Boise woman brushes hundreds of winter windows to life

The lights are all hung for the holidays in downtown Boise, city Christmas trees are cut and ready to be trimmed across the Treasure Valley, and one other sign of the season is also in mid-season form.

BOISE -- It's that time of year when one starts to notice the windows around town look a little more winterized.

What one may not notice is that almost all of those swishes, and sparkles, and snow scenes have one woman in common.

"Yep, yep," says Julie Rumsey, getting ready to start another window painting job in Hyde Park in Boise's north end.

Loading ...

She is in the middle of her busiest time of the year. "Yeah, I start about 10 (in the morning) and then I go till 2 in the morning," she says.

Her window season starts the first of November and continues through the first week of December.

"I mean, it keeps me busy," Rumsey says, talking about her schedule. "I try to do about five and six a day."

When finished, she will have covered the windows of more than 100 businesses from Elmore to Canyon counties.

"I actually don't count because it just kind of overwhelms me," she says. "I just wait til the very end."

In the beginning, she used to sketch it all out beforehand. But that took too long. Now Rumsey just tries to have an idea of what it's gonna look like. "I try," she laughs. "It all comes together in the end!"

And it usually comes together quite well to the amazement of those who happen to see it happening.

"Yeah, she's just totally like, free-handing it," says a woman watching from inside the Parilla Grill. "Which is pretty cool."

Armed with brushes, a ladder, and some paint, Rumsey can cover a window in a matter of minutes.

"I mean, she's only been doing it, what 30 minutes or what not?" suggests another woman watching.

And other than a few words with herself or those that walk by it can be a kind of a solitary gig. But one Rumsey enjoys.

"So many people are like, 'Oh, is this your job?'" says Rumsey.

It wasn't, however, something she sought out as a career. As a kid she just wanted to be an artist.
"Yeah, I guess so," she says. "I've always done it."

And she had her sights set on being an illustrator. A few years spent at BYU-Idaho, before a few art classes at Boise State, and she began to build a business out of the back of her car.

Loading ...

That was 24 years ago.

Many consider Christmas their favorite holiday. For Rumsey her favorite part is being part of everyone's winter through her windows.

"It actually helps me feel like I am more part of the community," says Rumsey. "Because I'm being able to share my talent."