Weekly-ish notes on navigating big change

Good Shtuff

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>

Recovery Mode: a partial list

Yesterday I brunched a new shop.
And a new way-of-selling yarn.

Wait, you do know what I mean by brunch, right?

And after all the brunching, all I wanted to do was nap. And eat lunch (sadly, I've yet to figure out how to incorporate a real brunch into my brunching process).

Today is recovery-mode.
Answering emails, sharing videos of sheep-shearing, drinking as much hot chocolate as I need.

I planned for recovery-mode because I remembered (finally!) about the Cycle of Creativity and that after that much work I simply must stop.

Since today is Friday and you're probably going into your own mini-recovery weekend, I thought I'd share some of my favorite ways of recovering. The list is always changing, and I'm always looking for new things to add, so share your recoverings in the comments!

  • Or mini-apple cobbler. Remind me to share my made-up recipe next week, ok? It's DIVINE!
  • Watching too many hours of TV on DVD (usually from the library), right now it's Lost, rewatching it from the start so I can (finally!) watch the last season.
  • Knitting or crocheting. Right now it's crocheted fingerless gloves out of Mercedes' new (secret!) sock yarn. I got it early by being in this club, which you should totally join.
  • Reading. Last night it was All Marketers are Liars, by Seth Godin. But then I had some vivid dreams of trying to figure out my story, so I think I'm laying off it for a while. Next up: Delivery Happiness.
  • Writing. When the mood strikes me. No pressure, no big points, just like this list.
  • Cleaning. I know. Who cleans for fun?
    A woman who has let the whole house do what it will for a solid week while she took over 600 photographs of yarn. While her husband was sick in bed with the flu. Cleaning is downright relaxing, when I remember it makes the house feel more like a naptastic cocoon.

That's it (for now).

How do you recover?

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?

Good Shtuff: Boats + Treasure Edition

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

This week, it’s all about the adventures, boats and treasures.

Adventure Prep

In preparation for upcoming adventuring I've been listening this song (Adventures, Be Your Own Pet) over and over.

And shopping or new knee highs, like the ones I'm wearing today:

You know, the important stuff.


I'm going to NYC next week!
On my list of must-sees: BabyCakes (gluten-free cupcakes), Purl (yarn!), MOMA (free on Friday night) and of course, the Maker Faire (where I'll be selling my yarn). Top of the list: YOU! Wanna hang out? Lemme know here + I'll plan a meet-up!
It's @babycakesNYC and I'm @blondechicken.


I've been admiring Bridget's boat-pregnancy and have loved reading about how she's making this dream happen. My very favorite is this post about sailing, which is mostly about fear, in a really beautiful way.
She's @intuitivebridge.


I wanted to get in on the Treasure Project the last time my friend Lisa B held it. And now! She's doing it again! I love that she's using drawing (or photography, or whatever you prefer), she's using creativity to bring mindfulness to her surroundings. It's so easy to get wrapped up in my head, in my creativity and forget all about looking around me.
She's @zenatplay.

What have you read or listened to this week that you loved?

Good Shtuff: Sparkles + Unicorns Edition

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

This week, it’s all about the sparkles, glitter and culture.

Last week (I think it was Friday), I read three posts, all in a row, all about the SAME thing.
There's something in the air.
Or something is changing.
Or, you know, maybe this is just really good advice.


David Crandall wrote about How unicorns improve your business. It's true! Show your love for unicorns (or pink hair or blueberries) and you suddenly become a real person and can connect with other real people


Naomi discussed Glitter (uh, not the movie, the sparkly stuff) and the amazingness of creating a brand. But ew, the word “brand” sounds so…intentional or manipulative. But that's not what she's talking about. Go read it.
(As always with Naomi: language alert!)


Havi wrote about culture (not the yogurt kind, the people kind). More than anyone else I know online, Havi has this culture thing down. Spend more than 3 minutes on her site and you get it. Even though none of it is…defined. It's obvious without being stated. I've been thinking a lot about this obvious-yet-unstated thing and I still haven't figured it out, so it was a treat to read her thoughts on it.

What do you think about these three posts? Do they spark some glittery unicornish cultured ideas for you?

Good Shtuff: Love Edition

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

This week, it's all about the love.

Love in your mailbox

The completely brilliant (and funny!) Amy is offering to send US Love Notes for HER birthday. Whether you need a little cheering or a whole year of Love, check out her Love Notes.
She's @AmysNotDeadYet on Twitter. 

Love in a circle

Today is the first day Leonie's Circle and I am SO excited. Even if the word “goddess” freaks you out, click through to watch the darling baby Ostara (+ puppies!) in the adorable opening video.
She's @GoddessLeonie on Twitter

Love in MY mailbox

This week I got a beautiful card from Retinal Perspective photographer, Elizabeth Halt.

Retinal Perspective Card
It made my day. Not only was the card absolutely stunning, but she had written the sweetest note in it. It made me remember how much I love getting (and sending) mail, so I'm determined to bring it back. Join me in the letter-writing love by getting your cards here. *
She's @ElizabethHalt on Twitter.

Love your story

Amna believes “we write our futures into being, and write our pasts into peace.”
Man, just that one sentence clinched it for me. Her writing workshop (for working on your personal story) looks completely amazing. I've worked with Amna and her style is direct, yet gentle, and so insightful you'll hang up thinking “wha? How did that even happen?” (in a totally clarifying way).
She's @AmnaAhmad on Twitter.

Love your people

I love my people (um, that'd be you) but I could always love you better. LaVonne Ellis is challenging me (and you) to do just that in her Customer Love challenge.
If your business is new or has hit a plateau, you need this. Jump-start the flow by turning up the love.
She's @LaVonneEllis on Twitter.

Love your business

I'm closing the CraftyBiz Kitchen this afternoon (around 3pm ET or whenever my last IdeaStorming session ends). Wanna know why? Experimentation! (For a full explanation, read this.)
If you're thinking about taking  the Newsletter classes, you can get them both + lots of extras for just $40 in the Kitchen.
Oh, and I'm @blondechicken on Twitter.

What's the Love-y stuff you've found (or written) this week? Share it in the comments!

*Looking for someone to send a card to? Pick me! DM or email me and I'll happily send you my mailing address and promise to be a very good penpal!

Good Shtuff – Mindblowing Edition

This is looking like a Wednesday ritual! (Read more Good Shtuff here)
Good Shtuff is a snippet of the stuff I'm reading, listening to or watching.

And warning: this week I'm feeling extra goofy, because I just found out I got accepted to the Bust Craftacular in Queens!
Having only been to NYC for one short 10 hour stopover (and was dragged by friends into basements selling purses, ew), I am so so so excited to get to do NYC my way: yarn shops, tea, local food.*

Now, let's get to the Shtuff:

An Extravaganza!

My darling Catherine (we just taught a class together yesterday) launched an absolutely spectacularly thorough class for anyone who doesn't have a website (or know where to get started). It's the Website Extravaganza and it's…mindblowing.

Fun fact: sign up with Team Crafty (just sign up under the “with buddies” column and put “Team Crafty” in the box) and you'll save $100. Pretty amazing.

Complicatedness Welcome

Amna's Hybrid Manifesto has been rocking my (handknit) socks off. Seriously. I tried to find a sentence to quote, but the whole thing is just perfect in it's wholeness. Go read it.

Sunshine walking

I'm walking on sunshine, whoa-oh-oh. I've been humming this song all day. Listen to it here on Pandora (if you don't know about Pandora, expect your mind to be blown.)

Whoa. That's the second time I promised something would blow your mind. I think we have the title of today's post!

I'm a hustler, baby

Chris Guillebeau has my favorite explanation EVER of what makes a successful business.  You need substance, yes. But you also need style. Your style.

Pioneering Pasta

Since giving up gluten, I've been studiously avoiding the Pioneer Woman's cooking page (formerly my very favoritist of all favorite recipe places). But this story of losing her darling dog (that looks so much like my Beau!) had me enthralled.

Oh, and her lemon pasta is super tasty on quinoa noodles with some artichoke hearts and fresh-from-the-garden tomatos added.  (Jay doesn't like it baked and it is SO GOOD you won't want to wait for the oven)

That's it for my Good Shtuff! What are you enjoying this week?

*Yo, I want to meet you, New Yorkers! Shoot me a note (or leave a comment) if you're in the area and want to show me your favorite cup of coffee/yarn shop/farmer's market.

Good Shtuff

A sorta random collection of the good stuff I've been reading, watching, listening to. (Subtext: I'm prepping for classes and am running out of words)

Be a Scout

Copylicious's Secret Scout emails are rocking my world. She writes about bear attacks and forest fires, but she's really talking about fixing your copy (copy = all the writing that sells anything, from Etsy descriptions to your home page). They make me laugh EVERY time and then make me go “hmm…I think I'll go fix up that page”.

Seriously. Go sign up.


Start a fire

I don't even know how to start talking about Danielle's FireStarter Sessions. In the two months since reading it, everything is changed.

I launched this here website.
I started offering (and getting booked up!) IdeaStorming + The Recipe and I adore getting up to go to work each morning.

I have waaay more to say (soon!), but wanted to let you know that now she's selling just one chapter (and it's the one that has my favorite exercise!) for $20. After you read it, you're going to want to get the whole book, but check it out first.


If you are even a little woo-woo (and I know you are), you probably already love Leonie, she of the rainbows and sunshine. But did you know that you can get ALL of her classes for $99. I mean, $99 for all of them together.

Her generosity is inspiring me to find new ways of sharing helpfulness.

Bake something

Totally unrelated to business, but vital to my, you know, life: I'm gluten-intolerant. I just discovered this a few months ago and Shawna's book + blog, Gluten-Free Girl, has made the transition an exciting and tasty adventure. I'm also a big fan of the recipes I've made from Gluten Free Goddess.

But the absolute pinnacle of my gluten-free experience has been Bob's Red Mill bread mix. Homemade bread. Better than any other bread EVER (gluten or no).

Or not…

My weekly farmer's market adventures have got me looking for new ways to enjoy while it's fresh. Enter Natalie's (free e-course) on going raw. And Mona's inspiring story.

I'm pretty much obsessed with raw and while I'm not giving up my (veggie) enchiladas anytime soon, going raw until dinner is easy-peasy.

Share your story

What are you reading? Share it in the comments.

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