Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Giving Purse

I finally finished my submission for the Power of the Purse auction which will be held tomorrow...remember my word was "Connect"...

The Giving Purse

In this life, nothing connects us more than giving.

Giving of ourselves, giving of our time, giving of our resources.

Giving is demonstrative.

It requires action and connects us in ways that words cannot.

To me, no story conveys the power of giving more than the book by Shel Silverstein, The Giving Tree.


The story is of a boy and a tree. As a child, the boy feels great connection to the tree as he plays in its limbs and swings from its branches and rests in its shade.

But over time, the connection of proximity is broken as the boy grows up and moves away. To stay connected, the tree continues to give something of herself to the boy each time he visits...her apples, her branches, her trunk. Eventually, the tree is nothing but an old stump -- and the tree continues to give. Her final gift to the boy (who is now an old man) is a seat on which he can rest.


The story teaches us so much about connection and giving. The tree chose to connect herself with the boy fully. She didn't just give some of her apples or some of her branches -- she gave them all. And the extent of her giving is inconceivable. For she appears to have nothing left.

But she was happy.


The story teaches us to respond to requests for help not just when we have an excess...not just when it doesn't hurt...but to respond for requests when we encounter a need.

And it teaches that we must have faith in the connections that we make. And believe that the universe will respond in kind to our need when and if it should arise.


And so the purse I made, The Giving Purse, is all about connection and inspiring us all to give fully to others.

Give compliments, give smiles, give money, give good fortune, give love and give your time.

To the Buyer of this Purse:

You and I are connected.


And I made this purse with someone like you in mind.

This purse has magic woven into every stitch. It exists to bring joy to the buyer and to all those who see it.


People will be drawn to your purse. And some will overcome their shyness and they will ask about it. Magic.


At that moment, a connection is made ~ you+me+them.

They may even compliment your purse.

How will you use the moment? To connect? To give?

Included in this purse are small cards of appreciation to give to anyone who comments on your purse as you use it. It's a reward for their kindness. The card thanks the receiver for their gift of connection and encourages them to continue to give gifts to the world. It asks them to pass the card to the next person they witness giving of themselves.


And so like that. The card will continue to move from giver to giver...connecting us all together.

If you are not going to use this purse, please do not buy it.

For to place it on a shelf is to do it a disservice.

And should this purse become dirty, should some of its leaves fall off or its edges begin to fray...


Then we will know that The Giving Purse had given all that it could --

And the world will be that much happier for the gift.

P.S. I'll let you know how it goes. Fingers crossed. I hope it raises a lot of money!

51 comments:

Catherine said...

Wow! You are so creative and insightful! Your purse is amazing and I wish I could bid on it and be the lucky winner! That book is one of my oldest sons favorites, so it will always have a special place in my heart. I do hope that whom ever does win this will honor your vision!

Stella Pesci said...

You did a beautiful job on your purse...someone will feel very happy to receive this!
Stella xx

DovilÄ— said...

wonderful! just stunning work:) and very nice story and perfect idea:)
hugs Dovile

coral-seas said...

I've noticed something about your blog, Susan. Virtually every entry makes me stop, ready carefully, look carefully and think deeply. Little you say or do is said or done lightly. There is real thought, real feeling and a real message behind it. Your creativity amazes me. Your capacity for giving astounds me. I hope this purse goes to the right bidder and I hope they give back to you by honouring your wish and making the next connection.

One question, is this an online auction or a real auction?

I love your bag and the concept. Bravo!

meri said...

OMG!
The purse is exquisite.But the symbol/meaning behind each stitch and shape you gave her is impressive/magnificent, Susan!
I'm giving/sending you a big and emotional hug from this side of the world!

(here we know that story too)
(it's difficult to find the right words in a non mother language to express myself)

Plays with Needles said...

CA, the auction is a silent auction that is being held in conjunction with a speaker symposium...the money will benefit needy women and children in our local area...

Evelyn and Lise said...

How I would LOVE to have this purse. I love your story book that will go with it. You have such insight on everything you make. I would love to meet you in person. Lise

Gerry Krueger said...

I bet this purse makes tons of money...I love all the detail on the inside.... If you can find someone to bid for me by proxie I will go up to $100 on it... That won't win it but it will drive the bidding up...... Hugs Gerry

Loralynn said...

Fantastic, as usual! As if all the lovely leaves weren't enough, all the other little "hidden" touches are so charming! You are such an inspiration!

Elmsley Rose said...

You did it! You made a tree!

The leopard trim at the bottom is an inspiration. It brings out the wood of the tree, which might otherwise a lot behind the 3D leaves, being in a darker colour.

I don't suppose you are including a copy of the book in the bag? One photo kind of looks like you are. It would help explain the words (say, followed by the tree stump- and make that writing/drawing magical.

verobirdie said...

Such a beautiful story and such a beautiful purse. It is really special. I hope her next owner will know that.

Heather J. said...

Susan - this is possibly the most gorgeous thing I've seen you make. It is amazing! I'm so in awe that I had to share it with everyone on Twitter. I can't wait to see how much it bring in for the charity!

leilani said...

I think the organization is missing a real bet not extending the auction to include on-line bidders. They might want to consider that in the future.

The bag is stunning. . . simply stunning. As are your beautiful thoughts and words.

Crystal said...

Oh Susan!

It's absolutely magnificent - every stitch, every detail, every sentiment!

It will be the "star" of the auction. :-)

anne said...

I love it. Good luck with the auction.

Jodaeodesign said...

It's a beauty! I hope the auction goes well.

Ati. said...

Wonderful purse and wonderful story!
It Has ! to raise a lot of money. You have put so much of yourself in it. That only is worth a million!

craftydiane said...

What a beautiful purse and a beautiful story! The Giving Tree has always been a favorite of my children. I hope your purse sells for lots!
Blessings,
Diane

Cathy K said...

OMG. Where do you come up with these fantastic ideas? I'm in awe. I bow to your greatness!! I LOVE THAT PURSE!! Hugs, Cathy

fancypants said...

WOW! I am totally moved by the purse- it is so beautiful. I love that you take your creativity and talent to the next level- that is not something that just anyone could do. Much luck on the auction- though I think it will be a hit regardless...

SHELL'S SHED said...

Absolutely fantastic - it would be an honour to own such a beautifully crafted bag with such meaning. A tree of life and giving - wish I could be there to bid - hope your fund raiser is a huge success x

luv Shell x

sudukc said...

Oh my gosh,how beautiful...purse and sstory. I used to read The Giving Tree to my son, will have to dig it out to read to my younger grandchildren too. Thanks for reminding us all we are connected and need to give of ourselves often.

Carol said...

Dear Susan, you have outdone yourself. O, not in creating the magnificent purse. You have given energy to the Universe in your selfless giving. Giving not only your talent, but putting the thought into cyberspace about giving to others and asking them to pass it on. I can think of no greater pleasure than if one of your cards would someday find its way all the way to Northern Indiana into my hand, and I will look at it, all tattered and used and see that your prayer for the world is being passed on and on.

With this purse, you have given more than you could know.
Blessings, Carol

Marnie said...

A-mazing! I'm emailing you with my bid. You can be my proxy. Perhaps I'll get lucky. This one-of-a-kind purse is truly priceless.

Front Range Stitcher said...

The purse is awesome, your words leave me speechless.

Dees said...

OMG susan, this is sooooo beautifull, the purse, the story of the little boy and the tree... I just love it. Can I buy this purse? I mean it! Tell me how to.

Muriel said...

This purse is wonderful. Sure that i will be a great succes for the auction

Elizabeth said...

Again your amazing attention to each and every detail simply blows me away!! You give everyhting to this piece and you share it all so incredibly well with your words!!! Your writing is magical as well. This piece is stunning from top to bottom and I ahve faith that the person who places the highest bid will follow your incredible lead. Including the Giving Cards is pure brilliance!!!!

Lisa said...

Hi Susan,

Elizabeth sent me your way...gorgeous purse and concept! The detail is just stunning....a unique work of art!

I live in Baltimore and compete in triathalons too.

Maureen said...

I have no words!!! WOW!

Marty52 said...

A wonderful post from a wonderful lady... you slay me. Here's to hoping for many bids on this beauty, Susan!

Vicky~ stichr ~ said...

I am amazed at the wonderful-ness of this whole purse!!!!!! I would use it every day!

Lynn said...

Oh my gosh - I love your purse! I have chills (even though the sun in beaming through my windows and I should be quite cozy) - this is so so sweet! You have an amazing talent to convey emotion in your stitching. You are a very giving soul, Susan!

JoWynn Johns said...

Incredibly magnificent. Awesome!

Balwearie said...

That is gorgeous -- and so very well put together in all respects! Best of luck with the auction.

Allison Ann Aller said...

You have GIVEN this so much thought and heart...I love the writing on it...I hope it makes a lot of money and the buyer can feel all the love you poured into it.

Robin said...

Humbly, I am your sponge... soaking up every word... every image.

Barbara C said...

Gorgeous bag: I hope it raises lots of money.

Ingrid Mida said...

What an incredible gift you have made. Truly extraordinary in every way!
To love is to give everything as you have done.

Vicki W said...

Astounding! Your work amazes me more each time I see something new. It's wonderful that you are now making a second one and for such a great cause!

denise said...

Beautiful...physically and the emotion behind it. You did a spectacular job...look at the detail! I caught the winner's picture before this one...she is incredibly lucky to be the new owner and the fact that you will make another for a friend that will donate $$..wonderful.

Robin said...

Although I haven't read the other 41 comments, I'm certain I can say "ditto" to all of them. It seems that now YOU are the giving tree and YOU are making the effort to stay connected. This is what the world needs. This is what we all need. Thank you, Susan!

I recognize the green plaid silk you bought when Allie was in town to teach. It brings back great shopping memories. Funny, I've just now paid off the balance on my Visa for that trip. LOL!

xxxooo Robin A.

Terri said...

I love this purse! Well Done!

dawa-renea said...

that purse is magnificent
i live in Australia .
may i make one for myself
and where would i get a copy of that book
i felt such an excitement reading and looking at the pictures

sewkalico said...

I came via Vicki's Field tripping the web and I am glad I did. What a wonderful story and bag!!

Candida said...
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Candida said...
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Leigh Grohe said...

I was blessed to be in Subway one night, when Maura....., whom I knew from years before, she and Laurie our swim team managers...happened to be in line in front of me with Laurie. I never even saw them, the purse caught my eye. I just tapped her on the shoulder, while staring at the amazing purse, then she passed me the card. and mentioned this blog...which I read regularly. Just cried reading the Phil. triathalon story. I KNOW I will bump into you soon. We live in the same town. I'm the most creative person I know, untill I saw you! inspiring ! sincerely, Leigh check out my web site : www.decorativeleigh.com

Wanda-Maria Roszak said...

Beautiful ! Im Love it !

traderslostart said...

I love this blog not only for the stunning works of art you create, but also for the thoughtful insights into your world and how you would like our world to be a better place for all of us. I am sorry about the loss of your mother, and I know she is proud of all you have accomplished. I had hesitated in signing up because I truthfully have a hard time creating, selling to my buyers, and trying to find blocks of time to answer and read emails. But I have to make an exception for yours. I have missed too much of it. Blessings, Sondra

Mosaic Magpie said...

The purse did get dirty and some of the leaves began to fray....but there is still giving to be done...so the tree lives on.
Bless you for your thoughts and works.
Deb

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