Pirate Pals

When one of your students realizes their school librarian loves pirates *almost* as much as they do… And you have matching costumes. Best day of kindergarten. Ever.

As soon as this picture was taken, we talked pirate-y to one another and then I pulled a pile of pirate books from the library. Some of my favorites are:
 

Library Menagerie

The library menagerie is constantly growing…

They brighten our spirits, make wonderful reading buddies, create perfect opportunities to connect with hesitant little ones, and bring already fun stories to life.
  
Oh, the possibilities of storytime fun…
 
If you don’t have a fluffy zoo in your library yet, I would highly suggest it. It opens opportunities and creates connections I would never have dreamt possible.

The Awesomeness of Powell’s Books’ Shirts

I love Powell’s Books. Seriously. If I lived in Portland, I would be in HUGE trouble.If you haven’t been there and you’re a major bibliophile like me, it’s a must on your bucket list. Plan to literally get lost among books. It’s a beautiful thing.

Another beautiful thing? They sell the best book-themed apparel. It’s not a huge selection, but what they have rocks. And they generally print on super high quality fabric that is gloriously soft. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.
 
When my latest Powell’s shirt arrived, I needed to celebrate it’s cuteness by dressing like a fire-breathing dragon for our lower school assembly. Now, a normal person would have a topic in mind for assembly announcements and then plan a costume based on that topic. Nope, not me. I wanted to dress like a dragon. Soooo… I pulled all of my favorite dragon-themed books and told the kiddos how awesome they all were. They were chomping at the bit to check the books out and I got to wear my dragon outfit. Win, win. Thanks, Powell’s Books! Want your own shirt? Find them here.

You, too, can pull off this adorable outfit by putting together the following:

  • Shirt from Powell’s Books
  • Felt hat from Joann Fabrics (I bought this in-store during late summer 2014)
  • Fire-breathing apparatus: Cut a hole in the bottom of a paper cup, tape red crepe or tissue paper strips to the lip of the cup. Blow through the hole to get the flames to dance… Much to the astonishment of all.

Dr. Seuss Shirts

Orange Lorax Shirt
Supplies for the Lorax shirt: brown craft fur (I found a panel of the fur in the aisle that has pom-poms and felt sheets), white, black and tan scraps of felt, orange cotton t-shirt and matching colored thread.
Let me just say, this mustache was a huuuuuuuuge pain! The fur was really hard to work with and it took me a few tries. The first time I cut the fur, I was left with a mess and fur everywhere! For the second try, I slid the blade of my scissors under the fur but above the mesh. It worked! It cut the shape, but helped the fur to keep that “scruffy” look. Otherwise, it looks way too manicured. Play with it and you’ll get the look you want. But, prepare to be covered in fur.
I stitched the mustache in place and then added the eyes (I forgot to stop and take pictures). Done! Adorably done. And the best part? I got the shirt at Value Village so the entire project cost less than $4!
Blue Truffula Tree Shirt
Supplies for the Truffula Tree shirt: colored craft fur (I bought 1/8 of a yard of each color), non-shiny yellow ribbon, blue cotton t-shirt and matching colored thread.
This is the messy part of the project, prepare to look like you gave a muppet a haircut.
Here are the completed circles.
I cut varying lengths of ribbon and then sewed them onto the shirt. I used a black permanent marker to make them look more authentic. (I don’t think the tree tops can withstand being washed, so I’m not worried about what would happen to the tree trunks in the laundry. It will be a special occasion-only shirt).
I did a simple overcast stitch to adhere the tree tops to the shirt, it worked quite well!
The final product, I love!!!

 

Richard Scarry’s Huckle Puppet

I posted my precious Lowly Worm plush a few days ago and today I finished up his good buddy, Huckle.

 
As I mentioned in my original post, fellow blogger, Suzy Fairchild shared these 1977 Richard Scarry pattern pieces on i heart fabric:
Huckle actually ended up taking longer than Lowly because I lost interest. He just isn’t as cute. Granted, is there anything as cute as a 14″ felt worm wearing a bowler’s hat? I think not.
I veered from the original pattern a little because, while comparing the pattern to the modern pictures of Huckle, I couldn’t help but notice that he is a different color and always wearing the Oktoberfest-y suspenders:
Even though I’m not entirely in love with my Huckle, I am debating making matching Sally Cat and Goldbug puppets.
Goldbug would be particularly fun because I could hide him in different places around the library, you know, like Richard Scarry does on all the pages of his books? Ahhh, the things school librarians find entertaining.
 
Last, but not least, I need to get my hands on an adult-sized Richard Scarry shirt:
 

It’s The Simple Things

Do you ever have moments when the universe comes together to let you know you’ve chosen the right path and you’re in the right place at the right time? Today, I had one of those days. And it was a beautiful reminder that came at exactly the right moment.
 
I was going through some end-of-the-year notes and came across this little gem…
Dear [Becky], You have reawakened the SHA library! You have planted excitement about books and reading in our children! You have introduced new authors and titles to our family. We are so grateful that you have come to SHA! Thank you for a great year! Have a wonderful summer!
 
Whether you’re a banker or an electrician, a scientist or a… school librarian, my hope for you is that, from time to time, you experience this realization. Sometimes it’s clear as day, but other times it’s a quiet whisper, so be sure to listen closely…

Lowly Worm Plush

Spending my last days of summer freedom checking off more items from my Pinterest bucket list. Richard Scarry is one of my favorite classic authors, I can remember many a trips to the public library, paging through What Do People Do All Day? and Cars and Trucks and Things That Go. A few months back I found that Scarry had published patterns (and lots of other fun projects) in his 1977 Best Make-It Book Ever!
One of the projects is a pattern for Lowly Worm and I’ve been dying to make it ever since I laid eyes on that cute little guy. Unfortunately, the closest library that has a copy is almost 1,000 miles away (according to WorldCat) and used copies are pretty spendy.
 
Fortunately, there are some wonderful bloggers out there and Suzy Fairchild happens to be one of them. She posted the pattern pieces on her i heart fabric blog and so I was able to finally assemble my little worm friend.
 
I printed the pattern and directions on just plain ‘ole printer paper and got to work using cheap crafting felt sheets.
  
I was so excited about assembling Lowly that I forgot to take pictures along the way. I followed the book’s directions pretty closely and he turned out adorably. I did do a lot of hand-sewing. A lot.
I didn’t have a tiny yellow feather on hand, so I trimmed down a small feather and colored it with a yellow permanent marker. Worked like a charm!
The gluing of the eyes didn’t work so good, so I stitched them in place.
Isn’t he adorable!
Have fun making your very own Lowly. I’m in love!
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