Thursday, January 03, 2013

It's winter! Cold, dark, dreary...

You could watch a lot more TV to fill those long winter nights, OR...hobbies! With the help of your library catalog, you could consider a few new pastimes:

1. Knit
Men! Disregard your machismo and learn to knit! Don't let society stifle your urge to be crafty any longer! Michael del Vecchio's book Knitting with Balls offers 22 patterns for accessories, sweaters, jackets, and home gear. Knitting is a creative, portable, and practical occupation. And if you're looking for a date, it attracts all kinds of female attention, btw. And check out

(Women can knit the projects from this book too--or choose one from the 202 books in our catalog...anyone for an amusing hat?)
2. Quilt
If you're looking for a PROJECT (in capital letters), quilting is it. First there is the choice of pattern, then the collection and selection of fabric. You can spend a month cutting out all the pieces, and then there's the piecing, which is the fancy name for sewing all the little bits together. Once they are all in one piece (hey, that must be where that came from!), that's your quilt top, but you have only just begun! Now you have to add batting and backing, and quilt them together by stitching through all the layers in pre-determined patterns of teensy stitches. Why would anybody in their right mind want to do this? Well, have you seen the beautiful, colorful, irreplaceable quilts our grandmothers made? Do you really want this art to die out in your family? What would winter nights be like without a cozy, colorful quilt on the bed?

If you do a search in our catalog, you will currently find 109 books about quilting--everything from baby quilts to trapunto, Celtic quilts and crazy quilts, and appliqueing your dog's portrait in fabric. (Yes, there's a cat quilt book too.) What are you waiting for? You have a lot of work, er, fun ahead of you! (Beware: Large amounts of storage space will be required to accommodate your new fabric addiction.)

3. Sketching, drawing, and painting
I took up painting again about eight years ago. I hadn't picked up a paintbrush in more than 30 years, but before long I had watercolored myself into a couple of amateur exhibitions! If you're going to paint, don't frustrate yourself--get some good materials. Your child's paintbox of chalky disks of color won't do--go to an art store and buy yourself a nice paintbrush and a few tubes of good paint to start. You won't be sorry. And then...books from our catalog! There's something for everyone: drawing, sketching, pastels, painting in acrylics, oils, watercolor...

Or take a class! In addition to providing a hobby, art can be good reason to get out of the house, a way to meet people who share your interests, or an excuse to travel...

4. Write
Write a novel. Write a play. Write a screenplay. (Hey, we do live in Burbank!) Write a memoir. Write a short story. Write a poem. Write a comic book. Write a children's story. Write a journal (and then illustrate it by using your new-found artistic skills, see #3 above). Don't know how to get started? Consider some of the instructional writing books from iBistro, like ones by famous authors who "own" about five shelves of their own in the library...

Some other ideas (that you can research at the library):

Learn a musical instrument
Use the winter months to plan your spring garden
Plan your next trip with our travel guides
Learn a new language
Learn a new computer program
Study towards a new career in...?

Or (here's a novel idea, pardon the pun), you could READ. Your Burbank librarians are always happy to share their reading recommendations, or you can view a list of new items just acquired by the library by going to our catalog!

And okay, if NONE of that appeals to you, then yes, you can catch up on all the back seasons of your favorite TV show, or watch DVDs of movies you missed in the theater. Our audiovisual department is full of them.

Winter is wonderful, with the help of your library!

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