Archive | August, 2011

my cousin’s wedding invitations

My second littlest cousin is getting married this fall. We adore her fiance and can’t wait for their special wedding day.

jen + brett

{aren’t they the most darling couple?! Photos by the talented Stacy Jacobsen}

Jen asked me to create her invitations and I was so pleased to do them for her. She wanted something vintage-y, fun, a little bit formal and the groom wanted to somehow incorporate a ‘tree with roots’ {love you, brett!}. Here is what we came up with:

wedding invitation suite

The package came in a navy envelope with cute wraparound labels.

envelope front

envelope back

All of the invitation pieces were bundled with a striped wrap and tied with twine.

invitation all tied up with twine

invitation close up

The tree with roots turned out really cute with their initials subtly added.

rsvp card

rsvp envelope

We used envelopes in curry from Paper Source for the rsvp card. I love the pop of color.

driving directions ferry schedule

The wedding is at a gorgeous farm across the sound from Seattle, so we included a ferry schedule for local travelers.

registry card

And a dainty registry card.

dot line

I started jones design company 10 years ago doing custom invitations for brides, new babies, parties and holiday cards.  As our family has grown and I’ve entered this blogging world, my business has changed and custom design work has taken a back seat.

I get questions every once in a while asking about design projects and it makes me sad to say no. Especially when I don’t have a list of great referrals to offer. I always suggest my friends Rae {} and Lindsay {}, but with one just having a baby and another expecting her first, I know they are both limited with how much work they can take on too.

So I thought this might be a good chance to open up the comments to those of you who are stationery designers. If you have a business doing invitations, announcements, or other graphic design please leave a link to your website in the comments. Feel free to leave a little snippet about what you do or services you offer.

If you are looking for custom design work, please check through the comments to see if someone fits your aesthetic. I hope it becomes a great resource.

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swim suits & giveaway winner


That was the question for the giveaway this month. And you all had some pretty cute answers.

Lots of bikini wearers, lots of one piece wearers, and many many tankini wearers.

but one of my favorite answers is the GIVEAWAY WINNER


I love it.

So, Melanie, please send me a note with your address and I’ll send you your polka-dot goodies!

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Now let’s talk about swim suits for a minute. I sort of hate them. But I love swimming. And so I endure. My biggest issue {besides the terrible gift God gave women of cellulite – ugh} is my very pale skin.  So for me, showing lots of skin is just too much. Maybe someday I’ll brave a bikini again, but for now, I’m a one piece / tankini girl.

Because it is the end of the season, may swim suits are now on sale. Here are a few of my faves:


{j.crew $49}


{shabby apple $82}


{shabby apple $88}


{mod cloth $89}


{downeast basics tank $16.99 + skirt $12.99}


{athleta $69}


{Land’s End top $15.99 + skirt $19.99}


{Rey Swimwear $80}

image image

{Rey Swimwear top $49 + bottoms $21}

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The September giveaway will be announced soon {once I put it together!}.  I do have one piece for it already {from Olive Jewels} and it is gorgeous! Stay tuned :

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popping in on this saturday morning

Happy Saturday! I’m not regularly a poster on weekends, but the kids are busy watching saturday morning cartoons {which are no where near as wonderful as I remember them being when I was a kid. Whatever happened to the Jetsons, Dennis the Menace, Strawberry Shortcake? Those were way better than weird shows like Horseland and Trollz} and I have a second to say hi.

So, Hi. Hope you are having a nice weekend so far.

I also wanted to clarify that when you sign up for JDC | monthly, you gain automatic access to the current month’s collection. I release the new designs on the 22nd of the month, but they remain available all month until the next collection is released. In other words, if you sign up on August 22 – September 21, you will receive September’s collection. If you sign up on September 22nd – October 21, you will receive October’s collection {and I may or may not also give you the link to the previous month. Wink, wink}.

Hope that makes sense. If you would like to sign up, click the button below.

sign me up dotted

And now let’s talk about a few gorgeous rooms.


I’m loving the striped walls and that ceiling. Our mudroom is half-way there with bead board paneling and hooks, but I have been trying to decide what to do with the walls. This might push me over the edge for painting stripes.


I know this is a christmas image and I am not ready for christmas, but I do love the fancy frame on the chalkboard {and the pretty writing}. I feel the need for a big chalkboard in our kitchen {where the Mt. Rainier map currently hangs} for things like a weekly bible verse, schedules, places to doodle and I’d love to create something like this with molding pieces. Or, rather, I’d love Ryan to create something like this with molding pieces.

And then there is this:


I pinned this a few days ago with the statement “a painted piano … cool or destructive? I’m thinking cool and I’d like to do it to ours.”.

What do you think? Paint our perfectly fine, but boring piano, or leave it alone?

This is what it looks like:


I have fallen out of love with the crazy bird collage wall {posted here} and so I’m in need of a new look for the piano nook.

Okay, time to sign off. Audrey is currently sitting on my desk pulling apart everything. Ah, children. They have such boundless energy.

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time for another coffee chat

It’s been a few weeks since our last chat.

Today if we were sitting together, I would be drinking this:


I am so high maintenance when I order drinks at Starbucks. In the winter I add extra-hot. If I were to add an extra shot, I would check all the boxes on the cup. High-maintenance, I tell ya.

And here are a few things we could talk about:

* My new planter box. It makes me happy to look out my office window and see these beauties.

window box

* We just returned from a family vacation. Vacations are the best. The kids {8 cousins all together} played so well, the weather was warm and summery and the shaved ice stand was just around the corner from our beach house.  For the record, coconut shaved ice is really good.

the kiddos

* While on vacation, we did some diving, cannonballing and belly-flopping.  My sisters and I taught ourselves to back dive when we were young and it is a skill we like to pull out every once in a while to impress the onlookers. I’m not sure how impressive my back dive is since I am about 6 inches above the water, but it feels daring and exhilarating to throw yourself backwards into the pool.


* We listened to a lot of Justin Bieber on the trip. I actually really like JB. I may have even dreamt about him a few weeks ago.

* These sweatshirts are pretty fabulous. Have you tried one? Are they worth the money?


* Salad-spinner turned spin-art. The boys and I need to give this craft a try.


* I took the Strengths Finder 2.0 test this week. Ryan and my sisters urged me and it was pretty cool. You can purchase the kindle version on Amazon and if you don’t have a kindle, you can download the kindle app to your computer for free.  The whole premise of the test is to show you what your top five strengths are and focus on those {rather than focusing on your weaknesses}. My results were a little bit surprising, but after reading through the explanations of each one, they make perfect sense to me. In case you are curious, my strengths are:

Empathy . Adaptability . Intellection . Developer . Achiever

* Okay, enough randomness for this delightful Friday. I hope you are able to do something fun or relaxing or productive or meaningful this weekend.  Me? I’m going to finish unpacking from our vacation.

zig zag

If you haven’t signed up for the August POLKA-DOT giveaway, you can enter by clicking the image below. The winner will be announced on Monday.

august giveaway

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editing photos {sort of} like a pro

If I could, I would have our family photos taken every few months. I absolutely adore having professional photos done. But, alas, photographers can be spendy and so I have to be realistic about the frequency of scheduling shoots.

My sweet girl turning 18 months did not quite merit a photo shoot. At least not by a professional.  Instead, I thought I’d pretend and do a photo session myself. So last week I grabbed a torn up chair {that I will someday recover}, headed out to the empty lots in our development and snapped away at my baby who is really not a baby anymore.

Once the photos were taken, I realized that good photos are great but what I really love about a professional photographer is his/her ability to edit. And so, I thought I’d give that a shot as well.  The gorgeous photos on Jennifer’s blog {dear lillie} and her helpful photoshop tutorial gave me the encouragement I needed.

What I learned was that ACTIONS make all the difference {at least for us photoshop beginners}. An action, in case you are new to the whole photoshop editing world, is a set of pre-designed  functions that automatically adjust your photo. All you have to do is press play. Seriously, it is super easy. From there, you can adjust the settings to make it just right for your liking.

I found a few great resources for actions – both free and paid – and have enjoyed playing around with the photos of Audrey. Here are my results:


{straight out of the camera – or SOOC, as the pros say}

side clean edit

{using Paint the Moon’s essentials and miracle makeover actions}

side sweet vintage copy

{adding Florabella’s sweet vintage action}



on the grass clean edit on the grass vintage summer II

{on the left: Paint the Moon’s essentials & miracle makeover actions and Pioneer Woman’s boost

on the right: added Florabella’s summer vintage II action}

The next photo was a little tricky for me because I think it was too washed out to begin with. I still have quite a bit of learning to do as far as basic camera operation goes!



 standing in chair boost standing in chair vintage summer

{on the left: a mix of Pioneer Woman’s actions and Paint the Moon’s essentials

on the right: added Florabella’s summer vintage}



vintage laying

{Florabella’s vintage action}



vintage hug

{Florabella’s vintage action}

And one more:



in yellow

{Paint the Moon’s essentials and miracle makeover actions}

bw beauty

{adding Pioneer Woman’s b&w beauty}

I know I have much more practicing to do, but I am really excited about the results.

zig zag

Here are some very helpful resources if you would like to give photo-editing a try.

The first is Paint the Moon – an amazingly helpful site where you can purchase actions, watch how-to videos and view lots of before & afters.


There are also a handful of freebies on Paint The Moon’s facebook page.

Paint the Moon Free Action Samplers {here}

 Paint the Moon Free Facebook Exclusive {here}

Next is the Flora Bella Collection. I love the dreamy, vintagy feel you get when you use these actions. There are many different sets to choose from {I bought vintage, but hope to add more over time} and they are very easy to use.

The lovely Shana has even offered a discount to JDC readers : just enter JONES10 to receive 10% off your order.


The Pioneer Woman has created a bunch of free actions which are also great {I especially like boost and bring on the eyes}


{download here}

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I know very little about photography, but I love taking pictures. I have a Canon Rebel XTi {similar to this one on amazon}. We bought ours a few years ago at Costco and have been very happy with the camera and lenses that came in the bundle.

Someday soon I am hoping to take Ashley Ann’s SnapShop course to learn how to shoot manually.  If you are a beginner photographer and want to improve, I’m pretty sure this online class would be amazing.


I know that was a very long-winded post, but I hope it inspires you to take a few extra photos and edit them like a pro. Sort of.

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