Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008 in Snowy Seattle

...and home again early this afternoon, Boxing Day. I drove through several mini blizzards on my way to Seattle yesterday, including one between Port Angeles and Sequim that almost made me turn back. But I got to the 1:15 ferry from Bainbridge Island just in time...not very populated, and snowing and foggy outside.

Winter weather is always tough in heavily-populated areas, and Seattle is so unused to any accumulation of snow, the parking lot at the ferry dock was full of slush, and all of the side streets are even more so. I waited under the viaduct for Hugh and Connie, happy that he said he had put chains on the Prius for the first time ever.

Hugh and Connie are so incredibly photogenic! I wish I were. I know this doesn't seem like much snow to my friends and family back in NY and VT, but for Seattle, it's very very unusual.

Doug and Amal's street hasn't been plowed. After
four or five snowstorms in the last week and a half, there's 8" of slush and one track worn through the middle...we hoped that no one would come from the other direction. It's a considerably hilly neighborhood. It seemed dark and deeper and scarier yesterday.

Serene, who looks different every time I see her,
Thayer, his friend, Sami, from Brown University and Rahmalla, Amal and Doug In their newly-redecorated kitchen, the wine stuck in a snowbank out on the deck.

Thayer and Amal. this one's for Tim. Tim and I visited Doug and Amal the Christmas of 1987 in Jerusalem when she was expecting Thayer. He's grown into an intelligent and handsome young man who travels the world. Tim was in Liberia in the Peace Corps and we spent a month exploring and learning politics first hand in the Middle East. I remember Doug found some kind of desert bush and we four made all the decorations out of scraps of paper. In my first trip overseas I left Montrial in a blizzard and came laden with gifts and yearned-for items from the States for all three of them. It was a Wonderful Holiday!--then and now.

Hugh and Connie, looking picturesque again, in the midst of the post-present chaos. Connie's necklace lights three different sequences and I coveted it! But then there's not much occasion for me to wear such a decoration...perhaps I've been too serious of late.

I remember back to a Christmas in Bradford, VT, in our grandparent's big old house, which was demolished to widen Route 5, so I must have been 3 or 4. I used an old stuffed lamb that my father had as a child for a pillow, and I swear I saw the shadow of St. Nicholas flash across the window in the lights of the cars below. My brother, Steve, would have been a baby then, and we hung Dad's long army socks by the fireplace in the library or parlor...the house seemed to go on and on forever. We always got a tangerine in the toe of the stocking.

You can tell Serene's a true Hastings, taking pictures of the food...then we all got so engrossed in eating and drinking and talking and later in a ten-person game of domino's that we all forgot to take any more family pictures, so no shots of David, Christine, or me...

Take my word for it, it was another great and warm family Christmas, with Sami and Christine adding the international flavor.

It was a good lesson for me in being prepared for and accepting of whatever outcome would ensue. It would have been OK to stay home alone on Christmas, but I'm happy that I was able to be with my family instead. I stayed with Hugh and Connie last night and came home over the water and hills this morning, stopping to stock up on yet more goodies...padding against the cold, although it's going to be in the 40's by the end of the weekend. I saw melting snow uncovering bright green grass in Sequim. I saw a beautiful scene of a cloud nestled in hills covered with trees, each needle and branch outlined in new white snow. As I got back to sea level, I notice the red/purple glow of new buds that doesn't usually show until March in the Northeast.


Three Dimensional Doll Construction will take place in Corvalis, OR, the weekend of May 2nd and 3rd, 2009. Contact: for details. Their doll club gets first shot at the class, but email Terry to see if there is room for more.

These are my angels for 2008, with faces from Teesha Moore and pewter arms from Art Girlz. Each year I do a different one, and some day I'll do a book on the angels through the years and publish the patterns.

I LOVE doing the books, and hope to have the proof of the second edition of PAMELA'S DESIGNING A DOLL AND MAKING FACES INSPIRATION BOOK in the coming week.

This year's snowy and uncertain holidays were a good lesson in not getting too attached to specific outcomes. The scary economy has, I hope, given more and more of us the gift of pulling back and appreciating the non-financial bounty that we all have and can share with each other.

A MOST Happy and Blessed holiday season to you and yours!


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas 2008 in never-ending SNOW!

Merry Christmas, 12/25/08. At 10am, it's still all white in the Northwest and David says not to come to Seattle, because the roads are thick with built-up ice and snow. I got a Christmas email from Annie in Saugerties, NY, this morning, and a Madonna and child picture from Patti's blog, her daughter and grandson. When I lived back in the Northeast (most of my life) white was the normal color for a large part of the year, November through April into May in Northern VT. There are many refugees from the Northern tier of the country here in Port Angeles, and we complain about the long time it takes the snow to melt off the roads and the poorly-trained winter drivers from California, but we know that the temperatures will be back to average 40's by the end of the weekend, and the dark gray-green normal-for-us winter colors will be back soon.

This is another shot I took this morning, straight north, down the hill from my house. The gray-blue above my neighbor's house is the Strait of Juan de Fuca, coming right in from the Pacific Ocean, with the white strip being some sun over the low snow-covered hills of Vancouver Island, in Canada. I don't see any big ships out this morning. Now that the leaves are mostly off the willow down the hill in front of the window over my desk, I can see the end of Ediz Hook, that creates the harbor in town. I love driving home from work past the harbor each night, seeing what ships are in. At the west end of town great logs are still being loaded onto huge frieghtors....Hugh just called from Seattle and says to come ahead, so I won't stay home alone today, after all.
Wishing you all much LOVE and Happiness in the coming year and for the holidays. More later!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Finally--I think--I sent the .pdf of Edition 2 of my doll making book, PAMELA'S DESIGNING A DOLL AND MAKING FACES book to the printer. It took me several more hours to make a facsimile of the cover to post here. I KNOW there's probably a VERY SIMPLE way to do this from InDesign, but I haven't figured it out yet.

128 Pages, 73 in color, LOTS of patterns, step-by-step
instructions, and how I do 3-D fabric construction.

Free shipping and $25 per book on any orders placed and
paid by January 1st, 2008. The book should be ready to
ship the first week in January, and I will put it into the shopping cart as soon as I get something to eat. I have a nice piece of steak waiting.

It almost
never snows enough to stay down (or up) here at 500 feet above sea level. I got up at 6:30 this morning to clear my Very Long driveway of 6" of snow so I could get down the hill in time to see patients at 8:00am. Aaron and Anna and Diana and Darcie all made it...perhaps I was hoping a little bit that I could stay home and get my book translated into .pdf and sent out. All my patients canceled...what luck! I'll be there at 7:30 tomorrow, I promise!

This was just last Sunday morning and you can see that it was a lot warmer, when I shoveled the first 5" of snow at 8am, so people could come to meditate. Tom helped some with the shoveling and we sat for half an hour then talked about what we were thinking about doing with the Rest of Our Lives. The idea of there being a finite amount of time and energy left now seems more real than when we were younger. I have never been happier more of the time than I have been since I moved here and turned 60. My life goal is to keep paying attention and doing and making interesting things and appreciate the ones I love.

This was 12/14/08 again, looking from my yard northeast to the dark clouds over the strait.
Last year we only had one snowfall, just a few inches in April, this year we're supposed to get yet more snow this weekend.

I know I've become very soft since the days when I lived in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. I admit it, but that was part of the reason I moved to the Peninsula--to escape the endless winter. I do enjoy hearing weather reports about snow in other places, though, so keep sending them, and I'll bet our snow will be melted by Christmas (I hope, so I can get to Seattle and the brothers). Just as I was working on this entry, I got an e-card from my good friend, Will, in VT. Maybe he's having a snow day, too.

I can't do a post without a new piece of art to show. This one is called A ROOM OF MY OWN which is what I have here in Port Angeles, in fact, a whole house of my own, where projects and books are spread from one end to the other--in a tidy fashion, of course.

I returned to painting on muslin to do a nude, pieced frame, quilted details, a self portrait from when I was 35 and having SO MUCH FUN! It's mostly a different kind of fun and happiness now, that of learning new people, new stories, and more about myself and what I can create. I love sharing all this with all of you.

Tell somebody you love them today and keep the holidays simple and important.