Category Archives: Ramadan

Rounding Out April

April is soon coming to a close, and I apologize, I’ve definitely fallen off the ball with Book of Days updates since Easter. Since then, St. George’s Day has come and gone, as has the mysterious St. Mark’s Eve and his day, too, and hopefully the people of Venice were able to make risi e bisi, their traditional meal for the day, a risotto of rice and peas with pancetta and onion. I, for one, have been cooking up a storm (Sunday I made tomato sauce and a cardamom pear coffee cake) and one big question is once I switch back from trousers with drawstrings to trousers that have actual buttons and zippers, will I have to leave that top button open? The cat seems to like us being home, too; she now takes an additional meal at 2 in the afternoon.

Ramadan began this past week, too. A central aspect of this month-long celebration is daytime fasting. The fasting is a reminder of the many people who are less fortunate than ourselves, and in this strange time of home quarantine and isolation, it is good to remember this. It is so very easy to get caught up in our own troubles, no? Chances are extremely good that there is always someone having a much rougher day than we are. Why not then be kind and patient with everyone? This is a central aspect of Ramadan, but it should just as well be a central premise of living for us all.

Ramadan continues until the next crescent moon, when Eid al-Fitr, the Sweet Festival, begins. Beautiful Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr cards, all by our friend Manal Aman of Hello Holy Days! in Canada, are available at our online catalog, and right now they are all 15% off with code SPRING15 (through April 30). Other spring and summer items are included, as well as all of our handmade soaps. Plus free domestic shipping when you spend $50 across our catalog.

One last thing today: working from home has meant finding creative solutions to new challenges. One of my challenges as Director of the Jaffe Center for Book Arts at Florida Atlantic University Libraries is to maintain a connection with our students and our book arts enthusiasts, and so last month, despite my stage fright, I began a weekly Facebook Live broadcast called Book Arts 101: Home Edition, which airs live on the Facebook page of the Jaffe Center for Book Arts each Wednesday at 3 PM Eastern Daylight Time. We talk books and craft and stories and the broadcasts originate here, at the Convivio Bookworks studio. Basically, if it’s in my home or on the premises, it’s fair game. This Wednesday’s episode is going to be a love letter, of sorts, to Lake Worth, the quirky town we call home. I’ll be showing and talking about things in our home that were made in Lake Worth or that delve into its history. If you’re a fan of my Convivio Dispatches from Lake Worth, you’ll probably enjoy Wednesday’s broadcast. And if you’re not familiar with the Dispatches, you can check one out by clicking here. The Convivio Dispatch is quite a different animal than this blog. The Dispatches are more based in story, and they are not collected in a blog, but rather come to you as a very occasional email, as they always have.

Anyway, won’t you join us on Wednesday? If you can’t make it at 3 Eastern, worry not, the videos are later available at the Convivio Bookworks Facebook page. There have been four so far, and we’ll continue them for as long as they feel needed.


It’s a Sale!

It’s pretty rare Convivio Bookworks runs a sale, but we won’t be popping up this spring at pop-up markets, and here we are with all these wonderful Ukrainian pysanky eggs that just arrived, and all those beautiful handmade sturdy paper egg containers from Germany (great places to stash your jelly beans and malted eggs). We also have cards you’re not likely to find elsewhere for Ramadan, and there’s a brand new Swedish maypole decoration for Midsummer, and these fine handmade artisan goods are not going to do anyone any good sitting in our little house ’til next year. So we’re giving you 15% everything in our Spring & Summer collection, 15% off all of our Ramadan cards from Manal Aman of Hello Holy Days! fame, and while we’re at it, since soap is so important right now, 15% off all of our handmade soaps from local soap maker Kelly Sullivan and from Brother Andrew at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Community in Maine (as well as their delightful new culinary lavender that’s in a brown paper bag tied up with string).

Click here to get to the Convivio Book of Days Catalog; use code SPRING15 when you check out. Plus we’ll give you FREE SHIPPING on domestic orders when you spend $50. (And our flat rate shipping is only $8.50 if you don’t spend $50.) We ship Priority Mail so you’ll have your order in time for Easter. If you’re in Lake Worth Beach, let us know and we’ll deliver your order to your front porch for free no matter how much you spend (we’ll deduct the shipping charge if you spend less than $50).

Your orders support what may just be the smallest company on the planet, as well as all the artisans we buy from… most of them are folks we know by name. That support is greatly appreciated at times like this, so thank you.

Blossoms & Bridges, or Your May Book of Days

It’s May and the world around us is bursting forth, bursting into new bloom, new green, new life. It is the story that never grows old. Here in Lake Worth, where we have constant green, the green is a new shade of bright, and the flowering trees begin their annual blooming, most abundantly with the Tabebuia Argenta, or Yellow Tabs. This one is blooming right outside our front door right now, even as I type this. Fittingly enough, our Yellow Tab is the cover star of your Convivio Book of Days Calendar for May. Our monthly gift to you is a printable PDF, so you can print it and pin it to your bulletin board and keep it as a fine companion to the Book of Days blog.

May Day has come and gone, and next up is Cinco de Mayo this Sunday, and come sunset that same day, it’s the start of Ramadan. We were inspired this year by our friend Manal Aman of Hello Holy Days! to add some new items to our Convivio Book of Days Catalog: Manal’s lovely cards for Ramadan and Eid al Fitr, which she designs herself and sends to us from her home in Canada. Manal came to Canada from Pakistan as a baby, just like my Aunt Anne came to the United States from Italy as a baby. Pakistan, the same homeland as Tara and Sami, the folks who run The Pelican in downtown Lake Worth on Lake Avenue. During some of my lowest days, it was Tara who would welcome me to her restaurant for breakfast and send me on my way afterward with dinner for later on, as well. For sure, Seth and I are sending Tara and Sami one of Manal’s Ramadan cards this year, to thank them for their kindness.

Manal’s idea is simple: to bring Ramadan and Eid to the mainstream through companies like Crate+Barrel and Martha Stewart Living. As she says, “We live in a time and place where there’s a lot of misunderstandings about Muslims.” Her goal is to help build understanding between communities. Which sounds an awful lot like ours. And sometimes the simplest thing––like sending someone a card––can go a long way toward building that understanding, building those bridges. And bridges are so much better than walls. In this home, anyway, we feel this is true and this is right and good.


Two of Manal Aman’s beautiful cards for Ramadan and Eid al Fitr, new to the Convivio Book of Days Catalog. You’ll find many to choose from, and free domestic shipping when you spend $50 across the catalog. Image above: The yellow spring blooms of the Tabebuia Argenta.