The Joy of invention

This morning I decided I’d go to the cinema to watch the new Star Wars film, but when I was looking for film times I found something rather interesting. A film called Joy.

Now you might not find that interesting at all, but then again, you might be one of those people with a name like Sarah or Rachel, who has lost the wonder of things with your name on them. You might have a drawer full of gifts from the seaside with your name on. Pens, key rings, mugs, coasters, rock, I’ve searched through them all and every holiday at the beach I come away without my traditional seaside tat.

But then again, I have Christmas with shops full of decorations with Peace, Noel and JOY!!!

I’ve been given stockings, nativity scenes, tree decorations and this year a nice set of candles all with my name on (no, Betty isn’t my real name… It’s a long story!)

So, seeing a film with my name was wonderful.

The film is about a woman, Joy Mangano, who fought against the odds to produce a product she invented. Like a lot of Hollywood films, much of the story is embellished, but the facts are still pretty impressive. Joy had an idea and pushed it to completion through sheer determination.

Some people are raised financially fortunate, they are able to do amazing things in life because they have the means to buy what they want. Money though, doesn’t buy everything. The determination needed to become who you should be isn’t always affordable through cash.

Other people are raised freely fortunate, it’s not an upbringing that costs a fortune, it’s the upbringing that includes people who encourage you to be anything you want. It’s the parent who sits and listens to a child’s dreams and explores them instead of telling them not to have their heads in the clouds. It’s the teachers who show the possibilities and lead us to questions not yet explored.

Oh I’m drifting again!!!

Last year at University we learnt the value of play. To sit with tools and materials and just play, with no outcome in mind.

I came up with a toy called Chalky the Spider (see a previous blog for Chalky and the pattern).

What I didn’t do it tell you what happened to Chalky, it’s a story I’m rather proud of.

Not long after making Chalky I was in a knitting group, one knitter was talking about her family and her son, a young teenager with Autism. She was telling us that he has never been able to use a pen, so has never learnt to write and has never drawn a picture.

I wondered… What is Chalky could help. He was after all, a drawing spider and doing nothing but sitting in a box where I keep all finished Uni makes.

Of course, it’s a good ending. Chalky was able to help a child begin drawing and who knows where that child will go next.

Invention. It doesn’t have to be the a rocket going into space, the worlds fastest car or a flying car.

Invention is also smaller everyday important items, like the ultimate mop or a spider that helps children draw.

Published by bettyvirago

Betty Virago is an award winning textile designer. Based in Yorkshire, England, and known for her Northern Folk dolls and the Quilts of Hope project.

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