“Verily, after hardship comes ease.” (Quran 94:6)
God never gives us more than we can handle. I am a firm believer in what path my life has taken, I was meant to be on this journey. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease 8 years ago. My disease was so progressive; I had to undergo a hand-assisted laproscopic total proctocolectomy with a temporary ileostomy and a J-pouch in 2008. I lived with an ileostomy for some time while my J-pouch healed and had my takedown surgery in February 2009. However, my J-pouch failed, and in November 2010, I underwent another surgery to have a temporary ileostomy for a year in hopes that my J-pouch would heal, but that never happened. I had to have another surgery in September 2011 to make my ileostomy permanent and remove my J-pouch and affected intestine. I now live with a permanent ileostomy. In May 2015, I had to have another surgery to remove approximately 30 centimeters of small intestine in a resection surgery along with a relocation of my ostomy due to a prolapse. Severe complications set in with an internal infection, a subQ leak from my stoma and other issues which nearly cost me my life. More recently, I underwent another surgery to remove the anal area because an abscess had formed internally causing a very critical situation. The doctors felt that removing this area, it would prevent further complications down the line.
I began crocheting to pass the time during all the numerous hospital stays I had endured through my journey with Crohn’s disease. Soon this hobby took on a life of its own and I began to crochet as a form of therapy. I love to pick up a hook and start creating. Creating things helps me feel accomplished. I started a mini shop, called YARNutopia, to sell some of my crocheted creations in 2012. A portion of each sale is donated to research to find a cure for inflammatory bowel diseases, a disease that has affected me personally.
Everyone has to deal with the hand they have been dealt. I am no exception to that rule. I just feel that out of something negative, it was vital for me to turn it into something positive, and for me to not allow this disease to take from me more than it already has. I really wish I could do more in my life, but hospital stays and surgeries have stalled some of the progress that I would see my life taking. Being able to crochet and build awareness through my craft is the detour my life took when this disease tried to put some roadblocks in my way. I am extremely thankful that I found this outlet, and I feel better that I am able to give back in this way.
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Recent Blog Posts
Taking Crochet to Elementary School - YARNutopia was invited to share about our love of crochet at High Interest Day sponsored at a local Elementary School. High Interest Day (HID) is a way to expose kids to things they may learn to love. It’s also a way for students to see people who have worked hard and created careers based on […] Crochet Tutorial: Razzle Dazzle Chunky Hat - When Extra Chunky Hats are all the rave, but cost an arm and a leg, we pull out our hooks and we make our very own! I’m introducing the Razzle Dazzle Chunky Hat!! Make it in a single strand (the hat with the pink pom) OR for an EXTRA chunky look make it with two […] Crochet Tutorial: Two-Toned Cable Boot Cuffs - I love making patterns that are two-for-one special deals. My Two-Toned Cable Boot Cuffs make the perfect combination of two fun fashion accessories in one fabulous pattern!! Wear one way to match your outfit today and flip them over to match a different outfit you are wearing tomorrow! You can’t beat that! There are tips […] Crochet Tutorial: Winter Chic Slippers - I love to be warm and cozy during the cold winter months. I love chunky blankets, over-sized sweaters and soft, comfy slippers. My Winter Chic Slippers are one way to keep toasty while you curl up on the couch with your crochet or a good book on these longer nights. Thick and warm, made with […] My New Blocking Station Product Review - I’ve always wanted a blocking unit for my crochet pieces. For someone like me having a handy tool like this makes my work a little easier. Recently, I received The BlocksAll Station from Chetnanigans. Chetnanigans has an Etsy Shop and is definitely worth the look. Today, I had the opportunity to give this product a […] Public Speaking for a Media Summit - On Sunday November 5th, 2017, I had the pleasure of participating in the 2017 Collegiate Media Summit hosted by Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. This summit highlights professionals across the media industry. I was invited to speak via Skype to the attendees on how I became a blogger and teacher on YouTube. Although quite nervous, I […] Happy Halloween from Link and Zelda! - Now that Halloween is here, I have compiled all the patterns in one place! Each piece to the costumes are here for you to create. Each photo is listed with the link to the coinciding blog. Follow all the patterns to make your own Link and Zelda by clicking the photos or the links above […] Crochet Tutorial: Fairy Tunic - My very last installment in the Link and Zelda costumes is The Fairy Tunic. I spent each night well past midnight the week before Halloween, trying to finish and achieve some level of authenticity to these costumes. I made this tunic a bit larger than my frame as it had to fit over the dress […] Crochet Tutorial: Link to the Past Pullover Sweater Vest - Here is the latest piece of the cosplay costumes I am creating. My Link to the Past pullover vest is Part of Nate’s costume. We will be doing a full reveal on Saturday October 28, 2017. This ensemble has a few more additions until complete but the closer I come to finishing, the more excited I […] My Crafty Wishlist - I spend a lot of time in the yarn aisle whenever I find myself out shopping. I also find myself drawn to beautiful fibers each time I see an attractive item in housewares. Clothing with crochet detail always catches my attention. It has become innate to be enticed to anything related to my passion. So […] Crochet Tutorial: Princess Shoulder Armor - For those who are working with me on this costume, here is the latest addition to my ensemble! My Princess Armor for the shoulders is a powerful detail in the overall costume and will definitely help make this outfit look that much more authentic! As these pieces come together toward my final creation, it has […] Crochet Tutorial: Princess Costume Gloves - Pieces of my Halloween costume creation are coming together! I finished the Princess Costume Glove Armlets. These are the next installment into my exciting cosplay ensemble that I will be sharing at the end of this creative journey. If you are interested in making these armlets, scroll down to see the video tutorial and written […] My New Craft Room - When Nate and I bought our house this past July, one of the bedrooms was in pretty rough shape. It had a behemoth wall cabinet built around a bed that fit into the center. I remember Nate’s dad remarking that it looked like the drawers in a wall at a morgue, and my first thought […] Crochet Tutorial: Crochet Around Mache-Skull - Crochet over Paper Mache!! Just in time for Halloween, I demonstrate how to crochet over this skull form made from paper mache. This is the perfect eerie accent for any Halloween party or event. Adding additional accents such as beads, bedazzle, and flowers can take a plain skull to a sugar skull in a few […] Crochet Tutorial: Grab n’ Go Hat - Hot off my hook is the Grab-n-Go Hat and Cowl set!! Using Evermore Yarn by Red Heart Yarns, the texture and color of these pieces can’t be beat! And my, oh my, are they warm! I’m ready for winter and whatever it has to bring!! Follow along with this video tutorial to learn how […]