Wednesday, January 12, 2011

In the Michigan Studio with JulieandCo and a giveaway



 THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING.  WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED SHORTLY.


Here’s my first Michigan artist interview for the new year.  There’s a couple of things about this artist that intrigue me. First, she has taken an ancient craft, Japanese temari balls, and given it a uniquely beautiful contemporary spin. Second, her two shops are somewhat contradictory. The temari balls are very precise and geometric. The fiber arts in her other shop, however, are very freeform and textural.  And all of it is gorgeous!  So let’s meet this artist!

FK: Tell us about yourself. 
My name is Julie. My etsy shops are:  



 FK: Julie, tell me where you live in Michigan. Did you grow up there or someplace else?
I am not a native Michigander, but I’ve lived here longer than anywhere else (nearly 30 years) so it is home to me now.  I was born in Chicago and then lived in Los Angeles, but came to Grand Rapids when I was 18.  I graduated from Calvin College with an English major and married the man I met there. We have been married nearly 27 years and have four daughters (and now a son-in-law!) as well as a pug, Maggie. 

Grand Rapids is the second largest city in Michigan and is a vibrant, growing and cool city.  Since I moved here in 1982, this city has completed changed, particularly the downtown districts. It has a very hip and artsy vibe now, especially with the annual fall ArtPrize event.  Grand Rapids is known for many things --furniture (home and office), art, medical advancements, colleges, President Gerald Ford’s hometown, Amway, Meijer....so much!

FK: I’m very jealous that you have the ArtPrize competition. I haven’t been to see it yet but I will get there one of these days. Just so everyone knows what we are talking about:

ArtPrize® turns the city of Grand Rapids into an art gallery for two weeks. Galleries, office lobbies, restaurants, courtyards, parks--most any space can become an ArtPrize venue. It’s part arts festival, part social experiment.  Art is the focus of the competition, but the main event is community, and artists take over the city. The best part is that this international contest is decided solely by public vote. And the awards are not stingy: Almost $500,000 in prizes is awarded, with the top award a whopping $250,000! 


FK: Do you have an art education background? Or are you self taught? How did you get started? 
My college major was English with a minor in history and journalism, however two of my siblings are artists (the other two are scientists!). I am completely self taught in all arts and crafts. If I see it in a book or online, the first thing I think is “oh, I can do that” and proceed to figure it out. I love to create and dabble.
FK: Funny, I say the same thing – “I can do that.” Talk to me about your shops and your art.
My Etsy shop has been going now for two and a half years. I love Etsy.  It’s been a great experience, especially being on some Etsy teams. 



I saw temari several years ago in a book and was instantly in love with the design and form of this unique and ancient Japanese folk art. It originated in China hundreds of years ago and was brought to Japan by Buddhist monks. Temari were originally made by noble women using silken threads pulled from old kimonos. 



Used originally for child's play, today the art of temari is becoming more regarded around the world. It is tradition for mothers to pass these little art pieces down to their daughters and teach them the craft as well. I love this concept. I am passionate about bringing together modern color schemes, unique designs, and precise stitching details into my art. I hand-wrap each ball first with yarn, then thread, then stitch my own modern version of the traditional Japanese designs with silky cotton embroidery threads. The unique band around the center of most temari is called an "obi" for the sash worn around the waists of traditional Japanese kimonos! 

 

My fiber art shop (julieandco2) is a new adventure. I love the wild, textural designs I can play with as I explore this new medium for me. So opposite temari, which is very geometric and precise. Fiber art is loose, fluid and free. I guess it satisfies my other creative juices. I have some new plans for that shop, including fiber art brooches and possibly bags/totes.





FK: And it is all just gorgeous! Tell me about your creative life. What do you love doing the most? And where do you do it?  What inspires you?

I have been a home school mom for almost 20 years and have done more crafts and projects than I can remember! I am restless if I am not creating something or cooking something. I would say temari is my favorite pastime and it is very portable! I started out with just a few plastic tubs to hold my supplies....this has grown into many tubs and taken over a whole corner of my basement. I may have to have my own art room one of these days! I am inspired by colors in nature, modern design schemes and often coffee. I seem to make many mocha/latte colored temari balls.



FK: What part of being an artist is the most gratifying to you? What part of being an artist is hardest for you, or that you dislike the most?

I love to make beautiful things. I also love making functional things, such as crocheted wool throws or cotton dishcloths, quilted bed coverings or crisp purses and wallets. I have been sewing and crafting since I was in high school. I don’t love the business end of things and would rather just craft all day instead of “market” myself.

 


FK: What do you do when you’re not being an artist? What activities do you enjoy?

I am a wife and mother first of all and that is my greatest joy. I love to cook and we especially enjoy experimenting with international recipes, like Moroccan or Vietnamese cuisine. Yum! I also love to read.

FK: Well, Julie, I have thoroughly enjoyed this visit with you. I still can’t decide which of your art I enjoy the most – the temari or the fiber art. So I just have to love it all!  Now, tell us what your giveaway will be.

I am giving away one of my “starry night” temari balls:




It’s one of my favorite styles and it is exactly like the temari that made it into the Etsy/NASA contest finals (judging to take place this month!)  The contest was a challenge to create handmade art and crafts inspired by the NASA Space Shuttle Program and space exploration at large.  The winner will get a trip to an upcoming launch as NASA's VIP guest, Etsy shopping sprees, and cool merchandise from NASA and Etsy. The winning artwork might even be flown on the Space Shuttle!

FK: Good luck to you, Julie! Now here’s the rules for entering:

You will have several chances to be entered into the random drawing. Each one must be entered as a separate comment.

First entry: Visit Julie's temari shop come back here, and enter a comment about your favorite piece(s).

Second entry: Visit Julie's fiber art shop and enter a comment about your favorite piece(s).

Third entry: 
Enter a comment that you signed up to follow my blog (or comment that you already follow).

Fourth entry: Enter a comment that you signed up to like my Facebook page (or comment that you are already a fan).

That's four chances to enter for the random drawing!  
Since I will be out of town next week I'm going to allow a few extra days for this giveaway.  I will use random number generator to pick a winner after:

12 Noon EST - Friday, January 21.



151 comments:

  1. wonderful art & interview! A couple of the links aren't working for me though - the 1st & last to Julie's temari shop.

    Hard to choose 1 piece but I think my fave is the Filigree temari ball

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love the colors of cerulean hanging in the fiber shop

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  3. And a FB fan :D Thanks for hosting this fab giveaway

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  4. Love the copper sage duet - hand embroidered thread balls - japanese temari
    june_spirit2628 at hotmail dot com

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  5. love the and Embroidered Needle Felted iPod Touch case/ iPhone sleeve / BlackBerry cozy from the second shop
    june_spirit2628 at hotmail dot com

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  6. previous follower
    june_spirit2628 at hotmail dot com

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  7. Thanks, Stacey. I think I have the links fixed.

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  8. Definitely hard to choose a single favorite temari, but I do love the Garden Whimsy one. What talent!

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  9. As for fiber art, the colors in Journey are simply stunning!

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  10. ...and I'm following your blog as DelightedHands3113. :)

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  11. I love the tea cup pincushion - nice form and function!

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  12. Woodland is my favorite fiber piece, botanical images have such inspiration.

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  13. JUlie & Co: Love this one http://www.etsy.com/listing/64240849/copper-sage-duet-hand-embroidered-thread !
    danaan at gmx dot at

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  14. Julie & Co 2: THis one is sooo beautiful http://www.etsy.com/listing/63078015/woodland-felted-wool-fiber-art-modern !
    danaan at gmx dot at

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  15. Following your blog on GFC!!
    danaan at gmx dot at

    ReplyDelete
  16. My favourite item from julie&co is the filigree - hand embroidered thread ball - japanese temari

    ( alvin _ darmawan at hotmail dot com )

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  17. My favourite item from Julie's fiber art shop is the tangle - fiber art - needle felted wool on wool - 8 X 10

    ( alvin _ darmawan at hotmail dot com)

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  18. I signed up to follow your blog :)

    ( alvin _ darmawan at hotmail dot com)

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  19. LIKED your facebook page :)

    ( alvin _ darmawan at hotmail dot com)

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  20. Those Temari balls are amazing, first time I've ever seen them, I adore the illusions of blue on white temari ball

    Atoxim at gmail dot com

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  21. Tangle is my fave item in Julie's Fiber art shop

    Atoxim at gmail dot com

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  22. These are beautiful!! It's hard to decide which one I would call my favorite.. they're all so interesting to look at! I think I like the copper sage duet the best.

    tamberine317(at)gmail(dot)com

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  23. Already following this blog

    Atoxim at gmail dot com

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  24. Facebook fan - Claire Ryder

    Atoxim at gmail dot com

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  25. I like midnight cranberry - hand embroidered thread ball - japanese temari


    sophia.komninou at gmail.com

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  26. I like tangle - fiber art - needle felted wool on wool - 8 X 10


    sophia.komninou at gmail.com

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  27. Fantastic pieces! temari pincushion teacup is my favorite :)

    is_tavrit (AT) hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. From her second shop, I adore the cerulean - fiber art wall hanging..

    is_tavrit (AT) hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  29. love in bloom and fleur are both so beautiful! :)

    xo, katie
    kateandoli@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. cerulean is definitely my fave in her fiber arts shop! it has all my favorite colors :)

    xo, katie
    kateandoli@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. i follow your blog!

    xo, katie
    kateandoli@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  32. i like you on fb!

    xo, katie
    kateandoli@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. Wow! What an unusual art! Amazing, they look like little puzzle balls :)

    Her pink Sweetest Symmetry temari ball is my favorite!

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  34. My favorite temari piece is jewel's gold; I love the colors!

    urchiken at gmail dot com

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  35. Her piece 'Tangle' in the fiber art category is so quirky and cute!

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  36. My favorite fiber piece is tangle; it's mesmerizing.

    urchiken at gmail dot com

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  37. How do you pick one? I love all of Julie's temari - I especially love the Illusions of Blue on White.

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  38. My favorite fiber art piece is actually one that already sold - November Sunset. Just gorgeous!

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  39. Just signed up to follow your blog :)

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  40. Hard to say which temari I like the best, but I think it would have to be fresh berries. Beautiful!!

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  41. I love the Raspberry Temari the best, it's very intricately unusual and love the colors.
    jhbalvin at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  42. I love the Confluence fiber art piece, it seems to have a story to it. Love all the pieces.
    jhbalvin at gmail dot com

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  43. I like tangle the best of her fiber art...love the black and white!
    AttitudesOfRed@gmail.com

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  44. Julie's work is ALL stunning. The Woodland temari is my favorite!

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  45. I love the "be mine, valentine" temari!! Gorgeous!

    maryleebythesea(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  46. I really like the piece entitled "tangle" in Julie's fiber art shop!

    maryleebythesea(at)gmail(dot)com

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  47. I'm following this blog on GFC!

    maryleebythesea(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  48. My favorite from the temari shop is the love in bloom hand embroidered thread ball!
    Thank you for the giveaway :)
    hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  49. My favorite from julie and co's fiber art shop is the cerulean fiber art wall hanging!
    Thank you for the giveaway :)
    hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  50. I like another bright idea on Facebook - my FB name is Amanda Moore
    Thank you for the giveaway :)
    hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  51. I follow your blog with google friend connect
    Thank you for the giveaway :)
    hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  52. Those balls are amazing!

    I really like the one called "ribbons". The shapes and the colors are hypnotizing!

    vena.nedkova at gmail dot com

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  53. Hello my favorite item from the Julie`s fiber art shop is the fiber wall hanging called "journey"!


    vena.nedkova at gmail dot com

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  54. I love the mad red love :)

    perrijewell(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  55. I love the tangle fiber art :)

    perrijewell(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  56. I follow your blog...

    perrijewell(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  57. Confluence is my favorite piece of her artwork. I love the colors!

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  58. There are so many amazing pieces, it's hard to choose. I my favorite is the filigree ball, but only by a tiny little bit!

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  59. My favorite from her fiber art shop is the confluence - fiber art wall hanging. Love the colors!

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  60. I like garden whimsy - hand embroidered thread ball - japanese temari - whimsy is the perfect word to describe it!

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  61. from julieandco2 i like cerulean - fiber art wall hanging - mixed media fabric - needle felted - 8 X 10 in..

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  62. My fav in Julie's etsy store is 'pink blush - hand embroidered thread balls - japanese temari'

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  63. in Julie's fibre art etsy store I love 'Hand Embroidered Needle Felted iPod Touch case/ iPhone sleeve / BlackBerry cozy'

    ReplyDelete
  64. I absolutely love temari and its unique place in japanese crafting history. So this was so much fun to enter for me!

    My favourite from Julies temari shop has to be Midnight Cranberry, for its modern colourways yet traditional design. It's beautiful!

    elariel01@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  65. Choosing a favourite piece from the fabric art shop was easy when I spotted "Indigo". I love the use of hand crocheted lacework and delicate beading. Gorgeous.

    elariel01@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  66. OMG such beautiful artwork! I'm a follower
    ghainskom at yahoo dot com

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  67. I love the berry blush - hand embroidered thread ball - japanese temari
    ghainskom at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  68. I love the Hand Embroidered Needle Felted iPod Touch case/ iPhone sleeve / BlackBerry cozy
    ghainskom at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  69. Beautiful art!
    My favorite: jewel's gold - hand embroidered thread ball - japanese temari

    roniros (at) gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  70. I love "tangle - fiber art - needle felted wool on wool - 8 X 10"

    roniros (at) gmail.com

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  71. GFC follower

    roniros (at) gmail.com

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  72. At Julie's temari shop, my favourite is "filigree" here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/62116555/filigree-hand-embroidered-thread-ball - but just choosing one favourite was no small feat! ;)

    rararomp at gmail dot com

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  73. Oh wow - I'm in love with "confluence" - http://www.etsy.com/listing/60029490/confluence-fiber-art-wall-hanging-wool - amazing!

    A close second is "refuge".

    rararomp at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  74. I am your new GFC follower Rae T.
    rararomp at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  75. I am your new Facebook fan Raegen T. Thank you very kindly for this opportunity; your creations are phenomenal!
    rararomp at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  76. i really appreciate the interview plus the information about NASA's contest :) great one! for my first entry, my fave from julieandco is the "sweet rose - hand embroidered thread ball - japanese temari" i love the fact that the craft has a historical background, aside from the fact that it bursts with my fave pink color :)
    pringlespalo(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  77. i'm in love with julieandco2's "cerulean - fiber art wall hanging - mixed media fabric - needle felted - 8 X 10 in." i adore the design, the colors, the texture. it's a crossover of the sky and the ocean for me. simply marvelous!
    pringlespalo(at)gmail(dot)com

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  78. i follow you via gfc :) good luck to Julie!
    pringlespalo(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  79. I really like the be mine,valentine, pink double star, hand emboirdered thread ball.
    twoofakind12@yahoo.com

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  80. THe Midnight Cranberry is stunning as are many of the other creations! Love the teacup pincushions too, but I think they would be too pretty to actually use :)
    freeindeed at myfairpoint dot net

    ReplyDelete
  81. I like the fiber art Refuge wallhanging...I love trees and that is a wonderful piece!
    freeindeed at myfairpoint dot net

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  82. Favorite from Julie's shop:
    http://www.etsy.com/listing/45844050/shimmer-hand-embroidered-thread-ball?ref=v1_other_1

    spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  83. favorite from fiberart:
    http://www.etsy.com/listing/60045180/meandering-fiber-art-wall-hanging-mixed

    spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  84. GFC follower of your blog

    spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  85. This is my favorite item from her temari shop: http://www.etsy.com/listing/51876586/jewels-gold-hand-embroidered-thread-ball?ref=pr_shop

    whitsend@live.com

    ReplyDelete
  86. This is my favorite item from her fiber shop. :)
    http://www.etsy.com/listing/60024023/journey-fiber-art-wall-hanging-mixed

    whitsend@live.com

    ReplyDelete
  87. I'm following your blog. :)

    whitsend@live.com

    ReplyDelete
  88. I love the electric blue ball!
    butler83ataoldotcom

    ReplyDelete
  89. i like the journey fiber wall art.

    ReplyDelete
  90. Love the iris - hand embroidered thread ball - japanese temari

    HarajukuGirl92@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  91. I follow your blog

    HarajukuGirl92@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  92. These are fabulous! I love the "
    crisp" design best at Julie's temari shop!
    oohmybento at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  93. Sounds really great! I'd love to be entered.

    My favourite item is lavender blue dilly dilly - hand embroidered thread ball - decorative ball.

    Please count me in. Thanks.

    avalonne83 [at] yahoo [dot] it

    ReplyDelete
  94. starry night - hand embroidered thread ball - japanese temari

    ReplyDelete
  95. tangle - fiber art - needle felted wool on wool - 8 X 10

    ReplyDelete
  96. Love the temari pincushion teacup

    DragonflyKissesJewelry@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  97. I follow your blog

    DragonflyKissesJewelry@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  98. Illusions of blue on white and midnight cranberry are my two favorite temari.
    eugeniewu at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  99. My favorite item in the fiber art shop is the Woodland - felted wool fiber art - modern textile wall hanging.
    eugeniewu at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  100. I like the razzle dazzle and glimmer of violet temaris.
    hlee99 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  101. I like the refuge - felted wool fiber art - modern textile wall hanging from the fiber shop.
    hlee99 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  102. My favorite temari would have to be the filigree blue. I love how the shades of blue flow well from light to dark.

    anja.lju at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  103. I like the tangle fiber art. It's pretty unique. The sparkles in the corner are a nice touch.

    anja.lju at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  104. Loveeee this seafoam temariiii it looks sogrgeous and unique!

    ReplyDelete
  105. I like a lot this:http://www.etsy.com/listing/65700807/be-mine-valentine-pink-double-star-hand?ref=pr_shop
    igea777@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  106. Already your fan on facebook as:antonella mazzariol
    igea777@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  107. Following your blog on GFC as:wolfsrain
    igea777@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  108. my favorite piece is
    illusions of blue on white - hand embroidered thread ball - japanese temari.

    fablanche3petal@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  109. my favorite piece at Julie's fiber art shop is confluence - fiber art wall hanging - wool felted - 8 X 10 inches.

    fablanche3petal@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  110. followed you via GFC as Ms. M

    fablanche3petal@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  111. Liked your facebook page as Mxy Rxy Fernandez.

    fablanche3petal@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  112. Love the iris - hand embroidered thread ball - japanese temari.

    twocheekymonkeys AT live DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  113. Really like the indigo - fiber art wall hanging - mixed media fabric - needle felted - 8 X 10 in. in Julie's fibre arts shop.

    twocheekymonkeys AT live DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  114. I'm really liking the azure ball in Julie's shop... it has this great architectural quality about it!

    ReplyDelete
  115. This is so cool!
    I really liked tangle - fiber art - needle felted wool on wool from the fiber art shop

    angela_jeon at yah o o d ot co m

    ReplyDelete
  116. You make me want to learn how to make these!

    The midnight cranberry temari is so intricate and amazing

    angela_jeon a t ya h o o do t co m

    ReplyDelete
  117. I love the Hand Embroidered Needle Felted iPod Touch case/ iPhone sleeve / BlackBerry cozy.

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  118. I love the filigree - hand embroidered thread ball - japanese temari.

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  119. Follow this blog

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  120. I'm a Facebook Fan - Aik Chien

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  121. From the Temari shop, I really like the fresh berries - hand embroidered thread ball. :)

    so.kitsch at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  122. From "Julieandco2", I like the refuge - felted wool fiber art - modern textile wall hanging. The textures seem lovely and I adore the detail of the little bird on the branch.

    so.kitsch at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  123. I follow your blog via GFC.

    so.kitsch at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  124. I like your Facebook page, as wunderfraulein.

    so.kitsch at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  125. They are all so beautiful. I'm torn between mocha - hand embroidered thread ball and filigree - hand embroidered thread ball as favorites.

    ihchickyATgmailDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  126. In Julie's shop I really like the Hand Embroidered Needle Felted iPod Touch case/ iPhone sleeve / BlackBerry cozy

    ReplyDelete
  127. I'm following your blog with Google Friend Connect.

    ReplyDelete
  128. I fall in love with temari! Its so hard to chhose and my fave is lavender blue dilly dilly - hand embroidered thread ball - decorative ball from the Julie's temari shop!

    Thank you for the chance!

    ksyshenka(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  129. I adore woodland - felted wool fiber art - modern textile wall hanging from the Julie's fiber art shop!

    ksyshenka(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  130. Following your blog!

    ksyshenka(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  131. I am already your Fan on Facebook!

    (oksana vladimirovna)

    ksyshenka(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  132. My favorite item is the blue geometry - hand embroidered thread ball - japanese temari
    Ladytink_534(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  133. My favorite item is the woodland - felted wool fiber art - modern textile wall hanging - 8X10
    Ladytink_534(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  134. I'm a follower
    Ladytink_534(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  135. I LIKE you on FB~ Jennifer L.
    Ladytink_534(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  136. I would love to have the Trellis
    lovekatydid at g mail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  137. I would love to have the journey wool art
    lovekatydid at g mail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  138. I am your google friend
    lovekatydid at g mail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  139. I like your facebook page :)
    lovekatydid at g mail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  140. BEAUTIFUL!!! The one that jumped out most was the temari pincushion teacup - hand embroidered thread ball - royal jewel. I would love to gift that to my mom!Thank you for the opportunity!
    info [at] kocoandviking [dot] com

    Your new friends,
    koco & viking

    kocoandviking.blogspot.com

    We’d love for you to come by and enter our huge giveaway that ends 1/22! 4 packages worth $69-$89 each!

    ReplyDelete
  141. beautiful

    garnetstarr76 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  142. Eeek! I forgot my email!
    -Basia Marie ;)

    bozthefreak@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete

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