|Standing 'shoulder to shoulder' in February this year!!!|
As a verbose person, writing blog posts usually comes easily - editing them to a reasonable size is the hardest part. But since a phone call on Sunday, telling me about the death of my friend Wink (Marinke, but she liked 'Wink'), I have been struggling to find the right words to start this post. I want to honour her work but at the same time I am sitting here in tears (again) for the loss of a dear friend. A friend who stood a whole foot taller than me - more in heels - and frequently made jokes about it!
As an artist, Wink's work brought colour and joy to many. She generously shared so many wonderful tutorials and patterns and gave help and encouragement to many people. As well as being known for her beautiful shawls and mandalas, Wink's CAL with Scheepjes was an unprecedented international success. She was so proud when her first book launched earlier this year, and the second (as yet unpublished) is absolutely stunning. She leaves behind quite a legacy, and that's without considering her music and other talents. The response to her death (including hundreds of posts on Instagram and Facebook) has shown just how deeply her colourful creations touched people.
|One of the 'Inspiration' images Wink used on a guest post she wrote on her use of colour|
As a person, Wink was funny, warm and generous. In the early days of this blog she was a fabulous sounding board and helped me in many ways. When it turned into more of a personal friendship, we would send each other silly messages - getting excited over journals, dreadlocks, tattoos and all sorts of other things that had nothing to do with blogging. When she visited we sat up late, putting the world to rights, while drinking wine and eating "Gluten Free Dutch Apple Cake" although she had never heard of Dutch Apple Cake before. We laughed a lot. Wink credited me with inspiring her to knit and called me her biggest enabler when she picked up a spindle earlier this year (she teased me about that too, but I was proud to have encouraged her).
Wink's first time spinning, at Unravel 2015
For the last few years Wink came to the UK to visit Unravel festival with me (find the posts here). It had become a tradition for us to meet up with other crafty / blogging friends and to spend the weekend squishing yarn and nattering. We had already planned next year's trip and found a restaurant with an upstairs room we hoped to fill with our favourite crafty people. It simply won't be the same without her. We made other plans too - joint projects and blog collaborations - all things that can never happen.
|With our friends Gilly & Jacqui|
It is devastating that someone who was so loved, had so much talent and was such a beautiful person (inside and out) was in despair, and felt that taking her life was the best way out of it. I feel so incredibly sad for Wink's family, her boyfriend and all her friends. My thoughts go out to all of them, and I hope that the massive show of love for her - from all parts of the world - brings a little comfort. She may be gone, but her legacy - in her work and in the many lives that she touched - lives on.
Rest in peace my friend, I hope you found the light you sought.
Postscript: If you would like to honour Wink's memory, her family have set up a memorial page and there are various 'events' happening on social media - search for #mandalasforwink #mandalasformarinke and #wearingflowersinmyhairforwink.