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Bring Out My Balls and Dare to Be Different

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First Steps

When I was a teenager, walking into a yarn store for the first time made me feel out of place and awkward about asking for yarn for myself.

“Are you buying this yarn for your mom?” the cashier would inevitably ask. My heart would sink, and I’d say, “No, it’s for me.” Stereotypes have a way of choking off your internal joy.

As a teenager, I felt like I was buying stuff that I wasn’t supposed to be buying. Some kids were trying to sneak peeks at Playboy (or Playgirl – duh). But here I was, feeling furtive because I wanted to make something pretty.

Throughout my teenage years and up until The Crochet Crowd began, I wouldn’t reveal to many people that I knew how to crochet.

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“Are you buying this yarn for your mom?” the cashier would inevitably ask.

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I kept at it though. I just did what I had to and still enjoyed crochet, even though it was my own little secret. Crochet helped quiet my mind by making me concentrate on one stitch at a time.

Crisis of Confidence

I grew up in a home where creativity was encouraged and daydreams were gateways to ideas.

Living for a short time in a small town, Ontario, arts and crafts were a way to fill time in the e …

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Notes From a Children's Librarian: Making Things

Book Cover 123 I Can Sculpt

Our Children's Librarian columnist, Julie Booker, brings us a new view from the stacks every month.

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Need a respite from the summer heat? Cover the kitchen table with materials and get busy making stuff with these step-by-step crafting books.

The colourful photos in 1 2 3, I Can Sculpt, by Irene Luxbacher, are as delectable as candy: a snake, a crocodile, a giraffe. All will entice the age 5+ audience (with adult help) or the independent grade 3+. Requiring at-hand materials like foil, clay, egg cartons and fabric, each page introduces one new technique or art word, such as materials, form, texture, armature, balance, as well as clay-sculpting methods. The culminating Wow-a-Saurus combines all previously taught skills. There's also a pictorial glossary and a concise note to guide parents/teachers.

I Can Make Gifts

I Can Make Gifts, by Mary Wallace, also in colour, demonstrates how to make a “growing gift,” a Dad Fan Photo (transforming a photo of a parent), a locket, a baby rattle, a trophy, a family tree shaped like a house, or gift baskets with homemade bubble …

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