the second to last day

There's not much time left in 2009 before the credits roll and the custodians come through to sweep the popcorn from under our feet.

The ends of years always make me wistful--no big surprise, considering how I keep a death grip on time, and feel breathless whenever I turn the page in my calendar.

Shouldn't there be something epic and wonderful I could do, to tie off the end of the year and wave goodbye? (And I don't mean a New Year's party--appetizers, firecrackers, countdowns... it's not quite what I have in mind.) I don't know. Something big. Something splendid.

Today, however, is quiet instead of splendid. So this is how I'm celebrating December 30 this year:

* I watched the snow trickling into our backyard.
* Worked on roughing in more of my novel's sequel. (That's big and splendid. Woo hoo!)
* Made a list of knits to make for Squirrel & Serif before Valentine's Day.
* Talked with Mom over a cinnamon mocha (yum).
* Stared out at the glow of our Christmas lights in the early evening.

It makes for a peaceful second-to-last day... and maybe that's all right for an ending, after all. Maybe that's all right.


hello, much-neglected blog. remember me?

I know. I know. I can see it on your face, blog. I can hear it in your (slightly snide?) Hello, stranger. I've been gone for a while. And I haven't thought much of hanging out with you. I'm sorry, blog. I'm trying to be better.

But I've been so swamped! And bewildered at being swamped. You understand, right, blog? (Of course you don't. You're all in neat little columns, your lists are alphabetized, everything has dates and titles... what do you know about swamps??) All right then. Explanation:

What I've been doing:

* Celebrating another Christmas with my wonderful family.

* KNITTING. There has been a lot of knitting. Plenty of things for our Etsy store (which then sold!), and then Christmas mittens for my sister. (Finished today... they turned out wonderfully!) Now I'm working up some new ideas for the store... hopefully, I'll get a chance to post them soon.

some legwarmers I designed (and then modeled!) for our store...

* Watching The Dick Van Dyke Show on hulu.com (hellooooo, all five seasons!!) as I knit and plan.

* Dyeing my hair red again. Bright red. I absolutely love it! I feel like I fell out of a comic strip, or something. Um, a comic strip where they have excessive amounts of knitting?

* Oh. And then, I've been missing writing. Starting and stopping. Forgetting some ideas. Starting again. Stopping again.

What I haven't been doing:

* Oooh. Cleaning my room. That would be a good idea.

* Cooking for fun. (Notable exception: today my entire morning was devoted to making an extraordinary four-layer cheesecake. Mmmmm. Cooking, I missed you.)

* Reading. I raided the library a few weeks ago, and that huge stack of books is just gathering dust on my dresser. I pat it lovingly from time to time, but that's about it.

* Um. Writing. Yeah, that's the big one.

These last three weeks have been a kind of limbo, blog. I've been super focused on the Etsy store, and I love it! I really, really love it. We've had so much success--we've shipped things all over the U.S. by now (and one package went to the other side of the world). I'm full of new ideas for January, for spring, for summer. I'm thinking about collections and themes and colors and patterns. All my creative energy has gone the way of knit and purl.

I really love it.

... And I really miss writing.

I know that I can do both: write my usual amount every day, and work on the store in the evenings. I know there's enough day, enough creativity, enough energy to go around. But I haven't found my balance yet--I've put everything toward the store. And honestly, I feel a little lost. I care so much about the store, but writing is who I am.

I'm sure I'll get back on track soon, but I've never had much patience with transitions like this one. I usually freak out, or make dozens of lists (and promptly misplace them all), or focus on a single thing to the exclusion of all else. And then, eventually, things sort out.

So I'll get back to writing regularly very soon, blog. Writing my novel (I've just started pre-production on my third manuscript... woo hoo!), and writing posts for you. Soon, I promise. Meanwhile, merry Christmas. Happy Boxing Day.

(... What do you say for boxing day? I have no idea. Have a nice box. I hope it came with pretty ribbon.)


announcing squirrel & serif

There is nothing like a dream to create the future. -- Victor Hugo

I go through weeks where everything I think of feels like a blog entry. And then other weeks, I might remember, might: "I have a blog?" Guess what sort of a week it's been. (Sorry.)

But there is so much going on--such exciting news! Our Etsy store is open! YES!! Squirrel & Serif is live on Etsy, so go take a peek when you can... We are so proud of it. We've already made our first three sales, which is amazing and daunting as well.

I've heard other crafters talk about how humbling it is to sell what they make, but I didn't start to understand it until this week: We began getting comments and questions from Etsy buyers interested in what we've made. And knowing that something you've thought up and knit together made someone happy ("Love this! Can't wait!"), or will be a Christmas present for someone... pretty amazing to intersect other lives that way.

Anyway, so far the store is full of knitted wear, but Kristen has plans for other sorts of products... graphic design student that she is. I'm safer sticking with knitting, so that's what I'll be creating.

(She is, of course, the Squirrel side of the equation. And I'm Serif... one of my favorite word words.)

No other news, but here are a few pictures from our "shop":

Stamping tags for our items, and Kristen tying up our very first purchase...

Anyway, thanks for cheering us along!

(Oh, and where does writing fall amongst all this? Very good question. When I figure it out, I'll let you know.)