Archive | February, 2012

and the award goes to …

Did you watch the Oscars this year? I missed it. And I usually really like awards shows.  But don’t worry, I will catch up on the best dresses in my sister’s cast off US Weekly magazine {oh, the benefits of having a subscriber for a sister}.

As far as I can tell my favorite dress of the night was worn by the cutie Emma Stone.

I probably like her so much because of her red hair and pale skin. We red-headed, pale-skinned girls need to stick together.  And also because she is in my current favorite movie Crazy, Stupid Love.

But the Academy Awards and Emma Stone is not what this post is about.

There is another award program happening over at Apartment Therapy and I’m oh, so flattered to be nominated.

If you have a second, and you think JDC is a good choice for the 2012 best design blog … will you vote for me?

A quick registration at Apartment Therapy is required to vote. You can register here.

Then vote here. Just scroll down until you see Jones Design Company and cast your vote!

Continue Reading | 14 comments

losing hair, choosing joy and giving hope

Perhaps you’ve heard the story of this beautiful lady:

But if not, please let me introduce you.

This is Ashley. She writes a blog at Lil Blue Boo. She is crafty and talented and has a line of whimsical, ruffly clothes for girls.

She’s beautiful and has a beautiful heart as well.

Last fall, after having a miscarriage earlier in the year, Ashley and her husband tried to get pregnant again. This time, her pregnancy resulted in a rare form of cancer called Choriocarcinoma. You can read more about this story here.

This form of cancer spreads quickly, and Ashley’s case has been no different. She is fighting, living joyfully and gracefully in spite of the ways it has challenged her faith and impacted her family.

A few weeks ago, she shaved her head. That beautiful head of long blonde hair.

I know this is a normal step for most cancer-fighters and so many women go through the same process with such strength.

Ashley documented this rite of passage, as she calls it, in this touching video. Seriously, you should watch it.

Rite of Passage – Shaving my Head from Ashley Hackshaw on Vimeo.

I cried through the whole thing. Not because it is particularly sad … but just trying to put myself in her shoes made me emotional. She’s a young woman. A mommy. She’s too young to be going through this.

And her mom shaving her head the day before just to support her daughter? That is the kind of mom I want to be to my kids. What an inspiring story.

I also cried because in an embarrassingly vain way, I can’t imagine shaving my head. I like my hair. It defines me. Who is Emily? She is the girl with the long, red hair. It’s always how I’ve been described. I’m sure the same has been said about Ashley’s pretty hair.  So to think about taking off that comfort blanket – knowing that the whole reason it is falling out is because it means the medicine is working – that just feels so overwhelming to me. And the fact that she is smiling through the whole process speaks volumes to her decision to choose joy.

Ashley is a brave woman. As are so many others who have endured the same event in their fight with cancer. I am in awe of her bravery, strength and grace.

As we all know, the medical expenses for treating this disease are crazy. So a group of ladies joined forces and created the Team Ashley Auction.

Reason 4,072 why I love this blogging community.  People taking care of people.

There are over 200 items available for purchase and ALL of the proceeds will go directly to Ashley and her family to help cover medical bills.  The auction is live and will end tomorrow {wednesday}.  If you are not the auction type, you are welcome to donate directly on the auction website or at Evy’s Tree blog {and read much more about Ashley’s story}.

In order to bid, you need a hyena cart account {super easy – just enter an email and password and you’re set}. You can do so here.

Once that is finished, you can start shopping {and supporting!}.

{click the image to go to the auction}

It is a wonderful thing that we are able to use this technology to support those in need – even if we’ve never met. I am honored to get to be part of this.

Continue Reading | 31 comments

a touch of yellow

Each season, a certain color seems to be just the right fit. Right now, that color is yellow. At least for me. Yellow shoes. Yellow rainboots. A new yellow wallet {this one, but in yellow}.

And lots of pops of the cheerful color around the house.

flower napkin ring propped on an old bible on the coffee table

new pillow using this gorgeous fabric

the original nonna wreath hanging on my favorite book-page covered wall

you are my sunshine print {part of the JDC | Monthly march collection}

yellow books

a rolled paper flower bouquet and striped hand towel add some sunshine to the front bathroom

potted flowers from my mom

pom pom ribbon = cute.

my favorite flower pillow {from the dwell line at target last year}

old school house chair – the perfectly beat up shade of golden yellow.

mini modern pearl necklace in mustard. A staple in my wardrobe these days. {P.S. these necklaces are handmade by the adorable Jessica of Allora Handmade and they sell out really quickly. If you sign up to be on her email list, you’ll be the first to know when her shop is restocked and you can grab one while its available}

Lots of yellow … in little doses. That’s how I do color.

How about you? Are you noticing any particular color preferences in your home or wardrobe lately? Do tell …

Continue Reading | 35 comments

decoupage light switch plates {tutorial}

When your walls are painted a dark color, what do you do with the white outlet covers that become so obvious?

The walls in our living room are this deep slate gray which makes the random white switch plates dotting each wall really stand out {and not in a good way}.  Someone suggested painting them to match the wall color, but I was a little concerned that the paint would not adhere well to the plastic {has anyone tried this? Does it work?}.

Then yesterday I had a moment of inspiration and decided to decoupage them with a fun scrapbook paper to make them blend, but also add a touch of style.  I know this has been done many times before, but I thought I’d share with you how I created mine anyway. It was a super easy project and you could come up with some great ways to either hide the covers or make them pop, depending on what works for your room.

Here’s what you’ll need:

:: switch plate

:: scrapbook paper {or wrapping paper, fabric or book pages}

:: mod podge

:: scissors

:: sponge brush

STEP ONE: cut paper slightly larger than outlet cover

STEP TWO: apply mod podge to back of paper and front of switch cover and press together

STEP THREE: cut out the corners

STEP FOUR: applying more glue, fold in the sides and press to adhere

STEP FIVE: trim top and bottom flaps at an angle then fold down and press to adhere

STEP SIX: cut out center hole as shown

Once you have cut the paper, add glue, fold and press to adhere.

STEP SEVEN: cover front with mod podge to seal

And here it is up on the wall. From up close, you see the pretty pattern of the paper.

And from the couch, you barely notice the switches.

Just what I was hoping for.

Continue Reading | 64 comments

pot of gold {march JDC | Monthly}

Every month I get to create a new set of organization and seasonal paper goods for JDC | Monthly members. To have the chance to just dream up any design without any hindrances is one of my favorite parts about this job.

I know March is supposed to be all about four leaf clovers and leprechauns, but I decided to focus more on the pot-of-gold part and go with cheerful yellow.

I need cheerful this time of year … perhaps you do too.

So here is what the March collection is all about:

All of these items are printable files so you can print as many as you need, send a few to friends, use as gifts or save for a later date.

Included for March is {from left to right}: monthly calendar, hello note cards, weekly calendar, dinner time schedule, sunshine art print, grocery list, chore chart, house duties and mailing labels.

Each month, I also create a simple project with printable files.  This month, we’re making labels for organizing our pantries {or using as favor tags or gift toppers … your choice}.

I tried to get my little #3 to join me in the video and help with the project, but instead he made silly faces and hole punched his dollar bill and then was sad because he didn’t really want a hole in his prized dollar bill … oh, the life of a four-year-old. Needless to say, he did not make the final cut. But I did do a short video to show how to create the labels and even share a cheater method for laminating tags without a laminator. Good stuff.

If you’d like to learn more about JDC | Monthly, click here.

Or if you’d like to just jump on in, we’d love to have you. Your first month is free!

Continue Reading | 11 comments

things i like: rubber boots

There is something so cute about a toddler in rain boots. They are clunky, bright, durable and perfect for this time of year.

So here is a small round up of some of my favorites I found while searching for a new pair for Audrey.

Hunter Rain Boots {Nordstrom $50}

Hatley Splash Boots {zappos $48}

Flower Bloom Rain Boots {Gap $34.99}

Croc Jauntband Rain Boot {Amazon $29.95}

Capelli New York Shiny Girls Rain Boot {Amazon $14.99}

Classic Stripe Rain Boots {Polarn O. Pyret $39}

 

Wellie Boots {Lands End $19.99}

I ended up purchasing a pair of the Lands End boots for Audrey in Goldenrod.

They are just what I was looking for {and even on sale!}

Cute, cute, cute.

Continue Reading | 24 comments

the tools I use

There is a button on the sidebar over there to the right about half way down that looks like this:

When you click on it, you go to a page that looks like this:

This is a resource for some of my favorite papers, tools, printers, ribbons and the online sources to purchase these items. I think it is pretty helpful and hope you will find it to be as well.

To go to the Tools I Use page, click the button below:

If you have questions about other items seen on the blog that you’d like the sources for, please let me know and I’ll gladly share …

Continue Reading | 8 comments

chevron: over it or still in love?

The chevron pattern is all over the place … and has been for a while.

We’ve seen it on walls:

{via}

floors:

on curtains:

{via}

pillows:

{via}

and all sorts of odds and ends:

{via}

{via}

{via}

{via}

{via}

I, for one, am still a fan.

We just added this zig zag rug to our living room and I think it gives the space a playful touch.

The rug is from Urban Outfitters and is quite inexpensive. I wish it was just a bit larger, but it will do.

So how about you … are you over chevron or still loving it?

Continue Reading | 141 comments

on being a mother of four

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to have four children. I am one of three girls and we always wished we had one more sibling to round us out.  When I met Ryan, he had the same desire for a large family.  Among so many other things, I loved that we had similar ideas for our ideal family.

So here we are, 14 years later, with our precious family of six. To tell you the truth, we didn’t try for any of our kids, yet we feel so thankful for the perfect timing and blessing of all four of them.

But let me be honest with you …

Having four kids is hard.

I wouldn’t trade it. Never, ever. But sometimes {like right now} I just sit and cry from exhaustion, frustration, feeling like maybe I’m not well-enough equipped for this task of raising four little ones. FOUR! Sometimes it is just plain overwhelming.

Yesterday after church I needed to grab lunch for the kids on our way to visit Ryan who was working at the fire station.  The easiest thing would have been to go through a drive-thru, but we are trying to make healthy food choices and since I wasn’t in a major rush, I decided to stop into a sandwich shop instead.   I should have realized that a quick lunch place like this would be overflowing on a sunday afternoon, but by the time we parked and walked to the restaurant, it was too late.

First of all, let me say that I regularly have all four kids with me.  Ryan works for 24 hours at a time and so I’m on my own every couple of days. I take the kids to church by myself. We go out to eat. I take them with me on errands.  We frequent the post office, Costco, Target, our local Mexican restaurant.  While it is not always the easiest or most enjoyable way to dine or shop, it is the life of a mom with kids.

So taking the kids to lunch yesterday was normal for me.

We found our place in a long line behind an older woman in a hot pink sweater. She took notice of the kids and seemed friendly. #3 {4} went off climbing on some sign. I brought him back into line. Then Audrey {2} made her way over to the sign and I grabbed her too. At that point the lady turned to me and said,”are ALL of these YOURS?”.

“yep. All four of them”.

“Well, it looks like you finally got your girl.”

Let’s stop right here. This is just about the WORST thing you can say to a mom of three boys and a girl. Can you image what the boys think when they hear some stranger assume that his parents just weren’t satisfied with them and so they kept trying for a girl? I know they are too young to put this idea together, but someday soon, they won’t be. And NO, we did not keep trying for a girl. We didn’t even try. We just got her. Of course we were thankful. Of course I wanted a girl. But we would have been perfectly happy with our three boys.

This wasn’t the first time I’ve heard the finally-got-your-girl statement. I hear it regularly. Normally I just smile and nod. Or say something to turn it around like “Yes … she sure is lucky to have three big brothers to look after her.”  It normally doesn’t get to me too much. But for some reason, I was not in the mood for the statement from the hot-pink-sweater-lady.

She went on …

“I have three girls. We stopped after three because I did not want a boy”.

To which I just smiled.

Then #3 started pushing #1 who elbowed him back and she started shushing them and telling them to stand still and not hit.

She moved on to order her food at one register. I moved to the next.  It was chaos. I fully admit to that. Ordering for four kids who change their minds every three seconds is a challenge.  The whole process of choosing chips or an apple, whole wheat or sourdough, white or chocolate milk can fluster anyone, let alone a mom who is also trying to corral three boys, hold a squirmy toddler and find a wallet in a vast black hole of a purse.

As I was finishing up, hot-pink-lady tapped me on the shoulder and chuckled, “you sure are brave.”

Maybe she was just being funny. I don’t know. But it made me fume.

I wanted so much to turn around and say:

That is not helpful. Can’t you see that I am trying my best? Can’t you see that I love my kids and want to feed them healthy food and do fun things with them? I could have just gone through the drive-thru and I probably should have. But instead I decided to make a lunch date out of it and you are not helping. Can’t you remember when your three girls were little and what it was like to take them to a restaurant by yourself? It is not easy. But it is worth it. Because I want them to know how to act in public.  I want them to experience life outside of our home. Sometimes they misbehave, they climb on things they shouldn’t or elbow their brother or change their minds at the last second.  But they are BABIES. I’m trying lady.  I really am.  And your condescending tone telling me I’m brave is basically a cute way for you to say I’m a bad mom and that my kids are not welcome here. It is not helpful. 

Instead, I ignored her; I didn’t even turn around. I knew if I did I would say something snippy and that wouldn’t do any good.

We ate our lunch. Audrey spilled her yogurt down her shirt. #1’s sandwich dropped on the floor. #2 ate all the chips. #3 cried when we left because I couldn’t hold him.  It wasn’t a perfect lunch date. But we sat together at the table and enjoyed the few minutes of a tasty lunch.

When we got in the car and drove to the fire station, I fell apart. My feelings were so hurt by the lady with the hot pink sweater. I felt criticized, so looked-down on. There was no compassion in her tone of voice or the way she interacted with the kids.  She was mean. And she probably wasn’t even meaning to be.

I’m not sure why I’m writing all of this for the world to see. I think I just need to ‘journal’ this part of my life. I’m a mom of four kids and sometimes it is hard.

I try {as I’m sure most other adults do} to look right, act right, say the right thing when I’m out in public. I don’t want to be embarrassed. And yet I have these four little clueless children who seem to sabotage my appearance everywhere we go. They are good kids – they really are. But they don’t think the fabric store is all that fun and they take spools of thread out of its appropriate spot and leave it on the floor. That’s embarrassing. They throw fits in the toy aisle when we’re picking out a birthday gift and they don’t get something for themselves. That’s not how I’m raising them! They do that dreadful arched-back-so-buckling-is-impossible thing when getting in the car. Mortifying to think other people hear my sweet angel-baby sound like I’m torturing her when all I’m doing is trying to protect her by buckling her car seat.

Someone once said that parenting is not so much about teaching a child as it is about refining a parent. There is no one who can teach me more than my own children. I see my behavior, my words, my food preferences, my mannerisms reflected right back to me through them. And I don’t always like what I see.  I can try to look good on the outside, but my kids see the real me and its not always the patient, put-together, grace-filled, selfless person that I wish it was.

My kids embarrass me, they do. But no more than I should be embarrassed by my own ugliness that I so easily hide.  I may not leave spools of thread on the floor or throw myself on the ground when I don’t get what I want, but I sure do think some unloving thoughts or mumble under my breath when I don’t get my way.  I’m thankful to them for the ways they refine me, teaching me about grace and forgiveness and new mornings after particularly exhausting nights.

The speaker at church yesterday said there’s a funny thing that happens when you have children. You don’t need them to be complete. But once you have them, you can’t imagine being complete without them.

I love my kids. I learn from my kids. I can’t imagine my life without my kids.

I’m sure you feel the same if you have children of your own.

No matter how challenging they are, or how exhausted I may be, I would never trade this life.  I just wish there were fewer pink-sweater ladies who make me feel like I’m not doing a good enough job.

So here is what I want to say to wrap up this long-winded thing.

If you see a mom who looks like she needs help, HELP HER. Even if she says no.

If you see a mom who is doing a good job, ENCOURAGE HER. Even if it is awkward.

Whether you have little children, grown children or none at all, you can make such a difference to a young mom.

We’re all struggling through this thing called motherhood – some days are better than others – and we need each other. We need community.

I needed that Costco worker who distracted Audrey from her crying fit. I needed the man who held the door open for my entourage. I needed my best friend to watch the kids for an extra hour so I could enjoy a few minutes of free time. We needed the elderly couple at Starbucks who complimented Ryan and me on our well-behaved kids. These simple kind gestures made such a big difference to me.

I am thankful for the chance to raise four kids. I am so proud of who they each are and continue to find more things to love about each one. Yes, it can be hard. Yes, its chaotic and exhausting to keep up. Yes, I fail and will continue to make mistakes. I’ll probably run into more critical old ladies at restaurants and my kids will probably continue to elbow each other. I’ll probably be embarrassed and maybe even cry about it again.

That’s life.

That’s my life.

And I wouldn’t trade it.

Continue Reading | 407 comments

what i wore for these past two weeks

Two weeks worth of what i wore … I think I like this system better than posting my outfits weekly. I get a little weirded out by seeing myself on the computer screen each week.

So, here is what I wore for the past two weeks:

1. ruffle sweater: target   jeans: hudson   necklace: allora handmade

2. shirt: target   scarf: nordstrom   jeans: seven flare

3. sweater, belt, shirt, jeans: target   boots: dsw  necklace: a cool little shop in Seaside, FL

4. sweater: target   jeans: seven a pocket   headband: audrey’s. I was hoping the big fluff on my head would distract from the breakout on my chin.

5. coat: nordstrom {old}   shirt: gap {borrowed}   jeans: seven a pocket

6. shirt: marshalls   jeans: seven dojo   necklace: old navy

7. shirt: marshalls – a real stretch for me!   jeans: target   boots: dsw

8. shirt: marshalls   jeans: target   boots: dsw  {and a cute little matching boy who loves to grab my legs and never let go}

9. shirt & sweater: target   jeans: seven boot cut

10. sweatshirt: roxy   jeans: seven dojo

11. sweater: target   ruffle shirt: walmart {wish I bought a bunch because I like this shirt}   jeans: banana republic wide leg   ring: Poppy & Pearl Co.

cute new shoes on clearance at Target.

WHAT I WORE BY THE NUMBERS:

11 out of 11 days I wore jeans

5 out of 11 days I wore yellow

5 out of 11 days I wore gray

4 out of 11 days I wore blue {not counting jeans}

5 out of 11 days I wore stripes

8 out of 11 days something I have on is from Target

Those numbers say everything about my style {comfort + neutral + touch of color + a little bit of pattern + nothing so special it could get ruined by my munchkins}.

How about you … do you see trends in how you dress?

Continue Reading | 42 comments

free printable valentines

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be an artist, a talk show host, or a window dresser {you know, those people who create the displays for department store windows}.

Funny thing is, I sort-of pretend to be all of these now that I am a grown up. I record videos of myself for JDC | monthly and even though it is super dorky, I feel a bit like Elisabeth Hasselbeck on a craft segment. I make little displays of products to photograph and pretend to be a stylist. And every once in a while, I pull out my watercolors and indulge the artist dream.

A few weeks ago, I was feeling creative and started painting. These valentines are what came out. I think they are pretty cute.

{sweet love}

{love birds}

{ombre}

{pair} this one is my favorite!

To download these four designs, please subscribe to JDC via email. As a subscriber, you will receive blog posts, occasional extra notes and promotions with discount codes directly to your email inbox. It is sort of convenient. Plus you get free valentines. Sounds like a deal to me!


 
 

{please check your email inbox to confirm your address and the link will be sent to you}

If you are already a JDC email subscriber, check your email … the download link is waiting for you!

P.S. If you want additional printable valentines {for you or your kids}I have a great selection in the shop.

Purchase just one file for $2.95 or all nine for $7.95.

Click the image above to go to the shop.

Continue Reading | 26 comments

she’s done it again

Remember the O Holy Night print this past Christmas? Well, the ever-talented lovely-letterer Lindsay has done it again. This time she has created the most delightful LOVE art print just for JDC readers.

We’re calling it the greatest is love print.

Besides the appropriate message, the gorgeous calligraphy and whimsical art, my favorite part is how special it feels since it is printed with metallic gold foil.

Of course, this is a beautiful print to use as decoration this Valentine season or to give to a special someone as a love-day gift {gently nudge your husbands, ladies!}.

But I realize that Valentine’s Day comes and goes and I love that this print is relevant long after the conversation hearts are consumed. It can stay up all year long.

Wouldn’t this be such a nice wedding gift for a bride & groom? Pop it in a frame and you have a unique and meaningful gift.

It makes a great anniversary gift too.

The verse forms the subtle shape of a heart. I love that.

We are offering the print in gold foil on white:

and in gold foil on slate.

The print is 8.5 x 11 and will fit into a frame with an 8 x 10 opening.

Your prints will be shipped right away so that you will receive them in plenty of time for Valentine’s day.

We have a very limited supply of both colors so grab one while they are available {if you no longer see the print in the shop, it means it has sold out. I’m so sorry!}

Click the button below to purchase from the shop:

All sold out!

Continue Reading | 21 comments

a pretty february giveaway

The february giveaway is a celebration of ruffly, flowery, girly things. It seems appropriate for this time of year.

1. ruffle socks from Pink Bow Bath Boutique 2. floral clothespins 3. picture frame 4. whatever art print {in the shop} 5. rose candle holder 6. ruffle clutch 7. 1 yard each light pink & bright pink ruffle ribbon 8. set of 4 ruffle note cards with envelopes 9. posy ring from Poppy & Pearl Co. 10. ruffle apron

A few highlights:

Isn’t this ring the prettiest thing? Bobbi from Poppy & Pearl Co. makes a few different styles that are so lovely.

{click the image to visit her shop}

The ruffle-topped socks are really fun too. They add a pretty, feminine look to skinny jeans and boots when left peaking out of the top.

Visit Pink Bow Bath Boutique to shop

The ruffly apron is from Pier One … they have a few cute options … don’t you think making dinner is more fun when you are wearing a girly apron?!

A random winner will be selected on February 29th

{the comments are closed on this post. Make sure you click on the button to enter}

Continue Reading | comments

a special game of memory

Country Living featured this version of a homemade memory game in the December issue.

Since my little potty-mouth loves playing games, I thought it would make a special christmas gift.  After thinking through different objects I could use on the cards, I decided on a photo of each of the kids in our extended family. Then I figured I should create a game for each of the families and the idea for cousin memory was born.

There are 11 cousins {with one more on the way} so I used a photo of each little darling on two cards each.

A combination of photoshop, illustrator and digital printable papers {plus the cousins’ cute faces} made for a colorful and special memory game.

I followed the instructions from Country Living {printed the images, cut to size, used spray adhesive to attach to mat board}. I probably should have sealed them with mod-podge, but I didn’t finish the games until the night before our family christmas celebration, so I skipped that part.

The kids think it is fun to see their faces on playing cards.

You could do a similar project using any image or clipart that is meaningful to you:

memorable locations {first date, vacation, first house} for a special game for your spouse

favorite toys for your kids

items around the house to help a toddler learn objects

colors

shapes

gardening images for a gardener in your life

I could go on and on. But I’ll stop.

All to say, it is a simple and inexpensive project that makes a delightful gift.

You can read the original Country Living article here.

Continue Reading | 41 comments