Indie Artist Spotlight: Julie Schronk of Just Folks

“Our Big Family” © 2016 Julie Schronk

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Each of Julie Schronk’s whimsical folk art paintings feels like a big-hearted welcome, a friendly invitation to step right into the scene to join all the fun.

Fancy an old fashioned church picnic, quilt show or yard sale? Maybe you’d prefer a lazy afternoon at your favorite fishing hole, a stroll down main street, or a quick bite at the local diner. Julie’s cheery, engaging slices of old-timey Americana, rendered in vibrant colors and bustling with activity, brim with just the kind of quirky details that beg a closer look.

“By the Sea”

Originally from Dallas, Julie now lives in Hillsboro, Texas, where she paints traditional, Black, Bayou and bohemian folk art. She calls herself a memory and storyteller painter who kindles memories of bygone days and inspires people to imagine their own stories in her pictures.

Julie’s now in her 16th year of creating and selling her acrylic originals, which have been shipped to almost every state in the union and to countries such as France, Singapore, Canada and New Zealand.

I love the warmth and convivial vitality in Julie’s pieces, which are like mini cultural history lessons with their depictions of cotton gins, juke joints, country stores, Amish barns, farmyards, and city skylines.

“Night Fishin’ on the Bayou”
“Trolleys” is Julie’s favorite painting.

I’m so happy to welcome Julie to Alphabet Soup today to tell us more about her joyous paintings and a bit about her children’s books. I know you’ll enjoy stepping back in time and hearing how this talented artist works.

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Indie Artist Spotlight: Robyn Hood Black of artsyletters (+ a giveaway!)

Today I’m especially delighted to welcome back author, poet, artist and dear online friend Robyn Hood Black. You may remember her last visit as a Poetry Potluck guest several years ago, when she shared a spooky poem and one of her gorgeous relief prints.

That was an especially noteworthy visit, because she also brought along a batch of her favorite Jam Bars, which she aptly renamed “Oatmeal Jama Bars.”🙂 Naturally Mr. Cornelius and I decided on the spot that they should become the “Official Alphabet Soup Cookie.”

In the years since, we’ve not only continued to marvel at Robyn’s literary achievements (her work has been published in several more anthologies, prominent haiku journals, and most recently in Lee Bennett Hopkins’s Lullaby and Kisses Sweet), but also her artistic ones.

Handpainted Bookmark
Scrabble Tile Magnets

Vintage Illuminated Letter T Under Glass Cabochon Pendant Necklace

If you like letters, words, books, and reading (all of us, yes?), then you’ll love Robyn’s Etsy shop artsyletters. There, she sells wonderful prints, cards, typewriter key jewelry, mixed media collages and other gift items with a cool vintage vibe.

A girl after my own heart, she has a keen eye for found objects (scrabble tiles, skeleton keys, metal letters, watch parts, text from antique books), and beautifully accentuates them with her pen-and-ink drawings, calligraphy, and relief prints.

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Indie Artist Spotlight: Rommy Kuperus of RommydeBommy

When it comes to Rommy Kuperus’s foodie fashion accessories, you can have your cake and wear it too.

Totally calorie free, her fanciful, over-the-top creations break all the rules, definitely turn heads, and are just too much fun.

Fancy a candy roll purse, a waffle clutch, a fried egg brooch? No need to cry over spilled coffee when you can wear a matching coffee bean necklace.

Did you know it’s totally de rigueur to accessorize with baked goods? How do you think baguette got its name?

And poor pasta, always getting such a bad carbo-rap. Why not stash all your guilt in Rommy’s farfalle bow clutch?

While you’re at it, deck out your male friends in babelicious bow ties. Is there anything cooler?

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Indie Artist Spotlight: Dawn Treacher of Treacher Creatures

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Recently, while I was innocently browsing online, this adorable crocheted teddy bear winked at me.

Never one to ignore a mischievous ursine smart enough to get my attention, I knew I had to investigate.

I discovered he was created by plush artist Dawn Treacher of York, England, who designs and makes other Amigurumi animals like the bear, in addition to a wide range of sock animals, fleece plushies, and soft sculptures. Some of Dawn’s creatures are inspired by real animals (foxes, bunnies, giraffes, elephants, badgers, birds), while others represent wild flights of the imagination — brightly colored alien one-eyed monsters in odd shapes with elongated ears and limbs.

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Clearly this is an artist with a kid’s heart who loves to play.🙂

All of Dawn’s Treacher Creatures are lovingly hand-sewn and one-of-a-kind. Each has a distinct personality. Whether sweet, comical, serene, endearing, cunning or coy, they’re bound to make you smile and wonder what they’ve been up to. Not surprisingly, Dawn is also an aspiring children’s book author and illustrator (in addition to being a fine landscape painter) — so maybe someday soon some of her creatures will have their own books!

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I’m happy she agreed to join us today to tell us more. You’ll never look at your socks the same way again. Enjoy!

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Indie Artist Spotlight: Sylvia of Puffin Patchwork

While looking for handmade Christmas ornaments last Fall, I happily discovered Puffin Patchwork on Etsy and instantly fell in love.

Fifi the Poodle

Who could resist the beautifully crafted felt owls, kitties, Airedales and poodles (all with charming names)? Or the quaint little houses and layered hearts? I could tell by the meticulous attention to detail — the lovely embroidery and appliqué work — that everything was made with a lot of love and pride. I like Sylvia’s color sense and how she incorporates vintage fabric scraps and buttons in her pieces. And I like her endearingly neat stitches that give each item a distinctive handmade look.

In addition to felt ornaments, Sylvia makes wonderful wallhangings, coin purses and phone cases. She does all the designing, cutting, sewing, and decorating in her seaside home in South-west Ireland, and draws inspiration from the dramatic landscapes and colorful fishing towns. Sounds like an idyllic setting for an artist, don’t you think?

I’m so pleased to welcome Sylvia (a fellow Beatrix Potter fan!) to Alphabet Soup today. She’s been making and selling handmade for 30 years, and I know you’ll like hearing more about her inspirations and process. Thanks for visiting, Sylvia!🙂

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