I have a creative tip for you. If you are going to make something, or create a personal gift for a person or organization that includes lettering, do yourself a favor and do it in your own language. Why do I say this? Simple; it’s too easy to make a mistake in another language and not grasp you did it or realize the ramifications of having done so. What am I talking about?
I offered to make a new curtain to cover the Ark in a Jewish Temple. The Ark is where the Torahs are kept and it’s a holy receptacle that plays an important part in the Jewish faith. I looked on-line for ideas, combined a couple of them and happily went to work with shiny gold and dark brown fabrics on white velvet. Of course there was Hebrew lettering involved which I traced, cut and appliquéd onto the curtain.
Well, I finished my masterpiece after e-mailing pictures of all the lettering to a learned Jew and got back the “all is right” message. I proudly hung the curtain in time for the High Holy days last year. To my chagrin there were four mistakes in the lettering which means depending on e-mail for clarification isn’t a wise thing to do. I was told about the mistakes in a not too professional way and the little girl in me wanted to take the curtain down and destroy it. Some parts of the personality are weaker than others and still have some growing to do.
The realization that had I put up a curtain with English words and they were spelled wrong would have left me horrified. That fact won my emotional battle. I made a special trip to collect the curtain, brought it home, fixed it, and made another special trip to hang it before this year’s High Holy days.
The truth is only about four people knew there were mistakes, but fixing it was a personal gift to myself. I liken it to the visual of someone using an undotted j in place of a y in an English word. Someone who couldn’t read English probably wouldn’t even notice, but to someone who could, it would be a blaring mistake. So I’m very happy I matured another bit and did what I should have done. To top off the good feeling there were actual Israeli’s in the service yesterday that certainly would have noticed the mistakes. The corrected gift was enjoyed by everyone, especially me.
Will I ever make another item that has Hebrew or some other foreign lettering on it? No, not unless I have a resident reader of the language that can check my work as I go. Some lessons don’t take twice to learn. The included picture still has the incorrect lettering, but it’s a sample of what comes out of my quilting/sewing studio that some of my blog readers have asked to see.