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Fun tutorials, how-to projects, free downloads from jones design company

rolled MAGAZINE flowers + antler chalk art

During my ‘quieting the house‘ rampage, I finally convinced myself to get rid of stacks and stacks of old magazines. Why was I holding on to them? I can not tell you. But from the comments on the IG photo, magazine-hoarding seems to be a common problem among perfectly normal women.

All of those extra magazines got me thinking … what can all of us hoarders do with old publications that we’re truthfully never going to read again? We can make stuff. Cute rolled paper flowers, for example.

rolled-flower-antler-chalkboard

Add the rolled magazine flowers to a simple chalkboard project and you have an inexpensive and whimsical piece of art.

rolled-magazine-flowers-antlers-chalkboard

Let me show you how to make it.

TO MAKE THE ROLLED MAGAZINE FLOWERS:

magazine-rolled-flowers-supplies

SUPPLIES // magazine (or catalog), scissors, hot glue gun

STEP ONE // cut a page from the magazine into a circle. It does not need to be perfect.

cut-in-circle-magazine-rolled-flowers

STEP TWO // cut a spiral in the circle. Wavy and imperfect is good.

magazine-flower-cut-spiral

STEPS THREE – SIX //

rolled-magazine-flowers-steps

Tightly coil starting from the outside
Roll to the end
Release coil
Hot glue to center part

TO MAKE A LEAF:   make-a-magazine-leaf

Cut leaf shape from magazine
Accordion fold and hot glue to hold
By placing a few flowers together with leaves, you get a colorful bouquet.

magazine-rolled-flowers

TO MAKE THE ANTLERS:

antler-chalk-art

Print out the antler template (download in the archive)
Turn over and cover with chalk
Flip template over and trace antler outline with pencil (this will make a faint transfer on the chalkboard)
Trace again with chalk
Add the rolled magazine flower bouquet with double-sided tape to the chalkboard and you’re finished.

rolled-magazine-flowers-with-chalkboard-antlers

Sometimes a minimal project with free supplies is the best.

rolled-magazine-flowers-and-antler-chalk-art

To download the antler template, you are welcome to log in or join the archive (our library of free printables, fonts, clip art and templates). Log in here.

And now for a few questions: are you a magazine keeper? Do you have any other suggestions for what to do with old issues?

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how I edit iphone photos for instagram

My iphone is like an extension of my arm – it’s by my side at nearly all times of day (and night). I love it for texting and checking the weather and asking siri important questions like ‘how many days until …?’ (asked by a certain second born who is slightly excited about his upcoming birthday) and watching cute youtube videos like this one and this.

Most of all, I love it for the camera.

Admittedly, an iphone does not take the same quality of photos as a real camera, but the fact that it is always with me, easy to use and quick to capture everyday moments works out just fine for me. It is fun to practice photography with my phone – looking for interesting angles or composition or finding the right light – and sharing those photos on instagram is a favorite, too.

I almost always do some editing before posting to instagram (I like a slightly dreamy, washed out look) and thought I’d show you what that looks like.

raw-and-edited-instagram

We’ll use this photo taken yesterday of a piece of my mom’s blackberry pie (yum).

Here it is straight from the camera:

blackberry-pie-raw

It’s a nice photo and could probably be used as is. But running it through some photo apps gives it just the right amount of artsy-ness to make it a little more visually appealing.

I use the standard camera app to take photos and then edit through Afterlight – a simple to use $.99 photo editing app.

editing-photos-1

I begin by opening Afterlight and bringing in the photo from my photo stream.

editing-photos-2

I brighten slightly, add a bit more contrast and occasionally bring the sharpening up slightly as well.

editing-photos-3

Next (here’s the most important step) I choose the guest filters and then the Russ filter to get the dreamy/washed out look I like. You can change the opacity to adjust how strongly the filter is applied. Once I like the look, click the check mark to save.

Instagram is set up as square photos, so sometimes I use the crop tool to cut the photo into a square before posting.

Sometimes a photo just looks better with it’s original rectangular proportions, so I like to add borders to get the square size without cropping the photo. To do this, I click on the borders icon, and then Original.

editing-photos-4

Next I click on the side borders and it will automatically turn the photo into a square with white margins. Click the check mark to save.

Once finished editing, I click the Done button at the top right and then save as a small image to my camera roll. I like to save a copy to my photos and post to instagram from the IG app, but you could also just click on the instagram icon from Afterlight to post. Your choice.

And here is the final edited image:

edited-blackberry-pie

Just those few simple steps really give an average photo a fancier look!

Here are a few more before & afters to see the subtle, but pretty difference editing makes:

office-desk

audrey-kitchen

concessions

laundry-room

swimsuit

africa-shopping

be-strong

peony

Hope this is helpful in making your photos more beautiful!

RESOURCES:

afterlight

SnapShop iphone course (I took this course last year and it was so good! If you want help learning how to compose interesting images, play with settings, learn more about editing and fun photography tools, Ashley teaches it perfectly. Learn more about her excellent photography courses here).

See my instagram feed here.

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temporary stripes (tutorial)

This is such an odd project. I’ll just tell you that from the start.

diy-stripe-pitcher
It’s a bit weird, but super cute.

diy-striped-pitcher

I have these white pitchers (old from IKEA) holding cooking utensils on our kitchen island and I’ve been wanting for forever to paint stripes on them. It has just never happened. When I was taking photos for our summer house tour, the pitchers were plain white and I wanted them striped for the photos. With not enough time or the correct porcelain paint to do it right then, I went with option two: temporary stripes.

stripe-pitcher-wood-utensils
Now the easiest thing would have been black electrical tape, but we didn’t have any, so I scrounged through my craft supplies and found a lightly patterned washi tape that seemed like it would work. Here’s how it happened:

SUPPLIES // white pitcher (like this) . washi tape . black permanent marker

stripe-pitcher-supplies

STEP ONE // wrap pitcher with strips of tape.

stripe-tape
You can measure in between stripes, or just eye it. Depending on the shape of your pitcher, the tape will have a few wrinkles as you press it down. Don’t worry about them, they will not really be noticeable when you’re finished.

stripe-pitcher-washi-tape

Here is mine with just the washi tape. It would be fine like this, or you could use any other cute pattern of tape (here is my favorite source for washi tape), but I really wanted mine to just be black and white.

STEP TWO // make those stripes solid

draw-on-stripes
I colored right over the tape with a thick permanent marker.

stripe-pitcher

And now the stripes are just right.

stripe-pitcher-top
It’s doubtful I will ever grow tired of classic black and white stripes, but the nice part is, the stripes are temporary. Just remove the tape and you’re back to a basic white pitcher.

peonies-in-stripe-pitcher
See? I told you. Weird. But super cute.

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crepe paper poppies (tutorial)

Paper flowers are just so pretty. There are many different versions, different materials, different methods and each one is as charming as the next.

crepe-paper-poppy

(via instagram)

Yesterday I pulled out my very old crepe paper flower kit that I bought as a college student from a mail-order-catalog called Martha By Mail. Remember that little gem of a business? Loved it. (here’s a fun blog post memorializing the catalogs)

marth-by-mail-flowers

The kit came with crepe paper, flower templates and a booklet with instructions for several types of flowers.

martha-by-mail-flowers

Yesterday, I spent some time making poppies and they turned out so pretty, I thought I’d share how you can make them, too.

Here’s what you’ll need:

crepe-paper-flower-supplies

crepe paper / petal template (see below) / floral stem wire / floral tape / scissors / glue

Let’s talk for a second about crepe paper: you’ll want a few complimentary colors in varying shades. Each flower uses two colors for the petals, plus brown for the stamen and green for the leaves. You can find crepe paper at your craft store, or online here or here.

STEP ONE // make the pistil & stem

make-flower-pistol

Roll a piece of crepe paper into a small ball. Place wire at base of ball and wrap it in a square of paper, gathering corners together and twisting down the wire. Wrap with floral tape to hold together.

STEP TWO // add stamen

steps-to-make-stamen

Cut a 1 x 2 strip of brown crepe paper. Fold in half and again. Snip a fine fringe and unfold. Repeat with cream colored crepe paper, making it slightly longer.

making-stamen

Dab glue on brown fringe and wrap around pistil. Continue with cream fringe.

STEP THREE // make petals

cut-out-flower-petals

Make four double layer petals with peach and cream paper (peach on top).

ruffle-petal

Layer one peach petal over one cream petal. Sculpt petals by gently pinching and pulling the top and through center.

STEP FOUR // Add petals to stem

attach-petals

Dab glue at base of each petal. Wrap around stem. Add next petal opposite and then fill in with last two.

wrap-floral-tape-around-base

Wrap base with floral tape to secure.

STEP FIVE // add leaf

add-leaf-to-flower

Cut leaf out of green crepe paper. Sculpt gently. Attach to stem with floral tape.

Finished!

crepe-paper-poppy-with-leaf

orange-crepe-paper-poppy

A whole bouquet in varying colors looks so sweet in a little jar.

crepe-paper-poppies

I’ll be using a few of these poppies to give to the kids’ teachers for teacher appreciation week next week and as a gift topper for mother’s day gifts this weekend.

crepe-paper-poppy-on-gift

crepe-paper-poppy-bouquet

Just one more way to make dainty paper flowers!

For more flower inspiration, this book is on my must-buy-very-soon list.

tf-paper-to-petal-cvr

It’s so beautiful. See more details here.

If you’d like to make a bouquet of poppies, feel free to use my pattern.

paper-poppy-petal

The template for the poppy petal is found in the Archive (our library of downloads, freebies and templates). Please sign in (or sign up!) to the archive for instant access.

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perfect for your easter brunch: cranberry orange scones

In case you are looking for a last minute addition to your Easter brunch this weekend (or any time, for that matter), these scones are perfect.

cranberry-orange-scones

Some scones are dry and break into tiny crumbs when you bite into them and these are not like that at all. They are soft and flaky with a hint of orange and sweet cranberries. The recipe is from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook. Her cookbooks are amazing. Every recipe I’ve made of hers is an instant favorite (like her apple crisp and chicken noodle soup and coconut cupcakes). And the pictures are really pretty.

Okay, back to the scones. They are fairly easy to make. Just dump all the dry ingredients in the mixer, add the zest of one orange and cut in cold butter (just try not to think about how much butter you’re using).

ingredients-for-scones

Then you add heavy cream and eggs until just combined to form a sticky dough. Before adding cranberries (craisins, actually) she has you toss them in a little bit of flour. Genius idea, this flour-covered-craisin-thing, as they mix in to the dough rather than sinking to the bottom.

Gently roll out the dough on a floured board and cut with a pastry cutter. Or a cup if you don’t have one. #makeitwork

use-cup-to-cut

Bake for 20 minutes, drizzle on a light glaze and you have the most delicious homemade scones ever.

cranberry-orange-scones-brunch

I made these for my college girlfriends when they came into town last month and again yesterday afternoon just because. I may even make them again on Sunday. Enjoy!

Cranberry Orange Scones

recipe from Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa at Home

i n g r e d i e n t s

4 cups plus 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
3/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 cup dried cranberries
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water or milk, for egg wash
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice

d i r e c t i o n s

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix 4 cups of flour, 1/4 cup sugar, the baking powder, salt and orange zest. Add the cold butter and mix at the lowest speed until the butter is the size of peas. Combine the eggs and heavy cream and, with the mixer on low speed, slowly pour into the flour and butter mixture. Mix until just blended. The dough will look lumpy! Combine the dried cranberries and 1/4 cup of flour, add to the dough, and mix on low speed until blended.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead it into a ball. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough 3/4-inch thick. You should see small bits of butter in the dough. Keep moving the dough on the floured board so it doesn’t stick. Flour a 3-inch round plain or fluted cutter and cut circles of dough. Place the scones on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Collect the scraps neatly, roll them out, and cut more circles.

Brush the tops of the scones with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the insides are fully baked. The scones will be firm to the touch. Allow the scones to cool for 15 minutes and then whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and orange juice, and drizzle over the scones.

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