I'm sure most people, women especially, will understand when I say sometimes I just need a creative outlet. I decorate cakes every now and then. (Today, in fact. It's Lucas' birthday. Better get on that...)
I crochet and knit every other year or so. (This was my off year...) I take photographs, even though I wish my skill level was higher.
And then sometimes a creative opportunity comes out of the blue in a place I would least expect it and takes me by storm. That's what happened as I planned our latest book club event this week. It was a perfect storm, really. I happened to have chosen a Chinese-themed novel by Pearl S. Buck. I also found myself teaching an Asian unit at preschool and realizing that the Chinese New Year is days away. A plan started to form in my mind...Chinese decor, Asian food, homemade fortune cookies, paper lanterns, the colors red, black, and gold.
I hit the Dollar Tree and Party City like a woman on a mission. I dusted off my old Thai recipes from the Central Market cooking class I took last year. In a freak act of coincidence (I casually mentioned making fortune cookies to a friend at school) I ended up borrowing a fortune cookie maker appliance. Did you even know there is such a thing??
I had a blast decorating the dining room with festive reds, Chinese wine bottle covers, paper fans, Chinese take out boxes, and more. I had fun making the food, especially the Spring Rolls which are so delicious. I could eat those every day for dinner. And even though this week happens to be on the crazy hectic side, I spent extra time on this book club event just for the pure creative enjoyment of it.
Creativity brings me joy. Spending time with close friends, discussing a book (well, really life...) brings me joy. Life is good. My baby is 6 today. Life is good. I have lots of dishes to put away. Life is good. I'm having chocolate fondue tonight (birthday boy's request.) Life is good.
There are many more pictures in a slideshow and a summary of the really great book we read, Pavilion of Women, here. The photos are guaranteed to put you in the mood for the Chinese New Year on Sunday Feb. 10th as the Year of the Snake rolls in.