Bling Card COURTESY PHOTOby Constance Mann-Leonard

Bling Card COURTESY PHOTO

In the 1970s, Constance Mann-Leonard recalled meeting a woman who was crocheting an afghan. She was “hooked.” Since that time, Leonard has been creating unique clothing, accessories, dolls, and other items, utilizing the craft. Crochet is a process of creating textiles by using a crochet hook to interlock loops of yarn, thread, or strands of other materials. The name is derived from the French term crochet, meaning ‘small hook’.

“I was amazed that you could create something with a hook,” said Mann- Leonard. “That’s how I started crocheting. It’s something I like to do, and for me, it’s peaceful. I love using the gifts God gave me.”

Mann-Leonard considers crocheting a hobby, but sells her unique creations through her company GIRGI (God’s Ideas Are Good Ideas) Ltd.

“I had put the craft aside, but during my period of working at home, I picked it up again,” she said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has given me time to create more. I come up with my own designs, but also get ideas off of YouTube. I also learned how to read a crochet pattern. It looks foreign, but I am also able to create from those patterns. You can sell your own work, but if you got that pattern from someone else, you give that person credit.”

She added, “I have also created animals which include an owl, unicorn, and a giraffe using a technique called Amigurumi.”

Amigurumi is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small, stuffed yarn creatures. Mann-Leonard has created and donated knitted items for hospitalized babies, and children in the Ronald McDonald House. She has also crocheted hats for the homeless.

In addition to crochet, she also creates one-of-a-kind greeting cards utilizing broken jewelry. “I create 3-D Flower Cards and Bling Cards,” said Mann-Leonard. “In 2003, an idea came to me to put flowers on a card. Then God showed me the perfect way to put flowers on a card. I also had a business where a person could give me a list of their family’s birthdays, anniversaries, and other special events for the entire year. During that year, I would mail a 3-D Flower card from that client. People would tell me they would open those cards and never put them back in the envelope. I also create 3-D Christmas Cards. The idea to start designing Bling Cards came after attending a convention.”

Mann-Leonard serves as a Volunteer Facilitator for the Light of Truth Center where she facilitates a Spiritual Principles in Recovery Group. She also prepares and/or coordinates group activities and topics related to life skills development and spiritual principles to support the recovery, transition, and restoration of women served in LTC programs. In September, she became a Certified Proctor for the Light of Truth Center’s newly authorized ISO Quality Testing Center. Founded by her partner the Rev. Vaile Leonard, LTC provides residential therapeutic treatment for women recovering from addictions.

The New York native is a member of One God One Thought Center for Better Living (OGOT). In 2008, Mann-Leonard became a licensed Teacher for Universal Foundation for Better Living (UFBL). In her role as a faculty member for UFBL

Mann-Leonard, who noted that she only crochets in the evening, said most of her business comes from word of mouth. She said her website is under construction, and will be completed in about a month.

She shared her personal life statement, “It is my life purpose to serve and expand my God awareness and to use my creativity and teaching in inspiring and expressing unconditional love.”

For more information or to purchase from Leonard, email her at [email protected]

 

Constance Mann-Leonard

Courtesy Photo Constance Mann-Leonard models one of her crochet hooded sweaters.

Mann-Leonard with some of her crochet merchandise.

Courtesy Photo Mann-Leonard with some of her crochet merchandise.

Keepsake Christmas card

Courtesy Photo Keepsake Christmas card

Crocheted Dragon

Courtesy Photo Crocheted Dragon

Mann-Leonard utilizes broken jewelry to create works of art.

Courtesy Photo Mann-Leonard utilizes broken jewelry to create works of art.