Monday, April 30, 2007

Love Letters Final Report

The Love Letters exhbition at the Firehouse in Newburyport ended yesterday with a reception for the children and their parents. The response to the project has been fantastic from the children, librarians, and teachers in the creation of the work to the enthusiasm of the viewers who took such pleasure in reading the letters.

View a slide show of the opening evening of the Festival including the Love Letters exhibit by Chris McGarry.

For those who are interested in doing a similar project, here is a pdf of information and samples to get started.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Love Letters To Our Favorite Books

Love Letters To Our Favorite Books is a community celebration of reading in association with the Newburyport Literary Festival.The walls of the The Firehouse Center for the Arts in downtown Newburyport are covered with over 900 letters to favorite books, authors,or characters. Almost all the letters are from the children of Newburyport. School librarians Judy Avery, Karen McCarty, Karen Twomey, and Ellen Menesale coordinated the projects at the Brown, Kelly, Bresnahan, and Nock Schools. Children at the Newburyport Montessori School and Ann McCrea’s KidsArt classes also contributed letters. The project was the brain child of Festival director Vicki Hendrickson and organized by local artist and educator Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord. The installation was accomplished by Karen Dardinski, director of the Firehouse Art Gallery, and Susan with assistance from Kendra Gaylord and Ada Horne.

Love Letters To Our Favorite Books
Firehouse Center for the Arts
One Market Square
Newburyport, MA
April 12-29
Reception: April 29, 2-4 pm

a Newburyport Literary Festival event

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Earth Day Wish Scroll

I am thrilled with how well my shift to recycled materials is going. In the past few weeks, I have worked with children from kindergarten to second grade. Starting with brown grocery bags and cereal boxes, we made a variety of books. It seemed even more fun than bookmaking with precut materials. What I love most is that the children can easily continue their enthusiasm by making books at home. In this spirit of environmental awareness, this month's project is for Earth Day. Wish Scrolls are based on scrolls made in Ethiopia as talismans.

My example uses a plastic film canister (I am thinking about a replacement for when everyone's camera is digital), old buttons instead of the beads, and brown paper bag for the scroll. I did use new crochet cotton but you could save old ribbon or string. I used a bookbinder's awl to make the holes so they are not that large but an ice pick or a regular awl would make a larger hole and give you more options for the thread. If you're doing the project with a large group, most places that develop film will give you canisters that they save for recycling.


All About Earth Day
Earth Day was founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconson in 1970. This site has some history, profiles of Nelson, Rachel Carson, and others, and a Teacher's Lounge with classroom actvities and a pdf of great quotes about conservation, wilderness, and nature.

Recycling Revolution
A friendly site created to encourage recycling and give basic facts and strategies to make it easy.

Images and Information about Ethiopian scrolls

Students of Tom Trusky at Boise State University in Idaho made protective scrolls based on ones from Ethiopia.