Archive | holiday

Favorite Things Christmas Giveaway!

‘Tis officially the season.


As you may have heard, our home is currently in the BHG Christmas Ideas Magazine (so fun!).


I thought it would be fun to put a gift together based on what you see in the article, so I pulled together a handful of my favorite things for Christmas and I’m giving them all away!


You’ll get a copy of the magazine, as well as some things that just make me happy (and hopefully you, too!).


Let’s talk about a few items included in the giveaway:


Peace On Earth 8×10 art print. This is a new one I am releasing for our Black Friday/Cyber Monday big sale (details to come later this week on how you can save big).

Three yards each of my favorite green, black and white ribbons, and lots and lots of baker’s twine.

The most luxurious cream Alpaca wool blanket from Ecuador (I’ll have more available for sale soon!).

Printed watercolor gift tags with string.

Spruce scented candle which will make your house smell like Christmas.

One striped dishtowel (my last one!).

$25 Starbucks gift card.

One large pom pom garland and one small pom pom garland.

The new She Reads Truth Advent book

Not pictured but so darling: ceramic stag head ornament.


I’m pretty sure you will love each and every item and can’t wait to send the package to one lucky winner.


Favorite Things Christmas Giveaway / enter here!

Good luck, my friends! And let the most wonderful time of the year begin!

Continue Reading | 37 comments

Let’s talk about Christmas Cards

You may not know this about me, but I designed custom Christmas cards for the first 10 years of my business.

By fortunate connections between my sister and a very talented local photographer in Seattle, I worked on projects for some wonderful Seattle families including a pretty famous one by the name of Gates. Each year they ordered 750 handmade cards with handwritten front and return addresses. I did this nine years in a row. Those nine years were insane.

One year, I finalized a design with The Family, gave birth the next day to our son, then worked non-stop on cards for the following 4 weeks. Needless to say, I can’t really remember much about November 2007.

This was all during the time when handmade cards were the rage. Layers of paper, ribbons, vellum, cutouts, a real photo (here’s a sample of some of my past projects). I loved the families I created for and loved the way it helped support our family, but 10 years in and with JDC moving in a different direction, it was time to say no to custom work.

But even after no longer taking custom clients, I continued to design our family’s yearly Christmas cards. It felt wrong for a stationery designer to not design her own cards!

Then one year, I just didn’t have it in me. With four little ones and a blog to keep up with and a hundred other Christmas traditions to carry on, creating our Christmas cards felt like something I needed to let go of.  Rather than giving up on the tradition altogether, I decided to let someone else design our cards. That year was the first time I ordered through Minted.

Honestly, I’ll probably never go back to making Christmas cards myself :)

I’m not saying you shouldn’t if that is something you love to do. In fact, I love receiving handmade cards and so appreciate all the time and effort that goes in to putting your creative touch on your cards. Being your own designer can save you money and you get to create exactly what you want. Plus, it can be very fun.

But if you’re not as inclined to design your own (or you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with all the to-dos already stacking up this holiday season!) may I suggest taking a peek at the wonderfulness over on Minted?

I had so much fun looking through all the designs this year, trying out our photo in each one and finally made a selection (they should arrive any day!) There are so many great designs to pick from and I thought I’d share with you a few of my favorites this year:

Favorite Non-Photo Christmas Cards from Minted 2015 / jones design company

1  /  2  /  3  /  4  /  5  /  6  /  7  /  8  /  9  /  10  /  11  /  12


Favorite Foil-Pressed Christmas Cards 2015 from Minted /jones design company

1  /  2  /  3  /  4  /  5  /  6  /  7  /  8  /  9


Favorite Photo Christmas Cards Minted 2015 / jones design company

1  /  2  /  3  /  4  /  5  /  6  /  7  /  8  /  9  /  10  /  11  /  12


So cute, right? There are hundreds of 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 a $250 Minted gift card!


Click here to enter.  Minted will select TWO winners.

Giveaway ends Friday November 27th. Good luck!

Continue Reading | 4 comments

Look what made it into the pages of BHG Christmas Ideas Magazine! (and free gift tags)

I’m so pleased to share that our home is featured in the 2015 issue of Better Homes & Gardens Christmas Ideas magazine (on newsstands now).

The photos were taken last January.

I know, forever ago. We did our family Christmas like normal last year and then I started fresh with a new tree in a different spot and new greens and decorations created and put out the first week of January.

This is the third time BHG has come to our house to photograph (so crazy) and I love this spread most of all. They sent a photographer and stylist from Iowa all the way to the Pacific Northwest for one day of shooting. The kids were off at ski school with Ryan (until they returned for our family portrait – hence the ruddy faces and messy hairdo on Audrey!) so it was just me and the BHG team.

I always thought that a magazine brought in tons of props and actually styled a house for photos. Perhaps this is true some of the time, but in our experience, the props are minimal. In fact, for this christmas shoot, they didn’t bring a thing. It’s nerve-wracking and affirming all at once to know that magazine people think your style is good enough to publish without the major re-styling by a real stylist.

Molly, the stylist, was there to take care of all the details – moving a pillow or gift or picture just so. I would love her job. She and the photographer work together to get just the right shot (moving the couch at a slight angle, for example, which isn’t detectible in the photo, but makes it look much more open).

At one point we needed to style the center of the dining room table and she asked me to put something together because she wanted it to look like us. See? Super flattering, but also a little stressful. (We went with clear glass apothecary jars filled with sparkly ornaments).

We moved fairly quickly from room to room trying to beat the sun going down in late afternoon. I wasn’t sure what rooms would make it into the magazine and was so excited to see how many photos did make it. I’m sure my style will change over time, so its really fun to have these pictures in print to look back on and remember how things used to look. And also, my grandma is really proud to show her retirement-home friends that her granddaughter’s home is in a magazine :).

As part of the feature, BHG asked me to create printable christmas tags. Of course I said YES and painted these watercolor illustrations.

The tags make the perfect topper for gifts and, best of all, they are free!
tags lights-tag
wreath-tag zig-tag

The tags are now in THE ARCHIVE in a new Christmas section along with all of our best free prints, templates and fonts.  If you are not an Archive member, simply add your email to the list and you’re in!


So here’s to the start of the Holiday Season … CHEERS!

Continue Reading | 62 comments

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




Want to learn how to create illustrations and graphics like the one above? You will love our Simplified Graphic Design class! CLICK HERE to learn more.


Continue Reading | 15 comments

from our family to yours


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.




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.


Continue Reading | 11 comments

christmas house tour: northwest coastal edition


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.


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!














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


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
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!


Continue Reading | 30 comments

how to make the most delicious holiday drink at home



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.


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:


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


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.


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.


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!

Continue Reading | 16 comments

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.



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)


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.


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


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.


Trim any uneven ends.

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


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.


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


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.


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

Continue Reading | 12 comments

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:



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


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


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


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


(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!



May your weekend be filled with inspiration and creating!

Continue Reading | 6 comments

diy thankful string art


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.


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

Continue Reading | 5 comments

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.


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.



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



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.

Continue Reading →

Continue Reading | 22 comments

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!)

Continue Reading | 0 comments

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?


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


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

Continue Reading | 21 comments

joyeux noel


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


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

Continue Reading | 4 comments

let’s make sea salt caramels


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.


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:


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


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


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



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


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


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


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°


STEP FIVE // Remove from heat, stir in salt


STEP SIX // Carefully pour into a lightly oiled 9″³ x 13″³ baking dish and sprinkle with additional sea salt


Let cool for an hour or so.

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


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


and secure the ends with a simple twist.



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


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″³ x 13″³ 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.


Continue Reading | 27 comments