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The Little Things Writing Contest #001

The contest is a continuation of our book, The Little Things, with a Mother's Day theme!
Deadline: May 5, 2021
Submit here
  • Do you have a story based on an experience or sentimental thing?
  • Is the story related to the mom in your life or Mother's Day itself?
  • Does thinking about this story of yours make you feel warm and fuzzy?

Share your reflection and participate in this month's writing contest!

Enter Contest

The Little Things

Last year we published a bright yellow coffee table book with pages made up of the thoughts, ideas, and memories that make us collectively feel good.

In the book, The Little Things, we interviewed a wide range of people about happiness, from Olympic athletes to best-selling authors, chefs, and comedians. Before every interview, we asked each person to reflect on 3 questions:

  • When are you happiest?
  • What do you miss about being a kid?
  • What little things bring you most joy?

Our hope was for these questions to prompt happiness for the people we interviewed.

We also hoped that by the end our collected reflections would help readers reconnect with experiences in their own life that bring them joy.

The 1st edition of The Little Things was a big success, and we're determined to keep the spirit of reflection, empathy, and happiness alive through our writing contests!

What do you miss about being a kid?

"When I was a small child, I would ride my bike with the neighborhood kids. I remember the playful spirit of riding in circles around their houses and through open fields.

Remembering those days, I miss the sound of my grandmother's voice at the end of the day, when it seemed like the days would just go on and on forever.

When you are a child and you are playing with all of your heart, it seems as if time never stops. Every evening at about 6:30, I could count on hearing my grandmother's voice.

She would yell—her sound being carried through the open fields and woods—and all the neighbors could hear her calling my name. Her voice was my audible reminder, as the shades of light were being pulled down around me, that the day was coming to a close.

With it a came a feeling of childlike disappointment because it meant that play was over. But in retrospect, hearing her call me home was the most sacred sound: the sound of being called home."

Eric L. Motley
Vice President, The Aspen Institute

When are you the happiest?

"I'm happiest when I'm onstage. There's something about what happens to me, physically, when I get underneath the lights.

Sometimes I feel nervous before I do comedy, but as soon as I get under the lights, and have that mic in my hand, I feel at home. In these moments, I feel like my perspective shifts.

When people really laugh and connect with what I'm saying, they give an energy that's very tangible. It almost feels like I could capture it and put it in my pocket. It just feels like love."

Chanel Ali

What little things bring you joy?

"There are many things that bring me joy. Family time, a glassy day of surf, and when an art piece works out just the way I want it to, give me the most stoke.

The best is when I can combine all these things into one day. My perfect sunny day starts with creating some art, then going outside to enjoy a surf at the beach with my family."

Nick Kuchar
Artist & Founder
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Step 1, Wind The Warp

It all starts with a warping mill. We position pegs in place so our fabrics are 15 feet long. Then we wind by taking our fine 50% khullu, 50% silk yarn and wrap it up and down the mill 600 times.

Step 2, Dress The Loom 

Some are surprised to learn that preparing to weave is nearly 90% of the journey. We were too! But it makes sense when you think about the time and precision needed to sort through, and evenly tension 600 strands of impressively fine yarn.

Step 3, Spread The Warp

At this point, each strand of yarn is organized into groups of 16 per inch. To ensure that the fragile strands don't break when put under high tension, we sort through each group 1 strand at a time and untangle, which tends to be quite a few.

Step 4, Thread The Heddles

Now that all 600 strands are organized, we take a small tool called a heddle hook and thread each strand through a metal opening. This step is like threading a needle. Heddles can be threaded in many different ways depending on the weaving pattern. Because we love the look and feel of twill and balanced weaves, we thread from back to front in a 1, 2, 3, 4 pattern.

Step 5, Thread The Reed 

In this step we take each of the 600 strands and thread them through the reed. The reed sits across the loom on a frame called a beater and is used to push the yarn woven horizontally, AKA weft, into the warp. The reed can be interchanged with a spectrum of gauges, which sets the number of warp stands per inch. We use a 16 gauge reed, which gives us amazingly lightweight, thin summer scarves.

Step 6, Tie-On And Weave 

After the 600 strands of yarn are sorted, organized, threaded, and given equal tension, we finally weave. The weaving motion works like this: with one hand we grip the boat, and in a fluid motion we fling the boat across the warp. Depending which foot peddles we press, we can create many different types of patterns.

Step 7, Cut And Bloom

This final step, which is one of the most important, is to bloom the fabric with a cold water wash. Blooming allows the woven yarn to become fuller looking and softer. We always joke that it's a mystery as to how a fabric will turn out until we go through the blooming process. The means we can work on a fabric for days just to realize it doesn't meet our high standards. But what can we say, we live for the thrill!