Category Archives: Book of Days Calendar

Carmel Valley Pumpkins, or Your October Book of Days

Six days into the month, and here is your Convivio Book of Days Calendar for October. I’d apologize for my belatedness, but you’re probably tired of my apologies. Rather, just enjoy the calendar. Cover star this month: a 1907 oil painting by Evelyn McCormick called Carmel Valley Pumpkins.

And just like that here in Lake Worth, where last week summer was still in charge, now the shadows are lengthening and the days feel lighter, breezier. The air may not be crisp, but it is drier, and that counts for something.

So it’s official: We’ll be making our first public market appearance this month since February, 2020. Find us on Saturday October 30 at Dia de Los Muertos Lake Worth Beach, our town’s annual celebration for Day of the Dead. Same place as usual: Hatch 1121 just west of the railroad tracks between Lake Avenue and Lucerne Avenue. Masks are required (and I don’t think they’re talking about calavera masks in this case). This joyous celebration runs from 3 to 9 PM, and although this year it’s being held the day before Hallowe’en, keep in mind this is not exactly a Hallowe’en thing. None of the silly trappings that have befallen our contemporary Hallowe’en: no blood, no gore, no sexy nurses, no horror movies. Dia de Los Muertos, rather, is a celebration honoring those who have come and gone before us and a joyful acceptance of what lies ahead for us all. It is the time each year when I am most proud to be part of this Lake Worth community. Click here for full details. There will be ofrendas, music and dance, and we’ll be there with plenty of our authentic Artesanías Mexicanas!

We’re also teaching our Calavera Prints! workshop this Saturday from 2 to 5 PM at Hatch 1121 as part of the celebration. You’ll learn a simple process to make José Posada inspired linoleum cut prints… a process you can continue at home without a press. We will, nonetheless, have our Nolan Tabletop Press at Hatch this Saturday, along with some historic wood type, to give you an authentic letterpress experience. You don’t need to be “artsy” to do this, and you don’t even need to know how to draw. I’ve got some great tricks up my sleeve, trust me. The workshop cost is $65 and you do have to register ahead of time: click here for full details and to register. The class is limited to 8 properly masked participants.

One last thing for today: at our online Convivio Book of Days Catalog, take your choice this week of two sales we are running. First up: Mom is now 95 years old. Her birthday was on Sunday, and to celebrate, we’re having a sale on her Millie’s Tea Towels line of hand embroidered flour sack tea towels. Save $9.50 when you buy any four of Millie’s Tea Towels (or one 7-day set), and get free domestic shipping, too, when you use the discount code HAPPYBIRTHDAY at checkout. Find Millie’s Tea Towels at the new Linens & Textiles link on our catalog page. Shop here!

And if you need to stock up on any of the other wonderful things we sell, you’ll save $10 on your purchase of $75 on everything in the shop with discount code STREETFAIR, plus get free domestic shipping. Everything means everything! Artesanías Mexicanas for Dia de Los Muertos, sparkly new Advent calendars from Germany, German and Swedish woodcrafts for Christmas, and lots more. Shop here!

Image: Carmel Valley Pumpkins by Evelyn McCormick. Oil on canvas, 1907 [Creative Commons, via Wikimedia Commons].


A Hatful of Apples, or Your September Book of Days

Short and sweet: Here is your printable Convivio Book of Days calendar for September. Autumn is coming, and so is, hopefully, an abundant apple crop. This is what we dream of here in Florida, where apples will not grow. Oranges, mangoes, carambola and papaya…. all grow readily here, but it is the humble apple I wish for most.

Cover star this month: a painting, most likely from the late 1890s, called “Harvest.” It’s by American artist Levi Wells Prentice, who was self-taught and associated with the Hudson River School––and there you have another thing I tend to look longingly toward as autumn color sweeps across the land: the Hudson River Valley and the legends and lore of writers like Washington Irving. Each autumn, I find myself pulling down one of his books from the bookcase. I find myself a cozy chair and read a tale or two about the Hudson Valley he loved so much. Washington Irving: he’s like Father Christmas to those of us who love autumn.

I already know I’ve got busy days ahead so I cannot guarantee you’ll hear from me before a couple of red letter days pass this month. Both come on Monday, when it will be Labor Day once again. We think of it as our unofficial close to summer in these United States of America, but more than this, it is the day we set aside to honor the workers upon whose labor this nation was built. Later that evening, with the setting sun, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year celebration, will begin. It is a time for sweet things, as simple as a slice of apple, dipped in honey.

And there, short and sweet as promised, is your invitation to this month’s calendar. I think you’ll like it. It’s a PDF that you can print and pin to your wall, and it is a fine accompaniment to this blog. Over at the website, our Summer High Five Sale continues for just a few days more, but I’ll be writing again soon with news about our upcoming autumn sale, which features a bigger discount but also a higher minimum… so if you’re planning a purchase, well, plan accordingly. Currently, and for the next few days, take $5 off your order of $35 or more with discount code HIGH5.

Summer here persists a while longer, but knowing autumn is coming to the Hudson River Valley and other points north is all I need to know. I’m with you in spirit.


Image: “Harvest” by Levi Wells Prentice. Oil on canvas, circa 1890s [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons.


Chosen Land, or Your Convivio Book of Days for August

A few days late letting you know about your Convivio Book of Days calendar for August, but, nonetheless, here it is, a printable PDF as usual, and a fine companion to this blog. Our cover star for the month is an 1867 painting by Winslow Homer, called Haymakers. As I mentioned in a Convivio Dispatch from Lake Worth just the other night, Homer’s painting reminds me of being a printing intern at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Community in Maine back in the late 90s, for there were many days when I was not in the Dairy Cellar printing but rather in the garden weeding, or out in the fields, helping to bring in the hay. We’d load the bales onto the hay wagon, ride the wagon to the big red barn, and there, I would get to do my favorite thing: look up at the ceiling and at all those beautiful wooden boards, nailed in place in 1830, nearly half a century before Winslow Homer painted his haymaking scene. Looking up from inside, that barn looked to me for all the world like a vast cathedral, one filled with the sacred smell of animals and newly cured hay, sunlight streaming in on slanted rays through small clear windows.

I’d go home later each haymaking day with a stuffy nose and the worst sinus headache. A little too much hay. But I’d do it again if I could.

And here we are, at the Sixth of August: one of the most important days of the year in the Shaker calendar. I’ve heard it called Landing Day, but Brother Arnold and Sister June and Brother Andrew there at the Community, they always call it the Glorious Sixth, this annual summer occasion that marks the day in 1774 when the founder of the Shaker movement, Mother Ann Lee, arrived in New York Harbor after setting sail from England. Mother Ann was following a vision from on high that told her to bring her small band of followers from Manchester to the New World, and so she took that leap of faith. The passage was not smooth, and there is a tale of a great storm that roared up and caused a plank to tear loose from the ship, and the ship began taking on water, but Mother Ann had another vision that night, one of an angel telling her to be not afraid, all would be well, and then another great wave crashed upon the ship and forced the loosened plank back into place. The ship stopped taking on water, the storm quelled, what water was taken on was pumped out, and Mother Ann and her followers arrived in safety and began their quiet work. Work that continues to this day at Sabbathday Lake in Maine, the place they call Chosen Land.

My friends there will be first and foremost in my mind today, and especially at sunset, when they will celebrate with song and prayer this special day. Blessings on them, and on us all.

Here in our neck of the woods, my mom, Millie, has been embroidering each and every day and is anxious to get back to it when she’s not. She’s having a ball making Millie’s Tea Towels, and they’ve turned out to be a big hit! Each one is embroidered by hand by my Mom, and since we introduced them last month, she’s made a few new collections that you’ll find now at our website: in addition to the original Baking Day, Kitchen Wisdom, and Java Jive collections, there are new collections of flour sack tea towels for beachgoers, for campers, for wine lovers, and a new seven towel set––one for each day of the week––all about PIE (one of our favorite things).

All summer long, use discount code HIGH5 at checkout for $5 off your purchase of $35 on everything in the shop. Take it to $50 and earn free domestic shipping, too. Click here to shop! You’ll find Millie’s Tea Towels under our new Linens & Textiles category.

Mom gets the full amount of each sale of her embroidered tea towels; it makes me very happy to see her happy in this new venture and that’s what matters to me (plus it pretty much takes her a whole day to embroider each towel!). That’s my mom in the photo you’ll see when you start shopping, in a fishing boat, circa 1950. Seeing that picture is reason enough to click.


Image: “Haymakers” by Winslow Homer, which also happens to be the cover star for this month’s Convivio Book of Days calendar. Oil on canvas, 1867 [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons.