Meet Jenn

That time one of my projects made it into   Craft Fail: When Homemade Goes Horribly Wrong  .

That time one of my projects made it into Craft Fail: When Homemade Goes Horribly Wrong.

Hi, I’m Jenn Alvin! My superhero name is Prototype.

When you want to create something and don’t know where to start, I’m the person you come to.

Not kidding about winding yarn with a hand mixer.

I'm the person who unravels thrift store sweaters and re-spins the yarn with a hand mixer because one of a kind skeins don't make themselves. It is better to plunge ahead than plan for weeks. Learning by doing is a powerful tool. Craft fail forward!

Visual storytelling is also a passion of mine. Taking project photos and videos is another form of craft to me — how I came up with and executed the project is just another part of the story. Gotta make use of that Broadcast and Electronic Media Studies degree, right?

When something cool catches my eye, my brain goes into reverse-engineering mode. Like that time I fell in love with a sweater worn by a Top Gear audience member.


Green With Envy shrug

Inspired by a Top Gear audience member

Shrug pattern available at

I prefer to use recycled materials for my projects. I’ve been a Creative Reuse volunteer at SCRAP Portland since 2009, inspiring creative reuse and providing education in our community. I hosted a Mod That Shirt panel discussion at Rose City Comic Con, and I’ve competed twice in Portland’s Rebel Craft Rumble.

I’m Kind of a Big Dill t-shirt modification

If I make a quilt for your newborn, it means I really love you. Each quilt is custom designed, often drawing inspiration from the baby’s parents. One of my favorite projects involved embroidering the starship from a friend’s creator-owned universe on his baby girl’s quilt.

Crafting doesn’t stay in one room. I’ve also branched out into baking, winemaking, cheesemaking, and sausage making. Playing with new recipes is a grand form of adventure.

I’m becoming an expert at world travel with luggage that fits under the seat in front of me. I always want to learn more about how people craft. Is there something they make that no one else in the world makes? Where’s the neighborhood yarn shop? When I travel, I love to explore marketplaces and learn new things. I usually avoid the places in the brochures, instead choosing where the locals live, shop, and dine.

Making a thrift store artificial tree extra sparkly

I live in Portland, Oregon with my geeky writer husband Aaron. We like to help each other out -- I’ve lettered a few of his comic-book titles, and he helped me bedazzle a thrift store Christmas tree when I didn’t want to drop several hundred dollars on an off-the-shelf aluminum tree. It’s amazing what 2 cans of silver spray paint and a quarter pound of purple glitter can do for a $10 thrift store artificial tree. Our craftiness and homesteading projects have gotten our home listed on the “Place You Want to Hide Out When the Zombie Apocalypse Hits” for three years running.

My Mission

Encouraging people to reach their full crafty potential makes me incredibly happy.  The “Hey, I made a thing!” feeling is addictive, and I want to share this passion with you. I love new projects, and I can’t wait to help you with yours.