I discovered Julie's blog after taking a class from her in 2009 or 2010. At that time she was doing a lot of scrapbooking. I wasn't really a scrapbooker but I loved her art and blogging style, her openness, her curiosity and thought processes and she wrote as if she were talking to a friend in the room or on the phone.Over the years her scrapbooking evolved into an art journaling and mixed media style and from art journaling to full sized canvasses. I was evolving and exploring my own art style as well so I felt a bond with her. You can actually see her confidence and skills grow over the years. I felt as though I grew right along with her.My favorite blog post? It would be difficult to name only one. I do have some series of posts and recurring posts that I love and do revisit when I need a jolt of ideas, inspiration or resource.I loved the posts showing Julie's studio in detail (Studio Tour April 2010 & Organization Week 2012). The posts showed how to set up and organize a real working studio with space limitations and not some lovely, spacious magazine spread. Recently, I've been going back to these posts as I am in the process of moving to a new home and am trying to figure out how to set up my craft space.Another series that I love (just for fun) were the weekly self-photos taken in front of the elevator at her New York apartment. It gave me a little glimpse of the world outside of the art. I do miss the What I Wore series but do love the new vlog. (also glad that she now wears a lot of bright colors, like her art, and not the all black outfits anymore).Another series that I continue to revisit are the tutorials from January 2015 on foiling techniques. I had heard of foils but didn't really know how to use them. Julie's blog posts showed in detail and clearly explained the processes involved in transferring the foil on to paper. She is really one of the best teachers I've had and she explains techniques clearly (and with humor and even some song; not to mention weird accents).A few posts still stand out from so many other wonderful writings - one on molas (July 15, 2015) and information on their history and another on embroidery (July 21, 2014) and the embroidered lady. Every now and then the embroidered lady would pop up in a post and I would marvel as Julie filled in her face and hair with different colors and a variety of stitches - much like her art journal faces. (I haven't seen the embroidered lady in quite a while - is the piece finally finished, or maybe it's time to pull her out again?) My art background began with fabrics and stitching and I enjoyed her endeavors in this area. It opened my eyes to new possibilities and ways of expressing my creativity.There are so many other blog posts that I've enjoyed over the years. Visits to museums, to CHA, the plein aire and airport sketches, new ways to work with watercolor, with markers. Life is all about learning, isn't it. Thanks, Julie for sharing your world with us.At the top of Julie's blog, right by her photo it says: "Hello, my name is Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and I like to make things. This blog is the story of my artful life". Well, that just says it all, doesn't it?
Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Jill! Jill gave me so many posts to choose from, so I decided to go with my favorite from the foiling series that she mentioned:
Today's foiling technique is so super easy and fun. We're mixing masking tape with stencils with transfer foil. Watch the video for the how-to:
Please note: The transfer foil I used is from a company that no longer seems to be doing business. I have provided some alternative suggestions in the supply list above. In the videos, I'm using Jones Tones Foil. Jones Tones still sells their foil glue, but no foil. I've been told that Thermoweb's iCraft DecoFoil is very similar. The stencil I used in the video is called, "Striped Flower Circle." The stencil I used on the samples I show at the beginning is called, "Tiled Flower." Another Balzer Designs stencil with a similar feeling to both of those stencils is "Swirly Garden," which I've included in the supply list above.
And here is a piece that Jill made playing with foil:
Thanks for stopping by!
P.S. Just a reminder that I'll be on HSN today (January 10) in the 8am and 11pm EST hours. Watch online or on your TV!