With children all over going “Back to School” again and the fall and holiday seasons rapidly approaching, Arts-n-Crafts are in abundance. Whether its for hobbies, activities to keep the kids busy, personal interest or to destress Arts-n-Crafts are quite popular.

For the September Tech Talk, I tried to find sites that offered a variety of choices and weren’t the regular sites everyone always hears about. I hope you enjoy the sites and the activities they offer.

A.C. Moore  A.C. Moore is a specialty retailer offering a vast selection of arts, crafts and floral merchandise to a broad demographic of customers. They also have a great slogan, Dream it. Create it. Share it. There is only one A.C. Moore near West Palm Beach, but it seems well worth the drive.

Etsy  Etsy is a online marketplace. The website offers a plethora of  handmade or vintage items as well as art and craft supplies. These items cover a wide range including art, photography, clothing, jewelry, edibles, bath & beauty products, quilts, knick-knacks and toys. Individuals can also buy/sell their creations on the site.

Better Homes and Gardens Most people have seen Better Homes and Gardens magazine and know how much it offers in the realm of great ideas for decoration and home/garden accessories. You can get that online at their website and a page dedicated to all types of crafts. Click on the link above and get a look at all the tons of projects you can choose from.

Disney Family Fun We definitely couldn’t have art-n-crafts without mentioning Disney. They have been in the business of keeping kids happy and learning for decades. This Disney site is all about “Family Fun” and with that in mind have dozens of activities for families and small children. Take a look and share it with the family, I’m sure you all will be glad you did.

All Free Crafts As described on their site, All Free Crafts offers crafts, craft projects and patterns to make easy homemade gifts. The link above is specific to “Green Crafts”. I wanted to include this in the Tech Talk list because i know there are many eco-warriors out there nowadays and these crafts will appeal to them.

Lulu Lulu lets you lets you make, self-publish, print and sell print-on-demand books, e-books, photo books and calendars with free book publishing. This site is fun and empowers the user to also potentially have a side career with their crafts if they want.

Photovisi Photovisi is a free online collage maker. Its quick and easy and allows you to use templates, with 18 different choices to choose from to make your collages. The collages can be used as wallpapers, etc. No registration is required to use Photovisi.

SnapfishThis site allows you to create a personalized photo gift. You can make unique  gifts such as photo books, gifts for him & her, posters & more. Have a look around the site and see what you can use it to create for your family, friend or co-workers.

By LaShonda

Here is this week’s second clue. click here.

Everyone knows summertime is one of the  busiest times of the year. Students are graduating, people are vacationing, hurricane season begins, and family members all want to visit. Here at the library it’s no less busy, kids and teens visiting in camps, families visiting along with our ever faithful regular visitors. With all these visitors I sought out an ecclectic array of websites for this June Tech Talk.

Below are the sites, please feel free to click on the site names and enjoy.

BoostUp — This is a website that allows you to reach out to someome who is stuggling and help them continue with their education. It’s aimed at highschool students from all walks of life and with a myriad of different personal issues that may be affecting them. Its all about “encouragement” and decreasing the highschool dropout rate.

DailyBurn — This site ia all about your health and fitness. It seeks to make you accountable for your own success or failure also. You can track what you eat, utilize food databases, keep logs of your workout and weight loss progress and so much more.

Chocri — As far as this site is concerned, I thought no one can tell you more than they can. So the following blurb is from their about page. Chocri is a German startup, founded in September 2008, but launched in the US in January 2010. What we do is we allow you to customize your own chocolate bar here on our website. You get to choose a base chocolate white, dark or milk chocolate), and then your favorites out of more than 100 toppings. Those can be nuts and dried fruit, but they can also be real gold flakes, roasted almonds, pretzel, chive rolls, jalapenos… you name it! They hand-make the bars in Germany, and ship them to you.

Dropbox Dropbox is a site thats growing in popularity due to it being an easy way to store, sync, and, share files online. There’s no complicated interface to learn. On the front page of the website it also has a 3-4 minute video explaining the process also. The concept is new and exciting and seems to be well worth it.

StoryCorps — StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. Since 2003, over 50,000 everyday people have interviewed family and friends through StoryCorps.

Take Part — Is a Social Activism website. It’s an  independent online community that connects its members directly to the issues that inspire them to engage, contribute and take action on a bevy of current global problems whether they be social, environmental, political and/or cultural.

The Creators ProjectThe Creators Project is a new network dedicated to the celebration of creativity and culture across media, and around the world. Its the revolution of a new kind of art for a newer audience that didnt know it existed.

By LaShonda Faison

Our May Tech Talk consisted of some juicy bits from all over the Web.  Check out the following links and let us know what you think:

Academic Earth – For those interested in learning, this website offers free online lectures and video courses from leading universities & colleges.   

Alice – Save money and time.  Shop online directly from the manufacturer and get free shipping and all of your items in one box!

Habit Forge – Do you need a gentle reminder to stop a habit you can’t seem to break?  This website helps you forge new habits and change your life. 

kaChing – Interact with money managers to invest your money wisely. 

Karaoke Party – Become your own American Idol! Sing karaoke online and get judged by others, keep track of your scores, challenge your friends, and make song requests.  It’s free and easy! 

Wordnik – This is not your traditional dictionary. Wordnik offers as much information as possible on a word such as example sentences, images tagged online, audio pronunciations, related etymologies, and statistics (how often the word is looked up).

Woopid – Find video tutorials on technology related subjects.

Join LaShonda and Janet for the next Tech Talk featured during our Summer Reading Program: the Library Mystery Tour on Tuesday, July 13.  She will be sharing the secrets for summer mystery fun on your computer!

~Technology- it takes you there~

~Tracie Seurer~

LaShonda’s Tech Talk this month covered a little a little bit of everything, and of course a special focus on finances and taxes in honor of April 15.  Here is a taste of what was covered:

Mint- A website to assist you in managing your money, budgeting, and achieving your financial goals. Use Mint to prepare for tax time next year!

What Happened In My Birth Year– You have to give this a try!  Just input your birth year and get the facts about the social, cultural, economic, and political happenings and other significant events of that year!

Howdini– Lots of “how to videos” on everything from how to bake a dinosaur cake to how to reject tactfully after a first date. 

Unusual Hotels of the World– Book your vacation off the beaten path based around unusual and unique hotels.  Different hotel categories to search from include arty, wild, bling, thrill, romance & family.

Move Idiot– A free online service to assist you with all your moving needs. It makes moving idiotically easy!

Talenthouse– Do you have yet to be discovered for your talent in film, fashion, music, art/design, or photography?  Talenthouse provides artists the opportunity to get their talent recognized and provides opportunities for potential compensation.

Short of the Week– Check out the quality & amazing short films available for free viewing online.

 Join LaShonda next month on Tuesday, May 4th as she explores and shares more great stuff on the Internet. 

~Technology- it takes you there~

~Tracie Seurer~

Happy Holidays Everyone

 As always during the holiday season there’s so much going on like buying gifts, visiting family, decorations, celebrations and the like.

In that sense you know there are dozens of sites transitioning to holiday content for their members and others sites that exist solely for the season. I went in search of a few I thought really had the mindset of the season…caring, sharing, goodwill to your fellowman and some good ole’ fashioned Christmas spirit.

Take a look…

ABC Family  This site definitely believes in making Christmas a 25 day event and why not, it’s only one time a year.

Away    What a cool site. Its a travel guide site with expert tips, interest choices, times of year, etc. A new way to plan a great trip for any season during the year.

Photovisi   Want to make a nice collage instead of sending the family plain photos this season? Photovisi is a free collage maker that simple and fun to use. You can also save the collages as wallpapers for your own computer.

GuideStar  The holidays always make people more willing to give of themselves, so why not use GuideStar to help you find what you’re looking for. This site is a very detailed, comprehensive place to find information about philanthropic and non-profit organizations.

Thankfulfor  We should always be grateful for the good things in our lives. These things give us hope. This site lets you have a public/private journal of  personal gratitude. Something you can use daily.

and last but not least…

43Things   Have you ever needed positive reinforcement when trying to reach your goals? 43Things is a new type of social networking site that’s based on just that. It’s more about achieving the goals and hopes that you list rather than interpersonal links and gratuitous pics. You can keep a journal of your progress as well as find others like you who are trying to achieve something positive for themselves.

Well, now that I’ve shared those lovely sites with you all thats left to do is this…wish you a safe and happy holiday, a prosperous New Year and lots of love and laughter.

By LaShonda Faison

Picture1

  It’s that time of year again when all the ghosts and ghouls big and small get ready for Halloween. But as usual there are things you must adhere to like safety. But you also want fun and creativity to be apart of the holiday season. With all these things in mind, the “Tech Talk” on October 20, 2009 sought to share some fun sites that deal with all those things. Check out the sites below to find fun, useful and in some cases little known resources.

IVillage This site is a cool resource for moms and women in general to use for day to day life, as well as the holidays. Check out the halloween section.

eHow This site is just what it says –  a ” how to” site that can be used for many things, in this case halloween safety. Feel free to search it for others things though.

Parents.com  This site is a fun resource for arts-and-crafts, DIY projects health and information in general for parents. Covers infants to big kids with great variety. We used it this particular time to zero in on halloween fun. Click on the link and check it out.

Food Network Many people watch Food Network shows so are familiar with this channel. We used it to help find some fun recipes to help make your Halloween a tasty and unique one.

Hauntworld If its halloweenesque, creepy, spooky, or grotesque, you should be able to find it on Hauntworld. It seems to be one stop shopping for locating all things spooktastic. It even boasts its own magazine. Give it a look-see if you love a good scare.

For extras on the Tech Talk menu these two sites seemed fun as well.

Rouxbe If you ever wanted to wow your friends Rouxbe can help. Its a online cooking school site. You can view videos and get receipes without a premium membership but for different fees you can sign up for specific types of memberships and get cooking lessons that even cooks partake of. Who ever thought there would be an online cooking school!

Holiday On the Menu What a fun way to travel!  A vacation for the food connosieur out there. Book a trip that has lush landscapes,hands on sessions with you and a gourmet chef or local, and you learning to prepare a gorgeous meal based on the country you’re visiting. It’s a rarity to find a trip like this and should be taken advantage of. Like all things travel, do your homework on the company first and the customs of the place you’re visiting. Its always better to travel smart.

So, Ghosts and Ghouls have a Happy Halloween. Picture2

 

 

By LaShonda