Meet Julie Jackson
Julie is the creator of Subversive Cross Stitch, a bedrock of the modern craft movement that pairs old-fashioned samplers with snarky sentiments. Her second book of cross stitch is coming out in Spring 2015 from powerHouse Books. Julie also dreamed up Kitty Wigs and authored the book “Glamourpuss: The Enchanting World of Kitty Wigs”.
What do you know for sure?
I really believe that people are basically good and kind. I’ve been working online since 1996 and it’s amazing that I’ve only come across one or two truly mean people. And the odds are that they were just feeling insecure or having a bad day. Everyone else has exceeded my expectations in their willingness to give or help or say nice things or be really hilarious.
What inspires you?
It inspires me to see how the idea of subversive cross stitch has branched out in so many directions. I believed from the start that no two people would do the same thing, so I’ve never imposed licensing agreements or fees on small vendors or worried about people stealing my ideas—instead, I encourage everyone to make the idea their own and do their own thing. So it’s really fun for me to see so many articles about people turning things into cross stitch that I would never dream of, this is what gives me a thrill. I try to cheer them on, even if I’m a little jealous at first. I go right out and introduce myself because it’s SO inspiring, and I want to hear all about how they work and how they think. It’s like we were separated at birth and I’ve finally found my people.
What makes you laugh?
Fainting goats. Talking animals. I love those old smoking dog magic tricks and just recently found one again—it’s a little dachshund with a hole in its mouth and when you put a little cigarette in and light it, it looks like the dog is blowing smoke rings. I love this to distraction.
Who do you admire?
My mom. In fact, I have an amazing photo my friend Ben Britt took of her that will be in my new cross stitch book, you’ll love it. She’s almost 90 and in the last year she moved into Assisted Living near me after my father passed away. They were married for almost 70 years and he was so amazing. She has such an unsinkable attitude, she finds ways to do things for people every day and she comes up with hilarious ideas all the time. I’m so glad she’s near us now because her positivity is contagious. If I’m having a bad day or feeling whiney, a visit with her turns it all around. I can’t believe I’m such a wuss! She’s so strong and her sense of humor would wow you. She belongs in this series.
What’s your craziest idea?
Dog Brows. I love drawing eyebrows on dogs, it’s so much funnier than it sounds. I tried to make into a sequel to Kitty Wigs, but all I could think of was adhesive eyebrows…but since I couldn’t find those I ended up cutting adhesive mustaches in half and making them eyebrows. It was just too difficult. Still, if you have a soft eyeliner pencil around, you should really try it. It’s so much funnier than you think, it brings their expressions to life in such an exaggerated way.