Hello, lovely people!
I’m going off Island tomorrow, and though there are still a few days left of this project, I wanted make a record of the amazing effort made by so many people making or finding hearts so far as I might not get the chance to until I am back and by then it will be March! I have been truly blown away by how much people have become involved in this project and their excitement to go out and look for a heart.
Sometimes the most obvious song lyrics are the best.
But first, I’ll just start by explaining a little more about the project. What is this Share the Love Heart thing about?
Valentine’s Day isn’t always everyone’s cup of tea and it tends to have quite a romantic tone to it so I wanted to get away from that a little and expand the idea of love and kindness to anyone and everyone.
In a nutshell the idea has been to make a heart, however you like knitted/sewn/crocheted/paper-crafted/needle-felted/ceramic etc., attach a positive and uplifting message to it and then pass it on to a friend or leave it out in a public place for a stranger to find.
So far I have left a few on friends’ doors for them to find (this was really fun to do) or on railings by bus stops, benches, famous landmarks, cafes, and even a couple on our local supermarket’s shopping trolleys!
A few hearts left of friends’ door handles. The top right was one I left in a changing room.
This idea isn’t new and I have seen such inspiring takes on this from all over the world. I have loved the idea of sharing a heart with a kind word attached so much that I wanted to instigate this kind of project here in this part of the world too. The #sharetheloveheart and #loveheartprojectiom hashtags have been for this project which has mostly taken place on the Isle of Man but I know of some who have put hearts around their local areas in the U.K. too as part of this project.
With all the negativity that is going on in the world and on the media right now what better time than to lift people’s spirits through a random act of kindness. The project’s aim has been to show people that happiness and hope can be found in the little things. Random acts of kindness are good for both the instigator and recipient of that act. Giving or receiving a compliment or a positive message makes us all feel good and can brighten anyone’s day. Kindness costs nothing and that’s what I wanted to get across with this project.
A bit like a yarn-bomb, leaving hearts in public places is also like free art, accessible to everyone. It is a non-permanent graffiti using yarn instead of spray cans and can be removed as easily and it was to put up. It often, but not always, has a political or artistic message surrounding it. For our ‘heart bomb’ it is a message of spreading kindness and compassion to friends and strangers and encouraging us all to have a little more hope in the future.
Bunscoill Gaelgagh, the Manx Language School in St. Johns
There is currently a Facebook event page called ‘Share the Love Heart Project‘ which you can find through my own Facebook page here, by typing it into the search bar, or clicking here. On this page we have all been posting inspiration, patterns for making hearts and pictures of where we been leaving or finding them. I will be sharing a collage of all the hearts made and found by others later this weekend and you’ll be able to see it on either my Facebook page or in the event page.
This heart was pictured at Fenella Car Park with Peel Castle silhouetted in the background.
If you’d like to get involved it’s not too late as we’ll be carrying on until Sunday 19th, and hey if you still want to make hearts with kind messages and pass them onto friends and strangers after the 19th then go for it! Here’s what to do:
1. Make your heart(s): Crochet, knit, sew, paper-craft, make from clay, needle-felt, make however you want and however many hearts you want!
2.Write a message: Write an empowering and positive message, quote, or song lyric for your heart and attach it to your heart. Even something as simple as ‘have a nice day’ can have such a positive effect!
A particularly favourite quote of mine from the Harry Potter series
Include the hashtag #sharetheloveheart or #loveheartprojectiom so that you and others can find them on social media.
3.Set your hearts ‘wild’: Start putting your hearts in your local community. If the weather is bad leave them in indoor public spaces like a cafe or library, or leave them on friends’/neighbours’/strangers’ doors.
Leave them wherever you are in the world and anywhere you think people will see them like park benches, iron railings, trees etc. (having a ball of string in your pocket might be handy to secure them or use the tail ends if you’ve knitted/crocheted them).
4. Share your hearts: Take pictures of your hearts or others that you spot and share, share, share with the hashtag #sharetheloveheart or #loveheartprojectiom
Take pictures, share them on social media, share any posts about it and enjoy!
On the bus stop railings with Peel Cathedral in the background
After the 19th February I ask that any hearts still up in exposed outdoor areas are taken home with you just to ensure they don’t pose a hazard to wildlife or be misconstrued as littering. This is a project to help spread compassion and kindness so please do keep making and giving hearts to people but be conscientious about the environment in doing so. Natural yarns are best as they biodegrade very quickly. Avoid exposed areas, sheltered and indoor areas are best. If you see a heart please do take it home with you or pass it to someone you think would value it most.
Remember to include the hashtags #sharetheloveheart and #loveheartprojectiom so that I can see them all on social media!
Weather is never a yarn-bomber’s best friend so as the weather worsened mid-week I took a bowl of hearts to work with me and handed them out to customers over the shop counter. This way I knew that hearts weren’t being exposed to the bad weather but they were still going to happy homes.
A bowl of hearts given out to customers at Sweet Ginger Emporium in Ramsey.
This has been such an amazing project to be involved with and I would love to make it an annual thing on the Island. It’s also not quite over yet, and though I’m off on my holidays tomorrow I shall be going with a pocketful of hearts to pop about on my travels!
See you when I get back, folks!
Gráinne (rhymes with narnia) x