Thursday, October 30, 2014

Craft Warehouse Design Team Member Julie Slaikjer

I have had the chance to get to know Julie Slaikjer through our Instagram feed. Julie is an avid Craft Warehouse crafter and customer. She loves to participate in our local store events and her enthusiasm shows in her own Instagram posts! We love that she is loyal to our store and loves to share her work with those that are excited about crafting as much as she is! I had the pleasure of meeting Julie in August and it was like she and I already "knew" each other. I love that Craft Warehouse is not only a craft store but a community!

How long have you been crafting? 

I can’t remember a time when crafting wasn’t part of my life.  I grew up on the Oregon Coast.  My parents have always been crafters or at least do-it-yourselfers.  I think my mom was Martha Stewart before there was a Martha, always making beautiful things and teaching people to make them too.  My dad was an original DIY-er and MacGyver before there was one, always making and fixing things at home and work.

So, I guess I’d say crafting comes naturally to me.  As a kid, I was in Camp Fire, with my mom as the leader.  I still have tons of those projects we made in Camp Fire and at school too.  In junior high, I learned the arts of photography and working in the darkroom and kept it up through high school.  During this time, I kept scrapbooks packed with photos and memorabilia…sort of a SMASH book of the 80’s.  Photography and design have always been close to my heart.

I was reintroduced to scrapbooking in 1993, by a friend who became a Creative Memories consultant.  I loved that more people were capturing their memories, but the rigid structure of the early CM albums, was not for me.

I don’t believe there should be any rules associated with creativity!  I was lucky to find like-minded scrapbookers at my local scrapbook store in 2000.  As few years later, I became the “marketing girl” for the store.  Over the next eight years, I also designed samples, make & takes and taught workshops.  I LOVE teaching people to find their own creativity and encourage them to “make it their own” in my workshops.

When Project Life came to retail stores in 2013, it was like new life was breathed into scrapbooking for me.  I create Project Life spreads in chronological order a month at a time.  Don’t get me wrong, I still LOVE creating traditional scrapbook layouts, but to be able to scrap quickly and still include everything I love, photos & memorabilia is wonderful!  And, traditional 12x12 layouts fit perfectly into my Project Life albums.  When I scrapbook, I scrap whatever inspires me.  I’m behind, timewise…as far as some would say, but that’s OK!

As far as papercrafting goes, I love Project Life, traditional scrapbooking, mini albums and home décor projects.  Recently, I’ve started making a few cards too.  There’s always something new in papercrafting and I love learning about it, experimenting with it and sharing it with everyone!

What inspires you to be creative?

A lot of my inspiration comes from the products I see both in stores and online.  I have huge Pinterest boards dedicated to scrapbooking, card, craft ideas, new products and tutorials.  I love looking at project samples.  I am inspired by the different ways in which people use papercrafting products.  I keep all of the projects I find on my Pinterest board to serve as inspiration for myself and others to create things.  I am not someone who keeps them to copy them though.  I prefer to use my inspiration pieces as a starting point, usually one element really appeals to me (maybe layout design or an original layering technique) and then I let my imagination run wild.

I am also very inspired by color combinations (of course, I have a Pinterest board for these too….).  I love seeing how colors come together in nature and photographs.  I really enjoy choosing supplies for my projects by thinking of these color combinations and mixing products from various collections in my projects.

What Craft Warehouse products do you love to use?

It makes me happy just to walk into a Craft Warehouse store.  Seeing everything out there, just waiting for me to make something with it is inspiring.  Craft Warehouse is a kind of “one stop shopping” for me.  I am a papercrafter at heart.  But I also enjoy making DIY home décor projects.  So, I wander down the aisles thinking of new mantel arrangements and things I can make from all that yummy fabric.  (No, I don’t sew persay, but I am handy with a glue gun!)

I always have to grab a few frames too.  I love keeping my photos and projects out where my family and friends can enjoy them.

Then, my wandering takes me to the papercrafting section.  Home.  I love that Craft Warehouse carries Project Life, so I can pick up a few supplies on each trip.  I always have to check out what’s new in the scrapbooking section.  I love seeing the collections displayed together, so I can grab a few embellishments along with my papers for a cohesive look.  Lately, my favorites have been Simple Stories, WeR Memory Keepers, Studio Calico and Technique Tuesday’s stamps.

How can you encourage others reading this column?

I have always called my classes “workshops”.  I like to teach people techniques and help them find their own style when creating their projects.  I have made too many things in classes that just sit in boxes and never get used.  And, I love to encourage people to use their own imaginations and make “their project,” not mine.  I love it when everyone’s project looks different using the same supplies.  I feel that encouraging people to be creative by giving them ideas and options when I explain my projects will help them to enjoy the process more and USE the item they created in the workshop.  Giving crafters a sense of ownership of their own creativity is a great feeling.  I like people to leave my workshops or finish my tutorials feeling that they CAN BE CREATIVE and creativity doesn’t have rules.

Join us tomorrow as Julie shares a scrapbooking layout perfect for the fall season! In the meantime, be sure to visit her blog, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook for even more inspiration!


  1. Julie! Awesome post! I really love your style and so get why we are friends. You are a kindred crafting spirit and I love how you share your love of crafting in such a way that it makes me feel I can craft anything I put my mind to! No rules, right! I am off to share this on my blog! Way to go, girlfriend . . . Craft Warehouse has got a HUGE resource in you! Soar, Sis!!

  2. Loved the idea of no rules. It is inspiring to put your own stamp on a project. I agree about taking a class that has everyone making the same thing the same way, not very fun. So much nicer to see what each person creates, with gentle suggestions.
    Terrific ideas! Waiting to see more from you.


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