How does Jeanetta do it all? She sews, she paints, she crochets, felts, creates with paper. She blogs. She has a brick-and-mortar shop. And her Etsy shop, splendid designs, incorporates all of her accomplishments. There you can find brooches, funky aprons, crocheted cupcakes, birthday badges—all kinds of pretties, including my favorite: tiny crocheted nests with felted eggs.
Where did the nest idea come from?
Jeanetta says, “I became familiar with the process of amigurumi, a spiraling crochet method, by making the cupcakes; and I figured I could create a nest using the same techniques. I think my nests have that realistic look because of the combination of yarns I use. Bits of things that stick out just like the way real birds build their own nests. Originally, I crocheted the eggs, but I wasn’t happy with the look. Cyndi of The Twisted Purl introduced me to water felting. I don’t know how to make much more than eggs or a ball shape, but that was enough knowledge to give my nests the completed look I was after.”
Jeanetta’s range of artistic talents appears to be a family trait.
“My mother sewed for my sister and me,” she says, “and my dad was a craftsman of many things—painting, drawing, woodworking. I was standing at a wood lathe at the age of 8 or 9 helping him make spindles for our barstools. So it’s really hard to pinpoint the first craft project I remember making.”
She remembers a favorite childhood project, though.
“I read a book called When the Dolls Awoke,” she says, “that was all about this family of dollhouse dolls that came to life. I guess I was about 10 or so, and I wanted my own family of dolls just like in the book. I constructed the dollhouse out of a cardboard bookcase and made the dolls from paper towels and glue. I even made the arms and legs jointed by sewing them to the bodies. The furniture came from just whatever I found to make things out of, and I made all the plates and food from salt and flour dough.”
Jeanetta has, in turn, passed these gifts to her children.
“I think they all have my eye for drawing and spatial awareness,” she says. “I have taught the older two how to chain. My son made a chain 40 feet long! It keeps them busy when they say they are bored. My daughter is becoming interested in sewing and has done some hand work. The youngest has a very good eye for drawing and painting. They amaze me daily with the skills the are developing.”
So what’s ahead for Jeanetta?
“My biggest challenge these days,” she says, “is trying to stay focused on one craft long enough to get things finished. There are so many things I see and love and want to know how to do. But to be successful, I am realizing I need to zero in on a few—aprons, cupcakes, signs, furniture—and save the others for fun time.”
Jeanetta lives in Conway, Arkansas, and she’s an active member of AREtsy, the Arkansas Etsy street team. You can see her work in person at her Little Rock shop, and you can follow her art adventures on her blog.