Here we are on the last Friday of 2014 and I’d like to mark it with what became a personal tradition this year, my weekly peek into my week ala the Scattered Life Collective invitation of Cynthia Lee. I love this practice – this reflection of what’s been up for me, where my attention has been drawn, what deliciousness I’ve discovered.
And it’s been a wonderful week indeed. While Yule, celebrated on the Winter Solstice is the holiday I observe, we also “do” Christmas here so it’s been a week of sparkly fabulousity and celebratory joy.
out the window: It’s so surprising quiet outside. For a couple weeks now we’ve had city workers doing a major utilities project in our neighborhood that’s required lots of heavy equipment, trucks, and all kinds of personnel, which has meant lots of noise and activity. But they apparently have today off. It’s unseasonably sunny and warm out – we’re in the 40s again today and there are birds chattering away. Strictly faux snow weather here.
on the menu: I have some leftover puff pastry dough so these vegetable pot pies are on the menu. This is a basic recipe which I tweak adding whatever veggies and herbs I’m inspired by.
- I got some really wonderful things in the mail this week, including a handwoven inkled bookmark from Linda Watson. And then there was the delightful package from Fil Campbell, her extraordinary contribution to the Pay It Forward 2014 art making project. I’m gobsmacked by the wonderfulness of this knitted bag made from recycled sari silk yarns (it’s SO soft!) and the inclusion of one of her fabulous CDs. Get thee over to her site and listen to her sing!
- I’m also happy to report I also got the last of my Pay-It-Forward contributions out into the mail this week. Whew, that was close as the deadline is the end of the year. I totally got sidetracked this year, but I pledge to be more timely next year. And yes, I do want to play again!
- It wouldn’t be winter holidays around here if I didn’t bake the traditional Blitz Kuchen using my grandmother’s recipe. It’s a buttery, meringue-y, topped with cinnamon, sugar, and almonds treat. Yum.
- My friend Jo Anna Rothman celebrated Chanukah with an 8-day online Gift Giving Extravaganza. One of the things she does is bequeath titles and it’s always a delight to receive on from her. In the past she’s bequeathed me with “Angelic Presence of the Holy Shine” which may be my all time favorite. And this year, she crowned me “Creative Goddess of the Seasons.” I’m looking forward to living up to that in 2015. I always forget how much fun titles are and so I hereby declare I’m going to be on a mission to promote more fabulous titles for everyone!
- I really enjoyed my first year playing in Reverb14, the blogging challenge hosted by Kat McNally. It was the perfect way to start off my annual year’s end reflecting process. I’m really grateful to Kat and all the wonderful people who played along. I’ve made some wonderful blogging connections this year, and I send an extra dose of love to you all.
reading: Santa brought me a number of fabulous books that I’ve peeked through and can’t wait to get started reading. But the book I actually finished reading this week was Jerry Spinelli’s Stargirl – a young adult novel about non-conformity – its costs and its blessings. While I’m an incessant reader of kid’s books, I don’t often read YA fiction and I’m not really sure how this ended up on my reading list. But it was a charming little reminder of how important it is to be our true selves in all our quirky wonderfulness. I’m giving this a floriography rating of a bouquet of daisies (for innocence) and white carnations (for sweet and lovely).
watching: Pete and I have been netflixing The Fall, a BBC crime drama set in Northern Ireland starring Gillian Anderson. I’ve quite enjoyed it although it ends with a cliff-hanger, and the second season series isn’t available yet.
listening: I think this is pretty amazing, and I trust no trees were hurt in the process.
favorite word of the week: I love keeping my ears peeled and my eyes open to see which fabulous word will arrive during the week, and this week I’m totally swooning over this one.
Liber amicorum. Latin term literally meaning book of friends. In the 17th century it was a kind of album used to record friendships and social connections. It has also been come to be known as a book honoring a respected person, especially an academic, celebrating their work and relationships, which is presented to the person during their lifetime, often at retirement.
I am SO putting this on my list of things to explore, play with, and delight in in 2015. The possibilities feel endless to me. You are forewarned, I expect you’ll be hearing lots more about this from me.
project I’m loving to support: This Kickstarter project As The Air Moves Back From You really delights me. It’s an environmental conversation offered as a 4-week installation of various performance art, talks and exhibits; it includes 8000 pounds of rice which will at the project’s end be donated to create biofuel by a solar energy project. Win-win-win. This kind of action really excites me – this is kind of legacy sacred art in my opinion all the more powerful because it’s so transient.
out and about:
- Make a personalized snow flake.
- Hardrock, Coco and Joe is truly quirky vintage Chicago wonerfulness, and I totally embrace it as part of my winter holiday tradition. Of the three elves that help Santa, Hardrock handles the sleigh, Coco is the map-reading navigator, and Joe, well Santa doesn’t really have a need for him, but takes him along because he loves him so. Seriously, how can this not be fabulous Christmas-spirit manifesto?!
- I’ve always been fascinated by the Santa story, and here’s a fabulous pictorial history.
- I really love this It’s Not All Shiny post by Lindsey Mead of A Design So Vast. I think this is important to remember, and something I experience as well. I believe it’s really important how we talk about things and what we focus our energy on, and I am fully committed to inviting joy into my life. But that doesn’t mean there’s not sadness and challenges in my life. I don’t gloss them over, pretending they’re not there, and I don’t think it serves any of us to assume anyone’s life is all shiny. We’re all very complex, very brilliant, very multi-faceted and we owe each other the respect of remembering that.
- But having said that I think it’s also really good to do all we can to play as much as we can in the energies that delight us. And so The Happy List from Do What you Love For Life seems like a fun project.
- I love the art of Scott Bergey.
- Finally, ever wonder about the 12 days of Christmas? This is a precious time of review, closing out the old and opening the way to new for me, and these days are often known as omen days. Read more about this from an post by Caitlin Matthews.
And there we have it. A peek into my week. What’s been lighting you up this week? Has your snow been real or faux? Candy canes or kisses? Coal or crowns? Do tell – you know I love to hear.