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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gift Wrapping Ideas

Last night I was wrapping up my gift for the Cold Hands, Warm Hearts gift swap by Much Love, Illy and SandyALaMode, and I realized something. I may be "crafty" but I am sort of awful at wrapping presents. I rip the paper when I'm cutting it. I end up with way too much paper, which results in messy folds. Sure, I try to cover up the crumpled edges with pretty strings and fancy things, but I really wish I was capable of  the beautiful packages I've seen on Pinterest!
 Two-toned wrapping in my favorite color combo! In love.
 Love this use of  Yarn Pom Poms! And I even have a tutorial for them!
Ok, Martha Stewart is getting a little too advanced for me here. :]
 This is something I would do. Kraft paper, yarn and snowflakes (or doileys!)
 Just GORGEOUS! Love everything about these! (Original source unknown)
Adorable use of a button to add extra cuteness!

Don't you want to go wrap up some packages all pretty now? I do! Just need to get that Christmas shopping done...I mean, started. xo JA

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Weekend in Instagrams

I took Jordan to the airport. He went to visit his family in Virginia.
He left me a message on our chalkboard. :]
Had a Thanksgiving night bonfire at my friend, Leah's house.
Took Pen to the park to play with her friends.
Completed a lot of Black Friday orders for my shop.
Burned up! It was a hot weekend.
Started a garland project. It looks a lot better now. ;] Tutorial coming soon!
After Jordan got home Sunday night we had a scare with Penny and had to take her to the animal hospital. She had a bad reaction to some medicine. Thankfully she is her normal self again!

Do you have Instagram? Find me: JulieAnnArt

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mason Jar Snow Globe Tutorial

I had so much fun making this next project! I tend to grab mason jars from garage sales and thrift stores whenever I can find them (today I actually snagged a turquoise one!). They have so many uses, from baking to crafts projects. This weekend I turned a few of my mason jars into snow globes for Christmas!

2012 UPDATE: Since making this snow globe last year, I'm sad to say the dye from the tree turned the water in the globe green! I'm still trying to figure out a way to fix this issue (maybe coat the tree with a sealant first?). If you're looking to use this snow globe for longer than one season, I don't recommend you use green trees.
What you'll need:
Any jar that seals
Distilled Water
Liquid Glycerin
Glitter
Figurines
Epoxy/Crazy Glue

(I found the glycerin at the drug store in the pharmacy section.)

Using the Crazy Glue, attach your figurines to the lid of the mason jar. Let them dry completely. (I waited 24 hours to be sure.)
Next, fill your jar almost to the top with distilled water. Add a dash of liquid glycerin (this is used to make the glitter fall more slowly). The amount is glitter you add is sort of at your own discretion. I ended up experimenting and some of mine have a lot of glitter and some don't. Jordan's has a ton. ;) Screw the cap on tightly and shake your jar to get the glitter moving.
And you're done! Give your Christmas decorations a pretty handmade touch this year using this easy tutorial!


The winner of the November Group Giveaway is comment #16, Little Ella Lu. Congrats! Look out for e-mails from my lovely sponsors!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sponsor Spotlight: Elements Inspired


My name is Nina Banks of Elements Inspired and I am a wife, a stay at home mom, and few years ago I became a jewelry designer. When my kids both started school, I began to market a line of beautiful jewelry inspired by nature, the elements, and music. It is an ever evolving line as I go from being a self trained artist, to gaining more skills as I take lampglass classes and study metalsmithing at The Denver School of Metal Arts. 
This fall’s collection was inspired by a trip through Estes Park Colorado observing the leaves and the tundra and all of the wonderful changing colors of the leaves. The Winter collection is shaping up to include a play on the combination of rustic metals and crystal inspired by the accidental dropping of a strand of Chinese crystals into a snow bank and watching the amazing light play as it caught the sun. I can’t wait to find out what the future holds.

Be sure to visit Nina's shop of beautiful jewelry! She is offering Julie Ann Art readers 15% OFF with the a coupon code JULIEANNART!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone stuffed themselves with a delicious meal (and of course thought about what you're thankful for)! I had a fun Skype session with my family in Michigan. I miss them so much! Aren't they cute? :]
Now while others are braving the crowds in the stores for Black Friday, I'm going to string the first set of lights around our little Christmas tree. I admit I'm a sucker for a sale but the lines and the people just don't win over the coziness of my home. And obviously, I'm an online shopping kind of girl anyways. ;] Speaking of, if you're still in need of cards for Christmas, my shop has $1.50 holiday cards all weekend! Stock up! Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

DIY Christmas Decoration Tutorials

Those of you who follow me on Twitter probably know that Jordan has gone home to Virginia for the rest of the week (sadface). I've made a To-Do list of all the things I'd like to get done (and keep busy with). Among updating some blog features and prepping my shop for a Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale, I'm hoping to make some Christmas decorations. I've been browsing the internet for a couple days and there are some great ideas out there that I can't wait to try!
Love this use of paper and family photos in this Christmas window tutorial!
I have a ton of twine so I'm definitely making these twine Christmas trees!
Definitely making a ton of paper snow flakes this year!
Wrap tomato caging in lights to create a tree! So pretty!
Great tutorial for the cutest pine cone garland!
I couldn't find the original source for this photo but I imagine it involves hot gluing cinnamon sticks around candle votives. I think they are SO pretty and must smell delicious!
How adorable is this tree tutorial from my friend Dana, of TheWonderForest?

Are you making your own decorations? Any tutorial recommendations? xo JA

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Decorating for Christmas

I'm (already?) getting excited for Christmas. I'm pretty sure I have never been this in the Christmas spirit. I think it's partially because it's my first Christmas living with Jordan...and I can't wait to decorate our house. I already started and I plan to do more over Thanksgiving weekend!
It was a rainy weekend so I took the little Christmas decorations that we have out of the garage, lit some candles, put the She & Him Holiday playlist on Pandora, and started decorating. It was sort of like heaven to my newly Christmas adoring self. Did I mention I was also baking cookies simultaneously? 
We've also started a Christmas decoration DIY project or two. And I've been trying to incorporate things I already have into holiday-related decor. I found this wooden box at the thrift store a few months ago so I added some pine cones and ornaments to create a festive centerpiece.
And of course Penny girl had to get festive too. These antlers lasted on her head for all of 1.5 seconds.

Have you started decorating yet? I'm hoping I'm not the only person who started before Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

November Group Giveaway!

**CLOSED**
Happy Monday! Are you ready for a great group giveaway today!? One lucky reader will receive a bunch of handmade goodies from some of my November sponsors, plus ad space on Julie Ann Art for the month of December!
Chia Lyn, of LynJewels is offering $25 credit at her shop of beautiful jewelry, ranging from everyday to bridal. She is also offering 12% off with the coupon code JULIEANN12.


Ankita, of Textured Ink, is offering this adorable set of three prints. On top of that, Julie Ann Art readers can get 10% off with the coupon code JA11.


Nina, of Elements Inspired, is offering these gorgeous earrings made of antique bronze crescent moons. Nina is also offering 15% off with the coupon code JULIEANNART.


Margaret, of Super Cute Creations, is offering $25 credit at her shop of handmade greeting cards. Plus Julie Ann Art readers can get 20% off with the coupon code JULIEANNARTHEART.


Mable, of HappeeMonkee, is offering this adorable 8x10 print. 

Shop  // Facebook

In addition to these lovely prizes, one lucky reader will also win small ad space on Julie Ann Art for the month of December! (If the winner has already purchased ad space on Julie Ann Art for December, the winner will get reimbursed.)


1.) Visit these shops and comment with one of your favorite items & e-mail address!
You must follow this blog to enter!


1.) Share this giveaway on Twitter. Please use this tweet:
I entered to win 6 handmade goodies on @julieannart blog! http://tinyurl.com/7sla32p
2.) Like this giveaway on Facebook using the share button below.
3.) Become a fan of everyone on Facebook (links above).
(You can leave individual comments for each page you like)

Be sure to leave an additional comment for each extra credit option! One winner will be chosen using random.org and announced here on my blog in one week. If prize is not claimed within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen. Good luck! 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sponsor Spotlight: Captain Scruffy

My name is Dean James, I’ve been a photographer for around 10 years. I can still remember the first time I ever owned my own camera and still have it to this day! I have a diploma in photography, putting my photography skills to use in independent films, projects and even a few events. I haven’t long been on Etsy, already I'm learning more and more though talking to other artists. I have a lot of plans for my photography for the future.

Dean's shop is filled with unique photography. Take a look!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I'm Thankful For...

I've been thinking about this post for a while now. About a month or two ago I just started feeling so thankful and so blessed with what I have in life. I think it's so easy to take things, people, for granted. Something that you do every day can become routine. Some one that you see every day can become expected. That makes it so easy to forget just how special what you have, is. I have recently starting realizing how much I love my life and how thankful I should be for everything that I have.
1.) My Gramps - My grandpa was diagnosed with Supranuclear Palsy. The past few years have been increasingly hard on my family as we've watched the disease take over his mind and body. Only going home a couple times a year, I notice a difference in him every time I see him. If there was one thing that made me feel guilty for moving away, it would be not being able to spend enough time with my grandpa at the end of his life. I realize now what a huge part of my life he has always been, always with his words of wisdom and encouragement.
2.) My Mom - Imagine my mom's dismay when her only child tells her she's moving across the country. (I actually told her on her birthday. Worst gift ever?) I know it has been hard on my mom to have her daughter be the only person in our entire family to move away. But even though it makes her sad, she knows that it is a good experience for me and tries her hardest to be supportive.
3.) My Boyfriend - I talk about him a lot so you've got to know by now that he's pretty great right? If you've read our story you know that it's kind of crazy how we got together. It's still funny for me to think about how we started out versus what we have become. I can't even explain how thankful I am for him. He is so supportive, so smart, so funny. I could lay on our living room floor laughing till my cheeks hurt with him every day for the rest of my life. I feel so lucky.

4.) My Business Growth - This has been such a fulfilling part of my year. My Etsy shop and my blog have been busier than ever before. It has been so so exciting and I am so thankful! Because of this great response, it really encourages me to continue to keep trying, keep thinking of new ideas, keep aspiring to get to where I want to be. The growth in my business has given me hope. It has raised my ambitions. It has inspired me. And it wouldn't have happened without you.
5.) Our House - It was quite the process getting our house. Jordan and I drove around countless neighborhoods searching for For Rent signs for months. I'm basically so experienced now at finding these signs that I can spot them from a mile away. In one of our many excursions, we found a new For Rent sign. The house it had a garage, a fenced yard and (bonus) a HUGE palm tree in the yard. We went to get the number on the sign and noticed that it was missing a number! Only 6 digits! Nooo! Jordan ended up climbing into the backyard, looking through the window, and barely making out the correct number that was on the opposite side of the sign. We set up an appointment and as soon as I viewed the house, I knew it was the one. It was exactly what we needed with 2 bedrooms and a fenced off grassy yard for Penny, plus several amenities that made it extra special. I am so thankful that after all the ups and downs of our search we have ended up with a home that we both truly love.
Give Thanks


If you have a Give Thanks post prepared, join the linky party and share what you are thankful for this season! Please post direct links to that post, not a link to your blog. Remember, by linking up here your post will also be shared on AdelynStone and AfterNineToFive (with all their followers too!). Be sure to pay their lovely blogs a visit!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Note or Two or Three

Hi friends! Just a few things to share before I run off to my last knitting class (my scarf is no where near finished, mind you). Tomorrow I am hosting the Give Thanks Link-Up with Kristan of AdelynStone, and Ashley of AfterNineToFive. Are your posts ready to link up? I'm so happy to be a host for this Link-Up because I think it's for such a good reason. I hope that going through all the linked-up posts and learning what others appreciate  will leavs us all feeling a little warmer with our hearts a little more full. I'm really looking forward to hearing what everyone has to say!

The second thing I wanted to mention is that I've had the honor of being nominated for Top Blog by the Blog Guidebook! Pretty exciting news for little old me! I'm so grateful to be nominated along with some of my favorite bloggers. Voting ends Friday, November 18th, so if you like my blog, go vote here! There's no sign up required, just find my name and click "vote." Much appreciated!



Also! Completely random but I wanted to help out my fellow independent business owners. I just took advantage of this offer today and had to share! USPS is offering FREE boxes and envelopes for the holiday season. Go stock up here

Looking forward to hearing from you guys tomorrow at the Link-Up party! xo JA
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