farewell, november

you kicked my ass. i'm not saying that i didn't deserve it but really, you kicked my ass. 3 shows. lots of etsy sales. and oh yeah, i wrote a book.

i set out to do a thing and i got it done. i looked my 15% crippling self doubt in the eye and told it to go to hell. and it was fun. sort of.

here's what i learned (or was reminded of) this month:

writing is exhausting. i actually fell asleep in the middle of the day, in the middle of typing a sentence more than once. every day when i finished writing, i wanted to nap. and that was without being to precious about word choice. nanowrimo is about getting the words out, not really using your back space key and just writing the thing. that's what i did. 

writing while i'm tipsy is unwise. it might work for some people but not for me. i only did it twice and i regretted it both times. those chapters are going to need some extra editing TLC. 

no matter how prepared i thought i was, how well i thought i had the story plotted out in my head, there were some stumbling block. the "men plan, god laughs" rule applies to writing too, i guess. 

writing violence is well, violent. it invaded my dreams; it caused me grief. writing violence is not to be taken lightly. so obvious yet it sucker punched me. 

i couldn't have done it without running. stupid running. 

writing every single day is important. i had to break for our trip to seattle and when we returned i had trouble finding my groove again.

writer's block can suck it.

i can be a time management wizard. those balls all stayed up in the air. i managed to cook, clean, make lots of things and do three shows without sending anyone the wrong order. or crying. 

i have awesome friends. i knew that already but the number of supportive texts, tweets, emails and postcards i received was incredible. thank you all.

my husband rocks. hard. 

50,000 words in a month? totally doable. 

the next couple weeks will be all about holiday shows and our etsy shops. i'll sit down and read the book in the next couple of weeks and begin the editing process. for now, i need some breathing room. i need to sleep without dreaming about my characters and the peril i've placed them in. i need to not worry about word counts and timing my day perfectly in order to meet them. i need to make things and ship orders and READ. i've barely read in the last month and i miss it. i miss writing here, too. i hope to return to my regularly scheduled blog this week. 

so, how was your november?

Posted in:
  |   permalink   |   0 comment(s)

music monday

Posted in:
  |   permalink   |   0 comment(s)

back at shampton industries

etsy's been busy for both cookoorikoo and pixelparty. we've had a few good shows. i've been making things with reckless abandon. new things to keep the shops stocked and fresh looking as well as backstock for crafty wonderland. my days start early and end late, sometimes long after even shawn and monkey have gone to bed. i'm tired all the time. i figure i'll catch up on my sleep next week, once crafty wonderland is over. 

but i'm also really happy. i'm shocked that i can string a sentence together after writing an entire book during the beginning of the busy holiday season. anyway, i'm pleasantly surprised that, after november's mental exhaustion, i keep waking up with ideas - for things to make and for the book. (although those are just getting written in a notebook for now. editing comes after sleep.)

so, here's a few of the new things i've made this week:

wristwarmers! i've been making these since my first cookoorikoo holiday season. some seasons they sell like crazy, sometimes they don't - there's no predicting. so, i made a small number of pairs this year in some great stripes and extra cozy cashmeres!

i have a few pairs of vintage sweater clips. also, i am always looking at the things i love and wondering if they could be made out of yoyos. so, i've wanted to try and make yoyo sweater clips forever.  i finally got around to it earlier this year and had a friend beta-test them for me. she loved them! yay! made a bunch and they sat int the shop, unloved. boo! but wouldn't you know it? they've started to sell this holiday season! yay again! so, i made a few more pairs. (these are my favorite!)

natalie suggested i make earwarmers toward the end of last winter. i think at the time i didn't want to encourage winter to linger so i put a note on my bulletin board for this year. last saturday was the day. i made over a dozen and ended up keeping one like the one pictured here for myself. they're all made with felted cashmere and are amazingly soft and warm. if you're like me, you won't want to take them off!

there's also a bunch of really fun new stuff in the pixelparty shop. a giant nintendo controller for your wall, some fun new jewelry and something rad for all you happy mac lovers is coming soon.

cookoorikoo is about to hit two big milestones on etsy: 3000 sales and my six year etsyversary. i'm pretty excited about both. my fingers and toes are crossed that i can hit 3000 this year. that would be a nice high note to end the year on. although really, 2012 has been pretty great for me. reaching 3000 would just be bonus points, along with kateri moving to portland in a few weeks. 

and if you're in portland this weekend, come say hi! 

Posted in:
  |   permalink   |   0 comment(s)

the fault in our stars

in 2002, we went to the anne frank house in amsterdam. it was heavy, as you'd expect. i climbed tiny staircase after tiny staircase and i felt like i'd be crushed by the weight of what i was feeling, or maybe i was just hopelessly out of shape. either way, i was having feelings and they were pouring out of my eyes, like feelings are sometimes prone to do. i cried silently as we moved from room to room and each time shawn looked at me, he held my hand just a bit tighter. at the end of the museum, there is a room with hundred of copies of anne frank on display, in every imaginable language and there was a quote on the wall that pushed me right over the edge. it was something about diary of a young girl being the most optimistic story of all humanity. i think it was octavio paz. i was too shaken to have the presence of mind to write it down. also, people were staring. i was sobbing, audibly and uncontrollably.  so many feelings - and not all of them bad. i believe those hours spent at the anne frank house changed me, the same way reading it did when i was much younger. i wanted to be better, to do better. 

on sunday, i started to read the fault in our stars by john green. i knew when i picked it up from the library that it was going to be a heartbreaker. i mean, come on, a young adult novel about teenagers with cancer. "cancer books suck." - it says so on page 48 of this cancer book. for a good time read ANYTHING ELSE, right? but no, that wasn't the case at all. this book was a fantastic time. i laughed, a lot. but i'm not going to lie - i also cried a lot.

there were so many great sentences in this book, like this one (which describes pretty much everyone i know): "You are so busy being you that you have no idea how utterly unprecented you are."  or this one: "Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together again unless and until all living humans read the book."

its gotten under my skin in the best possible way. it reminded me i want to be better; DO BETTER.

i keep thinking about the book, about our trip to the anne frank house and about the Mary Oliver poem, The Summer Day:

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

  |   permalink   |   0 comment(s)

2012 is dead, long live 2012

1. kateri's

so, that happened and i've wanted to write about it since i mailed the last one out. by that time, it had become clear that "everything," however positive my intentions meant EVERYTHING. there were deaths and illness, setbacks and a few broken hearts. but there were also engagements, births, weddings, new love, new jobs... one thing is certain - it was a big, weird year for just about everyone i know. it just all seemed so complicated and whenever i sat down to write i got stuck.

2. kerry's

for us shamptons,  2012 has been awesome. shawn's in two bands - the harvey girls and lovebomb gogo. i don't think he could be happier (or busier.) i wrote a book and have plans to write at least two more. that's in addition to working a ton, going on some adventures, and facing a few road blocks. last week, i was on the phone with a friend i hadn't talked to in a few months. we were catching up. she told me that hearing about my year was exhausting, in the best possible way. i understood. i can't really wrap my head around my 2012 entirely.

 3. diane's

i decided the year was ending and i had to finally write this post but that i didn't need to overthink it to much. i decided saying, "so that happened,"  was kind of enough. i don't need to wax on. there isn't time. 2013 starts soon.

this one was made to replace one that got lost in the mail. i added the "and beyond" because it was mailed in the late summer. 

i started planning for 2013 in august. i, of course, did not start embroidering until this week. i am not too worried. i'm only making 12 this year. well, 13. would you believe of the 63 i made that year that i didn't keep on for myself last year? of course you would. SIXTY THREE. my original limit was 20, then 25, then 50. so anyway, 12 of these will arrive in mailboxes in the next couple of week.


like last year, you can make your own. the pattern is here as well as some pictures of last year's in their new homes. i'll be adding pictures to the set throughout the year and would love to add yours if you end up making one!

happy 2013, ya'll. its your lucky year!

  |   permalink   |   1 comment(s)

year in review

Theme of this year: YES

Best Month of the Year: November

Best Day of the Year: November 30

Worst Day/Time of the Year: April

Favorite Person of the Year: Shawn. Always.

Favorite Moment of the Year: Picking Kateri up from the airport. Finishing the book.

Favorite Movie: Moonrise Kingdom. or Cabin in the Woods. 

Live Show of the Year: Rebirth Brass Band's grammy homecoming show at the Maple Leaf Inn. And that time Shawn's band opened for Rebirth.

Best Thing I Bought: Running Shoes

Favorite Trip: The Redwoods in May

Book of the Year: The Element of Lavishness by Sylvia Townsend Warner and William Maxwell

Project of the Year: Writing a novel for Nanowrimo

TV of the Year: Treme

Dessert of the Year: Momofuku Milk Bar Birthday Cake

My Resolution(s) for 2013: Be better. Do better.

  |   permalink   |   0 comment(s)