In Kinship - A podcast for makers
who crave a vibrant life on their own terms

Show Notes

#17 - what a NY Times best seller does when she's drawing a blank, literally

(want the transcripts? scroll to the bottom of the page)

Once upon a time, a tired and worried mama and her young boy ducked into a bookstore for both a bit of shelter from the storm and for the love of books.  While the wee fella fawns over books about fierce dinosaurs and strapping knights with swords, the mama spied a magical book that drew her from across the room. 

That book was Eliza Wheeler’s children’s book Home in the Woods, a story about her own grandma, a story so deeply rooted in her family history that her siblings and cousins acted it out in the woods of their land and a story that in the telling would, unbeknownst to her, inspire this mama to remember that she is indeed capable. 

I’m honored to have Eliza join me on this episode and shares the long and winding path that brought that story from her childhood play to that mesmerizing book cover that drew me across the room on a cold day in November. 

In our show, she tells of how, finally, she had to let go and allow herself to produce next to nothing in a 4 week prestigious fellowship, as the story brewed inside of her.  And you’ll cheer alongside me when it finally burst forth.  And she shares what it is to write a children’s book that includes hard topics like death and homelessness and have it speak safely to children in a way that builds empathy and understanding of the world. 

Her intention is palpable in this book and it’s a joy to hear about that process. 

Have a listen!

Mentioned in the podcast

that gorgeous video about the making of the book

her website

Her newsletter Creativi-Tea

Her books

Eliza Wheeler is an illustrator and author of books for children. Her first picture book, ‘Miss Maple’s Seeds’ was a New York Times best seller, and her newest book ‘Home In The Woods’ is based on the true story of her grandmother’s childhood experience of living in a tar-paper shack in the woods with seven siblings and their single mom. She has illustrated for numerous books, including the Newbery Honor book ‘Doll Bones’ by Holly Black, and the picture books by Pat Zietlow Miller; ‘When I’m With You, ‘When You Are Brave’, and ‘Wherever You Go’. Eliza was also a recipient of the prestigious Sendak Fellowship in 2017. She grew up in northern Wisconsin, spent 10 years in Los Angeles, and now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Hey!  Do you know of someone who would make a great guest on the show?  (maybe you?)
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Why Knot Fibers is a small hand-dyed yarn company out of Traverse City, Michigan  

Kat Eldred is the founder and dyer behind Why Knot Fibers, a small hand-dyed yarn company specializing in rich nature inspired tonal colors, as well as farm-to-needle yarns and fibers. She began crocheting and knitting at at an early age, though she took a break in her teens before returning to yarn crafts in college.

Kat has also been a musician most of her life, making music with friends and family and songwriting since age 12.

Kat began dyeing after she took up spinning in her twenties and couldn’t find “just” the right colorway she wanted: Enter powdered turmeric and some alpaca roving, and the rest is the colors you see now see from WKF.

Nearly a decade later, she is still playing with color, creating color, making music, spinning, and knitting in Traverse City, Michigan with her husband, Steve and their teens, Liam & Sadie (as well as 2 dogs and 3 cats – much to their annoyance, are NOT allowed in the studio).

The business name came from a phrase that Kat says quite often “Sure! Why not?”

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Eliza Wheeler

Oh friends. I know, I know, I know I say this every time, but have I got a show for you! 

So today. I am going to share with you my conversation with New York times bestselling author and illustrator, Eliza Wheeler. 

Eliza wrote and illustrated a children’s picture book called home in the woods. And this story, this book was so inspirational to me. Not only in a very personal story of helping me to see. That if this person could do this thing, then by golly, I could do the thing that I needed to do as well. But also in the intention and the effort that went into this project. 

Eliza shares with us in this podcast, her process for creating the story. How its the story from her childhood, it’s a story of her grandmother’s early childhood years in the great depression. And she shares what it is to tell a story that has death. And homelessness. And hope all wrapped up into one. 

And how she married the illustration and the words on the page. To create this story that is safe and beautiful for a child. 

And I’ll tell you completely inspirational. For a 40 year old woman as well. 

I have been excited to talk to Eliza for quite some time. Not only did she write this book that I saw on the shelf one day that inspired me to take the actions I needed to take. But she also has a way of working. And creating that is so in alignment with what I’m trying to do here in the podcast. 

She has a way of working with her own energy in her own abilities. To create satisfaction on her work to create progress in her work, to allow for creativity to flow and not be so rigid and grabby. And still more or less meet her deadlines, right? I cannot wait for you to meet Eliza. 

Obviously I’m super impressed with the ways that she touched my life personally, because she has simply by putting her heart and energy. out into the world. But she’s also an illustrator author of, as I mentioned, home in the woods and the New York times bestselling picture book, Miss maples seeds. 

She’s recipient of the Sendak fellowship award and has illustrated numerous books for children, including the Newberry honor book. Doll bones. By Holly black, when I’m with you or wherever you go by pat Z lo Miller. And John Ronald’s dragons stories of J R token by Caroline McAlister. 

She grew up in the Northwest of Wisconsin and she now lives with her husband in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

 So without further ado. Let’s get onto the show. 

You are listening to the In Kinship podcast, a podcast for makers, makers who crave a vibrant life on their own terms. And I’m your host, Tina VanDenburg 

before we begin. A quick word from our sponsor. 

Today’s sponsor is Why Knot Fibers? Why Knot’ fibers is a small hand dyed yarn company at a traverse city, Michigan. Kat Eldred is a founder and dyer behind why not fibers. And she specializes in rich nature, inspired tonal colors, as well as farm to needle yarns and fibers. 

You can see the beauty that she creates. W H Y K N O T F I B E R 

Tina: Eliza, welcome to the show.

Eliza: Thank you so much. I’m so excited to be on the podcast.

Tina: I’m so glad to have you here and to talk to you, about your creative process and specifically about a book that you have.

Eliza: Sounds great. 

Tina: So It’s 2019 and I am in a bookstore with my little boy and he must have been three or so at the time and I should back up. I can’t tell a story. without Spinning in circles. 

Eliza: Totally. Me too.

Tina: So ironically I owned a bookstore in my twenties, but I don’t purchase very many brand new books.

This is important because like this book grabbed me and wouldn’t let me go. And so I don’t purchase all that many brand new books. We use the library a lot and we buy a lot of used books, but, um, partly it’s because I don’t like a lot of excess things in my life. So it actually kinda stresses me out to have too many things, whatever that definition is for me.

Right. So we rarely buy at new books, but we’re in the bookstore cuz I love bookstores and I love books and I’m so excited to be there. And he’s looking at, I don’t know, whatever books he’s looking at and I look over on the shelf and it’s, there’s this book Home in the Woods by Eliza Wheeler and it’s facing outward as a display.

And I’m so struck by the illustrations that I immediately like walk across the room to pick it up and I start to read it and it’s just beautiful. Like, I love your illustrations. I love. I love the colors you use. I love the movement that your illustrations have in them. I love the, at least this book has like sort of a vintage simplicity sort of to it, if you will.

And so I’m, I read through it and I absolutely adore it and I buy it. My little boy, he doesn’t want to buy this book. He is not interested in this book. Not necessarily, and I hate to tell you that, 

Eliza: No, I get it.

Tina: he learns to love it. But he, at the time he wanted like dinosaurs or something. Right.

Like something very aggressive and

Eliza: Yes. Flashy.

Tina: Yeah. Right. So he did not want this book, but I’m like, we’re getting this book. And I, I got this book for him. Right. But I actually bought it for me because I, at the time was in a marriage that was failing. And it was a time in our marriage where things were really volatile and life was really hard. And I had been a stay-at-home mom for the three years prior, and there’s something about becoming a stay-at-home mom that I, I never knew was going to be there. I went from being this person who worked my way through life in the traditional ways, had income, had freedom, had the ability to make choices to being a person who is dependent upon somebody else for the income in the family.

And I love my role as a stay at home mom. And I also had a burgeoning new business. So like I was just starting that process, but I wasn’t in a place where I had financial freedom to make choices solo. And it was at a point where it was really evident that the marriage was not going to work.

 For the first time in my life and I have lived my life as somebody who’s like, I can do whatever I need to do to survive. I’m totally good. I can do it myself. I can earn whatever money I have to earn if I have to work whatever job I need to work, I can do that.

But as a mom, I had this very strong desire to take care of my child in a way, and also to be able to be present for my little boy and added this whole other level of like, can I take care of myself and my son if I leave this marriage? And so your book Home in the Woods, and then we’re gonna talk about this more here in a minute, but is about your grandmother’s story as a six-year-old and her mother and father get evicted from their home during the Great Depression. Please correct me if I’m wrong on any of this, they get evicted from their home. They have eight children, and before they can fully move into the house, the father dies.

And so the mother takes her eight children ranging from three months old to I think 14 or something 15, and they move into this tiny shack in the woods. And it’s so beautifully written and so beautifully illustrated. And I was so touched by the entire story that I thought to myself, well, for goodness sake, if this woman can do that with eight children in a shack in the woods, I can do this too, and I never expected to find such inspiration in a children’s book, but your book touched my life so beautifully, and it’s one of my favorite 

books of all time. So I had to have you on the podcast.

Eliza: Wow. I’m like chills and kind of tearing up. Um, yeah. That’s amazing. I think, oh, first of all, you know, sharing your story, I think like that’s a very relatable place that many people find themselves in, for one thing. And it’s just so, it’s so cool to hear that this unintended, um, strength maybe from my part in just capturing this family story, that this kind of ripple effect that I don’t see or hear about unless people tell me.

And, and it’s so great to hear from people and I. I’ll just have an email drop in that’ll say, oh, your book this is what it did for my kid and this is what it did for me. And, you know, hearing from you is so lovely to just know that, and I think that’s awesome and, and that, that’s a thought.

I know I have a lot. I know my dad has that thought. A lot of like, okay, if my great grandma Clara, his grandma, if she could do that, we can hand, you know, we can do stuff here. The other challenges, Not to minimize anything.

Tina: Right. And it, I am so struck as a maker in my own right or just a human, actually. Just a human. I’m so struck by how we can influence somebody else by simply sharing our creativity and our joy. Cuz you are sharing your grandmother’s story, but you shared it through your lens and through your artistry and through your creativity in your heart.

And it shows like, it just shines with that. And you were brave enough to do that. And you have a video on your website that I absolutely adore, so hopefully we can talk about that later too, about the making of that. Cuz I just think that’s just magic. But you have a video about the making of the book and I just think we don’t have any idea who or how we’re going to touch someone, but we do.

And you very clearly gave me, like I have the book right here and it’s all worn at the edges. And yes, my little boy and I have read it several times, but really is because it’s been in my bookshelf. He doesn’t even get to have it in his bookshelf cuz I’m like, oh no, it’s, first of all he hates dust jackets.

And I’m like, don’t touch that dust jacket. Right,

Eliza: If you’ve watched Antiques Road Show, you know that the dust jacket is like the most valuable part of the book.

Tina: Exactly. Exactly. And I think it’s amazing how we as humans can touch another human and we don’t even know that that’s what’s gonna happen.

Eliza: Yeah. Oh, I love that. Oh, thank you so much. Thank you for sharing that. It’s, it’s amazing. I, I just love hearing that.

Tina: So you are, from what I can gather, you are an artist, an illustrator, and an author who has inspired you on your path in creativity and making, and maybe share a bit about that journey, if you would.

Eliza: Yeah, absolutely. I’ve thought about this a lot. And it’s interesting. I think my answer, I’m like, this feels really self-centered the way I’m gonna answer it. But I, I think it won’t be ultimately, um, for, like the first person who influences me is my four year old self.

Like she four year old Eliza is my muse. She’s who I make for, um, so you get this

Tina: I do. This is not self-centered.

Eliza: I had a really amazing childhood and amazing family, amazing parents and, um, great brothers. And we live next door to my grandparent, my grandma Marvel, who is Marvel in the book.

So the six year old in my book is the grandma that I grew up right next door to. And they, my grandma Marvel and Grandpa Ray ran uh, a little home business. It was a campground and cabins.

Tina: Oh,

Eliza: And so, This is in northern Wisconsin, and my brothers and my cousins and I just had like miles upon miles of free roaming space, like literally, because we also lived in a tiny town.

So just, you know, you’re on your bikes, you’re on the railroad tracks, you’re in the meadows and Streams and woods. Um, so that was, the kind of childhood environment that I grew up in. Um, and so nature and the seasons is a really big part of, I, I can’t separate myself from those themes in my work.

I think those will be my lifelong themes. But then, like me as a kid, I was, you know, kind of the sensitive artistic type. I ran around in the gaggle of, of cousins, but I was also probably the most happy just playing alone by myself in my room. And I loved. Story time. I wasn’t a reader at all when I was little, but I loved picture books.

I, I was a visual kid, you know, so cartoons, movies, picture books, any visual world, I could really, um, just insert myself into those worlds and like roam around them in my imagination, you know? So replaying all of that stuff in my room when I was little. I still have really vivid memories of how I experienced story worlds, and so that is like what I draw so much of my work on today because I illustrate children’s books. You know, that’s my job is like really trying to conjure up that four year old experience of. Being in a story world.

Um, and another thing I was gonna mention about that, so talking about influences, my grandma Marvel, who lived next door would, read us picture books and the way that she read picture books, you could just tell she delighted in them. And so there was something special about reading them with her.

And in addition to her reading books to us, she would tell us the story of her childhood. Um, being a six years old and having to live in the middle of the woods and her dad dying. And essentially they squatted for five years in this shack in the woods. Didn’t know who owned it. It was, it was actually land that a farming family had lost, cuz this is the Great Depression, so they lost their land. So it was just kind of state owned land and this was an abandoned, tar paper shack in the woods. So those stories, like we reimagined those stories, her stories in our play time. I feel like all of that childhood experience really fuels so much of my work today.

Tina: I could see that. I’m sure this comes with positives and negatives, right? But my childhood. I had a lot of exploration time, I had a lot of ability, I had a lot of autonomy. I had a lot of ability to move around on my bike and to do things. And so I can completely relate to that and it can relate to the seasonal aspect of it, but we didn’t live near any other family.

And so when you are telling that story, I’m thinking about how rooting that would be to not only live next to your grandma and your grandpa, but to have this strong history type story of your family go through so much so that you are, you playact it with your cousins and your brothers.

That just feels so beautiful to me and I feel like, what a gift.

Eliza: Yeah. Yeah. And you don’t know until you grow up and really get exposed to the variety of challenges in people’s childhoods and, you know, learning about those, it just always increases my appreciation for, the setup we had there.

Tina: And I can imagine too, just to be fair about this, so I look at this sort of idyllically because I didn’t have that kind of a strong thread throughout my childhood, but I would imagine like the, the light and sort of the shadow to that is that it could also probably be sort of limiting in that this is your family story and it’s hard to get away from that.

I’m not saying that’s the case in your story particularly, but I’m saying like a strong family story could probably, I. Be a two-edged sword in some way as well. Like anything in life, right?

Eliza: Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. 

Tina: I love that four year old Eliza is your inspiration and I love that you can channel that energy.

I think that’s amazing. So have you always loved to draw?

Eliza: I have always loved to draw. As far as my memory goes back, I was drawing and coloring, I mean, color crayons. Right. Um, yeah, for sure. 

Tina: I always find it really fascinating, and this is one of the reasons that I absolutely adore the video that you made for your website that shows the process and the making of the book Home in the Woods. I’m one of those people that loves to like, feel with my heart, think of my brain and then figure out like how to match the two, right?

So to actually see your process is really, um, God, it’s just magic to see that. Would you share with us the process that you went through And also like if you would, while you’re talking about this, if you think about this as you go, I would love to know like logistically how you filmed that video as you were making the pro the book.

Like that’s mind boggling to me.

Eliza: yes, yes,

Tina: with us?

Eliza: totally. Yes. So a privilege that I have is that I’m married. to a person who is a talented filmmaker and designer, so he’s an artist and designer, and so he has all the equipment and he’s the one behind, that video.

And I think, maybe first I’ll go back and talk about the story behind making the book, because the video is this lovely. Like, you get to see what happened once I got there, you know?

Um, so l remind me to go back to that video.

Tina: Okay. We’re buckled in. We’re ready.

Eliza: yes, yes. So that story, um, behind making the book of my grandma’s childhood, I mean, First of all, it never occurred to me that I would make that book.

It didn’t feel like, you know, it didn’t. The interesting thing about hearing your response to the book is that my original thought was, this is just a story for my family. And it’s too personal. There’s nothing in it for the wider world. Right. Um, and so that’s, that’s interesting. An interesting piece.

And I think what was great was that, I had published my first book, miss Maples Seeds with, um, editor Nancy Paulson at Penguin Books, and she’s just one of those really wise women who can like, She can pick out stories. She knows how to draw out stories from people. After Miss maple Seeds came out, she and I were having a phone conversation and she was asking about more book ideas that I had, and I was kind of pitching her different little book ideas. And I, I don’t know, it was a totally spur of the moment thing where I said, well, you know, there’s also this family story that I’ve, I’ve thought about, you know, just making a little book maybe for my family that captures this story. And she wanted to hear more. And I told her about my grandma’s childhood.

 And she was just like, that’s it, that’s the story you have to tell. And I’m kinda like, really? I don’t know. Because how do you start out a picture book that’s for say maybe four to six year old-ish, four to seven, you know, you can go older, obviously ageless.

Tina: 45, whatever.

Eliza: Yep, yep. But the first audience has to be those, those young kids.

Tina: Right,

Eliza: And how do you start a story with the death of the father and a family becoming homeless? Like those are some heavy themes that we don’t usually start out children’s picture books, you know, in, in general. Um, and so, but I, I started to try to write it and it, like, it took me seven years. I’m just gonna say, like, before I tell this story, took me seven years to get this book written and figured out and made.

Tina: It does not surprise me that it took seven years, and it’s part of why I wanted to talk to you from a maker perspective because it is completely evident when you read this book that a lot of care and attention went to it, and I think that you completely mastered the ability to capture that really tough story in this really beautiful way. That doesn’t feel like heaviness per se.

It feels like sadness, but like I think it’s important that children, this is real life. And this happens to all different kinds of people in all different kinds of ways. And I think it’s so important to me to expose my son to those kind of real life experiences in a way that is at his level. And you have nailed it with this book.

Eliza: And safe for him, right? It’s like he goes to be gently exposed to, um, a struggle, 

but he’s on your lap, he is hearing your voice. Children’s books are so amazing because they start to build empathy for people and people’s situations, but in a way that’s safe for the reader, you know?

Um, and so, yeah. I’m so glad. An important thing to know is that that did not happen easily or quickly and it didn’t go in a straight line, you know, like it didn’t flow out of me that way. Um, and when I started writing it, the writing was just terrible, honestly. Like, I couldn’t find the voice of the book.

And I had been at it for several years, kind of stopping, starting putting it on the shelf, taking it back down. And, you know, meanwhile I was working a really full schedule illustrating picture book contracts for other publishers, other authors. So it was kind of like the side project that I would try to get time into but the combination of being so swamped with work and then so stuck on it was like a really difficult combination, you know? But when you’re working with projects that happen over a long period of time or a story that you’re trying to capture, you’re always just writing down these little notes of like, oh, I could do, try this and try that.

And I tried so many things that were just, you know, failed ideas. Um, and so a story behind. My maker’s journey, um, is I have very much the way I worked before and then there was a turning point and then ever since then I have worked in a, a more organic way. And so just to like tease out this a little bit.

When I was working on all those picture book contracts, it’s doing art for deadline and under contract is a whole other beast from, just like doing it for your love and passion and both are wonderful, but come with challenges, right? Um, and so I was working just this really packed schedule.

I had several books overlapping and out of the blue I get this and to go back with the place I was at with home in the woods was I don’t know if this is gonna work. Like I was really contemplating just shelving it and quitting. Like, it can’t be done this story can’t be told in this format.

Tina: Right.

Eliza: Um, I don’t know how to start this book in a way that works and I don’t know how to find this book’s voice. Um, and so out of the blue I get this email and it’s this amazing opportunity that I was nominated for, it’s called the Sendak Fellowship Retreat. And, um, if you know the late author illustrator, Maurice Sendak, where the Wild Things Are and a million others, um,

 His legacy is creating this Retreat for a small group of illustrators and it’s four weeks, a month long paid retreat, on a farm property of his and upstate New York.

Tina: Wow.

Eliza: And it was just, you know, it was very surreal to get this email. And at first I was like, that seems like spam. And then I’m like, no, it seems very specific. Um, and I was like, oh, this opportunity is amazing. And I just knew like this is a once in a lifetime chance that I’m being given. And so my goal was to get all of my book contracts and deadlines finished and cleared away so that I could get there and just focus on this story. It was like, here’s my last chance to try to make it work.

Tina: Wow.

Eliza: Yeah. And so, um, so I crammed and crammed, worked myself to the bone, which is, uh, we’ll come back to, um, In terms of like, don’t, don’t do that, you 

Tina: right.

Eliza: creatives. Um, and I, you know, I cleared my whole schedule for that month so that I could go and work and just focus on that story, which was great in, in theory. Um, and I got there and this is 2017, and it’s like this beautiful dream, you know, it’s rolling Farm Hills, it’s Vermont, um, or upstate New York, kind of on the edge of Vermont, the Vermont Mountains and New York.

And, um, we, each of the fellows, we had our own house and our own studio space to work in. It was just like, I know it was the dreamiest thing ever. Um, and I got there and I was, my mind was absolutely blank. Like I sat at the table, you know, at the drawing table, these beautiful spaces all set up.

And I was empty, like there was no gas in my tank. I had just like completely burned myself out, leading up to this experience. And, you know, we all have experience of creative block, right? And this was like, it wasn’t creative block, it was creative blank, you know, there was just nothing.

Tina: Oh,

Eliza: And

Tina: and so much pressure, I would guess you would put on

yourself cuz you’re here to do something big

Eliza: Yes,

Tina: and you’ve got 

Eliza: here to figure this thing out and there’s all this expectation. And I had everything writing on it to like figure out this book.

Tina: Yeah.

Eliza: I immediately had that freak out response of like, oh my gosh, am I gonna do? There’s just nothing here.

But the amazing thing, I think there was like a higher part of myself talking back to me was saying this place and this time is a gift. Your stress is not welcome here. So just like, let it go and I gave myself permission to get nothing done. I said, okay, I’m gonna let go of this kind of deadline I had given myself to get this story worked out.

And I was like, I’m just gonna enjoy the time, the space. And I did, you know, I made myself go in the studio every day and sit in front of blank pieces of paper and I did little tiny doodles. I kinda made little notes, you know, really like, like the amount that I got done per day could fit on like a, a, a deck of cards or like, you know, one card,


Like, like just nothing. And. And I just, I, I like wandered around the property and I made myself these like breakfasts in bed where I

Tina: Woo.

Eliza: just sit until I was ready to get up. I mean, talk about privilege, right? Like, it was such an amazing opportunity. And I was there with three other kid lit illustrators .

And so I got to go in and see what they were working on and we got to talk about doing our craft and that was inspiring just to be around them and watch them. And it went by every day. Like this one week passed and then another week passed. So I’m 

Tina: Oh, 

Eliza: Three out of four weeks now, end of three weeks is coming up.

And, um, at the end of each week, the Sendak Foundation, they had these pro illustrators come visit us, um, writers and illustrators and talk, just talk with us about the craft and the art. So Tommy DePaola, a lot of your listeners might know, you know, Paula Olinsky, Arthur Yens, um, they would just come and chat with us and talk about their journey.

And being there, listening, soaking it in. It was, I could feel it loosening things in me, you know, that. Blankness was starting to fade and I was just so filled with that world. there were a lot of Maurice Sendak books and art materials and belongings, and I would just kind of hold his things and, and kinda like soak it in.

Um, and so something about I think that resting process and wandering just allowed things to start loosening up. And that in that fourth week

Tina: I was so hoping,

hoping this was happening. I’m on edge, the edge of my seat over here.

Eliza: Yes. And you know that that fire kind of hit me. Right. And what I could see from the process of talking to these illustrators, one thing I had been struggling with was that my manuscript for the book was only in text form. I needed to see it visually and how it worked in tandem with the text to really see where are the real problems.

Because when you just read it, it’s a picture book, you kind of can’t separate the pictures from the words or, or really picture books, you kind of shouldn’t be able to, um, they really need to work together. And so I sat and I made these little thumbnails sketches of every single page of the book page by page, and worked it together like a puzzle.

And started laying the text in there. So in children’s books, this is called making a, a book dummy. So the dummy is like a sketched out version of the whole book, all pieced together. And so I made a sketch dummy of the book and I could see like, oh, the pictures are gonna do this.

So I can let the words just fade here and be simpler and sparser. And I had come, I think before this trip, I had come across the notion of telling the story from Marvel’s perspective. So instead of it being a narrator that’s saying, this is what the family’s doing and this is where they’re going and why they’re doing it, it’s just all told first person present tense.

So Little Marvel is talking. She’s seeing. You know, and in the pictures, that’s where I’m putting all the emotions,

right? Because she’s just observing her world. And so for kids like that makes a gentler experience in terms of those really tricky topics starting out with, you know, death and homelessness.

Tina: right, right.

Eliza: But it’s just kind of, you know, um, we lost our home and we need to find a new place to live. Like it’s a very simplified version, of all the meaning behind it.

Tina: I love hearing this story because that’s exactly what you’ve accomplished. Before you even said the emotion is in the picture. I’m like, she, but when you said that you could allow then the words to be more sparse, I’m like, yes, that’s absolutely what you’ve achieved.

And all the emotion is in the image. The imagery is where you see what’s going on and as a mom I can speculate. It isn’t until like somewhere in the book, maybe midway through, there’s a picture where the mom has got all these children in the bed, right? And she’s looking out the window at the sky.

And that has always struck me. And it used to bring me tears to my eyes as I thought about what my future might look like personally. And it was just recently that my little boy, he’s seven now, that he’s like, mom, what is she looking at? And I’m like,

well, she has a lot on her mind. She has a lot on her mind on how she’s gonna get through each day.

And she’s probably praying and he, so he’s just at seven, maybe six or so. I’m not sure when you first asked me that, but.

That wasn’t even part of his experience until just now when he asked me about that until just at six. Right. So before he was catching, like he loved, loved to look at the maps and to see where they would run to go berry picking and where they would go fishing. And he loved to follow their path through the woods.

That’s what was like his little, and he liked to see the garden growing and like every time we read it, there’s something new he picks up. Like you’ve, um, it’s just such a magical book. I can’t say enough about it.

Eliza: Oh. Oh, thank you so much. And I love that. I love that you pointed that scene out because what was interesting about this specific story is that the protagonist is six year old Marvel. So we’re with her, we kind of are her, but the hero of the book is the single mom. And through a lot of the books, she’s in the background.

You can see what she’s doing, you know, and you can see the kids are filling in and helping out, but that is the climax of the book, and that’s her scene, so they’re sleeping

Tina: Yeah,

Eliza: she’s having her moment. Um, and so I, I love that you knew right away, when you read the book, what this scene means, but a kid’s just, oh, they look cozy and there’s the bed and there’s the stars, you know?

Tina: Yeah. We actually like try to figure out who’s feet or whose and whose head is whose, cuz

they’re like, they’re flip flapped in the bed, you know? So like, yeah. So if you wanna know how people experience your books, this is at least how we do here in northern Michigan. And we are like, is that Marvel? That might be Marvel, that might be Ray.

I’m not sure. You know, so,

Eliza: Yes.

Yeah. Yeah. So it’s like that was a scene in which I could talk to the parent reading the book, whereas normally I’m talking to and talking with and speaking the language of the child, like there’s also a parent reading this book. And so it was really important to give them those cues of what’s happening behind the scenes because you know what the Great Depression was and you know what struggle parenting is, you know?

And so yeah, there’s this like, Backdoor conversation happening there.

Tina: Yeah.

Eliza: So, I really could feel that I was getting it to work for the first time and I stayed up until 2:00 AM on the very last night of the retreat. They had just had this, you know, last, like, parting dinner for us and it was so beautiful and I just went straight to my studio and I, I got the whole dummy together and I scanned it in and put the text in and I emailed it off to my editor and art director, um, who I was getting on a train from the retreat to go meet in New York City and have a conversation about this book.

I think I had a few days from leaving to meeting up with them and so it was just this whole surreal experience. I got down there and met with them and they just like came in the room beaming and they were like, it works, it’s great. Let’s go forward. Let’s set a publication date.

Let’s, let’s make it happen. You know? So that was kind of that like, like, oh, yay.

Tina: The pinnacle.

Eliza: um, you know, and I think something that I’ve learned in such a dramatic way, like, we don’t want our learning to be this dramatic, right.

Tina: Right,

Eliza: It was such a contrast of experience of all the pushing and working to tight schedules and. Forcing, trying to force my art and craft and then having this experience of like, that wasn’t an option. I couldn’t force it. And if I had tried, I don’t think the book would’ve happened. I think that was really that important of a point of I had to let it go and just let it gently come to me, you know, so like, take my whole grip off the project and just gently hold it,

Tina: yeah,

Eliza: you know?

Um, I think a lot of creative projects can be, at least in terms of stories or ideas, they can feel a little more like a. Like a bubble that you can easily pop. If you squeeze too hard, you just gotta have your hand out and be gentle with it. And so thinking about my creative journey, ever since that retreat, I have deliberately changed my approach to how I create that is a much more flowing with the project and with how I’m feeling.

And, um, Yeah, it’s just a, a lot less clenched and a lot more kind of soft and loose with the process.

And so to go back to the video that you mentioned, so that video of course happened in the following year, I was in the final art stages of making the book. And, and my husband had this idea, why don’t I film you and we can like, make just a little kind of behind the scenes.

So I was like, that sounds really distracting. And it was. like I just worked, I had my headphones on, I was watching my TV shows and painting and listening to podcasts and um, and he just filmed me while I worked and, and I turned the art in. And I think we filmed a lot of the, like me walking in nature throughout the year that the book was in production so that when it came out, you know, we could just have this little behind the scenes video.

 I hope people go and and check that out cuz it’s, it. Very sweet. 

 That video was such a great way of giving me closure with the project. I think like just we captured this journey and yay, I did it oh my gosh. Like, it’s out and I’m happy with it. It’s rewarding to be able to have such a challenge and reach it.

Tina: I can see how the video will be distracting. And I have to tell you, like, I love the forethought that you put into it to get images of, or get video, rather film of you walking through different seasons of the year. Because as somebody who watched it and was just blown away, like the book already blew me away.

Right. Obviously like I’m, I’m over here gushing. But the video is amazing too because like I said, I’m a process person as well and sometimes I can be, I can rush to the end result. I can rush to the race line, the finish line rather. And this book to me definitely feels like something that has been done so intentionally and so well, and the video was just an extension of that.

Like you had to have planned this to have it go through that whole process and to Have this motion picture, record of what you had just done. And I just thought that was really beautiful and like so much intention and so much thought. And I love hearing you talk about how this came to be and about your fellowship and how you worked through that. And I can only imagine all of the emotions that must have come up for you.

For me, had I been in your, cuz I could feel myself in your position. I would’ve felt like I’m not worthy of this fellowship. I’m not even creating anything. I’m not doing anything like

Eliza: Totally. 

Tina: chosen the wrong person, which is what would’ve gone 

through my head. I’m not trying to put this in your head, but I’m like, wow.

And to just trust that process. And it reminds me of I try to live my life in sort of a cyclical manner, which is what you’re talking about when you’re talking about seasons. Right? And so that fellowship felt like a very much of a winter time, right?

You were hunkered and feeding yourself beautiful meals in bed, walking the grounds, trying to gain some inspiration through osmosis, through the beautiful works of Maurice Sendak. It’s just such a great illustration of that. You allowed it all to sort of gestate inside of you and rest with it.

And you allowed it and then it just burst forth. And I think that that will happen time and time and again, is, I want you to talk about that for a moment if you would.

Eliza: It’s hard, right? Because you can’t even do that in a sneaky way. You can’t say, oh, I’m gonna just let it go, and then , secretly think I’m gonna have a huge aha moment at the end of this. You had to be so genuinely, you know? But I think what I learned so, so strongly was that, with that space and just by letting go, going out and listening and paying attention and it down and letting your brain very gently roam around your project and then physically going out and engaging with the things of life.

Right. For me, listening to people talk about creative work gets my creative juices. Flowing. Um, and it gives you a break from your own brain that’s very fixated on a problem. And there’s, there’s awesome brain science behind this where it’s that roaming brain that’s called the default mode network.

And it’ss, like when you’re doing dishes, when you’re in the shower, when you’re going for walks, that’s usually when little ideas pop in. And I had had that experience before and so I knew that worked, but I think this was just like a big version of it and so it’s something I very much incorporate into my creative process now is just having kind of free sketch time, um, having time where.

I’m walking and, and letting my brain roam around my project or the story world. Um, I create a playlist for every book that I work on, 

music playlist, um, and it’s like all, you know, movie soundtracks and it, , whatever kind of matches the spirit of the story. It’s like it helps me get in the atmosphere of the story.

Tina: That is such magic.

Eliza: yeah, those are, that’s, those are my thoughts on kinda that roaming process.

Tina: Yeah. And also love how you talked about cuz I, I explore this idea, let myself, the idea of both allowing yourself grace to release your expectation and allow whatever is gonna happen. And also adhering to the commitment you’ve made to yourself.

So like you were saying that I showed up at my piece of paper that was blank every day. And I think that’s all we have to do. We have to show up. That’s our commitment to life, right? Is we have to show up. We have to show up, we have to do the small things that we know will feed us and allow the rest of it to just come, like let go of all the rest.


And today’s episode is sponsored by Why Knot Fibers? Why Knot fibers is a small hand dyed yarn company at a traverse city, Michigan. Kat Eldred Is a founder and dyer behind why not fibers. And I’ll tell you she has a talent for creating deep, rich, fully saturated colors that take your breath away. 

You can jump on the website. W H Y K N O T F I B E R Find out where she’s vending next and also you can shop online. 

And back to our show. 


Eliza: Yes. So a major part of how I structure my day now is very different from kind of the rigid time management that I used to try to force into my creative work into. Um, and something, that I haven’t talked about a lot publicly is that I also live and work with a chronic illness that I’ve had since I was 19.

And very, you know, I can’t plan which days I’m gonna feel sick and which days I’m gonna feel good, you know? And so it creates a lot of logistical challenges in. To-do lists and having goals that you’re working towards. It’s my, my day has to be very much flexible and make space for when I don’t have the physical and mental capacity to do focused creative work.

Um, and so something that I’ve done for myself is, first of all, I don’t force myself to be a morning person cuz I’m most often sick in the mornings. I don’t feel well. So usually mornings are like, stay in my pajamas, sip coffee, you know, maybe watch some TV if, if I’m having pain.

And just wait for my system to wake up.

But I’ve also, I’ve, I separate my to-do list into things I can do that are restful from the couch and things I can do when I’m active and have energy and that require both physical or mental focus, 

 So the way that I structure my day, it has to be very flexible. Um, And I create my to-do list so that it’s always on one side, it’s the things I have to do that require my body and mind to be focused or, you know, that require more energy and effort.

And then I, I separate another piece of my to-do list into what can I do from the couch? What can I do with TV? What is mindless and relaxing? What could I even bring outside? Um, and sit under a tree doing. That’s my of making it not so stressful when I’m having, times where I’m not feeling well enough to get up and do the work.

That requires a lot of focus.

Tina: Yeah.

Eliza: The way that I structure my day is not so much by, um, hours that I work or getting certain to-do list items done.

The way that I’ve found it works best for me is that I work to one hour chunks of time.

So I, I put myself on a one hour timer. I have. A little stretch bell that dings every 20 minutes so I can, you know, stretch my back or just give my hands a little, um, stretch. And for drawing. So much of it is the neck, right? That like forward motion. Of the head. So just, little stretches. And then, um, and then after an hour, I get up for a longer break.

Um, and I’ve made these little break cards for myself.

Tina: I love it.

Eliza: is, this is my nerdy this. Coming out. Because my brain is very chaotic and it wants to do a million other things and it can get distracted very easily, so I. These little break cards, it’s like, okay, these are my options of things that I can do on breaks.

Tina: Right.

Eliza: And those break cards are also categorized as active or restful. So. I need to just move around a little bit. I’ll maybe go clean. I’ll go, do a little bit of meal prep, um, or just do some stretching, and then the restful breaks are like, my brain is tired, my body’s tired. Um, I need to just read or have some tea, watch some tv, take a meal break. Uh, so it’s, it’s nice because I can let my body and my brain and my system choose what it needs at any given time, and I’m not forcing that sort of discomfort pushing, pushing through that we all do. and that’s just been a great way to. Bring myself balance that I need throughout the day. I would say my biggest struggle is still stopping for the day, you know, because I take a lot of breaks. I can’t work, a big eight hour chunk in a row.

 Having that stop time is, you know, I definitely work later in the day than probably the average person. Um, and that’s still something I’m trying to work on. Oh, how do I know when to stop here?

Tina: Right,

Eliza: But you know, it’s a work in progress always.

Tina: Yes, it is. And I love that you know yourself well enough and you’re supporting yourself in that because gosh, we can live just so mindlessly, right? We can just push through and do whatever it is that we’re supposed to do or whatever it looks like, what everyone else might be doing, or just push along that way and to say, I need to stop after an hour and I need to stretch, or I need to do this, or I need to do that, and then I can go back to it and be a much more rounded, balanced, creative human.

I completely resonate with that. Cuz I can get into the project I’m working on and I can do it for hours and

Eliza: Yeah. Oh yeah.

Tina: my body hurts.

Eliza: Yes.

Tina: start to like, Just my ideas sort of dry up when I end up just kind of working on the same things. Whereas in if I stop at lunchtime and I go for a walk outside, I always feel better.

I’ve been trying to do the pomodoro, timer, which is every 25 minutes, so it’s too short for me. So I think I’m gonna adopt your hours. I think that will feel better.

Eliza: an hour is good and with those little tiny mini kind of sitting stretch break or just give your eyes a rest you know, look away or whatever. I’m exactly the same. Like for me to just get into a zone in an hour could take me 25 minutes.

Tina: Right. Right, exactly. And then it’s like, then your timer’s going off, and so it feels too choppy for me. But an hour probably would feel really, really good to me because when I, when I do put those timers out there, and there’s a part of me that likes to be very free range and fluid, so I’m like, don’t put timers on me.

I’m just free range. And then it’s like,

Eliza: Yes,

Tina: all

Eliza: I know.

Tina: But if you do, you’re gonna have a much better experience and you’re gonna feel so much better. So there’s two things that come to mind to me. I just wanna like celebrate what you’re doing. Cause I think it’s just beautiful and I love that you’ve shared these, this journey with us as you go through this because I think so many of us work through these same kinds of things, even if it might look very different than writing children’s books or having pain in the morning, whatever that is.

We have our things and I think that seeing your journey is so amazing for all of us. But the two things that come to mind for me one is.

And these are like personal struggles of mine. So I wanna hear what you’re doing in regard to

Eliza: Yeah.

Tina: I can get really rigid on deadlines, and I would like to come at deadlines with a lot more ease. With a lot more flow. Like I do believe in the idea that if we work with our energy instead of fighting it the entire way, our lives are gonna be so much more vibrant and joyful, and we’re still gonna achieve what we need to achieve, but it’s gonna be so much better.

But I also have a fear that if I don’t buckle down, I’m not gonna hit the deadline. So I wonder how you handle deadlines. And I also wonder how you handle feeling a sense of accomplishment each day. So all of my deadlines, for the most part in my life right now are self-imposed, right? I mean, I, I have some promises I’ve made to my clients, to my people that I work with, to the people in my classes.

I have, Promises I’ve made to them on things I need to give to them by a certain time, or I need to be in a meeting at a certain time. Like I certainly have some deadlines, but ultimately I’m still the master of my own deadline 

Eliza: Mm-hmm. Yep.

Tina: I have this expectation each day that I’m gonna accomplish.

So many things, and I’ve tried to back that up and be like, I only had to accomplish these things and everything else is a bonus. Like, I keep trying to work out the system to work, and I kind of have, but I wonder how this works for you. It ends up being if I do what I have promised myself, I will do to myself.

I feel a sense of accomplishment, like I did a good job that day. If I don’t because I don’t feel very good or because. It’s not flowing or because of whatever other reason, and I am procrastinating on something and I don’t actually cut into it. Then I feel like I have kind of, this is a very big way of saying this, but I feel like I’ve failed for that day, right?


Eliza: Yeah.

Tina: I have not met my goals and I don’t feel a sense of accomplishment. So I wonder what brings you a sense of accomplishment each day and how you handle deadlines.

Eliza: Totally. Um, I relate to all of that 100% first, first of all,

Tina: Yes.

Eliza: So deadlines are really hard and like deadlines are still the thing I struggle with the most. Absolutely. So, I’m not gonna pretend I’ve figured out that beast.

Tina: Right.

Eliza: But I’ll say what helps me, because I miss most of my deadlines honestly, and I’ve had to work specifically with certain people more that are more flexible about deadlines.

Tina: Yeah.

Eliza: So those timed work hours that I was telling you about, I try to shoot for between four and six of those kind of work segments. Um, and really like, It. I don’t know if this is helpful to say, but I’ve learned for myself that when I have turned off everything, I’m not checking anything, emails, phone texts, and when I really am just in that timed session, whatever, I work on it, like a lot of progress can be made.

Um, Within that hour. It’s all the distractions from my own brain and from external things, you know, that I kind of try to say okay, you just wait. If I have an idea, I write it down on a piece of paper. Like, okay, I can look at that at the break or at the end of the day.

But, I think maybe this is coming with experience, but I try to, Take a lot of pressure off of myself to get a lot done and to really hone in on what is my very most important thing that I wanna work on today? And make sure that’s kind of the only thing on the list.

Plus maybe a bonus item and the like, the bonus item often doesn’t happen, but if I get to it, it’s this extra kind of, yay. But, so setting the bar really low, is a tip.

Oh, and just like trusting that yes, if I stick to those hours, you know, if I can, and I make, I have a little book where I keep track of my, I check off the hour that I did that is satisfying, right? To have my five. Or six check boxes of the hours I worked, and even though I didn’t get everything done in those hours, it’s still a sense like, Hey, I hit my hours.

So I almost make that my goal. And then my do list is just what I’m doing in the time that I’ve set up for myself and giving myself a lot of choices of what I can work on is really nice. I think that kind of fixes the, um, rebellious brain that says like, the hour timer’s going on, I’m gonna go do whatever instead.

You know, it’s like, oh, but you know, if I can. If I can do some of this coloring work while I’m hammocking, then that’s like the thing I wanna do, plus the getting my hour done. You know? So I definitely mix up enjoyable. What I really wanna do with, you know, some work that I’m trying to make progress on.

Tina: I absolutely love this. And so like I’m thinking about my listeners and thinking how this could relate to anyone’s work, right? So like you are an author, illustrator. And I am a sewing teacher and do classes online and things like that. And I’m thinking specifically of a good friend of mine who works in an office and I’m like, some of these ideas can’t work all the time.

Right? Like there are obligations. You had to meet me at a certain time today to have this conversation, which is very similar to having a staff meeting. Like say my friend has a staff meeting, so like we have some obligations so we have to plunk in there, but Taking those other times and setting ourselves up for success in them.

And just, it comes back to that idea of like, we just have to make a commitment to ourselves. Your commitment to yourself is to show up for that hour and you wanna do four to six of them, and then you just allow it to happen within that, right? Like you’ve, you have some parameters, there’s no distractions if possible.

You gotta write the little ideas under the paper. Like all of these things are so beautiful and they fit so well into. All of life, right? So I can get caught up in trying, and again, this two-edged sword. I have this, what I think is beautiful way of seeing the big picture.

Eliza: Mm-hmm.

Tina: then I can get caught up in all the steps between here and the end of that big picture.

Eliza: Mm-hmm.

Tina: all the steps, right? But I get sort of stuck. This is the double edged side of that. I get kind of stuck in that path rather than being like, I can see the big picture now I’m just gonna do step one and let it unfold because what I thought was the right path of this might not end up being what the right path was, but I can get kind of stuck in that path.

Eliza: Totally. Yes, totally. I relate a hundred percent. And something I do that helps with that a bit, which is I do review every week. I do have a journaling time where I. Just ask a few simple questions. How was the balance of the week?

What do I want more of? What do I want less of? You know, like it’s kind of a stepping back and looking at the big picture, and then I set up my tasks for the next week. And so when I’m doing those tasks, I’m not really looking at the big picture. But then maybe once a week or so I’ll kind of review where am I at,

What am I not making progress on and how can I prioritize that a little bit?

Or why is it stuck A lot of times, like we’re just stuck because we’re not clear exactly on. The exact next thing we need to do. So sometimes it’s like I need to rewrite this item with a more clear action to it. 

Tina: Right. Having that clarity And then for me also, letting go of being five or six steps ahead of myself and being like, all you have to do is sit in front of the computer so I love to write, right? I love to write the newsletter that I send out. Like I absolutely adore it.

And if I sit down, And sometimes I’ll do a little ritual beforehand. I’ll do a little meditation. I’ll have a cup of coffee, right? If I get myself in the right frame of mind and I’m , set my timer, which is gonna be for an hour now, not 25 minutes. If I set my timer, it always flows out of me. It might not, at first.

I might start writing and it’s like, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. This is not working. But then it always does, and sometimes not in that hour timeframe. Sometimes I have to come back to it for another hour. But like, All I have to do is create the frame and commit to myself and then do the first step,

Eliza: Yes, exactly. And I think also when you find those moments where you’re like, gosh, I really don’t feel like this right now. Like my brain is wiggly or my body is wiggly. Um, you know, then that’s, that’s where it’s like a, okay, I’m gonna take my moving around break right now, um, and then come back or, you know, and sometimes what’s nice about the, like not having such a rigid schedule, like by noon I have to do this, and by 4:00 PM I have to do this.

It’s like you can kind of listen to where your system is at

Tina: Yeah.

Eliza: and then. Let it lead what you’re doing, but you’re still coming back and getting that hour in. You know, I hope we don’t make Pomodoro technique people super mad, but it’s whatever works, 

Tina: it’s still the same idea. 

Exactly. And then there’s a wisdom, right? To taking the wisdom that somebody has already brought to the world and absorbing it and shifting it to be what you need. And that’s just has so much value.

Eliza: Yeah. And it’s you have to tailor it to yourself, right? Like that’s what you’re always talking about, tailoring the clothes to fit the person. That’s what life is, I think.

Tina: I think so too.

 I’d love to talk about what is brewing for you, if you can speak about it, if there’s anything brewing for your as a personal project 

Eliza: When you say personal project, like projects I’m working on now that aren’t for work or,

Tina: they could be. We haven’t even, Eliza, there’s so much we haven’t even talked about but it could be a personal project that is not work related. Like it could be just whatever’s exciting. You now let’s, let’s leave it at that.

Whatever is exciting you that you’re just beginning to work on,

Eliza: Okay. It is a work project, if that’s okay.

Tina: that’s totally good because I can imagine in having such a creative work life. that it probably is hard to have an individual practice as well.

Eliza: Oh, totally. Yeah. the creative juice happens in my regular work hours. I don’t have creative brain energy at the end of the day. I used it.

Tina: I can imagine. 

Eliza: I am working on my third. Book, um, now, so Miss Maple Seeds, Home in the Woods. Now I’m, I’m working on my own books again. And, um, so it’s gonna be a series of books, which is very exciting. And I’m working with the same publishing team,

 It’s all about, Coziness and seasons and very cute animals and sweaters and slippers and

Tina: Oh,

Eliza: all of those

Tina: animals and sweaters and

Eliza: Yeah. Yes. Um, so that’s, that’s what I’m working on now. And I’m just like, I can’t wait to wake up every day and put myself in that little world.

Tina: Oh.

Eliza: it’s, it’s very, um, it’s very exciting.

Tina: Mm-hmm.

Eliza: So I, I, I don’t even think we have official titles for them yet, but they’ll be the cozy books. We’ll just call for now.

Tina: Yeah. Will there be four of them then?

Eliza: I think so.

Well, we, I have a contract for three, so we’ll see. We’ll see if we can, if I can sell them on a fourth season.

Tina: I love it. Well, and that just opened my mind up cuz of course four, four for me was the four seasons of the year. But now I’ve like expanded out to be like, oh, I wonder how each book will be structured. Maybe not how, I was just thinking, I can’t wait to find out.

Eliza: Yeah. Yeah, 

Tina: Eliza, has been such a pleasure to talk with you today and I, like I said, I feel like.

Your book has inspired me in more ways than one it has inspired me both personally, on my own journey as a mom and a newly divorced person. It also though, has inspired me on the idea of allowing a project to unfolded and allowing it to be just right, because I bet you you could have stopped it before here and it would’ve been a pretty good story, but instead you came up with something that.

I could feel all of the magic in that I knew before you said what you were going to say cuz I could see it in your product. And so you’ve inspired me in all of those ways as well. And so before I let you go though, cuz I can’t keep you here forever. I wonder if you might answer the question that I ask all of my guests which is, what do you wish that people in the world knew that you think that maybe they don’t?

Eliza: well thank you so much for all of that. it just means so much. I. Wish people would know that we don’t have to achieve all of the things that we think we want in order to be worthy and complete people. Um, You know, giving up those pictures of what we think we need to be like and look like and just tailor our lives to our unique selves.


Tina: Yeah.

Eliza: Understand our, our joys and our strengths and our unique weaknesses and needs, and, um, make a lot of space for both of those things.

Tina: Yeah,

Eliza: yeah, that’s what I wish for everyone.

Tina: I love that. I’m just trying to think of ways to keep talking to you, but okay. I’m gonna let you go

Eliza: Aw. Thank you so much for having me. I just, it’s, it’s been so cool to be invited on and I appreciate it.

Tina: excellent. Where might my listeners be able to find you online?

Eliza: , so people can find me at That’s my website. And the video that we talked about that my husband made for me, is linked right on that front page. And then I’ve been working on starting this new little email newsletter project called Creativity Time, and it’s just my little bites of creative process and inspiration and it’ll be a little short thing that I put out twice a month, um, because that feels doable. and you know we don’t all need so much stuff coming into our, emails. So I’m keeping it short and sweet, I hope they’ll come find me there.

Tina: I cannot wait until that begins because I’m excited to hear more about your process because I can see myself in your process, which is beautiful, and I think all of us can probably feel that same way. And I’m excited to get your thoughts and tips 

Eliza: oh, thank you.

What did I tell you what a great conversation. And now I just want you all to run out and buy Eliza’s books. She does such a beautiful job and I am honored. To experience someone’s greatness. Because that’s exactly what we’re doing. And I love it, that we can touch other people’s lives simply by being and doing what we’re supposed to be doing in this world. 

 If you liked this podcast, will you do me a favor and share it with a friend? And possibly jump on your favorite podcast app and rate the show. I would appreciate that. And I should say you can also jump on my website, And sign up for my newsletter, you’l get email updates when I have a new podcast episode, as well as bi-monthly newsletters, where I share thoughts and links and things like that. 

All right. Have a beautiful day. And a final word from our sponsor

And I want to thank our sponsor today. Why Knot fibers? Kat Eldred is the founder and dyer behind Why Knot Fibers? A small hand dyed yarn company specializing in rich. Nature inspired tonal colors. 

As well as farm to needle, yarns and fibers. Kat began dying after she took up spinning in her twenties and couldn’t find just the right color way that she wanted, i’ll bet you can relate. So. She went to the kitchen she got out the powder tumeric and some Alpaca roving And the rest is a colors you now see from why not fibers Jump on the website to find out where she’s vending next And to buy yarn online W h y k n o t F i b e r

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