What I'm really excited about is seeing some very good friends afterward: Kathy, Sylvia, Tonya, and possibly Lisa. We all used to work together for a magazine publisher, and now that we've gone in different directions with our lives, it's a rare pleasure when we can get together.
Hence the bracelet photos in this post; they are my little Christmas gifts for my dear friends. We'll meet for dinner at Peppino's in Lake Forest after class tomorrow, and catch up on all the latest news. Kathy told me not to bring any gifts, but I couldn't resist making each of my friends a little something.
We hope that Lisa can make it, and perhaps our friend Nancy as well (although she tells us she already has plans to see the New Moon movie). This is what I love about the holidays—instead of shopping til I drop, I make things with my favorite beads and sterling silver wire. Later I have the joy of knowing that my friends will always have a little part of me with them.
Since Thanksgiving is next week, this is a good time to pause and think about what we're grateful for. It's funny how being in a long economic recession can help lend focus to the things that really matter, like the people we love and the art we are able to pursue. I'm also grateful for my students, who continue to make beautiful things with their hands. What a gift, and how easy to share!