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A Few of My Favorite Things: Needlework Notions

I love the little accessories that start to accumulate with a new craft.  I’ve been into cross stitching again after a long absence, and part of the fun is definitely the notions that help out… and are just plain cute!  Below are a few of my favorites, along with some links if you’re interested.

The Amateur Librarian // Essential Cross Stitch Notions

 

Here are a few of the notions I’ve collected so far:

  • Needle minder – definitely my favorite notion, and so helpful!  Two magnets keep your needle in place, so no more lost needles in the couch cushions!  I have three now, one for each ongoing project.  I’ve found them on Etsy and eBay – my favorite store is Oh, Needle Mind! on Etsy.
  • Needle threader.  I used the cheapo threaders that come in sewing kits but they kept getting bent out of shape so I invested in this Clover needle threader and I’ll never go back!
  • Tiny scissors.  I have a few pairs but my favorite is this pair from my Grandma’s knitting accessories.
  • Thread minder.  I’ve had a few of these plastic horse thread minders from when I first started cross stitching in high school and never really used them, until I found out recently that they can be used to keep track of your leftover bits of floss.  Genius!  Before, I just kept the remainders in a jumbled pile or added them back to my ring of floss which was pretty messy… I like this much better!  I found the exact same item on Etsy, but here is a really cute one I also have my eye on…
  • Binder ring.  I use a binder ring to keep all my floss for each project together.  At the end of the project I transfer the floss to bobbins (more on that in this post).
  • Needle book.  This little thing is great for keeping all my embroidery needles in one place – I used to do a lot of prepackaged kits, so I’ve accumulated a lot of needles over the years!  Now they’re all in one place.  I thought about making a needle book myself – It’s essentially a quilted cover with some sort of closure and a few felt pages inside for the needles.  But I never got around to it, so I ended up finding this one on Etsy and it’s perfect!  (I found it at this shop but she no longer carries the item.)
  • Tin box.  I’m always on the hunt for little boxes to keep everything in one project together, especially if it’s a big project like the Once Upon a Time Sampler which lasts all year.  Old Birchboxes are perfect, but tin is even better for durability… and cuteness!  I love my square box which came with a coffee mug as a gift… it even has a clear window for peeking inside.

The Amateur Librarian // Essential Cross Stitch Notions

I also found this adorable fox tin on clearance at Target for $1.50 – it’s the perfect size!

The Amateur Librarian // Essential Cross Stitch Notions

 …

So those are my favorite notions… so far.  I’m sure there will be more!

But if you were new to the cross stitch/embroidery/needlework world and didn’t know where to start, these three are probably the most helpful: needle minder, needle threader, and little scissors!

The Amateur Librarian // Essential Cross Stitch Notions

These are just a few of my favorite things… fun stuff!

Project Pinterest: Organize Books by Color

You might have seen my new favorite feature in our apartment from last week’s High Five for Friday post - my color-ordered bookcase!  I’ve seen plenty of intriguing pins featuring the “chromatic arrangement” of books… AKA rainbow order… so with a blank bookcase and boxes of books, I decided to give it a try.   I love the results!

But first, a few of the pins that inspired me:

 

 

There’s not much to it… but here’s my rendition!

Organizing Books by Color

The Amateur Librarian // Project Pinterest: Organize Books in Color Order

Time: 1-2 hours

Cost: Free!

Supplies:

  • empty bookcase
  • books

Instructions:

Create stacks of books with spine colors of each color of the rainbow.  In addition to ROY G BIV, I also made stacks of white, ecru/beige, brown, grey, and black spine colors.

The Amateur Librarian // Project Pinterest: Organize Books in Color Order

 

The Amateur Librarian // Project Pinterest: Organize Books in Color Order

 

The Amateur Librarian // Project Pinterest: Organize Books in Color Order

Start arranging books on the bookcase!

My general color spectrum went in this order: White, Ecru/beige, Pink, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, Brown, Grey, Black.  Of course there are lots of ways to arrange them in the most pleasing order, but that’s what made sense to me.  It’s all up to your interpretation of each color… yellow could also be beige or brown… but I tried not to overthink it too much.  And of course, it’s hard to resist switching a book or two every time I pass by!

The Amateur Librarian // Project Pinterest: Organize Books in Color Order

 

The Amateur Librarian // Project Pinterest: Organize Books in Color Order

 

The Amateur Librarian // Project Pinterest: Organize Books in Color Order

 

The Amateur Librarian // Project Pinterest: Organize Books in Color Order

The con is definitely splitting up series of books, but since my collection only fills two bookcases I decided it was still worth it.  I probably wouldn’t attempt this project if I had thousands of books to organize… too many hours and it would be too hard to find the book you want unless you remember exactly what color the spine is (which often doesn’t match the cover).  But the pro is that it’s just plain pretty!  And for a small collection, it’s a painless project with a fun result!

The Amateur Librarian // Project Pinterest: Organize Books in Color Order

Once again, hooray for Pinterest!

Meow Monday: Cats of Instagram, Part Eleven

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Still no cats to photograph around here, but hopefully they’ll be here soon!!  All our stuff was finally delivered yesterday, so I’m knee-deep in boxes trying to get everything into some kind of order.  And now that our stuff is here, the cats can come to their new home!

So today I’m catching up on another batch of Instagram cat pics, and next week I should have some real-time pics, yippee!  Enjoy!

Laundry day means extra naps for the cats

Laundry day means extra naps for the cats

Cora is not amused by her Halloween costume

Cora is not amused by her Halloween costume

Every day is lazy if you're Cora

Every day is lazy if you’re Cora

Majestic Tali

Majestic Tali

Laser pointer fun

Laser pointer fun

Starting a cross stitch project after a long, long hiatus!

Starting a cross stitch project after a long, long hiatus!

Nap time = stitch time

Nap time = stitch time

Beautiful Tali in black and white

Beautiful Tali in black and white

Guilty pleasure TV is the best stitching background... yep, Cora watches Teen Mom too!

Guilty pleasure TV is the best stitching background… yep, Cora watches Teen Mom too!

Holiday glow

Holiday glow

Meow Monday: MS Updates

The best part about our kitties staying with Sam’s family while we get settled is all the updates!  We get lots of pictures and hear all about their activities!

Cora was a little shy at first…

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

They’ve got their own room, and lots of human visitors.

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

Cora is ever the dare devil of course…

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

But most of all, they’re safe and sound with family!  We can’t wait to be reunited, hopefully soon… we found a place to rent and today’s our moving day!  Once our stuff makes its way to Tennessee, we’ll be able to unpack and set up a home sweet home for the cats.

Packing Tips

We’re safely in Tennessee but my mind is still on packing… our stuff is on a truck making it’s way across the country.  We’re still searching for a place here, so we don’t have an address to give the movers yet… trying not to freak out about that little detail!  When everything gets sorted out, there’s still the unpacking to do… joy!

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This was the first major move that we really packed everything ourselves – no helpful parents around at all!  I would get really intimidated before starting to pack a new section of the apartment, so I looked  to YouTube tutorials for help along the way.  There are lots of great tips, whether you’re packing for a big move or traveling on vacation…  Below are a couple of my favorites links!

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meowless Monday

 

Packing dishes and glassware:

Packing Jewelry – using straws and buttons!

Packing kong necklaces with a ziplock bag

Meowless Monday

It’s Monday but I have no cats to photograph… Sad face. Cora and Tali are safe with Sam’s family and we get frequent updates, which is the next best thing! As soon as we find a place and move in, we’ll be reunited.

 

Until then, here are a few pics from our move this past weekend… we’ve got free Wifi at the hotel, so as long as I have access to the internet I’ll continue to blog on my regular schedule!

The day of the move, it kept raining off and on.  The movers didn’t come until after lunch and we were all packed up, so I took one last walk around the neighborhood.  I will definitely miss the character of all the architecture!

The Amateur Librarian // Meowless Monday

But soon, enough, the moving truck came…

The Amateur Librarian // Meowless Monday

Goodbye apartment!

The Amateur Librarian // Meowless Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meowless Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meowless Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meowless Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meowless Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meowless Monday

 

I’m still wrapping my brain around the fact that we’re really here in Nashville for good!

Meow Monday: To Grandmother’s House We Go

Saturday was a sad, difficult day.  We packed up the kitties and brought them to the airport for a trip to Mississippi.  We don’t have a place in Nashville yet,  so the cats are going to stay with Sam’s family until we’re settled.

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

It was quite a hassle, including going to the wrong terminal, bringing the wrong kennels, and “upgrading” to priority for twice the cost.

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

Everyone assumes Cora will be the problem child, but she was actually very calm and went with the flow.  Tali is the one who wouldn’t stop crying and pooing in her kennel… good thing we brought a whole pack of puppy pads with us!    I think it might be because we’ve had Cora since she was a kitten and she trusts us more, while Tali was already a couple years old when we adopted her and is always a bit skittish.

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

Fortunately they made it safely to MS, although I’m sure they were thoroughly traumatized.  We have pictures and text updates that they’re doing fine and settling into their new temporary home!  The apartment is eerily quiet… it’s so weird not to have them scampering around.  I have to admit, it’s nice not to have to clean up messes and we have much more room to store moving boxes now that the litter boxes are out of the way.  But I sure do miss those little furry things!  Hopefully it will only be a couple weeks until we’re settled and can reunite.

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

We’re in crunch time now… T minus 4 days until M Day!

Meow Monday: Cliffhanger

Happy President’s Day!   I am so, so happy to have a holiday weekend!

Things have amped up around here in preparation for some big changes, and being sick hasn’t helped at all.  The cats are very curious because we have some new additions to the apartment… a big ole pile of boxes.

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

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

More on that later… I’m going to drop a cliffhanger on you and share some big news tomorrow!

Meow Monday: Cats of Instagram, Part Ten

Time to catch up with the cats of Instagram again!  I’m trying to figure out when these were taken… let’s see, that quilt in the first pic was made in September, but otherwise I can’t see any signs of the time of year… it’s funny how cats just exist in a seasonless vortex!

Scenes from a Sunday... sewing, crafting, dishes, and cats!

Scenes from a Sunday… sewing, crafting, dishes, and cats!

Not much room for me at the table...

Not much room for me at the table…

Home Sweet Home!

Home Sweet Home!

Naptime with Cora

Naptime with Cora

Sleepy afternoon

Sleepy afternoon

Cora's Closeup

Cora’s ready for her closeup

School Picture Day!

School Picture Day!

Tali's Picture Day

Tali’s Picture Day

Yawn!

Yawn!

Both cats giving me the stinkeye when I wake them up taking pictures!

Both cats giving me the stinkeye when I wake them up taking pictures!

Meow Monday: Watercolors

Yep, I’m totally obsessed with the new Waterlogue app.  I’m turning every pic on my camera roll into a water color!

Of course the cats did not escape the fun…

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

Here are a few of my favorite other pics… I’m thinking some of these could be really cool printed and framed!

The Amateur Librarian // Waterlogue

 

The Amateur Librarian // Waterlogue

 

The Amateur Librarian // Waterlogue

 

The Amateur Librarian // Waterlogue

 

 

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