High Five for Friday!

I’m sharing the highlights of my week… five to be exact!  Focusing on five little things that made me happy is my way of recapping the week and a reminder to stay grateful.

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

1 – Homeownership. With the recent warm weather I’ve been feeling a surge of appreciation for all the “firsts” of being a homeowner. I’m sure the novelty will wear off eventually, but spending the weekend puttering around the yard (we even bought a weedwacker!) has been really fun.
2 – HBO. We binge watched the first two seasons of Silicon Valley so we could catch the premiere of the new season AND the premiere of Game of Thrones on Sunday. So much good TV!
3 – Weezer’s White Album. The new album is bringing back some serious 90s nostalgia to my ears this week. Jacked Up is my new favorite song.
4 – Pub Trivia. We stumbled upon a pub trivia session while eating out on a Monday night and stuck around long enough to order dessert (that almost never happens even though I have a serious sweet tooth!). Ever since I found out I was pregnant, I’ve been savoring spontaneous moments like these since I know our lives are about to change so drastically in a few short months.
5 – Texas Frightmare. This week my main focus has been preparing for a work conference this weekend. Trying to look at the bright side: shaking up the routine work week, comped meals, hanging out with my co-workers, people watching… OK that’s the end of my list, ha! Wish me luck.

The Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch: April

This is my third year to work on a year-long cross stitch project, and the second year to play along with the mystery stitch-along month by month. Stitching Once Upon a Time in 2014 and Woodland Creatures in 2015 was so much fun – it’s addictive!

In 2016 I’m joining the Pumpkins on an adventure around the world. The fourth stop was Switzerland and I loved everything about this adorable scene, from the boy’s little hat to the swan in the moat to the sheep on top of the mountain. So super cute… and I can’t wait to see where we go in May.

A few progress pics:

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

The finished blocks so far:

 

 

 

 

 

 

April

April

 

Four months down, eight to go!

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

WIP Wednesday

Another weekly update on my current Works in Progress:)

Spring Ring Cross Stitch

 

My main cross stitch project I’m working on this year is the Pumpkin Passport mystery sampler, but after finishing up April’s block (pics tomorrow!) I couldn’t resist starting a mini project. I’ve had this wee 4″ hoop for a while and it is the perfect size for Alicia Paulson’s Spring Ring pattern. Picking out fabric and floss colors is always my favorite part, and this one should come together quickly.

The Amateur Librarian // Spring Ring Cross Stitch

Secret Sewing
Still chain piecing for some secret baby sewing. Here’s another sneak peek… little nine patches:)
The Amateur Librarian // Blueberry Shortcake Quilt

And that’s about it!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday on Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced

Behind the Scenes

Thanks again for all the love and support for the big news I shared last week. We’re so excited to meet our baby girl in October!

My brother was sweet enough to take the pics while we were all at the beach a couple weeks ago. We didn’t know the gender at the time, so we brought two little pairs of flip flops. Then we only needed to choose from half of the final photos:)

The Amateur Librarian // Flip Flop Gender Reveal

Here’s a little behind the scenes action of the pro (and his many “helpers”) at work!

The Amateur Librarian // Flip Flop Gender Reveal

 

The Amateur Librarian // Flip Flop Gender Reveal

 

The Amateur Librarian // Flip Flop Gender Reveal

 

The Amateur Librarian // Flip Flop Gender Reveal

 

The Amateur Librarian // Flip Flop Gender Reveal

 

The Amateur Librarian // Flip Flop Gender Reveal

 

The Amateur Librarian // Flip Flop Gender Reveal

 

The Amateur Librarian // Flip Flop Gender Reveal

 

The Amateur Librarian // Flip Flop Gender Reveal

Thanks again, bro!

The Amateur Librarian // Flip Flop Gender Reveal

 

 

The Amateur Librarian // Flip Flop Gender Reveal

Meow Monday: Outdoor Update

The new doors are by far the biggest news in the cats’ world these days (just wait until October… they are in for a rude awakening, ha!) and both Cora and Tali have had their share of adventures so far.

Tali has finally started using the cat doors, but only if we refuse to help at all. If she knows we’ll hold the flaps open for her or open the back door, she’ll wait around for us to do that. If we ignore her crying, eventually she’ll go through on her own. She’s a smart one… in her own way. Once outside, she explores a lot further than Cora does (including houses still under construction), but hopefully she’ll start sticking closer to home once she figures out the territory.

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

Cora brought us “presents” the first couple nights she spent out hunting, which we promptly disposed of outside. On the third night, she brought in one that was still alive… a baby bunny. We heard it scratching around early in the morning and thought the worst case scenario was that Cora was playing with something dead… but we had no idea it was actually alive and well! Fortunately neither of the cats seemed to hurt the rabbit while it was in the house, they just chased it around the laundry room. After we figured out where (and what) it was, both of the cats seemed to lose interest… I guess one night of play was enough for them. I had to get to work that morning and Sam couldn’t lure it into a cat carrier, but a wildlife removal specialist was able to trap and release it. Whew!

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

The bunny adventure seemed to curtail Cora’s presents and hopefully that’s the last of the adventures for a while… crossing fingers and toes!

High Five for Friday!

I’m sharing the highlights of my week… five to be exact!  Focusing on five little things that made me happy is my way of recapping the week and a reminder to stay grateful.

 

The Amateur Librarian // H54F The Amateur Librarian // H54F
1 – Big Flipping News. Of course the biggest news is the secret I’ve been keeping the last few months!  We’ve been overwhelmed with the love from friends and family and it’s been so, so hard keeping it off the blog. (AND a big thank you to my brother for the fun photo shoot on the beach!)
2 – Outdoor Adventures. The cats are loving their newfound freedom outside. Cora has been bringing us presents from her outdoor adventures, and Tali left the porch for the first time this week.
3 – Secret Sewing. Now that I’m getting some energy back, my sewjo has come back too. Lots of projects in the works!
4 – Maybelline Dream Velvet Foundation. I stick to the same makeup routine for years, but recently I was on the hunt for a new foundation and Kate recommended this one on Instagram – and now I’m hooked!
5 – The Jungle Book. Loved the new movie (and a theatre full of kids on opening weekend was fun)!

Big Flipping News

 

The Amateur Librarian // Flip Flop Gender Reveal

We’re flipping out… baby girl coming in October 2016:)

The Amateur Librarian // Flip Flop Gender Reveal

 

The Amateur Librarian // Flip Flop Gender Reveal

 

The Amateur Librarian // Flip Flop Gender Reveal

 

The Amateur Librarian // Flip Flop Gender Reveal

 

The Amateur Librarian // Flip Flop Gender Reveal

Photography courtesy of my awesome brother… and soon to be Uncle! I can’t resist sharing a pic of the grandparents too:)

The Amateur Librarian // Flip Flop Gender Reveal

The Amateur Librarian // Flip Flop Gender Reveal

WIP Wednesday

Another weekly update on my current Works in Progress… I’m slowly climbing out of my crafty rut and actually have a couple to share this week:)

The Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

In April we’re visiting snowy Switzerland and adding another character to the journey. I love this scene, and after a couple busy weekends I finally had a chance to get started. I even brought it to guild on Saturday, since I’m a delinquent quilter and sat out for the zipper pouch class.

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

 

Secret Sewing
I’ve got baby quilts on my mind – with a few friends expecting their first babies this year, I’ve been looking for some quick patterns so I can whip up a few quilt tops with the goal of getting them professionally quilted this summer. I finally landed on a pattern for baby quilt #1 and started cutting over the weekend… but it will have to remain a secret for now. Just a little sneak peek…
The Amateur Librarian // Blueberry Shortcake Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Blueberry Shortcake Quilt

And that’s about it!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday on Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced

Pinterest Inspiration: Baby Quilts

I’ve been running low on sewing mojo the past few months.  I want to make 3-4 quilts for friends expecting first babies this year, and I’ve been totally stumped. But lately the ideas started to flow again, so of course I turned to Pinterest to look for a starting point. A million pins later, I think I have a plan. I even started cutting this weekend for baby quilt #1, woohoo!

Below are a few of my favorite recent pins featuring baby quilts… and all of them are fast, simple, and stash busting – my favorite combo! They fall under two main categories – oversized one-block tops and simple blocks.

Oversized traditional blocks

I love traditional quilt blocks, and supersizing a single block looks completely modern.

 

  • Bear Paw – with tutorial for a 32″ quilt top

 

  • Churn Dash, with the addition of string blocks. Using a solid background color would come together even quicker.
  • Log Cabins – this 46″ quilt is made up of four giant blocks. I actually have this pattern torn out from a magazine, but seeing this pin reminded me how much I love the cheery rainbow colors.
  • This is just one block, but it would be easy to translate to a quilt top.

Simple blocks

  • Stars

I love this I-Spy quilt that Giddy99, a friend from guild, posted on Instagram, so I tried to find something similar on Pinterest. The block goes by many different names, including Hatchet and Road to Tennessee… I actually made a version of this block quite a while ago, in 2011 (and recently featured in a #TBT post here)! With different measurements, the star points are more obvious which I really like.

  • Patchwork

Nothing better than simple patchwork, and this one is even more fun with the play on sizes. This pattern is no longer available on Etsy, but I think the math would be manageable.

Does anybody else have too many ideas and too little time?

Meow Monday: Who Let the Cats Out?

Who let the cats out? I did!

Cora has been using the cat door from the dining room to the screened porch regularly for a couple weeks now, and Tali is slowly but surely accepting the concept. One day Tali will get it… hopefully… it’s just going a bit slower than we hoped.

We wanted both cats to use the first door before showing them the second one that leads from the porch to the outside world, but this weekend we decided to go ahead and show Cora.  She caught on right away and has been happy as a clam going in and out when she pleases. The first time we let her out, she stuck close to me and edged around the side of our house, then explored the neighbors’ yards out of my sight for a bit, but she didn’t stray far and came right back within a couple minutes. After that initial supervised trip, she’s been on her own and so far so good.

One of the best parts is that Cora’s so tired out from her adventures that she’s super sleepy when she’s back inside. Sleepy Cora is the best Cora, so we’re all happy with the new arrangement:) We also noticed an immediate difference in the litter box volume, which is awesome, since my main goal is to get rid of the litter boxes entirely.

Now if only Tali would get on board…

I didn’t take any pics this weekend, but here are a few from a snow day in January 2011, a few months before we moved to San Francisco when the cats became indoor-only for the new few years.

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

Welcome to the great outdoors again, cats!

 

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