Archive | August, 2013

diy hand stamped tree slice

It’s accessorizing time in the boys’ room and so I’ve been scouring our house, finding a few things online and crafting my own items to give their room that campy/outdoorsy/vintage/boyish charm I’m going after.

be-kind-wood-slice-hand-stamped-diy

This is one of the pieces I sort-of made. It started with the wood slice I happened across at the craft store. I originally thought I would paint the inside with chalkboard paint like this or this, but I couldn’t find my paint. Not one to let a little missing paint get in my way, I came up with a new idea: using my beloved alphabet stamps to ink a phrase.

diy-handstamped-wood-slice

SUPPLIES //

Wood slice {i found mine at Michaels, but you can also get them online here}
alphabet stamps {I use this set all the time. You can order them here}
black ink pad {like this}

STEP ONE // decide on a quote and practice on a scrap piece of paper.

stamped-wood-round-supplies

STEP TWO // stamp onto wood slice

stamped-wood-round

That’s it.

I mentioned this on instagram yesterday, but I’ll do it again here. If there is anything I want for my boys it is for them to be kind. To think about others, to genuinely care, to understand that oftentimes we don’t know the whole story and so we must be compassionate just for the sake of being compassionate. I want them to stick up for each other, to befriend the lonely kid, to celebrate victories together and encourage when things aren’t going as well.  I want them to grow into young men who are kind. Not wussy; but empathetic. Not out-of-control sensitive; just tender enough to see life through another’s eyes.

And so I chose this quote. Not sure who the originator of it is {some say plato, others disagree}, but it rings true. Plus, my kids are all about battles and fighting, so it seems rather appropriate.

stamped-wood-closeup

Easy, peasy project that is perfect for the boys room, but could be adapted for so many other spaces. Enjoy!

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the books I read this summer

I’m a sporadic reader. I go for months without picking up a book and then cruise through one after the next in a short period of time. When I’m not reading, I forget how much I love being engaged and entertained by a well-written story. When I’m reading, I wonder why I don’t do it more often.

I read mostly at night before bed, but when it’s a book I can’t put down I carve out minutes here and there throughout the day. Somehow the time to read just makes its way into my days.

Over the past few months, I’ve poured over several books worth sharing. Here they are:

good-books-worth-reading

the dressmaker // an aspiring seamstress is hired by a famous designer to be her personal maid on the Titanic. Of course disaster strikes and suspicions arise and Tess must decide where her loyalty falls. I’m a lover of historical fiction and so this one was an enjoyable and engaging read.

cold tangerines // a collection of short stories about celebrating the everyday. This book was recommended by a friend and it is the most heart warming and inspiring set of little essays. A must read, if you ask me.

a week in winter // an old irish estate is re-vamped and turned into a bed & breakfast by a woman looking for a second chance. It is there that a cast of characters come together each finding a way for themselves and enriching their lives. I love it when an author can create a handful of separately captivating stories and weave them all together until at the end, they become one big story. Maeve Binchy’s books are always well done.

sparkly green earrings // a heartwarming and hilarious commentary on motherhood written by well-loved blogger, Melanie Shankle {aka. big mama}. This one makes you laugh and cry and feel normal and overwhelmingly thankful for the opportunity to be a mother.

war brides // four women return to their war-era village in england 50 years after the end of the war to commemorate the occasion. It’s a story about the way their lives were changed by the war and another one of those great weaving-the-characters-together type of stories. Maybe not the greatest book of all times, but I really liked this one.

and the mountains echoed // an exploration of the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how the choices we make resonate through generations. The story takes place around the globe, but primarily in kabul, afghanistan. The book is beautifully written and almost poetic, the characters are so well developed and I didn’t really want this one to end. It breaks your heart but lifts it up as well.

bread & wine // another collection of short essays all surrounding the idea of sharing our lives around the table. It’s a story about the ways God nourishes our souls as we nourish those around us. Recipes are included and stories to go along with them. A lovely book and a great gift.

the house at riverton // the story of an aristocratic family, a house, a mysterious death and a way of life that vanished forever, told in flashback by a woman who witnessed it all and kept a secret for decades {via the amazon description}. I LOVED this book. All of Kate Morton’s books, actually. If you love downton abbey, you’ll adore this one.

give them grace // a revolutionary perspective on parenting that shows us how to receive the gospel afresh and give grace in abundance, helping our children know the dazzling love of Jesus and respond with heartfelt obedience {via the amazon description}. I haven’t finished this one, but really should. It is so the way I want to parent.

where’d you go bernadette // when her social-outcast mom disappears, 15 year old bee puts the pieces together to find her. It’s funny, sad, intriguing and an entertaining read. In other words, read it.

what alice forgot // after a terrible fall, alice wakes up forgetting the last 10 years. She thinks shes happily married, expecting her first baby, but really is going through a divorce with three kids who don’t even like her. How did her life end up like this? And can she get back to the way it was? This book makes you think and reflect on your own life. Where will I be 10 years from now? Will I like who I am? Would my 10-years ago self like who I am today? This one is a little crass, but a really entertaining and interesting read.

with all my love // I have only just began this one, so I can’t say much about it. The story is set in ireland and centers around the relationships between mothers and daughters. I’ll let you know how i like it.

So there you have it. Twelve good books worth reading.

Have you read anything fabulous lately? Please share …

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reader survey 2013 results

reader-survey-long

Thank you, friends, for taking the 2013 reader survey I had up a few weeks ago. Our goal was to help us get a better idea for who you are, what you love about JDC and how we can make things better around here. Curious about the results? Here you go:

about-you-reader-survey-results online-habits-jdc-reader-survey you-and-jdc-reader-survey

There were a few questions where you could write in your answers and it was fun to read through your responses.

Many of you like my honesty and realness best which is such a flattering compliment and affirms that I’m doing okay sharing more than just pretty pictures and put-together moments.

Some appreciated the clean design and uncluttered feel of the blog, which again is affirming to my decision to keep my site advertisement-free.

Most of you want to see more tutorials, more of our home, more in-the-process rather than all-finished type posts. And a bit more about our everyday life.

I’m on it.

So I’m kinda curious: are you surprised at any of the stats? Do you have anything to add?

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diy linen pinboard

Perhaps one of the easiest and most used projects I’ve ever done is covering a store-bought cork board with linen. It currently lives in my office, but it moves from room to room {sometimes holding jewelry, other times a countdown to christmas tag display}.

This is not a new idea or even one that you can’t figure out on your own, but it is one of those basics that maybe I should just remind you to do because you will find one million uses for it around your house.

supplies-needed-for-linen-pinboard

SUPPLIES //
cork board {from your local office store – any size}
linen or other medium-weight fabric of your choice {I actually used a painters drop cloth for this one}
scissors
staple gun
upholstery tacks

 

making-a-linen-pinboard

STEP ONE // remove frame from cork board

STEP TWO // cut fabric to size leaving 1-2″ overlap on each side

STEP THREE // staple one side, and then pull opposite side taught and staple to secure

STEP FOUR // repeat for other two sides

STEP FIVE // fold in corners creating a neat edge. Staple to secure

fold-corners-of-linen-pinboard

STEP SIX // continue stapling all the way around your board until fabric is tight and secure.

back-of-linen-pinboard-all-stapled

confession: my cork board was super cheap and very thin so the staple gun staples went right through and stuck out the front. I ended up using a regular office stapler and it held fine.

STEP SEVEN // push in upholster tacks, first spacing them out evenly around the perimeter of your pin board.

space-out-nails-on-linen-board

Now you can pin up inspiration, favorite photos, fabric and paint swatches or, of course, use it to organize.

linen-pinboard-and-jdc-monthly-september

I used this blank wall in our kitchen to tack up the pin board {with 3m command strips – the best invention ever} and added our calendar for september, a place to jot down random to-do’s before they escape my mind, and a stack of little cards that I can write notes to the kids and pop into their lunches. linen-pinboard-finished-and-styled

It’s far from the perfect command center that we could probably use, but it works in a pinch. linen-pinboard-organized-for-september

The fun printable calendar, note cards, art print, etc come from the jdc monthly september collection.

september-collection-from-the-side

JDC | Monthly is a great option if you want stylish organization that you can print on your own {choose what works best for you and your family} and lots of extras like note cards, scripture memory cards, an art print and simple diy project that is new every month.

september-collection-sample

If you’re feeling the need for some new and fun ways to get organized this fall, we’d love for you to give jdc | monthly a try!

Included each month:

* 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

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.

the details:

You will receive the link to the monthly collection immediately after signing up. 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. If you decide JDC | monthly is not for you, you are free to cancel at any time.

Click the button below to receive JDC | monthly via email for $9.99 {try it for 7 days free!}.

get-organized

As for the pin board, I hope it acts as a neutral base for all sorts of creative uses around your home.

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my office is in better homes & gardens

The craziest thing happened …

bhg-jdc-office-page-one

My office made the pages of Better Homes & Gardens.

The photo shoot was all the way back in December {they did the playroom too, but no word yet on when that one will appear} and I’ve been super excited to see how the room looked in print after being styled and photographed by inspiring and talented professionals {janna lufkin on the styling; john granen behind the camera}.

bhg-jdc-office-page-two

bhg-jdc-office-page-three

Doesn’t it look so pretty and clean and organized?! Don’t worry, it doesn’t always look like this. But it was so fun to see a real stylist do her thing – pulling L’s off the L wall, an old typewriter from the entry table and little cards and trinkets, ribbons and papers from my collection to use in the photos. She brought in a bunch of props, but I was so flattered that most of what was used is actually mine.

Another crazy thing? It took over 8 hours to get these shots. This was our first experience with magazine photo shoots {we’ve since had one more done in our kitchen – which is slated to be published next spring} and we had no idea what to expect. When I take photos, I just snap a few and go with it; when professional photographers photograph homes, they snap, then adjust, then adjust some more and then again until everything is exactly perfect. I loved watching John and his assistant work that day and hope that my photos have improved just a teeny bit because of seeing them.

If you would have told me five years ago that part of my house would be in a magazine, I never would have believed it. I am beyond grateful to the blogging industry for the ways it has opened doors and presented opportunities to just a normal girl like me. So, so honored.

bhg-september-2013-issue

You can read the article in the September 2013 issue {which should be available in stores now}.

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the boys’ room progress {walls, ceiling, light & shelves}

We’ve made some good progress on the boys’ room this past week or so. Just as a reminder, here’s the look we’re going for:

boys-room-design-board

The first step was to paint the walls and ceiling.

painting-walls-white

{via my instagram feed}

I actually like painting and I’ve done it a ton in our house. But I am surprised to say that I’ve never painted walls white. And it felt super risky! Usually we give boring white walls personality with a nice paint color, but this was the opposite. Plus, white walls in a boys room? That’s kinda crazy. But their room felt dark with the big navy bunks and I’ve been craving white throughout most of our home, so it felt like the right choice for this room too. The color is Silky White by behr. It’s a nice slightly creamy white. It kinda makes me want to paint my room white too.

The ceiling is Rhino also by behr which is the same gray/blue we used in Audrey’s room. It’s very subtle, but light, bright and adds dimension.

bunk-beds-in-boys-room

Next came installing the light {depot ceiling lamp from potterybarn kids}.

installing-ceiling-light-pb-kids

{via my instagram feed}

I joke that I’ve become a professional light-installer, but seriously, I’ve done it four times now and haven’t shocked myself yet. Once you figure out which wires go with which, it’s just a matter of balancing the light fixture in one hand while tightening screws with the other. Totally doable and such an easy way to boost a room’s style.

old-light-new-light

One more project we did – and this time the kids were involved – was staining and installing shelves and brackets.

I bought three shelves and six brackets from ikea, and stained with minwax in special walnut.

staining-wood-shelves

You just brush it on, then wipe off with a clean rag.

rub-off-stain-with-cloth

The color is great – a nice natural medium-ish tone.

staining-shelf-brackets

The middle boys helped stain the brackets. They loved it; I talked myself through it {it’s all going to be okay, it’s just stain}. I want them to help, I want them to take ownership, but sometimes help is not actually all that helpful when you’re as finicky as this mama.

installing-shelves-in-boys-room

Having help installing the shelves was actually both fun and helpful. We measured, found studs, marked, and screwed in the brackets.

So here we are now:

bunk-bed-and-chair

Walls and ceiling painted, light and shelves installed, rug and chair moved in.  Next up is a whole bunch of styling {my favorite part}, some diy projects for the walls, pillow making, art hanging and curtain-figuring-out. Still hoping to have it all finished before they head back to school just after labor day. I’ll keep you posted …

sources

wall paint // ceiling paint // light // rug // shelves // brackets // striped duvets

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a love note to our house

This week we celebrate our wedding anniversary.  I was going to write a mushy blog-post-love-note to my amazingly talented, handsome, smart, funny, wise husband for all to see, but instead decided he’d probably rather not the world know how thankful I am to be more in love with him now than when we first met when we were practically babies and how special I know it is that we have each other for support and laughter and long, long talks about dreams and goals and what it is the Lord wants for us. He’d like it better if I wrote him a card. So I’ll do that.

Instead, I have a few words for our house.

It’s our anniversary, too.

Seven years ago on our wedding anniversary, we moved into our new home.  Never did we imagine we’d love it so.

love-note-to-our-house

Dear house,

I’m afraid I have to start this note with an apology.  You see, without even realizing, I’m sure we’ve hurt your feelings. Over and over and over.

If you had feelings.

We spend way more time talking about how we’d like to change you – how if only you were more like this we might love you more – than we do loving you just as you are.  From the outside, it’s true. I would love you more if you had wide planks painted white instead of worn carpet downstairs. And I would love you more if our bathroom walls were clad in subway tiles and floors were slate and cabinets were white and we didn’t have that gigantic bathroom mirror but rather two statement pieces with stylish sconces. I would love you more if you had a larger garage to store all of our you-know-what and I would love you more if you weren’t backed up to identical homes on every side. I’m most certain that these things would make us love you more.

So we’ve made changes to you; we’ve painted and papered, nailed and trimmed. We’ve added molding, changed out light fixtures, replaced counter tops and gave you shingles.

And even still, even with all of these changes that have made you prettier in our eyes, you are still the same house we moved into seven years ago.

You are walls. You are a roof. You are a place to sleep and eat and gather.

And you do all of these things so well. Even without the paint and paper and nails and trim. You are perfect.

When we moved in, we never imagined we would still call you home this many years later. You were our second home, a BIG step up from our first tiny, practically falling down 80 year-old house with a rodent problem. It was cute, but you were new. And you had a dishwasher! You lured us in with your many rooms and never-been-used kitchen. I remember standing in the backyard on our first visit with the new sod lines still there and feeling in my heart that you were it. You were our new home and a place that we could share. A place we were called to share.

So we moved in. The four of us, at that time. Which quickly became five and then six. You’ve been a home to not only us, but to other families for months at a time as well. We are grateful for your ability to house friends who needed a home.

You’ve been a gathering place for parties, holidays, football games, playdates, bible studies, craft nights, poker games.

And you’ve been our canvas.

Maybe that’s what I’m most thankful to you for. You’ve given me a place to work out my creativity. Your walls inspire me.

They say that it’s not the house that makes a home but the people who live in it.

I sort of disagree.

Someday we will move away to a new home that maybe has those wide plank floors and a expansive view out our windows and we’ll learn to call it home. But it won’t be the same. We will miss you. Even though it’s our family and friends who have breathed life into you, it’s you that has given us a place to live. A place to love. To share. To rest. To create. To enjoy. To grow. A place to breathe.

Thank you, dear house, for doing your job and doing it well.

Happy anniversary.

xo,

your family

 

 

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learn how to paint watercolor letters

I spent a few hours painting last week. They are simple little paintings – just a letter in relief done in watercolor – but they turned out so well, I knew I ought to share the details.

instagram-letter-b

{via my instagram}

learn-to-paint-watercolor-letters

This is a great painting project for the beginner watercolor-ist. You don’t need fancy brush skills or even fancy tools to do this. Keep reading to see how it’s done.

supplies-for-watercolor-letters

SUPPLIES //

watercolors {I use an set by Prang and it’s about $8 at the art store or online here}
brush {this one is a number 2 rounded brush by royal. I’m not well-educated on the right brushes to use – I just like them to be pretty fine so that I can do detail work}
watercolor paper {this is my favorite because it is super thick}
clean water
paper towel
pencil
good eraser {like this}

For more on watercolor technique, this is a great resource. Plus the photos are really pretty.

STEP ONE // trim your paper to 5 x 7 {or desired size} and lightly sketch the outline of your letter

sketch-letter

I just chose a few different fonts in Illustrator and copied by eye, but you could certainly print out your letter and transfer {using this method perhaps}. Don’t worry about it being perfect – watercolor by nature is a little loose so it’s nice to have a hand-drawn look to these. The fonts I used are bodoni at home, bombshell pro, jacques & gilles, and georgia.

STEP TWO // mix your paint color

add lots of water to watercolor tray

Add lots of water to the color, then dab a bit on your brush and begin to mix your color on the palette. Very rarely do I use the color straight from the color tray. I pretty much always mix in a bit of brown to tone down the color and will add yellow to brighten as well. Just play around with the colors to see what tones you prefer.

watercolor palette mixing colors

STEP THREE // trace a small part of the outline of the letter, leaving the inside free of paint.

painting with watercolor outline the letter

STEP FOUR // blend with water and various shades of the same color for a ombre/messy watercolor look. The key is to keep your brush very wet and be a little sloppy with your strokes.

blending watercolor with water

blending-watercolor

One of the best things about watercolors is that they are very forgiving. If you add too much paint, just mix in more water, or dab off with a dry paper towel.

STEP FIVE // once completely dry {it only takes a few minutes} erase pencil marks

erase pencil marks on watercolor letter

With varied colors and fonts, this makes for a really fun way to add personality and originality to a simple monogram.

watercolor-letters

Originally I made these as gifts for the blogger-friends who joined me on the 20 days of giveaways, but I loved them so much, I just kept going with each letter of the alphabet.

watercolor-letters-various-colors

I know you can make these on your own – and please do try! It would be a fun project to do with kids, make a huge one for your wall, or tiny ones to adorn gifts as tags.

But, of course, I know not everyone is crazy for diy watercolors, so I’ve scanned in my letters and now have digital watercolor letters you can download and print {and pretend you painted yourself}.

watercolor-alphabet-collection

Of course they are great on their own, but also fun to use to spell out a word or make a banner.

sip-watercolor-letters    joy-banner

The collection is now available for purchase and instant download in the shop.

I can’t wait to see what you create with these!

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back to school celebration and printables

Back to school.

I have cried every first day of school since I was in kindergarten and I’ll probably continue to tear up until my last baby hits adulthood and no longer experiences this momentous occasion. It’s not so much that it’s a sad day; just the start of something new which makes me emotional. This year, all four will start school – definitely a new phase around here as I’ll be all alone for entire days for the first time in 10 years. What will I do with myself?!

One thing I’ll do is celebrate. With other moms who are all alone at home.

My adorable friend Rae had this brilliant idea to put together a back to school brunch that not only celebrates our kids heading off for a new school year, but also to collect school gear for kids in our community who may need a little extra help.

back-to-school-brunch-invitation

Our party will be at my house the week after school begins in September, and I’m excited to share ideas for decorations and a craft project we’ll be doing. We will be collecting shoes for a local organization which sort of breaks my heart thinking about how my kids get to go back to school shopping like it’s no big deal and there are kids in their own school whose little toes are cramped in their too-tight, scuffed-up shoes. I’m so glad that we can pool our resources to do something tangible for these kids and make their lives {and feet} a tiny bit happier.

We would love if you would join us in celebrating back to school and using that celebration to help other school-bound kids in your community. Rae has designed a great set of printables to pull off the party that are FREE to download.

back-to-school-brunch-free-printables

So cute, right? You can download the whole set over on her blog {click right here}.

We’d love for you to join us in toasting to the new school year {and days at home without kids!} and using that party for good. Gather up your girlfriends, bake your favorite egg dish, and let us know how your celebration goes!

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pillow talk

Confession: I have a pillow addiction.

pillows-covering-sofa

This is not even all of them. I have matching pairs for a handful of the ones shown and several more that just didn’t make the photo.

It could be considered a problem. But here’s the thing: for a neutral-lover like myself, a fun pillow is the perfect way to add color, pattern and texture without having to commit to a permanent piece. I change out pillows, rotating them seasonally or just moving them from room to room for a new look.

Most of these pillows were made by me {which, by the way, is a great way to save money. Teach yourself how to sew a straight stitch and you’re well on your way}. Here are a few of my favorite pillows of the bunch:

favorite-pillows

The floral is the most expensive fabric I’ve ever purchased at $50 per yard, but it made two double-sided pillows and is a beautiful heavy knit fabric that is perfectly cheerful for the spring and summer months. The fabric is called Waggaman Festive by Braemore Fabrics and is available here.

I also made the ruffle pillow, this time using IKEA curtains {seriously one of my favorite sources for fabric – just cut up a curtain panel!}. I did a similar tutorial for a ruffle pillow here.

That yellow flower pillow is an oldie but goodie from the Dwell line at Target a few years ago. I’m a bit of a pillow snob and like the inserts to be down-filled. This one is probably the only pillow in our house that is not, but perhaps my favorite of all.

I’m actually not that crazy about the yellow embroidered pillow {the color is more saturated than I prefer} but I wanted to point you to catalog stores like Potterybarn, West Elm and Land of Nod for pillow covers. You can often buy them without the inserts and then purchase those elsewhere for less {try ikea or online}. This one came from PB Teen which has a great selection of slightly more playful and slightly less expensive pillows than her big brother Potterybarn.

This geometric ikat was also made by me using very inexpensive fabric by Premier Prints at fabric.com. They have lots of trendy patterns and it’s printed on a thick cotton which holds up well as pillows. This particular fabric is called Chipper in Slub Charcoal for $8.98 per yard.

The sequin pillow is a cut up tank top from Old Navy that I bought to add some sparkle around Christmas time last year. Here is the tutorial.

The newest pillows to join our home came from a great online decor source Lulu & Georgia.

scallop-pillow-from-lulu-&-georgia

I just received my September issue of Country Living and what do you know … this darling scallop pillow made the cover!

country-living-cover

I kind of like the scallops dipping down, so I turn mine upside down. Super cute, either way.

The other new pillow addition is this funky one also from lulu & georgia.

deer-pillow-from-lulu-&-georgia

It is going to be part of the boy’s room makeover {which is coming along, by the way}.  I couldn’t decide between this antler print or the moose one – both are whimsical and unique and great statement pieces.

While making my own pillows is both cost-effective and super easy, sometimes it is nice to have a professionally made pillow that is unique and helps add color or pattern to your room. The ladies at Lulu & Georgia have offered a 20% discount to JDC readers with the code JONESDESIGNCO20 so start pillow shopping and hopefully you’ll find something just right! *THIS DISCOUNT CODE IS NOW EXPIRED*

One more thing about pillows:

My poor sugardaddy {that’s code for step-dad} didn’t know what he was getting into when he married my mom.

Her addiction to pillows may be worse than mine.

I guess it runs in the family.

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a visit over an ice cold glass of lemonade

lemonade

This blog thing is weird because it kinda makes you feel like friends with people you’ve never met. It’s odd, but pretty great, too. There are days when we don’t leave the house and it feels nice to take a small adventure or a virtual-visit with a virtual-friend just by clicking on the computer.

Today, let’s go with this idea and I’ll just share a few random things that we might talk about if we were sitting together on some fabulous front porch drinking lemonade.

front-porch-from-southernliving

{via southern living}

diagonal-line Up first: Downton Abbey.

I am about three years late on this, but we canceled our cable this summer and there is literally nothing interesting on tv in the summer and so I finally made the leap and started watching. All three previous seasons are free on Amazon Prime instant video. Which, by the way, if you’re a prime member, you really should check out how many shows and movies are free.

Back to Downton. I totally see what everyone has been talking about. It’s a grown-up British soap opera but a thousand times less cheesy. I’m so in love with their outfits and dialog and the english countryside.

So if you are a Downton fan, maybe we would talk the whole time about that.

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I might also confess that I just bought a sweater with a bunny on it.

bunny sweater from target

It caught my eye while walking through Target and I just grabbed it. Sort of amateur, but maybe cute?

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The boys and I got going on their room redo yesterday. They helped stain some shelves and brackets. Then I painted the ceiling. It was my first time painting a ceiling and quite possibly my last. It’s hard! But I think worth it.

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Pretty much every night we eat burrito bowls. They are inspired by the deliciousness we get at Chipotle on a far-too-frequent-basis with cilantro-lime rice, black beans, grilled chicken or premarinated carne asada from costco, grilled peppers and onions, lettuce, tomato, salsa, guacamole and sour cream. Why am I sharing this? I don’t know. Maybe you need a quick, healthy, summery dinner idea?

menu_burrito_bowl

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I read a book last week and loved it.

where'd-you-go-bernadette It was written by a fellow Seattlite and takes place in the Seattle area, so naturally I was intrigued. The story was original, humorous, heartfelt and a fun read. Have you read it? What did you think?

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Speaking of Seattle, my beloved Seahawks have their first pre-season game today. I do my best to keep in the summer mood as we have a few more weeks of it around here, but football season starting kicks my excitement and longing for fall into high gear. Hold back, emily, hold back. Come September 1st, I’ll be all about pumpkins and plaid and my favorite brown transferware dishes coming out of storage. But for now I will embrace swimsuits and sunscreen {spray, please}, iced lattes and lazy mornings {kinda dreading having to set an alarm to get the kids to school}.

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Thanks a million to all of you who took the JDC Reader Survey. It’s been fun/interesting/humbling/flattering to see the results, read your answers, take a look at things we can do differently and things we’re doing right. I really appreciate your feedback. I’ll put together a post next week sharing the details.

Several of you were unable to download the anchor print at the end of the survey. So sorry for the trouble! Please feel free to download it right here:

{Remember to open the pdf using Adobe Reader}.

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I think that’s it for today. Hope you enjoyed our little chat! Feel free to continue the conversation in the comments …

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etched glassware {tutorial}

Always a fan of anything monogrammed, I decided to embellish a few inexpensive lowball glasses with a couple of craft store supplies and just love how they turned out.

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Here’s what you’ll need to etch glassware:

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:: clear glassware
:: etching cream {like this}
:: sponge brush
:: clear contact paper
:: exacto knife

STEP ONE // print letter or number on contact paper

I don’t have a photo of this step, but you’ll just want to choose a font and size that works for your glass {I used my favorite font for numbers called Engravers}. Tape a piece of contact paper to a sheet of cardstock so that the clear side is facing the paper {this just allows the contact paper to go through the printer}. Print your design as a mirror image {it should be a setting in your printer dialog box}.

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STEP TWO // trim around your number leaving a 1/2″ margin around all sides.

STEP THREE // use an exacto knife to cut out numbers.

STEP FOUR // remove the paper backing and stick number to glass.

STEP FIVE // clean up any rough edges with the exacto knife.

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STEP SIX // dab a generous amount of etching cream onto glass. Be very careful not to touch the cream with bare skin {wear gloves if you must}. Leave the cream to do it’s work for a few minutes {read the back of the bottle for specific instructions}.

STEP SEVEN // rinse off the cream in cold water and wipe dry with paper towel. Peel off the contact paper stencil and enjoy your etched creation!

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For a few more ideas and inspiration, here are two other great etched glass tutorials:

etched-glass-tutorial-by-martha-stewart etched-glass-tutorial-by-thistlewood-farms
Click the images to see the instructions.

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the boys’ room {design board}

Three years ago, the boys’ room looked like this:

boys-room-from-three-years-ago

But typical us, we decided to shake things up and move rooms around. First they moved into our large bonus room, and then into the back bedroom {still upstairs}. Don’t ask me why we feel so compelled to move entire rooms so frequently. It makes life more interesting, I guess.

Anyway, for the last year or so the boys’ room has looked like this:

boys-messy-room-with-bunk-beds

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Lovely, isn’t it? This bedroom is a little bit bigger than the striped room {now the playroom – update coming someday}, but I just have not taken the time to fix things up properly. My boys are 9, 7 & 5 years old – which are not exactly the ages where tidiness is valued.  But we all enjoy being in spaces that are interesting, put together, personal and have unique touches specific to the occupants and so I figure it’s time to give the boys a grown-up-ish room that reflects their interests {but still keeps in line with my style}. Hopefully having a finished room will have the same effect on them as redoing the laundry room did for me: it makes me want to be in there and keep it looking nice. We’ll see if that works on school-aged boys.

Here’s where we’re going with it:

boys-room-design-board

{sources to come}

It’s a mix of vintage/outdoorsy/camp/adventure with a few whimsical touches {like the bright red floor lamp and the cardboard diy antlers}.

We’re working with what we already have: navy bunk beds {from costco five-ish years ago}, a beat-up white dresser, gray striped duvets {west elm}, sisal rug {ikea}, wicker laundry hamper {super old from potterybarn} and awesome Lindsay Letters be brave canvas {see it here}.

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Then we’ll add in a few purchased things and a handful of diy projects.

I’m hoping to get the boys to help as much as they can and keep it a fun, boyish and organized space for them to dwell.

Of course I’ll keep you updated as we make progress. Hoping to have this one done before they head back to school in September. Maybe having a deadline will keep me on task!

Stay tuned for lots more to come in the boys’ room …

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If you have not already, would you answer a few questions to help make this blog even more fun to read?

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Thanks a bunch!

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three final giveaway winners and a freebie for you

Hello Saturday! I hope you find yourself enjoying this weekend – resting, playing, creating, sharing, celebrating. I have two things to chat about today:

giveaway-winners

Here are the last three winners for the 20 days of summer giveaways:

noonday necklace // Ellen Lyle

beach body oil // Grace Adkins

lisa leonard gift card // JJ Blandford

Congratulations ladies! Please email me {emily@jonesdesigncompany.com} with your address and I’ll send out your goodies.

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As the end of summer vacation approaches, I feel this need to reorganize, set goals and start fresh. It happens each year – does it happen to you as well?  The kids head back to school, summer adventures wind down and it feels so good to take a look at our routines and make changes to make things better.

One of the things I want to take a closer look at is the direction of JDC.  I will always blog my heart and share creative ideas here because that’s just what I love, but I also want to know what you, the readers of the blog, like best. I think I have a pretty good idea of who you are, but most of that is based off of assumptions and I might be totally off. I’m kinda all over the place with blog posts and if there are some categories that are much more interesting to you than others, I’d like to know so I can focus on some ideas more than others.

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We’ve come up with a few questions that will help us get a better idea for who you are, what you love about JDC and how we can make things better. Would you take a few minutes to fill it out?

As a thank you for your time and answers, you will receive this super cute printable art print {from the JDC | Monthly August Collection} for free.

Just fill out the survey and at the end you will be able to download the pdf to use as you wish.

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Click on the button above {or right here} to take the survey.

Thank you!

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what we’ve been up to

I needed a break. I needed to let my mind rest. I needed to be present with my kids and turn off creativity for a bit {and stay out of my office}.

And so we did the 20 days of giveaways. I wasn’t sure how it would be received … is it annoying to just read about a different blog-friend each day? Would you still stick around even though I wasn’t creating and sharing and truly blogging? Thankfully, it worked out all the way around. We got to know some of our favorite bloggers even better; I was able to take a much needed break from work.

While I was away from the computer, we’ve been soaking up this gorgeous Pacific Northwest summer as much as possible. The sun is fleeting up here, but when it’s around you can’t find a more picturesque place. Most of these are instagram photos {emilyjdc} with the hashtag #pacificnwatitsfinest. It’s so true.

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We swam in lakes, in pools, in the Puget Sound. We ate freshly caught crab and fro-yo and donuts. We played with friends and explored out-of-doors.

I needed this break, for sure. But I think my kids needed their mom to take a break even more.

We still have one full month of summer adventures left to enjoy, but I’m feeling the urge to create start to creep up on me. I’m excited to be back and have a million and a half projects to talk about with you.

Thanks for hanging out with me!

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