December 11: Learning Advent with SusieJ


Every year, I try to learn one new skill. Most years, I don't learn anything new until the Fall, whether that's because the beginning of the year is spent improving the new thing I learned the previous year, or if I'm just too tired in Winter and distracted in Summer.

Learning can be something big (the Spanish language) or small (CSS grid), on-going (cake decorating) or one-time (glass blowing), scary (riding a motorcycle) or comforting (embroidery), practical (sewing) or not (Magic the Gathering).

Learning satisfies my craving for novelty, and need to be productive and constantly improving. There is a thrill in understanding and even mastering a subject that was once a black box of incomprehensibility.

Pumpkin-spice cake

I tweaked a spice cake recipe one fall for an entry into a Magic the Gathering contest for the release of a new, fairy-tale themed card set. While my pumpkin carriage cake was acceptable for a child's birthday party, one of the final winners created the same carriage in 3-D. The cake's delicious.

One man holding a metal punty with a blob of molten glass on the far end, while another man helps him roll it on a metal table.

One vacation we learned to blow glass at Little River Hot Glass Studio in Vermont.