In honor of National Craft Month, we chose our Featured Friday blogger with her crafty goodness in mind. Whether she's making beautiful quilts, revamping lamps or stitching up some sweet fabric apples, Jen is sure to inspire you.
This week's featured blogger is...
Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
I am a 40-year old stay-at-home wife and mom of two beautiful children, ages 8 and 6. My family works hard all day and my goal is to make our home a place where they feel loved and cared for. The fact that they return each day to a clean, organized home with a stocked fridge and cozy touches brings me enormous satisfaction. We live in central New York state, right outside of Syracuse, which combines fun city life and country pleasures. There's a dairy farm down the street, and we can hear the gentle moos of the cows on warm summer nights...but 5 minutes away is the Carrier Dome where the Syracuse Orange perform basketball greatness! We have gorgeous lakes, parks, vistas and sunsets...and the prettiest autumns around, my favorite season!
What originally inspired you to start blogging?
My blog, Jen's Fun Little Things, is relatively new...I just started it in October of 2009. I had begun quilting in the spring of 2008, and soon after that I discovered the "wonderful world" of craft blogs. There are so many talented, smart, and laugh-out-loud FUNNY crafters out there. I could spend hours every day reading blogs!
Since it was so much fun to read about others' crafty ideas and accomplishments, I thought I would put myself out there to share mine too. Bloggers belong to a very unique community; I wanted to "introduce" myself and give back a little to everyone who had shared so much with me. I had gotten to know so many cool ladies...I wanted them to know me too! Another great thing about blogging is that it really motivates me to finish projects. I feel like I have someone to answer to!
As a stay-at-home mom of two, how do you find time to be creative, whether writing, crafting or cooking?
Now that both of my kids are in school all day, I have more time to devote to sewing and blogging. At first, I felt guilty for spending time on my own interests...but I came to realize that sewing really does relax, inspire, and rejuvenate me. And those things can only make me a better mom, wife, and all-around person!
I think as moms, whether stay-at-home or not, we tend to put everyone else first and ourselves last. And I know I've been known to do that. But creating quilts and playing with other fabric goodies feeds my soul, and makes me happier in general.
Have you always been a crafty soul? How did you get your start?
I've always liked to create. Drawing has been a hobby of mine since I was little. In fact my first job after college was as a cartographer. This was back when maps weren't all computerized! I loved drawing and updating maps. Still haven't figured out how to fold them though!
Anyway, sewing always intimidated me but I was very intrigued. My aunt Nancy is a fabulous sewer; she would make my cousins and her own clothing, which was amazing to me. She also made a gorgeous queen-size quilt for my husband and I as a wedding present; now that I quilt myself, I truly appreciate the work she put into it.
Since you've been published in our books, we know you're a great cook too. If you only had 5 ingredients to whip up something yummy, what would it be?
Cooking is so happy for me. At the end of the day, there's such comfort in knowing that I made a yummy, healthy meal for my family. Gooseberry Patch has really helped me here. There have been many times when I could not think of what to make for dinner; leafing through a Gooseberry Patch cookbook, I can always find something that is simple, good, and tried-and-true. I trust the recipes because they're sent in by fellow moms and cooks--we know what kids and husbands will and will not eat! I must say, though, that sometimes I get caught up in the fantastic tips and memories in these cookbooks, and that night's menu gets forgotten!
The five ingredients that are always in my fridge/pantry are chicken breasts, garlic, olives, pasta, and white wine. There's a delicious dinner right there! I especially love to make desserts. My mom was a great cook, but she didn't enjoy baking. My sisters and I discovered our love for creating baked goods at an early age, and our mom happily turned that responsibility over to us. We made pies, cookies, cakes and a killer fudge.
Tell us something that no one would guess about you.
Let's see, something about me that you wouldn't guess....well, I have two sisters, and one of them's my twin! She is also a stay-at-home mom, so we chat a lot about what works and what doesn't. We're fraternal twins, but that didn't stop teachers confusing us when we were in school...sometimes we used that to our advantage! My younger sister is a fabulous musician, and we have IDENTICAL speaking voices. Also fun to confuse people on the phone!
It was so great to "meet" the Jen behind all your fun little things...thanks for inspiring us and keep up the good work!
Click on over to Jen's blog and see what she has in store for you today!