Meet PDT member: Julie Hole

Those of you Northern crafters may recognise the friendly face of Julie Hole, docrafts demonstrator in the North West of England. On top of running demonstrations and regularly contributing to Creativity magazine, Julie is also a member of our 2016 Project Design Team (PDT), crafting stand-out projects for this very blog. Julie’s clean style, quality technique and professional finish ensured her a place on the team. Here we chatted to her about her cardmaking history, dream commissions and current crafty projects.  

How did you become a docrafts demonstrator and how long have you been one for?

It was total luck – literally being in the right place at the right time. I was teaching a workshop in my local craft shop. The docrafts rep was in store and was telling the shop owner that she had two ladies retiring soon and was looking for demonstrators. I showed some of my work and was encouraged to apply. I loved my trial demonstration and knew immediately that this was for me. That was just over a year ago now and I love working with our wonderful products and meeting our lovely customers.

"I can’t imagine a life without some form of creativity in it, it’s like the air that I breathe"

What motivated you to apply for the PDT this year?

I almost didn’t. I’m not always confident in my abilities and I applied at the last minute with some encouragement from my fellow demonstrators and members of the outgoing PDT. I thought “nothing ventured, nothing gained” and crossed my fingers.

Have you always been a crafter?

I have, long before I knew that there was a name for what I loved. I knitted and made dollies clothes when I was really young and I always had a pencil and colouring books around. I can’t imagine a life without some form of creativity in it, it’s like the air that I breathe.

Describe the first card you ever made.

My first card… that was a long time ago, but I still have it! It was a new baby card; it had six squares on the front, each with a different baby-related image or embellishment on it. I obviously loved it so much I didn’t give it away. I laugh when I look at it now!

Julie's new baby card from April's issue (69) of Creativity

If you could take a guess at how many cards you’ve made in your lifetime, what would the magic number be?

Oh, that’s hard! It would be in the hundreds. Without fail, I aim to make my next project my best!

Have you ever made a project that you saw in Creativity?

Yes, I very recently had a go at making the stunning crackle paint card that Mags Woodcock devised for Issue 69. What an amazing result from simple crafting products that most folk would already have in their cupboard! Whilst it wasn’t as amazing as Mags’ card, I was very pleased with the result.

"I have collected every stamp that docrafts have released and I struggle to resist buying multiple paper packs because I don’t want to ever run out"

What would be your dream commission?

Absolutely anything that features Santoro’s Gorjuss! I am besotted with the little characters and their paper ranges. I have collected every stamp that docrafts have released and I struggle to resist buying multiple paper packs because I don’t want to ever run out (I’m getting heart palpitations at the thought). 

 Julie's Santoro mixed media card using the new Vintage Rose collection, featured in the June issue of Creativity

You post a lot of cards to your gallery! What do you do with all of them when they’re done?

The vast majority of them are demonstration samples so they are left with my host store to inspire customers who visit after I leave. Some are given away for family birthdays etc. but if you ask my family, they would probably reply that ironically I’m very bad at sending cards! On a very rare occasion I may keep a project that I am extra-pleased with.

Are there any crafts other than cardmaking that you practise regularly?

No, but I have tried many in the past: cross-stitching, embroidery, sewing, clay figures, doll making, stained glass windows, jewellery making. You name it, I have probably tried it and bought all of the tools. Papercrafting has just stuck with me, so I know it’s what I should be doing.

What has been your favourite docrafts range?

Oh that’s cruel to limit a person to just one… I would have to say Santoro’s Gorjuss but I want to cheat and say that I also loved Henbury Lane, Craft Notes, Bellisima, and Blueberry Hill (does anyone else remember that?).

What’s on your crafty playlist?

I find that I listen to classical and chill-out CDs when I’m creating – anything nice and mellow.

Tell us five interesting facts about yourself.

1. I’ve been married to my best friend for 30 years this year.

2. My brother named me before I was born and before anyone knew I was a girl (good job I wasn’t born a boy, Julie’s not a good name for a boy).

3. I took my first foreign holiday aged 50 years old!

4. I like my food but hate liver with a passion.

5. I love Johnny Depp, but only when he’s playing Captain Jack Sparrow; otherwise you can keep him! P.S. Don’t tell my best friend!  

What is it that you enjoy about your involvement with docrafts?

I have always loved the quality and great value for money that docrafts offer, long before I had any involvement with the company. I especially liked their fantastic stamp ranges – always stunningly crisp and affordable. Now I get to play with the fantastic products for free and before they have hit the shops – what is better than that? docrafts have given me opportunities to creatively grow that I could only dream about previously and I am in my heaven on earth.

One of Julie's latest PDT makes using the pretty Country Life papers

You’ve got two minutes to do a trolley dash in a craft store. Which aisle do you run to first?

Stamps, stamps, stamps, oh and ink. I think you get the idea.

Have you passed the craft bug onto your children?

Yes and no – they have a creative streak in them. I see it all the time but they rarely give it a chance to surface. They’re all really busy people and they don’t have the time. Either that or I’ve gone on about it so much that they’ve had enough!

Are you busy crafting for anything in particular right now? Perhaps a wedding…? 

I am in the middle of crafting for my eldest daughter’s wedding in June this year. The ‘Save the dates’ and invitations are done and gone, next it’s the itinerary of the day, menus, table place settings, favours and thank you cards. My middle daughter gets married in April 2017 in the Netherlands so it will be onto her stationery as soon as I am finished with this one. I am actively discouraging my youngest daughter from getting married any time soon!

Lastly, how did you feel when you found out that your camera card made it to the cover of Creativity? 

Firstly, disbelief and then – when I saw it with my own eyes – absolute and overwhelming joy. Then I ran around the house cheering and jumping; my husband thought we'd won the lottery, bless him, but I told him it was better than that… I think it's such a striking cover and I'm hoping that it won't be the last time I make it there! What's even better is that customers who come to my demonstrations have been asking me about it and are having a go at it themselves. For me, there's no prouder moment than that.

Julie's camera card on the May cover of Creativity (70) 

Make sure you check out the June issue of Creativity magazine for the full tutorials on how to make Julie’s kinetic skateboard card, mixed media Santoro card and heat-embossed ‘Save the date’. 

To keep up-to-date with Julie’s latest craft projects, make sure to follow the docrafts gallery page as well as Julie’s very own! Keep an eye out in the latest issue of Creativity magazine, available from all good craft stores and supermarkets. Alternatively, buy a copy online or subscribe and get it delivered straight to your door! 

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