I'm a long time reader/lurker/subscriber to your blog. Watching you and reading your blog has inspired me to make art. I'm a veterinarian by trade, but I always loved crafting. I guess I am a bit of a perfectionist (understatement) and felt that if I wasn't good enough to do art professionally, I shouldn't do it at all. But I love color, and I love creating.
Seeing how colorful your art is, and how you don't sweat every detail, it gave me the confidence to start making art of my own. Watching your videos demystified some of the processes and gave me permission to just play with the supplies. I've learned a lot of cool techniques from your blog, but the main thing I've learned is to have fun and just do it.
So thanks for that, for sharing all your beautiful art and how-to videos and even sharing when things didn't turn out exactly right (especially for that!). I wish you the best of success in everything you do.
One evening 3 years ago, I am surfing the web and at the time I subscribed to some craft magazine e-letter that would write reviews on various craft products (author Nancy Nally) She was rating the top 10 scrapbookers, 10 stampers and something I had never heard of … top 10 mixed media artists. Julie’s blog was #2 and she wrote “I dare you to watch just one of her videos, they are addictive”. The link was to “A Good Day” (which is still a favorite!) and boy, was she right because 40 mins later, I was in total awe, hooked and completely obsessed with all things ink, paint, stamps, etc. I started my first art journal the very next day in a Canson mixed media book my boss was going to toss out and I grabbed thinking it would be fun to doodle in, wow little did I know. That was my first art journal.
I always loved art and in high school actually created and sold leather purses upon which I'd used a wood burner to draw whimsical items - especially suns! After many decades of other meaningful activities, like raising a fabulous family and having a blessed, wonderful career in Military Logistics, I was able to come back to art in 2014 when I retired.
Sometime before that, I discovered mixed media and your wonderful world of bright, snazzy colors and creative designs. Your positive, inspiring blog and videos spurred me on to become an artist again after 40 years of very little creating! I still count on your emails to alert me to wonderful creations and instructional videos that have a huge impact on my art!
I belong to the Daisy Yellow Art, Year of the Doodle, Colorful Place to Play, and several other Facebook Pages where I enjoy displaying my work. I've viewed all your videos and hunger for more! I've taken several classes online, including one involving how to create digital art (which I first saw on your blog) but always come back to your inspiring, sensationally colorful blog for fantastic, wonderfully creative ideas and positive words!
Thank you so much for all you've done Julie! You're the best!
Gale Evans (etsy):
I have checked out your podcasts and vlog and enjoy both, but your blog is my main way of finding inspiration from you. Thank you for all the fun ideas and techniques and for sharing your art exploration. Congratulations of your blogiversary! If you want to check out my blog that would be fabulous. It is https://lunanista.wordpress.
I poured myself into it and I have felt so in touch with the creative part of my soul and feel so completely happy during this process I feel renewed. I just LOVE your inspirational tips and treats that you share. You are just gorgeous and are spurring me on to build my own creative lifestyle...Some thing I have been aching to do for soooooo long. Thank you so much for your generous and open sharing nature. Xx
Julie’s Fei-Fan Balzer’s blog is, hands-down, my favorite. I don’t think I’ve missed a day since I discovered it several years ago. It’s more than just loving her work. It’s her unabashed passion for life and for art.
I was just beginning to break into using paint and collage when I “found” her. I really needed her product knowledge and I really needed her attitude. Soon I was painting and printing my own papers like mad! And ripping them into pieces with abandon! I learned to add layers and not be too precious about things. And to keep going! Following Julie’s artistic journey through the blog gave me new ways of seeing. One thing I saw was that my art didn’t look much like Julie’s art, and I love her art! But Julie is so clear about her artistic choices reflecting who she is that I’ve been able to embrace the choices that make my art quite different. When she shares journal pages from different years I can see the evolution over time, which allows me to see my art as being part of my own continuum. Obviously this makes her the best kind of teacher! She’s been a major influence on my artistic journey and every day her blog continues to inspire me.
Here’s my little “blog review:”
Julie rarely misses a day of blogging. Each entry is clearly focused on making art and drinking in the art all around us. She is generous in sharing her mixed media processes, often including a video of just how she works. I’ve learned so much from her! Although she is a product designer and the blog is part of her career, she never puts the focus on selling. Her products are presented as a part of the process of making art, as are any other products she discusses. (I confess to owning a fair number of her products, but only one purchase was inspired by the blog—her stamp carving book. The rest just appealed to me on the shelf.)
Her artful life is often on center stage. She shares her home and her travels and her family, but keeps the emphasis on the things that inspire her along the way. When she goes to a museum, (and she loves museums) she generously shares her photos of the art she’s seen. I view editing and uploading all those photos as an amazing act of generosity! Ditto for the photos of street art in the cities she visits. A pure gift.
In a nutshell: a regularly occurring blog with a clear focus and a highly personal voice, an opportunity to witness Julie’s development as an artist, scrupulous integrity, a great sense of humor, loads of ideas to incorporate in my own work, and art of all kinds from all over the world. Other bloggers come and go, start and stop, waste my time with endless blog hops and giveaways. Not Julie. She makes every entry a little gift to her readers, and we love her for it.
Thanks for this opportunity to speak up about one of my life’s best daily pleasures.
Several years ago Julie shared an embroidered face she was stitching. I was intrigued and set out to try one myself. It was a great experience and Julie's example was a real inspiration. From that I made several faces and now have expanded my efforts to thread painting with figures, landscapes and still life's!
Julie has a way of presenting new ideas to awaken your creative spirit with creative challenge!! The variety she explores ever keeps our enthusiasm and interest in high gear!
Ayn Yezzi stitchologist
New readers and old readers. Painters and stitchers and scrapbookers and creators of all kinds! I love that art is such an easy way create community. There is something about making things that is primal and necessary. I love reading your personal stories of feeling free and making art that is fun. Thank you for sharing your stories. I will continue to share mine!
Talk to you soon!