Author Archive: ladykatie32

QAYG Black Cat Table Runner

My procedure went really well earlier this week… everything went smoothly, the results were good, and the anesthesia wore off quickly enough that after a nap at home, I felt pretty much back to normal. And since I had a few podcasts to catch up on, I went ahead and finished up the table runner I’ve been working on while it rained… all in all, a pretty cozy sick day!

IMG_4636

I’ve been wanting to make something with low volume fabrics (neutral/white-on-white/low contrast) and I loved having a table runner on the breakfast bar during the holidays (QAYG Patchwork Tree table runner blogged here), so I basically did the exact same project with a new block (the basic Cat block from Oh, Fransson‘s Catvent Quilt-Along). Once again, I used the QAYG technique from Quilt As-You-Go Made Modern by Jera Brandvig to make each block, which resulted in denser quilting that I would usually be able to do (more because of my patience/skill level than anything to do with my home machine). The QAYG technique quilts each block to individual squares of batting, then you join them all together and attach to the backing with a simpler quilting. I just did a basic grid, then finished it up with cheater binding. It was really fun to work with scrappy black and white fabrics, and I’ve got a ton of other ideas in my mind for my next low volume project.

You’ve already seen a few progress pics along the way, and here are a few more!

The Amateur Librarian // QAYG Black Cat Table Runner

 

The Amateur Librarian // QAYG Black Cat Table Runner

 

The Amateur Librarian // QAYG Black Cat Table Runner

 

The Amateur Librarian // QAYG Black Cat Table Runner

 

The Amateur Librarian // QAYG Black Cat Table Runner

 

The Amateur Librarian // QAYG Black Cat Table Runner

 

The Amateur Librarian // QAYG Black Cat Table Runner

 

Cora assisted along the way, so of course she helped with the photo shoot too!

The Amateur Librarian // QAYG Black Cat Table Runner

 

 

The Amateur Librarian // QAYG Black Cat Table Runner

 

The Amateur Librarian // QAYG Black Cat Table Runner

 

The Amateur Librarian // QAYG Black Cat Table Runner

 

IMG_4632

 

 

The Amateur Librarian // QAYG Black Cat Table Runner

 

 

IMG_4633

 

The Amateur Librarian // QAYG Black Cat Table Runner

 

Another card for the recipe box!

 

The Amateur Librarian // QAYG Black Cat Table Runner

 

IMG_4637

 

I’m linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish Friday!

Reading Log: February 2015

Here we are, two months into 2015 already! This month seemed to pass pretty quickly, but I enjoyed some extra reading time thanks to the icy weather. Still have a bunch of half-finished books on the agenda, but I’m trying to finish them up before starting something new (even as I type that, I know it won’t happen… I just went by the library last weekend and added a whole new stack to the towering pile). As usual: too many books, too little time!

Below is my Reading Log for February 2015, with my thoughts about each book to help me remember what I read.  I’ve included all the books that I’ve read or finished during the month (even if I started some of them outside of the month).  And of course I keep track of my rating on the grade system, the binding, genre, etc… just for fun!

February 2015

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, SFF = Sci-Fi/Fantasy, C = Craft

Title Start Finish Grade/Format Genre
Here is Where: Discovering America’s Forgotten History,
by Andrew Carroll
9/29/14 2/3/15 B+
K
NF
Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods,
written by Rick Riordan and illustrated by John Rocco
10/26/14 Still Reading TBD
HB
CL
Herland,
by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
12/16/14 2/28/15 B+
AB
F
A Fatal Grace (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #2),
by Louise Penny
12/17/14 2/22/15 B+
K
Mystery
Twelve Recipes,
by Cal Peternell
12/23/14 Still Reading TBD
HB
NF
Craft-a-Doodle: 75 Creative Exercises from 18 Artists,
by Jenny Doh
1/20/15 Still Reading TBD
PB
C
In Cold Blood,
by Truman Capote
1/25/15 Still Reading TBD
PB
NF
Mequilibrium: 14 Days to Cooler, Calmer, and Happier,
by Jan Bruce, Andrew Shatte, and Adam Perlman
2/16/15 Still Reading TBD
K
SH
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,
by Jenny Han
2/16/15 2/17/15 A+
K
YA
What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions,
by Randall Munroe
2/18/15 Still Reading TBD
HB
NF
Big Little Lies,
by Liane Moriarty
2/23/15 Still Reading TBD
K
F

Thoughts:

Here is Where: Discovering America’s Great Forgotten History, by Andrew Carroll – B+

The Amateur Librarian // September 2014 Reading Log

Finally finished! It’s not so much that it was boring as it was just very (very) long, stuffed with stories in such digestible bite-sized chunks that it was all too easy to read a chapter or two at a time and get distracted by something else. The premise is what drew me in: the author travels across the country looking for forgotten pieces of American history, meeting a ton of interesting people who help him along the way as he unearths the lost details behind each story. There are several really interesting topics (my favorites were the search for the Spanish Flu virus and the first person to be cremated) and many of them intersected in unusual ways, so that was cool. Most of the chapters were only a few pages long and gave the bare bones of the story, but I was often left with a feeling of “…so?” at the end of each chapter. It was hard to feel connected to many of the stories because the context kept jumping around across time periods, subjects, and geography. And since most of the history was forgotten, the actual location had often been covered up by a parking lot or was just an empty field. The author talked a lot about taking pictures everywhere (and the weird stares he would get), and I get the need to document it, but it seems like the words would have to be enough since, you know… it’s just a parking lot now, whatever it used to be. It wrapped up pretty nicely with a full circle moment about learning from the past that was missing from the rest of the book and a funny story about the FBI investigating his activity when he was looking for an old plane crash that happened to be on a restricted military base. Overall, the lack of a cohesive theme to tie everything together gave it a scattered feel, but it was full of interesting trivia and a fun road trip. (Full review here.)

Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods, written by Rick Riordan and illustrated by John Rocco – TBD

 The Amateur Librarian // October 2014 Reading Log

Still sitting on the coffee table… I’ve read a couple more myths since last month, but I’m enjoying  the illustrations and reading this one slowly.

Herland, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman – B+

The Amateur Librarian // December 2014 Reading Log

Three male scientists discover a utopia inhabited entirely by women that they name Herland, and while they’re held captive they learn the ways of the land and eventually marry three of the women. The “book club” feel of the Craftlit podcast, which discusses classic literature from the public domain in weekly episodes with lots of background info, feedback from listeners, and discussions led by the host, definitely enhanced the book which was a bit of a dry interpretation of utopia, perfect in every way. A little too perfect, honestly, and doesn’t offer much in the way of plot or characters, but viewing it as more of a “thought experiment” in response to anti-suffragette literature of the time put it into perspective. It brought up some interesting ideas about society and offered a completely idealistic alternative, but it was an interesting vehicle to describe the author’s feminist viewpoint in the early 1900’s. Even though the plot itself didn’t feel like it could stand on its own merits without the political message, and it might have had more of an impact when the ideas were still considered radical, I think it stands the test of time because we’re obviously still dealing with gender equality issues a hundred years later.

A Fatal Grace (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #2), by Louise Penny – B+

The Amateur Librarian // December 2014 Reading Log

This one was on the backburner for the past couple months, but a few days inside during Icemageddon were perfect for picking up again with Inspector Gamache and another frigid mystery that takes place in Quebec. Again I found the dialogue a bit stilted and the characters hard to understand sometimes, but the office politics and mystery were well done. I got stuck while the plot plodded along for a bit, but got more interested when it started to pick up toward the end. I definitely want to continue the series but I think I’ll get the rest of the books through the library instead of paying $10 per ebook.

Twelve Recipes, by Cal Peternell – TBD

The Amateur Librarian // December 2014 Reading Log

I haven’t picked this one up lately as reading material, but I have used a couple recipes. It’s a great example of elevating basics; all the recipes are really simple but still have a ton of flavor.

Craft-a-Doodle: 75 Creative Exercises from 18 Artists, by Jenny Doh – TBD

The Amateur Librarian // January 2015 Reading Log

This fun book is right up my alley… 18 different artists are featured, and each one offers 2-4 doodle prompts with step-by-step ideas. Some are more my style than others, but it’s been fun to dabble. I need to pick this one up again when I have some free time.

In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote – TBD

The Amateur Librarian // January 2015 Reading Log

I’m about halfway through this one, reading it in bits and pieces during breakfast each morning. It started a bit slow, but it’s a fascinating character study and analysis of the infamous crime that shook a small Kansas town in the 1950’s and coined the term “nonfiction novel.” It’s really interesting to read it after Gerald Clarke’s biography of Truman Capote, which goes into a lot of detail about how Truman Capote did the research.

Mequilibrium: 14 Days to Cooler, Calmer, and Happier, by Jan Bruce, Andrew Shatte, and Adam Perlman – TBD

The Amateur Librarian // February 2015 Reading Log

Another review copy through Blogging for Books. I decided to pick something a bit lighter, since I had such a hard time finishing the last one (Here is Where). Pretty interesting so far – all about how stress is part of our lives, but how we deal with it can have a big impact on our overall happiness. I’m working through the “14 Days” right now and it’s easy reading but still thought provoking.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, by Jenny Han – A+

The Amateur Librarian // February 2015 Reading Log

I wanted a quick, fun read for prep day, but due to bad weather this turned into my Icemageddon read instead, and it was perfect! Lara Jean is a Good Girl who loves spending time with her family and especially her older sister, who’s kept the family together since their mom passed away. Just when her sister goes off to college, Lara Jean faces a major catastrophe – the love letters she’s written to every boy she’s ever had a crush on are mailed off… and now she has to deal with the boys who know her true feelings. I love a book that reads like your favorite romcom – complicated but amusing plot, believable dialogue, family dynamics, authentic characters, and enough twists that you’re not sure exactly who will end up together at the end. Such a treat, best YA I’ve read in a while!

 …

What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, by Randall Munroe – TBD

The Amateur Librarian // February 2015 Reading Log

I gave this to hubby for his birthday but I’ve commandeered it for those moments when I only have a couple spare minutes but feel like reading something funny. I love XKCD comics, and the artist also has a background in physics so the scientific explanations to hypothetical questions are pretty funny. This book is also available though Kindle Unlimited but the hardback is nice for reading the comics that are included.

Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty – TBD

 The Amateur Librarian // February 2015 Reading Log

Picked this up a few days ago and it’s really fun so far. Liane Moriarty is the best at smart chick lit and mommy war politics.

So that’s what I’ve been reading during the month of February.  Anyone reading a good book?

One Year Later

On February 28 of last year, our San Francisco apartment was packed up and we started the journey to Tennessee.
What I remember most about that day was the mix of anxiety and excitement swirling together. While we were waiting (and waiting) for the movers to arrive, I took one last walk around the neighborhood and tried to process everything. I tend to focus on the task at hand, and not so much the processing part… so I don’t even remember feeling particularly sad or excited, but mostly just anxious to get the show on the road.
The Amateur Librarian // One Year Later
The Amateur Librarian // One Year Later
The Amateur Librarian // One Year Later
A number of things threatened to make the whole day difficult…
  • The construction by our apartment building blocked the street parking.
  • The weather was rainy and gloomy.
  • The moving company was running late and didn’t have the correct address to pick up a couch from storage.
  • We didn’t have an exact destination for our stuff, since we didn’t have an apartment in TN yet.
But then…
  • The construction work shut down due to the rain, leaving an empty street with plentiful parking.
  • The sun came out.
  • The moving truck arrived and found a parking space right in front of our building.
  • Three weeks later, we had an address and we had our stuff.
Somehow, everything worked out the best possible way in the end. How’s that for a metaphor for life?
One year later, I’m so happy to be here. I like my job, our apartment, our new city. I feel like I plugged into the community a lot faster this time around, and I feel like we’re in a place with a lot of opportunities still to come,. A lot of that comes from living closer to family and friends again, which is the best part of our move.
The Amateur Librarian // One Year Later
The Amateur Librarian // One Year Later
The Amateur Librarian // One Year Later
Today I’m getting another routine colonoscopy. The prep is never fun, and there’s always anxiety centered around the question: Am I sick again? But I’m feeling the best I have in a long time, and 2014 was an entirely pain-free year which feels like a small miracle. I don’t really dwell on my chronic illness much these days, mostly because I have the luxury of feeling pretty “normal” with the exception of regular infusions. I guess this post is my way of reflecting on where I am in life right now… and I’m happy to be here!
The Amateur Librarian // One Year Later

Meow Monday: So Helpful

I’m still working on my low volume black cats, and the cats have been helpful assistants along the way (of course). Some are more helpful than others…

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

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 stay grateful.

The Amateur Librarian // H54FThe Amateur Librarian // H54F



1 – Winter Fun. It flurried a bit Wednesday night, but the bulk of the icy weather is over (for now). Before the snow melted entirely, I got out the portable sleds my parents gave us for Christmas… they came in handy!
2 – Oscars. I love our annual tradition of making predictions for the Oscars with our friends… and betting a free drink to whoever guesses the most correctly :)  (I was rooting for Boyhood… yay for Patricia Arquette!)
3 – WWE. I’ve never been to a wrestling show before (or “sports entertainment”) but it was a fun diversion from the regular Monday night!
4 – What If? I gave this to hubby for his birthday… but I may have taken to picking it up myself to read the absurd hypothetical questions and the (equally absurd) scientific answers. It’s available on Kindle Unlimited too, bonus!
5 – Black Cats. The Music City MQG meeting was cancelled last weekend due to weather, but I still got some sewing done. I dove into my black and white fabric stash to start a new project: little black cats, of course.

 …

Nashville City Sights: WWE Wrestling

Hubby’s recent hobby has been watching WWE wrestling… I think it started as part joke, part nostalgia, but the enjoyment is real. So when WWE Raw came to Nashville… so did we. Quite an interesting show! I didn’t know what to expect, and our seats were pretty terrible, but it was a lot of fun. All the fan favorites showed up… Daniel Bryan, John Cena, Roman Reigns, Randy Orton, the Bella twins, etc. etc. It actually seemed quieter than TV makes it seem, without the sound effects and constant narration from the announcers.
Small photo dump ahead:
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
 More city sights coming soon as we explore the Nashville area!

WIP Wednesday

Let’s check in on some works in progress! I usually have some kind of crafty project going on (sometimes a few) but I usually wait until it’s finished to share on the blog… but this seems like a fun idea, so I’m jumping on board Freshly Pieced‘s linky party.

I love the low-volume trend and I finally have a bit of a stash (thanks to some Music City MQG ladies!) so I decided to jump in with some QAYG cat blocks. I used the block pattern from Oh, Frannson’s Catvent quilt to churn out some cute little black cats using low volume prints for the background fabric. I’m still thinking about whether I want to make a mini quilt, lap quilt, or table runner… and I’m leaning toward table runner because I loved having the patchwork tree table runner on the breakfast bar during the holidays.

The Amateur Librarian // WI{P Wednesday

 

The Amateur Librarian // WI{P Wednesday

Pro tip: an empty Naturebox box is the perfect place to keep fabric for a project in one place and safe from curious kitties!

The Amateur Librarian // WI{P Wednesday

An ongoing project… organizing scraps. That big bin on the right is where I throw everything leftover, and I’m (very) slowly making the scraps more useable by cutting them into 1-1/2, 2-1/2, 3-1/2, and 5″ squares and strips (based on Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet’s system).

The Amateur Librarian // WI{P Wednesday

Since we’ve had more couch-time recently with the bad weather, I’ve had more time to cross stitch too. I’m ahead of the game and stitching March’s block already on the Woodland Creatures cross stitch.

The Amateur Librarian // WI{P Wednesday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

This isn’t exactly something I’m actively working on, but I guess you could call it a work in progress… my ORT jar! ORT = Odd Random Threads, and I’m keeping mine nearby to collect from my embroidery projects this year. It’s filling up fast!

The Amateur Librarian // WI{P Wednesday

And that’s about it!

WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced

Linking up to WIP Wednesday on Freshly Pieced.

 

 

Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch: February

I’m working on another yearlong cross stitch project (see last year’s Once Upon a Time sampler here) but this one is a bit more laid back since it’s an older pattern and I don’t have to wait for the mystery blocks to be revealed each month. I love Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery’s Woodland Creatures sampler, it is so super cute!
February features an adorable raccoon peeking over the frame. The night background was a bear to fill in, but the ice days last week gave me a bit more time to work on it. So far the blocks are less of a time commitment than last year’s sampler, and I’m loving it!
Below are a few progress pics:
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
Here are the finished months so far:
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
Two blocks down, ten to go!
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
I’ll be sure to share my monthly progress, similar to last year. Stay tuned!

Meow Monday: Snow Days

The ice finally melted over the weekend and the temps are back to normal-cold, but the cats enjoyed the days of snow and ice while they lasted.

Plenty of staring out the window…

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

Napping on the couch…

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

Assisting in the sewing room…

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

And plenty of lounging around, of course!

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 stay grateful.

The Amateur Librarian // H54FThe Amateur Librarian // H54F

1 – V Day. While my parents were in town this past weekend, we saw some sights, visited with family, and ate some good food. As the box of chocolates we found said, “There’s no one else I’d rather spend this annual obligation with”… ha!
2 – Snow Days. Two (and a half) days to work from home this week was quite a nice break from the normal routine. I also had to reschedule my annual colonoscopy… can’t say I minded!
3 – Tassel. I love tassel necklaces… and this cutie was in the grab bag from Love, Poppy that I opened for V Day. It goes with a lot more than I thought it would!
4 – Parenthood. Finally watched the finale this week… and I’m still not ready to say goodbye yet! I loved this show so, so much and I’m sad to see it go.
5 – To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. I needed a quick read for colonoscopy prep day (a good distraction is key)… but when the snow days kept us inside instead, this was the perfect treat! I love a funny YA romance that feels like a favorite rom com.

 …

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