lovely invite

3 01 2012

The 2012 Year of Lovely Things site has been updated and the sign-up form is ready to go. Woot!

Want to play? It is super simple.

1 : Make a list of 52 fun activities or accomplishments (small things that you can sprinkle into your week or that embellish your larger plans/goals). Each one should be doable within a day or a week.

2 : Complete the 2012 sign-up form on Google docs. You will be added to the Participants list within 1-2 days after I receive your form. I’ll also send you a graphic if you’d like to use it for a blog, etc.

3 : Go and enjoy your year, and post updates as you progress through you list.

And as I’ve said before, there’s no pressure if they don’t happen, but how nice if they do. It’s just my way to deliberately add a little more joy into everyday life.


lovely things 2012

2 01 2012

My new year’s list of lovely things:

watch a thunderstorm | visit a garden | take a picnic to the Outer Banks | visit a historic place | go fishing with the boys | go camping in the mountains | pick berries | visit a local farm | play at the beach | go to a festival

re-upholster a chair | try zumba | learn about a local environmental group

pretzels | Aimee’s okra pickles | Nutella pastries | bread with Bebe | taco night for Mr. P | biscotti | a pitcher of sun tea | comfort soup | cookies w/Bebe | kiddo-friendly sushi rolls

invite friends to meet for bowling | have a backyard movie night | invite friends over for a champagne brunch | have a garden party | have friends over for make-your-own pizza

support public library | call a friend who lives far away | volunteer | donate clothes/toys | join a community Earth Day project | support local food bank | send a care package

make summer pants for Bebe | stencil a floor rug | write three poems | embroider something | add crocheted trim to a pair of pillowcases | finish sweater for Mr. P | make a bottle of Soulemama’s ‘bug-away’ | make a couple of baby gifts | make a Harvest Notebook for our new garden | do a project with autumn leaves

watch a foreign movie | dance with Mr. P | get flowers | buy some pretty yarn | watch the sunrise | get a french manicure | plant a fruit tree

farewell 2011

1 01 2012

You were a funny kind of year – exhausting in so very many ways, yet sprinkled with some wonderful grace notes – and I am relieved to see the end of you.

An interesting year lies ahead. We can expect regular blog posts again. We’ve lots to share & to celebrate. Tomorrow we’ll check-in briefly – we’re still traveling home across 8 states.

Right now I have a hotel bed to crash into, a tired three-year old who’s eager for his good-night story, and a new list to finish for another Year of Lovely Things.

For my Lovely friends from previous years, sorry for the holiday delays, sign-ups will go live Jan 2.

Wishing you all joy and well-being in the new year. See you again in 2012.

lovely and wonderful

2 07 2011

It’s firefly season around here. Bebe and I are enchanted by their glimmers as we walk in the early evening woods. Given the option, he’d have us stay in one spot for an hour watching lights blink on through the trees and occasionally bumble into us, with the sound of birds rustling themselves into shelter for the night. However the rising tides of mosquitoes always drive us on and homeward.

Although much of our life is all upheaval these days, we are loving these simple summer moments: walking and hiking, sharing meals with friends, browsing through farm stands and farmers’ markets, swimming whenever possible, running through the rain, and – always – dancing.

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


(“Brielle” by Sky Sailing/Adam Young, in case you can’t see the video here.)

getting my rock on lately with songs like this one by Ainu-Japanese artist Kamiki Aya (“Revolver”).

a little punk and a lot of pink, this song by Les Plastiscines sounds perfect for cool spring day dancing around in skirts and leggings AND for summer days heading to the beach (“Barcelona”).

really enjoying this live version of “My Boy Builds Coffins” by Florence & The Machine.

There’s less impetus to knit with the deep heat of summer upon us, but there are so many lovely sewing and embroidery projects out there right now. A few of my favorites:

Dana of MADE is generously sharing a free & straight-forward tutorial on children’s striped summer shorts that I am eager to try for Bebe.

Also found a fun little tie-dye project for putting quick fireworks into a child’s plain t-shirt. Sweet! This free tutorial shared by Chrysalis of the Butterfly Jungle blog. Thanks 🙂 there will definitely be some impromptu t-shirt embellishment at our house this weekend.

a mini rainbow quilt pattern: what a sweet and simple idea! this would be a lovely project enlarged to a child’s bed or a picnic blanket, ne?

the embroidery designs are drawn straight from her garden and daily walks – love that – and her recent batch of mini stamps are completely adorable

and speaking of embroidery, bird artist Geninne Zlatkis has been creating some delicate embroidery and beaded embellishments of her bird watercolors that have been printed onto fabric. So beautiful!

if you find it helpful to have some craft structure/community, Christine has just launched her 2nd annual 52 crafts in 52 weeks, starting with different kinds of printing projects in July. Potato prints, here we come!


in a general summery theme, I wantwantreallywant a roll of these adorable gingham picnic linens from Neiman Marcus – blue gingham, please – they come in tearaway rolls like papertowels yet are actually cotton fabric and washable/reusable. How adorable and ingenious!

for your Etsy browsing pleasure, here’s a small collection of treasures I’ve found to celebrate this firefly season.

“Brighter than fireflies upon the Uji River
Are your words in the dark, Beloved.”

-by Amy Lowell, March 1917

this moment : toddler-style chopsticks

1 07 2011

First self-use of chopsticks, wee!

After watching us carefully for a few minutes, Bebe demanded chopsticks and proceeded to feed himself (albeit in a stab-like-kebab method) the rest of his dinner. And the restaurant staff hovered near our table in shared, beaming glee.

Bebe tries chopsticks

[meme from soulemama: capturing a moment from the week… to pause, savor, and remember]

never-never land – and socks

24 06 2011

Exciting and lovely: I am starting my first sock.

duckies - wip1

Tomorrow we’ll review our adventures from the past couple weeks – eek!! sorry – but first I will gush a little about my Newest Thing. Knitting socks. As I’ve written and bemoaned often, DPNs are not my friend (that’s ‘double-pointed needles’ for any non-knitting readers). Since you have to use DPNs to knit socks, ergo I’d never make socks. And now I eat my adamant words. Again.

I know you’re laughing at me, girls. I wave my tiny needles at you. And my bursting-out-of-containers yarn stash. And the binders stuffed with knitting patterns that I recently reorganized in a fit of craft geekery/insomnia the other night.

So I am starting to make my first sock. It’s fast & exciting, and I may fall very hard for sock knitting. I found a lovely pattern by Samantha Hayes that calls for a sport weight yarn, which knits up speedily due to the larger stitch size – a bonus since I recently finished an Endless Project involving some gorgeous yet takes-forever-to-make-progress fingering weight yarn. Many of the other project reviews on Ravelry mentioned how fast and easy this pattern is, and so far I completely agree. Even with additional length added to the top ribbing & more lace repeats, I finished the leg section in just a day. Zoom! Love that.

duckies - wip2

We’ll see how I feel later today after working through turning the heel and making gussets. Gussets on anything are like craft kryptonite for me. Or if this were a romance novel, gussets would be the Villain or Obstacle that makes Happily For Now/Ever After seem completely unattainable.

And yes: I just admitted to reading romance novels. It’s been another Newest Thing this year – and a soothing fix while so many other dreams & plans have been turned bass ackwards and thrown out the window.

We’ll see how things develop. More updates tomorrow.

this moment : afternoon run

8 04 2011

afternoon run

[meme from soulemama: capturing a moment from the week… to pause, savor, and remember]

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