Archive | September, 2013

the boys’ room reveal

As with all DIY projects, the boys’ room redo took much longer than expected, but hip, hip, hooray it’s done!  It all started with this design board. Next we repainted the walls, stained some shelves and installed a new light. And then end-of-summer-fun and back-to-school craziness and a few project hiccups later, I finally spent this past weekend finishing up the space. It came together just as hoped – merging my neutral-loving aesthetic with boyish charm and lots of personal touches.

Welcome to the new and improved boys’ room.

vintage-outdoorsy-boys-room

Our three boys {ages 9, 8, 5} share this room and a couple of things were important in the redesign.

1. It needed to feel light and bright. The two sets of bunk beds are dark and take up over half of the room, so it was necessary to balance the space with lots of white.
2. The boys wanted their own reading lights and places to keep their special things.
3. We wanted the room to reflect the boys and stay away from being overly theme-y or feeling too young.

I think we succeeded at all three.

bunk-beds-and-windows

The walls are now white, the ceiling is faintly blue and a custom window treatment {by my mom} made of painters drop cloths runs across the entire window wall. It’s amazing the difference a fresh coat of paint made in the room. The previous color was a nice neutral beigey-gray, but it just felt so dark. I was nervous going white, but after seeing this room transformation, we’re seriously considering painting our whole house white.

shelves,-chair,-anters

The inexpensive shelves hold a quirky mix of the boy’s favorite things: books, baseball cards, trophies, a bottle cap collection and a few pieces of drift wood from their favorite beach.

shelf-styling-american-flag-compass-art-baseball-cards-driftwood

shelf-styling-pinecone-print-dot-garland

The stamped wood round sits on the shelf next to a couple of my oldest’s beloved hardy boys books.

wood-round-and-hardy-boys-books

bed-and-chair-from-above

That woven footstool turns out to be a great multi-purpose piece: I love it for propping my feet up while I read at night, the boys love it for stashing random toys when it’s time to pick up their room.

On the other side of the room are two more bunks, an old chippy dresser and new art wall.

boys-room-dresser-and-bunk-beds

Each bed has it’s own reading light, a metal wall locker and cork board for saving special notes and photos.

guest-bed-with-light-locker-and-cork-board

reading-light-locker-cork-board

The collected art is really where the concept for the room began.

boys-room-collage-wall-seek-adventure

The Be Brave canvas was the starting point, then came this darling camping/hunting print.

wall-of-art-with-dresser

With the chalkboard antler print, a photo of No. 2 on our favorite beach, Atlas’ announcement, a mini version of the Make Good Choices print, a pinecone print, painted canvas and striped bunting, it makes for a eclectic, yet clean little grouping.

cork-wall-in-boys-room

One of my favorite features {and the one that caused the most headache} is this cork wall. It is just a small wall right when you enter the room and it seemed like the perfect place for the kids to tack up special photos, awards, notes. I’ll share all the details of this project fiasco later this week, but for now I’m just happy that those tiles are finally stuck to that wall.

be-brave-strong-and-courageous-lindsay-letters-canvas

I finished all of the last minute touches late on saturday night while the boys had a sleepover in the bonus room. When they saw the finished room in the morning, they were so excited {well, as excited as a 9, 8 and 5 year old boy gets about a finished bedroom} and that made the whole thing worth it. It’s bright and charming, clean and boyish … just the look we were hoping for.

I’ll share a full list of sources this week, but if you have any specific questions, please leave a comment and I’ll respond back with the answer.

//UPDATE//

for all of the sources, click here.

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a video about how to curl your hair to get loose waves

Here’s something a little different: I made a video for you showing how I do my hair to get these soft waves.

loose-waves

Believe me, I’m not a hair expert and I’m pretty low-maintenance when it comes to all things beauty related, but this technique works for me and it may be something fun to try on your hair, too.

The video is about 12 minutes long and not exactly taken at the most flattering angle or in the best lighting, but whatever. Look for Audrey who makes an appearance about halfway through wearing one fantastic outfit. She’s a kick, that kid.

Was it helpful? I do hope so. I wonder how many times I said the word hair. Oh my.

I mention them in the video, but here are direct links to the products I use {minus the butterfly clip. That one is vintage}.

tools-for-loose-curls

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

Enjoy your weekend and have fun curling your hair!

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my new approach to meal planning

Meal planning.

It’s one of those dreaded tasks because 1. it takes forever and 2. how are you to know what you’ll feel like eating three weeks from now?

BUT … having a plan for dinner makes life so much easier. Every mom-friend I talk to agrees that when we do have meals planned out ahead of time, our days {and especially dinnertime} goes a million times smoother.

I am not by nature a great planner. I like flexibility and am very in the moment. Yet I have a household that requires daily nourishment and that job falls on my shoulders. So I figure I better get my act together and find a system that works because I have quite a few years ahead of me of feeding my family {three of whom are growing boys and from what I hear, they are going to eat us out of house and home}.

meal-planning-calendar

I’ve developed a plan. A meal planning plan. One that I think might work {it has for the past two weeks, at least}. Here’s how I’m doing it:

1. Collect dinner ideas on my pinterest dinner board. We have a few favorites from cookbooks that are included as well.

2. Schedule dinners for monday – thursday on the jdc | monthly dinner menu calendar {more info below}. Mondays are our busiest days, so each of those meals are either soups or slowcooker meals to make things easier. We like to eat out or get together with friends on weekends, so no meals are set in stone for those days and sunday nights are usually spent eating masterfully made suppers at Ryan’s parents’ house.

3. Shop for one week’s meals each monday, using the pinned recipes to compile a shopping list.

4. On the meal day, I’ll pull up the recipe on the ipad and cook away.

5. The ultimate goal would be to repeat the same meals once per month for each season, so we’ll probably do this same schedule into november and december, and then switch things up a bit once the new year comes around.

meal-planning-october-dinnertime-calendar

The fact that my October meals are scheduled is a very proud moment. I find that cooking is not my issue or even the shopping … it’s the pre-planning and deciding what to eat and so now having it done gives so much freedom.

If you’d like to give our meals a try, feel free to download the filled-in calendar below.

october-meal-plan

{click on the calendar to download and print}

A few notes if you do follow this menu plan:

1. find most of the recipes here.

2. we eat a lot of chicken.

3. Most of these dinners are one dish meals, but sometimes I’ll add crusty bread or a salad or sauteed green beans.

4. burrito bowls are our favorite meal – we copy Chipotle’s recipe with cilantro-lime rice, black beans, refried beans, grilled chicken, grilled peppers & onions, pico, lettuce, guacamole and sour cream. Yum. It’s on the menu twice.

5. Ryan found a whole grain rice + quinoa mix at costco and it is delish. That is what we eat on the chicken & rice days.

Hope this is helpful for my fellow struggling-meal-planners

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

Want more organization tools to help make your days a bit easier {and prettier}? I’m pleased to introduce the new JDC | monthly october collection.

october-collection-antlers

This is our monthly printable papergoods service where you get an original set of practical and stylish calendars, lists, note cards and more. Here’s what’s included this month:

jdc-october-collage

 

Upon joining, 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. On the 22nd of each month, you will receive an email with the link to download the newest collection of printable files. 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 New this month … if you are not ready to commit to a monthly membership, you can purchase just this month’s collection. The price is $12.99 and you’ll have access to the files forever.

just-this-collection

We’d love to see how you use your monthly goods. Tag a photo on any social media using #jdcmonthly so we can take a peek.

AND … please share your thoughts on meal panning. Is it a struggle in your household, too? Do you have a system that works? Any great tips?

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simple craft for kids: autumn dot trees

One of my goals this year is to do more activities with my kids. I’ve got the whole here kids you do this while I take care of this thing down, but actually sitting down and crafting or puzzle-doing or game-playing – that’s not my strong suit. So I’m making an effort.

Last week, we made these painted trees. It was a project I discovered on pinterest, originally from here.  The greatest part of this project was that it was equally enjoyable for my 3 year old, six year old and me. When my 2nd and 4th grader came home from school and saw what we had made, they wanted to make them, too. Good for all ages.

autumn-dot-trees

The steps are pretty simple: paint a tree trunk with three little branches with brown craft paint. Lightly draw a large circle to create a shape to paint within.

paint-set-up-and-tree-trunk

Then set out fall craft paint colors and a q-tip for each one. I used acrylic paint in red, brown, yellow, gold, orange and purplish-red.

make-dots-of-paint-with-q-tip

Dip the q-tip in the paint and randomly dot onto the paper, keeping the dots within the circle.

kids-painting-dot-trees     painting-dots-for-fall-tree

Fill in as much of the white space as you can without completely overlapping the colors. This process is slightly mesmerizing. You just dip, dot, dip, dot.

painted-dot-fall-tree

It’s a fun craft that we’ll probably do again this winter {bare trees but white dots for snow} or in the spring {shades of green}. And don’t you think an ombre tree would be amazing?

If you’d like more ideas for kid crafts, this is my favorite site for art projects, Martha is always a good resource for attractive crafts, and feel free to check out my for kids pinterest board, too.

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have you seen these {new art prints}

Maybe you get this way too, but I was in a creative slump all summer.  Then suddenly fall approaches and – voila! – inspiration hits. It could be the season, or possibly the fact that my kids are at school all day and for the first time in years the house is empty and quiet, but nevertheless, creating is happening.

For instance, there are a handful of new prints that were just added to the shop last night. Allow me to introduce the most recent designs:

// GIVE THANKS //

give-thanks-art-print-linen

The other night while the kids were mesmerized by an episode of Max & Ruby {what is it about that odd show?!}, I began doodling in the kitchen which led to this hand-lettered goodness. Linen + fake-calligraphy + a feather garland = perhaps the best print ever to come out of this girl. This one is great for the Thanksgiving season, but equally appropriate all year long.

// HOME SWEET HOME //

home-sweet-home-art-print

On our seven-year-anniversary, I wrote a love note to our house. The post looked a little too boring with just text, so I created this sweet cottage to add some color and visual interest. Sure enough, a handful of you kind readers asked for it in art print form and so here she is. This would be darling in an entry or perfect for a housewarming gift.

// MAKE GOOD CHOICES //

make-good-choices-blue-art-print

I’m guessing I say this at least ten times a day to my children {have a good day at school! make good choices!} but the truth of it is, I need the reminder too. My daily struggles may not include things like keeping my hands to myself or sharing my toys, but I certainly could work on speaking with a kinder voice and staying away from the candy in our pantry.

The blue and orange version will go in the boys’ room and the pink will be added to an updated collage wall in Audrey’s room as a friendly reminder from their mama. And each time I see the print I’ll remember it’s for me, too.

make-good-choices-pink-art-print

This one was hand-lettered that glorious max & ruby night as well.

// BE STRONG //

be-strong-and-courageous-art-print

Because there are never enough cute things for boys – this one is for them. Although I suppose we want our girls to be strong and courageous, too. Either way, this is a special verse we selected for our oldest son and it is just such a positive message. Be strong! Be courageous! God is with you! I love it.

// WHITE PUMPKIN PAINTING //

white-pumpking-painting-art-print

Around this time last year, this little painting was born. Actually, it is not little – it’s on a canvas and takes up a whole wall in our dining room {see it here}. The painting has been turned into a print so that you, too, can have a white pumpkin adorning your walls this fall {or all year, as is in my case}. It’s a stray from my normal graphic style, but as I challenge myself artistically, I’m hoping to add more paintings like it to the shop.

So there you go. New prints, now available.

free-shipping-and-start-shopping I hope you like them.

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zinc letter look-alikes {tutorial}

Forever a fan of anything typography-related, these faux-zinc letters are super simple and inexpensive to create and fabulous to look at.

zinc-letter

Perhaps you’ve seen real zinc letters {so pretty, but can get a little pricy} and there’s a good chance you’ve already read a tutorial for how to recreate the look {there are tons of them around blog-land!}. I gave it a try a few weeks ago and was so impressed with the results that I just had to share my version with you.

anthropologie-inspired-zinc-letters

// SUPPLIES //

supplies-needed-for-faux-zinc-letter

/ craft letter / black craft paint / metallic silver craft paint / paint brush

// STEP ONE // paint your letter black

paint-cardboard-letter-with-black-paint

then let dry completely.

let-painted-letter-dry

// STEP TWO // dry-brush metallic silver paint in imperfect strokes over letter

dry-brush-metallic-paint

Before I tried this, I didn’t really understand what ‘dry-brushing’ was. Basically, just put a tiny bit of paint on a dry brush and quickly brush it onto the letter. You want some of the black to show through, so try not to saturate your paintbrush with too much paint. Brush in all different directions to get that sanded metal look.

how-to-make-a-zinc-look-alike-letter

And that’s it!

faux-zinc-letter-tutorial

zinc-letter-l-made-from-cardboard-letter

For just a few dollars and less than 15 minutes, you get fancy looking zinc look-alike letters.

 

 

 

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the 5 most asked questions {with answers} about our home tour

Thank you for the kind remarks about our home in yesterday’s fall house tour. I hope you found some do-able ideas both for seasonal decorating and simply making your house better reflect your personality.

Many of you asked questions in the comments about different sources, colors, details from room to room and so I thought I’d pop in here real quick to give the answers to the most frequently asked questions.

// NUMBER ONE //  by far was wondering where this fabulous painting is from.

flowers-in-a-jar-painting

I wish I could say I painted it … but I’m afraid my skills are just not that good. Although I would say that if I could paint, this is exactly what I would want it to look like. I actually found this painting at World Market not too long ago and just couldn’t pass it up.

world-market-painting-unexpected-by-leila

It seems like World Market is always having some sort of promotion, so be sure to check for a discount code before purchasing. I think I paid $59.99 for it.

// NUMBER TWO // the paint color in our bedroom.

jdc-master-bedroom-silver-bed-dark-wall-orange-throw

There is a page with our home’s paint colors, but it looks like I have not updated it in quite some time {on my to-do list!}. The color of this wall in our bedroom is Marine Magic by Behr. It is a really smoky teal and works well with the silver bed and lamps. I wish I had the guts to paint the whole room this color {sort of like Edie’s amazingly sultry master bedroom} but we’re actually thinking about painting over it all with white. You never know with us …

// NUMBER THREE // this sweet little owl.

autumn-pillows-with-owl

I found it in the christmas section {the wintery white/natural area} at homegoods last week. It is probably supposed to sit on a shelf, but I like it as a pillow.

// NUMBER FOUR // the hanging window separating our entry and dining rooms.

The window is from our favorite salvage yard here in Seattle that we hung from a barn door track. Here is a post all about the details. We recently added trim around the openings and posts and so the track had to be cut down to fit. It is no longer functional, but still looks cool.

// NUMBER FIVE // the linen light fixture in dining room is from Restoration Hardware {but we found ours for hundreds less at the outlet store}.

restoration-hardware-rectangular-shade-pendant

Our dining room table, metal bed and silver urn bedside lamps are also from the Restoration Hardware outlet. It’s totally hit or miss, but when you find what you’re looking for, you can’t beat the price for the quality.

So there you go. Most asked questions. And answers.

Anything else you want to know? I’m always happy to share …

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welcome to our home {finding fall home tour 2013}

It has been a long, long time since I have shared updated photos of our home. We are constantly changing things, switching rooms around, repainting, hanging new light fixtures, rearranging furniture … we’re sort of insane. But it’s fun and after seven years of living in this home, we are still far from finished. If I’ve learned anything from living here, it is that while it may not be our dream-of-all-dreams home, it is home and we have done our best to put our stamp on it. Sometimes that has meant big construction projects and other times it’s just taking the risk of putting nail holes in the walls. We want our home to work for us, to be comfortable and hospitable and a place to entertain our friends and family. And even though there are a million things we would like to do {ahem, tear out the carpet} or other houses that we imagine to be more our style, we are grateful for our house and truly do love where we live.

So, welcome … enjoy the tour!

// ENTRY //

jdc-entry-table

jdc-entry-chair-and-football-chalkboard-

// GUEST BATH //

jdc-guest-bathroom

// STAIR WAY //

jdc-stairs-with-silhouettes-and-armoire

jdc-house-tour-leaves-in-vase-pumpkin-candle

// DINING ROOM //

jdc-dining-room-looking-into-entry

jdc-dining-room-shelf

jdc-dining-room-shelf-with-pumpkins

jdc-dining-room-place-setting

jdc-dining-room-with-pumpkin-painting

// KITCHEN //

jdc-kitchen-window-sink

jdc-kitchen-with-bar-stools

jdc-kitchen-eating-nook-chalkboard

jdc-kitchen-shelves-and-maple-leaf

jdc-kitchen-fall-decor

// HALLWAY //

jdc-l-wall

jdc-piano-and-wall-of-ls

// LIVING ROOM //

jdc-living-room-with-shingled-fireplace-antlers

jdc-living-room-sofa-and-fall-pillows

jdc-living-room-chairs-fire-place-couch

jdc-living-room-fall-decorating

jdc-living-room-looking-into-kitchen

// MUDROOM //

jdc-mudroom

jdc-mudroom-hooks

// MASTER BEDROOM //

jdc-master-bedroom-silver-bed-dark-wall-orange-throw

jdc-master-bedroom-dark-wall-orange-accents

// PLAY ROOM //

jdc-playroom

// AUDREY’S ROOM //

jdc-audrey's-nursery

jdc-audrey's-nursery-closeups

// BOY’S ROOM //

jdc-boys-room-in-progress

// LAUNDRY ROOM //

jdc-laundry-room

 

// OFFICE //

jdc-office-shelves-on-wall-dresser

jdc-office-desk

jdc-office-desk-closeups

jdc-office-dresser-top-typewriter-fall-print

I hope you enjoyed visiting and that you leave with a few new ideas for your home. I’m all about simple, doable projects {see the tutorials page for past projects} and functional, yet pretty spaces. Our house is a constant frenzy of activity, and rarely does it look quite as nice as it does in the photos {I mean, with four kids and a dog it is simply not possible to have a photo-ready house without hours of picking up and/or stuffing things into random closets!}.

Before you go, please enjoy this free autumn essentials watercolor print I painted. Click here to download then simply print and display in your home.

jdc-office-autumn-essentials-print-free

 Questions about our home? Feel free to leave a comment and I’ll reply back with sources, colors, etc.

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fall pillow peeks

Tomorrow is my big fall house tour {see the first homes in the blog tour here}, so last week was a mad scramble to get the house in order and put up some fall decorations.

autumn-pillows-with-owl

As you well know, one of my favorite ways to add seasonal touches is through pillows. When you start with a neutral base, you can really go in any direction with colors throughout the year. For the fall, I like a cozy mix of textures {cable knit, velvet} and warm colors {taupy gray, chocolate brown, slate blue and gold}.

autumn-pillows-bow-brown-velvet

I don’t follow any ‘rules’ about pillow placement or how many is too many {obviously} or when you should use matching pairs – just go with what looks good to you. On our sofa, there are five pillows: 1 large 24″ square {with the bow}, 3 20″ square {cable knit and velvet floral} and one rectangular {ikat dots}. autumn-pillows-bow-velvet-belted

There is another set of matching gold dots on the two chairs, and one smaller ruffled pillow just to keep things from being too symmetrical.

autumn-pillows-gold-polka-dot-ruffled

The eclectic mix of patterns, textures and sizes feel cozy and pretty – just right for our fall home.

autumn-sofa-with-pillows

// PILLOW SOURCES //

plaid pillow with bow: made by me. Fabric from the apparel section at joanns.
cable knit: homegoods
velvet embroidered: very old from potterybarn
ikat dots: made by me with this fabric. I added a belt for fun.
gold dots: marshalls
blue ruffled: made by me. Tutorial here.
owl: homegoods. It’s actually a christmas decoration, but I like it as a whimsical sofa adornment.

Please come back tomorrow for tons of photos and fall decorating ideas!

 

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currently

currently

loving:  these cinnamon candies

cinnamon-candy

reading: With All My Love by Patricia Scanlan but I just haven’t been able to get into it.

waiting for: Sunday Night Football. My Seahawks are playing and I love the Seahawks. Seriously.

excited about: being part of a fall home tour next week. It meant I actually cleaned and decorated my house to get it in shape for photos. It’s been a long time since I’ve shown updates to a bunch of rooms, so come back tuesday for the tour.

bedroom

trying to: do this

live-in-the-pattern-of-gracious-love

working on: all sorts of fun projects for the fall/winter/holidays.

enjoying: all four kiddos being in school so that I can work on said fun projects.

first-day-of-school-for-the-kids

using: this hair volumizing powder by Redken. You sprinkle a little bit on your roots and it gives instant volume that stays. My hair is super heavy and this gives it body without having to backcomb {which doesn’t always hold well}. I’m not a very high-maintenance beauty product girl, but this one is a must for me. 

wearing: my grandma’s antique sapphire ring. She gave all of us grand-kids the special jewelry she no longer wears and I’m so thankful to have something of hers. When I glance down and see it on my hand, it makes me feel all grown up. And reminds me of sweet childhood moments.

planning: a tutorial for these zinc-wannabe letters.

zinc-letter

needing:  to stick to my daily goals. I’m going as simple as possible: wake at 7, read my bible/devotional, work out, make dinner, go to bed at 10. So far I’m doing pretty well with most, but getting into bed by 10 is a tough one.

learning: that my kids and I have very different ideas of cleanliness and I had better chill out or I’ll go crazy trying to keep everything picked up.

messy-bedroom

listening to: The Pitch Perfect station on pandora. It’s a fun mix of acapella covers of popular songs – a little bit from the movie soundtrack, some from Glee, and other vocal groups. It gets old after a while, but enjoyable for a bit.

doing: celebrating my No. 2’s birthday. He’s a good kid worth celebrating. Except when he’s teasing {which is a lot}. I’m hoping he’ll grow out of it this year.

dreaming of: If I’m dreaming really big, I’m dreaming of traveling to Africa. For years I have longed to go to serve, but probably what I really want/need is to have my eyes opened and my heart transformed by getting outside of my regular life.

If I’m dreaming small, I just want to sleep in on Saturdays.

So this is me.

Want to play along? What are you currently up to?

{all photos are from my instagram feed}

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adding to the wall of l’s

It has become my favorite spot in our house … affectionately called the wall of l’s.

{Sometimes people ask why I have a bunch of L’s in our house. My answer: our last name starts with an L. Jones is actually my maiden name.}

Over the summer, I continued collecting letters to fill in the wall completely. Previously, it ended about 2/3 down. I’m a fan of floor to ceiling art galleries, and since I already had 15 pieces on the wall, what was 8 more? Ryan thinks its a little out of control. I find it to be amazing.

wall-of-l's-full-wall

By using a combination of frames, papers, styles and textures, this collection is completely unique and adds a ton of personality to this wall. Keeping everything in my favorite neutral color palette of black, white, gray, gold and warm wood allows the collection to work together as one piece.  Many of the letters I made, others were purchased. None were more than $20. If you’re curious about the original individual letters, I shared a little bit more detail on this original l wall post.

wall-of-l's-lower-wall

My most recent additions are these bottom letters. From left to right:

// chalkboard paint on a piece of scrap wood. I was inspired by this fun font for the letter.
// watercolor in an ikea frame. This quick project inspired these little watercolor alphabet letters.
// old brass stencil purchased from ebay
// L drawn in pen on a piece of floral paper in an old frame
// washi tape overlapping on a piece of sheet music. The scallop frame is super old from ikea.
// metal L from urban outfitters
// my dream wallpaper {just a sample} cut into shape and taped to linen in a frame.

There is one more new L up at the very top that I bought on ebay as well and then glued to a canvas covered in this paper placemat.

If you are collecting letters for a wall in your home, try searching on ebay or etsy. There are tons of cool vintage letters that you can get fairly inexpensively. The home improvement store {look in the mailbox section} and craft store are always good resources and don’t forget to try unconventional materials {like buttons, string, thumbtacks} to come up with a few of your own. And, of course, stores like anthropologie and restoration hardware always have nice {but more expensive} options.

wall-of-l's-in-context

My beloved wall of l’s is a bit crazy, I admit.

But sometimes crazy is good.

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do your thing

I’ll be 35 in just a few weeks. I don’t have any problems with the age, per say. I live a fairly typical 35-year-old life, and a pretty good one at that. From the outside, I look, talk, live like a woman in her mid 30’s.

What I’m concerned about is that maybe on the inside I’m not where I picture a girl my age to be.

Confident. Graceful. Sure. Settled.

In my mind, a 35-year-old doesn’t worry about what others think. She isn’t insecure. She isn’t confused or weak and certainly doesn’t question where she’s headed. She’s got her act together and is the picture of ladylike poise.

And yet, here I sit, 3 weeks away from that confident, graceful, sure and settled ideal feeling so very far from it.

I wrote a post about twirling – that act of pushing off everything that hinders {insecurities, failures, aspirations} and dancing through life knowing that we are loved. Not because we are doing everything right, or because we have it all together, but because He first loved us. It’s so much less about the actual dancing {a cheesy metaphor for doing life} and more about the heart in knowing we are delightfully and perfectly made, just as we are.

It originated as a prayer for my daughter and has become my motto in life as well.

Twirl.

So this is what bothers me: I’m nearly 35, certainly old enough both in years and in my own personal faith in Jesus to get this. To live this. To let go of those stupid insecurities about not being good enough, pretty enough, talented enough … and just believe what I know to be true: that we are each exceptionally talented, created for a unique purpose and most of all, accepted through grace just as we are and not for who we ought to be.

I’ve been in a weird spot over the past six months or so not really sure of where I’m headed. What are my goals? Where do I see JDC going? What is my dream of all dreams? It’s all been a bit cloudy and unclear and so I found myself looking around at what others were doing thinking maybe that’s where I would find the answers.

She’s writing a book. I should write a book!

She’s selling all of her possessions and touring the country. I should do that!

She’s {fill-in-the-blank}, I should {fill-in-the-blank}!

Unfortunately, all this did was perpetuate my confusion and bury me further in the comparison pit {a place I know all too well}.

I’ve spent these past few months quietly praying, looking for clues, waiting and waiting and the clearest answer came from the oddest of places: The Wonder Pets.

We were in the car and the little kids were watching an old episode about a baby swan who was supposed to dance for the big party but he was afraid because he didn’t have the same graceful moves as the other swans on Swan Lake {do you remember this one?}. The Wonder Pets, in their darling animated wisdom, give baby swan the encouragement he needs to do it his own way. To dance with his own moves. And own it.

I sat in the driver’s seat, not seeing the movie, but hearing the whole thing being played behind me and it spoke right to my heart. All these fears about not being good enough, not doing it right, unsure, unsettled, afraid of what others will think – all of it is just time I’m wasting. I’m hiding under a silly bucket like baby swan watching everyone else do their lovely moves feeling like mine could never be enough.

It was then that I heard this little whisper in my soul: Emily, do your thing.

That’s it.

Just do your thing.

That’s the answer. And it’s ridiculously simple.

Twirl.

Twirling is about unashamed dancing. It’s about delighting in our femininity. It’s about accepting God’s absolutely profound love and finding freedom. But it’s also about just doing our thing. Not only being who we are, but actually celebrating who we are. It’s a quiet confidence. Graceful presence. Living out our unique talents, seeing the beauty within each of us and sharing it with one another.

And the best thing about it is that there is no magical age when it appears. I’ve been wrong all this time about that. This confidence, grace, assuredness, is available to all of us, at any age, for as long as we choose.

I love that.

I’ll be 35 in a few weeks and while I am not the picture of confidence and maturity that I envision, I feel like I’ve made a big step in that direction. I’m so tired of the insecurities. I don’t want to live with this ugly striving and unsettled discontentment. I want the freedom to do my thing. As clunky as it may be or as graceful as it be become, I just want to be who God made me to be, share my life, love well.

I want to twirl.

You too?

Because I need daily reminders, putting special art throughout my house is one way to keep me focused on truth. This new twirl print is pretty on its own, but even more beautiful in its deeper meaning. Put one in your daughter’s room. Share it with your bestie. Tape it to your bathroom mirror.

twirl-print

The print was designed by my favorite letter-er Lindsay and sold exclusively here. We have it in three colors with gold embossed foil.

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twirl-print-in-three-colors

Grab one now before they are gone!

buy-your-twirl-print-now

Be encouraged, wherever you are today, that you are wonderful. You are uniquely talented. You are valuable. And because of Jesus’ great love for you, you are deemed enough.

Now just do your thing.

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woven jute storage cube for the boys’ room

One of the items I added to the boys’ room design board was this fun woven jute cube. I’m not even sure where I found it but I figured it was something I could recreate very inexpensively.

boys-room-design-board-storage-cube

SUPPLIES //

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storage cube / jute webbing / staple gun

STEP ONE // cut jute webbing strips to cover top of cube. Add 3 inches on each end for wrapping.

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My cube was just a little too wide for 5 full strips of webbing, so I cut one strip in half and placed that in the center.

STEP TWO & THREE // staple one end of the first set of jute strips to the underside of the lid and then cut a second set of jute strips to run perpendicular.

staple-edges-and-cut-jute-for-opposite-direction

Staple those under as well.

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STEP FOUR // weave the jute webbing strips {over, under, over, under}

weave-webbing

STEP FIVE // pull firmly and secure all ends to underside of lid with staple gun

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STEP SIX // use the same method for the body of the cube, first cutting and attaching strips vertically, then cutting horizontal strips that will weave around all four sides.

weave-sides-of-cube

Again, I had to cut a piece in half for the center vertical section. When weaving around horizontally, just tuck in the ends under other pieces to hide the staples.

STEP SEVEN // staple all lose ends to the underside of the cube.

bottom-of-finished-cube

You could cover the bottom with a thin piece of fabric or felt, but you certainly don’t have to.

And here it is all complete!

woven-jute-storage-cube

A fun, utilitarian piece that adds lots of texture and vintage charm to their far-from-finished room.

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nursery design board & a new print coming soon

My blog-friend Darlene, who writes Fieldstone Hill Design, is due any second with baby Georgia {love that name}. She has been featuring a handful of talented designers to come up with their dream nursery design boards. All of them have been so different, yet totally full of inspiration.

This week, it’s my turn to share the nursery of my dreams. I have called it:

nursery-for-littlest-lady

It’s remarkably similar to Audrey’s room {only better and more refined}. I’m all about a nursery that can grow with the baby and this room has many grown-up pieces that can move to other places in the home as well. I’m still in love with the blues, grays and golds that I did Audrey’s room in and think it’s a sophisticated, classic, and pretty take on a nursery.  sneak-peek-of-nursery-design-board

One of my favorite elements is right there in the middle and one I’ve been waiting for so long to have created … a new print, titled twirl. I have tried for over three years to come up with the right artwork to go with one of the most heart-felt posts I’ve ever written, and finally the super-talented Lindsay {of Lindsay Letters} designed the perfect one.

gray-dot-twirl-print-close

Isn’t it beautiful?! We have a few different colors and I’ll share all the details on monday {09/09/13}. The supply is limited, so I wanted to let you know ahead of time so you can grab one before they’re gone.

twirl-print-new-in-the-shop

But for now, please head on over to Darlene’s to check out the sweet little nursery {and wish her many blessings on her new baby girl}!

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autumn essentials {freebie art print}

Ah, sweet autumn. The air becomes crisp, the leaves begin to change and my beloved brown boots make an appearance.

Just like I did for the summertime, I came up with a few of my favorite fall essentials {pumpkin pie with whip cream, cozy throw blankets and candlelight, just to name a few} and created a new watercolor painting.

autumn-essentials printable free-download

autumn-essentials-free-download-close-up

I scanned the original painting, added titles and turned it into a printable pdf for your enjoyment. It’s a fun piece to put out for the fall {maybe on your entry table? Or on your mantle?} or to give a friend who loves the fall as much as I do.

autumn-essentials-painting-free-download

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.

autumn-essentials-finished

To download this print, I invite you to join the best feature here at JDC: the freebies archive the-archive-logo

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 learn more or sign up below…

Enjoy!



 


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