Archive | November, 2010

glass drops

It seems the little glass drops I used to make the glass drop ornaments in the Christmas {tutorial} collection are a little hard to come by.

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I popped in to my local craft store yesterday to look for them and after wandering the entire store, I found them!

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I bought several packs and would be happy to send some to you.

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12 glass drops for $2.00 + shipping.

Please send me a note and I’ll get them to you right away!

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If you would like to purchase the Christmas {tutorial} collection, click  {H E R E}  for details.

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paint

paint colors

Paint is good. It is inexpensive, easy to apply and can transform any room in a matter of hours. We like to paint and find ourselves repainting rooms often. I thought I’d share some of the colors we currently have in our home. They are neutrals {no surprise there} and they go with everything, but be sure to try out a sample in your home to see how the color looks in different light.

T H E   E N T I R E   H O U S E

Our home was painted from top to bottom in a great neutral wheat/gray/beige by Rodda {HFH09 – relaxed khaki}. This is the color that is in our entry, the base coat of my office and the stripes in the boys’ room. However, I can’t find a sample online and I believe Rodda is only found in the Pacific Northwest, so here are some comparable ones I found by holding up my Benjamin Moore {BM} fan deck to my walls.

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BM hazy skies {OC-48}

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BM grant beige {HC-83}

T H E   D I N I N G   R O O M

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BM berkshire beige {AC-2}

T H E    K I T C H E N

This is the color on the top of the walls.

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BM texas leather {AC-3}

T H E   L I V I N G    R O O M

Our walls have been this gray-blue for the past few years

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farrow & ball light blue

but we’ve just repainted the room with this new color

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restoration hardware slate

T H E   N U R S E R Y

This is a soft blue-gray that doesn’t really look like this swatch on the walls. Sorry about that. It is a bit lighter and softer in real life.

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Behr rhino {710E-3}

It is pretty similar to the ever-popular Silver Sage from Restoration Hardware

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restoration hardware silver sage

The bed & shelves in the nursery are painted this sludgy gray-blue-green {also not very well-represented by this image}

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Sherwin Williams rushing river {SW2093}

Need a few more suggestions? Here are a couple of pretty ones:

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BM revere pewter {HC-172}

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farrow & ball mouse’s back

** NOTE: while you can never get the color to match perfectly, we typically have the paint swatches color matched at our local hardware store. It is not the fanciest paint, but seems to do the trick **

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thanksgiving 2 0 1 0

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When my no.1 was about 2 1/2 and before we had a dvd player in our car, we listened to a lot of Psalty the Singing Songbook.

For the record, I love Psalty. I grew up listening to the tapes and love that I can still sing every word all these years later.  The stories makes me smile and totally speak to me in very child-like terms.

Anyway, we had one tape where the children sing a song called “Be Thankful”.  It is a chipper song about, you guessed it, being thankful.

One day, after listening to some Psalty,  I asked #1 what he wanted to be when he grew up. Without hesitation, he answered in his sweet two-year-old voice, “Thankful, mommy. I be thankful.” 

Isn’t that really the most important thing to be? Such wisdom straight from the mouth of a babe.

So on this Thanksgiving Day, I wish you a day filled with family, friends, good food, and most importantly, a thankful heart.

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are you a post-thanksgiving day shopper?

A big day is coming up for all of you die-hard-deal-finders.

I went shopping once on Black Friday {what’s with that term? not a big fan : it sounds so gloomy}. It was chaotic, lines were V E R Y long and because we weren’t looking for anything specific, I don’t remember finding unbelievable deals. What I do remember are a lot of people with a lot of stuff in their carts. It seems it is a good day for retailers.

This year, I’m joining the growing number of people who will be going the handmade route. Of course it is easier to just pop into Target and grab a few gifts {which I’m sure I’ll do a bit of especially since there isn’t a handmade gift in the world that could out-excite a 6 year old when he receives the star wars lego set he’s been dreaming about}, but I love the idea of making my own gifts and also of supporting small businesses who create unique products.

I’m hoping to put together some great gift-giving ideas {both handmade and purchased} over the next few weeks, but I have to start today so that I can share with you a great gift idea with a special bonus.

One of my blog sponsors, Starfish is being very generous and offering a free Taylor necklace to all orders made on Black Friday {from 12am on 11/26 to 12am on 11/27}.

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Here is how it works: you can purchase any item from the shop {there are some very cute and very affordable choices!} and a sweet Taylor necklace {with the initial of your choice} will be included.  If you want a few free necklaces, you can make as many separate purchases as you wish and will receive a necklace with each one.   Just include the initial you want in the note to seller when you purchase and you’ll be set.

Now that is a good Black Friday sale!

{if you are interested in sponsoring  j o n e s   d e s i g n   c o m p a n y , please click here}

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snow

let it snow

We don’t get a lot of snow in the Seattle area. So when it comes, we get a little giddy.

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An inch or two means school is cancelled, errands are postponed and snowmen are built.

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We’re in for a very fun day.

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coffee filter foof {tutorial}

A few days ago the Nester posted about her fabulous coffee filter wreath.

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Miss Nester posted links to other impressive creations like this one made with natural coffee filters

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and this pretty one

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but I was in awe of this amazing light fixture

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She used a paper lantern ball and lots and lots of coffee filters. Very impressive.

All of this gave me an idea for an ornament {or a hanging foof in my case – sorry, I couldn’t come up with a better name for it}. Now I’m sure there are great tutorials out there for how to make a project with coffee filters, but I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon and share {just in case you haven’t seen how to do it}.

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Here’s what you need:

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:: styrofoam ball

:: coffee filters

:: scissors

:: hot glue gun & glue

STEP ONE:  cover the styrofoam ball

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Simply flatten a filter and glue to adhere.

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The styrofoam melts slightly when you use hot glue, which is why I covered it.

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STEP TWO: create a foof

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fold a filter in half

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Then half again {quarters}

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and again {eighths}

Now snip off the end

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and your piece is ready to adhere to the ball

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STEP THREE: glue foof piece to ball

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Put a glob of glue on the ball, then gently press the foof into place. Continue with another, placing them close to each other.

Once your ball is half covered, you can turn it over and work on the other side. I was worried I would smoosh the coffee filter foofs, but they were just fine.

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Keep going and going and going

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you will probably be very excited when you come to this point:

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STEP FOUR: trim

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Your foof will be a bit uneven, so just go around and trim

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STEP FIVE: create a hanger

Here is what you need:

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:: ribbon

:: straight pin

:: scissors

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Cut a piece of ribbon to the length you want, fold over the ends and poke pin through

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Then press into the ball and you are done!

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Such beautiful ruffly goodness.

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I started with a 6” styrofoam ball and ended up with a 12” foof. I used about 100 filters.

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I’m guessing you can use the same technique to create a wreath or to cover a styrofoam cone to make an unexpected Christmas decoration as the Nester did

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My next project to copy is this amazing garland by Pam Garrison

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So pretty.

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my favorite things

Well who knew my confession of weakness would be so beautifully received?!! Thank you for your kind comments on yesterday’s post. Sometimes it just feels good to be vulnerable and trust that the Lord will use it to speak to someone going through something similar. It seems as though my feelings of not measuring up are felt by many women.  What an ugly struggle so many of us face!  As the amazing Beth Moore puts it, “comparing yourself to others will destroy your ability to do what you have been called to do”. I feel so encouraged knowing that I’m not alone in this, but also that we have more grace than we could ever need, freely offered to whomever will accept it.  I think I’ll take a big armful and rest in the fact that all I need to be is me.

……

Want to see the best possible thing you could wear?

A sweet baby boy. Worn beautifully by his mama {my bf}.

::

Melissa at 320 Sycamore is doing a week of favorite things and she asked me to come up with a list of my favorites to share with her readers. My guest post was on Monday, but in case you missed it, I’ll put it on here.

favorite things

Seven For All Mankind Jeans

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I pretty much wear a pair everyday.

Now I fully recognize that these are expensive jeans. Its my guilty pleasure for sure. But here’s the thing: I wear the same pair over and over and over for three years before they crumble into a pile of threads. I figure I get my money’s worth from the amount of wear I get out of them.

And one more tip: I have purchased several pairs on ebay for a fraction of the price. Before you bid, find a style and size that you like in a retail store, then search on ebay. You can find new ones for much less than retail or if you aren’t creeped out by wearing used jeans, buy a pre-worn pair. That is what I do and I have paid as little as $15!

. . . . .

eggnog lattes

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Mmmm, it’s like Christmas in a cup.

More of a Thanksgiving-in- a-cup kind of girl? Try a cheg : that’s Starbucks lingo for eggnog-chai latte. De-lish.

. . . . .

Apple crisp

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{especially this recipe by the amazing Ina Garten}

. . . . .

L’Oreal Voluminous mascara

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My most essential makeup item

. . . . .

Gap Heaven perfume

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I’m slightly embarrassed to say that I’ve been wearing this scent since middle school. I’m one of those ‘sensitive to smells’ types and this perfume is just about the only one that I can handle. It is light and fresh and c.h.e.a.p.

. . . . .

children’s books

{particularly ones with great illustrations}

a few of our very favorites

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. . . . .

paper & ribbon

paperrolls

old silver things

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Most of the old stuff I have came from Nonna – the queen of thrift store shopping. She pops in frequently to her neighborhood Goodwill and always finds a treasure or two {and then shares them with me!}. I think that is the trick with thrift store shopping – you have to go in regularly.

and {of course} my family

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A new family photo taken a few weeks ago. We almost got everyone to smile at the same time {what a feat!}

If you want to play along and share your favorite things, Melissa is hosting a link party that will be open until Monday.

…….

Enjoy your weekend!

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fraud

I have a small handful of clients for whom I design fancy holiday cards each year. They know I’m a mom, but I try to be as professional as possible when working with them – dressing up for meetings, taking phone calls  away from the children, responding to emails promptly – so that they know me more for being a stationery-designer than a stay-home-mom. 

Last year, at about this time, I was in christmas card production mode. It is quite often a stressful time for me as I do the bulk of my business during the month of November and I’m not so good at balancing work and home – especially when I work at home. I had made just about every mistake possible when ordering my supplies and remember one night getting the the point when I just wanted to give up.

I felt like such a fraud.

Who did I think I was creating cards for these people? If they only knew I was just a frazzled mommy working late at night, sitting on a milk-stained couch watching ‘While You Were Sleeping’ putting their elaborate cards together. If only they knew how tiny my office was. How amateur my graphic design skills were. How little I knew about running a business.

I cried. I prayed. I probably got in bed and sulked for a while before I fell asleep, woke up in the morning and pulled myself together.

I’m feeling a little bit like that right now.

It probably has something to do with the fact that it is mid-November and I’m in that same busy time of year producing cards.

This year, though, I have a blog. 

I love writing posts and creating projects, coming up with giveaways and sharing our home and family on here. A creativity has been awakened in me like never before and I feel like I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

But sometimes I feel like a fraud.

I’m afraid I present myself as this put-together, always cheerful, well-dressed, organized, ambitious, fabulous wife and super-mom. And on top of it all, a professional business owner. I’d like to think I’m these things. I’d really like you to think I’m these things.

But truth be told, I’m not quite there.

And maybe that’s just what I need to admit.

I work so hard to please, to appear professional, to have perfect graphics, a seamless shop, new and fresh ideas, quality products, interesting things to say or original projects to share.

But I think I lose a little bit of myself in that process.

I am just a regular girl.

A wife who loves her husband, but doesn’t always show it.

A mom who adores her babies, but runs out of patience.

A friend who cherishes her girls, but forgets to return calls.

A person so energized by being creative, but not without dry spells.

I am a homemaker who would rather rearrange furniture than dust it, repaint a bathroom than clean it, eat out than sit down and plan meals.

I’m just a regular girl with the privilege of designing cards for a living and encouraging and inspiring others on this blog. It is a blessing and brings me such pleasure but I think sometimes my expectations for myself can get a little out of control.  I’m working on that.

I thank you, sweet reader-friends, for allowing me to just be me – however mightily-imperfect this girl truly is.

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holidays are here

holiday cards

Our cards are now available for purchase!

card ornament

{click the image to go shopping}

Don’t have a photo yet? I’m working on a post to share some of my very amateur photography tips for capturing a perfect image your darling family for your holiday card.  We are taking orders until December 10th so there is still plenty of time to rally your troops and get them to say ‘cheese’ {although I highly recommend the word ‘poopy’  –  it worked like a charm on my family of potty-talk-loving-boys}.

Come on over and take a peek!

. . . . . .

On another holiday note, I’ve been waiting {as many of you have} for months for what promised to be some amazing holiday inspiration in the form of a new magazine.

My copy arrived today!

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It got a little beat up in the mail {maybe the mailman missed the ‘special delivery’ note?} but I’ll probably tear out most of the pages anyway to keep in my inspiration basket.

Several months ago the people at Holiday with Matthew Mead were hosting a contest to find a home for a holiday photo shoot.

Well of course I entered ours. Not so much because I think it is magazine worthy, but because I though it would be such an incredible experience to watch a crew of stylists, decorators, and photographers transform our home into a magazine-worthy one.

We didn’t win. But the one that did is an awfully charming home with equally charming owners.

I’m pretty sure you can’t buy the magazine in stores, but there may be a few more if you order online at Holiday with Matthew Mead.  I can’t wait to devour mine {even more so than the cover already is!}.

***UPDATE***

I sure hope I didn’t sound to whiny about my magazine being torn. It really doesn’t impact my enjoyment of it and I don’t mean to complain about such silly things. I did a little reading on Matthew Mead’s blog and apparently this was an issue for many – the postal service and the magazine’s paper and weight didn’t play together well. They are happy to send out new copies if yours was damaged – just send them a note. Mr. Mead is a gracious guy and I’m sure this was a bummer for him to see his hard work arrive damaged into our homes. Anyway, sorry for complaining … you really should get one if you haven’t already.

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a collaboration

My friend Rae & I have a lot of things in common.

girls

We also have a passion for all things creative.

There is nothing more inspiring to me than hanging out with my stylish friend, seeing what she is working on, looking through her finished orders, talking about new ideas and collaborating on projects {remember the ruffle wreath?}

We each have small businesses creating stationery {among other things} and have decided to merge our creativity to create a new line of holiday cards.

We figure two heads are better than one.

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That was cheesy. Really, we just didn’t want to put makeup on to be photographed.

But seriously, we are very excited about our new collaboration.

holiday cards

holiday collage

Each card is 5 x 7 and professionally printed on heavy-weight white cardstock and customized with your photo & name{s}

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{just a couple of our many designs}

We also have some pretty darling {and ingenious} envelope labels to coordinate with each design

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{front}

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{back}

The holiday collection will be available beginning tomorrow morning.

If you’d like to send your loved ones a fun, creative & unique holiday card this year {and support two mamas in the process} we’d love to work with you!

We think you’ll be pleased with the collaboration.

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w.i.w. and tying a scarf

Not the best week of outfits. Sorry about that.

But I did put together a how-to of sorts showing how I wear a scarf. We’ll begin with that because the photos are fun.

. S C A R V E S .

I like them and wear them often. I prefer ones that are large and soft

like this one from target {$12.99}

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or this one from nordstrom BP {$18}

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and if you are the luxurious type, this cashmere scarf is pretty {$98}

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but I still have babies with sticky fingers, so my life + cashmere don’t mix well.  I like my gray scarf {the nordstrom $18 option} so I’ve used it as my example.

EXAMPLE ONE: loop

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EXAMPLE TWO: weave

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. . . . . .

And for the ensembles of the week:

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1. coat: Banana Republic, shirt: banana, scarf: from my grandma, jeans: Seven A Pocket {for the record, I think I look dorky with my shirt tucked in like that}

2. It’s a cozy day! sweatshirt: old navy, sweats: nordstrom bp – long ago

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3. sweater: Old Navy, belt: Target, jeans: Seven A Pocket {look mom, Audrey has on her new sweater}

4. shirt: Martin + Osa, jeans: banana wide leg, scarf: nordstrom

Not totally inspiring : I’ll work on that next week.

. . . . . .

Now go enjoy your weekend and maybe tie on a scarf!

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december giveaway

oooh, this is a fun one.

Fun because I really like putting these groupings together – finding things that relate somehow and then styling & photographing the collection.

And fun because this month, a new friend has generously added something fabulous to the giveaway.

So here it is:

collage

How about a little black, white, silver & some geometric patterns? Sort of a modern take on Christmas and I’m loving it!

dec collage

1. The most chic earrings by Jess LC Jewelry {more on that in a minute}

2. jingle bell wreath   3. polka dot tissue flowers in glass bottle   4. silver photo holder

5. spool of my favorite ribbon {50 yards}   6. gift tags from the tag collection {coming soon}

See? Fun stuff to give as gifts and to wrap those gifts this holiday season!

. . . . . .

So, aren’t these chevron earrings fabulous?!!

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Jessica from Jess LC Jewelry was gracious enough to send a pair for me to add to the giveaway.

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{love her business cards}

Her jewelry is amazing : clean, modern, graphic, yet timeless.

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If you’d like to take a look at her shop, click here.

and if you’d like to be entered into the giveaway, please click the image below

give small

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thing I like: pretty handwriting

How fun would it be to receive one of these amazing envelopes?

Oh_So_Beautiful_Paper_Blog calligraphy jazyrain

ohsobeautifulpaper

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I don’t think I would want to rip open the envelope!

These are from calligrapher Patricia Mumau of Primele

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She also sells these custom address stamps which are great too.

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Speaking of handwriting, my best friend in high school and I had identical handwriting. Funny thing was that we also shared the same last name {she was Brittany Jones, I was Emily Jones}. We were cheerleaders together, took most of the same classes, remained boyfriend-less despite our boy-craziness and our favorite thing to do on a friday night was go to the pottery painting shop and paint {some considered us a dorky pair, but we were mostly oblivious and enjoyed our innocent existence}.

anyway :

Brittany and I always talked about turning our writing into a font and a year or so ago, she finally did it {hers always was a little cuter anyway}. She sent me the links and I’ve used them from time to time when I want something to look like I handwrote it {oh the benefits of having such similar writing!}.

Here are her fonts:

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{Cute yes? Click on the font to download it for free from www.kevinandamanda.com}

The other day I was shoe shopping for my baby girl when what did I spy but Brittany’s writing!

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I’ve seen it here and there, but it was fun to see it on a shop’s website {Gracious May has some pretty darling baby shoes if you’re in the market}

one more thing : I just came across this blog and she does some darling calligraphy too.

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Love the vintage stamps on those envelopes. Makes me want to send some handwritten notes.

. . . . .

Totally random progression of thoughts, but hope you enjoy some handwriting inspiration and maybe I’ve introduced you to a new website or two.

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christmas {tutorial} collection

In honor of the upcoming holiday season, I’ve created a collection of projects I’ll call the

christmas {tutorial} collection

We {nonna & I} have had such fun creating these projects, decorating the trees and getting into holiday mode {even if our tree is up a month earlier than normal!}.

The entire collection is in download form with instructions for wreaths, garlands and ornaments perfect for decorating your home, your tree or giving as gifts.  Also included in your download are images and inspiration for three uniquely decorated trees that will encourage you to think creatively when decorating your home this holiday season.  The projects use inexpensive materials {things found at the thrift or craft store} are simple to create and are great ideas for crafting with a group of friends or alone while watching your favorite Christmas movie.

When you purchase the Christmas {tutorial} Collection, you will be directed to a private page containing all of the tutorials. Each is a download-able pdf with many pictures, detailed instructions and printable templates {when necessary}.

CLICK THE BUTTON BELOW TO PURCHASE THE COLLECTION {only $7}.

[wpsc_products product_id=’1′]

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I need a cause

***UPDATE***

Thank you all for such amazing suggestions. It is both terribly heartbreaking to read about each charity and see so much hurt and need in the world, and also incredibly encouraging to know that people are truly loving people by creating, participating in, volunteering and donating to each of these worthwhile causes. I have been exposed to so many new organizations and I encourage you to look through the comments to learn about many charities that are making a difference in the lives of those who need it.

****

This Christmas, my extended family decided that instead of exchanging gifts, we’ll be making a donation to a charity of each person’s choice.

Receiving gifts is fun, but we all realize that we have so much more than we truly need and we’re looking forward to blessing others this holiday season.

But I have a problem.

I don’t have a charity.

My older sister’s charity is The Ben Towne Foundation in honor of her good friend’s nephew who passed away after courageously battling cancer at the age of three.

My little sister’s charity is Children of the Nations, an organization one of her good friends works for that cares for orphaned children across the globe.

My uncle is suggesting a donation to the local Young Life Club that they support.

My husband says he’s going to give to the NRA, but mostly because it will really irritate my cousin who passionately despises the NRA.

I like the idea of giving to something that will make a difference, something that will change a life, or at least make one a little better. Supporting children or women or people groups that need empowering is a bonus. A Christian organization is great, but not a requirement : after all, I think Jesus mostly just wants us to love and care for His people and there are lots of charities doing it that are not necessarily ‘christian-based’.

I know there are a multitude of really great causes, and I’d love to be exposed to new ones.

So I’d love your suggestions.

Do you have a favorite charity? Please share in the comments below and include a link {if you don’t mind} to the website/blog of the organization.

Thanks for taking the time to help me find a cause!

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