Tag: envoy (Page 1 of 2)

Envoy 97: Alana Sheeren



Wearing her Envoy hat, Alana Sheeren writes:

This is the beach at the end of my lane. The dunes behind me are my favorite place to sit and meditate, or simply stare at the ocean and hand her my problems. They’re also the best spot for hide and seek.

It’s a peaceful beach. Not a lot of people, even at the height of summer. Magical dolphin sightings are semi-frequent and we saw whales breaching earlier this year. I think Nancy might like it here, digging toes and fingers into sand.

It is home for me. And I am grateful to share it with you.


Isn’t she beautiful?

I met Alana on twitter around the end of 2009 or beginning of 2010. The first correspondence I remember having with Alana was when she posted a question about schooling young children. Having pretty definite ideas on that, and feeling safe enough to voice them to a woman I barely, barely, barely knew, I put in my 2-cents worth. A friendship bloomed from that little tweet exchange that happened lifetimes ago. So much has happened since then. So much grief, so much growth, so much glowing. Alana has been through so much – life has thrown things at her that would break some folks, and she has weathered them with grace and wisdom and an openness that’s quite formidable and moving.

She’s now offering her experience, her knowledge, her gifts of comfort and concern and support in tele-retreats, the occasional on site retreats, ebooks, and one-on-one togetherness. And it just so happens that today is the last day she’s offering her DIY Picking Up The Pieces at pay-what-you-will pricing, so scoot on over and help yourself.

Every Thursday, Alana hosts Transformation Talks, interviews with people she calls “someone who is a force for good in the world.” She spends about an hour talking to these folks about the transformative power of grief – and take it from me, you may not think so when you’re in the midst of it, but grief IS transformative. Alana never loses sight of that, and she’s doing all she can to make sure you don’t either. In whatever way you choose, Alana will hold you as you grief, reassuring you that there will be growth, that you will glow again eventually, and that grieving is a natural part of life whether anybody dies or not and that you don’t have to be embarrassed that you are grieving – that it can actually be a time of great growth and honing your intuition.

Can you tell I love her? Can you tell I love the goodness she’s spilling into the world? Go get to know her. Go snag yourself a copy of her DIY Picking Up the Pieces and sign up for her newsletter so you’ll be the first to know when she hosts another retreat. You can thank me later.

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.


other projects (cloth and non-cloth) have demanded full use of my clock lately, but today, we hear from envoy marnie gloor . . . who happens to be in the next room as i write this. she’s the OSM (other special woman) in my son kipp’s life, and they are here to spend the holidays with us. what a treat that is.

i first heard of marnie via phone calls from kipp seeking advice and suggestions on how to ask her out. they’d been together in groups, and he wanted to move it to the next level. i first met marnie in july of 2011 when kipp brought her home for a visit. marnie has a beautiful, non-stop smile and an openness and love for kipp that makes her a kindred spirit. she loves art and is quite knowledgeable (which is most enjoyable for someone like me who’s unschooled in such things).

i love what marnie did with #98. love it. her accompanying quote is from yoko ono:

“Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.”

Marnie  Nancy


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.

136, Envoy: Little Moon

Today it’s “she draws”:

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And “she stitches” because today we have a guest stitcher:


none other than Little Moon, the daughter of Illuminary, Envoy in her own right.


Illuminary and I tuck each other in nightly, so I occasionally hear about Little Moon – about how charming and talented and smart she is – and when Illuminary told me what Little Moon said about Nancy’s cloth making her feel free, I up and asked if she wanted to stitch one. Fortunately she accepted, and today she finished this afternoon, sending these adorable photos.


(Isn’t that mermaid adorable? There’s a great story behind it. Get Illuminary to tell it to you sometime.) I forgot to ask Little Moon what kind of stitch she used, but it looks great from here, doesn’t it? Thank you, Little Moon. You’re a real treasure.



Nancy 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 and read your way current.
And there’s a pinterest board, too.


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I don’t mean what other people mean when they speak of a home because I don’t regard a home as a . . . well, as a place, a building . . . a house . . . of wood, bricks, stone. I think of a home as being a thing that two people have between them in which each can . . . well, nest. ~ Tennessee Williams


Today’s drawing speaks to me of mother/daughter. And I didn’t realize it until right now, but it’s photographed in a basket titled “Mother and Daughter” by the artist who created it.


And speaking of mother/daughter . . . here’s a photo of cloth #113 taken by Envoy Merry at her daughter’s wedding. And the crows? Those beauties were made by Envoy Illuminary (#120).


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

119, Envoy: Lisa Call

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Today’s Envoy is Lisa Call, a woman I’ve known for a long while but just met at the World Domination Summit in Portland last July. I’ll tell you about that later. First, let’s hear what Lisa has to say:

Nancy’s drawings and your stitching the drawings inspired me to return to needle and thread when sketching for my postcards from New York series and so I’ve placed her among my sketches and imagine her dancing in the streets of New York.

Nancy Dances in New York

In the second I’ve placed her drawing in the middle of my latest piece – Portals #5 – which is all about opportunity and possibilities and it breaks my heart to think of how Nancy’s opportunities were limited. Which is why I am so moved by your project – you are giving Nancy a chance to make her mark in this world without constraint.

Nancy Meets Opportunity

Thank you for giving her a voice!

[ ::: ]

So there I am, waiting for the session on How To Deal With Feeling Overwhelmed to begin, sitting at the end of the row in the chair nearest the door, stitching one of Nancy’s drawings. The chair next to me remains empty, maybe because I am not making eye contact, what with my head down stitching and all, or maybe it is the sight of a woman working with cloth. Some people see that as something only an ancient grandmother would do, you know. Just as we are about to begin, in walks this woman who heads straight for that empty chair beside me. “Mind if I sit here?” she asks as she’s already settling herself into the chair.

The session starts, and before you know it, we’re doing the dreaded audience involvement activity that requires pairing up with somebody near you to talk about it afterwards. There is only one person near me, and as I turned to face her, I silently vow that she will do all the talking. “So, tell me,” I say to her, “what have you to say about this?” She says something that that’s both clear and succinct, leaving space on the clock needing to be filled. “What about you?” she asks me. “What overwhelms you?” It’s a wonder I don’t have a heart attack right then and there, hearing the words that fell out of my mouth, talking about something I do not talk about. Ever. And you know what she says in response? “Me, too.” SHE HAS THE SAME OVERWHELM CARRIERS. (Or Gremlins, depending on how and when you look at it.)

We chat a bit – a very little bit cause in the time it takes to snap your fingers, the presenter starts talking again. How rude.

The session ends, and we sit there, the two of us, talking more about our respective chronic overwhelmed states of being and the similarities (especially the causes). She asks what I am working on. I tell her, of course, and she says she works in textiles, too, as we both fumbled inside our bags for a business card. “Mine is big,” she says as she pulls out a postcard-size business card to give me – a card bearing the beautiful artwork of Lisa Call. For the second time in the space of an hour, I fell a heart attack is called for. Lisa Call is a woman I’ve followed online (some might say stalked) for EONS, never leaving a message because she’s big and I’m not – that whole what-on-earth-would-we-have-in-common inferiority thing to which I now say “Pfffft” while swatting the air with my hand.

Not only do I love Lisa’s work, I love her approach to it. Lisa treats her textile art as a business. She makes plans, sets goals, does spreadsheets and marketing, AND she sketches, conjures, notices, stitches, and spends time on introspection and reflection. She produces, or as Steve Jobs said, she ships. She is very deliberate and disciplined (knowing that discipline means remembering what you want) in the context of her creativity, and that’s why she is able to be a mother, a friend, have a full-time job, AND create prolifically.

Her medium is textiles, but her methods transfer quite nicely, so go have a look at the workshops she offers. Sign up for her newsletter. Peek inside her studio. Read more about the Portals #5 piece, about her New York postcard series and the kindling behind it. And for heaven’s sake, take your time looking at (and perhaps do a bit of shopping, too) her artwork. Textile paintings, she calls them, and I think you can see why.


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

103, Envoy: Noel Rozny


Today’s Envoy, Noel writes:
I tried to think
where in the world I could take you,
in this city of big shoulders
and wide beaches and sparkling lights,


and over and over and over
I recalled my favorite place,


tucked in from the bustle
and the roar of the trains,


where there is time to sit
and breathe


and catch a prayer in your lap.

And where is Noel’s delightful secret spot? The Ann Sather Garden, a little community spot located right under the el tracks in the Uptown/Buena Park neighborhood of Chicago (about two blocks north of Wrigley Field!)

I’ve never met Noel in person, and yet I know her. Does that make sense? She is a woman of integrity, compassion, and crackerjack talent as a writer. Since first our paths crossed online about two-and-a-half years ago, I see her name come across my screen and I smile. Even before I read her words, I smile. Thank you, Noel, for being an Envoy despite all the crazymakings that have invaded your life lately.


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.

102, Envoy: Janet MacGregor Dunn of Hummingbird Hollow Pottery

JanetMcGregorDunn FayettevilleGA

Once upon a time, I learned hand-built and slab-work pottery from a fun and talented woman named Janet MacGregor Dunn in the cutest free-standing studio that her son built for her in her backyard. Every Monday morning would find us meeting there, closing the door, and slinging and shaping mud (both literally and figuratively). Though I never really got the hang of it, Janet works with the grace and near-nonchalance of a woman who is at one with the clay, a woman who mastered the basics long ago and shoved them aside to go beyond, way beyond. Be sure to poke around her online gallery, see where she’s going next, maybe snag a beauty or two for yourself or others. (Tis the season to be shopping, you know.)

I met Janet eons ago when we worked together on a fundraising event for the American Heart Association. Janet continues to be active in local fundraising events and art shows. She took her Nancy cloth with her to several art shows and asked fellow artists to hold it. They obliged, and I get goosebumps thinking about Nancy’s drawings being in the presence of professional artists (shown here in alphabetical order by first name because that’s the way my computer prefers it) like Janet and . . .

AllenQuandee JasperGA

Allen Quandee


Bob McGill

CharlesPickney CarrolltonGA

Charles Pickney

DonMcWhorter CarrolltonGA

Don McWhorter

GaryCurtis WoodstockGA

Gary Curtis


Jesse Duke and Friend

JohnMartin VillaRicaGA

John Martin

JuneShellnut AtlantaGA

June Shellnut

LarryAndLindaSmith NorcrossGA

Larry and Pamela Smith

LynnMersingerReader StockbridgeGA

Lynn Mersinger Reader

MarcVillanueva EastPointGA

Marc Villanueva

MaryLynneRobbins TrussvilleAL

Mary Lynne Robbins

MattBolton TempleGA

Matt Bolton


One Ring at a Time

PatrickHenrickson VillaRicaGA

Patrick Henrickson

PaulaLansford GreensboroGA

Paula Lansford

RandyAyers CarrolltonGA

Randy Ayers

SallyAustin CarrolltonGA

Sally Austin


Santoria Monica

TheLivingSculpture HeLovedHerArt

The Living Sculpture

A heart Thank you to all you creative people and to you, Janet, for making this happen.

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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.

120, Envoy: Illuminary

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To understand what it feels like to look at Nancy’s art, you can not look at it with a logical mind. My daughter said it best, “It feels free,” and how does one capture freedom? As a flag flapping in the wind? You do that already with these. So I brainstormed and hunted the web looking for images that made my spirit feel free. And instead of taking a picture of the stitching in an organic place, I placed it upon the images that reflected most to me what it makes me feel when I looked at it, the joy and openness…


Today’s Envoy is my friend Illuminary. The first time I read her writing, I was smitten, absolutely smitten. Then next thing you know, we’re tucking each other in at night with stories about our day or how we wish our day had been or how we hoped tomorrow would be – a ritual that continues to this day. Beyond giving me a sweet, soft place to lay my head every night, let me tell you: this woman is amazing. She gets more done in a minute than I get done in a week. She home schools Little Moon (my special name for her special daughter), makes pottery, sews, quilts, makes dolls, reads the best books, tend a garden, writes, makes brooms, paints, and I don’t know what all. Seems to me there’s nothing this woman can’t do. Simply said, she is an artist – an artist in various creative mediums, an artist at life, and an artist at friendship. And she’s as generous as she is talented. This week found her holding class for the Empty Bowls project, and I know she donates some of her mugs as a fundraiser for an animal shelter. Go visit her blog and be captivated by her writing, by her special way of looking at the world, then visit her etsy shop and let her become your favorite elf. Thank you, MoonGlow, for this beautiful collage and your beautiful words that accompany it. I’ll talk to you later when we tuck ourselves in under the moon that holds you, me, and Nancy, too.


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.

113, Envoy: Mary (or Merry) Ellington

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Today’s Envoy is Mary Ellington, also called Merry Me or just Merry by folks like me. I’ve had the good fortune to become friends with Merry here in the ethers, and I count myself incredibly lucky that our paths crossed. We have much in common, Merry and me – it’s almost like we just fell in beside each other, nodding in agreement and understanding as the other one talks. She’s a creative woman who loves cloth and writing (didn’t I tell you?!), and she writes with an earnestness that’s not stagey or pretentious, she simply writes from the deepest, purest part of her heart . . . which happens to be where she lives, too. Merry – Sugar, I thank you so very, very much for being an Envoy and taking Nancy and us with you on your recent trek across country to be with your daughter, Wendy and her new husband as they celebrated their union. What a treat to be with you, what an honor. Your Envoy excursion is so much fun!

Mary/Merry writes about the first set of photos:
Here are the pictures I took. I saw and did many new things while in Seattle. With the cloth in my pocket, I felt like I had Nancy’s hand in mine and we shared the sights and sounds together. Did you ever take your kids somewhere then stop for a moment to look at something only to turn around and they are gone – G-O-N-E? I admit to having that same panicky feeling a few times when I thought I’d lost the cloth. But, like stray kids, it always turned up safe and sound. The only picture I wanted that I didn’t get was one of the cloth in the cockpit of an airplane. I was just too frazzled getting on or off to even ask. I am so honored to be a part of this collaborative project.


Loved the title of this book in the Underground Seattle Gift Shop


Merry Me and #113
in front of a Native American Totem Pole
in Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA.


Inside one of the largest/oldest toy stores I’ve ever seen. Pioneer Square.


Flowers galore at Pike’s Market


With hydrangeas in a sidewalk garden


With the crows Illuminary created for the celebration


At the King Tut Exhibit, Seattle Science Center


With sunflower, Wendy’s wedding

And if those weren’t delightful enough, Merry found more photos she’d taken!
About the second set, she writes:
The pictures here were taken at my sister’s home in Selah, WA – over the mountains from Seattle. It’s called high desert and looks the part. All the green vegetation of the mountains turned to dusty brown hills. Anyway it’s full of apple orchards.

My brother-in-law is a self-taught landscape architect. I think that means he likes to dig holes and plant trees! What was once a big horse pasture is now a mini-arboretum. I took pictures of Nancy’s cloth early in the morning when there was still dew on the ground – on a grapevine, in the apple tree and amongst the lavender.







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 and read your way current.
And pssst: there’s a pinterest board, too.

101, Envoy: Laura Fincher

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Today’s Envoy is Laura Fincher.


Laura says:

Reminds me of grandmother’s hat. She never went out without it. I still have the hat, though it’s a little crushed now. This drawing also reminded me of a circle in a circle and how life is a circle and we are running around in one.


I met Laura when our children were in third grade. I was elected to some PTO office, and I “convinced” her that she wanted to serve, too. Thank goodness she’s never held that against me and continues to love me anyway. Laura met Nancy once . . . Many years ago, I brought Nancy home for a visit, and I took her over to Laura’s house for lunch. As we got to the door, I remembered that I’d completely forgotten to cue Laura about how proud Nancy is of her “pretty red hair.” Not to worry, though. We knocked, Laura opened the door, and as Nancy crossed the threshold, Laura hugged her and said “What pretty red hair you have.” Well, don’t you know that from that point on, Nancy didn’t have another thing to do with me. For the rest of her visit, she was glued to Laura’s side.

I also find it interesting and endearing that Laura photographed the so-called wrong side of the cloth. The side showing the uneven, imperfect stitching and the knots. (Yes, I use knots.) I used very thin cloth in this project because it seems fragile and ephemeral and near-transparent, just like Nancy. And like Nancy, the inside – the so-called wrong side – is just as unapologetically visible as the so-called right side. Whether intentional or not, I’m quite touched and not a bit surprised that Laura did that, given the sensitive, intuitive, wise woman she is.


Nancy 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 and read your way current.
And there’s a pinterest board, too.

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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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