Archive | September, 2011

some fashion advice, please {and the lucky lady}

My cousin is getting married in just a few weeks {see her darling invitations here} and we are all so excited.

What is a fun party without a new fun party dress, right? {at least that is what I’m telling Ryan}.

But I need some help : and I have a few considerations to think about before selecting a dress:

1. The wedding is outside. In October. In Washington. Hopefully we’ll get one of our gorgeous fall days when the sky is blue and the leaves are turning – but that also means the air will be crisp.  So I need to wear something that will be warm-ish. I’d prefer sleeves.

2. We’ll be walking on grass, so pointy heels will be challenging. I’d like to wear my brown boots, so the dress needs to be nice enough for a wedding, but casual enough to wear with boots.

3. The bridesmaids are wearing navy. I’m loving navy right now, but I don’t want to look like that girl who is trying to be part of the wedding party even though I am not.

Here are a few dresses I like and I’d love your opinion.

{you can click on the images to go to the source}


My fave so far is that dotted one. My sister thinks it might look like a sack. It is navy, but at least it has dots.

{both from Zara}

image image

What do you think about a fun skirt & blouse? Too weird? And I love the red dress, but it doesn’t have sleeves and I’d need a sweater. Hmm :

{both from Shabby Apple}


These are both cute. I wasn’t wanting black, but I like the ruffle neckline. And I love that lace one {although it is nearly $300} and lace is not necessarily a warm material :

{both from ModCloth}

Please help me! I’d love to hear what you think or any other suggestions you might have.

zig zag

Okay, and finally, the winner of the September giveaway:


There were so many great answers to why it is lovely to be a woman. I hope you know how special you all are and enjoy the many, many great things about being a lady.

And Miss Patti, please send me a note to with your address and I’ll send your package to you!

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are you entered to win?

I’m kind of in to the giveaway this month. All sorts of pretty indulgences only a lady could love {except for maybe those chocolate grahams – anyone could love those}.


Today is the last day to enter to win {and it’s easy!}Web

I will announce the big winner tomorrow :

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linen mat & a new print

I designed a new art print to give as a party favor for an after-church celebration this weekend.  My sister has been asking for it for months, so I figured the first Sunday of the new locations seemed fitting.

This one challenges me : if I really believe that what I believe is true, then why would I not want to GO and make disciples of all nations?!! I get a little caught up in my own world, but this print is a good reminder that there are a whole lot of people with perhaps larger troubles who have never heard the promises of God.

I wanted to put the print in my office and did a very simple framing project yesterday afternoon. It probably took 15 minutes.  And of course I thought I’d share :

linen mat

Here is what you’ll need:

linen mat supplies

:: frame

:: artwork

:: paper the size of the frame opening {I used white cardstock, but a patterned paper would be cute too}

:: fabric {I used my favorite linen from IKEA curtains}

:: glue dots, scissors

STEP ONE: cut paper to the size of the frame opening

cut paper to size

STEP TWO: cut a rectangle of fabric just smaller than paper

cut fabric to size

No need to be perfect, but if it bothers you, you could use a ruler to make it perfect.

STEP THREE: fray the edges of the fabric

fray fabric

Simply pull on a few threads to achieve the fray-ness that you prefer.

STEP FOUR: attach fabric to paper using glue dots

attach fabric

STEP FIVE: attach artwork to fabric using glue dots

attach print



Now just pop it in your frame and you have an original mat with endless possibilities.


The new print is now in the shop, or you can purchase below. This one comes as a 5 x 7 printed on heavy linen textured paper.



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a simple birthday party {and a really great gift idea}

My No. 2 turned six this month. September is usually a beautiful month around here and so we decided to do a party at the park again this year {see last year’s here}.

brady invite

But the day of the party was chilly and blustery, so we moved the party to our house.

Have you ever played cookie doodle? It is my boys’ current favorite ipad game. We based the birthday treats on the game and the kids decorated cookies.






There were a lot of kids! And I was a little worried it would be out-of-control, but it actually turned out to be a really fun project {and yummy too}.



{do you think my oldest has a sweet tooth?!}


{she does too}

If you are looking for a simple party idea, perhaps you could try a cookie decorating party. I bought the sugar cookies from walmart for $2 a dozen, a few jars of frosting and lots of sprinkles, mini candies and sour gummy worms {a big hit}. Easy, inexpensive and lots of fun.

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At the party, one of #2’s best buddies gave him the most thoughtful homemade gift.


My friend Rae {} comes up with the best ideas : I’m especially in love with this one : a build a fort kit.


For a family who builds forts daily, this is the perfect make-it-yourself gift.


The kids love it.


Rae has put together a tutorial with instructions for how to put together a fort kit of your own. You can learn how to make it at


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jdc | monthly {october}

JDC | monthly is a super fun membership where you receive a coordinated collection of printables each month to help you stay organized, give as gifts and make you smile.

Let me share with you a little bit more:

Fun stuff, right? Do I sound like you thought I would? One reader last month said she was surprised by my northwest accent – I didn’t even know there was such a thing! But clearly, I’ve got it. If you made it through the video, thanks a bunch for watching.

To help you see what is in October’s collection, here they are in close-up view:

jdc | monthly october

The subscription is $7.99 per month {first month is free!} and is super easy to sign up for : just click the button below:

the details

Included each month:

monthly calendar . weekly calendar . chore charts . dinnertime chart . grocery & shopping lists . note cards . mailing labels . an original art print {exclusively for JDC | monthly members} . a video tutorial with templates for the project shown

You will be sent a link to watch the video and access all of the pdf files. Download and print, or save them to your computer for a rainy day.

JDC | monthly members will also receive 50% off all printables in the shop.

fine print

When you sign up you will be directed to the current month’s link immediately. Billing is done on a 30 day cycle {so if you join on the 15th, you will be billed the following month on the 15th}. On the 22nd of each month, you will receive an email with the link to download the collection of pdfs, as well as the video tutorial. Please feel free to share the link with your friends : the more the merrier!

If you decide JDC | monthly is not for you, you are free to cancel at any time.


So, what do you say : want to try it out? Click below to sign up.

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thank you notes {free download}

I do some of my best thinking while laying in bed. I’m not sure what it is, but it has always been that way. My best friend {and college roommate} used to walk in to our apartment and find me laying on top of my covers in the middle of the day and when she asked what in the world I was doing, my response was always “just thinking”.  I know, I’m strange.

So the other day {while laying in bed} I designed these cards in my mind. And when I actually created them, they turned out just how I had imagined.

thank my god


I am so thankful for YOU {even if we have never met}. I feel so honored to be able to share my projects, artwork, home design, family randomness and my thoughts with you all and to receive such encouragement. So thank you. I would love to share these cards with you – please feel free to download the pdf and send them to those you are thankful for.


There are four cards per sheet and the finished size is 3.5 x 5.


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the state fair

We went to the fair last night :

the puyallup fair

: and we all had a really great time.

My favorite parts: the scones {yum} and watching the chainsaw lady carve a piece of wood into a bear. And I loved watching my brave boys go on the rickety fair rides and come off with such excitement. And that striped bird was pretty cool too.

Are you a fan of your state fair?

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Why aren’t there seat belts on school buses?


Why is it that no matter how late a three year old stays up, he still wakes at the exact same time in the morning?


Why does gas cost so much? Or maybe more importantly, why do I drive a car that requires so much gas?


Why, if there is a 50/50 chance of getting it right, does my baby girl put her shoes on the wrong feet 100% of the time?


Why is the English language so complicated to spell? It is rather confusing to explain to a kindergartner that love is spelled l-o-v-e and not l-u-v, even though luv makes way more sense.


Why didn’t my hydrangeas bloom this year?


Why is it so easy to take your loved ones for granted? Ryan witnessed a tragedy this weekend and it has put a few things in perspective for us. I just wish it didn’t take sadness to make us realize it is the people and not the things that we really value.


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my weekend project

So we’ve moved a few things around in the house {no surprise there}.

Among the objects that have been moved is this desk that will now reside in my office.


We made it a few years ago and it has never been finished {another big surprise}.

Ryan found an old door {with a terrible laminate orangy-brown finish} and added legs from IKEA. I can’t find the legs online, but here they are attached to another table top.  I think we spent less than $100 on the whole thing.


But it is ugly.

So this weekend I am going to see what I can do to make it work for my office.

I will definitely paint the top.

And I’m thinking about adding a skirt.

Like this one:



or maybe just pleated on the ends like this one:



Or maybe somewhere in between like this one:



My only issue with skirting the desk is this: what do you do with the skirt when you sit down to work? I don’t think I would love having fabric draping on my legs every time I sit. Hmmm. Any brilliant ideas?

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we have officially started

school collage

We made it through the first days of school for each of the boys. And we even did it without tears {at least not from those sweet faces : this mama is a different story}.

I was most worried about #2 starting kindergarten.  He never attended preschool and I think he was a little nervous because he didn’t know quite what to expect.


But he did it like the brave boy he is and has loved every second of school so far.

No. 3 had his first day of preschool and was so excited to be like his big brothers. Plus his best friend is in his class, so that always makes things extra fun.

IMG_3518 IMG_3514 

What will baby girl do while her brothers are gone?! 

I’m just going to go ahead and admit that I was ready for school to start.  I have some pretty great kids that I truly do enjoy, but having a quiet{er} house and less little ones to entertain sure is a nice change. That sounds so selfish and I’m sure it is but I bet you other moms know the feeling.

To all of the teachers reading :


for doing what you do. 

For caring about education. For caring about our kids.

We really appreciate you.

Wishing you all an excellent school year!

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a pretty autumn wreath

autumn flower wreath

Today I have a tutorial of sorts to share. It is not a full tutorial because 1. I learned to make the flowers from an already pretty amazing tutorial and 2. I left my camera in Ryan’s truck and was too impatient to wait to put it together until he came home so I don’t have photos of the actual attaching to the wreath phase of the project.  Sometimes you just have to go with it when the crafting bug gets you.

This wreath is a combination of a regular grape vine wreath you can purchase at the craft store, lots of coffee filter flowers and a few acorn and berry sprigs. There is a section at the craft store near the floral stuff with all kinds of glittery birds on sticks and wired leaf sprigs that I’m not really sure what they are for, but I am a sucker for them.  These acorns were from that section and I’ve had them laying around for a few years never knowing quite what to do with them.  But I think they make the perfect subtle autumn touch to a pretty girly flowery wreath.

Okay, so on with the tutorial. I learned how to make these coffee filter roses from this tutorial but I’ll show you how I did it just for extra clarification.


I wanted fall-ish colors for my flowers, so I used yellow, pink, red and orange paint. I mixed in brown with all of them to make them muddier. I started by dying white coffee filters, but then figured out that the natural colored ones work better for making muted colors.


Mix your paint with water, stir well, scrunch in a stack of coffee filters and let them soak up the paint. Then squeeze out and let dry.


I dried some flat on paper towels, but then ran out of room and made a clothes line to dry the rest.


Okay, now on to the flower making part. Again, you can see in detail how to create each flower from this tutorial on Aunt Peaches, but here is my rendition.

For flower #1, fold three coffee filters into quarters, cut a scalloped edge along the top and then a scalloped center.


Open up the filters and cut the outer ring open.


With the center pieces, twist in the middle to create a petal and press onto a strip of masking tape. This will make the center of the rose. Do this will all three center pieces.



Now this part is the trickiest to explain, although it isn’t that tricky to do. You just have to try it and you’ll catch on. Basically, take one of the outer ring pieces, pleat it and stick it to the edge of the tape. Continue with each of the three pieces until you have a long strip of ruffly looking paper.



Next, start at the center petals and start rolling to create the flower.



When you are done, you will have a pretty paper flower.

coffee filter flower

If you want to vary the size, can add an extra filter or two.

To make a smaller flower, cut one coffee filter into a spiral.


Now open it up and beginning with the center, start ruffling and sticking the strip to a piece of tape.



Now roll from the center :


: and you have this sweet flower.


After lots and lots of flower making {it probably took 40 to make this wreath}, I cut off the backs to make the flowers flat and glued them to the grape vine wreath.

autumn coffee filter flower wreath with acorns

It was really pretty with just the flowers, but I wanted it to look a little more like Autumn, so I added in a few berries and acorns {attaching with hot glue}.

autumn coffee filter flower wreath

autumn coffee filter flower wreath with acorns and berries

I think this is my favorite of all wreaths I’ve made.

pretty autumn coffee filter flower wreath with acorns and berries

Probably because Fall is my favorite of all seasons.

zig zag

Want more wreath inspiration? I have created a few other wreaths to get you started :

image image image

image image

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september giveaway 2011

The newest giveaway is here!

september giveaway

I’m calling this month’s collection of goodies


I’ve gathered some wonderfully feminine indulgences that I think any woman would be happy to enjoy.

september collage

1. EllaPearl original handbag in cranberry ikat 2. essie nail polish in ‘fishnet stockings’ 3. dark chocolate covered graham crackers {yum} 4. yummy smelling candle {with really cute packaging} 5. the most beautiful beaded chunky necklace by Olive Jewels 6. september issue of Real Simple magazine 7. packets of Tazo tea in ‘awake’ 8. set of eight note cards 9. tinted lip balm

Doesn’t that collection just make you want to cozy up by the fire? Ahhh : I love autumn.

A special thank you to Ella Pearl and Olive Jewels for their delightfully fancy and generous additions to the giveaway this month.

image  olivejewels

{click on their darling buttons to see more of their beautiful creations}

If you would like a chance to win these indulgences, please click the button below


{comments are closed on this post to avoid confusion}
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the scripture collection

First of all, thank you so much for the kind words on yesterday’s post. I am always so encouraged by you and am grateful that you continue to read my long-winded stories.  You are the best.

zig zag

About a year ago, Ryan and I decided we wanted some scripture put up around our house. I looked at what was available and was underwhelmed.  Not that there is anything wrong with a soaring eagle, but that seemed to be the only form of Christian art available. And we are just not that in to soaring eagles.

The first scripture print sort of happened by accident {you can read the story behind the lamp print here} but it led to the creation of a few more {bird, fruit, chair}.

 IMG_3315 IMG_3314

{lamp . bird}

IMG_3316 IMG_3317

{chair . fruit}

I loved the idea of using a graphic silhouette with scripture as an updated way to put truth on my walls in a subtle and modern way.

I like these prints, had always hoped to add new ones, but found other things to do instead.

But the other day, I received an email from a reader who suggested two new prints so that she could have a whole collection of scripture art to hang together.  I thought the idea was brilliant.

And so I introduce you to my newest prints, TROPHY and HEART.

IMG_3312 IMG_3313

Because not everyone has room on their walls for 8 x 10 prints, I have resized the scripture prints to a 5 x 7 size as well.

These are now available for purchase in the shop.

. . .  OR  . . .

I am now offering all six prints together and calling it the scripture collection.

scripture collection no price

The scripture collection includes one of each scripture print in the new 5 x 7 size. They are printed on heavy linen textured paper and are great for keeping for yourself or giving as gifts to your family and friends {early Christmas shopping anyone?}.

Individually they are $9.95.

If purchased as a collection, you can get all six for $39.95

Click below to purchase and I’ll send out your package of prints shortly!


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a childhood dream

Several months ago I read a blog post written by a woman who had just received news that her house was going to be in a magazine. The post was full of excitement and humility and touched on the point that God is so cool that he knows our deepest dreams even better than we do.

Let me be totally honest with you : when I read it, I didn’t react as I wish I had.

I wish I would have thought, “Wow, that is so awesome for her!”.  Instead that ugly, childish voice crept in and said, “What about me? What about my deepest dreams? Don’t you see me, God?”

I went to bed feeling discouraged and woke up completely convicted. How terribly selfish I am.  I have plenty to be thankful for, plenty of ways that God has been gracious to me and plenty of opportunities to show for it. So I sent a congratulations note to the woman, repented of my ugly ways and went on with my day. 

A few hours later, after maneuvering a cart that was easily double my weight through the slippery and crowded aisles of Costco, I was loading my car and got a call from Ryan.

ryan: “Did you check your email?”

me: “Um, no. I did get 12 billion rolls of toilet paper though”

r: “well there is one here you need to read”.

me: “okay, what does it say?”

r: “it is from a woman at DaySpring. It says they are interested in your artwork”.

I started to cry. There in the middle of the Costco parking lot with a phone to my ear and three kids eating $1.50 hotdogs, I stood there crying. 

I was crying not so much because of this new opportunity {although it was a cool one}, but because it hit me :

Since I was a little girl, I wanted to be an artist. It wasn’t something I put a ton of effort in to – I didn’t take special art classes or get a degree in art, but it was always something I loved doing.  My aunt owned a Hallmark store and my sisters and I would spend a portion of our Christmas break ‘working’ for her {which basically meant we would pass out balloons and eggnog fluffs to holiday shoppers}. I loved that Hallmark store. I loved looking at the gift wrap, the party supplies, the little trinkets and Christmas ornaments. But most of all, I loved looking at the greeting cards.

I would daydream about designing my own cards and what they would look like. I loved the playful styles of Mary Engelbreit, Susan Branch and Kathy Davis. I spent hours and hours looking, studying, collecting art from these designers in the form of greeting cards.

That afternoon in the parking lot, it came full circle. Somewhere between starting a ‘real’ job and starting a family, I had forgotten that dream of being an artist. 

But in that moment, I realized I had become one. 

A good enough one that a company like DaySpring {a division of Hallmark, go figure} would want to sell my artwork.

I was excited. I was humbled. I was so very thankful. 

Thankful that even though I don’t always acknowledge or understand it, God does see me. He does know my dreams and heart desires. Sometimes even more than I do.

As proof of His faithfulness, I am pleased to announce that a few of my art prints are now available for purchase at DaySpring.

If you have been wanting a larger canvas of the bird, fruit, lamp or chair prints, you can now get them! They come either as framed prints {which are really nice}:


or as gallery-wrapped canvases {also great}:


They are even offering personalization if you want to add a family name to the print.


Click HERE to see more at

Do you have a dream you’ve been hiding in your heart? Or maybe one that you have forgotten about? He sees it. He sees you. He has not forgotten you.

“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

This collection of scripture prints is special to me and I’m excited to unveil a few new ones as well as a new size : all coming tomorrow :

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if the shoe fits

When I was pregnant with Audrey and in I-can’t-believe-I-get-to-shop-for-girl-things-this-time mode, I came across the most beautiful shoes I’ve ever seen. I mentioned them here and here and wanted to share them once again. They are that amazing.


This company started when Jessica, the founder and creative brilliance behind Joyfolie, made her daughter a pair of hand-sewn shoes {you can read the full story here}.  She designed and produced a handful of shoes, put them up on her website and they would be sold out in minutes.   Because of the high demand the shoes are now being manufactured {now with firm soles} and will be much more readily available {which is great for slow-pokes like me who never could press buy  now fast enough}.

Joyfolie currently has three styles of pretty little shoes available for girls:


Charlotte in tweed


Charlotte in metallic cream


Sabre cuffed bootie

These shoes are beautifully made, original designs and the cutest things ever. AND Jessica has offered a discount to JDC readers.

*** enter JONES at checkout for 30% off shoes ***

Be sure to keep a lookout on this company as they continue to grow : look what are coming sometime this fall/holiday season:


Pirouette heels for women. Love them.  And that outfit the model is wearing.

To see more of Joyfolie, visit the website at WWW.JOYFOLIE.COM.

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