The February List
Updated: Sep 2, 2019
Ah February. My birthday month, Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day. Some big days for such a short month.
Lunar New Year
The Lunar New Year falls on the 5th. We’ll be entering the year of the pig, which is my little sister’s Chinese zodiac animal. Every twelve years when your zodiac animal comes around again, Chinese superstition has it that you require extra protection from bad energy (for the course of the entire year). It’s always been funny to me that Chinese superstitions are usually centered around bad luck. I mean, if your year comes up only once every dozen years, isn’t it super exciting and special? But I digress.
The traditional way to ward off bad energy during your zodiac year is to wear something red at all times, and/or a jade protection lock. My parents have already inquired with my sister regarding whether she owns a red belt (she doesn’t). I guess I can lend her my signet ring from Scosha with little inlaid rubies for the year.
Another tradition is to exchange red envelopes, which Kevin and I will be doing at the annual get together with his extended family. We give out red envelopes with crisp dollars inside to the children, teens, and unmarried adults.
On a related note, I’ve noticed more Lunar New Year related marketing this year than ever before. H&M, Kate Spade, and Williams Sonoma are the few that have caught my eye with CNY specific collections. While I see that this means this holiday is being commoditized, part of me is really happy that it’s getting some recognition in the States. For the Chinese, this is THE biggest holiday in the year. There’s plenty of existing commerce around its celebration as well - the market for red envelopes alone is probably sizable. It’s really nice to see that the day is becoming more prominent here as well.
Plan a shop update
I’ve been really swamped by my day job, which has stretched into a day-into-evening job lately. There was a stretch in January where I was working until 9 or later every day. 11pm was the latest departure during that time.. the effect is that every day feels like forever and weekends feel so far between.
It’s meant much less time at the studio. I’ve tried to still take hours on the weekends and some week nights to hand build at home, but it’s been difficult. Sometimes you feel so over-extended you just can’t be productive in your off time. Even on days I do leave at, say, 7pm, by then it feels too late to have meaningful time at the studio.
I’m proud to say I still somehow marshaled my energies to make items that I’d committed to making, although experimentation and free style making really took a backseat.
That being said, I have some things that have finished here and there, items that I’ve been meaning to list on the shop. I’ve written before about the suboptimal winter lighting my apartment has been getting. I’m hoping for brighter days this month to take some product photos and plan a shop update.
Visit girlfriends upstate
I cannot overstate how excited I am to have a girls’ weekend later this month up in Rochester, NY. These girls, and the friends I have locally, are such a buoy to me. I don’t get together with this particular group very often so I’m very very much looking forward to catching up on some quality friend time.
February is also the perfect time to come out of social hibernation. It’s still cold as heck in the city, but people have by now recovered from the holidays. It’s easy to stay in, and I do plenty of it, but having a get-together a once in a while helps alleviate cabin fever from all those days and nights spent watching Netflix.
Rewatch Game of Thrones
Kevin and I began our GoT rewatch in January, starting from season one episode one, in preparation for the final season premiere in April. This has been a fun little grind for us. We intermittently get extremely bored or grossed out (those gratuitous scenes of Theon’s torture at the hands of Ramsey for example), but all in all we are seeing so much more upon the rewatch.
Arya, for example, is so much more of a badass than I ever gave her credit for, even early on. The unblinking iciness with which she slowly pushes her sword into her first kills is dark and chilling and really portends her future, and the self assurance in the way she interacts with and ultimately wins over each of the hardened, cynical adults she crosses paths with is so interesting and wonderful for a young female character.
We’ve just restarted season four. Let’s see what Easter eggs and clues await there.
Work on a new collection
I have had an idea for a new mixed media collection for that past few weeks. I've been playing around with designs in my head and am starting to sketch them out. Today, I've just ordered the supplies to begin experimenting with bringing some to life.