I'm a mother of three: Zach, Josh, and Shaelynn. Zach and Josh are in college now. Shaelynn is in middle school. I've been happily married to my best friend, Gavin, 20 years as of January 2015.
I started crocheting at a young age. My mom remembers it to be around 4 or so. I would sit beside her and chain and chain and chain. Then I slowly learned to make single crochet and double crochet. My mom, grandmothers, aunts, great-aunts, and great-grandmothers have all been knitters, crocheters, and crafters. Crafting has been passed down in our family.
Later, I would make baby blankets for friends at church and scarves. Sometimes my mom would have to help edge as I would get frustrated easily. I could do potholders really good though. As I got older, I kept crocheting even through college making crafts and crocheting around Christmas cards. I was about the only college kid that crocheted. I was busy though with work, going to college and having a life.
I met my husband in 1995 and also became a mom the same year. In 1996, I became a mom a second time. I kept crafting and even though my time was precious with two boys only 17 months apart, I enjoyed the time I spent on crafting. I made a lot of snowman, angels and various other things. I did some craft shows also. I have always had a love of snowmen and angels. My house is always decorated with them.
The years went by and I crocheted blankets and learned to do more stitches. I was taking care of two very active little boys and working. My second son has Asperger's Syndrome and life was always interesting, but filled with so much love with our boys.
We tried for 5+ years to get pregnant again and had basically given up...when yep... our miracle sunshine girl came along.
In 2002, when my little girl was born...another chapter started. Finally, I had a little girl to crochet for. Then I really flourished and it became something that she and I did together. This website became because of this love between a mother and her daughter.
Besides crochet, I sew, cook, refinish wood furniture items, craft snowman and angels. I also do many other crafts and learning how to make cards and my own gift tags. I'm always intrigued by using nature items or recycled items.
I have struggled with many health issues over the years including coping with a brain aneurysm and Fibromyalgia. With both of these came depression and anxiety. I wasn't always up to maintaining my website. My husband has been so wonderful and supportive. We have been doing photography together and have found a new love to bring back this website.
How did I start designing little girl's clothes?
-- I couldn't read patterns very well. But I could learn stitches. This was before youtube ..or at least before I knew what youtube was. So I read books and looked at ideas from catalogs and sketched ideas. I learned how to read patterns and got better at writing them too.
Where did my inspirations come from?
--I saw pictures of items in Herrschners or Annie's Attic or in other online catalogs. I would like parts of it. I would try to figure out how I could do it. This is still how I do things now. I see something and try to figure it out. I'm a very visual person. I sketch it on paper or pick up the hook and yarn to figure it out.
Why have I always left my patterns on the Internet for free and never sold anything anywhere including etsy?
--I was just a mom making things for my daughter like my mom did for me. I grew up in a humble house with a mom at home in a single income home. My mom made my clothes. I just wanted to share my patterns with other moms for free. A lot of other people were doing it for a living and that's great for them, but not everyone can afford to pay for the patterns. It's nice to share and not expect to anything in return. Maybe someday I'll sell on etsy.
Why did I go dark for a few years?
--The internet can be overwhelming. People can be rude online or come across that way in their communications. When you are fighting a chronic illness and depression, it's just too much at times. I'm in a better place right now, but there was a time in my depression that I couldn't handle life.
Why did I change the name of the website?
--Christina's Crochet Haven was only one part of what I wanted to do...crochet. It didn't reflect the other crafts in my life. I had other dreams of where to take the website. It has taken many years to make this new website happen. Christina's Sunshine Haven is a better representative of all the crafts in my life and my husband's. We hope to do great things with this site.
What would I like to tell people that come to my website if I could?
--I'm so very glad that you have stopped by. It makes me happy to have people come and look at my site. I also like for you to remember that my patterns are free. I pay for the website. There aren't pop ups or lots of ads. I don't have sponsers and I'm not promoting a product. It's just me; a real person sharing.
Have a wonderful day!!