Archive | March, 2013

free easter printables for you

 Last year, the oh-so-talented Lindsay and I collaborated on this set of prints for the Easter season. The mix of her lovely lettering, pretty watercolor backgrounds and my favorite Easter-morning saying makes for a cheerful collection.

Using Lindsay’s artwork as inspiration, I played around with some holiday table settings.  There are lots of do-it-yourself ideas here as well as simple ways to set a pretty table. Perhaps it can inspire your Easter decorations again this year.

linen + white + industrial basket + vintage glassware

and the perfect little place cards

printed paper + ribbon-tied napkin + coordinating chocolates in a pretty dish

with a lovely print to send home with each guest

fresh flowers + pretty china + playful polkadots

paper plates + candy appetizer + crepe paper flower

a name tag tied to a flower makes a special party favor

. . . . . . . . . . .

So does that give you any ideas for your Easter table?

If you would like to use Lindsay’s artwork as part of your decoration, we have put together a great collection for you.

This is a printable file with each of these designs in all three colorways {teal, green, navy}.

You can print as many as you need, give them as gifts or use in your own home.

And the best part?

free

Please enter your email to receive the entire file.

archive-free-access

Feel free to share this with your friends … we all love freebies {especially ones so pretty!}

share

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sometimes the beauty is in believing

To tell you the truth, butterflies kind of creep me out.

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When my best friend was in Ecuador years ago, she sent me a photo of her at a butterfly farm absolutely covered in butterflies. She said it was amazing; I said it was way too close to a nightmare I had as a child of being covered in grasshoppers. Butterflies and grasshoppers may be nothing alike, but they fall in the same category of insect in my mind and I don’t want either of them touching me.  Which is really a shame, because butterflies are quite pretty.

And what they symbolize is even more beautiful.

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The newest collection of JDC|Monthly has just been released and it’s full of these lovely vintage butterfly graphics.

My favorite item in the collection this month is the art print.

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 I had this idea in my mind of all different butterflies sort of escaping and floating upwards all together. I’m not sure if butterflies fly like this, but it felt symbolic of being free and light and joyful. Designing the butterfly part was easy; then I was stumped on what it should read.

I prayed about this one – wanting it to be just right – and the answer came through my best friend.  She is fun and wise and is taking a big step in hosting her first women’s retreat in just a few weeks.  She texted me the other day saying she had finally decided on a theme: believe.

I knew right then that was the perfect word for the butterfly print.

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We all know about the life stages of a butterfly – how they transform from an ugly caterpillar and then wait for days or weeks in a cocoon before emerging as these graceful and mysterious creatures. They are often the illustration of transformation and rebirth and sometimes that can be a bit cheesy. I truly don’t mean for this print to be cheesy.

What I wonder is: do we really believe God has our best interest at heart? Even when things are hard or sad or bleak, do we truly believe that He is good? Do we believe in his promises even when our lives don’t make sense or look how we think they should? Do we believe in our value – our unique purpose – that He has put within us? Do we believe in our beauty not because we fit some cultural standard, but simply because He made us so?

Even though butterflies are a little creepy to me, I love that they represent that beauty can come out of ugliness. I hope we can see the correlation between this little creature and ourselves and somehow be encouraged to believe. Even when life looks ugly. Even when our current circumstances are not where we want to be. He doesn’t promise that our lives will be perfect, but he does give us hope and peace and freedom in the midst of it all and that usually ends up with our hearts being transformed and we become more beautiful people because of it.

I want to be free and light and graceful and the only way I can endure the hardships of life is by believing that God’s promises are true: that he is at work in my heart, refining me daily, transforming me, covering me with his grace so that I can fulfill the unique purposes he has for me.

Even though I don’t want to touch a butterfly, I sort of want to be like one.

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The new collection is so pretty and brings springtime cheer to your everyday organization and seasonal decorating.

As always, here’s what’s included:

* monthly calendar
* weekly calendar
* menu calendars
* chore charts
* spring cleaning checklist
* grocery lists
* note cards
* scripture memory cards
* an art print exclusive to jdc|monthly members
* a video project tutorial {this time Audrey joined me} with templates for the project

You simply download the pdf, print on your favorite paper and fill in the details. My sister has these calendars/chore charts/menu plans all over her fridge and I love to see how she uses them!

JDC | Monthly is $9.99 per month and your first month is free. You are welcome to give it a try. If it’s not the right fit, you can cancel at any time.

Plus, all JDC | Monthly members receive 50% off all printables in the shop.

Click the button below to sign up:

APRIL-FREE-TRIAL

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.

Please let me know if you have any questions … and be encouraged today that no matter where life has you, you are being made beautiful.

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art with kids: rollercoaster names

Now that my kids are a bit older, doing art projects with them is becoming a more enjoyable activity. We have always left crayons, paper and scissors out for them to create at their desire, but all of the fun and messy stuff made infrequent appearances. Where once I wouldn’t dare pulling out glitter and glue {unless I was willing to clean up the entire bottle and find specks of sparkly dust for days}, now I feel like they are at an age where not every project becomes a practice in controlling chaos. Well, actually, it still is sort of chaotic, but much more manageable.

I am no art expert, but creating is an activity that we all enjoy doing together and so I thought I’d start a new series sharing fun art projects to do with kids.

I’m calling it Art with Kids. Very clever, I know.

For the first installment, we’re making rollercoaster names.

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My way of being involved in my older sons’ school is by being an art docent mom. Basically I go in once per month and teach an art project to first graders. I love it.

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Just the other day we created these rollercoaster names {as shown on instagram} which was a hit with No. 2′s class. Yesterday morning when my No. 3 needed some mommy-time, we made another. I was amazed at how good his 5 year old skills were.

Here’s how you make one:

Start with a large piece of white paper and draw three or four horizontal ‘rollercoaster lines’ across the paper.

Next, have the child write his name in CAPITAL LETTERS starting with the top rollercoaster, being sure to touch the top of the paper and the rollercoaster line with each letter.

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Continue writing the name, moving to the lower lines as you reach the end of the paper.

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Then trace over the pencil lines with a black marker.

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Now is the fun part: fill in all the spaces between each black line with a different color.

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We used markers, but you could also use crayons, oil pastels or paint.

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color-rollercoaster-name-art

When you are finished, you have an abstract and colorful piece of art.

rollercoaster-art-finished-product

  If you’re looking for a project to keep your kiddos busy for a while, I hope this is a fun one!

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behind the scenes of a photoshoot

If you’ve been following along on instagram, perhaps you’ve noticed we’ve been doing lots and lots of cleaning, purging, painting and polishing all in preparation for our kitchen’s big day: a photo shoot for Better Homes & Gardens Kitchen & Bath Makeover magazine.

setting-up-the-kitchen-shoot

We’ve pinched ourselves a few times … our diy kitchen in a real magazine? Now that’s crazy.

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We’re completely flattered and it was just the motivation we needed to finish all of the almost finished projects in this space.  You know, those lingering things like touch-up paint and deep cleaning and a new bench slipcover. And while you’re at it, you might as well clean out the pantry and reorganize your cupboards and paint the back door. Needless to say, we’re exhausted. But our kitchen has never looked better.

Since this whole magazine-photo-shoot thing is new to me, I thought I’d show you behind the scenes and share how it works.

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The crew {Linda the stylist, John the photographer and Mark the assistant} arrived bright and early and got right to work setting up equipment and adding props. Linda wanted the shelves to be organized with mostly our things so I had them set up ahead of time and was so surprised that she pretty much left them as I styled them. She did switch out our clear glasses for pink goblets {clear glass does not read in photos – who knew!} and added flowers, produce and a few counter top props. The art director asked for accents in pink and green which makes the space look so pretty and springy.

preping-the-shelves

Linda set everything as she wanted and then John and Mark went to work snapping photos.

preping-for-the-kitchen-shoot

Another thing I never knew about photoshoots: all of the lights are turned off.  John explained that the difference in tone between artificial and natural light is hard to merge and so he only shoots with natural light.  His camera is set up on a tripod with a remote and he views everything from his computer, making adjustments to his camera settings via the computer. That was fascinating to watch.

kitchen-shoot-with-computer

We did a total of seven shots and it was an all day process. If you do the math, that’s about one hour per photo. John is a true artist who pays very close attention to every detail to get the shot just right. They would take a photo, test the color, make little adjustments to props {move a pear, smooth the curtain, turn the cake} until the photo was composed perfectly.  I think that’s why I love magazine photos so much: they are very intentional and meticulously styled.

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The day went very smoothly and the photos turned out beautifully. It will be such fun to see our well-used kitchen grace the pages of a real magazine.

cheers

And when all was said and done, a celebratory toast was in order.

We will keep you posted on the exact issue but it’s looking like spring/summer 2014.

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tufting and nailheads and linen, oh my

After eying it for months in Ashley’s home, I finally emailed her and asked if she cared if I copied her. I just loved her sofa so much.

tufted-linen-sofa-with-mirrored-side-table

Thankfully, she didn’t mind. And she was super sweet and shared her source and someday we’ll meet and I’ll feel especially bonded because we have the same sofa.

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Isn’t it lovely?

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The linen color is a light oatmeally/beige with a little bit of gray. Very neutral and bright.

linen-sofa-from-the-side

The arms and back are generous and sturdy.

 And surprisingly very, very comfortable. Plus, there are no lose cushions to fluff.

linen-sofa-with-colorful-pillows

The seat is deep and down-filled. Basically you never want to get up once you sit down.

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Even the details are fabulous with tiny nailhead trim and tufting along the front.

tufted-linen-sofa-full-shot

Is this the most practical of all sofas for a family with young children? Probably not. But I can’t say I’m the most practical person and I am okay with that.  This couch sits in our living room where we spend a lot of time so of course it will not stay perfect for forever, but I’m prolonging it’s loveliness for as long as possible by restricting food and shoes and crazy roughhousing {we have plenty of other places for those things}.

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We purchased the sofa from Andella Home and they were wonderful to work with.  Ours is the 90″ Audrey Sofa {how fitting, right?}.

Great news for you:

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One more cool thing about Andella Home: shipping is always FREE. Love that.

If your living room wants to be matchy-matchy with both mine and Ashley’s, we say go for it.

You will love this sofa.

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

just in case you’re curious, a few sources for you:

striped throw . floral pillow fabric . yellow trellis pillow . ikat spot pillow fabric

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wallpapering with gift wrap {tutorial}

I often get an idea in my mind for a room {like, wallpaper for the back wall of the laundry room} and I search and search for what my imagination pictures.  Sometimes I find what I’m looking for; most of the time I don’t. Or maybe I find it, but it is way beyond my budget.

Which is why I am a DIYer.

And it’s also why I used giftwrap on my laundry room walls instead of real wallpaper.

The idea was originally executed in the nursery with my very favorite metallic peony gift wrap. I had searched for a real wallpaper that was similar and never could find it, so I ordered a stack of gift wrap and glued it to her bedroom wall.  This was all done before I began blogging {which means no photos} so I thought I’d take the opportunity to share with you how I did it this second time around in our laundry room.

wallpapering-with-giftwrap

Before we begin, here’s the most important tip: use thick paper.

The thinner the paper, the more likely it will wrinkle and look funky. My friend tried wallpapering a closet wall with a cute roll of glossy giftwrap and it did not work. So do your best to find thick paper without a sheen. And if you can find one with a repeat pattern or a random one that you don’t need to match up {like in Audrey’s room}, this project will go much more smoothly.

Okay, so let’s talk about what you’ll need:

supplies-needed-for-wallpapering-with-gift-wrap

:: gift wrap {either sheet or roll}. remember: thick!
:: wallpaper paste {I ordered this as my hardware stores do not carry wallpaper paste}
:: foam roller, tray, foam brush
:: scissors, pencil, exacto knife
:: clean rag
:: optional but helpful: yardstick, glue dots, squeegee

STEP ONE: tack up your first section of paper using glue dots {or an extra set of hands}. Roughly pencil any areas that need to be trimmed, being sure to leave a few inches overlap to be precisely trimmed later.

how-to-wallpaper-with-giftwrap

STEP TWO: roll a thin coat of wallpaper paste to the top section of paper and adhere to wall, smoothing with hands, clean rag or squeegee.

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Continue to add paste in sections going down the length of the paper. I ended up just rolling it onto the wall and then pressing the paper down.

STEP THREE: trim around edges using an exacto knife

wallpaper-walls-with-gift-wrap---cut-around-corners

STEP FOUR: secure all edges with a foam brush and paste {this was easier than the roller for little areas}

how-to-wallpaper-a-wall-with-gift-wrap

STEP FIVE: Once your first piece is up, you can add the next piece – matching the pattern at the seam.

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You can see the wrinkles in the photo above. Once the paper dried, most worked themselves out. There are a few remaining air pockets, but they are hardly noticeable.

painted-cabinets-and-gift-wrap-wallpaper

DETAILS:

I used this wrapping paper from Paper Source.

The wall in this room took about 1 1/2 rolls of paper.

The project from start to finish took about 3 hours.

I love how it turned out.

laundry-room-progress-at-jdc

Questions? Please ask and I’ll gladly answer!

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I like: menswear inspired pajamas {and sleeping, too}

Did you make it through the time change? Springing-forward is brutal since it means we miss out on a blessed hour of sleep. And, believe me, I do love to sleep.  Especially after a whirlwind weekend traveling across the country, staying up late laughing with some of my best friends, shopping, running, biking, eating, paddle boarding and then traveling back across the country.

I’m a little bit tired.

Which got me thinking: I need some new pj’s. Cute, matching, grown-up ones.

Here’s a roundup of a few of my faves:

menswear-inspired-pj

1. Nordstrom Picnic Pajamas $58

2. Target Woven Pajama Set $25

3. J.Crew Vintage Short Sleeve $84

4. Brooks Brothers White with Pink Piping $98.50

5. J.Crew Vintage Pajama Set $95

6. Gap Flannel PJ set $42

7. Kayce Hughes PJ’s $92

Lots of cute and classy options.

Do you have a favorite pair of pj’s? Please share …

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