you ever feel disillusioned with the world and pop culture is getting you down, head over to a Maker Faire and see what people are doing and sharing! It's a beehive and very inspiring!