Crafty DIY Projects, Breezy Summer Dresses & Encouragement to Soothe is ripe with potential to be on the random side, but doesn’t that authentically mirror modern life?
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Crafty DIY Projects, Breezy Summer Dresses & Encouragement to Soothe
No matter what cares may be distracting you at this moment, Mary Oliver has a prescription.
Is it Time to Get Crafting?
Life this summer has been busy as we spruce up a 1950 tiny house we bought in the spring (can’t wait to get those shutters on this week!), and I welcome a four-legged personal trainer into my formerly sedentary daily life (grand-doggie Eve takes me for walks every afternoon now). My broom sweeps up lots of pet hair now which for me equals more meditative communion, contemplation and prayer.
While my hands have been busy schlepping and playing piano, it’s time to get them crafting too! I want to try some natural dye projects so I have saved avocado pits to do something like this:
I am thinking blush pink cotton napkins…
tie dyed tank tops…
and maybe some cozy PJs:
Lovely Dresses to Consider
Enjoying the Little Things
Are you seeking beauty in the little things?
And are they little things, or are they EVERYTHING? Here’s a delicious little thing I shared last spring:
Ideas for Summer Meals
Does your cooking change quite a bit in summer? Ours does. My favorite dinner these days is a quick and easy one. I like doctoring those per-washed, pre-assembled salad kits and find I can get creative with ease. I’ll quickly grill a thin chicken breast or stir fry steak and add to a Southwest Style or Broccoli Slaw type salad mix along with a liberal amount of baby spinach leaves and a sprinkle of garbanzo beans, nuts, and dried berries.
To be honest, we don’t get invited to pool parties or BBQs (when I look at social media it seems everyone else on the planet is raising a glass at a neighborhood BBQ!), but if you need ideas for a salad to bring…
If I have more time to cook dinner? I am big time going through a shrimp scampi phase. I don’t get to add all the butter to mine (low-fat is about survival for this hungry soul, doncha know), but I love all of Alison Roman’s dishes:
Lots of folks are traveling this summer, but plenty cannot for a myriad of reasons. That’s where the internet can offer a bit of comfort. Say you feel like strolling in Paris and dropping by a cute shop or fresh market? You can almost smell the smells through the screen so go right ahead:
Get Inspired by Modern French Decor
Why not just begin with the best there is?
Study designs from Pam Pierce and issues of Milieu to train your eye for simplicity and pleasing juxtaposition.
Whether you add fresh or paper flowers, branches, or nothing at all to a white pot like this (below), its pleasing silhouette is bound to charm you this summer.
Make a Humble Bird House
I commissioned my husband to make this humble bird house, inspired by a dear friend’s passing. She was a nature lover, and when last we were together, the tumor in her brain had stolen most of her vision and hearing. Yet she remained mobile and energetic as she fed birds and chubby squirrels gathered on the temple of her wood deck. The beauty of my longtime friend, stripped of her senses, hair, and time will remain with me always (and I don’t mean, bless her heart, what a pitiful sight, I mean pure Beauty with a capital infinitely lovely B).
As she tossed handfuls of seed-like colorful confetti through the sky, I kept thinking about that conversation with Peter and Christ. “Do you love me?” Yes, Lord. “Feed my sheep.”
It wasn’t just the birds and squirrels fed that day. What a blessing to pray, reminisce, laugh, and hold hands.
We planned our next ‘party’ (there would be foot massages and wearing of a spectacular new wig made from a daughter’s tresses), but my pal flew home before we could gather again.
I don’t know what you and yours will face in the coming months and years, but since we just don’t know, may I be bold?
Say the loving things now.
Don’t wait for a moment to materialize where it feels more appropriate or less awkward. If only you knew the number of awkward moments I have created singlehandedly! It’s a gift!
Feed each other love. Let your voice shake and quiver. It’s okay if it’s messy. Let tenderness flow with tears from your eyes.
Back to bird house making. We used reclaimed wood from a vintage dresser I salvaged so it feels even more special.
Here are the instructions:
DIY Plaster Dipped Flower Art
Here’s a super easy craft I have done for years.
You may be familiar with the beautiful blog So Much Better With Age, and here is Jamie’s awesome tutorial for an adaptation of those dipped flowers.
Discover even more easy elegant French DIY projects in Jamie’s book:
Summer Exercise Idea
Need a nudge to get moving?
For those of you who have little doggies and one of these with the back wheel rack…
Summer Learning Idea: The Science of Happiness
No, you are not too ancient for summer school. Did you know you can take a course at YALE on happiness for FREE? Yep. Here’s a great book I own on the subject:
My clinical research on the subject often leads me here:
My fat-restricted diet allows me to indulge in a serving of 8 of these happy pills once in a while.
For a healthier dose of happy, these chewies (below) hit the spot (I could eat the whole bag since each serving is 1.5g of fat!):
Bake Someone Happy
How timeless and gorgeous is this pale pink beauty? Whether you have a Ph.D. in fondant or have no clue what fondant is, maybe this is a sweet time to learn a new skill like cake decorating.
Greet a Groovy Green Accessory
Lovely Summer Wreath DIY
I’m so impressed by folks who make these handmade wreaths, and I’m even more impressed with folks who take the time to teach us! It is so much work creating even the simplest DIY video so my hat is off to creatives who teach! (Who cares if it says spring!?! Works for summer!)
Instant Wreath Beauty
I also found these readymade beauties:
Spruce Up a Summery or Beachy Vignette With Glass Beads
Add Gentleness to Summer Road Trips
Relaxing music and flowers are always a winning combo.
Summer Shifts for Self-Care
Did you visit my Zen lovely post HERE?
Here’s an oil I use regularly that works on body, scalp, split ends, cuticles, etc. No messy dropper or pump, just hold it upside down for a little drop to instantly drop.
We began with words from Mary Oliver…let’s part with them too in this poetry excerpt which paints a portrait of how I aspire to somehow draw strength from the “velvet darkness” which sometimes appears:
Thinking of each of you, thankful for your presence here.
Peace to you right where you are.
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