Monday, August 31, 2009

Smile...It's Monday!

As wonderful as my intentions are to spend time with you on the weekend, it just did not work out for me to do so this past couple of days.

So last night, while my husband was at his fantasy football draft (Paul is a sports nut...he would prefer that it were 'English football', though), I spent time making this card just for you!
I layered together pieces

from the Classic K Mini Book Kit in the Margo design. I also decided to break out some glitter and I covered the chipboard heart with crystal snow. The vintage background paper is from FooFaLa...I just love their papers.

If you peer into The Open Window this morning, you will see the remnants of this card laying all over my table, as it was quite late when I finished and I haven't cleaned up.

You will also see my planner with lots of post it notes and 'bits n pieces' of workshop instructions. I am working on my schedule for local workshops, but as I do, I think of you dear friends who may not live close enough to make it to a Julie Ranae Play Day. I am putting together $5 mini classes that you will be able to purchase online.


Leave me a comment and let me know! I am working on a second blog site for teaching. You will be able to purchase mini workshop instructions and full workshops with templates...payment would be through PayPal or money order by mail.

I look forward to sharing with you something a little later tonight....see you then!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Dreams of Provence...and Paper...

Are not these papers beautiful? These are from the new Autumn Splendor collection from Making Memories and I L*O*V*E them! There's glitter, patterns, die-cuts and foils.
On this card, I used the glittered wheat sheaths paper as a border. It's hard to see in the photo, but it's just lovely. To make a nice backdrop for the photo, I used one of the die cut papers.
The stamps are from Inkadinkado and the embossing powder is metallic bronze from JudiKins.
Now on to the next batch of yummy.....
These unbelievably cool papers are from GCD Designs. The set is called Provence and I can't wait to get my hands on these. All the papers in this collection are linen-finish, they almost feel like wallpaper. They are two-sided so coordinating will be so easy.'s a new little tidbit about your host here at The Open Window. One of these days, I want to be able to say that I looked out an open window in Provence. I love all things french, but I want to go and experience Provence in the worst way.
As you can tell by my reading material, I have spent some time 'lapping up' all I can about the region. I have many coffee-table books on the subject as well, but they were too heavy to hike up on the table! It was Peter Mayle's 'A Year in Provence'
that first whet my appetite.
( you recognize the Van Gogh book below?)
So as I close out this post for Friday, here is my question for you...where in the world would you like to go, if you could go anywhere in the world? If you have already lived that dream, I would love to hear about it...especially if you've been to Provence. Leave me a comment and let's 'travel together'....
see you Saturday!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I'd Like to Thank the Academy!

Have you ever imagined standing in THAT moment? Designer gown and all your peers who you have admired from afar? Well, I'm not wearing the designer gown (I'm wearing exercise pants and a t-shirt) but all of you who I admire from afar are here,
so let's get this party started!

I awoke this morning to a lovely message from lovely Mona, the head cupcake informing me that because she 'likes my style', she is giving me this fabulous award above. I love awards but I love my blogging friends even more, so thank you Mona!
I like YOUR style, too!
Then over the weekend, I received this award from Sharon over at Inklined to Stamp. Sharon named my blog as one of the inspirational blogs that she has come to enjoy. Ya know, I think we all hope our blogs are inspirational, in some way, to all who visit. So it's really nice to receive recognition for that very reason.
Thank you for thinking of me, Sharon
Over the next few days, I will be passing these awards on to other deserving blog hosts, so stay tuned. I have several to name and have not finished my list quite yet. It's always nice to do it all in one go, but I didn't want any more time to pass
in acknowledging these wonderful ladies.
So let's catch up on a few other things...
Many of you have continued to ask how we are handling the upheaval of our lives since the 'surprise' road construction began on Monday. I have considered sharing a few more photos with you, and may still do that. But for now, I can tell you that Paul and I are still in a bit of a funk about it. It's especially hard for me to see Paul so affected. Me...I'm an outwardly emotional person anyway, so me being upset is no big surprise. I have taken a fairly proactive stance and have contacted our city newspaper to request a space in the 'opinions' section of the paper. They have responded, but have yet to give me the space, so we'll see. I have been in contact with the mayor's office, the alderman's office and the public works' director. Each one has passed the buck on to the other. The only word that comes to mind is 'typical'.
The weather has been absolutely miserable, lashing down with rain for nearly 48 hours straight, so I don't need to tell you what the view is from our window right now.
I will keep you posted, but for now, it has been quiet and with tomorrow being Friday and more rain in the forecast,
I expect it will remain so.
Now let's talk about something fun!
Rubber stamping and shopping come to mind! I managed to pick up some of the new fall paper designs from Making Memories today along with a set of papers from GCD Studios called 'Provence'. Oh my goodness! Both sets are stunning. I am going to share a photo tomorrow of the papers in these sets, so you can be on the look out for them. I also managed to get a card done with one of the designs, so I will share that as well.

The Halloween card above is a little something I whipped up a few days ago. Inkadinkado has some terrific fall stamps out this season and these are a couple of them. Have you noticed I have been using tiny brads in my button holes? It's such a simple solution when you want something a little different. I also used the Cuttlebug Spider Web EF for the backdrop for our spider. I'm sure by now, you recognize the Martha Stewart Web punch used as a border.
Heidi Grace paper is so colorful and fun.

Tomorrow is Friday...WOOHOO! Paul is off for the day, but you will still find me in the studio, as we have no major plans. So I will be back to send some reminders your way about some fabulous, fun things that will be going on here at The Open Window,
so hope to see you tomorrow!

I DO Believe!

Well....this card is definitely a different creation for
Julie Ranae, eh!
I really loved the colors for this week's
Color Throwdown Challenge.
I went to my stamp stash and found this sweet little set of $1.00 Studio G and Recollection stamps, and that was it!
So here's what I did.....
I stamped and colored the carriage and fairy, cut them out and then re-stamped them directly on to the cardstock. I layered them for dimension, as you can see better in the closer photos. I used silver Stickles for the 'fairy dust'
(I am going to go back and add some to her wings as well).
I added a rhinestone to the carriage door
and filled the button holes with tiny silver brads.
The small flowers were from my Fiskars Daisy punch and the centers are pearls. The ribbon I used is from American Crafts, which fit the color scheme perfectly, I think.
Hope you enjoyed it and if you're up for the challenge,
you still have time to enter.
I have been so busy sharing projects with you (which no one is complaining about) that I just have not had time to update you on other things. So while Paul is at work tonight, I am going to spend some time with you here. There are some blog award updates and just some general 'stuff' to chat about, so I will be back a little later with some photos to share, a project and life in general. So stop back later with a cuppa in hand and spend some time at
The Open Window

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Julie Ranae's Wednesday Night Favs!

So given the way my week started, I thought it was quite a coincidence that I chose to pick up this stamp set to work with this week. If you are not aware of what I am eluding to, click here and read the story. This set is called 'Peaceful Wishes' and is another set from Artful INKables. As a Design Team Member for AI, am I fortunate to have access to working with these stamps on a regular basis. I would encourage you to hop on over to the AI website and order this set. It is so versatile...not just for the holiday season, but it's perfect for masculine cards as well.
I love the colors and pattern of this paper from Rhonna Farrer and thought it went well with the winter theme. The snowflakes were created with the new Glacial Snowflake punch from Martha Stewart. I did a little heat embossing on the deer, which is unusual for me. I don't break out the heat gun all that often these days, but I thought it worked for this card. A little bit of texture was added to the cardstock using 'The Bug' and the Swiss Dot EF and then I added a little Stickles in silver for the final sparkle.
Now on to tonight's focus...New favorite blogs that I have added to my list. Tonight's list is short, mainly because of the week I've had (again, click here if curiosity is getting the best of you). When I found this blog, I was completely taken with the projects and stories which were written along the way. Iris Garden is hosted by Pam Hooten. It's such a charming blog with a beautiful balance of personal photos and rubber stamping projects. Pam is on the DT for Crafty Secrets and Our Craft Lounge and I can tell you there is no shortage of creativity here. Her blog is easy to navigate and has a fresh, clean look. I haven't added a new blog to my blog roll (blogs I follow everyday) in awhile, but this one is now on my list. I hope you will consider doing the same.

Well...that's it. I told you it was a short list tonight. Just a reminder on my Wednesday Night Favorites List....the blogs aren't necessarily new, just new to me. I do welcome your recommendations and they do not have to be rubber stamping oriented. I still have several referrals that I am working my way through. Not all of them end up on my blog roll, but I do visit all my favorites regularly. If you visit one of the recommended favorites, make sure you take a moment to leave a comment...tell them how you heard about them. Blog hosts are always curious where there visitors are from, this host included!

I will see you tomorrow with a few day-to-day items to catch up on and a new project to share.

Here's Something Completely Different!

Glad to share with you a new project using one of the newest sets from Artful INKables. If you are new to my blog,
I am a Design Team Member for AI and each Wednesday
(and many days in between) you will get to see
something new from this fabulous company.
For this project, I used stamps from the 'Steampunk Sarah' set. Now if you look at the complete set over at AI, you would see that for the foreground, I used the airplane propeller.
I did that to remind everyone that there are many more ways to use our stamps than the intended design.
They could be 'spinning' propellers or flowers.
I love the verse on the front, too!
A few layers of cardstock builds up your card to add dimension. I added some striped ribbon, brads and rhinestones for even a little more of that dimensional effect, and that's it!
I hope you will head on over to the Artful INKables blog and check out some of the other projects there. The DT have been working on new samples to whet your appetite.
And don't forget the 'Think INK Tuesday' challenges. You still have time to get your creation entered!

I'll be back later with the Wednesday Night Favorites
and some updates on the homefront.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Look What I Got!

So I went to my mailbox today and saw a package that I had been expecting, which were the last batch of tags for our tag swap. I opened the package in great anticipation and not only found the tags, but also this beautiful card. I know my photo does not do it justice, but I had to share it with you.

It's from Mona Pendleton of Cupcake's Creations. What Mona doesn't know is that since I was a little girl, I have been in love with any combination of pink, gray, black & white. I just love it.
If you haven't visited her blog yet, run...don't walk! Mona and I converse at least once or twice a day, so I usually know when she has a new post up, but I STILL check out her blog several times a day. Lots and lots of eye candy from this talented lady.
Going to keep this post short tonight. I am the next DT member to post for Artful INKables tomorrow and want to make sure that I have everything done for the morning. I had 2 of my grandsons for part of the day today and early in the morning I will have the 3rd for a few hours, so time is at a premium.

I just want to say to ALL OF YOU....I have so appreciated all of the kind comments that have still been coming in regarding the devastation of our land just out our back door. I have heard from people all over the world and have even been the sole subject of a blog or two. As I said yesterday, I know it's not the end of the world, but it definitely has disrupted our lives in a major way. To have those monster machines just outside of my art studio window makes it very difficult to concentrate. But I will do my best to focus on what I love....that's being creative and sharing this blog with you. I plan to share a few more photos with you tomorrow of what's going on out there, let you know what action I have taken and then move on from there.
Thank you...thank you...thank you...for your kindness...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Something a Little More Fun!

Hello my friends! Thank you for letting me share my frustrations in my earlier post and a HUGE thank you to those who sent encouragement. Ya know...I realize it's not the end of the world, but we all have our 'things' in life, and the peace of the country while living in the city is mine, so we'll see. But let's move on!I know it's only August, but I am on such a Halloween kick already! I love making things that are out of the ordinary and that's what I feel like Halloween projects are. They are needed for such a limited time and differ from any other 'holiday' projects we do.

Lots of layers on this card. I used the Martha Stewart Spider Web punch for this as well as her new designer papers. They are great, double-sided 12 x 12's in a nice weight paper. I have been working on some other cards as well using these papers, I can't wait to share them with you.
The stamp is from Inkadinkado's new clear stamps for Halloween.

Thanks for stopping by for a second post today.
I'll see you tomorrow!

Do You Mind if I Vent...I Mean Share....

I really try hard to use my blog as a place of fun and relaxation, but today has been anything but relaxing and I would appreciate if you would indulge me for just a few minutes.

See this beautiful sunflower? See all the beautiful sunflowers and the lovely marigolds and vegetables and the incredible country view down the tree line behind 'The Open Window'?

See the scared birds as they fly from the tree? Well, that's because at 8 o'clock this morning, I awoke to the not-so-beautiful bulldozers that you see in the final photos roaring through the back of our condos.

Apparently, a new development group was given permission to put a 4-lane road right through this line of property, which is exactly 13 paces from my back patio!

These photos are taken from the condos just next door, so tomorrow, the view from 'Julie's Open Window' is going to change in a major way. Paul and I are just devastated. We have been very fortunate to live in a complex which gave us the peace and tranquility that you rarely get from living in the city. There was absolutely no notice that this was coming and when I made a call to the city today to voice my concerns over the 'lack of communication', of course I was told that it was "someone else's fault" that we were not notified.

That sunflower garden belongs to some lovely senior citizens who spent most of the day working to save what they could so that at least the birds would have seed. I'm just not sure where the birds are going to go once they visit, for you see...these were the only mature trees in our neighborhood. A very sad day for our neighborhood families......

Sunday, August 23, 2009

How Was Your Weekend?

I hope it was a good weekend for you. Mine was nice. Paul had the weekend off, which is always a good thing. We spent Saturday running incidental errands. Then while he watched his beloved English 'football', I played with stamps and such. Today, we went to church then pretty much repeated the same routine as yesterday, only Paul watched a movie instead. new babies in my life. Just felt like going 'vintage' and this card 'cried out BABY' to me (no pun intended). I love vintage...retro...shabby chic. Love, love, LOVE it. So may focus a bit more on that in the coming weeks. If you know someone who needs a unique card for a new baby, you can get this one in my Etsy store.

I am on a huge Halloween kick right now, though. So hopefully some of the things I have to share over the next few days will inspire you to get thinking about the fall.

I received another Blog Award over the weekend, which is always such a lovely surprise. I already am behind in sharing my awards with my friends out there, so I am going to spend the next day or so getting my list together of those who I want to pass those awards on to. If you don't know how they typically kindly accept the award and then pass it on to others who are deserving of some recognition. Many times, you are also asked to list some things about yourself or your blog, which is always what puts my behind. But I will do my best to get those things caught up this week.

Many thanks to all of you for logging on as a follower to be in with a chance to win my blog candy giveaway. I appreciate your willingness to promote it on your blogs and it is my hope that once the giveaway ends, you will continue to visit daily and participate in the activities coming up beginning in September.

It has been really fun reading the comments from my last guys really do save some unique things to use in your artwork! If you haven't read the responses from that post, go back and take a look. So far the most interesting item that is being recycled for the sake of art is a dead dragonfly!'s true! There is still plenty of room for you to share your most unusual object, so click here and leave a comment!

Time to go for now....but I will be back. My oldest grandson starts 1st grade on Monday, so I am prepared to be on the phone with my daughter at least once or twelve times tomorrow.

Friday, August 21, 2009

CELEBRATING WITH A WHOLE LOTTA BLOG CANDY! ***This Giveaway is now closed....winner to be announced soon!***

I can't thank you enough for being a part of The Open Window!
I have enjoyed your company so much and your comments
make it a pleasure to post each and every day.
To celebrate going over the 100 followers mark,
I am offering a crazy...fabulous blog candy giveaway!
Over $125 in crazy...fabulous!

Rubber stamps (at least 12), papers, rub-ons, embellishments, including brads, snaps and metals, stickers, cardstock w/envelopes, ink, Martha Stewart ribbons and trims and
Simply Cards & Papercraft Magazine
to boot!
There are so many things that you can't see in the photo!

Now...I am going to make this pretty easy on all of you, but I am going to ask for 'a little more love' in return. This is open to all who would like to participate, so here's all you have to do...

If you are already a follower and you have a blog
I would appreciate a quick mention of our celebration here at The Open Window on your blog. Nothing long, nothing detailed, just help me to invite others to play along. The only thing I do ask in your post, is that you include the direct link to this blog candy offer, to make it easier for people to find. Once you have posted, come back here, click on Mr. Linky below and add your link for that post ONLY...not your entire blog.
Leave me a comment to let me know you're there...that's it!

If you are already a follower and do not have a blog
Just leave a comment and I will see that your entry is verified.

If you are not on my follower list
I would ask that you log on to become a 'public' follower
(no anonymous' please) and leave me a comment to let me know so I can welcome you personally.
From there, add your link to Mr. Linky below and then post my link on your blog if you indeed have one.

at and I will check it out
Open to all followers worldwide
Blog Candy giveaway ends at midnight CST on Friday, Sept 18th
Winner will be selected by random draw and announced on Saturday, Sept 19th

For those of you who are new or 'undecided' followers, here are just a few things coming up beginning in September:

I will be hosting 'play dates' which will be similar to challenges
sponsored by The Open Window

A new design team for The Open Window will be announced

Your blog may wind up as one of
'Julie Ranae's Wednesday Night Favs'

More blog candy giveaways, swaps and so much more!

For those of you who have been faithful friends and followers over the course of time...
I just want to say thank you....
from the bottom of my heart!
The Open Window has not been open all that long...2 months to be exact, so you getting on board with me so quickly has been a real blessing. I look forward to many, many more days, weeks, months and yes, years with all of you!

So Glad it's Friday!

I don't know about you, but when Friday comes around, there is a sense of 'calm' that I look forward to. My telephone definitely rings less and even the television in the background 'sounds' different. Less news....more sounds of cheering (that would be English soccer), food processors and choppers (that would be PBS' offering of master chefs) and the ever familiar "not available in stores, so call now" (that would be your basic infomercial).

This weekend will sound just a 'smidge' different as the Air Show is in town for the weekend. We live on the outskirts of the city, so it's just far enough away from the constant noise, but still in the flight path of the really spectacular jets, like the Blue Angels, or whatever is in town this year.
Just after I typed that last sentence, something REALLY loud just flew over! I love when that happens!
This weekend I am looking forward to checking out some blogs that are new to me. Instead of sharing some of my new favorites with you this past Wednesday, I decided to share the
Blog Candy Giveaway instead. I think that was OK with you,
based on your reactions to it!
I am also working with Maria Medeiros to design a new banner for that segment, so stay tuned!

TAG SWAP UPDATE: For those of you who sent your tags and are wondering where yours are in return....I am waiting on one more batch to arrive. I will post them next week for all of you to see and then start sending out the swaps to each person. Thank you for your patience, but I know you will be pleased with the wait. We had several come from long distances, including Canada, The UK and Australia. Thanks've done a great job!

So, my friend Sarah Anderson is back from her 2 week holiday. She went on a camping trip to the Isle of Wight and by the sounds of it, spent a great deal art journaling. She has already posted 2 or 3 blog entries since she returned, so make sure you head on over and see what's going on with her.
I sure did miss you, my friend! Glad you are back!

Before I go, let me tell you a little about this card. Do you recognize the 'blue-green' background? If you use a lot of Prima flowers, you just might. It's the insert to the last batch I purchased. I absolutely loved the design, so I kept it until I found something to do with it.
I am always on the lookout for something unique or out of the ordinary to use in my papercrafts.

So here is my question for you.....what is the most unusual element you have ever kept around to incorporate in your art and HOW LONG did you keep it for before it was finally used?
Leave a comment and let me know...this could be fun!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Inspiration from the UK

I have been frantically trying to catch up on my posts to you since this past weekend. With all the deadlines I had for projects along with 'real life', I have been just 'short' of catching up for days. So I thought I would at least give you something new to ponder and fill you in on what's going on at The Open Window.

First off....the inspiration for this project. All credit goes to my blog friend Paula at Cardcraft Creations in the UK. I loved the simplicity of her color schemes and thought I would put my own spin on the layers. When you get a sec, pop on over there and take a look.

I am sure you must have noticed the 'fab' blog candy giveaway that was offered yesterday. To help everyone find it for a little while, I will need to keep it as the top post. So once you have registered for it, then each time you log on, just 'search my blog' for the most up-to-date post. That way you won't get lost around here.

The 'real life' part of things has been mainly helping my daughter with a little extra babysitting while she starts her final semester of pre-reqs for nursing school. On top of that, her 6 year old starts FIRST GRADE next week, so there has been a lot to do.

I have so appreciated your patience while I reassess my schedule. I have 3 planners going at the moment. I have my wall calendar, my handmade page-a-day calendar on my art table and my pocket calendar, so getting them all coordinated has been....well....can't you tell?!

But the good news is that most of the 'planning' has to do with activities here at The Open Window. I am also working on a schedule of workshops here locally that I will also be offering online. So although I have not posted as often in the past week, I know you will be excited when it comes right down to it!

I am going to go put the finishing touches on one other project and try to get back here one more time tonight. There is a powerful thunderstorm working it's way towards this side of town and I think I will 'unplug' the technotronics so I will be able to come back! Back later!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's Gonna Be a Busy Day! Here's a Challenge!

It really is shaping up to be a busy day here at
The Open Window let's get it started!

I am happy to let you know that each Wednesday, I will be posting a new project that I have completed with one of the newest stamp sets offered by Artful INKables.
Today I have chosen to tie my project in with this week's
'Think Ink Tuesday' Challenge

All of the details on how you can participate and possibly win an AI grab bag are posted over on the AI Blog, so head on over and get your creative juices flowin'!

This week's challenge is being hosted by Joy over at
Crazy for Daisies.....Red, White & Black.
I used the 'Fun & Friendly' set and had a lot of fun with it.
This project took on a real 'vintage' feel by the time it was finished...don't you think so?
The background papers that I used are from an old stash that I had, so I am not even sure who designed them. From there, it's just layers and layers which were all 'corner-rounded' and distressed with 'Mushroom' ink from Ranger Adirondacks to add a bit of interest.
The black ribbon is from American Crafts and the rick-rack is from my collection of vintage ribbons and trims. I used the Martha Stewart Loop punch and 'The Bug' for my scalloped center, which was embossed with the Swiss Dot EF.

To finish it off with a little more dimension,
I added a bit of bling on the whisk.

I hope you with join the AI Design Team as we bring you these challenges every other Tuesday.

I will be back a bit later...not only do I have some unfinished business to attend to (handing out blog awards that are over-due), but it's also Wednesday and that means I will be sharing my NEW FAVORITE BLOGS with you...and maybe, just maybe...I will be able to post the
blog candy giveaway in celebration of my 100th Follower!
See ya a bit later!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Clean and Simple...

Thought I would show you my offering for the
SCS Clean & Simple Challenge.
The idea is to leave a lot of 'clean' space with simple focal points and something that could be made quite quickly, and this week's additional challenge was to make it masculine.
This surely qualifies as it is one of the simpler things
I have done in recent days.
With all of the Artful INKables DT projects and blog challenges I have been focused on, it was a nice change of pace to do something simple, but effective.

Speaking of AI, I want to invite you to visit the blog over there as tomorrow marks the first bi-weekly challenge from the new DT.
It's called 'THINK INK TUESDAY'.
Check out our new logo on my sidebar.
So head on over tomorrow and continue to check back here
for more news on the AI front.
My posting day for the design team is Wednesday, so I will be sharing something from one of the new AI sets
which were released this past weekend.

Just one more thing before I call it an early evening...
I have officially reached
Do you know what that means? A nice BLOG CANDY offering to help celebrate. I am putting a fun selection of things together and will let you know when you can start logging on to win.
I can tell you that the value of the blog candy is
worth OVER $100!!!
So make sure you visit The Open Window often!
See you tomorrow...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Color Challenge...last minute...But it's Done!

Last minute entry for the SP Color Challenge.
I have had this sketch drawn out all week long, but with the
AI Blog Hop and regular 'life' things,
I just couldn't get to until today.

A little different take for Julie Ranae,
but it was fun to 'think outside the old box'!

Broke out the 'Bug' for this project. The scalloped circles, leaves, swiss dots and monkey are all from Cuttlebug. The tree was my own 'dang' design and the stamp is from Treasure Cay, a store that I visited down in Tampa, Florida
just prior to opening mine back in 1997.

I found the real challenge in this project to be the lavender with the other fall colors,
but I think this worked out ok.

I'm glad you stopped by! There is still time to do the AI Blog Hop. Just follow the instructions here and you may just win all 3 new stamps sets from Artful INKables.

Please pop back tomorrow. I feel a CELEBRATION coming on!