pen at work…


Over the past decade this blog has seen my writing wax and wane, changed homes, changed formats, and changed names. I’m trying to carve more time to write into my day and I know public accountability and awareness will go far in helping me focus on that time. In that time I’ve expanded beyond this space and you can find my scribbles in a few other places now.

Over at PennyWise Consulting, LLC, I focus on the technology my clients use. That shifts a little as my clients change, but at the moment there’s quite a bit of WordPress. I am starting to write more about the process of how I work and all the tools and tips I use. Monthly I write for The Patterned Blog, where I offer tech advice for creative types in a series called Ask Penny.

little acorn creations now sees more of the making posts that used to appear here. Right now I’m in the middle of writing about resources for knit, crochet, spinning, and even more making. In the future I plan to show how to incorporate more making into your life with simple steps.

Both businesses have monthly email newsletters, in theory. A year ago I cut back drastically on what I subscribed to and felt too much guilt to actually send mine out and add to your overfull inbox. So I’ve not sent a newsletter for either business in about a year. Oops. Bad business-owner! I recently came to my senses and know that if you don’t want it in your email you’ll either not subscribe in the first place or unsubscribe when you get the next one and that’s ok. If you would like to see what they’re about, you can sign up at the following links for PennyWise Consulting and/or little acorn creations. I plan to release this month’s soon (the month is half over). As an additional incentive for little acorn creations, there will be discount coupons to items in my shop.

In this space I’ll continue to write weekly about the things that catch my interest. I have piles of books to review, more recipes to write up and comment on, some NYC metro area hikes to summarize, notebooks and other stationary to discover, and more. Don’t worry, I’ll continue to post cat photos, Buddy’s been super cute this week.

Please let me know, what would you like to read?

mid-year musings

Wow, it’s July already? I’m thankful the snow is gone, but I’ll now complain about the humidity and poison ivy1. Today I’ll provide a brief overview of where things stand for various year-long pursuits. Over the next few weeks I’ll look deeper into each project.

My participation in the #yearofmaking project is going strong and I’m trying hard to show a variety of making though I often fail in that regard. It’s been good to take a moment to think about all that I make throughout the day. Even if it’s just another row on a knitting project. I’m not doing that great with adding to the flickr album (they keep changing the interface) so I suggest following my instagram account.

2014-07-03-ROOTprogressI’m not doing as well as I’d hoped with my ROOT reading, even though I’ve purchased quite a few books since January! I’ve read only 42 books so far this year, and of those 42 only 17 are ROOT books, though there were also 11 rereads that don’t count with the 42 completed to-date. There are several upcoming library sales this summer, so I might toe the line as to qualifying ROOT titles. I owe a large pile of book reviews and am working on catching up.

2014-06-30-weeklyplanningHow is the planner system holding up? Overall it’s doing well, though I’m already thinking ahead to 2015 as the flex line was discontinued. I’m researching A5 planner books and have a few ideas though.

Do you have a favourite? Please let me know.

I’ve been posting a few of my morning planning sessions under the tag #dailyplanning and the weekly review and inbox zero as, surprise #weeklyreview. We’ll see where these two tags lead…

1. It’s back. On my hands, between my fingers, and… on my face. :(

^return to top

thank you kathreen

PG enjoys her chaiI have no idea how to write words of remembrance for a woman I never met, never spoke to, never directly interacted with, who lived half-a-world away, and whose life (and her husband’s) was tragically cut short.

I knew I wanted to say thank you in some way (beyond contributing for her children), but I didn’t know if my writing anything would be meaningful. I was thankful when Ann and Kay wrote up their idea, this past weekend (coincidently Memorial Day here in the US) would be one of posts celebrating Kathreen and her far reaching influence and inspiration. I’m a bit late in posting this, but I’ve struggled to find a few words. I don’t think these are the right words, but they’ll have to do.

Despite all these nevers and the distance, Kathreen inspired me. Through her website, Whip Up I learned the power of actions, the beauty of dreams, and the importance of sharing knowledge. I can’t recall when I first found her site, but I know I’ve read it for years I would look forward to seeing a new post pop up in my feed reader and I was following the adventures of their road trip with interest. I would save Kathreen’s posts for those times I could savour the words (perhaps this is why). Since learning of Kathreen and Rob’s death, I’ve spent hours and days browsing and following links from here to there and back again. I cannot find one post that speaks loudest to me over any other, even though I’ve linked to a few here that caused me to stop and think. They are all Kathreen. My notebooks are stuffed with new scribbles of ideas and a reminder to slow down.

I can think of no other words but these:

Thank you Kathreen.

see also: Ann’s tribute, Kay’s tribute, Gale’s tribute, Kristen’s beautiful words, and this roundup of posts.

the blank page

While I succeeded in cranking out quite a few words both here and elsewhere last month, I’m staring at the blank page today wondering what to write. I’m using this post as my scribble trick* to get past the vast white page.

While I’m working on writing up book reviews and additional posts about (primarily) knitting and cooking, I’m not sure what else to write about.

My most popular posts for the past few weeks are my reviews on Tom Bihn bags (i have a new bag, are you surprised?, One Year Together, and A Tale of Two Swifts).

Followed closely by of cables and crochet, and sadly there actually isn’t anything useful on that post! So I’m also slowly working on a post about crochet cables.

We haven’t traveled much since purchasing our house. I didn’t get a chance to garden much this summer as caring for family took priority. (mum’s surgeon gave her a very glowing checkup report yesterday!)

Is there something you are curious about? Is there a topic I used to write about on this site and no longer do and you miss it?

Did you know that if you listen to Just the Books podcast (current read: Jane Eyre), you could hear my voice as I offer a Two Minute Tech Tip each week? Do you have a tech question you’d like answered? If so, please feel free to contact me and ask. I can’t promise I’ll answer every question on the podcast, but if there is enough interest, who knows, now that I’m slightly more comfortable behind a microphone, maybe it’ll spin off on its own.

* scribble trick: When I get a new notebook I open it to a random page, turn the notebook upside down and at the inside part of the page I make a small scribble. Then the new notebook isn’t perfect and I’m no longer scared to use it wrong.

tools for life

Thank you daddy.

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I wish I could tell you in person. There is so much I could wish but there is no need to dwell on what if’s, or to wallow in sadness. Over the past twenty years that are both too long and so sudden I’ve found time and again that the tools and skills you gave me for life are innumerable, highly varied, and priceless. I miss you every day. May your memory be a blessing and one day I be an honour to you and mommy. I love you.

May my friends who have recently lost a parent know they are not alone. It isn’t easy. It isn’t fair. I have no words of wisdom but offer my shoulder and ear. This is one club I really wish you didn’t join.