Tag: inspiration

the numbers add up . . . if you leave some out


I needed floss. DMC #550 (dark violet) because purple is Nancy’s favorite color, and I like this particular shade. It took one hour to get to the store and four-and-a-half hours to get back home . . .


because on the return trip, we took the road less traveled, and Frost is right: it made all the difference.


Trees just beginning to wake up and think about changing into something green.


Heart-shaped rocks still wet from recent storms.


I felt so small, so protected. The quiet wrapped itself around me like a lullaby.


And just as I dropped the floss off in The Dissenter’s Chapel (the name of my studio), along came a flood of ideas – 21 to be exact – for new quilts. I guess that means I’m working in a series now?

[cue contented sigh]

It was a day well spent (even if we did spend five times as much on gas as we spent on floss).

in the company of treasures

When we moved last spring, merging the contents of a 5,000 square foot house into an already-furnished 3,000 square foot second home, a lot of things went up for adoption.

A lot.

But there were several things that simply have too much emotional and sentimental value for me to let go of completely. when it came to certain treasures, I just couldn’t do it. I know they’re just things. I know I’m supposed to be unattached. I know it’s just more to dust – but let’s face it: I’m just not that evolved as a woman.

I’m just not.

In no particular order, let me introduce you to some of my treasures:


The basket I purchased at the animal shelter fundraiser. It was made by a local woman, and it was love at first sight. Right now it holds shards to a pot gone bad, but soon enough it will go back to being the prayer vessel – where I put the daily prayers once I’ve written them on pretty paper.


The pottery piece turned candle dish that Andy and Kipp bought me while on a father/son bonding trip.


The little ceramic piece that captured my heart last year at the Storytelling Festival, the piece that rather represented the theme of a year past.


There’s the Christmas Cactus that my brother-in-law gave me when my Daddy died in December 2000. It had gotten so big, and when we moved up here, I put it out on the deck so it could enjoy some fresh air and sunshine which I tried to find a place to put it – it had gotten so big then one day along came a stiff wind and blew it into the falls. I wasn’t home, but my loving husband ventured out and picked up the few little pieces that didn’t make it into the water, and now we start again . . . with the plant, not the memories.


There’s this little doll-size party dress in a chipped frame that just makes my heart smile. I haven’t slowed down long enough to figure out why that is.


There’s this fairy cuddling a dragon whilst sitting atop a glass ball. My daughter and I saw these in a convenience store when we stopped for fuel on a trip to Hilton Head several years ago. Oh my goodness, how we laughed.


There’s the egg painting I saw when spending a delightful day in Fairhope, Alabama with my mother last year. Even though my bones told me to snag it that day, I didn’t – didn’t even get the name of the gallery. But when I couldn’t get it out of my mind after coming home, I tracked it down, whipped out the ole’ credit card, and within 10 days, it was hanging in my studio.


There’s the glass nib, a surprise gift from my son when we were visiting Hawaii several years ago. Oh how I enjoy using it.


This basket made from okra and cotton and such sat on the floor under a display in the gallery. It was marked half price, this beauty named Mother and Child, but I would’ve paid full price.


I call this an oddity, and it reminds me to wonder.


This piece, another gift from my son, is – like so many people I run into – prickly on the outside and filled with the sweetness of candy on the inside.


When my son brought his girlfriend home last July, we bopped into one of my favorite shops in Asheville but not before saying “Keep your eyes peeled for a red phone with a curly cord.” I had one in my hands within 7 minutes, and one day, I’m gonna’ show you why I wanted it so badly.

And when I do show you, I’ll also be using what’s inside here:





makes me smile.

There are my stones


and the impractical pot my nephew Drew made for me – pure, unadulterated fun:



and the print I call Blue Girl Reading that I found on a trip I took with my daughter:


to name a few.

But here’s the problem . . . right now, they are just lined up atop the two cabinets I pulled into service when I surrendered my downstairs studio to hubs when we moved here full time lsat spring, sprinkling myself into every nook and cranny upstairs.


I’m a minimalist – I like space. And I like my treasures because they inspire and delight me, but right now, they are just clutter. Seeing clear horizontal surfaces and visible baseboards calms me, representing space for possibilities and creativity. Breathing space. The clutter coupled with the brown cabinets – brown is a color that for reasons I can’t explain, deflates me, well, something must be done. So my daughter (who’s so blazingly creative) and I put our heads together this afternoon and hatched some possible remedies. Stay tuned . . . we’ll be done by the time company comes for Thanksgiving.

Or bust.

with inspiration like this

here’s yesterday’s photo:


and here’s today’s photo:


notice anything different?

the flowers – the ones i specially selected for their bright color and various stages of bloom (thanks, angela. nothing gets past you, does it?) – well it seems the cats used them as hors d’oeuvres for last night’s frivolity. yep, they turned over the vase, nibbled on the flowers (something new? let’s eat it!), and consequently threw up. as luck will have it, either the floor or my desk isn’t level (i don’t think i’ve ever lived in a house that’s level or has square corners – is it even possible to create such a space? and really, who would want to, anyway?), so the water from the vase ran down and to the righthand side of my desk. you know: the place where my computer, my ipad, my camera, and my trusty little recorder reside.

because we all know that cats don’t like water, the cat who tasted (not gilded, of course, where’s the fun in that?) the lilies, went to the lefthand side of my desk to throw up. that’s where my journal lives.

now in my approaching-pollyanna mode, i can tell you that the vase didn’t break. neither did the glass nib and its holder. (i’m hearing the collective sigh of relief. thank you.) my camera happened to be laying on top of my little decorative notepad – the one i use to jot down special requests before dropping them into my special pewter bird vessel, so while my prayers might be soggy, there will still be photos. the computer always sits raised on a little thingie that allows air to circulate and keep it from overheating, and the ipad and recorder are in sturdy plastic cases – let’s call them electronic life preservers, shall we.

my journal? well, almost-pollyanna had to struggle a little bit with that one, but here’s what i’ve come up with: i throw up my thoughts, feelings, and words in there every single day, so, shoot, it can take a little cat vomit. or, put more succinctly: copy cat.

okay, here’s the truth: i didn’t really light the candle yesterday. i meant to, but i spent so much time deciding what and who i wanted as companions on this writing trek, that by the time i was settled, it was almost time to cook supper, and well, i just completely forgot to actually light the candle. so this morning after i tossed what was left of the flowers, dried everything off, and cleaned up my desk, i lit the candle and prepared to write.

but the candle wouldn’t stay lit.

i tried about forty-eleven times, and every single time, it looked like a little glowing ember then poof – it was gone, leaving nothing but an equally short-lived trail of smoke.

determined i would not lose every single writing companion, i used one of the creativity stones to scoop out a little well around the wick. (say it with me: resourcefulness is a type of creativity.) downright smug with my resourcefulness, i flicked the long-neck bic and lit the new-improvedly-exposed wick. this time it held a flame, oh, say 42 seconds. now i can write 750 words in 10 minutes, but that’s more of a brain dump. in other words, they aren’t quality words. i need time for that. time and a flame that sticks.

on the front, the label on the candle says it’ll burn for 50 hours (would that be 42 seconds divided into 50 hours? no wait, there has to be some multiplication first, right?). on the back, it says “because sometimes journeys to faraway places bring you that much closer to yourself”. under the circumstances, i find that downright disturbing.


ps: but hey, here’s a question for you: if the water from the vase prematurely seals the envelope, does that mean you still have to write the check and pay the bill?

ps2: now that i think about it, the right side of my desk could be called e for the electronics area, right? and let’s call the left side w for writing. i sit on the lower side, so we’ll call that s. (are you with me yet?) in the great geography of things, that leaves the upper edge of my desk, and to make this whole map metaphor complete, what say we call it n for nibble?



a vase i gave myself
years and years ago
sits next to
the glass nib
that my son gave me
years and years ago.

my daughter gave me
the inspiration candle
years and years ago.
it rests on a plate
that asks
“why not take responsibility or your greatness?”
a gift my friend laura gave me
years and years ago.

i found the two stones
said to enkindle creativity
on a nature walk i took
years and years ago.

my constant companion phoebe,
a gift our children gave us
years and years ago,
stations herself at the windows
to keep
trespassers and intruders
at bay.

the painting in the background
that makes me smile and remember
important things
is something my husband gave me
years and years ago.

today i started writing a book
i first imagined
years and years ago.

sometimes it just takes a while
for everything to come together.

or maybe i’m just a
late bloomer.

today’s aspiration




when i grow into full bloom, it will be as a blue morning glory.

most definitely.


Blue Morning Glory


Voracious, yes. But when you see it,

shy blue flowers blaring like trumpets in spite of themselves,

center star shaped and yellow; when it startles you,

early in the morning, all over a white picket fence, say,

in Massachusetts, you might think “triumphal,” “prodigal,” “awake.”


Of course you don’t want it in your rose garden

among all the pruned, the decorous bushes. You don’t want it

in the vegetables, for it will romp through the tomatoes,

beans and peas, will leave no room on the ground, or even

in the air, for the leafy lettuces and cabbages soberly

queueing up in their furrows. It will hog all the sky it can get

knowing as it does what enormous thirst is satisfied by blue.


Father Michael says Follow the God of abundance

Says we hurry from the moment’s wealth

for fear it will be taken. Think of this:


the morning glory has been blossoming for so long

without permission that in some gardens it is no longer censored.

What does that tell you? See how it opens its tender throats

to a world that can sting it, how, without apology for its excess,

it blooms and blooms, though even yet

it seems surprised.


Anne Pitkin


my day, in 1 (well, 5 actually) sense(s) of the word

what i saw:

this picture of my mother taken last summer. i was driving the boat. i think it’s easy to see why i ran into that dock.



what i tasted:

crispy, crispy, crispy bacon done just right. wasn’t burnt, didn’t move when i picked it up.


what i heard:


lots and lots and lots of laughter – my sides required ben gay –  as my brother and i visited our own special planet and conjured up images and tales of a gang of 3 geese who are bad to the bone . . . i mean, feather.

i guess you had to be there.


what i felt:

the cool, smooth silk hand-dyed by my talented friend glennis.


what i smelled:

my leftover christmas candle burning. who says sugar cookie scent is seasonal?

Where in the world is The 70273 Project? Please add a pin to show us where you are in the world. (1) Click the + sign in upper righthand corner of map. (2) Enter your first name only. (3) Enter your city/state. (4) Using the pins at the bottom of the map, select a marker based on how you are involved. (5) Select preview to see before posting. (6) Select submit to post. Please add a marker for each role you serve in The 70273 Project.

Support The 70273 Project

Allow me to introduce myself . . .

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.

special delivery: get blog posts hot off the press


© 2024 Jeanne Hewell-Chambers’ Barefoot Heart

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑