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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Artist Feature + Giveaway: SwirlyGarden

The winner of last week's giveaway is entry #44, Cynthia Richardson ! Congratulations! Look out for an e-mail from Amanda!
T H I S   W E E K ' S   G I V E A W A Y


Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Meena Kumar and I am the artist behind SwirlyGarden. I have an entrepreneurial spirit and a lot of creative energy so this shop has given me the best of both worlds. I once had a job and a lifestyle that didn’t allow much room for art or creativity in my life and honestly, it made me cranky. I guess you could say that making art an integral part of my life is a favor I did not only for myself but also for everyone around me. I feel so fortunate that it is starting to really take off. Each time I paint a wine glass, coffee mug, platter, etc.. I get giddy just picturing it at a couple's wedding, a mom's birthday, or at someone’s dinner table, as a part of a very special moment or celebration. I feel like I am vicariously traveling the world through my art pieces which just makes what I do even more amazing.

How did you start hand painting dinnerware?
My creative energy is very restless so it’s hard for me to just stick to one thing. Needless to say, I get very distracted at arts and craft stores. I’ll stop in hoping to just grab a packet of rhinestones and will end up spending hours browsing all the different materials and mediums while conjuring up the possibilities (should I start making bird houses? painting shoes? knitting?) That’s how I stumbled upon glassware paint a couple of years ago. I didn’t even know it was out there and when I happened to find it, I realized I could turn my art into functional dinnerware. I started experimenting with different types of glassware paint and it took me almost a year to discover my personal style and niche, which I’m still exploring today.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Nostalgia, nature, romance, the general feeling of love, cultures around the world, and fashion have all partnered up with my quirky sensibility that have resulted in my designs. Some of my best ideas will also just pop into my head out of the blue when I’m half asleep or in la la land during the day. I keep a notepad and pen under my pillow and in my purse at all times for moments like these. 

What do you enjoy doing when you're not creating?
I enjoy cooking and baking (okay, I guess that’s still creating) and I really enjoy eating. I stay pretty active with running, yoga and swimming. I’m addicted to traveling and am currently trying to learn to speak Korean. I like to read and am also a bit of a movie geek. I hope to take up piano in the near future too. Really, I aspire to be somewhat of a renaissance woman... either that or I have creative ADHD. To let loose a little, I enjoy sangrias, fresh mojitos with friends, listening to rock and techno music, and retail therapy (though not always at the same time). 

H O W   T O   E N T E R:

1. Follow this blog and leave a comment below with your e-mail address.
U.S. entries only please!

E X T R A   C R E D I T:

1. Visit the SwirlyGarden shop and comment here with your favorite item.
2. Share this giveaway on TwitterPlease use this tweet:
Win pretty feather champagne glasses on @julieannart blog! http://tinyurl.com/3cfr2hp 
3. Like this giveaway on Facebook using the share button below.
4. Become a fan of Meena's Facebook page.
5. Follow Meena on Twitter .

Be sure to leave an additional comment for each extra credit option! That gives you a total of six chances to win!

I will announce the winner, chosen by random.org, here in one week! Good luck!

Weekend Update

I had such a great weekend! I feel like I've been working so hard lately, but this weekend had just the right mix of work and play. Last night, after my show, we went out for dinner and drinks with some friends we haven't seen it a while. We got to catch up, and dance dance dance!

Today we took Penny for a walk to the park in our neighborhood. She was a happy girl!

After the park I got back to work, and completed three new cards for my shop! I'm pretty proud of myself, I don't think I've ever added three new items to my shop in one day before.

Now it's time to work on dinner. I love cooking on Sundays. There's no rush, like after work on weekdays, so we have plenty of time to search for new recipes and experiment a little. Tonight we're going to try Penne with Pink Vodka sauce. Oh, and garlic bread I'm sure. My stomach is growling just thinking of it. Hope you're having a lovely Sunday! I'll be back soon with this week's new giveaway!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Craft Show Sneak Peek

I had a great time at the show at SEED People's Market today! I'm home now, and my feet are tired and I'm a bit sunburned, but I wanted to share a little sneak peak. I got to snag a spot right at the front door! I met some new designers and even a couple fellow Etsy sellers. SEED is such an original store, I'm so glad I get to work with them!

Time for a some relaxation. I'll post more pics later. Hope you're having a lovely weekend. It's beautiful here in California!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Five Facts Friday

1. I love olives. And pickles.

2. In the first grade, when most girls are princesses for Halloween, I was Captain Hook. I seriously wish I had a picture of this to share because it was LEGIT and awesome!

3. I've seen Vanilla Sky a hundred times and would watch it again right now.

4. I have so many new ideas for cards for my store, I wish I could find the time to create them.

5. I have ridiculously straight hair. I can spend an hour curling it and 15 minutes later it's straight again. I'm envious of the girls who can have both!

Tonight I'm doing the final preparations for the show I'm participating in tomorrow. If you live in southern California, the event is at SEED People's Market in Costa Mesa from 11-4. It is sponsored by Quiksilver and there will be music, food and lots of handmade goodies. Come say hi!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

DIY Business Card Holder

I was struggling to think of an idea for displaying my business cards at the show this weekend. I didn't want to get one of the standard holders you can find at the store. I wanted something a little more creative, with a handmade touch. With a little embellishment I was able to turn an old Altoids tin into a cute business card holder!

I used double-sided tape to secure the strand of lace around the outside.  Then I printed out a little design and cut it down to the size of the inside of the tin. A little more double-sided tape and that was literally it. SO easy, and the perfect handmade way to display your business cards at a craft show!
Tip Junkie handmade projects

Bicycle Love

I just finished up a custom order for wedding thank you cards that had a bicycle theme. They got me thinking about how great bikes are. They just never get old, no matter how old you get. Jordan and I go on a bike ride at least once a week, and Penny loves to run along with us. It's one of my favorite things to do and is the inspiration behind this Etsy love post.

Love this bicycle necklace (and the striped top too!)
What a cute little decal for your laptop!

Bicyle + Mustard Color!? In love.

Love this bicycle mug from past sponsor, LennyMud!

Really cool and casual shirt for the man in your life!

Such a fun pillow set.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Weekend Trip

We had a really nice time in Catalina this weekend. It is a little island that's an hour boat ride off the coast but I felt like I was so far away from California. This trip came at the perfect time for me. July has been a long, busy, stressful month. As my business grows, it's getting harder to juggle everything I want to do for it on top of the overtime hours I've been putting in at my day job. I needed a break! This weekend had just the right amount of relaxation combined with adventure.
It was so beautiful! We went kayaking and the water was so clear, I could see massive kelp and orange fish below me as plain as day. I managed to snag a couple stills from the video we were shooting.
We also rented bikes and cruised around the town. And of course, to add to the relaxation, we had to enjoy a few of our favorite island drink, the lava flow. Delicious!

Now we're home and it's back to work! My craft show is Saturday so the rest of this week is going to be spent working on the finishing touches for my display and prepping plenty of inventory. I'm really excited about this show, and can't wait to post photos of my display once it's complete!

I'm also happy to say that Large Sponsor Spots for August have sold out! If you're interested in advertising your blog or shop on Julie Ann Art for the month of August, there are still Small Spots available here! Otherwise, you can e-mail me to reserve a Large Sponsor Spot for September at julie.astra AT yahoo DOT com. xo

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Artist Feature + Giveaway: Folklure

The winner of last week's giveaway is entry #29, Loraleigh ! Congratulations! Look out for an e-mail from Dala!
T H I S   W E E K ' S   G I V E A W A Y


Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a young stay at home mom with a creative soul. In those magical naptime hours I turn my back to the cheerio and fingerpaint mess of my house to make jewelry pieces for my Etsy shop, Folklure. I am not only the mommy to 'Terrible Two' Evelyn and 11 month baby Flora, but I am also the proud wife of an Airman. I feel very lucky to be able to stay home to pursue my creative dreams and to care for my beautiful girls :)

How did you get into making jewelry?
I'm a capricious girl, so on a whim I decided to start making jewelry when a local craft store had a huge 'jewelry supply' sale. From there I practiced techniques and used different mediums, slowly starting to develop the style that is now Folklure. After receiving many compliments on my pieces I decided to close my Etsy shop at that time- a shop specializing in hand knit baby items, and in place start a new, jewelry focused one.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I have always been attracted to the metaphysical meanings of stones,herbs, stars, everything around us! So as my shop name suggests, I like to include the folklore of nature in my jewelry. I choose stones that have positive meanings, and create a piece of jewelry that evokes the true feeling of the stone.I focus on not just the materials but the wearer as well as I design my piece. I try to incorporate personalized hand stamped details in my jewelry in an effort to create a truly unique,personal accessory. Folklure is where whimsical meets practical- statement jewelry that is perfectly wearable in the everyday travels of life.

What do you enjoy doing when you're not designing jewelry?
Knitting, crochet, blogging, cross stitching and reading. I've been crocheting since I was a little girl and have been an avid knitter for the past year. Knitting unnecessary sweaters for my Vegas babies consumes more of my time then jewelry design. Oddly, I actually think of myself as more of a knitter, then a jewelry designer. I feel I sell jewelry pieces to buy more yarn for knitting!

H O W   T O   E N T E R:

1. Follow this blog and leave a comment below with your e-mail address.

E X T R A   C R E D I T:

1. Visit the Folklure shop and comment here with your favorite item.
2. Share this giveaway on TwitterPlease use this tweet:
I entered to win the coolest ring on @julieannart blog! http://tinyurl.com/3mkd9g6 
3. Like this giveaway on Facebook using the share button below.
4. Become a fan of Folklure's Facebook page .
5. Grab one of my buttons in the left column and share it on your blog.

Be sure to leave an additional comment for each extra credit option! That gives you a total of six chances to win!

I will announce the winner, chosen by random.org, here in one week! Good luck!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Five Facts Friday + Winner

I'm so glad it's Friday! Today after work we take the flyer over to Catalina Island for a special anniversary weekend! Before I go, I want to announce the winner of my Sponsor Spot Giveaway! Let me just say, the response to this giveaway, along with the various e-mails I've been receiving, has been humbling. It's very special to me that so many people want to join in on the ride of Julie Ann Art, in hopes of helping their blog or business! So, congratulations to #20, Wear The Canvas! I'll e-mail you shortly!

For everyone else who is still interested in advertising through Julie Ann Art, don't worry! Sponsor spots are extremely affordable! You can get more information here, or don't hesitate to send me an e-mail at julie.astra AT yahoo DOT com!

1. I'm a huge sap. I haven't always been this way. But in the last like five years I've turned into one of those girls who cries at movies, weddings, movies about weddings, American Idol episodes...yeah it's BAD. I cried three times during the last Harry Potter movie.

2. I am so so bad at getting my picture taken. Just ask Jordan. We've had multiple attempts at photo shoots for blog-related things. They never end well. I'd rather be behind the camera.

3. I'm an organized messy person.

4. I have a pretty intense sweet tooth. Over the weekend I had a huge sugary craving and I threw together the only thing I could think of that we had ingredients for in the house. Sugar cookies. They were not so good. I need my chocolate.

5. I'm super indecisive. It's pretty much a joke how long it takes me to decide say, which body wash to buy at the store. I can't help it! All the different smells, and prices, and textures....there's lots to base the decision on!

Have a great weekend! xo JA

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Our Story

This weekend my boyfriend and I are headed to Catalina Island for our two year anniversary. I figured this would be a good time to give a name and face to this so-often-mentioned boyfriend of mine!

I met Jordan through a friend when I was vacationing in California. We all went out one night and he immediately pulled me to the dance floor. I was a little reluctant,  I tend to need a few drinks before I'm on the dance floor with a guy, but he was cute so I went for it. We instantly clicked. We knew we liked each other, but we also knew I was on vacation, so what was really possible?

Since the friend I was visiting lived in California I got to see what daily life there was like. Basically, I loved it, who wouldn't? The closer it got to the end of my trip, the more I didn't want to leave. I even looked into changing my flight home so I had more time in California. I ended up leaving as scheduled. Jordan and I said goodbye without knowing when we'd see each other again.

When I got back to Michigan, I went back to the same photography job I'd had for three years, doing the same things I'd been doing for as long as I could remember. I needed a change. I missed California. I went back and forth in my head so many times about the thought of possibly making the move.

During this time, Jordan and I talked very little. He knew I was thinking about moving and he wanted me to, but at the same time he didn't want to affect such a big decision in my life when we barely knew each other. I slowly started making steps in California's direction....breaking the news to my Mom...then to my boss...

I will never forget when my boss told me I was welcome back to my job any time if things didn't work out in California. Once I heard that, I immediately knew I was doing it. This moment is so vivid to me. I jumped in my car, put on the radio (Taylor Swift's "Should've Said No" was playing), put down my windows....I felt so liberated.

I told Jordan the news. We were excited, but also cautious. We knew things would be completely different this time around. I was going to be facing a lot of adjustments and didn't want to jump into anything too fast. We both made sure to have no expectations on how things would go.

A few days after I arrived in California everyone was planning to go to the Orange County Fair. This would be my first time seeing Jordan and I was so nervous, not knowing what to wear, or how to do my hair. He greeted me with a big smile and a hug. The rest is sort of history. :]

It's been two years and it's the best relationship I've ever been in. I am so thankful to be with such a funny, smart, creative, supportive guy. I still think about how we met and it's crazy to think of where we are now. People tend to think I moved to California for Jordan, but I will forever say that he's not the reason I moved to California, he's the reason I'm glad I did.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Kraft Paper Love

This weekend I scored a brand new roll of kraft paper at an estate sale for 25 cents! Lucky find! I really love the natural, handmade look that kraft paper gives. And its uses are endless!

Definitely wrapping my Christmas presents like this this year! Love the doily one.

Use some kraft paper for a table cloth to create the cutest place settings!

Cover a  mason jar with some kraft paper for a handmade wedding favor!

I totally made my book covers out of paper bags in high school!

Love the natural feel of kraft paper used as wall paper!


Monday, July 18, 2011

Artist Feature + Giveaway: Olivesandpearls

The winner of last week's giveaway is entry #78, morgancamille! Congratulations! Look out for an e-mail from Joom!

T H I S   W E E K ' S   G I V E A W A Y


Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello my lovely fashionistas! My name is Dala and I’m a half Kuwaiti, half Palestinian, and 100% fabulous!  I recently graduated with a Masters of Fine Arts from Purdue University (Boiler up!) and I'm now living in Phoenix, AZ.  I'm an interior designer by day and a jewelry designer by night. 

How did you get into making jewelry?
I started making jewelry during my second year of grad school.  It was a great way to help pay for tuition. It was also a form of meditation that helped me distress after a long day of teaching and designing.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I don't know how to answer this question!  Ideas just pop into my head... literally!  I guess the ideas come from my observations and analysis of my surroundings. 

What do you enjoy doing when you're not designing jewelry?
Routine drives me absolutely mad!  I always have something exciting planned after a long week of work... this week I took a cooking class.  Next week I start scuba diving lessons.  Sky diving is next on the list. 

H O W   T O   E N T E R:

1. Follow this blog and leave a comment below with your e-mail address.
U.S. entries only please!

E X T R A   C R E D I T:

1. Visit the OlivesandPearls shop and comment here with your favorite item.
2. Share this giveaway on TwitterPlease use this tweet:
I entered to win the sweetest ring on @julieannart blog! http://tinyurl.com/3h4ud9t  
3. Like this giveaway on Facebook using the share button below.
4. Become a fan of OlivesandPearls Facebook page.
5. Grab one of my buttons in the left column and share it on your blog.

Be sure to leave an additional comment for each extra credit option! That gives you a total of six chances to win!

I will announce the winner, chosen by random.org, here in one week! Good luck!

And while you're at it, don't forget to enter this giveaway for free ad space.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

DIY Craft Show Display

This weekend we went to work on making a display for my show in a couple weeks. Did I say "we"? I meant I helped come up with the concept and my boyfriend did the rest of the work. (He's the best!)

I was actually lucky enough to have access to a ton of pallets and wine crates at my work. So we knew we had wood for the back board but weren't sure about how to make the shelves. After some time spent at Home Depot we found the right wood (they cut it down to the length of the pallet for us) and hardware to make the perfect card display.

(Penny chaperoned.)

A lot of positioning and drilling and viola! A cute little DIY craft show display! I've seen card displays on Etsy, and other sites, for no less than $50. I'm SO glad we put a little work into it and came up with this handmade display on our own. I think it will add an extra special handmade touch to my table at the show. Now I need to get back to printing inventory! Hope you're having a happy weekend! :]

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sponsor Spot Giveaway

I have a special giveaway today! I'm so excited to announce that Julie Ann Art is now offering affordable advertising to fellow bloggers, and small-business owners! One lucky reader will win an August sponsor spot on Julie Ann Art!

In just 4 months, Julie Ann Art's readership has quadrupled, averaging 100 new followers each month! In the last month alone, Julie Ann Art received 20,000+ page views with a high day of 1,600+ views! We have 800+ subscribers via readers, Google Friend Connect and Bloglovin.

On top of that, Julie Ann Art has 1,400+ Facebook and Twitter fans! Sponsors will be promoted through Facebook updates and Twitter tweets, on top of blog page views.

Plus, August is going to be a really great month here on Julie Ann Art. I already have giveaways lined up for every week, along with some fun tutorials planned! With readership growing every day, I'd love for you to join in on the ride!

If you are interested in advertising on Julie Ann Art, you can find more information here

H O W   T O   E N T E R:

1. Follow this blog and leave a comment below with your e-mail address.

E X T R A   C R E D I T:

1. Share this giveaway on TwitterPlease use this tweet:
I just entered to win an August ad spot on @julieannart blog! http://tinyurl.com/67pcb2a
2. Like this giveaway on Facebook using the share button below.
3. Become a fan of Julie Ann Art of Facebook
4. Follow Julie Ann Art on Twitter.
5. Follow Julie Ann Art on Bloglovin.

Be sure to leave an additional comment for each extra credit option! That gives you a total of six chances to win!

I will announce the winner, chosen by random.org, here in one week! Good luck!

Pretty Show Displays

I'm officially being a vendor in a craft show at the end of this month. It is only my second show so I'm pretty nervous and overwhelmed by all the things I need to do to get prepared in just two weeks. I'm really excited about the show itself though because it is held at a local store that I already sell at, SEED People's Market. I have had such a great experience there so far, I'm looking forward to getting to know fellow vendors and SEED customers at this event. AND it's sponsored by Quiksilver which makes it even more exciting!

This was my table at my first show. I'm looking to improve it this time around. I've been looking online for inspiration and some people have such pretty, detailed tables, I'm envious. You can tell they have been doing shows for a while. I hope to get there one day, it just takes time!

This sign is amazing! Definitely could be a DIY project.

Love the soft touch this floral banner gives the table.

I'm seeing a lot of old suitcase in displays.
I love the look but it'd be so hard to find one!

How cool is this handmade cash register?

I like the use of pastel colors. Pretty, but not overbearing.

Cutest little turquoise drawer for displaying small things!

Everything is so pretty and so inspiring. I've been collecting wooden boxes from the thrift store and was lucky enough to grab some wooden crates from work today. The boyfriend and I plan and putting our handyman skills to work this weekend to come up with a cute display for my show. I think this may lead to another DIY tutorial!

I'll be back tomorrow with a very special giveaway announcement! But in the meantime, have you entered this giveaway yet?
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