Artist ~ Julie A. Eastin ~ Narragansett

Artist’s name: Julie A. Eastin
Shop name: An October Monday

1. Tell us about your work
I’m a fire writer… Okay maybe not really fire but it sounds so cool! I use a technique called pyrography or wood burning. I start by creating my designs digitally, then the image is transferred to my wood canvas, sometimes I hand draw it on and sometimes I use a heat transfer technique. Then I burn the image onto the wood. Next, it’s time to paint, stain and seal. I use homemade vinegar stains, milk paints, sometimes an acrylic paint wash, we seal with a water-based polyurethane and finally it is polished with our very own homemade bees wax wood polish. Then ta da we have a finished creation!

2. Is there a story behind the name of your business?
Yes! An October Monday has lots of meaning to me, I was born on an October Monday and there is a phrase in Michelle Lewis’s song - Nowhere and Everywhere (one of my favorite songs!) that I absolutely love:
She's as shady as cheap sunglasses
But as perfect as this October Monday passes
To a draggin' your soul around town rhythm
Always in such a hurry, but never too fast
Not to mention October is my favorite month and Halloween my favorite holiday!

3. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
Quite by accident really, I’m a stay at home mom, my husband the main breadwinner and I really wanted to redecorate my kitchen to match a vintage Good Luck Cooking Witch pitcher I have had for many years. In my late twenties I would make wood creations using pyrography so I decided to create some whimsical kitchen witch plaques to save some money. Once the kitchen makeover was complete family and friends suggested I start selling them. So in 2013 I started crafting An October Monday’s Whimsical Woodcrafts.

4. Where do you draw your inspiration?
Inspiration is everywhere! But I’m a sucker for vintage Halloween (witches mostly). I can spend too much time looking at vintage Halloween images, old women’s magazine, and antique postcards. I like to take Victorian ladies and give them a witchy twist… I mean who doesn’t love Glinda the Good Witch from Wizard of OZ! I also, love vintage apothecary and try to create fun pieces with that vintage inspired apothecary feel.

5. What’s your favorite item to create?
I love creating every piece! I’m always coming up with new things to make. Working with wood the same design will have it’s own unique characters and look depending on the wood grain, age of the wood and the type of wood. But if I had to pick only one it would be my newer kitchen plaque and spoon called Coven Lovin’, it’s such a fun kitchen witch piece and a wonderful creation for Halloween with it’s winking moon spoon.

6. What’s your best seller?
It’s actually a tie between my older Playful Witches Coven Spoon and Plaque and my tongue and cheek No Soliciting Sign with a “traditional” Halloween witch and black cat. Those two designs are very popular.

7. How long have you been in Rhode Island?
I am new to Rhode Island, my family relocated here in February 2015 from Ohio but it feels great being by the ocean again… I grew up in California so for me to be where I can spend time at the beach or out hiking in the woods is the best thing ever!

8. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island?
Wow, where do I start? The ocean, the woods, oh my gosh the seafood! But one thing I {heart} about Rhode Island is the people, everyone I have met has been great. Rhode Island is home to some of the nicest folks around and I’m happy my family is part of that now.

9. Any advice for new/wannabe makers?
Do what you love, I was really worried that no one would want witch themed crafts except for Halloween time, but I couldn’t stop making and I sell them all year round. You get better the more you create, never doubt yourself or your talent. I’m a big doubter of my creations but I’m lucky to have a great husband and 3 terrific kids telling me I can do this. So surround yourself with those who love and believe in you and aim for the stars!

10. Please include anything else you’d like to add:
I would like to say thank you to I {heart} Rhody for reaching out to the new kid in the state and inviting me to do this piece. It just reaffirms why I {heart} Rhode Island and it’s people with the biggest of hearts in the tiniest of states!


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