Fridays Are For Hope
Word Play

Monday Again

Time to . . . 


On Mondays I share a few tidbits and miscellaneous things I discovered over the weekend. A little of this, some of that. Things to amuse, amaze, entertain, or inform. Maybe even something to rev you up!

So. Let's get to it.


"I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do."
        --- Helen Keller




I'm going to admit . . . that this weekend was a hard one for me. Every once in a while, the All Of It just rolls over me, y'know? The  pandemic, the political "scene," the fires in California (right in my daughter's back yard), the fact that I should have been packing to leave for Italy right about now, the end of summer. All. Of. It.

So today? I'll be starting your engines with nothing but lighthearted fun.

Here we go!

First up . . . 

You may have heard over the weekend that a new Giant Panda cub was born in the Smithsonian's National Zoo, always a joyous event in the world since the Giant Panda is so close to extinction. So far, both Mei Xiang (the mother) and her cub are doing well, although it's too early for the keepers to get a close look at the cub. 

You can check it all out for yourself using the Panda Cam! Yes, there is a Panda Cam, and it's available here. You can also find out all about Giant Pandas, learn how you can help save Giant Pandas from extinction, and just . . . generally escape from the Other News by visiting.



I know how much all of you enjoy a good, old "factoid." Here's one for you . . .

The Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships are held in Finland. A recent winner said he prepared for the event by “mainly drinking.”

Who knew???

That amazing fact came from the Amazing Fact Generator from Mental Floss. Go ahead . . . click in and generate some amazing facts for yourself! Then you'll be able to WOW your family and friends with such amazing facts as . . .

Jim Henson made his first Kermit puppet using his mother's old coat and two halves of a ping pong ball.

See? Just for fun!



Have you had a chance to see the new Time magazine cover this week? It's pretty incredible . . . 


That image? Hand embroidered! 

Hand embroidered, I need to add, in 24 hours by Nneka Jones, a 23-year-old artist who specializes in contemporary embroidery and wields her needle like a paintbrush. (Absolutely amazing pieces. I can't even describe how incredible her work is.) Read the story behind the cover here. And then read the articles here.

And while you're at it, follow Nneka Jones on Instagram to see more of her work.



When I'm feeling . . . off . . . making something new always seems to help. Here are a couple of tutorials (free!) I found over the weekend that sound interesting and fun to me. I haven't tried either project myself . . . yet.

(But I will!)


First up, Project #1:

Tilly (of Tilly and the Buttons) (a British sewing pattern designer) shares a video tutorial showing how to make a super handy (and really charming) magnetic pin holder. Not only would this be great to have near my sewing machine, but it would make a perfect gift for crafty friends, too.

I would've already made one of these (I was ready to dive right in as soon as I saw the video) but I don't have the materials on hand. . . But for this next project? I have ALL the materials at the ready!

Which brings us to Project #2:

Ann Wood (of Ann Wood Handmade) (a US-based sewing and crafting artist) shares a tutorial on her blog . . . for making charming, hand stitched flower garlands from your scrap fabrics. (Like . . . y'know. From all your mask-making.) These look like so much fun! I just love the whimsy of all Ann's projects. 

And . . . if you don't like the idea of a scrap flower garland, maybe you could use the sweet little flowers to decorate a needle book! (Here is Ann's free pattern/instructions for making one of those.)


Instagram logo

If you're interested in following either Tilly (@tillybuttons) or Ann (@annwood) on Instagram (highly recommended . . . for some JOY in your IG feed), you can find them here and here.



And, finally, in the Circling Back Department . . . 

Last week, I shared some links about the artist Ruth Asawa. Well. Vicki shared this link with me later in the week. Black Mountain College's Museum + Art Center is hosting a free virtual presentation -- Ruth Asawa's Radical Universalism -- on September 23, 2020. As part of the museum's Museum from Home Initiative, Jason Vartikar will be discussing how Ruth Asawa's wire sculptures are a form of activism for racial justice.

This sounds fascinating to me! Maybe to you, too? You can sign up to join the Zoom presentation here.


And . . . that's it for me on this Monday morning.

Here's to a good week for all of us.
(We'll get through this.)




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I am absolutely making that garland! It will be a fun evening on the couch project. Thanks


I've been thinking about Erin a lot. I don't know if good juju works on extensive wildfires, but I'm sending lots of it her way. Thanks for the lovely and cheerful links. Nneka Jones does amazing work. I'm also signing John up for the Mobile Phone Throwing Championships. He hates his cell phone, so rarely turns it on, which in turn frustrates me when I'm trying to contact him. He might be up for some many drinking in the name of training!


Sorry to hear you had a rough weekend but I'm happy it inspired you to write this post of fun things. I'm going to show Jackie the Panda Cam!


So many good things in here! (yeah, it was a heck of a weekend... oy.)

That garland though! What a fantastic idea!

Kim Sheehan

I have been addicted to the panda cam. PANDA BABY! BABY PANDA!


Weekends for me are the most challenging. By Sunday, I’m usually in a huge funk, angry and sad all at the same time. As the seasons change, I mourn all that should have been. Now I’m not usually a pessimistic individual so this is significant for me. This morning I decided what I need is enrichment. So I’m looking into online classes not necessarily knitting and spinning related. Thanks for the link to the Ruth Asawa’s virtual lecture. And seriously, more baby pandas and muppets are in order!


I'm having a bit of a "spell" too. Second Colorado trip cancelled, haven't seen my kid since December...don't know when I will. Boo hoo. The end of summer...I can't even. Thank-you for all this beauty! That garland has me wishing I had scraps!

Carolyn Seymour Thomas

Nneka Jones!! I went straight to her IG acct and--literally--absolute jaw-dropping art. Thanks for all the rich links here (I always love a garland), and I'll be sending safe vibes Erin's way.


I think a lot of us go through those swings. I know I sure do. Some days are just fine and some are just a trial from the minute I get up.

I think I could probably do pretty well at that cell phone chucking contest and I wouldn't even have to drink before hand.


Cell Phone Throwing Contest - LOL Too funny. With drinking! Nnika is AMAZING!!!! Thank you for that link. Hope this is a better week for you Kym.


I've been thinking about Erin, too - whenever I see Napagal Clare post about weather, I know Erin is close by... Thank you for the Ruth Asawa link ... it's on my calendar - and something to look forward to is always a good thing!

Honore Francois

Lots of great “good stuff” in this always. Yes, I’ve watched the Panda Cam tho’ not with this young one, yet. We get really attached to the pandas here in the District and have been quite sad when BaoBao - hope that’s right name - had to go to China.
I hope your daughter and all her neighbors are OK; will keep them in my thoughts and prayers. Thx for the this very meaty post...


Baby panda. At her advanced years! Just the hope we all need. I also have family in California. Now I can worry about one more person. My new phone has me in fits so I want to throw it all the way to Mexico. Sent the Time magazine link to an embroidering friend. She loved it. Helen Keller's words work for all seasons, all situations. Thanks for all of this.


We tried the panda cam over the weekend here and all we saw was the mama panda sleeping. We'll have to keep checking!

The idea of hand-stitching something like a garland or needle book is so (sew?) appealing right now. We've got our big pile of fabric for mask making, but I keep saying that we should do something with all the scraps that are big enough that throwing them away feels like a waste.

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