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Posts tagged ‘holidays’

Christine: Advance….and Retreat…

Oh, the holiday season is upon us once again! As a jewelry artist and metalsmith, this should signal some of the busiest sales times of the year for me. The truth is, I prefer to have my busy-ness occur before Thanksgiving, and be done. Since I don’t need to support myself with my work (I only really support my work with my work), it’s not as crucial to maximize the sales figures.

Besides, I’ve had a very successful year, being able to pay off my new kiln, bank some money toward a new torch, and send in an entry to a much larger show for spring that has a much larger booth fee. So, I’m pretty happy all the way around.

This is also the time of year when I feel myself totally pulling back from all the online communities I belong to, and spending time focusing on my “real” life and family and myself. It’s the season, I think, to turn slightly inward, become more insular. I’m posting on forums less, blogging a lot less, not getting involved in art trades or challenges or online classes. That works for me, and it’s been happening for at least the last two years, so now, instead of resisting, and wailing about how my mojo has left the building, I lean into it and accept it. The funny thing is, I think most people who go through something like this, and get all panicky about it, feel that the community they’ve become a part of will somehow leave them behind if they don’t constantly stay engaged. I’ve never found that to be true for me, though. People I *really* want to stay connected with will still be there when I re-engage.

It has to do with the amount of creative energy I don’t realize I am pouring out in the time between Halloween and New Year’s Day. Stopping to consider it, in that time frame our family has a holiday, followed by a birthday, Thanksgiving, another birthday, Christmas, and then finally, New Year’s. I am designing and making costumes, decorating, cooking, baking, choosing and wrapping gifts, planning birthday parties, decorating some more, cooking and baking some more, choosing more gifts, MAKING so many gifts, doing more decorating, telling stories, playing with my kids, going on special holiday outings, and just enjoying the rush of family life in this season. Whew! All of that uses creative energy, and social energy, and I am just frankly OUT of energy to spend on my online presence. It’s okay, though, because come late winter, I’m ready to go again!

Fields that have a chance to lie fallow will become more productive later on. By letting my artistic and online social “fields” lie fallow for a time, I can manage my holiday season and my art-making seasons with much less stress. How do you manage?

Studio Mothers Winter Break

Understanding that this is a very busy time of year for most of us, regardless of which particular holiday you may or may not celebrate, we’ll be on blog hiatus until the New Year. I hope everyone has (or has had) a fabulous holiday — and for those of you who celebrate Christmas, here’s a little video you’re sure to enjoy. See you in 2010!

Cathy: Have yourself a merry little Christmas!

xmas-starMay your families all enjoy warmth and good cheer this week as we all come together to bring back light out of darkness. Let us watch the days grow longer now, remember our own family and long-standing religious traditions. No matter our differences, may we all know peace, love and joy this week and into the New Year.

Love to my sisters at Creative Construction!

Shalom, Salaam, Aloha, Peace.

Cathy

Debra: The Turkey Hunt

I knew I was in trouble when my mobile phone was disconnected because I spent too long talking to the internet company’s helpline. I remember hearing that the technology behind the World Wide Web was created in France, but people seem able to go without it here — it’s like they see it like premium cable. They don’t mind having it, but they can do without. I found it was pretty difficult to go to internet cafés with a 14-month-old who refuses to sit still (they even have a brand-new family-oriented café with wifi here, but my son seemed to think the kitchen was much more intriguing than the play area. So let’s just say I was pretty desperate to get my internet connection (and phone, since it’s via internet) working again. Three weeks and a lot of plaintive phone calls later, I feel like I’ve just come back from a trip to 1990.

Anyway, the phone got connected the week before Thanksgiving, which kept me from having to go to the butcher in person every day to see how he was progressing on getting me a turkey. He assured me that everything was going to work out — my parents are visiting from San Francisco, and I had invited two other families over, so I was pretty set on getting my bird. He told me he would be closed the Monday before Thanksgiving so I should call him on Tuesday to “confirm.” Of course, when I called him on Tuesday, he told me everything was just fine for Friday….he didn’t seem to understand the concept of the Thursday holiday. So it seems the original turkey I had ordered got a pardon until Christmas!

I called the big grocery stores in the area and no one could get me a turkey until December. On a whim I went to the local market, where I got my very own Thanksgiving mini-miracle — a poultry seller who knew about Thanksgiving and could even find a turkey to kill by Thursday! It cost me 48 euros and it was the skinniest turkey my mother had ever seen, but it sure did taste good. We even had cranberries!

Anyway, it was our first Thanksgiving in France and it made me realize that while I’m still frustrated by a lot of things here — students who plagiarize their essays from wikipedia, crazy drivers, pharmacies that are closed on Monday, everything else that is closed on Sunday — it is starting to feel like home. One of the things that always strikes me is that it really will be home for my son. French will probably be his best language, he won’t think everything here is unusually small, and Thanksgiving will be a strange holiday that only his family celebrates. I live in a foreign country, but he doesn’t — he just has a foreign mother. I shouldn’t think this is too strange, since my mother is also an immigrant. But part of me, as an American, still goes around thinking that I can’t possibly be the foreign one — maybe it’s even because my mother is not a native-born American and always told me I was lucky I was. Anyway, just things I’ve been thinking about in general and in my writing this past month — origins, roots and, well, turkey.

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