Author Archive: ladykatie32

Nashville City Sights: Wizard World Convention

This past weekend my company had a booth at the Wizard World Comic Con in Nashville. It was a looong weekend but so much fun!  I didn’t take too many pictures since I was mostly working, but of course I couldn’t resist a few.
Is it weird that my favorite moments were meeting a couple cute kittens that one man was fostering for the Humane Society and visiting the booth selling Sugar Bears (the “perfect pocket pet”)?? If there’s a small furry animal convention, sign me up!!
But I digress… here’s the photo dump!
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Wizard World Con
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Wizard World Con
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Wizard World Con
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Wizard World Con
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Wizard World Con
This kid saw another guy with a light saber and an epic battle commenced… it was pretty much the definition of adorkable.  You could just tell his day was made.
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Wizard World Con
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Wizard World Con
Sugar bears and kittens!
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Wizard World Con
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Wizard World Con
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Wizard World Con
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Wizard World Con
My view from behind the books…
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Wizard World Con
Our awesome tour bus!
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Wizard World Con
It was an exhausting weekend and I think we were all dragging by the last day… but I had a blast meeting lots of interesting people and enjoying the awesome costumes that walked by our booth.  See ya next year, Wizard World!
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Wizard World Con
Of course I celebrated with a bottle of wine… and a day off yesterday!
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Wizard World Con
 More city sights coming soon as we explore the Nashville area!

Meow Monday: Cats of Instagram, Part Sixteen

I had a crazy weekend working a booth at the Nashville Wizard World con for work – fun by exhausting!  I’m taking today off to recuperate, so here’s another Instagram update! This batch is from May and June… you can tell from the Once Upon a Time sampler progress!

BFFs

BFFs

 

Enjoying the May sunshine... and the first few stitches!

Enjoying the May sunshine… and the first few stitches!

 

Laundry Day

Laundry Day

 

Tali loves love.

Tali loves love.

 

Progress!

Progress!

 

Cora didn't want to look at the camera.

Cora didn’t want to look at the camera.

 

Tali loves rolling around in the pollen... sigh.

Tali loves rolling around in the pollen… sigh.

 

Almost done!

Almost done!

 

The Golden Hour

People/dog watching

 

The kitties love the screened porch!  But they get sad if they see us leave from the porch.

The kitties love the screened porch! But they get sad if they see us leave from the porch.

High Five for Friday!

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  and stay grateful.


The Amateur Librarian // H54FThe Amateur Librarian // H54F


1 – Bookmarks. I made bookmarks using the mini cross stitches from last weekend, and it’s been so fun to have them peeking out of the books I’ve been reading!
2 – Heather Ross.  I just finished Heather Ross’s memoir How to Catch a Frog, and got to meet her in Nashville at a book signing.  It was very cool – she’s so nice!  She even drew a mama kitty for me.
3 – Fall.  It’s officially Fall… so I got out the seasonal decorations over the weekend. I’m ready for the new season… bring on the holidays!
4 – Vest Refashion. I love my new vest – especially since the original jacket was destined for donation!
5 – 5. Jamberry. I tried out my first full Jamberry wrap, and it’s super cute! This one is called “Urban Lights.”

 …

I’m linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for H54F!

H54F

Project Pinterest: Cross Stitch Bookmarks

Another successful Pinterest project… I’m on a roll this week! I saw the very cutest bookmarks EVER from Hey Porkchop using her Frosted Pumpkin mini patterns and started trolling Pinterest for a tutorial… but I couldn’t find any that I liked at all. Most “cross stitch bookmarks” look pretty old fashioned, and that’s not the look I was going for. So I pinned the image from Hey Porkchop and spent lots of time studying it carefully… and then just made it up as i went along.
I really hope Amanda puts together a tutorial at some point, but in the meantime here’s my interpretation!
Cross Stitch Bookmarks
The Amateur Librarian // Cross Stitch Bookmarks
Time: A weekend… cross stitching takes a while!
Cost: Maybe $10
Supplies:
cross stitch supplies – pattern, floss, needle, aida cloth
gift tags or cardstock
sewing machine
optional embellishments: ribbon, stickers, scrapbook paper, hole puncher, etc.
Instructions:
I used scraps of leftover fabric to cross stitch some small designs. The lemonade is from Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery (no longer available), the flower totem is a freebie from Kitschy Digital, and the “A” initial is from a thrifted book of cross stitch samplers.
You’ve seen a few of these pics recently… and there are a few more of the procress:
The Amateur Librarian // Cross Stitch Bookmarks
The Amateur Librarian // Cross Stitch Bookmarks
The Amateur Librarian // Cross Stitch Bookmarks
The Amateur Librarian // Cross Stitch Bookmarks
The Amateur Librarian // Cross Stitch Bookmarks
The Amateur Librarian // Cross Stitch Bookmarks
Then the scary part… sewing the cross stitch onto paper… but it’s really not as bad as I was dreading! I chose some thin scrapbooking paper and sewed the cross stitched design right on top.  I tried to keep the lines as straight and evenly spaced as possible, but it’s not perfect. I lengthened the stitch to give as much leeway as possible, and used white thread so it blends in.  Then I trimmed the aida cloth to about 1/4-inch and pulled a few threads to fray them.
The Amateur Librarian // Cross Stitch Bookmarks
Then, let the embellishment begin!  I didn’t use any glue, just folded the scrapbook paper around the gift tag and fastened with stickers on the back.  For the bunting, I cut out triangles and sewed them directly to the gift tag.  Then added lots of stickers and a ribbon on top, and all done!
The Amateur Librarian // Cross Stitch Bookmarks
I found some gift tags I found at JoAnn’s, but if the design was too big I just made some out of cardstock.  I used the storebought tags as a template and traced the top part onto cardstock, then punched a hole at the top.
And of course you don’t have to cross stitch anything to make a cute bookmark… you can just decorate a gift tag with some paper, stickers, and a ribbon.
Here are some front and back pics of the bookmarks I made in an afternoon:
The Amateur Librarian // Cross Stitch Bookmarks
The Amateur Librarian // Cross Stitch Bookmarks
The Amateur Librarian // Cross Stitch Bookmarks
The Amateur Librarian // Cross Stitch Bookmarks
So much fun!! I had a blast making these.
I’ve been using a couple bookmarks and I’ll probably be making more… these just might be the presents everyone gets for Christmas this year!
The Amateur Librarian // Cross Stitch Bookmarks
The Amateur Librarian // Cross Stitch Bookmarks
The Amateur Librarian // Cross Stitch Bookmarks
 Once again, Pinterest to the rescue!

WIWW: September 14-20, 2014

Another week of What I Wore Wednesday!

 

The Amateur Librarian // What I Wore Wednesday

What I Wore Wednesday is my motivation for wearing the clothes I own, finding new ways to mix and match outfits, and not wearing the same three things all the time! I kept a fashion diary for the entire year of 2012, in 2013 I added a bit about my days to go along with the outfit, and I’m continuing the same tradition in 2014… So these weekly check-ins are a mini journal of my life too!

September 14

September 14

black + white striped top // Old Navy
refashioned puffer vest // Target
skinny jeans // Abercrombie & Fitch via eBay
flip flops // Old Navy
Loving the Fallish weather we’ve had for the past couple weeks… but I’m not ready to give up my flip flops yet!  This vest is actually a refashion – it used to be a jacket destined for donation! Sunday was a nice relaxed day to end the weekend, with time for some cross stitching, reading, and errands.
September 15

September 15

neon top with zipper detail // Target
multi-metal tassel necklace // Charming Charlie
black pants // Banana Republic
nude flats // PayLess
This top seemed a lot less neon online… but it was a $5 sale item so I can’t complain.  After a long day at work, I was in no mood to work out…. so instead, I read all night.  Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to lift a bad mood!
September 16

September 16

pleated mustard dress // Deep South Pout
sailboat pendant // GroopDealz
navy cardigan // Old Navy
floral print flats // eBay
I love a dress like this which can be worn through all the seasons – sleeveless in the summer, a cardigan in the fall, and tights in the winter.  I got back on the exercise bandwagon after work, and had the first of the Fall TV lineup premieres to look forward to… New Girl and Mindy Project, yay!
September 17

September 17

peplum top // Loft
tribal print infinity scarf // Everyday Icing
black skinny pants // Gap
black strap + cork wedges // PayLess
This top is super comfortable but I’ve always had trouble with elastic waistbands… when they don’t sit quite right it goes straight to frumpy very quickly. This top goes back and forth from my closet to the donation pile, but so far it keeps hanging on. It’s just so comfortable!  Another work day, another walk/run afterwards.
September 18

September 18

t-shirt print dress // thrifted
pearl bead necklace // gift
black dolman cardigan // Ann Taylor outlet
ankle boots // eBay
Another item that might be getting near the end of its lifetime… I love this dress, but it’s starting to look pretty pilled. Added some ankle boots as a nod to Fall… the weather hasn’t quite committed to the new season yet, but I’m ready!  After normal work day, another walk/run.
September 19

September 19

geometric print tunic // Kohl’s
skinny jeans // Old Navy via eBay
nude flats // PayLess
Another Casual Friday in the books, with a few errands in the afternoon. My office will have a booth at the Nashville Wizard World con next weekend, so we’ve been in a flurry to get prepared. TGIF!
September 20

September 20

polka dot dolman top // Anthropologie via eBay
geometric pendant // eBay
green skinny jeans // Old Navy
white flip flops // Old Navy
Lots of fun Saturday plans! I went to another Modern Quilt Guild meeting in the morning, and it was inspiring as usual. In the afternoon, I went to Anna Maria Horner’s studio in Nashville to see Heather Ross at her book signing. I’ve long been a fan of both their fabric designs, and I just finished Heather Ross’s memoir How to Catch a Frog, so… I was geeking out a bit!  Heather Ross was so nice and even drew a mama kitty in my book when she signed it.  That night we went to see Maze Runner – mostly because we were hankering for a movie and popcorn. It was pretty entertaining, though not amazing.  Good enough that I’ll probably stay tuned for the rest of the trilogy.  Fun day all around!

I’m linked up to The Pleated Poppy for WIWW!

Project Pinterest: Jacket to Vest Refashion

It’s officially Fall!  We’ve had some mildly chilly weather lately and I’m looking forward to more layers and more Fall weather to come!   My Style board on Pinterest is full of vests lately – here are a few of my favorites:
So I’ve been on the hunt for a vest, but my problem (as usual) is finding one that isn’t too big or bulky.  So far, no luck.  But when I stumbled on this jacket to vest refashion from one of my favorite style blogs Merrick’s Art, I pinned it right away and tucked it into the back of my mind:
Recently I’ve been trying to purge some of my clothes to get ready for Fall.  I started going through my jackets and realized I had the perfect candidate for a refashion:
The Amateur Librarian // Jacket to Vest Refashion
I immediately thought of this pin and got started!
Jacket to Vest Refashion
The Amateur Librarian // Jacket to Vest Refashion
Time: 30 minutes
Cost: Free
Supplies:
old jacket
sewing machine with matching thread
Instructions:
Follow this link to the tutorial from Merrick’s Art.  Her illustrations make everything seem really easy, although I definitely found the lack of specifics a bit tricky when I actually got started.  For one thing, I don’t really have any experience with alterations, so the very first mistake I made was sewing with a short stitch length.  My stitch settings are usually set for piecing a quilt, where you want short stitches for durability, but for a knit fabric like I was working with it’s better to lengthen the stitch.  Lesson learned!
Otherwise, it’s a pretty easy idea – use a seam ripper to remove the sleeves, then hem the new armholes.  My jacket had knit sleeves and back, with corduroy and a puffy vest in the front, so the different fabrics were a bit tricky to sew.  But it’s possible!
The Amateur Librarian // Jacket to Vest Refashion
The Amateur Librarian // Jacket to Vest Refashion
I really like how it turned out – and since it was an old jacket, I didn’t have to buy anything new and it already fit me… Win-win!
The Amateur Librarian // Jacket to Vest Refashion
The Amateur Librarian // Jacket to Vest Refashion
Now I’m all ready for Fall fashion!  I’ve already worn this vest a couple times, as you’ll see in WIWW tomorrow. Once again, Pinterest to the rescue!

The Lost Reading Logs: August 2010

No Meow Monday this morning…. the cats slept through another week and didn’t do anything blog-worthy. Instead, another Lost Reading Log!

I’ve been keeping a Reading Log since late 2008.  And when I started trying to organize all those Reading Logs in the blog archives, I realized I was pretty inconsistent about sharing them.  There are entire months unpublished, although (I promise!) I was still keeping track of what I was reading.

So now, mostly for my own organizational sanity, I’m sharing those Lost Reading Logs bit by bit–and then I can fill in the gaps of my archives.  The first logs I kept were for my purposes only, so they’re short and sweet.  I hope you enjoy my thoughts, and maybe get some book recommendations!

August 2010

HB = Hardback, PB = Paperback, AB = Audio book, K = Kindle.
F = Fiction, HF = Historical Fiction, NF = NonFiction, YA = Young Adult,
CL = Children’s Lit, B/M = Bio/Memoir, SF = Sci-Fi/Fantasy, C = Craft

Title Start Finish Grade/
Format
Genre
Anne of Ingleside #6,
by LM Montgomery
8/2/10 8/22/10

A-
PB

YA

Little Earthquakes,
by Jennifer Weiner
8/10/10 8/19/10

B
AB

F

Naked,
by David Sedaris
8/19/10 8/21/10

B+
AB

M

The Mighty Queens of Freeville,
by Amy Dickinson
8/21/10 8/31/10

A
AB

M

The Know-It-All: One Man’s Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World,
by AJ Jacobs
8/28/10 10/26/10

A+
PB

NF

When Patty Went to College,
by Jean Webster
8/30/10 9/5/10

B+
K

F

84, Charing Cross Road,
by Helene Hanff
8/30/10 8/30/10

A+
PB

M

Girls in Trucks,
by Katie Crouch
8/31/10 9/10/10

C
AB

F

Thoughts:

Anne of Ingleside #6, by LM Montgomery  – A-

The Amateur Librarian // August 2010 Reading Log

Sweet, though it marks the downhill.  I never like the stories about the children.  I always skip #7, though the last is wonderful!  But still lovely.

 …

Little Earthquakes, by Jennifer Weiner – B

The Amateur Librarian // August 2010 Reading Log

Audiobook. Pretty good chick lit.  Painted motherhood rather bleakly, and everyone ended up reconciling each relationship which may not be very realistic.  But, an enjoyable listen.  More to come.

 …

Naked, by David Sedaris – B+

The Amateur Librarian // August 2010 Reading Log

Audiobook. Very short, but pretty funny.  Nothing will beat Me Talk Pretty One Day.  Had to get used to his voice narrating the audiobook, but Amy Sedaris was hilarious.

 …

The Mighty Queens of Freeville, by Amy Dickinson – A    

The Amateur Librarian // August 2010 Reading Log

Audiobook. Pretty interesting—raised by strong women, becomes the next Ann Landers.  Read by author—always good.  I like to read about lives that turn and twist unexpectedly.  Gives me hope for my own story.

 …

The Know-It-All: One Man’s Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World, by AJ Jacobs – A+

The Amateur Librarian // August 2010 Reading Log

Love AJ Jacobs!  Should’ve read this first—strange to read about infertility, knowing he’d soon have three kids by his next book.  Loved the randomness of his quest.

 …

When Patty Went to College, by Jean Webster – B+

The Amateur Librarian // August 2010 Reading Log

Very lighthearted, like chick lit from the 1900s.  College story like Dear Daddy Long Legs, but not quite as good.

 …

84, Charing Cross Road, by Helene Hanff – A+

The Amateur Librarian // August 2010 Reading Log

Lovely, and nonfiction!  Makes me want to research the sought-after books, and write letters, and read more of Hanff.  Fun!

 …

Girls in Trucks, by Katie Crouch – C

The Amateur Librarian // August 2010 Reading Log

Audiobook. Patchily written short stories about a miserable person making miserable life choices—and it’s fiction!  Want to be kind, but there’s just no excuse.  Not very good.

A little context…  I was teaching in the library for my second year and listening to a lot of books on tape during my commute to work.  It’s funny that I fell in love with 84 Charing Cross Road over four years ago, and was reminded all over again how much I liked it when Sam’s grandmother visited and picked up the sequel to read.  I enjoyed both books so much, and it just might be time for a re-read!

So that’s what I was reading in August 2010… can’t believe it’s been four years already!  Anyone remember any good books from that time of year?

High Five for Friday!

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  and stay grateful.

The Amateur Librarian // H54FThe Amateur Librarian // H54F

1 – Minis. I took a break from the Once Upon a Time sampler to work on some minis this past weekend. So cute! I’m going to turn these into bookmarks… stay tuned!
2 – Miss America. The best part about awards shows is texting with my BFF throughout with play-by-play commentary. A treat from Sonic doesn’t hurt either!
3 – To Read. I finally visited the local library and added to my growing To-Read pile. I’m having so much fun reading the Newbery winners! I threw in a Sarah Dessen novel too, since I keep hearing she’s the Queen of YA.
4 – Fall TV. The Fall lineup is starting back, woohoo! First up was The New Girl and Mindy Project on Tuesday.  I can’t wait for Parenthood to start back… I just wish it wasn’t the final season!
5 – Upgrade. Hubby is getting the new iPhone 6 today and I’m inheriting his current phone… which means an upgrade for me too!  I’m pretty excited… especially since the back of my phone has been shattered from one too many falls.

 …

I’m linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for H54F!

H54F

Finally Finished: Fractured Fish Quilt

Another finish from the WIP pile… woohoo!  Remember this quilt top?  It was one of my very first projects in 2011 when I first started blogging.  I hadn’t quite yet found the online quilting community, but I found this fractured nine patch pattern online and was determined to make a quilt all by myself.
The Amateur Librarian // Fractured Fish Nine Patch Quilt
I was so proud of my completed top… but I had no idea how to go about quilting and finishing it.  So it sat in a pile for a couple years and moved across the country with us.  A few weeks ago JoAnn’s had a fabric sale so I decided to stock up on batting and fabric for quilt backs to finally work through my WIP pile.  When I pulled this one out, I have to admit I was pretty pleased with my past self for such flat seams!  I barely had to iron it at all.
The Amateur Librarian // Fractured Fish Nine Patch Quilt
I quilted a cross hatch following the pattern – simple and easy straight line quilting.  One of these days I’ll get more creative with my quilting, but not this go around.  One step at a time… I’m just glad this is finally a finished quilt after so many years!
The Amateur Librarian // Fractured Fish Nine Patch Quilt
I banged out this finish in record time one afternoon, when I was on a roll after finishing up my Flying North quilt.  It made me reflect on how much more confident I am when it comes to quilting now!  I read a lot of fantastic quilt blogs, which is great for inspiration, but sometimes it also makes me feel like I have so, so much to learn and improve.  But compared to a few years ago, I’ve made a lot of progress!
The Amateur Librarian // Fractured Fish Nine Patch Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Fractured Fish Nine Patch Quilt
I knew what materials to use and had them all on hand, basted it in about 15 minutes, came up with a (very simple) quilting plan pretty quickly, quilted with no snags or machine problems in about an hour, and finished up the binding that same afternoon (thank you, bias binding tape!).  It probably would’ve taken me many days to do the same steps a few years ago because I second guessed every single step along the way, but now I’m pretty comfortable with finishing up a small quilt in an afternoon.  So, three cheers for progress!
The Amateur Librarian // Fractured Fish Nine Patch Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Fractured Fish Nine Patch Quilt
I used my new favorite pre-made double fold binding in red to finish it up.  I didn’t really have a name for it at first, but it became “Fractured Fish” as a nod to the fractured nine patch block and the Odesea fabric line I used.  So happy to have another completed quilt… it earned a top spot on the ladder!
The Amateur Librarian // Fractured Fish Nine Patch Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Fractured Fish Nine Patch Quilt
I’m linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish Friday!

WIWW: September 7-13, 2014

Another week of What I Wore Wednesday!

The Amateur Librarian // What I Wore Wednesday

 

What I Wore Wednesday is my motivation for wearing the clothes I own, finding new ways to mix and match outfits, and not wearing the same three things all the time! I kept a fashion diary for the entire year of 2012, in 2013 I added a bit about my days to go along with the outfit, and I’m continuing the same tradition in 2014… So these weekly check-ins are a mini journal of my life too!

September 7

September 7

blue+white print top // Old Navy
skinny jeans // Aeropostale via eBay
white flip flops // Old Navy
That’s a grocery list in my hand, and that’s pretty much how we spent Sunday… puttering around the house, running errands, making dinner, getting ready for the week ahead, etc. The weekend always goes by too quickly!
September 8

September 8

floral print tank // Kohl’s
purple pearls // gift
grey cardigan // Forever 21
black skinny pants // Gap
ankle strap heels // eBay
Another Manic Monday in the books. The super moon must have affected my inbox… it was crazy! It was a relief to go for a walk and work out some frustrations after a long day.  Tried a new stir fry recipe for dinner – slowly but surely, I’m trying to kick the eating-out habit and add more easy weeknight recipes to the rotation.  Or, you know, make one meal and then eat leftovers all week, ha!
September 9

September 9

red shirt dress // eBay
taupe cardigan // Ann Taylor
skinny belt // Forever 21
nude flats // PayLess
Another easy dress + cardigan for work. Not much else to say!
September 10

September 10

polka dot sleeveless top with crochet neckline // Loft
white tank underneath // Old Navy
grey sweater // Anthropologie
black pants // Banana Republic
pewter sandals // old
I like adding a sweater to turn a tank top into work-apprproariate attire. The rest of the day was ho-hum… some days are like that!

 

September 11

September 11

grey floral print dress // Forever 21 via IG closet
pearls // gift
nude wedge sandals // Naturalizer
Hard to believe it’s been 13 years…
I used to like pairing this dress with a blazer, but somehow that seems too “office-y” for my current job. I got back on track with walking after work, and fortunately the rain held off. Project Runway was timely with the “rainway”!  Love that show.
September 12

September 12

color block dolman top // Stitch Fix
sailboat pendant // GroopDealz
skinny jeans // Abercrombie & Fitch via eBay
ankle strap brown wedges // PayLess
My Stitch Fixes keep getting better… they are finally starting to get the sizing right. I thought this top would be perfect for the seasonal transition, when the weather hasn’t quite caught up with the Fall colors yet… but I didn’t expect a cold snap! I ended up chilly but after a half day at work and a few errands I was able to warm up with a hot chocolate at home… I know it will probably get warm again before fall really gets underway, but in the meantime I’m loving it!  Cozy weather is my favorite.
September 13

September 13

color block v-neck // Gap
skinny jeans // Abercrombie & Fitch via eBay
flip flops // Old Navy
The cold snap continues! I finally made a pilgrimage to our local library to get a card and check out a few books.  Still enjoying the Nerdbery Challenge (Newbery winners) and the #FYAphotoaday challenge (Young Adult) has got me interested in more YA these days too. Nice relaxing day with nothing scheduled.

I’m linked up to The Pleated Poppy for WIWW!

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