Archive | holiday

free set of valentine note cards + envelopes

free-valentines-cards-and-envelopes With valentine’s day just around the corner, it seemed the perfect time to share a few freebie love note designs. Watercolor doodles were scanned and formatted into sweet little note cards with matching diy envelopes. Keep reading for the how-to and to download the files!

To make the envelopes, here’s what you’ll need:

free-valentine-and-envelopes templates printed on thick white paper / scissors / adhesive (like this) / washi tape (here’s my favorite source)

STEP ONE / cut template on dashed lines

cut-envelope

cut-out-envelope-template STEP TWO / fold in sides, press firmly to crease

fold-in-sides STEP THREE / fold up bottom, press firmly to crease

fold-up-bottom-flap STEP FOUR / use glue dots (or other adhesive) to attach bottom flap to sides

glue-dots-on-envelope STEP FIVE / write a love note and slip it in

card-in-envelope STEP SIX / fold down top flap and seal with washi tape

plus-envelope-taped Add a name to the front and send to your valentine!

plus-envelope-front

heart-card-and-plus-envelope

plus-envelope There are four designs with matching note cards + envelopes, but feel free to mix & match!

free-valentine-cards-and-envelopes

Enjoy!

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from our family to yours

christmas-cards

Our cards are sent (we chose this one from minted this year), the kids are done with school and the finishing touches are being put on our plans and menus and tables and (hopefully) hearts. How did this Christmas season fly by so quickly?!

A new favorite tradition is having our family photos taken – for our card, but also to document our family at this time in our lives. This year, we were photographed by the talented Stacy Jacobsen at a local christmas tree farm. It was super chilly out and the kids are at goofy ages where they have a hard time smiling for real, but she worked her magic and captured some beautiful images.

family-and-kids

family-truck

kids-photos

I’ll be enjoying lots of family time and a short break from blogging this week but will continue to post a glimpse into our holiday on instagram (jonesdesigncompany). Feel free to find us there!

Wishing you and your family a time of joyful celebration this Christmas.

merry-christmas-family

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christmas house tour: northwest coastal edition

christmas-house-tour-coastal

Today I’m hoping on the Blogger Stylin Christmas Home Tours hosted by Lindsay at White Buffalo Styling Co. Normally, I would show my own home (like I did last year and the year before that) but we just found out that Better Homes & Gardens Christmas Ideas Magazine will be coming in January to shoot photos for next year’s publication (so fun!) and so I can’t share our christmas house with you on the blog this year. Truthfully, this arrangement works in my favor because I’m dragging my feet getting our house decorated.  I’m hoping all of these amazing homes on tour will stir up some inspiration.

living-room-tall

Instead of showing our home, I asked my friend Erica if I could come take pictures of her cute new house. We met Erica and her husband Scott at college, they were in our wedding and even though we don’t get together often (they live about 45 minutes away), its one of those friendships where we just pick up where we left off. Their family just moved to this darling house on an island with the Puget Sound for a front yard. Even on the cloudiest days, it is still so beautiful to look outside and see the water and she’s found that she doesn’t need a lot of decorations with a view of nature out every window.  Her house looks simple and classic all dressed for Christmas and I’m excited to show you!

living-room-to-windows

wrapped-books

christmas-tree-to-living-room

pom-pom-garland

eating-kitchen

tree-to-kitchen

kitchen-straight

kitchen

kitchen-window

berries-kitchen-window

kitchen-and-tree

console-table

christmas-tree-tall

Isn’t it great?! I love how bright and open the space feels, but still cozy and christmasy.

/ SOURCES/

wall color: Sherwin Williams Sensible Hue
couch: ikea ektorp
living room rug: ikea
red plaid pillows: ikea
chairs: world market
curtains: made by Erica, ikat fabric from fabric.com
silent night pillows: etsy
kitchen table/chairs/bench: world market
Noel marquee letters: made by Erica

Continue on with the blog tour with Laura at Finding Home and to start at the very beginning head over to Lindsay at White Buffalo Styling Co. I hope seeing other homes brings you inspiration for your own spaces and the permission to make your home reflect your style!

BSHT-Christmas-2014-Graphic

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how to make the most delicious holiday drink at home

homemade-eggnog-latte

Eggnog.

You either love it or you hate it.

I happen to fall in the love it category. Like, really, really love it. Served cold, as punch, in french toast – I’ll take it any way because eggnog tastes like Christmas.

And my favorite way to drink eggnog is as a homemade latte.

homemade-eggnog-latte-finished

It’s easy as can be and tastes delicious. I actually don’t drink coffee in the morning, but most days I enjoy an afternoon decaf latte. Here’s what you need to make them at home:

homemade-eggnog-latte-ingredients

1. tassimo single serve coffee maker
2. gevalia decaf espresso disc
3. darigold eggnog (or your favorite brand)
4. whole milk
5. beville milk frother (best kitchen gadget ever!)
6. microplane grater
7. whole nutmeg
8. favorite monogram mug

how-to-make-an-eggnog-latte

Really, it’s quite easy. Just brew a cup of espresso, and add half eggnog, half milk to the frother and push the start button.

brew-espresso-froth-milk

When the coffee is brewed and milk hot, pour the eggnog over the espresso, then grate a little bit (or a lot) of nutmeg on top.

pour-and-nutmet Mmmmm.

eggnog-latte

I heard that some starbucks around the country are not serving eggnog lattes this holiday season (what?!!). But don’t worry … now you can make you own at home. Enjoy!

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DIY Pom Pom Blanket

Here’s a tutorial that is months in the making! pom-blanket-tutorial

I made this blanket at the beginning of September, took photos of the process to share with you, posted the finished cutie on instagram and promised I’d show you how I did it. Then I uploaded the photos from my camera and they were terrible. Blurry and dark and not what I wanted to share. So I waited and waiting until I had a chance to make a new blanket and take new (and better!) photos of the steps and so here you go. The long-ago-promised Pom Pom Blanket tutorial.

The best part about this one is that you don’t have to have any crafty skills to do it. Just find a blanket you love, some coordinating yarn, a pom pom maker and you’re set.

pom-blanket-supplies

// SUPPLIES //

blanket – look for a throw that has plainly hemmed edges. My gray throw is this one from IKEA, the teal geometric is from Target. This plaid one would be cute, too.

yarn – I took the blanket in with me to the craft store and found the yarn that matched best. The teal was harder to match than the gray, but I ended up finding this nice Martha Stewart yarn and it was on sale (yay!). You’ll need lots of pom poms which means lots of yarn. I used almost two whole rolls (spools? skeins? I’m not sure what you call them) for one blanket.

pom pom maker – there are many methods for making pom poms, but this little tool makes it super easy and keeps them uniform in size and shape.

scissors, needle, thread

STEP ONE / make pom poms (about 30-40 for one blanket)

pom-blanket-make-pom-pom-1

Start by wrapping yarn round and round on one end of the pom maker. When full, move over to the second side and wrap. Close and trim the end of the yarn.

pom-blanket-cut-pom-pom

Now cut down the center of the pom pom maker (make sure you keep both ends closed)

pom-blanket-make-pom-poms-2

Cut a small piece of yarn and wrap tightly (as tight as you can) around the center to hold pom pom together. Pull both sides of the pom maker apart and fluff the pom pom.

pom-blanket-trim-pom-strings

Trim any uneven ends.

Keep going until you have a pretty stack of yarn pom poms (about 30-40 per blanket).

pom-blanket-pom-poms

STEP TWO / attach pom poms to edge of blanket pom-blanket-sew-on-poms

Start by spacing the pom poms out evenly and deciding how close you want them to be. Then, using a needle and coordinating thread, stitch through the center of the pom and sew onto hem of the blanket. Be generous with your stitches to make sure the pom pom is secure. Continue for the rest of the blanket and then on the second end.

For about $25 and a few hours of pom pom making, you end up with this cozy, funky, super cute throw blanket.

pom-pom-blanket-blue

Which might make the perfect little surprise for someone on your list this Christmas.

pom-blanket-wrapped

This tutorial is included in my brand new Handmade Holiday Gift Guide (have you grabbed your copy yet?!) along with nine other simple projects you can make and give.

handmade-gift-guide

You’ll get the full projects with printable tags/patterns/templates, helpful tips and inspiration.

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10 simple gifts to make + give

There is something just a little extra special about receiving a gift that’s been handmade. The thought, the time, the unique end-product … all of these things make a difference.

handmade-gift-guide It’s not always easy to come up with unique – yet do-able – homemade gift ideas. Just glance at pinterest and you’re sure to be overwhelmed with options! And then once you decide, there is nothing worse than attempting to do a project you find online and ending up with a big craft fail (believe me, I’ve been there).

If you’re going the handmade route this year and need a few tried and tested ideas, I have narrowed it down to 10 simple gifts (I promise you can do these!) to make and give this holiday season. Each one, with step-by-step photos and complete supply lists, are included in the brand new 51-page Handmade Holiday Gift Guide.

In it you’ll find super cute projects like these foot/hand/neck warmers:

warmer

handmade-gift-guide-warmer-steps

These darling modern wood blocks (for baby, of course, or toss them in a pretty bowl for an unexpected coffee table accessory):

handmade-gift-guide---blocks

handmade-gift-guide-wood-blocks-steps For book lovers, try making a few tassel bookmarks to tuck into a new novel:

handmade-gift-guide---bookmarks

or for the techie, sew up a padded ipad cover (the little x stitch on the closure is my favorite):

handmade-gift-guide-ipad-case

What teacher wouldn’t love some precious jewel magnets to use on their whiteboards (hint: they are not actually precious):

handmade-gift-guide-jewel-magnets

and a cozy pom pom blanket is a great choice for your mom or sister or teenage daughter who is impossible to shop for:

handmade-gift-guide-pom-blanket

(I made my first pom blanket with a solid gray throw from IKEA, added the pom poms and it looks so chic! See it in action here)

Get all 10 projects with full steps, supply lists, sources, helpful tips and printable templates in one downloadable 51-page pdf. Your friends and family with love you for it!

handmade-gift-guide-book

grab-your-copy

May your weekend be filled with inspiration and creating!

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christmas card goodness (and TWO $200 gift cards!)

We had our family pictures taken this past weekend in preparation for our annual Christmas card. I just love christmas card season … the mailbox is suddenly filled with pretty envelopes and loved ones faces instead of boring bills and junk mail. It’s like a little gift every time you open the mailbox.

family-photos-christmas-tree

I snapped this photo of our photographer working her magic with the kids and then later she sent me a real sneak peek and – oh my goodness – I can’t wait to see the finished photos so I can make our final card selection.

We ordered our cards from Minted last year (shown above) and will definitely do it again this time around. They have amazing designs, excellent quality, quick turn-around and affordable prices. Plus, they started printing with gold foil! That makes me happy.

Here are a few of my favorites this year (how am I ever going to choose just one for our cards this year?!)

2014-favorite-cards-1 favorite-cards-2

So cute, right? There are a million other great designs with fun options for colors and shapes and they even offer envelope addressing for free.

You can order your cards now

// OR //

enter to win $200 in minted wonderfulness!

minted-giveaway Click here to enter.  Minted will select TWO winners.

Giveaway ends Tuesday November 25th. Good luck!

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diy thankful string art

string-art-diy

This year, our thankful tree sits on the bar cart in the dining room. I thought it would be fun to have some sort of interesting art to hang nearby and decided to try a technique I’ve seen and loved all over the web. Here are a few of my favorite string art examples (1 / 2 / 3). My version is subtle and the white string and linen backing look pretty next to the vintage gold frame.

thankful-string-art-bar-cart

Want to see how I made it?! Continue Reading →

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start today: a thankful tree with printable tags

For the past three years our family has done a thankful tree and it has become my kids’ favorite tradition for this time of year.

make-a-thankful-tree

Our entry table was the spot for our tree last year, and this year it sits on the bar cart in our dining room (photos coming tomorrow!)

A full explanation is on this original thankful tree post, but the idea is simply to grab a few branches, pop them in a pretty urn and put out tags to write on and then hang from the tree. As the boys went out the door to school this morning, each stopped to think of something they are thankful for and put it on a tag. It was so sweet to watch them do it on their own and take a few seconds to reflect before they went on with their day. You can dedicate a time each day to do this as a family, or just let them go at it – which is probably our approach this year – every time they pass the tree, they are welcome to use another tag.

thankful-tags-in-silver-bowl

thankful-tags-hanging-from-branches

There are thankful tags from that first thankful tree post which you are welcome to use, or choose your favorite from these designs.

free-thankful-tags

free-thankful-tag-dowloads

Just dowload the pdf, print on your favorite paper (see my favorite sources here) and cut around the edges. Punch a hole in the top if you’ll be hanging from branches, or just use as little cards to keep in a pretty bowl, or on your thanksgiving table or as lunchbox notes.

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let freedom ring

We’re feeling festive over here … 4th-happy

Hope your weekend is filled with celebration, gratitude, apple pie and sunshine (at least that’s what we’re hoping for!)

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free easter goodies

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

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

linen + white + industrial basket + vintage glassware

and the perfect little place cards

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

with a lovely print to send home with each guest

fresh flowers + pretty china + playful polkadots

paper plates + candy appetizer + crepe paper flower

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

. . . . . . . . . . .

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

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

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

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

And the best part?

free

Please sign in (or sign up!) to the archive for instant access.

archive-free-access

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

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joyeux noel

joyeux-noel

Wishing you and your loved ones a joyous time of celebrating this Christmas.

christmas-collage-instagram

I’ll be enjoying lots of family time and a short break from blogging this week but will continue to post a glimpse into our holiday on instagram {emilyjdc}. Feel free to follow along!

Merry, merry Christmas

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let’s make sea salt caramels

sea-salt-caramel-recipe

Growing up, we could always count on my grandpa to make two things for our family christmas: rich, chocolaty fudge and creamy, chewy caramels. Both were delicious and have become seasonal favorites in my family now. Yesterday I made both of these treats. Edie has an easy and oh so yummy fudge recipe {right here} and these sea salt caramels are my go-to recipe. I’ve shared it once before, but thought I’d show you step by step in photos because sometimes that takes the fear out of cooking.

sea-salt-caramels-up-close

These little caramels are irresistible, they make great gifts and can be refrigerated for up to three weeks {although there’s no way they would last that long in my household}.

Here’s what you need:

sea-salt-caramel-ingredients

1 3/4 cup sugar
1 can evaporated milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup light corn syrup
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 Tbsp. coarse sea salt
Oil or cooking spray

sea-salt-caramel-tools

medium heavy bottomed pan
wooden spoon {I like this flat wooden spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan}
candy thermometer

STEP ONE // prepare a 9 x 13 baking dish by lining it in parchment paper and lightly oiling

sea-salt-caramel-prepare-baking-dish

STEP TWO // In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring sugar, evaporated milk, and heavy cream to a boil over medium heat.

sea-salt-caramel-step-one

sea-salt-caramel-bring-to-boil

STEP THREE // Add corn syrup and continue cooking until mixture reaches 230°

sea-salt-caramel-add-corn-syrup

Stir continually and watch that thermometer {or two}. It takes several minutes and it’s important to get it to the exact temperature.

sea-salt-caramel-boil-to-230

STEP FOUR // Add butter and vanilla; continue cooking, stirring constantly, until caramel reaches 240°

sea-salt-caramel-add-butter-and-vanilla

The caramel starts to look more caramelly and thickens and it feels like it takes forever to get to the right temp. Just keep stirring and pull it off the heat right away when it hits 240°

sea-salt-caramel-boil-to-240

STEP FIVE // Remove from heat, stir in salt

sea-salt-caramel-add-salt

STEP SIX // Carefully pour into a lightly oiled 9″ x 13″ baking dish and sprinkle with additional sea salt

sea-salt-caramel-pour-in-prepared-dish

Let cool for an hour or so.

STEP SIX //  Remove from baking dish and cut the caramel into 1 inch pieces

cut-sea-salt-caramel

STEP SEVEN // To serve candy-store style, wrap individual pieces in parchment paper

sea-salt-caramel-on-parchment-paper

and secure the ends with a simple twist.

wrapped-up-sea-salt-caramel

Enjoy!

Servings: Makes about 125 one-inch pieces

Sea Salt Caramels
created by the ladies of Liddabit Sweets courtesy of O magazine.

1 3/4 cup sugar
1 can evaporated milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup light corn syrup
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 Tbsp. coarse sea salt
Oil or cooking spray

Directions

Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring sugar, evaporated milk, and heavy cream to a boil over medium heat. Add corn syrup and continue cooking until mixture reaches 230°.
Add butter and vanilla; continue cooking, stirring constantly, until caramel reaches 240°. Remove from heat, stir in salt, and carefully pour into a lightly oiled 9″ x 13″ baking dish (parchment paper in the bottom of the pan is helpful).
Let cool at least 1 hour. Invert onto a cutting board covered with waxed or parchment paper and cut into 1-inch pieces with a sharp, lightly oiled knife. Caramels can be wrapped in waxed or parchment paper or cellophane. (To serve candy-store style, wrap individual pieces in parchment paper and secure the ends with a simple twist.) Store airtight at cool room temperature (around 65°) or in the refrigerator; will keep up to 3 weeks.

 

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last minute gift ideas for the hard to shop for

We all have them on our lists … those last few loved ones who are terribly hard to shop for. Whether they already have it all, or you can’t quite pinpoint their interests, here are a few gifts that should make them feel loved this Christmas.

hard-to-shop-for

1. Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate / Rudabeggas
2. Swiss Dot Pajamas / J.Crew
3. Framing Hammer / Douglas Tool
4. Laptop Case / Noonday Collection
5. Breville Milk Frother / Amazon
6. Rifle Paper Notebooks / Amazon
7. Le Pen set / Amazon
8. Dollar Shave Club membership / Dollar Shave Club
9. Jesus Calling Devotional / Amazon
10. The Voice Bible / Amazon
11. Slippers / Target

Happy shopping!

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family photos 2014

Before I jump into sharing our family photos, just wanted to let you know that today is the last day to order from the shop to ensure christmas delivery.

last-day-to-order

Your support of my little company means so much!

double-line

And now for family photos …

A few weeks ago, the super talented, very wise, fashionable, kind and sweetly southern Paige came for a visit and photographed our family. I’ve long admired her talent and was so thankful to have her capture our family just being us {a coordinated-outfit version of us, at least}.

The photos – every single one – turned out beautifully. She was fun and made us feel comfortable, even though it was 30* out and we were freezing. The kids did well, Atlas made it into a few and we now have cherished images we can’t wait to hang on our walls and give to our family.

Want to see a few of my favorites?

family-on-grass

Sometimes I look at us and think, ‘wow, that’s a big family’. Okay, all the time I think that.

bw-laughing

This one is just too good for words. It totally captured the kids and their cuteness.

bw-singing

And this one. It was almost our christmas card {see below} but instead will be made into a gigantic canvas.

bw-family-bench

Another card contender.

bw-soccer

Even though we can’t see everyone’s face, I like that she had the kids play and captured this moment.

We picked up Atlas and took just a couple more photos, but by this time it was suuuuper cold and the kids were feeling done.

 

walking-atlas

Yet, Paige managed to snap a shot that is another favorite of ours. I especially love No. 3’s hat.

walking-with-atlas

We wanted to have great pictures to document our family at this stage, and also to use for christmas cards. Did you know that Jones Design Company was started as a custom stationery business about 11 years ago? I did wedding invitations and baby announcements and lots and lots of christmas cards. Half the time I made our cards and the other half was too burnt out to get our family cards put together in time.  A stationery designer not sending out holiday cards? I know.

christmas-card-2014

This is the first year that I have not done a single christmas card order. It’s a new stage of business for me and while I’m so very thankful for the past years of orders, I’m also thankful for a holiday season where I can focus on other projects and clear out more space for family time.  It’s also the first year I did not design or make our own cards. This year, we ordered from Minted.

There were so many great pictures to choose from, but we ended up doing a full family shot for the front

christmas-card-front

and this darling photo for the back

back-of-card

I could not be happier with the Minted experience. There are a million designs to choose from, you can customize fonts and colors, there are add-ons like extra thick paper, gold foil printing {yes!}, envelope liners {I choose gold glitter} and even free addressing. The order came quickly and the quality is excellent.

There is still time to order your cards! Use discount code HAPPY2014 to take 15% off your order at minted.com.

Thank you, dear Paige, for sharing your talent with us. These photos will be cherished.

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