Free hugs.

On the way to work the other day I almost ran into a girl who was wearing a Free Hugs button. What that meant didn't register in my brain quickly enough for me to have a reaction (or to look around and see if there were any cute and clean handsome young men also offering out free hugs - what can I say, I'm shallow) but I was pretty disappointed I missed a chance to get a hug. Truth be told, I've been craving hugs lately. Not just the hello or goodbye ones (which you are lucky to get from me anyway - anyone who knows me knows I am not a hugging friend) but the really good kind. I'd go into details on what makes a good hug, but I don't want to make anyone feel awkward. Moving on.

So obviously today when this holy adorableness of a stuffed owl appeared on Purl Bee when I just happened to check it because I realized yarn season had begun -- I almost cried. Tears. At work. This creature makes me so happy and I don't even own it.
And look how big it is! Granted, I think these chairs are a little small or the cat is ginormous or both, but this hand-knit stuffed owl is the most huggable thing I have ever seen. Aside from my parents' dog Roxie. We can't all own loveable golden retrievers, though - so this owl will have to do.
Who wants to make it for me? I think we all know that my own knitting skills are limited to half finished scarves and fully-complete potholders.

A pleasure for our eyes.

Today at one of my jobs I was looking through the photographs of Irving Penn. After pages and pages of black and white fashion photos, these little bursts of pale pink and rosy red flowers popped out at me. I was instantly captivated and had to share.

I think what I find so lovely about these straightforward shots of roses, poppies, and begonias (there were tulips and peonies too, but I couldn't find good digital copies) is that you can see the tissue paper fragility of the petals and leaves - their vulnerability - but yet at the same time, they feel permanent. Like a finding a wildflower pressed between pages of a book - a mysterious and everlasting treasure.
I also love these muted but warm pinks. I know it's cliché, but it's one of my favorite color schemes. I first fell in love with it when my best friend at age 8 painted her room the palest shade of pink. Ballet tutu pink, I like to call it. I immediately needed my bedroom painted the very same shade, much to my dad's dismay. I think it took him over 5 coats to cover up the previous owner's awful choice of bright orange.
Even though this last one veers away from the pink flower theme of this post, I love the sharpness of these gingko leaves.

I love that I have a job where I am able to discover new photographers on a daily basis. This is what I told myself after being irrationally annoyed by one of my irrationally annoying coworkers.

All that glitters is gold.

My fingernails have been naked since last Thursday. I have been in the mood to forgo my standard pink (or orange-coral) nails for something a little fancier but just haven't been able to put the extra effort in. Which is kind of bumming me out.

I had been thinking I'd decoupage my nails with newspaper (or maybe pages from the latest issue of Art Journal - it just came today and my brain melted when I tried to read it) but then my friend Tara sent me the link for these golden fingernail nuggets.

Seriously, I am dazzled by these nails. The two-tone gold design plus glitter is seriously memorizing. As much, if not more so, than the nail plan I had for the holidays (never happened). But unfortunately I do not have two versions of metallic gold nail polish and I am fresh out of glitter.

Isn't it great, though, how it is fashionable to have fun and funky nails again? And they are such a step up from the bedazzled acrylic nails of the late 90s. Take a look at these whimsical floral and stripes - it kind of reminds me of a Laura Ashley bedding set.
Although I'd love to go the artistic route, the nails below are a more likely story. They are also how mine normally look after a trip to Target. Sampling nail polish at discount stores is okay, right? Don't arrest me.
Hello, strawberries! I can't remember if I've mentioned this before, but I love strawberry things. Preferably cake, but this will work.
This last one is actually more about the awesome gray bow ring. Although, I do love that nail polish color since it is pretty much what I wear daily. Which is most likely what I will end up wearing tomorrow. Such big dreams, so little time.
Meanwhile, writing this post has made me procrastinate from what was meant to be the procrastination activity. In other procrastination news, I just finished reading what I thought was a going to be a cute tech-meets-romantic-comedy blog post from Good. But instead it made me cry. Go figure.

*all images except for the top one from

Summer love.

Yup, I know what you are thinking. That Labor Day has come and gone, school has started up again, and, in some areas of the world, leaves have started changing colors. Well, even though the signs of summer are slowly disappearing -- everybody calm down. Summer is not over yet (officially, anyway - 9 more days!). So it makes perfect sense that I am doing my summer Etsy post now.... right? It isn't at all overdue. Also it's Wednesday, ta da! See how this all works out?

One of my favorite places in the world is the beach. Not any specific beach, but preferably one with sandy shorelines and minimal shark attacks. There is a part of me that always wants to wander off and look for nature's treasures, but then I wonder what I would do with them. I love how this person's collections are captured in such an orderly fashion (have you ever checked out Things Organized Neatly?). This photograph is so much better than what I do - throw loose seashells, rocks, and sand into my beach bag only to be forgotten about until a year later when I wonder what the heck is in my beach bag and why didn't I ever wash that towel because now it permanently smells like seaweed.

photograph by quercus design

New England isn't exactly known for its surf but at heart I am a surfer girl. Since I don't own a surfboard and have only been surfing one and a half times in my life, this is clearly a fact. I love this print. This is the person I wish I was. Minus the swim cap.
print by IrenaSophia
I am pretty sure I have mentioned before that I love stars. Especially star jewelry. So... a starfish ring. Love.
ring by Chymiera
I don't really feel the need to explain this one. It's a whale. Wait, wait. It does come with a little story about how I almost died laughing at the Flight of the Conchords live performance a couple of years ago when they discussed saving the whales. "They're not going to be able to save themselves." I digress. How cute is this wooden whale and how much do I want it? A lot, to both (in Swamp Green or Sweetheart Pink, please).
wooden whale by SlippinSouthern
Something about this image makes me feel really peaceful. Which is good because I've been feeling like a stress kit lately (meaning since last January when I started school again). So, this work of art can be my visual zen garden.
giclee print by Siiso
There are so many pieces of jewelry that use seashells in obvious and cheesy ways. Which makes these earrings completely unexpected. They are nothing that I could ever pull off myself, but I know of at least one super cool friend who'd rock these in a heartbeat.
earrings by MariaHandmade
I'm constantly on the prowl for things and inspiration for my future home. A girl can dream right? My future beach home is not overlooked. That's where these mermaid and starfish hooks come into play.
cast iron hangers by riricreation
The description explains that "honi honi" means to kiss in Hawaiian. The two puka shells facing each other in this necklace is an interpretation of that phrase. Are you swooning yet?
necklace by urijewelry

And I'm back. 

Please tell me what you think in the comments. Clearly I need a lot of encouragement to keep blogging since I am not very self-motivated these days.

The spacing on this post is making me lose my mind. I give up.