In view of where things are for us as a family it feels pretty strange to be writing something about hope – after all when you’re in a dark place its hard to see light. Currently every day seems to bring more challenges and bad news and I currently barely know which way is up. And yet a challenge I was given on a Christian retreat just before Christmas is pushing me strongly to start looking at Hope….
I took a notebook and pencil to the 2 day retreat, knowing that I was already facing a few challenges and also that I had a strong gut feeling that some aspects of life needed to change. Having time to write, or indeed “me time” has vanished in the past year but whilst I was away I wrote reams, all on the theme of hope and how it can be offered to people through crafts.
Initially I was really unsure about where it all came from and what it was about but as time went on it became very clear to me that I was being given a sort of “business plan from God”. It would mean I could really work on and develop the aspects of my business I was passionate about – reaching out to others and showing them that there is something to look forward to, something they can do even on really dark days. After all it was crafting that turned my life around and gave me a sense of hope and the ability to achieve things, even when it looked pretty much like life would be going nowhere fast….
So in the past week or so Ive started researching my subject – from reading to asking questions over on Facebook. I feel that to design crafty makes around the theme of hope I first need to understand what it means to people in a variety of ways from definitions to colours and symbols. I’ve also been playing with ideas for logos for an online shop I’ll be launching later this year. A logo seems a strange place to start but at the moment I need simple things to concentrate on and playing around in paintshop pro is sort of where its at.
I’m planning to build this exploration of hope, my designs about hope and some guest bloggers sharing what hope is them into a regular themed series that ideally will run throughout 2013. I’m not sure yet whether it will be weekly, fortnightly or monthly – I think I’ll have to see how it develops!
One thing I’ve started to learn about creating things for others is that you need an idea of where the customer is coming from in order to provide them with something they want or need.
So my first step on this journey is to develop an understanding of what hope means to people – this could be in terms of their day to day lives, their faith or in times of crisis. I thought the best place to start would be to review information from a range of sources, including dictionaries, wikipedia, conversations with others, online bible studies, sites sharing information about other belief systems, life experience and general reading.
This lead to the creation of this piece of digital word art inspired by the words that jumped out at me, plus others that perhaps weren’t initially obvious. One thing I learned was that hope isn’t an easy concept to define and that each person reading this post and looking at the art will find that different words speak to them more strongly than others. For me today the words need, promise and strength are especially relevant…….. I’d be interested to know which ones you respond to …..
I’d like to develop this word art piece into some form of wall hanging but also take some of the words and either knit or crochet them either symbolically or literally into little things people can carry with them. I also think it would be good to create some form of bag and perhaps a notebook that lives in it (thanks to Margo for the idea), so that people can develop their own little book of hope as they move through life . Currently there seems to be such little hope in the world – everyone is tightening their belts, more and more businesses are going to the wall – that I’m thinking we all need our own tangible piece of hope……. And why not dream bigger and carry a bag emblazoned with hope down your local high street?
I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts about this series, the ideas I’m developing and what you think about hope….
And if you’d love to volunteer to write a guest post or wouldn’t mind sharing some of your experiences of hope – either openly or anonymously, then I’d love to hear from you too!