Crown of Beauty


To me, a vintage crown whispers of a royal future, and a grace and beauty treasured by those who have discovered their royal identity yet endeavor to grow increasingly more noble in character. This design celebrates the scripture found in Isaiah 61:3 “…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes.”

The seal on the front of this journal is significant, and let me tell you why! It reminds me of something very important. Deep down in many of us there is a little child that longs to be a prince or princess. And here is the great secret. We are! Maybe not in the manner in which one would think of ruling over a country and wearing fine clothes. But each one of us has some things over which we can rule. Our wills and our character. Everyone has a secret royal identity discoverable through relationship with our Heavenly, Kingly Father. We have each been given the ability to choose and receive beauty instead of ashes, light instead of darkness, truth instead of lies.

I believe we are all created to live as sons and daughters of this Benevolent King. There are just many who have never met their Kingly Father and discovered he is good; never stepped under the banner of his love and forgiveness, which reveals their royal identity, purpose, and destiny. This King is the best designer in all the land. And he is offering us a crown! I hope mine is sparkly!

He is the most Noble Creator, and is known in Isaiah 61:1-3 for sending his Prince “to proclaim good news to the poor… to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair…”

Sometimes our wills or the wills of others were misused and ruined our circumstances, tarnished our character, broken our hearts, and destroyed part of the beauty in creation. Without the gift his Princely Son offers, there is despair. So I’ve decided to trust my life and character development to him, as the best designer in the land, and use the will he gave me to choose life over destruction. He “causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28) Will you choose with me? Good bye, ashes of despair, we will take crowns of beauty please! Now we can proclaim with the psalmist “You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy…” (Psalm 30:11)

Product Info:
The JBalyeat Small Journal Notebook is now for sale on Etsy and coordinates perfectly with the JBalyeat Custom Monogram Notecards available on  It makes a delightful favor for a party, addition to a gift basket or Christmas stocking, or a little piece of lovely convenience…just because!  The crown is also available printed on fabric via Spoonflower.

Measuring approximately 4.75″ x 5.75″, this handy notebook fits perfectly in a purse or the glove compartment of the car. Many times mine has come in handy when needing a place to capture a thought, reminder, list or a piece of paper on which to jot a quick note with a phone number, take notes in a meeting…or even write notes in a meeting for that matter 🙂 There is a clear plastic shield on the front and back that protects the flocked damask cover where attached ribbons secure the ivory pages that are bound inside.

Inspirational Scripture:
Isaiah 61:1-3 (NIV)
Romans 8:28 (NLT)
Psalm 30:11 (NLT)

Bunting Flag Tutorial


In anticipation of spring, and the season of weddings bound to follow soon after, here is an easy tutorial for some celebratory flag bunting!  My excitement for this project is due in part to the foot of fresh snow covering the view outside my window…Come on Spring!

The fabric for this project is part of my new collection, Linen Looks, available soon on Spoonflower.  The look of linen, without the scratch is something that is bound to be useful for many types of projects.  This particular tutorial is a cut and sew project, perfect for a beginner!  The coordinating designs are printed out on a fat quarter piece of material sized for the Linen-Cotton Canvas.  For those wanting to do other projects with these fabric designs, the fabric is also available individually in yardage without the flag template.

I love the textural look of the linen printed on the Linen-Cotton Canvas.  The color is very close to natural linen when printed on this fabric.  However, please note, that on Kona Cotton, the color is more like a burlap color than a linen color.  This is important for one to know if they are creating a themed event.  If trying to coordinate projects utilizing a printed fabric collection, be sure to order the same base fabric if you need things to match perfectly.  Otherwise, order test swatches to make sure you can live with the color variation that results from printing on different fabrics! (In the link above, the piece with the blue writing is printed on Kona Cotton, and the other is printed on the Linen Cotton Canvas. Although the Linen Cotton Canvas isn’t quite as yellow as portrayed in the picture, the photo serves to illustrate the differences visible in natural light.)

Supplies needed to complete this project:

  • Scissors or olfa cutter
  • Pinking Shears
  • Ruler
  • Cutting mat
  • Iron (optional)
  • Thread (I used a heavy duty coat and button thread because I had it on hand, and because it seems extra durable…additionally, it matched quite well!)
  • 1 fat quarter of Linen Bunting Flag cut and sew fabric on the linen cotton canvas available from Spoonflower


One fat quarter makes approximately 90″ of single sided bunting or 40″ of double sided bunting.  If you require more length, you can order more yardage of course, but because I sized this specifically for the dimensions of a fat quarter on the Linen Cotton Canvas, there is a line where the piece repeats.  Please see this photo to see what I mean.

1. Cut out the flags and border strip with pinking shears.

2. Lay out the pieces in an alternating pattern.

3. If you are doing one sided bunting, cut the border strip down the middle with pinking shears.  If you are doing a two sided bunting you won’t need as much length, so you may decide to keep the strip wider.  Then you may decide to iron the strip in half and turn the raw edges in to the middle creating a (non) bias tape.  I went with the rustic, raw edge look created by the pinking shears.

4. Count about 7 stripes in from the edging strip and sew the first flag on wrong side of edging strip with a straight stitch.  Sew additional flags leaving approximately 1/2″ gaps between them.7_Sew

5.  When you get near the end of the first edging strip, overlap the next piece and continue as before.8_JoinBinding

6.  Once all the flags have been sewn to the middle of the edging strip, fold the edging strip over the top of the flags and sew down along the entire length of the bunting.9_FoldOverSew

7. To finish the edges, you can make a loop as I did, or you may prefer to leave the length as a tie string.10_EndLoopFlagsDetailFlagsRoomScale FlagsOnLight FlagsOffLight FlagsComplete FlagBunting Inspirational Scripture:
“He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love [for love waved as a protecting and comforting banner over my head when I was near him].”
Song of Solomon 2:4 (AMP)

Moving from Blogger!

I am in the process of moving my blog from The Joy of Design on Blogspot to Jolene Balyeat Designs on WordPress.  If you stumble upon my blog before the transition is complete, please stop by again in few days, as hopefully the transition will be complete by then!

Bon Appétit: French Script Napkin Tutorial


My favorite job as a child was setting the table for a holiday meal.  It was an opportunity to go into my mom’s linen closet and pick out the pretty things reserved for special occasions.  I can actually still remember the smells of the table cloths, napkins, pillow cases, and sheets mingled with candles and other decor items tucked carefully away.  In 17 years of marriage, I have only once hosted Thanksgiving, as cooking isn’t my strong suit and so fortunately our tradition is to share a beautiful meal around a splendidly adorned table prepared by my mother-in-law.  So I find myself making an occasion out of none to prepare a simpler meal, with a lovely place setting, and invite a family over to bless with a spirit of welcome hospitality that says, “You are appreciated, loved, and valuable enough for extraordinary effort and attention to detail.”  It is one of the ways I express love.  The pitfall, is sometimes I set up a standard or expectation for myself that is too high, and because I see an event so over the top in my imagination (think David Tutara’s  $50,000+ “My Fair Wedding” type events) and want to go all Martha Stewart on it, I don’t invite people over as often as I would if I had a less ambitious imagination. In my mind, once I have the table scape designed, I am motivated to create the meal to showcase the table setting.  I realize that this is exactly opposite of all my gourmet cooking friends for whom the food is the focal point, and therefore, I truly appreciate any opportunity to dine at their homes where I don’t have to think about what to cook, but can just marvel at the artistry of their flavorful combinations. Regardless of our motivations, Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate the countless things we have to be grateful for.  Gratitude inspires the fabric design of this french script, which is translated from the scripture found in Psalm 95:2-3: “Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him. For the Lord is a great God, a great King above all gods.”

This tutorial is for those who would love to make something to infuse their table with a spirit of thankfulness this holiday season.  (For those who need a shortcut, Pier One has a similar napkin available with English words of gratitude…it just needed to be improved by pointing to the One to whom we owe all praise!)
Supplies needed to complete this project:

  • Scissors or olfa cutter
  • Ruler
  • Cutting mat
  • Iron
  • 1 or more yards of French Script fabric in the linen cotton canvas available from Spoonflower
  • Sewing machine
  • Black crochet thread
  • Steel crochet hook (I used size 1.30 mil)
  • Pencil (a fabric pencil or pen is best, but any pencil should work.  I used one like the blue one here this)
  • Needle (optional for making hole in fabric for easier crochet hook insertion)

1. Prewash the fabric.  All my store bought napkins look beautiful the first time I use them and then when I wash them, they shrink and are no longer square.  The best way I know to have square napkins, is to prewash the fabric and dry it in the dryer.

2. Cut out your square.  For this particular set of napkins, I was trying to get 6 napkins out of one yard of fabric, so that made my cut 17.5 inches square.  If I was to do this again, I would order more fabric and do a slightly larger square so that the finished napkin could be more like 18-19″ square instead of 15.5″

3. I found a fabulous tutorial for sewing mitered corners on YouTube.  I highly recommend watching it before continuing.  Check it out here.  I have photographed my process for mitering the corners below.  Turn over the raw edge of the fabric about .25″ and iron.  Turn over another .25″ and iron again.

4. Open up the creased fabric and mark the folds with a pencil

5. Cut the tip of the diagonal corner off.

6. Fold down the corner to the bottom point.  I played with this fold until I got it to meet properly and look right when the edges were folded back under.


7. Iron the corner.

8. Top stitch the edge.  At this point you could stop and call the napkin finished.

9. I wanted to add a little crochet edging.  Place a mark with your pencil every 10 cm along each edge.

10.  Start in a corner and chain (ch) 7, then single crochet (sc) in a mark and then ch 5, sc in the next mark, then ch 5 and repeat around the napkin until you come back to the starting corner.  I joined in about the 2 ch spot of my first chain of 7 and did a final sc to finish it off.  Then I tied a square knot and wove in the ends of the crochet thread.  I found it difficult to puncture the fabric so I used a needle to make a small hole in each mark before doing my single crochet.  This added some time to the whole process, so what you decide to do will probably depend on your personal preference and the strength of your crochet hook and weight of fabric you purchase from Spoonflower.




11.  Invite someone over for a meal or cup of tea and use your new beautiful napkins, or give a set away as a gift to bless a friend.

Inspirational Scripture:
“Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him. For the Lord is a great God, a great King above all gods.”
Psalm 95:2-3 (NLT)

Coffee Break!

When the circumstances of life push against us, it can take a concerted effort to remain in a peaceful state. This last week was a perfect opportunity to walk in peace in spite of the craziness all around. Although it took a week longer than I had expected, the Coffee Break fabric collection is available on Spoonflower at last! Staying peaceful is always a good idea.

Inspirational Scripture:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.'”
Isaiah 30:15