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Showing posts from October, 2016

United {Everyday Beautiful}

It's been quite a month - seeking beauty and finding it in ordinary and extraordinary ways and places, expanding its definition beyond the narrow stereotype we tend to force it into... Thank you for joining me on this journey, and may we continue to seek everyday beauty (and maybe to create a little of it, ourselves) as we move forward into the holiday season!

This post is day 31 in my 31 Days series, 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful - for an introduction and more posts, head here. [Join the conversation on Facebook!]

Add to the Beauty {Everyday Beautiful}

We come with beautiful secrets / we come with purposes written on our hearts / written on our souls / We come to every new morning / with possibilities that only we can hold / Redemption comes in strange places / small spaces / calling out the best of who we are / And I want to add to the beauty / to tell a better story / to shine with the light / that's burning up inside / It comes in small inspirations / it brings redemption to life and work / it comes in loving community / it comes in helping the soul find its worth / This is grace / an invitation to be beautiful // Add to the Beauty by Sara Groves

This post is day 30 in my 31 Days series, 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful - for an introduction and more posts, head here. [Join the conversation on Facebook!]

Raveling {Everyday Beautiful}

part three of three

More knitting. But really, it's such an exemplary example of community done right! So, I've talked about knitters gathering, and the legacy of knitting - today, knitting across the miles. There's a spectacular community for fiber folk called Ravelry (imagine Facebook, for knitters, without all the hateful comments), and it's made a tremendous impact on me.

Groups (for every interest: tea-drinkers, journalers, 20-somethings, and Harry Potter fans are a few I've been a part of) and knit-alongs (a group of people working on the same project simultaneously) on Ravelry have gotten me through dark and otherwise friendless times, knowing that I had a place to take my questions (knitting related or not) where I would be welcomed and encouraged.

Knit-alongs are one of my favorite group knitting activities, and they're made so much easier by a digital age - I can knit along with ladies from my local shop, with a group of knitters from all over the wor…

Eat... {Everyday Beautiful}

It's Five Minute Friday! Each week a flashmob of bloggers gather, internet wide, to write for five minutes (no stopping, no editing) on a prompt provided by sweet Kate, then link up and share a little comment love. For more info, more posts, and/or to join in, head here!


Every Tuesday morning, I gather with a lovely group of ladies to study. Last year we ended up having an inadvertent focus on prayer (Ephesians, Priscilla Shirer's Armor of God study, and The Sacred Echo) - this year, it's joy. The no-matter-what sort that Paul talks about in Philippians (which is what we're studying right now).
Another strong theme we've found is community - how being joyful despite all is a lot easier when we're surrounded and encouraged by others. Because when we're alone we begin to believe the lies our own minds tell us, and we begin to believe them, because there's no one there to say any different.
No one there to remind us that we are loved. That even our brokenn…

Across the Universe {Everyday Beautiful}

I love the Beatles. There is a Beatles song for every possible occasion (maybe even more than one) and they're so darn catchy. Tobin (who is not quite two) loves to do the "yeah"s for me when I sing She Loves You, and I once apologized to my roommate for not taking out the trash in a manner she found timely (we'd had a row about it that morning) after We Can Work It Out came on on the radio.
So I started out to write a post about #fmfpartysnailmail - about how amazing it is that we can record our thoughts on a piece of pretty paper, fold it up, put a stamp on it, and send it by truck and plane to someone somewhere else in the world, and then they can open it up and see what we were thinking - about how wonderfully encouraging it is to find a box or envelope in your postbox, whether you were expecting it or not - about the beauty of friendship between people who have never met in person (y'all, if I ever manage to move to Washington, which I would love, I will al…

Legacy {Everyday Beautiful}

part two of three
A few weeks ago, I was approached by someone who knew someone who needed some knitting done (I have no idea why she thought of me). I called the number she gave me, and it turned out this person had a set of Christmas stockings but had added a new daughter-in-law, and wanted to welcome her into the family with a matching stocking of her own. She had a version of the pattern, some of the original yarn, and was willing to lend the originals for me to reverse-engineer off of.
It involved a technique that I don't have a lot of practice at, but my philosophy toward knitting is that it's comprised of the same thing over and over with very slight variations so there's no reason I shouldn't be able to do any of it - and I did. I pulled it out once, part way through, because it wasn't on level with Grandma's version, and I ended up doing quite a bit of touch up work at the end, but the finished piece is one that I'm proud to have made.

While I was …

52 Lists: things that make up your ideal holiday season

For me, the best place for a fresh start or to begin a new project is on my birthday - the beginning of my year. So the year I was 21, I did a photo a day project (that ended up including an internship in Cleveland, meeting/dating my now-husband Adam, and going to New York to work for Vogue Knitting - so I'm retrospectively glad that I committed to documenting that particular year!), and the year I was 24, I knitted the sky (one row on a scarf each day in the color of the sky). So for 27, I'm doing lists. I'm going to roughly follow along with the book The 52 Lists Project.

A list of the things that make up my ideal holiday season

1. Quiet conversations
2. Competitive board gaming
3. Traditions and rituals
4. Music
5. Seasonal treats
6. Fires and candles
7. Bundling up to go outside together, for the sake of lights and stars
8. Giving, and receiving
9. Staying up late
10. all balanced with interludes of solitude

This post is day 25 in my 31 Days series, 31 Days of Everyday B…

Knit 2 Together {Everyday Beautiful}

part one of three
The vanity plate on my car is a mock-up of Maryland plate with "K2TOG" as the number - a knitter's pun for getting married, because k2tog is the abbreviation for a decrease, turning two stitches into one. (It's funnier if you're a knitter...)
But the whole of knitterdom is "knitted together" in a beautiful way... I've written before about the strength of this community that's held together by often this single thread. People helping people, experience trumping age, gender, and social status - the way a knitter will leave not just her project, but also her purse and other personal belongings sitting at a communal table to run next door for lunch (which she brings back and shares with the others) - the "knitter's handshake" (petting someone's handknitted garment) - asking total strangers for their opinion on which two yarns go best together, or which color looks better on you, and then genuinely respecting their…

Bread and Wine {Everyday Beautiful}

When you put seven adults and three under-four kids together at a table --- the shuffling of chairs and perching of children and strategic distribution of parents (and steak knives) - the way everyone takes care of everyone else, and the first one finished takes ansty Littles to play so the others can eat in peace - a hostess who is willing to work around dietary restrictions - with plenty of excellent conversation --- there's a sort of communion that happens which I think is just as holy and beautiful as any kind in a church.

This post is day 23 in my 31 Days series, 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful - for an introduction and more posts, head here. [Join the conversation on Facebook!]

Greyscale {Everyday Beautiful}

We had dinner with friends from church and visiting missionary family yesterday - Tobin and the missionary's daughter found courage together, their desperation to pet the dogs equaled by their terror of being licked. Oh, to form friendships so quickly and innocently!

This post is day 22 in my 31 Days series, 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful - for an introduction and more posts, head here. [Join the conversation on Facebook!]

Park... {Everyday Beautiful}

It's Five Minute Friday! Each week a flashmob of bloggers gather, internet wide, to write for five minutes (no stopping, no editing) on a prompt provided by sweet Kate, then link up and share a little comment love. For more info, more posts, and/or to join in, head here!


We went to our lovely local "pop bar" for farewell popsicles last week (not that cooler weather will stop us from going there, just that it was the last of the really warm days), and got there a few minutes before they opened (I always forget).
There's a kitchen goods store on one side, filled with glass and sharp things, and a furniture store on the other - neither really good places to wait with small children, and then I noticed that someone had set up a Little Free Library right there on the sidewalk.
So I got out a couple of books - childhood favorite of mine (The Poky Little Puppy) and some pretty Eric Carle, to start with - and, parked on a convenient bench, we read. By the time we'd finis…

Ocean {Everyday Beautiful}

Three beautiful things: a wild-and-free mug by Little Inklings, a Johanna Basford coloring-planner, and whoever invented colored pencils. I'm reminded of of Sarah in Patricia MacLachlan's book Sarah Plain and Tall, going into town to get blue and grey and green pencils, the colors of the sea she missed.


My soundtrack for the day was provided by this adorable duo - Brooklyn worked the backbeats and Tobin danced to the tune they created together.


My Fair Trade Friday bracelet of the month came today - Haitian made! You should check out 2nd Story Goods - an awesome company with awesome products! (It says "live wrecked" which is ironic and fitting given the chapter I just read, in a Priscilla Shirer book, about letting our hearts be broken toward the needy)

This post is day 20 in my 31 Days series, 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful - for an introduction and more posts, head here. [Join the conversation on Facebook!]

Verdant {Everyday Beautiful}

My hand me down Hen and Chicks is flourishing despite my neglect - infrequent watering simulates its natural desert habitat, right?


Beauty underfoot - our doormat unexpectedly sprouted. I'm curious to see what it will grow into...


Hopefully awaited growth - we potted this "mandrake" at the Harry Potter Science event at the Museum of Discovery last weekend, and we've kept Arnold well-watered as we watched for hair.


I've finally used enough cards to have some wiggle room in my card box - so the solution is, of course, to restuff it. Found some lovely Kodachrome notes at Moxy Modern Mercantile today!


First local, then fair trade - my two favorite things! My earrings of the month came today - I'm really struggling with whether to put these in the Christmas box or keep them for myself!

This post is day 19 in my 31 Days series, 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful - for an introduction and more posts, head here. [Join the conversation on Facebook!]

52 Lists: words that warm your spirit

For me, the best place for a fresh start or to begin a new project is on my birthday - the beginning of my year. So the year I was 21, I did a photo a day project (that ended up including an internship in Cleveland, meeting/dating my now-husband Adam, and going to New York to work for Vogue Knitting - so I'm retrospectively glad that I committed to documenting that particular year!), and the year I was 24, I knitted the sky (one row on a scarf each day in the color of the sky). So for 27, I'm doing lists. I'm going to roughly follow along with the book The 52 Lists Project.

A list of the words that warm my spirit

1. Peace
2. Quiet
3. Deep
4. Conversation
5. Slow
6. Calm
7. Warmth
8. Love
9. Wild
10. Free

This post is day 18 in my 31 Days series, 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful - for an introduction and more posts, head here. [Join the conversation on Facebook!]

Pumpkin {Everyday Beautiful}

Finishing up a lacy curtain for our kitchen window, loving this handmade stitch marker I got at Knit 2 Together in Russellville, and enjoying Denise Hughes' new WordWriters study of Philippians.


A beautiful front porch (not mine).



We spent a fun morning at the State Fair, eating cotton candy and looking at all the cute animals.

This post is day 17 in my 31 Days series, 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful - for an introduction and more posts, head here. [Join the conversation on Facebook!]

Strawberry {Everyday Beautiful}

Bidding the warm days a fond (but firm) farewell with popsicles from Le Pops.



I've discovered something wonderful - painting windowframes. I started with a green window in our dining room, and just painting our kitchen window frame pink. It completely alters your perception of the view!


My most favoritest knitting bag - fair trade, handmade in Vietnam. I seem to recall it being a little outside my usual price range, but I think I've more than gotten my "money's worth" in enjoyment from it.


Hot tea - my second favorite activity. Got this new mug for Butterfly Day, because my mother knows me well.

This post is day 16 in my 31 Days series, 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful - for an introduction and more posts, head here. [Join the conversation on Facebook!]

Remedy {Everyday Beautiful}

When Remedy Road followed me on Instagram a few months ago, I was immediately intrigued by the name and went to check out their feed. Turns out they're a brick-and-mortar shop in Bentonville, Arkansas, dedicated to fair trade companies that give back, either by their choice of artisan or with a one-for-one model. Yes, please!

I've been liking practically everything they post and anxiously waiting for a chance to visit the store in person, which finally happened last weekend - and I was not disappointed.

The shop itself is a delight - even the things that weren't my "style" were amazingly aesthetically pleasing. I felt warmly welcomed from the moment I stepped in the door (augmented by both the shop girl's affable greeting and the cold front that was blustering down the street outside).

Brave (and on a budget) I only succumbed to two items - a BelJoy bracelet (it was a hard choice between this one, made in Haiti, and a Shine Project one that they'd posted…