ten things...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

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Someday I'll stop showing you Black Milk products, but it is not this day. It just fit with the whole literary theme so well!

This etsy shop sends out letters from Hogwarts that "got lost in the mail." It comes with a supplies list, an acceptance letter, and a letter from the Ministry of Magic explaining what happened. Everything is designed to match the feel of Harry Potter. The envelopes even have wax seals! I think these could really make a kid's dreams come true. Or, you know, an adult. Like me.

I am dreaming about having a pink Christmas tree. It's just so wonderfully tacky. I don't have space for a full sized one, but Target has a nice solution for me. So cute!

This shop has the greatest baby stuff.  It's cute, modern, and simple. Whoever I gave this stuff to would be the coolest baby on the block. Or maybe I'll just buy one of my friends an awesome little crown.
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inspire me... Ariana Perez

Monday, November 26, 2012

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I have fallen in love. Ariana Perez's work showed up on my pinterest, and I instantly knew she was going to by my inspire me this week. It's rare for me to find an artist that impresses me with more than just a few of their pieces, but all of Ariana's gallery has me smitten. Every choice within her works inspire me. Hand drawn elements combine with bright colors and faded paper textures to create a playful but still thoughtful piece. Her composition is airy, giving you a subject that you can focus on easily, but yet there is still enough going on that you don't lose interest right away. I'm going to have to put on of her pieces on my Christmas list. :]

Ariana Perez links:
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ten things...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

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These watches were featured on a blog I read, and I instantly fell in love. So of course I donated to their kickstarter. If you like their style, you should donate too. They're quite a bit below their goal right now, but I'm hoping that doesn't last long!

I love this Kate Spade ipad sleeve. I'm usually not into glitter, but it's just so colorful!

Isn't that such a great idea for bobby pins? Sleek, stylish, but still artfully awesome. 

This infograph shows the numbers of just how many gamers get girls. It kind of shatters stereotypes. I kind of think that's awesome.

Oh Joys' make someone happy project is one of my favorite things on the web these days. Such an awesome concept. (And yeah, I found different blogs to read. Crazy, huh?)

Bonus link! This paper globe pattern is so awesome. I can't wait to print one out for myself.
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Friday, November 9, 2012

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I have wonderful co-workers and an amazing director. I say this because they let me do crazy things like video game tournaments at the library. About once a year we have a big tournament of whatever game is hot that season. This summer I decided I wanted to take that concept and go big. I mean VERY big. As in a tournament series that spanned months (and consoles), leading up to a championship at the end of the summer. Each round the winners would be put through to the championship, and also get a small prize.

But I'm going to be honest with you guys... this program was kind of a flop. We had a lot of great things planned for this series... awesome prizes, a great line-up of games. And the kids who did come had a lot of fun, but we only  got about 10 kids each time, making it barely worth the effort. (Note I said barely... any time we have teens that deem our program good enough to show up for, I count it as a success.)

I know video game programs can work. We had one tournament a few years ago (Halo 3) where we had around 40 kids. So having a great video game program hosted by a library is do-able. We just need to perfect the formula.

Attendance complaints aside, though, our series was a lot of fun. We did an event for Soul Calibur, Mario Kart, and then our final championship. To make the championship event challenging, we introduced the newer generations to retro games they wouldn't have much experience with, such as Pong or Duck Hunt. It was kind of a "Video Games Through the Ages" event, because we eventually played through all the generations of consoles until we finally got to the 360, PS3, and Wii.

Our basic set-up for a tournament utilizes as many TVs and consoles as we can get our hands on. We've got a great group of teens that really want these tournaments to work, and will often let us borrow their equipment for at least a day, if not two. The actual tournament play is quite casual. We usually tell them they have to play a set number of rounds, and they have to make sure they rotate between all the participants. We let them have a few practice rounds, and when they're ready to do a tournament match, they tell us and we send a "ref" over. The "ref" watches them play, then reports who won. Winner gets 10 points, loser gets 0. This isn't the most refined method, but it's relatively simple, and we can get away with it because we have such a small group. 

Don't you love that beautiful trophy? This treasure was given to the winner of the championship, along with some cash. We always try to add some cheesy fun into the tournaments to keep the mood light.

One thing I think we should have done differently is to have more teens involved in the planning process. I've found that when teens have their hands in the initial plans, they are more invested in the final outcome. Also, it helps that they come out of the planning meetings feeling like equals. I also wish I had upped the PR. I used to sub and work at the library, and I noticed that when I was in their school life more often, I could remind them of things, or drum up excitement. I don't sub anymore, so I've been trying to think of other ways to keep them updated on whats going on. Maybe bigger and more flashy posters would do the trick. One with blinking lights and annoying music and a dancing elephant? Haha. 
We're doing another tournament this winter (Black Ops II, we think) so I'll try to apply these lets and let you know how it turns out. :]

If you're interested in trying to put together your own tournament series, I highly suggest checking out the book Gamers ... in the Library?! by Eli Neiburger. Even if you have no experience with video games whatsoever, this book will guide you through the planning process step by step. With everything from room arrangement tips to a set up check list, It's a must-have resource for anyone planning a tournament.

My advice for the day: You want to survive the zombie apocalypse, make sure you have a gamer for a friend. I've found that they pretty much all know the rules for surviving a zombie horde.
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ten things...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

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Nine Inch Nails gone 8-bit. Love.

These amazingly bright and wonderfully playful cushions have got to be mine as soon as I get the room. Or the money. They are cushions that you can choose the design and configuration for. I don't know how else to describe them but as awesome.

A tetris pumpkin you can PLAY? My boyfriend makes some pretty impressive pumpkins, but I think he should try this next year.

Dinosaur bone throw pillows. I really don't think I need to say any more.

I'm spending a lot of my time gazing at (Android) tablets. I've finally saved up the money for one, but I just don't know which to choose. Right now I'm looking at this one, this one, and this one. Do you have any suggestions?
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Friday, November 2, 2012

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Sorry there was no ten things yesterday. There also isn't going to be one today, because we're having a party, which means I'm still in Halloween mode. (Woo!) For now, I'll just leave you with a few pictures of whats been going on this week. A lot of video games, some art, and some Reese's vodka making.

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