Sunday, December 28, 2008

Edible?

I hope so! I just ate a mushroom that Adrienne picked in the cemetery. It was a boletus aka porcini. Wish me gastronomical luck!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Yak, Alpaca, Anne, Verb = Love.

Alrighty, there are 3 main components to this blog post. A store update offering new yarn and fiber. A photographic essay of our grand opening party. Last but certainly not least an announcement about a very special designer and our yarns.

So, starting with the store update, we have some 50% yak/50% silk fiber in stock. We have been offering this fiber for the past 3 months, but the minute we finish dyeing it, fiber fiends gather it up and are gone. So, for this batch, we made twice as much, fed the fiends, and have some to put on our website.AVFKW Yak/Silk Spinning Fiber

Also, we have the alpaca/silk yarn back in stock and are dyeing like crazy to replenish our previous, wide array of colors. This yarn has been one of our absolute perennial favorites. It is soft and sport weight - which means that you can knit a beautiful lace patterned scarf fast. So, for those of you who are already advanced lace knitters and need a quick fix, this yarn could be the answer. Or, for those of you who admire all of the beautiful lace patterns currently being released but are a bit daunted by the challenge, this yarn provides a great jumping off point. Get a few lace patterns under your belt and you will be off and running.AVFKW alpaca/silk yarn

Which brings me to my next topic, speaking of lace patterns. I am so (so) happy to announce that we have sent yarn over to Anne Hansen with the intent of creating patterns. I absolutely love Anne's work. It may be more accurate to say that I am in love with it. Over the past year, I have been following her blog, reading her tales about growing food, cooking food, and of course designing lace. In many circumstances she refers to patterns found in nature to influence and direct her work. I love how she gives us outsiders a view into her designing mind. I have been a bit shy about approaching her - but finally mustered up the courage. She posted about our yarns here. She has a wide variety of lace patterns ranging from those that are a bit more straightforward like this, this and this to the more complex patterns like this and this which I hope one day to aspire to.

Now, to the store. The Grand opening party...it really could not have been any better. It was everything and more than I could have ever expected. Thank you to everyone who came or who over email offered words of encouragement and support. This has been an exciting time and I look forward to learning how the store will unfold and how Verb will continue to grow and unfold. At the end of the day, my strongest sentiment is gratitude.

Our front door -- Welcome!
A Verb for Keeping Warm

The fiber corner
A Verb for Keeping Warm

The Spindle Tree
A Verb for Keeping Warm: The Spindle Tree

Front Window Display
A Verb for Keeping Warm

Silk & Sheep - Is there really a better combination? Maybe chocolate and coffee.
A Verb for Keeping Warm

The Yarn Wall
A Verb for Keeping Warm

More yarn!
A Verb for Keeping Warm

I think you get the point :) Now, the only dangerous thing about all of this - is that I absolutely love this space - and it is warm. My studio is cold. So, I am finding it a little bit hard to leave this space. And, am procrastinating a bit when it comes to standing over the dyepots. All I want to do is sit in my new space and spin! Perhaps all of you can come over and sit in the space and spin for me. Then, I can live vicariously through you. We aren't going to have a store if I don't continue to dye fiber and yarn, you know. Well, I will be there tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday from 10-5, if you are around stop on by.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Will work for fiber. The spinning kind.

To say that we have working our buns off may be an understatement. That said, in my life, when I am working, 9 times out of 10, means that I am having fun.

When I last left you, we were at the part where we were opening our new store. I have news about that but first I thought that I would entertain you with a few behind the scenes photos of the week leading up to our big day.

This is a story about renting in the Bay Area. As those of you know who live in the Bay Area, landlord-tenant relations is a constant dance. Rent is ridiculously high and does not really equate to any kind of amenities. For instance, my dream, as a 31 year old, is to one day have a dishwasher in an apartment that costs less than $2000 a month.

Adrienne and my last home was extremely beautiful, built in Craftsmen bookshelves, wood floors, remodeled kitchen, not safe though. Once, we found a man in our house. It was noon. I unlocked the front door, entered, and there he was. As he saw us, he ran back out the window where he had entered leaving shards of glass everywhere, etc. At the beautiful house, we have a landlord who was constantly in our sh*t. Wanted to know where we hanging our photos, how we were hanging them - were the walls being harmed. Who cares about the man. The walls might get ruined. Then, there was the time when the woman, high on crack(?), sporting a sweatsuit, sat on her ten speed bike outside of our house for 5 hours. Moving about a foot an hour. Falling asleep on her bike (talent!). Even masturbating on the bar of her bike (special!). Until finally waking from her drugged dream to bike away onto her next fix. And this is just two examples of our 3 years living there.

This is in sharp contrast to our current living situation. When I am in a rational mood, I figure that Adrienne and I actually pay a semi-reasonable amount of rent. We live in a superb neighborhood - within walking distance to some of the Bay Area's best restaurants, a fantastic library, and my favorite chocolate cafe. This neighborhood is safe. And here is the big kicker, our flat is HUGE in Bay Area apartment living. We actually have two bedrooms. One that is 300 sqft! This is our workroom. Here's the stickler, our flat is Ugly (capital U). The ceilings are low, the walls spackled, and the carpet (carpet!)...let's not even go there. When they built this portion of our 100 year house, they must of had a budget of $100.

We have a somewhat comical relationship with our landlord. In comparison to our last landlord, this landlord is extremely hands-off. We rejoice in this - but this also means that most likely if something breaks, Adrienne is going to fix it. I prefer if Adrienne does fix it - she does a thorough job at fixing things. So, a few weeks back when I garnered enough courage to ask my landlord for new carpeting, I was flat out shocked that he immediately answered yes. And, he wanted to install it the week before my store opening. Yes, this is insane. But I was so afraid to say no - and that it may never be done. Adrienne was definitely not on board. And when she gets in this space, it is kind of like hell on earth. She is stubborn! And, I think she secretly wanted to seek revenge on me. And I don' think I am being paranoid.

This is where the "comic" relief comes in. We received an email from my landlord saying that we needed to move all of our breakables, empty bookshelves, etc. Ok, I can handle that, even though that met we would not be able to walk into our kitchen or bathroom. However, when the carpet installers arrived, they looked around in horror...at all of our furniture - and the fact that it wasn't broken down and stored. Major miscommunication between my landlord and carpet installing guys. Adrienne had to call into work to let them know that she wasn't coming. The two of us took apart our bed and moved every piece of furniture our house from room to room following the installers as they worked. It sucked. We are still reassembling the house. We are still sleeping on the floor. Hmmmm... re-assemble the bed frame or spin. Spin! Wins every time.

Our bed in the family room.

Our kitchen

While waiting for the guys to finish the family room, I found a few quiet moments to knit. I am working on a Habu cardigan. How do you like my outfit? It's a jumpsuit! And it is the only things I could find to wear because all of our clothes were in the bathtub!

Well, Top Chef is on - and its a new episode so I will bid adieu. I have been dyeing a lot of new yarn (alpaca silk) and fiber (yak) and am in the middle of uploading it to the webstore. I will post photos of it here and photos of the new store tomorrow.

xoxo!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Grand Opening! The WorkShop!

Please join us this Saturday, December 6th, for our Grand Opening Party!
10-5pm

A Verb for Keeping Warm: The Workshop
Activspace Building
2703 7th St #147*
Berkeley, CA 94710
510-388-5110

* We are on the ground level facing the Activspace parking lot.

Eeeeeee! I am so excited! We are putting the final touches on the new space and it is almost ready for all of you to see! We are so happy to announce the Grand Opening of our new store: A Verb for Keeping Warm: The WorkShop. Small but quaint, this space is our stepping off point into the retail world. We plan to offer classes such as beginning spinning (both drop spindle and wheel), intermediate spinning, rigid heddle weaving, and natural dyeing workshops.

This is a list of the current products that we are offering:

A Verb for Keeping Warm fiber and yarn
Pigeonroof Studios fiber
Zero stitch markers
Schacht products: spinning wheels, looms, handcards, and spindles
Spindlewood spindles
St. Blaise combs
Natural dye extracts and mordants
Books on spinning, knitting, dyeing, weaving, and textiles
Handmade felt scarves by Marlowe Carwford
Naturally dyed bandhani and ajarakh scarves by Jabbar & Jabbar Khatri

Starting next week, December 11th, our store hours will be:
Thurs 10-5
Fri 10-5
Sat 10-5
& by appointment

We strongly recommend calling ahead -- before coming -- through the month of December -- as we get our bearings straight. We ask for your patience in the first couple months, as we work out any kinks. As you most likely know, in most circumstances, I am a one woman show! We are a genuine American family run business!

I hope to see you!

------------------------------------------------------------

So, things have been crazy. Good but really crazy. For instance, my landlord decided to have new carpet installed this week. So, as I type, there are many men in my house, lots of banging, and all of our furniture has been move out of the house. When it rains, it pours! That said, I am so happy to have new carpet. I was also called for jury duty this week - luckily, I did not have to go and I am in the clear for another year.

The WorkShop is so unbelievable. We laid down a rug yesterday. Placed the rocking chair in the corner. Fluffed fiber. I love it! I call Adrienne nearly once an hour to let her know how grateful I am for all of her hard work. During the project, there were certainly times that we wanted to kill each other during which I think is quite natural under moments of such stress. But, at this point, we have undertaken enough projects, that have turned out to be successful, that we have faith that that moment of "oh, my gosh, this is so awesome!" would eventually descend upon us. That moment has certainly arrived. if I had my druthers, I would be in The WorkShop right now drinking a cup of tea and knitting.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Coupon!

For the Bazaar Bizarre in San Francisco.

Spend $25 and receive 10% off. (Sorry but this excludes spindles/spinning equipment.)

Click here to print out the coupon.

Hope to see you on Sunday!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bazaar Bizarre 2008


On Sunday, we will be a vendor atBazaar Bizarre in Golden Gate Park. We will be in the large room, near the stage (booth 2). Our booth is cozy (small), so I will not be bringing the whole kit and kaboodle, because it simply won't fit. If there is something that you would like me to bring, please leave a note, and I will make sure to do so.

Also, another local favorite will be there, Girl on the Rocks & Abmatic. You may remember their mustaches and tweed chickens from Color Fiber Festival.

Amongst us, there will be approximately 100 other vendors selling everything from stuffed meat to handcrafted soap. This is a great venue to pick up locally made, unique gifts. I am always astounded by the quality of goods found at this show, and the creativity exhibited. Plus, now, there is the new California Academy of Sciences right up the street and the Yves St. Laurent show at the DeYoung. Shopping and art/science -- always a crowd pleaser, especially if your family is still in town.

I hope you stop to say hello! Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mushrooms for Color

So, I admit. I am sick. I am one of those people who feels like if they say something out loud, then it must be true. Or, if I say something out loud, it will make it true. This rings very loudly with nausea. So, at first, I said that "I am fighting a cold". (Ah ha! this cold is not going to win!) And, then I said "well, I may be coming down with something". (No, I can't really be getting sick. cough. sneezes 30 times). And, now I am here. Sinuses ringing. Slow and lethargic. However, this gives me a bit of time to blog and do some story-telling.

So, on the weekend of my birthday, Marlowe, Kathleen, Sara, Adrienne, and myself went to a 1 day workshop titled Mushrooms for Color, taught by Dorothy Beebee.

I have to admit, the dyeing portion of the workshop I was curious about, the mushroom bit, not so much. This is why. Adrienne has been obsessed with mushrooms over the past year. Every hike that we go on - Adrienne lags sometimes a quarter mile behind, digging in the weeds, under the right so-and-so tree looking for mushrooms. I am ahead yelling for her to get out of the ditch - and to get over here already. Cleo is in between the 2 of us. She won't let one member of the team get lost. The pack must stay together. It does not help that my family totally indulges this obsession by purchasing 3000 page mushroom bibles for Adrienne - which she dives into for endless hours - trying to figure out if this brown blob she has just found - is x or y -- or maybe it's the extremely rare z!! And we will be famous because we have found it!

So, there is the short and dirty version. Now, back to this beautiful afternoon in Berkeley. The workshop was held at the UC botanical garden - which means that you get to walk through this gorgeous garden, which is arranged by continents, and then you get to spend the afternoon dyeing with all of this gorgeousness surrounding you. On this particular day, we were receiving a kind of weather which is truly a gift from above. Low-lying fog with a bit of rain, and the temperature is about 55. The resulting grey sky creates a backdrop for everything of color to just pop. In this case, it would be the plants. Even objects of darker color, the silhouette of such, stands out even more. The rain makes everything shimmer. The weather is warm enough to walk around and take everything in.

Dorothy Beebee has been studying mushrooms alongside Miriam Rice for many, many moons. (Actually, she said that some mushrooms, dye more intensely when picked during a full moon, but that she could not say that in front of a more scientific colleague, for fear of a much larger debate. I thought that it was an interesting concept and was intrigued. Call me ignorant - or better yet a witch!) Anyhow, back to the story, (it's the cold medicine!). Miriam Rice has written Mushrooms for Color, Mushrooms for Dyes, Paper, Pigments, & Micro-Styx, and she has lead many symposiums on using mushroom as dyestuffs. Dorothy Beebee has been Miriam's right hand woman, helping with documentation and doing all of the illustrations for the above mentioned books.

In our workshop, we used:
phaeolus schweinitzii
pisolithus tinctorius
gomphus flucossus
dermocybe phoenicea
dermocybe semi-sanguinea

whoa! Each group broke apart a type of mushroom into little pieces. My group did phaeolus schweinitzii.


Here are some folks mushing the pisolithus tinctorius.

Fresh from the pisolithus tinctorius dyepot:

The final results from the 5 mushrooms:
Can you believe the range of colors?!

So, in the end, I have drunk the kool-aid, and am converted. For the first time ever, I spent my afternoon hike with Adrienne, under an Oak tree hunting for mushrooms. And, you my doves, may have the opportunity to purchase fiber dyed with mushrooms...I don't know about you - but I think it is pretty darn cool. And better yet, for those of you who are in the Bay Area, there just might be a workshop thrown in there.

xoxo!

Monday, November 10, 2008

E-Love

Your dreams are beautiful! Amazing how many of us wish to own a farm - or more control over the space in which we inhabit. In my mind's eye, I have a fiber farm of my own. A place that has strawbale guest houses, so that all of you can come, stay, and take textile workshops with teachers from around the world. We would have a production dye garden, a large vegetable garden, and a handspinners flock.

The winner of the contest is ikkinlala. Please write to me with your address and let me know if you are a spinner and a knitter - or just one or the other. So that I know what types of goodies to put in your package.

Thank you everyone for sharing your dreams! Sleep tight.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Heads and Tails: Taking in the Bay Area & a Birthday Contest

I have my warm cup of tea. My emotions feel a bit more in control. And, I am ready for a bit of storytelling. What a week! What a month! What lies in the year ahead? This month at the Verb house, things have been exciting, hectic, tense, and productive.

I have been going through a period of intense love for the Bay Area. Which is a large shift from where I was for the past 2 years. I was very uncomfortable living here. Everything seemed overpriced and crowded. I was yearning to stretch my legs, live in a house where I would have a view, of even a tree would do, maybe a washer and dryer, oh, and the real kicker, a dishwasher. I searched for a home in New Mexico, Oregon, various regions of Northern California. I miss my Midwestern family and even entertained the idea of moving back to Minnesota before the memory of ice cold air hitting my face snapped me back into reality. If it wasn't for that damn cold...

My love affair with the Bay Area has been re-ignited due to spinning and knitting. Over the past year, I have met so many awesome people. Those who are talented, always pushing the envelope, searching for new ways to express themselves. I had a lot of tension over "wanting' to carry forth my dreams and creativity. Now, that I find myself more in this position, I have become a generally, happier person - and am able to see the beauty of the Bay Area again. It really is amazing to follow your dream, even though it is risky, and there is still stress, but seeing your dream lift from your mind into reality. To begin to mold it with your actual hands, I highly recommend it. Can you imagine if we all said, "Enough!" and we went on to create our dreams, what that would look like?

Earlier in the month, A, Cleo and I hiked at Point Reyes.


Getting back to work, we went over to Alameda to shop for some furniture and design ideas for the new store. On the first Sunday of the month, on the old Naval base, there's Antiques by the Bay. Love! So, let's set the scene, Alameda is an island, right off the coast of Oakland. The Naval base, is like a large parking lot on the water, strange but interesting. And, then there is this huge antiques market with 400 vendors. It is sunny. You have a view of SF. And look what's there:
The cranes in the distance marks the landscape of Oakland.

We came home from the Market with a new, drop leaf, oak table and a rocking chair for the store. Oh, the store, we are so close to being - I hesitate to say done - because this is certainly a work in progress - but close to being able to really move into the space, and put away all of the power tools. I have decided to limit my photos of the actual store because I want it to be a bit of a surprise for the Grand Opening (December 6th, mark your calendars). But here is a taste:
The Y Knit boys and K painting.

Alongside working on the store, I have been dyeing. We have 2 new lace weight yarns.

Shimmer. 100% Silk.

Holding. 100% Superfine Alpaca

New products are pouring into the store, getting ready for the opening. Like our new Spindlewood Spindles. Yikes, these are so beautiful. They spin like a little rocket and the folks in Oregon that make them are the sweetest people. I love supporting great people.

In September, I started teaching beginning wheel classes at Article Pract. Previous to September, I really had not been spinning on my wheel. Most of my time was spent using my drop spindles. Teaching has been great, it has gotten me back on my wheel. Last week, I gave myself the day to just sit home and spin. Here are some of the results.

My birthday is on Sunday. I think this year's birthday theme is going to be in celebration of living out one's dreams. I would like to start the celebration by offering a contest. The winner will receive a package full of surprises. What would your world look like if you lived out your dreams? If you would like to share what one of your dreams are, or perhaps a dream you had, that you have already experienced, you will be entered into the birthday drawing. Please leave your comment by Sunday, November 9th at 8pm pst. I will let everyone know who the winner is on Monday, November 10th. Cheers!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes we can!

And we did, and we will, and we are going to.

And prop 8 will be overturned.

Monday, November 3, 2008

the story of a voting hopeful

Whew. I just did a speed walking tour of our neighborhood. I had to get out of the house for a bit. Adrienne is on the phone with her sister and they are literally screaming about this year's presidential candidates. As probably all of you know, we are gleefully and tearfully voting for Obama. Her sister, on the other hand, is voting for McCain. I totally understand Adrienne's pain, there are members of my family as well that voted for Bush and will vote for McCain. However, I would never call and talk to them about it -- especially on the eve of election night when emotions and anticipation run high.

I am stunned by the transition surrounding me. It seems like everything from my own personal growth as a friend, family member, and business owner to the world around me is expanding and contracting at phenomenal speeds. Even the weather, rainy one day, sunny the next, and rainy again. If anything it reminds me, that each bad mood, or point of angst, can literally not be held or fixed, beyond my control a moment of happiness, a point of inspiration comes sweeping by. To me it is a question of percentages spent in each emotional space.

The first time my attention was drawn to the percentage of time spend in each space occurred when I arrived to India in 2001 to research textiles. A very large, 7.6 earthquake hit the area I was researching in, destroying 3/4 of the city and surrounding areas. Nearly 20,000 people died. 150,000 people were seriously injured. 600,000 people were left homeless. International aid workers poured into the region. At first they were a great help, but as time went on, the region became sorely inflated as foreigners altered the value of rental properties and food. Those native to the region, called Kutchis, were pushed out of the marketplace and a long standing depression occurred. Many Kutchis had no idea how long it would take to repair there homes, or if ever. That said, life went on, as the months went by, weddings started to take place again, holidays came and went. We celebrated, ate simply, and gave thanks for our health and aliveness. But the anxiety and depression would climb back in, under our skin before the night was out.

I was in India when 9-11 happened. When I came back to the U.S. in 2003, the feeling in the U.S. was very similar to the personal and societal feeling I experienced in India. Yes, I, and many of those I know, am healthy, and basic needs are taken care of, however, there is a malaise, a sense of helplessness, or hopelessness that I feel pervades the U.S. For the first time, in the last 8 years, I feel like I have the hope that things are going to change. That my country has an opportunity to have Barack Obama as President. That I am going to have a leader that I truly believe in. A person who I think is intelligent, articulate, diplomatic, and truly believes in the U.S. and the citizens of the United States, and will ultimately choose to do what is right for the entire country not just a particular portion of the population. We have an opportunity to heal.

It is a remarkable feeling and experience to see people around me, fellow Oaklanders, getting out there to participate in this election. To drive down the block, to see home after home, with posters of Obama in their windows. And to anknowledge that this person, Barack Obama is inspiring people, across class, race, and gender to come out and vote. That in this election, we will quite possibly have landmark numbers of voters come out to participate.

Honestly, I had a whole other blog post ready for you. One filled with tales of Northern California beach front, spinning, new spindles, and yarn. But that will have to wait until after the election.

I hope everyone reading this gets out there and votes!

p.s. Vote NO on 8. Keep church and state separate.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Color!

Hello Everyone! This is very short notice however, I would like to extend a warm welcome to Color Fiber Festival: Fall 2008. This event will take place tomorrow, Saturday October 18th at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley California. We have been busy, busy, busy -- dyeing lots of beautiful, new fiber and yarn. Tomorrow, we are introducing 2 new lace weight yarns. There are lots of classes and approx 8 vendors selling fiber and yarn. Please stop by our booth and say hello. Well, I have to get back to work -- I hope everyone is having a great week. While I am excited for Color, I am also looking forward to getting back to a bit of my own knitting :)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Better Late than Never

Do you ever have one of those weeks where you feel like the old cliche stands true -- one step forward 2 steps back? That has most certainly been this weeks theme for me. I interpret that as an alarm trying to tell me that I am doing to many things at once and need to slow down. In that need, Wednesday's store update, for this week, is going to be Friday's store update.

I have added 2 new colors of superwash fingering weight sock yarn.No. 9
Transnational Fury

I have been at the studio a lot. In the next few weeks, I will be releasing 2 new yarns. Right now, they are sitting in dye pots, waiting to be washed out. With Fall here and Winter coming, it has been great to bring some nice, rich, jewel tones back into the collection. Rich colors, like orange, red, green, and blue, feel so grounded.

Adrienne has also spent a lot of time at the studio...building a wall! We went to Urban Ore, our locally reclaimed materials store -- which probably deserves its own entire post - to buy our new front door and window. I can't believe this is happening. I am excited and scared at the same time. I had to do it though. Owning a store, even a simple one, has been my lifelong dream. I am excited to see what it will look like. In some of our adventures, Adrienne and I know what the end result is going to look like more or less. This adventure is a bit different. We are taking it one step at a time. We still don't know how we are going to finish the exterior wall. Some of it will depend on what kinds of materials we find.

Last week, Adrienne and I went to Nevada City. Ah! The forest! I was invited by Sara Lamb (spinning, dyeing, cut-pile weaving extraordinaire) to give a talk at the guild she attends, Foothill Fiber Guild. We had a fabulous time. We met a lot of unbelievably talented people. I spoke about my work with the Rabari and the natural dyers of Kutch. It feels so great to speak to people who "get it".
Plus, we got to meet Lizzy -- Cleo's Nevada City Nemesis!

I hope everyone is well!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Recap: A Year in a Day

Here are some photos recapping the par-tay.
Marlowe's delicious sheep-y cupcakes

Jane and her sister May, show us Jane's outstanding work.

Marcel was a natural. Complete party animal.

I want to say thank you to everyone, literally, from the bottom of my heart. First, for the phenomenal past year. It has been such a pleasure to meet all of you. I am so gracious to all of you for your support and laughter. It was great to see everyone yesterday. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedules to stop by. And for all of you that sent your well wishes via email, thank you for your kind words of support. Last year at this time, I could never have imagined that my life would have manifested itself in this way.

As we get to know each other, it is no secret that I value a life full of challenges and exploring the unknown. This provides a healthy serving of torture and bliss. Having my own business certainly has had its ups and downs. To some extent, it is great to be "the boss". I can nap in the afternoon for an hour or two, however, I may have to stay up until 1am, 10 days in a row, because I am the one ultimately responsible that deadlines are met. This is textbook. Anyone who has considered starting their own business has probably gone and bought a book which describes that there is going to be a lot of hard work...for years. Most times the big book of business lets you know that if you don't like hard work, then starting a business is probably not for you. Ok, well I am not afraid of hard work. Check.

But there are challenges that are not covered in business books and in some ways how could they. These challenges are personal and most likely particular for each of us in our distinct personalities. For me, my biggest challenge running my business has been my sense of security. Over the past year, I have had to go through a deep exploration of my idea of security, its foundation, and a re-evaluation of it in order for my business to grow. Challenging my sense of security has meant re-evaluating my idea of what constitutes as success and as failure. It has also meant learning to trust in myself to accept vulnerability. That by trusting in myself, I will make the best decision that I can. Most importantly, I have had to learn to draw boundaries around my self-critic. This single step has been the most important thing I have learned all year. Once I learned to draw a boundary around my inner critic, I could drop the entire pretense of success and failure and actually get to work. Right now, I feel like I am in this beautiful stage of my business. At this very moment, I have more self trust than probably ever before because, in my mind, the concept of failure has evolved. Failure no longer has the same meaning. Failure is no longer a destination in itself. This life, and this business, does not lead to a distinct point, it is a continuum, it is an experience.

This past year has been a whirlwind of activity. We have used new dyes, new types of dyeing, moved into our first studio, and worked at a variety of venues, from Stitches to the Black Sheep Gathering, to sell Verb's product. We have learned a lot about our craft and about business.

I look forward to this upcoming year, to new ideas, learning even more new things, meeting more new friends, and watching my current friends and customers grow and create. To start things off, I am excited to tell you -- that we have decided to rent a second space and to open up a small retail venue. Beyond the fact that it is rented, there are still a lot of particulars to be worked out. For instance, store hours, products, etc. Over the next couple weeks, I will be brainstorming for ideas and ways to carry out those ideas. Our goal is to have the store up and running by November.

Soon!

p.s.
The 1st shipment of the Ultra Fiber Club. 3oz of Baby Camel/Silk.