AJED Blogiversary Archive Pick: Process Videos
Blogiversary Tutorial Redo: Two in One with Melita Bloomer

Blog Testimonials: Part Four

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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!  

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Karenliz Henderson:

Happy Anniversary Julie! I can't believe it's been only 10 years. It seems like I've been reading your blog for longer.

I think in 2008 or 2009 I found your blog. It was a scrapbook you made using your own pages. You bound them together. I thought that was so cool. I was only a card maker but for some reason that project woke up part of my brain that wasn't working. I started adding more to my cards. 
 
As the years went by your blog inspired me to use art journals to play with ideas in my head and use bright and bold colors. When you started using stencils, mind blown. At that time I was struggling with personal issues, stencils in my art just fit in perfectly. 
 
Karenliz
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. 
 
Cant wait to see more in the future!

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Patty Pittala:

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!

Sincerely,
Patty Pittala
from Vermont

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Bobbie (blog):

Julie ~

You have become a daily read for me in the last year...

Because of you, I treated myself to a GelliArts 8 x 10 plate, and just today I ordered the Hexagonal mini!

And because of you, I'm working on being much more bold in my color choices in ALL my art work!

Thank you very much for your instructions and enthusiasm.

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Caroline Mach:

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.

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Cathy Cosgrove:

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,
Cathy Cosgrove

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Michal Wollin:
 
Hi!
I'm discovering and learning all about art journaling by reading your blog daily.
 
LOVE it! Love your work and your way of teaching!
 
This is an art journal peek of one of my pages that was made totally by your inspiration! :)
 
Michel
Happy holidays and a great new year.
 
Michal
 
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Précille Boisvert:

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.

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Mary W:

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.

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Deborah Palmer:

Julie, I have followed you for many years, maybe even close to ten, and read every day. I love the variety and educational aspect of your blog. I have learned about new products, techniques, museums, other artists, and more. I love, love the variety all focused on art. When you started your podcast, I wasn't sure it would be all that interesting to me, but now I have become an avid listener each month. Also, I find your mom's input super interesting.

I have read many blogs over the years and follow quite a few artists, but your blog is one that remains a daily read for me, because of the quality of your content. Keep up the good work and THANK YOU!

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Julie Houck:
 
I have long been a fan of Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's blog! She has inspired me for many years. I have enjoyed watching her own process unfold. I was fortunate to witness her growth not only as an artist, but also as an educator , with great intelligence, curiosity, sharing her own research and experimentation process, while integrating her affinity and ability to fine tune her acting and directing skills to captivate her growing audience.

I look forward to receiving her blog post notices daily with great excitement! It adds visual excitement, a visual vocabulary, in  a relaxed manner that includes empowering her students. Anything is possible!

The attached two photos are the result of the confidence to just play, experiment...It can be on lab coats, aprons, paper,  canvas. I chose boring bags that advertised a  brand name across.
 
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What fun once I gave myself permission to quiet the judge. Thank you Julie for your tireless efforts to create, explore, experiment, inspire, excite, and share as an artist and educator.

Notice that I just love my Balzer Art Foamies!

Congratulations, Mazel Tov, and wishing you many years of  having you around. Happy Blogiversary!

From another Julie :-)
 
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Nan:

I'd never be a stamp carver without you, Julie! Thanks for all you do and for your ever- upbeat enthusiasm!

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watters:

I don't know how helpful this will be...but here goes...I don't know what came first: taking a carving class with you at CREATE in NJ or finding you on line. In any case, having a personal interaction and following your blog are sort of intertwined. That's because, for me, your blog has such a personal voice. Often, the posts are very similar to taking a class with you. I think that's so important in making your blog standout from 100s of others. You are blessed with, among other things, charisma. The blog is always professionally done. The techniques and projects can appeal to a wide range of skill levels. It's positive and affirming. But the thing that makes it sing is that "you do you."

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Robbie: 

Since seeing your "Collage Fast & Furious" video back in 2010,  I have followed your career and have been constantly inspired by you. Following your blog has led me to try collage, mixed media art and art journaling. Your encouragement to do the art you love the way you love to do it has kept me moving forward and trying new things. I'm sure that I am not the only one of your followers who thank you for being an inspiration and a source of "creative light." Happy anniversary!

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Joy Guthrie:

I always tell my husband he can blame you for getting me into art journaling whenever I come home with a big art haul or get a box delivered full of art supplies, LOL. And it is mostly true. I have been artistic my whole life. I loved drawing animals as a child and learned to paint in my teens. Through the years I painted pictures for friends and family when I had time in between raising two kids as a single mom and putting myself through college. Later in life I started scrapbooking my kids pictures. But never felt like I was satisfying my artistic side. I wanted to do something artistic, but without the pressure and expense of a painting. I found a show on TV about scrapbooking quite a few years ago and you were a guest on the show. I was so blown away by your style that I went online to try to find out more about you and see more of your art. That is when I found your blog and saw art journaling every day. I had never heard of art journaling and intrigued I read all of your blog posts and felt that this is what I had been looking for. I was hooked and have been art journaling every since. I love the creative outlet I get with art journaling and the freedom to experiment, have fun and not stress about making mistakes. Thank you Julie for introducing me to art journaling and believe it or not my husband thanks you too, because I am a happier, less stressed wife and partner.
 
Thank you,
Joy
Some of my recent art journal pages:
 
Joys Art Journal Page Monarch Butterflies 1
Joys Art Journal Page Monarch Butterflies 1
Joys Art Journal Page Monarch Butterflies 1
Joys Art Journal Page Monarch Butterflies 1
Joys Art Journal Page Monarch Butterflies 1
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My birthday was yesterday, and what a gift this month-long Blogiversary has been.  Thanks for celebrating with me!

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