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get your free set of valentine note cards + envelopes

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to share a few freebie love note designs.

What’s not to LOVE about watercolor hearts, arrows, rain clouds raining down hearts?

My illustrations 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!

These cards and envelopes can be found in THE ARCHIVE 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!

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE ARCHIVE

enjoy!

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A little peek at our house this Christmas

I hope you had a lovely Christmas!

We have spent the past two days doing absolutely nothing and it feels amazing. Especially after the weeks of non-stop work on the house to get it ready for hosting.

bradyfire Whew! It was a marathon that turned into a sprint on those final few days.

Thankfully, my mom and dad stopped by the day before Christmas Eve and we put them straight to work. We unpacked boxes, moved things to the new studio (I can not wait to show you how it is shaping up!), hung pictures and coat hooks, made beds, put up garland, vacuumed, mopped, scrubbed and – my favorite part of all – installed the open shelves in the kitchen.

We are so excited about how the house is coming together. We are slowing making progress putting our touch in each room and it is truly transforming it.

I’ve shared a few photos on instagram and wanted to share more with you here on the blog.

I know it’s after Christmas and we’re all ready to take down the tree, clear out the garland and freshen up for the New Year, but the house looked so pretty and the sun was shining in and I just couldn’t resist snapping a few photos before our family came over on Christmas day. Enjoy the little peek into our house!

livingroom The living room went through phase one of it’s makeover with new paint on the walls, trim and ceiling. Just the paint changed this room completely (see the house when we bought it here).

I’ll talk more about this room, our vision for it and what we’ve done so far more in detail in the new year so stay tuned for more details. I will say, though, that the deep green/blue/gray on the walls (Ancestral by Behr paired with the same charcoal trim color that we used in the kitchen (Iron Ore by Sherwin Williams) is doing just what we hoped it would for the room: it’s feeling so cozy and moody in there.

fireplace sofapillows2 We put our beloved linen chesterfield sofa in the living room and layered it with favorite textiles.

*the sofa came from a shop that is no longer in business, but I’ve done a little bit of research and found that it is this one. The sofa is only available to the trade, so click around and you should be able to find a retailer near you.*

furpillow The stripe blanket was a recent purchase – it is lightweight and those corner tassels are so good. The green velvet pillow is from Crate and Barrel and comes in an assortment of pretty colors. The white goat hide pillow is available in our House + Home Shop and is even better in person.

pillows I love how the green and white on the left mixes with the blue ikat pillow (made by my mom with this fabric) and gorgeous modern leather pillow on the right. The leather pillow makes us want to add much more of that rich camel color in this room. I popped in an old Noel pillow for Christmas and will have to find a good replacement for it soon.

trayontable livingroomfire I have fireplace makeover DIY idea that I’m hoping to get to soon. But seriously, it is pretty amazing how different and updated it looks with just a new coat of paint.

cornerchair livingcorner diningtable Other than pulling off the wallpaper border, the dining room hasn’t been touched. It actually looked quite nice simply dressed with cedar garland, felt pom pom garland (no longer available from West Elm) and a runner made with wrapping paper, more greens from the backyard, white bottlebrush trees and candles in old silver cups.

diningtablecenterpiece diningroomtoliving The metal dining chairs from Restoration Hardware, doxology canvas is by Lindsay Letters, library shelf is from World Market.

The kitchen is my favorite transformation so far. Kinda crazy since we were not even planning on doing anything to the room until the big rip-it-all-out remodel we have in mind (read more about that here).

christmaskitchen I will do the official kitchen reveal with before and afters and the budget breakdown soon. I can’t wait to show you the whole thing!

Ryan and I love entertaining and we’re so thankful for this place to welcome our family and friends in to. It was a mad dash to get things put together before our family came to celebrate and now that it’s over, it was worth every ounce of energy.

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My soundtrack for the Christmas season

We are music people.

Ryan, especially, but me and the kids, too. If we’re home, its very likely that there will be music on in the house.

sonos When we moved in to our new house, there were a few weeks where we had no idea where anything was. Our speakers were buried in the mess and it was a happy day when they came out! Adding music made it feel more like home.

We use Sonos throughout the house and couldn’t be happier.

In our old house we had two in the living room and one in the kitchen.

You can just barely see the white speakers on the bookshelves, which is pleasing to my design eye.

In the new house we’re still figuring out where the speakers should go so they are randomly scattered throughout the family room and kitchen. Sonos was having a black friday sale and my darling husband just couldn’t resist getting two more. I didn’t complain :)

Music playing in the house just does something to the mood. Lately, it’s been non-stop Christmas music.

I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorite Christmas albums that have been playing on repeat since Thanksgiving.

First up, Christy Nockels’ new Christmas album called The Thrill of Hope.

thrillofhope

I listen to her podcast and in the more recent episodes, she has told the story of different songs and it makes listening even more meaningful.


Next is my kids’ favorite: Pentatonix. We have their older Christmas album and bought their new one this year.

pentatonix pentatonixnew

If you are not familiar, Pentatonix is an accapella group that does covers of songs and sound amazing. I especially love their version of Hallelujah and this video is so gorgeous:


I just bought Matt Redman’s new Christmas album, These Christmas Lights

matt-redman

It has a very worshippy feel, which I love.


You all know my love of Lauren Daigle. When I heard she released a new christmas album this fall, I was first in line.

lauren-daigle

It is moody and jazzy and the perfect music to play in the background at your Christmas parties this year. Have a listen to my favorite song:


And then of course there is the classic of all classics (at least for this child of the 80’s), Amy Grant. All of her records (because they were called records back then). Every single song. I love them all, but especially her first one, A Christmas Album.

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Although, this one is a very close second.


Those are my favorites this year. I was surprised at how many new albums came out this fall and I fell hard for each one.

Do you have any favorite songs/artists/albums that play on repeat in your household?

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Favorite Christmas House Tours from Around The Internet

I was supposed to be part of Lindsay’s Blogger Stylin’ Home Tour today.

Sadly, I had to drop out. I had a moment last week when I thought maybe I could pull it together in time, but I was having a moment of insanity and then I came back to reality.

I know moving takes a lot of time. Moving while also doing construction projects, painting projects, running a business, opening up a new shop, catching a few episodes of This Is Us (I adore it) and being present for our kids? It’s not very orderly or fast.

messydining There may have been a mild meltdown last weekend. I might possibly have too lofty expectations. It’s a struggle to live in the midst of chaos and feel constrained by budget and time and surely that struggle is not just felt by me. It is just part of moving and of house renovation and we fully welcomed it all. Now if I could learn to chill out and enjoy the process …

Anyway, I wanted to pop in today to say that while we might not be ready around here for a Christmas House Tour, there are some pretty amazing showcases going on around the internet right now!

Here are a few of my favorite images so far:

WHITE BUFFALO STYLING CO. white buffalo styling christmas tour

THE INSPIRED ROOM cozy-living-room-christmas-house-tour-2016-the-inspired-room-the-white-brick-cottage

THE CURATED HOUSE
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RESTLESS ARROW restlessarrow

STYLE YOUR SENSES holiday-home-tour-2016-9

How gorgeous are all of those rooms?! Click on the images to see the full tours.

And just for good measure, here is our house decorated simply last year:

It was so pretty!

I probably sounded complain-y up there at the beginning and I really don’t mean to be. We LOVE this new house. I can’t wait to decorate it for Christmas and bring our vision to life. And I can’t wait to share it with all of you! It just might have to wait until next year :)

Happy Christmas House Tour day!

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Free Nutcracker Gift Tags

calendar Happy December 1st!

It was so nice to have a few days between Thanksgiving and December … sometimes it feels like they just melt into one another and this girl needs a few days to adjust!

I’m still far, far from the wrapping gifts phase, but if you are anything like my sister (her motto is “wrapped and done by December 1!“) perhaps you’d enjoy a set of adorable Nutcracker gift tags to add to your packages this year!

giftwithtag ballerina-tag These tags are part of our December Paper Works collection which is filled with darling paper goods to keep you organized and looking cute.

tags Paper Works is $9 per month and you receive fresh designs each month to download and print.

dinner nutcrackerart notes Think everyday useful items like calendars, note cards, art prints, shopping lists, menu planners, chore charts and – my favorite – scripture cards.

scripturecards Join now for all of these designs and much, much more!

If you’re not quite ready to become a monthly subscriber, you are welcome to join the FREE monthly list where you’ll receive four downloadable items each month.

There is always a CALENDAR and WALLPAPERS for your computer desktop and phone lock screen, and we throw in two bonus items. This month, you’ll get these adorable NUTCRACKER GIFT TAGS and a SHOPPING CHECKLIST.

nutcrackertags

Just click the image above (or right here) and sign up for the free items at Paper Works. You’ll receive an automatic email with the download links to all of the freebies!

Enjoy and happy wrapping!

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A Bountiful Thanksgiving Table

This post is sponsored by Pier 1

Thanksgiving has always been a favorite holiday. I know I say that about every major celebration, but truly, Thanksgiving ranks high (like right at the top with christmas and easter). We have the best memories of Thanksgiving from when we were kids – big family gatherings, weekends at my great Aunt & Uncle’s house in their small town, cutting down our christmas tree – and it’s continued to be a time of year that feels festive and filled with tradition even now.

One of the best parts of Thanksgiving happens around the table. The food, obviously, is a highlight. But so is the gathering of family, the conversation and the sharing of gratitude.

We love being together as an extended family and do it as often as possible. To take Thanksgiving dinner from an ordinary family gathering to a special celebration, I love to set a pretty table.

tabletwoplacesettings This year, with the help of a few new pieces from Pier 1, the table will be set with a decidedly bountiful feel. Rich, earthy colors, fresh flowers in warm shades of deep orange and dusty pink, leafy branches cut straight from the tree. These organic elements mixed with vintage silver, sparkling wine glasses and cool marble makes for a perfect setting to celebrate Thanksgiving together as a family.

tabletop To pull this table together, I started where I always do: classic neutral basics.

tablediagonal White dinnerware is a staple when it comes to setting a table. It works for everyday; it works for special occasions. I prefer a simple shape like these round porcelain dishes and layering them over a gold charger adds just a bit of fancy to their simplicity.

sneakpeek These cloth napkins – with their metallic stitching in a classic windowpane pattern – are so pretty in person. They look great on the table and pick up the gold and warmth used throughout the table. For embellishment, a rustic bosc pear laid over a sprig of greenery feels chic and simple at the same time.

wine Another classic staple is a good wine glass. On this table, I used stemless glasses which work equally well for water glasses and just one all-purpose traditional wine glass. You wine connoisseur may beg to differ, but I find you really only need one style of glass to serve either red or white wine in. Keep things simple, that’s my motto. These crystal glasses are really nice, have a small bead around the lip and feel sturdy enough to take regular use.

tablecenter For the center of the table, a gorgeous black marbled stone cheese board filled with all the makings of a tasty charcuterie not only works as a focal point (how pretty are those figs?!) but also functions as an appetizer while we wait for the turkey.

fruitplate How great is that white marble bowl filled with pistachios? It is a marble mortar & pestal combo that works just as well as a serving bowl. There’s a tip: look around at what you have and see if there are ways to use it unconventionally. A sugar dish for a vase, a breadboard as a tray, a mortar and pestal set as a serving bowl.

platter Let’s talk about that breadboard used as a tray. This one is petite and the perfect warm wood tone. It adds a bit more of that earthy, organic texture and balances the stone bringing in more warmth. You can never go wrong with collecting pretty breadboards. They are just so versatile.

And those darling salt and pepper cellars? I’m so into them. If you have a big table, you could scatter a few sets around to make seasoning your meal a bit easier. I also think they would make the perfect hostess gift.

saltpepper Once the table is set, flowers are the finishing touch. To keep things slightly less formal, I chose a few humble flower bouquets from the grocery store, cut them down short and put them in tarnished silver julep cups (and an old sugar bowl). This is my tried-and-true method for elevating inexpensive flowers and it works every time (see the quick tutorial here).

lazysusan I raised the little vases up onto Ryan’s new favorite thing: a marble lazy Susan. Poor Susan. Why does she have to be known as lazy? I would love to know the story behind that name…

tabletoliving Our new yard is bursting with leaves of every shape and size. I cut the pretty green branches and layered them down the middle of the table to create a natural table runner. The green looks so pretty and fresh and, best of all, was free.

tablediag Of course the most important part of setting the Thanksgiving table is making it warm and welcoming and a place where our family can linger over conversation and good food. I can’t wait!

If you are looking for classic neutral pieces to add to your tabletop, may I recommend these 10 items from Pier 1:

tabletopfaves

  1. Wine Goblet | 2. Stemless Wine Glass | 3. Olive Wood Cheese Board | 4. Salt + Pepper Set | 5. Marble + Wood Coasters | 6. Stone Platter | 7. Woven Gold Checked Napkin | 8. Chevron Serving Board | 9. Marble Mortar + Pestal | 10. White Dinnerware

GIVEAWAY

To help get you started on your Thanksgiving table, Pier 1 is offering one JDC reader a $100 gift card!

To enter, leave a comment sharing your favorite Thanksgiving tradition. I’ll pick a random winner on November 2nd!


CONGRATULATIONS!

The winner of the $100 gift card is GRACE.

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no-fuss mini classroom valentines

Valentine’s Day is coming! Which basically means the kiddos have parties in their classrooms and get to eat massive amounts of candy hearts and pass out valentines to their classmates.

Ryan and I don’t really do Valentine’s Day – our dating anniversary is on the 15th and that has always been a special one to us so we just skip over the holiday and celebrate the next day.

I am, actually, a big fan of the holiday. My mom always made Valentine’s day special for us with little treats and notes and so Valentine’s day has always been more of a day to just tell the people you love that you love them rather than a super romantic red-long-stem-roses-fancy-dinner-out kind of celebration. It’s sweet and special and a good chance to share the love.

This year, with a handful of business projects and just as many family ones, I went the no-fuss route and ordered the kids’ classroom valentines from Minted. (Correction: I ordered the three younger kids their classroom valentines from Minted. Our oldest reminded me that passing out valentines in middle school is not a thing).

I spent way to long looking around at all the cute designs, then narrowed down my favorites to let the kids choose from.

Our 4th grader picked this wordsearch card.

crossword Our 2nd grader went the shark route (I adore these!).

fintastic Miss Kindergarten herself had a hard time picking between adorable kittens and golden hearts, but ended up picking this Bee My Valentine design and they are just darling.

beemine

The note on the order form says that these are not big enough to mail, but I didn’t realize how perfectly tiny they are in real life! The cards and envelopes are truly mini and perfect for passing out to friends. We’ll pop a few in the mail to cousins and out of town friends and just stick them in a bigger envelope so they make it through the mail.

mini valentine The last day to order to ensure Valentine delivery is Sunday February 7th (with rush shipping) so make sure you pop over to minted asap to place your order.

How about a quick giveaway? Minted is partnering with me to give away $50 shop credit to THREE lucky winners. Yay! Click below to enter.

mintedgiveaway

Contest ends Thursday 2/5 at 5pm pacific. Good luck!

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White Pom Pom Wreath DIY (for under $20)

Make a pom pom wreath for under $20 / jones design company

How festive is our stag in his new pom pom wreath?!

fireplace

Last year I made a bunch of pom pom garlands to hang around the house (see an example here). This year, I thought I’d take the yarn pom pom thing a step further and make a big, fluffy, wintery wreath to hang around the neck of the stag head hanging above the fire place.

About the stag head: it was an on-a-whim purchase by Ryan when we redid our fireplace and it is such a great statement piece. I know deer heads have been all the rage, but I’m still into this one. We bought it from Restoration Hardware. Good news! It’s on sale now for over $100 off.

So back to the pom poms. I made a bunch using two full skeins of chunky yarn (be sure to use your 50% off craft store coupon as each pack is about $9). I had a few leftover poms in a different shade of white from the garland that I added in and the slight variation in creamy white is nice.

To make the pom poms, I use this large pom pom maker. You can see the exact pom-making steps on this post. For this large wreath, I used about 35 large pom poms (I probably could have used more).

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

pom-wreath-supplies

large pom poms / styrofoam wreath form / chunky yarn / tacky glue / embroidery floss / needle

(PLEASE NOTE: I bought the 12″ styrofoam wreath form at my local craft store for $5.99. The link above is some outrageous price, so don’t buy from there, but I just wanted to link you to the product so you can see exactly what it is.)

STEP ONE: wrap the wreath form in yarn

tie-to-wrap

Tie a knot to hold and start wrapping, keeping the yarn taught. You can add drops of glue every once in a while to hold the yarn in place, but it is not necessary.

wrapyarn

I’m sure you’ve seen wreaths just wrapped in yarn – they look very modern and pretty, so go ahead and stop the project at this point if you’d like :)

STEP TWO: add the pom poms

supplies-for-poms

You could add your poms in a number of ways – hot glue would work or that tacky glue. I just wasn’t sure how well the pom poms would stay with glue, so I decided to stitch them on using embroidery thread and a large needle.

sewpom

Thread the needle with a long piece of thread and knot the end. Run the needle through the center of the pom so it goes through the center knotted part to hold. Now stitch it to the wreath either under the wrapped yarn (but not through the styrofoam) or by wrapping the thread around the wreath and back through the pom to secure tightly.

sewpom2

As long as your embroidery thread matches your poms, go ahead and be messy with your stitching method.

progress

I stitched poms to the front and outside edge because I knew it was going to be a tight fit around the stag’s neck. You could fill in as much as you prefer.

With space for about three more pom poms, I ran out of yarn (oops!). Not a big deal in my case since it was going around the stag’s neck and you can’t see the top. But if you are hanging yours, go ahead and finish the wreath.

finished

Once it was done (ish) I pulled the stag off the wall, put the wreath around his neck and hung him back up.

wreathclose

What a fun way to add color and texture for very little time and less than $20.

fireplacewithwreath

We’re slowly adding in Christmas decorations to our house (I’m trying to go with white, white and more white) and this pom wreath is a great start.

stag-with-wreath

Need an afternoon craft? Give this pom pom wreath a try!

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Christmas Essentials (free art print!)

christmasessentials3

Merry Christmas, my friends! I’m so happy to finally share this newest watercolor illustration with you!

The Christmas Essentials print has been on my ‘can’t wait to make’ list for a while. I did a winter essentials print (found here) to go along with the seasonal essential prints (here is the spring, summer and autumn designs), but the winter print is missing a few of the best parts of Christmas, so it seemed a new print was in order.

sketch

I posted my initial sketches on instagram asking for your Christmas must-haves and you all came through! So many fun, christmasy things were mentioned and I had a great time picking my favorites, sketching and watercoloring for the new print.

christmasessentials1

After I painted the illustrations, but before turning them into digital art, I had the crazy idea to screen-capture the whole process. I put this little video together so you can see how this art print came to be!

Isn’t that fun?! I am not video expert, but I’m pretty proud of myself for putting this together!

12_Days_Banner_v3

I mentioned earlier this week that a group of 11 other talented designers/small business owners have gathered together to give away something great each day for 12 days. Here we are on DAY 5  and – you guessed it! – I’m giving away this new Christmas Essentials print for free!

christmasessentials2

Free Christmas Essentials Art Print / jones design company

The updated files are now in THE ARCHIVE along with all of our best free prints, templates and fonts (and the other Essentials prints!).  If you are not an Archive member, simply add your email to the list and you’re in!

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE ARCHIVE

I would love to see how you use this illustration … if you snap a photo and post to instagram, be sure to tag me (@jonesdesigncompany) and use #christmasessentialsart

 

Snag freebies_2

DAY 1: BUILDING BALANCE WORKSHEETS from Leah Remillét
DAY 2: HOLIDAY PLANNING GUIDE by inkWELL Press
DAY 3: WINTER WONDERLAND ILLUSTRATION by Lily&Val
DAY 4: HOLIDAY STOCK PHOTOS from Dear Miss Modern

Keep checking in each day for the next giveaway. We will post where to go to get tomorrow’s free gift on Instagram!

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So many Christmas Freebies for You!

Well, here we are. December has arrived!

I have some good things in store for you this holiday season – Christmas party outfits, my gift wish list, a few simple tutorials for fancying up your house this season, and, of course, lots of freebies!

Let’s start by talking about 12 Days of Giveaways.

12_Days_Banner_v3

broughttoyouby

I’ve teamed up with a handful of talented small business owners and we’re each giving something GREAT away for 12 straight days. Day one is Leah Remillet who is giving away her Building Balance Worksheets (because don’t we all need a little help building balance!).

Stay tuned each day for the next item up for grabs (I’ll be posting on instagram each day!). For a sneak peek at what I’ll be giving away in a few days, check out this photo.

double-line-tiny

The winner of the Favorite Things Christmas giveaway has been randomly selected.

christmas-give

Congratulations to Laura M.! An email has been sent to you and I’ll get your box of wonderfulness out to you as soon as possible (so you can start the SRT Advent Study right away!). Thank you to all who entered.

(P.S. there were a bunch of questions about a few things included: the candle is from Target, as is the deer ornament, I have a handful of the super-soft alpaca throws I’ll put in the shop in a few days, the pom pom garland is a diy and those tags are now found in The Archive.)

double-line-tiny

Speaking of … have you checked out THE ARCHIVE lately?

There’s a whole new Christmas section:
christmas freebies from Jones Design Company

Get all of these tags, art prints, lists and more for free when you log in to THE ARCHIVE.

Enjoy! And Happy December!

P.S. Don’t forget to follow along with the behind-the-scenes/ordinary life on Instagram

follow @jonesdesigncompany on instagram for behind-the-scenes

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Favorite Things Christmas Giveaway!

‘Tis officially the season.

christmas-give

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

magazine

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!

christmasgiveaway

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

peace-on-earth

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

giveaway-items

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.

srtadvent

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

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY NOW!

Favorite Things Christmas Giveaway / enter here!

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

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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

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Favorite Photo Christmas Cards Minted 2015 / jones design company

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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!

minted

Click here to enter.  Minted will select TWO winners.

Giveaway ends Friday November 27th. Good luck!

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

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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The tags make the perfect topper for gifts and, best of all, they are free!
tags lights-tag
merry-christmas-tag
peace-on-earth-tag
ski-tags
stripe-tag
wreath-tag zig-tag
christmastagswatercolor

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!

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE ARCHIVE

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

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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.

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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

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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!

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tree-to-kitchen

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kitchen

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console-table

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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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