Upcoming Programming

2023-09-15 08:04:03

Upcoming Programs:


The Healing Process of Art


Jenny Bledsoe's beautiful art display here in the library has been lifting our spirits since early January! On Wednesday, February 28 at 2:00, Jenny will be sharing how she got started making these wonderful pieces and the effect making them has had on her health and well-being.  She will also share her process in creating these pieces.


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Art Display ~ by Jenny Bledsoe

Come to the library in January and February to admire our display of beautiful artwork by local artist Jenny Bledsoe! Jenny uses found and recycled materials, as well as various art mediums, to create her unique and inspiring pieces.

Thank you, Jenny, for sharing your talents with us!


Jenny has shared these thoughts about herself and her creative process:

"For as long as I can remember, I have been a maker. Creating something, anything, has always been a part of me. I try to create things from objects that have already been placed here for one purpose, then turn those objects into something new to serve an entirely different purpose. I am mindful to adopt the wisdom of the three R’s of “reduce, reuse, recycle” where we reduce our consumption, reuse useful items and recycle materials to keep them out of our landfills. So instead of purchasing new items, you will find me picking and thrifting from garage sales, thrift stores and marketplace to find frames for my art projects and small pieces of décor and furniture to transform.

The art style that has been catapulting me forward is new to me. After retiring from my position as a library director, I was inspired by something I saw. This particular piece was created with fabric, but I ran with the general idea and started to frantically create pieces of my own. My process begins, not with an idea of what I will create, but rather a background. The pieces that I have chosen to display at the Traer Public Library are mostly multi-layered pieces that have been created using canvas and cracker or cereal box cardboard to fit into a particular frame. My process begins with a paint “scraping” method to blend the background into a “wallpaper” type look. A small cardboard piece, (a scraper) and a brayer are used to create the background just how I want it. My fingers act as one of my best tools and will do much of the rubbing, smearing and smudging to achieve a somewhat grungy effect until the background feels complete. Other pieces of my process are stencils, tissue paper, bubble wrap, coffee filters, torn pieces of papers, paper bags, modeling paste, charcoal, colored pencil and my own created blended papers. Each piece is done using a layering process that takes anywhere from two days to two weeks to complete. I keep my supplies handy and create at the dining table where my overwintered plants and nature are in view and my cat keeps me company. I find that when all my supplies get tucked away, my creative flow gets tucked away with it. So, it all remains front and center on the table (except for game playing and family gatherings). Here in this cozy space, I can listen to music, podcasts and the many, many books that are constantly on my list. With the exception of three pieces, all the projects you will see in this library display have been created and completed in 2023.

The pieces I have selected will be presented at the beautiful Traer Library for the first time. As you peruse the display, you may spot a heart or two in each creation. The hearts represent the love of my family, the creating process itself and the healing that this process has brought into my life. My hope is that you enjoy viewing the display and that it brings a smile to your face and by observing my creations, they will evoke a reaction of inspiration.

Thank you to the Traer Library Director Diane and all of the wonderful staff for giving me this opportunity to share my art and heart in this presentation. Also I’d like to say thank you to my family and friends for their encouragement and authentic feedback."

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”   Edgar Degas

-Jenny Bledsoe, January 2024

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Advance Care Planning

On Wednesday, March 13 at 2:00, Dr. Rhiannon Talbot, DO will be speaking to us about Advance Care Planning and Palliative Care. Dr. Talbot is Laurie's neice, and is an Assistant Professor of Palliative Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Palliative Care is an extra layer of support for people dealing with serious illness.  They specialize in managing discomfort from these illnesses and talking with people about how to make their medical care match up with what’s important in their lives.  This talk will focus on Advance Care Planning — how to make your wishes for your healthcare known in case you are unable to speak for yourself.”


Down & Dirty:

Attention Gardners! On Wednesday March 20 at 2:00, Laurie will be leading the first Down & Dirty program of the year! She will be sharing something interesting! Check back for more details.


"Pinterest Night" x 2!

On Monday, March 25, Laurie will be teaming up with Jenny Bledsoe to bring you not one, but two chances to craft! Choose from 2 classes:  3:00-4:30, or 5:30 - 7:00. Jenny will be walking you through creating your own piece of multi-media art for spring.  Stay tuned for more details!!


Rosie the Riveters of Iowa with Iowa Author Linda McCann

Iowa Author Linda McCann returns on Wednesday, March 27 at 2:00 with what is sure to be another interesting program. Linda will be talking about her latest book, Rosie the Riveters of Iowa.

Rosie the Riveter was a name given to the women who worked during WWII. The iconic World War II “Rosie the Riveter” poster featured a female factory worker in red polka-dot bandana flexing her bicep. Women were encouraged to step forward and do their part by going to work in traditionally male jobs.

Iowa had 70 factories with military contracts during the war. Linda was able to speak with 35 women who had worked as Rosie's, and shares their recollections in her book. Women worked in factories, packing plants, canning plants, clothing mills and more. They worked as riveters, welders, drill-press and lathe operators, inspectors and at other jobs.

Linda will bring Rosie books and her other books to sell after the program. The books are $20 each, and she can only take cash or checks.


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Past Programs:


Wed. Jan 10 - 2:00 Good Nutrition on a Budget: Spend Smart. Eat Smart w/ Cheryl Bruene ISU Extension
Wed. Jan 17 - 2:00 Winter Bird Watching with Raina Genaw - Tama County Naturalist
Wed. Jan 24 - 2:00 Coffee Talk w/ Tama Co Public Health nurse Beth Eberle
Wed. Jan 31 - 2:00 Maintain Your Brain Health w/ Cheryl Bruene ISU Extension
Wed. Feb 7 - 2:00 Tapping Trees & Making Syrup w/Bill Calderwood & Kevin Pecenka
Mon. Feb 12 - 5:00-7:00 Open House Meet & Greet w/ artist Jenny Bledsoe
Wed. Feb 14 - What's on Your Plate w/ Cheryl Bruene ISU Extension


Wed. Jan 11 - 2:00 Health Benefits of Massage Therapy with Kortlyn Frush, LMT
Fri. Jan 13, 20, 27  - 2:00 Watercolor Painting w/ Stephenie Bellwood
Wed. Jan 18 - 2:00 Coffee Klatch
Wed. Jan 25 - 2:00 Rock Painting with Connie Draper
Wed. Feb 1 - 12:00 Lunch & Learn w/ Laurie: Planning Your Garden
Wed. Feb 15 - 2:00 Coffee Klatch
Wed. Mar 1 - 12:00 Lunch & Learn w/ Laurie: Gardening Tips & Tools
Wed. Mar 8 - 2:00 Chiropractic & Acupuncture Care for Animals w/ Dr. Abbey Smith from NT Vet Clinic
Wed. Mar 15 - 12:00 Free Seed Giveaway
Wed. Mar 15 - 2:00 Coffee Klatch
Fri. Mar 17 - 2:00 Watercolors with Stephenie
Wed. Mar 22 - 2:00 Birdhouse Painting with Connie Draper
Wed. April 5 - 12:00 Container Gardening with Emily Doyle
Wed April 12 -2:00 Building a Raised Bed with Laurie & Stephenie
Sun. April 16 - 2:00 Traer's Apparel Through the Ages Fashion Show
Wed. April 19 - 2:00 Filling a Raised Bed with Laurie & Stephenie
Wed. May 10 - 2:00 Creative Crocheting w/ Sandra Hyde & Julie Creeden
Wed. May 17 - 2:00 Planting our Raised Bed Gardens w/ Laurie & Stephenie
Fri May 19 - 2:00 Watercolors with Stephenie
Wed. May 24 - 2:00 Sesquicentennial Highlights with Judy Morrison
Thurs. June 1 - 6:00 Lifespan Book Discussion with Rex McKee
Wed June 7 - 3:30 Garden Walks Laurie Schafer and Diane Wagner
Wed June 14 - 3:30 Garden Walk Emily Doyle
Thurs. June 15 - 6:00 Lifespan Book Discussion with Rex McKee
Wed June 21 - 3:30 Garden Walk @ Wilson Nature Preserve with Ned Vaughn
Fri June 23 - 2:00 Dr. Robert Keefer: The Relationship Between Hearing Loss and Alzheimer's
Wed June 28 - 3:30 Garden Walk Linda Gowdy & Suzie Reichmann
Wed July 5 - 3:30 Garden Walk Paul Wendt
Thurs. July 6 - 6:00 Lifespan Book Discussion with Rex McKee
Wed July 12 - 2:00 Felted Wool Fiber Art with Megan Hammer
Wed July 12 - 3:30 Garden Walk Donna Kersten
Tues July 18 - 7:00 at Taylor Park: Absolute Science Bubble Stations
Wed July 19 at 2:00 Coffee Talk w/ Tama County Public Health nurse Beth Eberle
Wed July 19 - 3:30 Garden Walk  Stephenie Bellwood & Barb Kopriva
Thurs. July 20 - 6:00 Lifespan Book Discussion with Rex McKee
Thurs. July 27 - 8:30am Garden Walk Elsa & Tony Weida and Donna DeBoef
Wed. Aug 30 - 2:00 Prisoners of War in Iowa with Linda McCann
Fri. Sept 1 - 2:00 - Watercolors with Stephenie
Wed. Sept 13 - 2:00 propagating African Violets with Cindy Weida
Fri. Sept 15 - 2:00 Homeschooling Support Group
Tues. Sept 19 - 2:00 English Paper Piecing with Cathy McFarland
Wed. Sept 20 - 12:00 - 5:00 Homemade Salsa Contest
Mon. Sept 25 - 3:30 & 5:30 Pinterest Night
Wed. Sept. 27 - 2:00 Coffee Talk w/ Tama Co Public Health nurse Beth Eberle
Wed. Oct. 11 - 2:00 Echoes in the Hallways with author James Kenyon
Wed. Oct 18 - 2:00 African Violets Hands-On Workshop with Cindy Weida
Wed. Oct 25 - 2:00 What Your Body Needs in your 50's, 60's and Beyond with Crystal Petersen, Dietician @ Grundy Co Hospital
Wed. Nov 8 - 2:00 Cooking with Fresh Herbs - Holly VanHeel w/ ISU Extension
Wed. Nov 29 - 2:00 Do You Hear What I Hear? Hearling Health with Deb Kloster
Fri. Dec 1 - 1:00-5:00 Holiday Happenings- sign up to win free book
Fri. Dec 1 - 5:30 Union Carolers
Sat Dec 2 - 10:00 Santa & Mrs Claus read Twas the Night Before Christmas, photos & Cookies to go
Wed. Dec 6 12:00-5:00  Oh Fudge! Christmas Fudge Contest
Thurs. Dec 7 - 7:00 Remember Pearl Harbor: Screening of "From the Battlefront to the Homefront: Iowa Broadcasters Go to War" with Jeff Stein, sponsored by Humanities Iowa and the American Legion Auxilliary #142


Thurs. Jan 27 - 2:00p Down & Dirty Gardening Group: Cheryl Bruene - starting seeds & container gardening
Thurs. Feb 3, 10, 17 2:00p Watercolor Classes w/ Stephenie Bellwood
Mon, Feb 14 - 2:00p You Decide: Keto and a Healthy Diet with Deb and Craig Gingrich
Thurs. Feb 24 - 5:30p Library Presents NT Speech Students **cancelled due to bad weather
Wed. Mar 2 - 12:00p Lunch & Learn Webinar w/ ISU Extension - Beekeeping
Wed. Mar 2, 9, 16 - 3:00p 5:00 Kids in the Kitchen Session 3
Mon. March 7 - 2:00p Elder Abuse Awareness and Prevention - Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging
Wed. March 9 - 5:30p-7:00 Sewing 101 with Heather Breja
Mon. Mar 14 - 2:00p Sign Language with Kathleen Keefer
Wed. Mar 16 - 12:00p Lunch & Learn Webinar W/ISU Extension - Monarch Habitat
Thurs. Mar 17 - 2:00p IowaWORKS program on Changes to Unemployment Benefits
Thurs. Mar 24 - 2:00p Rain Barrel Making with  Naturalist Brendan Kelly
Thurs. Mar 24 - 5:30p Watercolors 101 - Evening Edition
Tues. Mar 29 - 2:00p Living with Dementia - Featuring Kevin Dill, and Becoming a Dementia Friend with the Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging
Wed. Mar 30p Lunch & Learn Webinar w/ISA Extension - Planning a Cutting Garden
Thurs. Mar 31 - 6:00p My Publishing Journey with Sue Ewoldt, sharing her book Huxley and Howard
Mon. April 4 - 6:00p Genetic Genealogy: DNA & Family Trees with Judy Mitchell
Wed. Apr 6 - 12:00p Lunch & Learn Webinar W/ISU Extension - Landscaping: Planting Design Tips
Mon. April 11 - 2:00p Booking a VRBO w/ Cheryl Wauters
Wed. April 13 - 2:00p NEI3A - What Can our Agency Do for You?
Wed. Apr 20 - 12:00p Lunch & Learn Webinar W/ISU Extension - Landscaping: Planting Design Models
Wed. Apr 27 - 12:00p Lunch & Learn Webinar W/ISU Extension - Landscaping: Planting Design Graphics
Thurs. Apr 28 - 5:30 Watercolor Painting with Stephenie Bellwood
Wed. May 11 -2:00 Funeral Information for Today with Todd Kruse
Thurs. May 25 - 2:00 Making a Butterfly House w/ Brendan Kelly
Thurs. May 25 - 5:30 Watercolor Painting with Stephenie Bellwood
Wed June 8 - Garden Walk 3:30 Laurie Schafer
Thurs. June 9 - 7:00 Prepping and Preserving Produce with Laurie Schafer and Sharon Kern
Tues June 14 - 2:00 Summer Teen Bok Club
Wed June 15 - 4:30 Garden Walk Dennis & Kelly Deke
Tues. June 22 - 6:30 How Iowa Met Baseball with John Liepa
Thurs. June 23 - 3:30 Garden Walk Linda Gowdy & Suzie Reichmann
Thurs. June 23 - 5:30 Watercolor Painting with Stephenie Bellwood
Tues. June 28 - 2:00 Summer Teen Book Club
Wed. June 29 - 3;30 Garden Walk Adam & Elyse Clapp
Wed. July 13 - 2:00 Graphology, the study of Handwriting with Leesa Talbot
Wed. July 13 - 3:30 Garden Walk David Draper, Linda Peters, Connie Draper
Tues. Aug 19 - 7:00 Hillbilly Bob and Ol' Ruthie
Wed. Aug 20 - 3:30 Garden Walk Paul Price, Gayle Kucera, Vicki Pecenka
Wed. Aug 27 - 3:30 Garden Walk Emily Doyle
Wed. Aug 3 - 3:30 Garden Walk Cindy & Josh Youel
Sat. Aug 6 - 10:30 "Honey Heist" Tabletop Roleplaying Game w/Lily Jampoler
Mon. Aug 8 - 2:00 All Things Tomatoes w/ Laurie Schafer & Sharon Kern
Wed. Aug 10 - 3:30 Garden Walk David & Sandy Ingle
Thurs. Aug 11 - 7:00 Kevin Wood in Concert "Home, Sweet Home!"
Sat. Aug 13 - 10:30 "Crash Pandas" Tabletop Roleplaying Game w/Lily Jampoler
Sat. Aug 20 - 10:30 "Goblin Punks" Tabletop Roleplaying Game w/Lily Jampoler
Wed. Sept 14 - 2:00 Donna Kersten: Lakota Heirlooms and Artifacts
Mon. Sept 26 - 5:00 Pinterest Night! Rectangle Fall Barnwood Wreath
Wed. Sept 28 - 2:00 Linda McCann: Memories of the Civilian Conservation Corps
Mon. Oct 10 - 2:00 Rex & Phyllis McKee's Moose Hunt Experience
Wed. Oct 26 - 12:00 Ghoulish Goulash
Mon. Nov 14 - 2:00 Iowa Author Joseph LeValley - "Lessons Learned on my Journey to Becoming a Novelist"
Fri Dec 2 1:00-5:00 Holiday Happenings Open House
Fri Dec 2 5:30 Union Carolers in the Kupka Cultural Center
Sat Dec 3 10:00 Story Time, Cookies and Juice with Santa
Mon. Dec 12 2:00 Holiday Coffee & Cookies


Thurs., Jan 28 - 1:00p Down and Dirty Gardening Group: Buying seeds, which catalogs, stores or brands are your favorites
Thurs., Feb 25 - 1:00p Down and Dirty Gardening Group: Garden Layout and Companion Planting
Thurs., March 25 -  1:00p Down and Dirty Gardening Group: Planting seeds from last year's crops; marking your garden
Mon., April 19 - 6:00pm  Virtual COVID-19 Vaccine Informational Session via YouTube
Thurs., May 6 - 5:30p Pinterest Night "Wipe COVID From Your Shoes" welcome mat
June: Art Display - Linda Powell: Watercolor and acrylic painting; barn junk sculptures
Tues. June 15 – 4:00p Vicki Pecenka Garden Walk
Tues. June 22 – 4:00p Donna Kersten Garden Walk
Tues. June 29 – 4:00p Paul Wendt Garden Walk
Wed June 30 – 2:00p Yoga presentation by Ellen Stoakes
July: Art Display - David Draper: Santas
Tues. July 13 – 4:00p Lyla Whannel Garden Walk
Tues. July 20 – 4:00p Kathie Manfull Garden Walk
Tues. July 27 – 4:00p Ernie & Julie Cufr and Jared & Marilyn Bauch Garden Walk
Wed. July 28 – 11:00a Chiropractic Care and Common Ailments in the Older Population w/ Dr. Ashley Reid
August: Art Display- Patrons displayed what they've been busy creating at home during COVID
Mon. Aug 23 - 2:00 You Decide! Drinking Water options
Mon. Sept 13 - 2:00p Salsa Party! Salsa making demonstrations and tasting
Wed. Sept 29, Oct 13 & 27 - 3:00-5:00 Kids in the Kitchen Session 1
Wed. Oct 6  - 10:15 Coffee with a Cop - special Story Time program
Wed. Oct 20 - All Day Volunteer Appreciation Open House
Mon. Nov 1 - 5:30-7:00  Pinterest Night: Christmas or Winter painting on wood
Wed. Nov 3,10,17  - 3:00-5:00 Kids in the Kitchen Session 2
Mon. Nov 8 - 2:00 You Decide! "Milking it! - comparing different types of milk
Fri. Dec 3 - 5:00-6:00 Santa & Mrs. Claus greeting kids in Library
Fri. Dec 3 - 6:00 Santa reads Twas the Night Before Christmas from the outside balcony
Wed. Dec 22 - 3:00-4:30 Kids Gift Making


Thurs., Jan. 16 – 2:00p Debunking Diets with Crystal Petersen
Thurs., Jan. 23 – 5:30p Budgeting and Getting Control of your Finances Chris Schafer
Wed., Jan. 29 – 2:00p Dr. Ashley Reid Alternative Health
Wed., Feb. 5 – 2:00p You Decide ‘Milk vs Dark Chocolate’
Mon., Feb. 10 – 5:30p Boredom Buster Pork & Canvas
Thur., Feb. 13 – 2:00p How to Convince My Kids not to Put Me in the Nursing Home Nancy Martin
Fri., Feb. 21 – 10:00a-4:00p Pillow Party – Making Pillow cases for hospital Cynthia Drajna

Tuesday March 17 – Locked Doors because of Covid – unlocked May 18 but no programming


Saturday, January 12 – 10:00a Levi LaRue The Ins & Outs of Instagram
Thurs., Feb. 14 - 2.00 Laurie Jackson Prairie Reconstruction
Thursday, Feb. 27 - 2:00p Ashley Reid CBD Oil – does it work, is it legal
Thurs., Feb. 28 - 2:00p – Instant Pot Roundtable
Mon, March 4 - 5:30p– Blackhawk Co. Master Gardener – 10 Most Common Gardening Mistakes
Wed., March 6 – Carolyn Adophs Farmers Markets
Thursday, March 7-  5:30p Hello Spring Pinterest Night
Mon., March 11 5:30p Blackhawk County Master Gardener
Tues, March 13 - 5:30p Brian Mahoney Tree Grafting
Thurs., March 14 – 2:00p  AirFryer with Rosanne & Laurie
Tues., March 26 – 6:00p Trent Reedy NT Visiting Author
Mon., April 1 – 2:30p Diabetes with Tama County Health
Wed., April 3 – 2:00p Everything you Ever Wanted to Ask a Realtor with Julie Elliot
Sat., April 6 – 9:00a Fancy Nancy Tea Party & Fashion Show
Mon., April 8 - 2:30p Diabetes with Tama County Health
Mon., April 15 – 2:30p Diabetes with Tama County Health
Mon., April 22 - 2:30p Diabetes with Tama County Health
Wed., April 24 – 2:00p Paul Wendt Greenhouse Tour
Thurs., April 25 – 2:00p Wild Edibles with Logan Roberts
Mon., April 29 - 2:30p Diabetes with Tama County Health