Big Summer Reveal

Finally the last of the paper lanterns arrived and we were able to finish the “centerpiece” of our decor!

Several different team members had helped remove the book pages that made up both the Picture Find and the “tree bark.”  Mary and I then used painter’s tape and did the “shingling” technique that I used to attach the graphic novel photocopies to my apartment walls.  The two extra steps we took with the bark was using double-sided tape to flatten the paper (which naturally wanted to curve outwards at the base), and then Mary did a brown wash with acrylic paint.

We used a green t-shirt cut into strips to attach the lanterns (mostly in clusters) to blue hangers, which we hung from any part of the ceiling or wooden post that would let us hang  the hangers.  There’s also white twinkle lights (on a timer) that we have up in the treetop, but we definitely need one more strand since they don’t stand-out.

Here’s the transformation broken down visually:

And that’s not all, folks!

Months and months and months ago, I had shared the idea of having one of those “put your face in the hole” photo op things (I never did figure out their official name).  I wanted a sturdy one that we could break down every year for storage, and repaint depending on the summer’s theme.  Our Library Director’s dad very generously offered his time and talents to put together the perfect wooden base, and then Mary used her artistic talents to bring it to life.  The toughest part was deciding what she should paint.  Here’s what we came up with, and then she executed flawlessly:

We have the Epic Picture Find on the right side of the entrance, and this fantastic prop on the left side.  It’s no accident that we wanted to have outdoor “activities.”  We have a small interior space – and that’s one reason (even though we do have to move that photo prop inside every evening or on rainy days).  The other more important reason is that our library building is across the street from our City Hall.  It’s a really nice way for the mayor and other administrators to see how much our library is used and loved.

Personally, I enjoy the “book pharaoh” a bit more when it’s inside because we get to see the adorable and always funny kids’ reactions.  One little girl loved it so much that after her dad took her picture, she kept her face in the hole for over two minutes just looking around (not even pulling faces).

I’m also very glad that we invested the time, money, and effort in this project. One concern of mine has been that we spend so much money on craft materials for items that will likely get thrown out after getting home. I truly hope that parents save some of the items that their children make with us (and I know that it’s the communal creation that’s more important than anything, but I still wonder how much of it is tossed and it makes me a bit sad).  So, with this photo op, I feel like there’s a very good chance that those photos will remain with the parents/children for a long time.  I’m excited about this new tradition, and I hope that it continues for years to come.

I’m also very excited to truly put Mary’s mad art skillz to work for us.  She’s done plenty of wonderful things for us, but this one is definitely a showstopper.  I’ve been meaning to share with y’all her two (yes, two – she’s that talented) Etsy shops: here’s her fine art shop (low on paintings right now since her art’s displayed and selling well in a local venue), and here’s her jewelry shop.  If she weren’t so nice, then I’d be insanely jealous. As it stands, I’m just a teensy bit jealous.

I may be a little quiet blog-wise for the next few weeks.  It’s been BUSY with all of our programming having begun this last week.  These were the last of the projects that we’ve been working on for several months, and we put some extra effort into them since we knew that they’d be up for two months (and re-used for future displays).

I’m already brainstorming decor for August, but the goal there is simple, but bold (and may tie into September).  ::wheels turning::