Coincidence, or Consciousness?

Time and again I’m struck by the way things happen, the order they happen in, and whether I could have connected the dots sooner. Last night I learned that a friend lost her battle with depression shortly before Thanksgiving. We had talked briefly about her becoming involved with Rob’s Hope, but I hadn’t gotten there yet. Today, in reviewing the activities of RH over the past month, the November 20th Facebook post caught my attention – a quote by Elizabeth Gilbert from her book “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear” (You will likely remember Elizabeth Gilbert from her book and subsequent movie, “Eat, Pray, Love.”) and it prompted me to take a closer look at “Big Magic.” In the opening pages she relates the story of poet and professor Jack Gilbert (no relation), who told his students “that they must live their most creative lives as a means of fighting back against the ruthless furnace of this world.” And, of course, I thought about my friend. If I’d found a way to involve her now, would it have made a difference? Is it just a coincidence that I’m rediscovering this reference now, or is it a reminder from the universe to be more conscious, more intentional, more in the moment? I’ve downloaded “Big Magic” from my local library; it’s engaging from the first sentence. I’ll be featuring it for Freebie Friday this week, and no doubt talking about it on Facebook in the days to come.

And speaking of Freebie Fridays, this month we’ve shared (with appropriate credit to the original sources) a free coloring page, 20 easy to learn Zentangle patterns, printouts to help you create your own set of self-care reminder cards, and a video tutorial on how to sketch trees. If you missed them, check them out!

Among our regular posts was an article about an 86 year old man who taught himself to knit so that he could make caps for preemies (November 22nd), and the “Three Laws of Art” from Coldstone Press: (1) Create: The worst it can do is suck. (2) Create again: Bad art happens to good artists. and (3) Just create: Art is cheaper than therapy.

Just in case we haven’t thrown it in front of your face enough already, you can help Rob’s Hope by using this link when you order merchandise from Amazon:, or by picking up one of these items as you do your holiday shopping and sending it to Rob’s Hope, Inc., PO Box 539, Arnold, Maryland 21012:

  • Sharpies, fine point, set of 24 assorted colors
  • Sharpies, ultra fine point, set of 24 assorted colors
  • colored pencils, set of 24 colors
  • crayons, set of 64 colors
  • double sided origami paper, 7″x7″
  • wooden rulers
  • roll of 1/2″ artist tape

We will also gladly accept *any* gently used art/craft materials sent to the same address above.

Stay with us as you navigate the holiday season, and Take Heart! Don’t hesitate to make suggestions or ask questions; you can reach us on the Rob’s Hope Facebook page, or by email at

With Love, Hope, and Holiday Wishes,

Krista Carter-Smith (Rob’s Mom)

New and Upcoming at Rob’s Hope!

Rob's Hope Logo

Take Heart – the official blog of Rob’s Hope


It may not seem like it, but Rob’s Hope has been busy over the past few months.

We were able to raise $1,000 through a Go Fund Me campaign last spring – many thanks again for your generous donations! In the next couple of weeks we’ll be kicking off a new campaign for art supply donations, and working on a more user friendly way to enable financial donations via our website.

We survived our first website hacking (that disabled the site for several weeks) and we continue to revise and update the Rob’s Hope pages as new developments happen. For instance, this week we added a link on the “Meet Rob” page that will take you to Rob’s deviantart account where you can view some of his work and read a little bit about him in his own words.

Through the new Rob’s Hope Facebook page ( we are gradually building a virtual Rob’s Hope Community, and that’s very exciting! Over the past months we’ve shared several articles on how creative activity in general benefits both mental and physical health, along with specific articles on the benefits of writing, music, dancing (check out the Ballerina Spider Dance on 8/3!), two dimensional design, mixed media, drumming, and even knitting. You might like to check out the article that asks the question “What if doctors prescribed art instead of drugs” (7/14), or the one that suggests that Leonardo daVinci was actually a misfit in his own time and how that may have fostered his creativity (9/2). On July 9th we showed you how to create your own art gallery on Pinterest, and we’ve posted several free tutorials for simple creative activities you can do at home.

This month we’ll make free lessons a regular feature by kicking off “Freebie Fridays” on the Facebook page – free art activity printouts or tutorials/instructions, etc. for you to try over the weekend. We’ll also tell you how you can help Rob’s Hope by picking up simple art/craft materials as you go about your holiday shopping, and how to send them along to us. This month too, I begin an online course in art therapy and hope to share information and insights along the way.

By Spring 2017 you’ll be able to visit us in person and try out creative activities at our booth at the First Sunday Arts Festivals in Annapolis. We’ll keep you posted.

Last but not least, Take Heart will become a monthly update on what’s happened during the past month and what’s on deck for the next. So stay with us, and don’t hesitate to make suggestions! You can reach us on the Rob’s Hope Facebook page, or by email at

With Love and Hope,

Krista Carter-Smith (Rob’s Mom)

Welcome to Take Heart, the official blog for Rob’s Hope!

Rob's Hope Logo

Take Heart – the official blog for Rob’s Hope

logo adapted from an original work by Rob Viti entitled “Love, Baltimore”

The launch of the Rob’s Hope website marks the culmination of five years of healing, research, work, and study that began when my son Rob died suddenly in early 2011. When your child dies much too soon, before he’s had a chance to leave his own lasting mark on the world, you feel a very real drive to do that for him. You need to ensure that although he’s gone there will be something real and solid left behind so that others will know he was here, and to see to it that his legacy continues. You desperately want something good to come of something unthinkable. 

And so the journey that was to become Rob’s Hope began. Perhaps the greatest of Rob’s many gifts may have been his ability to help others. For that reason, throughout the evolution of Rob’s Hope, the goal has always been to help others, and to do it in a way that honors both Rob’s gifts and his struggles. It has been a labor of love and, of course, Hope.

Many people have contributed to this effort, and we’re proud of what we’ve put together here. We’re brimming with ideas that will enable you to become involved, and we can’t wait to share them with you. We hope that our vision will strike a chord with you, too. So follow along as we talk about all the ways that you can do that.

Rob started it; we’re just picking up the baton.

With Love and Hope,

Krista Carter-Smith, Rob’s Mom