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This article first appeared in Papercrafter Magazine, issue 156 (January 2021).

We spotted this article in Papercrafter and couldn’t wait to share it on our blog. Jess’s story is very typical of many Cricut members, where a life event or setback prompts a new hobby. In this article Jess shares how Cricut and crafting helped her to cope with lockdown and we just love the projects she’s been making.

Say hello to Jess Hallas – she is new to the crafting world and is very pleased to meet you!

Crafting in lockdown was the perfect saviour for me. Prior to that, I was juggling full-time work with part-time volunteering for a not-for-profit organisation, so everything was very fast-paced. Then suddenly I was on furlough, and whilst I was still able to do volunteer work from home, I had so much spare time on my hands.

In those first couple of weeks of lockdown I struggled. My other half is in the Emergency Services so he was still going out to work, meaning I had too much alone time. Crafting put some routine back into my life – which I now realise I definitely needed – as well as a sense of purpose. And most importantly I enjoyed it so much, and still do.

I’d had crafts in my mind for a little while. My other half proposed to me in September 2019 and we started venue searching. I soon realised I wanted to design and create our wedding décor. Lockdown finally gave me the time, literally but also mentally, to properly think about what I wanted to do.

I’d had my eye on a Cricut machine for quite some time, so I sold some hair styling equipment (which I never used anyway!) and in exchange I finally bought the Cricut Maker and have not looked back since.

So far I’ve made some wedding crafts but also lots of lovely cards, cake toppers and birthday banners for friends and family.

Pastel colours are my favourite; they’ve stuck with me for the eight months that I’ve been crafting. I’d like to think the cards I make are stylish but also fun, like the dinosaur one (above). I can see my style changing and evolving through my craft journey, but I think that’s the beauty of it! For my friend’s daughter’s birthday party, I made some farm-themed place cards for all the party food, and they are without a doubt my favourite make so far. A lot of love went into crafting them. They were very intricate with lots of layers, but it was an enjoyable couple of evenings spent creating them and it opened up my eyes to the amount of joy I could feel from making things.

I am beyond excited to continue on this crafting journey. I’ve been back at full-time work in a new job, but it hasn’t stopped me crafting; I now make time during evenings and weekends.

I really would love to try out as much as I possibly can. Quite clearly, I love papercrafts and that is what started me on this adventure, so I now want to explore stamping, foiling and embossing, and combine those with die cutting.

During lockdown I also did my first embroidery kit (so relaxing!) and I have a polymer clay kit to try out too. I’m part of the crafting world now – I can’t wait to see where it takes me and I’m definitely never going back.

You can follow Jess on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/craftwithjess/

You can follow Papercrafter magazine on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/papercraftermag/

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