It started with a poem (it so often does with me). The Paris Review Instagram feed posted a bit of a poem from Roger Mitchell, one they'd published, and I'd read back in 2007, before I was married, before we moved to Washington, before, before, before (it always feels like there's more than one lifetime behind us). Anyways, what I want to say is that it was a poem about giving away a box of books, and the last line, the one in which the poet is offering up these old pages of adventures for someone new to find, ends with this about what the new owner can do with the books: "put [...] on the shelf above his bed to protect him / from a life without extravagant hope." Extravagant Hope! I was hooked. I carried the line with me for weeks before I had any clue what to do with it, mesmerized by the idea that what we read and create is what gives us hope, keeps us going, and that there even could be such a thing as hope that is extravagant, over the top, full of life, and well, gusto!
I'm no Pollyanna, but I also am not a Debbie Downer, always riding the middle, seeing the bad, talking about it (because we should!), but also always, always, looking for the good. As the new year approached, I realized that it was also time for a new monthly digital project for my shop, and I with the last line of the poem knocking on my head and my heart, Extravagant Hope was born.
On the first of each month, I'll release a new set of digital prints and cards in my shop, and while I plan to mix it up from time to time with varying sizes and other pieces, there will always be a full sized 8x10 print included, because sometimes we just need good words and important reminders BIGGER. I also plan to always include a smaller size of the print, too, for those of us with less space, or who want our reminders in all the places. I am so excited about experimenting with new designs, finally having a place to share all those words I love to illustrate and share, but never seem to make the time to offer in my shop, much to the chagrin of everyone who's asked. I'm looking forward to making designs that are hopeful, yes, and also just really lovely and useful for whatever we need (Project Life, Planner add-ins, cards, framed prints - or if you're me, prints washi taped to your wall).
This month's collection has a lot of white space in the designs, due in part, no doubt, because I've been in the new year cleaning/purging mode, and the brightness feels light and spacious, which is what I so desperately need after feeling overrun by stuff.
Every month will also include a letter from me - a bit about what's happening that month, what inspired the kit's designs and the quotes/lines I've chosen, maybe what I've been reading or listening to that lead me to those words, and hopefully always evidence of extravagant hope.
I won't usually share these letters here, they'll come as a PDF in the set, but I wanted to share January's because it's probably the best way I can show you what's going on behind the scenes of these designs.
You can pick up the digital kit here, and I really hope you do! I'd love to see what you make with these cards, or how you incorporate the prints into your days, so please make sure to tag me if you share them online. BIG, HUGE, MULTITUDINOUS thanks and love for your support which makes all of this possible. I'll never be able to tell you how much it all means to me.