I’m in the final stretch of two huge projects that have had me seated at my computer for most of the week. (I’m excited about them both and will be sure to point you to them when they’re available to be more widely seen.) The downside of focused computer work is that… well, I’m chained to the computer. Not a lot of studio time, in other words.
But I’ve made time a few fun things. Last night, I took a class at Twin Liquors about champagne and sparkling wines. Twin Liquors is one of those examples of a regional business that works hard to offer real customer service by hiring knowledgeable staff and providing free classes in wines and spirits throughout the year. They have a huge and diverse stock, and every Friday they offer free wine tastings to introduce their clients to wines they might not otherwise try. The best part? The wines they offer for tasting and in their classes aren’t only the high-end expensive types – though they do sometimes include those. Always, though, they are interested in steering people to value wines that are affordable and excellent. As we got closer to the holidays, I took a Wine 101 class (twice – different wines each time) and one about French Bordeaux. Both were fascinating, and last night’s class was just as interesting. Here are few fun facts abut sparkling wines:
- Champagne can only be called champagne if it’s produced in the teeny tiny Champagne region of France. Everything else is named according to the method used and/or region in which it is produced.
- Brut sparkling wines are drier than Extra Dry.
- Of the three grapes traditionally used in champagne production, two of them are red.
- There are huge differences in the size and structure of the bubbles in sparkling wines and those differences really affect how a sparkling wine drinks.
I have had very little time to spend over at Art Jewelry Elements and Artisan Whimsy, which is a shame because they both have had some really interesting posts in the last few weeks. Here are a few of my favorites:
- A tutorial for free-form wire fibula pins by Melissa Meman
- A really fun post about using scrap copper to create components by Jen Cameron
- Some storage eye-candy from Kristi Bowman
- A fun and different Peyote stitch bracelet by Chandra Merod
- A really excellent primer on using Pinterest to promote your jewelry business by Linda Landig
I did manage to get my own post up over on AJE this morning – it’s a few of my favorite color-related tools and resources.
Like many of you, I have been unable to get the Newtown school shooting tragedy out of my mind and my heart. As we get closer to Christmas, more and more families are holding funeral services instead of holiday celebrations. It’s just wrong, and it makes me angry and sad. And I cannot tell you how frustrated I am by the tone of the “national conversation” that we’re apparently going to have about it now – I won’t even try. But as a person of faith, I was deeply moved by this particular post from BooMama, about how we love one another:
The interesting thing about watching any tragedy play out on social media is that after about fifteen minutes of collective grief and sympathy, the disagreements start. Newtown was no exception. And if you think that people weren’t airing their theological differences in the wake of 26 horrific deaths, then perhaps I should introduce you to the Twitter.
And as strange as this next sentence may sound, I’m going to say it anyway. As heavy as my heart is for Newtown, my heart is also heavy for the Church. I get that there is great diversity in the Body, and with that diversity come all sorts of doctrinal issues, all sorts of places where we can disagree. But when a lost and hurting and dark world is crying out for answers and for hope, that seems like an excellent time to call a time-out on the theological boxing matches that are so prevalent in social media these days. I’m not saying that the Arminians have to start planting churches with the Reformed folks, for heaven’s sake. The Pentecostals and the Lutherans don’t have to reach an agreement on election or baptism or anything else.
But I pray that we’ll do a better job of loving each other. Caring for each other. Looking out for one another. We have to do that within the Church so that we can be effective outside of it.
She speaks very directly to some of the things I have been wrestling with and wrote about earlier in the week. While the world talks about gun control and mental health and school security and the role of government, I hope that love and being effective outside the church will be the things the people of Christ will be focused on. It’s something that I suspect will occupy my heart and thoughts for some time.