I hate winter. I hate the cold and the muck and cleaning off the car and wearing a thousand layers everywhere. But I love snuggling up in blanket forts and piles of pillows. I love slipping into my wool slippers after a long day and curling up on the couch by the fireplace with a good book or my laptop. I always associate winter days with cups of hot chocolate grasped in cold hands, looking out the window at the beauty of the snow; a blank canvas on which to spread one’s creative wings.
I wanted to share with all of you how I am cozying up with creativity this winter season and just maybe hear about your cozy creative corners too!
Videogame Central - This past Fall, my husband and I purchased a PS5 as our big experience gift this year; something we can do together that isn’t just a thing we share, but an experience we engage with. We have the staple visually stunning games and a favourite classic of mine. But our favourite ones are Sack Boy’s Big Adventure and Planet Coaster. Both of these games are filled to the brim with creativity, problem solving and imagination. In Sack Boy we are trying to save craft world, battling the villain vex by collecting magical spheres of creativity to help save the Imagisphere and protect the world's right to creativity. Meanwhile, over at Planet Coaster we build our own amusement parks from the ground up, literally creating the paths, areas, rides and managing the real mechanics of running a park like vendors, maintenance and aesthetic appeal. After long days at work and arriving home in the darkened evening, spending time collaborating and playing together is a great way for us to connect, not only with each other, but with our creativity.
Reading Nooks - It’s no secret that I love to read. Books are one of my great loves and right now more than ever I love curling up anywhere and everywhere with a good Christmas novel. From the classics to rom-coms, there’s just something about the magic of winter that brings people together and makes space for the big gestures of love. This year is a bit different though, as I’m using the time to ‘read’ or rather edit my first draft of my Christmas Romance novel. While I may cry as I edit, both from the difficulty of choosing what to keep and what to change and from the pain of re-reading some pretty terrible first draft writing, it is a joy to hold something in my hands that I have made, completed, in full. My favourite spots so far are the couch, the bed, and the loveseat. Usually I edit in the evenings while my husband plays some Planet Coaster, or upstairs in bed to help me wind down and sink into some holiday comfort. The point is I get cozy.
Couch Writing - Lately I have abandoned the beautiful writing space we made upstairs in the spare room for me to retreat to to write and create to my heart’s content without distraction. However, it is a room that we don’t use often, and is therefore a bit chilly at times. Instead, to write the blog posts and work on other pieces of writing, such as my journaling and other snippets of various works in progress, I choose to again snuggle up into the folds of our well loved couch by the electric fireplace so my furiously typing fingers don’t get too cold. Although there are more distractions, like game background music and my fur babies begging to play with their pompoms, it is the best feeling, being surrounded by my little family in our living room, which we are trying to decide on a colour to paint!
Pastel Play - I recently discovered I enjoy playing with blending pastels over rudimentary ink pictures, and there is no shortage of inspiration for pretty pastel works over the holiday season. Twinkle lights abound, garlands hang merrily around the stairwell and sprigs of holly arranged in vases have a way about them that entices me to attempt sketching, inking and blending their beauty onto the page of a sketchbook just for me! For this activity I do require a level surface. The coffee table is the most accommodating space and again in the central hub of our home, and my wonderful husband gives me the encouragement I need to finish each little picture while I laugh at myself. The point is, even though I’m not good at it, I’m trying and it brings me creative delight.
However you choose to cozy up to creativity this winter season, make sure it is restorative, delightful and abounding with joy. Winter can be hard for many of us, especially if we are more introverted souls. Darker days, longer nights and colourless landscapes (except for the Christmas lights) can weigh heavily on our senses. Giving yourself permission to get cozy and inject some of that colour back into your daily life by getting your hands into some creativity is a wonderful way to get through and maybe even enjoy the quiet that comes with winter.