Fan & Creator Spotlight: Barbara Zilk

Fan & Creator Spotlight: Barbara Zilk

In July of 2023 we embarked on a fascinating journey into the heart of artistic fan, Barbara Zilk, whose creativity knows no bounds. In this interview, we have the pleasure to get to know Barbara, a dedicated crafter who transforms the whimsical and vibrant art of Mary Engelbreit into tangible expressions of joy. From her personalized crafts to intricate work, Barbara's hands bring to life the enchanting scapes and heartwarming scenes that have captivated Mary's fans for decades. 

Name: Barbara Zilk

Home State: Oregon

What got you into crafting? I have always loved doing creative crafts, even as a child! As I have grown, my crafting has expanded to a number of interests! I love creating items that make people smile!

How do you find time to get creative and what do you have to give up to do it?
Crafting is my “happy place”… I am a 24/7 caregiver for my husband so am at home. I fit my crafting into my free time. I am an early riser so do a lot of my crafting in the early hours of the day! I don’t really give up anything but time… my brain wakes up creating new projects for me to do!!

What can you not do without your crafting, your favorite to go to? Is it glue, threads, papers, your favorite scissors? My acrylic paints and my Mary Engelbreit calendars, scrapbooking materials, envelopes and other ME paper items I have accumulated over the years! I really enjoy creating items that I feel would even surprise her and bring a smile to her face! I really feel imitation is the highest form of flattery and I try to make her proud!!

What is your most enjoyable thing that you have made? My ME inspired dollhouse furniture is currently my favorite projects to create! I would love to create a totally Mary inspired dollhouse someday!! My birdhouses are another favorite! Each piece is so much fun to create as I see the completed project in my head before I start crafting!! Lastly, my full sized ME inspired chairs are one of my favorite things I have kept for myself!!

How do you decide what you are going to create next? I have accumulated quite a lot of crafting supplies over the years between buying and having things given to me. I am always on the hunt for items I can put the “Mary” spin on! Projects tend to find me rather than the other way around!

What about Mary Engelbreit's art draws you to use it in your crafting? The sweetness, the detail and the colors… the quotes are so inspirational and ideal for creating personalized items that reach out to myself and others.

How long have you been a Mary Engelbreit fan? Oh gosh, I have loved Mary’s creations for many years…since they first came into stores 30+ years ago!! I have quite a collection of ceramic pieces, cookie jars, tea pots, coffee mugs, etc. I even have a set of cherry 🍒 dishes so we have “dinner with Mary” every day!!

Do you have a favorite Mary Engelbreit icon, pattern, artwork? I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE anything cherries 🍒!! Her CHAIR OF BOWLIES and LOVE, HOME, FAMILY, FRIEND designs are ones I hold dear to my heart… I love anything and everything Mary!!

How can people contact you to buy your creations? Email - or Facebook's Mary Engelbreit Items Buy, Sell, and Trade

As we conclude our delightful conversation with Barbara Zilk, a devoted Mary Engelbreit fan and skilled crafter, it's evident that her artistic journey is not merely a hobby but a heartfelt tribute to the magic of Mary's creations. Barbara's ability to infuse her crafts with the essence of Mary Engelbreit's whimsy and charm serves as a testament to the profound impact art can have on our lives. Through her hands, Mary's characters and vibrant scenes take on a new life, bringing joy to both the creator and those fortunate enough to encounter her works. As we bid farewell, we are reminded that the connection between fan and artist is a powerful source of inspiration, forging bonds that transcend the canvas and create a shared tapestry of creativity, friendship, and the enduring magic of Mary Engelbreit's art.

Thank you Barbara!


If you are a fan and would like to share your Mary Engelbreit creations please email Please note we are a small team and will do our best to feature as many fans on our blog as we can!

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