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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Peanut Butter Brownie Bites Recipe

I have a nomnom recipe for you today! Peanut Butter Brownie Bites! (Can you tell by now that my favorite recipes to make are either fatty desserts or fruity alcoholic drinks?) I was looking for a sweet but soft treat I could make for Jordan since he recently had a tooth extracted and can only eat soft foods. But as always, I ended up eating about 99% of them.
 The following recipe was adapted from here.

What you'll need:

2/3 c butter
1 tbsp vanilla
1 1/2 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 c chocolate chips
1 c peanut butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar and vanilla (I used my hand mixer). Beat in eggs. In a medium bowl, combine the cocoa, flour, salt, and baking soda. Gradually add the dry mixture into the large bowl and beat until blended. Stir in chocolate chips and peanut butter. Bake in greased mini muffin tin for 7-9 minutes. (I like mine a little under cooked and gooey!) Enjoy!

Monday, July 30, 2012

DIY Jewelry Holder Tutorial

I have a new jewelry holder tutorial for you today! Up until now I had been using the jewelry holder I made in this post, but I wanted something smaller that I could hang in our bathroom. Ever since I saw this tutorial from The Letter 4 girls I loved the idea of a twig jewelry holder. I found a random twig in our backyard. I was pretty excited because nice twigs are actually hard to come by in our area because we're pretty surrounded by palm trees.
 What you'll need:

Twig
Twine
Super Glue
S-hooks

The size of your hooks will depend on the size of your twig. I would bring it to the hardware store with you when looking for your hooks.


Position your hooks along your twig an even width apart. Once they're in place put super glue on the backside of each hook to make sure they stay secure.
Wrap your twine around one end of the twig first. Then hold the twig up where you are planning to put it to see how much slack is needed in order to hang it on the nail and come back down to wrap around the twig. Once the twine is wrapped around the other end, secure with super glue. Hang it from a nail and start organizing your jewelry! :]

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Studio Makeover Inspiration

My studio space needs a makeover! Remember this photo from my Office Tour post? Yeah it needs some help.
Basically, one day this is going to be where I work (the only place I work) and I need it to be an inspiring place that I enjoy spending the majority of my day in. While I'm so glad we have this spare bedroom to hold our seemingly never-ending amounts of work equipment, the room is frickin small. So on top of making it an aesthetically pleasing room, I really need to utilize the limited space.

I've been getting really inspired by searching Pinterest. While I already had a board for my "Studio Dream", I created a new board called "Studio Makeover" because let's face it, my "studio dream" is not going to happen in this tiny 2nd bedroom of our rental house. It's time to be realistic and come up with solutions based on what space (and money) is available now.

I love the look of these metal bins inside the white shelving units. While I'm not one for a "furry seat" I really love the look of the blinds.

I'm switching out the inspiration board I have for a chalkboard to help me keep track of ideas and things to do in a more organized way. Also adore these wire baskets.

I love the look of the raw wooden desktop. This is also a great example of utilizing the space underneath.

 I love the pop of color the simple fabric garland gives Heather's studio space.

This is borderline studio dream and studio makeover. :] I love the big window, the high wall, and the hard floor. While those are all things our spare bedroom doesn't have, I do like the idea of the L-shaped desks positioned away from the window, rather than under.

It's amazing how much more light and airy a room can become with a simple plant.


Aah I'm feeling so inspired now! What's your work space like? And how do you keep it organized? xo JA

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Advertise on Julie Ann Art in August!

It's that time of the month! I don't know about you but I'm frantically scrambling to make buttons in the correct sizes for the blogs I want to advertise on. If you are thinking of advertising your blog or business, ad spots on JAA are available now!

In the month of July, JAA has averaged 3,200+ pageviews per day, with a high day of 7,804. You can view my readership stats on my Advertising Page

Don't forget that Large sponsorships now include guest posts, along with an individual feature/giveaway! And I also offer a 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!

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

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Three Year Anniversary

Jordan and I fell in love fast. So fast that at first we couldn't bring ourselves to say the words because we were scared that we were feeling them too soon. So, somehow, we came up with a sign. A sign that said exactly that: "I love you but I'm scared to say it out loud because it's so soon." Our sign was a head nod. I don't know how it started or who started it, but we both knew what it meant. We knew we loved each other faster than it seemed possible. And I also think we knew that three years from that moment, we would be right where we are now.
Happy three years Bub. ;] Not a day goes by that I am not thankful for you and what we share. I love you.

Monday, July 23, 2012

How to Add a Pinterest Button to Posts in New Blogger

One of my most popular posts has been my "How to Add a Pinterest Button to All Blog Posts" post. However, lately I've been getting questions on how to do it in the new Blogger interface. I updated the tutorial below. Hope this helps you navigate through the new look a bit easier!


1. Copy this code:


2. Once you've logged into your Blogger Account, click the Template tab and then select Edit Html.


Click Proceed, and an html box will pop up. Be sure to check the "Expand Widget Templates" box.

3. Look for <div class='post-footer'> and paste the code directly after that.

4. Save your Template and you should be good to go!

Note that this coding makes the Pin It button appear on the bottom right side of your posts. If you want the button on the bottom left side of your posts, replace the <div style="float: right; margin: 4px;"> coding with just <div>.

You can also customize your Pin It button. I used the standard Pin It image that Pinterest supplied, but changed its color to match my blog. You can really use any image that you want. Once you create it, host it online, and put its link in place of http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/green_tea/pin.jpg in the coding above.

Adding a button to your blog is a great way to help readers keep track of their favorite posts from your blog! They can easily find, or be reminded of, DIY tutorials they want to try or products they want to add to their wishlist! Give this Pin It button tutorial a try!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sponsor Spotlight: Acute Designs

Have you guys met Regina, from Acute Designs, yet? I actually had the pleasure of meeting her for a lunch date last month since we don't live too far from each other. While I'm always nervous and a bit reserved at first when meeting new people (especially those who I have met through the internet!) Regina showed up and was super personable and talkative. It was really refreshing to meet her and learn that not only do I like her blog, I also like her as a person.
Regina Morrison is a writer, blogger, and designer of hair jewelry, and bridal accessories. She owns a handmade accessories business and blog, both called {Acute Designs}. Stop by for daily handmade business related posts, diy's, recipes, and much more.
Regina has also teamed up with my girl, Leonora, of Yellow Heart Art to create a Photoshop For Bloggers e-book! If you are looking to improve the photos in your blog posts, or even the photos in your Etsy shop, this user-friendly course is for you!

Be sure to show Regina some link love!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Add a Custom Footer to Your RSS Feed in the New Blogger

Up until recently I have had a hard time keeping up with all the blogs I enjoy reading. I just started using Google Reader and I love it. The ability to just scroll through post after post from various blogs on one screen is perfect!

One thing I noticed though, is that while some blogs had footers at the end of the posts, most did not (mine being one that did not). While I have a variety of sharing links at the bottom of my posts on my actual blog, they don't appear when the post is viewed with a reader. This also includes a link to leave a comment. After a lot of searching in my Blogger settings (I am not 100% familiar with the new Blogger interface yet!) I finally found out how to make a custom footer that will appear in your RSS feed. Turns out, it's super easy!


Log in to Blogger. Click on "Settings". Then click on "Other". Make sure "Full" is selected next to "Allow Blog Feed." You will see a box next to "Post Feed Footer." This is where you put the html for whatever you want to show up at the footer of all your posts in RSS feed readers. Think social media links, backlinks to your blog, shop, etc. Get creative!

Once you are done hit "Save Settings" in the upper right-hand corner. It may take up to 30 minutes for the new footer to show up in a feed. I tested mine using Google Reader and this is what it looks like now:
I'm really happy with this because I think having the comment link there makes it easier for readers to leave a comment. This would also be a great way to promote a certain product or sale in your Etsy shop! Now get to it! I want to see these easily accessible links in all the blogs I follow through my reader! :p

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

DIY Bleach Splattered Dress

I teamed up my girl Leah for a fun DIY project this weekend. You may recognize Leah because she was the beautiful bride in this video we shot. Or you may have seen me share photos from The Daily Dry on Instagram. The Daily Dry features a new movie illustration created by Leah and drawn on my white board at work (we're coworkers). We have gone through all the Harry Potters, Twilights, Hunger Games, Johnny Depp movies...the list goes on and on. She's super skilled so check out her illustrations here!

Leah came across this dress on Pinterest and realized it was something she could probably make herself with an old plain dress she had lying around. Of course I had to chime in "We should make a blog post about it!"
What you'll need:

Clothing
Bleach
Gloves
White cloth
Bucket/Bowl

Make sure you use cardboard or tarp to protect the area from bleach spots.
First things first, put on your gloves for protection! Add bleach to a bowl and slowly dip the article of clothing in it, being sure all areas are completely saturated.
You will see the color almost immediately start to change. Once you have it covered in bleach as far up as you'd prefer remove the article from the bleach bowl and lay flat.
Saturate the white cloth in bleach and wring it out at the top of the bleached area. This creates the splattering effect. You can flick the bleach off your gloves onto the fabric as well.
 Make sure the splattered area and the dipped area blend together well.
Let the clothing sit for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on how light you want the color to be. Once time is up, rinse thoroughly with water and then wash it in the washing machine as normal. And now you have an awesome DIY bleach splattered dress!
Isn't she cute? :]

xo JA and Leah

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Blackberry Bramble Recipe

This weekend we went to a Speak Easy! Have you ever been? It's basically a 20s themed joint where girls dress up as flappers and transport back to the Golden Age. And let me tell you....the drinks?? Divine. Classy. Delicious. We were instantly inspired to try our hand at recreating these tasty treats. The Blackberry Bramble was a classic drink in the Prohibition Era. Ready?
What you'll need:

1 Shot of gin
1 Lime
7 Blackberries
1 1/2 Simple syrup
4-6 oz Club soda
Crushed ice

Muddle the blackberries and add to serving glass. Add crushed ice, juice of the lime, gin, and simple syrup. Then top it off with the club soda. I like to add more muddled blackberries at the top too. :] Enjoy!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Feedback

If you follow my friend Dana over at The Wonder Forest, you may have seen this blog post where she discusses readers reactions to certain posts. More specifically, readers seemed more apt to comment on quick, daily life posts, rather than posts that take a lot of time to create/write. I read through her reader's comments and there was some great feedback. A lot of people said they just don't always have the time to comment, but it doesn't mean they don't love the content any less. Another thing that several people mentioned was that they comment less on posts regarding tutorials because they aren't as relate-able. Although a project may be cool, the odds of them trying it themselves are slim. Or they're just not a crafty person in general.

This totally got me thinking because I have always felt like my blog doesn't post enough craft tutorials and I'm always down on myself about that. I guess I had this idea that, well, everyone loves crafty stuff....that tutorials are what sparks a potential followers interest. But I'm learning that might not be the case!

While I'm really interested to hear what posts are most enjoyable for readers, I'm also learning what posts are less enjoyable for me. For example: outfit posts. While my girls Illy and Erika can rock them, I just don't think I can! It is something I have never really felt comfortable doing and I honestly don't look forward to shooting them. I have to set up my big tripod and fuss with my remote shutter button a million times. Why not have Jordan take them, you ask? Because I will bite his head off. It's true. I feel so uncomfortable in front of the camera that I instantly get mad at him for instructing me to move a certain way. I feel like a jerk after and apologize, but we have learned it's best for me to just take photos of myself on my own. But still, I think I was just meant to be behind the camera. :]

But maybe you like outfit posts? See, what do I know? I know most say "I blog for myself," but the truth is, while I love blogging, I don't know if I would devote the time I do to it if it weren't for you guys. So I'd love to hear what you want to see here. A while ago I had started making short survey to give my followers the opportunity to give their input on future products and plan for my greeting card shop. I added a couple questions about my blog as well. It is really short, only 8 questions, and I'd love your input. You can fill out the survey here. Or you can always leave a comment! xo JA

Friday, July 13, 2012

Sponsor Spotlight: IROCKSOWHAT

I'm so happy to introduce you to Jess today! Part of my enjoyment in having sponsors is finding out about shops and blogs that I hadn't stumbled upon before. This was the case with Jess's blog IROCKSOWHAT. I'm now an avid reader! 
Hi! I'm Jess Craig from IROCKSOWHAT.com and I blog mostly about my life and all the things we're doing everyday. I love art and design and food and just general stuff. I'm always offering free printables and other free downloads. Yadda yadda yadda blah blah blah. It's awkward talking about yourself!
Check out this awesome free printable art print she's offering!

Give her some love!
Blog // Shop // Twitter // Facebook

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Low Calorie Ranch Dressing Substitute Recipe

This weekend I tried the Low-Calorie Ranch Dressing recipe from me newest recipe book. I normally steer towards vinaigrette dressings rather than a creamy ranch, mainly because of the calorie count. So this recipe intrigued me.
What you'll need:

1 c buttermilk
1 c lowfat cottage cheese
1 1-inch piece onion
1/2 glove garlic
2 sprigs parsley
2 peppercorns
1/2 tsp dill weed
1 packet artificial sweetener

Combine in a blender and process till smooth. Chill for 1 hour before serving.
It's not bad! I ended up adding a bit of salt, and it's definitely not as flavorful as normal Ranch dressing (which is why I ended up calling it "substitute"). But I like the idea of making it myself, and knowing exactly what ingredients goes into what I'm eating! Oh, and it's better for me. Give it a shot and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Make Your Own Envelopes by Little Daily Miracles

Hello dear Julie Ann Art readers! My name is Aleksandra, and I blog over at "Little Daily Miracles". I spent a lot of time thinking about what I could show you, but since a few days I was pretty sure what it will be about. So... I'll show you how to make awesome vintage letter envelopes. Yup, simple as that. Some nice vintage ones. Well, I always loved discovering things by myself, and how they were made, and since I'm writing letters again (yippie yaay!), I found that I need more pretty envelopes! And, I've been in all kind of paper stores, from the very elegant office to the shabby chic ones. Well, yup, here and there were some which could be ACCEPTABLE, but for this occasions I needed something special. Very special. So I decided to give it a chance and try it to make some myself.

So everyone, let's go ahead and jump into everything!
So, the main things that you will need are scissors, some glue (doesn't have to be the stick one, but I perfer it over all others for such simple things), a mechanical pencil and an eraser.
Next thing you will have to think about is what kind of paper you want to use for your little envelope! Here you have the complete freedom of your imagination, you can use WHATEVER you want. Here are some paper goodies I had to choose from.
Then you simply need to choose a regular envelope of size and shape you like. This one you see above I actually planned to use, but then it somehow got dirty, and I couldn't anymore. But without that little accident I wouldn't get this idea!
After you know which envelope you will use, you simply need to disassemble it like shown in the picture above.
... then you take your simple envelope and place it on top of your chosen paper...
... and draw the contours of it.
Afterwards you cut it out. And now comes the fun part! The folding!
Firstly begin with the side parts...

...followed by the bottom part and the upper one.
Now it looks like something!
Now you need to glue the bottom part of the envelope to the sides we folded at the beginning. I think the best way to do this is to apply the glue at the edges of the sides of the bottom part. So you don't glue the back of the envelope unintentionally.
You need to put some pressure on the spots where you've applied your glue. Hold like that for a few seconds, because we don't want our nice letters to fall apart on its way to its receiver!
And now it comes to your creativity... You can decorate your letter with whatever you want... Some stickers likeI did, some masking stickers perhaps or some deco tape. It's all up to you!
And the final result! Simple as that! 
 Here are some other examples of how it can look like. I kept it pretty simple but you can do with it whatever pleases you!

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did while making it.. And I hope it helps! Until next time!

Love, Aleksandra.
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