lovely and wonderful

2 04 2011

Between unexpected bouts of late spring snow – including today – we have been venturing to gardens, parks, and flower festivals; passing housebound rain days by muddling through art projects and indoor tent construction; cooking a lot of comfort food; and visiting with friends. Good times.

[ lovely & wonderful : a bi-monthly meme wherein I share some of the things that have been inspiring my heart & imagination lately ]

I have serious song love: following a tip from a blog friend, I looked up this song by The Civil Wars on YouTube and was instantly smiling and smitten by the vocals (“Barton Hollow,” live version – the official video is lovely, too).

I am putting this song on our 2011 spring soundtrack for those clear, early morning and late afternoon drives to wherever – those times of day when sunlight just floods everything and driving with the windows down is perfect, regardless of the temperature (“Ghosting” by Freelance Whales, live at SXSW 2010).

for something with a bit more groove, we’re really enjoying this collaboration between Japanese artists Tokyo No.1 Soul Set & Sara Mari (“接吻”).

I first stumbled across Le Hiboo videos last summer and have been a huge fan since then – I love how they set up their recording sessions all over Paris and host such a broad variety of international artists. This song by gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello is crazy fun (“Pala Tute,” live).


I’ve posted an unplugged version of this song before (“Rocket Ship” by Big Rock Candy Mountain) – it was on our 2010 summer soundtrack – and that’s still Bebe’s favorite: he gets superexcited to see his uncle. “Go Uncle — !” he says, dancing and smiling, “Go! Let’s dancing!” I really like this new video, it’s from one of their live gigs in New Orleans.

Purl Soho/Purl Bee has had so many great craft tutorials and projects kits for spring – how adorable are these bunny fingerpuppets? and also these knitted bunnies with accoutrements: teeny tiny veggies, bird nests, and shawls. !! the cuteness is overwhelming me here. (pssst….family: if you gift me either/both of these patterns, you’ll get some supercute stuff in return… Just sayin’ 😉 )

Valarie from A Place Like This reminded me of my love for crepes this week, sharing her perfectly sized recipe – and who doesn’t love crepes stuffed with Nutella & strawberries for breakfast and/or tea?

like peanut butter? here’s a nice spin with almonds: honey & cinnamon roasted almond butter, recipe at The Chic Life

delicious parsnip soup, recipe from Orangette

the ultimate veggie burger, recipe from 101 Cookbooks. BTW, have you seen her new cookbook? Absolutely chock full of yumminess.

one of my favorite cookies? Hamentaschen – this is a great recipe from Not Derby Pie

I’ve been on a Doctor Who kick for the past few months. If you geek out over Doctor Who (as I do), you will appreciate these projects:

a toddler-sized iteration on the police-box-as-toy-playhouse;

this baby blanket by Wendy Moon Designs;

Gallifrey Rising, a collection of DW-inspired goodies at Etsy

dreaming over the vintage-inspired line of children’s clothes over at Olive’s Friend Pop. We really can’t afford to buy boutique baby/toddler clothes, but the designs are delightful fodder for my sewing imagination.

Tomodachi Calling (tomodachi = friend in Japanese) is a charity webshop pulled together by a group of international friends who were living in and/or visiting Tokyo when the earthquake and tsunami struck to the north. They’ve gathered designs by various artists that can be printed on a variety of Cafe Press items – t-shirts, mugs, bags, etc. – and 100% proceeds go to the Japanese Red Cross Society. I really like the Swedish Baustudio design, it reminds me of the giant, puffy chrysanthemum blooms that I saw during winters in Japan.

According to estimates updated this week, at least 250,000 people are living in refugee shelters – as in, gymnasiums and the like. Japanese officials have also said that in the 3 most-impacted prefectures – Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima (a Japanese prefecture is the equivalent of a US state or Canadian territory) – at least 28,000 homes were destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami.
I’ve volunteered in a lot of Red Cross and similar municipal shelters, and I also worked with many families who lived in FEMA trailer parks for several years after Hurricanes Katrina & Rita hit the US Gulf coast. So time and again I’ve seen the impact that, for anyone who’s suffered such a catastrophic loss, getting your own living space is a huge step toward emotional and practical recovery. I’m intrigued by this innovative housing project for getting folks out of shelters and into more permanent housing. It’s one of many other rebuilding initiatives that I’m watching.

Reminder: If you’ve helped out with the Japanese relief effort, I still have 22 small Thank You tokens to give away. If you don’t want them for yourself, they’d all make cute little Easter presents.




4 responses

3 04 2011

thank you for the comment on my blog 🙂 i like your lovely & wonderful series. this post is a bunch of wonderful stuff.

6 04 2011

welcome 🙂 I hope you enjoyed the music posts – I have so much fun finding new music to add to my playlists.

5 04 2011

I’m so glad you liked the Civil Wars. They are pretty amazing, no?

Thank you for sharing all the lovelies and wonderfulnesses.

(I’ve been into listening to Ellie Goulding’s “Starry Eyed” recently. You may also enjoy. Good for one or two person dance parties. Especially if one of those two people is a small child. They really seem to respond to the Woah-oh-ohs in the chorus)

6 04 2011

I am so happy you recommended the Civil Wars! “Poison & Wine” is another lovely/poignant song, and the video was just gorgeous.

I’ll definitely check out your Goulding rec, too. We can always use more Bebe dancing music 🙂

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