Hope. 4 letters. Big word.

Hope. 4 letters. Big word.

Hello!
Back in Blighty. What’s with the weather? 
I turn my back for a week, and bam!
Wain Wain Wain…
So we had the best time ever in San Francisco.
I love that city! It’s a vibrant, colourful, creative place.
But there is always something which does not sit well with me in most urban areas.
You can close your eyes to the poverty line if you want to, 
but I for one could never. 
Not when I lived there, and not now. 
The homelessness in SF is very distressing. 
Not all drug addicts and alcoholics either.
So many war veterans too, who have just lost their way.
And since this Monday was Memorial Day Weekend, 
the Stars & Stripes were flying high.
So for me, there really was a sort of conflicting message in there.
I suppose, if you have to be homeless, 
then California is definitely the place!
But there’s something intrinsically wrong with the system, 
when a man or woman comes back from fighting in a war, 
and ends up on the streets. 
What can you do?
The Glide Memorial Church does a lot I can tell you!
So there is hope. 
If these poor people can get to the Glide, the men and women there can usually help and redirect. There is a lot of help available
 – but most of these poor souls don’t even know where to go to ask for help.
When my daughter Grace was a little girl, we lived down the coast a little, in Monterey. I remember one Sunday morning, we were making our way up the Highway to San Fran and to the Glide. Well, we stopped at the traffic lights, and there was a War Veteran, sitting huddled with a cardboard sign, saying 
“Will Work for Food”
Gracie asked me, “Who’s that man?”
I told her he had no home. 
“Where’s his Mommy?”
“Well, maybe he has forgotten where his family is. 
Not all people have a house to live in, Grace. Sometimes they have to sleep under bridges or on park benches.”
Silence from the backseat of the car.
After a couple of very quiet minutes, Grace responded:
“When I grow up, I am going to be very, very famous and make loads of money. And I’m going to build the biggest hotel in the world, for all the homeless people to live in.”
She was 3 at the time. 
Now she’s 24, and this weekend in San Fran, we walked past a poor homeless vet, and out of nowehere, she said, “I will do it Mum. I haven’t forgotten. It’s just taking a little longer than I would like”
So HOPE there is.
Here’s a little piece of artwork which uses our Hope Framer
Stamp the Hope framer on copy paper, and cut out the O.
Carefully! We need the centrepiece for the next bit!
with your Speedball brayer.
Place the Clarity Treescape Stencil (one of our best-sellers) 
down on the wet paint.
Lay copy paper over the stencil and Gelli Plate, and BLOT well.
Lift off the blotting paper,
place the paper centre O where you want to see it on the Gelli Plate, and pull a print on a piece of 7″x7″ Gelli Card, like this.
Now add Hope using Coffee Archival.
Put the stencil back on the artwork and secure with some low-tack masking tape all around the 4 edges of the card. 
Using Stonewashed Adirondack or Cloudy Blue Adirondack and a Brayer, add the sky. (add a little moon mask before you begin)
Using Lettuce Adirondack and a Brayer or our Stencil brushes, with a torn piece of paper for the hill shape, add the hills and grass.
Add shade with make-up sponges.
Add a couple of little birds in the O using Coffee Archival. 
I stayed inside the O, but you can add birds all over the artwork, 
in the trees if you like. 
Add some shaded hills in the centre, using Lettuce and torn paper.
Lettuce Adirondack Ink Pad I mean!
Mmmm.
Hope. 
Like Gracie always says:
Be the change you want to see in the World.
much love,

56 thoughts on “Hope. 4 letters. Big word.

  1. A very thoughtful blog post. Sadly it isn't just in America that treats its service personnel badly, there are many homeless army personnel in this country who are abandoned by their army family. I hope Grace builds that hotel one day.

  2. Morning Barbara, what a lovely intro to your blog today – how wonderful that Grace can remember and still aims to do it – that leaves me a little choked up! Barbara – would it be possible to send some of the cards you have sent to you sent to the charity in SF which helps the fallen heroes? I feel quite strongly for this cause – it is very very wrong that people have given their lives to keep our lives free, lose their way on their return – we owe them so much.
    Wonderful blog Barb and so good to have you back in our rain washed, grey skied shores xxx

    1. Very good idea Kim. Let's just do it. Send them to me and I will redirect. Anybody reading this, if you want to help, then send your artwork to me in Edenbridge. I will send the artwork on to the Charity. X

  3. Hello Barb, what a thought provoking blog post this morning. It is very sad to think that countries cannot look after people that give up so much of their lives in defence of their countries and fellow humankind. I can see that Grace is an amazing young woman, and no doubt will achieve what she has set out to do. She definitely has her mothers blood coursing through her veins. Thank you for sharing this story and the art work with us. Bx

  4. Feeling very chocked bless Grace that she will be able for fill her dream in for sendinding cards to as Kim said lovd the trees with hope in because in life we cannot see the wood for the trees and we need hope to do so x

  5. I too hope Grace manages her dream it's a side of America us Brits don't see unless you go there. The card is lovely today Barbara I'm loving the geli/stamp combo. Have a good day. Love Diane xx

  6. Love piece of artwork and even more inspiring to hear Grace's hope for the future. My niece used to work with the homeless in London – thank goodness for those charities that support them, and such a shame that the governments in the modern world aren't shamed to do more! Susan x

  7. Hi Barbara. A tearful read for me today. Your Grace is a beautiful person through and through. "Out of the mouths of babes etc….." ! I'm sure she will make her wish come true one day. Why do our governments use and then forget the very people that have fought/fight to keep (most of) us safe in our beds?
    Love Kims idea. If we all continue to do our little bit to help and keep fighting for these forgotten people hopefully this crime will end.

    We WILL remember them.

    On to your card, it is simply beautiful. Love the Hope stamp and how you have used it today : ) Sorry the weather is so awful to come back to, what a shock to your systems! Take care.

  8. Lovely post Barbara. There are a lot of sources of hope around, most come from ordinary people living extraordinary lives helping those who are not so fortunate. Sadly they are usually overstretched and unsupported by national governments. In this country all the food bank volunteers are working flat out as more and more people make use of them and during the floods here in Somerset people helped each other out willingly. There is, thank God, always Hope. x

  9. What a beautiful heart your Grace has got. Every time I see her on that roller coaster, I'll be thinking, "Look there goes Grace trying to help the homeless." And I'll keep thinking it for everything I see her in for I'm sure she's inherited her mother's strength, determination & integrity. I'll bring some cards down in August for your cause…they won't be DT standard but every little helps (and I've seen some great You Tube tutorials!!). Might start with the one you've shown today. Glad you & Dave are back safe & sound.
    Love Jeanette xx

  10. Love the theme today Barbara and like every one else feel for the Homeless and those who we discard like waste in a bin' is all too common place' the World over. If there is a Person who will get the job done! Grace will be there at the front, such an inspiration to others, Lovely xx

  11. I am sat here with tears rolling down my face such a touching blog today. It doesn't fit well with me either that people who fight for their country should be ignored and left without hope. Something very wrong. God bless Grace I hope all your dreams come true. Great idea to send cards to the charity, every little helps. Love the card Barbara. Joan x

  12. Very poignant today but wow Grace remembering from when she was three and it still is a desire for her. She will succeed.

    Hope is a wonderful thing and if you have faith behind it then there is some solidity there. I have faith and hope that one day I will be back on my feet I have hurdles to get by but I am getting there, then another hurdle around another corner but never ever give up. That is Hope and I cling to mine and believe it to be the truth. Anyway….
    I love this card and the hope within the trees is also a little poignant as you cannot see the wood for the trees, so when I seen this it looks like you can picture an answer and that's what I see in your lovely art today. Very inspirational just like the Glide a very fabulous place. We must have places as fabulous in the UK….

    Thank you Barb it is lovely

    Denise xx

  13. Hi Barb,
    Pleased you are back safe and sound. Very thought provoking blog today and I hate to see anyone homeless but to see veterans is especially so. What a lovely young woman Grace is and I can see her fulfilling her dream. You must be so proud – I wonder where she gets her caring nature from?! Thanks for everything you do. Love Alison xx
    Ps nearly forgot – card is lovely today!

  14. Welcome home Barbara and Dave!
    Your blog today is very thought provoking and makes me realise how lucky I am! I have a very good man, a lovely daughter, and a home I can (almost) call my own. People need occasionally to open their eyes a see what and who is around them!
    Beautiful card and HOPE is what we are all born with but so often lose on our way through life!
    Let's pray that charity can bring back hope into a few people's lives!
    Love and hugs to you! Xxxx

  15. What a very poignant blog, it brought tears to my eyes. I'm sure a Grace will succeed in her mission. It isn't right that anyone should be homeless and I know of many charities here who help them as best as they can.

    This is a beautiful card bringing together lots of techniques. xx

  16. Lovely card Barbara lovely blog in this the 100th anniversary year of the Great War all those who gave there all for us should be remembered. Now the soldiers are not taken care of like they should be. Love always June xxx

  17. Lovely blog, so glad to see I`m not the only one with a tear in my eye! I hope all graces dreams come true. I love the tree scape stencil will be practicing later. Kims idea is a lovely one also.Welcome back Barbara.

  18. Welcome home! Very touching story, I'm sure Grace will fulfil that dream.what a good cause for all the beautiful cards you get sent.ill send some in too.Wx

  19. Welcome back! I hope to meet your beautiful Grace one day, I did fight the tears with this beautiful story. You have raised two amazing humans. Glad to have you back! Xxx

  20. You must be so proud of Grace. Not only is she beautiful on the outside but beautiful on the inside too. A very special dream to have. I have only been to the States once and spent a couple of days in Fort Lauderdale. I was shocked at the contrast, almost a line across the road dividing the Haves and the Have Nots. Luxury on one side and squalor on the other, it was that pronounced and all the more shocking for that. Today's demo is so apt for that. Love it. We all need hope in our lives. xx Maggie

  21. Well Barbs, little did I know that I'd end up choked and tearful reading your blog today (as have lots of others I see). You have raised two beautiful children and should be so proud – of course they've been lead by example – and your mum and dad would have had a hand in it!!
    It's a great idea of Kim's to donate cards, I normally do it for the local hospice, but will take San Fran under my wing.
    Now, the card today is tremendous and we all need hope.
    Glad you and Dave are back safe and sound, and it is great to have you back with us. xx

  22. I agree with all the above comments. Grace is a very thoughtful young lady obviously had a good influence. Hope she achieves her aim. Beautiful card, I do like the treescape stencil. xx

  23. Hello Barb. Sadly I was in London last week and we have so many homeless people here on our own streets. I hero with one leg said he hated the authorities and wanted to make it on his own but just couldn't. Where on earth have we gone so wrong? May Grace find all she needs to help her dream come true. We are lucky to have people like you and your children to see a better way. xx Margaret Col.

  24. Your story brought tears to my eyes Barbara. What a beautiful thing for a 3 year old to say, she's got her mum's nature obviously! Today's card is beautiful too, it brightens up a dreary day. Pat x

  25. I love this print Barbara and the sentiment contained within is obviously heartfelt by you and lovely Grace and I agree that anyone who serves their country and puts their life on the line should not be left to rot on the streets. In the ideal world their would not be any conflict but as things are not likely to change any time soon we should do what we can to help the military charities. My husband and I do help to some degree through the things we are involved with here in Somerset, but it's only a drop in the ocean really, but better than nothing. Thank you for making us think about these things though because I am sure we could all do a lot more if we tried. x

  26. Hi Barbara, this is a subject very close to my heart and I think your post is very thought provoking. Its a shame the Government themselves don't have a system of searching out and looking after these ex-forces people, shell shock has only recently been recognised really but they knew from the second world war what it did to people. To live such a cushioned life, to put your life on the line and then to be turfed out onto the street, literally, is disgusting in my book. That is so sweet that Grace said that and that she remembered? xxxx

  27. Lovely artwork. Moving story, I can almost hear Grace's words. So many people homeless in the UK, where have we all gone wrong to be so selfish and thoughtless.

  28. Beautiful artwork. And what an amazing young woman Grace is, a real credit to you and a chip off the (not so) old block. No doubt she will achieve her vision. x

  29. Hi Barb,
    I suppose you have heard the very sad news that your Shero has passed away today. I know that she meant a great deal to you so I pass on my sympathy to you. She was truly an inspirational woman and one who will be greatly missed. Love Alison xxx

  30. how very sad and welling up here at Grace and her ambition, how lovely is she? Lovely artwork, I really need to find time to play with your products and maybe I can send you some artwork to send on x

  31. I feel quite tearful having read your post. You must be so proud of Grace – what a sweetheart! I can't think of anything worse than being homeless so it's a charity that's close to my heart too.

  32. Oh Barb, what a wonderful story of your Daughter , then & now, I love the USA, but like many places has it's problems, like you say through no fault of their own very often.. Tragic & thought Provoking .. But we can all have Hope. Thank you for sharing .. Xxx

  33. Dear Barbara. My sympathy to you as I am so very sorry to hear of the passing of Maya Angelou, your Shero. She will be sadly missed but she will never be forgotten. I have you Barbara to thank for introducing me to such an amazing lady. Rest in peace Maya Angelou. Take care x

  34. i like the concept of this artwork. looks really good.
    from the mouth of babes….as they say. they really come out with some profound thoughts even at such a tender age. and bless her….she hasn't forgotten, hugs xx

  35. Evening Barbara.
    Your blog brought a lump to my thout and tears to my eyes. You really do have a beautiful daughter. Her name is most fitting. I am sue one day she will fitful her dream God bless her.
    Lovely card there is always hope without it we have nothing
    Glad your back safe
    Debra x

  36. Barb – only a caring person like you could produce such kind caring children – so pleased you enjoyed USA – makes you so proud to see your children reach their aims doesnt it – I remember being so proud of my two children and my grandchildren receiving their degrees, but also of the Nativity play when their parts ranged from being a sheep, donkey and an angel – bless xxx

  37. That was emotional. Out of the mouths of babes as someone else quite rightly commented, your Grace sounds such a wonderful person and I sincerely hope she succeeds.

    Almost forgot, lovely artwork, haven't got that stencil……..yet! X

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