quick note

I'm more than a little exhausted, after a short night. Complete sentences are challenging. How do you feel about a handful of fragments?

Florida. Road trip. Two days to sun.

To see family. Friends. Niece.


Piles of not-yet-packed clothing littering my bed. Already-packed bags bulge near the door.

Over the phone, my sister and I make our to-do lists: cooking is near the top... we've spent so many hours dancing around each other in a steamy kitchen. It's one of the things we both miss when states crowd between us. (Those darn states.)

Laugh. That's high on the list.

Love on her little girl. (Did I mention my amazing niece?)

There will also be knitting, for me. Last Wednesday, one of our products just exploded... figuratively, that is. A lot of people love it! So much so that I'm going to be a very very busy girl. And altogether sick of knitting with red yarn. Nevertheless: hooray.

Oh, and writing for me. Reading a manuscript to my sister, seeing what she thinks. Showing her my designs for new knits for spring. Explaining (perhaps over coffee) the preliminary planning on this next book, this new idea of mine... And possibly catching a few new ideas, new scenes. Getting them down on paper, if I'm quick enough with my pen.

So good to see them all again. My sister, my brother-in-law, my niece. A week will evaporate, and then I'll come home, just in time to sweep up the last few days of January.


a weekend of knits

Whew! Kristen and I just posted new items to our Etsy store, and we're super excited! Drop by Squirrel & Serif sometime for a peek at our things, and then browse the other Etsy offerings. I'm continually amazed and encouraged by the creativity of the other sellers!

I think we're starting to get into our rhythm of creating, photographing, and posting our items. There's always more to learn, but it's more enjoyable and less stressful now. And we're both brimming with new ideas for spring! Stay tuned...

(Ah, and that's the fabulous alpaca hat and scarf I had so much fun knitting! Yummm. The loveliest yarn to work with!)

So that's the knitting update!
Next up? A very productive writing week! My characters would like me to back away from the yarn for awhile, and spin paragraphs instead of scarves. Which is simpler? Scarves, no contest! But I miss my characters, and they... well, I don't know that they miss me, but they'll threaten rebellion if I don't listen to their demands. So here's hoping for a fun and challenging week in the land of fiction!


something to perk up your day

Nearly half of the pictures on my camera right now are of ... coffee. I looked through them, and it's official: I am a girl obsessed. Obsessed. (You don't believe me? Just wait.)

It's just so beautiful, though. And to me, coffee is synonymous with good conversation, with feeling at home, with my family and my dearest friends. Oh--and with the energy to tackle whatever's troubling me.

So, just in case you're the same way, here are a few cups we can share... cheers!

Oops, this first cup is full of soy chai from Companion. So, it's not coffee. But it's darn good nevertheless!! (Especially when you're surrounded by friends.) And Companion's is the best I've had.

An after-dinner cappuccino at Macaroni Grill, before taking a sip...

... and after!

Yet another mug of chai at Companion in Saint Louis. One of my new favorite places!

A morning cappuccino at Kaldi's. I was half in love with the barista after tasting this... Yum. YUM.

... and an afternoon cappuccino at Kaldi's. Surprised? Shocked? I didn't think so.


PW's Dulce de Leche coffee, inspiring me to write...
... You'll never guess what all of this puts me in the mood for. Excuse me. It's suddenly very urgent that I go to the kitchen...

finding my feet

We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about. -- Charles Kingsley

It's that part of the day when all the color is leaking out of the world--the sky and the snow are the same shivery blue. My mug of coffee invites my cold fingers... slowly becoming warmer fingers.

I'm in a better frame of mind than I was last post. This week I've been trying to find a balance between knitting and writing.

While I love having two huge creative endeavors to fill my days, it sometimes feels like there's a war in my brain. I'm knitting a new scarf, feeling sheepish for not writing. Or I'm working on my writing, sneaking glances at my yarn stash and itching with new plans.

But here at the end of the week, I'm starting to get the hang of it. At least, I've put in some serious writing hours, and I'm thrilled with the way this newest novel idea is growing. (More on that another time.) A luxurious, browsing trip to Barnes & Noble didn't hurt: there's nothing like time in a bookstore to refuel my urge to write.

I picked up some Moleskine journals there, and that alone will put me at my desk for a few hours. What is it about blank books? In particular, what is it about Moleskine journals? I usually visit their little kiosk and pat them all, wondering what I might fill them with. I love their sleek looks and their history: the notebook of Hemingway! Of Chatwin!

I confess, I pick them up because of Hemingway. It doesn't even make sense, because I always think I like Hemingway, and then I read him and remember I can't stand him. Maybe it's just the idea of him? Or maybe just his name, or perhaps the smell of words and Paris, that aura that hangs around him.

Second confession: I have no idea who Chatwin is.

So now I own these legendary little journals--yes, I like that they are legendary. Makes me think they can handle paragraphs from these epic novels I'm trying to write. Better yet, it makes me think that I can handle writing these paragraphs...

So, yes. I have been writing again.

I've done a lot of knitting, too, and turned out one of my favorite products yet: a gorgeously soft alpaca-wool hat. Yum. It's going to hurt to sell this one, I admit. It's soooo lovely! And my desk is covered in scraps of paper with new ideas for pillows, coffee cozies, blankets, hats... I could clone myself twice over and never run out of things to make.

It's funny the way they're related, writing and knitting. Crafting something from your own ideas and a few simple tools. Hoping it brings someone else warmth and joy. And hoping you can stick with it long enough to make something lasting, and good.