Meet the woman spreading cheer with cute little characters
JEN Rendalls has been teaching herself to wield a crochet hook for less than six months but is already whipping up unique creations, and just in time for Christmas.
While she always had a penchant for art and craft, previous attempts to take up sewing and other creative outlets never really stuck.
But when Mrs Rendalls started watching online tutorials to learn crochet, she started developing skills she wants to keep building on. "It gives me a place to allow me not to think about anything else, my brain focuses on that and nothing else,” she said.
The satisfaction of learning a new skill isn't the only benefit for Mrs Rendalls, who has also noticed a positive difference in her demeanour.
"I've dealt a bit with anxiety and depression, I know that takes my mind off all that and I've been calm,” she said.
"I've got more patience, I think.”
Mrs Rendalls started making blankets and then dolls for her daughter.
But now Christmas has her making a different kind of creation that's much smaller but no less clever.
The mother of two is making Christmas characters that are just 7cm tall, so small they fit comfortably in the palm of your hand.
She has made Santas and Christmas trees, elves and snowmen.
It all started when she found a pattern for a cute little reindeer.
It usually takes a couple of days to make each little character, as Mrs Rendalls works part-time at Harvey Norman and does most of her crafting at night.
"At first, some of the stitches were a bit trickier to learn but I pushed through, trying and trying, and got there eventually,” Mrs Rendalls said.
"I just wanted to actually complete something, my husband just kept telling me 'just keep trying'.
"Now I'm up to make pretty much anything.”
She's not the only one who gets joy out of the creations.
After starting a Facebook page called BB Stitch It and an Etsy store by the same name, she is starting to build interest.
"I've had a few sales already on them, I'm getting a bit of interest up on Facebook,” Mrs Rendalls said. "At the moment it's just Warwick and I've got one lady in Arizona who's hoping to buy something.”
As Christmas is her favourite holiday, her new little toys will give her family and others something a little different to help spread festive cheer.
"Growing up we always had a big family celebration (for Christmas) and it's always stuck with me,” she said.
With a vision of running a market stall one day and even taking part in Jumpers and Jazz in July, Mrs Rendalls is eager to continue fostering her creative streak.
For now, she will continue to use her lounge room as a workshop space where she can experiment with creations to help spread joy to her family and further afield.