I’d like you to meet…

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Today I’m playing along with Laurie over at Tip Junkie in her De-Lurking Challenge

photograph taken by Drew B
Sometime last year I happened upon a lovely blog named Joy’s Hope. Silly me, I thought the author was Joy. Nope. Her name is Julie (though she shares how her blog got it’s name here– but be prepared with a tissue) and her blog is full of down to earth goodness. She’s a mom to 3 of the cutest girlies, wife and crafter-to-the-extreme. The day I found her blog I went through every single post she ever did (didya know that Julie?). Since then, I’ve been a faithful reader and even featured a giveaway from her shop. Someday I’d love to have lunch with her and just take in all her loveliness.
So as a part of the de-lurking challenge, I decided to interview Julie. I knew she’d be fun and real. And she’s super duper inspiring (hello- she’s the brains behind Cora’s Playground Etsy Project). 30dayers meet:

How did you get started blogging? What were your intentions the time? (journaling, showing off your kids, an outlet, etc)
I had been reading blogs for a while and was finding so many helpful and inspiring ideas. I set a goal of making something with my hands everyday and needed a place to document my progress. Starting the blog forced me to actually take pictures and write silly little notes about each project. I never thought anyone would really read it. My first months of posts are BORING and LAME! It shocks me that anyone would ever come and read them. I didn’t even tell my friends and family about my blog for something like six months. But then after a while I began to look forward to blogging about the little details of life, the weird and funny things that happen throughout the day, as well as the friends that I had “met” in the process. I began to find my “voice” and knew that my blog could be a platform to share ideas and encouragement as well as be as real and transparent as possible.
And what are your intentions now?
I hope that my blog can help encourage and inspire women to be creative as well as live generously. I also love to share links and feature other crafty moms and their businesses.

What made you decide to open an Etsy shop? (besides being fabulously talented and wanting to share)
My original intention was to sell signs so I could then turn around and shop right back on Etsy. Sort of like when I got a job at Restoration Hardware because I wanted new couches and needed the discount. My dreams for my shop far exceed my current reality. Little by little it is growing and I am excited to see what the future holds beyond being somewhat of an Etsy Credit Card.

How do you balance it all- mommy, wife, blogger and crafter extraordinare?
photograph taken by Drew B

I don’t balance it. At all. As as mom is balance even possible? I am constantly over my head. I take on too much, tackle what I like first, instead of what I should be doing. I am perpetually messy, disorganized and playing catch up. Thankfully I have a tremendously helpful husband and three children who are genetically blessed with good sleeping genes. Throw in a little (or a lot) of insomnia and that is how I do it. I have a two to three hour block each day when all of the little ones are sleeping where I work like a crazy person. Most of the time the dining room table is covered in a project and I haven’t even thought about dinner. But once in a while everything will be clean and something yummy will be cooking. I think my husband lives for such days.

How much time do you really spend on the computer?
My time actually sitting down at the computer have diminished lately. I check my email, Twitter, Facebook and read blogs from my iPhone while I am sitting on the couch nursing Janey. Add those minutes up and it is still probably a lot of time. When I do have free time I am most likely sitting at my sewing machine. Because of that I haven’t been keeping up with all of the blogs I love so much or doing much commenting. I truly do miss that.

Give me your top 3 posts from Joy’s Hope that you love.
I can’t really pick three, so I will pick seven. My favorite has to be the series I wrote about my daughter Joy. It was difficult and painful to write, but also very healing. I had wanted to put my thoughts down for years but simply could not bring myself to do it. After a bunch of questions about the origin of my blog and shop’s name I new it was the time to write.

Name your 3 favorite blogs (besides the obvious 30days ;).
Are you kidding? This is impossible. And mean! Could I give my 300 favorites?
So I have to break hearts by only choosing a few? I am such a people pleaser. This is torture!!!
Don’t hate me!
I love every.single.thing about Meg’s Whatever

My blog BFF is Bethany from Hissyfits
I am taking a 2fer here because I love Drew’s Momtog
and Tonya’s mom photographer blogs.
Answering this was AWFUL!!!

What’s your favorite thing you’ve made so far? Why?

I think it is the Pretty. Messy. flower for Cora’s playground. I never imagined the ripple effect that would spread through the blog and Etsy world. Seeing complete strangers come together for a cause greater than themselves changed my life and heart in ways I am still unraveling every day.

What gets your creative juices going?

New fabric, new tutorials, new patterns.

What kills them?
Boredom. I have no attention span or loyalty. I can only make something once or twice before wanting to try something new. I would be so much more profitable and productive if I embraced assembly line production, but my messy and disorganized mind can’t focus long enough to carry it out.

And how do you get out of a creative funk?
I love to search blogs for new ideas. I have hundreds of future projects in my bookmarks folder. The constant craving of new ideas for my nonstop mind goes hand in hand with my extreme case of Craft A.D.D.

Name 3 things you could not live without (people don’t count; that’s a given).
Havianas flip flops,
Burt’s Bees chapstick,
My Starbucks espresso machine (and the corresponding husband who makes me lattes everyday.)

If you had to be a part of a reality tv show which one would you choose? (would you want to reunite with Tamra?)
I would love to be on the crew for Extreme Home Makeover. Although the designers are stars in themselves, the show is not about them, it is really about them using their gifts to help others in need. I wish that was everyone’s reality.
As far as Tamra goes, I would love to chat with her and see a bit of who she was when I knew her, as opposed to who she has become (or is portrayed as) on RHofOC.

What’s one secret are you willing to own up to?
I hate that I like The Hills as much as I really do. I think that after each episode I become much less intelligent and as each minute goes by I simply cannot believe that I am watching it. But I cannot stop.

If someone was to make a movie about you, who would star as you?
Tricky. My life is so not movie making material! I am so not a movie star person. Gwyneth Paltrow is my favorite actress, love that she is a green living activist. Julia Roberts seems to have successfully insulated herself from the Hollywood life to focus on her family, Rachel Mc Adams is adorable, Jennifer Garner is amazing, Reese Witherspoon is hilarious. Cop out of an answer I suppose.

Where’s your favorite place to go to get away from it all?
If it is just a day off, I love to get burritos at our favorite little Mexican drive-thru and take them to the beach. Nothing is better than a vacation at Bass Lake, where I have been going since I was a baby. Most of my favorite childhood memories are from there, and I am hoping it is the same for my girls.

Do you have a motto? If so, what is it?
I don’t really have a motto. But the words from one of my favorite Switchfoot songs constantly runs through my head.
“I want more than this life has to offer.” I think that pretty much sums it all up for me.

After reading Julie’s answers, I love her all the more! If you haven’t been to her blog, it’s a must. Stop by and get inspired.


  1. Tonya says

    julie is so awesome…her blog is so high energy, creative, and fun…although I have never “met” her…I think she is lovely!



  2. Tasha says

    I am such a fan of Julie’s too. I am sure she doesn’t know it though. That was very fun getting to know here a little more!!

  3. Michelle says

    For the record I know it is way too late for me to start reading her blog, but I’m off to do just that, if I don’t sleep all night tomorrow will be a very long day

  4. DrewB says

    Great interview! I just love Julie. As a mom and a human being she is an inspiration to me. I’m a better person for having met her and her awesome family!

  5. Amy says

    Great interview- I’m a big fan of Julie. I thought her name was Joy for a while too until I read her sweet post on how her blog got her name… and yes, a tissue was needed!

  6. She's Crafty! says

    That’s awesome! I love that blogging can make you so close to someone although you have never met. Technology is awesome!:)

  7. Laurie says

    She sounds RAD! I’m off to check out her blog. Thank you so much for playing along with me. ;)