New Developments All The Way Around! 

First of all I have “Dory Hair”. I want to remind myself to “just keep swimming “! Both literally 🏊🏻‍♀️ and metaphorically! 

And my latest completed project! Made with @darngoodyarn 💙

And now for the BIG news! 

My daughter (who is expecting my granddaughter in late November) and my granddaughters daddy are moving in with me!  The above picture is the blanket pattern by @life.and.yarn that I was fortunately able to test! (It still doesn’t have the tassels!)

Above is the crocheted bonnet I made her as well! 💕👶🏻

This is what I did all of August! And had a job interview for an RN position.

Thank you for visiting my blog! 

My Instagram is busier! @cabin.crochet.creations

Even my Facebook by TanyaJoy 


And Then There Were 4!

I had a great weekend with my husband! He was off of work for 2 whole days when I was with him. And I brought the kitties home with me! One was a cat my hubby gave me for Valentines Day in 2010? We have had to be separated for 6 years to allow each of us to deal with our each individual issues. But now I get him, KitKat back! 

He was just starting to come out from hiding yesterday evening. The other kitty, Tux, was a gift to my hubby for Christmas from his kids. He was intended as a companion for KitKat who lost a sweet cat house mate, Smoky Joe.

Tux! I already had Rosie who I got from a neighbor.

She is supervising! I haven’t seen Daisy yet. Last I saw her she was hissing, spitting, and tried to bite me! 

In calmer days! 

Follow me on Instagram @cabin.crochet.creations to keep up with my crochet and everyday antics!

Babys on the Brain

The big news July 6 was that my daughter is going to have a girl in November! 

So, I am am going to be Grandma, Gramma, Mem-mah, Granny, etc. I started by making her a dress!

And a bonnet! Then I realized that this child is going to be born in late November! In Kentucky! (It does get cold there! It’s the mid-south not the Deep South!)

I am currently testing a pattern for @life.and.yarn for a sweet baby blanket!

But before I got very far, I had an order for this sheep!

But the last time my daughter visited, she wanted him! For the baby! What’s a grandma to do? 

So, I had to make a brand new one.

I think she got a better deal. I priced the first one low because I thought he was funny looking! The second one is much better and I would have priced him higher. Pattern is by Kristi Tulles. @kristitulles on Instagram.
I have made friends with Magjesta of @majesta_M_metals also on Instagram. I purchased a diffuser bracelet and some highly concentrated lavender oil. 

And she sent along my favorite crystal necklace. It’s the Aqua Aura crystal. So, she just wanted me to send her something for a baby shower! For a Boy! I have been busy creating that! I don’t feel right publishing pictures before it gets to it’s new home. I will next time. I have made other friends on Instagram. Gems by Em(ily) @gemsbyem 

I also have found a wonderful artist Melissa Solecki  @alifelivedmessy. I was able to get a shirt made from one of her drawings. 

I have met a all natural soap maker: by winning a pick from her shop and a natboo bamboo toothbrush! I chose Ebony and Ivory a charcoal acne soap. Even though I turned 50 I still have acne. I tried coconut oil and baking soda but it was too greasy. The soap from @valenanaturals so far is the best soap I have used. My breakouts are minimal and the older blemishes are healing. It feels very healthy. 

I also have changed how and what I am eating. Fresh fruits, greens , local honey, organic non-gmo real nutritious foods to feed my brain. I will devote an entire post to this. I was able to get a free pass to my local recreation center and I have started swimming again after at least 33 years (closer to 35 years). But being on swim team in St Charles, Illinois in the 1980’s, meant working hard. If not in the pool, then on weights. Nautilus was just emerging. So when I got into the pool and started swimming laps, it all came back to me.

I am strengthening my back so I never injure it like I did in May!! I am swimming my way into more balanced mental health.

Pictures of the boy baby shower gift and more on nutrition for mental health benefits and my granddaughter coming soon to a blog near you!

My Story as Written for Hope4theWarrior

I started writing my story when I first started this blog in order to explain why crochet and knitting is SO important to me. The bottom line is that it is a great coping skill for my severe anxiety, panic attacks and deep dark clinical depression. I couldn’t have done it without Jesus. I call Him Yeshua because that is what people called Him when He walked the earth in His “skin suit”. or on Instagram: @hope4thewarrior asked me to tell my story/ write out my testimony. I decided to publish what I have written so far, here for you!! But first a picture of my latest creations! These are my 100% cotton knitted washcloths and crocheted flower face scrubbies. If you are interested in either set, DM me on Instagram @cabin.crochet.creations

I have been asked by @hope4thewarrior to tell you about myself. I am a 50 year old, mother of 2 (almost a grandmother). I am a RN (registered nurse) who has been on a 6 year hiatus. I am a yarn artist. And I have a mental health diagnosis. Now back in 1984, things were a lot different than now. That is when I graduated high school. June 1, 1984 I was 17 years old. The arrogant (scared), manipulative (lying), calculating dreamer had been inside me forever but I really never acted on the fantasy. Something happened when I was 14 and was a rock to my life of walking on eggshells. I didn’t know that I would be walking on those proverbial eggshells for 30 more years.

In June of 1984  my mom married my step-dad. At the time, I was very loyal to my father whom my mother divorced when I was 15. She filed for divorce when I was 14. That year between when it was filed and when it was finalized was a very turbulent year. AND I had hit puberty. I was rebellious with a capital “R”. I wasn’t rebelling for rebellions sake though. My heart hurt so badly. To see my mom and my dad whom I loved; both hurting each other, was tremendously hard to understand. Then 2 years later, my mom is marrying someone who is NOT my father. (I had no idea about the adults lives that didn’t have to do with me or my sister). Then in August, I went away to ISU (Illinois State University) in Normal.

Part 2:

Now the story is going to get pretty hairy so I want you to know that the only thing that saved my blessed assurance, was : Praying Grandparents! My mom’s father was a minister of the gospel before you had to go to seminary. When I was in my teens, Grandma and Grandpa were missionaries to Haiti in the Free Methodist Church.

My other grandparents, my Dad’s parents, were super special because I was able to see them more often because they lived in Iowa. But they were originally in southern Minnesota. Yes, I am a proud Norwegian! My Grandma was up with the birds. She loved to read her Bible and pray in her garden with the birds. There is a reason she lived so long because Jesus knew I was going to need a lot of prayer. In the summer and Christmas break I sang with her at her piano. I was a vocal performance major in 1984 at ISU and she was super happy. I sang a solo at her church the summer before I started college. Because of my parents divorce, I had to fly with my little sister to a small airport in the town where they lived but we had to fly in on a 10 seat commuter plane.

Can I tell you about my Dad? My Dad is the middle son of my Norwegein Grandpa and my German Grandmother. When I grew up, my Dad taught at College of DuPage. Biology and Botany. I had a microscope when I was 4 years old. Gives you a little clue as to why I became a nurse. But I am getting ahead of myself. When I was in 5th grade we moved from Wheaton to Iowa City, Iowa because he needed to take the course work for his Ph. D. the hardest part is writing the book, they call a “Dissertation”. He got it in Science Education. After the year of course work we moved to St. Charles, IL where I went to 6th grade through 12th. And where my parents divorced.

Ok, now we are back to 1984. Curious, the book 1984 by George Orwell was about some strange times. So, I was a vocal performance major in the fall of 1984. I went to Illinois State University (where later my Dad was a Science Education Professor!). Everything fits together. It is a strange tapestry that God weaves of our life. Even if we are struggling, if someone is praying for you you will make it out. I have to tell you that 1984 was a very traumatic year for me. My heart hurt because of my parents divorce, my promiscuity, drinking and partying was the only way I could treat the pain. I had been in Youth for Christ and was “saved” (I prayed the little prayer=saved) And it didn’t miraculously “change” me. So, I did what I could but at ISU, the classes were hard, and I was doing some partying. I lived in Watterson Towers and it was a crazy system where the elevator stopped on the middle floor of a set of 5 floors that were named, houses. They were all of the Presidents names. So I lived on the 3 rd floor of the house (can’t remember it’s name!!) when I got on or off the elevator, I still had to walk down a floor to get on the elevator. I felt like a mouse in a trap. There were 2 towers with these sets of floors and the 4 elevators were for BOTH of the towers. I had panic attacks about school, about being safe, what if there was a fire? One November day I just couldn’t take it anymore!!! Everything hurt. My heart, my skin, my muscles, my soul and probably my spirit, too. I cut on my wrists, trying to kill myself. I spent 6 months in the psychiatric floor of the local hospital in Normal, IL. I am not kidding you! I went nuts in Normal, IL!!

Normal is actually the term for a college that teaches teachers from the 1800’s. My Dad got a Ph. D. in teaching teachers how to teach science.


More to follow…

Brie’s Lamb

I made this lamb for my bff, Brie! She is moving July 1. Brie and I have been best friends since 2013. We shared an apartment from October 2014 to July 1 2016. (If you want to know about that scroll back and you can read about that whole story in painful real time!) I now live just below her in an awesome 112 year old 7 unit apartment building ( with a quirky but kind landlord but that is an entirely different story!)

Brie and I both have mental health diagnosis. When we moved into this building together into unit 5 in the fall of 2014 we were moving out of housing provided by Thresholds of Mchenry county. Thresholds is a psycho-social rehabilitation agency for people who have a mental health diagnosis. I am not going to give you our diagnosis because it doesn’t matter. Those are only labels for a cluster of brain functioning disorders. That mainstream big money; big pharma; DSM-5, DSM-4, DSM-3; mental health industry and don’t get me started on the insurance situation!  Anyway, it is a big deal that Brie is moving. She tells me that I am her “safe space”. (Not in those words,  but for lack of a better term.) I am not a naturally confrontational person. I am an outgoing (manipulative) people pleaser. I had to learn how to be assertive and set/ keep boundaries. To express my feelings after I have analyzed them thoroughly. Crochet and knitting increased my self-esteem enough that I could protect myself! (That I thought I was worth defending!) Brie and I dug into the Word. I kept crocheting and listening to Bible scholars and sharing it with her. So, Brie met a man. At church. Who is “a male Tanya”. Tee hee hee 😜 She is moving to share an apartment with him. (Don’t judge. 2 bedrooms) 

Any big disruption in routine or big changes are a dangerous time for those of us who have a brain function disruption.

I highly recommend Aspen Morrow’s book Med Free Bipolar.

The Long and Winding Road

I started, last year sometime, telling you “my story”. So, I gave you a few installments but I couldn’t express how crochet and knitting saved my life. I told you about my childhood (briefly) and what I thought was important for you to know then. Things have changed so much for me, since then, I am able to look back and see what the Lord was doing. I don’t know how this is going to come out so please bear with me!

I have always expressed myself best in art. Written word, not so much. Spoken word, ad nauseum. Drawing and coloring what I have drawn; both realistic and abstract. The hospital I was in back in the late 1980’s had a wonderful art therapy department. Ceramics, silver smithing, general art, enamel powder on metal. The ceramics were actual clay, fire in a kiln, glaze, refire. Over the years it took a back seat to intellectual pursuits. School, self study, work, more school, work, more work. When my identity was challenged, (because due to mental health challenges, I could no longer work as a nurse), and my daughter moved to Kentucky and I didn’t know where she was. Not a mom and not a nurse. I started exploring myself (without that stuff) through art. Then coping through knitting and finally coping through crochet. The positive feedback I received catapulted me straight up into functionality, where I can be a nurse and a grandma, much healthier because I know who Tanya Joy really is.

I love summer! 

Warm weather and lots of sunshine is for me, the best antidepressant I could fathom! During the winter months where is is one gray day after another and when there is sunshine it is so cold you get a layer of ice on your eyeballs! The professionals say it’s SAD… I say, yup. Seasonal Affective Disorder used to be called cabin fever. Thank goodness I found crochet! (And knitting!) It was knitting that got me to a place where I could learn to crochet! I only could knit the “knit” stitch because I had learned to knit when I was 9 years old for a Girl Scout badge. So when I needed something to busy my hands I started knitting. An art therapist through a mental health recovery organization, taught me to “cast on” and “cast off”. At that time I could not purl. I kept making mistakes and dropping stitches to where I couldn’t fix them after I cast off because that is when I noticed them! I would watch YouTube videos on knitting and I was so lost. I watched some on crochet and tried some simple projects. A crochet addict was born!

I am telling you all of this because I now have succeeded in teaching myself to purl. With help from a few videos and a book on needlecrafts I can now purl. I have been practicing and I feel comfortable with it! I have an easy pattern I am going to try soon.

After I had mastered can cozies, flowered headbands, hats and Afghans, I discovered amigurumi! And then crochet jewelry in rapid succession. Here are the first 3 dolls I made: 

Actually there was one before these 3 but I made it for my daughter. You can see that I made some “eye beads” out of polymer clay for all 3. The two on the left were purchased from a “mental health and art” exhibition in Chicago last spring (2016). The one on the right always had one eye looking strange because the thread cut a channel into the eyeball. So, I removed the polyclay eye beads and attempted to embroider them on:

Not very good but they look better than before!

This is the last face I did:

A lot better! Thanks to @flausch_einhorn on Instagram and Beth of “By Hook, By Hand” blog! They both published a blog post picture tutorial on embroidered faces. Beth’s the lips and @flausch_einhorn the eyes! 

I have donated 2 of my creations for an auction online to benefit the Nunn family who lost their Dad/ husband. Organized by a fellow RN, I jumped on board. All proceeds go to the family. No one will be skimming off of the top. When you are a nurse, your co-workers, especially the nurses, are pretty special. PTSD from crazy shifts, crazy patients, crazy doctors to crazy spouses and crazy children, your fellow nurse hears all of your woes, you hear all of theirs. Stepping up for a fellow nurses family is natural. 

Here is the doll:

Here is the jewelry set:

If you would like to participate check out @auctionfornunnfamily on Instagram.

I am also going as much all natural as I can. More on that later.

May you have a delightful June here in the Northern Hemisphere, summer!! 

Lilyanna &  Real Life Stuff

I just want to let all of you know that my Lily remake is finished! It was nice to be able to crochet a bit since my back pain has lessened some.

Although, I tried to work on my order and got only 1 round done before my back started to spasm. My poor customer. I have kept her in the loop by email.

I used to live in the apartment above mine before I moved to Kentucky (briefly!) and shared it with my best friend. Sharing was not very healthy for either one of us because we would just trigger each other. We were never both depressed at the same time. But since I moved back, she has been more ill than well. She was doing great the last couple of months but her symptoms crept up on her again. So, I am missing my pal because she has had to go back into the hospital. We study the Bible pretty much every morning together. I do regardless, but she doesn’t sleep well at night and has to get some sleep sometime! We take turns reading out loud through “The One Year Bible”. Each day has a piece of the (so called) “Old Testament”, “New Testament”, “Psalms” and “Proverbs”. I love having the Bible broken down into daily readings. When I go through it I read through both of the “Testaments” once and “Psalms” and “Proverbs” twice. Reading it out loud helps to put it into you two ways: through the eyes and through the ears. We then discuss it. I am going it alone and it’s not as much fun.

I have been doing well for a while. The winter is the hardest for me. Shortened days, dark and cold. It can get pretty brutal here in Northern Illinois! But the humidity and heat in Western Kentucky in the summer was way too much for me. I mean, you can only take off so many clothes! If you are naked (in your own home!)😱 and still sweltering (with the air conditioner on!) then you have no where else to turn except into the shower or bath! But, if you are freezing , you can put on a lot of clothes and then get under blankets! Since I moved back, November 1, 2016, (with tons of my Dad’s help) I have been hospitalized only 1 for 3 days. Middle of winter; no sunshine for weeks; depression. I also get “somatic ” complaints. Basically you are physically sick and/or in pain not because you are making it up, but because the depression is coming out of your body. So, that’s when I need a little help and some rest.

Any way I hope you like Lilyanna Lamb the remade Lily! 

Blessings to you until our paths cross at this website again! ♥️

Poor Lily

My back injury is improving with the muscle relaxer and anti inflammatory medication! Yea! Less pain! That is always good!

My application for renewal of my nursing license is winging its way to Springfield as we speak (err? Write? Read?) I am rewriting my resume, which is always fun.(sarcasm meter is going off!)

I can work on only a little bit of crochet which is bad because it keeps me balanced! Who knew that you use muscles in your back to crochet?!? Unfortunately the side effects of the medicine for my back interferes with my concentration and I can only crochet something simple.

This is Lily Lamb. She is one of my first amigurumi. Poor Lily, she lost a leg. Since this is my first attempt at amigurumi, I thought it would be good to remake her with my improved skills.

This is Lily when she was first “born”.

I had to switch yarns a few times. Here is Lily remake so far:

Remake is on the top and poor Lily, who is continuing to fall apart, on the bottom. I guess I didn’t sew the pieces together very well back then but I now have skills! I think Rosie might have thought she was a toy…

Does she look guilty to you?

So my easy project is almost finished, hopefully I can return to completing my order! The customer is so understanding! She just tells me to take my time. 

Already crocheted items are at my Etsy shop!

Thank you for reading! Blessings to you until we meet again here in cyberspace!

On the Mend 

I went to get my back checked out. My doctor couldn’t see me until next week so I had to make a visit to my local emergency room. They took X-rays and gave me a shot of anti inflammatory medicine and a muscle relaxer. ahhh finally sweet relief!

Because I have been in a lot of pain, I haven’t been able to work on my order (who knew that you use muscles in your BACK to crochet!) I decided to remake my first amigurumi, Lily Lamb. 

This picture is right after I made her. (Free pattern on Ravelry called “Sheep Etu” by Kristi Randmaa of Apuuga’s Amigurumi) Now poor Lily has lost a leg because frankly, I didn’t know what I was doing when I made her! Original Lily is also stuffed with cloth strips! (Reuse!!) Since I had just started amigurumi crochet I didn’t purchase any poly-fil. I wasn’t sure I could accomplish it since I had only been crocheting for a few months. (And look at me now!) I am hooking “Lily Remake 1” out of a thin fluffy yarn I found at Sparrows Nest Thrift Store held together with an off white acrylic (also purchased at the thrift store) If you have been reading my posts on Instagram, the LionBrand DIY white yarn didn’t look right.

Body ✅ a see the two different yarns? After I finish “Lily Remake 1”, and if I still am having trouble following a challenging pattern (due to being drugged up on muscle relaxants and this pain in my crochet muscle!! Ha!) then I am going to make a “Lily Remake 2”. Here’s where you come in. I would like help in selecting the yarn. I have a choice of (below picture is of poor Lily and the yarn) 1) in a ball at the top of the picture is a yarn that originally came in a hank. Purchased from the thrift store with no label. I am almost sure it is tightly spun wool. 2) is the skein closest to Lily. 100% wool, purchased at the thrift store for $0.25 (yes, 25 cents). 3) is a lighter tan/cream next to 2. It is at the farthest right in the picture. This yarn is 100% Orlon (an acrylic) purchased at the same place for $0.50!! It is vintage Wintuk. (Back when they were super proud of plastics being made into yarn!). All of the yarns are (approximately worsted weight). 

(Don’t mind the arrow in the middle of the picture! Video gone bad!)

PLEASE! I need your help! Comment 1), 2), or 3). Or if you think I should use two of the choices held together (resulting in a larger Lily!

I did this on Instagram and Facebook but only got one ☝️ answer! Please play along. I am not up to making this choice due to all the aforementioned issues!

PS: I am really happy with my self care and balance. I accomplished all of my CEUs, while injured and rested when needed. Today all of that stuff is being sent to Springfield to renew my RN license! 🙌🏻🙏🏻More on that in later posts!

Top picture is Lily when I finished her in 2015. 

Bottom picture is of her now and the remake that was frogged! You can see whe real white stands out too much with the fuzzy yarn.

Thanks everyone for reading! May you be safe and blessed until we meet again! 🐑

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