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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Guest Blogger: Wonder Forest

Hullo there!  When Julie asked me to hang out on her blog, I was like "umm, ok... amazing! I totally feel like one of the cool kids now!"  I mean come on, she's awesome, right!?  I'm pretty sure you can tell how excited I am to be here. Who am I?  I'm Dana and you can usually find me blogging over at Wonder Forest and creating cute things for my shop.
I am a web/graphic designer by day (and usually by night as well) and I have a guilty pleasure for watching home renovation shows. You can find me over on Pinterest pretty much every day, and I occasionally share some of my own makeup and hair tutorials there.  I'm a Canadian who is engaged to an American boy, and he is my absolute best friend in the entire world. In the past, I had been asked how I knew I was truly in love with this crazy American, and he was questioned on how he could just pick up his life and move to a different country for a silly girl.  The answer was simple really, and since Valentines Day is approaching I figured I would share the love:

Love is knowing without speaking.
Love is comfort.
It is crying in loving arms when you just need to let it out.
It is sympathy when feeling down.
Love is non judgmental.
It is not caring about your flaws. Love is raw.
Love is little moments.
Love is no makeup and sweatpants. Love is sharing private moments. 
It is sharing everything.
Love is sacrifice
and knowing it is ok to get angry.
It has special secrets and inside jokes.
Love is peeing with the door open.
It is being real. More than you've ever been real before.
Love is knowing that nobody is perfect, even you.
It is dancing obnoxiously around a living room.
Love is truth.
Love is letting loose. 
Love doesn't care if your legs are perfectly shaved every day.
It doesn't care that your hair is a mess.
It is knowing you have a best friend until the end.
Love is a two way street. Love is not perfect, but it is perfect for you.
It is unlike anything you've ever felt.
Completely crazy, unjustified love.

*sigh* love is beautiful isn't it? I hope you all come visit me over at the Wonder Forest and check me out here:

Thank you so much for letting me fill up your lovely blog with gushy love nonsense Julie!! xo Dana

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sponsor Spotlight + Giveaway: MisterGandMe

**This giveaway is CLOSED. The winner was #35, EDJ. Congratulations!**

Hi! My name is Ashley and I love being crafty. I'm a 27 year old craft blogger, yoga teacher, wife, and doggie mama to the incredibly cute Mister G. I love knitting, sewing, baking, and thrifting. I also love to be outside-- camping, kayaking, hiking, and being on the beach. I have an Etsy Shop where I sell my handmade cards featuring my original photography.

I’m offering 25% off all orders with the code JAAJAN at checkout!

Crafting is a huge part of my life because it allows me to tap into my creative energy. Crafting has so many life parallels for me-- and I want to share a few with you!

1. Don't be attached to the outcome. This is a big one! It's easy to start on a project and want your work to turn out perfect. Don't! Crafting is all about the process-- just like life is all about the journey.

2. Stop comparing! Comparing yourself and your work to people you admire and look up to can cramp your creativity! Your personal style and skills are one of a kind! This goes for creative endeavors and life as well! Just be you!

Tina Fey is a huge role model for me. If Tina tried to be like everyone else and imitated other people - the world would sadly miss out on 30 Rock, Bossy Pants, and everything else she has touched and turned to gold! (and please! What would I watch while I’m knitting at night?) When I feel self-conscious about my blog, photography, or projects-- I remember that there are people really enjoy what I do. I have a responsibility to be me and stop comparing myself to people I admire.

3. Non-judgment / acceptance – I haven't always allowed myself to experience my creativity. In my teen years I began judging my and eventually let my self-criticism rob me of my creative joy. I let my insecurities run the show and stopped making art and crafting. In the past few years I've started to overcome the crippling self-criticism and strengthen my creative (and confident) muscles.

Don’t judge others either! You never know where your next big idea might come from. Be open to inspiration. Don’t close your mind and your heart and stifle your creative flow. You never know what will inspire you! This goes for people, places, and things too! The really “annoying” girl at work might one day have just the words you need to hear. Colors might speak to you at a really “stupid” party! The skirt that doesn’t fit after the holidays might be the perfect fabric for something beautiful! With an open mind, anything can happen!

4. Reduce! Reuse! Recycle! Crafting is an amazing opportunity to turn trash into treasure! It’s so rewarding to create beauty from something ordinary. There are so many crafts you can make with recycled and reused materials! Making something from reused items is great for Mother Earth too—and that’s something to feel good about!

5. See the best in everything. Make something from nothing. Take something old and turn it into something beautiful. This is an especially rich parallel. Choose to see the best in people and situations. A yoga teacher once said in a workshop that when you teach yoga you start with what is beautiful in a student’s pose and work from that point to bring more beauty and grace to the pose-- not working to fix what's "wrong". Shifting your perspective is a simple thing that can rock your world! In crafting this means to find what is beautiful in your work or materials and start from that point. Find your favorite part and work to enhance it.

Shop // Blog // Twitter

Ashley is offering one lucky reader a $25 credit to her lovely shop!

1. Visit Ashley's shop and comment with your favorite item and e-mail address.
2.) Follow this blog using Google Friend Connect or Bloglovin.

1.) Follow Ashley's Blog
2.) Follow Ashley on Twitter
3.) Follow Julie Ann Art on Twitter
4.) Like Julie Ann Art on Facebook
5.) Share this giveaway on Twitter using the share button below
6.) Like this giveaway on Facebook using the share button below

Be sure to leave an additional comment for each extra credit option! That gives you a total of seven chances to winI will announce the winner, chosen by random.org, here in one week! Good luck!

**The winner of last week's giveaways were announced here and here.**

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Hawaii Bound

So although I've been talking about this on Twitter for a while, I realized I have not talked about what's in store for this weekend on my blog yet. If you haven't heard, we are heading to Hawaii tomorrow to shoot another wedding! I have tonight to pack up and mentally prepare, and tomorrow we leave for LAX at 5am.

I'm putting my shop in vacation mode until Sunday. It was a hard decision but I think it was the right one. There's no way I'd be able to handle coming home Sunday night to three days of piled up orders. So I'm planning to reopen as soon as I return and go into full gear for the Valentine's Day rush!

I've been to Hawaii before and it was definitely one of the best vacations of my life. This trip is going to be really quick, and 90% of the time we will be working, or preparing to be working. So it won't be quite the same but I'm hoping we get a little bit of beach time at some point (besides for  the wedding!)
I'm very excited (minus the plane ride part) and already can't wait to share the video with you guys! I'll be sure to post lots of photos on Instagram (username: JulieAnnArt)! And in the meantime, have you entered this giveaway and this giveaway yet? Winners will be announced tomorrow! I hope you guys have a good weekend!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Guest Blogger: Casey Wiegand

Hi there! Today's guest post is from the lovely, Casey Wiegand. Have you met her yet? Go visit her blog, she is an amazing writer and artist!

Hi! My name is Casey Wiegand, I am a freelance artist, wife and mama. I love painting and sharing our life through my blog...where you can expect pieces of my perspective on life, faith, kids, marriage, with touches of art, creative inspiration, projects and things I love along the way.
I will begin at my highschool graduation
(where it all began....sort of).

Chris is 4 years older than me so he was at my highschool graduation with his current girlfriend at the time (they were watching her little sis graduate). I am not sure how this came about but he asked who I was. smiley face. She told him... that is Casey Jones and she'll be at Baylor next year. I graduate, make it to Baylor and Chris can name countless times that we were at the same places... always remembering who I was from that initial sighting. My sophomore year he sat behind me at a concert and tried to get the courage to talk to me the whole time and never said a word. Fast forward time....(he is older) he graduates, moves back to Dallas. I still don't know he exists and we have still never officially met.
*Another funny sidenote. Some of Chris' friends from college live right near my parent's house so he would always drive past hoping to see me. :)

I graduate college in August. One night Chris was at a highschool football game with a bunch of guys and my little brother, Travis, walks up to the group. Chris asks who that is..."Casey Jones' little brother" (so I am back on his mind)...then later that evening we both randomly wind up at a Kanakuk reunion. He waited at the bottom of the elevators to talk to me and I took the stairs!
Finally he decided just to get my number and call me. What was supposed to be a phonecall for a "sort-of" blind date turned into hours of conversation. I didn't even know what he looked like at the time. I remember when I went to answer the door, my heart literally stopped....I could not believe someone so handsome and so sweet was standing there.

I tend to be a bit of a homebody. And I remember my brother saying to me one day - "youre never going to meet anyone staying home all the time"... and my response was, God knows me, He knows how I tick... if He must, He will bring him to me.

And He did!
He took me out on a date on October 21. I remember thinking I was in serious trouble because there was such an instant connection. We are both artists, see the world very uniquely, have interesting personalities with very specific needs.

Three months later he told me he loved me and wanted to spend his life with me.

We went to Hawaii after 5 months of dating and he proposed to me on our one year anniversary.
We had an 8 month engagement, married on June 16...
I was 23 years old.
We started our business/studio when I was 24.
We had Aiden when I was 25, Ainsleigh at 27 and a miscarriage with Addison at age 28.
And here we are today.
There is obviously a lot that has happened in the middle. We have had some messy patches, hard patches, ups & downs. I have let him down a zillion times and he has done the same.

But at the end of the day... Christopher has always said
"There was only girl I could spend my life with...and that's you."

And I believe it.
Through better or worse.
He has made all my dreams come true.
He has changed my life.
He has loved me well.
He has made me a better me.
Through day in and day out.
He chose me. And I am thankful.

Our story :).

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

January Group Giveaway

This giveaway is CLOSED! The winner is #22, Sarah. Congratulations!

Hey guys! It's time for a January group giveaway! One lucky reader will receive handmade goodies from some of my January sponsors, plus ad space on Julie Ann Art for the month of February!
Angela, of Altliae, is offering $28 credit to her shop of fun accessories! 

Elaine, of Very Enchanting, is offering this pretty Black Austrian Crystal Bracelet! In addition, Julie Ann Art readers can get 10% off with the coupon code JAA10.

Shop // Facebook // Twitter // Blog

Margaret, of Super Cute Creations, is offering $25 credit at her shop of handmade greeting cards. Plus Julie Ann Art readers can get 25% off with the coupon code COUPON1.

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

1.) Comment with your e-mail address + favorite item from one of these shops.

1.) Follow Altliae on Twitter.
2.) Follow Very Enchanting on Twitter.
3.) Like Super Cute Creations on Facebook
4.) Share this giveaway on Twitter.
(Be sure to tweet @julieannart so I see it!)
5.) Share this giveaway on Facebook.

Be sure to leave an additional comment for each extra credit option! This gives you six chances to win! One winner will be chosen using random.org and announced here in this post on Friday. Good luck! 

Monday, January 23, 2012

My Style: Working Weekend

Outfit: Tunic c/o ShopKempt, Purse c/o Altliae, Pants- Tilly's, Scarf - Target

We've had a busy weekend! Lots of work being done, it feels like Santa's workshop over here (Jordan has even called me "Santa" a few times. Maybe I shouldn't have worn my red pants)! We've managed to get out of the house and enjoy some really delicious meals and taken Pen around for some walks. But we are all putting time and effort into the crazy orders coming in. So thankful for the support my shop is getting this year. And I know a lot of it is because of you guys. You're the best!

How was your weekend? Do anything fun?

P.S. I've got another fun giveaway coming tomorrow! Have you entered this one yet though?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Sponsor Spotlight + Giveaway: Elephant's Trunk

This giveaway is CLOSED. The winner is #9, Chelsea! Congratulations!
I’m Lauren- a 23 year old located in San Antonio, Texas where I live with my boyfriend and chocolate lab. It is in San Antonio where I created my blog and shop, The Elephant’s Trunk. The Elephant’s Trunk is a little bit of handmade wine accessories and a dash of creative canvases. Finding inspiration for products comes from everywhere and anywhere, from current events to a unique magazine or an inspirational quote. These are the things that stimulate me to create. One of my favorite things about my business is special orders. Designing unique pieces catered to a customer’s specific needs is the best kind of interaction I could ever ask for with customers.

Shop // Facebook // Twitter // Blog

Julie Ann Art readers can get a 15%  discount with the code JULIEANNPlus, one lucky reader can win a $25 gift certificate!

1. Visit the shop and comment with your favorite item and e-mail address.
You must follow this blog to enter!

1.) Follow Lauren's blog.
2.) Follow Lauren on Twitter
3.) Like Lauren on Facebook
4.) Share this giveaway on Twitter 
5.) Like this giveaway on Facebook

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, on this post in one week! So check back and good luck!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Getting Over The Fear

So here's the deal. I want to go to SNAP. (SNAP is a craft and social media conference in Utah, targeting the best bloggers representing modern handmade, contemporary craft, mind-blowing events and home DIY). So then go, right? What's the problem?

Well, you see, I'm shy. The thought of going and knowing no one scares me. I mean, obviously I'm going to be alone in the corner when everyone else in the room is bffs. Ok, I'm exaggerating. But honestly, the thought gives me anxiety.
Shyness and anxiety have been things I've dealt with my whole life. It takes me a while to open up and be myself around people (then why do you have a blog, weirdo?). Let's just say it's a lot less daunting for me to be myself on my blog, than to introduce myself to a bunch of people that I *may* know of, or that *may* know of me.

So I've been pondering and pondering this "dilemma" in my head and then I realized something. I need to get over it. Face it. Deal with it. Do it.

I'd be meetings hundreds of other girls. Girls who inspire me. Girls who share the same interests as me. Girls who understand the reason and work that goes into a blog. Networking will be done, but more importantly, friendships will be made. Why would I ever pass that opportunity up?

So. I'm going to go, officially. As long as you promise to say hi to me if you see me! ;] I still need to figure out the details as far as flights and hotels (anyone need a roomie?) but I'm going to go. I can't miss it!

If any past-conference-goers have advice or tips for this newbie, I'd love to hear what you have to say!

And........are you going to SNAP? 
What about Creative Estates?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


What if some one else controlled what you write on your blog? To join the strike against the internet censorship bills SOPA + PIPA, click here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Guest Blogger: The Letter 4

Hi friends! So happy to share this adorable tutorial from the amazing girls of The Letter 4 today! These girls have the cutest blog, be sure to pay them a visit!

Hey there! My name is Jamie and I blog over at The Letter 4 with my three other sisters. We are 4 sisters that grew up very close to one another. Now we have since all grown up and moved away and we miss the 3:00 am laughing, the projects we did together, stealing each others clothes, and everything that goes along with growing up with sisters.
Our blog has been our way to connect to each other again and share projects with each other. Each sister has a unique taste and talent but we all have a passion for creating beautiful things!

I have a serious problem. I never ever ever can find my phone. If I can go the entire day without looking for my phone it's a good day. And actually I don't know where my phone is more days then where I know it is. And yes they have that app where it will locate your phone but it's just so much easier not to lost it in the first place, right? I tell people (ok lets be honest my sisters are the ones who call me so I told them) that I can never find it cause I am always walking around the house in yoga pants and a t-shirt and have no pockets to hold my phone in. Insert, the iphone pouch necklace.....
This was one of those projects that I wasn't sure would work out, but I desperately needed something like this so I attempted it and quite frankly, I'm in love!
So how I made it was I took some white fabric I had traced out a piece of fabric that was twice as long as the iphone and then some for some seam allowance. (say hello to me in the phone!)
Then I took some painters tape and made my triangles making sure to press the tape down as flat as I could so the paint wouldn't bleed.
Then I sponged on some paint and let it dry! When you are painting it be sure to just touch the fabric rather than sweep it, again avoiding bleeding.
The next part I cheated. I used a lifeline known as "my sister Janae will sew it for me." I cannot sew for the life of me! But she simply sewed a hem at the top and then sewed up the sides! Then Janae also so graciously let me us an chain off of an old necklace that she had and I glued it into the sides on the inside and then hand stitched one of the links to make sure it would stay.
Done! Now I have NO excuse not to have my phone on me anymore. And I love love love this thing. It's been a week and I have not lost my phone once, that's kind of a miracle in my life. My sisters are thrilled they can get a hold of me!
Hope that inspires those of you that have my same "problem"! Stop by our blog and say hi!

Thanks for having me today on your fabulous blog Julie!!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Weekend in Instagrams

I really enjoy this new Instagram series I've started doing! This weekend's Instagram photos are a little different than past posts. We didn't go to Lake Tahoe. We didn't celebrate a holiday. Quite frankly, we worked a lot.
While Penny may have done some relaxing, things are very busy over here! I don't know what I would do without the help from my mom and Jordan right now. (But I can guess I'd probably be freaking out, on the verge of crying, wanting to rip my hair out...)
We've been folding.
We've been addressing.
We've been packaging.
But, while keeping up with the order flow, we've also managed to enjoy ourselves. We had some great family time this weekend, and also go to enjoy some celebratory drinks together!
I think it's really important to create a balance between work and play. I always make sure to take breaks and have "me time" no matter how overwhelmed I may be. It's the only way to keep sane.

I have some great guest post tutorials coming this week so keep an eye out! What did you do this weekend?! xo JA

Friday, January 13, 2012

January Sponsor Love

I'm so happy to introduce you to some of my January sponsors today! You may have seen them over on the right sidebar but I'm going to help you get to know these lovely women a little better! Be sure to stop by and say hello to them!
Shannon Heart's is a personal style blog. Shannon writes about her love for fashion, style, photography and all things beautiful.

Blog // Twitter // Facebook

My name is Margaret, and I'm a greeting card poet. I like to write tiny, profound little poems about love and the human heart. I like to write delicious little poems that make you laugh. I like to throw big handfuls of poetry into the air and watch peoples' eyes light up as confetti words fall all around them. So if you need a smile, a hug, a mini party with confetti and all; or if you want to bring joy to someone you love - come visit my shop; the door is always open and I love to make new friends.


Margaret is offering Julie Ann Art readers 25% off with the coupon code 1COUPON.

I'm Sandy and I make unique greeting cards using a technique called "Quilling", which is centuries old. You can think of it as "paper graphics". I don't use ink, I use paper to create all occasion sentiments I hope you'll be proud to share with the ones you love. I love the idea of sending a card just because. It'd be great of people stopped letting themselves be dictated by calendars and instead just let themselves go with their feelings because, love rocks!

Hello lovelies, Lolly here! I'm a 25-year-old blogger, part-time model, and budding philanthropist born and raised on the East Coast, now living in Northern California with my fiancé. If you love to be inspired, look at pretty photos, and learn about ways you can help yourself, others, and the world we all live in than I'm your girl!

Blissfully Happy Wife, Blogger, Movie Buff, Animal ♥er, Event Planner, Busy-Bee, Shopaholic, Philanthropist, DIYer in Training, 30-Something Southern Gal, etc. I just opened up my Etsy shop, AnnLeigh Creations. Stop on by!

Hi, I'm Elaine and the designer of Very Enchanting Jewelry. I started making jewelry after I took an internship in high school at a Mood Swings Jewelry in Long Beach Ca and was hired on. After three years there and a little schooling I became the head designer for the next 4 years I was there. I have been designing on and off now for 9 years total this June! It is not what I thought I would be doing but I love it and thanks to my awesome boyfriend I am currently able to it full time and give it my all. I have a wide range of designs on my Etsy page, from fun resin rings to rich sapphires in gold. Any and everything that will inspire me I will gladly take and run with it for my jewelry designs or anything else that pops up and looks like fun!

Hi, we’re Kim & Candice. We’re the sisters behind Paper, Lace & Confetti Handmade and wedding planners to boot! We make jewelry and other fun, small gift items on our online shop, blog about our wedding and craft inspirations and take long coffee breaks in between. Come stop by, say hello on our blog or stop by the shop and maybe you’ll find something pretty to take home with you!

Julie Ann Art readers can get 15% off their Paper, Lace & Confetti Handmade purchase with the coupon code JULIEANNART01.

Hey, I’m Dana! I blog over at Wonder Forest and create retro inspired plush and home products under the same name! I am a designer/artist in ‘real’ life and love a good DIY project, shopping online, and believe in being creative every day! Stop by and say hi!

PaintedEpoxy is made up of two people - jewelry by Amber and art by Auroch. We started early in August 2011, nameless at that point. It was originally meant to be a solo adventure with my jewelry but when my boyfriend discussed wanting to make prints of his work, I couldn't resist figuring out how to do it. When it got to the point that I was able to post them - the name that came to me was so simple - yet it fit together perfectly. PaintedEpoxy - As he's the painter and I was using epoxy to hold some of my heavier, bigger pieces together. We're still a "new" store but we've expanded our networking & have made sales both on and offline to people who can't get enough art and unique jewelry pieces in their lives. We have a print shop HERE where everything is currently on sale.. and of course, our ETSY.


So proud to have this group of  talented females on my blog this month! Be sure to stop by their shops and blogs! They make this blog possible!

**The winner of last week's giveaway was announced here!**
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