announcement day

It’s a big day of announcements around here, so let’s just get right to it.

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There was such a great turn out for the just for fun {summer} giveaway – thank you to everyone who entered!  I wish I could send you all a fancy package, but there was only one big winner this time around and she is …gift c

So miss Courtney, send me a note and we’ll get your goodies sent out to you!

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I like giveaways. I like winning them {which I never do} and I have now found that I also like hosting them.  So I decided I’m going to keep the fun going by adding a new feature to the blog:

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Each month I’ll host another giveaway featuring some of my favorite things.  The best part? If you are already a subscriber, you are automatically entered each month.

September’s giveaway is this little assortment of goodies:

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For more details, click here.

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As I’ve mentioned before, I have an insatiable desire to create. It is just who I am.  I’ve found through this blog that there are so many others with that same hunger for creativity.

Perhaps you’ve never considered yourself as ‘the creative type’ or don’t know where to begin.

You may have dreamt about starting a creative business but don’t know how find inspiration or the basic steps for getting started.

Maybe you feel the spark of creativity, but you’ve never had the chance to let it loose and see what you can really do with it.

Now is your chance.

The chance to make your creative mark on the world.

Join me starting September 16th, 2010 for 10 days of:

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I am still working on the details, but here is some of what you can expect:

Part 1. Living the creative life: how to find and nurture your creative style

Part 2. Designing creative spaces: making space for your creative style to grow

Part 3.  Getting your creative life online: blogging, web design, and setting up a store

Part 4. Starting a creative business: creative business step by step

{plus much more to be announced}

if you’ve ever wanted to be creative …
if you’ve ever desired to start a small business …
if you’ve ever needed to feel inspired …

… join me September 16th, 2010 and I’ll show you how.

For details and to join in on the fine-tuning of the Be Inspired {small business} Workshop, please enter you email below.

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Let’s see where a little inspiration can take you.

***This is an ONLINE course so whether you are across the country or across the ocean, I’d be happy to have you!***

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my business

On Friday I asked if anyone had any questions for me, in particular ones related to my business.

What I realized over the weekend though, before any questions had been asked, was that I don’t spend a lot of time on here talking about ‘business’.  You have all seen my shop, and if you’ve been here for a while, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the summer boutique.  Maybe you saw this invitation or these baby announcements. But my current design projects don’t get a whole lot of coverage, and therefore, you may not even know that I have a small business.

And that’s okay.

I like doing posts about our home and my very random thoughts. I sometimes use this platform as a personal journal or a place to document my children’s lives. I use it to store home inspiration, divine inspiration and show the world what I {and my baby} wore.

It pretty much just represents me.

But you can’t get the full picture of me without knowing that I have a business. A business that allows me to be fully me. As much as I adore being a wife and mommy, I need to have something that is my own thing. Something where I can be creative, have adult conversations, make extra money.  That, for me, is Jones Design Company.

A few friends from college recently found my blog.  I haven’t kept in touch very well with these ladies, so we are catching up after ten years.  A few of them have left the most encouraging comments saying that it is fun to see me accomplishing my dream of having my own business and designing stationery.  I was surprised by these comments because I had forgotten that this was a dream I had long ago.  A dream to use my love of all things creative to make a living.  It seemed so far-fetched at the time, and it is so cool to see how that little dream has turned into reality – almost by accident.

So let me share with you how I got started:

Seven years ago today, I was on a beach, with the man {boy, really} I loved, wearing a fancy silk dress.

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We were getting married.

It was such a beautiful day filled with our friends and family and hydrangeas.

{happy anniversary my love}

………

After we came down from the ‘wedding high’, we realized we were young, married, had a baby on the way and had some big details to figure out.

Namely, how we could live on one income.

I had been working as a personal assistant for a duo of real estate agents doing their marketing and, well, assisting.  It was a fabulous job for me and one I was not crazy about ending.  But {as I’ve mentioned many times before} I had always dreamed of being a mommy and so I knew I wanted to do all I could to stay home with our little one once he arrived.

Enter Jones Design Company.

As a real estate assistant, I worked as an independent contractor and needed a business license for tax purposes.  When filling out my application, I decided to at least give this business a fun name that was vague enough so that I could use it for other little stationery design jobs I was doing for friends.  I chose my maiden name {jones} and liked the word ‘company’ and its abbreviation {co.}, so put the two together and sandwiched ‘design’ in there. Just like that, I had a business.

I have always been fairly creative and generally gravitated towards paper crafts – card making especially.  I was in the stage of life when all of my friends were getting married, so I ended up creating many of their wedding invitations.  I teamed up with a local {and amazing} photographer who referred me my first ‘real’ client and I stumbled my way through trying to be professional when I really didn’t have a clue what I was doing!  It was a great side job and the perfect way to incorporate my love of paper and design into my life.

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Anyway, when we were trying to figure out how to afford keeping me at home with our baby, we realized we could give this little stationery business of mine a shot.  I had completed a Christmas season’s worth of holiday cards and loved it and had even made some extra money.  We figured once the baby was born that I could meet with clients on days Ryan was home, design while the baby was napping and produce the cards {with Ryan’s help!} in the evenings.

So I quit my real estate job, had a baby and took as many stationery jobs as I could manage.

And it got us through.

With the next baby, the jobs kept coming and I was able {with the help of our family} to continue working from home.  Christmas card time became busy for us, but the fact that I could make nearly a year’s income in a few months outweighed the stress. I was {and still am} so thankful to be able to be home with my little ones while also contributing to our finances.

Plus, I designed cards for a living.

………….

Now here we are 7 years later.

I still love that boy I married.

That first baby was such a delight that we kept adding more. And more. And more. Oh my.

And my little business is still part of our lives.

It has been fun to see how things have progressed over time. I started with mostly wedding invitations, then moved into baby announcements {naturally} then family holiday cards. Over the past year I’ve been able to explore other creative ideas through my home, the Summer Boutique, designing this new website, adding new products to my shop.  It has been fun to find some success through what I do.

But, by far, the best part of what I do here on this blog and in life, is inspire.  I have recently realized in my heart {and through your kind comments} that being able to use my creativity to inspire creativity in others is my greatest joy and true privilege.

Which is why I’m very excited about tomorrow. We’ll call it Announcement day.

……….

And don’t forget that today is the last day to sign up for the

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see you tomorrow!

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5 days of favorite projects {day5}

***UPDATED***

{see end of post}

What a fun week it has been. I have enjoyed putting together these tutorials and have loved even more all of your comments! I am so grateful that I have been able to inspire many of you through these projects.  I’m thinking we should keep them coming …

but for now, we’ll finish off

favorite projects

with a little project for a kiddo in your life {although there is absolutely nothing wrong with making one for yourself}

tshirt

Here is what you’ll need:

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:: t-shirt

:: fusible web {like this}

:: iron

:: image you’d like on the shirt

:: decorative fabric{s}

:: scissors

STEP ONE: select an image for the t-shirt & cut it out

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My pear image is clip art printed to the size I wanted it. You could also draw & cut out your own.

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STEP TWO: cut fabric slightly larger than your design

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STEP THREE: cut fusible web to the size of your fabric

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STEP FOUR: adhere fabric to fusible web

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Place the wrong side of the fabric to the fusible side {you can see the slight texture}

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Using a board {or other hard surface} covered with a cloth and your iron set to wool/silk

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press the fabric to the fusible web

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STEP FIVE: trace the design

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Flip your design over and trace onto the paper backing of the fused fabric/web you just ironed

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STEP SIX:  cut out design

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STEP SEVEN: iron onto t-shirt

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Peel off the paper backing, decide on placement and press to adhere

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Continue with each piece

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You’re finished!

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You’ll be seeing this one on my Audrey-girl in a year or two.

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As with all the projects this week, the possibilities are endless.

My sister had me make monogram t-shirts as favors for my niece’s first birthday party.

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which my boys wore a lot last summer

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I did a more elaborate design for a little friend

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And then, of course you could finish it with a small zig-zag stitch {as expertly done by my mom}

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Or with a straight stitch

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{as not quite so expertly done by me}

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So cute, so personal and so simple!

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Whew, my week of tutorials is finished. It was fun but time consuming! I’ve never before done so many projects in one week.   I’ll be taking the weekend off to go play in the sun with our family {sort of a last-of-the-summer-hurrah even though it feels like our summer has just started} and will be back Monday.

Happy weekend! Hope it is filled with many PROJECTS!

………………

one more thing:

if you could ask me one thing about what I do or about my company, what would it be?

Comment below or send me an email and I’ll be putting together a post to answer them.


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