mandalas for marinke

Here is the next of the beautiful, inspiring, special contributions coming in to the #MandalasForMarinke remembrance project. I am grateful for each and every amazing contribution. You are invited to join; learn more here.

Beautiful Crochet Mandala

Shelly's Crochet Contribution to Mandalas for Marinke

Maker Shelly shares:

“The colour Wink used in her work has been a constant source of inspiration to me.”

Meet the Maker

Shelly Bowles (who can be found on Instagram as 78th_stitch) says:

“I have Asperger Syndrome, fibromyalgia, and chronic depression. Crochet helps me cope with pain, the world and stress. I like to think of myself as a string artist.”

Shelly's Mandalas for Marinke

And she shares:

“I am contributing to this project to help raise awareness of depression. Having suffered from depression for twenty years, this is a subject close to my heart. I attempted suicide at age of 18 and promised my Dad I would never do it again. Whenever I feel down, I try to think what my dad would have said to me; (he died in 2004). Every single day, I try to find at least one thing to be grateful for, and I try to find the positive in every situation.”

Wink’s story in Crochet Saved My Life was one of the reasons I sought diagnosis of Asperger’s. I saw so many similarities between what I read and my own life that I could ignore it no longer. Unlike Wink, though, I found my diagnosis to be enlightening – a missing piece of the puzzle as it were.

I sincerely hope Wink has found peace and laid her demons to rest. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.”

Connect with Shelly on Twitter @78thstitch.

Words by Wink

Crochet Mandalas for Marinke by Shelley

After the 2014 ScheepjesCAL was complete, Wink wrote:

“I had SO much fun doing this CAL with you all! And I mean you ALL – did you know that this was the most international CAL I have ever done? There were people from The Netherlands, the US, the UK, India, Australia, and I can keep going naming countries for a while because there were people from literally EVERYWHERE! :)

It was a lot of hard work, but it was worth it. There were some people in the Facebook group who decided it was more fun to harass and threaten me than to join in on the fun and make the blanket. But now that the CAL is over I can look back with a happy heart to all the lovely people who made it a succes, and the memories of those less-than-nice people quickly faded away!

This CAL has allowed me to go on tour throughout The Netherlands, to give small workshops, called Make & Takes, and to meet crocheters everywhere for meet & greets.”

About Depression

One purpose of this project is to raise awareness about depression so each post will end with some facts, thoughts or quotes about depression, suicide and/or mental health. Shelly has some good recent links on her blog so I thought I’d share those today.

First is a post that Sparkle & Doom Designs wrote after Wink’s death that says in part:

“Struggling with depression is hard work. Throw in other obstacles that living a life and being a parent gives you and sometimes it gets very dark and lonely. I have many ways of achieving success everyday, but there are days when I almost do not. That’s the harsh reality of depression. Some of us don’t make it.”

shelley's crochet mandalasformarinke

And the second is a link to a 2014 article by Seth Adam Smith called Is Suicide Selfish? who writes in part:

“What of the tens of thousands of people whose emotional agony becomes so intense that it overrides their innate, natural desire to live? Are they selfish because they’re consumed with a pain that won’t go away? What about the people who attempt suicide as a desperate cry for help? Are they selfish for needing help? Is it selfish to feel like you’re trapped in a burning building and your only escape is leaping from the window? Is it selfish to forget about how your death might hurt others?

I honestly don’t know. It took me years to make sense of my own medical condition. How on earth could I accurately judge someone else’s situation? Everyone’s struggle is unique and there is so much that we just don’t know.

But here’s something I do know:

Calling someone selfish doesn’t help.

All contributions to Mandalas for Marinke are welcome and will help raise awareness about depression while honoring her work in the same way that this great contribution has done today. Details to join here.


San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!

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