(A lil' blog on a dotty hill somewhere)

Wednesday, December 13

Spinning tops and dreidels


Happy Hanukkah to our Jewish friends out there! Yes, I went with the dreidel as my choice for this week's theme. One of the more recent theories out there as to its origins suggests that it was actually first developed from an Irish or English top later introduced to Germany as the teetotum, eventually making its way into Yiddish communities, where the ascribed Latin symbols mean the same as those found on the Hebrew version of today's holiday favourite. Regardless, spinning tops of all sorts are found in ancient archeological sites the world over — they were that popular. And to think, most of us never even play with them today! Well, if nothing else, I could always make a statement with my very own interior design pattern. Maybe it would even take off in places like Brooklyn? It would certainly make for a fun splash of sky blue in an otherwise often drab grey sky this time of year.

So, how about you? What did you spin up for our Scribble Picnic this week? I'm bringing along Sufganiyot, which may be a traditional Israeli treat but sure looks a lot like, ironically enough, that classic British jam filled, granulated sugar sprinkled doughnut found in any bake shop in England (my favourite btw!).

P.S. I plan to visit everyone sooner this go around and will be sure to leave comments to all those who played along last week too. Sorry to have not got to that yet but am going to! I'm looking forward to it, actually. Thank you!

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24 comments

  1. My thoughts are spinning away in thoughts of what others will post today! Great job on yours Michael. Thanks for hosting this.

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    1. Heh, it's been really fun seeing what everyone's spun up, for sure! :) thank you so much.

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  2. Michael your piece is outstanding and I love the idea of a blue sky drape. The Israeli dessert sounds delicious, and it is Hanukkah right now, very seasonal topic.

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    1. I just added a link to the dessert so you can look those up!

      Thank you so much. :) You are so supportive and I truly appreciate that. It spurs me on to do my best.

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  3. Oh I know ... I could use some sky blue right now. It is cold and gray here as always in the winter. Love your pattern and I agree it would be a big seller in many neighborhoods. I dipped into my own personal history this week, and you taught us all something we probably would never have known without your knowledge. Sad that tops and dredels are never seen anymore ... the children of the tech generations will probably never understand "hands on" play. Thank you again, Micheal ...

    Andrea @ From the Sol

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    1. I totally agree with you, Andrea. It is sad. Now, where do you live again that it's so cold already there? You really do need a Sauna, as I noted in my reply to your comment from last week you left me. Thank you.

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    2. I live on a lake north of Chicago and walking distance from the Wisconsin border. We seem to always be on the edge of Wisconsin's cold weather, but we also seem to miss most of of the snow. I have mixed feelings about that because our dog loves playing in the snow so, for her, I guess I would like to get more of the snow here. Surely it is cold in Colorado, yes?

      Andrea

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  4. I love the splash of blue Michael :) I couldn't play along last week or this week, time constraints, but I will be back next week for Christmastime! :)

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    1. Thank you for visiting though, Rain. I still want to go back and read your other comments to mine on your blog a few weeks back. When the hols are here, I plan to take time to do just that.

      Sorry you missed the theme again though, but I appreciate you letting me know you are well and alive and will even be back for Christmastime! Maybe you could simply bake something and decorate it? That would work too, you know! I know it gets super busy this time of year for all of us so even wondered about any theme this week or next but realise too that too many weeks without one leads to people dropping off and getting out of the habit. So, one more week to go and then a break for a bit for us all here. :)
      I'm looking forward to next week actually, for the theme, as it will give me a chance to write up some xmas card of sorts for those of you here who visit and play along.

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    2. I think what you're doing is great! It helps people to get creative and build a routine to stay creative. Also, the interaction with all these new friends is fun for me. I love reading their blogs too.

      For us, it's been all about the dogs lately and trying to fit in some sleep! But things are looking up here, they are calming down.

      I really miss painting, but what a fun idea about the baking! I certainly have Christmastime baking going on! I even had a super idea for the Scandinavia theme, I was going to do Freya, the Norse Goddess of Love...I'll keep that in mind for another theme though! :)

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  5. Michael, this is a most excellent and exquisite graphic. Goodness you are amazing. Whether you are making swirls of snow, or perfectly designed graphics you are just the best. This is so lovely and such a tribute to our Jewish friends. Perfect for the theme.

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    1. Aw, shucks! thank you. Such comments really do inspire me to do that extra bit ...well, ok, I probably would anyway, but these comments do help me to make the time to actually play along too. So thank you again, truly.

      You know, while it's getting busy for all of us, I'm really looking forward to next week's theme, more for the post writing itself that is! It will allow me a chance to write a sort of end of year letter/postcard to each of you. Love doing that sort of thing. :)

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  6. Love the blues and your awesome design Michael.
    Thanks for the challenge this week - and am I correct in thinking next week can be anything about Christmas/Holidays? That's going to be really fun.

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    1. Yes, anything to do with this time of year! :) Thank you!

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  7. silly me, I didn't even think of doing patterns. I guess the graphic designer in me is never around when it comes to creating art.

    this looks great. I really like the blue but then I do favor blue a lot. another good take on the theme.

    sorry that I couldn't participate again. the theme just didn't speak to me and also, I'm such a slacker toward the end of the year.

    have a lovely day.

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    1. Well, I so appreciate your visit nonetheless, dear Lissa. We do miss your wonderful contributions though, must say.

      I know it's not easy creating something where the theme is not natural or familiar to one either, but then again, that's often what we have to do as designers too, right? :)

      Knowing that you don't really do Christmas in your home either, I wonder if you will find it compelling enough to render something for the next Christmastime theme? You know, i deliberately made he theme open ended enough for those like you, so that you could do anything related to this time of year. it certainly doesn't necessarily even have to be Christmassy, even if seen now...like snow in NY! ...O, come to think of it, rain and bridges and dark early nights! :)

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  8. I've many good memories of playing with tops of all sorts. Guess we'd better dig some out for when the grandkids are here!
    Time has a way of spinning out of control sometimes ;-) so I won't be able to fit a drawing in this week–hopefully next!
    By the way, last week's theme would also have worked today, as December 13 is Sweden's St. Lucia Day.

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    1. Og yeah, it so would have! I did think of that actually adn contemplated it but decided to do something different since I've drawn St. Lucia day before...although not as well as I had hoped! Thank you, Jolene. No worries. Please do try to come come along to the next picnic as I really want to write something memorable for it to each of you who make this special. you are definitely one of them and we so appreciate you.

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  9. Thank you for the little history behind this topic. It's always fun to learn new things along with your fun interpretation. We don't celebrate Hanukkah but I love the colors of this holiday. I remember my daughter as a little girl of about 9 or 10 asking our priest who was visiting our neighbors, why we don't celebrate Hanukkah because Jesus did, and I think it quite baffled him because he couldn't come up with an answer - at least not something a 9-year-old would understand. So when she got a little older, she insisted on having a menorah of her own. Sorry for going on.

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  10. I love reading stories like this. Thinking girl for sure. I'm thinking it was a secondary celebration that became elevated as xmas too prominance. I've know a few families who have celebrated Hanukkah before. Like you, not my tradition or thing really but I love the colors and it's a good piece of history passed down to remember. Thank you for your comment, Lorraine.

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  11. Sorry, I had hoped to participate in this one but time got away from me with an exhausting week and back pain. I love your take on the theme, Michael, and as always, it's interesting to read a bit of history behind it.

    The prompt made me think of my eldest son who is legally blind and hearing impaired...back when he was around 3 years old, he adored playing with the large metal spinning tops where you pushed the plunger up and down, released it, and watched the top spin. He was fascinated them. I was going with that for my take on the prompt but...

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  12. Hi Serena, no worries. the next one will be fun and I do hope your back is more recovered by then too! So sorry.

    Yes, I was thinking I'd do the same kind of top--loved those--but somehow it morphed into a dreidel and then I jsut went with it as I wanted to explore the theme with those colours, already knowing i would do a pull down blind.

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  13. Michael I wanted to respond to all your comments on my blogs. Alas,We are up north at yet another funeral. So will answer you when we get home. Hugs. Love how you put your thoughts in words.

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  14. Hi Micheal, I have posted today's Christmas time theme on my blog, but I have to leave and you are not up yet ... and, I am pretty sure I won't be home before you close. I am hoping you can do some of your magic and link me in when you get this ... Sorry, our timing is just off. Thank you,

    Andrea @ From the Sol

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