Cartooning Workshop

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Today we had a fun all-ages cartooning workshop with Allison Bannister, who frequented our department while growing up in Hays. These days, she is living in Chicago and working on publishing her fantasy graphic novel, Wits End, with Kickstarter. She gave in informative presentation and inspired a room full of teens, children, and adults. Her presentation discussed different styles of layout: top to bottom, bottom to top, left to right, and right to left. She also talked about choosing colors for your main characters so that they will be recognized from far off. At the end of the presentation, Allison showed a list of mix and match prompts (character, situation, setting) to get everyone going. Everyone created some great drawings! Thanks Allison :)

“Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover” Collage Competition

One way to add some pizzazz to a collage craft is to make it into a game with prizes. How? Choose about 10 popular books off the shelf. Provide collage materials (magazines, glue, construction paper, scissors). Tell the participants they have to make a collage that relates to one of the books. It could be a new cover for the book in question, or it could illustrate the central themes or characters. When everyone has completed their collages, invite a few judges into the room to see if they can guess which book goes with which collage. Then, everyone gets chips, or whatever you would like to hand out as prizes.

Ugly Sweaters, the Sequel

This year, we are going to wear our sweaters in the Frost Fest Parade, which is held in December every year. While some fads come and go rather quickly, the ugly sweater trend has real staying power.  Last year, the sweaters were a stand-alone craft and everyone had a great time making them. All you really need are old sweaters from a thrift store, garish decorations, fabric paint (optional), felt (optional), and hot glue. One of these designs was described to me as having “reindeer vomit” on it, which makes sense. Maybe the reindeer had motion sickness or something :)

Carnival Masks and Brigadeiros

As part of our “Feed Your Mind, Feed Your Body” program, we made carnival masks and brigadeiros while learning about Brazil. Carnivals are a big deal in Brazil, and brigadeiros are super yummy desserts made with chocolate and sweetened condensed milk. For more information on the Brazilian carnival, click here. We made the brigadeiros with this recipe  and let the teens choose their toppings. Here are some materials we used to decorate the masks: beads, feathers, ribbon, acrylic paint, hot glue, and glitter glue :)

Carving Pumpkins That We Grew!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I know it is November, but here are some photos of our pumpkin carving/painting activity. The pumpkins came out our pumpkin patch, which we grow with the help of the Kansas State University Agricultural Research Center. I found this stencil booklet with some of the carving tools. It was pretty fun, but it took some patience. If you plan on using stencils, you need to have large pumpkins, and it would be a good idea for the teens to partner up.

The carving tools that you get at the store are great because they are so safe. However, if you have teens who are sorta strong, they might break the carving tools, so make sure you have backup tools. If you have younger teens who aren’t really into carving their pumpkins, they can paint with acrylics. We did have someone who was allergic to pumpkin slime, so it was good that we had the painting option. The teens didn’t have school the day we carved pumpkins, which was good because they could spend plenty of time carving (and we could spend plenty of time cleaning up). We also handed out little LED pumpkin lights and baggies of seeds for people to roast at home.