Crafternoons {Duck Tape Key Chains}

Duck tape 10

Crafting with my teens at the library is kind of hit or miss.  Earlier this year I decided to make my monthly craft program, Crafternoons, drop in, meaning all the supplies are out and open for several hours to any teens that drop by our teen space. The only tricky part to anything “drop in” is that you never know how many kids to expect so I need to guesstimate my supplies. Oh. And the craft has to be boy/girl friendly. This month I decided to tackle Duck Tape key chains after coming across several pins on Pinterest. The project is fun, easy, and practical. I compiled a list of step by step instructions, but if I’m too hard to understand, check this video out here. (I would like to add, I am not as professional as this video. I don’t use Duck tape sheets and I don’t have a paper cutter.)

Let’s begin!

Duck tape 1

Supplies:

Duck Tape

Key ring

Velcro

Duck tape 2

Duck tape 3

Step 1: Cut a 14” piece of Duck tape. Begin by folding the tape into itself so that both sides meet in the middle.

Duck tape 4

Step 2: Once both sides are folded down you can trim the edges. (You should end up with a 12” or so piece.)

Duck tape 5

Duck tape 6

Step 3: Cut a thinner piece of Duck tape in a coordinating color. Place the Duck tape along the inside seam of your first piece.

Duck tape 7

Duck tape 8

Step 4: Place key ring at one end of the long piece of Duck tape. Fold the long Duck tape piece over and use the second color of Duck tape to tape the key ring into the loop.

Duck tape 9

Step 5: Trim the long piece of Duck tape to your desired length. Then, attach one side of Velcro to the top of the long piece and the other side of the Velcro to the bottom.

Duck tape 10

Step 6: And voila! Fold the Duck tape over to Velcro shut and enjoy!

Duck tape 11

I hope you all enjoyed this easy peasy Duck tape craft brought to you by Crafternoons at my library!  {Have a fun and gender neutral craft for teens? I would love to hear about it in the comments section!}

Best,

Christen


Leg Day

I am exhausted! Between the craziness that was yesterday and the physical activity from today I am ready for bed.  So on that note, here’s to the fastest post ever.

My husband is awesome:

1{These are stargazer lilies and irises. I was supposed to get them on Valentine’s Day, but because of snow, they were never delivered Friday.  After spending the weekend on a FedEx truck, they were delivered yesterday to my library. Of course, the library was closed because of the holiday, so my flowers spent the day and night outside of the building. Fingers crossed that the flowers bloom.}

2{He really does love me!}

3{I did NOT eat any of this. Day 2 of the BFL Challenge and I am going strong. WOOT!}

I went to the gym during my lunch break!  YAY!  When I checked in on foursquare I saw that it had been 5 weeks since my last gym check in. Booooo! But I’m back and I’m ready to do some damage.

4{Gym selfie.}

You can find the BFL exercise guide here if you are so inclined. Today was lower body and I did:

1a. Barbell squats

1b. Leg extensions

2a. Lying leg curls

2b. Dumbbell lunges

3a. Seated calf raises

3b. Standing heel raises

4a. Floor crunches

4b. Reverse crunches

Words cannot express my soreness and my exhaustion, but I am done, I am in bed, and I am about to go to sleep.

Good night and sweet dreams everyone!

~Christen

Self Directed Programs

I recently gave a presentation at the 2013 New Jersey Fall Youth Services Forum entitled “Nothing Passive About It: Portable Programs for Teens on the Go”.  I work for a library that has a hard time attracting teens to “typical” library programs (book clubs, crafting events, movie tie in parties), so last year I decided to embrace the Self Directed Program.  Almost monthly I set up a “program” that my teens can take part in while stopping by the library.  They usually have to fill out a survey, take a quiz, cast a vote.  They always get candy for participating, and I like to have a Grand Prize for at least one winner per program.  I went through several of my more successful programs during this presentation and now I’m going to share them with all of you.  At the end of this post I will share a link to my “Nothing Passive About It” Dropbox folder.  Please feel free to borrow or recreate any of these ideas!

Fairy Tale{Fairy Tale Scavenger Hunt}

YA Book Brawl{YA Book Brawl}

Blind Date with a Book 2014{Blind Date with a Book}

Catching Fire Display{News from the Capitol- Catching Fire Movie Tie In}

No Shave November{No Shave November- I can’t take credit for this one. I told my supervisor I wanted to do this display, but didn’t have the time so she offered to do it for me. It came out fabulously!}

DIY to go{DIY To Go: Chevron Friendship Bracelets}

Garden State Teen Book Awards 2013{Garden State Teen Book Awards}

Round of 32

Winner{YA March Madness aka My FAVORITE Self Directed Program of all time!!}

I hope these pictures help inspire you to try out a self directed program at your library or classroom.  You can find all of my files here.  Please let me know if you have any questions or thoughts… and please feel free to share any successful Self Directed programs in the comments section below.

Happy Sunday,

~Christen


DIY Sensory Board

Sensory Board 2

My library is getting ready to host a community play date for toddlers and I am in charge of creating a sensory board for our littlest patrons.  While perusing Pinterest for the perfect inspiration, I came across this pin for a DIY Sensory Board.  I knew as soon as I saw the way the fabric was being displayed in the embroidery hoops that this was the sensory station for me.  That is, until I saw the totally amazeballs sensory board on MDF board.  That I had to have for my (almost two year old) son… and I had to have it STAT!  

I’m going to wait to elaborate more on this board after we get done making the second square, but in the meantime, please check out Fun at Home with Kids to see how Asia made her board for her children.  It is a brilliant idea and my son loves it!

sensory board 1

Thanks for reading…

~Christen

Long Time No Post

It’s been about 10 months since I posted anything to this blog.  ::sad face::  I like to think I’m still full of crafty ideas, but if I’m not working or chasing around my toddler, I’m probably sleeping (or running) and that has left little time to be a blogger.  If we’re going to keep it real, I’ve also tried to start a couple of other blogs over the last few months.  I feel like my interests have changed and there are other things I want to talk about… I’m just having trouble figuring out how I want to present myself. Do I want to be a blog about crafts? Being a mom? Being a mom focusing on fitness? Can I have a blog that incorporates all of that? Is anyone even reading this anyway?!

All of that said, I decided to just start posting what I want to post, and once I figure out where I’m going I’ll rebrand and move forward from there.

So if you’re still reading this blog (even after 10 months) I thank you.  Now let me catch you up with some pictures:

Image{I got married.}

5{My son needs two binks.}

6 {I do Pinterest-y things with my child.}

1 {I do Pinterest-y things with other people’s children.}

47   {I discovered posting “Transformation Tuesday” pictures on Instagram makes me verrrrrry happy!!}

2{I found my inner runner… and she’s kind of kick ass.}

Thanks for catching up!

xo,

Christen


DIY To Go….

Remember how I was just saying that I love me some self directed programs?  Well, I do!  I especially love self directed crafting programs.  And how’s this for an easy peasy teen program? 

Materials:

-Ziplock bags

-embroidery floss

-print out of instructions

-labels

-an accessible spot to put your super sweet DIY To Go kits for your tweens and teens

I stole borrowed some friendship bracelet instructions from online (I just C&P’d them into a Word document for easy printing), put them in a Ziplock bag with eight pieces of embroidery floss, slapped a branding sticker (DIY To Go…) on the front, and BOOM!  Instant self directed program.  I had 15 kits go in two days and I just added 20 more.

Feel free to steal borrow this idea for your library, teen space, et cetera.

~Christen

YA March Madness

Winner

In 2009 I helped my library win a grant to build an incredible teen space called The Corner.  In the beginning, the space was amazing.  We held a few programs and the teens respected their area.  However, due to staffing, the popularity of the space, and an overall disinterest in work due to my pregnancy and new baby, The Corner sort of became overrun with a not so great crowd.  With the enthusiasm of a new boss and a lot more sleep in my life, I slowly started to take the teen space back.  Were our teens really that bad?  Welllllllll… it’s not like this library is in a bad area, but the kids were used to being in a walled in, adult free space, and (OMG!) they got a little cra cra.  This is when I introduced them to… The Self Directed Program!

What is a self directed program, you ask?  It’s really just a fancy name for a passive program, where the librarian sets everything up and your audience comes in to do all the work.  Over the last year I have held several self directed programs (posts with pics will be coming soon!), but our most recent one, YA March Madness, has been hands down the most popular. 

Round of 32

We started out on March 1 with 32 popular Young Adult fiction books.  (I’m super lucky that my PR lady is awesome and she made me these incredible posters for my bracket.)  Next to the bracket, I put out my first ballot.Ballot

Over the next five weeks, I had 107 ballots given to me.  The teens were allowed to vote once a week and I gave them a piece of candy in exchange for the ballot.  I also gave them the opportunity to win a gift card to Spoon Me (our local FroYo place).

Elite 8

Each week I tallied up the winners, made a bigger book cover for the new bracket, and created a revised ballot. 

Final 4

There were some big upsets, and eventually we went from 32 books…

Championship Round

…down to 2…

Winner

…and finally we had a winner!

So, why do I love me some self directed programs?  1) It is a physical reminder that you are in a library, complete with books and teen programs. 2) It gives me an excuse to talk to teens about our programs. 3) It opens up dialogue (such as, “What do you mean you haven’t read The Fault in Our Stars, Miss Christen?!???”) with my teenagers. 4) Teens who can’t make it out for specific programs still get to participate in library programming. 5) I love to give out candy and gift cards!

I hope you enjoyed this post and maybe it will help inspire you to try self directed programs in your library (or classroom or maybe even at your business?!).  Be on the lookout for more posts about this topic coming soon…

~Christen


{Mom} {Librarian} {Runner} {Fauxtographer} {DIYista} {Pinterest Enthusiast}

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