Saturday, September 21, 2013

5 Instructables.com books you need in your hack life now

“I swiftly discovered that there are few things in DIY (and possibly life) that can't be solved with a large mallet, a bag of ten-centimetre nails and some swearing.”
― Monty Halls

I heart Instructables.com. Their site gives me many happy feels for two of the most basic of reasons ever: it's somewhat geeky, and it's all about people making things and sharing the result/how to instructions. Such as homemade oatmeal cream pies, a Pusheen cat cake (that you will never find in the Nailed It meme of gallery horrors), Connor's tomahawk from Assassin's Creed 3, and even DIY cat trees. Yes. Cat trees. In my book, that means everybody wins. And if you don't like a particular project, skip it and move on to the next one. That's probably the other half of the beauty of Instructables.com, there's always more to see...like this chili recipe, or this LEGO USB flashdrive bracelet and, well, almost anything, really. So imagine my SQUEE when I accidentally saw that we had some of their books in our community libraries. HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS? What kind of catalogue stalker am I? A really bad one, apparently. If DIY is your kinda thing, you've gotta check out these books, and their site.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

5 bookish bits of Etsy love

"Creativity is a drug I cannot live without."
- Cecil B. DeMille

Etsy. It keeps me sane when I need it most because oohh, lookit the pretty. In other words, it provides distraction by the plenty. And it drives me nuts when I don't need it most because it's a huge crushing reminder that I am not the least bit craftsy. Craftery? Crafty? BUT IT'S OKAY PEOPLE, because there is still huge enjoyment to be gotten out of others' endeavours. Truly. As this post shows you. Which is proof positive that I have naught else to do on a weekend but play in Etsy and OOH and AAHH over scrabble tile pendants and scarves. Don't hate the player. Hate the game. Here are 5 bookish bits of Etsy love. And love them I do.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

5 wordless picture books to try with Mr3

"Before they read words, children are reading pictures."
― David Wiesner

I heart words. Printed, online, skywritten, painted... On billboards, in eNewsletters, books, subtitles on tv shows... I love them all. Yes, even the curse laden ones. Every time I read something it's like a mini-celebration that I can do so. It makes me squee. Which is possibly why I was thrown a little when I came across my first wordless picture book as an adult.

One of my earliest memories of reading is sitting with my dad and re-telling my own version of Sleeping Beauty - it had words but I was too young to read them (I was 3 years old, give me a break), and dad would flip the pages while I babbled away about what I thought was happening. (You can laugh at this bit: There had been a nits outbreak at kindy, and mum had had to check my hair, so of course that was in mind when reading Sleeping Beauty who had her head in somebody's lap and so I said "Shes' looking for nits, isn't she?" Gran was silenced, mum was mortified, and dad pretended he hadn't heard). My rendition of the story probably wasn't as good as the real thing, but it didn't really matter. As far as dad was concerned, as far as I knew, I was reading pictures.

It's very likely that I had come across wordless picture books as a kid, and just never noticed. But as an adult, it sorta blew my mind that whole stories could be told without words. And, as is usual with me, I requested any and all I could find in our libraries, and inhaled them like chocolate. (If you tell me you can't inhale chocolate then I will tell you to your face that you are wrong). It became one of those things that I then had to share with everyone. Mostly my nephews (who are now Mr15 and Mr16 and too cool for school, oh how I miss the days when they were little and books were magic). Mr9 doesn't like my help when choosing books anymore, and fair enough, otherwise I'd be angsting over why he hadn't gotten to War and Peace or Great Expectations yet. (Give me a break! I was an intense 9 year old).. But Mr3...he can't escape me. Yet. We're going to work our way through my favouritest wordless picture books (I suspect his mum thinks I'm being overly ambitious with expecting him to understand Robot Dreams and The Arrival but I don't think so) and see where it takes us.

If you have wordless picture book recommendations of your own (their subject heading is stories without words in the catalogue), then leave them as a comment, and we'll try those, too. Enjoy the list!