2D Design with Silhouette Cutting Machine

Posted on August 26th, 2016 by chalpin@private.bpl.org in Teen Services

silhouette cameoTeen Central recently purchased a Silhouette Cameo, a versatile electronic cutting machine that can be used for a wide range of projects. This machine takes your 2D design and cuts it into materials such as, paper, adhesive vinyl, and fabric. The machine works in conjunction with a related piece of software, Silhouette Studio, that has been installed on computers in The Lab in Teen Central. You can create designs directly in Silhouette Studio or import images in PNG, JPG, BMP, GIF, and TIF file types. So, what can you do with such a tool? The web is full of great ideas and my go-to spot for crafty ideas is Pinterest. Here are some examples of projects I discovered there and can’t wait to try!

jumpman vinyl decal
Vinyl Window Decals: Vinyl decals are often seen in the rear windows of cars, but you can apply them to a window at home, or really, to nearly anything of yours that you choose, such as a laptop or a skateboard deck.
dimensional candle holders

Dimensional Paper Lanterns
: These pretty paper lanterns are for use with an LED candle and are simply wrapped around an empty plastic bottle!


Freezer Paper Stencils: Like screen printing, but made simpler, people are cutting away the positive space of an image using inexpensive freezer paper and then adhering it to fabric for use in DIY t-shirt design and more.freezer paper 1freezer paper 2

Cross Section Paper Earrings
: Cut intricate patterns, several times over, in a jiff! These earring are made from layers of cardstock glued together and gilded with metallic paint.
earrings 1earrings 2



(Follow the hyperlinks above for instructions on exactly how some of these things are made using the Silhouette Cameo.)


Need a library card? Wondering how long you can borrow a book? Borrowing and Circulation information can be found here.

*”Ctrl+Z” is all about fearlessly exploring technology. Look here for info about teens, technology, and having fun with new media by Catherine, Teen Technology Coordinator at Teen Central, on the fourth Friday of the month.

Hold the Popcorn!: Suicide Squad

Posted on August 23rd, 2016 by jlevins in Teen Services


The summer is winding down. Almost time to start thinking about hitting the books again as school will be back in session soon. Almost, but not quite yet. There is still time to check out one more rad summer movie, and Suicide Squad is a great choice!

All around badass Special Forces person Amanda Waller (played by Viola Davis) puts together a team of mutant supervillains, known as “Task Force X”, to carry out missions for the United States government. Unfortunately, one of Waller’s recruits, Dr. June Moore (played by Cara Delevinge), becomes possessed by the Enchantress, an evil interdimensional witch-like entity who craves revenge on society. The Enchantress and her brother are not happy about the way that society seems to worship machines the way they used to worship them! The performances in Suicide Squad are great. The always great Will Smith puts on a commanding performance as Deadshot. Jared Leto does his best to fill the huge shoes left behind by Heath Ledger in his portrayal of The Joker, and proves to be worthy of the task overall. My personal favorite was Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as the reptilian Killer Croc. The bottom line is that the Enchantress and her brother must be destroyed, and the question is whether or not the Suicide Squad is up to the task. See the movie and find out!

Enjoy the rest of your summer and save me the aisle seat!


animatedDo you love watching movies? The Boston Public Library has tens of thousands of DVDs you can borrow with your library card and even more that you can access online through our streaming service, Hoopla. Plus, if you can’t find a movie you want to watch in all the ones we offer, you can always suggest a purchase. Start placing holds now, and you’ll never have to pay to watch a movie again!


*”Hold the Popcorn!” features movie reviews by James, the Teen Librarian at the East Boston Branch, on the fourth Tuesday of the month.


Get Crafty: Make Bangle Designs Using Yarn or Threads

Posted on August 19th, 2016 by Mary in Crafts
Tags: , , , ,

Welcome to this month’s installment of Get Crafty!  This month, we will be making bangle/bracelet designs using yarn or embroidery floss.  This craft is great when you have extra yarn or embroidery floss left over from other craft projects.


Old Bangles – plastic, metal or wood – You can get the bangles at a craft store or a thrift shop. Also, make sure you can get it on your wrist with a little extra room.
Glue Gun or E6000 glue. (You can also use double sided tape but for these instructions, I’m going to use glue.)
Yarn or embroidery floss – Try not to use scratchy yarn since you want it to be soft on your arms. You will use all 6 strands of the embroidery floss.


1. Decide what pattern you want on your bangle. You don’t have to have a specific pattern but it helps. Some bangles have been made using random colors or even multicolor threads.

2. Place a small drop of glue inside the bangle.

3. Place the beginning of the yarn or thread in that spot.

4. Start wrapping your yarn or thread.

5. When you finish a color, trim the yarn or thread with a small tail. Put a small drop of glue inside the bangle and place the end of the yarn or thread right next to the end of the prior wrap of the same color.yarn wrapped bangle collage

6. Begin a new thread the same as you did for step 2 above and continue following the instructions until you reach the end. Make sure the end of the final yarn or thread color is tucked in tight between the beginning and the end of the design.

7. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes to make sure the glue is dry and then try it on and enjoy!


Another idea is to design your bangles to represent the country of your favorite Olympic Team. Here is a list of the countries participating in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. The list is in order of the Portuguese spelling for each country. You can click on the country for more information and a picture of the national flag for that country. Also included is the Olympic Flag, that represents the Independent Athletes as well as the Refugees Olympic Team. This picture shows a slightly different style of bangle.




Another option is to wrap just one color around the bangle and weave a design through the threads. With this design, you will need to use a tapestry needle to weave the design. Instructions for this design can be found here.



An alternate way for creating the bangles is to use thin bangles, embroidery floss, 6mm and 7mm jump rings and a variety of charms. Use the same steps as above. Embroidery floss works better on the thinner bangles especially when you want to add embellishments to your bangle. This website will give you instructions how to construct this bangle.



These bangles are great as gifts for a friend or family member or a way to express yourself when going back to school.

Have fun and Get Crafty!


manga-me-150x150Need a library card? Wondering how long you can borrow a book? Borrowing and Circulation information can be found here.

*”Get Crafty” features craft projects by Mary, a Teen Librarian at Teen Central, and is posted on the third Friday of every month.

Teens Leading in the Community: The SuccessLink Process

Posted on August 16th, 2016 by jsnow@private.bpl.org in Teen Services

SuccessLink: helping teens find opportunities easily








This post was written by Anna Dao, student at Boston Latin School and SuccessLink teen working in Teen Central.

A solid amount of teenagers all across Boston, ages ranging from 15-18, are most likely working this summer and earning money for college, savings, or just some extra pocket cash to spend time with their friends. Whatever the reason is, teens are spending their summer break working and that is all thanks to Mayor Martin J Walsh and the Department of Youth Engagement and Employment. Earlier this year Mayor Walsh launched Successlink, which enables these teens to find job opportunities.

Although the money that teens will have earned from the work that they will have done is important, an even better benefit to working in the summer is giving teens an insight in being in the real world before they are actually in the real world. These young adults will be engaging in opportunities that, not only provide real world experience, but also give them the chance to learn who they really are, who they want to be, what they like to do, and what they want to do.

The process is simple: Teens would sign up for SuccessLink in the wintertime and apply to a number of organizations connected to SuccessLink. Their SuccessLink profile has their resume, all the needed identifications, and an essay that the teen wrote explaining why they would be an excellent candidate for a job in the summer. From there, the teens would apply to whatever jobs interest them.

Many of my classmates and friends used SuccessLink to connect to job opportunities and are now currently working this summer. I recall in the past when I constantly listened as the broken records that I call my friends droned on and on (myself included) about how much they desired to have a job in the summer. It was very difficult to find a place that was hiring students because of their young age. Therefore, students all across Boston were struggling to find something to occupy themselves with. Picture that; a city filled with intelligent young people who have so much potential, but no way to express that because they were struggling to find jobs.

On top of that, students are learning a number of skills from working with these businesses that they will be able to put on their college application. This age is quite a struggle because 15-18 is the time when students would seriously be thinking about college. It seems like their world is rushing them to find what they want to do for the rest of their life and urging them to beef up their college application so that they would be able to get into colleges. Changes are happening so many students can feel like they are unprepared skillfully and/or mentally and their world in spinning. However, working in the summer not only gives them a taste of a certain field without committing to it completely, but also gives them experience that many colleges will appreciate.

jessi250-150x150Are you interested in learning more about leadership opportunities? The Boston Public Library, Teen Central has a Teen Leadership Council that meets monthly in Teen Central and there is a job help page that provides information on  job opportunities, volunteer and internship opportunities.

Need a library card? Wondering how long you can borrow a book? Borrowing and Circulation information can be found here.

*”Teens Leading in the Community” features interviews and stories about teens leading in their communities by Jessi, the Teen Services Team Leader, Central, on the third Tuesday of every month.

Cooking with Caren: Marshmallow Treats

Posted on August 13th, 2016 by crosales@private.bpl.org in Teen Services


5 Steps to Perfect Marshmallow Treats!


1. Melt 1/2 cup of butter in large sauce pan over low heat.


2. Add 8 cups of mini marshmallows and stir until melted and well-blended.  Cook 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.


3. Add 10 cups of cereal. Stir until well coated.


4. Using a buttered spatula or waxed paper, press mixture evenly and firmly in buttered 13 x 9 inch pan.


5. Cut into 2 x 2 inch squares when cool.



Recipe courtesy of: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/9959/marshmallow-treats/

icon of carenAre you still looking for more recipes? The Boston Public Library has a huge collection of cookbooks that you can browse, check out and take home.

Need a library card? Wondering how long you can borrow a book? Borrowing and Circulation information can be found here.


*”Cooking with Caren” features recipe posts by Caren, the Teen Librarian at the Mattapan Branch, on the second Friday of every month.