Author Archive: ladykatie32

The Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch: September

This is my third year to work on a year-long cross stitch project, and the second year to play along with a 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 Frosted Pumpkins on an adventure around the world. The ninth stop was Japan, my favorites scene yet. I love the colors of the pagoda and blooming cherry tree, and the sweet girl on the swing. Too cute!

It’s hard to believe October is just a couple days away! I’m guessing the next stop will be Australia but we shall see… and depending on when baby decides to make her appearance, all bets are off if I’ll be able to keep up with the Passport for the rest of the year.

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 Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

The finished blocks so far:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September: Japan

September: Japan

Nine months down, three to go…

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

WIP Wednesday

Another weekly update on my current Works in Progress🙂

Trick or Treat Costume Club Cross Stitch

The final clue of the new Halloween SAL from Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery was released last week, but I finished up the September portion of the Passport SAL (pics coming tomorrow!) before starting. I know I say it every time, but it’s so super cute!

There’s space on the bottom half of the fabric for an extra design that they’ve included to make a scissor fob, but I’m still debating whether I want to make the one from the pattern, a different mini Halloween pattern, or save the fabric for something else entirely. Still thinking on that one…

The next destination of the Passport cross stitch will be revealed in a couple days, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to give this one up until it’s done!

The Amateur Librarian // Trick or Treat Costume Club Cross Stitch

The Amateur Librarian // Trick or Treat Costume Club Cross Stitch

No-Sew Nursery

I had a bit of a meltdown last weekend when nothing went as planned… including my faithful sewing machine refusing to zigzag right in the middle of binding a baby quilt intended to hang above the crib. I’m really, really trying to be OK if none of my nursery plans come through before baby arrives, but just in case…

I’m unpicking the binding from the Firefly baby quilt if I decide to hand-sew the binding, and I’ve got Stitch Witchery waiting in the wings if I decide to make a crib skirt. We’ll see!

The Amateur Librarian // Firefly Baby Quilt

The Amateur Librarian // Nursery Pinspiration

And that’s about it!

When All Else Fails, Go to the Pool

Alternate title: Epic Nesting Failure

At 37 weeks, my pregnancy is drawing to an end I’m full of conflicting emotions. I go through cycles of excitement and anxiety so many times in one day, it can be exhausting. And lately I’ve been adding nesting to the rotation.

The Amateur Librarian // 37 Weeks

This past weekend I had three goals:

  1. Organize all paperwork that’s been sitting around
  2. Bind two baby quilts (one to hang above the crib)
  3. Make a crib skirt

Nothing life-or-death on the list, but doable on a normal weekend with no plans.

… Except the filing cabinet that my parents sent our way arrived with damaged pieces, so we have to wait for replacement parts. No organizing…

… Then my sewing machine went on the fritz. I’ve never so much as broken a needle before but in one day I broke two needles and bent three. Then in the middle of binding a quilt, it stopped stitching completely. I checked everything I know how to do… the tension, the thread, the needle, cleaned out the lint, etc. but no dice. So no sewing…

The Amateur Librarian // 37 Weeks

After a good meltdown (A quick recap: Why oh why did I wait nine months to do these projects? I’ll never be organized again! The walls are bare and nothing is decorated! We’re so unprepared!)… there was nothing left to do but go to the pool.

An hour of feeling weightless and comfortable was a pretty good cure for a weekend of epic nesting fails.

The Amateur Librarian // 37 Weeks

And when I had some perspective, of course I realized that even if I never get to any of these projects, baby won’t care and we’ll all survive. But I probably will be able to tackle my plans and plenty others, in time, and it doesn’t matter if it happens before or after baby arrives.

Because a plan always makes me feel better, I’m reminding myself that the filing cabinet parts will arrive eventually and come together… my sewing machine can be serviced or replaced… I can hand-sew binding if necessary… and there’s such a thing as Stitch Witchery if I really feel the urge to make that crib skirt.

The Amateur Librarian // 37 Weeks

But most of all, I’m reminding myself to enjoy the pool while I can… literally and metaphorically. Overnight the temperature dropped over 20 degrees and this week is forecasted to be gray and rainy… but if this past weekend was the last stretch of 90 degree weather, I won’t mind! Even if I don’t make it back to the pool in the next couple weeks, maybe I can enjoy these dwindling days of pregnancy as best I can… whether everything on the list gets done or not.

The Amateur Librarian // 37 Weeks

Meow Monday: Summer Sniffles

The calendar may say it’s Fall but when it’s still 90 degrees every day, it doesn’t feel like summer has gone anywhere at all. Poor Cora has the sniffles, and after waiting a week to see if it would go away on its own, it’s off to the vet to see if she needs antibiotics. (The internet says sneezing is fine, but any discharge is a red flag. No loss in appetite, though!)

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

 

She likes to sit on the top of the couch right above Sam’s head, so he’s been the recipient of quite a few sneezes directly into his hair. Which is a lot funnier from my side of the couch🙂

(FYI, Tali is unconcerned, don’t worry.)

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

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 – Healing. Hubby had his wisdom teeth extracted last weekend, and I was prepared for a long week of recuperation but he handled it like a champ. We’re both super relieved to get that out of the way before baby arrives, and I’m just glad there was minimal nursing involved!

2 – Apple Family. Not only did the new iPhone 7s release last Friday, but I got a surprise gift to join our growing Apple family… the new Apple watch! I’m honestly not that into techy gadgets, but after using it for a few days I’ve been surprised by how much I love it! The activity tracker has been a fun reminder to get up and move throughout the day, I love the ease of responding to quick texts, and I’m not constantly checking my phone throughout the day. Gold star goes to hubby in the surprise gift category!

3 – Graduation. Monday was our last Lamaze class, and the highlight was a visit from one of the couples and their brand new baby… a reminder of what we’re there for! Seven weeks of driving to Nashville after long Mondays at work has been a challenge, but I learned a lot and the class was definitely worth it.

4 – Quilty Friends. This week was a bit tough emotionally. I’m feeling overwhelmed by work, everything that needs to get done before baby, all the emotions that come with a looming due date, etc. So these sweet luggage tags that arrived in the mail from a quilty friend were so appreciated! I wonder where I’ll be travelling for the first trip that I get to use them…

5 – Project Runway. The temperatures haven’t cooperating for the first few days of Fall, but Project Runway never lets me down… for me, this show always signals that the new season is officially here!

#TBT It’s Fall, Y’all

Happy first day of Fall! It’s still 90 degrees here in Tennessee but that can’t stop me from bringing out the autumn accessories. Some years I distinguish between Halloween and Thanksgiving, but this year I’m just mingling everything together.

Pumpkins and spider webs and foliage, oh my!

The Amateur Librarian // Fall Decor

 

The Amateur Librarian // Fall Decor

 

The Amateur Librarian // Fall Decor

 

The Amateur Librarian // Fall Decor

 

The Amateur Librarian // Fall Decor

 

The Amateur Librarian // Fall Decor

 

The Amateur Librarian // Fall Decor

 

The Amateur Librarian // Fall Decor

 

And since I bring out the same stuff year after year, here’s some Throwback Thursday action to peek at a few of my past homes:

 

…2010…

Our tiny one-room townhouse in Mississippi:


…2012…

Our even tinier one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco:

 

 

 

 

 

(Click here for the Cursive Skeleton tutorial)

…2013…

Same apartment, but with some handmade additions:

 

The Amateur Librarian // Halloween Strings

 

The Amateur Librarian // Fall 2013

The Amateur Librarian // Fall 2013

 

(Links to tutorials for Modern Halloween Cross Stitch Posters, Patchwork Pumpkin Table Runner with Spiderweb Quilting, Reversible Autumn Bunting, and Thanksgiving Hexi Table Topper)

…2015…

Our apartment in Tennessee (finally graduated to two bedrooms!)

The Amateur Librarian // Give Thanks Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Give Thanks Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // A Little Boo Cross Stitch

(Links to Give Thanks cross stitch and A Little Boo cross stitch)

WIP Wednesday

Another weekly update on my current Works in Progress🙂

Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

This is my favorite stop on the Passport journey yet, but it’s been slow going with a couple busy weekends in a row. I thought I would have plenty of time to stitch while hubby was recovering from dental surgery, but somehow it didn’t happen. I’m hoping to finish up before the next clue of the Trick or Treat Costume Club is released on 9/22… but that’s tomorrow already, yikes!

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

Baby Quilts

I’ve got two baby quilts to bind (Firefly and Vintage Star) but I’m dragging my feet on the binding. I finally squared up both quilts and made the binding, so a couple more hours next weekend should be all I need to finish them up.

The Amateur Librarian // VIntage Star Baby Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // VIntage Star Baby Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Firefly Baby Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Firefly Baby Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Firefly Baby Quilt

 

Crib Skirt

I went down the Pinterest rabbit hole of nursery DIY recently, but at 36 weeks I realistically might only have time to make a crib skirt. I went to Joann’s armed with a coupon but had the hardest time picking out a fabric. I wanted a white cotton eyelet and waffled back and forth between adding a lace trim or going with an all-over eyelet pattern, then got distracted by a super cute textured polka dot. I asked Instagram for help but left the store with an entirely different choice… but once I got home I didn’t like what I picked at all. So back to the store I went to get the polka dots!

thumb_img_0037_1024

I swear, pregnancy has made me the most indecisive person ever. I’m already the type to get spend hours reading online reviews only to get overwhelmed and not buy anything at all, but these days I have trouble with the simplest choices and it drives me crazy! Hopefully choosing the fabric is the hardest part, and I’ll be able to put the crib skirt together next weekend.

And that’s about it!

Reading Right Now

I always have a pile of books in the “Still Reading” category of my Reading Logs each month, but I’m usually actively reading 2-3 books at a time and some books languish for months before I pick them up again.
I haven’t done one of these in a while, but here’s a look at the books I’m reading right now!
…Breakfast Book…
The Amateur Librarian // September 2016 Reading Log
I put a bunch of graphic novels on my library hold list and they all came up at once, so lately I’ve been reading the latest batch at breakfast each morning and they’re perfect during quick bites or a leisurely weekend lunch. Smile is the story of the illustrator’s saga with braces but also coming of age in San Francisco in the 90s, and it’s super sweet.
Related: I just finished the first two volumes in the Lumberjanes series (The Kitten Holy and Friendship to the Max), and they were really fun. I wasn’t sure if I’d want to commit to a neverending series (even though they’re super quick), but the second one convinced me to keep going, so Volume 3: A Terrible Plan goes on the hold list!
The Amateur Librarian // September 2016 Reading Log
…On the Kindle…

You Learn by Living, by Eleanor Roosevelt

The Amateur Librarian // August 2016 Reading Log
I’ve been trying to read this during long waits at the doctor’s office instead of mindlessly scrolling through social media. Eleanor Roosevelt’s steady voice is soothing and surprisingly contemporary.

…Audiobook…
The Amateur Librarian // September 2016 Reading Log
Brief synopsis: A young woman moves to the big city and gets sucked into the drama and drugs of the staff when she gets a job at an exclusive restaurant. I’m about 50% done with this audiobook and I still can’t decide if I want to finish it or not. It’s well-written but the plot is pretty thin. I’ve heard so much buzz about how good this one is that I finally caved and read Amazon reviews just to see if there was something I was missing. This review made me laugh and sums up how I’m feeling so far:  “She writes great sentences but the plot is a big who cares.”
Still, I haven’t returned it to the library yet so I’ll reserve judgement until I finish it or give up.
…Library Book…
The Amateur Librarian // September 2016 Reading Log
I just started this yesterday, so I don’t have much of an opinion yet, but the trifecta of my mild obsession with Truman Capote, seeing the cover in every airport bookstore I passed this summer, and then a rec from a friend finally convinced me to add this to my library hold list. Sometimes it’s nice to let the library decide what book to read next depending on what comes up first in the queue. I’m excited to get into this one!

What are you reading right now?

Meow Monday: Nurse Duty

Sam had his wisdom teeth extracted on Friday, so we settled in for a weekend of ice packs and soft food. After the first day, recovery wasn’t so bad. And of course there was plenty of time to play with the new iPhones.

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

Nurse Tali and Cora weren’t much help… they mostly just slept on the job. To be fair, they both have the sniffles right now.

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

Happy Monday!

 

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 – Working Weekend. It’s always great to have my parents visit for the weekend, especially when we have a nursery to set up. Now that baby has a car seat to travel home, a place to sleep when she gets here, and diapers to wear, I’m feeling like we’re a lot more prepared!
2 – Lockewood Table. Catching up with friends in East Nashville was a great mid-week break, and a new restaurant is always a treat!
3 – 35 weeks.Not gonna lie, I’m definitely starting to feel uncomfortable as I enter the last few weeks of the third trimester.  I’m trying to focus on this little one’s face when the lack of sleep, swollen ankles, and waddling gets to me. (I think she has my nose!)
4 – A Hint of Fall. Got the fall decorations out, even if the weather hasn’t caught up yet.
5 – Rainbows. Just because.