"Upcycling is more my way of making something new than off-the-shelf or bespoke purchases"
Updated: Apr 21
My relaxing lockdown project of a crocheted throw was originally intended to be of a size big enough to cover a single bed. I decided to continue with it in the gathering lockdown opportunities, adding the different yarns I had accumulated from a family of crafters who loved to stash. It is, at the time of writing, almost big enough to cover a double bed and I have joked that if lockdown carried on I would be able to fit fifteen people under it!
Upcycling is more my way of making something new than off-the-shelf or bespoke purchases. I tend to be more of a ‘new to you’ person and will be more excited about the reopening of charity shops this month than the high street! Another family lockdown project has been to turn my daughter’s old doll’s house into something of a dream home, giving it a makeover. It has obviously helped me get in touch with my “Welshness” with dresser, mini lovespoon, and rocking chair, for which I have sewn a mini patchwork quilt. I also had a lot of experimental fun bashing leftover wax stubs for melting into tea cup candles, and decopatching a scruffy coffee table into something bright and colourful.
I suppose these projects say something about looking at our resources and seeing them in a new and creative light. In many ways they are not new at all, given nothing was bought to make them into their current creation. But they are being imagined and shaped into something new, and the process and the result is, I hope, both lovely and useful.
As we emerge from our strange experiences of the last year, such imaginative, creative shaping is still being invited out of us. Even Church itself has been stashed away from any recognisable form, like the inherited craft projects of my ancestors’ cupboards. But in each generation, we are invited to shape these resources, adapting what we treasure for a new day.
The call of Revelation 21 is that God is making all things new. It is what the God of resurrection is always doing, whether it be the relationship that comes to be restored; the heart that turns to him for life; the dawning of another day; or as he also promises, one day, a new heaven and new earth.
Like the offspring of the parent, the newborn whilst sharing some DNA, will become their own person. Like the evergrowing crochet project, the shape of Church will grow from resources we recognise, weaving with imaginative creativity a beautiful and relevant heirloom for the next generation.