Welcome to iHCPL: The Next Generation. This site was created as the next step in Harris County Public Library's iHCPL Learning 2.0 Program; a discovery learning program designed to encourage staff to explore new technologies. The original iHCPL program was adapted from The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County's Learning 2.0 Program.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Crafts & Hobbies #61: Craftspiration!

Now that summer is approaching, it might be of interest to take up a craft of some sort and strengthen those creative skills of yours. Not sure where to start or need a little push in the right direction? This summer is a potluck assortment of craft posts. Each post will be worth between .5 and 1 training hours. You'll have until August 31 to complete the craft posts for training credit.

This post is to give a brief introduction of the various online sources that are ready for you to indulge in at any time of day for however long it may take to fill your creative fancy! This post is worth .5 training hours.

Before you delve into source types, please view this little quirky video by Leslie and her entourage. Known for her gem sweaters, this video is to get you inspired and see how easy it is to just start crafting.


Since you are doing iHCPL, you should have some sort of blogroll set up, correct? Blogs are a great source for inspirations and tips about crafting, materials, and much more! Here are a few worth mentioning:

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Pimpstitch: This blog features free pattern downloads and tutorials for those who like to sew and embroider.

Repurposeful: A blog about "being resourceful, creative, frugal and environmentally sound." Not only does this blog have posts on crafts from recyclables, it also give tips on reusing a number of objects that you may collect (perhaps, detergent containers). You can review the tag list and just search posts dealing with crafts or any other topic.

One Hour Craft: This blog is most ideal for the time sensitive individual. Crafts demonstrated on this site take about an hour to complete.

Online Communities, Forums and Websites

The online craft community loves sharing information (like libraries) and experimenting with materials. Most forums are free but some require registration. Forums usually have categories, online discussion boards, and photo albums of completed projects.

Craftster: a forum for the less than traditional craftster, this site allows you to browse their community for a variety of crafts such as sewing, knitting, jewelry making and more.

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Etsy Community: The very popular Etsy (and online store front for artsy business types) has a forum for a number of topics. The Techniques & Materials specifically offers tips and tricks to making things.

Instructables: This site peruses crafts that are more constructive and friendly for both men and women who like to build things with their hands and enjoy DIY (do-it-yourself) projects. Projects are split into categories which include art, craft, food, games and other general topics.

Craftzine: Brought to you by the makers of Make (an electronic DIY magazine), the Craft site has podcast, tutorials and forums on a number of craft topics.


Did you think you could only read about crafts? Of course not! For the more visual learner (and audial), craftspiring sources are available in multipe formats!

Videos: some websites have embedded videos that show tutorials and there are YouTube channels that focus on crafting and DIY project.

Etsy's YouTube channel has interviews with crafters and also has "How Tuesdays" which are tutorials that are posted on...Tuesday!

TheCraftsChannel is your "online masterclass for crafting techniques." Videos include tutorials of crafts that can be done in 5 minutes or less.

Podcasts: If you are more of an audio person, try out a podcast. Most craft sites have their own links to podcasts so be sure to browse sites for all of their resources.

Photos: Do you remember Flickr? And you thought you wouldn't have to learn about photos again...sheesh. The great thing about Flickr is that people tag their photos or submit them to "pools" that make it easier for the general public (such as yourself) to peruse their photo stock. Check out the Craft pools.


1) Check out some of the craft sites listed above. Do you see some fun craft ideas you'd like to try? Pick one to talk about on your blog.

2) Browse around one or two of the sites in the multimedia section above. Do you think you would enjoy learning a craft technique or hobby by watching a video, or do you prefer some form of written instructions?

3) Write a blog post with your thoughts on the above questions.

HCPL Staff: Have you completed this exercise? Then Submit your Registration of Completion

This post was brought to you by Veronica Garza.


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