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Adults Create at the Library

Have you noticed the fun craft programs we’ve been offering for adults? We usually meet on a Tuesday or Wednesday evening at 7 p.m.  It’s a great chance to meet new people, learn a simple craft and just spend an hour or so doing something creative. Thus far we have made valentines, learned simple crocheting techniques and baked some retro Shrinky Dinks that turned into earrings and fobs.  In July we’ll be making duct tape clutches and repeating the Crochet program, then in August we’ll make bookmarks with the popular product washi tape. The best part  of the series is that you only need to bring your creativity since we supply the materials and tools.  The Friends of the Sunnyvale Library have provided the funds for these fun activities.

If you missed the first programs but are interested in learning how to do some of these old and new crafts check out these books.

For creating with felt fabric:

Stash Happy Felt

A basic crochet manual for right and left handed beginners:

Crochet Your Way

And finally a book on creating with Shrinky Dinks:



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Sunnyvale Art Club annual art exhibition


Winner of Best in show award, Cleo Crouch

Our annual Sunnyvale Art Club exhibition was a hit.  Over 700 people attended the event.  The work of over sixty artists’ was on display.   A variety of media were represented from water color, oil painting and some wonderful photography.

Members of the club did outdoor painting demonstrations.   Prizes were awarded.  Kristen Olson, a noted landscape artist, was on hand to judge the exhibition and offer awards.    The best in show award was won by artist Cleo Crouch.


painting patio

Open air painting demonstration

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Books Meet Art: Quick Hits

Need some book-related artistic entertainment/inspiration? Here are three blogs that are definitely worth a glance, and maybe even a follow.

a sample from Corpus Libris

Even if you don’t know Chip Kidd‘s name, you definitely know his work. Kidd is a prolific and prominent book cover designer. Among his many well-known designs are Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, Naked by David Sedaris, and 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. His blog is varied and interesting, with highlights of his work mixed in with observations (often humorous) about publishing and design in general.

A fun blog that I found linked from Kidd’s is Corpus Libris, where readers submit photos of themselves replacing parts of their bodies with the images from book covers. Equal parts creative and hilarious, perhaps you’ll be inspired to contribute with a book you find in our collection?

Another Kidd link referral, artist Thomas Allen does amazing photographs using books in creative ways, particularly with his cutouts from pulp novel covers, where the characters come bursting (literally) to life out of the pages of their books.

a Thomas Allen design

On another note, several months ago on this blog, I mentioned filmmaker and Sunnyvale native Bernie Su’s web video project The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Since that post, Bernie gave a talk here at Sunnyvale Library, wrapped up the series, and announced a follow-up project in one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns ever. The series has become wildly popular, as this article from WIRED describes. If you haven’t taken a look, I highly recommend it (be warned, the 100+ episodes are highly addicting).

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Knit one, purl one and beyond!

I am a cautious knitter.  I’ve knitted many an item – but usually haven’t ventured far from the square shape – the blanket, scarf or washcloth.  I have been hesitant to branch out and try new and “exotic” things thinking it will be too hard, or the project will take too long.  I have no need for more blankets, my children are no longer babies in need of sweaters – I need to cast my net farther to find a project that peaks my interest but is short enough that it does not become a half- knitted something stuffed in a drawer. Where to turn? The library of course!  Sunnyvale Public Library has many books that fit just what I’m looking for. From Christmas ornaments to flowers, to fun sea creatures I can find a project to complete. Success!!

75 seashells

75 seashells, coral & colorful marine life to knit & crochet  Jessica Polka

A captivating collection of knit and crochet patterns taken from the shoreline and the deep!


mini Xmas

Mini Christmas Knits  Sue Stratford

Highlighting the small charms of the holidays, the 20 step-by-step Christmas projects collected here will add to the warmth of the season.



100 flowers100 flowers to knit & crochet: a collection of beautiful blooms for embellishing garments, accessories, and more  Lesley Stanfield

Blossoms perfect for embellishing your favorite clothing or accessories.



Knitmare on Elm Street: 20 projects that go bump in the night   Hannah Simpson

Perfect for the fall/Halloween season, it shows an alternative take on the traditional craft designed to appeal to the modern knitter in search of something a little different.


Teeny-tiny MochimochiTeeny-tiny mochimochi: more than 40 itty-bitty minis to knit, wear, and give  Anna Hrachovec

30 super-cute, humorous patterns for miniature toys, plus techniques for tiny knitting!

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Knitting, Lanyards, and the Next Big Thing

Origami birdsWhat’s hot in children’s crafts seems to run in cycles.  I remember when my daughter was in the third grade and knitting was all the rage with her group of friends.  Her (very patient) teacher allowed the kids to knit during certain subjects in class.  He described the girls as a bunch of miniature grandmas with knitting needles going clickety-clack, clickety-clack in time to his lessons.  My daughter and I went to the store to buy knitting needles and fancy yarn, only to find the most coveted colors sold out.

That was years ago, but the pattern continues with school-aged kids.  When I first arrived at the Sunnyvale Library, we were flooded with requests for books on lanyards.  There were not a whole lot of craft books dedicated to lanyard-making, but with some searching, we were able to get a nice selection of guides for those kids wanting woven plastic doo-dads.  Now lanyards have gone quiet, and ORIGAMI is in.  We got the jump on that craze.  Not only are there Origami books on the shelves, there are more arriving each month.

How do we know what to buy –  not just for the crafts section but for all the Children’s Department shelves?  We read reviews, talk with other librarians, follow well-known authors, check Amazon top-selling lists, keep an eye on forthcoming books in publisher journals, and generally keep our ears to the ground for what’s new, popular, unique, or useful.  Some of our best reconnaissance, however, comes from the kids in the Children’s Department.  We’re happy to take requests and see if we can add special items to our collection.  If the kids all are talking about something new, please let us know!  Whether balloon animals or button spaceships – when the newest craze starts appearing in backpacks, we want the how-to books ready for check-out.

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