Tag Archives: crafting

Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch Sampler: July

I’m still 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!

Another adorable month… Thumbelina in her walnut boat!  I got a late start this month and wasn’t sure I’d finish in time, but it was still manageable before the end of the month rolled around. My favorite details this month were the extra little animals – the mouse on the sidelines, fish in the lake, and butterfly overhead. You know I love teeny tiny things, so this was fun to stitch up for sure.  Lots of couch time this month spent watching the World Cup and hanging out with my stitching buddies the cats.

Below are a few progress pics…

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time sampler

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time 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 sampler

The August block will be revealed tomorrow… can’t wait to see what fairy tale it will be!  I’ll try to keep up each month, so stay tuned for monthly updates…

Project Pinterest: Little Houses Mini Quilt

Remember my Hillside Houses quilt?  I found the Esch House pattern via Pinterest… here it is again!

The source link takes you to the Esch House Quilts pattern called Third Street neighborhood.  I loved the pattern so much that I made a mini version too!

I made a navy+white version first but liked it enough to make a mini version with the original black+white color combo too.
Little Houses Mini Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Little Houses mini quilt
Pattern: Third Street Neighborhood by Esch House Quilts
Finished Size: 24″ x 28″
Below are a few progress pics:
The Amateur Librarian // Little Houses mini quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Little Houses mini quilt
I used this tutorial for the houses, but then I used the placement order from the Third Street Neighborhood pattern.
The Amateur Librarian // Little Houses mini quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Little Houses mini quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Little Houses mini quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Little Houses mini quilt
I quilted with an organic grid.  “Organic” just means I didn’t mark anything so the lines are wonky.  I need to pick up some painters tape or a hera tool so I can actually mark some straight lines one of these days…
The Amateur Librarian // Little Houses mini quilt
I’m still determined to work on my binding.  The biggest problem I have is joining the two ends.  I’ve used the binding tool a couple times and it works fine, but if every little detail isn’t right then it doesn’t work at all.  So I’m still trying to figure out the easiest technique… and so far it hasn’t clicked, but I’m trying!
I’ve started using Stitched in Color’s zigzag binding tutorial because I also have a problem with the binding fraying and pulling apart after washing.  So far the zigzag holds up better, so that’s one step in the right direction!
The Amateur Librarian // Little Houses mini quilt

I didn’t have any plans for this mini quilt, but when my parents were visiting Mama reminded me that it would make a good wedding present, so that’s what it is!  We’re all traveling to a dear family friend’s wedding this weekend, so it was perfect timing… plus it’s fun giving something handmade.  I added a label to the back and now it’s making the journey with us!

Three cheers for Pinterest, once again!   I’m  also linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish Friday… it’s been a while!

Michael Miller Fabric Challenge

The Music City Modern Quilt Guild is participating in the Michael Miller fabric challenge, so I got a fat-eighths pack of the Petal Pinwheels fabric line to play with.  Solid colors and other fabrics from Michael Miller lines are allowed, but I decided to just make a mini quilt so I didn’t need to buy anything extra.

The Amateur Librarian // Michael Miller Challenge

Here are a few progress pics:

The Amateur Librarian // Michael Miller Challenge

I thought of making tiny patchwork at first, but I gave up on that idea and just used the little strips instead.  I made a little sketch but it changed a lot by the end.

The Amateur Librarian // Michael Miller Challenge

I improv-pieced as I went along and added scraps to each row of borders.

The Amateur Librarian // Michael Miller Challenge

The Amateur Librarian // Michael Miller Challenge

 

The Amateur Librarian // Michael Miller Challenge

 

The Amateur Librarian // Michael Miller Challenge

 

The Amateur Librarian // Michael Miller Challenge

I quilted a double cross hatch with “organic lines” which just means I didn’t mark anything so they’re a bit wonky.

The Amateur Librarian // Michael Miller Challenge

I hate binding and I usually try to cheat with cheater binding or a pillowcase finish, but I’m determined to get better this year so I’m forcing myself to practice on small projects.  I bought a Binding Tool a while back but it’s pretty confusing, so I had to watch a Youtube tutorial about fifty million times to get it right. But once I did it correctly it actually helped, woohoo!

The Amateur Librarian // Michael Miller Challenge

 

 

The Amateur Librarian // Michael Miller Challenge

On the back I pieced scraps from the fat-eighths, making the final size 16 x 18.

The Amateur Librarian // Michael Miller Challenge

The Amateur Librarian // Michael Miller Challenge

 

Another card added to the project box!

The Amateur Librarian // Michael Miller Challenge

Fun stuff!

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it Up Friday!

 

Project Pinterest: Quilt Ladder

Most of the quilts I make are given away as gifts, but the few that I keep end up folded and stacked out of sight. I’ve been looking for some way to display my quilts and keep them handy… Enter Pinterest to the rescue!  I’ve collected quite a few pins of ladders like this:

And hey… if I ever need more shoe storage I suppose this is another idea!

Quilt Ladder

The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Ladder

I love the idea of a rustic ladder for quilt displays, and we happened to have an empty wall space out of direct sunlight, so the hunt began!
Turns out… old ladders are expensive!  I guess there are lots of other people who have caught the Pinterest bug.  But the more I thought about it, the less I wanted an actual antique ladder… too risky if it’s full of splinters or rust or lead paint.  So I started focusing on refurbished or new ladders made for display.  I couldn’t find any in local stores, so I turned to Etsy and eBay and found lots of cute options… but the shipping was pretty steep.  Finally I found Willow Island Primitives on Etsy with a variety of sizes, colors, and the best part – free shipping!
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Ladder
The ladder just arrived the other week and I absolutely love it!  I chose the “colonial blue” color and love how it blends right in with the colors of the quilts and other colors in the living room.
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Ladder
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Ladder
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Ladder

Once again… three cheers for Pinterest!

To Craft List: Updated!

Back in April, I shared a To Craft list of all the ideas swirling in my head… now it’s been a couple months, so it’s time for an update!

Some things I tackled, others faded from my head when something new grabbed me… as usual!  So I updated the original list with a couple new ideas that I’m currently working on, and even a teeny tiny finished project that I forgot to blog about.  (If I never took a picture then it never really happened, right?! Right.)

On to the list!

To Craft:

  • Biscornu

Still on the list.  I have the pattern and the supplies… I think I even have the fabric, floss, and buttons set aside somewhere… but I haven’t started yet.  I started thinking that maybe I need to invest in a couple more Q-snaps so I can have a few projects going at once, but actually… no, that’s the last thing I need, ha!  I should be trying to keep my works-in-progress to a minimum so they actually get finished!  Eventually I will get to this, because biscornus are so cool (and fun to say!).

(I bought this exact pattern from Satsuma Street and she has a tutorial on her blog for putting it together!)

  • House quilt.The Amateur Librarian // Hillside Houses Quilt
Yes!  I can happily cross this off the list – and there’s a blog post to prove it!  My house quilt is hanging in the living room and I love it.  Actually, I started making a mini version too, so here’s a peek of the layout and up on the “design wall”:
The Amateur Librarian // To Craft List Update
The Amateur Librarian // To Craft List Update
I just need to finish up the quilting and then I’ll do a post about it. (“Design Wall” deserves air quotes because it’s just a scrap of batting thumb tacked to the wall but one of these days I hope to make something better!)

  • Jelly Roll Race quilt.The Amateur Librarian // One Jelly Roll Race = Two Baby Quilts

Another yes!  Although it didn’t turn out quite how I expected… here’s the blog post explaining how I made the top and then decided I didn’t like it, so I sliced it up and made two baby quilts instead (one Rail Fence and one Chinese Coins).  I kept one and gave one to my BFF when she got married.

  • Strippy Table Runner.The Amateur Librarian // Strippy Table Runner

Yes!  Another wedding present for my BFF, in MSU colors since all of us share the same alma mater.  (Here’s the blog post for more details)

  • Mermaid Cross Stitch.The Amateur Librarian // To Craft List Update

Started!  I pick this one up when I’m not working on the Once Upon a Time or Quilty Stitches samplers… so almost never.  But I still plan to use the finished product in another mini quilt to add to my nautical mini collection.

  • Hoop Art.

Nope.  Maybe some day… But I realized I already have a ton of extra art hanging around, so I probably don’t need to add to the piles!

And now for a few new additions to the list!

  • Flying Geese

The Amateur Librarian // To Craft List Update

The Amateur Librarian // To Craft List Update
The Amateur Librarian // To Craft List Update
The Amateur Librarian // To Craft List Update
I’ve been obsessed with flying geese lately, and after seeing this block through another blogger’s bee challenge, I decided to give it a whirl!  Trying to decide now if I should add more blocks (I made enough for 4 more) or leave it at that with a big solid border for a baby quilt.  So these blocks are sitting on the design wall while I ponder.

  • Michael Miller fabric challenge

I recently joined the Music City Modern Quilt Guild, and they’re participating in the Michael Miller fabric challenge, so I got a little pack of fat-eighths to play with.  I want to try to use what I have, so I’ll probably make a mini quilt of some sort.  Here’s a couple pics of what I started working on:

The Amateur Librarian // To Craft List Update

 

The Amateur Librarian // To Craft List Update

 

The Amateur Librarian // To Craft List Update

 

The Amateur Librarian // To Craft List Update

  • Craft Room

This falls under crafts, right?? I have lots of thoughts but I don’t quite know where to start.  It’s not a huge space, but it’s so nice to have a little room that’s not smack in the middle of the living room to house all my crafty stuff. I definitely want to make a bigger and better design wall, find a better organization system for my craft stuff and the closet in general, and put up some kind of art.  I’m thinking I might bring the bakers twine clothesline back, but maybe hang my mini quilt collection instead of photos.  And for over the sewing table, I found this cute Coke crate at a local antique store and I think it’ll be great for thread storage.

The Amateur Librarian // To Craft List Update

Definitely a work in progress!

  • WIPs
I unearthed a few quilt tops that never became quilts – this Disappearing Nine Patch which was one of my very first quilts, the Moving on Up Piece by Piece top that I made in San Francisco, this tree skirt that I’ve been trying to finish since 2010, and now the Mini Houses quilt top has been added to the list.  I need to make a big trip to the fabric store for more batting and quilt backing and power through the pile… it’s not a huge stack so hopefully it’s still manageable.
And a finish!  A little needlebook kit came with one of my Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine issues, so in the days before starting my new job I spent a couple hours with the teeny tiny hexis and put it together.  Somehow I never blogged about it, so here it is!
The Amateur Librarian // To Craft List Update
The Amateur Librarian // To Craft List Update
The Amateur Librarian // To Craft List Update

And that’s all for this update!  Does anybody else have too many ideas and too little time?

Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch Sampler: June

I’m doing 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 know I say it every month, but I think June is my favorite yet! I love the mattresses piled up and the pink chandelier!

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 Cross Stitch

 

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 Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

Below are a few progress pics…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 Cross Stitch

 

 

The June block will be revealed soon… I can’t wait to get started!  I’ll try to keep up each month, so stay tuned for monthly updates…

Project Pinterest: DIY Watercolor Sailboats

Another watercolor project!  I’m not sure what sparked my interest in watercolors lately, but I have a set that I’ve never used before and thought it’d be something fun to learn a bit about.  Like I’ve said before, I regularly pin lots of ideas from the Art Projects for Kids blog, so that’s exactly where I started hunting.  I love her art projects because they’re extremely simple but also yield beautiful results!

I really loved the watercolor flower garden, so I looked for something similar.  Here’s the pin that I chose for my second watercolor project:

You know I have a thing for sailboats and all things nautical – I couldn’t resist!

DIY Watercolor Sailboats

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Sailboats

 

Time: 30 min-1 hour, and then several hours to dry

Cost: $10-15 if you buy everything new

Supplies:

  • water color set
  • paint brush
  • watercolor paper
  • black permanent market
  • white crayon
  • glass of water
  • newspaper/paper towels to protect your workspace

Instructions:

Go to the source for the tutorial… once again, the description is short and sweet because it’s pretty simple!  (Side note: my watercolor set didn’t come with a regular brush for some reason, so I used a foarm brush that I had on hand.)  Here are a few progress pics:

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Sailboats

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Sailboats

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Sailboats

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Sailboats

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Sailboats

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Sailboats

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Sailboats

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Sailboats

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Sailboats

Basically: draw a simple outline of a boat with a black marker (or do it in pencil first and then trace with the marker).  Add a horizon and trees.  Use a white crayon to add details in the water like a reflection under the boat and waves.  Paint with watercolors.  Let dry.  Ta da!

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Sailboats

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Sailboats

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Sailboats

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Sailboats

I love simple projects like this – they don’t take a ton of time but doing it takes an entirely different kind of focus which feels so refreshing.  I’m definitely looking for more ideas like this one to keep using my watercolors!

Once again… three cheers for Pinterest!

Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch Sampler: May

I’m doing 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!

May’s block is Jack and the Beanstalk – complete with a cow, a magic bean, and a few gold coins!  I love having an ongoing project that can be completed in the little moments between work and the weekend and all that goes on… it’s manageable and so much fun to anticipate the next month!

Below are a few progress pics…

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 Cross Stitch

 

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 Cross Stitch

 

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 Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Once Upon a Time Cross Stitch

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 June block will be revealed soon… I can’t wait to get started!  I’ll try to keep up each month, so stay tuned for monthly updates…

Project Pinterest: DIY Jewelry Organization

What what… two Pinterest Projects in one week??  Yep… because it’s my birthday :)  I’m officially in my late twenties!

And what better way to celebrate than combining two of my favorite things… jewelry and organization?!

You may remember my last DIY jewelry organization system using silverware trays:

This worked really well for me in San Francisco where there was plenty of wall space but not much closet space.

In the new apartment I’ve got a different situation and the old system just wasn’t working for me anymore. Now I have a walk-in closet (hip hip hooray!) and since all of hubby’s clothes still fit in a dresser (besides a few dress shirts that are hung up), I have it all to myself.  So now I have more closet/storage space but less wall space.  There’s a strange little half wall that I wanted to take advantage of, so at first I still tried to use my old system… but here’s how it ended up:

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Jewelry Organization

Too many long necklace that ended up tangled and hung on the knobs of that little set of drawers (it holds my socks/underthings).  So what’s a girl to do?  Consult Pinterest of course!  There are so, so many creative ideas out there!

Here’s what I finally settled on:

 

I also liked those cute painted boards with lots of random knobs like this one:

The problem is that by the time you buy a piece of wood, paint and distress it, buy five different knobs and attach them, it costs way more than $7… which is exactly how much I paid for one from Hobby Lobby at half price.  Sometimes DIY is not worth the trouble!

So I used one store bought set of hooks for my short necklaces, and DIY’d a new setup for my long necklaces.  The combination really works well for me and uses the space I have – I love it!

DIY Jewelry Organization

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Jewelry Organization

 

Time: half an hour

Cost:  about $15

Supplies:

  • towel rack ($7)
  • shower curtain s-hooks ($5)

Instructions:

So simple, I barely need to say anything!  Attach the towel rack to the wall.  Hang s-hooks.  Tada!

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Jewelry Organization

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Jewelry Organization

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Jewelry Organization

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Jewelry Organization

I think I actually bought the exact same towel rack from the original pin, but it just happened to be what I found at Hobby Lobby (gotta love those 50% off coupons!)… it fits the space and it was a great deal.  At first I wasn’t sure if I liked the ornate shower curtain hooks, but again it was what I found at the store so it works for me!  But you could definitely use simple s-hooks instead.

The Before and After is so much more functional!

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Jewelry Organization

 

And while we’re in the closet, here’s a quick look around!

Here’s a peek at my shoe storage:

We had an extra small cabinet used for dvds, so I tried using that at first… what a mess!  The shelves were way too narrow and everything kept falling over.  I found some stackable shelves that are actually meant for dishes that work perfectly… I can even add more if I need more storage!

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Jewelry Organization

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Jewelry Organization

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Jewelry Organization

 

It’s also nice how much brighter the closet feels now that the dark shelves are gone.  It’s been a challenge to use the vertical space as much as possible, but I’m happy with this arrangement for now.  Works for me!

Now that I think about it, my closet is full of Pinterest-inspired ideas…

Flip flops in a magazine box!

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Jewelry Organization

Rolled up magazines to keep boots upright!

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Jewelry Organization

Organizing tops in order of sleeve (sleeveless, short, long), color, and casual/work… OK, so that one I already did by myself.

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Jewelry Organization

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Jewelry Organization

 

Once more… three cheers for Pinterest!

Project Pinterest: DIY Watercolor Flowers

I’m not sure what sparked my interest in watercolors lately, but I have a set that I’ve never used before and thought it’d be something fun to learn a bit about.  It’s hard not to let the idea of perfectionism get in my way of just dabbling in something… but hey, that’s why I’m an amateur after all!  I regularly pin lots of ideas from the Art Projects for Kids blog, so that’s exactly where I started hunting.  I love her art projects because they’re extremely simple but also yield beautiful results!

Here’s the pin I settled on for my first foray into watercolors:

I liked the idea of embracing the “puddles” and I love how it turned out!

DIY Watercolor Flowers

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Flowers

Time: 1-2 hours split into 2 sessions (with a break of several hours of drying time)

Cost: $10-15 if you buy everything new

Supplies:

  • water color set
  • paint brush
  • watercolor paper
  • ultra fine point permanent black marker
  • glass of water
  • newspaper/paper towels to protect your workspace

Instructions:

Go to the source for her tutorial, although there aren’t a whole bunch of instructions.  You can probably figure it out from a few progress pics:

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Flowers

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Flowers

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Flowers

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Flowers

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Flowers

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Flowers

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Flowers

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Flowers

 

 

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Flowers

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Flowers

Basically: make lots of splotches, encouraging “puddles” to merge.  Add green to the bottom.  Let dry for several hours.  Outline the flowers and stems with a black marker.  I love how the lines really transform a bunch of splotches into a delicate flower garden. (Side note: my watercolor set didn’t come with a paint brush, so I just used a foam brush that I had on hand from another project.)

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Flowers

 

The Amateur Librarian // DIY Watercolor Flowers

 

This project was so much fun!!  I actually started this project on my last day of unemployment – I was anxious about starting a new job and had an icky medical procedure to (not) look forward to as well, so I really needed an activity to take my mind off my thoughts.  I made three pages of flowers and let them dry for a few days until I could come back to finish it up.  I really love how they turned out, and now I’m not quite so afraid of watercolors!

Once more… three cheers for Pinterest!

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