Craft time: Easy Doctor Who Adipose Plushies!

adipose giphy
I promised you a Doctor Who Apidose Plushie tutorial and I’m going to DELIVER! This tutorial is based on Erica Kern’s tutorial but made easier for those who don’t have a sewing machine or don’t want to use a sewing machine with teens. I may try her tutorial some day because it’s adorable and really professional looking, but for the teen room I went with easy.

Here we go! You will need:

-white polar fleece (I got like 1 1/2 yards and have a TON left)
-sewing needles
-white embroidery floss or thread
-black embroidery floss
-poly fill or some other stuffing
-black beads for eyes
-paper template

Step One: Freehand an adipose template. Or download a picture of one and trace the outline onto some construction paper or cardstock.


Step Two: Place your template on your fleece that is still folded together. Trace the template with a fabric marker or . . . a Sharpie because you are at work and forgot a fabric marker!


Step Three: Cut out the template making sure you’re holding the folded fabric together. That way you will get two fabric pieces that are the same shape/size.


Step Four: Mark spots for the eyes and mouth on one fabric piece. Sew on the eyes with black beads and black thread.


Step Five: Sew on the mouth with a straight stitch or whatever fancy stitch you know that can make a smile with the black thread. (Can you tell I’m not an embroidery expert?)


Step Six: Whip stitch the two pieces together almost all the way around. Leave the top of the head open.


Step Seven: Stuff it with poly fill! Make sure you get into the legs and arms. Stitch it up some more, leaving about an inch open.


Step Eight: Do a final stuffing to make sure you have the fullness you want and then stitch up the opening and tie off your string.

Step Nine: Admire your handiwork!

TA-DA! You’ve made an easy and cute Adipose. You can see some of the adventures that the adiposes the teens made had in the library on our Instagram feed.

Any cute crafts you want to share? I’m always looking for ideas!





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I finally read Gone Girl! Hello 2012!

Ugh movie cover.

Ugh movie cover.

I realize that everyone else in the world has read Gone Girl, but I finally got around to it. At first, because I’m a jerk, I didn’t read it because it was popular and everyone was reading. If everyone likes it, it must appeal to the common masses and therefore is crap. I am not going to waste my time reading a popular thriller. I was an English major! I’ve read Henry James!

Did I mention I’m a jerk?

There’s a little part of me that is still really snobby. That part of me loves to read poetry, literary fiction, Thomas Hardy and Henry James books (even though they don’t always seem to esteem women so much), the more enlightened end of the YA spectrum. I really am insufferable sometimes. Most of the time I’m ok with being a snob and other days I feel really bad about it. I also believe that you should read what you want, and sometimes that butts heads with my snobbery. So for me, I’ve just decide to do a little of both. Read something with “literary merit” and then read something not so critically well-received.

This summer I wanted to read Gone Girl I mean, everyone was talking about it three years. It’s been so popular that they’ve already made a movie of it and everyone else has moved on. Not me! I finally read and I did really like it. It was actual a review in the New York Times – I think I can’t find the article again – that made me want to read it. I remember the review having a point that was something along the lines of ,”Feminism means that women get to be just as unlikeable and scary as men.” Obviously, this is not ALL that feminism means, but I was intrigued.

And Amy – or Amazing Amy – is pretty damn unlikeable and scary. I know that I’m not supposed to like her . . . but I did sort of admire how smart she was in all of her planning. Obviously she is a bad person, but it was interesting to read about her. Similarly, her “Cool Girl” rant in the middle of the novel is a lot like some expectations and/or tropes of women in media, so I appreciated that.

Is the the most amazing book I’ve ever read? No but I really enjoyed. It’s kind of sad how often I am shocked by the realization that popular books can actually be good! Anyone else read some good page turners this summer?

Stay tuned for next week when I do a little tutorial on how to make a modified, easier version of these guys from Doctor Who:

adiposeThis tutorial is from Erica Kern, but since it was for a craft for our Doctor Who Club at work I didn’t want to bring in my sewing machine. I’ll show you how to do it slightly easier, but still pretty cute!

Finally, stuff of mine is going up a few times a month at WWAC. Check it out if you’re so inclined. It’s an amazing group of ladies, like I’ve said, and it’s so nice to have an editor. Editors make your writing so much better! This blog could definitely use one.

See you next week!

adipose giphy

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North Shore Pride

On Saturday I had the immense privilege of being in my first Pride Parade! I marched with OneGordon at the North Shore Pride parade in Salem and we had such a great time.

That's me, with the hips.

That’s me, with the hips.

We had about 12-15 people with us and the response from the city and crowd was incredible! There was this definite feeling of, “Gordon?! Why are they . . . oh! It’s Gordon people who SUPPORT LGBTQ students! YAY!” It was pretty funny.

We walked by a street preacher dude who was yelling about repenting and such, and I think we drowned him out with our yelling. It mad me sad because we don’t have to be on separate “sides” – there is room in Christianity and other faiths for all people. Being Christian and pro-LGBTQ rights shouldn’t have to be at odds with each other; many of us in the OneGordon section were proving that, but the street preacher dude wasn’t having it. I’m pretty sure it’s the same street preacher that is always in Salem during Halloween telling people to turn away from their touristy witchcraft. I want to tell them to turn away because Halloween in Salem is tacky and but that’s another issue.


I did feel a little weird about carrying the banner; I guess I just didn’t want people to think that I was braver for faring Gordon than I was. I have no problem with people thinking I’m gay – it’s a running joke between Hannah and I that we get confused for being a couple often but are not. Then we say, “Hey, we could each do a lot worse!”  I’m not LGBTQ+, but I am an ally so I guess that counts?

After the parade we staffed a table on the Salem Commons with T-shirts to sell and just talked to people. Almost everyone who talked to us – after initial incredulity and us explaining we were not official affiliated with Gordon College – said that they were so happy to see us. There was the guy whose parents went to Gordon and grew up in Wenham who was so happy to see people at the college having conversations and trying to support students. There was the recently out and recently retired Southern Baptist minister who repeatedly told us how proud he was of OneGordon. There were many, many more who were surprised and happy to see us there. OneGordon even won an award from North Shore Pride for a new organization helping students!

Despite getting sunburned on my head – I’m not used to the summer and the shaved side yet apparently – it was a wonderful day! Hopefully this will be the start of a great tradition for OneGordon and a way to support the LGBTQ+ students at Gordon. Maybe we’ll even change the administration’s mind some day.

Finally, some self promotion before I go. My first big piece for Women Write About Comics is up. It’s about my refusal to see the Lord of the Rings movie adaptations and how I am trying not to be a huge jerk about that. Take a look and spend some time reading the other pieces on the site. There are so many talented women writing and lots to read, even if you’re not a comics person!

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In praise of button machines and amazing coworkers

As I was getting ready to leave work yesterday I asked Virginia one of our new teen aides to post an Instagram picture since I had totally forgotten. It was so nice to have someone take care of this – admittedly – super simple thing for me. It was great to have I was REALLY ready to go. I had been doing a button-making program with teens for the last two hours. Basically the program is you set out the button machine, a stack of old magazines, paper, and let the teens make as many buttons as you want. I will also print out little pictures of whatever they want and it’s cute to hear what they want. Yesterday I printed out pictures of:

LeBron James
Kevin Garnett
a basketball
LeBron James brand shoes (I think?)
a trumpet fish
Batman symbol
Andover golden warriors symbol
Bad Kitty
the humuhumunkunukuapua’a (the teen said, “I don’t know how to spell it but it’s the state fish of Hawaii.” Ah. Gotcha.)
Darth Vader
and a few more I can’t remember.

What interesting buttons they will have!

Seriously, if you haven’t purchased a button machine for your library you should. It’s a really great investment. It’s about $250 and recently a refill of 500 buttons cost us about $50. And we use it ALL. THE. TIME. In the last year we’ve made: banned book week buttons, poet buttons for our poetry contest, many many fandom buttons all last summer, Downton Abbey buttons, buttons for a recent retirement party, and more.

Spring for the little thingy on the right that cuts out everything in the perfectly sized circle. It will make your life so much easier.

Spring for the little thingy on the right that cuts out everything in the perfectly sized circle. It will make your life so much easier.

So all this button making to say, constantly printing out images for teens to print out all while managing the new setup of the teen room (Hey, I should write about that! Soon!) made for a crazy afternoon. I was happy to let Virginia Instagram so I could leave. Our teen room staff of Clare, Virginia, and Allison are so lovely. Virginia and Allison have been great additions to the room and we are so happy to have them!

The moral of this story is: make yourself happy at work and get some amazing coworkers. And a button machine!

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Summer reads and new projects

Last year's summer reading.

Last year’s summer reading with last summer’s haircut.

Generally, I support people making their own summer reading decisions. I’m fairly against prescribed summer reading lists but these are books that I think you should read because you would like them. Plus, you are all adults and I can’t actually tell you what to do. But if you do want recommendations here are some I’ve been thinking about lately:

Girl at War by Sara Novic – I’m not finished with this yet, but it’s pretty great so far. It follows young girl, Ana Juric, from her life in Croatia during the Croatian Civil War in 1991 and then in the U.S. right after the September 11 attacks. It is as sad as expected but the writing is great.

Lumberjanes and Wicked + Divine comics – These are pretty different from each other but they are both going to be adapted so you should read the source material first. Or not – you do you. I’m trying to be less judgmental about that.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche – This is just really good and I can highly recommend the audiobook. The narrator has a beautiful voice. So read it.

The Port Chicago 50 by Steve Sheinkin – You should read this because it’s a sort of unknown, but important story about black sailors in WWII who were tried and convicted of mutiny for refusing to load ammunition – a job pretty much only given to black sailors – without any ammunition training. Did I mention their white superior officers made best on which units could load bombs the fastest? And they only refused to load ammunition after an accident at their base that killed about 300 people? It’s a fascinating, infuriating, and important story.

You should also probably re-read a childhood book that you loved or an adult book you loved. I haven’t read The Time Traveler’s Wife in a few years and I’m probably overdue for a day of gross sobbing. Read a classic; read a book by an author you’ve never read; read a book by someone who is completely different than you; read a book that makes you say, “This is my life.” Read, read, read. Let me know what I should be reading, too.

In other news, I’m excited to start my stint as a member of the YALSA Research Journal Advisory Board starting this summer. I’m not totally clear on what we will be working on but I’m excited to start committee work. I’d love to translate my experience on this committee to other YALSA committees someday like a book selection committee. Maybe someday I’ll be on the Printz committee and you can get super mad at all of our choices. FUN.

I have started writing for Women Write About Comics. I had a tiny news post up the other day and longer articles and essays will be up this month. You can follow that link to see the article and read my obnoxious bio at the bottom. I’m so excited about it and all the women who write for the site are smart, articulate, and amazing. I’ll probably be linking there a lot from now on, so get used to that.

With the YALSA board, WWAC, and my YALSA Hub blog manager application still floating around out there it’s shaping up to be a really busy next couple of years. But busy is good! And these are all personal and professional things that I really care about. I will try to still post on a weekly basis, but if you haven’t heard from me send me a note!


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