Category: My Books

How I Started Crocheting Patterns

Crocheting was something I did when the children were little. I crocheted a pony called Candy for my little girl and a giraffe name Jaffa for the boys. Jaffa I recalled had a very… very long neck and the boys would swing Jaffa around in their bedroom, out of sight from Mum. It wasn’t the best pattern in the world you had to lean Jaffa against a wall for him to stand up straight.

Knowing me I probably modified it in some way, a habit that is hard to break.

Candy and Jaffa survived the children’s rough games up to their adulthood. Candy is still around and became a star in my children’s books about the adventures of Zach & Candy.

She is with me now, just behind my chair in the junk cupboard.

Alas… Jaffa suffered another fate, no one will say, just a wall of silence… 🙁

The last time I saw him, he was in a cupboard at my son’s place, my son wanted him for his little boy. 

Leah with CandyBut I fear not everyone felt the same, he was old and couldn’t stand up straight, so he may have ended up in the old clothes bag going to ‘good will’, or worse still… in the rubbish bin. I like to think he’s got a good home somewhere. Enough about that, I’ve had my public lament time to move on…

Rebirth of something I loved

My granddaughter stayed with me one weekend and she brought a little hippo named Zack from kindergarten with her. Over the weekend this little hippo was to accompany her wherever she went and on the Monday morning at kindergarten, she had to bring a book of activities that she did with this little hippo, in story form to “show and tell”.

This was the start of my story telling, (in addition to when I was a child) and Zach’s Weekend Adventure with Friends was created and based on that weekend’s events. 

Crocheting – Prop Created

Anyway the whole point to this is, I started to crochet my first character from my book, Zach. I must admit he was a sorry sight, too large really for what I needed. I already had the storyline, I just needed the prop.

The children loved him straight away and he was a mess after they played with him, white filling oozing out, but they didn’t seem to mind. After they left I would get the scissors and trim off all the filling coming from the open weave style I had created.

I never imagined he would be so popular. They would both play for hours with Zach & Zach with JhettCandy along with all the super hero figures.

An Idea was Born

An idea was born, by this time I had already created a number of children’s books including, “Zach Gets Left Behind” which was inspired by my little grandson’s day of playing with Zach.

I decided I would crochet all the characters from my books and produce an easy to follow pattern I could sell online… surely it wouldn’t be that hard?

This is what happened.

The Garden Shed is a Scary Place

What inspired me to write this book?

“The garden shed is a scary place full of things that creep and crawl and sometimes sting, must keep away from all these things.” 

The Garden Shed is a Scary Place

The idea of writing this book ‘The Garden Shed is a Scary Place’ started when I began to clean up my father’s garden. I always knew I loved plants and over the years I would surround myself with pots of plants, when I didn’t have a garden. 

However, it wasn’t till my father was sick and re covering from an operation, that I realised how important the outdoors was. The first thing I do when I get up, is to take my tea or coffee,  and sit outside in the cool morning air and contemplate the days activities. Even when I am away, I’m looking for a balcony or sitting area to enjoy my morning cuppa outside.

During my Dad’s recovery, I would sit and talk for a while and then go out into the garden and start sweeping the pathways and picking up the fallen leaves and twigs. In the early days he thought I was taking over his job, I suppose when you are sick all you can think about is getting well again and some how… I was taking away his strength…his independence. He is old school and a little bit controlling, unfortunately a family trait. 

None the less watching me doing all the things he normally did and enjoyed, was hard for him. Eventually he settled down and started to like the fact that someone else was doing his job and he could let it go… and give it to me.

This garden isn’t so much a memory of my early childhood, another country’s got that one, but a memory of my teens and my dear mother who during the last months of her life would sit in the living room and stare at the garden through the glass doors.

 My Dad had a ritual of going around the garden each day, and pulling out the weeds. Birds would follow behind scratching where he unearth the soil, the result was no weeds, a compliment I was quick to share with him.

While tidying up the beds my imagination started to roll…so out from the leaves, bark and twigs came this book.

‘The Garden Shed is a Scary Place!’

Dad took great interest in watching me taking photos of the shed from many angles, along with the pathways and plants, anything really that took my fancy. The rhyming started to emerge, just a few words first:

The garden shed is a scary place full of things that creep and crawl and

sometimes sting, must keep away from all these things. 

I started to think about Mum, she loved writing poetry and all her poets were written about events in her life, at the time I acknowledged the skill she had and was familiar with the events they were attached too.

It would be nice to have her here now, to look over my first rhyming story, I know she would change some of it. With that said, just perhaps a little of her poetic skill was past down, time will tell.

This simple story some of it in rhyme is about a young child’s journey to the garden shed. “The garden shed is a scary place.. full of things that crawl and sting.

The closer to the garden shed the child gets the more fanciful the journey becomes, it’s a combination of real garden dwellers and a little bit of fun.