goodnight moon

31 03 2012

aka: actually following up with a Pinterest idea

goodnight moon

My sister introduced me to Pinterest in December, and I’ve been cautiously enthralled since then. Enthralled, because really – who doesn’t like to collect great ideas for future reference? Cautiously, because it can be a huge time-suck & because there is a gap between the gathering of Inspiration and actually Making or Doing something. Case in point? Most of my food-related pins languish untried… although the very few recipes I’ve attempted have been sooo delicious. Nom nom. Thank you, internet community.

I have been using my virtual pinboards quite a bit as we figure out our new home – paint colors, arranging things, etc. And I love so many of the ideas for kids’ spaces. For Bebe, I became geekily excited when I saw these gorgeous Christmas moons at Marie Claire Idees.

Minus the lovely glass or crystal chandelier bits – not exactly child-friendly – I thought that these giant crescent moons would be perfect for my boy. We have at least four copies of the Goodnight Moon books, which were originally given to us/him as baby presents, and he has loved each and every copy to a state of battered, gnawed on, torn-and-taped, bookish bits. So making him a giant moon softie went on my list for To Do ASAP.

And guess what? Instant love.

He helped me sort through my fabric pile (literally, it’s still a pile after three months of unpacking : shameful). We picked out a big scrap piece of heavy cotton duckcloth, drew the big circles together, and he happily watched me cut the pattern. Mr. P helpfully lured him away with promises of dish washing – lately our boy gets seriously excited by nightly dish cleaning – so that I had time to sew the pieces together and begin stuffing. Bebe came back as I stuffed the last few tufts inside and began stitching up the gap.

Originally, I’d thought that I would hang the moon on his wall or from the ceiling or something – whimsical room decor, ne? And I tacked a bit of lace in a loop in a top seam (badly placed for balance, as things turn out).

goodnight moon - decor

But Bebe immediately took charge and carried it off with demands for Mr. P to read him the eponymous bedtime story. And he slept with it all night, then carried it out of bed the next morning, propped it carefully near to hand for naptime, etc. He’s basically rolled around with it all over the house, which means the moon has already collected bits of dustbunny fuzz and random hair and required an interval of quick cleaning.

“It’s my goodnight moon,” he says. “You can hold it for a little bit, but I need it for sleeping. It’s my favorite -” which melts a crafty mama’s heart a lot, “- and so is my race car.”

goodnight moon - and car



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

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.

creative time

2 04 2011

I recently read a lovely & thoughtful piece by Patricia Zapata of A Little Hut on making creative time in your everyday schedule (she calls it crafting time, but I think it applies to any creative endeavor).

Last autumn, a friend and I organized a Craft Night Out for a bunch of friends. Our social circle had had limited social time available, between committments to work, family, and other scheduled events. Personally I needed to work on a craft swap project and wanted to catch up with friends, so this was a fun way to combine the two. Self-serving? Probably. Fun, relaxing, and productive? Definitely.

A theme might have been fun, but our creative interests barely overlap and we didn’t want budget or materials to affect participation. We made it a craft-of-choice evening, letting each person bring whatever creative push they needed at that moment:
knitting projects
photo editing with laptop
discussion of writing a research paper
making seasonal paper garlands
doodling with crayons
It wasn’t a lot of time, really, just a couple of hours. Yet it worked – just the deliberate act of opening up that time for creative thought and action in a communal setting.

Simple yet life-affirming.

I’ve had the urge to organize another Craft Night Out for this spring. Ironically, I’ve been holding back because of scheduling issues and now – right now – am realizing that’s slightly ridiculous and I just need to do it. Choose creativity. Choose friendship and community. Choose life (not the Trainspotting kind, the joyful kind).

We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.
-Frederick Keonig

moon at perigee

19 03 2011

There’ll be a full moon at perigee tonight, big and bright and beautiful, so here are a few things in honor of the moon.


see what NASA has to say about perigee moons

learn about the mythical Moon Rabbit, the East Asian version our Man on the Moon


knitted bunny nuggets, free pattern by Rebecca Danger (available on Ravelry).

bunny nugget left bunny nugget right

My bunnies have different ears, so see my Rav notes if you’d like these tweaky mods.


I made an etsy treasury full of lunar pretties


Japanese-American drumming group performs traditional music & dance at a festival in California


because I heart Cat Power (“The Moon“) at all times

cut the bonds with the moon… (“the moon” – swell season, live)

another mild and sweet song (“Honey & The Moon” by Joseph Arthur)

and something fun and summery from Walk The Moon (“Anna Sun”)


adorable bunny breads!! Great inspiration mosaic, ne? I’m going to try making these between now and Easter.

bunny bread mosaic

1. Easter bunny bao (steamed buns), 2. Kyousagi — Pyon!, 3. Hanazono-Manju’s Usagi-Manju, 4. Rabbit bread, 5. Bunny Bread, 6. Bunny Bun, 7. bunny, 8. Bunny Bread!, 9. Wabbit season, 10. Honey Bunnies, 11. bunny bread, 12. Sourdough Easter Bunny

If you have any other great moon links, leave a note in the comments. Hope you get to enjoy the moonrise tonight!

lovely and wonderful

24 02 2011

There has been plenty of knitting, sewing, craft love, Bebe antics, and frolicking going on at our place. But we’ll get to all of that another day – today is grey and windy and wet and cold, so I wanted to share some of the things that have been firing up my heart & imagination lately: lovely & wonderful inspiration.


a knitted zsa hat/mask for children, free pattern by mme zsa zsa

another pretty use of doilies (paper or thread)? make little jar lanterns, like these ones from kootoyoo


BHLDN, a bridal spin-off from the delightful minds behind Anthropologie, is delightful and terribly girly way while away your online time


bread rolls shaped like hedgehogs!! can bread be any more adorable?


BE LINEN MOVIE (15 minutes, 34 seconds) from Benoit MILLOT on Vimeo.

a very different kind of photo blog: in her blog, yowayowa camera woman diary, Natsumi posts self-portraits snapped while she is jumping in mid-air or what she calls, “today’s levitation.”


whimsical prints by artist lisa chow: imagine a carousel populated by butterflies

dream-like prints of paper theatre from theaterclouds on etsy

thread art by French artist Sébastien Preschoux – it’s what Charlotte (of Charlotte’s Web) would make if she was a modern French girl and not a spider

a whimsical collection of reuseable fabric wall stickers by Love Mae – I love the birds wearing top hats, hot air balloons with rainclouds, clothesline dress up ‘dolls,’ and definitely the pirate ship & sea creatures


Oh goodness, this song by The Cave Singers reminds me so much of my late teens and twenties, late nights and lazy afternoons playing guitar and singing with friends (“Haller Lake,” unplugged). Good times, great memories.

this cheery little song by Kokia (“Dandelion,” unplugged).

some rockin’ soul from Adele (“Rolling In The Deep”) – besides making Bebe and I dance all over the house, I love the video’s water glasses and the fall of the paper city


christchurch, new zealand earthquake – international red cross

sing nest feather fly

9 02 2011

A random gathering of feathered loveliness today, in reply to a day that is overcast, with biting bursts of wind, and the kind of cold that makes my bones ache. Also in response to a toddler who Will Not Nap, preferring to read books, run around and around and back, and dance. We’re dancing a lot today. And staring into the wind, heads tucked low for warmth, watching the day with bright eyes.

bird bundle

Here’s a sweet bundle of birds, twigs, and nests, newly nestled in my fabric stash. They called out to me as we headed toward the checkout line. They sang pretty songs and asked, was there room in my nest? Of course, I said, of course you can come home with me.

I really love the red cardinals in this Choose Joy print from eva juliet on etsy.

And still, from our much-loved summer soundtrack, we’re listening to “Maybe Sparrow” by Neko Case:

Finally, here is the kernal at the heart of our day, a snippet from one of my favorite poets.

You sing, and your voice peels the husk
of the day’s grain, your song with the sun and sky,
the pine trees speak with their green tongue:
all the birds of the winter whistle.

-by Pablo Neruda

I hope you are warm in your nest today.

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