Author Archive: ladykatie32

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!

Project Pinterest: Flatbread with Grapes, Goat Cheese, and Caramelized Onions

When we spent a night at Opryland, one of the appetizer specials listed at dinner was a flatbread with goat cheese, caramelized onions, and grapes.  We almost never order appetizers when we eat out, but it stuck in my mind… so when we got home, I went straight to Pinterest!
I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted, but this one was pretty close so I used it as a starting point:
Below is my adapted recipe using store-bought flat breads.  Next time it would be fun to make my own dough, since flatbread is basically just a smaller, thinner pizza.  These would be great as an appetizer… but let’s be honest, I just ate them all by myself for dinner!
Flatbread with Goat Cheese, Grapes & Caramelized Onions
The Amateur Librarian // Flatbread with Goat Cheese, Grapes, & Caramelized Onions
Yields: 4-6 flatbreads
Time: About 1 hour
Ingredients:
4-6 small flat breads
1 onion, cut into slices
4 oz. goat cheese
1 cup grapes, cut in half
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt, pepper, & sugar to taste
Directions:
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Heat the olive oil in a frying pan on low-medium heat, then cut the onion into half moon slices and add to the pan. Per the original recipe, you want them to sizzle quietly and brown very slowly.  Sauté the onions for 15-20 minutes. While the onions are browning, cut the grapes in half.
The Amateur Librarian // Flatbread with Goat Cheese, Grapes, & Caramelized Onions
Add a teaspoon of sugar (optional) to the onions and let them caramelize for another 15-20 minutes until they look golden brown (a total of 30-45 minutes at this point). Add a splash of water and continue to sauté until the water evaporates, about 5 minutes.
Lay the flat breads on a cookie tray (I also used a sheet of aluminum foil underneath) and brush with a small amount of olive oil. Layer the caramelized onions on top, then the goat cheese and grapes.
The Amateur Librarian // Flatbread with Goat Cheese, Grapes, & Caramelized Onions
Cook for about 8 minutes in the oven until the cheese starts to melt.
The Amateur Librarian // Flatbread with Goat Cheese, Grapes, & Caramelized Onions
Ta da!  That’s it… all done.
The Amateur Librarian // Flatbread with Goat Cheese, Grapes, & Caramelized Onions
These tasted pretty good!  The crispy flatbread was a great vehicle for the mix of tangy goat cheese, sweet grapes, and savory onions.  They’d be great as an appetizer cut into slices, or everyone could have their own.  The onions take a while to caramelize, but I read in another recipe that you can make them ahead of time and just layer all the components at once and go straight to the oven – that would make it a super quick 8 minutes total!  I’ve never used flatbreads before, but there are definitely endless possibilities…
The Amateur Librarian // Flatbread with Goat Cheese, Grapes, & Caramelized Onions

Once again, hooray for Pinterest!

Meow Monday: Works in Progress

I’ve been on a crafty roll lately and have a few works in progress… and the cats are never far away.

There’s the Once Upon a Time sampler, of course.  September’s block is Rapunzel… I just started working on it this past week and so far I’ve got happy little trees (and a lot of Madden in the background).

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

I started a couple mini cross stitch projects for some bookmarks inspired by Hey Porkchop.  Can’t wait to put them together and share… so cute! Plus, it’s fun to have something completed in a weekend.

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

I’m still reading lots of books for the Nerdbery Challenge.  I’ve collected some through Paperbackswap.com and visited the library for the first time this weekend for more.  I love having a big To-Read pile!

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

I’ve also finished up my UFO pile that’s accumulated since 2010… such a good feeling!  I have to take more pics but I’ll share more soon.  I’m brainstorming ideas for my next quilt… I’d like to do something with the hand dyed fabric I made with my guild.  Maybe something with stars?  Planning is part of the fun… but right now I’ve got too many ideas to get started on any one thing.  So we shall see!

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

Happy 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  and stay grateful.


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

1 - TN State Fair. The best part about the state fair was hanging out with all the livestock… seriously!  It was so much fun to watch the pigs and goats and cows and their human handlers. And also, the ice cream. And the ferris wheel.
2 – The Magician’s Land.  I haven’t ordered a new release hardback in a long time but the final book in Lev Grossman’s trilogy is finally out… so I made an exception.  I’m excited to start reading!
3 – FYA Photo a Day. I’ve never done an Instagram photo-a-day challenge but I hopped on Forever Young Adult’s bandwagon and have been posting a book-related photo every day for the month of September. Although… the answer to almost every prompt is Harry Potter or Anne of Green Gables, ha!
4 – Finish. I’ve been on a finishing roll lately & made it through the last of my UFO pile… woohoo!  This last project was especially worthwhile because I’ve had a mental block against finishing it for the past four years… but when I sat down to finally figure it out, it only took a couple hours. Go figure. (Post coming soon.)
5 – Autumn Mystery Sampler. I couldn’t resist… the Frosted Pumpkins came out with another mystery sampler and I am so excited to find out what the pattern will look like. I ordered the supplies and the first pattern comes out by the end of the month… so far the sneak peeks have been pretty tantalizing!

 …

I’m linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for H54F!

H54F

Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch Sampler: August

I’m a bit late with August’s update… I didn’t finish it up on time but now I’m back on track.  It’s been so much fun to see the months pass by while keeping up with the Once Upon a Time cross stitch sampler from Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.  Each month features a different fairy tale, and it’s so fun to find out what story will be revealed next!

I do most of my stitching on the weekend, and we went on so many mini-trips during August that I think that’s why I was scrambling to finish.  The Musicians of Bremen sure are cute… love the little animals all stacked up!  This month I decided to start collecting the Little Golden Book stories to go along with each month’s story… I need to fill in a few holes, but it’s a fun collection!

And now onto the progress pics:

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time cross stitch sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time cross stitch sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time cross stitch sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time cross stitch sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time cross stitch sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time cross stitch sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time cross stitch sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time cross stitch sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time cross stitch sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time cross stitch sampler

And here are all the blocks completed so far:

The Amateur Librarian // OUAT Sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch Sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch Sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time cross stitch sampler

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time cross stitch sampler

The September block is out of course… Rapunzel!  I’ll try to keep up each month, so stay tuned for monthly updates…

WIWW: August 31-September 6, 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!

August 31

August 31

green+blue striped tee // Loft
navy shorts // Loft
sneakers // old
I wanted to go somewhere fun for the long weekend, so we road tripped to the Dismals Canyon in Alabama for a quick overnight trip.  The canyon was absolutely beautiful! We explored the trail through the canyon, took a break for dinner, and came back later that night for (amazing) milkshakes, and a tour to see the “dismalite” glow worms. We stayed in a nearby hotel for the night so we didn’t have to drive back in one day.  Another fun little getaway!
September 1

September 1

coral embroidered tank // Loft
skinny jeans // Kohl’s
white flip flops // Old Navy
Happy Labor Day!  We checked out of the hotel early and were back home by lunch time. I experimented with a flatbread recipe for lunch (more to come on that soon), and finally finished up the Once Upon a Time sampler for August… only a day late!  It was so nice to have an extra day to catch up on some fun.

 

September 2

September 2

brown+black top with embroidery // Banana Republic via eBay
black pants // Banana Republic
floral flats // eBay
Sure did feel like a Monday… but so nice that it was actually Tuesday!  The weather was too iffy to walk after work, but truth be told I was still sore from climbing around the Dismals… so I didn’t mind!
September 3

September 3

black lace dress // Forever 21 via eBay
floral cardigan // Banana Republic
multi-metal tassel necklace // Charming Charlie
red t-strap wedges // eBay
I haven’t worn this dress in a while, but I felt cute all day long… love it when an outfit does that. After work I broke in my new tennis shoes (thanks, Labor Day sales!).  Now I wonder why I put up with blisters for so long, ha!  Breakfast for dinner, and that’s about all there is to say about Wednesday.
September 4

September 4

floral print top // Loft
navy blue cardigan // Old Navy
navy skinny pants // Old Navy
nude flats // PayLess
The style in my office is pretty mixed… some departments are very business-y all day every day, and other departments are pretty casual, so I’m never exactly sure what’s appropriate. But since most of the people in my department are pretty casual, I’m trying out some pants options that aren’t strictly slacks.  These navy pants aren’t quite jeans, but they still feel very casual to me… but when you’re sitting at a computer all day it doesn’t matter so much, I guess.  Business Casual is the weirdest dress code to figure out! Another busy day at work followed by another walk… in my new shoes!  Followed by Project Runway!  It’s the little things.
September 5

September 5

blue+white striped top // Charming Charlie
geometric pendant // eBay
skinny jeans // Old Navy via eBay
cutout flats // PayLess
TGIF! The short week flew by and before I knew it, it was Friday afternoon again. After work, I ran a few errands, got some laundry done, and spent some time with my sewing machine. Friday afternoons are the best.
September 6

September 6

grey+pink striped dress // eBay
white flip flops // Old Navy
We checked out the Tennessee State Fair around lunch time on Saturday… so much to see and do!  We ate fair food (my favorite), visited all the livestock, peeked at the various ribbon winners, and even rode the ferris wheel. Maybe it’s just because I read Charlotte’s Web again recently, but the whole thing seemed like such a classic American summertime activity… fun stuff!

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

Nashville City Sights: Tennessee State Fair

The Tennessee State Fair is open for the next couple weeks so we took a look over the weekend.  I don’t think I’ve ever been to a state fair before… it was fun!
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The food and rides were pretty standard fare (get it?!), but for us the fun part was all the exhibits and animals. Prize winning produce, crafts, and animals including lots of cows, pigs, goats, & poultry.  It was neat to mingle with people who live and work with animals all day long and get a glimpse of their world.
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
There was lots of great people watching around the carnival rides, too.
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
Of course we had to fit in the ferris wheel before heading home!
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
The Amateur Librarian // TN State Fair
 More city sights coming soon as we explore the Nashville area!

Meow Monday: Inside/Outside

The cats have had three homes now in their short little lives (not counting their extended visits with hubby’s Grandparents!). They used to have free reign inside and out when we lived in MS.  There was a park nearby but they mostly hung out on the front porch… wait, scratch that… Cora mostly tried to get herself killed by getting stuck in trees and caught by animal control.
The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday
The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday
When we moved to CA, they were suddenly inside-only cats with about 600 square feet of space to share. They tolerated each other pretty well, but the confined space led to plenty of spats over territory.
The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday
The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday
Now in TN, we have a bit more space but the most important improvement (for the cats, anyway) is the screened-in porch.  It keeps them contained with plenty of people/dog/bird watching to keep them entertained.  But really, all a cat needs is some sunshine and a human or two.  I suppose they’re technically still indoor-only cats, but that patch of porch has made all the difference for these outdoor-loving kitties.
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
It’s a win-win compromise for everyone, human and feline.
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