Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Five! Five things that are rocking my poptarts! Good things. Moving things. Things that restore my faith in humanity, or my faith in myself. Artsy things! Nerdy things! ALL THE LOVELY THINGS!* If you’d like to get Friday Five in your inbox, click here. If you’d like to get all my posts in your inbox, click here.

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Thing One

I adore the conversations I get to have on Facebook. Like, *adore*. I’m not sure how it happened, but I’ve managed to gather the most thoughtful, articulate, compassionate, loveliest people, and when I am grappling with something, or engaging in a deep inquiry, they show up as their best selves. For me, for one another.

I’ve seen a lot of memes floating around out there about how social media isolates us, but I have found the opposite to be true. I find myself feeling more connected than ever before via the instant access I have to some of my favourite people on the planet thanks to Facebook.

Are there issues? Sure there are. What one can and can’t post on Facebook seems bizarre to me. Violence? No problem. Hate speech? Same. Boobs? Not so much. So weird. And the whole arbitrary ‘5000 friend limit’ thing is pretty annoying, too. But the good stuff outweighs the bad stuff enough that I find myself checking in there multiple times a day, every day.

My Facebook profile is set up so that even when I reach my ‘friend limit’ people can follow my public posts. I’ve also just tweaked the settings so that anyone can comment on my public posts as well. It’s not the perfect solution to the friend limit, but it’ll do.

If you’re on Facebook, and you’d like to connect there, I’d love to have you.

Thing Two

I made this for myself yesterday. It started with this recipe, but I tweaked it, as I often tweak recipes, to suit my own personal preferences. In the case of this recipe, I made the polenta, added 3/4 of the asiago, and then poured it into a buttered casserole dish. I small diced the portabellos, sauteed them in butter and garlic, but I also added thyme, oregano & rosemary to the pan before I stirred in the balsamic vinegar. Once they were done, I added them to the sauce, simmered the sauce for a good 30 minutes longer than the recipe called for (because slow food is good food), and then poured the sauce over the polenta. I popped the whole thing in the oven for 30 minutes in at 450 degrees. Took it out, sprinkled the rest of the asiago on top, popped it back in for 10 minutes, and voila.

It was delicious. Comforting. Exactly what I was craving.

The recipe says it serves two, but if you serve it with a salad, you could easily serve four.

Thing Three

Book Of Days returns for session two on May 1st, and I’m super stoked. My hiatus was just long enough that I started to get bored, started to feel like I was chomping at the bit to get back at it. I’m in the process of filming our first lesson (which goes live on Monday) – a May Queen in celebration of all the blooming we’re going to do in our journals. It’s still on sale, by the way, and if you purchase today before 2 p.m. EST, you will be invited to a live video class I’m hosting this afternoon at 3 p.m. EST.

Here’s my May Queen in progress. After multiple layers of Prismacolor pencil, acrylics paint, and clear gesso, I added a layer of gloss medium to protect her from the messy madness that is to come, and WHOOPS! Some of the pencil smeared. At first, I felt panicked, but then I realized that I kind of liked her this way. She looks like she’s been gardening, like she’s been outside, in the dirt.

Margaret Atwood (A Canadian literary treasure) said:

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”

This face brought that quote very much to mind.

My plans for her now include floating watercolor all around her, and then doodling in floral shapes to create the May Queen vibe. I’m really looking forward to finishing her up today.

Thing Four

What you’re looking at is a comparison shot between how my Sweet Trash™ Journals look *before* I start to fill them up with all the things, and what they look like once they’re full. These babies BLOOM, and they make me ridiculously happy. I’m in the process of creating one last spread in this one for Life Book (a bonus lesson upcoming in June), and then it’ll be time for a new one.

This is the third volume I’ve filled since 2015, and so far, I’ve used composition notebooks I buy at Staples. They have these great Kraft covers that are ready to decorate. I’m going to switch things up for the next volume, though, and try the Moleskine Cahier. I prefer the line width in the Moleskines to the line width in the composition notebooks. The comp notebooks have very wide lines, whereas the Moleskines lines are a bit more elegant and better suited to my handwriting.

The Moleskines are a bit more expensive than the composition notebooks I’ve been using, but I think the switch will be worth it. The paper is much nicer, I like the fact that they are soft bound rather than hard bound, and I still get the benefit of the Kraft cover.

I’ll be back soon with a newly decorated Sweet Trash™ Journal.

Thing Five

I’ve been practicing faces, which I love to do. Sometimes, there’s nothing better than pencil on paper. 

I hope you enjoyed this week’s edition of Friday Five!
I’ll be back next week. Have a fantastic weekend!

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