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Archive of ‘An Adventurous Life’ category

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news  on Fridays – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The view

Thanks to our One Car Situation (did you know we only have one car in a public-transit-less small town?) when Jay's appointments went reeeeally late, I got to watch the sun set from my favorite spot in town, over the mountains. #workedoutjustfine
You should just assume every Wednesday morning of fall looks like this: Post-workout hot donut, local coffee and a handknit shawl, it is actually cool enough to wear! #coloraffection #fallshawlstyle
Ready for action!  (I am very out of practice. This was hard work, yo )  #spinzilla #spinning
My autumnal obsessions: apples and butternut. (Last night I made the best apple crisp, by @minimalistbaker) #yayfall #taralovesmornings #minimalistbaker
Oh man. This Sheep Spot Polwarth is DELICIOUS. Dyed by @thecraftyrabbit. #spinzilla #spinstagram

I am so grateful for…

The Finds:

I’m exploring:

When Elise first linked to the Capsule Wardrobe idea, I giggled to myself: the idea of paring your wardrobe down to just 37 pieces you’d wear in a season, well, it presumes that you have over 37 items of clothes. And it presumes you go shopping (I don’t, Jay has to convince me to try anything on, and then to buy what I actually say I want/need.)
But when Elise shared her own,  I thought: It would be awesome to know that I was actually WEARING everything in my closet and that it all fit together into grown-up outfits. (I tend to wear the same 3 tshirts/sweaters/cardigans with my 2 pairs of identical jeans – the joys of self-employment.) Off I went to my closet and drawer and pulled out everything I’m not going to wear in the cold weather (sleeveless shirts, lighter dresses) and donate-able stuff (stained shirts, too-big dresses and pants I’ve been holding on to “in case”.) As I  counted up what was left, I realized that there are some gaps that I’ve been frustrated about for years, and that I could actually, ya know, fill them. (The gaps: Clothes to meet students/friends for coffee in. I have plenty of “working at coffeeshop” tshirts/jeans/hoodies and enough “teaching in front of a room” dresses (3)…but nothing in between.) I got another pair of jeans, a sweater and a button-down (to dress up my pullover sweaters) and suddenly BAM! I feel a grown-up with an actual wardrobe of options. I also signed up for a Stitch Fix, because, man, I hate to shop (Jay bribes me) and my local options are limited.  (I’m still not up to 37 piece, but I have what I need, and it actually fits together.)

I still don’t care anything about fashion and meeting someone else’s standards of beauty and “appropriateness”, but as I started to explore my own resistance to buying clothes (I could write many, many more posts about my issues around money, shopping, objectification), I’m realizing that it’s possible to look at clothes as another opportunity to feel good, to be myself, just for me.

I’m eating: 

In case you missed it: 

What adventures have you had?

The Secret Power of Craft Shows

The Power of Craft shows

Craft shows changed my life.

(I didn’t know it until I started writing this post, but as I started to trace the roots of what I do today, I realized that’s where it all started.)

Last weekend I sold my yarn for the first time in over a year (I put my yarn business on hold when I could no longer get packages out on time, thanks to traveling to teach. This weekend I was back in the game with a few skeins of my yarn (and my mom’s sheep’s fiber). Preparing for the show and helping my pal Misty think through the process brought it all back in a rush.

Even though I help Starshippers get prepared for their first shows (and 50th shows) every month, I had forgotten what it was like to be in it.
To be worried you don’t have enough.
To do late night, last-minute labeling.
To get nervous about people seeing your work.

So, to calm my nerves, I searched my own site for advice (the major benefit of having a blog!). And sure enough I found it.

In 2008 (that’s 6 years ago!), I wrote about my first craft show here, in 5 1/2 Shocking Facts about Craft Shows.

“You don’t have to (and probably can’t) fake enthusiasm.”

A month later, I wrote about my next show, with even more lessons:

“Be prepared to answer the “Can you make this in ***” question. Know how long it would take you and how you’ll handle payment for a custom order. If you don’t want to do custom, come up with a nice way of saying no, so you’re not taken by surprise in the moment.”

One year later, I wrote about the Pain of Craft Shows:

” I do craft shows because it’s the one place, the one situation in which being a full-time yarnie feels good, normal, accepted. The people get me. They get my yarn. It’s a place to be me: handknit clothes, stripey knee-socks, pink-haired, yarn-making me.”

Two years after that first post and my first show, I wrote this: “That feeling hasn’t faded in the last 2 years of doing shows; in fact, it’s only grown stronger.”

It occurred to me, in reading through these posts that this where I really got clear on the power of following my enthusiasm. This is where I learned that it is OK to be weird, pink-haired, wonky me. Those first shows, while I still worked in a boring office in black slacks, were the first taste I had (maybe ever?) of being myself out loud and connecting with people as that true self. Once you get a taste of that, you can start to imagine the possibility of being yourself, expressing yourself, like … all the time.

And this taste, this experience totally transformed my life. (Very, very slowly.)
For me this meant making more yarn, doing more shows, and connecting with people in the maker community. That led to me spending my days writing, talking, and helping other makers bring more of themselves into their businesses, to craft a life they really want.

 

But for you, the path will be different. It will lead you in different directions. You can start to express yourself more in how you dress, how you tell the truth and how you embrace all your weird bits.

I totally haven’t figured it out yet, and I’m certainly not comfortable being myself all the time, but it’s a process. You can kick-start the process by choosing to do things you’re enthusiastic about, by doing more of what makes you feel like yourself, and by letting those experiences transform you.

 

Whether it’s craft shows, or making your art, or just starting to take your enthusiasm more seriously — it could change your life.

PS. I made a class sharing everything I knew about craft shows 4 years ago. Currently it’s only available in the Starship, but I hope to refresh it and offer it again in 2015. Sign up here to get notified when it’s ready.

The Adventures

 

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news  on Fridays – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The view

#foundwhilerunning: A little bird (can you see it?) at a crossroads. I'm feeling crossroadish myself and fighting some mighty loud voices of self-doubt.         Song of the Run: Super Bass, Nikki Minaj (I sing along to the whole thing and "chuck the deuce
Playing Settlers of Catan for the first time, with birthday boy @dylan.m22. #Iwon
Roast pumpkin is everything I ever wanted in a vegetable. Served with black beans and garlicky chimichurri, my life is complete. @isachandra (it's her recipe!) is a genius. #yayfall #whatveganseat
Heading to Bristol Rhythm & Roots musical festival with too many knitting projects (3?!) in my @mistydot #drwho bag & my hot pink skirt.

I am so grateful for…

  • Finally reaching a long-time goal (and breaking my own records)
  • Roast pumpkin!
  • Kind words by Libby + Nat!
  • I know I could say this every week (and often do), but I am so so grateful for the fantastically inspiring people I get to work with. And I am truly grateful when they have successes. (An author got an agent! A maker experienced a selling frenzy at a national trade show!)

The Finds:

I’m reading:

I’m eating: 

  • Roast pumpkin over rice and black beans with Chimichurri, from Isa Does It.
  • The very last homegrown basil pesto.

In case you missed it: 

What adventures have you had?

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news  on Fridays – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The view

Reading while knitting...with a book stitch marker. (Marker from @mistydot's #drwho kit, yarn from @cephalopodyarns)   #knitting #booksofinstagram
Saying goodbye (for the season) to the rose bush I've been stalking. Rose seems indifferent to me, frost.    #foundwhilerunning    Song of the Run: Fancy by Izzy Azalea

Ahh! @kpwerker's book arrived and I can't put it down! I'm not even through the Introduction and already there's Buffy & "you're not alone" (my fave message!) & I'm pretty sure a Princess Bride reference. #mostlydead    (It's also undeniably delightful to
My next-up project bowl. All the details in the newest episode of #handmadepodcast, brand new at http://HandmadePodcast.com
It is a very bright day, and we glow. #bristolrhythm

 

I am so grateful for…

  • The opportunity to see a few of our favorite bands in person at Bristol Rhythm and Roots – Jeff Tweedy, Sturgill Simpson and St Paul and the Broken Bones.
  • One of the best performances I’ve ever seen: St Paul and the Broken Bones. Seriously amazing.
  • A humblingly, surprisingly awesome Starship boarding.
  • The sparks of a new opportunity, and the bravery to pursue it.
  • My running playlist

The Finds:

I’m reading:

  • Kim’s Make it Mignty Ugly. LOVE it.
  • This great post on…a shoe by Elise. This is exactly how I think about pieces of my wardrobe (my shoes, my purse, a few dresses) – the part of my life they’ve experienced and clothed me for.

I’m eating: 

In case you missed it: 

What adventures have you had?

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news  on Fridays – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The view

Jason Isbell! At the prettiest theater.
The sock is enjoying a warm evening at a college soccer game. #gobucs
My #greatbookproject is getting serious. I can't seem to stop the obsession, so I'm going with it. Some kind of read along via FB page - details to come.
The light today was fantastic. I can feel summer creeping away. #yayfall #foundwhilerunning #taralovesmornings
Went through my entire stash tonight (it's tiny) & I have a few to give away/trade. Pictured here: 80% of my sock yarn. (Stay tuned, I'm just tired of some of these!)

I am so grateful for…

  • Yarn!
  • Libraries and my favorite librarian!
  • Pesto!
  • Real, honest conversations with loved ones.

 

The Finds:

I’m obsessing over:

  • My Great Books Project is coming together. Making an official announcement about it today over at the Facebook page (where the majority of the project will unfold). In order to see updates, it’s not just enough to “like” the page, you also need to “follow” it (to get notifications), or just be sure to like/comment/share on my posts. SpaceCadet Stephanie explains it well here.
  • Yahaira’s awesome BlueSand Cardigan. I spent the last week trying to get it out of my mind, but I finally gave in and got some Plucky to knit it up. (I‘m still looking for a pale gray if you have a suggestion!)
  • All that project-obsession got me thinking about my stash, so I cleaned it all out (it fits on two tiny shelves in one of those cube-y shelves, in a closet) and gave a few skeins away (there’s still one left here). Now my Ravelry stash reflects my actual stash and order reigns once again.
  •  Allyson’s Midwestern Knits project!  (I’m a Midwesterner, after all.)

I’m eating: 

  • Pesto Cauliflower with breaded tofu, from Isa Does It. I loved it, Jay said, Meh. (It helps if you’re as addicted to cruciferous vegetables as I am. I would eat roast cauliflower in every meal. Or broccoli. Or brussel sprouts! YUM!)
  • Nachos, with (vegan) Chorizo, refried beans, our home-grown tomatoes, and the nacho cheez sauce from Bake + Destroy.

In case you missed it: 

  • This week we talked about money and enoughness and how to get going without any, on the blog, podcast, and email lesson. I got a lot of “thank you SO MUCH!” messages and a higher-than-usual amount of unsubscribes. Did you love it? Hate it? I’d love to know! (By the way, I don’t plan on changing anything based on unsubs – I think they’re a good metric of my success: I’m talking directly to my right people + the others aren’t interested. Which is a good thing.)
  • The newest episode of the Handmade Podcast came out! I announced the only place to buy my yarn, if you’ve been hoping to snag it.

What adventures have you had?

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share this week’s adventures – the view, the gratitude and the news on Fridays. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The view

Your Daily Adorbs. #catagram #taralovesmorningsEvery once in a while Johnson City looks downright adorable. (From last night's after dinner walk in the new park)
Jay's birthday cake: the absolutely most peanut buttery thing ever. Peanut Butter Pie, 4 ingredients. Recipe on the blog today. #whatveganseat
My favorite running weather: sun-dappled.    (Today I accidentally ran 5k, at a pace 1:10 faster than usual, thanks to my playlist.).   #foundwhilerunning
Today's @creativelive class with @craftypod inspired me to REALLY dig out the old t-shirts. This was in the VERY back, at the VERY top of the storage space.  This #quilting project now involves climbing and lifting.    Totally worth it. I now have shirts

After three days of trimming, interfacing & cutting I'm finally laying it out! I have just a few spots to fill in and then I'm ready to piece!   (Thanks to @craftypod'd class!)

I am so grateful for…

  • Diane fantastic t-shirt quilting class. It finally got our long-saved t-shirts out of storage and into an actual quilt! It was so nice to go through the stack together and remember all of our adventures.
  • Lovely morning runs.
  • The sweet, uplifting emails I get from podcast listeners. Apparently you’re taking me to bed, and listening to it before you fall asleep or when you first wake up. I LOVE it.
  • AMAZING students. One crocheted her class notes:

The Finds:

I’m reading:

I’m eating: 

  • Peanut Butter Pie! 

As per your request, here’s the recipe:

Mix 1 cup peanut butter, 1 package Tofutti Cream Cheese (or real cream cheese if you like), a half cup of soy whip (or cool whip), and 1/4 cup of powdered sugar. Whip until it’s light a fluffy and fill a graham cracker crust. You can eat it right away, or pop it in the freezer for an hour or two, if you want an ice cream pie. I like it just off freezing, where it’s cold, but soft.

In case you missed it: 

What adventures have you had?

 

 

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news  on Fridays – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The view

Beau knows what comes after a workout: PEANUT BUTTER shake.   #priorities
We stand in amazement at Troy's pizza skillz. #lilbros #notsolittle
Knitting socks with Teddy (& @mistydot). We're working on something great. Announcement soon!
Sooo excited to announce my newest, just-for-fun project: a crafty video podcast with @mistydot! We're talking knitting, dyeing, spinning, quilting and taking you with us to yarn shops & fiber festivals!  1 episode up with a new episode coming tomorrow &
Buying interfacing for @craftypod's T-shirt quilting class on @creativelive (tomorrow!) but Hancock's doesn't  make it easy.

I am so grateful for…

  • New projects
  • Big ideas
  • Making messy art
  • Letting go

 

The Finds:

I’m doing:

I’m quilting along with Diane yesterday and today – turning my old t-shirts into something snuggly! It’s free to watch live, so join us here!

I’m eating: 

  • Pad Thai
  • Homemade pizzas! (Because someone always asks: Daiya mozzarella melts pretty well, but I’d rather skip the fake cheese and add LOTS of pesto)
  • Samosa Pot Pie from Bake + Destroy

In case you missed it: 

What adventures have you had?

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news  on Fridays – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The view

The most decadent cupcake ever. #Vegan caramel-filled chocolate cupcakes topped with salted caramel buttercream dipped in toasted coconut. Samoa Joe cupcakes, my anniversary gift (everything from scratch, with the thousands of dishes to prove my love.)
Adorable & delicious all-#vegan cafe in the middle of West Virginia. Just what we needed  & we could sit outside with pup! I got a DANDELION latte, and it is GOOD.
Teaching 100+ alpaca farmers how to reach knitters & spinners (like us). SUCH a great group!
Yay! My knitting is in my first-ever project bag! Made by the fabulous @mistydot!
A great Southern, #vegan meal. Black eyed peas, greens, and marinated, baked tofu. #whatveganseat #yum
YAY. My fiber from @graceshalomhopkins arrived! #nofilter needed, it is GORGEOUS. #spinzilla #spinning

I am so grateful for…

 

The Finds:

I’m doing:

This week I joined Spinzilla! It inspired me to get out my dyepots and dye someroving from my mom’s sheep, and I gave her a call to see if I could get more…and there’s only ONE pound of white left and three pounds of gray. So if you wanted to get some small-farm roving, snag it here. (Before I do.)

I’m eating: 

  • So much good food on the road! Mission Savvy is all-vegan, in the middle of West Virginia (kind of a shock!); a (small) vegan menu at TJ’s in Wooster, OH; a great breakfast at Spoon Market in downtown.
  • Tupelo Honey Cafe for our anniversary!
  • Ridiculous cupcakes: Samoa Joe cupcakes from Bake + Destroy = chocolate cupcakes filled with vegan coconut caramel, topped with salted caramel buttercream and rolled in toasted coconut. YEAH.

In case you missed it: 

What adventures have you had?

 

 

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news  on Fridays – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The view

I did it! I finished the sweater I started in 2010!! I kept putting it away worried it wasn't working...but IT FITS!!  Featherweight cardigan in Malabrigo. I'll give you a better look at it soon.
Untitled
Blueberry pancakes with blueberry syrup = my new obsession.  #yaysummer  (syrup =  blueberries microwaved with maybe 1/2 tsp maple syrup)  #blueberries #100happytaradays #vegan

I am so grateful for…

  •  A lovely hike in the Appalachians this weekend.
  • Making a new friend, a real friend that totally gets my crafty obsessions and propensity to talk too fast.
  • Blueberries! Basil! Local summer tastiness.
  • This fabulous surprise on the Rock + Purl podcast!

The Finds:

I’m finding:

I’m eating: 

  • More blueberry crumb bars. Don’t judge. (From this book)
  • More pesto from my home-grown basil over gnocchi.
  • Ancho Lentil burritos.

In case you missed it: 

What adventures have you had?

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news each month – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The view

I got one great shot...before my phone died. Leaving me 2 mi from home with no way to get directions or call a car.  So grateful to the gal at @raredevice who downloaded Uber so I could log in and order one.  #taralovesadventure #butnotthatmuch
Who wants pesto? #basil #mygarden
Reason One Zillion I love @storiedyarns: she sent me the BEST card, right to the studio. Ah-mazing. #swigerlive
When life gives you a broken refrigerator and sad blueberries, make blueberry crumb bars.    (And then enjoy with a big mug of coffee  while waiting for the repair man.)  #taralovesmornings

I am so grateful for…

It’s been a full July. I taught live, in front of over 5,000 students. I traveled across the country. My cat died. I didn’t sleep for over 40 hours. Then I slept for 13 hours, three nights in a row. I took time off. I got a lot of work done. I had a zillion conversations with a bajillion interesting people. Jess sent me an awesomely encouraging card. Karen made me a beautiful dress. And I am grateful, for all of it.

The Finds:

I’m reading:

I’m eating: 

In case you missed it: 

What adventures have you had?

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