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Monday, April 30, 2012

Australia: Day 6 + 7

While traveling up the coast of Australia was amazing, I wish we would've had more time for the journey. As I mentioned in my previous Australia post, the accommodations were really great there. But we only had a day at each place before we had to get back on the road and we were never really ready to leave! Aanuka Beach Resort, in Coffs Harbor, was no exception. In fact we stayed there the majority of the day, not getting back on the road until evening.
We found this resort in my Lonely Planet Australia book. It described Aanuka as a luxurious resort set amid luscious foliage. Um, yes please! It ended up being exactly what we needed. We enjoyed a beautiful day of relaxation.
The resort was filled with huge lizards. They would get eerily close, occasionally even jumping in the pool with us for a swim.
 We drank a lot of pina coladas. It was pretty much heaven.
 One of the perks to this beautiful resort was that it was also right on the beach. We made sure to take some time away from the pool to enjoy the ocean. The water was soooo much warmer than the water here in California.
The beach was covered with tons of shells and stones. We walked by the waters edge trying to find pretty ones. It was also covered with crabs. Literally, I'm laying on a towel and there are multiple crabs digging within arm's reach of me. Not a fan.
This was one of my favorite days of the trip. We just relaxed, explored, got some sun, and drank some fruity drinks. Since we didn't leave the resort until later in the day, we ended up arriving at our next stop, Yamba, just in time for dinner. We pulled into town, snagged the last ocean-side room of a little motel, scarfed some Italian food and passed out. We took off from Yamba pretty early on Day 8. I was sort of bummed we couldn't stay longer, as they had what was called an "ocean pool." It was an ocean-water pool basically right in the ocean. But we had to take off because we had some pretty awesome plans set up in Lennox Head at 10am! Stay tuned. :]

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sponsor Spotlight + Giveaway: Anna Delores Photography

**CLOSED. The winner is #83, Larisa. Congrats!**

Emily Reiter is the fine art photographer behind Anna Delores Photography. Emily got her first camera (a purple plastic 110 film Kodak) before she was 10 years old and she's been smitten ever since. Founded in 2011 in Los Angeles, California, the name “Anna Delores” comes from Emily's maternal great-grandmother (Anna) and paternal grandmother (Delores); she thought it appropriate to pair her passion for antique, vintage-style photos and ephemera with a name for her photography venture that honored her own heritage. Anna Delores Photography is about seizing a moment, and from that moment Emily strives to produce a creatively-inspired image that appreciates an otherwise overlooked object or scene of beauty. Her goal is to create photographs that make a connection with people, whether by recalling memories of a past trip abroad or summoning the human emotional connection to everyday objects. Anna Delores Photography produces fine art photographic prints that clients are excited and proud to display in their home or office.
Shop // Blog // Twitter // Facebook

Get a whopping 40% off your order with the coupon code JULIEANN!

Today Emily is offering one lucky reader a set of 4 8x8, 8x12, or 8x12 photography prints! ($75 value!!)

Follow Anna Delores Photography on Twitter. Then leave me a comment telling me you've done so. Please include your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win!

*you must follow my blog to participate in sponsor giveaways*

1.) Follow Emily's blog
2.) Comment with your favorite item in Emily's shop
3.) Like Anna Delores Photography on Facebook
4.) Share this giveaway on Twitter using the tweet:
"Enter to win 4 of your favorite prints from @annadeloresLA on @julieannart blog! http://tinyurl.com/6o3rakc"

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

**P.S. The winner of last week's giveaway was announced here.**

Thursday, April 26, 2012

DIY Coat Rack Tutorial

So I don't know about you, but my closet is a mess. I've been working on organizing it for a looong time now (baby steps). So I already figured out how to better organize my tights, but this weekend I needed to figure out how to better organize my scarves. Up until this weekend they were carelessly draped over the doors of my closet, adding clutter to the overall appearance of our room. But this is actually the perfect project for coats, hats, even necklaces!
What you'll need:

(I got a pallet from my work that Jordan disassembled for me. But I'm sure you can go to Home Depot and have it cut to size if you can't find an old pallet.)
Spray Paint
(if the wood is a dark color)
(got mine at ACE)

If you are working with an older, worn piece of wood like I was, I recommend sanding it first before spray painting it. Once the paint is dry use a pencil to mark where you'd like your hooks to go. I did this with the help of a ruler, level and Jordan. He also helped me attach the hooks with screws. I may be crafty....but I'm not the best with tools.

It's that easy! Mine fits perfectly on the back of our bedroom door.  I might make another one for coats to put by to our front door next!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Three Grilled Cheese Recipes

Happy National Grilled Cheese month! Today I'm going to help you celebrate it with three nomnom grilled cheese recipes. They are all quite different so at least one of them should tantalize a taste bud or two! I am all for throwing ingredients on some bread in a frying pan and ending up with a gooey, yet crunchy, delicious masterpiece.
Margherita Grilled Cheese
You can't go wrong with this classic combo!

Mozzarella Cheese

Ok this is amazing. Period.

Mozarella Cheese
Goat Cheese

Pear Gorganzola Grilled Cheese
Interesting sweet twist!

Sliced Pear
Dijon Mustard
Candied Walnuts
(I added dried cranberries too)
Pile ingredients onto a slice of bread and grill that baby in an oiled hot frying pan! I paired them with some tomato basil soup and it made a great lunch for us this weekend! We both tried each recipe. Jordan's fav is the Margherita and mine is the Green Goddess. What's yours? :]

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Speaking Out

You may recognize the design on the left, as I first shared it back in February in this blog post. The image on the right is from a fellow card seller, blogger and acquaintance of mine. She is closely connected to my internet circle and was a sponsor on my blog in February, when I first shared this stamp design.

I have had issues with this seller before and without going into too much detail, this was the best representation I could share of what has been going on. I'm most upset at this blatant lack of respect for creative integrity.

I hope speaking out about this will, in some small way, help reduce this growing problem more and more of us are facing. Originality and brand differentiation are key to having a successful business. Your work is protected  by copyright law the moment it is introduced into commerce and does not have to be registered to be protected. Do not be afraid to speak out for yourself when it comes to protecting your brand's integrity. xo JA

**Just to clarify, the seller was NOT one of the sponsors included in my February group sponsor post.**

Monday, April 23, 2012

Newspaper Graphic Art Tutorial by Two Hoots + A Holler

Hi Julie Ann readers! I'm so excited to be over here today.  My name is Mae and I blog over at Two Hoots & a Holler.  
Today I'm going to show you the easiest craft ever, inspired by this photo I found on Pinterest:
I'm a huge fan of the 1950's retro style (who isn't?) and when I saw these images on the Graphics Fairy, I knew I had to use them.  Remembering the book art I had pinned above, I quickly tore pages out of an old sewing book and got to printing.
I then used an old window I found in my mom's barn as the frame.  I used ribbon to add a border around each print and voila!  Easiest craft ever.
And just because I'm a huge fan of interactive art, I put a jar of dry erase markers beside the frame and encourage guests to add their own dialogue box to the images. 
This kind of book art is SO easy it feels wrong and the possibilities are absolutely endless.  Go find some images you like, a book or newspaper you don't want anymore, and happy printing!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sponsor Giveaway: The Plaid Barn

**This giveaway is CLOSED. The winner is #76, Katherine Tokyo. Congrats!**

I have such a great giveaway for you guys today from The Plaid Barn! They offer a great service and I'm proud to say that I have been a customer of theirs in the past (and continue to be). The Plaid Barn offers daily deals on craft supplies, packaging, and DIY items. I like to take advantage of the packaging supplies because I love adding cuteness to my packaging but it's not always budget-friendly. The Plaid Barn totally helped me out with that! (I recently purchased the cute heart stickers in the photo below.)
Website // Twitter // Facebook 

And just a heads up, once you sign up for their newsletter, keep an eye out for their special deal tomorrow (Saturday, the 21st)! They are offering a goodie box stuffed to the rim with amazing supplies for only $13.97 plus shipping and handling)
The Plaid Barn is giving away a $25 Plaid Barn box of goodies to TWO lucky Julie Ann Art readers! The box will include goodies from great past deals that you can view here.

Sign up for The Plaid Barn newsletter here (so you are first to hear about the daily deals because trust me, they sell out fast!) and then leave a comment telling me you've done so.

*you must follow my blog to participate in sponsor giveaways*

1.) Share this giveaway on Twitter. Please use the tweet: " Enter to win cute craft supplies from @ThePlaidBarn on @JulieAnnArt blog! http://tinyurl.com/7horamf "
2.) Like The Plaid Barn on Facebook
3.) Follow The Plaid Barn on Twitter
4.) Follow Julie Ann Art on Twitter
5.) Like Julie Ann Art on Facebook

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

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ombre Nail Tutorial by Anna Delores Photography

Greetings, Julie Ann Art readers!  My name is Emily and I'm visiting from the Anna Delores blog.  The amazing (as you already know) Julie Ann agreed to let me share a fun nail trend that is also really, really easy to execute: ombre nails.

The ombre manicure made its appearance as a hot trend last summer, and it's back and better than ever for 2012.  You can go matte, shimmer, glitter, or merge colors on one nail with sneaky makeup tool tricks -- but I'm giving you the EASY version today, just to get you started.

When I first saw this trend, I thought I'd need five different polishes in the same color family, just lighter and darker versions of each other.  I knew I had enough polishes to make it happen (I think I have 15+ polishes just in pinks), but shades can vary so much -- some are warm tones, some are cool tones, some are shimmery, some are matte, etc.  But THEN I realized: all you REALLY need is one dark polish and one white polish.  See where I'm going with this?
For my color inspiration, I decided on "Devious," a midnight purple shade in a creamy matte (no shimmer) that I got from Ulta (whose eponymous nail polish is buy one, get one free right now!).  For white, I used Sephora by OPI in "A-ha! Moment," a bright opaque white.

Perhaps this is obvious, but I recommend doing all your manicure prep before pouring and mixing colors, as once you measure out your polish, it (of course) starts to dry.  Because I got excited and poured my polish before applying my base coat (Nicole by OPI Base Coat Plus), the polish was a little thick and had already started to harden when I was ready to apply.  My end result wasn't as tidy as it should've been, since I was negotiating with half-dry polish.  Yuck.
Measure out four dollops of your dark polish (I originally did five because I was thinking, five fingers, right?  But for the fifth one, you can use the original color out of the bottle, of course!  Duh, Emily). Add drops of white to each, one at a time -- mix as you go so you can see if you need to go lighter or darker, and adjust the remaining "swatches" accordingly.  I had to fuss with mine a little to get the right gradient of colors.
And voilĂ !  You've got your ombre palette.  You can start at whichever end you like (your pinkie or your thumb) -- I opted for starting dark on my pinkie and then working my way over, but you can do it the other direction, too, of course!  It's up to you.
And that's that!  I TOLD you it was easy.  Finish with your favorite top coat and some lacquer-drying drops (just 1-2 drops per nail) -- I used OPI Top Coat and Nicole by OPI Drying Drops.

You can do this with pretty much any color as long as it's dark enough to begin with; the darker the shade, the greater your flexibility in making the gradient as dramatic as you like!  I could've gone a lot lighter on my thumb color and thus had a more dramatic dark-to-light transition (as it is, the shades on my pinkie and ring finger look almost the same unless you're examining them in bright sunlight!).  I like the subtlety of a tame gradient, but experiment with the colors and make it your own.

A few other color ideas to whet your whistle (and don't you love that glitter?):
And this is a whole other level (I think this is the true 2012 reincarnation of the ombre nail, but I'm just not ready yet):

Enjoy, and let us know if you try this out!  And come say hello!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sponsorship Call + Changes

If you're active in the blogging world, you've probably heard about Passion Fruit Ads. I am one of the many bloggers who has transitioned into this new way of accepting sponsorship. It's an awesome service that makes sponsoring blogs easier and quicker for both bloggers and sponsors!
Ads can now be purchased at any time of the month! No more waiting until the 1st! Ads will still run for 30 days. They will go up on my blog as soon as I approve your ad image, as long as there are spots available. If ad space is sold out, your ad will be next in line to go up as soon as a spot becomes available. (As it worked out, spots will still go up the 1st of May, as all spots sold out in April!)

Also, Large sponsorships now include guest posts, along with an individual feature/giveaway! I'm really excited about this because it will give sponsors more exposure, along with giving my readers an idea of what they blog about. Yesterday's post was an example of a large sponsor guest post done by Darkroom and Dearly (and looks super delicious by the way if you have not seen it yet!!). Medium sponsorships will continue to include ad space only.

And the last change is that I'm now offering past sponsor discounts! Just a little thank you to those of you who have sponsored in the past! Please inquire for the promo code you can enter when purchasing through Passion Fruit Ads!

Take a look at my Advertising Page for my blog stats. You will also see you can immediately purchase a spot, instead of going back and forth through e-mail multiple times. Super time saver for all of us! Again, you don't have to wait, and  your ad will go as soon as it possibly can!

If you have any questions about advertising on Julie Ann Art, feel free to e-mail me at julie.astra [at] yahoo  [dot] com! xo JA

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Homemade Strawberry Jam by Darkroom and Dearly

Hi, friends! I'm Brittany from Darkroom and Dearly, and I'm so excited to be guest posting for the lovely Miss Julie Ann today!

Since summer is fast approaching (unless you live in Portland like I do, wherein you shouldn't expect the sun to come out until July...) I wanted to share with you one of my family's favorite May traditions: making strawberry jam!

Not only is the recipe very simple, but the process itself is so delightful. Each year we cheerfully head out to the strawberry farms, baskets in tow, expecting to fill our totes, stain our fingers, and return home to spend the afternoon canning fresh strawberries (the ones we haven't eaten already, that is!) Every year we think we'll stop at one or two baskets, but the ripe strawberries beg us to keep picking, and inevitably we return with thirty pounds or more and the slightly guilty feeling that perhaps we didn't need quite that much fruit.
At any rate, there's hardly anything better than strawberry jam, and with thirty pounds of fruit, you can even use the leftovers to make breads, pies, dessert toppings, pancakes, and cakes if you happen to run out of canning jars. (Heaven forbid!) Then again, perhaps you have stronger will power than us, and you'll stop picking before you hit the weight capacity of a small pony.

Here's the recipe for a simple no-heat strawberry jam. It turns out somewhat runny, but still delicious. If you'd rather have a more jelled jam, a boiled pectin recipe works well, but it tends to be a much messier/ time consuming process, so beware.
{homemade strawberry jam}

4 cups crushed strawberries 
1 1/2 cups sugar 
1 1.75 oz pkg Freezer Jam Pectin (Usually in the baking/ canning aisle at the grocery store)
1 16 oz Ball Freezer Jam jar (I recommend buying a pack)

Put strawberries in a blender and blend until smooth. In a medium bowl, stir together sugar and package of pectin until well mixed. Add the strawberries and stir for 3 minutes. Transfer mixture into clean freezer jar. (Leave a little space at the top since it will expand when frozen.) Twist on lid and allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to thicken. Freeze until ready to use.

This is for one 16 oz jar of jam. If you're like us and pick 30 pounds of strawberries... you may want to 30-tuple the recipe and buy pectin and jars in bulk. Just sayin.
Best of all, you get to enjoy a day in the fields with the sun and the strawberries! Have fun, and happy early summer!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Australia: Day 5

After we watched the pelican feeding we continued our drive north to Diamond Beach. I had not heard of Diamond Beach, but it was a good stopping point for us and Jordan had found a cool place to stay. The closer we got to the resort, the more we felt like we were in the middle of nowhere (which was fine with us!). This is when we had our first wild kangaroo sighting! I managed to snap one photo before he hopped away into the bushes.
We stayed at the Diamond Beach Resort and Spa. It was so cool! In fact, all the places we stayed at were cool. Australia has some really great accommodations. Most of them were stand-alone buildings with stoves, fridges, washers and dryers. This one in particular had a nice patio out front that we had our morning coffees at. 
We decided to do some exploring in the morning (I think we were both hoping to see another kangaroo!) before heading out on the road again. We were the only ones around and it was so peaceful. Jordan may have been pretending he was like, on Lost or something, carrying a machete rather than a tripod. 
We weren't quite ready to leave this beautiful place but we had to continue our journey north. Our next stop: Billabong Koala and Wildlife Park. It was a particularly dreary day so it was perfect timing on our part. We had the place pretty much to ourselves, meaning we had a lot of opportunity to pet koalas and feed kangaroos.
They were actually not as soft as I imagined, their fur was pretty coarse. But they sure were cute!

Next up: We find a place to stay in Coffs Harbor. (Beware of the swimming lizards!)

P.S The winner of the Modcloth Giveaway was announced here!
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