High Five for Friday!

Another High Five for Friday!

I’m sharing the highlights of my week… five to be exact!  I love the idea of focusing on five little things that made me happy… definitely a fun way to recap the week and stay grateful.

The Amateur Librarian // H54FThe Amateur Librarian // H54F

 

1 – Mama Mia. It’s always great to see my mama, especially when she drives 5 hours just to go with me to another infusion and another CCFA program. And somehow she always leaves behind so much food – I’ve been eating home-cooked leftovers all week long!
2 – Progress. Our pile of dirt and rubble is starting to to take shape (even though it doesn’t look like it yet)… so exciting!
3 – Sorcery and Cecelia. Isn’t it funny how you can stumble upon a book you’ve never heard of before, and find out that it’s exactly in your wheelhouse and has umpteen 5-star reviews? Regency time period + epistolary structure + casual magic/fantasy + friendship hijinks = my cup of tea precisely!
4 – Neighborhood Geese. I promise I won’t start talking about working out every single week but… the weather has been so nice that Ive added after-dinner walks to my workouts, usually as an excuse to visit the geese at the pond down the street.
5 – Katie Squared. Caught up with another Katie-friend this week while she was in town for work… and the barista told us we were only 2 of 4 Katie’s so far that day, ha!

 …

#Nerdbery Update!

It’s been a year since I decided to start reading all the Newbery Medal winners and join in the Nerdbery Challenge via the Mr. Schu Reads blog.  So it seems like a good time for an update!
The Amateur Librarian // Newbery Medal Challenge
The main goal is to keep it stress-free: no time limit, no pressure to read every single book on the list, and no need to re-read books I’ve read before. I’m definitely enjoying more children’s lit in my reading diet, and although I’ve hit a couple duds, I’m definitely still committed to reading through the entire list. This challenge has also inspired me to read a few of the Newbery Honor books that didn’t get chosen for the medal – The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt was fantastic, and I just finished (and loved!) Princess Academy by Sharon Hale.
Right now I’m also reading Invincible Louisa from 1934, a book I remember reading for the first time in the 4th grade. I think that must’ve been the perfect age for most Newbery books, since I remember reading so many of them for the first time in Mrs. Yarbrough’s classroom.  So far it’s been a fun challenge!
Below is the updated list – 28 down, 65 to go!
(Titles are linked to my thoughts on the books I’ve reviewed, if you’re interested.)
2013: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
2012: Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos
2011: Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
2010: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
2009: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Dave McKean
2008: Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz
2007: The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron, illustrated by Matt Phelan
2006: Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins
2005: Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata
2004: The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo 
2003: Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi
2002: A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park
2001: A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck
2000: Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
1999: Holes by Louis Sachar
1998: Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
1997: The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg
1996: The Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman 
1995: Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
1994: The Giver by Lois Lowry
1993: Missing May by Cynthia Rylant
1992: Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
1991: Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
1990: Number the Stars by Lois Lowry 
1989: Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman
1988: Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman
1987: The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
1986: Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan 
1985: The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley
1984: Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
1983: Dicey’s Song by Cynthia Voigt
1982: A Visit to William Blake’s Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers by Nancy Willard
1981: Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson
1980: A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl’s Journal, 1830-1832 by Joan W. Blos 
1979: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
1978: Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
1977: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
1976: The Grey King by Susan Cooper
1975: M. C. Higgins, the Great by Virginia Hamilton
1974: The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox
1973: Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
1972: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien
1971: Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars
1970: Sounder by William H. Armstrong
1969: The High King by Lloyd Alexander
1968: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
1967: Up a Road Slowly by Irene Hunt
1966: I, Juan de Pareja by Elizabeth Borton de Trevino
1965: Shadow of a Bull by Maia Wojciechowska
1964: It’s Like This, Cat by Emily Neville
1963: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle 
1962: The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare
1961: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
1960: Onion John by Joseph Krumgold
1959: The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare 
1958: Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith
1957: Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen
1956: Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham
1955: The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong
1954: …And Now Miguel by Joseph Krumgold
1953: Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark
1952: Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes
1951: Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates
1950: The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli
1949: King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry
1948: The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois
1947: Miss Hickory by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey
1946: Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski
1945: Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson
1944: Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
1943: Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray
1942: The Matchlock Gun by Walter Edmonds
1941: Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry
1940: Daniel Boone by James Daugherty
1939: Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright
1938: The White Stag by Kate Seredy
1937: Roller Skates by Ruth Sawyer
1936: Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
1935: Dobry by Monica Shannon
1934: Invincible Louisa: The Story of the Author of Little Women by Cornelia Meigs
1933: Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze by Elizabeth Lewis
1932: Waterless Mountain by Laura Adams Armer
1931: The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Elizabeth Coatsworth 
1930: Hitty, Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field
1929: The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly
1928: Gay Neck, the Story of a Pigeon by Dhan Gopal Mukerji
1927: Smoky, the Cowhorse by Will James
1926: Shen of the Sea by Arthur Bowie Chrisman
1925: Tales from Silver Lands by Charles Finger
1924: The Dark Frigate by Charles Hawes
1923: The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
1922: The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem van Loon
Fun reading ahead!

WIP Wednesday

Not much going on this week, since I didn’t work on anything over the weekend, so here’s a quick update :)

 

Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch

Not sure I’ll pull this one off before the end of August (how is September next week already?!) but I love the little skunk and toadstools.

The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch

 

And that’s about it!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday on Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced

Nashville City Sights: CCFA Symposium (Again!)

Last November my parents drove up to attend the Nashville Patient Education Symposium hosted by Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), and another program was hosted this past weekend. My mom was able to come along, which is always helpful to have another pair of ears to process the information. These education programs are always a good chance to catch up with the world of Crohn’s and see presentations by some of my doctors at Vanderbilt’s IBD Clinic. It’s good to see them outside of the doctor’s office… and a reminder that I’m getting really great care from the best in their field.
The Amateur Librarian // CCFA Education Program
Last November, I shared a few thoughts about life in remission, and it’s still true:
I’m in a stable remission these days, so it’s easy to forget the turmoil of the past few years when my health felt anything but stable… the symptoms, diagnosis, medications, surgeries, ostomy bag, infusions… it’s been a roller coaster at times. I’ve had to come to terms with the “chronic” part of Crohn’s, and I still deal with it every time I visit the doctor. But it was interesting to sit in the audience and learn more about it all, which is so different from sitting two feet away from my doctor in a tiny, uncomfortable room to talk about how my body is sabotaging itself. Lots of good information, mostly positive, and plenty of food for thought.
Deep remission is a good place to be in, and I’m starting to get excited about planning for the next few years, which is a success in itself since I used to feel like I would never again have the privilege of counting on good health. It’s still hard to let go of that feeling that everything could fall apart again, especially hearing from other patients who are in the thick of the disease and are struggling for remission, but I’m feeling hopeful after almost two years of good health. I’m lucky to have a great support system and doctors who know what they’re doing… there are no clear cut answers when it comes to health, but symposiums like the ones that CCFA hosts are a great place to start.
The Amateur Librarian // CCFA Nashville Symposium
Before and after the program, we spent the rest of our quick visit around home… cooked dinner in on Friday, stopped by the new neighborhood to see the progress on the new house, ate lots of free samples at Sam’s Club (we’re thinking of joining), and topped it off with dinner at Chuy’s.
The Amateur Librarian // CCFA Education Program
The Amateur Librarian // CCFA Education Program
The Amateur Librarian // CCFA Education Program
The Amateur Librarian // CCFA Education Program
The Amateur Librarian // CCFA Education Program
The Amateur Librarian // CCFA Education Program
The Amateur Librarian // CCFA Education Program
As always, the visit was too short… but it was nice to hang out with my mama for the weekend. She’s been by my side every step of the way from sickness to health and everywhere in between, and I don’t know how I could do it without her!
 More city sights coming soon as we explore the Nashville area!

Holly Jolly Stockings Giveaway Winner!

 Thanks for the comments over the weekend… and now it’s time to announce the winner… drum roll please…
The Amateur Librarian // Holly Jolly Stocking Pattern Giveaway!
The random number generator says the lucky winner is:
The Amateur Librarian // Holly Jolly Stocking Pattern Giveaway!
Comment #5, Tiruba Tuba! I hope Janis and Charlie love their new stockings!
The Amateur Librarian // Holly Jolly Stocking Pattern Giveaway!
Thanks for playing along, everyone, and thanks again to Lindsay for offering her pattern for this giveaway. (Don’t forget you can find it for sale here or get a free pattern by signing up for her newsletter here!)
:)

High Five for Friday!

Another High Five for Friday!

I’m sharing the highlights of my week… five to be exact!  I love the idea of focusing on five little things that made me happy… definitely a fun way to recap the week and stay grateful.

The Amateur Librarian // H54F The Amateur Librarian // H54F

1 – Show and Tell. The monthly Music City MQG meeting is always a highlight! It was great to hang out with the guild ladies for the Open Sew… and of course show & tell! (image via @tennjenny)
2 – Briar Rose. Jayne from MCMQG destashed some Briar Rose fat quarters and I was the lucky recipient! Can’t wait to cut into these lovelies – I love Heather Ross! (image via @twiggyandopal)
3 – Birchbox boxes. Happy mail is even happier when the packaging is so cute. Now that Birchbox does different designs each month, I can never let go of the boxes…
4 – Happy place. I usually run errands during my lunch break, and JoAnn’s is my favorite place to wander, even when I only need one thing (hand quilting thread).
5 – This Weekend. It’s not quite here yet… but I’ve been getting ready for it all week. My mama comes into town today, and tomorrow we’re going to another CCFA symposium.

 …

Holly Jolly Stockings + A Giveaway!

Guess who’s ready for the holidays early this year?! This girl.
It’s all thanks to Lindsay of  Lindsay Sews and Craft Buds!  I recently tested her new pattern, and now the Holly Jolly Stocking pattern has been released.
Stockings have been on my To-Make list for YEARS but every year I run out of time. Turns out that someone else’s deadline makes a big difference!
The Amateur Librarian // Holly Jolly Stocking Pattern Giveaway!
The pattern is super easy to read and understand, even before I saw the final polish. The best part – it takes maybe an hour to put one stocking together, and it’s reversible!
I made two stockings with contrasting red and green prints for the fronts and cuffs, with a text print on the contrasting side. Library book cards for me, of course! I’ve been on the hunt for a low volume computer-related print for hubby’s stocking, but for now this Cotton & Steel “word find” print works well.
I chose to quilt the stockings, but you can just as easily do without… or add embroidery, names, patchwork. etc. to customize it even more.
The Amateur Librarian // Holly Jolly Stocking Pattern Giveaway!
The Amateur Librarian // Holly Jolly Stocking Pattern Giveaway!
The Amateur Librarian // Holly Jolly Stocking Pattern Giveaway!
The Amateur Librarian // Holly Jolly Stocking Pattern Giveaway!
The Amateur Librarian // Holly Jolly Stocking Pattern Giveaway!
The Amateur Librarian // Holly Jolly Stocking Pattern Giveaway!
It was great to finally cross this off my list, and I’m sure we’ll use these stockings for years to come. My favorite part of holiday sewing is using the same pieces each year… and this Christmas will be extra special since it will be the first holiday in our first house.
The Amateur Librarian // Holly Jolly Stocking Pattern Giveaway!
And now for the fun part… Lindsay has generously offered a free pattern to give away to one of my readers! This is truly a beginner-level project that anyone with a sewing machine can follow for a beautiful result… so please leave a comment to enter and I’ll pick a winner on Monday. Thanks again to Lindsay! :)
I’m linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish Friday!

WIP Wednesday

Another weekly update on my current WIPs :)

Scrap Stars Mini Quilt

The top of this mini has come together and I just need to quilt it. I was thinking of hand quilting it but now I’m having second thoughts… or at least thinking of machine quilting a grid and maybe hand quilting the center blocks using the template provided.

The Amateur Librarian // Scrap Stars Mini Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Scrap Stars Mini Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Scrap Stars Mini Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Scrap Stars Mini Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Scrap Stars Mini Quilt

 

On Monday, I made a rainy trip to JoAnn’s to pick out some hand quilting thread on my lunch break… let’s see if I’m brave enough to attempt the hand quilting!

The Amateur Librarian // Scrap Stars Mini Quilt

Michael Miller Fabric Challenge

I started slicing and dicing the fat eighths for the Michael Miller fabric challenge and put together some patchwork and stripes this weekend during the Open Sew at the Music City MQG meeting. But now I’m a bit stuck… I didn’t really have a plan and intended to improv the design, but I’m not sure where to go next. Up close, it’s a bit blinding… I wish I had bought a solid color to accompany it – probably black – but for these challenges I like to try to only use what is provided. So I’m stepping back from this one for a couple weeks, and hopefully I’ll come up with a plan for it before the deadline.

 

The Amateur Librarian // Michael Miller Fabric Challenge

 

The Amateur Librarian // Michael Miller Fabric Challenge

 

The Amateur Librarian // Michael Miller Fabric Challenge

Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch

I’m only a few stitches into the August block, so hopefully I’ll finish before the end of the month. It doesn’t look like much right now… but eventually it will become a skunk and toadstools.

The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch

 

And that’s about it!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday on Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced

5th Blogiversary!

The 16th marked my fifth blogiversary… wow!  The past five years have chronicled my “adult” life… from starting as a newly married librarian, to my health saga with thyroid cancer and Crohn’s Disease, living in San Francisco for three years, way too many pictures of my cats, the move to Tennessee last year, and a new life in Franklin… whew! It’s been so much fun to keep up a blog this whole time with lots of adventures to look back on.

The Amateur Librarian // 5th Blogiversary

Just for fun, how about another annual bloggy survey?  I have to admit that this blogiversary snuck up on me, so I didn’t put together any prizes… but stay tuned because there just might be a giveaway later this week!

In the meantime, here are a few questions just for fun.  Answer them if you wish, no problem if you don’t…. you’ll only have my eternal love and gratitude if you do, no biggie!

As always, thanks so much for reading!!!!!

 Thanks for playing along… and Cheers to many more years :)

Meow Monday: Neighbor Cat

 

There’s a beautiful bushy-tailed cat that wanders the neighborhood freely. We can’t quite tell if he belongs to someone, but he definitely seems to be surviving just fine on his own. His coat is glossy, he’s friendly, and he doesn’t seem very hungry.

We know this, of course, because we brought him a snack. He seemed mildly interested in the food, but came closer for some polite petting first before eating. I named him Bosco.

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

Bosco used to show up at our front door just to make Cora and Tali crazy, but he hasn’t done that for a few months. These days we mostly see him hanging out in the parking lot and jumping into the bushes if any kids come near.

Now that we’re preparing to leave this neighborhood for a new one, I guess we’ll have to say goodbye to the neighborhood cat and everything else. But until then, our friend Bosco will be around.

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