This is it. The last batch of sweet sweet testimonials and stories. I know I've said it before, and I'll say it again, but I'm so grateful for all these comments that let me know that you're out there and you're listening and that we're on this journey together!
Happy Anniversary Julie! I can't believe it's been only 10 years. It seems like I've been reading your blog for longer.
Now I love using bright colors, stencils and anything else I can get my hands on. The most important thing I learned from your blog is there are no mistakes in art. Your blog is fun, inspiring, educational and I always walk away from it saying I can be an artist.
I honestly can't remember when I started following your blog but I know that I was always drawn to your work and knowledge and enthusiasm! when reading Cloth Paper Scissors and other favorite publications.
You live a full creative life surrounded by your art supplies in both your new home and your apt in NYC. I also feel the most comfortable with my supplies around me.
And you have a supportive network of family and friends and opportunities to constantly be learning and challenging yourself.
You set a wonderful example for all of us with honesty, humor and inspiration. And you always remind us to be original!
I have been following your blog for only a couple of years, but have learned tons of stuff in that time – most of it to do with using art foamies and gelli plates. I don’t have a scan ‘n’ cut yet, but who knows, it might be in my future. The single most useful tip I got was to get a glass cutting mat – I do lots of cutting (my art/craft is mostly making cards and art journaling) and was going through the self-healing mats like there was no tomorrow. (The glass seems to dull the knife blades faster, but they’re a lot cheaper than new cutting mats!) The other plus is that it is a lot easier to scrape dried paint off glass than off rubber.
Congratulations on your ten year anniversary, and I look forward to many more years … and I hope to meet you in person sometime when you come to teach in Canada.
The day that I retired from a 34 year career, I rejoiced knowing I would finally have time to exercise the creative part of my brain, which had been pretty much dormant for so long. I had a very strong childhood memory of digging up clay from the beach of a fresh water lake, not far from where I lived. I made an ashtray for my mother who was in the hospital at the time. I was about nine years old. I used a little toothpick to write the words, "I love you, Mommy", and set it out to dry in the laundry room overnight. That night I crept downstairs, three or four times, in the middle of the night to look at it and marvel over what I had created with my own hands. It filled a space in me that I didn't know existed. There was something magical about taking something and transforming it into something entirely different. I never forgot the joy of that recognition. It even made me happier than my mother's response, which was one of affirmation and praise.
I set out three years ago to find that joy, again, and fill that space. The problem was that I didn't know what to do. Then I stumbled on Julie's work and the answer was there. I could combine my love of all things colourful and textural with words and the art journalist in me was born. Julie, you reaffirmed my belief that making art must be fun. I don't overthink the paint or ink. I play. You lead me in that direction. Also, I knew in my heart that the marks I wanted to make on the paper had to be my own. I learned to embrace those motifs that kept appearing in my art and challenged myself to make something beautiful out of them. I looked inside of myself for shapes and elements that spoke my truths. I learned that from you. Finally, you taught me to tame the inner critic - not send it packing, but invite it in to act as a partner in the process. When I am not happy with a piece, I don't denigrate myself, thinking that I am not good enough to be making art or thinking that I am wasting my time or the time of others who would see it. More important, I never compare myself or my work to others, except to make positive connections or express admiration for what someone is doing. I make art to feel good about myself, not to feel bad about myself or others. As Theodore Roosevelt wrote, "Comparison is the thief of joy." What you taught me, instead, Julie is to regard my work in a reflective way. If I am unhappy with a piece, I look at it closely and consider other choices I might have made to bring about a different end result. I remember those moments and apply them later when I am working through another challenge. In that way, my inner critic works to bring about growth in my skill set. That attitude come from you.
When I started down that road of paint and ink and glue, about three years ago, I am very happy that your face was the first one I met peeking out from behind the first bend. Thank you for that and all that I have left to learn from you. I look forward to it!
With much appreciation,
After a career in education, I wanted to reconnect with art and started looking at blogs. I found Julie's blog inspiring with her colorful art, and most specially reading about her art journey, her own struggles and successes made me feel like I had a distant friend whose comforting messages I found in my box every morning. Thank you Julie, you will always remain the spark of my own art journey.
You have had continual interesting content for years. You've kept it to art and learning. I appreciate how in depth you take a subject and then provide simple easy steps to follow and achieve success in whatever it is you are teaching. A great example is the stamp carving. A simple idea but you give great instruction and then add to the information by creating projects that we can do like your December Stamp carving. I also learned about Alisa Burke when you recommended her video showing how she and her husband made art WITH their child and have followed her since then. You are an enabler in the sweetest of ways. Thank you for your dedication to this blog and its readers.