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The Blog

Ancestors, Women & Crafting

Updated: Jun 10

Hello My Friends

When I was a little girl I was fortunate enough to spend a lot of time with my maternal gramma. We called her gramma Jack, that was her last name, I am not sure how that came to be but that was how it was. There is something special about the ease of a relationship with a gramma for me. I always felt at ease with her, she always seemed relaxed to me. In hindsight, she may have just been tired, she was the mother to 9 children.

Nonetheless, Gramma Jack had divine patience and taught me many life skills like: cooking rice and little hamburgers, snapping peas on the porch for hours, picking strawberries that were just right, playing gin rummy and crib, the ethics of crossword puzzles (don't look in the back for answers, keep going, it will show itself) and needle crafts. I spent hours watching her craft hoping I had inherited this gift. She had an incredible relationship with thread. It was as though her hands were born with stories in them. The way the thread and yarn moved effortlessly across needles seemed beyond possible. Watching her 'shows', guiding me in my rudimentary version of her creation and all the while weaving the lightest white thread on an amazing journey. I was only shushed when she needed to count, and once in while this would result in her unhooking the needle and unraveling the story, my eyes popping in disbelief knowing first hand that frustration, but she never complained, sometimes she made a 'tisk' sound, but she just put the needle back in and carried on.

IMAGE; my mom, me and Gramma Jack approx 1984 ish

I miss my gramma but I was so fortunate to have her in my life until I was 19. I think of her often and wish she knew my children but as we all know, we are mortal and life goes on. So I visit her every time I roll thread through my fingers, every time my hands are in the soil, every time my needle pierces felt. I believe that the ancient crafts live in every woman's bones. There is a kind of special magic that happens when women gather and use their hands to create something. It is the birthplace of stories, and wisdom and laughter, where generations of women come together to remember. This became even more solidified when I hosted a retreat in Costa Rica and visited a cacao farm. I sat with 12 women around a table and our hands ran over the beans as if we had been doing it our whole lives. I remember feeling so at ease and noticing the natural weaving of storytelling that just emerged, like the beans from their shells. I was moved to tears at the entire experience. My bones remembered, even though I had never done this before. But I felt the generations of women that came before, living through our hands that day. I left with a new knowing.

IMAGE: My friend Amanda & I in Costa Rica working with Grandmother Cacao 2023

Women are meant to gather and engage with ancient earth craft. It is a portal to our wisdom and it is medicine. It heals us.

I am weaving this medicine into the Red Thread Summer Solstice Ceremony this year. We will be needle felting our own ancestor dolls. I would love to have you! You can get more details here

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