A Shawl and Tall Birdie Joe

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Since late December, when I chose the word FRAGILE as my word for 2014, I have been seeking to lighten my load, free up my schedule and make room to listen more actively to the intuitive whispers that come on the wind and fill my dreams.  I began to hear the stories of the Buttonheads.  First the whisper of a name, then a snippet of a story, and as I stitched, with no firm plan, the stories of each doll revealed themselves to me as part of this process.

The other night I dream a shawl, a story shawl, a keeping history shawl, with a voice of it’s own.  I wasn’t sure what I would make it from, but I have surrounded myself with some marvelous vintage textiles and their stories began to call to me.  The wind on Monday filled me with ideas and this shawl has been percolating all week.  Today I found a piece of fabric I bought about 18 years ago, to make something for my son that never materialized.  Today it is the beginning of the story shawl…along with some pieces of feed sack that were found in the pile, where it goes I won’t know, probably not for quite a while, but today the Shawl Project…

Here is the beginning

IMG_0054I used a wool shawl that I have as a pattern and cut out this piece of cloth to appliqué and stitch and I’m not sure what really, yet.  I will sing to it and it will tell me what it needs.

And now the doll.  Tall Birdie Joe

IMG_0061Tall Birdie Joe came from a back country road in New Hampshire.  He lived somewhere in the woods behind Gill’s Garage with his parents.  As soon as he was old enough, he left home because home was not a warm and safe place for him.  He traveled, hitching along the back ways and old roads looking for stories.  He wanted to follow the magnetic lines of the earth because he felt the energy flow through his veins.  He often worked as a day laborer so he could eat, taking whatever odd job he could find, for he was strong and fit. When his slim body could hold no more stories, and he was full to overflowing, he made his way back home. He settled in the woods in a  made shack of log and bark in Canaan and worked the grounds for the summer folk who lived by the lake. Tall Birdie Joe fell from the back of a pick up one day and departed this mortal soil.  But he returned as an angel, tattered wing, bottle cap eye, ragged rust and stitching.  He walks the woods he knows so well and can be seen, but only in the winter, when the heavy snow covers the ground and his bright threads stand out against the brilliant white of the snow.  If you listen to the night wind and watch the stars above, you may hear him tell a story or two as you breath in the frosty air.


IMG_0069You will find him in my etsy shop….





  1. This is actually quite a sad tale. It seems poor Joe never found a good place to settle down and make friends. You tell a very good story, sad as it may be. I hope Joe has now found peace as an angel.

  2. Poor Joe, but he is very cute. Have big fun weaving tales and putting them on your shawl! Valerie

  3. Love Tall Birdy Joe and the story.
    I want to give a link to this lady’s blog . She does lots of stuff like what your talking about with the shawl. She does Journal Skirts and other stuff. I think you might get a kick out of looking at her blog.

    Hugs! deb

  4. Sad Joe; but he sure is cute! 🙂 I hope you share that shawl with us once you’ve sung your song! xo

  5. Great story…poor Joe. Hope he finds a happy home.

  6. That is a great story and I can hardly wait to see the shawl as it progresses!

  7. Oh — the shawl — what fun that will be. And JOE … what a story, but he’ll soon have a very happy home.

  8. I am in love with tall birdie Joe, his story enchanted me. Wonderful!!! I like were you are going in this New Year, so happy to be following along.

  9. I love Joe. Another strong member of the Buttonwood Family! Your imagination amazes me, Corrie! Now, about that shawl, can we talk? Mwah! KayW

  10. Can’t wait to see what transpires with the shawl! What an exciting journey you have ahead of you!
    Poor Joe… what a haunting tale… sad and strong at once. His single wing, the thing that carries him, so firmly attached! Glad you are listening and the voices are speaking. We are the richer for it! 😀

  11. What a wonderful story to go with your doll. He looks quite fragile yet strong, and that one eye is just fabulous!

  12. Such a beautiful sad story … It makes your doll come to life.

  13. mystical, magical, wonderful, you

  14. Oh such a lovely story for tall BirdieJoe, your words go so well for this soul, full of heart and much love!

  15. Oh. Wow. Love Joe, what a cool angel boy he is!

  16. I love your stories! I think you have found something that is really YOU in these. The shawl….cannot wait to see what it becomes 🙂

  17. I can’t wait to see what you do with the shawl. Your newest doll creation and the story are fantastic! As I was reading your words the book Cannery Row by John Steinbeck came to mind for some reason. xo

  18. Oh, it will be fun to see what happens to this shawl. There is tremendous new energy bubbling over here.

  19. What an interesting story, with the main character SO darling.
    I hope he is alright now I guess he would make a funny looking “snow angel”
    in the snow with only one wing. But save that for chapter two!
    Maybe he’ll find Mrs. Snow Angel in the woods.

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