Where Did The Holidays Go?: Daily Art Practice

Couch Talk


I made several of these charcuterie boards over the course of a month. They are easy to put together, clean up and they give the family a fun variety of foods.

Can you believe that the holidays are over? Today I took down the Christmas stuff and I have a feeling we will be cleaning up pine needles throughout the year. But nothing compares to the smell of a fresh Balsalm Fir tree. We spent the majority of the month of December dealing with sickness in our home so I feel as though I didn’t get to enjoy the things that I usually do during this time of year. Instead of baking, cooking or gingerbread house making I cleaned a lot of vomit, washed a lot of laundry and spent a lot of time sleeping. BUT we spent the time together and that was the BEST.

As I get older, time seems shorter. Even my children remarked how disappointing that there is so much hype for one day. We have been discussing changing things up next year and spreading out the activities over the period of a week or two before Christmas. Maybe planning one event and one present a day for 7-12 days?? It is still in the works, but I look forward to making plans for next year and hope that we all stay healthy to enjoy it.


Watercolor Shop Fronts


Shalaby Sweets is a Singapore shop that sells Arabic and Turkish sweets. I have never tried Baklava but they have a lot of varieties on their menu that look tempting. My favorite aspect of the building is the twinkle lights and lanterns. Reference photo HERE.



I couldn’t find a website for this restaurant, Izakaya Tokuchan Okachimachi, but I found a little information HERE. This restaurant is located in Japan and is part of the Instagram Shopfronts.Japan. I loved all the various things around the front of this shop, the lanterns, signage, bike, and dolls. The color scheme is on the darker side but I really love how this one turned out. Reference photo HERE.



Tea Day



I am joining the Tea Day ladies, hosted by Elizabeth & Bleubeard. I received this tea, Simple Loose Leaf – Ginger Peach Green, for Christmas. I love the combination of peach and green tea. The hints of ginger were light and not too overpowering which I thought was perfect.


Do you have any Christmas traditions or festivities that take place over the course of a few days?


Happy Tea Day,



17 thoughts on “Where Did The Holidays Go?: Daily Art Practice”

  • Hi Kate, hoping your family is all back to good health now. that is a bummer to have illness during the holidays. in my younger years I remember I was always sick around Christmas.
    for a family I like that idea of spreading out the Christmas holiday, I think advent is around 4 weeks too.
    always enjoy seeing your watercolors-you paint so well I love seeing your pieces.
    Happy T wishes Kathy

  • Christmas is not something special in our household anymore since it’s only my husband and I. But when my daughter was still here we followed the German Advent tradition. I usually made an advent calendar for her that contained small stuff each day – some chocolate, stickers, washi tape, pens etc. Nothing big, but it was something special for each day until Christmas. I never bought the advent calendars that you can get in the shops, but made it myself, just like my mom used to do. I even did that when she was in college, I just wrapped every piece in tissue paper with the date on it and put it in a box that I mailed to her. Fortunately she was never too old to enjoy it.

  • You have had a bit of a rough time with sickness over the holidays but it sounds like you all managed to get through it and enjoy at least some of it:) A charcuterie platter is def the way to go ! And I like your idea of spreading things over a few days or a week over Christmas;)
    Beautiful watercolor paintings!!
    Happy New Year and happy T day!

  • I’m glad to hear that everyone ended being healthy by Christmas.. I always found my trick with Christmas is to make some of the pre-Christmas work to be events themselves, but you are right, there is a lot of work for Christmas.. And your charcuterie look delicious and has lots of nice snacking food on it too. Happy new year Kate, and happy T day and week ahead too. hugs-Erika

  • Japanese shops do have fascinating facades. I have some miniature models of a couple of shops like that. Very cute. I like your interpretations.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  • You have Babybel, too? My, the world becomes one.

    I once found a christmas tree with a sign, it asked to be taken home, called Ingo and he did (it was a small tree). A year later I still found needles!
    Yep, still coughing and sneezing here, too.
    Great idea with making a party-time like that.

    Uh! I had to try Baklava. My Turkish colleague´s wife baked some for his birthday and everybody had to try. I don´t like sweets. That was more than sweet, LOL!

    I prefer to admire your paintings!
    Happy T-Day!

  • Love your new blog picture, Kate. Super pretty!

    Great art – so detailed and well done.

    The tea sounds great.

    I agree there is too much focused on one day. We probably all need to rethink how we do it!

    Happy T-day and hugz

  • The charcuterie board looks tempting.

    We’ve always spread out the Christmas season. We observe St. Nicholas Day (that’s when we do our stockings), St. Lucia Day, and Epiphany as separate events, and we use an Advent wreath. When the kids were little we did a small gift on each of the 12 Days of Christmas. It does help make it less stressful than packing so much into a single day or two.

    Happy T Tuesday!

  • It’s so true what you say about the build-up for just one day, all that stress, anxiety, excitement, preparation and it’s over just in a blink of an eye. Sorry you had to deal with sickness and vomit, I have a sick kitty so I had similar clean up issues so I feel your pain lol. Love the shopfronts as always, Warm Winter Wishes and Happy New Year T Day Elle/EOTC xx

  • Happy New Year, Kate! I’m so sorry to hear that y’all were sick for most of December. I think that your idea to spread the activities out next Christmas is an awesome idea! I have a recipe for Baklava that everyone loves- it’s easy, but a bit tedious. I know you’d have a wonderful result though. Let me know if you’d like the recipe 🙂

  • Oh what a bummer that you still had sickness in the family over the holidays. But isn’t it good that your children are now of an age where you can discuss things with them and bounce around some ideas of how to do it next year. Christmas has become so exaggerated. In England our grandchildren come downstairs on Christmas morning and then pounce on the presents, rip off the wrapping in a frenzy. It’s crazy. It would be much better if they would open their presents one by one so we could see what they received. Things like that.
    Your painting is beautiful. I really like that Japanese shop, the darker colors and the little things in the window.
    But I’ll give the tea a miss as I’m not keen on ginger.
    Happy T-Day,
    Stay safe,

  • I hope everyone in your household is feeling better.. Your cheese board is a work of art. Cool buildings. I do an Advent calendar filled with chocolate. The calendars are a fund raiser from a friend who is a German teacher in IA. The funds help her take her classes on a trip to Germany. I also did an Advent calendar I made for the Eldest the first Christmas she had moved away. Have fun planning some new traditions. Happy T Day

  • Kate, I’m so sorry to hear that you were plagued with sickness during the holidays, I’ve definitely been there done that and it’s no fun. Happy to hear you are on the mend and loving your latest watercolors. xx, Autumn

  • So sorry your Christmas wasn’t what you planned on – glad you’re all OK now! When our children were younger we used to save some presents for later in the day, which also included little gifts for grandparents who were visiting. Now we have a family get together – when we can! This is the second year we haven’t swapped presents bt hoping that next year we can again. I love your shop sketches. Your tea sounds lovely but will stick to coffee as I know that doesn’t make me sick! Belated Happy T day, Chrisx

  • Sorry I’m late visiting. I’ve had no internet or phone since Monday, but stopped by to say sorry I missed you for T and sorry everyone was sick for so long. Love the sketches as always and love that charcuterie board is fabulous. Hope all are now well and I love your new photo.

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