My favorite season here in South Korea is fall - and it's already coming to an end!
Now I prepare for hibernation and look back at my favorites of the last couple months.
As the weather got chilly I became more of an indoors person (especially compared to the month before that I'd spent traveling in Europe and Thailand) and focused on all things cozy and creative.
So here are my favorite art supplies, fall reads, cozy outfits and daily habits - of course with a watercolor illustration.
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Scents & Spices & Strange Tea
So many possibilities! As it gets colder, I'm a huge sucker for anything cinnamon or vanilla scented. And not only do I add pumpkin spice and cacao powder to pretty much everything from oatmeal to coffee, but I burn through so many candles! I do make my own by re-melting wax in the microwave and adding scented oils...
I'm on a quest to try every single tea on this planet, and my current favorites are this Chai Tea by TAZO* and a really strange but delicious tea blend: Green Tea with Kombucha*! Usually, I don't enjoy green teas with something extra added to them (those other elements mostly just overpower the green tea...) but I really like the subtle fruity hints of this Yogi Tea.
Sweet Potatoes and Sweeter Pumpkin - Korean Fall Harvest
What would fall in Korea be without those two? I love sweet potatoes with a passion: They're the best when oven baked and/or steamed! Just curl up on the floor in front of a low table, draw in your sketchbook and munch on endless sweet potatoes...
But I also like using them as an ingredient in soups, stews, chili, or I mash up an already baked sweet potato and use it as a filling for bread. Yum!
At the same time, pumpkins pop up all over the place on Jeju since Chuseok. Especially here in the countryside, we just sprinkle seeds on every empty or not-so-empty spot in spring and are then rewarded with way more pumpkin than we could possibly eat. That means soups, pre-cooked pumpkin to be frozen or air-dried for future use.
Books for cozy afternoons...
Nothing is as cozy as RE-reading a beloved book. Or book series. I'm slowly making my way through the whole Harry Potter series* right now. These always make me think of the holidays and remind me of childhood days spent with a dictionary (a paper one in ye olde times) because even middle school me couldn't wait for the German translation to come out. Having them read to me instead on Audible* and, by now, more or less proficient in the English language, is such a relaxing experience!
(Though I still mess up a lot and need Grammarly* to make my blog posts readable...)
Flower Print Dresses
I LOVE this cotton dress with a subdued floral pattern I got from common-unique. They're my favorite Korean clothing brand: Great quality, not too flimsy or girly, a bit laid-back but still playful - perfect for Jeju Island, too!
I also bought a huge hoodie from them and can't believe I didn't use hoodies until now. It feels like I'm ready to hibernate whenever I put on that oversized gray cozy monstrosity!
Sketchbook Sessions & New Art Supplies
I know it's lame, but I usually don't sketch outside. I just take pictures and then sketch based on a mixture of those reference pieces once I'm back home... It's so much easier this way since I don't need to lug around my sketching supplies and don't have to stand somewhere in the cold.
I've been getting back into no-strings-attached sketching thanks to travel sketches and Inktober and had so much fun just playing around with my watercolors (I use Shinhan* for simple sketches and Winsor & Newton* for more elaborate studies - and bought myself a beautiful Burnt Sienna by Winsor & Newton Cotman* this fall) and practice mixing and shading! The colder months invite to just sit down, watch a movie, listen to audiobooks, and sketch, sketch, sketch...
With all the creative themed months during fall, like Inktober (I blogged about my Inktober sketch journey) and National Novel Writing Month now in November, I really enjoy that transition from a more active summer life to the total homebody existence I adapt to in Winter. It's also a great moment to meet up with friends at different cafes around the island to sketch and chat.