MU Staff Arts & Crafts Showcase 2015

My crochet display with beloved friends at the 2015 Showcase

2015 was the best Showcase opening ever!

I was thrilled to see more than two dozen friends from Mizzou, my church and my Toastmasters club at the grand opening. I also appreciated the kind notes of support and prayers from those who couldn’t make it. I felt you there in spirit.

I’m thankful for all of you! It was a day of joy celebrating the retro 1970s crochet glory that is my hobby!

The Showcase will continue until Thursday, 3 p.m., in Stotler Lounge in Memorial Union. We have seven new artists displaying for the first time this year. It’s definitely worth the walk to Memorial Union—you’ll see many fascinating types of art: costumes, leather work, paper, hooked rugs and baskets.

I made a little something for our Chancellor, who is famous for his bow ties.


Photos from the show

My thanks to Natalie Meighan and Michelle Hall for the photos.

Bonus: Campus Authors reception

The schmoozing continued at the Campus Authors reception I attended in the afternoon, complete with amazing food (note the tiny tasty tartlettes in my paw) and classical music in the rotunda. They told me my book sold out.

I love how this photo (courtesy of Laura Foley) makes me look like a rock star with my shades on. Do you think it’s because my Transitions lenses are slow to change back…or it is because the future is so bright…
Genevieve A. Howard, MU Campus Authors reception


I appreciate these good times and look forward to more. God bless you today and all days!

Tuesday Fun-day and you’re invited!


If you’re predicting future thirst on Tuesday, I have the solution for you!

I’ll be part of two separate events on campus, and both of them will have refreshments.

MU Staff Arts & Crafts Showcase Grand Opening
Tuesday, May 19
Stotler Lounge, Memorial Union

Held in Mizzou’s iconic Memorial Union, the show will feature more than 40 different tables of artwork by woodworkers, painters and fiber artists like me. I’ll have a selection of handmade retro-inspired pieces on display and do a live demonstration of crochet.

I’m grateful for the honor of being one of the speakers this year, so I will appreciate any friendly faces in the crowd!

Enjoy art, refreshments and door prizes at this event that is free and open to the public.

A donation for the Food Bank gets you extra chances for door prizes!

MU Campus Authors Reception
Tuesday, May 19
3 p.m.
Jesse Hall rotunda

As if the word rotunda wasn’t appealing enough, you’ll enjoy light refreshments at this event as well. Held in Mizzou’s other iconic building, Jesse Hall, MU authors published in 2014 will have their books on display…in the rotunda.

This event is also free and open to the public.

(Don’t you think rotunda should be our Word of the Day? As an example used in a sentence, “Oh Winifred, let’s make plans now to mingle with the Mizzou authors in the rotunda on Tuesday.” Way fancy.)

See you there

I hope to see all my friends at one or both of these events supporting my writing and my yarn adventures. You keep me going. Without you, my work would be useless.

Because what is an afghan without anyone to snuggle under it and feel how cozy it is? What is a blog post without anyone to read it?

Thank you for encouraging me with my creative pursuits!

Blessings on your week.

Why I indulge in nostalgia

Me in the 1970s. Note my fashion choice of two different slippers.
Me in the 1970s. Note my fashion choice of two different slippers.

I love the 1970s! They’re over, I know, but I revisit them.

When I was young, growing up in the 70s, I didn’t realize I was part of a trend. I thought that the colors and fashion were just how life was. Only after I grew up, did I see how distinctive a time period can be.

I’ve lived through a few decades’ worth of fads now (uh um, now that I am approaching “vintage age”) and I still love the 70s.

I embrace this love. Why not? It makes me happy to see the choices and ways of old. It reminds me of being young.

I collect old pattern books for knitting and crochet from the 1970s. I enjoy making the patterns and seeing the results. More than that, I just like seeing the wild ideas about what looked good. Fringe? Yes, make it super long. Ponchos? Oh yeah. Macrame, crochet’s cousin? Yes, yes and yes. Let’s wear it and put it in our doorways and best of all, give it as gifts!!

Retro 1970s granny stripe afghan
Retro 1970s granny stripe afghan

When I look at old afghans and search for old pattern books in thrift stores, it makes for a fun hunt. Recently, I had the good luck of finding an afghan from one hunt and a few months later, finding the pattern book with directions on how to make that exact afghan. Amazing 1974-style luck!

Here’s an afghan I recently finished based on this 70s decorating palette. Sunset colors and avocado green, what’s not to love?

(PS–save the date for May 19 at noon and you can see this retro afghan and my pattern books in person! I’ll be a part of the MU Staff Showcase in Memorial Union. Hope to see you there!)

Whether you feel a hankering for the 90s, the 80s or the 50s, indulge your nostalgia when you feel like it. Research shows that it can even be good for you!

The scraps of my life

We pick some experiences in our life. Many more happen to us.

We want joy and pretty sunsets. Sometimes we get pain and time stuck in traffic.

I’m working on a project now that uses up my scrap yarn. It will be an afghan when I’m done. Scrap plus afghan makes scrapghan!

I didn’t pick any of this yarn on purpose. It’s all just yarn that happened.

The variegated rainbow was from a leftover ball a friend at church gave me.


The camouflage was from a hat I made for my husband to use in airsoft. It was a terrible hat that had the power to make anyone wearing it look like a mushroom.

The orange was from a vintage afghan I made based on a book from the 1970s. Long live the color sensibility of the 70s!


The stripes are from a project I never finished. I was going to make a stained glass-type wall hanging. Instead, I didn’t finish it and let it linger in a plastic bag for two years.


When I put together the scraps of my life, all my experiences sewn into one, they look beautiful to me. I think this is how we must look to the angels. A mix of joy and sunsets, pain and time stuck in traffic.

May you be blessed today with air to breathe and grace surrounding you. Peace be with you.


In the news: red scarf and book launch

red scarf detail
I finished the six-foot red scarf!

What a pleasure to celebrate our book this week! I felt honored that so many friends and fans chose to come to our book launch party. Despite the rain, we had a full house. Thank you for braving the downpour! You are my people! I loved seeing all of you.

Many of you who couldn’t make it were there with us in spirit. I’ll have photos and videos, stories and moments to share with you in an upcoming post.

My friend Robyn asked me how it feels to be a “celebrity author.”

I will tell you. It feels strange!

It reminds me of a year ago when I cut my hair short. I had many long hair habits I wasn’t aware of, including the pillow habit. When I put my head down on the pillow, I used to flip my hair up to the top of the pillow. For a solid six weeks, my hand went to my head to brush my hair up when I laid down.

Night after night, how surprised I was. No hair!

Then the night came when I put my head directly on the pillow without needing to sort out my hair first. I had no hair to tangle.

I learned how to be a person with short hair.

Now I am learning to be a person who lets her words live in public.

It’s tempting to protect my words. Keep them safe inside.

But how would I have adventures like this week?

I’m grateful to you for making a home for my words in your minds and hearts. Your encouragement keeps me going, keeps me writing. God bless you.


Lord, you are strength
when we are bruised, torn and questioning.
You are comfort
when loss crushes us and
we can’t stop the bleeding.
You are love
always seeking us even when
we can’t look up.

In the rain, in the night,
you are love, strength and comfort.

Always seeking us.
Always seeing us.

Tell me your thoughts!

Who is an author you think I should read to help me grow spiritually or as a writer?

Take me out to the art show

Thank you to my visitors at the MU Staff Arts and Crafts Show this week! Hugs to you all! ❤

1970s candy
Bowl of candy from my table: all available in the 70s!

I was thrilled to be included in the show and visit with everyone about the 1970s, crochet and candy. What a success! I don’t think I will have to bring home too many packages of Pop Rocks or Laffy Taffy.

My favorite? Each time someone smiled at the colors in one of my crochet pieces, or told me about a memory of a family member who crocheted. I heard, “My grandma used to crochet,” or “My aunt taught me to crochet.”

Enjoy a few pictures from the art show. And if you’ll be in the Columbia area, the show runs until 3 p.m. Thursday, May 22.


Lord, thank you for nurturing
our desire to create connections.
We splash our world with color!
We tell stories of work done before:
My grandmother made me a baby blanket.
My mother made me a sweater.
We realize it is hardly the craft that matters;
it’s always the people.

Stories and scarves,
photos and paintings,
are only ways to say thank you
for this time on earth,
where it can be so bright and
full of goodwill
when we make it so.
Help us make it so.

Tell me your thoughts!

What is an experience you’ve had with an art show? Or yarn?

Celebrate the 70s with me and yarn!

You’re invited!
You’re invited!

I adore the design of the 70s because I am a child of the 70s.

For most of that decade, I grew up in a fabulous house in southern California with shag carpet and an avocado-colored fridge. It had an intercom that you could press a button to talk to other rooms of the house. The 70s has a reputation for delighting in color. Inheriting the psychedelic palette of the 60s, it embraced a new sensibility of on how to work with brown, rust and mustard at the same time. In short: combine them excessively. In a poncho. With fringe. Wear that poncho proudly.

This is the 70s aesthetic…and I love it.

Relish the tasteless?

Design is continual. Everything that catches our eye today will soon enough look “of a certain time period”. Instead of resenting the old and calling it names like “dated” and “tasteless”, I relish it. I salute the colors that speak with the familiarity of childhood. Devote yourself to thinking back on the world as it was when you were young. By comparing and contrasting how things were with how things are, we can notice the passage of time. This act of noticing stops our lives from becoming a blur.

Finding the familiar is a gift you give yourself. Do you enjoy the hunt of a gas station sign, seeking out roadside antique shops for just the right one? Are you a collector of delicate porcelain figurines, as Laura Ingalls Wilder’s mother was? Our souls thrive on the occasional comfort of nostalgia.

For the MU Staff Arts and Crafts Show (flyer PDF), I’ll be displaying the 1970s retro crochet pieces I’ve worked on all year. I focused on the colors that come from my personal history: creative ways to say I celebrate the way the world was when I arrived.

I await the show eagerly. I look forward to having fun laughing with people about the outrageous hues and vibrant combinations. I will even be wearing a special outfit during the grand opening reception on May 20 at noon…hope to see you there!


Lord, thank you for our life in full color!
We thrive in celebrating and expressing
ourselves in how we create our clothes
and decorate our homes.
Thank you for change.
Thank you for longing.
Thank you for remembering how it was so
we can even better appreciate
how it is now.

Tell me your thoughts!

What brings you happiness to think back on?