Number 58

Winter (ing)

I BLINKED MY EYES and January was over.
I did not expect this.
January is meant to be slow. Extended. Easily considered, I believe. Long books and popping fires and steaming cups of tea. Quilts and crafts and cooking. Soups and stews that spend the day in a simmer, then at your leisure so casually spoon-fill right into that perfect, wide-mouthed mug that spends its summers tucked in the back shadows of the coffee-cup cabinet. It asks so little, soup does; a dunk of a chunk of crusty bread, if you want, or a crumble of that most unassuming of crackers, the crispy saltine. Fill it to the brim! Then take your soup-dinner by the handle and move to the den. Do it! Enjoy the warming goodness from the comfort of your sofa. Sit cross-legged and watch (for the 32nd time) that Gilmore Girls episode where Lorelei smells snow and then what-do-you-know, here comes the Stars Hollow Winter Carnival. January is meant to be cozy and warm, all bare trees and soft pillows and candles that smell of pine. Conversations that meander.

Instead for me January felt a footrace, and I was the one at the back of the pack. Too much To-Do, not enough month, the sacrificing of so many of the introvert loves I treasure most: Reading. Yoga. Quiet.
Still do not fear! February is here! And with this new month comes another chance for a girl to Winter. We're back in the mountains where quite frankly wintering is for all practical purposes required. Mornings are frigid, so Tim and Stella hike up the frozen steps to the frigid studio where they build me a blazing fire that renders the place magical. I'm there this very moment writing this very newsletter, and there I'll stay most all week—the edit of manuscript #2 awaits, and I'm so close to the end! Plus I plan some time to paint, to play, to dream.
Speaking of which, Studio CRM on Etsy is bustling, thanks to the support of so many of you dear friends and family! I've just added a handful of Love Birds to the shop, sweet duos that are perfect for Valentine's or engagements or anniversaries! There's a good selection of quirky bird trios, some singles, and a slew of the sweet tabletop minis. There's a big promotion from Etsy right now that includes a fabulous commercial during the Super Bowl—it will be so fun to watch for it!—and with Etsy's encouragement I've marked everything 20% off through February 14th.
take me to this listing on Etsy
take me to this listing on Etsy!
One last thing about the studio, if I may. I hope to once again participate in #the100dayproject global art project this year during which I'll paint a small watercolor every day for 100 days. Rather than keeping these creations as a personal collection, which is what I've done the last two years, I'm thinking this year I'll offer them via Etsy. I've gotten a number of requests to do this and I'm excited about the possibility. The project begins February 18th, and here in the next day or two I'll send you a note with all the details of how you can participate in the challenge with your own creative project. Do join me; it's so much fun!
Ahhhhh, February, you lovely month. You month for love. I'm so happy you've come and opened your arms to beckon us in with space and time and quiet. None of the three will I squander, that's my promise, and this time it's a vow I've made to me.

Ahhh, February. ❤️❤️❤️
Kendra Gets Personal, with Kelly Corrigan
I know Kelly Corrigan. I've read two of her books and a couple of friends, bless them, have told me she reminds them of me. (yes please please please.) SO WHY HAVE I NOT LISTENED TO HER PODCAST, Kelly Corrigan Wonders? I cannot say. But I do listen to The Lazy Genius podcast so when Kendra-the-lazy-genius "got personal" on an episode with Kelly Corrigan, I listened. And I was smitten. And amazed. Among other things, I got the best parenting advice I've ever heard from Kelly via this episode and it's just a shame it came about 30 years too late. Listen to this episode, then dive hard into Kelly Corrigan Wonders. I am.
Life Worth Living, by Miroslav Volf (and others)
Speaking of. I heard Kelly Corrigan talk about this book on her podcast but didn't realize she narrates the audio version. Based on a very popular undergraduate class at Yale, the authors—who are the professors who teach it—call on the great thinkers, philosophers, world religions and more to help raise and answer the big questions, all the while pointing out these must be considered and decided on an individual basis. So much to consider, I found it both illuminating, challenging, and a very worthy read. Also, Kelly's easy-going delivery makes it far more accessible than one might think, given the attempt to tackle The Big Questions.
via Bookshop
via Amazon

Game Day Beer Chili, from How Sweet Eats
Can you have too many recipes for chili? The answer is no. The answer is particularly no when you come across one that is worth the extra effort it calls for. Give this one a try—I mean it is Super Bowl week! You won't be disappointed, I promise.
recently on THE DAILY GRACE

What Worked for Me in 2023

I think it's such a valuable practice to look back over the last year to determine not just what you want to change, but what you did that actually worked! Here's my list for 2023.

Don't think the garden

loses its ecstasy in winter.

It's quiet, but the roots down there are riotous.


(and thanks, Meg!)
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