Author Archive: ladykatie32

Franklin City Sights: Main Street Festival

We’ve had a busy few weekends in a row – and it’s not going to let up anytime soon. We were out all day Saturday looking at houses with our agent, and Sunday we had another round of open houses to check out. But first… fair food! We all know that’s the real reason I like festivals.
The Amateur Librarian // Main Street Festival
Main Street Festival is the big annual street fair in downtown Franklin, and even though all the festivals start to run together, I always enjoy a chance to stroll around people watching, checking out the stores and tents, and perusing the food trucks. Plus, it was nice to take a deep breath and step away from the MLS listings for a bit. (Too bad it was chilly… can’t have it all!)
Quick photo dump ahead!
The Amateur Librarian // Main Street Festival
The Amateur Librarian // Main Street Festival
The Amateur Librarian // Main Street Festival
The Amateur Librarian // Main Street Festival
The Amateur Librarian // Main Street Festival
The Amateur Librarian // Main Street Festival
The Amateur Librarian // Main Street Festival
The Amateur Librarian // Main Street Festival
The Amateur Librarian // Main Street Festival
The Amateur Librarian // Main Street Festival
The Amateur Librarian // Main Street Festival
Pretzels and cinnamon roasted pecans? I’m there!
The Amateur Librarian // Main Street Festival
The Amateur Librarian // Main Street Festival
 More city sights coming soon as we explore the Nashville area!

Meow Monday: Lazy Bones

When the toy is just. too. far. away… Tali takes a nap instead.

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

Cora keeps an eye open just in case…

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

Not worth it…

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 – MCMQG. I loved learning about improv curves and binding at the April guild meeting and finishing a couple more mini quilts to practice my new techniques… thankful for a talented group of ladies, willing to share their experience!
2 –  Out and About. Not one, but two shows this week! First, a comedy show with Nick Kroll and John Mulaney at The Ryman on Saturday, then Sleater Kinney last night. Fun stuff!
3 – House Hunting. Any free time lately has been spent looking at MLS listings and driving around to explore new neighborhoods. After a long day of open houses it can start to feel a bit overwhelming, but we’re trying to have fun with the process. I’ve never noticed so many “For Sale” signs until I started looking for them!
4 – Love Patchwork & Quilting. This UK magazine is great – fun, modern, and full of quilty inspiration. The free gifts don’t hurt either – and I got to use the turquoise binding clips that came with the most recent issue right away to bind those mini quilts.
5 – Leveled. After getting out the level, my wall-o-minis is looking a bit straighter! It only took a couple minutes, but it made a world of difference.

 …

Level Up

With two more mini quilts to add to the collage wall, I found myself looking for holes to fill. The wall is slowly but surely filling up! Here are a couple iterations of how the wall has evolved over the year or so we’ve lived here:
The Amateur Librarian // Use a Level to Hang Mini Quilts
The Amateur Librarian // Use a Level to Hang Mini Quilts
The Amateur Librarian // Use a Level to Hang Mini Quilts
And here’s the current configuration with the two latest additions:
The Amateur Librarian // Use a Level to Hang Mini Quilts
After taking down the bakers twine and clothespins, I decided to pin the quilts directly to the wall (I use push pins), but… just “eye balling” the first configuration was looking pretty crooked! So I got out the level and straightened them all out… or rather, I did the first couple and then had to hand the level over to hubby while he stood on a chair to reach the ones closer to the ceiling.
The Amateur Librarian // Use a Level to Hang Mini Quilts
The Amateur Librarian // Use a Level to Hang Mini Quilts
Love my growing wall-o-minis, especially seeing the new skills and ideas that go into each new one – new color palettes, hexis (traditional and modern), adding cross stitch panels, improv words, improv curves, ticker tape (triangles and rectangles), improv piecing (for a challenge), etc.
The Amateur Librarian // Use a Level to Hang Mini Quilts
The Amateur Librarian // Use a Level to Hang Mini Quilts
The Amateur Librarian // Use a Level to Hang Mini Quilts
The Amateur Librarian // Use a Level to Hang Mini Quilts

More Mini Finishes

I finished up two more mini quilts over the weekend. I used to wonder what the point of mini quilts were, but as I keep making them I’ve been having a lot of fun trying out new techniques without the commitment of a full-size quilt. Plus, they’re so cute! The wall-o-minis in the guest room is slowly filling up, piece by piece.
The Amateur Librarian // Modern Hexi Mini Quilt
These two latest finishes both showcase new-to-me skills that I learned via guild workshops over the last couple months: English Paper Piecing, Improv Curves, and Perfect Binding.
English Paper Piecing – Modern Hexi Mini Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Modern Hexi Mini Quilt
I’ve made hexis before, but this time I learned how to use fusible glue to attach the hexis to background fabric in a modern layout, instead of attaching them in rows. It’s really pretty simple… although I don’t remember our teacher Stefanie getting glue all over her hands like I did, ha!
The Amateur Librarian // Modern Hexi Mini Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Modern Hexi Mini Quilt
I shared the top a couple weeks back, but I finally had time to quilt it. I used a Hera Marker and a ruler to make lines for quilting… wow! It seems so very simple, but this little tool was seriously a game changer! I’ve always just “eye balled” the quilting because I was too lazy to get out the painter’s tape and too scared of fabric markers leaving residue… and my “straight” quilting has definitely suffered. But the Hera Marker makes it super easy to leave a line to follow that will gradually disappear… and there’s no mess at all!
The Amateur Librarian // Modern Hexi Mini Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Modern Hexi Mini Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Modern Hexi Mini Quilt
The quilting is still not perfect (please don’t look too closely) but I like how this one turned out. I’ve always liked the red-and-aqua color combination but never felt the need to make an entire quilt with those colors.. so I got to scratch that itch and add a pop of color.
Here’s the “traditional” hexi mug rug that I finished a couple weekends ago.
The Amateur Librarian // Modern Hexis
Improv Curves
At the April MCMQG meeting this past weekend we had a two-fer workshop – Improv Curves taught by Jayne (AKA Twiggy and Opal) and Perfect Binding taught by Stefanie (Owner of Cotton Bliss). They are both awesome artists who make fabulous quilts!
The Amateur Librarian // Improv Curves Mini Quilt
I really enjoyed learning how to do the curves… my mind was just about blown at first, as I could not for the life of me figure out how the pieces would fit together… but Jayne told me to trust that it would work… and lo and behold, it did!
The Amateur Librarian // Improv Curves Mini Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Improv Curves Mini Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Improv Curves Mini Quilt
I went for a “beachy” vibe with the color palette but just pieced together whatever strips I wanted to add next and didn’t really have a plan or try to make a scene… I guess that’s why they call it Improv. But I’m already thinking of how cool a sunset, beach, or other landscape could look with the right colors and placement. We were aiming for a 13″x18″ placemat, but by the time we were supposed to start binding, I only had this little bit done… about 12″x5″. Too big to be a mug rug, too small to be anything else… but perfectly sized to fill a hole in the wall-o-minis, of course. I quickly quilted my sandwich and then moved onto Stefanie’s binding tricks and tips. I’m pretty proud of those mitered corners!
The Amateur Librarian // Improv Curves Mini Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Improv Curves Mini Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Improv Curves Mini Quilt
Two more minis for the wall… I spent a little extra time sprucing it up over the weekend, so I’ll share some pics tomorrow.  I’m linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish Friday!

Reading Right Now

After hibernating all winter and hardly leaving the house, it’s finally springtime and I’m savoring the sunshine whenever I can.  Life seems to be picking up speed as we move closer to summer, but as usual I can’t seem to stick to one book at a time and have several laying around for spare moments of reading time. The last couple weeks have been full of April showers, so I’ve spent time in the best of both worlds – reading outside with the sun on my legs, and cozy reading in bed while it rains all night.
Whether it’s sunny or rainy, here’s a peek at what I’m reading right now…
…Breakfast Book…
My Real Children, by Jo Walton
The Amateur Librarian // April 2015 Reading Log
I loved Jo Walton’s strange novel Among Others for its precarious mix of science fiction and reality, and this one has a similar feel. I just started reading a couple days ago, and I’m delving in slowly each morning between quick bites of breakfast. An elderly woman in a nursing home has somehow led two parallel lives – in one, she’s unhappily married but the world progresses as we know it; in the other, she pursues a career and relationship of her own choosing, but alternate events lead to worldwide chaos. I can’t wait to see where this one goes…
…On the Kindle…
Stress Proof Your Life, by Elisabeth Wilson
The Amateur Librarian // April 2015 Reading Log
I picked up this ebook as a freebie a while ago (sorry, no longer free), and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how helpful the tips are so far. Very light reading, perfect for quick moments of reading while waiting in line or riding in the car.
…Listening…
The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins
The Amateur Librarian // March 2015 Reading Log
I’m a big fan of the Craftlit podcast, and I went back in the archives to listen to this Victorian mystery without having to wait week by week for each new chapter. I almost wish I had a longer commute so I could listen to more each day! It’s also great listening while I’m sewing or cross stitching. By way of the “book club” aspect of the podcast, I’ve learned all about the author and how this serial was so groundbreaking for the mystery genre and procedurals of modern day… interesting stuff!
…After Hours…
Twelve Recipes, by Cal Peternell
The Amateur Librarian // December 2014 Reading Log
Chatty cookbooks are my favorite, and at the end of a long day there’s nothing more relaxing than reading about food… so relaxing, in fact, that I can only read a few pages at a time before I’m falling asleep, ha! I love the rustic American style of the chef Cal Peternell and his family.

The Cruelest Month, by Louise Penny
The Amateur Librarian // April 2015 Reading Log
When I’m feeling more alert at night and actually have the capacity to read something that requires some attention, I turn to Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and the residents of Three Pines, Quebec… I’m slowly reading through this series (this is book 3 of 10) from the library.
…Every Other Moment…
The Best of Everything, by Rona Jaffe
The Amateur Librarian // April 2015 Reading Log
Any other spare moment, perhaps in the car for a long drive… this is it. This tale of four working girls in New York City in the 50’s, pre-Sex and the City, is really fun. (I’ve got to see the Joan Crawford movie when I’m done!) Totally absorbing too, so I try to save it for times when I have a longer stretch to read.

What are you reading right now?

Meow Monday: House Hunters

The cats are ready to settle down in a bigger space. They want more beds for napping, stairs to run up and down, a yard to explore… and maybe some chicken friends (that’s wishful thinking, but a girl can dream).  In other words… we’re house hunting.

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

It’s a bit stressful and overwhelming, but mostly exciting. There’s no rush, and it’ll be a challenge to find something reasonably priced in the area, so it will probably be a while before we can make a move. So for now… these cats will be seeing a lot less of the humans on the weekends as we hunt down open houses and MLS drivebys.

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

It’s shaping up to be an exciting spring!

High Five for Friday!

High Five for Friday! I took a mini break from the blog this week, which was nice. I’ll be back to the normal routine next week!

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 – Ten Years. Hubby’s 10 year highschool reunion was quite a fun weekend! It was great to be back in MS to see old friends and family again.
2 – Best Bro. My brother visited unexpectedly for a couple nights, which is always fun! Haven’t seen him in person since the holidays, so it was fun to catch up.
3 – GOT! Sunday nights just got interesting again… looks like it will be a great 5th season! I love all the recaps that spring up after each episode too – my favorite are the Youtube videos by Comicbookgirl19.
4 – Tried and True. It seems like all my most-used makeup ran out at once, so I stocked up on my old standby – Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey – and some new eyeshadows recommended by Kate via The Small Things – Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in No Pressure and Birthday Suit.
5 – The Attic. While in MS, I got to visit The Attic for the first time – such a cool vintage clothing store in an old house in downtown Columbus. I couldn’t resist this black-and-white cat print dress!

 …

Meow Monday: Busy Bees

Another busy weekend for the humans and a lonely one for the cats. We took Friday off of work to drive to MS for hubby’s 10-year high school reunion, and drove back yesterday afternoon. I’m still wrapping my mind around the fact that we are at this age now, celebrating milestones like this… and in terms of decades, at that. We had so, so much fun catching up with everyone, and the whole weekend was a blast. But my introverted self is wiped out from all the socializing and late nights! My brother is visiting for a couple days too, so I think I’ll take a mini blogging break this week and check in again for High Five for Friday.

But since this is Meow Monday, here are some random pictures of Tali in the new chair.

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

See you on Friday!

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 – Chattanooga. Our little weekend getaway was just the thing I needed to break up the humdrum of everyday life.
2 – New Chair! I’ve been on the hunt for a smallish armchair, looking high and low around town, but finally we went with the classic Poang from Ikea. Quite the satisfying project to put it together this week – and bonus! It matches the couch, since that’s from Ikea too.
3 – Naturebox. Nom nom nom! Still enjoying my snacks subscription, especially with road trips on the horizon.
4 – Every Day. I’ve been wearing this necklace every day for the past couple months. Simple jewelry is what I’m liking best these days.
5 – Abba. Stressful work days are suddenly easier with Abba in my ears. A chance mention on the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast made me look up this album, and it’s been a fun change of pace this week.

 …

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