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.

Image result for kaylee shiny

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!





Hey teens, there are still spots open in the Bird Nest Necklace craft program!


A perfect Mother’s Day gift for mom or someone who is always there for you! Using jewelry wire and pearl beads, we’ll create a pendant that looks like a bird’s nest. Necklace chain provided. For grades 6 – 12 only. Registration required.

You may register by going online at http://www.fountaindale.org, calling us at 630.685.4199 or by stopping in and seeing us at the Teen Services Desk in the Vortex.

— Hope to see you there!

Pencil Transformation Drawing Contest is underway for 4th-12th graders!

pencil transform examples

Pencil transformation drawings are drawings that take the shape/image of an actual pencil and use it in multiples and distortions to create the image of another object. Sound a bit tricky? Well, we think it’s pretty cool and we’d like to see what you artists out there can come up with. The image seen here is of samples we were able to find courtesy the Internet.

Artwork must follow the guideline of using pencils only as the object image and artwork needs to be no larger than 11 x 17 inches.  Submissions will be taken during the month of March along with an entry form which will be available at the Vortex desk beginning March 1. Last day for submission will be March 31st. Categories will be 4-6th grade, 7-9th grade and 10th-12th grade with a first place winner winning a prize in all categories.

We’d love to see what you can do!

– Carly T.