Jeanne McKenney

I've been a crafter all my life. My family grew up poor (Santa was always on a "budget" we were told, and could only give us 1 or 2 things, and one of them had to be that pair of socks I needed...) and my mother showed me how to make things from whatever we could find around the house or outside on the ground or from shop-keeper's back-alleys. She taught me how to sew, and how to find do-it-yourself books at the library.

My mother died of breast cancer when I was 9, and I was left with a sexually abusive, alcoholic father who sometimes got arrested or just plain forgot to come home. I cooked, cleaned, and bought groceries (doing small jobs for other grown-ups in the neighborhood, or at school) while getting straight A's in all my coursework. Crafting helped keep me (relatively) sane: if I saw something I couldn't afford, I'd make it; if I needed something that didn't exist, I'd design it; and knowing I could do those things raised my spirits.

I've been a writer (magazines, manuals, advertising, grants, fiction), editor, voice-actor, chef, cleaner, book-store manager, CSR, CCC-member (wielding chainsaws), IT worker, teacher, office manager, designer, bus-driver, clerk, assistant, and a library director. I suffer from PTSD, anxiety, depression, debilitating shyness, horrible sciatica pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and an extreme intolerance for bigotry & ignorance. And all throughout, I've made quilts, and hats, and skirts, and shirts, and back-packs, and keepsakes, and cards, and necklaces, and holiday decorations, and costumes, and artwork, and gifts. Crafting has given me a way to get through life, and a reason to keep going, and it put a smile on my face.

Recently, I met the love of my life, and am trying to make a living writing and making art. You can find me here:
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craft interests: crochet, embroidery, jewelry making, knitting, paper crafts, quilting, sewing, found objects

Member Since: 08/16/2011

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Plushie Back-Pack

Back-packs and purses can be very expensive, especially if you want a super cute one made from your favorite cartoon character or muppet.  But I've made them from items I (or my friends) had...

recent comments

Re: Fabric ring pink white green bright happy funky adjustable size

adorable!!!! :)

Re: Medieval Fantasy Dress

aren't you the most fantastic friend ever - what an absolutely perfect dress. :)

Re: Handmade BIG Pink Orange Flowers Handbag Purse

that fabric is to die for - it must have looked awesome as a skirt! :)

Re: Tattoo Jewelry, Skull Jewelry, Skull and Crossbones Bracelet, Winter Fashion, Skeleton Jewelry, in Midnight Black, Silk Ribbon Wrap Bracelet

this is a gorgeous design - especially for men and those of us women who have really big wrists (like me!) - it looks both comfortable and durable, while still being eye-catching - and it also looks like it would be very simple to custom-make the size. Thank you for posting this (and for having the sort of brain to come up with such a brilliant design!) - can't wait to see what you come up with next. :)

Re: Reversible Sun Hat

what great looking fabric! :)

Re: How to Make a One-Pattern-Piece Reversible Sunhat

what a gorgeous hat design!!! Thank you for posting this. :)

Re: Do You Need a Little Extra Creative Support?

How beautiful - in more ways than one. :)

Re: Knit Witty: Funky English hotel features a room with hand-knit decor

Oooooooh! I soooo want to touch that phone! :D

Re: How to Embellish Flip-Flops with Crochet

Excellent! I've got some really nice new cotton yarn in beautiful colors that wasn't right for any other project - and I just happen to have an extra pair of flip flops that need perking up! :)

Re: How to Make a Cable-Knit Scarf in a Weekend

Nice! I have lost my big knitter's guide and was hoping to find a good cable pattern for a new scarf. This is just the thing. :)

Re: Knitters Respond to Help Penguins Affected By Oil Spill

wow. I wouldn't have thought that would work - hope the poor creatures are ok now. Nice to know knitting actually can help save the world. :)

Re: Transform Your T-Shirt into a Tunic

What a lovely design! It may be a while before I can find a T that is **THAT** big on me, but when I do, I'll give it a go. :)


you know, pants or trousers are very hard to make and even harder to fit properly - so this is an excellent way to get a perfect pattern. and they look beautiful. :)


how very thrifty and crafty of you! thank you so much for the idea - I could definitely use one of these. :)

Re: How to Make Your Own Valentine

awww, so cute! excellent tutorial - thanks for summing up the felting process so succinctly too. :)

Re: Heartfelt Valentines: Fortune Cookies and Rings!

what an adorable idea! very creative & fun - and nicely written tutorial. thank you. :)

Re: Fabric covered hair bands

how pretty! I especially like the blue flower hair clip. :)

Re: How to Make Woven Ribbon Jewelry

great tutorial! I really appreciate all the suggestions at the end as well. :)

Re: How to Make Dorset Buttons

how festive! and the shape could become a number things to go with any style (snow-flake, umbrella, bicycle wheel, turtle shell, polka dot, eye ball, monogrammed button...) - what a great, easy way to customize your buttons. thank you! :)

Re: How to Recycle Yarn from a Thrift-Store Sweater

Thank you!!! I'm living where natural fiber yarns are impossible to find, and where shipping costs are gastly. This is a great alternative, and your tutorial makes it easy to see how to undo the seams (something I've never tried). :)

Re: How to Make Mollie Flowers

how lovely! now I can add all my favorite colors to my black cardi!

Re: Make Your Own Bag Handles

fantastic idea! and a great place for all my tiny objects that I don't have a space to display (seashells, gems, beads, etc.) now I'm all excited. :)

Re: Handmade recycled paper (part 4)

Lucy B! Did I find you? I haven't heard from you in ages. What is happening with the Diary Project? Could you email me at (I cannot seem to figure out how to contact you by note on this website.) i would love to help in any way that I can. :)