Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – A Girl and Her Creek

girl in creek

Ever since Chitter started setting creek rocks in silver you can’t keep her out of the Stamey Branch. Seems like every time I turn around she’s gone to the creek or hauling a bag full of rocks up the driveway. She’s been going so many times that she’s even got Granny to talking about it. When I came in from work yesterday Granny told me “Oh you ought to just see how many Chitter got today. She found the most rocks she’s ever found! I just can’t get over it!”

Now most of the time Granny don’t want Chitter no where near the creek where she might fall and get hurt or heaven forbid get bit by something…like a snake or catch poison oak. But we’re all so excited over Chitter’s new line of jewelry that even Granny is wanting her to find more rocks to set.

As you might imagine not just any ole creek rock will do. It needs to have certain specifications so that it will fit firmly in the setting. And then there are the Chitter specifications. She says the rock has to speak to her before she’ll put it in her strainer to bring home to her workbench.

Chitter’s already sold quite a few necklaces and I can see why. It’s such an original idea to set creek rocks in silver and then there’s the whole wear a piece of the Blue Ridge Mountains around your neck to remind you of the mountains appeal of the pieces. In fact this is what one proud owner had to say about it:

“My husband ordered one for me and it came today. I LOVE it so much and it has such special meaning because we have had a home in Banner Elk for about 20 years now and he knows what a rock/stone/wood/stumps…lover I am.  Thank you for sharing your talents and creations. I will cherish my little piece of Stamey Creek for the rest of my days. We love our mountains! 

I wore one of her prototypes to work the other day so that a few folks could look at it. Having it on gave me a feeling of being connected to the mountains. I’m sure my feeling partially came from the fact that Chitter is mine and that the rock came from my mountain holler. Yet I still see how having a piece of the mountains around your neck would make anyone feel connected in the same manner the new owner above described.

If you’d like to pick up your own Stamey Branch rock necklace or buy one for someone special jump over to Chitter’s Stamey Creek Creations Etsy Shop. And if you’ve got a question about the pieces you can reach Chitter at [email protected]


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.

Subscribe for FREE and get a daily dose of Appalachia in your inbox

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Eldonna Ashley
    June 9, 2018 at 10:51 am

    The jewelry is lovely. I do have to say we always said “crick” though instead of creek, which rhymes with meek, sleek, etc.

  • Reply
    May 5, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    I’ve always thought certain rocks had some kind of old soul or spirit held in them – not in the captured sense, but in the preserved sense. I imagine that’s what Frank Young “felt” in his rocks and may be what Chitter is “picking up on” as she selects the rocks for her pieces.

  • Reply
    May 5, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    I forgot to mention this in my other comment, but Wanda…I’ll be Praying for your man. …Ken

  • Reply
    May 5, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    Both girls are a real Blessing from God, to have Twins and finding time for each other. Chitter has struck on a Natural Creek Rock running thru your property and should be a Winner. Bending over and looking for small rocks is a lot like Nightcrawler Hunting and sure takes a toll on the back.

    I’ve got a few Necklaces from Chitter and my granddaughters are very pleased with them. …Ken

  • Reply
    Dee Parks
    May 5, 2018 at 11:49 am

    What a treasure those beautiful necklaces are as a remembrance piece of your mountain stream. Chitter does beautiful work. I love streams and rocks but I can understand the caution that her grandmother had felt before. My son was home for a visit and out trout fishing a stream with his brother when he said a “snake” dropped out of a tree and went swimming away. I’m sure it was just a harmless water snake but thankfully I wasn’t there as I would have walked on water to get out. The stream in the picture with Chitter looks like the perfect stream I would love to have near our house.

  • Reply
    Papaw Ammons
    May 5, 2018 at 9:27 am

    It is with a sense of pride that I gaze on the picture in the upper right corner of the collage. Not only at the lovely silver and stone necklace or the equally lovely hand that holds it but at that other piece of handcrafted jewelry. The ring on her finger. That ring was created by a pair of gnarled wrinkled arthritic old hands to be wore on a hand so smooth, fresh, young and hopeful. I pray that I have been a little bit of a positive influence on her and that when I am gone, which won’t be very long, she will look at it and remember.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    May 5, 2018 at 8:26 am

    This is a wonderful original idea , especially for a young person.

    Tipper, my husband had bypass surgery yesterday at St. Thomas in Nashville. It went well, the doc said. Came on suddenly Wednesday. He lhas had heart disease for a long time. Please remember us in prayer.

    • Reply
      May 5, 2018 at 8:38 am

      Wanda-I’m so glad he made it through good! We’ll be praying for his speedy recovery and I’m sure all the rest of the Blind Pig readers will be glad to say a prayer for him too 🙂

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    May 5, 2018 at 8:10 am

    I wonder how many she looks at before keeping one. Then of those she brings home how many of those does she have second thoughts about and not use. I’m guessing the ones she sets are a small fraction of all the ones considered. Like your photography, her rock hunting is a training for a special way of seeing the world.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    May 5, 2018 at 8:04 am

    What lovely pendants! You do beautiful work, Chitter!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    May 5, 2018 at 7:18 am

    Tipper–I can certainly understand the sense of “connectedness” provided by the rocks. The late Frank Young, whom at least a few of your readers from the Swain County area will have known, was the finest trout fisherman I’ve ever encountered. A true patriot, he saw intense action in both World War II and the Korean War. He never said much about his military experiences but the were so traumatic he once told me “I came home to fish and find my soul.”

    Fish he did–probably at least an hour or two for 250 or more days out of the year. He carried a capacious creel with him, and while he rarely kept fish it had a meaningful purpose. Every time something meaningful happened–when Frank caught a really nice fish, maybe found some ripe service berries and had a feast, saw butterflies puddling, watched a mink, spotted beautiful wildflowers, or what have you–he would look around in the creek he was fishing and pick up a rock that caught his eye.

    He carried these home and put them in a frame he had made which was the size of a cement cinder building block. When the frame was full to overflowing, he would rearrange the rocks so some of them showed out the top, then he would pour in cement, let it set, and remove the “building block” from its frame. Eventually he used those building blocks as walls to his house. In that fashion, rock by rock, block by block, he surrounded himself with memories.

    It’s one of the most creative, thoughtful things I’ve ever encountered. Just as those rocks talk to Chitter, so they talked to a man I was mighty proud to have called a friend. I write about him in quite a bit of detail in my book on fly fishing in the Smokies. For those who might want to see exactly what he did, I’m sending you photo of him surrounded by those stone memories and I’m sure you can use your computer knowledge to incorporate a link in this message.

    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Colleen Holmes
    May 5, 2018 at 6:57 am

    I love your girls. Such a freshness about them. Those necklaces are awesome. God bless your family.

  • Leave a Reply