Tag Archives: crafting

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!

A Doodle a Day Update

Almost two years ago I challenged myself to a doodle a day, but that challenge pretty much fell by the wayside in the hubbub of moving across the country and starting a new job. I haven’t shared an update in quite a while, but I’ve been doodling a bit more lately with the help of Craft-a-Doodle, edited by Jenny Doh. I’m working my way slowly through the 75 different prompts from lots of cool artists, so here’s an update on a few recent doodles… some from around the office, some at home, and some inspired by the book (review coming soon!)

The Amateur Librarian // Doodle a Day

 

The Amateur Librarian // Doodle a Day

 

The Amateur Librarian // Doodle a Day

 

The Amateur Librarian // Doodle a Day

 

The Amateur Librarian // Doodle a Day

 

The Amateur Librarian // Doodle a Day

 

The Amateur Librarian // Doodle a Day

 

The Amateur Librarian // Doodle a Day

 

The Amateur Librarian // Doodle a Day

 

The Amateur Librarian // Doodle a Day

 

The Amateur Librarian // Doodle a Day

More doodles coming soon!

Round Up of Easy Adult-Friendly Valentines

Are you ready for V Day? I have another infusion tomorrow, so my parents will be here visiting this weekend. I’m sure we’ll find something fun to do. If you’re still looking for an easy DIY valentine idea, here are a few from past years (and this year too!)

And if you want to know what I made for hubby this year… it has cats on it. Surest way to get a smile from him!

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Valentines

Without further ado, the roundup!

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Valentines for Grown Ups

(Side note–Yikes, I’m glad my iPhone and picture-taking abilities have improved since 2010!)

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Hand Embroidered Valentines

Hand Embroidered Note Cards

The Amateur Librarian // Lovebird Valentines

Be My Tweet Heart!

The Amateur Librarian // Sign Language Valentines

Sign Language Valentines

Bee Mine Beeswax Valentine

You can count on me when things get sticky! Blow Pop Valentine

Cyclops Valentine

Love Boats

You’re a Hoot Valentine

Paper Heart Chain

Purr-fect Valentine

Seed Packet Valentine

Sole Mate Valentine

Vintage Valentine Banner // The Amateur Librarian

Valentine Clothesline Photo Gallery

Valentine Garland

Vintage Valentine Banner // The Amateur Librarian

Vintage Valentine Banner

Woven Hearts

Happy Valentine’s Day!

DIY Valentines: Hand Embroidered Cards

Only 9 days til V-Day… Valentine time again! This year I gravitated toward the idea of grownup-friendly hand embroidered cards as valentines, so I spent a couple hours last weekend going to town.  I used the same technique that I learned a couple years ago when I made jumbo Halloween cross stitch posters, just on a smaller scale.

DIY Hand Embroidered Valentine Cards

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Hand Embroidered Valentines

Time: 30 minutes per card

Cost: $5-10

Supplies:
– blank notecards
– red floss + needle
– ABC stamps + ink
– straight pin

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Hand Embroidered Valentines

Instructions:

Easy peasy, as usual! Draw your design on the card, poke holes with a straight pin at even intervals, then thread your needle with floss and use a back stitch to connect the dots.

I made three different designs, so here are a few pics of each one. For the first one, I probably could have drawn “XOXO” freehand onto the card, but I tried this way first. I drew my design on a scrap piece of paper, used painters tape to hold it in place, then poked holes through the two layers of paper.

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Hand Embroidered Valentines

You can barely see it in this pic, but there are the holes in the notecard.

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Hand Embroidered Valentines

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Hand Embroidered Valentines

I used a glue stick to glue the loose ends onto the back. If you wanted to get fancy, you could glue a piece of scrapbook paper on the inside cover of the card so you don’t see the back of the stitches.

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Hand Embroidered Valentines

Ta da, first one done!

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Hand Embroidered Valentines

Next, I did the same thing with a heart design and added stamps.

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Hand Embroidered Valentines

For this “tweet-heart” I drew a simple bird outline and added a message with stamps. First I looked for a design in an embroidery book I have (Stitches in Color) for some ideas, and traced a few of them, but ended up drawing something freehand directly onto the card. The stitches cover up pencil marks, so no need to erase!

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Hand Embroidered Valentines

 

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Hand Embroidered Valentines

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Hand Embroidered Valentines

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Hand Embroidered Valentines

 

Ta da!
The Amateur Librarian // DIY Hand Embroidered ValentinesThese were really fun to make on a rainy Sunday afternoon, and you could do a million different designs with this idea. Three cheers for a “love”ly V-Day!

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Hand Embroidered Valentines

Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch: January

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!
January features two reindeer nose to nose and snow… appropriate since we got a couple flurries this month!  One of the things I like most about this sampler is that each month is a different sized frame, and it’s not quite as detailed so it stitches up quickly.
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
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
One block down, eleven to go!
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
I’ll be sure to share my monthly progress, similar to last year. Stay tuned!

Update! DIY Journal Cover

Quick Update Time: I made a couple other comp notebook covers for Christmas gifts, so I updated the original post with a few more pics. (See post here!)

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Comp Notebook Covers

But don’t worry, I won’t make you click that link if you don’t want to. Here are a couple more pics:

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Comp Notebook Covers

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Comp Notebook Covers

This is such a quick and easy project from Stitched in Color’s tutorial, I’m sure there will be many more in my future!

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 finally started working on the Woodland Creatures monthly sampler… since this pattern came out in 2013, I don’t have to wait month by month for each new block! I finished up the borders over the weekend, and now I’m working on January’s block.

The Amateur Librarian // WIP Wednesday

 

The Amateur Librarian // WIP Wednesday

I’m still plugging away at the Fair Isle quilt (slowly). I’m doing each block QAYG, and then I’ll join them all together with sashing.

The Amateur Librarian // WIP Wednesday

 

The Amateur Librarian // WIP Wednesday

And as a side project, I’m back to doodling again with the help of Craft-a-Doodle. Lots of fun doodle prompts to inspire creativity from eighteen different artists… right up my alley! I’m having a lot of fun working through the book and trying out every idea.

The Amateur Librarian // WIP Wednesday

 

The Amateur Librarian // WIP Wednesday

 

The Amateur Librarian // WIP Wednesday

And that’s about it!

WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced

Linking up to WIP Wednesday on Freshly Pieced.

 

 

DIY Mastectomy Drain Pouch

I hesitated about sharing this project on the blog, since it touches on the unpleasant topic of cancer, but the more I thought about it the more I wished that I had been able to find a post like this when I was Googling “mastectomy drain pouch.”
When my cousin was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, her mastectomy surgery was scheduled within a few weeks right before the holidays. My mom suggested that I make a mastectomy drain pouch for her post-surgery recovery, which might help make recovery even the tiniest bit more comfortable.
Since I didn’t know much about this type of surgery and how the pouch could be most effective, I definitely wanted to use a pattern that had already been tested. I looked online, but it was difficult to find a pattern and I couldn’t find any step-by-step tutorials with pictures. Finally I found this free pdf pattern for “Breast Cancer Bags” from Online Quilting Magazine, with information about collecting these pouches to distribute them to hospital patients.
The Amateur Librarian // DIY Mastectomy Drain Pouch
The steps are pretty simple, but pictures always help me when I’m doing a project for the first time… so here are a few from the one I made.
The Amateur Librarian // DIY Mastectomy Drain Pouch The Amateur Librarian // DIY Mastectomy Drain Pouch
The Amateur Librarian // DIY Mastectomy Drain Pouch
The Amateur Librarian // DIY Mastectomy Drain Pouch
A few notes: I used dark fabrics to hide any stains that might occur, and I used the same fabric throughout instead of using a separate fabric for the lining. The strap is adjustable by tying it through the tab. I cut a strip for the strap as suggested, but it would be just as easy to use a jelly roll strip since it’s a handy width and length.
The Amateur Librarian // DIY Mastectomy Drain Pouch
Even though this is a simple project, hopefully it helps someone else online who’s looking for something thoughtful (and practical) to help a breast cancer patient going through this tough experience. Lots of love to my cousin who’s recovering from the surgery now.

Collections and Collages

I recently had three finished cross stitch projects professionally framed, and finally felt like I had enough of a collection for a collage wall.

The Amateur Librarian // Craft Storage

The big blank wall has been begging for art ever since we moved in. In all its glory:

The Amateur Librarian // Craft Storage

After quite a few deliberations, I finally settled on an arrangement. It was tricky to balance out the different sizes, frame finishes, and mat colors while still leaving room to grow if I add more projects later.

The Amateur Librarian // Craft Storage

 

The Amateur Librarian // Craft Storage

I’ve blogged before about all these projects, so here are some links if you want more details: The top left is a cross stitch that used to hang in my Grandmom’s house before my aunt passed it to me as a wedding present. Below that, the Welcome to Gingerbread Lane cross stitch that I finished around Christmas 2013. In the middle, the Once Upon a Time sampler that I worked on throughout 2014 and just finished up. The top right is the Autumn Harvest Festival cross stitch that I worked on last Fall. Below that is a another wintry sampler that I finished in 2011.

IMG_3748

I debated whether I wanted projects that were obviously “Christmas” or “Fall” displayed year round, but I decided the year-long project in the middle tied it all together, and with so many different  finishes going on I decided to embrace the mix and match feel.

Since I had a hammer in the guest room, I also rearranged my collection of mini quilts on the opposite wall. Here’s a look at the bakers twine clothesline (and old storage!) I had up before:

The Amateur Librarian // Craft Storage

I got tired of the twine, so I just used push pins to bring the collection closer together. It looks a bit off center but that’s because the furniture isn’t centered to leave a clear path to the guest bathroom. It doesn’t seem too off-centered when you’re in the room, though.

The Amateur Librarian // Craft Storage

 

The Amateur Librarian // Craft Storage

I even found a place for the little wooden house I painted the other weekend:

The Amateur Librarian // Craft Storage

Do banners and thread count as collections too? Because I also have some of both in the guest room too, above the sewing table.

The Amateur Librarian // Craft Storage

 

It’s nice to have a few of my favorite things in this room while I sew. And now that the walls are full, I think I’m done for now!

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