Monday, November 22, 2010

Off To The Beach...

Hi blog readers! :)

My family and I are leaving this morning for Florida to spend thanksgiving week with my grandmother. I hope to come back with a tan and a few seashells. :) While I'm gone, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! (Tip: Go light on the mashed potatoes and gravy - fill up on turkey and veg instead!) :D

On our trip, I will be taking my new iPod shuffle. In pink. :D
 The reason I had to get a new one was that my old iPod shuffle tragically got left in the pocket of the hoodie I wore to the gym, and drowned in the washing machine. *sniff!* :( Strangely, the earbuds still worked just fine, it was only the iPod that died. (?) Anyway, I loaded up my NEW iPod with all my favorite music and it's ready for the trip! I even got a little adapter so that you can plug the iPod's usb plug right into an electrical outlet to charge it! No need for a computer! (which is a good thing, because my grandmother does not have one) :D

And, I thought I'd share pictures of a little project I'd done recently...
I found this GORGEOUS old-fashioned frame with a collage mat inside it for 8.00 at Ross. (I love that place, it's like a huge yard-sale) I took it home, and waited for months trying to decide which 'perfect' photographs to print and put inside.

Then I saw a tutorial where a lady had filled a similar collage with neutral backgrounds in each picture hole with a single feather in each square. It looked pretty cool, and inspired me to work with what I had on hand... which was a lot of old greeting cards left over from birthdays and my graduation party in '09.

 I especially like the peach one in this corner - it says "God is crazy about you. He doesn't just like you a little, he doesn't just think you're sort of special - the God of the universe is head-over-heels, deeply, truly, forever-and-ever in love with you."

I even fixed some of them up. The "Love, Hugs, Laughter" card in the corner there used to say "Happy Birthday" across the top, which was nice but I didn't want it in my collage... so I covered the text with two pieces of paper and stuck a flower sticker in the corner for a little extra embellishment. :) Also, the black damask-patterned one in the center used to have a fancy "B" in the middle... but I don't have a B in my name... so I simply stuck a pretty sunflower sticker over it, and Voila! It was perfect collage material. :)

Hoping you have a very happy Thanksgiving,

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Crochet Book Giveaway

Calling all Crocheters! I just found out about a cool giveaway at AllFreeCrochet.Com and thought I'd share it with you.

They're giving away this book ^ on crocheting, and it looks really cute! The giveaway ends on November 17, 2010.


Go HERE to enter. :)

Happy Crocheting!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Indian Summer

I don't know about you, but where I live we've been enjoying an Indian summer! The summer has continued on, and on... and on.... sigh. :D It is supposed to get colder shortly, so I'm soaking up every bit of warm sunshine that I can before winter arrives.

Also, we'll be visiting my grandma in south Florida this Thanksgiving, so the computer desktop I designed for myself this month looks like this...

I like it. The cool tones remind me of autumn, and the tropical picture reminds me of our upcoming trip. :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Newest Family Photo

Hey Friends!
Life has been full and rich for me the past few months. It's been wonderful! Unfortunately, I haven't been blogging very often. :( I've been doing more real-life activities instead of being at the computer. Which is good in some ways but not so great in others. So, a few news snippets before I share the newest family picture (The impatient reader will have already scrolled down to see it by now...) Yes, I've got you pegged. :D

News Snippet 01:
I'm writing a book. Not like I haven't always written little stories here and there, kept a journal since I was 11, and blogged for 2+ years, but this time it's.... different. I have the whole framework already written out in notes, and all that remains is to fill in the nooks and crannies and flesh out my creation.

The book is about a young woman named Felicity living in the 1800's in Derbyshire, England. My story was hugely inspired by none other than Jane Austen. I've loved her work for a long time, and then one day I thought, "Hey, what if I tried writing my own Jane Austen story?" and... Lissie was born.

I wrote one third of the book just thinking I was doing it for my own pleasure and would never actually share it with the outside world. But then I mentioned it to a few friends, and the response was so enthusiastic that I decided that I just 'might' publish it in e-book format once the whole thing is complete.

So that's where that news snippet ends. I'll let you know when I'm done with the book. (I currently have about a hundred pages written and it's going to be a full 350+ page novel, so I'm about one-third of the way there). :)

News Snippet 02:
We have baby chicks! Well... actually, they'll be a month old this saturday, but they're still small and adorable compared to our huge adult hens. We ordered a whole batch of Buff Orphingtons after getting one in a mix of chickens and loving it the best. They have a sweet disposition and are excellent for either meat or egg chickens. (Ours will be kept for the eggs!!) :D And, they should be laying by this spring.

News Snippet 03:
My mom and I have joined the local Fitness Center (our ladies' gym closed about a year and a half ago... sniff!) and we are both getting back into a regular workout routine. I am already seeing a big difference in muscle strength, and mama has been more flexible recently after swimming in the pool. Yaaaay! :)

News Snippet 04 - The Picture!
I took this family picture yesterday with the timer on my new camera on Sunday afternoon (Before we'd changed out of our church clothes) and we are going to send it along with a letter to our little orphan boy in Thailand that we've supported for ten years. It's a pretty great picture, so I thought I'd share it with you! :)

Awww... I love my family. :)

DISCLAIMER: The height is actually not accurate in this picture, because the kids are standing downhill. I am taller than Mom, and the boys are a couple inches taller than Daddy. :D

I wuv it, regardless! :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Happy 10:10 PM, 10/10/10, everybody!

And Happy Birthday to my younger brother Steven, who today turns 15 years old! :D

Friday, September 17, 2010

Craft Show Tomorrow!

I know! I've been so bad with posting. I hope to improve drastically as soon as tomorrow (and the next day) pass on by. What's happening tomorrow, you say?

Tomorrow my mom and I will be running a booth at the Shakerag Festival in Peachtree City, Georgia, selling my handcrafted jewelry and my mom's vintage-style aprons. We have a lot of other items as well, including 2 afghans I crocheted, comfy cuddles, (which are heating packs, great for aches and pains) crocheted slippers, and crocheted pincushions. :D It's a fun booth! We did a mock set-up today in our carport and it looked great. I can't wait for tomorrow! (even though I will be getting up at 5:45 AM, as we have an hour's drive there...) :P

Please be praying that our merchandise sells well. It would be a huge blessing for our family. :) And if you're in the area, I'd love to see you! Feel free to stop on by! :D


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Oh Sew Stylish giveaway!

My sweet friend Lindsay is giving away a bag of your choice from her etsy shop!

Lindsay is a very talented seamstress and her purses and bags are simply *Adorable*!! I'd love to have one of these! The winner will be drawn at random on August 20th, (2010) so hurry on over to enter! :D

There, now that I've shared that wonderful event with you, I thought you might like to see some of the pictures I've been taking with my new camera, which is an Olympus PEN E-PL1.

I've really been enjoying the "Art Modes", especially:

Grainy Black-&-White
 Me... a self portrait. (That is my bookcase behind me and you can just see the corner of my jewelry worktable on the left.)

Pop Art:
Wild blueberries. (one of my earliest shots... the focus here is not perfect)

Soft Focus:
Look at the background... see how soft and dreamy it looks?
I also liked...
Gentle Sepia:
Daddy on the porch.

Pinhole: (darkened edges)

And the Macro is impressive! Look at this picture:
I call it "The Unfortunate Tomato". Lol!

More next time!


Monday, August 9, 2010

Warfare By Duct Tape FREEBIE!

Hi Blog Readers!

I have some REALLY exciting news. My two younger brothers Mark and Steven have launched their own business with a brand new website! Warfare by Duct Tape now has an online home at WWW.WARFAREBYDUCTTAPE.COM!

Now, I know most of my blog readers are girls like myself, but how many of you have brothers? They would LOVE this, I promise! My brothers make their own medieval-style weapons (including swords, spears, battle-axes, and throwing axes) from simple materials easily found at your local hardware store like PVC pipe, foam padding, and of course - Duct Tape! :D

I designed and built the website *modest little cough* ;) and my mom and I worked really hard on getting all the files for the e-books uploaded.

Oh yes, the exciting part...

For one week, August 9-14 2010, We are giving away A FREEBIE! It's an excerpt from THE BATTLE BOOK, a tutorial booklet on how to make Shields and Bucklers! You can find this awesome freebie at:

And for a limited time, our BATTLE BOOK and ARMORED GLOVE BOOK are both on sale at a big discount! So if I were you I'd head on over there and take a look.

Do tell me what you all think of the website too... I put a lot of work into that thing and would love to hear your comments & suggestions.

*Oh, and I know I haven't posted anything in forever, I am so sorry. I miss you all! And yes, I am OK. Just extremely busy. I do plan on posting sometime soon about everything I've been working on. (hint: Jewelry, Crochet, New Camera, Upcoming Craft Show, The roller-coaster emotions involved in Building Websites... etc.)

*Also, what do you think of the new blog look? :D

Monday, May 31, 2010

Exquisite Bracelets

Today I was playing with the new things I received in my jewelry order, which came the other day. I'd happened to order some stunning spacer bars that evoked a victorian feel with antiqued silver and swarovski crystals adding a little sparkle. I had an inspiration, dived right in, and ended up designing 8 bracelets! I've never made so many 2-strand bracelets before in one day, so it was a new record for me... and I decided it was blog-worthy! :D So, whipping out my little camera, I snapped a few pictures for you.

Aren't they beautiful?

The bracelets are not complete yet, just strung on the Accu-Flex wire, but you get the idea. :)

Looking at these just makes me all happy inside! :) I was also quite pleased to get so much done today. Creativity comes in wild bursts for me... so I've learned to go with the flow and 'make hay while the sun shines'! :D

I actually do this pretty often. Snap a random self-portrait, that is. I rarely share them in blog-world, however. :D Here I am thinking, "hmm, will this angle work, or cut off half my face?"

And here I was thinking "Oh wow, it works!" :) I also love the close-up of the beads... all that shimmer and glitter is nearly overpowering my "sparkle radar". Oooh! SO gorgeous! :D
So what do you think? Did you spy a favorite color amongst my jewelry pieces? (hopefully! I usually just have to guess what people like when I'm ordering beads... sometimes my instincts flop, but most of the time they're pretty accurate) Let me know if you're interested in purchasing one of the completed pieces. These will all eventually be for sale. ;)

Love & Hugs,

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Color Combination Happiness

So I was cleaning my room and noticed four shirts lying on my easy chair. They each had an equal amount of space on the chair where they were displaying their various colors. I had to stop and stare - the colors looked so beautiful together! I gathered them all up in my arms and marveled.
Then, I plopped down at my desk and tried to re-create the shades on my computer so I wouldn't forget about this color combination. It was too pretty not to share.
So I had to share it with you! What do you think?
Do you like these colors together too, or is it just me?

Also... While I was playing around, I decided to show ya'll my color scheme for my future kitchen. I've wanted my kitchen to be a soft purple and sunny yellow ever since I first found a picture of a purple kitchen in a magazine.

Isn't that cute?? :D I've already collected some kitchen supplies in the right shades of purple and yellow. (Seriously, it is not easy to find kitchen accessories in these colors) So far, among other things, I have a purple skillet and a yellow colander (strainer). :D

Also, someday, I would Love, Love, LOVE a master bedroom in these soothing colors:

And I would love to crochet a king-size afghan in these colors too. Wouldn't that look nice?

What is your favorite color combination? Do you like pink and gray, or orange and baby blue? Tell me what colors work for you. :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The late-updating, vacuum-fighting, re-shrinking me

Okaaaay, so after that somewhat (all right, rather... very...) unusual post title, I have an even more interesting post! It could be a little mixed-up, but this is the real Julia, at 10:00 pm with all the wonderful sugar from a vanilla waffle ice cream cone topped with strawberry jam racing through her system. *grins*

Yes, you wanted to see pictures of the homeschool convention. No, they will not be appearing in this post. I'm sorry.  I did not download them yet - they're on my mom's camera and I am unfamiliar with the shiny silver little device. I will share them with you when they are downloaded. But I do have the news!  I sold half my jewelry inventory at the booth, and my brothers sold all but 4 spears and 2 throwing axes. It was wonderful and we are definitely going back next year! :D

Oh, and ehrm... the hotel pool was about 2 feet wide and 6 feet long. I kid you not. Very unimpressive.
The rest of the hotel was really cool! ...But they should have skipped the pool.

And now, we interrupt our regularly scheduled blogposting to bring you... The Beautiful Blogger Award!

Thank you Joanna!! I'm touched. What a sweet thing for you to do! :D

- Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.

- Copy the award and paste it to your blog.

- Tell us seven interesting facts about yourself.

- Pass this award on to 15 fantastic bloggers you have discovered.

- Contact your nominations and let them know they’ve won.

1. Today, I started crocheting a RUG! Oh so cute. I must post pictures soon.

2. Tomorrow, we are going strawberry picking - oh joy! I love strawberries, especially freshly-picked!

3. Next week, we are having a Yard Sale at our house and wow did we ever have too much stuff squirreled away that we are (hopefully) getting rid of.

4. Yesterday I had a battle royale with the vacuum cleaner and whipped it into submission, emerging victorious with a spotlessly clean bedroom carpet. This really deserves its own blog post, but I'm squeezing it in here... You see, the vacuum broke a while ago, and so I had to use the 'pet brush' tool on the hose to clean my whole floor. This means I was down on my hands and knees, pushing this ridiculously small tube (attached to the machine with a stretchy hose) across the floor. I was an easy mark for the base, which kept getting tugged when I extended the stretchy hose, and falling over on top of me! Ouch! *grrr.*

5.Remember my "Incredible shrinking Julia" post? Well... I sort of 'un-shrunk', so now I'm re-shrinking! Yay! Already lost 3 pounds. :D
6. Mama made chocolate chip cookies yesterday, and we bought waffle cones to make ice cream cones at the store today, so 'shrinking' has been very difficult for me lately! (Tell me I don't need to be eating ice cream.)
7. The other day, I actually got a blister from playing a toy accordion. (See? I told you this blog post was going to be weird!) Apparently I was concentrating so hard on trying to pick out the melody of 'Amazing Grace' that I didn't realize I was getting a blister from the strap, which was too small. *facepalm*
And now, to award somone else.
Rachel. My sweet blogging friend! Rachel's latest post on our devotional blog, Meditations of His love, was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment, and I was in awe of the way God used her to speak to me. My dear, I am awarding you with this award for being the beautifully clear example of God's love that has so inspired me. God bless you!
I hope the rest of you will not mind that I didn't do the required 15 awardees. I wanted to do something special for Rachel. :)
Time for me to be signing off. Have a lovely weekend, ya'll!
Love & Hugs,

Saturday, May 1, 2010

In Short...

We did great at the convention! :D I'm thrilled! We weren't able to use the internet in the hotel, so that's why no updates have come from me during the weekend. Currently, my whole family (especially me) is fried. (very tired, in other words) So I'm off to rest! But more details and pictures are coming soon, so stay tuned! ;)


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Leaving for the 2010 GHEA convention!

Hi Readers!

My family and I are packed and ready for our departure tomorrow afternoon. We're going to the 2010 Georgia Home Educators Association convention in Atlanta! I am SO excited. This trip will be a lot of fun for my family, as we're staying in a hotel up there for the duration of the convention. In a suite. With indoor pool. *oh yeah*. :D

The primary reason we are going is because we are running booth 105 in the exhibit hall! I am selling my handcrafted fine glass and swarovski crystal jewelry, and my two brothers Mark and Steven are selling their padded, duct tape swords, spears, battle axes, and a completely enthralling e-book with instructions on how to make each item! Woohoo! We are so excited. The jewelry takes up most of the booth, but the boys will have a square table in the corner. Mama and the boys and I created some eye-catching fabric signs to hang on the wall behind us. The boys' is brown, with duct tape letters saying "WARFARE BY DUCT TAPE" and mine is a light pink with darker pink fabric letters saying "Jewels by Julia". I will be taking my camera and hope to post pictures of the booth from the hotel room. :D So check back for that!

But before I sign off, I have one plea. Could you please pray for us? We hope that our merchandise will sell very well, because it would be such a blessing for our family, and all the hard work we've put into this effort will be worth it. :) Thank you.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Flower Photos

Rain is pouring outside my window as I sit here typing at my desk. Thunder rolls, lightning crashes. It's a gloomy day! But I have sunshine in my heart, and I know the storm shall soon pass away.

And so, just for fun, I uploaded a TON of flower and butterfly and garden pictures. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them! :)

These pictures were taken at Callaway Gardens on the first Sunday of April.

Beautiful sun-kissed pansies

Peach blossoms. Oh yes.

Blooming peach trees.

This is either Eidelweiss, or snowdrops. I'm not sure.

A frilly Hibiscus flower

The fiery heart of a tulip

A slightly ragged, yet still gorgeous butterfly.

A blue butterfly resting in peace.

A small orange and brown butterfly, brilliantly illuminated by the sun

An owl butterfly reposing in a shady spot of the garden.

Crisp, oh-so-Dutch red and white tulips.

A bright profusion of double daffodils and pink tulips

Soft pink cherry blossoms

One of my most favorite spots in Callaway- petunia baskets float above a bubbling fountain 

Bright pink hyacinths pop against the dark green leafy background in this picture.

Cascading hollyhocks with open, spotted throats.

Pure, lovely, white easter lilies.

Delicate tendrils emerge from the heart of this white orchid.

Creamy yellow orchids glow with a pearlescent sheen

Tangy orange tulips, peach and yellow jonquils, ah! This is life. ;)

Light pink tulips dance in this bright sunshine.

Back at my house, I took a few pictures of these gorgeous irises with butter yellow tops and drooping violet petals.
Think that was pretty? Wait until you see...
The inside.

These peppermint azaleas also look good enough to eat! They're one of my favorite plants in our yard.

I hope you liked the pictures! Leave me a comment letting me know which was your favorite.