I don’t know why it is but this time of year, especially since I have gotten older, I crave things with peppermint. I take my supplements, especially in the winter, but I can’t seem to get enough of the minty stuff around Christmas. I am fond of mint chocolate chip ice cream year round, though, but at Christmas I want peppermint in anything desserty. I should probably look it up. There’s probably a health benefit to peppermint and why it is my body craves it, especially in the winter.
The only problem with commercial food is they use too much sugar. I am not really a big fan of sugary things so I like it when I can make my own stuff and downplay the sugar and really bring out the mint. That’s why I usually won’t eat candy canes unless they taste more like mint and less like sugar. I ate a candy cane stick yesterday and I was like “where’s the mint?!” Blech!
Both of my kids like minty things this time of year, as well. When they were little, candy canes would slowly disappear from the tree. Nowadays they like Andes mints and peppermint bark. Whoever thought of mint and chocolate together needs to be canonized a saint.
I am glad that with only 3 days to Christmas, today’s prompt is “candy cane.”
I had all sorts of ideas that I wanted to do for the word “cabin.”
Backtracking a bit, it is very important for artists to have sketchbooks or paintings with lots of subject matter. (And to catalog said sketchbooks, of which I have not done yet, so you know where to find stuff…) I have over 100 sketchbooks, and when I did manage to count, I had over 600 paintings (no, they aren’t all masterpieces nor are they framed.)
The importance of all of these works and sketches is to have material to draw from to create all new work.
Coming back to the prompt of “cabin.” I had a painting of a cabin I did many years ago and I did a sketch earlier this year (before the pandemic) of a winter nocturnal. From those two I created the image below…And I had a lot of fun doing it.
This Angel is a new improved version of one I did back in 2018. I was going to start from scratch but I have sketchbooks full of stuff so I pulled this one out for an upgrade. The original version had glittery gold paint for the halo and a few other tricks that I can do with mixed media. It was a challenge to recreate that image using Procreate. I like both versions.
Having lost Cleo this year, this one has a bit of sentiment behind it.
I love poinsettias at this time of year. I started out with the red until I found other varieties like the splashed white, and the pale red ones. Several years ago I discovered the pink ones. There were so many different versions of the pink ones, too. The “hotter” the pink, the better.
Last year, we had just moved to Florida and I couldn’t find the pink ones anywhere. Everywhere I went, there were red poinsettias. No pink. I missed my pink poinsettias. It was tough to keep them healthy as indoor plants when we lived up North. They would get buggy eventually so all my pink ones from 2018 died and I wasn’t able to bring any with us. We have three red ones left over from last year and they are just getting ready to flip over from green to red. I think we got these at Lowe’s and they were considered “garden” poinsettias. It’s definitely different to experience Christmas in Florida!
2020, although a tough year, did have some bright spots. My husband found pink poinsettias at Home Depot, of all places! And they are PINK! He brought home a couple as a surprise. I was so excited, we ran to get a few more. I gave one to the elderly lady down the street who was diagnosed with cancer this year. Because of the pandemic, we couldn’t do the things we would have normally done like baked something or paid her a few visits, the most we are able to do is say “hi” from the bottom of her driveway. I have been wanting to get her a bouquet or something and the pink poinsettia seemed to be just what was needed. She loves it.
Home Depot had quite a few stunners and we have them around the lanai, pool and two in the entry way. This one is on the table near the pool. I could have picked many different ways to interpret the prompt “poinsettia” but this gave me the excuse I needed to immortalize one of them and do it the old fashioned way, with a sketch.
As I post these on social media, I have been putting the shopping days left to Christmas, too. In one of the responses I received, from a woman in the Netherlands, she said that they only had one day of shopping left since the Netherlands folks were going on lockdown again. My heart went out to her. All I could say was “bummer.” Especially since it is getting colder and with snow in many areas, people won’t even be able to get out for winter activities.
My one offer of comfort is I hope that folks have plenty of coffee, tea and cocoa. This could be a time of trying new things like Afternoon Tea. It doesn’t even need to be fancy, but just taking time to sit down and do nothing but enjoying the tea (or coffee). Put in some peppermint for a treat. Go to the Food Network website for some treat ideas or check an issue of Tea Time magazine. If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace, I can think of no place better to cozy up to read a good book. I am reading Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year by Beth Kempton. I am also listening to her podcast. It’s very soothing.
If you are getting snow this week, lucky you. It may mean you’ll have a snowy white Christmas.
The prompt is “sing” and every time I see the word “sing,” I think of the New Year’s Eve performance of My Chemical Romance. Maybe we all need to sing, for the WHOLE WORLD. Sing it from the heart, sing for the planet, sing for all species, sing for the whales and the manatees, sing for the polar bears and the tigers, sing for all endangered species…sing for clean water, sing for the babies of all species who are born on an ailing planet. Sing for resolution of climate change, sing for our future, sing for peace, sing for love…..sing for all these things.
Here’s a little toast for me making it halfway through the challenge AND I got my holiday ‘Zine completed. WOOOHOOO.
As I was finishing up my ‘Zine and getting it printed and assembled, I listened to Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” conducted by Eugene Ormandy. The memories of my childhood came flooding back. The fact that I know who Eugene Ormandy is makes me long for that time when I could go to the Tower Records Classical Music Store and shop for my favorite conductors. I don’t know many people today who listen to classical music. What a shame.