Weekly-ish notes on navigating big change

the adventures

The Adventures

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

The News:

Today officially begins my holiday! You won't be hearing from me in your inbox or on the blog until next Friday. (The exception is the Early Boarding Party – they are getting the Lessons of 2013 e-course, for free.)
I'll answer all emails from customers + the Starship-curious and I'll be welcoming in new Captains within 24 hours. But all social media replies, chatty emails and the such will be on hold. (You can follow my holiday shenanigans on Instagram.)

Take this moment as a chance to set your own holiday boundaries. 

What do you want to do?
What do you not want to do?
How can you make it easier to maintain your boundaries?
(Hint: turn off all notifications, beeps, and pings. Check it when you want to.)

The View

The tree! I love it so much I can't stop staring at it!

2011's ornament. (I launched The Starship...which has slowly changed my life in a zillion wonderful ways.)
Found this note on top of my Christmas decoration box. Past Tara is the sweetest.Let's take a tour! This year's ornament. #tardis #doctorwho

I am so grateful for:

  • The joy a few strands of twinkle lights bring.
  • Enthusiasm. Following it.
  • Creating something new + wonderful + appreciated on a whim + a hunch.
  • The brave new Captains who beamed up this week.


A few of the recipes we made this week

And for family merriness (aka, vegan sweets for non-vegans. Even 14 year old boys approve!)

(Why yes, I will do anything Isa Chandra says! Feel free to send me her newest cookbook!)


The Reads: 

Need something to entertain you during the holiday quiet? 


Don't forget! The Starship + Solo Mission are both boarding now, and close soon!


The Adventures

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

The View

This ornament is almost vintage, made in high school I think. #tarastar
2 pies for 2 family gatherings. Wishing you sweetness & love today!
The view out front. #snow #yay
My great-grandma's fave grocery store, still awesome.
Spinning and knitting samples of mom's first roving.
Hideous dressing room, lovely bridesmaid dress.
My coworkers BOTH want to be in my lap. (That's @LindsayDrake's Sadie)



I am so grateful for:

  • Community + belonging + family
  • Decorating Mom's tree with “vintage” ornaments (the first picture is an ornament I made in Junior High)
  • The ability + resources to travel to spend time with loved ones (I'll never get tired of being grateful for this)
  • The editing + clarifying genius of my Number One. She has made this (brand-new, kinda secret) project  infinitely better!
  • Trying on a bridesmaid dress I liked. I really will wear it again!
  • Being recommended (by several sweethearts!) for an interview with a journalist! So flattering + appreciated, no matter what comes of it!


The Finds:


These are the recipes we made this week:

(With all this traveling, we ate out a lot. Or favorite: Tomato Head!)


The Adventures

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

The View
Last nights pumpkin pie brownies turned out beautifully. So beautiful Jay packed half the pie for "work friends."  #yeahright #breakfastofholidaychampions

Tonight is Test Thanksgiving. Pie crust, pot pie filling, folding it all into hand pies. And pumpkin pie brownies (pictured here). #piecrazy #holidaysanity
Beau thinks I use too many exclamation points. #dogblocked
Amazingly delicious pumpkin chocolate loaf. Because I'll make anything pumpkin, anything @isachandra says.  #whatveganseat
Oh dear. English Paper Piecing templates somehow came out of printer, onto my paper cutter and into my hand. After only 3 days of obsessively reading every blog post ever written about them. #followyourenthusiasm #epp @craftypod & @thezenofmaking are dang


I am so grateful for:

The Finds:

“Gratitude is giving up all hope for a better past.”

It got me thinking. What would happen if you gave up hope for a better past? I work with people with really awful pasts: abusive childhood, cancer diagnosis, chronic illness. (Yes, we work on businesses, but all this comes up and informs any new adventure.) So I bet you have a past that you spend some time wishing was better. What would happen if you gave that up? If you stopped going over and over the things that went wrong, the people that hurt you, all that you missed out on? How much simpler would your present be?


  • Craft Friday! A great idea from Beverly, let's make instead of buy on Black Friday! (I'll be snuggled up with family, so crafting is inevitable!


  • If you're dealing with your worst case scenario (cancer, divorce, parental illness), Vanessa will help you unlock your inner Sensei, figure out what help you want and need, and then get bold enough to ask for it. She just opened these sessions, and I made her promise to raise the prices SOON, so grab one while it's ridiculously affordable.

Since someone always asks, these are the recipes I've made this week:

You can find everything I plan to make and do this season here on Pinterest, and all of the vegan recipes I plan to or have made here


Need a better plan for your holiday cooking and making? Holiday Sanity can help! It closes in just one week! 

The Adventures

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

The view

Why yes, we did install a new car stereo system.  By ourselves. #SwigerTeamFTW

I have washed the dog, the laundry, the dishes and baked a bubbly #vegan apple crisp. I can haz pjs & book now?

It's a day for bright tights, lots of writing and a free fancy coffee from my barista. #happyworkday


I am so grateful for…

  •  Inspiring conversations with people doing fantastic things.
  • Planning my own holiday wonderfulness.
  • Writing flow
  • Being part of an awesome team- we installed the new car stereo on our own. We're amazing! (It plays podcasts in the CAR. Magic!)
  • The sudden burst of quilting-making obsession. I might make this. For a Christmas gift.
  • The effects of Holiday Sanity (like this.)


The finds


What adventures did you have this week?





The Adventures

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

The view

Today's office: the big window at the library.

Finally cold enough for tights, sweater, shawl. #yayfall

Philly cheesetofu sandwhich & mac+cheese (cashew) = best Saturday lunch ever. #becausejayisthebest #vegan #whatveganseat
GREAT mail day! Got #veronicamars stoic herd& tshirt AND my #TNNA teaching contract!

My (current) favorite tree. Yes, I pick favorites. And I drive around to check on them. (I do this in the Spring too)

I am so grateful for…

  • My library. While my usual workplace (coffeeshop) undergoes renovations, the library is a lovely place to work (all outside photos are from the library! Isn't it lovely?) Also, the librarians are great, and my favorite one is a knitting Dr. Who fan. (!!!)
  • The gorgeous color everywhere I look.
  • Feeling powerful, by dealing directly with something I'd been avoiding.
  • The possibility of my NaNoWriMo project (not a novel)
  • This short email from a live workshop student: “This is the best thing I’ve done for my business!  I appreciate your insight, the worksheets, and your insistence that this must be done.”
  • Tomatoi.st – it's keeping me focused and reminding me to stand up every once in a while.

The finds



(click through to see the video)


What adventures did you have last week?


The Adventures

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

The view

The happiest table at the farmer's market. #yayfall

I can't stop myself from taking leaf photos. #iloveautumn #foundwhilerunning

Gorgeous morning run. #foundwhilerunning (I officially started training for a 1/2 marathon.) #eep #6monthsaway

Yesterday's amazing apple crumble. (Very little left today.) #vegan #whatveganseat. Recipe from @isachandra (link in her profile)

I am so grateful for:

  • The opportunity to teach through Handmade in America. I have met so many amazing, delightful and creative entrepreneurs these last 3 weeks.
  • Cool, sunny runs
  • Autumn is really, truly here!
  • New brakes + new insurance for the car. It isn't glamorous, but it feels fabulous to feel safe.
  • Roasted butternut!
  • The invitations sparked by my request.
  • Lovely thank-yous of local wrestlers when I made them an entrance.
  • Apple crisp! (this one, with brown rice syrup+ maple syrup replacing the sugar)
  • Big shifts and tiny steps towards the Next Thing


The finds

“no baby, if you’re going to create

you’re going to create whether you work
16 hours a day in a coal mine
you’re going to create in a small room with 3 children
while you’re on
you’re going to create with part of your mind and your body blown
you’re going to create blind
you’re going to create with a cat crawling up your
back while
the whole city trembles in earthquake, bombardment,
flood and fire.

baby, air and light and time and space
have nothing to do with it
and don’t create anything
except maybe a longer life to find
new excuses

The Adventures

Every week is an adventure. I share my adventures via images + notes, and you're invited to join in.
You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.


Last minute warning! The Starship closes tonight! Beam up here.


The view

Mom just me this. Pretty much our best family photo. Ever.
You can't forget this step of packing. #catsofinstagram
Goodbye, ocean. #smooches
Our next collaborative quilt. #bloomsanddots
Our digs for the week.

The Path

  • I am bubbling with excitement for my upcoming to trip to Boston! I'm planning a series of workshops around the city (each with a different focus + a prize for everyone who comes to all of them!) and the registration for the first one just opened. I'll be teaching how to develop and FILL a class where you can share your creative skills (painting, knitting, writing!) at Cabot Street Studios, thanks to an invitation from Ana. (Want me to teach in your city? Shoot me a note and let's plan something!)



  • The highlight of the week is overwhelmingly the responses I got to this email. I've added a few of the stories (with permission) to the Love + Praise page.


  • The second best thing of the week? My FOURTH self-employment anniversary! I celebrated here + with my own quarterly review and planning (I use this mini-book + Leonie's Money Game (which you can find in her Business course here or as part of the Academy))





I plan to spend the rest of my weekend snuggled up with this stack of books. You?

The Adventures

Every week is an Adventure..and this is the view and the finds that made this one special. You can see all my adventures here.

 The view

Fonzie & Pinky
The Fonz + Pinky Tuscadero

Stella's passive-aggressive call for attention. She sneaks up slow until she's crushing my arm and I can't type.
Stella crushing my arm while I try to work

Pounced on love-y supplies for my #monthofloveyarn packages in Target's $1 section.
Love-y wrapping for the Month of Love packages

Valjean & Javert
Valjean + Javert

Planning my next class!
Planning my next class


The Finds


Yay! Sat down to spin a Dr Who + TARDIS yarn...and got this @amysnotdeadyet card on the mail! #serendipity #drwho

  • Tammie Bennett (my new favorite artist) sketched everyday for 100 days. And then made an adorable video:


  • I get a lot of questions from people who haven't started their businesses quite yet. And while I answer every single one, I'm far more interested in talking about all the middle parts. So I'm delighted when I find something I can recommend that covers all those just-launching-your-site steps. Paul Jarvis's new book, Be Awesome at Online Business, is exactly that. From finding a designer to writing your content to preparing for the launch, it's got what you need. This is my new official answer to “Where do I start with a website?


  • And if you wanna get started with having a business selling your art or craft, Leonie's got you covered. Her business guide has every single step from pricing to printing your prints to shipping.


What did you find this week?

The Adventures

Each week is an adventure. And each week I take a minute to acknowledge it, right here.

Let's try something new this week, inspired by Ali.

This week, I am…

Trucks of pumpkins = my new favorite thing.

Delighting over pumpkin trucks.

Still thinking about last night's dinner: roasted tomatoes & garlic, blended up into pasta sauce. Simple+perfect.
Roasting tomatoes and garlic for the easiest pasta sauce (blend up with a bit of salt and fresh basil.)

3 hours in & nearly all my list is marked off! #reasonstotakeeveryFridayoff

Marking things off my list.

Just realized I have a date with my favorite new mama tomorrow...and I didn't have any baked goods. Pumpkinish Spice Cupcakes to the rescue.

Perfecting a Pumpkin Spice cupcake.

On either side of me. Time for bed?

Snuggling Andre + Beau.

After a year of near-veganism, I think I finally figured it out. (the secret: buy way more veggies than you think, or else you'll order a pizza on Wed night)

Reveling in the farmer's market bounty.

My first cup from new pour over (also, first cup made at home in years)

Sipping coffee from my new  pour-over coffeemaker. Pumpkin Spice Lattes at home? Yes!

Anticipating Gone Girl (it finally came in at the library, I'm waiting for the weekend)

Sending this to everyone. ( #14 is our mantra.)

Winding endless skeins (625 yards each!) of hemp laceweight for a wholesale order (in Norway!)

Collecting success stories from Starship Captains. It is amazing what people have done in even 3 months inside. It's really making my week, every week.

Connecting in new and interesting ways. From videos with Kim to planning with Cairene to editing with Diane. It feels good to get out of my own head + notebook and see the world with someone else.

Exploring a new way of working. As I let go of old projects, I get to explore how I want it to be, with how I want to feel, and what I want to create. Every project, old and new, is up for renewal. It's both terrifying and thrilling.




What adventures did you have this week?

Share them here: comments.


The adventures

This week has definitely been an adventure. A travel-cross-country, get stranded in an airport, totally exhausted kind of adventure. But! I loved it! And it inspired me to add a new section to this here weekly round-up of Adventures: The Lessons. Scroll down to see 'em!


The view

Seattle skyline from Bainbridge Ferry :: Teaching an EtsyRAIN workshop :: Knitting the TARDIS shawl with a DALEK :: Captain Kirk's actual chair :: At the baseball game :: first Pumpkin Spice of the season, as I waited for my much-delayed flight

The lessons

Captain Kirk's chair isn't that impressive in real life (kind of a peel-y vinyl), reminding me again that the symbol is the thing, and the value we bring to objects.

Support is all around. Again and again during the trip, I'd worry about something (like which busses to take to get to my workshop, without getting sweaty) only to have support show up (within an hour, three different people texted, unprompted and offered to drive me.) This happened so many times I lost count. Note to self: Keep your eyes open, the help you need is within reach.

Setting goals is powerful. I've had a dream/wish in mind all summer, but didn't know how to make it happen. Way back in June, I wrote that I wanted the Starship to my full-time focus  by September. But it seemed impossible, so I didn't make any plans for it…and then a series of random events made it possible to extricate myself from long-term client projects (happy on all sides) and dedicate myself full-time to the Starship this month. Magical. Also, freaky.

The finds

  • Breezy – A life-saving app! I had to print worksheets for the workshop (and couldn't print them ahead of time or they'd get all squished in my luggage), and Breezy lets you send any document to any local, public printer (like, Kinkos!) right from your phone or iPad.
  • I like what Cairene is saying here about commitment leading to magic. I've been learning this lesson over and over again lately, and I'm so glad she wrote it.
  • This is a pretty impressive handknit sweater for a baseball fan. I'm kinda tempted. Recognize the pattern?
  • Marlo! We had lunch after my workshop and she is just…well, it's hard to talk about her without sounding cliched. Smart! Great! Hilarious! Also, so so in tune with what crafters need to know. Since I don't work one-on-one with clients anymore (unless you're already in the Starship), I'm referring everyone to her.

And that's it for my Adventures this week – what were yours?


Another lesson  learned? I love talking to you. So now, for this month only, every one boarding the Starship gets a free jam session. We'll talk about your questions, your dreams and your plans, so you enter the Starship prepared to get exactly what you need. Offer ends (and the Starship closes to new members) on 9/14.