I made this for my son, Kipp
to tell the story of the time his dad and I took him to Sliding Rock, NC.
I call it Elixir.


It’s made from the sleeve to a jacket I never got around to finishing,
representing the shoulder he used to lay his head on to cry
or to sleep.
The arms that once cradled and rocked him.
It’s reversible, this sleeve,
going inside out
just the way he continues to turn my heart inside out.


The border fabric reminds me of Georgia’s red clay,
parched in Kipp’s birth month of August,
cracked like the back of an old man’s neck.
The driftwood came from our falls here in NC,
the rock is a piece of granite from Georgia,
perhaps from the same quarry where his Granddaddy once worked.


Not only did The Engineer cook so I could keep stitching,
he helped me figure out how to hang it,
and found the driftwood,
so we both signed the label.


It is one of my favorite memories,
this story of resilience
and determination
and a fun day spent together.

There will be more stories,
some perhaps saved in stitch,
because next year I add Grandmother to my resume.
But don’t call me that.
Help me come up with a name that’s much, much more flavorful.
Something tarty, perhaps.


  1. Glenda

    Congratulations! I just became a grandmother this year.

  2. moon

    This piece is even lovelier than I thought. Your words told me, but my eyes couldn’t see just how marvelous it would turn out…
    How about “Greanne” for Grandma Jeanne or Great Jeanne…

  3. Chloe

    Hey Jeanne! I’m going to be popping up all over the place now I’ve finally re-set my Disqus log-in 🙂
    I’ve been researching alternative Granny names for you – how about:

    MamaBear, Nonna, Ciaba (Cha bah), Grampoo, Babu, Nonno (Italian), PawPaw (Cajun), Aba (S. Am) or Amma (Icelandic)

    I can keep going…. xo

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Hey, Sugar! I'm Jeanne Hewell-Chambers: writer ~ stitcher ~ storyteller ~ one-woman performer ~ creator & founder of The 70273 Project, and I'm mighty glad you're here. Make yourself at home, and if you have any questions, just holler.

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