July 27th


When Amanda’s mom passed away last October, there was a part of my close group of childhood girlfriends (the Yas) that died too. Judy is the first parent to pass away, and she wasn’t just a parent. She was one of my friends — someone I loved talking to about books and travel. She was a woman I wanted to be more like. I always felt like a part of the family in their home and Judy and Amanda’s relationship was so peaceful and loving.

The months since her death have been so hard for Amanda, her brother and their father. In all fairness, they’ve been difficult for each of us too. I can say I’m holding my mom a bit closer, being a bit more appreciative, arguing less and loving more. I can also say I’ve watched Amanda in awe. Full of grace, she’s handling this mourning with the full spectrum of emotion and let herself feel and live it.

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Amanda inherited many of her mother’s things. One of these was an old sewing box full of odd notions and patterns. She also received the bejeweled bag. Judy sewed on occasion and while Amanda loved this bag because it was her mother’s, her own style is much simpler. She asked if I’d take the handles and the style of the first and create something she’d like to carry — keeping the spirit and losing the flare.

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This reversible tote was easy to create. I even found the green webbing for the handles in Judy’s sewing box — Amanda passed it along to me several months ago.


This project was a simple transition. Living in a time of life where our grandparents, parents and friends age, get sick and die isn’t.  I hope those facing illness and mourning are similarly surrounded by a circle of loving and remembering friends. I am so thankful Judy’s spirit is alive and well — in her daughter, in her previous projects and in those of us who were lucky enough to spend time with her.


Posted in
Faith, handmade, Journal
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10 Responses

  1. goldenstar July 27, 2009

    A beautiful bag and a beautiful post. Carrying the spirit of a loved one with respect and beauty all in one.

  2. So well-written. Beautiful post. And, beautiful bag. Hope Amanda will wear it and smile and think of her mom. So hard to deal with loss…

  3. What a loving tribute to Judy. The bag revamp is such a nice way to keep the heart of Judy’s originality while imbuing Amanda’s style, a wonderful blend of mother/daughter. Losing a parent or loved one is horrible, plain and simple.

  4. Oh that’s just sadness and joy all at once. I can’t believe it. Thanks for sharing.

  5. This turned out so fabulous! Amanda is lucky to have you as a friend.

  6. Wow, how did I miss that you were doing this? I simply love. it. I can’t imagine how great it is for Amanda to be able to carry it and know that YOU took something of her mom’s and made it even extra special.

  7. Ok – a little teary eyed here. Very sweet my friend. Grief is an unbelievable emotion – so complicated and yet so raw. How wonderful that Amanda is able to grieve with such amazing friends.

  8. Beautiful bag and what a great way to honor her mother’s memory with something that she’ll actually use! You know…I noticed a little bamboo handle straw bag at the top of my closet the other day. It’s from YEARS ago and I bought it on clearance for $3 – tag still on. Looks like I need to dust it off!

  9. Absolutely beautiful. I love the clean simple style of this bag. What a treasure for your friend.