by Cindy Knight of cksilver

Introducing: Jennifer Eekhoff
(aka apronsbyjeek) and a GIVEAWAY!

Please take a moment and visit Jennifer's shop, and give her some love!

Jennifer is hosting a giveaway!
Your choice of a cloth block and burp cloth set - winners choice! To be entered to win, please comment on this blog posting with your favorite item in her shop. The winner will be announced on next Wednesday's Featured Artist post.

I am a wife, mother, sister, daughter but most importantly a child of Christ. My husband, Pete and I have two amazing little boys, Judah who is 3.5 and Israel, better known as Izzy who is turning one in July. We currently live in Sioux Falls, SD but I am originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Up until Izzy was born, I was the Product Development Coordinator for a major uniform company but the thought of juggling work, 2 kids, and the household while Pete traveled for work a few night a week just seemed impossible. So, through alot of prayer and discipline, I am now able to be a stay at home mom.

Honestly, when I was a working mom, I thought that staying at home would be the best things in the world but now I've truly realized how amazingly hard it really is. Being there morning, noon and night has it's rewards as well as it's challenges. After 9 months of struggling just to make it through and survive each day, I turned a corner and realized that finding balance is the key. But the tricky thing is, balance is a conscious thing you have work on - we've all seen the "Survivor" challenges where balance is tested and if a player losses focus for a second, they'll stumble and often fall.

So I've re-focused my vision on Christ and being a light to my kids and my neighbours. I've started to cut myself some slack if the house is spotless or the laundry isn't folded while trying some new things like a vegetable garden and am in the process of starting a mom's group in our church. My new mantra is "Striving to thrive rather than just survive."

How did you get your start on Etsy?
I found etsy through someone I used to work with. I was making aprons just on a special order basis and she suggested that I try out etsy. I sold for about one year but when our family moved for my husband's job, I ended up closed down for nearly 2 years. Once I quit my day job, I was able to re-focus and get started again and I've been really enjoying it since then. I do alot of special order work for friends and family as well as local craft fairs on the fall but Etsy has been a way to get continual exposure and grow my little business.

What does a typical day look like for you?
I typically wake up to my 3 year old calling "Rise and Shine" from his bedroom. It sounds alot cuter in theory than through the baby monitor. We have our morning routines and I attempt to get some prep work done while the boys are playing - that is if we're not at the park, the zoo or running errands.

After lunch we have "quiet time", where Judah plays in his room and Izzy takes his long afternoon nap. This is when I get most of my sewing done. After quiet time is over, it is a race until bedtime. After the boys are in bed, I usually settle down at the sewing machine or more likely in front of the TV where I'll crochet, hand stitch or finish up a quilt. I attempt to steal moments through out the day for myself but it's amazing how ideas will come through the chaos. I have more ideas scribbled on the back of envelopes, scraps of paper and even napkins than I'd like to admit.

If you could be anywhere in the world for one day, where would it be?
NY, NY I love the energy of the city.

What is your favorite Bible verse?
I couldn't narrow it to just one so here are my current top 4
"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." Philippians 1:21
"I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:12-13
"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" Hebrews 13:5-6
"So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow." 1 Cor. 3:7

What is your favorite Etsy item listing to feature?
At the moment, I'm loving the baby boy quilt that I just finished. My boys love snuggling with their blankets and I can just imagine this one becoming some little man's "comfy blanket".

URLs to where else we can find you on the internet:
I have a facebook fan page under "Butterfly Designs"

Comments (20)

On July 7, 2010 at 8:53 AM , Christie Cottage said...

Lovely feature and great quilts!


On July 7, 2010 at 9:24 AM , pfd said...

Jennifer so nice to meet you. I look forward to exploring your shop and enjoyed learning how you have worked to keep balance with the Lord as focus!

CK - great job at featuring Jennifer and I love how you brought it all together so well with the pictures.

On July 7, 2010 at 9:36 AM , Sue Runyon said...

Nice to meet you, Jennifer! Cute aprons too.

On July 7, 2010 at 9:54 AM , The Eekhoff's said...

For everyone looking at my site at wondering where the cloth blocks are, it's a long story but the give away still applies. Just pick a burp cloth set and I'll send the coordinating block. Thanks for the love!

On July 7, 2010 at 10:04 AM , Anonymous said...

So wonderful to meet you Jennifer!
Love your words on finding balance!

I think the burpcloth sets are so cute! I can't decide which I love more, the owls, the starts, all of them!

On July 7, 2010 at 10:35 AM , Carol said...

Love your work, love your pictures!

On July 7, 2010 at 11:27 AM , Roshelle said...

I love your work Jenn! The favorite thing on the site right now is your Madison aprons, but that is just because all the baby stuff makes me want another baby and I need to wait!

On July 7, 2010 at 11:32 AM , Jewels by Trish- Handmade Jewelry- Artisan: Trish said...

Nice to meet you!! That Madison apron is stunning!! Looks more like a dress rather than an apron! Love that! =)

On July 7, 2010 at 12:23 PM , Alesha said...

It was so nice to meet you, Jennifer. I loved what you had to say about being a stay at home mom. It is hard work most days, and our peace really does come when we focus on Christ. You just said all of that really well! :)

I LOVE the chocolate Andi apron!

On July 7, 2010 at 12:42 PM , abbysmom said...

Jenn, Your quilts are BEAUTIFUL!!!

On July 7, 2010 at 1:27 PM , Heidi said...

Love the Andi apron in chocolate floral!

On July 7, 2010 at 4:14 PM , Our Family said...

Nice to meet you!!! Lovely shop!I especially like your quilts and aprons!

Also, yeehaw!!! Just saw that I won the drawing...a first for me!!


On July 7, 2010 at 4:27 PM , Miriam said...

Beautiful work, Jen...keep it up.

On July 7, 2010 at 6:53 PM , Vanessa said...

Such beautiful work Jennifer! I love the rag quilt its awesome. Many blessings to your business ~Vanessa :)

On July 7, 2010 at 9:12 PM , Taylor said...

nice shop!!!!! nice range of items

On July 7, 2010 at 11:16 PM , KippysSoMature said...

Jennifer - nice to meet you ! I am one of the many Jennifers too -
your work is just beautiful - very very lovely :D Welcome!!!

On July 8, 2010 at 1:32 PM , Anonymous said...

Beautiful shop! Nice to get to know you jennifer!
Christie (luvncrafts.etsy)

On July 9, 2010 at 2:24 PM , shazam said...

Love my blanket by Jenn! Quality workmanship done with love - thanks!

On July 9, 2010 at 2:32 PM , Brian & Jennifer said...

Jenn, your stuff is so gorgeous! You know how much I love it! :) Brian wore your apron the other day!!

On July 9, 2010 at 10:11 PM , Emily Cavazos said...

Hi Jen! I love your aprons, especially that red Madison apron:-)