Archive | June, 2012

painted lampshade {tutorial}

Once upon a time there was a plain lampshade that sat upon a thrift store lamp in the corner of my desk. It was a perfectly fine lampshade, but just so plain.

And so I gave her a pretty facelift.

Do you have a lampshade that could use a little love? I’ll show you how I did it.

Here’s what you’ll need:

:: lampshade

:: design to transfer {I used this free wreath artwork + a hand drawn initial}

:: pencil

:: acrylic paint + fine paintbrush

STEP ONE: tape your image inside the shade in desired location

STEP TWO: trace the pattern onto the front of the shade {lightly} with a pencil. Hold the lampshade up to a light source for better transparency.

STEP THREE: paint over pencil marks with paint.

Done.

What an elegant lamp shade she is now!

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q & a day {because I could really use a distraction from my aching wisdom teeth that are no longer there}

So not to be all whiny, but getting my wisdom teeth removed was way worse than I expected.  Its been a few days and I’m still feeling yucky. My poor husband and children. I’m not normally one to sit on the couch all day, but believe me, there’s a pretty nice emily-sized divot in the cushion right now.

Anyway, how about a little distraction while I lay in my cozy spot?

Something fun for the next few days :

I’ll call it Q & A.

You can ask me any question in the comments

and I’ll respond back {as best as I can} as a reply to your comment.

It will sort of be like we’re having a real life conversation as friends

only in a weird cyber-ish way.

But still as friends.

Okay : ask away :

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do you want to be a member?

If you are new here, or if you haven’t heard : we offer a monthly membership of printable paper goods called

Each month, JDC | Monthly members receive a seasonal assortment of calendars, chore charts, note cards and art prints to keep organized all month long {and look cute doing so}. We also do a monthly project with printable templates included – always something simple and season-appropriate that can be used during the month or saved for another occasion.

Anyway, I just wanted to introduce you to JDC | monthly and invite you to join us.

Here’s what we did in May:

And June has been a good month, too.

{have you started checking items off your summer-to-do list?}

Next month’s goodies are whimsical and nautical and ready for you to download.

Waves, jumping fish and summery pinwheels {instructions and printable papers included}.

So many of you have had wonderful things to say about JDC |monthly. Here are a few samplings of your sweet words:

“I must tell you-I adore your JDC Monthly collection! It is beautiful, useful, and helping me decorate my space” – Rachael

“Oh My Goodness!
These sweet notes, labels, calendars etc : make me deliriously happy!
How Wonderful of you to share your designs! How talented.
Thank you so so much.
I see a great organized month ahead :woo hoo!” – Cheri

“I just subscribed this month and have been so excited to get working on July. I’ve been joking with my friends that I already feel like a better version of myself ” – Amber

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Such nice things to hear. I adore creating each new month and it is especially rewarding when I hear that so many are finding them useful, enjoyable and simple.

So, if you would like to be part of JDC | Monthly, of course we’d love to have you!

The subscription is $9.99 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 . daily menu . grocery & shopping lists . note cards . mailing labels . an original art print {exclusively for JDC | monthly members} . tutorial with templates for the project shown

You will be sent a link to 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 project tutorial.

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

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

P.S. If you are already a member, your July link was emailed to you on the 22nd. If you need any help, please let me know!

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how to make playdough

Playdough is one activity that keeps my kids busy for hours {okay, fine, minutes}. But it does hold their attention for longer than many activities and I actually enjoy playing it with them. Every month or so we make a new batch of fresh playdough using a very simple recipe.

Just a few pantry ingredients are needed and it takes less than 10 minutes to cook up a batch.

{see below for a printable recipe}

Pour all ingredients into medium saucepan over medium heat.

After a few minutes, the dough cooks itself into a ball. Remove from the heat.

Pop the dough into a ziplock and add food coloring of your choice. The kids like this part.

Now squish together until the color has mixed through.  The dough is still very hot, so be careful if you let your little ones help with this part.

Then start playing!

We love playdough.

For your convenience, I created a recipe card for you. Just click on the image below to download and print.

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paint chip garland {tutorial}

When brainstorming decorations for my cousin’s ombre shower, I came across this darling image:

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How cute is that paint chip garland? So I decided to make my own and {of course} share how I did it with you.

Here’s what you’ll need:

:: paint chips – I felt like a total thief, but just grab a stack of coordinating colors from your local hardware store. P.S. Is this legal?

:: twine

:: paper cutter

:: hot glue gun, glue

STEP ONE: cut paint chips into strips

I only used the three middle pieces because I didn’t want the rounded edges.

STEP TWO: cut twine to desired length {plus a little for tying}

STEP THREE: add a line of hot glue to the top of the strip and press onto twine

Here I am in action. Talking on the phone and crafting. It’s what I do best.

You can use it as is, or snip the bottom of each strip for a ribbon look.

Such a simple and nearly free little decoration.

Will you be making one, too?

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an ombre couples wedding shower

My cousin is getting married in a few weeks so my sisters and I threw her and our cousin-in-law-to-be a couples shower to celebrate.

My job is always the invitations and I had fun with these. I went with my current love of ombre and silhouettes and put them together to create these simple, modern, summery invites.

Decorations were pretty simple for the party.

An ombre garland {tutorial coming Wednesday}:

a print and old letter cards:

assorted blue and green ribbons tied to champagne glasses:

set out on an ombre tray from Target

cupcakes with flags made from paint chips and toothpicks

and the most adorable ombre tiered cake made by Kara at The Sweet Side bakery. One layer of carrot cake, one layer of white with raspberry filling. Delish.

I went to high school with Kara and adore that she is pursuing her love of baking.

If you are in the Seattle area and are looking for a cake or sweet treats for a special event, click here to be inspired by Kara’s creations.

Come back wednesday to learn how to make a very simple and free ombre garland!

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lots of thoughts to finish the week

My children are still in school. For just a few more days, but still. It feels like y’all in other parts of the country are enjoying your summer and we’re still dodging raindrops and making school lunches here in the Pacific Northwest.

We’re ushering in summer {and hoping for the sun to follow} with an ice cream party.

I’m kind of excited about it. I used these invitations, ordered these bowls and will have fun setting out lots of toppings for the kiddos to make their own sundaes. And celebrate the end of school. And hopefully the start of summer.

I posted a photo of our new washer & dryer on Instagram. A few of you had questions about why we chose a top loader instead of front loader.

Even though front loaders are trendier and offer the counter-over-the-top option, they also have issues with mildew. I know myself well enough to know regularly wiping out my washer is beyond my scope of daily tasks and surely we would be the ones with a rotten washing machine. So we went with the new top-loading technology which takes care of the mold problem. We bought this washer and this dryer. I love them so far.

I had a fashion realization the other day … I dress quite boring. Jeans + solid color shirt or sometimes one with a pattern {stripes!} pretty much every day. But what I do like is a little fun in the form of shoes.

Color, flowers, ruffles, metallic. It helps bring an otherwise boring outfit together. Or at least I’d like to think so.

{from left to right: franco sarto, old navy, joyfolie, joyfolie & target}

A chunky necklace also helps.

acai rope necklace from Noonday

Some shop updates:

we have the Greatest Is Love prints in stock {yippee!}

Name prints are a perfect baby shower gift

Do you like playing with fonts?

Check out my handwriting font and fancy fake calligraphy font.

When you sign up for our mailing list {it’s free}, you get a discount code for 15% off everything in the shop.  You can sign up below:

A few things coming up on the blog:

1. Ruffle Week. Five days of ruffled projects. So fun.

2. a Q & A day. Ask me anything.

3. My sister’s most darling boy nursery {think grey, yellow, houndstooth and chevron}.

4. Printable iphone covers.

5. A new summer schedule for me and the blog. I just have to figure it out first.

I bought a lamp at the thrift store and decided to spray it glossy white for my rearranged office {I know, again.}. You’d think it would be easy, but not so much. It keeps crackling.

At this rate, I should have just bought a finished lamp.  Any spray paint pointers?

Father’s day is this weekend. It’s one of those days that is wonderful {my kids get to celebrate their amazing daddy!}, but also hard.

My parents were divorced when I was in college and to say it was the low point of my life is an understatement. My sisters and I were raised in a happy, Christian, family-oriented family, so when things fell apart, it was completely unexpected and heart-breaking.  Poor choices were made, strongholds and addictions were recognized and we all had to wrap our minds around a new reality for our family. One that no longer included our dad.

But even with the division a divorce brings, the happy memories and love between a father and a daughter remain, even if unspoken.

Redemption is part of our story, I have no doubt. But it is slow-going and hard.

I am thankful for the other dads in my life; my thoughtful father-in-law {hi, Bob!} and mom’s new husband {you’re the best, Sugar Daddy!}.

But I also think about my real dad and miss him. What could have been. What should have been.

Perhaps you relate?

Fathers are so important. And they are not perfect. Which makes things hard.

I woke yesterday with this song in my head and ironically, it is perfect for Father’s Day. An oldie, but goodie.

I have a Maker
He formed my heart
Before even time began
My life was in his hands

I have a Father
He calls me His own
He’ll never leave me
No matter where I go

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And He hears me when I call

And a video for your viewing pleasure {keep in mind the song was recorded in 1998. It’s a little dated}.

This Sunday is a good day to celebrate dads. But for those of us with some sadness associated with the word father, I hope this song comforts you as it does me.

Sorry to be all downer about Father’s Day. Goodness.

I’m off on a field trip with a bunch of 2nd graders today. Wish me luck.

See you on Monday!

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what’s on your coffee table?

Have you ever noticed in beautifully decorated living rooms that the coffee tables are always accessorized?

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There is usually a collection of books, flowers, candles, maybe a tray to contain odds and ends.

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I know life in a photograph is much different than real life. Especially if you have little ones running around the house. Candles on a coffee table don’t mix well with young children. Neither does a bowl of candy.

And yet, I still believe you can have a pretty, accessorized coffee table even with children.

Here’s what we do in our house:

This is our main living area {although we do have a separate room where movie watching is done} and the kids are in this room a lot.

Notice that nothing on the table is precious. A fern in a basket, stack of books, melamine tray with magazines, vase of flowers.  I like it all and have done my best to teach the kids to respect my things, but if something were to break, I would not be crushed. I think that’s the number one rule of decorating in a household with kids: train them to be gentle, but expect that something could break at any moment.

On the bottom shelf of the coffee table are a stack of puzzles and a basket of books for easy entertainment. And proof that kids do hang out here. I want my kids to know that I care about having a pretty house, but I also want it to be usable.

On the table:

the most amazing bouquet of peonies and sweet peas from Pike Place Market . mirrored coasters {anthropologie long, long ago} . stack of decorating books with vintage bibles on top . yellow flower napkin ring {pier one} . alphabet tray {target long ago} . magazines {do you read matthew mead publications? So great} . fern {from the grocery store} . silver bowl with vintage word cards . vintage metal basket {found}

coffee table: wisteria

zig zag rug: urban outfitters

I’d love to know … what’s on your coffee table?

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picnic in the park {baby shower}

My little sister, Hillary, is having her third baby {a boy} any day.  This is the last of the babies and so my older sister, Amy, and I hosted a special shower to celebrate sweet baby boy.

I have had this idea in my head for a while and was happy to pull it together for Hillary. Something different and memorable and simple: A picnic in the park.

{the invitations}

We set out a few cotton rugs and a large painter’s drop cloth to use as picnic blankets, scattered throw pillows for comfort and created a vintagey/picnic feel with a few tables and decorations.

The deconstructed chair is a project I have yet to complete but it was the perfect spot for the guest-of-honor to sit.

Our only activity for the shower was to think of a word {character trait} that we pray for this new baby.  Each word would be stamped on a unique note card and hung from a mobile for the baby’s room.

The mobile turned out really cute once the words were added. I’ll photograph it in his room shortly.

We wanted the food to be fancy picnic food – all easy to eat without extra utensils or serving dishes.

Pesto, turkey, mozzarella, tomato, arugula sandwiches, chips, cherries and the most delicious chocolate chip cookies from Specialties Bakery.

All packaged sweetly in a wooden basket.

It was a low-key party with close friends and family. Just perfect for showering my sister and her baby.

My girls: me, Hillary, Amy and our pretty mom.

… SOURCES …

Food packaging {wooden baskets . glassine bags . waxed tissue paper . straws}

Cookie packaging {chevron bags}

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I’m pretty sure you’ll want to win this one {june giveaway}

Need a little spending money? Have gifts to buy? Want to treat yourself to something fun?

Would you like to win this?:

amazon $50 . target $50 . visa $50 . starbucks $25 . itunes $25 . gap $25 . nordstrom $25

One lucky girl is going to have some shopping to do!

To find out who won the May Giveaway, click here.

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simplified, organized, and excited to begin

This was my facebook status yesterday.

It seriously felt like I had birthed my fifth child – only without the pain and sweet little bundle to hold.

For the past year, Ryan and I have been conceptualizing, researching, planning, designing, recording, editing and tweaking The Blog Class. It has constantly been on the forefront of my brain and even though you couldn’t physically see it, it felt the same as if I was carrying a ripe watermelon in my belly. Excited, nervous, ready to be done.

So yesterday was a big day for me. This class I’ve been growing for nine+ months was finally finished.

I pulled back the blanket and presented my baby to you.

I was nervous {would you like it?}, beyond excited {it’s finally time!} and so ready to share this new resource with you.

What a kind reception! I am so thankful for your encouragement, excitement and especially for all of you who are now taking The Blog Class!

I am proud of this project and more than anything want it to be a support and source of inspiration for you.

So thank you for welcoming the newest member of the JDC family: The Blog Class.

Here’s what a few ladies had to say:

So fun. If you’d like to be part of the class, we’d love to have you! Keep reading to learn more.

If you are anything like me, the technical behind-the-scenes of how a blog works goes right over your head. To help it make sense, we have created this video as part of The Blog Class. It’s one of my favorites. I sort of want the reader’s outfit.

Does that help? Not quite so confusing when you see it laid out like that.

In the spirit of keeping things simple, I also have a great little check list for you to download and print to organize yourself as you begin blogging. Whether you take part in The Blog Class or not, this will be a great resource for you in starting {or sprucing up} a new blog.

{click on the image to download and print the pdf}.

There were quite a few questions yesterday about the class, so I thought I’d answer those here.

1. When does the class start?

This is an ongoing open registration – you are welcome to join at your convenience!

2. How long do I have access to the class?

Each week, for four consecutive weeks, new content will be added to your class. At the end of that four week period, you will have access to the class in its entirety, for forever.

3. Is this self-paced or do I have to finish in a certain time frame?

The class is completely self-paced. Work through as many sections as you want, whenever you have time. We used this online video format for this exact purpose: to make it feasible for anyone, no matter their time constraints.

4. Can I purchase just one section?

We wrote the class as a cohesive unit, so will not be splitting it up. You are welcome to choose the sections that are most interesting to you and I’m sure you will find great value in each one.

5. I blog on blogger – is the class still for me?

Yes, absolutely. The setup, design and use sections are geared toward creating a blog using WordPress, so some of this will not pertain to you. You can still use all of the graphics, learn how to design your own header, and work through the content, grow and earn sections.

6. I would like to move from blogger to wordpress, but don’t want to lose all my content. Is this possible?

For sure. I started blogging on blogger and moved my content over too. It is actually a fairly simple process and we have a video and steps to walk you through.

7. I have no intentions of using my blog to earn an income. Can I still take the class?

Yes, yes and yes again. In no way do I assume that all blogs are meant for making money. I certainly didn’t start mine with those intentions. But I couldn’t write a class without at least covering the basics of monetizing, because many of us do hope to use our blogs to earn an extra income. You are welcome to skip over the earn section – and who knows? You may come back to it a few years from now and find it useful.

8. I need to save up to take the class – do I have to sign up today?

The class has an ongoing open registration, so you are free to sign up at any time. But let’s talk about money for a second. I know not everyone has the financial resources to take the class today. Keep planning and saving and join when it works for your family. We have done our best to make it accessible to as many people as possible {hence the three payments versus one large chunk} and we truly believe the class is worth every penny.

If you have additional questions, feel free to ask in the comments.

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your blog is waiting

Hello, my name is Emily. I am a wife and mom and I write a blog.

If you would have told me three years ago that I would introduce myself this way, I would have never believed it. Mostly because I didn’t know what a blog was {I was a little late to the party on this one.} And also because I had no idea that I could actually do it – limited tech skills, limited design skills, limited time and money and {at the time} three little ones to care for. But I was incredibly inspired by the blogs I had discovered and wanted a way to pursue passions outside of being a mommy {but not one that took me away from being with my babes} and so in January 2010, I started a blog.

I didn’t really know what I was doing; I sort of figured things out as I went. All I knew was that it provided opportunities to share fun projects, write about life – even the mundane, everyday joys and challenges, give fun stuff away and connect with women all over the globe that I never would have met otherwise.

In the two and a half years since, this is what I’ve discovered about blogging: it’s pretty much amazing.

Here are my top five reasons why:

1. Blogging provides a creative outlet

Where else can you create a space where you get to talk about what you love, share images that inspire you, do projects and just be you? It’s a semi-retreat from everyday life and a way to discover and nurture your creativity. My favorite part, by far.

2. Blogging offers a platform to share your voice

Each of us has something to offer, something to say. A blog gives us a place to share it.

3. Blogging is a way to connect with like-minded women, far beyond a physical location

Share a thought on your blog and you will probably find that there are many other women that feel just the same. Countless others that share similar passions, convictions, style or interests. It is so easy to feel alone in this big world – blogging makes it feel just a little smaller.

4. Blogging opens doors to pursue dreams

How many blogs have you read where the author was presented with an opportunity that she never thought possible? Publishing a book, being featured in a magazine, working with a national company – a blog allows us to showcase a talent and pursue dreams, big and small.

5. Blogging can be a means to earn extra income

Turning a hobby into a business has never been easier with a blog as the foundation. We all would rather buy from someone we know and like and blogging makes that possible.

What started for me as the simple desire to capture moments in our family’s young lives in the form of an online journal has turned out to be one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling things I’ve ever done. I love blogging.

Over the course of the past two years, I have received the same questions over and over pertaining to blogging:

What platform do you use to blog on? {wordpress.org}

Who designed your blog? {me, I’m flattered you asked!}

What shopping cart program do you use {wazala – it’s great}

How do you start a blog/how do you grow readership/how do you make money from your blog? {how can I answer this briefly?!!}

I’m not sure why, but these types of questions kept finding their way to my email inbox. I tried to answer the best I could, but I always felt like I was never able to really be of help. I searched for a resource to recommend – something that would teach the basics of blogging: how to start, how to grow, how to design one. But I came up empty handed. It just didn’t exist.

And so I decided to create one myself.

I’m so excited to introduce this new blogging resource:

This online course is made up of 85 videos that walk you through how to start a blog, customize it to fit your style, add content to grow readership and monetize a WordPress blog using many tools we have found useful {most are free!}. We cover the basics with simple-to-follow videos that not only teach you the whys of blogging but more importantly, the hows of blogging.

If you’ve ever thought blogging would be fun …

If you want to create an online journal to document your life …

If you desire to connect with other like-minded women …

If you have a passion that you are excited about sharing with others …

If you are looking for a way to earn some extra income …

The Blog Class is for you.

Do you already have a blog, but you’d like to improve it?

Do you want to move your existing blog to WordPress but not lose all of your content?

The Blog Class is for you too.

and watch a fun video while you’re at it.

Questions? Leave a comment below.

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snippets of life with instagram

Instagram has me hooked. I like it even more than facebook.

You choose who you’d like to follow, then get to see their lives through images. It’s a polite version of voyeurism. I’m a reality tv girl, so it is completely up my alley.

My favorites are photos with witty captions. Jami Nato is the absolute best at that. You should follow her.

I was talking to my friend about it this weekend and she thought instagram was just a fancy camera app. Not True! Well, it is, but there’s more. You take a photo, use a cool filter to make it look all artistic and post it to your feed. Add a caption if you’d like {please do – that makes it more fun}. Then those following you can view your photo and leave a comment.

We probably have enough status updates with facebook and twitter, but if you are a visual type, instagram might capture you like it has me.

Geesh. Can you tell I’m infatuated?

Since we’re talking about instagram, I thought I’d share some snapshots from the past two weeks taken with my phone {with captions underneath, of course}.

Have a peek into my life:

First little ballet shoes. Be still my heart.

The most adorable quilt made by my sister’s mother-in-law for her new baby boy due in just a few weeks. Isn’t it beautiful?

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