Weekly-ish notes on navigating big change

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Good Shtuff: You can do it Edition

Good Shtuff is a weekly-ish (um, except I seem to have taken 2 months off) collection at what I’m reading and thinking about.

This time, it's all about the doing-it. And yeah, YOU can do it!

If I can rewire my dryer, you can do ANYTHING!

Teeny tiny microsteps

The always-brilliant Victoria(shmoria!) makes doing your Thing super simple: Microsteps + Commitment = Progress. Just the reminder I needed.

Can you make a living creatively?

This week I wrote my first (in a new series) guest post for Handmade Success. I answer the oft-asked question, “Can I REALLY do this? And make a living?” Read it here.

Action via attention

My favorite can-do-ologist, Marissa, explains why sometimes you just feel like you've gotten nothing done, even when you've done bunches. Hint: pay attention to your attention.

What helpful bit of helpfulness did you read this week?
Share it in the comments!

Good Shtuff – Extraordinary Hibernation Edition

Good Shtuff is a weekly-ish look at what I’m reading and thinking about. This week, we're celebrating extraordinary hibernation.

  • It's National Hibernation Week. Havi said so.

Which makes SO much sense;  I've barely been able to come out of my blanket fort, even though I have this incredibly awesome thing to brunch.
But now that I have permission to hibernate? Everything is ease-y-er.
So go on, nap. You know you want to!

As she says,

I will speak to your brilliance, your depth, your beauty, because that’s what I see and know to be true.


Good Shtuff: doodling, sipping and crushing

Good Shtuff is a weekly-ish look at what I’m reading and thinking about. This week, it’s all about finding the ease.


Lynda Barry says some beautiful things about doing things by hand in this great interview.

Handwriting, for example, is a very complicated thing. It moves through time with no delete button in the same way we do.


Marissa wrote a beautiful mini-festo about choosing sipping over domination. I am practically allergic to any form of violence, so I very much appreciated this:

I don’t want to feed an ethos of power struggle, scarcity or battling.

Not even metaphorically. Words matter.

It reminded me of a post I wrote a few years ago, when I decided instead of “crush it” I'd make my goal succulence.
Irony: that year I was featured in the NYT best-seller, Crush It. Yes.

Month of Love

I can't believe I'm already at the 4th Annual Month of Love, my yearly attempt to spin yarn inspired by couples. It's my most favorite yarn-y thing I do and the feedback is amazing.
This year it's reminding me to do more of what makes me feel like this.  Connected, creative, easy.

What are you reading and thinking about this week?

Good Shtuff: Naps + Rests Edition

Since I'm on sabbatical, and the rest of the country is in a holiday-induced panic, this is a rest-filled, super-short Good Shtuff.

How can I NOT love a book called Take That Nap?!

Stop worrying about the website stuff. Updates, plug-ins, meh! Let my pal Wendy handle the hassle while you just work on creating your awesomeness.

During all this resting, how about a little knitting? I have plans to make 11 shawls in 2011 and I know at least 2 of them will be the fabulous Betico. I LOVE patterns that let you work your own magic. And I can think of a zillion ways to make it and 50 people to make it for. Totally smitten!

Hope your week is filled with rest, joy and light!

PS. If you're using the next two weeks to plan the new year in your business, I humbly submit the CraftyBiz Kitchen as a fabulous place to learn, hang out and generally figure business stuff out in a no-panic, no-should cozy (virutal) kitchen.

Good Shtuff – PDX Edition

Portland, as it proved in my short 27 hour stay, is overflowing with good shtuff. Here's just a snippet of what I loved.


Twisted PDX is a seriously great yarn store. Delightful selection, well lit and open and spacious and smart. Not to mention, they know how to make a girl feel welcome. My trunk show was absolutely wonderful.


Part of what made the trunk show so fun was the people who stopped by (knitters + non-knitters alike!). If you're not already following the following on Twitter, what's up with that?
A huge smooshy hug  to Chris, Kristine, Sparky + Jenni, Danielle (+ friends!), Dryden, Shannon, Lee, Jolie, and all y'all who's names are escaping me (leave a comment and remind me?)

I'm sure you already suspected this, but Sister Diane of CraftyPod is as sweet and smart as you imagine. This was our second (or third?) time hanging out and every time I walk away bubbling with inspiration and encouragement.

Bridget was another fabulous eating companion.  Funny and generous and clever, she introduced me (verbally, not visually) to vagazzling. Yes.

The food!

The food! I only ate 4 meals, but all of them were delightful. Even a vegetarian gluten-free gal like myself found a tasty burger/fry/milkshake combo at Bugerville. The sweet potato chipotle soup at Costello's is just the right kind of warming-spicy.  Mother's honors a “Mother of the month” that contributes recipes for the specials. How adorable is that? I go to Thai Peacock every time I'm in Portland, because, well, I keep walking past it.

Now that I'm on to my last 2 days of Seattle (and really, the first time that I'm not working), what Good Shtuff should I not miss?

Good Shtuff: Thanksgiving Sanity Edition

Good Shtuff is a weekly-ish look at what I’m reading and thinking about. This week, it’s all about tomorrow: Thanksgiving (for Americans) and the many ways the holidays can knock you around.

Don't Lose the sanity!

Family driving you crazy? Feeling the smoosh of peopletrafficmoneyACK? Fabeku's kit is the solution to all that. Seriously. Breathing stuff, sound stuff, being present stuff. I sound like an infomercial, I know…but that's because I LOVE it.
He's @fabeku on Twitter.

Permission to save your sanity

I was feeling a little overwhelmed trying to get everything for my trip while still doing all the usual emailing/twittering/etc and then I remembered this post by Charlie Gilkey.  When I break up my tasks into Create, Connect and Consume, I realize that, to make all the yarn for the show, I may just need to immerse myself in the Create stuff and move on to the Connect + Consume stuff a bit later. I don't recommend it long-term, but giving myself permission to slack on my reading + answering has helped ease the ack.
He's @CharlieGilkey.

Money Sanity

Travel, gifts, all the accoutrements of the holiday season are just waiting to pounce on your money sanity.  Briana's brilliant Money Balloon is how I'm hanging onto mine. This is a full-fledged, totally unscary tool for looking clearly at your personal money facts + planning for future money awesomeness.
She's @BrianaAldrich

What are you using to hold onto your sanity?

Good Shtuff – Businessy smarts edition

Good Shtuff is a weekly-ish look at what I’m reading and thinking about. This week, it’s all bussiness-y smarts.

Emblematic smarts

I love what Lean is doing here: testing an idea by offering it for free. Get an “embelem” for your business, for FREE, right here. Seriously. Awesome.

Do it all smarts

Leonie is my business guru. Everything she does is shiny and sparkly and awesome and hilarious and smart. Especially when it comes to explaining why you can totally do lots of different things in your business.

Confusion smarts

Business is simple. Except when it's confusing. Sometimes you don't need MORE specifics, you need to sit with the confusion. Mark says it best:

“If you’re willing to take the time needed with the concepts, not rush too fast and furious, then it all begins to click. Suddenly the relationship between your heart, your business and your clients makes sense.”

You can read more of his smarts here.

One on one smarts

Like Mark says above: Your biz doesn't need a one-size-fits-all solution, it needs personal work and learning and growing.
Which is why I do one-on-one work: so you and I can look at your business (or dream of a business) and decide what it needs more of (and what it needs less of). We bring clarity and focus, giving it time to soak in.
Even though I just announced that I'm scheduling into January and it's already filling up, you can see if it's right for you, here.

Good Shtuff – Relationships Edition

Good Shtuff is a weekly-ish look at what I'm reading and thinking about.  This week, it's all about relationships: with customers, family and limits.

At your service

Just last week I was overwhelmed with a helpful urge and put out the call on Twitter:

How can I help? Ask me anything!

I love the people I got to know over the next hour, so I was delighted to read Jonathan Field's experiment with the same helfpful spirit. Inspired by this post, I'll be offering my help at least once a day, all week.
He's @jonathanfields.

At home

While helping everyone build the craft business they want is a huge priority for me, my marriage is even more important. I really appreciated this clear-eyed look from IttyBiz at prioritizing relationships for the self-employed.


The relationships in our lives can serve as catalysts and as limits. Recognizing those limits (and figuring out a way to work WITH it) will help you avoid the frustration of smacking into them unwittingly. We'll be talking about all forms of limits in today's class and there's a few hours left to join.

What have you been reading this week?

Good Shtuff: dancing, comics and sanity edition


I'm probably a little obsessed with the hilarity of Kelly Parkinson. I mention her in nearly every Good Shtuff. But it's really good! Especially, this on How to dance (when dancing = marketing).


Jay, the house comic nerd, wants me to link to this post about what small businesses can learn from comics. Good shtuff!


I've been thinking a lot about time + planning, so the new book by Zen Habits about Focus has perfect timing. Haven't read it yet, but I'm looking forward to it.
A big thanks to @joyfulmess for telling me more about it in this interview.


We had a special BONUS class for the early-birds of Holiday Sanity. The post-class chat was amazing. The program's already so full of smart, helpful creatives that I can not wait to see who joins this week. If you need some Holiday Sanity, you can join us here.


Speaking of smart and helpful, I am so excited to have Kirsty Hall as a guest teacher in a class about building a business Within Your Limits. As an entrepreneur and artist and mother with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, she has bunches to share about honoring your limits + building a sustainable business. You can get all the details and watch an adorable video of Kirsty here.



This has nothing to do with business, I just thought I should tell you that I'm totally addicted to making teeny tiny crocheted things.

A pirate duck, for Havi + Selma

I've already agreed to make a ninja for my web ninja and a typewriter for my Kyeli + Amy. And a dog to match my dog.
(Oh, that's so ridiculous I can't believe I just confessed it.)
I'll be sharing patterns and inspirations tomorrow at Blonde Chicken Boutique in case you are similarly obsessed.

What have you been obsessed with this week?
<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/blondechicken/5136855989/&#8221; title=”IMAG1041 by blonde_chicken_boutique, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1059/5136855989_c4194b73b3.jpg&#8221; width=”333″ height=”500″ alt=”IMAG1041″ /></a>

Good Shtuff: NYC Edition

Good Shtuff is a weekly(ish) snippet of the stuff I’m reading, listening to or watching.

The Twitter

This week, every bit of Good Shtuff is thanks to Twitter. The people I've met (or gotten to know better) via Twitter filled my weekend in NYC. Twitter provided me with a bed, with a yarn-shopping pal, with a museum-trolling pal, with a lovely evening of getting to know people I truly adore and even an iced coffee during the heat of the craft show.

When my friends (those I knew in “real-life”, pre-Twitter) ask about Twitter, I tell them Facebook is for people you're already friends with, Twitter is for people you want to be friends with.

But after my weekend in the city I know that, heck, I AM friends with these people. Friends enough that they'd offer me their couch, shlep around the city with me, crack me up over coffee.

And now, with that bit of Twitter-love, let's move on to the individual good Shtuff:

The people

Amna is as smart and gentle as her site feels. Patient, hilarious and generous beyond anything I could have imagined, I'm now crazy thrilled to be in her writing workshop.

Laila, who makes the most amazing knit/crochet wearable fiber art, met me for a cupcakes and yarn-fondling. She's funny, smart and as lovely as she seems online.

I first met Shannon at Urban Craft Uprising, when I bought a pair of her Polymath earrings (that was almost 2 years ago and I  still wear them every week). I got to see her crazy lighting-up skirt (I want one!) and heard her ideas for new projects and whoa, I am so excited to share it (when it's ready to be shared).

Kyeli, Melissa and Anna met me for a coffee on Friday night. They are each so amazing in their own way; it was a delight to just talk to them each about their passions. And a big hug to Kyeli, a non-knitter (but an amazing photographer and writer!), who sat through quite a few knit-heavy discussions.

Anton and Erica brought me a tasty iced coffee and yay! They are fabulous and funny and make their own homemade sodas. Jay and I have talked about doing this forever (and I have made ginger ale a few times) and they've inspired me to be even more daring.

The places
What was the best people and places and Twitter of your week?

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