Magical Stones

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Stones are magical. Ancient cultures believed that some stones have their own character and spirit, while others believe stones are powerful empty vessels capable of absorbing negative energy which blocks the human body and mind. Stones have been used for centuries to help heal the body. I’ve just qualified as a hot stone therapist and have come to realise the true magic that a stone holds.

Now imagine how incredible it is to combine a stone with crochet. We’ve all come across the combination of crochet and stones but when you speak of mastering this art then I consider myself so fortunate to have met Monica (on Instagram of course). Monica really transforms yarn and stones into art and I’d love to sprinkle some of her magic by sharing with you an interview I had with her.

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What inspires you?

My dreams. I would like to say my dreams are filled with memories of loved ones, sounds of nature, animals and beautiful scenery, but my dreams are filled with original crochet patterns, designs, shapes and colors. I am inspired by so many things but mostly by very fine details. I can stand and stare at the old art, carved wood, iron work, architecture of Europe etc. for a long time.

When did you start crocheting lace on stones and who taught you?

It was my very creative mother who had the patience to teach me at a young age. We were very involved in 4-H  growing up and loved putting many projects in the fair every year. For my sisters and me, the goal was champion ribbons and our favourite thing was participating in the fashion revue.

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Tell me about your concept

Mostly I create handmade lace stones. I revise vintage patterns and some of Patricia Kristoffersen’s beautifully detailed patterns as well. I also create my own original patterns. It’s easy to tell if you look in my shop which patterns are my own creations. They have a uniquely wild and crazy look to them. Although some of my patterns have a romantic feel. Some are flower encrusted and some look like ferns. Service is very important to me. I only add the highest quality creations to my shop and I ship quickly. My concept is to create what I love to create and hopefully others will enjoy my work as well.

 How did it all begin?

Quite oddly, to be honest, for I am an obsessive creator. It began in 2007. At the time I was painting. I was creating one painting after another after another and stacking the paintings into a corner. I was completely enjoying the creation process, not really realizing that I had no outlet for them. One day my friend, Jennifer Dotter, came over and asked me, “What are you going to do with all of these paintings?” To which I said, “Well I am not sure.” She said, “You should open an Etsy shop.” Then time went by and she visited again and asked me the same question. This happened several times. Every time she asked me I said “no.” Until one day I looked into Etsy and decided to give it a try. I have had my shop for 8 years now. And it has opened up a whole new world for me. I have loved being a part of this artist community and have my friend to thank.

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What do you think will be the next big thing in the world of craft (especially your area of expertise)?

It’s difficult to say really. Lately for me I have started creating crocheted lace stone jewellery. Also I have really gotten hooked on creating beads from clay. I love adding all the details to a blank canvas, so to speak. I like starting with some basic materials such as crochet thread, stones, and clay. I paint and design it from start to finish.

Who on the international craft scene do you admire most and why?

FreeFolding – ceramics and porcelain – shapes, designs & colours.

Erinswindow – clay, fibre, paper -for her unique creativity.

Clothandthread – handcrafted – so cute.

Chinasquirrel photography – dreamy work.

Anne-Laure Charlier – ceramic, porcelain – amazing work.

Zebrakadebra – paintings and things – interesting and unique.

Wincsike – Lace – love lace.

DottieAngel – handcrafted – Adorbs.

Where can our readers find you?

Etsy-   http://www.monicaj.etsy.com

Blog – http://dearprairieflower.wordpress.com

Instagram –  lacestonesbymonicaj

Twitter – http://twitter.com/thedrawingroom

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/thedrawingroom/

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What is your favourite blog and magazine and why?

Well, I must say Hellohart is pretty amazing! It has been such an honour to be invited to do this feature, thank you ladies. I’ll be checking in often to see what’s new!

 If you had more time on your hands what would you do?

Create more crocheted lace stones and jewellery! For a year now I have been trying off and on to create a pattern for a large stone, 13 1/2 x 6 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches. This stone is oblong, amazingly smooth and awesome. I have attempted a few different patterns but have not been happy with them. So I continue to look at it. It is a challenge that I will one day have showing in my shop.

Have you bought something online and if so what?

I love buying handmade! One of my favourite recent purchases is a set of handmade ceramic dinner plates from seedlingclayworks on Etsy. They make me smile. And a lovely little silver and copper ring from Monkeysalwayslook on Etsy which I wear all the time.

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What magazines do you buy?

I don’t really subscribe to any magazines, but occasionally I will purchase something creative from the bookstore. I am very thankful to have been featured in these 3 magazines this summer and fall: Belle Armoire Jewelry– I find this to be very inspiring to look through. They give step by step instructions from original artists. Also Jewelry Affaire– they give instructions and techniques and inspire so many ideas. Interweave Crochet has great ideas for making handmade gifts.

Would you buy a pattern, or the whole kit online?

I also love to sew and do buy sewing patterns. The latest pattern I bought and made was DottieAngels awesome dress pattern.

I haven’t purchased kits online but one that interests me is Yoolas knitting with wire kit.

What is your favourite yarn store / craft store and why?

I must say Hobby Lobby due to the wide variety of items they carry. My friend, Kim Moore, and I once spent a solid hour there in the paper aisle. We live in the middle of nowhere, with Hobby Lobby and Joanne Fabrics an hour away. But I can get there, and anywhere else, much faster online.

I will definitely be trying out some crochet lace on a stone.  How about you?

Let me end off with the following extract from The Discovery of Self through Native Teachings by Jamie Sams…

Stone People

Record Holders of the earth

Will you please explain?

The history that gives us birth

The truth you do contain?

Like your cousins of the seas

The shells that let you hear

Sacred whispers are the key,

To the history we hold dear.

Teach us the ancient ways,

So we may build a future

Based on prayers and praise.

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