Ode to Summer

School seems to start earlier and earlier every year. This year they had to audacity to start today, which is August 10th.  It makes no sense to me, because it is definitely still summer here, with the temperatures reaching 100 plus degrees every day.  No one should have to go back to school when it is still this hot out!

When I was growing up, we got out in May and went back after Labor Day.  Summer really felt like summer, not just some extended break.  If I thought my kids were going to be smarter for having their summer cut short, perhaps I could get on board, but judging from a lot of the kids I’ve met since I’ve become a mom, my generation definitely isn’t dumber for not having gone to school less days a year.

At least we had a good summer this year and a spectacular vacation.  To be honest, most of the times we go out of town, I am ready to come home at least two days before the vacation is over.  Not this time.  The house we rented was amazing and right on South Ponte Vedra Beach.

Beach House

The beach was public, but felt private and was clean and not crowded at all.  We were able to eat on the deck every day and the ocean views from inside the house were amazing.  At night, I would go out on the third floor balcony just to look at the stars because you could see so many of them.  In the mornings, I enjoyed coffee on the deck, while the sun rose over the Atlantic Ocean.

Morning Coffee

By 11:00, it was time to enjoy mimosas on the deck.

Mimosa on the Deck

I loved waking up and being able to walk on the beach first thing in the morning. I really miss those walks since we’ve been back home.


S. Ponte Vedra Beach

You can click the link below to watch a short video.

Beach video 1

The girls did a lot of body surfing, some boogie boarding and a lot of digging in the sand.

boogie boarding video


Wave Jumping
Girls on Beach
Girls on Beach
Girls on Beach
Girls on Beach

Another great thing about where we stayed is that we were just minutes away from St. Augustine, which is a charming city, rich in history and definitely worth a visit.

St. Augustine
St. Augustine cemetery
Lion Bridge
Magnolia Avenue
Flaggler College
St. Augustine Lighthouse Museum
After a day of shopping on St. George Street
St. Augustine Bay

If only I could have fit him in my suitcase!

Antique Store Cat

I will end with a couple of sunrise photos.  They were stunning and this was definitely the best vacation we’ve had in a long time.  I still find myself wishing that we were still there.  It’s definitely now one of my favorite places in Florida and I want to, not only go back to Ponte Vedra, but also stay in that same beach house!


This was the sunrise on our last day.

Coffee and Cats

We recently returned from a fantastic and much needed beach vacation in Florida.  We were a short drive from St. Augustine, so one afternoon we decided to visit a local cat cafe called Frisky Cat Cafe.  It was so much fun and the matcha latte was great.  Here are some pictures of our some of the beautiful cats they had for adoption.  We wish we could have taken a couple of them home.  It was hard to leave them behind, especially sweet Kaliope and the cute kittens.


We are Published Online in What Women Create

Well, it’s mainly about Jasper and Cooper, but I’m happy to report that What Women Create has published an article about us in their online edition of Pet Tales.  Here is the cover in the newsletter:

Here is a link to the article:  https://womencreate.com/pet-tales/cooper-jasper-julie-mortillaro/

It’s written from Cooper’s point of view, which is kind of funny since he spends the least amount of time hanging out with me when I’m working. Yet he seems to think that he is the driving force behind the creations of Julie Dawn Designs.

Collaged Journal Covers

There are a couple of things that I really love when it comes to journal making – one is the chance to combine fabric with paper and the other is the chance to collage.

Collage was how I first got started in art.  To be honest, I don’t draw well.  I can sketch, but it takes me forever so that is how I started with collage.  I realized that I could make a flower,  for example, out of paper scraps far easier than I could draw or paint one.

Now I found a way to use collage in my journals.  I make these adorable, one signature journals that have a fabric base which is then covered in a decorative scrapbook paper or other decorative card stock type of paper and then I build a collage on top of that for the front cover.

These are relatively quick to make compared to some of my other journals and it’s also a great way to use up fabrics that I can’t really use for covers or something else.

Collaged Journal Covers

It’s really hard to pick which one is my favorite and I’m also happy to report that all of these journals were sold at the recent Craft Guild Spring Show.

Until next time….

2022 Craft Guild Spring Show

I recently participated in the spring show. Since I sold 40 journals in the fall show, I decided to pay for space for two tables this time and make as many different kinds of journals as possible before the show.  I also made two different kinds of bookmarks for the first time.

Here are pictures of my tables.  I apologize for the not so attractive background, but the sides of the large show tent are clear so you can see the cars behind it.

I sold quite a few bookmarks, so that might be something I have on a regular basis now.  The show organizers told me that it might be time for me to think about purchasing a craft tent.  Apparently, it’s cheaper to be in the show if you have your own tent than it is to pay for table space, if you are going to need more than one table.

I’ve started looking at craft show tents in my price range and it really is daunting. It’s always really windy here now and that requires you to have extra tent weights.  Many people make these themselves out of pvc pipe and concrete mix. That looks kind of difficult and I’m not sure how heavy those are.  Then you need to figure out how to hang them from your tent .  I also need a tent that can be put up and taken down by just me.  That narrows down the choices quite a bit. I found one that said it was a one person set up tent, but it was almost $500 which is way more than I want to spend right now, especially considering I can only do two shows a year currently.

I think I’m going to find one and purchase it over the summer and then practice setting it up by myself a few times in my backyard. I’m still researching the tent weight issue.  Most of them come with four tent weights that you fill with sand, but it’s so windy now that those won’t be enough to keep your tent from blowing away apparently.   I guess I better do more research!