As They Were...

Handwriting is powerful. It's like a fingerprint, wholly unique to the hand holding the pen. It's no secret we love handwriting here at the Piecemeal Shoppe, but what we love even more are the people behind the handwriting. Recently, Ashlyne had an opportunity to create an piece for her longtime friend, Nikki Hampton Peal. Nikki's mother, Berta, passed on Christmas Day sixteen years ago. From an old worn piece of paper, we were able to stitch Berta's version of "Merry Christmas" onto tea towels for those who miss her most as well as an apron for Nikki. To say this moved us here at the Shoppe would be a flat out understatement. It broke us. And we just knew it had to be a part of what we offered from this point on. 

For more information regarding custom As They Were pieces, please reach out to Ashlyne at 

And without further adieu, we present a tiny but mighty bit about each beloved soul...


She was a daughter, a sister, a wife, a friend. But more than anything else, she was my Mom. The strongest woman I have ever known. Overcoming adversity was something she made look easy. Growing up I always thought she was invincible. Losing her to cancer at the age of 52 was something I never imagined would happen. I miss her voice and incredible words of wisdom. I can only pray that I am to my kids the amazing person my mom was to me. - Nikki Hampton Peal (Nashville, Tennessee)



At age 10, my son, Brian Patrick became the "man" of the house when his father and I divorced.  He had big shoes to fill taking care of 2 big sisters, a little sister and me.  He was so responsible in caring for us, the house and the yard and he did it all willingly.  He excelled in his school work and in art and all he ever did.  Brian passed away at age 18 from Leukemia but not without leaving us all happy memories and a huge hole in all of our hearts. He will always be my main man.  I can not wait to see him again some fine day.

    -Brian's mom, Sue Foster (Nashville, Tennessee)




My dad was born on January 26, 1921 in a small town in Canada called Belleville by Toronto. He graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in Chemical  Engineering. He was so smart!  He moved to Chicago after college to get a job and lived at the YMCA until he got his first job. 

He was our hero. He was so tall to us–his twin daughters. 6'2" seemed like a giant. The most important thing about my father was how much he loved his wife, our mother, and  I have never seen a man and woman more compatible. They loved each other more than anything in this world.  They had the exact same interests in just about everything from old English movies, traveling (especially to England). They were both such lovers of all things English. Oh, and they called each other "Carlotta" and "Carlos". 

All I can say about my dad was he had more character than any man I have ever known.  He is missed everyday, and I feel privileged to call him my DAD!

-Liz Carson (Nashville, Tennessee)



Grandma Cochran. She loved her cigarettes (secretly) and her Crown Royal (also secretly). She lived to be 94 I think. Full of spirit and life. She loved my mom Pam and my mom loved her. Lori Manlove (Nashville, Tennessee)


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