Tag Archives: arts & leisure

Free eBook Friday: Art Lab for Kids

Art Lab for Kids, by Susan Schwake:

A refreshing source of ideas for creating fine art with children, Art Lab for Kids encourages the artist’s own voice, marks, and style. This fun and creative book features 52 fine art projects set into weekly lessons, beginning with drawing, moving through painting and printmaking, and then building to paper collage and mixed media. Each lesson features and relates to the work and style of a contemporary artist. Lisa Congdon, Megan Bogonovich, and Amy Rice are just a few of the artists included. The labs can be used as singular projects or to build up to a year of hands-on fine art experiences.

The lessons in this book are open-ended to be explored over and over–with different results each time! Colorful photos illustrate how different people using the same lesson will yield different results, exemplifying the way the lesson brings out each artist’s personal style. Art Lab for Kids is the perfect book for creative families, friends, and community groups and works as lesson plans for both experienced and new art teachers. Children of all ages and experience levels can be guided by adults and will enjoy these engaging exercises.


Every Friday, we highlight an eBook from our collection at
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!


Free eBook Friday: Crochet One-Skein Wonders

Crochet One-Skein Wonders, by Judith Durant & Edie Eckman:

Finally, a One-Skein Wonders book just for crocheters! Edie Eckman and Judith Durant offer 101 great crochet projects — from jewelry and scarves to bags, hats, dresses, and home decor items — that each use just one skein of yarn.  Projects are classified by yarn weight, from thread to bulky weight. Whatever your experience level, you’ll find something here to delight you!


Every Friday, we highlight an eBook from our collection at
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

A Good Dog Story

From the July 9, 1885 edition of The Chatham Record:

Household Hints

From an 1885 edition of The Chatham Record, these hints speak to the concerns of another era.  Kerosene spots just aren’t the problem these days that they used to be.  Not all of them are outdated, however.  The admonishment to “turn the children out into the sunshine to play,” for example, is as sound today as it was then.

The more things change…

Funny, I could swear I just saw this comic in a newspaper last week!


Fly the Flag of Hope in 2012!

Happy New Year! Though the library is still closed for the New Year, we wanted to share with you this inspiring article reprinted in the ever-festive January 13th, 1922 issue of the Chatham Record

NEW YEAR day flies the flag of hope. Many of us come to the close of the year with a sense of defeat. We have failed to accomplish what we had hoped. Events have shaped themselves against us, and we have lacked the power to stem the tide. The good resolutions with which we so bravely started soon went lame and dropped out. Thus many of us find the shadows of disappointment, discouragement and failure falling around us as the old year closes. What is the use of struggling longer? We are fated to disaster.

Then New Year day dawns and something is saying: “Try again.” There is ozone in the air. Events begin to wear a different outline. Voices are calling. Hands beckon us on. And as we lift our eyes to face the future, yonder on the sky line flies the flag of hope.

This is what New Year day would do for you and me. It would put ginger and punch into our sapped and fading vitality. It would help us to stand on our feet and look the world fearlessly in the face and carry on. It would shout in our ears: “Forward! March!”

Some cynic may say it will be the old story again, but success is on the road to meet the man who tries. It is a glorious thing to put up a fight, even if you seem to lose. We are not lost because we fail, but because we decline to attempt.

The page of yesterday is a stained page, blurred by our tears and blotted with failure, but the page of tomorrow is white and clean. The New Year is saying that you may do better. Grandly begin!

— Dr. James I. Vance, in Springfield (Ill.) Journal

The library will reopen tomorrow, January 3rd, at 9 A.M., so come out and see us. Make using the library your New Year’s Resolution! We’ll be waiting to help you out every step of the way.

Some Things Are Timeless

Just a reminder that the library is currently closed for the holidays and will reopen at 9 A.M. on December 28th. The library will be closed again for the New Year from December 31st through January 2nd. In the meantime, enjoy this little Christmas joke from
the January 13th, 1922 edition of the Chatham Record!

Ring Out, Wild Bells

The Chatham Community Library sends warmest holiday wishes to all the people of Chatham County! As a reminder, we will be closed from December 24th through December 27th, and again for the New Year from December 31st through January 2nd.

To ring in the holiday season, we’ll be sharing with you several offerings from a very festive issue of the Chatham Record, printed on January 13th, 1922. The Record chose to reprint this popular poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson, published in 1850, to celebrate the holiday season and New Year.

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
                         – Alfred Lord Tennyson


Like this poem and want more by Tennyson? Check out 821.8 TEN at the CCL. Have a wonderful holiday!

Not the most exciting of shows

From August 15, 1889:

Training Sheep: Teaching a Stupid Animal to Perform in Public.

Miss Rosa Starr has made a study of sheep, the most timid of animals, writes David Wechsler in the Brooklyn Citizen.  She owns three performing sheep, and they do wonderful tricks.  Her account of the way she succeeded in training them is interesting. 

“It should be known that sheep have scarcely any intelligence, and therefore no memory,” she said.  “Sheep are carried through a number of performances from day to day for months at a time, until they seem to do their tricks merely from instinct.  If they fail to do one trick in their repertoire it is useless to have them try it again at that performance.  If I attempted to to make them go back and do anything they omitted it would confuse them, and they would do nothing.  Nearly all animals keep their eyes on their trainer while going through with a performance, but sheep never do . . .”

“The way I trained the three I have, and they are the only trained sheep in America, was by petting them and getting them used to me.  I handled them daily, patted them on the heads, and finally got them so they knew their names . . . The fact is they are willing to obey, but are too dull to remember or know what to do. . . “

“If they would look at me I am sure I could train them to do many more clever tricks.  As it is, I have taught these three seven or eight tricks that they do twice a day.”

This article really makes you wonder what tricks, exactly, Miss Starr’s sheep performed.  Standing up on four legs?  Blinking? That counts as two so far. . .

Query Department

Predating Laugh-In by 43 years, this series of question-and-answer quickies appeared in the 7 May 1925 edition of the Chatham Record. The addition of local town names adds a nice touch to an otherwise groan-worthy collection:


Can paper be used effectively to keep one warm? -Josie, Moncure.

Answer– Yes, Josie. We once gave a 30-day note at a bank and we were in a sweat for a month.

Do fairy tales always begin with the phrase: “Once Upon a Time?” – George, Colon.

Answer– No, George. Sometimes they say: “Sorry dear, but I was detained at the office.”

Is it true that men marry women sometimes just because she may have money? -Gertrude, Apex.

Answer– Not always, Gertrude. Sometimes it is because the man has no money.

Can you tell me where I may visit an apiary; I want to see one? – Willie, Pittsboro.

Answer– Yes, Willie. Come by some afternoon and we will go with you. We like to see the monkeys too.

My sweetheart will not inherit any property until the death of his uncle Jeremiah, who is now 75 years old. What would you advise about our marriage? – Jennie, Bonlee.

Answer– ‘Sall right Jennie, if he has enough to live on for two or three years.

Why is it that woman are not as fond of radio as are the men? – John, Siler City.

Answer– Don’t know John, unless it is because they have to stay quiet and listen to it.

I want to make lots of money and I have been advised to go into the newspaper business. What would you suggest? – Bill, Ore Hill.

Answer– Be sensible, Bill.