Tag: stories in cloth (Page 1 of 3)

it was bound to happen


things stack up,
get piled on top of her.
they add layers
and layers
and layers
of who she
should be
and how she
should act
and how she
should think
and feel
and look
and write
and speak
and walk
and dance
(or not dance, depending).
layer upon layer
upon layer
until one day
she just pops,
taking up much
more room than
she ever did before
and shouts
loud enough
for the folks
on pluto to hear
because she
simply can’t
hold it in
one nanosecond


More about 365 Altars


inspired by my soul mate and writing partner, julie daley.
hey, have you ordered a copy of her brand, new collection of essays, stories, and more?
if so, yay! if not, scoot.




it is the sixth day of sun and blue skies we’ve seen since thanksgiving, so we do the only thing that makes sense: we leave. we trek to a nearby town in search of an air purifier – that was our official excuse – and after spending, oh i don’t know, maybe two minutes on that search, we walk up and down main street, ducking in the human society thrift shop – where i found two national geographic magazines i can’t live another day without – then on down to one of the many antique shops on the square.

we see christening dresses, white gloves, a colonial war metal warming plate. we see a small perfume bottle in a sterling silver case that snaps closed with a definitive click. we see an entire cabinet full of keys . . . alas, but no roller skate key. if the woman who talks to herself is to be believed, we see a bible box and an ice cream plate. she begins to talk to me, generously sharing with me news of the best deal around: a mining spot in cherokee, n.c. where you buy a bucket for $13 and set to mining. she went there not long ago, and having decided to hold onto the smaller stones in their natural state, she is heading back over tomorrow to pick up her 3 carat emerald that’s being cut. the man doing the cutting reckons that one stone alone is worth $3,000.00 to $4,000.00, and she wonders how on earth they can make money with buckets costing only $13 each, but soon enough she answers her own question: they own the mining rights AND they get paid to cut and set the stones. she doesn’t think she’s tall enough to pull off wearing a four carat emerald, so she’s fine with the smaller three carat stone.

when she picks up her cut stone, she’ll pay for two or three more of those $13 buckets, hoping to raise enough money to purchase the ten acres on the market for $10,000. it’s uncleared land, but she figures she will sell the stones to pay for the clearing of five acres which she’ll then sell and use the proceeds from that sale to clear the other five acres and have clarence come put her a trailer there where she’ll live happily ever after.


spying the glass-front filled with jars and bags of marbles, the young mesmerized boy says pointedly, “dad, do you realize i don’t have any marbles?”

“oh you have some marbles,” his dad says, distracted with the boxes filled with hinges and door knobs and such he’s rifling through “you’ve just lost them.”


we see a naked baby doll that’s much the worse for wear, her skin all cracked and peeling, one eye permanently closed in a wink, her smile faded but still radiant. i want to bring her home and love her.

a smaller doll lies in the box with her, a doll so small you can hold her in the palm of one hand. her tag says “porcelain doll missing,” and sure enough both feet, one hand, and one arm up to the elbow have been amputated. i don’t know how to fix her, so i hug her, lay her back down, and wish her well.


as i stitch the evening away and as the scraps of fabric find their way together into a new cloth, these lines by nikki giovanni comes to dance in the eye of my needle:

When I am frayed and strained and drizzle at the end
Please someone cut a square and put me in a quilt
That I might keep some child warm
And some old person with no one else to talk to
Will hear my whispers.


More about 365 Altars



sometimes you
blow the candle out
and watch
until the last
joins the

sometimes you
fan the flame
to keep it
stave off
the darkness.

either way,
whether you
find the darkness
or it finds you,
is a part of
without it,
we don’t know
or sun
or nearly
as much about


just spied this quote
(that seems quite appropriate)
over at the e-home of my
talented and generous
and generously talented

“Knowing your own darkness
is the best method
for dealing with
the darknesses of other people.”
~ Carl Jung

turn the light around


in thumbing through an old book, i find a note on the end page describing an image, and here i go, stitching it into existence.

that was last night.

tonight i thumb through an old journal and find this – how cool is that.


Once you turn the light around,
everything in the world is turned around.
The light rays are concentrated upward into the eyes;
this is the great key of the human body.
You should reflect on this.
If you do not sit quietly each day,
this light flows and whirls,
stopping who knows where.
If you can sit quietly for a while,
all time-ten thousand ages,
a thousand lifetimes—is penetrated from this.
All phenomena revert to stillness.
Truly inconceivable is this sublime truth.

—from The Secret of the Golden Flower: The Classic Chinese Book of Life, translated by Thomas Cleary, HarperSanFrancisco, 1991, p.19

an outing

Went out to do a wee bit of yardening this morning, and that included clipping the spent roses. On a whim, I brought the petals in, ripped some small pieces of an old tablecloth, wet it, then tucked the petals inside the cloth as I wrapped the cloth around a lichen-laden branch.


When I noticed how the spent purple wave blooms stained my fingers after deadheading, I dropped some of them in another piece of cloth and wrapped it on the same lichen-laden branch.


All dressed up, the branch is now sunning on a rock beside the falls.



Why is this a big enough deal to warrant a blog post? Because for longer than I care to remember, I’ve imagined doing things like this, but I never veer far enough away from the All Mighty To Do List to allow such (seemingly) unjustifiable excursions and (seemingly) frivolous expenditures of time.

That all changes today.

When I look back at how many years I’ve delighted in doing things like this – but only on the inside – I want to sit down and cry, but that would be a frivolous waste of time, that crying over spilt milk. So I just vow to turn myself inside out more often. To do the things I’ve long done only on the inside, on the outside.

From this point forward (even past the inevitable occasional speedbumps), I will be eccentric not for the sake of being eccentric, but because I can’t help myself. I will decide for myself who I am and what I think and how I feel. And who I am and what I think and how I feel may change frequently – maybe even several times a day – but the self-determination-without-apology-or-explanation-unless-I-feel-like-offering-it will stand firm.

Will everybody like what I do, think, say, or feel? I doubt it. Will anyone think I’ve lost my mind? I sure hope so.

And, hey, I’d sure love some company . . .



paint the picture you want to hang.
make the trip you want to remember.
take the photo you want to view.

build the house you want to live in.
cook the meal you want to eat.
lay the stones you want to walk on.

run the race you want to win.
dance the dance you want to feel.
plant the tree you want to sit under.

sew the dress you want to wear.
write the music you want to sing.
craft the play you want to star in.

stitch the quilt you want to use.
weave the cloth you want to stitch.
write the book you want to read.

tell the story you want to hear.
create the blog you want to visit.
live the life you want to live.

(psst: that’s me there
in those last 6 lines.
starting something new
putting a new spin
on something quite familiar.
skip on over to
to find out more.)

« Older posts

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 ↑