‘Homemade by Jen,’ a September sponsor

5 Sep

Jen and I met at my very first job out of college. Unfortunately, we remained acquaintances throughout our time there, until she eventually moved with her adorable hubby, on to bigger and better things.

The great thing about the Interwebs is reconnecting with folks like Jen, the brains behind the blog Homemade by Jen, where you will find crafty DIYs (how brilliant is this??) and peeks into her life as a smitten wife. You definitely want to get to know this gal.

Why did you start blogging? I started my first blog back in 2007 as a way to hold myself accountable for a personal goal that I set for myself. I committed to doing an act of kindness every day for a year, and the blog really helped me stick to it. After a while, I got pretty comfortable with the idea of blogging, and I was missing the writing that I used to do at my old day job, so I decided to start blogging Homemade by Jen. It ended up being a perfect creative outlet for me, and I’ve loved it ever since.

What sorts of things do you hope that people gain from your blog? More than anything, I hope my blog comes across as a happy place. It’s just a fun little space where readers can find everything from quick and easy crafts to more involved projects and recipes! Really, what I’m trying to convey is, “I tried this and liked it. So, I’m sharing it here because I think you might, too!” 

What are two or three of your favorite all-time posts?

  1. One of my favorite posts is the one about the cutlery tray turned jewelry organizer. I was really pleased with how it turned out, and several readers have e-mailed me to tell me that they’re trying it for themselves and well … that just gives me the warm fuzzies.
  2. Another fave features the hub trying his hand at silhouettes cut out of old records. Not only was I super impressed with the hub’s crafting ability, but also he made us a really sweet keepsake that I just love to display in our home.
  3. And my final pick would have to be the recap of our recent vow renewalIt’s purely for sentimental reasons, as I didn’t really make anything for the ceremony, but that day could not have been more perfect.

I love the work you did for Crafts for Katelyn (which is absolutely where Snap, Crackle, Pop got its inspiration for Joey’s Auction). Tell Snap Crackle Readers about that project. Thank you! That gives me the warm fuzzies, too. I love Joey’s Auction!

The idea for Krafts for Katelyn came about after finding out that one of my dearest friends was diagnosed with leukemia at just 23 years old. When you’re hit with news like that, it’s easy to feel so utterly helpless. You want to do something — anything. But what? At the time, Katelyn was in a part of the hospital that was so strict about germs that she couldn’t even be sent live flowers or a balloon bouquet. So I fashioned her some flowers out of buttons and brought them to her on our next visit.

Jen, at left, with Katelyn

But, that hardly felt like enough. I had this persistent nagging that wouldn’t let me sleep until I came up with something. And in the wee hours of the morning, the idea for an auction to help with Katelyn’s medical expenses hit me. At first, I just thought I’d hold a small-scale auction of items that I had made on my blog. But, as I put more thought into it, I realized that I knew plenty of talented people that might be willing to lend a hand.

So, I got to e-mailing everyone I could think of, and it turned out that people were more than willing to help. So, several listings were posted on the blog everyday. In the end, we exceeded my original goal with about $700 being raised.

I was blown away by the generosity of others, and I wasn’t the only one. Katelyn was, too. But more than the funds raised, Katelyn was so touched by the kindness and love of others during her time of need that no words I could type would adequately convey it. The auction encouraged her, and it reminded us both of how much good there is in this world. 

How did you meet Katelyn? I’d love to hear the story about your friendship. I’ve known Katelyn since we went to grade school together. For as long as I can remember, she was one of my little sister’s best friends and in turn, she became another little sister to me. Since she was old enough to drive, she came to almost every event that my family had — everything from Grandma’s birthday party to holiday gatherings. She even had a specific spot at our kitchen table. She was one of the most loyal friends I’ve ever known. She was my biggest inspiration, and she is missed more than words can say. (Snap, Crackle, Pop says: Katelyn passed away Aug. 20 from leukemia. She’s one of the gals I can honestly say I wish I’d known.)

In your head, what does a Homemade by Jen reader look like? Anyone who likes crafts, cooking and trying new things could easily find themselves on my blog. I don’t really cater to a specific audience. I just do my best to share new projects that I’ve given a go, hiccups and all!

In the past six years, I have lived in: Bonfield, Ill.; Bourbonnais, Ill.; Kalamazoo, Mich.; Manteno, Ill.; Jackson, Mich.; New Orleans, La.

If you do a Google image search for Bonfield, the first four images are maps. This is the fifth.

The way I feel about moving is: I’m sooo ready to not have to do it again for a long, long time, haha.

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