just ask


Several months ago, I came across the blog of an artist named Susan Lenz. We swapped the occasional comments back and forth, and I quickly became inspired with her deep well of creativity, her impressive productivity, her resourcefulness, and her generosity. When I found myself in need of more hankies, I emailed her asking if she knew where a girl like me might be able to get her hands on some vintage ladies hankies. Susan got right back to me and offered to put an “artist in need” blurb in the sidebar of her newsletter, and she went one step further and posted about this project on one of her blogs.

In addition to the comments left on her blog post, I’ve received several emails and envelopes filled with supportive notes and hankies.

Like this beauty from Janett Rice:


and these delights from Carole Rothstein:


They all make me smile, and this one from Carole makes me chortle right out loud:


I only have snail mail and email addresses for Carole and Janett, and you can bet I’ll be emailing soon to see if they have blogs that I can link to. Stay tuned. I’ve added a sidebar category called Bearers to give credit and appreciation to those who bring hankies and other shades of support to the project. Thank you Susan and Janett and Carole.

And hey, if y’all have some vintage ladies hankies you’d like to contribute, please send then on to Jeanne Hewell-Chambers/POB 994/Cashiers, NC 28717. I need the pretty soon, though. Will explain later.

Christmas Eve Eve (Sunday, 12/23) we trekked to nearby Asheville for a walk about. The Grovewood Gallery was our last stop before supper, and after an afternoon of visiting the Asheville Art Museum and three other galleries, I was tired and opted to stay downstairs while my son, Kipp, went upstairs for a lookabout. He hadn’t been up there a nano before he texted me saying “Come hither and come quickly. I’ve found something you’re going to love.” He was right, as usual: upstairs there were three walls filled with some of my favorite pieces of Susan’s work.

May we all go forward into a new year in agreement that we’ll ask when we need help, receive requests with grace and cheerfulness, and offer assistance in any way possible when we have a chance to help another artist create her visions.

Happy, happy New Year, y’all.

She is my developmentally disabled sister-in-law, Nancy,
and I am Jeanne, the woman who flat-out loves her.
Go here to start at the beginning.


  1. Susan Lenz

    Hi and happy New Year!
    Thanks so much for sharing my work on your blog. Is the top photo from Grovewood Gallery? I don’t remember ever seeing a pretty orange wall … especially one with MY NAME ON IT! Wow!

    I wish I had some of those colorful vintage hankies. If you needed dinner napkins … well, I’ve got more than enough of those! I don’t know Janet but Carole Rothstein is one of the most generous woman I know. She once donated her entire, enormous stash of needlepoint wool to me. I’ve been wrapping it around wooden spools ever since! This is one of my most favorite things to do! Carole is just a lovely person, inside and out!

  2. wholly jeanne

    Happy New Year to you, too Susan. Yes, this is at the Grovewood Gallery. I’d told Kipp about you and your generous help in helping me round up some hankies, but he didn’t catch your name, so he was just beckoning me because he knew I would love your work. (He was right.) It’s a golden orangish color – I couldn’t really get a good photo and wasn’t sure the gallery folk would be too happy if they caught me snapping away. It’s a beautiful, warm color, the perfect backdrop for your beautiful pieces.

    Carole seems like a hoot, too. I’ve heard from so many people thanks to your newsletter and blog post – thank you, thank you, thank you. I’ll keep posting as the hankies come in, and I’ve added you to the sidebar as a bearer because you’ve definitely been a tremendous help.

    Love your SAQA entry pieces, by the way. Look forward to the day we meet live and in person. xo

  3. Merry ME

    Did you get a package of hankies from me? I can’t even remember now when I sent them? Novemberish? No big deal really, but I’ve worried they are out there languishing in the wrong someone’s P.O. Box not being appreciated the way they should be.

  4. wholly jeanne

    ms merry, i’m so glad you told me. i’ll go to the post office in the morning and ask. it IS a big deal. now i’ll be too excited to sleep tonight. we were out of town most of november and ran through december at top speed, so any notice could’ve gotten lost. the gals who work at the post office here are real dears, and i’m sure if it got in the wrong box, they’re holding it for me somewhere. we just have one of those teeny boxes, so i suppose it’s conceivable it got accidentally pushed out when we went to retrieve the mail. who knows? but i will find those hankies, you know i will. THANK YOU.

  5. Meredith

    Happy New Year to you, too! <3

    (And that hanky… so hilarious. So, so, so hilarious. Made me grin.)

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