Dreaming Trees

These days, Julie Epp the maker behind Dreaming Tree Paper Company has been getting almost all her vintage hardcover books from the volunteers who sort for the Children’s Hospital book sale. Rescuing books that otherwise couldn’t sell and would end up in a recycling bin. The books are then upcycled into one-of-a-kind journals. All journals have 60 pages of unlined 24lb paper interwoven with original book pages and treasures like library cards, inscriptions, and illustrations. All of the products are lovingly made by hand in Winnipeg. The books really are delightful, as many of them are familiar tales from our youth. A great home for your creative idea compiling, far more interesting than picking up a notepad from a big box store!

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But that’s not all Julie has been up to…

In your travels have you ever come across a sweet message written on a stone, signed with a heart? I have!! While researching Julie, I have learned that she is in a large way responsible for these encouraging messages written on stones and left in random corners of the urban landscape. Stone Stories is Julie’s experiment in serendipity. In her words, “Stones with hidden meaning are placed out in the world for people to find – hidden in plain sight – and I trust they end up exactly where there are meant to.” Having started the project in 2013 as a way to spread more love out in the world, now thousands of stones have been placed by many people who have joined the movement.  Check out the project at www.stonestories.org!

Julie has also been a part of producing award-winning films! When Tara had asked me to write a feature on Julie, she very excitedly told me about having gone to the Gimli Film Festival this summer where she saw one of the projects Julie has worked on screened as part of the 48 Hour Film Contest. The past three years the films she has worked on which were screened at the 48 Hour Film Contest have won awards.  This year their film entitled Deeper Shades Of Blue (2018) won Best Actress. ( Marti Sarbit) This is most exciting because Marti had never acted before! The film also won an audience favourite award for Best Score (Marti Sarbit with Lanakai) at a follow-up screening. 

With such a dynamic practice, I was curious if there is something in the creative realm that Julie hasn’t done yet but hopes to get a chance to do. She responded, “I am constantly learning and evolving in my creative practice, dabbling in this and that. I am really focused on film these days, and looking for opportunities to make more films that will make a difference in the world.” Currently, Julie is working on the post-production of her first documentary film that was shot in Rwanda in April. It is called A New Rwanda and focuses on inspiring stories from Rwanda’s young people.  Folks who are familiar with Tara’s shop may remember photographs taken by Rwandan youth exhibited in the space a couple of years ago. The photos exhibited were curated by Julie on one of her many trips to Rwanda meeting with the youth there. Such engaging work! Find out more about the project here. www.anewrwanda.com

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If you have been inspired by Julie, you may feel that you could benefit from her insight. She has much to give and she provides a coaching service which you can find more info about at www.julieeppcoaching.com

We are big fans of Julie! Maybe you are too?

Written by Kelly Ruth

Displaced Pegger, now learning to navigate inclines in her new home of Edmonton, AB