The Library Stack

It has been a long time since I contributed an entry to my ongoing series The Library Stack.

I took a hiatus from slogging home huge piles of books from my beloved Public Library and cozying up with a pot of tea. Instead I’ve been reading from my collection of craft magazines and books with my pot of tea.

But I could not stay away too long from my library and recently I slogged home a new pile of borrowed tomes:

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The 700s is my favorite Dewey Decimal section!

Novel Interiors

I’ve greatly enjoyed one of the books in the stack so far – Novel Interiors: Living in Enchanted Rooms Inspired by Literature, by Lisa Borgnes Giramonti (2014).

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Photo credit: amazon.com

I thought I would share a couple quotes from the book that made my smile:

“We don’t just read a great story, we inhabit it.” – Lisa Borgnes Giramonti

“Jo hurried to this quiet place, and curling herself up in the easy chair, devoured poetry, romance, history, travels, and pictures like a regular bookworm.” – Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

“If people do but know how to set about it, every comfort may be enjoyed in a cottage as in the most spacious dwelling.” – Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

Yes this morning, I am enjoying the comfort of reading with my pot of tea in my cottage (we nicknamed our 1300 square foot abode “The Cottage”)!


Postscript

After going to the Deschutes County Fair (see post Deschutes County Fair) and finishing 3 of my 4 crafting project laid out in my studio, I thought I might revisit my Farm Girl Vintage blocks again. I  put them all up on the design wall in the hallway:

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But I am just not “feeling them” right now and I am going to take them back down. Watch for a future post to see what I’ve stuck up on the design wall instead!

Speaking of “Farm Girl” my little farm (backyard raised bed garden) had the most curious harvest: ONE zucchini. Yes you read correctly – only ONE zucchini. I might be the first person in history to have just ONE zucchini in their zucchini harvest.

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Usually people are trying to give away their zucchini harvest (a friend told me story of “zucchini drive-bys” where you drop bags of zucchini at the front porches of unsuspecting friends and neighbors) and I have only ONE.

So what did I do with my ONE zucchini (yes there are no more zucchinis on the horizon in my garden, I checked 4-5 times) – well, I made two loaves of zucchini bread!

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I stretched that ONE precious zucchini!


Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s latest musings on her blog Schnauzer Snips. 

 

 

More Farm House Vintage Blocks

I worked on Farm Girl Vintage Blocks this weekend.

Last time I posted about my progress, I had just completed the Cool Threads Block. I am working through the blocks alphabetically in Lori Holt’s Farm Girl Vintage book.

I knocked out 5 more blocks this weekend: Corn and Tomatoes Block, Corn and Tomatoes Special Edition block (available as special download from the Fat Quarter Shop), Country Crossroads Block, Crops Block, and Postage Stamp Block.

I know,  I know “Postage Stamp Block” does not sound like it is in alphabetical order. I needed a mindless block (created from 36 –  2.5″ squares) to work on after having to pay close attention to create the previous 4 blocks.

Once I complete a couple more blocks, I will post a photo of all the blocks completed to date.


Postscript

As I mentioned in my 06/27/17 post, Seeds, I am listening to, from Episode #1 forward,  The RobCast by Rob Bell (robbell.com). Rob Bell is a former pastor turned author, coach, speaker. His podcasts focuses on spirituality and quality of life.

While working on my Farm Girl Vintage blocks I listened to his podcast Episode #21, which featured a conversation with author Elizabeth Gilbert (best known for her book Eat, Pray, Love).

Here is an excerpt from that interview/conversation that I found particularly inspiring. Elizabeth Gilbert shared how her accountant (and friend of many years) views life:

“(When I call him) He picks up the phone, and when you say ‘how are you doing?’, he says ‘I have never been better in my life’.

No matter what is going on in his life, this is how he answers the phone. I asked him why he answers the phone that way and he responded:

‘Everyday has two miraculous moments. There is the moment you wake up and realize you have been given another chance; and there is the moment when you go to sleep and you realize that you get to put behind you all the mistakes you made.'”

– Elizabeth Gilbert

Farm Girl Vintage, Part III

I am not a farm girl but I am strangely in love with Lori Holt’s Farm Girl Vintage quilt block book. I recently finished 3 more blocks from her book.

There are 45 blocks in the book, arranged in alphabetical order, and I have finished 9 different blocks so far (3 of the blocks I made two of, so I actually have 12 in total completed). Here is a link to my most recent previous post:  Farm Girl Vintage, Part II and Recent Audiobook Delights.

I am working through the blocks in alphabetical order. Here are the latest blocks I’ve completed:

Chicken Foot Block

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Churn Dash Block

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Cool Threads Block

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I am having a blast selecting from my pull of fabrics (see post Farm Girl Vintage, Part I) for this project as in the example below when I prepared fabrics for the Cool Threads Block:

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Technically this post would be part of my What’s on the Design Wall series/category of posts, so here are the blocks on the small design wall in my studio (in a future post I will share a photo of all the blocks up on the large design wall in my hallway):

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9 blocks down, 36 more to go! If you want to see a photo of most of the blocks, the Fat Quarter Shop blog has a posting on Farm Girl Vintage Sewing Along – scroll down to the “Farm Girl Vintage Schedule” section.

(No need to panic for me if you read my recent post Quilt Studio Archaeology and Purge, Part III which focused on my “Fat Quarter Pathology”. I was not on the Fat Quarter Shop website to shop for more fat quarters, it was just a resource I found to see all the blocks posted on the web in one spot!)


Postscript

Here is an update on my most recent The Library Stack post.

One of my blogging buddies @Handmade Habit had a post with a wonderful sounding  book suggestion – Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting, edited by Ann Hood. I reserved it at my beloved local public library and picked it up the other day along with a couple additional books for my mega stack:

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This book is an anthology of inspirational knitting related short stories by popular authors and included stories by two of my favorite authors: Barbara Kingsolver and Ann Patchett. The book also includes a couple knitting patterns.

One of the early stories in the anthology is by Elizabeth Berg and she shares this passage that I feel embodies the core sentiments that are the foundation of handmade gift giving:

I made this for you. 

I thought of you while I made it.

I guess I kind of love you.

A book already in the stack was the fabulous book by Mary Randolph Carter – A Perfectly Kept House in the Sign of a Misspent Life. I am a notoriously neat housekeeper (and trained Terry the Quilting Husband to be so too), occasionally to the borders of OCD-levels of neatness. I have learned to chill over the years (in a future post I will share The Napkin Story) and the book is further supporting my ongoing progress on being more balanced.

I love this quote in the book by Dame Rose Macaulay:

At the worst, a house unkept cannot be so distressing as a life unlived.

I still have a lot of the rest library stack to get through – warm up the kettle!

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Feature photo credit: Paul Kearley, free images.com

Farm Girl Vintage, Part II and Recent Audiobook Delights

Farm Girl Vintage

I recently finished another block from the Farm Girl Vintage book by Lori Holt. In the post Farm Girl Vintage, Part I I shared the first 8 blocks I made from the book.

Here is the latest block: Canning Season

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You might have to use your imagination but this block is supposed to be 6 jars of canned goods in a farm’s cupboard. Yes, these colorful “Mason jars” of food may look suspicious but the fabric is pretty!

I had fun selecting fabric from my basket of fat quarters and scraps for this block:

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If happen to also have this book and plan to work on the blocks here is a tip: Each block has cutting directions for both a finished 6″ block or a 12″ block. If you are working on the 12″ blocks, like I am, cover up the directions for the 6″ block so your eye does not accidentally cut your fabric to the 6″ block directions (BEEN THERE!)

Recent Audiobooks

In my post Cozy Quilt and Audiobook Delights, I shared that I was listening to the wonderful audiobook Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life by Susan David. Well I finished that book (I highly recommend it) and now I have moved on to listening to another “self-improvement” genre audiobook – Joy on Demand: The Art of Discovering the Happiness Within by Chade-Meng Tan.

Instead of providing and overview of this awesome audiobook, here is a link to brief article on mindful.org by the author that provides many of the key concept in this book:

Joy on Demand The art of discovering the happiness within

Early in the book the author shares a wonderful quote by Archbishop Desmond Tutu:

“If you want to become an agent of change, you have to remember to keep your sense of humor.”

I love this quote!

I am mixing my endless nonfiction audiobook consumption (thank you local library!) with some fiction lately – a couple of mystery/suspense novels by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

Postscript

How about a photo of an adorable senior dog to close our this post?

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I was visiting a friend who was babysitting a tiny 13 year old “Pom-Chi” (pomeranain and chihuahua). He was so tiny but he did not know it. He was trying to be alpha to a large golden retriever and very large golden doodle!

He was totally a miniature with a big attitude!

Farm Girl Vintage, Part I

Not a Farm Girl but In Love with Farm Girl Vintage

I am not a “Farm Girl”. I spend my teenage years in Upstate NY where there were farms and I have visited farms but there is nothing remotely “farm girl” about me. I did however absolutely fall in love with Lori Holt’s quilting block book – Farm Girl Vintage .

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Photo credit – Amazon.com

The blocks and quilts in the book are not even my style (they would not fit in my home decor) and still I am completely in love. This book contains a wonderful collection of sweet farm-themed blocks and quilt layout options. It is very delicious.

So a couple quilting friends bought the book also and we are working on blocks and comparing notes. Here is my progress so far (to date I have completed 8 blocks):

My fabric selection/palette

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Initial pull of fabric from my stash (primarily fat quarters)

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Organized nicely in a basket

Setting Fabric – Using White/Off-White Fabric Scraps

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Eight Blocks Completed (3 are duplicates):

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My Favorite Block So Far (Baby Chick):

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I will try to have better photos next time to showcase my next set of blocks.

Fat Quarter Stash Busting

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have a “dirty little secret” – my ridiculous stash of fabric precuts (jelly rolls, charm packs, fat quarters, etc.). One of the cool things about this project is that I am using fat quarters and scraps fabric to make the blocks. I am not cutting into any yardage at this time.

I had a blast visiting with my crazy stash of fat quarters (purchased from over 16+ years of quilting) and pulling fabrics for my Farm Girl Vintage blocks!  As you can see from the photos my palette is not traditional “farm vintage” fabric but more “calico” and modern style “brights”.


Postscript

I just realized I have not posted in a while.

Besides working (that darn pay-the-bills-job), I have been busily cooking up lots and lots of slow cooker/pot crock meals. On Monday I start my first ever formal diet – the Fast Metabolism Diet by Haylie Pomroy.

I am not one for formal diets and having a nursing background and knowledge of general good health principles, so when I have wanted to drop weight in the past I have done it through good nutritional choices and exercise. Recently however two of my quilting mentors (Jean and Susan) have gone on this diet and look fantastic. My friend Susan got me interested in looking into this diet as it restarts your metabolism. I read the book and it made a lot of sense scientifically.

I am not one to just jump into a formal diet plan, especially after never doing one before, so for the past couple of weeks I have made significant changes to my food choices such as decreasing dairy, gluten, and sugar intake; and learning to drink a large amount of water each day. Also I have worked on learning to snack a new way (life without peanut M&Ms) and learning to eat every 3 hours while awake. Finally I have been trying out the recipes.

So I am hoping to get off that pesky 10 pounds I have been wanting to lose – and if all goes well maybe I can lose 20 pounds and return to the weight I was when I was first dating Terry the Quilting Husband (you know before starting to put on those “love pounds” – ha).

We’ll see how it goes. I have been running my slow cooker non stop it seems,  portioning out and freezing meals (and labeling of course).

Terry the Quilting Husband has agreed to eat some of the meals (the food, much of it made in a slow cooker, is absolutely delicious) so that will make life easier instead of cooking two separate meal plans.

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Photo credit: hayliepomroy.com

 


Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s latest musings at schnauzersnips.wordpress.com/blog