Tag: stories in stitch (Page 1 of 3)



last week, my mother.
this week, my daughter.
both weeks are time well spent.
things stack up
as we play,
of course,
but i don’t care.


and as long as
he has a
sparkly red purse,
apparently my
feels precisely
the same way.



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

do over


sometimes you create something
and it just doesn’t feel right
even though you created
the image you saw
as your waking thought.
and you value waking thoughts
more than anything.

so you sit with it a while,
in case something
and changes things.

but eventually you realize
that it just doesn’t work
so you cut it up


then you cut it up again
and again


and tomorrow
or the next day
you start over,
weaving the parts together,
in a new way.
bringing in new pieces
and weaving them in and out
over and under
and you don’t stop
it tickles



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.)

My Tree Of She


i am a grove
a copse
a rich, fruitful orchard.

my tree of she
bears the fruit
of music
and cloth
and sparkle
and words.


my tree of she
bears blooms
of food
and flowers
and a strength
so soft,
it’s often mistaken
for weakness.

my tree of she
bears leaves
of dance
and duty
and generosity.
leaves of
and nourishing
and protecting.


my tree of she
is rich
in the red roots,
of blood
and hearts
and spirit,
and tears,
in the determination
and tenacity
and quiet boldness
of the women
who precede me.
their fierce independence,
their unbounded love,
their unending creativity,
unlocking the wonder
and the aching beauty
that is
my tree of she.


Today’s post is inspired
by the lovely Lindsey Mead
who sweeps me away regularly
with that special brand of wisdom
she shares over at a place called
A Design So Vast . . .

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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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