The Life of Jennifer Dawn: April 2012

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pinwheel Flower Tutorial

I'm "Making the World Cuter" today with an updated tutorial for my pinwheel flowers.  I'd love for you to stop by and visit me.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Guest: Jodi from Meaningful Mama

I have such a special treat for you today.  Jodi from Meaningful Mama is here with us sharing some wonderful words of wisdom on the topic of motherhood.  More specifically she is sharing with us her insights on being more purposeful and meaningful in our role as mothers, as well as, a creative idea to try with the kiddos.
Here's Jodi...

Becoming a mother is hard.  I learned that in the labor process, and I’ve been learning it ever since.  This blog has been, for me, a desire to be more intentional in my parenting.  I think I’ve spent the last four years of parenting living in the “I should” moments.  I should really take my kids to the park when it’s cold outside.  I really should get a reward system in place at our home.  I should get off “Words with Friends” right now and spend some quality time with my kids.  I should really invest in the character development of the kids more.   I was tired of the “I should” and decided to become meaningful.  This isn’t about me being an amazing mom.  It’s about me trying to improve daily in this precious role.  I have tips for you because I have found the observations of other moms and the advice I get from the “professional” moms as invaluable.  As I was left floundering and questioning every decision in parenting, I reached out to others I saw doing it right.  I got answers.  As I implemented them, I saw them work…and quickly.  As I became more intentional, I saw my kids thriving.  I am now working on character qualities weekly -  like joy, love, perseverance, obedience, orderliness, self-control, patience…and the list keeps building.  As I’m working on those in my kids, I’m learning how much I need to work on those in myself.  When focusing on a specific character quality, I’m discovering teachable moments around every turn.  The scripture that backs up these qualities is being instilled in my kids.  I want to use creativity, fun and play to aid in my children’s development as well as create the buy in to our family life.  I want them to enjoy us, and I want to enjoy them.  Is life at our house perfect?  Absolutely not.  Is it improving?  Absolutely yes.  I want to inspire others to be more meaningful in their parenting.  Will I have Martha Stewart moments in the process?  Hopefully, a few.  Mostly, I want things accessible.  Things you can take away and say, “I can do that.  I’m going to do that this week.”  Do everything? No, but I am hoping you’ll take something away from these minutes you spend in my corner of the web that inspire you to turn the “I should…” into “I’m going to…”
This is a sand castle that will dry and last, making it a permanent, air-hardened sculpture. When working with this material, It feels like wet sand, but it sticks together well. It is like working with a rough play doh, moon doh or anther sculpting material.  It has a really fun texture and is a great material to work with - my kids loved the feeling between their fingers.  It dries completely within a week.  I can imagine making some cool centerpieces with it for a beach party. I got the idea from my sister.  She had cut it out of an old magazine and had it in her craft file.  I believe it's from Family Fun magazine.  We made a few different castles together, but this one was my favorite.
 Materials Needed: * 1 cup sand (you can use beach sand, but I bought this at the craft store) * 1/2 cup cornstarch * 1 tsp alum (sold in the spice section of the grocery store) * 3/4 cup water * shells and rocks (optional - I bought mine at the Dollar Store) I doubled the recipe, and I would highly recommend you do too.
Pour the sand, cornstarch and alum into a saucepan. I always like to let my kids do it.  Yes, Kenzie spilled a bit of the cornstarch, but that's easily cleaned up.
Stir together your ingredients with a wooden spoon and then add water.  Stir again until the mixture is smooth and the cornstarch is dissolved.  Cook the clay over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.  It should start to thicken within a few minutes.  Stir more vigorously, making sure to scrape the mixture from the sides and bottom of the pan.
After a few minutes, the clay will have thickened to a dough-like material that can be molded and sculpted to your liking.  Please allow for it to cool to the touch before you begin sculpting.  For best results, use the clay within a day or two of mixing it.  Your kids will love building their own creations.
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Meaningful Mama

Thank you so much for sharing with us, Jodi!
 Be sure to visit this talented lady at her own fabulous blog by clicking here.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Onesie Dress

I just finished sewing a lovely onesie dress made from the Bloom Sweet Leaves fabric which is part of the Bella Butterfly Collection by Patty Sloniger for Michael Miller.  I purchased this gorgeous fabric from Raspberry Creek Fabrics.  

The lovely pink pinwheel flower was repurposed from a knit shirt.  You can find the tutorial for the flower by clicking here (old version) or here (updated version).  You'll also find a tutorial for the dress itself by clicking here.

This dress was made especially for Havanna, my best friend's baby girl.
Here you go, sweet girl!  It's the dress your momma requested just for you!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sponsor Spotlight: Three Fabulous Etsy Shops

Disclaimer: I received compensation and/or free product in exchange for sharing an honest review of these shops.
I love Etsy!  It's the one stop shopping site for all things vintage, crafty, and handmade.  Etsy is filled with fabulous shops including the three I am about to share with you...

(Click on the picture above to visit this shop.)
Need fabric for your next crafty endeavor?  This is the place to go for fresh, fun designer fabrics.  I love the selection and great customer service.
Here is one thing that I have already made with fabric from this shop...
It's a lacy skirt made from a pink paisley fabric from Patty Sloniger's Bella Butterfly Collection for Michael Miller.
I can't wait to share with you the other crafty projects that I have planned using my fabric from this fantastic Etsy Shop!

My Favorite Product from Raspberry Creek Fabrics:
Blanket Bundles!

(Click on the picture above to visit this shop.) 
As a full-time working momma of two, I have to stay organized.  It is often an absolutely daunting task to keep up with cleaning, paying the bills, menu planning, grocery shopping, etc. in addition to keeping up with the responsibilities of being a mom and teacher.
Did you just nod in complete agreement?  I thought so.  I'm sure my fellow mommas out there know exactly what I am talking about.
This amazing shop offers a simple solution--colorful, user friendly printables that help you organize every part of your life from vacation planning to home maintenance!
 Fellow teachers!  There is even a Teacher's Planning Kit!
Be sure to stop by and visit Clean Mama on Etsy and stay tuned for an awesome giveaway here on the blog.

My Favorite Product from Clean Mama Printables:
Busy Mama Homekeeping Kit
(Click on the picture above to visit this shop.)
I came across this adorable Etsy Shop a couple of months ago when I was on the hunt for bakers twine and was instantly hooked.  They are supplier of cute craft and paper goodies.
Not only are the products wonderful, but the prices are wonderful too.  This shop lends itself as "The Perfect Spot for the DIYer", and with its great selection of tags, note cards, labels, glassine bags and other fabulous products, it truly is!
My Favorite Product from Hobbies from the Heart:
 Bakery Twine 

 Handmade Note Cards
Sorry...I couldn't choose just one favorite.

Be sure to click on over to visit with these lovely ladies!
Happy shopping!