What’s your REAL name? Ann Kelley – honestly ;-)
Where were you born and raised? Where are you now, and what led you there? I was born and raised in the Pittsboro/Brownsburg area of central Indiana. We live on the farm that has been in my family since 1910. The banner on my shop is a picture of the homestead where my mother was born and raised. The barn is gone now, and the house has been remodeled, but luckily this sunrise will always be with me.
What's the origin of your shop's name? Well, AnnCrochets sort of seemed like a no-brainer.
What types of creations do you sell in your Etsy shop? My things are all crocheted by me. Some are varying degrees of originals, and some are from patterns. Materials vary also, but most of the things are made with threads and yarns that can be washed – I like to see my things being used!
What's your educational background, as it relates to your work? I guess my education for crochet came in an apprenticeship under my grandmother’s guidance. Crochet has been both something to keep my hands busy and a wonderful relaxation tool for many years now.
What’s your real-world job? I no longer have a "real" job. I had a stroke more than three years ago, and can’t do the work I was trained for. I was a medical transcriptionist and even my neurologist admitted he wouldn’t want me transcribing for him any more. So now I guess I’m a professional volunteer. My main focus is Indiana Sheltie Rescue, where I do what I can to help raise money to pay for the needs of the dogs in our program. I also drive a route for Meals on Wheels one day a week and volunteer one morning a week at our church’s daycare.
Does creating stuff run in the family? Were you taught things on purpose or by osmosis from prior generations? My genes seem to have skipped around a lot. Some things skipped a generation and re-emerged. Other things were just a part of the way of life we had way back when and everybody did it – mostly because they had to. And then there are things I have no idea where they came from!
What's your muse, or what turns that little creative light inside you on? Almost anything can trigger that response. It might be a picture of something I think I could make better or different – a jumping-off point, if you will. Or a yarn or thread that I can visualize as a particular finished piece. I have several bundles of thread or yarn, hooks and patterns all gathered together and just waiting for me.
What’s your favorite fiber to crochet with? I do most of my work with acrylics because I want things to be used and the bottom line is – if you can’t wash it, it won’t be used nearly as much.
What's your favorite thing about selling on Etsy? Ask me this one after I’ve had more than two sales!!
Show us three of your own favorite pieces.
- This bedspread (at right) won the sweepstakes for a crochet item at the Indiana State Fair in 1991 I worked on it off and on for about seven years. It is an old pattern called Mosaic Rose, and I have one my grandmother made for me in the same pattern! It fits a double bed.
- This second image shows a pattern I have always liked. I have made it many times and in different threads and colors.
- The table cloth (pictured at the top of this post) is a one that I always liked. It is about 78 inches in diameter and took an honorable mention at the Indiana State Fair in about 1999. My photography skills are minimal, so I'm very happy with the way this photographed, in spite of me!
Where else can we find you on the Internet?
I read in your shop announcement that you donate part of the money from each purchase to a Sheltie rescue. Do you have Shelties? And what kind of dog is that in your Etsy user pic? We now have a sheltie again. We had been without one for six years but recently adopted a rescuee. Because most shelties need a fenced yard and we no longer have a fence, we weren’t even able to foster for quite a while. Shelties are a herding dog and therefore need a job to keep their minds occupied and bodies exercised. They are wonderful, smart dogs with a huge desire to please but are not a dog for everyone.
The dog that is my logo is Lady. She’s a mix from the local Animal Control. I was volunteering for the Hendricks County Humane Society when she was brought in. She was a cute black puppy (don’t know what happened there!) who needed a home, so she came to live with us. At 11, she has outlived her other sheltie brothers but now is happy to have a new playmate.
Anything else to brag on? I have had original designs published in national crochet magazines. A lot of my work is original in that I didn’t follow the pattern exactly. I do a lot of tweaking and revising in my work, but most never get anything written down beyond a notation on the pattern. I won the sweepstakes for a crocheted item at the 1991 Indiana State Fair with a bedspread. The pattern is called mosaic rose. It was an old pattern that I liked. Beginning in the 1960s, my grandmother crocheted a tablecloth and a bedspread for each of the females in the family (my mother, her brother’s wife and the three granddaughters). My gifts were put away to be used "someday." Well, when I finally had a bed big enough to use my grandmother’s bedspread on, I pulled it out of storage and discovered that it was done in the mosaic rose – same pattern as my bedspread!