Sunday, November 12, 2017


The holiday season is here.

Even weeks before Thanksgiving and Advent, we are being assaulted with Xmas. For a traditionalist like me who likes to celebrate Christmas from Dec. 25 to January 5, this makes for an over-extended holiday. Keeping spirits bright that long can be a challenge.

I can understand the fascination with Christmas. I know, much of the Christmas avalanche is driven by retail. This is the time of year when a lot of money is made. I also believe there is something about the holidays that is magical. We want to capture that wonder. The days are getting shorter, and if you are like me, that is depressing. Christmas signals the change in the days. Christians say it is the time when light came into the world.

Still, despite the promises of new beginnings and renewal, the extended holiday can feel at times like a trial. The important thing for me is to find other things to focus on.

I am looking forward to Thanksgiving. My secret to a less-stress turkey day - hope someone invites you over. We have a large family, so this is not too remote an answer. My next hint is to go to a restaurant. I'm not a big leftovers person, so these solutions suit me just fine.

Of course, for the first option, I'll still be responsible for some food, but I have several simple ideas. My husband makes preserves, and we have an excellent stash of cranberry chutney. That poured over some cream cheese or nondairy spread and served with tasty crackers is a great appetizer.

I also am a big fan of Sun Basket. Many of you know that was true even before I began an affiliate program with them on my podcast site. Well, that's actually a reason I became an affiliate. I'm going to promote them regardless! The best part of a meal service is the no outside my home shopping involved. I love having my food in perfect portions delivered to my door.

If you are cooking the bird, I'm also an advocate for buying a fresh turkey that you can pick up the day before the holiday.

I recommend you follow Alton Brown's recipe with brining of the bird. That method results in the perfect roast turkey.

Another break from too much "Ho, Ho, Ho" is skiing. The slopes near here will open soon.

You may wonder at that because I've mentioned my physical limitations because of my arthritis and nerve problems in my arms. My reply is that you should not expect to see me executing perfect telemark turns down a black ski run at Jackson Hole. However, you will see me in the Sierra, or perhaps other resorts, on the green runs and easy blue runs without moguls. Skiing, like some other sports, is easy to modify to a person's limitations.

I love playing in the snow and am grateful to be alive at a time when an activity like this is accessible.

Reading, knitting, art, and music are other activities that I access more often as winter approaches.

The year drawing to a close is time for reflection and resolutions.

Despite needing to take a pause from the assault of a prolonged holiday season, I do plan to enjoy it. I used to find the holidays a time of magic even as an adult. It seems harder to capture that now that the kids are grown, and the people close to me are less interested in the celebrations. Still, I look ahead to finding some of the magic this season.

I hope you, too, find magic in the next two months.

Love,๐Ÿ’•

Karen

Monday, November 6, 2017

Home at last




I have finally settled to being at home. There are some trips I could take before 2018, but I'm saying, "Enough!"

I want to get bills and taxes squared away, organize and deep clean my home, concentrate on my podcast, this blog, and art.

My family has been a significant part of my travels; so, at least, that's an essential part of my life - enriched, not neglected, in my wanderings.

I have been scrapbooking lately and have thought about doing some process videos to discuss how I design and make my pages. I also have taken some video classes as I hope to incorporate some of that on my social media sites and here on the blog.

I love to learn as I have told you many times in the past. My favorite online sites are Udemy and Coursera.

I also am taking an art history class online from Los Rios Community College. It works well when you have a peripatetic lifestyle.

Here are some recent photos of some of my scrapbook pages.







I hope you've visited A Creative Approach Podcast or even better subscribed to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or Google Play Store. I started a YouTube channel for the podcast and am considering an app.

One of the things I learned in my class, Video for Social Media, was the importance of closed captioning. All future podcasts will have closed captioning. I have added CC to a few past podcasts, and eventually, all shows in the archives will have this feature.

My studio is slightly chaotic right now; but, after I organize it, I hope to work on a few long-postponed art projects. Classes often compel me to complete work. I need to get that motivation on my own.

I hope to post a few holiday projects in the days ahead. I am thinking of creating a couple of digital designs, either templates or products as I have done in the past. There, I said it. Now I have to get that done!

Love,

Karen๐Ÿ’–