CreativeU at Douglas County Libraries


Looking for ways to get inspired, learn a new craft, find a new hobby, relax and make beautiful music? Time to take a break from the daily grind and get creative. During the month of April, Douglas County Libraries (DCL) is offering many events to help you get in touch with the arts and express your creative side.

Here are some of the events you’ll find at different branches across the district.



Lone Tree

Instrument Zoo
Saturday, April 1
No registration required

Kids can get their hands on a variety of musical instruments and experiment, courtesy of Swallow Hill Music. Ukuleles will be available for checkout after the event!

Kids’ Karaoke
Wednesday, April 12

Kids ages 6-12 can sing karaoke-style to some of their favorite Disney hits! Karaoke machines will be available for checkout after the program.

Cultural Arts Fair
Saturday, April 22

Grab a library “passport” and collect stamps by visiting different cultural exhibits around the library. Enjoy a variety of ethnic music and art, as well as “street food” (for purchase) inspired from global cuisines via a mobile eatery. Great for all ages!

Ships of the Sea
Saturday, April 29

Sunday, April 30

Set sail on learning about pirates, passages and ships throughout the ages. A great family event!

Ships of the Sea: Build Your Own Model Ship
Saturday, April 29
12-1:30PM: Register
2-3:30PM: Register

Kids 6-12 can build their own model ships with Rocky Mountain Shipwrights.

Castle Pines

Explore the Art of Improv
Tuesday, April 4, 4:30-5:30PM, Ages 8-12: Register
Tuesday, April 4, 6-7PM, Teens & Adults: Register

Whose line is it anyway? Yours! Jump out of your comfort zone and explore your inner silliness with this improv workshop taught by a certified theater instructor.

Explore the Art of Writing
Thursday, April 6

Thursday, April 13

Teens, grab your notebooks and pens and explore the art of writing with bestselling YA novelist Jessica Brody. Part one of this three-part series is already full, so register today to reserve your seat at one or both of these two sessions, which cover writing memorable settings and exciting plots. Brody’s books will also be sold at the event.

Explore Mehndi: The Delicate Art of Henna
Monday, April 17

Mehndi is the ancient art of adorning one’s skin with henna. Learn the history and techniques of applying henna, and adorn yourself with a beautiful henna design. Great for all ages!

Coloring Inside the Pines
Sunday, April 23

Enjoy adult coloring, community, conversation and snacks. Good for the mind and soul. Adults.


The Art of Spinning & Weaving
Monday, April 3

Kids 6-12 can explore spinning, weaving, and all things yarn through a hands-on presentation by Rocky Mountain Weavers Guild.

Hobby Speed Dating
Wednesday, April 5

Looking for a new hobby but not sure what fits? Teens and adults can spend an evening speed dating hobbies! Knitting, candy making, and other fun and interesting activities will be included.

Art Works With Clyfford Still
Tuesday, April 18

Learn about the artist behind the Clyfford Still Museum and create your own masterpiece in a professionally guided workshop. Adults.

Masters of Disguise
Saturday, April 29

Want to cosplay? Teens and adults can prep for cosplaying and costume making, learning tips and tricks from local experts.

Castle Rock – Philip S. Miller

Teen Photography Contest
Accepting Entries Through Wednesday, April 5!
Judging: Thursday, April 6-Sunday, April 30

Teens, enter your best photos through April 5 (see Teen Photo Contest Is Back for more info and rules). Judging begins April 6. All are invited to vote for your favorite images in the library and online!

Express Yourself Through Painting
Friday, April 28

Learn to paint — yes, even you can learn! A local artist will show you how. Adults.

Celebramos el Dia!
Sunday, April 30

Kids celebrate and explore diverse cultures and heritages through crafts, stories, dancing and more!


Express Your Creativity

Give yourself a creative spark all month long with these books and some surprising new items available for checkout at Douglas County Libraries (DCL).


Dyeing to Spin & Knit

by Felicia Lo
Fiber enthusiasts, get ready to be inspired. Fiber artists will learn the fundamentals of how color works, how to combine and coordinate colors, and how to control the results when dyeing wool and silk yarns and fibers. Spinners will learn how to subdue intense and bright colorways or prevent muddiness in handspun. Knitters will gain the knowledge to avoid or maximize the effects of pooling. Ignite your love of color — unapologetically! Looms and spinning wheels are available for checkout at DCL.


Play Ukulele Today! Starter Pack

by Barrett Tagliarino
Want to play the uke? Then this is the book for you! This complete guide to the basics contains everything you need to get started on the ukulele. It covers: songs, chords and melodies; picking, fingerpicking and strumming; playing tips and techniques; standard notation and tablature; and much more. Over 150 songs and examples are included. Have fun as you open the door to the world of ukulele! Check out a ukulele from DCL.


30-Minute Sewing

by Heather Love
Don’t have tons of time? No worries! In just 30 minutes you can use the instructions provided to create fun fashion, home accents, and hair accessories. Sewing machines are available for checkout, too!


Sewing Happiness

by Sanae Ishida
Sew your way to happiness. Twenty simple sewing projects are tied together with a thread of memoir that tells the story of how sewing brought the author profound happiness. Each seasonal project, specially designed to promote health, creativity, relationships and more, provides gentle inspiration to live your best life. Check out a sewing machine!


Tapestry Weaving

by Kirsten Glasbrook
Learn many techniques for weaving tapestries with these helpful step-by-step instructions. The book is great for beginners. Inspirational pictures of beautiful tapestries will inspire your creativity. DCL offers looms for checkout.


Epic Cosplay Costumes

by Kristie Good
If you are interested in cosplay or are just getting into cosplay, check out this book for some great ideas and designs. Presented in a kitschy, comic-book style, the book combines fantabulous illustrations with all the how-to information you need for creating your own cosplay designs. Whether you’re a hero, heroine, villain or sidekick, the author gives you the power to create the most talked-about designs!


Bold Expressive Painting

by Annie O’Brien Gonzales
Boldly go forth and paint! Learn tips and tricks on how to be expressive and embrace your creativity, whether using acrylics or oils. Break from tradition and learn to paint in a bold and modern way.


Leap Write In!

by Karen Benke
Practice your creative writing with these imaginative writing exercises and make your story known.


Teach Yourself Visually: Quilting

by Sonja Hakala
Check out this book to easily begin quilting, as it visually takes you through the steps of quilting. It’s amazing what you can do with two pieces of fabric and a layer of batting — the variety of quilts and quilting techniques is staggering. This guide introduces you to the essential skills you need to set off on your own quilting adventures. It walks you through everything from selecting fabrics to assembling blocks to binding the edges.


The Complete Photo Guide to Knitting

by Margaret Hubert
Grab your needles and get ready to knit your heart out. Looking for the perfect beginner’s book on knitting? This is it! This stitch guide is the ultimate knitting reference. A comprehensive how-to book about all aspects of knitting, you’ll be making scarves, hats, socks, mittens, sweaters, and other projects in no time!


Homemade Modern

by Ben Uyeda
Save money and still have a modern, stylish home with these home projects.


Paper Craft

by Jemma Fletcher
This easy visual guide will show you how to make beautiful handmade paper crafts that are great for gifts, cards, framed art, and more. The sky is the limit!


Crafting With Wood Pallets

by Becky Lamb
Upcycle with wood pallets to create unique décor and furniture for your home.


The Art of Mindful Origami

by Richard Chambers
Tackle two birds with one stone through the guidance in this book: Take a break to practice mindfulness, and make beautiful pieces of origami.


Crafting With Nature

by Amy Renea
Take a walk outside, enjoy a natural treasure hunt in beautiful Colorado surroundings, and then craft with nature. A beautiful and practical step-by-step guide to growing and gathering plants and using them to fill your life and home with natural homemade creations. The book offers an incredible collection of easy projects that use natural materials you can gather or grow and form into beautiful and useful crafts.


Knitting Mochimochi

by Anna Hrachovec
Learn how to make these super-cute characters that are very popular in Japan. They make great toys and gifts. And who doesn’t love toys? They make you smile, give you something to squeeze and hug, and even keep you company on the couch while watching TV. But could the toy be a couch, or an old-fashioned television? Is that too weird? Not if the toy is mochimochi, the strange knitted toys the author created after falling in love with the bizarre character designs that are popular in Japan.

Fun for the Family!


Sewing School

by Amie Petronis Plumley

Kid-friendly projects for learning and practicing sewing, no machine needed. These kid-tested projects require only minimal supervision and most can be made using simple hand stitches, so no sewing machine is required. The book helps little sewers develop their skills while sparking a passion that will last a lifetime.


Art Lab for Kids

by Susan Schwake
This book presents art lessons for art projects of varying styles, including drawing, printmaking, and mixed media. Master the art world with these quick and easy lessons.


Susan B. Anderson’s Kids’ Knitting Workshop

by Susan B. Anderson
Kids can start knitting right away using this easy beginner’s guide. This accessible introduction to knitting in the round includes easy-to-follow illustrated tutorials on techniques from casting on and binding off to joining colors to make stripes, and 17 progressively challenging knitting projects. Step-by-step text and photos that kids can read and follow on their own make it easy for kids to knit independently in no time!

The Finals! 2017 DCL March Book Madness

DCLMarchBookMadness_Bracket2017-final2The votes are in, and the finalists are set to face off in our 2017 March Book Madness. Your votes will determine this year’s champion! Will it be fantasy, or reality?

What are you waiting for? Vote now for your favorite!

The Finals!

Outta the Park Dogs & Brats

The 2017 baseball season is a week out and you know what that means: It’s time to step up to the plate for some great dogs and brats! Here are a few recipes to try until you can make it to your favorite ballpark concession, or check out this cookbook for Wieners Gone Wild.

Fiery Dogs


Vietnamese-Inspired Hot Dogs (via tbsp.)

Handful of your favorite chips
1/4 cup ketchup
2-3 tsp. sriracha sauce
2-3 tsp. honey, divided
1 tbsp. yellow mustard
1 tbsp. whole grain mustard
Pinch of jalapeno powder (or cayenne)
2 hot dogs or sausages
2 hot dog buns
Cilantro, for garnish
Pickled or fresh jalapenos, for garnish

Barbecue Pulled Pork Hot Dogs (via Dinners, Dishes & Desserts)

1 package hot dogs
1 package your choice pulled pork BBQ
1 package hot dog buns
1 16-oz. package coleslaw mix
1/2 cup mayo
2 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tbsp. sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Unbeatable Brats


Grilled Brats With Cherry Bacon Brussels Sprout Slaw (via Spiced)

1/4 cup dried cherries
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
8 oz. Brussels sprouts
1/4 cup bacon, cooked and crumbled
Bratwurst sausages, grilled
Hot dog buns

Jalapeno Beer Brats (via Spicy Southern Kitchen)

1 (19-oz.) package brats
2 medium sweet onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tbsp. butter
1 cup sauerkraut, drained well
5 slices Swiss cheese
2 jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced (or 1/4 cup pickled jalapeno slices, drained)
5 buns

Final 4: DCL March Book Madness

DCLMarchBookMadness_Bracket2017-4Your votes have been tallied and the final four in DCL’s March Book Madness are set! Which fantasy and reality novels will face off in the championship? Vote for your favorites today — and stay tuned!




2017 March Book Madness: Round 3


It’s Round 3 of DCL’s March Book Madness, and reality and fantasy are facing off. Who will win? You decide — vote for your favorites today!




2017 March Book Madness: Round 2


Here’s the second round of matchups for our 2017 DCL March Book Madness. Only one book can win! Will reality trump fantasy? Get your votes in.



Welcome, Spring Break!


Spring break is just over two weeks away. You still have plenty of time to make plans for an engaging, fun week with the family, whether you spend it indoors or out. Here are some ideas — and all you need for a good time is your library card!

Explore & Discover

  • Check Out Colorado! Stop by any Douglas County Libraries (DCL) location and check out a Colorado State Park pass and backpack for free, then visit any state park in our state and make your own adventure.
  • Reserve a free Adventure Pass to six local cultural institutions: Butterfly Pavilion; Clyfford Still Museum; Denver Firefighters Museum; Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys; Dinosaur Ridge; and History Colorado Center. There’s something for everyone!
  • Discover a geocache with the kids. This great family activity gets everyone outside and moving. And there’s no telling what treasures you’ll find!
  • Take a GPS tour of Denver with the kids. Alphabet Denver: A GPS Alphabet Hunt Book, by Kitty Migaki, is full of color photos of the ABCs found in downtown Denver architecture. Every letter has a GPS code to encourage people to visit each letter in person. Simply use a smartphone or hand-held GPS to find the letters, which fall mostly between the Denver Art Museum and Coors Field.

Learn Something New

  • Did you know DCL offers sewing machine checkouts? Check one out, along with books on sewing projects for kids (or find a YouTube video), and get crafty!
  • Start a garden. The kids will love digging in the dirt and then watching their seedlings grow. You can check out a number of how-to books for getting your garden going and growing!

Get Creative

  • Our branches in Lone Tree, Castle Pines and Parker feature Everbright walls — life-size Lite-Brite-inspired light grids that can be manipulated to create colorful, artistic designs. Stop by and play! Then share your masterpiece with us on social media using the hashtag #IMadeThisatDCL.
  • Reserve time at the Parker Recording Studio to record an e-book featuring your children’s voices, or have fun with the green screen and make a video you can share with the whole family!


  • Who wouldn’t want to make cupcakes? Tie on the aprons, break out the cookbooks, and whip up some confectionary delights!

If you’re traveling over break, load your tablet with great kids’ magazinese-books and audiobooks for the journey. Keep the younger tykes entertained with talking picture books and fun games through Tumblebooks.

Happy trails!

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!



“From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere.” – One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss




Dr. Seuss’ birthday is March 2, and there’s no better way to celebrate the man who authored 46 fanciful children’s books than by embracing your inner child. You can celebrate with the kids at home or happily on your own, during a storm and then again once it’s warm, in the park or even after dark. You can celebrate here, there, everywhere! It’s not Dr. Seuss, I’ll grant you that, but you get the idea.

Here are some other ideas.

Read, Watch & More!

  • Dr. Seuss Day is also known as Read Across America Day. After all, his books inspired a love of reading in generations of readers around the world. Embark on a Dr. Seuss read-a-thon with your kids. You can find some classics in our catalog or download an e-book or audiobook from OverDrive.
  • Watch your favorite Seuss-inspired films, complete with Seussational snacks (below).
  • Pop into our Highlands Ranch branch for an array of Seuss-themed games and activities all day, including tic-tac-toe, coloring and more!
  • Dress up as a Dr. Seuss character. Pick your favorite — there are so many to choose from!
  • Talk in rhyme all day long.
  •  Want more ideas?

Crafts & Snacks

Cat in the Hat Blog

Cat in the Hat Hat

Who doesn’t love that mischievous cat? The best part of making this hat is that it’s wearable, too!


Materials needed: a cardboard tube, red and white yarn, white foam sheet, school glue, and scissors


Cat in the Hat Snack

This edible craft is perfect for little ones who want to help, or make it yourself when you’re craving something sweet and whimsical. (You could also try this healthier option from Spaceships and Laser Beams.)

10 Oreo cookies
20 marshmallows
1/2 cup white frosting
Red sprinkles


The Lorax Paper Plate Craft

Children’s books make learning fun, and The Lorax has important lessons to share. Craft time with the kids is just one more opportunity to talk about this fable-like story.


Materials needed: Paper plate, orange paint, large googly eyes, orange pom-pom, yellow construction paper, paint brush, glue, scissors

DIY Mustache on a Stick

Dr. Seuss Day should be full of whimsy, like the author’s stories and colorful characters. Take the Lorax craft project above a step further by making a bushy, yellow Lorax mustache that you can pull out and “wear” whenever the quirky inspiration strikes. The whole family can have fun with this craft.

Materials needed: Mustache template (easily found by Googling “Lorax mustache template”), white foam sheet, scissors, wooden dowel, yellow and white paint, paint brush, glue


Green Eggs & Ham Pretzel Snack

This snack is just as easy to enjoy anywhere and with anyone as Sam I Am’s green eggs and ham. Only they’re sweet. And salty. And easy to make!
Tiny twist pretzels
White melting wafers
Green Sixlets
A cookie sheet
Wax paper or aluminum foil

Now Featuring: Colorado-Inspired Adventure

Looking for ideas on how to celebrate Colorado? These books are sure to encourage your adventurous spirit, ignite your curiosity, and inspire family fun.


Colorado’s Quiet Winter Trails

by Dave Muller
Describes in detail 99 Colorado trails where snowmobiles are forbidden by state or federal regulation or where the terrain makes snowmobiling simply not worth the effort. If you are seeking a serene outing, this is the guidebook for you.


Snowshoe Routes: Colorado’s Front Range

by Alan Apt

Apt has wandered the Front Range for over 30 years. Take advantage of his detailed knowledge of the trails that will safely transport you, friends and family into winter’s backcountry. The book includes a buyer’s and renter’s guide that will help you pick a pair of appropriate snowshoes, as well as safety checklists, so you’ll know what to bring and wear. It also includes suggestions for staying warm, so you can truly enjoy your day on the snow.



Want to try your skills at snowshoeing? Check out a pair and head to the high country or your local snowy trail! DCL has adult and youth sizes.





Colorado Adventure Guide

by Charlie Nuttelman
The book is chock full of information related to navigation, equipment, safety, and outdoor ethics for hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing, trail running, cross-country ski touring, and backpacking in northern Colorado. It includes over 460 pages with full-color photographs, 88 detailed area maps with mileages and elevations, and more than 500 accurate, tested route descriptions.


The Colorado Gardener’s Companion: An Insider’s Guide to Gardening in the Centennial State

by Jodi B. Torpey
The Colorado Gardener’s Companion is your guide to cultivating a successful garden in the Centennial State. Whether you are an experienced green thumb or an inquiring novice, and whether you live in the mountains, on the Western Slope, along the Front Range, or on the Eastern Plains, this easy-to-understand guide will help you grow bountiful vegetables, abundant flowers, and lush lawns.



Rodale’s Basic Organic Gardening

by Deborah Martin
General garden-building skills and specific techniques are presented in growing-season order — from garden planning and planting to growing and harvesting. Many other need-to-know topics like soil, compost, seeds, pest control and weeds are explained in simple language to ensure success, even on a small scale, on the first try. This book is everything beginning gardeners (or those new to organic gardening) need to get a garden growing and keep it going strong all season.


America, Farm to Table: Simple, Delicious Recipes Celebrating Local Farmers

by Mario Batali
Bestselling author and world-renowned chef Mario Batali pays homage to the American farmer — from Maine to Colorado to Los Angeles — in stories, photos and recipes.


The Homegrown Paleo Cookbook

by Diana Rodgers
This unique book is a three-in-one treasure trove: cookbook, grower’s guide, and selection of unplugged living tips. It’s a must-have for anyone looking to have a closer connection to how healthy food is produced.


Murder at the Brown Palace: A True Story of Seduction and Betrayal

by Dick Kreck

On May 24, 1911, one of the most notorious murders in Denver’s history occurred. The riveting tale involves high society, adultery, drugs, multiple murder, and more, all set in Denver’s grand old hotel, the Brown Palace.



GoPro Cameras

by Chad Fahs

Shoot, edit and share action-packed video with a GoPro. This book helps users understand the basics of correctly operating, mounting and caring for this camera in all types of environments.


Check out a GoPro at DCL, and capture your epic moments!






Beer Pairing: The Essential Guide From the Pairing Pros

by Julia Herz
Beer has reclaimed its place at the dinner table. Yet unlike wine, there aren’t many in-depth resources to guide both beginners and beer geeks for pairing beer with food. This book changes that. As you start your journey, you’ll learn all about the effects aroma, taste, preference, and personal experience can have on flavor.


Colorado Excursions With History, Hikes and Hops

by Ed Sealover
Colorado is replete with natural beauty, award-winning breweries, and a history that reflects its wild and rugged character. Sealover offers this detailed guide to 10 three-day excursions full of nature, history, and unique watering holes.


The Backyard Beekeeper

by Kim Flottum
This book makes the time-honored and complex tradition of beekeeping an enjoyable and accessible backyard pastime that will appeal to gardeners, crafters and cooks everywhere.


Victory Gardens for Bees

by Lori Weidenhammer
This book investigates the growing problem of bee mortality and offers practical measures we can all take to help. Planning a bee-friendly space can provide a beautiful and bountiful selection of edible crops, native plants, and fragrant ornamentals, as well as herbs that have medicinal properties for both pollinators and people.


Climbing Colorado’s Fourteeners

by Chris Meehan
Taking on one of Colorado’s 53 fourteeners — from stately Longs Peak and the iconic Maroon Bells to the easy-to-access Mount Bierstadt — is becoming a pilgrimage for Colorado residents and visitors. Meehan gets you excited about climbing a 14er in this book, which is full of good information about each mountain and its surrounding areas.


How to Puzzle Cache

by Cully Long
Faced with a map full of blue question marks and no idea where to start? Geocaching novices and pros alike are often daunted by puzzle and mystery caches. This book will help you ask — and get answers to — all the right questions. It includes over 300 pages of lessons, tips, tricks and hints for dealing with even the trickiest puzzle caches.
Yes, you’ve got your smartphone, but a dedicated GPS device has many advantages when adventuring outdoors. Check one out from DCL to help find your cache!


Geocaching: Basic Beginner’s Guide

by Vince Migliore
This step-by-step beginner’s guide will help you get started in the hobby of geocaching. It features clear procedures in simple terms for those not familiar with the hobby. Photos and illustrations help guide you, from an introduction to registering with and on to finding your first caches.

Fun Books for Families & Kids


Rocky’s Outdoor Adventure: A Story About Colorado

by Colleen Dolphin
Young readers are introduced to the state of Colorado through stories about the state animal on a big adventure. This book is a great way to explore Colorado when preparing for a school report or family vacation.


A, B, See Colorado: An Alphabet Book of the Centennial State

by Claudia Cangilla McAdam
Learn about Colorado locations through the book’s alphabetical arrangement, featuring photography of Colorado. The book includes maps and descriptions of locations, a glossary, and learning activities.


Alphabet Denver: A GPS Alphabet Hunt Book

by Kitty Migaki
This book is full of color photos of the ABCs found in downtown Denver architecture. Every letter has a GPS code to encourage people to visit each letter in person. You can use a smartphone or hand-held GPS (available for checkout at DCL) to find the letters. Most of the letters can be found between the Denver Art Museum and Coors Field, with a few a little farther away. What a fun activity to do with the whole family!


The Kid’s Guide to Denver, Boulder & Colorado’s Ski Country

by Eileen Ogintz
Before you plan your family’s next excursion, get some help from a travel professional … and your kids! This guide to Denver and Boulder lets the kids help with trip planning and guides you in exploring these Colorado destinations. Along the way, your kids will be engaged by reading and sharing fun facts and cool travel tips. Awesome games and quizzes will keep the family entertained.