A bit of whimsy | 7.1.22

A bit of whimsy | 7.1.22

Hello, July. I am so glad I am filling my days with some whimsy so I can avoid thinking about the looming July holiday that this year won’t feel like something to celebrate at all.

Who knows what women can be when they are finally free to be themselves. ― Betty Friedan

I am glad that SCOTUS is in recess until the first Monday in October. Very glad. Although I did get a bit teary-eyed when I watched Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson become the first female Black justice! I am eagerly looking forward to her dissents!

But let’s bring on the whimsy, shall we?

My inspiration

And my interpretation…

The watercolor painting continues and this week I finally “broke out” some actual watercolor paper and taped it to my brand new gator board and even started painting! Yes, I am done fighting curling corners… oh boy. My inspiration this week was a photo from Presque Isle on Lake Erie. As you can see… the learning curve on color mixing is steep but I am not giving up!

A bit of whimsy for the bathroom!

There was non-gnome whimsical knitting this week as well. I had unearthed a bag full of the long discontinued Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille. I think I originally bought all that yarn to knit this washcloth which was originally published in Melanie Falick’s Weekend Knitting book. But I thought it might be perfect for the Bodhi Leaf Washcloth from Ease and it was! I have knit two (one is in the shower currently) and I have plans for several more. I also knit one from linen, but it is very small. I have not tried it yet, but I think it would be a good facial exfoliator. This knitting is in the Super-fast Gratification category… I can knit a Bodhi in less than an hour. Really. Cast on to weaving in the two ends… in under an hour and I can easily get two cloths from a skein!

Finally, some garden whimsy… or perhaps necessity? I present one bee watering station!

Ignore the weedy yard… there is little to no grass, but wow! Can we grow weeds!

I took the plant saucer who’s planter had broken and filled it with a couple of scoops of pea gravel and voilá! A place for bugs to drink! I have seen bumble bees, tiny butterflies, as well as a couple of large wasps all partaking! (Okay, maybe I am not so happy for the wasps, but they seemed to have no interest in myself or Sherman… they were just thirsty!) I have to fill it a couple of times a day… the evaporation rate is fast but repurposing things for the win!

And there you have it… some whimsy for my week! I hope you find some whimsy this weekend. I will be back on Monday! Have a good long weekend everyone!

A bit of whimsy | 7.1.22

A Bit of Whimsy | 6.24.22

The wee break I took last week inspired a new way of thinking about blogging…much needed inspiration.

Welcome to A Bit of Whimsy!

I am a person who is incredibly serious. Joking around is not easy for me and I don’t spend enough (any?) time creatively playing. However, I am working on including more lightness in my days.

These whimsy posts will help me be accountable to adding some playfulness to my week! (And if you find that you need some whimsy in your life, I invite you to join me!)

You must not ever stop being whimsical. ― Mary Oliver, Wild Geese

Okay, Mary Oliver… I am lisenting!!

One thing I did not imagine when Sarah Schira launched her Year of Gnomes was the whimsy that it would bring to my days. Silly me… can a gnome be anything but whimsical? Previous gnomes were fun, but this with this month’s gnomes – whimsy took over!

You might have seen Gnombleberry and Gnewt on IG, but here is another look at them. I stepped outside of the pattern and created something that fit me… a poem reading gnome with an over the shoulder bag. And a wee pocket for Gnewt… who is not at all certain that poem reading is for him, but he is going to try! It was all so much fun!

**Details for those interested. I knit the bag per the pattern instructions then I pinned the bag where I wanted it to sit on Gnombleberry and knit a single I-cord. I threaded the I-cord on a darning needle and went through all layers of the bag to create the folds you see. I knotted the I-cord and secured it with a stitch or two under the hat brim to make sure it stays on the “shoulder”. I used florist wire in the arm to bend it how I wanted. Gnewt’s pocket had zero fore-thought… I determined where it looked best once I had attached his arms and then picked up three stitches, and knit them in stockinette for 4 rows, slipping the first stitch of each row. I used the tails to stitch it to the body. And stitched Gnewt’s hand into the pocket to keep it secure. Look for more gnome creativity in the coming months!

The other very whimsical thing I have been engaging in is watercolor painting. It is very much a work in progress… and the struggle is very real. But I am sharing my latest attempt… the lavender in the tiny Patrón bottle. I am learning every time I pick up the brush and for now – that is a comfortable start. FYI… highlights and watercolor are a true challenge for me so the wee bits of highlights you see here are courtesy of a white Gellyroll pen which shows up more in the photo than it does in the painted image. But… I am learning!

Finally, the last bit of whimsy for this week came courtesy of Krista Tippet and The Pause.

And there you have my whimsical beginning! Now, I am heading out to spend some time soaking up the peace of the wild things (while pulling the gajillion thistles that pop up seemingly overnight in my gardens!)

Happy Friday everyone! See you all back here on Monday with my June word update!!

 

 

 

When words fail me | 6.3.22

When words fail me | 6.3.22

Oof..these numbers are so troubling. I hope we have reached the tipping point and that change will happen.

In these troubled times I am so thankful for poetry. I read poetry every single day but recently I have spent even more of my day immersed in poetry and one poem keeps calling to me over and over and over. It is a poem by Ada Limón from American Journal Fifty Poems for Our Time.

Downhearted

by Ada Limón

Six horses died in a tractor-trailer fire.
There. That’s the hard part. I wanted
to tell you straight away so we could
grieve together. So many sad things,
that’s just one on a long recent list
that loops and elongates in the chest,
in the diaphragm, in the alveoli. What
is it they say, heartsick or downhearted?
I picture a heart lying down on the floor
of the torso, pulling up the blankets
over its head, thinking this pain will
go on forever (even though it won’t).
The heart is watching Lifetime movies
and wishing, and missing all the good
parts of her that she has forgotten.
The heart is so tired of beating
herself up, she wants to stop it still,
but also she wants the blood to return,
wants to bring in the thrill and wind of the ride,
the fast pull of life driving underneath her.
What the heart wants? The heart wants
her horses back.

“Downhearted,” from Bright Dead Things by Ada Limón (Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 2015). © 2015 by Ada Limón.

My heart and I wish for you a good weekend…perhaps with a Lifetime movie or two. See you all back here on Monday.

To Whom It May Concern | 3.25.22

To Whom It May Concern | 3.25.22

I have said this many times, that there seems to be enough room in the world for mediocre men, but not for mediocre women, and we really have to work very, very hard. — Madeleine Albright

Dearest Madam Secretary,

The news of your passing took me by surprise this week because, somehow, I was of the mindset that you would be here forever… If only. I have such incredible memories of you… starting with your becoming Madam Secretary. My goodness, that was such a note worthy event. You were The First (but absolutely not the last!) You were such an incredible breaker of glass ceilings and you were most certainly not mediocre! But my greatest joy ever was listening to you read your book, Fascism: A Warning… I imagined that what you shared must be similar to what your students heard in your classes, and perhaps… what other leaders heard when you spoke to them. You are leaving a void that will take many to fill but fortunately, you have inspired so many others and my hope is that those many others will rise up and fill that void in magnificent ways. I promise you that your memory is a blessing to so many. May you rest in power.

With Deepest Sympathies,

A Devoted Fan


Honorable Judge Brown Jackson,

I wanted to take a moment to send you my thoughts on The Senate Confirmation Hearing…aka Your Week In Hell. I am so very sorry that out of the hundreds of judgements that you have delivered, some…the mediocre…only focused on a very small handful. Do not fear, we all saw that they were doing there… Sadly, Irony died a very long time ago. The adage of glass houses seems to be most appropriate here, but they are blind and deaf to that. Sadly, the mediocre are never mute… and for a very brief moment I erroneously felt a bit of woman-ship with you. Many of us have been in meetings where we were interrupted…continuously… so please, forgive my white privilege in even momentarily thinking what I (and many other white women) experienced was in any way similar, it was not…at all. I also want to thank Cory Booker for showing us all so beautifully how to have someones back. And yet through the entire debacle, you maintained such incredible composure! You are a shining example for all of us! I am so eager for your confirmation to the Supreme Court. Your presence there is long overdue…and I, for one, am so glad you persevered. You are the best of all of us!

Sincerely,

A Joy-Full and Inspired American


Have a great weekend everyone, I will see you all back here on Monday with my word update!

Friday Finds | 3.18.22

Friday Finds | 3.18.22

Whew, Friday… it seems like eons since you were here!

It’s been a week… of all the weather (at least here in Pittsburgh) and all the heartbreaking news. We were happy to join in this week in making a donation for Ukraine to Brother’s Brother. Even though it feels like what we donate won’t make a difference, this delightfully reminded me that if we all drop something in the bucket… we can collectively make a difference.

Things that helped me get through this week…

Sewing:  My goodness, was it a very good distraction. I am not through my sewing pile, but I have made some good progress.

On Monday, someone commented to me about me making the Agnes pjs out of linen and wearing them more than at home. What?! Sorry but there is zero chance of that ever happening… LOL At least not while Sew House Seven’s Free Range Slacks exist!! Those are my Pjs You Can Wear Out Of The House pants! Really, I have sewn 3 pairs and am in the process of making a 4th pair as I type! They are the most comfortable pants ever (although not for sleeping) but for everyday wear they are my perfect pants! But if you are wondering what might be the perfect pants for you… The Foldline has you covered with their Trousers Issue. And if you sew, you should absolutely subscribe to their weekly news letter. It contains such great pattern reviews and such useful information!

Listening: I discovered a new podcast last week… NPR’s Book of the Day. Small, bite-sized podcasts about books. What could be better? I have added a book or two to my “read soon” list. Thank you, NPR!

On top of that, audiobooks – this week I have been listening to Olga Tokarcuz’s Flights. I think it is always good to read books that remind you really how not smart you are. It keeps one humble. And Olga is keeping me very, very humble this week and yet, I cannot stop because I keep hoping that I will connect the dots. Ahh, the hopes of the reader, right? lol

Inspiration: I really like reading about what other makers are doing and recently Katrina Rodabaugh shared some new things she has coming… classes – even an online class in which I am I am very interested. I also have loved her sharing what she has been reading each week! (if you don’t get her newsletter, it’s really a treat!)

And for some close to home inspiration, Tuesday night I am attending an event (IN PERSON!! What???) at the Carnegie Library: Chutz-Pow! Super Heroes of the Holocaust. I am excited to listen to Wayne Wise and Marcel Walker talk about their comic book series!

That is all I have to share this week. I hope you all have an incredible weekend and I will see you all back here on Monday!

 

 

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