Jane Balke-Andersen, known to many as Queen Babs, is a yarn bomb artist who lives in Sydney, Australia and who peppers Instagram with her beautiful images accentuated by poignant sayings and completed with thoughtful updates about her life experiences.
She shares on the Yarnbombers United website:
“I have been chronically ill for more than 22 years and have a variety of things including fibromyalgia and depression. I am no expert in anything, but I try to share my ideas and encourage everyone to be the best they can, spread kindness and find happiness. Instagram and Facebook allow me a way to stay connected with other people when I am mostly housebound.”
One of the Yarnbombers United projects is the FMS Hope Mandala Project, which raises awareness about fibromyalgia and invisible illness. They’ve received more than 300 crochet mandalas from more than 100 people across 16+ countries.
Jane says on Facebook:
“I love yarn bombing and crochet and crafts of all kinds. I started crocheting in 2013 teaching myself via the internet. Craft is therapy and a sanity saver. It lets me express myself artistically and share it as a gift to the local community.”
On June 18th, she was named Australian of the Day, where she is quoted as saying:
“Initially, I wanted to colour the streets, I wanted to make the streets beautiful, but my main goal was to make people smile. Because therapy for me was a way for me to give something to my community. It feels wonderful to be a part of something that’s bigger than me. You know? It’s not just my project; it’s everybody’s. But if the community involved is an orchestra, I may be the conductor.”
Jane was interviewed on the Yarnbomber podcast, where you can hear a lot more about her world of crochet.