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Thursday, May 31, 2012

My Style: The Weekend

Shorts: Tillys, Top, Bracelets, Sunglasses: F21, Shoes: Aldos

The majority of my weekend was spent working on or working at a craft show. Once Monday rolled around I was like ok, I deserve some me-time. This is not to say that I didn't work at all, because I had to devote my evening to shop orders. But I did spend a sunny afternoon poolside with some great friends, yummy food and good tunes. Just what I needed to end the crazy busy month of May! Did you do any relaxing this weekend?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Craft Show

What FUN! Patchwork was such a great event and I'm so glad I got to be a part of it. There was a ton of people swarming the fantastic location and I was smack dab in the middle of it!

The morning of, I was freaking out. We left the house by 9am and I had all kinds of butterflies in my stomach. Facing the people is seriously the hardest challenge in this business for me. I can talk behind a computer all day long (I mean, I do) but seeing people's reactions to my cards face-to-face gives me anxiety.
We got there and as I started setting up my display I started feeling better. I'm prepared. I can do this. Ain't no thang. I did forget the doggie water bowl I was going to use to lure those dog owners my way. And I could've used a bit more cash, you just never know how many people are going to pay in $20 bills, you know? But other than that? Great time. Great atmosphere. And most of all, great reactions!

That was seriously the best part. I definitely have a few cards that may not be considered ahem, *appropriate* for everyone, so I never know how people are going to react (and naming my You're My Favorite Thing To Do card as the bestseller wasn't the most subtle approach). But oooohh the laughs!! Seeing this little old lady, she had to be in her 70s, giggle at my You're My Favorite Baby Daddy card (which was a big seller thanks to Father's Day!) was just awesome! Jordan decided "Make 'em laugh" should be my new slogan because that really is what happens. Aaahh it's such a special feeling. And definitely worth the nausea I was experiencing in the beginning.

And special thanks to Cynthia, Kurt, Leah, Katie, Nikki and Cheryl for stopping by and supporting me! I *meant* to get photographs with everyone but obviously I was distracted. You guys are the best. :]

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sponsor Spotlight: Pillow Thought

This giveaway is CLOSED. The winner is #26, Natalie. Congrats!

Meet one of my lovely sponsors, Lindsey!
(And her completely adorable daughter!!)
Hi, I'm Lindsey Marlor over at Pillow Thought. I would describe myself as a creative! I am a full time mom and part time photographer. I was born in the south and moved away to college where i met my husband almost 7 years ago and now consider myself stuck in Idaho.. for the meantime:) I blog about all things inspirational, whether it be fashion, home decor, party planning, tutorials, and of course I share a little about my real life every week!

Shop // Blog // Facebook // Twitter

Lindsey is offering one lucky reader Large Ad Space on Pillow Thought for the month of June!

Like Pillow Thought on Facebook. 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 Lindsey's Blog
2.) Follow Pillow Thought on Twitter
3.) Share this post on Twitter using this tweet:
"Enter to win large ad space from @pillowthought on @julieannart blog! http://tinyurl.com/7by2kwd"
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, May 24, 2012

Etch Films

I have a video for you today!! So excited to share! I previously mentioned that Jordan and I had the honor of shooting a gala for the local children's hospital. We have primarily shot weddings in the past, so this was a new venture for us. I was extremely nervous and was totally questioning my shooting abilities. Then we got there, all that went out the window and we went to WORK!

I think it was my initial doubt in myself that made me extra proud of how this video turned out. Jordan did a great job with the editing and I'm really happy to be a part of EtchFilms.

EtchFilms also has a brand new website and facebook page. They are still in the beginning stages but we are working hard at kicking this company off and would love your support! There's a lot more to come, including more videos to be shared, promise.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Etsy Friendship Bracelets by Ciera Design

Hi y'all! I'm Ciera and I blog over at Ciera Design about my adventures as a freelance graphic designer and everything that inspires me as an artist! I'm so happy to be guest posting today on Julie Ann Art.

I have always loved the bright colors of friendship bracelets so I started looking through Etsy to see what was out there. Truthfully, I was not expecting to find so much awesomeness! I mean, look at these bracelets! I think these would make great gifts for any occasion, I want to get them for everyone I know! I hope you all enjoy this collection of handmade friendship bracelets!
Friendship Bracelets
Do you have a favorite?

1 Ana Osgood Jewelry // 2 Nautical Wheeler // 3 Koko & Beau // 4 It’s Me, Mary // 5 TINNLILY // 6 Nautical Wheeler // 7 Simply You Jewelry // 8 Ana Osgood Jewelry

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Raspberry Mojito Recipe

We had a family brunch at our house this weekend and I wanted to make a fruity afternoon beverage. I've always been a big fan of minty mojitos and I wanted to add in raspberries, my favorite fruit! I started off following this standard mojito recipe but made a lot of modifications along the way and even learned something.

What you'll need:
(for about 4 servings)

12 ounces Raspberries
1 bunch Mint Leaves
4 Limes
1 cup White Rum
2 cups Club Soda
4 tsp Powdered Sugar
Lots of Ice
Combine the mint leaves, powdered sugar and lime juice in a pitcher. Using the end of a wooden spoon, muddle the mint leaves to help release the minty flavor (more on that later). I then pureed most of the raspberries using a blender and used a strainer to separate the juice from the seeds. Throw the remaining raspberries into the pitcher, along with the rum and club soda.
This is where I did my first taste test. Yuck. It tasted way too much like just club soda and rum. I decided that in order to really get that mint flavor to come out, I was going to let it sit and ferment for a while. I threw a bunch of ice cubes in the pitcher and placed it in the fridge. After a few hours I poured myself a glass over crushed ice. There it was! A mojito just like the ones I have ordered at restaurants. It just needed a little time. Enjoy!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Craft Show Display Sneak Peek

I'm down to the final countdown for my next show, less than a week left! I've been stocking up my inventory and playing with the final details of my table set up. I thought I'd share a few details of what I have so far. Any tips are appreciated!
I have always really enjoyed the rough, natural look of chalk on chalkboard so I decided to incorporate that onto some of the wooden crate walls.
I'm using the card rack Jordan made me (tutorial here) to display the majority of my cards. I added a single strand of twine to secure the cards in case it's windy. What do you think? Too distracting?
To make these signs, I sprayed wooden rectangle's I got from Michaels with chalkboard paint and glued them to safety pins. 
( DIY business card holder from this tutorial.)
I also have a few cameras as props, along with some books and mason jars. They are all things that I am drawn to if I spot them myself so maybe I can get some buyer's attention!
I picked up a wooden box at a garage sale a few weeks ago. I made it to a special Father's Day section since the show is just a few weeks before the Hallmark Etsy holiday. ;]

So I think it's coming along! I'm really excited for this show. It is only my second "real" show but I've heard it's a really good one for sellers. I have only been a buyer for the past two years. If you're near Orange County, be sure to come say hi! It's May 27th and you can get more information here.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Sponsor Spotlight: Happee Monkee

You  may remember Mable, of the Happee Monkee, from her yummy French Chocolate Cake guest post! Today she is here to share a bit of who she is and what she does (which appears to be a lot of traveling and that makes me so jealous!) 

Hello! I'm the snappy happy photographer behind Happee Monkee. I'm also a travel journalist and food blogger, in fact, photography was born from the marriage of these two passions. I'm a restless monkey and I am so blessed to be able to pick up my camera and photograph some of the world's most beautiful spots with my best mate (my husband)

My workspace varies depending on the location. I have been to Kiruna, Sweden which in my personal view is one of the most fascinating places in the world. When I'm not traveling, my favourite work space is by the dining table around mid-afternoon when the sun is shining through. My neighbours probably think I'm an oddball but I've learned to be pretty thick skinned by now.

Be sure to show Happee Monkee some link love!
Shop // Blog // Pinterest // Facebook

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

Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Style: Alphabet Dress

Outfit details: Dress: ASOS (out of stock), Belt: Target, Shoes: Blowfish Shoes

I loooove this dress! It is my first high-neck dress and I totally feel like I'm channeling my inner-Betty Draper (not sure that's a good thing actually since she's not the nicest, but you know what I mean!) And maybe it's the typography nerd in me but I think the lettering detail is adorable. I paired it with my new blowfish shoes, that I found through this post from Sandy, of SandyalaMode! I don't wear heels too often but when I do, I'm a sucker for a red wedge! ;] What's your favorite fashion accessory?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lately in Instagrams

Lately, I've been busy. What else is new, right? Well, let's just say it has been busier than usual. I have been putting the majority of my time towards the growth of my greeting card business. My main focus for the past few months has been adding more inventory to my Etsy shop (Father's Day cards lately!) and getting more wholesale orders from brick and mortar stores. Oh, and preparing for the craft show, Patchwork, on May 27th (locals: come say hi!).
I have been working a lot on improving my display. A lot of changes have been made since I snapped this photo a couple weeks ago, but I think it's finally getting to where I want it to be. I'm trying to think like a buyer and make it a table that would catch my interest (aka: by using sweet vintage tins and turquoise accents). My most recent changes involved chalkboard paint. Do you recognize the DIY card rack from this post? So lucky to have a supportive and handy man in my life!
And of course, show preparation involves printing and packaging up stock. Now, this is something I can't take credit for. The picture above (and in fact, the contents of the large box in the picture below) are all thanks to my good friend, Katie. She has started coming over weekly to enjoy yummy homemade food (yesterday's was peach crisp) and guilty pleasure TV, along with consistent card folding. It is so nice to not get overwhelmed from wholesale orders anymore. She is seriously more help than she realizes! And what's more, she actually seems to enjoy it. :]
But of course, we always make sure to find the time to close the laptops, take a break, walk away. The busier we get, the harder this is. There is literally always work to be done and it's difficult, for me especially, to put it on hold for a while. I just have so many ideas and plans (and responsibilities!). I feel like I work too much and yet not enough at the same time.
Also, forgive me, Instagram followers, for not being able to explain what was going on among my hospital Instagram photo streak. I had an emergency room visit last week and I still don't know what exactly  happened. What I do know is that I had an allergic reaction to a food. My throat and eye swelled up (randomly, having not eaten anything brand new) and Jordan took me to the ER. I got my first IV and was pumped with steroids and Benedryl. It was really scary, especially since this has never happened to me before. I stayed home from work the following day, getting plenty of rest with little Penny (is it me or does she looked worried about me in this photo?) I've finished my meds and will be getting tested at the allergist to find out what this newly-developed allergy is. (Hoping it's not peanuts, love me some peanut butter!)

So, what have YOU been up to?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Australia: Our Last Stop

All good things must come to an end. Our last stop in Australia was the Byron Boutique Barn in Byron Bay. Yes, you can rent barns in Australia. Amazing, right? This place was PERFECT.
 Everything in the barn was wooden, rustic, perfect. We were both in heaven. Talk about dream house.
We were right on the edge of wide open Australian hinterlands, surrounded by huge green trees. Our welcome note from the barn's owners told us that we were staying during a very rare "prime koala time." The koalas were extremely loud throughout the night. Crazy high-pitched screeching! It sort of made the experience that much cooler though. We were in the middle of the Australian jungle, in this awesome barn surrounded by wild koalas. It was such a special place to spend our last nights.
Oh, and it has a private pool with a gorgeous view! We arrived at the barn later in the afternoon (after our horseback riding adventures) and had a very short amount of time to enjoy the barn/pool/view before we took off for the wedding's rehearsal dinner. Yep, the reason we went to Australia! Our last day was spent filming a gorgeous wedding in the Australian hinterlands. (Video in progress!)

We have a lot of video footage from Australia and we are hoping that one of us can find the time to put a quick vid together *soon*. Things have been so busy around here lately! But more on that later....;]

Friday, May 11, 2012

Sponsor Spotlight + Giveaway: Shannon Hearts

This giveaway is CLOSED. The winner was #65, Megan! Congrats!

The lovely Shannon, of Shannon Heart's, is back for another month on JAA! I'm so happy to have her. She is a true joy to work with, SO sweet, and her blog is lovely! 
Hi, Julie Ann Art readers, I'm Shannon from Shannon Heart's. I blog about personal style, fashion, photography, my travels, and all the pretty things I discover along the way.

(Can I just chime in real quick and say I'm in love with her bird cage skirt here?!)

Pinterest // Blog // Twitter // Facebook
Today Shannon is offering one lucky reader large ad space on her blog! Shannon Heart's has over 1,300 followers and averages 30,000 pageviews per month! What are you waiting for?!

Follow Shannon's Blog. 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.) Like Shannon Hearts on Facebook
2.) Follow kanelstrand on Twitter
3.) Share this post on Twitter using this tweet:
"Enter to win large ad space from @shannonhearts1 on @julieannart blog! http://tinyurl.com/8ygnvvo"
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!

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

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

French Chocolate Cake Recipe from HappeeMonkee

You guys are in for a treat today! One of my sponsors, Mable, of HappeeMonkee is here today to share an amazing French recipe (one that looks so fancy that I'm scared to tackle it with my minimal kitchen skills!). Enjoy!

I first started food blogging out of boredom. My baking skills back then (2007) was pretty non-existent but I decided to teach myself how to bake as a challenge. One of my favourite recipe books is by Carole Clements and Elizabeth Wolf-Cohen - French: Delicious classic cuisine made easy. I stole it from my brother and I'm sure I got more use out of it than he did.
French Chocolate Cake ( serves 10 – 12)
3/4 cup icing sugar
280g dark chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup unsalted butter, chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 eggs, separated
1/4 cup of plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
pinch of salt

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Generously butter a 9½-inch springform pan, then sprinkle the pan with a little sugar and tap out the excess.
2. Set aside 3 tbsp of icing sugar and place remaining sugar in a saucepan with the chocolate and butter over low-heat.
3. When the ingredients has melted and dissolved, remove the pan and stir in vanilla extract. Let mixture cool slightly.
4. Beat the egg yolks into the chocolate mixture, beating each in well, then stir in the flour.
5. In a clean grease-free bowl, beat the egg whites slowly with an electric mixer until they are frothy. Increase the speed, add the salt and continue to beat until soft peaks form.
6. Sprinkle over the reserved sugar and beat until whites are stiff and glossy.
7. Beat one-third of the whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold remaining whites.
8. Carefully pour the mixture into the springform pan, tap the pan gently to release any air bubbles.
9. Bake the cake for about 35 – 45 minutes until well risen or when skewer comes out clean.
10. Transfer the cake and let cool completely.
Chocolate Ganache
8 ounces, or approximately 230g semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp brandy or run
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

1. To make the ganache, bring the cream to boil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.
2. Remove the pan from the heat and add chocolate all at once, stirring until melted and smooth. Stir in brandy or rum and beat in softened butter.
3. Set aside for about 5 – 10 minutes to thicken slightly. (Ganache should coat the back of a spoon in a thick smooth layer)

To Assemble:
Pour the warm ganache over the cake all at once, titling gently to help spread it evenly on all surfaces. Use a spatula to smooth sides, decorate with a sprinkle of chopped pistachio nuts (¼ cup).


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Special Video

You may know that I am a camera (wo)man for Jordan's videography business. Well, this weekend, we shot an amazing gala that was being held to raise money for the local children's hospital. Our videography services were a donation, and also a thank you. Jordan's niece was born prematurely and spent the first several months of her life in the hospital's NICU. Needless to say, this event was near and dear to our hearts.

Jordan's sister, Janelle, was one of the event's speakers. She shared the story of her daughter, Bella's, birth, and the challenges they faced as Bella fought to survive. As if this wasn't enough to make me tear up, she also shared the video Jordan put together of the 1st year of Bella's life. Tears were officially falling. What an emo videographer I am.

Anyways, I realized that while I had shared one of the wedding videos we shot, along with a few compilation videos Jordan put together, I never shared the Bella video with you. It is very special to us and I hope you will enjoy it.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Australia: Day 8, Part 1

As I mentioned in my last Australia post, on our 8th day we left Yamba early in the morning because we had some exciting plans set in Lennox Head at 10am. Jordan signed us up for horse back riding on the beach! Horse back riding is something I've been wanting to do for so long now, I seriously bring it up every time we are on vacation. It was so amazing to finally get to do this on the coast of Australia!
My horse was a little guy named Strider. We trotted a long ways down the coast, and Jordan even took his horse into the water. Not like, walking in shallow areas, I'm talking the horse waist deep in waves. Yeah, he's crazy, I know. I managed to get some great video footage from the shore. (I'm hoping to make a collaboration video of all our Aussie footage....as soon as I find the time!)
So I was fine when my horse was walking, but as soon as he picked up speed I just could not get the rhythm right! I was concentrating so hard on "being one with the horse" as the instructor would say. Yeah, it was not working. My butt was SO sore the next day (or two).
I am such a softie when it comes to animals. That was one of the best things I experienced in Australia. From horses, to koala, to kangaroos, even to pelicans....I sure got my animal fix! Next up is our last stop in Australia. It was, hands down, the best place we stayed, and leaving was soooo hard! I will never forget it.
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