My career has been built on design, communications, publishing and illustration management and execution. But creativity is expressed in many forms so I continue to explore other outlets such as custom jewelry making, creating artisan soap and body products, interior spaces & accessories as well as being an experienced vocalist (with a focus on the blues).
These are one-of-a kind pieces using a variety of materials including semi-precious stones, freshwater pearls, crystal, and glass beads (dichroic, hand-blown, foil-lined, etc). I have recently begun using old buttons as clasps and re-purposed vintage beads from disassembled or broken pieces. I love sterling silver findings, but lately I’ve been experimenting with gunmetal and copper. My next endeavor involves stamped solder.
Artisan Soapmaking and Natural Body Products
My soaps are made from scratch using cold process and hot process methods. I strive to use natural, responsibly cultivated, high-quality ingredients and often use natural scents (essential oils) and natural colorants, from infused oils to clays and herb powders. Cosmetic-grade fragrance oils are sometimes used as some people want a scent with more longevity. I also create lotion bars, body butters, salves and lip balms and recently added a line of men’s products, from shaving soap to beard balms and oils. Products are found on the company website, Simplí (which means simple and straightforward in Gaelic).
Interiors & Home Decor
I have a hands-on approach to interior design: decorative paint techniques; second-hand items that are often refinished; and re-purposed salvaged pieces used in conjunction with new items. Not one to stick to neutrals, I’ve been told I have a keen eye for color. The spaces I create are meant to be lived in and to tell a story of the people who live there. Enjoy experimenting with wood, paint and fabric and have worked with Venetian plaster and glazes.
Another area where I incorporate faux finishing and upholstery is enhancing some of the custom-built cigar box guitars and cases done for Bull Run Cigar Box Guitar commissions. Examples below.
I have been singing almost as long as I’ve been talking, but it wasn’t until a trip to Memphis several years ago that made me realize how much I loved the blues…and I needed to sing it. I’ve been the lead vocalist in a few bands in the Washington, DC, area for years—West on 66; Spellbound; Single Malt Blues and Run for Cover. Current project is a 4-piece blues/rock band, Julie Says No.
I’ve sat in with a variety of people at blues jams, open mic nights and with other bands and I think one of the best “pinch me moments” is when I was asked to bring a cake to Buddy Guy on stage at the Birchmere in Alexandria, VA. I had met the band before the show, so once I got up next to Mr. Guy, I turned to the band, asked if I could sing a little something, then proceeded to belt one out in front of a full house.
“Julie has a great feel, love and talent for singing the blues that sets her apart from other DC area vocalists. She has a great stage presence that can make people leave their seats and hit the dance floor.” ~ Ron T.
Little by Little
Oreo Cookie Blues
Turtle Blues, live at DogFish Head Alehouse, Fairfax, VA