belleeven

Jeanne McKenney
member

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: http://belleeven.deviantart.com/
or here:
http://www.flickr.com/people/54578327@N05/
or here:
http://www.youtube.com/user/belleeven
or here:
http://belleeven.artician.com/

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. :)

Re: CAPRIS

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. :)

Re: THREAD SPOOL TREE

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 belleeven@yahoo.com? (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. :)