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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Spotlight on Fiber Artist Julie Harrison!

kindnessback 001
Originally uploaded by jus_creations
Julie Harrison is the talented owner of Ju's Creations and her etsy shop, Rokstudy. Her motto of, "Visual Arts through the eye of a needle" gives you a clue to her favorite passion of embroidery. I was fortunate to be able to ask Julie some questions to let us step a little way into her world.

1. In the range of over 50/under 50, where would you place yourself?

I am over 40 under 50.

2. How long have you been a member of the Quilts and Heirloom team and what made you decide to join this group?

I have been a member of the Quilts and Heirlooms team since July '08. I found them in the Teams section of the forum and I joined because I wanted to continue learning how to quilt, the only other pattern I have ever done is the double wedding ring; and I wanted to be in team treasuries.

3. What do you consider your fiber art passion?


4. Where or when did you learn this art?

Back when I was five I lived on a remote mission station in Africa and my Mom showed me how to do a few small things; when I was eight I started a Christmas table runner using my grandma's steel embroidery hoop, and I joined an after school girls club where they taught Bible and embroidery and continued my project; after that I was hooked and determined to finish the project. When I was fourteen and a half we moved to the US and at sixteen my best friend from Africa came for Christmas and New Years and she taught me satin stitch. Sylvia, my Mom and I finished the runner that year and I decided I had really honed embroidery as my skill. Since that time all of my friends have received a wedding gift, baby gift,all occasion gift.

5. Do you have any encouraging suggestions for someone new to your skill?

Use the giant beginner patterns so you don't get discouraged and quit. Small areas are challenging for beginners. Find some elderly lady to show you how, she has probably embroidered all her life and knows a lot. Find your own style, create your own stitch. My stitch is the anchor stitch. A stitch I use to secure corners.

6. Do you enjoy any other creative endeavors? And if so, could you tell us a little about them?

I am a published poet. "Kindness" has been published. I love to write, I hope to publish some books someday. I love candlewicking,I finally found another pattern to do, it is on my project "To Do" list. I play violin. Someday I want to try oil painting. [ed. The picture included with this entry shows her lovely poem.]

7. I know about your shop Rokstudy on Etsy. Do you have other shops or venues for your art?

I own Rokstudy as a domain name. is my website. I am looking at Artfire, I cannot afford the monthly fee. I am on Myspace, Facebook, and WeloveEtsy. Up until November of last year my inventory was in a consignment shop in Oak Glen, CA. I'm looking for a new brick and Mortar venue.

8. As you look in your shop, what would be your favorite item in the bunch? The one you almost hate to part with?

Cozy Kittens really shows a lot of my skill and it is my favorite vintage pattern. If it sold I don't know if I would make it again this is the second time I have used the pattern. I made a table cloth for my dolls when I was young.

9. Do you have any suggestions or advice for someone just starting out on etsy?

Take a digital photography class. Marketing is marketing even if it is on the internet so success comes with time. Join a team. Create your own brand. Appreciate and utilize Etsy's uniqueness to get your unique products out there don't try to make Etsy into ebay.

Thanks for sharing, Julie!

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