A Girl Named Leney


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30 Days of Slow Living Recap

this is a recap, of sorts, of my 30 Days of Slow Living challenge i started last month!

towards the end of my 30 Days of Slow Living project, i didn't lose steam, however i did slack off in posting specifically as much about it. mostly because, for me, i found that a huge part of slow living is getting off of my phone.
so a lot of the things i was doing ended up un documented and just-for-me. which, to a certain extent, is something i'm always trying to find the balance of. 
the encouragement and inspiration that can be found in sharing beautiful things you find in life with others, but not to the extent that you are always living through a screen.  

but i did want to do a bit of a summery in regards to a few of things i did during these past 30 days and some ways i integrated slow living into my life, in some new ways and also some old and familiar ones. i don't have 30 in all, because, remember, some of those things ended up being just-for-me, but here's a few for you to chew over if you need some promptings and ideas of what it could look like to start living more slowly.

  • knitting for myself and not for work
  • keeping a little jar of lavender by my bed to smell off and on throughout the day for feelings of calm and clarity
  • walking more often to the tiny free libraries around richmond (which i've started to document here)
  • leaving screens behind and heading outside to read in the grass was the order of the day on more than one occasion
  • visiting The VMFA to take in a new exhibit 
  • spending a morning painting
  • taking a morning walk by the river with The Sailor, despite an impending busy day.
  • and then just ignoring responsibilities altogether one day and going sailing
  • spending a weekend, unplugged, with some very dear friends (in a yurt no less! lucky us, i know...)
  • opening a too-long-neglected book
  • learning how to develop and print my own film in a darkroom (finally) i've started to chronicle this adventure under #thedarkroomdiaries (of course...)
  • adopted some new plant babies to take care of
  • writing some letters and postcards to some special people
  • paused to admire the changing light and shadows that the coming of Spring brings
  • buying myself a bottle of wine to enjoy with dinner just because
  • taking time to practice extra yoga in the morning
  • breakfast and a book in a detox bath (i think this may have been the first time i took a bath in the morning. usually that's an end-of-the-day thing you know? it was such an excellent way to start the day though)
  • setting the intention to start my mornings s l o w. enjoy the coming in of the morning light. making healthy breakfasts. reading a book before starting work. putting on some calm and inspirational music. it's made such an immense difference in the consistency of my days
  • spun some yarn
  • calling friends more instead of texting them. just all around being more intentional in my communication
  • cleared out a cluttered corner and made it pretty
  • just stepping away from everything and taking a walk (this happened on several days. really need to maintain this. i feel so much more present after a walk outside)

as i said on instagram on my last post, i want the #30daysofslowliving hashtag to be a constant thing, not just for this past one-time 30 day time period. 
i want you guys to jump in on it whenever you are feeling the need to re-set, and be able to get a little bit of accountability in regards to living more mindfully and intentionally if you need it.
i know that i myself can foresee doing another 30 days later this year after the rush of summer gets going and sweeps me up, as it is known to do.

so if you want to have a conversation about these sorts of ideas and concepts, i will definitely be checking the hashtag from time to time to check in with all you wonderful people!
you can also always email me, which a lot of you guys have been doing lately and makes me so incredibly happy. i have loved the conversations we've been having and talking to all of you passionate and purposed filled people.
let's keep it up.


Learning To Let A Little Green Into My Life

A few months ago I started a little photo project on Instagram under the hashtag #learningtoletalittlegreenintomylife.  

Since then I've come to grow (no pun intended... just kidding... pun totally intended) my appreciation for the little bits of nature and greenery I've brought into and become more aware of in my day to day. 

It's not an aesthetics thing.
It's not a branding thing.
It's not to make my Instagram feed look prettier.

It's because sometimes when you live alone, and you don't have pets because you travel so much, it's kind of nice to have something to take care of other than yourself.

It's because it's really rewarding to rescue little pieces of nature and bring them back to life.

It's because it's so satisfying to witness something grow. And know that you had a part in it.

It's because it's nice to wake up to lush greenery in your home.
Especially when it's a million degrees outside (hello Richmond humidity).
Especially because you would love nothing more than to be in nature but you actually can't stand being in nature at the present moment because you hate sweating.
(This is another reason I love the water so much I think.... I'm in nature but readily able to cool down via. wind or water!)

It's because it feels good to cultivate life.

This article a while back definitely inspired me to jump on the plant game more than I had been, but also the slow living mindset I've been trying to carry with me and introduce into my life over the past year has a lot to do with it as well. 

Plus, the mantra itself is a reminder to be open to the possibility of new things.
To not be closed off. 
To let a little green into my life.

Photo projects like this are fun and help me challenge myself. 
I also have... 

And of course #daughterofasailor and #theknittingqueen and #thetravelingphotographer and #weddingphotographerdiaries. Though those seem to have attracted some other users lately so they're not just my own photos like the above tags are! ;)
Do you have any photo projects? I've always wanted to do a specific 365 day one! What about you?

Don't Go Back To Sleep

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.

Don’t go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.

Don’t go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill

where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.

Don’t go back to sleep.

— Rumi, from “Quatrains”.

OOAK Knits | The Montmartre Sweater 

The Montmartre Sweater

Inspired by the fashion forward city of Paris. A study in color brought forth this muted hazelnut tone that reminds me of a weekend spent walking underneath the eiffel tower, drinking wine at street side cafes, eating tasty pastries, shooting film, people watching on the train and lazing around a tiny apartment with balcony windows flung wide open to let out the sounds of Tracy Chapman and Billie Holiday cd's...

Yarn origin: Richmond, Va

A photo posted by Leney (@agirlnamedleney) on

If you'd like to invest in this piece and be the owner of it's unique story you can do so by heading to the shop listing for it below

You can also see other OOAK Knits and there stories here.

Why one-of-a-kind?

These pieces are inspired by...
the places i’ve been,
the people i’ve met,
the words i’ve read,
the images i’ve created.

All of which are unique, to themselves, their own, one-of-a-kind. 
Much like you are.

I believe that your clothing, what you wear, says a lot about you.
It adds to your story, your make-up, who you are as an individual.

And so, shouldn’t those pieces in and of themselves hold a story all their own?
I think so.
That’s why my knitwear is one-of-a-kind. 
Each design is a piece of art.
Each piece tells a story. 
Of a person. A place. An experience. An idea.
When you own one of these pieces you are the only one to own it.
Aside from me, the creator, you hold it’s story. 
You are now the caretaker of it’s story. 
And it, in turn, becomes a part of yours.
The Stories The Things We Own Tell.
I think they're terribly important, though often overlooked. 
I find that the things we invest in are the things we cherish and value most. Which in turn speaks to what kind of individual we are. What we put stock in. Who we want to be.

You can also read more about why here.

// Photos by Meagan Abell //

A Study In Color | Paris

Christening our three day Parisian life with Tracy Chapman and Billie Holiday
Out of this world night scenes
All neutrals
Au natural
Foi gras

 Via Instagram

A Study In Color | Switzerland

Forever catching trains

Endless good food

A boy named Sven

Cully Classic Music Festival

Paddle boarding

A place a daughter of a sailor feels right at home


 Via Instagram

A Study In Color | Spain


With it's peaches and cream and sandy tones


Friendly strangers in the metro to help reorient our turned around selves

New Castle Boys bound for Valencia

Two hour train station waits

Waiting and waiting and waiting

Hot sticky summer nights

 Via Instagram

A Study In Color | Ireland

A girl named Siorsia

Being serendaded by Irish men singing John Denver's Take Me Home Country Road

A homeland for so many that I could see myself calling home

Oh Molly Malone

Everything's savage


 Via Instagram

Morning Scenes

i've become much more of a morning person over the past few years.
i used to be exclusively a night owl, staying up until all hours, hanging out with friends, working on projects, reading. 
now i find that i enjoy the morning just as much, if not more so, for all of these activities. 
i suppose you naturally transition to this preference of hour with age. slowly adjusting to the worlds standards and routines of socially acceptable and more commonly approved of operational hours.

i could have a whole instagram account dedicated to the photos i take in the morning.
i'm somehow instantly inspired right when i wake up. always having an idea for an image. something to spark the conversation and connection between myself and the rest of my day. 
maybe it's the light, and how it dreamily slides from ceiling-to-wall-to-floor as it makes it's way back out the window. 
maybe it's because i've been dormant and inactive for so long during all those hours of sleep that as soon as i wake i'm overloaded with the need to create.
maybe the ideas are interpretations of dreams in the night.
maybe it's because i feel most beautiful in the morning.
maybe it's a little of all of the above.

no matter, morning scenes, with their invite of routine and comfort, make my heart feel full. 

Home Sweet Home
First Impressions of The Mediterranean Via  Instagram

First Impressions of The Mediterranean Via Instagram

I'm home again.
I'm back from Europe and oh my goodness I am so filled with the beautiful and incredible places/people/things I met during my travels. There really just aren't words to sum up the trip and experience as a whole. Or, if there are, I haven't found them yet. Everything's been a bit of a whirlwind since I've been back.
I think that it will only be in retrospect that I will realize the impact these places have on me to be quite honest.
I think that's often how it is with my various ventures. Only after the fact, once I've had time to meditate on the experience and let it sink in, do I fully see and experience the fullness you get of being somewhere wonderful and new. 
Does that make sense?
So many new thoughts and ideas and stories were carried across the pond back with me and I can't wait to share them though.
Along with heaps of photos too of course.
I'm definitely feeling inspired and ready to get back to my routines and catching up on work.
I'm ready to be settled and home for a bit as well.

At least, until the next adventure presents itself...

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