Working, Like for Real

Julie Tiu June Monday Mugshot 6-15-15

And now starts summer

It’s the first official day of summer vacation for my family (I didn’t count the weekend, because that’s just normal scheduling.) and I’m skipping out the door to work. Work. Official part-time job. EXCITING! With a touch of good butterflies. And, ironically, the picture above shows that I’m having a cup of coffee and I’m going to work at our local tea shop, tea room, TeaLula. Let the record show: I never said I was solely a tea or coffee drinker. I’m equal opportunity.

So, what might this mean – this official part-time job? I get to work with friends. Awesome. I’ll learn, research, create content and write… I even get to play with some products and merchandise displays if I’m good. I wasn’t necessarily looking for work, but it seemed like such a natural fit that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Besides, I’ve kept myself in some sort of (work) loop for eight and a half years with dabbling in papercrafts, sewing, food blogging, art workshops, and copious amounts of volunteer work at church and school that mostly revolve around graphic layouts, writing, editing and social media. (Stay-at-home-mom clearly meant staying at home and working my butt off?)

It’ll be a great, new adventure.

Who knows, it might just inspire new projects and posts here, too!


Come and follow me at

Two month review: April and May

In the midst of all this, my son celebrated his First Communion. What a wonderful time with family and friends coming together on a gorgeous day. :)

(Back in April) Our Spring Break road trip led us here on the way home…

Lambert's Missouri

Home of Throwed Rolls

… and then a terrible case of sinusitis and migraines. Worst I ever felt in a long time.

Tea Mug TeaLula Julie Tiu

Springtime allergies and sickness

The clouds started to part and I joined the #taggedbykindness project with Kristi at and Amy at

art tags to leave for unsuspecting people

#taggedbykindness project with and Amy from

And wouldn’t you know it, I dove into our local Art Show and taught a drawing class…

Park Ridge Art and Music Walk

Hanging out at the Art and Music Walk

Swag bags ready! #zentangle class is gonna be fun, in a zen sort of way.

A photo posted by Julie Tiu (@sothisisjulie) on

Just for Fun: Archetypes – What’s Yours?

archetype circle graph


Once in a while, I veer off my “gotta-be-productive” road and crash into a bunch of fun, time-sink, black hole websites. Usually this happens after the holidays, or when we’ve had a whirlwind of non-stop activities and I just want to sit, veg, and do nothing. (Yes, that really does happen.) A long time ago I hooked on the IKEA Name Generator, then there were a few graphic design generators, and games… more recently I found I took a quiz on the site that basically gives you a summary of your personality type, your tendencies… and it spit out what I knew about myself, although I did expect two different archetypes. I just find personality quizzes fun – a remnant of the high-school-me.

So, like the graphic shows, I have creative, advocate and visionary tendencies. And the website goes on and explains the archetypes.

  • The Creative appreciates all beautiful things, in art and daily life. The creative act is essential to who they are. Unique Challenge: To overcome the fear of being unoriginal.
  • The Advocate is the one everyone wants on their side. In the name of justice, they are not afraid to challenge authority or speak up for others. Unique Challenge: To find causes that engage my strengths, not my personal agenda.
  • Leave it to others to live by the status quo. The Visionary is interested in new ways of seeing, solutions not yet imagined, products not yet built. Lesson To Learn: To believe in my vision, however great or small, and my creative potential to change lives.

The unique challenge and lesson to learn certainly piqued my curiosity.

Which ones are you: creative, athlete, rebel, caregiver, visionary, royal, performer, spiritual, tastemaker, explorer, advocate or intellectual?

Making Progress on the Craft Office

The smallest room in our home – the room with the most windows per square feet, with the best lighting – has totally not been used to its potential. Disappointing, isn’t it? It’s the dumping ground. In the last month I’ve alluded on the Facebook page to redoing one of our rooms into an actual, usable craft space. (Yeah, we’ve only lived here for 8-1/2 years?) The room was originally earmarked for a shared home office between my husband and myself. I think I had visions of the kids working at the table. That didn’t happen.

I’m happy to report that in the last few weeks I moved a lot of things around, got rid of a lot, too. I lost some momentum last week because I needed to focus on a workshop my husband and I were presenting at our church, not to mention family stuff. BUT, I’m still encouraged that I’ve made a few more papercrafty things in the last couple of weeks just by having this space available to me! It’s actually a room I’m starting to want to spend time in.

I don’t think I’ve ever shared pictures of this room because I’ve been too embarrassed about the state of it… and, you know what? Who cares?! It’s coming around, and it’ll be awesome.

The mess that is becoming my craft office.

The mess that is becoming my craft office.

This will all come together, I know...

This will all come together, I know…

Have a great Monday, and a great week everyone!

Working on: Prepping for Spring Break, Easter cards, my planner pages, more house clean up.

Developing: A lesson plan for a Zen drawing workshop I’m giving this week at a local art center, and hopefully an Easter article for GeekMom.

Contributing: At Monday Mugshots.

Planning: My son’s First Holy Communion reception for family and friends.

Hello March :: A Simple Sewn Folder for Letters and Notes

Letter writing has been so fun lately. It’s liberating, personal, and gives me an excuse another way to be creative. As a kid, I would write to friends and cousins. When one particular friend traveled, I would write her “letters from the future” and make up games for her to play while she was sitting in the car or flying. When I started college, pen and paper sort of went to the wayside because we were all given e-mail accounts… DOS, even. No windows-based programs yet.

I thought I  would share some pictures of a paper folder I put together for one of my favorite pen pals of all time. She received it recently, so now I can “unveil” it. :) A little paper, a little sewing, some washi tape, envelopes – all things I love playing with!

Inspired by oh, hello friend


Folder front page

I love mixing paper and stickers. And I’m totally in love with my retro Dymo labeler.

Sewn binding in my paper folder reinforced with washi tape

Sewn binding in my paper folder reinforced with washi tape

I folded a 8-1/2″ x 11″ cardstock in half, and used washi tape to strengthen the fold before sewing the other pages in place.


Envelopes and a postcard taped into place

What a fun way to use up bits of paper, postcards and little notes.


Mis-matchy embellishments make me swoon

Mini-envelopes taped into place are perfect for holding tiny treasures.

#YourTurnChallenge Blog – Day 1

No pics today. Although you can see my Monday Mugshot at the Facebook page. :)

I joined a community today at the Your Turn Challenge blog, and am eagerly waiting for my post to be posted. Every day for seven days there will be a prompt, and people can submit their writing at the Tumblr blog. Pretty cool to think that people from all over are trying this out for very similar, and yet very different, reasons. If you have a Twitter account you can check out the hashtag #YourTurnChallenge.

I just needed a push.

Hope to update with a link to my post soon…

UPDATE (1/20/2015)

Got a tweet from Winnie Kao. She took the time to answer my tweet despite all the posts she has to manually update… she gets a round of applause from me.

The long link to my #YourTurnChallenge post is

But if you don’t feel like going there, this is what I wrote:

Why do the Your Turn Challenge?

  • Because Winnie asked (so nicely)…
  • Because I saw it on my Seth Godin e-mail feed… (and I dig Seth’s stuff).
  • Because last year was the least I had written on my own blog and I feel like a failure…
  • Because I crave community…
  • Because I promised myself I would do more, complain less…
  • Because I want to get better at launching without being a perfectionist…
  • Because I need the push…
  • Because I gotta get over whatever block I’m feeling…
  • Because others are here and we’re doing this together…

So, why not?


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