My sister-in-law gives the best presents. One year she gave me a milk frother and I’ve used it practically every day since.
This year she told me about the gift she gave her husband and I’m telling you — we all need to steal this idea! 📚
Her husband, my brother-in-law, is an architect and designer. He has a great minimalist sensibility. Below is a photo of the backyard of their home that he remodeled. Notice the footrest in front of the butterfly chair. It’s a used fireplace grate with a block of wood on top. I love that upcycled detail! You can learn more about him and his projects at Big Fish Design. He doesn’t have an Instagram account unfortunately but I hear his daughters are working on him to create one. 😉
So anyway my sister-in-law knows her husband well. She knows what he likes and what he doesn’t like. Her first thought was to buy him some gorgeous design books — but he’s a minimalist kinda guy. If she got a book he didn’t love he might feel obliged to keep it. What she decided to do instead was to borrow a pile of books from the public library and give it to him as a gift!
She curated a stack of hard-to-find architecture and design books (some through Interlibrary loan), then she wrapped them up and included the due date on the card. She arranged it so he got plenty of quiet time to enjoy them before they needed to be returned.
I mean … Genius, right?! Can we all do this for Christmas 2020?!
Think about roaming the stacks of your local library with a loved one in mind. It’s such a great exercise to think of a person you love and what they might like and then create a stack of library books that you think they might appreciate. And to take it one step further and get hard to find books from a college library through interlibrary loan is genius!
The only thing this idea needs is a good hashtag. Any suggestions? How about #libraryxmas or #checkoutxmas 🎄📚
A friend reminded me of this old blog post. At the time I wrote it, it was the most popular blog post I had ever written. It got a lot of hits because it was shared by a popular Daddy blogger, Daddy Types.com. My boys are now teenagers. I still occasionally lay out a book trap. Recently, I laid out a library book about Steinberg on the dining room table. I didn’t catch anything. I’ll keep trying.
I am an avid reader of SwissMiss. I especially appreciate her Friday Pack Link. It’s always a well curated list of fresh things that I haven’t seen before. This past Friday I saw this teaser below.
– The Overprotected Kid: A preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery—without making it safer. A new kind of playground points to a better solution.
I followed the link over to the article in the Atlantic. It’s about a new kind of playground taking hold in the UK called “the Land” that allows for risky play.
It looks like a documentary is being made about the Land. The director, Erin Davis, lives in Vermont. Wouldn’t it be great if this documentary could be screened at the New Hampshire Film Festival in October 2014? It could inspire a Land playground on the Seacoast!
The best part of this whole story is that I shared the Atlantic article on FB, and my Aunt Hep (by marriage) emailed me the message and photos below. Talk about inspiring.
Hi Jen, I was interested in your Facebook posting about playground ideas, and thought you might be entertained with photos of a playground we built at the local elementary school in 1972. Our parent teacher group had $600 to spend and found that we could buy one slide, so we decided to go DIY. We solicited materials from the town DPW and got lots of retired power poles, used tires and one nice piece of conduit pipe. We had a meeting where people could make hands on designs from bits of dowel, O rings and other stuff. Once designs were selected, the designer was captain of the team to build his or her item. We had a work day. We were lucky that the town had dumped swept up road sand in the area for years, so it was an easy surface to build on. After everything was built, we had another work day to paint the poles in order to minimize splinters. All ages pitched in that day. Money was spent on paint and metal rods plus the balance beam which was good lumber. The playground lasted about 20 years. xox Hep
Just look at these pictures.
The balance beam is my favorite. I CLEARLY remember making my own balance beam in my yard when I was a kid. I made it with found cement blocks and a plank of wood. I imagined I was practicing my Olympic routine, over and over and over again. I remember it as clear as day.