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.

The Long and Winding Road

Why I Crochet and Dolls, dolls, dolls!

I am proud to announce my new online store is up and running at ! Not all of my creations are up for purchase yet but they will be soon! This is very much like Etsy used to be. Etsy has changed to not all handmade or vintage items. They also charge for each item you list and each picture you post. That is not all, they also claim a percentage of what you sell. These are all small charges but added together it is more than I can afford at this point. Please, if you see an item here, on my blog, that you would like to buy, check on http:// and if it is not there, send me an e-mail at and I will add it or I will make you your very own, custom with the colors you prefer.

I will, eventually, add more to “My Story”. I have been attending to some family matters. It is almost 100% certain that I will be moving to Kentucky July 1. That is less than a month away and I have a lot to do! Although I want to try and explain why crochet is so important to me. I have struggled with depression for a very long time. A long time is, most of my life. I was misdiagnosed in the 1980’s during a time when the professionals felt it was in my best interest to be in-patient in a psychiatric ward for 2 1/2 years. (more here: and here: I was only diagnosed correctly in 2007. With this terrible illness, and it IS an illness not a moral failing, addiction to substances is common, as is suicidal tendencies or ideation. Most of the people who I thought, for most of my life, loved me, turned their backs on me and hurt me deeply. All because of symptoms of bipolar.

When I taught myself to crochet it was just to pass the time. Right from the start I loved it. I was so excited when people gave me donations of yarn. I didn’t have a computer so I had to copy all of the patterns that I was interested in down on paper. People started complementing me on my work. I thought, “No big deal anyone can do this”. When folks started asking to buy the things I made, it slowly dawned on me that no, not everyone can crochet. Fewer people still, have time to crochet a hankie let alone a doll. This helped how I thought about myself. People were calling and placing orders. A friend from high school called and wanted me to crochet something I never had done before. I did it and it turned out beautifully. That was the “Pony Inspired by Twilight Sparkle”. She was extremely pleased with it. Through all of this 3 of my family members have re-entered my life. I have grown much closer to God. The feedback I get from craft fairs, about my work is uplifting.

So you see, crochet has literally saved my life. I consider it my healing art. I have come to understand that I may have been diagnosed bipolar, but I, as an identity, am NOT bipolar. I am not addiction.

On that note, I would like to share with you my newest dolls!

6″ Boy Doll w/brown hair/blue eyes
Back view of boy doll
Side view of boy doll
Gardener Girl Doll w/ blue eyes/brown hair
Side view of gardener girl
Back of gardener girl
Gardener girl without hat on
Gardener girl side view without hat on
Top of the hat
Angel girl with attitude
Side view of angel girl
Back view, open wings of angel girl
Native American Girl Doll
Close up of Native American Girl Doll
Native American Girl Sitting
Black Girl in Red Dress
Side view of black girl doll
Group picture
Angel girl says “don’t forget me!”
The whole gang

1)  Boy doll pattern is from under “Free Patterns”

2) Gardener girl is a free Ravelry download as “Yun Shu by Crochetwawa”

3) Angel girl is from under “Free Patterns”

4) Native American doll is my embellishment of “Yun Shu by Crochetwawa”

5) Black doll is my embellishment of “Yun Shu by Crochetwawa”

6) The whole gang picture has 2 dolls not mentioned above. That is “Samantha” from the pattern from under “Free Patterns” under “Waldorf Inspired Doll” (not the baby) and the blond haired girl in the blue dress is from the pattern “Fairy Doll” on www. although I did not make her a “Fairy”.

I can also make you a doll that looks like a picture of a daughter, niece, sister or granddaughter. ( I am not very good at making the boy dolls yet!) If you find a pattern of a doll you would like made I will do my best, like the “Twilight Sparkle inspired Pony”. Call me at 815-345-7852 or email me at! May you all be blessed!

Why I Crochet and Dolls, dolls, dolls!