Tag Archives: home

Meow Monday: Big Sisters

The cats seem completely unaware that anything big is about to happen… but in a couple short months, their little lives are going to be quite different!

There are a few signs if they knew what to look for…

lots of new boxes…

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

lots of new furniture…

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

lots of new visitors…

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

lots of new cuddly blankets…

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

a big ole belly…

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

and still plenty of lounging on the outside. I guess that won’t change one bit!

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

Franklin City Sights: Williamson County Fair

The Williamson County Fair was open all last week, right down the road from our neighborhood. Since it was so close by, we went on a Thursday night to stroll around and eat some fair food for dinner (I tried to eat as healthily as possible – food truck fish tacos, roasted corn, and kettle corn for snacking). No rides for me!
The Amateur Librarian // Franklin City Sights: Williamson County Fair
The Amateur Librarian // Franklin City Sights: Williamson County Fair
The Amateur Librarian // Franklin City Sights: Williamson County Fair
The Amateur Librarian // Franklin City Sights: Williamson County Fair
The Amateur Librarian // Franklin City Sights: Williamson County Fair
The Amateur Librarian // Franklin City Sights: Williamson County Fair
I had to check out the arts and crafts winners, of course!
The Amateur Librarian // Franklin City Sights: Williamson County Fair
The Amateur Librarian // Franklin City Sights: Williamson County Fair
The Amateur Librarian // Franklin City Sights: Williamson County Fair
The Amateur Librarian // Franklin City Sights: Williamson County Fair
The Amateur Librarian // Franklin City Sights: Williamson County Fair
Before we left, we visited the livestock as the sun went down. Beautiful night for the fair!
The Amateur Librarian // Franklin City Sights: Williamson County Fair
The Amateur Librarian // Franklin City Sights: Williamson County Fair
The Amateur Librarian // Franklin City Sights: Williamson County Fair
More city sights coming soon as I explore the Nashville area!

2016 Crafty Resolutions: Mid-Year Checkup!

Now that 2016 is (more than) halfway over, how about we take a look at those optimistic new-year goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year? Always a good time to laugh at myself :) Of course, I didn’t know I was pregnant yet, so my crafty priorities have shifted quite a lot now that my childfree craft time is coming to an end… soon.

Here we go!

Resolution #1: Learn something new. I’ve been intimidated by foundation paper piecing, but there are a few ladies in my quilt guild who love it, and I really want to bite the bullet and look up a good tutorial to get started.

Status: Well… I tried., at least I brought a paper piecing project to the MCMQG Retreat in February and gave it a try, but my setup wasn’t great (pro tip: you need an iron close by!) so I gave up and never got around to trying it out again. Honestly, paper piecing isn’t high on my priority list anymore BUT I’d still like to learn something new… maybe I’ll make something for the nursery or try out an apparel pattern for baby.

The Amateur Librarian // Music City MQG Retreat 2016

Resolution #2: Make a  queen size quilt to use on a bed (maybe a guest bed… still not too excited about the idea of cats laying on it all the time and scratching it up). I’ve never made a quilt big enough to be used on a bed, but I really want to try it, which brings me to my next goal…

Status: Nope. I have make a couple bigger quilts but still haven’t achieved queen-size status and now that my time is limited and lots of bodily fluids are looming in my near future… this goal might not happen this year.

The Amateur Librarian // Vintage Star Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pixelated Heart Quilt

Resolution #3: Send a quilt top to be professionally quilted by a long armer. I’ve never made big quilts before because my home machine can’t handle the quilting, but now that I know a few ladies at my quilt guild who own long arm machines, the process seems more doable.

Status: Finally, a Yes! I’ve sent three quilts to the Studio V longarmer from my quilt guild, and I absolutely love the convenience and final product! After wrestling with my home machine for so long, I don’t know if I’ll ever go back.

The Amateur Librarian // Pixelated Heart Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // True Blue Quilt

Resolution #4: Use quilts instead of just displaying them. I’m guilty of making quilt after quilt and then hanging them up for display or folding them on a quilt ladder but never actually using them… and I want to change that! It’s just fabric, right? Quilts can be washed and they’re meant to be used.

Status: Yes-ish… no less than four quilts are hanging on the wall, but I guess that still counts as display. I do plan on using my stacks of quilts as play mats once baby arrives, and I’m already repeating to myself that “quilts can be washed and they’re meant to be used!”

The Amateur Librarian // Home Sweet Home In Progress

 

The Amateur Librarian // Home Sweet Home In Progress

 

The Amateur Librarian // Home Sweet Home In Progress

Resolution #5: Make more home decor pieces. Same goal I had in 2015, but with a whole new house to decorate!

Status: Yes!  So far all I’ve made are fabric baskets for scrap storage, and they’re great! The first trimester of pregnancy put a damper on my decorating enthusiasm the first couple months after we moved in, but as my energy came back so has my desire to make things to personalize our space. I also plan on adding some handmade touches to the nursery soon.

The Amateur Librarian // Music City MQG Retreat 2016

The Amateur Librarian // Home Sweet Home In Progress

Resolution #6: Finish WIPs before starting new projects (once again)! As always.

Status: Mostly. Quantity hasn’t been my strong suit this year, but even if it takes several months from start to finish, I’ve been pretty good about keeping WIPs to a minimum. Other than projects like the yearlong Passport SAL that are ongoing, I’m hoping to wrap up unfinished projects before baby arrives.

Conclusion: My priorities have definitely changed since the beginning of the year, and some of these goals don’t seem as pressing anymore. Checking in halfway through the year is a great reminder of what I want (and don’t want) to do during the next couple months and I try to wrap up most of my crafty endeavors before baby arrives in October!

Meow Monday: Showered

Two of my closest friends hosted a baby shower at our house this past weekend, and they went above and beyond to make it such a special event. Lots of friends and family, both local and long distance, gathered to help us celebrate and we had so much fun! If you know me in real life, I’m sure you’ve seen the photos all over social media, so I won’t bombard you with more🙂

The cats mostly stayed in their usual spaces – Cora on the bed away from the chaos, and Tali on the porch soaking up the sun and unaware.

Taki did venture in to get some attention from time to time though… especially when it started downpouring! She really is the sweetest little cat.

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

When the dust settled and all the guest went home, life went back to normal for the cats.

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

Normal includes quilt photo shoots, of course! This darling pinwheel quilt was made by Stefanie. I love it, and can’t wait to wrap it around a sweet baby girl. (10 weeks to go!)

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

My week is starting off with a smile… hope yours is too!

City Sights: New York Part 2

Today is Part 2 of our New York trip… our last hurrah before I’m done travelling for a while.
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
Here’s a recap of our three-day stay:
Day 1:
Early flight/hotel check-in
Lunch in Koreatown
MoMA
Dinner in Greenwich Village
Comedy show at the Comedy Cellar
Day 2:
The Met
Mood
Wicked
Day 3:
Hop on/Hop off bus tour
Sightseeing cruise around Statue of Liberty
Lunch at Smorgasburg
Radiohead concert
And now for the photo dump! In somewhat chronological order…
Our first night, we caught a show at the Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village. The winding streets and restaurants are super cute, and it was cool to see the (tiny!) stage featured in Louie CK’s show Louie.
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
We had a short amount of time before seeing Wicked, so we went to Mood to meet up with a Music City MQG friend. At the shop hop a few weeks ago we discovered we would both be in NYC at the same time for the same concert, so it was fun to see here a few states away! I’m a big Project Runway fan so it was super cool to see Mood… it’s exactly like it’s portrayed in the show, right down to Swatch the dog hanging out in the aisles!
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
Right as we left Mood, we got caught in an epic storm and were absolutely soaked in a couple minutes. Times Square was actually easy to walk through, since all the crowds were huddled underneath the overhangs.
We wanted to see a Broadway show, so even though we’re about 13 years behind the times, we finally saw Wicked! Funny enough, the last time we were in New York for our honeymoon (seven years ago!) we saw Shrek on Broadway, and this time around we saw another musical featuring a green main character🙂
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
Bus tour/sightseeing cruise
Normally I would prefer walking everywhere, but after I realized how much my back and feet could hurt after a couple days of museums (thanks baby!), we decided a hop on/hop off bus tour would be a fun way to see the city. The bus tour was also running a promo for a free sightseeing cruise around the Statue of Liberty, so we fit that in too.
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
Radiohead concert
The main event was our last night in New York, to see Radiohead at Madison Square Gardens. It was such a cool show, and baby girl seemed to like it! She was moving and grooving the whole time, and the three of us agreed the concert was the highlight of the trip for sure.
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
Whew, that was fun!  More city sights coming soon… a lot closer to home🙂

City Sights: New York Part 1

 Last week we took a quick trip to New York for one last childfree hurrah, and even though I was hot and tired every fifteen minutes, we had so much fun at a slow pace. Well… as slow as it’s possible to go in a city that never sleeps.
We didn’t have a strict itinerary but we had a general idea of some things we wanted to do. I had a lot of great recs for places to shop and eat, but I forgot how much time is spent waiting for transportation so we ended up choosing places that were convenient to activities.
Here’s a recap of our three-day stay:
Day 1:
Early flight/hotel check-in
Lunch in Koreatown
MoMA
Dinner in Greenwich Village
Comedy show at the Comedy Cellar
Day 2:
The Met
Mood
Wicked
Day 3:
Hop on/Hop off bus tour
Sightseeing cruise around Statue of Liberty
Lunch at Smorgasburg
Radiohead concert
And now for the photo dump! Today, the museums. Tomorrow, everything else🙂
We met up with my friend Sarah (woohoo for guest tickets via her membership) and caught up while exploring the exhibits and gardens. You could spend all day walking up and down all six floors but we only had a couple hours.
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
There were even a few pokemon around…
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
We thought we’d spend a couple hours at the Met, then walk through Central Park toward the next activity on the list, but it was so massive we decided to drop all our other plans to spend as much time as we wanted strolling around. It was so, so hot out that walking around in the a/c was much preferred! Plus, when my back and feet were hurting, there was always a bench with a view🙂
We did the free highlights tour which was a great overview of the main collections, and then we knew what we wanted to take another look at later.
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Manus x Machina exhibit featuring fashion and technology was such a cool exhibit.
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
We spent all of five minutes up on the rooftop garden since it was so hot, but the views were worth it! Even five hours wasn’t enough time to see everything, but it was nice to go at our own pace.
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // New York City Sights
More city sights coming up tomorrow!

Meow Monday: Cats of Instagram, Part 29

We’re in New York for a few days for one last hurrah, before I’m done with traveling for a while! The cats are in good hands with the petsitter, so let’s check in with the latest round of #catsofinstagram!

Tali loves laundry and I love  her cute little face!

Tali loves laundry and I love her cute little face!

 

Big moment for the cats: first cat door installed, one step closer to freedom!

Big moment for the cats: first cat door installed, one step closer to freedom!

 

Learning how to use the cat door, on the other hand... went really well, obviously.

Learning how to use the cat door, on the other hand… went really well, obviously.

 

Biggest moment in the cats' lives: exploring the yard for the first time, after the second cat door was installed

Biggest moment in the cats’ lives: exploring the yard for the first time, after the second cat door was installed

 

Shorts weather, finally!

Shorts weather, finally!

 

Cat naps

Cat naps

 

Who's happier to be home from a work conference? Hard to say.

Who’s happier to be home from a work conference? Hard to say.

 

New patio chairs, new belly, same old Tali.

New patio chairs, new belly, same old Tali.

 

Tali loves her chairs!

Tali loves her chairs!

 

Sad social media pic to post... but with a happy ending!

Sad social media pic to post… but with a happy ending!

 

Found! After less than 24 hours on the lam, Tali popped through the door hungry as a horse. Wet food for everyone!

Found! After less than 24 hours on the lam, Tali popped through the door hungry as a horse. Wet food for everyone!

Happy Monday🙂

Nashville City Sights: 2nd Annual Quilt Shop Hop

The 2nd annual Music City MQG Shop Hop is in the books and it was so much fun! In one day we visited five fabric shops total, from Franklin to Spring Hill to Nashville.
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
For a recap of last year’s Shop Hop, click here. We visited Quilting Squares, Craft South, The Fabric Studio (sadly closed now), Quilter’s Attic, and Stitcher’s Garden. This time around we added two new (to me) stores and revisited three from last year’s itinerary.
This year my shopping goals were more targeted since I’ve got baby quilts on the brain but I didn’t have any specific projects in mind, so I ended up picking up whatever caught my fancy.
Without further ado, here’s a look at each stop on the shop hop!
Once again the ladies at The Quilting Squares greeted us with breakfast treats and discounts. Such a fun start to the day!
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The haul: a free pattern, a charm pack, and two fat quarters.
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Dancing Bobbin – Spring Hill
This little shop was worth the drive, and was definitely one of my favorite stops of the day. There’s a lot of cute fabric in a small amount of space but it never felt overwhelming or crowded – quite a feat!
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The haul: a holiday charm pack, two fat quarters, and a Frivol tin (lap quilt pattern, fabric, and all in a cute tin).
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
Textile Fabrics – Nashville
After a lunch break at M.L. Rose, we visited Textile Fabrics. It was my first time, although I’ve heard about their bi-annual 50% off sales ever since moving here. Their quilting cotton selection is limited since they mostly stock apparel fabric, but I still found a remnant that will make a great baby quilt backing. I have no idea what to do with all the apparel stuff but it sure is pretty!
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The haul: 2 yards.
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
Craft South – Nashville
It’s always a treat to visit Craft South, and of course I couldn’t resist bringing home one of Anna Maria Horner’s scrap bags. So much oohing and aahing at every corner, plus a big variety of crafts from quilting to knitting to embroidery to handmade goods.
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
Even the bathroom is gorgeous!
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
And another bonus… even though parking is hard to find, the Pokemon are everywhere!
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The haul: scrap bag, three fat quarters, two yards.
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
Stitcher’s Garden – Franklin
Once we were back in Franklin, we ended the day with Stitcher’s Garden. This shop is right down the street from me, but you have to be in the right frame of mind to brave the aisles (and piles and stacks and baskets and cubbies) stuffed to the brim with fabric. It’s always quite the experience!
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
This pic from last year is one of my faves:
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The haul: half-yards of three hard-to-find Heather Ross prints from her Far, Far Way and Briar Rose collections.
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
Whew… my bag was quite full by the end of the day! Unpacking and making little piles of folded fabric is my version of Halloween candy🙂 As usual the best part was hanging out with my guild friends and meeting new members and finding out what everyone is planning for their fabric. And of course a big shout out to each shop along the way, AND to those who organized it all!
 The final haul:
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
And of course the group pic for 2016:
The Amateur Librarian // Middle TN Quilt Shop Hop
And 2015!

via @tennjenny

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

Meow Monday: The News

Not much going on in the world of cats these days… which is honestly a nice change of pace from the world news these days.

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

This little blog keeps chugging along even though I don’t write about the big stuff, but here are a few recent posts from a few favorite blogs that sum up what I’ve been feeling but have no idea how to say:

Swistle

The Tipsy Baker

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

Hope you’re having a peaceful start to your week.

Birchboxes Everywhere

I’ve been a loyal Birchbox subscriber since 2012, and I still love using up the sample sizes of beauty products I would never think to pick up by myself… and even though I’ve been paying $10/month over the past few years, having a subscription has drastically cut down on my impulse buys at the drugstore AND I only buy products that I’ve already tested and love, so that’s how I justify the cost🙂

BUT I’m not just singing the praises of Birchbox (I already did that in 2013 actually!) today, I just wanted to share something funny that I noticed from an Instagram pic.

The Amateur Librarian // Birchbox Storage Solution

See that colorful box holding a few sewing supplies? It’s probably one of my most-used organization solutions.

Ever since Birchbox stopped sending plain brown boxes and started making new (super cute) designs for each monthly box, I’ve been keeping them and now I’ve accumulated quite a collection! They come in handy for organizing all sorts of small things, and once I started hunting for boxes I found them in almost every room of the house.

It’s funny how satisfying it is to repurpose something that comes in the mail every month, plus it’s super cute storage solution! And since I get new ones regularly, I never feel bad if they get dirty or damaged since I can just replace them the following month. Somehow I never run out of reasons to need another one.

Here are a few ways I used Birchboxes around the house:

On the kitchen island, I keep a tray for stray paper and books that’s easy to move out of the way when I need to clear the island. I keep a handful of thank you cards (and stamps) in a Birchbox so I can write a quick note while I’m eating breakfast.

The Amateur Librarian // Birchbox Storage Solution

I keep cross stitch projects and other small craft supplies in individual boxes. For cross stitch projects especially, Birchboxes are a lot easier to corral then a bunch of ziplock bags, and the fabric, floss list/pattern, and floss bobbins are all in one place.

The Amateur Librarian // Birchbox Storage Solution

When I’m not working on a project I stack the boxes away, and when I’m actively stitching it’s easy to keep everything in one place no matter where I’m working on it.

The Amateur Librarian // Birchbox Storage Solution

In the bathroom, I keep a Birchbox by the sink so I don’t have tubes and jars scattered everywhere (plus it’s easy to move when I’m cleaning the counter).

The Amateur Librarian // Birchbox Storage Solution

 

The Amateur Librarian // Birchbox Storage Solution

In the narrow bathroom drawer, a box fits perfectly… and it keeps everything compartmentalized.

 

The Amateur Librarian // Birchbox Storage Solution

I use another Birchbox to organize makeup. If there’s ever dust or an explosion, it’s easy to remove the box without damaging the vanity, plus I can quickly pack all my makeup in a suitcase by putting the top back on.

The Amateur Librarian // Birchbox Storage Solution

 

The Amateur Librarian // Birchbox Storage Solution

In the guest room, there are quite a few Birchboxes corralling office supplies, sharpies, craft supplies, etc. … all in cute little boxes that are easy to store, stack, and find!

The Amateur Librarian // Birchbox Storage Solution

 

The Amateur Librarian // Birchbox Storage Solution

Birchboxes everywhere!

 

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