Archive | June, 2011

striped pillow {tutorial}

As promised, here is the tutorial for that cute striped pillow in the july giveaway.


{have you entered to win the july goodies yet? click here for a chance}

striped pillow

A little back story : my in-laws were out of town this past weekend and we were at their house waiting for my brother & sister-in-law to come into town. The kids were busy playing with nonna’s toys, so I took it upon myself to raid nonna’s sewing supplies.  Had she not been snorkeling in the warm Maui waters, I would have called to ask first. Hope you don’t mind grandma nonna and thanks for letting me use your stuff!

Okay, on to the tutorial.

Here’s what you’ll need:


:: two contrasting fabrics

:: pillow insert {I used an 18 x 18}

:: scissors, pins, iron & sewing machine

STEP ONE: cut strips of fabric


Decide how large or small you would like your stripes, then add 1/2 to 1 inch for seam allowance. I cut these strips 3 inches x 20 inches. 


Do you know this trick? If you make a little snip in the fabric {with the weave}, you can tear a straight strip. Makes life easy.

Here are the stack of strips:


STEP TWO: pin one of each fabric right sides together


pin 2

STEP THREE: stitch along one long edge


STEP FOUR: press seams open



Do the same to each set of strips.


STEP FIVE: put two sets of sewn pieces right sides together and stitch along one long edge

right sides together

stitch again

Press seams open again and continue with each piece until you’ll have this:


STEP SIX: add back piece of fabric, pin and stitch around the edges {leaving an opening to insert pillow}



STEP SEVEN: trim excess fabric


STEP EIGHT: turn right-side out, insert pillow and hand stitch closed


The finished pillow:

pillow 2


I want to try one with linen stripes, and a few more with outdoor fabric in thick black & white awning stripe.


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summer in snapshots {week two}

It’s Wednesday : which means a photo collage capturing our week. snapshots two

{I’m linking to The Starfish Blog Summer in Snapshots}

This week was our first full week of summer.  By day two, with the rain pouring down, I thought I was going to cry. Bored kids already?  Fortunately, by day three, the rain stopped {momentarily} and we were back on our game : a big cardboard box for fort-building, lots and lots of painting, a new baby swing for hours of entertainment, daily play dates with neighborhood buddies, over-priced popsicles from the popsicle man and family visits.

I love summertime for its slower pace, sunny days and outdoor activities. But with kids who love summer activities much more than the occasional boring stay-home day, and a momma who works from home, finding the balance is tricky. Never, ever, do I want my kids to feel second to my business and yet I also want them to know that sometimes I have a few things to take care of and my life doesn’t always revolve around their momentary desires.  Teaching them to ‘hold on a second’ is great : but when they hear that over and over and over throughout the day, what does that really say to them? Their mommy is too busy? Their mommy doesn’t care?

The other day I was checking email when No. 3 came into my office wanting me to look for his sword {what else?!}. I used my regular line of ‘hold on a sec’ and in his spunky three-year-old voice he declared, “I hate your computer.” 


Perhaps he just wanted what he wanted right this very second {as he loves to say}, or perhaps there was some real honesty in that statement. Either way, I took it as a warning.

I love working, designing, emailing, creating, blogging : and I love my kids too. I haven’t figured out the balance between running jones design company and being a wife & mommy, but I’m determined {with lots of friends praying me through it!} to make most of the summer with my babes, while also doing what I do here on the blog.

I’m not sure why I’m sharing all of this, other than to say that if you are struggling to balance planning a wedding with working or raising a family while in full-time ministry or getting the laundry folded with a new baby, I get it. I’m right there with you trying to figure it out.  And while I may not be perfect, and I may be totally out of balance some days, I know that what really matters are the people I am called to love. 

So be encouraged today : maybe you need to let some things go, maybe you need to stop for a second and take in the view, maybe you need to close your computer and find a sword.  Whatever it is, just remember to cherish those you love most.

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a winner, a new one & a good deal

Thank you to all of you who entered to win the june giveaway. I enjoyed hearing each of your favorite pink things {the most common answer: sweet little girls who wear pink from head to toe. Second most common: pink peonies/flowers : just in case you were curious}.

The big winner of all the p i n k goodness is:


Congratulations! Please send me your address and I’ll pop your package in the mail. And, while you are at it, would you mind sharing your peppermint pink lemonade recipe? Yum : it sounds refreshing and delicious!

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Next, the unveiling of the new july giveaway.

july-giveawayjuly collage

1. summer wreath {tutorial coming soon} 2. stripe pillow {tutorial coming soon} 3. letter balls 4. flower ring 5. set of 8 notecards + envelopes 6. flower pin {tutorial coming soon 7. set of 4 dot glasses 8. summer art print 9. set of 25 striped paper straws 10. stuffed linen whale

To enter, please head to the GIVEAWAY PAGE by clicking the button below

monthly giveaway button 2

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And how about a really good deal?

You may have seen the promotion for the fancy Silhouette machine around on blogs lately and I’m here to remind you that you have TWO MORE DAYS to get

one silhouette sd machine + 2 packs of temporary tattoo paper for $199 {$120 savings}

please enter JONES at checkout to receive the discount . offer ends June 29th.

visit silhouette to learn more and to purchase

image imageimage image

So many endless possibilities with the Silhouette : I’m so excited to try it out and will definitely share my projects once they are finished.

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And just for fun, let me share with you Audrey’s new favorite pastime.

IMG_1941 IMG_1946 IMG_1947 IMG_1949

Nothing better than washing your hands when you are one.

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Okay : have a great day and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

monthly giveaway button 2

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patterned pinwheels {tutorial}

How about a cute summery project?


This one is not totally original, but I love the mix of patterns and think these pinwheels make a delightful centerpiece for a summer party.

Want to make some?

Here’s what you’ll need:


:: patterned paper {see the printable collection below}

:: strips of solid paper

:: pencils with erasers

:: thumbtacks

:: scissors, tiny hole punch, glue dots

STEP ONE: cover each pencil


Cut a strip of paper to about 1/2 inch x 15 inches. Use a glue dot to hold top in place and begin wrapping around the pencil, securing with a glue dot at the end.


STEP TWO: select two pieces of paper for pinwheel and cut to desired size

two papers

The finished size of your pinwheel is determined by the size of the square {I cut mine 6 x 6}

STEP THREE: glue papers back to back

back to back

two sided

STEP FOUR: fold diagonally


and again

fold again

STEP FIVE: hole punch each corner

hole punch

I used a hole punch with a teensy hole {1/16″}

STEP SIX: cut along folded line, leaving 1/2″ at center

cut diagonal


STEP SEVEN: poke thumbtack through hole in each corner


through center

and poke through back


STEP EIGHT: attach to pencil


Press the thumbtack into eraser of the pencil.

And you’ll have this:


Any scrapbook paper will work {although very heavyweight paper doesn’t hold well}. I love using a combination of prints and colors … you can go with a color scheme {say, red, white & blue for the 4th of July} or a specific pattern {like gingham for an outdoor picnic in the park}. I created a collection of patterns, printed them onto regular text-weight printer paper and they turned out great.

The entire printable paper collection is now available in the shop


pattern paper

Or you can get them all.



{each pdf is 8.5 x 11 and will be delivered to your email once your purchase has been completed. Make sure you check the email address used in your paypal purchase. Don’t forget to save the files to your computer so that you can print as often as you need}

Enjoy your weekend!

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summer in snapshots {week one} and a simple way to make a photo collage {tutorial}

Last week I mentioned that I’d be playing along with Amber of Starfish Jewelry and taking a photo each day to document our summer. Did you do it too? Here is our week in snapshots:


I’m linking up at Starfish Jewelry Designs : click the button below to link up too.


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I’ve been asked a few times how I create my photo collages {you can see more examples here and here}. And now I will give out my secret.


That’s right. There’s no fancy photoshop steps involved : just Google’s pretty amazing free photo-editing software called Picasa.

There are lots of different ways to edit your photos and as I get more into photography, I’m learning more about how important editing is. But Picasa has been a great resource for me {especially since it is simple and free} and is what I often use for my photos on the blog.  You can download it HERE.

Once you have it installed on your computer, import your photos either from your camera or from a file on your computer. You can learn more about the editing features on the picasa site, but feel free just to play around – they make it pretty easy.  Okay, on to the tutorial :


When you open picasa and have photos uploaded, it will look something like this:


Now you can select the photos you would like to put in your collage Continue Reading →

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ahhh … that’s better

A month or so ago I posted photos of our not quite finished living room.

living before

As I was looking at the photos after I posted, I felt like it looked way too cluttered. It doesn’t help that there is a cord hanging down from the tv, but the shelves looked knick-knacky and needed to be re-staged. And, of course, we wanted to rearrange the furniture.

This how it looks now:

living new

Doesn’t it look much more open and clean? We’d still like to resurface the fireplace {see below} and I need to hang a few of our new family photos on the blank wall on the right.


We brought in our old church pew {one of my very favorite pieces from my m-i-l} and Ryan bought me a new coffee table {when it was in stock and on sale} that I love.


I wanted the shelves to be lighter and more neutral this time around, so I turned the books around {appalling to most booklovers} and used some white pieces from the kitchen.


The basket on the bottom shelf holds toys for the baby

IMG_1514 IMG_1442

The left side holds the components for the tv, a basket full of dvds and black leather boxes with more toys and diapers. Not as pretty as the right side, but it does the trick.



A few of my favorite pillows {made using the ruffle pillow tutorial & gathered flower tutorial}






I’m feeling good with the changes so far.

I tried my best to be like Layla and photoshop the fireplace to see a few different resurfacing options : here is my very rough depiction.

option one: barnwood Continue Reading →

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25 bits of randomness

#1 I’m pretty random by nature : take this blog for instance. What category does it fit in? Lifestyle? Home Decorating? Crafts? Who knows. But it represents my life. Random. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

#2 I am quite taken with Pinterest. Slowly but surely my boards are gaining pins.

#3 My go-to summer salad is Mediterranean Chicken Orzo Salad.

#4 I’ve had surgery on my left eye three times {I have strabismus}.

#5 I don’t tan. I burn, then it dissolves overnight. And I get freckles.

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summer in snapshots

My friend Amber from Starfish Jewelry is starting a new series for the summer called


Each Wednesday she will be posting a photo from each day of the previous week as a way to remember and recap. And, she’ll be hosting a link party for all of us to participate.

Continue Reading →

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t-shirt time

A few weeks ago I found some super cheap t-shirts for the kids that I’ve had stacked in my office waiting for inspiration {and time} to embellish them.

baby close

Yesterday was the day and of course I had to show you how they turned out. I didn’t make tutorials, but hopefully I can get your creative wheels turning for decorating t-shirts of your own.

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growing pains

We are entering a new phase of parenting. With it comes great joy as we watch our kids grow in to their own personalities, develop their individual talents, become independent and responsible.

But it also comes with new challenges, heartaches and fear.

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fabric envelope {tutorial}

My cousin is graduating from law school this weekend and I am so proud of her. I really can’t imagine going through the amount of undivided studying that girl has done these past few years, but hip, hip, hooray : she is done {okay, not completely since there is still the Bar to study for, but at least she has earned her law degree!}

fabric envelope

I have been trying to come up with something memorable and special to give her as a congratulation gift but finally came to the conclusion that money is always the most appreciated gift for any student.

close up

Rather than just giving a wad of cash, I created this fabric envelope as the wrapping for the money inside.


If you have a grad to celebrate, this might be a great gift idea for you too.

fabric envelope

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the bloom event & the emily font

The bloom event took place this past weekend and it was a great success.

marisa & emily

Not only did we raise money for the Butterworth family {that is Marisa on the left} to adopt their baby girl from Ethiopia, but we spent a beautiful Seattle morning chatting, eating tasty treats and creating a few different simple flowers.

bloom3 bloom9

crafty ladies

Marisa did the most amazing and thorough job planning this event – with every detail covered – and that made it so easy to relax and enjoy ourselves.

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our bedroom

Why is it that the master bedroom the last to be finished? Experts always say that you should create a bedroom space that is comfortable and private to honor your marriage. But oftentimes the master bedroom consists of a hodge-podge of furniture, a dumping zone for laundry and a very undesirable place to relax.

Here is what our room looked like two years ago:

image image

It wasn’t horrible, but never came together as I had hoped. The walls looked too fleshy, I stole the gray curtains to use in Audrey’s room and furniture was moved in and out until we just had a random assortment of things that didn’t work.

When Holly came to visit in February, I took full advantage of her decorating brain and she helped us design our new master bedroom.

We don’t spend much awake time in our room, but still really wanted a space that felt peaceful, sophisticated and a little bit sexy where we could, you know, sleep.  So here is what we now have:


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my handwriting font

I’ve been wanting to do this for quite some time and finally the opportunity presented itself :


You can now download the font for free {previously $4.99} by joining our exclusive freebies page. Click the link above to get your free font and much more!

I added in a few doodles and symbols because they make things fun.  If you aren’t quite sure how to add a symbol, here’s a mini lesson using Microsoft Word:





Not sure how to install a font on your computer? At the bottom of this post I show what to do {don’t worry … it is surprisingly simple}

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a tour of the blog

Just thought I’d take you on a tour of the blog just to point a few things out:


Like subscribing via email. See that button on the top left? When you enter your email address, the blog posts will come straight to your inbox, as well as occasional promotions, discounts and messages sent only to the mailing list. I’d love for you to sign up!

Next down is the newest feature – ways for us to hang out outside of the blog. Like facebook, pinterest, subscribing via rss and sending an email. I will soon add twitter {I just have to acquaint myself with it first}.   I finally confirmed my account with pinterest and will be adding some of my favorite ideas for home, craft, food, fashion and ‘stuff’ as time goes on.  Of course I’d be pleased for you to ‘follow’ along!

Over on the right side are buttons for you to sign up for the giveaway and to take a peek at my shop.


Scroll a little further down and on the left side you’ll see links to my 25 favorite fonts, the paint colors we’ve used throughout our house and my F.A.Q. page.

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