Archive | December, 2011

a new start for a new year

For as much as I love the Christmas season, it is amazing how quickly I am over it once Christmas day has passed. It was great to have  a touch of red in our home for a month, but I was so ready to remove it! After a whirlwind of family, gifts and lots and lots of food, our house was already torn apart, so I figured why not tear it up even more. Down came the garlands, the nativity, the tree.

It feels good to start fresh. I’m ready for white, bright, clean.

I think that is what January is all about. Starting fresh. New goals. A clean house. Re-organizing.

If you are in this same starting fresh mode, perhaps JDC | monthly is just what you need to help.

For January, I have created a monthly calendar, weekly calendars, menu planner, chore charts, grocery lists, to do list … all the little things that help keep you organized in a stylish way.

I have included thank you notes perfect for sending right about now as well as an envelope template so you can make your own envelopes to fit these petite cards.

On top of that, I think you’ll love the follow your dreams print-out. Simply write in your goals for the new year and post it somewhere visible {they say you are more likely to achieve your goals if you 1. write them down and 2. see them daily}.

There is also a new art print {that I love!}

and a great project {with video tutorial and printable pages} to help you journal the best parts of each day for the entire year.

I would love for you to join JDC | monthly and give this new organizational system a try. It is only $9.99 per month with your first month free.

{to learn more, please click here}

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merry christmas

So here we are : just one week until Christmas. It seems like the lead up takes forever, and then suddenly it is upon us.

My babes are nearly out of school and we are looking forward to a nice Christmas vacation spent with family, hopefully some snow and lots and lots of treats.

I am not quite finished with gift-shopping, gift-making or gift-wrapping. Hopefully this will be a very productive week!


I’m hoping to make a version of this sweet blankie for my baby doll loving niece.  And probably some miniature burp cloths too.

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The boys’ teachers are receiving personalized mugs that we made using this tutorial and my favorite fancy font. They turned out so great and were really quite simple to make.


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I have a few more batches of the yummiest sea salt caramels to make {and consume}.


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I’d like to wrap my gifts like this:


{diy printables from armommy}

and this:


{colorful monograms from martha stewart}

and maybe do a few with melted flowers and rolled fabric for embellishment like this:


{via prettypetals}

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I think this is such a clever way to create a time capsule and we’ll be doing this project when the kids are out of school.


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I’m putting the finishing touches on the January collection for JDC | Monthly. If you are already a member, you will receive your january link on the 22nd.

If you’d like to start your new year out in an organized {and pretty} fashion, JDC | monthly is a great way to do it. You can learn more here.

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I purchased this adorable nutcracker puppet theatre and need to have the boys help me assemble {and play}.


Sara Jane Studios has a really great Nativity paper doll set and coloring pages too.


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I love this time of year and am trying to cherish each moment with our little ones.  But I’ve got to be honest and say that amidst the projects, the shopping, the entertaining and busyness of the holiday season, my kids have not been my top priority.   It is time for me to take a break from my computer and spend a little more time just being a mommy.  So I’m going to hop off of the blog for a week or two, close my office doors and take this Christmas vacation to hang out with the family, indulge my creative side and let my babes know how important they are to me.

May you have a joy-filled Christmas with your loved ones.

our family

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the nutcracker


I took my boys to see Pacific Northwest Ballet’s The Nutcracker for the first time this year.

me & the boys

We went with a group of friends and cousins and it was the perfect way to start our Christmas season.


I love this production – it is a classic Seattle tradition and the most delightful performance with happy music and whimsical sets designed by famed illustrator Maurice Sendak.  I could not wait to introduce this kind of art to my children.


But this particular ballet is even more special to me because I danced in it when I was a young ballerina.


{see my name? This program is from 1986 – when I was 8 years old and a shy little thing. This was a huge step for me to perform in front of such a large audience, but such an amazing experience.}

My first year, I was a baby girl mouse.


The second year, I was a servant child {I am in the center with my childhood ballet friends}


The last year, I was a soldier.


I know I am too old to dream of being a ballerina, but that childish dream is still within me.  I love everything there is about ballet. The grace. The music. The shoes.  I did not have the flexibility in my feet to continue dancing on pointe and my parents opted not to have my feet broken and reconstructed when I was just twelve, and so my days of ballet dancing with PNB were over. But these memories are a deep part of me and I was so thankful to be able to relive the excitement of the Nutcracker with my children.

No. 1 was not so impressed. But he is almost 8 and it is getting harder and harder to impress him. Unless it has to do with Star Wars Legos or candy.


No. 3 was maybe a little young at 4. He does love swords, though, so the mouse king was right up his alley.


No. 2 was the best. He was wide-eyed through the whole show and even asked me at one point if he could be in the Nutcracker when he gets bigger. I said of course he could : but he would have to take ballet. He quickly changed his mind.


Of course I want Audrey to be her own little lady, but there may be some encouragement from this mama to involve her in ballet.  Maybe one day she’ll dance in PNB’s Nutcracker.

A girl can dream, right?

If you are in the Seattle area and would like a great evening of entertainment, click here for ticket information.

PNB made a Nutcracker movie years ago, which you can rent here.

And this book has artwork by Maurice Sendak and tells the story of The Nutcracker.

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o holy night print

UPDATE 11/20/12 : o holy night prints are available in the shop for a limited time.


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

First of all, thank you for the kind comments about our house decorated for Christmas. I readily admit that those photos were taken on a day when the kids were out of the house and it has never looked so clean, nor will it ever again. That’s okay – it was fun while it lasted.

Second, holy you all loved that o holy night print!

Lindsay created the artwork for Holly who came up with the brilliant idea to use as a canvas over her mantle.


The day after Lindsay finished the project, she went into labor and is now on maternity leave with her sweet little baby, Eva Love {how great is that name!}.


But after so many inquiries the other day, I telephoned Lindsay and we decided to collaborate to be able to offer the print this year, despite the maternity leave and being so late in the season.


We are excited to present the artwork as a printable file so that there is no delay with shipping and you can print as many as you’d like to give as gifts for your friends and family.

The pdf file is formatted with both 8 x 10 and 5 x 7 prints in three colors.


o holy night green


o holy night gray


o holy night teal print

To order your own set of this O Holy Night art print


A big thank you to Lindsay for sharing her work with us! I am so excited about this creative collaboration – look for more great art from jones design company + lindsay letters  in the coming year.

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p.s. today is the last day to order from the shop to ensure Christmas delivery.

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click here to take a peek

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the stockings are hung {our house tour}

monogram on front door

Have you seen all of the gorgeously decorated homes around blogland? It has been so fun to see how each person fluffs their house for Christmas.  Today I thought I’d share our home with you.

There are plenty of photos ahead, so I’ll keep the words to a minimum. Enjoy!


entry table

chair in snow

christmas package

bath roses with paper flowers

living room


living room 2

christmas packages

the sofa


coffee table

fire place

living to piano



kitchen to dining

jdc art print

cake plate

candy canes

hot cocoa

o holy night

dining room

christmas tree

Merry Christmas from our {finally} decorated home to yours!

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the nativity set

 We have a small nativity set that my aunt gave to our family several years ago. I put it out with our christmas decorations each year, but it is usually placed up high out of the reach of our children as it is breakable and they are, well, kids.

But I decided this year to put the nativity lower.  Within reach. Surrounded by teensy flakes of snow.  I fully expected that the boys would take interest in it and that there would probably be snowflakes all over the place, but I didn’t really anticipate what my no. 2 did yesterday afternoon.

First, he rearranged all of the figurines so that they were in a tight circle around baby Jesus. He fixed the snow so it was just right and stood staring at it for a short time.

Next, he went to the table and started a little craft. I thought nothing of it. He has a short attention span and moves from activity to activity like a whirlwind.

Only later did I realize that my sweet boy’s craft time consisted of taping a star to the amaryllis plant.

Because every nativity scene needs a star.

“Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

“the magi went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.  When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.  On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.”  Matthew 2

It is hard to find ways to keep our focus on the reason we celebrate Christmas. I love the carols, the lights, the shopping and decorating, the baking and parties. I even love santa. But most of all, I love Jesus. And I want so badly for my children to love him too.

My son making a star for the manger scene tells me he gets it. In his own six-year-old way, he cared enough about the story to make it right.

When I saw that star, I was overjoyed.

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the christmas tutorial collection {free}

Last year, we worked long and hard putting together this collection of Christmas projects … I couldn’t just let the collection go to waste, so we have decided to offer it this year for free!

To receive your copy of the 30 page pdf with instructions for each of the projects shown above, please enter your email address below.


{please confirm your email address in order to receive the pdf}

Merry Christmas!

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i made a sock monkey …

… and he turned out really cute.

I used a pair of knee socks from target, some embroidery thread and two wooden buttons.

He now lives happily with the little snow monkey on the left.

I was inspired by the cute sock monkeys Darby made, then followed this tutorial to try one myself. The hardest part was stuffing the long skinny limbs. Otherwise, it was a very simple project. If you have a monkey in your life, I’m sure he would adore one of his own. Or her own.

I wish that I was Oprah and I could surprise you all with a Land of Nod gift card – how amazing would that be? But, alas, I am not. And I can not. So, to see if you are the lucky winner of the Land of Nod gift card, click here.

{I will announce the winner after I get my kids off to school, so check around 9am Pacific}

And I forgot to announce {oops!} that the winner of the November Giveaway is:

a m a n d a .  j o h n s o n

{please send me a note and I’ll mail your package right out!}

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land of nod

One of my favorite children’s stores is Here are my kids’ top picks from E T H A N ‘ S   P I  C K   { 7 . 5 }

B R A D Y ‘ S   P I C K   { 6 }

M A S O N ‘ S   P I C K   { 4 }

A U D R E Y ‘ S   P I C K   { a l m o s t   2 }

and a few of my favorites {so hard to pick just a few!}


If you are looking for great gifts for the kids in your life, head over to The kind people at The Land of Nod have offered a $75 gift card to one of you!


TO ENTER TO WIN THE GIFT CARD {and seriously, who wouldn’t want $75 to spend on toys} leave a comment below telling us the very best Christmas gift you received as a child.

A random winner will be selected and announced on the JDC Facebook page on Monday.

good luck and happy weekend

*** The contest is now closed. To see the winner, click here ***

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