All Things Belle - a guest post from Jennifer Rodriguez

Today's guest blogger is Jennifer Rodriguez from All Things Belle. I met Jen at the Pitch Slams at The Creative Connection in Saint Paul last month and this blog post is maybe the most fun thing I have ever seen, because I can imagine my Mum saying "Why?". As with all things in art: WHY NOT?! Enjoy - and thanks Jen for contributing.

Hi all! I'm Jennifer from All Things Belle. Last month I was lucky enough to meet Kass at The Creative Connection. She is one of the most amazing women I've ever met. Her spirit and candor won me over, and I'm so lucky to now be able to call her a friend.

In my own little world I design crochet, sewing, and quilt patterns. I find inspiration from the most vast places and I try to hard to stay true to what I really love. One of my favorite, inspiring artists is Jenny Doh. In fact, I'm pretty convinced that she's my long lost twin sister. I love and froth over just about everything she creates. Until she made crocheted rock cozies. Yup. Sure it was pretty.. but it was lost on me. I didn't get it. It was the first time she made art that I didn't want to instantly run home and make.

And then it happened. A few weeks later my mom discovered she was battling cancer..again.. and now it was lung cancer. Our hearts sanks, our eyes cried, our future was uncertain and scary. Even as an adult, it is the scariest thing in the world to see your parents ill or in pain. They are our centers, our touchstone.

My mom is doing awesome now. She's had surgery on her lung and unless she told you, you wouldn't ever know what she's been through. She's a rock. While she was recovering from surgery, I was unable to be with her. It broke my heart to not be able to help. And so I filled my time with making things for her. I remembered Jenny Doh's rocks. I got it. It wasn't Jenny's purpose, but those little bits of beauty became to symbolize my mom to me. My mother is feminine, fragile, and delicate at appearance..but inside she's stronger than you could ever imagine. I began to crochet around every little rock I could find. There were no patterns, no rules, just free form crochet around a soft stone.

I would love to give you an in depth tutorial on how to make these, but each one is different. The beginning is the same for me, I create a crochet adjustable magic ring and then let my imagination soar. Sometimes I chain, double crochet, or slip stitch. Every so often I'll hold the stone against my crochet to determine the best paths, but I never have a set plan.

These crocheted stones may not speak to you today, but maybe one day they will come to represent something new. Maybe strength, beauty, perseverance, or something beyond your line of vision.

I hope these images leave you inspired. I hope sometime this week you'll take time to create a little piece of art. I would love to see it if you do!

You can stay in touch with Jen through her blogTwitter, Etsy, or Facebook.