mandalas for marinke

Here is the next of the beautiful, inspiring, special contributions coming in to the Mandalas for Marinke remembrance project. I am grateful for each and every amazing contribution.

Contributions should be postmarked by October 15, 2015. Learn more here. If you absolutely can’t meet that deadline but want to participate, please email me at kathryn.vercillo (gmail).

Beautiful Crochet Mandala

Erica's Crochet Contribution to Mandalas for Marinke

The red flowers in this mandala pop out so beautifully even amidst all of the other bold colors in this glorious design. I believe this is a variation of Wink’s I Love Holland mandala pattern.

Meet the Maker

Erica's Crochet Contribution to MandalasforMarinke

This crochet mandala comes from Erica who “is passionate about crocheting, making mixed-media art, pen palling, reading, and volunteering. She lives in New Jersey, USA, with her family.” Erica shared:

I’m somewhat of a let bloomer when it comes to crochet and other creative pursuits. I started my creative journey when I was 22 years old. I had just had to leave college because of my fibromyalgia (a chronic illness). I’ve had fibromyalgia since I was 13 years old. I also had depression from ages 13-16. At age 16, a doctor finally found the medications that were right for treating my depression.

I was not a particularly creatively-inclined child or adolescent. I dabbled in creative writing but never in any arts or crafts. However, after I left college and had copious amounts of free time, I decided I needed to develop a few hobbies. After accidentally obtaining a copy of a book on art journaling, I decided to experiment with various arts and crafts. When I was 24, I found crochet and quickly fell in love with the craft.

I found Wink’s website while searching for crochet patterns. The first thing I noticed on Wink’s website were the colorful mandalas she made. It made me happy to see pictures of her crochet work. Wink’s consistent, cheerful blogging led me to read her blog on a regular basis. I greatly admired Wink and her work.

When I found out Wink had died by suicide, I immediately felt upset. I took some time to cry and just feel the grief. Losing a person to mental illness is never easy. I thought about Wink and what she must have been going through. Wink’s death reminded me of my own battle with depression, including all the times I contemplated suicide.

I know that healing from the grief of Wink’s death will not be easy, especially for her family and friends. I want her loved ones to know that I appreciate all Wink has contributed to my life and to the world in general. Wink will not be forgotten.

Rest in peace, sweet Wink.”

Words by Wink

Erica's Crochet Mandala for Marinke

Wink once said that:

Monday is for planning and making lists.”

About Depression

Erica's Crochet Mandalas for Marinke

One purpose of this project is to raise awareness about depression so each post ends with some facts, thoughts or quotes about depression, suicide and/or mental health. Today I wanted to highlight an interest interactive art exhibit that happened a few weeks ago at Eastern Michigan University. 1100 backpacks (the average number of college students who die by suicide annually) were placed around the campus lawn, filled with stories written by the surviving friends and family members of suicide victims. The powerful project was intended to start conversations about suicide among students.

Crochet Mandala by Erica reports that suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students and depression is the number one cause of that suicide. Men are significantly more at risk than women. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that many campus counseling centers are making efforts to increase their reach to men on campus who still tend to make up only one third of the students who seek help from counseling.

I love seeing that pet therapy is increasingly used on campuses to help students with their transition. Pet therapy can help with stress, depression, anxiety and other issues. Lucy and I have done pet therapy volunteering on three different campuses, especially during exam time, and I really see the difference that she makes.

All contributions to Mandalas for Marinke are so appreciated. They help raise awareness about depression while honoring her work in the same way that this great contribution has done today.


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

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