Art @ Your Library

Picture 2.jpgMeet Christine Thornton, art teacher, studio owner, wife and mom. She began her career as a school art teacher but now teaches art lessons at her home studio and also at libraries throughout the Chicago area. She started as many of you have – enjoying all kinds of art like drawing, painting, sculpting, making jewelry, you name it!

Christine frequently visits Fountaindale Public Library District to lead painting and drawing programs for teens and for adults. This month, she’ll return to the Vortex for How to Draw Mexican Sugar Skulls. She’ll give a brief slideshow about Día de Muertos, the Mexican Day of the Dead and the traditional of sugar skulls or decorated skulls as a part of Día de Muertos celebrations and altars. Then, she’ll be on hand to guide program attendees in drawing their own colorful skulls.

Here’s some photos from last years event!

Register here!

Beauty Tips: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Nail Polish

I absolutely promise Sally Hansen hasn’t paid me to write this! I just love this brand so much. I haven’t done my nails for yeaaaaaars because I’m way too impatient waiting for nail polish to dry. That’s not even including adding a clear coat to make sure it lasts a while!

A few months ago though, I was getting married and wanted to at least have pretty nails, even if it did take forever to dry. I found the peeeeeerfect color with Sally Hansen’s Quick Dri (Set-Sail), it was on clearance, and I thought hey, why not. Cheap and it claims to be fast! We’ll see Sally Hansen, we’ll see. <squinty Leonardo Dicaprio face.jpg>

Imagine my surprise that it did, indeed DRY FAST. It dries within like 5-10 minutes and I’m able to do things with my hands without messing it up. It also only took one coat! Even better! And matched my dress! Ahhh! Perfect!


So if you’re like me, you like having your nails painted, but don’t want to dedicate a ton of time waiting for it to dry (I got video games to play, dagnabbit), give Sally Hansen’s Insta-Dri brand a shot. They have a decent amount of colors, and is sold at Meijer and Target. (Those are the stores I’ve encountered it at, at least. May be found at more places!)   

It’ll be perfect Prom coming up later this Spring and even earlier, our Host Cafe on April 14! We’ll have maids and butlers here to entertain you with board and card games while you nosh on some delicious treats. Sign up here!

Need decorating ideas for your quickly dried nails? Check out our collection of books as well, on the third floor!

Feeling Blue?

There are moments in everyone’s day when they just need to hear something positive, something reassuring, something encouraging – just something *nice.*  


Art by Gemma Correll

Hopefully, when you fall into one of these prickly moments, you have someone nearby who can remind you that you are a phenomenal, little nugget of joy and awesomeness who deserves all the best things in the world. However, if you’re alone or just not in a place where anyone can give you that reminder, I suggest checking out some Positive Doodles.

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Artist Unknown

Emm Roy creates adorable drawings of friendly animals sending you warm-hearted messages of strength and affirmation.  It’s nearly impossible to feel horrible when looking at a chubby, little dragon urging you not to give up!

Here are a few of my favorites!

And, you can always check out Emm’s work and more on her tumblr!




Totally JAWSome Art!

Holy Mackerel, guys!

In honor of Shark Week, we challenged our grouper of teens to a shark-themed coloring contest and y’all dove right in without a cage!

We received 19 entries and they were all super sharp and creative! Sea for yourself!

It was a gilly hard decision.  I love all the details and colors and shading and patterns and occasionally even glitter!  The final judgment came down to neatness and attention to detail.

And the winner is…


Congratulations to our chomper Champ!




Fandoms, Fandoms, and More Fandoms

This month’s book displays here in the Vortex have inspired me!  

Our large display features books about music and musicians – both fictional and real.  Our smaller display, though, is all about the fans – those hordes of ridiculous, screaming, out-of-control lunatics that keep the musicians, actors, writers, performers, and other artists in business.  

Whether you consider yourself a Fan, Geek, Potterhead, Otaku, Trekkie, Whovian, Scooby, Browncoat, Twihard, Brony, Furry, Jedi, Sherlockian, Throner, Gamer, Sports Fan, or just a person who likes a thing, we all have that thing we obsess over that makes our life just a little bit shinier.

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I confess: I too am a fan.  Here is a short list of the People and Things Who Make Me Squee.

Image result for jim hensonJim Henson and anything he created –

From the floppy-mouthed proto-Kermit of his early coffee commercials to his amazing avant garde graphic novel, Tale of Sand, from The Muppet Show to The Dark Crystal, Jim Henson’s art has always had the ability to grab my imagination and my heart and not let go.

Neil Gaiman –

Coraline.  The Graveyard Book.  American Gods.  Stardust.  Anansi Boys.  Sandman.  Good Omens.  Dr. Who episodes….  Squee, Squee, SQUEE!  Neil Gaiman is a hilarious, well-spoken, intelligent bloke with an amazing talent for the macabre and bizarre!

Amanda Palmer –

Amanda Palmer is a musician, performance artist, and author.  She is amazeballs.  Her heart-wrenching lyrics and the gut-wrenching emotion she displays while pounding away on a piano or shredding a ukelele remind me that there is still something real and pure and beautiful in the world.  (Fun Fact: Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman were married in 2011

Image result for ursula vernon kevin sonneyUrsula Vernon – 

I don’t even know how to describe Ursula Vernon.  She’s an artist and author and the characters she creates are both cute and cuddly and strong and powerful.  Actually, that’s a pretty good way to describe Ursula herself.  I have had the honor of meeting her several times and even going out to dinner with her and her husband.  She’s brilliant.  Seriously, go read her stuff.

Star Trek: The Next Generation –

Image result for cast of st tngST:TNG was my gateway fandom.  I started watching it in middle school and it took me from being a quiet, bookish kid to being a full-on Fan.  It was my entryway to other science-fiction like Star Wars, Dr. Who, Ray Bradbury, Babylon 5, Isaac Asimov, Firefly, and so many phenomenally geeky fandoms!  Despite its flaws, I will always have a special place in my heart for the crew of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701 D).

Image result for steven universeSteven Universe –

“Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl… AND STEVEN!”  Steven Universe is kinda wacky, kinda random, kinda bizarre, and 100 % fabulous!  I love the music, the joy, the epic battles, the pink lion, the crazy creatures,  and especially the characters!  (Tara +Amethyst=BFF!!  <3)  I even did my very first cosplay as Steven!


If you like these fandoms, AWESOME!  Come talk to me in the Vortex and we can swap stories!  If you like other fandoms, that’s great too!  Come talk to me in the Vortex and we can still swap stories!