I took your advice and played around with ramp type. Still no luck. The color blend is easy, it is the textures that don't seem to want to plugin into the ramp. Two different type of textures. Is there a place in the Attribute Editor to add textures into the ramp shaders bump?
Another elusive shader effect, I have found troublesome is adding those crystalized sparkles into snow.
So nice to finally have a decent Maya forum to speak with other like-minded 3d artists.