Author Archive: ladykatie32

Fair Isle Sew-Along: Week One

I’m super excited to join in on Freshly Pieced‘s Fair Isle Sew-Along! I love the pattern but it’s a bit intimidating and bigger than what I usually make… which is why I jumped at the chance to make it along with lots of others for tips and motivation.  Each week will tackle one row of the quilt, and in eight weeks I should have a completed quilt (cross your fingers, knock on wood, pinky swear, etc.) … here we go!

The Amateur Librarian // Fair Isle Quilt

Week One: Cutting

Lots and lots of cutting!

I love the look of solids but I’ve never made a quilt without a single print in sight… the poppy red, watermelon pink, lime, and white from the pattern were too perfect to resist! So I decided not to choose a different palette and went with the suggested colors.

The Amateur Librarian // Fair Isle Quilt

A few good podcasts got me through the hours of cutting (Stuff You Missed in History Class in this pic).

The Amateur Librarian // Fair Isle Quilt

I took Lee’s advice to label baggies with all the pieces needed for each block.

The Amateur Librarian // Fair Isle Quilt

It was super helpful to have a plan laid out, and now that the hard part is out of the way… bring on the blocks!

Week 2 starts today – the Poinsettia blocks. I’m excited to get started over the weekend!

WIWW: October 19-25, 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!

October 19

October 19

striped top // Old Navy
olive green skinny pants // Gap
nude flats // PayLess
Ran some errands in the morning and couldn’t resist stopping by a pumpkin patch before lunch. It’s definitely starting to feel like fall around here, and I love it!
October 20

October 20

floral peplum sweater // Belk
black pants // Banana Republic
black studded flats // eBay
Starting to bring out some sweaters now that the weather is cooler. After work, I visited the treadmill… not my favorite, but I do enjoy changing the speed and incline about a gazillion times. I can’t help myself from pushing all the buttons!
October 21

October 21

black top // Banana Republic via eBay
leaf necklace // eBay
floral cardigan / Banana Republic
striped maxi skirt // Gap
red t-strap wedges // PayLess
Love a maxi skirt whether it’s hot or cold. After work hubby went to a meet-up so I enjoyed some HGTV and leftovers until he came home. It’s nice to have a night to myself once in a while!
October 22

October 22

mustard top // IG closet
tassel necklace // Charming Charlie
floral cardigan // Old Navy via eBay
black skinny pants // Gap
black strap+cork wedges // PayLess
I love mustard yellow in the Fall – so here’s some more of it! Also, a favorite cardigan now that the office is cold in the mornings (but hot in the afternoons – the joy of a Southern autumn). After another busy work day, spent some time on the treadmill and caught up on my new favorite show – Jane the Virgin!
October 23

October 23

black lace top // Belk
olive green skinny pants // Gap
studded flats // eBay
Cora decided to make an appearance for the footwear portion – see her tiny little paw? I have two pairs of green pants in similar shades, and I can’t get enough of them lately! I can get away with these at my office, although they’re probably closer to jeans then “work pants.” By Thursday I usually don’t care, ha! Another day at work, another hour on the treadmill before the highlight of my week… the Project Runway finale! (Yes, I love Fall TV!)
October 24

October 24

sweatshirt with black lace inset // GroopDealz
skinny jeans // Kohl’s
silver flats // PayLess
TGIF! Definitely glad to start the weekend!
October 25

October 25

green top with crochet inset // Old Navy
skinny jeans // Kohl’s
brown boots // Deep South Pout

The boots were a bit of wishful thinking – it wasn’t quite cold enough, but I so wanted it to feel like Fall at the Pumpkin Fest! Downtown Franklin was lots of fun… but it was crowded! We visited for lunch, people watching, a bit of browsing, and the pet costume contest.

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

Easy Halloween Craft Roundup

It’s Halloween Week!  Here are a couple Halloweeny crafts from the past couple years… all super quick & easy!

The Amateur Librarian // Quick & Easy Halloween Treats

Cursive Skeletons

The Amateur Librarian // Quick & Easy Halloween Treats

I found this idea in an old Mailbox magazine from my teaching days, and it stuck in my head. These guys didn’t make the move but I’m sure I’ll be revisiting the idea again if I need a quick decoration!

Giant Modern Cross Stitch

The Amateur Librarian // Quick & Easy Halloween Treats

Spiders, Skulls, and boo! Oh my… these posters definitely made the move and are livening up the apartment right now!  Super easy 30-minute project – all you need is poster board, needle, and thread.

Reversible Bunting

The Amateur Librarian // Quick & Easy Halloween Treats

Gotta love bunting!  Halloween fabrics on one side, Thanksgiving on the other side… lasts all season!

Spider Web Cupcakes

The Amateur Librarian // Quick & Easy Halloween Treats

I can’t do anything fancy when it comes to baked goods, but these look pretty cute with no effort at all!

Patchwork Pumpkin Wall Hanging/Table Topper

The Amateur Librarian // Quick & Easy Halloween Treats

Last year it was a wall hanging, this year it’s hanging out on the dining room table. Lots of crazy novelty prints make up he patchwork pumpkin and string blocks.

Cheers to a spooky Halloween!  I’m still thinking of costumes to wear to work on Friday… but I’ll probably just go as a cat… (like every year… ha)!

The Amateur Librarian // Quick & Easy Halloween Treats

The Lost Reading Logs: March-May 2011

Another Lost Reading Log today… the cats are taking a day off!

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!

March – May 2011

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

 

Who’s Your City?,
by Richard Florida
1/3/11 4/17/11

 

B
PB
NF
Ape House,
by Sara Gruen
3/1/11 DNF

 

TBD
HB
F
The Diamond in the Window,
by Jane Langton
3/5/11 3/5/11

 

A+
PB
CL
The Quilter’s Apprentice,
by Jennifer Chiaverini
4/1/11 4/15/11 B-
PB
F
San Francisco for Dummies,
by Paula Tevis
4/9/11 4/9/11 A
PB
NF

 

Caddie Woodlawn,
by Carol Ryrie Brink
4/18/11 4/18/11 A
PB
CL

 

Boundaries in Marriage,
by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
5/28/11 DNF

 

TBD
PB
NF

 

Thoughts:

Who’s Your City?, by Richard Florida – B

The Amateur Librarian // 2011 Reading Log

Took a long time—1st part was a bit too research-based. 2nd and 3rd parts were better. Knowing SF was likely, at least the book speaks highly of it! Very interesting, if irrelevant to me—no choice!

Ape House, by Sara Gruen - DNF

The Amateur Librarian // 2011 Reading Log

Read about 2/3 and just… lost interest. Finally realized I would never finish it, so I mailed it for PBS. Just not my cup of tea, though it sounds interesting enough.

 …

The Diamond in the Window, by Jane Langton – A+

The Amateur Librarian // 2011 Reading Log

I would have adored this book as a child or young adult—mysterious old house, hidden room, magical dream quest, backwards English. Really wonderful. And perfect day to pick it up—a rainy Saturday with no plans.

 …

The Quilter’s Apprentice, by Jennifer Chiaverini – B-

The Amateur Librarian // 2011 Reading Log

At times the writing seemed really clumsy—the characters were shallow, the dialogue was stilted. But the bones of the plot were interesting, if a bit melodramatic, and the ending was good.   Of course, loved the quilting references. Somehow I might be hooked for the series.

 …

San Francisco for Dummies, by Paula Tevis – A

The Amateur Librarian // 2011 Reading Log

Pretty comprehensive (I think) and even though it’s meant for a trip I could still find relevant info for our move. I had my highlighter in hand to mark the must-sees.

 …

Caddie Woodlawn, by Carol Ryrie Brink – A

The Amateur Librarian // 2011 Reading Log

A mix between Anne of Green Gables and Little House on the Prairie. Surprised it’s not more popular/well-known. Caddie is a tomboy in a big pioneer family, adventures ensue. I always like it when the stories are true.

 …

Boundaries in Marriage, by Henry Cloud and John Townsend – DNF

The Amateur Librarian // 2011 Reading Log

Started, never finished.

A little context…  in March 2011 we found out that Sam got a job in San Francisco, hence all the San Fran references! I’m pretty sure I was freaking out… but I still had a job, a move to coordinate, health to think about, etc. etc. Sam left to start his job in May while I finished up teaching the school year… on the very last day of school, the movers came to load everything up.  I spent a week or so with my parents before boarding the plane… I remember reading Boundaries in Marriage on the plane ride (I need to pick up that book again & actually finish it! ) Sometimes I still can’t believe everything that’s happened in the last few years. Whew!

So that’s what I was reading in 2011… 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 – Pumpkin Patch. Stopped by the side of the road to pick up two little pumpkins. We’re not carving this year, so hopefully they won’t turn to mush… (not that that’s ever happened to me before…)
2 – Guild Stitching. I haven’t touched my sewing machine in a few weeks, but I’m still plugging away on the Autumn sampler, so I brought my cross stitch project to the “open sew” at this month’s modern quilting guild meeting. It was fun to get some stitching time in while admiring what everyone else was working on.. and enjoying homemade BBQ & caramel popcorn!
3 – Vintage Quilts. Speaking of the guild meeting… one of the ladies brought some really old quilts that have recently been found in her family. There were about a dozen total, and they were so cool! The hand stitching and color combos were really amazing… and inspirational!
4 – Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods. I picked up this book at the Southern Festival of Books a couple weekends ago, and I finally had a chance to start delving into it.  I love Greek mythology, and the illustrations by John Rocco are beautiful!
5 – Happy Mail. The ladies at Crafters for Courage host an annual fundraiser on Instagram and this year I won two awesome prizes – a Jamberry kit and a pincushion made with Heather Ross scraps. I love happy mail!

 …

I’m linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for H54F!

H54F

Short Lists: Want to Read vs. Should Read

You know what I miss? Book chat! So here are a couple short lists.
There are a lot of books out there, and never enough time to read them all.
Right now I want to read: 
Lena Dunham’s new book.
The Amateur Librarian // Book Chat
I always like a controversial feminist, and after reading a few of Lena Dunham’s pieces in The New Yorker, I’m convinced that she’s an honest-to-goodness actually good writer (shocking, I know, since she also writes/directs/stars in her own show). Plus, it’s fun to be in on the cultural conversation.
The latest book by Liane Moriarty.
The Amateur Librarian // Book Chat
I read What Alice Forgot this past summer and loved it… and I’ve heard really good things about this one too.  I really want to get lost in another can’t-put-it-down book.
The last book in the Magician trilogy by Lev Grossman.
The Amateur Librarian // Book Chat
The Magician’s Land is the last in the trilogy, I’ve had the book in hand for a couple weeks (and it was signed by the author) but… I really want to savor it so I’ve been waiting for the right time to start reading.
Girl’s Gone Child’s book, Rockabye.
The Amateur Librarian // Book Chat
I was somewhat aware of the Girl’s Gone Child blog for the past few years but didn’t read it regularly, but lately it’s really been speaking to me. She’s an old-school thoughts-and-feelings blogger, who doesn’t mess around with crafts or photo booths or home decor, which is kind of refreshing while all the other professional bloggers are looking more and more like picture-perfect magazines. Her book came out quite a few years ago now (2008), but lately I’ve been thinking about picking it up. I don’t have a great track record with enjoying books by bloggers, but this bee in my bonnet probably won’t go away until I read it.
Right now I should read:
Piles of Newbery books.
The Amateur Librarian // Book Chat
I’m trying to go about the Nerdbery challenge as cheaply and non-stressfully as possible – so most of the books I’ve accumulated have come from Paperbackswap.com, Kindle Unlimited, or library books. But now I’ve got piles all around and they’re constantly calling my name…
Speaking of library books… there are piles of those too.
The Amateur Librarian // Book Chat
With due dates.  I can never leave with just one or two books.
Here is Where by Andrew Carroll.
The Amateur Librarian // Book Chat
Remember Blogging for Books? Yeah, I got two books in and then got stuck on one. It’s interesting but it’s super long and I couldn’t get the ebook on the Kindle so I usually forget to look at my Overdrive app to keep reading.  Excuses, excuses… a couple months in, I should really just power through and finish it… but… did I mention all those other books that I want to read right now?
Book problems are the best problems :)

WIWW: October 12-18, 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!

October 12

October 12

polka dot chambray top // Old Navy
green skinny jeans // Old Navy
white flip flops // Old Navy
Wow, I didn’t realize this was an all-Old Navy outfit until I typed it out, ha!  The weather was pretty weird, as it usually is while the seasons change – rainy but humid and neither cold nor hot – hence the long sleeves and flip flops. We stopped by the Southern Festival of Books for the afternoon. Lunch, books to browse, and author sessions – great combo for a Sunday afternoon. (More here.)
October 13

October 13

floral print top // Loft
mustard cardigan // IG closet
black skinny pants // Gap
nude flats // PayLess
Crazy Monday at work, and that’s all I have to say about that. At least I had this cheery yellow cardigan amid the gloomy weather. Hubby’s office went home early due to weather, but the storms didn’t amount to much in our area, thankfully.
October 14

October 14

striped wrap dress // Target
navy cardigan // Old Navy
gold circle necklace // GroopDealz
brown ankle strap wedges // PayLess
It was almost too chilly for bare legs, and maybe for the rest of the year (knock on wood). More rain, which makes me want to hibernate… and definitely doesn’t make me want to work out. So I didn’t.
October 15

October 15

polka dot top // Loft
grey cardigan // Forever 21
chevron necklace // GroopDealz
olive green skinny pants // Gap
black boots // Belk
It’s finally boot weather! Broke them out for the first time this season. More rain, but I finally made myself go visit the treadmill, which was as much for my mental well-being as physical.  (Although I probably need to stop indulging in hot chocolates too, ha!)
October 17

October 17

grey sweater // Loft
navy cardigan // Target
seed pearls // inherited
navy+white print skirt // Loft
grey tights // Gap
blue-tipped flats // gift
Not feeling the heels this week at all! Wintry dress to match the weather outside, although it finally stopped raining.  Had a date with the treadmill again – trying to make some new habits!
October 16

October 16

black top with lace neckline // Anthropologie via eBay
olive green vest // Forever 21 via eBay
skinny jeans // Abercrombie & Fitch via eBay
nude flats // PayLess
 
TGIF… seriously. It was quite a rough week at work, but things finally calmed down by Friday. The rain also passed finally, so the temps were a bit warmer with the sun out again. That’s why I love vests! Just a little extra warmth when you don’t need a whole layer. Kicked off the weekend with our favorite Friday night tradition – free wine tasting, followed by dinner out
October 18

October 18

green tunic with lace neckline // Kohl’s
skinny jeans // Old Navy via eBay
nude flats // PayLess

Modern Quilt Guild meeting – hard to believe a month has flown by since the last one. I haven’t even touched my sewing machine! But meeting with this group is always a huge inspiration. I brought along my cross stitch project for the “open sew” and we enjoyed lots of good food – homemade caramel popcorn, macaroni & cheese, brownies, and one member’s professional barbecue chicken… so good.  Otherwise, just another Saturday.

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

Franklin City Sights: Pumpkin Patch

I wouldn’t normally blog about a ten-minute stop by a pumpkin patch on the side of the road… but this one happens to come with a background story.  We didn’t know anything about the pumpkin patch at all, other than that we noticed it pop up in the last week or so and drove by it almost every day. So when we were running errands over the weekend, we stopped by to pick out a pumpkin.
We found out that it is staffed with volunteers for the Cooper Trooper Foundation, and all proceeds go to research for pediatric cancer and “Cooper Trooper Caring and Courage Kits” for sibling of kids with cancer.  Cooper, the namesake, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer as an infant but is cancer-free today – and in fact, he and his older brothers were running around the pumpkin patch that day.
The Amateur Librarian // Cooper Trooper Pumpkin Patch
So… I’m no affiliated or anything, but it was a cool story and definitely made us feel even better about picking up a couple pumpkins to take home.  It looked like there were some other fun things for kids too – a bouncy house and wagons if you pick out a pile.  If you’re interested in the foundation, here’s their website: www.coopertrooper.org
If you live in the area, you should check it out!  And now a small photo dump… of course!
The Amateur Librarian // Cooper Trooper Pumpkin Patch
The Amateur Librarian // Cooper Trooper Pumpkin Patch
The Amateur Librarian // Cooper Trooper Pumpkin Patch
The Amateur Librarian // Cooper Trooper Pumpkin Patch
The Amateur Librarian // Cooper Trooper Pumpkin Patch
Here’s our mama & baby pumpkins hanging out by our front door!
The Amateur Librarian // Cooper Trooper Pumpkin Patch
 More city sights coming soon as we explore the Nashville area!

Meow Monday: Nap Attack

Tali has been hubby’s new nap buddy lately, and it’s pretty cute.  One of my favorite lazy weekend activities is I listening to podcasts while I cross stitch, and hubby usually takes naps.

Cora is usually found right behind my head.

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

Tali usually perches on the couch, but lately she’s been cuddling closer and closer.

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

(There are no actual nap attacks… but I couldn’t think of any other title.)

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 – Parents. It was so nice to see my folks again, even if it was a short visit. Of course we had to stop by the free beer tasting while they were here!
2 – Southern Festival of Books. It was really cool to browse some books and check out a couple of my favorite authors this past weekend. Can you tell I’m a Lev Grossman fan?
3 – Boot Weather. Finally, it feels like fall around here! (knock on wood)
4 – Wall O’ Bunting. My Dad always finds the best presents from his work travels – like this cat bunting! I finally got this hung up on the wall above my sewing machine, which is quickly becoming the place for all the bunting ever. I think my favorites are Spock the Cat and Dorothy with little Toto sitting on her back.
5 – Jane the Virgin. The premise of this show sounds pretty crazy (the main character is a virgin who is accidentally impregnated by her doctor… and a whole bunch of other complicated story lines) but I kept hearing good things about it, so we added it to the DVR and I was really impressed by the first episode! The acting is really good and the plot twists are crazy in a fun way.  I’ll be tuning in for the rest of the season for sure!

 …

I’m linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for H54F!

H54F

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