Deadhead Art Alliance Artist of the Month – December – Julie Burkett – Store – Baked Alaskan Designs


dhaajuliebannerWho am I?   Julie  ( not at all tempted to use sarcasm)  Burkett.


I’m a free form and traditional style bead artist whose life and home is the

Goldstream Valley in the heart of the Interior of Alaska.

I am a wife,

mother of 6 and co­-owner / creator at Baked Alaskan Designs on

Etsy.  I am an active member of the Deadhead Art Alliance team and a leader on the

Working Artists Promotion team on Etsy.  I create Grateful Dead inspired Steal Your Face barrettes

and keychains as well as intricately beaded mandala hair barrettes and

other accessories out of very small beads.


My shops philosophy…

I can’t make you think,

but I can craft things that allow you to feel beauty and

that which lies within.


dhaajulie10My creative process usually begins with a color palette that strikes my fancy,

for instance I’ve made 3 barrettes based on a color scheme I saw on

PBSKids Wild Kratts, then maybe a focal –

with a Rubbermaid tub holding my supplies.


I sit on a stool right next to the

stove, across from Phil­ next to the dining area which is in our

bedroom/living room-  (laughing out loud).


Complete the workspace experience with running

boys chasing each other and a crazy white dog around the house in circles

to the endless scarlet>fire…


For most of 27 years I’ve had the privilege to stay at home with the kids, our

oldest being 27 and our youngest child Trey who is 6, who blessed to us on my

44th birthday.   I have been an industrial seamstress for a high end outdoor

clothing maker, a ballet and modern dancer, a cultivator and manicurist of

plants as well as a few labor positions

(including actual labor along the years.)


I moved from my home state of Rhode Island to Southern Humboldt,

CA in 1983.

From one hippie shack in the woods to another 😉 One year

during a Reggae on the River I became friends with a Native American guy

named Kingfisher, who was an awesome accomplished bead worker that taught

me peyote stitch and other beading techniques. Though it really wasn’t until I

saw Acsha Gellmans’s work at a So Hum festival that I really fell in love with

beading and a good obsession began . Her work blended colors and

patterns so beautifully all I wanted to do was hit the bead store and turn

them into creations. I am happy to say many of those 20+ year old barrettes

still adorn some lovely heads to this day.

dhaajulie14My mom sent me to all kinds of art and crafts classes when I was young. I

was so lucky to have had such a diverse and cool intro into the art world. My

mother is super crafty and She and my Aunt had a thing going where they

made cool little mushroom thingies, macramé, and ceramics too.  My

Grandma sewed and did other needle crafts; so I tried them all…especially

loving embroidery, sewing and crochet.  During junior high I really got into

paper cutting and collage. I still collage occasionally, turning tiny paper

diamonds into 3­D cubes are my thing. There’s always modge podge to be

found somewhere in my house.

dhaajulie2I just sold a real favorite­ the Rainbow Fish Wheel (totally a play on the song and

fishing device) was an homage to a close friend that recently left the planet.

dhaajulie1What inspires me most to create is

the beads themselves, their shapes, but it’s mostly their colors.  Quite often

while I’m working on a piece I’ll take off my glasses,  it’s then when my vision

is really blurry I really see things…the beads talk to me often showing me

where to go. No true pattern…

What makes my job interesting for me is that

I am pretty much a hermit.  I make the trip to town about once every 3

months- and where in the past small fortunes would be spent on festival going, nowadays. No.

I’m not gonna lie though… a journey to the bead store, to vend or just a day trip to JoAnn’s fabrics is a definite get out of my

house worthy action I’m always up for.


I’ve really enjoyed working with and

meeting people online through my teams and Facebook groups. I’ve seen such

amazing work and artists through this and my other team.

I am a lover of Etsy, it has made things possible and really simple with all its innovative

uses of technology. I can sell to someone on the street with card or cash or

right off an app on my phone out of my shop… all the way from ALASKA.

How cool is that?!

dhaajulie13When things are tight My best friend and husband Phil, and our kids get me through the Hard times.

This, as well as my general life outlook that

everything works out, my 420 lifestyle and being a crazy optimist. Oh yeah; and lets not to forget

to thank the internet for letting us stream the Dead 24/7/365


That’s a life saver!


Beading is so meditative, I can bead to relax-­ zone out. We raise our kids, take

care of our dogs and chickens and Phil has made us a beautiful yard and garden.

Basically my amazing man puts on the show of the day off of when we

awake and plays music continually till we take our sleep. There are speakers

outside so the dogs, chickens and neighbors can tune in too! I am also currently

addicted to watching Midsomer Murders on Netflix while I bead, on my tablet.

dhaajulie12When I was in grade school, my mom belonged to the Columbia House Record

Club. The albums would come in the mail. Once a month the day after they

arrived, I would fake sick and stay home alone (both parents worked) and blast the

likes of Janis, Led Zepplin and Jethro Tull. I remember opening the Thick As a

Brick album, its newspaper format and being like this is so cool. Then I played it

and was totally blown away…must have been 4th grade. As a teen in the 70’s and

80’s my Dad had a job the afforded me free tickets to the Providence Civic Center,

I saw just about everyone during that time. The No Nukes concert at Brown

University was a particular memory maker, first time I saw Bonnie Raitt. She was


When asked Is there something about you as an artist that you would like the world to

know she says this: “To me all colors match”  –

I can’t relate to a “it doesn’t go together” attitude in my

reality and In fact if you tell me so it will probably become a personal challenge to turn

the flow.


 In the near future, I have a personal vow with myself not to buy shoes until I make my own.  I got on Craigslist recently an got an old Singer cobbler machine sew hopefully for the people I live with, my shoes and maybe some bags and stuff might be coming.  In the long term, I just want to continue to create.  Of course, people buying my work is a huge bonus.  I’d like other people to know that Sharing is caring.

I believe in spreading the love and promoting other artists in any way I can help, and that and my trading/bartering philosophy is one of the best things for overall existence. There’s nothing cooler than trading firewood for bead work.

I really want to thank Captain Jen, the leaders and fellow Deadhead Art Alliance teammates. This really means the world to me. For reals!

favorite quote
“we are everywhere”

Selling Venues:

Artist Contact info:

Social Media Links: twitter: @thebakedalaskan






Struggling Comfortably,

Stay weird…

Forever Grateful, Deadhead Art Alliance Team


3 responses »

  1. I loved reading this blog post for Julie. What a lovely woman! I love her beadwork and enjoy wearing my rainbow beaded barrette all the time. It makes me feel beautiful and happy. Julie it is fun reading about you ,your family and seeing your home and family. I can really relate. You are a really special person and I am honored to be friends with you. Great blog post Jen!

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