Author Archive: ladykatie32

High Five for Friday!

Today I’m sharing the five highlights from my trip to Chicago – it’s always fun to have a birthday in a new place and Chicago was a great destination. There was so much to do and see, we didn’t get to half of it. More pics coming next week!

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

1 – Architecture Boat Tour. I didn’t think there could be 90 minutes worth of interesting facts about the buildings of downtown Chicago, but I was wrong! The views were gorgeous and it was a nice break from walking everywhere… and after the tour we looked at all the buildings downtown with a new appreciation.
2 – Second City. We haven’t been to an improv show in a while, so this was a treat on my birthday. Plus it was “Soul Sunday” so a local band played and there was more improv after the show.
3 – Deep Dish Pizza. Worth the wait at Giordano’s!
4 – Driehaus Museum. We stumbled upon this museum a block from our hotel and the Downton Abbey costume exhibit was stunning.
5 – Freehand Hotel. We booked an AirBNB for all 3 nights, but when I couldn’t handle the less-than-pristine shared bathroom (I’m officially too old!), we ended up scrambling to find a different hotel each night of our stay. My favorite was Freehand, with small but efficient rooms (like those live-in-500-square-feet setups at Ikea), a really fun international atmosphere, and a great location.

WIP Wednesday

Home again from our quick trip to Chicago – we saw a lot, walked a lot, and ate a lot! For once I didn’t schedule any posts ahead of time and I’m taking it easy for the rest of the week too. I’ll be back for some highlights from the trip on Friday, with more pics coming next week.

For today, another weekly update on my current Works in Progress:)

Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

After we got home from the airport yesterday, I picked up my cross stitching to make sure I didn’t fall asleep by 8 PM:)

I’m trying to keep up with each month, so we’ll see if I can finish this by next week… we’ll see!

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

And that’s about it!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday on Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced

High Five for Friday!

This week has been a bit of a roller coaster, with sad news from friends heavy on my mind. Somehow life keeps going on even when it seems so unfair.  Today I’m sending lots of love to my friends, and still focusing on five things to be grateful for this week.

The Amateur Librarian // H54F The Amateur Librarian // H54F
1 – Craft South Guild Meetup. It’s always a treat to find out what Anna Maria Horner is up to before Quilt Market (love her new fabric line Mod Corsage), plus it was a great excuse to do some fabric shopping and hang out with my guild peeps since I’m missing the May meeting.
2 – Downtown. Eating and walking and browsing and taking home a couple new-to-me things from an antique store is just about a perfect Sunday afternoon.
3 – So Much Good Music. My emotions have been up and down all week long, but I’ve got plenty of new music to match my mood. Radiohead, James Blake, Chance the Rapper, Beyonce… each new album has been a huge source of comfort this week. (Thanks to hubs for the suggestions!)
4 – Dollar Spot. For $1 I couldn’t resist an adorable set of magnetic bookmarks at Target.
5 – 29! My birthday in a couple days feels like a big one with so much change coming in the next year, and we’re kicking it off with a quick trip to Chicago. I’ve never been before – let me know if you have any recommendations for what to do/see/eat!

To Read List

Lately there have been so many great eBook deals that my Kindle app is overflowing. Bookbub is always a great source for deals under $2.99 and I recently started subscribing to Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Daily Kindle Deals newsletter which has brought even more deals my way, even audiobooks. (Other favorite sources for free/cheap books here!)

But even though I don’t have physical books piling up around me, my To Read list is starting to feel like it’s a mile long. You know I love a good list, and I’m hoping this one will help me figure out what to start reading next… as usual, my life motto is the same: too many books, too little time!

 

The Amateur Librarian // To Read List

In no particular order:

Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes, by Shauna Niequist

The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log

I’ve heard good things about the essays (and recipes!) in this memoir from a few different sources, so it didn’t take much to convince me to click the buy button on this one. I might pick this one up when I’m in a reflective mood but don’t feel like diving into another novel.

Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log

I’ve heard sooo much buzz about this new release that I was starting to feel like it was probably overhyped, but it has to be a sign that so many people love it (even those who passionately dislike Eat, Pray, Love) so I took the plunge when it went on sale. Next time I’m in a creative rut, I plan on turning to this one.

The Bread We Eat in Dreams, by Catherynne M. Valente

The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log

I’ve been meaning to read Valente’s The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland for years now, and I always hear such great things about her writing style, so I added this short story collection to the queue. I don’t read a lot of short stories, but I think this blend of fiction and fantasy would be right up my alley.

Wildwood, by Colin Meloy

The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log

Another children’s lit choice that has been on my mind for a couple years, so when the first book in the series went on sale I indulged. It doesn’t hurt that it’s written by the lead singer of the Decemberists (one of my favorite bands in high school) and is compared to the Chronicles of Narnia. Can’t wait to give this one a chance.

Love May Fail, by Matthew Quick

The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log

I love Quick’s offbeat characters and how he tackles mental health issues, but I got a bit burned out after too many in a row. I’m hoping that a female protagonist will bring back some of the magic, the next time I’m feeling up to delving into a fragile psyche.

The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log
I’ve never been a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland (I didn’t like magical realism as a kid and still don’t) but the behind-the-scenes story about Lewis Carroll has always been fascinating. And what about the real-life Alice that the stories were based on? Plenty of good reviews on Amazon convinced me to add this historical novel to the list.
The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log
Confession: once upon a time a good friend recommended Gail Carriger’s YA steampunk books, and I promptly followed the author on social media but never actually read any of her books. That was years ago. So when the first book in her Finishing School series went on sale, I vowed to finally read one. She’s lovely on her blog and I’ve written down lots of recommendations from her, so I have high hopes for her writing.
The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log
I’m slowly making my way through the Percy Jackson series – I loved books 1 & 2 but the 3rd one really dragged for me. I must have found the series on super sale since I got them all at the same time over a year ago but still haven’t made it to book 4. I’m sure I’ll be craving some mythological adventures some time soon, and then Percy will be waiting for me.
The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log
I like nature, I like redwood trees, I used to live near the Muir Woods… so I couldn’t resist! I’m waiting for a quiet contemplative mood to hit to pick up this biography but I’m beginning to wonder if that will ever happen… in other words, this has been languishing on my Kindle for quite a while!
The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log
This sounds like a satisfyingly epic family drama of secrets and dysfunction, and the reviews backed it up, so I indulged even though I probably shouldn’t have.
The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log
Sparse is usually not my thing but this one is a National Book Award winner with lots of great reviews, so I added it to my list at a weak moment. Next time I’m tempted I should probably look at this blog post to remind myself that I have plenty of books to read…
The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log
I love a good fairytale retelling, and this version of the Goose Girl sounds intriguing, but the cover art (and tons of impassioned reviews) pushed me over the edge.  I admit it, I judge a book by it’s cover all the time!

With audio!
(Modern Mrs. Darcy turned me onto Whispersync, the cheap way to buy an audiobook when you purchase the eBook through Amazon. Finally, affordable audiobooks!)

The Selection, by Kiera Cass

The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log

So many rave reviews about this dystopian YA series, I had to give it a shot. Maybe this one will help fill the hole left in my YA-loving heart after I’m done with the Lunar Chronicles. Audio is one of my favorite ways to consume YA, and this would be a fun summer listen.

The One-in-a-Million Boy, by Monica Wood

The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log

The plot synopsis has the potential to turn me off, but this one came highly recommended by Modern Mrs. Darcy so I jumped on the eBook plus audio deal when it hit my inbox. Daily Deals are dangerous!

The Martian, by Andy Weir

The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log

I loved the movie and heard mixed reviews of the book, but my Dad really enjoyed the audio and it sounds like a fun listen. This might even be the perfect hybrid book, to be enjoyed as both an eBook and an audiobook, with an emphasis on plot and mathematical explanations that might feel too dense in a print book. Willing to give it a try!

Longbourn, by Jo Baker

The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log

Books that try to mimic Austen’s plots and writing style are iffy, but a few recommendations and lots of great reviews convinced me to add this one to the (growing) list. Plus, the Upstairs Downstairs/Downtown Abbey angle was too good to pass up!

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log

One of those classics I’ve never actually read – and after being disappointed by a recent YA wannabe, I decided it was probably worth going back to the source. One of these days…
Wow… I didn’t realize the list was so long! I wrote a similar post last October, and there are quite a few eBooks that are still on the list, although I did read about 3-4 in the seven months since then. Just the act of writing down a list often reminds me to take a closer look at each title, and thinking about what sparked each click to buy is always an interesting exercise… but next time I’m tempted I will definitely think of this list waiting for me!
The Amateur Librarian is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

WIP Wednesday

Another weekly update on my current Works in Progress:)

Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

I picked up the Passport project again – this month we are visiting Greece! I wasn’t super excited about how this month’s portion looked at first, but I have a feeling it will grow on me as the months keep coming and the full picture is revealed. The donkey is pretty cute, gotta admit!

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

Secret Sewing

No more pics to share today because both baby quilts are off to the longarmer! Can’t wait to reveal more soon. I’m noodling on my next quilt idea for a friend and think I’ll be ready to get started soon… but it will have to wait another few weeks until I have time to sew again. This weekend we’re going on a quick trip to Chicago for my birthday, and the following weekend my parents are visiting for Memorial Day. In the meantime the ideas will just have to percolate in my head.

And that’s about it!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday on Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced

Franklin City Sights: Downtown Stroll

Over two years ago, we moved from San Francisco, CA to Franklin, TN and settled right in. Living in SF was an adventure, but I never felt at home there like I did as soon as we landed here. In March 2014 I shared my first City Sights post from TN, First Impressions. One of the pics from that post was taken at the same Antique Mall we wandered this past weekend, after lunch on Main Street and a stroll around downtown:

The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: First Impressions

I’m still tickled that we call this place home. Even if downtown Franklin isn’t an exciting destination, I love spending a few hours walking around enjoying the scenery close to home. Of course I couldn’t resist taking a few more pics of our stroll…

The Amateur Librarian // Franklin TN City SIghts

 

The Amateur Librarian // Franklin TN City SIghts

 

The Amateur Librarian // Franklin TN City SIghts

 

The Amateur Librarian // Franklin TN City SIghts

 

The Amateur Librarian // Franklin TN City SIghts

 

The Amateur Librarian // Franklin TN City SIghts

 

The Amateur Librarian // Franklin TN City SIghts

 

The Amateur Librarian // Franklin TN City SIghts

 

The Amateur Librarian // Franklin TN City SIghts

 

The Amateur Librarian // Franklin TN City SIghts

 

The Amateur Librarian // Franklin TN City SIghts

 

In March 2014 I wrote this… and it’s still true!

There are so many sweet details in the historical downtown… love them!

 

More city sights coming soon as we explore the Nashville area!

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 – Mother’s Day. My sleep has been much improved this week with a body pillow – thanks to hubby for the early Mother’s Day present. It was fun to be celebrate motherhood in a whole new way this year!
2 –  Dad’s Day. Happy birthday to the best Dad! Lucky Friday the 13th:)
3 – Mocktail. POM blueberry juice + club soda = almosttttt as good as a glass of wine after a long day of work. Almost!
4 -Spring Ring. A quick project was just what I needed, and I was almost sad to finish up this sweet hoop.
5 – Lemonade. I haven’t listened to much of Beyonce’s recent music but I’m loving the Lemonade album. On repeat all week at work, for sure.

WIP Wednesday

Another weekly update on my current Works in Progress… which is hard to do when it’s secret sewing!

Secret Sewing

I finished the top for one baby quilt, and I just need to sew rows together for the second one. Now I just need to pick out backing fabrics and quilting patterns, and then they’re ready for the longarmer. I’ve been stalking online fabric stores all week, and I’m going to a meet-up at Craft South this Sunday so I might be doing some shopping while I’m there…
I always have a hard time choosing names for my quilts, but the nicknames I’ve used for these two in my head came somewhat easily: Blueberry Shortcake and True Blue. Both reference the patterns I used, with a blue twist of course. Here’s another little sneak peek… can’t wait to share more!
 The Amateur Librarian // True Blue Baby Quilt

And that’s about it!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday on Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced

Spring Ring Cross Stitch

A wee finish today!

The Amateur Librarian // Spring Ring Cross Stitch

With a few bigger quilting projects in the works lately, I’ve been craving some instant gratification on the side – so this little cross stitch was perfect. Making quick progress on a small project is so satisfying!

I bought the Spring Ring pattern on a whim when Alicia Paulson first released it a few months ago; I have a bad habit of buying digital patterns (the kit looks lovely too… but I feel less guilty about collecting digital-only), but I just couldn’t resist that little lamb and ring of springtime posies. I love Alicia Paulson’s Posie Gets Cozy blog and all her crafty endeavors – her dusty, delicate color palette is so different from my usual aesthetic but I love the nostalgic aura surrounding all her projects.

When I found out I was having a baby girl, I immediately thought of that little lamb and the perfect blank space above to display a sweet baby name, and I even had the perfect 4″ hoop framing a piece of blue scrap fabric waiting for the perfect mini project (serendipity, I tell you).  Now if only we could settle on a name!  I’m content leaving it blank for now, and I’ll come back to it when we have both a name and a birthdate for the blank space, probably stitched in the same mauve thread I used at the bottom. For now I’m calling it done!

A few progress pics:

The Amateur Librarian // Spring Ring Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Spring Ring Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Spring Ring Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Spring Ring Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Spring Ring Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Spring Ring Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Spring Ring Cross Stitch

All finished!

The Amateur Librarian // Spring Ring Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Spring Ring Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Spring Ring Cross Stitch

 

It’s not a quilt… but I’m linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish Friday!

Meow Monday: Bath Time

 

This mama-to-be has been taking a lot of baths lately, and it has the cats quite concerned. Tali is too afraid of the water to get much closer, but she stays close to monitor the situation.

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

Thanks, Tals!

The baths plus my Mother’s Day present from hubby is equaling better sleep, woohoo!

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

Hope you all had a great weekend. I’m always thankful for my mama (and soon-to-be grandmother) and Mother’s Day was especially fun this year. Cheers to all the mothers, mothers-to-be, hope-to-be-mothers, fur baby mothers, missing their mothers, mother figures, etc.!

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 529 other followers