Convergent Series

learning, using & teaching metal clay, and other aspects of life

Snow ==> White ==> Christmas

Posted by C Scheftic on 2013/02/09

Thinking about the winter white-out storm that has been and continues to bear down on a number of northeastern states today, here is a very belated Christmas-time report from back during my blog-hiatus.

How did my brain make this connection? I was born in the midwest. I have no actual memory of my original home, however, because my family moved east to Ohio in my first year of life. I do have a few memories from that, but only a few: within two years we moved farther east, to Pennsylvania.

Then, when I was in second grade, my father won a trip to visit the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team at their Spring Training Camp in Florida, which was then in the Gulf-side area of Fort Myers. My parents fell in love with Florida and, a few years later we moved down that way, although we ended up settling on the eastern (Atlantic) side.

Thus, I typically say that I come from / grew up in South Florida, because that’s where most of my youthful memories come from. Although I do have a few early memories of the White Christmas phenomenon, my biggest association with white-winter snowstorms involves how much I would hope that there’d be enough snow to cancel school! I remember sitting with my mother on the porch of our house, both of us bundled-up in winter-wear, and having her tell me that I would have to go as long as the snow had not come up higher than the step. And being terribly disappointed a few weeks later, when several snowstorms had accumulated that much, that I did still have to go to school …. because it hadn’t come up a whole step in one storm! Having snow at Christmas was never a big deal to me: for the few years we lived there, getting enough snow to cancel school was what mattered to me!

In Florida, each year we hosted various visitors from those northern climates. They would note some differences (e.g., the summer heat and ocean breezes; those from the mountain-areas would remark on the flatness of the land; etc.) but the one thing all those folks would make a big deal about was, “I just don’t see how it can feel like Christmas without snow, without even a chance of having a White Christmas.” Now, readers of this blog who live in warmer areas probably know the standard response to that: “Well, what do you think the weather was like on the First Christmas, the day Baby Jesus was born: Was it closer to snow in the mountains, or to sand and palm trees?!”

Still Snow ==> White ==> Christmas is a common set of associations in the culture in which I live, so it’s easy for me to make the connection in that context. Thus, the photos with this snow-day post are from the Charm Exchange that the Western PA Chapter of the PMC Guild held again, just before Christmas, last December.

The three fine silver charms shown here, below/left, are the ones I received in our “grab-bag” style exchange. They come from guild-mates Georgie Nix, Susie Varoli, and Barbara Kaczor. Clearly, Barbara’s ornament commemorates the holiday season. Susie’s reflects her own sparkly personality and the camaraderie of the group. And Georgie’s illustrates the complex thinking that goes into of all her lovely artistry. I’m thrilled with all of them but I will note that I’ve even worn Georgie’s as a pendant several times, rather than risking its getting hidden in the jumble of one of my charm bracelets….

But there was something else very interesting going on this year: with jewelers exchanging gifts, their packaging often reflects their artistry as well! Shown at the very top of this post (to the right) is a shot I managed to capture of several of the charm packages as they went into the grab-bag. The one in the middle held the “friends” charm, and is a lovely, hand-made, 3-dimensional construction with, from Susie Varoli, a little more sparkle. The other two, that were ultimately selected by others in the group, are from Alice Walkowski and Michelle Glaeser. Both of them recently bought themselves one of the Silhouette Cameo cutters that began sweeping the metal clay community last year. Originally used a lot in scrapbook-making, they can be used for adorable little packages like this, whether you use their features for cutting (Alice’s, to the left, with cut-out green exposing red under-layer) or drawing (Michelle’s, to the right, with white ink drawn on green).

Our group had a great time, as we typically do at our monthly gatherings. I hope that all my readers had a great holiday season and that the illnesses and snowstorms and everything that seems to be circulating since the new year began are not limiting your opportunities for creative expression!

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