Archive | June, 2013


Oh, instagram, how I love thee. Snap a photo, add an artsy filter, give it a clever caption. I love reading blogs, of course, but I find instagram to be just as entertaining.

My instagram feed is super random, but I try to fill it with something that fits into these three categories: pretty things, moments I want to remember, and fun things to share.

Here are a few of my latest photos:



Freshly cut peonies from our yard. They don’t last long, but they sure are magnificent when they are here!


Rainier cherries. De-lish.


We have had some crazy weather which has made for incredibly beautiful sunsets.



Father’s Day 2013. Daddy’s being a hero to more than just our family. He is pretty amazing.


Our first movie of the summer and it was SO CUTE! If you haven’t seen it yet, we give it a big thumbs up.



Nothing better than an iced latte in the afternoon. I mix a pod of decaf espresso, cold milk, a splash of vanilla and lots of ice. My friend makes hers with raw sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon and it’s delicious too.

P.S. Do you just adore the Beautiful Mess app? That’s where that cute chevron graphic came from, but I like the preset filters a lot too.


My youngest nephew turned one last weekend and his mama threw him a newsboy party. So clever and cute and totally right for this little newsie:


I could eat him. And the cake.


This is fun: instagram now has video. I posted my first one while in the empty car. You can click on the image to watch it.  Exciting stuff. And yes, my eyelashes are fake.

Yesterday I shared this photo of me working on a very long post at starbucks.


I said it was going to go up today, but I lied. I’m not done writing the novel yet, so it will wait until Monday. Do come back … I think you’ll enjoy it.

As part of the post, we’ll be offering a discount on The Blog Class and helping you set up and install your own blog at no extra cost {limited spots}. So if you’ve been wanting to start, grow, get better at blogging, Monday is your day.

Enjoy your weekend!


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summer essentials {freebie art print}

In the spirit of engaging my children in creative activities this summer {and let’s face it, keeping them occupied for more than four minutes}, I pulled out the paints yesterday. Painting is not that uncommon around here, but when I actually sat down with them to create, then it was really something special.


I am no painting expert, but I have always loved playing with watercolors. I have my own set of not-so-special paints and my own non-frayed brush and I don’t share. Sorry kids.


Over the course of an hour or two {with a few minimal distractions like making lunch four a houseful of kids and cleaning a half a bottle of elmer’s glue off the bathroom floor – you know, normal things} I was totally in to my artwork. I don’t paint often, but when I do, I always love it.


Since it turned out pretty cute, I scanned the finished painting and turned it into a printable art print for you. You can download the print below, then print on your favorite paper. I printed mine on matte photo paper to get the best image quality.


To download this print, I invite you to join the newest feature here at JDC: the archive


It’s our new way to organize all of the best freebies, templates, downloads and make it easier for you to find and access them. Simply click on the image above to join.



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how to make a dog bed out of a dropcloth

Our labradoodle, Atlas, needed a new bed.

He destroyed his first five so we took about a four month break before I decided to give him another try. A puppy needs a cozy place to rest, right?


Since he is a chewer, I didn’t want to invest much in this new dog bed so a painter’s drop cloth {cheap!} and some diy embellishment was the perfect combination.



canvas drop cloth / tape measure / scissors / pins /acrylic paint / paintbrush

{not shown: letter template, pencil, sandpaper, sewing machine, thread, dog bed insert}

STEP ONE // figure out your desired dimensions


I already had a dog bed insert {from the last bed he tore apart} so I based my measurements off of that. You’ll need four pieces total – one top piece, two bottom pieces that will overlap for an envelope closure, and one long strip for the sides.

STEP TWO // cut drop cloth to size


STEP THREE // embellish top with dog’s initial, name, stripes, etc.


I printed his name, cut out the letters and traced them onto the drop cloth.

STEP FOUR // paint and sand design


Just fill in the lettering with regular craft paint {or fabric paint for washable durability}. Lightly sand to give a slightly aged look.

STEP FIVE //  sew the bed together


Begin by overlapping the back for the envelope closure {this will allow you to insert the dog bed without having to sew a zipper}. If you cut your pieces using the pre-hemmed edge of the drop cloth, you won’t need to create your own hems.  Sew the overlapping pieces along the edge just to hold into place.


Next you’ll pin the side band right sides together to the bottom piece. Just line up the edges and pin around the diameter of the dog bed. At the corners, nicely fold the corners and pin.


Once you pin the side piece all the way around the dog bed bottom, just pin the end pieces of the side piece together and stitch right sides together. Then sew all the way around the diameter of the bed. It will look like this:


Next step is to add the top piece.


Put your top piece face down on the bottom {right sides together}. Pin along the edges.


Now sew it all together – going around twice for a reinforced stitch.


STEP SIX // turn right side out and stuff the dog bed





Our sweet/crazy puppy loves it.


So much, in fact, that he left his mark on day two.


Dumb dog.

Any tips for a chew-happy dog are greatly appreciated …

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surviving summer with a little bit of organization

I read the best post by Jen Hatmaker the other day about how to not go crazy during the summer months with kids at home.  She’s brilliant and funny and wise and even shared a few practical tips for surviving summer and enjoying it.  She offers a “few structural ideas for us Mediocre Mamas who want this season to be fun and memorable, but who also live in the real world where not every solitary day is pinnable … These are loose structures, because for me, complicated systems are basically an invitation to fail more“.  Amen and amen.

I generally avoid structuring my time because I don’t want to feel constrained to a schedule. I like the freedom to make and change plans on a whim. But I’ll be the first to admit that I know my kids would do better/pester each other less/wander aimlessly claiming boredom less frequently if I were more like the Pinterest-moms who have summer calendars and daily schedules and a fishbowl with activities on colorful little pieces of paper that their kids can choose from when they find themselves bored.

The ironic thing is that I design an organizational system – one that I love and find cute enough to post on my refrigerator.  I begin each month motivated and excited to organize and fill in all the details and then forget about it by about day three.

No more, I say. I must embrace the structure. At least a little bit. I know, beyond know it will make my life less chaotic to have our meals planned out and chores clearly marked. I know my kids will love having a daily plan {even if it is loose so we can change things up when other fun activities arise} and it will help us all enjoy our summer just a bit more. And maybe a little less pestering? I don’t know, but it’s worth a shot.

Sorry for the novel. All I’m trying to say is that 1. I’m a bit embarrassed that I create these great organizational tools and don’t fully use them and 2. I’m going to start fully using them.

So, want to see what’s new for JDC | monthly in July?

Oh, good. Because it’s pretty cute.

JDC | monthly is a monthly subscription of printable paper goods.

As always, here’s what’s included:

* monthly calendar
* weekly calendar
* menu calendars
* chore charts
* shopping list
* grocery lists
* note cards
* scripture memory cards
* art print
* a project tutorial with printable templates

The art print would work great for a punch of summery color in the kitchen, but I like it for a child’s bedroom or playroom, too.

For the project in July, there are a bunch of different packaging labels.


Use them for labeling canning jars,

packaging up treats for a party,

or sending snacks with your kids to summer camp.

I like projects that are simple, inexpensive and doable. I guess I like an organization system to be the same. Thankfully JDC | Monthly is about as easy as it comes … simply download the pdf, print on your favorite paper and fill in the details.

I would love for you to be part of JDC | Monthly and enjoy all of these goodies! The cost 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.


Make your month organized and become a JDC | Monthly member!


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.


Off to go fill in my calendars and assign the kids some chores. Wish me luck …

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our living room with the finished shingled fireplace

The best way for us to decorate our home is in phases – not always well-planned out, carefully calculated steps – more of a fluid figure-it-out-as-we-go type of decorating. Like you, we’re constrained by budget and thoughts of resale value and functionality for our young family.  We like a neutral space with lots of texture and a mix of traditional and country, eclectic and industrial, but you can’t really get that by ordering everything out of one catalog. It has taken us seven years of living in this home to get our living room to this point – a place where the room really feels collected and layered and like us. There are still a few things we’d like to do in here: wide-plank wood floors would look amazing, and a giant chandelier would be dreamy, maybe some more art on the walls and a larger rug. But those things will come. Or maybe they won’t. Either way, we have enjoyed the process of creating a space that’s personal and pretty, comfortable and welcoming, even if has taken a few years.

So, while this room will undoubtedly go through more changes, I’m so pleased with this current phase and excited to welcome you into our living room.


The fireplace really became the focal point with the new shingled/stone surround {you can see the before here and the step-by-steps of the shingles and stone work here and here}.


Like I mentioned last time, I created a custom stain for the shingles to give it a slightly faded, naturally weathered look. I was nervous about covering the natural beauty of the cedar shakes, but it was the right decision for the space as it tones down the wood color and lets the stone be the star. There’s a lot of texture happening on that fireplace and it’s not a look for everyone. Thankfully, we love it and it gives our living room the dose of creativity and personality it needed.


The chesterfield sofa is amazing – so comfortable and a very durable oatmeal-colored fabric.


This room is right off of the kitchen and so it is our everyday living and entertaining space.

jdc-living-room-full    living-room-from-up-above

We’re just about ready to tear up that carpet – it is showing it’s age. And I’d like to replace the tile and extend the hearth to span the entire fireplace surround.  Non-essentials that may or may not make our to-do list.



living-room-with-shingled-fireplace-back-of-chairs   shingled-fireplace-in-living-room


sofa: andella home
tufted chairs: ethan allen
coffee table: wisteria
mirrored side tables: target {similar}
metal side table: urban outfitters
glass lamps & shades: target {no longer available}
pharmacy floor lamp: target
jute rug: ikea
stag head: restoration hardware
floral & black & white made by me
yellow trellis: zgallerie {no longer available}
linen and blue on chairs: target
striped throw: ikea
curtains: ikea
paint color: wind’s breath by behr paint


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