Meet the VIP team! {Week 1: Herbwashjewel}

A big hello to you all!  Our Tangie had a wild idea a few months ago, how about a VIP Backstage Pass that was available for sale in her store? There were only a few spots open, and they went quick!  The ladies that grabbed those VIP passes have nestled right into the team! Every week, we are going to highlight one, and let you get to know them with us!

First off, is HerbWashJewel, who is indeed a jewel!

Some fun facts:
Birthday: I’m a Bonfire Baby (5th Nov) making me a Scorpio
Favourite Singer: Brian Kennedy (the Irish singer/songwriter)
Favourite Entertainer: John Barrowman
Favourite Doctor Who: David Tennant
A fun interview with herbwashjewel, I hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I did!

1. Name (any story behind your name)?
The story behind “Herbwashjewel” is that it was based on a random word password I was given on a forum a few years ago and I’ve used as an id for a number of years for consistency, but “a jewel shining through” is more who I am now, to remind me that despite all the things that have happened to me, I am still a jewel, strengthened and polished, not diminished.  It is only recently that I have been able to forgive and move on from my past.  I’m so much more positive now J

2. What continent do you live on?

I live in Europe – Great Britain, living in the Middle of England.  I’ve moved a lot in my lifetime, around 14 times, but have lived here in Stoke-on-Trent for 7 years – not quite a record for me, but one of my longest stays in one place.  Most of my moves were as a child, but it left me with little idea of roots or of where I came from.  Researching my family history has helped, but it’s my hubby and son who keep me rooted now.
                                                                                   
4. Do you have any animals? What kind?

We have 2 cats, non-pedigree tortoiseshells, both from cat rescue places.  Molly is 9 and spends most of her time upstairs asleep at the bottom of our bed, and Eris (who was a mum with kittens before we had her at 10 months old) is 4.  They aren’t as affectionate as some of our previous cats, but they tell you that you are loved in their own way.  Eris often follows me around the house most mornings and then she sleeps in our son’s bedroom for the afternoon.  You can tell that they have a hard life with us, can’t you LOL?

7. Do you dance like crazy, when no one is looking?
Yep, I often dance and sing in the car whilst waiting for son’s bus in the morning before the other parents arrive.  Otherwise I’m a dancer on the inside and sometimes sing to myself going round the supermarket but so loud that anyone would notice.
7. Do you dance like crazy, when no one is looking?
Yep, I often dance and sing in the car whilst waiting for son’s bus in the morning before the other parents arrive.  Otherwise I’m a dancer on the inside and sometimes sing to myself going round the supermarket but not so loud that anyone would notice.
I’m sure it was fine last time I looked *blushes*


10. Do you buy cookies or things from kids that knock on your door?
We don’t get kids knocking doors much round here – just salesmen for double glazing, and no, I don’t need double glazing.

12. What do you think when you hear rain start outside?
It depends on how hard it is raining and whether it’s been raining all week.  We live in an area that supplies the water for the River Trent, so it rains a lot.  Light rain doesn’t bother me and really it’s only liquid sunshine.  One of my favourite things is to go puddle-jumping in my welly-boots J  I love the Billy Connolly quote – “There’s no such things as bad weather, only the wrong clothes”.

14. Where is your dream vacation?
If I could I would always go to Ireland, as it just feels like going home to me.  There really are 50 shades of green there and we have family and friends in Dublin.  My favourite place is Brittas Bay in County Wicklow and I loved Newgrange, County Meath.  I just find it so relaxing a place, except Temple Bar on a Saturday night, which I try to avoid J

15. Can we get a snap shot of at where you create?
I don’t have a crafting room, so I create sitting on the sofa surrounded by boxes of paper, embellishments etc.  I wish I had a craft room, but it means that it is warm and sunny when the weather’s good.  My laptop is often on most days.

17. Which is your favorite time of the day, are you a morning person or a night person?
Definitely a morning person, I love to see sunshine, although I can’t be out in the hot sun for too long.  I enjoy walks in the fresh air, particularly walks with my camera to hand. 

19. If given a complete freedom to start afresh, what profession would you choose and why?

I’ve been given this, as I’m on long-time sick leave because of depression and anxiety I first experienced, post-natally.  I was a part-qualified accountant, dealing with insolvencies, but the atmosphere where I worked was the worst and the last time I worked was in 1998.  For years I’ve not really known who I am.  One of the things was to change my name legally to Julie, the name that I’ve always been known by, but not legally because of a birth registration error.  I’ve been officially Julie for just a few years now, but recently I’ve had a bit of a personal revelation.  I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in the Summer and in the New year, I plan to do a Drawing course, followed by a Textiles course and then… who knows?  I’ve started to let go of the most difficult issues of my past and now I look to the moment, rather than backwards as the way to define me.  It’s all still new, exciting, but I have time to work it out now.  I’m working towards greater self-confidence in my skills and abilities.

I actually have been a secret fan of herbwashjewel since the beginning of the Art Journal Caravan this year.  I love her hybrid book, and am in awe of her talent.  Just the cover to her Art Journal is enough to make one just be awed:
 
 Here are a few of my favorite pages:
and this one made me gasp and it really helped me begin to finally get  art journaling!

I have linked all her art pages to her full gallery, I so recommend you go and enjoy this amazing artist and her unique and wonderful work! herbwashjewel, she indeed shines!

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