cathy crochet mandala for wink

This crochet mandala, made using a mandala crochet pattern by Wink, comes to us from Cathy J. Oliver in Canada who shares,

“I am lucky enough to be married to my best friend, and to have a wonderful daughter, and now we also have an adorable two-year-old grandson. We all live together in a lovely home on a pond in Airdrie, Alberta, and life is good.”

Cathy's Crochet Mandalas

Cathy wrote this letter for Wink’s family:

“I found crochet again within the past year, and as I returned to this art form, I found Marinke. What a creative and inspirational young woman she was. I was heartbroken, as were thousands of others, to learn of her death.

In my absence from the world of crochet, I had no idea how things had changed with the help of wonderful young designers including Wink. She had a true talent for her craft and, from what I have read, she had a huge heart as well. It was designs like hers that inspired me to grab back on to the world of crochet with both hands.

Cathy's Crochet Mandalas for Marinke

I found I was compelled to participate in this Mandalas For Marinke project. I immediately had to choose one of her beautiful mandalas to work on and send along. I have also created my own version of her fat bottom bag, and I use it as a yarn bag for smaller projects.

It breaks my heart that she lived in such agony, and that she eventually succumbed to it. She was such a creative girl and had so much to offer to the world. Her designs belie her suffering. There is so much colour and joy in her work.

cathy crochet mandala for marinke

As a 57-year-old woman who has struggled with depression and anxiety since I was a young girl, I could relate to Marinke’s pain deep in my soul. I also got to the point of attempting suicide on more than one occasion. I was lucky enough to have survived. The “black cloud” still haunts me to this day but after many years of various therapies, as well as finally being on the right medications, I have a better grip on thins.

I want to add that staying alive allowed me to find a wonderful, caring man, to bring a beautiful daughter into the world who has now given me the most amazing grandson. However, I am fully aware that “there but for the grace of God go I.

Cathy's Crochet Mandala

I learned the basics of crochet when I was in my early 20s, but I stopped because I found it impossible to concentrate on any project due to my anxiety. Because of the beautiful designs available today, I can say I’m really enjoying my hooks again. I can understand now how this would help someone with depression. Back when I learned, there wasn’t as much colour or creativity to work with. In my mind, the projects that were available were boring. Thanks to Wink, that isn’t the case anymore, and I plan to crochet on!”

cathy crochet mandala

Part of this project is about sharing information and resources related to depression. Today’s is a bit of an uplifting share: The Buddybox. This is one of those monthly subscription boxes where you pay a set fee and a box of surprises comes in your mail. But this time, instead of something for you, this is a box that you buy for someone in need, someone struggling with depression who could use a little bit of support. The boxes are designed specifically to help these people, filled with items for self-care and inspiration.

It is a little gimmicky? Maybe. These types of boxes are popular right now. They sure won’t cure depression. However, they can be a thoughtful way to keep encouraging the person you love who is having a hard time. And they come from Blurt Foundation, a group dedicated to raising awareness and understanding around depression.

Cathy's Crochet Mandala for Marinke

See all crochet Mandalas for Marinke here


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

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