Weekly-ish notes on navigating big change


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 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.


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?

Happy Anniversary!

Today's my anniversary!

I have been self-employed, making handspun yarn, full-time for one year!

Instead of writing about, let me tell you what it's like:

But most importantly?

I want to say,  THANK YOU!

Without you and your support at the Boutique, I wouldn't be able to pay the bills.
Without your delightful emails, I wouldn't love what I do.
Without your encouragement and sympathy during hard times, I wouldn't be able to go back to the wheel each day.

Thanks for making this last year awesome.

Here's to many more fabulous, yarny, colorful adventures!

PS. If you have questions about this self-employment thing, ask 'em during the Twitter chat today (3p ET, but you can use #asktheChicken to ask them anytime) or on the free Q+A.

Welcome Autumn

Happy First Day of Autumn!

I'm celebrating  with an uncharacteristically autumnal color: Plums. I usually dye and spin crazy bright colors, but these rainy first day of Autumn (and, I'll admit, a dyepot mistake) inspired this deep purpley gray.Plums

I'm stocking up on Autumnal inspiration by reading about everyone else's fall crafty-ness. Here are a few of my favorites:

I don't know if I'll be dyeing many more autumnal colors, because I still love my brights, but I love soaking in the colors of the season!

Launching a Life

Since quitting my day job on July 1st, I've received a lot of questions about how it feels, what it's like.

Most of the questions relate to the quitting and the dayjob: What's it like to not go to work? Is it hard to stay motivated without a boss? Do you miss having coworkers?

But  these questions are hard to answer. My life is so different now, I find it impossible to compare dayjob to yarn-job.

This whole big scary experiment doesn't feel like a quitting as much as a launching.

A launching into a new way of thinking about work.
A launching into a new way of connecting, of being a part of my community.
A launching into more responsibility, more discipline than ever.
A launching into a  very unknown future.
A launching into doing what I love, without excuses, without somedays, without anything (but myself) to stop me.

Like a big space rocket launch, it's exhilarating and terrifying and filled a thousand movable parts that look like they might fall apart at any time.

I realized this week that although I told everyone I quit my dayjob and I immediately devoted myself full-time to Blonde Chicken Boutique, I didn't take the to celebrate. Or to ask you to celebrate with me.

This is a big momentous thing that needs proper yarny revelry.  I've pondered the best way to make it a real celebration and I've come up with a  Grand Launching Week-long Extravaganza!


Launching Party Fun-ness

Everyday next week, I'll share my story, from French Major to Yarn Wrangler, here on the blog. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss any of it.

I'll also be answering your questions, everyday at 3 pm on Twitter (starting today!). We can talk about any little thing (quitting the job, wrangling yarn, studying French Lit, ANYthing!).  Just put #askthechicken in your tweet to ask me.

Launch Party Yarny Discounts

For the next week, any NEW customer of the Boutique will get $10 off orders of  $30 or more and returning customers will be get $5 off orders of $25 or more.

Really want to party? Buy more than $100 worth of yarn or fiber and I'll send you a skein of yarn (or bump of fiber – your choice!) and a pattern for FREE in August. Think of it as investing in your future!

Not a yarn-y person? This sale ALSO extends to the Gift Certificates!

Thanks for celebrating with me.

I wouldn't be launching into this new life if weren't for you. Whether you buy yarn or not, whether you comment or not, whether we've met or not, everyone who shows up here has helped bring me closer to this goal, has helped encourage me and teach me and inspire me.


(PS. Special sparkly rainbow of thanks to Leonie for the gorgeous graphic!)