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 10 years ago. My disease was so progressive and on the cusp of colon cancer; 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. My medical story keeps writing itself and it never gets easier, but a positive attitude and a life of purpose helps me get through the hardest days. Crochet has been a lifeline.
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.
Crochet Game! Add The Points- I’ve been working on creating more engagement on my social media platforms. One way I have been doing this is to create more content that is fun and entertaining. One such way is to make content into interactive games. Below is one such example. I’m posting here because not everyone is on social media. […]
The History of the Crochet Hook-The history of the crochet hook is quite fascinating. Crochet itself is believed to have originated in the early 16th century in Europe. However, the exact origin of the crochet hook is a bit unclear. That makes this art more mysterious because there is also some evidence of crochet possibly having roots in early China […]
How to: Make Homemade Vanilla Extract- Do you like to bake? When you bake as much as I do, it is very easy to go through baking ingredients on a regular basis. I purchased very good vanilla extract for a pretty penny and I am always running out! It’s too much money when I can make my own! Let’s get […]
The Rewarding Journey of Being a Foster Parent-Good Morning, YARNutopia! Shannon (Nadia’s mom), here. Many of you may not be aware that Fuad and I are licensed foster parents. We have been working with kids and fostering for three years. We can truly say that it has been a challenging, yet rewarding, journey. It has always been in our hearts to open […]
FREE Written Crochet Pattern: Doll Clothes-There’s a movie out, there’s hype, and there’s also some great fun when it comes to the doll industry! I had to jump on the bandwagon for a moment and try my hand at doll clothes! Here are two simple outfits for you to try. My free patterns are both in this one blog so […]
How to: Make Cowboy Candy – Candied Jalapeños-Each summer, I love to visit the Farmer’s Market and purchase local produce. Two years ago, we visited a booth where the vendor had jars of “cowboy candy”. Curious, I bought a jar. Fuad ate it all in one sitting! I vowed to try to make my own version when I had a chance. Fast […]
Oh My-Planta! Gnats Attacked Our Plants!-We are plant people! We love our plants. Over the years, we have been building our plant family one at a time. Presently, we have between 30-40 plants that we have either bought, inherited, or propagated. Recently, we have discovered our propagated tiny Swiss Cheese Monstera had gnats flying and running around in the soil. […]
Projects to Crochet In A Hurry-Have you ever found yourself in a jam trying to find a last minute gift for someone and no time to run to several shops for that perfect item? Here is a list it we compiled to help you come up with some fabulous hand-made gift ideas in a hurry! These gifts can be made […]
FREE Crochet Video Tutorial: Beach Vibes Bucket Hat-Hot off my hook is my Beach Vibes Bucket Hat! Just in time for the best days of summer! Lazy days at the beach, lounging poolside, or cruising around with the windows down, this hat brings all the vibes! It’s the perfect boho-style fashion headwear to bring your warm weather wardrobe up a cool trendy […]
FREE Written Crochet Pattern: Beach Vibes Bucket Hat-Hot off my hook is my Beach Vibes Bucket Hat! Just in time for the best days of summer! Lazy days at the beach, lounging poolside, or cruising around with the windows down, this hat brings all the vibes! It’s the perfect boho-style fashion headwear to bring your warm weather wardrobe up a cool trendy […]
FREE Written Crochet Pattern: Starburst Garden Headband-This cute look is perfect for the free spirit and lover of beaches! It gives you that laid-back style but can also be that dressy accessory to a free-flow style. Guaranteed to liven up the tropical sundress, your graphic tees, or a flowing kaftan…no matter what your style, adding a Starburst Garden Headband will elevate […]
FREE Written Crochet Pattern: Rainbow Summer Shorts-June is Pride Month, and in honor of this annual occasion, I have created Rainbow Shorts!! This pair of shorts is perfect for wearing as a swimsuit bottom cover-up or cute plain shorts paired with a summer top. I have seen increased crochet trends, and one of the most fun patterns I have seen is […]
FREE Crochet Video Tutorial: Rainbow Summer Shorts-June is Pride Month, and in honor of this annual occasion, I have created Rainbow Shorts!! This pair of shorts is perfect for wearing as a swimsuit bottom cover-up or cute plain shorts paired with a summer top. I have seen increased crochet trends, and one of the most fun patterns I have seen is […]
FREE Written Crochet Pattern: Off to the Market Bag-I love this season! The season of fresh flowers and farmer’s markets. The time of the year when we can casually stroll through the booths of fresh veggies and locally grown produce and fill ourselves up with their goodness. I made my Off To The Market Bag for this exact reason. It’s roomy and airy […]
FREE Written Crochet Pattern: Hanging Planter Basket-In the recent past, I have become quite the plant enthusiast. In keeping with my new passion, I am always on the lookout for new plants and ways to showcase them. I saw these hanging baskets pop up on my plant pages, and I knew it would be something that I could make myself. This […]