Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
- Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
- Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard
- The Luxe by Anna Godberson
- City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare
- The Lighting Thief by Rick Riordan
- Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz
- Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison
- Viking Warrior by Judson Roberts
- Shiver by Maggie Stiefvator
- Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
- Harry potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K Rowling
- Marked by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
- Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Books that I recommend to read by Brittany April 4, 2013
Look out! It’s Magazines Upcycled into a Pencil Cup! April 1, 2013
This week we are making a pencil cup from upcycled magazines. You know you have some old magazines sitting around that you just don’t want to part with, but KNOW that you won’t be reading again. Make something useful from them! Just google magazine crafts and you will be amazed at how many great craft tutorials there are out there to deal with those treasured mags! And again, in the interest of time, I made a collage of the instructions.
- magazine pages cut into strips 2 – 3″ wide.
- glue stick
- hot glue gun and sticks, tacky glue or all purpose glue
It’s a Book-a-riffic Spring Flowered Tree! March 25, 2013
With spring upon us, I thought it was time to get at least one spring project in. I found a great DIY at Design Improvised and, modifying it a bit, came up with something perfect for the library: spring flowers made from book pages!
As with all of the DIY’s we post, supplies are cheap, already around the house, or free, and this is your list for this project:
- Hot glue gun and with a glue stick!
- Branches – you can usually find these outside!
- A tatty old book!
- Some sort of embellishment for the center of your flowers.
- That’s it!
And because I wanted to save time and space on this post, I did a photo collage with your step by step instructions. Enjoy!
This week, we are folding books with our teens here at SDL. Instead of letting that old book that we have no use for sit on a shelf gathering dust, or *gasp* throwing it away, why not re-purpose it into cool wall art? We have searched the web and found four simple book folding techniques that are quick and easy to do.
Easy Peasy! It only takes about a half hour to fold a thin hard cover book. You will want a plate hanger to mount it on your wall, an easel to set it on, or you can simply open it on its side on a shelf!
Say I Love You the DIY Way! February 7, 2013
With Valentine’s Day LOOMING right around the corner, I created this last card for this series of DIY projects: The Peek-a-Boo Love Valentine. It is quick and inexpensive, both very important (!), and is super cute.
You will need the following supplies:
- Card stock – one piece for card and one piece to print LOVE, the heart die-cut and graphics on
- Plain, colored or patterned copy paper for envelope (template here)
- glue stick
- X-Acto or utility knife
- vinyl coated paper clip
- strips of colored or white copy paper cut to 1/8 inch or quilling strips (3 pieces)
- fish line
- access to the internet and copier, graphics software or lettering templates or your own great handwriting and skill
- foam core cut into little tiny squares or foam mounting pieces for use in scrapbooking
- mounting squares (full or half cut sized)
- quilling tool (you can make one or buy one)
- a ruler
You will need to get your LOVE insert printed first. Print your graphic design onto one side of the paper. Then you will print the LOVE template (found here) onto the other side. Cut the template out and set aside. You can use a heart die cutter to make the heart insert or cut one out of the left over cardstock. Print the envelope template onto the copy paper and set aside.
To start assembling the card, you are going to cut your plain cardstock in half with your X-Acto knife and ruler.
Next you are going to score your card to make it easy to fold – score it in half so the card folds equally on both sides.
Use your X-Acto knife to cut LOVE out of the insert you made, then mount it onto your card.
To assemble the hanging heart, you will insert one of your thin quilling paper strips into your quilling tool and twirl it right to the end. Glue the ends, as shown, then pinch it to make a tear drop shape. You will do this with all three strips – remember that one of the strips should only be 3 to 4 inches long before quilling it. Assemble heart as shown.
Cut a length of fishing line (about 10 inches to make it easier to work with) and draw it through the center tear drop then tie it with the loop going through the heart about an inch long. Trim the ends and draw it through the paperclip. Clip onto one of the letters of your LOVE cut-out.
Next take your envelope and cut it out with either scissors or X-Acto knife. Fold short edges at lines and the long flap up. Run some glue along the side edges of the long flap and press into place. Let dry for a couple of minutes and you are ready to insert your card. Happy Valentine’s Day!
OMG! It’s a SUPER EASY Valentine Pop-Up Card DIY! February 1, 2013
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we are taking advantage of all of the great DIY’s ideas out there! This week’s DIY, the SUPER EASY Valentine pop-up card comes to us from MinieCo.UK. It requires very little in the way of supplies and there is very little out of pocket cost involved, so it is perfect for us! It only takes about a half hour to make too, so for all of us who have busy social lives, this is fab.
You will need the following supplies:
- Cardstock – plain or patterned (1 sheet) – will make two card templates
- Copy paper – white or colored (2 sheets) – for envelopes
- Glue – scrapbooking or a glue stick
- X-acto or utility knife
- Cutting mat or surface to cut on
- Heart die cutter (optional)
- Envelope (here) and card (here) templates
- Access to the internet and a printer
Print the card template onto the cardstock and the envelope onto the plain paper. Starting with the card, you will need to score the horizontal lines as shone – scoring is LIGHTLY running your blade over the line in order to make it easier to fold. You will cut the vertical lines and the horizontal lines at the top of the card, with the exception of the top two horizontal lines which you have already scored.
Now, carefully fold your card along the scored lines. Voila! You have a cool pop-up card! You can embellish with hearts cut with the heart die cutter, or with stickers, glitter, whatever your heart desires!
The envelope simply needs to be cut around the outlines – you can use you X-acto like I did, or cut it out with scissors – and then folded along the light dotted lines. You will run a line of glue around the edge of the bottom fold of the envelope and press it into place. That’s it!
Have a Heart! It’s the 3-D Heart Bookmark Tut! January 21, 2013
Here is the tutorial for the fantastic 3-D Heart Bookmark I found here.
You will need the following supplies:
- all purpose glue
- scrap booking glue pen (optional)
- X-acto knife/utility knife
- cutting board or mat
- 12″ or longer length of ribbon
- standard weight paper (one sheet white or colored)
- card stock with a nice design (one sheet)
- embellishments (optional)
You can download the templates for the inner pieces and the end pieces:
I copied the template for the inner hearts into Word and copied it three times – it should all fit onto one page, and printed it out. The end pieces were also copied into word and printed out. I used my own design for my end pieces, however there is some great card stock out there for sale with fabu designs that you can print onto!
You are going to use your X-acto knife to cut the templates out. Try to keep your edges consistent.
Now we are going to start putting it all together.
First you are going take one of your “four heart” cut-outs and fold it diagonally from the inner point of the hearts; only do this once. Make sure you smooth the crease down so it is flat!
Next, you are going to fold the template along the horizontal and vertical printed lines, making sure to smooth flat again.
And now for the tricky folding part of the project! You will fold in along the creases from the inner point of the the hearts, bringing the unfolded hearts together:
Do this for all three of the templates. We will assemble the bookmark, first by using our glue pen. Draw your glue around one side of your folded hearts, making sure the glue makes it to the outer edges. Match the second heart to the glued one and press together. Repeat to affix the third heart. Set aside so the glue can dry.
Now we are going to cut the ribbon in half, then fold the ribbon lengthwise in half at the ends, and clip in an upward diagonal to the inside of the ribbon. This gives you a nice decorative end.
Use your all-purpose glue to attach the un-trimmed ends of the ribbons to the heart at the inner point of the heart shape on each side. And we are ready to attach the end pieces. Put a thin layer of glue onto your heart and onto the ribbon and simply press the end piece on – do with both sides.
For all intents and purposes, your bookmark is useable as such, however it is always fun to add some embellishments. I used a stamped heart and some gold confetti, but the sky is the limit!
When you have it finished to your satisfaction, you can open it up and write little messages on the pages of the heart. This is a great Valentine gift for anyone!
Getting started again… With DIY Tuesday January 18, 2013
Oh Pizza, Wonderful Pizza….. March 31, 2012
Mmmmm… Pizza. Can you smell the bubbly cheese, the basil, the Italian sausage? If you can’t right now, then you will as soon as you make this Chicago Style Pizza from Teen Cuisine by Matthew Locricchio. Every recipe in this book is “doable” for any cook from beginner to expert; just follow the recipes to cooking genius. This Chicago-style pizza does require some time for the pizza dough to rise, but you can do something else while the dough is rising since you don’t need to stand around watching it!
For this recipe you will need a deep dish pizza pan that is 14 inches diameter and at least 2 inches deep. The book says that you can substitute a cast-iron skillet or a baking sheet with 1-inch sides – I haven’t tried it, but if the book says it will work, go for it!
CHICAGO-STYLE PIZZA DOUGH
Makes dough for 1 (14-inch) pizza
1 cup warm water (100 to 110 Fahrenheit)
1 tsp. salt
½ C. cornmeal
2 (¼-ounce) pkg. active Rapid-rise yeast
5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
1 Tbs. granulated sugar
3 ½ C. unbleached all-purpose flour
If you have a food processor, here is how to mix with it:
•Carefully insert the all-purpose blade into the bowl of a food processor.
•Add the water, yeast, sugar, flour, salt, cornmeal, and olive oil to the bowl of the food processor in that order. Close the lid and pulse the mixture until it comes together into one ball of dough. Turn off the processor.
•Carefully transfer the dough to a lightly floured countertop or cutting board. Knead it a couple of times to make sure the dough is smooth. Now it is ready for a rest.
•Drizzle a small amount of olive oil into a large clean bowl and add it dough. Give the dough a few spins and turn it over to lightly coat it with the oil.
•Cover the bowl with a sheet of plastic wrap and couple of heavy, clean kitchen towels. Place the dough in a warm draft-free spot where it can rise undisturbed for about 1 hour, or until it doubles in size.
•Once the dough has risen, it is ready to bake into pizza.
If you are doing the dough by hand, here is how to mix it:
•Measure ½ of the warm water into a small bowl.
•Sprinkle the packages of yeast over the water and mix in the sugar. Give it a stir, and then cover the bowl with wax paper or plastic wrap.
•The water-and-yeast combination will need 10 minutes to become active. The yeast is active when soft bubbles appear on the surface of the water. If the bubbles do not appear, you’ll have to start over with a new package of yeast, sugar, and fresh water.
•Pour the flour into a large bowl. Add the slat and the cornmeal and mix well to blend the dry ingredients.
•With a spoon, make a well in the center of the flour. Add the yeast mixture, the 5 tablespoons of olive oil, and salt. Use a fork to mix the ingredients into a thick paste.
•Add the other ½ cup of warm water. Mix together until you have a soft dough.
•Sprinkle a tablespoon of flour on a clean work surface. Sprinkle some extra on your hands to keep the dough from sticking to them. Pull the dough from the bowl and place it on the work surface. Divide the dough in half. Cover one half with a clean kitchen towel while you knead the other half.
•Begin kneading by pressing the dough away from you with the palms of your hands and then folding it in half. Pick it up and five it a quarter turn to the right or left. Work the dough over and over for 5 to 6 minutes, repeating the same action. Be sure to keep turning the dough in the same direction. It may be sticky when you begin, but don’t worry.
•From time to time, give the dough a few punches to get the air out. Knead until it is smooth and springy. This will take about 7 to 10 minutes. Cover the dough. Knead the other half of dough following the same steps. Combine both halves.
•Drizzle a small amount of alive oil into a clean bowl and add the dough. Give the dough a few spins and turn it over to lightly coat it with the oil.
•Cover the bowl with a sheet of plastic wrap and a couple of heavy, clean kitchen towels. Now it is ready for a rest.
•Place the dough in a warm, draft-free spot, where it can rise undisturbed for 1 to 1 ½ hours, until it doubles in size.
•Once the dough has fully risen, transfer it to a clean work surface. Give it a few punches to get the air out. Knead it for another 2 minutes. Now it is ready to bake into pizza!
CHICAGO-STYLE DEEP DISH PIZZA
Makes one 14-inch pizza
1 (28-ounce) can whole Italian-style tomatoes
1 small bunch fresh basil (optional)
1 Tbs. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
10 oz. mozzarella
8 oz. sweet Italian sausage
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Chicago-style Pizza Dough (that you just made!)
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I have used the pre-grated stuff to and it works just fine!)
- Thoroughly drain the tomatoes in a colander and discard the liquid. Pour the tomatoes into a large bowl and crush them into chunks with your VERY CLEAN hands.
- Pre-heat the oven to 475 F with one rack on the lowest slot and one rack in the middle slot of your oven.
- Wash the basil (if using), shake to remove excess water, and dry by rolling in paper towels. Remove the leaves and discard the stems. Tear the leaves half, measure out 1/3 cup, and add to the tomatoes.
- Add the oregano, salt, and pepper to the bowl and mix well to combine. Set aside.
- Slice the mozzarella into thin slices and set aside.
- Remove the casing from the sausages by placing the sausages on a cutting board. With the tip of a knife, cut a slit in each casing the length of the sausage.
- Peel away the casings and discard. Using the flat side of the knife spread the sausage meat across the surface of the cutting board. Chop the meat into small pieces. Set aside.
- Pour 1 Tbs. of the oil into a 10-inch skillet over medium heat and heat until the oil is hot but not smoking.
- Add the sausage and sauté with a large slotted spoon fir 4 to 5 minutes breaking up the sausage as it cooks. The sausage is done when the meat is not longer pink. Remove the sausage from the skillet with the slotted spoon, put into a small bowl, and set aside.
- Use 1 Tbs. of the oil to coat the bottom and sides of a 14-inch pizza pan, skillet, or baking sheet. Lay the dough in the center. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 10 minutes.
- Using your fingers and the palms of your hands, spread the dough across the baking pan.
- Pull the edges of the dough up and then fold over the form a ridge all around the sides.
- Using the tines of a fork, prick the bottom of the dough at ½ inch intervals.
- Bake the dough on the lowest rack for 5 minutes. Set a timer so you don’t forget.
- Remove the dough from the oven.
- Brush the entire surface, including the sides and the top of the ridge, with another tablespoon of the olive oil.
- Evenly cover the top of the dough inside the ridge with the slices of mozzarella then evenly spoon the tomato mixture over the mozzarella.
- Sprinkle the grated Parmesan over the tomatoes then evenly distribute the sausage pieces over the Parmesan.
- Lightly drizzle the remaining 1 Tbs. of olive oil across the pizza.
- Return the pizza to the oven and bake on the middle rack for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the crust in lightly browned and crispy.
To serve, slide the pizza out of the baking pan onto a cutting board. Cut into slices with a sharp knife and serve immediately.
Read a great review by one of our teens, Rachel Ott! Thanks, Rachel, for letting us know about this book!
The book is amazing its about a girl who is living in her moms timeline, meaning when she was three her mom gave her life for Kaylee she died in an accident. One day her reaper came up to her telling her shes on the death list, while doing everything in her power to accept it and to figure out what is wrong with her new teacher a good read. pick it up sometime at the library.