5 Questions with Julie of the Crafty Beggars

5 Questions with Julie of the Crafty Beggars

We love getting to know our hosts, guests and production team here at Create and Craft! We can’t wait for the Crafty Beggars to join us. Here are 5 Questions with Julie of the Crafty Beggars.

Julie of the Crafty Beggars

Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know?

I am a Nichiren Buddhist and I have been chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo as a daily practice for the last 33 years. Chanting comforts, motivates, inspires and enlightens me and I never go away without my Buddhist prayer beads.

I also have 17 rocking horses! I started collecting them when I was 16 and they are all shapes and sizes, including Dobbin – a huge, vintage horse on bow rockers, which I bought many years ago from a toy museum that was closing down.

Julie's rocking horse, Dobbin!
Julie’s rocking horse, Dobbin!

What is your favorite craft?

It has to be a combination of découpage and collage. I love decorating boxes and furniture, and I also make pictures and cards using pretty papers, lace, old maps, stamps, tickets, buttons and all kinds of memorabilia I have collected over the years. It gives me an excuse to hoard rather a lot of stuff (not that I need any excuse)! One of my favorite pieces is a memory box I made on a South Pacific cruise when the Pitcairn Islands were on the itinerary. I decorated the inside and outside with photographs, little stars, shells, local stamps and the lyrics of a welcome song that the Islanders greeted us with. Each time I use it I’m reminded of a wonderful holiday and some special people and places that we visited.


Why do you love to craft?

What started as a hobby has grown over the years into a passion. According to my husband, crafting is the only time I truly relax. I think the therapeutic effect of making things with our hands can never be underestimated. There’s a real feel good factor about designing something unique and original. At a time when it’s easy to feel like you’re drowning in a sea of technology (which can compound stress and not reduce it) crafts can be the perfect antidote. There’s also the pleasure of passing a passion on. I teach people how to make sock teddies (transforming a lone sock into a teddy bear) and I love the idea that after one of my workshops, people will be making sock teddies with their children or grandchildren..rsz_julie

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I feel very fortunate to have travelled a lot in my life as I also work as a travel presenter and writer. I am a Contributing Editor of Cruise International magazine and I write regularly for several UK newspapers. If I could travel anywhere it would be to Alaska. It’s a place I am longing to visit. One of my dreams is to see a whale breaching. I have witnessed dolphins, seals, even penguins, but I have never seen a whale and I believe there are eight different species that frequent the icy waters of Alaska!

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