Friday, November 8, 2013

An Old Friend comes to Visit

When we make something and send it out into the world, it's rare that we are able to hear what happens to it after it leaves our hands.

We can only hope that the time, love and care that we put into our projects will somehow transfer to the receiver.   Maybe, if we're lucky, a bit of osmosis occurs through the cloth and the receiver feels loved.

Today, an old friend returned to my doorstep a little worse for the wear but with quite a story to tell...


Some of you might recognize The Giving Purse.  She was born in 2010 to be auctioned off at a fundraiser to benefit women in need in Howard County, Maryland.  Inspired by The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, you can read the creation story of the Giving Purse and my letter to the future owner here.

In this audio clip, I introduce you to my friend Maura who ended up winning the purse at auction...


After that night, Maura carried the purse for two years and they went to work creating connections and sharing their magic...




They were quite the pair until one day the purse was taken from her.

She's come back.  Albeit a little shabby...


A bit dirty...



And in need of a little rehab...



Here's the amazing tale of what happened and what it meant to Maura...


There are many elements of this story that I felt were important to capture and share here today.   When the fundraiser organizers named their event, The Power of the Purse, I don't think they realized how powerful a purse could really be.

I am very grateful for Shel Silverstein and his marvelous story, for my hands and my ability to create this purse.  But most of all for my beautiful friend Maura.  I don't think the Giving Purse could have found a more generous spirit with whom to travel.

Now Jim and I are off to figure out the best way to clean her up and get her working again.

Got any ideas?

22 comments:

pamelaric said...

What an amazing story! I'm so glad you told it. I thought it was a wonderful story when you made it but this is the frosting on the cake. To clean something like that, I would find the best dry cleaner in town and take it in and talk to him/her. They know how to clean absolutely everything and I bet this cleaner would come up with some good advice. Good luck with that and please keep us posted.
Pamela
Tucson, AZ

Margaret said...

It took me a while to get the audio posts to work but it was worth it. What a beautiful tribute to the late Mr. Silverstein but also to what is true and right in the world.

deanna7trees said...

what a wonderful story. if it were mine, i would preserve it, as is, in some way with its story, to be displayed and make a new one to start a new traveling story.

Bobbi Pohl said...

What a blessing to learn what happened to the creation you made with such love and sent out into the world, perhaps never to see again. I'm glad you are giving it a new life.

Rachel said...

Don't make the purse too pristine - the life story needs to be on show!

Alisa said...

Wow! Just amazing.
Thank you for sharing, Susan. I love to hear stories like this.

Catherine said...

What a fabulous story!! I remember falling in love with that purse when you made it ~ The Giving Tree was a favorite story if my oldest and myself. So glad the purse came home and you will give her some much deserved TLC! I do hope you keep us in the loop with this one!

Alice said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful Story. What an amazing story which brought tears to my eyes. Your Giving Purse is lovely.

Suztats said...

A Beautiful story! Thank you.

Mary Ann said...

Wonderful story:) I have no ideas about how to clean that poor purse.

I recently discovered though that Dawn dish soap cleans more that dishes....LOL My granddaughter was given a very old wicker doll's carriage, It was covered in lace and I had to take it apart to restore it. The lace was in a very dirty condition so I decided to soak it in Dawn as I figured it would be mild enough. The lace came out lovely and white:)

Anonymous said...

Susan,
Thank you for sharing this amazing story. You are the only blogger whose postings I ALWAYS save to look at, even when I'm busy, tired, worn out or depressed. I learn so much by watching your creative process. You are a gift in my life.

I have to tell you, that the story of the purse had me bawling like a baby. Such an amazing story on so many levels. Thank you.

Keep stitching and sharing. <3
Pattie

Lisa said...

Truly an amazing story! Loved the purse when you were making it and so beautiful to see how it really fulfilled it's mission and the story continues on!

Joan said...

How is your supply of Orvus? it works wonders on both horses and needlework.

Good luck with your clean up efforts. And, like someone said, don't make it absolutely pristine because it needs to tell its story.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

A glorious story that will be repeated by many unknown to you. I kept thinking that there are so many lives that you have touched in so many ways that you don't even know about...like the ripples caused by a pebble tossed into a pond.

BTW, you have a lovely voice.
xx, Carol

shawkl said...

What a wonderful adventure the purse has already had...and it continues on. I would wash it as I would any other item made of cloth...perhaps in a gentle cycle to respect it's fragile heart. The torn areas would be patched to still reflect the scares of it's history, and the rebirth of it's spirit. I look forward to seeing how you work your magic.
Hugs,
Kathy

Wanda Roszak said...

Thank you !, Dit is Beautiful story ,
Hugs,
Wanda

Padparadscha said...

What a fabulous and touching story ! It is an inspiration to never stop giving and loving.

Thank you for sharing. With hugs.

Createology said...

Oh Susan this is an amazing back story for your "Giving Tree" Purse. I have read and listened and my feelings are to keep it as it is and retire it with the story. To me this purse seems like it has more than fulfilled its mission. Wouldn't it be wonderful to tour children's school classes and have a lesson plan for the teacher to share with students about the "Gift of Giving"?
Just my ideas. Thank you dear for sharing this beautiful work of art and life's happenings.

Elizabeth said...

What an amazing tale!! thanks for sharing and do let us know how it turns out. Terific to hear the story in Maura's own words!! Great touch to your fabulous blog!! I really like the idea of retiring it as is, but this purse has the magic and who knows if a copy would????? So Arm and Hammer Washing Soda and sunshine to start?? Good luck and if anyone can do it ,YOU CAN!!! Miss you my friend! trying to get back to blogging but days at my Studio at the gallery and putting on my first body of work show had me scrambling all summer!! the pictures of your retreat below are fabulous!!! Wish I had known you were driving by my house, would have met you for lunch on your way down 95!!
Happy thanksgiving to you and your wonderful family, in case I dont get back here before then!!
Hugs!
Elizabeth

liniecat said...

Fate do you think, thats brought the bag back to its maker?
And oh what a story could it tell, if only .....lol

Cathy K said...

Oh my! What a truly amazing story; worthy of a short story of your own. Even a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. You will take care of Maura and the purse, I know. Do you need any greens? There are probably a lot of us who would be happy to give some to you. Thank you for a story that made my weekend! Hugs, Cathy

Mosaic Magpie said...

I am a faithful reader of your blog...but somehow I had missed the creation of the purse and this post. After reading your post today and now catching up on the journey, it is all just amazing. I know you anticipated the purse calling attention to itself and that in turn would allow a connection but in your wildest dreams did you ever think...
The act of giving, goes far beyond the physical action.
xo,
Deb

Related Posts with Thumbnails